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Foolio1 Blog

Forza Motorsport Fanatec CSR Wheel on the Fritz :(

So last year right around when Forza 4 came out I decided to invest in a Fanatec CSR wheel, pedals, and shifter set. Totally worth the $450 I spent because it is easily the best wheel I have ever used. Not to mention having a 6-speed manual with clutch is so much more fun. I daily drive a manual, but learning to race with one took some extra practice. Overall though I started doing better at the game than I did before.

However, sadly, after I moved into my new apartment at the beginning of this month my wheel started acting up. Not sure what happened between then and now, but for whatever reason the wheel disconnects from the system if you turn it too far to the left or right making it impossible to play anything.

I emailed back and forth with Fanatec support a bit. Tried adjusting various wheel settings and updating the firmware, but to no avail. The problem persists. Although a silver lining remains in that they are send me a replacement wheel (free of charge as far as I know), which is great because the wheel alone was $250. Sucks that it broke, but I am glad the company is working with me to make it right. Leave it to those Germans for good customer service!

My RMA was sent in so hopefully now I just wait for the new wheel and then ship my defective one back to them. Would I buy one again? Most definitely. It's a great racing wheel. It's disappointing that it failed while not yet that old. Hopefully this next one will last longer.

My Signed Copy of inFAMOUS 2 Came Today

Here it is, my signed Hero Edition of inFAMOUS 2 that I got for winning the Facebook contest came today from the guys at Sucker Punch. Still really excited to have won. They also sent along two Sly clothing patches and a Festival of Blood DLC T-shirt! Thanks to the people at Sucker Punch for making awesome games that I love and putting on the contest :)

I won a signed copy of inFAMOUS 2 Hero Edition from Su.cker Punch today :P

Yep, they were running a contest on Facebook where if you submit a picture of you holding inFAMOUS 1 and 2 you would be entered into a drawing for a copy of inFAMOUS 2 Hero Edition. If you had all 3 Sly Games in the pic too, it would be signed plus a Sly patch. Well, I went a step further and gathered up everything Sucker Punch I had: both inFAMOUS games, all 3 PS2 Sly games, Sly Collection, my Sly beanie, Sly Cooper vinyl statue, Sly poster, and my first three issues of the inFAMOUS comic series (I still need the last three though).

Enjoy gawking at my doofy picture, lol:

So I got lucky and was chosen (again, this was at random) and won! It's was very exciting and I exclaimed that I had won excitedly from my desk at work, haha. You can see it also on Sucker Punch's Facebook page. I'll post some more pics when it arrives!

GS censored the title of my blog :

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One - Beta

Hey everyone! If anyone out there has the beta for Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One let me know. You can get a code by pre-ordering the game from Amazon. I played it at PAX and thought it was a lot of fun and it would be cool to play with some of you guys out there. Let me know if you got it!

PAX Prime 2011 - Day 3 Game Impressions

So today was the last day of PAX. I am sad that it is over, but I had a really great time this year and I can hardly wait for next year already! It's great fun and as one of the guys at the Aliens: Colonial Marines demo I went to yesterday (paraphrasing): PAX is special because unlike most of the other game conventions and trade shows, this one is all about the fans rather than the media.

Everyone is friendly, you can easliy strike up a conversation with anyone you are waiting in line with, so it's easy to make some friends--if only for the weekend. Gaming is what brings us together and in the case of PAX I think that helps bring out some of the best in our community. If you ever get the chance to go to PAX Prime or PAX East, definitely go! You won't regret it.

Moving on--the last day of PAX was mostly me just checking out some odds and ends and random games that I missed while I went for the big ones. Here's what I got to see today:

-Borderlands 2
Forgive me because my experience with the first Borderlands is limited, but I intend to play it in the near future, if only to get me ready for the sequel because it looks like a blast. This was just a developer-lead demo, but they highlighted a lot of changes for the new game. There are some new weapons cl.asses like bandit weapons, which feature extended magazines (they showed off a gun with a 72-round mag) and another cl.ass which I have forgotten the name, where every weapon has a minigun-styl.e barrel. Yes, that means you can have a shotgun-minigun. The graphics were great and they are making sure to use fancy new colors like blue and green! It's astonishing, I know.

Enemy A.I. has been improved as well. They are better about attacking and taking cover in addition to being more aware of their surroundings. Overworld travel is helped with the aid of a new mini-map and vehicles can now seat four players. There was just a small taste of some of the new missions--in this case, a moving objective that you had to destroy. The characters from the first Borderlands will also make an appearance, but this time as just NPCs.

-Resident Evil: Revalations
This game looks to be shaping up well on the 3DS. The graphics are really fantastic for the handheld system. It really has a home-console look to it and I walked away impressed. The screens online make it look really good, and it actually delivers, except just maybe a few more jaggies. The demo was short, but it really gave off a feel and pace more akin to the older Resident Evil games, which many fans have been crying out for. I think Capcom will be able to deliver on this one.

-Lollipop Chainsaw
I feel like it was difficult to get an idea of the depth of this game from the short demo, but it looks to be another delightfully bizarre game from Suda 51. The graphics aren't have bad, and as usual with Grasshopper Manufacture games, it is certainly unique and most definitely mature with that bizarre sense of humor the games always have. I just played a section mowing down some regular zombies, which was entertaining, but I would like to see more. Not sure if I will buy this one outright, but may wait for a price drop.

-Goldeneye: Reloaded
I'm not sure if providing impressons on this game would really be fair because from the build they had at PAX this game is far from finished. It was pretty rough. As I played there were unfinished textures everywhere, transparency issues, and a number of effects that were missing. Even bullet holes floated above objects rather than looking like they had impacted objects. Twice I almost thought the game had locked up as well. There are some less superficial things that I noticed though. First, that Daniel Craig's likeness has been put into the game as Bond. Second are a number of control updates to modernize the game a bit like iron-sight aiming, a melee button, and sprint button. It will probably be at least decent when the game comes out, but it seems to be too early in the development to give any more in-depth impressions.

-Jurassic Park
This is Telltale Game's adventure title coming out relatively soon. It was interesting, but one of those games I think you should wait for until it is in the bargain bin. The graphics were lackluster, leading me to assume it is going to be a downloadable title (which it will on everything except 360, according to the guy at the booth). I played two different parts in the game. There was a later portion with a rollercoster action sequence (literally, it was a park rollercoaster ride in the game) that was nothing but quicktime events. I died many a death here until I got it down.

This lowered my hopes a bit for the game. Then I played a different sequence that had more puzzle aspects to it, which I was far more pleased with. I still wasn't won over in the end though, but it was enough to get my attention. Again, this is one you will probably want to get cheap when it is out. That shouldn't take too long, but at least it starts with a discounted price: $39.99 for the disc-based 360 version and $29.99 for everything else. If you like adventure games and Jurassic Park, I say wait for reviews or bargain prices, if you hate quick time events, then run far away from this one.

-Need for Speed: The Run
The demo for The Run didn't feature any of the out-of-car events that are making people iffy about this game, just one of the racing legs of the game out in the desert. I noticed during the game you earn experience for doing things like jumps or clean passes on opponents, making me thing of the progression in Shift. What these will be used for I am not sure, but probably to unlock stuff later in the game.

The graphics were quite good and the driving felt solid to me. Definitely way more arcade like than Shift was, but less so than the last Hot Pursuit. It actually felt a lot like High Stakes as far as the driving sty.le which gives me hope since that was my favorite of the cl.assic NFS games, and one of the last good ones, in my opinion. Not sure how the non-driving portions of this game will pan-out, but don't write this one off just yet.

So there you have it. Again, PAX was great and I just want to extend my thanks to all the event staff, exhibitors, organizers, and all the fans that made it such a wonderful experience again this year. I can't wait to go back already! Definitely one of the most fun weekends I have had all year. Thanks, everyone!!

PAX Prime 2011 - Day 2 Game Impressions

Hey everyone. I am back for my second day rundown of what I saw and played at PAX Prime 2011. Today was a lot more standing in lines because there were many more people, but of course also new swag: more T-shirts, posters, and other goodies. Believe it or not, but there are still things and games that I have not yet seen after two days. If you ever get the chance to go to PAX (either of them) get a three-day pass.

Moving on, here is what I saw today:

-Bioshock Infinite
I don't mean to disappoint, but this wasn't actually a demo that they had at PAX. Just some concept are in a gallery you walked through. Of course it was excellent concept art, but the big prize was to get a T-shirt at the end by answering five questions from which the answers came from the artwork. I managed to snag one, so it wasn't for nothing!

-Aliens: Colonial Marines
Okay, this wasn't a playable demo either, but it was a developer-lead demo. They ran through some of the early game portions from when your crew is stranded in Hadley's Hope colony and everything starts to go to hell. The game looks to be shaping up nicely. The graphics aren't necessarily the best among other games I have seen, but they are still solid. In particular, the lighting seemed pretty strong and the sound effects were c.lassic Aliens. Plus it has 4-player co-op, which should make things interesting.

Some of the things they showed off was a new type of alien called the "Crusher" which has a big plate on it's head similar to a queen, but it used this for ramming and of course it wasn't exactly vunerable to bullets. In the demo we didn't see this thing killed, so who knows how to take it down. They also showed off some auto-turret set ups and we caught a glimpse of some power loaders. It seems likely you'll get to pilot one at some point in the game. Lastly came a work-in-progress reel of some stuff in the game and it looks pretty exciting. Lots of alien blasting, perhaps a showdown with a queen--I think this game will be a pretty good.

-Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
This game was actually a pleasant surprise. It's definitely a very different RE game, and sure it can possibly break canon, but I suspect like most games in the series it will have multiple endings. Anyways, this is a co-op third person shooter that is all about the action. There are a few different characters to choose from, but the differences aside from aesthetics were unclear. There's a nice selection of weapons to choose from, which was cool, and some special abilites like motion tracking bombs or active camouflage. Those were the only ones in the demo so there will surely be more in the final game.

The gameplay was tight and fast paced. One thing that was really cool is that you melee attack will work in any direction, front, back, or sides, you will attack the nearest enemy by hitting it. And the animations when knifing/punching/kicking zombies were fun to watch. Some additions make this a bit more interesting like that fact that you can get infected and turn on your team, or that if you start bleeding you will attract enemies. One thing I thought though was that the AI seemed quite dumb. I know zombies are supposed to be, but the Lickers and Hunters seemed dim-witted as well. This could have just been the demo being easy on us, who knows. I will say though that you shouldn't right this game off completely. I think it should be pretty decent.

-Resistance 3 (again)
Now I posted about this game yesterday, but that was with the wonky Move gun/rifle, so this time I took the multiplayer for a spin with a regular controller. The game wasn't bad, but I didn't have a change to try out any of the crazy new guns. The only part I thought was weird was that it felt like my character was moving really slow. It's been a while since I have played either Resistance so I am not sure what it is normally like from memory. Standard deathmatch though. Nothing really crazy to report here.

-Gears of War 3
Now I don't know if any of this was in the beta, but we had a chance to play Beast Mode at PAX, sort of a reverse horde mode. I thought it was a lot of fun. Myself and five other players were a team of Locust trying to defeat a team of humans. Each round you can earn extra money and time. Money is used to buy better characters and weapons loadouts. You can play as things like Wretches and Tickers, but have to save up money if you want to play as something like a Beserker. All-in-all, more good multiplayer fun again from Gears.

-Kirby: Return to Dreamland
The new Kirby game for Wii looks pretty good. The graphics are back to a more traditional styl.e from the cool yarn graphics from Epic Yarn. This time, it's drop-in, drop-out for up to four players, but the only death that matters is if Kirby dies. Metaknight, King Dedede, and Wadle Dee can all respawn as many times as they want. Each character plays slightly differently. Like most Kirby games, it wasn't very challenging, but at the same time it should be entertaining just as the games in the series usually are.

I'll be honest, I have been trying to figure out what is so good about this game since it was announced, aside from being made by ID Software. I'm glad I finally got a chance to play it today. I went in without any expectations, really, and came away pleasantly surprised. The game has a real shooter/RPG mix to it, with looting bodies, accepting missions, and buying/selling stuff. The gameplay itself is solid. The enemy AI seemed pretty good, especially the melee attackers that would run at you, but dodge in some unpredictable ways. It made things a bit more challenging, but in a good way. The graphics look really great as well, running on the 360 build I was playing. They had others set up on PS3's and PC's (with 360 controllers) and I didn't see any big differences between platforms, which is good. From what I played though, I think I may actually pick this one up.

-Batman: Arkham City
This was the same demo I watched being played at E3, which Two-Face and Catwoman, so sadly not much new to report here. With the new city landscape, the game makes it quicker and easier to use the grappling hook on buildings with an icon that automatically gives you a grapple point if you're looking in the right direction. Still looks great and the combat is awesome still of course. I liked Catwoman's moves when fighting so hopefully there will be some more chances to play as her in the game.

For the final day I'm going to try and hit up some more long-line stuff early, like Borderlands 2, and probably try to swing by a few odds and ends like Lollipop Chainsaw, Telltale's Jurassic Park game, and 007: Reloaded. Check back tomorrow for my final day of PAX impressions!

PAX Prime 2011 - Day 1 Game Impressions

So today concludes my first day at PAX Prime 2011. It was good fun, but a lot of my friends and I ended up separated most of the time because we all wanted to go see different things, so I spent a significant portion of my time wandering alone, but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I made some friends while playing other games and waiting in lines.

Anyways, first off is a quick rundown of some of the swag I snagged:

-T-shirts: Uncharted 3, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, StarHawk, Gamespot
-Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One paper hats/masks
-Dance Central 2 plastic sunglasses
-Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword lanyard
-StarFox 64 3D pin
-GameSpot pins
-Twisted Metal Sweet Tooth mask

Not too bad for the first day, though I am not particularly wild about the Sweet Tooth mask. So now, on to the games (in the order I played them):

-Uncharted 3: The first part of this was actually one of the producers showing off the cargo plane sequence. It was up on a projector with I would say maybe a 10-12ft screen and seriously loud speakers (you could feel the gunshots). I know there are trailers for this up, but they don't seem to do it justice, at least not in the way that this setting did, with how epic this one sequence is, and it's a relatively short part of the game as far as I can tell. I'm glad I went here first. It was awesome.

After the demo was some multiplayer time. It was hard to really get any idea how it is different than Uncharted 2. Plus I did really poorly so that didn't help. I'm sure if you played the beta you have a much better feel for it than I do though.

-Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One: The game seems like it will really be a lot of fun. I had quite a good time with the demo. I'm not sure how the single-player will work, but with others it's very fun. Some of the portions where you must work together require good communication, as most co-op games do, but there were a few things, like grapple swinging, that we couldn't quite get. You do addition damage when using the same weapons on a target, which furthers the co-operation, but at the same time there is some competition because you get a bonus for collection the most bolts, etc.

One thing that took a bit of getting used to was that the right stick it used to change weapons and when I first started playing I habitually tried to move the right stick to adjust the camera as I do in all Ratchet games and just started switching weapons instead. Keep and eye out for this one though, I think it will be a good one.

-Resistance 3: I think I will have to go back and play this one again because I tried playing it with the Move gun controller and it was not easy. Granted I didn't try changing any of the settings though. I started to get a tiny bit better, but that thing definitely has a learning curve.

-StarHawk: I have only played WarHawk once, so I am not familiar with all of the base building and vehicle piloting you can do in these games, but the combat was solid and the level we played one remind me of some ****c ones from Unreal Tournament 2004. Plus the sniper rifle was great as I wiped out a bunch of people on their team with it. I even surprised one of the guys at the booth by unlocking a gold trophy by sniping a turret, haha.

-Twisted Metal: Again, it took some doing to really get the controls and everything figured out. It's been a long time since I played a game in this series. The action was good and the graphics weren't bad. Lots of fast action and explosions. This should be a good one to play online.

-Dance Central 2: This game is looking quite good. If you're already a fan of the first Dance Central, just go ahead a pre-order this one. The side by side dancing is what was really missing from the first game and works great in the new one. Plus the new soundtrack has some great songs (Technologic!). The graphics look a lot more polished as well and there are cool new effects on your dancers when you are doing well like streams of light coming from their hands.

The points systems has also been changed. I played on easy just because I didn't know what was coming but still managed to score 1.7 million points even though the best I have ever done on the first Dance Central was 711k and that was on Hard mode. Dance Battle also changes things up with free****portions that has four dance moves up on the screen at once and you can do any one of them you want to score some extra points.

-Forza Motorsport 4: The game is gorgeous. What else can I say? It's definitely gotten better than Forza 3, which is a feat in and of itself. I think I will need more time with the game to give any impressions on the changes to the physics engine, but it seemed to be right in line with the visual upgrade. All they had set up were game pads though and I am more used to playing with a wheel.

-The Gunstringer: This was one I was looking to playing since I saw the article on Kotaku about it. There was really no line for it when I went to play it, which I suppose is a good and bad thing at the same time. The art ****is neat. From what I can tell you are actually supposed to be playing in an actual puppet show. Occasionally you will see hands move stuff in front of you or see a crowd in the background (which is also actually a FMV). The controls worked quite well, though there were times when the shooting didn't quite go off when I wanted it to. Exaggerated movements seemed to work best here.

-StarFox 64 3D: This game is looking great on the 3DS. While the game is familiar, it really lends itself well to the system's 3D screens. You ship looks like it is popping right out of the screen and laser blasts coming right at you look really cool. It controls well on the 3DS also. The thumbslider works great with the game.

-The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Dare I say it, but I was a bit disappointed with the demo for this one. There were three scenarios to choose from and I chose to try out a dungeon. As far as I could tell I just had one room to run around in and that was it. While they are touting more advanced sword control with this game, I think there will be quite a learning curve with this one. I was having trouble fighting some basic enemies. Even using the bow was a bit tough, but I think I may have just been to close to the screen on that one. It looks like the graphics need some more polishing up as well, but Nintendo still has time for that.

-Rhythm Heaven (Wii): I loved this game on the DS and it looks as though the Wii will be much of the same (in this case, good). The games playable just used the A button on the Wii remote for control. I'm not sure how or if any other the games will make use of the motion control. Note to self: remember to ask about this tomorrow. Still the same great graphical sty.le with this as well.

That's it for everything I got to see day one. Stay tuned tomorrow for more game impressions. I'm going to see if I can get around to Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, Bioshock: Infinite, Gears of War 3, Kirby Wii, and surely others.

PAX Prime 2011

So PAX Prime is right around the corner again. The scary part is that I have posts from lasts year's just two down from this one, haha. I really should update this thing more often, but I seem to just tend to forget about it. In any case it should be much better this year. I learned my lesson and got a 3-day pass instead of a Saturday because just one day is definitely not enough to see everything. I got a couple extra vacation days from work, so I have some time to ramp up. Today is officially the start of my five-day weekend 8)

I haven't heard a ton about what's going to be there this year. Some info has leaked out, but I need to talk to one of my friends who's annual pre-PAX routine involves scouring the internets for info on what games and swag will be there. I made out pretty good last year though with free posters and T-shirts. I'm hoping for more this year. There are a few things I am hoping they will have:

- Uncharted 3 (but I think this will be a long shot)
- Dance Central 2 (Microsoft already announced what will be at their Kinect booth and this game wasn't among them so I am hoping Harmonix brings it along on their own.)
- Forza 4
- Upcoming 3DS line up
- PlayStation Vita
- Sly Cooper (PS3)

Kind of a short list, but those are just a few off the top of my head. I know there will be a lot of other great games to check out. I'll try to make a resolution to update my blog on here more often and perhaps I can start it off with this year's PAX. I'll try to post impressions, pictures, and videos as I go, so if you're one of my few followers: stay tuned!

Level 50!

Well 49 took forever, but I am now level 50 on GameSpot. I look at my join date and I can't believe I have been coming to this site for over eight years. I don't know what keeps me coming back, but it just feels like home...internet video game home at least. Though the ups and downs, GameSpot has always had good content, and I may not have always agreed with their views, but the forums were a good time-waster.

Here's to more levels ahead!

I got in to the Test Drive Unlimited 2 closed beta!

I'm really excited, but also annoyed because the first playtest is scheduled for tomorrow from 10AM to 7PM (Pacific). The only problem is that I will be at work for pretty much all of it! Maybe I should just call in sick tomorrow...

Anyways, I'd love to share what I think of the game, but I had to agree to an NDA before downloading and honestly I'd rather not get kicked out (who knows, Atari may be lurking gaming boards). Still, I think it will be fun. After all, I love racing games!