Malik (6/21/04)

Nothing like a 3-day weekend!!! make one pissed off that they wasted a vacation day on the shit I just went through.  My PC decided, once again, to give out on me...but let me start at the beginning...

So, my car stereo went out a few weeks ago, and as a person who is obsessed with music, I was going insane whenever I had the chance to total silence.  So, I decided on Saturday to drop some major cash on a new state of the art stereo (which is one thing I've never done for my car; gone state of the art, that is), and then I'd be broke for the rest of the month (I hate monthly paychecks).  So, I had my car stereo working like a mo-fo...let me just say that going for broke was well worth it.

So, then on Sunday, my internet connection died.  At first I assumed it was my NIC, which is part of my motherboard.  Then, after buying a new NIC ($14.99...I hate BestBuy...they should have a NIC for less than $10 and I didn't have money for gas to drive all over, so I blew the extra $5).  Well, that didn't solve my problems, so today I went into debt getting a new motherboard/CPU (the signs pointed to a bad motherboard or CPU) that ended up being the same speed as (at the time) current board/CPU.  Well, I installed it all, and of course, Windows failed on me.  So, I had to format my hard drive (not the one with stuff...thankfully I always keep that and other important stuff off my system drive) and reinstall Windows from scratch after reinstalling over my old Windows didn't work.  My PC still was dead, so I played with the memory, in a last desperate attempt to fix this problem...and wouldn't you know it, my damned second memory chip was bad.  Everything started to work, and in a choice of money or work, I decided my sanity was the most important, so I now have a new motherboard and CPU in my case, and a (most likely) perfectly good board/CPU to spare, but not enough money to buy a case, memory, video card, and HD to get a second PC up and running.  I would've taken apart the mother board/CPU from my case and returned it, but considering the heat (why the hell is this summer so damned hot?) and the time to go through this crap today, I decided I would rather be broke for now than lose my sanity or pass out from the heat.  At least I could always buy a new case and memory and vid card after pay day and get my network of good PCs to grow a bit.

So, I haven't played and Thief for a few days due to the car stereo (that was well worth the cash), and the PC (which was not), nor have I been catching on any geek news, but I'll get back on duty tomorrow.  Also, it is hot as hell, so I'm so out of it that I don't think I could've been constructive if not for the desperate need of a running computer.  For now, I'm officially on vacation today, so I'm out...maybe I can salvage the last 4.5 hours of my day of vacation...blah


Malik (6/22/04)

I was hoping that I could make up for this weekend's lack of news searching by finding something cool to share with the community today.  Sadly, there is nothing interesting happening in the world of gaming today...and when I say nothing, I mean not a damned thing.  It's like the geek world is taking a week or so off between blasts of important news.  So, I guess things will be a bit shorter today than I hoped for.

Anyway, I'm starting up a new Malik's Bitchings for this week, but so far the sailing is pretty damned rough.  It is not easy to bitch about things when there is nothing to bitch about (see the above paragraph...sigh...).  So, I'm pulling double duty on this one.  Hopefully something big will come up before Friday (like last week...blah), so I will have some time for editing and not just force another rush job...I should add, even when I rush to get something out, it is not half-assed by any means; it just might have a little worse than average grammar.

I am still blasting through Thief: Deadly Shadows.  This game is too addictive.  Every time I think the story is starting to get stagnant and the stealth game play is feeling a little too played out, something new comes along to tweak my interest.  Like I said, the stealth thing is really played out...and I don't just mean in Thief.  Too many games are trying to use stealth as the primary game mechanism, and like a RPG and the engine of a RPG, the game play is not the deciding factor in keeping the geek into the game; it's the plot that matters, and Thief knows this with authority.  For those who still haven't tried Thief: DS, or any Thief game for that matter, you have to play the game with an open eye to really know what a great story can do for the tired stealth action genre.

Well, writing about Thief is good and all, but playing is better...sadly, though, that will have to wait since I still have some more programs to reinstall on my PC after the crap of this last weekend...the worst part are those important things that I can't find the disks for (like my vid capture card that I was going to start using to be a little more thorough with my reviews...sigh...and I was going to look professional...).


Malik (6/23/04)

Well, not too much exciting news out there once again today...unless you count Tales of Symphonia going gold!  It's about time a (I hope...I really hope) great game is seen on the release calendar for the GCN...besides being on the calendar under the old "delayed" section.  It looks like we should have Tale of Symphonia on the shelves in only 20 days (July 13th).

I have to take back a little of something I said yesterday.  Yesterday I said that the whole stealth action mechanism for game play in titles like Thief and Splinter Cell is always played out and stale after the first 10 minutes.  Well, after playing some Thief today, I actually have to take that back and say that it's normally played out since it's usually the same old guards looking for the same old hero type.  Today I had a great time stalking The City of Thief: DS as I was avoiding the Keeper Enforcers.  Basically Keeper Enforcers break the rule of the standard "guard" figure in a stealth game by being, for the most part, an upgraded version of our hero, Garrett.  The look like Garrett (as in, they are hard to see, and often times if they see you it doesn't mean you definitely see them or even can see them), are hated by everyone like Garrett (nothing like seeing some town guards having it out with an Enforcer...), and have the ability to use telepathy (so if you take one down, the entire city worth of Enforcers WILL KNOW).  Plus, they have the ability to fire off magical projectiles, and the endurance of Garrett, which turns them into lethal weapons of death and destruction.  True I would get tired of that situation after another 15 minutes, like with all other stealth action scenarios, but at least it is different from the standard situation of brain-dead guards that follow a very typical set path with almost no AI to speak of.

Not to mention how cool it was to watch The City's various factions and the typical city guards have massive riots with Enforcers...nothing like seeing two city guards taking down one Enforcer only to have the dying Enforcer send a telepathic call for help and then watching the two new Enforcers slay the city guards like they were mere insects...then two Hammers (followers of a religious order in The City) got involved...then...well, in the end, as I watched from the shadows and laughed, I saw about 8 stupid AI warriors and 4 of the far superior Enforcers die in vain...of course the sole remaining Hammer was aligned with me, so I walked by him without a care...Nothing can describe the feeling of knowing that violence was going on in The City, and it wasn't against me for once.  Of course this whole mess was caused by me...I had to fire a noise arrow to a point directly between the two initial guards and the Enforcer right in front of the Hammer stronghold...hehehe.

So, as you can tell, Thief: DS is, plain and simple, hella sweet!  Even after about 12 hours of playing (well, about 25 hours, but only ten that were saved...what can I say, except that I take a lot of unnecessary risks?) there are still enough new situations to keep me enthralled...and that's saying nothing about the plot, which only gets deeper with each finished mission.

Well, I have some more riots to watch.


Malik (6/24/04)

There is just no news this week of interest with geeking.  The most exciting thing I've seen for the last week was Tales of Symphonia going gold, but that's nothing all that exciting considering the fact that we knew this would happen soon anyway (it is coming on July 13th).  So, with no real news in the broad scope of geeking, I'll turn to something a little more local.  I have put up a forum for all us geeks to share some views and news.  I'm hoping that some of my visitors will take advantage of the forums to give some suggestions for the site, share some news and thoughts on games, or whatever.  I only ask that, like with any other forum, you show some respect towards people...not necessarily a lot of respect...just some.

I'm also looking to bring about some more images to the community.  However, with my recent crashing of my PC and all, that will take some time as I try to find all my old software and get it, my misplacing of my video capture card (and it's software) is not helping.  I personally don't like to do things half-assed (click both links and think about it...if you still don't get it, check out Malik's Bitchings tomorrow and you'll be educated), so I'm not going to do the lame thing of taking some digital pictures of my TV...I'm not dissing anyone who does such a thing, but I personally like detailed images, not blurry images of light reflecting off of a TV screen.

Also, for those who have not made their way to the forum yet, I have two things up that I want to point out in specific detail; I'm looking for suggestions for the site, and I'm looking for contributors who are willing to help to build upon the Asylum.  Check out the forum for details.

Well, I hate talking business for too long, and since there isn't much going on in the geek world right now, I'll leave things as they are.


Malik (6/25/04)

One word for you; NEWS!  Not too shabby of news at that.

First of all, those of you who have been to the site before may have noticed that I've decided to change my previously half-assed looking format.  I decided a change would be for the better, since the old set up tended to have a bit of a hard to see theme  going for it.  I hope you all enjoy and if you have some comments, share them with me...or better yet, go the the forums and tell me there (that's what they're there for).

Well, it's being said that Hotmail is going to follow the actions of Google and Yahoo by increasing their free email from the current 2MB to 250MB.  However, that is the least impressive of the news I've heard today.  The better news I heard today deals with the future of Arc the Lad and a hopefully not so empty promise from Valve.

Also, I've got a new issue of Malik's Bitchings for you is Friday after all. 

Anyway, I've written a lot in terms of news and Bitchings today (well, the Malik's Bitchings were written thorough  out the week, but I had to edit today...), so I will keep this post short so you can all get to what matters.