Monday, July 19, 2004

What I want the next gen consoles to have

I agree with those of you who thought my last entry was a little off. For example I thought if we lived on Mars, we would live longer. Humans would loose a lot of muscle tissue in on Mars gravity is less then Earth. As for my other topic, I thought that worm holes would make someone travel through time, and time bubbles in space would separate itself from normal outer space since it’s clock is slower or faster. However, this theory is still fictional as you all know.

Yesterday, Randy did come over, and it’s been 1 month now. I love people who come over, and it’s been so long to have a human opponent to play games with. I tried to get him to play fighting games such as Dead or Alive 3, but he refused to play them. Instead we played Rallisport Challenge and McCollen’s Rally 04 on Xbox. I know he likes rally (WRC, FIA) because he had a few comments on the phone – he likes how the rally cars go around the corners at really fast speeds, and how the mud washes up on the car when the wheels turn up mud. And they do, in the game I will play one rally car, and if I don’t let off the gas, and brake at the precise moment – car smashes into a hill or rock or tree. I wonder if when I go off the road when I ‘slide’ on a right corner, this scenario would be real as far as the car physics go. Games have improved a lot since Playstation, and N64 generation because the game’s learning curve is harder, and also more going on in this generation. Randy beat me twice while I beat him three times. He beats me on automatic transmission. Manual is supposed to make the car faster - yet he still beats me at my game. It is my skill level, I suppose. It’s odd how an opponent can bet you first time, yet you know the game better than he does. There is no such thing as luck although it seems this way when there are no rules. Ah, this is why people are gamer, they feel that the challenge is worth taking, much like a game of poker.

Always, while I find a manual transmission would help me more in the game. I can down shift to a sharp corner and avoid rocks, hills, cliffs at the cost of speed. In the pros, drivers can go around corners faster with a manual than an automatic whereas videogames can simulate both transmissions. We also played ice rally circuits which are exactly like summer rally but in the winter. I wouldn’t know how to compare this to real life rally.

Randy and I left to see “I, Robot” at Hudson Cinema. I saw one of my high school students there, Beth. Beth is a blonde. I said hi. Anyways, “I, Robot” wasn’t that good. Perhaps a 2 1/2 star movie at the most. If you watch old movies a lot, you’ll understand. The whole movie was about Will Smith claiming that Robots were turning bad and no one believed him and the whole movie was about Will escaping the horde of robots. Ironically, there was an extra-high intelligent robot on the good side (AKA – thinking for itself.) Then Will Smith ran away from a giant robot trying to destroy him. That must have been a million dollar scene. A mech-sized robot tearing up the place, and Will barely escaped. The special effects weren’t bad at all. I think the futuristic theme was more realistic than Star Wars. The movie was set in 2035. All the futuristic cars in the film look very cool. Will Smith figures out that the red lights on the robots were coming from a control center, USR (US Robotics). Hmm, isn’t there a company called US Robotics that makes modems/NICs? I think this movie sends a message telling us that robots are bad news. Obviously.

After seeing the movie, we went to Circuit City. I wanted to see what a Tapwave Zodiac looks like. I found out it’s super thin, and has a lot of stuff on it. They are smaller than what I thought the image on the Circuit City website looks like. Actually, Circuit City is the only vender that carries them. I was also looking at DVD players that play DivX, although none of them do. The new ones read JPEG – and that format has been out for 10 years. The laptops seem really modern and have smoothed out edges.

Old laptop vs. New - see the difference in design. The Allenware has a more slick design.

Then we went to Game Stop. Nothing special over there I found. Of course, I didn’t have any money. I was interested if Game Stop had used XGRA games in stock - which they didn’t. The N64s are 10 dollars more than the Hudson’s store. N64s are really good for one thing and that is to play Legend of Zelda games. Plus, I heard gamers still like to play Goldeneye 007 occasionally. I saw Goldeneye on satellite yesterday – it must have been Pierce Brosman’s best 007 film. Randy and I headed over to Best Buy. Randy bought two Cowboy Bebop DVDs, each with 4 episodes. I reminded him that I dislike his choice, but it’s his choice none-the-less. In other words - he thinks anime is awesome. I watched anime and it’s a cartoon for one, and two, the voice-overs sound funny. Not really high in quality mostly because of bad voice-overs. Other movies that run under this category are Jackie Chan and Godzilla films in recent years. They were alright B movies. However, I do like Final Fantasy and that franchise is based on anime. I didn’t bother to ask him if I could rip them. If I want to watch Cowboy Bebop, I can watch it on Cartoon Network. I admit, it’s more real life anime than cutesy anime. I hate the ones that have bad English voice-overs – and believe me, you can tell a bad voice-over from a good one. Anime is just cartoons that have blood, not to mention adult language that attracts adults. Best Buy didn’t have those new Action Replay Max Evo Editions. I looked at the Playstation 2 and X-Box sections and didn’t see any games I wanted except for ‘Tales of Symphonia’ for Gamecube. Then I look at the PC game category, and saw Warlords: Battlecry III, a strategy game from Uri-Soft. Surprisingly, Warlords IV is the prequel to this game, Plus Warlords: Battlecry 1 and 2 and come packaged with it. Warlords Battlecry III is priced at 30 dollars where-as Warlords IV is priced at $20. I am sort of confused on why there is also a Warlords IV, and than a spin off franchise called Warlords: Battlecry?

Here’s how the franchise stacks up.

1. Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria (6th game) | Release Date: Late October 2003 | IGN Score: 85%
2. Warlords Battlecry III (seventh game???) Release Date: May 22, 2004 | IGN.Score 80%
3. Warlords III (3rd game) Release Date: August 1997 | Gamespot score: 86%
4. Warlords Battlecry II (fifth game) – Release Date: March 2002 | IGN score 85%
5. Warlords – Battlecry (forth game) Release Date: July 2000 | IGN score 84%

Damn, it’s really confusing whether to get Warlords IV or Battlecry III. Warlords IV is suppose to be the sequel to the 1997 game, Warlords III, while Warlords Battlecry franchise has been released like clockwork. I’m hearing that Battlecry III is not as good as Battlecry II because it’s missing a few elements that made the series stand out from Command & Conquer and Warcraft III. I find out I hated Warcraft. Should I wait until 2005 when another Warlords game will appear on shelves? One thing’s for sure… None of the Warlords appeal with their graphics. The graphics are 5 years out of date although the latest Warlords Battlecry III looks better then Warcraft III hands down.

Gamecube finally gets another RPG and it’s called Tales of Symphonia. This anime based RPG is much like Final Fantasy – of course a franchise that is getting more popular on each passing game. Well, anyways, the Tales series is Namco’s answer to Game Art’s Grandia series.…Grandia II introduced me to the RPG genre. Both have cell-shaded graphics and both are real-time battle and very fast based. I don’t know….after playing Xenosaga and Final Fantasy X….I’m sort of interested now. I read the score and they gave it a 8.8 out of 10 so that’s pretty good. I trust them.

I have $160 in my savings, and I don’t have a job so any adult with common sense would not spend money on anything. I want a dual layer DVD burner….this will burn 9.4GB DVDs, which is the standard medium for movies right now. With this I can copy movies with Alcohol 120% and burn in on a dual layer DVDR without degrading the image quality. Putting the movie on regular DVD is possible with MPEG 4, of course, at the expense of CPU power and time. To prevent pirated movies to be played on the television, there is no DivX or Xvid codecs on any dvd players you can buy from electronic stores. Why are they overpriced or is the Internet prices so good, the middleman is hardly making anything, which is good for small .com businesses. On the contrary, Tigerdirect and Amazon are far from small businesses.

The other thing is the Tapwave Zodiac 128-bit handheld computer which probably will be the next gaming platform I’ll probably spend my money on. I have 75 dollars on hand plus about 160 dollars in my savings which equals to $235. The difference between the 128-bit and 32-bit versions is the RAM is vital for emulators to run GBA roms, and perhaps Nintendo DS roms for example. Another question – should I sell both my GBAs for $$$ to buy a Zodiac? I would get about half of what I paid for both of them new which would bring me to approx 100 dollars more. But what happens if GBA emulation does not work as well as I’m thinking…I would be without GBA. But I do see that the positive out ways the negative. Plus, Give or take selling a few games to make up the difference, I would have 410 dollars, enough to get a Zodiac. I can write on the Zodiac’s touch pad. I think it’s worth it because then I can run 90% of Palm based software, and still have a joystick to play games. What would be interesting is if I could hook up a game pad up to it and play N64 roms. The gaming review sites showed pics that emulation was possible and Zodiac was ideal for ‘oldskool’ emulation.

Toshiba e400

Aside from Zodiac, there is also a Pocket PC from Toshiba off Tigerdirect for 200 dollars. It has 64MB of RAM and 300 MHz CPU. This is 100 dollars less than the Zodiac, and benefits from a more powerful processor and twice the RAM. Although it doesn’t say what the graphics accelerator is? A graphics accelerator is really only for 3D based games in my opinion. GBA games must run on the boarder line between emulators that need GPU power and emulators that can rely on CPU power. And all I want to play are GBA and SNES games. Plus this Pocket PC comes with a lot of software including word processor, jpeg viewer, and mp3 player. Unlike 3 years ago, color screens won’t cost you a lot of money. If my dad will let not me get a PDA off the Internet, I’ll go with the Zodiac handheld.

As for satellite internet – it’ll depend on whether I keep up grades in school or not. It should be on my ability to pay fees at the end of each month rather than grades in school. Then again I do live in my parent’s house, so it won’t make any difference if I want it or not. I want to stream Internet TV, listen to internet radio, and surf faster. Online gaming would have legacy so it’s unlikely that my ping will be high enough to join broadband servers. I wish it weren’t so. When I move away I will have a cable based Internet at around 1 MB at least. I won’t get this kind of bandwidth for a while yet so why think about it?

These are what I expect in Next Generation consoles

Playstation 3

• To enhance graphics of PS2 and make most PS1 games high resolution
• To have 256-bit graphics accelerator
• Four controller ports
• External hard drive at launch
• An Internet Browser onboard the console on CD like Dreamcast’s was
• No less then 32MB memory cards
• 802.11B or 802.11G built in Ethernet support and n extra accessory that does wireless network to cable based networks
• One good racing game at launch
• One good First person shooter at launch
• 4 GHz plus CPU


• Backwards capable with Gamecube Mini discs
• DVD playback

Make Revolution a lot like Panasonic Q
• Make something like the Panasonic Q….I love that concept!
• Definably more online games than Gamecube
• Graphics that are close to Microsoft’s next generation console
• Internet Browser disc
• 802.11B or 802.11G Ethernet built in console
• On board game save memory at least 8 MB worth
• Any kind of hard drive would be good
• One game that stars Mario
• Perhaps a Mario Kart game at launch
• A RPG is a must at launch
• Be able to play Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS games through it
• Have it compatible with Gamecube controller.


• Be able to play Xbox games
• Keep the 3.5 GHz processor and 500 MHz GPU!
• Play MP3s in the games
• Come with PC software that allows you to put Mp3s/ WMA on the external hard drive, What does Microsoft care? They own PC!
• Make console rock solid
• Backwards compatible with Xbox controllers
• Make the console glow in the dark!
• Put a light in it so the outer rim glows Green or Blue depending on which color you buy. It’s simple for Microsoft to do, just have a regular light near the top and have transparent boarders so the whole console lights up. That would be much fancier than having a small light to show that it’s on.
• DVD playback
• Microsoft should make a new Halo game when it comes out!
• Be able to download game saves onto Xenon without owning a Gameshark!
• Have 802.11B with the console so it can connect to another wireless Xenon.
• Play Dreamcast games on Xenon!
• Keep the Xbox logo and just have the words Xenon instead of Xbox or whatever the real name is going to be.

Anyways, life is coming along really well. I was listening to MP3s while I play Diablo 2. I talk to David again today, his assignment is in Japan. He told me through chatting that all Japanese know a little English. Probably because UK, Ireland, Australia, USA, and Canada speak English, and there is no way around this. Who knows maybe their looking on my blog right now? It is possible. I can’t speak their language, and yet they live on that tiny island grouped together so population wise, it’s not needed. I admit a lot of good stuff comes from Japan and China. Except the anime unless it’s Final Fantasy or related RPGs than it’s okay. Hondas are alright. Randy now owns a Honda Motorcycle from early 80s. He says it runs really well for a 20 year old motorcycle. The guy he bought it from had money for a better motorcycle so he had to sell his old one. Randy got it for only 800 dollars. I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know whether to be impressed or keep my comments to myself. Motorcycles have improved in 20 years. 800 bucks is still 800 bucks. Just like cars, you drive them 100,000 miles then the owners sell them for almost half of what it costs to buy new.

Tomorrow will be a lazy day, but I think I’ll start Final Fantasy X over again from the beginning. This seems like the logical thing to do since I knew it was a great game and it still has great game play. Plus now since I have a good idea of what to do, I can blaze through all the easy portions. I don’t need to see all milk and granny aspects of the game which more then likely means I won’t see the alternate ending. I will still have to go to and find a FAQ to guide me through the temples. I already know Sir Auron is the most powerful playable character in the game. I’ll use him the most through-out the game. It doesn’t matter – I won’t let my remaining summer break days go to waste.

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