Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Xbox 360: Dead Rising Review

I have not really done a full review on a 360 game, but I felt this one needed to be rated - Dead Rising for the XBox 360. I rented this game, since I was given a gift card for Christmas and this was one of the games that I was thinking about buying. I am sure glad that I did not actually spend my own money on this game.

You are playing a photojournalist that has a "hot tip" of something strange going on in this small town. You fly over snapping pictures of some really strange shit. People attacking other people, trying to fly off of a building (no so well), and burning from an exploding gas station. You land on top of the mall, where you begin the actual game.

Throughout the game, you try to find out what the hell is going on and how did these zombies get here??? There are mini missions, surrounded around the main objective, mostly search and rescue people that are stranded inside this mall. Oh, yeah, and take pictures to document what is going on.

The AI is truly STUPID!!! You gather people for them to follow you. But, they do not help, they just stand there, while you are trying to make your way to a door or inside a hallway. I had to constantly go back and help get the zombies off the person I was trying to rescue. I did have this one “kid” try and help, he had a gun, was not sure how to use it, but he sure had fun shooting me in the back!!! Not helping there son!

The graphics and effects were really quite good. The zombies were oozing and dripping with blood. There was a lot of blood on the floor, especially when you get to hit them with an electric guitar or saw them in half with a chainsaw.

That brings me to weapons. Everything that you can think of could be used as a weapon. Some were less effective than others. I mean, what is a cardboard box going to do to a mindless zombie, besides piss it off.

The only redeeming value I found was killing zombies. Much like Doom, it is a hack and slash game, if that is all you are looking for… KILLING!!!

Bottom line, Don’t waste your time or your money! It is not worth the price I paid for it..

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Computer Tech Support

This ought to make you feel better about your computer skills! If you skip any, you have to read the last one! Unbelievable, but supposedly all true!!!!

1. Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?
Female customer: A white one...

2. Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Tech support: Have you tried pushing the Button?
Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.
Tech support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Customer: No, wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... sorry....

3. Tech support: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?

4. Tech support: Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer: Hello... I can't print.
Tech support: Would you click on "start" for me and...
Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates.

5. Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it...

6. Customer: I have problems printing in red...
Tech support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah....................thank you.

7. Tech support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.

8. Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back
Customer:! OK
Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes
Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work...

9. Tech support: Your password is the small letter "a" as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?

10. Customer: can't get on the Internet.
Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five stars.

11. Tech support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Tech support: That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer.

12. Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.

13. Tech support: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Tech support: OK, and what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?

14. A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
Tech support: Are you running it under windows?
Customer: "No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine."

And last but not least...

15. Tech support: "Okay Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter "P" to bring up the Program Manager"
Customer: I don't have a P.
Tech support: On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech support: "P".....on your keyboard, Bob.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A response to a post on Slashdot.

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog takes a look at the numbers for last year, and makes an interesting observation: hardcore gamers are probably not the future. Specifically, last year's videogame sales numbers show a huge trend in the adoption of mass-market licensed games. We've also previously discussed the extreme popularity of casual games. Despite Gears of War selling around the same amount as Cars (both around 2 million units), the cost in time and money to create Gears was substantially greater than the cost to create the Pixar-licensed title. The result?

"As growth continues, we're bound to see some substantial changes. As it stands, hardcore gamers are still a pivotal purchasing force in the games market: most of the top ten titles were what I would consider "hardcore" games. However, the trend away from the hardcore and towards the casual is becoming increasingly more predominant. We've talked quite a bit lately about the growing demand and response for casual games, and when coupled with the shocking sales of licensed products, I'm left wondering whether or not the number of hardcore gamers is dwindling."
- http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/13/1754223&from=rss

After reading this from Slashdot, I began to question where I fit in the whole gaming world. I used to consider myself as a hard-core gamer, but not these days. Yes, my blood begins to teem when I hear news on Halo 3… But… Let’s take a look at when I play a game…

I get home after a full day of work, no time there to play games, and just plain tired... Now that I have kids, I can not play a game like Gears of War when the kids are awake. It is a totally gory, head smashing, blood-curdling game that is really not appropriate for the young to play, let-alone watch. So, I have to save that until after the kids go to bed. Besides, when I get home, the girls want to play with Daddy and not have Daddy play Xbox and ignore them. Weekends are shot, there is always something going on with the girls. And then there is the “Honey-do” list. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my wife gets really irritated if I neglect the chores and just play Xbox. So, keep the wife happy, (and me from sleeping on the couch) - do the list…

Then there is the money aspect. At $60 a pop… That is a lot of coin to shell out on a game that may or may not be any good. Yes, there are a few games that I am waiting to come down in price before I buy. Games like Rainbow Six, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty 3. However, I am not going to spend $60 on a game like Cars. That is just not going to happen. Besides, at the rate of games coming out for the Xbox 360, it seems like there is a new game every month. Lots of $$$ going out!

So, let’s recap… When do I get to play games? That would be when the kids are not awake and assuming that there is no “Honey-do”s to do. Not much time at all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A little project…

Liz and I decided that we could not take the toilet leaking in the bathroom any more. So, we took out the toilet and noticed that the floor is a bit spongy. When we surveyed the damage, it was far greater than first expected. I am not too proud not to ask for help, so I enlisted my friend Kieth to help. Here is a guy that, more or less, rebuilt his house. This guy came in, while Liz, the girls, and I were at swimming class, did all of the demolition work. I mean shut of the water, took out the floor, sub-floor and sink, all by himself. “What a guy!” Now, I should mention that the beams are not 12” or 18” from center, they are 4 feet from center. So, we have to reinforce the new section of floor that we are putting in. So, after several broken drill bits and stripped screws later, Keith managed to put in 2 cross beams. He also took time on his way home after work on several nights to stop by and do additional work on the floor. He is a real friend!

Last night, I put one more cross section, with only one more to go. Doing it by yourself sucks, but it is manageable. I did have to break out the small laser leveler and another drill bit. :p There is still one more beam that needs to go in, before the floor can be put on top. It is slow going, but going to be nice when it is all done. I think that Liz has finally decided on fixtures at this point and color scheme.