Refurbished Xbox 360?

October 17, 2007

I think I should clarify.  It seems Microsoft does not support refurbished Xbox 360s unless you purchased one from them. If your Xbox 360 has been refurbished by another retailer or repair shop, then that shop would be the ones to check for warranty information unless otherwise specified.  When purchasing a refurbished Xbox 360, make sure to check the warranty and make certain Microsoft will support the machine.

So earlier today, Tiger Direct sent me this gem of an offer via e-mail. It looks like a $280 refurbished Xbox 360 Premium system. Look good so far? Then you scroll down to the specs and notice there’s no HDMI. It implicitly states the system can only output up to 1080i. So maybe that’s not too much of a problem since your TV can’t output in 1080p anyhow. After you scroll down a little further, you notice the warranty. Now I’m sure 360s don’t start bursting into flames every minute, but isn’t 2 months a little short for something known for overheating issues? The consoles were probably refurbished by the group offering the warranty, so they might not even have the heatsinks. Overall, my respect for Tiger Direct is still negligent.


Fanboys Explained Using Sports

October 15, 2007

Angry MobOddly enough, this blog has been around for a week now and we haven’t received any angry e-mails. Obviously we’re not doing a good enough job of pissing you off. So, Game Reaver presents an exclusive look into what fanboys are made of. If you don’t agree with us, call 911 and tell them we hurt your feelings. Remember kids, police dispatchers love receiving collect calls.

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Nintendo Wants Hardcore Games

October 12, 2007

So today Kotaku writes about Nintendo trying to attract more hardcore gamers once again. Many hardcore gamers (us included) believe the Wii is not capable of producing complex calculations needed for physics and next-gen graphics. The other thing is it seems very costly for Nintendo to try and capture shares of the hardcore gaming market where Sony and Microsoft are competing fiercely in.

It just doesn’t make sense when you think about it. The hardcore market is very niche and fickle. We can only imagine how much they paid or promised in licensing to acquire the exclusive for Monster Hunter 3. That is money better spent funding indie developers and making more casual games more to Wii’s style. I think Nintendo is starting to lose their vision. Sure they’ve always been seen as weak in the eyes of hardcore gamers. The one big title for hardcore fans was Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and it was delayed. But does Nintendo really need to focus on and plug up this shortcoming? I really don’t think so.

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The Difficult, The Frustrating, And The Downright Cheap

October 11, 2007

Visualization of a cheap AI…

I’m sure you can guess what this post is about: AI. In modern games, the AI of enemies, allies and NPCs are very important to gameplay. Some games have done it right, some games have tried their best, and there are those games which cut corners on one of the most vital parts of today’s games. All three concepts are after the same goal. That is, to provide a level of challenge for the player as a ways of entertainment. However, the means for each of the three to challenge the player differs.

IBM’s Deep BlueWhat does it really mean for something to be difficult? I believe true difficulty comes from a well written AI. Sometimes it may feel frustrating, but it should never feel cheap. A game is difficult when the enemy provides a challenge, yet is still bound by the same rules and skill set as the player. This proves a daunting task for many developers. Computers – and therefore AI – are excellent at logic and conditionals, yet they do not adapt well to situations not prearranged in their program. In other words, if a situation should arise where the AI is not programmed for, then it will be unable to form an effective strategy. The root of this problem lies in duplicating the higher functions of the human brain. The brain is just an organ which produces electrical and chemical signals. However, the mind is more than just the sum of its parts. Our mind is a complex entity not completely understood. With it, we can form complex thoughts such as beliefs, theories, strategies and attain awareness, not just of ourselves, but of our surroundings, the world and the universe. This is what limits AI in any game. As any competitive game can show, the most skilled player easily triumphs over even the hardest AI levels. Therefore until we can fully understand our mind, the true challenge in any game will be from a fellow player.

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Growlanser: Legend of the Extras

October 9, 2007

Lately Atlus has been selling games stateside bundled with a ton of extras. Extras are nice and collectible…but don’t forget the standard editions for people who just want to play the game. Take the following example:

growlanserhow.jpg

What would possess someone to try and fit so many things in one game box? Let’s see, it comes with: the game, 100 page artbook, multimedia CD with soundtrack and artwork, a keychain, 3 buttons (think political buttons), and 2 lenticular cards. Not to mention the box has no support for the corners or center. So how many people would actually use any of this stuff? The art book is paperback but contains pieces from all of the Growlanser series. It was pretty well made. The multimedia CD is alright I suppose. The lenticular cards… I suppose you could carry them around in your wallet to amuse children, but other than that they’re useless. The buttons are huge and poorly made. They remind me of political buttons you can get at any rally. Since next year is an election year, I can just collect a bunch of buttons and tape pictures over them. Pictures of things I actually want to see, not the Growlanser logo or little fairies. And finally we come to the keychain. This thing comes in its own box and seems to be a centerpiece in the package. However, it’s very heavy, bulky and inflexible. You’d have to be a big fan to carry that thing around in lieu of a smaller keychain.

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Blog Launch

October 8, 2007

This blog was created because there was a lot of frustrations which shooting squirrels and taking candy from babies couldn’t relieve. An outlet was needed to vent on various things about gaming specifically, but also other things as needed. I guess in time it might become more mellow, but right now there is much musing to be had by criticizing others.

A couple of other things will be thrown into the mix but it’s mainly an outlet for various things in gaming we feel are taking the wrong direction. Along with it will be some words on upcoming games as well as thoughts on rumors circulating about. If nothing else, you should stick around to read up on our ignorance and general intolerance of modern American video gaming. Maybe along the way I’ll also discover why the second space I put after a period apparently disappears when the post is published.