Monthly Archives: August 2010

Cashiering

I had a fun day at work today. I picked up my paycheck and worked at the cash regster most of the day. I did some stickering but mostly stayed up front with Jason and John. Jason talked to and helped me quite a bit. He’s pretty cool.
Before work I listened to the Joystiq Podcast and had a turkey, chipotle, and cheese sandwich and pepsi. And after I got off work? Pizza pretzel and pepsi! I’m listening to the Joystiq Podcast too!

LK 25 and Halion 25 Down



LK 25 and Halion 25 Down, originally uploaded by theuser.

Saturday night a handful of CFC members, including gem and me, joined
MOONSHINE in downing Arthas in Icecrown Citadel 25 and Halion in Ruby
Sanctum 25! I wasn’t expecting this progression for quite a while! Of
course, there’s always more to do. HM ICC 10 and 25 would be great, as
would achievements for the drake. Ulduar clear and ToGC are also high
on my list of things to do! I’m super happy I got Arthas down in 25
though. MOONSHINE has some great people, and I’m glad they brought us.

Nook Training, Plumtree, The Young Veins

Today was my last day of training at Barnes & Noble. I worked at the Nook kiosk today. I like the idea of the Nook, but I think I’d rather have an all-in-one device like my iPhone honestly. I met Keith, a manager who was on vacation previously, so that was cool. I also met a number of other people. I spent a few hours with Luke, who works the Nook kiosk a lot it seems. Everyone’s incredibly friendly at Barnes & Noble, so that’s nice. I’m really glad I already knew some people there. I bought a children’s book after work and spent some time talking with Paris.
I’ve listened to almost the entire catalog of Plumtree music now. The only recording of their first album that I could find was a rip of a cassette tape someone made. It was never released on CD or online. It’s pretty interesting since they were so young. I’m enjoying the music. There’s one album left that I haven’t listened to yet. I also listened to The Young Vein’s album that came out in June. Amazing that two of the members are former Panic! at the Disco members. The Young Veins sound so much different. I really like Panic, but I’m liking The Young Veins too.

Nightwish Members Forming New Band, The Myötähäpeä

BLABBERMOUTH.NET – NIGHTWISH Members Launch THE MYÖTÄHÄPEÄ; Video Available

According to NIGHTWISH keyboardist/mainman Tuomas Holopainen, “This amazing group of mind-blowing virtuosity combined with a versatile repertoire includes such names as Heikki Kovalainen of F1 LOTUS on the drums, and Mr. Toni Virtanen on the vocals. Jukka [Nevalainen, drums] took over the keys, whereas Emppu [Vuorine, guitar] and me swapped between guitar and bass to make it a real challenge. Jamppa Lautamäki of the NIGHTWISH website fame filled the first open backing vocals position, but there’s still room for more behind the mics.”

Some of the members of Nightwish are forming a new group, The Myötähäpeä, with other artists. I hope this doesn’t mean a decline in Nightwish releases, but I doubt it because Nightwish is currently Finland’s most successful band, and I get the feeling this is more of a side project. If you follow the link through to the source, there’s a YouTube clip of them rehearsing.

Cashier Training, Alice, Larysa, First House

Today was my cash wrap training at Barnes & Noble. They actually put the register into a training mode and allow new hires to go through various sample encounters. It’s a pretty cool way to get people used to the system. Getting to try out the system is much better than jumping into it like Albertson’s made people. After I finished training, I got to actually work the register for a while. Friday is Nook training, and then I start real shifts next week.
In the evening I went to dinner with gem. The waitress was very familiar, but I couldn’t recall how I knew her. Then she brought it up as well, and she realized we had a mutual friend – Allison. She was Allison’s friend Alice, who I’d met multiple times. It was pretty cool because we weren’t super close to home or anything. It’s not like we’re close friends or anything, but it was cool to run into her and talk.
We also went to Larysa’s house in San Juan Capistrano. It was incredibly dark in her neighborhood. A stupid rabbit tried to get itself killed by running out in front of us! Anyways, Larysa’s cat was super friendly and loves to be pet, so we spent a long time petting him. He loves shoes, which was a little weird. He sniffed and licked our shoes that we left in front of the door. Then he rolled around on them, chewing on them at the same time. Weird, but cute! I realized that I lived very close to Larysa’s house when I a newborn through four years old, so we found my old house. I didn’t really remember any of it, but the hill in front seemed vaguely familiar (except much smaller in actuality).
Action packed day!

Scott Pilgrim

Wow. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was really amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It’s almost strange how it so perfectly adapted gaming (not a particular game) to the movie screen. I definitely want to own this movie. You could even say that I’m in lesbians with it.
The soundtrack is pretty amazing too. I’m pretty terrible at trying to talk about music in any meaningful way, so I guess I won’t try much. I will say that I was looking for new music recently. It’s been hard for me to find anything new to listen to ever lately. The Scott Pilgrim soundtrack… well, it rocks! One of the best songs on it, Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree, was the song that inspired the creation of the original Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. I looked into Plumtree and found that they’re an indie rock, punk-pop formed in 1993 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They started playing in junior high! Anyways, I really liked their sound and have been listening to one of their albums, Predicts the Future, quite a bit now. Good stuff!

Bookseller

I am now a Bookseller at Barnes & Noble! Today was technically my second day of work, although I’m still doing training. I did straighten some books on a few shelves though! Yay! I really like the people I’ve met so far, and I keep seeing things that interest me. It’s too bad there are so many good books. Also, I wish I didn’t like their e-book reader so much. The food at the cafe is pretty tasty, and I get 50% off there. Yes, I think that’s the biggest perk.
Sadly, I don’t know how much I make yet!

WoW and Lynx

I’ve been playing a few games recently. Besides World of Warcraft, I’ve been playing a few different Lynx games. I’ve also been playing some PSP games and a couple console games.
In WoW, I’m now 12/12 ICC 10, 7/12 ICC 10H, and 11/12 ICC 25. I’ve done RS 10 but still haven’t finished 25. I also broke 6k gs yesterday!
As for Lynx games, I’m getting pretty far in Chip’s Challenge. I think I’m about one-third of the way through the game. While I’ve definitely playe more of CC than any other Lynx games, I’ve also put some time into Gates of Zendocon and Todd’s Adventures in Slime World.
I picked up The Club a bit ago for less than $10. It was the first game I purchased since last summer. I enjoyed the more arcade-y take on third-person shooters. I haven’t played around in it much after beating it. I also tried to finish Mad World, but I’m pretty lazy, and the boss battles require a lot of shaking.
Okay, I’m fallng asleep. Good night.

Modern Look at Doom

/v/ – The Vidya

Anonymous 08/14/10(Sat)04:12 No.70231XXX
Okay /v/, I bought the doom games on the steam sale after a few of my friends told me how good it was. I was extremely disappointed. The graphics were nice, using sprites instead of models was a pretty neat design choice. The music sounds bad, I mean even NES music sounds better, I expected more from a PC game. The gameplay was also incredibly boring.
>Shoot stuff
>Get keycard
>leave
Every time. And the most disappointing thing? The autoaim. It was like I was really playing a console shooter. Seriously I play PC games to avoid shit like autoaim. Why does everyone like this game so much?

TMKF on Games

selectbutton :: View topic – is this guy serious
I thought this was interesting.

Yeah, I think that’s part of it. That’s why people play Peggle and things like that.
And I think there’s a propensity for play hardwired into humans. But I think the significance of play is underhyped. At it’s essence, play is the pursuit of information through feedback. Infants will throw spoons to the ground over and over, fascinated not just by gravity by also by the way their parent repeatedly returns it to their high chair. After that it gets a little more complicated with kids forming games out of chasing. And then there’s gender bifurcation–children using play to understand their roles as boys or girls (with nothing in between).
But sports and games are interesting because they take that natural predilection for learning and divert it into a maze of abstract axioms: rules, basically. Games are the crack to the cocaine of less regimented play. They’re yet another manifestation of mankind’s tendency to identify a basic need with a direct function and over-refine it until the function is lost and only the gratification remains.
When people do this we usually get one of two results: junk or art.
Slot machines and Candy Land are the junk, sophisticated board games and video games can be the art. Everything else in between is probably just bad art or lofty junk.
Anyway Vikram, the way I see it, nearly everything that humans do is “irrational,” in the sense that our desire to eat and maintain ourselves doesn’t come from a place of logic. Obviously eating make sense–it can be logically justified by our bodies’ needs–but what we eat seldom does. We’re not logically deciding to eat, we’re eating because we have cravings, though we might rationalize those cravings later.
The same thing applies to video games. Video games trick your brain into thinking that you’re receiving unique, new information about the world and then reward you with endorphin spikes (the sound of a coin in Mario or an A ranking) when you do a good job. It’s no wonder that you come back again and again! Games are an easy reward. So yeah, they’re a waste of time if you enjoy them at this shallow level. But if you think about the games you’ve played and draw connections with reality then you’ve elevated games to art through your interpretation. Suddenly, you’re not wasting your time, because you’ve actually generated new ideas and made new connections–connections that you can apply toward bettering your life or the lives of others.
Anyway, I guess I’m just saying that contrary to what you’re professor might think video games are only a waste of time if you make them a waste of time.
(Removed name) makes them a waste of time, because rather than trying to extrapolate something novel from the games he plays, he rationalizes the experience with insipid articles laced with power fantasies and sublimated anger at the state of his own life.
Don’t read the screeds of a madman in an attempt to understand your own madness.

Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:23 am

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is an RPG set in the Sonic universe for DS. Created by RPG masters BioWare, Sonic Chronicles truly captures the feel of the Sonic material that came before it. It pulls from previous games, the Saturday morning cartoon show, and even the comic series. Sonic Chronicles contains menu driven combat with action elements and is filled with funny dialogue.

 
In Sonic Chronicles, you’re able to travel through known zones as well as new locations. There are a variety of characters that you can control. I won’t spoil the game here by listing the characters, but they’re who you would initially expect with a few additions. Some characters are optional, but they’re pretty hard to miss honestly. The dialogue is funny and smarter than other Sonic games. It’s clear that BioWare has done their homework and pulled from the cartoon and comics.
As you run around the map, enemies will be visible patrolling as well. When you touch an enemy, you move to the combat mode. Combat is menu driven with options for attacking, using POW (special moves), using items, defending, and fleeing. POW moves use stylus inputs similar to the gameplay of Elite Beat Agents; to correctly execute the POW move you must tap circles and drag circles at the right time. Out of the eleven possible characters, you use four at a time. Characters have different roles both in and out of combat. Sonic Chronicles is one of the few games in which I liked using status-altering characters. Each character also has moves usable in the main overworld such as flying and smashing objects. Use of these abilities is sometimes required to move about the level. Other times, they’re only needed if you want to collect everything that there is to find. Sometimes you’ll have to change who’s on your team to be able to proceed.
I absolutely fell in love with the graphics of the overworld. It’s quite beautiful and has a hand-drawn look to it. The first zone, Green Hill Zone, is the perfect example; it’s stunning! The music is decent but gets reused throughout the game. It would have been nice to have more variety. Cutscenes are shown through animated comics. This is an interested method of conveying the story that’s cute and a bit different from what’s normally seen. I really liked it.
As I said previously, the dialogue was well written and enjoyable. You’re given dialogue choices, but they don’t have much of an impact. The two optional characters are hard to miss. In fact, there’s nothing too far out of the way. It’s quite easy to find everything. There’s nothing really wrong with this, but RPG fans who want to explore and find secrets are going to be disappointed. However, Sonic Chronicles seems to be made for younger audiences to be able to enjoy everything as well. The difficulty does spike in the second half of the game until you figure out which POW moves to be using and which support characters to use. (Hint: Use POW moves and support characters!) After this is figured out, the game’s difficulty returns to normal. The story is very good. It adds a lot to the Sonic universe and fills in a fascinating and exciting puzzle piece.
Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood is a great game for Sonic fans. It does a wonderful job of shaping the Sonic world into an RPG and then adding to it. Although I don’t like being able to miss things, it would have been nice if there was some more secret characters or items. I really liked where the lore went. I won’t get into specifics, but as someone who really likes Sonic the Hedgehog, it was very interesting to see things explained even if some of the points were lifted from the comic series. Sadly, the ending seemed a little rushed to me. The story concluded well, but I would have liked some of the final scenes to be drawn out and more climatic and dramatic. The game ended while I was still feeling pumped for more! The major plot element is finished at the end of the game, but Sonic Chronicles leaves a few questions open. Hopefully a sequel comes out, because I’d love to play it! While Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood isn’t for people who don’t like RPGs or Sonic, Sonic fans who also enjoy RPGs will absolutely love the game!
(Also posted on GameFAQs.)