I'm just a guy with a pension of occasional insanity and the occasion for misadventures in airplanes. I also seem to be an aspiring writer, if I can ever get myself to sit down and write, which, by the way, makes it interesting as to how I'm an aspiring writer considering that I'm also an aspiring engineer. The two aren't supposed to be together.
But please enjoy whatever it is that I ramble about whether it be sports, news, or just anything that I decide to blog about.
20Feb 12I've been putting this list off and off for some time, mainly due to a few last minute games. Besides, this isn't as late as the Oscars (they're next week). So let's get this list going.
10. Mega Mall Story
Hey an iPhone/iTouch game starts off this list. I seem to have a love affair with any game by Kairosoft. Heck, almost all the games on my iTouch are Story games. They're just all so simple and easy to pick up and play. What makes Mega Mall Story stand out really comes in how much it reminds me of Sim Tower. I used to play Sim Tower for hours upon hours back in the day and Mega Mall Story does a fantastic job mimicking the same basic gameplay (whether intentional or not) while at the same time including all the zany Kairosoft features, such as having pigs, ducks, robots, aliens, and Professor Einstein as customers showing up in the mall. Mix those up with an addicting gameplay that has you trying to make the various customers of the game become permanent members thus unlocking other customers and stores made this hard to put down. God damn you Kairosoft!
9. Frozen Synapse
Frozen Synapse is an unique game to describe. It's a turned-based tactical strategy game at its heart, yet that almost doesn't quite fully describe it. Frozen Synapse is kind of like playing chess and poker at the same time. You have your troops at one end and the opposing guys at the other in an elimination battle. While it may seem easy to just move your troops into position one turn at a time, the game gives you the opportunity to move the opposing player's guys as well and play out a practice run to see what could happen before you set your move into stone. It's this type of "is he going to the left or middle or right? Do I have my guys in place to protect against flankers? Should I rush down the middle?" sort of gameplay that has just enthralled me. I often spend minutes upon minutes analyzing each what if scenario. The times where I miscalculate are definitely saddening, but those times where I get it right are so satisfying. On top of that, this game is easy to play while at the same time being ridiculously complex.
8. The Binding of Isaac
If you were looking for a list of the most demented games out there, The Binding of Isaac is surely on it. The game starts off by telling the story of a boy and his mom living happily until the day the mom hears voices from God to kill Isaac to save his soul. From there we're off on a truly disturbing ride.
The Binding of Isaac is a rogue-like game. Basically, it's a game that runs on pure randomization to make each run through entirely different from the last. The items you pick up, the enemies you face, and the layout of the levels are all different, and that's what makes this game so much fun to play. Using the basic gameplay as the Legend of Zelda series with a few differences, The Binding of Isaac is very easy to pick up and get going. Yet, despite that, the game is rather challenging with a few play throughs lasting about twenty minutes. Yes, you only have one life and cannot save.
All of that just hooked me right from the beginning and just made me want to go deeper into the game trying to see what lay at the end. I still haven't gotten there. I frankly don't care. I'll keep playing.
7. Saints Row The Third
Dear God. Talk about your zany/crazy/insane/****ed up/insane games out there. Hell this video practically explains half of that craziness. I'm not a huge fan of open world games, I'll admit that, but there's a certain amount of charm that was thrown into this game. I think it really stems from the writing. They know how crazy the entire plot is and make it known they know it, which only adds to the fun. The characters all get along in what I can only describe as a great action-comedy.
I won't go as far as place it higher on this list (sorry) due to a number of bugs and glitches and freezes that leave it a little unpolished (I hate game freezes). I will say that you really need to check it out. It's a fun ride that needs to be witnessed.
6. Gears of War 3
I remember playing Gears of War way back when and its sequel and really loving the atmosphere. It was dark and gloomy and had that hint of mystery about the air. There really isn't much of that in the finale and it feels pretty much like a Return of the Jedi where action just needs to take place albeit with a weird urgency to reach the finish line. Yeah, the story wasn't my favorite. Oh well. I do have to say that the voice acting, ****ing amazing. I have to give props to the voice actors who really did a great job at a more dramatic and emotional turn at certain segments in the game.
Moving on. So the single player wasn't as good. Don't worry, the guys at Epic really picked it up with doing a great job with the improvements on the multiplayer side of things. The inclusion of Team Deathmatch? Fantastic. A Horde Mode that actually differentiates itself from all the other wave-based survival modes that keep on getting added into each game? Brilliant. An anti-Horde Mode in the form of Beast Mode? Genius. In short, I love playing the multiplayer of this game, and that's why it's on this list. It just feels right when I'm getting ready to start a match. Everything just fits right. I know that's hard to explain, but it just feels correct.
This is probably the biggest surprise of the year for me. I literally had no idea what the game was until it got it's Mac port in early December, and still I didn't care too much. I only picked it up after it had gone on sale on Steam after Christmas. Shortly after starting the game up, my geeky excitement level went through the roof.
The opening scrawl describes the setting as 1619 and you're in the New World, except that this New World is Mars, not North America. **** that place. Mars is the place to be. Before I go on, I have to say that I love history, and for some odd reason this game's setting just appealed to me. I mean right from the get go I'm just marveling about the fact that there are Space Red Coats firing Space Muskets at Spanish Robotic tanks and then a few Space Ships of the Line appear. It's ****ing great!
Oh, I forgot to mention that this game is a SHMUP, or shoot 'em up, and I hate these games. I can barely make it past the first level in a few of them, and I'm looking at you Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun. Damn it. Then again those games are ridiculously hard and I know how to play Ikaruga. You gotta match the color of your ship to the color of the bullets and then you can fire your mega laser thingymajig. Getting back to Jamestown, the game is set up perfectly for anyone of any skill level. It's that ease of play that gradually drew me in. Then there's the fact that the game keeps the entire story locked until you try the higher difficulty levels. Challenge accepted! And soon I found myself losing hours trying to get to the games ending. It also doesn't help that there's a lot else to unlock such as challenge levels, new ships, and new way for the story to be told.
If only the game had online coop. If only.
4. Batman Arkham City
Rocksteady should keep making Batman games. That needs to be written into law in the UK or wherever they're located. The feel from Arkham Asylum is still here in the new open world setting. Everything is just done in the right way, and God damn is the story perfect. It's a much darker story than other Batman titles have and it has one hell of an ending. I know I'm not saying much about it like the others, but hey, it's a Batman game done right and Rocksteady needs to make more damn it!
3. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Not many people remembered this game. It came out way back in January, so I guess it can be okay for some people to forget it. Eh. Not really. Those that did missed out on one of the best stories of last year. The main character Sissel is killed right off the bat and can't remember a damn thing about who he is. Talk about a bummer, until he learns he can manipulate objects (called a Ghost Trick a-wink) and he can save the lives of the recently deceased. At its core, Ghost Trick is a puzzle game revolving around getting ghost Sissel from one end of the room to the other in most cases. The gameplay does have a nice variety to it, yet the main reason I stayed up late playing this is the story. The guys behind the Ace Attorney games have crafted a story of intrigue and mystery as you try to figure out what's going on as well as who Sissel really is and why he was killed in the first place. Everything is tied together perfectly that make it like reading a great mystery book.
As an added bonus, the animation in this game is probably the best you'll see on the DS.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Yep. This is the main reason why it took me so long to get this list up in the first place, and yes I do own a Wii now.
Anyway, Skyward Sword is just plain ol' fun, and it felt great getting a new Zelda game. Being a Zelda game, you have your usual fair. There are plenty of dungeons, the overworld is large and has a lot of nooks and crannies to be explored, and there are the usual items that every Zelda game has. There are a few additions, such as the trials and the flying bit, yet when you boot it up, it feels like every other Zelda game, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, that's not a entirely correct. While the game certainly looks and feels like a Zelda game, minus the fact that you have to swing your wiimote around like an idiot during fights, the story and characters interactions are different enough to make this game feel new.
Link and Zelda share a much different relationship in this game that might feel cliche if this weren't a Zelda game. Not wanting to spoil anything about the story, it's just refreshing to see something different happening between the two. In previous games, they either don't know each other and Link's just doing his duty (A Link to the Past for example), or there are low levels of hey they might like each other yet one or the other is too young to notice (Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker for example) or have no chemistry whatsoever (I'm looking at you Spirit Tracks), so it's new to see them acting a little more mature towards each other and that helps the story as it unravels managing to avoid the similar story twists of the previous games along the way.
Skyward Sword does take a little while to get used to. The motion controls aren't the easiest to get into, especially for someone who's playing their first motion control game, but eventually everything settled in. In conclusion, Skyward Sword feels like a breath of fresh air for the series and I like that, being a long time fan.
1. Portal 2
The first Portal was somewhat of a surprise success when it came out as part of the Orange Box in 07 (or at least that's what I thought), and when I heard about a second game being made I thought of so many ways Valve could do it. There were so many easy ways. I mean it's a puzzle game and all you had to do was include more puzzles with new elements, get GlaDOS back in it with her cynical humor and you're gold.
What we got was more than I think most even asked for. Sure there were more chambers and puzzle elements and GlaDOS was there, but there was so much more. Sure there were the new characters, Wheatley and Cave Johnson, and their own brand of humor, which is what you sort of expected. But what struck me the most was what wasn't expected: The expansion of the Portal world. Valve went to great lengths to show you the history of Aperture Science, from its glorious start to its tragic end. Of course, there's the expansion on GlaDOS and of that of the playable character, if you were paying close attention that is. In all, we got a game that went the extra distance providing fans with everything they could of dreamed for and then some. The ending in particular was astounding as it was ridiculous, fitting perfectly within the Portal mold. It's hard to say it, and I'm avoiding the Spinal Tap "It went to eleven," but this is how you make a perfect sequel and the reason why it's on the top of my list.
I played a hell of a lot of games last year, and it was somewhat hard deciding what went on and what didn't. I could only comment on games that I had played or played enough of. That meant Bastion, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, and all those PS3 games weren't in consideration. As much as I would love to see if Portal 2 was indeed better than Skyrim, I'd have to play the latter first, and I'm not sure when that's going to happen. I've got Mass Effect 3 and Xenoblade Chronicles on the horizon before I can finally take a break.
So there you go, late (but not too late).
15Feb 12So yesterday was Valentines Day and as a special the dining hall decided to color most of their food pink in celebration. As I went for dinner, I stood behind a guy in line who was completely perplexed as to why the food was colored differently.
"Those are love potatoes."
"What's in it?"
"Just baked potatoes mashed together."
"Then why is it colored weirdly?"
"We just put in some pink food coloring. It's still the same mashed potatoes everyone loves."
"But why is it pink?"
"Because it's Valentine's Day..."
".........Oh.......Okay. I'll have some of that and the pink colored meat."
"It's pink by nature."
".....I'm confused now."
That's seriously how it went and I had to try my best to remain indifferent.
13Feb 12Welcome to Ye Olde RPG Game
Please create a new character
Character Biography. Select kingdom. Barster: You are a member of the Barster Confederation, a loose affiliation of island city-states in western seas. Your people are renown for their navigation, archery, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds. The last part has been a topic for debate for the other kingdoms due to the amount of drinking your people partake in, and question if the courage is a result of true character or stupidity. Yes, your people are hopeless drunkards. +15 Dexterity, +5 Courage, -50 Intelligence.
Character Biography. Select divinity. Virtuous: You are a devout follower of the new gods. You see the good in everyone and will go to the help of those in great need. As such, you are able to receive healing benefits from clerics and churches. On the other side, you fear anything that even remotely resembles the wicked, like spiders and Emos. Pansy. +15 Courage, +5 Wisdom, -10 Sexiness.
Ah. You have decided to start the game without giving your character a name. As such, we will randomly generate a name for you AND YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER IT.
Name: You are Flimsy Cottlebottom
Name: You are Lord Stump If You Catch My Drift The Third
Name: You are Captain Hugh Jass
And on it went, until frustration set in...
Congratulations! You are Rudy Finkerdink. Welcome to Ye Olde RPG Game.
So I've been playing a few really old-fashioned RPGs over the past month via Steam. They're mainly turn-based fun with a good amount of depth, but what I like about them most of all is centered in the character creation screen. Where do they come up with half this stuff? Ah well. Expect more of these to come.
8Feb 12Not so long ago, I began hearing rumors about the next addition in the Bourne series. None of those rumors were particularly clear aside from the fact that Matt Damon, who played the title character Jason Bourne, stated numerous times that he wasn't going to be a part of the movie if they didn't add Director Greengrass, who directed the previous two films, Supremacy and Ultimatum as well as directed Damon in Green Zone. Needless to say, Greengrass wasn't asked to direct Legacy and so Matt Damon isn't a part of the newest installment in the series. That normally would be a bad thing, not to have the actor who portrayed the main character in the first three films, yet for Legacy, the story revolves around a different agent, played by Jeremy Renner who seems to be getting a whole lot of big roles (he's in Mission Impossible and The Avengers recently) who has gone through an eerily similar training regiment to Bourne, yet different enough to not have him go through the same amnesia symptoms, or at least that's what the new trailer says. Either way, I'm looking forward to it. The Bourne character is still alive and could return once Matt Damon starts to realize he doesn't have to be directed by the same man, and there is a potential for a meeting between the characters down the road.
And here's the trailer.
3Feb 12Anyone remember that afternoon block on Cartoon Network called Toonami? No? Well for some of us, this was the block where everyone in high school watched after school. It brought forth Dragon Ball, Gundam Wing, and a whole slew of other fantastic (and slightly boring *cough* Dragon Ball Z *cough*) shows. It premiered in 1997 and shut down in 2008 after a nice run and was really the last afternoon cartoon block out there.
The reason I'm talking about this is a nifty site I just found out recently that streams Toonami shows with the whole Toonami experience, along with a few Fox Kids/WB Kids shows and the Mystery Science Theater guys for boot.
29Jan 12It's Sunday and that means that the first major tournament has come to a close. The Australian Open featured a number of new faces reaching new heights and a few old faces getting knocked out early. Of course I'm pointing to Andy Roddick and Sam Stosur, who were done in the 2nd and 1st Rounds respectively, while Ekaterina Makarova and Kei Nishikori each made their first career quarterfinals. With that said, the tournaments on both draws featured almost the entire top four seeds making it to the Semis. The sole exception being top seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who went down in the Quarters. Her loss ended her long tenure at the top of the Women's rankings. What makes this an important event is that Wozniacki held on to the number one ranking for most of last year despite never making the finals of any of the four majors, and failed to reach the Quarters of two of them (French and Wimbledon). Her tenure drew a lot of ire from fans due to an absence of a major win, yet she isn't the one to blame for being the top ranked for that long (her tenure is ranked ninth all time in length). She was the most consistent player in a year full of inconsistency and injuries. The four majors were all won by four different women: Kim Clisjters, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, and Sam Stosur. All four of them were either injured (Clisjters) or did horribly in one or more of the other majors. This is also compounded with a ranking system that rewards players a lot of points for winning smaller tournaments that can equate to a major (for the Men's rankings, the points are more spread out to avoid the same dilemma).
Anyway, so back to the Open, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova met Saturday for the Women's final and it wasn't close. Sharapova was in her first final since 2008 and first since she had shoulder surgery. Azarenka was in her first ever final, and it didn't look like it. Azarenka blew Sharapova off the court 6-3, 6-0. Sharapova won the first two games of the match, only to lose the next 12 of the last 13. It wasn't a great match from Sharapova's perspective who couldn't find her rhythm all match long and Azarenka did a fantastic job of preventing that from happening by pushing Sharapova all over the court. The win was Azarenka's first and she took the number one ranking as well. Not a bad weekend for her. Sharapova moves up a spot to 2nd in the rankings.
As for the Men's Final, it was business as usual with Djokovic and Nadal, the top two seeds, meeting each other, again. Whereas the Women's final was over quickly, it took almost six hours for this final to be over and a victor crowned. In the end, it was Djokovic who emerged victorious after a five set marathon: 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. The match was a rough back and forth affair where it would take minutes just for a single point to be won. The key to the match, and the big turning point, came in the second set. Nadal was serving down 4-5 with a chance to even the set up. He had previously been down a break and managed to battle his way back to get the set on serve. Tying the set up at five apiece would have been great for his confidence. Instead, Djokovic gets the break and takes the set. It certainly had a huge affect on Nadal who didn't look all there in the third set, which he dropped 6-2. I have to say that that was the killer for Nadal, even though the match went five sets, losing the third set like that is never a good thing. If he would have fought hard for it, kept it close like the others, then I think Nadal would have hoisted that trophy. Either way, this was a match for the ages and goes down in recent memory alongside the 2009 Wimbledon final between Roddick and Federer.
I can't wait for the rest of the tennis season to get going. The SAP Open is getting ready to get going this year in downtown San Jose, and I'm thinking about going over to check out a few matches. Maybe this time I won't be suspected of gambling when texting a friend. >_>
27Jan 12I've been playing a certain game these past few weeks, and if blog titles are to be an indicator, that game was Saints Row The Third. After hearing a couple of you, notably @chicknfeet, talk so much about the game, I decided to give it try and purchased it over the Christmas break. Thankfully I found out that Best Buy had it on sale for $35, which wasn't that bad of a deal. So upon getting back to my apartment, I plugged the game into my machine and have to say that they don't waste any time in getting you into the craziness of the game. The opening Star Wars crawl is quickly followed by a ridiculous advertisement for an energy drink fading away to you robbing a bank whose bank tellers are armed with machine guns. To say the least, and repeat what others have said about the game, it is over the top craziness, and the best thing about it, it's all good craziness. It's what powers the game from the opening moments to its finale. Mixed in with this is a great dialogue and banter between all the characters that feels just right. The characters are fully aware how zany their escapades are and that's a good thing. In short, Saints Row The Third is a very good action adventure comedy.
It's also an open world game, and as open world games go, there are plenty of bugs and glitches littered throughout. It's almost a given that bugs and glitches will be around as it's hard to test for a number of them. Batman Arkham City has a few that involve inmate bodies flopping all over the place after Bats slams their head into the wall. Skyrim has a crap load that have been noted all over youtube, and even past games such as Bully, Grand Theft Auto, and Mercenaries all have the odd glitch that appears. They're just part of the genre and some of them are rather fun when encountered. Hell I have a few pictures below that involve a few that I've encountered. There is one part about bugs/glitches that I don't like, and that's when it causes the game to freeze.
I remember picking up Bully from the rental store a while back (when rental stores still existed) and knew going in that the game had a problem with freezing every so often. That didn't bother me a whole lot and I was still able to enjoy it despite the worry and occasional freeze. The same happened with Saints Row without the warning and I was a little peeved. I still enjoyed the game, like Bully, but in the absence of a warning that it would happen (I don't remember reading anywhere that the game freezes) I found myself hoping through my many hours of play that it wouldn't freeze. Luckily it only froze at the beginning of missions and not in the middle or in the end. Anyway, I did take a few pictures of a few crazy things from the game and thought I'd share them.
Yep, that plane has only one wing and is still flying. In the game, it's very easy to get a plane to take off, and where this particular jet sits, there's a large water tower like structure sitting not too far away. Needless to say I almost didn't make the turn in time.
This is what happened when I ran over a car in one of those STAG vehicles. It went halfway through the street.
And this is what happens when a bad AI driver unsuccessfully tries to drive over it.
This was just weird. I have no idea if I caused it or if the game spawned it there.
Of course here's a regular taxi.
Filled with NINJAS!
So again, Saints Row The Third is an enjoyable game. The over the top craziness and brilliant writing really make it stand out in a sea of serious action adventure games out there this year. There are a few problems in terms of polish and I did find that outside of the main male voice actor (Option One on the select screen) the other voice actors weren't that great in comparison. I was hoping that with Saints Row done I'd finally be able to post my favorite games of yesteryear, but I did purchase one last game that I still have to get through before I do compile that list. I'm not going to say what that game is other than I'm enjoying it so far and it might be a little while before I can come to a decision on whether it does or doesn't belong on my current tentative list. There will be another blog detailing what it is in the future.
25Jan 12*knock knock*
Ted Grumby grumbled and opened the front door. There, two men in black business attire bowed to him and said "We would like to play," in unison. Ted grumbled again.
"Oh no," he said. "I've been watching yew two from across the street and I know what yer up to. I'm not going to have it here in MY house. The two of yew can go preach your mormonism someplace else." And with that, Ted Grumby slammed the door in the face of the two men. "Who was it dear?" yelled Ted's wife Meg.
"It was them Mormons just like yew said. They always try new ways to convert yew," Ted said.
On the other side of the door, the two men looked at each other with bewildered expressions. "Do you think we should go?" one of them said.
"Yeah. I'm just thankful they didn't say they had a kinect this time," the other one said.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is old. This is based on the old Wii Would Like to Play Commercial Nintendo issued way back in the day when the Wii was still young. I just recently watched it and thought of this skit.
22Jan 12Sometime last night, Joe Paterno, legendary head coach at Penn State's football program, passed away due to complications resulting from cancer medication and a few other things. This is yet another shocking turn of events for Joe Paterno and Penn State that just saw Joe Paterno being removed from the head coaching duties this past November due to allegations of a former assistant coach of sexually harassing young boys.
Regardless of how he's thought of, Joe Paterno has 409 career victories over a span of 45 years as head coach with an additional 24 bowl victories and 2 national championships. His 409 victories is the most all time for any coach in NCAA history and is also the only mark by a head coach who has more than 400 victories. The 24 bowl victories is also the most all time. He has had five teams end the season with undefeated records (only one of those won a national championship, however).
Again, it's a sad and quick end to his legendary career and a tumultuous two months for Penn State who had to endure all of this. May he rest in peace.
15Jan 12This past weekend marked the second annual Albuquerque Comic Convention. Excited as usual, I headed on over to the now larger venue at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino a few miles south of Albuquerque proper and eagerly waited in line to purchase my ticket. The Hard Rock Cafe and Casino was a much larger venue that provided a larger main room for more exhibitors to show off their work as well as include a few smaller rooms for continuous anime movies, card game tournaments, and panels to go on. In between all of this in the main hallway sat the special guests who were actors from all the nerdy and geeky shows, including one guy who did a voice acting role from Call of Duty Black Ops.
Getting back to the front of the line now, I gave the woman dressed as an amalgam of Green Lantern and Robin a twenty dollar bill, received my ticket, got my hand stamped, and happily walked into the main hallway. My eyes soon caught the attention of the actors lining the sides and found out that among them included a few bit actors from The Walking Dead, the guy from Black Ops, a few Vampire Diaries and True Blood actors, and a guy from Mortal Kombat. Of all of the actors that were there, my eyes fell upon the empty seat of Brent Spiner, the guy who played Data from Star Trek. I would later find out that Lou Ferrigno and Rachel Leigh Cook were there as well, yet they were absent as well. Either way, I made my way around the exhibits and venues and chose to pick up a few prints.
The above print is the only one I'm actually keeping as the other (not shown) I got for a friend. I limited myself to a small budget, staying at $100, so I didn't come back with a crap load of stuff. The two prints alone cost $35, which wasn't that bad, and if you factor that in with the entry fee, I was already halfway through that said budget. The remainder of the $45 went towards my crusade to get an autograph from Brent Spiner. Unfortunately, I seemed to have arrived at the wrong time and had to wait for him to show up. When he did, I walked over to his booth and being the shy, nervous, idiot I was, waited for some other people to talk to him before I got my courage to say hey what's up. A fist bump and a discussion of where I got the above print from later, I was walking away with his autograph.
It's not much, but you know what, I like Star Trek and it meant a lot to get his autograph. $30 went out the window for that and I left the convention shortly thereafter with a stupid grin on my face. Sadly there were no pictures of me this year, as I'm rather camera shy at events like this.
In the end, I had fun and picked up a sore throat. One of my friends claims that I picked up the dreaded nerd flu that floats around conventions like this, yet I'm sure it's just a regular cold partially caused by a stupid cat who doesn't understand when I lie down for sleep it's not "love me" time. I got a few texts from friends wanting more pictures as they were curious as to what a comic convention actually looks like. They were a few hours and a cold too late for me to have obliged. Oh well, there's always next year for them.
13Jan 12So I'm a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda games. I grew up playing them, albeit playing a German version of Link's Awakening before heading off to an English version of A Link to the Past, which is where a lot of my great younger memories come from. Of course, as the Zelda games kept being released, there have been hints at a time line, an actual order to the entire series, and from the get go, it was confusing. It was confirmed that there were indeed two different realities resulting from the end of Ocarina of Time, where you defeat monster Ganon as an adult, yet are transported back to your childhood where Ganon is dismissed by the King. A lot of different websites and people have generated multiple time lines that they believe were the right ones. I say were in that the official time line has finally been revealed by Nintendo themselves.
Official Time Line courtesy of Kotaku.
In it, there are actually three that's right three different realities, all resulting from Ocarina of Time. Of course, the two that happen in game, that is where adult Link defeats Ganon and is then sent back in time as a child are present, as is the third possibility, where Adult Link is defeated. The reality where Link is defeated is actually the first time line to be filled up, with the original two Zelda games highlighting the future of that reality. The Child time line begins with Majora's Mask and features Twilight Princess and the Four Swords Adventures, while the Adult time line features Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks. That leaves the remaining games as the prequels where the world of Zelda existed in one reality.
Overall, I like it. It all makes sense when you look at the games and how/where they fit in. I'm also interested from here on out where the newer releases will settle in, and if the three realities might at one point combine. That last point might not happen, although if handled correctly, could be rather epic.
10Jan 12I love talking to this person so much.
"Have you named your car?"
"Not really. Have you?"
"Yep. His name is Stephen and he's transexual."
"So does that mean you drive a trans am?"
"What? No. I mean, what what do you mean?"
"No. Seriously. I drive a Honda. What did you mean?"
I'm sure there are going to be more of these texts shortly.
7Jan 12I've been silent this past week and I actually have a reason for that. I've been horrendously busy.
Right after New Years, like the very next day, I had to get back on the road and head back to San Jose. My winter break isn't over. I still have two more weeks left before the next semester gets going again. The reason for the return trip deals with having been picked to present my research at the CSUPERB Biotechnology Symposium in nearby Santa Clara. I sent out an abstract back in late October and found out a few weeks later that I was going to present. I didn't think too much about it until it required me to make two round trips between New Mexico. For those who don't know, it costs a lot to drive 1000 miles, let alone 2000 miles. Round trip it's close to $500. My parents and I didn't really think about the costs until it came time for me to do the trips, so instead of spending $1000 in driving, I'll be flying for the second round trip, which only costs a little over $200. Anyway, I got on the road a little late on the 2nd and surprised my dad by calling him while in Flagstaff. He forgot I was leaving that day. It was decided that I left a day earlier - I was planning on leaving on the 3rd - so that I had more time to work on my poster. The Symposium started on the 5th and it takes two days to drive there. I finished the first day off in Barstow and found out via my professor that my rough draft of my poster that I sent to her the previous night wasn't bad, except that it wasn't in the correct format and needed to be completely reworked for an engineering audience. This was information that was lacking when I first started on my rough draft I must add. The next day I got back to my apartment just after 3 and met with my professor at 5:30. That meeting didn't really spawn anything and the next day, while I was working on my poster, I received another email from my professor with the format I should use. As a note, the symposium starts on the 5th and that email arrived at 2 on the 4th. Hooray for being organized!
Either way, I spent five hours on the 5th working on my poster with my professor. I found out then that I didn't need to show up for the symposium and that I was presenting my poster on Saturday, or today. The symposium wasn't exactly forthcoming with information either. There were no email from them stating what number your poster was or when you presented. I had to google that information.
The symposium started officially on the 6th, or that was the day I had to be there. I didn't present or anything, but I did sign up for the food and I wanted to take full advantage of free food. Unfortunately, I arrived late for lunch and ended up having In N Out Burger. I met a few new people and had a few drinks with them before retiring, which brings us up to today. I was actually rather tired for some odd reason. The poster presentation went rather well and I had a number of people coming up to me asking what I was doing and whatnot. It was fun to say the least even if it was exhausting to stand there for two hours constantly telling people what I did.
In short, it's been a fun week and I can't wait to spend tomorrow doing nothing and not having to worry about anything. I'll be on a plane on Monday heading back to Albuquerque where I'm eagerly awaiting the Comic Con next weekend. Yeah, it's a small comic con, but hey, it's a comic con nonetheless. Anyone up for some viddy games in the meantime?
30Dec 11More texts I receive:
"I was at Christmas in the park when you texted and holy **** one of the rides scared the crap out of me. I'm not normally afraid of rollercoaster types rides, but holy hell. *shudders* How goes new mexeeekooo?"
"New Mexico is awesome and did the bid wollercoaster wide scare itty bitty you?"
"I'm going to slap you. -__- Hard."
"And that's what? The 33rd time you've said that since the break began?"
"You're just doubling my number. How original."
"Don't make it triple it or even four uh whatever you call multiplying it by four."
"You mean four times?"
"I seriously hate you."
25Dec 11Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, except for @Chicknfeet and @Allicrombie who both don't want anything to with Merry Christmas or keep saying humbug at every opportunity ().
This Christmas was a rather good one for me I have to say. Everyone in my family got what they wanted and them some. My parents were surprised to find that I had gotten them a blu ray player. My sister was very happy to have received Sims 3 Pets from me, and I still have a surprise up my sleeve as an order from Australia has yet to arrive for my dad.
As for what I got, none were video games, and I didn't mind. I really had no idea what to ask for in that category. But I did receive the Star Wars Blu Ray set and Infernal Affairs. There were a few books including A Dance of Dragons by George R.R. Martin and Magician King by Lev Grossman that will be sure to keep me occupied for quite some time. Furthermore, my Green Lantern comic collection enlarged and I'm actually still waiting on my first Mega Man comic, which is going to be awesome once it arrives. Aside from that I asked for some new kitchen stuff as my current stuff in my apartment is breaking down. Almost all the cutlery I bought from Walmart has cracked in so many places that they're rusting up. Never buy silverware from Walmart. Don't do it. My parents had a little fun in that they gave me a waffle iron, for which I'm excited for. Now I can make a mess while making homemade waffles. All my engineering friends are already jealous about that fact. And that was about it, aside from some money I need to find things to spend on.
Before I end, I just want to point out that the cats had fun today:
Never get in between a cat and their box.
There's the new cat, Lilly, who joined us a few weeks back. She's eight years old and has a habit of pouncing on my feet when I'm sleeping.
At the end of the day, the two cats were pooped.
Again, Merry Christmas everyone!
22Dec 11Living in San Jose for a year and a half can be a good thing. For one, there is a **** load of stuff to do, from the professional sports to the many other things including alcohol and stuff... >_> ... to the pretty decent weather. It rarely if ever reaches below freezing, and that's only at night for one day. That's a good thing, although I can't help but miss the fact that it never snows. Before heading to San Jose and good ol' California and the warm weather, I had lived in Illinois, Ohio, and New Mexico, all of which has snow during the winter. As such I'm happy to report that it's really coming down with snow right now and it's pretty amazing. Yes I did throw a few snowballs at people. Why not?
Unfortunately the snow in New Mexico doesn't last for very long as even though the temperature can get below freezing, it doesn't stay there often, and whenever it does snow, it seems the next day the temp is just above freezing and all that fluffy white snow melts away. No snowmen unfortunately. But there is snow and that's still a good thing in my book.
18Dec 11So I am now home in New Mexico for the holiday break and that means I get to spend some time with the kitten.
Yep, that's the kitten. He fell asleep on my lap while the Empire Strikes Back played on the TV.
15Dec 11So it's the end to yet another semester and this one couldn't have been more eventful. I was hired on as a research partner in the summer and then added on as a TA for three classes. As if that wasn't enough, the engineering society that I belong to decided to make me responsible for something, scary I know. It's going to get worse for that society next semester.
I just finished my last final yesterday and finalized packing and everything else. I also found out that my internet in my apartment kicked off last night. Not sure why that happened, although I do have a sinking feeling that it might be my wire, or maybe the apartment guys just turned it off by accident. I'll yell at them after the break.
My finals went alright. Biomechanics was slightly weird in the format yet easy, Biomaterials I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I did well enough, and technical writing really wasn't challenging at all. I ended on a high note and even found out I finally got paid from the university for my work. That's what I call a double plus.
So today I'll be heading down to visit my 91 year old grandmother and then head off on the road tomorrow for New Mexico all the while listening to Darth Vader give me directions via my Garmin. I just got that loaded up and I should be ready to go. I was debating over Yoda or Darth Vader and went with the latter due to the fact that I think my brain would process better when listening to Vader over the "Right turn, take now" directions of Yoda.
Speaking of New Mexico, I'll be on hiatus from Live for the duration of the break, although I can't promise that I might pop up once and a while depending on whose 360 I could mooch off of. Anyway, that's it from here and I hope everyone has a great Christmas.
11Dec 11So the Video Game Awards came on tonight on Spike (I didn't watch it) and showcased a good number of announcement trailers for a good amount of games. Some were hinted at while others were a complete surprise. I'll just comment on a few of these goodies that caught my eye.
Alan Wake: American Nightmare
Alan Wake is one of my favorite games this generation. It has great writing, pacing, and action all thrown into one f***ing package! I've been waiting ever since I finished the game and it's two downloadable episodes for another game. Word came out earlier this year about a new Wake game and I started salivating at the thought of taking down the Taken with a flashlight and colt magnum. Then word came that it was a downloadable title only, which led me to be a little disappointed until I started seeing a few screenshots and teaser trailers. Then came this awesome trailer.
The trailer so far shows the titular hero Alan traversing another nightmarish landscape, which probably means he's somewhere within the Darkness, unless he got out somehow. Aside from a few new guns and enemies, the biggest indicator as to the story revolves around Mr. Scratch. For those who don't know, or can't remember, Mr. Scratch appeared briefly at the end of Alan Wake and was mentioned by Thomas Zane as being the version of Wake who would interact with the other characters in the game as the real Wake entered the Darkness. Either way, it's interesting to see Wake take on Mr. Scratch here.
The game comes out in the first quarter of next year, meaning it could come out as early as January or as late as March.
Command and Conquer Generals 2
Command & Conquer is a series that I've played and enjoyed since I was just a tyke. Well not just a tyke, think more of when I was eleven and played it alongside WarCraft and the like. Either way, I have a long history with this series from the ungodly amount of time I spent with the first game of the series to Red Alert and their respective sequels before I came upon Generals. Before I head into Generals itself, I just want to explain the franchise overall first.
The Command & Conquer franchise is split into three distinct universes. You have the Tiberium universe, which comprises the original game and really all other numbered Command & Conquer games and featured a hard science fiction story. There's the goofy what if scenario of the Red Alert series where Einstein (everyone's favorite sidekick!) removed Adolf Hitler from the timeline only to have the Soviet Union start World War Dos. Finally there's the Generals universe, which is a much more modern take on the series with the United States and China as central factions.
Generals is in many ways the oddball of the series, aside from Commando, the terrible FPS game set in the Tiberium universe. What I mean by this is that aside from the similar core gameplay, Generals does a few things that none of the other games do. For example, in Generals, resource gathering is done much in the same way of WarCraft, as in there's a gold mine near your hub where numerous resource gatherers walk/run a short distance to collect the gold and return it to the hub (it's actually a large pile of scrap in Generals, but you get the idea). This is different in that for all the other games, aside from perhaps the also equally terrible Command & Conquer 4, where the collectible resources are portrayed as fields of crystals or ore (I never really got how there can be ore growing in the fields of Europe/US in Red Alert and have no one mention how weird it was) where a harvester is sent out to collect. These fields are at times vast and not very close to your starting location leading to a rethinking of strategies. This wasn't the case for Generals. Furthermore, there are no FMV cutscenes in Generals. When you think of Command & Conquer, you think of those FMV cutscenes with their actors trying to act like they're in a science fiction movie on the Sy Fy (still don't know why they changed their name to that) Channel on Saturday mornings or filled with scantily clad female assistants/assassins/commandos/super chick fighters. This isn't the case with Generals who tells their story through regular gameplay cutscenes. And as though I didn't cover everything, Generals is the only game in the franchise to follow a linear story line throughout all three faction's campaigns. Think of StarCraft's campaign structure where the story starts with the Terrans and moves on through the Zerg and Protoss each telling the same story. Even though Generals allows you to decide which faction to start as, there is a starting faction to the story and an ending one. Finally, as an FYI, Generals was the last C&C game made by Westwood Studios before it was dissolved and melded into EA completely.
So with that all said, here's the VGA trailer. There isn't much aside from the fact that god damned Bioware is developing it and that the yellow tanks look like the US Paladin tanks and that the evil GLA or Global Liberation Army faction is still there with their machine gun mounted pickup trucks. Either way it's on its way in 2013 (what the furghhh!).
The two trailers I highlighted weren't the only games that were revealed at this year's VGAs, they were just the only two I really cared about. Sure there's a Spider-Man game and a Transformer's game, and I'm sure those two games could be good. I'm just not interested in them at the moment. Then there are trailers for Bioshock, Rainbow Six...6....errr Patriots, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (does the Revengeance really need to be there?). Then there's Tony Hawk HD and - wait. There's a f***ing Tony Hawk game I might be interested in! About time they rebooted that franchise, which had grown stale and moldy like Neversoft's other franchise *cough* Guitar Hero *cough*. Finally there's a new game by Epic called Fortnite.
Of course I'm leaving some out. Like Mass Effect 3.