4.22.2009

Gamers Are A Whiny Lot

This is in response to a comment I saw on WoWinsider.com. Not that the comment I replied to was the only time I have ever heard this, but that is what sparked this post, today. For as long as I have been playing WoW, I have been looking at Forums for the game. Starting with the official forums and now reading the comments section on WoW Insider which I visit, daily. There are a lot of smart people that play this game, but there are also a lot of really, really dumb ones. There are also a lot of really smart people that make really dumb statements. The most common one that gets my goat is the "I'm in the software business so I know what's up" reply. That's like saying you know what it takes to fix a Ferrari because you can fix a Ford. All software is not created equal and without sitting down and looking at the source code, you are basically talking out of your ass when you say you know what it takes to make it work.

Someone made the statement today that they felt like the incremental patches were getting out of hand and I found this humorous. Patch 2.4 had three fairly substantial incremental patches. Vanilla Wow had 12 major patches plus a few incremental patches for those. People keep acting like WoW hasn't changed much since launch, so the patches should go more smoothly, but that isn't the case. Blizzard has consistently pushed the boundaries of what an MMO can be with each expansion and, to some extent, with each patch. The more complex your software gets, the harder it is to catch every little flub and bug. You would think someone in the "software business" would know that. I am not even in the software business and I know that. My programming experience is limited to Qbasic and Excel. No matter how much you test it, giving it to the public will reveal exploits and bugs, every time. So yea, Blizzard releases slightly buggy patches, but I can think of very few instances where a patch actually broke the game, completely. It made certain specific areas of the game more annoying, sure, but the majority of WoW usually runs fine.

To date, I still think Blizzard's biggest clusterfunk was the Ahn'Quiraj launch. Nothing they've done has gone as poorly as that did. Servers crashed repeatedly for days on end for the first dozen or so servers that opened the gates. I remember logging into WoW to find out the Kalimdor server was down again and hoping one of my alts logged out in Eastern Kingdoms. Hell, I remember not being able to go into any dungeons for a whole day because the instance servers crashed. I think that was the Black Wing Lair patch, though.

Sure, patch day sucks and the month or so following patch day is sketchy as the last of the minor bugs get ironed out, but WoW as a whole is no more or less stable than it ever was. I just think people's memories of vanilla WoW are tainted to the point that they don't seem to remember all the zany issues we went through back then. Not to mention the fact that PVP sucked for non-raiders and, truth be told, there wasn't much offered to people who didn't want to raid at all. For myself, every single patch and expansion makes WoW that much more awesome and enduring. As it stands, they will have to close the servers to make me stop playing and that will be a sad day, indeed.

4.18.2009

Pacass

I do not like reposting things I have seen on other sites, for the most part, but this one has to be documented so I can revisit it at my leisure. If you've seen Jackass, this video is "What if Jackass played a game of Live Action Pac-Man?" Thanks to Kotaku for bringing this into my life.



The genius behind this video is a guy named Remi Gaillard. You can see more of his zaniness over at N'impotre Qui which I will certainly be doing later. He apparently did a Mario Kart video.

4.17.2009

Vay to the Motherfuckin Cay Home Boy

So I took three days of vacation this coming week for my 3rd wedding anniversary. Not planning on doing too much, overall, because that's my ideal vacation; going to the house, playing games and drinkin some beers. We will of course do something for our actual anniversary, but when I would tell people at work that I was taking some vacation time, the immediate response was "Where are you going?" The answer I always give is "Home." Maybe I am silly, but I think sitting at home and relaxing is a fine vacation. I suppose as I get to where I have more and more free time, I may change my mind, but years worth of working weekends to make ends meet have drilled into my head how nice it is to just wake up and not go to work.

4.13.2009

Wrath's First Real Patch Day

Tomorrow is Wrath of the Lich King's first real patch. I am freaking stoked, to be honest with you. Fishing Dailies are finally coming to Northrend, Argent Tournament gives me access to new pets and mounts and they are making cooking and fishing both generally less annoying to level (hint: you should be able to go from 1 to 450 on the dock in Northrend, now). The funniest thing to me, though, is it's the first time in a long time that my chosen class, the Mage, gets little to no love as far as class changes go. I am not complaining, so much, as observing. Most of the other classes get a page and a half of sweeping changes and we get Replenishment. WOO HOO! Ah well, that's cool, I still can't wait.

Maybe by Wednesday, I will actually be able to log in. Oh yea, bring on the server resets!

4.11.2009

360's D-pad Is Complete Crap


I bought Street Fighter IV. Overall, I have to say it's a pretty damn outstanding game. If you've played it, you know that and if you haven't, you should. I am pretty shocked that the jump to 3D hasn't hurt the series or even slowed it down the way I just assumed it would. Visions of Street Fighter EX haunted me until I finally saw some videos of IV in action. This game makes every bit of the 700 bucks I blew on my LCD TV worth it.


Something else I felt compelled to purchase along with this awesomely kick ass game is a Mad Catz Fightpad (aka the Genesis Fighter Pad with an Xbox Guide Button on it). That brings me to my first batch of complaints. Why, Microsoft, do you insist creating a controller with the worst D-pad in the history of gaming? To add insult to injury, you also will not allow third parties to make wireless controllers. What does that mean? It means that in order to make Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter II HD Remix playable, I have to buy a 40 dollar corded controller. Corded!! Why in the wide world of sports am I being forced to use a corded controller? The PS3 fightpad is not corded, which definitely makes me wish I owned a PS3, to be honest with you. I would have passed up the 360 version of SF IV just so I didn't have to deal with the hassle of a corded controller. That said, the fightpad is just freaking awesome. Seriously, I tried played Street Fighter II HD Remix with the 360 controller, which I am an absolute fan boy for and it's just not right. Analog stick is not equal to arcade stick, contrary to what some people apparently think. Since I can't afford a nice 150 dollar arcade stick, though, I went with the next best thing.

I actually have a lot of thoughts on this game, so I think I am going to space it out to give me something to post about. I still haven't touched on my thoughts on Seth, throws or the fact that Ken and Ryu are apparently the only two fighters anyone online wants to us. More on all of that in the next few days.


4.02.2009

Oh Noes, You Stoled My Wolverine!

An interesting discussion sprung up over at the forums for Outside The Cinema regarding the fact that Wolverine ended up on the interwebs a full month before it is scheduled to hit theaters. For the record, I won't be downloading it. Furthermore, I won't be seeing it in theaters, either. It's a Wolverine movie rated PG-13. You can suck my fat ass if you think I am going to pay to see that. That said, I wanted to repost my thoughts on the subject here for posterity. Click the link above to check out what everyone else had to say on the matter.

People are always going to take the path of least resistance. Always. This is not new and it is not shocking. How many 30 plussers had a collection of dubbed tapes in the 80s? I had an entire 80 cassette case full of dubs. When I was growing up, very few people I knew owned legit copies of movies. You rented em from your local video store and you dubbed them off. The music and movie industry fucked itself when they developed recordable consumer media. Media that was developed with the intention of bending you and me over, by the way.

Do I agree with people that never buy anything? Nope. To be honest, I just don't get it, because I am a fan of packaging. Always have been, always will be. It's the one thing I miss about LPs; poster size album art was the bomb. Do I think music and film piracy have done any real damage to those industries? Nope. Most of the people I know that steal music and movies are stealing stuff they were never going to spend money on in the first place. I have a friend who tries to tell me he would have bought this or that if he hadn't downloaded it first, but then every time he downloads something and REALLY loves it? You got it, he buys a copy. I can't think of the last album he downloaded and listened to nonstop that he didn't buy. Then you have the next question; would he have bought it if he hadn't downloaded it? That one never seems to make it into these piracy trials, I bet.

Stealing movies off the internet is not the same experience as going to a theater and that is why people go to the theater; for the experience. If all I cared about was seeing the movie, I'd wait for DVD which is what I usually do, anyway. The movies like Dark Knight that I go see in theaters, I go to see because I want to see it on the big screen and experience it, that way. That is why I don't buy this movie piracy is ruining the movie industry crap. Ticket sales are down because it costs 50 bucks for a couple to go to a movie now if you get drinks and popcorn. It's become a major financial decision and let me tell you, it takes a special breed of movie (or a horror flick that Barb drags me to) to get me to plop down that much dough.

The movie industry and the music industry both have been raping their customers for years and the customers have responded with their wallets. By that, I mean they stopped buying, not that they started stealing. I have always found it interesting that the most downloaded movies, music and games are the ones that also sell the most copies. So to all the execs, I say don't be scared when a billion people steal your crap. Be scared when it's leaked and no one bothers to download it.

4.01.2009

Breaking the (High) Tension

There has always been much ado about the ending to High Tension. It's one of those topics that really seems to divide people into the requisite love it/hate it camps of life. I can not tell you how many times I have heard that the ending to the movie completely ruined the film for someone. I can sorta see their point, I suppose. Up until the ending, you are watching what amounts to an excellent new age slasher, the likes of which hadn't been seen in years when High Tension came out. Then you get to the end and at first, it feels a little cheap. You feel like you've been tricked and you're left ultimately pondering what the fuck the point of the head scene at the beginning of the film was. Well, I can't answer your questions about that. I can however share my insight into the rest of the film. In case you didn't get it, by now, I am going to have to spoil the hell out of this movie, so please stop now if you've passed on it.

The film basically opens with Marie sitting in a Doctor's office and the Doctor says "Why don't you tell us what happened?" That line right there is the key to unraveling this whole mystery. You see, Marie is what psychologists refer to as "nanners". The entire movie from beginning to end is her twisted recollection of how her fractured psyche perceived the events. I don't care if that isn't how split personalities and dissociative disorders work. If Fight Club can get away with it, so can High Tension. The point is that while most of the events that we are shown do happen, they do not happen the way Marie thinks they did. That is why whenever Marie and Alex are alone together in her room or in the truck, Alex looks absolutely terrified of Marie, instead of having that pleading "save me!" face you'd expect from someone in her situation. It also explains why this adept, meticulous killer could manage to never notice there was a victim-in-the-making within 50 feet of him for half the movie. The truth of the matter is if you take away the twist, the movie REALLY stops making sense.

I do not expect everyone to like the big twist and I completely understand your disappointment, because Phillippe Nahon played an absolutely stunning killer in this. For someone to be that menacing and not have to resort to costumes and parlor trick kills to get there is mighty impressive. So I feel your pain. What bugs me, mostly, is people saying it doesn't make sense. To those folks, I say ye "Watch it, again". Much the way Fight Club seems like it beats you over the head with the truth upon multiple viewings, I feel Aja did all that he could to let us know Marie was our killer without ruining the fun and coming out and saying it. It's not like High Tension pulled what the My Bloody Valentine remake (which was bad ass, by the way) did. Watching it multiple times really lets you see just how obvious it is. From the terror in Alex's eyes to the "You're the only person here, you crazy bitch" look the gas station clerk gives Marie. All the signs were there. They were just subtle enough that you didn't see them if you weren't expecting a twist.