JaMeS4418 / Member

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JaMeS4418 Blog

Three Years and A Conclusion

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Gamespot, by now you've probably noted my lengthy absence. My permanent departure from this website has probably been obvious at this point, but I felt the need to post this final entry to provide some closure.

I want to deeply thank all of you that contributed to my Gamespot experience. Whether it was reading my blogs, playing with me over Xbox live, or writing your own amazing user content you truly made my experience and all the time I spent here completely worth it. You first met me as a high school freshman, enamored with video games and searching for people who shared a similar passion. I posted, commented on, and checked this site constantly (along withhunting for emblems among other things), and thoroughly enjoyed myself and the friends I made here.

All of you compelled me in my earlier years to become active and frequently post here, but with that advice I learned something about myself to which I cannot thank you enough. Before my Gamespot years, I never considered myself a good English student or writer, but the embrace and reception of all my soapbox editorials and reviews slowly changed that opinion. With the initial help from the Community Contributions Union I began improving my writing on my own and have now developed exponentially. With your help, my English grades rose from average and acceptable to the topof my class, earning me a 5 on the AP English exam, a 760 on both the reading and writing portions of my SAT, and the constant attention of many Universities like New York University, University of Southern California and the University of Texas at Austin. But most importantly, you provided me with the comfort and solace of a real, concrete talent; and have given me career direction for the rest of my life.

I would like to personally thank all those that read my blogs and became good friends of mine here including, but not limited to DouglassBuffone, Tish, Butters782, Fishdalf, Edu,NeoJedi, Reetesh, Earthking, Knight of Malta, and Kreestas. With all the things going on in my life with girlfriends, colleges, jobs, futures, and guitar my interests have significantly changed in these three years and video games have really taken a backseat. I still read the website and get on xbox live occasionally, but if you're interested in keeping in touch with me, I've updated my contact information.

So this is the final, climactic goodbye Gamespot, Godspeed

Sincerely,

~James

The millionth christmas blog you'll see today

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Merry Christmas guys. We all have festivities to attend to, and other blogs to read so I'll make this quick. The ony game I received this year was Gears of War 2, but other highlights included a gps for my car, an ipod home, and tickets to see a friend of mine in New York for a week!

Have a merry Chrstmas and a happy new year

~James

If I could Plagarize?

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I return to you from a lengthy absence but not to talk about games. I might as well dispel the inevitable suspicion that I'm leaving, which isn't true. I'm far less active and less interested in this site and games in general that I used to be, but neither one of those things is going away just yet. Nevertheless, I felt like voicing my personal opinion on a bit of recent controversy and irrelevant as it may be here, I figured a few of you might be interested.

Recently, Coldplay has been accused of plagiarizing their hit "Viva la Vida" from Joe Satriani's "If I could Fly". This seems strange because all of Satriani's music is instrumental where Coldplay use lyrics to get their message across. Listening to each song separately, they sound a bit similar, but it's hard to say that plagiarism is involved. Lots of music sounds similar, and accusing Coldplay just seems nitpicky. I didn't think so initially, but after the songs are played together viva la vida does serve to be a perfect backing track for learning to fly.

Still, I'm not sure that one exact chord progression can really be copyrighted. I mean, if every technical aspect of music began to be copyrighted so that anything similar was punishable under copyright infringement we would eventually start to run our of music. There's only so much you can do that's completely original and new without using similar musical ideas from another artist. Music has always been influenced by past musicians with an admirable $tyles and persistent lawsuits over something that sounds similar would simply lead to less commercial music releases.

That would be just like car companies copyrighting every exact measurement of their vehicles and suing any competitors who made a car that matched some of those specifications. Or Nintendo suing a story driven adventure game (even though that genre may be less popular than it once was) for using many of the same elements that made Ocarina of Time such a great game. As soon as anybody comes up with a formula for something that is successful, bits and pieces of it are going to be taken and transformed to make something different and arguing that the formula is yours and yours alone is a futile endeavor.

As for Coldplay, their song does sound eerily like Satriani's, but I don't think that was intentional. They most likely just made up that chord progression in the studio, liked it and built a song around it just like Satriani did.

Anyways, that's my opinion on the issue, and hopefully I will be able to get back here a little more often than I have and catch up on everything I've missed.

Later,

~James

Guitar Hero World Tour impressions

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Before I start, just know that I still only have guitars. I don't really have the money to shell out on drums and a mic, but I have a friend who has the full Rock and setup, so if they are compatible please let me know.

First of all, this is probably just me or my tv but hammered notes seem much more difficult to hit. Songs that look fairly easy now seem really difficult and I miss almost all the hammer notes. Even after calibrating lag, the timing this time around just seems much more precise than it was before and i'm having a difficult time adjusting. I also don't like the new purple notes slider thing because it puts the outdated guitars at a disadvantage. I played the newer guitar and it's way easier to tap than my guitar, so it feels a little unfair on some of the more difficult songs. Another strange thing is that I do much better when I have friends over playing bass. When I play by myself I sometimes get 85% notes on a song and then my friend comes over and I get 98%.... weird

The career feels pretty much the same, and I like the ability to choose gigs rather than make the game linear although I don't understand why I should pay for certain gigs. The selection of music is still pretty good, and overall not nearly as difficult as GH3. I'm about 90% done with the career, and I've hit a few difficult spots with B.Y.O.B. and Satch Boogie, but neither of these songs seems to be Dragonforce impossible so i'm confident that I'll be able to complete every song. I've only played a little bit with the music creator, and it seems like a neat idea. Making up something is easy enough, but translating things I already know on guitar into the game or trying to edit the song is a bit clunky with the guitar controller. The downloads work well though, and it will be interesting to see what people come up with that is not "let's tap random notes on the neck and make this really difficult" like many of the songs are.

The game looks a little different graphically, but it still feels very familiar. There are way more than 8 venues this time around and all of them look great. Many famous musicians including Jimi Hendrix make cameo appearances and really make the game more interesting. The character creator feels pretty standard, with several options for clothes, facial appearance, and the moves your character does during play. Brand name guitars are also no longer available, so every instrument you make is custom. The options are a little bit limited though, and sometimes I did wish that I could have a real Gibson as my guitar rather than something that I created that vaguely looks like one.

As for online play, I haven't actually gotten it to work. It's not my internet for a change because I played some online GH3 and COD4 and both worked just fine. I'm only left to believe that Neversoft's servers have died, but hopefully that will be fixed in the next few days.

That's it for Guitar Hero, I probably won't get any more games until after Christmas once I have more money but I probably won't be allowed to anyway

Enjoy the blockbuster season Gamespot,

~James

Through the storm

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Finally the power is back!!! My particular area of town actually did fairly well during the storm. The hurricane itself was absolutely fascinating to watch and on occasion, stand outside in the 100mph+ winds. The only real damage in my area was several large trees were down that caused a bit of damage but mainly the power was out for a while. It was a little inconvenient, but overall I never really had it that bad, I was simply inconvenienced.

I rented elite beat agents before the storm and played that a lot while the power was back and... that is one bizarre game. I mean, the whole premise of that game was probably conceived during an acid trip, and it was also really hard. I'm also trying to just finish the story in Mercenaries, but as this game gets harder and harder i'm getting to the point where i'll just stop playing altogether.

So yeah, i'm alive and well; plus almost level 30!! Hello Gamespot veteran status

Later,

~James

Wish me luck...

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Well, as some of you may know I live in the Houston area and right now we're facing COMPLETE HURRICANE ANNIHILATION!!! (caps). I don't think that it will do much, since we're really not on the coast but you never know. At least I got the day off of school...

And Mercenaries is not a very good game at all. About the only redeemable quality of this game is the co-op, which I actually had apretty good time with.

~James

Really?

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Did this really just happen? I swear, people are trying harder and harder just to be controvercial nowadays. I also got Mercenaries 2 and so far, i'm pretty dissapointed. The AI is downright retarded, the voice acting is laughably bad, and I can't hit anything from a distance to save my life with any weapon.

Hopefully things will start to look up later in the game...

~James

World Domination

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I finally got 1000 gamerscore out of civilization revolution, probably one of the more frustrating i've had with civilization just because of deity mode. If you have the game you know that diplomacy is really pretty shallow, so the entire world is at war with you for most if not all of the game. I plan on doing a review soon but it is a great game if you're new to the franchise or know the computer versions backwards.

I also started school the other day.....

~James

The Final Fantasy

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(and also my second blog in one day :shock: ) Well, I may have missed the Microsoft conference, but luckily I caught it on G4 later today, and I have to say that the overall conference was quite boring. Most of the time, Microsoft just touted their lead in the current market, and if you're watching the press conferences, you probably already know they are the current juggernaut. I don't need to be convinced that Microsoft is awesome, because I already own an Xbox 360. Many of the things announced weren't very suprising or exceptional, but they have made me that much more excited for the conferences coming in the later days.

Fallout 3: Wow, I wasn't very excited about this game before, but now i'm completely hooked. This game melds so many Oblivion and Bioshock elements and appears to be the best RPG/shooter hybrid and already has my undivided attention.

Resident Evil 5: It looks just like RE4, but with co-op. Good enough for me.

Fable 2: It's Fable, with dogs, spouses, and friends. The orb concept looks really cool, but what if your friend comes into your world and steals your wife or upsets the balance in the world you have created for yourself? That alone freaks me out because i have friends who think that stealing my wife would be hillarious.

Gears of War 2: It's Gears of War, can you expect less than awesome?

New Dashboard and avatars: Hello lawsuit much? The Avatars look exactly like the miis and the dashboard design doesn't look very original either. What's wrong with the current interface on xbox live anyways?

Portal: still alve: I got incredibly excited when I heard GLADOS' voice and i'm definitely getting this. All they have to do to make Portal perfect is make it longer than 2 hours, bring back the companion cube, and have another song at the end. Done.

You're in the movies: This game looks like the most fun you can ever have while drunk. It reminds me a lot of the eyetoy games from a few years ago, that made you look like an idiot playing them at target. The movie at the end was really funny though, and I think there will be a lot of those videos on youtube. It seems like good, corny, casual fun that I may not buy myself, but will probably end up playing many times at friend's houses.

Guitar Hero World Tour, and Rock Band 2: I'm still not terribly excited about the whole band games that cost hundereds of dollars thing, but both of these games look really good. I'm not too excited about the whole guitar hero studio thing, because at this point it's simply becoming a substitute for the real instrument. I am excited about the Van Halen, AC/DC, Metallica, and Axl Rose's new song from his album that's several years in the making?

Lips: I really could care less about karaoke games, and that entire genre of games just seems like another type of drunken fun game right up there with You're in the Movies. The Ipod hookup thing does seem really cool though.

Final Fantasy 13: Wow, the Sony fanboys are going to kill us all! Sony is losing many of their exclusives and just proving that game developers are in this for the money, and are not at all interested in remaining faithful to one particular system. But as long as it's still on the Playstation, what do the Sony fanboys have to lose?

There you have it, I'll follow up in the coming days with a few more blogs, so be sure to look out for those

~James