Monday, December 31, 2007

My Favorite Friday Kills

One of my Christmas presents this year was the Friday the 13th collectors box set, containing the first 8 films. Watching these films again has inspired me to create two lists. The first will be my Top 5 favorite deaths of Jason Voorhees. The second will be my Top 10 favorite kills of Friday the 13th (not Jason only since he's not always the killer). Enjoy!

PD's Top 5 Deaths of Jason Voorhees

5. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Watching Jason get dragged down into Hell was rather cool to watch.

4. Friday the 13th Part 2
Slow motion machete into the shoulder. You know that had to hurt.

3. Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
Ok, the boat propeller to the neck would have certainly been less entertaining if it weren't for the sound effects and the huge chunks of flesh mixed in with the blood. This was glorious.

2. Friday the 13th Part 3
The death that gave him that trademark axe-hole in the upper right corner of his mask. The sound effect on this was perfect, and oh-so-painful.

1. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
My favorite of all time. The machete lodging itself into the side of his head, the blood gushing out. You're in awe, but that's not all! He then falls over and we get to watch the machete's handle hit the floor and be forced through the rest of the way. And then, of course, he gets chopped into little tiny pieces to complete the picture. THE best Jason death, bar none. Kudos, Tom Savini.

PD's Top 10 Kills of Friday the 13th

10. Mark - Friday the 13th Part 2
The kid in the wheelchair gets a machete across the face, and then goes rolling down the stairs. You'll find I'm a big fan of death scenes involving doing something to someone's head and/or face.

9. Jack - Friday the 13th
Kevin Bacon's character gets an arrow through the throat as he smokes a joint in bed. Mostly I just liked watching Kevin Bacon die. Heh.

8. Marcie - Friday the 13th
Axe to the face. The best death in part 1 (aside from the decapitation of Jason's mother). The set up is brilliant, with the shadow of the axe being raised behind her. Hitting the light gives weight to the axe. And finally seeing it in her head is one of the best effects of the film.

7. Tommy's friend - Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
Right after they inadvertently resurrect Jason, he puts his arms right through this kid's stomach. Quite the display.

6. Junior - Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
More gratifying than anything else. I hated that dumb fuck.

5. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
I forget the name of the character, but near the beginning after the black dude devours Jason's heart, he stumbles across two people having sex in a tent. He impales one of them with a metal stop sign pole, and proceeded to yank up on it and cut them nearly in half. Vertically.

4. Sissy - Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
He twists off her HEAD. With his bare hands! And then looks at it curiously. And then puts it in the sheriff's car.

3. Rick - Friday the 13th Part 3
He squeezes his head until one of his eyes pops right out. I wish I had been around when the movie was in theaters, so I could have seen THAT in 3D.

2. Axel - Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
Hacksaw to the neck, followed by spinning his head 180 degrees. Lovely.

1. Jimmy - Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
A combination of things make this my favorite. First, it's Crispin Glover. Who doesn't want to see him brutally murdered? The corkscrew through the hand is a great warm-up for what is about to happen. And again, any damage to the face is a winner with me, in this case a butcher knife across the face. And finally, the sound effect on the butcher knife is one of the most intriguing and effective, ever. What exactly *is* that?

Friday, December 28, 2007

And the word of the day is...

cyn i cal [sin-i-kuhl]
- adjective
1. like or characteristic of a cynic; distrusting or disparaging the motives of others.
2. showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, esp. by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
3. bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

Interesting word. I think it's no secret that I tend to have a cynical side to my personality that rears its ugly head from time to time. Generally, I don't trust others. You have to earn it. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm disparaging, but maybe sometimes when I don't particularly like you. Heh. The second definition is probably furthest from myself. Sadly, I'm quite incapable of lying about anything, which actually causes problems for me at times. (Honest to a fault, as some would say.) This leads me to tell people what I think of them when I'd be better off just keeping my mouth shut.

Now that third definition is just mean. Bitter? Sneering? What am I, an evil arch-villain? Contemptuous? Only if you piss me off. Pessimistic? No. Realistic would be the more accurate term.

This word popped into my head today as I was typing an email and wondering if I was coming across as a cynical person. Sometimes, tone is a very important part of getting your point across, and it's hardly possible to capture tone in a text message. Maybe I should start recording my facial expressions as I type messages so that people will never misinterpret what I'm saying. Heh.

On a more entertaining topic, my post title reminded me of a very funny animation about Sesame Street. Check it out here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Inconvenience?

So we're right smack in the middle of the holidays. Christmas is over, New Year's is next week. Around 9:00 PM on Christmas Night, my Dad says to me, "Seems like an awful lot of work for just a few hours."

That's quite true. And while I enjoy the holiday season, as I'm sure many people do, I can't help but consider a lot of it to be an inconvenience. I'm the kind of person who creates a schedule that I follow. That's not to say that I'm obsessive-compulsive about having to have my pens in a certain order, or counting the number of times my turn signal ticks before I can make a turn. But I like to have my life planned out to a certain extent, and the holidays just turn that whole thing upside-down for a week or two.

The actual day of Christmas was quite enjoyable for me this year, so if there was only a way to eliminate all that preparation that goes along with it, we'd be golden. But I digress.

The only other gripe I have about the holidays is the whole social aspect. I like to be sociable when I feel like being sociable. The holidays just come around and declare "You must be a sociable individual on December 25th and December 31st!" Fuck that! But again, if I would celebrate Christmas only when I was in the mood to do so, it would probably come around with the same consistency as the locusts. Or even Halley's Comet. Heh.

I think the main problem I'm alluding to here, is that I find it difficult to spend vast amounts of time with my family for one simple reason -- we don't have anything in common! It is impossible for me to carry on a lengthy, meaningful conversation with one of them because we simply don't have anything to talk about. My main interests revolve around computers, computer gaming, movies, music, anime, and other minor sub-topics of this list. Most of my family members don't even know what those things are, let alone have any interest in them. Sure, they try to sound interested in the event that I decide to talk about them, but it's pretty much the equivalent to talking to myself.

I certainly love my family. But I'm not exactly sure they get that impression from me as I'm laying on the couch Christmas Day watching the football game and half-listening to their topics of conversation, which interest me about as much as mine interest them. I don't even LIKE football, but I'm quite sure I would get yelled at had I tried to play a computer game while they were visiting. Or maybe they know me well enough to know that since I *wasn't* in front of the computer, I was telling them they are still important to me.

I hope so.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


My transition from primary DPS to a tank within World of Warcraft has been an interesting one for me, and as the year draws to a close I would like to share some little tidbits that have come to mind as I've made this choice to change.

The first part is the whole leadership thing. I really don't know how this whole thing started, but it's probably simply due to my personality. This isn't the first time I've displayed the qualities of a leader, or in some sense an organizer, so that really came as no surprise to me whatsoever.

This is apart from the RL status. While the tank playing the part of the Raid Leader is pretty common, the RL *not* being the tank is not UNcommon either. In 5-man instances, however, it seems quite prevalent that the tank is always the one marking the targets and performing the pulls. I've actually received shocked reactions from other players when I would be the one doing this in an instance. It never occurred to me why this was strange to them until I started tanking.

The idea of leading instances wasn't particularly my own, it's just something that started happening way back in the early days of being level 60. While I will admit that I have a horrible sense of direction, this is countered by my ability to memorize things. Once I run through an instance once, I'm pretty good at memorizing all its quirks and all the little things you need to know to either succeed or to make your life much easier. This, coupled with the fact that I appear to be quite good at it, started the trend of people automatically turning group lead over to me when we'd run an instance.

I've noticed, however, that doing the same job as the tank is a lot smoother. While I was always conscious of the tank's need for rage, I'm not always certain that I was courteous with the speed in which I would do the pulls. While tanking, naturally, I pull when I'm ready. Though I feel that playing a DPS class, especially that of a mana-based one, has given me an insight that most tanks might lack. I make sure that everyone has sufficient mana before any pull, and I look behind me to make sure my party is there.

That leads me to my next thought. As a mage, I rarely felt I was doing anything vitally important. Mostly, playing the mage is fun, as I'm sure most DPS classes are. I was blowing stuff up, laughing at my crits, and just having a good time. I suspect that my desire to be a more vital part of the group was one of my main reasons for so willingly changing characters. The idea of standing in front of your group and being solely responsible for keeping them all alive is very appealing to me. It's probably the reason why I treated crowd-control as an art form while playing the mage, and why healers would always stand close to me because they knew I would frost nova a mob to keep it off of them. Heroic, I guess you could say, but realistically it's just my desire to do something more than "do damage to the skull target".

So if asked about my decision to switch after basically over-gearing my mage, the answer is that no, I don't regret doing so; for a number of reasons:

1. As I said above, I find tanking more fulfilling than DPSing. At the same time, I'm still having fun, and I still get to play with my friends (except my fellow tanks, but that's what raiding is for).

2. I'm invited to more 5-man instances than I was on the mage. Typically, as a DPS it would be me forming the group. Otherwise, I would be out doing something and notice that everyone else was running an instance. As a tank, sometimes I don't even get to check my mail before I'm getting invited to something.

3. I'm a visuals kind of guy -- I like graphics, details, etc. Playing an undead mage wasn't all that great to look at, because of the size of an undead. As a tauren, I can actually see what my gear looks like now. And, warrior gear just looks cooler, for the most part.

4. Being extremely hard to kill is quite entertaining. One such case where I was laughing to myself was a certain night in heroic Underbog. We had just started, and we took down a 3 pull without incident. I then looked and noticed our healer had disconnected, and had been disconnected through the entire pull. I hadn't gotten one heal the entire time, and it didn't even matter.

5. My damage output on the mage was superior to others for two reasons: my gear, and my study and exploitation of the mage's arcane tree. On a long boss fight, my damage output was on-par with everyone else. Warlocks would surpass me because they are the gods of the 15 minute long fight due to their abilities. However, I was utterly unrivaled in short, burst damage fights. This did not come without a cost, however, and I constantly felt that I was slowing down my groups because of my need to mana up. On the warrior, I'm making a group wait, at most, 15-20 seconds while my Bloodrage becomes available again. That's much better.

6. There is no tanking gear in PvP. I will never, ever, ever, ever have to PvP as a tank to get an upgrade. And that is fucking beautiful.

7. I actually have to compare gear and do math before accepting an upgrade.

Next, here are a few of my observations about tanking, from a warrior point of view:

-- If your healer keeps dying first from only healing you, you are a bad tank.
-- If you can tank 2 things without having to taunt, you are a tank.
-- If you can tank 3 things without having to taunt, you are a good tank.
-- If you can tank 4 things without having to taunt, you are a very good tank.
-- If you can tank 5 or more things without having to taunt, you obviously have 6 arms.
-- If you can keep an AOE pull off of the mage without having to taunt, you are cheating.

I particularly like the DPS people who enjoy testing their tank. I've noticed that warlocks are the most common people who do this. "Let's see how long it takes me to pull aggro!" My solution to this problem is simple. Stop taunting and tell the healer not to heal the dumbass.

Conversely, there are the DPS classes that feel they can tank if necessary. These are mostly the people that wear PvP gear for PvE instances and raids. For these people, I taunt the mob they pulled off of me and hold it, and then later I yell at them for doing sub-par DPS that would be much higher had they been wearing PvE gear.

Given that a tanking warrior's only weakness is tanking multiple things at once, I find it humorous that crowd controlling seems to be a lost art these days. The DPS world has been overrun with druids, shamans, and DPS warriors. None of which can CC. Warlocks are also a common commodity, and unless it's a demon or elemental, their CC sucks. Mages are scarce. Hunters are noobs and don't know how to trap. Rogues forgot how to be sneaky. I blame PvP (as I do for most things).

But I guess it's one way of tackling the biggest obstacle with my class head-on. And as long as the DPS is intelligent, tanking 4-5 things at once really isn't a problem. At that point, it becomes a game of how fast I can switch between targets.

With the new year coming up, I'm looking forward to taking my warrior as far as I can in the next 16-odd months before the next expansion comes out. But mostly, I just want to continue having fun with it and learning as much as I can to get even better at it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For very bad things are about to happen.

Hehe. If you read LFG, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's good to have Richard back to normal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Wasters

I like to be entertained, which I'm sure is true for a vast majority of people. I find that while my brain is occupied on something else, it's not prone to go wandering off on its own. This is why, for the longest time, I rarely slept at all. I would turn off the TV, lay in bed in silence, and never fall asleep. I would think, ideas ranging far and wide. And this would keep me awake all night long. I finally learned that if there was something to distract me, I could fall asleep very quickly. So now, for at least the last ten years or so, I always sleep with the TV on. I'm sure there are people out there who are exactly the opposite of me -- where if there's even the slightest bit of sound, they can't sleep. I'm sure my habit seems strange to some people.

In any case, I like to be entertained. When I'm at home, this is quite easily accomplished. Computer games are my preferred method of entertainment, along with movies, music, writing, and the occasional rabid attack from my sabertoothed cat. Work is a different story, however. As entertaining as SQL scripting is, I still find the need to occasionally take a break. Since the sound (and sight) of me tanking a demon boss in WoW might not be entirely acceptable here, nor would the idea of me taking a 2-hour movie break, I naturally have to resort to quicker forms of entertainment. For those of you equally inclined, I've compiled a list of my favorite places to visit online when I'm taking a break from the daily grind that is my job. Enjoy!

1. Web Comics

I love web comics, and this is probably mostly because I love comics in general. Yes, I read the Sunday Funnies every week. Given my love of computer games, any web comics focusing around that particular genre are obviously my favorites.

The comic that I would read religiously twice a week was Concerned. It was created using Garry's Mod, a Half-Life 2 modification program that I also used to create my own web comics. The story is based on the Half-Life 2 universe in a comical way. The comic is now complete, but I still find myself going back every once in a while to re-read it.

Lately, I've been keeping up with Looking For Group. I believe that comic started out very strong, and it was hilarious. Snippets of this comic have made their way into my gaming life, with my guild members in WoW yelling "For Pony!" before we engage a boss. My opinion is it's best read all at once. I suggest you read a "book" of the comics, then not read anymore until another "book" is complete so you can read it all at once. Trust me, it's just better that way.

The creators of Looking For Group also write Least I Could Do. This comic is more real life, and probably something more people can relate to.

More in the computer game related category are the comics put out by Action Trip.

It's times like these when I wish WoW had better graphics, and a means in which to pose characters the way Garry's Mod allows. I have such a gold mine of WoW events in my head that would make priceless comic strips.

That, or I wish I could draw. Heh.


The proverbial geek headquarters. It's a compilation of IRC quotes, many of which are probably fake but it's still entertaining to read through some of them. Honestly though, I find my own much more entertaining.


When all else fails, read movie trivia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chinese Fortune Scavenger Hunt

"You are very expressive and positive in words, ct and feeling."


Can you guess what that's supposed to be? Curiosity got the best of me, so I googled the phrase on the hunch that somewhere on the internet, it would be spelled out correctly.

Turns out just a simple letter was missing -- it's ACT.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Hate Reviews

So it's "performance review" time here at the office. It was bad enough when I had to fill mine out. But now that I'm a manager, I have to still fill mine out AND review the three people on my team. Fack!

This is the most pointless shit ever. I haven't gotten a damn thing done today because I've been working on this crap. I love the portions of this where it pretty much says "Make up a few paragraphs of nice things to say about your employee." Give me a fucking break. I haven't fired them yet so obviously they're of some use to me.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The 25 Most Shocking Moments in Gaming

I've seen countless lists such of these for movies and the like, so I thought it was time someone created one for gaming. So allow me to present my list of the 25 Most Shocking Moments in Gaming:

25. Super Mario Bros.
"Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle."

24. Grand Theft Auto
Three words: Hot Coffee Mod

23. Brothers In Arms
The opening battle, comparable to the beginning of Saving Private Ryan in it's brutality. I still remember the look on the face of the solider who wore glasses. One minute, standing right in front of me. The next, dead and bloody at my feet.

22. Red Faction
Wait, I can shoot through walls? SWEET!

21. Hellgate: London
Destroying a rift and fighting the demon that appears in it's place, only to be blind-sided by 20 more just like it and dying a glorious death. Utter brilliance.

20. Counter-Strike
This one is completely personal. I'm playing "The Black Level" with CM -- no light, walls are black, only white lines on the floor. We start a new round, and he's like "Pause! BRB." I make my way over to his side, find him, and wait. "Ok, unpause." BOOM!
Well, it was shocking for HIM. =)

19. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Stepping into Oblivion for the very first time. For me, it was quite similar to stepping into a dungeon for the first time in Super Mario Bros. Everything that you had seen up to that point was all bright and shiny. All pretty and aesthetically pleasing. Then all of a sudden you're in a dark, foreboding environment. A great moment in gaming

18. Aliens vs Predator 2
The moment when you walk out into the open and you hear that sound...the sound that you recognize from the movies. It's the sound of a Predator. You see the blurry form of a cloaked monster on the rooftops. You see his laser sights looking for you. The moment when you have to face off against a Predator for the first time is absolutely chilling.

17. Crysis
Loading it up for the first time will be sufficient in shattering your current standards for graphics in a computer game. This isn't a game. It's a fucking motion picture presentation.

16. The Suffering
You just broke out of your jail cell. The power is out. You walk into the prison cafeteria. You hear something...something that sounds like metal on metal. It's getting louder, like footsteps. Then, something drops down from the ceiling -- a disgusting creature with metal blades for arms and legs. You blast it with your shotgun out of instinct, realizing that you also screamed out loud and your knuckles are white with fear. Thus begins the game.

15. Half-Life 2
There are so many great gaming moments in this game, it's hard to pick the best one. But I'm going to have to go with the boat chase sequence here. Seeing hundreds of mines dropping from that helicopter has to be one of the greatest "You've got to be fucking kidding me" moments, ever.

14. Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
I was utterly bored with this game at it's start. "I have to use a BLASTER? Where's my fucking lighsaber?" Kyle has abandoned the Force and has no special powers whatsoever. And then him and his girlfriend are attacked by Force users, and you are powerless to do anything as you listen to them kill her. It's like the game is telling you, "Are you ready to be able to do THAT? The game will now start." And yes, we were ready.

13. Serious Sam
Sure, you fought a lot of monsters. Hundreds. Even thousands of them. Big ones too, probably some of the biggest baddies ever to be rendered in a computer game. But when the final boss rears it's ugly head, revealing itself to be twice as tall as the Great Pyrimids of Egypt that it's standing behind, you can't help but drop your jaw and mutter "Whoa."

12. Soldier of Fortune 2
You love shooters, and you love how realistic they've become. Ah yes, the blood, the explosions, it's all good stuff. What's this? A new SOF game? Sweet! You load it up. You find a shotgun. You shoot a terrorist in the stomach with it. What's that? INTESTINES FELL OUT! Then you do it again and again.

11. Prey
Nothing ruins your day more than an alien invasion. Those damn aliens, always trying to enslave humanity. You see a lot of death on your journey to stop them in this game, a whole lot of it. Even your grandfather, killed by an alien right before your eyes. But after killing countless aliens and seeing so many people killed by them, nothing could prepare you for the task of having to kill your own girlfriend, whose alien controlled body is now trying to blow you up while the still human part is begging you to kill her. This boss fight leaves you feeling that no matter what, you're going to finish this game just to put a bullet in the head of the fucker who did this.

10. Dungeon Siege II
As with the end of any self-respecting RPG, you have to fight the final uber-powerful boss! And you defeat him gloriously...only to find out that in doing so, you just destroyed the world. Nice work, hero.

9. Max Payne
You heard all this hype about "bullet time". What the hell is bullet time? So you buy Max Payne, you load it up, you're in the game. You come across your first bad guy, and you press the "shootdodge" button. The world slows down around you. Max dives to the right in slow motion. You realize you just dodged bullets. You shoot at the bad guy. Time speeds back up. The bullets rush at the baddie and blow him away. And you, similarly, are left blown away by what you just saw for the first time. It's since been copied countless times, but nothing compares to seeing it new.

8. System Shock 2
Finding out that the kindly voice of the other lone survivor on your spaceship -- the only reason you've had to fight your way through hordes of monsters to find her -- is nothing more than an insane computer playing with your mind will live on as one of the greatest gaming moments in history.

7. Doom
Just playing it, period. It was the first of it's kind, and it lives on as the game that changed everything. If you want a specific moment, however, think about the first time you saw a Pinky demon running towards you in a dark corridor.

6. Postal 2
Just, like, the entire game, dude. Ok, I have to pick a moment? Pissing on the corpse of the cop you just gunned down. Happy now?

5. Quake 4
So you're a big, bad Marine fighting slovering aliens from Stroggos, and you just lost a battle with the Makron. You're pride is a little hurt, but it's okay. You awake to find yourself on a conveyor belt, and you witness the prisoner in front of you being mutilated before your very eyes. But you're the main character. That can't happen to you. There's no way that'll happen to you. Then a gigantic saw blade lurches down from the ceiling and messily amputates your legs as your character screams in agony, and you watch in horror as the hero you're playing is gruesomely transformed into that which you've been fighting throughout the entire game. Utterly shocking.

4. Bioshock
The idea of the person helping you out through the entire game suddenly turning out to be the bad guy is such a common staple in games that it's no longer shocking. However, the additional added twist two-thirds through Bioshock adds new life to this dead device with three simple words: "Would you kindly..." And you realize, horrifically, that all the choices you thought you were making were never your own to begin with. A classic mindfuck.

3. Half-Life
Inserting the sample into the beam, thus causing the resonance cascade scenario. It leaves you confused, panic-striken, and saying to yourself, "What the fuck did I just do?!"

2. F.E.A.R.
When you first encounter the horror moppet in all her bloody glory, you're not filled with just fear. You PANIC. This is one of the first and only times in a computer game where my first instinct was to turn and run the fuck away.

1. Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Gordon Freeman has never been someone who can't get out of an impossible situation with little more than a crowbar. He's been in countless, and he always finds a way out. So it was nothing less than numbing to watch the final sequence of Episode 2, watching as Gordon is helplessly pinned to a wall while an Advisor impales Eli Vance through the back of the head. While Dog saves Alyx and Gordon from certain death, it's painfully clear that the damage has already been done. The credits roll with Alyx crying over her father's corpse. You are left staring down at her, helpless to do anything about it. I get shivers just thinking about that scene.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hellgate: London

First off, Best Buy can suck it. I really hoped the games I ordered would have arrived on THURSDAY, instead of today, so I could have actually played them all weekend. But anyway...

I picked Hellgate: London first, mostly because I've been dying to play a new RPG. So far, I haven't been disappointed. Ironically, most of the controls are identical to WoW, so I had no learning curve whatsoever.

I picked the Blademaster as my class of choice, since along with wanting to play a new RPG I've been wanting to also play something melee.

So right now I'm the proud owner of a level 4 Blademaster, and I'm questing my way through the demon infested streets of London. Let the screenshots speak for themselves:

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Greatest Shooter Ever Made

That's some declaration there, in that title. Some pretty big-ass declaration. For now, since I'm pretty damn tired right now, I'm only going to show you one screenshot. I want you to look at this very carefully, and remember that this is a computer game you're looking at. It's not a photograph. It's not a movie. This is a game, and that was rendered.

Honestly, I think it's even more jaw-dropping when you see it ALIVE, moving, and being able to immerse yourself in it. This is by far one of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

I'll post a more detailed review later. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A picture says...

...ah, you know the rest. Check it out:

Yes. That's exactly what you think it is.

Full story.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Upcoming Playlist

It's the holiday season. I really like this time of year, though it really has nothing to do with the proverbial Christmas spirit or Goodwill Towards Men. Goodwill has never been a word I've voluntarily associated with myself, but that's an entirely different story.

No, I like this time of year because all the computer game publishers are releasing their prime titles so the average consumer will rush out and by them for their loved ones and place them under the tree. And I say let them do that. Meanwhile, I will be buying the games and playing them. Right now. It's like a month of Christmases.

So last night, I placed an order for a few games that I plan on playing over my upcoming four-day weekend. This will be my upcoming playlist:

I've actually already received my copy of this game, and I plan on finishing it this weekend along with playing the multi-player aspect. So far the game is AMAZING, and it truly has redefined how shooters should be made. I plan on delivering a full review after I've completed it.

Gears of War
Yes, it's finally out for the PC. This game really needs no introduction, as many people have already played it on their Xbox. Quite possibly the third greatest shooter of the year, behind only Crysis and Half-Life 2: Episode 2.

Unreal Tournament 3
What's not to like about UT? Blow people up. Dominate. Maps with odd gravity. Camera angles that follow rockets to their destination. And now we have the Unreal 3 Engine powering it and drivable vehicles. Oh yes.

Hellgate: London
I'm a sucker for a good story. And the idea of Hell invading London is intriguing to me, so of course I need to try this game out. Coupled with weapons that you can upgrade to your liking and an "action RPG shooter" sub-genre, there's a lot of potential here.

That's a lot of gaming goodness, and I can't wait.

In other news, you'll notice a few color changes to the blog. I was kind of starting to feel like a vampire with all the black and red going on, so I switched up the post color. Also, can anyone tell me why I had that awful green color for the post titles? Egad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ah yes, grinding

A lot of things about this one made me laugh. Comparing the most popular MMO to Tetris is hilarious in and of itself. The last line killed me as well. I'm so using that.

It's also funny because of it's truth, and this is exactly why there is a large number of people who will be quitting the game when the next expansion comes out. Including myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yesterday I received my new computer. I refused to put myself through the torture of trying to get it all set up and running in an evening, because we all know that's not possible. So, it's still sitting in it's box waiting for the grand unveiling. That will take place on Saturday, most likely.

I did take out the binder of books and discs out of the box and read through some stuff, however. Apparently, I have my own specialized team of customer support representatives on hand to help me with any issues I may have. I have the names of about 10 people -- first and last names, and their position in the company. That's a neat idea, trying to make the customer feel special. I'm sure this group of people have hundreds of other people they are assigned to as well, but hey, at least I can use first names if I have to bitch at someone.

When I finally get down to setting this monster up, I'll see if I can remember to make a pictorial presentation for all to see.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So the current song that I'm listening to several times a day is "Bad Sun" by The Bravery. While the song itself sounds ridiculous most of the time (seriously, is that a Kazoo they're playing?), the lyrics are unique. I especially like the first few lines:

We are liars like the summertime.
Like the spring we are such fools.
Like fall we are false prophets.
And like winter we are cruel.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's a Crysis

I think it's going to change the world, myself. At the very least, it's going to change the way games are made. I'm of course talking about Crysis, and it's only a few weeks away now.

I've seen the demos. I've watched the trailers. I have the screenshots. I've read the reviews. I've heard the hype. And I've never seen the entire gaming community agree on the kick-assedness of a game in this degree before. It's quite unprecedented, and I can't wait to find out for myself.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Skynet 2

[1] Area-51® 7500

Alienware P2 Chassis: Alienware® P2 Chassis with AlienIce™ 3.0 Video Cooling - Conspiracy Blue
System Lighting: Alienware® Standard System Lighting - Fusion Red
High-Performance Liquid Cooling: Alienware® Standard System Cooling
Power Supply: Alienware® 1000 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Graphics Processor: Dual Graphics Processors - Dual 768MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 Ultra - SLI Enabled
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0GHz 8MB Cache 1333MHz FSB
Memory: 4GB Low Latency DDR2 Performance SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 x 1024MB
Motherboard: Alienware® Approved NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
Operating System (Office software not included): Genuine Windows Vista™ Ultimate
Desktop Tuners and Remotes: Without Media Center Remote Control
System Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 320GB (2 x 160GB) SATA 1.5Gb/s 10,000RPM 2 x 16MB Cache
Optical Drives : Single Drive Configuration - 20X Dual-Layer DVD±RW
Enthusiast Essentials: Dual High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer High Definition 7.1 Audio - More Info
Monitor: No Monitor
Keyboard: Logitech® G15 Gaming Keyboard
Mouse : Logitech® G5 Laser Gaming Mouse
Warranty: 4-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service
AlienContact: Added Bonus with any AlienSupport Selection
AlienContact - Remote Alienware Support
AlienRespawn: AlienRespawn v2.0 Recovery DVD – Windows Vista Edition
Power: UPS Protection - Opti-UPS ES1000C (700W Capacity)
Alienware Extras: Alienware® Mesh Cap
Alienware Extras: Alienware® Mousepad
Alienware Extras: Alienware® Desktop Binder
Alienware Extras: Owner Identification Card
Alienware Extras: Internal Wire Management
Avatar: Alienhead 3D
Window Style: Default Window Style
Mouse Pointers: Standard Mouse Pointers
Power Plan: Standard Power Plan
Automatic Updates: Automatic Updates On
Time Zones: (GMT - 5.00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Edit: CM has dubbed it "Skynet Extreme" or "Skynet EX"

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Am A Sick Person

At least, according to this reporter, I am.

Soap box time.

Dear Terrence O'Brien,

It appears that your complaints about Manhunt 2 are being directed at the wrong people. Allow me to put you in your place. For starters, the people who play this game are not sick people. It's quite obvious that you're not a gamer, judging by the comments you're making. Said comments are actually quite ignorant, and I think it would have made yourself look a lot less stupid if you would have actually done your research and interviewed real gamers before writing your article.

Gamers play games for a number of reasons, but really it all boils down to wanting to immerse oneself in an entertaining and fantastical environment. To experience things that they will never get to experience in real life -- such as flying an airplane, driving a car at super high speeds, and yes, killing people.

I can't honestly see how you could come to the conclusion that I'm a sick person. I work for a software company. I write code. I QA computer programs. I buy my sister a gift when it's her birthday. I plant flowers at my parent's house in the spring because my Mom loves flowers. I own a cat, and I love him very much.

But I'm a sick person because I'm also a gamer? You're an idiot.

Games don't make people kill people the same way guns don't make people kill people, the same way spoons didn't make Rosie O'Donnell fat. You take away the guns and people will kill people with a piano. Take away the games and people will still kill people. (They might kill more, because you took away their games. Jackass.)

I agree that little kids shouldn't play this game. But banning the game isn't the right answer. It's the responsibility of the parent to know what's best for their children, not the gaming companies. It's not the gaming companies' fault that two immature young adults had a kid and have no fucking idea how to raise it. It's not the gaming companies' fault that someone is a bad parent and dedicates no time to their kid, instead leaving them to entertain themselves, alone, with video games.

Blame the fucking parent.

People kill people because they choose to. I have never had a problem between recognizing the difference between real life and fantasy. Whether this is a result of my upbringing or of my embedded moral code, I can't say. But I have played games my entire life, and I hesitated the day I had a clear shot at a deer when I went hunting with my grandfather.

People kill people because they choose to. Stop saying other things make people killers, because that's a load of bullshit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ok, that's better...

So it came down to me emailing customer support because of this FTP issue. About 15 minutes after I sent it, my site stopped working entirely. Then I get a reply email that everything is fixed.


In any case, I can do this again:

Yeah, that's what's left of me...hehe.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Team Fortress 2

So I'm currently hooked on Team Fortress 2, now that I finally got my dumb internet security settings figured out (and can thus SEE the servers to play on them).

The game takes your standard Capture the Flag idea, and puts a lot of interesting twists on it. First of all, there's actually a class system in the game. This gives a lot of diversity and pretty much guarantees you'll find something that will match your play style. There are 9 classes in total, and I haven't had a chance to try out each one of them yet. But I will say that currently, I suck equally at all the ones I've tried.

That's ok though, because in this game it really doesn't matter if you suck. You're going to have fun regardless. This brings me to the next cool innovation they've done.

Unreal Tournament introduced us to the idea of the "dominating" announcement, and other such bonuses. You get a lot of kills, you get a bonus. That's standard deathmatch stuff. TF2 takes this to the next level, in a way.

First of all, when someone frags you, your camera will zoom in on them for a few seconds so you can get a real good look at them (and their name) so you can later exact your revenge the next time you see them. To put another neat little twist on this, if you (or any parts of your body) happen to be in the frame when this happens, the game will point this out. "Here's your kidney!" "Look, more bits here!", with big arrows pointing to them. It's quite entertaining.

Also, if someone kills you a certain number of times in the same game, they will be labeled as your Nemesis. And you will get a bonus for exacting revenge upon them. I really like that idea.

Add in the already comical graphics, and you'll find yourself laughing out loud whether it's you doing, or receiving, the frag.

I plan on posting a few screenshots, but I seem to be having issues with my website ATM. Last night, as I attempted to embed an image into a post, it hung up. So, I tried connecting to my site through FTP so I could link the image that way, and I couldn't connect there either.

Perhaps my internet connection hates me. At any rate, I'll post some images of my disemboweled torso once I get that problem figured out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Portal video

Ok, I've created a video of me running through a mid-level of Portal. Set to the tune of Map of the Problematique by Muse. Warning! This video is 17.8 MB, because I'm a video quality whore. It will take a while to download. But enjoy!

Now, keep in mind that since I've been through this level once before, I'm doing everything right in the game. You should have seen the first time I went through -- LOTS of trial and error. And dying. Much dying.

Portal Video

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Favorite Portal Quotes

But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

And remember, Aperture Science's take-your-daughter-to-work day is the perfect time to have your daughter tested.

Didn't we have some fun, though? Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said 'goodbye', and you were like 'no way'? And then I was all 'we pretended we were going to murder you'. That was great.

That thing you burnt up isn't important to me. Not any more. It's the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit; it makes shoes for orphans. Nice job breaking it, hero.

The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Truth in Cartoons


Portal Defeated

Yes, I defeated Portal last night. This game was a hell of a lot of fun, and this was probably the most hilarious ending to a computer game EVER.

Imagine this: You just spend hours navigating your way through the grungy, decripit innards of a research facility -- most rooms of which are out of reach and require the use of the portal gun. Then you come face to face with the computer that tried to kill you, and you have to rip her apart and burn her chips and kill her. (A computer that had been saying throughout the entire game that she'd give you cake when you got to the end.)

Then this cut-scene plays.

I had to go and beat the last level again, because I was laughing too hard the first time to hear all of the song. Golden.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My RPG idea, revisited.

About a year ago, I spent a little time playing a browser based MMORPG called the Urban Dead. The premise was this: Something right out of a George Romero film happened in a big city, and most of the population was turned into zombies. The city was completely sealed off from the rest of the world by the government -- with zombies and survivors alike being trapped inside.

The gameplay was all text based, of course, given that it's all played within an internet browser.

"You shoot at the zombie and miss."
"The zombie bites you. You lose 10 health."

So while this game isn't exactly at the height of technology, the whole premise is what made me play it, and enjoy it for a while -- the idea of an MMORPG based on the premise of trying to survive in a city full of zombies. There are no MMORPG computer games out there with that premise.

Now, there *was* such a game in developement: City of the Dead, based on the George Romero universe. But, it's since been scrapped and the company developing it went out of business.

I'm hoping that the idea will be developed by someone else, however, because it's most definitely a game I would love to play. I can see two different ways of going about it:

The first would be to use the mechanics used in the Urban Dead: There are no NPC or computer controlled players. Every zombie and every survivor in the game is a real person playing that character.

The other would be that the undead was a completely computer controlled force, and all the survivors were real players. That's boring. I'd wanna play a zombie, at least for a while.

The one main idea in Urban Dead that I liked was how they handled death. You could be killed in the game, but then you came back as a zombie. Likewise, the "scientist" class in the game could cure zombies and turn them back into humans by injecting their brain with a serum. That added a very unique twist to the gameplay. This was further complicated by zombies who were "brain dead" and couldn't be cured, and you didn't know this until you tried to cure them and it failed (thus wasting a shot of your precious serum). You were uncurable if you decided to play a zombie from the start, rather than becoming one by dying in the game.

The possibilities for creating a full-fledged video game with this premise are actually really exciting. It really surprises me that nothing like this yet exists. But, when you look at the quality of MMORPG video games out there, two genres utterly dominate the market: Fantasy and Science-Fiction. Survival Horror is way under the radar.

There are a lot of things that I imagine would be very cool to experience in a game like this:

-- I picture walking down the streets of a deserted city, not knowing if a zombie player is waiting around the next corner. I think the game would always be suspenseful and interesting.

-- Sleep would be an interesting topic, and the idea of safety. Where would your character sleep? Could he be attacked while you're not in the game? Could you log-on and be dead because while you were at work a bunch of zombies broke into your hiding spot?

-- I think it would be quite easy to have unique skill sets for different classes. Things are typically broken in a zombie apocalypse, so there could be a Repair class. A Doctor class, of course, to heal the wounded. Soldier or Police for weapon handling. How about a class that excels at barricading buildings to keep out zombies, or build traps for them? How about a Looter, who excels and sneaking through the city to the nearest Ammunition or Hardware store for supplies? As for zombies, there could be classes that excel at finding ways into buildings, or ones that move very fast but have fewer hitpoints. You could even split up zombies that bite to kill, and ones that bite to turn others into zombies.

-- The image that stands out in my head most of all, however, is being a player in the game, trapped in a building, and hearing a zombie pounding on the door trying to get inside. And knowing that that zombie is a real player and all the things that typically fool a computer controlled monster aren't going to save you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Half-Life 2: Episode 2

Let's get the most important thing out of the way first: This is one of the greatest games I've ever played.

Valve took the original structured idea they had for Episode 1, and used it to make a game that is definitely more well-designed and balanced that Episode 1 was. Along with that, they made it more emotional than any other Half-Life game up to this point. It's more exciting. It's more fun. And it makes you care about these characters more than ever before.

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. As always, if you plan on playing this game for yourself, do not read this post. I will be giving everything away.

The game starts out exactly where Episode 1 left off, and actually begins very similarly to how Episode 1 started -- your (as in you playing Gordon Freeman. "You" is easier to use when writing this) train crashed after City 17 disintegrated by the Citadel's explosion, and you're found by Alyx. She finds your gravity gun and uses it to get you out of the wreckage before handing it back to you.

The two of you stole some very important data from the Citadel before it went critical, information critical to the Combine's enslavement of humanity. They want it back. The two of you are now on the run, trying to make your way to White Forest -- a rebel base where Eli Vance (Alyx's father and the leader of the Rebellion) and Isaac Kleiner are attempting to close the huge portal that now sits where the Citadel once stood. If the portal remains open, humanity will be lost to the invaders.

The first major improvement you will see to this game are the vast, highly detailed outdoor levels. The above shot is what's left of City 17 and the Citadel -- nothing but a big portal that, when complete, would allow the Combine to invade Earth in full.

This massive portal is causing portal storms, which can do massive amounts of damage when they occur. Such as the above bridge falling apart in front of you.

The two of you find an abandoned base and contact Dr. Vance and Dr. Kleiner at White Forest. The two of them instruct you to get to them as soon as possible, so they can find out what exactly is in the packet of data the two of you snatched from the Combine.

This is easier said than done of course, because the two of you are soon attacked by the game's newest creature -- the Hunter. I just realized that I didn't get any screenshots of the Hunters, because every time the fuckers showed up, I was fighting my ass off to stay alive. They are TOUGH.

In any case, on your first encounter with a Hunter, Alyx is impaled through the stomach before a friendly Vortigaint (pictured above) shows up to help you.

He picks up Alyx and leads you to a nearby Rebel base.

This leads to one of the most exciting showpieces of the game. The rebel base is underground, very close to an Antlion hive. You actually have to crawl through this hive to get to the base. When you arrive, the two Joes above tell you that everything will be find as long as the Antlion's babies aren't stepped on. Yeah. Those there the thousands of little grubs you stepped on while making your way to the base...

So needless to say, the Antlions are pissed. There are 4 tunnels leading into the base, and each of them has a warning sensor attached to it with lights. One red light means a few Antlions are coming. All 3 lights mean a LOT of antlions are coming.

It reminded me of that scene in Aliens where the group is holding off waves of aliens using the mounted guns. Same thing here -- we had 4 tunnels, 2 mounted guns, the 2 Joes, and myself. Holding off waves and waves of Antlions. Then the guns broke, but the Vortigaint's friends showed up. Just in time too, because then all 3 lights lit up in all 4 tunnels. Zomg. Madness ensured, and it was glorious.

After it was all over, the Vortigaint informs you that in order to save Alyx's life, you have to retrieve some kind of enzyme secretion from the core of the Antlion's hive. Of course that's the answer...

So the two of you set off for the hive.

If you're a bit claustrophobic, you'll be downright catatonic before this portion of the game is over.

Here's a shot of Gordon and the Vortigaint in the elevator after retrieving the secretion. I just really, really like the lighting of that shot.

This scene actually surprised me a little bit. This is the Vortigaints healing Alyx after we retrieved the secretion. Half-Life has always been a bloody game, but it's never been "gory". And this actually shocked me a little bit -- showing the insides of someone like that. It's very well done too when you see it in the game, because it shows Alyx's muscles as the Vort waves his hand over her. Very nice animation.

Now, it's at this point that the G-Man contacts you for the first and only time in the game. I don't have any shots of this either...I was too freaking shocked when it happened, and was paying too much attention to what he was telling me. I've known all along that he's had something to do with this entire thing. He was at Black Mesa when the resonance cascade occurred, and he's been watching Gordon ever since. I still don't have a guess who he's working for. No idea. But, we do know that the Vortigant's stopped him from putting Gordon back in stasis at the end of Half-Life 2. And I don't find it a coincidence that he decides to contact Gordon for the first time AFTER that has happened right when the Vort's are occupied with saving Alyx's life. Somehow, they interfere with him.

In any case, the G-Man was as enigmatic as ever. You still don't know what his intentions are, but he does suggest that Alyx is more important than anyone realizes. Why that is, I don't know. But he tells you to ensure she makes it to White Forest safely, and he whispers something in her ear..."Prepare for unforeseen consequences."

After all this goes down, you're back on your path to White Forest. Above is another outdoor scene, beautifully rendered. In the distance, you can see the Combine. They, too, are marching towards White annihilate the rebels. You have to get there first.

Ah, memories of Ravenholm. Loved it. I should mention something very important at this point. You find an abandoned Combine base along the way to White Forest, and in it is an Advisor in stasis. What's an Advisor?

Advisors have not been seen much, which pretty much adds to the creepiness of finding one in the first place. They are the head of the Combine empire. They are the brains of it all -- they developed all the technology, they master-minded everything. And, after your first encounter with one here in Episode 2, they are INCREDIBLY powerful. Physically, they appear pretty fragile, but they have psychic powers so strong, they can fling you across a room and hold you, incapacitated, against a wall without even moving. Below is a shot of the one you meet in the barn.

You're too incapacitated by it's psychic powers to fight it. It picks up a rebel and impales him in the back of the head with a tube that comes out of it's mouth. Then it picks you up and prepared to do the same thing...until it's stasis pod malfunctions and hurts it, causing it to flee.

You're left scared shitless, and intrigued at the same time. This is the first time...ever...that you are unable to kill something in the game.

Oh, come on. What's more fun that lighting a zombie on fire?

Ok, maybe watching Dog rip the insides out of a Strider is more fun than lighting a zombie on fire. I digress.

So you make it to White Forest. Eli and Isaac are very happy to see you. You clean out the silo, you do some more fighting, you take down a lot of Striders with the Strider Buster...and the rocket is launched to close the Combine's massive portal. And it works, the portal is closed.

But what's this? The data packet you retrieved in Episode 1 contains a message from Judith. The Borealis has been found.

The what?

Yeah...that was my question as well. This part of the story is very, very vague, and I think it's done so on purpose because the answers are coming in Episode 3. In any case, it sets up your next mission -- you have to go rescue Dr. Judith Mossman and find out everything she knows about the Borealis.

Eli then talks to you a bit privately, and admits he knows about the G-Man. I was shocked -- it was the first time ANYONE in the game has talked about him or even confirmed his existence.

The game ends with you about to take off in a helicopter with Alyx to find Mossman and the Borealis.

Then two Advisors crash into the hangar. Once again, you are incapacitated. You can't move. You can't attack. All you can do is hang in mid-air, against the wall, and watch as they kill Alyx's father in the same was they killed the rebel in the barn -- by impaling him in the back of the head. My theory is that the Advisor's gain all the knowledge of their victim when they do this. This would mean that the Combine now know everything there is to know about the rebellion. Everything.

Dog then enters and seemingly kills one of the Advisors, while the other one flees. Alyx is left crying over the corpse of her father, begging him not to leave her. And the game ends.

If there's just ONE complaint I that I wasn't allowed to fight one of the Advisors. I *need* to kill one of them, and if they deny me that pleasure in Episode 3 I will be thoroughly pissed. That final scene in the game was utterly heart-wrenching, and the sense of helplessness they created was quite brilliant. I felt like I failed.

So, Valve, if you're reading this -- that's what I want. Me vs. the Advisor. One on one. Bring it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Weighted Companion Cube

Hey, I thought it was funny...

This comic will make much more sense one I make another post about Portal. I'm just waiting until I get a bit further.

Friday, October 12, 2007


A few years ago, I saw a movie called Cube. It was simultaneously one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen, and one of the most intriguing. The premise of this movie reminds me very much of the newest game I'm playing, called Portal. Whereas, you're trapped in a rather plain square room, which may or may not contain traps, and you have to find a way out.

Portal, however, is much, much more fun than Cube was.

This game isn't your traditional first-person shooter. You don't have a gun. Actually, you don't have any kind of weapons. All you have is the ability to create portals, which I'll explain in a bit.

The game starts with you waking up on a table in some kind of a test lab. A robotic voice starts talking to you and telling you that you're a test subject, but doesn't give you any details as to the nature of the experiment. Then, a portal opens up in the wall, and you walk through it. The robotic voice then explains the idea of portals to you.

Things start out pretty simple. In the first test, the exit is a portal way up out of reach. So you use your portal making gun to open a portal in the wall beside you, you walk through it, and you come out way up above at the exit. It explains the basic principle of how portals work -- you walk through one and you come out of the other. And because your portal making gun can open up a portal in places you can't get by foot, you can get across large gaps in the floor, or up on unreachable platforms, etc.

Here's a screenshot of me making a portal. And that person you see through the ME. You're looking into infinity.

I probably won't be taking too many screenshots of the game, because basically there's not much to see. All the rooms are very bland like this one is. There's not much to see. But each test gets progressively more difficult, and the game hooks you in because you want to figure them out and move on. The last test that I've figured out so far, #14, was very cool and it was quite satisfying to complete it.

I was in a room with a high wall. Here's how I got over the wall:

First, I opened up a exit portal up near the ceiling on the wall behind the obstacle. Then I opened an entrance portal on the wall beside me. I stepped through it, and I came out of the portal way up high near the ceiling, and of course started plummeting down towards the floor (and my death).

Then, as I was falling towards the floor, I opened up a new entrance portal where I was about to go splat. I fell through it, and came out of the exit portal way up high near the ceiling again. But because I was now moving much faster (because I'd been falling), I was launched across the room and over the wall to the exit.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bored at Work

One disadvantage of being able to write long and complicated scripts, is that you have to sit and wait for these long and complicated scripts to execute. Which leads to me sitting here wishing I could be going home. Bah.

While I wait, I'll talk about Team Fortress 2 a little bit. I pre-ordered the game through Steam, and as such, I am able to actually play it already before it's release date on October 10th. It's a lot more tactical than I first expected. You have different classes you can play -- Heavies, Engineers, Scouts, Snipers, Medics, etc. And it's not your typical deathmatch or fragfest -- but more tactical and strategical. And it doesn't look like it would be much fun in say, 1v1, 2v2, or anything like that. The more people you have in the map, the more insane and fun it will become.

Now I just need to find about 9 other friends, and I'll be good to go.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh, you know damn well I'm doing this...


All right, I promised more Bioshock, and I shall deliver. This post shall be pictorial in nature.

The cut-scene after you first pick up a plasmid is really neat. Plasmids are genetic enhancements in the form of a syringe with which you inject yourself. This particular plasmid allows me to shoot electricity out of my hands.

The "Little Sisters" are quite morbid. This particular little girl is stabbing a corpse in the head with a large needle. The "Little Sisters" haven't been completely explained to me yet, but what I do know is that I can harvest "Adam" from them, which is a form of currency I can use to purchase upgrades for myself. And EVERYTHING in the game can be updated, from your weapons to your first aid kits.

And as I said, all the Little Sisters are protected by a Big Daddy, as pictured above. You want Adam, you gotta go through the Big Daddy to get it. And they're tough. But hey, you're a genetically enhanced human, there's nothing you can't handle...

The environment reacts realistically to all your actions. If there's a bunch of baddies standing in a room filed with water, firing electricity into the water is going to fry them all, as pictured above.

The doctor is out. Waaaaay out. This guy was a boss-fight of sorts. Before I entered his room, I found a first aid station which I proceeded to hack so that it was cheaper for me to heal myself with it. Plus hacking is fun. To my surprise, hacking the machine also meant that if anyone but me tried to use it, they would be harmed. And the good doctor tried to do just that. Brilliant.

As I said, after you take down a Big Daddy, you're free to do what you want to the Little Sister it was protecting. You have to make a choice -- Harvest her, which will give you the maximum amount of Adam but kill her in the process, or Rescue her, which will yield you less Adam but will turn her back into a normal little girl.

The underwater city always seems alive, and there are a lot of things that seem to be happening around you that you don't know about.

A garden on the bottom of the ocean. Deep.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm not Bright and Shiny, either.

The blog is an interesting medium. You read them online, and the authors share with you their struggles and their ordeals, and they probably don't even know you. Or, at the very least have never met you before. I've always avoided doing that, as anyone who reads my blog is probably aware. I do share my experiences, but typically they are humorous stories or something that's just interesting to talk about. Other times I'm sharing things I've created or seen, or showing off a new game I'm playing which is an outlet for wanting to talk about things that interest me.

But, I think the desire to blog about one's troubles is healthy in a way. I myself have found comfort in writing about what's bothering me. Somewhere on my computer's hard drive is a Word document. Anytime I would feel depressed, angry, upset, or had something troubling me, I would write about it in that document.

Every so often, I would open up this Word document and add to it. Then, I would scroll up to the beginning and read. And I would smile. I would smile because a lot of the time, the things that had me depressed, angry, upset, or troubled ending up resolving themselves and my life continued on. It was refreshing to remember those bad times and in turn remember how after it was all done, I was still okay. I was fine. I got through them.

I've been feeling depressed the last few days, and for the first time in my life I can't put my finger on the cause of it. I feel down. I feel like something is wrong. But I have no idea what it could be.

My job has been just fine these days, so I don't see how it could be work that has me like this. I get along great with my co-workers. My boss likes me and respects the work I do. I enjoy what I do.

My personal life is the same as it's always been. But perhaps *I'm* not the same. I don't have friends and I never have had any, really. At least, not in the traditional sense. I'm talking about people that call you up and ask you to come hang out, or go have a few drinks, or stop over, or to go to a movie. I'm talking about people that make you feel like they want to do stuff with you because you're you, and because they like that you. I don't have that, and I've never had that. I've never cared that I never had that. And it's my own fault that I've never had that. You can't spend your life in front of a computer and expect to have a normal social existence.

Perhaps I'm beginning to regret that. I refrain from coming right out and saying that I'm alone, because that just sounds pathetic. Especially coming from me. I'm not "dark and twisty" (yeah, I watch Grey's Anatomy). Besides, I do have friends. Just not in the traditional sense, as I've stated before...they are all friends that I either don't see every single day, or that I even never see. They are friends I've made through my cel collecting experiences, through my gaming experiences, through my anime experiences, and the various other interests I've embarked upon while sitting in front of my computer. So yeah, I do have friends. But I guess I can't help but ask myself if I have those friends in the cel community because of the quality of my collecting. Or that I have those friends in the gaming community because of my ability to play the games. Or that I have those friends in the anime community because I introduce them to new and interesting shows that they haven't heard about yet.

Or that even though I consider those people my friends, I still feel the way I'm feeling right now.

I read something once that explained the details of an Aries (that is my sign). The thing that stuck out to me the most was that an Aries needs to feel that people like him. That may be true, but I never try to *make* people like me. So maybe I'm feeling depressed because I'm trying to cancel myself out, in a way. Which goes along with the other characteristic of an Aries -- obstinate.

Well there, that was quite the EMO bit of rambling. Mark that down in the books, it's probably a first. Even so, I think that it's served it's purpose. Even though I still have no idea what my problem is, writing about it in an attempt to figure it out has me feeling at least a little better. So yeah, thanks for that.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I give you Rapture

I picked up Bioshock yesterday, and just played a little bit of it right now. Impressive. The story is, your plane crashed over the ocean, and you discover an elevator that takes you down to the bottom of the ocean where a huge city exists. And naturally, since this is a computer game, as soon as your elevator stops at the bottom, you witness some monster disemboweling someone through the foggy glass. And then the door opens, and you're on your own. Woot!

More to come later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lunch Visuals

Every once in a while, an opportunity so golden drops into your lap that you can't help but cash in on it.

Case in point: I got back from lunch today, and my voicemail light was blinking on my phone. It was on of my workers that works the evening shift, and she was calling off. In her words, "Something I ate didn't agree with me, and I'm constantly running to the bathroom."

So, I walk over to my boss' office to tell him that I will be unable to give him an update on this one item (because this person is working on that particular item, and obviously I can't get a status report with her not here). That's all I planned to say, until I saw that my boss was having his lunch right at that moment, and was taking his first bite out of a sandwich.

"Barbara called off, she's got the shits!" I exclaimed.

My boss looked at me. Then looked at his sandwich. Then replied, "Thank you. Thank you very much."

Ahhh. Golden.

Gaming Goodness Once Again

It looks like that time has nearly come.

For the last...oh, I'd say a year a least...there's been kind of a dry spell in awesome games. Thus my complete immersion in World of Warcraft. Other games have come out, but they haven't been good enough to pull me away from that.

However, I believe the games that promise to do that are actually starting to be released. Bioshock is out, and it's supposed to be fantastic. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 has been released, along with Portal and Team Fortress 2. Both games have been rated 94% by PC Gamer.

And these are only the start of them. It's good timing too, I think. The next WoW expansion has been announced, and as I feared, Blizzard doesn't care how much progression you made over these last several months. You're starting over, picking up greens from trash. No thanks. Been there, did that, didn't like it, was happy to be done with it. Not doing it again.

I'm going shopping tomorrow for both HL2 and Bioshock. I still have probably a year before the next WoW expansion is released upon the world, so my days there aren't finished just yet. But it's time to start playing other games as well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pictures from Copenhagen

As promised, here are the pictures I took during my trip to Copenhagen:

Center of the city. Watch out for cyclists, you'll get run over.

This is the office of the company I was visiting -- A.P. Moeller Maersk

New Harbor Road, at the canals.

I like how you can see the reflection of our boat in this building.

Tallest church tower in the city.

Nice view of the architecture here.

The canals.

One of the royal guards marching in front of the royal palace.

Cool fountain statue.

The Little Mermaid.


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