Friday, November 27, 2009


I saw such good reviews for this game, and it surprised me that I never heard anything about it before now.  It has been dubbed “the best Diablo rip-off ever”, which of course made me laugh. 

In any case, I’ve played very little of Torchlight so far, but it does naturally remind me very much of Diablo.  I think the thing I’m enjoying the most are the graphics — the cartoony nature of them just seem to work for it very well. 

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Now playing: Course of Nature - After the Fall

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Favorite Ways To Kill

Now that I’ve finished Borderlands, it’s time to share my two most favorite weapons in the game.  In true gunslinger fashion, they are 6–shooters.  I really have no idea why, but I always preferred using them over any other type of weapon.  I guess it’s the simplicity of them, and the fact that it’s cool to go up against 15 guys with SMGs, taking them all out with only my revolver.

In any case, here they are.



Now playing: Chevelle - Jars

Monday, November 23, 2009

I enjoy when I am able to catch subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) references to other media within the media I am currently enjoying.  That holds true for movies, books, and video games.  The current case in point is with Borderlands.  The game is drenched with subtle references to all kinds of movies, Mad Max not being the least of these.  (One of the bosses is called “Mad Mel” — Mad Max and Mel Gibson put together.)

The references to the Dark Tower aren’t lost on me either.  The most obvious of these are the fact that one of my talent trees is called “Gunslinger”, and one of the characters in the game is called Roland.  Then tonight, I saw this:

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I’m not sure if this was an INTENTIONAL reference to the Dark Tower or not.  I guess the direct reference would be to Stephen Hawking, but the Turtle reference is used quite a number of times by Stephen King (mostly in the aforementioned series, and in IT).

Now playing: Rammstein - Spiel Mit Mir

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A funny thing happened to me on my way to work this morning, in the form of a car wreck.  The circumstances and the events are a pretty good story, worth telling I would say.  So I’ll tell it. 

I had just left home not a few minutes before, and was still driving through my neighborhood.  It’s a small town.  I was approaching the intersection of 2nd and Morris.  Yes, Morris.  Yes, there’s a street named after me in my town.  (It’s not named after ME personally, of course, but after my family.  Imagine the surprise of the claims agent when I told her the accident occurred on a street with the same name as my own.)  I stopped at the intersection, because I had a stop sign and that’s what you typically do in that situation.  I used only my peripherals to see if anyone was coming, because it was a four-way stop.  Everyone has to stop.  No one was there, and I continued through. 

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a car to my left.  And it was MOVIN’, man.  Not in a freeway 75 MPH sense, of course.  But in a neighborhood where you should be going about 15 MPH on that road, it was traveling.  At least 35 MPH, I would say.  And not only was this individual speeding towards this intersection, but he was apparently intending on speeding THROUGH this intersection.  Without stopping.

Well, I stopped him.  With my car.  Unintentionally, of course. 

He hit me on the driver’s side at the wheel and back door.  The force of impact spun my car around 180 degrees, where I skidded to a rest facing the complete opposite way I had been and on the completely opposite side of the road from where I started.  Up against the curb.  I had been violently parallel parked against my will. 

As I was spinning, I caught a parked car out of the corner of my eye (to my left again, as I was spinning counter-clockwise), and I braced myself for a second impact.  None came, but I had to have only missed that parked car by mere feet if not inches.  After I came to a stop and my common sense and analytical mind took over once again from the instinctual and panicky mind, I began making sure I was still in one piece.  The other driver, who I now saw was an older man, was already out of his car, standing in the middle of the road, and screaming at me in a way I didn’t like. 

“YOU PULLED OUT IN FRONT OF ME!”  He accused, along with saying other things that I cannot quite remember at this time.  I was still recovering from what had just happened to me.  But I was nearly all back, and I knew I had to fire back at this misinformed son of a bitch right quick.  I went to open my door, but it was stuck.  Well, the first time it was still locked.  (Still not all there, I was.)  The second time I had to force my way out a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad. 

He continued yelling at me as I was getting out of my car.  I turned and faced him, and spoke to him in a voice that wasn’t the frantic yelling of a crazy person (like he was), but of a pissed off individual who just got broadsided by some idiot who didn’t yet realize it was his fault in the first place.  Not to mention, I hadn’t even had my caffeine yet.  He obviously had no idea who he was messing with. 

“Point number one, man, stop fucking yelling at me.”  I said in my angry Sab voice, holding one finger up in front of me.  “You obviously have no concept of what’s just happened.”

He began yelling something about me pulling out in front of him again, before I cut him off.

“You just ran a stop sign.”  I said plainly. 

“NO I DIDN’T!”  He yelled back.

“Yes, you did.  It’s right there.”  I said, pointing. 


I kept pointing.  Finally he turned around and looked.  His face dropped. 


“Right.”  I said.  “Now stop yelling at me.” 

“I’m very sorry.  God, are you all right?”

Now you ask me if I’m all right after you realize you’re wrong.  Nice.  (I wanted to say this, but didn’t.)

“I’m fine.”  I replied, looking down at myself as if to check for gaping wounds. 

At this moment, my brother walks up.  He happened to be walking in the opposite direction from where my attacker came from, to breakfast, as this all happened.  I was directly in front of his shop.  He asked me if I was all right, and then called the cops.  I retrieved the man’s insurance card and began taking notes, while the other guy paced about.  A cop arrived a few minutes later, and the old guy told the cop clearly, “It’s my fault, I ran the stop sign.”  I give him props for that.  He’s still an asshole, but I’ll give him that one. 

To make a long story a bit shorter, my 2010 Malibu with only 2300 miles on it is now in the shop awaiting the final looks of an estimate.  At this time, I do not think it will be totaled.  The last I checked, they were up to $8,000 in repairs.  I’ll be getting a rental car tomorrow to drive until it is fixed.  It’s a bummer that my brand new car got crushed, but it’s only a car and I’m perfectly fine.  That’s the important thing. 

The fucker made me 30 minutes late for work.


Now playing: People In Planes - Flesh And Blood

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dragon Age

After over a week of nightly playing, I have finished the game.  Though, saying that is a bit of a cop-out, since it would take many, many play-throughs in order to fully experience every possible scenario the game could offer. 

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The story of the game is pretty textbook when it comes to fantasy:  The world is under attack by evil forces called The Darkspawn.  You are a Grey Warden, a member of an organization who serve as the world’s guardians, and it’s your job to unify the armies of the land to fight this threat.  And naturally, that’s no easy task. 
At the head of this Darkspawn is the Archdemon, who must be defeated to end the Blight:

DAOrigins 2009-11-07 01-13-39-90

The first small part of the game tells the story of your origin, and this part of the game is completely different depending on which race you chose to play:  Human, Elf, or Dwarf.  I played through both the Human and Elf origin stories, and they were both brilliant and very well done.  From there, you become a Grey Warden and the story opens up a bit.  After an epic battle that goes horribly wrong, you are left as one of only two Grey Warden’s left in the land. 

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The king is dead and it’s blamed on the Warden’s themselves by a power hungry General.  It’s a lot of politics that adds a bit of strategical and battle-less flavor to the game.  From here, you can approach the next parts of the game in any order you wish, and it involves uniting the armies of Ferelden.  You must gain the support of the Elves, the Dwarves, and the Magi. 

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You will see Tolkien’s influence  everywhere you go.  The battle near the beginning of the game makes you think Helm’s Deep.  The journey to the Dwarven city of Orzammar echoes Moria entirely.  But it all has it’s own unique flavor and look about it.  And let’s face it, there’s no reason to change perfection when it comes to the lore Tolkien created for us.  The most memorable “Tolkien” moment I had in the game was in the underground Dwarven city.  My party was fighting on a narrow stone bridge across a gaping chasm.  I was talking to myself as that scene played out, saying “You shall not pass!” repeatedly.  Heh.

DAOrigins 2009-11-11 00-12-20-90

After you gain the support of all the armies, it’s time to depose the traitor who got the king killed and blamed it on you.  You can handle this anyway you choose — this game provides some of the most diversive and interesting choices of any RPG I’ve played.  My choice was to kill him.  He deserved it.  The jerk. 

It’s then time to fight the Blight itself, and it’s here where the battles become truly epic in nature, and very challenging compared to everything that you’ve faced up to this point.  I never had so much trouble in the final quarter of the game as I had throughout the rest of it.  I had to think.  I had to try different things.  And I had to save and reload a LOT.  Crowd control saved me so many time, and the ability to “petrify” a target and than shatter it into a million pieces afterwards never, ever got old. 

DAOrigins 2009-11-13 00-52-11-04

I read somewhere that never before had a mage been created so CORRECTLY, and I know exactly what they mean.  My mage was such a powerful badass, but oh so frail.  It worked though.  I was able to stand afar while my tank ran into battle, throwing devastating spells at my enemies and potent heals at my allies.  My favorite spell of all time was the fireball, which blew enemies off their feet and burned them alive as they lay stunned on the ground. 

Also, the animation of the Inferno was nothing less than breathtaking, as you can see pictured above.  Yes, I created that thing.  And there are bad guys burning up inside of it. 

DAOrigins 2009-11-13 16-06-30-19

The final battle against the Archdemon was both epic and challenging, though surprisingly it wasn’t the most challenging battle of the game.  At the end of this battle, I had to make one of the choices that I spent the longest amount of time sitting at my computer thinking about.  In the end, I decided to sacrifice myself and deal the final blow to the Archdemon myself.  The epilogue at the end of the game, praising my heroics, was very cool, albeit sad. 

After finishing the game, I had already decided that this RPG is better than Oblivion, and that is saying so much.  There can probably be no greater compliment.  The combat system is fantastic — I cannot say enough about it.  The ability to switch between RTS and live-action is the greatest part about it, because sometimes I want to execute a battle in real-time, but sometimes I do need to pause and examine the situation before I decide on my course of action.  The ability to do either is perfect. 

If there weren’t so many other games demanding my attention right now, I would certainly play through it again, just to see the consequences of making different choices throughout my journey — the main one being, of course, what would happen if I decided I didn’t want to die. 

I definitely see this game as one I will revisit in due time, and games such as these are horribly few and far between these days. 

Now playing: Breaking Benjamin - Away

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ooh, shiny.

I love RPGs, because of the vast attention to detail in every little item that you find.  Such as this:


That one made me laugh when I saw it.  This is from Dragon Age, and I will review it in full once I finish it.  That could take awhile, as these RPGs go.  But I’m getting there with the limited amount of time that I have to dedicate to it. 


Now playing: Rise Against - Roadside

No Dante's Inferno for the PC

Fuck you very much, EA.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


So, who’s looking forward to it?  And am I the only one that thinks it looks like a sci-fi version of Braveheart?  No?  But yeah, it’s James Cameron and I am sure he will impress us.  It’s what he does.

Now playing: Muse - Uprising


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...