Saturday, January 31, 2009

GTA IV: PS3 vs X360

I've had the opportunity to play both versions through. I'm noticing slight differences here and there. For one thing, there seems to be a lot more blood splatter in the 360 version. That by itself makes the game better. I remember that on the PS3, there was very little of it, where the 360 version is a lot more realistic. Its there all the time as it should be. I've always enjoyed a lot of blood splatter in movies and games. I find it amusing.

The Triangle Club looks even more realistic on the 360. Did PS3 purposely add unattractive bumps or curves to the "characters" so they look less realistic?

The online portion...the PS3's online community for GTA IV was not existant the last time I tried to play. Not because it was too early. People were just not doing it. The 360, it seems like I can get a 16 man going just about any waking hour. But can I turn off the emo chatter? I gotta look into that.

Before the game was announced, Microsoft announced they secured a deal with Rockstar to do exclusive downloadable content. That was a smart move, and its being released in less than 3 weeks. This seals the deal. The X360 version owns (pwn3d) the PS3 version.

For the PS3 is better argument, its true you can force GTA IV to play in 1080p, but there was a catch. The graphic detail didn't seem to improve even though I pixel peeped on the large 52" screen. I couldn't tell if it was better framerate or alternate blurring effects. In the end, not seeing the gain of better graphic detail, and wondering if I was not playing the game with all the visual effects, I reverted to the 720p on the PS3.

GTA IV (X360)

Playing this through a second time. This time on the 360.

Rock Band (X360) My Expert Progress

So I've been playing RB1 more than RB2. I don't like the RB2 interface because there is almost no progression. The progression through the world tour is weak. I like the linear progression where I can see a list of all the songs and how many stars I got on all of them. So anyway, I managed to 5 star first 14 songs on Expert. It would be 17 if I can get 5 stars on Epic. I got 5 stars of maps today.

I've progressed more than I could have ever seen myself doing on drums. And still no signs of pleatuing yet. It would be nice to apply this new level of coordination someday to everyday life.

A cool refreshment at a bargain

I stumbled upon something today. I had an uncontrollable urge for some gatorade. Having seen some people use gatorade powder, I decided I give those a try. While looking for those, I also saw a box of Wyler's Light drink mixes. The package seemed awfully light and about 1/4 the price of gatorade powder. I thought for $1 (8 packets) it would be worth the risk. For some reason, the pink lemonade seemed to be a hot seller, and having tried that just now, I was blown away by the flavor. How only that amount of powder can produce a solid tasting pink lemonade with that level of sweetness. Didn't even need to mix it. It mixed just fine when water was being poured into it. There is definitely some voodoo going on with it, but I was sold at first sip.

I always thought gatorade powder was horribly over priced. Its just a little bit more than the bottles them selves. And its mostly sugar too. I probably won't be buying gatorade powder after I'm done with this box. Especially when I can buy the Wyler's stuff. I looked at the reviews online for all their flavors and all their flavors are rated really highly.

You can find it at walgreens around the freeze dried coffee section.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

The new judge Toby Young sucks. All he has are these stupid analogies. Maybe is true what they say about British humor. If Tom Collichio is a good leader, he would notice Toby is not working out and tell him to take a hike.

Unlike Bourdain who is creatively sharp (although sometimes harsh) but still insightful and to the point, Toby Young's comments are pointless, disconnected from the food, and hold no value to the chef receiving the comments. They are just insults. And poor ones at that. This guy is terrible.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CSI (Latest Ep)

The first part was good (before the holiday break), second part just fell flat. At least it had closure. I never thought they made a good couple, but hey, at least they looked really happy on camera.

Nip Tuck (Last 2 Eps)

When Sean's wife had *amnesia*, the show gave me a bad realization that I was just watching a latenight soap opera just shot in 24 fps. Still enjoying the show, but not as much. The ridiculousness actually seems more ridiculous than crazy fun.

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

Fabio's charm-o-meter is through the roof. It literally won the challenge for them. Your experience at the restaurant is not all about the food despite what Bourdain says. If you read a lot of Yelp comments, the ones that say they are never going to come back are typically people who got treated bad by the staff, and may not even have eaten the food. Well, Fabio's been on the bottom a lot, and I can see an episode where they make the argument "you are amazing when it comes to people skills, but doesn't mean you're the best chef here." We'll see.

Its unfortunate that Radhika went home. Didn't she have a lot of wins?? Well, unfortunately no one else deserved to go home that night, and it had to be that way.

UFC 93

UFC 92 was amazing, UFC 93 was amazingly bad. 5 fights in 3 hours. It seemed like all of them went to decision. Lytle and Davis fight....they wanted the fight of the year, or ever? Well, they couldn't even accomplish fight of the night in my books.

Rock Band (X360) Still Playing...

I'm finding that I like Rock Band 1's interface a lot more encouraging thatn RB2 interface. So I keep loading the 1st disc. I 5 starred Won't get fooled again on Hard yesterday. That makes 56 out of 58. Only 2 I have left is Next To You which I've 4 starred, and Run to the hills which I've 3 starred. I think I'll revisit those when I feel like I've significantly improved. For right now, I'm speeding through the easy songs on Expert.

Day 4

Day 4 was yesterday, and for some reason I find myself less discouraged than I think I should be, having just started a new bet. I did get on the scale and weighed myself at 2 lbs lower, but I think its because I've been concentrating on cardio, not building muscle. Hopefully the 2 lbs is not all muscle. My cardio is so much better these days. Weird though, cause I've been wanting to sleep more.

Mabo Tofu

I can make this in 5 minutes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top Chef (Latest Ep)

I think Josea and Lea set Arianne up. It was pretty messed up. They made Arianne look like a fool in the process. I liked Josea and Lea before this ep. But now, I want them to get eliminated. My favorite in the running in Stefan and Radhika. Stefan's handicap is that no one really wants to work with him, even though he's constantly on the winning team. That says a lot. Fabio is cool, but he's either hit-or-miss when it comes to challenges.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Its on again. Day 1

So I was able to complete the last bet. My cardio is in much much better condition. Unfortunately, I didn't lose much weight as I was hoping. The bet is on again. This time, the goal is to lose 20 lbs in 6 months by working out at least 3 times a week. The first day of the bet was 2 days ago Sunday, and my first day at the gym was yesterday.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top Chef (Lates Ep)

I knew Eugene's days were numbered. I originally had high hopes for him. But after watching him for a few episodes, I knew that he was a little bit out of his league. Finding himself constantly at the bottom.

I think the blonde girl lost because she misunderstood the concept of what the judges were looking for. They wanted to get to know the chef through their food. She interpreted it as "cook us your favorite food that says something about you" which was the wrong interpretation. What she should have interpreted it as was something like "show us the best dish, and it should say something about yourself (skill, influences, tastes)".

Rock Band (X360) Passed

I finally 3 starred Run To The Hills on Hard. I got to hitting enough notes to survive until the double amount of bass drums kicked in. As the saying goes, don't work harder, work smarter. I went to training mode, figured out how to make it relatively easy if i just leave a 16th note out. After I was done, the credits rolled.

With having 5 starred everything on hard except 5 songs. All the gains could make on Hard, I can improve on expert, and it may even be easier to do so as it scrolls faster. That should help since there are more notes.

I am done with hard. Only expert from now on. And onto Rock Band 2.

Monday, January 5, 2009

World Guiness Book of Records (DS)

This game is actually pretty good. Nothing to do with Guiness Records but the quality of the minigames are tip top.

Rock Band (X360) Almost Done

I was planning to move on, but I decided to stick it out and see if I can at least pass Run To The Hills. In the process I may just go for it and try to 5 star everything on hard. I didn't 5 star everything in Hard yet, but I'm almost there.

Yesterday 1/4/09 I 5 starred Enter the Sandman (I could have done it a while back) and Highway Star. Among others I believe.

Today 1/5/09, I've 5 starred Molley Hatchet, Detroit Rock City, Electric Vers, Dead on Arrival, Don't Fear the Reaper

What is left?
Tom Sawyer: 3 stars
Next To You: 3 stars
Go With The Flow: 4 stars
Won't Get Fooled Again: 4 stars
Run To The Hills: 0 stars

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Great Debate: XBOX 360 vs PS3

I'm about to lay some science down and give some convincing evidence why PS3 games will never look significantly better, or if at all than the XBOX version of the game.

If you were a publisher and wanted to sell the most copies, would you:
A) Make the game look equally as good on both systems so that whatever console the consumer has, they'll buy it.

B) Make the game look a whole lot better on the system that many less millions of people own? This would present an unsolvable dillema to the consumer. They want the game. They can get the inferior (graphics wise) version of the game for the 360 because they have the 360. Or should they buy a PS3 just because they want improved graphics of a certain game? The customer will often walk out empty handed. They may buy in the future, or they might just lose interest and move on. Many missed sales, and many millions of dollars lost.

I've heard that the cell processor is an amazing processor. And I'm sure you'll see it in all of its glory in PS3 exclusive titles like Gran Turismo. But never in 3rd party titles. You'll see many more side by side comparisons of how the graphics are virtually identical because the developers made them that way on purpose, not because the PS3 isn't capable of better. The 360 fanboys will always point this out. While PS3 fanboys will always mention that the hardware is there, they are just waiting for a shift to happen. Unfortunately, this shift where 3rd party developers engineer their code specificially for the PS3 version of their games is never going to happen. It would be foolish. Spend more money developing something that will hurt sales? Never.

Maybe in the future, when the next xbox is out (and Sony holding firm that PS3 is still the next-next-gen console), the publishers will apply the same logic. They may be willing to make the effort (and spend the money) to make sure that the PS3 games look as good as the XBOX 720. They may also be more familiar with the ins and outs of the PS3. So whatever you may own, the XBOX 720 or PS3, you'll buy the title because you get the same product with the same graphics.

In an ironic twist, people will buy the XBOX 720 because it is capable of better than PS3 graphics. But in a side by side comparison, they look virtually identical. Can you guess why?