Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why do I hate Bloggy so?

I'm serious, I think I may secretly hate the English Muffin Power Hour. Why else would I treat it nice for a few months, neglect it for a few months, treat it nice, then neglect it again? That is the foundation for an abusive relationship right there.

But my New Year's resolution is to give Bloggy the respect he deserves! To be fair, he's already WAY more respected than The One Blog to Rule Them All (which died an unceremonious death and was forgotten by most). So let's get caught up on what I've been doing lately.

Latest TV Series: Rome
I got this series as a Christmas gift and so far its been a mixed hat. It's good enough to keep me watching but there are a bit too many characters with too confusing names for my taste (and this is coming from a four year Latin Student). Honestly, I had to look up to see who Sybylia was because they kept insisting on shoehorning her into the plot. Turns out she was Brutus's mom. I would've preferred she either be called Mrs. Brutus or have a lower third which identifies her as Mrs. Brutus. Of course, since I am a guy, there is a legit chance that I just filtered out the scene where they introduce her by name (tragically, that is a problem for me in real life too. Just ask Doug and Sam how they got their nicknames. In fact, it took me about 3 months to learn my best friend's first name. But I digress.)

Wow, I actually had to stop myself from digressing in the parentheses. And those are basic digression sanctuaries. I really DO need to update this place more often.

Anyways, back on point, it didn't take me nearly as long to figure out which soldiers were which. that could be a function of either:

A. My Y chromosome filtering out the non-awesome, non-sword fighting parts.
B. The fact that Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo command as much, if not more, screen time as Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus, and Marc Antony combined.

My main criticism of the series is that its an HBO series. Which means none of the debauched acts Romans were infamous for are off limits. And they do their darndest to include all the debauched acts they can. There is no situation where I enjoy watching anyone get bathed in cow blood during one of their pagan rituals.

Latest Video Game: Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People and Far Cry 2

One of my biggest discoveries over the past few months (and indeed one of the biggest distractions from me updating this blog) has been Homestar Runner. I had heard and seen good things about it since 9th grade, but I never really bothered with the site until last fall. To say I loved it would be an understatement. Not only did I watch most of the cartoons and all 200 Strong Bad E-Mails in chronological order, but I also began assigning the Teen Girl Squad stereotypes to the many sassy ladies I know. If you haven't seen it yet (somehow), then I strongly advise it.

But I digress.

Does it count as a digression if I never was on topic to begin with?

Enough digressing! I jumped on the bandwagon at the right time, because over the fall they released the first full scale game, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, a "point and click em up adventure" game, in Strong Bad's words.

The game itself is okay. You click on things. Sometimes you click on things that need you to click on other things. Occasionally, you click things on other things and then introduce an entirely third thing to the clicking.

But the writing is brilliant. For starters, they let you write your own episode of "Teen Girl Squad" in the first two episodes. Second, the game always involves Strong Bad so the dialogue is always at the Strong Badian standard of excellence.

However, there is too much of a good thing. The game was broken into five monthly episodes which were released from August to September. By around the halfway point of the fourth episode I was starting to get tired of hearing Strong Bad and took a break from it (in terms of days and weeks not playing the game, even I'm not crazy enough to attempt to play through multiple games in one sitting).

As you might expect, there is no violence in Strong Bad. Sure, there is some Three Stooges style violence and the entire point of Teen Girl Squad is random acts of violence. But in order to keep things balanced I've been playing a bit of Far Cry 2.

Now, as I begin this, I realize I am rapidly approaching 800 words. In fact, I just jolted past the threshold around the adverb "rapidly". Usually, that means that the few of you who have survived long enough to get this far are contemplating the best way to tell me to shut up. So I will leave my exploits in Far Cry 2 for another day.

But I will say this. It is EXTREMELY violent. I can say without exaggeration that everyone in its vaguely described war wants you dead and they will stop at nothing to kill you. Actually, they only stop at towns, of which there are four in a 50 square kilometer area. Although calling them towns is a bit lenient. Two towns consist of a bar where your mercenary "friends" hang out next to a gun shop. The other two are a series of buildings where other heavily armed mercenaries mull around their faction headquarters, with maybe a church or a doctor's office in the town square, so the town's one civilian will have a nice place to stay. Of course, I also use the term "factions" leniently. First of all, each faction only has vague goals to advance their vague war but both are confident the only way to achieve vagueness is to mercilessly, yet subtlely, crush the guy who lives down the street from them. I've seen them fight each other all of twice. Whereas when faced by Hunter McMaincharacter, they all want me dead and will go out of their way to try and kill me. And the Jets and the Sharks had a more clearly defined uniform system than these factions.

The most telling stat is that in nineteen in-game days, my character has fired nearly 19,000 rounds (exact number: 18,553).

And yet I somehow have a lot of fun in this game.

Wow, I managed another 300 words after I said I would try to wrap it up.

Now, more than ever before, I digress.

I'll save the rest of my Far Cry 2 thoughts along with the first two weeks of school for later.