On making a bad game look good

  


A friend of mine loves my Sonic Unleashed videos but doesn't like the game itself. He kinda-sorta issued a challenge to me to try and make Sonic 2006 look good. This is the end result. I honestly didn't expect anything that happened, but let's just put it this way: re-adjusting to playing a bad game like Sonic 2006 after six months of playing Sonic Unleashed is extremely difficult. Speaking of Unleashed, I also have just posted my review for the final Sonic Unleashed DLC pack, here.

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Pray harder.

PC Box Art
I'm pretty floored at the announcement of Left4Dead 2. And the weird thing is, I seem to be in the minority. Outside of a few of my friends, most people seem to be cheering at the prospect of Left4Dead 2.

I, personally, don't get it. The original Left4Dead came out seven months ago at full price. Despite being in development for two or three years, it contained barely two hours worth of content. Now, of course, this just leaves the door wide open for some cheeky little wiener to go "But the AI Director means you can replay it over and over and over again!" - Well, yes, I guess. If you ran around every Counter-Strike: Source map one at a time until you had seen them all, that would be a pretty short game, of course. But whereas me and my friends can sit on cs_office for hours at a time, when me and my friends sit down to play Left4Dead, we basically run through all four campaigns and then we stop playing for two or three months. Versus Mode (or Survival, for that matter) just never really "clicked". None of that mattered, though, because Valve promised that more Left4Dead content was "on the way". Given how they were supporting Team Fortress 2, it was easy to read that as "Free content packs every two to three months with new maps and stuff."

Instead, we're getting a sequel that will arrive on store shelves just four days before of the original Left4Dead's one-year anniversary. And people are happy about this? This is pretty down-and-dirty, if you ask me.

Maybe I was out-of-line in expecting another "free lunch" from Valve, but even ignoring my expectations, having a game's sequel scheduled announced this soon with a projected release date that doesn't even let the original game reach one full year at retail is definitely pushing the line way, way, way too far. I'm ready to call this worse than "Madden Syndrome" if only because it feels like a complete 180 from a company that is usually very careful and very respectful with how it treats its consumer base.

Granted, we do not yet have a price - so maybe Valve really does have some kind of ace up their sleeve and will only charge $20 for it, or maybe they'll give existing L4D owners a discount, or who even knows. But as of right now, something is definitely smelling a bit rotten - and it's not all the blood-soaked zombie corpses.
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Yes, even the Japanese hate Big Rigs

Youtube recommends you videos based on what you've recently watched and what is in your favorites list.

It recommended a video to me just now where the title was completely in Japanese except for two words: "Big Rigs". Surprisingly? The video turned out to be Alex Navarro's (legendary) Big Rigs Gamespot Review. I just find it to be really weird and kind of awesome that a bunch of Japanese people apparently find the video just as hilarious as everybody else does. I guess the total lack of dialog in the video probably helps that a great deal.

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Another review in the can

More Sonic Unleashed DLC, more Sonic Unleashed DLC reviews. It's a really big DLC pack this time, and it's an equally big review to go with it - it's actually a little more in-depth than most of my reviews, so maybe it's worth a read.

This has been kind of a ridiculously busy week/month. Plumbing problems, computer problems, producing a video review, reviewing a new Sonic Unleashed DLC pack... even little stuff like going to go see my Uncle for the day to help him post something on Craigslist added to it.

On top of that we have the TF2 Sniper vs. Spy update.

I'm honestly starting to feel a little bit mentally exhausted! And I've still got to do my monthly Moddb update for my game. I honestly haven't done anything on it at all since last month's update because I've been so enamoured in everything else. Which is a shame, because this month marks one year of solid updates on Moddb.com.

Gaaaaaah.

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A great way to spend five hours

Last time on Dragon Ball Z: Ashuku, my cousin, gives me a bunch of spare computer parts. We put it all together but we end up messing my current HDD up trying to re-install Windows on it and doing it wrong. I eventually get a new HDD. Computer works fine for a while until summer rolls in and on a particularly hot day it bluescreens. From here on out, the PC continues to blue screen whenever the room temperature gets over 70 degress (farhenheit). Slowly, over a year, I replaced every component in the PC one at a time trying to fix it. Two PSUs, new RAM, new videocard, and a new motherboard later, here we are. Going down the list all that was left was the HDD an the processor.

Which brings us to today, when I spent five hours staring at this screen:



Western Digital's HDD transfer software. Five hours is a long time. How did I kill the time? Well, I played a lot of Mario Kart DS:



A lot. I dunno if you can tell, but that's me in the first place spot there, with 320 points. There are 32 tracks in Mario Kart DS and you get ten points for winning first place in each race. For those bad at math, that means I got first place in every track in the game in one gigantic marathon. And that only took two hours. The remaining three hours were spent goofing around in the singleplayer mode for Ashuku's copy of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and listening to the episode of Retronauts about Virtual On and Klonoa.

To make a long story less long, though, basically, it would seem that the HDD was the faulty component because it's been like 90 degrees here today and it's been smooth sailing all day long. Hooray for technology!
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New Video Review! Klonoa and Klonoa 2.

  


Figured I'd be nice and topical if I reviewed the PS1 Klonoa and the PS2 Klonoa, together, in one review. In actuality, this one was actually kind of a pain in the butt to produce. I had all kinds of trouble writing it, capturing video for it, voicing the dialog, and editing the video! It took me probably around a week and a half to put this video together, when it took me around three days to do Astal and two days to do Sonic Unleashed. It was either Klonoa or Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, and I kind of wish I had done Jungle Beat! But regardless, I think this ended up turning out alright enough. Enjoy!

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New Sonic Unleashed DLC Review

So, hey, there was new Sonic Unleashed DLC, and since part of my job description for where I work entails writing a review of the DLC, I have done so. Sampler:

It was sort of weird, when you think about it. I’m the kind of guy who defaults all his games to “easy mode”, and yet, here I was, starting to really enjoy the Sonic Unleashed DLC in spite of the fact it was basically a glorified “Hard Mode” for the game. It’s been a full month since the last batch of Sonic Unleashed DLC, and being away for awhile has reminded me why this DLC isn’t really all its cracked up to be.

What do I mean? Read the review to find out. Alternatively, you could just watch the videos I recorded and decide for yourself:

  



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Ready to give up

So I've had this problem with my computer, right. When it gets hot it starts making this high-pitched whistling sound and if it keeps up it'll eventually shit the bed. I've spent probably around $200 trying to fix it, replacing each component inside of my system one at a time, over the span of a little over a year.

New DVD burner, New PSU, New RAM, new video card, and finally new motherboard.

It's springtime. Beginning to warm back up again. And guess what? It's making that sound again!

So that leaves either a new HDD or a new processor.



It doesn't sound like a fan, and there are times where the sound will happen in-tune with the HDD reading/writing data (like the HDD access light will blink, and every time it blinks, you hear the noise). Not to mention when the PC flips out, at least on the old mobo, if it kept doing it enough, eventually the motherboard would flat out say "Dude, there ain't no hard drive here, yo."

Only after everything cooled down for a couple minutes would Windows finally boot again.

Problem is, I've "thought" so many times I knew what the hell this sound was, where it was coming from, and what would fix it...

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My Next Video Review

Well, I had wanted to embed the version I uploaded to Gametrailers, but Gametrailers is really starting to suck these days. It used to be you could get "points" to spend in their goofy store, and you got points for using site or people watching your videos. They changed all that around now and half the site is currently broken and there's no economy for these points or anything so basically, it sucks. I may just stop uploading videos there entirely.

But you don't care. What you do care about is my new video review.

  


Astal for the Sega Saturn. Kind of a rare game, and probably something most people haven't heard of before. Since other people seemed to think it was a good idea, I'll be posting this as a user review on the Astal page soon enough, and I'll refrain from relating this blog to there so there's not a double post.
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