Today was payday, and I splurged … just a little. You see, Gamestop was having a B2G1 sale on used games and that’s a deal you can’t pass up. My original, and futile, plan was to pick up Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, and Gears of War. After scouting 5 stores throughout the week I came to realize that my chances of putting that combination together was slim to none.

Gears was easy to come by, every store had numerous copies, but Mass Effect and CoD4 are pretty popular and virtually impossible to come by used. After this realization I decided upon Gears, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and then whatever big name game I could find.

It amazed me that the first store I went today off of Northgate in Natomas happened to have A copy of Mass Effect used so I quickly snapped that up along with LoZ:TP and GoW. Success! Then to add to my amazement was a copy of Capcom vs SNK Card Fighters for DS which is all but impossible to find. I just couldn’t walk away from this oppurtunity, so I decided to pick up another trio of games and picked up Crackdown and Magna Carta.

Not a bad trip to one Gamestop, 6 games for under $140, but I wasn’t done splurging just yet. Yesterday I looked into potential “fixes” for the horrendously awful d-pad for the 360 controller. In my research I discovered a youtube video that demonstrated an inexpensive way to improve the range of motion for the d-pad.

Basically the problem with the d-pad isn’t actually the pad itself, but rather the plastic lip surrounding it. When pushing the pad in one direction the pad hits the lip and doesn’t reach the limit of its range. This causes the d-pad to slip and hit multiple sensors causing errant inputs. If you sand down inside of that lip it allows the d-pad to “breathe” easier and hit the directions accurately.

Bottom controller features the improved breathing room for the D-pad.

This process isn’t hard at all, it just requires a T8H (tamper-resistant) screwdriver to remove the screws from the wireless controller. Of course doing so voids any remaining warranty on the controller, but having a d-pad that is accurate greatly outweighs this “set-back.” Actually it isn’t completely necessary to open the controller to improve the pad’s breathing room, but is advised so that the shavings don’t fall into the inner-workings of the controller.

My newly improved controller now allows me to accurately play the pac-man mini-game in RR6 and to not accidentally activate my special weapon in Castlevania:SotN. I’ll have to give a mini-update on this after testing the pad with VF5. I’m hoping I’ll be able to hit the diagonals accurately and be able to consistantly pull off my Lion combos. *cross fingers*


September 25th is just around the corner and I’m still without a 360. This does not bide well for my aspirations of playing the campaign without accidentally glancing upon a spoiler. Especially since the chance of getting the okay to blow $420’sh just to play Halo 3 is slim to none, well … none actually.

Combine the disinterest that has been growing with WoW and it seems I’m in yet another gaming rut. Which is actually one of the main reasons I’m bummed about not owning a 360 yet. Right now the next-gen is out of my reach, financial obligations suck. period.

Yet there’s a glimmer on the horizon as I’m finally getting around to taking courses to get an actual degree in graphic design. Sure talent can open a lot of doors, but given my limited resources/contacts I don’t have time to attempt to pry that door open. Having a degree will open that door for me and should allow me to get back into an industry that suits me. Which will hopefully open up enough financial resources to allow me to buy a new car, house, and all 3 next gen systems. Oh yah, and a PSP and a DS lite for myself. ^^;

Speaking of the DS lite I’ve been hogging the wife’s DS to play a lot of Pokemon when I have a chance at work. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Pokemon. Pikachu does weird things to me … (No not in THAT way you dirty minded peep) Yet there’s a lot of room to actually make the game far more palatable to the adult. There’s just too many limitations and few innovations over the past 10 years.

It’s criminal that Diamond/Pearl are virtually the same game as Red/Blue that graced the Gameboy over a decade ago. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” only holds so much water, especially when the associated cartoon series continues to show how snubbed fans of the game are. C’mon … why can’t we combine moves (aka quick attack into an iron tail) and field moves DEFINITELY need an overhaul. Why must we gimp pokemon just to continually reuse the same field moves whenever revisiting areas?

Why not allow for moves to naturally evolve and increase the learned move limit, perhaps even doing away with the limit, yet only allow 4 moves to be “equipped” for battle. This would actually solve the field move gimping problem by allowing every pokemon learn field moves without penalizing them for doing so. Why not do away with rounds and adopt the FF ATB system?

Ugh, I just realized how much of a 30 year old fanboy I’m sounding like now. *smirk* But damnit, I want an adult’sh experience when it comes to Pokemon. Maybe I should go out and purchase Persona 3 … or hey, play some games that I’ve started and not yet finished …