Malik (8/2/04)

I have some non-game related stuff for today.  Since the only game I've been playing is still Tales of Symphonia, I figured it was time to talk about something else...after all, all the ToS stuff I can talk about is just how this game rocks and how people who claim the story is thin, cookie-cutter, or a FFX ripoff can all shut the hell up (since this game has a deep plot; there is some recycled material, but that's only because it's all been done before.  It's only when a game uses it in a new way, like ToS does, that it can really be good and not the same old crap; and the FFX relationship is completely unfounded and the people who claim there is one are just a bunch of FFX fanboys and fanboys who don't prove an argument suck ass).

So, for those who don't know, I'm a giant Less Than Jake freak/geek.  A little background for the uninitiated; LTJ are a punk/ska band from Florida that have been kicking ass for a good long time (they just put out their about 9th album depending on how you're counting).  They recently refined their sound, which means they sound cleaner but a little less edgy...yet, they still rock.  This refinement has made their concerts suck since the previously hardcore LTJ fans are now replaced mainly with little kids (I judge people in the mosh pit by their height, not age, and these kids are about waist-high-years-old, which sucks since a moshing little kid can be ultra-violent and a liability when you slam into one of them) who all like to wave camera phones rather than lighters during the more epic/emotional sounding!  Anyway, to the point; they just released a new album "B is For B-Sides" which is supposed to be a lot dirtier and rougher sounding (well, more than their last studio release of "Anthem").  Sadly, for the LTJ elite, it doesn't sound nearly as rough as something like "Losing Streak" (one of their best albums/their third or so album), but it still kicks some ass...the roughness is about equal to "Borders and Boundaries".  On the plus side, there is no crappy pop-sounding songs like "She's Gonna Break Soon", and every song kicks arse.  So, there's my music review for the year (I had one of these at my location when I was working with a couple of good friends at lazy.GEEKS...see the links section).

I've also been reading the Geek Bible...also known as The Lord of The Rings.  Despite being a geek, I was never a literary type (beyond reading obscure books like Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, Journey to the West, etc.), so this is my first reading of LotR.  I have to say it was probably for the best that I saw the movies before reading the books since I would have been pissed off seeing Fellowship and not seeing the first 200 pages of the book (with the exception of about 5 pages worth of random sentences), and a geek riot would have ensued after I started booing the movie.  Like, I can't believe how the four main hobbits were rewritten by Jackson.  I mean what part in the book says that Pippin and Merry were a couple of dumbass trouble makers?  Instead I saw the parts that said they were pretty wise and it was Frodo who was more of a master of mischief for the group (like how he's the only one of the four who had stolen from anyone's garden, but we formally meet movie Pippen and movie Merry as they steal some crops and informally we met them as they messed around with fireworks...which never happened in the book).  Plus, the skipping of some important details seems like a waste.  I mean, it's cool that Helm's Deep was extended in the second movie since it was a sweet action scene (or scenes), but couldn't we had seen Bombadil, learned of the letter from Gandalf at the Prancing Pony, or been informed that about two decades had passed since Bilbo left the Shire before Frodo set out?  I think this would have been good info for those who had not read the books, like myself.  Anyways, I'm just bitchy because the books are pretty damned good, and I usually count on Western literature to suck, in my eyes.

Anyway, I didn't mention much about it, but I will in closing...I need to play ToS!  NOW!


Malik (8/3/04)

Doom 3 is Unleashed, at long last...

Doom 3 has finally been shipped, despite how many, including myself, thought this title would forever be vaporware. However, the game is not only flooding the market, but it even looks pretty good...sigh. 

I was exposed to some videos of Doom 3, or at least a mod of it, by one of my friends last night, and I have to say that I might have been wrong about this title. The videos, available at this site, show a small chunk of playtime as a player runs through some rather nostalgic looking maps. 

Despite how the game uses a completely different technology standard than the last Doom (number 2), and the graphics have been remade into a 3D experience, the look is definitely classic Doom. From the pockets of magma on the ground, to the brick walls of the dungeons, to the classic pose for fighting barehanded, Doom 3 is definitely an update of the classic FPS we older geeks all know and loved. 

I know I might have said in the past that the images released by ID in the last couple of years looked silly, like the skeleton with rocket launchers on it's shoulders, but once Doom 3 is in action, it is a classic sight to be seen...still frames and images do nothing for this possible masterpiece (I'll leave that verdict until I've played the game for myself) that looks fluid in action and is able to portray a new level of suspense in everything from the detailed environments to the monsters that look great once the action is rolling. Why didn't ID release more vids and less pictures to justify their work? That's my one question. 

The only sad part is that, according to what I've been told, there is no co-op mode. I for one was raised on FPS games using co-op as I trudged through Doom, Hexen, and Duke Nukem. I have preached this point many a time in my Bitchings, but I'll say it again; the best way to truly enjoy a campaign style game (like the one-player game of the Doom series) is with a friend watching your back on a slightly higher difficulty. There is nothing like debating who deserves the first rocket launcher, who will be the poor sap to open a doom that leads to the cyber-demon, or who REALLY needs that single med kit that is in front of you. Hopefully the mod community will feel the same and find a way to give us what we so rightfully deserve after such a long and arduous wait.


Malik (8/4/04)

I'm working my PC to death right now, and since memory prices have been pretty lame around here, I haven't been able to replace the RAM I lost in, my computer is working to death while in a less than healthy state.  Anyway, this all means that I'm going to keep things short for tonight (until my current PC maintenance is done).

Anyway, I am really sick of something that I didn't even notice until I got to thinking about the state of email this morning...I don't know if it was a fake email, but Hotmail sent me a thing about 3 weeks ago saying that account sizes were increasing to 250MB in the next two weeks...well, since that was three weeks ago, I should have a lot more space...right?  Wrong.  I don't know if Hotmail is just dicking around or what, but that type of bull shit is pretty lame when other free email people have already taken the hint that the antiquated couple of megs per inbox just doesn't fly in an age of 120GB hard drives being common place.  I just had to get that off my chest.

Also, on another note, in the next few days, hopefully, we will be seeing a review posted by another geek.  Unfortunately, things got sent to random places, and in the process of things being forwarded to the right location, things got messed up.  Mr. X, sorry about that.  It should be fixed soon, but Velveeta should be talking to you about that soon.  Anyway, Mr. X, I'll get that all running soon enough, once the details get cleared up.

Well, I'm slowly pacing my way, still, through Tales of Symphonia.  I have one of those important presentation type things coming up this Friday with my day job, so I've been slowing down some things, and speeding up others.  ToS was one that got slowed down.  I hope to finish ToS by the end of next week, since I will be taking my first vacation of the year all next week...which will also mean I can get some more thorough updates to the Asylum...assuming that the freedom doesn't just go to my head.

Anyway, the PC is bitching and complaining like me on a Friday, so I will stop this extra bit of suffering on the poor thing, and get on to a machine that requires less effort to get the GCN with ToS.


Malik (8/5/04)

Well, my computer got delayed with some router issues last night, so my PC maintenance continues (I need a good deal of drivers and such from the net to finish this BS up), so I am running a PC that's acting like a 486.  So, for that reason, it will be another short post tonight...that and I have a presentation for work tomorrow that is messing with my least my vacation is only a day away.

Anyway, I decided today to email Hotmail support about the stupidity of their broken promises.  They promise with comments and questions that a response will come in 24 hours or less...however, my inbox was supposed to jump up by 125X over a week ago according to another promise.  I hate it when a company cannot do it's job right and makes empty fact, I just hate empty promises all together.  I mean the last time this crap happened, I dropped Brinkster like a bad habit.  This time, since Hotmail is free, I'll probably watch as my inbox overfills, yet again, mainly due to those damned Microsoft emails I my XBox and XBox Live newsletters...I don't understand why MS would send such a large email (their newsletters average around 45k) when their inboxes are kept at a measly 2MB.  Then there are those damned Hotmail notifications that pop up saying how I can get a bigger inbox if I give them of those was once the letter that overfilled my inbox...that was ironic and retarded.  Blah.  I'll know tomorrow, if they keep their word, on the whole inbox upgrade deal.

Anyway, as I said, my machine is running like something from over a decade ago, so I'm out of here.  Tomorrow will be a real update, with Malik's Bitchings, and a rant about how Hotmail doesn't give a shit about anyone...prove me wrong, Hotmail...prove me wrong.


Malik (8/6/04)

Last night I did something that changed my world. I checked out Doom 3 in action. Sadly, I must say, like I thought from vids of the game, that the real thing is definitely kick ass compared to the lame still shots ID put out for the last couple of years. I don't know if this game was justified in it's far too many years of development, but it is sweet none-the-less. The mood of the game is something that has to be seen to be believed. The blending of messed up monsters, a lot of darkness, and the introductions used for new enemies is nothing short of RE style terror. In fact, the terror level of RE has nothing on D3. If it weren't for the massive requirements of the game, I'd probably be out buying this game right now...but I don't want to upgrade my very good computer to actually handle D3...just too expensive since I'd need a good chunk of memory and a new video card (mine meets the minimum requirements, which is never good enough)...just too costly for me for now...maybe in a few months, and maybe D3's price will drop some by then...maybe

So, I have a new issue of Malik's Bitchings ready for today. I might have been a bit hasty in my posts since Wednesday with my PC work, but I promised something more today, and I deliver my promises...usually...most times...originally some of the items in M's B was supposed to be news items, but as I typed the news type things, I found myself growing bitchy and irate at the stupidity of it all, so I ended up just saving them for the weekly conclusion I call Malik's Bitchings.

I'm still going slowly through Tales of Symphonia. I have slowed down a bit this week as I spent more time chillin' with some friends, but I haven't given up by any means. I'm still loving the game, and with my impending vacation next week, I think I'll be able to put ToS to rest before my next Bitchings column is up. I'm just glad that ToS is treating me better than Tales of Destiny 2 did...that game was a blast for about 2 weeks, and then the combat engine just got on my nerves and I had to give up...I never did pick ToD2 up again simply because the combat was far too annoying after the first 20 or so hours...and after about 30 hours, I was ready to throw the CD out the window. So, what I'm rambling at; ToS is still pimp after all this time (I'm at around 50 hours now), and I don't see that changing any time least not until after I've seen the ending.