With Mass Effect 2 boldly showing its cheerful newborn face and being praised unconditionally like all newborns are, I finally got my ass around to playing the original game.
I think it’s easy to see that Bioware is not my favorite developer. In fact I think they are quite terrible. On top of the generic leprous problems absolutely every Bioware game is afflicted with, Mass Effect suffers from it’s own particular evils, mostly involving core game elements.
I’ll get to those later though, for now I need to get all of the aesthetic and technical failures out of the way.
First of all, I’ll say that I played the PC version, which, according to every review ever, improved upon the original in such a fantastic way that it was undoubtedly the best version, and arguably the best port of any game to date.
I don’t know what kind of diamond-laced supergame the reviewers got, but I wish I got it too.
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Yesterday instead of doing things that will earn me money or better grades, I DJ’d a bunch of chiptunes and scanned Majimoji 01.
DJ’ing a radio station while scanning is good because scanning is boring and monotonous. If you’re scanning at 600dpi like you should be, you LQ bastard, then the time it takes to scan a page is a length of time both too long to be considered brief, and too short to be used for much else than queuing songs in Winamp.
I have a lot of music squirreled away on my hard drives in hard to see corners, long forgotten after being copied over the course of multiple OS installs and reorganizations. Finding these is almost like finding something magical while searching the beach with a metal detector. There is no feeling quite like finding a folder on your computer filled to the bursting with digital trinkets and souvenirs.
I found 26 gigabytes of Touhou music that I forgot I downloaded.
Because I’m secretly a girl, I went shopping today. I got a pretty good haul for $60.
I grabbed Spice and Wolf and The Book of Heroes to throw on top of the growing pile of unread books. The Medic Droid’s What’s Your Medium, Daytripper issue 2, and a bamboo kendo sword are my other aquisi.
Obviously the most exciting of the purchases is the kendo sword. Obviously it’s just some merchandise imitation of a real one, but it’ll fucking sting if you get hit by it. The best part is my friend bought another one so we can beat each other up. I almost bought a wooden practice katana instead, but that’s not something you dual your friend with. That’s something you use to break bones. No fun if I never get to use it right?
I’m doing absolutely nothing! Go me.
A few hours ago I decided to go on a walk. I live on the other side of two sets of train tracks from the rest of the city (no joke). Imagine my despair when I see that a train has stopped across the road, blocking my entryway into a small city with little or no places of interest.
“Fuck that noise! I’ll go the back road”
Just before the tracks is a derelict road with all of 2 houses on it that runs along the tracks and comes out further in town. It’s useful to travel by car because by the time you get to the end the train has normally passed, and it’s in the direction of any useful place in town anyway. It’s a bit far to go by foot, but the train wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Maybe 400 meters down the road I begin searching for a convenient place to cross the tracks since I’ve passed the train, and the main building of the station is the other direction. After almost running straight into a barbwire fence I notice a break in the fence a few yards ahead. Too bad it’s pitch black out, and I end up catching on barbwire anyway. Tore a hole in my pants and even more holes in my leg.
I probably need a tetanus shot, but fuck it, I’ve gotten worse cuts on dirtier metal before. I’ve done my fair share of illegal climbing.
I cross the tracks and come out next to the local Zip’s “stomach-splosion” Drive-in and get hollered at by the girl at the window with the microphone to talk with the cars. I should have asked her out or something. That would have garnered an interesting response.
That’s about the end of my adventure. After that I wandered like a homeless person for 20 minutes until the train left and then I walked home. Real exciting stuff. I almost went into a laundromat so I could sit there like a creepster, but decided against it.
That’s a new record for myself. Two theme changes in 12 hours. I switched to Monochrome earlier today because it had neato dropdown page menus and was a subdued black/gray color. It was basically the same thing as Freshy, nix a banner.
Less than 30 minutes ago I got super-pissed at the restrictive thinness of the text space for every theme ever, so I broke one of my primary rules for picking a theme for anything: No bright colors. Especially white.
Now I’m rocking this super-white theme with absolutely no frills whatsoever. It’s called The Journalist, as if that’s supposed to make me look like I don’t spend all of my time doing anything but real journalism.
Cartoons for Kids: Your one stop shop for “too fuckin’ bright!” induced eyetrain.
I was introduced to Sinfest a couple weeks ago, and aside from unavoidable distractions, like school, it’s been the majority shareholder of my time since.
The similarities to Calvin and Hobbes are immediately obvious if you’ve spent any time with that comic. Let me explain something. I fucking love Calvin and Hobbes. It was and still is the greatest comic strip to ever be serialized and I will motherfucking fight you if you disagree.
If Calvin and Hobbes is the greatest serialized comic strip ever (and it is), then Sinfest is the greatest webcomic ever. It’s a comedy, romance, musical, and socio/political/religious commentary rolled into one perfect package.
The earlier comics focus more on sex jokes and work to define each characters base personality, but about halfway through the archive things really take off, and it becomes one of those “just a few more” kind of things. As more characters are introduced, and the existing ones gain depth of character, the variety of the story expands and it really becomes a joy to read. Even at the break-neck pace of 7 comics a week with colored Sunday strips, Sinfest sidesteps mediocrity and remains entertaining.
Tatsuya Ishida has crafted something amazing. He’s changed how I look at religion and politics, as well as human relationships. I care about the characters. Hell, his artwork has inspired me to even try my hand at drawing. That’s more than I can say for any other artist or writer on the planet. What he’s done over the past 10 years is something special. Sinfest has replaced Questionable Content and Penny Arcade as the standard I hold other webcomics to.
I bought The Innocent Mage like I do most things: On a complete whim. Fortunately it turned out to be a purchase for the better. Even though it isn’t groundbreaking in any way and a few of the characters border on insultingly arch typical, it was a well enough read that I spent a majority of my weekend reading it instead of pounding nails in my dick or whatever.
The setting is this impossibly well-off nation called Lur that’s secluded from the rest of the world by magic~ barriers, making it invisible by sea and unreachable by land. Lur is inhabited by niggers Olken and crackers Doranen. The Doranen use their super-cool magic to placate the weather, preventing all of the fun things like tornados and hurricanes, in return for the Olken behaving like slaves for no apparent reason.
MC is an Olken fisherman who comes to the capital so he can get rich and buy his dad a bunch of nice things. He’s your basic “Do whatever I want because I’m a fucking ROGUE” character. Don’t expect anything else out of him. He’s perfectly crafted to have a mindset instantly agreeable with, and all in all, you’ll probably like him.
The supporting cast is a little more interesting if only because combined they have variety, if nothing else. The royal family alone could be their own cast for a sitcom.
The writing is catchy, and Karen Miller does a pretty good job of giving each character their flavor of talk. The royals use big words and are overly polite all the time, MC Asher sounds like a redneck with downs, and everybody else fills in the middle-ground. If their is one issue it’s that there are a few key patterns that she likes to repeat a little too often. I lost count of how many times Asher interrupted other people, opting to finish their sentences with his desired choice of words.
I liked it, enough to buy the second half, which is an entirely necessary purchase if you want anything resembling a full story. This isn’t one of those books where it leaves a thread for future literature to follow. The whole fucking rope is just cut with a big knife, leaving frayed ends everywhere. I guess it’s the best way to ensure the next book gets readers though. Clean breaks are for writers lacking in business savvy.