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Malik (7/20/09)

This was either a very good or a very bad weekend. I'm still not sure. I can say that when shit goes wrong, it does tend to happen in groups. For example, my Friday post was late. Why? My on board network adapter decided to die on my main PC. This usually is the start of a motherboard replacement. However, I somehow lucked out with only needing a new PCI network card to get all my problems sorted out. However, it was the start of things to screw up a good weekend schedule of seeing the new Harry Potter movie with some friends.

Then, while out getting my new network adapter, I found my tire flat. This meant my car had to go down to Les Schwab for a repair. Thankfully, Les Schwab does a hell of a job and were good enough to fix my slow leak for free. Personally, I think it helped that Velveeta took the car in and they do tend to be a bit more relaxed on payment for tire fixes when women are involved. Either way, I'm glad that they do a good job and even for a good price when they do charge.

Beyond that crap, and some yard work that needed done, I did get in some good times. I did eventually see the new Harry Potter movie and it was pretty good. As a non-reader of the books, I could tell a bit too much was skipped to fit the two and a half hour time frame, but it still was an entertaining movie. I wish they idea of splitting up the books into multiple movies was done before the next movie starts, but I'll take what I can. My only serious complaint is why they decided to completely change how Tonks (I think that's her name) was portrayed. She was the same actress (I believe), but looked so different that I couldn't tell if she was meant to be a different character or not.

I also went to the Social Distortion concert in Seattle on Friday. That was one hell of an awesome show. Once again, I decided to brave the floor in front of the stage. I think I probably took a year or two off my life doing so, between the pure raw energy of the crowd and the extreme heat of a near record high July night in Seattle. Still, it was worth it, even if the opening acts (especially Civet) sucked beyond words.

Mike Ness is a showman deep down. He knows what the audience wants and he knows how to give it. The audience wants energy, some good stories, and a lot of loud f#@$ing punk music. All of which are guaranteed when he's on stage...and the delivery was damned near perfect.

On a final note, I'm happy to see (despite how it may be old news...I've just not seen it yet), that Professor Layton 2 has a release date for next month.  It's about time that this game is given a date.


Malik (7/22/09)

I downloaded the Rancid and Rise Against packs for Rock Band last night. It's about all I've done geek related for quite a while since real world things are getting in the way of my fun geek pastimes.

On expert guitar, the Rise Against songs are awesome if you like their music. I enjoy Prayer of the Refugee far more in this version than the GH3 version. In fact, I think the main reason I like it so much is that I know I can sing if I felt inclined to do so, since it's one of my favorite songs. I can also say the exact same for Re-Education (Through Labor), which is another awesomely fun guitar and singing song. At least I assume it's a great song for singing since I so do enjoy the song.

As for Rancid...on expert guitar, the pack is less than fun. However, I think Ruby Soho and Time Bomb are definite party/full band songs. I mean these are songs with a great high energy potential as long as you have friends to play with. Otherwise, they are probably better on bass than guitar, although I didn't have the chance to try them on bass yet. The guitar line tends to be a lot of a standard ska rhythm, which means alternating chords (R > R+B > R > etc.). If you enjoy Pinball Wizard and Where Did You Go, then these are songs for you. If you're not a fan of this style, than you better hope you enjoy other instruments than guitar if you download this pack. At least the last song in the pack (the name escapes me right now) is far more of a guitarist's song.

On a different note for the end of this post; I accidentally (long story in that) downloaded and installed Internet Explorer 8 on my main desktop.  I can say that for having so few noticeable differences over IE7, it sucks ass.  I mean this has so few changes, but they are all changes for the worse for my usage of internet browsing.  I think it's safe to say, after years of procrastinating, that I'm finally going to go the Firefox (or maybe Chrome) route in the very near future.


Malik (7/23/09)

Normally I frown on the thought of more lawsuits in the world. I mean a good amount in the geek world are bullshit claims of copyright infringement that comes down to "we have a patent on all ideas ever made because we have a very vague patent for an idea that's not related to what the defendant has done." Some do have merit, but the vast majority are nothing more than the lame attempts of a person or company to make a quick buck based on the technological ignorance of a judge.

However, some lawsuits in the game world make me feel good. For example, when Double Fine counter-sues Activision over Activision's previous lawsuit to prevent the release of Brutal Legend, I am happy. Actually, I'd be happiest if Activision never sued in the first place. I mean they had all rights to the game's publishing but decided to pass. I mean Activision ditched a good amount of games in the last year (such as Ghostbusters) and then these games found new publishing partners. Usually the new partner would be the main competition for Activision; EA.

As far as I can tell, and this is mostly my opinion, Activision sees Brutal Legend as too similar, in some ways, to Guitar Hero. So, if they knew the game would gather as much hype as it has, they would have used it as a companion piece to the GH franchise. However, since the game didn't get hyped until after Activision cut it loose, they lost the potential for a companion piece since they saw the game as another probably commercial failure from Double Fine (who sadly has a history of commercial failures despite having some awesome talent and just not getting sales for their awesome games). In other words, I think Activision is just kicking themselves for skipping what might be a very awesome game, or at least (and this is what matters to them), a solid financial success of a game. Instead of just kicking themselves, however, they decided to also take it out on the company they actually originally left high and dry when they acquired Vivendi and then abandoned Double Fine shortly after.

In other words, I think Activision is the new EA, now that EA has shown some control and sanity since their last big shake-up a year or two ago. Sadly, Activision didn't look at how EA was hurt with their egotistical methods in the past and are now doing the same level of bullshit with being too big of an entity with too small of brains.


Malik (7/24/09)

It's been a slow week for me with only one real geek type of thing going on at all. I have played a few days of Rock Band this week. It's been a lot more than I'd normally play of the game. The main reason I've been playing so much is that I've been spending a good deal of time at my parents' home. Surprisingly, I can actually claim proudly that I enjoy playing RB with my mom since she's rocking the expert after only about a year with Rock Band games and only six months on top of that with Guitar Hero 3. So, while I'm hitting the expert guitar, she's playing expert bass and that is enough to make for good times.

Anyway, on the note of RB, I'm not sure what to make of the song creator idea. Partly, I'm not sure about it since that link likes to crash my work PC, and I mainly check RB stuff during my coffee breaks at work (too busy at home to do much on the internet lately). However, the little part I can make on this is that the tools should be pretty least if they really are the same authorship tools used by Harmonix. However, I'm still worried that this is another case of the GH:WT track creator. I think the big question will come down to how much work one has to do to really make a track that is worthwhile to play. Is there going to be a sound generator or do you need audio files? Is there lyrics? Is this just some lame attempt to play catch up with Activision on a feature that was not all that good to begin with?

I'm also intrigued by the pay to download idea on this. Supposedly you can find the better custom tracks for download at a cost. I wonder if any songs are really going to be worth it when RB does have such a freakin' huge song library as it stands (I think it's well over 700 tracks by now). However, the money loving side of me likes the idea of getting a cut of each track sold. However, that's the same part of me that thinks the lottery is a good investment. In other words, it's a part of me that's usually told to shut the hell up and not cause any stupidity to ensue.

Anyway, next week is looking good for Rock Band DLC. Just like last week, some good looking packs are out there. This includes a Weezer pack with three songs that I figure have to be some of the most requested RB DLC (Undone, My Name is Jonas, and Pork and Beans). There's also a Blink 182 pack...although I'm only really partial to Rock Show of these newer tracks (versus the Dude Ranch album). Then there's KISS to round it all out...however, with no Rock N Roll All Nite, I feel like this pack is lacking a tiny bit of awesome potential.

Anyway, it looks like next week is definitely another week of me buying Microsoft Points and filling up more of the tiny bit of space left on my tiny 20GB (really less than 14GB) HDD.


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