Monday, October 11, 2004

Xenon first screenshots revealed!

Hey, everybody! Today is October and the leaves are changing color – yet, I do not see neighbors very well, therefore, it must not be Fall yet. I believe fall is when all of the leaves start turning color. That means we all have to add 1 hour to your clocks. Anyways, the first Xenon images are leaked! It seems that Microsoft will hold their unrevealing of “Code: Xenon” to the world at the Game Developer’s Conference 2K5. As you can see, the new first batch of Xbox 2 titles look very similar to movies – like mine almost, but has great cost. My computer cost $2300 and Microsoft will sell Xbox 2 at approximately $300. My point is for playing games – you get a great deal on technology here. It’s true everyone. Either spend money on a high end processor, 512 MB of dual channel RAM and a 256-bit Radeon 9800 XT or Geforce 5900 FX (your pick) or buy the simple “insert disc in console and play” Xbox 2. Most people like consoles for this reason. I am unique in that I own all the consoles and a nice PC. The gamer who likes to spend all his money in one place may like to choose one console every generation. The average gamer has about 10 games for his gaming platform. Serious gamers may have twice to three times that much. Most people would be buying every new Playstation on the market every 5 years. Let me tell you a story:

Xenon/Xbox 2 demo shots

The year was 1999 and N64 is nearing the end of it’s life. Much hype talk about owning a Playstation 2 is about both in cyber space and the real world. Then Sega announces the Dreamcast which is coming out in 3 months to be precise 9/9/99. It has four worthy launch titles, Sonic Adventure, Soul Caliber and Sega Rally Championship 2, and NFL 2K. Of course, the Dreamcast came out in December 98 in Japan. So knowing that it’ll have 3D Sonic the Hedgehog in high-res (at the time looked pretty spectacular) – I go out and buy a Dreamcast for 199 dollars at Toys R US with a copy of Sonic Adventure. Back when our computer was a Pentium-133 piece of crap, I was aching for some high resolution games – and Christmas was coming up fast. I said to myself, “I know what I want – maybe I can buy a Dreamcast for myself than ask for a PC for Christmas.” If I remember correctly, in September 1999, AMD just came out with their ‘powerful’ Athlon Thunderbird Processor that could do high-res with the 16-bit video card and 128-MB SDRAM.

Micron P-133

Windows 95
16 MB of SDRAM
Pentium Classic @ 133 MHz
5 GB hard drive

Compaq Presario 5900z (state-of-the-art at the time)

Windows 98SE
128 MB of SDRAM
Athlon Thunderbird @ 650 MHz
20 GB hard drive
Nvidia Geforce 256 16-MB GPU

At the time, I couldn’t imagine how I was going to fill up 20 Gigs of space (every game back then was only on 1 CD). I soon got everything I wanted on it with space left over. To my surprise, Unreal Tournament ran in high resolution. It didn’t look quite as good as Dreamcast, but was quite close. Then 2 years later right before I got an updated Compaq Presario with better hardware, I bought myself a Gamecube. The only reason why I got a Gamecube was a found out that Dreamcast was dead around that time.

Second discussion is how fun videogames are to buy – but it’s even better if I buy it a year after they come out. I save 65% most of the time on those games. That might force most budget conscience people to get 1 console and 5 games at the most for it. Playing games is just to pass the time…and the game doesn’t even need to be the best of the best to be fun. Then there are those “Oh my God! I have to have this game” customers whom buy several times a month to get the next best game everyone else is playing. This month it’s Fable for Xbox owners. Fable was supposed to be that Revolutionary Xbox RPG 4 years in the making that’s suppose to be the #1 RPG for Xbox. Even though it’s #1, Fable hasn’t quite met that revolutionary status given too it by many magazines and websites 2 years back.

I believe those people who want “the next best game” finally realize that those games can be easily attainable 8 months later at a Game Stop for only $20 or less. There is me, whom is more apart of the online community who only buys the best games available (by review score) so that he/she can discuss the game online with friends on message boards or At least that is the way I see it. The bad turnout is those people are usually run out of spending money really fast.

I’d finally had a chance to play Super Mario RPG. Okay, it’s not the first time. The graphics are really good though. No complaint there. It seems simple compared to RPGs of today (Final Fantasy X, Xenosaga, Grandia, Tales of Symphonia). I hear that most of the game’s most talented artists keep everything simple such as it was with Super Mario RPG. Being simple can sometimes outweigh the complicated which is why retro gaming is making a come back and is which why I bought a NES, SNES and Genesis within the last year. I thought I would have loads of fun playing the games in their original form. I was sorta right. It was fun for a while – but it didn’t last like I thought it would. I still have this image in my head that newer is always better which in most cases is true – new is better!

I am going to continue with my third discussion. I was reading a little on FIFA and it stands for Federation International Football Association. It has “football” in the name. As I spoken in my last entry there are several footballs, Chinese football, our football, soccer, and probably another one. Okay, let’s take the obvious two, football and soccer. FIFA Game Rule History

The NFL rules have never changed since the early 1980s when football didn’t have salary caps and the rule that football players had to have more protection. This is killing me to announce this, but the perception of football is contact sport. In elementary school all kids wore those stupid belts with plastic strips to pull off. This was also used in capture the flag, but it basically took the contact out of football. I don’t know if schools keep doing it – but it would ensure no injury amongst students. Recess could be played with a standard football, knowing the rules weren’t as necessary as knowing which way to run. Score a touchdown was always the focus. I never played the game during recess.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of American Football:

“American football, known in the United States as simply football, is a competitive team sport that rewards players' speed, agility, tactics, and brute strength as they push, block, tackle, chase, and outrun each other, trying to force a ball further into their opponent's territory for one hour of game time, which translates into three to four hours of real time.”

For people who aren’t in the USA here are the top organizations: NFL (professional football), NCAA Football (college football), NFL-Europe (pro football in Europe)

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of soccer or football (whichever you prefer):

“Football is a ball game played between two teams of 11 players, each attempting to win by scoring more goals than their opponent. A goal results when the ball passes over the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar. Football is played predominantly with the feet, but players may use any part of their body except their hands and arms to propel the ball. The goalkeeper is the only member of the team allowed to handle the ball in the field of play.”

Yeah, I know - there is no need for examples but here they are anyways for good posture: MLS (American Pro Soccer/football), FIFA (international football), Canadian Soccer Association and 50 more.

Finally, my fourth discussion - about the new axis of evil. I haven’t visited a Russian news site for a long while so I just thought I check out their national issues. They are the largest country in the world. 900 years of conquering territory must have its positive turn-outs – but sooner or later they got what was coming to them (a revolution, a civil war against Georgia, and a lot of confused citizens all in a 14 year period). states “USA declares Russia, Iran, and North Korea as the new axis of evil.” I would think that the site is not happy with that. See in Russia - there is a Communist party and Democratic/Republican party running for president each election. If the communist party gains the President of Russia title, the country will turn into the USSR for 5 years, but if the democratic/republican party win the title - all is good. That’s one of Russia’s key problems. Russia is known as an Industrial Federation Republic. It was once an Industrial Socialist Republic. Ya, I don’t think Russia could go through with it – they enjoy all the “free trade with other countries” benefits too much to go back to their old ways. If the communist party won the next presidential election, the first thing to go would be everyone’s Internet privileges. Russia’s also troubled by US’s interests in “securing” nuclear ballistic missiles left over from the USSR. They don’t agree nor disagree with the friendly proposal. If you haven’t heard about it on the news this week, our government key worries is to disarm every nuclear ballistic missile on Earth that’s outside the USA. Doing our part would be to disarm half of existing nuclear ballistic missiles in our country. This would be simple if not for the fact that we have 10 times as many as the Russians do. All these missiles are underground surrounded by 20 inch thick reinforce concrete. Radiation wouldn’t get very far and worst case scenario could result in contaminated water and soil within 50 miles radius. The missiles transported by truck receive full military escort and are tracked by global positioning.

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