andrew_ribbons / Member

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Leaving Gamespot

It's been a while coming, but I have decided to finally pack my bags at Gamespot and take my reviews and opinions elsewhere.

There's nothing left at Gamespot now but sour old memories, raging fanboys and retarded reviews. After the disgraceful FEAR2 and Halo Wars reviews I have seen published on this website of late, nothing about the Games site seems credible any more. The moderation is terrible, you get moderated for trying to keep the peace, while raging/cussing loonies go around screaming at anyone who isn't in agreement with them. A lot of Gamespot's news articles are very poorly written, with bias written all over in the style.

It's a shame because Gamespot used to be one of the best Games sites around. Now it's just a cess pit of idiots.

So, i am never returning here ever again and I am migrating here:

This website is headed by former Gamespot employees and favourites such as Jeff Gerstman and Brad Shoemaker. Just in case any of you were unaware, Jeff was fired in the Kane & Lynch debacle, where he reviewed the game poorly (because it truely is terrible), but was fired because the review score wasn't high enough. It was disgusting. Several GS people left voluntarily in his wake and formed this new games website.

Make it grow! Signing up is easy, and the reviews and gamers who visit seem pretty awesome, it's also well moderated.

Adios Gamespot, you were great once. Alas though, no more.

3 Interesting Things

Interesting thing no.1: Intel buys Havok physics company.

Interesting thing no.2: Intel purchases Project Offset and it's development studio with it.

Interesting thing no.3: Intel announces new Larrabee "Ray Tracing" graphics technology which will be first used in computers/consoles in 2010.

Something is afoot here. There's no way these three interesting yet unique events are not interlinked in some fashion. I think we're about to see Intel, historically only a system hardware designer and manufacturer, enter the Games market. Not just enter it, innovate it fundamentally.

Ray Tracing is a graphical rendering technique, which can produce life-like lighting and reflective qualities to materials. Observe exhibit A:

Now, that kinda image takes an average current computer a couple of seconds to render. As such, it is impossible to achieve playable framerates in games, with that level of graphical detail. Currently... Intel are creating Larrabee, which will be a discrete graphics card which specialises in Ray Tracing, with a many-core processor at the center, powerful enough to render these beautiful scenes at game-playable framerates. It will of course be backwards compatible to older DirectX games. Possibly a new version of DirectX will incorperate Ray-Tracing support. Nvidia and ATI better take a look into this, it's got the potential to be big.

Project Offset is a huge-scale and visually impressive RPG currently in the works by a new studio with the brand-new Offset game engine. It's been below-the-radar for some time. Now Intel have control of it, will we see Intel Games Studios emerge as a new publisher soon? We shall see.

Certainly Intel's aquisition of Havok physics, although hands-off managed, would support the view that Intel are thinking of setting up a games studio sometime in the future. 2010 is certainly looking to be an interesting year.

Cheers all :)


Join the Folding@Home effort today! Sponsored by Stanford University in California, the Folding@home client is a downloadable piece of software which sits in your taskbar and runs quietly in the background. It utilises the spare CPU clocks your computer isn't using to do millions of calculations per minute working out how protein chains fold together. A fundamental part of medical science, yet something that needs either a super-computer of 40 years in the future, or millions of participant home users, to achieve breakthroughs in.

I joined this effort because I believe in the work put into finding cures for diseases, not just for humans but animals as well. If you think your computer sits around idle but turned on frequently enough, or see this project as important, then i'd really recommend looking it up on Google. You'll need the 6.2 version client for CPUs. There are some new GPU projects opening up, but i can't seem to find one that works on my systems, they i presume are betas still.

If you like, join the Group i'm part of: 60091

You enter that when the program first loads up. We are the FurAffinity team and we've currently got almost 200 members :) We'd welcome more ^^

Cheers all, just thought i'd share this with yeh.

New PC Bought

Due to my position on a Currys.Digital locally, while i wait for my results and Uni replies, i was able to get the following system at a truely bargain price:

Packard Bell iMedia
Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 @ 2.2Ghz per core.
2Gb DDR2-533 memory
Geforce 8400GS 256Mb Graphics Card (with plans for an upgrade to a 9600GT in October)
250Gb Hard Drive
24bit Realtek HD 5.1 Surround Sound Card
DVD-RW X18 QuietDrive

All for £275, that's $500 for the Americans among you.

All in all, a good deal. Graphics Card is a little on the weak side, but nothing a simple and easy upgrade when my Birthday comes around won't fix.

It plays everything i currently own fine, the 9600GT will be in preparation for games such as Fallout 3 and Spore.

And now for something completely different.

Right then. Since a certain member, no names given, of my contacts list deemed it necessary to savage my previous blog with spittle and "disapproval", let's try again shall we, I will not have arguements in my blog. I wouldn't want anyone wetting themselves again, so let's try something a little more...tactful perhaps.

Righty, well i'm in the planning stages of getting a new PC, so i guess i could talk about that a little. I've been stuck with an aging Laptop for a while now, it's no longer capable of playing new games because the graphics chip is outdated and only supports up to SM2.0 of DX9. Time for a DX10 spash out! My new base unit machine will be a Dell Inspiron 530 desktop model. Here's a link to some images and stuff:

I'm not overly fussed by snazzy cases, since they often sit under the table anyway, but this one looks stylish at least i think.

The specs of the machine I plan to get are as follows:

Intel Core 2 E4600 2.4Ghz X 2
2Gb DDR2 Memory
250+ GB Hard Drive, SATA 7200RPM
A seperate graphics card, either a 512Mb 8600GT, or a 512Mb 9600GT. Whichever will be the best deal at the time i get this together.

So i'll be back with the PC-Gaming crew soon enough XD

In other news, what exactly IS happening about a new Starfox game for the Wii? I keep hearing that it's rumoured to be coming up in this year's E3, is that right? If so, the prospects of me getting a Wii for myself increase quite a bit indeed.

I still intend to get up to scratch by picking up a Gamecube one of these days. I found one for £17 including a game in Gamestation the other day, i might think about that actually. I wish to play the Starfox games (especially Adventures) definitely. Any other recommendations? List them here please guys, since i'm not much of a Ninty gamer :P Haven't been since the height of the Pokemon GameBoy era XD

Here in Bournemouth, south coast of England, we're getting the UK's first "Gaming Lounge". It'll be a new building, decked out specifically for leasure and group enjoyment. There'll be annual membership fees, as well as hourly usage fees. Currently, it looks quite nice i think:

My only problem with it is that it'll have PS3s only. But, despite all my dislike for the PS platform and the way Sony treats it's customers in Europe (appaulingly), i may give it a go one day, just because it's the first over here. Maybe if that does well, we'll get a similar place for 360 gamers? You never know ^^ There used to be a PC Gaming lounge in Bournemouth, but that got shut down because it just became a place for the employee's friends to hang out for free, meaning paying customers weren't getting in. It flopped. Shame really, annoying.

Well that just about raps up my blog then. I've been absolutely as neutral as i could be in this blog, it's all placid and my own opinion/situation. If anyone has a problem with that still, then they can go f*** themselves XD

It's now Nintendo's Turn, EU is laying out another rediculous fine.

It seems the EU really are struggling with their finances these days. After the recent debacle of Microsoft getting fined something in the region of $200 Million for "including Windows Media Player in Windows" (I kid you not...), it seems they've already spent all that money on partying, and need a new large corp. to create a scapegoat of.

Nintendo are about to be fined over $200 Million for "price fixing". Now, I don't know how much water the EU's arguement holds, but it certainly seems as if Nintendo going to try and kick the EU off their backs, just as MS tried to. Apparently Nintendo reps claim "The fine is unfair and unlawfully calculated". Sounds about right for the EU to be honest.

Man, am I glad the UK hasn't joined with the EU -_-

Thoughts and contributions people?

The new Halo 3 Legendary Map Pack

Ok, a slightly different kinda blog for me here guys, a collective review blog :) GS don't seem to review DLC packs, so i thought i'd get an idea of what everyone thought about the exciting new map pack straight from the Bungie labs :P Here's my impression of them having experianced them all to a reasonable degree.

Blackout: Yes i like this map. I found it a joy that they brought this map to Halo 3, since i never played Halo 2 MP much and didn't get to experiance this map. The artwork is incredible and the map design admirable. I certainly think this alone was worth the map pack for. Here, i think, they were uber-perfecting an already near-perfect Halo style map. So 9.5/10

Avalanche: The successor to Sidewinder. Again, i'm really glad they put this map in. It's now far more spacious than the Halo 1 version, it's got some excellent new design perks and certain makes for a fantastic team sniper map. The general construction and scale is good, great also for fun in Forge because of it's wide open spaces. Me and two friends of mine made a huge vehicle ramp :) 9/10

Ghost Town: My least favourite out of the pack, however is still a good playing field and extremely interesting detail to the map's lush environment. An all-rounder really, there's no specific use this map could have, sniping, melee, shotguns, rockets, anything you like. It's got fortress-like buildings, or that's what they near-enough become in a large team based game. Sometimes the layout can be confusing for new users of the map, but after several plays on it, you get use to it's highly complex grid of walkways and corridors. Another very good effort by Bungie 8.5/10

Upgrade to Forge: A great extra! Now you can impliment visual special effects into the game as well as some other useful features added to the library, such as ramps and watchtowers. New decals have been added in Avalanche, to the vehicles and items in game.

If everyone could give a little comment and score about their favourite new maps and what they think about the new updated forge, then post post post :D

The Victory of Sony's Blu-ray format, heralds an era of bloated movie prices.

Hello everyone, welcome to my next blog. This time, i will be going into a recent controversy: The first time Sony has EVER won a format war! Why does nobody look extatic about that? Oh on....

Putting aside my indifference to HD-DVD and Blu-ray, this gamer believes an era of expensive movies is yet to come. Letting a heavily privatised, heavily commercialised, heavily control-hungry company control how much we pay per movie disk, is a very VERY bad idea. HD-DVD was in the realms of open-source-media, in other words it wasn't really owned by anyone as such, just Toshiba had trumpeted it and tried so sell it...however i don't like Toshiba any more than Sony to be truthful. However, HD-DVD's would have been a cheaper format than Blu-rays by FAR. Following in it's father's footsteps, HD-DVDs would have come down in price with demand, ensuring prices less than £10 per movie eventually. However, i doubt the same can be said for Sony i'm afraid.

While i refuse to start having a rant against Sony's other media, especially their Gaming and Entertainment divisions, i do not see the PS3 as a viable resolution for watching movies in the future. Why, you ask? Well because the prices of 3rd Party Blu-ray devices will by far be lower, if not already are. That's the end of that little slice.

My point here is that Sony is a company looking to exploit customer resources, they aren't, in short, very "kind" to customers. They expected many PS2 owners to fork out for console repairs, which were often required due to the high level of unreliability of the platform, especially in it's early days. They often bodge-job components, such as the recent 11Million Laptop battery recall because Sony managed to allow some of them to be contaminated with Iron Filings. They fail to appreciate the European markets whatsoever, which surprises me more so because one of the CEOs is Welsh... leaving us for 5 months before releasing the PS3, and even then, releasing it as a crippled version of the full thing. Furthermore, later stripping out components from the console and making others cheaper versions of the components, then claiming the new price is a "price drop" on the same console...when it's just a cheaper version in fact. Then again, i expect they realise many of their devout fans won't care, and rather will sit in a couch staring at the black grill-like form wondering "I wonder what this thing does".

It's just the sheer gullability of people, us, the public, these days that REALLY gets on my nerves. Is this really THE company we want in charge of an area of the media we treasure and love so much? Second to gaming? I think not, myself, i speak for all of us who just want an easier, cheaper, competitive friendly ride.

God bless MS with their Digital Movie Downloads on the Xbox 360. Because it looks like that's where i'll be headed for my movie thrills from now on.

*mutters about £30 per movie, then shuts the door behind him*

New Union - Xbox 360 and PC Gamers welcome

Hey everyone,

Me and a friend of mine have decided to start up a new Union dedicated to 360 and PC gamers, or people who play both like me :) I'm looking to help my friend, Starfox Elite, by finding out if anyone out there would like to be a co-founder, and then after they're filled up, charter members and get the Union on it's feet?

You're welcome to come in, even if you're a casual gamer. We'll gladly accept casual gaming, and single-platform-only gaming, but as long as it's 360 or PC. Sorry Nintendo and Sony people, this Union is not designed for you :/

The idea of the Union will be for a place where MS platform gamers can go to lounge around and discuss meeting for clan/friend tournaments and online Multiplayer, as well as discussing general topics about the platforms.

If anyone would like to join, simply say so here in the comments, and i will send you an invite :)

Thanks for taking an interest guys,


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