carstairs / Member

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carstairs Blog

I think I owe you guys a goodbye.

Oh, GameSpot. It's been a while.

Some of you may have noticed, some of you probably haven't, but I've taken my leave from GameSpot. I'm only here now because I meant to post an actual goodbye a long time ago.

This is not in response to any event, person, or anything like that. I just have no desire to log into GameSpot. I have not missed it over the last however long it's been.

I spent a lot of time on GameSpot, did a lot of things, and met a lot of people. And while that has left an indelible mark on who I am, GameSpot is no longer part of me.

This is my formal goodbye. And with that, I leave you.

Happy Fourth Anniversary!

Apparently today marks my fourh-year anniversary on GameSpot. It was a good year as always, complete with my new status as a ranger :).

I don't have much else to say beyond that. Those of you who want pictures of cats and cakes, you know where to find them :P.

Actually, I didn't realize that today was the day until about two days ago, when someone asked me when I joined on the How to GameSpot board. Maybe next year I'll remember on my own.

It's a Mystery

Why do people lurk the Guitar Hero 5 boards just so they can post their opinionated opinion on why, in their opinion, Rock Band is better? (In their opinion)

Why did Capcom make Seth so brutal in Street Fighter IV?

Why do people hate Bing?

Why don't netbook manufacturers realize that many people intend to put Linux on them and don't want to pay for an XP license they won't use?

How did Battlefield 1943 get released with issues like vehicles not being able to drive up hills and griefer-friendly, frustrating allied airplane collision physics?

How long till PAX East arrives?

When will Sony realize that they could charge for their online and people would pay?

Why do I have not one, but two video game ties? (Mario Kart and Sega Genesis)

Why does Splosion Man insult me with its 'Way of the Coward' pop-ups?

What will happen when my 360 RRoDs in the next generation and I don't own the new Xbox?

Why do I end up with more time spent on my handhelds than my console?

Why do people equate colorful graphics (like Wii Sports Resort or The Legend of Zelda:The Wind Waker) with a game being 'kiddy'?

Intriguing, Microsoft (Summer of Arcade)

Summer of Arcade on Xbox Live always seemed like a good marketing move to me. Capture people with free time during the summer with several arcade titles and watch the money roll in. The titles were excellent as well, with gems like Braid, Castle Crashers, and Geometry Wars 2.

This year's fare is also respectable, with the excellent Shadow Complex among others, in addition to a promotion for 800 free MS points if you buy all five titles. This puts me in an interesting position.

Shadow Complex is excellent, and I'm definitely picking it up. Trials HD is good, although it should be 800 points, and Splosion Man is also well done. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is more niche, but is a great game, especially since I'm in the process of building a fight stick for Street Fighter IV. But TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled is a clunker. And I have no interest in the IP.

If it were a good game, this would be a no-brainer, and I'd buy all five. As it is, I have to question my value for the other four, since I'd be getting 800 points for free later. I'll probably end up doing the promotion, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. If only the was Battlefield: 1943, or another quality title.

A List of Random Thoughts About Computers, Gaming, and the Internet

Yes, these are my opinions, but there's a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humor and silliness. Please don't be offended. This is a humor entry, after all. I promise I'm not trolling :).


Macintosh computers are personal computers.
Yes, Macintosh computers cost more than a comparable machine running Windows, but that's how they make their money. All companies make profits somehow.
The "I'm a Mac" commercials are filled with horribly outdated stereotypes. To a somewhat lesser extent, so are the "Laptop Hunter" commercials.
The Jerry Seinfeld Windows commercials are the best computer ads in recent years.
Linux is not viable for most users. Compatibility and quirks hold it back.
Bing is an excellent search engine and I actually have replaced Google with it in my daily use.
Building a computer is rewarding, inexpensive, and a good use of a weekend.
Piracy is evil both to the industry and to the consumer.


Halo 3 is the most overrated game in the last ten years. A short, if fairly well-crafted campaign and slow, unbalanced multiplayer do not make for a particularly excellent shooter.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is slightly overrated. Allowing for the obvious leniency for a game eleven years old, its gameplay does not hold up well.
Wind Waker is the best 3D Zelda game.
Twilight Princess is unremarkable as far as Zelda games go. It was a Gamecube game, and despite being an excellent game for that console, adding motion controls doesn't make it an excellent Wii game.
Team Fortress 2 is the best online shooter currently available, due largely in part to a fun community and surprising balance.
Paying for Xbox Live is bad. The Wii, Playstation 3, and the more online-capable computer (Steam and Games for Windows Live are both free) offer free online play and other services.
If not for the Red Ring of Death, the sales of Microsoft's next console would drop (unless it is not backwards-compatible with the Xbox 360, in which case sales will drop) because people do not want to lose a console they have many games for.

The Internet

Download Cave Story,a free indie game right now, and or buy it when it is released on Wii Ware. RPG fans should also check out Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter One of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa.
I cannot force anyone to do this, but please capitalize, punctuate properly, and proofread before you post anywhere except for online game, where time is of the essence.
Shorthand typing is understandable, but I fail to see a purpose in deliberately misspelling words.
Opera is the best browser for big power users, Firefox is best for most users, and if Chrome is for you, then you probably already have it.
RSS is one of the best things ever for both news sources and readers.


The following is accurate to the best of my memory. Yes, really.

carstairs is comfortably resting on his couch while playing Battlefield 1943 on his Xbox 360, talking in a stream of consciousness to himself to relax. The loading screen displays Iwo-Jima.

Console: BZZZT!

Pure white on TV.

carstairs: Not good. At least it didn't Red Ring of Death on me.

Note that he did not knock on wood as he usually does. carstairs hard resets the console and is treated to a frozen boot animation with dotten white lines.

carstairs: Ah, crap. Not good.

carstairs hard resets again, and three flashing lights appear on the Xbox 360.

TV: lol
Xbox 360: roflmao

End scene.

7/31/2007-7/18/2009 refuses to generate a shipping slip (image didn't load in Opera, Firefox, or Internet Explorer), so I have to wait for them to mail me one. And of course they just stopped mailing coffins. This will seriously affect my decision to purchase the next Microsoft console, especially considering that I own a gaming PC.

Oh well. Time to watch DVDs on the PS2.

Thanks Jody!

These DVDs arrived in the mail today. Soulcalibur II? True Crime: Streets of LA? Half-Life 2? Time for a trip down memory lane!

Microsoft Power!

This weekend I have finally been able to install the Windows 7 release candidate on my computer. I'd actually downloaded it yesterday, but my paltry 700 MB CDs aren't big enough for the ISO, so I had to go to Office Depot today and pick up some 4.7 GB DVDs. In place upgrade from Vista worked fine, though I've been spoiled by quick and easy Ubuntu installations, and had to wait several hours for it to finish. Here's the new desktop:

(It has letterboxing because I have two displays, one of which is smaller than the other)

Windows 7 is excellent. Many nice UI tweaks, particularly in the taskbar.

Additionally, I have a new sticker for my PC case:

Crappy cell phone picture.

Bing. The sticker is for sheer awesome, but I'm undecided on the service. I'm still using Google, though I like Bing's cash back, which I'll definitely be using. Oh, that's Zune software. Points for recognizing albums.


"The first against the wall when the revolution came." Douglas Adams

(The setting is a large auditorium, filled with every game designer from both the past and present (had it not been for technological limitations, the future would have been included as well). These audience members are talking amongst themselves, wondering why they have been called here.)

carstairs walks to the podium.

carstairs: I suppose you're wondering why I've called you all here today.

(Nods and other affirmations.)

carstairs: The reason you are all locked in this room (Immediate confusion and protest) is for a seminar on basic game design. Specifically, game saves.

(A general outcry. carstairs fires a six-cylinder revolver into the ceiling, and the designers stop immediately. carstairs breaks the gun with his bare hands and tosses it aside.)

In one of Douglas Adams's books, a group of people were described as those who would be first against the wall when the revolution comes. Incidentally, every one of the armed guards surrounding the seven exits is a gamer who has lost data due to poor design choices.

Shigeru Ohmori, you and the Pokemon staff are free to go, as even with ridiculous glitching that should have ****ed my game to hell and back, Pokemon keeps two copies of a save at all times in case it needs to revert to an older one.

Now as for the rest of you...


Street Fighter IV has just joined the ranks of the numerous games that have lost their saved data on me. It joins the ranks of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, and many more.

Is it still too much to ask for a failsafe for our hours of hard work?!