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I'm Testing The Air. I Like It But It Doesn't Like Me

by Rainier on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Crysis 2, Dragon Age II and Total War: Shogun 2:  We're about to get spoiled with some big demos in the coming weeks. I'm not quite sure what the deal is with Shogun 2 being Steam exclusive. Isn't releasing demos about getting as many people as possible to try it?

It has been quiet on the concert front for the past few months, but it looks like things are about to change with Queens Of The Stone Age and Rock of Ages musical, as well as our own Evening with Kevin Smith.
 
Tomorrow, we're having a Social Network evening after a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, and then possibly Unknown over the weekend. Not quite sure which of the three I'm looking forward to the most.

At Least People In Plays Act Like They've Got Sense

by Rainier on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

It's not pretty out there. It's dark and gloomy, and there are high winds and torrential rain. I'm so staying inside.

Not sure why Ubisoft decided to release Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood for PC. Most people who wanted it either picked up the console version or moved on to other titles. Then somebody over at HQ will probably wonder why it doesn't sell well ...

Later this week, we are going to be giving away a batch of beta codes for Mythos. It'll be a first come, first serve, so keep an eye out. They'll be going fast!

If You Were Waiting For The Opportune Moment, That Was It

by Rainier on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Hope everybody had a good Valentine's Day! Normally we head out to a fancy restaurant, but a few years back, we decided to save ourselves a wad of cash by staying in and cooking instead. We had a fancy meal, tossed a log in the fireplace, cuddled up and watched some shows on the DVR. Nothing too exuberant, but no less enjoyable.

I haven't quite figured out yet why A.V.A. keeps rebooting my PC as soon as I enter an instance, but I've installed it on another PC, and it works just fine there. Weird stuff!

I'm Going Back And Clean The Crackers Out Of My Bed; I'm Expecting Company

by Rainier on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

The weekend flew by again. Why can't it drag on like the work week usually does? Luckily, the weather was quite good, and it only started raining this morning.

Was a relaxing day yesterday with lots of food (dim sum with some friends in the morning, lamb stew for dinner), some gaming (DC Universe Online, Stronghold Kingdom) and lots of TV watching (Knight & Day, Blue Bloods, Bones and Fringe). No, I didn't get around to fixing my PC yet, but I looked at it a few times. I'm getting warmed up!

For all you forgetful folks out there, today is Valentine's Day, so put down the controller and do/get something nice for your wife, fiancée, girlfriend or mother.

What Thousands Must Die, So That Caesar May Become The Great

by Rainier on Feb. 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Yesterday we saw The King's Speech, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good and entertaining it was. I had not done any reading up on it, so I assumed it had something to do with a medieval king making a noteworthy speech sometime in history. While the latter is true, it is set  in early 20th century Britain, right before the start of World War II.

Aside from doing some errands, I also played some Genesis A.D. and tried out Alliance of Valiant Arms, two free-to-play FPS titles. Both are quite decent, with AVA being the favorite, but for some reason, that game inexplicably makes my PC shut down after a few minutes of play. I've uninstalled, re-downloaded the install from a different source, and updated my video card drivers to no avail. Bummer ...

Listen To Me, You Great Big Bubble-Headed Baboon

by Rainier on Feb. 12, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

My CrimeCraft experience has once again come to a screeching halt. After being banned four times for questionable reasons — not for hacking/glitching, which is rampant in the community — I played under an old friend's account (he'd left the game last year). Earlier this week, the developers figured it out, and sure enough, the next day, I was banned for account sharing.

I can hear you say, "Man, give it up already. They obviously don't want you there." Vogster's MMOFPS isn't a stellar game, but I have many friends there, and it was the only reason I kept coming back. In a sign of solidarity, most of my pals have quit CrimeCraft, and we will move on to APB shortly.

Most MMOs expand their world, but after more than a year, Vogster decided to cut the lobby in half and split players across two servers. It's not because there were SO many players; both servers run on low population most of the time. There are daily "server maintenance" downtimes, which don't resolve anything since additional server reboots ensue, sometimes multiple times a day. There is constant server lag, and European players are mixed with North American users, causing lag during PvP. There is also HackShield's inability to detect any hackers.

A quick Google/YouTube search yields tools to help you cheat in the game. Several Web sites list the number of people who are using their third-party hacks and in which game, but very little disciplinary action is taken in CrimeCraft. Two Web sites reveal that about 80 people are currently hacking in CrimeCraft — about 10% of the game's population. If you call out somebody for hacking, though, the GMs will tell you to not say anything in public and ask you to file a customer service ticket. Then they'll hide behind a "privacy policy," so they can't follow up.

Yes, let's all stick our heads in the sand ....

I've Never Been Alone With A Man Before, Even With My Dress On

by Rainier on Feb. 11, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Wonder what is all going on over at Activision. It's dropping various franchises and closing half a dozen development studios — several of which they acquired only a two years ago. The Guitar Hero titles losing their appeal should not have come as a surprise; I thought it would have happened sooner since they were milking the franchise and putting out titles like there was no tomorrow. There hasn't been a good Tony Hawk title in a while, either, and it's no wonder that the investment in the Ride skateboard peripheral is also being questioned. Now, on to milking the Call Of Duty franchise!

This weekend, we're going to go see The Social Network or The King's Speech, just to catch up on some Oscar-nominated movies, have dim sum with friends, run some errands, and, if all goes well, finish building my PC. I've done some preliminary tinkering when our inet service was down earlier this week, so I have a head start!

Somebody Help Me, I'm Being Spontaneous!

by Rainier on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Not quite sure why, but I'm a little bit bored with my current batch of games. I haven't played Vindictus in a month or two because there is no PVP, and the promised guild features never materialized, Stronghold Kingdoms is getting on my nerves with the constant AI attacks and lack of parish member support, Dead Space II was fun for a few hours but I've put it aside for now, and Eve Online is so huge that I'm just logging in once a day to set skills.

The only title left for now is DC Universe Online, but the weird thing is that when you and a friend have different mentors, it is difficult to sync with friends to group up and do the same missions, resulting in one or the other having to do the missions twice.

Shadows Of The Past, Victims Of The Future

by Rainier on Feb. 9, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Yesterday sucked, plain and simple.

Being without internet service (or phone, for that matter) for more than half of the day just wasn't any fun.

Lots of reading material has been showing up over the past few days, including comic books for Deus Ex and DC Universe Online, as well as a novel based on the Homefront game. Guess I'll have to do some catching up ...

So Long, It Was So Long Ago, But I've Still Got The Blues For You

by Rainier on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

The internet service has been down in the office for the past few hours, and while technicians have been at it for a while now, it seems that the service outage may last for a bit longer. Luckily, there are a few unsecured wi-fi connections in the area who have agreed to let us hop on ... well, if they only knew, that is!

Prior to the internet going down, I was going to keep it rather short, as one of my favorite guitar players passed away yesterday. Gary Moore, also known for having played with Thin Lizzy, died in his sleep yesterday while on vacation in Estepona, Spain. Influenced by artists such as Albert King, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, as well as Jimi Hendrix, Moore has been one of my favorite blues/rock guitarist (and he does lead vocals as well) ever since I heard Victims of the Future in 1984.

Fixed Fortifications Are Monuments To The Stupidity Of Man

by Rainier on Feb. 7, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

As predicted, we didn't get anything done this weekend, no cmputer assembling, no trip to the movie theatre, nothing but being lazy, taking naps, run a few errands and watch TV, such as Blue Bloods, The Cape, Bones, and Supernatural.

As you can tell, no football fans over here, so the Super Bowl was totally lost on us, but congrats to all the Green Bay Packers fans for their victory over the Steelers, EA's Madden NFL 2011 prediction fumbled and didn't get it right this time.

Not much else going on atm, maybe I should start making our GDC schedule, I shudder at the thought, and the fact that GDC means E3 is not far behind ...

I Must Warn You, I Am Susceptible To Flattery

by Rainier on Feb. 6, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Man, it was a lovely day yesterday. There was beautiful weather, sunny and warm, and today should be similar, so maybe we'll actually venture out.

Apart from going to breakfast with some friends, we have nothing on the program, so maybe we'll see a movie (The King's Speech or The Fighter), watch some DVR (yesterday we caught up on Human Target, Kitchen Nightmares,  and The Good Wife), or at last work on my second new PC.

So many choices, so little time ....

No Pope Ever Visits A City Where The Newspapers Are On Strike

by Rainier on Feb. 5, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Last night was a load of fun. We celebrated a friend's birthday with dinner, a night on the town and drinks aplenty.

We didn't come home until the middle of the night, hence the late update, so apologies about that.

We'll see what we can scrounge up for some updates, but first, must get some much-needed coffee because the brain is still in sleep mode.

How Will I Laugh Tomorrow, When I Can't Even Smile Today

by Rainier on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

The weekend's almost here!

It's been a busy week, work-wise as well as gaming. DC Universe Online is still taking up a big chunk of my time, but I'm enjoying it greatly. Our faction in Stronghold Kingdoms is on the warpath, so lots is going on over there as well.

There's a reason why I never got into MMOs until about a year ago: I get sucked in too much. Single-player games are so much easier to drop, even the multiplayer-enabled ones.

This weekend, we have quite a few plans, starting with this evening's birthday bash for our neighbor, the usual errands, probably seeing The King's Speech, and I promised myself that I'd finally get around to putting together my new work PC. I'll be happy if I get half of it done ...

I'd As Soon Go To Dublin As To Hell

by Rainier on Feb. 3, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

I decided to put on some tights and try out DC Universe Online, and it is quite a fun ride.

The character editor is a tad limited, though, as it's nowhere near as advanced as some other MMOs like Eve Online. It has a bunch of pre-made items you can mix and match and various body types. You can still make a unique character, mind you, but a high-end editor it is not.

For people not in the know, you cannot play as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or any of the other classic heroes. Otherwise, the world would be full of those iconic characters, but depending on whether you choose to be a hero or a villain, they serve as your mentor or enemy.

You Do Death Alone, But I Coulda Helped Her With The Dyin' Part

by Rainier on Feb. 2, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

It was good to have a slightly busy day yesterday. It keeps the distractions at bay, and it's easier to focus on work when there is a steady stream of things to do.

I've gotten a few more hours into Dead Space 2 and still enjoying it a lot, although I'm ready for some new enemies and monsters. So far, they all seem similar, if not identical, to the foes from the original. I've also started downloading DC Universe Online, so I'll get some tights and see how much trouble I can get myself into.

Special mention has to go to Nexon for sending me a sweet-looking crystal skull filled with vodka to promote their Mabinogi Hamlet update — not so much for the alcohol part, but I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with skulls.

I Think People Should Mate For Life, Like Pigeons Or Catholics

by Rainier on Feb. 1, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

It was kind of a slow day yesterday, which gave me some time to check out Dead Space 2. While I'm only about 30-45 minutes into it, it already made me jump in my seat twice — not an easy feat. The preliminary impression is that the game's quite interesting, with some familiar mechanics and a few new additions, such as crawling in vents and walking around dazed & confused.

I also played some Stronghold Kingdoms as FireFly finally launched its Glory system, basically declaring all-out war among factions (guilds) in the game. The bottom line is that the winner is he who controls the most territory for the duration of the event. I've been amassing troops in my vassal parishes for the past few weeks and beefing up my own castle defenses, so I should be good to go ....

We Might Be Through With The Past, But The Past Ain't Through With Us

by Rainier on Jan. 31, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

We managed to see The Mechanic yesterday, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie, and as expected, it was pretty solid. It was action-packed with quite a few gruesome killings and a somewhat flimsy story, but let's be honest, you are not seeing a Jason Statham movie to discover the meaning of life.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we saw a few upcoming movie clips, and now we are looking forward to The Eagle, Limitless (maybe when it comes on DVD), and of course Battle: Los Angeles. That trailer looks so epic that it gives me goosebumps each time I see it. For crying out loud, give us a new Transformers 3 teaser, will ya? I'm tired of seeing that same footage over and over again, especially since it shows absolutely nothing!

Well, let's get this show on the road ...

I Can't Go Back, I'm A Human Sacrifice

by Rainier on Jan. 30, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

Yesterday was a bit of a letdown. We did our errands, groceries, and what was supposed to be a trip to the movie theater turned into an impromptu five-hour nap. Maybe we'll try to see The Mechanic later today again.

We watched some Chuck, House, played more Plants vs. Zombies on NDS, Magicka, Eve Online (setting skills), and Stronghold Kingdoms. We recorded the Australian Open men's finale last night but haven't gotten around to watching it yet, so we're steering clear of any news sites so we don't spoil the result.

I Want You Outta Here Instamatically

by Rainier on Jan. 29, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST | Filed under MOTD

In case you haven't been following the Australian Open, Kim Clijsters has won the Aussie Cup against Li Na from China (the first Chinese woman in a grand slam finale) and is now truly Aussie Kim (a nickname she got when she was dating Australian Lleyton Hewitt). It was a butt-clencher, but in the long run, Clijsters was the better player. Less classy was the Williams sisters' mom, blasting Clijsters over something that doesn't even make any sense.

No big plans for this weekend, but instead of going to see The Green Hornet we might switch that out for The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham. We watched some Kitchen Nightmarea, played some Plants vs. Zombies on the NDS, and a little bit of Magicka (my little wizard is sporting a huge M60 light machine gun, awesome!).