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zippdementia I'm best known for my extensive work in the fields of this and that. I tend to be better at that, though I have more fun with this.

I'm an odd jobber with an even personality who isn't afraid to roll with the punches but prefers to dodge them when able.

Title: so... new Deus EX? Thoughts?
Posted: June 09, 2010 (01:21 AM)
For those that don't know, three main points:

1) not by the original makers

2) visuals done by Square Enix

3) it's a prequel

The trailer is here

My brief thoughts on each of those points...

1) I'm not really that upset by this. I'm not someone who believes that the original creator of a series also has the best idea of what to do with it. Deus Ex 2 is a good example of this.
2) This I'm excited about. SE has recently proven to me that the one thing they continually excell at is graphics and visual design. If SE did more graphics and less story, I think the world would be a better place.

3) This bothers me a little bit. It makes sense because Deus Ex 2 didn't leave any room for exploration post-series and, while a game set in between the two would've been cool, I can totally understand anyone wanting to get the hell away from the cumbersome plot that became the Deus Ex Duology.

Thus a prequel. Okay. I'm cool with that.

However, prequels made ten years after their originals have the major problem of always feeling like they take place in a world that is more advanced and alive than that of the later games. For instance, I'm sure you are going to be able to do incredibly bad-ass things in the prequel. Then, if you go back and play Deus Ex, it's going to feel clunky as hell and you'll wonder... why did they develop nano-technology if it sucks this much?

Eh, but we can't hold ourselves to the technical short comings of our predecessors. I've gone back recently and replayed Deus Ex. A retrospective review coming sometime this month, but here's a preview for the purposes of this discussion...

Deus Ex is not the bundle of innovation and awesomeness that we once took it for. In fact, I'm not sure it was ever that innovating... it just took itself more seriously than other FPS games of the time. I guess that was an innovation, much like Half Life taking the doom model seriously. But the whole "choices everywhere" thing?

The cake is a lie. There were no choices. There was "kill guard or stun guard and watch him go down with the same animation only with unconcious written above his head." There was "sneak through the vents and take six hours crawling around trying not to get spotted" or "shoot everyone and be done with the level in 3 minutes." As for plot choices, there were none outside of a fairly surface-level decision as to whether or not to save your brother.

Incidentally, that choice is one of the most obscurred in the game, with it not being clear to first time gamers exactly how to save your brother.

Point is, Deus Ex had its place in time, but that time has long since passed with little reason to revisit it. I'm going to be happy to see the series re-envisioned.
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Title: Starcraft (the first one) can consume your life
Posted: June 08, 2010 (09:28 PM)
I picked up a copy of this game so I could play it for the first time in 6 years. Goddamn it is a consuming game. With just the single player I've been spending hours a day on it. I feel drained. Amazingly how well this has held up.
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Title: Don't fuck with me
Posted: June 03, 2010 (03:51 PM)
Cause I'll eat you.

(This is a picture of me being a zombie extra in a local film. This was the day I got the cops called on me when I went to use the bathroom at a Burger King... in full makeup)
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Title: To True
Posted: June 02, 2010 (06:56 PM)
Having worked with a publishing firm in the past I can tell you that most often books get rejected for technical reasons and not because the book is actually terrible.

Seriously, though, go read stories of Vonnegut or Twain or Hemingway's publishing history... every great writer has faced rejection.

Just keep on trying! I'll be the first to put down money for a copy of your book when it's released!

Title: What do you think I'll give God of War III?
Posted: June 02, 2010 (01:40 AM)
I'm putting out a review for it tomorrow. I played it when it was fresh off the Blu-Ray Burner, but it's taken me a long time to put the proper words to it.

So what do you think I'll be giving it? I bet people here have got me pretty pegged...
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Title: Dennis Hopper passes away
Posted: May 30, 2010 (06:38 PM)
Just wondering if anyone had thoughts on this.

For my money, Hopper was by no means a favourite actor of mine, nor (from what I've heard) a great person to be around, but he did embody the value's of an entire period of history (namely, the mid-sixties transition into the 70s) that was probably best expressed in Easy Rider.

I suppose it also is worth mentioning that he was Koopa in the Mario Brothers. Yeah.

Anyway, his passing puts in to mind all the other talent that will pass away within the next decade or two, such as Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford and J. Fonda. That's going to be a little trippy and, despite my lack of love for Hopper films, his death has made me a little sad and nostalgic for an era of people that no longer have relevance to us.

I'm sure twenty-thirty year olds of the future will feel similarly when Brad Pitt and Johny Depp pass away.
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Title: Catching up with Lost
Posted: May 26, 2010 (10:50 AM)
I should probably do that one of these days. The first disc of Season 5 has been sitting on my desk for four months.
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Title: Evangelion Anew
Posted: May 20, 2010 (03:11 PM)
So I just watched, last night, the first movie of the new Evangelion series. New is a relative term... it's really the same series that's been reanimated in many places, revoiced, and reworked in terms of plot and also the addition of new scenes.

The overall impression is good, but good with a dash of nervousness. Explanations follow.

First of all, it's Evangelion. That right there puts it above most anime as Evangelion is a show that does make one think and gets into some rather heavy character interactions, especially within the "family unit" that so pervades Japanese culture.

However, I wonder if the new version doesn't occasionally overdo it. In the old show, it took some time to get to know the characters. Internal monologue didn't really show up until half way through the show and it was only then that you started to see how much the characters had become obsessed with their problems. It turned what had once seemed like a friendly, if occasionally dark, mecha show into something more serious. It pulled the rug out from under viewers. We weren't prepared for how heavy it would quickly become.

In this version, the heaviness is there from the start. Shinji has monolouges within the first hour which paint him to hate his father and to think of himself as worthless. This isn't helped by the fact that many of the characters are introduced more quickly and many of the humourous scenes have been cut. It used to be that we saw two sides to characters like Misato: in fairly equal servings we would get a flirtatious, college-girl, aspect... and then also a serious, dedicated, army officer aspect. The two together gave us a well rounded character who we associated and laughed with, and became uncomfortable around in her more serious moments.

In the new show, everyone is much more serious from the start. While it fits well with characters like Gendo and Rei, who were pretty soulless anyway, it doesn't work as well for Misato or Shinji, whom we really became close to quickly in the old show. They are harder to relate to, now.

I also cringed a bit at some of the plot exposition that occurred and nearly turned the movie off altogether when Lillith showed up in the last half hour. Misato doesn't only know about Lillith in this version, she shows it to Shinji! I'm not sure that this is a good idea AT ALL as the mystery of Lillith and "something lurking in NERV's basment" was one of the more disturbing aspects of the original show. Similarly, showing it to Shinji gives him more knowledge than he needs and he doesn't do anything with it. In fact, his lack of caring about the monster seems out of place and paints the scene as general exposition to better explain the plot to the audience.

Introducing Kaoru at the end of the movie, on the other hand, was eerie and a good a decision that complicates the plot in interesting ways.

I have only seen the first film at this point and will be continuing on to the second. That's when Asuka and Kaji get introduced and that will decide a lot for me as far as how successful this remix has been. Both of these characters absolutely require the mix of humour, sex, and darkness to make them work. If they are given this more subtle treatment, it will actually make the first film's over-seriousness work well, because it will be a wonderful counterbalance showcasing just how f-ed up everyone at NERV is.

On the other hand, if they are instantly shown to be disturbed individuals (which they are, but it doesn't need to come out yet!) it will just make the whole thing feel ponderous and the audience will never connect with them in the same way as they did in the originals.

There's also a chance here to make the Lillith thing make sense, if Lillith is shown to no longer be the central NERV mystery. Some great mystery will have to take its place to make it work, but I wouldn't be against that. The Lillith thing was, honestly, always a little heavy-handed for me, even in the original.

Oh, one more thing that can't be ignored is how beautiful the animation is. Everything's been cleared up for the blu-ray version and looks BRILLIANT in HD. Crisp, clean, and smoothly coloured. Just beautiful. Oddly enough, much of the music has been removed from the show, which overall works well in adding a more serious tone to everything and making some new sounds, like the new screams of the angels, particularly jarring.
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Title: Lessons learned today
Posted: May 19, 2010 (07:29 PM)
You cannot think on an empty stomache. Or rather, you cannot think rationally on an empty stomache. Also, thinking makes one hungrier than any other activity.

Conclusion: Intellectuals are all in danger of becoming fat.
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Title: Batman and Earthbound?
Posted: May 15, 2010 (11:33 PM)
Two bits of good news came my way today. First of all, it looks like Earthbound is slated for a European virtual console release which may MAY mean that Nintendo is preparing to herald an international release of Mother 1+2 and MAYBE Mother 3.

Also, batman is finally given a release date with confirmation that it will end the series definitively:

IMDB listing
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Title: So close... but so far away...
Posted: May 13, 2010 (11:13 PM)
I finally found a ROM that would play Mother 3 (VBA). But now it won't save games or even game states.

Not a problem! Found a way to fix it. Just have to drop a Mother 3 save state into the VBA save folder and it should be fixed!

But I can't do anything to the VBA folder... it says it's read only... which explains a lot about why I can't save, actually.

I think I'm going to cry.
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Title: the worst spoilers I can think of
Posted: May 11, 2010 (10:44 PM)
Just off the top of my head...

the ending of sixth sense
This one holds a special place in my heart because it was actually spoiled for me two thirds of the way through the film by my sister, who poked her head in the room and casually announced the ending. She did it in an expertly subtle way so I couldn't bitch at her later, but I won't repeat it here in case someone hasn't seen the film.

Luke, I am your father
It's not really relevant anymore since I think it has seeped so much into popular culture that people are BORN knowing this, but imagine the time when it came out? I often wish I didn't know this little fact, so that I could see if it actually is as surprising as Mark Hammill makes it look.

Those who have played it know what I'm talking about. I thought this was irrelevant, too, until I met a girl last year who had never played it before and who was telling us excitedly and in tears all about... you know...

Anything to do with the Song of Ice and Fire series
While we would all like to have the release date of book five spoiled (SPOILER: it's never coming out), pretty much every chapter of this not-short series is a new twist in the path that makes it very difficult to talk about with people who are reading it... as they will undoubtedly talk about it very excitedly at every chance they get and about how this character represents this and that when you know it all changes next chapter... and the chapter after that... and so on...

The Origami Killer
You knew it would sneak on here. Despite what some people might think about this and that aspect of the game, the one thing EVERYONE agrees on is that the mystery of the Origami Killer's identity is the defining moment of the game and a great moment all around.

Anything to do with Lost
Okay, so it's a love or hate it kind of show. But if you love it, it absolutely sucks to know ANYTHING about it. This is a show that is built on false build ups and ridiculous cliff hangers. To take that away reveals its obtuse suckitude. And that's not nice to do to fans.

Stupid Spoilers
(spoilers that just suck and no one should care if they know them... I'll be nice and warn you... I'm totally gonna spoil these)

The ending of Knowing
The world is ending and it's all because of... aliens?! Children loving aliens?! What the fuck?! What would've been great as an X-Files movie ends up being a really shitty and obtuse conclusion to a Nicholas Cage film. At least he, and everyone else, burns to death at the end.

Jill Valentine isn't dead

Cid betrays you in FFXIII
I think his betrayal is his third line of dialogue in the game. Seriously. There is such a thing as build-up, Square.
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Title: Slaughter the World
Posted: May 10, 2010 (09:20 PM)
Not sure if anyone here ever reads Looking for Group, which is quite funny, but they did this a few years back and I just remembered it existed:

Disney Parody=awesome
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Title: Holy Awesome, Badman!
Posted: May 09, 2010 (10:20 PM)
What an awesome game. I was a bit worried at first because I had no idea what was going on, but then it all clicked and now it's an incredible experience. Review coming in a couple of days... I'm shooting for Tuesday, since Wednesdays I'm so busy that I don't exist.
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Title: Cameron Diaz's makeup artist
Posted: May 06, 2010 (10:05 AM)
The makeup artist for Cameron Diaz drove up from LA to work on our film. You know what's funny... I don't think she's as good as the home-brew Portland artist we used for the last scenes. Still, it was pretty cool to meet her and hear "Diaz" stories. And it was nice that she wanted to work on our film. A lot of this business is political. Hard to tell from a resume how good someone might be.
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Title: Fairview Training Center Pictures
Posted: May 06, 2010 (01:42 AM)
OK, we wrapped shooting today. Jump to the last few pages of the album to see the Shanghai Tunnels and The Center for the Feeble Minded. Crazy pics of those places and you'll get a feel for how the movie really looks!

Population 2 pictures

Me, at the abandoned insane asylum, taking a break from shooting to scout the weather:

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Title: Does anyone have a Wii? I need a moment of support.
Posted: May 04, 2010 (06:30 PM)
Hey guys. So I got Metroid Prime Trilogy (a story and a half on its own, as the game is out of print and went that way ridiculously fast... no one bought it cause... I don't know... they are stupid?) and I'm setting up the Wii.

It's been so long since I last played a Wii that I can't recall if there's any sounds I should be (or shouldn't be) hearing. Can someone who has a wii run over this quick check list for me?

- fan is dead silent: this seems to jog with my memory, I don't recall the Wii having a loud fan. Anyone want to confirm this?

- disc reader is audible when playing a game, though not over the sound of the TV generally: this one I don't recall so much... I can't remember if the disc reader always made an audible spinning sound or if that might be a case of dust. Anyone have a Wii that can tell me whether they hear their spinner?

Those are the two things I wanted to check out. Otherwise, games are playing fine and aren't ejecting dusty (which is a great sign). I blew some dust out of the back and vaccuumed the rest (accidentally got a little freon wetness in there, but I don't think it's a problem).

I appreciate the help! This will help me make sure I haven't missed anything and that dust hasn't done any damage to the system. Especially after the trouble I went through getting the Prime Trilogy (not the mention the cost) I don't want to risk the disc in a dust scratch or burn out.

Thanks again!
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Title: Pictures from the film set (amazing photography)
Posted: May 04, 2010 (12:29 AM)
I know I promised pictures and stories... stories are still coming, but below is a link to some pictures of the production!

It's been really crazy, in a good way. We laugh a lot and everyone gets along very well. The locations are incredible and the talent is absolutely untouchable.

The photographer is AH-MAZING! He's absolutely one of the best photographers in Portland. I'm sending his website, too, so you can check out his ridiculous work. Stunning photography and such a nice guy. He's volunteering his time to the project because he believes, like everyone working on this, that it's going somewhere big.

We're shooting for the Oscars. No joke. We think we can make it. More on that as it develops. And if not... we'll still have an excellent film on our hands! I'm proud to have written the concept for it and honored that so many people are working so hard to bring it to the screen.

Enjoy the pics! If you know anyone who you think would be interested in seeing the film, please feel free to pass the links along!

Population 2 pictures

Levy Moroshan (photographer)
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Title: Revitalizing a Wii
Posted: May 02, 2010 (02:43 PM)
Well, I think I may break down and get a Wii game for the first time in two years. Most of you know that I got rid of my Wii when I left Eugene, which was a little over two years ago (actually, it's almost been three, now I think about it...). However, my sister has a Wii that she NEVER uses. It sits on a shelf, gathering dust.

Why, you ask, after all this time would I go back to the Wii?

Metroid. I fucking love Metroid. Every single game, except for the DS versions which give me headaches and make my fingers scream.

But the Prime series is one of the greatest trilogies to ever hit video game market and Super Metroid is one of the best games I've ever played, hands down. When the game was rereleased on Virtual Console, I was sorely tempted (I still have my old copy, but... you know... it's a hassle to pull out the old SNES and make it happen). Then they released the Prime Trilogy and somehow I still managed to hold out, despite my heart telling me "I want it, I want it, I want it."

But no longer. With the new game due sometime this year, I can no longer ignore my cravings. I must play the Wii.

So, my question is... what's the best way to get the system dust free? A blower-vacuum one-two punch? It's been almost a year and a half since this thing has been turned on. I had a bad experience when I turned on my PS2 a couple weeks ago after a lengthy time away, I'm a bit concerned that the sitting has done some damage to the Wii system and am seeking the knowledge of those who are more technically oriented than me to help alleviate (or confirm) my fears.

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Title: Third day of shooting
Posted: April 28, 2010 (01:18 PM)
Well, 5:30am-12:30am the first day, 12:30pm-2:30am the second day. It's all been very exciting so far and we have some amazing footage and photos of the making of this film (not to mention the incredible footage of the film itself).

I'm not on set today, sadly. The site is amazing, being set up in the countryside and being of Frank Lloyd Wright design. The cast and crew are unbelievable. I'm missing them already.

Today I've got class and my social work to attend to, though. I'm back on set Friday, but not all day. My next full day, I believe, is Monday, which is at the center for the Feeble Minded.
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Title: Class definitely affects opportunity
Posted: April 25, 2010 (02:14 PM)
One of the things I study for my degree in Education is how class affects the distribution of power and knowledge in society. This sounds like pretty basic stuff to most, but I'm always shocked by how innocently people refuse to get it.

For instance, this post from a fellow student earlier today. It seems good, at first:

Bureaucracy makes education a cumbersome machine rather than a fluid ever changing process. This is what the masses- aka the majority of people- are subjected to. This slow bureaucracy creates lack of creativity and there is no freedom to act. Then people just theorize how things should and could be, while people live stressed out lives (and stress creates freeked out people!)

... if a little oddly spelled. But then she posts her "point:"

There are fewer and fewer opportunities for high paid garment workers or any quality artistic endeavor (people who did not go to formal school). I blame this on the high level of government involvement, expense and red tape. People are being micromanaged rather than encouraged to flourish and innovate.

Okay, I mean... the argument that government should stay out of our lives has lost a lot of power for me over the years. Government may not be doing the best work here in America, but this argument of removing it is never meant to help the people. This student isn't so much against No Child Left Behind and its ineffective "solution" to schooling. She's against government safety nets, feeling that people should pull themselves up by their boot straps and make better lives for themselves. She is revealing a belief that class is just a dirty word used to separate people who are really equal.

She also posted this snippet, which really illustrates her naivete:

When I was little my family was not "educated" yet I was surrounded by many skills, interests, and abilities. I learned how to research and ask questions when I was very small. I read and read, preferably non-fiction. My fiction had to be based on facts, real life stories. I learned how to play the piano because there was a piano, there was music, and people played it. Then I asked to take lessons and I got to. It is our environment that we live in that can provide the most opportunity. (online communication, retrieved April 25th, 2010).

Whatís critical here is that the student mentions ďit is our environment that we live in that can provide the most opportunity.Ē This is absolutely true. But she has failed to ask herself why this environment existed for her and to recognize that it might not exist for everyone. In fact, it exists for only a relatively small percentage of the population.

Kids in the projects donít have pianos that they can develop an interest for music on. They donít have parents who have time to motivate, or money to foster, this interest. They donít have the cultural capital to create this situation in which learning is encouraged and sought. They donít have their basic medical needs addressed, like Richard Rothstein (2008) describes when he says ďpoor children have twice the average rate of severe vision impairment... resulting from mothersí poor medical care and nutritionĒ (p. 371).

Not everyone can just "rise above" their social class, pulling themselves up by their boot-straps. Being lower middle class is one thing. Not having parents to come home to or proper shelter or the ability to solve basic medical problems is an entirely different kind of hurtle, one that many children are facing every day. And, no, it isn't entirely the parent's faults. Certainly it isn't because they didn't "buck up" and work harder for their children. It is because of gross inequalities in the system that these familial situations exist.

Class isn't just a dirty word. It exists. This isnít a matter of being self-motivated. This is, as the student ironically states, a matter of environment and circumstances. Itís difficult to learn the piano when you canít see.
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Title: Sakura Wars
Posted: April 19, 2010 (03:31 AM)
Almost done with the game. A review will be posted in the production room tomorrow.

It's an interesting game, so I don't want to give too much away, but I'm leaning towards an 8. I enjoyed myself way more then I expected to.
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Title: To HMD
Posted: April 18, 2010 (01:47 PM)
Ever since you posted that "Lie" song of Lovatto's on your blog, I've been listening to it at least twice a day.

Don't be looking for my blog to feature her pictures everywhere any time, soon, but thanks for the recommendation!

I like the song's mix of a poppy, jazz/bebop, feel. It borders, with the phrasing, on light funk, but that's a bit of a stretch for anyone who knows anything about music.

If you know of any other songs that have this kind of swing to them, let me know.
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Title: Got AIM back up and running
Posted: April 15, 2010 (02:54 PM)
It's been years, but I finally got AIM up again. My name is jonmoontribe. Add me if you want to chat outside of Honest Gamer forums and blogs.
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Title: X-Com: The FPS?
Posted: April 14, 2010 (01:23 PM)
"X-COM: the FPS"

I'd love to get some opinions on this.
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