Saturday, November 21, 2009

Black Friday Mayhem! Thanksgiving Shopping Havoc!

Well happy turkey week everyone!

It will be a little different this year, as I work both Thanksgiving, and the day after. My deals will have to come on saturday it seems, unless my wife is willing to brave that road herself. My guess is not. Saturday though, we may brave the shopping madness and hopefully score some sweet deals.

I am looking forward to relaxing a bit, drinking some nice wine, having some ham and turkey, and sweet 'tater pie! ....mmmmmmm....pie....

This will be the second year shopping on black Friday/Saturday, so we are going to arm ourselves accordingly. We have a double stroller for baby and toddler, equiped with an ample supply of snacks, diapers, toys, to (hopefully) curtail the inevitable tantrum throughout the business. We have a list of the family members and a rough idea of a budget to work with. I have my best gel-inlaid sneakers and probably will strap on a powerful set of elbow and knee pads. Hey! It's a JUNGLE out there!

I will take no prisoners.

I fear for the worst, and expect that it will be bumper to bumper roads, and near-misses in the parking lots that day. Good thing we have decent insurance!

"i said that was MY spot!"

A funny thing came up when I was thinking of what I wanted to get for my wife for x-mas. Exactly how would I spy something, get it in our cart, pay for it, and get it into our car without her noticing? I can't. So I think we will have to have two separate carts, I may have to force her to run away until I get something hidden amongst all the kiddy toys etc. or maybe I just jot the items down in a little notepad and when WE have gotten everything for everyone else, I have her check out and go through the cashier and to the car, then I run around like a mad chicken and speed shop my wifes gifts??
Will that work do you think?? Does anyone have a better idea?

I will leave it at that for now, did I mention yet that I luv the holidays?

-And just so I didn't completely waste your time reading excerpts from my personal life, here's a few links to get you on your way. I'm sure they will be happy I led you there. (my personal fav) (my fav local store) (for you Oregonian/Washingtonians) (if u really have to..ugh) (for that angle-grinding,circular sawing,super-sanding, Makita-drilling, Tim Allen-worshiping dude on your list)

-and last but not least! (the most important one for this holiday season methinks)


Friday, November 20, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 -more controversy

-or "PC Gamer Vs. Console Gamer"

I can't help to comment on the endless flamming battles [heated disccusions] between console gamers and PC gamers. And congrats Activision/InfinityWard, you've ignited yet another one with your latest big money release!

Issue: PC gamers are upset that another AAA title has been ported to the PC with the same pricetag as the usually 10 dollars-more-expensive console version, but with functions that we have come to feel the norm strikingly ommited. Notably a buggy, un-efficient peer-to-peer style server match-making system instead of the PC proven and flexible dedicated server option. Another complaint is the locking of the game down from modding or customizing in any way-effectively cutting the shelf life of this game by years!

Here is my point-of-view:

To all those that complain that all of us PC gamer 'whiners' have a sense of  "Entitlement" to expecting all of the stripped out/PC friendly features in AAA FPS (First Person Shooters for you noobs) titles, and that the price for these dumbed down quick-and-dirty console-ports shouldn't be even MORE expensive than a typical 'made-for-PC first' game is.

They are missing the point. It's not entitlement, that we pc gamers feel like this. It’s a sense of what is possible/capable, what we’re USED to and what has been for many many years now in most AAA titles. Is it entitlement for you to feel you want your left arm back, after it was taken from you??

The ability to mod, as well as run player-owned servers etc, choose the type of game, the map, the amount of players, and the lowest ping by OUR choice is as necessary to playing online shooters as a bag of Doritos is to a console gamer.

To use the analogy from a similar discussion at WIRED here, It's not entitlement, when historically certain Mercedes models HAVE come with these features, at Corrola prices, but now to be sold a Corrola, at a Mercede’s Price. I’m sorry, but no matter how pretty and engaging, I’m not spending 59.99 on this game, when I can play Battlefield 2142 or 2/Left4Dead/Counter-Strike/ArmaII/TeamFortress2 etc. for a THIRD of the cost -by highly RESPECTED developers.

It's not that Infinity Ward itself is necessarily the ones to blame, as i've said before, it's often the bean-counting publishers that force a product out the door unfinished, or in a handicapped and buggy state. Its just that developers that survey, read feedback [and sometimes, <gasp> solicit feedback] like Valve or Creative Assembly have a fiecely strong, loyal, as well as vocal fanbase. There are always exceptions...(Ahem...Left4dead 2).

It boils down to catering to the fans, the gamers. This is a clear case of an unfortunately growing trend of publishers/developers mixing and matching their products intended platforms, not deciding for which they are programming for, or worse, making a one-size pisses-off-all product. As far as I’ve seen, it’s because of the inane console gamers’ acceptance of spending 60 dollars on a dumbed down game, that us PC gamers get the shoveled over P.O.S. that’s left over...sometimes months later! They (PS3/XBOX owners) are so much more PROFITABLE to them!!

...Just sayin'

Friday, November 13, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released <-a 10 second review->

So it seems, according to an internal Activision estimate, Modern Warfare 2 raked in an astonishing $310 million within the first 24 hours in North America and the UK alone, effectively making it the most successful launch in history! Wow.

Pros: -Graphics are awesome
-New perks/rewards
-New weapons
-Single Player seems really good
-Special Ops missions

Cons: NO LEANING?!?!?! Man I really miss leaning....what a disappointment.
Also, the matchmaking is Xcrap-tastic. I prefer to pick a server I get a good ping on myself. Most games I have been placed into so far by IWNET I've had to leave cuz of ping problems. Being at the mercy of the Peer-to-Peer server programming takes away a lot of the control over low ping games. If they stick with IWNET matchmaking, they need to make sure you don't get put in a server you lag out on.
Other Thoughts: I really hope they can add lean back in a patch. If I could just lean it would make multiplayer more tolerable. I dont know how many times getting a shot off boils down to an extra few inches to the left or right for LoS on the enemy. Who moves their body in a perfectly vertical position at all times anyway? Who does this in combat? 

Playing the heck out of the previous Modern Warfare, I can tell you that the combat and visual intensity will leave you breathless. The only game i've ever played where a mission closes, and I literally have to push my keyboard away, heave a sigh of relief, take a swig of replenishing Ale, and do a Hail Mary before clicking the dreaded "Continue".   Enjoy.