welcome. everything I write here is something I felt to be important to some degree; game reviews, life updates/vents, and philosophical musings. I do my best to make my statements truthful. everyone is welcome to post comments, provided they are relevant.


Christmas goodies

Stolen, SiN (my pc struggles a bit on this one, but it's playable), Tomb Raider: Legend, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (my friend got me this), GTA: Liberty City Stories, Elite Beat Agents (I love this game), New Super Mario Bros., Clerks & Clerks II, also Clerks: Uncensored, Firefly, MI:III, 750g Toblerone, and $50 Wal-Mart gift card Final Fantasy XII from uncle Doug and aunt Helga


response to intelligent design

go to this link.

I should link all the webcomics i read, because that's a big part of my personal entertainemnt.


Rayman: Raving Rabbids on PS2 - 5/10

if you're familiar with the Rayman series of games, I advise you to forget about it. There is no real adventure here, and very little action. This one is all about mini-games and multiplayer.

The game starts with Rayman enjoying a little picnic with the Globoxes, when suddenly the little guys are yanked underground by some of the most bizzarre-looking rabbits you'll ever see. Rayman is then dragged off by a giant black rabbit and tossed into an arena with four open paths and a gate, surrounded by an angry audience of rabbits. After completing three of the four challenges, the gate opens to a final challenge, where you can win a ... plunger. you're then escourted back to your cell.

multiply that by 15, and you have the entire game. how a bunch of plungers help you, well, I don't want to spoil the whole plot... >_>

Despite the lack of depth, it has entertainment value in the simplicity and absurdity of the games. while most of them involve abusing bunnies to some degree, each stage features a 2-button rythm game of increasing difficulty (my favourite kind). the biggest drawback in the entire game is the LOAD TIMES, at least on the PS2. it is my understanding that the game is available for all systems in some form. Gamespot confirms my suspicion that it was made for the Wii - the controls kinda suck, but it's still enjoyable.



lots of stuff going on here it seems...

the van is on its last legs; while still operational, the engine temperature readout is unreliable, as is the heater (kinda important for a Canadian car). We'll be getting a pre-owned Toyota RAV4 in its place, since we don't really need 7 seats anymore. It's comfy, so I don't have any problem with it.

I just switched the kinda shitty futon L-frame I had with an older but less-shitty L-frame with arms. It should work nicely with the chair I was using as an end-table for my laptop, though it won't actually fit at the end because of the arms. I just have a few more piles to clean up before I can open Okami without reprisal from my mom.

I'm going to take a cake in to work for Thursday (technically today) and ask my boss if I'm going to have a job in January. The timing is purely coincidental, I swear.


How to Practice The Way to a Meaningful Life

This book, written by the Dalai Lama, is probably the best book ever, just for how important the stuff he talks about is. This guy knows what he's talking about. The book itself is pretty cheap, so GO BUY IT.

birthday (soon)

December 7th. no plans. maybe Montana's for dinner. going to take a cake to work sometime this week.

FFXII, LEGO SW2, and some stuff

So i tried FF XII. It looks pretty darn good for an rpg, but tbh that whole genre isn't grabbing my interest lately. some flaws: main character's voice actor. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN SO MUCH? Curse you, Sqare Enix! There is a new way to improve your characters, allowing you to make them highly specialized or utility characters depending on your play style and time spent hacking at monsters. I don't know how feasible character maxing is though. You can move around during battles, which do not require load times, but it's not usually possible to dodge attacks in that manner. I did find it very cool to have some monsters wandering around that you cannot beat at all early on... there is a small T-rex that will take your party members down in one hit each, and eats other monsters to gain strength. (attack: 0 dmg, me:"OH SHI--!!!") When I get back into RPG mode, I'll get this game.

LEGO Star Wars 2 on the 360... not much different than the other systems, aside from achievements. However, I might be crazy, but I'd swear that it's harder. I seem to die a lot more, making the "undefeated" achievements a real headache. Things are a bit shinier, but otherwise not worth the extra $10 or whatever it is compared to PS2 price.

EVE-Online got a big gameplay and content patch a few days ago. The empire factions are either at war or soon-to-be at war, so I expect more missions will have a stronger impact on faction rating. What interests me more is the new rigging and salvage features, allowing you (with the right skills) to make special improvements to your ship (similar to implants for your clone), and get special components from wreckages. I still have a week before i can use the salvager module though. One other thing; it's now possible to warp within 1km of landmarks like stations and jump gates instead of forcing 15km of travel, which is a huge bonus for slow ships. This was implemented so that we can delete our "instant bookmarks" and clear up space on the database, drastically improving performance. I know I had about 400 of those bookmarks... they were both a pain in the ass, and extremely handy. there's also new ships available, but none i'm interested in.

I went christmas/birthday game shopping with my mom, so I won't need to buy anything new for a while. we got: New Super Mario Bros., Elite Beat Agents, Okami, Tomb Raider: Legend, uhh... crap, I know there was something else. guess I'll get a surprise after all...



i'm having a hard time getting myself going again. I can't decide what path to take, again. I got the idea to take Business Administration a few weeks ago, but I have yet to act on it, in much the same way I haven't acted on Game Development. I doubt my qualifications without even giving it a try. My reluctance could just be based in finances.. Work has been keeping me busy lately, but I'm having a hard time putting aside my time-wasters so I can keep up with class work. although, nothing's been particularly hard, since they're introductory courses, but I'm kinda worried about the programming test for today's class... and I'm covering a shift today for someone that quit, so I won't have any chance to study... what's probably going to screw me hardest is not going to sleep... yeah. blarg.

edit: still no sleep... going to work would be suicide...


3 consoles + 2 TVs = great kid's party

i took my stuff over to my 2nd cousin's birthday party, and a good time was had by all. super smash bros. melee saw a lot of play time, as did lego star wars (though its gameplay is somewhat complicated). my cousin tried many times to catch up to me in NFSMW, but hasn't had nearly enough experience with racing games.

I also bought Dead Rising today.

Dr. McNinja

read it. my favorite is page 15 of chapter 4, but don't skip to it.


digging up the past

I did a google search for "doctabasco"

http://www.xanga.com/DocTabasco - postings from my troubled youth... mostly angst, but there's some good stuff in there... i think...

I found some that seem to be a yahoo! sports message board with some guy using my OLD email that I abandoned in a desparate attempt to evade spam. it's definitely not me.

looking ahead

Crackdown looks like fun. I like shooting games better when I'm ridiculously overpowered. I notice something similar to Saints Row... the buildings have plenty of polygons, but the textures are boring. A distinct lack of grime for a crime-infested city. I think it's mostly a coloring issue.


Okami and NFS Carbon

So i swapped the last two games for these... they're due back today as a swap, but I'll hold them a bit longer...

WOW, this game rocks. Not only is the gameplay right up my alley, but the visual style is truly unique for a video game, and well done to boot. Load times are a bit of a bother, but i hear there's a secret to getting more loot involving the loading screen. I MUST HAVE IT.

NFS Carbon
The latest incarnation of Need for Speed starts with a bit of continuity involving the cop with the hot ride. there's a LOT more customization options for making your dream car, but the tire screeching is loud and unchangeable. Once again, it's always night time. You need a 'crew' to compete and control 'territory' and earn 'respect,' so you'll have a helper for most of the races... if they can keep up with you anyway. Could be fun if you turn down the car sound and up the music, but I want to finish NFSMW first.


Phoenix Wright (link)

I love this game! I didn't need to try it out, I just knew I'd enjoy it... after reading quite a bit about it anyway. It's really great. Not much I can say that hasn't been said already. Definitely want the sequel.


more rentals: Enchanted Arms and Saints Row

to be honest, neither of these games have anything that really draw me in, at least so far as I've played.

Enchanted Arms
this one's designed as a typical RPG; a team of playable characters minding their own business until they're pretty much forced to save the world, fighting random battles to get stronger, and killing time with side-quests. From what I've seen, the only thing that sets this apart from previous RPGs is visual details - character models and special effects - that you could only produce on a next-gen console. Everything else, well... it's pretty disappointing. the sound and music do nothing for the graphics, the voice acting is pretty bad (i'm guessing most of the actors are japanese,) and the animation during conversations consists of single-frame poses. when they switch poses, anything that hangs from the character model jiggles around violently for a second, especially the main character's hair. And why do main characters always have spiky hair!? FFS, enough with the over-the-top designs! I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from a Japanese RPG though. I think the early Final Fantasies worked because the simple graphics forced them to spend more time on story and gameplay to make it fun. That said, nothing has been done to make the gameplay any better than previous RPGs, and it shows right through their oh-so-spiffy graphics. They should have stuck to cel-shading so that the graphics would fit with the quality of the game and story.
I've only just gotten past the ice queen (3rd achievement), so there might be some other redeeming quality in this game, but I haven't found it yet. And I really can't be bothered to find it.

Verdict: do not want. i might need to adjust the stereo positioning settings... maybe that's why it doesn't sound right. but I KNOW EA's music is crap, and the whole lot just bugs the heck out of me. They tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end it doesn't relly matter. OH GOD KILL ME NOW /wrist

Saints Row
Obviously, the only other game you can compare this to is Grand Theft Auto. However, being made for next-gen console with more polygons doesn't make it better. The first thing that pisses me off is the character generation. There is no way to make a character that looks genuinely intelligent. Granted, if this game had anyone fitting that description, they would be a glaring exception from the norm. Also, facial hair looks like modelling flock. wtf. My only hope is that the in-game plastic surgeon can give me better options. Second, for a city that's being controlled by gangs of street thugs, it's awfully clean. Detailed, and very clean. It feels like a city made for micromachines. However, there's a lot more gameplay made readily available near the start, so it should keep me occupied for a while. I'm just kinda pissed that I've died 3 times already. once was on level 5 drug trafficking, level4 snatch, and once in a mission, i think. something like that. At least I don't lose my weapons. The car-select garage is a nice touch too. (* edit: I'm definitely dieing too much. there's probably something I can do to fix that, but i'm still just renting)

furthermore, the pacing of Saints Row, the cutscenes particularly, feels forced. there is little focus on dramatic pauses, and everyones lines go by fairly quick. Also... the commercials on the radio suck. where GTA have subtle references to crime and profanity, SR has profanity coming out of every conceivable orifice. it's really quite annoying.

Verdict: maybe. need money. or gift card. need to rent more stuff.



so I was looking at a quote from bash.org and it got me thinking. using "Jesus" in this context confuses a lot of people, mostly non-christians, and probably a fair amount of christians that have no clue what they're talking about. why? most people (with no head for religion or metaphor) will take the word Jesus as a reference to the actual person, who lived, died, and had a few books written about him, 2000ish years ago. However, most people forget why Jesus is still such a popular word. sure, having "died for our sins" is the most frequently pushed angle, but that's even more confusing than the linked quote.

simply put, the way I see it, Jesus is meant to stand for love and understanding of our fellow man. (don't you dare bring patriarchal bias into this. we're all homo sapiens.) this is the best way I can translate the use of his name in most contexts today. this should clear up some misunderstandings with those fanatics that don't know proper english but still want to "spread the word."


renting is always a good idea

so I rented Need for Speed Most Wanted and Dead Rising for the Xbox360.

NFSMW is just awesome. some story: you're a street racer (which is pretty much illegal) trying to make it into the big-boy's club of "blacklist" racers. when you go to take on #15, "something happens" and you lose your ride to him. that guy then uses your ride to get the #1 spot, and you're left with just enough cash for a starter car. it's up to you to work yourself up to race the bastard what took your ride, and show him what's what. brad tells me that i'm going to want NFS Carbon when that comes out, but we'll have to see. Pursuits in this game are really fun. The cops have a variety of take-down tactics to keep you on your toes, such as sending a pair of SUVs to ram you head-on. Of course, your car doesn't seem to take any damage (not including spike strips), and the cops only go after you and not the other racers. it's really fun.

Dead Rising is certainly its own kind of fun. a mall full of zombies and just a few survivors, some of which seem to be totally off their rocker. I'm having some trouble trying to get everything on my first run, which might not be the best idea, since I'm pretty sure you keep your character level after you play through. you gain levels by killing vast quantities of zombies, taking interesting photos, escourting people to the security room and completing your investigations into wtf is going on. quite a fun game, an action/adventure for the zombie-hunter in you.


video game wishlist (upd 12/7)

this is more for my reference for now since this list is in no particular order

Saints Row, Dead Rising, Lego Star Wars II, Tomb Raider: Legend, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Nintendo DS
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Mario Kart DS, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Brain Age: (title too long), New Super Mario Bros, Big Brain Academy

Final Fantasy XII, Okami, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories



Jon Stewart is my religious leader.


the only beliefs that matter are the ones that make the world a friendlier place.

did you see that? i didn't say "better." "better" has been defined in many, even conflicting, ways. the word "better" on its own is what we call V A G U E.

Moving on... true belief is a form of understanding, an interpretation of knowledge and events significant to the believer. forced or embedded "belief" is information that the subject has taken in and accepted as fact, wether it is true, untrue, or wholly irrelevant to life.

Now for my own belief: the *proper worship of god(s), God, or some higher being, is much like aspiring towards an ideal. let's face it, humanity hasn't exactly gotten its act together, and it would be nice if there was something better to look up to. The way I see it, God is supposed to be a euphemism for "humanity, except friendlier."

Granted, I have done extremely little research on religions and their gods, who's worshipping who and why. The majority of my experience with religion is shaking my head at people who pray to "the father, the son, and the holy ghost" before and after every step they take in life, evangelists, and G. W. Bush.

done for now... if I don't get comments on this post, I don't know what will
(fyi, putting a * next to a word in online chat rooms marks a correction)



reading over my old blog entries makes me sad, because of all the opportunities I've passed up. it seems like I was held back by money issues... I have never tried to spend more money than I have or know for certain I will have. I've also spent more money than I should have on entertainment over the years. If my life is a building, it feels like the building is getting too tall to be stable, and the support structures are weakening. not enough budget to reinforce the foundation... or something.

My mind is healthy, my body is poorly kept but functional, but it feels like my soul has been sorely neglected for the longest time.

I never seem to act on my dreams. I love music, games, and writing, but I almost never try to create my own... I can never seem to focus on a single task, instead looking for things to occupy myself with, unrelated to my long-term goals.

Every time I try to write something for the novel I keep thinking of, I can never get myself to just write Something... I have a grand total of 1 page that I did several months ago, as a first page. I'm very skilled at singing, but it's not something I really planned on pursuing. Going solo, I'd worry about my body too much, and I've always been very self-conscious about my body, thanks to the constant harassment in grade school. As for games, I don't have the program skills to be useful in development, at least not yet, but then I'm not even sure I want to do that.

Video games are my favorite time-sink, and if I make anything out of my life, I'd want it to be a long, challenging, story-driven, and musically magnificent video game.


you = ?

have you ever gone into deep thought trying to define yourself? How do others define you? how do you want to be defined? I think this can be done on 3 levels, and these levels should be considered separately, though it is important to remember that they are all connected and are essentially the same thing

the body
the mind
the soul/spirit/whatever

the body is what most people will see first, and it is the means with which we interact with the world. The mind stores all the knowledge we have accumulated, controls the body, and lets us understand the world. the soul/spirit/whatever has not been defined by modern scientific means as a metaphysical entity (as far as I know), but for the purpose of defining a person, it is the part of us that understands, wether it be emotions, rocket science.

now, if there's going to be any arguements fueled by this post, it's going to be about the soul. I personally don't care if you think the soul is or isn't a metaphysical entity. As for the separation of mind and soul, what's important is that you understand that there is a difference between "smarts" and "personality."

these three parts are developed and maintained separately, and mistreating any of them will have detrimental effects on the person. Injury to one of these levels can cause damage to the entire person, depending on the nature of the injury, and treatment should also be considered for each level of the person.


new job is good

so, I'm working at Michaels at the south keys plaza, in the framing department. The department manager is cool, as is the store manager. I may be working around the store as well as framing. It's my.. second week there, and it's good to be working.


omg comments

feel free to add comments to my posts. I reserve the right to tell you to stfu.

collection update

I added and removed some games on the IGN collection tracker, so it should be more accurate if not 100%. I estimate 87% accuracy.
nothing says "you need a paradigm check" like giving someone a philosophy book. why did I say that? why ask why? just think about it.

anyone can spout a philosophical tag line, but if they don't write a book full of clarifications you can forget about it.



the idea that your spirit is removed entirely from this plane of existence to live in perpetual bliss/anguish is wholly selfish. to be moved to another plane would seem to indicate that your spirit no longer has any effect on the mortal plane. but even in death, the acts of those who have "passed away" leave marks on the world and those in it. carving a path to hell or paving the road to heaven is not about the destination, it's about the marks you leave. to truly leave this world, the path you walked would need to be repaired, paved over, or otherwise forgotten. your personal salvation/damnation is just a result of the road you create.

if you believe in fate, then it's the road you take, not create. certain paths have clear consequences while others are foggy. just because there's a fog doesn't mean you shouldn't take the road. turn on the fog lights and check the map for the route you want to take. don't have either? sucks to be you.

people can't really take the same road as you, but they can reuse the building materials and schematics, or continue the path you started, or add lanes to it.

i think i'm done for now.


Do you remember the early 90s?

my responses
no..: kinda: no: Yes: yes: not really: yes: no: not really: kinda: yes: nope: eww..: YES: YES: haha yeah: YES: yes: YES: uh?: no: no?: yes: no?: nope: not really: no: not really: yeah: not really: no: eh: yesh: YES: no: Yes: no: YES: no: Yes: YES: meh: yes: no?: not really: yes: yes: no: no: maybe: yes: of course: no: no: no: no: no: yes: no?: no: YES: ech: yes!: no: Yes: it's back: yes: kinda: no: no: no: ow: no: no: yeah


One of my readers (or the only reader *shrug*) recently complained that it's been a while since I posted.


chew on this



just because I'be been breaking down aisles and myself the past 3 weeks doesn't mean I've been without games. I got priorities to attend to.

Picked up Kingdom Hearts 2 and played quite a bit of that, but I managed to corrupt my save file in a rush to get out of the house, so now I'm starting over in standard mode. Proud is a fine challenge, but after going through what was probably 1/3rd of the game, I say fuck that. The story is a great continuation of the previous title. Sora and his crew have been in cold sleep for about 2 years and need to find out wtf is going on. A new set of enemies called Nobodies are planning something, but nobody knows what, and the Heartless are still causing some trouble too. Combat is mostly the same, but with a few additions. Reaction commands make for some spectacular turn-arounds in battle, and the new Forms allow for some truly brutal beat-downs. Forms need to be leveled individually in order to unlock handy abilities like the High Jump. There is one two things that really bother me though... the character animations are completely over-emphasised and looks super-fake, even in what is undoubtedly motion-capture. This can only be excused by the fact that there's more worlds available and they couldn't nit-pick the animation with so many scenes. Second, the faces of most Disney characters, like Ariel or Belle, just look wrong.

I also picked up some discount software, Scrapland, where you wander around a robotic civilization in combat ships and investigate murders involving the tampering of a restoration matrix thingy that is supposed to undo the death of any robot in the city. It's pretty nifty.

what's going on, eh

so, for about the last 3 weeks I've been helping the nearby Michaels remodel. It was the first Canadian location to get this remodel, as it is an American store chain. Whole aisles torn down and replaced in a new arrangement for the first 2 weeks, and final touches on the third. a crew of ~18 people working 10-12 hour nights, 5 days a week. It was a relly great experience. I haven't lost weight, since I was eating a lot of fried food at denny's, but I presume I've gained at least some muscle. The store manager's gonna call me sometime with details on a part-time job.


I've been playing this a lot. It's great; interaction with noobs is minimal, skill training is time-based and can be done while logged off, and the whole thing just looks beautiful... lovely starscapes, numerous spaceships, pretty explosions... but for me, nothing beats the sight of an asteroid belt full of valuable ore. I'm still a newbie skill-wise, but I can still rake in the ore in medium-security systems. Once I can hop in a mining barge, I can really do some damage in those big corp-run mining ops.

still need a job though X_x there should be more people hiring this month...