EA takes out a loan…

Where as this could be read as “so what?”, but this is a BILLION dollar loan..

According to [Kotaku], EA has borrowed 1 billion (put your pinky to your mouth when you say that) in order to buy out Take-two.  EA has bee quoted to have said:

 

“There’s no news here,” said EA VP of communications Jeff Brown. “This is just a process point on something we announced in February.”

 

*sigh*  EA in charge of GTA?  Looks like GTA4 will be the last of the good GTA games.

GTA4 PS3 patch released.

From Rockstar Games: “Rockstar Games has released a GTA IV patch for PlayStation 3 today that prevents GameSpy’s servers from being overloaded and therefore reduces the impact on those servers that were causing the game to stutter and lock up. We continue to monitor the performance of the game both on and offline and will provide further updates as necessary. We want to assure everyone that, together with our hardware partners, we continue to strive to give our fans the best possible interactive entertainment experiences possible. This update will ensure that everyone will experience Grand Theft Auto IV the way it was intended. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.”

 

Like always, when you play the game you will be prompted to download and install the ~18 meg patch.

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pogowolfYeah.. 18 meg patch to fix too many packets smacking a server?  Not.   18 megs isn’t just a code fix.  18 megs of code is HELL of a LOT of lines of code.  No, 18 megs is graphics and other assets.

so bottom line is.. Rockstar should have just said: ‘oops, sorry’
and not try to blame GameSpy for the issues.

*WHINE* the Xbox 360 sucks!

So I read something this afternoon that just pissed me off.  James Rivington [submitted an article] to TechRadar.com with a different view (vue?) on the Xbox 360 sales press release that Microsoft posted a little while ago.

The press release from Microsoft UK stats:

“Gamers have voted with their wallets, and the results are in. The Xbox 360 version of ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ has sold more than 100,000 copies, or 20 per cent more than the PlayStation 3 version in the UK since the game’s release last Tuesday 29 April.”

The article is filled with negative wording like:

  • “Microsoft is attempting to use GTA as a PR exercise to boast (and lie) about the Xbox 360 console”
  • “We received an unbelievable and outrageous press release today from Microsoft UK”
  • Lies, all lies!”
  • “The release then sees Microsoft rambling on and on, mostly just patting itself on the back about selling more copies”
  • “Please excuse me briefly while I pause to be sick.”
  • “It’s all a load of smoke and mirrors nonsense.”
  • “This is an absolutely textbook example of a big company spouting a load of dingo’s kidneys in order to promote itself.”

Sorry, man, you come across like a fanboy pulling crap like that, and I expect more from TechRadar then to listen to fanboy rant.

You can prove anything you want with statistics.    It’s all load of ‘Dog Kidneys’

Besides that all the numbers are skewed because  no one tracks the number of units out the door of a store (IE the number really BOUGHT.. not given away or promos and such).  It’s the number of units shipped from the publisher.  So there’s no way to tell really HOW many PS3’s or 360’s are really out in the market.. let alone how many games have really been sold. 

The only thing those numbers really show is that the PS3 version and 360 are both selling well, and Rockstar is making a killing.

Beyond that, we’re all used to that kind of marketing.  It’s the same crap that Sony has been pulling all along with the PS3.  But it doesn’t matter, the PS3 has RIDGE RACER!!!!!!!!   

12/25/08 – Update:
——————————————————————-
When did this little rant turn into a PS3 VS Xbox debate?  The point was the article sounded like a FanBoy using the site to dog on the 360 (which, no matter how you look at, it blows the crap outta the PS3 in the market place) and how I dispise the ‘evil’ marketing Sony has used to convince people there shit doesn’t stink.   

This wasn’t about how the 360 is/isn’t better than the PS3.   In my replys below I’ve tried to just point out facts. 
and not step on one side or the other.

Rockstar sues the Chicago Transit Authority…

Well here’s something you don’t see everyday.  According to the [Reuters article], Rockstar is suing the Chicago transit Authority for pulling GTA4 bus ads down early.

Hmmm, looks like Rockstar is pissed that Titan Outdoor LLC violated it’s $300,000 contract by not running the GTA 4 posters for the full time of the contract.  However, the juicy bit here is that is seems the ads where pulled after a FOX News affiliate asked why the ads where being allowed to run after the wave of violent crimes in the Chicago area.

Now I’m let wondering, when do we follow what a news affiliate says?!  it’s already been proven that gaming does NOT make you violent, as long as the ads are/were still using the stylized cartoonish look then who cares?

it’s just a game people, the movies SAW and Hostel had SO MUCH more violence and graphic violence then GTA, yet no one bitched about those movies.

Does it really matter that you are watching a movie VS directing it?

No GTA2 for Xbox LIVE.

There’s been some speculation circling the Internet that a count down clock found on the official [Grand Theft Auto 2] web site was counting down the time for GTA2 to be released for Xbox LIVE.

According to an [IGN article], IGN was able to confirm with Rockstar that this is not the case, and according to Rockstar it’s because the timer was used back in the 1900’s to count down to the release of GTA2 for the PS1.  The code used to create the timer is messed up and can’t take into account the 2000’s.

-=================================

pogowolfWhich I think is TOTAL BS.  Even back in the 1900’s people knew about the whole Y2K thing, beyond that.. a web site with just a timer on it for about 9 years? (release on the PS1 was Oct of 1999)
being THAT late in the year, one would think that the timer code should have been able to understand 2000.    Besides, the DC version was release May of 2000, and the GBC version in December of 2000.      On top of that, since this rumor was started the timer is still on the web site, and it’s counting down to a new date.  (May of 2008)  where as the PS1 was 10/99..

Sorry Rockstar, either you’re webmasters and designers are a bunch of idiots or there’s something more going on here. 

GTA 4 Review (Xbox 360)

Ok…so 12+ hrs later…

Here is my first impressions of GTA IV.

Let me start off by saying that ign.com gave this game a 10 and they actually they had a disclaimer at the end of the review explaining that…while not ‘perfect’, for what the game does…in thier eyes it earned a 10….good save.

I am about a good 1/2 way thru the first island’s missions and I have:

  • beat up gangsters threatening my cousin
  • thrown a man out of a window 3 stories to his death
  • Went bowling and played darts
  • Watched the cops arrest a guy for illegal credit cards
  • said no to weed from a ganga smoking Rasta
  • had warm coffee…hint hint…
  • played darts
  • Wrecked enough havoc with the LCPD to make any criminal blush….and
    got away…
  • Made it with some random ho in a park and blew her away
  • Of course, checked out the Strip Club
  • Watched Katt Williams on TV (for some odd reason, not a funny as it
    could be…lol)
  • Saw a magic show
  • Accidentally ran my car into the river and survived!!

Now guess which ones were in a mission and not!

I am going to start off some of the cons of the game and get it over with because while expectations are high, let’s bring it down a few notches and make sure people don’t get too overly hyped about the game.

– display issues: I am not sure what happened here but some some reason Rockstar decided to run this game at 720p. When displayed on my TV, The rght portion of my screen is partially cut off…I can’t really see how many stars I have and sometimes it’s a tiny bit of a challenge telling what weapons are being used or how many bullets you have left.

– ducking the cops: Ok….this is a mixed bag of a new innovation. While I do like the idea of any trouble you start brings up a proximinty circle of where the cops will come to the scene of a crime, sometimes it’s far too easy to get away, even when you have done something that warrants the SWAT team to come in. Even still if after you lose them and come back in almost immediately after the
circle disappears, there is no particular reason for the cops to continually be on the lookout for you….maybe I am nitpicking but at least in other iterations, when you have set off every possible alarm, it was nearly impossible to shake the cops and made getting away very harrowing….because once you got up to 5 and 6 starts the cops were very poersistent….but then…with as apathetic as cops really are, this may be real…LOL.

– Speaking of, no real reprecussions and consequences for actions in some cases: One thing I think I would like to have seen more of is, if you do something, the is a bit more of a reaction for the crowd. For instance, I was at a club and some bouncers tried to jump me, I went to town with my shotgun…maybe 2 or 3 people moved. With the way that the AI was hyped in this game, I was hoping more for a
stampede for the doors and maybe a 911 call. Same with being out on the street, I robbed and shot someone in broad day light….now while a few people ran, most still carried on thier business and not one frantic call to 911…but again…this may be sad testimony to what kind of empathy to people…LOL

And that pretty much are my only issues with the game…as far as
everything else well:

I am very impressed with the storyline and voice acting. This has always been a very top notch standard with Rockstar and GTA games. I also like the fact that if you are with characters during missions, the dialogue doesn’t just happen in the cutscenes, it also flows with you and the NPCs as you travel. For instance, you find out more about what Roman has gotten himself into, Michelle asks about your
stay in America, Little Jacob, if you can understand his heavily West Indian accent explains why he needs someone he can trust to do his errands and so forth, so count on interactions like that throughout the game beyond cutscenes not to mention most missions do seem to run a little differently and sometimes have added twists

I was also graphically and aurally with the environment. The game really pushes the 360’s power! No matter what GTA you have ever played it has always looked kinda sterile despite the grittiness. In this iteration, all you need is smells, good and bad. When you are nicer lookng neighborhoods, you can really tell…when you are in
bad areas…ditto.

And aurally, with all the ambient noices…second only to Assassin’s Creed (despite all the shortcomings of the game, really listen to the background chatter!) in quality to make you almost feel like you are ‘there’.

Everything else that IGN touched on as far as getting around, getting missions and so forth is on point.

The control, once you get the hang of it is fairly decent. The fight controls could have been a bit tighter, but it works.

Now while I did talk a bit down about the AI, let me tell you how it is when it really does work. You can sometimes go along and see some really random occurances in a course of the day.

There is more traffic on the street at 2pm than there is at 2am and this is still depending on what part of town you are in. I saw a random instance in which a cop chased down a thief and held him at gunpoint. I saw people use thier cell phones. I saw where early in the morning you see people out sweeping the sidewalk. I alos noticed that late at night you see more garbage trucks…but what was most
priceless was a womon walking along sipping a soda…walks PAST a trashcan…and drops the cup in the street….yes…she litters!!

Yes, there are so many little nuances in this game that can be picked up on and so much randomness going on that it does make it seem ‘alive’ but you still kind of wish for more but…..that’s not what the whole game is about.

As far as multiplayer, it’s a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be, I really haven’t had a chance to delve estensively into it as of yet but I played around in a set up with 10 people and noticed no lag whatsoever…it’s smooth like butter.

What I will say, and this is one of the reasons why I am not big on doing multiplayers with a whole lot of strangers, is that the kids and the knuckleheads that have gotten this game will abuse the language more than what it needs to be abused. If you got sensitive ears…just be prepared..otherwise I recommend that you find a group of friends and set up your own private match and play.

All in all, GTA IV is the must play game of the year, I can’t fully endorse the 10 unless you count the story and all the random mini games but, so far the game is so tight , that I do believe that Saint’s Row II will have it’s work cut out for it.

SO pick it up, go bowling, make sure you watch TV, and listen out for Jack Thompson’s being a stripper reference!!

   — The Dreddheaded Poet.

GTA IV backlash already…

*sigh*  what’s a gamer to do when ‘news’ channels start knifing gamers in the back by preying on the fear (and stupidity) of the the non-gamer human?

So here’s a story (it’s FOX.. what do you expect?) with the nice bold headline of: [Cop Killing Video Game Makes Big Debut], by Sharita Hutton posted just this morning for the Kansas City News.

Where as nothing was said about the record sales, nor about the spammers trying to steal your pre-order copy, or anything about store (like EB) funking up your pre-order and store sale-outs… Nope this is all got to be about the violence of the GTA series.

The whole news story starts off with such a negative overtone that you wouldn’t like the game before you even knew anything about it.  However, even WAL-MART the king of ‘you will like what we give you’ is selling the game.  I guess money does talk. 

Though a couple of things about this article struck me as funny: “An online preview of the game describes the game, saying its as violent as the past three versions and more realistic, with 1080p resolution.”   

So this tells me Sharita got all her information by looking at the web site.  Didn’t FOX already get into trouble for pulling this kind of BS?   And if 1080p makes pixels look more realistic, then watch out Microsoft paperclip!  you’re heading into the real world!!!  (you know since, Computers can produce higher resolutions then the Xbox 360, or the PS3)

She also states: “the game is only for X-Box 360 and PlayStation 3 games. “

Well we know they are games.. perhaps you mean CONSOLES?    So what’s this also tells me is that Ms. Sharita doesn’t know her ass from a C Prompt.   My advice? report on what you know. You obviously don’t understand Gaming.

And reporting on a 3 year old bill, where as there have been multiple attempts on the same type of bill across America ALL of which have failed, is moot, a waste of space, and just prays on the peoples un-founded fear of technology.