Computerplayer1

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Reader's Choice -- And Possibly A Lengthy Update

 

Man did I ever fail at keeping my blog going over my vacation. I must apologize, but everything went so fast and my family get togethers and the like just ran over my spare time.

School has started yet again, and so my time will be limited, but I want to at least post one or two reviews over the next little while since I've beaten a few games.

I'm going to leave it up to a vote as to which two games I should review out of the few I've beaten recently, as I won't really have time to write reviews for all of them. Maybe I'll do it eventually, but not at the moment.

So here are the games you can choose from!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Borderlands
Forza 3
Torchlight
Trials HD

I'm in the process of beating Dragon Age and will more than likely write a review for that regardless. I'm around 38 hours in at this point and have no idea where that puts me in the game, but I figure I must be at least half way to completion. So far the game is pretty kick-ass, so here's a review preview: game's good.

I'm trying desparately to finish off the last 2 achievements I need in Borderlands to get the full original 1000. I don't care enough to spend money on the DLC for 5 more achievements, but I'm happy having completed all the original had to offer. I'm trying to do this so that I can knock another game off the list before Mass Effect 2 comes out.

Going back to Dragons Age for a moment. Dear Lord that game is a CPU hog! I'm pretty sure they've already patched it for it's problem but damn is it ever CPU hungry. It got so bad that I couldn't get 60fps at the settings I wanted ( 1650x1080, max graphical settings, 2x AA) because of a cpu bottleneck. This is a bit insane since I already had my E8500 clocked to 3.4ghz, but I went ahead and stablized it at 3.8 before I could finally get a solid 60 in all but the most demanding of sequences. There's still some slow down, and odd loading times in places but I think with some more patching they'll have it worked out.

In any case, I must be getting back to work. It's only the first week and my MIS prof has swamped us.

Hope you are all doing well!

Have a good one,

CP1

1 Comments

Top 10 Games for 2009

Well, having some spare time on my hands now that school is over, I managed to put together my top 10 games of 2009. This list isn't entirely final as I'm still thinking about the order of a couple games here but nevertheless the games on the list are more than likely going to stay.
 
You can check out and comment on my list here or you can simply read the slightly more bland list below without fancy pictures and comments.
 
1.) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2.) Modern Warfare 2
3.) Dragon Age: Origins
4.) Forza Motorsport 3
5.) Bordelands
6.) Batman: Arkham Asylum
7.) Halo 3: ODST
8.) Street Fighter IV
9.) Demon's Souls
10.) New Super Mario Bros.Wii
 
So there you have it. Like I said, I at least have some brief comments on my actual list, but you can just comment here if you want to (or not at all :P ) .
 
In any case, I'd love to know what your top picks are! Let me know what your top pick for 2009 is, and if you want to you can link me to your list and I'll check it out!
 
Have a good one, 
 
CP1

1 Comments

Aaaaand that's a wrap.

 

Well, it's been a horribly long time since I last posted a blog, but this semester has been brutal. Definitely the most challenging yet, and it couldn't have ended any sooner.

I wrote my last exam today (Finance) and hopefully did well on it. If I can keep my GPA above 3.8 I'll be happy, but this semester might be my GPA's demise. I've been on the Dean's list two years running I REFUSE TO STOP NOW!!!

Anyway, it's good to be done, and I'm looking forward to relaxing for a couple of weeks and spending time with family and friends. I'm pretty much done my Christmas shopping which is a small miracle, but I still have a lot of wrapping to do.

Enough about schooling and crap, let's talk games!

When I wasn't on campus studying/doing projects for the last month straight for some 12-14 hours a day, I was playing me some Modern Warfare 2. I went straight online for the first bit before beating the campaign on veteran. The online play is great when it's not being hacked to sweet hell, and there are still some balancing issues, but nevertheless it's a blasty blast that can quickly take over your whole evening. The solo campaign was pretty stellar, albeit a bit tiring due to non-stop crazy moments that had you on an adreniline rollercoaster. I'll probably do a review but might save it and do a video review with the sweet webcam I MAY get from Santa in a few days.

Other than that, I haven't really played much games at all. I will eventually conquer the remaining five or six spec-op missions on veteran with a buddy, and then I'll have more time for Forza 3 and Dragon Age (which Santa BETTER bring me!).

In other news, I've been having fun putting my economics skills to the test on investopedia.com's simulator. Aside from one of my stocks tanking hard today (which is ok, because it'll climb again by the end of the week) I've been making all sorts of virtual money. Gold has been fun to play with: short selling it last week, and buying it up for the increase after that announcement of a 1.5 bigillion dollar deficit for the US gov't next year. It's lots of fun, and great practice for the real deal. The website has a plethora of information to teach you the ropes if you have no idea what's going on, but even for those with lots of knowledge crammed into their head it can be a fun little passtime that doubles as a learning experience. P.S. I totally bought a bunch of Take-Two stock after it tanked -- I'll make a fortune in the long run hahaha.

In any case how are all of you doing? I've been reading blogs here and there but I'd love to know how you've all been. I hope to be more active while on break so look for a bunch of content that could be dropped on this page for the next few weeks.

Have a good one,
CP1

3 Comments

My Baby


If you know me even slightly well, you know that I'm in love with cars. I haven't been up to snuff since I entered university, but my love for cars has definitely not left me.

It stands to reason then, that I would buy Forza 3. I dumped hooooooours into Forza 2 and I just about did a back flip when I got my copy of 3 in the mail.

I've been racing, yes, and I'm pretty darn good too (usually in the top 1% -- not bad for using fulling auto ) but I've been spending a lot of time painting my cars and taking pictures of them which is more than a little addictive. I've been trying to upload videos to forzamotorsport.net but like a lot of people, it just hasn't been working.

In any case I thought I'd share with you my baby of the moment. It's a Lotus Evora, and man is it a pretty car. In general I'm a fan of Lotus as they take small engines and get amazing performance out of them, and in my opinion, make some of the best handling cars on the planet. After I realized I was definitely going to drive this car for a long time, I thought I'd spruce it up. After I found some cool vinyls of a chick from Evangelion, I painted up the rest of the car around her. The result is pretty cool, and if I really wanted it to be awesome I could spend more time on the tear effects, but I'm too lazy.

Enough with the talking, here she is! (Note you should probably click on the picture to see the full size shot for the best quality).





So there you have it! I hope none of you thought my girlfriend and I got pregnant or something...although I suppose it may have made for an more interesting blog. I'll be trying to post some more now that some of the tougher tests are out of the way in school, so don't miss me too much.

Have a good one!

 CP1
28 Comments

Happy Birthday To Me!

Woooo 21st birthday!
 
Word has it there's this magical substance called beer? I must leave on a quest to find this and bring back several of what the locals call "twofours."
 
Have a good one!
 
CP1

4 Comments

Forza 3 and SHIFT Demo Impressions

 

I'm what you might call a car guy. This is not to be mistaken for a gear-head, but I'm knowledgeable in just about every other aspect with cars thanks to my dad drilling it in to me throughout my childhood. I absolutely love cars, and so you can imagine I'm pretty in love with a good racing game as well. While I'll play just about any racing game, I like a pure arcade, or a pure sim, because the purgatory of the racing genre is an ugly, ugly place indeed. Recently both the Forza 3 and NFS SHIFT demos were put up on the xbox live marketplace, and so I quickly jumped on both of them to see how the compared. I have been interested in SHIFT ever since EA announced it, because I honestly was curious as to how a NFS game could possibly become a driving sim. I also have Forza 3 CE fully paid off on pre-order, so that should tell you how I feel about that series. I assure you that won't skew my views on SHIFT, as in reality, if both were good, I'd buy them both. Here's how they fared in my eyes:

NFS SHIFT


The demo is very much NFS. The presentation and narrator/cool foreign accent dude kick it off, giving you your car options and even giving you pointers on how to attack the course you're about to race. This is all very well done, and to be honest, it kind of made me feel bad #@$. I immediately turned all assists off (because that's how I race in Forza as well) and jumped into the Viper (my favorite car of all time). Now, Forza is widely known for its realistic handling and physics, and so I had in mind that this would be relatively the same deal. It was not however, and it wasn't exactly for the better. Outside of the Viper's already horrendous handling and torque steer, the car was barely driveable. It kind of felt like I was in a constant state of hydroplaning. The handling was really jerking and squirrely (again, waaay more so above and beyond what you'd expect from a Viper) and I actually had to quit out. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but I'm a pretty damn good driver. People are usually surprised when they find out I'm using a controller and not a wheel because I have great precision. I'm usually in the top 5% of drivers for lap times in forza, and so needless to say, not being able to drive well in SHIFT was a bit of a hit to the ego.

In any case, I backed out, and turned the settings from Pro to Expert, which turned on ABS and set the TC to low. I also moved from the Viper to the GTR for its all wheel drive, and superior handling ability just so I knew I'd be able to actually finish a race. I jumped back in to the London track, and low and behold the car was manageable. It was still squirrelly as all hell, but I could at least keep it relatively smooth through corners. The game has an odd way of dealing with low speed corners, and low-medium acceleration out of them. It's like all cars at 1/4 throttle are rocket propelled and so instantly want to do a 360. Maybe it was me, but that's what it seemed like across all the cars I drove.

The problem with SHIFT is that it's a NFS game trying to be a racing sim. It still handles and drives basically like NFSMW with a driver's license, and so it makes attacking the game as a sim very difficult indeed. I don't think I could be anything but the "aggressive" driver with SHIFT, and to be honest I don't think I could beat it with damage set to realistic, without serious stress.

On the up side, the presentation is actually nice. It's not GT5 or anything (neither is Forza 3, for that matter) but it's very much in the NFS vein. The car sounds a pretty good, although I think maybe a bit too exaggerated. After 5 starring both events and unlocking the Zonda F, driving it sounded like a jet engine being grinded up in another jet engine. In reality the car does sound like a muffled Indy car, true, but not nearly as violent as SHIFT portrays it.

Overall it seems like a decent sim. If you tune the settings to play it like you would any other NFS game I think you'll probably enjoy it WAY more than if you attempt to play it as a sim.

Forza 3


I played an unholy amount of Forza 2, and before my friend took my copy away from me, I was closing in on having bought every car in the game, and finish up the last few races to get all the achievement points. Needless to say I was pretty excited to get my hands on the third installment, and while mechanically it isn't a quantum leap, what the game promises in its feature set has me totally pumped.

The demo has only one track, and a handful of cars to choose from, including the ever advertised Audi R8 V10. Instinctively I hoped into the Audi first, turned off all the assists, and went to work. If you've played Forza 2, then you're going to basically be right at home in 3. The game handles very much the same (for obvious reasons). You will notice, however, that the game feels a bit floatier. This isn't the same floaty that SHIFT had, this is more of an on ice feel. This partially depends on the car you're driving, but it's also because the game handles more realistically overall. It won't take you more than one or two races to adjust to the sensation, and you'll find it more natural than Forza 2.

The AI is still massively tough, and if you want to beat a car with a higher ranking number, you'll have to really know what you're doing in the corners. Personally, I'm a bit hit or miss in the corners unless I'm super used to a car, and so my best against the hard difficulty AI was 3rd, and 2nd against the medium setting. The rewind feature is a HUGE help in a game like this, and while many purists will want to throw holy water at the thing, many of us mortals will be forever grateful for its inclusion. I may be good, but there's nothing more frustrating than butchering the very first corner in a race, or tanking one on lap 7 of 8, only to lose your position for good.

Presentation wise, Forza 3 looks beautiful. Granted, it's no GT 5, but it's no slouch either. If you're super picky (and I can be sometimes) you'll notice that the lack of proper lighting has forced the team to over saturate the color of the cars. This is a non-issue in GT5, but to be honest it's not a big deal. If anything, it plays to Forza's overall feel and character. The only gripe I really have with the graphics is the lack of enough AA. I LOVE the 60FPS, but it kind of kills me to see a jaggy grill on a car.

There are an infinite number of features not available in the demo, and if you're interested in the game you probably already know about all of them. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be a fantastic game.

So there you have it. Have any of you played the demos? What do you think of NFS' entering into the sim racing ring?

That's all for now! Have a good one,

XR

9 Comments

Help me choose a new gamertag! (EDITED)

THIS HAS BEEN EDITED. THE EDIT IS IN BOLD BELOW. THANKS!

 

Ok so I've gotten tired of ComputerPlayer1 as my gamertag. Not only does it not come across as what I thought it would to many people, but it just doesn't seem super original. I have 800 points kicking around from purchasing 1943, and so this is a good a time as any to spend some points. There aren't really any arcade games out or coming out that I'm interested in so whatever.

I've thought of a couple and checked their availability. I'll list them here, and I'd love to hear your opinions on them. Also, if you can think of something else you think might suit me, then let me know!

So far I have...

Teh Suxor
TheSwedishChef (the best muppet character ever)
Mysterious Fox (in tribute to Giantbomb's endurance run)
Captain Canuck
Lonely Tylenol (props to those who can figure this out lol)

 
 
EDIT: It's unfortunate, but even though TheSwedishChef was not taken on xbox live, it is apparently taken on the Zune network. I had no idea that MS kept names across xbox live, games for windows live, and the zune network, and so unfortunately the chef, along with Lonely Tylenol, Mysterious Fox, AND Captain Canuck are all unusable. This is annoying, but not entirely surprising. I won't use Teh Suxor, so here's a couple of names I tried and can in fact use:
 
Robot Ninja Fox
Canuck Cavalry

 
Thanks for all your help in voting so far everyone! I got way more attention over this than I figured I would. I am deeply saddened I can't use TheSwedishChef....I wanted to run up and tea bag people upon killing them and yell BORK BORK BORK into the mic. Oh well.  Tell me what you think of the two new names if you would, or if you have more names to suggest I'll try those out too!
 

Have a good one!

 
CP1
77 Comments

My Thumbs! My Beautiful Thumbs!

 

Dear, sweet mother of @#%@#%^@%$^$#$#^$#^$@#^$#^@%^$%^$%. I have never been so stressed out and/or frustrated in all my life.

Last night whilst browsing the interwebs, I looked at my CPU temperature and noticed it looked a bit high for what it should be with my Vendetta 2 heatsink. I had had the guys at the shop re apply paste already, but it still seemed to be idling a bit high. This had bothered me for a while, but I only really got struck with the urge to do something about it 24 hours ago.

I promptly searched around to see what different methods of applying the paste there were. After much searching I stumbled across this wondeful little tutorial type deal that walks you through several techniques this guy tried before finding the best solution. I said to myself, "Self, how hard could this possibly be?" MAN was I stupid hahaha.

So I sat in class all day, thinking about how awesome it will be to pull off the heatsink and do it myself, woefully unaware of the torture I was about to put myself through.

Anyway, I got home, and took out my old computer to practice a bit with dissmantling a heatsink. This would prove to be futile, as it was an AMD processor (they mount differently) and in a much less busy case. I moved on anyway, and begain the delicate operation.

I knew within the first 10 minutes that this would not be the quick in and out I was hoping for. Even in my fairly spacious tower, and with a motherboard that is set up to more or less be a lesser pain in the but when installing heatsinks, my giant hands had a painfully awkward time getting to the push pins. I eventually got the heatsink off, and immediately noticed that the paste that was on there wasn't spreading across the whole CPU. So I removed the paste, thinking how much smoother this was going now that it was off. Little did I know that putting the thing back on was going to be a circus.

I had to eventually take the tower's exhaust fan off, and take my RAM out, just so I could BARELY get my hands to the pins well enough to get a good grasp of them. After failing to even get the spreaders through the holes, dad had had enough and decided we should actually figure the mechanism out first. Eventually dad figured that you had to twist it all the way in one direction to unlock and pull the pin back to stop the spreader from being activated. Then you had to turn it half way back to push the pin down to secure it to the board, and then make one more half twist to lock it in place.

Figuring it out was the easy part.

Doing all of that basically blind was a complete circus. I don't know what OCZ was on when they decided that you could successfully push two pins on the diagonals at the same time, and that it was the best way to do it. Maybe you can, and we're just stupid, but we basically just had to go on intuition and a bit of luck. Eventually, it was in place. I know it's a good spread as we had to unmount the heatsink half way through due to one pin locking before being through the Mobo's hole. This was the only realy disturbance the new paste went through, so hopefully it didn't mess things up too bad.

So far things look pretty good. Where as I was idling around 44-45C while firefox was running and watching a video, and around 43C on the desktop idling, it's now around 40-41 in the browser and 39-40 on the desktop. This is all with my finally proven stable 3.6 ghz overclock, so I imagine I might have even lower temps if I was running stock.

This was definitely an interesting venture, and although it was incredibly intense and frustrating at times, I'm glad I did it for the experience. However, having said that I don't want to ever have to do it again for a VERY long time. My thumbs won't be able to handl it.

Have a good one,

CP1

1 Comments

Love that new game smell!

 

This will just be a quick update before I go crash (just got back from a party). I had been crazy a game with ample loot, that was similar to Diablo II, and wouldn't you know it, someone made that exact game! Apparently Titan Quest is very popular amongst those who play it, but it's a love/hate amongst the community as some people whine about it being too much like Diablo. Well guess what, it's pretty damn awesome! I got a Steam account set up and purchased the Gold edition which comes with the expansion pack from 2007, and me and a couple of friends are going to play together. I had downloaded the demo from Steam and played all 3 hours of it straight, and really enjoyed myself. I look forward to waking up tomorrow morning and playing it alllll day (aside from working out and eating, of course).

In other news, whilst I went school clothes shopping and supplies hunting, I stopped in to EB Games and pre-ordered the collector's edition of Forza 3. I'm so excited for this game it's ridiculous. I loved the hell out of Forza 2, and all the new bells and whistles they've added to 3 have got me dying to play it. I'm feeling sorry for Nathalie already....a little bit, anyway


This = Sex^30

I was going to pre-order Dragon Age as well, but the game comes out in November, about 3 weeks away from final exams. I would be committing scholarly suicide by pre-ordering that game because I know I won't want to study with that sitting in front of me on my desk for a month. I'll buy it after I ace my exams. I've also decided that Mass Effect 2 will be my only other game purchase for the next 6 months (following Christmas) as I will pick up the other games such as Borderlands and Modern Warefare 2 for Christmas gifts. Yah, I totally plan that hard.

In a sort of related note, I recently got a letter from my University congradulating me on making the Dean's List. I'm super happy about this as I missed the mark in my first year by .03 GPA points due to a stupid prof. My good friend also made the list, and so we're going to totally go take our picture with our names on the plack in the Business wing!

Anyway that's it for now, I desperately need sleep, as dungeon crawling and loot collecting is a tough job. Oh and I guess I should be half awake for when Nathalie and I rent a movie, too.

Have a good one!

CP1

6 Comments

Purchased my yearly "self high five" present!

 

Every year since I've been able to work, I've always chosen one slightly expensive thing that I would treat myself to after working hard in school, and at the job I had all summer. I'm very careful with my money so after I buy this one thing, it is usually the only major purchase I have for the rest of the year (the odd game purchase, notwithstanding). After thinking forever on what I would buy this year, I finally decided and just purchased it via Ebay since nobody ships to Canada these days.

A brand spankin' new pair of Sennheiser HD-485 headphones! Now, I don't consider myself to be an audiophile by any means, but I do love my music and have a great appreciation for a good quality audio device. I wanted something that sounded good for gaming and music which is apparently kind of hard to come by (you get one or the other, rarely both). After many hours of research I narrowed it down to the HD-485 or the HD-555. As soon as I read that the 485s had better bass and mid range, I was sold. It also helped that they apparently sound really good with dvds and games.

My only concern is that their impedence, although significantly lower than the 555s, is 32ohms. I love the onboard sound my 750i FTW mobo gives me, but I'm a bit sketchy as to how it will handle these suckers. My only comfort is that, upon the review date, CNET said these were the standard for Ipod listening. If an Ipod can make them sound good, I'll be damned if my Mobo hacks it. Worse case scenario is that I purchase a cheap amp to make up for it, but I'll cross my fingers that it isn't necessary.

I'm excited to see how these things perform. They have stellar reviews and many gamers swear by them (many of them CS players, and if you can please those crazies then...). I needed something for nightime play, or when I just needed to be extra quiet for everyone else in the house. These will also allow me to more freely use my 2.1 speakers for my xbox and tv, although I'll be interested in how these headphones sound on them as well. Luckily, my 2.1 speakers came with a splitter for the audio inputs, so I can just plug the phones right in to that. Shweeeet.

In any case, from here on out it's strictly game purchases. I've been thinking about what I'll be for sure spending money on, and I can say for certain that the big three will be Forza 3, Mass Effect 2, and Modern Warfare 2. Those games will keep me occupied for a VERY long time, which is good because Blizzard will probably delay SC2 another five times before it's actually released.

That's it for now guys and gals, have a good one!

CP1
16 Comments
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