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Friday, August 15, 2008

Sony - Could I Have My Download?

Last night I did some purchases from the PSN. Mostly demos and that kind of thing, but I also rented The Bank Job as a backup movie for the coming weeks. I wanted to download it overnight since when we watched 30,000 B.C. it didn't work so well trying to watch it "on the fly" as it were.

Unfortunately it didn't work so well "as a download" last night. As in, it wouldn't download. It just sat there, stuck at 0% and wouldn't activate the download in background either.

Not really good behavior for a store selling downloadable content...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game Play: Civ Revolution Game Level Bug

OK, so - seriously. What the hell?

I just tried to win a domination victory by besting the other civs in the year 2100.

I was closest to an economic victory by a narrow margin.
I was the only civ I know of to put anything into space.
I was the only civ who conquered another civ.
I was the cultural victor by a very wide margin.

Let's be clear: I could have won the game about forty turns ago.

The computer, however, in its wisdom - deemed me second place. As far as I know, despite the hours (and those hours are about four times what they need to be thanks to game crashes) I've put into this game there is no way I can win it even though all of the above is true.

Anyone from Firaxis care to explain this nonsense? This is seriously an impediment to me wanting to play the game any further, knowing that the computer will simply elect a winner based on anything but logic. Granted, this is Emperor mode - but the only victory I'm missing from Emperor is domination and I don't see that happening by capturing each capital with the all Civ pile-on which is the AI. And if another civ can beat out the "most points" rule by having a single edge in any of the categories, not sure if I can get it by hitting 2100 either...

Game Play: Civ Revolution Crash Level Bugs

OK, as much as I can adore Civ Revolution as a game, it is rather inexcusable that for a single game I have tried to finish except that the following occurs:

1. The game can't decide combat and just "dances" into eternity
While kinda humorous in one sense, this isn't nearly so funny when you have been playing a single player game for an hour and suddenly all of your work goes up into smoke because the AI is too stupid to decide between two numbers. I mean, seriously, this is the kind of programming a high school student could accomplish and in the last two days it has managed to lock up my game twice. The last time was after a couple hours of play - which all vanished.

Not good, 2K. Not good, Firaxis. This is game development on the level of shameful, to be honest.

Oh, or it just locks up
Can't confirm if this is a specific PS3 bug or not, but again it is somewhat annoying when you spend half the night trying to develop a decent Emperor level defense only to have the game die because apparently the nuke animation locks up the entire operating system.

Not good, 2K. Not good, Firaxis. This is game development on the level of shameful, to be honest.

Oh, did I say that twice? I'd say wobble, wobble - but you seem to have lifted enough Simlish from other games to understand that. Just not "quality assurance" it would seem.

Movie Watch: The Dark Knight

I'm not sure how much there is to say about a movie with as much buzz as The Dark Knight. It's every bit as good as you've probably already heard, it does feel a little long but not uncomfortably so and Ledger is so dead on brilliant in his role that the whole situation surrounding his death is probably even more tragic it might seem.

There's a few slips of editing from here and there where you might wonder just how scenes fit together, but in general the movie feels epic in nature for a comic film. The story blends key elements of the Batman mythos in general - the Caped Crusader's relationship with The Joker, with the law, with chaos itself - and handles it smoothly. If anything the movie is an affirmation that the superhero genre can evolve and mature with style and grace.

Gone are the overly digitized backdrops and it was something to see Chicago look like Chicago. We didn't outright the scenes in our hood that they shot so they were either cut or they may have been some of interior scenes (my suspicion is that it might have the Gordon residence).

Also, The Watchmen had a trailer prior to the show and it looks completely smashing.

Meme Watch: Diablo III

Every now and then a scuffle will appear on the net and it kinda scuttles past me. Such was the case with people complaining about the colors of Diablo III, a complaint which I honestly thought was some kind of LOL Blizzard style joke, but apparently not so much.

So let me just sum up my opinion on it. Complaining about a more diverse color palette on Diablo III is akin to bitching about getting a brick of gold because it arrived in a paper bag. It's idiotic and completely misses the point. I've been more or less addicted to Diablo since the first and as long as they don't convert the entire art direction to a My Little Pony theme - I just thank goodness we're getting a sequel at all.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Game Play: Soul Caliber IV

I've always been a huge Soul Caliber fan, from playing the game first with Big Brother on the Dreamcast. I'm not a huge fighter buff in general, despite a huge flirtation with Eternal Champions which might point to the opposite, but I like the genre when it's done well.

For the most part I'm willing to say that Soul Caliber IV is the genre done well. Briefly though, I want to talk about one bit which is just truly annoying.

There's been some fuss about the inclusion of Star Wars characters into Soul Caliber. I gotta say that with a so-called plot along the lines of Soul Caliber, they could pretty much have Kris Kringle fighting Kris Kristofferson and I'm not sure I'd notice.

No, the problem is that someone seemed to have let the inclusion of LucasArts essentially break, or at least throw a decent sized monkey wrench into, the arcade mode of the game. While I think including The Apprentice from the upcoming Force Unleashed games is perfectly fine, I don't see why he has to be ten times harder than anyone else in arcade mode.

I mean I played as Darth Vader and took the so-called boss out for pancakes after not so kindly making him my bitch in about ten minutes. The Apprentice, who is not the boss of the mode, took almost an hour of complete swearing and near controller tossing. I don't see how that is anything but bad design and someone's idea of Lucas worship. I don't give a damn who The Apprentice is or how powerful his little mitochondria are supposed to be - he shouldn't stand out as significantly more powerful than everyone else in an entire roster during an entire game mode. It's just stupid.

Otherwise I'm mostly enjoying the game. Even playing as The Apprentice, which is of course not as godlike as playing against, is something worhwhile - but would someone please tune this jackass down a notch?