Controller or Mouse?

Following the purchase of a shiny new Xbox360, I transferred all the licenses and state from my old one to this one. This was accomplished using a 16GB USB stick (a feature added in the last xbox update which is great IMHO). Everything seemed to transfer without a hitch and I was up and using the new system almost immediately. I’ve been enjoying the blessed quiet of the new system, and the larger capacity hard drive allows the adding of an almost unlimited number of game images, which speeds up loading significantly.

Then I fired up Halo 3 – before you laugh, I still haven’t finished it. My single player save game was in some crazy state where upon loading I was immediately booted back to the startup screen. I had to restart the game from scratch, which is not pleasant to say the least.

Replaying the game has been a chore – mind you a lot of things that were difficult first time round are significantly simpler this time – it simply is by virtue of the fact that I’m replaying it.

The issue I have is the messy inaccuracy of the controller as a targeting device. I must simply not really be used to it or something, as I find it cumbersome and generally significantly less accurate than the mouse and keyboard options that I use on the PC.

Does anyone have any advice on the topic? Should I just be trying harder, or is there an option where I can use a mouse and keyboard with the 360? Or will I have to simply suck it up and practice until my hands bleed?

EA Download Manager – Failing Grade

Lets see; it’s a download manager and it launches by default ‘at start’. It is listening for external network connections (what, is it peer to peer over my 3g datamodem?). Apparently, this is to support ‘updates or patches’ to the software I’ve purchased.
And then, to emphasize how important it is (apparently it is vital for my life and the functioning of the world) it puts an icon on the desktop (low resolution, not befitting Vista) loudly declaring what it.
pricks. You are not that important. Really. Get over yourselves.

Security, what the f**k do you mean by this

StupidBlameyErrorMessage.jpg These bloody security measures drive me up the wall. I may, or may not have already stated where this special error message comes from, but probably didn’t. In this case it’s caused by the sysinternals process explorer running. It would also probably be triggered by the registry monitor as well, I’m just not certain. The issue is a two parter. Yes, I understand that you’re trying to protect your damned stupid copy protection mechanism, but would you please put a decent damned error message up so that the common user can have a chance of getting past the problem. But no, this is at the same level as ‘General Protection Fault‘ under windows 3.11. There’s no actual protection from this. A practiced hacker has already changed the pattern of the virtual drivers of procexp and regmon to be undetectable (generally using permissions on the registry).
I use No-cd patches for this reason. There’s no obvious no-cd patch for mass effect, simply because it needs a single activation before playing. Unfortunately the entire securom scheme is still in place, causing play degredation and generally making life difficult for people.

Mass effect on the PC… 3 installs ever???????

Oh my god. That is completely and utterly insane. Apparently you can only install/activate Mass Effect three times on a machine before you need to contact EA to get more of them. Typically, I’m not a big installer/reinstaller, but this is in-f***ing sane.
Oooooooh, and don’t point at the EULA and say ‘Haha!‘. Nobody reads them, and there’s a very good chance that it’s not enforcable due to the fact that it’s not been signed and witnessed. Computers do not witnesses make. You can fake everything.

Getting back into the game

Defeating the laughing octopus this time round was significantly easier, simply due to knowing all the patterns already. I do like the leaking the color out of the scene effect that is used at certain sections. Very artsy and very well done.
Then I played for at least an hour after that and remembered to save.
Why can’t these folks auto-save upon zone transitions (like half-life 2). I was saving every time I could simply to be on the safe side.

Back to the laughing octopus

Two nights ago I got past the Laughing Octopus boss battle in MGS4. Last night I fired up the game and guess what? It had me right at the start of the battle again.
Aargh! That’s just infuriating. I gave up on the game for the night at that. Just not in the mood. Maybe on Sunday when I return from the Kingdom.
Kojima seems to have a big on for the Octopus 🙂

MGS4 is cut-scene heavy

I Don’t know. It seems kind of slow to start. I must be rusty in these kinds of games. On the plus side, Mass Effect for the PC is fine, once you remove the film grain visual effect it actually looks quite nice.

repetitive, repetitive, you have no idea how repetitive it is

Ok, I ponied up a wodge of cash for a ps3 and a few games (and paid the tax for a few movies too). I got Uncharted:Drake’s Fortune and Assassins Creed (grammar note: this is a creed that covers all Assassins, so I think the apostrophe should come after the s).
Well, Uncharted is just fun. I’m still a newbie to controller based gaming, but over all, I am impressed. The puzzles and combat just seem to work well; mind you I’d be hard pressed to find that many mercs on any one island. You would need to pay them a hell of a lot of money to stay once they start getting killed with any degree of regularity. Reality aside, it just works as a game. The visuals are great and the game play is well paced and just combines to give us a good experience
Not so Assassins Creed. Booooring is probably the best expression for it. Boring in the same way that performing the same, repetitive missions time and time again gets really damned boring. You get to the city, save the person in distress and then sneak in in the company of a bunch of monks. That’s the only way in. Then once you get in you have to perform a minimal set of a handful of styles of missions in order to get to the real mission.
You can go everywhere…. so bloody what, it doesn’t help in the complete absence of variety in the missions.
The visuals are great… No, they’re good, put a few more pixels on Outcast and it would probably beat Assassins Creed hands down.
For a company like Ubisoft who have produced an excellent run of 3D games in the Prince of Persia series (which got boring, but made up for it in the puzzles) I am stunned that they could produce such a band title. I’m left wondering if they were just scared to produce something that had a bit of excitement in it due to the fact that they set it in a contentious time period (which even then is a huge cop-out, god how I have another rant stored about that).
Oh for another Beyond Good And Evil, Damn, that game is a milestone that needs to be shown to people as an example of how to make a game that reaches out to the player.