Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Puyo and Daymonster talk about GTA IV

Below is Puyo's review of the Grand Theft Auto IV. Any writing in blue is my response/review.

meh, obviously nothing special. Frame rate isn't very good either. From a technological standpoint they aren't good, kind of bad actually. Artistically it is alright though. It has a nice style to it. The graphics aren't so bad that they ruin the experience or anything, but they could be vastly improved.

I agree with Puyo here, I really like the style of the game, especially the opening scene. I wasn't expecting amazing graphics of the people, because when you have a cast in the hundreds some stuff is going to suffer. But the certainly seemed to spend more time on the chicks.

As far as frame rate I have been pleasantly surprised actually. I was expecting a little pop up but I am really impressed with the level of detail in everything in the game.

They're okay.
Walking around isn't too great. The camera turns really slow, even though I have my sensitivity on high (but I think that only effects aiming guns). It would have been a lot nicer if they let you set the sensitivity for the camera. The camera can be annoying at times.
Fighting is okay, it can be a bit clumsy.
Driving is pretty good for the type of game it is. Each car drives differently and the physics system is good enough to make it a fun experience. The camera can be a hassle though.
I haven't used any weapons, I'm not that far along in the game yet.
I like using the cell phone so far.

I agree with the camera, it can get brutal when you are trying to see who you are inevitably running over when you are pulling a U-turn, but overall it gets the job done.

I was thinking the cell phone was going to be lame but it's integrated pretty well, I have already pissed off my "girlfriend" my calling her to much to try and hook up.

Pretty good so far. I've only done like 3 or 4 missions and a little bit of random stuff.
Most of the missions so far have just been learning the game. Learning how to drive, fight, dating, using the phone, etc. They seem like they'll become more fun when I get into the meat of the game.
Since I haven't gotten any weapons I haven't got to do much goofing off yet. I look forward to it. The highlight so far was stealing a cop car then turning on the sirens and seeing the cars pull over and clear a path for me as I sped down the highway.
The mini games are all well done so far. They have a lot of skill to them and are fairly fun. There also seems to be a lot of them, all I've done so far is pool and bowling though.
There were also a lot of funny things in the game such as the radio stations, the tv stations and other random stuff you see on the street.

I think you and I are probably at the same spot in the game, only played like an hour of single player. I think once we get into the real meat and potatoes of the mission the little things like how the punching works won't be as trouble some.

I thought bowling was kind of lame, did you get beat by Michelle by one point too? I think it's rigged. It's definitely the little things that you aren't expecting that makes GTA IV great. Like puyo said, taking a cop car and seeing people react is awesome. I saw this dude running from the cops and I stopped him and the cop thanked me. You can do things like call 911 from your cell phone, or surf fictitious websites at the internet cafe hilariously named tw@.

Watching TV might be my favorite thing so far though, the commercials and parodies are awesome.

Haven't played it yet, I'm looking forward to this and I probably wouldn't have bought the game if it didn't have it. I just want to learn the controls and everything before I jump in.

Multiplayer is what sold me on the game and on getting for 360 (I assume you realize now Eternal I got it for 360 after I tried to message you last night to play multiplayer) I only got in a couple games and most of the time was spent in Free Roam, essentially 16 players can do what ever they want in the entire city. We had a giant vehicular melee in Times Square errr.. Star Junction. It was really fun to out run cops and other criminals with two people on a moped.

Obviously I haven't played enough of the game to get a total impression of the game yet. I wouldn't give it a 10/10 like everyone seems to be. There are so many things that could be better in the game such as the graphics and controls. The gameplay seems pretty good though. So far it looks like it will be an 8 or 9. I'll be playing it some more.

I agree, I really think the game will be a 95/100 or better by the time I get through the game. Since the beginning is all about learning the controls and the missions are not to exciting yet, the game tends to show it's flaws. I also think that any game with a 50 plus hour single player and very deep mutliplayer experience should be rewarded. Usually GTA games are a crappy shooter, a crappy racing game and a crappy RPG rolled into one good game, this one isn't that different but with a pretty cool storyline and really fun Multiplayer I think it will end up being deserving of all the praise... at least I hope so.

So for the KofC clan here's the list of who has GTA IV for 360:
The Daymonster
Squatting Bear (and through extension: Pablito and Josey)
Unky Eternal (extension: Playboy and eventually Warthog)


So according to my calculations within the first few days 81% of Xbox 360 install base will own Grand Theft Auto IV.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Open letter to the Knights

Dear everyone,

I picked up GTA IV last night at the midnight launch. Pretty good time, but I didn't get a chance to play it last night. I fooled around with the safety deposit box, duffel bag and art book, but the game remains shrink wrapped. I have class tonight so I won't be able to try it out until around 9pm tonight. It's meta review is around 99/100 so it's gotta be pretty good. If anyone wants to purchase it today and play the new multiplayer modes let me know.

In the meantime:

SB, Pablito, Josey: Post about the new house, the moving process (did Josey carry everything single handedly?) Pablito, you better have taken pics. SB, are we finalized on the party date?

SB, Josey, Dammer, Eternal, Playboy: Post about trout fry. (did Josey drink everything single handedly?)

Hugs and Kisses,
The Daymonster

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Zero Punctuation Reviews

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw has been hilariously reviewing video games for a while now, but I thought I should finally share his refreshingly honest and funny videos. Below is his review of Condemned 2.

More reviews can be found here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Not much today. This is kinda funny. Playstation Home is delayed... again. And I guess this game is tough.

If anyone can listen to music during work I suggest tuning into this radio show one of my friends hosts called The Lobotomy from 3-6pm CT. It's usually pretty good and he might throw a shout out to us if we all listen. You can watch the webcam in the studio here, and listen via iTunes or stream in Winamp or Windows Media Player through the links provided.

Any who, besides that there isn't that much going on. So I wanted to ask you what video games you were playing these days (if any). I have been playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl (still not knowing what I am doing), Portal, COD4 of course and I had a resurgence with Rock Band over the weekend.

Dammer did you finish Lost Odyssey yet? If so can I borrow it?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Faux News: GTA IV Ads Removed From Busses

So I was watching Fox News last night and I saw this story about how the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) was removing the GTA IV adds from train stations and buses. I thought this was interesting because I had noticed that there was a ton of GTA adds up on my way to work. I was going to take a picture with my phone and post it on the blog but I didn't want people thinking I was just trying to get a picture of the hot cartoon girl eating a sucker.

Click on the image to watch the video.

Frankly this is bullshit for so many reasons. Here are a few:

1. I saw ads on the sides of buses for the Rated R Movie Hitman yesterday.
2. The CTA complains about how they are so underfunded that they started to cut bus routes and wanted to hike up fairs, so don't pick and choose your advertisers if they abide by the decency regulations.
3. Right above the story on Fox's site they have alcohol advertisements.

I could go on and on about how this is stupid but I won't so, you're welcome.

I went down stairs and checked and all the ads are already off the buses and train stations. Also, go watch the video clip Eternal posted.

Brokeback Big Guy: The Story of Josey and SB

An epic tale of two men who share a strong connection, and learn to identify with each other when no one else can.

Friday, April 18, 2008

10k race yo?

Throughout the last few years of my life Josey Wales has been especially inspirational. Countless times have I resisted a Boot Challenge, tequila shots, or a daily lift routine, but he has always been there with his incessantly loud voice urging me on.

I've used all the excuses; ''It's a Sunday night!'', ''I'm hungover!'', ''I just got out of the hospital after I had a catheter up my urethra!'', but Josey showed no mercy.

Even once, after having a run-in with the law, I used the now-classic line, ''But my friends (Josey) had always told me to run from the cops!'' Needless to say, this wasn't all that effective. Thanks, Josey.

I know Josey has had an impact on all of us. How many times has he convinced SB to drink, call Domino's or buy a house? How incredibly influential has he been on Daymonster's political views? And how many times has he 'convinced' all of us that he should be the one to pick up snipes. I can't imagine how many times he has led a building rampage with Eternal and Dammer, but the number is surely greater that 3 or 4.

Well, he's at it again. Though I haven't talked to him about his 50k race, and he doesn't seem to want to respond to this feat, I've decided that I will do him 40k worse and run my first 10k (or any race for that matter). On Sunday two friends and I are planning to run this race in the 90 degree heat that is Malta in late April and my goal is to break 55 minutes (~9 minute miles).

What do you think of my chances?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Loco Puyo: The Movie

After a bit of research, it looks like there is a sweet new movie coming out. Check out the trailer below.

Monday, April 14, 2008

FPS List and Pre-Ordered Games

This one duder named Ed Borden, writes this article about how 7 games created the modern team multiplayer first person shooter. Our current favorites, the Halo and COD series were left of the list. Ed claims that the games he points out were invaluable to the FPS for innovation and in some cases bringing that innovation to the masses. All of the FPS's listed were for PC. While I do understand that COD and Halo weren't exactly innovative as much as Tribes was or even Quake there is something to be said about Halo's innovation.

Puyo, correct me if I am wrong (or even right), but didn't Halo bring the idea of grenade, gun, melee to the FPS, and if they didn't come up with it, weren't they the ones who really popularized it? Also, was Halo one of the first FPS to get rid of the health meter for the run-and-hide-for-a-second method that is used almost universally today? I also think that, Halo 1 popularized the LAN abilities of the console, and Halo 2 did the same for console online gaming. I guess what I am saying is that I think Halo should at least be honorable mention, as it helped immensely to bring FPS to consoles where they are starting to overtake PCs.

Ooops, any who, here is the link to the story with video clips if you don't remember the games.

On the note of serious thoughts about video games, I am currently formulating a thought I have about the popularity of the Wii and the idea of bringing console gaming to the masses, little kids, 40 somethings and even the dreaded elderly. Once I formulate these thoughts I'll post them for some serious discussion.

Oh, also before I forget, I went to GameStop and pre-ordered 3 games yesterday.

April 27th Mario Kart Wii (For you guessed it... Wii)
June 12th Metal Gear Solid 4 (For PS3, the only platform it's on)
April 29th Grand Theft Auto IV (For 360).

I wasn't sure about what system I should get GTA4 for. My brother-in-law will probably get it for PS3 so that would be good for multiplayer, but if other KofC members are thinking about picking it up, I'd probably get it for 360 so we can kill some prostitutes together. The game got a 10 out of 10 from Official Xbox Magazine, so it's probably pretty good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Link Soup

This dude shrunk (almost) an entire Super Mario level into 14kB of java script. It doesn't have power-ups, koopas or music but it's still impressive. (pause for Puyo to say he could make in in 3kB, or that java is for "noobs")

One of my buddies has a cousin that is a lawyer and he writes for a site called "The Booze News." Here is his most recent article about the possibility of getting a DUI on a bicycle. Here is another article about DUIs in general.

Some designers at Bungie show video of the three new maps from the Legendary map pack. It's kinda funny and always gets me excited to play video games while I am at work.

MTV's multiplayer blog, which is pretty decent, talked to numerous black professionals in the video game industry. The article is pretty good especially the part about the perception of black characters in games.

Garfield minus Garfield, is a sweet site that posts Garfield cartoons with the orange cat removed, making Jon Arbuckle look a little bit crazy.

Trout Fry? I am down as long as others attend. It might be tough for me as I need to take a day off work and drive 6 hours by my self. But we will see.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trout Fry #2

I know that I told you all of the great news of Trout Fry and that I would keep you up to date. So once again, Trout Fry is coming soon (Two weeks from this weekend). Tickets are on sale now and I know that several people said that they were interested in coming down to attend. If people still are interested then say so on the blog and look for Eternal's new number, which should be posted soon. Hope to see you guys! Later

Monday, April 7, 2008

Big Weekend for the Daymonster

This weekend has left the Daymonster tired and full of news. Warning: this post is essentially one long rant.

First, I have my Xbox back. I had to drive about an hour south east of Chicago to some UPS warehouse to receive it. The helpful UPS person on the phone told me to come to the warehouse with a government issued photo ID and picking up the package would be no problem. So after I get my cable hooked up on Friday I got into my car and drove down to the UPS location. Luckily the cable guy came early in the specified 4 hour block so I could drive to the warehouse with plenty of time.

I find the large brown building and proceed to what I think is the entrance for customer pick up. It's a nice glass door with a big UPS batch on the front and wooden paneling on the walls and desk. This door was locked, and after I mouthed through the glass that I was looking for "customer pickup" the angry lady behind the desk rolled her eyes and thumbed in the direction to my left.

I walked to my left and turned the corner of this shitty gravel parking lot area with a small window less metal door. I opened the door to see probably 75 people in a 15'x15' demanding their packages. I stand in like for a good 15 minutes until I get up to the counter and hand the lady my government issued identification card, thinking I am almost out of the woods.

"Sorry, this doesn't have your correct address on it, I can't give you the package."

"Of course it doesn't have the same address on it, I don't fucking live at the address it was trying to be delivered to. That's why I am here, if I lived where it was being sent I would just get it there."

"I'm sorry sir, but I can't release it to you unless you have a piece of mail that has your name on it and this address. Do you have that?"

"Uhhh, yeah, I have that. It's that big fucking box right behind you with my Xbox in it. That's a piece of mail with my name and address on it."

"Well, sorry sir, that doesn't count. We have these procedures to insure people don't steal other peoples packages"

"Good plan, UPS. I am another person with the same exact name (that isn't exactly common) as the real recipient, who is willing to show a valid drivers license, sign for a package in front of multiple video cameras. I also happen to know the 800 digit tracking number, the contents of the package, and have the slip that the UPS driver left. Which I also made sure the real recipient of the package wouldn't get on the first day it was delivered so I could come down to this hell hole and steal it."

So to make a long story a bit shorter, I realized I had 2 hours until the UPS pickup place closed. So I sped home as fast as I could, brought a shoe box full of old mail, sports illustrated swimsuit issue, three NetFlix movies, my old check book and my cable bill and made it back to the UPS warehouse with 5 minutes to spare.

The funny thing is when I set down the shoe box full of shit, they didn't even bother to look at it. They just handed me the Xbox. So there you have it, if you wanna steal someones UPS package, make a big stink, go out to your car, find some random papers and throw them down on the counter.

Back to the cable/internet issue. The cable dude was supposed to come on Friday between 4 and 8. After arguing with the people at the cable company telling them that I can set up the modem and cable box my self and all they need to do is sent the juices to my apartment, they assured me that a technician for 50 dollars had to come out to my apartment. I decided I would have everything set up perfectly and when the cable guy came out I would show him, tell him he had nothing to do and that I refused to pay the 50 bucks.

So I set up everything and decided to see if it was working. (as I just plugged in my TV to the wall when I first moved in and no channels showed up, which is why I then called RCN - My Cable Company) With the modem and DVR hooked up I was getting all of the channels and my internet was running fast. I picked up the cell phone to call RCN and cancel the appointment with the technician. As I started to dial the number I got a call from the cable guy, he was outside.

So I ran downstairs to let him up, when I saw he was carrying a cable box and a modem... Did he not know I already had the equipment? I was debating beating him up the stairs unplugging my cable box and hiding it, thinking I could get a free second box. But my conscience got the better of me and I let him know that I already had the equipment. He told me that in his hand held it said I didn't have any and he then scanned the equipment and updated my account. He then reset the signal and a bunch of other random shit.

I could have had free TV and internet if I just would have hooked everything up earlier. But, on the good news I tested out my connection with multiple games of Halo and COD4... NO LAG... yet.

In other news I purchased a bowling ball on Saturday. It's called the Ebonite Mega X Super Hook. I don't know shit about bowling balls but it was the most expensive one Dick's Sporting Goods had. I'm not a big fan of the color but I do like the dull finish.

Dammer, here are the specs:
15 Lbs 4 oz (I assume the 4 oz. gets drilled out when they due my custom finger holes)
There was some other shit about it being top weighted or something. I dunno.

If you haven't played this game yet, I suggest you try. It's pretty difficult but once you figure out what you gotta do it gets a bit easier. If you need help, watch this or read this.

So I am pretty much all moved in to my new apartment, there is a lot more room and has plenty of beers in the fridge. Who wants to come visit?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Random Babbling from The Daymonster

There hasn't been a lot of good news here lately. Besides SB's new house, things for the Daymonster haven't been looking that good.

Liriano might not make it back in the rotation as early as previously expected. Which really sucks because he was one of my keepers on my fantasy team.

It's been about 45 days since I last saw my beautiful xbox. After about 4 weeks at the repair center they just decided to send me a brand new one. Which sounds great but why did it take them 4 fuckin' weeks to figure that out. Plus when I retrieve my gamertag I will only be able to access all the games and stuff I have downloaded when the xbox is online. But the good news is, it is being delivered today, the bad news is, of course, I don't live where it is being delivered to. Tonight I am going to go to my old place, grab the little note from UPS and try to pick it up at the UPS warehouse.

Also, I have gone about 6 days without cable or internet. It's been hell. Luckily the cable dude is coming to flip the switch for me tonight. He will be there sometime between 5-8pm, and since I work until 5pm, I can guarantee that is exactly when the dude will be there. I guess I shouldn't say dude, but I find it hard to believe that there are any female cable men out there, I mean they are called cable guys or cable men not cable ladies. It's science.

In theory, I could have my xbox and functioning internet this weekend. With the COD4 maps out, and the Halo maps soon to follow, things could be looking better.

Also, SB, you probably already know this but when you looked at your new house did you check to see if there were closets. That is a mistake I made, my new apartment has no closets. There are some things that look like closets when the door is shut but they all have things like water heaters in side or are way to small to actually put anything in them. I don't own any dressers or anything like that so this has caused a problem.

As you can tell if you have made it this far, this post is one that is incoherent and practically unreadable. Partly because I don't really have that much to say, and partly because I am so excited to get my xbox and internet up and running.

Also, any KofC members interested in coming to Chicago to watch the Twins play the White Sox next week? If you don't have two words for you... come'on.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Plans for September 1-4

The Republican National Convention is coming to St. Paul during September 1-4. I had heard of it a while ago and my plan until now has been to protest it. I definitely haven't changed parties, but a bill is currently being debated in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would allow bars to stay open until 4 am while all of the country's booze-fueled Republicans are in town. A strong supporterof this bill is my new favorite State Representative Phyllis Kahn. She has, in the past, authored a bill to lower the voting age to 12 and has two other important bills, besides the one mentioned above, on the docket. One is to allow persons aged 18-20 to be served alcohol in bars, the other is to allow the sale of intoxicating liquors on Sundays. You can check out her other bills here.

Hearing about this idea has totally changed my perception of how fun the RNC could be. Instead of being angry about it, I'll go out and celebrate! Until 4 am!! Then that got me thinking about which politicians I'd most like to get drunk with. McCain would be pretty fun because he'd have some crazy war stories, but after a while he might get scary and start having flashbacks. Huckabee could be cool as well, he's a pretty funny dude appearing on the Colbert Report and SNL. Though I'd imagine he'd spend all night nursing a Zima and never actually get drunk. Let me hear your guys' thoughts.

On an unrelated topic, I'm on a new computer and didn't have our new URL bookmarked. I tried to do a google search for it and came across our old address which Daymonster had de-activated.

Apparently now it's been poached by some spammer who had been watching us and realized all of the traffic we'd been generating because if you have a look now, it's completely covered in pharmeceutical ads. They even kept our old banner. I can't wait for this sucker to get sued by the real KofC like we almost did.

New Map Trailer & Comcast in the Twin Cities

Looks like Comcast is widening the tubes that carry the internet in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Comcast just announced that they are offering 50mps download and 5mps upload for people willing to pay the 150/month price. It's only available in the Twin Cities though.

As usual, Bungie makes their crap look cool. We will have to wait until the 15th to see if it really is.

A Conversation Starter

I don't have much time to post this so it is devoid of links and media, however it is rich in content.

Tuesday I engaged in an email conversation concerning the announcement that Budweiser was going to start production of a left-handed beer can for all you Southpaws. Obviously this was an April Fools joke, but it got me thinking about what I consider to be my drinking hand. Of course, something this complex cannnot be boiled down to simply left or right. So, I engaged in an in-depth study of how I drink and also how I perceive drinking. Here is what I came up with:

- When playing cards, my left hand is my card holding hand. Therefore all drinking is done with the right. As is card laying/slapping.

- My right hand is my mug/stein hand when grabbing by handle usually, however when grabbing the stein by placing the hand fully inside the handle and wrapping said hand around the outside of the glass it's a left hand job.

- When bonging using a valve, the right hand is considered the drinking hand because it is used to turn the spout, controlling the flow of liquid. The left plays a support role in holding the bong.

- When bonging not using a valve the left hand is considered the drinking hand because the right hand dangles to the side, possibly placed on the floor. This means that the "drinking hand" defaults to the left since it kind of plays a part.

- Obviously Edward 40 hands is disregarded for this situation, although I almost always finish lefty first and open lefty with my teeth first. This same logic applies to "double fisting".

- Shotgunning (while potentially messy) is a two parter. The right hand initiates the flow, while the left controls the flow. Unlike the beer bong with the valve (which some people will close and ruin the point of a beer bong) each hand plays a part in flow distribution and so both are considered drinking hands.

- Keg stands would appear to be a combined effort, however it actually involve yours and two other peoples hands holding you up (on average) and one other person's hand pumping the keg so technically you have 7 drinking hands for a keg stand. Since I pour with my left and hold the cup with my right when filling a normal keg glass, and do both with my left and pump with my right only when needed, I am defaulting this over to the left hand.

- When I use my beer helmet I use my right fingers to pinch the tube off to constrict flow, and I also put the tube pointed up to the right of my head using my right hand to avoid beer dripping all over my chest/legs. This makes the drinking hand my right hand.

- When drinking boots I point the toe of the boot to the right and place my right hand on the sole of the boot with my left up by my mouth. Since the right hand is doing the tipping back of the boot my drinking hand is my right hand.

This probably doesn't cover all situations, and I deleted the response my email got and can't remember what people said, but I'd love to hear what other people think about this complex concept. It wasted at least a half hour of my time at work yesterday, so hopefully it does something similar for you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Update on Squatting Bear's House

I was doing a little research on the new house as I will be spending every waking moment at this structure, and I noticed something while viewing aerial photos of the neighborhood.

As you can tell it looks like a great location with a back alleyway that many houses in St. Paul have, the yard looks in great shape... hey wait, what is that in SBs future back yard?

After using my super expensive subscribtion to Google Earth Platinum, I zoomed in to see what was going on. And as you can see from the screen shot, Josey has gotten a head start on all of us and is currently sunbathing in the back yard.

Squatting Bear, I thought you didn't move in for another month? What gives? Does Josey have a secret "pool boy" type relationship with the current owner of the Official KofC Clubhouse?

Squatting Bear's New House

After looking at what seemed like every house in Saint Paul, I finally decided on the house I wanted. The asking price was 310k, I offered 290, they countered 300, and I accepted. Today I went through the house for 3 hours with an inspector, there were no problems, so the deal became official.

The house is 1900 square feet, but with only 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. It's in great condition and in a very nice area of Saint Paul, about a mile from mine and Josey's current residence. I take possession on the 28th of April.

Living with me will be fellow clan mates Josey and Pablito, and Pablito's cat (at least until I get a dog and secretly train it to eat Pablito's cat). I hope many KofC members will be stopping by for short or extended visits. Preliminary plans for a house-warming party are now taking place, likely on a weekend in early/middle May. Hopefully many of you can make it. I'm taking suggestions for the exact dates, along with what kind of booze/kegs should be purchased. I've already got Beer Fest on Blu-Ray, but its unopened, and will remain so until the party.

Freshly busto from my house purchase, it's time to get back to the poker grind. I'm in debt for the first time in my life, but thankfully the poker gods smiled upon me today, as I made a solid 4k, covering my first two months of mortgage payments!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You Guys Are Never Going to Believe This.

We just received another email about our site. This time it is from the legal council at Warner Bros. Records Inc. In an email from Brian Darling, associate legal council (they don't even send us the big guys?) it says that their Warner Bros. Records Inc., which owns the rights to all intellectual property associated with their signed groups, is asking us to "cease and desist the use of the name Knights of Cydonia." This email is very similar to the one we received from the Knights of Columbus but this one is a little shorter (I will post it later today) and less hilarious. They don't call use tasteless. Which kinda sucks.

What do you guys think we should do? I say we go back to Knights of Columbus. And if we get in trouble again, we will just switch back.