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Malik (8/10/09)

I don't have much in the geek way of speaking for today. I spent the weekend, plus Friday, out in the woods with not much more than nature, clean air, some off-road vehicles, no cell signal, and some modern fun like water and electricity. So, when you're removed from the modern world to that extent, you don't have too much to really talk about.

I did have a small TV in the woods with my friends and I, so there was some old school nostalgia gaming with the Genesis we brought. Actually, the X-Eye from JVC (Genesis with Sega-CD built in), but it's still the same thing. I didn't do any gaming, but there was constantly the sights and sounds of Sonic 2, Shadow Dancer, Toe Jam and Earl, and a few other classics.

I also didn't post about it Friday, since I was technology free, but tomorrow looks fun for Rock Band with some Gorillaz in a three pack and some random singles (including Janis Joplin and The Band, to name a couple).

Anyway, my goal is still some Final Fantasy 4: The After Years. I need to finish Porom's Tale and start on Edward's Tale and the Lunarian's Tale. I also have a bunch of TV to catch up on in the form of True Blood, Hung, Z Rock, and a few others. I guess you can say, in a way, that I have some geek work to catch up on after my vacation.


Malik (8/11/09)

I'm still running a bit low on getting things done that are not required "grown up" type of things. In other words, technological fun and Malik are not seeing much of each other for the last few days. Although, I'm at least clearing a backlog of TV that I need to watch.

The only thing I can really comment on right now is that I watched True Blood last night (the one from Sunday). That show is getting both incredibly awesome and incredibly f#@$ed up. In fact, each episode makes me feel more excited for the next episode. Every time anything happens, I can practically be assured that it will deal with something that will definitely build the plot to a new level, if not also bring a character to a new light that makes him or her a thousand times more awesome.

Hopefully, tonight I'll get back into playing some games. I need to play more of The After Years. I really do since it's been a week since the latest three pack of tales were released, and I've only barely touched one tale so far. Of course, having Edward's Tale in my future doesn't exactly inspire me to play more quickly, but I have been surprised by Yang's Tale and it could also be the case for Edward.

I also want to get some Rock Band DLC tonight. At the very least, I have some new tracks this week and a Gorillaz pack to get. I'll probably add a song or two from the Spinal Tap album to that list. That's, of course, assuming I get around to playing and have the hard drive space for more than a single song. I really don't like my 20GB HDD with only a third of that open for use...but spending $200 on a 120GB just feels like a shame when a PC can get a 1TB HDD for that price. It's like Microsoft is wanting me to throw away all of my long earned frugal feelings and smart shopping abilities.


Malik (8/13/09)

I spent yesterday making up for lost time in games rather than posting. At least it gave me a chance to formulate some thoughts on things.

For one, all of the new songs for this week on Rock Band are awesome on expert guitar. There's a nice blend of styles and rhythms. However, it's safe to say that challenge fans will not be too happy, with only two exceptions. The solo in Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz) is an evil instance that comes out of the Green Grass and High Tides second solo playbook with constant zig-zags and hammer-ons from hell. The other, without any surprise, is Magic Bus (The Who, live). Some parts are simple, but there's a few tricks pulled out especially when the band begins to jam in the second half and does some crazy tempo changes. This is especially crazy since it's a lot of shifting chords with a constantly increasing speed.

I've also gotten through Porom's Tale in The After Years. Definitely not as bad as it could have been, but a tale of mostly mages is almost as bad as a tale with no mages. That brings me to Edward's Tale. Edward is in a land in which he is the closest to a mage that his party encounters (at least to the point I'm at now). He can use "salve", which uses items on an entire party instead of a single target. He also can wear a ring/bracelet that allows consumed items to be doubly effective. Still, it's not making up for no mages. At least he does get a party of three drone soldiers to give him some offense and defense. However, Edward and his secretary Harley are not the most enthralling characters or even fun in combat. It's almost like his tale is just there to give you some filler between the fun stuff.

Hopefully I'll end Edward's Tale tonight so I can start the final tale (Lunarian's). Until then, I'll probably just keep trying to kill this filler tale off as quick as possible so I can enjoy playing with a more diverse party. It, however, will be awesome to see how everything comes together next month with the finale.


Malik (8/14/09)

I said Edward's Tale on The After Years felt like filler, and I feel like I was validated in my feeling upon completing that tale. First off, there was no final boss. In fact, there was no boss of any sort, unlike all of the other tales I've completed (only The Lunarian's Tale can change this fact, but I foresee a boss in the future for that one). Edward's Tale also had no amazing characters with amazing abilities. You had a bard with a pretty bad shot of successfully performing a song that would possible give a result you wanted. If you are counting on the song to heal you, you have only a 25% shot or so of getting that health boost. I guess you can say that Edward's salve command is cool...if you like white mages with a price to use (it uses items instead of magic points).

Harley wasn't much better. She had a gold coin toss type of attack, which may be good...but I prefer money and outfitting my useful people for combat. She also has an ability, piercing sight, to remove magical buffs and to give a weakness to a foe. That would be good if you knew what weakness she gave. Instead, you need a spell or item like the libra spell (to determine the weakness) and then a black mage or an item that will hit with that type of element. That's three steps instead of just kicking the crap out of a foe.

Beyond Harley and Edward, you have three nameless soldiers. They can fight and use items...that's it. They aren't even powerful fighters compared to Kain, Ceodore, Edge, Yang, Luca, or any other fighter in any other tale.

At least that freed me up to play the Lunarian part of the tales. I am too early in it to make much of an opinion. The only thing I can say is that I expected Golbez to be far more amazing. He can fight with mediocre damage and he can use black magic...but with a vastly limited selection of spells compared to FuSoYa (also in his party after a few minutes). He can possibly stun with an ability or draw agro away from FuSoYa...but that's it. He's definitely not the character I imagined when he was tormenting the party on FF4. His only strong point comes in a high initial defense and a lot of HP...and that he at least has bio (an instant cast spell).

To end today, I'll once again say it... my HDD cannot take much more of this awesomeness. A three pack of Foo Fighters, Dropkick Murphys (with the awesome Iím Shipping Up to Boston...too bad it's not a pack of their stuff), No Rain from Blind Melon, and so other nostalgic 90's singles (Eve 6's Inside Out, a Blur song, and a Kaiser Chiefs single). I know at least a half dozen tracks will need to find room on my overly stuffed HDD. I would say it's time to buy a larger HDD, but I still hate the price gouge feeling I get from paying around $200 for a 120GB drive. If anything, I may just wait until I'm in sales-tax-free Oregon in a few weeks. At least that saves me $20 in excessive taxes.


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