Saturday, February 27, 2010

You Are Standing In An Open Field West Of A White House...

Many, many years ago before there was such a thing as the Internet, Halo, or more than 16 colors on a screen at a time, there was a quiet revolution in computer based gaming. That revolution was called Text Based Adventure! How fondly I can remember sitting in front of my dad's old Commodore 64/128 module awash in a blue glow from the computer monitor I was sitting much to close to, reading text on a screen and typing things like 'go north' so that the screen would 'move' my character forward and give me a new description of where I was. It was like reading a book, but playing a game! It was better than those lame-o Choose Your Own Adventure novels because I didn't have to turn the page hundreds of times. It was, in a word, Glorious.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Would You Kindly Return To Rapture?

After I finished beating Mass Effect 2 (twice), I was ready to take another trip under the sea to the beautiful, Ayn Rand inspired city of Rapture. Another fantastic sequel, Bioshock 2 continues the story of the first game but with a pretty big (daddy) twist. This time, instead of fighting these guys until your health bar is at just a sliver, you actually are a Big Daddy. You are Delta, the first of the Big Daddy experiment/program and at the beginning of the game you are rendered unconscious by a fairly nefarious person who, besides not knowing the order of the Greek alphabet, is a bad, bad lady.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

One of the questions I've been asked a lot lately is, "Who the Hell are you?" This is followed very closely by, "Why are you in my house?!" However, a far more important question (and a sadly distant third) is, "Why haven't you been making any blog posts?" My friends and readers, I have not one, not two, but three very valid, very believable excuses. I'll share all of them with you over the next three days, and even throw in some other goodies until we get back onto our regularly scheduled Mon., Wed., Fri. routine. You're welcome!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How To Eat Like A King, But Stay Thin As A Pauper

The other day, an old friend of mine read my post on James Kakalios' excellent book about physics called The Physics Of Superheroes and said to me, "That was the first thing you've liked, isn't it?" That comment set off a chain of thoughts that went (something) like this:

It wasn't the first thing I liked, was it?
No, I liked Fallout 3.
You did say it was derivative, though.
It's a reboot of a ten year old series, of course it's derivative!
Hey man, I'm just sayin' is all...
I like pizza.

So, in the interest of not being such a Negative Nellie, I thought I would post another, more obviously positive review. This one is for The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook - Concise Edition.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Repeat After Me: Radiation Will Not Give Me Superpowers. It Will Kill Me.

When I was eighteen years old I was bitten by a spider. At first I thought it was going to be the greatest event of my young life; I had spent nearly two decades idolizing Stan Lee's Friendly Neighboorhood Superhero so you can only imagine how excited I was. Super strength, 6th sense, sticking to walls and such, they were all going to be mine! Two days later there were violent looking red streaks in my legs where the spider goodness venom was wreaking havoc in my cardiovascular system and a day after that a painful swelling in my genitals forced me to hobble into a doctor's office to receive treatment (consisting of anti-goodness venom pills and a steroid pill that was about the size of a golf ball).

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'll Have A Moxie... So Long As You're Paying Me

I don't know if there's a better way to describe this soft drink, other than to give you some direct quotes I found while surfing the interwebs recently:

"I found some bottles of Moxie at a local BevMo. Upon tasting I found it to be terrible. Is this normal? Could my bottle have been bad, old, tampered, etc?

I can't even identify the general flavor of the stuff. It seemed to be vaguely like black licorice but then i was hit with a strong medicine after taste. I am not joking when i say i have had liquid antibotics that have tasted better.

What gives? This almost destroyed my faith in quality soda. I was going to switch entirely to Safeway generic cragmont soda. Luckily i had a bottle of Stewarts grape on hand to save me."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

So Close. So, So Close.

If you've never watched a Zombie movie before, or if you're just now getting your feet wet in the genre, you should know something: There are a lot of really, really bad zombie movies out there. In fact, in a recent study, the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television found that for every Romero zombie film there are approximately 112 horrible knock offs (I made that up, I have no idea what the actual ratio is).

To be honest and blunt, The Quick and the Undead is a Romero knock off. Accept that. It's full of zombie clich├ęs, sub par writing, and the atypical way-the-hell-over the top gory makeup you've come to expect from a low budget feature such as this. What makes this movie tolerable? What sets it apart from its brethren films like Dead and Deader (the world misses you, Dean Cain)? A great idea.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Upstart Programmers from Maryland Reboot A Venerable Game Series...

After I played this game for about an hour I decided that it could have just as easily been titled OblivionShock. The heritage of this game is so blatantly obvious that anyone who has played video games in the last 5 years could instantly spot homages, allusions, and outright thievery from a dozen games or more. Somehow, I don't mean this as a bad thing.

While it's clear that Bethesda Softworks (a Zenimax Media Company) used the exact same engine as they did in one of my favorite games (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) and were very heavily influenced by the 2K Games 2007 release BioShock (both feature the ability to craft new weapons from scrap, a 50s kitsch theme, and a wonderfully retro soundtrack) you should not make the mistake of thinking that this game cannot stand on it's own two legs.