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As one of the oldest members of Dtoid, (I'm already over the big 4-0) I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 was a brand new item, and thousands of my teenage hours were dedicated to gaming on the Commodore 64 and messing around with the new 300-baud modems. (That's .00003 of a megabit per second, for those of you who only know broadband.)

I'm proud to say that I'm a member of the first-generation of gamers, and I still use my PC and each of the three current-gen consoles regularly -- and not for "casual" games. Bring on the hard-core FPS and 3PS! I want to shoot something!

So, I give a big PHUCK YOU!!! to anyone who thinks that video games are for kids! As far as I'm concerned, they haven't been for kids for over 20 years.

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I really am fed up with the attitude by Destructoid's writers that the 8-bit generation of games started with and is restricted to the NES and similar consoles. The 8-bit generation started long before that.

So, here is a real 8-bit Christmas greeting.

Yes, it was really meant as an advertisement (perhaps the first real viral video for computers?) as you'll see at the very end, but you don't get more 8-bit than this.

To those who remember this from the 80s, enjoy the nostalgia -- and chuckle at the last segment.

I guess that I should not be surprised that DToid and other sites hype when Amazon has an XB360 or PS3 "Gold Box" day. (Hey, I'm not complaining. That's when I got the latest Ratchet and Clank for 1/2 price, which made me an R&C addict.)

But today, 4 December, Amazon is offering a Wii game "Gold Box" day. Currently, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is available for the day at $25.98. I haven't been able to figure out all of the games, but it looks like Guitar Hero: World Tour might be the last one at 6 PM Pacific and there's a Mario game at 2:00 PM Pacific.

I know that there's a ton of Wii-hate on DToid, which probably explains why they refused to mention today's sale, but if you're like me and have no shame in having the little white box next to the more powerful PS3/XB360 and you want to pick up some deals, you might want to check out Amazon's Gold Box for today.

(As I write this Disney's Sing It bundle is the offer. Uh ... right ... I think we'll all pass on this one.)

John B
10:04 AM on 11.14.2008

Adam Sessler says it all.

Sadly, this kind of rampant fanboyism is in full bloom on Dtoid. Whether it's the narrow-minded hatred of the Wii or the mindless masturbatory ramblings of how awesome {enter console here} is, the stupidity and arrogance of the console fanboys, whether for or against a particular console, are palpable.

Enough. Grow up. Or to put it in terms that everyone should understand: STFUAJPG.

I am no fan of class action lawsuits for the most part. No matter which side ends up gaining the judge's favor, the only winners in CA lawsuits are the lawyers. They get millions of dollars for their services while the people that they're supposedly representing get a pittance in restitution, if any at all.

But people should realize that the CA lawsuit against Electronic Arts, if fought properly, could set a very important precedent when it comes to consumers' rights. The biggest right is, of course, that we should be allowed to do with any game what we wish as long as what we do does not deprive the company of any revenue. That includes:

* not requiring the CD to be in the drive just to play the damned game
* not needing to report to some mothership under the auspices that we're potential criminals instead of potential customers
* being able to install the game anywhere we want at any time that we want as long as only one copy is in use at any one time
* being able to install a game even if the company that released it goes belly up

SecuROM eliminates one or more these, depending on how it's implemented, and it's time that people realize SecuROM is a threat to more than just legitimate and legal usage of software that we purchase.

SecuROM (just like StarForce) is a rootkit. Period. It is no less of a rootkit than was StarForce, and it needs to be dealt with in the same manner as StarForce - with complete elimination from all games. In order to play any game, SecuROM must be installed at an administrative level and has even more power than those who have administrative rights on their own PC. That is an incredibly dangerous situation.

Here's an interesting example of such a situation that got almost no press at all.

Reports started to surface a few months ago of system problems that were totally unrelated to any game or application. For no apparent reason, users started to report that Windows Explorer would crash and Dr. Watson would report a critical error whenever someone right-clicked on a file. Additionally, the deletion of files was now prohibited. Yes, even deleting a useless text file was denied by the system. Obviously, just attempting to use Windows Explorer – even if it was the only thing running – should have nothing to do with any kind of copy protection for a game, right?

What could possibly cause Windows to deny me the right to delete files that I created or no longer needed? More than that, why could I no longer right-click on a file when that was never a problem before?

Before anyone accuses this of being hear-say, I was one of the people affected (or rather “infected”) by this problem.

I wasted many hours running virus scanners and anti-spyware programs to find out what was going on. Of course, running those made no sense because I have a very good virus scanner and I have been a staunch advocate of “safe computing” for years. There's no way that it could have been something that I clicked on or downloaded.

Finally, I realized that the only major change that I had done in the past few days was to allow Neverwinter Nights 2 to upgrade to v1.13. With that realization, I used Windows' System Restore to roll back my PC to just before I did the NWN2 upgrade. After the roll back, I was once again able to delete and right-click on files with no problems.

As a test, I let NWN2 upgrade itself back to v1.13. As soon as it finished, I went into Windows Explorer. Crash, burn, and don't-you-even-think-about-deleting-a-file!

As it turns out, the 1.13 upgrade also included a SecuROM upgrade. The official NWN2 forums included messages from several people who were suffering from the same kind of system contamination. It turns out that owners of Mass Effect also reported the same problems. The issue was finally acknowledged by Obsidian and a fix was made available on the SecuROM web site.

So, let's review.

After the installation of the new SecuROM had finished, people were unable to delete files from their hard drive. Regardless of the fact that NWN2 was not running and that the files in question had nothing to do with NWN2 or any other piece of software that has copy protection, the SecuROM update prevented people from doing with their computer what they normally do. After running the fix, everything was back to normal, such as it is.

There were no apologies and no explanations from SecuROM or Obsidian - just the continuing expectation that paying customers are supposed to have to deal with this ongoing punishment. The most disturbing fact about this is that even as an administrator-level user, SecuROM still had the ability to deny access to certain parts of the operating system.

So, tell me again how SecuROM isn't a rootkit. And while you're at it, tell me why I should be forced to tolerate this for those times when I want to show my support for the developers of a game that I really like.

And yet while all of this is going on, the pirates who couldn't care less about the company or developers continue to play the same games with no SecuROM infections, no reduction in their bank accounts for such headaches, and no guilt.

I'm starting to agree with their philosophy.

I have been a Max Payne fan since the first video game came out. Remedy released a demo that included the first level, and I was totally hooked. Then the game came out and I had to pick my jaw off the floor the entire time -- the darkness of the noir feeling to the design, the graphics which were outstanding for the time, the comic-book (sorry ... graphic novel) feeling to the cutscenes, everything about the game was incredible. It was one of the first FPSs that actually compelled me to go back and play it again almost as soon as I had finished it.

Max Payne 2 was a pre-order as soon as the pre-order was available, and it didn't miss a beat. The same feeling, the same quality of the level design, and same richness of the story of were all there, making me long for a third installment of the game.

So, when I heard that a Max Payne movie is coming out and that it isn't directed by Uwe Boll, I was skeptical but I hoped more than anything else that it would follow true to the feel and direction of the games. I even thought that Marky Mark could do a good job in the role.

With respect to story and empathy for Max, the strength of the games come from Max's personal struggles -- first, the death of this wife and child, then relationship with and death of Mona (which started with the death of yet another innocent woman, as Max himself points out at the start of the second game.) They could have just ported the first game over to a movie and it would have been great because the game has all of the elements of an action movie -- but with more story. *cough*

I now think that the movie is going to suck.

Oh, sure. It might do well on its own, but I think that this movie is going to seriously piss off fans of the video game. The full trailer is over at IESB (link below). After seeing it, I think I want to hurl.

Instead of having a movie based on Max's internal struggles, he now has become the New York noir version of Van Helsing, fighting off what appear to be a horde of Valkyries. As far as the trailer is concerned, the movie has become a modern day, supernatural, gun fest, combining Van Helsing, The Matrix, and Sin City. Once again, the movie appears to be a clear indication that Hollywood has become a bastion of non-creativity where the preference is to replace rich storylines with a bunch of cockamamie CGI effects in an attempt to make the eye candy replace the lack of story.

In fact, the only thing that even bears any resemblance to the story line of the original game is that in the movie he is fighting valkyries but in the video game he fought the distributor of the drug Valkyr. I honestly hope that whoever wrote the screenplay to this movie didn't actually think that we're so stupid that we would accept that as a viable link between the game and the movie. Oh, wait. These valkyries killed his family and partner. Yes, that will be enough to link with the game, too, right? Not.

This is not the personal, tormented Max Payne from the videogames. In fact, I don't know what this is. It seems to be more like Max Payne: Pissed-Off Supernatural Crime Fighter. But I do know one thing: based on what I've seen of this trailer, this will not be getting my dollars at the box office.

This isn't the first time I've seen this, but while at a local Best Buy to purchase Boom Blox for the Wii I saw this and had to chuckle.

Of course, there's nothing to install with the Wii, unless Best Buy considers the save game file to be an installation. I hope that Best buy doesn't expect people to pay every time they want to play the game. (Yeah, I know, this was just someone being careless with storage boxes, but it still made me chuckle.)

On a separate note, if you own a Wii but you don't own No More Heroes and Okami, you're an idiotic fool.