A Haven For Your Geeking Needs
Malik (6/28/04)

Well, I can thankfully say that no stupid crap happened to me this weekend.  I'm still wasting time rebuilding my PC (in terms of software).  Sadly, I can't find my video capture software, and the company that made my card is no longer in business, so I can't just find the drivers on their web site.  So, I still can't have actual screen shots of anything...yet.  I will find the driver disk...I vow this.  Sadly, it may take some time.  Sadly, it will come too late for some of the awesome shots of Thief: Deadly Shadows that I could've taken while playing this weekend (got some nice enemy deaths that had to be seen to be believed).

Speaking of Thief, I just have to say that this is definitely the stealth action game for the ADD (or ADHD...whatever's your cup of tea) crowd.  I usually have problems with stealth games since I lose the patience to deal with the guards, so Thief has the simple solution that you can't get from Splinter Cell; when I get tired of using stealth to knock people out or sneak past them, I rely on a good old broad head arrow to the back of the head...problem solved.  I think I've been relying on this tactic a little too much lately; you can carry 30 broad heads at a time, and this should be enough for an entire dungeon, and then some...well, I've ran out of broad head arrows in every dungeon I did this weekend as I laid the guards to rest...hehe.

Also, I have to say that I'm looking forward to, more and more, Tales of Symphonia.  The more I read about ToS, the more I want it.  Especially after reading the review in GMR (the free magazine you get from EB if you sign up for their Gamer Advantage card thing), which said about ToS's story; "Seemingly written by an unimaginative 12 year-old who recently played Final Fantasy X," and "While not quite as mature, epic, and addictive as Final Fantasy...".  Why do I feel more excited about ToS when it's been bashed that way?  Simple; FFX was a pile of crap that got critical acclaim for it's sophisticated story and I, quite frankly, hate the sophistication of a whiney little daddy's boy who can't stop crying for his daddy and meanwhile is stuck in the lamest of love-quadrangles with a stuck-up bitch who is in love with both him and her civic duty, while he is stuck with his obsessive love for her and his memories of his daddy...if that's sophistication, then sign me up for ToS.

Malik Style Rant:  

As I type this, I have Pulse (a show on G4-Tech TV) on the TV as white noise, and I can't help but point out something.  The current segment on Pulse is that of the lawsuit against 321 Studios (the makers of Games-X-Copy and  DVD-X-Copy) and so, naturally, Pulse has interviews with a rep from both the RIAA and 321.  Well, I just find it amusing that the 321 rep seems nice and polite, while the RIAA rep has the most egotistical tone to his voice and dances around the issue at hand without actually (from how it seems) coming to a proper conclusion of what "fair-use" is...all the while, he is pointing out how we, as commoners, cannot be trusted to control ourselves...thank goodness that the US criminal law system is a little more unbiased or anyone with any access to anything that could be dangerous or especially the makers of said items would be arrested for "future murder" ("sorry, but you can't buy that car because it could run someone over; in fact Ford is being sued to prevent them from making any future vehicles").  

For those who don't know; fair-use, which is part of US copyright law, says you can make a single backup of any media (to a backup so you don't mess up your expensive software, movies, audio disks, or whatever) that you purchase.  Well, the RIAA rep goes off about how "fair-use" doesn't (paraphrased since I have a poor memory for quotes) let you make as many back-ups as you want to share with friends.  The sad truth is without software like DVD-X-Copy and Games-X-Copy, I cannot make a back up of many of my purchased media, which I have the right to via "fair-use".  This is why I cannot stand the RIAA...Well, here's a simple fact; Games-X-Copy, DVD-X-Copy and so forth are merely tools that can be abused.  I have no intention of abusing such products, and if some people plan to, well...screw them.  Why should those of us who will obey the law be punished by those who can't obey the law.  In the US legal system, we arrest people after they commit a crime, and then take proper precautions (like preventing them from legally obtaining a fire-arm, or whatever), but the RIAA likes to act in a more reverse direction (you're guilty...not until proven innocent or something to that affect; you're just guilty if you have a tool).  Good thing the police don't follow that, or else I'd be arrested for a potential future murder spree since I own a chef's knife.  So, I guess the moral of this story is that; a) The RIAA is bending the law to eliminate some rights of their customers; b) In a RIAA-World, all people who like cooking should be arrested since they tend to have knives and could potentially use one for harming someone.  

End Rant.  That was fun.  A little Bitching and it's not even Friday.


Malik (6/29/04)

Well, I finally am putting Thief: Deadly Shadows down.  I finished the game late last night after I decided to give up on my silly sense of perfection.  I know what most of you are wondering; if I played so much and put so much time into Thief, then why did it take so long for me to finish?  Well, part of me just didn't want to finish the game since nothing new is coming out until July 13th (Tales of Symphonia).  Another part of me was being to restrictive with precious rarer items (like fire arrows, explosive mines, and health potions) and thus I was striving towards perfection (if I get some massive damage, I'd reload and try to solve the current situation without error).  This meant I analyzed the game to the finest of details and spent far too much time playing each dungeon...including, despite playing on normal difficulty (since if I reload a save in a mission it will revert to normal anyway...due to a nasty bug in the programming), I'd still go for about 90% of the treasure and 3 special loot items (which is the requirement for the hardest of difficulty, and added some extra value to the game; normal only requires 40% and 1 of the special loot items).  Unfortunately, in beating Thief: DS, I saw another crappy Hollywood style ending on what could've been a great ending sequence.  Instead of getting some closure on Garrett and The City (the ending definitely makes it look like this is the last quest for Garrett...but not the series) after playing through all three games, I instead am subjected to some techno music blasting after seeing a lame sentimental and cheesy end video...TECHNO ON A MEDIEVAL BASED GAME?!?!  Blah!  Anyway, for more on this, just check back Friday for Malik's endings are just getting lame...sigh...

So, I think, until my dear ToS comes out, I'm going to try picking up Phantasy Star 4 again (I started playing a couple weeks ago, but Thief beat PS4 for my affection).  Personally, I prefer an occasional lull in good games hitting the shelves since it gives me some time to appreciate the classics...back when plots in RPGs were not about whiney daddy's boys (Tidus...) or a trio of sphere hunters having a giant night on the town.

Anyway, once again, I saw nothing cool in the news, I'm out of here and off to battle Darkforce how he was meant to be turn based combat.


Malik (6/30/04) 

There is some news of note today.  It seems some delays are being predicted for the PSP.  However, the news is from an analyst and not directly from Sony, so who knows what this really means to us geeks.

My hunt for a time waster in my post-Thief days has been rewarded.  I had almost forgotten how sweet Phantasy Star was before it went online.  I've picked up Phantasy Star IV with a vengeance.  After playing last night after a lull of true PS for about 3 years, I think my time is being well spent.  PSIV does something that many RPGs released in the last couple of years have forgotten how to do; be fun and still convey a good plot that can have character development, but not have any of the typical whiney characters...true, Chaz (the hero) is a bit of a whiney bitch at the start of the game, but he is forced to change rather quickly...unlike a typical modern Square hero who is rewarded for being whiney...I mean Tidus starts whiney and remains whiney while defeating his arch-nemesis/love interest (and I don't mean Yuna...the other love interest for Tidus...I wont throw out a spoiler, so if you don't know who I speak of...well, I envy you for not playing through FFX...I wish I could get that time back and spend it on something far more worthwhile; like repeatedly watching the FF movie...that's called sarcasm...).  With PSIV, Chaz starts off acting like a little whore, but before long Rune and Alys smack Chaz around enough that he breaks out of his Tidus phase.

Well, I'm thinking that my classic reviews are a bit limited and lacking, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a review for PSIV on anytime soon...however, to write a review, I must play some more (I've beaten PSIV many a time, but...)...actually, I just want to play some more of this quality RPG to hopefully get in the right mood for Tales of Symphonia (less than two weeks to go).

By the way; for those who've previously visited the forums, I've opened it so that polls can be voted on by non-registered guests...however, if you look at the forums, I'm sure you'll see that only registered members can vote...I wish this would fix itself, but it looks like my forum program hates me.  So, since I'd like to hear some feedback and opinions on the forums, feel free to register; it's free, it won't lead to you being on some lame mailing list, and it'll let you share your opinions with the  Cool.


Malik (6/30/04) 

Well, to update my final statements of that last post; I, as someone who has never done database programming himself, and has always relied on programs to maintain and create databases for me, have manually reprogrammed the database for authority of the forum...well, one of two things was expected as I went into this.  Either I would destroy the database for the forums or I would get nothing accomplished.  Well, I did what I didn't expect!  All of you who wish to remain anonymous and still vote on the forums can!  Booyah!  Now to some much deserved PSIV.


Malik (7/1/04)

I decided, with wanting to prepare for ToS, that while PSIV is a good game, I needed a bit of action to get ready for the action based battles of ToS; so I got Prince of Persia last night...actually, I was down at EB pre-ordering ToS and had one of those impulse buys.  No matter how much I resist, when I go to a game store I have to leave with something substantial.  Anyway, PoP is entertaining me quite well, but I'm still more into PSIV than PoP.  Something about a true classic can't describe it in words, but rather you can only understand it when you have that feeling of wanting to play the game for 10 hours without taking a break...then you take a break and want to play for another marathon session.  I am aiming to put up a review of PSIV sometime soon since this game is just overlooked by many of the modern geeks.  True it came out several console generations ago, but...well, it's that damned good.

I also do want to get a review of PoP up sometime shortly after my PSIV the time those are up, I should be close to my precious ToS, and then I can get a review up for that.  So, long story short, I plan to have quite a few things up in the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, I got home a little late tonight, and gorged at the trough of freedom (all-you-can-eat at Todai), so I feel tired and lethargic, and quite drained (mentally), so I shall keep things short tonight.  However, I will be back with a new Malik's Bitchings tomorrow (despite my aim of being drunk before I get home from work...farewell party for coworker + bar = drunk Malik).  VIVA BOOZE!