Sunday, October 30, 2005

Nazi Blasting -- Taking an age old past time to the next level.

I love World War II games. Unlike many other wars, it was VERY CLEAR who the enemy was. (The short deranged walrus looking Nazi with the funny moustache. Easy to figure out.) Besides that, no war had a more varied scope of battlefields.

As such, I was quite excited when Call of Duty 2 was released. And after playing about an hour of it, I must say that I'm impressed. So far, I have only one complaint -- CHECKPOINT SAVING. OMFG, when the FUCK will game makers realize that checkpoint saving is the gayest, most retarded, most annoying thing EVER?! I want to save my fucking game whenever the fuck I want to save it!

Anyway, with that aside, this game is SOLID. It's war, plain and simple, and you're dropped right smack in the middle of it. The first missions revolve around the defense of Stalingrad, so you're playing a Soviet rifleman. There were points in the firefights where I actually felt as though me and my squad were going to lose. It was THAT insane. My favorite part was being holed up in a trench, and watching five German panzer tanks roll across the gap right above my head. Golden!

Friday, October 28, 2005

I walk the streets of Japan till I get lost, cause it doesn't remind me of anything.

So I was in Kmart today, due to the fact that they had kitty litter on sale and I needed some. While I was there I got a few things I needed in preparation for the big party, such as snacks to soak up the alcohol in my stomach, and cleaning supplies for when I start cleaning this place up tonight. After almost running three people over in the parking lot because they pissed my off, I finally get inside and get my items. In the checkout, there's one person in front of me. A woman. With a showercap on her head. It was then that I knew I was in trouble.

The cashier had to tell the woman five times what her total was. And even then, the woman had to look at the little digital display thing. And, of course, she was paying by check. Which, as I'm sure everyone knows, is the fucking SLOWEST way to pay. (You wait for the total, you write out the check, you give it to the cashier, they study the check, they ask for your phone number, they write something on the check, they ask for your driver's license, they put the check in the machine, they wait until the machine prints something on the check, they wait for the receipt to print, they hand said receipt to customer. Shoot me now.) After this was finally over with, the woman puts her bag in her cart, (a bag that had one item in it, an item smaller than a bottle of shampoo. You need to CART this to your car?!). She then starts pulling the cart out of the checkout lane. It snags on a box sitting on the next counter. She tugs and tugs. My hands are full, but I place my 20 lb. container of kitty litter on the floor, and move the box. No thanks. No smile. Only a look of dissent as she quickly leaves the store. 14 seconds later, I'm scanned, paid, and bagged. And I had 15x the items she had.

Gotta love debit cards.

What I'm Listening To: Doesn't Remind Me by Audioslave
What I'm Playing: Counter-Strike Source
What I'm Watching: Looney Tunes

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Two more days until the "Weekend of the Drunk"

For me, this weekend marks the official start to the Drunken Season, the time of year where there are lots of parties and gatherings happening in my life, which are nothing more than an excuse to get shitfaced. (A.K.A. the level beyond SSJ Drunk.)

So this weekend starts it all, with the Halloween thing going on, and of course my sister's birthday. It's my duty to get her drunk. (And the quicker the better, so than I can work on getting *me* drunk.) So Friday night it's off to the liquor store to get three bottles of my lovely beverages. Bailey's (for my sister), Captain Morgan's (for me), and Rum Island Iced Tea (for EVERYONE).

Thankfully, I have Monday off (again), so I don't have to sober up anytime soon either. Glorious.

What I'm Listening To: Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly by H.I.M.

Monday, October 24, 2005


After burning Full Metal Panic TSR, I had to, of course, search through the bazillion discs of anime currently residing on my shelf to find the original Full Metal Panic and Fumoffu so I could put them all together all nice like. Searching for it pissed me off to the point where I decided to alphabetize all the completed anime that I have. A few hours later, it was done and here's the result. (Editor's note: It looks the same as it did before, except now there are two LABELS to tell everyone that it's in order now!)

There's still the matter of all the incomplete anime that I have sitting in a pile waiting for the bloody show to end. (Or waiting for the damned fansubbers to hurry up and finish subbing it.) That pile is growing. (Stupid Naruto and One Piece)

Can you hear me now? Huh? What? WTF?!

Using the voice command feature in Counter-Strike is like talking to someone with two tin cans and a string. I know it's not my microphone, because when I record something with Sound Recorder in windows, there is almost NO background noise at all. Yet, when I test my microphone in Counter-Strike, I can hardly hear what I'm saying. I have no idea if that's how people are hearing me on the other end or not, but it's kind of annoying. They shouldn't even include the feature if it's not going to work right. Grr!

Oh, and I also know my microphone isn't that bad on Yahoo Messenger, because I was using that new Call feature the other day, and the person I was talking to didn't have a headset, thus I could hear my voice through their microphone after I said something, and there wasn't that much background noise, considering how many devices it had to be filtered through in order to get back to me.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tonight's show, broadcast with fewer commercials, is brought to you by Philips...

I don't watch TV. I'm just pointing that out in case you've been living under a rock for as long as you've known me. The only time I watch TV is when I happen to turn off my DVD player and there's something there that immediately catches my interest.

Tonight, after I finished watching a DVD, the show "60 Minutes" was just starting as I turned the player off. This usually causes me to turn the TV off even faster than I normally would, but the introduction perked my interest, but not because of the acutal content of the show. (Well, except maybe when someone mentioned sex, but it was a momentary thing...)

Mike Wallace said, "Tonight's special broadcast of '60 Minutes' is brought to you with fewer commercials, so we may spend more time on each of tonight's stories."

It was at that point that I said, "Oh yeah, this I gotta see."

Immediately after he was done speaking, a big Philips logo came on the screen, saying, "Tonight's "reduced commercial" 60 Minutes is brought to you by Philips." Then, they went to commercial, and proceeded to show 3 different Philips commericals in a row. Given, this was less commerical time than normal, but by the time they were done I was so sick of the Philips jingle that I was begging for a Geico or Capital One commercial.

But sadly, those commercials were better than the show. I quickly turned off the TV when it came back on.

On another note, this is the first non-gaming post in about 8 posts. Don't worry, gaming will be back later this week, since Call of Duty 2 comes out on Thursday. Oh, yes.

What I'm Playing: Quake 4 Multi-Play
What I'm Watching: The Terminator, Reservoir Dogs
What I'm Listening To: Feel Good Inc. by The Gorillaz

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Feeling ignored? Pick up the shiny yellow object!

I just finished giving F.E.A.R.'s multi-player aspect a whirl. At first glance, there's not much there that is any different than any other multi-player portion of a game -- you've got Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag games, with various maps for each.

But then I noticed something: Slo-Mo Deathmatch. Nani?!

Oh yes, you can use bullet time in multi-player. As if that, in itself, wasn't glorious enough -- the way they incorporated it into the game is rather ingenious. (Not to mention extremely fair.)

Get this: You go into a Slo-Mo Deathmatch game with 8 players. You all spawn into a different area of the map with your weapon. Somewhere in the level, there is the yellow injector that will give you the slo-mo ability. You just have to find it, and get it before someone else does. The game even points you in the right direction, with an arrow telling you in which direction it is, and how far away from it you are.

Then you pick it up, and wait for it to charge so you can use it. The catch? Everyone else in the game now knows where you are, and that you have it. And they're coming to take it from you. When you pick up the slo-mo injector, the game automatically tells everyone else in the game, and gives them an arrow telling them where you are and how far away from you they are. It's a great device that makes it so the slo-mo isn't an unfair advantage -- it's a risk. When you pick it up, you have no idea if it will completely charge before anyone reaches you. Brilliance. At times, I found myself reluctant to go find it, and simply settled on my own skills to kill the enemies. But once I got brave enough, I went after it, killed the person who had it, and took it. And let me tell you -- if you ever feel neglected in a multi-player game, and feel as though no one is paying any attention to you -- just go grab the slo-mo injector. Then EVERYONE will be paying attention to you. In other words, everyone in the game is then HUNTING YOU DOWN.

But I soon found it worth the risk. Huddled in a corner waiting for it to charge, someone threw a grenade at me. I ran out into the open as the guy leaped in a karate kick to take my head off, but at that moment my slo-mo was completely charged. I activated it, and watched as the entire world slowed down around me, including Mr. Karate Kick in mid-air. I then blasted him in the head and went hunting for more prey. Resplendent!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

10 hours later, and it is done

What a ride! F.E.A.R. is now situated at #2 on my All-Time Greatest Games list, below only Half-Life 2.

This game played exactly like an action-horror movie, and I felt as though I was changing the outcome of the "movie" with every step I took. The ending was brilliant, and different. There was no token "boss battle" at the end where you've got the biggest gun in the game and you have to kill the last bad guy. Nope. They totally went in a different direction, an ending that's really never been done in a game before, but has been used in horror movies many, many times.

I will be sorely disappointed if they don't make a sequel. I demand it!

PD says: 98%

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Better Best Buy

So, after work today I headed to Best Buy to purchase two new games -- F.E.A.R. and Quake 4. First off, allow me to state how much I *despise* the Beaver Valley Mall. It's fucking impossible to get from point a to point b. (Reminds me of the whole city of Pittsburgh, actually.)

ANYway, I get to Best Buy and start cruising around the store for my games. I find F.E.A.R. right away, and soon thereafter I find Quake 4, however both are the CD-ROM versions of the game, not the special edition DVD versions. I look around a bit more, and can't find the ones I want, so I ask some girlie. She's like, "Hmm, I do believe we have them. Let me check in the back for you." I was wanting to follow her to "the back", but I was on a mission and couldn't afford any distractions. A minute later she reappears with my gaming goodness, and I then ask her to direct me towards the PC Gaming headsets, which she does. (I'm impressed. She knew where TWO things were in store. Must be a pro.) I choose the headset of my choice, and frolic over to the checkout.

The girlie behind the counter disables the magnetic security strips on my items, scans them, and puts them in a bag. She gives me my total, and as I swipe my debit card, I'm thinking to myself, "Gee, that price seems awfully low."

But, I didn't say anything, and instead finished my transaction, and left. When I got home, I read over my receipt, and lo and behold, the girlie didn't scan one of the games! I got Quake 4 for FREE! This is better than downloading!!!

When the folks got home, I told them my awesome story. My Dad says, "Are you sure you can live with that on your conscience?"

To which I replied, "Well, I'm certainly not having any difficulties with it so far, and I don't see any in the foreseeable future."


There's nothing to fear, but F.E.A.R. itself

It's HERE! Finally! I've been waiting for this game since I finished Half-Life 2 the first time, and I'm finally playing it. One hour in, and it's fucking brilliant. It's got it all -- great story, awesome graphics, great gameplay, BRILLIANT artificial intelligence. The AI is really impressing me at the moment. Case in point -- I just offed one of the bad guys, and one of the remaining grunts radioed "I need assistance!", and then said, "Flank him!" and they proceeded to sneak up from behind me. Brilliant! I actually feel like I'm PART of the game, and that my actions are changing the outcome. It's good stuff.

It's also one of the creepiest games I've played since The Suffering last year. My character is plagued with macabre visions, very unpleasant stuff. And don't even get me started on the horror moppet. I think I now have a permanent fear of little girls.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Anything But Serious

8 hours, 28 minutes, and 3 seconds. That's how long it took me to beat Serious Sam 2, over the course of three days. Actually, it was probably closer to 10 hours, because I had to completely replay two levels, but no matter. That's close enough.

Now it's time for PD's Gaming Review. We'll go through each area of a game that is important to me.

Graphics: This game is powered by the new Serious Engine 2, a completely upgraded version of the Serious Engine, which powered the first two Serious Sam games. This engine does not render realistic graphics, they are borderline cartoonish in nature, but they look brilliant. The colors are vivid, and the models are sharp and crisp. All in all, it's very pretty to look at, especially when you are looking at something HUGE on the screen, or looking at landscape from miles away. (Long shots are it's strength.) Also, I noticed that the dark scenes on the volcanic Kleer planet looked the best, so perhaps that is the engine's specialty. I also noticed that every cut-scene in the game was either blurry or grainy -- I'm guessing they used some external rendering program to do them, and it really murdered the quality. (Not the first time I've seen that happen. Painkiller, Red Faction, and Star Wars Jedi Academy come to mind.)

Story: Well, there really isn't much of a story, but that's okay since story isn't why you play a shooter like this. This game picks up right where the first one left off -- Sam started the first game going back in time to try and stop an evil alien overlord known as Mental. The first one took place in ancient Egypt, and the second one continued the "back in time" trend in South America and other places. Serious Sam 2 abandons the time travelling aspect of the game, and instead has Sam teleporting from planet to planet across the universe, collecting pieces of a medallion that will enable him to kick Mental's ass.. It all comes to an end with an epic battle against the Mental Institution on Mental's home planet of Sirius. What carries this game along are Sam's antics in the game, normally transmitted through cut-scenes. A lot of his dialogue and actions are so stupid they're hilarious, with him uttering such lines as "Woo! Now I can really do some gang-banging." and "Finally! Some sci-fi mumbo jumbo." It seems the developers knew this was one of the big draws of the game, and they sapped it for everything it's worth, and beyond. Sam talks a bit TOO much in places, and some of his dialogue is just downright stupid. (Such as the cut-scene where he's banging two bones together, yelling, "Kleers! Come out to play!" NINE TIMES. But sometimes, it's hilarious, like when Sam hooks up with a princess of one of the planets. And the party at a native village where Sam gets sloshed. Golden!

Gameplay: Croteam was obviously listening when their last Serious Sam game was reviewed, particular to the part where everyone said, "More of just mindless running and gunning." Don't get me wrong, there's still LOTS of running and gunning in this game. (And I *LOVE* running and gunning!) However, the developers also threw in lots of other tasks to keep us busy. The biggest addition were the tons of vehicles that Sam can now drive. All of these were just so much fun, they had me squealing like an orgasmic warthog. I particularly enjoyed the mid-air battle late in the game against at least 200 enemy planes. Another innovation was the Reality TV show from Hell when we first land on Sirius. Sam is dropped into a Mental version of The Amazing Race where he must endure three days of challenges, such as running through a jungle obstacle course, needing to pass through checkpoints before a certain amount of time so the necklace around his head doesn't blow his head off, and the track challenge where he gets inside a gigantic ball and jumps through flaming hoops (all the while destroying HORDES of Mental's forces.)

Artificial Intelligence: It's a bit better than it was in the first two games, but it's nowhere on par with games like Doom 3 or Half-Life 2. Some of the newer enemies, such as the Footballer, actually run for cover and hide before attacking, rather than just running at you head first. The Kleers and Werebulls zigzag their way towards you know, instead of running in a straight line. And the new enemy helicopters will actually dodge your slower moving weapons, such as the rocket launcher. But most of it is more of the same, but like I said, I'm not complaining about that.

Bottom line: Croteam went in a different direction on this one, aiming for the humorous, or downright absurd. For the most part, it works, and the result is a very enjoyable shooter for people who are looking for a change from the story-driven, uber realistic shooters that have been coming out over the past few years.

PD says 82%.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Sam I Am

There's really no point in me talking about it, because I'm too fucking giddy to form sentences.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Calm Before The.............Weekend

Oh yes, it's coming, it's coming! (That's what SHE said.)

No, really, I'm talking about the WEEKEND. Oh yes. And not just any weekend. Oh no. This weekend is SPECIAL, and in more ways than one. First off, I have a three-day weekend. Nothing says "Fuck off place I work!" than a nice three-day weekend. To make things even better, this is just the first one of THREE in a row! (She also said that.) That's right -- it's a fucking trilogy of trilogy weekends! Woo!

Now, this is ALSO the start of the uber-gaming season. Gotta love when the holidays are on the way -- that's when all the GOOD games come out. After work tomorrow, I'm stopping at Media Play and picking up three titles: Bet On Soldier, The Suffering: Ties That Bind, and Serious Sam II. I'm creaming my jeans as I speak. (And yes, I'm going to BUY these games. Because I already know they will rock.)

I really have no idea how I'm going to calm myself down to the point where I'll be able to go to sleep tonight...

What I'm Listening To: Every You Every Me by Placebo
What I'm Watching: The X-Files Season 5
What I'm Playing: Counter-Strike: Source

It's a big ad. Very big ad.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Kill CS

Ahhhh, Counter-Strike. The staple for online gamers. How I've missed thee.

So after watching these videos that CM sent me about CS, it got me wanting to play it again. So I loaded up my Counter-Strike Source to give it a whirl. Now, given the fact that I haven't played CS in well over a year, I decided I would just create my own server and play with a bot. (Yes, you may all start the "He was playing with himself!" jokes now. Har har har.)

After getting blasted by the bot and left whimpering in my chair three straight times (on EASY no less), I finally got my game on and whooped some ass. Now my skills are honed once again, and I'm ready to kill (and be killed by...) some REAL opponents.

McDonald's has a Monopoly...

No, they're not the next Microsoft Corp. I'm talking about the GAME. Yep, the monopoly game is back at Mickey Dees, everyone's favorite peel and win contest. We've now adjusted our lunch schedules at work to include McDonald's 2 or 3 times a week now, in the sad and slim-to-none hope that we'll actually win something. (Like money. Money is always nice. Or the Dodge Viper, which we will sell on eBay for money.)

So I was at McDonald's today, and had just ordered my food. There was this guy standing beside me, who had already ordered. He was probably somewhere in his mid-50's. He suddenly starts talking to me about his Monopoly pieces. This was a suprise in itself, considering that perfect strangers normally don't just start talking to me casually. (Perhaps I'm intimidating in some way, or maybe I just look mean. Or deranged. Yeah, I'll go with deranged.) So, because he WAS making conversation with me, I realized that there was clearly something wrong with him. He says, "Look, I got Boardwalk. Now all I need is......what's that other one......?" Assuming he was asking me for the answer, I simply repled, "Park Place." "YES, that's it! Park Place!" Then, he looks at the other game piece he got, and it was for a free small soft drink. He was all excited about this too. He had already used one of those on a free small fry, and the game piece states, "Limit one per visit."

I saw the question coming a mile away. I knew it was going to happen. I braced myself as he turned to the gal behind the counter, and said, "This counts as a visit?"

THANKFULLY, my food arrived at that moment, and I ran away as fast as I could.

What I'm Listening To: All of This by Blink 182
What I'm Watching: Bleach 52-53 (For crying out loud, Ichigo, BANKAI ALREADY!)

Saturday, October 08, 2005, not the damn Space Odyssey

After adding the newest John Lennon compiliation tracks to my MP3 player, I have passed the 2000 mark in regards to individual songs. I've discovered that this lies somewhere right smack in the middle of the normal music lover and the hardcore music lover, because when someone asks me how many MP3's I have, and I tell them, they either go, "Whoa!", or "Is that all?". So I guess that means I'm an "above-average" music listener.

What I'm Listening To: Stand By Me by John Lennon
What I'm Watching: The X-Files Season 4

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Damn, 3 Posts In One Day

I should consolidate or something. No matter, this is fucking hilarious!

What I'm Listening to: Shinedown - Save Me
What I'm Watching: George Romero's Land of the Dead

Worst Phrase Ever!

"man i really really need a girlfriend... too much dudage.. not enough girlage. "

For the love of God, that's not something you admit in public!


I've always been aware of the fact that it is very difficult to sense tone when just reading text. This is most apparent in email and instant messenging, where the whole point of the text is to talk to another person. Often, something that you type out can be taken differently by other people, simply because the other person doesn't know the tone in which are are saying said phrase.

I've also found this problem in another place -- subtitles.

Case in point: I was watching an episode of Tsubasa Chronicle, and there was a scene where Fye and Kurogane were fighting a goblin. The goblin hit Fye in the leg, injuring him, and Kurogane took them out. After the battle, Fye is on the ground, leaning up against a brick wall, and says:

"Well, I won't die from it."

And Kurogane turns and replied:

"It's not that you won't die from it. It's that you can't die from it."

The first time I watched it, I was puzzled, because I had taken it to mean that Kurogane was implying that Fye could not be killed. The guy is a magician afterall, so maybe he had some way of becoming immortal. But then, after watching it again, I realized what, exactly, Kurogane meant.

He was simply saying that Fye had the wrong attitude. Kurogane thought Fye should have said, "Well, I can't die from it.", meaning that he refuses to die before he accomplishes his mission. Kurogane then says he hates anyone who takes their own life for granted, after which Fye replied, "Then you must hate me most of all."

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Yeah, not much worth writing about lately. That happens every once in a while -- I find myself sinking into a pattern of predictability and must start doing things to lift myself out of it. No matter, soon I'll have some interesting new games to talk about.

Today was such a relaxing day -- I really need one too. I didn't really announce to the world that I was awake until about noon -- I just laid around and watched some movies for a while. Then, I went outside and did some more work on the new court. (If I get done what I want to get done tomorrow, I'll be posting another picture.)

After that, it was more vegetating in front of the TV. I got Season 1 Disc 1 of Quantum Leap today, so I watched that. I forgot how much I really loved that show. I sure hope they keep posting these discs. Else, I might actually have to go out and buy them! After I was done with that, I turned off my DVD player and there was a college football game on. Normally, I don't watch football, but I was too lazy to change the channel, let alone move myself. I watched about a half a quarter of the game -- Alabama vs. Florida. Then, someone on the Alabama team got hurt. When they showed the replay *I* was even cringing. He jumped up for the ball, and landed in such a way that his ankle was bent completely up against his leg. That ankle HAS to be broken. It was just dangling there when they put him on the stretcher. Yikes!

That's all for now...


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...