@Alacar: Aww, I had the same guess as Yukora. Can I get a bonus point anyway?
Good morning everyone. I'm going to a practice track meet in a couple of hours with my dad. I'm hoping to break 5:00 for the mile, but that is unlikely for the first meet of the year. Anyway, it should be good practice, hopefully.
@Allin: I never said welcome to you, so, Welcome!!! Remember to try to make your posts informative. Usually at least one line of test is preferred. Enjoy your stay here!
@Yusuke: You have the slightlymagic base? I have the same thing but there's a slightly complicated solution:
1) Remove PLC completely from your base. Save, exit, blah blah.
2) Add this patch for the main Planar Chaos set and this patch as a seperate timeshifted set. When adding make sure you add the normal amount that would normally show up in a real booster for each set only making sure to add 1 rare AND the amount of uncommons you would get if you didn't get a rare for the timeshifted set. To determine whether the user gets the rare out of the PLC pack, flip a coin or roll a die (evens they get it odds they don't?). If they do get the rare, remove the top uncommon. And don't forget to save, exit, blah blah before you browse the patches.
That's my best idea to determine a fix for that. Now I'm outta here for a few hours. Off to a friend's place!
I LOVE that! Looks fantastic. Think you could do 'cosplay' of Arguas and Omna? Also, thanks for the tips. I kinda worked on it at 2am. I can do some touchups on it (like the staff sticking out of nowhere.. O.o
Glad you like it. Now, do you mean I should take omna/arguas' avatars and do the same thing? If so, as what? ..... Gourry and Amelia? Another show? Hrmm...
@Banner: The forum has software that automatically scales banner images to 100 pixels tall. However, Gimp/PS can scale them more prettily than the forum can.
@Yusuke: Good to hear you got that working.
Alacar, I can pm you later. I have to leave right now with my family.
Good afternoon everyone! Your good buddy Buzz here. Nothing special in my neck of the woods. I went food-shopping earlier, and now I'm just hanging around. I'll probably get to playing some more Dragon Quest and perhaps finish it up soon and start Tales of Smyphonia. I did my taxes the other day and sent them out. According to the program thingy I used, I should be getting $178 back. I'm pretty excited about that. I might finally be able to get a DS, lest some unforeseen occurrence screw it up.
Ah, oh yes! Welcome to you, Allin. Enjoy your stay here in the coffeehouse. By the look of your sig, you like Elite Beat Agents. I'm probably going to pick that up myself.
So, today I went and looked at a new apartment. It was gorgeous- hardwood floors, a lot more storage space in the kitchen and bathroom, easily twice the counter space in the kitchen, a lot more privacy, new energy-efficient windows... Seriously, just a hot apartment. And the rent is exactly the same as my current place.
AND IT'S MINE AS OF MARCH 1ST!
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[16:23] Alacar Leoricar: maybe if you do it'll make the porn more meaningful
Hi, everybody. Back from work. Much less tired than I was yesterday. Yoga's paying off. How y'all doing today?
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Hey, Mamelon, what types of things are you doing in your new job? While I dislike working with food (did it for six months, hated it), fast food might be something to enjoy. I should also try Blockbuster. Hmm....
The task I dislike most is manning the drive-through window, but everything is pretty familiar to me. The food preparation and cleaning procedures are fairly simple, and unless it's busy there isn't a ton of work to do. Most things are pre-prepared.
I'm also adding a new blog entry. And, in addition to THAT, I've decided on this week's Game of the Week, which will be up later on today after I continue to enjoy said game.
I need to update mine, too.
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HUZZAH! A much-celebrated CONGRATULATIONS to Photon Eater (and I assume Ethersphere as well) for their new apartment!!
Don't forget about me!
Alacar, I like the avatar. Yours too, Joyd! Very festive!
*waves at Kevin*
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All that I yearn for, for richer or poorer, is to be the light that you see. All that I yearn for, for richer or poorer, is to be the peace that you feel. All that I yearn for, for richer or poorer, is to fill your heart on my own.
But the rainbow is an image of hope for many reasons, as it is a brilliant sight coming out of oftimes dismal weather.
It's now time for the game of the week. And if you've been tracking my posts, this one should be easy to understand. Its...
And that picture is a little too big for my tastes, but there's not much I can do about it. Yes, it's Gears of War.
Now, there's not much of a story behind this particular game. I just saw it one day in Blockbuster, rented it, and played it for a single night. Beat storyline mode with a friend, and left it for three months. Then I rented it again and have been playing multiplayer online. That's really all there is to it.
Well, I'm being a bit too simplistic here. There's a lot more to Gears of War than meets the eye.
We're going to start with Graphics again, and boy does this one take the cake. Gears of War is one of the first games I've seen that really does the 360 justice. I'm sure everyone has heard about the 360 and how powerful it is supposed to be, and how lifelike it is supposed to look. You can just go look at Oblivion and see what I mean. However, Oblivion's scenery is a bit repetative, the standard fare of copy/paste surroundings. Gears, on the other hand, doesn't have that look. Every level looks hand-crafted. The graphics are incredibly life-like. While the enemies do repeat (hey, it's a shooter), they at least look real, and look menacing. Every character, enemy and human, looks real. As an example, I call to your attention this following screenshot. Yes, this is actually from the game. The screen it was taken from is a little too bright, but you get the idea:
Next is sound. The entire game is completely voiced over, and the voices truly fit the characters. Since each and every character is pretty much a soldier, they're all gruff, make fun of each other, etc. The guns sound authentic, as if the creators took a microphone to a shooting range and went to town. Your aliens make noises, yell at you, etc. The music score is decent and kicks in when it needs to, but is otherwise usually unnoticed.
Storyline is... Well, interesting. There's a lot of gaps in it, and it doesn't finish off on a definite note. The basic deal is that Earth (or, what I think is Earth) is attacked by either A.) Some sort of aliens that got underground or B.) some degenerate offshoot of humanity that lived underground for some time. At some point, these baddies emerge from underground and attack, basically wiping out humanity to the point that very few humans remain. Humanity utterly destroys its own civilization in order to not allow these 'Locusts' possession, and then starts the fight for Earth. Fourteen years later, a man named Marcus Fenix rejoins the fight (having been imprisoned for a reason they don't elaborate on, only saying the trial was a sham), and they start a last, desperate attempt to save humanity. Many plot holes, lots of unanswered questions, and a definite lead-in for another game at the end.
Now... Gameplay I have to split into several parts. Let's talk mechanics first, because the game is rather unique in many ways for these. First is the 'cover' mechanic. This isn't exactly a unique thing. Many games, such as the Rainbow Six series, have implimented this. Basically, you press the A button when near a wall, another type of partition, or any cover-providing object to get cover from it. This may seem simple, but the game actually revolves around this. Because of the way your opponents act, you are constantly running from cover to cover. You are also shooting around cover. You can either blindfire, which means you don't use a crosshair and really aim by feel, or you can manually aim. The former means you aren't going to be easily shot, because you stay in cover and just stick your gun out, but you aren't going to be very accurate. You'll still hit, still kill, but it'll take more bullets. You just won't get hit as much. The other means you are more accurate, you'll make head shots as much as your skill allows, but you'll be taking more hits.
This game requires you to use cover. You will constantly be in cover when available, and you will run from cover to cover when moving. The game also makes use of a simplistic 'menu' function when in cover. Depending on what other cover is available, pushing your analogue stick in different directions while on the edge of cover will offer you several options. You can dive roll from cover, you can quickly switch from one location to another if they're close enough and alike (both pillars, etc), you can jump over your cover if it's low enough, and more. You also make use of a 'dash' maneuver. When not near cover, if you hold down A, you'll duck low and start dashing forwards. This is a good way to move and not get shot much. If you get close to cover while doing so, you'll slam into cover and stay in that cover until you choose to leave. By pressing A twice, you can also dive in any direction.
At this point, I need to talk about the enemy AI. You may think that all this 'cover' talk is a lot of hogwash and can be ignored. Thinking this will be a fast way to get yourself killed multiple times over. The enemies are very intelligent, and will always make use of whatever cover is available. They have just about every option that you have, though they don't use all of them the majority of the time. The enemies have a habit of splitting up and regrouping, of surrounding you. They will reload at appropriate times, and, on different difficulties, be blind firing and throwing grenades.
There's a couple more things that are interesting about the game. There's the 'active reload' function. When you reload, by choice or by necessity, a small bar comes up underneath your ammo information. Most of the bar is blank, but there's a slightly transperant and completely opaque section of the bar, usually small. You get two choices, and four results. You can either let the bar reload on its own, which takes the second to most time to do. Or you can try an active reload. If you fail the reload, you jam your gun and you have to wait until you can unjam it. This takes time, and is certain death when on hard modes. Hitting the reload when the bar is up to a slightly transperant area ends your reload right there, giving you a full clip in short time, usually 1/4 to 1/2 of full reload time. You can also get a perfect active reload, which occurs in the completely opaque section, which also happens to be very small. Doing so not only makes your reload instantaneous, which is usually faster than a semi-active reload, it also makes all reloaded bullets have increased damage. This is a life saver, both on and off multiplayer.
Speaking of multiplayer, did you know Gears of War has a complete co-op mode? It's the full storyline, not alternate levels. Since, in single player, you constantly have at least one AI (and up to 3, but only one is player-controllable) at a time, you will always be able to have a human player take over that character. This can be done both online or offline in splitscreen or LAN modes. The game was actually designed to be played in co-op mode, and the creators told several gaming magazines (that I can't remember off the top of my head) that 'Insane' mode, the hardest difficulty, was designed JUST for co-opers. While Halo 2 was impossible to co-op on Legendary, in Gears, dying just means your ally has to come 'revive' you. While you can be permanently killed (meaning you have to go back to a checkpoint), usually you're just knocked out, or 'downed'. The game relies on teamwork.
The game is the standard shooter, when you boil it down to straight gameplay. Every level has its own specific path, with built-in cover areas, enemies that spawn at the same place each time, so on and so forth. However, the levels are huge, the game takes many, many hours to beat, and if you play at a level that meets your skill, you'll die many, many times. I consider myself good at the game, yet I'm still working on Insane mode.
Now, the last bit to discuss is the online Multiplayer. There are three modes of play, though I've only tested one so far, and that's Warzone. In this set-up, the game pits two teams of up to four players (I think 2 per team is the minimum) in a one-life 'slayer' match. Each player has a single life. The team that eradicates the other wins. The game is played in rounds. There's a set amount of rounds you need to win to win the 'match'. Pretty straightforwards.
There's also "Extermination" and "Assassination", I believe, but I'm not sure how they're played.
Multiplayer is designed to be played with squad-based tactics. Covering each other, working together to destroy your enemy, and capitalizing on the abilities of each player. This design works pretty well. Unfortunately, a rather large glitch makes the game extremely difficult to play, and that is the "Host" glitch. Basically, because of the game design and the inherant laginess of the game, any shot the host of the game (the person that set the game up) makes hits its target instantly (if on target), while anyone else has a realistic delay between firing and contact. This means that the host gets a very large advantage to his team. Especially if they have a shotgun or a sniper rifle.
Luckily, the game is balanced by skill. A host with little skill can't capitalize on their advantage, and hosts with great skill can still be balanced out by knowledgeable opponents.
Oh, and one more thing. While melee is a feature in the game, it's largely useless, save with one weapon. This is the 'Lancer', an automatic machine-gun with an added chainsaw. Yes, you'll rev your chainsaw up and then cut your opponent in half. This is extremely satisfying, in many cases.
So I think that about wraps it up. Gears of War is an excellent shooter, and delivers what it promises. While there are a few glitches that could be fixed, nothing in it ruins the game. This game competes with Halo and Halo 2 for my all-time favorite shooter. And as for a score? 10/10, perfect marks. Gears of War is one of those games that perfectly represents its genre.
Hey everyone! So I just got back from my track meet, and I ran a 4:56 mile, which ties my PR (personal record), so I'm in a really good mood right now. The season hasn't even started yet, so being able to tie my best time ever is great news. Hopefully I can shave off at least 20 seconds by the end of the season.
@Photon: Congrats! That sounds really great. I hope you and ethersphere love it there.