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GRAND THEFT AUTO 5 Just Announced

25 Oct

Rockstar Games just posted on their website Rockstargames.com, a banner for GRAND THEFT AUTO V with a the new trailer debuting next week on November 2nd.  Excited?  I kind of am.  I buy every GTA game (since 3) and never complete more than 10% of the game, but always have a blast with them.  The open world, gameplay, and impressive visuals always make it a blast.  Without any details yet, though, I’m wondering where they’re going with this one.

We were an inner city gangbanger in GTA3.  We reveled in the Miami Vice soaked 80’s in Vice City.  We really got to know a flawed hero in Niko in GTA IV.  Where does 5 go?  LA NOIRE had a different development team, but still under the ROCKSTAR brand so are we going to see some of that style of animation and reading the details in body language?  Will GTAV be set in current times, the 30’s, the late 80’s Wall Street, or something set in the distant future?  Actually, I’m banking on being a good guy type of gang member looking to take down the rich and powerful and dirty Wall Street type kingpin.  Top bad guys nowadays in movies and video games are Muslim Terrorists, The North Korean Government, and the group everyone can hate, Big Bank Tycoons.

I’m also curious about the content outside of the single player campaign.  With GTA IV, Rockstar tried it’s hand at multiplayer online and then refined the concept a great deal for RED DEAD REDEMPTION.  What did they learn from both of those outings that will prepare them for something truly great this time?  I only really tried my hand at the racing in GTAIV‘s online mode and the gunfights in RDR, but they didn’t pull me away from my addiction to FPS’s.

The first trailer hits next week and then maybe we’ll know more.  Until then, all we can do is speculate which always lots of fun.

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ESPN on the Xbox Doesn’t Make Any Sense

24 Oct

I get that Microsoft is trying to make the Xbox 360 and whatever the Next Generation Console will be, the center to our entertainment, but ESPN on the Xbox simply doesn’t make any sense.  The most glaring and obvious problem is that most people who have the ESPN feature activated on their Xbox already have ESPN via cable.  I have ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and ESPNU, so do I really need more ESPN?

Secondly, though I know there are people out there without cable or satellite who just use Hulu, Netflix, and media streaming boxes like the Xbox for their video entertainment, but even there I think it fails.  Though I find the lack of 5.1 audio on the HD videos a real problem for Hulu Plus and Netflix, the Xbox is a worthwhile delivery system for that content.  Comparitively, the ESPN tool definitely ranks below Netflix and has about the same crappy level of interface that Hulu Plus does with significantly less content.

The interface is a big problem.  It’s so clunky and appears completely disorganized, that even if there is good content there, I haven’t found it.  I think that’s the biggest issue.  We have a desire to watch movies and tv shows on a larger screen than our laptop and to share the experience with family or friends.  Sports highlight, which is what it appears 99% of the content on ESPN on Xbox is, isn’t something I really need to share with anyone else or watch on my 50″ TV.  Besides, if you stream that “HD” content, you’ll possibly become nauseated by the jittery delivery of the video.  If I want to share it, I’m probably going to find the highlights online and post the link to Facebook or Twitter and therein lies the largest problem.

Sure, most of us have ESPN, but even if we don’t, we have the internet for seeking out highlights, scores, and news in a much more efficient manner that yields far better results.  GOOGLE beats my Xbox every time when trying to find something, unless it’s playing the video games loaded on the hard drive.

The day that ESPN starts streaming live games via the Xbox (maybe they already do, but I’ve never found any) and then gets the picture quality to look better than plugging my laptop into my TV, I’ll be interested.  Until then, I’ll stick with cable, my laptop, and my cell phone for my sports updates.  Thanks for trying though.

Battlefield 3 Xbox Hard Drive Install only 1.5 GB

21 Oct

Again, thanks to the access of Gamerzines, we get info on the Battlefield 3 Xbox 360 Hi-Res Texture install.  Apparently, it’s only going to take up 1.5GB of hard drive space.  Of course, if you install the whole game that’ll take up considerably more room, but at least I don’t have to upgrade my HD just to play the game the way I want to play it.

That being said, a little research landed me on a 120GB refurbished HD for just $25.  Gonna pick that up and install all my games on it to quiet down the dvd drive and fan.

Enjoy the latest BF3 Trailer.  Warning, it contains a few four letter words.

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Battlefield 3 & DICE are Worrying Me A Bit

20 Oct

Battlefield 3, the new military First Person Shooter from DICE, is due out next week on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC and I’ve already got mine pre-ordered.  It is my hope that Newegg has the product already and is shipping it today to guarantee I have it time, but I doubt it.  I won’t fret over that, but the recent news about the 360 version has me a bit concerned.

Battlefield 3 on the Xbox 360 will have a Hard Drive Install option to the High-Res Texture Pack available on one of the two disks shipped with the game.

In an interview with Gamerzines, BF3’s Executive Producer leaked some, but not all the details:

“There’s nothing magic about it. “It’s the same thing we do for PC and PS3, so there’s nothing extra….It does make a difference, yes, absolutely. The whole engine is based around streaming textures, streaming terrain and a lot of other content…The thing with the 360 is that you need to be able to give consumers a game where you don’t have to install it on a hard drive, because there are 360s without a hard drive. So we need to give you the option of installing it, rather than just demanding it. You could call it a ‘standard-def’ version for the 360 if you don’t have a hard-drive.”

That’s the end of the so-called details though and that’s where I’m a bit concerned.  I want to play the game at its best on a 360 and I do have a hard drive, but only 20GB, which only yields about 12GB of real space.  The last line of the quote, “if you don’t have a hard drive” is a promising, but if you’re not aware, RAGE, another new shooter allowing an install for better graphics needs 22GB of space for its optimal settings.  So, I’ve searched high and low and posed questions to DICE, but at this time I don’t have answers.  Will I need to just clear out all the demos off my 20GB HD or do I need to pick up a 60GB or 120GB expansion?

As someone that is truly excited about the game, I’m trusting that it doesn’t disappoint like Black Ops did.  For all Black Ops did right in new map designs, eliminating some of the obscene Killstreak problems, and new match options, they missed on almost all of the local split screen offerings that would’ve made the game our go to party game.  No matter my concern over BF3, it doesn’t come close to my skepticism over Modern Warfare 3.  Sledgehammer Games is developing MW3 alongside some Infinity Ward rejects so I have no idea what to expect from the game.  The guys that made COD great are long gone and I’m not familiar at all with anything Sledgehammer has done prior to now.

Are you ready for next week?  Are you as concerned about the 360 version and the need for HD space as I am?

Aside

Hello world!

9 Sep

I’m a radio guy.  An actor.  A writer.  And most of all these days, a Daddy.  Yeah, pretty much everything took a backseat to being a Daddy 2 1/2 years ago when my first little girl was born.  I still tried to work (as much as 30 hours a week) with my wife full-time too, but when my wife’s work ballooned to some 90 hour work weeks and baby number 2 came along this year, things changed.  With my wife’s more regular hours now, we are now figuring out how to really get me back into the workforce (more than my current 1-2 days a week) and still avoid hiring a nanny full-time.

I hope you spend some time here occasionally, but mostly this page is for me.  I’m a talk radio guy and I need to share my life, my opinion, and my analysis of current events.  It’s just part of who I am.  One of the hardest things I have ever done was spend a week as a Juror Alternate.  I listened to a case for a week, analyzed facts, came to a strong opinion, and then once the defense was finished, I was excused.  Yep, as an alternate, you get excused without being able to give your opinion on the case.  It was awful.

So, you’ll find movie reviews here (my former blogging focus in my morning show days), sports analysis (I am a former sports broadcasting type guy afterall), video game rants (I still play after 30 years), Politics (since Washington makes me sick on an almost daily basis), and more than anything, ramblings about being a Daddy.  I think.  We’ll see how it develops.