Friday, June 26, 2009

While You Were Out...

Most people grow up and move out of their parents' house. I'm at an awkward stage where I live at home while attending college. This internship of mine, 1,000 miles away from home, is a little taste of that, with one difference.

I don't have my stuff!

My decision not to haul my Xbox 360 down from Michigan to South Carolina has, so far, been proven correct. My apartment came with a standard def TV and road-construction-in-Michigan slow internet.

You may remember all that talk I spouted a few months back about reconnecting with my old Nintendo 64? Turns out the second honeymoon wasn't as great as I'd thought it would be. The new games were either impossibly hard or unappealing after beating them. The only fun that remained was with the favorites. All guns, invincibility, infinite ammo in "Goldeneye 007" is still the way to go. I'm saving up "Perfect Dark" action 'til fall.

There are games on my Xbox 360 that I'd love to have with me here, even if it was just one at a time. Well, maybe just "Fallout 3" and "FarCry 2". Can't include "Left4Dead" in this desert island scenario. I love the whole library, but most of the games have been played to death. But, I still have a little more to wring form F3 and F2. It's killing me that I can't sink my thumbs into "Point Lookout", the newest batch of F3 DLC.

Sadly, my reunions with my beloved possesions will be cut brutally short by another fall semester at college. My senior year, to be exact. Oh, don't worry... I won't be graduating in 2010. Neither will a lot of kids. Western Michigan University's imaging department doesn't want you to have time actually take any of the stupid gen-ed requirements they throw at you. No! That would be too easy! You're in college! You're supposed to be smart!

Yeah? Well, I'm supposed to be paying you to guide me through an educational path to a good career, not play "Let's F%#& Up Your Schedule". I swear, the federal government could learn a lot from college bureaucrats. Anyway, needed to get that off my chest. Safer than ranting about my current situation, which carries a great deal of weight on my future plans, college and beyond.

Point is, baby needs his pacifying. More than I miss my family (I'm sure their visit next week will clear that right up), I miss my stuff, my video games chiefly. That's an unhealthy dependence, isn't it? Valuing your life based on what material goods you have. But what else is there? Why do we have jobs and participate in the economy? Not mearly to just survive; we want more, we want better, and we want it now.

The rednecks down here blow off steam hunting and fishing. My hunting and fishing is a spirited game of "Left 4 Dead", Hunting Survivors and fishing up noobs with the Smoker.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Heralds, they are a-changin'

The Western Herald is one the ideological parents of this blog, the other being Dagoo's Tales of War. From the fall of '09 to this spring, I wrote for the Herald's weekly entertainment section, the Weekend Scene. Guess what the columns were about?

I've also worked at the Herald as an ad designer and copy editor, so I have first-hand experience with these recent events. The Herald's web presence definitely has room to grow, and grow it shall, with the reduction in print publication and a renewed focus on web services.

The Herald is by and for students, and students are the most internet-savvy people out there. While an online division of the paper may seem like a no-brainer this day in age, the website has been around for a while. But the Herald is looking to bring campus news to students through the web, instead of "reprinting" what ran in the paper version.

I, for one, welcome our new webmaster overlords. When fall classes start up again, I hope the Herald still has room for my services (translation: I'll need a job). This new web focus brings up a whole slew of possibilities for a designer such as myself. I work in an industry that balances print and digital media, after all.

While my web design skills are amateurish at best, I'd love to be able to help out Herald make this leap forward. I plan on continuing the print column this fall, so who knows where things will go from there? Getting paid to write Western Herald-exclusive video game web content? Maybe this site and the Herald will merge into some kind of SkyNet of news and entertainment for college students?

Especially this day in age, newspapers are like sharks: they must move forward to survive. It is my firm belief that the Western Herald can and will become a streamlined, vicious apex of predatory evolution...

Crap. Ruined another prefectly good similie.

'Til next time, keep your heads in the Game.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Picture Perfect

It seems the port of "Perfect Dark" to Xbox Live is not without some upgrades. From the look of things so far, I'd say it's more like a re-make. Just look at the high-resolution skins and texturing!

There's no way that's all original "Goldeneye" engine. I'm no programmer, but maybe they just heaped layers of enhancements onto the original game code. I don't see how or why 4J would rebuild her from the ground up.

Maybe it's like the refit of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. You either build a new ship or go with the old one; instead, they heap on enhancements until only the bones are original. If that's the case with "Perfect Dark", it shows that this will be a quality port, not just an emulation; all the more reason to get excited.

While there haven't been any multiplayer details yet, I still plan on forming a clan just for the hell of it. I do need ideas for names and logos, though. So far, all I have is "dataDyne Hit Squad" for a name and "Darker than You" for the slogan. Wait, "Darker than You" is a pretty cool name. How 'bout "DY357" for short? The numbers give it the model name of PD's revolver. Alright, stream of conciousness blogging for the win! Suggestions still welcome.

Left 4 Dead (Twice)

A sequel to Valve's zombie-apocalyptic co-op shooter from 2008, L4D2 is set in what appears to be in the New Orleans area. If the trailer is any indication, the infected are much more vicious and bloodthirsty. In Left 4 Dead, there wasn't any explicit evidence of them eating people. Here, we clearly see them dripping with blood. And, a few are missing limbs; getting shot in mid-run doesn't seem to phase them as much, either.

Of course, this is all rampant speculation. We can be sure that melee weapons will be included, finally bringing all your zombie fantasies to life. Valve is apparently looking at this November for a release, but c'mon, this is Valve we're talking about. A delay would actually be a good thing, because I'd have more time to enjoy "Perfect Dark" and "Fallout 3" DLC.

Speaking of "Fallout", I just started playing "Fallout", "Fallout 2", and "Fallout: Tactics". Don't see what all the fuss was about when Bethesda converted the franchise to 3D. I'm waiting to be impressed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Strange Times

Today, Wrecklaimer told me that there were screenshots online of "Left4Dead2" (L4D2, Star Wars jokes abound). Then I saw this Gametrailers video of Microsoft's E3 presentation of... whatever the hell this is:

Has the whole world gone mad? A sequel to a game not even a year old? That isn't something Valve would do! Look at this no-hands thingy for the current Xbox! I've been prancing around like an idiot in front of the TV for years and now, you tell me, I can play video games that way?

Oh, and "Metal Gear Solid" comes to the Xbox 360. Not a port of MGS4, but some new game starring everyone's favorite effeminate action hero, Raiden. Why is it that whenever an MGS game is released outside of the PlayStation, it's crap? Look at MGS2 on the Xbox. Why do we get stuck with second-fiddle robo girlie man?

Like the Black Keys say, strange times are here.

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