Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Land Before Time – It Goes To XIII!

So while I was checking out IMDB and getting lost in cross-references, I came across the Rob Paulsen guy’s filmography. Rob Paulsen is the guy who does Yakko from Animaniacs and is pretty much in anything that requires voice acting.

Anyway, I saw one of his recent jobs was on The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends. Read that again.

Yes. There are 13 fucking Land Before Time movies!

I think all of them besides the first one were direct to video affairs, but still. Gosh damn! 12 sequels! I guess they must still be profitable if they can still churn them out as much as they are.

Baldur’s Gate II: Like Crack, But A Computer Game Version

I reinstalled Baldur’s Gate II today. Bad idea. I’ve been sort of nostalgic for the past glory of the turn-based RPG and I finally just had to play it. But I pretty much didn’t get anything else done.

I don’t care what anyone says; old school 2D D&D games like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Torment rock. They’re just too damn fun to play. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s how your enemies explode into chunks if you hit them hard enough. Maybe it’s how Magic Missile grows more powerful as you gain levels. Maybe it’s the actual role-playing.

But once I start one of these old school adventures I can’t stop until hunger or weariness takes priority. Which is just about to happen. But I thought I’d blog about it first. (I guess Baldur’s Gate is then a sort of offline equivalent of World of Warcraft, which I never really got myself dependent on, thank god)

I tried playing Mass Effect kind of recently. It just doesn’t have the same fun factor. I mean, what kind of RPG expects me to actually aim a gun? The KOTOR games at least handled all the blaster shots and stuff. Why does everything have to degenerate into FPS? Oh well. I still never beat any of the Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale games (or Torment) so I guess if I ever run into a period where I have a lot of free time (probably will never happen) I’ll have plenty of things to do.

P.S. This time I rolled a Half-Elf Chaotic Good multi-classed Fighter/Cleric. Usually I go for the Ranger but I found they kind of suck. A vanilla Fighter would be too boring so I multiclassed! I’m a nerd!

Metal Gear Solid 4: Sorta Review

I pre-ordered MGS4 from Amazon.com and beat it over a weekend. While it was pretty cool and definitely displayed all the neat stuff you can do with the PS3, I felt like it was getting out of “MGS” territory.

Metal Gear is supposed to be sneaking around and grabbing people, snapping their necks and stealing stuff from them. It’s about shooting their heads with so many tranquilizer darts that they look like the dude from Hellraiser. Basically, I think the Metal Gear Solid franchise peaked at around the end of the boat part of Metal Gear Solid 2. Don’t get me wrong, Metal Gear Solid 3 was also good. But it just felt like the series has been losing its original focus and going after too much, especially with the whole behind the back camera thing.

Also, in terms of story continuity, the Metal Gear series has just gotten insane. I “sort of” understood what was going on after Metal Gear Solid 1. But after the insanity of #2 (with the entire game flipping out at the end when you find out you’re really just in a simulation or something) and the prequel hijinks of #3, it’s too much to handle and tie up in the final 4th iteration. There’s a downloadable encyclopedia that you can get on the PS3, but that thing would take forever to load!

I agree with the Beta-Waffle guy that the boss battles seemed a bit contrived. In all the other games, you’re taking down an elite force of bad guys and you know you’re gonna fight them at some point. Remember in MGS1 when you were wondering exactly where Decoy Octopus was? In MGS4, you just kind of know that you have to fight these B&B chicks. And they don’t really have a back story until you’ve finished fighting them. And their back stories are dumb anyway. The bosses just turned out to be really generic and more tedious than anything.

Finally, I just couldn’t get used to the controls. They’re so messed up! You have to press R1 to aim, and R2 to shoot, but you need to press triangle to get to first person mode. When you’re in first person mode, you have about 0 mobility. So if a guy finds you and you need to shoot him, you go through a crazy set of button presses that will probably end up failing because he’ll shoot you first and you’ll just fall down. The controls just don’t work for the kind of FPS fighting that’s expected in some points.

Having complained quite a bit, MGS4 still is a pretty neat achievement. The graphics are great. The story is epic (but makes no sense). There’s lots of inside jokes referring to previous MGSes. But just like in the game itself, it looks like Snake’s job here is done. It’s time for him to take a vacation. At least we’ll always have the continue screen yelling. “Snake, what’s wrong? Snake? Can you hear me? SNAAAAAKKKKEEEEEEE!”

Wii Fit: One Month Later

I’ve been “playing” Wii Fit for about a month now, so I thought I’d put up some updates on how it’s been coming along.

There have been some weird things happening occasionally when I play. For example, when I start up, the trainer will randomly be the dude (who has a slight Southern accent) and he’ll be like, “I’m filling in for your regular trainer today.” What gives? I need some eye candy while I exercise, not some dude!

Also, one day I got all the way through my workout and went to do the plank thing. After doing the plank thing my time reset to :01 minutes. It basically erased all of the previous things I had done. Not that it really matters. It didn’t erase the calories I burned (OR DID IT!).

As far as my health goes, I have lost a few pounds since starting, but not enough to reach my goal in time. So the game let me readjust my goal. I think previously I was trying to lose 5 lbs a week or something, which is kind of difficult.

I’ve also noticed a marked improvement in my strength. All those push-ups and stuff paid off. Which is to say I can actually do some push-ups now when before I just collapsed under the weight of my torso. My posture is probably improving as well.

So anyway, I think the fact that I have stuck with the Wii Fit stuff for a whole month is probably some kind of achievement. Maybe I’ll celebrate by eating a whole tub of ice cream. Oh wait, that WOULD erase all the work I’d done. Maybe I’ll just have some lowfat sorbet then…

Wii Fit Update

I’ve been “playing” this Wii Fit thing for about two weeks now. So far I’ve lost a few pounds and I think I’m probably quite a bit more “fit” than I was before. I guess the most remarkable fact is that I’m still at it after a few weeks. I’ve already pretty much unlocked everything in the game, so I just go through the normal exercises in my routine. It’d be cool if new exercises were to show up as downloadable content or something.

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately as well. Besides the major pain factor of the “plank” exercise, most of the stuff isn’t too bad. I think I’ve already been building muscle, and now the actual weight loss might begin to show. I’m also trying to eat less. “Normal” portions in the US are way too big, so I’ve been trying to get small stuff for lunch and share things when possible. It seems to be having a positive effect.

I also seem to be more flexible during the yoga stuff. Who knows if I’m doing it right, but the Tree thing is a lot easier for me to do (and my foot actually can go up that high now).

I’d like to get a Wii and Wii Fit for my parents since they’d probably enjoy doing the exercises and could probably use the exercise themselves. Too bad it costs a bunch and the equipment is still in high demand and short supply. Overall I’d say the product is pretty sweet, and if you have enough self-motivation paired with the game’s motivation (it says stuff like, “I see you were too busy to exercise last night…” when you miss a day) you can easily live a healthier lifestyle.