Sunday, July 27, 2014

Divinity - Original Sin (3rd Person Turn-Based PC Game 2014)

Well fuck, I've been tricked again. Do not believe all the hype around this best-selling RPG game on Steam. It is not fun. I've been playing PC RPGs ever since 1991's release of Pool of Radiance and man...I don't get why everyone is hyping up this game so much.

The positives are that it really is detailed with regards to visuals and level builds. For example they didn't put 3 barrels in one location just because. The design seems to have function and thought. In addition, combat is neat since it looks like a Diablo clone from the screenshots, but then it turns into what Dragon Age: Origins would've been if the camera was fixed in a Diablo angle. The combat is also turn-based, like Might and Magic, just without the grid.

The negatives are that it's way too detailed such that you end up rebuilding your group hundreds of times because you figure out that you did something wrong in the beginning. Did you ignore the skill of "talking to animals"? Well you just screwed yourself out of some interesting plot later on. Select a wrong or unhelpful skill? Well that 1 point makes your character dramatically crappier. Mix 2 magic "schools" that don't compliment each other? Well combat just got a lot harder. I've rebuilt my group SO many friggin' times that it's now just way too frustrating to continue on.

They made the game more "realistic" like super old school D&D, but that means that you die a whole lot more. If you screw up in your group creation and/or spells and attributes, you will get your ass handed to you later on. Games shouldn't be like this. Sure...make it hard, but don't make it so difficult that you end up grumbling about your group and hating their existence to the point that you start all over yet again.
Rating - Low

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Action 2014)

Michael Bay is ruining everything. What was the last good film he did with action in it? It totally seems like he lost his muse and is drowning in a sea of special effects and copy/pasting.

This movie was a fucking mess. At least in most of the earlier Transformers films, he tried to partially integrate the real actors with the CG robots, but in this one he plain old gave up on that. Mark Wahlberg is still Mark Wahlberg, so that's a good thing...he always has that flabbergasted look on his face but it's endearing. Everyone else was a throwaway character. Wahlberg had a daughter, played by Nicola Peltz, who was there say the lines "Help Me!!" and "I love you daddy" no less than 15 times each.

But the main kicker was that all of the action sequences were 3x too long. Not exaggerating either...they lasted for oh so long. I remember the days when it cost too much money to make CG scenes, so when they did it, they actually planned it better so they could get the most efficient bang for their buck. But not here...unlimited funds, so Michael Bay just copy/pasted a bunch of fighting algorithms into a program and had it render from many different angles.

The product placement was laughable as well. I now feel like driving a Chevy Sonic with a Bud Light in my hands while tailing a Bugatti. So is this the path movies are going these days? Having blatant product placement to fund films? How tacky. This movie was dumb and unfocused. Please stop this downwards spiral.
Rating - D

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Noah (Drama 2014)

Haha Hollywood Noah is a psychopath. Wow this movie was terrible. It didn't follow the book at all and made Mr. Noah seem like a total loon. Fallen angels were good guys and Noah's son just wanted to get some poon.

The film was all over the place in terms of inconsistencies vs. the Bible story. They should've had a different movie title if they were really going to go that far off base. Russell Crowe's acting was pretty convincing though. But then again he always plays similar, strong male characters. Anthony Hopkins played some really old guy who had magical powers...doesn't that go against the whole religion thing? Might as well give him a staff and a wizard's hat with +1 intelligence.

The movie was bad. No getting around that fact.
Rating - F

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pitch Perfect (Comedic Drama 2012)

Yeah this movie straight up sucked pretty bad. It totally felt like a crappier version of Bring It On except with singing instead of cheer-leading. When did acapela-anything become cool? I'm sure it showed up the same time skinny jeans came back...or maybe that Glee show that I never watched since I don't pay for TV anymore.

In this movie the jokes weren't really funny at all and it was way too artificial. You could tell that everyone was really trying to act and follow a script. To top it off a lot of the lips didn't match up with the actual singing. Hire a new video editor or friggin' re-shoot. It's not like the movie peeps have to pay for actual tape anymore. Anyhoo...it couldn't have ended soon enough; quite bad.
Rating - D

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Windshield Crack PSA

So here's a pubic service announcement to those who may one day be unfortunate enough to get a crack in one's windshield. I obviously did, watched some Youtube videos, and thought I could tackle the job. For some reason, even though I read the instructions and all, I still managed to royally fuck it up.

The cause of the mistake was that my logical brain didn't understand that the hole that is made from the rock is the ONLY point where the resin can enter. Think about this now. Rock hits windshield, force creates a small hole, the rest of the pressure creates cracks from the hole, and the most important part, the cracks are NOT on the friggin' surface meaning that all the magic happens through the hole. (Haha you dirty...)

The physics behind a windshield repair kit is pretty simple as well. You get this 4-suction cup apparatus and hook it up so that the center tube is aligned over the hole. Next the center tube can be pushed down so it applies pressure onto the windshield to create a seal. Next there's a twisty screw that goes into the center tube and applies airtight pressure downwards, like a plunger. What you're supposed to do is shove liquid resin into the center tube and use the plunger to force resin through the tube, into the hole, and down to the cracks. You're supposed to repeat this process of putting in more resin and plungering it down, but for some reason I missed this critical step. My dumbass only did it once. So after the hole was filled up (not the cracks), I finished off the chemical reaction by putting some special plastic piece over the hole location and leaving the car out in the sun. The second the chemical reaction took place, I fucked myself since the resin turned solid but the cracks are still visible because none of the resin ever reached that far. Of course I tried to put resin on the surface, but that's when I figured out that the cracks were below the surface and only accessible via the main hole.

In summary, what does this all mean? If you get a crack in your windshield, call your insurance company and see if they have a free yearly windshield repair policy or something like that. I have Geico and yes, they most certainly do.

You're supposed to get the crack repaired ASAP as opposed to waiting. I guess the reasons are that more debris can enter in through the hole, the cracks can spread, or somehow as more time passes, the harder or crappier a repair can get. So if I would've not tried to be Mr. Fixit with this thing, my insurance company would've paid a glass company to come out and fix it for free. Bah! Now I'm stuck with this ugly star crack in the center of the windshield.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Godzilla (Action 2014)

Man...summer blockbuster my ass. This movie was terrible. I don't think it was quite as bad as the 1998 version, but shit it was still pretty horrible.

The movie played out like a mysterious monster film where you don't see much of the monster until the very end. How did they pull this off? Have everything near pitch black. Yeah I would say that during probably 70% of the movie, I had no clear picture of what was going . Everything was way too dark and shadowy and this was done on purpose...bad move Mr. Director.

In addition to this glaring problem, the main actor was unrealistically involved in every single military initiative that the was concocted to stop the monsters...totally implausable. One second he's a random military dude on leave, the next second he's on an aircraft carrier, the next second he's escorting an ICBM on a train, the next second he's doing a HALO jump, and on and on...

I would debate anyone who says this movie was good because it wasn't. Totally unrealistic and boring.
Rating - D

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Apocalypse Z: The Wrath of the Just by Manel Loureiro (Book 2014)

So this book was the last in this 3-part series. Unfortunately it wasn't the best book as I think the initial story took the crown for that. This one was OK as the group of survivors land on the shores of Louisiana and have to deal with a whole new set of problems there. Weird part was the primary story about the racist "community" that got established in the city. I don't think the leftover minorities living the US would deal with such a situation for too long...especially if killing and lawlessness was commonplace.

The story had a super odd split where the surviving North Koreans decided on sending troops to the same Louisiana town. This sub-plot was very much out of place and didn't quite make sense.

So good thing was that the author wrapped up the series in decent form. Bad thing was that it started strong but ended weak.
Rating - Low

Thursday, July 10, 2014

When in doubt, just delete

So you want to know the easiest way to piss off your local IT gopher? Have a damn folder structure with millions of folders and files and expect it to be backed up. Little does the end-user know, this type of setup causes havoc to backup systems because it has to waste time indexing, traversing, setting up a job, and the initiating the job. Depending on how much real data there is during an evening incremental cycle, this bullshit you see above can make a backup stretch into the next business day which causes a whole new set of problems. So yeah, when in doubt, delete your shit. You know you're never going to use it anyway...

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Bravely Default (RPG 3DS Game 2014)

So this was the final game that I got for the 3DS XL before selling the system. The RPG was totally just like the original NES Final Fantasy, but it goes to show how people totally age and change. Back in the day I woulda played the hell outta this thing, but when I tried to get into it I found that it didn't keep my attention at all.

I suppose a small part of the reason can be associated with the fact that the 3DS made my eyes and head hurt even with the 3D feature turned off. Perhaps my eyes can't deal with the low-res.

This game itself was fine, so I won't dog it in the ratings, but yeah it had a whole combat/profession system that was "different" from what I was used to and yeah I find that I no longer have time to sit there and calculate resistance points, damage and defense values, and the whole bit. I never thought that one day I wouldn't be into this type of RPG, but low and behold---I no longer have the patience for it.
Rating - Mid

Fallout: New Vegas (FPS/RPG PC Game 2010)

So during this Summer's Steam sale I bought this game thinking that it would actually be as good as Fallout 3; and with my luck of course I was wrong.

Although the gameplay dynamics were more/less the same, I didn't have fun with this standalone version. Nothing was entertaining about it. Shooting was cumbersome, the RPG aspects were annoying, the world was drab, and yeah I didn't find any part of it fun. Right after playing this I loaded up Skyrim again, and although it has similar dynamics since it's also a Bethesda game, "fun" came back to my PC. So how did that happen? Who knows really. All I know is that I would've rather had purchased a few burgers instead of having this game stuck in my Steam collection forever.
Rating - Low

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Blended (Romantic Comedy 2014)

You know it's funny. Never would I have thought that an Adam Sandler movie would be funnier than a Seth Macfarlane one but here is some proof. This movie made me laugh while A Million Ways to Die in the West did not. Although it was full of a good number of corny and stupid jokes, it also had many simple, situational comments that brought out humor.

What this film reminded me of was all of the other romcom movies that these two actors starred in. They did a lot of 'em and a lot of those ones sucked. So yeah, it goes to show if you add more characters, some lameness, some silliness, and a good number of well-placed one-liners you can have a mildly entertaining movie.

So as weird as it may sound, I can't ignore the fact that I did laugh more times verses the number of times I silently said "that was a stupid joke/scene".
Rating - B

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Atlantis - A Dane Maddock Adventure by David Wood

Yet another fun-filled adventure in the same series. Although still good, it seems like David Wood writes with the exact same equation, but only changes a few main themes.

The beginning is an intro scene from the past, next is present day character development to get the plot rolling, next is the intro of the baddies and their race to get to the same goal as the team, the majority of the middle is just plot, towards the last 90% of the book the team reaches their destination and all the big unanswered questions are all revealed in 1-2 pages. The key information is not extrapolated upon as the plot continues towards an ending and then bam, book over.

So yeah all of Mr. Wood's books are like this and although it works for a quick read, there is no longer a difference. He should really mix it up a bit and do something different. I'm already feeling my interest go by the wayside.
Rating - Mid