Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Ps2

Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wrecked HulkBusters
Hulk Smash! This Hulk's game! Hulk's!!! Hulk smash, and smash... and SMASH! What more you want Hulk Do?! Hulk no solve stupid puzzles, unless puzzles need Hulk to SMASH! Hulk no turn into stupid Banner! Only in cutscenes! In gameplay, just Hulk, and Hulk SMASH! Hulk get to buy new moves, but not with money Hulk find in stupid chests! NO!! Hulk SMASH, and get money! HAHAHA! Hulk's game rocks!

Ultimate Spider-Man
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wrecked HulkBusters
Hulk no done talking! Hulk's game, Hulk smash! Spider-Man's game, Spider-Man no smash! Spider-Man lame! Spider-Man talky too much and swingy too much! Swingy sorta fun, but SMASH more fun! Hulk's game has mini-games, where Hulks gets to run, and jump and SMASH! Spider-Man's game, you get stupid swingy-races! You also get stupid combat tours! Spider-Man no smash, Spider-Man just punch-punch-punch and get shot all the time! Stupid!!! Hulk play Hulk's game! Idiots play Spider-Man's game!

Shadow Of The Colossus
Rating: 4 out of 5 Beautifully Rendered Landscapes
This game is pretty unique compared to the others in my collection. It's basically 16 boss fights interjected with uneventful journeys to the locations of said boss fights. That makes it sound pretty blah, but it isn't. The fights (with 16 colossi, hence the title) are some of the most cinematic encounters I've seen in a videogame. For no-nonsense omg-that-guy-is-fikkin-huge gameplay, I'd say this game takes the cake. Aside from the boss fights, there isn't much else, which may turn some folks off. Worked for me, though.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Starbucks Rocks

My internet at home was down last night for some reason or other. It still is today, actually. So I didn't get any work done yesterday or today that I would've liked to. Ironically, it's Thanksgiving this weekend in the US, so most of my colleagues at work aren't going to be there tonite or tomorrow anyway. Half of them had dissappeared from my Yahoo messenger list by Tuesday, so I'm sure I'm not missed. I was thinking of working today and Friday to get my list of tickets down to a manageable number, but it looks like I'm being forced to take a day off or two. And so I'll blog a bit.

Right now I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Taipan that has WiFi access. It just occurred to me a few minutes ago that this is exactly what I used to do at the Starbucks in the commons area of the UT library. Different laptop, but same table (almost... it's wooden and it looks very yuppie), more-or-less the same coffee (I think I moved on to warmer beverages), and the same soft lighting. One thing this Starbucks has that the one at UT lacked is mood music. One thing the Starbucks at UT had that this one doesn't was a semi-constant parade of beautiful young women walking in and out the door, bookbags or laptops in hand.

I like to come here to Starbucks occasionally, and read a book. They have large, soft, comfortable chairs here you could sit in forever if not for the slightly odd smell that emanates from them. Your nose gets used to it after a while, but it still kinda bothers you at the back of your mind that there was a smell in the first place, and so eventually you do get up and leave. Perhaps they don't wash the chair cushions on purpose, for that very reason. I've been doing quite a bit of reading the past few months, more than I ever have in a year. It started, I think, with a book a friend loaned me that was a condensed picturesque version of Philip Yancey's 'What's So Amazing About Grace?'. I started reading that at the cafe we have down by the pool of my family's apartment complex. Then I realised what fun that was, and I started buying books just to read at the cafe. Eventually I found out Starbucks was a good place to do that too, albeit more expensive.

I don't remember the exact order I read them in, but the books I've gone through this year are 'Orthodoxy' and 'Francis of Assisi' by G.K. Chesterton, 'The Bible Jesus Read' by Philip Yancey, 'Protestant Biblical Interpretation' by Bernard Ramm, and I've started on C.S. Lewis's 'Out Of The Silent Planet', which Marci gave me as a going-away present, but that I'd forgotten I'd had until now, shame on me.

Chesterton is always good fun to read, simply because the man was obviously insane (as the world today might count insanity), but yet, paradoxically, was so given to being right on a good many number of things. It is, however, a strange book in many places. I would consider 'Orthodoxy' a book to return to at different seasons in my life, just to see if the whole makes more sense in that later time than it does to me now.

'The Bible Jesus Read' was a book I picked up because it was about the Old Testament, and I have been trying to read through the Old Testament. It was a good read, though, and very edifying, but I'm not certain how helpful it has been with regards to keeping my OT reading on track. I finished Yancey's book a few months ago. I'm still stuck at Deutoronomy.

'Protestant Biblical Interpretation' was one of my more random selections. It had never occurred to me in the past to read an entire textbook (for that is what it is) on the subject of hermenuetics (which means... bible interpretation. Woah!). It's not the handiest reference ever (it does a poor job of organizing and categorizing its ideas), but it did impress upon me the importance of getting some sort of biblical encyclopedia(s) in the future to help with my understanding of the cultural and philological aspects of any passage of scripture. I also learned the meaning of the word 'philological' :p.

So that's what I've been reading this year. I'm pretty grateful that I've had a year like this, if only because I found some time to read, collect my thoughts, and write a couple of songs. I don't think it can be this good for much longer, which is just as well. Too much more of this and I fear I may get too comfortable. There's stuff out there to do, and which I've started poking my head into. I haven't committed to anything yet, simply because I'm not sure I'll be here or in the states next year. Once I know for certain, I can start jumping into these things wholeheartedly.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

PS, Too!

Well I kinda dropped the ball on that review, huh. I thought about it a bit and decided I couldn't be bothered to say much about each and every game I got, so instead, I'll give each game I have a score and a short comment. Serves my short attention span and yours much better that way!

God Of War
Score: 9 out of 10 Minotaur Horns
Comment: This is one of the baddest games I've got. It's set in ancient Greece, so there's lots of monsters, small and big (and some get... very big), to kill. Kratos, your protagonist, is out to kill the God of War, Ares. The game's puzzles are decent, if not overly taxing. The art direction in this game is incredible. Nothing like seeing a thousand-foot tall war god stomping on armies in the distance to establish that it's going to take some effort to kill him.

Resident Evil 4
Score: 4 out of 5 Zombie Heads
Comment: Ok so officially there are no zombies in this one. The folks who shuffle around slowly and try to kill you are still sentient, apparently. Ok. Whatever. Nobody cares. What matters is this game is a lot of fun to play once you figure it out. It's all about blowing zombie-like people up with as little ammo as possible. That means you sometimes have to get creative. Mostly it means you just need to whip out the shotgun and get them all to gather in one spot before blowing them all away with on pull of the trigger. Booyah! Instant gratification.

Tekken 5
Score: 3 out of 4 Dysfunctional Male Members Of The Mishima Family
I have a feeling that this is actually a great fighting game, but I can't verify that because I've got no one who wants to play this with me. What's the point of fighting the AI? Ah well. Everything else about it looks and sounds great. The ending FMVs for each character are pretty well done and entertaining to watch. I haven't unlocked all the endings yet, though... hmm I think I'll go work on that right now. I'll get round to the other games later :p.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Go Away, I Busy

I finally got a PS2 about a month ago. That's why I haven't posted anything in that long. Between that and the reading I've been doing, I kinda just slipped out of blogging mode. Also, I feel guilty about not having finished the new blog site I was building. Someone needs to give me a good walloping.

Anyway, since I've played my way through quite a few PS2 games, I thought I'd start doing the world a favor and review them one by one over the next couple of weeks. I think I'll start with God Of War. Tomorrow.