My brain and my body are, for the time being, not on speaking terms.
I'm not sure if it's the heavy drinking and karaoke of Sunday for my
friend Bastich's birthday or if it's the consumption of a few pounds
of pseudo-BBQ (as in, it used the oven instead of the real glorious
power of smoke and a real BBQ rig) in one sitting last night. Either
way, my brain is refusing to join me in my post today, so apologies
for any loss of intelligence (if any was ever present) in my post.
On the bright side of things, this weekend was good fun. On Saturday
I scored one of the best things for a home gaming room, and for
free. Yes, I'm talking about a fully functioning free air hockey
table. It was mainly a right place right time type of thing. One of
my parents' neighbors had to move into a smaller house, and they
thought of Velveeta and I immediately when they were faced with a
bunch of stuff to either toss out or give away. So, an air hockey
table and a TV stand (for our previously vacant living room) found
their way into my grateful home. Now I just need a night fueled by
alcohol to involve the air hockey fun in.
Sunday was a blur. I still don't remember half the night. Between
the total exhaustion I felt from going crazy early on with karaoke
and the alcohol that would not stop flowing into my waiting mouth,
things are a little less than memorable. However, isn't that what
makes a birthday party truly memorable. Bastich, if you see this,
I'm glad your b-day comes but once a year...since more than that may
Also, on the karaoke line of thinking, I just have to throw out a
sad observation. You can really tell when a metal head (like myself)
is getting old when they regret headbanging the next few days as
their neck no longer has full ranges or motion or the ability to
move without severe pain. I regret headbanging on Sunday, but, at
the same time, when you're drinking and belting out the lyrics to
One (Metallica), the heat of the moment can get to you like few
other things in life. When you, especially, have a metal song with
long instrumental segments, there's not much else to do while drunk
besides headbang and play some drunken air guitar. So, in the
end...it's all good or something.
Last night rounded out my insane weekend of too much indulgence.
Velveeta and I held a BBQ for some family. Unfortunately, it cut
into my time to play some games (Blue Dragon spent too much time
looking at me with sad wanting eyes this weekend), but it gave me
some time to indulge in more beer, more food, some more food, a
little more food that couldn't logically find room in my stomach
(yet it still did, somehow), and then some food to be piled on top
of that. Round it all out with watching some Firefly while fighting
off a food coma and you have the true makings of a good weekend.
Anyway, I need to find my ability to think, so...yeah.
With October and
November rapidly approaching, more and more Guitar Hero 3 and Rock
Band news is coming along. Well, news, as well as some rather
scary sounding rumors.
Unless you are
eternally trapped in the 1970's (before Aerosmith went crap-tastic)
or you don't know what rock really means, Aerosmith is probably not
your favorite band. You may be, like myself, someone who likes an
occasional blasting of Walk This Way or some other classic Aerosmith
classic. However, in the end, Aerosmith was not anything important
to rock when you look at the music scene around them. They were, and
forgive me if you're a Aerosmith fan (you poor deluded fool),
nothing more than a cheap version of The Rolling Stones.
So, to hear that
GH4 may be a tribute to Aerosmith is enough to make me feel like
Activision/Neversoft/Red Octane are all heading into the same
direction as Neversoft and Activision already headed with the Tony
Hawk games. In other words, they are heading into a realm of being
familiar and uninspired. To put it more bluntly, GH3 is already
standing a good chance of being the last GH game I buy, but this may
just be a final nail in Guitar Hero's coffin.
On the news of
another boss character has been announced, and I really couldn't
care less. As I keep saying, rock is not about boss fights, unless
your idea of rock is Dueling Banjos. If that is the case, then you
need to step away from the computer you're reading this on and
return to your moonshine and your unique Deliverance lifestyle.
Rock is not about
fighting people. Rock is about making kick ass music and having a
good time doing it...if it's your career, then it's also about
getting as rich as possible while doing it.
On that same note,
rock should not be about playing with
people you cannot see or socialize with. In other words, the
news that the Wii version of GH3 will not have online (which is
silly if the other broadband ready consoles get online since the Wii
is the easiest online system to take online) is not, as I see it, a
bad thing. If anything, I think it's a selling point for the game.
I like the idea of
getting my value out of paying for a Live subscription and I like
the ability to extend a game's replay value with multiplayer,
including online multiplayer. However, there is something about GH
and Rock Band that make me think of how you should be in the same
room as the other people playing. You should be able to blast out
some bad karaoke inspired lyrics side-by-side. You should be able to
headbang to your heart's content, side-by-side. You should be able
to feel the rock energy in the room. You simply cannot do any of
that with a virtual or online friend/boss/competitor/whatever.
Anyway, I will
probably still get GH3. I won't get it to enjoy for all time like I
did with GH and GH2. I will get it mainly as a hold over until Rock
Band comes my way. In other words, it will be there for me to use
and toss aside when the main course arrives. GH3 is the appetizer,
like how Rock the 80's was, but at least the main course is shortly
arriving this time and not just sucking down full price for a game
worth nothing more than $20.
When Rock Band
comes my way, that is when I'll rock out on a game that will not be
put aside for anything. I may slow down with RB to play some of the
other games coming along this Fall, but it will always be there at
the ready for me. GH3 will probably get little play after I complete
each song, except at parties...wait...GH3 is not four player, so I
guess it will just sit there for all time after RB gives me some
much needed real rock inspired love.
My time is short
today since I'm making up for almost three weeks of vacation
followed by a three day weekend at my day job today. So, let's just
leave the GH/Neversoft bashing here for today and think happy
thoughts of Rock Band. By the way, from my friends who played the
game at PAX, it sounds even cooler than I previously thought (plus
the Harmonix representatives sound like awesome people to hang out
On a final
different note for today, I just want to say that I f#@$ing hate the
f#@$ing idiots at the Washington State DOT. Maybe it's not all
their fault, but they have a responsibility to ensure safe roadways.
Maybe this also falls onto the federal DOT since I'm pissed off to
all ends at the state of I-5 through Tukwila Washington. I
will only say one thing; a car should not have it's windshield
replaced due to a f$#@ing rock striking the old windshield on a
major interstate. However, that may be a random and excusable
offense. But when a second rock hits that car (this time on a
new windshield) for the second f#@$ing time in less than a month and
leaves a mother f#@$ing ding on it, that is going too far.
Most of all, this should not keep f$#@ing happening on the same 3/4
mile stretch of interstate. F#@$ that shit!
It looks like it's
a new era that is getting ready to dawn on all of the alcohol
consumers of the world. Afterall, Dave Karraker (formerly the main
PR guy at Sony) is
now working for Skyy. I guess this means it will only be a few
days before we hear how Skyy is not just the greatest vodka, but
also how it will do thousands of things that vodka cannot do.
However, it won't be that all vodka is so much better than we
previously thought...just Skyy vodka, which has special added
functions and features.
On one hand, don't
get me wrong. I am not talking bad about Skyy (since their bottle is
in my freezer right now) or any particular brand (yet). I'm only
saying that Dave Karraker may not be the publicity guy that any
company wants. After the hits that Sony has taken in recent months
(well, for over a year), I think the executives in that company may
be better off isolated until the dust can settle. From a business
sense, I would consider most of them as having some sort of business
plague that can only be cured with time (and maybe seeing which
careers die on their own).
At least this
could be a good thing for Sony. As they struggle lately and make
some unique moves in determining what console versions to phase out
and what prices to avoid, a good shake up is needed. I thought it
was going to happen when Kutaragi left Sony earlier this year (and
was demoted, in a way, last year). I thought that re-examining the
price of the PS3 would do it as well. I thought getting busted by
watchdog groups for blatantly racist ads would do it. Now I would
assume that changing the person who is handling the PR will do it.
I've been wrong before, and with Sony I stand to be wrong again.
While I find the
PS3 to be a giant waste of money (especially with the lack of third
party support), I do want things to change. Competition breeds good
games and products. If Microsoft is remaining unchecked, it cannot
spell good things for gamers who want a less motion sensing
direction...also, don't get me wrong, because I love the Wii (it's
just that the Wii and the 360 are not competitors in the same sense
as the PS3 and the 360).
As for my thoughts
(above) on bashing companies...I won't say anything in terms of
names, since companies hate to see bad publicity about their
services and all of that. However, I will say that a certain
fant"astic" sounding provider (if you don't get it, think of
annoying TV ads) of digital media is really beginning to piss me the
f#@$ out of my mind.
For the...who even
counts anymore...for the uncountable time in the last few months,
the service of this company (let's call them company C) has gone to
shit. I even had a service person on the phone last night who
reminded me of a few things that make me think digital monopolies
are horrible things.
I was first
reminded that I was free to leave the service at any time and did
not have a contract. Then I was almost assured that all the problems
were my own fault. Then I was again reminded that there are millions
of customers with the same service who have no problems and I am the
only one complaining about faulty equipment on a regular basis.
Then, once again, I was informed that I have an option of leaving
this company behind.
As a customer of
any service, I personally cannot get behind a company with my full
support, even if they offer perfect service for a great price
(Company C does neither...especially recently), if they make it
clear that my business does not mean shit to them. On top of that,
with how high of a charge is involved with Company C's services, I
now feel like my insanely large bill is being wasted. If I'm not
getting quality service, or even quality customer support, then why
am I being charged giant amounts for such treatment? I really don't
know of any answer besides the obvious; I'm being stupid in
So, on Saturday,
I'm having some of the rented equipment exchanged, for the second
time in a month, and will probably put up with this shit for a
whopping two or so weeks before another issue hits me...and then I
will hopefully, by then, have found a replacement similar service
(maybe the, using more false names to not make Company C's identity
too obvious, WISH Network or Directly Arriving TV).
Sadly, in my area,
at least, and in a vast majority of homes across the nation, there
is a monopoly with the service type that Company C uses. Congress
has done little to tackle this issue, and when there were once some
choices in a region, there are now only a few companies around the
nation and almost zero competition. Without competition (going
somewhat back to the PS3 and 360 thing above), services and prices
remain unchecked. Customers have only two options; use the only
option out there, or go with nothing. Unfortunately, I enjoy the
type of service Company C offers (just not their level of service or
price for a poor level of performance), so I have a few options that
don't really give me much of a real choice.
Blah. I'm pissed
off and I really wish Congress would get of their lazy asses and
tackle something important for consumers (and digital media is
becoming a very key part of many lives in their constituencies) and
it would be a far better thing to face (ignoring the lobbyists from
this industry in the process) than to have constant votes on things
that will never pass due to democrats and republicans trying to have
some lame pissing match about which party can overturn the most
issues in a year to show who has the biggest balls.
Congress, here's a
hint...as you do these pissing matches, it just shows both sides
have the same sized balls. That would be, both sides have an equally
large lack of balls and are out of touch with reality.
If you weren't
able to tell from my quite bitchy and random of posts this week, I'm
not having the best of times lately. It's not like the world is
ending, but stresses are piling up with my job and Comcast is not
helping things. I mean, when I'm stressed at work, the last thing I
need is to lose the ability to enjoy my downtime at home. I pay for
certain things to help my evenings become more fun, and that could
be PC parts, games, consoles, or even my digital subscriptions
(cable TV and internet). So, when I'm stressed, I tend to go off a
Anyway, it's now
Friday, which means some freedom is upon me. It also means that I
can count on two things; having to wait for Comcast tomorrow to send
out the second technician in about two and a half weeks (which could
be worse...usually Comcast field technicians are pretty cool people
to chat with while they get the job done) and that I will have some
major time to play games, drink some beer, and grill some vittles.
I'd like to get
back to Metroid Prime 3, since I haven't touched the Wii since Blue
Dragon was first in my hands. However, I think that's a long shot.
I'd also like to get Stranglehold, since John Woo and Chow Yun Fat
are awesome. That will not be happening. Why?
The game that
keeps being put down as boring, uninventive, and bland is going to
continue to claim my free time. Blue Dragon is just too damned good
to put down. However, the truth of the matter is that BD is only an
awesome game if you are of the type who could go back to a SNES era
RPG and have fun with it. In other words, if you're a person who
awaits new Dragon Quest games because of their ability to offer old
school RPG fun, then BD is a great game for you. If you hate DQ
games and look forward to the latest Final Fantasy, Shin Megami
Tensei, or Elder Scrolls game, then this is a bad game for you and
there is no way you'd enjoy it. It is, simply put, a niche game.
It's not for the mass appeal factor that FF took on with FFVII (and
all later games besides FFIX). BD is only really for old school
So, with that
said, I'm now on the second DVD of the three in the game. I'm also
at the point when the game is actually starting to offer side quests
(as opposed to just exploring places early and trying to fight too
difficult of enemies). Last night, for example, I started the first
real side quest of the game, and it was a blast to play. It was also
long. It took about three to four hours to get nearly done (that's
when dinner was ready and gaming any more would have resulted in
Velveeta kicking my addicted ass).
Now that I'm far
enough into the game to have side quests and the full complement of
five party members, I'm really digging this game. It's a great
example of so many mechanics that have gone away over the years.
These elements are the type that have left RPGs for all the wrong
reasons. We did not necessarily lose turn based combat because it
was bad, as much as we lost it because it didn't have mass appeal.
The same can be said for the BD style of job selections, searching
everything for minor rewards (which is option as long as you do care
about finding "nothing"...which is a fun side quest in BD), or many
other of the complained about elements. Chibi characters? They are
simply for a more niche of audiences.
The only thing
missing from BD that slightly annoys me is that you don't fight
humans. I may be the only one to notice this, but all of your foes
are either monsters, machines, or demi-humans (like the race of
giants). You don't fight human bandits, human pirates, human ninja,
or anything else that would be a standard enemy in older RPGs. It's
nothing major, but it's a weird thing to have omitted. Even Chrono
Trigger (from many of the same minds as BD) had you fight some
humans from time to time (Dalton, for example). BD has no human
enemies, thus far into the game.
Anyway, I aim to
spend some time tonight with BD and my DVR...since Comcast will
change out my box, once again, I will lose all of the recordings
that the box has not decided to randomly delete and I need to see as
much of my History and History International shows as possible
before they leave me again.
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