Monday, July 31, 2006

Fire on slopes, fighting chicks, consistent soundtracks and throwing enemies

Completely non-game-related stuff: I was going through my photo archives and stumbled upon my cellphone photos of the Makasiinit fire this summer. It was an old railroad warehouse complex, used for flea markets and concerts, which was scheduled to be demolished this same summer, to much controversy. It used to cater to young people and the fight to keep them as they were was very much a struggle between the leftist and right-wing types. We happened to go by just as the fire was picking up in ferocity. They still can't say whether the fire was intentional or not.

An unrelated, but gamer topic: more backwards compatibility experiences with the Xbox 360! I threw in Amped 2, which I dearly love, and found that it worked without additional patches. I created a new snowboarder and signed into Xbox Live. It wouldn't let me download the, well, downloadable content, presumably because it hasn't been upgraded for current Live standards. Oh well, I can live without that, I was primarily looking forward to some King of the Mountain action. No "quick matches" were to be found, so I set up my own. I had gone at it solo for one round (two minutes), when the first two guys joined me on the slope. Sweet! I was rather worried that there were no players of Amped 2 online any longer, but it seems that's not the case.

The gamer community has been vocal about the demise of E3 as we know it. Just as well. Every respectable game media I know of keeps complaining about how horrible it is, and you get hundreds of games you should care about: it just doesn't work. Please do drip the news all over the year, don't waste money and energy on catering to "professionals". I know I get a sort of "oh no, here we go again" -feeling, opening one of those E3 special editions of my favorite magazines.

Dead Or Alive 4. I've been playing the demo, thinking whether I should buy the full game or not, and I'm still undecided. The AI seems to be broken. One morning I breezed through the time attack in under two minutes, not losing once, later in the afternoon I got kicked around so hard that I was about to give up. I finally cleared the time attack in 13 minutes. Many times, I couldn't land a single blow! The AI blocked, threw and kept the pressure on faultlessly. This has been complained about in the retail game's reviews, too, so apparently there really is something wrong with the AI. Still, it would be primarily a Live game for me, provided that lag isn't a problem. Too bad I can't test that with the demo.

I played the DOA4 demo to the rhythm of Paradise Lost's One Second album. I love the 360's way of letting me listen to my own music within any game, at any time, replacing the game's (often crappy) soundtrack effortlessly. It even works with backward-compatible games, although you need to kill their built-in music manually.

They released a demo of Ninety-Nine Nights. The aesthetic design is unexciting (indeed, rather bland), but plowing through hundreds on enemies like Sauron on fast forward is good fun. I can see that it might get too reptitive in the long run and it seems to be all the same whether you just hammer the attack buttons randomly or concentrate on executing precise combos, but it's sweet that there ate literally hundreds of combatants on-screen at once and the framerate never suffers.

Update: Oh, and we're past one thousand visitors now, if my Statcounter is to be believed. Go audience! Also according to the same data, some of you are returning visitors. Go regular audience! An average of seven people comes to the blog each day, although recently we've seen peaks of twelve about twice a week.

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