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Title: !MADDENING THOUGHTS!
Posted: August 14, 2006 (02:49 PM)
Good news: I might be getting a job soon!
I got a call from Arby's requesting an interview, and I'm fairly psyched because I so rarely get that. Arby's is a good place to work as far as fast food chains go; the place is relatively clean, nice dress code, professional atmosphere. Plus, it's quite close to where I live; I could walk and be there in about an hour. Two minute drive. GREAT FOR GAS!
So, steady pay, chance for increase, having some money in my pocket...I could get used to that. I could even buy an Xbox 360! Man, I want Dead Rising so bad. SO BAD. No longer will I read Nick Evil's spec stuff and be boggled and envious of the contents. FIRST HAND.
Psyched, psyched, psyched...
On another note, I have been thinking about my departure from the HG scene. Though I still think I need to take a break from reviewing, I'm considering whether or not I should take a break from staff.
During Summer, my access is very limited. I have to sneak on my father's computer for internet access and, when I post a review, I write it on my shoddy, non-internet computer and use crappy floppy disks to transfer it to HG. This is one of the main reasons my performance as staff has been kind of lax over Summer. I just can't get on as much.
However, with school in, I have constant access to blazing computers. I can update listings, critique reviews, do all sorts of stuff and still have time for my studies. I could even judge a few competitions. So what I'm thinking is, I can go a while without reviewing, I can focus my energies into fine-tuning the site.
Yeah, I know, it's kind of a pussy thought. XSIII would still be my last review for a while (I'm thinking I'd come back in full around the Christmas tourney) but I know I'll still be lurking around here after that. I might as well be a useful lurker, I think. And the thought of an Xbox 360 on the horizen invigorates me. I mean, have you seen that commercial for Dead Rising? It's badass. Killing zombies with a soccer ball...I mean, football...yeah.
All I can think about is zombie's and footballs...
Title: So long and thanks for all the fish!
Posted: August 13, 2006 (11:40 AM)
I'd like to stress that what I'm about to say doesn't have anything to do with anybody. For the most part, it's been a blast working with you guys. Genj and Ursurper have been great friends, who AIM me even though I rarely have anything of value to say. Venter and Sportsman have been very encouraging and given me constant advice. Even EmP’s been supportive, in his own…unique…way. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and met good people. Except for Boo.
But I’m through being a staff member. I intend to post one more review for Xenosaga III and then…out.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but the top ones:
1-My skill’s been in a steady decline ever since I became staff, and I think the TT drilled that in hard. A lot of that, I think has to do with the fact that I haven’t really enjoyed writing reviews in a long time. I mean, I put a lot of effort in them. I’ve tried writing them on paper, getting multiple opinions, everything I can think of to make them better, but I can’t even tell if I really like them. I don’t think about whether I’m satisfied, I think about what other people will think about them. I spend too much time looking at my hit count, it’s almost obsessive compulsive. It needs to stop.
2-I haven’t enjoyed playing videogames in a long time, and the reason is because I can’t stop focusing on reviewing them. Seriously, most of the games I’ve reviewed, I don’t even own. I rent them, play the crap out of them over the weekend and review them. Not to say I rush the reviews, because I don’t, but I hardly have time to enjoy the game. I don’t play just to play anymore, and I think the only way to shake that mentality is if I go cold turkey for a while.
3-I miss giving my reviews titles.
4-I’m a lousy fiction guy. My plan to revamp the fiction section has mostly blown up in my face.
5-I’m going back to college, and I really need to do well this semester, plus I have a lot of classes.
6-I want to devote some more time to my fiction writing.
I’m not satisfied with my work, and it’s only going to get worse. I’m burnt. I need a hiatus. I need to reset. But, as long as I’m on staff, I’m going to feel obligated. This is for the best, I think. It’ll only be temporary, and I’ll still submit for tourneys, if for nothing more than the eternal hope of beating the crap out of EmP. But I’ll be around a lot less.
So…yeah. That’s it.
Edit: Oh, and guys, don't hate on Venter too much. I'll admit that I don't agree with everything he does, but he's a real good guy, and I don't think anyone can argue that he doesn't care for this site or its users.
Title: Serious fuck up
Posted: August 13, 2006 (06:02 AM)
What happened was, I'd finished this review and posted it, but after doing so it occured to me that I had room for a paragraph dealing with control. So I wrote that, and added it in. What happened, though, was that I added the ENTIRE DAMN REVIEW IN AGAIN, doubling its size and giving people another reason to rightly call me a dumbass. Though I'll admit to not being the smartest person, I'd normally notice something like that. However, I was at the library, and they kicked me out before I could give it another look.
So, let's see...says I have 36 hits now...I had 4 when I checked yesterday, before I added that paragraph...so about 32 people think I'm a complete moron. Yay.
Anyway, congrats to Team EmP for beating Team True.
Title: Indigo Prophecy / Fahrenheit Plot Talk
Posted: August 07, 2006 (07:14 AM)
Okay, I finished Indigo Prophecy, and even wrote an intro for a future review last night (though just the intro. Bad Boys will be my next one) There were a lot of things I liked, but a handful of things I didn't like, as far as the plot's concerned (gameplay's another matter I won't get into) Some stuff I want to talk about, though, and since I can't talk about certain things in a review...spoilers...I'll just talk about them here.
Seriously, spoilers. It's a little silly to repeat that, but if comic boards have taught me anything, there's always ONE idiot who looks and says you didn't warn him. Always one.
First off, the whole NTSC sensor thing...there are some silly moments, like Tyler taking a bath with his underwear on, but if the extent of what I'm missing are two nipples in that scene where Carla and Kane have sex...which I did not want to see anyway...I think I'll live.
If memory serves, Janus referred to IP as a Matrix ripoff at points, and I don't think you can deny it is. Still, keep in mind that, while the below are criticisms, I did largely like the storyline. If I don't mention some aspect below, chances are I liked it.
-The bullet-time thing is obvious, but I won't fault IP for that; it's becoming more of a movie staple than a cliche these days.
-The whole 'Chosen One' thing that comes in near the end. After Kane dies, he seriously starts to remind of Neo. Just the way he talks, the way he carries himself.
-I kinda liked the battle between Kane and the Oracle, but did they REALLY need to fly and remind me of the Matrix: Revolutions? Couldn't have a nice fight on the ground...
-The AI thing...out of the blue, so unneeded and the Agatha thing reminds me of Smith.
IP also reminds me VERY much of a movie called the Golden Child that starred Eddie Murphy. Kid who holds the secret to the world. Demon people trying to get her. Chosen One stopping them.
I like Carla, really do, but I think she's way underused. She's shown to have all this fighting ability and in the sparring scene, but we never get to see her actually kick some ass. We only see her freaking out in the basement or in the nuthouse, both of which were extremely trying scenes, gameplay wise.
The basketball scene was SO silly. It's like -10 degrees outside, and Tyler's playing basketball in a jersey.
-Not sure what's up with the spiders. Still trying to figure that one out, might just be a path I missed.
Huh...probably some other stuff, but that's what comes to mind.
Title: Indigo Prophecy
Posted: August 05, 2006 (11:42 AM)
Okay, I kinda lied when I said Indigo Prophecy sucks. Well, I mean, not a direct lie, but I did imply I'd played it when, in fact, I had not. Just trying to get EmP's disease-ridden goat, as usual.
But I'm playing it NOW, and I have some mixed feelings. Won't delve, but I will say that I like Carla except for her claustrophobia, I like Marcus except for his stereotypical blackness (why does his music sound like the theme from Sanford and Son?) and I'm kinda indifferent with Kane. I like the mood of the game, too. Creepy. Digs. Can't say I'm a big fan of the button sequences, but I'm tolerating. The part with claustrophobia, though...ANNOYING AS HELL.
Anyway, here's my list for the next few weeks. Don't know the order I'll be doing them, but I'll be doing them:
The Guy Game
Bad Boys II
Edit: On second thought, I might not even do the Guy Game.
Yeah, I can feel the anticipation.
Posted: August 02, 2006 (07:44 PM)
Okay, the Grandia Xtreme review is bugging me, and the second best way to take my mind off something's that's bugging me is to focus on something else that bugs me.
All right. Normally, I'm not a very opinionated person; I just sort of flow with what everyone's saying at the moment. That's...actually a bad mindset for a reviewer, but I digress. Despite that, I do try and keep up with events and form some sort of view for myself. My favorite part: The forums.
Now, small little anecdote before I go on: Recently, where I live, there was this man. This man was a father, had two little girls. One day, this man went and stabbed his two little girls to death. He'd had the urge for the longest time, and he finally caved. End of anecdote.
The newspaper where I live, the Charlotte Observer, printed a very grisly article about this guy. They had an interview. They detailed exactly-I mean, EXACTLY- how he did it, even quoting the little girl's final words. It was very disturbing, I gotta say, and it makes me lose a bit of respect for them. However, in the forum, people were actually disgusted, not at what he did, but how he was being treated. It's wrong to send him to jail for the rest of his natural life, they said. He's mentally ill, they said.
I say that's bull.
Yes, this man is mentally ill. So? Everyday, people have inclinations to do things they know are wrong. We usually just shrug off these thoughts, no big deal. But this guy had a continual thought in his head, a horrible thought. He knew it was wrong. But didn't seek psychiatry, he didn't ask for help and he didn't do anything to prevent it. He consciously did what he did. He wasn't in some drunken haze. He wasn't sleepwalking. He just did it, so well that he could recall it second by second. He knew. Yes, he feels bad about it now, but he knew.
I guess I don't have as much to say as I thought I would, but it just irks me. I study psychology, it's one of my favorite subjects. But I hate when people use it as a crutch, I can not stand it when people use it as an excuse for whatever. If you burn down a building, it's not your fault. You're a pyromaniac. Kill kittens for fun? You just need medical help, is all. It's straight crap. I realize people are shaped by the way they live and their genetics, but that shouldn't mean they get special treatment. We're always talking about equal treatment, but that applies to the bad stuff, too.
Title: Grandia Xtreme
Posted: August 01, 2006 (10:13 PM)
Last post for the day, promise.
I'd say I liked how this came out, but it seems like how much people hate your review is inversely proportional to how much you like it...so...um...I hate it, yeah.
Many thanks to Overdrive and Genj for proofreading and making my crap considerably less crappy. Special thanks to Overdrive for being extremely...I mean, xtremely thorough, and special thanks to Genj for a comment he made to me during AIM a few nights ago that gave me the idea to talk about how Grandia Xtreme's specials are more brief than Grandia II's, a point I would have never thought to make otherwise.
Title: MY music list.
Posted: August 01, 2006 (07:58 PM)
Stolen from Khris, who stole it from Genj, who stole it from Sportsman...yeah.
I-The Isley Brothers
V-Vaugh, Stevie Ray (yeah, cheap, I know)
Okay, there. You may begin telling me how bad my taste in music is...now.
Posted: August 01, 2006 (08:20 AM)
...where'd all of Leroux's reviews go?
Posted: July 31, 2006 (06:33 PM)
EmP vs. OD
DoI vs. Vorty
VM vs. LH
Curses! Damn you, Margaritaville!
Oh, the awkwardness...
Title: GAME TIME
Posted: July 29, 2006 (08:09 PM)
This post comes to you live from my Family Reunion in Washington D.C. I'll be back on Monday, but a quick post before I get back to festivities...
To Pup: Mad props on the win.
To Vorty: It's not your fault, at all. If anything it's mine for choosing crappy reviews the first two weeks. I underestimated my opponent and overestimated my ability, and I will not make that mistake next TT (if I get a team, of course) Mark my words...again.
To my 'teammates' in Team EmP: Surely, even EmP can't be cocky enough to assume his victory over my team is assured. Just because we haven't won a round doesn't mean we can't.
I'm bringing it to the \M/ !XTREME! \M/!
Title: MARVEL ZOMBIES
Posted: July 25, 2006 (09:07 PM)
Alright, enough of this funk. I don’t know and won’t know how I’ll fair against Usurper, but I’m not going to let it bug me. And what’s the best way to get something off your mind?
That’s right: Zombies. But not just any zombies. MARVEL ZOMBIES!
Some explanation, of course, is in order.
Alternate universe. Zombie infection that only infects superheroes. Superheroes turn Earth into an all-you-can-eat-buffet, and push mankind to the brink of extinction. And…that’s it. The world is screwed. No one comes to save them. No last minute heroes. Just a dead planet with hunger superhero zombies roaming it.
Love a simple plot.
But what I really like about the zombies is that they don’t act like zombies at all.
They retain all the intellect and personality that they had from their previous life, with the obvious difference being that they no longer care about human life. Spider-Man feels very bad about eating his wife and Aunt May. The Hulk is still his dumb self.
And Cap’s just as take charge as ever. Kinda selfish, but understandable. The reason he’s missing half of his head, though, is because Magneto chopped it off with Cap’s own shield. While I won’t delve (check out Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23 for details) The Marvel Zombies miniseries starts off with an unzombified Magneto running for his life, as 95% of all the heroes Earth has chasing after him.
I love that shot. Very badass. Anyway, Magneto puts up an excellent fight and manages to hold them off for a few pages, but he’s eventually overrun and ripped limb from limb. Then the Silver Surfer shows up. They eat him. Then Galactus shows up. They eat him, too. It’s a lot more complex than what I’m making it out to be, but it’s basically just superhero zombies eating people.
It’s sick, it’s twisted, but it’s a guilty pleasure, and I love it. Not just for the story, but they keep releasing these special zombie covers, parodies of classics. My favorites…
A parody of Amazing Fantasy #15, I believe.
Fantastic Four #1? I want to say Fantastic Four #1.
Can’t remember this one, but it was one of the only covers that makes me like Wolverine a little.
Anyway, Marvel Zombies is a cool miniseries, even if you’re not really into comic. Should be on trade paperback by now. Check it out.
Ah, I feel better now. Just what I needed. Bring it on, Usurper.
Title: F-Zero X
Posted: July 24, 2006 (12:05 PM)
[I thought I'd try something different here. I'll post this review eventually, but, for the moment, I'll just post it here and soak up comments.]
F-Zero X has all the makings of a lackluster effort. It doesn’t have any missiles or mines like other futuristic racers, so ramming is the only way to attack. You can’t change paint jobs and there’s aren’t any custom parts to buy; cars can be adjusted for a higher max speed or quicker acceleration, but that’s the only customization option. The graphics are low even by the N64’s level, and most of the tracks are too bright, too colorful and too pink for their own good. Aside from the standard Grand Prix and Time Trial, it only has one mode to boast, the Death Race. Racing around a loop, knocking other cars into oblivion and being the last one intact. It’s glorified Roller Derby. All that, and the announcer speaks like he’s underwater.
F-Zero X only has two things going for it: Its speed and the music that accompanies it.
Here, the speed of sound is slow; even the bulkiest car can easily hit 1,000 km/h, and the intensity matches. Reflexes are crucial, more so than any other racing game. It only takes a second to get bumped off the road and get knocked out of the race. Start turning into a curve one moment too late and you could go from leading the pack to scraping at the back. Twenty-nine racers vie for position, and every last one can and will do whatever’s necessary. They’ll team up, boost, bump, and use the same tactics you use.
It’s a chaotic dance. Every racer has unique AI; it’s subtle, but there. They form their own rivalries as the Grand Prix drags on; there’s always one or two racers fighting for your spot in the rank, singling you out above all others. This wouldn’t be such a problem if you respawned after crashes, but you don’t; die and you start the race over, die five times and you start the season over. It’s an unforgiving system pushed by unforgiving opponents, and the tracks themselves are even less accommodating. Racing inside pipes, with no way to tell up from down. Racing outside pipes, where all it takes is a strong nudge to blow you away. Hairpin turns may have rails to keep you from falling or they may not. Some tracks are meant for pure speed, other tracks require a more methodical approach; knocking enemies out of position instead of simply taking it. You have a one lap to figure out what it takes. At best.
It’s insanity, and the soundtrack is a perfect complement. High-strung guitar wailing may be irritating (to me), but it fits the mood. The speed rises with the beats, the drums kick, the notes ascend, the music sounds like it could crash at any moment…just like the races. It’s the final tug that pulls you into the F-Zero X experience, that makes every race a thrill. The louder, the better.
I’d take this game over anything that’s out today. Not to say that the current market has a problem; games like Burnout and Outreach excel in every area. But the bulk of racing’s beauty comes with the speed, the impulses, and the passion; with these, F-Zero X has no equal. It is the fastest.
Title: Oh, show me the way to go home...
Posted: July 21, 2006 (01:37 PM)
...I'm tired and I want to go to bed...I had a little drink about an hour ago, and it went straight to my head...
Title: Wild Arms 4
Posted: July 16, 2006 (06:56 PM)
Wild Arms 4
As a small note, if I still had titles, I would have called this review 'Kids with Guns.'
Anyway, though it might seem that way from my last entry, I did not just write this post last night :/ Been on this for about a week, and I tried some stuff I haven't tried for a while with it. I also tried talking about the story and characters at the end, hope that works out.
Also, I apologize to VM, EmP, and DoI if the stuff I said yesterday was kinda wrong. <_>
MAJOR EDIT: Her name is 'Raquel', not 'Rachel' damn it!