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Well, in the mail yesterday I got this here Baseball bat. The thing special about it is that it's a GTA IV baseball's pretty cool. The worst part is I don't know what contest I won it from. I vaguely remember entering one,
but don't bother asking for what, or even what the top prize was. Apparently, it was the "Microsoft Xbox Live
GTA IV Official Sweepstakes" according to the letter it came with. Nope, still doesn't ring a bell. Here's some

Cool huh? Can anyone remind me what I did to get this?
Photo Photo Photo

It's been out for a few days now, but I found out about the demo about an hour ago. It's only on PSN so only PS3 owners can try out LOTR: Conquest. Think Star Wars: Battlefront in the Lord of the Rings universe and you have this. Only...with a crappy camera...and unbalanced multiplayer, oh wait, that last one was in Battlefront too.

So LOTR: Conquest was honestly at the top of my most anticipated because...well...I still play Battlefront 2 to this day and I love the gameplay. The tutorial was great for Conquest, really showing the game off and the huge amounts of special abilities each class has. I played through the tutorial, kicked Sauron's ass while playing as Isilidur, and was about to jump into some more single-player. Well...there isn't any, it's just the tutorial.

Well, it's a demo, I guess. So I see that there's some multiplayer in the demo, try that out and...


So you think you're expecting to see 16 players with a large number of NPCs on the battlefield. NOPE! It's only 8 vs. 8. They advertise epic battles.I didn't really expect to have 8 orcs come to the Shire and kick some ass. I expected much more.

Aside from the extremely underwhelming "epicness," the camera is literally right behind your back. While this was the same in Battlefront, you could still see a motherfucker coming up behind you so you could defend yourself. Not here. No, you better turn around every five seconds because some guy can just come out of no where and just beat the crap out of you with whatever he's got.

That's another thing. The scout class. It's pretty cool to BE the scout class, but not so much to die from it. Adding on to the paragraph above, scouts can come up behind you and kill you in one hit. One hit. Fuck. That. Shit.

There's no lock-on system. What this means is, that if your a warrior, and your about to fight against another warrior, you guys practically just run around in circles smashing the god damn square button praying to god you hit him first.

Apart from the multiplayer, the single player was a lot of fun. Pretty much what I expected. I shouldn't be complaining too much as to this day whenever I play Battlefront 2, I NEVER play online. I guess it'll still be the same for this game.

NOTE: Sorry for the wall of text. Anyone know how to get rid of the weird ass spacing you get when you type up a blog on a Mac? I had to boot up my Vista processor just to post this cause Leopard had all this weird spacing.

First of all, I haven't blogged for over two months and the world still hasn't esploded. Amazing. Good thing I finally found a topic to blawg about.

So I'm playing some CODWAW multiplayer today, and I'm about to shoot this dude, and then my screen gets all checker boarded. Cool. So I thought it might be the TV and I quickly shut it off and turned it back on. The problem was still there and I decided to turn off the system and turn it back on. Yeah, that was the last time I saw my dashboard.

What happened was, there was one red light in the lower right quadrant of the ring of light, and it was blinking at me. Ominously. The screen said System Failure (or something like that), contact Xbox Support. It also had the code E 74 at the bottom of the screen, which just sounds awful. I call up the guys, the support dude was real nice and he told me to take out my wireless adapter and my hard drive and try to turn it back on. The problem persisted.

He then said I would have to send in the Xbox for a brand new system (even though I would imagine the one they sent me was a refurbished one as well), and for just 99 bucks. Considering I was out of warranty, 99 bucks ain't bad.

Well, so much for playing all the newly bought games over the next couple weeks. I was just getting sunk in to CODWAW and then my Xbox crapped out. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

I've got the red rings of death before and got it back generally quickly, hopefully the same thing happens. But goddamn this is annoying.

Anyone have a code E 74 problem???

I was watching The Roast of Bob Saget (major lulz) and I saw this during the commercials. It's pretty much a short 30 second commercial for Mercenaries 2, but it's not like it's just a bunch of explosions and people screaming and babies crying like you would expect in the game. It's surprisingly...low key.

The song, apparently titled "Oh No You Didn't" pretty much sums up the story of the game and the art style of the commercial itself is pretty awesome.

Is it wrong that I love this commercial?

There’s no other game quite like Indigo Prophecy. No matter how many times I play it, I manage to do something different than I have previously. Sure many games these days are starting to the same, but when I first laid my hands on the game, I could instantly see how this game would make such a heavy impact on me as a gamer.

You play Lucas Kang, a regular old Joe with a steady job just living his life. One day on his way home from work he stops in a diner to grab a bite to eat. Next thing he knows, he’s on top of a man in the bathroom stabbing him in the chest. Pretty sweet, huh? Kang seemingly had no control over what he was doing, as if he were possessed, and he’s bent on finding out what had caused him to do this.

When I said you play as Lucas Kang, I probably spoke too soon. You play multiple characters throughout the game. As I said, Kang commits murder, so obviously the police are going to be involved. Which brings up the next two characters you control, the two detectives investigating the murder, Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles. This provides a very unique style of player choice, do you try and help Kang do the best he can to try and find the reason this is happening to him, or do you do all you can for Valenti and Miles in order to catch Lucas Kang?

Throughout this whole turmoil, Lucas Kang has also been experiencing an unparallel amount of strength and agility, as well as having recurring visions. Some visions may be showing the future a few minutes ahead of time, or even let him hear what people are thinking.

There’s one event in the game in particular in which Miles and Valenti are very close to catching Kane. Unsure of his identity, Valenti (or Miles, depending on who you send) is questioning Kang on the possible whereabouts of the murderer. Kane is able to hear Valenti’s thoughts, so the player is allowed to adjust Kane’s answers to Valenti’s questions according to Valenti’s prior knowledge.

In the same scene, Kane realizes Valenti is on the way to question him, so it’s up to you, do you leave out evidence so she can see it which can help her connect Kane to the murder? Or do you stash as much evidence you can in order to avoid going to prison and further your search into what is happening to you?

The story is really deep. The first half of the game is quite different than the end of the game. It dives into Mayan legends and leads Kane to find out that he is part of a Mayan sacrifice which is trying to link our world to the “other” world. Ultimately, if Kane doesn’t step in, the world as he knows it will be consumed by an unforeseen power.

The gameplay is one of the main things that makes this game stand out from others. It relies heavily on the control sticks as your primary source of reacting to the world and its own little take on quick-time events. Instead of punching different buttons that would appear on screen, you would have sort of a “Simon Says” layout on the screen corresponding to up, down, left, and right on the corresponding control sticks. It really made you feel that what was going on screen was directly because of what you were doing. For example, if you shoved both control sticks to the right, Kane would jump accordingly. Sure the events were scripted, but it felt damn good.

Another aspect of its gameplay was that you would use the right stick to choose a dialog choice. Mass Effect adapted this into its own dialogue gameplay but tweaked it just a bit. Similar to ME, Indigo Prophecy would have a one word topic choice that your character would develop into a full question, comment, or answer. Apart from dialogue choices, you would react to the world around you in a similar fashion. If you wanted to drink a cup of coffee, odds are you would push the control stick up and then slide it to the left. Or if you wanted to look under a table, you would press down to look under it. While it sounds complicated, the game executes these different aspects quite seamlessly.

The game also integrates a “feeling” meter. The peak is at “Neutral”, while the bottom of the spectrum is “Wrecked,” which could lead your character your playing as to kill themselves or go insane which forces you to continue at your last checkpoint. Almost everything you do has an effect on the meter. Drinking a cup of coffee could be +5, while finding evidence at a crime scene could be +10. Or, finding some devastating news could be -20. It’s really hard to keep each character happy, so this aspect is a chore in its own right. And not in a bad way.

The story and the gameplay work together so well that everyone must play this game at least once. It really stood out to me when it came out in 2005 even through all the other games I was playing at the time. I’m currently going through my fourth playthrough of the game and still loving every minute of it. All we can hope for is that Heavy Rain which comes from the same developer, Quantic Dream, is making progress and we’ll be able to see it in 2009.

Games like this are what keeps me coming back to video games. The original stories which really involve the player in such a way that's unparallel to movies or television. Hell, instead of saying "New Game" on the main menu, it says "New Movie." This goes to show that Quantic Dream knows what a gamer desires. They know what we want to feel when were playing a game. And Indigo Prophecy accomplishes that with complete perfection.

If you watched the above video, you can see that GTTV has an exclusive announcement on this weeks show for The Force Unleashed. And judging by Geoff's enthusiasm in the sneak peak, it seems like a pretty big deal. Which brings up my next question, why does GTTV get all the huge announcements rather than X-Play? First the Bioshock demo and now this.

And for all of you, including myself, who have been eagerly anitcipating the new Force Unleashed demo that was supposedly hitting the marketplace and PSN tomorrow, are going to be very very dissapointed. Apparently there was a rumor started by X-Play said that the demo would be hitting XBLM and PSN on the 14th. Senior PR Manager at LucasArts, Adam Kahn, has gone on record to say not only is it not coming out tomorrow, but not even this week.

“The Force Unleashed demo is not coming out this week. If X-Play said that it’s coming out this week, they’re wrong. They will have more information about the demo in their show on the 14th.”

So I guess we'll have to check out the show tomorrow to see what the hell they're talking about. Could Geoff Keighly be announcing that the demo's debut on GTTV? If so, what are they talking about regarding X-play? Who knows. But it's all we could hope for.