PrezKennedy / Member

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PrezKennedy Blog

Interesting...

This place is like an evil version of GameSpot. And I have yet another blog. Seriously, is every website going to offer me one?

I've got a new Hobby Here...

I've been a GameSpot member for awhile now, and I've taken a bit more interest into the user-review aspect of it. Mostly, I like reporting morons who spam the review pages with crap like "OMG THIS SUKS" over and over. I also like picking out fanboy reviews/insults and just today I reported a 50 Cent game reviewer with the line "Is this even a review?" Reviews should be at least slightly well-written, and explain why the reviewer feels the game deserves that score. Personally I think I'll be going back and writing some reviews for older games like Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and some of the other classics I have in my collection since those are the ones that don't really have much listed for them, although there are a few dedicated gamers out there reviewing the older games on GameSpot. That's where the real fun is, talk about how great the game was when it came out, and then discuss how well it's aged over the years since then. An example of that would be SimCity 2000. I don't ever play it anymore, but it holds a special place in my heart. It was the first real computer game I played and I was hooked instantly. As soon as we got back from our vacation when we were playing it, we went out and rented SimCity for the SNES... and a few months later we bought it from FuncoLand. I'll never sell that game, and I'll never get rid of it. Someday I'll whip it out for the kids to play... Anyways, it's fun shooting down spam reviews in GameSpot. I wonder if people get warnings for that or if they just delete the post and move on...

Redesign the Redesign

I went over to visit GameSpot today to see how the new upgrades were coming and I was shocked and amazed at the changes made. No longer is there a sidebar on the left to navigate through the site. The header bar seems larger than before, and in general everything takes up more space. So far, I'm less than impressed with it and to be very honest, if it looks exactly like this when my the renewal for my subscription comes up... I'll be cancelling. I liked GameSpot's previous design. It was easy to navigate for me, it looked nice, and lots of information was easily available without browsing through half the site trying to find it. Now however, the site has more "multimedia" components, I guess for the kids who haven't quite mastered reading yet. All those pretty pictures sure makes it hard to find anything quickly. Hooray, I can watch more movies! To be honest, I really could care less about listening to some developer drone on about how his game is going to have even more polygon-filled characters than the closest competitor. I like going to GameSpot for the community, for the game patches, and for the reviews. I don't go to GameSpot to watch tons of developer diaries or movies about E3 or the latest game conventions. I'm only interested in seeing the real games. For example, the last time I really pulled up any movies from GameSpot was when Burnout Revenge came out and I wanted to see what it was like. I went through and played all of those! So far, I'm disappointed with the new design. The fact that it's squished in the middle of the browser is really annoying, especially for those of us who have monitors that support up to 1600x1200 resolution. I mean, PrezKennedy.org will fit in a 640x480 screen, but it will also expand to fill a 1600x1200 screen gracefully for those who want it to, and I'm no graphic designer. Someone getting paid thousands of dollars to design GameSpot should really be able to do better than they have. I'll give GameSpot a chance to refine the look, but I have a feeling it won't really improve that much. Looks like I'll only be a member for a single year...

Let's Get Serious!

Serious Sam 2 that is. The demo is out, and let me tell you, it looks beautiful! It runs great on a mid-range computer like mine too, so if you have an expensive video card you should be able to crank up the settings to maximum and it'll look positively stunning!

I played through the single level three times just to get a good feel for the game. It even has a small vehicle section so you can try your hand at flying in the Serious 2 engine. Fun stuff! I highly recommend playing the demo twice, so you can pick up the weapons first time around, and then you'll be able to start with them when you do the level again.

I've been looking forward to Serious Sam 2 for quite some time. We've had several good LAN games in Serious Sam, and I'm hoping Cooperative mode returns. There isn't anything quite like taking on hordes of enemies and accidentally killing your friends a few times along the way. :-) You can pick up the download through GamersHell.com. If you like first-person shooters, you have to try it out.

Supreme Commander is Coming!!

Thats right, the creator of Total Annihilation is creating a new real-time strategy (RTS) game for the computer. This time the destruction and mayhem is going to be even more massive! Screenshots from GameSpy and a recent PC Gamer article suggest that the scale of the battles are going to be massive!!

Most of the screenshots involved land battles, but a couple also included some significant sea forces. One of the best was a nuclear explosion taking out several naval vessels. Unfortunately no air units were seen in the screenshots given out, except for aerial deployment ships... which were incredibly cool!

The scale of the units in Supreme Commander is amazing. Main battle tanks become dwarfed by spider-like walkers which are then dwarfed by a nuclear explosion going off in their midst.

The game is more than a year away, but it's already looking amazing. I can't wait to see more screenshots... It looks like it could be one spectacular RTS when it comes out in Fall 2006! I can't wait!

Dealing with the Sims Franchise

I was bored a couple days ago, so I had this crazy idea...

I installed The Sims onto my laptop computer. Why would I do this when the Sims 2 is already out and it's clearly superior? Well, first of all my laptop doesn't have an advanced video card in it, only a GeForce 4 GO. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad video card, just not fast enough for The Sims 2. Plus, I want to be able to take it along with me one of these days when I see my girlfriend. She enjoy The Sims and I think The Sims 2 might be a little too complicated for her... at this point anyways.

The install took forever by the way. I had to install the original game, and then go through the seven add-on packs, swapping CDs, typing in registration codes, and saying No to repeated attempts to install America Online on my computer. It's a very long process starting from scratch.

As I was installing The Sims on my laptop, I installed The Sims 2 on my desktop computer. It happens to have a ATi Radeon 9800 PRO; more than enough for any Sims game. I've only played a little bit of both, and I can see that The Sims 2 has some definite improvements over the original. While I'm not a big Sims fan, I think these improvements do make the game more fun. Unfortunately it only took seven add-on packs and a completely new sequel for them to figure out what to do. The worst part is that The Sims 2 doesn't have many of the new things that were added throughout the long Sims franchise, like the ability to have pets. Most families in the United States have pets, so it's a wonder why they were left out, especially since they were added in The Sims: Unleashed.

I hope to learn the Ins and Outs of The Sims 2. I bought it when it came out but I never really gave it a chance since it didn't seem to like the DVD player in my computer. Now that we have The Sims 2: University, I can play it without too much hassle. Maybe I'll even make a cool house and create some videos for it. Who knows? At least I'm going back to give it another chance right? The first time around, I absolutely hated it! We'll see what happens now that I have better hardware to play it on. I might even come to like it... It will never take the place of SimCity though!

Defeating Giygas at Level 99

While I was away on vacation to Illinois, I had time in the car to level up to the maximum with my two star characters Ness and Poo. If you had seen my earlier post, you'll know I was aiming to power level, basically meaning my characters would be far stronger than they should be according to how they progress through the game. Well, I spent sometime fighting Fobbies before taking on Belch, and I raised my levels significantly. When I nearly reached Ness's top level, I received a spectacular surprise. Around level 85, he gains 150 HP and tons of attack power. This is what makes him the superweapon for the rest of the game.

When I finally took on Giygas, it was a fairly straight-forward fight to the death. Giygas's death of course. As you should know if you've ever played and beaten EarthBound, there are a few parts to the battle against Giygas. The first has you focusing entirely on his cohort and your former neighbor, Pokey. Attempting to hit Giygas results in a rather quick death. Giygas hits back with Ness's PSI Gaming attack regularly, which necessitates PSI Shield Beta. You don't want to reflect his magic attacks back at him since he'll just reflect them back at you again. I hit Pokey with everything in my conventional attack repetoire. Multi-bottle rockets, Ness's bat, Paula's frying-pan and Poo's... hands. Unfortunately I forgot to get the Sword of Kings for him. Even without it, his power was quite formidable.

After Pokey fell, it was time to turn my focus on Giygas. PSI Gaming Omega, Ice Omega, and Starstorm Omega as well as Jeff's bazooka brought him down quickly enough. That's when Giygas goes insane... The only way to beat him at this point is to hunker down, defend Paula and let her pray for help. Eventually she'll call on everyone you helped throughout the game, and for the knockout blow, she'll even call on the player to help pray for their safety. This is what finally destroys Giygas.

The end is amazing, and one of the best an RPG could ever aspire to have. Since I've played through the ending of EarthBound, I've hoped for other games with an ending as comprehensive and fun. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to beat the game, but seriously, if you haven't you need to get to work... the game has been out for a decade!

I promised screenshots, and those will be in a seperate article chronicling a bit of my tour through Eagleland. Stay tuned!

Power Leveling in EarthBound

I've been playing quite a bit of EarthBound as of late. I've been enjoying it too, as I've never played it this way before. What am I doing differently you ask? Well, I'm continually fighting weaker enemies in order to level up higher than I need to be at that point in the gsme. Right now my main party member, "Matt" who is normally Ness, is above level 50 and I just defeated the boss at the top of the department store in Fourside. Under normal circumstances, "Matt" should only be around level 30.

This has changed the way I can play the game quite a bit. Most of the enemies are considerably easier at this higher level, plus I have so much money from defeating enemies that I can easily afford all of the best equipment for each of my party members. I'm about halfway through the game (it's been so long since I've played it that I can't remember exactly how much more there is, besides the fact that it's several hours worth). My objective is to reach level 99 before I go and fight Giygas back in the past. So far it's going well.

I'll definitely have to take some shots of my party's stats once I reach that level. Should be fun taking on Giygas then. I've never done it with a party that strong. Usually I've fought him when I was around level 70, which makes for quite a difficult battle. Anyways, the final battle is going to be fun, I know that much! :)

Oh yeah, and here are a couple places where you can level up rather quickly: the factory where Belch is located... just fight the Fobbies. You may have to fight up to six at a time, but they aren't very difficult to deal with. Then later you can power level in the desert. Watch for a green caterpillar looking thing, it moves pretty fast but it gives around 30,000 experience points when it is defeated. It's worth looking for! Just make sure you can heal your party members if they get poisoned or have sunstroke! You can always stop off at the miner's cabin if you need a rest to recharge after fighting in the desert. Afterall, it's free!!

I'll post an update when I've gotten further down the road in the game! Stay tuned!

Robotrekking...

I managed to get my hands on an SNES RPG by the name of Robotrek. I've progressed somewhat through the game, and I have to say it's pretty enjoyable, although it seems a bit difficult. I still haven't figured out how to do everything yet... although I do seem to have a pretty good winning combination for my robot.

Basically, you're an inventor's son and you've taken up the profession yourself. You fight evil "hackers" attempting to take over the world, and generally help out your hometown by building inventions for them and rescuing their children. This is as far as I've progressed, so I know there's quite a bit more to it. The overworld map is a bit unique, unlike some RPG's where you can walk anywhere and initiate in random combat, the overworld map in Robotrek seems more like the map used in Super Mario World.

I've played it for several hours now, and I'd suggest that if you like old-skool RPG's you give it a shot, you might like it. I tend to be a bit picky with my RPG's, but this one has me coming back for more. :-)

Remembering Uniracers...

I was going through my collection (which will be growing quite soon when my friend finds his box of "old" games for me to try out), and I remembered Uniracers. It wasn't a real big hit for the Super Nintendo, in fact I believe I picked it up from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart several years ago for a really cheap price. It's a quirky race game where you race unicycles against each other and do stunts along the way to increase your overall top speed. The game uses the same 3D-rendering that Donkey Kong Country pioneered when it was released. All of the objects in the game have a nice clean 3D feel to them, even though it's only an SNES running the game.

Uniracers is a very long game, with plenty of races to accomplish, lots of options and the ability to do multiplayer. I've never actually beaten the game, but I have gone through many of the courses. Once you get up into the higher levels, it gets very difficult.

You may want to pull your SNES out for this game sometime. You really missed out if you never got to play it before. As I said before, the graphics are wonderful and you'll be able to pick the controls up in no time. I'll post some screenshots of it in action sometime and let you see what it's all about. On that note, what do you think of adding more screenshots to each post so that way you can see the game I'm playing as I describe it? It would be a bit of work, but I imagine it would make it more interesting for people to reminisce and think about these older games. I may do that in the future like I've done in a couple previous posts. It seems to add a bit more life to them...

Stay tuned for more gaming updates!

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