Malik (6/14/04)

A New week is upon us, and I am once again starting another new (to me) game this week.  I ended up picking up Splinter Cell over the weekend.  I know, I have Thief Deadly Shadows to play, and I'm not giving up on Thief by any means.  It's just hard to turn up Splinter Cell now that it is so damned cheap (something like $7).  I'm taking Splinter Cell a little on the slow side since I have Thief, so I probably will only give it much attention when I am particularly attentive.  I mean Thief gives the option of losing your patience and killing everyone that pisses you off, but when I'm feeling a little more structured, I like to play something a little more intense...Thief is fun and suspenseful, but only Splinter Cell gives that pure suspense-adrenaline-rush of grabbing a dude from behind, forcing information out of him before striking him a blow to the head, and then hiding the body in a dark corner and praying to the gods of gaming that his bitch ass is never found.

Well, speaking of Thief; I'm ready to start writing up a review of this game, but I just need to pry myself away from the game long enough to start writing.  Thief does have a number of obvious problems, most notably being the difficulty bug (if you play on a hard difficulty, save in a mission, and then reload, the difficulty will be stuck on "Normal", not hard or whatever you set it to).  Plus the AI can be a little on the stupid side, but despite the flaws, Thief is hella addicting.  Plus, since Thief gives the Deus Ex/GTA style town where you're free to do whatever you want, if you get tired of being constructive (in other words, doing the actual missions) you can always have some fun picking off guards, finding side quests, or just picking a few pockets.

Anyway, I should have a review of Thief Deadly Shadows up by the end of the week, along with a guaranteed issue of Malik's Bitchings this Friday.  Sadly, time is becoming pretty stretched to me lately due to things going to shit at work.  So, if my updates become a little briefer for the next week, that's why...well, that and the fact that I'm currently playing Thief, Splinter Cell, Metroid Prime (which I'll probably drop pretty soon, considering that I've already gone through Metroid Tetris before), and Phantasy Star IV (what can I say?  Phantasy Star Universe has made me a little nostalgic...).  So much to play, and far too little time to play it all.


Malik (6/15/04)

Well, I sadly don't have too much to say today since I've spent my day fighting with what should have been a good thing.

Anyways, I've spent more time with Thief, and with each day I spend playing it I know better that this is one of those great gems that doesn't come along too often.  Some people out there are focused on the flaws of the game, such as the major issue with harder difficulties (like I said before; save on hard, reload in a mission, your game is now on normal difficulty) or how the AI, at times, can be incredibly stupid.  However, when you look past these flaws and look at the smooth game play, the massive options that can be taken to pass any situation (there are always at least a half dozen ways to deal with any it force, stealth, craftiness, use of items, or whatever else you can think of), and the world, this is truly a unique world in itself.  The City, as the world of Thief is often referred to, is something that is more unique than any game world I've seen in a few years.  There is a living history to Thief, from the detailed events of the past that can be seen in the various books and scrolls you come across in your journeys, the unique creatures (my favorite so far would be the Trents that look like a demonic version of the Trents that helped take down Saromon in the movie version of The Two far...), the amazing side events and quests (like learning of some petty thief pretending to be Garret, the protagonist of Thief), the seamless continuation of the Thief trilogy that doesn't require the developers to pander to the newbs, the religious wars being faced by the three unique religious factions...there is just too much going on in this completely original world.  This is definitely one of those games that can either be looked at at a glace; only taking in the stealth action that every game seems to be so hooked on now-a-days (we've seen it in everything from Zelda to Splinter Cell to Beyond Good and Evil).  Or, you can become one with the story and take away far more from Thief than you could imagine.  I can't wait to start reviewing this game...if only I could tear myself away from it.

I've tried to get some time in on Splinter Cell, Metroid Prime, and Phantasy Star IV, but Thief won't have any of that.  Those games just feel a little too linear and bland for me right now when Garret is summoning my affection.  Speaking of which, I have a, The rob.


Malik (6/16/04)

Today was hell, so this will not be one of my longest posts.  At least I did get some work done on this week's Bitchings column...however, for that you will have to wait until Friday.

Yahoo's mail service, which I talked a bit about yesterday, at least has improved and is back to it's usual higher level of quality.  The issues with the bandwidth, speed, or whatever, seems to have been resolved and the system is working at a far better speed.

I'm still playing Thief, which I probably wont play much of tonight since I can barely feel anything in my left arm, except a lot of pain.  Anyway, I'll start getting my review ready tomorrow, so you could probably expect that in the next couple of days.  My reviews may take a little more time to come out than the average large publication, but I can always promise a thorough review instead of some rushed piece of crap.

Nothing like the shit hitting the fan at work to make on appreciate that magic word; retirement.  Too bad that is a few decades down the road for me...but I can dream.

Now to pass out.


Malik (6/17/04)

The Thief: Deadly Shadows review is under way and will be up tomorrow.  I also have a Malik's Bitchings column that will be up tomorrow.  Sadly, I don't think I can get any of this stuff up tonight.

I'm still pounding away at Thief...however, there is a problem that is slowing down my progress; that being that Thief likes to crash...a lot.  Especially if you reload your saved game immediately after an action was taken.  Unfortunately, there is another problem I've encountered involving making one of the factions happy (for those who've played; when I shoot the cornerstones, it usually doesn't register as a hit unless I retry a couple of times), that has me ending up with a bunch of wasted arrows.  I'll deal with the loss of precious arrows when I mess up a shot, but not when the game constantly will not log a direct hit.  This means I'll fire a shot, see it fail, reload, and then watch the game freeze.  Luckily this is only a minor issue, since I only deal with the trigger event once or twice per play session.  I will let this all slip since Thief kicks too much arse to hate it for something so minor.

Also, while this is not 100% geek related, it shows that programmers don't just mess things up on video games...and it's funny as hell; has a story on the outcome of poor programming and how it affected the music industry's lawsuit that was settled earlier this year.  At least we geeks are not the only victims of crappy programmers.

Well, I need to get in some editing on my Thief review...although I'll probably just be a procrastinator and play some Thief...the City Guard has been a little too cocky lately.


Malik (6/18/04)

Ok, I'm getting tired of the shit hitting the fan.  I've had enough bad shit happen to me and the ones I give a crap about for one week...hell, this week I had enough for an entire year's worth of shit.  I've seen too many people not giving a crap about others.  This has just been a week, for me, that showed how vain and teh gay most people can act towards each a hint, for the idiots of the world; Red means put your damned foot on the breaks before you barrel into another driver or pedestrian, use your cell phone while walking or driving only if you're not a self centered ass who cannot look up beyond the nifty little display on your phone, and if someone cannot give you directions or a dime or whatever, then leave them alone...there's a damned financial crisis in the US that leads to those who would typically be walking in a downtown metropolis to be flat on their ass broke.

Ok, I had to rant a little there.  I've had a bitchy week, and not everything is geek related, so not everything can go into Malik's Bithings.  Speaking of which, click the link.

I'm still plowing through Thief, when my building is not going through a fire alarm or when I'm not suffering extreme pain in my hand due to way too much work from my quite ignorant-of-reality supervisor.  Sorry, I keep bitching.  Bear with me, and I'll reward you for your, I'm still playing Thief and had one of the most humorous, yet frustrating, incidents happen to me.  I was trying to climb in a window and only managed to grab the right edge of the window sill.  Next thing I know, Garret has climbed into the wall (as in, he was one with the world...literally).  I was trying to climb in the window since a rat man was chasing me, so now I got to stand there, frozen half in the wall, unable to swing my dagger, as the rat man slowly knocked my life down to nothing.  The only thing I could do was throw flash bombs to stun the rat...however, stunning a rat while trapped in a brick wall only delays a rather gruesome death.  In hindsight, that was funny as hell, but at the time...well, I think my controller might have suffered a bit for Thief's bugginess.  So, the purpose of all of this, beyond reliving a humorous moment, is to give a good into to my Thief: Deadly Shadows review.

So, I promised two articles today, and I delivered.  I that damned good.