Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bits and Pieces

I'm trying to post on a weekly schedule, honest I am. Sometimes things get in the way, like my staggering laziness. Fear not, for soon I shall be back on schedule. I have a number of hi-larious posts coming. At the very least, they sure sound funny in my head. Hee-hee-hee. There goes one now.

For now, I'll play some catch-up and leave the science dropping for tomorrow.

I was in beautiful Fort Worth, TX at the beginning of this week and all I can say is damn, that place is fucking hot. Supposedly it was "abnormally" hot, which at 100 degrees, probably goes without saying, but I have my suspicions that "normal" is probably in the 90's. I was told today that it rained after I left and now the lows are in the 60's, which proves what I've thought all along, that Texas hates me. The Sundance Square area of downtown is nice, and very easy to find your way around. I wasn't there long enough to explore the city in depth, so I'll hold off on recommending it as the vacation wonderland you've all hoped and dreamed for. I will say that the panhandlers there are some of the nicest pandhandlers who have ever asked me for money. Very polite, for whatever that's worth.

While I was gone, I wasn't playing any video games which is a shame because every developer known to man has decided to put out a game in the past 2 weeks. I bought Burnout Revenge because I wanted to crash cars and not go to jail for it. 2 days later, X-Men Legends 2 came out, so I bought that because I wanted to beat up mutants and not go to jail for it. 2 days later I bought Indigo Prophecy because I wanted to have my body taken over by an unseen force, stab some guy to death in a diner bathroom and then investigate the murder as a different character and not go to jail for it. Or something. Now, Far Cry Instincts has come out, and I'd like to play folks in it online, something that has to be done the first week a game comes out before The Collective moves on to their next greatest game. At this point, I've given up all hope of buying a 360 at launch as there's no way I'll be done with all of these games in 2 months. Plus, it seems silly to rush through games I'm enjoying so that I can trade them in for a console that could very well follow every other launch in console history and launch with absolute shit for games.

While we're on the subject of games, the aforementioned Indigo Prophecy is a strange animal, a strange animal indeed. It's like an adventure game, but without all the pointing and clicking. I mentioned the plot before, so I won't go into it again, and can't really as I've only played for a couple of hours, but I will say that whatever malevolent force possessed your character has also taken up residence in the games camera system. I can understand that this game, in trying to be like a movie, relies on multiple camera angles, however when I'm trying to actually do something, and there's a time limit, changing up the camera angles all willy-nilly is really fucking annoying. It's bad enough that I killed some guy, but when I'm trying to hide all the bloody evidence from the waiting police office as I run around my apartment in my underwear, the least you can do is not keep switching the camera up on me.

Other than that, the game is pretty cool, and it gives you a glimpse into how the European game development community views those of us in the states. For example, in New York City, African-American men all walk around to soulful jazz-funk riffs. I bet you didn't know that. This was a part of the black experience I had never heard of. I have also learned that peeing is considered very relaxing by our game development friends across the Atlantic. The players in the game have emotional stability meters that start out at Neutral and go down to Suicidal (happiness is not an option in Indigo Prophecy) and various things in the game will raise or lower this meter. Taking a piss raises this meter for the men in the game by a hefty 5 points. Drinking water and/or coffee also raises this meter, thereby raising the possibility of achieiving total emotional neutrality by drinking and peeing all the live long day. For the record, if you are in the men's restroom with your female partner and you pee, while it may be relaxing for you, it is 5 points more stressful for her. As if your pee carried stress from your body into hers. Ew. Similarly, if you decide to get unstressed by a whopping 20 points by engaging in a little pre-work nookie with your girlfriend, your partner can cock block you by calling you up and demanding your lazy ass get to work pronto. No destressing for you romeo. Now that I think of it, the African-American community isn't presented in a very flattering light in this game. Either they're peeing in crime scenes in front of their female partners, or they're late for work because they're sexing up their ladies. Then, once they get to work they dodge the co-worker they owe money to, offering to repay it only if they can be beaten at basketball. I guess cotton picking didn't make sense in the context of modern day NYC. Well, at least he's got that groovy soundtrack to walk around to. Later in the game I hope to play as Kim Suk, the resident math genius/grocer.

Burnout Revenge is an interesting game in that it made the racing more fun and the crash mode less fun, which comes out as a zero sum gain for fun-ness. X-Men Legends 2 is pretty much the same game as the original X-Men Legends, but now you can play as evil mutants. Seeing how the game doesn't provide branching paths, one where you rescue nuns and the other where you barbecue kittens, the fact that you can play as evil mutants doesn't really make a difference in the gameplay experience. Lou Diamond Philips resumes his role as Forge. If you listen closely, after his lines you can hear him mutter "I was in Young Guns!"

Finally, I was watching the news this morning as I usually do and they had a story about how gas prices are rising. The news reporter tried to use a tape measure to demonstrate the rising prices, as if the viewing audience wouldn't know on their own that 2.99 is bigger than say, 2.69. Had it snowed right then and there, allowing the reporter to use his tape measure to report on rising gas prices and the amount of snowfall, I think he would have died from sheer ecstasy. They then interviewed people at the pumps to hear their angry tirades. One guy said that it was ruining his business because he did construction and he had to keep driving from jobs to Home Depot. I can sympathize with that guy. He's probably on his own, trying to earn an honest living and can't afford to underbid jobs so anything that eats into his operating costs eats in to his profits by extension. Then they showed this lady, and her exact words were "I buy premium, and I'm very angry". OK, well, if your car doesn't need premium, then, oh, I don't know, fucking stop buying premium. If your car needs premium, then sell it and get one that doesn't require premium. I drive a Maxima, and while I'm not rolling in a Benz-o, it's a pretty nice car and that premium shit don't get within 5 feet of my ride. It's all regular all the time. And, what the fuck are you getting angry about? Try being angry about something you can actually change. Unless your righteous fury is going to reorganize OPEC and make us less dependent on foreign oil, all in one fell swoop, I'd say to shut the fuck up, buy your gas and be on your merry way. What I would have liked to see is the construction guy overhear her complaining and brain her with a ladder. Then the reporter could get involved and try to pry them apart with his tape measure. Then a black guy could walk in front of them, bass track grooving around him and take a nice, relaxing piss. Shit, I'd pay to see that.

1 comment:

k o w said...

Reporters are idiots. Never believe anything they say.