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Tons of long hours of gaming on my 360, Wii, PS2, DS, Mac, PSP, Dreamcast, PS1, N64 and anything else I can get my hands on. I like shooters, but RPGs are where my passions lie. I will play just about anything though, unless its a sports title. Sports titles are okay, but I'd prefer to either play the sport IRL or just ignore it altogether. Also, racing games blow. Keep them away from me. Unless its Mario Kart. I know, it's cliche' and childish, but racing just seems boring to me unless I can shoot shells at people. I firmly believe that NASCAR would not suck HUGE if they implemented this. I'm definitely a huge tabletop gaming nerd as well.

Also, cocks.

My Gamertags:

PSN: PowerOfShazam
XBL: PowerOfShazam

Sense a pattern here?

<a href="http://us.playstation.com/playstation/psn/visit/profiles/PowerOfShazam"><img src="http://fp.profiles.us.playstation.com/playstation/psn/pid/PowerOfShazam.png" width="230" height="155" border="0" /></a><br/><a href="http://www.us.playstation.com/psn/signup">Get your Portable ID!</a>
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Update: Capsulex wins! Congratulations, guy/gal/undecided!

Hey there, fellow robots. I've had a ton of fun with Torchlight recently and now that it's on sale this weekend on Steam, I feel compelled to share that awesome with one of you. Entering is simple. Just leave a one word comment below. That's all. Just remember, this is for PC users from the USA only.



Rules:
Contest is open until March 27, 11:59 AM, EST. Winner will be selected at random. Please enter only once. The winner will be notified via direct message on Saturday night by 11:59 PM and must be able to provide an email address to me by Sunday at Noon to claim their prize.








I was over at Slashdot and noticed the following statement from Epic Games' president, Michael Capps, where he said that they are looking into ways to squash the secondary games market (i.e. getting your games used from GameStop, Amazon, etc.). He claims that "way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it." He says that they don't make any money when people rent their games. Well, obviously. I feel for these guys. Seriously. Who doesn't want to get paid for their hard work? I know I do.

The real problem emerges when he starts coming up with potentials ways to remedy what he perceives as a sleight to Epic. " [...] (Y)ou're starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by... if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code. I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.'"

This is the stuff that kills me. It reminds me of the great point that one of the members of Podtoid, I can't remember who, made. What happens when authentication/content servers go down because they aren't financially viable anymore? Sure, the odds of you picking up a game that you can't go online in a few years and "pay to complete" are low, but what would happen? Look at the classic games you might own. I have several games from systems gone by. Would I be able to play Ikargua on my Dreamcast if I had to buy the ending from Sega, only to discover that their servers no longer carry the content I need to enjoy it?

All in all, it's stuff like this that really pisses me off. Sure, I understand your desire to get the money your company worked so hard to make. It's understandable. A great philosopher, Andrew Ryan, once said that a man is entitled to the sweat of his brow. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but the point remains. However, when you are selling something like software, and there is no guarantee that people will be able to enjoy your game in the future, I call shenanigans. This would place us entirely at the mercy of developers; something I can do without. So how about it? Does this worry anyone else?

The article can be found here.








Many of us are familiar with the Net Neutrality issue. Big Companies are controlling our bandwidth usage and how long it takes us to get to certain information. While this is an over simplification of the issue, the fact remains: Your ISP wants to rape your net usage. They are quite content to make sure you end up seeing what they want you to see, or not using services that could distract you from their content.

Most of us game online, be it Xbox LIVE!, PSNetwork, or via our PC/MAC. We've all had times when you suddenly "got kicked" for no apparent reason. You're in the middle of a TF2/Halo 3/R6 match and for some reason no one else on the screen is moving. Some of this is just network hiccups, and is to be expected when we are using a large amount of bandwidth. However, it can just as easily be your ISP keeping you from enjoying the service you paid for.
This can be hard to prove, and most ISPs will deny doing it.

Well, Google has the answer for you. They are currently working on a tool that will determine when your dick of an ISP decides to throttle back your usage. The article, found here, details Google's plan to release a Throttling Detector to find out just how hard you're being boned. I thought this was interesting. I could be wrong, but as someone who's ISP is using a "Fair Usage Policy" to extort untold amounts of cash from me each month, I figured it was worth noting.








Allow me to set the scene. I’m 10 years old. I’ve never played an RPG before. Sure, I’d screwed around on The Legend of Zelda on my uncle’s NES, but I’d never seriously played anything that really involved the clever use of items and equipment. I go over to my friend’s house because he just got “this amazing Super Mario game for my SNES!” I began my videogame experience with Super Mario Bros. for the NES, and have played everything with his name on it since then. And before you call me a Nintendo fanboy, my family’s first console was a hand-me-down Atari 2600 and my first console purchase was a Sega Genesis. So I got a fair look at all there was out there. That aside, my love for all things Mario was borderline obsessive.



Anyway, I get over to his house and find out that this new Super Mario game doesn’t play like the other ones. You can play as a couple people at a time in something they call a “party” and the fighting doesn’t directly involve you jumping on Goombas, or anyone else for that matter. “Well then how do you even play?” I asked, wondering just what the hell Nintendo had done to my favorite character. “You take turns with the computer players. They attack you, and you attack them until one of you dies.” It sounded like the dumbest thing I had ever heard. We sit down and I watch him begin this grand adventure.

It’s amazing, to borrow Mr. Concelmo’s favorite word. The opening fight with Bowser blows me away. The graphics are on par with some of the SNES’ greatest games. It’s a story set in one of my beloved universes that has depth, plot, and a cast of awesome characters. The combat is easy to learn and the notion of Special Attacks that run on a point system (referred to therein as Flower Points) gets me incredibly excited. We play for hours. I spent days at my friend’s house working through that game with him. Unfortunately, my family ends up moving away and I don’t get to see our journey through to the end.

Later that year, however, I snag a copy of my own for Christmas and play the hell out of it. By now, games like Pokemon are starting to grab my attention. Before I know it, almost all I play are RPGs. Don’t even get me started on Pokemon. I know its for kids, but dammit I was a kid when it came out. 11 is a very impressionable age if you remember right. You believed all kinds of shit when you were 11, at least I did. In any case, I fell for Pokemon hard. It was a further adventure into the genre I was just getting to know. It opened up a world of possibilities. And since it was portable, I could play it anywhere. I don’t know how many hours I dumped into that game, but I caught all 151 of those bastards.



In fact, when I was in my Junior year of college, my roommate and I went out and dropped $20 each on an old Gamboy Color and a copy of Pokemon. The best part was when he took his to a college assembly and got caught playing it. The usher who saw him just looked at him with disappointment. My roommate looked at him, looked at the screen, and then set it down on the floor. When I asked him if he turned it off, he said excitedly “Hell no, dude! I’m in the middle of a battle.”
This is the beginning of my obsession with RPGs. Super Mario RPG changed my perception of what constituted an amazing game. Pokemon and Final Fantasy would expand on it. And while some of these are not necessarily incredibly deep games, they certainly hooked me on the genre. To this day, I’ll play anything that comes close to being called an RPG.








I was watching The Mist last night and it dawned on me that the events contained therein could be similar to what might have happened between Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2. Think about it. Government experiments open a gateway to another dimension and bad shit ends up coming through. Giant bugs, walkers, and a myriad of other creatures terrorize the populace. Sounds kind of familiar doesn't it? Now, I'm by no means implying that the film is a perfect piece of inter-game filler, but the major points seem to line up a little bit. I know we don't now for sure, and most likely never will, what happened in between these two great games, but I thought it was at least worth consideration. Am I crazy, Destructoid?








In one of his more colorful moves, Jack Thompson sent a letter to Take-Two Executive Strauss Zelnick damning her as a terrible mother and, by extension, awful human being. In his letter, he quotes several scripture verses, claiming them to be related to Passover, about child rearing and them promptly questions how well she adhered to them. This is after, of course, he mentions that he was on 60 Minutes discussing the "pornography" that her son is "putting into the hands of other mother's children". What he never brings up is the fact that kids are not allowed to buy this game without an adult present. He merely mentions the website not having age verification. Tell me, how can one be trained on one of these "murder simulators" just be reading about it/seeing video? That would imply that videos themselves could convey such ideas! I guess Mr. Thompson should take issue with the Movie business, too. In any case, give the letter a read for yourself here. It's times like these that remind me of the McCarthy hearings back in the day. Someone needs to stand up like Joseph Welch did and say,"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Solomon for Wisdom