The New Semester Ramp-up Is Killing Me

Fresh off of a 4.0 semester, I thought I had this whole thing covered. Little did I know that the 45 day break between semesters would cause such horrible atrophy in my scholastic mind, that it would take nearly a month to get back into the swing of things.

I knew it would happen, which is why I planned on doing Java over the break, why I was hoping to have completed two or three major house projects, and not to have spent the majority of my free time lounging around, watching television and getting back into the terrible habit of playing Minecraft at every opportunity. None of my major projects were completed, I did very little programming, and I did, in fact, spend quite a bit of time watching television and playing Minecraft. “Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it’s only kept a secret from the person who fails.” –Robert Half.

How right he is. I had no idea, and I’m scrambling to get back into the game. I think I’ve got it for Trigonometry. Mythology is a cake walk (thank god), and while Java is a lot of work, it’s not new learning for me, so it’s easy. As always, the English class is the beast. Lots of research and writing, and now there’s also analysis. I like this last part the best, but it’s new and all new things take time to master.

I came over here to write about something, and ended up writing this instead. Obviously this was more important and needed to get out, because I have no idea what the other thing even is anymore.

Advertisements

Day 07 – Favorite game couple

Romance in video games is so prevalent, especially in games with any kind of story.  Especially in the action-adventure games where your solitary goal is to save the princess. That brings up visions of Mario and Princess Peach, Link and Zelda, just about any Final Fantasy game ever. But I’m gonna try to stay away from the old favorites, because it’s just too easy. I mentioned in a previous post that I could just write about Legend of Zelda in almost every day of this “30 days” series, and am trying really hard not to do that.

I had a favorite couple in mind, and went to do some research on other game couples. There’s a few that seem universally adored. Couples that I’m just not aware of. Eddie and Ophelia from Brutal Legend. Never played it, but it didn’t seem like the kind of game that would have a romantic couple in it. Might be worth looking into.  Jackie and Jenny from The Darkness. I played it, didn’t really like it. It seemed boring to me. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I may try it again at some point, if I get through my huge backlog of games that I’m already not playing. Dom and Maria from Gears of War. What? Really? Who would have known that there’d be a romance in a game like that? I don’t own an xbox, so this was never really on my radar, but interesting to know that it might actually have some decent story to it. Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance  from Halflife 2. Uh… I’ve played this game more than just about any other shooter out there. I felt the subtle relationship undertones, but never anything to the level of them being a couple. Course’ I haven’t played HL2 ep2 yet. Maybe it’s in there.  dunno. Ico and Yorda from Ico. This is a game that I’ve been meaning to play for a long, long time. Because of this research, I went out and bought the ICO/Shadows of the Colossus pack for ps3. I very much look forward to discovering the relationship between these two. Going along for the ride are Wander and Mono, in Shadow of the Colussus. Another game I’ve been meaning to play since I saw my friend playing it on the PS2. I now own it, and plan to play it soon. Johnny and River from To the Moon. Haven’t played it, but it looks like a cute little RPG/adventure game that’ I’d prolly get if it was on steam. But it’s not. *sadface* But enough about the games that I’m not writing about today… on to the main subject!

Continue reading

Day 06 – Most annoying character

I missed yesterday’s update. It’s hard to find time to write when it’s your day off, and the family needs attention. Sorry for that. Expect it to happen again though.  –BX

Most annoying character. Oh man. There’s so many. Tingle, from Legend of Zelda. Navi as well. Tidus from Final Fantasy, just about every protagonist in a FF game that had voice acting, to be honest… Samus from Other M, we love her, but when she got to talk… who is this whiny woman who only does what she’s told?

Video games have this tendency to put you in the hero’s role, and to allow you to “become” the hero, often times they don’t talk, so you can imagine your voice behind his or her actions. But when this is done, the supporting characters are usually really obnoxious.

Here’s the wall of shame, in case you don’t already know who these characters are…

Tingle - Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Tingle from Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
We hates him. WE HATES HIM!

Tidus from Final Fantasy X

Tidus the whiny bitch who ends up with the amazingly cute Yuna anyway. Girls like whiny guys in Japan, apparently.

Navi from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Navi from (HEY LISTEN!) The Legend (HEY LISTEN!) of Zelda: (HEY LISTEN!) Oca(HEY!)rina(LISTEN! of T(HEY LISTEN!im(HEY LISTEN!)e. Seriously though,she shouts this at you through the whole game. It gets old, FAST.

Hope Estheim from Final Fantasy XII

Hope Estheim, his mom dies, and he’s pretty whiny about it. Overall, very understandable. He’s also a kid. I’m being too hard on poor Hope, but he was very whiny before his mom died too, so he stays on the wall of shame.

Samus Aran

Samus Aran from Metroid: Other M. Typically a lone wolf badass who gathers (or loses and then gathers) special powers to do pretty much TOTALLY AWESOME stuff, in Other M, she has all her powers, but won’t use them until command HQ tells her that she’s been a good girl, and can turn on her heat shielding in the lava level, or the electro-dampeners against the lightning pirates. You get the idea. WTF Samus? Where’s your backbone?

Snow Villiers from Final Fantasy XIII

Snow Villiers is kind of a bad ass. He looks cool, fights well, but FFS he whines a lot. I think it’s just how the Japanese see Americans. Blonde hair, blue eyes, totally awesome, but whine about everything.

Continue reading

Day 05 – Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were)

There are so many great video characters out there. I’m going to go with the one that I feel that I am most like, because “wish you were” is sort of a cop-out in my humble opinion. Everyone wishes they were better, could do different things, had magical powers or could cut a building in half with a butter knife. The much more telling, and difficult choice is “Which hero/villain/supporting character are you?”

We could look at this from a number of perspectives. Physically, I’m tall, broad-shouldered, olive complexion, dark hair, and fairly well muscled. I could be this guy

Ezio Auditore

Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed II

I could be ok with that. Especially when he becomes all bad-ass and dons the assassin garb. Which reminds me, I need to finish playing AC2. I am so far behind on that series. But I’m tangenting…
Physically, I could be a match for our pal Ezio here, but I dont know that I’m really the european playboy turned assassin type.

So lets look at Personality. I’m a pretty friendly guy. A little shy at times, but overall happy, easy-going and loyal. I could be this guy:

Luigi

Luigi from the Mario Brothers Franchise

Man, talk about loyal. Luigi doesn’t even get his name on the title of the game (except Luigi’s mansion, which he clearly can afford since he’s not always off looking for another “star fix” like his fat brother) and yet he’s always there. Waiting in the wings to be player 2. Screw that. I’m no player 2, I’m player ONE. Sorry Luigi, as chill as you are, I can’t relegate myself to being a side character.

Well, we have covered body, mind, which leaves us with spirit. It’s the courage and tenacity of the hero that really makes us want to be a part of what he’s sent to do. I’m trying really hard not to put Legend of Zelda into every post, since it is clearly my favorite game and link my favorite hero. But damn if he isn’t just the personification of courage and tenacity. So, even though I tried not to, I’ve got link up here again.

Link

Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise

He’s a young kid that’s told he’s the only one that can save the world. That’s a lot of weight to put on a little dude’s shoulders. But he goes off on his own (or with a  friend, depending on the game) and proceeds to cut all the grass, break all the pots, turn over every stone, (and kill some bad guys) until he’s powerful enough to fight the ultimate evil in the world, and using his courage and tenacity, defeat it. He’s the man. Yeah, he’s got a big boy version too.

Adult Link

Adult Link, Wind Waker style by: shaneandhisdog

But really, that doesn’t answer the question. Who do I feel I am most like? It’s still a very difficult decision, especially for me since I’ve spent the last 8-9 years playing MMOs. I could list off a ton of my personal characters and the choices that they’ve made that are just like how I play things. Even with the non-mmo games I’ve been playing recently, the characters are still modeled the way I want them to be, and make the decisions that I want them to make. My ending of Bioshock was the nice one, because I saved all the Little Sisters. But maybe you had the Angry one, or the sad one, because you killed those poor little girls. Who knows. Even with all of that, I’m gonna go with a character that isn’t necessarily the same for every player on every play through.

 

Continue reading

Day 04 – Your guilty pleasure game

I haven’t been looking forward to this one. I am really not sure what to pick for it. I figure that a “guilty pleasure” game is one that you don’t want others to know that you play, or if you don’t care about what others think, its more about you knowing that you shouldn’t play it, but still do.

I’m just not sure I have one.

I’ve always been a gamer, from the first moment I realized that there was adventure to be had in the little green monochrome screen, to the high resolution LED monitors of today, I’ve always played what I wanted to, and never worried about who might think that it was “lame” or whatever.

I’m a proud gamer too. I have the shirts, the figures, wallpapers, calendars, etc… So what would I feel guilty about playing…

Continue reading

Day 03 – Favorite genre

According to the all-knowing Oz Wikipedia, these are the major genres in video games.

Action – Quick reflexes, accuracy and timing. There’s a ton of sub-genres, which are generally the more used terminology. Fighting, platformer, shooter, etc…
Action-Adventure – Bastard child of Action, and Adventure! Their love, deemed unacceptable in the more moral times of the 1980s, they were forced to hide behind textual interfaces, and when their love brought forth the progeny of Action-Adventure Gaming, the world was united in harmony! Or something.  The point is, we have this genre and its games are part adventure, solving puzzles and interacting with your environment, and part action, shooting things that aren’t puzzles to solve. Oh, and sometimes it’s better to not engage in a toe-to-toe fight, but that’s a whole other sub-genre of Action-Adventure.

Adventure – Puzzle-solving, Environment interaction and generally non-confrontational. Again, there are many sub-genres, but probably not the ones that you would have thought. Text Adventure, Graphical Adventure, Visual Novels, etc…  It’s definitely redefining what I thought this genre was about…

Role-Playing – You take on the role of a character in the game and directly control their actions through the game. MMOs, Sandbox, Tactical, Action, are all sub-genres of Role-playing.

Simulation – So many things you can simulate! Construction sims like Civ City. Life sims like Spore. Vehicle sims like Gran Turismo.

Strategy – One of the other “30 day” questions deals with this genre. Asking, “Real-time or Turn based?” Since I’m going to answer that for you later, I wont go into it here, but those are two of the major Strategy sub-grenres. There’s others! Tower Defense, Multi-player online battle arena (MOBA), Artillery… lots of good stuff. You can’t just charge in strong and hope to win. If your opponent has any tactics at all, it wont work.

But which one do I personally like best? Find out after this commercial break!

Continue reading

Day 02 – Favorite game franchise

People have lots of favorite things. Favorite beer, Karl Strauss Red Trolley. Favorite day of the week, Friday. Favorite color, Blue. Favorite number, 8. But, core to the being of a gamer is favorite game franchise. The series that you will always buy the games, no matter what crazy gimmick they’re trying to sell you. And I definitely have one. For a long time it was a tie, and I’ll tell you the franchise that lost the race, and when.

The Runner up is the Final Fantasy series. I do so love it, but there was one game that lost it major points and it hasn’t been the same since. Final Fantasy Crisis Core. I was actually really excited about this game. I loved Final Fantasy VII, as I’m sure many of you did. And seeing story from the perspective of Zack was kinda neat. The gameplay was decent, running around action beat em up… but my god. The leveling and slot machine mechanic…. I hated it. Maybe I didn’t understand it or something, but I’m really pretty much convinced that it was just a terrible awful mechanic. So, that put FF way behind in the race for my favorite video game franchise. What was the competition?

Anyone that knows me already knows what the answer is going to be. Anyone care to guess? See the answer after the jump.

Continue reading