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Master__Shake Blog

Red rings of sadness...

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So the "fix" that is the towel trick leads to fleeting results...so while yes the 360 did start workign again it started locking up after a week and overheating on it's own. It got to the point where I had to put a household fan pointing directly at the back of it to get it to run. Even then it locked up randomly. Until the point when I tried DMC 4 the other night on my second playthrough and it RRoD on me. To be honest I've been waiting for that to happen because the lockups have gotten out of hand, almost to the point of me just going out and buying a new 360. Luckily, or unluckily, I got the RRoD and Microsoft has sent a box to me. It has yet to arrive, but it is on the way.

The funniest thing of the entire ordeal was when I called Microsoft and the operater wanted to confirm that my xbox "has expressed 3 red flashing lights" Wow. Didn't realize my 360 had something to say or even express, but that is the case.

The way I look at it is that the RRoD phenom is similar to puberty. Not everyone gets there at the same time, but eventually and inevitably everyone will.

Oh and I bought a new car today. Yay for spending 5 hours at the Honda dealer! Achievement unlocked!

Red rings of FUN...

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So I know I haven't updated this in a while. Mostly cause I'm busy as hell, but also my opinions have been rather voiltile as of late, and I won't want them to be taken as fanboy drival.

Anyways I'm bored and I still have about 15 minutes on my egg timer as my 360 bakes itself to goodness while wrapped in towels. Yes, I have fianlly recieved the red rings of death...I have a launch 360 and have treated this thing like a newborn baby since I've had it. Then it decided to go feral on me. It's been rather dodgey where it just locks up with no red lights and the screen locks up and fragments up. Then tonight, I'm sittign down to play some hot assassin's creed achievement action and "Hi, I'm your buzz kill red ring of fun!"

So I searched the internet for a demo of the infamous towel trick to see if it sounds reasonable enough to try. I found cheapy D from cheapassgamer.com video of the technique so I decided to give it a try. Now I'm at 12 miinutes, gonna check real quick to make sure my living room isn't on fire....

...ok no fire, but the outter towels are warm...and I've got 10 minutes to go..wow.

The only thing I can think as to why this would work is because there are like 54 sodier points and it one of those are disconnected Microsoft assumes you are the haxxor. So you over heat the system and that heats it enough to soften the sodier enough to reconnect. Though that's my take on it, not sure if it's true. I'm just waiting to see what comes ofCES, where I'll know I can buy a new 360 with smaller microchips and more hard drive etc, because I don't want a bootleg refurbished model from 18004myxbox. I'm a snog when it comes to game systems. I've had every major system at launch and refuse to have one that's been touched by humans other than the ones on the conveyer belt at the factory...

This blog has been brought to you by Red Bull and Vodka....

Update...The towel trick worked...WTF?

My GDC experience Day 2. (Now finished!)

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So we made it to GDC in time to get in line for Shiggy's speech. Sometime around 9:45 and it started at 11. Unfortunately since we wanted to make sure we caught Shiggy's keynote we had to miss cliffy B's speech at 9:00. Oh well. So when we arrived at the building we found that they had decided to string the line around the block instead of around the building making the walk to the end of it exceptionally longer. The previous day we went from 3 people inline and absorbed about 10 more friends just standign there so the green shirts were in force gustopo mode on thursday.(The green shirts were mostly college kids or interns who acted as the bouncers/guides for the event). We decided to see if we could catch anyone we knew and jump in line with them so we went around the line from front to back. Well this one green shirt decided to be a nazi and try to tell us we couldn't go around that way. My buddy Ron wasn't havign that, he's like I'm goign this way and we just followed him. Then the green shirt said I'm goign to follow you. Ron laughed and proceded forward. Realistaclly we could've taken our gdc lanyards off and been like we're just walked here, who the hell are you to tell me what to do? Anyways it was a bit annoying.

Sowe got into the Speech after waiting in line for an hour and got seats in the 2nd row. I had another Sessler sighting too, though no suit, casual day apparently. SO we waited, and waited, and waited. Listening to to the same 3 daft punk songs over and over again. "One more time..." echoed over and over again in a repetitve fashion to make you wonder if it was irony that they were goign to play the song..just one more time. SO fianlly it started...very late. It was about 20 minutes late and the crowd went wild when Shiggy came out. He did a clever thign where he stood with 2 other guys and their Mii's showed up on the screen behind them. Then Shiggy went of to talk. First thing he said in English was that he had a REALLY good time last night. I'm guessing a little too good, and that's why he was late. SO he went on to talk for a while about the wife o meter and then about the importance of accessibility in the design of a controller. Most of this stuff can be found in official reports of gdc. I wasn't aware that he was involved in the controller design of every nintendo console! Impressive. Unfortunately it looked like it was going wrong long with no news so we had to make it to the fable presentation so we ducked out at 10 till Noon to go found out what the new innovation was.

So we made our way to the Presentation and sat in the front. Sat amongst a bunch of Lionhead folks and waited for the presentation. SO Peter was in prime form. He was pretty hilarious and entertaining the whole way through. Then there it was - a dog! The most impressive animal I've ever seen in a game. It's behavior was dead on and a little scarey because it was so convincing. I like that you don't control the dog, the dog reacts to your actions. I'm sure there's plenty up on websites about specifics, but the whole presentation left me very impressed. Especially when he mentioned you could buy every house and shop in a town and have a child or children! I can't wait for Fable 2.

The rest of the day was Art and Technical presentations which were really cool. The tech on Crysis, is amazing. They had some really nice stuff happening, especially their tree and foilage, and the way they create it.

The night that followed the gdc was a wild one. As with any fun night it started with Vodka Red Bull. We met up with some people from lionhead, criterion, and the people behind Little Big planet. We caught dinner with them at a French restaurant and then a group of us headed to the White wolf party(The guys behind Eve Online). Wow. That was quite a party they had this little club decked out like a geeks vision of a vampire club! The front room had TVs that were playing from Dusk till dawn. Then we walked to the back room and they had interview with a vampire playign on a big screen and the Song from Rave song from Blade pumping. I had to stop and laugh. Then the best part, the suicide girls! Or at least suicide girl wannabes. Lots of tats and peircings and Leather. SOme were dancing topless in a cage that was suspended above the dance floor. Up on the 2nd floor you could see sillohetes of people getting wiped by domanatrix dressed women. Nothing funnier than fat game makers taking off their shirts and getting wiped. We met up with some folks we knew from Texas and proceded to enjoy the ever flowing free alcohol. Needless to say Icelanders know how to party.

After we were there a while and took some incriminating photos of my wife with one of the suicide girls we went to another party that was supposedly jumping. When we got there it looked like an awesome party ended 2 hours earlier. It was just a bunch of strange cat in the hat kids playing with bouncing balls and some phillip glass worthy music playing. So we decided to take off as it was about 3 and we had stuff to get to for Friday's GDC.

On the moon we don't have a bomb squad because we are the bomb..

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So i'm trying to understand what is odder.  Iniginot flicking off america on every news outlet or America's over-reaction to everything.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/31/boston.bombscare/index.html

Hilarity has officially insued.  America calm the F' down.  Not everything is a bomb.  Reminds me of the kid who went around hanging mario "?" boxes from telephone wires.  Can't there be a little fun in the world anymore.  What's the point of living if you can't have a litle levitity in your life.  Anyways, I ordered this amazing shirt of Ebay.  Can't wait for it to show up!


PSmeh....

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Too be honest everytime I buy a new system I expect to feel this rush of excitement and of wonderment. The build-up for me is and always has been the better part of the purchase seeing as after I buy a system I have some form of buyer's regret. Please understand I'm old school, and I've purchased everythign for 3do to 32x to neogeo pocket, so there is a reason for my buyers remorse in many cases.

So I get my shiny ps3 home and I don't have any games.  So I decide to try some old ps2 games, dissapointing to say the least.  worse looking than the ps2 in many cases.  I don't even know how that's possible since it has a ps2 in it.  They'd of been better off to do the 360 route at least then the games would look better. 



To be honest, I wasn't exactly floored when I got the 360, however right now, I'll say it's the most impressive system I've ever owned. Finally a system that truely does act as the multi-media device it claims to be. Sure this is because microsoft controls my computer, at this point I for one welcome our microsoft overlords. I'm ready to buy a microsoft enabled blender if it means I could control it with my 360 controller.

Oh Snap! I got a P-S-3!

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Totally on accident no less!  While back in Ohio for the holiday, I went to starbucks to get a frappachino and while I was waiting on my wife to finish shopping I decided to stop in ebgames and look around.  No sooner than I entered I heard someone ask the clerk if they had any Wii's and I was thinking "ohhh..I'll buy one if they have more than one".  He said "no, but we've got 5 ps3s back there."

After a few minutes of thinking about it, I took the $600 plunge.  Don't really know why, since I already played through Resistance:FOM at work.  Maybe it's the "must have new electronics" bug or the fact that there's only one Gamestop in a 30 mile radius of my house in Cali and that it'd be less like to come accross one there as opposed to Ohio where there were no less than 4 ebgames/gamestops within a 5 mile radius.

Yay!  Now what do I play besides BD movies?  Where's the good games!?

The art of NOT playing games.

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Just recently I've discovered something I enjoy more than palying games. Not playing them. No this is a blog abotu how I've out-grown games and I'm moving on to a new hobby like building ships in a bottle. It's about I like to play games with other goals now a days, namely not playing them for the sake of playing them.

This started a while back when playing wow when I was earning battleground rep when it meant something(pre2.0.1 patch). I wanted phat lewts but didn't have enough time to get the reputation I needed. Now for people unfamilar with WoW lemme break it down. Basically battlegrounds are 1 of 3 player vs player areas where you fight to win the zone in different ways:ctf, etc. Everytime your time hits a milestone or wins you get rep. So to go from nothing to exalted it's somehting like 40,000. Seems liek a high number right? well when you're getting anywhere from 20-200 per fight(which last a long time) it's forever! There was one battleground called AV that lasted up 13 hours!! where people were slowly turnign in items for rep 1 rep at a time. Who wants to sit through that. Well I was deathly afraid blizzard will kill my account if i used a macro program so I found pyshical ways to stay in the BG(if there is no keyboard input for 2 minutes it boots you out). SO basically this because a game for me more than WoW itself. SO eventually I hit exalted in 2 of the 3 bgs and I was done. Until I started playing my Rogue. Now they changed the honor system and rep is uselss and it's all about honor, which can achieved the same way as rep was. While somethings don't change, I have. I now use macro programs to keep myself from afking out. Simple macros that hit space bar every 55 secs. HEy it works. So this has become another game in itself, I actually hate leveling now, I just want my honor. Sad I know.

My next game I like to not play is final fantasy 12. IT's like they intended it to be played with this same calousness towards the game itself. The gambit system(which for the uniformed) is basically a macro system in the game. FOr all none boss encounters I let the game play itself, hey it knows better than me, I just steer my characters into the baddies and let'm at it.

Lastly, in general I find myself playign 360 for the achievement points more than the games. A look at my profile would tell you that: Eragon, Sneak King, N3, etc are all games I'm playing for achievements more than the experience. Well Sneak king is about the experience and the points. In general, I find it more entertaining to hit th e achievement points in the game than to play most of these games. Maybe I have Jeff Gerst-itus. Maybe just a mild case of it.


Next gen dissapointments.

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I've felt for a while that the Wii seemed like a GC with a new controller and it's starting to seem that is the case in many respects.  The system specs are only slightly better than the xbox 1 but only supports 16x9 480p where the xbox supported up to 1080i.  Also, to get the 480p you better get you back order in on the nintendo site for componant cables.  This again huh?  How dissapointing. 
From all the reviews coming out it seems like the Wii-Remote is pretty dissapointing addition.  The only game that's been consistantly reviewing well has been Zelda but that's a GC title with wii functionality thrown in, and when was the last time they released a bad zelda game on any system?  THe CD-I version?  I think the second wind of wii problems are around the corner.  Namely the annoyance of having to move you wrist around or stand up.  Up not saying gamers are lazy but that's the last thing i want to do is get up to play games and do repetive carperal tunnel motions with my hand.  I think once the hype wears off people will realize there is a limit to this kind of Input. 

The Playstation 3.  What a huge beautiful launch failure.  Am I the only one who thinks Sony botched the entire launch.  IT's painfully obvious that they were not prepared.  They underestimated 3 times over on their launch numbers, pushed back several key launch titles, didn't let devs know about the tilt controller till the general public knew about it and had no real plans for their online structure.

The inner workings of the system are very strange too.  THe Video card is fillrate bound so the more particles you have on screen the more the system chugs, it can't upscale to 1080i or p if the game doesn't support native resolution of either and ends up downressing to 480p, the system memory is faster to access than the actual video cards memory for video needs, Can't handle HDR and AA. 

There is no denying the ps3 has power more than the 360 but it's a matter of getting the system to work much like it was for the ps2.  Xbox 1 games looked amazing out of the box and ps2 games took a long while before they looked great.  Same thing here.  The cell will require a lot of custom code to take advantage of it.  It's strange that SOny never learns the importance of ease of use for devs. 


The P wars.

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Since when did displayable resolution of a game system become the standard of system superority? If this was the case that means xbox 1 beat out ps2 by a long shot. Xbox had more 1080i games than ps2 so it's obviously the clear winner of last generation right? I mean it had Enter the Matrix running at 1080i! That makes us all winners. We all know xbox was the superior system in terms of pure power, but it didn't win the console race not by a long shot.

Why? Of course, last gen bar of superiority was measured by how many polys it could display. An intering thing was the ps2 had this huge number, and how was it achieved because in games xbox could handle way more polys than ps2. Oh ya that's right, ps2s test case was fill the screen with as many unlit, untextured, unanimated triangles till teh system locks up and what ever that number is, that's the amount of polys it can push. I don't know, but I'd rather have more polys in game than white triangles that crash my system.

Strange thing is before there were polycounts to consider in a game system the war was amount of colors displayed. Can't remember the numbers but i think genesis had a pallete of 32k and snes had a pallete of 16.7 million to pull from. This was actually a bullet point in the ads for these systems.

So, what I'm trying to say is stop this absurdity. 720p to 1080p isn't that big of a difference not like 480i to 720p jump.

UPDATE: with the 360 supporting 1080p, SOny now has nothing on the 360 interms of output.  Now that this the case more devs will try to push out 1080 games, so the one SOny felt the urge to point out that made them superior is non existant.

She's like Heroin....part 2.

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Well...after 6 monthes of WoW soberity I'm an addict once again.  Fortunately for my marriage my wife is now an addict as well.  She's totally hooked.  I played it since it shipped for well over 1.5 years; logging in over 60 days(full 24 hour days for the uniniated).  It got the point where I was just playing to much and had to quit for many reasons.  I tried to get my wife involved from the begining.  She rolled a druid and got to 19 and didn't have much fun with it so she gave it up.  She didn't understand what was so fun about the game.  Now she rolled a warrior and is having a ton of fun.  She's all about leveling, questsand loot; it's greatness.  We started sunday and we're almost level 16.  Not bad really, hopefully we'll hit some deadmines action this weekend. 

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