Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An overdue megapost

Haven't been feeling the bloggity bloggity recently.  Been pretty bored and just putzing around with SWTOR and watching recent "blockbusters" which for the most part haven't been worth the time spent watching them (Rise of Planet of the Apes was fuckin stupid but then again all of those movies are shite).  Frankly I've run out of interest on SWTOR and will probably cancel my subscription sometime in the neart future.  On the upside there have been one or two games which have peaked my interest and these are worth commenting on.

Alan Wake was released on PC a week or so ago and has been getting good reviews.  I hadn't played it on 360 because I didn't want to buy it piecemeal DLC.  The PC version is complete and the same price point as on 360 so I went with PC.  It's an interesting game that belongs to the Silent Hill school of survival horror, very atmospheric, spooky, clumsy combat, etc etc etc.  I'm enjoying it and recommend it if you're looking for something to play with the lights off.  One thing I particularly like is how the game is broken into episodes, like a tv series.  At the beginning of a new episode the game does a "Previously on Alan Wake" and then the next segment begins.  This division of chapters has actually changed my game play style.  Instead of power gaming through it I've played an episode and then done something - or played something - else.  Kind of cool.

Some of you may know that for some insane bizarre reason I fucking love the SSX series even thought it's an Xtreme snowboarding game.  I played the shit out of SSX3 & SSX: Tricky but that was many years ago now (SSX3 was released in 2003 - which was so long ago I was still married to my first wife).  Today the new incarnation of SSX was released and I played the demo over the weekend.  It fucking rules.  I played the shit out of the demo and just had fun.  I was rocking out by myself bein all XTREME!  Seriously though, the game looks amazing, plays great, and in the full version there's an explore mode so you can just jam around bro.  RADICAL!  Plus there's going to be online racing and trick competition.  DUDE!  SWEET!  I can't wait to play Kaori again.  Nimble little minx.

Other games coming down the line: The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings for the 360 is coming out April 17th, Borderlands 2, Hitman:Absolution, and Max Payne 3.  Gonna be a pretty good year for games.

Hope all you fine folks are well and safe and not completely miserable.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flash reviews: Real Steel, No Strings Attached, Drive, I Love You Phillip Morris

Last night I was too exhausted to play video games and too over-tired to sleep so I watched a bunch of movies. None are really worth a extensive review but 'ere we go:

  • Real Steel (2011)  The movie isn't very good and plays out as a boy's wish fulfillment movie.  That being said, I really enjoyed it and if I had seen it as a kid it would have been one of my favorite movies.  The middle section of the movie is pretty cool and the giant fighting robots are fucking rad.  GIANT.  FIGHTING. ROBOTS.
  • No Strings Attached (2011)  Ivan Reitman helmed this rom-com and while it is not particularly good there are some fairly amusing sex jokes and as far as rom-coms go this was better than your average Julia Roberts schlock.  The scene where Ashton Kutcher wakes up naked from a rough night is particularly funny.
  • Drive (2011) - Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman who is a getaway driver at night.  It's a neo-retro-noir, indie slow/boring punctuated with ultraviolence (seriously fucking hard ultraviolence actually - I winced at two scenes) sort of like Way of the Gun (but not) sort of like To Live and Die in LA (but not).  Not sure if I liked it but I liked it a lot more than any of Michael Mann's movies.  Really well shot and Albert Brooks was bad-ass and the music was actually kind of awesome.
  • I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) A love story featuring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as two people who meet while in prison.  If you're not comfortable with the thought of those two actors making out and being couple-y then you're probably gonna wanna skip this movie.  If you're cool with it then I Love You Phillip Morris is a weird indie movie about Carrey who is a master con-man Steven who meets and fall in love with Phillip Morris (McGregor) while doin his time.  They get out, Steven sets out on a long con...I didn't finish the movie because I went to bed.  I like this movie and plan to finish it.  It's a serious departure from Carrey's regular fare and one of McGregor's few indie movies where you don't see his cock.  Not gonna tell you to run out and see it but it's worth checking out if you're in the market for a prison love story that isn't as depressing as Kiss of the Spider Woman (which is brilliant but depressing as fuck).   

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thoughts on "Red Tails" and SWTOR space combat

I had to laugh when I read Ebert's review of Red Tails (which I had forgotten about) in which he writes,
Red Tails is entertaining. Audiences are likely to enjoy it. The scenes of aerial combat are skillfully done and exciting.
Yup, sounds perfectly reasonable and though I tend to avoid movies with Cuba Gooding Jr in them I do like movies with Terence Howard in them.  I'd see this in the theater or rent it, if only to watch some ME 262 sexiness.

I don't know why everyone is Lucas Lucas Lucas about Red Tails - he's just the executive producer though that might be like saying Steven Spielberg was just the executive producer on Poltergeist, though Spielberg also wrote and helped edit whereas Lucas only has production credits.

The last few days have been SWTOR-o-rama, as to be expected, and I finally jumped into space combat.  I don't know what took me so long to do so but I'm torn.  It's awesome...but...it's just a rail shooter with lacklustre controls and a time limit.  It's pretty much an easy version of Starfox in Star Wars land.  Frankly it's disappointing and I don't know if there's an excuse for it.  Here's why my ass is chapped:

That's what I'm talking about Nien Nunb!  Pew!  Pew!  EVE had space combat but not like the classic Wing Commander, TIE Fighter school of madness.  Seriously?  Hell just take the same missions from the old Star Wars dog fighters slap a skin on it and we have some awesome.  It's not rocket surgery.
I saw on a forum that at this current time BioWare has no plans to expand space combat.  Fuck that shit.  I'm gonna sit here and pout until better space combat appears.  Or until I can go home and run dailies.

Monday, February 06, 2012

"Doomsday Preppers" - Oh for fuck's sake

I saw a banner ad about the new National Geographic show Doomsday Preppers and I felt enough robble robble to write something.

This show reminds me of the Robin Williams/Walther Matthau comedy The Survivors (1983) in which Robin Williams becomes a gun nut survivalist loony while dragging Walther along for the ride.  It's one of my favorite movies and really encapsulates my feelings towards American gun fever, survivalists, and general wackadoodle behavior in general. 

What the fuck is wrong with these people?  The home page calls them, "Otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it." These are some nutcases.  Otherwise ordinary Americans are people who like swinging or have OCD or addictions to pain killers and ice cream while maintaining a facade of normality.  These folks are one bad day away from Falling Down II: Ruby Ridge Race War Gunstravagana. 
Now let me say I appreciate those folks who have disaster kits, extra flashlights, water purification tablets, and a shit ton of canned goods.  During hurricane/tornado/blizzard/earthquake seasons (yes I know earthquakes don't have a fucking season) it's generally a good idea to have your shit together in case you lose power for a week.  Hell, knowing basic "survival" skills - e.g. first aid - is pretty useful in general.  I also am a fan of sustainability, urban farming/community gardens, learning to garden, alternative energy sources, and public transportation.

However, training your children to use automatic weapons is fucking retarded.  Why do you own a bullet proof vest?  Do you really think that there will be some catastrophic Bay-splosion that will buttfuck the world as we know it?  Aliens are gonna teabag Lady Liberty in 2012?  Better go buy all the duct tape and gas masks before angry little brown people fuck up your honky world. 

Jesus Christ on a flaming pogostick what the fuck is wrong with people? 

p.s. This "doomsday prepper" mentality is some fucked up selfish behavior.  Bad example Christians.  Bad.  Fuck the Rapture too.          

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

SWTOR: the adventure continues

More like adventures in scavenging scrap metal.  I joke...sort of...let me fill you in on my recent escapades:

I got bored with my Imperial Agent, correction - I got bored with getting my ass kicked because my gear is shite and Agent is just kind of boring to play.  Run into cover, charge shot, shoot, get shot at, and whomped in melee.  It's kind of regrettable because I do like the story.  So I created a bounty hunter (Bessler) and I've had a much better time with her, both in combat and versatility in game play.  However I ended up in the weeds in a crafting skill that while potentially awesome didn't really ring my bell - Cybertech.  Cybertech is cool - it's the craft for mods and droid parts and ship gear - and potentially useful down the road but in the meantime it's kind of less than thrilling craft.  So I started another bounty hunter - after starting an awesomely grizzled looking older woman Republic Trooper and finding out I can't trade gear between Republic and Empire characters (which is kind of lame).  This time I went for a male Rattataki and made the biggest guy I could.  He looks like an alien Buster Bloodvessel.  I slapped the hooliganyouth moniker on this goon and contrary to most male characters I play this guy is actually pretty nice and has been shifting over to Light Side pretty quick (unlike Scoville who is sinking into the Dark Side with rapidity).  So Hooliganyouth, the big moosey, lumbers along and actually looks more like a Space Marine than a Bounty Hunter.  I've noticed a changed in my combat style as well, with this alt I tend to get stuck in pretty quick (the same way I was playing the Republic Trooper) charging into the fray with two blasters, missles, and a flame thrower.  I guess I play him as a Space Marine too.  Wait a second, "For the Emperor!" hmmm...

I decided to go with armortech with hooliganyouth because it seems like the most practical skill for my class to have.  I've heard a lot of chatter about biotech - which allows the crafting of medpacs and stims - and its ease of use/levelling but frankly I don't use stims or medpacs since my companion is my heal monkey and medpac recharge rate is fucking useless at 90 seconds.  Plus I seem to come across a lot of armor drops that I can simply reverse engineer for parts/templates.  Combined with scavenging and slicing I've got a set-up that works for me.  I also have Scoville and Bessler set-up with armstech/investigation/underworld trading and cybertech/slicing/underworld trading respectively so shifting goods and gears back and forth is easy enough.

All in all been having fun, which I'm starting to think is the most important thing in life/recreation. 

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