August 2004

Super Hero Film!!

August 31, 2004

For those of you who are big fans of City of Heroes, you can now make your Hero famous. City of Heroes is having a film festival open to all City of Heroes subscribers. Using your hero and in game footage, you can create a short film revolving around your unique hero. They will have different categories of genres to participate in. The main prize is a DVD camcorder along with some other cool stuff. This makes me wish I still had my hero. For more info you can go to

In and Out

August 31, 2004

I will be in and out this week at work doing some offsite consulting. I will try to get some content posted in the mornings when I have time.

Doom 3 on ATi

August 31, 2004

The Tech Report is carrying a [url=]nice article[/url] on some problems that have creeped up while running Doom 3 on ATI video cards. If you are an ATI user I suggest you head on over and check it out. It discusses the problems, explains how to fix them, and shows you benchmarks before and after. Yet another very thorough article by the Tech Report guys.

[floatleft][/floatleft]EA owns the world of multiplayer FPS with its Battlefield franchise. Although something is missing for the gamer that craves a more tactical approach to the ensuing chaos of war. With Joint Operations the gamer is dropped into a battle with a multitude of gamers much like Battlefield, but unlike Battlefield the multiplayer is massive, as in 150 people massive. The maps span 50 kilometers of vast jungle environments. In essence this game is huge.

Playing online much like most PC games puts you at the whim of most PC gamers, however since the objective of the games is to take points, spawn camping then really becomes the whole point of online play. So feel free to lodge in an area and snipe away when the opposition pops up till that point belongs to your team.

Teams are broken up into Indonesian militia and the Joint Operations of various countries. To say the least both teams have great looking skins to choose from. If you are familiar with the class lists in Battlefield then Joint Operations has more of the same, each class bringing a set of weapons and skills. Unlike Battlefield however, medic classes can revive fallen soldiers making them a must have for any squad.

Games are better served when playing co-operative missions as opposed to the endless battle of point taking against a massive army. One person can not really make a difference minus kill a few soldiers from point A to point B. Co-operative missions pit a strike team vs. the computer Indonesian militia with objectives from secure and protect to seek and destroy. A team leader can set way points and go commands for maximum squad support. When this game is played as a cohesive unit, shines of what Ghost Recon should have been come to mind. Unfortunately the maps are the same again and again, and the A.I. of the militia varies sometimes leading to the enemy running right in front of you in panic never noticing your presence.

Since the game maps are massive, vehicles are positioned to take you from one way point to the next in a hurry. The vehicles control wonderfully, even the helicopters are easy to use to ensure you and the whole squad do not get wiped out because the pilot cannot fly. Boats, ATVs, choppers and various transport vehicles are all fun to use and control.

The game looks great, character models leave little to complain about, and sound of bullets flying by your heads really bring you into the battle. This game is very fun, although for a limited time once you play the co-operative missions over and over. The major online games are almost too big, and you can do little to sway the battle with that many people playing. King of the hill and of course death matches but are much of the same old multiplayer clichA

[floatleft][/floatleft]I have a deep love for what are often times referred to as aggressive sports. BMX, skateboarding, and rollerblading all make me anxious to be 17 again. The Tony Hawk games do a fantastic job of quenching my thirst for rolling very fast on a tiny board with 4 tiny wheels. Likewise I figured Mat Hoffman Pro BMX 2 might quench my thirst for another type of outdoor activity.

I have spent very little time playing BMX games in comparison with skateboarding games and it didn’t take very long to notice the fact that maybe there are certain sports that are just too complicated to be made into video games. Before I offend all the fans of the BMX games I want to set the record straight. I have no intimate knowledge of the world of BMXing, but I do of skateboarding. Maybe this in and of itself makes the latter easier for me to play.

There are a few different gametypes that aim to keep it fresh in this title. You have your basic story mode called Road Trip, Free Ride, and Session which comes in 2, 5 or 10 minute flavors. We also have the Multiplayer mode that packs its own list of modes that range from Trick Attack, Push, and Free Ride to Treasure Hunt. I find multiplayer in extreme sports games to be a great waste of time since they are by and large individual sports, but I digress.

There are a few major things that I felt were missing from Pro BMX 2 that have been included in other games from Activision that would have added to the experience. The main feature would have to be the lack of a “create a rider”. Tony Hawk had this and it really made the game more personal as you progressed with your character. Another annoyance would have to be the fact that unlocking the different cities in the Road Trip mode was individual. What I mean by this is that unlocking it with Mat Hoffman didn’t unlock it for any of the other riders. While I can see this being logical in a career mode where you follow your created rider, I think it is a little silly this time around.

The gameplay is actually quite solid in this title. I enjoyed cruising through the different courses and busting out wicked tricks, but I had a lot of trouble landing them. Landing goofy footed in skateboarding may be difficult in real life but none of the games seem to emphasize that fact. Landing backwards on a bicycle after pulling a 540 tabletop seems to result in a crash 99.9% of the time. You really have to plan out your tricks and execute them precisely as opposed to just making up runs as you go. This resulted in some initial frustration as I learned to handle the bike but seemed to get better over time.

The detail in the levels as well as the character detail was quite nice. It was very easy to tell the different riders apart and identify them if you know your riders. I got to play the PS2 version so you can expect a slight improvement in the visuals on the GC and Xbox versions. A nice break in between cities was a short clip of some of the riders really going to town in an actual cross country tour. Nice stuff and it seemed to be just the right amount of video playing in between levels.

One aspect that Activision’s extreme sports titles always seem to deliver on is the soundtrack and Pro BMX 2 is no exception. It rocks the house with hits from groups like N.E.R.D. and Fugazi as well as rap stars LL Cool J and Ice T.

I had a lot of fun playing Pro BMX 2 and I think it is a really solid game, but I feel like the BMX games still need a little more refinement. They don’t seem to be as polished as the Tony Hawk series which I know is on its 5th or 6th release, but I have a feeling the next Pro BMX game will be awesome. At $19.99 new or $10 used fans of BMX have no reason to not be tearing up the ramps at home.