Wednesday, November 26, 2008

QWOP

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present Exhibit A: QWOP. Proof that Hwan does not need a fancy schmancy computer in order to be amused and entertained for hours on end. No, he only needs a game with simple mechanics and a steep learning curve. HDR, fillrates? Pfeh, a Jedi craves not these things! Seriously though, that QWOP game is hella fun. I guess it's the combination of the hilarious animation and the thrill of actually getting the dude to run, once you figure out the control scheme. Getting the beginning movements correct is crucial, as this initial forward momentum is what seeds the rest. Then you need to get into a rhythm, adjusting it for missteps and other randomness, incrementally increasing the size of your strides to match your speed. After a while you start to naturally press the right keys, without even thinking about which finger is pressing what key when. Oh, it's definitely tough in the beginning oh my yes.

Montreal is where I went this past weekend. Cold it was, and a new winter jacket I have returned with. I ate well. I realized that my iTunes collection needs to be dramatically overhauled. Oh that it should be so easy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playing Left 4 Dead

Slight flu/cold right now. Not using that as an excuse for anything, but just letting you know that I'm not feeling 100%... so perhaps my writing is not 100%. Not that that's ever stopped me before. Oh yeah, feeling the heat of sickness now urgkkkk.

Been playing more Left 4 Dead, having now gone through all four missions (or movies). I can see the good (graphics, zombie-animatronics) and bad things (same maps, few items and weapons) about the game, but it will be the multiplayer experience that makes or breaks it as a lasting thing. So far, I think the multiplayer can be very much likened to Counter-strike in that the players play on one of two teams whose aim is to kill the other. The twist is that the mission of the protagonists (the humans) is to reach the other side of the map alive. Oh, and that the antagonists (the infected) respawn.

Fallout 3 is still on my games radar. I came across this excellent review of it: Fallout 3 review [nma-fallout.com] which, for me and I'm sure as for many others [shamusyoung.com] speaks of both the highs and lows and what's worth taking from this thing people want to call Fallout but isn't really.

Whew! I'm sure you're tired of me talking about games. Uhm... my wrist has healed up, and only gives me a slight ouch now. I bought a new coat which, in hindsight, is perhaps a little too effeminate. It certainly is not much protection against this decidedly wintry weather. Work? Is much the same.
Oooh it's only 10:30, there may be a chance I'll go to bed before 1 AM! A slight chance, given my procrastination skills, madz they be. Oh echinacea, my sour friend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New computer, Left 4 Dead, sleep

With the new computer I've also done a bit of re-arranging of my apartment, getting things done that I've been putting off for months. Funny, I wrote that sentence and can't for the life of me remember where I was going with it. Sure, sometimes there are things I recall that I wish I wouldn't. I suppose any thoughts on controlling these are futile.

Has anything happened? No. My fridge was fixed, but not until most of the food inside transformed into non-food material. I bought the pre-release of Left 4 Dead which I have to say looks fantastic and plays even more so. I tend to rave in a meaningless manner about games I really think are neat, but believe you me, Left 4 Dead is impressive. My only grief is that there's not much to it -- run, shoot, survive. But it's so very well done, with shockingly good zombie animation. Oh man, when a horde of those suckers come running at you, it's the thrill of seeing one's first fast zombie all over again.

Oh right now I remember -- I wanted to mention that I threw out my beloved Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, one of those early white models with soft keys. A ginger ale-related incident disabled the functioning of many of the keys, rendering it pretty useless. Not even sure why I kept it. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after throwing it out that I came across an article describing how to make use of the old keys -- turn them into thumbtacks!

My efforts, such as they are, to wake up earlier for work have been, shall we say, a total failure. As in, I wake up even later than planned, feeling less rested and peaceful. Perhaps I am still adjusting to daylight savings, that troublesome beast.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Deer Hunter

I had actually planned to spend a month or two watching (or trying to watch) a movie a day, but of course like most things I think might be fun to try, it never happened. Still, I did make some time on the weekend to watch The Deer Hunter. I liked it. I read that Christopher Walken went on a diet of rice, bananas and water to get as pale as he did. I did find the first act somewhat long to sit through, but then I can be impatient with weddings if I can't take part in the festivities. I suppose you could call The Deer Hunter a war movie, but in three acts it shows the before, the during, and the after, and manages to transform the viewer as even we witness the characters transform, hollowed out by the trial of war. I found myself worrying about life and death all over again, that old bonnet of going away, the long goodbye to nowhere and nothing and life is but a temporary illusion and when I go it is gone.

Yes, I have been playing some more Fallout 3, but haven't these past couple days. Well, my gaming has turned to Team Fortress 2 again. It's just exhilarating to be part of a team, to work as one. Conversely, it's incredibly tiring and frustrating to be with a group of aimless fools, each interested only in killing and not the objectives. Such a rabble cannot stand against a force united.

My fridge has stopped again! Wait.. hmm.. yup, it seems dead. I've had problems with it before, but I think it may be kaput now. And guess who recently went grocery shopping?? I've actually thought about not using my fridge anyway, and instead maybe have a cooler with ice or something like. Really, the only thing I like is cold juice and water. I can do without the other stuff, especially since I prefer eating out anyway, fridge or no.

Oh yeah, WHOO GO OBAMA! That is like, wow man, that's super cool. On the other hand, I think it would be funny to have had Sarah Palin in office -- non-stop entertainment, of the shaking-head variety. But nay, things are so much brighter with Obama as President. This is like one of the first positive things I can feel about the US since.. well, for a very long time. Exciting!

Also nice, the weather. Seriously lovely. I mean, yes, global warming and all that, but one can still enjoy the warmth while one can.