Archive for June, 2008

Your Attention Please…

Posted in Games with tags , on June 29, 2008 by abraxus

Diablo-Freaking-3!

That is all. Mwahahahahahahaha

Big n Green

Posted in Movies with tags , , on June 23, 2008 by abraxus

You guessed it, Incredible Hulk Movie Reveiw time. For those listening in I don’t do spoilers so no worries.

Better than the first movie? You bet. Why? Because they stayed true to the roots this time. Dr. Bruce Banner is a tortured soul once again and you are made/encouraged to feel for the plight of this brilliant young scientist bearing a terrible curse.

Special Effects abound of course, it is The Hulk after all. You’ll come away from this movie happy whether you liked the first one or not. More importantly you’ll like it even if you know almost nothing about The Incredible Hulk.

As a rule The Hulk was never a highly comedic character so if you’re looking for the snappy one-liners of Spiderman or the wry wit of Iron Man you won’t find that in this movie save for two or three brief moments. The Hulk is not about Haha so much as it is about “Holy Crap that was awesome!”

Various Homages are there to be seen, former Hulks, Former Banners and of course Stan “The Man” Lee and one other which I shall not spoil but was very well received by me. All in all I give it a 4 out of 5.

Lifelike Spam?

Posted in Life with tags , , on June 22, 2008 by abraxus

I have several Messenger Clients, MSN, Yahoo (old and Vista Beta), Google Talk and of course IRC if that counts. I’m sure most of you do as well but do you ever get offline messages you could swear were real? I’m sure it’s just a totally random fluke but a few times I have gotten messages from Spammers using names and saying things that almost sound just like stuff a that the person with that name might say.

There’s still that moment of suspicion enough to keep me from doing it but the other day I got a message with a link in it from a guy name Kevin claiming he was my old High School buddy and that he and some of the others I hung out with in High School were getting together in town on the weekend to party it up. Included was a Link to what was supposed to be the hotel they were all staying at. That’s where I Red Flagged. The hotel they named is not in this town.

But damn if it wasn’t a terminator-esque impression. Every happen to you folks?

Oh and the genuinely amusing ones are the ones that use my Messenger Handle thinking it’s actually my name…NO one on my Messenger Clients calls me by my Handle, they all are on a first name basis with me. But I still get SPAM like: Hey Dredaras! “Long time no see huh? Check out this cool link I found yesterday!”

Edit: Can’t spell

New Game Impressions

Posted in Games with tags , , on June 21, 2008 by abraxus

So I have always been a fan of all things dark and nasty. It’s the evil in me I guess. Thus I bring you my thoughts on :

Requeim: Bloodymare

Now it’s alot like Guild Wars so if you ever tried that game and enjoyed it you might find yourself liking Requiem. It’s free to play to an extent (more on that in a moment) and is freely downloadable through several options. I Elected to use the Torrent they had on their site and left my PC on chugging away at all 2.61 Gigs of it. Lo and behold a mere 8 hours later it was ready to install.

Installation was easy and painless, your Login is the same as the one you set up your account with on their webpage so that’s a no brainer. Pretty standard character creation options, three races consisting of your Melee, your Spell Casters and your Jack of All Trades. The usual custom things like faces, hair etc. By no means is it what I would call robust however it gets the job done.

Interestingly enough at the end of Character Creation you have to choose a Pass Code (PIN # if you will) for your Character/Account. Any time you want to log in your Character you are asked to enter this four digit code. Uniquely every time you select a Number on the key pad it randomly moves the numbers around this is there way of preventing third party mods from easily accessing their game (WoW Bots anyone?)

Once you enter the world the first thing you will notice is the game runs pretty reasonably even on older systems, this is because they restricted the resolutions you can run in to a Maximum of 1280 x 764. Now don’t panic, the game still looks pretty darn good regardless. All of the standard MMO commands work for your movement and Mouse Looking though some of the keyboard shortcuts are not standard. For instance the “I” key does not open your Inventory it opens your Character Sheet window. All are customizable though so that’s hardly an issue.

Combat is a bit bloody. Not Age of Conan bloody but gruesome nonetheless. You have a set of abilities you click to perform special actions ala WoW/Guild Wars and from then on it’s a game of “Who runs out of hit points first”. Loot drops the same ways as other games, little shinies on the ground that give up gold and items from time to time.

Quests are fairly standard, Fetch me this, Go here then come back, Kill five of these. Newbies are sent hither and yon through the starting area to get familair with the lay of the land. Rewards are gear and weapon upgrades along with cash.

Requeim borrows from Final Fantasy a bit with a “Job” system. At level 10 you can essentially specialize your Class which opens different skill sets and specific abilities. I have not tried a SpellCaster yet so I can’t speak to the spell Casting.

Setting wise the world is dark, looking much like a disaster has befallen the area. Technology IS present in sort of steampunk way so it’s not all Sword and Sorcery. In fact you are encouraged at some points to seek out DNA modifiers to augment yourself with.

Now the slightly annoying bits…you can Pay to get more benefits. $8 a month gets you an experience Boost and other such things like bigger bank space and better % Chance of nice item drops. $14 a month is a 50% Exp Bonus and even bigger chance of item drops. On top of that you can buy coin from the company to purchase things in game. Now none of this is required but you can get your ass it’s going to be hella useful if you have the cash to toss around. Strangely either of the Payment options gets you access to ‘World Chat’ which I thought was foolish. Don’t you WANT your Players to be exposed to people saying “Oh who I bought this really cool item just now!” or “Sweet I just levelled a Character to 10 in half an hour because I have the Premium Package!”

All in all, it’s a pretty fun game, if you have 2.61 Gigs of free space to devote to it I will recommend it as a time waster if nothing else 🙂

Final Fantasy Crisis Core Update

Posted in Games with tags , , , on June 17, 2008 by abraxus

Well I’ve finally gotten around to actually sitting down with the new Final Fantasy game for the PSP. Crisis Core is turning out to be considerably more fresh and interesting than I had originally thought it would be. Initially I went in expecting that the game would be fanservice for FFVII fans and I have been pleasantly surprised. Combat, as with all new FF titles, is different but easy to grasp. My only real issue with the Combat if you get into the Items Menu you MUST use something. Even if you just got there by accident. A few times now I’ve wasted Potions just to get out of the menu and back to a fight because it’s pseudo-real time so while you’re in that Menu you you’re not attacking and likely getting hit.

Cut Scenes are awesome as is almost always the case and are easily skipped through if needs be. Voice Over is nice…but stiff in some cases and I would have liked to have seen more of it.

Something I am loving though are the Missions. Anyone who has played a FF game in the past knows the sometimes tedious task of leveling up your group in between major adventures. Crisis Core takes some of that pain away by removing the need to run around for days on end hoping for random encounters. Enter the Missions. At any Save Point you can access the Missions area and choose from a decent list of things to do which basically amount to about 4-5 minute adventures that flesh out the storyline if you’re interested in the side plots. Defeating a mission usually will unlock the next harder one in the Chain with increased difficulty and better rewards.

They have something called the “Modulating Phase” which occasionally will pop up similar to the Limit Breaks from the past but much more random. It’s basically a slot machine of NPC images which scroll through randomly. Sometimes you get something nice like a Level Up, a Summon, or Bonus’ to Combat Abilities like No Magic Point costs briefly. It’s fun so far but I’ve had a few “WTF” moments when it jerks me out of combat to do it.

So far so good!

Oh yeah and someone strap Pandora to her PC and make her Post. That is all 🙂

Debate

Posted in Life, Noteworthy with tags , on June 12, 2008 by abraxus

Earlier today I got into a little bit of a debate…well not really a debate as such but a discussion over at my friend Yoshi’s Blog. It was about a news report and YouTube video that detailed a Marine throwing a puppy off a Cliff.

Disgusting yes, inhumane yes. I find the mans actions to be reprehensible.

That being said what I did not agree with was several Posters leaping to the conclusion that this one mans deplorable action somehow was representative of the the Marines in general. As you can well imagine many of the Posters are, like myself, animal lovers and were justifiably outraged that a human being could do something like that to a puppy.

Seeing as how my Family is directly related to the Military I am well aware that I am biased towards the Military but I just could not sit by and watch people take a one mans idiocy and turn it into hate mongering for an entire group of people. I know a great many people serving today and I can all but guarantee that every single one of them would be seriously offended by what happened and completely unable to grasp how a human being could do something like that.

You just shouldn’t take the actions of one man and brand an entire group with them, it’s unfair and I’ll speak up about it every single time.

Note: I am not providing any links to this, if anyone wants a link to it I will provide it on a ‘by-request’ basis. I just don’t feel the need to perpetuate this any further publicly.

What Irks Me – The Day Off Edition

Posted in Blogging Related, Life, Rants, Work with tags on June 3, 2008 by abraxus

A little backstory for the new people. Up until about 6 months ago I had been working 6 Days a week on average around 10 hours a day at the Restaurant. This led to me having essentially no life to speak of. My one day off was consumed utterly by Bill Payments, Grocery Shopping and spending time with my wife. Unlike most people I worked (and still work) Split Shifts while my wife works regular day shifts and the occasional evening.

That meant I dropped her off at work, went in to the Restaurant, came home in the afternoon for 2.5 hours then went back to work about 30 minutes before she got home. I’d get back from the Split shift around 9:30 most nights, later if it was really busy, eat dinner, do laundry and pretty much be ready for bed.

That was my life for almost 3 years. Yes the money was nice, yes my wife understood that I was sorely needed due to lack of staff at the Restaurant but none of that helped me when I took a good long look at my wife and realized I had no life. I had work and a day to catch up. That is not a life.

My friends hardly ever saw me, I missed pretty much every single get together any of them had and I worked every weekend so when I DID have some time it was on a Monday when everyone else was getting back to work themselves.

About 6 months or so ago I went to my Boss and said I could not do it any longer, the toll it was taking on me personally was just getting to be too much. Thankfully she understood and I started to get two days off. It’s been nice for the most part, having one day to do my running and another to just do whatever I felt like doing.

Now we get to my problem (sorry it took so long…) I have SO much saved up to do, books purchased along the way that I wanted to read, DVDs with the same intention, Video Games for various consoles and things of that sort. What this has led to is a bit of paralysis. I have free time and I guess too much I want to do so I end up getting to do nothing while I try to figure it out.

I used to be part of a great PBeM (Play By Email) game a long time ago but the demands of work forced me to retire from it because I could not uphold my commitments to the game. Unfortunately I also lost a valued friendship as a result of all that. I miss the participation in creating something larger and now that I have the time again I have looked around for something else to invest myself in as I did once before. Sadly I have yet to find anything that has given me the same ‘buzz’.

I’ve tried to just pick one thing and do that exclusively but it’s not as easy as it might seem. Not for me at least. So I turn to the people I have met on the Interbaun. What do you do to help you make up your mind when you have multiple things to do?

I need something to occupy my mind and videogames just can’t do that for me, nor can the Movies.

Longwinded…Sorry =/