Thursday, May 29, 2008

The only cure for grief is action.

Last December I was over at a friends house eating vegetarian pizza. My friend and I were really excited because our favorite fighter was going to fight, Wanderlei Silva. People who don't follow the sport, its a name that means very little. But if you have even a casual knowledge of MMA that name means The Axe Murderer for a reason. A "Finisher" of men. Champion of more than one high level tournament in PRIDE, once the premier organization for more than a decade. Until he lost to the famously infamous Mirko "Crocop" via a vicious left high kick to the head he seemed a juggernaut. Then it happened again. Wanderlei was defeated by another man who is just as much of a legend, Dan Henderson. Henderson was on fire, the end started with a perfectly placed spinning back fist, and finished by a left hook thats now as famous as Crocops' left high kick. Followed by one more right, just punctuation, more for completion than effect. I was shocked, its hard to see your hero devastated twice in a row. When December 2007 came, PRIDE was gone. With the majority of its top fighters having been absorbed by the UFC, including Wanderlei, I was excited. On the heels of that his first UFC fight was announced. It was Chuck Liddel. Another legend of the sport. Since he was a UFC fighter he didn't seem quite as mythic as the PRIDE fighters did because we got to actually see his fights, his media appearances were in English, and we became familiar with him. In my mind Liddel was the underdog. Liddel wasn't just fighting a UFC guy, he was fighting a PRIDE champion. After the second round, Wanderlei who could have won at one point, had lost both rounds. By the thrid you knew how it was going to end. It was like watching Rocky the second time, slow motion and all. I gave every round to Liddel, and so did the judges. 3 losses in a row is enough to scuttle most carriers. Fortunately living legends get the benefit of the doubt. He was tapped to fight the last guy to beat Liddel, Keith Jardine. Honestly, at this point I had no doubt in Wanderlei winning. I called it a early in the second TKO. I like Jardine against most in his devision, but Wanderlei isn't most. During the fight, about 20 seconds in I was thinking, "Yes, hes back.". 15 seconds later he had won.

Whew, time to do it again.

Well here we are. A week from launch of Penny Arcade Adventures : On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness : Episode 1; and I've beaten it. It's a great game. All the things I liked about it in the beginning I liked in the end. The Gameplay only got better as I got used to it, the enemies only became more charming, and I only grew closer to my character, Elsworth. There is a caveat to having completed the game and triumphed over a single god waiting on the windowsill. I can no longer play as my original man. He's frozen in time between episodes. Since I only learned how the overkill system worked near the end of the game. I've chosen to play the game 2 additional times. Once as my pseudo daughter, Pearl, and once more as Elsworth (after having deleted the original). I've chosen to do this for 2 reasons. Pearl will be my way through the 4 achievements I failed to collect the first time through, and Elsworth 2 : electric boogaloo so that I can max out his overkill bonus in anticipation of bringing him along for episode 2 as my main. It works for me because the game's dialog is funny, and I know I wont be sick of it. I actually laughed harder last night when I started Pearl than I did the first go round. Ive never been excited about playing an RPG to the end, let alone playing through again. I think this is partly because its combat is more interactive and less calculation. And partly because the game is quite short. I took a leisurely stroll through this game the first time and it was really about 8 hours, probably 7 the second time through now that I know what I'm doing.
There are some things worth mentioning, the items you collect as you go, are neat. But the music you collect as you go through is really fun. You can go back to the office and listen to it whenever you want. The Hightlight being MC Frontalot's credit music. Then theres the d20, and I gotta tell you, its sweet.

Those who are resolute have only one thought

When I heard about a new Super Dodgeball game for my DS I was ecstatic, elated, filled with joy even. After all it was 1/3 the reason that I picked a DS instead of the PSP; Tecmo bowl, and touch screen being the other 2/3rds. Super Dodgeball was my favorite game on NES. I liked that you could start and stop on a whim. It was fast paced, and most importantly fun. The art fit the game perfectly, its a simple game, pick up ball, throw at other team, catch ball, throw at other team, etc. With simple graphics. Which is nice because really the NES could barely hold its shit together with what its modest requirements. The flickering was so bad at times it became a feature. Its a feature that allows you to use the force to detect when the ball was thrown and when to catch. It was fun. So fun in fact, that I bought the GBA version, just to chase the dragon. Which is a decent enough game, the graphics are nice and not terribly complex, the game play is very true to the original, and its fun. It even added a new feature to call your teammates to run up to cool combos. But it lacked the charm of the Kunio style. Gone were the River City Ransom style characters and Frankenstein foreheads... sad. They went the way of the X-treme cheeto, all backwards ball caps, safety gear and sunglasses.
Thankfully thats changed, in the new Super Dodgeball Brawlers. The graphics aren't a direct rip from the NES game. They are improved, the next permutation of the Kunio style and it looks great. The game play is fun to, just the right amount of extra bullshit to excuse the delay but nothing obtrusive. You have the option to turn off some of the new features like punching and kicking, but they are good additions in my opinion. Keeps you on your toes. The one drawback is the teammate call feature from the GBA title is gone. Not a huge loss but I guess since its a different company there might have been some issue with that. The customization of a unique team is neat and the items add a little flavor. I haven't tested it yet but I think cart-less multi player is a feature and thats sweet since it supports 8 player multi player. Over all Im really happy with this game, it could have been a direct port flaws and all and I would have been happy. But this is like sweet icing on the awesome cake.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Go see Ironman damnit!

Go see this movie stat. Or this fuckin dude will pay you a visit while your in the shower. Nude. Ironman review... rocks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The more alternatives, the more difficult the choice.

o this morning as I was basking in the glow of a solid 2 hours of playing Penny Arcade Adventures the night previous. I get an IM from my friend saying, " what was, the awesomeness of pspod? Rspod". Next thought that popped in was, damn that is a long title, but it fits the game so well. The game is wordy in a great way. Im super pleased with the game play, at first I was afraid it would be like Star Trek 25th aniv. game with better graphics. Which, while it wasn't a classic, it was fun, but action packed it wasn't. The action in OTRSPOD, between queuing attacks and blocking, takes a normally pedantic turn based model and makes it awesome and filled with buttons and decisions. Its cool, looks great and is fun. But if there must be a drawback, the open world targeting using the controller is less than precise. Which isn't a big deal for me. Though, I had a nagging feeling I might want to try it out on my mac. I had a suspicion that the mouse might make that whole process more intuitive. Well ya know, since I had a Mac, a lunch hour, and access to a free demo... I gave it a shot. I immediately felt that it wasn't as good as the controller. Sure I could mouse over the item and click, and in combat click my attack and then my foe. But as they say, "pushing play is not enough". It's still awesome, my favorite parts are still present, custom character, the dialog and the cinematics. If this game was only for Mac, PC, and Linux, it would be outstanding. I think satisfaction with my choice of 360 speaks to my preference for the controller more than a shortcoming on the games part.
BTW : Gold
"Oh yes, I saw you before, mouth agape."
"It means open."
"You know what else means open? Open."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It is clearly a Precipice; it's dark, and slippery.

We're here people, its the launch day of On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness! Heres a nice interview, skip to ~13min in to pass the M$ propaganda and to get to the meat. There is a sweet comment about the cost. And I cant agree more. 20$ is not too much for a complete RPG game, with a customizable player character, AND primal evil as your foe.
Now that I have a 360, Ive been presented with a choice. The choice to purchase On the Rain-slick for my PC, my Mac, or my 360! Its a VERY difficult choice on paper, I have all three, they are all capable. But in real life? 360. Its almost not a choice at this point Ive been looking forward to this type of RPG, for my 360, in a setting I like... I like playing those with a controller. Mouse and click is great but there was a glut of those during my childhood, and I'm over it. The "Leisure Suit Larry" interface holds very little appeal for me at this point. But holy hell. I'm excited.
Also you can demo Precipice of Darkness : Episode 1, here for Mac/Linux/PC. It's tempting to download it here at work and play... I'm not sure if my scruples will allow that. Or my boss.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"if Motörhead moved in next to you, your lawn would die"

I fucking love Motorhead. I love that voice, bass mix, lyrics are fucking strong like bull. That great metal/rock/blues sound. It's great. I started listening to them in junior high. I thought it was the best shit I ever heard. I was right. Half the bands I listened to them wore off but I like Motorhead more than ever.

I go through phases where I basically only listen to Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, or Ramones... Usually lasts about a week. This time its Motorhead, and Im on day 3. So in honor of my periodic fixation heres some links to videos. For some reason the embed gets cocked up.

Killed by Death
Stay Clean
Going to Brazil

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

IPR : The Revenge

So now, in what can only be categorized as a series, this is my 2 hour review of the OQO Model 2.

I just got this from a coworker to test for work. Before I got it i watched a YouTube review and a review, just to get familiar with some of the features. The good points first, its a on time with what I expected and runs XP very well. Its sized like a "hymnbook", though the first thing that sprung to my mind was a std hard drive, and is decently light with the normal battery. The screen is bright, clear, and the resolution is nice for web pages, and full computer use. The touch scrollers are a great feature. The bad... the keyboard is slightly larger than my blackberry, which is to say not big enough for man hands to thumb type on and just big enough to force man hands to reach to type, and really the keys are still small enough to cause mash typing. Also the "qwerty" keyboard is not "standard". The enter key isn't in the normal position, give or take right of the L key, and is under the mouse nipple where the standard click button should be. And the position is taken for the "Rotate" button, which is pretty fair to say a useless feature, unless reading a very long PDF... The mouse key is in a convenient location for the left thumb but I would prefer the option of one handed mousing and left just holding the machine for support or typing. For me its nearly impossible to retrain my thumbs for this layout. The extended battery makes it just heavy enough to be awkwardly balanced and irritating to use. The little heat vents makes my hands uncomfortable and hot. The little antennae feels flimsy, I nearly broke it the first time I touched it, and it spins in place yet is keyed to fit into the body so I have to spin and fiddle with the plastic end to store it. The OQO Model 2 is too big to fit in my pocket yet too small to justify taking my backpack... And oddly enough its noisy. Honestly I would prefer using my Gameboy as a data entry device.Anyways, short version : I wouldn't buy the OQO Model 2 with my own money, I wouldn't buy it with my employers money, and I haven't done anything one this I couldn't do with my crackberry. Other than this post. :)

I edited and added to this post with the OQO on its dock, its pretty nice setup if I were a mobile salesperson or tech, like a Direct TV Technician, or a Cop. Someone who just needs access to a working machine that can be tossed in a briefcase or bag. It has a nice car charger, and when you get to a desk setting it in the dock puts the Lenovo dock to shame. When using it on its dock it really feels like I'm using a decent computer. AND I can use my M$ mouse and Natural keyboard... thats full of win for me.

I couldn't be bothered trying out the HDMI at home on my TV but I guess that would have worked fine.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

flickr find

I was kinda bored and looking for a shot of Houdini to send to my friend, I found this. I love it. I don't know the story behind it, I'm not even sure if the person who's account under which it was posted knows. But I love it. Just thought I would share.