Thursday, December 30, 2004

High altitude, low sportsmanship

Had some lads by to play some Halo 2. Played Oddball. Liked Oddball. Frustrated the hell out of my compatriots with the following strategy: when you're about to die with the ball, jump off a cliff. He who chases you must then go all the way back to the ball's spawn point. I suggest throwing the ball back towards them as you fall to your doom, just to mess with 'em. If ever there was justification for building a "give the finger" command in to a game, this is it. Imagine the joy of taking the ball into the bottomless chasm, leaving your enemy staring down at the bird.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Why, Santa?

As has been the tradition for many a long year, I received no games for Christmas. I did recieve a Madcats Xbox controller and a two-pack of wireless PS2 controllers, which were much appreciated. I spent the bulk of the Best Buy gift cert my brother got me on RotK like the trusting idiot I am.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Over the river

Still working my way through Tiger Woods. Eagling all the par fives in the game turned out to be quite the challenge, but the recent discovery of the "mulligans on" setting made it a LOT easier.

Also, after receiving a fierce whooping from a first-time player the other night, I have discovered that the cranking up the Luck stat makes the impossible plausible. You heard it here first.

Daddy's going to kill Ralphie.

In the post-coffee, pre-extended-family-arrival lull, is it inappropriate to pull out the Xbox? Between prepping din-din, brushing off the car, and watching A Christmas Story repeatedly, the fam is relatively occupied. I fear, though, that they are not occupied enough not to take serious umbrage to me continuing my battle against the Covenant. I can hear the whispers now: "I can't believe Alex is playing videogames. Why isn't he sitting in here with us, waiting in bored silence for something to happen?"

Sunday, December 12, 2004

= negative cred

Been hitting the links pretty hard for the last few days. On the last hole of an already supremely dominant game (14 under par, suckers), I was all the way on the other side of the heavily slanted green. I measured it out best I could and putted, prepared to putt again. But no. The ball made a beautiful curve and dropped quietly into the hole. Just then, I was distracted by music and women, and missed my chance to save the replay. As screen after screen of accolades for broken records came up, all I could do was bemoan the loss of what is sure to be my career's greatest shot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Eagle? Dormie? No idea.

The latest addition to the cheap-assed gamer's collection is EA's Tiger Woods 2003. Having never played any other golf games, unless you count some denomination of Golden Tee, a four-hole free demo I downloaded for my PDA, or an old math game for the C64, I can't really tell you if there is/are more/better courses/players/equipment, and having never played real-world golf I can't make any comparison to actual experience, but I can tell you it's grand fun. The Samurai Jack mini-cutscenes that play when you hit a long drive are worth it in and of themselves.

I'll keep seeking.

From the Dissendium forums:

"You're likely to need at least 32mb of Video RAM in order to play Quidditch 3D."

Dang it!

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Beaters of the world, unite!

Looks like I might be a step closer to playing a worthwhile Quidditch game., a Harry Potter fansite, is in the midst of developing a 3d quidditch game for free download, and promises it will be available "sooner than you think". This strikes me as the ideal situation -- a free game conceived and implemented by serious HP geeks with no concern for marketability. The way I bludge on you will be unorthodox.

Monday, November 29, 2004

They call me the seeker.

Watched the latest Harry Potter last night. Good god damn does Quidditch get me going. So much so that I rented that Quidditch: World Cup game a while back. You know what? Not so good. One would think making a game with rules as simple as Quidditch would be easy peasy, and I still maintain that it could be great game if made properly. The developers seemed to focus a lot more on the funky, kid-pandering graphics than on gameplay. A lot of precious geek time is spent watching little cutscenes of special unblockable moves, which were pretty cool but very repetitive. You can't end a game without catching the snitch, but some weird combination of events have to take place for the snitch to be released, which took me a while to figure out.

Now, if we could get the guys who made ESPN NHL 2K5 to make the next Quidditch game, we'd be getting somewhere.

Monday, November 22, 2004

No one to stop me this time.

Bad day today. Real bad. So what does one do to relax in a case like this? Dark Side Therapy, babies. Throw in KOTOF'NR, head to Korriban, and show those bitches why they call me "Dark Lord". People are going to die.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

It's raining rubber.

In an attempt to unlock some gustav in ESPN NHL 2k5, I have set the North America All-Stars against Kazakhstan and set all the sliders in all the right directions. The score is currently 33 to 0, and I haven't touched the controller in several minutes. If you thought Sergei Gonchar couldn't score six goals in a game, you were wrong.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

My record is $3.

Boy did I get it last night. At a party with some friends, I revealed the nature of my new PC and was met with revulsion and disrespect. While this was deserved, I felt the need to defend myself by stating quite clearly that I am done with PC gaming. From here on out, it's either PC classics or console titles. I hold the singular claim of being the cheapest gamer out there (I've had the PS2 for several years now and have never once paid full price for a game) and PC gaming just ain't cheap. Buying a game-worthy rig and keeping up with upgrades hits the wallet too hard.

I've paid my dues, and am moving on to easier and cheaper things.

Friday, November 19, 2004


I went through the agony of downloading a couple things from Fileplanet the other night. One was the Tron 2.0 demo, which upon install came up with an "are you joking? Seriously, dude. Come on." error, mocking my lack of respectable videocard. Looks like I'll be waiting for the X-box version. What do you say, Byte? I thought you'd say that.

The other file was a video of the blitzball action in FFX-2. Eff that ess. If I wanted to put the controller on the floor and watch as figures throw balls at each other, I'd watch basketball.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Nav was curious.

So, I checked out the hydroball mod for JK2. I have issues with it.

#1 - No bot support. When I loaded up the map and threw a few bots in, they tried to kill each other at the spawn points outside of the arena instead of playing. At a couple points, one of them wandered into the tank and flopped around, unable to figure out the throw-the-ball-into-the-goal strategy. So, if I want to play, I need to find a multiplayer server. This is a dangerous game indeed, as people seem to go completely loco when online. Either that, or as people discuss their lives instead of playing the game we're all here to play, it comes out that they're twelve. I did try to find a server, but it looks like the hydroball scene has moved to Jedi Academy.

#2 - It's only barely blitzball. There's no stopping and picking your action by the numbers, just swimming around. Pbttthtt. If I can't use a venom pass, I can't be bothered.

So, looks like I'll have to borrow Greg's copy of JA and go from there. Again with the keeping you posted.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Just call me Nav.

Greg said we could talk about videogames here. It's on.

I just learned Final Fantasy X-2 has blitzball. Why didn't anybody tell me? Everyone knows I'm the biggest blitzer on the Eastern seaboard. Is it that the game sucks? I mean, that's what I would have to assume. I played a demo of it a while back, and the whole Barbie aspect didn't sit well with me. Gun Barbie. Sword Barbie. Scarf Barbie. No thanks.

I guess the new blitzball doesn't allow you to actually control the players, only act as owner and manager of the team. Screw that. I mean, drafting was one of the cool parts about the FFX version, but come on. I want to be in on the action.

I seem to remember something about a Hydroball mod for JK2. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

If I'm not one myself.

Dude. It's here. The biggest Geek Day since the holiday's inception. Firefox and Halo 2 on the same day.

A brief history. The Geek Day tradition started long ago with the release of the Star Wars: Episode I trailer online. This event was the first recorded example of a date with attributes we now associate with Geek Day. Work is cut, internet usage spikes, and the IT guys are all abuzz. Modern historians state that the combination of the availability of high-speed internet access and genius marketing decisions made a for heady cocktail the geeks of the world were all too ready to try. Geek Day has been observed recently with midnight vigils at Best Buy, marking the release of Doom III and the extended editions of Lord of the Rings.

November 9th, 2004 marks the first full release of Firefox, the geek's choice of web browser. It's safe, fast, and easy; it's not well-known to non-geeks, thus granting uber-nerd status to those that use it; it's not by Microsoft. The kids are loving it. A pre-release version has been available for a while, but today's the day to sport your Mozilla polo shirt and celebrate. The website was frickin' mobbed this morning.

Also, Halo 2, the highly hyped sequel to one of the most successful games in recent memory, was released at midnight. There exists no decent reason for it to be anything short of unspeakably good.

Now that I've downloaded Firefox 1.0 and posted, I'm off to play Halo 2. The geek priests would be pleased with my observance rituals.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Not angelic at all

Somehow, this post is not going to be about the Red Sox. It's not going to be about memories of Boggs and the Rocket from my childhood, about the unparalleled quality of the hotdogs at Fenway, or about the propriety of breaking a curse during a lunar eclipse. No, it's going to be about competition of a completely different, if not totally opposite, kind.

I have this problem with smack-talk. I mean "problem" as used in "drinking problem", referring to an inability to resist which leads to widespread issues in one's life. While I have yet to miss work due to smack-talk or start talking smack first thing when I wake up, I fear for my future.

Now, at this point one might ask "this smack, what do you talk it about?". The answer comes as a single word: Halo. Developed by Bungie, distributed by Microsoft, devoured by the American videogame-playing populace, this title is the new touchstone for games where you shoot your friends again and again. This is where my smack-talk has reached its finest. I don't mean "fine" as in "of high quality", while that is certainly the case. I mean "fine" as in "very small in size, weight, or thickness". The smack-talk becomes so fine it infiltrates your entire surroundings. It's in your hair, in the wrinkles in your clothes. That tickling in your nostrils? It's my smack-talk.

This has gotten me into trouble from time to time. Not bar-fight trouble, as I assume is obvious, but eternal-geek-shame trouble. After all this tooting of one's own horn, one had better be able to put up some big numbers. Fortunately for me, I am.

Just yesterday a friend told me his roommate and another friend had been hitting the Halo pretty hard recently. I promptly instructed him to tell them to call me next time they fire it up so I could show those ladies how the game is played. I may or may not have stated that the way I pistol-whip them will be unorthodox. Today I received the obligatory "heard you were talking smack" email, confirming that a scrimmage would be arranged, and that right quick. Now the quandary -- can I beat these guys? I mean, they're pretty sharp.

I feel confident. After all, I just came out of spring training; I stayed at my brothers place a couple weekends ago. I walked in, and five guys were Haloing it up. And these dudes are turbo-geeks in the way a tsunami is a turbo-ripple. Where do you find a bunch of grown men getting together for some good-natured competition, and where the beer should be only Mountain Dew is found? Where do you see not one, but two Xboxes with the full cast of Red vs. Blue represented? Where do people get verbally abusive when someone brings up the works of Lovecraft, because they're so tired of it being worked into some dice-and-paper game? My brother's apartment, that's where. And thus, where does one go to hone the mad Halo skills? I think you know. If I could hold my own there, I can talk as much smack as I damn well please.

Note: I almost made it five whole days without talking about videogames. Stand in awe.