Archives for December 2006

Kicked in the junk

Not like this:

Like this:

My new Samsung has arrived!!

How is getting a new TV like getting kicked in the junk? When it shows up mere hours before you’re getting ready to head home for the holidays. And you were planning on being gone for eight days.

Crap! Looks like I’ll be cutting our visit a few hours short next Saturday so I can get home in time to pick up my new TV stand. I’m thinking about picking this one up.

More pictures to follow. Like most everyone else, I’ll be pretty busy with the holidays, but I’m hoping to find some time to get a little blogging in. Nevertheless, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays.

Christmas wishes (for me)

It’s that time of year again — my yearly plea to the Jolly Ol’ Elf. My Holiday Wish List. I actually don’t want a lot this year, just a few more games to play on my 360 and DS. There are a bunch of DS games I wouldn’t mind playing, I just don’t think I have time to get to more than a couple. So here’s what I’m hoping I find under the tree next week:

Viva PinataElite Beat Agents Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
Viva Pinata – This game has always intrigued me. The premise sounds like fun and it would definitely give me something to satisfy the obsessive-compulsive part of my brain. I am a huge fan of Animal Crossing, and while I know that this isn’t exactly Animal Crossing, it has some similarities. The biggest similarity being that it’s a game I could play with the kids around. I’m usually waiting for them to head to bed before I can fire up Dead Rising, so it’d be nice to play something that they’d like and I’d enjoy. The bright colors and beautiful scenery would definitely hold their attention.

Tiger Woods 2007 – It’s been a long time since I’ve played more than a few minutes of a golf game and I was quite impressed with the TW2007 demo, so I’m ready to give this the full game treatment. Since I won’t be getting a Wii anytime soon, Tiger Woods should fill the hole in my gaming library that was set aside for Wii Sports.

Elite Beat Agents – If you’ve been reading this site over the past couple of months, it will come as no surprise that I love Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, the Japanese rythm game on the DS. I have spent a ton of time tapping little targets to such awesome songs as Guts Da Ze!! and Kokoro Odoru and have enjoyed every minute of it. The thought of playing an “American” version of it, complete with stories I can actually follow, makes me very excited.

A nice Surround Sound System – Now that I’ve got a big TV on the way, I need a sound system to compliment it. I’d love to get my hands on my dad’s old Bose system, but that may not happen. So I’d be happy with any decent surround sound system. Any suggestions?

So that’s my spartan list. Not very huge, but hey, I’m easy to please. What’s on your wish list?

Ouendan translations

I’m letting a friend borrow my copy of Ouendan for a couple days to give it a try, see if it’s what he’s looking for. Since everything is in Japanese, I figured I’d try to explain to him what the different menu options were. Sure, I don’t know a lick of Japanese, but I have figured out what each option does, so I thought it’d be easy to explain the basics.

Then I found the site Cracked Rabbit Gaming. In addition to their ongoing translation project for Ouendan, they also have a mini-fansite that includes a translation for the menus. I wish I would have found this a couple months ago!

They’ve overlayed the English translations over actual screenshots of the game, so you can figure out what the heck is going on. This makes things a lot easier. My Resident Evil 4 translations are the most visited page on buttonmashing.com, so I know there are people out there looking for this kind of thing. I’m glad I found Cracked Rabbit. Makes things a lot easier.

Go here for the Ouendan menu translation.

What to look for in 2007

As the year comes to a close, I plan on doing a small recap of 2006, but it’s never to early to start thinking about 2007. Nick takes a look at twenty games he’s looking forward to (ten here and ten more here). I agree with just about everyone of them. In fact, my top 8+2 games for next year are

1. Mario Galaxy (I’m an unabashed Mario fanboy)
2. Halo 3
3. Turok (the idea of more Turok multiplayer goodness is nectar to my soul)
4. Mercenaries 2 (if it comes to the Xbox)
5. Lost Planet
6. Mass Effect (RPG goodness)
7. Assassin’s Creed
8. Bioshock (Don’t know a lot about this series, but I know this game looks amazing)

I won’t be playing the Wii (in all likelihood) until next year, so the two games I’m looking forward to that are already out are:

1. Zelda Twilight Princess (duh)
2. Super Swing Golf

It looks like another great year for gaming.

Minor milestone

I finally broke the one thousand mark on my gamerscore. Last night I finished a mission in Hitman: Blood Money (worth 25 points! For one mission!) and now I have hit a minor milestone. Sure, there may be guys out there with 100k gamerscores (okay, maybe there’s only three of them), but who really wants to play all those games?

HDTV incoming!

I did it! After hemming and hawing for the better part of six months, I have finally taken the plunge and decided to enter the High-Definition TV era. I had my eye on a few TVs, but I kept coming back to the Samsung brand. The cost of LCD and Plasma were a little out of my price for the size I wanted, so I went with a DLP television. After reading various home theater forums, magazines, reviews, and talking with friends, I decided on the Samsung HL-S5088W, a 50 inch DLP.

Samsung HL-S5088W
She’s a beauty, ain’t she?

We belong to a “wholesale club” (not Sam’s or Costco) so I got a tremendous price on it. Problem is, it could take up to six weeks to arrive. A bit of a pain, but, for the price, I can wait. I’m secretly hoping it shows up before January 8th, as there’s a little college football game that I’d love to see in high-def. Plus, I’ve heard 24, Lost and a host of other programming looks pretty good in HD. Not to mention the 360 in glorious, glorious 1080p.

I’m a little worried about having the little buttonMashers running around, abusing it. My Sony TV has been covered with little fingerprints for about three years now, so I’m not hopeful. We’ll just have to teach them to respect daddy’s new toy. I don’t break their stuff, they don’t break mine. Seems simple enough.

So I’m excited about joining the HD generation. I’d love to hear what kind of set-ups you guys have (HD or not). If you have any experiences (good or bad) with Samsung DLPs, I’d love to hear them. I’ll definitely be posting the unboxing, whenever it arrives. I’m as giddy as a ten year old on Christmas eve.

No more flying Wii-motes

Just use the Wii-handcuff!

Wii cuffs

(via shizzle)

What’s in a name?

I decided to boot up Guild Wars last night to take a look around, see what had changed in the months since I last played. After downloading a metric ton of updates, I finally made it to the character screen, where Vigor Mortis was waiting to head back into the fray. I paused for a moment, proud of my clever name. “Vigor Mortis” is my necromancer. Necromancers deal with death, corpses and the reanimation of said corpses. Rigor mortis is when a dead body becomes stiff, due to chemical reactions in the muscles. Vigor, on the otherhand, evokes thoughts of strength and well being. The melding of the two, Vigor Mortis, is a sly play on words that I am quite fond of. I am evoking the black arts to give the dead “new life.” Vigor, if you will.

It got me thinking, what’s in a name? More specifically, why do we use the nicknames we use? As I was thinking of a name for my first ship in EVE, I blogged that the hardest part of playing a video game (particularly an MMORPG) is coming up with a character name. It has to be catchy, clever, and something that won’t embarass you. I eventually settled on the name “Broken Butterfly” for my ship. Again, I was proud of yet another clever name. The Broken Butterfly is my favorite weapon from Resident Evil 4, the .45 revolver that packed quite a wallop. Yet the butterfly is a nimble creature. So my ship, nimble yet potent, was aptly named.

I’ve been thinking lately of other names (handles) I’ve used. Back in my BBS days, I went by the handle “The Hitman.” A kid I played football with was already nicknamed “The Hitman” on the team, so I was “The Hitman” in cyber-space. Whenever I played BBS doors (the equivalent of an online text-based game) like Barren Realms Elite or Trade Wars 2002, I used titles from Metallica songs (I was going through a huge Metallica phase). My kingdoms in BRE were always called “Dyers Eve” and my guy in TW2002 was called the Phantom Lord and his ships were always “Ride the Lightning.”

Later, when I started running around with guys on the MSN Gaming Zone, playing Age of Empires, I was going by the moniker of “Tonester”. My buddy Bob was “Bobster_0” so why not go with the theme? Later, at his cousin’s house, during a round of AoE LAN gaming, I saw his cousin’s name — “I aint yer Pa”. I inquired of the origin of the name (it’s from a Clint Eastwood movie) and I really liked it. For a long time, I was “I aint yer Pa” in most of my games. My whole Diablo 2 phase was a string of “I aint yer…” names. My sorceress was “I aint yer Granny.” My Amazon, “I aint yer Sis” and of course my Whirlwinding Barbarian, “I aint yer Pa.”

I guess I was in a naming funk for a while. Funny thing is, after a couple of years, I went back to I aint yer Pa for my Xbox Live account name and have been happy with it ever since. It’s original (even if I wasn’t the originator), it is memorable, and it always evokes a laugh. You may not remember playing a round of Halo 2 with M4st3r_Ch1eF but you’ll remember the dude named “I aint yer Pa”.

I’d like to hear about the names you guys are fond of. What are some of the stories behind names you’ve used? I’m sure some aren’t as thoughtful as others but I know there’s some good ones out there. I’ve been on Xbox Live long enough to see a hundred different people work “420” into their name, so I know originality isn’t something that’s really common or respected in the online gaming community, but I know a lot of people are thoughtful and have thoughtful character names.

I’d love to hear some of the stories behind them.

Carnival of Gamers #20

Michael has posted the December edition of the Carnival of Gamers. Check it out for this month’s blogging round-up. There were a lot of good submissions.

(Seems like there something up with the links in the blog post. I sent Michael an email, I’m sure they’ll get fixed. Fixed!)

What I’m playing

I’m at a point in Ouendan right now that I simply can’t finish, so I think it’s a good time to step away for a little while and get back to some other games. This is what I had been playing, before Ouendan took over my gaming time:

Marvel Ultimate AllianceMarvel Ultimate Alliance – This was a rental for this past weekend. I played the first couple hours exclusively with my brother-in-law. He’s much more versed in the Marvel Universe, so he was much more familiar with the different characters available. I just know that Colossus has always been my favorite X-Men, so I played with him for the majority of the game while the bro-in-law was switching between a lot of the characters. The game is definitely a fun little beat-em-up romp. Not especially deep, but it does have some nice RPG elements. This is one I’d like to get some online co-op time with.

Image1.jpgGears of War – Speaking of online co-op, I’m still trying to get some online co-op in Gears of War. I was all set to do some co-op GoW’ing with Zonk but his 360 met an untimely malfunction and that prevented us from giving it a go. He’s all back up and running, so we’ve tentatively set up a future gaming time so I can finally give the game its final paces. I may also jump into some ranked games to grab some more achievements. Too bad the players found in ranked games are mostly from the dregs of society. You know how it is.

Burnout Revenge – I also picked up Burnout Revenge. I know I’m late to this game, but it’s still a blast. I’m slowly making it through, trying to get “Perfects” on every race. Once I unlock a couple of the faster cars, I’ll be jumping online to see if anyone is actually still playing this game.

And finally, now that I’ve evicted Ouendan from the DS, I’ll be going back to Contact. I was enjoying it before, so hopefully it won’t be a problem jumping back into the action. And as always, I’m still working off my debts to Tom Nook in Animal Crossing. I’ll be jumping on the WiFi to see if I can’t game the turnips market, so if you’re still playing AC:WW, let me know and you can come over and visit my town.

I’ve promised myself I won’t pick up any new titles until I see what Santa brings me, so this is pretty much what I’ll be playing until then. I’ll have to post my wish list soon. What are you guys playing?