Friday, January 30, 2009

Zero Punction reviews "Far Cry 2"

I kan haz Skool of Honorz!

So yeah...

In case you haven't heard me yabbering about it - I got accepted into the School of Honors here at SFASU. I've never been accepted into anything like this so it's kind of nice. Of course I forgot that once you prove that you can do something people expect you to do it. Damn it.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix demo

Woo! Puzzle Quest: Galactrix demo! This game is going to be more addictive than...uh...something really addictive.

Kanji Tatsumi: Gay, Bi, Straight...does it matter?

I came across these two articles dealing with Persona 4 character Kanji Tatsumi's sexuality. Samantha Xu at gamasutra.com via Tera Kirk at gamecritics.com.

Kind of interesting though I had a bit of a different take on the character.

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage

The first downloadable content for Fallout 3 is available! Operation: Anchorage is a VR Combat Sim mission. According to the official site:

"The Brotherhood Outcasts are trying to acquire advanced military technology, and the only way to open the vault containing these relics is by completing a tactical simulation only you can enter. In Operation: Anchorage you will re-live the epic Battle of Anchorage from Fallout lore. Find your way into the simulation, stripped of resources, and survive within the rules set up by the simulation’s creators. The Chinese red army is everywhere, so secure the surrounding mountain side and fight your way into the Chinese base."

Neat!

I downloaded the content last night and played through the first few sections. It's pretty cool - nothing too insanely outstanding compared with the downloadable content that was released for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Once I finish off the new content I will give a full review.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Persona 4 (2008) Atlus Games PS2

A few weeks ago, I literally dusted off my PS2 after picking up a copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. I debated about even purchasing Persona 4 simply because it wasn't for the 360. Stupid, I know. The large number of glowing reviews swayed me though and I'm glad I bought Persona 4.

The long and short of it - Persona 4 is one of the best JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) I have played in ages. Yes, even better than Fallout 3. If you still own a PS2 I suggest picking up this game ASAP.

The game takes place in modern day Japan. The plot revolves around the main character - a high school transfer student moving from the big city to a small town - and his group of new friends and family attempting to solve a series of grisly murders. Of course this is the bare bones and since it's an insane JRPG the game goes sideways pretty much from the get go. Granted there's no tentacle porn or fan service or assorted naughtiness but there are: an alternate dimension filled with Shadow monsters, "Persona" you can summon to fight for you, some weird characters, and references to Japanese culture that may leave some players confused.

All the elements of game play are solid. Menus are easy to navigate. Combat can be tricky at times but if you use your noggin and balance your skills it gets much easier. The balance between exploring/detective work/building friendships/and going to high school is a little tough to get a grip on early on but manageable.

For me there is one major element that makes Persona 4 such a compelling play for me - you ready? - the story. Yes, Persona 4 has a compelling story filled with characters that I ended up - shock and awe - caring about. Even characters I thought were useless or pointless had great story lines that developed. Example: The main character is staying with his uncle Dojima and his daughter Nanako. Dojima is the head detective working on the crimes happening in town. Nanako is a little girl who basically runs the household while Dad is constantly at work. At first she's kind of an annoying, pathetic character and Dojima is pretty much a jerk. As the story progresses you learn more about them, their relationship, what happened to Nanako's mother, and I ended up liking both characters. A lot. Those are only two out of a huge cast of characters.

Hell, I like the story and characters so much that I got one ending - the writers took a page from the Joss Whedon school of depressing twist the knife endings - and refused to end the story on that note and immediately started a new game.

Another reason why Persona 4 is awesome: starting a new game/continuing from the same file allows you to keep money, previously levelled stats, levelled Persona, and some storyline related items.

I could yabber on about Persona 4 but I recommend picking it up if you're looking for a game that isn't a FPS or blow shit up or an easy 360 forty hour RPG.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A proper post pending...reviews et al.

Over the last weeks of January I have been on break - good ol' fashioned college boy that I now am - I ain't done nothin' that amounted to nothin'. Played some games - up for review - and seen some movies - again up for review. Don't worry folks - the train will be leaving the station momentarily. Present your tickets to the conductor, when he comes by.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My soup is gross.

I don't know what I did to this soup but it's pretty gross.  I don't know how it turned out so funky but even hot sauce can't save it.  Bleh.

It's always kind of a bummer when food comes out so disappointing but then I guess not everything can be a winner.  Maybe soup just isn't in the cards for me - like baking.

Monday, January 05, 2009

T's sandwiches - Pho in Nacogdoches!

After Zay's review/recommendation of T's Sandwiches and hearing it served pho we had to go.

T's Sandwiches
1122 N. University Dr
Nacogdoches TX
936-569-0464
Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm
Sun: Closed



T's is in the Nacogdoches dirt mall. The mall is really sad and T's is just kind of a small place with a couple of formica tables. You wouldn't even know it has pho unless you were looking for it. They have beef, beef "meatball", and shrimp pho plus a number of stir fries. They also serve cheese steaks, grilled cheese sandwiches, spring rolls, and quite possibly the best summer rolls - a.k.a. egg rolls - I have had in about a million years.
I got the beef pho after the owner wasn't sure if I actually wanted the meatballs - I did. You know what? This was a damn fine bowl of pho. Not a ten but a solid 8. I normally don't get just straight up beef pho but it was good, well rounded, and had a solid flavour.
The downsides:
  • There wasn't enough cilantro for Amanda's liking.
  • I wish there had been basil served with it.
  • For $6.50 a bowl it was what would be a small size in other restaurants.
  • Being in the dirt mall is kind of a drag.

The upsides:

  • The pho was everything standard beef pho is supposed to be. Hearty, filling, and damned tasty. On the plus side it wasn't too salty.
  • Was served with jalapenos, some minced cilantro, onions, Sriricha chili sauce, and hoisin.
  • The boba tea was tasty as well as completely made from fresh ingredients.
  • The eggrolls were phenominal. Seriously. Fresh, crispy but not greasy. Nom.

Simply put we now have a place for pho, stir fry, egg rolls, spring rolls, and quite possibly cheesesteaks.

Everyone in Nac or Lufkin needs to check out this place. The guys were super nice and the food was great. You're actually missing out if you don't eat here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Wait, what, pho in Nacogdoches?

Thanks for the heads up from Zay over at Zay MoMo about T's Sandwiches.

Apparently the place serves pho and bubble tea and is not half bad.

I tell you what, this week I'm gonna find out and will report back.

T's Sandwiches
1122 S University Dr
Nacogdoches TX
936-569-0464

I'm going to begin making my own pho.

A combination of need and necessity have forced me to begin the quest for finding a solid pho recipe.  I found this clip on the youtube:



But it's in Vietnamese.  Damn it.  So I continued looking on teh internets and have come to the conclusion that pho - like mole, chili, empanadas, fried chicken, chicken soup or apple pie - depends on how your grandma made it.  There are debates on the validity of ingredients: mint or basil or both or neither, chicken or beef, region, amount of spices, combinations of spices, chiles or no chiles, and the list goes on and on.

One element remains the same - the stock.  Fortunately I currently have the time and desire to make beef stock - really heavy duty "this is the stock of a warrior" stock.  Not only will it be useful for pho but pretty much everything we cook.  I think I'm going to make stock cubes - pour the stock into ice cube trays.

An interesting historical side note: seems like my favorite Vietnamese soup Bun Bo Hue is actually a Khmer Krom recipe.  Huh, I'll have to look in this more.

I will post again about this venture.  In the meantime if any of you have recipes, suggestions, or hints please let me know.  

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Puzzle Quest: Galatrix

Finally there's  release date: February 24, 2009.  I hope this is true.

In the words of my grandfather:

"Well, there's another holiday season shot in the ass."

I used to get really bummed out when he would say shit like that but as I get older I definitely feel his sentiment.  While I enjoy the time off and spending Christmas with Amanda's family - especially now that we're all used to one another - the over all holidays are a real drag for me.  I love Thanksgiving but once the initial tsunami of "seasonal joy" builds momentum I feel pretty hostile towards all things holiday.  By the time New Year's rolls around I feel beat down.  I think this feeling may change when kids are involved - little faces filled with joy or some shit.

In any case happy...merry...something.   

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