a place to let your nerd flag fly.

Archive for September, 2009

since we’re on the subject of Forza 3

Monday, September 28th, 2009

heres some videos…

according to Turn 10, Forza 3’s developer, the following video is composed of clips of people actually doing these maneuvers in game…

and same here…

Gran Turismo vs Forza Motorsports: My 2 cents.

Monday, September 28th, 2009

(this does not take into account any of the ‘demos’ out there, so Forza 3 Demo and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue are not ‘in the running’)

First let me preface this with some history. I purposely chipped my first PlayStation just so i can play the Japanese version of Gran Turismo since the American version wasn’t going to be out for a few months. Yea, the chip ended up breaking my PS1, and I had to start all over again when i got the American version of the game. But damn, those 4 months were some great practice.


this still makes me want to get out there and race. oh the variety of cars, the realness of them… i see them on the road, in the showrooms, THEY EXIST!

I hadn’t tried out too many race simulators. I think i gave a NASCAR game a try once, but got really bored and thrown off by how hard it was. I just thought it sucked, but turns out, its kinda hard to go 200mph into turn, banked or not. I played some of the arcade style racing games, you know, go fast, don’t worry about the brakes, and slide into every turn… wee. But once you figure out how things work, and memorize the courses, the games were just a boring exercise. I used to put cars in 360 spins around corners in RidgeRacer without even getting close to crashing.

Then Gran Turismo came around. Right off the bat, first race, i slam my Civic into the wall. yea, turns out, you gotta slow down to turn, just like real life. I ended up reading the little book that came with the game. It explained the different types of cars, how to takes different types of turns, and also the balance between braking/turning/accelerating.

jaguar e type s1

I played through those pretty regularly all the way up to Gran Turismo 4 on Playstation 2 (which i still ‘practice’ on). Now, GT4 was really good. It had rally cars along with rally tracks which was pretty rad on its own (GT3 first had rally in it). But, in my opinion, was still sticking with the limiting License tests.

You had to beat a seriers of tests, basic ones that have you go, and stop in a small area. Others make you take a set of turns you have to clear in a set time. The last test for each license usually required you to do a perfect lap in a predetermined car. A perfect lap meant you car could not go off the track, nor could you hit any walls.

Yea, it got hard. I soon got to a place in the game where i couldn’t go any further. I had beaten all the races my Licenses allowed me to, and in order to race the rest, i had to get a license whose tests i couldnt pass. I got bored, and moved on. Eventually I ended up picking up an Xbox to play halo, and picked up the first Forza Motorsports for the hell of it.

I dug it, felt a little different from Gran Turismo, a little more updated and weighty. Each one of the Gran Turismo’s physics engine got better, more realistic. But wow, Forza had something going for it. Yea, there was some wonkyness in it. But, it was also the first to simulate car damge, not just cosmetically, but it also affects the performance. If you banged up you left front tire, it would pull. If you bashed the front hard enough, you damage the engine and slow down big time. In Gran Turismo, you just bounced off the wall if you hit it straight on, not a dent.

Then Forza 2 came out. Not only did it have an even more finely tuned physics engine, a newer roster of cars, big, beautiful HD graphics, and custom paint jobs…
forza2handler.jpg
yea, thats my car. A Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec with a custom design, and no, those Volcom logos do not come with the game. I made them out of warped triangles and hexagons. Yea, i’m that nerdy.

This game was like starting all over again, i had to change the way i played. The Xbox 360 control has two triggers on each side, and each one was brake/gas. You couldn’t just floor it all the time anymore, you’d spin out coming out of a turn. Slamming your brakes just made your tires lock up and slide off the track. You had to ease on and off… finesse it. I had these hard pounding races where i was just barely holding on to first place, or spending six laps just to get into first in the last turn. You had to draft, move around opponents instead of just bumping them around (you got a time penalty added to your lap time too). you had to wait for the right time to go in and pass, because if you chose the wrong time to be on the outside, you end up losing a couple places.

But, this was it, this was as close as i would ever to be really racing. I understood what it was all about, what it really took to do it. Anybody can go around the track, but it takes practice to do it fast and elegantly…

this was all from in game footage (not me.). insane, but, thats whats possible.

So, Where do i stand on it all. GT4 and Forza 2 are the newest versions of the game currently commercially available. Graphics aside, Forza 2 is still, in my opinion, the better of the two games.

But, (as of writting) Forza 3 is not available for another month. Gran Turismo 5 is not coming out until March, 2010, if were lucky. Its probably going to get delayed though, GT4 was delayed a year and a half and the developer, Digital Polyphony takes the “its not coming out til its DONE.” stance. so, who knows, my bet… it’ll come out Oct/Nov, 2010.

I’m getting both, i’ve got too, i’ve been too into both of the games to chose one. I’m stoked for Forza 3 for the ol’reliable, but hope that Gran Turismo has some fresh air breathed into it. Its got some great graphics, but the all new ‘damage’ system looks weak, and cars still bounce off of walls. But i’m still keeping my fingers crossed. One of them is going to be great. if both are, well, bonus points.

ODST and me, or how learned to stop worrying and melee a brute.

Friday, September 25th, 2009

So, Halo 3:ODST came out this week, and i picked it up, yes, at midnight with all the other nerds. I played through the campaign mode pretty fast with a friend. With guns blazing, grenade lobbin and alien beatin, all in all it took us about 5 1/2 half hours to clear through it all.

What i was hoping it would be, and what it ended up being was pretty different.

Hopes: a stealthier, slightly more tactical shooter based around an ‘open world’ city in the Halo ‘Universe’. If you knew there was a mass of enemies in a certain area, then you go around a different block, and avoid them. If you couldn’t go around them, then you can just get in the dark, and wait til they had their backs turned to go to the next dark area. Weapon wise, i was ok if it was the usual selection of weapons in the Halo universe… you know… sub machine guns, assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers. Pretty much covers all the bases for when it comes to kickin ass.

Reality: Yes, there was some stealth elements. Playing on my own, i was able to find a dark spot, do a quick take down, move, wait til they came to where they thought i was, rinse, repeat. Now, its not that it didn’t work, it just ended up taking up quite a bit of time. Usually i would just take out on of the lil guys, because they’re not too strong, but, they still had a brute giving orders to the rest. Now, if i took out the brute first, it leaves the lil guys with out command, and after that they just freak out, some attack, some run away. But taking down a brute takes a bit of firepower.

This is where weapons come in. You are equipped with a silenced pistol, and silenced machine gun, both capable of zooming in on targets. On a brute though, the pistol did not do much damage until its armor had been destroyed, the machine gun also, was pretty weak, but where it lacks in power and accuracy, it compensated with speed. Usually i held onto the pistol, and picked up one of the alien rifles or machine guns that the enemies leave.

The usual Brute encounter went like so: throw a grenade near the target brute, and get rid of his armor. next you go in, empty your clip and done. If you’ve got good aim, and hes not wearing ‘chieftain’ armor, then you could stick a plasma/spike grenade to him and be done with it.

Theres one more type of enemy that they throw at you, and taking them on single handedly is pretty challenging. The ‘Hunter’ is bigger, stronger, and pretty heavily armed. They are the same as they’ve ever been in the other Halos, but this time around, your not the indestructible tank that is Master Chief.

Getting around New Mombasa was pretty linear, usually only one route was made available to you, so evasion was made tougher. When you play through it you start to unlock doors that grant you access to the building interiors which help you hang low or escape a hairy situation, and also pick up a few ‘premium’ weapons like the shotgun, sniper rifle or rocket launcher.

Disappointments: The non-Open Worldness of the game. You couldnt just wander where you want, only certain doors were open for you depending on what ‘level’ your playing. Levels… the next part i don’t like. Instead of the entire story taking place with you going around the city, instead, you would go from check point to check point, then finding something that triggers a ‘flashback’ level. Taking place in and around the city, one thats in the outskirts, and another at a sort of airport/shipping dock area.

The superintendent. All the trailers, and developer documentary talk about the superintendent role in the game. But, it doesn’t really do much, other than point a sign in your direction every now and then. Story wise, it fits in because it has recorded videos of all the events that have transpired in the city. I was under the understanding that it would help you out by ‘hacking’ doors, maybe killing the lights in an area, so you can sneak up on the bad guys.

Lastly, it ended up being just an normal Halo game. This time around you play as different people, who are not the super soldier that is Master Chief. Your weaker, and can’t take huge jumps, thats it.

But as a bonus they threw in Fire Fight, that pretty much makes ODST worth the money. Your stuck on small level, with endless waves of bad guys coming at you. each round you advance, the difficutly gets cranked up. The bad guys will start to throw more grenades, they start to dodge grenades, and have stronger armor. Its hard, its fun. fuck ya.

so ya, ODST, mostly its good for a rental (and easy acheivements/points), purchase it if you want fire fight mode, and the groovy stand alone Halo 3 Multiplayer disc with all all the DLC levels, and 3 new levels.

the beginning of an obsession.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

as i mentioned in an earlier post, i finally started to play Ikaruga. I’ve been reluctant about playing the game since, until yesterday, the only version i was able to get a hold of was the Xbox Live Arcade version.

So why not play that one? for that sort of game, i dont like using the xbox 360 control, something about the d-pad, and its ‘not good’-ness. But then, i found out it came out for the gamecube. I waited for it to come from gamefly and gave it a run.

Perfect. the controls were spot on… now i can start getting into this game, and see about finding a copy of my own, since the one from gameFly was not available for purchase. Sounds easy enough, fired up an internet search. Wow, on amazon new copies were going for over $100, used as low as $40. Then i started a search of all the local stores, avoiding gameStop. Nothing, either they’ve never heard of the game, or knew about its rarity. About ready to give up, i called a local GameStop. The guy answered, i asked, he said “No.” shocker. then, he said “but the store in alhambra has copy.”

No Way. All this time, a city away. I swooped down, scooped it up. its mine.

its not easy, i’ve only been able to make it to chapter 2, and as you can see in the video below, it gets pretty nuts.

and in the end

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

the love you make is equal to how fucking awesome your animated clips are…

things i’ve spawned in Scribblenauts so far…

Monday, September 14th, 2009

jet pack (alot!), grappling hook, pizza, hot air balloon, glue, race car, car, rally car (rad), bike, motorcycle, dirt bike, monster truck, UFO, crane, leash, rope, ladder, bridge, suspension bridge, drawbridge, sword, mace (club, not spray), helicopter, plane, cargo plane, hover board, skate board, video games (looked like an old gameboy), gum, candy, whip, dinosaur egg, egg, fire, ice, water, hose, glacier, pontoon boat, row boat, ninjas vs pirates (pirate won, but there was a ninja star laying around after), wizard vs dragon (wizard won), cow, samurai, geisha, joe, minotaur, and rick roll.