My First Launch System

May 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm (video games)

I was listening to this week’s RebelFM podcast [which reminds me – I need to do a post about podcasts] wherein they  discussed their first launch system; the first video game console they purchased day and date it was released. Surprisingly, the first launch system purchased by a few of them was the Nintendo Wii. For another guest it was the Sega Dreamcast. This got me thinking about my first launch system.

It was a cold Sunday morning on September 29, 1996 (I actually have no idea what the temperature was like at the time. “Cold Sunday morning” just seemed to fit.). Goodness, I was what, fourteen at the time? It seems like I was much younger when I recall it from memory. I got my father to drive me down to the local Toys ‘R’ Us before it opened. My father waited in the car while I promptly waited in line with about a dozen other people. One of those in line just so happened to be a friend of mine. He was a couple people ahead of me and were both surprised to see each other. We both waited excitedly for those glass doors to slide open.

Mario 64 Face

The hours of entertainment I derived from deforming his face...

At this point things gets a little fuzzy. I can’t remember if they passed out tickets or if we made a mad dash for the video game aisle. Either way, we both got our consoles and games. He picked up Mario 64 and Pilot Wings while I got just Mario 64. We gave him a ride home since I don’t think he had a ride home. I have no idea how he got there or how he was planning on getting home. I want to say I went over to his house to play video games after but I can’t say for sure if we did that.

Y’know, thinking back on it, how the heck did I get the money for something in September? I mean, the console itself was $199.99 and I don’t even know what the game cost. Games back then were ridiculously expensive because they came on cartridges, as opposed to today’s DVDs and Blu-ray discs. I must’ve begged for Christmas money early as well as money from my grandparents in Japan.

I’m not even sure how I got the money to pay for a Sega Saturn, a machine that cost $400 back in 1995. That’s gotta be like a bajillion dollars today. And I don’t think I even picked it up for Christmas. I sure was spoiled as a kid.

 
I don’t know how many times I watched the above promo before I got my system. It got me super hyped for the Sega Saturn. Good graphics!

Sega Saturn… I still have the console but only a couple of the games still work. The little battery inside that allowed for games to be saved has long since been dead. Man, I really wish I hadn’t sold off so many of my Saturn games. I had super rare games like Panzer Dragoon Saga, a game that launched with only 6,000 copies in its initial release (another 24,000 copies would be pressed later).

Panzer Dragoon Saga1

Yeah, it doesn't look like much by today's standards but it was an amazing game back then

Another thing I regret getting rid of is my NES and SNES. I had gotten to a point in life where I thought I was over video games. They no longer caught my attention and I felt I wasn’t going to continue purchasing any more. At that point the NES and SNES were long past their prime so they were just sitting in a closet collecting dust. I think I may have even donated the Famicom, Japan’s version of the NES, at this time as well. Yes, that’s right, I Goodwilled them.

Now I’ve thoroughly depressed myself. Good going.

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Amazon MS Points Sale

April 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm (Internet, video games) (, )

[Amazon.com link]

Buy a digital 4000 Xbox LIVE points card before May 1, 2009 and you’ll receive a $10 promotional credit to use in the Xbox LIVE Store. You can never have too many points, but if this one time 4000 points are too many, then pick up a digital 1600 points card and you’ll receive a $5 promotional credit to use in the Xbox LIVE Store.

 

Limit one credit per household. Offer valid from 12:00 AM Pacific Time on 04/22/09 to 11:59 PM Pacific Time on 05/02/09. This offer may not be combined with other offers or promotional certificates. Purchase one of the qualifying digital products from the list below and within two business days you will receive an e-mail letting you know that a discount has been applied to your account, and you can return and use your credit in the Xbox LIVE Store.

Essentially? Buy a 1600 point card ($19.99) and get a $5 credit be used on Amazon’s Xbox Live store (or a 4000 point card to get a $10 credit). You can only do this ONCE, so you can get either 5 or 10 dollars worth of credit. The Amazon store only carries MS points and Arcade games at the moment. Still, if you’re like me and frequently buy Arcade games, this is free money. Plus, buying things off of Amazon allows you to bypass tax (in most areas)! Screw you, 4.712%!

[BLAHBLAHBLAH yes i’m aware that techincally we’re supposed to report this stuff to the state to be taxed BLAHBLAHBLAH]

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SF IV T-N-A

April 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm (video games) (, , , )

927953-street_fighter_4_tna_03_super

Yep. It’s Friday.

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It’s Dead, Jim

April 8, 2009 at 10:57 am (video games) (, , )

Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a PS3 technician!

Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a PS3 technician!

Bones and I were just chilling – just watching some NCIS on the PS3. He and I, big fans of the show. The show was moving along when the picture suddenly went out and there was an audible “pop” from the PS3.

“Oh, no. It did not just…”

There was that disctinct smell you get when electronics are burning.

“Shit. Bones, do you smell that? What’s wrong with the PS3?”

He gave me an indignant look and gave that line he does everytime when he doesn’t have an answer. “Damn it, Jim…” I scoffed and told him to stop calling me “Jim” la;skjdfansgdasdl;fkjasdfl;kasgnasdl;fkjas.

I don’t know where I was going with that and I have no idea why I went off on a tangent like that. But, yes – my PS3 is indeed dead. It happened as recalled above, sans Mr. McCoy. At the time I wasn’t as upset as you’d think I’d be. I was watching NCIS via CBS.com on the PS3 when it died. After the tragic event, I thought maybe NCIS was available on Netflix instant streaming. It was, and so I continued watching on the 360.

I haven’t gone through the trouble of digging out the original box to check on the manufacturer’s warranty or the extended warranty I purchased from Best Buy. Why? I’m pretty sure they both expired. The Sony warranty I’m fairly certain is for one year. The Best Buy one was for two years, but I bought the dang thing when Virtua Fighter 5 came out, which was over two years ago. Of course, I will pull the box out of the closet some time this week just to double check, but I am fairly certain about the warranties and dates.

Odd thing is, I think even if it is still in warranty with Best Buy, I may just go and pay to have it repaired by Sony. Why? Well, I have a 60 GB PS3 that is backwards comptabile with PS2 games. Essentially it means I can play PS2 games on the PS3. Sony stripped out the backwards compatibility in order to save money on production costs for the system, so the systems out now no longer have this feature. If I were to get a replacement from Best Buy I would more than likely receive one without it. That, in turn, means that if I want to play any PS2 games I will have to pull my PS2 system out of storage.

The other thing is that all of saves are on the hard drive. I have nearly 60 hours pumped into Persona 4. While I adore the game, I don’t know if I could handle going through it anytime soon after such a devestating loss. Not to mention the items I’d purchased via the PSN (Playstation Network, the equivalent of Xbox Live)! I’m not sure how they handle these types of things on the PSN. Am I able to redownload the items I purchased onto my new console?

Oh, yeah. My blu-ray movies are useless until I find a replacement. I got around to removing blu-ray access on my Netflix account today. Probably for the best, though, seeing as how they’re raising the monthly fee for it. Sure, it’s just going from one dollar to four, but stuff like that adds up. That, and I have no way to play them at the moment.

Chie Satonaka of Persona 4

Chie Satonaka of Persona 4 "WTF, dude? Lame."

 

 “Chie! Don’t look at me like that! I’m sorry! It’s not my faaaaaauuult!”

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Metal Wolf Chaos

March 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm (Internet, video games) (, , )

Broken pixels Metal Wolf Chaos

Check it out! It’s the Broken Pixels gang (Shane, Crispin, Sean Baby) of 1UP.com playing the Japanese import-only title Metal Wolf Chaos for original Xbox. The story? You are the President of the United States of America. Some bad stuff is happening so you decide to take the situation into your own hands and pilot a super-duper mech robot and stop the terrorists yourself. It was something like that. Anyway, that doesn’t matter – you are the President and you pilot a mech.

I’d actually played a demo a few years ago from an OXM (Official Xbox Magazine) disc. It was weird the way you had to access it – you had to input a code to get to the demo. It was sort of an easter egg. As you’ll see from the video it has awful dialogue, but that doesn’t matter because you get to pilot a super-awesome mech and blow shit up!

license-usafyea

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Unfinished Business

January 13, 2009 at 1:29 pm (Uncategorized, video games) (, , )

Back on 12-22 I’d posted about my new cymbals and bass pedal for my Rock Band 2 drums and that I was going to edit in pictures. Well, I finally got around to pulling the pictures off of my phone and decided to make a new post rather than edit the previous post since it was a few posts ago.

12-24-08_1634

Angled top-down view

bass pedal

With a little bit of tape, I’ve gotten the cymbals to stay in place. They were a bit loose previously so a layer or two of tape around the base allowed the cymbal clamps to tighten enough to stay on. I gotta say, my current set up is pretty awesome. The one thing I regret is not getting the three cymbal pack. It’s feels odd hearing the ride cymbal in the game but hitting one of the pads on the drums.

Sure, with the amount I spent I probably could’ve gotten the basic Ion drumset, sans cymbals. Meh, I’m pretty happy with what I got. I think the only problem with the cymbals now is that I can’t really bang on ’em too hard or it ends up as a double tap. When things really get going and I’m in the zone with the drums, it’s hard not to get excited and want to just bang away on the cymbals.

Speaking of music and Rock Band, I got my ‘The Who: Live at the Kilburn” Blu-ray disc the other day. Kinda underwhelming in the video department, but I wasn’t expecting much to begin with seeing as how the concert was back in 1977. Still, it’s nice to actually see The Who in concert. I watched all of my favorite songs, planning to go back to it and watch it in its entirety later. After watching The Who for a bit I decided to pop in my “Foo Fighters – Live at Wembley Stadium” Blu-ray disc. Man, this is a friggin’ high-definition concert. Everything looks so crisp and clear. And of course, Dave and Foos are in usual raring form.

12-14-08_1356

 They had the usual stage area with the band but it was connected to a rather long runway down into the crowds. Halfway down a mic was set up for Dave to run down to and do a few songs.

 

 

 

12-14-08_1354Here’s Dave himself in glorious HD, something that doesn’t translate so well via my cell phone camera. I gotta say, though, going from The Who disc to this one is like night and day. Go high definition!

 

 

 

 

Here’s an oldie but goodie: The Foo Fighters playing live and acoustic on Kilborne. Gotta love that solo.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juCQ1BteSW4]

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The Real Folk Blues

January 9, 2009 at 12:53 pm (Internet, video games) (, , , )

I think I’m having an allergic reaction to something. The left side of my upperlip feels numb and bloated. At first I thought it was nothing, maybe just my lip was a little dry. As time went on I noticed it wasn’t a dry feeling but more of a tingly feeling. “Crap.” I realized I was probably having an allergic reaction to something, having had it happen in the past (Clean drinking glass that was not so clean). I head to the bathroom and take a look at myself in the mirror – yup, it’s definitely swollen.

Awesome! But what the heck caused it? For lunch I had a supreme pizza, bread sticks, and a Pepsi from Taco Bell/Pizza Hut. Could it have been that? Perhaps an unclean cup or something. I should probably stop drinking the soda. Y’know, I hope it doesn’t get any worse because I have a dinner thing to go to tonight. If it gets to looking ridiculous I may cancel. I do not feel like having people see me with a swollen lip. Hopefully it’ll just subside in a few hours like last time.

It was not two months ago I swore I’d never eat Pizza Hut for lunch again. I guess it takes about two months for me to forget. I wonder if, because this is an even worse incident related to Pizza Hut than the previous time, it’ll be an even longer time before I have Pizza Hut at work again.

Oh. Did you hear the news? 1UP.com, MyCheats, and GameVideos was purchased by Hearst (UGO). Ziff-Davis, the former owners of the 1UP sites, had been looking to sell off the site for some time due to financial hardships. Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) was not included in the sale, with its last magazine being the January 2009 issue. ‘Tis a sad day, indeed. A good forty or so people were let go. ‘Tis a sad day, indeed.

I’ve been a huge fan of the podcasts and video content produced by the 1Up gang. After listening to them on a weekly basis for years now, they felt like close friends. I know, it sounds kind of dumb – I’ve never had any communications with any of them, let alone meeting them in person – but I felt I had this close connection with them after taking in so much of their work. When I first heard the news I was dumbstruck; I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. So many people were out of a job. No more 1UP.FM. No more Lan Party. No more 1UP Show. These were a huge part of my week. I listen to podcasts before bed, when I’m driving (alone), and I had the 1UP Show to look forward to at the end of the work week.

It might seem like I’m being melodramatic about this, and maybe I am, but that’s how I felt. As crappy as this event was, it seems like a lot of the gang is still going on with podcasts (Rebel.FM) and possibly even video stuff.

I just wanna say good luck to all those that lost their jobs, and even to those who didn’t. That must be an akward transition to have to go through. Sure, they’ll never see this but it’s the thought that counts, right?

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Smokin’

November 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm (video games) ()

11-04-08_2044

Sigh. I guess it was inevitable. I’ve rocked too hard and there were consequences. Fortunately I hadn’t given away the Rock Band 1 drums yet so I still had the reinforced kick pedal from that. I’ll have to dig up the drum set box to see if it’s still under warranty, but I doubt it.

Give away the RB1 drums? Yeah, I had been planning on unloading giving away the drums and possibly even the RB1 game to one of you lucky folk! Looks like this may not be happening.

First, the elections takes away my House M.D., now this.

(Elections are important, blahblahblah change. I know. Doesn’t mean I can’t be sore about having to missing House tonight and Chuck and Heroes the night before because they decided to show SNL instead.)

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Fall Gaming

October 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm (video games) (, , )

Good gravy! If you’re at all invested in gaming as I am, you might have some inkling that this Fall has yet another huge lineup for games. There are more games coming out than I can keep up with, both time wise and financially. I’ve more than come to this realization and have decided to hold off on those games that I want but don’t really need to play right away. I think getting a Gamefly account would help tremendously in this aspect as well. There are a number of games that I want to get but not quite sure they’re going to be great and worth purchasing. With Gamefly I can try it, and if I end up really enjoying it, buy it.

Man, where do I begin? A whole slew of games have already come out that I consider to be part of this Fall rush: Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Fable 2, Motorstorm 2, Fallout 3, Little Big Planet, Dead Space… I’m sure I’m missing a number of games there. I’ve already picked up Rock Band 2 (with the new drums), Guitar Hero (with a new guitar), Dead Space, and Little Big Planet.

  • Rock Band 2: Friggin’ awesome. With the ability to transfer all but three of the Rock Band 1 songs as well as the huge abundance of downloads already available, Rock Band 2 has the largest tracklist ever. Also, I love the new drums – quiter, sturdier, bouncier.
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour: I dunno. I don’t much care for the look of this game. The characters are kind of ugly, the note tracking is okay (thankfully not as difficult as GH3), but at least the guitar is awesome, except for that squeak. My guitar has this annoying plastic-on-plastic squeak. Still, as down on it as I am, it’s enjoyable enough. I probably won’t be sinking too much into this because I already have so money invested into Rock Band.
  • Dead Space: I love this game. Go get it. Or borrow it from me. I think I’m almost done with it (third time through the game).
  • Little Big Planet: This game is ever so charming. I loved the opening, but haven’t had much time to delve into the game yet. I need to get someone (or three) over to play through with. I think it’d increase the enjoyment immensly.

That’s all (ha) I have so far. Next week there’s Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2, followed by Mirror’s Edge the following week, all of which I will be picking up. I think that’s all I’ll be picking up this Fall. I’m shooting for not picking up any more games until next year. There are a few others I’m on the fence about (Saints Row 2, Tomb Raider, Pure) so I’ll probably set up a Gamefly account to try them out first.

Speaking of Gamefly, I finally got around to setting up a Netflix account. Man, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get one. It’s so awesome! I can stop buying DVDs that I’ll only watch once, or not at all even, and just rent. I’ll definitely still be buying all of the big blockbusters and movies I really enjoy, but it’s just nice to be able to go back and rent stuff that I sort of wanted to see but didn’t want to purchase. Plus I can rent Blu-Ray movies for just a buck more. Wewt. Hopefully this will also curb my spending on the cheaper movies that are not bad. I tend to put those on the side and forget about them – so much so that I end up buying them again. I two copies of Black Hawk Down, Matrix Revolutions, and Kiss of the Dragon. WASTED.

Oh! Have you heard? See those dudes on the right? Yeah, they’re probably coming to Rock Band. If anything, I’d imagine it’s coming in disc form, similar the AC/DC track pack disc that’s coming exclusively to Wal-Mart. Crazy world. I’m passing on the AC/DC stuff ($40 for 18 songs?) but the Beatles would definitely be worth it.

 

 

Halloween. Eh, I got my stuff together for the most part. I just have to go pick up a black shirt. I have no idea how it looks together because I haven’t tried it on yet. I’ll find out on the 31st. I’m sure it’ll look fine. I mean, how bad could I look wearing a jean jacket, jean pants, black shirt, ratty old shoes, and a Guitar Hero controller on my back?

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