Sorry... I've been distracted by... things...
On to Odin Sphere!
I actually finished Odin Sphere a few weeks ago and engaged in letting the deliciousness of it simmer for a while. My only major complaint, as noted before, is the lack of decent clothing on Odin's favorite people.
For a game that recycles the vast majority of its scenery and level design, it never got old. I ran around for hours on end without getting bored. Once I figured out how to make quick cash and turn over elixirs left and right, the game went very smoothly and let me get every part of the bonus ending material.
Does that mean the game was easy? Oh hell no! I got my butt whooped a lot before I learned how to attack properly. (I'm one of those 'run-in-and-kill-them-all' types.)
So what complaints do I have besides the lack of clothing on Velvet and Brigan?
* Battles slowed down when too much was happening on the screen.
This happened a LOT when fighting Odette. She summoned so many monsters that the frame rate slowed down to "Oh My God, Kill Me Now to End This Torture" levels.
* Saying Velvet is a prime contestant for American Idol: Pr0n edition does not make you a prude.
Not only could she not dress herself, she couldn't act with decorum at any point in time. Now, the poor thing has gone through massive psychological trauma (abandoning her mother to a gruesome death, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her grandfather, finding out her brother is a raving lunatic), but none of these are a reason to fall on all fours and beg someone to do something when you can beat them to death. And the Phozon gathering/release for her weapon is just wrong. (Or maybe my head is too far down in the gutter.)
Velvet aside, I really enjoyed the game and the plot intersection did not confuse at all. Stories wove around each other without ever getting in each other's way, which is a feet in and of itself. Atlus gets full marks. Though the dialog poured over you like soap opera bath water, it was never too cliche.
Lack of foul language and as much violence as Kingdom Hearts makes this a good story for the family to sit around and play.
Just don't let your daughters grow up to be Velvet.
Here is Sarah, as the Library Jedi, attacking the head of her department, Larry.
And here is me, as an Infernal from Iron Kingdoms. Check out the awesomeness of my two tone hair and nifty Halloween socks!
Sarah's costume took me a few days because the tabards were such a pain in the butt.
My costume took four hours. It's not exactly finished, but was good enough for Halloween. I need to adjust the 'corset' top so that it fits better. You can't see it in the picture, but the vest is embroidered and needs more work to be uniform. I also need a longer skirt, the 'armor' that goes over the purple sash, and the sigil that goes on right where the front of the costume opens a bit. Still, I'm happy with the current results. The next costume project is an 'authentic' Jedi costume for Sarah and a Jedi Librarian costume for myself.
Yes, I will have a lightsaber. Sarah is making it for me! :)
What is it with Odin and the mostly naked? He only likes people who need a decent pair of pants.
Two of his daughters fight for him, one till death, and the other to the edge of sanity. Which daughter does he love? Velvet. The one who hates him and wants to see him dead. She does not wear pants. In fact, she barely wears anything.
And then you have Lord Brigan. This tub of lard is a traitorous moron. So why does Odin keep him around? Is it that they are both deceitful peas in a pod? No! I submit that it is because Brigan doesn't wear pants. And I don't count the two dead wolves he wears for shoulder pads as clothing.
Odin's problems can be summed up very neatly: He is too distracted by naked people. If Odin said he wanted them oiled up for a battle royal (or maybe mud wrestling), I wouldn't be surprised. That's not a boss fight. It's a travesty!
For God's sake, someone put some clothing on these people!
I've posted on her before, but this one is a doozy:
Sarah is a scanner monkey for Digitization and Preservation. Her office address is in the Digital Resource Center. She works on huge projects that involve a lot of coding and programming. She spends her entire day in front of a massive computer screen. She was hired for her computing skills.
When the head of Digitization and Preservation asked for people to help out on a digital project, Sarah's supervisor recommended her.
Guess what the head of the department asked.
Keep in mind that the head of this department has seen Sarah do nothing but use a computer.
Guess what she asked!
Are you ready for this?
"Does Sarah know how to use a computer?"
Go ahead and read into that statement. The head of a computer heavy department is so computer illiterate, she doesn't actually know what a computer looks like. She has a laptop that she has never turned on and does not know how to use. She considers it a status item and won't requisition any for her staff, who desperately need them I might add, because they aren't good enough to have laptops.
We pray that Sarah will find a better job soon.
It's nice to know that people are still stopping by to read, even when I'm not posting.
When last we left, it was August and I had almost nothing to say. I still don't have much to say, but I have been busy. I finished two crocheted blankets, most of my Christmas shopping, learned to knit, and am working on a new coat.
I am in the middle of Odin Sphere. Which is totally awesome! I'll say something about it when I finish it. Don't avoid it because it's a true 2-D platformer. It rocks!
The composer who worked on Odin Sphere's score also did Vagrant Story, which is my friend Julia's fav game. Vagrant Story, for those who missed it, is a PSX game from the people who bring us Final Fantasy. The poor main character, Ashley, spends the entire game being screwed over mentally and emotionally. Think Cloud, but actually being tortured. This has caused a resurgence of Vagrant Story love in the house. We come home to Vagrant Story and wake up to Odin Sphere. It's all good.
I'm also playing Dawn of Sorrow for the 80th time. When I travel, I take the DS with me and I've been traveling a lot lately. I've been to the Stroudsmoor, which is awesome! If you want a great place to stay and really want to feel like you're in the middle of no where (but not actually), this is it.
I'm currently reading 'Mysterious Journey to the North Sea Part Two' by Kikuchi. Yes, I need my vampire hunter D love and Kikuchi never fails to provide in an overly fanboy way. The only writer I've ever seen who loved their own character that much is Anne Rice. She's gotten over Lestat in recent years, but a quick browse through any of her vampire novels will reveal a long time love affair with her own imagination.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. I just got tired of hearing about Lestat.
For those of you who are new, Old Grandma Hardcore is the blog of a kid named Timothy who likes to film his grandmother playing video games. She also reviews games and talks a lot about how the game play handles.
Watch out! She's got a mouth that would make a sailor blush.
Gamer's Movie Review of 1408.
Jump over to Rotten Tomatoes to check the score, read a few of the one line reviews and jump back.
A Fresh rating?
Sure. If you consider 70-79% a C for average.
I love classic, no gore, horror movies. The kind that made the genre that Saw and Hostel ride the back of. Being in a Silent Hill mood, I looked around for a good movie to fill the Silent Hill shaped whole in my brain until Origins comes out. While in a hotel room the night before my brother's wedding, I saw a trailer for 1408 and promptly had a nightmare. I'd found what I was looking for.
1408 introduces us to a ghost hunter who, after years of looking for some evidence of the afterlife, has become a cynical occult writer in need of a therapist and a few AA meetings. He needs a hotel to fill the last chapter of his latest book. And a postcard from the Dolphin hotel with "Don't Enter 1408" calligraphied on the back falls into his hands.
1408 (which adds up to the number 13) is the 13th room on the 13th floor of the hotel and in the words of Samuel L. Jackson, "It's a f--ing evil room."
I agreed... for about 30 minutes.
There was a very intense Silent Hill feel to the first 30 minutes of Cusack's stay in the room. After that, the movie continually and seriously dropped the ball at every opportunity. Instead of continuing the creepy vein, they went for explosions and cheap trick twists. The 'ghosts' looked like George Lucas was allowed to touch the original film, and the moving paintings reminded me of Halloween at Hogwarts. I only jumped once the entire time and it wasn't during the genuinely creepy crawl through the air ducts.
I drove home with my husband in the passenger seat coming up with a hundred ways that the movie could have been better.
The best part of the movie was the end when Cusack's character man's up and decides to fight fire with fire. Literally. It was tense and funny in a very creepy way.
I give it a weak three out of five.
Why three? Even with it's flaws, it still makes for a good cult flick.
I live in the wilds of PA and typically sees things like deer, bear, and the occasional mountain lion. Everyday, I go to work and help kids that don't remember what life before their cellphone was like. Many of them could tell you what a cow looks like, but sheep? Talk about a total freak out when they see the campus flocks.
Children today are very nature illiterate. It started with the rise of computers and the consumer/disposable society. Parents want to give their children they have the best. Unfortunately, that means less discipline and more toys. It means less siblings and more high end gadgets. It means less cheap camping trips and more expensive vacations.
In wanting to give them the best, we gave them the worst.
For example: The best man at my wedding, who is an Eagle Scout by the way, is dating a very nature illiterate young woman. She saw a deer and asked if it was going to attack her. *sigh*
Here is a comparison of their lives:
Summer Camping Trips
Grew up in Rural PA
Grew up in City
This girl thinks her boyfriend had a horrible childhood because he grew up in the middle of nowhere with a lot of brothers and sisters. It never occurs to her that his life is richer by far because he has a larger experience of the world and a large family support system. It's sad that the girl who grew up rich in money is so poor in worldliness.
Her parents, in attempting to give her the best, short changed her. A nature walk, complete with natural wildlife is only half a mile from her house. Yet she never knew it was there until her boyfriend found it. There's no sense of adventure in her. The idea that she might have to take a chance and risk something in the future terrifies her.
Many kids play video games because it simulates the adventure they need to have in order to grow both creatively and physically. Even on playgrounds, kids sit around with a device, rather than play with each other. The less family a person has, the less likely they are to experience the Great Outdoors. Siblings drag you outside if your parents don't kick you out into the sun first.
But solving nature illiteracy is easy.
Find the closest national, state, or local park.
Go there with a picnic lunch. (hike, bike, walk, skip, jump, somersault, etc.)
You could also:
Go to a Zoo.
Go to an Aquarium.
Help out your local boy and girl scout troops.
Sign your kids up for the local boy and girl scout troops.
Just turn off the electronics.
To help yourself and future generations become nature literate, start right now. Turn off your computer, walk outside, and hug a tree.
Now if you'll excuse me, there's an awesome little parklet behind the spiritual center that's calling my name.
Origins is comin' to town!
Or-i-gins is comn' --- to town!
The movie time snafu aside, my itinerary is ready for Origins!
Now for the basic preparations:
Grocery List (I learned my lesson last year: Bring Food.)
Beaded Lanyards (I am female after all.)
Costume Prep (I didn't manage this last year so I'm not going to feel bad if I blow it this year.)
I cannot live without:
The creepy, creepy original! I've played this game, including all side quests, somewhere around 20 to 30 times. If I'm bored, and want to play a game, Shadow Hearts goes in the PS2 and I don't look back. Sometimes I'll only play the first half of the game. Sometimes I'll go back months later and play the rest. It doesn't matter. Shadow Hearts is my fall back for any video game down time.
Shadow of the Colossus
I haven't played this game into oblivion, but you really can't. You have to wait for it and let the need to play sneak up on you. If I didn't have this game, even when not interested in playing, I would cry. How much do I love SotC? I have a coat, necklace, and rubber stamp with the weak spot sigil on them. That's right: a rubber stamp. My mail goes out in Colossus Style.
Any of them. Seriously. Occasionally I get this urge to kill vampires and zombies with nothing but a leather skirt and a whip with a vampire's soul in it. Or maybe just the Coat of Pimping (+2) and the Claimh Solais. Anyway, when I get into a Dracula killing mood, any console becomes my friend and the DS lets me have my Castlevania anywhere, including conferences for work. ;)
What games can you not live without?
Many blogs and news agencies have been noticing that bees have been dying off left and right without warning. A few have written that genetically modified corn may be the cause.
They hit the mark.
Monsanto, the company that brought us Agent Orange among other horrors, has created a genetically modified corn crop called Triple Hybrid GM. The corn grows its own internal pesticides, which kill bees. Genetically modified crops must have a 'stop gene' encoded into them. This gene keeps the pollen of modified plants from poleenating unmodified plants. Triple Hybrid GM doesn't seem to have this insurance measure.
In Germany, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy, bees are dying at an unprecedented rate. Bees are starting to die in the US as well. Bees pollinate our crops, and provide us an important food source. Without bees, are food supply dies.
And you thought Pentex was made up.
News From Underground
Monsanto's GM shows Liver and Kidney Toxicity
Colony Collapse Disorder
Everyone, GROW UP!
So we have a commercial about a young gamer's bad eating habits. Who cares? The commercial makes a good point. Childhood obesity is a major problem. Teaching kids to eat properly is important to having a long and healthy life.
Don't scream about DDR groups. DDR is only ONE game and not everyone likes it.
We have bigger fish to fry in the game industry:
- Unnecessary video game legislation
- Stereotyping (which the commercial is not)
- Jack Thompson
Get over it.
Created by Logitech for some nonsense fun.
The Slim Jim comercials taken to another level.
The Adventures of Fancy Pants Man
An interesting take on games like Sonic.
Flight of the Hamster
Hamster flinging. What? You need more of an explanation?
Thank you Game Politics!
If you thought writing calculations to describe three-dimensional objects in math class was hard, consider doing the same for one with 248 dimensions.
Mathematicians call such an object E8 (pronounced "e eight"), a symmetrical structure whose mathematical calculation has long been considered an unsolvable problem. Yet an international team of math whizzes cracked E8's symmetrical code in a large-scale computing project, which produced about 60 gigabytes of data. If they were to show their handiwork on paper, the written equation would cover an area the size of Manhattan.
David Vogan, a professor in MIT's Department of Mathematics and member of the international research team, presented the work Monday on MIT's campus. His talk was called "The Character Table for E8, or How We Wrote Down a 453,060 x 453,060 Matrix and Found Happiness."
Project leaders said that the work is important for several reasons. First, it brought together 18 math professors who typically work alone, in a landmark project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Second, that large-scale computing factored heavily into solving the equation means that other difficult and long-standing math problems could be understood this way. And the work might lead to new discoveries in mathematics and physics.
"Understanding and classifying the representations of E8 …has been critical to understanding phenomena in many different areas of mathematics and science including algebra, geometry, number theory, physics and chemistry. This project will be invaluable for future mathematicians and scientists," said Peter Sarnak, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University who was not involved with the work.
E8 was discovered in 1887 and it's an example of a Lie (pronounced "Lee") group. The 19th-century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie invented Lie groups as a way to study the symmetry of inherently symmetrical objects like the sphere. With its 248 dimensions, E8 is the largest of the higher-dimension Lie groups. Under a project called Atlas, mathematicians are trying to determine the unitary representations (or symmetries of a quantum mechanical system) of all the Lie groups.
"There are lots of ways that E8 appears in abstract mathematics, and it's going to be fun to try to find interpretations of our work in some of those appearances," said Vogan. "The uniqueness of E8 makes me hope that it should have a role to play in theoretical physics as well. So far the work in that direction is pretty speculative, but I'll stay hopeful."
Article by Colin Campbell.
A: No. In fact, the two rating systems have very different goals. TIGRS can never achieve the level of respectability or credibility that the ESRB™ ratings have. This lies in the fact that the TIGRS ratings are unregulated, whereas ESRB™ ratings are governed by an external body. If you want an industry recognized rating on your game, then you should contact the ESRB™ about a rating. If you cannot afford an ESRB™ rating or choose not to use one for ethical reasons, then you are welcome to self-rate with TIGRS.
Let's add some unregulated ratings to games!
W00t! What a great idea!
Video games aren't just for the kids anymore.
No. Really. I missed that. I can think of several games that were made for kids, but honestly, the bulk of the industry is geared toward adult gamers who want good games. I love the assertion that the consoles are being bought by 'Nintendads' for their kids.
We buy the consoles for ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, the kids will be allowed play time. Video gamers aren't interested, for the most part, in introducing others to play. Occasionally, we stumble on a game that somebody we know must play. But not that often. We play video games with other, previously introduced, gamers and leave it at that.
With all the uproar about violence in games, we often forget who buys the games in the first place. While certain retailers are selling games they shouldn't to children, we have to ask why a child (someone under the age of eighteen) might want to play a video game that is not meant for them:
- Control Over Reality - Kids will choose a game that makes them feel, briefly, like they have control over their lives. Kids in bad neighborhoods play Grand Theft Auto. Kids who have underdeveloped social skills play RPGs. Kids who don't do well in math play platforms (where math doesn't seem like such a big deal).
- Media Coverage - ESPN's Pardon the Interruption asked which was worse: Media violence or Grand Theft Auto. After a scathing rant about GTA, my cousin turns to his mother and says, "Can I have that game?" The more you bitch about something being forbidden, the more kids want it. (By the way, my cousin got the game for Christmas.)
- All their friends have it.
- Mom and Dad said NO.
The only thing this article points out is that the video game set is much older than Capitol Hill likes to imagine. With people like Jack Thompson running around, trying to convince the world that video games produce killers, it's no wonder that video games are going to become a platform issue next election. (Rather than important things like taxes, the deficit, or, I don't know, THE WAR.) Even though the statistics show that the ESRB works, and works well, the government still wants it overhauled. Even though the biggest seller of video games (Wal*Mart) has a perfect track record with keeping M-rated games out of the hands of minors, people are still griping.
It's time to step back.
Parents! Parent your kids. Stop letting (or making) someone else do it for you.
Kids! That game is not going to be popular once you're old enough to play it. It just isn't that cool anyway. Get a copy of Rogue Galaxy and shut up.
Dammit. Now I have to buy a PS3.
I'm still waiting till the last minute.
urge to buy console rising....
A survival/horror game that gives you the up close and personal fighting of we see in games like Devil May Cry while combining the creepy aspects of games like Silent Hill.
I can't wait to make Dave play it for me.
1Up on Harker
Creator's Concept Interview
PS3 Game Zone
And last, but not least...
The violent trailer.
And I do mean violent. Cait, you probably don't want to look at it.
The point is, in gaming, we have our own list of people who are not real, and yet, have influenced us heavily. Here's a list of the top five, though they are in no particular order.
1. Mario (Super Mario Brothers)
Momma-Mia! Who doesn't love this little pisan and his brother, Luigi? Jumping, bouncing, kicking, flapping, flying, and wearing a raccoon suit, Mario has been with us as long as many of my readers have lived.
2. Link (Legend of Zelda)
The first epic hero on an epic quest, Link has seen reincarnation after reincarnation and everytime he has made a 5 on the Wolverine Scale, which is no mean feat. As the first group of gamer girls and boys collectively swooned over this hunk-a-hunk a burnin' heroeness, a star was born; one of the two that would carry Nintendo into the future.
3. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
With both sets of bazookas blazing, Lara Croft came out of no where to capture the imaginations, and libidos, of gamers every where.
4. Pac-Man (Pac-Man)
His legend endures! Though we are long passed the time when we had to pay to play the little yellow guy, we still do with millions of hits a year to sites that host him. He's showed up in webcomics and on super highways. And all of us know him by name.
5. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7)
Say what you want about this bad, bad pretty boy, Sephy's gotten under our collective skin and won't get out. Whether impossible to beat or impossibly easy, he has spawned his own sort of mythos and run amok with it. With references to him everywhere, even if just in passing, we can't get rid of him.
Better hand-eye coordination...
Precision in technique...
Why are they so surprised?
Of course, I have issues with this:
A 2004 survey by Gentile found 94 percent of U.S. adolescents play video games for an average of nine hours a week. Game-playing has been linked to aggressiveness, poor school grades and can become a substitute for exercise.
Game playing is linked to agressiveness for only the first fifteen minutes after playing because of the associated adrenaline rush. Games that give you this rush, such as Doom and Halo, have large, tight knit communities who play together and pal around at competitions and conventions. It's a well known fact that friends and loved ones have closer relations after being situations that raise adrenaline.
Excessive game playing has been linked to poor grades, yes, but regular game play has been linked to better math and cognitive skills leading to better grades in math and science. Hell, I didn't get Algebra at all until after I started gaming.
And in our culture, anything is a substitute for exercise. Have a gamer kid? Get them Dance Dance Revolution. Look at that! Weight problems in gaming is solved!
Thanks to GamePolitics for this one.
I have a friend named Nancy.
What makes her feel violent? Parent Teacher conferences.
What relieves those violent feelings and lets her relax? GTA: Vice City.
Trust me, saying video game violence leads to real violence misses the point. I don't feel violent after playing a video game and neither does anyone else after playing a video game. Sure, you get a surge of adrenaline, but you also get the same surge after riding a roller coaster. Do roller coasters lead to violence? Of course not.
Just like the people who blamed their actions on music, today's blaming of video games needs to be recognized for what it is: refusal to take responsibility for your own actions.
I have only one complaint: They didn't back check their script for inconsistencies.
After saying that the demons could not walk on hallowed earth, they show Dark Heart assaulting the priest keeping the contract safe in his church. The scene was cool, but really should have been prefaced with a reason as to why Dark Heart could walk on hallowed ground. It could have been as simple as two words to the priest protecting the secret.
Also, after showing that Johnny had to be sewed up after being injured his first night out, he didn't need sewing up after taking a couple hundred rounds from the police the next time out.
Don't worry if you haven't seen it, I haven't spoiled a blessed thing. ;)
Cactrot, dressed as Squall, performs Final Fantasy arrangements for the piano. Load and listen. When your mom complains you aren't getting any culture, tell her you're listening to fine classical music... which you are.
This is just ridiculous. The ads were up for two weeks before they were noticed and no one placed a 911 call over it. I smell an election coming up. The kind where someone is trying to get re-elected by 'showing' the public that they are doing their 'job.'
The Wolverine Scale is 1 through 5, with Wolverine being a 6. This scale does not rate coolness, though Wolverine is very cool. It only rates according to how bad ass the person is. No one other than Wolverine can have a rating higher than five. Using the examples below, we can ascertain how bad ass a person is, based on Wolverine.
The Wolverine Scale
1. Gordon Freeman (Yeah, he's awesome, but even I wear contacts.)
2. Sephiroth (I love the man, but he was more pretty than Bad Ass.)
3. Albel Nox, Chuck Norris
4. Dante, Captain America (Say what you want, this dude is Bad Ass.)
5. Link, Bruce Lee, Yuri (of Shadow Hearts), Samuel Jackson
Ask anyone who plays Dance Dance Revolution. Our household lost a total of 15 pounds in the first month we started playing.
But our girth really isn't anything to scoff at. The Wii mote goes a long way to fighting the good fight for healthy living. But since we are a visually stimulated people, here is a visual list:
What 200 Calories Looks Like
Boy, you can get a whole lot of good eating in for very little calorie intake. Enjoy!
The Call of Cthulhu
Pick up a copy and enjoy. It's won several awards and the end is genuinely scary!