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Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

1/30/2011 – I’m Hungry and Poor

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

But mostly hungry. Yesterday, I consumed nothing except energy drinks, cake, pie, and ice cream. No, I am not kidding. I went to work at 1PM CST, and grabbed two Amp energy drinks on the way. I drank one on the way, and one a few hours later to make it through the rush. It worked rather nicely, actually; I was pleasantly alert and energized for nine straight hours. Which is good, because we were fucking busy, as that place tends to be.

Around 10pm or so, I realized that I hadn’t eaten a thing all day. I realized this as someone was offering me a third of a Key Lime pie. I love Key Lime pie, but I wasn’t sure how wise it would be to eat lime-gelatin when I had nothing but sugary energy drinks in my system already. What to do, then? Well, eat it of course.

Not all of it, just a slice or so. But that was enough to give me the most intense sugar rush I’ve ever experienced, ever. To the point of discomfort, really; for about 15 minutes I felt like I’d just railed a bunch of fucking mephedrone. But oh, it gets worse.

At around Midnight, when I was finally almost done, a few of my fellow employees were munching on a massive slice of white cake. I had no choice but to partake, because I was still hungry, and I love cake. Plus the sugar high had worn off a little, and I didn’t want to crash quite yet. The cake was alright, but it had that nasty-ass decorative icing on it that tastes like silicon. Mostly because it is silicon. Made of sugar. The point being, it was disgusting.

I finally left and returned to my apartment, where I was able to relax a bit – though I still had no food. So, what to do? Drink some beer and watch Planet Terror, of course. After approximately 20 minutes, I’d forgotten I was ever hungry.

And on a side note, Planet Terror is awesome. Utter ridiculous fun, I can’t believe I’d never watched it before.

After the movie ended, I was still starving. So, what to do? Kill the Ice Cream in my freezer, of course. Why? Because I’m an idiot.  I then attempted sleep. It did not go very well. I was wired, once again. Although, at the least, I had temporarily satisfied my hunger. Eventually I managed to catch a wink or two. And then I woke up starving. And I’m still starving.

I could go get some food, but I have very little money, and it would be more financially prudent to wait until I go to work and eat something there. Something other than Key Lime pie. A Sunday evening should be more laid back, giving me the time to do so.

The point of all this, I suppose, is to illustrate how awful my eating habits are. And they are indeed awful. It’s a wonder I haven’t wasted away and died. Or contracted diabetes. The latter is actually fairly likely as an eventual possibility.

*DEAD SPACE 2 PLOT SPOILERS*

In other news, Dead Space 2 is still awesome. Except for the part where it pulled another bait-and-switch in the plot. Y’know, like the way it did 783 times in the original game? It took longer this time, but that actually makes it worse. I know the game has to, y’know, go on, but it’s still a slap in the dick when a game is like “oh, hey, that objective you’ve been working towards for the last five hours or so? It’s been rendered utterly moot, move on please.” Come on, writers, it can’t be too difficult to construct a plot that facilitates a 12-hour game that doesn’t go like this:

“Isaac! Activate this thing so you can go to that place!”

“Oh fuck, you need this thing to activate that thing! Go all the way over here now!”

“Oh fuck, I’m dead now so I can’t give you further directions! Listen to this guy now!

Ad nauseam.

Note, the above is not meant to be a plot summary of any kind. Just an example of how ridiculous this sort of plot structure becomes, especially after two games. I mean, come on, Isaac can talk now; can’t he make his own decisions as to where he should go? Why does he feel the need to trust and obey every disembodied voice that gives him an order? I don’t understand.

I also don’t understand the purpose of the air ducts. Or whatever they are. At certain points in the game, you have to yank a plate off the wall and crawl through a claustrophobic maze that has the appearance of a futuristic air duct. Sounds like a good opportunity for some scares, right? Claustrophobic necromorph combat and whatnot? Not happening. You crawl from point A to point B, come out the other side, and resume play. It adds nothing aside from an alternate means of traveling from one room to another. It makes no sense. I mean, iunno, maybe it will at some point. But right now it does not.

But all of that makes it sound like I hate the game, which I do not. I really, really like it, actually – it’s the best game I’ve played since Mass Effect 2. To end on a positive note, I love the jetpack for the Zero-G segments. Moving around zero gravity in three dimensions, with a fully rotational camera, is honestly mind-blowing. It feels amazingly elegant, and creates some gorgeously cinematic camera angles for the action. Even with that being said, it’s difficult to explain why the jetpack is so much fucking fun – you’ll just have to try it yourself.

But, I do still miss the controlled jumps. Because they looked cool too. And they made for good evasive maneuvers in combat. Not sure why Visceral didn’t include both as means of transportation.

Work in 24 minutes. Good thing I live 15 minutes away. Before I go, I have to ask: where has Final Fantasy X been for the last eight years of my life, and why have I never attempted a replay until now? That game is fucking awesome, even if the voice acting sucks. And shit, XIII’s voice acting was worse, for that matter.

~Riddles

12/22/2010 – At Least the Prince Still Loves Me

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Even after all these years. When did Sands of Time come out? 2003? As in, almost eight years ago? God damn, how the time flies.

I seem to recall first playing it on the GameCube way back in the day. I’d heard of the game before, and I think I might have played through a demo at Wal-Mart or something. So one day, I rented it from the local GameCrazy.

I kinda miss you, sometimes.

If you don’t know what a GameCrazy is, don’t feel bad. It’s a long-defunct second-tier videogame retail chain. Oftentimes they were inside Hollywood Video stores, which is an even more-long-defunct movie rental outlet.

Needless to say, I loved the shit out of it, and immediately after being forced to return the rental, I bought the game. Then a few years later I re-bought the game on PS2 and gave my GameCube copy to some chick I liked at the time. Didn’t turn out to be a worthwhile investment, all things considered, especially since she forgot that I gave the damn thing to her. I know this because six months ago or so I was talking to her and she was all like, “hey, I just found out I have a copy of Sands of Time for GameCube! Awesome!” And I was all like “Yeah, I fucking GAVE IT TO YOU AS A HEARTFELT GIFT SOME YEARS AGO, BITCH”

I didn’t say that, actually, but I was thinking it. I was thinking it very hard.

On that note, I just remember that same individual now has my copies of Persona 3: FES and Shadow of the Colossus. Both of which happen to be among my very favorite games of all time, and neither of which were intended as gifts.

Guh. Take my heart and rip it to shreds, but don’t take my videogames.

But yeah, cry me a river, I know. The point of this entry was to talk about how I recently completed Prince of Persia: Sands of Time HD. I wrote a short blurb on my website about a month ago, mostly just complaining about the game’s newfound audio issues. And, after having completed the game, I can safely say that those audio issues indeed suck. A lot. In fact, they suck so much, I wouldn’t recommend Sands of Time HD for anyone who hasn’t played through the original release already. Why? Because you won’t be able to hear 90 percent of the dialog between the Prince and Farah. The audio is so damn echoy and sporadic, you won’t even notice they’re having a conversation until halfway through. Granted, I’ve memorized every line in the game, practically, so I can fill in the blanks. But if you haven’t, then you won’t be able to.

Oh, and another thing: why are the fucking Scarab beatles so loud now? If you’re standing in a room that’s even connected to a room where those little shits are lurking, the game assaults your ears with this awful CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK noise that I think is supposed to be the sound of their insect-y little footsteps. But its loud and obnoxious and OBVIOUSLY a major glitch. But then, so is the entire audio track for Sands of Time HD. Literally, the only time there aren’t issues is during cutscenes. And, save the beginning and ending of the game, Sands of Time doesn’t have that many cutscenes. Most of the dialog is spoken in-game.

But, eh. I still enjoyed the game. I mean, it’s still Sands of Time. And it’s still 38482 times better than the shitty movie that Jerry Bruckheimer released last summer. (Ironically enough, I saw that damn movie with… ah, nevermind.)

Seriously, fuck you Jerry. And you too, whoever directed the movie. And then blamed its shittiness on the source material.

But yeah. I’d like to download Warrior Within HD now, and see if it’s any better or worse. I’m a big enough fan of the series that I don’t mind dropping the cash even if the product is broken.  And, to be fair, Sands of Time HD did look pretty nice with its 720p overcoat. I’d like to see the Island of Time given that same makeover.

BUT

I can’t.

Because my stupid-ass wireless router is broken.

And I don’t even have a cable long enough to stretch to my PS3.

I’m actually sitting on the floor next to my front door right now, because that’s where my stupid router is.

Ah well. I gotta work soon. And… buy shoes. Yeah. Signing off.