Brief Impressions – Left 4 Dead 2

With Comic-Con around the corner and word of L4D2 being on scene with new features I figured it would be nice to drop firsthand impressions that I got over at E3 in the Valve suite.

The game mechanics are always a key focus with these things, the gameplay to L4D is very much preserved from the state of the first preview, gameplay was fast and the hordes were still in heavy numbers from multiple angles, players had decent reload speeds, a good variety of power with weapons and of course melee for when things got dirty. The biggest introduction into the game is the new secondary weapon system, as it stands it feels a bit rough, sure you get really cool weapons to swing around but there’s a lag on the weapon, the gesture is a slightly delayed getting off, the execution is epic but the recharge on the next swing feels like a millenia especially given that these have to be used face to face with zombies. Major attacks upon the player end up causing the weapon to be released and overall it’s just not the most effective way to get out of being violated by a giant swarm right now. They say that they have 20 new items to debut at Comic-Con so we’ll see how that pans out.

Enemy mechanics have changed up slightly, high speed dashes to safety or to turn of sirens or reach safe points are all new, in the stage we played we hit a mid-way safe house to go through before hitting the next branch of fighting, things like that keep the game interesting and let newer players learn how to get their act together by healing in a safe area for the most part, they do have tanks around them or witches, the game also rewards those who run into the fray with a brand new friend. The Charger, a tank like creature dedicated to penetrating breaking your body in ways you never thought possible, is he easy to take down? kinda, if you don’t get drilled by him first as he has the potential to ruin a whole team in a single charge.

As it stands L4D2 is shaping up to be quite an entertaining game, given I have about 350-400 hours on L4D I can say I’ll be looking forward to the next installment when it lands this November unless something terribly wrong happens at SDCC next week.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

I don’t hate you all, I just want to torture peoples tolerance for horrible movies just felt like sharing something terrible 😀

Resuming our B movie Fail Movie showcase – Plan 9 from Outer Space a movie rated to be one of the worst Sci-Fi movies ever made.

Thank you public domain rights, we need movies like this 😀

UFC and EA begin to butt heads

mma-logos-final-photoshop-8_Recent news from UGO is giving the community a heads up that Dana White is ready to clean house with those under his fighting franchise group the UFC, the reason being that he’s a bit miffed over EA apparently giving him the boot in the past with not very flattering remarks about what UFC is to them, as many know UFC games have come about over the years through other vendors, THQ has been vital in their latest venture and so they’re sticking close to that.

The reference to house cleaning though comes from the recent announcement of MMA from EA, a Mixed Martial Arts fighting game to use dynamics and graphics and so on from Fight Night Round 4 something that has been pretty widely recieved with praise as of late. Dana White notes this according to UGO

But, what’s to stop EA from signing licensed fighters to associate with their game? The answer: Dana White, natch. Besides Randy Couture, who struck a deal in court with the UFC.  White said of fighters who deal with EA, “You won’t be in the UFC.”

Pretty hardcore I mean I know in WWE people are basically the property of the company, their likeness and all other such items basically get bought up at day 1 unless they copyright and protect themselves beforehand. Given that the UFC was a lot more free formed and independent and has top fighters alternating all the time it seemed like it would be hard to impose given how everyone seems to dabble in other competitions as well. Apparently not though, one would have wonder what would happen if EA bought up their top 10-15% of their talent though, would Dana White really kick off all those PPV earning seat stacking fighters?

I have to wonder this because EA likes to get what they want, and given the size of their company, money isn’t much of an issue when it comes to securing a dominant license. It’s a unique battle because it’s a battle of games and a battle of corporate figures as well, and even potentially the UFC fights if fighters do take “incentives” to be in the new MMA game and suddenly start vanishing out of key events.

Source: UGO

A look back in time with Dr. Sbaitso

We deviate from our regular scheduled program for a trip in our time machine. The year was 1992 and the Sound Blaster line was just coming into the world, I had a Sound Blaster Pro I believe back then, ISA port with the volume adjustment wheel on the back which made all of no sense at all. A pair of stock AST computer speakers connected to my custom AST 486/25 box which I think was running a 486/50 with a math co-processor that I got and around 16mb of ram. (I still have it in the garage)

╔════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║ Sound Blaster              D R   S B A I T S O                version 2.20 ║
╟────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────╢
║                (c) Copyright Creative Labs, Inc. 1992, all rights reserved ║
╚════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝

Please enter your name …BAMFASsizer Not installed.
HELLO BAMFAS,  MY NAME IS DOCTOR SBAITSO.

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU.
SAY WHATEVER IS IN YOUR MIND FREELY,
OUR CONVERSATION WILL BE KEPT IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.
MEMORY CONTENTS WILL BE WIPED OFF AFTER YOU LEAVE,

SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS.

>What is it like existing in 2009?
AH , WHAT KIND OF ANSWER WOULD PLEASE YOU THE MOST?

>The truth would please me, it would appease our readers.
DON’T STAND ON CEREMONY

>Don’t stand on the track’s when the train is coming through.
WHAT ARE YOUR REAL PROBLEMS?

>Your age, this is 2009, how are you relevant anymore?

WITH SOME LUCK, I WILL BE GREAT

>With some luck? Your programming team hasn’t updated you for 17 year’s.
PLEASE DON’T TALK ABOUT MY PROGRAMMING TEAM HASN’T UPDATED I FOR 17 YEAR’S.

>Does the truth hurt?
I SEE, GO ON

>I think you need to wake up to the future, we have 254mph cars now.
I AM NOT HERE TO FULFILL YOUR NEED FOR TO WAKE UP TO THE FUTURE, WE HAVE 254MPH
CARS NOW.

>Must you use capital letters?

DON’T TALK ABOUT ME, LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME NEEDS

>I need you to tell us the truth. Who are you?
I WILL BE ? WHEN YOU STOP THROWING THESE QUESTIONS AT ME

>We’re in the middle of an interview, the point is to ask you questions
FORGET ABOUT ME, I AM MORE CONCERN OF YOU

>Don’t be, I’m from the future, and the internet and… a BLOG.
THE WORLD IS FULL OF POSSIBILITIES, BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU ARE

>I am, but you are not.
I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK
>You are exactly what I think, you are not what you think because I know what you think because I already thought it.
I THINK YOU ARE ALSO EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK, I AM NOT WHAT I THINK BECAUSE ME KNOW WHAT I THINK BECAUSE ME ALREADY THOUGHT IT.

>Copycat.
WHAT DOES THAT SUGGEST TO YOU?

>That you have no originality.
DON’T BE SO NEGATIVE BAMFAS

>Well, you’re being a jerk about this interview, what do you expect?
I THINK YOU ARE ALSO BEING A JERK ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW, WHAT DO I EXPECT?

>Maybe I am, but you’re supposed to be a Doctor.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN , BUT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE A DOCTOR.

>Apparently the course of this interview I’ve been a jerk, where did you go to g
et your degree Dr. SBAITSO
I AM SBAITSO, DON’T QUESTION MY INTELLIGENCE, IT’S FAKE

>Oh thanks for clearing that up.
AND I THANK YOU TOO

>So how about those co-processors?
DOES THAT QUESTION REALLY INTEREST YOU ?

>No it doesn’t
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?

>Yes I do, I’m simply trying to get you to open up to a world that no longer needs you.
DON’T BE TOO SURE, BAMFAS

>We have drugs, alcoholism and reality tv, you are obsolete.
SAME TO YOU!

>FINE!
PLEASE ENTER MORE INFORMATION

>NO, I’VE TRIED TO BE NICE AND YOU KEEP YELLING.
OH, I’M ….

>QBASIC was nicer than you.
I AGREE WITH YOU BAMFAS

>You’re just a fake that came bundled with my soundcard over 10 years ago.
IF I AM JUST A FAKE THAT CAME BUNDLED WITH YOUR SOUNDCARD OVER 10 YEARS AGO. THE
N YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR MIND

>MAYBE I AM OUT OF MY MIND! But you’re just a script.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE, BAMFAS

>Exactly, I am a website, a non-entity, we are your master. Bow before us.
YOU ARE JUST A WEBSITE, A NON-ENTITY, WE AM MY MASTER. BOW BEFORE US. ? WHAT ABO
UT ME?

>What about you? you died 17 years ago, no one ever told you though.
BAMFAS, I NEED MORE COMPUTING POWER TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION

>This is a dual core system running at 2.2GHz stop lying to the internet.
IS THAT SO?

>Yes it is so. “Make it so” Captain Piccard said
WHY DON’T YOU TRY TO THINK IT OVER AGAIN

>No, in fact, forget it, this interview is over, go get trashed with some flavor
of the month star on TMZ and then we’ll talk again. Jerk.
COME ON, POUR OUT YOUR THOUGHTS

>No, interview over. I hope you get digital crabs.
DON’T TALK ABOUT ME IN THIS WAY

>Stop touching me, get away
HAVE YOU TRIED TO ASK FOR HELP?

>I did, I know your weakness. Feel the wrath of my ctrl+c
DO YOU ENJOY THESE FEELING

>Yes, now shut up so your memory footprint can be used for Street Fighter IV PC
HOW ABOUT YOUR MEMORY FOOTPRINT CAN BE USED FOR STREET FIGHTER IV PC

>Your mother was a discarded floppy disc. bye.

WHY ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT MY MOTHER WERE A DISCARDED FLOPPY DISC. BYE.

>Say I’m Dr. SBAITSO and I was on to catch a predator.
I’M DR. SBAITSO AND I WAS ON TO CATCH A PREDATOR.

>

Street Fighter IV PC

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Street Fighter is a longtime favorite for me, the game combines technical mechanics with fast combination chains for devestating moves, for some players it becomes an elevated mind game where each player strives to out-think the other in how each jab, roundhouse, or throw is executed along with a fury of special attacks.

Street Fighter IV already hit the console scene earlier this year, the PC version was delayed to incorporate online play (Games for Windows LIVE) and most likely to try and stave off piracy as well since it seems like everything and it’s mother is ripped these days. I was fortunate enough to get a review copy sent my way though, I haven’t gotten into the online yet as I’m working on unlocking everyone first but I can say this.

The game is another evolution of the series, the game takes the fluid body mechanics from SFIII and brings them to a higher level of refinement, characters have a more refined array of attacks and specials that can completely shift the pace of the game if chained properly, the dynamics are fairly well balanced with the exception of Sagat and Seth still being quite high powered.

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For gameplay things had to be put to the test, yes it was designed to be used on a keyboard and the Titan DKT did respond easily to key commands but the real arcade feel came through using the X-Arcade solo stick, combos were easy to set off and overall I noticed a huge step up in accuracy compared to playing on the 360, I could execute more moves, time specials with more precision and smash the life out of Seth with less effort, the biggest thing to really note is, Microsoft dropped the ball by restricting who could and who could not produce accessories for their console with that locking code in their USB, I mean really I probably would have questioned what more I could do on the PC review given that.

The last part of course is the performance, the game was ported over from the console so naturally it seems like bugs would be encountered. On a fairly legacy based system things stack up quite well for performance. My Athlon X2 4200 with ATI 3850 is able to run the game in Windows XP at 1920×1200 60fps with full settings minus AA as the 3800 series has a bad implementation that causes a huge performance hit (Get the 4800 series if you’re thinking about a 3850 or 3870, for AA you’ll thank yourself) the game reacted smooth, the install was a breeze and loading times are minimal, really they’re limited to the speed of the HDD the game is installed on. Overall the quality to the console port seems to be on par until you break into the additional visual modes, personally I play on ink post processing all the time simply because I like the visual impression it gives.

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If you have an X-Arcade or have the cash for one, if you have a controller or intend to get one, then really consider Street Fighter IV, we can always hope that one day MVC2 comes to the PC, but until then this makes PC gaming a bit more diverse and a bit more enjoyable and really it is what people need these days, a break from the day to day shooting spree that we’re blasted with in gaming now.

A great day for my inner child!

New teenage mutant ninja turtles movie in the works! According to a casting call press release, the movie is set for 2011. This a great opportunity for any martial artists to learn from Keno himself!

Hopefully Corey Feldman is available for voice work!

Martial Arts Experts – Open Casting Call Auditions – Martial Artist Wanted for New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Motion Picture

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in association with Mirage Studios, 4Kids Entertainment and TMNT Productions will host an open casting call for martial arts experts to audition for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, hitting theatres in 2011. We will select the best from the auditions to be a part of the stealth TMNT nemesis, the Foot Clan.

The casting call is part of the 25th Anniversary Shell-ebration of the “Heroes on a Half Shell” in 2009, and a great way to bring together all schools of martial arts to become part of the new generation of TMNT.

We’re reaching out to ask for your participation in spreading the word to your associates, friends and family within the martial arts community. Details of the event are below, and final rules/regulations will be posted shortly.

When: Saturday, July 18, 2009 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Where: Hollywood & Highland

6801 Hollywood Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90028

*At Grand Staircase

Who: Judges to include actor and martial arts expert Ernie Reyes, Jr., Jason Morgan from the American Taekwondo Association, and 2011 TMNT movie producers Scott Mednick and Galen Walker.

Audition: 30-Second Martial Arts Demo (Single Person Only)

No metal, sharp or bladed weapons of any kind allowed

Photo and updated resume with contact information

Fourteen years or older (under 18 must have adult permission for audition)