gaming, playstation comments edit

Call me Attilla, for I am the King of the Huns.

Or something like that.

Yeah, I know I’m just sort of spewing out historical mishmash without regard to what really happened, but let me tell you, when it comes to Dynasty Warriors 3, I am one bad mamma jamma. Don’t mess with me, heathens. I will cut you down.

And I’ve only played like three levels in it.

I called Magnolia Hi-Fi today and it seems my TV has been delayed until the end of this month, so I’ve gotta call back again next week to find out when it gets there.

I was looking at the insurance statement for some allergy doctor appointments I had last month. All on one day, I have two charges for $600 each, both marked “Miscellaneous.” I’m having a hard time figuring out what I did that day that could possibly have cost $1200. I called the billing department three hours ago and they have yet to call me back. That figures.

I’ve known it for a while, but I continue to rediscover that I am in a much better mood when I have a gob of caffeine in me. I took some Excedrin Migraine this morning for my headache and I was in a great mood by the time I got to work. Also, if I drink one of those Red Bull or Amp beverages, I’m lovin’ life. Maybe I’m just tired all the time and that stuff wakes me up enough to have fun.

tv, gaming, playstation comments edit

I watched the season premiere to Buffy the Vampire Slayer last night, and I have to say I’m glad they’re starting to get back to their roots - good humor, good dialogue, good enemies. I hope they can keep it up. If so, we’re in for a great season.

I started playing Virtua Fighter 4 last night and discovered it’s way more complicated than I thought it would be. I’m used to more button-masher style controls in a fighting game (a la DOA3) so when I started playing VF4 I sort of assumed you could play that way.

Not so.

There are actually very complicated combos that you can execute with the characters in this game. The thing about doing that is that you have to sort of queue up a chain of moves for your character to perform. For example, in DOA3, when I do the sequence “Punch, Kick, Punch” on the controller, the character executes the moves “Punch, Kick, Punch” as I push the buttons. If I try to push “Kick” while the “Punch” is still executing, it ignores the “Kick” command. In VF4, if you push “Punch, Kick, Punch,” it acts more like a move queue. If I push “Kick” while the character is punching, that kick command will actually modify the way the current punch is being executed (maybe the character will do some fancy flip or something in that case). If I push four or five buttons in rapid succession, the character will combine several fancy moves and execute a chain of commands that will probably last a couple of seconds after I’ve finished pressing buttons.

It’s interesting, but it’s harder than I thought it would be. I suppose that’s kind of good; it requires that I expand my abilities as a gamer. But it’s not something you can just casually sit down and play with. You have to train on it. Pretty intense.

I found this really cool free DJ software called CD Scratch. It provides two virtual turntables on your screen that you can use to mix and “scratch” on CDs via your computer. Just slip in a CD and away you go. It will let you play two different tracks from the same CD and mix them, or, if you have two CD drives, play two different tracks from two different CDs and mix those. Loads of fun, waiting to happen. And it’s free! Who could ask for anything more?

personal, gaming, playstation comments edit

Friday being Fred Meyer employee double-discount day, a few purchases were made:

I got the Dremel attachments so that I can finally finish the Mucha project I’ve been working on - I need to make a frame for the whole thing to fit in, and the router will do well for that. (The project is that I scanned a piece of Mucha work, separated it out into layers, put each layer on transparency, and I’m putting it all back together again but with about a half-inch space between each layer. That will give the piece some nice dimension while still retaining the original beauty. I saw something similar on our trip to Vegas.)

Shanghai Noon, well… that was just a fun movie, and for 20% off, I couldn’t not get it.

The Toshiba DVD player replaces our old Sony player, which I’ve had for like four or five years now. The Sony is a good player, but I think the sound is starting to go on it because the center channel fades in and out. I did a test on my amp, but it works fine, so I have to blame the DVD player. I moved the Sony into our bedroom (where the TV is mono) and put this new progressive-scan Toshiba in its place in the living room. It has all sorts of keen features like picture zoom, dialogue enhancing, and chapter scan, so I couldn’t pass it up. For the money, it seemed the best buy available. At least from Freddy’s.

Dynasty Warriors 3 is another story entirely.

As previously noted, I was in a dilemma on whether to get Dynasty Warriors 3 or Virtua Fighter 4 from Game Crazy with my store credit. Well, I made the decision to get DW3 so I could play cooperatively with my dad - father and son against the heathen masses, right?

So I went back to Game Crazy and they had already sold their copy of DW3. They didn’t have it used or new. Which fucking figures. So then I got all wigged out about it because I had built up my hopes on playing DW3 on Saturday with my dad, so I ended up getting nothing at all.

Friday night, thus, I decided to pick it up from Fred Meyer because there was a special “additional 10% off video games” coupon, so I got the thing new for 30% off, which is what it would have cost me used. (And Dad did come over on Saturday, and we did stomp several hundred asses.)

That actually worked out for the best because Saturday we were in Hollywood Video and I found these coupons for “20% off any used game” and “$2 additional trade-in value on any game” at Game Crazy. Hell, yeah. I went in today, traded in The Adventures of Cookie and Cream for $8 plus the $2 coupon (for a total of $10), and, with the 20% off coupon, I got Virtua Fighter 4 for $4. Not too shabby.

Why did I trade in Cookie and Cream? Poor planning, I think.

The original idea was to find a game that Jenn and I could play together cooperatively rather than fight against each other. Jenn doesn’t play PS2 very often, so with my additional practice I usually end up winning - not to be cocky, that’s just the truth. I saw Cookie and Cream and thought, “Problem solved! Here’s a game where we both have to work together to accomplish a common goal!” That was the idea anyway.

It turns out, there’s a pretty strict time limit in Cookie and Cream during which you have to get several semi-complex puzzles solved. When I solve puzzles, I see the answer and just go for it. It’s sort of like osmosis - I don’t know how I solved the puzzle, I just did. Common sense. For Jenn, she works through it like a math problem and wants to understand all the steps. (At least, that’s what I gather.) Which means that while we’re running under this time limit, I’m saying, “Hey, go jump over on that button!” And she’s more like, “Why do I need to do that?” Of course, if I take the time to explain the rationale behind it, we’ve run out of time, but if I don’t explain it, she won’t do what needs to be done.

The Plan: Play a cooperative game where we both work together and have fun together.

The Execution: I try to strangle Jenn with the controller cord while she tries to shove her controller up my ass.

That’s why I traded the game in. (Interestingly enough, Jenn asked me this morning, “Are you sure we’re not going to play that again?” Yeah, I’m sure. It just makes me hate you. And vice versa.)

In other news, I found a new beverage called Fuze that I’m liking. It’s sort of like Snapple, but it has more vitamins and stuff in it that’s good for you. Right now I’m drinking the “Grape & Aronia Punch” flavor. It’s pretty good, and I’m not usually one for grape stuff. I bought one of each flavor to try them all.

tv, gaming, playstation comments edit

Yesterday started out great but long about 4:00p turned into the $2 sucky-sucky.

I’ve been getting up early lately since Jenn’s gone back to school to become a pharmacy technician and her classes start early. That’s not too bad, since getting up 15 minutes earlier means I’m on the road 15 minutes earlier, which, therefore, also means that I beat the bad traffic I normally hit when I leave at my normal time.

Around noon I took off to go to the local Game Crazy to sell back a couple of PS2 controllers. There wasn’t anything functionally wrong with them, but the pad that sat on top of the left analog stick wasn’t glued down anymore and would spin around while you moved the stick. I can’t handle that. It doesn’t bug Jenn, but my thumb just seems to slip off if that’s the case. So I traded in the two controllers for a total of $18 of store credit. That’s a good portion of the cost of a used game, so I started looking at those. I narrowed the decision down to Dynasty Warriors 3 or Virtua Fighter 4. I’m still sort of torn, but I’m thinking I’ll go with DW3. I already have Dead or Alive 2 for a fighting game, and while I wouldn’t mind picking up VF4, I think I should get something Jenn and I can play cooperatively so there’s less of a competition going on. Besides, my dad loves the DW thing, so he’ll come over and play.

Then around 4:00p, I decided to try to do some work on an upcoming project - you know, to maybe get a head start. So I opened up Office XP Developer and… it wouldn’t open my project file. I know it was a valid project, because I created the framework for it, then closed it. Done. But now it gives this “Store Type Not Valid” message which means pretty much jack squat as far as I’m concerned.

I figured it was maybe a problem with the Office XP Developer program, so I uninstalled it and reinstalled it. No go. So I uninstalled and reinstalled again. Still no go. Noticed that there were some patches available for it, so I patched it. Uh uh. Tried to uninstall again, but this time it wouldn’t uninstall. Tried to do the “reinstall/repair” thing, that didn’t work either. Decided maybe I could just delete the thing manually then run the repair, so I deleted the files and registry keys for it and ran the repair utility… and it failed.

Something was definitely hosed on my laptop, so now I’m in the process of totally reinstalling Windows and all my apps. Crap.

I did, however, get my records from GEMM, and I’m stoked. I’ve been listening to PWEI remixes all morning long (on my good computer). Yay, me.

Today is Fred Meyer employee double-discount day. That means Fred Meyer employees (my mom) and their families (me) get 20% off everything in the store but food. I’m going to pick up some attachments for my Dremel tool and a new DVD player since ours is, I believe, heading out the door. (The sound on it is sort of dicey anymore; the center channel fades in and out.)

I still haven’t heard from Magnolia Hi-Fi on the television I am planning on purchasing, but hopefully I will soon. I may give them a call today and see if it’s in and they just forgot to call me.

Went to my parents’ house to watch Survivor last night, and let me say I was a little less than impressed. Maybe the show isn’t living up to the hype, or maybe I’m just burned out on it. Either way, I guess I expected a little something more but I didn’t quite get it. I don’t know exactly what I was hoping for, but whatever it was, it wasn’t there. Hopefully it’ll get better.

tv, media comments edit

I continue to research large screen televisions. The biggest problem I was having for a while there is that, frankly, I’m a cheapskate. If I don’t need it and it costs over, say, $20, I probably won’t buy it. So when I started getting jazzed about the possibility of a plasma screen, that excitement carried over into the big screen TVs. We really don’t need a new TV, but we’ve been looking at them for a while, so I’ve moved over to the “gonna buy a TV” realm, especially after having seen the Sony KV-40XBR700 (last year’s version of the TV I’m looking at, the KV-40XBR800).

Now my big issue is: Where do I put it?

My current entertainment center isn’t remotely big enough to hold the TV, but it holds the rest of the components well. The TV comes with a stand, but the stand it comes with isn’t big enough to hold the components. So I’m going to have to deal with the sales guy and see if he’ll throw in a larger stand.

I was talking about this with my friend Mike at work this morning and he was all, “You’re one of those people who gets buyer’s remorse after making large purchases, aren’t you?” Yes, I am. Unless I research it and I’m sure that I’m getting exactly what I want for the price I’m willing to pay. I’m working on doing that research and whatnot so when the sets come in to the shop, I’ll be ready.

In the meantime, I’m actually losing a little sleep over how I’m going to make the TV stand thing work. Which, in the scale of things, is the small stuff. I know you’re not supposed to sweat the small stuff, but I do. I think it’s hereditary; my parents sweat the small stuff, too.

The thing that keeps me on track with this thing, come hell or high water, is the thought that on October 22 I should be receiving a package in the mail containing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and that bad boy needs to be on a better television than what I have right now. Plus the fact that we watch a lot of movies, and a nicer set is definitely called for.

So.

Aside from that, not much going on. Survivor: Thailand starts Thursday, and while I’m not the hugest Survivor fan out there, Jenn and I have a good time going over and watching it with my parents. My dad gets really into it. We’ll be going over there Thursday to hang with them and play the Survivor board game, which I got for my birthday but haven’t yet had a chance to play. Then we’ll watch the show, followed closely by CSI.

Hey, we’re saving money, right? Watching TV at my parents’ house is free. Chalk one up for Frugal Trav.