Thursday, July 31, 2008

Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2

If I wasn't so committed to getting our native AppStore XBOX Live Friends Application for the iPhone/iPod Touch out the door, I would be sitting with the rest of the guys playing Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2. Quite simply... it rocks. It's just as visually striking as the original with gameplay that is proven and solid. Awesome.

I unlocked all of the game types and got back to work. :)

don't pwn alone (tm)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Top 10 XBOX Live Games as of 7/30/2008

The blog has been quiet as I have been busy trying to get our iPhone/iPod Touch Native XBOX Live Friends application tested and out the door. Watch this space for when it is released to the app store. In the mean time, something funny has happened to the top 10 games on XBOX Live -- Gears of War has leapt to the #4 spot. Neato.

1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Halo 3 (945.31106625069)
3. GTA IV (423.5639566893)
4. Gears of War (353.09231051569)
5. Rock Band (318.31528720866)
6. Guitar Hero III (279.86786566342)
7. BF: Bad Company (256.28555698293)
8. Rainbow Six® Vegas 2 (158.28592402276)
9. NCAA® Football 09 (116.07634428335)
10. Unreal Tournament® 3 (110.02018719031)

As for myself, GameFly has been cruel -- I have been sent Quake Wars. I'm not looking forward to it. Since completing Resistance Fall of Man, I've kind of sworn off the FPS thing for a while. Games with the depth of Metal Gear Solid 4 spoil you.

It looks like I may have to go out and buy Soulcalibur. The struggle is whether to pick up the PS3 or XBOX 360 versions -- Darth Vader vs Yoda. My Gamerscore has been flat for a while so I am leaning towards the 360 version.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone (tm)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Yesterday's News

I finally got around to playing Resistance: Fall of Man. While it's not reason enough to own a PS3, it is a very competent and polished shooter that easily exceeds most of the FPS-shovelware you'll find out there (Haze, etc). It also happens to include some of the most intense fire-fights of this console generation. If you're up for that kind of thing, be sure to give it a spin.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Top 10 XBOX Live Games for this Week

Halo 3 continues to nip at the heels of Call of Duty 4 while GTA IV continues to sink. With a new free Halo 3 map and Battlefield in the same market, COD4 may well lose the top spot.

1. Call of Duty 4 (1000)
2. Halo 3 (968.07647217964)
3. GTA IV (472.45017584994)
4. Rock Band (332.4014789431)
5. Guitar Hero III (321.3995851745)
6. BF: Bad Company (318.42366308955)
7. Gears of War (306.24943637839)
8. Rainbow Six® Vegas 2 (179.00622238254)
9. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (102.98494003066)
10. Unreal Tournament® 3 (94.057173775814)

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

iPhone XBOX Live Friends Web Application Bug Fix

With the release of the 2.0 version of the system for the iPhone and iPod Touch, some of the Javascript behaviors of have changed. As a result, you might have noticed that the EDIT LIST screen seemed to lose some of it's functionality. The bug has been tested and fixed. You can check it out here or simply tap on EDIT LIST in the application.

Thank you and... don't pwn alone(tm)

iPhone 3G Impressions

I finally got my iPhone 3G. When you first pick it up in your hand, it feels lighter and bigger than the old one. If you like the feeling of cheap plastic, there's plenty to love here -- the device has lost it's assuring heft. Furthering an impression that it lacks sturdiness, you'll discover that the new one wobbles when used on a flat surface due to it's curved back. You'll want to keep that included new tiny little charger handy, because the battery on this thing won't even get you through the day.

Now that I've gotten my nitpicks out of the way, let's get on to the positive. With 3G, cell network web browsing now is far more usable. You can even watch YouTube videos when you're on the road. If you're a heavy email user, you'll see less of the spinner and much more responsive email. When a good 3G signal is present, you'll ask yourself how you suffered through the EDGE-based network -- it quickly spoils you.. It really changes everything.

While I'm happy to see GPS as part of the iPhone experience, you shouldn't make the upgrade decision on this feature alone. When it works, it works very well, but it is no substitute for a navigation system. If you're life depends upon knowing where you are, the iPhone 3G is not the solution.

Of course, with new devices in hand, the team needs to get back to work.

don't pwn alone(tm)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The week that pwn'd me

We had a great meeting today. It was a nice way to cap off a week that included our YouTube video and whole bunch of news behind the scenes. We're now focused on completion of some new applications. As such, it looks like I will be heads down coding for the next couple of weeks.

Most of the members of the team didn't score an iPhone 3G today -- except for those lucky bastards that will go nameless. Personally, I came up empty-handed after hitting a couple of AT&T stores. At the last AT&T store, I ended up pre-purchasing a white 16GB iPhone 3G. It should be in later this week. With my old iPhone out of commission, I'll have to get my 2.0 fix on my iPod Touch. It's really a shame that Apple is currently charging $9.99 for that privilege.

On the gaming side, I checked out Haze on the PS3 -- it's terrible. There really is no reason to suffer through a game that mediocre with so many better options out there. Haze is beyond bad. Conversely, Metal Gear Solid 4 is so good that I am playing through it again. Is it worth a second playthrough? You bet!

With the release of 2.41, PS3 gamers have a much improved console this week. I still don't know how I feel about the "Trophy" thing. It's best described achievements without Gamerscore. If that doesn't make sense to you 360 owners, you're not alone.

I finally cracked 500k on Geometry Wars. My personal best was achieved while talking on the phone with my father. With that, I am convinced that Geometry Wars is best played when you're distracted with something else. Geometry Wars and Halo 3 SWAT is practically all that I am playing on the 360 right now.

I am happy that my daughter re-discovered Mario Strikers. It's a true gem of the game. Between that and Smash Bros, the Wii is seeing action on rainy days with the kids.

Thank you all for your great feedback and support!
don't pwn alone(tm)

Monday, July 7, 2008

The iPhone Shoot aka "pwn the phone"

With forthcoming release of the new iPhone 3G, I wanted my current iPhone to go out with a bang. I decided that shooting it with an M1 Tanker Garand rifle might be a good way to go. As you'd expect, the iPhone isn't bulletproof. Enjoy the embedded video!

Yes, the phone was powered on when it took the hit. For those curious, I don't think that this is covered by AppleCare.

don't pwn alone (tm)

Friday, July 4, 2008

PSN Multiplayer Observation

I really enjoy our PS3's, but I've noticed a trend with online multiplayer shooters. With XBOX Live, if you quit a game early or quit a server, your reputation takes a hit. On the PS3, there is no such stigma and it really, really shows. Hosts and players quit constantly without any repercussions.

How bad is the problem? I experienced host quitting in Metal Gear Online FOUR times in a row. Why? I was leading the host in all four occasions. Instead of allowing the game to complete, the host simply quit.

I've been forcibly kicked while in the lead in Unreal Tournament 3 so many times that I don't even bother with the online mode anymore. I just crank up the bot skills and roll through botmatches.

Now, it's not like my game play is anything special. On XBOX Live, I am a player slightly above average. I don't suck and often prove to be a solid contributor in multiplayer.

The human competition on XBOX Live is simply stronger. The 360 owners have sharpened their skills across two console generations and it's evident in the game play. If you're looking for solid online multiplayer, the 360 is still the place to find it.

don't pwn alone(tm)