How I see it...
I know I am very behind the times with this movie, but I finally managed to watch it last night and what the hell was it all about?
Well, actually, let me rephrase that. I know what it was about, so I don't need plot explanations, however... WHAT WAS IT ALL ABOUT?
This movie annoyed me, not least because of the pedigree of talent involved in it. Premiere Sci Fi Director? Check. Enormoulsy talented cast? Check. Big budget special effects? Check? Cleverly written script? Che...no wait.
The first third (maybe) was pretty good, Fassbender alone on the ship captured the isolation of space perfectly, but it all seemed to go to shiiiii when the crew woke up. MY GOD THE CREW! I cannot entertain such a crushingly STUPID bunch of people and they are supposed to be scientists. The brightest of the bright.
I am pretty sure all of this has been said ad infinitum by others more adept at critiquing movies, however I would like to point out some exasperating plot holes: (SPOILERS AHEAD)
1: The map guy. The guy with the little drones that go off and map an area, also equipped with high tech GPS, gets lost! Really?
2: The biologist guy, brought along on the journey to help with the discovery of our supposed progenitors is scared of a 2000 year old corpse, and yet is happy to entertain, and get stupidly close to a sentient worm thing THAT HAS ACID FOR BLOOD!
3: The ridiculous connection between Wayland and Charlize's character that just wasn't explored.
4: Why, oh WHY, if the moon our hapless crew landed on was a site for WMD did our supposed progenitors provide various maps to the location? I mean, seriously, the whole premise about the Engineers wanting to wipe humanity out after creating it is around the idea that each progeny secretly wants to kill their father. The Engineers it seems, were trying to do that before we could get around to it, so WHY LEAVE A MAP TO EXPOSE THE PLAN?
5: Don't even get me started on the running vertically from a falling ship when running horizontally would have been signigicantly more effective.
6: Alien pregnancy? Really? That is just f**king lazy.
7: Noomi Rapace perfectly able to rappel from and climb in to a beleagured escape pod with very recent lower abdominal surgery, but struggles to run and perform otherwise fairly straight-forward activities. I have had a c-section, and I can assure you even sitting up is excrutiatingly painful, let alone hulking the inanimate Fassbender down a 10ft drop.
8: What were the Engineer crew running from in the holographic impression that Fassbender manages to uncover? It just wasn't explained.
I find the whole thing just inexplicable. Alien is an incredible movie, in my opinion. Perfect blend of science fiction, horror and drama, Prometheus is just crap. What happened?
Has anyone seen an extended Director's cut? I ask because some of the narrative leaps suggest to me that there was an awful lot of editing, so many scenes didn't make sense.
I purchased an Indie game from the XBLIG marketplace the other day for the hefty price of 80pts.
I know that I am probably behind the times a little bit on the indie game scene, however indulge me. For those that have been following me for a little while it won't surprise you to find out that the game that got my hard earned 80pts was a little voxel game called Xenominer... Yup that is correct... a Minecraft type game! (Pokecharm, look away now LOL)
At 80pts I thought that it was worth a punt and after playing the demo it seemed much more than just a Minecraft clone in space. Yes there are elements that are similar, however it seems pretty deep.
You have crash landed on a strange moon orbiting what looks like a huge gas giant. You are injured, no-one else has survived. You have an AI companion called DAI-SE (Daisy) who guides you and helps you to understand what you need to do to survive. You need oxygen, & you need processing power. When the sun rises you must be underground as your suit cannot withstand the radiation.
Much like Minecraft then the purpose of the game is to mine for materials and upgrade your equipment. You need to upgrade your oxygen tanks so that they can hold more air, upgrade your suit so that it can withstand more radiation, create health and rad packs to heal and elminate effects of radiation sickness. To do this you have to give Daisy MOAR POWA!
There is alien tech on the planet with you and you have to figure out how to use it. I have a little bot that can do stuff, if only I can decipher the alien language and start programming macros to make it build stuff for me.
Reading the dev's blog it seems that they have a few more updates planned for the game. Recently they have introduced MP whereby you can enter another person's world and work co-operatively with them to build your survival base, and there are plans to introduce hostile mobs, alien species, weapons etc.
If you enjoy Minecraft (and I honestly LOVE Minecraft) I would recommend you checking this game out. It is really very interesting, and 80pts is a STEAL.
Check out the launch trailer from a few months back...
I picked up From Dust the other day in the sale. It was a complete impulse buy and one that I did have a little bit of buyer's remorse over when I started playing it.
I recall playing the demo when it first came out and toying with purchasing it, but then thinking better of it. My feeling was that it would annoy me, as the controls seemed a little fiddly and I found the micromanagement even in the early levels a little difficult.
It helps that it is a very pretty game
Well, I finished the story mode at the weekend and I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something reallyquite lovely about the game, perhaps it is the spirituality to the game which, I found to be very soothing. I haven't ever played a "God" game before, so this was a new experience for me. Moulding and shaping a world using powerful tools such as molten lava is surprisingly satisfying, however despite the power that you wield as the player, the game serves up a brutal reminder of just how fragile we are in the face of the awesome powers of nature.
You need to be quick to protect from Tsunami
In later levels the maps become increasingly more difficult and can be quite stressful trying to shepherd your charges to safety through a gauntlet of ferocious tidal waves and exploding volcanoes, however with the exception of the penultimate map I didn't once get frustrated with it.
The story seemed like a decent length with 14 "maps" to solve, each with some bonus objectives to achieve, like spreading vegetation across 100% of the map, and additional knowledge stones to locate. There are also some challenge modes to complete on the game, although I am not entirely sure I will do all of them as it seems detracts a little bit from the feeling that the story mode gave me. All in all a very successful purchase.
OK, so I have had some time to spend with Terraria... I think that Raptr is reporting about 40+ hours EEEK!
It is great, I love it. Initially I wasn't too sure, it seemed very difficult and there was a long period of time where I just didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do. I foolishly chose a "large" world to start off with and it means that I have had to do a lot of digging to find anything useful so for a good few hours it felt very aimless.
One I got myself some upgraded equipment though, and got used to the control system which is actually pretty good once you get your head around it, I was off. So far, I have beaten the first 4 bosses, and have now entered "Hard mode". And all I can say is - Hard mode is hard.
There has been a period of aimlessness again in this new section of the game, however I have been better equipped to deal with it. Death comes easy so it is a lot of trial and error, however when you get it right it is very rewarding. The co-op is seamless, drop in, drop out, and whilst there has been a few buggy instances, on the whole it is really very good.
My next aim is to take on the first of the hard mode bosses which is "The Twins", I have no idea what to expect, except death of course, however I am looking forward to it.
Quality little game, well worth the M$ points I paid for it and I understand it is even cheaper on Steam. It is a steal. It shares many elements of Minecraft, however it definitely has a different feel to that game. For me, it doesn't quite live up to the appeal that Minecraft has for me, however it is definitely up there with some of the great games I have played this generation.
In other news, I am toying with Defiance. Has anyone played it? I will, of course, be getting on XBOX as my platform of choice, but I am interested in people's thoughts on any platform they have played it. I have never played an MMO before, something about it makes me nervous, however I was tallying up the time I have spent on Minecraft, and various iterations of CoD and I don't think it is anywhere near what I could put in to Defiance, so I may just bite the bullet and try it.
So after about 2 months of hype train from angryfodder he who hyped Minecraft for me, I finally got to purchase Terraria today.
I know, I know, I should have got it on my PC, however i don't need to remind you all that my PC is garbage for gaming. It struggles with Minecraft. I don't want to overload it. Besides, I like the MP aspect of Terraria, and that is just so simple on the Xbox.
I will report back once I have had time to spend with it. I have high hopes.
Dammit, I thought I was being so good. I hadn't touched it for at least a couple of months because other things had grabbed my attention, but it was always there, gnawing at the back of my mind...softly calling to me.
STUPID MINECRAFT! Damn you and your beautiful simplicity.
I "accidentally" logged in to a couple of the servers I play on the other day, just to see what had been going on, get update version 1.5 to see the new blocks and 3 days later, I am downloading new texture packs and building again!
GAWD! I had forgotten how much I LOVE this game. I find it so incredibly beautiful. And relaxing? Oh my goodness. I have, over the past few days been really suffering with a terrible sinus cold. I have an autoimmune thing called Sjorgren's which basically means a sinus cold is effin terrible, couple that with a flare up of my Rhuemy symptoms and you kind of get the picture. Minecraft is a god send on these day when playing anything remotely stressful makes me want to vomit. Watching Mad Men and building stuff has been pretty much what I have done for 3 days.
Some pics for your viewing pleasure... I am in love with a new texture pack called Derivation. It is a 32x res, similar to John Smith (which hasn't been updated for 1.5 yet) It is great. Some blocks I am not crazy about, but most look amazing. The medieval city build is coming along.
Wider view of city with wall in background & market area.
Town Hall - huge building
Mafalda's Olde Curiosity Shoppe
and a daytime pic of nearly completed Town Hall
As you can see the sky at night is amazing, I absolutely love it. It may sound a little like I need to get out more, but watching the sunset and rise in this texture pack is a real joy
Any hoo... must go, got more blocks to place.
I have been having a bit of a gaming funk recently, nothing has really been grabbing me. I have been slugging away at Black Ops Multiplayer with my friends and silently dying inside a little bit when I play it, but on the single player front nothing has been around to capture my interest, aside from Minecraft that is...but I need to move on from that particular topic.
At Christmas I received a few games, Dragon's Dogma was one of them. It was a particularly difficult Sunday at the beginning of February when I was nursing a delicate head after a bout of alcoholic exuberance the night before, and I saw a friend on my LIVE friend's list playing it. I sent him a message asking how it was, and decided I was going to start playing it.
I was quite taken with the demo when I played it waaaay back whenever it came out, and had resolved to play at some point. I was intrigued by the Pawn system that the game has and had planned to build a tank character with lovely long flowing blonde locks and name him Fabio to complement my female Ranger. So I did.
The game is really good. I am not too sure how many people actually played the game, but I highly recommend it if you haven't. There are things "wrong" with the game; there is no fast travel system, the dialogue in the game is very limited (internet memes on "taking an arrow to the knee" have got nothing on this game), the inventory system is a bit clunky and the story is pretty much of a non-event (at least in my opinion) I spent much of the game having NO idea what was happening in the story, rather just moving from one epic battle to another.
My Ranger's first encounter with a Griffin
On the face of it, it doesn't appear to be that great a game with all the "problems" I have listed, however what it does do well is the combat. The game is a lot of fun to play! You start with 3 classes to choose from - the usual fantasy fayre - Fighter, Ranger or Mage. The customisation options for your character are pretty extensive in terms of how you want them to look, but in addition to this you can create a permanent "Pawn" that will be your companion throughout the game. This is where Fabio came in. You have the same amount of character customisation options as you do with your primary character and you can again choose from one of the three class types. Customising a second character is really interesting for me as I was totally invested in Fabio in the same way I was for my main character. In addition to your two characters you can choose to recuit two more Pawns to complement your party. These can be sourced from "The Rift" an ethereal place where hundreds of Pawns at various levels and various classes are available at any time to assist you - these are Pawns that other players have created and played with throughout their own journey. Fabio wanders this space.
Something about this really captured my imagination. Your Pawn learns. If Fabio was utilised by another player and did a mission that I had yet to do, he would return to me with advanced quest knowledge - I don't know about you, but I think that is REALLY cool.
Another really cool thing that I am sure will make some of you cringe is the social networking integration for the game. I love all this kind of stuff, you can share pictures on Facebook (some are inserted in this blog from my game), but the recruiting of Pawns from the rift adds another element. You can play the game with your friend's Pawn, it is kind of like a co-op experience without the intrusion of another player to break your immersion.
I mentioned above the "epic" battles. It is here that I think the game shines. My first encounter with a dragon was AMAZING. Skyrim can learn a lot from this game in making battles with dragons genuinely tense and challenging. Don't get me wrong, my first battle with a dragon in Skyrim I was all "WOAH! THAT WAS AWESOME", but after a while they became almost a chore, defeated easily and providing an unwanted distraction all the time. Not so with the dragon in Dragon's Dogma, it took me and my team of Pawns a full 20 minutes to take it down, chipping away at its health and tactically retreating to ensure that we were all healed. But it is not just dragons, you fight Chimeras, Griffins, Ogres, Cyclops etc. etc. and each one is a challenge.
This beast took 20 minutes to defeat, Fabio can be seen on the right.
The classes are a lot of fun to play with. When you reach a certain level you can change the vocation of both your character and your main pawn. Another 6 classes become available. Hybrids of Mage and Warrior, two handed warrior, Magic Archer etc.. I actually liked being able to "specialise" a little more and chose a Magic Archer path for my former Ranger, now she can use a Mage staff, daggers and Magic Bow. Fabio is now a brutish two handed warrior beast.
I finished the game a few days ago and I immediately started a new game plus so that I could change my vocation again and see what some of the other classes are like.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Dragon's Dogma. I didn't have especially high expectations, and I think that this game perhaps suffered a little bit because its release was kind of close to Skyrim, but if you haven't yet tried it and you are a fan of this type of RPG, I highly recommend it. Has anyone else played it?
I received Resident Evil 6 for Christmas. I resisted getting it for a long time after I read how poorly it was received by most critics and fans alike. It was a shame really, as I have in the past been a fan of the Resident Evil series, indeed Resi 2 and 4 make it in to my "Favourite games of all time".
My reticence to get the game was slowly eroded though as my regular co-op buddy has been pestering me to get it for ages, so it made it on to my Christmas list to Santa.
Let me give you some background: I loved Resident Evil 4, I thought it was a phenomenal video game. OK, it did start to lose some of the "survival horror" elements that had previously characterised the franchise, but where that lacked it more than made up with excellent gameplay, in a huge, huge game that was a joy from start to finish. Come Resident Evil 5 and I think I am one of those rare folk that actually enjoyed the game. I relished the co-op elements in it - yes, again the survival horror had been eradicated, but it was still a very well crafted (IMO) game, made more enjoyable with a co-op partner that I genuinely like to play with. In short, I really enjoyed Resident Evil 5.
Now to Resident Evil 6 and I am disappointed. I knew that it had fallen from grace, however I had hoped to be able to give it some leeway as I am more forgiving than most with games. Sadly I can't. So far, I have completed Leon & Chris's campaigns, and about half way through Jake's. There is much wrong with this game, and I am disappointed that Resident Evil has fallen so far. By far the biggest problem I have with the game is the unavoidable death. I genuinely believe that the game WANTS you to die, it is like the programmers scripted in a certain number of deaths in certain sequences in a lazy way to make the game more "challenging". Well EFF THAT, obtuse reasons why you are dying does not make a game "challenging" it makes it frustrating and no fun to play. There are also problems with very annoying camera angles. The camera has always been a little bit of a problem in Resident Evil, however in this game, the camera will pan to a particular focus point whilst you are currently engaged in a battle with an enemy. That still continues, however you cannot see it, or respond to enemy attacks because the camera is focused on something else - it is maddening.
In the beginning I felt that Leon's campaign was really very good, the cutscenes in the game are excellent, and very quickly I was involved in it, however as his campaign progressed I found it more and more tedious. The "Boss" battle made me want to throw my controller. Previous iterations of the game were made fun because of the variety of enemy, each section boss battle was unique. In Leon's campaign you fight the boss no less than 5 or 6 times, each time he just gets bigger and more mutated until you are at the point where you are saying "seriously... JUST F UCKING DIE!" The final battle was the single most infuriating battle I have ever played with a completely obtuse puzzle on how to defeat him, I hated it. Conversely, I felt that Chris's campaign started off terribly, with it playing like a very poor third person shooter akin to Gears of War. The setting and colour was lifted straight from Gears of War 2, and I started grinding my teeth in frustration, however I felt as that campaign progressed it got stronger. I can't really comment on the other two as I haven't finished them yet, but I am feeling slightly anxious about how Capcom can ruin this great franchise further.
There are some interesting things at work in the game. In principle I really like the idea of the 4 stories being intertwined and that no one protagonist gives you the full story of what is actually happening, however the stuff that is wrong with the game is really detracting from this.
I am also having issue with the co-op. I enjoy co-op and my friend and I have been having a laugh playing this game, however the mechanic is terrible. In Leon's campaign we could both be fighting with no problems, misplaced kicks or punches didn't cause any issue, in Chris's campaign and so far in Jake's we are actually hitting each other during close fights which is causing problems. I find this really troublesome, and it is something else that is making me really start to dislike the game.
Perhaps slightly contradictory to what I have just written, I have been "enjoying" the process of playing the game, however because it is Resident Evil and not just a poorly put together game with lofty ambitions, I am finding it VERY difficult to recommend the game. I really wonder what Capcom are going to do with the series because there is a danger they have irreperably damaged it with this particular iteration.
I might write a final impressions after I have actually finished the game all the way through to reflect on it. For now, enjoy.
I love LEGO, always have as a kid, and now that I am a parent I have ensured that my son carrys on that legacy, with Lego kits strewn across the four corners of my house. I am a big fan of toys (and things in general) that encourage imaginative play and I am constantly surprised and delighted by the creations that my son creates - notwithstanding the amazing buildings he creates in Minecraft, but that is an entirely different topic.
Any way, on to the topic. I have been a fan of the LEGO games for a while now, ever since they first appeared back way back in Star Wars format. I had a couple of copies on my old PS2 console and found them really enjoyable little puzzler games with bag loads of whimsy. There have been some poor additions to the franchise, Lego Batman springs to mind, but on the whole they have been a welcome addition to my gaming catalogue.
Fast forward a few years and Lego: Lord of the Rings has arrived. It was a Christmas gift for my son from his grandfather, and being the "fan" that I am of these games I have started my own playthrough whilst also helping my son on his from time time. I am only about half way through the story mode and still have a LOT of game left to go, but this edition has to be my favourite one so far. It benefits from the excellent source material which is of couse Peter Jackson's take on Tolkien's epic, and it is an absolute joy.
There are a few niggles with the game that still plague the series, but overall I have to say that this is perhaps the most comprehensive version TT Games has brought out and it is, IMO, laugh out loud funny on occasion. I find myself grinning whilst playing it which is a rare thing for a game to do these days. The last time I felt this level of carefree joy when playing a game was when my son and I played Mario Galaxy.
If you haven't tried a LEGO game before I would definitely recommend this one.
I had to write a piece on the Bioshock Infinite box art cover for the site I write for occasionally. It is copied below, if you are interested.
Do you guys have any particular thoughts on the cover? I was a bit disappointed with it TBH.
As the release date of the hotly anticipated Bioshock Infinite creeps closer, a reveal of the box art was published over the weekend with reviews from fans being less than favourable.
The cover features protagonist Booker DeWitt with a shotgun resting over his shoulders, and a burning US flag as background. Within hours of its release, twitter andredditwere afire with outrage from fans claiming it to be forgettable and generic.
Interestingly, in light of recent furore regarding female under-representation in games and the#1reasonwhycampaign, many critics of the box art question why Elizabeth is not featuring on the main cover when she has featured so heavily in the reveal trailers.
The debate over the box art brings to mind the old idiom, one shouldnt judge a book by its cover, however in this instance I am inclined to agree with the majority of the disgruntlement that fans have over this cover. Itdoeslook generic, and really gives no clue as to the setting, story or characters in the game. The Zeppelin in the top left hand corner only gives a tiny hint as to the flavour of what one hopes Bioshock Infinite will deliver with the art deco styling of the flying city, but there is nothing else. For me, Bioshock is one of the few releases scheduled for next year that will be viewed with high artistic expectation, and at present this design does nothing to distinguish itself from the plethora of other FPS games thathave guns and explosions in them. It appears that the marketers have fallen foul of the box art trope of Chin down, Eyes Up coined byMega64in their hilarious spoof of modern box art covers.
The design has more than a whiff of Nathan Drake in the character styling
and the Call of Duty influences are clear:
I guess in the grand scheme of things the cover art doesnt matter, however I personally am a little disappointed at the blandness of it; and there is a part of me that cant escape the feeling that the marketing of a product plays a much larger role in in the decision making process of what lives and dies in the creation of a video game.
So what do you guys think? Do you think that the quality of the box art matters at all, or is this a sign of developers fears about taking risks in video games?
As most of you know I have a new love in my life... Minecraft. I am still hopelessly addicted to this beautifully simple, charming, gorgeous game.
I have never considerd myself a particularly creative person, however Minecraft seems to be scratching a certain itch that I have. I play on a multiplayer server that switches between survival mode and creative mode. At present it is in creative mode and there are now about 8 different people on it building stuff. There are some fantastically creative things being built and I get a great deal of pleasure going on to the server after a break of a few days or weeks and seeing the changes that have occurred since I was last on.
I have been playing most of the game on the MP server utilising the server texture pack (I don't recall what it is called), or in the standard texture on my single player, survival world, however recently I decided to download the John Smith texture pack. WOW! I have fallen in love with Minecraft all over again. I already think that the game has a certain beauty to it, now with an HD texture pack it truly is a lovely game. I include some pictures of the stuff I have been working on for your viewing pleasure...
I started building this near a temple that we found. It is just outside of this shot, but I think that the settlement gives the temple a nice context.
New project: Swamp settlement
The swamp biome in John Smith looks amazing, really atmospheric.
Gothic Mansion House
I built this house a few weeks ago. I went on to the server earlier today to do some more landscaping around it to find that one of the other builders had been there as well...building a huge Zombie. It made me
I really love this game. *sigh*
I had to write a piece on the DMC playable demo today for the site that I have been writing for. Not being overly familiar with the game, here is my attempt. Let me know what you guys think, and whether you have tried the demo.
Capcoms Devil May Cry reboot has a demo on the XBL marketplace today and this reviewer spent some time with it.
Firstly, I am not a huge Devil May Cry fan so my familiarity with the series is not fantastic, that being said even I can see that Dante has had an overhaul in the looks department. He has lost his white hair and appears significantly younger than I remember him to be. The character re-design has been the cause of a great deal of hue and cry from more hardcore fans of the series, of which developer Ninja Theory has had to justify by highlighting that were not pretending we are Japanese, or apologising for it. (Source: OXM) The new look of Dante is at odds with what I expected, however it would be churlish of me to say that it detracts from the action.
The demo features two chapters (Under Watch and Secret Ingredient) that the player can get their teeth in to. The first, Under Watch is a small story level which serves as a tutorial introducing the various controls, the second is a boss battle with a predictably repulsive demon.
The demo looks great, the aesthetic is very much that of another Ninja Theory game, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, with character models and environments really echoing that game. It looks gorgeous. The environments twist and morph as you walk through them and there is a real sense that "Limbo" is alive and not especially friendly. I was particularly impressed with the motion capture work in Enslaved, and this is put together with good effect in what I have seen of the demo. My only negative in this particular area was the dialogue for the Boss battle - I will admit to laughing out loud at the complete ridiculousness of it which was, in my opinion, really poor with an unnecessary amount of profanity between Dante and the Demon, it struck me as lazy. However, voice work elsewhere looks good, so hopefully that is an isolated incident.
The game play is satisfying, with easy controls to grasp, but I expect difficult to master. My dexterity with melee combat games is not the best so I played the demo on Human difficulty, that being said, I did manage to pull off a few sweet combos and I am sure that veterans of the genre will be pulling ridiculous combinations together. In this particular iteration Dante has an angel and demon mode which you interchange between each other to solve the levels puzzles and open up new areas, and each side features a different arsenal of weaponry that Dante can wield. The demo hints at plenty of collectibles to search out for upgrades etc., although it didnt make that particular aspect of the game clear. The combat is visceral, and acrobatic if you have the dexterity to pull it off and, as always you are marked on the style and speed with which you complete each section. Of particular interest to the more skilled player is Dante's Devil Trigger which slows down time (and turns Dante's hair white, for those purists out there) and launches your enemies in to the air to perform endless aerial combinations, complete with a thunderous bass soundtrack - it looks, and sounds awesome.
Are you ******* looking at me?
All in all, I would say that this is a successful demo. It has certainly piqued my interest in the game a little more, and might silence some of the naysayers and critics of where Ninja Theory and Capcom are taking the franchise. Check it out.
DMC is scheduled for release on 15 January 2013.
I have had a cough now for the past few weeks, probably about 4-5 weeks if I think about it. It is like no other cough I have ever had in my life. It is neither a chesty cough, nor a tickly one, it is however a violent one when it gets its grip on me.
Random things will set it off, I laugh, nearly die from coughing, I raise my voice, nearly die from coughing, I take a drink, nearly die from coughing, talk too much, nearly die from coughing. Are you getting the picture?
The cough is so violent that after a while it makes me wretch like I am going to vomit, I also struggle to regain control of my breathing. My health generally otherwise is perfectly fine though, I don't feel "ill" other than the cough hurting my throat and occasionally feeling a little headachy from the strain.
This morning I went to to doctors, and I apparently have Whooping Cough! I have a childhood illness from the "olden days" I am fully expecting to be diagnosed with rickets and "consumption" next week.
I despair! I am not a fan of the UK retailer GAME, the games are over-priced and the staff are next to useless, however it is often the only option I have in the high street now.
A few months back I pre-ordered Halo4. I don't often pre-order games, in fact this year I have only pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 and Borderlands 2. Halo 4 will be the last pre-order I make this year.
Any hoo, against my better judgement I pre-ordered at GAME rather than one of the numerous and more reliable online retailers that I use, because GAME has better pre-order bonuses than anywhere else. Pre-orders are farcical in GAME IMO, there is often two ways you can do it, 1: register your name down for a standard copy and you will get a text on the day of release saying the game is available for pick-up and will be held for 48 hours or 2: You can place a £5 deposit for a limited edition version if that particular game has it and get the same text, but secure in the knowledge that you will get your hands on the special edition with all the goodies if you are that way inclined. (Personally, those packs generally have no interest for me).
Way back when I chose the first pre-order option for Halo 4 they were trying to get me to go for the £5 deposit option despite them, at the time, not knowing what the limited edition version contained or how much it would cost. Seriously? Who in their right mind would place a deposit down for something that they have no idea what it is, or how much it will end up costing them? If anyone does this... then you are an idiot.
I have been looking for the past few days for my pre-order slip so that I can redeem my order in the next few days when the game is released. I have been unable to find it. I went in to the store today to find out if I had definitely pre-ordered and I hadn't just passed out at some point and dreamt it. It seems I have pre-ordered, but in the interim between me doing that and now, it seems that GAME has now added a 3rd edition option to Halo4. The "specialisation edition" - the edition I thought I had pre-ordered a few months back!! The staff STILL do not know how much the specialisation edition will cost, or what is contained in it, but wanted me to put a deposit down any way. I enjoy Halo, but I am not insane.
I am not sure what the point of this blog is really, but I am feeling a little anxious about my pre-order. I made it with the understanding of a certain thing and now it seems that has changed. The lack of knowledge of the staff is infuriating because now I am not sure exactly what I have pre-ordered, and I strongly suspect it isn't what I thought. Still, I suppose at least I didn't put any money down for it and I am free to go elsewhere if it isn't what I thought.
What do you guys think? Do you make pre-orders? Do you pay deposits (although me potentially calling you an idiot may put you off answering that truthfully ) Also, what do you think of pre-order bonuses? I find them infuriating! The idea in principle is a good one, but I end up poring over different sites trying to understand what they all are and whether they are worth having or not (more often than not they aren't).
I briefly mentioned in my last blog that I seem to have secured myself a writing gig. I honestly don't know how as I have never really pursued the writing thing, I have always preferred to read other people's output.
Any way, I aside from a few news pieces I haven't really done much, but this week I had my first review published. Eeek! If you want to check it out, linky... any constructive criticism is appreciated *cringes in anticipation*.
Hi all, it has been a little while since I last blogged. My time to visit this site seems to have diminished somewhat since the summer break, and I will be honest it is great. It has been ages since I have been truly busy, and I am enjoying that my day is filled up with stuff now, useful stuff that makes me feel like I am contributing rather than just sat around all day on my arse.
So, what have I been up to? Well I have recently returned from an amazing trip to Barcelona. AGAIN! The second time this year This time though it was "business" related with me attending the huge Herbalife EMEA conference at the Palau Sant Jordi in the Olympic park in Barcelona. It was an amazing weekend, and I am doing everything in my power to make sure that I am there again next year.
I have also been working hard at the gym. I decided it was about time to get myself back in shape. For the past 8 years of my son's life I have become a little slovenly and was really starting to dislike what I saw in the mirror. I am not getting any younger and it really was about time I got myself fit again. I am fortunate that I have at an earlier point in my life been supremely fit, being a swimmer at a very high competitive level, however it has been a huge struggle for me to get back in shape. I am getting there slowly, but surely though, and it feels good to have the ache back in my muscles. I have even secured the services of a Personal Trainer who I have nicknamed The Punisher. Ugh, he is MEAN!
In gaming related news, I *may* have landed myself a freelance writing gig. EEEEEK! The idea of it fills me with a little trepidation if I am honest. I don't want to say too much at the moment, but watch this space, I might fill you all in with a bit more detail soon enough.
As for gaming...well currently I am stuck in the addictive world of Minecraft. I purchased it on PC (I also have the Xbox version), and I "play" on a server that has about 10 others on it. I have got to say I absolutely LOVE Minecraft. I don't really do anything very technical in it, but I just love building stuff. At present the server is set to Creative mode, rather than Survival and I have been very busy with building projects. Pictures below. I find the game so relaxing, and really quite beautiful. I honestly didn't think that I would like it, not being a particularly "creative" person, however I cannot get enough of it.
An aerial shot of the house I built underground with a huge glass dome as a roof.
The Traveller's Rest, an olde English style pub. The inside looks awesome, even if I do say so myself
My attempt at a Lighthouse, viewed from the pub.
As you can see, I am enamoured with the game.
In other gaming news, I am also playing Borderlands 2 on my Xbox. I loved the first game, and this one is just as good. The writing in it is really very very good, and I am regularly finding myself laughing out loud "fo realz" and not just internet LOL'ing. If you haven't tried it, you really should, it is a great game. It is a fantastic co-op game (my favourite), but this time around it seems to be a decent Single player experience as well. I have a few characters on the go and even playing on my own I am enjoying it.
So, what have you guys been up to during my absence?
As most of you know I have never been a PC gamer, it just doesn't interest me if I am honest. I don't have a suitable machine for it, I don't fancy sitting at table in an uncomfortable chair and I prefer the ease of my console.
That being said, I have a Minecraft addiction. It is crippling. Not content with the version I purchased on my xbox, or the countless Minecraft channels I have subscribed to on YouTube ( seriously...just don't look at me!), I have now ventured in to the PC (and admittedly far superior) version of the game.
MY. GOODNESS! I suck at PC gaming. The WASD control system is just completely alien to me, and trying to co-ordinate that with my mouse control is laughable. The amount of times I have died in my Minecraft world is ridiculous, and those deaths are not as a result of the beasties that come out at night, but rather my childish attempts at controling my character with WASD & space bar and the mouse.
*face palm* I would truly, truly suck at an FPS game or actually any game that would require some kind of reflexes to get out the situation.
I don't know how you PC gamers out there do it.
You will recall I had a run in recently with another parent at my son's school regarding his careless parking outside the school gate. He parks his car on the pavement and earlier this week nearly hit me and my dog as we were walking past his car. After the incident he drove off yelling some obscenity or another at me as he went by.
Well, our sons are in the same class together...they sit opposite each other! Every morning since the incident this parent has had to stand shame-faced in the class waiting for the teacher to arrive. The bravery of the man astounds me, he can't even look me in the eye! I get the distinct feeling that he shouted out his obscenities after nearly hitting me with his car (like a big man) only to realise later that he would have to face me on a daily basis in the classroom.
I still await an apology.
What is this? Two blogs in as many days? It could only mean one thing, something has got me so riled up that I need to post it here!
I am FUMING!
Some of you may or may not know that most days I walk up to collect my son from school with our beagle in tow. The journey takes roughly an hour round trip, it is good exercise for us, particularly me and the dog as we walk twice as far. I don't recall whether I have moaned here before about the lazy, ignorant parents who park near my son's school before so apologies if this is familiar territory.
So, outside my son's school there are 2 different gates where you can collect your kids. The infant gate is located on a side street in a residential area, and the junior gate is on a main road with a "Lollipop Man" helping the kids across. On the infant side the road has been marked up with the "NO PARKING" lines so that lazy ass parents can't block up the gate and restrict access, however it seems that some parents think that those markings do not apply to them. Nor do they think that the path is for pedestrians, rather it is a slightly cumbersome parking space for them!
Yesterday, I went to collect my son from his first day back after the summer break. I picked him up from the Junior gate as usual and started to walk back with him past the infant gate, and lo and behold 2 parents had blocked the pavement with their cars exactly opposite the infant gate. This makes me so angry for a number of reasons: 1 - The pavement is for pedestrians NOT cars, by parking on the pavement these people are forcing the pedestrian to go in to the road to get around the car. 2 - they are parking opposite a school where there are clearly marked NO PARKING lines on the road. 3 - they are doing this OUTSIDE A SCHOOL where they know kids will be coming out en masse from the school grounds, knowing full well that access & visibility has been reduced because of their lazy careless parking. 4 - These are PARENTS of kids at the school so they should know full well the implications of what their lazy, careless parking is doing. 5 - this is the INFANT gate, kids are aged from 3-6 that come out of this gate.
Ok, scene set...two cars on the pavement, opposite the school. My son and I with the dog start to make our way past the first car blocking the path and the ****wit starts to reverse so that he can pull out around the car in front of him!! I was so startled that I cried out WATCH OUT! because he very nearly hits me and my dog (thankfully my son was further away from the car). The guy had his window open and asks what the matter is...WTF? !@!*& How can you be so ignorant to not know what the matter is? I was so shocked and annoyed that I started to yell at the guy - "Do you know this is a pavement?"Um yeah (he says)"Well stop BLOODY DRIVING ON IT, you nearly hit me!"I didn't, I saw you in my wing mirror. "Did you see my dog that you nearly hit?" No.
I could have seriously punched the guy in the face, he was totally oblivious to what he had done! My son and I moved off down the pavement leaving him behind, he then manages to pull out and as he drives past he shouts out something to my son and I as he drives past! Ignorant $h1t!
I am rapidly turning in to johnsteed7as I can see why he "Hates people"
I made an official complaint to the school today about the incident. I know it isn't the school's fault, but I wanted to add my voice to the countless residents that complain about the way parents park in that street, and I believe that the school should be made aware of it, and if relevant, contact local law enforcement to come and monitor the road.
I have been thinking about it a lot this morning, what if I had had a small toddler in one hand, or had even been pushing a buggy with a baby in it? When I made the complaint to school, I advised them of which parent it was as well as I am determinded that the man should be held accountable for his actions. What riles me even more is that he didn't even apologise when the incident happened, he looked at me as if I was a crazy person!
The funny thing is, his son is in the same class as mine AWKWAAAARD!