Monday, August 09, 2004

Got Doom 3 | Phantasy Star out for PC in Japan

Bring on the weekend. Or so I once thought. Pierce County Fair was this weekend, but I decided not to go. The Pierce County Fair is one tenth the size of the Minnesota State Fair. It goes on for 3 days. There are monster truck rallies, dirt bike racing, and tractor pulls held there every year. Tractor pulls! Instead, I played Doom 3. Of course, I bought the game. The retail version is surprisingly stable. There are few slow downs in the game except I can play it at 1600x1200 with high textures, and 2x anti-analyzing The textures are such a high resolution that 4x anti-analyzing doesn’t look any different from 2x anti-analyzing. Normally it does. One of the reason for this is the resolution is so high that there are unheard of polygons rates - about 40,000 of them on screen. I got to alpha labs part 1. I couldn’t find the access card to get pass a door so I’m stuck, and always die from ambushes. I know – the point of the game is to have the enemies jump out at you. I admit, Doom 3 is never boring. The lighting effects are out of this world, more advance than Unreal Tournament 2004 – not by much though. I mean I’ve seen better, but not in my game collection. I like how the viewing monitors have video going, and still go on after the outbreak. What’s up with that “Chicken Puncher 3” arcade game that looks like it’s running on the really old doom engine? It’s stupid. Of course, I could cheat in the console (CTRL+ALT+~), and type in ‘GOD’ to be invincible, but this would not sharpen my shooting skills and alertness. It would make them worst. If you haven’t played much doom 3 at its level of difficulty than you might fall victim to many, many blood-thirty demons that hide in the dark (AKA nightmarish, nightwalkers). Most appear out of no where, and then resurrect when you come back to haunt you once more. Well, the game is rated mature, and Doom is known for very gory, and uncanny demon-spawn creatures. Damn, these things don’t stay died. Anyways, it’s a fun game. Addictive, if you don’t have a fit about the game’s hard difficulty. Even Recruit difficulty (Easy mode) is hard in Doom 3. Ranks up there with Halo’s difficulty. The game has revolutionary graphics engine (called the Doomsday engine), and the game play is a bit above average too, but nothing to get really excited about. No doubt, first person shooters in the USA are an above average genre, and there are several innovations in 2004 that 5 year old first person shooters like Unreal Tournament, and Quake 3 Arena don’t have. Not to say that they aren’t fun. Doom 3 has twice as many features as those games. It’s not just about picking up a weapon, and shooting anymore. I now have all sorts of things in my inventory such as access keys, and a PDA that downloads data from many terminals throughout the Mars facility. Modblog isn’t a place for a full review of the game. My personal (Geocities) webpage is. I believe Americans prefer first person shooters over racing pc games or role playing games. Most Americans have a little of each. And there will always be patches that’ll add maps, features, and stability to Doom 3. The retail version is stable by itself. The game never crashed on me at all, and seems to very compatible with all recent video cards that are 64-bit or better.

I got a new cat whom we named Amberious was found on the front porch yesterday. Amberious is a 2 month old kitten, but we call all our kittens – cats. Actually, the mother was roaming around the back yard days before. We live by a farm with farm cats. No doubt it’s where the mother cat came from. I said, “Well, Mom - the cat’s free.” Our last cat, Sassy, didn’t live very long. She was about 2 years old when she died. The illness was caused by an unknown poisonous substance. Something caused the cat to have a stroke (which it lived through) so the vet killed it to prevent further misery. She had saliva spilling out of her mouth. Sassy never wanted to be held therefore she wasn’t a good lap cat. Sassy wasn’t expected to live more than two weeks after her illness. Amberious likes to be held, and very affectionate, therefore a wonderful lap cat. I’ll post a picture of both of them at Angelfire will not allow me to direct link the image with Modblog using an IMG tag. Mom brought them to the vet for rabies shots. We found a black kitten, probably Amberious’s sister, on the door, we took her in as well. He is a yellow / white cat who I’ve mistaken for a female cat. Then we have this other cat who is mostly black with a white chest like Sassy was. Sassy was full grown when she died, and maybe Iris will look a lot like her.

David and I were on messenger Friday. He is building a new plastic model airplane of an X-35. I had to guess a couple of times of what it was, and I got as close as saying an X-31. I thought it ran in the fighter category. The F-14 is a really solid aircraft, but it’s very expensive to manufacture from what I’ve been told. It’s manufactured by Lockheed Martin. A place where to US Governments goes for all their military aircraft needs. The F-16 Strike Eagle is the most popular since it is easy to control and very powerful, and most cost-efficient. The X-35 is suppose to be even more cost efficient than the F-16 Strike Eagle. David says the X-35 is the first joint-strike aircraft. Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) means it’s be used by the US Marines, US Airforce, and US Navy. The first American squadron is supposed to be around in 2008. The most powerful American aircraft out is the F-22 Raptor, and that thing’s is extremely high-tech. It can out gun / out maneuver, out radar, out run all the competition. The F/A 22s in existence have never seen action yet. I’m not an airplane person so I don’t know much about it. I hear it’s every pilot’s dream to fly one from what I’ve heard on the History Channel. The Aircraft’s armor and weapon systems are classified. Only the prototypes are out now. Other countries Lockheed Martin is sharing technology to reduce manufacturing costs are Australia, Royal Navy, Canada, Russia, and Israel. The US Government is going to purchase 3,000 of these as well as 2,000 international purchases to boot. The engine powering the jet is the modified F-22 Raptor engine, the Pratt & Whitney F112. What’s also fascinating is the X-35 can do vertical landings. It serves as a part-time helicopter which is also neat! What’s also interesting is new aircraft, X-35 being the first, is using IMF for real-time modification from talented aerospace designers around the world using the Internet. My guess is that IMF could be something as simple as a 128K encrypted webpage with information evolving the aircraft model, and probably a message board as well. Or it could be a FTP server with username / password / IP identity security protocols.

Photo: X-35c Navy version

Check out this very interesting site:

• – talks a little about the company’s history, projects including fighter jets, satellites, NASA jets, combat gear. Very interesting stuff. They have information on the planes like what records they broke, when they were created, but the specs barely scratch the service. So don’t think this site will tell you the real facts about their projects because you’re not gonna get any.

Lockheed Martin is responsible for several military satellites including the most powerful one, the Lockheed Titan. NASA contracts with Lockheed for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Shuttle, and several military aircraft including F16, F/A-22 (most advanced fighter), X-33 (next generation space shuttle), the famous U2 spy plane, and X-35.

I’m getting off topic here, but I compressed more movies in DivX. I’ve got the first 3 episodes of Band of Brothers encoded in DIVx. I plan to have one episode per CD - making a total of 10 CDs. With only an hour of video on CD, I can increase the image quality to 800/600 at 1200 KBPS. This is medium video quality. I guess I could use Xvid for compression, but I never encoded video in Xvid 1.0.1 before. I’m going to use something that I know will not compromise speed for video glitches, and the infamous delayed sound effect in compressed video. Band of Brothers DVD collection is my Dads, but this way I will have my own copy of the epic WWII saga. I could put 2 episodes on DVD compressed in DIVx 5.1.1. For one, the image gets errors at resolutions higher than 800x600 - such as badly deteriorated image parts in the film. Although I haven’t tried a lower resolution like 640x480 at 1400 KBPS. A compressed video should be no more than 2000 KBPS. Works well for the both of us. We also have The Longest Day, Patton, The 6th of June, and Saving Private Ryan on DVD.

Today is Monday. I downloaded 400MB worth of PC game patches off the WITC’s T1 server including Battlefield 1942, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Far Cry version 1.2. The fricken technicians were able to put an administrator password on all mass storage devices like thumb drives. This makes me mad. I’ve been doing this before. I left without asking for the password since the librarians would know that I downloaded stuff, and two, it wouldn’t really matter because PC already erased my downloads. I was afraid this would happen. Well, school starts in 2 weeks so that’ll give me access to all the computers. With luck, maybe I can find a PC running Windows 2000, which will give me access to thumb drives.

Top 3 videogames I’m playing:

• Doom 3
• Unreal Tournament 2004
• Unreal Tournament

I was looking at movie reviews so I looked up the worst movies I could think of are “The Hulk”, “Tomb Raider”, “The Time Machine”, and “Star Troopers 2 - Hero of the Federation” at I neglect seeing any horror film before 1970 because it gets pretty stupid. Don’t you like it when the movie sticks from the Rotten Tomatoes review, and then you get someone on the board say,” Uh…yeah, I really like the movie.” I have a strange taste for favorite movies. I like War films from 50 years ago such as The Longest Day, Green Berea, In Harm’s Way, Kelly’s Army, Tora, Tora, Tora to name a few. So my point is they’re not worth reviewing, because everyone has their own opinion and that’s how it’ll be. I also check up movie reviews at is a leading videogame reviewing website which also reviews Hollywood films, and anime films. It also has servers for Neverwinter Nights mods.

Other interesting news I found that Phantasy Star Online is out for the PC! Phantasy Star started on the Masters System in 1987. It was a RPG. Then Phantasy Star II and Phantasy Star III came on the Sega Genesis. Phantasy Star Online is Sega’s first Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game, one of which brought the Dreamcast online. It was also Gamecube’s first online game, and since then been it’s strongest online title. It was also released for the Xbox. Now, Sega has a PC version called Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst. The game has PSO versions 1 and 2 on PC with several game play upgrades. The game will be released on 07/15/04 in Japan. I have tried connecting the Dreamcast version of PSO online so I could play with other players. The PC version will, of course, feature enhanced graphics. The disappointments are that it has a monthly fee. I like retail games with free servers such as Neverwinter Nights, and Diablo 2 because you can play them without having to worry about extra costs.

This is Ian signing off.


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