Monday, January 12, 2009

A Couple Notes:

1. 24 premiered last night. The two-hour premiere along with the Redemption movie aired last November has gotten me pretty excited about this season. After the declining quality the last couple seasons, this one has gotten off to a promising start. Also of note, one of my unrequited loves - Janeane Garofolo - has joined the cast. Two more hours of 24 tonight and then it settles into its regular schedule.

2. Baseball Hall of Fame voting happened today. Ricky Henderson got in, and in his last year Jim Rice was finally elected. I don't know if the latter really deserves it (he's borderline and probably just on the wrong side of the border) but he's pretty awesome and I always like it when a B cap gets enshrined in the Hall. So, kudos Jim Ed.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What I'm Up to in Gaming

I thought, for the sake of filling in some blog content if nothing else, I'd give a brief update/analysis of some of my recent (computer) gaming experiences. What I've just finished playing, what I'm currently playing, what I'm about to start, etc. You know, since I'm sure y'all have been up at nights wondering what games I've been wasting my time with.
  • Age of Conan (MMO) - I'm Done with It - No, not in the sense that I hit a level cap but I just (as in, about 10 minutes ago) uninstalled the program and am probably not going to be looking back anytime soon (lord knows how long Funcom will be keeping the servers alive anyhow). It's not that it's a bad game (although it still lacks polish and isn't nearly what it was hyped to be), it's just that I don't see myself playing it enough and the 15 bucks a month pricetag is a little on the steep side for me right now. I love the Conan setting (and getting the game got me motivated to explore the books and comics, so that's awesome) and the game was tailor made for nice melee builds, which is how I fuckin' roll (role? har har). Unfortunately, the game is also buggy as shit (the last straw was at some point - possibly due to an update - the game stopped rendering properly making it unplayable. I tried a number of things on my end but to no avail) and I just got kind of tired of it after the initial (very well made) introductory island and early quests. So it goes, I guess. If they ever get their act together over at Funcom, this still has the makings of a WoW-killer, but not in this state.
  • Lord of the Rings Online (MMO) - Just Getting Back into It - Just 'cuz I swore off AoC doesn't mean I'm not gonna be getting my mmo nerd on in some way. LOTRO is more appealing in a number of ways, not least of which is that some time ago in a moment of weakness I bought a lifetime subscription to the game. Now, I'm too poor at the moment to get the expansion pack but that's on the list in the next month or two. Folks who have adventured with me in-game in the past might be a little surprised, since I never got too far with my original characters and haven't even logged in for quite some time. Well, I got the fire under my ass again so I'm sure y'all will be seeing more of my ds9-themed characters runnin' amok.
  • Fallout 3 (RPG) - Almost Done with It - This one will be finished 'cuz I'll have completed the main quest (and most/all of the secondary and tertiary sidequests too). I've been playing this sucker basically non-stop for a month and half now and I'm starting to get a little tired of brown and grey. But seriously, regardless of what the haters say (and, yes, I'm a veteran of the first two entries of the series), this is a wonderful game. It plays to Bethesda's strong suit, which is creating a sandbox world and letting the player go crazy. I hear the ending sucks pretty hardcore, but for me it's all about the journey maaaaaaaaaaan. It should be noted that this game is also buggy as shit and one of the reasons I've been playing it so long is I got through one run-through at about the 65% completetion point (rough estimate) and I encountered a game-ending bug. So, I had to start over again. I'm finally (mostly) back to exploring new stuff but it was a little goddamn tedious there for a bit. There are mods out there that allow post-main quest play so I may just burn through the rest of the main quest by mid-week and shelve the game for a bit and then come back and explore some of the last areas I haven't touched at my leisure.
  • Civilization IV: Colonization (Strategy) - Perpetually Playing - Well, I'm always "perpetually playing" some entry of the Civilization series. A short bit of history: the original Colonization was one of my first loves of computer gaming. I remember buying the original DOS version (w/o patch, so it crashed constantly) and pushing my gaming skill to the limit (I was, you know, a little kid). Since then, I've always had the original installed on my machine or essentially within arms reach. Now I can combine that trait with a rule I developed upon the release of Civilization II: "Always have a copy of Civilization installed on my computer." Usually the latest, but sometimes I kick it old school with Civ or CivNet. Oh, yeah, the game is good too. I wouldn't follow a stupid rule if it didn't lead to quality play time. Now I'm rockin' it colonial style and I will be for the forseeable future. Until the next installment of either franchise comes along that is...
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (RPG) - About to Start Playing - I included this as its own entry because as a belated holiday gift I will be receiving this game via a courier shipping service by mid-week next week. I've heard nothing but good things about this game (especially when discussing the enhanced edition) and I look forward to playing it. It sounds like it delved into what is one of my favorite aspects of RPGs, which is the decision making component. The consequences of our actions, how we would prefer to deal with a situation, person, crisis, etc. And it sounds like the game does an admirable job removing some of the more heavy-handed moralizing elements that all too often plague RPGs (as in, when it becomes obvious in what the developers think is the "correct" way to act). Stoked.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (FPS) - Finished It a Little While Ago - I included this so the list wouldn't be so RPG-heavy (although I guess that's just what I've been playing of late). I did finish this up sometime within the last few months and it was pretty excellent. As a punk ass teenager I used to play my fair share of first person shooters, but the Half Life franchise is one of only a handful I'll still get into. That said, I would like to play a couple of the more story and atmosphere oriented FPSs out there or that are coming up.
  • Now, here is a short list of games that I'd still like to pick up (obviously, the number I'd ultimately like to play is vast, but there are fairly recent titles and ones I'd consider plopping dollars down for at some point): Mass Effect, Call of Duty: World at War, Spore, The Penny Arcade games, Red Alert 3, and I'm sure some others floating around that I can't think of at the moment.
  • And, finally, here are a few titles I'm looking forward to in 2009 (very incomplete list as I don't know a whole hell of a lot about what's coming out): Diablo III, Starcraft II, Star Trek: Online, Dragon Age: Origins, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Deus Ex 3, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, MLB Front Office Manager,* Duke Nukem Forever (?!), and so on in that fashion. Keep in mind that of that list, some won't come out and from that pool I'll probably pick up like... two or three.

*OMFGLOLBBQNERDALERT: This is featuring Billy Fuckin' Beane! Nerball... sense... tingling!

Friday, January 02, 2009

I'm like a superhero of some sort!

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman

You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...