Star Wars: The Old Republic: How I Bought a Nightmare

I swear, I'm warning anyone who sees this, you should definitely consider reading the SWTOR Technical Support forums before considering your subscription. I purchased the game at the end of December and enjoyed it quite a bit. I played for about a month before my little nightmare began.

Shortly before my subscription was official, and money taken from my account, I had been running the game pretty well on my computer. The same computer that runs Bioshock 2, Bad Company 2, and many others was running SWTOR perfectly without issues.

The game was patched before my account had been charged. One night, out of nowhere, the game performance and frame rate dropped down to 4-5 fps. This was post-patch, almost 24 hours after, when I started seeing this. I waited about an hour to try again, and nothing had changed. For the next few days I checked back every day, waiting to see if there were any updates.

I eventually started posting in the Technical Support forums, trying to get answers and ask others if they had discovered workarounds. Multiple threads started popping up about poor frames per second, or random intervals of lag. These numbers grew, and while the posting increased, there was no comment from any developer or support folks. Bioware support only mentioned that 5% of users encountered such problems and it was a user issue.

I had been running the game perfectly fine on my PC for weeks so I was a little irritated to hear that comment. Many of the users were and the numbers have grown since. I checked back every day for almost two weeks now and no developer has acknowledged either in the forums or on their blog that these issues even exist, meanwhile individuals are becoming more vocal.

My support tickets are the cream of the crop when it comes to outsourced and useless support. While noting I had ran the game perfectly for weeks before the issue came up, I submitted my diagnostic documentation per their request. My ticket sat for almost four days before I received a response.

The advice from the technical guru:

"Update your ATI Driver." -TICKET CLOSED-

I was sort of amazed. Not only had my drivers been updated, but the game would run one moment and not the next? Let alone the time it took for a reply. The game I had bought was on a 6 month subscription that I purchased based on my experience with new MMO's. They typically have issues that are given workarounds or developers will inform the community of fixes.

Buyer beware on this game. While you may have it working one minute, if it stops working for whatever reason, you'll not get the support. This blog is my way of informing you of the $140.00 nightmare. As of this evening, the game still does not run properly at a speedy 10 fps max, and I still have not seen anything solid from either a developer or tech support. I highly recommend all Giantbomb users read that Technical Support forum before buying the game for your PC. While it might work fine now, you certainly don't want to pay for it down the road the way I have.

I'm currently fighting to get my refund on the subscription.

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Uncharted 3 Complete

Pretty awesome game. There, I said it.

I came away skeptical of how capable Uncharted might really be of evolving. I had the benefit to play all three games back to back in a relatively short period of time and that was telling, for me at least, of how little room there is to grow. The first game is okay, I think. I look back on my time with it as an exercise for new PS3 owners. Uncharted 3 has almost too much of the same beats and plot the second game had though.

The fact is, you still find a hidden untouched ancient city built on sinister ideals. You still fight what is essentially a sci-fi enemy for part of the end-game. Drake manages to do something that wipes out the city, forcing you to escape. You meet a character late in the game that lives nearby and is willing to risk his life for what he is told will save the world. The beats are just too familiar. That's when I start to question whether a new coat of paint is enough.

I have a lot of fun playing most of Uncharted 3. I only pull myself out of it when I notice things like I said above. The airplane is what really puts me over the top, because it's just such a cool piece of action. Following of course, a less cool second act on the boats. When you wake up in that cargo hold, you have no idea how long you will spend in that area. I had a great time with climbing old rusted out ships. But the second you get on that cruise liner, it becomes a video game in that "I've got to break it to get past this part." I did, twice. I had to hide in weird places I shouldn't have been, and camp, otherwise I would die in seconds. Those are sadly also 'Uncharted' moments. The series is known for giving you amazing cinematic experiences, but also known for having one or two areas where you'll die ten times and either give up, or break the game.

It earns all the credit in the world. I'm just playing these things back to back and sometimes you look behind the curtain. Then you've got the guy over at IGN saying this is his new favorite game of all time. Hyperbole like that makes me wonder why anyone would take that review seriously. I don't know about you, but I want my writers to give me reviews that aren't about the new car smell when last years model is still just as good. Also, deciding to ignore 20 years of anything for the sake of hyperbole is just kind of dumb.

It's a really cool game that just happens to have another convoy chase level, and climbing on the yellow beams, but not the brown beams. The multiplayer is a blast. I am totally on board with that level of crazy. People jumping and running all over these maps that have height to them. It's great.

Maybe I want a different kind of Uncharted game now, and maybe I should be careful what I wish for? Maybe this is it for Uncharted. This is as good as it's gonna be and Nathan Drake can't be good at anything different. It's a shame that Drake has to either be this, or sit on the shelf. That's how much I love the character and the stories.

So....Uncharted real-time strategy first person shooter game for iPhone.....get on it.

2 Comments

Uncharted 2 Complete

I just finished Uncharted 2 on Normal tonight. After almost beating the first game I kind of gave up from being so frustrated. This second game though, wow. The voice-acting was always great but the action was such a leap for a video game. It isn't gritty like all the games I would equate to a modern video game from this generation. It was bright, and colorful and full of interesting features to see. There were moments where I got stuck, I think 3 of them, but I was able to eventually get past those times and just enjoy the rest of the game where.....geeze......if you had been on the fence about a PS3 like I had been, Uncharted is the selling point. I was already excited by the Uncharted 3 trailers, but playing the second game put me over the edge now. I think all of the characters are awesome, and all of the places are fantastic. Really, they are just not like anything else. The only time to experience Uncharted is right now!!!

A lot of games excite me for the way they play, or what I'm familiar with. Sometimes they look great. But man, I want more Drake right now, and I won't have to wait very long!

6 Comments

My First Playstation Purchase

So, because of the recent price drop this gamer has decided to buy a PS3. My history with Playstation is a positive one. I still have a PSone laying about that I had been given. I played many hours of Twisted Metal Black and Metal Gear Solid 2. But I've never purchased a new Playstation console. Nor have I played a PS3 since it became a thing. I do have a 360, and well over one hundred games for that. My Wii has a time and a place. I'm a Steam hoarder.

I bought it because I've always seen lots of videos and coverage for Uncharted, which to me, always looked fantastic. I went to Best Buy and picked up a PS3 160 GB, Uncharted 1, Uncharted 2, and the HD God of War Collection (another series I've never played). I couldn't believe the PS3 doesn't come with HD cables at all. That was definitely a bummer. I was aware of it, but I thought they fixed that a long time ago! I unplugged my Roku HD cable so that I could get this thing going.

Once I did, I was both thrilled and irritated. The menus took forever to get through. The amount of actual information those main menus display is a lot more overwhelming then I had expected. But then, I went to the Playstation Store! Not only were there a bunch of great old Playstation games, but it seems like PSN has some awesome exclusives I've never played before. I'm excited to play some of them.

Other then that, I've literally had zero playtime in Uncharted and God of War. Both those games are dated by now, and I wanted to play through the first Uncharted before I hit the second one. I think the voice acting is really fun, and it has some great moments. But it can be incredibly frustrating. I just like how much action it has in comparison to Tomb Raider. There aren't many puzzles and the combat just keeps coming. That can be a lot more fun then room after room of sometimes unseen puzzles that Lara has to tackle in every game. God of War was controller throwing worthy. I got to that part where you move the crate forward, and archers shoot it. Okay, I get that you want me to kick the box. That was irritating as hell. I just had to turn it off.

I'm rambling for the fun of it, and I'm really excited to play more games down the line. I'm not the biggest fan of that controller, having used a 360 since launch now. I think it fits some games better than others. But I'm hoping to get MGS4, Uncharted 3 of course, and maybe Motorstorm. It should be interesting. The fact that I'm not really impressed by everything shows how much wear and tear I've taken on the current gen consoles. At this point I'm getting fun exclusives and mainly buying for the 360 and PC. But I also get the appeal of the PS3 for all the crazy it has done. The Blu-Ray, the Japanese craziness, and the massive storage.

In some ways, I feel like the Playstation brand hasn't changed since I left it. The games are mostly fun, sometimes frustrating, and the whole package isn't as intuitive as the 360 dashboard or guide bar. Yet, the library just feels different. They bring so much to the table.

If you have any great titles to recommend to a true n00b, feel free to reply! Anything but Gran Turismo is fine with me. ;)

21 Comments

My CAExtreme Trip (Pics and GB!)

So my friend and I live in the high desert of Southern California. We figured we would give California Extreme a shot this year since we aren't more than five hours away. It was so fantastic. My highlight was by far meeting Giantbomb. I'm such a huge fan of their's and was pretty much speechless! 
 

 

I got pointed at even! I met Dave as well!
 
Then the gaming started gaming up. I must have spent the most time playing Omega Race. We kind of latched onto the table top version of that, although they did have a stand-up in the house as well. 
 



My initials for the daily of course! ;) 
 
Some others I managed to play and or beat were pretty random. I was happy to play some old favorites and a couple of new/old ones. Pinball aside, as I did pinball that place up too, these were some of my favorites: 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                    
                             

I had such a great time stopping over in San Fransisco and walking the Golden Gate Bridge. Just a great great time and I recommend you try it if you can make it! 
 
And this totally happened by accident so I lost it over seeing it: 
 

3 Comments

Completed Metroid Prime 3 Today

LOVED IT SO MUCH!
 
The first two Prime games have a special spot on my shelf, next to all my 360 games and movies. Unfortunately I had to let this one pass by me until now because I just got a Wii recently. But coming up on 3 years this is still one of the best looking games I've ever played. The art is just...out of this world. Really though, off in the sky you see giant balls floating away, chained to the surface by massive chains. Each room has its own personality, each room is a completely unique space. Lava falls, snowy canyons tucked away, the acid coated Pirate Homeworld. Nothing looks quite like a Metroid Prime game, and nothing gets quite on the same footing. The puzzles aren't just complex, they're interesting. It still feels like a Metroid game, but backtracking through all the planets puts it on a different scale from the rest of the franchise. Space battles, and voice acting are two things I would not have expected so much of. But I didn't find it distracting or hurting the Metroid name. There are only so many times you can explore barren planets before it's time to had some more flavor. The bounty hunter designs were all spot on for me. The controls on the Wii are fantastic for this game. It keeps that really precise shooting intact while doing the Wii pointer right. I can't give it enough credit. If I ever had to, it would have a place among my favorite games of all time. If you were on the fence about it, or you are like me and just now tapping into the Wii, this is one of the must haves.

6 Comments

Purchased My First Wii, Played My First Wii

With the new black Wii bundle I decided to not only buy a Wii, but also catch up from the beginning. I've managed to never play one before, even at kiosks. I guess it just never really captured my attention. My first games are Super Mario Galaxy and Sonic and the Secret Rings. Mario Galaxy is a really neat game. I found myself getting a little disoriented at first. I really like it though. I think my last Mario game was Sunshine so it feels familiar but still far in the past. The cutesy art and voices are a nice change of pace I haven't really gotten on a 360. Secret Rings is a little rougher. It was cheap, but what convinced me to buy it was hearing about it when it first came out. I remembered it was received decently and its still kind of fun. Muddy textures aside its what I expected, quick. Not a pretty one though. Wii Sports Resort is fantastic. I must have played golf for hours and lost track of time. Going to the Wii from a 360 is a bit jarring at first. They aren't the best looking games. But still enjoying it very much, quirks aside. Also, the Virtual Console, maybe the best part. I can't believe how many really awesome games are available for it. Almost everything I would want from a SNES!

12 Comments

Ranked 23rd in points with E. Honda....

Well, I played pretty much non-stop since I got Super Street Fighter 4 and I'm currently bouncing around number 23 in the whole entire world!
 
The sad thing is I've only used him ever across both games. Although I am trying to play Dahlsim on the side without much luck. I don't have trouble getting his timing down, its just that I'm so used to a charge character. I'll stick with him but hey, I had to share with anyone, 23!

30 Comments

Game I'm Most Looking Forward to in 09

Easily, Forza Motorsport 3. After some of the artwork came out for that game I had all my excitement come back to me. Contrary to popular 08 games of the year, 2008 was in fact a pretty depressing year for racing games. Grid, Pure, and Burnout all managed to underwhelm me. But 09 is looking so very amazing right now with Forza 3, Dirt 2, and even Gran Turismo 5. Those alone could easily make up for anything that wasn't quite right for me last year. I didn't get the chance to play Midnight Club 3 but might as well add that to the list considering the amount of issues it managed to have. I'll happily admit these racing games weren't bad at all. But for me, they weren't what I wanted.

And Moto GP 08 was terribly awful. 06 and 07 may have set the bar extremely high, but still, come on.....

Also, these other small games you may have heard of:

Resident Evil 5
Bionic Commando
Street Fighter 4
Sonic's Genesis Collection Because the Best Sonic Games are Appearantly Not His

The possibility that we might also hear about Ubisoft sequels has me excited. I feel like I say this constantly now, but Episode 3.....if it came out this year.

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