Thursday, May 24, 2007

LOST - Season 3 Finale

There are two ways to view LOST:

"Man, this show is so crazy. So much new stuff is happening and there are twists around every corner. So much unexplainable stuff happens that gives you another mystery to solve. This show is awesome."


"Man, this show is so ridiculous. They never stick to one storyline or answer any questions. All this unexplainable stuff keeps happening and the characters are incosistent. This show sucks."

I'm part of one group.

Goodbye LOST. See you in 8 months.

3 Seasons of LOST summed up in 30 seconds

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Top 10 Most Influental Games (In My Life)

(In Chronological Order)

# 1 - Snake
Snake - a simple game, probably one of the first I ever played.

# 2 - Jetpack
I could waste hours in jetpack, playing, building levels, randomizing plays, versus mode, or all that stuff.

# 3 - Command & Conquer
This game was basically fun at its core. You build stuff. You destroy stuff. And that was fun.

# 4 - The Secret of Monkey Island
I have never laughed so much in a game since TSoMI. It was my first "real" adventure game, and will always remain my favorite.

# 5 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
A Link to the Past introduced me to the epic quest. The game was so long; the world was so huge; the items were so plentiful; the dungeons were so menacing; the story was so epic; and the game was great.

# 6 - Transport Tycoon, Theme Hospital, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Sim Tower, Dune & Millennium: Return to Earth
Strategy games for some reason are just fun. You don't need a story; you don't need characters; all you need is great gameplay, and that's what these games delivered.

# 7 - Final Fantasy VI
I had always heard of Final Fantasy, but I never really knew what it was, or what it was about. I finally picked up FF3 (a.k.a. FF 6 a.k.a. FF VI) and started to play it. The combat system confused me and I had no idea what to do. After trying to play it for the third or fourth time, I finally stuck with it and played it all the way through. I don't think I'll ever play another game that has the same emotional impact that you get from the story, the characters, and the game world.

# 8 - America's Army
Everyone gets their start in the first-person-shooter somewhere. The first FPS I happened to play also happened to be the first competitive online game I ever played. Since then, gaming has meant a different thing to me. Multiplayer was just as, or more important than single-player.

# 9 - Half-Life 2
Every once in awhile a game comes out that totally redefines what a game can be. First you had text-adventures; then you had 16 color pixels; then you had 256 VGA; then you had Super VGA; then you had 3D; and then you had Half-Life 2.

This game just blew my mind away from the opening monologue, and continued to shatter my brain throughout the rest of the game. I didn't even know those things were possible in a game, yet I was playing it.

# 10 - Counter-Strike: Source
Some games are just so fun, and so ridiculous, that it doesn't matter if it's a good game, or a bad game. Counter-Strike is one of those games.

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Beginning (1st 1/3 of episodes)
I came into Trigun expecting Cowboy Bebop, except in the old west. But Trigun is more off-the-wall, crazy, slap-stick, and ridiculous, but in kind of a good way.
The episodes started off slow, with no real main storyline, and it seemed like it was just about this guy who wanders from town to town acting ridiculous with his 10 personalities. Then he would eat donuts, and act dumb, and solve people's problems or something.
Not bad, but not really interesting.
7.2 / 10.00

Middle (2nd 1/3 of episodes)
The characters continued to wander from town to town doing crazy stuff, but then it actually started to get relevant. The story introduced new and interesting characters which spiced up the episodes. They got into the back story of the world in subtle ways, and the show became more interesting. The main storyline finally kicked in here, where Vash was being hunted down by a group of elite assassins.
9.2 / 10.00

End (Last 1/3 of episodes)
Now the episodes didn't have any filler and everything was about the main storyline. Vash's back story and the planet's back story was explained in an awesome episode which detailed the one real "theme" that the show has. That theme is about choices, risks, regret, morals, and decisions.
The only thing I didn't like was that they had to keep flashing back to the previous episode, every episode in the last bunch. It got annoying, though it was sometimes necessary.
The show didn't explain everything (like how come Knives has telepathy and uses it on other people, but decides to Gun-Fight Vash?).
The show had a good enough ending, but it wasn't mind-blowing.
9.0 / 10.00

The characters are what really make the show. Once you get in their footsteps, the show becomes much better.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Books & Authors

The last three books I tried to read I couldn't read. NO, they weren't too hard. YES, they were kind of boring. But the real reason goes something like this:

So I pick up Grapes of Wrath, and as usual, I open it up and read the panels. Then I read the front and back cover. I see these quotes by people I've never heard of saying how great the book is, and then I see a picture of the author (John Steinbeck) in his "I am one of the world's greatest writers and I wrote a great big book which everyone will remember me for" pose. The pose basically has him staring into the camera in a slightly menacing look with a cigarette in his hand or something.


I couldn't finish it because of this scene about a turtle that was too symbolic and open to allegoristic interpretation.

So, x# of months later, I pick up the Invisible Man. Once again, I go through my "analyze a book without reading it by reading everything on the book-but the book" procedure. And once again, I find a picture of the author. He's also in his super egotistical pose with another cigarette.

I actually start to read the book and I couldn't read it anymore because it was too dramatic and the scenes were just so ridiculously illustrating the point that the author was trying to make. It's like the character's life is just one bad nightmare day after day, just to make this STATEMENT that the author is trying to say.

So that's 2 books I couldn't read.

Then I pick up the Painted Bird by this other dude who I've never heard of. I grudgingly look on the back cover only to find another black & white picture of another author in another menacing pose.
It's scary to find authors like that.

So then I read the book and I just can't read it because I know it's going to be super grotesque, dramatic, painful, and all that stuff that makes a book "amazing."

Bad excuses.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

LOST - Season 3.9

I really think that the last episode of LOST was one of the best episodes all season. The flashback was interesting and tied directly to the story. The conflicts progressed on the beach side. Locke's path ventured into a new element of mystery in Lost. Jacob's "house" was one of the most frightening, and mysterious scenes ever in Lost, and it seems like the new "hatch element" that I've been waiting for.

It's been interesting to see how they're finally revealing the island's mysteries through dialogue and flashback. I've always been afraid that doing that might be extremely ridiculous or corny, but LOST has seemed to pull it off so far.

So many questions seem to be being answered, and so many new ones are being raised. Yeah, it's that thing LOST is infamous for.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Ranks of Gaming

#1 - "n00b"
This player just played the game for the first time and really has no idea what to do. Many of the more experienced players may mock him or criticize him for doing foolish things, and in turn, the "n00b" may leave the game. In other cases, he will continue to play and improve to the second level rank. Most players either never move past this stage, or move past it within a month.
Constitutes 8% of the population.

# 2 - ("n00b") In Training
Now begins the long hard journey of discovering the game's mechanics, how it works, and how to play it. There is no easy road to doing this. Each game functions differently, and has different ways to play it. The player-in-training must learn all the basic tasks of the game in this stage. This player may occasionally do something laudable in the game, but for the most part, he will only get in the way and be a nuisance. This stage usually lasts between one and six months.
Constitutes 17% of the population.

# 3 - Soldier (Classes 1-3)
By this time, the player will have played the game enough to understand all the basic mechanics and the most-played maps. There will be worse players than him, and better players, but he still has much to learn. Most players will venture past this stage in their training, but unfortunately, some players never learn to adapt thus making them stay at this level of skill. Reaching this stage from a n00b may require 3-10 months.
This player can be depended on only some of the time in a game.
Constitutes 41% of the population.

# 4 - Veteran
This player usually has played the game for at least a year to get to his current skill level. He will usually be in the better half of the players on the server, and will occasionally rise to get the best score. He can be depended on 80% of the time to get the job done. He is a good boost to your team.
Constitutes 25% of the population.

# 5 - "pr0"
This player has learned virtually 95+% of all the skills and tactics in the game. He knows nearly all the best strategies and every corner of every map. He can usually adapt to new maps 5x faster than everyone else. This player is almost always in the top 3 players on whatever team he joins. This player usually has between 1-5 years of experience in the game.
Constitues 9% of the population.

If you play enough games, you can usually skip the n00b stage and go straight the training stage. Some skills and tactics are universal, no matter what game you're playing.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Last Word on 24

The last episode of 24 represents and showcases everything I hate about the show.

The episode firstly starts off with all this false drama and overly cheesy dialogue between the characters. And then they proceed to REDO a scenario they've already done once or twice in the previous seasons of a show (I'm not going to tell you what). And since you know Jack Bauer will never get stuck in an interrogation room for the last 3 episodes--without an action scene? NEVER!--you know that the chinese are going to attack CTU. And then you realize that this season cannot end well at all because of the way the story is going, so then the producers do these fake action scenes at CTU to "pump up the plot" even though nothing is really happening. But previously before that, two characters talked about their lives, and since you know the Chinese are about to invade in 10 minutes, one of those two characters must die. And what do you know? They cut off the music, have the character stand up, he dies, and then they cut to commercials.

No supense. No drama. No twists.

And then they redo another scene where they have the terrorist say "Come out or I will kill your loved one." That's about the sixteenth time they've done that in the history of 24. And it always has the same result.
Finally, they end the episode by saying Jack's dad was behind it, again.


24 is awful.

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