Thursday, March 31, 2011

UK Resistance: Rest In Peace & Funny Posts

Old Sega fansite UK Resistance has announced that it will receive no more posts.  Site will still be up (I think), but with no more updates.  You have other sites like this one claiming it's shut down so it seems believable to me.  I don't think it's an April Fool's Joke since it was announced March 29th.

Now lately, they've been posting crap about Sony and Nintendo so it's like they were getting bored with it.  Anyway, we remember the Blue Sky in Games Campaign and 50 Reasons to Buy OutRun 2.

Beware that UK Resistance is not a site for the kids cause of the curse words so this is your warning.

Some of my favorite old posts.  I was actually compiling a list a while back, but I was lazy.  So I'm gonna post this now:

The OutRun 2 tips book!  Also Doom III and Fable.

And finally...a Christmas story about OutRun 2--A Christmas Carol style.  Save us from the Need for Speed games!  Funny how that was years ago.  Nowadays, it's Burnout & Split/Second.


That's about it for now.  I sure hope the site doesn't go down forever or all these picture links will be ruined and I'll be super-pissed.  Farewell, mates.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's The Obsession With Car Crashes?

This is an interesting article I stumbled across from Jalopnik, a car enthusiast blog that is affiliated with Kotaku.  Read it here.  Of course, I'll rehash it as well as offer my two cents.  This pertains to real-life crashes although it could carry over to video games like *ahem* Burnout and Split/Second.

Basically, car crashes are popular videos it seems.  People can't look away because it's so horrible.  The main reason why is because there is some morbid curiosity in us all.  We want to see what it's like to have a brush with death without actually putting ourselves at risk.  Sort of like "Wow, that was painful, but I'm glad it wasn't me."

A good example of this is horror movies or pranks you pull on friends.  So why do people watch this crap?  Because many liked to be scared, frankly.  Somehow, being scared ties in with laughter--ever notice how after you're shocked you start laughing?  Well, there's something in your brain that connects fear and laughter, I guess.  Roller coasters and other dangerous rides are another good example.  Normally, if you're flung 90 mph down a hill in a coffin-shaped car, odds are you will crash into something and become severely injured or killed.  But thakfully, that car is hinged to the track below so you get to experience the "whoosh" while being safe.

Of course, to tell you the truth, I hate crash footage, horror movies (new slasher flicks anyway), and roller coasters (afraid of heights).  I guess I get my kicks from driving fast cars, something which I haven't had the luxury to do...yet.

Another reason why is because people like the risk-reward involved.  Risk is fun--no use playing a video game if you can't lose, now do you?  EDIT: Like how friendly poker players say "Let's make it interesting," and throw bets on the table.   Frankly, some people get tired of following society's norms--wear your seatbelt, don't drive fast, stay in your lane.  So whenever someone goes fast, you want to know what happens.  Just cause.  Risk makes everything more interesting.

Wow, that Iraqi burnout was unexpected.

Ever watched a police chase show and you almost rooted for the criminal to get away?  Well sometimes...but we want to see justice served.  Just to see if society's values are carried out--good guys win, bad guys go to jail and die.  Usually, the people in the crash videos are guilty of breaking the rules so they "deserve" it.

Also, it's been said that a few people have been in police chases purely for the excitement--because they were bored.  Now that's a huge extreme, but sometimes I want to drive fast although I'm too much of a coward to take big risks.  Last thing I want to do is end up behind bars or six feet under.

Final reason, and the article doesn't mention this, is that people just like seeing stuff get blown up.  Expensive cars, houses, stuff coming to an end.  See Wrecked Exotics, a page for all sorts of banged-up luxury cars (I can't look!!!).  The logic is if they don't have to pick up the tab for the damage, then what does it matter?

So I guess for all the reasons above, you can't have a racing game without big wrecks.  That's not necessarily a bad thing but when it becomes the primary focus of the game (Burnout, Split/Second), it's almost like they care more about spectacular devastation than the actual driving itself. more thing.  Do you think games like Burnout will ever be blamed for aggressive driving?  Kind of like how Counter-Strike was blamed for school shootings?  It may have been done before--I wouldn't be surprised.  EDIT: But so what, Burnout is awesome for kids, ya herd???   But wait--I did notice one line from this review that I should point out:

Didn’t like: This game is perfect, except, when you get really good you might go so fast you can’t see anything. Blazing speeds when you use the boost trigger.

Is it just me, or when playing these games, it's hard to see what's coming up on you when you're going fast?  And it's not because you're going fast, but the camera angles and the visuals can be disorienting.  Like you have a rocket on your ass.  Wait a minute, I just lit a rocket; ROCKETS EXPLODE!!  At least you can see where you're going in a Sega racer...sheesus.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Magical Journeys Throughout Europe Just Got More Difficult

I really have tried to stray from political issues, but if this true, then it is disturbing.

Some people at the European Union are trying to ban gas-powered cars from cities by 2050.  What for?  Cause of climate change???...but Carbon Dioxide only makes up 0.035% (give or take) of the atmosphere and if anything, the earth is getting colder.  Record winters & snowfalls everywhere.  Remember the '70s Time Magazine cover of the coming Ice Age and all the panic these big heads get into over extremes.

And if cars are deadly...well, there's plenty of things that people get killed by, such as planes, knives, peppermints (assuming you choke on 'em), swimming pools, etc.

I also don't even know how this is supposed to work--you can use cars outside of cities but not in if you live in the city, you have to ride a bike over to the parking garage on the outskirts of town then drive away, go to another city, park the car outside that city then walk to the destination?  Makes a whole lotta sense.  Go ahead and ban all cars while you're at it.  Ok, now that is sick.  Please God don't let 'em do that.

I wonder what luxury auto makers like Ferrari, Porsche, and so forth will respond. I love cars, I want to drive cars around, cut this government intervention crap. I hope this is one of those phony baloney stories that is being blown out of proportion.  EDIT: No more cruis'n around OutRun/PGR style.  Whatever happened to letting the private sector determine supply and demand?

I know some of my long-time friends are from the UK.  Stand up for liberty and freedom, people!  If they take away cars, then what else can they take away too?  Maybe fast food, video games, flushable toilets, etc.  For the greater good I guess?  Wow!  We may have bigger problems on our hands than all these stupid depressing video games and Sega's ineptitude after all.


Oh yeah, two more things.  Afterburner Climax and Crazy Taxi are just 400 MSP on Xbox Live for one week only.  So go go buy it, go go go go go go go go.

Also, WHY ARE THEY MAKING CUSTOM XBOX LIVE AVATAR FIGURES NOW...first Fatheads, now this.  I hate these avatar things now with all the expensive accessories, make em stop...  What a crappy day.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New CS Maps: Sonic Hydrocity/Mushroom Hill & Super Mario Bros. 2

I've still got a few of these maps to get done.  I know I still have to post the Disney World pics and other stuff, but so let's slip this in here now.

These are some of the earlier maps that I've made so they look a bit rugged, but still I thought these were cool maps.  Now I was tempted to go back and make a map for each Sonic 3&K level, but that would take a lot of effort for something I don't think would pay off.  If I did pick another Sonic level, I'm leaning towards Lava Reef.

I also added a funny thing to the Sonic maps...little powerup computers replicas.  One gives body armor, another gives a grenade, and another gives a TMP.  They flash an image of the item instead of a shield, rings, etc.  You just touch the comps and they explode.  Funny stuff ladies and gentlemen.

I still have secret maps coming your way.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

About A (Red-Head) Boy

This is a story that happened a week ago.  One of my mom's friends was going to Las Vegas and our family agreed to have her son stay over for three days.  This kid is 10 years old and I've maybe seen him a few brief times before.  All we know is that this is the Brady Bunch and this kid is Cousin Oliver.  So I didn't mind having him over just as long as he didn't raid my room and touch all my stuff.  To keep his identity safe, I'll refer to him as "Dude."

I'm annoying and nobody likes me!  Now make me a sandwich!

But first, about my family--my three brothers to be exact.  I'm the oldest at 23.  My two middle brothers are going to school, doing work, and hanging out with (girl)friends so they are almost always out of the picture nowadays, seemingly content for me to "babysit" Dude because they find him somewhat creepy.  My youngest brother is 13.  Believe it or not, he has autism.  I'll call him "Guy."  Basically, he acts socially different compared to kids his age.  He plays video games like I do and I usually get along with him as long as he's not throwing a fit or screwing with my Xbox 360.  So basically, I'm not used to interacting with a "normal" child like Dude.

With Dude over, at first I'm assuming he will play with Guy, but Guy usually sticks his head in Playstation 3 games and doesn't like to be bothered.  At this point in time, I wasn't really expecting to hang out with Dude, but he wanted to play the Xbox 360 in my room which I let him do with slight reluctance.  Guy comes in to play with him and I go eat a sandwich.  But then Guy jumps back on the PS3 and Dude is all alone.  So basically, the only person Dude has to hang out with is me.  A 23 year old hanging out with a 10 year old.  Yeah, this is the recipe for a Disney channel show or an indie movie I see.  Dude also brought over his stuffed Beagle dog toy which is basically his "security blanket."

But first, an aside.  For some reason, I feel like I've never grown up.  Well, subtle things anyway.  Like we've went to a restaurant recently and my 16 year old brother orders a parmesean caesar salad with crab legs and chives (I made this up) while I order chicken fingers.  I also have toys lying around my room.  I think that Dude saw into my soul and sort of got along with me right away, seeing I'm not this big bad man like most people my age are.

So what do we do?  He wants to play a video game--one with guns but no cursing.  So we play Call of Duty: Black Ops!  We go online split screen.  He just plain sucks with his 0.1 KDR, but he was stoked to play the game as late as possible.  Later, we try to play one of those Halo campaign missions, but we get stuck one one of those flying missions.  I keep getting spawned in mid-air and he keeps dying.  We go back to Black Ops afterwards cause Halo sucks.

He claims he's never spent the night over at someone's house and stayed up late (3 am) before.  I used to do it all the time, I said.  He talked about sporadic things like how Vanilla Ice ripped off Queen's Under Pressure and how LSU Football head coach Les Miles should be fired.  Like I said, this is completely new to me cause I've never hung out with kids before.  He did bring up this point while we were talking; just substitute Donkey Kong with Daytona USA:

Ok, this really didn't happen.  Sorry...somehow I was just reminded of Billy Madison.

Now I'm not pursuing this kid, but he seemed to look up to me.  I'm at home, just hanging out, doing what I normally do with my time.  Sometimes Dude would be out swimming in the pool, hanging out with Guy, or throwing the football around outside.  I was sitting down alone eating Tyson chicken fries at dinnertime when he started to ask questions about me like where I am in school (I have a college degree!!) and do I have a girlfriend (not now cause girls are trouble).  But then he asks this question (I'm paraphrasing):

DUDE: Hey, do you have any friends?

ME: Eh, not really.

DUDE: Why not?

ME: I don't know...I'm not very outgoing and I like a lot of stuff that's not popular so I don't have a lot in common.  Not many people like me.

DUDE: Well, that's stupid because you're supposed to like people for their character, not for their hobbies or their skills.

ME: Why, that's very good advice.

DUDE: You have a friend; do you know who your friend is?

ME: Who?

DUDE: I'm your friend.


I'm going to tell you the truth.  Trying to maintain these friendships and figuring out what (and how) to say things is as tricky as walking the tightrope 50 stories high.  But why?  How much value can you put in a 10 year old kid?  Well, it's nice to see another human being who will actually talk to me; that's new...

Of course, by this point in time, you think I'm leaning towards some Michael Jackson-esque man-boy "relationship," but spare me the grief cause that's not where I'm heading.

Oh yeah, one more funny thing.  He sees my collection of Xalax Lego Racers in my room and says, "Hey I have a few of these.  Next time I come over, I'll give them to you cause I don't want them anymore."  If that is true, then that's just insane.

Anyway, Dude plays two-player Tony Hawk for the PS3 with Guy and then they go to sleep.  Dude leaves at 8 am next morning.  Before he left, I said goodbye and this conversation ensued:

And there goes my "friend."  Ehh, whatever.  I usually rail on kids for being obnoxious and "stupid" (obviously not to their faces...I'm not that big of a jerk) but sometimes they can surprise you.  And kids don't have to put up with crap like politics, news, paying bills, losing weight (eh, most of them), etc. so their ideas seem more "pure" than us adults' ideas.  I know it's just a kid, but it's nice to know I made a friend which made me feel a little better about myself.

But speaking of kids, in all honesty, I love the scene at the end of Step Brothers with the kids.  Seriously, we need more kids to get beat up in movies since they get away with everything while the adults get pissed on.  Rofl.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sega Charity, Sega Rally Arcade, NFS: Shift 2, RR 3D, Dumb Gamers (Dumbarse Links)

I've got a couple of links on the backburner that I really should get out of the way now.


Sega is auctioning a bunch of stuff for charity.  Mostly autographed memorabilia and shirts.  Now you can buy an OutRun 2 poster signed by Yu Suzuki.  Surprisingly I can afford it at the moment (just $250), but it's not worth it.  You have two days left, go go go.

Speaking of which, why is everyone's signature so illegible nowadays?  I mean, you can read my signature.  But other people, it's like they're waving the pen around like an ice skating routine.  What's the deal with that.

Talking about Japan again, they keep talking about the nuke reactors which they've actually got back on power now FYI.  What about the actual damage to the rest of the area?  Possibly 10,000+ dead.  Good Lord.  And I thought I had it bad through Hurricane Katrina.  At least you are hearing barely any news out of Japan which mean things can't get much worse from here.


Hey, if you want to learn more about Sega Rally Arcade, check out my good friend F40's post which goes into more detail about the content in the game.  Worth a read if you're interested.  Remember, 5 tracks and 13 cars.


Another GameFAQs poll! Which company would you most like to see in the next "vs. Capcom" game?...  This one was taken about a week ago out a sample of 60232 votes:

Square Enix: 30.67%
Nintendo: 27.22%
Shonen Jump: 12.53%
Konami: 8.4%
DC: 8.36%
Namco Bandai: 5.7%
Sega: 4.08%
Dark Horse: 3.03%

Why am I not surprised by these polls anymore?  Why do they even bother including Sega anyway?  Outdone by Namco again?  Hey, at least Namco has Soul Calibur and Tekken.  And Square Enix/Nintendo vs. Capcom....ROFL, there's your GameFAQs fanboyism in action.  Go stick to Smash Bros., kids.


Another gamer-turned-racer story: gamer comes in 2nd place in a 12 hour LeMans race.  So this guy out of Spain won the GT5 Academy contest and actually had the opportunity to race a world-class automobile.  He lost by about 10 laps (on Sebring), but considering how long the race is, it's still impressive.

But what's weird is that we had a story a while back about the best iRacing player who couldn't physically do more than ten laps in a Formula 1 car.  But suddenly you got this new guy who apparently has the stamina to go 12 hours of driving?  Maybe this new guy took his protein pills or something, I don't know.


And if you want to watch a professional driver play NFS: Shift 2, there you go.  Game doesn't look too bad.  Nice video, bro.

I wonder if it'll handle like Project Gotham Racing or will it go more simmy like GT or Forza.  Heh, you gotta do some real convincing to make me buy it :)


EDIT: Oh, and one more thing.  Sorry I'm late to post this.  Joystiq reviews Ridge Racer 3D for the 3DS.  They love it apparently.  Quotes from this review:

It may seem like a cash grab, with the game arriving at launch more or less unchallenged and bearing a well-known name, but while there's probably some element of that at play, there's no denying that Ridge Racer 3D is as strong an entry in the series as there's been in years.

The drifting-focused gameplay, while fundamentally unchanged since the mid-'90s, is pitch-perfect.

I have to hand it to Namco-Bandai: With the exception of omitting online multiplayer, it really put together a solid entry in the series for the 3DS launch, one that's easily high on the list of best titles available for the new system.

Score: 4.5 stars out of 5.

But WHOA there champ!  I seem to recall that two months ago, they put out an article stating the exact opposite--that the game is trash and Namco should be ashamed of themselves.  I quote from this old article:

It's clear why Namco chooses this strategy: it manages to obfuscate the franchise's lack of innovation with the technological advance each generational leap brings.

And here's another mark for unoriginality -- for the umpteenth time, Namco is intent on reusing "favorite courses from the past."

"Competent" is as effusive as I can get. 

Ridge Racer 3D continues the series' legacy of producing solid, albeit predictable, launch games. So what if we can't get excited for it?

Lovely.  First, you look at the game and say it sucks.  Then you play it and take it all back.  So what--is it good, bad, what the hell is this?

Good riddance, these gaming blogs like Kotaku and Joystiq are really pushing me to prescription overdose.  Okay, so the two articles are written by different people, but how stupid that they couldn't account for multiple editors''s the Wild Wild West when it comes to articles, throw up what you want.

I hope I'm not guilty of the same thing.  Well, maybe with Goldeneye Wii, but I never played the game so so what.

Read my Ridge Racer experience post here.

Yu Suzuki: Words Of Wisdom (Game Creation Book)

I have this hough jazz book titled Game Creation and Careers: Insider Secrets from Industry Experts by Marc Saltzman.  I've had this book for many years already--I think it came out in 2003.  My dad bought it for me.  It contains much advice and insight from famous game devs like Will Wright, Hideo Kojima, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneaux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Gabe Newell.  Subjects include characters, art, level design, programming, marketing, sound, et. al.

This is the book if you're interested.  Not sure what the negative reviews are about--just screw it.

Now I've looked for Sega people and there are two--Yu Suzuki, Yuji Naka, Toshihiro Nagoshi, and Kenji Kanno (Hitmaker Studios which made Crazy Taxi).

Yu Suzuki has two sections and I might as well share them with you cause it's a bit interesting I guess.  I could try to scan these sections but the book is way too fat for me to even attempt it:


On Action/Arcade Game Design (pg. 21-23):

The honorable Yu Suzuki is a representative director at Sega-AM2 Co. Ltd. in Japan.  He has worked on a number of worldwide products over the past few years, including Beach Spikers, the Virtua Fighter series (1 through 4), the Shenmue series, the Virtua Cop series, Hang On, Space Harrier, Afterburner, Virtua Racing, and many others.  Whew!

His dream is for Sega-AM2 to be a top studio by the world's standards.  "We would like to be a company that, when someone talks about 'a game company,' they immediately mention Sega-AM2," says Suzuki.  He provides several pieces of good advice for a new game designer:

* Senior team members.  As game development is in most cases a group effort, the most important matter is communication.  In order to learn techniques effectively, it's important to find "good seniors."  I recommend you go out and play other than in a place of work, and have a good friendship with them.  By having a good relationship with them, you'll be able to obtain various kinds of information or advice.  By combining obtained information/advice and your own ideas, you'll be able to work toward the goal without vain efforts.

* On-the-job training.  Some companies provide educational programs for a certain period after entering the company.  These are general or special programs, but the most effective one is "on-the-job training."

If they want to practice processing words, planners should not only type words, but try writing the imaginary planning document of a game.  Programmers should try programming according to the plan their company may carry out (fly something, move cars, etc.).  For example, if you have information that you'll be developing a game featuring a Porsche, instead of giving a test for other cars, start with Porsche cars from the beginning.

The same can be said for designers.  For example, if you have information that you'll develop a fantasy game, you can create vfairies or creatures that suit fantasy, instead of flowers or glasses that have nothing to do with the game.  I think that it's very important to always train yourself with images that you're likely to use in actual work.

* Self-investment.  After you enter a company, you'll be salaried.  Use your salary as much as possible for "self-investment" in order to add value to yourself.  By raising your value in the company, their evaluation of you will rise.

* Pursue your hobbies as much as possible.  For example, if you like watching movies, watch a lot of movies.  Have at least one thing you're more familiar with than anyone else.  Seen from other people's eyes, you might seem to waste your money.  However, it will be your own experiences and a great help to create good games in the future.

[displays image of Virtua Fighter & Yu Suzuki]
Yu Suzuki has helped create numerous Sega games for the home and arcade, including the Virtua Fighter series.  Virtua Fighter 4 is shown here.

Suzuki says the most appealing part of the Virtua Fighter series is its multiplayer gameplay.  He explains that it's not just simple "person versus CPU" gameplay: "For players, their opponent is a person through the medium of CPU.  If a player changes, the gameplay itself will change, so it has a potential of limitless variation without running to pattern."

Asked to provide some do's and don'ts in game design, Suzuki says that it boils down to experiences success or failure in a game:

Players often have the opportunity to feel success or failure playing games.  for instance, if it's a car-driving game, if you fail to turn curves for speeding too much, you'll feel you've failed.  And if you succeed in turning curves, you'll feel you've achieved.

"Don'ts" include situations in which you can't explain how a player has failed, and he or she can't realize the reason in a clear way.  For example, if a player suddenly gets shot from outside the screen and the game is over, no one will play that game again.

Where does Suzuki look for inspiration?

When watching movies, playing sports that have nothing to do with games, waking up in the morning, dreams, etc.  I can't really specify occasions where inspiration comes.  Generally, when I keep on thinking all the time, inspiration comes to me.

It's important to bring your mind, in which you'll meet inspiration.  Even if you don't have an answer, by continually thinking, it will enter into your deep mind and by some chance you'll meet inspiration.  Continual thinking [improves] the probability for inspiration to come.  Conversely, if you think nothing, no inspiration comes.

What separates a great game from a good game?

* Passion.

* Never give up.

* Create a game carefully, thinking about the people who will play it.

In Chapter 6, Suzuki expounds on what makes for a great lead character in a game.

On Characters, Storyboarding, and Design (pg. 190):

Also at Sega is the one and only Yu Suzuki, who is responsible for such fantastic games as the character-driven Shenmue series, the Virtua Fighter series, the Virtua Cop series, Hang On, Space Harrier, and others.

Although Chapter 2 houses Suzuki's answers on creating fun and challenging video games, here we just asked him one question: How does he create such great characters as Ryo in Shenmue?  Suzuki says:

What's most important is originality.  Also, by tightly creating invisible parts like background stories or personalities of the characters, later development opportunity will be broadened.  And lastly, a note on self-promotion: It's necessary to make an active effort to gain more recognition, like exposure or advertisement to media such as magazines or home pages.


Hmm, well this book is damn outdated nowadays, but I still think it's relevant.  I like how he encouraged you to pursue your hobbies and increase your self-value.  That combined with inspiration can make you a valuable weapon in the game industry.  Too bad the articles don't mention OutRun, but you have to realize that OR2 came out in 2004, a year after the book was published.

I also liked how he mentioned car driving in the do's and don'ts section.  Apparently, his games aren't like Cruis'n games where you get a little love tap from the AI car next to you and you wreck and can't win for NO DAMN REASON at all.  Stupid rubber band AI crap.  At least with Sega racers, if you win, you know you did some things right.  If you lose, you know you screwed up.  None of this roll of the dice crap.

And that's all from Suzuki-San.  I'm going to Nagoshi, Naka, and Kanno later, but damn, it took a long time to just type up this so we'll see later.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Daytona USA 2, Scud Race Emulator Vids

Well, I haven't kept track of this that much, but model 3 emulation is looking better than ever before:

Thanks to isamu for the link.  This is the Supermodel emulator (I think?).

It could be a matter of months before the games are running to perfection.

Now, I just don't know how stoked to be about this.  I mean, it's great that 13 years later, we finally get to play some sort of Daytona 2 game at home.  Why couldn't Sega take advantage of this one bit?  It still won't be the same as being played on an actual arcade cabinet (or console as well).  I don't even know if I can take something like this.

I guess I'll have to one-up this guy by going to Sega and making an even better racing game than what you see here, if that's even possible.

Yakuza 4 & Dreamcast Collection IGN Reviews: We Suck

Sorry I haven't posted much Sega related content (again), but I'm looking around at stuff and I see these reviews on the IGN site that are a tad bit annoying.  Yes, I know everyone hates IGN(orant), but as if you needed more hatorade to quench your thirst then here you go.

First is the Dreamcast Collection Review.  This gets a 5.0, citing that it is lackluster and Sega fans deserve better.  Okay, so it's $30 for four Dreamcast games, what more could you want?  Yes, it's sad we got just four games already, I GET IT.  But let's break it down.

After attempting to play the sloppy Sonic Adventure, a mess of horrible camera angles and unintuitive level design, I struggle to reconcile with my original circa-1999 admiration. This is simply not a fun game, especially when viewed through a decade-old prism. The controls are awful. Mercifully, many of Sonic's action-heavy sequences require little more than pressing up on the stick. Some boss battles are outright broken, with one Dr. Eggman battle breezily beat by using a homing attack and then allowing a glitch to loop the strike until the evil doctor's ship went kaput. 

These bugaboos are small potatoes, though, compared to the decision to not only break Sonic's 128-bit comeback into disconnected stages (the city hub is garbage), but also dilute the adventure with a terrible supporting cast that includes much-maligned third-stringers like Big the Cat and Amy Rose. Time spent with several of these so-called heroes is time wasted. 

Is it just me, or can Sonic never catch a break?  When SA first came out, it was "awe-inspiring."  Now everyone's quick to jump on the "Sonic games are buggy and the secondary cast sucks, screw you Sega," wagon.  I'm pretty sure that if a Sonic Adventure 2 port came out, they would be complaining about the same issues--gameplay sucks, characters suck, story sucks, kill me now.

Seriously, check out the GameSpot SA2:B review: 6.8 and that's just ONE year after the original DC release AND it comes with loads of extra content.  So what would a port of the game be rated now?  Oh...about a 3.0?

Oh well, that's the SEGA quality for you.  Sonic Adventure is a lost cause as far as I'm concerned.  Not even UKResistance cares anymore (profanity).

Crazy Taxi also appears on the disc. This was a gonzo arcade romp and one of my favorite Dreamcast games. Sadly, though I still had a little fun blasting through the streets, egged on by a bargain-basement Wolfman Jack, Crazy Taxi has not aged well. The pinball-like driving is tough to regress to after a decade of real racing innovation.

Wait, innovation?  What racing innovation? You mean slow-mo wreck replays?  Millions of Cruis'n clones?  Driving generic cars around bland-colored towns?  Some innovation.  Get better at the game, you pinhead.  This site is a good start.

There is still charm in the frenzied pick up-drop off rhythm of Crazy Taxi, but any hardcore fan knows it's linked in no small part to the ridiculous soundtrack from The Offspring and Bad Religion. Neither of those bands appear in this port. It's weird to think that losing some licensed music could be so fatal, but part of Crazy Tazi's original genius was the perfect marriage between Offspring and insane cab driving. The stand-in punk bands are hardly an acceptable substitute and proceed to deflate the game. 

This is something I should've brought up sooner because I sort of agree with this quote.  Yes, we get it that the stand-in punk bands suck.  I do like that everyone thinks that The Offspring bands are intense and make driving fun.  See this GameFAQs topic.  It's all about driving fast to good music and it saddens me that so many racing games have crap music nowadays.  Gimme the exciting stuff, people.

Then the review goes on to say that Space Channel 5 is forced and that Sega Bass Fishing is the only game he liked.  Review over.  Nothing else to say, this mediocre compilation sucked and everyone knows it.

Then there's the Yakuza 4 Review: This gets a 6.5 due to being recycled and outdated.  Really, the whole review pimps the game out but at the end says, "It's old and it sucks."  Really.  Famitsu gave it a 38/40 and now all these Western reviewers are decrying the game apparently in some attempt to gain relevance.  But you know what--I never really cared about Yakuza anyway.  Just cause it's Nagoshi's baby and I want him to make Daytona babies instead...okay, that was weird.

"IGN sucks and you bad reviewers can't bring me down."
"Also, I will make another Daytona game someday...just kidding, rofl."

Ok, so I'm done with this junk.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Disney World Trip Day 1 Pics (Wednesday)

This was the family Disney World trip we went on from March 9-12, 2011.  Ok, so I played the role of photographer, snapping lots of pics cause I can.  I'm only posting so many of them because I don't want to kill someone's 56k connection now, do I?

EDIT: Downsized the images to save bandwidth, click on the pics to see them in 512 x 384...lame.

We drove 6 hours starting Tuesday night.  Then we crashed at this Comfort Suites in Lake City, FL at about 1 am Wed.  Because all the beds were taken, I literally slept on two couch cushions and actually managed to get some sleep.  This is a shout out my hotel window.  This is also when I wrote this post.

Our hotel room; we only got to stay here for about 6 hours.  Then at 9 am, we got in the car and drove off.

At about noon, we FINALLY GET TO DISNEY WORLD and our heads exploded.

We stayed in Fort Wilderness back here...where everyone has a golf kart except for us.

Disney public ride this everywhere so get used to it.

But not today cause we hop on a boat to the MAGIC KINGDOM!!!

And we pass by all these buildings like this.  Hotels, maybe.
Gordon Freeman's truck, rofl.

We pass by the Steamboat Willie or whatever the heck it is.

We finally made it to the Magic Kingdom!!!  Let the memories begin...of torturous car trips, stupid whiny kids, and fighting parents.

NOTE: Before I go on, I might as well lay out Disney World's biggest weakness...NO HAND SANITIZER.  Seriously, no hand sanitizer in the stores but a lot of sunscreen.  No such dispensers anywhere either.  The happiest place in the worst is also one of the germiest cause everyone's touching everything.  So I had to stop in the restrooms to wash my hands all the time.  What a piece of crap.

Before you say "hand sanitizer is stupid," what am I supposed to do?  Roll around on the floor and stick my fingers in my mouth?

NOTE 2: Everything in Disney World has double the prices as everywhere else.  A big hamburger at McDonald's costs $3.  A hamburger of the same size in Disney World costs $6.  So get used to it.

This is Downtown Disney which sucks cause it's just stores  Damn overpriced stores.  Everyone's waiting for the parade, but parades suck (except for Mardi Gras parades which are only marginally better).

The Magic Castle or whatever.

But first, we go to Tomorrowland.  I wonder if in 20-30 years will this place be called Todayland?  Cause I remember coming here about a decade ago and the Tomorrowland theme still existed.  WTF

This is the Tomorrowland Speedway which has been here for like 50 years.  It's supposed to be the most exciting car ride in the world.  This ride is so childish that it makes Cruis'n World look badass.

Thankfully, we were able to cut through the two-hour line and get right on board...thank you Jesus.  Well it's just my luck...the #41 car...the HORNET baby!!

We're cruis'n now.  But your car is confined to the rails you see before you.  And you go 5 mph.

See that orange car in front of me?  I'm gonna slingshot and OVERTAKE his ass.

Damn, he seems to keep aluding me...I'd ride the apex of this turn but alas, I cannot do so.

And this is the end of the race.  I don't even know what position I came in.  But did I set a lap record?  Too bad no one's counting.

Thank God I didn't sit in line for two hours for this.

Wow, we were really going 220 mph back there.

Ok, let's get out of Tomorrowland...going back to the lousy present.  And we're walking around and stuff.

The Hall of Presidents!!!  Debbie Downer's favorite ride.

The Presidential Seal of America.  Communists can kiss my ass.



The Hall of Presidents ride, narrated by Morgan Freeman.  As I was leaving, I saw pics of Benjamin Franklin who was apparently tearing up..."I should've been President!!!"

Now for the scary ass Haunted Mansion.

This dude was such a pimp.

NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED.  Well, the guy didn't say that yet so it was fair game at the moments.  Haha, losers waiting in line for this crap.

So these are pictures I took with no flash.  As you can see, I was too busy pissing my pants to get a clean shot of the ghosts.

Another terrifying pic.

Ok I get it, these pics suck.  I get off the ride having acquired enough nightmare fuel to last a lifetime.

It's a dumb world after all.  We didn't go on this cause my mom was too busy walking around confused to do anything.  I already know what it's like though.

The elephant ride thing.

After pleading with my parents, I FINALLY go back to the Tomorrowland Arcade.  My pilgrimage to the 8-player Daytona cabinet is complete...or is it?

NO F***ING DAYTONA USA CABINETS.  They were replaced by 6-player Nascar Arcade setup.  Why?????

They did have a deluxe Outrun 2: SP cabinet.  This is the first time I played this game in an arcade.  The stupid game cost $1.50 despite the fact it says "Insert 3 credits" so each quarter is 1/2 a credit.  Stupid jerks.  

I didn't like the deluxe cabinet that much though--no stick shift gears and wear & tear made it a nailbiter on my quest to finish Route D (Milky Way).

There was also a twin original OutRun 2 cabinet.  This one cost just $1.  And I managed to clear Routes B and E which apparently 99% of the arcade population couldn't do looking at the high scores list.

There was also a Mario Kart arcade game which I know jack about.  I've seen it multiple times before but anything that's not Fast & Furious is an improvement.

But adjacent to the OR2:SP cabinet was a bigger Fast & Furious cabinet.  Now you know why I hate this game so much.

Even worse were three twin FnF cabinets...this game is everywhere, taking over arcades like a cancer...

That's it man, I'm leaving this garbage arcade.  At least OR2 made my day...sort of.

I found Donald Duck!!!

We walked by Splash Mountain.  I didn't ride it because I'm a wuss who's afraid of heights and vertical drops.

Instead, we went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which was just as lame as the Haunted Mansion.

Damn, enough with the garbage dark photos. I yelled out "You suck" to Jack Sparrow cause I literally wanted to walk out on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and throw up.

And by then, my camera ran out of batteries.  Damn, this "new" camera eats batteries like a fat kid eats freakin cotton candy.  I did see Sebastian the Crab and that Candleholder dude from Beauty and the Beast dancing on these pedestals to obnoxious music.  What the hell is going on in this place.

And that concludes Wednesday.  We went home after visiting a place that I don't think entertained any of us.  I then made this post.  Three more days left of pics though so stay tuned!!!