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  • 11:35 PM on 09.06.2011  

    Has Nintendo created it's own missed opportunities?

    This is not a sensational post, I am not going to forecast the end of anything. This post is simply an opinion based on an observation.



    The 3DS is selling. It isn't the instant hit Nintendo thought it would be, but they had their sights set pretty high. There are various well documented factors that could have attributed to these average sales but for the purpose of this blog I'm going to focus on missed opportunities rather than stiff competition.

    If there is one thing I know about the 3DS it's that Nintendo continues to mishandle it in this new market. While they have been successful in creating momentum they have failed to capitalize on it in a meaningful way and they have nobody to blame but themselves, they are creating their own missed opportunities.


    Potential Opportunity

    Nintendo captivated mind share in the months leading up to e3 2010 with a bland press release stating that their new 3D enabled handheld would be shown off at the upcoming conference. They delivered the goods and most ate it up. The 3DS was the story of e3, being the only new hardware at the show. They had everybody excited for Zelda, a new Kid Icarus, Resident Evil, Star Fox, and Mario Kart.


    The Miss

    Months later Nintendo would price the system, admittedly, based on the positive reactions of the press, but they grossly miscalculated what consumers were willing to pay for the system. While the device was maintaining decent sales figures, Iwata and Co. understood that they needed to slash that price within mere months of release. A sizable drop in price proved to bolster sales of the 3DS but early adopters had mixed feelings. Nintendo offered free games to owners of their new handheld in hopes of retaining a positive relationship with their most faithful consumers.

    Nintendo failed to capitalize on a head start, and hype generated right up until launch by pricing the system too high and not delivering enough incentive [games, eShop] for potential customers.


    The Latest Potential Opportunity

    Citing a lack-luster launch line up as a possible cause for slow sales Nintendo vowed to improve the situation by bringing big titles to the system, first party or otherwise. A recent scan from the latest Famitsu magazine has revealed that one of Japans biggest franchises is coming to the 3DS. Monster Hunter, a game that, time after time, caused tremendous leaps in Japanese PSP sales, is coming to the 3DS. Nintendo will be hosting a pre-TGS event, to show off 'new products'. Monster Hunter will, presumably be one of them.

    The Potential Miss

    Along with Monster Hunter will come a second analog slider attachment. The monstrous peripheral, seen in the same Famitsu scan, is cause for concern. Besides being unwieldy and ugly, this may indicate that a revision of the 3DS is coming sooner than previously believed. This is more bad news for those early adopters, but what really makes this a missed opportunity [possibly] is that while Nintendo is getting a huge franchise on the system they may also be forcing players to adopt this new, huge, peripheral control method to play it.


    My Two Cents

    To fully take advantage of the new price, the new controls, and a new Monster Hunter I believe the best course of action would be to reveal the redesigned 3DS at the upcoming conference, including a special edition Monster Hunter bundle. They would have to all but forget about the original 3DS and cut their loses [~4million burned customers]. It could still happen, but, unfortunately, I don't think Nintendo is in a position to do that.

    This may be the most publicly flustered I have ever seen Nintendo. They are dropping prices, they are handing out games, and they are bringing out new hardware, and all within the 3DS's first year. It's as if somebody hit the panic button. The Monster Hunter/Second Slider ordeal has not played out yet so it remains to be seen what sort of impact this will have on the 3DS. If you ask me though, it really does seem as if Nintendo released a prototype for testing. As horrible as that sounds though I don't think it's too late to turn things around. This blog is only about missed opportunities after all, not complete failures. There is plenty more to come.
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    6:24 PM on 11.21.2010  

    G*STAR 2010: Marvel vs Capcom 3, Killzone 3



    Though Korean-made online games were easily the most common on the show floor this year at G*STAR, there was also a few big international booths. Notably, Sony and Microsoft. Both were there in typical fashion, loud, bright, claiming prime real estate, and brandishing motion controls. Move and Kinect were their major show pieces but there was other stuff there too. We didn't have time to check out Microsoft's booth unfortunately but the Sony booth was pretty awesome!

    There was a bunch of released stuff there like the Sly Cooper collection and Sonic 4 [probably not released in Korea] but they also had 3D displays of Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 3 and MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3!!!

    We didn't play Gran Turismo because we were busy getting in line three times for MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3!!! It was everything I was hoping for. First of all the graphics are just right. The models are fairly simple but the graphic shading against the vibrant character colours is a beautiful imitation of traditional comic book art. The animation is also spot on, everything is super fluid, and every attack has a great sense of weight to it. I found myself no longer missing Udon's 2D sprites.

    The game itself plays very similarly to Tatsunoko vs Capcom, but it's a bit more straight forward. In TvsC playing with a Wii remote on its side will have you playing with a simpler interface. Moves are much easier to pull off in a Smash Bros. style of play. On the PS3 though, there is only one control method and so the game allows you to select what mode of play you'd prefer.


    My fiance and I choose NORMAL mode. But simple is an option.

    The game three on three is still intact and as fast paced as ever. The build we played had a rather limited play list, most notably it was missing Spider-Man. I'm assuming it was the same build from e3. Basically this game is everything you want it to be.



    I played Killzone 3 the way I play every Killzone game, briefly. The demo had a 'Pre-Alpha Code' tag in the top left corner but what I played seemed competent. The snow level was atmospheric but didn't wow me visually. There wasn't much to do but shoot the odd enemy behind cover. The controls were sort of weird, there didn't seem to be a grenade button and the movement was a bit floaty. I got used to it and it actually felt sort of nice, not as jerky as other console FPSs [when I play an FPS with sticks its a disaster] and the take downs were well animated and useful. I can't really offer up any meaningful sort of impressions here as I haven't given Killzone much playtime in the past, if you like shooting things that hide, you will be pleased but the demo didn't include any multiplayer, jetpacks, or story so it was nothing new.

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    11:05 PM on 11.20.2010  

    Mega Man Online Hands-On

    This Thursday marked the beginning of the four day extravaganza that was G*STAR 2010, The Korean equivalent of e3. It did not disappoint! The BEXCO Convention centre was engulfed by an almost uniform mass of Korean nerds. DSLRs, and Bubble jackets seemed to be required dress code. My fiance, our friend and I were let in despite our lack of the aforementioned gear. It was great fun!

    At the door an old friend greeted me.



    It was a magical moment.

    We waited in line for just under a half hour to play Mega Man Online [Rockman for the Asians] and I have to say that I've come away with some mixed feelings.



    The graphics looks very vivid and crisp from a decent step back but while playing I couldn't help but notice that the animation was a bit stiff and environments were a little flat and empty. The signature high energy Mega Man music was also a disappointment. Sort of in the way that being stood up is a disappointment. That's right, it never showed up. Ambient, environmental soundscapes and generic effects were all I heard. Let's hope that the music is still being composed!

    So as you may have gathered the game seemed to be missing a certain sense of Mega Man, and it got worse before it got better, but that isn't to say that there isn't hope.

    The demo was presented on laptops without controllers and playing Mega Man with a keyboard felt a little worse than awkward but it was doable and the control scheme probably seemed comfortable for their target audience - MMO addicted Koreans. That said, the controls felt sluggish. X moved about a bit slowly, and his buster, instead of being able to shoot three shots in rapid succession [PEW PEW PEW] was limited to a single shot. These issues put me off quite a bit until I was told about the upgrades system. Armour upgrades will make a difference in this game affecting your speed, shot, defence, etc but the coolest addition to this system has to be what I'm going to call 'specialty parts'. Pressing Tab will cycle through an inventory of helpful tools and I was able to increase X's speed by equipping a thruster part. I was also able to summon a little companion who would fly ahead and take out enemies for me. Only one add-on could be used at a time. These specialty parts seem to be enough to tame my fears about the sluggish experience.

    Combat has also been given an upgrade. In addition to the standard shoot, dash, charge moves a total of four 'skills' can be assigned to the QWER keys. I was able to perform a devastating multi charge shot, a tornado kick and a fire punch in the demo which really helped, considering the slow fire speed.



    One lingering problem I have though is reserved for a technical limitation of the controls, one that neither the skills or specialty items can alleviate. It seems that you are limited to two actions at once. so I can walk and jump, or walk and shoot, or dash and jump, etc. BUT I CANNOT dash while charging and jumping. This caused some discomfort. That is how I play Mega Man X! I am ALWAYS charging and so it was really jarring to me once I figured out what was happening. It was especially troublesome when wall jumping, while shooting at enemies and trying to get to a platform that required I air dash. It's a limitation that wasn't even present on the SNES and really takes away a certain fluidity from the controls.

    I played through a rather straightforward and simple jungle level that unfortunately didn't include anything noteworthy. The final boss which seemed to be based off of MMX's Sting Chameleon didn't really do anything. It was huge, went back and forth and stuck out his tongue at me but it was easily destroyed without any real need for strategy- oh and it ended with a QTE.

    There was no 'Online' to speak of in the demo and I have a hard time seeing how it would enhance the experience. I wasn't shown any sort of hub, trading center, lobby or anything. It was pretty much Mega Man X7...

    The game, as it is, has a lot of potential, I think the Specialty Parts mechanic is really smart in a Mega Man game, and the skills were helpful but I'm not sure if this is enough to help gamers get past the poor controls and bland level design. I really wanted this to blow me away as a Mega Man MMO is something I think could be brilliant. This isn't it sadly.
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    7:22 PM on 09.02.2010  

    Revisiting Zebes. I play Super Metroid again after 10 years.



    As a young boy in the early 90's I often swooned over my older cousin's NES. I can't recall how many hours I spent watching them play Super Mario 3, and I can't quantify my need to own one either. What I can tell you though is that receiving a Super Nintendo for my birthday in 1994 was one of the most influencial events of my childhood and definitely of my life. My parents played it safe most of the time buying me a few games I asked for, it wasn't much, we rented a lot and purchases were a real treat which is why only 'the best' games I had rented or played at a friends house made it on my 'buy' list. There was one exception to this rule though, that game was Super Metroid.

    Super Metroid was a game I had never played and I needed to have it.

    My SNES, like all of yours, came with a giant poster full of screenshots and art from games that were available on the system. I'll never forget my first encounter with Ridley- It was on that poster in 1994.

    I wouldn't see him again until much later, in Canadian Tire of all places... Back in the mid-90's Canadian Tire was COOL! they sold toys and games, not many, but I always looked forward to looking through the shelves while my dad looked for some new powertool or part for his car. The red dragon was burned in my brain and I made the connection- This was something I was supposed to play.

    You know some time passed. It's hazy now and I don't even remember finally getting the game. I'm going to assume that my cousin who worked at Canadian Tire at the time picked it up for my parents. But I really have no idea how it came into my possession. Interesting what we remember isn't it?

    Now to make this short story long...

    I had Super Metroid for a few years before I sold it, tragically, with all my other SNES games inorder to buy Ocarina of Time the year I got my N64. Ignorance doesn't last forever and neither does bliss. Anyways...

    I recently bought the game again on Virtual Console and had an epiphany of sorts. When I was a kid I did not understand this game. I played it for hours and hours. Power ups seemed few and far between and it would seem that my memories of boss battles were all lies, existing only vicariously through box art or the internet. I did not play this game. I ran through doors I could open and did not progress beyond the 20 minute mark. Again- I played this game for YEARS. I was in awe, I was dumbfounded when I passed my 9yr old progress in about half hour.

    The only way I can even think of explaining the feeling I got returning to Zebes is by comparing it to Ms.Doubtfire. When I was a kid that movie was awesome, why? Because Robin Williams was dressed as a woman. THAT'S IT! That gag was enough to keep me watching over and over. It was entertaining. Years later I'd watch it again only to realize the movie was pretty heavy. Dealing with adult scenarios like divorce and laden with innuendo. It was also still pretty funny to me years later. Now, I don't know if my affection for Ms.Doubtfire has anything to do with the fact that it was part of my childhood and maybe it isn't that great a movie, maybe I'm blinded by nostalgia but I know how I felt watching it later in life. I felt like it was a whole new movie. I felt like I was watching something new. It's a perfect example of experience informing our level of understanding. This phenomenon occurs over all artistic media and games are no exception.


    Come back once you've got the Varia Suit!

    Super Metroid is Ms. Doubtfire [which,unsurprisingly, was not a prequel or sequel to Citizen Kane]

    Originally I had planned to break the game down and analyze the aesthetics, the music, the gameplay and what not but I think that would be a waste of our time. All I can say is the in Super Metroid is a special game in which the gameplay is satisfying enough to entertain in spite of progress and that progress is a truly rewarding event. The games vague nature makes solving the terrain a reward in itself, new power ups act as reward for traversal and traversal acts as a reward for finding new power ups. It is a rare cycle that is more compelling than most games I've played in this generation because my motivation became less about "finishing the 'story'" or getting to point B and more about my own curiosity which is something that has been missing from games since the inclusion of tutorials and cutscenes.
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    10:27 AM on 03.24.2010  

    Destructoid. Been a long time- I'm in Korea.

    Hey. So it seems the only blogs I do on here consist of me saying 'LOOK I'M BACK! AGAIN'.

    Well, I'm back, again.

    Anyways- this time I have a pretty good reason, I was busy getting ready and actually moving to Korea, South Korea, to be clear.



    My Girlfriend and I are teaching English over here and it's been pretty awesome so far, about a month.

    I'll be keeping all my gaming related thoughts here and other things like photos of mountains and whatnot over on facebook and our blog; http://heatedfloors.tumblr.com.

    Anyway- we've been to a few arcades down here and it is awesome. These aren't like the cheesy win some tickets and a few light gun game arcades we have in Canada these are the real deal. Dim red lighting, low ceilings, smoke filled classic gaming goodness is what it is. Being only 22 I never really saw a real stand alone arcade, we've got the 'midway' at home but there aren't enough games outside the carnival variety for me to consider it an arcade, plus its a tourist trap and playing anything decent will cost ya 2 'tokens' which is about a buck...and for that much you used to get 4!

    Ya, in real arcades, you use real money. Rows of cabinets back to back; fighters, rhythm games and shmups for the most part, but we did find House of the Dead 4 which is actually pretty awesome!



    That said there are some stereotypes I must address, confirm even. YES Starcraft is on TV like professional sports are back home. YES there are at least 2 channels dedicated to it after 8pm. YES they hold a giant tournament on giant screens on the beach once a year. YES. Korea is Starcraft. Seeing it on TV really made me realize how old it is, which made the fact that they still play it so vigorously even more...hm. Hilarious? I've been told it's because it's one of the most perfectly balanced games ever made- I don't know, never played online, couldn't really play it for more than a few hours.

    Before leaving I bought Tetsunoko vs Capcom. Not really a huge fighting game fan, but typically end up with 1 per generation, my girlfriend and I get really competitive. Well, I think these arcades are going to make that a whole lot worse...



    She's perfect.

    So ya- I brought over my mac/PC [steam machine] and my Wii. For Wii games I'll likely be using play-asia to import games from NA. Shipping is free from what I've gathered [for South Korea] if anybody knows of any alternatives let me know, definitely!

    Good to be back, again.

    FAKE EDIT: My Girlfriend became my Fiance last night :)
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    1:55 PM on 09.23.2009  

    My work was featured in EDGE mag. Gaming Ad.

    So this is pretty cool. A while back I was contracted to do some work promoting local new media initiatives. I was given two days, and this is what I came up with.



    It was a full-bleed page and will appear in the October issue of EDGE. Pretty cool for a kid from Niagara Falls! It was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to do a few things I don't typically do. Client was happy with the work and it's getting published. Pretty sweet! Thought I'd share.

    enjoy.
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    1:07 PM on 09.23.2009  

    Dante's Lust is disgusting for all the wrong reasons.

    As you all must have seen by now EA has been successful in exploiting a classic epic poem and sex in an attempt to garner attention. The Lust level was recently showed off at TGS and it's flat out disgusting, disturbing even, but not in the way EA intended it to be.

    Maybe they thought that giant ovulating breasts screamed sex appeal, creepy, disarming, or even 'lust'. Well they don't, frankly. These breasts highlight the sexual segregation and flat out misogyny that is rampant in the industry.

    These people need to understand that it takes two to lust, and I don't mean two breasts either.

    Where are all the penises?


    The only male enemy in lust [thus revealed] is wearing a loin cloth. note: Naked woman in the background.

    I'm really sick of the narrow vision in this industry, particularity in Triple A titles. There is no excuse for this sort of thing anymore. As I said it takes two to lust and they're turning hell into male fantasy.

    "But Perri! There are babies coming out of her nipples!"

    So again they're reducing women to breasts and baby makers. It's just the most puerile example of chauvinist pig-headedness I've ever witnessed. I'm not a feminist and this has actually offended me. I'm sick of the way this industry treats women, and I hate that it is so accepted.



    Bayonetta is a different issue. While I found the character to be horrifying at first I think that the developer is actually treating it in a satirical fashion [Platinum has been all about the over the top self-aware satire this generation, btw...] and I know there are exceptions but this is just infuriating.

    Now, I don't know much else about Lust, they could have penises around every corner in which case this would nullify my opinion and make this blog obsolete but I really despise the developer for thinking that this is edgy, that this is cool. The female figure has been so perverted and has been treated as a commodity for far too long in any medium for this to have any sort of edge or even relevance and that in itself is a travesty.

    This game is a completely wasted effort that not only [and obviously] is a complete insult to it's 'source material' but is also, now, a complete insult to me and presumably women. This game seems to be trying to move 'shock value' forward, trying to push the boundaries as to what will be accepted, what is allowed. Blowing up female assets that have been prevalently featured in any given media since it's existence is NOT how you do this. When will male nudity become accepted? When will this playing field be leveled? When will this industry grow up and treat things artistically and maturely?

    To their credit, and for this I am thankful, EA has managed to confirm to me, that I can be offended and disgusted in things- and here I was thinking I was some all monotonous stoic.

    ugh.
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    8:43 AM on 09.22.2009  

    Five sentence reviews of five dollar games

    So, I've been using this blog for the last little while rather sporadically and predominantly to complain. Let's get back to Games shall we?

    Perhaps the best thing about this current generation is the price of previous generation games, so let me try to help you save some money.

    I present to you five sentence reviews of four five dollar games. [I was trying to get five five dollar games but turns out I only had 4.]


    RED STEEL [Wii]

    The game employs some Interesting motion mechanics used for communicating with the enemy, but the sensitivity of the controller makes the simplest of navigation a matter of over and under compensating. The cumbersome controls aren't the only problem here though, the level design and general pacing/progression is poorly done, often leading to cheap death and countless resarts. The story might have been acceptable, if compared to the slosh of most other FPS stories, but it's poor presentation and atrocious voice acting screams budget/rush job. The whole sword fighting v gunplay gameplay is disappointingly divided, but when sword fighting actually does happen it can be rewarding but often time is frustrating; plagued by some poor input recognition and repetitive fights. The game runs off a modified version of the Unreal 2 engine and it does look generally good [with the exception of the animation], with some nice detail and lighting effects, however inconsistent they are.


    THE RED STAR [PS2]

    This game is essentially Sin & Punishment off rails from changing perspectives. The mesh of melee and SHMUP gameplay works perfectly and the marriage of the two is often satisfying, allowing for some really fluid combat. The upgrade system, while typical, offers just enough to reinforce the players confidence in taking on any of the various obstacles/enemies the game throws at them. The aforementioned variety is really the most attractive part of the game as players will go from beating on thugs to avoiding bullethell all in the span of 30 seconds. The game really is the perfect co-op experience and is even more satisfying when playing alongside a friend, a must own.


    CASTLE SHIKAGAMI II [PS2]

    There is so much to say about this game, whether that's good or not is really subjective. I'd recommend this game just for the script alone, with characters regularly spouting some of the most inane dialogue I've ever come across, "I am the son of seven mothers", or "Slaves for fashion dislike bulges" for example. The gameplay is pretty standard SHMUP fare with some challenging bullet patterns to dodge, the real gimmick here though is that there are a wide variety of characters who all have different attack types including a standard and super shot. The amount of characters may appeal to some but upon playing you'll find that they are there purely for the sake of quantity as the gameplay is hardly balanced enough to accommodate all of them. Seriously, despite its mediocrity, the translation is worth the five bucks alone.


    SILPHEED: THE LOST PLANET [PS2]

    I originally thought this game was bad because it was too slow so I stopped playing it disappointed in Treasure. I put it back in a few months later and I think I was remembering the wrong game because it's not slow, still not great though. It doesn't do a whole lot new but having the options to equip your ship with new weapons makes the experience feel a little more personal. Besides saying, this is a SHMUP made by TREASURE there really is nothing else interesting about this game, other then that it is sub par. The graphics are nice enough but don't pay more than 5 dollars for this.

    So in conclusion, you get what you pay for, more or less. The Red Star is possibly the saddest story of last generation as it truly is one of the best games to have come out and it saw absolutely no cash. Buy that one, avoid the others unless you need a cheap little time waster that is marginally entertaining.
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    8:47 AM on 09.14.2009  

    My second return post in a year. I have been in ISP HELL

    Hey.

    So, I posted a while back that I was being held, against my will, in an internet free zone - my house. I just wanted to throw up a brief update: It's back. I'm online again, comes with a catch though; I'm still in the stone age.

    After 3 months of a seemingly unsolvable dial-up issue I tried looking for better, faster service. I've exhausted those options, it just isn't available in my area. So over this 3 month period I was instructed by Bell that my modem was broken, so I bought a new one, then they told me that I needed to get more RAM [makes no sense, but I did need to upgrade, so I did]. After getting a gig of Ram and a new Modem installed I reformatted and called again because the new hardware didn't fix my problem. They said my modem was broken AGAIN. I hadn't even used it yet...

    So I ask them, "Are you sure it couldn't be anything else? This is a brand new device?"
    "These things happen with electronics all the time, this error message means you bought a faulty modem..."

    I hang up, frustrated, knowing that this was not true.

    Later that night I get a text from my brother: "Internet works".


    It's Broken, I'm free.

    Turns out that after 3 MONTHS it ended up being a faulty phone line down the street...He had plugged our modem into our other line and it just worked, thus proving that Bell is clueless, and that they couldn't care less about their customer. But I already knew this.

    Just thought I'd share that, the conclusion to this internetless summer, with you all. Take this as a cautionary tale, don't let it happen to you, stay away from Bell- PLEASE!

    I think I need to draw something...

    So yes, I'm back again, hopefully going to be blogging semi-regularly, or whenever I think of something worth our time. Maybe a certain animation...

    I'm not making any promises this time though! It's good to be back.
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    9:58 AM on 07.30.2009  

    The Silicon Knights Logo explained. Short Failblog.

    So, I know nobody probably cares about this at all but it's something that has been bothering me since I first saw the SK logo. WHAT IS THAT THING!?


    An incarnation of the logo that probably isn't as old as it should be...

    So lets just ignore the current reputation of Dennis Dyack and Co. For a minute and focus on their baffling logo. I always understood that they were 'knights of silicon', honourable and distinguished warriors of virtual worlds created by the power of silicon technology, sure it's pretty cute. The older image here really focuses on the silicon- it is obvious that the cube there is made of computer chips.

    BUT

    What if I told you that it wasn't a cube at all. Take a look at the newer logo, its easier to imagine.



    Ya, thats a simplified, more contemporary looking logo. When I saw it I was still as curious as ever so I started thinking, is is a computer tower? Is it a real tower? It has a striking resemblance to the building SK calls home.



    But, today was a special day. I find myself working beside a former employee and asked him a familiar question. He said that nobody knows what that thing is, and that they were always surprised when he told them...


    ITS A SHIELD.


    It is a Silicon shield, a shield made of silicon. A sci-fi shield made of silicon...They are knights equipped with medieval swords and silicon shields. What the hell are they fighting?

    At any rate, Lord Dyack seems pleased...


    and now you know.
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    9:02 AM on 07.27.2009  

    Explained Absence. This is getting rediculous [NVGR]

    Soo... A few weeks ago..Well maybe closer to a month ago now I came back in a big way. I got a new banner, explained some art stuff, made 2 post within a week of each other, Indie Nation! - I was psyched to be out of school and back into gaming, looking forward to sharing with all of you.

    BUT, things don't always go as planned.

    As some of you may have known I am the last dial up user on the face of the earth. That said my modem got fried about 5 weeks back and since then I've been actively pursuing a high speed alternative - which has never been available to me.

    This is going to be a long rant/rambling so, if you aren't interested in tech support/sales horror stories turn back now.



    Lets start with Bell. This company should just call it quits now- sure this guy may have invented the telephone but they have slandered his name and should be embarrassed of their service. That said, my father is not really a 'tech' guy </understatement> and he couldn't care less about 'service' so long as he can make a phone call.

    So I call up Bell, my long time dial up provider and tell them that my internet is no longer working. After running through some diagnostics they come to the conclusion that my modem is not functioning properly and the solve the problem I will need a new one.

    Eff that.



    Less than a year ago I paid 40 bucks for the current technological artifact that kept me downloading at 22kps, so why would I spend any more to stay out of date? I needed to thoroughly explore my options here so I didn't go for the 'brand new' 56k. Instead I inquired about what faster services Bell could offer me. I call annually and ask about high speed services but they never had anything for me- until now! Portable Internet! I know it isn't great- hell, using anything 'portable' as your permanent solution is never a good thing but like I said I had no other options. So I go for it and after a few phone calls/weeks I finally received it in the mail. I received this modem because my address was approved, the service was available in my area, but lo- I got no reception at all. So, I call and they flat out tell me that it won't work, after waiting and calling so many times I was pretty frustrated and just asked for a return kit - more on that later.

    After this failed attempt, being worked up and let down, I was pointed to Rogers- don't know why this never occurred to me... Anyway, I give them a call and ask what is available. I'm told that they have high speed available to me- so I ask specifically "So will I need to get the wireless modem?" And they quickly correct me, "No sir, I'm showing here that DSL is available in your area, so it wouldn't be a wireless connection."

    Alleluia.

    It was like getting set up on a blind date- you don't know what to expect but you have really low expectations and just want to get it over with- and then you find out that your friend set you up with God, and he has bestowed upon you his greatest gift, the internet. [so my metaphor got lost...]



    Anyways, I was elated- I know it isn't the fastest in the world but its like being in 2002 when for the past 8 years you've been in 95. I was thrilled, and they began processing the account and my address and would call me back.

    So I never got that call, I was anxious though, so I called back and was told something that will haunt me until the day that I die.

    "Oh, Rogers has stopped providing DSL services as of six months ago."


    wat.



    I was just sold something that the company wasn't selling anymore. WAT.

    So I asked about my options and they suggested- ya- portable internet. I went along with it. They told me it was available in my area and that I would need to pick up the modem at a Rogers store. I do it. No reception. I call and report the same thing I had to Bell a little over a week ago, I got three responses. "Oh, well I'm showing here that your address doesn't qualify for our portable internet." I get transferred, "You are definitely within range." Transferred back, "Well it says here that this connection requires a special 'Outdoor modem'. "

    WAT.

    So they told me to go back to the Rogers store and exchange the modem I got with the outdoor one.

    Around this time I get a bill from Bell. Guess whats on there? Yes. A 30 dollar portable internet charge. ugh. So I take care of that pretty easily but still hadn't received my return kit so I ask again and they tell me there was no record of the request and that they would send one right away. Alrighty.

    So I'm at the Rogers store and I tell the guy what happened to which he responds, "I don't have outdoor modems, we've never carried outdoor modems."

    sigh...

    So he calls up Rogers and tells them whats up then offers to solve the problem with me on the phone. So we go through the motions and the woman says she needs to cancel my current portable account in order to get me another one. Sure- whatever. So this all takes about 30 minutes and then her system crashes. Luckily the delay is only an extra ten minutes. So allegedly she sent an 'outdoor modem' to me.



    I didn't get the outdoor modem and I waited over 2 weeks. So I call and they say they have no record of that transaction, so they send me another one. 2 weeks later I get it and I'm getting mixed reception but I'm optimistic. Ultimately though the thing never was consistent enough to get me an IP address and thus I've wasted my time, and about 350 bucks in modems that I had not been reimbursed for yet. So we play with the device for a few days, try it on the roof and what not...A second modem arrives...Hm. So now I dont really know what to do, and I'm still deciding. All I know is that I'm going to be stuck with dial up so I should at least get that working.

    I go out and get a new modem and around the same time receive two return kits from Bell [after something like 4 weeks and 3 calls]. I plug the new modem in and - NOTHING HAPPENS. Its still broken. So I call Bell and tell them that THEY told me to get a new modem and that THEY cost me over a month of my life testing various products and spending hours upon hours on the phone. So I demanded to be reimbursed for the phone and my last months bill of dial up- since I hadn't used it and they charged me anyway. Couldn't do anything about the modem but I got my months payment back.

    I call tech support about the service and we go through a whole bunch of tests which yield no useful results. I'm on the phone with a woman from India who I can barely hear for a good 40 minutes. Eventually she wants to run msconfig - and that crashes my computer. Somewhere within the 10 minute boot sequence she gets disconnected...


    Luckily she calls me back but msconfig crashes my machine again and she tells me I have a problem with my RAM and that I should get more. I'll admit the machine is in rough shape. So I finally upgrade to 1.5GB RAM and still haven't had any luck.

    So thats about where I'm at Dtoid. Sorry I haven't been around, I'm at my girlfriends right now and she's asleep...so...

    I know nobody is going to read all that but I needed to get it off of my chest.
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    2:43 PM on 07.22.2009  

    Flip's Twisted World - The Wii game you probably never heard of, but need to see.

    So I know I haven't been here much lately- more on that later! [in short- I've had no internet for a month]. Anyways, a friend of mine passed let me know about a game being developed pretty close to my home town and I think it actually looks great.



    Frozen North is an independent Developer located in Waterloo Ontario, who I've never heard of before. They recently announced their game, 'Flip's Twisted World' and have secured a publisher in Majesco. The title might make the game sound like Shovelware but it definitely has a Mario Galaxy vibe. There really isn't much more to say but I thought I'd let you guys know about this potentially awesome game from this small developer.
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