Friday, April 24, 2009

A wedding, two MMO's and a really bad game.

It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted anything. I went up to Eureka to be in a good friends wedding. It was poorly planned, cheaply done, but it worked and I am was very proud to have been apart of it.

I also was able to reconnect with a few friends that I haven't seen in almost six years, and got to see just how much has changed since my last visit. All in all the trip was worth it, and I am looking forward to going back up there within the next few months.

Gaming wise, I have completed Tales of Valor and am working on a review for that at this time. I think the review will take me longer to finish than it did to complete the game. Wow released its now infamous 3.1.0 patch, the one that nuked the servers for almost a day. Warlocks and DK's don't seem all to happy, but so far none of the classes I play have had much changed that I have noticed anyways.

LOTRO is having a week long come back and play birthday celebration, so I installed that last night and did some adventuring in Middle Earth for a bit today before work. Hard to imagine that it has been two years since release, and City of Heroes will be celebrating five years in May. I was so in love with LOTRO during beta and the first month of release, but since then I have hardly played the game at all.

One thing I like about Book 7 was the addition of the quest tracker, but it's a bit clunky and looks tacked on. I was always frustrated with the vague description in the quest text in LOTRO, so anything is better than what was there. Who knows, maybe I will take advantage of the three month sub special, we shall see.

There doesn't seem to be anything coming out anytime soon that I am looking forward to, so it looks like I may have some time to devote to games that I own that I have been wanting to play. We shall see...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just an update on what I have been doing this past week; I finally completed Splinter Cell:Double Agent for the Xbox 360 a few days ago. This is a game that I really wanted to play for a very long time, but I just never bought the game till recently.

Although I do have a few issues with the game, I was very pleased with Double Agent and have begun to play through the game on hard difficulty.

A few of the issues I had with the game was the camera, it can be very brutal at times, and anything to do with the JBA HQ. Other than that it's a great game.

I am also finished with the new stand-alone expansion for Company of Heroes, Tales of Valor. This game has really given me a headache. Any excitement I might have had was quickly turned to frustration after it took me two days and six different stores to find a copy of this game.

On top of that the game is very disappointing. This stand-alone expansion doesn't really expand Company of Heroes all that much really. I am planning on writing a review for this game in the coming days.

And last but not least, the new 3.1.0 patch for WoW was released yesterday. And as is customary with large patches for this game, the servers were down most of the day. It still amazes me that after all these years Blizz still has issues like theses, not acceptable in my eyes, but I still play.

I wasn't all that excited for this patch mainly because of all the class changes, again. This is the second time that there have been significant changes to the classes since the release of Wrath. To me, someone who plays the game but is not on top of all the WoW happenings, it seems that many of the changes are because of the PvP side of things.

It's sad that WoW has become a power level till 80 for endgame raiding and arenas game now. And yet I still play...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Martial Arts film done bad, really bad.

Signing up for Netflix has been one the better ideas that my wife and I have had in recent memory. Not having to deal with the mess that you find in a brick and mortar rental store has been great.

What is nice is the ability to search out actors in Netflix's database. I recently searched for movies done by Takeshi Kaneshiro and looked for anything that resembled an action flick. I own two TK movies, an import of Space Travellers and the US release of The Returner, bit awesome movies, but each completely different from one another.

In the description of China Dragon it mentions it's a martial arts movie, so I decide to que it up, along with many others. I can say with all honesty that China Dragon is a martial arts movie, but it is a very bad one. The movie was made in 1995 and filmed mostly in Hawaii, and that's probably the best part of this terrible movie.

The music is loud and obnoxious, the Mandarin dubs are out of sync, the action is hokey and the acting is bad. I actually am surprised that I was even able to get thru almost a third of the movie before I turned it off.

So to recap; Netflix great, China Dragon bad!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


So here I am at home just browsing the web while everyone is in bed, and I decide that I would do some reading on the Gamespot website.

First up is the new game from Creative Assembly called Stormrise. The first thing that sticks out to me is the very low score the game receives, 2.0, not very good. In fact that's just plain embarrassing to be honest. After watching the review, I decided to check out the review for Empire: Total War to refresh my memory. Needless to say, ETW is a better game, and the scores reflected that. But I did have one problem with the review, which is something I will touch on a bit later.

Another title caught my eye while browsing, a game called Men of War. As I'm reading through the review, I get the sense that I have played this game before, and then it hits me, it's just like an older game called Faces of War. Turns out they are developed by the same company, which I guess I should have know considering the whole 'of war' part of the title. The game itself sounds interesting, but nothing I think I would ever buy. But the part that got me wasn't the short gameplay video, or even the review itself. Nope, it was the little part at the end that went like this;

Editor's Note: The preceding review replaces the Men of War review that was originally posted on GameSpot, which was found to contain a number of factual inaccuracies. We regret the error.

Excuse me? You have got to be kidding right? The thing is, this is not the first time I have seen this, I just for the life of me can not remember the review that I had read before this one that had the same Editor's Note.

I can't tell you what was wrong with the original review cause I didn't get to read it, but there was obviously something wrong that it needed to be redone. What I'm not sure of is what's worse, that a reviewer would write something that is inaccurate, or that an editor decided to publish something that is inaccurate.

To be fair, I don't know what was wrong with the first review, but this only confirms something that I have been feeling for awhile, that is that there is no reason to review games so soon after launch. What does that have to do with a the Editor's Note you might ask? Honestly in this case it might not have helped but maybe to only give more time for the Editor to find what needed to be corrected before the review was published.

But earlier I mentioned Empire: Total War and how it received a decent score, an 8.5 to be exact. But no where in the review was there a mention of the numerous bugs that have plagued this game since it was released. CA has released a few patches to help with the stability of the game, including a patch to help fix an issue created by an earlier patch.

Now I don't know what kind of requirements Gamespot has for their reviews, but if the reviewer had spent any sort of time playing the game, he would have come across any one of the many bugs that can be found on the official forums including CTD's, the white screen of death, and my all time favorite, the Spanish Inquisition as seen here:

Do I hate ETW, not at all, I really want to love it. But the game has some serious issues that have kept me from playing the game at all, and if the reviewer had spent any real time with the game, he might have been able to put that into his review.

The fact is that game releases are much like movie premieres, the opening weekend is essential, so taking a few extra weeks to publish a review for that AAA title is unrealistic.

Slight blog update.

I finally updated the 'Blogs I like to read' section. I removed a few that I wasn't reading anymore and added some new ones. A couple are ones that I just recently started reading, but I liked what I read so far so I thought I would add them. But I did add a few that I have been reading for awhile now but have been to lazy to update, sorry.

I know that I get very few comments on this blog as well as readers I'm sure, and that is something that I have been fine with since I decided to start a blog. But if someone does happen to read this blog and has commented and I haven't added you to my list, let me know so that I can.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Computer woes...

The last two weeks have been a rocky one between my PC and me. I recently spent some money upgrading my computer, not the most current cutting edge stuff, but a definite upgrade from what I had.

I decided that I would go back to running Windows XP after running the Windows 7 beta for the past few months. Everything seems to be fine except for one game, and a game that I like to play.

So I figure I would just go back to the Windows 7 beta because I know that things ran fine with that. Well a few days pass, and things are going just peachy, till I decide to find some information on a particular game that was giving me trouble gameplay wise. I don't even remember the website I went to, but suddenly my browser closes and I get a pop up box telling me that my computer might be infected with malware, then I get more and more pop ups and eventually something begins to scan my drives searching for something. So I immediately reach behind the computer and switch it off from the power supply. Ergh.

So the next day I decide that I will just reformat and try out XP again, why not. The format goes fine, XP installs with no trouble, everything boots up and I'm ready to begin the long process of tweaking and reinstalling. That is till I notice that I can't go online because I need to install my network drivers, which happen to be on the motherboard disc that I left at work. ERGH!!!

Well, knowing that I wasn't going to make a trip back to the office and I really wanted to play on the computer, I then went ahead and installed Windows 7 long enough to download all drivers for both XP and Win7, then went and reinstalled XP again.

Things are looking up, the install went great, the drivers are installed, so now all that's left before some tweaking is to update XP. Now suddenly my install of XP is flagged as not being genuine, WTF!!!

Honestly I wasn't that surprised or even upset, I was using an OEM copy that a friend made me ages ago because my legit version of Windows XP Home is so old that it will not recognise my hard drive as 500gb. Right now I am still running my not so genuine version of XP, but I downloaded SP2 and made a slipstream disc using my XP Home edition. So once I have finished a particular game, I will be reinstalling Windows, AGAIN, but it will be legit and everything will be right in the world, I hope.