Monthly Archives: October 2008

Halloween Gaming

If you’re too old to go trick or treating, which you are if you’re reading my blog, what should you do tonight? What about if you’re not cool enough to go to a club and look like a womanizing asshole by posing with a girl on each side of you (or dressing slutty and going out if you’re a girl, which again, you’re not if you’re reading this)? Halloween gaming, of course!
I like to watch Halloween movies and play Halloween games during this season. I think my favorite to play is Halloween Loco Roco, but I always end up playing MMOs.
If you have a PSP, you can play the Halloween Loco Roco for free. The Halloween level is a free demo of Loco Roco that can be found easily using Google. It only takes about twenty minutes to play, and I find it a lot of fun.
Most MMOs offer something to do. Today I’ve done some random item collection in World of Warcraft. Guild Wars also has the Mad King Thorn who visits every three hours throughout Halloween. Last year he gave out candy and collectable hats. I’m assuming it’ll be the same this year, but I haven’t looked. There was also candy last year in Hellgate: London. Given the trouble in which Hellgate’s been, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t anything to do this year. Still, it might be worth a check.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is fun little game to play. While it does have zombies, it doesn’t really feel Halloweeny though. That’s why I’ve been putting a lot of time into Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. Even with save states, that game is really hard. I actually couldn’t get through the first level of the NES version even with a rewind feature. I ended up running out of time!
Any Resident Evil game full of zombies could be a good fix although I didn’t really care for the Resident Evil series much. Speaking of Capcom zombie fighting games, there’s also Dead Rising. I’d probably play that some if Andy didn’t still have my copy (lol)! Other survival horror games could be good too such as the Silent Hill series or the Fatal Frame series.
Animal Crossing on the GameCube also has Halloween activity. Too bad Animal Crossing: Wild World doesn’t. Hopefully City Folk will have more holidays in it, but it’s not out yet anyways. I really can’t wait for it!
There’s also some minor festivities in GunBound, but they’re events are never very interesting to me. This year it seems to be primarily bonuses for people spending in the cash shop (using real money). There’s also some Halloween themed towns and dungeons in Maple Story!
Those are my tips for Halloween gaming! If I think of more, I’ll add them. Honestly though, no one’s going to go play one of these games just because I talk about them. Hopefully it was an interesting read to someone!

Oh God

I’m so tired. Information overload in these classes. I think circuits class might actually kill me.

Hellgate: London

For those who haven’t heard, the Hellgate: London servers will be taken offline on January 31, 2009. It makes me pretty sad. The game had a bad launch and was buggy, but even with all those bugs, I played it for a while at launch and enjoyed it! Now the bugs are removed. Why is it doing so badly? It’s not the best game I’ve played, but it was fun. I also really enjoyed Mel Odom’s novels based in the Hellgate: London universe. His writing’s flawed (and rushed), but they were fun reads. The third and final book in his trilogy recently came out. It left me wanting more at the end. I felt like it didn’t really close everything I wanted closed. Hopefully someone will write more, but I’m very confident it’ll happen. Anyways, I do hope to finish Hellgate: London with my online character before the servers go offline, and I definitely could see myself playing more LAN Hellgate in the future!
Source: http://news.bigdownload.com/2008/10/24/hellgate-london-online-servers-to-shut-down-jan-31/.

October 11th Weekend

I really should have written about everything that happened the weekend of October 11, but I’ve been pretty busy and lazy.
I saw The Cab, Plain White T’s, Dashboard Confessional, and Panic at the Disco. Then I took the train to San Diego and went to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo!
It was a really awesome weekend.
On Friday the 10th I went to the Rock Band Live Tour with gem, Gabby, and Jon. Gabby surprised Jon with the tickets for his birthday, which is coming up. Jon wanted to drive, and we ended up being late for our reservation at a particular pizza place that gemma heard was good. He really wanted food so was driving around trying to get to a good place, but we were pressed for time. Gabby kept saying things like “I think we should eat in *that* direction” in an attempt to steer us towards the convention center where the concert was. At this time, Jon still didn’t know about the concert. I thought we should just tell him, but Gabby really didn’t want him to know. Eventually we stopped at Versaille’s, which is a delicious place. Jon was on the phone outside so Gabby ordered everyone flan really quickly. When Jon entered, Gabby claimed that we were so hungry that we ordered already. She told him she ordered him chicken, and he was annoyed. Then the flan came, they sang, and Gabby presented him what she thought were the tickets with a card. She ended up giving him the wrong thing which sort of blew the surprise in her mind, but I think it was still find. Then Jon was quite angry to find out that there actually was no chicken.
Soon after we arrived the convention center and waited for the concert to start. It was pretty fun. I hadn’t heard of The Cab, but they were entertaining. Between each band’s set, audience members who tried out beforehand earned the right to play Rock Band 2 on stage. It was pretty dumb. I guess I’m okay with them doing it while the other bands set up, but Rock Band isn’t the same as listening to real music. Also, they didn’t turn on the mode that prevents failing. The lead singer for a band that I forget (a professional group but not one playing this night) who was apparently “the best at Rock Band” failed a song because he didn’t seem to know what to do during the parts in which you tap the microphone.
The Plain White T’s were pretty good fun too, with some nice background lights and such. It was annoying that everyone freaked out when they played “Hey There Delilah.” I realize it’s their most well known song, but it doesn’t really lend itself to a big concert. Everyone in the band just stood there while one guy got to play a song. Anyways, after that Dashboard played. I don’t usually like Dashboard. They’re very… poppy and acoustic. However, they actually did a great job. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact their instruments were electric though. They also played videos in the background that went great with the songs. It was fun! They also covered a Weezer song, mentioning that they toured with them before. Lastly Panic played. They were fun, but they weren’t as good as their recorded music. That’s interesting because I love Nightwish and their live music was superb. I think it might be due to the amount of post-production work that goes into Panic’s albums that you of course don’t get during the live show. The show ended with Panic covering the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” It was a really awesome way to close I think!
After the show we stopped at Carl’s Jr. for dinner. It was probably around midnight at this point. Coincidentally, I think Jackie Lemus was there. We weren’t sure if it was her, and she left pretty quickly without talking to us.
Saturday morning, October 11, we took the Amtrak to San Diego! It was my first time on a train, and the ride was a lot of fun! I had a tasty hot dog on the way. After we got there, we left our baggage at the hotel (it was too early to check in) and took the light rail system and bus to Sea World. Wow, it was a lot of fun! We saw all sorts of animals. I wish there was more to talk about here, but frankly a list of animals isn’t entertaining to read. Trust me though, I had a blast. I think the pilot whales might have been my favorite!
That night we had a relaxing evening in the hotel to prepare for the zoo the next day, the 12th! I love the San Diego Zoo! I think we saw everything that we wanted. We even “zot zot zot”ed at the anteater, but he didn’t seem to care. I guess he didn’t have any anteater pride. The hippos were less stupid this time than last time I went to the zoo 🙁 I really enjoyed seeing all the cute animals though such as the koalas, pandas, and bears! It was so much fun! At the end of the day we took a taxi back to the hotel, walked to the Amtrak station, and watched “Pushing Daisies” on an iPod during the train ride. It was a wonderful weekend!

Rock Band 2

I didn’t make my goal of posting by Thursday in my Game Journal. I bought Rock Band 2 when the bundle was released and have been enjoying that. I’ve mostly been playing with gemma and Andy. My brother joined for a bit the first day, and I’ve played Duncan, Collin, and Vincent a little. I made a really slutty girl called Kitty Kat. My brother made Sluts McGee, lol. I also rented Rock Band 1 and paid the $5 to rip the music for RB2. It gives a pretty nice selection of songs!
That’s about all I’ve been doing. I started the tutorial for Sim City 4 but got bored, and I’ve played Frontlines: Fuel of War a little. I’m looking forward to Little Big Planet later today though!

Dentist



Dentist, originally uploaded by theuser.

Wahh. Super high blood pressure too! No surprise. It might cause
problems they said.

This Week’s Games

I haven’t played anything new this week. I played some more Kirby Super Star Ultra, finally beating The Arena, which has you fight 20 bosses in a row. Now I’m stuck in the mode called Helper to Hero. In this mode you play as one of Kirby’s helpers, going against 13 bosses in a row plus a secret boss I wasn’t expecting 🙁 I also logged into WoW this week to check out achievements and the new pet system. It was interesting, but I didn’t stay logged in more than five minutes.

filling a PC with games

luvcraft made a nice post over at InsertCredit in which he lists good, free PC games. He’s giving a mid-range PC to his friend for his birthday and is filling it with games. It’s a pretty great gift I think. It costs a not insignificant yet not extremely high price and shows that he really cares and put thought into it. Of course, what I really like is the nicely compiled lists of games. I’m surprised to see Dan Da Dan on there! I really liked that vertical shmup.

VLSI

I can’t focus on the lecture at all. The professor’s talking about switches and transistors. My notes are open, but I don’t know what to write down so I’ve written nothing. Twenty-three more minutes.

Video Games in Public

SelectButton had a thread about playing games in public, and I thought it was interesting. It was about feeling embarrassed or enjoying it, seeing other people playing, meeting new people, etc.
Original thread
I play both my DS and PSP in classes all the time. It depends on the class, but in a lot of classes I can pay attention and play at the same time pretty easily. Games that you can put down at any moment are the best to play.
While my girlfriend was at a salon recently some kid seemed really excited that my PSP was metallic blue and that I was playing sideways. I was playing Star Soldier.
In general, I feel fine playing on campus but awkward playing anywhere else. Also, I think playing the PSP is less embarrassing than the DS, although I still play the DS more.
One time I stood outside a GameStop using my DS for over a half hour. They were giving away Deoxys. I couldn’t find my copy of Pearl so I filled my R4 with about 20 copies so I could get a bunch of them. It took a long time to do that for every copy.
Two years ago at Anime Expo we had a lot of great Tetris DS matches. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had gaming. We also did a lot of Pictochatting during AX Idol that year. Last year no one was really playing Tetris. I only managed to find one person with The World Ends With You, but I eventually realized that I was playing the European version, which was why I couldn’t find more people. We Pictochatted during AX Idol again, but it wasn’t as fun. Maybe it was because the people were actually good. Someone did draw a pretty hilarious picture of this really talented black guy with an odd, short, pointed mohawk singing “Rain” from Cowboy Bebop. I also played Elite Beat Agents with my girlfriend and some guy behind me in line while waiting for David Hayter’s (voice of Snake) autograph.

Rain, originally uploaded by theuser.

New Computer

I bought a new computer. The parts came in Monday, but it’s not working yet. Whenever I install the video drivers and reboot, Windows hangs while loading. I have to use Last Known Good Configuration to get it to boot again. I’ve tried a bunch of different drivers, and none works. I think the video card could be bad. Sometimes when I boot, I don’t get any video output. I have to unplug the power from the video card and reseat it. Nine times out of ten that doesn’t fix it though. At this point I can’t tell if it really does fix it the other time or if it’s just me trying repeatedly. I get beep codes on boot too but haven’t looked into them too much.
I was also wondering if it was an issue with everything being 64-bit. Despite everything supposedly being compatible, I know 64-bit is relatively new. On top of that, Vista 64-bit is more supported than XP 64-bit. The drivers are for XP x64, but I thought I’d try XP 32-bit or Vista 64-bit.
My only XP CD was old and bad so I asked Collin to burn my legitimate XP Pro with SP2. He said it asked him if he wanted to correct the size of the burn because the disc size was unequal to the image size. He apparently said no to this. The disc didn’t work. It couldn’t find a file on the disc. I burned the same image on gem’s computer and got the same error when I attempted to use it, but the burn also failed verification. Some people on forums had the same error because their discs or drives were dirty, but my drive is brand new and seems to work otherwise (it installed XP x64) and the discs look good.
Next I downloaded Vista Business 64-bit and burned it. It didn’t pass verification either and won’t work at all. No computer can even recognize it.
Eventually, I’ll get another OS on there with which to test the card. If it works, then I know it’s a software issue. If it doesn’t work, it’s most likely a hardware issue and I’ll try the card in another computer. My hardware is after the break.
MSI P45 Neo-F motherboard for LGA 775 Quad-core / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentium CPUs. FSB 1600/1333 MHz. Intel P45 north bridge and Intel ICH10 south bridge. 4x240pin DDR2 1066 slots (max 16 GB). 1 PCI Express 2.0×16 slot, 2 PCI Express x1 slots, 3 PCI slots. 6 3 Gb/s SATA connections. 8 channel Realtek ALC888 audio. Gigabit LAN. 2 PS/2, 1 COM, 1 LPT, 4 USB 2 rear ports. 4 onboard USB.
Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale CPU Dual-Core at 2.53 GHz and 1066 MHz FSM. 3 MB L2 cache, 64 bit support.
4 GB (2x2GB sticks) OCZ Platinum 240pin DDR2 1066 memory. 5-5-5-18 timing.
PNY GeForce 8800 GT at 600 MHz. PCI Express 2.0×16. 512 MB of video memory at 1800 MHz. DirectX 10 compatible. 2 DVI ports and s-video out. Max res 2560×1600.
750 GB Samsung SATA 3.0 GB/s HDD (7200 rpm)
550 watt Antec power supply
Rosewill 802.11b/g wifi card.
DVD-burner
Windows XP Professional x64 installed.

School

I’ve been in school again for over a week! It’s alright. CSE 112 is about circuits and is based on the one class I failed at UCI. We took this test on the first day that wasn’t worth any points to see how we were at the subject. It was kind of hard =/ I think I’ll have some trouble in this class. Today was the discussion’s first meeting. Our professor runs discussion as well. He was annoyed that no one had looked at the homework yet that was assigned Tuesday and is due next Tuesday. He wondered why we would show up to discussion if we hadn’t looked at it and how he was supposed to help us with it. It really annoyed me. How were we supposed to know he was going to go over the homework?
CSE 151 is about VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integrated – integrated circuits). He said he expects us to have taken and be familiar with CSE 112 even though it’s not a prereq. He also won’t let us switch into a discussion because it’s waitlisted. We’re at slots 1 and 2. The discussion in which we’re enrolled conflicts with a class we’re trying to add. The TA doesn’t mind us going to the full discussion, and it’s not like we even need to go! I don’t know what we’ll do about that.
CSE 135A is about signals. It’s prereq is another class I really hated. He wouldn’t let us add unless we passed a test. It was really hard, but we both passed. He signed our add cards, but it conflicts with that discussion. Not sure what’ll happen. Maybe add cards ignore schedule conflicts? If so, we could just not go to discussion.
Lastly, I’m taking senior design project course. I’m working with gem, Corey, and his brother. Hopefully it’ll go alright!

Playing

What have I been playing this week? I played a bunch more Samba de Amigo. I’m getting better at it. The controls still aren’t great, but they’re not terrible. The game’s pretty fun! I’ve also been playing a lot of Kirby Super Star Ultra. It’s still one of the best games ever!