A Sign of Mine Age

When the DVD format came out, I fell in love. I never liked VHS. They were bulky, they had not great terrible, and even in high school I was aware that they wore out. They had no value to me. When DVD came along, they promised me longer life, better quality and special features. And so I bought Starship Troopers and The Fifth Element, before I even bought a DVD player.I did buy a DVD player shortly thereafter, but it was a sign of things to come as I would buy any and every DVD of movies that I liked and sooner than I knew it, my collection was quite large.

And then came the wars between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Personally, I sided with HD-DVD as the better format, but I waited out the battle, choosing to buy neither until one was a victor. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I didn’t own an HDTV either and wasn’t really all that interested. You know, to this day I don’t feel that the quality is THAT much better than standard def TV, but I do appreciate that the screen is a widescreen format by default now. Continue reading

NBC’s Olympic Coverage Angers Me!

I have to say so far for the 2014 Olympics, I am seriously annoyed by NBC.

First off, they apparently have no idea that people don’t want sports results spoiled. I am good lord! They have a videos section on the olympic website where you supposedly can go to watch replays of sports, but on the videos page itself they give you the results of the sports that you are trying to watch. They need at least a 24-48 hour cool down on their site before they put results in headers, and on the video section they should never give results!!! Continue reading

Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy Review

During the winter sale on Steam, I decided to pick up Rogue Legacy which I had my eye on for quite some time. Even though I had my eye on it, i wasn’t entirely sure what I would think of it. The game was largely billed as an homage to Rogue and Castlevania. Well I can deal with Rogue, but it’s easy to do wrong. And I’m not the biggest Castlevania fan in the world. I also haven’t been as big into platformers as my youthful self would have liked. So I was a bit dubious of this game.

After a month of play, I must say that I not only love the game, it has completely sucked me in. I will say that its stay got lengthened by me going to a new hard drive and losing my progress. But it still interests me. Part of the reason is that its progression seems non-ending and the difficulty isn’t really low.

The game is a level based game. You start out at level 1, you go through the castle and collect money, then once you die, you go and buy skills. Each skill raises your level by 1. There are a ton of skills to choose from, and most skills let you level them up which also increase your level. I say skills broadly, but some of the skills also unlock new classes for you to play and advance current classes that you already have.

When you die, you get a choice of your successor, and that is when the class comes in. You get a selection of 3 (which you can reroll later if you take the right skill) randomly generated successors to your previous character. The name of the character, the class, deformities and enhancements are all randomly generated. One generation of character you might have an uber powerful guy, the next time you might have an uber gimp guy and this adds a lot of variety to the game. You never know what you are going to get even from your character.

Once you have your skills bought, you go into the castle. The castle is also randomly generated and you have to pay a toll to death in order to enter. This toll is anywhere from 100% of your coin to 50% of your coin depending on your skills. Once you enter, there are 4 main areas, each with its own boss. You kill all 4 bosses and you unlock the end boss sequence. Each area has its own difficulty from easy to hard, and in fact the hard can be so difficult at times that even when I can fight the first end boss, I still have a hard time in the hardest area. The castle contains various traps, and events and the game itself feels a bit like Duck Tales crossed with Ghouls & Goblins. There are a lot of platforms to jump on to get through the castle and the Scrooge pogo stick thing is in full force (this seems to be increasingly popular these days).

There are also skills that unlock a couple of “vendors” in the game. A blacksmith, a magic shop, and an architect. The architect allows you to go into the same dungeon so that it doesn’t regnerate, however you only get a fraction of the gold from it. I don’t use this function often, but is nice if you run through it with a spelunker (who gets a bonus to gold and can see where treasure is) and then follow through with a tougher fighter to kill the bosses afterwards. The blacksmith allows you to find recipes in the castle which unlock better weapons and armor. The magic shop allows you to put enchantments on the armor. You can put one enchantment on each equipped item and these enchantments have handy bonuses to them like gaining health with each kill or more gold on each kill or double jumping. It is a good compliment to your already growing skills, however they don’t level up with you quite as well as normal skills do.

Overall the gameplay is really fun. I find myself getting drawn into the game to unlock just one more level of a skill or to try to beat a boss that has been dogging me. It accomplishes this trick really well and almost gets to the level of Civilization which might be the biggest culprit to this trick. I definitely would recommend at least trying the game out. You can generally find it on sale at various times of the year. The cheapest I have found it has been around the $5 mark which is definitely worth it for this gem!

Thoughts on Blogspot

Recently, I noticed that blogspot/blogger had updated to give users a little more control over their blogs, because of that I decided to give it another shot after years of absence. There are a few advantages to blogspot in particular over hosting yourself or WordPress’ similar service.

First, unlike WordPress, you can actually post your own advertisements on your blog on blogspot which means it is a lot closer to your own hosted blog. You have a potential to actually make money (not that there is real money to be made on blogs anymore). Not only do they allow you to throw in your own ad links, they build in google adsense into it. This makes sense, after all Blogspot is owned by Google so why not? But this is a far cry from WordPress’ strict no advertising policy. Continue reading

SimCity

SimCity: Nearly a year later

I don’t know why, but I was feeling the mood to give SimCity another shot so I bought the expansion which deals with futuristic stuff and decided to sit down and play SimCity again. As you may or may not remember from my previous post, my main gripes about it were that you couldn’t play offline, its reliance on having multiple cities, small city areas, and unrealistic population numbers.

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Updated Computer Core

It’s been a looong time since my computer saw an upgrade. I think I’ve gotten new RAM and DVD drive along the way, but by and large I have had the same computer for the last 5 years. Here’s my last blog update talking about my last upgrade. Unlike last upgrade, this one was far better planned. I had been slowly upgrading my computer for some time. I had already upgraded from a lowly 300GB hard drive to 4TB of space. And was well on the way to saving for the next upgrade. This particular core upgrade came about from a $1500 bonus that I got from work, for my new position that I had only been in for 3 months. Nice! Continue reading

Goals of 2013-2014

Happy New Years! I can’t believe it is already 2014, 2013 seemed go by in lightning time. It was a big year for me with a ton of changes. Hopefully most of the change in my life will settle down for 2014, but not too much. Here’s my yearly review of goals as well as proposing new goals on the year.

Online Life

Honestly, I feel like for the most part 2013 saw my blog get regular updates and I was proud of that. I decided at some point to mostly just work on making weekly updates rather than having updates twice a week. Though I do eventually want to increase it again, I think one time a week is attainable for me so I am hoping to at least continue that. I am strongly considering moving my host for my blog to a free service in 2014 as a way to save some money and to increase traffic. I must say that my blog saw the most traffic while I was still located at wordpress and have been playing around with blogspot and will likely review that sometime in the next couple of months. We’ll see if this happens in the future. Continue reading

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A Look to the Packers’ Offseason

With one game left in the season, thanks to the ineptness of the other teams in the NFC North, the Packers are somehow still in the playoff hunt even though they have had a terrible season. All they have to do is beat the Bears next week and they are in. I hope to be wrong on this, even if they beat the Bears, I can’t imagine them getting too far in the Playoffs. At this point it looks like the Playoffs will be the Seahawks, the Panthers, the 9ers, likely the Eagles, and then Bears/Packers and Saints/Cardinals with the Saints having a slight edge. With the Seahawks and the Panthers of all teams getting a first week bye. If the Packers do make it to the playoffs, assuming both the saints & the 9ers win out… the Packers would be playing the Saints in Green Bay in the first week of the playoffs followed by the Seahawks in Seattle in week two. We could potentially beat the Saints in Green Bay though it’d be tough especially if Lacy, Rodgers & Cobb are all playing by then. A win in Seattle seems unlikely. So I’m taking a look at what the Packers can do to correct themselves this offseason.
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UFC and NFL Long-term Injuries

I watched UFC on Fox last night. I’ve actually wanted to catch UFC for some time but have never really had the ability to sit down and watch for a number of reasons. I would say the main reason that I am interested in it is because i have a minor interest in watching Mixed Martial Arts, though I admit that I’ve never really had an interest in actual boxing so I thought I’d give it a try.

My main thought from watching it is that it isn’t really Mixed Martial Arts as much as it is Grecko-Roman Wrestling. This surprised me a little. I mean they did kick and punch each other every now and then. But it seems like the main strategy is just to tackle a guy to the ground while he punches you very weakly and you bury your face in his chest… I hope I’m not the only one thinking it, but it isn’t exactly the most exciting of sports, though it has its moments. I kind of hope that it was just a weird night and it actually isn’t usually like that so I will give it another try. Continue reading