Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Well I can’t let 2007 end without getting one more meaningless post in for December, which turned out to be my heaviest posting month since I started this little shindig.

I got sick over the weekend, really hit me on Sunday so I won’t be doing anything tonight. I haven’t been playing too many games but it looks like the wife and I are ONCE AGAIN shifting back to WoW full time. Something unclicked in Tabula Rasa and she lost interest in logging in. I on the other hand tend to go where she is willing to play along with me so I will probably be leveling that tauren shaman. God help me. Why why why! Her new mage is already 23 and blowing me away and her Blood Elf priest hit 43 last night. She is a machine. I’ll catch up sometime, but I am just not as into as she is. I think I am starting to get tired of games for some odd reason. I watched the Final Cut of Blade Runner last night and the ending was totally different from what I remember. The scene with Deckard and Rachael driving out to the country was wacked. At least from what I remember.

So everyone have a good new year party and I will be back once I feel better and can talk about gaming with a clear head once more. See you in 2008!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Matrix Online and now offline

I downloaded and installed the 14 day trial of the Matrix Online and I have to say it is a unique game, if that is the nicest way to put it. To me it seems that it is almost a direct copy of City of Heroes. The missions, the way the contacts are called up and the way the powers are activated remind me of City of Heroes. Beyond that the similarities end. I have to say that I am completely lost in this game. It is very confusing and the tutorial is absolutely god awful. The best way to learn the game is the in game help index. Character skills, abilities and stats are largely unexplained to the noobie, and I had an easier time understanding EVE Online than I did getting into this game.

By far the worst (or best according to some players) feature is the odd combat system. This system is not explained at all, in fact half the interface that is used in combat goes largely unexplained in the tutorial so that the new player is forced to resort to just clicking interface buttons and watching the pretty graphics. Basically combat goes in “rounds” where you will make a move, and the opponent will make a move. After the animations are done, the results pop up in the combat window. So it is very important to remember that what you are watching has already been determined, you are just seeing a graphical result of the combat. The real kicker comes in having to pay attention to the combat log to know what the hell is going on. I will admit though the combat looks cool, so at least that is entertaining. Each round is 4 seconds and there are two types of combat: interlock and free fire. Free fire lets you shoot guns and move around freely. Interlocked means you are in some martial arts combat and hand to hand. I guess this allows multiple people to engage in mass combat, but I haven't seen this in action yet.

I won’t go into a full review of the game because I just started in it, but so far I don’t really feel like I’m in the Matrix, I feel like I’m in a cyberpunk City of Heroes. I talk to a contact, I get a mission, I run to a door and I fight. Yup, that is City of Heroes. I don’t understand the combat at all. The interface is very odd. Pretty much the move you pick has bonuses and negatives, but I am not sure how to tell what my opponent is doing or how to tell what to counter with. One thing I do like is the ranged weapons. Having uzi’s and shotguns is pretty cool, but again I can do that in Tabula Rasa. The game was also relatively dead and quiet. I saw maybe 7 people the whole time I was in, but that is typical of most noobie zones for 2 plus year old games. I will keep giving it a shot, but so far it is nothing spectacular. I think I would have more fun just playing Enter the Matrix. There is some blatant in game advertising as well, such as Intel posters and things like that, but oh well we have seen this before.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hi Def update

One thing about entering a world of new technology is you have to study up on the things you are getting. So we got our HD TV and it is all in place and hooked up, but then I found out that I had a basic XBOX 360 and only the elite has a HDMI port on it. Ok no biggie, but the cable to enable my XBOX 360 to look snazzy is like 40 bucks. On the other side of things, a standard HDMI cable is 40 bucks or more. I went on Amazon and found these cables for $2.35 a PIECE. I ordered 5 of them, 3 for me and 2 for a friend. I did get one cable with a higher transfer rate for my new upconverting DVD player this weekend, just to be sure I had a top line cable for watching movies. That puppy set me back 30 bucks and the DVD player was only 79! The TV I got has really good reviews and so far everything works fine. There are some strange settings to check into if you want what is considered the best look for the TV in a dark room watching a movie. I found this link here to give a step by step menu list of what one user set his to. Almost like adjusting the sliders in MLB 2K7. I guess my point in all this is: it is never just a simple plug in and play the TV type of thing, no matter what people say. Of course I am also over picky about how my movies look. The Matrix for example (the first movie) looks no where near as good as it should because they have not upgraded that DVD since 1999. Well, they have in a way, but you have to buy the Matrix Complete Collection which is a 10 disc set. The original movie has been digitally remastered in that collection but not on its own.

Speaking of the XBOX 360, the console got a major update this week. You can read about at this link here.

So my weekend consisted of sleeping, sleeping, watching movies and sleeping. I took Monday off to mess around with the new TV and fell asleep. TWICE. I don’t know if I was crashing because of the lack of caffeine in my system or what, but I slept a lot. Normally that is not like me.

I added a few entries into my TR blog about expanding the scope of the stories to include my Specialist as well as my Soldier character. I think it will be interesting to see the battles from a doctor’s point of view and a frontline trooper’s point of view. Now if I could only stay awake long enough on a weeknight to write more.