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Bill Loguidice
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Yesterday - Dead Rising

Though it's now considered an old game (a few years old now), as mentioned earlier, I decided to rent "Dead Rising" from GameFly for the Xbox 360. I was never particularly impressed by the demo, where you're essentially placed in the mall to hack away at all the zombies. The big "gimmick" with the game is that you can use tons of environmental objects to kill the zombies, be it a bench, toolbox, golf club, whatever. Basically anything lying around in the mall (and it's a typical mall, with all the usual stores). Objects also all react realistically, right down to soccer balls you can kick. What the demo failed to convey was the tremendous depth the game has as an action adventure. I even loved the photo taking aspects, particularly in the beginning when you're being flown in by chopper! No need for me to go on because there are tons of reviews online and most already know how great the game is (again, this game is old in relative terms), but I highly recommend the game to ANYONE. Just ignore the demo and go straight for the game!

I wish this was one that you could keep through GameFly, but since it's so old, new it's only $20, so I think I'll jump at that.

By the way, Tropic Thunder was good, but not great. Funny, but not laugh hysterically non-stop funny. A good film to see, but not a must see. I loved in the extras though the bit they did for the MTV movie awards. Classic stuff there!

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
360 XNE trying out and a couple of games

Today I am trying out a couple of 360 games and test out the new XNE features. I've discovered that my 22" widescreen computer-monitor's native resolution (1680x1050) is now supported on the VGA cable which finally gives me the correct aspect-ratio on a 16:10 monitor. Great move. Great sharp image quality which is quite a bit better than my HDReady TV set which is capable of 720p and 1080i albeit with a larger 32" screen.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Long weekend, short on gaming.

The holiday weekend gave me some time to do the things I wanted to do without distraction (everyone I know was away visiting family). "Aaaaahhhh," I thought to myself... a weekend to myself, pure gaming bliss!

And what did I do? Nothing, really.... Surprisingly, I actually felt a bit empty. I played a few freeware games and watched a couple of movies. Anyhow, about the games....

I looked forward to getting back into "Baldur's Gate." I booted up "Baldur's Gate," but after less than an hour, I wasn't feeling it. It felt like a "slog." I haven't played it since last weekend, and I couldn't get back into it.

No creative fires were burning, so I sought out some freeware games. I found some pretty interesting ones.

I found a freeware game called Synaesthete, an experimental game created by students of the Digipen Institute. Basically, it's an isometric "Robotron" type game mixed with a music rhythm game (i.e. Dance Dance Revolution). Instead of firing your enemies, you must fire to the "beat" of the music. Playing the game, which has an effective techno/house-style soundtrack and trippy 3D graphics, almost makes one feel like they're "playing" a Eurodemo! I beat the game in about an hour (on easy mode).

I'm not sure "Synaesthete" really works as a game, even though it's a very interesting concept and well-programmed. Trying to maneuver your character while hitting "beat" buttons was a bit too much for my brain to deal with. It's still worth checking out... maybe the basic concept can be improved and made into a more humanly-graspable game.

Then I played two "mouse gesture" games, both with a similar underlying game mechanic, but very different in execution!

The first game was called Ocular Ink, a very slick freeware game that I recommend highly. It's hard to describe: you are a rolling "eyeball" who must save the land.... ah, heck, I'm not even going to try to describe the weird premise (read the link!). Basically, it is an overhead, 3D, cel-shaded action game with some similarities to "Legend of Zelda," but more fun. The "mouse gestures" is the innovation; instead of shooting your enemies, you must use your paintbrush to "paint" your way through the game. That's where the "ink" in "Ocular Ink" comes in: you need "ink" to paint! You can use your paintbrush to "drag" objects into enemies (or enemies into objects!) to destroy them, or you can "paint" secret spell symbols to do damage!

The graphics and gameplay in Ocular Ink are excellent. The only downfall is the lack of an in-game musical soundtrack, but it's not enough to detract from the fun! It took me most of the day to beat this game, but it was all fun!

The other "mouse gesture" game was called Chalk, a simple name for a rather innovative game! "Chalk" applies the "mouse gesture" concept to scrolling shooters. Instead of shooting at your enemies, you draw, using your "chalk", on the screen in various ways to defeat them. You can either draw a line to block shots, draw between two or more objects to destroy them, or draw between a bullet an an enemy to send the bullet back to the enemy to destroy it. There's a bit more, but this is a short summary. I found the frenetic pace a bit too much for me; trying to draw lines on the screen, instead of blasting the enemies, was a bit much for me. The game is simple but slickly programmed (in Multimedia Fusion), so I guess I can recommend it as a "pastime" game.

Ok, here's the rankings: #1) Ocular Ink. #2) Tie between "Chalk" and "Synaesthete," depending on your mood. Occular Ink is a great and very playable freeware game, the other two experiments that may or may not work for you. All three are well worth checking out, though.

(As for the movies I watched: "Star Wars: Clone Wars" was better than I expected, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a serious SW geek, and "Baby Mama," which I unexpectedly really enjoyed!)

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Bill Loguidice
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Yesterday - Commando 3 and Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II, etc.

Nothing special. I got the wife to try Wolf of the Battlefied: Commando 3 for the PS3 since I narrowed that down as one of the $5 games worth buying, but since she has aching hands from it (I don't see how, since it's a dual analog stick game), I'm not going to bother. I'd rather just get it on the Xbox 360 and will just wait it for it to go on sale on that at some point. The nice feature in any version of the game is that it offers up to three player co-op either online or offline.

We also played much further into Section II (of I think III total) of Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II for the PS2 running on a PS3. It's a heck of a long game and very ambitious, with lots of different visual looks and things to do. It's probably among the best action RPGs I've played, and I've played nearly all of them. I don't think it did as well commercially as the previous game, but the developers certainly didn't skimp on the effort. The only thing I have mixed feelings on are the unlimited arrows since arrow management was a critical component of previous/other games of the type. Otherwise, there's not much I would change about it and I highly recommend it to fans of the genre.

I wanted to finish restoring my Hero Jr robot last night since my daughters really like robots and got a kick out of some Wall-E previews, but I didn't get a chance to do it.

I'm also trying to finish off edits for the Vintage Games book, which are due December 3rd. Matt and I already made good progress on this and may be able to finish by tomorrow.

Later on, one way or the other, I'll be playing Dead Rising from Capcom for the 360, which I got from GameFly. I want to send it back tomorrow. Hopefully I can score some achievements and decide if I'll want to get the full game at some point in the future.

I also scored Civilization Revolution for the Xbox 360 from GameFly, which I got with discounts for around $22. It should arrive some time next week. I have the game on the Nintendo DS and love it, and wanted one of the console versions once the price was right. Well, the price was finally right. To my Civilization fan boy eyes, these are as much Civilization as the computer versions (even the Nintendo DS one!), but your mileage may vary. I just love any Civilization game, though...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Other distractions

At the moment the main games I am playing, as you know, are Natuk and Fallout 3.

However, I also have two games, one of which I play for some unwinding action, the other of which I have mucked about with and is on hold to start once I finish one of the two main games.

The unwinder is Mount and Blade
http://www.taleworlds.com/

It is a fun game that unfortunately did not include its full potential. However, the modding scene is large and all sorts of new and interesting mods come online from time to time. The premise is that you are a new traveller to the land of Calradia, and you can make your fortune or gain power through various means such as trading, mercenary or joining up with a faction lord and going to war. The mounted combat is excellent especially being a horse archer. I recommend anyone take a look and play the demo.

The other game is actually a mod. A mod for Dungeon Siege.

I personally loathe Dungeon Siege and cannot stand other, similar style hack and slash RPG's (only one I ever enjoyed was Diablo 1), however this mod, while retaining the somewhat stupid combat system of DS, has lots of roleplaying involved. Why? Because it is a remake in a new engine of Ultima 5, with new music, extra quests and made by fanatical fans with massive attention to detail. Ultima 5 Lazarus...http://lazarus.planetdungeonsiege.gamespy.com/

It is worth buying a crap game to play this. Go and take a look.

Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
I'm playing Enigmo on the

I'm playing Enigmo on the iPod touch. I hoped it would be the kind of game that relaxes you, and so far, it is working nicely.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Today's Activities

The day is not over, but with both Microsoft and Sony offering several of their network titles for roughly $5 each through this weekend, I jumped at the chance to pick up a few additional games. On the 360, I picked up Arkadian Warriors and Boogie Bunnies. I wanted the golf game, but since I have Hot Shots on the PS3, I figured why bother just because it's $5? I'll probably regret that. Anyway, Arkadian Warriors is like "Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance" or "Champions of Norrath" lite, as it were put through a cutesy anime filter and simplified. Good for two player dungeon crawling with the wife or online though, especially at $5. Boogie Bunnies is a cutesy and very fun match the color type of action puzzler. The two player simultaneous mode is kind of tough as you can't pass the player you're playing with, so it takes some real coordination. Luckily I got some achievements in both to finally push my gamer score past 2500 (pathetic considering I have 75 Xbox 360 games now; if it wasn't for maxing out Fight Night Round 3 with 1000 Achievement points, it would be truly pathetic). Anyway, the only other cheap game I considered that I didn't already have was Catan, but then we don't play the other board games, so I figured why waste the money?

As for the PS3, I'm considering Echochrome, a type of M.C. Escher puzzler, PixelJunk Eden, a trippy jumping game, and Wolf of the Battlefied Commando 3, a modern update of the arcade classic that supports simultaneous play. Though I'm intrigued and on the fence about the other two, I may just get Commando 3 for the $5. I'll have to see as I am trying to exhibit some self control here. It's tough though!

Also, Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 came from GameFly today, which I'll have to play for fun and to get a few achievements for (I enjoyed the demo and have been on the fence about actually buying the thing). Also, Tropic Thunder from NetFlix on BluRay arrived. My sister claims it's the funniest movie she's ever seen, so the wife and I are anxious to finally see it (I love the previews and concept).

We'll see if I get to anything else today/tonight...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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yakumo9275
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Joined: 12/26/2006
The difference between the

The difference between the NES and the PSP Remake is HUGE. They did a lot of interface streamlining (IE: You can buy/sell in multiples now... no more buy 1.. only 98 more to buy... buy 1.. only 97 more to go..) and other changes. You can save anywhere (which in an emu probably does not matter, as opposed to real hardware).

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
FF1 was an exercise in

FF1 was an exercise in patience, nothing more. I played it on a NES emulator with warp speed, warping through all the random battles--and even then it took forever. I wouldn't recommend it at all outside of historical curiosity.

I'm currently stalled in FFIV on the DS as well. So f'n boring. I really don't understand how or why people get so obsessed with these games. Was it just lack of knowledge that there was better stuff out there?

FFVII really struck a chord, though, and one of these days I will get around to finishing it. :)

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MazinKaesar
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Joined: 03/14/2008
uhm...

Retro: sloowly playing Might & Magic II for Amiga (WinUAE), Shadow of the Comet on DosBox
Actual: Devil May Cry 4 & Dead Space on PC. I am crying as Silent Hill Homecoming does not work on my PC (it does not support Radeon X series, I have a X1950 Pro)
---
My avatar? Just an abstract of my life ^^

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