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Sir_Lemsip Blog

wiredcontroller.com

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All you need to know is that there is a new website in town...

By gamers, FOR gamers...

http://www.wiredcontroller.com

Pics of my game playing space!!

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Well we just got a new digital camera so i thought i'd celebrate by putting up a couple of pics.

First of all my playing space - aka my bedroom.

Yeah, the TV is a bit small, but we are moving house in less than a month, and the 42" HD TV is definitely going to have some stuff hooked up to it post-move. It currently only has my Wii plugged in, but I haven't taken a photo of that yet. I'm sure you've all seen nice LCD tvs before anyways.

For the second picture, my favourite game series.

It will soon be completed with FFIII DS, the final piece of the puzzle.

Feel free to leave a comment...or not, whatever floats your boat.

Guitar Hero 2 competition

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Well the other day a good friend of mine informed me of a Guitar Hero 2 competition being held at one of the local game/DVD/CD stores. Being the guitar hero fan that i am...as well as being poor i decided to enter, quite confident in my abilities to do well.

The competition was run in a way where each entrant was allowed to choose any two songs on any difficulty (except Free Bird because nobody wanted to be there all day) and the highest total score was declared the winner. A good way to run the comp because people playing on Expert would need to keep those combos going to beat the score of another player who perfected a song on Medium difficulty.

Playing on a different TV and using a guitar that was well worn (probably by 10 year olds mashing the buttons while playing it in the store) made things very interesting, and i definitely didn't keep my combos going as long as i would have liked. But my confidence was well based as i took out the competition by over 200,000 points, playing Beast and the Harlot and Killing in the Name both on Expert.

Since it was only a smallish competition the prizes weren't too extravagant, but i came away with 3 great games - Final Fantasy XII, Okami and Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition. Better than paying for them right??

Feel free to post some scores here and i'll respond with mine for the same song/difficulty for comparison.

Until Next time...

Superbowl, a quick round-up.

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For those who are unaware, I live in Melbourne, Australia.

I'm a big fan of almost all sport, and being the sports fan that I am, i tuned into Superbowl XLI.

I have to say that the best thing about the whole game was the spectacular half-time show, Prince was magnificent.

The game was so-so, too many turnovers. The game may have been played in the rain, but that is no excuse for players who are on million dollar contracts to make simple errors in basic skills like snapping the ball.

Best play of the game was the kick-off return for a TD, too bad Chicago couldn't take that lead on for a victory, but the Colts definitely deserved it in the end.

Oh, one more thing, i have a real problem with the big sporting leagues in the US, be it NFL, MLB or NBA, claiming their winning team the 'World Champion'. Regardless of the fact that particularly in the NFL it is most likely true since not many other countries participate in the sport. Until they win a global competition like the UEFA Champions League in true football (soccer) 'National Champions' is all they should be.

Update: I'm also tired of sporting stars thanking god for giving them the ability, or allowing them to win. Do they really think that some cosmic magician had something to do with it? What about the losing team? Did this supreme being want them to lose?

I better stop before i start a massive rant...might get onto that another time.

Until next time...

What should i play next??? (help)

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Having 5 starred all the songs on expert in both Guitar Hero games except for only a handful (Jordan, Cowboys From Hell and a couple of others) and still wanting to play some good rhythm games without using too much energy (DDR is good exercise ;)) i was left with a few choices - Space Channel 5 is much too easy and Gitaroo-man is either too easy in normal mode, or too difficult in Master mode, so i decided to whip out Amplitude.

While in the past I had been unable to get too far even in Brutal mode (equivalent of Hard in Guitar Hero) i found it relatively easy to finish all songs including the bonus tracks this time around. Though Insane (Expert) mode was still a bit of a handful, i was definitely able to get further than before.

I guess i'll give Gitaroo-Man's Master mode another try to see if my rhythm skills have increased across the board.

However after that i come across a small problem: what should i play to bide the time until Final Fantasy XII and Okami FINALLY get released in Australia?

I've come up with a short list of games i own which i haven't played yet, please give some insight onto what i should fire up next...(when i'm not playing WarioWare Smooth Moves of course):

  • Ratchet and Clank 3
  • Xenosaga Ep.2
  • Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
  • Phantom Brave

Of course i could go back to get some more completion in something like Gran Turismo 4 or Burnout Revenge...feel free to check out my collection and nominate another title hehehe...

Until next time ;)

A question about '24'

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Greetings once again loyal readers (and Malekists)...

Though its likely I may get flamed in some form for this: I have a question about the 'hit' show '24'...

Have the camerapeople always been 12 year olds with muscular dystrophy???

I watched a couple of episodes of the first series back when it first hit Australia, and it didn't make me want to watch more. It took until today for me to catch another episode, and I had to turn it off after about 30 seconds. I'm a big fan of camera work that makes you feel like you are part of the action, however the scene that happened to be on when i had the misfortune to flick over was in the Headquarters (or whatever it is) and I first thought there was some kind of earthquake or other natural disaster...yes it was that bad.

Now for people who watch the show this may seem normal, but i ask the question because i may simply have been unlucky enough to catch a badly filmed scene.

Still, even if that is how the camerawork is normally done, i'd prefer to watch every season of '24' Clockwork Orange style then be forced to watch a minute of the tripe known as Desperate Housewives...don't even get me started on that...

Until next time...

Wii Play

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It seems that a lot of people are eagerly awaiting the release of Wii Play in the USA.

All i can say to those who are in this seemingly large group is - Beware! While Wii Play is a fun little diversion from Wii Sports and Zelda, if you already own 2 controllers (or 4 if you are a big multiplayer fan) its not worth the purchase (unless you want another controller of course), if this game was being sold without a Wii-mote then $10 would probably be the correct price.

If you are in the position where you still only own a single Wii-mote then you probably don't play much multiplayer, and again this game probably isn't for you (unless you want to get into the joy of multiplayer).

However, this is the perfect game to get a girlfriend, or other non-gamer, to have a play with your Wii (sorry had to throw one in somewhere). That being said, most people I have invited for a game much prefer the selection in Wii Sports.

If you are a big fan of mini-games i definitely recommend WarioWare over Wii Play.

In short, if you are in need of a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) controller, this is definitely the time to get Wii play, otherwise there are better options game-wise...don't forget about the slew of great Wii titles around the corner - Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl just to name a few ;)

Until next time...

Yet another Wii blog post...and more

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The title alone will probably stop most people from coming to read this, but if you do...thanks :D and don't forget to comment ;)

Anyways, as i'm sure you can guess, I own a Wii, and just like a good little gamer i pre-ordered it and got it on release day. Of course, I didn't line up at midnight because frankly I think that is a stupid idea...I mean, you either sleep for 6-8 hours before midnight and then play all morning, get tired and lose a whole day (or afternoon) by sleeping. Or you stay up all night and end up being even more tired. The other option of course is going in at 9am (approximately) not have to wait in line and not lose any sleep...but thats enough ranting for now.

As I'm sure the majority of people did, I purchased the console along with Zelda: TP and unlike most people who will read this, I picked up Wii Play (bundled with a controller) which was available on release day in Australia.

Wii Sports is a lot of fun, but after a while, playing single player can get a bit irritating...Tennis is the most fun for me, 1 or 2 player, followed by Bowling, Baseball, Golf and then Boxing. Wii Play on the other hand is enjoyable for a little break from Sports or Zelda, but shines most as a 2 player game. If I'd purchased it as a stand alone game I would be disappointed, but because it came with a controller I see it as more of a bonus, rather than the controller being the bonus.

Zelda, as expected, was a fantastic experience. However, as i was playing though i got the feeling that somehow i'd done it all before. Bombs, bow and arrows, hookshot (clawshot here), and many other Zelda staples made their appearance and for the most part were used identically to the past entries in the series. There were some interesting additions, but i got to the end still wanting more new features. The Wolf sections of the game were very entertaining, but for the amount of time spent as the wolf i would have liked a few more abilities than 'sense' and 'dig'. I still feel that the Zelda series worked much better in 2D, and i'm definitely looking forward to the next classical entry in the series Phantom Hourglass on DS.

On the Virtual Console front i've made 4 purchases so far.

Firstly there is an old personal favourite Golden Axe. Great fun single or 2 player, and short enough to fit a quick game in almost anytime. Definitely worth the 800 points.

Secondly i grabbed a game i hadn't actually played the first time around - Gunstar Heroes. Again a great game 1 or 2 player, though graphically it hurts the eyes a bit on the 42 inch screen.

Keeping with the run and gun side-scrollers i picked up Super Contra. One of the best games of the 16-bit era and easily recommended to anyone who likes a bit of fun as well as a good challenge. Unfortunately its a bit difficult to play on the Gamecube controller, but as i'm sure i'll pick up a Classic controller somewhere along the way it doesn't bother me for the time being to play it 'Tekken' style using fingers as opposed to my thumb. 

Finally comes the best game of all time - Super Mario Bros 1. Though i already own the original cartridge for the NES and have it (legally) emulated on my PC, for 500 measly points i thought 'why not'. I've worked my time from starting Level 1-1 to finishing off World 8-4 down to about 7.5 minutes (without stopping the clock between levels). Pretty quick but I want to push it under 5 minutes if possible.

Back on the PS2 front i'm about done with Guitar Hero 2... I have 5 starred every song on expert with the exception of Free Bird, Institutionalized, Hangar 18, Psychobilly Freakout, Misirlou and Six which i have 4 starred and of course Jordan, which i am yet to complete on expert (though i have 4 stars on Hard)...Still heaps of fun to play of course :D:D

Ok, if you are still reading, thank you :) don't forget to comment. Oh and as an added thing, if you don't mind could you please add what religion you are...not essential of course, just a little personal theory i'm working on... Thanks :D

UPDATE: Not 2 hours after posting this blog entry i did the impossible, i completed Free Bird on Expert and received 5 stars!! Now, back to work on Jordan...

War of the Consoles! Part 1 - the 5th generation

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You are probably wondering why I am starting at the 5th Generation as part 1 of this series. The main reason for this is not only am I very familiar with this generation but more importantly you (the reader) will (hopefully) be familiar with this genetation too...

So, shall we begin?

As with any console generation, to determine which is 'the best' the only place to look are the sales figures. But what are the factors that drive the sales figures up? Well there are many, some more important than others, but I will list a few of the important ones:

  • Console hardware specs
  • Console software
  • Release Date of a console
  • Hardware and Software price

These are the most important things to consider as we continue on to:

The 5th Generation - 32/64 bit Consoles

One and a half generations ago the Nintendo 64 was looking to follow up the Super Nintendo Entertainment System's (SNES) domination over the Sega Genesis (known as the Sega Mega Drive elsewhere) by besting the Sega Saturn, whilst holding off the surprising new entry into the console market - the Sony Playstation. The 5th generation brought us things we now take for granted in gaming such as 3D graphics, FMVs and analog sticks; while also sparking off the now rife trend of pirating in gaming.

Other lesser known consoles were also involved in the 5th generation: the 3DO and Atari Jaguar, both of which were released in 1993 before the three main competitors. However, because of sky-high prices and lack of quality games these seemed to remain in the realm of collectors, die-hard gamers and of course the rich and spoilt. The 3DO and Jaguar both sold around the 5 million consoles, with the lack of support for both causing the respective companies to drop out of the console hardware market and focus on game software.

As a side note, Atari is still publishing great games to this day including the extremely popular Dragonball Z: Budokai and Neverwinter Nights series...the 3DO company produced such 'notable' games as the Army Men series...the comany went bankrupt in 2003.

Sega was 'first out of the blocks' with the more affordable Saturn in November 1994 in Japan (early 1995 elsewhere). However, Sega rushed final development to beat the Sony Playstation to the shelves. Not only did this leave them with very few release titles, but the rushed release also caused problems with developers who found it difficult to use 100% of the complicated hardware's processing power.

The Sony Playstation was on shelves a few weeks later in December of 1994 in Japan and could be found in the US and Europe in September of 1995. Sony knew it had to start off with a bang, and launched the PS with awesome titles some of which are still reeling off sequels to this day including Twisted Metal, Toshinden, Wipeout and Ridge Racer, and a price tag $100 less than that of the Saturn.

Because of the rampaging success of the SNES the Nintendo 64 wasn't released until 1996 in both Japan and the US. Surprisingly only two titles were available at launch. Nintendo's saving grace was one of the launch titles being Super Mario 64. The N64 sold over half a million units in its first week, destroying the PS1's opening week figures. Super Mario 64 went on to move 11 million copies in its own right. 

Sony decided on an interesting strategy regarding their advertising campaign and aimed for a 'more mature audience'. While some scoffed and commented that no person that plays video games is mature, Sony focused on the fact that at the time both Mario and Sonic had TV incarnations in the form of Saturday morning cartoons and promised a great gaming experience for (in particular) young men. The older target audience bought the bait, and during its run the PlayStation saw the release of many games with Mature content from the original GTA to Silent Hill and Resident Evil. While the Saturn and in particular the N64 saw relatively few Mature rated (ESRB rating) games.

A big difference for the 5th generation was the introduction of the CDROM as a cheap media format. Sega and newcomers Sony decided to go with CDs as the media to hold their games, while Nintendo stuck with its tried and true cartridge formula. Cartridges were known for their speedy loading times but CD media offered greater storage space. All three companies produced quality titles on their respective media, but CDs opened the door for innovations unthought of in gaming. Metal Gear Solid was the first big title to use voice overs, and Final Fantasy VII used Full Motion Video (FMV) to breathtaking effect. Features like these often caused people to forget about CDROMs' horrendous loading times.

Unfortunately for Sega being in first (slightly) wasn't enough to recover from the Genesis/Mega Drive loss to the SNES and despite being the most technologically powerful of the three major consoles of the 5th generation most third party publishers chose to work with the proven history of Nintendo or the ease of developing games at a lower cost for the PS. As a result of a higher price and the small quantity of high quality games (NiGHTS into Dreams and Panzer Dragoon being a couple of the best) the Saturn never seriously took off outside Japan and sold under 15 million units worldwide holding less than 10% of market share. Sega quickly started working on their next console the Dreamcast. More unfortunately for Sega, the Dreamcast also flopped.

Long lasting series like Mario and Zelda ensured that the Nintendo 64 didn't go down without a fight. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Mario Party, Turok and Smash Bros all sold well and have produced sequels. Perhaps the lack of a Metroid title caused a dent in N64 sales, but enough great games were available that most people other than Metroid fanatics probably didn't notice. However, choosing to stick with cartridges hurt publishers' pockets, since producing a cartridge could easily cost 10 times the amount it takes to produce a CD. These expenses were passed onto the consumer with some N64 games costing around $70 while even 4 disc PlayStation games remained around the $50 mark.

The PlayStation had more than its fair share of great games too, Final Fantasy VII started the RPG rush outside of Japan and many Squaresoft games all sold well, while racing fans were glued to Gran Turismo. Crash Bandicoot was a passable answer to Mario and Sonic, and the 'gifted' Lara Croft was the fantasy of many a young man.

The Nintendo 64 ceased production in 2002 when the 6th generation had just found a strong foothold in the marketplace. It sold around 40 million units, a great success it would seem as the SNES had similar figures in the generation before...

But the PlayStation proved to be too popular worldwide, and didn't cease production of units until March of 2006 (thats right...PSones were still being built up until the start of this year). Sony obliterated Nintendo by more than doubling the amount of N64s sold. Over 100 Million PS1, PSX or PSone units were sold.

It was a combination of many factors that lead to Sony 'winning' the 5th Generation of gaming in the 32/64 bit era. Earlier release and many more available games as well as targetting the previously untapped 'older' market. Another interesting ingredient to add to this is the fact that although Sony tried to implement anti-piracy with their black-backed CDs, eventually the piracy trade on PS games boomed - did this have an impact on the number of consoles sold? One can only assume yes, but surely not the 60 million extra units over the N64.

The Saturn was first available but failed due to a lack of quality games and high price, while the N64 couldn't seem to compete with CDROM media and the idea that it was a 'kiddy company' - a problem that Nintendo carried over to the Gamecube.

In the 5th generation Sony overtook Nintendo as the leading company in video games giving it an advantage leading into the 6th generation, while Sega continued in its downward spiral, and Atari finally dropped out of the home console game.

I hope you learned something from this long (man it really turned out to be long huh...) yet in some ways far too short summary of the 5th generation in video games. Stay tuned to my blog for the rest of this series...if it turns out to get some people reading it, so if you are still here reading this COMMENT!!!...otherwise stay tuned for a rant on how people never read my blog...come on people!!!

I'd like to close with my personal disclaimer that in my eyes all video game consoles are equal, it is the the games themselves that are important.

Its GAME ON!!! ... BABY!

Final Official Guitar Hero II Track Lineup

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Ah, its finally here - The Official track listing for Guitar Hero II, the eagerly awaited sequel of the 2005 hit Guitar Hero.

Without further ado, here is your list, and the order the songs will be unlocked (hence difficulty level as in GH1):

1. Opening Licks
Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
Danzig - Mother
Cheap Trick - Surrender
Wolfmother - Woman
Spinal Tap - Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight

2. Amp-Warmers
Kiss - Strutter
Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box
Police - Message in a Bottle
Van Halen - You Really Got Me
Kansas - Carry on Wayward Son

3. String-Snappers
Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
Alice in Chains - Them Bones
Iggy Pop and the Stooges - Search and Destroy
Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys
Black Sabbath - War Pigs

4. Thrash and Burn
Warrant - Cherry Pie
Butthole Surfers - Who Was in My Room Last Night
Mathew Sweet - Girlfriend
Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knockin'
Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

5. Return of the Shred
Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name Of
Primus - John the Fisherman
Sword - Freya
Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation
Aerosmith - Last Child

6. Relentless Riffs
Heart - Crazy on You
Stone Temple Pilots - Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart
Stray Cats - Rock This Town
Allman Brothers - Jessica
Jane's Addiction - Stop

7. Furious Fretwork
Anthrax - Madhouse
Living End - Carry Me Home
Lamb of God - Laid to Rest
Reverend Horton Heat - Psychobilly Freakout
Rush - YYZ

8. Face-Melters
Avenged Sevenfold - Beast and the Harlot
Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized
Dick Dale - Misirlou
Megadeth - Hangar 18
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird

Is it everything i hoped for?

Well its a resounding 'Hell Yes' from me. Many classic bands missed in the original have found slots here, and the majority of the songs are going to be dynamite to play - particularly given that in the two player mode there are going to be rhythm guitar and bass guitar parts as well as the original lead track.

Nirvana - check, Guns 'n' Roses - check, Kiss, Van Halen, Foo Fighters - big check. Not to mention plenty of other great bands, as well as some good Australian flavour with Wolfmother and The Living End.

This is a no brainer to buy on release day for me.
The only thing missing for me is Metallica track, but then we all know how tight they are with licences for their tracks from the Napster saga.

Any groups you think are missing? And groups you think shouldn't be included that are? Leave a comment...

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