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Messages - Jesse James

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Investing 101... How's your portfolio?
« on: March 10, 2005, 01:32 PM »
Roth Accounts are just ones you pay the taxes up front so when you cash them out you don't have taxes to pay...

For instance you put $10,000 in today, pay your taxes, you take it out at age 62 or whatever and whatever it's earned is yours, no taxes...  More or less, in a simplified way of explaining it, that's all it is.  It's something everyone should invest in immediately when they start their careers because it's probably the best investment towards retirement for everyone to use.

Myself, I have no money to be pissing around with in the markets, so I don't.  I have as an experiment or for classes, but never for my own benefit down a long-term path.  I actually made money off of Hasbro once in a little experiment, but that's something I highly recommend AGAINST trying. :)

Seems like most people have things pretty under control for themselves...  That's good.

To me, I feel that if you're not into this stuff, and if you don't have very much money to throw around with investing, it's in your best interest to let a professional handle your money.  Most of us know someone who has done well under an investment broker, and I think it's best to talk to some of these people, find out who they use, and then get in touch with them and set up meetings to discuss his/her future with them.  For instance my mother's best friend who passed away had one of the best investors in my area who I know (made her tons after a messy and costly divorce, and she was eventually quite well off, but sadly she died young)...  My girlfriend's father was able to retire early partly due to his investor, etc...  It's possible to jump into the market when it's high or low and make money though, it's just who is "steering your particular ship", so to speak.

I've been a business student the majority of my life and I don't even trust myself 100% with investing.  I like a specialist opinion.

The main thing is if you're in things for the long term, have specific and realistic goals you want met, and if you have a diverse portfolio, you're going to end up doing well, but portfolio divesification's much harder than it sounds.  I'd be reluctant to put one together myself...  As long as you're not looking for quick/high returns you're going to be ok though with a reputeable investor though.

Oh, and I prefer investors who take their cut on the back end of things because they're the ones who are gonna work harder to make you more...  But that's my opinion, some feel otherwise for their own reasons.  You may pay more with my option but you may yield more too.  Just my observations though.

I'm sure people with actual retirement build-ups know more than me about where they stand.  There's plenty of options...

Oh, let me also say if you're looking through various financial institutions for investment, DO NOT discount your insurance companies in your area.  I know that a recent small account I had (holding my $ for Celebration 3) didn't yield much but like maybe $50 or so extra, but had I looked around a LITTLE harder I'd have found a 3 - 4% higher rate at most Insurance company.

Fin. Inst. De-regulation has opened up a lot of competition, and rates are a bit more competitive, so don't hold yourself to strict ideas of who you feel can do the best for you.  Had I looked a little harder I'd have done a bit better in a fairly short period of time.  I'm kicking myself in the ass over that now...  That's my gas money to and from Celebration 3 right there had I done things better.  When I put it in those terms I really begin to hate myself.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Terminator Toy Line... 4" Scale.
« on: March 9, 2005, 05:24 PM »
Eh, the image showed for all of like 2 seconds I guess, hehe

Those images you posted are the same ones though, so I guess they are the same.  I'm not fond of those Predators at all.  Very toy-ish, and HUGE heads.  They look like Mardis Gras costumes!  :)

The aliens look a lot better though, and facehuggers/pods = figure goodness.  I'd buy an alien just for the accessories if that's the case, so I can have a face hugger on a stormtrooper!

JD Sports Forum! / Re: NFL Offseason 2005
« on: March 9, 2005, 01:59 AM »
People in Pittsburgh are sort of enjoying the fact that Burress apparantly has **** that DOES stink.  Oh how that must hurt his ego!

Not that I dislike Plaxico Burress, and I regret his now sealed loss to free-agency (which he was supposedly the replacement for Moss by all accounts here anyway), but accepting that for what it is then I get a kick out of seeing him NOT being as hotly clamored for as he thought he would be.  I think he's feeling some wrath from other owners at "flashy" kinds of players like Moss perhaps...  I dunno.

I tend to not follow much in the off-season, but the Steelers signed his replacement yesterday I guess, more or less, and are moving on...  Plus we still had Ward anyway, but the Plax story's been the big one here lately.

OK, and after that tirade...

I beat the game earlier this evening.  A very abrupt ending but one that definitely leads straight away into Episode III.  A minor cutscene at the end, but like I said it was cut incredibly short and the game overall lacked cutscenes.

Anyway, my opinion basically stands as it was...

So my views again, more briefly:

-Lack of cutscenes hurts story and the game overall

-Enemies being made incredibly hard throws the "realism" intent of the game's designers out the window.  You can't claim you went for realism and make every alien require a clip full of ammo to die, or rockets/anti-armor to just take out a SBD.  Keep it like the film god dammit!  SBD's just took 5 - 10 shots instead of 2 - 3 shots like a regular BD!   >:(

-Game Controls are nothing special, but the command function is simple and effective.  It combines features in games like Conflict Desert Storm with a FPS which worked well.  Sucks they didn't keep realism again. :(

-Level design/layout was pretty good...  Could've stood having a few dead-ends though, and areas to explore.  There were many more areas with "locked" doors though, especially in the Kashyyyk levels.  Best of the game.

-Character designs strayed from "real"...  IE: the films have established what a spider droid looks like so animate one exactly like the films.  The films established what Geonosians look like, so animate them as such.  The films established Trandoshans as well so don't try "beefing them up".  Just go with what's established if you want actual "realism" within the game.

-Not really any puzzles...  I like puzzles in a game, this didn't have that.

-Ducking and Crouching are useless practically.  Very little use and that sucks.  I like that dynamic of jumping up on a ledge rather than taking steps.  Not that you need "Force Jump" powers, just normal jumping ability or even the added ability to climb obstructions or hop them perhaps??

-Weaker enemies = more of them...  I like shooting more people and feeling overwhelmed rather than fighting "super" enemies.  It's a better aspect of FPS gaming I think and keeps more with the enemies in the prequals too...  There's SOME of this in Rep Commando but not a lot, and it's watered down due to the intense strength the designers gave to the characters.  Very dumb.

-A Jetpack feature like in Bounty Hunter could've gone a long way.  Just a thought, and Clone Commando's seem like they maybe would use that technology if it were available.

-AI is ok...  It's not great, it's not revolutionary to the FPS genre, but it is ok.  I did find that enemies did dumb **** often though.  Even a bodyguard of Greivous gets stuck in this one part and was easy to just knife to death.  Your own teammates do dumb **** too though, and run headlong into rooms without YOUR command to do so.

Nice training.   ::)

-Short...  The game itself is short.  Very short...  It could've really gone on a lot longer.  The ghost ship level was neat but there could've been a lot more to this game.

-Graphically the game is visually great overall.  No gripes whatsoever.  Explosions are intense, lots of cool features, lots of colors in the flora and fauna of worlds (Kashyyyk I'm lookin gat you), and each environment conveyed itself well...  Could've used more interactive features like shooting panels off walls and whatnot though.

-Weaponry was cool.  The Jedi Knight series has lost track of making blaster weapons "fun", but RC had good weapons and while the enemies were too tough the weapons were still fun if not a little awkwardly designed (the rocket launcher was stupid, and a half-assed machine gun that Trandoshans used sucks).

-No vehicles...  minor, but could've been neat if you really got into something like an AT-XT with a teammate and trashed some enemies, or perhaps use a speederbike to traverse some terrain...

-And did I mention the enemies are WAY too tough.  Not all mind you, but Geonosians taking 2 shots?  Come on these guys are cannon fodder in the movie!

And the Super Battledroid is possibly the most annoying thing in the whole game.  Incredibly frequent throughout the game, and a droid that should only take like 20 shots from the basic Clone rifle suddenly now takes a bunch of heavy weapons to kill.  bull****!  Beyond him though are the Trandoshan and Geonosian Elites and Trandoshan Berzerkers...  Stupid ideas, stupid abilities...  Sucked ASS.  Every bit of realism this game acheived went out the window because the game developers (again) catered to the HALO crowd instead of keeping Star Wars as Star Wars.

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, and easily this game's greatest downfall.   :(

Still, with all that, it was fun to play through...  It wasn't terribly hard actually, or challenging, and when it was a little hard it was mroe annoyingly hard than actually entertainingly difficult.

I won't be buying this for a while now...  The gamer rag reviews on this game just show me once more than gamer rags DON'T know **** about gaming and cater more to a child's mindset.  They aim more towards the 15 year old on X-Box live cussing at you while you play him in Battlefront I think.

I expected more given what was being touted about this.

Glad I beat it on a rental (not even trying real hard at first) so I don't feel compelled to buy it and finish it then.  :)

Other Toy Lines / Re: Terminator Toy Line... 4" Scale.
« on: March 8, 2005, 09:54 PM »

These are the Microman figures MisterPL?

Just moved ya over here where you belong, thanks!

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Whoo!!! My Monkey Smokes Again!
« on: March 8, 2005, 05:57 PM »
So I found someone who has 3 of the OLD paper mache monkeys like the one my mom gave to me...  He won't sell though...  yet.

I'm jonesing for some new ones but money is tight.  At least I know where a few are at that I may be able to get ahold of though, and expand the collection.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: RotS - Collection 2 Figures
« on: March 8, 2005, 05:31 PM »
I'm geeked that they went so far as to put a holster on this guy with a bikerscout sidearm.  Nice work on Hasbro's part.  Articulation looks good too, and I'm pleased with the robe.

Looks like it's time to cast some forcepikes.  Now the question then is if you go with the vintage pike or modern ones...  I dunno which I like more, but probably modern just for accuracy sake.  Vintage maybe for some diveristy?

Revenge of the Sith / Re: RotS Product Leaks: Already?
« on: March 8, 2005, 05:29 PM »
Pittsburgh must have the best retail employees on Earth.  :)

So far no leaks of figures...  The mid-size ships did trickle out though to most Target stores in the area and even have had their shelves replenished.

Anyway, the Red Royal Guard looks great...  We called that one back in January like Jeff mentioned and it's nice to see him trickling out too so we can get images of him finally.  Looks like my salt & pepper shaker Guards are coming down finally.

Hell these I may need a small army off for the prequals and classic trilogy.  Great looking sculpt on that one, good articulation, and I love softgoods robes on figures.  Even when they're sloppy, they're usually more fun than a figure I can't do jack squat with.  The Royal Guard needed this treatment.

No pikes sucks though.  Need the pikes for them.   :-\

The Prequel Trilogy / Re: Young Han Solo - Cut from ROTS
« on: March 8, 2005, 12:24 PM »
I agree completely Scott.

I don't like cameos for the sake of sticking someone in there...  Tarkin is a stretch as it is to me, but I'm already hating that Chewbacca is in here, and I think the droids are over-used at times too.  Especially 3PO.

Capt. Antilles is another thing that seems forced too...  I dunno.  And Jabba's appearances...  Sometimes there's too many ties to the old trilogies.  It's a big galaxy so I like to think coincidental run-ins wouldn't be this frequent. :)

Other Toy Lines / Re: The Official 21st Century Toys Thread
« on: March 7, 2005, 06:23 PM »
Not that I'm aware, though ironically they were branching out that direction at one point...  Well, not towards space specifically, but moving away from "military only" like they have been.  Rumor was they were heading to a Police and Firefighters line which I'd welcome...

Space (real space) I'd welcome too...  They could certainly do it justice, however the material/variety is limited.  I know they're reluctant to do certain airplanes even, ones you'd THINK would be good choices, simply because they say there's a slight chance they wouldn't go well.  THe Japanese Zero actually is one such plane...  Who wouldn't want a Zero though if they bought a Corsair or the upcoming Avenger?  I dunno.

The other thing, oddly, that I heard was maybe coming out was 1:18 scale middle ages figures.  Knights, pikemen, etc...  Weird.

The thing I think would kill the space idea is a void of "repaints".  A lot of 21st's love of military vehicles is many can be repainted and resold.  I guess it's justification for some things getting made.

I know the upcoming Panzer is already lined upw ith ambush paintscheme, winter, etc...  I usually buy only one or two versions.  Definitely only 1 of a plane though, if even that.  Planes are HUGE and take too much room.  I'd rather work on my own 1:18 Star Wars vehicles to take up space around my place.  Planes just take a back seat to me.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Terminator Toy Line... 4" Scale.
« on: March 7, 2005, 06:18 PM »
Yeah I've not heard ANYTHING on the chase other than the queen rumor but it seemed a bit of a pipedream to me too.  Nice idea though.

That 4: snapkit line needs Colonial marines though...  At least a few of the ones who made it to the end like Hicks,e tc...

And a Ripley...  Come on! 

Can't wait.  Got my figs from a place called ABC-Express so we'll see how fast they arrive.  :)

Photonovels and Movies / Re: INTERACTIVE Photonovel - NEW SCENE!
« on: March 7, 2005, 01:47 AM »
Hey Quazar,

Now that's a great idea...  Interactive storylines.  I love it and enjoy going along with the story.  That's an ambitious project you have going on and really nice customs in it too, right off the bat, plus you take the time to make the settings surrounding them interesting and realistic.

You took the photonovel concept to a whole new level, and deserve recognition for that!

You should take your story over to and their new forums.  I know you'd have a lot of appreciative followers checking it out there.  Just say hi when you're there if you'd like to join in on it.

I look forward to a lot more of your story, it's definitely a great concept since I think the interaction maybe will draw in the outsiders from the customizing world too.  I'm gonna keep up with it for sure.

Thanks man, for sharing this with us!

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Happy Saint Patricks Day!
« on: March 7, 2005, 01:36 AM »
Go out...  get drunk.

Well on a whim I rented REpublic Commando the other night and began playing it before I buy it on PC.  So far, my review's a mixed feeling on the game.  If this is how First Person Shooters are going though, count me as disappointed then.

-AI in this game's surprisingly decent...  Enemies duck and dodge, they hide, and in general they're smarter than in most games.  Far superior to HALO 1 or 2, and generally superior to most FPS games I think, but the clones still do some dumb **** from time to time which is frustrating...  Running ahead of you, getting stuck places, running in front of you during a firefight.  AI's just not quite up to par with other games like Call of Duty yet.

-Levels are nicely designed and make sense, but they're incredibly linear which is a step backwards.  There's few "side halls" that are dead ends and things, and to me those are the little details that can make a game more real in the mind of the gamer.  For instance, Dark Forces would put a latrine as a side room in the middle of a base.  Why?  Because in real life Stormtroopers need to take a piss like the rest of us and it would exist...

Some levels have blocked off routes, namely the Acclamator Class Destroyer level, and that's good, but the game lacked many accessible "dead ends" which would've greatly helped it feel more gritty and real.  The levels are designed well though and don't feel illogical or unrealistic with high ledges that you can't reach but somehow an enemy is on it...  That kinda crap.

-The graphics are fine...  I'm not fond of the game sort of taking liberties with alien design though.  They have Trandoshans as almost a cross between apes and lizards rather than the thin look Bossk implied to us in ESB, and so they basically rewrote movie canon for their own use.  That irks me and it's simply laziness on the part of the game designers to make a new enemy or to make the Trandoshans unique/interesting as they are rather than just change their physics all together.

Another enemy I found annoying that they changed is the Geonosians.  They don't look like ugly, thin, frail bugs...  Instead the game beefed them up graphically speaking, and that's unnecessary. 

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

Beyond that, the graphics of the game are great, gritty, realistic...  If the enemies were too the game's visuals would be flawless I think.

-Enemies TOO TOUGH!!!  I don't know what the hell the game developers were thinking, but they made every enemy damn near impossible to kill.  Absolutely stupid.

Now, I'm a gamer so this isn't just me picking the game apart and saying, "Wah!  This is too hard!" or anything.  Far from it...  I like difficulty.

The proplem is they made every enemy unrealistically difficult to kill.  The movies show how tough something is to destroy and this game just does NO justice to the films.  Should a Trandoshan (unarmored and with only knives) be as tough to kill as a heavily armored person is in another more well done FPS?  I don't think so.

The Super Battledroids should be tougher to destroy than battledroids, but should they take a Clone emptying 3 or 4 clips before he actually kills one?  WTF!?  Stupid...  In the movie they'd take 10 shots at most...  AT MOST!  In the game you're practically dry on ammo before one's dead and it's ripped you a new one in the process.

Battledroids even take more than 2 shots sometimes.  What's up with that?  In the movie they drop like flies, so I think the game developers should've just had more attack you rather than make them tougher (not to mention they too are not like the the films but rather they look black and tough to see...  Where's red or cream color for them?  Why not give them "Commanders" that when you shoot an OOM-9 one the others flee or become less coordinated, ya know?  Think Developers, think!). 

The SBD's and Trandoshans are truly the last straw, but then the spider droid is like fighting a huge tank instead of it being nothing more than just another larger/tougher droid.  It's super tough and only anti-armor can take it out...  Silliness, and the films showed otherwise so just set the characters up like the films and leave it at that, don't get creative!   ::)

-Dialogue/Sound...  I put dialogue first because it is the most noticeable sound actually.  And it's funny and interesting to hear...  Lots of static-filled conversation, characters chattering, etc...  Sound effects are good and realistic...  It's everything you'd expect from a SW game so I'm content there. 

-Gameplay/Controls...  Very good layout, and even with all the commands and such the X-Box controller made it relatively simple.  It's no Tom Clancy game though, I'll say that.  It's nowhere near the complexity of a Ghost REcon or Rainbow Six...  That sort of sucks actually given that both really would make for a great Star Wars game if they were to mimic that style.

Unfortunately, Rep. Commando is more an improvement on HALO than it is an attempt at a real squad-based combat shooter like Ghost Recon.  I think the latter (with more realistic enemies) would've been greatly superior.  That's me though.  To me, HALO's nothing but a watered down game that doesn't revolutionize FPS gaming in the slightest.  If anything it dumbs it down for a broader audience is all.

Rep. Commando improves on the ideas HALO sets forth, but with Ghost Recon available to mimic I think you go with more the older crowd than trying to make everyone happy.

-Storyline...  Great really.  Very interesting, but very low on cutscenes to advance it.  I love animations and cutscenes to keep a story cohesive so I'd label that a criticism, but these Clones missions are great and lead you through the Clone Wars well enough.  This game could just do more to expand upon that...  Show in elaborate scenes WHY you're doing what you're doing, etc...

And with that, I'll wrap up the review...

It's an ok game...  Good in its own ways, but it's not the "blockbuster" I would've expected it to be...  It didn't take Star Wars FPS gaming to a whole new level, and it really didnt' even try to make itself fit firmly into the EU other than its storyline is good enough that it fits in the time between AOTC and ROTS.

I'd say that this is a rent it and wait for a decrease in price at best...  I'll likely do just that because I'm thinking replay on this is gonna be minimal.

I'm not happy with the game entirely, and a lot of my anger revolves around how they made the enemies A) not look like they do in the films established canon, and B) the enemies are EXTRAORDINARILY difficult to fight.  Not to the point that the game is impossible, but to the point that I find the game to be a nuisance since you should be just breezing through some areas.  There's instaces where more enemies rather than stronger enemies would be the better balance to the game, rather than the other way around.

The game's designers were trying tooooooo hard to cater to the "HALO" crowd.  To me, trying to make 15 year old boys happy (sorry to the adults who do like HALO, I'm not trying to be offensive but it's pretty well known that there's a difference in crowds between those who like Call of Duty or Ghost REcon, and then those who like HALO) over trying to make a game that does the Star Wars films justice.

To me this is a little like Castle Wolfenstein...  Beefing up Germans and things to make a WW2 shooter when WW2 itself should give you plenty of material to make a game with on your own...  Though RtCW wasn't a bad game and had a better balance to it than Rep Commando does.

That's my wrap on this...  I'm gonna be holding off on buying it now.  Glad I didn't go bust my ass upgrading my PC to get a copy (though I feel sure it plays better on PC where control is more fluid, fast, and accurate) of Republic Commando though.  It's not all it boasts in my book, and it'llb e something I wind up buying just because I like a full library of SW video games on hand.

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