StrikerJacen FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

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from West Chicago, IL

  • Activity

    • Journey Gametime thoughts

      6 years ago


      I just got finished watching the RT Gametime vid with Burnie and Ray playing Journey.

      Throughout this video, I was fairly annoyed by all the random discussions that Burnie and Ray were having. Very little of it was focused on the game or the gameplay. The only time that the two actually seemed interested was in the very beginning or when the graphics were particularly shiny or pretty. I understand that there isn't a lot of sophisticated plot that requires attention to grasp correctly, but even in the basic mechanics (making your scarf longer, flying, using cooperation to recharge your flying scarf powers, etc.) the player (Ray) wasn't able to grasp these concepts because they were distracting each other with unrelated conversations. I felt this way until about an hour in, when they actually started paying attention to the game again, but then Burnie started into talking about Portal's beginnings (i guess the story was indie-related, but not about Journey at all). from like 1 hr to the end of the video they seemed to actually notice and talk about the cool things that they were experiencing.

      I don't have a problem with Burnie and his stories (I like them a lot). I enjoy hearing about Ray joining the company and how he learned to edit, etc. I like the free form nature of just playing games and putting commentary over them. I like Burnie's other Gametime vids with Flock (very funny). But I also like Journey and felt it was a great game, and the random conversations and commentary took away from the Journey experience and kept Burnie and Ray from being engaged in the game, appreciating it, and actually giving the audience a chance to hear what they think of the game that they were playing.

      I also don't understand what this Game Time vid is supposed to be. I don't think it's a walkthrough, I don't think it's an achievement guide, I don't think it is a way to introduce the audience to new/old games. I don't understand what the point is of recording yourself play a game that everybody says you should play and then ignoring it for the better part of an hour. Will there be a new video next week where they play Resident Evil and talk about Pong the whole time? Do Ray and Burnie never get to spend time together and this is the only way that they could talk and have meaningful conversation? I just don't know.

      I like listening to the Podcast to get cool info on what's going on at the company and what goes on in people's lives. I don't feel like a gameplay video which hardly comments on the gameplay is the appropriate medium for that sort of commentary.

      Please let me know if I'm off base or if you feel differently.

    • Internet Comments

      6 years ago


      It started with Youtube. It'll end with the many news blogs that I follow on a mutlitude of subjects.

      I'm never reading the comments on internet articles again. Ignorance and blind arrogance are not traits I value in persons that I wish to have rational discussions with. It's not even fun like video game trolling can be (in good-natured and benign hands) sometimes. It's just a total waste of time.

      Now that I'm done with that, back to Game of Thrones marathon. For anybody who wishes, follow me on Twitter (@selbydouglas) for my ramblings about each episode as i progress towards season 3.

      Feel free to drop me a line if u wish, happy to converse with smart and polite people

    • Michigan travel

      6 years ago


      So i'm moving to Michigan sometime in the next few weeks. I dragged my dad up around the lake to find apartments in and around Dearborn, we had to leave at 3am and by 4pm I was just dead (lack of sleep, walking all over, exhausted). Found some nice ones, took a snooze at a rest stop for a few hours. Then we got to drive 4 hours west into one of the craziest thunderstorms I'd ever been out in. Hearing the Cubs/Sox game get postponed on the radio and worried that the tornado warnings were going to shift up to hit my mom all alone in the house in DuPage...was very stressful. But we got there okay and nothing major happened.

      I have to do all this job stuff and it is stressful but one day at a time.
      Soon I shall be working again and have soooooo much monies with which to buy games and furniture and horrible food.

    • Recent Productivity Developments

      6 years ago


      Heythere howsit whereyabeen

      I am getting up at 6am every day now. this has been going on for the past week and it has significantly changed my life. For instance, I wake up at 6am. :) but i'm serious about how different my day is because of this. The main impetus for this is to cut off my lazy-bum schedule and try and incorporate a routine of hard work and exercise. This includes stumbling out of bed and hurriedly trying to organize bed sheets and clothes before bumbling out the door into freezing temps (anything in the vicinity of 32degF does not make me want to think about going out) and walking a few miles. As i build up my stamina and work off some weight I will be running instead. at my current state, I'm pretty pooped after 3 miles of walking and then coming inside to do calisthenics/abs in my basement. Hopefully my regimen will quickly help my physical health.

      Also affected by this early morn hours is the amount of time I spend working (in theory). At this point, the main block towards my job search is the time spent on it, which is directly correlated with my enthusiasm for the task at any given point. So when i wake up lethargic and disappointed with the mounting tasks ahead, I'm much less likely to get anything done. Creating an open window of time in the early hours where I force myself to get something accomplished will definitely improve my outlook and thus increase productivity throughout the day. So far, it's working okay. My tiredness after a hard workout is also a drain on my enthusiasm to work. Bleh i'm trying

    • What I do while I Game

      6 years ago


      over the past year, a new phenomenon came upon me and has radically changed my behavior.

      I noticed that I was falling farther and farther behind in my podcast episodes (i'll detail which ones that I listen to in a different journal). I would commonly listen to them over the car radio on long trips, or while I did homework. Perhaps I wasn't driving as much solo, or I needed to concentrate more intensely on my work. Whatever the reason for my delinquency, I sought and quickly found an avenue for a remedy. Gaming was my outlet.

      When I play video games now, I usually have my headphones on or the speakers blaring not with the melodious sounds of soundtracks or dialogue or discharging firearms, but with dialogue and discussion. I found certain games to be quite adaptable to the new medium of muting their audio and replacing it with my podcasts. FIFA's commentary grew bland after a time anyhow, and I found myself much happier to invest time into gameplay. Also, with the advent of my scholarly independence from university, I purchased a Netflix subscription and now I can also use television shows and movies on a second adjacent screen in a similar fashion while I play. I cannot begin to express the enjoyment these pairings have brought.

      This behavior has, alas, also had an adverse effect in other ways. New games which I have not spent many hours in are not as condusive to this muting effect; or should I say that it pains me sometimes to place this audio block onto titles and storylines in which I actually do want to experience all that the developers have to say. Halo's singleplayer campaign and Assassin's Creed have both forced me to abandon my multitasking pursuits, which irks me at some level. It reduces my workflow and productivity to sit attentive at one stream of media at a time, and it is troubling when I arrive at that conclusion and am forced to throw down my headphones and reach for the remote.

      I am not complaining, but explaining the positives and negatives to my recent gaming habits. Try it out on games that you play all the time, in which the audio of any one play session will not be something you have not experienced before.

    • 6 years ago

    • What I didn't like about Halo 4 Campaign

      6 years ago


      All spoilers for Halo games released in the past few years are concealed with the spoiler tag.

      Over the past year I have played:

      Halo: CE Anniversary
      Halo 3
      Halo ODST
      Halo Reach

      Prior to that, I had a shaky understanding of the plot/characters (Master Chief is badass, Cortana is his AI 'girlfriend'). So I was eagerly anticipating Halo 4, having gotten the Halo experience I had only glimpsed in the past.

      However, I feel like the campaign missed the mark and didn't live up to its potential. The sappy emotional stuff fell flat with me, and for one big reason. I'm just gonna get it out of the way.
      I don't care about Cortana. Not at all.

      It seems to be a unique perspective on my part, judging by all the people who were broken up by Halo 4's ending.
      In my eyes, all Cortana has ever done is yell at Master Chief to go here or do this or blow up that or you're not getting there fast enough. Her only function in the whole series so far is to be sassy and to run (to paraphrase Yahtzee) "SortThisS***Out.exe" on every popup computer around every corner and it's the Chief's job to kill everything between here and there. I never understood why she was beloved by every Halo player, this glorified Navi with some T&A.

      The only time I felt genuinely happy about having her along was in Reach. Apparently she's some awesome powerful artifact AI that's gonna be our secret weapon. I felt like she finally had a purpose other than being an annoying plot explainer. Also, that story treated me with respect because I was obviously the most badass and responsible guy around (cuz of my Reach campaign exploits), so I get to protect the awesomesauce weapon (which didn't backsass or boss me around once). This makes me feel good as a player and it filled in some backstory in the process.

      Halo 4 did not treat me with respect because it assumed that because this crazy computer person is somebody I should care about. It tried to convince me of this by stating/showing the following:

      1. she is a vulnerable female
      2. she has a hesitant and quivering conversation style in cutscenes
      3. she has expressed an instability that is bad, so so bad
      4. she and the Chief have a prior relationship.

      Since the illness came out of nowhere (of course AI's go sour after seven years, but you seem to be doing okay after eight) and I already had an impression of what their relationship consisted of ("Get to the next Checkpoint, bi***!"), I was not emotionally invested in Cortana or her predicament. This caused me to be impatient (but understanding) when she became more unstable and unmoved during the ending .

      What was much more potent a character portrayal in Halo 4 was Master Chief. Here's somebody who is incredibly socially awkward in anything not resembling a combat situation, and has the moxie to buck orders when he feels that it is necessary. I felt a much more real impact during Chief's cutscenes with other humans than any of them with Cortana. I was cool with him being lost and berieved after Cortana's death, but not knowing how to share his grief with Laskey or anybody else, as this demonstrated an actual human emotion out of him. I think that Cortana is going to have a much stronger and real impact on the story in death than she ever did alive. And I don't want her to come back in the future, unless they figure out how to make her a real character, not a sexy Navi.

      Also, I don't get the line before mission 6. "Before this is over, please figure out which one of us is the machine." I wasn't aware that this question was your key worry, computer lady. Obviously you are the machine, as u are the blue thingy projected out of the USB stick. If anything, this is a seperate result of Master Chief not being able to interact with other people, often silent + stoic in conversation. This plot angle is much more in line with the prologue conversation where Master Chief is seen by the interrogator as an emotionally broken instrument of war, but shouldn't be a concern of Cortana who doesn't want to be a person (rather than a machine), just fixed up by the old lady doctor. Overall, this mishmash of misplaced perspectives was jarring and strange.

      So that's my main bone to pick with Halo 4's campaign. I have others, but this is a long post already.

      Summary: Reach > Halo 4, Master Chief is better off as a bachelor

    • Assassin's Creed frustrations

      in Forums > Assassin's Creed frustrations | Follow this topic


      NO SPOILERS FOR AC3, No Story Spoilers for AC:Revelations

      I have recently had a bad experience with the Assassin's Creed games (well, only one game specifically), and I would like to know if anybody else felt this way.

      Quick background on my experience with this series:
      AC1 - Played through entire story on PS3, enjoyed mechanics + story, felt repetitive
      AC2 - PS3, 100% achievements. Way better than 1, thrown by crazy ending.
      AC:Brotherhood - PS3, finished story, was very excited by even crazier ending.

      Which brings me to Assassin's Creed: Revelations. I purchased it last spring on Steam for real darn cheap, and played with a controller on my PC. I have experienced numerous technical problems (no audio, loading issues, gameplay freezes, graphical irregularities in gameplay), as well as not even being able to start the game up (Ubisoft's UPlay program seems to work just fine tho, so don't worry!). This caused me to get about 3/5 Masyaf keys and not able to progress much further. This was extremely disappointing to me, as a big fan of the series' storyline and eager to get to what everyone who played before me described as the "good part of the game", the ending sequences. Up till now, the only real good parts of AC:Revelations were the massive underground vaults with platforming sections.

      So I decided to watch the remainder of the game on YouTube, since I was prevented from struggling through it myself. The environments (Maiden's Tower, Underground City) seemed very cool, as did the creepy prison-master mask guy. But overall, I wasn't floored. I was of course enamored with the love interest and thus invested in her safety, but didn't view the entire ending act as recompense for the rest of the slog through the story. With the great bounds in story/game mechanics made from 1 to 2 to Brotherhood, I was expecting a greater challenge in this latest game set in Constantinople. Instead, it was boring, frustrating, and thoroughly disappointing. I know Jack from Achievement Hunter felt Revelations was his game of the year, cuz it wrapped up the Ezio storyline (as well as Altaiir's) and the ending acts were so good. I didn't feel that way. I felt let down.

      Am I crazy? What were your favorite parts of Revelations? Was it a positive experience overall, or was it redeemed by the Ezio impact? Let me know.

      4 replies

    • The Newsroom

      in Forums > The Newsroom | Follow this topic


      HBO Series "The Newsroom" is a television program about television (how meta!). Many of us in the United States turn in to cable news channels and find ourselves bombarded with "this network is liberal propoganda" or "that network is biased" or "our president is a nazi" or "the protesters are less than human". Everybody seems tainted and nobody can agree. This show seems to present a news team that wants straight facts and to battle corruption in the media, no matter the side. It is set slightly in the past, starting in 2010 and deals with breaking stories like the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It is the creation of Aaron Sorkin, who is the main writer and executive producer. Sorkin lends his unique style of creating fast walking, fast talking characters also creates an awesome dynamic.

      I picked this up while flipping channels in the hotel, and I was interested in it before I heard about it. I'm a big fan of Sorkin's "The West Wing", and I'd recommend this show to any fans of President Bartlet. I think it's funny and I really like Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill (whose character is absolutely adorable). I absolutely hate the scumbags on it, and I hope they get what's coming to them soon (I haven't watched all the episodes yet).

      What do you guys think? I thought the whole Bigfoot thing in episode 4 was very strange, and just....I dunno. Misplaced?

      1 reply

    • Encyclopedia Brown

      in Forums > Encyclopedia Brown | Follow this topic


      This wasn't widely publicized (I saw this article on Wired), but the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series, Donald J. Sobol, passed away on July 11, 2012.

      There have been almost 30 Encyclopedia Brown books published since 1963 through 2011, and apparently there is another coming out in October of 2012. I find this really astonishing and it serves as a testament to the vision and determination of Mr. Sobol.

      When I was in elementary school, I found many Encyclopedia Brown books on the shelves, and I read them all. I really enjoyed the variety of stories, and although I was pretty smart myself at that age, I couldn't hold a candle to Encyclopedia Brown's deductive reasoning and science knowledge. I plan on collecting these books and introducing them to my kids (whenever I get around to starting a family).

      Anybody else influenced as a youngster by this series?

      5 replies

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