Archives for July 2004

Halo.

B00005NZ1G.01._AA_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpgSo I’m two-and-half years late to the party, but I’ve finally assumed the role of Master Chief and taken the responsibility of saving the world, no, the universe, on my shoulders. I’ve played Halo plenty, but mostly multiplayer, so it’s good to see some of what happens and how everything fits together.

Visually, I’m impressed, it still looks good 3 years later. Sound is top notch, control is great, but as many have complained, the levels lack imagination. The computer enemies are compentent. So far so good. Unfortunately it cuts into NCAA 2005 time, but I’m okay with that for now.

More 2005

I just saw a new one to add to the “User” stats: I used the stiff arm during a run and my RB pushed the defender down and up popped “User Break Tackle!”.

That’s pretty cool stuff. Are there others? I hope so. If you’ve encountered one, let me know!

Xbox update

I am now the proud owner of an Xbox. I made the trade for the clubs, now I have a shiny refurbished Xbox, two S-controllers, Goblin Commander, and 12 free rentals at Hollywood video. I haven’t played much since NCAA 2005 has been sucking up my time but I feel it was a great trade. I think the first game I’ll pick up is ESPN NFL 2K5. Can’t beat the 19.99$ price tage.

I must say, the Gamecube and the Xbox are getting along swimmingly. The Xbox knows he’ll never get to be Zelda or Mario or Samus and he’s alright with that. The Gamecube knows he’ll probably never get online, and he’s okay with that, too.

NCAA one week later

B00020V4RG.01._AA_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpgOkay, after a week of playing NCAA 2005, let me say a couple of things. First, let me answer the burning question: “If I already have NCAA 2004, should I pick up 2005?”

YES! I answer that with a resounding affirmative. While it does has some flaws and drawbacks, it is a solid title with enough new features to make it seem fresh and new. While the graphics and crowd backgrounds are showing their age, there is plenty to enjoy.

First and foremost is the matchup stick. It shows you matchups and shows if players are rattled or not and if they’re playing good or bad. Definitely an excellent change. Now you can see if the five-star, Blue Chip® freshmen stud is pooping his pants with his first visit to the Horseshoe or if he’s got nerves of steel. Since I started a cupcake team to buuld my dynasty with, almost all my players get rattled and play bad. I finally have a freshman DE (4-star) who has a little green in his “play” meter but he’s still rattled every game. I don’t know how well he’ll play once he gets a year under his belt but he holds his own now.

With 2004 on the Gamecube I used to get sick of using Z button + R button to flip plays or the Z-button to switch various menus. Now you flip plays and navigate menus with the C-stick. You can actually flip a play at the line of scrimmage, as well.

Recruiting has changed, now you can scout players before you try and recruit them. My first off season had me with 24 recruiting points, so I wasn’t able to try this feature out yet but there are certain stats you can’t see without scouting them first, like their discipline. Players unhappy with their playing time can transfer to a school (even your own players, so keep everyone happy with PT!) and play after sitting a season. After my first season I had a decent QB (72 OVR, better than my current 52 OVR QB) from West Viriginia transfer to my school, so I am pumped about him starting next year. That feature will either be the sweetest thing or come and bite you in the butt. Even before recruiting starts you have 100 percentage points to allocate to recruiting, training, and discipline. I’ve already had to suspend a couple players a quarter for their misbehavior. I’m not sure what ill effects bad discipline players can have on a team.

In 2004 it would say “User Pick!” if you were controlling a player that intercepted a pass, but now it also say “User Tackle for Loss!” and “User Sack!” when you control a player that does that. Both little details that mean a lot to me.

That’s about all I can think of for now. I’ll add more as I uncover more little details.

Sweet, wonderful NCAA 2005

Well, it’s late so I don’t have much time to post a lot about the game, it’s definitely improved, little enhancements here and there go a long way, they have definitely integrated the crowd/home field advantage very well and the passing game is definitely tougher.
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More info when I get a chance but in the inaugural game, OSU 13 UM 10. Buckeyes dominate again.

NCAA 2005 and an Xbox?!

I just listened to my messages, Trading Zone has my copy of NCAA 2005! I’ll be heading over there as soon as the buttonWife gets home to pick it up. Picture and preliminary thoughts will be posted soon.

I also am contemplating a trade with a friend: an unused set of my golf clubs for his Xbox (and stuff, maybe 2 controllers, a game, etc). He hasn’t had any issues with his box so I don’t worry too much about that but I wonder if I’m better off selling the clubs and buying my own, new, Xbox. If I get one from Game Crazy (probably a refurb’ed model) I would also get 12 free game rentals, so that’s something I need to think about. Either way, we’d both be getting a great deal, it’s a win-win situation. We’ll be Halo’ing at his house this Friday, that’s when all the details will be ironed out.

Needless to say, I’m pumped! So much gaming goodness going on right now.

Memory Card 1019

B0001YYNLM.01._AA_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpgI just picked up my big fat 1019 memory card today at Gamecrazy. I’m not a big fan of that store but they usually have plenty of TVs set up to play new games and they have a decent selection of games, it’s just the staff that works there. They’re either fanboys (XBox, usually) or clueless kids. I guess I shouldn’t hold that against them. They all can’t know as much as I do.

I got the card in anticipation of my copy of NCAA 2005 tomorrow. The guys at Trading Zone (my local used game store) said they’d call tonight when they knew what time their shipment was coming in, but I didn’t hear from them, hopefully there won’t be too much of a delay. I haven’t tried the card out yet, I’m letting the wife get in as much TV as she wants because when NCAA arrives she get’s relegated to the 13″ in the bedroom. Sorry hon, them’s the breaks.

Saying goodbye to Neocron

Alas, the time has come to close the Neocron account. It has been a fun ride and quite a good game to play, I just don’t have the time to invest in it right now. I may pick it up again when the Dome of York expansion comes out, but for now I am going to say goodbye. I have definitely played my money’s worth (I picked it up for 4.99$ at CompUSA) so even after a few months of paying the monthly fees it still ends up being less than the full price for a new game.

Overall, my experience with MMORPGs has been positive. I played Everquest for a month but lost all my items in some forest somewhere and never logged back on. I played a ton of Diablo 2 (not really an MMORPG, but who cares) and had a good group of guys to run around with so we good avoid the lusers on battle.net. Unfortunately our group slowly dwindled to just two of us (me and Bob). I played in the Planetside beta, that was okay but not my thing. After picking up Neocron I really got hooked. I really liked the crafting system (I have a high level constructor that has made some sweet stuff) and I liked the dependence on other players, but in the end it slowly degraded into the dreaded level treadmill. “…I just need one more level to use that new weapon…” I will say that the leveling system and skill points scheme is done well in Neocron. Since there weren’t a ton of players (300 players on Saturn would be crowded) most of the people were cool to play with but of course NC had its share of PK’ers and that just sucks. I’m not leaving because of that but they won’t be missed.

I’m quitting for a number of reasons, but mostly because NCAA 2005 is a week away and I will be deeply engrossed in that for a while. After that, we’ll see. I still have to have a chat with Greta about that monitor I want and maybe an XBox.

Paper Mario Video (in Japanese)

On Nintendo’s Japanese website there’s a video (in Japanese, of course) of the upcoming Paper Mario 2 RPG for the Gamecube. It looks pretty sweet, I never played the N64 version but I will have to give it a try as well. From the video, it looks like a pretty cool game. The onslaught of all the baddies looks pretty cool.