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Malik (3/14/11)

This was a pretty dull weekend for myself. I was aiming to play some more Dragon Quest VI, but just couldn't find the time or the energy. Instead, I did play a bit of Color Cross, and handle some more real world of chores.

While I started off really enjoying Color Cross, I think I'm seeing now that the later levels in each theme/subject/world are somewhat annoying. That's a nice way to say the later stages are pains in the ass. It's like the later stages are all based around too many colors being in too small of chunks.

This would be bad on its own, but it gets worse when you have a lot of different colors that don't seem to work well in the game. When you clear a row or column, the number hints turn from the color of the blocks you're filling in to grey. Not too bad of a feature to help you know when you're done without having to make a lot of mental notes to yourself. At least that's the idea. It isn't so good when the color you're filling in is the same exact shade of grey that the hints turn when you've cleared them. It's not that much fun to see that you finished a row but the hints change from grey to grey...not even a different shade.

This, however, is nothing compared to when you have two similar colors that show up to be the same on the DS screen on the same puzzle. If you have, for example, black, a very dark blue, and a very deep grey in one puzzle, you end up with a lot of problems on counting how many blocks you've used from each color choice. While the game offers a way to convert the background color from blue to green, so you don't confuse a blue unfilled square with a blue you've filled in, it would be nice to have a similar feature to turn your current color or all other colors not currently selected to a different temporary choice to help alleviate the color palette limitations of the DS screen.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the entire idea behind Color Cross. Picross style games are limited in the US, and it's good to have this title. Still, it's obvious that the game designers must have skipped some of the basic QA aspects of the game if they let some of these annoyances slip.


Malik (3/16/11)

I'm sad to see the MLS season start with the Sounders FC in last place. However, when you have the first game of the season with LA versus Seattle, it doesn't matter that the game is in Seattle. The Sounders are a team that will make the post-season once again this year, assuming injuries are not a major factor...but LA will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. This was the team with the best record in 2010 and that will not change anytime this year (or at least their winning ways will not change).

Still, Seattle put up a solid attack despite playing in weather that seems unfit for a sport played mostly during dry months. The field was wet, and probably pretty damned slick. This made for a low scoring game with less action than one would expect from two amazing powerhouse teams like LA and Seattle. Still, if it's only a 0-1 defeat against a team that beat Seattle, in Seattle, 0-4 last season, I can live with that result.

I just hope whatever secretive crap went on between the Sounders organization and Nkufo doesn't repeat in the future anymore. I don't want another case like last year with Ljundberg to make a mess of the season. It's not good for the team, and it's not good for the league in general to have any sort of prima donna behavior issues between a player of high caliber and a team. It's sad to see Nkufo go, since he played like a man possessed at times (like with his hat trick), but if he cannot work in the organization than it's better to see the situation end before turning into some mess like last season saw.

On a different note, Internet Explorer 9 is out now. I have not tried it. I'm a bit afraid of the thought. However, despite loving Chrome, I do use IE8. It's not a choice I love as much as it's a case that some web pages work better in IE than Chrome or Firefox, and some web pages just don't work at all with Chrome or Firefox (like my work employee web sites). Due to this, with a touch of me being lazy from time to time, IE8 has a home on my PC.

While I dread adding another security leak on my PC, which is how I think of IE upgrades, I am tempted to try out IE9. I don't like the look of the streamlined interface, I don't like how new Microsoft upgrades on their software seem to become more and more vulnerable and less useful for intermediate or advanced users, and I don't like the way IE9 has been reviewed online...but IE8 is my least favorite web browser I've used. It's less useful than IE7 was (which I would get, but downgrading from IE8 to IE7 on Windows 7 is a pain in the ass not worth the effort). However, IE8 has the largest memory leak issues I've seen with a software application that should not be a resource hog. If I open Gmail in IE8, on my PC that can run Fallout: New Vegas at max settings, and leave the window open for about 24 hours, I will be lucky to have memory enough to play Super Meat Boy. I'm hoping that maybe IE9 has fixed some of these memory devouring flaws. Then again, IE6 had a minor memory leak, IE7 had a moderate one, and IE8 ate memory like Homer Simpson eats doughnuts. If the trend continues, I'll need about 20GB more RAM to keep an IE9 window open for more than five minutes.


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