July 2006 Archives

full circle

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I'm bored and figured I'd update since my last update was a couple months ago. Let's see, since my last entry, not much has happened except that I bought an Xbox 360. Thanks to my co-worker, I was able to get in on a deal on the Xbox 360 Platinum bundle. I ended up paying $342 for it, including shipping, which was only $1.43. I hadn't intended on buying a 360 until around xmas time because I heard a rumor that it was going to be cheaper by then. Fortunately I got it when I did, because later I learned that rumor was false. Considering the retail price of the bundle before tax/shipping is $399, I'd say it was a great deal. So anyway, the console is pretty sweet. One of the best features of it is the new and improved Xbox Live. Aside from the standard buddy list, messaging, and leaderboards, with the 360 they introduced the Live Marketplace, where you can go and download a load of content, such as game and movie trailers, themes for your xbox dashboard, community videos, and additional content for your games. However, the best part of the Marketplace is you can download demos of games. Thanks to that, I was able to try out several games I was considering buying and came to find out they sucked. Thank you Marketplace for saving me money. :) Another awesome feature of the new Xbox Live is Live Arcade, which features simple games you can download demos of or buy for $5 to $15. My 360 came with one Arcade game preloaded on it, called Hexic HD, which has become one of my favorite games on the 360 so far. For anyone who is interested, you can play an older version of it on MSN Games. It's a pretty fun puzzle game made by the dude who made Tetris. Later I ended up buying Uno, which is pretty fun to play online, although it lacks some of the rules I'm used to playing with, namely cutting. But for $5, it's a good deal. The game I have played the most so far has been Geometry Wars Evolved. Basically, in the game you are a little ship and you have to just shoot any enemies that fly around you. Black holes randomly appear and when shot, begin to swallow everything that comes near them until they are either destroyed by you, or eat enough things that they explode. It's about as simple as you can get for a game, but it's loads of fun. After a while the screen is loaded with crap flying around and you just basically have to shoot a path through it all without dying. What makes it especially cool is that the graphics are nothing more than simple wireframe objects with a TON of particle effects. It's pretty sweet.

As for actual games, the first game I bought was Dead or Alive 4, which is pretty cool for the updated graphics, but is pretty much more of the same. The game really pisses me off though, since they made the computer opponents extremely cheap. I end up getting stuck in all these air juggles that leave me no chance of getting out. I get pretty frustrated playing that game, so I don't play it much, especially now that I've unlocked most everything there is to unlock. I was going to buy Burnout Revenge, until Melvin ended up giving it to me for free. Thanks a lot man! I'm about 70-75% done with it, but the later levels are difficult and I end up getting frustrated again, so I haven't played it as much lately. It's a fun game to play online though. I downloaded a demo of Fight Night Round 3 and liked it so much I ended up buying it. The graphics are amazing, especially when it slow mo's your fighter knocking out someone and you can see the blow ripple through your opponent's face. Good times. :) I was playing it a lot but I got stuck on the last fight where the guy I'm fighting is way better than me and it's near impossible to beat him in the state my fighter is at right now.

The only downfall about the 360 is that there aren't many games out for it right now. Furthermore, the ones that are out, I have no interest in. I find it a little messed up that the game I'm playing the most is the $5 Xbox Live Arcade game Geometry Wars. I wish there were more racing games out, but so far all the ones out are craptastic, except for Need For Speed Most Wanted, which I already own for the first Xbox. :( There are some promising titles on the horizon though. In the meantime, I am busy trying to finish up the games I have left on the first Xbox, like Ninja Gaiden, Forza Motorsport, Midnight Club 3, and Knights of the Old Republic 2. Plus, I have the Xbox Marketplace to keep me entertained.

Another of my favorite features of the new Xbox Live are the Achievements. Basically, pretty much every game has Achievements, which are unlockable awards for doing certain things, such as finishing a level in under a certain time limit or surviving for however long without dying. Every game has their own set of Achievements and they're each worth a certain amount of points which go toward your Gamerscore. Your gamerscore doesn't really mean anything, but it does give you bragging rights. At least now you have a record to back up all that bragging. This leads me to another cool feature of the new Live. Along with the Gamerscore tracking, it tracks what games you play, what Achievements you've earned, and all that jazz. It also gives you a neat little Gamercard which you can use to display on websites that show a quick summary of your stats. You can see it in action on the right sidebar. Cool stuff! Any readers out there with Live, add me up! My Gamertag is AntX3, although I've been throwing around the idea of changing it to something cooler, although it costs friggin' $10 to do so. As a result of all the stat tracking, many people have created cool websites that utilize your stats in cool/funny ways. For example, my Xbox 360 has its own blog, where it writes about me daily. He is a needy console, that's for sure. It's quite entertaining. I have added his blog link in the sidebar under the Links section. Check it out sometime.

Thanks to all this, I have plunged back into my old gamer ways. I haven't played video games this much since I was in high school, aside from the brief relapse I had a few years ago when I got my first Xbox. Oh well, it keeps me entertained.


In other new news, a few months ago I finally replaced my dinosaur cell phone with a brand new Sony Ericsson k750i, along with my own plan on T-Mobile. The phone is awesome, it can play mp3s, radio, videos, and takes 2 megapixel photos. It also has a super bright light which I enjoy blinding people with. The main reason I'm mentioning it now is because I love the phone and to let everyone know I have a new number. I've pretty much told everyone my new number several months ago, but in case I missed anyone, let me know and I'll give you the new number. Now I don't have to deal with everyone telling me to get a new phone. Instead I can tell them to get a new phone. :)

My New Phone

Also, in getting my own cell phone plan, I had to get a phone with it, so I got a Samsung t809, which is a cool little slider phone. It's pretty thin and has a nice design. It's brand new and if anyone is interested in buying it, just let me know before I sell it on ebay. The phone only works with T-Mobile. Check it out.

Samsung t809


One last thing. I'm considering changing hosts, so in preparation, I purchased new hosting that I got a good deal on. I don't know if I'll switch to it yet, but to test it out, I installed an image board on it just to see how it holds up and how I like it. With that said, you can access it by going to www.jpr0n.net (NWS). I want to give it a thorough testing, so feel free to abuse it however you want.

I think that's enough rambling for now. Until next month.