Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If they start selling this thing at Walmart then you'll know I was right all along...

I’m surfacing from yet another blog hiatus. This time is was a vacation away from all family and children; just me alone at the house for two weeks. I KNOW!!! First there was shell shock, then gibbering insanity, then relaxation, then deep relaxation, then underwear-deep relaxation, then pizza. The last time both wife and children visited relations in the old country I partied like a fiend of various varieties and found suitable alternatives to sleep. I remember barbecuing a chicken with a beer in its butt-hole. Why should he be the only one left out at the party? This time around I surrounded myself with the hobbies and home improvement projects I would never get around to otherwise. It seems age has rubbed me into but a nub of what I use to be. I even lack the youthful hellfire to complain.

I finished Grand Theft Auto IV or at least finished the main story. In my case this accounted for around 65% of the game’s total content over a 45 hour period. Since the remaining side missions are sure to be more of the same I’ll take a break and get back to it during a lull in the release schedule. Rockstar’s latest opus was a very nice game overall with decent value. In parts it was suitably exciting and in others was surprisingly therapeutic. My fondest memories are driving in the early morning or sunset with that perfect radio tune kicking in. Liberty City was made for cruising.

It is not the perfect or revolutionary experience proclaimed by the videogame enthusiast media. These people are getting worse, not better at observation and objectivity. Lots of post mortem internet discussions have brought up a litany of critiques; things that honest reviewers could have easily pointed out from the get-go rather than the tongue bath they twirled out. My personal gripe was that the camera control and shooting mechanics are inferior to all of GTA’s third-person peers. Seeing as you’re moving the camera and shooting all the time it definitely detracts from the game. Others have remarked about the lack of interactivity; the city seems in place only to tell the main story. Driving controls have frustrated some. The constant barrage of annoying cell phone calls the character is subjected to is another common complaint. These points have merit but in the end I think the spirit and style of the game exceeds its short-comings. So get a copy, borrow mine, have fun with the good.

I re-played a ton of good games, most in co-op modes with friends. There is a thirst amongst all my friends, some who don’t own consoles, for more cooperative content. Some developers are hearing the message. I played the demo for Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution; an updated console version of this seminal franchise. Most of you have played Civilization; the first versions of this game could be stored on a single floppy and made the rounds in high school. Really it’s just a big monopoly game where you build cities and armies, promote science, earn wealth and survive in the world against opponents trying to do the same. This new version is great fun and really, really cute! It looks appealing, is simple to learn, is suitable for gamers of all ages, and has infinite re-playability. It’s coming out on multiple consoles and I can’t think of anyone who will be disappointed by this game. Sid Meier’s has been making whimsical games forever and it’s nice to see that he still has it.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition has come out. I love it. It’s everything a bunch of geeky books should be. Yes, I am indeed deserving of your pity should you have any to spare.

So this was the obligatory nerd post and I will try for world events and politics later in the week. Thanks to Marc for sending me this article. The cracker-jack FBI investigation in this piece is only eclipsed by the journalistic integrity of the expose. First, hit the link and see the picture…

Can the Democrats and Captain Obama stop this picture from becoming reality?

This article has Al-Qaeda, WMD, the White House in ruins and the FBI getting all over it! There’s only one problem; that picture is art for an upcoming video game called Fallout 3. In it America has suffered a nuclear war that had nothing to do with terrorism or the Middle East. The so-called “Islamic extremists” website posted a picture it found on the internet and this is somehow newsworthy to you and me. I don’t expect government agents or “journalists” to know these things on sight. I was however hoping they would have the fact-finding acumen to prevent this kind of nonsensical embarrassment. After the Iraqi invasion’s own form of fallout it is more chilling than ever to think that our opinions of people on the other side of the world are being potentially swayed by hacks who don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

In other news it seems the Chinese have developed a new ultimate weapon; man of metal or iron – an Iron Man if you will. This strange and certain threat has been seen flying at jet speeds by means of all-powerful boot propulsion and the footage has been witnessed by yours truly on the television. This deadly opponent to democracy wraps himself smugly in red and yellow; the very colours of the Communist Chinese flag! Surely their Maoist mandarin pride got the best of them. I don’t think they thought we would notice. Luckily for us every single solitary toy I’ve either bought or stolen for my children hails from that empire and their lead-painted standard is known to me.

Watch the skies, true believers! It’s not like there’s anything you can do because Iron Man will blast to atoms while his suit disperses his pent-up urine over your crops but watch the skies nonetheless. It’s both the least and most we can do!

(Seriously, how does a guy pee in that thing?)

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