Sunday, August 26, 2007

eBay Scam Alert - 12 Months of Xbox Live?

When you need to find a rare item, or are perhaps looking for a good bargain, eBay usually comes to mind for the millions of people that use the world’s most popular auction site daily.

However, many people are turned off from this site for numerous reasons. One of them is because of the good amount of scammers that prey on the easily-fooled.

A new scam to watch out for on eBay is for cheap Xbox Live cards. The people that sell these often list them for half the price the cards normally retail. Once you purchase the card the seller e-mails you the code and you’re on your way to 13 months of Xbox Live play.

Or so many think. These are nothing but free one month trials that expire quickly. However, most people are fooled by this, so they end up giving the seller positive feedback (because, at the time, they’re not aware that their not receiving what they paid for – a full year of Xbox Live joy). After a month, however, their Xbox Live accounts are gone and they’re left with nothing.

One of the more humorous sellers doing this shady practice is hledford87. Check out her auction here. What would an attractive woman be doing on the internet, selling Xbox Live cards all day anyway? It would probably be frightening seeing the real person pulling off this scam…

“If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is”. Just remember this quote you see Xbox Live subscriptions – or pretty much any other outrageously-good deal – on eBay.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Japan's Most Beloved Wrestling Franchise Finally Returns to the U.S.

Although the Fire Pro Wrestling made two quick U.S. pit stops in 2001 and 2002 (both on GBA), us American gamers who didn't want to go through the hassle of importing didn't get to experience the best games in this great series.

First, a quick history lesson (for those of you not familiar with the series). Fire Pro Wrestling is Japan's most beloved wrestling series. Although the series may not feature flashy visuals or recognizable stars (though you can put 'em in yourself), it's game play is far deeper than that of any other wrestling game. Also, the editing tools in the franchise are so wondrous that you can edit any wrestler to look - and even play (you can edit moves, taunts, specials, etc) like many popular wrestlers - either current ones or ones of the past. Wanna put the Rock in the game? No problem! Just pick a pre-made wrestler, edit his look, appearance, moves, and name, and you pretty much have who you want.

FirePro Wrestling is also well known for its unique match types. An actual mode called 'Electrified Barbed Wire Ropes Exploding Deathmatch'? 'Nuff said!

Most likely set for an early 2008 release, FirePro Wrestling Returns is often hauled as the greatest game in the series (and the best wrestling title of all time). Even better, Agetec, who is bringing us this title, will be releasing it at a budget price.

Hmm... I'll be solving a little math problem here.... The sheer depth on the series + the tons of replay value + the budget price = one of the best PS2 bargains ever! Once it's released you better snap it up quick, because like last year's other great bargain game, Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit, this will most likely be seeing a limited U.S. release.


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Saturday, August 18, 2007

BioShock - Highest Rated Game of all Time?

Most of us expected BioShock to be good, but I think those who have played it (either the full game or in demo form) were quite shocked at just how incredible the game turned out to be. This makes the three date wait for the game to be released mighty difficult.

Currently every source who has reviewed this potential 'Game of the Year' candidate has given it a positive review. In fact, according to Game Rankings, if the review trends continue this way then BioShock will dethrone Zelda: Ocarina of Time as the highest rated game of all time. Currently one percent shy of perfection (99% average), I bet certain sites, such as GameSpot, will probably bring the overall rating down a tad. But maybe I'll be wrong. We'll just have to see as more websites review this awesome title, but as of today eight different sites have contributed to this review.

Also, here are the current top 10 highest rated games of all time (according to Gamerankings):

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) 97.7%
2. Soulcalibur (DC) - 96.4%
3. Metroid Prime (GC) - 96.3%
4. Resident Evil 4 (GC) - 95.8%
5. GoldenEye 007 (N64) - 95.8%
6. Resident Evil 4 (PS2) - 95.7%
7. Super Mario 64 (N64) - 95.7%
8. Halo (Xbox) - 95.6%
9. Tekken 3 (PSX) - 95.6%
10. Half-Life 2 (PC) - 95.5%


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BioShock Demo - Does It Live Up to the Hype?

Ever since BioShock was unveiled last year, I have been extremely excited to play this unique FPS. After leaving my Xbox 360 on all night (yep, it literally takes hours to download a single demo) to download the newly released demo off the Xbox Live Marketplace, I finally got to give this highly-anticipated title a try. So is it the astonishing, ground-breaking shooter most of us expected or was it merely just another over hyped, third-rate FPS?

I can safely say that BioShock lives up the massive amount of hype surrounding it - and then some! When you first boot up the demo you experience a plane crash, find yourself in the middle of the (rather beautiful-looking) ocean, and must find a way to get onto land. Once you find a place to go and explore it a bit, you hear the sounds of some very interesting Big Band music. Hmmm... hearing this was a nice change of pace (when's the last time a game featured this type of music?), but perhaps an orchestral score would have been even better.

Anyhoot, you eventually run into foes, and you can combat them with either a wrench or a gun, and you have the ability to electrocute them or stun them (depending if they're in water or not) with another weapon (which is also used to enter some pathways). The demo lasted a good half hour, and I couldn't wait to see what comes next - this is the type of game you'd play until the wee hours of the morning.

The character designs are very well done, and the visuals are marvelous. Beautifully animated, I'd be suprised if there's a better looking game than BioShock all year. The environments are some of the best looking I've seen in any game ever.

Although Halo 3 will certainly be a tremendous mainstream hit (and will probably have the best multi-player on Xbox Live once again), if there's one FPS I'll be putting my money on the rest of the year BioShock will be it.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wild Frustration in Animal Crossing: Wild World

Most of us play online games simply to have a good time. Others use it for a more... sinister motive.

You see, I've been playing Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS nearly everyday for over a year straight. The game is repetitive and overly cutesy, but like most people who have given it a try, I can't get enough of it! A large portion of the fun comes from connecting online and visiting other people's towns or letting them see yours. For awhile it's been very safe to play online; you wouldn't have to worry about cheaters, hackers, or anything of that manner. Until recently, however...

There are bored, troublesome players known as "seeders" who come into your town only to try to ruin it for their own pleasure. What they do is use Action Replay, a popular cheat device, to plant "seeds" into your town which are invisible buildings, rocks, trees, etc. and cannot be seen until the next time you play the game. You cannot get rid of these "seeds" and they often make the game unplayable, and if they plant enough of these, can break you cartridge entirely.

The only way to avoid them is to carefully watch who you're playing with and to be very cautious at all times while someone else is visiting your town. Jeez, lowlifes will always find a way to try the suck the fun out of something for someone. Maybe those much-criticized "friend codes" weren't such a bad idea after all...

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