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            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Prince of Persia HD has issues (Welcome to SACITSOTW)

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Well, here we are. It’s technically Thursday at this point, and at 2:01 AM, even my bedtime is fast approaching.

In any case, welcome to Screw Assassin’s Creed, It’s Sands of Time Week. Or, simply, SACITSTOW.

You may ask, “why? Why give Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood the cold shoulder? You love Assassin’s Creed, don’t you?”

Well, yes. I do love Assassin’s Creed. I was excited for the third installment. I still want to play it, eventually. But, there are three reasons that I decided to drop the game for the theme week:

1. I’m still addicted to Black Ops, and I’d like to finish/review the game

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD was released over PSN two days ago. As many of you know, the Sands of Time is one of my all-time favorite videogames. An HD re-release is like Christmas come early for me.

3. I resent Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for releasing only a year after Assassin’s Creed II. Give me some breathing room, man

4. I’m kinda broke. Oh wait, that’s four reasons.

So, yes, the theme week has shifted its focus to the Sands of Time. And why not? It’s a great game, and it has new relevance. And it only costs $15, which is four times less than the new Assassin’s Creed.

I downloaded the game on Tuesday night, and tried it out on Wednesday morning. I didn’t play too far; I stopped shortly after releasing the sands. Initial reactions? Well, unfortunately…

The game, for whatever reason, is plagued by audio issues. Voices in cutscenes always seem to work fine, but aside from that, it’s a crapshoot. Footsteps are muffled, sound effects for smashing objects has a weird echo, as do enemy voices. Sometimes, the audio cuts out entirely. (Or perhaps it’s just so horribly muffled I just can’t hear it.)

So yeah. Obviously, this is pretty unforgivable. Couple it with loading hitches (which never occurred in the original game) and the occasional game crash during loading times, and you have a game in desperate need of a patch.

However. Aside from these rather damning issues, I still found myself enjoying it for the visuals alone. Make no mistake, the game looks nice running in 720p. It’d look nicer running in 1080p, but I’ll take what I can get. Everything is (obviously) much crisper and cleaner looking, with more vibrant colors and much improved textures. Stonework, in particular, looks fantastic – text and symbols etched into the walls of the Maharaja’s castle pop out nicely. Even the character models, which were subpar even by PS2 standards, clean up very nicely. The Prince has never looked better.

So yeah. It’s pretty enough. But, as much as I hate to say it, you might want to wait for a patch with this one.

More to come.  I have some ideas for the week. Not all of which involve Black Ops.

~Riddles

Welcome to Black Ops Week

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

We seem to be on a bit of a roll here at Riddlethos.com, but instead of congratulating ourselves, we’re just gonna keep on keepin’ on.

As you can tell by that gorgeous and atmospheric banner up above, it is Black Ops week here at Riddlethos.com, in which I’ll be taking the time to ask: has it really been a year since Modern Warfare 2 was released? Christ. It’s a year later, things are more or less the same, and I still haven’t prestiged in that game. And now that Black Ops is here, I probably never will.

That said, I don’t actually possess a copy of Black Ops at the moment. I get paid tomorrow, meaning I’ll be able to pick up a copy on Thursday, most likely.

As for what you can expect from this week: well, I doubt it’ll be quite as cohesive as last week, given the fact that I’ll be the only one playing the game. But, I’ll be doing my level best to keep you informed of my thoughts as I progress through the game. Given the initial reactions – reviews claiming it’s the best story seen in the franchise, as well as the highest concentrated level of brutal violence – I’m sure we’ll have some interesting things to talk about. Eh?

~Riddles

Welcome to Waggle Week

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Well, not all my banners can be winners. Whatever, my last one rocked.

Welcome to Waggle Week, my friends. Gran Turismo 5 was delayed, so instead we’re going to “celebrate” the release of Microsoft’s Kinect by taking a look at the short and controversial history of mainstream motion gaming.

First I’m going to take a look at The Past. As a exclusively Nintendo fanboy, I was embarrassingly apologetic and optimistic for the Wiimote. I’m going to bite the bullet and draw on that experience to talk about the promise and hope that “The Revolution” brought to hardcore gaming.

Next, Riddles is going to tackle The Present state of gaming. With the recent release of Move and Kinect, and mountains of awful shovelware on the Wii with even first party titles tending to use motion as an after thought, the landscape of motion gaming is bleak and depressing. Riddles will detail the brutal present reality of motion controls.

Finally in this mini-series, both Riddles and I will look to The Future with predictions, hopes, and thoughts on what’s to come in terms of motion gaming and its influence on mainstream gaming.

To top it all off, Lameish will bring a lovely cadence to the week with a Sunday Soapbox with his take on waggle, and a Call Me Lameish on Monday.

Oh yes, you rotten bastards, Riddlethos is back.

Welcome to Riddlethos Visits Albion Week!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Cool art, though.

Well well well. Fable III (and Rock Band 3, and The Force Unleashed II) comes out today. My only experience with the Fable series was in Murfreesboro: City of Dreams. I was stuck there in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do as Riddles went to work, so I decided to give Fable II a fair shake.

I didn’t actually mind my experience with the game at first. But then it turned into a game about real estate and keeping your wife happy and thus felt a lot more like The Sims meets Sim City. Not that the latter is all that bad, it just felt weird. I gave up quickly.

Everything I’ve ever heard about Fable III makes me cringe. Simplifying it, not feeling comfortable calling it an RPG anymore, making a political campaign a major focus. None of that sounds appealing at all.

Alternatively, Lameish is a distinct fan of the series. But given his views on DeathSpank, I’m skeptical of his praise.

Riddles, however, has zero experience with the series. Whether or not he plans to change that has yet to be seen! The man hasn’t bought a game since Kirby, so who knows?

All I know is that Lameish will have to be at his convincing best to make me believe that Fable III is anything except Election: The Game.

Welcome to New Vegas Week

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

It’s comforting, perhaps, to know that however miserable one’s life may be at any given moment, the life of a certain Ludwig Van Beethoven was far more so.

Seriously, the guy is a classic(al) downer. (Classical, get it? Ha ha. Ha.) I bring this up because as I write this, a documentary about him is playing on my TV. Why? Dunno, ask Charlie.

Anyway, now that we’re past the cold open, welcome to New Vegas Week! I say “welcome” because that’s pretty much all I can do. My experience with the Fallout franchise is practically zero (I never played Fallout 3, though I do own it.) And, while I have moderate interest in giving the series a go, it won’t be this week.

At this point, you might be wondering why I’m being such a pill. Well, I have a reason: the day before yesterday, I bought (wait for it) Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii. Yes. I bought a Kirby game. For the Wii. Have I lost my mind? No. It’s true, Kirby’s Epic Yarn isn’t the sort of game I’d run out and buy, generally speaking. But I did, for a reason I’ll reveal at a later time, and I’ve played through quite a bit of it already. It’s… a lot of fun. A lot of fun, actually. Look for some impressions soon. Ethan has the game as well, so maybe you’ll even see some of those super gimmicky IM-pressions, eh?

Oh, yeah. Fallout. Um… well, frankly, at this point I’m seriously wondering why we made this New Vegas Week. I guess Fallout is sort of a bigger deal than Kirby. And I think Lameish has the game. Maybe Ethan does too? Or will? I don’t know. I’m off to play more Kirby.

~Riddles

Welcome to Autumn Week 2010

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

And, it’s official. Seasonal-themed weeks are a tradition. This is confirmed by the fact that we’re having yet another Autumn-themed week. If you recall, we did last year as well – though we called it the “Fall of Autumn Week” or something sappy like that. (It was Ethos’ idea.)

Since then, we’ve had a week for every changing season. It’s easy, and the banners always look gorgeous. And the banners are easy to make. That’s what you call a win-win-win, at least from where I stand.

So it appears this Lameish character is here to stay. He’s claiming that Ethos and I hired him, and refuses to acknowledge my orders to cease and desist. And, try as I may, I can’t find any evidence with which I might discredit his claims. So. He’ll be here for a while. At least his videos are sort of funny.

And look at Ethos! With his TTKL, Scatter Storming, and subsequent Sunday Soapbox! And I heard he just interviewed Warren Spector? Damn, that guy’s been keeping busy, eh? It’s great to have such a consistent stream of content on the site. Makes me happy.

What do I do around here again?

~Riddles

Oh yes

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

To bring further juxtaposition to Lameish’s well-received premiere episode of CML, I’ve decided to make this Pokémon Ranger Week.

Suck it.

I would have it now but I’m quite sick. Also, I literally cannot afford it. I plan to trade in Red Dead Redemption and hope that covers it. Otherwise, I’d like to trade in FFXIII, but Matti has it at the moment.

ALSO, I went to a Sony preview event today. Played Infamous 2, Killzone 3 (in 3D), Gran Turismo, Sonic 4, LittleBigPlanet 2, (2 seconds of) Ghosts of Sparta, and the keytar in Rock Band 3. Oh, and Tron: Evolution. Woo. So more on that later. Right now, I feel like ass, and I’m not in the mood for people. So until later, just watch Call Me Lameish below another 20 times. Then tell your friends. Then bring me soup.

Welcome to Premiere Week

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

He will be missed.

And we’re back!

As you can see, things still look more or less the same around here. As Ethos said last week, a site redesign is in the cards – but it’s a ways off. It’s something I’m going to attempt on my own, so it will be… a learning experience, to say the very least.

So, at this point, you’re probably wondering where all these “changes” we promised are. Well, to begin, perhaps you’ve noticed all of the TV characters in the banner above. That’s because we’ve added TV to our topics of general interest here at Riddlethos.com. I mean, we had to expand at some point, and TV seems like a natural path to take, seeing that Ethan and I spend more time talking about TV than games anyway. (Not necessarily on the site, but in personal conversation.) Last week marked the premiere of most major network TV programs, and so Premiere Week will not only celebrate the new Riddlethos, but also a new season of glorious, side-splitting television.

However, that is not all. Hell, if it was all, you’d probably feel kinda cheated, right? A week of ugly yellow only to find that we’d decided to start talking about TV shows? That would indeed be cheap, but luckily for you, we’re better than that. This weekend will mark the premiere (there’s that word again!) of a brand-new feature for Riddlethos.com.

And that’s not all. The brand-new feature will be brought to you by… a brand-new person. As in, someone who is neither Riddles nor Ethos.

I won’t reveal more at this time, but suffice to say, you have something to look forward to. So let’s kick back, relax, enjoy some good television, and then talk about it. Eh?

~Riddles

Welcome to Birth By Sleep Week

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I would have had the new banner up last night, but I decided to get drunk instead. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. It might have been because I had to work on Labor Day, which didn’t sit well with me. It would have been slightly ameliorated  had my favorite waitress been there, but she wasn’t. So, I was denied even the simple pleasure of eye candy and awkward conversation.

Now that we’ve delved a little too deeply into my personal life/screwed up psyche, let me welcome you to Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Week! I know you’ve all been looking forward to this one. I know I have.

Which makes it all the more embarrassing that this week is set-and-ready to be a total bust. Why?

1) Square Enix decided not to release Birth By Sleep over PSN, meaning that poor Ethos and his trendy, UMD-less PSP are shit out of luck, unless he can manage to swipe a friend’s PSP for the week.

2) Just a few weeks ago, I gave my PSP-2000 to my brother as payment of a rather large debt I owed him. (Product of the Unemployed Time, if you recall that.) So. I have no PSP. However, seeing that it’s still in the family and my brother intends to buy Birth By Sleep, I should be able to spend some time with the game. Hopefully.

So, yeah. Um. Just bear with us, I suppose. And, if any of you are lucky enough to have a copy of the game, please, let your thoughts on it be known below.

Hey! Look! Listen! will be up either tonight or tomorrow, so I’ll see you then.

~Riddles

Welcome to TV Week

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A bit late for a welcome, I know, but BLAH. Don’t care. Be happy you have a new banner to look at.

Usually, when we have a week labeled “TBA,” Ethos and I have an idea in mind, but we want to keep it secret for fun. This time, though, we had absolutely no idea what to do for the week. So we decided to do this.

Why? Well, you may not know this about us, but Ethos and I watch quite a bit of television. That is to say, we watch good television. And we tend to be fairly serious about it, watching entire seasons of shows in consecutive order, absorbing the entire experience. Oftentimes, when we get on AIM with the intent of discussing Riddlethos-related matters, we end up yakking about whatever episodes of whatever TV show we’ve recently watched.

Point being, we like good TV. We love it almost as much as we love videogames. So, for the three days that remain in this week, we’re going to talk about TV. So NYAH.

In order to get into the spirit of the week, I leave you with a clip from one of my current favorite shows, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Out of context, it’s not as hilarious as it should be. Regardless, this is one of my favorite TV moments of all time, so I’m posting it on my site, BECAUSE I FUCKING CAN.