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vgm007 Blog

Back... for now

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And so I have returned a changed man. Or at least a little more mellow. Don't really have much to say right now, as it's late, but I'll post an update tomorrow.

On hiatus, possibly forever

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Hello all, You haven't seen much of me lately because I've been extremely busy with work-related activities. Not to mention GS has been incredibly boring the past few months. So, as of now, I am leaving GS with little intention of returning in the near future. I am pondering the idea of making my own website or joining Facebook, or even both. If you're interested in talking to me, I can be found on Windows Live Messenger (vgmaniac7 AT live DOT com) or Gmail (tpv616 AT gmail DOT com). Adieu, GS. It's been nice knowing ya.

Haven't blogged in a while...

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So I might as well update you all on my life, given that I'm being active again and all. First, I started a new job a few weeks ago. I'm now the manager of a small Dunkin' Donuts store that's going through a lot of change right now. It's definitely a learning experience, and I can honestly say I've been to hell and back doing it. It's all worth the while, though. I'm also the IT specialist for the franchise - maintaining our website, solving technical problems, and streamlining our infrastructure. Not only that, but I also manage the training for all employees. So, needless to say, my free time is rather limited. However, on that note... During my free time, I have less time for gaming, but more time for sleeping, given that I get to work as early as 4 AM. I do get the chance to play some games, though. I'm trying hard to get through my backlog, but it's a slow process. I'll let you guys know how this will progress in the near future. BTW, I also replaced my buzzy old beast-of-a-computer-case with a much smaller Antec 902. That also gave me the chance to reformat it, so I'm reinstalling my games right now. I haven't been able to get on Steam as of late, but that problem has now been solved, and I'm downloading away at the moment. Friend me there if you so desire - my ID is the same as my GS user name. Well, that's about all I want to share right now. Stay tuned for more updates.

Killing In The Name (tag, I'm it)

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Since no one's done so, I shall tag myself, since it sounds like fun. Here's the rules: * 1. Put Your iTunes (or other music player) on Shuffle. * 2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer. * 3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds! * 4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name. * 5. Tag at least 10 friends. * 6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus Here we go... 1. If someone says, "Is This Okay?" You Say: "Lincoln Avenue" - Train (Sure, if I'm giving directions... :P) 2. How would you describe yourself? "Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson (Um, no. :| ) 3. What do you like in a guy/girl? "Empty Walls" - Serj Tankian (LOL) 4. How do you feel today? "Kool Thing" - Sonic Youth (Hrm...) 5. What Is Your Life's Purpose? "And the Cradle Will Rock..." - Van Halen (Am I really destined to get married someday?? :shock: ) 6. What is your motto? "You Give Love a Bad Name" - Bon Jovi (So much for my previous response... :lol: ) 7. What do your friends think of you? "Feel Like Home" - Fort Minor (Interesting choice.) 8. What do you think of your parents? "Good Fight" - Creed (Not quite...) 9. What do you think about very often? "My Apocalypse" - Metallica (I wish that was true :lol: ) 10. What is 2+2? "Savior" - Rise Against (:o ) 11. What do you think of your best friend? "Same Old Song and Dance" - Aerosmith (Sometimes this is true. :P ) 12. What do you think of the person you like? "Space" - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Original Soundtrack ("Meet me in outer space", perhaps? :? ) 13. What is your life story? "Panama" - Van Halen (Sorta confused about this one...) 14. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Figured You Out" - Nickelback (Non sequitur... perhaps this means I shall be a police investigator O_o) 15. What do you think of when you see the person you like? "Evacuate the Dancefloor" - Cascada (O-kay... btw don't ask what this is doing in my iTunes) 16. What will you dance to at your wedding? "Echo" - Trapt (Actually rather appropriate.) 17. What will they play at your funeral? "The Unforgiven III" - Metallica (Oh geez...) 18. What is your hobby/interest? "Fire Woman" - The Cult (Not sure how this is a hobby... unless it involves setting people on fire :shock: ) 19. What is your biggest fear? "Bulls on Parade" - Rage Against the Machine (I tend to cringe when I hear about bullfighting, so this is appropriate. :P) 20. What is your biggest secret? "Mambo Number 5" - Lou Bega (Not anymore, it isn't! :lol: ) 21. What do you think of your friends? "Iwatodai Dorm" - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Soundtrack (lol wut) 22. What will you put as the title? "Killing In The Name" - Rage Against the Machine No one shall be tagged, as I cheated a bit by tagging myself. Now let the commenting commence!

Do me a favor...

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...and don't buy the Samsung Intercept from Sprint.  Yeah, it looks cool. It's an Android phone. And it has a slide-out keyboard as well as a touch screen. But this thing is rather buggy, from what I heard. Alright, looks like I need to tell the full story, so here goes... I had a pre-paid AT&T phone for a few months... but all I had on it was talk and text. Data was extra, and the phone was a piece of junk (it even called 911 by itself once :| ). So, I decided it was time to dive into the world of contracted phones. A friend of mine recommended Sprint to me, since he was with them for four years (his last phone with them was a HTC Hero) before the company he works for bought him an iPhone. I didn't want an iPhone, so I decided to give Sprint a look. I went ahead and got the Samsung Intercept, since I had some reservations about spending an additional $100 on a HTC Evo. First impressions with the sales clerk were good, and he said my old number would be transferred over in about an hour after I left. A day goes by, and no dice. I can't call my old number anymore, and my old phone wouldn't work anymore. So, I went back and had my phone re-programmed (it had a temporary number). Now everything worked for another day until the phone's speaker decided to stop working. :x Back for a third time, I got the phone exchanged for another Intercept. Luckily, this phone is working fine for me so far (knock on wood). However, from stuff I've heard about this phone, it's actually more of an "Android Lite" phone, since some apps don't work on it, and it most likely won't get the Froyo (Android 2.2) upgrade. Now I'm stuck with this phone for two years. Let's hope I don't have any more problems. *crosses fingers*

Happenings of Entertainment

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So I've been doing a lot lately to keep myself from getting bored on my days off from work... first of all, I got another new game: Persona 3 Portable. This one should be a no-brainer, since I thoroughly enjoyed P3, P3 FES, and P4 on the PS2. Now I'm playing it on the PSP, and so far, it's going good. There are major differences between P3P and P3F, though: 1. Addition of the female protagonist storyline 2. The story events play out more like a visual novel than, say, an anime. 3. Point-and-click styIe interactions rather than traditional ones The voice acting and Tartarus explorations are translated intact, though. For veterans of the original games, such as me, it just takes some getting used to. The changes were obviously a design choice, as it's impossible to fit everything in the original plus the female storyline on a disc 1/3 the size of a PS2 DVD. This may make the game less immersive, but the heart of the game is still there. Now, on to movies. I watched Toy Story 3 a couple of weeks ago, and it was a great movie. IMO, it wasn't as funny as TS2, but it's still very enjoyable. I also watched the original 1984 Karate Kid movie via Netflix, and that was an okay movie... I gave it a 3 out of 5. The next movie I want to watch is "Salt", a spy-action movie starring Angelina Jolie. If you've been following my blogs for the past couple of years, you might remember me saying stuff about how she was filming in Albany, NY (my hometown). Well, it was for that movie, and I want to see how the rendition turned out. Not to mention the review I read for it was relatively favorable. BTW, the scene they filmed in Albany took place on a highway, so I assume it was the truck-jumping one. That's all for this blog. BTW, sorry certifieddata, but I haven't had a chance to try out Borderlands yet. I'll be sure to do so sometime this week.

The Borderlands Rock Band of Metallica

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I recently got three games: Rock Band 2 (360) Guitar Hero: Metallica (360) Borderlands (PC) The first two were used from GameStop, and the last one was 66% off on Steam, so I had to get it, especially since I've been thinking of getting it for a while now. Right now, the game I'm playing the most is RB2. I'm still trying to unlock songs by going through the Tour mode, but right now it's sorta reached a point where the songs are getting really hard (for lead guitar, at least). I think my fingers are gonna fall off >.> BTW I haven't played Borderlands yet because it's still downloading, so I'll let you all know what I think next time.

The (Video Game) Stock Market

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So, I've been thinking lately about game rarity. These days, it can be either easy or extremely difficult to judge the rarity of a video game. If the game in question is a limited-run NES promotional cartridge, then sure, that's going to make some serious cash. However, what about a standard-run game? This is where it gets difficult. Exhibit 1: Final Fantasy VII In all honesty, who would've guessed that original-run copies of Final Fantasy VII would be going for upwards of $100 on eBay? Let's face it: FFVII sold millions of copies in North America, and even more around the world. Given the rules of economic supply and demand, FFVII shouldn't be worth so much. However, since the game became such a pivotal force for RPGs, and due to its resurgence in popularity, the value of so-called "black-label" copies rose dramatically. Nowadays, because it's available for legal download on the PlayStation store for PS3 and PSP, the value has gone down. Still, in my opinion, FFVII did not deserve the high second-hand selling points it has received in the past. The game was just too common. Exhibit 2: Pre-2008 Atlus Games Here, I'm talking about games such as Persona 2 and SMT: Nocturne. Yes, they're still rare. Does that mean all Atlus games are rare? No. Since Atlus has only recently become a driving force in the video game market, people are starting to discover the older gems in their library. However, since Atlus had a history of doing limited publishing runs, these games have become very rare. Since P3 FES, though, Atlus realized they had become a name to be reckoned with, and dramatically increased the number of copies per run, as well as the number of total runs. This unfortunately means that games like Persona 4 will not rise very much in value over the next few years, and aren't exactly recommended for those trying to hold on to those first-run, shrink-wrapped copies. I, too, bought second copies of P3 FES and P4 thinking they'd go up in value, but it looks like my original copy of Persona 3 is worth more than the two combined. Exhibit 3: "Dead" Franchises These days, it's not hard to find copies of some games. For example, do a search for "Super Mario Bros" on eBay, and you'll most likely get tons of hits with prices starting below a dollar. However, what about the franchises that died years ago? Say, for instance, the "Breath of Fire" series? This franchise was Capcom's answer to Final Fantasy back in the 16-bit era, and didn't last very long. While there have been re-releases on other platforms (such as the Game Boy Advance), the original SNES games have become desirable. Same goes for other games like that, such as Crash Bandicoot (the original is starting to gain value). Now, how do you possibly judge the rarity of games these days? You can see that doing so is like playing the stock market: buy low, sell high, and hope you don't have something bad happen. However, I do have a few suggestions for games you can still get now and expect the value to go up. I'll also welcome any suggestions. - Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii) - Was recently discontinued, but may still be available. I wouldn't be surprised if its value rises significantly in the next few years. - Chrono Cross (PS1) - It's still in the "bargain bin", so to speak, but it's destined for good value. - Okami (PS2 version) - The Wii version is easy to find nowadays, but the PS2 version is where it's at. Also, those of you who still have the IGN-ripped cover for the Wii version should definitely hold on to that. :P Again, if you have a game or "hidden gem" I should add to the list of commonly-available games that are anticipated to rise in value soon, leave a comment so I can add it!

Real life doesn't stop for load points

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How did I get that blog title, you ask? Well, I shall explain. Recently, I got a new laptop. It's an Acer Aspire 5740, whose specs blow my old Toshiba Satellite A215 out of the water. Here's the basic stuff on my new laptop: Intel Core i5 430M Dual-core processor with HyperThreading (makes it act like a quad-core) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Dedicated Graphics 4 GB DDR3 RAM 500GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM :( ) Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Naturally, once I got this laptop, I installed Steam and downloaded a few of my games such as Half-Life 2 and Portal. They work really well, except for some minor stutters from time to time due to the slow hard drive. I may end up buying a 7200 RPM model later down the line, but right now, it's not a priority. At least they run at all, which wasn't the case on my old model. In case you're wondering, my Windows Experience indexes are: 6.7, 5.9, 6.7, 6.7, and 5.6. Not bad, if I do say so. Now, as far as my own life is going, I was forced to turn down a recent job offer I got from my boss at DD (for reasons I shall not disclose). I'm still going to be doing some tech work for him, which is why I was transferred to another store. This store is much slower than my former one, so the days seem to drag quite a bit. At least it's less stressful this time, though. Also, I recently got my college diploma in the mail, and it's finally hit me: I did it. :D Now I'm in the process of searching for jobs, which will take quite a while. I'll keep you all posted.