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Malik (9/21/09)

This was one interesting weekend. I mean the Huskies beat the number 3 USC team in a damned good game. put it more realistically, the Huskies beat USC in one amazing 4th quarter. The end of the game was something that showed the Huskies are finally under good leadership. I mean the most obvious thing about the final drive that gave the Huskies the lead on a field goal with only a couple seconds to go was how the clock was managed in the best fashion possible.

I wish I could say the same good things about the Seahawks. However, when you see Tatupu, Wilson, and Hasselbeck all leave the game injured, something is not going right. Of course, with Hasselbeck it was obvious where the problems came from. He decided to ignore that he is a glass QB and instead ran the ball when he couldn't find an open receiver. That was bad...but he ended the play with a dive to gain some extra yards, in theory. In reality, as soon as he started to dive, you knew where he was the sidelines in pain.

At least it's, for now, only bruised ribs. I expected his back to, once again, be destroyed. However, this just gives him another chance, maybe next week, to act like he's not made of glass and to get a more major of injury. Way to go are Superman in your eyes, but you're still fragile in the eyes of the world and you need to knock this shit off before we repeat last season. At least his not-complete-injury didn't add another bad mark to a game that was just bad on all fronts.

Gore is a decent runner. However, if he's playing the Seahawks, he becomes the best runner ever seen in the NFL. I mean this was the first game anyone has had two 75+ yard TD runs in a single game in the last 12 years. I can't say I'm surprised that Gore did it when he can pick apart the Seahawk defense like it's a Jr. Varsity team he's playing against.

Next week hopefully going to turn around things after this horrible loss. However, if the injuries keep piling on, who knows what will happen? Actually, we all know. If the injuries keep coming in, then we're just going to see another year like last season for the Seahawks; a season of pain on and off the field.

To shift gears, I played through every level of Katamari Forever. I'm not done by any means, but I'm feeling a bit jaded to this game from the first level. I mean there's only a few new levels on this game. Most of the levels are revisions of previous levels. You have around a dozen levels from both We Love Katamari and Beautiful Katamari. Then you have a couple of levels from the original Katamari Damacy. You only really have a few new stages, and one was played out due to being on the demo (the watering level).

The other problem with the game is that it just brought so little new to the table. There is a great new mode (drive) which adds some new life to the game, and a new move (jumping). There's even two new item pickups that are pretty fun (the two hearts to suck in things around you), but it's mostly the same stuff you've seen before. It's all feeling quite dated and old when you pay $50 for a new game and get so little new to show for it. It would be like paying full price for a new car, but all you get is your old beater car with a new coat of paint.

I am having some fun, but not as much as any previous Katamari game has given. That's saying something since Beautiful Katamari required paid DLC, to unlock content on the disk, to complete all tasks. I'd rather have that than so little that's new. Plus, one big selling point was how you can change the textures of the world (including wood grain textures), but I've yet to find a single one of those features after finishing all levels in normal mode and most of them in drive mode.

Drive is the only addition to really take me in a fun new direction so far. It's like normal Katamari, but on speed. You move about three times faster and have less control. It makes the standard "get big" levels really fun and rapid, but makes the selective levels (like the only get a single cow or bear of the best size possible) into a whole new level of challenge. I wish drive was not the only real new addition to enjoy in this game, but with only three or so new levels, you can only find novel enjoyment in so few of places.


Malik (9/23/09)

I have been sick...again. It's amazing when you go for about a decade without getting the flu and then you get it twice in one summer. At least it's also a good time to catch up on some games.

I did finish most of Katamari Forever. I can't find the new textures, but I did all levels in normal mode and in drive mode. I have some more to do in "classic" mode (no jump and no heart pickups). Beyond that, I think I just have some more to play to get better scores and all that. However, with the scoring mechanism of Katamari Forever, it can be a pain in the ass to get some higher scores. The game just seems too damned picky for some stages (especially the calorie count and hot/cold level). I also have some more presents and cousins to find. However, I'm happy to now put Katamari Forever on the list of games that are "done, but still worth playing some more."

However, Katamari is too damned intense for playing when sick. The same goes for Rock Band. This leaves me The After Years as my primary target of rage and frustration. I do mean frustration. The final chapter of the game is just a constant battle of a dungeon with non-stop fights and boss battles. This is the first RPG I've played that has ever made me dislike random battles. It's one thing to have a lot of random encounters, but it's another to face The After Years.

In the final chapter you will fight. A lot. You will also find a good amount of these encounters to be surprise attacks and back attacks. Combine this with the difficulty of these encounters and you spend too much time just healing and wishing it would all end. It does get better, since you gain a lot of levels in a hurry in this final part of the game. However, it still doesn't make up for the tedium of the back attacks and surprise attacks.

I'm now around floor 9 of the final "final dungeon" area. That's about 9 floors in out of something around 30-40 floors total. I also am about seven bosses down out of about 15-20. The one cool part of these boss fights is that the final dungeon is filled with bosses from other Final Fantasy games. You fight the bosses of FF1 on the 5th floor, the bosses of FF2 on the 9th floor, and so on. While it is overkill on boss fights, it's also a good dose of nostalgia for NES/SNES era RPG fans, like myself.

Anyway, until I'm healthy again, I'll try to stick with this game. Hopefully I'll find my frustration lessening with time. However, unless the game starts to limit random fights some, I think I'll throw the game on the backburner, once again, before too long. I mean this game seems to forget one important part of good RPGs; the plot. The game goes from being plot heavy in the first chapter and the tales (add on content) and turns into just one fight after another to end the game.


Malik (9/25/09)

Between being sick and dealing with a lot of crap while sick, I feel miserable. About the only thing I can do right now is play The After Years, which is not nearly as fun to play when it feels forced on you (I mean Katamari and Rock Band don't do good with sickness and a sick-slowed mind).

On the note of Rock Band, which I would love to be playing more of, the next set of DLC is looking good and expected. It's been known for a while that Would? from Alice in Chains was due out soon for RB. It's also known that Black Gives Way To Blue (the first new AiC album since the 1990's) is due out on Tuesday. So, it's only natural to expect a pack from AiC. However, I'm happy to see that it's more than a three pack. It's a big old five pack of goodness. Some other songs would have been cool to me, but I guess Rooster and No Excuses have to be expected, even if they are the two most over-played radio friendly songs from AiC (not counting Man In The Box, which is already on the RB2 disk). Then it's expected to see at least two from the new album.

To round out the week, there's a three pack of Breaking Benjamin, which I've expected with how much RB message boards tend to get filled with "I thnk Brking Bejimen would be teh leetzor" posts. I don't think I really know their music, or at least who it is that plays their music, but it still is good to see a band with so much attention on the RB message boards coming around. It gives more hope to other people with bands that are greatly desired or "needed".

There's also a few $1 songs, but those don't seem to be worth mentioning much of since $1 tracks tend to be usually pretty weak. True, there's an occasional $1 surprise track that's awesome and amazing...but there's also a lot more $1 crap out there on RB than there's $1 diamonds in the rough.

Well, I have little else to say for today. It's been awesome weather, it's a good time to be enjoying some frantic games, and I've been too damned sick to do much beyond watch hour upon hour of The History Channel as I writhe in pain and misery. Yippee...?

Hopefully I'll feel better by the time the Seahawks take the field...and maybe I should say that I hope the Seahawks also feel better since they are looking even more miserable, health-wise, than I am.


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