Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bionic Commando 2?

Bionic Commando 2? No, it's only a rehash but I've waited 18 years for this.

Back when I was in 6th grade, when almost everyone was playing casual games like Twin Bee, Pinball, and Mappy, I was burning green with envy at the "members of the lucky sperm club" --- friends who had the most expensive NES cartridges in their collection.

Even back then (though I didn't realize it), I was never a fan of casual games. I went for games that had stories (or what passed for video game background plots during that time) and had definite conclusions. Ninja Gaiden, Batman, Metal Gear, Contra --- these were games I gravitated to like a moth to flame. It was also at that time that I saw the friends of my Uncle Jerry (who's an electronic whiz) play Bionic Commando. It was only once, but the game's innovative approach of using a bionic arm to let the player swing though obstacles really left an impression on me.

Unfortunately though, I could only buy NES games using savings from my daily allowance, so I never got to buy the more expensive ones. (Though my father did buy Gradius, Goonies, Macross, and Rockman. Thanks pa! :D)

In the years that followed, Capcom never made a Bionic Commando 2. All hope of getting my hands on an incarnation of that impressive game slowly faded with time.

(Hmm. Maybe this explains my addiction to Tribes: Vengeance.)

Some months ago however (and to my surprise and glee), the makers of Bionic Commando announced that they were making a rehash of the game. While it's not a Bionic Commando 2, the game they've produced is priceless in that it really evokes memories of that day in that stuffy, electronics repair shop when I first beheld the rescue operation effort of Super Joe in all its 8-bit glory.



Eighteen years.

I am so going to buy this.

Here's an upcoming game that's going to be --- not a Bionic Commando 2, but a Bionic Commando three. You'll reprise your role as Rad Spencer. And Super Joe's going to make an appearance.

It's going to be more awesome.

IT'S GOING TO BE LEGEN ---- wait for it; wait until he leaps off the building, THERE! --- DARY!

(Apparently the Bionic Commando for the NES was a sequel for the arcade version of Bionic Commando.)


>>>Click here to

Thursday, December 25, 2008

ASquared 4.0 - New Interface for a Freeware Anti-malware Solution

PC users, at one time or another, have --- what with the profusion of malware in the Internet --- all asked the question "how to remove malware?" There are a lot of anti-malware solutions but most involve hefty sums of cash. Fortunately, there are freeware anti-malware solutions that provide excellent protection from malware. One of my favorites has lately undergone a makeover.

Emsisoft has released ASquared 4.0, bringing with it bugfixes, signature updates, and a GUI overhaul.

Cool, classy look without sacrificing the techie feel

The update page

>>>Click here to

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!


Tried making peace with four persons; two of those responded amicably while the other half... oh well, one can't have smooth roads all the time I suppose. Now I know how that girl from Surigao felt. :P Peace!

I'm out of things to say at the moment so ya:


Winnie just gave me perfect gifts to while away the holidays and there's a new codec driver pack released. Woohoooo!!!

>>>Click here to

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Keanu Reeves Doesn't Own a Computer

Yes, she should be freaking out now.

ROFL!! (Source: MSN)

>>>Click here to

Is Online Piracy Destroying Game Studios?

I surfed Yahoo! today and I got surprised by what the music industry came up to decrease the rate of online piracy: cut off ISP services to the perpetrators. That's kind of extreme but it's true. See the article HERE.

This radical solution and the severity of the problem it's trying to solve reminds me of what happened to Iron Lore Entertainment. The studio, which was co-founded by the co-founder of the Age of Empire series, made the impressive Titan Quest RPG. Despite Titan Quest's 7.6 rating in Gamespot, the studio folded due to insufficient finances.

Was the studio a victim of rampant online piracy?

While news of Iron Lore's demise got mixed reactions, there was a good chance they still should have been sailing on if not for rampant Internet piracy. This is just my opinion though as there are sources that say that despite the industry booming, a lot of gaming studios still close down. Nonetheless, everywhere I look it's discouraging; people are buying pirated stuff, selling them even.

Friends may argue that what I'm doing is ridiculous, extravagant, and that I can do nothing to stop the trend but let's face it, one way or the other, offline and online piracy WILL hurt game studios and the people working for them.

Koroush Ghazi, a person I dislike for forums-related reasons, has published a lengthy but very sound article on online piracy. (I may not like him, but what he stands for and the fact that he is one of the shining beacons of PC knowledge, I salute and respect deeply.)

Some excerpts to entice you to read his "PC Game Piracy Examined" article:

"So if you enjoy single player games for example, then you're faced with the very real possibility that fewer and fewer developers will risk investing large sums of money into this type of game. If they do, then instead of a lengthy and high quality gameplay experience, you may be looking at shorter, less challenging games which may be less than satisfying. Or you may wind up with more poor quality console ports." --- Koroush Ghazi;

Do you really want the above to happen?

"Alternatively if you enjoy multiplayer games, then you may find that if the number of unofficial pirated servers for such games continues to grow, and the tools to find and join such servers become more popular, that this will tip the scale towards more and more multiplayer games being created in the Battlefield Heroes mold: cheaply developed, free to play, low-spec quality, designed for the lowest common denominator of online gamer, with little focus on actual skill and more on simply making the game as attractive as possible to anyone who can operate a PC keyboard." --- Koroush Ghazi;

Again, you can read the article in its entirety HERE.

The last excerpt hit me hard as I've been playing those kinds of games lately while all the while bemoaning their quality. (Freemium MMOFPS do attract more players but yes, I see the blatant dip in quality from games such as Tribes: Vengeance or FEAR Combat.)

Are games like this doomed?

Why legit games when you can have games for free? That's for another article.

>>>Click here to

Thursday, December 18, 2008

FEAR Update: FEAR 2: Project Origin Video Shooter Developer Videos

GameSpot has posted several FEAR 2: Project Origin video shooter developer videos the past few weeks and man, I can't wait until February. If the FEAR updates are any indication how awesome this video shooter will be, I think this will be one game that will have to be on my display shelf. I don't care how much this video shooter will cost when it hits the stores --- if SM will sell the thing, I'll buy it. Shell out and ask questions and deal with the missus later.

I just hope she won't turn into this when she sees the bankbook. My life is already akin to a video shooter enough without a naked ghost--- wait, maybe she's going to claw at me n---? (/me receives a bop on the head)

Anyway, the FEAR updates:

"... and one of the critiques that came from the community... said we were... confined in office spaces..."

"...augment that with a change in the volume of space...we went to places like a nuclear facility... we went to a school... we went to a hospital..."

Hmm. Dave Matthews clearly didn't play FEAR: Perseus Mandate --- that video shooter did have battles in expansive areas. Talk about Monolith really being hellbent in ignoring the Vivendi timeline. Still, the comments are very much intriguing; mayhap Monolith will integrate really large levels into this first-person game.

"We basically built a color story, much like they do in film... as things start to become a little more tense, you're gonna start to see more aggressive colors... as things start to become a little more subdued in the story, we're gonna bring down that color map..."

I learned something new with this FEAR update. Color story. Useful concept, that.

"The destructibility is much more immense." 'Nuff said.

In a PC video shooter, however, much of the game's success would largely hinge on its Artificial Intelligence. I saved the best for last:

"On a conceptual level, Monolith's AI works pretty simplistically. The complexity comes in the details. It's pretty analogous to the way human players think: 'I have a goal and in a game like FEAR the goal would be 'I want to kill the enemy.''"

"If the player decides to move to one side of the level or one side of the screen, the AI will choose the correct behaviors in order to engage him appropriately."

"It plays differently every time. It's very impressive."

Bring it on you test tube m****f***.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Freeware Strategy Games Update: UFO: AI Development News

UFO: Alien Invasion is one of those few freeware strategy games that's not only well polished, but also impressive enough that it has attracted a robust following and several game reviewers to rave about it. Granted, it's based on X-Com but any game with a modicum of gameplay innovation that's based on this classic is something that no strategy gamer should miss. Considering that it's one of the myriad freeware strategy games that are floating in the ethers of the Net, it's surprising to note that UFO: Alien Invasion delivers; its audio is impressive and its 3D presentation of the X-com gaming experience is a retro gamer's dream come true.

It's not complete yet, but the game can be downloaded from the UFO: AI site. Recently though, the development team has released changelogs for the October-November interim and what caught my eye are these:


  • Various improvements on the renderer, including merges from q2w (GLSL shaders, specular lighting, bump mapping, deluxe mapping, ...)
  • A lot of fixes and cleanup to maps
  • Support for SAM sites and installations
  • New models, artwork and sounds
  • Particle lighting improvements
  • Map fixes and improvements
  • Alien morale fix and other AI improvements
  • Start of new airfight implementation
  • New weapons
  • A lot (really) of improvements to GUI, mostly various menu fixes
  • Improvements for geoscape (especially 3D geoscape, installation & radar related), soldier stats and equipment handling

Being a digital artist myself, I volunteered to do a painting for the development team of this freeware strategy game several months back (the XVI Census specifically) but --- sigh --- real life work got in the way. I need to eat too. :P

Anyway, I'm excited about the items in bold font; I hope UFO: AI v2.3 is not far off.

>>>Click here to

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hard Drive Serial ATA and How it Affects Performance

Ordinary gamers have scoffed at my insistence on researching about what hard drive they should buy for their PCs, saying that size is everything. Do they know that a larger buffer size can reduce hard drive wear and tear? Probably not.

My thoughts about buying an additional small hard drive serial ATA just to house my PC's OS just got justified: Tweakforce just released a helpful article about the types of hard drive serial ATA and their effects on performance. Search for their "Western Digital Caviar Blue 640GB Review" news article (date: Dec. 14, 2008); it also contains a wiki link about hard drive serial ATA and their performance impact.

Here's a collection of articles about hard drive serial ATA:'s SATA Hard Drive Performance Tutorial's What to Look for in a Hard Drive's Hard Disk Performance Guide

Really, you should read; there's nothing more annoying than having a PC that has powerful components that are being held back by data rate/bandwidth issues. (As an owner of an AGP 4X motherboard, I should know.)

>>>Click here to

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nvidia Beta 180.84 Graphic Driver Benchmark Software Results

I just installed Nvidia's graphic driver 180.84 and I must say, this is one of the best Nvidia drivers to come out, never mind the fact that this is a beta version. Contrast has been bumped up and the primary colors stand out with sheer clarity. The image quality of this graphic driver is so superb that it's still easy to spot the minute shotgun shells in 3dMark 2001 SE's (a freeware benchmark software) "Lobby" sequence.

For the benchmark test results of the Nvidia GeForce 180.84 see my "Nvidia Graphic Drivers Benchmark Tests" article.

A new PC and then an upgrade to a 2GB, DDR2-800 dual-channel kit; a shift to Bayantel; and I'll be back to cradling a spinfusor. Right now though, I'm seeing vermilion. Damn you Sm**tBroken.

Readers might also be interested in this site's "How to Change Graphic Drivers for PCI and AGP Graphics Cards" article.

>>>Click here to

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Xtreme-G 180.70 Graphic Driver Tested Using (mostly) Freeware Benchmark Software

I did a driver update for my low profile video card days ago. The Xtreme-G 180.70 churned out a better overall framerate than its predecessor in F.E.A.R. (framerates below the 25 FPS mark has decreased by 3% from 21 to 18%.). The IQ with this graphic driver for GeForce GPUs is nothing to write home about however.

The results of the benchmark tests (using a 512Mb video card --- albeit a low-end one) can be found HERE.

Crayven APP-671 Artillery Terradynes rain destruction from behind a hill on forces of the Order of the New Dawn in Ground Control, a freeware downloadable game for Windows XP.

Readers might also be interested in this site's "How to Change Graphic Drivers for PCI and AGP Graphics Cards" article.

>>>Click here to

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nvidia Driver 180.70 Video Card Benchmark Tests

I did some video card benchmark tests with the Nivida driver 180.70. Barring Xtreme-G Nvidia drivers, this one is probably the best (vanilla) Nvidia driver in terms of image quality (IQ).

Take note that this is a leaked BETA driver; Nvidia drivers are not supported by the company. It may show strong numbers in my video card benchmark tests but every PC is different; what may work for some may not work for you. Install at your own risk.

Crayven Corporation Main Battle Terradynes and CCMIB-2 Rifle Infantry advance into defensive positions in the siege of Base Charlie Baker-401 in Ground Control, a freeware downloadable PC game.

Readers might also be interested in this site's "How to Change Graphic Drivers for PCI and AGP Graphics Cards" article.

>>>Click here to