I love Steam + Special Thanks

I really do love Steam.  I love that it’s free to use, doesn’t charge me to play online multiplayer (not counting games with their own fees, like MMOs), lets me get together in group voice chat without charging any fees and that it provides mid-week/weekend/holiday sales that beat the hell out of shopping at retail stores or even other digital distribution services. Continue reading

Spike TV’s VGAs 2010 Thoughts

You know, I expressed my disinterest in this year’s show because I thought it was gonna be an embarrassment to watch. I expressed this over on Twitter and some of you said you were just watching for the trailers. I pointed out they’d be posted on GameTrailers anyway, yet you all still went on about it. Well I watched the encore presentation right after the first airing and I was absolutely right about the whole thing. Continue reading

Procrastination, ho!

So as it should come to not big surprise, I’ve been procrastinating on that darned video I promised about two weeks ago or so. It ain’t canceled. Especially not with the amount of work I’ve put in it. It’s just…on delay, as usual. But don’t worry! It’ll be out before the end of this year, that’s for damn sure!

I’ve also been playing a few other games, that way my mind isn’t permanently glued to just the first Phantasy Star. With my 360 out of commission, I hooked my PlayStation 2 back up and also got back to playing games on it, my DS and PC. So what the hell have I been playing? Continue reading

Oh god, what is that?!

In Phantasy Star, one of the many monsters your fight in the beginning (that later on in the game gets one too many recolors and labeled as a “new monster”) is a flying eyeball with bat wings. In the Japanese version, it’s appropriately named “Devil Bat.” However, the English translation kinda screwed around with some oddball name changes. For whatever reason, Devil Bat was translated to…

Now, when I saw that several years ago, I wondered what on Earth made that an “Owl Bear.” To this day, I still have no idea what Sega was thinking. However, I believe this is what a real Owl Bear looks like:

Video Progress

A few weeks ago, I decided to do something a little different. I noticed that while looking around online, the Phantasy Star series is somewhat unknown. What fans exist out there tend to only know about the current online portions of the franchise, somewhat like how typing in “Ninja Gaiden” or “Castlevania” will bring up the current age versions of those games, rather than the classics. So all of that got me thinking “Why not do a retrospective of the whole series?” That’s basically four games for the classic lineup (1 Master System, 3 Genesis games, 2 Game Gear Games and several text adventures compiled on the Sega CD), the Online series (4 episodes spanning from the Dreamcast, GameCube, Xbox and PC), the Universe line (3 episodes between the PC, PS2 and Xbox 360, as well as 2 PSP titles) and Zero for the DS.

In all honesty, there are times where I wonder if I actually thought it through. I’m not giving up on it, though. My lazy ass just tends to stop in the middle of working on the first video. I’m slowly but surely getting there. I think what’s really thrown me off was that it didn’t occur to me to actually record game footage until I was halfway through the first game. So now I’m doing two playthroughs at the same time, while editing the video using that footage! I can’t wait until it’s all done, though. Then I can finally move on to doing Phantasy Star II! Plus I’ll be sure to actually start recording footage from the get-go this time.

If by any chance you haven’t seen the trailer for the project, here it is:

“Can’t Let You Play That, Chris”

So it looks like *now* my 360 is officially dead. I’ve had mine since 2006 and it died on 2007 due to the RRoD. I sent it in to Microsoft, got it back within a week and it worked just fine…until last month.

Around last month, it started to show signs of the RRoD again, though it would resume as normal after turning it off and on a couple of times. After that stopped working, another method I somehow discovered involved slightly smacking it on its bottom side (the part that rests on the floor when sat horizontally). It seemed to do the trick for a while until it stopped showing up. Thought I was done with it. Then today rolled around. After trying to power up my 360, I was greeted by those damned red rings. I tried the ol’ smack trick; didn’t work this time.

So I called Microsoft up about it. Because the extra three year warranty ended in March of this year, I was no longer able to send it in for free. The rep over the phone explained I’d either have to pay $119 to process a repair over the phone (basically them giving me the okay to send it in; they no longer even send you the box to ship it, you need to do that yourself), or pay $99 to do it online. They mentioned if I were to do so, I’d also get a month’s subscription to Xbox Live Gold…which is stupid, seeing as how I wouldn’t have my 360 on me. I right off the bat declined on both. There’s no fucking way I’d pay either of those prices to ship in my system for them to fix again, when it *should* have been fixed the first time around. Upon telling them that, their response was that “The Xbox 360 is a machine and that all hardware are prone to having failures at unexpected times.” That, in other words, told me that the 360 is an unreliable piece of shit.

While my NES, SNES and Genesis are far from technologically advanced as my 360, they still work. My SNES survived being in a house that was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. My Dreamcast is over 10 years old and still functions as it should. My Wii is from the exact same year my 360 was manufactured and still works exactly as it should. My Xbox 360 is the *only* piece of electronic equipment I’ve ever had that’s malfunctioned twice, even after a repair. Not only that, but it’s the only electronic hardware I’ve ever had that’s malfunctioned in such a short time frame.

I know I wanted a PlayStation 3, but this whole thing pretty much hammered the final nail in the coffin for me. It was fun, Xbox 360, but Live isn’t worth the headaches and neither is your abysmal (and costly) hardware. Until I get a PlayStation 3, I’ll just stick with my Wii, DS and older consoles. I’ve been playing those a lot more than I have with you, anyway.