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.



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.