Bought an Audigy 4 SE soundcard from Buy.com for $40. I bought this card solely for BF2142, which is kind of embarrasing. But I think it's worth it in the long run. Afterall, I'll be playing 2142 for at least another 300 hours. Heh :-P And shoot, I can always reinstall BF2, too.
Being able to enable EAX effects really enhances the game's sound in quality and in placement. When stomping around in a mech, the footstep sounds boom from the rear of me, recreating the fact that my mech's legs are behind me. The only downside to the soundcard is that there's no joystick port! I guess non-USB joysticks are too old fashioned, but I was still using my Microsoft Sidewinder for X-wing Alliance play. I guess I'll have to keep my old soundcard in there if I want to continue playing the Tie Fighter Total Conversion for X-wing Alliance.
I got an Xbox360 recently, and have been playing Gears of War and Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Gears of War is pretty fun, but I dunno why I got Splinter Cell. I don't even like stealth games that much! I guess playing multiplayer Double Agent back at the Gamespot After Hours event compelled me to buy it. Ah well, I should be able to get most of my money back through Ebay.
When I first started playing Gears of War, I thought it overrated, but I've warmed up to it since then. The way gun reloads work is pretty cool. Pressing the reload button a second time at certain times will bring a different result. If you time it correctly, you reload quicker. If you time it perfectly, you get a boost in damage. If you screw up your timing, you reload far slower than normal. Doesn't sound like a big deal on paper, but I find it a really fun twist on the shooter genre. In most FPS games, you reload your gun and it's a completely passive activity from your point of view, despite the fact that a real gun does require quite a bit of manual dexterity to reload quickly, especially under fire. So the reload feature of GOW kinda brings that experience to the player for the first time.
I'm also expecting Call of Duty 3 to show up in the mail, soon. I've enjoyed all of the previous Call of Duty's, so I feel obligated to play COD3, even if I am really tired of WW2. If the multiplayer isn't that great, I'll be Ebaying this one after I finish the single-player campaign a couple times.
Can't wait for the semester to end. Lots of games to play, and others to replay (Resident Evil 4 PS2 in 480p with 5.1 Digital Dolby Surround should be awesome!). Heck, even NWN2 has turned out to be a great game.
Hopefully I can get some exercise, too ;)