Tetris Attack! Let the seizures begin! 
Monday, March 2, 2009, 11:10 PM - Nintendo
Posted by fujikoma3x222
A while back, a friend of mine acquired a mysterious cartridge for the snes, she had no idea what kind of malevolent energies oozed and burbled behind that plastic facade... She lent the game to my friend, Jason... And that was the beginning of the end... For who would know that the puzzle game was itself a sort of Pandora's box, waiting only for the right sort of manipulation to bring forth screaming, blocky horrors from the abyss?

Yes, my friends, a true tale of terror.

It started innocently enough, in the back room of Jason's house. Both of us being highly competitive, we practiced for seemingly endless, thumb-paralyzing sessions... Every now and then, we would test our skills against the uninitiated, predictably smashing them flat with a wild hailstorm of debris... It wasn't until my lust for power conquered my sense of friendly sportsmanship that the game began to reveal its true face.

I had some time alone with this sinister cartridge, and I was determined not to let it go to waste. I set the A.I. to 10, the highest setting, and was destroyed time and time again, locked into the adrenaline rush of battling an enemy that could not be defeated, a wicked god of chains and combos... But the beast had a blindspot, and though I did not notice it at first, my game improved.

When Jason came home that day, I challenged him... And unlike the more familiar outcome, I won many of the matches. He asked me what I'd done to improve so quickly. I said "Super-Saiyen training"... He took the idea and ran with it. Gone were the days of friendly competition, things had gone out of control, and became even more treacherous by the day. It wasn't until the seemingly godly A.I. was conquered that it became apparent; conservative strategies tend to win out against pure speed. This opened up a new dimension of gameplay, accentuating elements that had been ignored up until that point. This went on for quite some time, a relentless sort of see-saw of ability which only stoked the fire to win more.

All of the energies that had built up came to a head one day, at a party at a friend's house. I had eaten 4 tiny pieces of white paper and was just settling down to enjoy myself when another friend, who'd taken an interest in these relentless duels, proposed a match, and because he thought Jason unbeatable, wagered me a pack of cigarettes that I could not win... Those of you who know me well know that my nicotine habit is more important to me than breathing, so these were VERY high stakes for me indeed.

Jason was sober, as far as I know, he's always BEEN sober, I won't say, however, that this gave him any sort of advantage in the abstract universe that we were about to engage in a battle to the death in, in fact, it might have actually made things more difficult for him, but still, I found that night that I really didn't have much of a shot. Half the audience was a little fried and drunk, and this contributed to the bizarre sort of atmosphere and energy.

The game began simply enough, and quickly went stark raving mad. It was a savage duel, chains and combos of ingenius construction on both sides of the screen, turning disadvantages into ammunition to lob back at the opponent... I won the first game, but it was best two out of three, so I hadn't won just yet. The friend that proposed the match got bent out of shape and said "Jason! You let him win! How could you do that?! Tell you what, I'll let you borrow Final Fantasy 7 if YOU win... You're not getting that pack of cigarettes, Bryce.". The offering of a game may or may not have fueled the seemingly inevitable shitstorm that followed, but I find myself wondering, to this day, what if? What if that unholy bargain had not been made, how would things be different?

The next match was surprisingly more difficult, but no matter what I did I felt I was on the losing end, reacting instead of acting, my cautious planning gone out the window. I struggled to survive, but I lost. I made up my mind that the only option was to so thoroughly and absolutely crush my enemy in the final round that he would never recover. And this conviction proved to be my undoing... As the all powerful A.I. had proven itself a chump in the area of strategy, so soon would I do the same.

The match started ferociously on my end. The more calm, reserved strategy on the other end of the screen was not factoring into my thinking. I mashed on the button to increase the stack size, filling the screen with blocks, then went wild with the most insane, unholy combo I'd ever seen... Cries of surprise and alarm filled the room, it was obvious something truly devastating was building, but none could imagine the horror that would finally make it's appearance, as I'd gone mad with power, and the chain showed no sign of ending. Jason said "I don't even WANT to know what's going on over there.".

Finally, I think it was a X27 chain in the end... There was a gasp, as Jason had only three rows of blocks on the bottom of the screen, and the biggest garbage block I'd ever seen smashed into place, towering so high that its face could not be seen on the screen. I felt a moment of elation. I'd done it. There was no way he could win now... But I'd made a drastic error, and I knew when I saw the smirk on Jason's face that the chickens were going to come home to roost, surly with scotch and jacked up on speed. I'd given him just the ammunition he'd needed.

My screen began to fill with blocks, strategicly staggered so as to prevent the massive ass-kicking spree that had ensued on his side of the screen. I tried to keep up, but I'd blown it early. I learned a valuable lesson about strategy that day. I'd perceived what I thought was weakness, but like a naive young warrior engaging a seasoned ronin in battle, I'd darted in for the kill, not realizing that it was all part of the plan, only to be cut in two without a moment's hesitation.

My friend was so impressed with the outcome that I actually got my pack of cigarettes, even though I'd lost, and Jason actually got ahold of FF 7, after repeatedly reminding my friend of the wager. I believe that was the last time I played Tetris Attack, and so ends my story.
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SFIV for the Xbox 360... A new hope? 
Monday, March 2, 2009, 06:31 PM - Xbox
Posted by Caliga
Crisp, clean, and fresh like a new car, after years of waiting, Capcom decided to finally release their newest addition to the Street Fighter franchise.

Now, while I'll be the first to admit I'm a huge fan of these games, thats not to say that any game like this is without its downsides.

Utilizing their same fighting system for what seems the past decade, Capcom decided to keep the basics, and only perform the most simple of tweeks to it. IE: Polishing the response time, adding in a new Focus Attack function, and minimalistic things such as that. However, this is not to say the system is without its flaws.

The Xbox 360 version (Box art shown above), seems to have plenty of them. The combo chains.. They make you want to throw your controller at the TV, as some of them you can pull off, however the system will say, "Please do this and this and that and this to perform this combo!", blissfully unaware you've just done that. It's like playing a 60$ version of Simon Says. This does not make for good playing.

The next glaring flaw is the lack of replay value. Sure, you can kick the ever loving snot out of your friends and loved ones for days on end, but it gets old. Really old. Really fast. The bliss from waffle-stomping everyone on the street can only last for so long, before the game is retired to your shelf, and never touched again.


You have a total of twenty five playable characters, including a boss character that's Dhalsim-Guile-Ryu-Zangief-The Maytag Man all rolled into one. Not to mention after lord knows how many years, Capcom finally decided to play into EGM's old joke of Shenlong, this time by creating a character named Gouken, who is the master of Ryu and Ken, whom you can unlock by pretty much the same scenerio as the original April Fools joke said. (Which by the by, this character is just as, if not cheaper then Akuma/Gouki.. Says a lot, don't it?)

The lack of additional stages, and the ability to choose character music for some stages is a bit of an annoyance, but the visual designs more then make up for it. The character models are beautiful, and have their own appeal (Especially Dan, whose become a Mentos spokesman since his last appearance in the series.)

Personally, I like how smooth it feels. I grew up with Street Fighter II: Championship Edition on the SNES. So using the D-Pad on my 360 controller isn't any different then from those days. It seems though, that to get the most of the game you need to have an Arcade Stick.

The second big bonus to me is the animated cut-scenes, which gives the game more then your standard arcade brawler feel. Another bonus, and the last one for me, is the language options. The ability to choose English or Japanese Voices for the characters? And then set whichever character you want to have either of the two? That's a big bonus. More games should do that in my opinion.

Capcom has also announced that if the desire is there, there would be downloadable characters for the game, maybe even stages. But that still doesn't justify the price tag. Nor does it justify what we're getting now.

Final thoughts? All in all, while I may still end up purchasing this game? I'm still glad in the end I rented it first.
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My thoughts on Fallout 3 
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 11:40 PM - Xbox
Posted by fujikoma3x222
If sneaking across an irradiated wasteland in the hopes of getting a sneak attack critical on random mutated beasts, raiders, Talon Company Mercenaries, Enclave soldiers and super-mutants sounds like fun to you, buy this game now. I certainly enjoyed it, but as my friend Jason pointed out to me, some people just want to shoot things, and don't want to be bothered with exploring for hours and hours on end. If that sounds like you, you might seriously feel like you are wasting your time.

I'm a bit of a long-term strategy junkie, what sucks is that it doesn't spill over into my everyday life as well as it should, especially when I spend months glued to a game like this. Perhaps the most infuriating (if somewhat realistic) thing I've found is that if I try to arm and deploy all of my bottlecap, plasma and frag mines (which I've been stockpiling since the start of the game) into a giant mound in the hopes of firing a mini-nuke into it, I discovered that it explodes once the stack size and weight distribution becomes unstable, while I'm stacking the mines! Big time! My headphones almost blew my head off with what sounded like a crazed, colossal jaguar screaming into my face.

I have most of my fun roaming the wastes with a simple hunting rifle. It is a very versatile, cheap and aesthetically pleasing weapon, even if the magazine only holds 5 rounds. You're ready for just about anything but Mr. Gutsys, sentry bots, Deathclaws and that dude at the bottom of Fort Bannister, which you should carry pulse grenades and a dart gun for. Stay light, stay undetected.

Granted, you certainly won't be safe, which is why it's important to pick every lock you can, hack every terminal you find, take most of the speech tests you encounter, and generally convert the wastes to a lifeless field of diverse corpses in the hopes of attaining enough experience points to boost the skills and perks you need to survive. The bad news is: the enemies get stronger as you level up. The good news is that if you play your cards right, you end up with the better hand.
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Afro Samurai- Second impression 
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 11:36 PM - Xbox
Posted by fujikoma3x222
Once you begin to mesh and identify with the strange sort of world that Afro Samurai inhabits, you begin to appreciate the way the music goes with the visuals, among other things.

The controls aren't so bad, once you get to a high enough experience level you begin to get some wild combos and begin to understand the methods of making them work in the midst of a seemingly endless stream of bad dudes... And learning when to use over-focus to hack and slash mobs to pieces in a dashing whirlwind of madness.

There are interesting diversions along the way... The most important being to find the hidden clusters of crows in order to unlock the "Father's Legacy" moves and combos, which I never found useful, the most fun being "body part poker", in which you get a card for each head or limb that you chop off, the suit of which is determined by the enemy type for a maximum of three cards (I was quite happy with my Ninja Straight Flush, which unlocked the "No Limit Ninjas" achievement which is funny, think about it), and the most irritating being getting lost in the tower inhabited by the Empty Seven, which some of you more masochistic individuals might enjoy.

Perhaps what I like most is the environment, it really lends an element of beauty to what would otherwise be a sort of nasty bloodbath interspersed with evil three dimensional platform mazes (at first rather simple, but probably not as complicated as some other games of the same kind, I really don't have a lot of experience with these kinds of games) that involve paying attention and slightly maddening tests of reflexes and timing.

The environments, game-play, story and soundtrack come together nicely enough to outshine the awkwardness I felt playing it at first, which means I think it's worth renting at least (It was too short to advocate buying, though some of you might find some replay value in there somewhere). My one REAL bitch is that I think they should have attached a two-player death-match mode attached to the game, but perhaps they could be convinced to consider it.

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Early zombie warning system tested. 
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 09:44 PM - ZOMBIES!!
Posted by fujikoma3x222

For those of you who may be wondering about what kind of people live in Austin:


Here's to hoping they never catch the perpetrators... They probably won't try very hard, just make instructional videos on how to change the password, with hilarious results when some idiot forgets it and it isn't written down anywhere.
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Survival strategies for te Zombie apocalypse!! 
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 03:07 AM - ZOMBIES!!
Posted by fujikoma3x222
A surprising number of people that I've talked to over the course of my life have very serious plans in case of a massive zombie uprising... I was thinking a thread devoted to zombie apocalypse survival strategies might be an interesting way to pass the time, eventually make a list of possible strategies, which could possibly save the lives of you or your loved ones in unfortunate event of a zombie attack.

Strategies specific to a particular zombie type should note the cause of zombification, for example, whether they are the slower, shambling zombies, or the faster and more powerful zombies. causes of zombification include, but may not be limited to, sorcery, viral infection, bacterial infection, parasite (bugs, spiders, fungal, generally multi-cellular organisms (most fungi are multicellular)) infection, generally, anything that can be spread, although general catch-all strategies are preffered.

I like the idea of tubs filled with marbles or ball bearings... Pretty much puts them on the floor for a short period of time where you can take care of them at your leisure, just be careful not to slip on them yourself... Although, if the zombies don't pick their feet up even slightly, it could make things difficult, but if they charge full-tilt, then the fun begins.
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Doomsday version 1.9.0-beta-6  
Sunday, March 1, 2009, 01:31 AM - Rants, ZOMBIES!!, PC
Posted by marr0w
I am a huge fan of Doom. It came out at a time in which most people I knew couldn't afford a computer, and as such has always felt like it was some unobtainable goal for me. Since then I've become not only a bit of a fanboy, but a collector of various ports of the game and I constantly seek out media and information regarding the series going to the extreme of collecting and reading all the novels, the movie, and yes even the laughably bad comic book.

One of my favorite versions of Doom is the Doomsday Engine. An advanced port of the game made by the people at Doomsday HQ which allows for all sorts of upgrades and updates that with enough time and patience to set it up can easily rival most modern first person shooters while still retaining the feel of the original game.

When Snowberry came out (the engine's current front end) I was skeptical. But making good on it's promise it's allowed users to run the Doomsday Engine faster and easier with minimum fuss. However, since it's come out it feels like the quality of the engine itself has deteriorated. With the latest build support for external sound files seems to be completely shot to hell with a post on their own forums advising "DDay Beta 6 crashes with external music files."

Let's see what the official known bugs and issues thread has to say on the subject: "Status: Will not be fixed for Beta6. The Music code in beta5.x is completely broken and will only read Mus (the format the original Doom/Heretic/HeXen music tracks are in) files reliably. Any other format will very likely not work." Completely broken? Is this really something you want people to see in an UPDATE to the software you've been developing? Keep in mind that this is beta 6, not beta 5 making me wonder just how long the issue will go unresolved.

To make matters worse, upon installing it to my Vista laptop, I found an overwhelming drop in performance over the previous versions. In fact, it would seem to be so bad that the lag alone has me slamming into walls abruptly ON THE LOWEST SETTINGS MY COMPUTER WILL SUPPORT. On the whole, NOTHING seems to be updated at all in the newest release. I don't see any improvements over beta 5 and the already bad problems seem to have gotten WORSE. Only bitter, angry people who enjoy making others suffer would let out an UPDATE that didn't actually do anything but make matters worse. This is why people don't like using America Online.

Remember, newer isn't always better. Never update to a new version unless you have the previous one backed up. Hopefully the NEXT version might be worth all the hassles. At this rate, rolling back to a prior version might be a better step in the right direction...
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Afro Samurai- first impression 
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 08:21 PM - Xbox
Posted by fujikoma3x222
The intro cinematic scene caught my interest, but what followed after beginning a new game could best be described as awkward and too linear. Luckily by chapter 3 the stage design became more diverse and I actually stood a chance of blundering off a cliff somewhere, if only for brief periods of time. One thing I don't like about the way the battles are set up, strange barriers often prevent you from using your environment to its full potential. Speaking of the battle system, I am reminded of the newer ninja gaiden games, only without weapon diversity or upgrades. The only upgrades you get are from leveling up, and I don't believe your attacks actually get stronger from leveling, although it's hard to tell, as you aren't exactly greeted with specifics as to your gains when you achieve a new level.

I didn't encounter much of a challenge in battle until chapter 3, and then only during the boss battle... Once you get used to the rythm of the attacks, though, countering with a parry becomes easy, although the same could be said of any game. Still, by chapter 5 I am only mildly amused, and I wish I could smoke a fat bowl, which would probably render the game much deeper and profound, but sober I can only enjoy the game so much.

The music is ok, although at some points I'm like "Wow, that's really wicked!". Sometimes, though, the carpet clashes with the drapes (as far as the music is concerned). I understand it was based off of an animation, which likely renders it vulnerable to accidental sabotage from licensing agreements and deadlines (E.T., anyone?), but considering I think I'd seen adds years ago for the animation, I somehow doubt that was much of a problem.

The sound is alright, except for that part in chapter three where the Sword Master (Well duh, that's his name, not title... lol) starts the chapter with this old, gravelly voice, but once the action starts he sounds like a large black man with a severe case of roid rage. This was highly amusing, I just wish they'd made his appearance match his voice and scrapped the old man voice at the beginning (though I could have imagined the whole voice change thing).

The story is rather interesting, and I like the environments, but most of the characters are hard to get attached to, as most of them are either stone cold killers or die shortly after their introduction, Ninja Ninja is just a big shit-talker who hides when the violence starts, and Afro himself doesn't speak much... Hey, it costs big bucks to purchase Samuel L. Jackson's voice, although the stoic, silent type of main character does fit the story, and may or may not have been the character in the animation.

The controls are not good, but not terrible. To dash you have to push the left control stick in... Do I need to tell you how annoying it is to try and control a running character while pushing the control stick in?! It should have been LB or RB. The controls in Focus Mode (Which slows down time and allows you to perform perfect slices, as long as you aim them right and time them right, as well as deflect and split bullets) are hard to grasp, as you get so little focus time, and it takes a number of combos to build your focus back up, which isn't indicated by a gauge, but by the brightness of the tassle hanging from your sword.

I haven't gotten too far into the game, I'm guessing, but so far it leaves a lot to be desired, but certainly surprised me in certain areas, and like many games, will probably make up for its more awkward moments as I progress in the game.

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Left 4 Lol 
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 04:16 AM - ZOMBIES!!
Posted by fujikoma3x222
A short, slightly humorous cartoon about the AI in Left 4 Dead.

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Friday, February 27, 2009, 06:04 AM - General, ZOMBIES!!
Posted by fujikoma3x222
Zombies deserve their own section... At the moment, I am too drained to think of much else. I'll get back to this when I have some stuff written out.

I have some drunken, stoned out of my gourd rants I wrote down while pausing whatever game I was playing, but, I'll have to work a little harder than that. Some of those have absolutely nothing to do with what I was playing at the time, and a few are almost nonsensical... There is even one about the events leading up to the Tokugawa Shogunate, which was, oddly enough, inspired by Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon. I have yet to figure that one out.
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