Here and Now

I saw a little child laugh today, carefree like, with total concentration at that moment of delight. His object of fascination was his father's hand, which the child was trying to clasp together like a flat pancake with two open palms. The father, a good patient man, offered his free hand like horse’s tail to a mischievous cat, dangling up and down making the child reach and giggle. I couldn’t help but smile too.

The child mesmerized me. There was no sense of future in his eyes. He was totally absorbed in his world, completely immersed with the here and now. No thoughts about where he has to go in 5 minutes. Tomorrow is probably as far as another lifetime for this little being.

Suddenly I then understood why a child cries like the world is ending when an ice-cream cone lands on the ground – because it is. That ice cream cone has the complete attention of the child. It is, in his mind, all the possession he has and will ever own. The child doesn’t think “tomorrow I will buy another one” or “later I will ask my dad for more money”. There is no later. The grief is real, the world is ending.

How wonderful - the ability to love completely. Most adults couldn’t and wouldn’t dare to give completely because we know the world might end. I have probably lived too many Today. All the here and now has blurred together. If I were to loose all the money and possession I have, I wouldn’t feel the same grief as that child who lost his ice cream. I would think, “There is tomorrow, I will get these things back in time”. The price for a sense of future is some detachment from the present. Perhaps God, who would be eternal, sees our misery and tragedy like an adult see a child dropping his ice-cream cone. Maybe our misery and tragedy doesn’t matter in the long run and we simply haven’t discovered what is really important.

Yet at this moment, that child’s happiness was important. His joy and my smile very real to me. Then an Ally McBeal like moment flashed in my head. The little 5 year old and I were wearing camouflage combat outfit. We were in a war zone and I was pinned down in a trench with my leg injured. The little child, with his unbelievable tiny hands, tried to drag me out of the trench and into safety. I yelled, “save yourself, it is too late for me! Live your full and happy life!” Then a 10 ton paperwork bomb struck me and I woke up from my fantasy. I couldn’t help but smile once again at my bizarre fantasy.

The child couldn’t save me. The child probably didn't even know he almost saved a man with suit carrying brief case today. But my co-worker definitely noticed me as I walk in the office whistling.

Small Update

Made some simple site changes:

  • Add a new link "Joel on Software" which has some great technical and economic articles.
  • Took away Chatter Box function. No one uses it and i realize it gives pop up. I didn't see it sooner because my browser blocks the pop up automatically ^_^.
  • Made StatCounter visible on home page.
  • Added "View Visitor Stat" generated by StatCounter. Which is just basic logs of who comes and go on my webpage. You can sign up for StatCounter and put it on your own webpage for fee too.
  • Added Wikipedia link - a great source of information.
  • Added 32 Flavors and Then Some link
  • Consolidated software links into "Good Software" link

Underneath the Hood

There is a war being fought right now. A war between HD-DVD and Blue-Ray. Most people don’t know it; neither would most people care about such battles of technology. People are simply happy when things come in the package working. Very few people care what is underneath that makes the machine work.

That is also largely how people regard the machinery of souls. No one really wonders what is underneath; most people just want to see a smiling face. People avoid strangers with tears. People don't even like someone who looks unhappy - maybe afraid the unhappiness would spread like a disease. Most of us simply want people come in functioning, happy, productive. No one knows how that happiness came about, no one cares how it works, so no one knows really how to fix the unfortunate damaged ones. Maybe that is why I see more and more empty smiling faces rather than honest sadness. No one is broken, all is well.

That is the stance Microsoft has taken with their technology for years. Nothing is broken, all is well. Windows XP and 98 are nothing more than patch jobs stringing programs together - codes, bugs, and holes. War is about mobility, supply, and force. A million line of codes doesn't do much if it is locked up on a desktop and limited in interaction. The age of desktop is coming to an end. The mobility of internet and global connectivity has already been recognized by google. Google Earth made us see that software can run fast and elegant remotely. Gmail let us check email anywhere with internet. The dependence on desktop to run and control various programs is more and more an out-dated ideology. People at work wants to access information on their home computer. People at home wants to access program on office stations. They don't want to worry about computer version, memory, complicated Network Connections, nor compatibility. People want things to work. That is why web-run standard will replace desktop.

Microsoft realizes this, which is why the company has been branching out. They pushed Microsoft Online Music store, MSN instant messenger, Microsoft Ad Sense, and X-Box. It is an ugly gorilla war out there. Being such a big and slumber object, it wanted to diversify. We are no longer in the castle age, there is no point in holding one strategic location because the cannon would easily find you and breach the walls. Microsoft is changing.

Yet despite its change. Microsoft didn't modify its flawed ideology in competition. Microsoft doesn't support better products; it destroys them and drags the technology back down to its level, where it can hold the market with simple weight. Here is where HD-DVD format comes in.

In terms of Capacity: Blue-Ray wins
HD currently has a capacity for 30gig and theoretical limit of 60 gig for double side. While Blue-Ray has a capacity for 100gig and theoretical capacity of 200gig for 8-bit layer.

In terms of Speed: Blue-Ray wins
At the same rotation speed, Blue Ray will transfer 12x vs HD of 9x.

In terms of Backers: Blue-Ray wins
Disk format is only good if company make and produce with them, that is why it is important to mention who will produce which format. Blue-Ray is backed by DELL, HP, Hitachi, LG-Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK, Thomson, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Texas Instruments, Sun Microsystems, the game giants Electronic Arts, and Vivendi Universal Games. While the only major backers for HD are Toshiba, Sanyo, NEC, and now Microsoft and Intel.

In terms of durability: Blue-Ray wins
TDK’s hard coating on Blue-Ray will provided with the 0.1 mm coating will be even more resistant against damage then current DVDs. While HD-DVD will be the same as current DVD.

In terms of cost: ?
Unknown, since the product is not sold yet. However, Blue-Ray will cost more because it is a new technology while HD-DVD simply build on existing technology.

So if Blue-Ray is so much better why would Microsoft back HD-DVD? Well, for one thing, Microsoft has to think of Microsoft XBox vs Sony PlayStation. By undermining the better technology that will produce money for Sony, Microsoft will have an easier time wining the Game Consul war at the other front. In the end, consumers like us are the ones getting hurt. The dragged out Format War will cause some people to buy recording device for both format. Company would have to waste money upgrading both ends. Even worse, there is always a chance the better format will loose. Ultimately, it will confuse a lot of people who simply want things to work. People would wonder why their Blue-Ray drive doesn't play HD-DVD and vise versa.

In the end, you have the power to decide who wins. Every purchase you made is a direct vote. I could go on to say, "use your power wisely", but really, who cares if a computer drive doesn't work in comparison to a person. In the grand scheme of things, take care of the people first. Ultimately it might be better to use the 2.99 you would spent on a disc to treat a friend with a cup of cafe latte and just talk the afternoon away.

Learn more about Blue-Ray vs HD-DVD

Lost Quotation, Love, and Apple

I lost something today. A wonderful and original quotation was gone from my mind forever all because I didn't write it down in time -_-.

Actually, since I don't recall the exact wording of my quotation, I don't know how insightful/good it actually was. What I am left is a sense of feeling that the quotation was wonderful. The quotation might in fact be terrible, but because of my one moment of feeling, it will now forever be remember as "the wonderful quotation that got away from me".

Now compare that with love - love without logic nor reason. If you love someone and does not know why, it would be very hard indeed for you to ever truly know if that person is right or wrong for you. What you are left is a sense of primal feeling of wonderfulness. One could argue, ignorance is bless. Why does it matter if that person is right or wrong, good or bad? One could argue, now I can live for the rest of my life convinced I have came up with a wonderful quotation, with no one to possibly contradict me because I can't quote the actual quotation for others to judge. Now I can have the spirit of that wonderful idea FOREVER, it will last longer than a diamond. Would that be good?

Now the real question is, would you rather have the idea of a perfect relationship while never knowing or would you rather judge and think and wonder? So tempting, to not have taken the apple in the Garden of Eden, to judge not, to think not, to fear not, to loose not. Now would you, having the chance to redo history, have taken the apple?


It saddens me that I might never express my thoughts fully. Like all acts of perfection, such deeds only come from a life time of repetition. I am not by nature a disciplined person. The weighting of fine words like a chemist sifting through his chemicals is beyond me. The very act of achieving is to re-make who I am. Ironic, since who I am is what I am trying to express.

It is perhaps a dilemma President Bush understands, in order to save Iraq and give democracy, we must station troops and "force" freedom upon its people. It is the oxymoron, "I shall fight for peace" since it is the very act of fighting that which breaks peace. It is, the equivalent of saying "I shall F*ck for virginity".

Yet, if you have better ideas of how to make virgins without sex, or maintain peace without war, or to grow without changing oneself - I would love to hear about it.

Princess, Dragons, and Mistakes

Look at him, so sure of right and wrong, so wise, so capable, and so young. He knows for certain what is good and what is evil. Princess must be saved and evil must be vanquished. It was not till much later, after searching long and hard for the evil fire-breathing dragon that is responsible for all the injustice, he learned that no such convenient blame exists. In the journey, he saw good man doing bad thing out of greed, rage, shame, or needs. He saw supposed evil man offering kindness and charity. He became, with time, less and less sure of that perfect thin line of judgment. Then one day he finally has the pleasure of seeing a princess. He saw a pretty spoiled child in expensive dress, who is in need of a good tutor more than a warrior savior. The aging warrior thought silently to himself,

"Look at her, so sure of her positions, so sure of her needs, so sure of herself, and so young. Yet she will learn. Like my mistakes has taught me. Someday she might be regal and wise and tolerant. The contradictions of her mind will wash against her world view. The pebble of her jagged thoughts will smooth over the current of time. In time, she will see more than black and white.
In time she will know."

*Random thought on what mistakes might teach us.

All My Colors

In the end religion is what separates us. Some minds are simply not meant to fit through tiny doors; some souls just never stop questioning. More and more, people learn not to judge by the color of one's skin. Yet, is it not ironic to judge by the color of one's mind? People born into their religion like one is born into his or her skin. Hindu, Christian, Islamic, and Agnostic, not many sees past the color of the mind and recognize the mind itself. If a person is kind and good, does it matter if he is of a different skin? If I treat you like a friend, a brother long lost, a child in need, does it matter I am of a different God?

Ironic how death, the great equalizer, is a point of contention for so many in-equality. My god is better than your god, my punishment less than your punishment, my eternal reward longer than your death of nothingness. I am so tired, so tempted to smile and nod and say nothing, just blend in like one of the sheep. Then I remember, shepherd doesn't guard the sheep from wolf because of love, shepherd guards the sheep for the meat and wool. The absolute trust of sheep didn't save the sheep in the end.

It simply depresses me, the glee coming from the Middle East. They claim God sent Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and record amount of storm due to the unjustified war in Iraq. No sympathy for the misery, the death, the lost, and the suffering. Joy and Glee. Why? Because of differences in nationality? Nationality is simply another color of my birth. People are born into being an Iraqi, an American, a French. Like the herd animals that we are we sniff wirily at the strange ones among us. American government made war, so all Americans must be bad. 19 Al-Qaeda members attacked World Trade Center so all Iraqi must suffer. For crying out loud, only one of them is Iraqi, in this case we truly only saw the skin color.

Color of the skin, color of the mind, and color of the nationality - it is a good thing Lady Justice is blind. Yet must all of us be blind before we can see?

Thoughts on Hurricane Rita, Iraq news response, and British BBC news response to US disaster.

Nintendo Revolution

Wow, simply wow. Have you seen the control device for Nintendo Revolution? It deviates greatly from the modern gaming control such as X-box or PS2. It has simplifed greatly and you can use it with just one hand. Also, you can use it like a laser pointer positioning system that interacts with the screen. The possibilities are endless, this device looks like the next step of game integration. Games controlled by physical movements that is outside your fingers. Sooner or later we would be jumping across the room to dodge a shot from the screen or waving the Revolution Control like a light saber. Simply, wow. I am very very impressed by the innovation from Nintendo.

Ground breaking game control is nothing new with Nintendo. They are the one who came up with game-pad device while everyone is still using joy-stick. They are the one who came up with the now modern 3D controller in Nintendo64 while everyone is on game-pad. They have already revolutionized the game industry twice. Now I think they have done it for the third time. Just when i think the console fight is between sony's PS3 and Microsoft XBox360, Revolution came back with a one-two combo.

Did I mention you can hook revolution onto your computer monitor as well as your TV? In June 2004 Nintendo engineer Genyo Takeda said: "You'll be able to play [Revolution] not just by linking up to a television but to a computer monitor as well."

Even better, " Nintendo first discussed the Revolution in May at the E3 trade show. The system, due out in 2006, will only be as thick as three stacked CD cases. It will be backward compatible with GameCube games and owners will be able to download (and play) virtually every game the company has created for the NES, SNES and Nintendo 64." I wonder if the download for old games will be free or if I will have to pay a small fee.

If I can get the old games for free or a one time fee then Revolution has just made a sale. Before this morning and this article I was going to buy a PS3 exclusively, I am glad Revolution has made the choice that much harder.

Pledge of Alligence

I recently read this article about Pledge of Alligence issue. Basically
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."
Below is my comment

If we take away the words "Under God" how would we influence children and guide them into the light? Do you know how much harder it is to teach religion to an adult who can think on their own? How would we guide the sheeps to the lord our god? Why do you think we make the pledge mandatory and add the words "Under God"? This act of striking down God's name will have dire result which last into eternity.


Quote: Enemy is whoever gets you killed, no matter which side he or she belongs.

I am an atheist myself, I just think it would be easier to see the points by stating the view from a religious point of view.

People are illogical, we don't argue with reason, especially when it comes to religion. At least, the religious people are doing this out of kindess, in an effort to save us from what they believe to be eternal pain. Yet being discriminated by kind intention is not much different than being discriminated from prejudice.

Let me summarize some points that were raised:
1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion and the words "Under God" is definately religious.
2. Forcing children to say the words "Under God" is a breach of freedom and constitutional rights on children who doesn't believe in god or children who blieves in multiple gods.
3. A very good sign of loosing an arguement is that the loosing side will try to drag various irrevelent issues into the debate. It is called side-tracking. The decision to teach Intelligent Design or not is a seperate issue from our pledge article.
4. Taking away the words "Under God" does not deny the existance of god. It just means the new pledge will not affirm nor deny religious existence.
5. Pledge should bring the country together, ironic how it is dividing us.

so many people access this article and ask the same question, I decide to post a brief history and wording of The Pledge of Alligence below:

There are a total of 2 revisions to pledge of alligence. The original one was created by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on 11 October 1892. It goes like this:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words "my Flag" to be changed to "the Flag of the United States of America." The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. Congress officially recognized the 2nd version of Pledge on June 22, 1942:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
In 1954, a campaign was initiated by the Roman Catholic Knights of Columbus. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan sponsored a bill to change the pledge to include the words "under God". The reason given was to distinguish the US from the officially atheist Soviet Union (cold war at the time).
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
This last version is the current one we are using. It is also the one involved in the current law suit due to the words changed in 1954 - "under God".


I don't really feel like writing lately but some events are worth mentioning so I will just bullet point them.

  • Google released Blog Search and Google Talk
  • Microsoft and AOL might be joining together to form an even bigger evil empire.
  • Pledge of Alligence with the words "Under God" is being considered unconstitional. The case will most likely be fought in Supreme Court a year from now.
  • New Chief of Justice will be appointed soon, probably John Roberts. So far I don't know any of his poisition.
  • My bathroom is now done, it includes a japanese style toilet that "washes" your precious behind with jet water and you can pre-set the water temp. To say the least it is interesting. The more practical side is that it has an internal vacum system that eliminates odor. There is a function to change the temp of your toilet seat but i am afraid to try it. Oh, and the toilet came with a remote control.
  • My computer motherboard chip fan might be failing.
  • Flying Spaghetti Monsterism and the originating website.
some thoughts that i need to write down before i forget or start to disagree.
  • Longer life span means that out-dated believes will last longer. It took a generation for people who blieve earth is flat to die out before most people believe the roundness of earth. Same thing for Earth being the center of universe. It took a generation for people to accept relativity. Now a generation will last longer, change will come slower, and I wonder if the society will suffer because of that. The medical advances is also not keeping up with our longer life span, instead of having more years to be productive, we simply spent more years being in pain.
  • Your past mistakes makes who you are today. The good part of you that you like about yourself is caused partly by your past mistakes and shame.
  • [don't read this one if you are easily offended and/or religious] is sex between adam and eve incest or masterbation? you can say they are children of god, therefor siblings and incest; you can say eve is adam's rib, therefore masterbation. I wonder if maybe man became corrupt from inbreeding, maybe the apple was a metaphor.
  • i wonder if i can be sued for asking curious questions, like the one above. After all, google did come up with blog search. Let me go back and put a small warning. So why write it at all? why not just pretend I never had such question in my mind? Sure, I could just pretend nothing is ever wrong in this world. Sure, we could just all hide our thoughts. But that seems wrong too on a different level. I am a bit embrassed by those thoughts myself, but I still want a record of them. Maybe someday I can look back and figure out what is going on, maybe I will understand who I am better, maybe I will find the answer to the questions.

Last thought

It is nice to have dreams but equally important to wake up and make them happen.
~last thought before sleep

Random Thoughts

It might be nice to be the hero, but being close to the hero is detrimental to your health. It is the second most fatal cause right behind being a faceless nameless person infront of the bad guy. Take note as the person close to the hero, bad guys don't aim so well and you don't have the director/author as your guardian angel. To make a long story short: It is nice to be on the right side, but make sure you are either the hero or get far far away from him.

Games and I

Strangely games aren't as much fun anymore. I tried to make myself immerse into Dungeon Siege 2 and failed. The triumph or death of the characters simply doesn't seem to matter to me. What is left to me are nostalgic memories of how those games used to bring great joy to my life. I figure I should write down a simple summary before even the memories fade into the sands of time.

It all started the summer of 1988 in the form of a birthday present. The simple white and red Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom) came with one game - Super Mario Brothers. The wonderful discovery of hidden mushroom, stumping on Little Goombas, and facing fire breathing Bowser to save the princess in that silly pink dress. The world was never the same after that.

The next big bang in my gaming universe came in the form of Final Fantasy IIIj. Not like the silly US Final Fantasy III that is actually Final Fantasy VIj. The one that forever hooked me to RPG genre has magic, red mage, air ship, cid, onion kids, ninja, moogles, summoning, and job system. Yes, that's right, cute and beloved Moogles first show their face in Final Fantasy IIIj. Ninja class in RPG was invented here. Cid did not exist in FF until now. This game is nothing but evolutionary. Even to this day I still love all 8-bits of its crappy graphic and the simple midi opening music can always cheer me up. At the risk of sound like an old man, I will say this; they don't make games like this any more.

After that big bang, games seems to come and go. Final Fantasy V-X, been there, played those. Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X stood out as some of my favorites. I am ashamed to admit I shed a tear when Titus dies in Final Fantasy X. Oh, you didn't know he dies in the end of Final Fantasy X? you haven't played Final Fantasy X?!

Final Fantasy Tactic also has a special place in my heart, I love how different it is from all the other in this legendary series. The plot is also one of the truest regarding human nature. The way they told the story in a matter of fact manner like a true history made the universe real to me. I love that.

There are some other notable RPG which I shall simple mention by name. Each name means weeks of my life and I can't say I regret it. Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Secret of Mana, Lunar Silver Star Story, Diablo, Hellfire, Diablo 2, Dungeon Siege, Dungeon Siege 2, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Never Winter Nights, Parasite Eve, Robotrek, Terranigma, Illusion of Gaia, EVO: Search for Eden, Star Ocean, Tales of Phantasia, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail, Dragon Quest VI, Rygar, Morrowind 3, Dragon Warrior VII, Fallout 2, Fallout 2: Brotherhood of Steel. Those are the ones that came to mind.

There is a point and time when a boy crosses into the dark side of action games. The time when he leaves the magical good vs evil into a shoot everything that moves frenzy mode. I crossed that line in 1994 all thanks to a wonderful game called Marathon 2: Durandal. The company who made this action packed shooting game is Bungie, now-a-days better known as the company who made Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. Two of the games good enough that people buy X-Box simply to play these games. I don't usually enjoy shoot-em' up games, but since Durandal I have chanced other games like Half-Life, Soldier of Fortune, Halo, and Time Splitters. They are addicting if you can find a friend to start a shooting match, computer AI is usually too dumb to jump from 3rd floor down to flank you from behind then disappear into the wind with a grenade explosion as distraction.

Yes, Shooting games you play with friends, RPG games you play by yourself. So I thought, until Blizzard proved me wrong with World of Warcraft. The most addicting game ever made for mankind, elf-kind, and orc-kind. MMORPG. Life was never the same after having experienced that immensely well made world. I half suspect my apathy to games now is because nothing else match up to World of Warcraft. Its perfection has forever raise the standard of gaming. In case you don't know, Blizzard is the maker of Warcraft, Warcraft II, Warcraft III, Starcraft, Diablo, Diablo 2, and World of Warcraft. Their products read like a list for best selling games, or a list of Game of the Years. Blizzard is now synonymous as excellent game for good reason.

Besides those great strategy games Blizzard made, I shall name a few more that I enjoy. Age of Empires and Age of Empires II. Microsoft has not done great with their Windows software nor with its Microsoft Word program, but it did a wonderful job on Age of Empires series. For that, I can forgive a lot. Even better, Ages of Empires III is coming out in October. Civilization 2, Civilization 3, Alpha Centauri, Alien Crossfire are all made by one man - Cid Meier. He is a genius, 'nuf said. Age of Mythology, Heroes of Might and Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic II, Galactic Civilization, Simcity 2000, and Worms: World Party.

I have to admit I usually like odd-ball games. Some of the games that I really enjoy are rated pretty low by major gaming sites. After many years of questioning my normality I have come to term and live with that now. Here is a list of those supposedly bad games that I simply love. Dragon Ball Z II: Gekigami Freeza (nes - RPG), Majesty & Majesty: Northern Expansion (PC - Simulation Strategy), Magic the Gathering, Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planewalkers (PC - Strategy), & Spell of the Ancient (PC, Strategy), Space Colony (PC - Simulation Strategy), and Birth of the Federation (PC Strategy).

I would like to say a little more about these games that no one cares about. Other more popular games you have probably heard about already. Even if you haven't, all you need is simply type in the name of the game and click on the first link that comes out. That is not true for my odd ball games. For example, Space Colony is a mix of The Sims and Age of Empires. You have to manage personal that act just like characters in Sims then you have to build structures like Age of Empires and defend yourself. There is also a need to managed finance like Roller Coaster Tycoons. It is a genre defying game, to say the least. The result is wonderfully refreshing.

Birth of the Federation is a StarTrek turn based strategy game. It was made by Microprose, who was brought out by Hasbro Interactive in 1999, then Hasbro Interactive was in turn brought out by Infogrames in 2001. The only link I can find about Birth of the Federation came from a game review in IGN. The game is officially dead, although Infogrames is nice enough to still host the patch for the game. The game is a lot like the popular Galactic Civilization - a turn based build strategy game.

Magic the Gathering and its sequel are both originally a card game. The card game itself I have never actually played. I found the pc game by accident. The card game system on computer is complex but the computer AI has the IQ of a 5 year old...on crack...with 110 degree fever. So yeah, I have to agree the game is not very well made. Yet I really enjoy all the combination a simple card system can have. The game is a nice exercise to find patterns and counter-act your opponent actions (5 year old...on crack...with 110 degree fever opponent). However, the games were made by the late Microprose and therefore once again - dead. Infogrames is nice enough to host the patch. Duels of the Planewalkers was a remake of the game with some improvement, it fixed some bugs and added 33 cards. The only remaining article i can find is a review from Gamespot. Sadly, I can no longer find any patch anywhere for the sequel. Spell of the Ancient is the sequel to both original games. Sadly the only patch is hosted at gamespot and requires a sign up to download.

Dragon Ball Z II: Gekigami Freeza is an old game from the NES day. It is a strange mix of card system and RPG. Maybe my love for Dragon Ball has blinded me to the fact of its simple 8-bit graphic. Maybe my obsession at the time with Goku made a ever-lasting impression of how great the game seems. Either way, I am a sucker for old time games like these.

Then there is Majesty and its expansion which are repackaged into Majest Gold now. It plays a lot like Mall Tycoon or like Sims meets RPG. Basically, you can set down buildings but you have no control with any of the characters. They fight, buy equipment, or rest entirely base on their own mood. You can only set down more inns or more blacksmith or more shop to "encourage" them to do what you want. It is an interesting lay back system of playing. I often love to lay down the foundation for a world and just see how the character live out their lives. You can even follow some of them as they fight or flee the monster, rest at the inn, spent money at the shop, train at the academy...etc. Here is a review from IGN.

Driving game is usually not my cup of tea. That is why Mario Kart 64 totally escaped my mind. That game is a total classic on top of a classic remake. Thanks to Dream_Bender's post to remind me how awesome a combat driving game can be.

Here are some games I am about to try: Half-Life 2, Warhammer 4000 - Dawn of War, and Rome - Total War.

The last list mentions games that I heard great things about but never got the chance to play. It is either due to lack of time or because the graphic is simply too out-dated for me to visit or because I don't own that particular console for the game.
  • Kingdom Hearts (PS2, RPG)
  • Vagrant Story (PS1, RPG)
  • Harvest Moon (SNES, RPG)
  • ICO [I bought the game but I don't own a PS2 system, I read through most of the walk throughs in GameFAQs and particularly, this article convinced me to buy it...^_^] (PS2, RPG)
  • Xenosaga (PS1, RPG)
  • Shenmue & Shenmue II (Dreamcast, RPG)
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (SNES, RPG)
  • Paper Mario (Gamecube, RPG)
Sources used:
RPGclassics Particularly their Capsule Review, SNES Shrines, and PC Shrines
Final Fantasy Online
Gamespy, particularly their RPGPlanet

If you are interested in more:
Top 99 Games of all time IGN Picks 2005
Top 99 Games of all time IGN Reader Picks 2005
Top 25 Square games, FinalFantasyOnline Picks 2003: 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-06, 05-01.