Rapture: The Series

While I thought the premise of Caprica was a little boring, I think a TV series about the development of Rapture prior to the events of Bioshock would be riveting. Pun intended.

Visually, dramatically, and even philosophically there’s a lot to be mined from the Rapture concept. The ambition of Andrew Ryan, his power struggle with the growing criminal empire of Fontaine, the development of ADAM and splicing and the ethical quandaries of the various scientists involved, the advent of the Little Sisters and Big Daddies…ever since the first moments of playing Bioshock, I thought the game developers had created something that could be fleshed out into an entirely new sf franchise, spreading to books, comics, movies, and even TV shows. So far, all we’ve had are two games, an art book, a soundtrack and a novel that may never come. That’s a crime.

Territories=t eh suck

((Warning: geek rant ahead!))


Halo 3 review

Poe Ghostal snipes a n00b

Looking at that screenshot, I’m suddenly reminded of the first videogame I remember playing, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons for Intellivision. Man, videogames have come a long way in a mere quarter-century. But then, I suppose it only took us twice that time to go from flying the first plane to landing on the moon.

Incidentally, that screenshot was taken in-game by yours truly. It shows my digital avatar, Poe Ghostal, sniping some poor mook.

So, Halo 3. Its release received the kind of marketing hype once reserved solely for summer blockbusters (before they became manufactured a-dime-a-dozen products). It has already made hundreds of millions of dollars.

I was one of those people who was really into the whole “Haloverse” as well as the game itself, and I was greatly anticipating the end of the saga. Here are my impressions.


Yet more Xbox drama

Two nights ago, my Xbox 360 died again.

This was my third, though it had been built around the same time as my previous two–September 2006. I was in the middle of playing Halo 3 with some friends when the DVD drive began to make a sound somewhat like a weed whacker. A moment later, it declared my Halo 3 disc unplayable, as well as any other disc I put in there.

This time I brought it back to Sam’s Club and simply requested a refund. I took the refund and bought a brand-new Xbox 360 at Best Buy. It has a manufacture date of August 4, 2007 (the day I got engaged–coincidence?). It has the new Zephyr motherboard with the improved heat sink. I made sure to confirm this–the word “Zephyr” was right on the box’s SN label.

Since the refund from Sam’s Club was for the full price in September and the 360 has had a $100 price drop since, I was able to get the new console as well as an extended warranty that would let me swap the 360 anytime it broke down for the next two years. Of course, by dropping the cash for the warranty, I virtually guaranteed this console will never break down (or at least, not for two years).

Halo, Goodbye

Dear friends,

I’m that guy.

Yes, I’m that guy who, upon finally getting back to his beloved Xbox 360 with his brand-spanking-new copy of Halo 3, put the disc in the machine and…the Xbox 360 died.


Halo 3 impatience

Well, I’ve got to get through one more work day before I can play Halo 3. My friend Tom wisely recommended I take tomorrow off, rather than today, because I’ll no doubt be up pretty late tonight.

I wasn’t crazy enough to buy my copy last night at midnight, so I’ll pick it up after work today. I had preordered the Legendary Edition, but after hearing reports of scratches on the discs I think I may trade down to the regular edition.

I’ll post my thoughts on the game on these pages in a few days, of course. Until then, be sure to scroll down and check out my various Halo 3 articles from ToyFare.

My Halo 3 article(s) posted online

ToyFare is doing a “Halo Week” on their website, primarily by posting my article from the magazine piecemeal.

Another one dusts the bytes

My friend Tom’s Xbox 360 died last week. More specifically, the external hard drive of his Xbox 360 crashed, which meant he lost all his saved game data. All the progress he’d made on any game–gone. Fortunately, one’s Achievements are archived on Microsoft’s server, so his gamerscore is safe.

But that did get me thinking–why doesn’t Microsoft store gamesaves and other vital information on its own servers? From my understanding–and if anyone out there knows better, correct me if I’m wrong–gamesaves aren’t terribly large. If Google can offer 2 Gb of email storage for free, can’t Microsoft provide 5 or 10 Gb as part of the yearly subscription I’m already paying? I’d even pay an extra $10 for such a service. Given the obviously unsatisfactory failure rate of Xbox 360s (my hard drive crapped the bed right out of the box), it would seem like the least they could do. It’s not like storage is that expensive these days.

Larger stuff, like downloadable content and game updates, could be stored on the hard drive, because that can all easily be re-downloaded. But once a gamesave is gone, it’s gone. Yes, there are some ways to save your savegames on your PC if you’re computer-savvy (or willing to spend the money on some third-party peripherals), but most casual players aren’t going to be thinking in those terms, so when the big crash comes, they lose hours (or let’s face it, weeks) of effort in an instant.

Nowadays, when saved games are so important for consoles and storage so cheap, I think MS should step up and offer online gamesave archiving.

The post about the Halo 3 Beta

As anyone who’s been paying any attention to this blog knows, I’m pretty excited about Halo 3. A few weeks ago, my wonderful girlfriend DG got me my very own copy of Crackdown, which included access to the Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta (fortunately, Crackdown is a great game too—you can read my review of it here). The Beta is not a demo of the regular game, which is due for release on September 25. Rather, it’s only a test of the game’s multiplayer component, which allows players to battle one another on three maps (such games are colloquially referred to as “deathmatch”).

(Warning: Halo 3 gameplay spoilers to follow)

Crackdown races

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently got Crackdown. The game initially showed up on my radar when it was announced that the game would include a free pass to the Halo 3 public beta test. This led to a lot of jokes about the game being retitled to Halo 3 Demo Disc Featuring Crackdown.

Ima gonna throw this

But Crackdown is a great game in its own right.

I admit, I tried the demo and didn’t really enjoy it. But once I had the game, I discovered it was one of those games you have to get into. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun.

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