First things first; I
know a lot of Seattle fans who turned off the game early yesterday.
I know of a few who quit around the end of the third quarter.
Well, you people missed out on a damned fun fourth quarter.
Yes, the game was nearly impossible to win at that point, but
Seattle tried and made for fifteen minutes of fun.
Well, the Seahawks are
now done for the year. It was one weird ride, but it's not all
bad. For one thing, this was always supposed to be a
rebuilding year, and as one the team succeeded. Seattle still
has some questions left in a few positions, but the wide receiver
area is clear with Deon Butler (assuming he can return from that
horrible broken leg), Stokely (who showed that he still has plenty
of gas in his engine as a veteran), Obomanu (who has long been a
good backup for the always hurting and hurt receiver corps), Golden
Tate (who should do a lot more next year now that he knows the NFL
system better), and the amazing come-back player of the year; Big
Mike Williams. It also looks good with a tight end who is
amazing still with the new system; Carlson. Add in Robinson, a
fullback who can block and run while also pulling off a wild card,
if he is given a good play call. Even the running game, in and
of itself, isn't too bad with Washington (also one of the top return
men in the league), Forsett and Lynch pulling a shifting running
package with speed and power options. I even think Hasselbeck
has another year in him (but now is the time to find a true QB of
the future, and it sure isn't Whitehurst). Even parts of the
defense look great with Earl Thomas, Tatupu, Red Bryant, and Mebane
all going strong. Plus, who could forget Lawyer Malloy and his
amazing ability to be a veteran who looks as strong and as fast as a
The real problems
are some of the long standing ones. The offensive line is
still sad. It wasn't bad to start the season with, but I think
Seattle must need some new trainers and medical staff since Seattle
remains in the top of the NFL for injuries. Also, Seattle
doesn't carry enough worthy backups to cover when an injury comes
up. In fact, if Seattle can either stop the injuries or pick
up some worthy backup players, next year can be amazing.
probably about the number one cause for Seattle's numerous losses.
The rush defense died when Red Bryant went out for the season, and
the offensive line kept struggling to keep Hasselbeck safe and to
find any way to allow Forsett and Lynch to make any running plays.
I'm willing to bet if Carlson didn't get one of the most painful
looking injuries I've seen in a long time yesterday that the Bears
would not have had some an easy ride into the conference
championship game. That, or if Seattle had a good backup tight
end and not just Morrah, who just doesn't look ready for prime time.
It also would help if Seattle didn't drop passes like Pete Carroll
drops players from the roster.
In the end, I
think Pete Carroll needed to be more prepared for injuries, and I
think the defensive and offensive coordinators need to either be
replaced or open the damned playbook and allow some less predictable
calls (enough with the fade route on offense). Once he found a
game plan that could get away from Carlson's absence, the game
looked far better for Seattle. Of course, at that point there
was 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Seattle was down 28-3.
Not much can be done in that situation, but Seattle still looked
damned good making three touch downs in a span of about eight
minutes. Still, as the saying goes; too little, and far too
late. Still, I have to say the final quarter, for being such a
blowout, was pretty exciting. I never counted on Seattle
coming back, but a small part of my mind started to say, "what
if..." before both failed on-side kick attempts.
The Bears, in all
reality, just don't look like the number 2 seed for the NFC.
They are not all bad, but they look like they will meet a painful
end of the season when the Packers come to town and show them what a
real playoff team can do.
Now that it's done
for Seattle, I only have one fading interest in the NFL for this
nearly done season. I want Green Bay to beat the Bears and I
want the Jets to beat the Steelers. For one thing, as a
Seattle fan, I have to hate on Pittsburgh (Super Bowl XL).
More so, I want to see how many heads explode when the season is
done and it can be said that a losing team knocked off the defending
champions in the playoffs, and then the Super Bowl consisted of two
wild card teams. It's the type of anarchy and chaos that will
make for some damned fun reading in the sports pages on how seeding
is out of control and all that crap.
I guess I do have
two other bits of interest in the NFL until next season begins; I
hope Seattle drafts some good players to fill holes in the long term
(especially finding the QB of the future) and that the NFL continues
as normal and there isn't some lockout bullshit in the near future.
Anyway, to make
one final point clear, I think the Seahawks did damned good this
year. Some would say they were a humiliation on the NFL by
making the post season with a 7-9 record. I see a team that
won its division during a major rebuilding year. I see a team
that had more wins this year than the last few years. I see a
team that has found some good long term prospects and franchise
favorites. I see a player (Big Mike Williams) who worked his
ass off, got no special favors, and showed that a person can fail on
big expectations only to get a well earned second chance. I
see a team that has the basic parts in place and just needs to fill
in the cracks (find a healthy O-line for the running game and to
protect the QB). I see a team that did more than they should
have in a year that should have been a wash. A lot of people
called the Saints game last week "Seattle's Super Bowl" and I have
to mildly agree. Well, we won in that big game. Next
year, Seattle will just have to improve and make it another round
into the playoffs.
I'm getting a bit slow
in posting recently. It's mainly due to too many things on my plate
at once and not much time to form a coherent thought about life in
general. Anyway, that's just my excuse.
I did get
LittleBigPlanet 2 last night. I can't say much about the game, since
it took too long to install and to download all the bonus items tied
in to getting the Collector's Edition.
I can say that I
am glad the game has a nice way of incorporating saves from the
original. I don't know how the beginning tutorial stage plays out on
a fresh LBP2 save file, but if you have a LBP save on the system, it
will skip the basics. More so, it will mention that you already
should know something and then the lesson will primarily be skipped.
This saved me a bit of time with the entire start segment, while not
skipping any of the plot relevant information. Definitely a good
thing when you have about three minutes to play due to the long
I can also say I'm
pretty happy with Amazon right now. I pre-ordered LBP2 with the
shipping option for delivery on release day. I believe it was a
simple $1 shipping option, but that doesn't mean the shipping is the
low end type. My game was shipped Monday evening and showed up
yesterday evening with a "Next Day Air" UPS shipping method. I had
previously lost my lost for getting pre-orders of games from Amazon.
It came down, in the past, to getting games like Picross DS and
Smash Bros. Melee about a week to three weeks late despite having a
long standing pre-order in place. If Amazon can keep up on this
delivery on release date option, I'll be happy to shift back to
Amazon and away from Gamestop. Especially since Gamestop seems to
have their own delayed delivery for in store purchases of non-major
titles (like Golden Sun DS coming two days late since it's not a
On another note of
giving second chances...I bought Lufia for the DS a month ago. Due
to other games (Professor Layton 3, Fallout 3, and all that), I
didn't start playing Lufia until two days ago. I only bought the
game to really support the idea of Lufia continuing. I expected more
garbage, since the third (GB Color) and fourth (GBA) Lufia titles
were flat out crap. Add in that Lufia for the DS is a retelling of
Lufia 2 (one of my top RPGs of all time) and eliminates the turn
based party system for a real time Zelda style with exchangeable
characters in combat, and I had no reason to expect anything good.
Then when you take how much the plot has been altered to fit the new
play system, it only looks worse.
Well, I don't like
the new plot direction. I think it's really just awkward that no
character ever seems to permanently leave the party (plot wise, Tia,
your first partner, leaves early on due to a love triangle that she
cannot win in the original Lufia 2), you start with one of the
temporary characters as your tour guide of sorts (Professor Lexus),
and the mysterious guide of the first game who would pop in and out
in times of certain doom is now a constant non-combat party member
(Iris). It all feels weird in the end if you love Lufia 2 on the
The combat also
feels strange since no character ever really learns new moves. Each
character has a normal attack, a special attack, and a charged
version of each (except Tia who only gets a charged version of her
normal attack, but no charged special). You can use the special
attacks to solve some minor puzzles, but that's it. No new moves are
learned, at least that I've seen. You can change what special attack
you use, but I've yet to see anything unique beyond maybe a small
damage boost (I should probably read the instructions about this).
So, once you get all six party members, you are literally done with
new moves and abilities. All you have left is equipment changes,
leveling up, and an ability increasing system to try to keep it all
fresh enough. Quite frankly, it seems underwhelming.
So, with that all
in mind, I cannot believe someone took my favorite game of my
childhood and turned it into some grotesque creation not fit for the
world. Most of all, I am amazed that I am enjoying it. For some
reason, the game is addictive. It's simple, and can be vague, but it
is something I just cannot stop playing. It's like eating the free
bread at an all-you-can-eat restaurant. You know you shouldn't have
it, and you know it's not conductive to your enjoyment...but it is
so damned good that you just want to keep eating it.
I also must say,
the production values are really high for something that came from a
series that usually went light on presentation. The portraits are
well made for each character, and there is a lot of voice acting
hidden in this tiny little DS cart.
Is this game for
everyone? No. Is it for Lufia fans? Despite being such a twisting of
the original Lufia 2, I think it is. It's like the Cliff Notes
version of the original (still better to dust off the SNES and enjoy
the real Lufia 2), and this makes it a fun on-the-go snack of a
game. It is also a perfect game to hurt the brains of Lufia fans. I
want to hate it with every fiber of my being, but I want to support
Natsumi and the Lufia name...and I am having fun while hating myself
This is the most
depressing weekend of the year for me. It comes around this time of
year every year, but this weekend is it for 2011. This is the first
weekend without watching my Seahawks play, and knowing it's not just
a bye week...unless you want to call it the longest damned bye week
of the year. With a potential lockout next season, maybe it will be
the longest bye week of all my days enjoying football.
Anyway, if I had
to have any enthusiasm for the NFL, I think I'd be cheering for the
Jets and the Packers. On one hand, it would really mess with the
whole argument that the seeds this year were crap if two wildcard
teams make it to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, I want the Jets
for an obvious reason (Seattle fans are not Steelers fans after
Super Bowl XL). As for the Packers, I like how Aaron Rodgers looks
and I love watching the great skill set that is Green Bay's offense.
They are probably the most balanced team still in it and that will
make for a good team to keep watching.
On a related note,
after watching the Bears beat a floundering Seattle team last
weekend, and after reading comments from Chicago players about
Soldier Field, I have to say that something needs to be done. I
don't like to talk trash about any team or their home field. I mean
Seattle, in the past, had some ugly stadiums and arenas. I like
Soldier Field when it comes to the entire building. However, the NFL
or Chicago needs to do something about the actual field.
Once winter is
here, the turf is nothing short of a swamp of melted mud and the
most pathetic looking natural turf in any field in professional
sports. Winter is not nice to natural turf in Chicago, but also
having upwards up nearly a dozen high school games on the same field
per week during the NFL season only makes it worse. I do love
natural turf, but this is one time where the circumstances require
artificial turf. I'm just saying, it's not a pretty field and it
sure slows down the game when it comes to running or precision
To make it clear,
I'm also not saying the turf is why Seattle lost last weekend. In
fact, the bad turf should have helped, since Hasselbeck is better
when the defense cannot reach him and it's hard to reach the QB when
300 pound defensive players are falling on their asses in the mud.
Seattle lost due to receivers not being able to use their hands in
any constructive ways.
So, I'll be
watching probably the better part of both games this weekend, but I
know the Green Bay game will be a bit slower than it should with the
swamp under their feet.
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