Saturday, August 30, 2008

Felicia Day + Still Alive = Awesome

This is one of the most awesome-est awesome ever. I kid you not. Behold the glory that is Felicia Day and JoCo singing Still Alive (the song sung by GLaDOS during the credits of the game Portal).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Sourcery (Discworld, #5)

Sourcery finally gets us back where we belong, with Rincewind running away from something and the pounding of the Luggage's hundreds of feet following relentlessly after. We finally get a reason for wizard celibacy and a inside look at the destructive natural of the magic wielders as well. It's been a while since Rincewind fell off the edge of the Discworld and caught a glimpse of its foundations (elephants and the turtle).

I was glad to get back to him... too bad that meant his life was being turned upside down once again. He had a nice stint there as the Librarian's banana peeler, so he has that to hold on to. Rincewind grows on you like a very tasty fungus.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hanging with the Shadow

Hanging with the Shadow

Originally uploaded by FlipSide3.

Actually got a friend of mine to start playing Guild Wars. Seeing as she's a few time zones away, we haven't played together much. But I got to run around Tyria with her the other night, slashing our way through the ruins of Ascalon.

It was a blast. This is her short fancy dressed mesmer and my big dumb warrior dude.

Post Skill Hunter HoM

Post Skill Hunter HoM

Originally uploaded by FlipSide3.

Here's the nebulous statue thing in the back of the Hall of Monuments post getting the Legendary Skill Hunter title. Actually what probably made it more clear is that I've gotten enough titles now to hit the first rank of the Kind of a Big Deal title. Honestly, I never thought I'd get this many titles. Granted I've been playing for over 2 1/2 years now... you'd think I'd accomplish something.

Legendary Skill Hunter

Legendary Skill Hunter

Originally uploaded by FlipSide3.

I did it! I did it!

Took forever, but I finally managed to capture all the elite skills from a three campaigns of Guild Wars with my necromancer. Now hopefully I can find something else to pour gold into. I'm thinking fancy weapons and armor... though that Guild Hall still needs a little work.

Oh, and just for history purposes... I capped the last skill just about the same time that Michael Phelps won his first gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soul Calibur 4, Praise and Laments

Soul Calibur 4 Cervantes

Originally uploaded by darciastevenson.

I have good and bad things to say about Soul Calibur IV. The good is that it looks amazing, play control is spot on and may actually be better than the previous games by a hair, the custom character creation is cool, and having Yoda as a playable character is just down right neat. The Soul series of games have always been one of my favorites. Nearly bought a Dreamcast on a number of occasions just to satisfy my desire to play the original Soul Calibur... which is still the pinnacle of the series by the way.

So number 4 is by far a worthy addition to the series, but I do have a few minor complaints... which once again brings it all back to the Dreamcast version as being the best one. While the game looks amazing and the addition of Jedi is very fun, having Vader's apprentice be the next to last opponent in arcade mode every time (and thus always having my butt handed to me) has become very tedious. The apprentice is overpowered in the way Cervantes was during the Soul Blade/Edge days, and at least then the old pirate was the end boss. If there were a way to adjust the difficulty of the arcade mode or turn off the apprentice, then I'd probably be happy.

You have to remember that I'm playing for fun here, not to become a frothing ball of frustration to the point of scaring my family. You can blah blah blah all you want about challenge and such, but I should be able to tailor the game's difficulty to my liking. I can always ramp it up later once I've got all the moves down again. I completely skipped over Soul Calibur 3 because I heard the difficulty level was absurd a SC2 was still working fine for me.

This version has online play, which sounds great... but with my silver account on Xbox Live it does me no good. I'll be upgrading to Gold this fall once the update comes out to allow Netflix streaming, so I'll just find out about all that then.

Custom character creation is pretty neat. I'm hoping to have more options once I unlock more outfit pieces, but I've already made two Chrono Trigger characters for it (Magus and Lucca) using what was available. My only complaint is that instead of just going for the appearance, I have to worry about how each piece effects my stats. After finishing up a pretty respectable Lucca lookalike and starting the game, turn out she starts out with only 50% health. No wonder she was dying so fast. I added some extra outfit bits to bring her health up, but it did spoil the look I was going for... bummer.

At any rate the game is still great, even if the menu system seems to have suffered a bit. I also miss the old travel the world to unlock stuff game that was in SC2. That was better than the new tower of souls or whatever the call it. That and the story mode seems like a replacement for the way the arcade mode used to play... all in all it is like they messed to much with what used to work perfect.

In the end I'm really impressed, but also slightly disappointed... which has been the case with every game since the original SC.

Oh and the anatomy on some of the girls (I'm looking at you Ivy) has gone off the deep end of absurdity. Honestly, could we tone it down a tad. My wife watches me play this game, and she's already telling my newborn son he's not going to get to play... which is a shame.