Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – Review!

This is the third, and final chapter in the Metroid Prime series. The first two games were released for the Nintendo Gamecube. With Metroid Prime 3, this games and its controls feel like it was completely developed for the Wii  rather than just porting the previous two games from the Gamecube to the new system.

I picked up Corruption the afternoon it came out and played for a couple hours to start getting used to the controls. While I have not gotten really far at all (im just shy of two hours in and just completed my real second mission), Im really loving this game.

The graphics are truly amazing. Being one of the very few games on the Wii that take Progressive Scan (making the Wii display in its max 480p glory) and widescreen (In a 16:9 ratio, perfect for our 52″ widescreen), this truly enhances game play. There were times where I just wanted to look around the environment to see some of the awesome actions, explosions, physics, etc. Cut scenes are rendered very nicely too, and I never felt like I was having to sit around waiting for game play.

Controlling Samus is really easy, and just flows. I felt that at times the controls were too sensitive though. When fighting the first boss, I kept moving around slow at times and then speeding up, not noticing what I did different with the controls. I also felt that in some fight scenes, I was not able to move nearly as fast as I thought I should be or was previously able to.

One of the biggest new features is actually outside of the game. While you are playing, you gain points from killing enemies, scanning items, and accomplishments. When you are not playing the game you can go to the “Extras” menu and redeem these points for various other rewards. These rewards include Music, Concept Art, and even Mii Bobble Head Dolls. Im not sure how much (if any) of this content is available outside of the game. For example, I would really like to be able to somehow save the songs I won to my SD card, and then copy them to my computer.

The game also uses WiiConnect24 to allow you to link with your friends. If you have other friends with the game, you can connect with them and share these accomplishment points. I have yet to do this, since I dont know if anyone else has the game yet.

In the end, this is a pretty amazing game. I am looking forward to writing more about the game as I finish more accomplishments or get much further. But if you are looking for a new game for the Wii that is not only a real demonstration of what the system is capable of, but also one of the best game franchises from Nintendeo yet, please check out this game. Ive always been a huge Metroid fan, and this game is the best yet!

Listening To: ‘Ten Years Gone’ by Led Zeppelin

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New iMac!!!

So today Debs an I went and purchased a new iMac!

We went with the 24″, 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM (for now…Apple RAM is overpriced), 320GB HDD, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro and the 8x Superdrive.

All I have to say is this thing is HUGE! And yet again, I am in love with Apple.

With a student discount not only did I get $100 knocked off this machine, but also got a free printer (you get $100 off a printer, we chose a $100 printer), and a new 4GB nano. Debs is going to replace her second gen silver 2GB nano with this new second gen 4GB ble one. I also picked up iWork ’08 since we both agreed we needed something to write with.

I would love to write more, but I have soooo much to do! Of course I really want to see what this machine can do, but I also need to finish setting it up first! I also have to copy my stuff from my old desktop and debs documents from her laptop.

On a side note, I got Metroid Prime 3: Corruption today, and our new Onkyo system comes in tomorrow!

Lastly – NO ONE BUY AN iPOD IN THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO. Apple today announced there is going to be an event on September 5th. This will probablly be updates to the Video and Nano possibly…who knows. Apple has done this before, where they release new hardware, and then a month or two later new iPods…especially when they give away nanos to students :). If you look at the actual rules for the rebate, only certain product numbers are allowed, and the new iPods of course have different product numbers.

A Quad-Core Mac…before its time?

This article about one of the old Macintosh Clones was posted on an Australian Mac forum a few months ago. I meant to post it earlier but never got around to it. Its an interesting read for those that are interested in some older Apple history.

For those who didn’t know, Apple licensed the OS (this was around the time of System 7) to other computer manufactures to build these clones. This allowed the market to have many different machines, including low end machines cheaper than what Apple was selling plus high end machines that really pushed the limits, and possibly provided savings that buying a comparable Mac. Of course, after a few years, some of these were selling more than Apple hardware, so Apple pulled the plug on the program (hardware quality had also started to wear off at Apple as well as with the Clones). I personally got a chance to use some of the StarMax (made by Motorola) machines in High School.

Seeing a machine like this brings back some old memories. But it also makes you wonder about what could happen today. With all new Macs being Intel based, it makes you wonder if Apple will EVER allow something like this again. I doubt it though – shortly after Steve came back to Apple, he pulled the plug and mentioned it ‘was a very ill-conceived program’.

Using multiple Apple Software Update repos

There was a good article posted on AFP548 yesterday about a way to run multiple software repositories (or branches) on one Mac OS X Server. This is a great idea and I wish I had thought of this when I was using it before. Basically you download ALL updates, duplicate the index file, and then change one (or more, if you want to have more than two repos) to mark which packages should be deployed to which group.

You could then use the ‘defaults write’ command (and send it through ARD if you have specific groups already set up) to tell which machines to go to which branch on the software update server.

If your a Mac sys-admin, then you should really be watching AFP548. When I was doing this stuff, I learned a VAST amount of stuff from this site. I still read it to keep up with the Mac admin community.

Listening To: ‘Dead Souls’ by Nine Inch Nails

A new photography blog!

Photography has always been a big interest of mine. Unfortunately, I have not been able to spend nearly the amount of time I would like to exploring this hobby. Recently I have been trying to spend a little more time on this when I have the chance, and decided to try some new ideas out.

So I have started a new blog, Exploring Photography.

I wanted to do something new to keep crazy-train.net (my personal blog) and these photography tips, tricks, and info organized. This also allows the Exploring Photography blog to drive more more focused traffic at it, and let people find what they are looking for much easier.

I have a few stories lined up that we be posted soon. I also need more content! If you are interested in contributing, please send me an email. Id like to do such things as a ‘featured photo of the week’, guest articles, etc.

Lastly if you want to start getting the feed right away – click here to get the RSS feed. I will also be showing the last 5 posts on the side of this blog.

I wont be leaving crazy-train.net behind. I still plan to post here all the time, and actually have quite a few cool stories and ideas coming soon! But please check out the new site, and share with your friends!

Listening To: ‘Glass and the Ghost Children’ by The Smashing Pumpkins

Latest Wii Update adds keyboard support!

I finally got around to turning on my flashing Wii Saturday to run a few updates. I have to say, the Wii is a little faster launching channels after the update (one of the supposed fixes), but other than that, the new shopping channel and the tacky clock are not that thrilling. One thing that is pretty exciting though is limited keyboard support!

I have yet to try this, but it sounds pretty interesting. Though, I don’t really know why they didn’t enable this in the Internet Channel. While it is nice to be able to search names of Virtual Console games when shopping, I would have much rather preferred to be able to type in web addresses and make blog posts (without having to point at the letters!).

The other big update was a ‘Metroid Prime 3’ Channel, that really only shows some videos. While the videos were nice, I still think it was a weird way to present this new game. We should get a free level or a sample of game play!

Listening to: Jazzy music on the Sprint Customer Service Line

To catch an iPredator

Not to long ago, Dateline NBC did a report on iPod theft. I didnt really watch much of the show (debs did see a good part though), but you can check out most of the story on the MSNBC website here – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20078671/.

Ive got a huge problem with this story, and ill tell you what it is.

On the first page of this article, they dive into the ‘activation’ process of your iPod. Unless they have REALLY changed something, this doesn’t actually exist in the way they say. It sounds like the activation they mention is actually signing up for an iTunes Store account…which is TOTALLY different.

From what I remember, when you first plug in your iPod, all you really have to do is give it a name! You can own an iPod with out EVER having an iTunes account.

Its the consumers position to record serial numbers and other identifying markings in the case of something being stolen. While yes, it would be nice if Apple could track serial numbers this way, its not really the case. From what I have seen, Apple really doesn’t have a clue what iPod you have. Your iPod DOES know what your iTunes Store account is (it needs to so it can play music you are authorized to play). Basically, when you sync your iPod with a iTunes Library, the iPod picks up this ‘authentication’ from your library. Your library also does know information about your iPod (for syncing), but I am not aware of the iTunes library ever being sent back to Apple (unless in cases where you tell it too, for example downloading Album Artwork in the newer versions of iTunes).

As you read the rest of the story, it is pretty interesting how they tracked these stolen iPods. Basically they made a disk that acted like it was activating the iPod, but actually submitting the data back to them for tracking purposes. In many cases, it would be hard for the thief to tell.
While I really don’t like the way Dateline does many of these things, you have to admit they are very clever. While I find the ‘To Catch a Predator’ amusing, I feel that their methods are wrong. While the ‘predator’ is committing what would be an illegal act (trying to knock up a kid), they are actually pretty legal once caught (all the actors are of age, they never actually commit any contact, etc).

But finally – Dateline was caught being a little TOO sketchy. At the annual hackers convention – Defcon – one of Dateline’s reporters was caught sneaking in without the right credentials. She would have been allowed there if she had a News/Media pass, which would really limit the amount of information she was privileged too. Instead, she came in with a hidden camera, and was exposed. They even have video up on YouTube.

Listening To: ‘Cornflake Girl’ by Tori Amos