Archive | March 2009

Street Fighter IV, and the new generation of wimpy gamers

Ever since a kid I’ve enjoyed the street fighter series, starting with Street fighter I.  I later moved onto Street fighter II and found it to be somewhat easier to beat, but much more fun vs human opponents.  After that I took a hiatus until the late 90s when all those “alpha” streetfighters showed up.  I’ve always enjoyed them, and always have been good at them.  Don’t get me wrong, the game can be frustrating, but as far as games in the big picture go, it’s not the hardest thing out there.

So I was surprised to read many blogs and reviews about Street Fighter IV, saying it was “too hard to beat”, even on “Easy setting.”  Hmm, I thought.  I eventually got around to getting the game mid March.  I played it, and after about an hour was fully warmed up.  I played through the entire game on “medium-hard” (second hardest), completely devastating the characters except for Blanka, he was the only guy who gave me trouble.  After about 5 tries with him I overcame him.  I play Ryu by the way.

All the characters after Blanka were a complete slaughter fest.  Even the last boss fell during my first try, beating him 2 out of 3 rounds.   He was cheap, sure.  But I would expect that from a last boss..  Anyway, I thought back to the blogs.  All the whining about the game made me laugh, “The game is too hard, all the computer does is use super moves.”   This game was very easy to beat, while using trivial attacks.  Here’s a tip:  super moves are a distraction for shallow gamers whose job it is to make real gamers look good.  It has always been more effective to use regular punches and kicks to down an opponent than to rely on graphical ooh and ahh effects.  I didn’t even use the super deluxe thing that builds up energy, not even once.  I didn’t know how, because at that time I beat it I hadn’t even read the manual yet.

I won’t tell you my secrets, but they involve a lot of punching and kicking.  “The game is too hard.”  We’ve got a new generation of gamers out there, and they suck.  Here’s a challenge, try Street Fighter I on an emulator, if you dare.  I have played it, it has to be the most inconsistent game ever.  Sometimes your hits land, sometimes they don’t.  There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to it.  Sometimes I will play the emulator through to the end in 10 minutes, other times I will flail hopelessly against the first two opponents until I give up.  Looking back I know why I dumped so many quarters into that game back in the day.  It was very unpredictable, and very unforgiving.  Don’t get me wrong, when I won it it was a well deserved win.  You could never let your guard down in that game.  If you can get over the primitive graphics, you will realize that you have got it easy with SF IV.

Portzer #3

Who is the last cylon?

On Friday, March 20th, the Sci-Fi channel will show you the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. The final cylon will be revealed to all of you. Many, Many hardcore and casual fans alike are awaiting for this moment.

You see, I already happen to know who the final cylon is, and let’s just say I personally know one of the show’s production staff. It wasn’t that much of a frakkin’ surprise to me; I’ve been scrutinizing actions/events/dialogue since the begining.

Since I don’t want to mention the last cylon’s name here, I’ve put together a still shot with proof here.

For want of a satellite photo, the battle was lost…

At IRQportz, we rarely get into politics.  Because we realize that opinions are like a long lost Uncle with septum shattering halitosis; everyone has one, and they stink.  Among the few of us there are possibly a variety of different political configurations.  Indeed, even pizza toppings are a controversial subject around here.  But, I daresay, we stand united on this day.  On this day we found that a certain politician in California, wants to “blur” Google earth (and by extension, Google maps).  Heresy!  Why take away such a cool and useful tool based on the unfounded fears of technical ludites?

CNN has so graciously informed us of this information (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/11/google.earth.censor.california/), passed on from CNET.  So I am doing my solemn duty, to be another in the long chain of information passing.  As CNN’s article exposes, A California lawmaker (in a likely bid to make a name for himself) has suggested the following:

“An operator of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that makes a virtual globe browser available to members of the public shall not provide aerial or satellite photographs or imagery of a building or facility in this state that is identified on the Internet Web site by the operator as a school or place of worship, or a government or medical building or facility, unless those photographs or images have been blurred.”

To quote CNN, “Anderson … is asking only what India and some other foreign governments are demanding for their citizens.”

Because we really are just waiting in line behind India to see what great and innovative things they do next.  I see they have recently sent a space probe to the moon; however, the 1950s called and they want their science project back.  Perhaps they were actually aiming for Jupiter’s moon, Europa?  I don’t know. I realize that India is a very large nation with great ambitions.  And God bless them, they’ve been humble toward the rest of the world.  Despite this, I don’t think that they are a beacon of all that is current and modern.  Perhaps with enough call centers, they will eclipse us all someday. Perhaps.

A secondary argument of Anderson’s was presented thusly:

“I’m all for online mapping, but knowing where the air ducts are in an air shaft is not necessary for me to navigate in the city. Who wants to know that level of detail? Bad people do.”

First of all, what kind of person says they are “all for online mapping”, and then writes a bill designed to blur it?  This I find to be puzzling.  Moving on, he mentions that Google Earth shows us where the air shafts are.  You know, I hadn’t really thought about it lately.  But I’m pretty sure I knew that there were air shafts on top of buildings when Google Earth was a twinkle in a software engineer’s eye (as he oggled scantily clad Japanese female warriors sprinting across the battlefield only to pleasure each other mid air; in those dirty, dirty cartoons).  Ahem.  What was I saying?  Ah yes, his argument supposes that we a) Did not know that buildings had air shafts until Google Earth showed us.  And b) That we did not know that airshafts generally ended at the tops of buildings, until Google Earth revealed this as well.

I don’t know about you, but I thought they dug a hole that went from the basement of the building and down through to the other side of the planet, in order to vent exhaust and take in fresh air.

Moving on, the lawmaker has some witty comebacks for his critics (or so he thinks).  From the article: “I hear the argument that, “Yeah, I want to also ban cars because cars are used in robberies.” Look, cars have other commercial uses. There are no other uses for knowing on a map where there are air shafts. These are all red herring arguments.”

First of all, the argument that cars are used in robberies, and are thus somehow responsible for them is simply an excellent analogy for his entire presentation.  I laughed when I read it, and his bringing it up only made things worse.  Ok, so of course cars have other uses.  And yet you say there are no other uses for Google Earth?  Sir, have you not ever wondered if your neighbors down the street had a swimming pool?  Have you not wanted to stare at your own roof from hundreds of miles in the sky?  Have you never wanted to simply enjoy the majestic beauty that is our civilization while you are planning a simple road trip to the side of town where all the good clubs are at?

I can’t help but mention, this guy called the car argument a “red herring”, which is incorrect. A “red Herring” is a distraction argument, it’s akin to changing the subject. If I had said “I think this guy is wrong because the other day I saw a profesional boxer wearing a tank top and strawberry shortcake apron, spoon feeding an elderly man Vienna sausages while he listened to you complain about Google Earth on his IPod…” then that would be a “red herring.”

As it turns out Google Earth is not “real time.”  The pictures it takes are bought and borrowed from various corporations and agencies that own satellites.  The picture over your house could be 10 days old, and that picture over the other side of town could be back dated from when they made music worth listening to.  I can’t imagine being paranoid of technology.  Even if there were a chance they would catch a photographic glimpse of Home Depot employees having greased plunger fights on my roof, I would still not blame the high-tech.

The above is strictly opinion and hyperbole, from portzer #3.

Best Buy Sells Used, Malfunctioning Camera As “New”

Once again, Best Buy is up to their  putrid, Better Business Bureau-violating nonsensical business practice. A camera was purchased as “new” yet when the consumer proceeded to open up the package, they found the factory seal broken and existing pictures already saved on it. When the consumer attempted to return it, Best Buy claimed it was “damaged” and developed a demeaning attitude towards the consumer. They didn’t want to deal with the situation and brushed them off. The battle, while seeming to fade, was brightened up massively when pictures of a Geek Squad employee were discovered in a separate folder while browsing through the saved pictures gallery. Wasn’t this camera purchased as new?? Hmm, then why are there snapshots of an employee present, eh? Victory ensued once the manager discovered this rather slight discrepancy. The full story can be read here. After reading that story, I’d rather get slapped in the face with a dead fish coated in Buffalo diarrhea. Good riddance.