Thursday, July 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

Two sites I frequent had a post for the Thor teaser from ComicCon, both had it pulled for copyright reasons. Um… wtf, are you scared of publicity? Isn’t that what teasers are for?

Initial Impressions: StarCraft II

It’s here, it’s here! I’m as giddy as a school girl who just got a Hello Kitty lunch box. Um… moving on. So StarCraft II is finally here, yesterday actually, but I got mine today. Stupid shipping. I got the collector’s edition else I’d have just gone to the store. I’m only a few missions in, so don’t consider this a review, just some random musing by a lunatic.

  • Why the @#$% do I have to log into to play the single player campaign? At least let me save the password
  • The tutorials are a joke ‘Select marine’, ‘Right-click beacon’, ‘Congratulations!’
  • Mensk’s voice actor is as awesome as ever. Is he famous and I don’t know it? Dude gives me chills
  • cut-scenes with the game engine have that plastic look from trying to be realistic but not quite there
  • main game engine looks as great as beta – though I saw some rumblings on forums there’s no native AA support. whiny bitches
  • SCVs have autocast Repair! I sent an SCV to repair a bunker, when he was done he moved to the next one then the damage turret
  • Now that’s how a battlecruiser should kickass!

One new feature I ran into is unit upgrades. Not the per map +1 damage upgrades, these are major upgrades you can purchase between missions that you retain during the campaign. I haven’t bought any yet for fear of gimping myself, but some of the first examples seem maybe a little game changing depending on play style. For example: One upgrade allows bunkers to hold 6 instead of 4. Shit, that’s a 50% increase to the firepower a bunker can hold. Another upgrade is StimPacks for marines. I only hole these upgrades don’t become something akin to non-refundable talent trees, I don’t wanna get screwed on early choices.

Also, as I stated I did get the collector’s edition.  A few comments..

  • While good quality cardboard, I have to wonder who designed the box. It’s designed horizontal rather than vertical so it sticks out 2-3 inches on my shelf. Ia it so hard to make these things storable
  • The Thor mini-pet for WoW is a cute little bugger. He flies around in a circle and then starts shooting. Cute + Violence = Win
  • The USB drive is sturdier than you’d really expect it to be. Doesn’t feel like cheap plastic. And yay – free copy of StarCraft and BroodWar!
  • Original StarCraft is suprisingly playable – well done sprites age much better than polygons. Play Symphony of the Night recently? Still awesome

It’s late, I’ll play more tomorrow. Hopefully the difficulty curve don’t go Easy –> easy –> easy –> Haha, fuck you noob! like the late game in the original

Saturday, July 24, 2010

DC Universe Trailer

Now of course DC Universe will be nothing like this, but damn!

Screw the game, this the Justice League movie we want.

Random Thoughts

Hrm, Lady Gaga is actually attractive when she’s not dressed like a… whatever that is.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Then and Now

GamesRadar has a great feature featuring classic game character Then and Now. The last entry is hilarious with Mega Man, who with Mega Man 9 and 10, has gone retro and hasn’t changed a bit.


Other highlights include Cloud, Samus Aran, Solid Snake and Batman.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gamestop = Tricky Bastards

So my grandmother needed to borrow some cash so I accessed my bank account online. While there I notced a charge from Gamestop. Now, I did go to Gamestop a few days ago, but this charge was for about 50% more than I paid a few days ago. I got pissed thinking they hadn’t processed the Buy2Get1 correctly. I snatched up the receipt, which for some reason I still had on my desk, and confirmed.. No, they did charge it correctly. Wait a minute… Pulling up my email confirmation from April… why, that charge is for Starcraft 2! I expected it next Monday, but all is well with the world.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

Laundry’s stupid. The very next day you have dirty clothes!
Unless you do it naked.

Movie Review: Legion

I encourage everyone to watch the trailer for Legion, it’s awesome.

The movie… well, it has a few awesome moments, they’re just all in the trailer. Such potential, sigh.
The movie spends way to long with setup – okay there’s a diner in the middle of nowhere, we get it. let’s move on. The pregnant girl that about to give birth to Jesus 2.0 (or whatever, not ever explained) just isn’t likable. If Mary was like this no wonder she was kicked to the manger. Dennis Quaid is trying to way to hard to make us under that yes, he is indeed a a white trash hick. The… I guess secondary hero, ‘Jeep’, I only remember the name because it’s stupid, is whiny and unfocused. For most of the movie he comes across as a stalker (of said pregnant chick) than a hero.

Characters aside, the plot has more than a few holes. God, it seems, is fed up with the humanity’s bullshit and wants to end it all. Michael, God’s right hand, decided God’s having a bad day and come to his senses once the kid’s born, so he’s going to protect the kid. Anyway, last time God sent a flood, this time he’s sending angels. Angels who are killed quite easily with a handful of guns. Seriously, the flood would’ve worked much better. Or an earthquake. It’s God, can’t he just say ‘Die’ and people die? These angels are like a cross between the hillbillies in ‘The Hills have Eyes’ and agents from ‘The Matrix’. One also wonders why they don’t just possess one  or all of the half dozen people in the movie instead of trying to kill them. Michael makes a comment ‘They can possess the weak-willed’ – ok fine, but the other characters aren’t exactly what comes to mind when I think ‘strong-willed’, look like fair game to me. One final complaint – I am not religious, but I have a passing familiarity with some names. I would’ve liked for someone to comment on Michael ‘Wait, angel Michael? As in Archangel Michael? Holy shit!!’.

I don’t want to sound to down on the movie, it’s not horrible, it’s just so incredibly average when compared to the potential in the trailer. There a few things that were in fact, cool. Michael’s fall and initial appearance are neat. The family trapped at the diner also seemed  oddly realistic, with the daughter doing the teenage rebel thing, mom’s embarrassed and dad’s taking it in stride. Charles S. Dutton is another bright spot, he doesn’t have a large part, but hey, it’s Charles S. Dutton. FInally, I must give props to Paul Bettany as Michael who, while I really have no idea who he is (apparently he’s the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man, thanks IMDB!), is suitably intense. Put this dude in more a role like Jason Bourne, please.

2 stars out of 5

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Jukebox: Bionic Commando Theme

One of gaming’s greatest accomplishments: Bionic Commando. Back when I was a wee lad one Christmas I opened up a box and socks. And below those socks were The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Bionic Commando and Contra. Holy crap! Mom accidently bought 4 of the greatest games ever. Bear in mind grandma gave me NES earlier that day so with Mario, this was the Tri-, nay, Quinfeca of Gaming Goodness. I’m babling aren’t I? Anyway, I bring this up because I’ve been listening to the Rearmed soundtrack a bit lately. it’s an awesome techno remix of the original, enjoy.

Bionic Commando – NES

Bionic Commando: Rearmed – PSN/XBOXLIVE


The Cutest Thing You’ll See all Week


Told ya.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lazy TV Review: Fringe

I took a couple days off work because I felt like it and used the time to catch up on some laying around doing nothing that I’d put off for far to long. I finished a book, read 2 more, and managed to finish up season one of Fringe.

Fringe follows main character Olivia who’s an FBI agent investigating cases where high science (genetic experiments, teleportation, reanimation), or fringe science as it’s termed in the show. In the pilot Olivia runs across some ‘Weird Ass Shit’ that kills a plane full of people and puts her partner (and lover) in the hospital. Her investigation leads her to Walter (Super Genius), a scientist who dealt in ‘Weird Ass Shit’ until he had a breakdown 15 years after a lab accident killed his assistant. He’s been in a psych ward since. In order to get access to access to the mental patient she needs a relative, enter Peter – Walter’s estranged son (also a super genius), with Walter and Peter’s help Olivia manages to get some answers about the ‘Weird Ass Shit’ and save her boy toy.  The team assembled they investigate the ‘Weird Ass Shit’ eventually discovering conspiracies and other oddness.

I have mixed feelings with this show. On the hand, it starts out pretty slow and it doesn’t really pick up until maybe halfway through the season.  My major complaints are the same I have for most any show that involves law enforcement. Everything seems to easy for them. Nary a defense attorney in sight unless it’s a plot point, you’d think Olivia had never heard of a warrant and all these cases are solved in days. Also most cases start as murders and the FBI taskforce gets called in because of the ‘Weird Ass Shit’. Still, essentially they’re murders – that’d be local police not FBI. Ah well, at least we’re spared the usually obligatory jurisdiction pissing contest with the cops.

Don’t get me wrong if it sounds like I hated the show, I don’t. I’m probably going to get season 2 when it comes out. It’s just… good, not great. It’s not something when, after finishing an episode, I had to watch the next or I’d die. It is fun in a weird way, making me think of what X-Files could have been (hated X-Files, watched half of season 1 and gave up).

I think the great saving grace of Fringe is Walter. As mentioned, Walter had a breakdown and has spent over a decade in a psycho ward. While Walter is a still a super genius, he is also batshit insane. Peter’s job is basically Walter’s handler. Walter… is a character. Prior to his breakdown he gained inspiration for his experiments through generous use of LSD and other.. recreational aids. His mind wanders and where it takes us noone knows! A few quotes:

Peter: Are you sure?
Walter: Peter I’m not even sure we exist on the same plane of consciousness, must we must do it anyway!

Oliva: What are you doing here?
Walter: Trying to plug a hole in the universe, what are YOU doing here?

Ah Walter, you make me laugh.When I started typing I was going to give Fringe a 3, but writing the review I realized I remember all the main character’s names and a few of the supporting characters as well. Astrid the FBI assistant at the lab, John Scott the partner and lover, Charlie Olivia’s colleague, William Bell the… something we’ll find out in season 2.  Usually I end up commenting on character’s roles, not the character themselves. I guess memorable characters made more of an impression on me than I initially thought. I’m gonna bump the score up a bit, and hope they don’t do anything stupid in S2 like try and hook up Olivia and Peter.

3 1/2 out of 5

*****Yes, I hated X-Files. It was dark, depressing, vague without being interesting enough to be considered mysterious – worst of all it was boring.

Lazy Basterd’s Jukebox: Amaranth – More Nightwish

This one’s a little odd, when Nightwish released Dark Passion Play there were two different releases. Standard release is what you’d expect, then there was a deluxe edition with a second disc with all the songs – sans vocals. I swear some songs are just as good if not better.

With vocals…


I feel I should also point out – if you click through to YouTube and read comments there you’ll a LOT of derogatory comments about their singer Annette. See they’d had 5 (I think) releases with their original singer Tarja. Everyone loves Tarja. Tarja was asked to leave the band, though no one is officially saying why (gossip says she got weird after getting married). So, new singer steps in – Annette. Long time fans hate her with passion and Tarja can do no wrong.

Me, Dark Passion Play was the first Nightwish album I bought and I loved it. When I heard it I thought ‘opera rock’ in my head, I’ve come to learn the correct term is symphonic metal. Anyway, with me hearing Annette first to me she’s the band’s singer and Tarja’s the secondary – even if she does have 5 more records than Annette.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lazy Game Review: Civilization IV: Colonization

Part of Steam’s sale last week I got the Civ IV collection, included CivIV, it’s 2 expansions and CivIV Colonization. Two games and two expansions for 9.99.

To bad Colonization sucks. Don’t get me wrong, CivIV rules, but Colonization.. This is just to damn complicated. CivIV has basically 3 resources – Food, minerals and gold. Colonization on the other hand has Wheat, Fish, ore, silver, tobacco, sugar, cotton, lumber and fur. The in order for anything except food to be useful you have to craft cigars, coats, cloth, tools, guns. There’s also horses though after 3 hours playing I never did figure out how to get them. Based on the description sables should produce horses but when I tried to build one I got a message indicating I didn’t have enough horses – to build the thing I need to produce horses.

Continuing with the theme of ‘lets get more complicated than it needs to be’, you haven’t colonist working in your town, oh no. You have free colonist, indentured servants, petty criminals, converted natives – as just the base ‘classes’. Each of those can be trained to carpenters, fishermen, farmers, preachers, blacksmiths, fur traders, tabbacoers – but that’s not all. You’ve also got expert and  master levels of said professions.

Founding fathers, Colonization’s version of World Wonders seem both overpowered and completely random. Having done specific you randomly get message asking if you’d like some famous dude to join your settlement. Sure, why not. Doesn’t appear to cost me anything and the results are a bit overpowered. Pocahontas joined my group and the tribe I was at war with sued for peace.

Not that war appears to mean anything in the little time I played. The tribe I was at war with never attacked and when Spain got pissy 2, yes 2, of my soldiers took over three settlements. It’s probably harder on high diffulty levels, but if the mechanics are broken I can’t see how making the computer cheap will improve anything.

All in all, I’m shocked at the review scores this game got (83 on Metacritic). Maybe they’re more patient, skilled,whatever. But I am not impressed. Way to much micro-management in this game. Maybe they were targets the Korean StarCraft player demographic.

1 1/2 Stars out of 5

Monday, July 5, 2010

Random Thoughts

“Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has film.”

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day!

A couple videos in honor of July 4th.

And the most rousing speech – ever!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Amazon’s Kindle

Is it just me or does Amazon seem nervous about the Kindle? First was a price drop to $189.00, coincidently the day before the new iPhone was released (though why you’d want to read a book on that small screen is beyond me) and I’ve gotten an email pushing a PC-based client.

As for me, seems like a neat idea in concept I’m just not completely sold yet, and 189.00 is a lot for an experiment. What if it sucks? That’s 23 paperbacks I could’ve gotten. What if a new version comes out and the books aren’t compatible (reading a few user reviews it was an issue with Kindle2 came out for some titles).

I need more bribes to jump on the bandwagon.

StarCraft II…

… is less than a month away!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Last Airbender…

Currently has 8% at RottenTometo, which is… you know, pretty rotten.

@#$%ing @#$% in a @#$% with @#$% on top and a @#$% in her @#$%.

Guess I’ll Netflix. Sniffle.