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Tag Archives: xbox 360

Spy in the Base

eBay is sketchy. Every time I complete a transaction, I sort of expect the worst. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when I ordered The Orange Box (PC version), and the installation key they included with the game didn’t work because it had already been used. The seller was legit about it though; he emailed me a working replacement key which theoretically cannot be used again now that it’s associated with my Steam Account.

The game is good. Really good. Good enough that I’m considering getting the XBOX version as well, so that I can play Team Fortress 2 with my XBOX friends (waiting for some kind of signal from them that they are actually interested in playing it though). I beat Portal over the course of a week, even though I’ve seen the whole thing on YouTube. Knowing what was going to happen put a slight damper on the experience, but it was still fun. Hearing the Portal Song, “Still Alive”, in-game… earning it with my own sweat and nausea… made me a little emotional. Team Fortress 2 has been a delight. I’m terrible at it, but the class-based FPS has a lot of depth. All this praise and I haven’t even installed Half-Life 2, ostensibly the biggest draw of The Orange Box for many gamers.

In general I shun these games because they make me sick, but TF2 has actually been easier to handle than some others (Gears of War, for example), and I think it’s because of the “cartoony” design. This would explain why I never had trouble with Doom or Marathon on my old Macintosh, but when Half-Life came out for the PC I was instantly vertigoed. There’s something about the high detail level that is more vertigo-inducing.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2008 in Entertainment

 

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Roll the Dice to See if I’m Rocking Out

As others have noted, Rockband isn’t truly meant to be played alone. When you’re doing a solo singing tour, it can be a bit of a chore. And singing karaoke isn’t quite as fun without the social awkwardness. So you will be pleased to know that my new band “Nonisothermal Domination” has started their world tour and may soon be coming to a city near you.

Rockband becomes something different when you have two or three friends over playing with you. The experience feels like a simplified role playing game. You and your party members are assuming the roles of musicians. It has classes (drums, mic, guitar, and bass), levels/dungeons (gigs), experience points and gold (fans/stars and cash), inventory management (purchasing outfits and changing your character’s appearance), NPCs (managers and roadies), death/rebirth (failure and being saved), and even special abilities that are slightly different for the different classes (overdrive modes). When I play Rockband alone, I feel like I’m sitting at home reading the D&D Player Character guide to learn the mechanics, rather than playing the actual game with friends. Having people in the room with me makes it feel like we’re going on an adventure together.

Besides the somewhat stretched analogy to a game from my past, Rockband is just really fun an intuitive. Not to mention that I laugh out loud whenever I see someone play the drums. After Bads played at my house yesterday, he told me that it was an “ultimate gaming moment” when he saw the first drum fill section of his first song and knew what to do without anyone explaining it. I completely agree.

Of course, if anyone in the band hears about this D&D to Rockband analogy, they’ll probably kick me out and stick the paparazzi on me, so let’s keep this between us.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2007 in Entertainment

 

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They Look More Real When You Actually Inject the Ink Under The Skin

Today I:

  • Woke up early, got ready, and carefully applied a “Sauron’s Mask” temporary tatoo to my right arm.
  • Went to work to read, and then re-read, every XKCD comic.
  • After work, drove to Best Buy and picked up an XBOX 360 Elite with Gears of War.
  • Blogged about it all as soon as I could.

It’s nice to be embracing my element.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2007 in Entertainment, Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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