Aaand it’s crunch time!

Right, I have a bag of Fish & Chips flavour Walkers here! Their picture was a zillion times better than mine, and it looks pretty good on the front of the packet, so they deserved to win. Open-mouthed

But frankly… I don’t care about the packet. I only care about what’s inside! I will care even less about losing if they’re shite… and I’m gonna find out whether they are or not in about fifteen seconds! Open-mouthed

WOW, what an average taste. I can’t even taste the fish… only the chips and vinegar. That flavour SO didn’t work. It’s not BAD, but it’s not exactly mindblowing. I expected to taste the fish at LEAST!

Thank God I didn’t win. I’d be extremely embarrased at the failure job Walkers has done. Tongue out Might as well just get some Salt & Vinegar flavour crisps, they’re at LEAST 100% better!

Actually… after about 3/4 of a packet, I’d say that Salt & Vinegar is about 300% better. These are beginning to taste quite terrible, to be brutally honest.

Ah well, anyway, I’ll see yas laters. Smile

LOLOLOLOL…

Yo yo yo Helen the Spambot! How are you? Oh wait, you’re a spambot, you don’t understand me. Nice message you sent me… Tongue out

Yeah, this is hilarious. I get a few of these spam messages every so often. Just goes to show that this Windows Live social networking thing just doesn’t work:

"hot damn MongMaster Grumblkumbatung u look fine! i luved ur profile, i
will visit Internet Awesomeness this weekend, wanna go out? i got some
pics at: http://betteashton42hcm.blogspot.com, i even got videos, hit me up and get my number from http://betteashton42hcm.blogspot.com , for real hit me up on http://betteashton42hcm.blogspot.com on screen name tightp! p.s. im online for couple more hours! 🙂 aryntfli"

LOL, okay, let me break this message down. Firstly, 99% of people can’t spell Grumblkumbatung, and most people don’t call me "MongMaster Grumblkumbatung". They call me "MongMaster" or the "Dragon Dude" or "Carl", whatever takes your fancy. I also don’t know how you managed to see me, because I have no pictures of myself on my profile. And I don’t look fine, believe me. Tongue out
O, rly? You will visit Internet Awesomeness this weekend? LMAO! Ultimate macro spam killer… putting a fake location on your profile always wins. Open-mouthed No, I don’t want to go out, like… ever, because firstly, no-one sane would want to go out with me, secondly, I don’t want to go out with anyone anyway, because girls are FOCKING EXPENSIVE, and most of them whine and moan, and pretty much all girls my age can only think about sex, and thirdly, I wouldn’t meet up with anyone I met on the internet, EVER, even if I thought they were completely trustworthy… which is 0% of the time.
Now, let’s visit this site that the spambot linked like one of those spam messages by someone trying to sell you viagra… firewall on maximum… and here we go. Open-mouthed
Redirected to "janajoy.com"… a site called "XXXBlackbook", obviously full of desperate women on crack. I mean… one of them can’t even take their picture properly…

LOL, that’s an example of a big, big fail, right there. And it looks like a zombie. There’s only one option… KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!

*ahem* Right, I’m now closing that site, can’t stand to look at them anymore. All of them are mingers… and um… one of them is a picture of… of a man… even though it says "woman seeking a woman" when you hover over… it… ya, off that site…

Kay, that spambot is reported, and again…. and again… and again… and one more for good luck. Might spam back, actually. Tongue out Can a HUMAN message me with something COOL, please? Would be very much appreciated, cuz I am a little bored of spambots right now. Tongue out

LOL…

Halo Wars got beaten by Street Fighter IV… and both Rock Bands… and pretty much every other major title on the 360. Even Halo 3 beat it… lol…

Seriously, Ensemble? Never, ever make another RTS again, you suck at it. Games are supposed to be engaging and fun… but yours are super-boring and tedious. And Bungie? Stop creating pointless sequels to a soulless game. Three is enough, you don’t have to pull off the kind of fuckery that the new Star Wars films managed.

Ignore any positive reviews, seriously. It’s just a spinoff so that Bungie can cash in on their fans’ loyalty, because they knew that Halo fans would buy the game, no matter how shitty it was. Look at it this way: on MetaCritic, it was ONE POINT off drawing with Lego Star Wars II… and Bungie probably had about triple the budget that Lego Star Wars had.

Still not convinced? How about this: Halo Wars was actually beaten by Viva Pinata, Bomberman Live, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Puzzle Quest, REZ HD… (*ahem*…) Call of Duty 2, 4 and 5, Halo 3, BRAID (SERIOUSLY *AHEM*…), Gears of War 1 and 2, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, BioShock and GTA IV, just to name a few. ‘Nuff said, methinks…

Sorry to go on about it, but, you know, after playing the Halo Wars demo, I had never felt quite as bored, and I couldn’t help thinking that I was playing a cheapass spinoff. It was what I like to call a "screensaver game", the gameplay was next to zero, while the graphics were all pretty, showing that they put £2 million into graphics and stuff, and about 50p into coding and gameplay features. So they didn’t make a game, they made an interactive screensaver. And as you know, watching a screensaver for a while kinda gets boring.

On another note, I can’t wait for HAWX to come out. I think it’s next week, or something? It’ll be awesome, because it’s got GAMEPLAY in it! Ya, rly!! I played the demo, and it was mega-fun, and full of action. Nothing feels quite as good as evading an enemy’s missile, quickly drifting the craft around, destroying an enemy with your own missiles, and then recovering from the stall afterwards. Open-mouthed

Anyhoo, yeah, don’t give money to Bungie or Ensemble Studios. Give it to a company that actually TRIED to make an EXCITING game.

GAH! GIANT FAIL!

Right… you know Panzer Dragoon Saga? No, the game still rules. Just the ROMs I downloaded absolutely suck.

I just finished Disc 1 yesterday, and I thought I’d pick up Disc 2 today. So I mount Disc 2 in Daemon tools as normal, and boot the emulator. Nothing happens. I try booting it without bypassing the BIOS, and all that does is bring up the Saturn Media Player, with two music tracks on it, one is most likely a warning that the CD should be played only in a Saturn, but I’m not 100% sure, because the woman speaks in Japanese… and the second is the menu music for Panzer Dragoon Saga.I’ve tried every emulator there is, yet still nothing. I even burned the ROM to a CD to see if that would fix it, but that just wasted a CD. Sad

And now, my final resort to being able to play this game is uTorrent. Pleaaase please please let these new ROMs be good… I really want to finish this game, because it’s so full of win…

I’ll be back later. Smile

UPDATE!!

OOOH YEAH! The new images work! Open-mouthed And the game is getting more and more awesome by the zone! Open-mouthed

uTorrent FTW.

Streets of Goong – Stage 4 is LIVE!!

Oh ya, rly! It’s been like… 6 months, but now Kham is BACK, ready to LOAD STATE, and KICK ASS on the Streets of Goong!! Open-mouthed

Streets of Goong – Stage 4!

YouTube sucks, by the way. I spend ages making sure I use a lossless codec for EVERYTHING I do, resizing the video, capturing the health bar movements, and rendering the final video… and then I compress the video to MPEG-4 at 2Mbps. YouTube is supposed to like MPEG-4, and 2Mbps is a good bitrate.

Then what does YouTube do after I’ve uploaded the vid? It compresses the HELL out of it, making it sound shitty and look shitty! And there’s no link for high quality, even though I’ve uploaded it at a high quality resolution!

Dumb YouTube. Next time I’m doing it in HD. Tongue out

Anyhoo, I’m off for now. I’ll see yas later. Smile

UPDATE!!

WOW! The high-quality link’s appeared out of nowhere! Open-mouthed I’m happy now. Open-mouthed

Retro wins, and MMOs suck.

Right, so I’ve been playing a few modern-ish RPG’s recently, namely Final Fantasy X and Blue Dragon. And they’re great, because unlike a certain ripoff MMORPG created by Blizzard that is a pathetic version of their RTS’s of the same name (I won’t say the name, because it’s poisonous), they actually require skill, timing, strategy, and the ability to think before you do something.

For example, "Frig, two out of three people in my party are down! Who have I got left… okay, Auron. I can risk trying to escape, but it doesn’t always work… or I can use a Phoenix Down on one character in the hope that it’ll be that character’s turn next so he can use a Phoenix Down on the third character… OR I can use a Mega Phoenix to get everyone up, BUT they’re quite hard to find. I can also switch Yuna in, summon an Aeon and see if that can pwn the rest of the enemies, but if it can’t, I’m royally screwed."

See? In that other MMORPG I mentioned it’s "I’ve gotta keep clicking the same three buttons over and over again until the boss goes to the back of the room, then I have to dodge his charge that is impossible to dodge because of the lag, and it kills in one hit… and if I can’t dodge it, then I die, which means we lose." You can’t prevent ANYTHING, only your teammates can prevent you from dying… and your teammates CONSTANTLY make stupid mistakes.

And, don’t forget, that game is SERIOUS… FUCKING… BUSINESS!!! You HAVE to win, otherwise EVERYONE has a screw, and when you DO win, everyone’s like "YES, YES, WE WIN AT LIFE" even though they don’t… that’s the biggest thing those types of nerds fail at. Tongue out Then if they lose when rolling for a good item, they’re like "O FFS OMG WTF… I HATE YOU ALL IM GONNA KILL UR MOMS" and then become an hero. (That’s internet slang for comitting suicide, for all you that don’t know. Tongue out)

Even Blue Dragon, the game that looks like, and contains enemies like it’s targeted at 3-year-olds, has a crapload of strategy in it! It’s in the same style as Final Fantasy, because incredibly… it was MADE by the guy that founded Final Fantasy. Tongue out And even though all the characters and enemies look like cartoon characters… it’s not aimed at little kids. For example, when Shu grabs onto this rope to try and stop this shark enemy thing at the start of the game… he yells "Stop! STOP, YOU BASTARRRD!" Sadly, that’s the only swear word they were allowed to use to stop the game going over 12+. Tongue out

Final Fantasy X and Blue Dragon are great modern RPG’s, and there are more out there (Fallout 3 doesn’t count. It was good, but it was just an FPS with randomness included, so there’s no skill required, and modern developers think that graphics are much much more important than gameplay and game length). But, after playing a certain rare semi-retro (1998, it’s retro enough Tongue out) RPG… I’ve decided that most modern games have NOTHING unique about them.

I found a ROM for Panzer Dragoon Saga, a Sega Saturn RPG that is extremely difficult to find a hard copy of, because it’s so rare. Apparently, if you want a hard copy, you may have to pay upwards of $200 (£140) for it! Confused I decided to stick with the digital copy, and use Daemon Tools to run it. Open-mouthed

As you may know, Panzer Dragoon is probably the best rail-shooter of all time. I’ve only played Panzer Dragoon Orta, and it’s awesome, I mean REALLY awesome, because it’s such a challenge (The amount of times I’ve died on Normal mode is ridiculous, and I haven’t even dared to go on Hard yet. Confused), it’s got great gameplay (Because it’s FUN), it’s got a lot of strategy involved (You’ve got to change forms A LOT. For example, you’re on a section before the chapter boss, and there are a lot of enemies, so you’ll want to use Base Wing, because that lets you lock onto the most enemies. Then when you get to the boss, you’ll want Heavy Wing, so you can do more damage, but then when the boss shoots a million missiles towards you, you’ve got to change to Glide Wing and shoot all the missiles down, otherwise it’s gonna hurt quite a bit, and destroy your ranking. Tongue out), and because it’s a RAIL SHOOTER, and rail shooters automatically win, UNLESS incorporated into Legend of Spyro. Then they auto-fail. Tongue out

Anyway, I decided to try Panzer Dragoon Saga, and after about 20-25 minutes of finding a Saturn emulator and trying to get it to work, I managed to boot the game. After starting a game and after a VERY LENGTHY intro sequence (about 10 minutes, and it was all in Japanese with English subs, but I don’t care, because then at least you don’t have shitty English voice actors ruining it), I got TWO MINUTES of gameplay, followed by another 5-10 minute cutscene, where Edge (the main character) meets the dragon. Don’t ask me why, cuz I don’t really know. Tongue out And then it explained the battle system with a bunch of tutorials… and after I finished the tutorials, I concluded that this was the best battle system in the known universe.

RPG’s to me are about story, strategic gameplay and character development… and although the story is important, and the character development is like, critical… the strategy and gameplay just dominate everything else, because they are STUPIDLY indepth. I’m gonna try and explain why now… I may need screenshots. It’s quite hard to explain. Open-mouthed

Basically… in a battle, you have a radar at the bottom of the screen, with the enemy in the middle, and you at the edge of the map marked by an axe/hammer/whatever, like this:

If you’re in a green area in relation to the enemy, you’re safe, the enemy can’t attack you (or can attack you with puny attacks), and you can charge your action gauge freely without risk of pwnage. If you’re in a grey zone, the enemy will be able to use its moderate attacks (if they have an action gauge charged). If you’re in a red zone, you can be hit by the enemy’s most powerful attacks, and you should REALLY consider moving.
Thing is, some of an enemy’s weak spots may not be in a green zone, so you have to decide whether to stick your neck out for high damage, or to play it safe in the green zones.

And this is unique, as well – after a battle, you get RATED on how well you did:

However… the rating system is BRUTAL. If you do awesomely, but just make the SLIGHTEST mistake, it won’t give you an "Excellent", the highest rank. Slight mistakes include taking ANY form of damage, firing the wrong thing at the wrong time, using Berserks when it’s not totally necessary, moving when you don’t really need to… all of these can possibly knock you down a rank.
For that battle with the first boss, it gave me a "Good"… which is the middle rank. GOOD?! I kicked his ass through the wall! Hit his weak spot every time, stayed out of red where it was physically possible, taking the minimum amount of damage you can take, never used a heal… and I got a GOOD. It’s not irritating, really (unless it gives you a "Close Call" when you didn’t do THAT bad), it’s a REALLY BIG challenge. Some games are easy to get the highest rank on (Overkills on Final Fantasy X are SOOOO easy…) so you don’t feel like you’ve done anything amazing… whereas in some like this one, when you get the highest rank, you feel like yelling "OH YES! I RULE!" because it’s so hard to achieve!

And speaking of "Excellent"s… I JUST GOT ONE!! Open-mouthed

Oh yes, oh yes, that was awesome. And with the Japanese double-exclamation mark that you see pretty often! It adds EFFECT to your winnage! Open-mouthed

Oh yeah, and by the way, now that I’ve just saved the game… I
have to ask, WHY THE HELL DON’T GAMES SAVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE?! You know
how it is these days, you click the "save" button, and it takes a few
seconds to save (one game I remember took over 30 seconds to save Confused).
Panzer Dragoon Saga? You click "Save Game to Internal RAM", select a
slot, confirm the overwrite if you need to, and BOOM, in a split
second, the game is saved. Final Fantasy X doesn’t need to save much
more than Panzer Dragoon Saga does… so why does it take about 400
times longer?!

By the way, don’t even go saying "Oh, you only think this game’s awesome cuz there’s a dragon in it", because that doesn’t make a lot of difference. I could be flying on a giant eagle or a flying FISH or even a BRICK… and I would still think the game is awesome. Even though flying on a brick would sort of destroy the storyline, and the part where you have a choice of whether to name your brick or not would be kinda weird… but I wouldn’t care, because the gameplay would still be awesome. Open-mouthed That’s all that matters to me – the gameplay. And if you’re a proper gamer, that’s all you should be bothered about anyway.

Seriously dudes, if you’re bored and like RPG’s, try and find the ROMs for Panzer Dragoon Saga (there are four of them, because there are four CD’s). You can get them all from Romulation (although you’ll have to wait a while to get the points needed to download all the ROMs), and get the Saturn emulator called SSF. I admit, it’s a lot of work to get it to run the game properly, you have to get DAEMON Tools, mount the ROM with it, turn off the BIOS (otherwise it won’t boot, saying the game disc is unsuitable), configure controllers, set the CD drive to be the correct one, and THEN you can boot the game. Open-mouthed If you’re on Vista, whatever you do, don’t save state using the emulator menus. The emulator WILL crash.

Anyhoo, I’ll stop typing now, and get on with playing this. I suggest you do the same, because you will be forever awesome. Open-mouthed See yas!

Yeeeah, my Xbox is back!

It came Wootage! Awesome service by Microsoft. Smile

It’s a brand new Xbox, and it’s quieter, and it doesn’t crash halfway through games anymore… it’s ace! Open-mouthed And they included a month of Xbox Live Gold for me, too, which was cool. Open-mouthed It arrived a lot faster than I expected it to. Smile Kudos to MS.

I also got a new Live Arcade game, Castle Crashers, which is super-awesome. Open-mouthed It’s like Streets of Rage, only it’s next-gen, and in HD, and is pretty much nothing like Streets of Rage graphics-wise. Tongue out

I got a couple new game demos, too! Open-mouthed Tom Clancy’s HAWX, which is fricking awesome, and I’ve already pre-ordered it. It’s full of awesome action, and you can pull off stupid stunts when you turn assistance off… and you can also stall the plane that way. But that’s easy to fix, just pull up and accelerate, and you’ll snap right out of it. Open-mouthed Can’t wait for that to be released.

I also tried Halo Wars… which is shit. Yes, I am DEADLY serious, Halo Wars is shit, and ANYONE who says it isn’t really needs to snap out of it. I may be a bit biased, because I went off RTS’s ever since I realised that they’re all exactly the same… but I’m not kidding about Halo Wars at all. The game is a glorified version of Age of Empires 3, and that game was seriously boring. Halo Wars is a bit LESS boring, but it’s still not really gripping… it’s like Age of Empires with extra rush elements added from Command and Conquer, the town hall upgrade system from the Warcraft RTS’s, and the Covenant even has the leader system from War Wind!
The Covenant have AGES, like Age of Empires, which is stupid. Buildings are created within ten seconds, so you can get a full base up and running within 20-30 seconds, and units train at quite a fast rate, just like C&C. The bases can be upgraded to level 2 and 3, like in Warcraft… and the Covenant have a leader that you have to protect at all costs, otherwise you immediately lose, like in War Wind! It’s stupid, and has zero originality! Even the graphics are shitty (discounting the FMV’s every so often, but FMV’s ALWAYS have stupidly insanely awesome graphics, because they’re pre-rendered), but that’s tradition with most RTS’s nowadays. And the camera is impossible to get into a good angle. Halo Wars is gonna be exactly like the new Star Wars films, it’s gonna have no soul, it’s going to be boring, and it’s just the product of people saying "Right, those last three games people liked and they made us a lot of money… now let’s make some more just for the money, because our fans WILL buy it…"

And I hate games like that.

Anyway, as a summary, get HAWX, because it’s full of awesome action, get Castle Crashers, because it’s freaking fun, and avoid Halo Wars, because it’s boring as F**K!

Right, I’m off now, so I’ll see yous laters! Smile

Whooooo, good start to today! :D

Just got an e-mail from Microsoft!

"Dear Carl Holmes,

Great news, your Xbox console has been shipped and is on its way back to you!  You should receive this within the next 7 days."

Yayums! Open-mouthed And I’ve just contacted CoolerMaster about my case fan, and I’ll hopefully have a reply from them soon! It’d better be a good reply, cuz THEIR side fan broke in THEIR case, so it’s THEIR fault! I’m not about to go spending ANOTHER £10-20 for a new side fan…

Anyway, I’ll be back later, methinks! See ya. Smile

UPDATE!!

I was just checking an e-mail from eBuyer about the two new case fans I bought to add to the Cosmos S… and um… check out when they’re gonna be delivered:

"The order will be delivered on Fri 13th February 2009. An email will be sent as soon as your order is dispatched from our warehouse."

WHOA! JESUS CHRIST don’t deliver then! The case’ll probably explode! Surprised

Oh, what a GREAT day I’ve had today…

Yeeeah… if you happen to LIKE being irritated and annoyed, you’d’ve REALLY wanted to be me, today.

Let’s see, where do I begin… oh yes, I went to college, and found out that Torque Constructor, the program I need to use to complete an assignment, doesn’t work AT ALL. I can load it up, but I can’t DO ANYTHING. So, I’ve been bored at college all day.

When I got home, and after tea, I went on Crysis. My graphics cards can handle it no problem at all on medium-high graphics, sometimes dipping to 20FPS, but usually hovering around 40-55FPS, which is perfectly acceptable. Then… halfway through a level, my display driver stops responding for no reason, which forces me to exit the game, and load it again. That’s fine the first time… but when it happens seven or eight times in the space of half an hour, it starts to become extremely irritating, especially due to the fact that I didn’t know WTF was causing it. I assumed it was the new level I’d entered, and shrugged it off.

Until I loaded up LCD SirReal, and got my GPU temperatues. My main card was running at a frankly STUPID 110 degrees C. Yes, 110C. Usually, that card runs at around 70-80C, which is fine, I’ve never had any problems at all, but 110C was a bit scary.

And I was right to be scared. cuz after another 20 seconds, the computer ordered an emergency shutdown. My graphics card had JUST broken the temperature threshold. First time in my life that I’ve ever experienced that.

Just to check that my sensors weren’t going nuts, I touched the heatsink of the GPU, and it BURNED. My sensors definitely weren’t wrong, that GPU had overheated. I let it cool for 15 minutes or so, while I tried to figure out WTF had caused it to overheat. Could I find anything? No, I couldnt.

Until I put the card back in, and rebooted my PC.

The GPU fan WASN’T SPINNING, therefore it was literally frying my GPU, because it had no direct cooling whatsoever. I gave the fan a kickstart, and it started to spin, although it was a LOT slower than my other GPU, which explained why it was so much hotter than my other GPU. Just before I could decide that it was way too dangerous to keep the overheated card in my PC anymore… I found that Vista hadn’t been able to load the graphics drivers. I blamed Vista, and reinstalled them, yet they still wouldn’t work. Then, I switched the GPU’s around, so that my healthier GPU was running the display… and the drivers worked. That, coupled with the fact that NOTHING could detect the overheated GPU, meant only one thing.

I’D JUST BRICKED AN 8800GT. SON OF A BITCH!

Thinking about that, though, it’s not even my fault. How is it my fault if the fan on that shitty GPU just STOPPED SPINNING for NO REASON, therefore cooking the GPU without me being able to know? I’m always keeping temperature monitors up from now on, though.

Oh, yeah, and by the way, alongside this graphics card breakage… the huge 200mm fan on the side of my Cosmos S, after just a few days, has SHATTERED, and lost 2 blades, therefore making the case wobble when that fan spins, AND reducing cooling power! So I have to tell CoolerMaster to get me another one of THEM!

And to add insult to injury, as I was removing my bricked card and making my healthy card primary, the CPU cooler ACTUALLY FELL OFF THE CPU! That’s not only fricking irritating, because it takes 15-20 painful minutes to put back on, but it’s damned dangerous as well, it could’ve damaged several other components if it had fell on them!

So, in ONE DAY, I’ve lost a £100 graphics card because of a SINGLE overheat, I’ve had the largest fan on a £135 case shatter for no obvious reason, and I’ve collected three more cuts from that damned CPU fan. Now I have to decide whether to continue with my plans and get a new watercooling system, which will replace that loud, dangerous, unstable, non-cooling CPU fan… or replace my current 8800GT with a card that will act as if TWO 8800GT’s (or possibly more) are linked together in my system… and whatever I choose, it’s not gonna be cheap… ESPECIALLY the graphics…

Anyway… how was your day? Tongue out

Oh, yes, and by the way…

On Wednesday, when I arrived at College, I plugged in my memory stick to the computer I usually work at, and turned it on. After the POST and the BIOS sequence, I was greeted with the Windows Disk Checker, which scanned my disk because it thought it was dirty. Yes, seriously, it thought that it was DIRTY. I has the scan log, see?


Checking file system on E:
The type of the file system is FAT32.

The volume is dirty.
Volume Serial Number is 6E49-01D8
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

   4102164480 bytes total disk space.
      1339392 bytes in 24 hidden files.
      3694592 bytes in 864 folders.
   2559365120 bytes in 7171 files.
   1537761280 bytes available on disk.

         4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
      1001505 total allocation units on disk.
       375430 allocation units available on disk.


LOL WUT… Should I… like… wash it or something? Another shred of evidence that shows that the College computers and Operating Systems are COMPLETELY insane. Open-mouthed