Monthly Archives: December, 2015

Daredevil

Well, I watched the first season of Daredevil (I tend not to be involved in a show when it’s running, preferring to watch it in spurts when it’s done) and I have to say it was dark. It was super-duper double-secret dark. I don’t know if it will be worth watching the second season, but I’ll give it a shot when it shows up. The entire show is kind of depressing, actually.

Death Metal

I love death metal. I’ve loved death metal since Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore.”  I bought that cassette solely on the cover. I loved it. The problem with the 80’s is the distinct lack of information. You either had to buy 20 magazines to keep up with the scene, or invest in a good tape-trading group. I didn’t want to waste my limited funds on magazines as well as music, so I stuck with what I could find at Coconut’s and so forth. (Remember record stores? I miss them.)

Then comes Obituary. I picked up “Cause of Death” because well, it was Florida Death Metal (and it wasn’t Cannibal Corpse. Nothing against CC, I’m just not a fan.) And it had the same artwork as an H.P. Lovecraft anthology I bought at a used bookstore. Well, I wasn’t disappointed.. I friggin’ love C.o.D. 🙂 It was a love affair that lasts to this day.  Speaking of which:

Here’s the list of albums I can listen to even today after thousands of plays:

  1. Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers (my first DP record.) Loved it.
  2. Asia – Asia (yeah yeah, the songs are catchy, and I like it. Bugger off.)
  3. Metal Church – Metal Church (insane riffage. Makes me me giddy just thinking about it.) I also love Blessing in Disguise
  4. Twisted Sister (all of their studio albums.)  I can tell you when the solos kick in and which solo is which on Stay Hungry. I listened to it THAT much. I never tire of it. Twisted Sister is my favorite band of all time. I can even air-drum to EACH track on Stay Hungry. 🙂
  5. Testament – The New Order (phenomenal album) I used to listen to this when I went to work and back… great road tunes.
  6. Manowar – Kings of Metal (2nd Manowar record and I liked it better than Fighting the World.)
  7. Overkill – The Years of Decay (1989 was a shitty year. First year college student, broke, and wishing I had more free time. I just friggin’ loved this cassette.)
  8. Quiet Riot (Down to the Bone, Metal Health, QR3, Condition Critical) Love these guys and their music. QR3 is my favorite among them.
  9. Ensiferum (first CD) Catchy as hell and great writing.
  10. Obituary – Cause of Death
  11. Death – Scream Bloody Gore
  12. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force (debut).
  13. Blade Runner Soundtrack
  14. King Diamond – Them (my first KD record and it rules.) I love most of KD’s work though. Not a dud in the bunch.
  15. Van Halen – 1984 Because it was my first “rock” record after “Metal Health” (which was, coincidentally, metal.)
  16. Powermad – Absolute Power (riffage galore and some of the best vocals this side of Bruce Dickinson.)
  17. Speaking of: Iron Maiden – 7th Son of a 7th Son/Powerslave/Somewhere in Time/Number of the Beast
  18. Megadeth – Peace Sells/So Far So Good So What? Fucking phenomenal
  19. Metallica – Master of Puppets/Ride the Lightning/5.98 EP. (I love their covers: Breadfan is the bomb-bay!)
  20. Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell (DUH!)

Heck, I have quite a list. Most of them bring back great memories. The new stuff is sprinkled in there, because well, I tend not to be in any sort of “nostalgic” mood. I just love good music. I have lots of bands I love. I have lots of bands I like. And I even have bands I don’t necessarily listen to but respect for their musical ability.

I just like heavy metal, I guess. I have since I was 12. It is all Twisted Sister’s fault. I was (and always will be) a nonconformist. I bucked the trends in music. I never stuck with any fad genres, and I never liked pop music. I am all about the fuzzed out loud guitars and bombastic drums that make your ribs shake. Rap, Grunge, Pop, Alternative, Salsa… they can all keep their music. I will die listening to metal. And that’s a great thing.

 

Holy shit. I forgot two records that I need on my Desert Island set!

Keepers 1 and 2 by Helloween. 🙂 I friggin’ LOVE Helloween. 🙂

Some thoughts on Fallout 4

After an aborted launch day marathon (where I wasn’t paying attention to the skill tree, etc.) I reset my Fallout 4 game. I wasn’t very far along, despite being level 11. I ruined my skill tree by avoiding the good perks (so I can mod weapons) and basically making myself a sitting duck against the inevitable onslaught of fracking Super Mutants (WTF, Bethesda?)

So I deleted my saves and gave the wanderer a new face. I am now level 9 (amazingly only two days of play, roughly 8 hours of total play time) and I am still underpowered and flapping in the wind. I won’t put any plot spoilers in here, but this is my list of things I dislike about Fallout

Difficulty spikes

This is just plain painful. 🙂 I can be nearby a first-level or so quest and wander into a hive of Super Mutants who set up shop in a subdivision. There could be any number of monsters flopping about in the middle of nowhere (not a nest of Mirelurks, but “super” monsters.)  There were places not to go until your level got up in New Vegas, and it was easy to avoid. It took a long time to travel around things that were full of Deathclaws, but you never had to fight them off because you got too close. It’s a bloody shame that the boundaries for difficulty are so fluid and diffuse, you don’t know if you hit “bad juju” or not. There were signs in New Vegas that warned you about bad things ahead (remember the one outside of Goodspring cemetery that warned about the pantload of Radscorpions? Raise your hand if you ignored the sign the first time.) Don’t worry, I ignored it too. But that was the point. You could choose to ignore the warning, but at least there was a warning. In the Commonwealth, there is no warning.

Nerfed Weaponry

There’s no excuse for a .45 caliber weapon to dink off of certain enemies based on a level. The class of ammo should dictate how much damage it does, but in the case of certain monsters, you end up with a lot of misses (particularly super mutants… I hate to harp on them, but they are EVERYWHERE.)  I launched a fat man into a raider camp obliterating most of the surface junk, and because the units weren’t “outside”, they “spawned” and I got shot into bits by TWO nuke-wielding raiders. (And a flamer with an endless supply of Molotov Cocktails.) Was that near an area that hit a difficulty spike? No, it’s right near one of the first farms you have to visit if you start taking the Minutemen quests. I guess it’s more my incompetence with controlling the weapons in the face of a “slowed down” VATS system (that’s for another rant. I LIKE TURN-BASED COMBAT!)

Feral Ghouls

These are EVERYWHERE. I haven’t seen a ghoul yet that is like the other Fallout ghouls (calling me “smoothskin” etc.) though I hear there is a pocket of them in the Commonwealth. The problem with feral ghouls is they lay around like dead things until you get too close. I end up wasting ammo shooting corpses that are in fact not sleeping ghouls. Ammo is rather plentiful, so I guess this is Bethesda’s way of artificially shortening supply. The jump scare was neat, one or two times. Now it’s just an annoyance. It seems random where the infestations occur, and in one case you have to rid some structure of a “nest” of feral ghouls. Seems like we’re leaning on them to be the “radscorpion” of Massachusetts.

Power Armor

Power Armor’s great, huh? Yeah, if you can find any fuel for it. I have found a whopping 2 (count them) 2 power cores for a suit of Power Armor. The sad part is, one of them is the core you find to activate the first suit you encounter. It’s not like I think the power should be everywhere like 10mm ammo. But I’d like at least 3 or 4 to have when I go after things in the suit, only to run out of power at the WORST possible moment. Who made these things? I forgot… the military. 🙂  So they are inefficient and prone to breakage.

 

That’s about all I have for now. I am going to continue playing the game, but I fear the broken aspect of it won’t be fixed any time soon. I should just be playing Wasteland 2. It’s a much more challenging game that punishes you properly when you make a mistake… not when you start the game.

Galactic Civilizations 2

This is a great game. I know that 3 is already out and yes, I own it, but I’ve been addicted to playing 2 ever since Thanksgiving. I have no idea why.  But I realized that turn-based gaming is making a comeback, which is great news. I love turn-based games because they don’t reward twitchy responses. You have to think. That’s the beauty of turn-based.

Don’t get me wrong, I love RTS games too (Total Annihilation is my all-time favorite followed closely by Warcraft 2), but turn-based games give me the freedom to think and the time to ponder my moves. Heck most JRPGs have some form of turn-based combat. I am one of those folks who likes to pour over data before taking my turn. Some say it’s obsessive, but others say it’s just plain weird. Well, they’re both right. I still love playing them though.

Time to fire up the Ballchinian Collective save again and see if I can get any appreciable military might (or will Lord Truckster simply be paying tribute to the other races all through the game?)

Space Combat in 52 cards (or less)

I remember online a neat card game that used a regular deck and created a space combat game. For the life of me, I can’t find the rules. So I decided I’d dip my hand into the cookie jar and see if I can make one up myself. It’ll be using the regular 52 card deck, one side is red, the other is black. (That’ll give the red half diamonds/hearts, and the black half spades/clubs to the 2 players respectively.)

 

So far, I’ve got the first bit of inner working stuff laid out. It’s preliminary and ship size is fairly fluid at the moment. I may set up a certain amount of subtleties as things go on w/r/t the ships themselves.

Aces are main command ships. Lose them and you’re done. You have two of course.

Kings are dreadnoughts with many guns and shots per turn.

Queens are Frigates and slightly less shots per turn, but very armored.

Jacks are carriers that house your waves of fighter ships. (This may change as I balance the game.)

The numerical suits are armaments and whatnot. There will be three 6-sided dice that determine initiative etc. I’ll work on that some after Christmas.

The gist of the game is turn-based combat on a grid-like board. (Hexes, imaginary since the playing cards are quite large.) Each turn will have 3 phases: Arm/repair, position, and fire (if available.) I don’t know if I’ll use movement points or action points but it might be something like that. I’m just starting on this, so it might not be all fleshed out though.

Who knows? When I get done with this, perhaps I can use pygame and make a 2-player computer version (with an A.I.) 😉

I’ll keep you posted.

Games

I’ve been fiddling around playing this game and that (generally Galciv and Heroes of Might and Magic), and I thought I might give those games a rest (goodness knows I’m not that good at them).  So I picked a random Wii game I had lying around: Rune Factory Frontier. It’s a bit weird to start out (and I hope I planted my turnips correctly. I forgot to hoe before planting), but overall it’s a fun little game. It seems there is a ton of stuff to do in the game, so I’ll play it off and on for a while until I get the hankering for Fallout 4, or more Galciv. I haven’t mastered Galciv 2 yet, so I don’t feel confident enough to play a full game of Galciv 3. 🙂

Funny thing about Galciv and all of the Civ type turn-based games (including some 4x games like Space Empires) is that I can lose TERRIBLY and not be frustrated. Those type of games are just plain great. I even like wargames when I lose. 🙂 Most games are geared towards punishing you for failing. Strategy games just win and you know exactly why you failed. It doesn’t rest on a twitch or a bad button press when you lose at the strategy games. That’s a satisfying thing. Nothing sucks more than missing a button push and THAT being the only reason your game is over.

That’s not to say I hate arcade or twitch games. I just don’t like to spend the required time to memorize patterns and whatnot to master the games. The last “arcade” game I did that for was SSX-Tricky on the XBox. I had all but one slope unlocked and all but one gold medal in the game. I could zip through a course and remember all the great bonus spots… sadly I couldn’t play it now to save my skin, but that’s the nature of those type games.

Strategy games are different. They reward patience and forethought. Sure there’s some luck involved, but most of the time luck has nothing to do with it (unless you auto-resolve combat.) So pick up a strategy game or two. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy them.

Time to be more regular

No, I don’t mean getting more fiber in your diet, although that is good advice. What I’m talking about is me, your friendly neighborhood gluesponge, writing to this blog more regularly. I probably will transition other things to this blog, except for the obvious things that fit my other posting habits. (Games and other fluff stuff will probably go here too, but I am still up in the air about that.)

I have this nice new mechanical keyboard, so why not use it, right? I’ll think of a thing or two to write every day starting really soon (today doesn’t count.) Eventually it’ll be a daily thing that will probably happen in the evenings after work. I might even do two or three on the weekends.

I read somewhere (on another blog) that writing is a good thing to get into the habit of being regular about it. I think I will take that advice and be more keen on writing something more than when it suits me (or when I get a bug up my butt about something.) Some may be short, but others may be long and rambling. They will be sparsely edited for grammar shortcomings, but when I see a really pitiful sentence, I may clean it up. 🙂

 

TAFN…