Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inverison (PS3)

So I bought this game of a whim. It’s been kind of a slow summer and when I saw it had dropped to around 20 dollars I figured it would give it a shot. I wasn't expecting too much. I have to say this game was not that great. It provides a minor degree of entertainment, but towards the end of it I was begging to be done so I man move on. I mean it’s a solid game but maybe even when I spend 20 dollars, I expect something. I guess I should have expected as much because Saber Interactive made Time Shift, another forgettable game with a gimmick of time manipulation. However while Time Shift had some memorable and original concepts (still all together forgettable), I think they got lost in making Inversion. 

In reality this game is a Gears of War clone with a gimmick of gravity manipulation, however not very well done. You first have to shoot something to in case it in a gravity field and then you can grab it with your power glove backpack gravity thing and that doesn’t make sense to me. Why not just let me manipulate gravity without the field? The gravity does have two different settings, low and heavy gravity. I found heavy gravity pretty useless, the shield did come in handy in some parts but it drains so damn fast. I just found myself using low gravity more, lifting enemies from cover and other stuff. High Gravity  is just pointless.

When I call this game a Gears of War clone, I mean this is a pretty much a copy and paste clone. The Lutadores (stupid name) look like COGs (big beefy no neck Neanderthals) and they burrow up from the ground like the Locust.  Chest high walls are everywhere.  I am not the biggest fan of Gears of War (well the first one was amazing, and then they jumped the shark with second and third one), but it was still a solid game. I think the biggest problem is fluidity. When before and after every fight you have a one to two minutes cut scene it really breaks up the game play to say “hey we are now going over here” or “Oh no it’s the same boss we encountered last level”. Nothing is fluid. And that’s what is missing from Inversion fluidity. Nothing feels smooth. Even the selling point of gravity manipulation isn’t very smooth.

Also if anyone can figure out the story line of this game, please let me know because I am still lost. *Spoiler* something about a giant ship and different worlds in bubbles and mechanical aliens and who knows. I will say the one twist at the end I didn’t see coming.

Maybe they tried too hard to make a big budget title, maybe they got sidetracked, but much of this game feels like moving from one cut scene to another. I knew I wasn’t going to “like” this game, but I at least wanted entertainment and that was not the case.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What is death?

With my grandmothers recent passing K realize that all death does is to bring people together. Not to celebrate that persons life, but reduce our conversations to conniving talking behind a persons back and squabbling over material possessions.

Death shouldn't be like this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Doctor Professor Brandon.

We all have goals in life. Okay except for those  people that sit around all day and have no ambition, drive or intention to accomplish anything in their lives. In a way I am jealous of those people. They have a drive I suppose, a drive to not accomplish anything. Maybe its us who are the cursed people, always striving and never living up to outlandish goals. This is something I struggle with. I think I have set my goals to such an unobtainable goal that I may never be happy.

So, this entire thing stems from a conversation I had with the Dean today. She asked me very critical questions that I did not have the answer to. Answers I couldn't even bullshit my way out of. I can usually talk my way out of anything. But she probed and prodded into reaches of my choices that I had never thought about.  Asking, if I knew why I wanted to get a PhD and in what. I mean, I kind of knew, but they are not based on anything solid. My ideals were sitting on a foundation of dreams and hopes that really had no basis in reality. The idea of being an intellectual, sitting around thinking, formulating, trying to solve the worlds problems is a pipe dream of mine. But in reality, professors don't do that. Its meetings, research, writing, teaching, finding grants, more meetings, program and curriculum development, more writing, sleep. I guess all the professors I have been mentored by where either fairly new to the field or getting ready to exit it. My History professors at Humboldt were young guys who had just obtained their PhDs and probably hadn't experienced the cutthroat nature that is academia. My sociology and education professors were all old and jaded. While they encouraged me, they never really warned me about higher education.

You know, no one ever questioned my goals or intentions years ago. I wish someone who had done so. I would probably have a clearer idea of what to do with my life. What to be when I grow up. I don't know why I didn't create a contingency plan for this nonsense. I am getting the "trapped" feeling again. I mean I have options, but I feel narrowed. Maybe I should feel that way, it will make me think what I should be doing with me life. I want to make a difference, that's my goal. I don't know if I can do that in public school. Shit is so locked down that I don't even think I could bring my own curriculum into the school. Everything is taught from the book for the kids to pass the tests. Hell I found a cartoon from Disney about Nazi propaganda and the first thing that came to my mind is how could I design a lesson plan around this. I don't know what to do. I can't teach in Oregon without a license, which I suppose I could go back and get one. I could get another Masters in something else, like Sociology or Business. But the Dean did say go and talk to other people at different schools. Maybe that's what I need to do. I will do that I think. First off however, I need to finish my thesis and find a job to pay the bills. That is the most important.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"I am so smart! S-M-R-T... I mean S-M-A-R-T!"

I received an odd little plush turtle from my very sick grandmother yesterday. You see yesterday marked the end of my masters program at my university. Well...end is a relative term, I still need to finish my thesis, which is well, not close to be done yet. That is whole other story. Anyway, the point of this post is about this little turtle plush.

Turtles have always had a weird place in my heart. Not to the place of birds...because hell we know, I am pretty crazy about birds. But turtles, I don't know what it is about them. Maybe its an connection with my childhood, maybe its something else. In any case I find this little turtle interesting.

I think the basic connection to turtle are they slow and patience creatures. I mean looking at Aesop's Fables, the tortoise outsmarts the hare. I wonder if that's the relation to this little creature. The turtle could also mean and exit from your shell. You have finally come to the other side, closer to adulthood. While the state may consider me an adult, I am far from it. I don't know...will I ever consider myself an adult? Probably not. Its not in my mentality, my personality. I may always be a big kid. Maybe its a way to escape from the reality of life. The harsh unforgiving nature that often accompanies it. Maybe the turtle is a comparison to my academic career, which in itself has been a test of patience and willpower. I mean, I now sit at the end, nearly 10 years later. Granted I got a little lost a long the way (couple extra years in my undergrad and a extra year in my masters). But I am done (kind of).

Whatever the case, I now stand on a precipice, either looking to jump into the unknown or stand on the edge spitting off the side figuring out what to do next. I mean, much like the turtle, do I stay in my shell, or do I leave it? I suppose in real life a turtle can't leave its shell...but whatever this is a metaphor. Just something to think about.

With that however, I leave you with the theme of my college career.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Moving Right Along

Its odd thinking that your entire house can be packed into 10-15 boxes. Granted this doesn't include the big stuff: couch, bed, tv, book shelves. But moving sucks. There's no other way to put it. It sucks even more when you've been established in a place for a number of years. I don't think of myself as a hoarder. I know I've said this before but I just have tons of little collections. Okay granted some collections are bigger than others but whatever. Like here's an example: I've saved almost every movie ticket from since 1996. Kind of crazy but its neat to loom back. Anyway...so moving is terrible. I am amazed how much crap I have fit into each corner of my apartment. I think this move is good because its making my readjust what I keep and get rid. I don't have enough time to do it now. But the moment I get to my new place shit will be thrown away. Like probably half of my clothes (well those will be donated). I need to sell all my old PC games. With steam it has rendered many useless in their old obsolete format. I wish I could just do a bulk sale. Maybe on Craig's List. Like something Box O' PC games (years '95 -'05). I don't even know what I have in there let alone what something like it would be worth. Probably not much. I still have all my old baseball cards to sell as well. But they are from an era that has zero to no value right now. I don't know if sitting on them will make them worth more. They've just become a pain to move as well. Sorry this is so damn rambly maybe its because I'm posting via my phone cause I'm top lazy to go to the computer now. But I'll end this in the same way I began it. Moving sucks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The End of an Era

And then it was. No big explosion, no large crash, no fireworks, no bright flashing lights, no bang, whistle or pop. No sounds except for a simple click. The end of my Facebook persona. It was quick and without much fuss. Granted they love to guilt you into staying, like a grieving widow sitting next to her dying husband showing pictures of their past together, Facebook shows you friends and loved ones (that you may have never even talked to) saying they will miss you.

I've been on Facebook for nearly 7 years now. The longest time I have ever been apart of anything virtual. Hell, in my WoW days it was only 3-4 years. I joined back when you needed a college email address (and I wish they would have kept that). If they would have kept it like that, I think I would have liked it more. It would have been a virtual place in which intelligent people can come together to socialize and discuss. Instead, I think in its current form it has become somewhat of expression of reality TV. Maybe not the extent of the bottom feeding ooze that was MySpace.com (I mean at least one Facebook, there wasn't glittery HTML text or flaming skull .gifs). But MySpace at least allowed for customization. Facebook leaves things the same dull blue and white color scheme with only the ability to change pictures. But this is probably why people flock to Facebook, it keeps everything uniform, even and rigid. It does all the creative elements for you. People cling to this sort of notion. Since the expression of creativity is something very personal to the person who is creating and the person who is viewing it it garners different feelings. If everyone's page was the same, it would be up the individual person I suppose. Regardless...its done.

Time to let the creative juices flow...after a much needed break of course. I need to recuperate so I can be able to attack this paper. Much like the great Teddy Roosevelt wrestled a buffalo by the horns and taught it to read, I need to get shit done.

Habits are often hard to break.

The above picture shows many things. To some it make show me as a hoarder, this is because I have a large number of collections. To others this could be seen as wasted money and space. But to me, it represents a odd sense of joy and accomplishment.

My collection is small, by no means the largest. I try my best to maintain everything in pristine condition, with the only exception of removing things from their boxes and playing the games inside.  But I have garnered a collection that I am proud of. Its an odd notion to be proud of your material possessions, but no matter. Just to give an idea of what I have spent, here is a list and the prices.

Top Left to Right Bottom:

Diablo III (PC): $99.99
Duke Nukem Forever: Balls of Steel Edition (XBOX 360): $99.99
BioShock Collectors Edition (PC): $69.99
Fallout New Vegas Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): $99.99
Alan Wake Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): $79.99
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): $99.99
World in Conflict Collectors Edition (PC): $59.99
Dead Space 2 Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): $79.99
Fallout 3 Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 99.99
Resistance 2 Collectors Edition (PS3): 79.99
Uncharted 3 Collectors Edition (PS3):  99.99
Halo Reach Legendary Edition (XBOX 360): 149.99
Assassin's Creed Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 59.99
Hellgate London Collectors Edition (PC): 59.99
Infamous 2 Hero Edition (PS3): 99.99
Batman Arkam City Collectors Edition (PS3): 99.99
Dead Rising 2 Zombrex Edition (XBOX 360): 79.99
Assassin's Creed II Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 69.99
God of War III Ultimate Edition (PS3): 99.99
Max Payne 3 Collectors Edition (PS3): 99.99
Gears of War Epic Edition (XBOX 360): 149.99
Halo 3 Legendary Edition (XBOX 360): 149.99
Fable III Limited Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 59.99
Star Craft II Collectors Edition (PC): 79.99
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Collectors Edition (PS3): 149.99
Grand Theft Auto IV Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 99.99
Warhammer Online Collectors Edition (PC): 99.99
BioShock 2 Collectors Edition (PC): 79.99
Half-Life 2 Collectors Edition (PC): 99.99
Age of Conan Collectors Edition (PC): 99.99
Tron: Evolution Collectors Edition (XBOX 360) :99.99
Star Wars: The Old Republic Collectors Edition (PC): 149.99
Killzone 3 Helghast Edition (PS3): 129.99
The Witcher 2 Collectors Edition (PC): 129.99
Resident Evil 5 Collectors Edition (XBOX 360): 99.99
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Collectors Edition (PC) 99.99
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Collectors Edition (PC): 99.99
World of Warcraft Collectors Edition(PC): 99.99

Not Pictured (because I forgot to put them in the picture):
Little Big Planet 2 Collectors Edition (PS3): 79.99
Two Worlds 2 Royal Edition (XBOX 360): 79.99

So this adds up for a grand total of:  $3599.99

That is pretty depressing actually. Given the fact that many of these items automatically lose 20-50% their value as soon as you open them. And then given that the majority of these games decrease in value as they are produced.

Estimated Value: 750-1200 (Maybe).

Maybe one day they will be worth it, but honestly, I don't care. I enjoy them.