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Showing posts from September, 2008

Falcon 3RL Chronology...trying to figure out what happened

Chronology before 3RL happened on my Falcon Xbox 360 (Manufacturing Date April 2008):

1. Got Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway, played it for a few days then reached 'Operation Garden' and on one level I noticed that the grass textures were becoming all weird. I reset to the dashboard and and loaded BIA again and the problem was gone.

2. The next day I played BIA again and I noticed that the problem happened again in one level. Similarly, I restarted the 360 (went back to the dashboard and reloaded BIA). The problem was gone again.

3. The day after that, I was moving some saves and profiles to my memory card (for Anicon). After this, I restarted my Xbox 360 and then , to my surprise, my 360 3RL'ed. I called my wife who was in the other room playing Tales of Vesperia (again, preparing it for Anicon) and when she turned on the xbox 360 it didn't 3RL. It was weird; we thought it was a fluke of some sort. I was able to play the rest of the night.

4. Today I was moving profiles a…

Our Falcon Xbox 360 got hit with the 3 Red Lights of Death.

Our US Falcon Xbox 360 Arcade got hit by the 3 Red Lights of Death, error code 0020

Manufacturing date: April 2, 2008

It looks like no one is safe, sad to say.

Conditions:

No airconditioning because it's been affecting our electric bill, however the console is in a well ventilated area.

The console is raised with rubber stoppers.

I just moved some profiles from my memory card to my HDD and then when I restarted the console it was already 3RL. I couldn't start it anymore after that.

Oh well, so much for Falcons being 3RL free....

Note: We have a second Xbox 360 from servo101 which is a replacement Asian Xbox 360 console, manufacturing date July 19, 2008. I guess we're just lucky that we have this one....but I can imagine others won't be this lucky. 3RL is extremely frustrating. I hate it and this pisses me off!

Now Playing: Brothers in Arms - Hell's Highway

The game I'm currently playing is Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. I haven't tackled an FPS in a very, very long while, and my expectations for this game were quite low. It's set in World War II again (and there sure are a lot of games out there with that setting) so I wasn't expecting to be so impressed.

A few missions in, a lot of things struck me about the single-player mode:

- The presentation is very, very cinematic. I didn't play the older BIA games at length so it was a bit difficult for me to understand sometimes what the characters were talking about [they reference the past games a LOT] ....but the storytelling style that the developers employed for the cutscenes make watching them feel very engrossing. I guess this must have been the best way for the developers to differentiate their game from the other WWII shooters out there.

- A big part of the single player game involves giving out orders to specialized squads of troops (in the first few missions I…

Infinite Undiscovery - Finished!

I've finally finished Infinite Undiscovery. Here are my final thoughts on the game:

- I like the combat system implemented in the game. I encountered no problems with my A.I. controlled party members, although half the time I'm wishing I could switch between characters or sub-parties.

- The environments are very wide and don't feel like they have set paths, however, as a whole, the game's world feels much smaller compared to other JRPG worlds. Some scenarios require that you backtrack to previous towns.

- There's no shortage of in-game real-time cutscenes. They do a good job of telling the story; I can imagine some players finding too many cliches' in the plot, however. I enjoyed it for what it was and I liked the overall execution of the story. The only thing I didn't like was the ending---I mean, the ending itself is good and lengthy and it has a lot of scenes with the other characters (which I liked), but I did not like the scene that appears right after th…

Finally finished Tales of Vesperia!

Whew...that was an AWESOME game!

I finally finished Tales of Vesperia, clocking in at 51 + hours with my main characters being at Level 65. Let me say this...if you are a JRPG fan you absolutely cannot miss Tales of Veseperia. I've been a long time fan of the 'Tales' series and personally I have a strong preference to this franchise compared to the recent string of Final Fantasy games. I have played Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Destiny and Tales of Eternia...all of which were great games that I had lots of nice memories of. I wasn't able to play the newer 3D Tales titles. But based on my previous experience with other Tales games, Tales of Vesperia is the BEST TALES GAME TODAY!

On the forums, I've seen people gripe about the art direction of tales. If you hate Anime styled art then there is nothing in this game for you. But if you think that is game is another overblown JRPG cliche then you've got another thing coming! There are also those who complain that the …

Infinite Undiscovery - Challenging, or Frustrating, Depending on You.

Just got past the Cobasna Timberlands in Infinite Undiscovery.

For the first time, in a very, very long time, a video game has forced me to play with a pen and paper by my side, to draw out the map of the explorable terrain.

The Cobasna Timberlands have these magical barriers that teleport you around the map. If you're thinking of just running from point A to point B in this area, you'll be either surprised or sorely disappointed. The way the barriers teleport you can feel very 'random' and I think most people will find themselves totally lost in this area.

Tonight I found myself near the point of frustration. I never thought I'd have to get a pen and paper and map out the teleporters in the map to figure out how exactly I would get to my destination.

Maybe I was just feeling lazy. Why should I even bother using a pen and paper and why should I map this out separately? Shouldn't the game tell me where to go by this point? I had already finished the main quest in th…

The Latest Challenge for Xbox Japan: Fulfilling Demand

When Tales of Vesperia got released in Japan a few weeks ago, the Xbox 360 saw a huge sales spike which overwhelmed the local Xbox office in Japan so much that they had to issue an apology to their buyers.

For this week, MS Japan managed to fulfill the increasing demand for the Xbox 360 in Japan; and as posted earlier, their efforts helped them beat the Nintendo Wii and sell Square-Enix's latest offering in the JRPG genre.

I got a message from my friend in Japan, Yusuke Caiman, and he gives some account of what's going on over there:

My message:

"I just hope Xbox Japan continues to fare well; their continued success also spells success for gamers, since it will inevitably attract more Japanese developers to make games for the Xbox 360."

To which Yusuke responds:

"I hope so too & 360 console supply must continue for that. I checked 5 my neighbor game shop & big electric store. In week of ToV, all of them sold out regular 360, but had a few Arcade & Elite 36…

THE PRICE IS RIGHT: Xbox 360 OUTSELLS Nintendo Wii in JAPAN!

Rico and Rucha from Infinite Undiscovery celebrate the Xbox 360's victory over the Nintendo Wii!
BREAKING NEWS:

Famitsu.com is reporting that, for the very first time in the history of this generation of consoles in Japan, the Xbox 360 has outsold the NINTENDO WII in Japan for the week of September 8-14!

Link to Article : (Note, it is in Japanese)

http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/1218109_1124.html

Translation provided by user 'Predator JP' from Teamxbox forums:

http://forum.teamxbox.com/showpost.php?p=11398769&postcount=117

"Infinite Undiscovery sold 86,708 first week In Japan.

360 got price drop on the same day and hardware outsold Wii

360 - 28,681
Wii - 27,057
PS3 - 8,050
(sep 8th ~ 14th)"


NEOGAF FORUMS: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=335464

http://www.andriasang.com/e/articles/2008/09/17/xbox360_tops_wii/

"Xbox 360 Tops Wii in Hardware Sales -- Enterbrain
Price drop leads to sales surge.

--Sep 17, 2008, 17:14, Tokyo--With two weeks of hardware shortages …

Infinite Undiscovery : End of Disc 1

I reached the End of Disc 1 of Infinite Undiscovery after 10 hours of play. Some might think that's disappointing; but actually that isn't a bad length for being halfway through a JRPG, considering Eternal Sonata took 10-12 hours to complete. (Note#2: Too Human also took exactly 10 hours to finish, though it isn't a JRPG). The description for the game on Play-Asia promises a story worth about 30 hours, so I'm guessing I might reach the end of this in 20 hours.

By the end of Disc 1, one thing really stands out for this game: the fact that it lets so many of your party mates be on the field at one time. Granted, you only really have control of one character, and you can only give orders to three other characters. The rest of the party that you didn't pick for your own party are assigned by you to sub-parties, who travel on their own and accomplish their goals. The thing is, they travel on their own by your side, so as you're fighting on the countryside, there'…

Japanese RPG Marathon is Underway....

It's a JRPG invasion over here....now that both Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery are in the house, it's been JRPG paradise for the past few days (with the occasional Ninja Gaiden II for the sake of variety) :D

[Note: Both me and Wuffy are using my gamertag : SCYTHERAGE to play Infinite Undiscovery and Tales of Vesperia respectively, so if you want to see how far we're into both games, check my 'scytherage' gamercard.]

Wuffy's been playing ToV for over 30+ hours now and she doesn't seem to be near the end yet. Of course it's better to read her impressions. I do find myself constantly impressed by the graphics of ToV whenever I look over my shoulder [as I'm typing on this computer] to see her playing the game. The one thing which sticks out for me (as what you'd call a 'bystander'; someone who just casually sees the game, since Wuffy is the one playing it), is the sheer number of voice dialogue in Tales of Vesperia. It seems to me …

Tales of Vesperia: An Exercise on Character Development

In the last few weeks two JRPGs were released for the XBOX 360. Unfortunately on our end, the Asian releases of Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery are much later than its US releases. The only time we folks from Asia get an early release for a JRPG is when Microsoft Game Studios is publishing the game. We recently got both games and are playing through them right now. But let me share my thoughts regarding Tales of Vesperia. Note, that I haven’t finished Tales of Vesperia yet...I’m only 30 hours into the game so my thoughts on this may not be complete.
WARNING: LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD FOR FINAL FANTASY 7: CRSIS CORE AND TALES OF VESPERIA.

Prior to playing Tales of Vesperia, I picked up a PSP to finally play Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core. At the height of my Playstation fanboism, I remembered making a promise to myself back then that when the announced FF7 prequel comes out on the PSP, I will definitely get one on day one. Well guess what? Life got on the way and when it did come o…

Infinite Undiscovery: Early Impressions

First impressions [I've learned my lesson from Too Human, so don't take this as a recommendation just yet...]

- The graphics are great, so far. There's this "pause" that happens when you're in combat, but it isn't really framerate stutter; it feels more like that effect in some games to emphasize the action. You know what happens when you hit something in Street Fighter II? The sprites have this odd 'pause' to put emphasis on your hits? Same thing happens in Infinite Undiscovery. I think some might construe it as framerate stutter, when it seems more like a 'special effect'.

At least that's the way I see it. The bottom line is, it didn't have any negative effects on the gameplay. So far, so good (after about 2+ hours of play)

- Great art style, well rendered environments. It has this slightly cartoony look but it's clearly a design choice (Anime-styled look overall, but not cell-shaded.)

- When I left the prison at the start of the…

Get ready for ANICON 2008!

Ukiya from GamEX just posted the poster for ANICON 2008 at Pinoyxbox's Events Forum.



Anicon is upon us! w00t w00t!

http://otakuzine-mag.com/

Not this again: ROCK BAND 2 is REGION-LOCKED for US Xbox 360s.

Not this again.

Disclaimer: I actually own a US Xbox 360, but I also am not happy about this news. I'm not pleased to hear that ROCK BAND 2 will be Region-Locked for US Xbox 360s only.

A lot of the players in the Pinoyxbox community have Asian Xbox 360s and for good reason....they want to support what is officially the Xbox 360 for Asia, and they're benefitting from the lower-priced games. A lot of them have expressed interest in getting ROCK BAND; unfortunately, the first game was region-locked. Not everyone can afford to (EXPENSIVELY) import a second system just to play one game.

And now, I've received word that Rock Band 2 is NOT going to be region-free. I can't believe this. Rock Band on the Playstation 3 is region-free....anyone with a Playstation 3 in any part of the world can play that game. Any kind of Playstation 3 can play it (whether you bought it from Japan, the UK or the US). If you travel around the world, you don't have to deal with the hassle of knowin…

Metallica: Death Magnetic coming out on Guitar Hero III / GH World Tour - THIS FRIDAY?!

Woah, talk about recognition from one of the best metal bands out there, releasing a track pack for Guitar Hero III at the same time as your album?! That's awesome!

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080908/lam058.html?.v=101

Snippets of the entire press release below (including the price):

"Metallica Brings Death Magnetic to Guitar Hero(R) III: Legends of Rock This Friday to Make Music and Video Gaming History

Monday September 8, 8:30 am ET

Guitar Hero(R) to Feature Two Exclusive Versions of "Suicide and Redemption"
Downloadable Death Magnetic Album Also Forward Compatible with Upcoming Guitar Hero(R) World Tour

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a monumental first for the gaming and music industries, Metallica's highly anticipated ninth studio album Death Magnetic will be available in its entirety as downloadable content for Activision Publishing, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI - News) Guitar Hero® III: Legends of Rock day and date with the album release t…

Ninja Gaiden 2: Itagaki's Action Masterpiece

There are many, many moments where Ninja Gaiden 2 will make you wonder---"Wow, how could Itagaki possibly top that?! This....this is probably the best that this game has to offer. It's over, it's the end, it's...."

And then the game loads the next chapter and presents you with imagery that's even more mind-boggling than the last.

There's definitely some superb inspiration and creative imagination going on in Ninja Gaiden 2 (NG2). Each level leaves me constantly dazzled and impressed by the game's art style, its wickedness, and its utter brutality. It's a violent game, but at the same time there's a lot of beauty and elegance to the game's overall design. This game is an absolute masterpiece on the Xbox 360; the best representative of the action gaming genre for the current generation of consoles, and sets the bar for future action games to aspire for.

Ninja Gaiden 2 is the new standard for action gaming. Period.

On the easiest setting it offer…

Article: A Game Publisher's Perspective on the Gaming Press

I read this article today, very well written and provides a unique perspective on things. Here's a snippet:

"From The Perspective of a Game Publisher

By Anonymous Guy from Big Publisher

As someone who has worked on the marketing and PR for game publishers for many years, it’s fascinating to read Shoe and Crispin’s perspective on PR for games, and how publishers try to manipulate them to get big previews and good reviews. I have been one of those people, doing everything I can to get try game journalists to place my games on the cover of their magazines, extended previews, assets posted online and the scores as high as possible. I have pulled ad buys in protest of what I felt were unfair review scores. I have spoken to the “boss” of publications before, and complained about certain journalists. I have “banned” certain media outlets from getting pre-release access to games, because of previous unfavorable coverage.

OK, I can already hear the people posting in comments below. “Typic…

Too Human: Too Soon

I finished Too Human a few days ago. I've been very busy lately (see previous posts....) so I haven't gotten around to posting my final thoughts on the game. Yesterday, we finally picked up Tales of Vesperia (ToV); it looks like I won't see that much action on the Xbox 360 anytime soon, because Wuffy has taken over and it doesn't look like she's letting go of that controller ....

I am looking over my shoulder and admiring the graphics on ToV....wow, we've reached the age where our games practically look and feel like 'controllable' anime. The game sure looks and sounds gorgeous! Presentation-wise, the game seems very cleanly done.

But enough first impressions about ToV....it's best to comment on it once it has been played extensively, and that is for a future blog post (from Wuffy, of course).

On to Too Human then...

Perhaps I was too hasty early on. But that's how I am with games....I'm an optimist. I try not to see what's wrong with a game…

Pictures from Yesterday's ABS-CBN 'Umagang Kay Ganda' Episode

Testing the guitars before the show....

They're up next!
Here we go...



See? That wasn't so hard!

Show's still ongoing....PXB goes around for some more pictures....
The hosts want to duel it out in Guitar Hero 2's 'Sweet Child O' Mine'. Bernadette finds the game surprisingly familiar (later on she tells us she's played Rock Band already...)

Mibulan and me teaching Donita Rose how to play Guitar Hero III....
Pro-Face Off Time!

Episode ends, time for some more pics!


Next week....ROCK BAND! :D

PINOYXBOX Guitar Hero III Finalists featured on "Umagang Kay Ganda"

Video courtesy of Angelscircle from http://www.pinoyxbox.com/
Thanks to ABS-CBN Channel 2 for inviting us over to their morning show "Umagang Kay Ganda" to talk about Guitar Hero III, the World Cyber Games 2008, and the Pinoyxbox Community. Thanks also to Manolet, Luis, Ralph, and Marlowe for coming over (yes it was extreme hassle to wake up at 3AM for this segment, but in the end it was really worth it!). We all had a great time and we're glad to have participated in the show to tell more people about the Xbox 360, Guitar Hero and the WCG.

Now this is even better news....ABS-CBN invited us again for next week's Tuesday episode of Umagang Kay Ganda. This time we were asked to feature Rockband! (With the entire set of drums, guitars and vocals). I can imagine this will be even more fun for everyone at the show! Until next week! :D

UPDATE: Holocause from Pinoyxbox also recorded the ABS-CBN episode of Umagang Kay Ganda;this time he recorded almost every single instance tha…

PINOYXBOX Guitar Hero III Finalists Featured in ABS-CBN Channel 2 Morning Show Tomorrow!

The PINOYXBOX Community and its Guitar Hero III finalists will be featured tomorrow on ABS-CBN Channel 2's Morning Show "Umagang Kay Ganda". The show airs starting at 5:30AM and ends at around 8:30AM. We don't know when exactly they'll start interviewing us but we do know the segment will be aired live tomorrow.

That means I have to get around to sleeping early...I have to wake up early at 3AM for this one :D

I think some in the PXB community will be recording the segment; hopefully they'll have it up on Youtube....

Xbox 360 Price Drop in Japan! O_O

I was reading more about the Xbox 360 price drop in Japan...I tried converting the new prices for Xbox 360s in Japan (including for some of the 'platinum hits') to our local Philippine currency, and this is what I got:

JPY - Japanese Yen USD - US Dollar PHP - Philippine Peso
Prices converted as of Sept 2, 2008 at http://www.xe.com/

Xbox 360 Arcade
19,800.00 JPY = 182.860 USD = 8,475.56 PHP

Xbox 360 Premium with 60GB HDD
29,800.00 JPY = 275.1233 USD = 12,749.61 PHP

Xbox 360 Elite
39,800.00 JPY = 367.3247 USD = 17,022.81 PHP

Xbox 360 Games - 'Platinum Hits'

"Some of the system's biggest hits are also going down in price as they join the 360's growing Platinum Collection budget lineup. Gundam Musou International (Dynasty Warriors Gundam), Ace Combat 6, Beautiful Katamari Damacy, Lost Odyssey, Project Gotham Racing 4, and Assassin's Creed will join the lineup between October 23 and November 5, selling for between 2,940 yen and 3,800 yen. "

2,940.00 JPY = 27.1561 U…