Archive for December, 2012

2012 in Review

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Blurbs
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you, all of you who’ve taken time to drop by! See you in 2013!

A blast from the past is about to happen to our beloved characters in the Resident Evil 6 game. Capcom has announced a set of new costumes for the protagonists of the latest installment to the Resident Evil franchise. This time, the inspiration comes from the not-too-distant past, where game characters were made up of blocky angular models. If you’re gunning for nostalgia, then this set might just set the tone for you.

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Chris, Leon, Sherry and Ada are still the familiar faces we came to know back in the original games, with a nod to Raccoon City’s RPD.

To unlock one of these costumes, you can join the ResidentEvil.net online event dubbed “Zombie Mayhem,” coming up on December 28th. The aim is to kill as many zombies as possible, and if the target of 15 million hits worldwide is reached, every participant will be able to unlock one costume from this set. Not clear, though, if the participants can choose which character to unlock or if RE.net will choose for them.

As with the other costumes, these are only usable in the Mercenaries mode in the game, not on the main campaigns. I’m still hoping future updates will allow this.

You’ll need to keep checking for other monthly online events in RE.net (and join in) if you want to collect all costumes.

Following are slightly bigger versions of the retro costumes.

ada

chris

helena

jake

leon

piers

sherry

Resident Evil 6 Title Update

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Games
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Have you been itching for the chance to tweak the camera settings in the RE6 game? Do you wish Ada had someone along like the rest of the guys’ campaigns? Or do you just want to dive right into her adventures without finishing all the other three? Do you scoff at how “easy” even the Professional difficulty of the game is?

Well then, today’s your lucky day. Capcom has just release the long awaited title update to this great game.

So if you’re a holdout and looking for a reason to finally get the game for the Holidays, what better reasons can you ask for?

I would include the contents of the official newsletter from Capcom announcing this and more, but as it turns out, I can’t. I’ll need to get their explicit written permission to do so. Oh well! Still a happy camper… very much looking forward to the Christmas break now!

Windows 8 Annoyances

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Blurbs, Technoloy
Tags: , ,

I’ve been using Windows 8 since the public test versions, and I like it. I don’t get the issue other people have with the Metro modern UI – I find it a nice change actually. I liked it enough that I’ve upgraded my laptop’s OS the day Windows 8 officially got released.

That said, I do have a few complaints. Some minor, others, well, just see for yourself.

First thing is I miss the aero glass of Vista and 7. While I understand the idea of a chrome-less simplistic interface, the aero glass feature is something I quite grew fond of. I find these flat opaque windows boring.

On the browser sider, IE10 has gotten better, especially when you compare it to older versions. It’s responsive and niceties that Microsoft added (finally!) such as the ability to remember your session elevated it to be my primary desktop browser. What I don’t like, however, is it tends to have amnesia, particularly when I use the Metro version.

There are two versions of IE in Windows 8, one is for the modern UI, the other for the classic desktop. My issue is that whenever I launch the modern version, and then drop back down to the classic desktop, when I launch IE, it loses all of the pages I had left open on my last visit. It’s annoying as hell!

I have two user accounts set up on this laptop. One is the primary, Live-linked account. The second one is purely local.

Being that these are separate accounts, I expected they’d use separate sets of applications and data, exclusive to the current account logged in. But not IE, apparently. I was logged in my primary account and decided to switch to my local account. I fired up IE and opened Outlook.com. Lo and behold, my session from the other account appears and is loaded. I thought at first that I might have saved my login information from a previous session so I logged out of there, and logged back in using another Live account. I closed the browser without logging out when I was done. Then, realizing I still needed to check something online, I opened IE again. IE has managed to keep its head so my previous sessions were reloaded automatically (note that this behavior needs to be set explicitly in the Options).  Or so I thought until I got to the Outlook tab. Instead of the account I used last time, the page opened with my other account. Puzzled, I cleared everything – history, cache, cookies, and restarted IE. When I surfed to Outlook.com, still my other account came up, all without me entering the username and password.

So I unpinned IE, and now using Firefox exclusively on that one account. I added a third, Live-linked account but I didn’t observe the problem.

Social apps are still missing from the Microsoft store. No official Facebook or Twitter apps, and those free third-party ones, are not really up to par. I’ve been using Tweetro, but recent changes in the API forced it to go as a paid app. I’m not shelling out $9.99 for this.

At least there is a Music and a Video app already available on the stock install of Windows 8. Both are for the modern UI. These are library-aware, whatever media you link to your library will appear on these two apps.

Inside the Music app, you’ll be greeted by the XBox Music brand, with your collection taking the leftmost side. I’ve played a song or two before, but last night I left it playing before going to bed. It stopped and I didn’t bother to check ‘til this morning. When I finally did, I saw a message to the effect of it asking if I’d been travelling and then, helpfully, asked me to register for a music pass to continue playback. Get that? I have to get a premium service to continue playing songs I have on my computer? What the hell is wrong with you, Microsoft?

Then there is this weird and confusing, not to mention disconcerting, message that suggests my Windows OS is not activated! I’ve come across this when setting the lock screen using images I have saved on my local drives. I fully expected that such a mundane task as setting a wallpaper will go along without a hitch. But no, even this simplest of tasks is riddled with hurdles the likes of which pirate people will likely scoff at.

LockScreen

LockScreen2

I need to what now?

This last message had me rushing to check on my PC activation status. As can be seen here, my Windows is genuinely legit, so why am I being harassed by this message? It doesn’t make sense.

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Oh, Windows 8, sometimes you make it hard for me to really like  you!

This isn’t actually late-breaking news, but this is something that I have been looking forward to since it was announced.

The announcement was made via Capcom Unity days after the game’s release, on the heels of complaints from players worldwide regarding the camera settings as well as a brewing PR nightmare on news of future DLCs already included in the game disc.

The update is said to arrive mid-December, just in time for those contemplating to buy the game for the Holidays. The following details have been confirmed:

A new, harder difficulty level dubbed “No Hope” to satiate those who thirst for a challenge. Currently, there are four difficulty levels – Easy, Normal, Veteran and Professional. A lot of hard-core fans found Professional, the most difficult level, not nearly challenging enough.

The one feature that I’m most looking forward to in this planned update is the ability to adjust the camera settings. My beef with the camera in RE6 is that it’s too close to your character for comfort. Add the jerkiness and sudden change in POVs such as sudden rotation and movements leave my head spinning in a daze. It’s as though it can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be TPS or an FPS.

The update is said to give the player a wider field of view should they so choose.

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I’ll be so relieved when this update finally rolls out I might even get a play-through for all the campaigns and finish Pro mode. I’m more of a play-for-the-story type than anything else, but this should give me the incentive to give it another whirl.

Of all the campaigns, Ada’s will be getting the most attention in this update. Not only will her campaign be automatically unlocked right from the start, she will have a new AI/co-op partner. Currently, you have to finish the other three campaigns to have Ada’s campaign unlocked, and then you play as Ada solo.

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The other confirmed feature addition on the update is for the new subtitle options which allows combining the English audio with non-English subtitles.

It’s a decent set of new features, but I wish there were more, namely, the ability to use unlocked costumes not only on Mercenaries Mode but the main campaigns as well, additional skills slots so that you can load more than just three at a time, and to be able to choose your arsenal, i.e., have a Magnum available in Chris’ campaign, or the grenade launcher on the others. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!