LOEAnubis / Member

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LOEAnubis Blog

Wow... it's um, been a while eh?

Yeah, I really haven't been around the forums much... if at all lately, I still read the news daily, but there is good reason for not being around.

You see, in the past year the wife and I have sold out house in Cincinnati, moved back to Pittsburgh, bought a house here, did a bunch of work on fixing the place up, and oh yeah... we had a baby! That's right, good ol' LOE is a dad.

Things have been rather fun though, gaming is still important to me, so are sports so things haven't changed totally. But hey, I'm enjoying it.

If you really want to get a hold of me here, send me a PM, I'll check there.

Hope all is well!

Alexis

Ready for Kinect? I am!

Honestly, I don't think I've been more excited about a peripheral since the original Rock Band and it's drum kit. Now before I get the "drinking the flavor-aid" (Kool-Aid gets a bad rap, look it up) posts I just want to say that I looked at the PS3 Move, I have the PS3 camera (is is called the Eye Toy still?) and I was an early adopter of the Wii (two months after launch) but honestly, Kinect is really something that has intrigued me.

So, like I said I considered the Move and Kinect, and Kinect won out. Seeing Move in action it just looked like a Wii with better (and that I wasn't sure of) sensor detection. Sure the tech demo at EA wasn't bad, Tiger Woods looked great but I don't pick that game up all the time. I also didn't like some of the other offerings, and the fact that a good deal of the games are not Move exclusive or necessary, meaning that some of the Move components are bolted on or not the focus of the game. We have seen from some of the early Wii games that if the game was designed for the GameCube and then ported to the Wii that the movement technology wasn't really thought out, I was rather afraid that the Move games were going to be similar to this.

The other factor that I used for this decision was that my friends and I usually get together for game sessions about once a month and besides sports games, party games like Rock Band are the most played games for us. So looking at the lineups I had to decide if either one of the new systems would help that or not, again I saw the Move much like the Wii, but the Kinect seems to give us something different.

So I started to look deeper into the games and for as much ridicule Rally Ball got, and how much people hatted Skittles and the kid in the Lionhead demo, I saw the value there. When they announced Dance Central I was really excited, and the rest of the launch titles really made me think that it was the better choice.

So is anyone else getting the Kinect on Thursday? Be prepared to see tons of videos of people making fools of themselves during the freestyle sessions. Or have you gone with Move or sticking with the Wii? What is your motion gaming choice?

A small rant about online radio stations

I'm sure that most of you know about online radio stations, Apple and the iPhone pimped Pandora when the first iPhone came out. Slacker radio was the darling of the Blackberry for a while, and as soon as anyone I knew picked up a smartphone one of the first things that anyone downloaded was one of those two apps. Now, I am not down on these things, I am more than happy to say that I use one or the other every day on the bus unless I decide to put something on my Droid for that day or week that I really want to listen to. I am also a subscriber to Sirrius / XM radio, so the ability to get music that I like but may not have either on me or at all was also a great thing.

However, for as interesting of an idea that these stations are they have their flaws, some more glaring than others, let me go through a couple of stories and pose a few questions to anyone that has used these applications to see if you have had similar experiences.

First, let's discuss Pandora. For those not in the know, Pandora's service allows you to pick an artist or song and it will create a playlist for you based on bands or songs similar to the one you chose. I have multiple playlists created, some more than likely overlapping another in genre, but still the stations vary depending on the mood that I am in.

Now, one of the nice features of the online (read, non-app) version of Pandora is that you can add a song or artist to the mix at any time and it will again attempt to find more songs in that same genre and add them.

On to the negatives, and one of my biggest gripes. While being able to add something to a playlist is awesome, it is also confusing as to how some songs are categorized. One of the playlists that I have and listen to frequently is based off of the band Pantera. When this playlist was created it had a heavy dose of Metallica, Megadeth and the likes, completely fine. However, somewhere in the mix it was mutated. Bands like System of a Down (no problem there), Slayer (I can see that) and Rage Against The Machine (again no problems) showed up. Some older metal styled bands like Black Sabbath (alright, sure here and there) and King Diamond (getting more glam but okay) started to get some air time. AC/DC made an appearance, which to me is getting towards more rock than metal, but every once in a while that isn't too bad. While those were no problem, this seemed to open the door for other alternative bands like Weezer (uh... on a Pantera channel?) and stuff from the Unplugged Alice In Chains set (acoustic version of Nutshell... no) started to invade, and frequently. However, this was not the biggest issue I had with this playlist, somehow, in the program's infinite wisdom, it decided that my heavy metal playlist needed Horse With No Name from America... I don't use acronyms often but W.T.F.?

For those of you not familar with them hereare a few songs from Pantera, Cowboys From Hell and Walk.

Now for those not familar with America, here is the song in question.

Notice a difference?

The only other gripe that I have is thatthe app version (at least on the Droid) does not allow me to add a song or artist to a mix using the app. One of the best things is that I can add someone or a song that I like to a mix and if you take that out, really you are just listening to a radio station that you can skip songs on. It is a minor gripe, but still one that is annoying. Pandora always promotes itself as the playlist that you control, however with my app, I really don't have that same control as I do on the web version.

On to Slacker! Slacker is more closely related to a radio station in that you choose a genre and it plays songs from that genre. If you pick 90's alternative hits, you won't be getting Sir Mix-A-Lot or Paramore on that channel. But I still have to question some of the picks. For example, I was listening to the Alt. Hard Rock station this morning and Cage the Elephant came on. I have nothing wrong with them and I actually own their debut album, but they are not hard rock. Especially when they are playing Flyleaf (who is questionable but still more appropriate) and Linkin Park.

The big drawback to Slacker is that there is no way to fully customize a playlist. I like alternative music, and every station seems to think that Smashing Pumpkins is appropriate even though I hate them. However the one thing that Slacker does better than Pandora in that regard is that when you hit the ban button it asks you if you want to ban a song or the artist from that station. Pandora only has song ban capability until you ban another song from the same band within a month. And even then after a month or 60 days, I can't recall which, they will put the band back into rotation to see if you want then back. If I didn't like Smashing Pumpkins now, I won't in a month or two, I'll skip a song that I don't want to hear right that second, not ban it.

So there is a quick overview of what I like and don't like about the two services. I go back and forth between which one I like more that month and really it all depends on who is giving me the better playlist at what time.

To everyone out there that has used one or the other, what do you like / dislike about the services?

www.pandora.com

www.slacker.com

solidruss banned unfairly!

Hi everyone, if you see this post then I have to tell you of a great unjustice that has happened here on GameSpot.

solidruss, the mod with the Stone Cold Steve Austin avatar, has been very unfairly banned. You can read all about the drama in Off-Topic, but I'm asking everyone that knows solidruss to change thier sig, or at least add to it and post in the topic here.

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=27241788&tag=topics;title

I just think that this is a knee-jerk reaction to what happened and that it needs to be undone. If you are with me, add this to your sig.

Support the unbanning of solidruss! Russ was Right!

The Pokewalker is the best thing ever!

Yeah that's right, I'm sitting here at work, messing around with the Bellsprout that I caught last night, he's already found, defeated and captured an Oddish for me, how awesome is that. So now I can game at work without having to game at work.

Seriously though, the thing is just the cutomizable attempted resurgance of Tamagochi. Not a bad concept since you can place whatever you want in the Pokewalker, so if you want to evolve everything, you can, no problem, just stick 'em in the walker, go to work, come home, transfer items and captured Pokemon and watch 'em grow!

One of My Biggest Pet Peeve's

When people misspell PittsburgH when they are referencing the city in Pennsylvania. I know there are other Pittsburg's out there, but when you are talking about the one from PA, please, PLEASE, put the H in there.

I am from Pittsburgh originally, still love the place, and it really annoys me when people don't put the h in there. Especially when people claim to be fans of one of the sports teams and then proceed to misspell the name of the city of the team that you claim you are a "huge fan" of!

So please, do me a favor, if you want to talk about Pittsburgh, PA... but the h in there... just do it.

This has been a public service announcement from a disgruntled Yinzer. :)

MUA 2 and HNL 10

So, anyone else getting MUA 2 or NHL 10 for the 360 and wanting to team up for the leagues or some multiplay?

If so, lemme know! :)

Import games are so worth it!

You know, I have long been a fan of games that are not available in the US. I had an import PlayStation (a friend bought one thinking it will play US games, I got a great deal) to play some of the DragonBall, Gundam and RPG's that were unavailable here, but now I'm getting even deeper in the system.

Since getting import games is much easier now, thank you internet, I have found that having region free systems are something that should really be standard. Getting Bleach, Jump Ultimate Stars and Eyeshield 21 for the DS made me so happy. On its way to my house now is Pro Yakyuu Spirits 6 for the PS3.

I've always pondered trying to get into the import game business, but living where I am at, the shipping costs to get the product to me would be awful.

So how many of you have good stories or memories of importing games or just of the games themselves?

Catching up with comics

As much as I would love to do a running blog of weekly reads and whatnot, the audience just isn't there for it, but it still doesn't mean that I won't pop in and do it every now and again!

So the last time I talked comics we had two major events going on in the respective universes. Marvel was at the end of Secret Invasion and DC was in the middle of Final Crisis. Both have since ended and both have paid huge tolls in the landscape of those universes.

Warning, spoilers follow from here on out.


MARVEL COMICS

First, Marvel killed off The Wasp and brought back a ton of people. Elektra, Spider-Woman, Songbird, Dum Dum Dugan... yeah, Marvel hit reset on a lot of people. But at the end of Secret Invasion we saw a big thing happen, Norman Osbourne being named director of S.H.I.E.L.D., disbanding it and creatting H.A.M.M.E.R. which as of right now has no meaning. He also got some of the big baddies of the world together to make a secret Cabal that I was not too happy about, however events have passed by that have lessened this dislike to a meer interest.

The Cabal consists of Doctor Doom, Loki (Female Loki is weird!), Namor, The Hood, Emma Frost and Norman himself. Now I had a lot of issues with Emma Frost being in there, and some reservations about Loki, but both have played out nicely. Emma is there to make sure that mutants have a place and rights in the new Osbourn run world. Loki has been playing multiple sides of course, and has pacts with Doom and an interest in playing around with the various heroes herself.

So the Marvel Universe is all messed up right now with people returning and people leaving and joining new sides... it makes for interesting drama that's for sure. But all teams are involved with "Dark Reign", that is what Marvel is calling the Osbourne era, so you really can't escape the book. All of the teams have a "Dark" counterpart, you can find "Dark Wolverine" which features his son Daken, or "Dark Avengers" which focuses on Orsbourne's team of former villian Avengers. Venom as Spider-Man, Daken as Wolverine, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Noh-Var as Captain Marvel (who hasn't really done much), Norman as Iron Patriot as well as Ares and Sentry.

Some other quick hits in the Marvel universe, Captain America (Steve Rodgers) isn't dead, just trapped in time. Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) is the new Sorcerer Supreme. Spider-Man hits issue #600 today and it is a 100 page doozy! The X-Men are fighting the Dark X-Men in San Francisco. Hank Pym is leading a band of "Avengers" around the world trying to fix things. Spider-Man is being plagued by clone syndrome again. Deadpool is the new Wolverine, read, in so many books.

DC Comics

Ugh... alright, so Final Crisis was not so great in my book. The story took too long (7 issues in a month longer than it took Marvel's Secret Invasion which had 8 issues) and really lame at times. You could have skipped issues 2 - 5 and it really wouldn't have mattered, all you would have missed would have been Wonder Woman being infected to be the new leader of the Female Furies, some heroes being taken over by the Anti-Life equation, the new Dessad sending out the Anti-Life equasion over all media simultaniously, and the Earth spiraling out of control due to said Anti-Life equasion. And don't get me started on the Super-Young Team and the new Mr. Miracle. Way to make a character that so many people loved (Scott Free) and make him really lame.

I think that the worst part of the entire thing is that the New Gods were reborn into human shells, and most of them ended up dead again at the end of this series! I mean, bring them back, sure, but not to kill them again, sheesh. At the end of Final Crisis there were some other deaths, again Darkseid, Kalibak, and most importantly the apparent death of Batman, though the final pages show that he didn't die, he was just sent back in time (how?) where he places his utility belt over Anthro the first man. So unlike Marvel, DC's big tie-in really didn't tie-in to much as with the exception of the new Batman (more on that in a bit) and the return of Bart Allen (Flash). The biggest happening was that Superman used the "Miracle Machine" to sing a note that disrupts Darkseid's essence (really?) and then recreated the multiverse.

However, with the exception of Batman's death and the return of Bart Allen, the DC Universe didn't change. The tie-in's were really just glorified one shots, and the best series, Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds just ended, months after the main book was completed, and really had very little to do with Final Crisis at all.

Now, that is not to say that DC isn't bringing it when it comes to stories. Blackest Night started a few weeks back and it has so much promise. Geoff Johns, my current favorite writer, created an entire spectrum of emotions and Lantern Corps. So all of the ROY G BIV has something to go with it. But it was said that when the emotional spectrum shows up that the darkness would show up. Created from the shell of the Anti-Monitor from The Sinestro Corps War the Black Lanterns were created. Long time Green Lantern foe William "Black" Hand kills his family and then himself and is revived as the first Black Lantern by former Guardian of the Universe, Scar. Since then many people have been revived as Black Lanterns like Martian Manhunter, Ralph and Sue Dinby, Aquaman, and Digger Harkness. In the first issue Ralph and Sue Dinby attack and kill Hawkman and Hawkwoman, who then get black rings themselves and are assumed to be new Black Lanterns. Bart Allen and Hal Jordan are attacked by Martian Manhunter, and the Green Lantern Corps are attacked by former Red and Yellow Lanterns that were killed and revived by the black rings. So that is just starting but I can't wait to see who is killed or revived next!

To the other big story of the DC Universe, the Battle for the Cowl as it was put. Batman was killed by Darkseid and Gotham went nuts without Batman. There were many people who could have claimed the "mantle of the bat" but really it was down to two people, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, the first two Robins. Jason created a very dark Batman, killing people instead of aprehending them and almost killing (then) current Robin Tim Drake. Long story short Dick Grayson beats Jason Todd and becomes Batman. Tim Drake (now calling himself Tim Wayne since Bruce adopted him after his father was killed) takes the mantle of Red Robin and is searching for Bruce whom he thinks is alive. Dick chooses Damien Wayne, the illegitimate son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, to be his new Robin stating that he trusts Tim but Damien needs a lot of work.

So that is a brief synopsis of what is going on in the comic book world over the past few months. Hopefully I can get some readers out there talking about comics and what they love and hate and I'll try to keep this up as best as I can!

GameSpot March Maddness Challenge!

So, you think that you know more about College Hoops than anyone else here? Then prove it!

Follow this link

Group ID#: 126945
Password: gamespot

Max 1 bracket per person.
Feel free toinvite other GameSpot friends but please keep it within GameSpot.
Done through Yahoo.
Just for fun, no money or anything... just bragging rights!

PM me if you have any other questions.

And remember, have fun!