Archives for February 2007

My Podcast Playlist

PodcastingI’ve really been enjoying the podcast scene lately, and gaming podcasts in particular. For those who don’t know what a podcast is, think of it as talk radio on-demand. Pick a topic, pick a program that will aggregate all the files (I use iTunes) and have a listen. They’re like blogs with a human voice. Gaming podcasts are plentiful and there’s one for just about every aspect of gaming. There are podcasts for specific games, specific consoles, and just about everything else under the sun.

Read on for my Podcast Playlist.
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I am an idiot.

Okay, so that will probably not come as a surprise to many of you, but it’s true. Fortunately, I’m not completely crazy, there is actually a method to my idiotness.

It turns out, there was nothing wrong with my saved game.

I was thinking about Crackdown today at work (yeah, I have exciting days at work) and it dawned on me — when I was playing with Bobster, we located the Volk Kingpin, we just never went after him. He was out on an oil rig in the ocean. Turns out, I was looking in the wrong place last night. Argh!

I did a little search and found a Crackdown map and sure enough, I was right. There he was, the Volk Kingpin, happily tucked away on his little oil rig out in the water, not where I had initially thought he was. In my defense, here’s what threw me off. Look at this portion of the map:

Crackdown Map

As you can see, I killed General Natalya “White Fox” Gryzunova in one portion of the map, but she’s actually located at another spot. So I don’t know if she was supposed to get away in a car or something and I killed her too quickly or what, but it was driving me crazy that she wasn’t showing up where I actually killed her.

So all is well in Pacific City. I’ll be heading back to Crackdown after 24. I can’t wait.

Trouble in Crackdown Paradise?

CrackdownSo over the weekend, I played a few hours of Crackdown co-op with buttonmashing.com friend Bobster. The experience was a total blast. I’ve never laughed as hard as I did playing Crackdown with someone else. The fun started kicking each other off high buildings and never stopped. Whether it was running over innocent pedestrians or flying over the rooftops, the co-op experience was top shelf. An absolute blast. My sides and head hurt I was laughing so much. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. So the co-op session was a success. The fall-out, however, might be a problem.

Since I was further along in the single player campaign, we decided to have Bobster host the game. After we took down the kingpin of Los Muertos, we turned our attention to the Volk gangsters. Before we played, I had taken out a couple Volk Generals, so we went to take those out first. We took down a handful of Volk Generals and then went our seperate ways. Today, I fired the game up to clean up the Volk and turn my attention to the Shai-Gen.

I pulled up the map and something was amiss. I looked at the list of Volk Generals, and one was missing (the kingpin). The first General I took down (one of the female Generals, I don’t remember who) was showing up as killed, but on the map it was showing her location as the location of the kingpin. Her actual location wasn’t shown on the map. So I cruised to where she should be, and sure enough, she was gone. The Agency was all over her location. So I headed over to where the kingpin should be (the place the female General shows up) and again, he was nowhere to be found. Crap! Something was not right.

I reset the game, reloaded my saved game and looked. Nothing changed. I couldn’t get the intel on the Kingpin, because the game thought I had already taken him out, even though I never fought him. So I was stuck. I could get to him because he was already gone, even though I never beat him.

Okay, so that was probably hard to follow. Long of the short is — I played co-op and my Crackdown save game seems to be corrupted now.

So I did what I always do with presented with a problem: I went to the oracle to present my problem. One of the first results was this post on Xbox360Fanboy. While it’s not exactly my problem, the comments make it seem like I’m not the only one with this type of problem.

Has anyone else who’s play Crackdown co-op had this problem? I hope this is something that can be fixed and I really, really, REALLY hope a fix will be forthcoming. It’d be frustrating if I had to start all over, just from some multiplayer bug. That would be a pain.

Carnival of Gamers is almost here

Funny how time creeps up on you. The Carnival of Gamers #22 is right around the corner. Seems like it was just yesterday we were picking up the trash from the last one! The Carnival is heading to Brent’s place at Virgin Worlds this month. As always, you can check out all the Carnival info at the Carnival HQ, especially if you’ve never heard of the Carnival or want a refresher course, .

Get your submissions in to Brent ASAP!

Super Mario Theme

The Super Mario theme is one of my favorites. Here’s a rendition of the theme by a guy beat-boxing and playing the flute. (via kottke). That would make a great (and equally annoying) ring tone.

Boomin’ Granny

Everyone’s favorite gaming-grandma, Old Grandma Hardcore, was on the first page of the Life section in Thursday’s Columbus Dispatch (registration might be required). It’s a fun read if you’ve never heard of OGHC, but if you have, it’s good to see that Grandma is still gaming like a champ.

Rock on, Grandma.

Hallelujah!

EA has said that Mercenaries 2 will be released on the Xbox 360 (and the PC and PS2) along with the Playstation 3. So says Evil Avatar. Initially, this was going to be a PS3 exclusive but now that doesn’t look to be the case. Thank goodness for that.

If they can do Live co-op this could be one of the best games out there. Mercenaries was such a blast, I can’t wait for the sequel.

In my hands

CrackdownI know I just started playing EQ 2, but I had too much fun with this game’s demo to pass it up.

As always, quick impressions to follow.

Update: Well, I didn’t update this last night because I played Crackdown too long and it got too late. I guess that should count for something.

I’m not sure what I think about Crackdown yet. Yes, it is a fun game to play. Very fun. It’s a lot of fun to just run around and power up your super cop. I’ve already earned 3 stars in strength and I’ve almost got my 3rd star with agility. So I can lift cars and jump twenty feet in the air. Both of those things are extremely fun to do and doing the rooftop races are a blast. Jumping from one rooftop to another across the street feels fantastic. They really got the feeling of vertigo and height perfect. I actually feel it in the pit of my stomach if I’m about to miss an extra high jump.

But the actual meat of the game has left something to be desired. I played for about 4 hours (which flew by) and I am just about ready to take down the first boss. If I had solely done the missions and ignored the races and the hunt for orbs, I could have taken the first boss down in 3 hours. If the other two bosses are equally easy, I’m looking at 10 hours of the main game. That’s borderline unacceptable. I had hoped for more.

Sure, I’ll have fun searching out the 500 agility orbs and the 300 hidden power-up orbs, but that will be tedious as well. So while I’m enjoying the game, I’m nervous that it will lose its sheen quicker than I hoped.

Everquest 2 – First Impressions

I’ve spent about 5+ hours with Everquest 2, so before I jump back into another session, I thought I’d share a few thoughts of my first experiences with the game.

First, a little history of how I play MMOGs. When I play a new game, I jump into the game blindly. I don’t read FAQs, player guides, anything. I jump in, make a character and start playing. Whether I stick with that character or not depends, but I get a flavor of the game and then I start reading the guides, following the forums, and I change my play style accordingly. With that in mind, here’s how things are going so far.

I started my life in Norrath as a Barbarian Bruiser. I usually go with the “good” character types, but I was feeling a little evil, so I went with the evil version of a monk. I haven’t played a tank since my Diablo 2 days, so I thought a tank would be fun to play. The character creation had quite a few options, and after a few nips and tucks, my nasty looking Bruiser was ready to go.

All new players start off on a “newbie” island, that acts as a mini tutorial. It didn’t take long to do most of the island missions, and I was ready to head to the real world in a few hours, already a level 6 Bruiser.

So far, I like what I’ve seen. It plays fine (if a little choppy on my four year old computer). Once I got off the island at to Freeport, the world opened instantly. Exploring the city of Freeport looks like it could take forever, and that’s just the city! When I ventured outside it seemed to get even larger. It did seem like there weren’t a lot of other people playing, but that could simply be the server I’m on (Crushbone) or the time I’m playing. There seemed to be an endless supply of missions and quests, so there looks to be plenty of content. I’ve always loved the crafting aspects of MMOGs, and EQ 2’s tradeskill content looks like it should be a good time. So far, so good for me and EQ 2.

I’d love to play any readers who play on the Crushbone server or any tips for a newbie. Drop me a note in the comments.

Surviving a Dead Rising

Contrary to the immortal words of Gloria Gaynor it appears that I will not, in fact, survive. More succintly, my Xbox 360 will not survive. It appears that asking it to perform its duties for longer than a few hours results in a hissy fit involving red lights:

It's hot in here!

That’s right, the red rings of death. Luckily it was only two red lights, which effectively means “I’m too hot, I’m shutting down.” In hindsight, I should have opened the doors on the entertainment center to allow for a little air circulation, but with little kids that are ever pressing green buttons, I couldn’t take my chances. So mid-way through my third day of survival, having just survived 24 hours outdoors, the 360 died, rather unceremoniously. Seven hours of Dead Rising down the drain. Son of a!

So it appears I’m once again done playing Dead Rising for the foreseeable future. I got a couple more achievements before everything died, so it wasn’t a total loss, but I didn’t accomplish the end goal. Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes on my quest. If everything had gone according to plan, I would still be playing. But it was not to be.

Since Dead Rising is no longer going to consume me, I decided to take the plunge in Everquest 2. I’m currently designing my first character. I’ll have a little blurb of my first experiences later. This is probably a mistake, as my EQ time will be immediately diminished on Tuesday when Crackdown shows up. We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get there.