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Member since: 2007-02-26 16:39:23
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    First came the high price...

    Then came the 3 hour battery...

    Now apparently the 3DS is region locked as well.


    Keep in mind that traditionally portable consoles are kept region free as they aren't exactly confined to one location and they have no regional hardware differences such as PAL and NSTC. The first region locked portable console was the DSi which locked the DSiware games and DSi specific software. No one really gave a shit though as DS games where still region free on the DSi and no notable DSi only software was released.

    It seems kind of backwards for Nintendo to region lock the 3DS considering that Sony has made all their recent consoles completely region free and Microsoft have given the publishers the choice whether to region lock their software or not.

    The primary reason behind the region lock is most likely so Nintendo can ensure a "consistent" online experience by making sure users in one region don't share an online experience with users in another region. The "official" reason why Nintendo put region locks on their consoles is to reduce piracy, this is a load of bollocks though as putting a region lock on a console surely encourages homebrew/hacking.

    I have since cancelled my preorder with playasia and am awaiting a hack for the 3DS so I can go back to my importing ways.

    Latest famitsu has an interview with the devs, confirmed its going to be on the PSP again as they don't have the time to develop it on PS3 apparentely. It is going to be set in the same period as VC1 dealing with another group of soldiers. I won't post the scans but I they are easy enough to find on the internet. Seeing as VC2 has pretty much bombed outside JP due to the platform choice (who even buys PSP games outside Japan?), it seems unlikely that VC3 will get localised for some time :(.

    Another example of Sega FAIL this generation.

    P.s. The new Yakuza is going to be a zombie game?? WTF SEGA

    I enjoy playing Starcraft 2, even though I didn't play the original a whole lot (was much more of a Command and Conquer person back then) I have enjoyed playing Starcraft 2 over the last week alot.

    However there are some 'issues' that make me think that Blizzard really have shot themselves in the foot with the release of Starcraft 2.

    I don't care much about playing competitively online in tournaments and leagues and what not, I mostly just enjoy playing for fun with friends, playing through the campaign and playing fun custom games.

    I read up beforehand on some of the issues with Starcraft 2 such as the fact that battle.net 2 does not allow LAN and thought that it doesn't really affect me as I don't really play in LAN much anyways and I can still play online. However over the last week there have been alot of niggling problems with the whole Battle.net2 experience that has left a sour taste in my mouth.

    1. Cannot play campaign whilst not connected to the internet.

    This is simply unforgivable, last week I had a pretty dodgy internet line due to my ISP making changes to my local exchange and the internet sometimes did not connect. I was thinking why not play some SC2 campaign whilst I wait for the internet to come back on? no luck. I couldn't connect to Battle.Net so I can't continue my SP campaign game. I could play in guest mode but my progress is lost and I don't earn acheivements.

    This issue was made worst today, Battle.Net has been having trouble over the last week due to loads of people playing. Today I couldn't even connect to Bnet even though my internet was fine. It angers me that the people that pirated the game can play whenever they want and we are restricted to playing under a strict set of conditions.

    2. Only 1 account per person per copy of the game

    The first thing the game asks you to do is to create a profile. After that it cannot be altered and you cannot create a new account for the game. Want to change your online name? sucks to be you. Want to reset the campaign and start again? sucks to be you. You have to buy another copy to get another account.

    3. B.Net region restrictions

    This one really annoys me, I have a friend overseas that I want to play with. He is living in the US, however due to region restrictions I cannot play with him. I cannot even add him as a friend on Bnet due to this. Even on Xbox live I can add people overseas and play with them. Once you buy SC2 you register it with one region only and can only play with that region. These restrictions are throughout, you can't even post on the US forums with a EU account. Blizzard say that it is due to lag and 'user experience' that you can't play people in a different region but in Bnet1 you could and that was 10 years ago. Its not like its going to affect anyone else if I play a game or two with my friend overseas. To play on the US servers I have to buy another copy and register it in the US.

    4. Custom games

    For some reason Blizzard has made it aggravating to create and join custom games, you can't search for the custom map you want to play and the game browser simply fails in giving you any detail about the game you are joining. In Warcraft 3 it was easy to find and join the game you wanted. In Sc2 the system hinders your ability to find the game you want. Also whats up with the censorship? you can't play any old custom map anymore, you have to get it published and reviewed, in WC3 you could simply choose any map on you HDD and host it. In SC2 you can only play the ones that Blizzard deem appropriate. At the moment the EU custom games scene is simply non-existent due to these flaws.

    5. Friends

    I touched on this earlier with the region restrictions but there is more to it. The system is simply confusing. You have your REALID freinds and you online friends in BNet. Your REALID friends have their real names whilst your online friends have there user names. It is confusing to say the least to make sure you are adding the right friend to the right category. Why can't all my friends just show there user names. If they are my irl friends I should know who they are anyway. Saves the confusion and hassle of adding friends.

    The core game within is very good but these problems are very worrying, I hope Blizzard really makes some changes to the system and allow the players to get what they want in the end, its really bad that the people that pay for the game get a worse experience than those who pirated. The restrictions that Bnet has at the moment are truly draconian and definitely hinder the gaming experience.

    Also you spam filter thinks I am evil.

    If the process of making the stick is TLDR for you, you can just skip to the end for the finished product.

    Over the last 5 months I have been playing quite alot of SFIV and having never played on an arcade stick before I thought it would be fun to get one to play with. At first I considered buying one from the store but after hearing about problems with the basic madcatz stick and the price of the TE stick in the UK (150!!) I was put of getting a stick altogether, about a month later whilst browsing the internet I came across a gallery of some of the custom sticks that people have made and I was inspired to create something like that myself.

    The only downside to this however was the cost, most of the custom sticks that are created cost upwards of 100 and I simply didn't want to spend that much on the project, so when planning I decided to try and cut as many corners as possible to save cost. Having limited experience with woodworking/electronics e.t.c. and no knowledge whatsoever of how to make a stick and what parts to get. I didn't really know what I was getting into...


    Firstly I got the most essential parts, the stick and buttons, I spent the most on this part as the overall quality of the stick is of course dependant of the joystick/buttons themselves. After a bit of research I discovered there are 3 main manufacturers of arcade parts in the world:

    Happ/IL : American company that produces more durable but less repsonsive sticks and buttons, the quality of sticks from them has declined in recent years.

    Siemitsu : Japanese company that makes sticks and buttons in alot of colours and variations, comes standard in alot of japanese arcade games. Generally considered superior for shumps, but versatile enough to be used in fighters as well.

    Sanwa : Another Japanese company, makes the most precise buttons, evenmore so than siemitsu, SFIV comes standard with sanwa buttons and joysticks, also found on the TE madcatz stick.

    In the end I decided to go for the Siemitsu ls-32 stick and see-through siemitsu buttons, I am not a hardcore fighting game player at all (infact I pretty much suck at all fighting games except for DOA4) and decided that the nice looks and versatility of the siemitsu parts would be better for me than the authentic SFIV sanwa parts.

    All the parts where ordered through akihibarashop.jp which ships worldwide for a reasonable cost.

    Making the controller box

    So now I ordered the parts it was time for the creating of the box, firstly I needed tools. After researchin I realised I didn't have enough to spend on expensive powertools I decided to go for the harder route and use primarily handtools except for a crappy 15 quid electric handheld drill I found in a cupboard in the garage.

    I took the bus to wickes (a DIY superstore chain in the UK) and picked up a wickes brand mitre box, a cheapo tenon saw, some clamps, glue and some sandpaper. I also got some mdf, perspex and some wood. Luckily on the way to wickes I spotted some wood I could use for the project in a rubbish dump so I only had to buy minimal wood in the end.

    After many (many) hours working at it, I managed to create the controller box. The process was literally as ghetto as it could get with me using any means necessary to get the box right. For instance, due to the lack of a chisel/router to create a cutout hole of a square in the mdf, I resorted to drills many holes in the shape of a square then hacking at it with knives, small files and a broken replacement saw bit until I had a hole that was the right size. I am still suprised everything worked out to the millimeter with the unorthodox methods I used.

    After making sure it was all correct I painted the box, sanding between coats (7 coats of paints in total with 2 days drying time between them) and finally sanding alot with finer sandpaper for the final coat.


    Probably the most infuriating part of the project as my soldering iron was probably the worst soldering iron ever (it cost less than 1) and I was using unsuitable wiring (from a broken pair of airplane headphones). I used a joytech neo se controller that I bought of a freind for cheap. The controller was a godsend as it was common ground meaning that I had to solder half the amount I would have if I was using basically any other controller on the UK market. This is one part I don't want to repeat again.

    Putting it all together

    Voila! it all fitted together nicely in the end, I used screws to hold he perspex and artwork in place so the artwork can be changed, the bottom is also clear perspex so I you can see the wiring underneath. The parts, wiring is also easily accesible with a screwdriver incase anything goes wrong in the future (hopefully not!).

    siemitsu bubble ball top

    custom artwork

    shiny :)

    Artwork was put together in Photoshop CS4.

    In conclusion it was a fun and rewarding project done on the cheap (well as cheap as you can get creating a quality arcade stick). The stick works great on all fighting/shooting games on the 360 and also on mame on the PC, however it hasn't really increased my skill in fighting games, I still suck horribly :P

    It's big boss if you couldn't tell, looking a bit older than in MGS3, on his hat it says military without borders which would suggest that the next game is set in the same time period as MG1 and 2. So its most likely a remake of one of those games for PS3.

    NEW NEWS!!

    It appears that Raiden will be in the game too! This probably means that there are infact TWO new MGS games. Platforms at the moment are PSP and PS3. Also Raiden looks even more badass now. He has an eyepatch too and spikes coming out of his shoulder. I would post the scans but it's probably not legal/allowed so go look for yourselves.

    If there is one game that is criminally overlooked this year it would have to be the PS3 exclusive:

    Valkyria Chronicles

    because crouchin on a tank is awesome

    It managed to pull off 33k sales in America since it launched according to the NPD sales charts, which if it hasn't clicked, means it totally bombed. You may say that its a very niche game for the unpopular console and it launched at a very bad time in the year, but 33k is still very bad even considering those factors for instance games like:

    Sold more copies in a single week than VC did for 3 and 1/2 weeks.

    Even other RPG games such as Lost Remnant pulled off over 3x the number of sales in the same period.

    Why it is AWESOME:

    The game is a Strategy role playing game (SRPG) set in an alternate Europe during the outbreak of the Second European war and chronicles the battles of a militia military unit led by the son of a war veteran of the first European war, who incidently has a kickass tank lying around at his house. You fight to defend your country against the invading Imperial forces (read: Nazis) who wish to take over all of Europe.

    The gameplay is simply unlike anything I have ever played before, it is apparentely very different from any other SRPG (apparentely because the only other SRPG I have ever played is Advanced wars). You are given control points which you may use to move units in real time across the map utilising a 3rd person view and movement scheme, emeies that can see you will open fire in real-time as you move around the battlefield.

    Alicia about to get pasted by a tank

    You may choose to aim and shoot at any time during your movement and aiming is done manually with the analog stick. Proper line of sight, unit positiong, aiming and cover is implemented into the game making it feel more involved than your traditional RPG. All in all the gameplay is VERY addictive and is the main reason why I would recommend you buy this game. If I had to describe it I would say it is sort of like a mix between a RPG, a RTS, WW2 and Gears of war.

    Watch the trailer!

    Its EPIC!

    The only gripe I have the game is the sometimes pretentious story, some darker themes are introduced throughout the game but they are usually underdeveloped and the character developement for the enemies are also underdeveloped. However the characters in your squad are largely likable and they are well developed by the end of the game as well which is a plus. Also there are some pretty interesting twists throughout the story which helps keep it interesting. Overall I thought the story was more than servicable and I enjoyed most of it.

    Imperial soldiers

    The presentation is also top-notch, the graphics like really nice as you can see from the screenshots, it looks like a watercolour painting come to life. The musical score is also excellent being composed by the composer who did FFXII, it really pulls you into the epic war mood.

    Listen to the main theme: (it's also epic!)

    click the play button:

    Upload Music
    | Upload Pictures

    So why should you buy it instead of other big PS3 titles like LPB, Call of Duty WaW and Resistance 2?

    Firstly it is a damned good game (incidently it is probably my favourite game this year), secondly you don't have to enjoy JRPG games or even RPG games to enjoy this (I normally don't play JRPGs because I don't really enjoy them).

    Thirdly and most importantly because it is sad to see a game of this caliber be totally ignored at retail, if you are waiting for the price to go down before buying or are interested but would rather buy it after playing the other Christmas games let me tell you it is already getting difficult to find at retail and the prices on ebay have started to go up, buy it now if you are remotely interested as SEGA will most likely not do a 2nd print of it since it failed so bad at retail. Trust me, you will not regret getting it.


    nb.This game is still 19.99 at Gamestation in the UK if anyone is interested.

    Get your freinds to buy it as well! they will thank you!

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