Monday, May 30, 2005

High Speed Downloden

So I finally have my ADSL connected, I am truly in my element now. Damn it's nice to have a decent internet connection at home. I don't know if I mentioned it but I ended up going with TPG, however because of where I live I had limited choice of plans. So I ended up getting the 1.5Mbps with 50Gig's. It's quick and works a treat, so I'm happy.

Since I've also now got a wireless router I can get the updates for PSP games much easier, I just check out Wipeout Pure and Gamma Pack 2 was available, so I grabbed that. It came out a week or so ago, but I didn't hear much about it, probably because it for the Japanese version. Anyway the pack includes: Sebenco Peak, Feisar Skin and Yan Uber Ship. I Feisar Skin is light Blue with yellow highlights, it's not bad looking and a nice chance. The Yan Uber Ship looks very evil, and is quite good, it's main asset being that it has top handling. The new Sabenco Peak track is quite interesting, it's very twisty and has quite a few peaks and dips. Though I only played through it once, so I really need to try it out again. The update overall was just under 5 megs.

Looking on the Japanese Wipeout Pure site, there seems to be updates for the game every month which is quite cool. At least they are supporting the game and putting some effort into it.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Namco X Capcom

I;ve just been thinking about Namco X Capcom, which incidentally has just been released in Japan. What go me thinking about it is apart from it being a game that I am looking forward too, is an article over at Gamespot regarding it. They've posted some impressions which provide some detail about how the games plays and such. It's nice to see that it differs from standard SRPG's in that it adopts a more tradition turn based system.

After getting into SRPG's thanks to Nippon Ichi, I was particularly interested in an offering from the likes of Namco and Capcom. With so many characters at their disposal, how could something like that not be exciting. So after reading the preview from Gamespot I'm a little disappointed to find that, with so much text and voice acting in the game, there may be a slim chance of it coming to the West.

Now I know that's total speculation, but they are a couple of good points. However with the popularity of SRPG's now, Namco (the publisher) would be crazy no to publish it in the West, and hey the took a gamble with Katamari and that sure paid off. However Capcom and Namco are both quite good when it comes to releasing titles in the US, they will localise most things. Though both companies have screwed PAL gamers, so it then begs the question even if Namco X Capcom gets a US release, will it then get a PAL release?

Either way, I'll may pick up the Japanese release if a US/PAL version isn't in the works, even though I will understand nothing that's going on. If you haven't done so check out some of the trailers for this game, it does after all look as the kids today would say "teh shiznit".

Friday, May 27, 2005


It's kind of strange this time of year, there really isn't a great deal of anything being released. Even looking at the release lists there isn't that much I'm really interested in, mainly just Tekken 5 but that's still a month or two away.

At the moment I'm thinking about checking out some of the PC games I haven't had a chance to experience yet. Things like Doom 3, FarCry and what ever else takes my fancy.

I played a bit of Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 the other night, and while I like the combination of FPS and tactical strategy that it combines, it just annoyed me in too man other areas to really bother with it. The main issue I have with the game is it's while "realistic" aiming model. While I like games to be realistic, I also like them to be playable and fun.

The other thing is that the game play is really repetitive and the environments are pretty much very similar. I know most FPS can be like this, but this game just seems to be, suppress the enemy, flank and kill said enemies. Just not my cup o' tea.

Still waiting for my ADSL to become active, the current status is "Waiting for Telstra to Activate service". I don't have much against Telstra, but you know they aren't the fastest to get things done.

Also I found a great site this week called "I am a Japanese School Teacher". It's about a black guy who moved to Japan and now teaches English in Japanese schools. He writes his experiences up in such a humours and entertaining way that I haven't laughed out loud so much for a long time. If your into it read though the whole lot because I promise you it only get funnier and stranger as it goes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Anime Get!

Forgot to mention that the latest range of Madman DVD hit today, including my must haves, Initial D Vol 10 and Samurai Champloo Vol 2. There are a ton more, so check out Madmam's site for the low down.

Future Peeking

Sorry to anyone who reads this blog about the recent sporadic posts of late, I've just been really slack with posting. Anyway I should have my new TPG broadband connection set up sometime this week, so I won't have any excuses not to post anything.

I'm sure everyone has been keeping up with all the happening of E3, so I won't really go into any of that because I can't really contribute anything of worth the already plethora of sites overflowing with first hand info from E3.

However I will say that I'm quite intrigued by what has been shown and announced. What with the like of the Xbox 360 coming out so soon is a real treat, it's almost like Next Gen gaming is here now. Like everyone else I'm slightly concerned with Sony's showboating, only because I don't want them to make claims and not be able to produce the goods this time round, ala the whole emotion engine debarkle. I just think it would be embarrassing for Sony, and also lose them quite a bit of respect from many hardcore gamers. Though it's so early in the game for Sony and the PS3, it's very hard to speculate what they will and can produce. Just look at the PSP, that's some crazy shit right there. Then there is Nintendo and the Revolution, Nintendo managed to reveal 10 8th's of fuck all about, which resulted in myself looking interest in there new console. But again like Sony, it's quite a while away yet, I'm totally prepared to wait and see what they will produce.

The sad thing about looking at all the gorgeous HD footage of all the Next Gen titles, is that it makes current games in development look a bit tat. Another thing this year is that much of the attention if on the crop of new consoles and many current gen games, besides fairly big titles seem to have had less coverage. Though it's always good just after E3, when more solid info start to become available.

I'm actually quite interested in what's going to appear in the next year or so for the current generation of consoles, a lot of the time some decent stuff comes out at the end of a consoles life.

Anyway at the end of the day I'm quite relived that there is a gap between the new consoles. I means I can actually afford to pick up each of them without a hassle. Especially the new Xbox360 and a new HD TV that supposed 1080i, although 1080p is around the corner.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Long Wait Ends

Just another quick update. I finally managed to get Half-Life 2 downloaded and up and running, apart from a small issue with sound that I, and apparently many other people have encountered the game runs great. Running it at 1280x1024 with max details it's rock solid and plays smooth. I won't go on about it because I'm sure by now everyone has played HL2, but I've got to say it's just stunning to look at. Even just the menu screen looks fantastic.

Found out today that my local exchange doesn't support DSLAM, which Broadband 2 requires, it's not like I'm the only person, but no Broadband 2 for me. I'm just going to grab a 1.5Mb 50Gig plan from TPG, should be fast enough.

I want to post some thought about the Xbox 360, Playstation 2 and Nintendo Revolution in the next few days. I love this time of year with E3 and all the gaming news that's about, it's even better when 3 brand new consoles are shown. I'm quite interested in how this is all going to go, what with Microsoft release their console so much earlier than Sony and Nintendo. The thing I'm most interest to see however is the price of the consoles, and how they actually play real games, no pre-rendered demos.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

One Shot

Just a quick and dirty update from my new PC which I've finally go up and running. Haven't had much of a chance to do much with it yet, but so far it's kicking.

I'm currently downloading Half-Life 2 from Steam, but I don't have ADSL hooked up yet so it's taking some time. So I'm hoping it get done soon, I really want to see how this ATI Express AX700 performs, and at over $300, it really should do.

As promised pics and specs soon, I gotta log off for now.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Goddamn Delays

Sorry to anyone that read this blog on a regular basis for the lack of update recently. I know it’s been over a week since my last post and I feel awful that I haven’t posted anything in such a long time. I don’t really have an excuse, just bad timing on a few things.

Anyway I’m back now, regular updates from now on every 2-3 days.

I was going to point out the Xbox 360 coverage that was on A Current Affair, and meant to do it when I was at work on Friday, just a quick post. But like most of the time I had to do some web stuff for someone and didn’t get around to the post. Not that is really matters, I didn’t get to see it either thanks to the fucking Friday Brisbane traffic. Though I didn’t expect that there was much covered on it that isn’t online, and much like the MTV special, would have to tuned to the pander for the average punter.

My new system is nearly complete, for some reason I’m still waiting for the RAM. I have no idea why, especially since it was ordered on Wednesday, oh and the TFT but that wasn’t ordered until Friday anyway. I’ll post some pictures and specs once it’s done. I forgot to bring home any of those little things you stick to the case and then use with cable ties to tie back cables, so the inside of the case is a little wild at the moment. That will be remedied on Monday, I’m really anal about system cabling. I’d also forgotten how big these Lian-Li V Cool PC-V1000 cases are, it’s a monster.

I’ve also gotten myself a new desk, pick one up from Office Works last weekend, and it was delivered Wednesday. I spend some time this morning putting it together which wasn’t too hard, and it looks the business now. The thing is, you see these things in the store alls built up and think, sure that not that big. But even after measuring everything up, it’s not until it’s the room you realise how big it is. So at the moment, it just reminds me of some monolithic desk, and it’s not even that big.

However, I had to move my TV and a load of gear to get it in the room. So all my lovely cabling is now in a mess, and it’s probably going to stay like that for the mean time, because I’m sure it’s going to get worse. I also had to put my Saturn away, it wasn’t getting used and there isn’t enough room as it is. Also my Dreamcast is now perched on top of the new desk, unfortunately it’s not hooked up, but as it doesn’t get used all the often it’s not a big deal.

One last thing, I decided to finally check out Eternal Darkness on Gamecube which I picked up quite a while ago. I had heard a lost of praise for the game, but also quite a bit of negativity about the over hype about it. So of course I went into it not really knowing what to expect. When I first started playing it I was really getting into it, but as I got to about the Seventh Chapter it just seemed to become repetitive. I love the style of the game, and also the storyline and the eeriness of it. But the combat system just pissed me off at times, it’s just unresponsive, the game relies so much on it, that it just becomes such a hassle. The other thing is the whole magic system. While it’s really interesting, and it’s not even that it’s complicated, it’s just the way it’s implemented as a gameplay element that make it so difficult at times. There were a few other things that annoyed me at times, the whole hallucination this isn’t that interesting, maybe I was just expecting too much. I might play thought some more of it and see how that goes. I’m not sure, just constantly messing around with spells was really annoying.

Friday, May 06, 2005

It's All Coming Together

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I had some problem with the internet the other day for some reason I couldn’t get access to web pages. I think it was some weirdness with my firewall, but it all seems to be sorted now anyway.

At the moment I’m in the middle of a sort of refurbish of my current computer trends. Since I only own a laptop at the moment, it’s become a bit of a hassle so I’ve decided to build a new PC and hopefully get hooked up with a Broadband2 connection. I’m planning to pick up a new desk tomorrow, and then I should be able to get the parts and build the PC in a week or two. It’s a fairly high spec Intel P4 3GHz running on the new LGA775 platform, I didn’t skimp on any of the components they are all decent spec, and because I can buy all the gear though the company I work for it won’t cost too much. I’ll post some system specs and all the gubbins later on.

Apart from spending the last few days putting all that together, I found out some great news about Forza. Apart from this new Xbox racer getting rave reviews all over the place, it’s the only game to have the Mazda 3 2.3ltr Hatch model in it!!! That begin the car I own, I’m well chuffed. I defiantly have to pick the game up now, so I might do that some time soon.

I’ve never posted a pic of my car before, so here are a couple that I took when it was nice an clean, unlike at the moment thanks to all the rain.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Initial Drift

Absolutely insane are the words that come to mind when trying to describe the intense gameplay that is held within Initial D: Special Stage. This is the best arcade racer that I’ve ever played, and might just be one of the best racing games that I’ve ever sampled.

With Initial D being such a popular anime most notably in Japan but also now in the West, I still find it strange that SEGA have never released this game outside of Asia. It’s one of SEGA’s best current generation games, and it’s also a hugely popular license, so I still can’t understand why this hasn’t been released in the West, especially with all the other rubbish that SEGA persist on releasing time after time these days.

Anyway onto the game. Being an arcade port, this game has the usual modes, being Arcade Mode and Time Trial, but it also includes a very well done Story/Manga Mode. Arcade mode is I assume pretty similar to the original Arcade version, which involves you taking on various opponents and the various different courses from the anime earning points and then upgrading your car, pretty simple. The races in arcade mode become very challenging until you’re familiar with the courses, so it takes some practice.

However if your after a challenge, Story Mode will really stick it to you. Story Mode has you reenacting all the races from the anime, in similar condition as well. Starting with you driving with a cup of water trying not to spill any and you race uphill, all the way to taking on Bunta, this mode will do it’s best to own you. Story mode is by far the most interesting mode, featuring the same voice acting found in the anime, as well as small pieces of storyline and simple animation to explain each battle. The difficulty on this mode is obviously designed to make you work at becoming a better driver, and work you it does. With most of the battles being fairly straight forward, some of them are a real challenge almost requiring you to perform a perfect race. The battles that I seem to have the most difficulty with are the uphill battles, the main reason being any loss of momentum from say hitting a wall will ultimately cause you to slow so much that your rival will catch you, this being worse due to the speed penalty imposed from hitting a wall too hard.

Everything else about Initial D Special Stage is just pure Initial D, from the Super Eurobeat music that plays as you drive, to the awesomely accurate course design and overall graphical look of this game there is very little I would want to change. I could go on for ever about how solid this game feels as you play it, and the outstanding car and drift control but it’s best if you just try and play it. Either hunt it out at a local arcade, import a PS2 or even mod your current one, either way this game is a must play.