So I finally started to watch House of Cards on Netflix, and after about three episodes I'm intrigued. I think the moment that hooked me was a particular monolog by the main character, Francis Underwood, about how people confuse money with power. He says that money is a fading thing that can be gone and forgotten before you know it; but power can build a legacy that lasts forever. Here is where we find the man's driving force: Legacy, or immortality depending on how you look at it. Francis knows he's a human being and he will die but is also the kind of person who refuses to be dictated by anything or anyone. Why should Death be any different? Francis wants to be immortalized in American history and power is his means to do that. However he's been pushed into a relatively minor position by the man he helped get elected, despite being promised a higher seat. I'll be the first to admit I don't know a lot about US politics but I do know story structure. Francis is an intelligent and driven man who has been wronged and this has only further fueled his ambitions, normally this would be the formula for a decent protagonist. Add in the fact that Francis is almost completely without morals or empathy and you get the formula for a great antagonist, and in the world of dirty politics the bad guys can very easily make everyone see them as heroes. All he has to do is win, because the winners, after all, are the ones who write the history books. Immortality through legacy. And suddenly everyone's cheering for the bad guy.
8 years agoRedWizard86
12 Days of RvB-mas
One the 12th day of Christmas my computer girlfriend gave to me:
12 missed sniper shots
11 "Donut's gay" jokes
10 cones to protect me
9 Sarge one-liners
8 awesome seasons
6 A.I. fragments
5 Halo rings
4 dirtbag punches
2 shotgun pumps
and a Caboose confused in a tree!
Merry Christmas everyone! Or whatever you do!
9 years agoRedWizard86
I'm an idealist. I believe that the best possible outcome can happen. I know if often doesn't, but I also know that's usually because no one thinks it's possible so they don't really try. Example: I believe world peace is possible, but I also know that very few others believe that (world leaders especially since they have to consider other countries possibly attacking them). Think about it: if some world leader got up and said they want to promote world peace and are therefore throwing away all their weapons, they would be laughed at and have their sanity questioned all over the world. But they shouldn't be. Ideally, other countries should follow their example and decommission their weapons and disband their militaries. I know the chance of that happening is utterly slim, but I still believe it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t zero. All that I think needs to be done is for people to realise that war doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work. I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in our nature to fight with each other over stupid things, but I also think weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve reached a point as a species that we can control our urges to kill each other stupidly if we really tried. The only problem with idealism is that nobody thinks it can work.
Ok, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t intend to go on such a serious rant there. I got a little political there. Sorry. Some other stuff is going on though. I meant to address stuff on my Ã¢â‚¬Å“List of 2010 AwesomenessÃ¢â‚¬Â as they happen, but I let it get too far ahead of me after Halo Legends came out and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t figure out my real feelings on it. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t what I expected to be honest. It was mostly pretty cool. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect that one comedy episode with Ã¢â‚¬Å“Spartan 1337.Ã¢â‚¬Â It kind of broke up the action for me there. The episode, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Package,Ã¢â‚¬Â however was more awesome than I expected. All in all, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t regret buying the blu-ray.
Several other things have also hit since then, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to take a moment to address them quickly: The Halo Reach beta, which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure many of you were a part of, pretty much met my expectations. I loved the jet packs. I know that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the most strategic upgrade they made, but damn if it just isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fun to grab the rocket launcher and rain rocket death from fifty feet! (By the way, I am aware of how that sounds after my pacifism rant earlier but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think video game violence counts as real violence.) I liked the idea of earning points in matches to save up and buy new armour, but I hope thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more to choose from when the full game comes out.
I bought Pokemon Soul Silver the day it came out (stop laughing) and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m still playing it. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lots to do and a lot of nostalgic game play and scenery. There are also quite a bit of new features that I enjoyed, most notably is the Pokemon Walker. How it works is you can load a pokemon from the game to the walker and take it with you when you walk places. The walker counts your steps and allows you to catch wild pokemon and find items while just out walking around. Like playing the game in real life, a much simpler version of the game but still fun.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll add some more next time. For now, hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another weird random video of my apartment:
9 years agoRedWizard86
9 years agoRedWizard86
So a while ago my roommate and I realised: hey, we're pretty weird. And then he realised he had a camera and should be taping us sometimes. So he grabbed it and started filming without telling me until it was actually rolling. So I finally decided it wasn't too embarrassing to play here, where probably no one will see it. And thus it the first exciting chapter of "Techies" brought to my RvB journal. This one was filmed on November the first last year. I will be putting more videos up here later as they come or as I decide I'm not too lazy to do.
There was one more thing I wanted to address though. On my last journal entry I listed things I was looking forward to in 2010, one of those things was the Planet Hulk movie (based on the Planet Hulk story from the comics) which came out today. I was kinda disapointed. I know I didn't do anything as big as them and by all rights I shouldn't be bitching so much, but this is the internet and bitching is what people do here. Just a few things I wanted to touch on though: they cut out the Brood character, they replaced the Silver Surfer with Beta Ray Bill (in what alternate Marvel universe is Beta Ray Bill better than the Silver freaking Surfer?), they hardly used any of the alien prophecy narrative which was one of my favourite parts of the story, they cut out MeikÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s background story as well as his change that happens half way through, they completely cut out the story about the Spikes and their actual characters, and they changed the ending to have no real conclusion. So thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what bugged me; on the positive side it was nice to see the Hulk actually talking for once (yes he does talk in the comics now).
Hope for the new year isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lost though, Siege is turning out to be a great story over in the Marvel universe and TeamFourStar has gotten season two of Dragonball Z Abridged started with a great new episode. Next up on my list is the Halo Legends release, THAT should be awesome.
9 years agoRedWizard86
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Halo: Reach
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Final Fantasy XIII
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Iron Man 2
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Green Day Rock Band
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Last Air Bender
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The next RvB series!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ X-Men: First Class (maybe)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The next Harry Potter movie
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably almost time for a new consol announcement
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Maybe George Lucas will stop making Star Wars crap and realise the series hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been good since the 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Maybe the Zombie craze will finally end
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Seriously, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with all the freaking zombies?
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll probably be a trailer for the Deadpool movie (yes, just the trailer is worth looking forward to.)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Maybe TearFourStar will get started with season 2 of DBZ Abridged
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Arkham Asylum 2
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Halo Legends DVD will be released!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ SIEGE! (Marvel comics)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Hopefully Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ DC vs. Marvel Superhero Brawl (FINALLY!)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Season two of Deadliest Warrior
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ (Rumour has it) A new series of Reboot
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged season 3
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Maybe VGCats will update (I kid, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a big fan)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Planet Hulk on DVD
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ News on the Thor movie (damn, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m such a nerd)
9 years agoRedWizard86
There once was a young man, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s call him John, who worked in the wonderful world of customer service as a way to pay off his college loans and debts while he started getting his career going. John enjoyed his job and liked making small talk with the pleasant people who came in to his store from day to day. John made friends and was starting to believe that all the harsh things he had heard about working in retail were wrong. That it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a place of depression and low pay and no one was nice.
Soon, October came around and John enjoyed wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. His customers smiled at him and returned the good wishes cheerfully. As the month went on Halloween approached and the air was rich with pumpkins and the excitement of children getting their costumes ready for the big night of Trick-or-Treating. As the eve of all hallows approached JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boss informed him and the rest of the staff that they were allowed to dress in their own costumes for the evening as part of the Halloween fun. John was as excited as all the children and quickly put together a costume of the Beatle that shared his name. Laughs and good times, and even some candy, were had by all.
Time passed slowly but surely and the first snowflakes of the season began to fall. Some people in the neighbourhood even began to put up their Christmas lights. John was excited for another happy holiday. Some of his customers had started their holiday shopping and wished him a Merry Christmas. John, being friendly, wished them the same. All was well until JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boss pulled him aside one day and asked him to stop telling customers Merry Christmas. John asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why sir? Most of the customers I wish it to are Christmas shopping.Ã¢â‚¬Â To which JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boss replied, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, not everyone celebrates Christmas so itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s store policy not to mention it.Ã¢â‚¬Â John didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fully understand at first but then realised that he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t being entirely Ã¢â‚¬Å“P.C.Ã¢â‚¬Â Surely then it would be no problem if he wished people a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. That way no one would be offended.
Another few days passed and the combination of Christmas and Hanukkah well wishing seemed to be going over quite well. Unfortunately, JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s boss had to once again pull him aside and tell him to stop what he was doing. This time the warning came across much sterner. John was again left to reflect on his actions, and it dawned on him: some people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. Surely this was devastating to those poor souls he had tormented. John felt temporally ashamed of himself. Then he resolved to mend his ways with a simple and none offensive Ã¢â‚¬Å“Happy Holidays!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Sadly John was told to stop again, this time as a final warning. John was left puzzled and worried. How had Ã¢â‚¬Å“Happy HolidaysÃ¢â‚¬Â offended anyone? Was the happy part offending people who were clinically depressed? Did some people just hate holidays? If that was the case, then why did they celebrate Halloween at the store and had no problems with wishing people Happy Thanksgiving? Surely that might have offended someone. John tried to think back to his earliest years of life and wondered if people were so easily offended and confusing in the days before political correctness, or Ã¢â‚¬Å“the new dark agesÃ¢â‚¬Â as he had heard them called before. No, he had remembered hearing people wish him a Merry Christmas as a child and no one blinked an eye. People even smiled. When John thought of it, people smiled at him when he wished them a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah just weeks ago. Were most people really offended by this sort of thing? Is anyone really bothered by saying Happy Holidays? If they are, should we stop saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“bless youÃ¢â‚¬Â when someone sneezes? Could that provoke an incident that could get you fired?
The moral of the story is: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, peace on Earth and good will to all. Instead of worrying about whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offensive or not, how about just being a polite and good person, the rest will come naturally no matter what you celebrate this time of year. Oh, and Happy New Year.
9 years agoRedWizard86
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Long title. Long game. Good game? LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s see.
If you never played any of the Kingdom Hearts games then 358/2 might strike you as confusing. So hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a brief summary: ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s little monsters called Heartless that go around stealing other peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hearts (not the literal organs, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gross), when peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hearts get stolen they become a Heartless too, sometimes when people turn into Heartless something called a Nobody is also created, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a weapon called a Keyblade that lets you beat the Heartless and open almost anything, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a kid with a Keyblade named Sora who travels around Disney worlds with his pals Donald Duck and Goofy fighting off Heartless and looking for his friends Riku and Kairi, and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a group of Nobodies called Organization XIII who are trying to get their own hearts. Any less confused? DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry; they go over this stuff in more detail than I did.
358/2 tells the story of Roxas, the thirteenth member of Organization XIII and a main character from Kingdom Hearts 2. In terms of continuity this game takes place between Kingdom Hearts one and two and during the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. So this game expands on what the fans already know about the characters, rather than adding more to the story line.
As the game opens Roxas is invited into Organization XIII because he is the first Nobody able to use a Keyblade. As Roxas, you go on many missions for the organization, often with another member as a partner or chaperone. The missions can be anything from recon, to collecting things throughout different worlds, to just taking out Heartless. Roxas quickly makes friends with Axel, another member of the Organization, and soon after with the newest member Xion: a young girl Nobody who can also use a Keyblade and looks a lot like SoraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s friend Kairi. Unlike the other members, Roxas and Xion remember nothing of who they were before becoming Nobodies, which perplexes them throughout the game. While Roxas has to take on missions for the Organization on a daily basis he also has to try to uncover who and what he is and why heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting flashes of Ã¢â‚¬Å“a boy in red.Ã¢â‚¬Â Xion is having similar troubles. They both help each other figure out life with the often passive advice of their buddy Axel. Several other Kingdom Hearts characters make appearances as the story progresses, like Riku and King Mickey.
The graphics are about what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d expect of a DS game: not terrible but nowhere near hi def either. Most of the cut scenes have no real talking, just speech blurbs for each character at the bottom of the screen, which isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t too bad a way to get through the plot while making things ok to watch. The game play itself can get kind of tricky, although not quite tricky enough to warrant the vast amount of tutorials you get pelted with for the first few missions. I understand that, if left alone, some of these things can be a little hard to figure out; but do I really need to be told to press forward to move and B to jump and then be congratulated after? Do I get a good boy sticker for using the potty all by myself too?
In all seriousness, some of it does take some getting used to. Now, all skills, items, magic, weapons, and levels are equipped to Roxas using Ã¢â‚¬Å“panels.Ã¢â‚¬Â You have a set number of open panels that goes up every time you finish a mission, and every spell, weapon, item, or skill requires at least one panel. Panels can be changed or moved between missions so you can get your Intel about what your mission is and then adjust your panels accordingly. For example: if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going up against a Heartless that is weak against fire, then you can bring some extra fire spells and maybe some ethers to replenish your magic. You can also link certain panels for added effects, like doubling your level or letting you jump further.
While 358/2 isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the first portable Kingdom Hearts game, it is the first good portable Kingdom Hearts game. The story, while it is E rated, is fun for fans and immersive. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a fan of Kingdom Hearts, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll like it. If you never played one of the other games before, well, you can still play it and have the added bonus of feeling more like the character since youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re learning everything at the same pace he does. I still recommend trying the others as well though. Till next time, keep those thumbs limber!
9 years agoRedWizard86
Ok, I admit it. I really wanted to do a review of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the DS/DSi this week. But after buying three new games three weeks in a row, I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have it in the cards right now. So I downloaded the demo for BrÃƒÂ¼tal Legend for free instead. Let the metal mayhem begin!
For those of you who arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t familiar with the title, BrÃƒÂ¼tal Legend is an action adventure game with a strong heavy metal theme staring the voice of Jack Black as the main character Eddie Riggs. The game also boasts several other famous rock star guest voices, such as Rob Halford, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne and Jack BlackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s band mate from Tenacious D, Kyle Gass. Tim Schafer; who helped create such games as the Monkey Island series, Psychonauts, and Grim Fandango; is BrÃƒÂ¼tal LegendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s creative director, but Jack Black himself had plenty of say in how the gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s production went, which is obvious the minute the plot picks up and the jokes start to fly.
The beautiful thing about this game, well, one of them, is that everything looks like itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s off the cover of a metal album. Piles of bones, demon nuns, fire-spouting hot rods, and lots of blood and gore are ever present. Did I mention that this game is rated M for mature? Well, it tries to earn it. The game does back peddle a little when, during game play, it pauses and asks you whether or not you want the swears bleeped out or the blood and gore censored. Thankfully you only have to answer once.
Our story begins with Eddie Riggs, one of the best roadies in the world, working back stage for a band he hates: a pop band masquerading as metal and asking him to build a set thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s less scary for their tween fan base. Truly hell for any metal-head. When Eddie is injured on the job saving one of the band members his blood is spilled on his demonic looking belt buckle. After an immensely satisfying scene of gore, Eddie wakes up on an alter to see several druids gathered around an axe, who then try to kill him. Because thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what druids do. Once he kills his attackers with the axe and his guitar, which now shoots fire and lightning (not explained at all yet, but hey, this is just a demo), Eddie realizes he is no longer in his boring and painful world of tween bands. He is now in an exciting and painful world of monsters and all things metal. Score!
If I had any complaints about this game it would just be a few things in the controls. First: no jump button. I know it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t affect the story in any way and, of course, you can get around without it, but I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel right if I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t jump around and piss off the things IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m killing in an action game. Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just me. Second: slow camera. The camera never moves on its own so you have to adjust the angle to however you want it, which is ok but it just moves a little too slowly for my liking. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big disadvantage to be stuck trying to look behind you when you get attacked that direction before you can see what happened.
So the question we all have to ask ourselves with any demo is: do I want this game? Was this fun enough to make me want to play it more? And yes, BrÃƒÂ¼tal Legend is fun, funny, and action packed. It has demon killing, awesome music, Jack Black style humour, hot girls, and the beginnings of a compelling story. If any of that sounds good to you, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d grab a pre-order.
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