Evening, lads and ladies. If tonight's recaps seem a bit dull and lifeless, it's just because I haven't quite recovered from my weekend minivacation. I was down in Los Angeles Friday and Saturday, the same time several Dtoiders were celebrating the end of E3 by visiting the area's plentiful amusement parks. Due primarily to poor planning (or coincidence, I suppose) I missed meeting up with the E3 revelers by one day, since they went to Magic Mountain the day after my friends and I did.
Ah well, ships passing in the night. Magic Mountain may be the best single park in the world for roller coaster enthusiasts, and they'd opened up some doozies since the last time I'd been. If you ever get the chance to go, my top three are as follows:
. Though the tagline "Ride the Dragon" may give rise to thoughts of needles and opiates, this coaster is a high of an entirely different sort. You're strapped into a chair that restrains your entire body, including your ankles. Just before the train launches, you are spun 90 degrees so that you are facing the ground, and it is in this position that the ride takes you WAAAAY the hell up in the air and does some seriously acrobatic crap, all with a beautiful panoramic view of the rest of the park. The sensation of flight is not to be missed, especially during the giant inverted loop near the end. This one is definitely best experienced in the daylight... we went back to ride it again at night, and it loses something when you can't see just exactly where you are in relation to the track, the trees, and the ground. The best part is that it's butter smooth, not yet having succumbed to the clankiness that older coasters often fall prey to.
2.)Terminator Salvation: The Ride.
I found the movie that inspired this coaster to be quite forgettable, but this ride was my surprise of the day. My group avoided it due to the lines for most of the day, figuring it was just another wooden coaster. When we walked by an hour from the close of the park and saw that there was no line, we figured "what the hell" and queued up. Friends, I never thought that a wooden coaster could make me flip my shit in such a way, but this mother is FAST. I'm not sure what kind of technology they used to make the ride, but it felt like a modern steel coaster, lacking only loops and corkscrews in that respect. At one point, your train screams through the queue area, likely scaring the hell out of the next set of riders. The "story" tying the ride to the movie is OK, if unnecessary. In any case, I have a new favorite wooden roller coaster, and I now know why so many people were lined up for this one. It's worth it, but if you go at night, the lines are much more manageable, plus you have the added thrill of not being able to see exactly what's ahead... not that you need it, as the train moves so fast you won't see much in front of you anyway.
This was the only ride in my top three that was there the last time I visited the park. It's a steel coaster, and at the time it was built it had the largest vertical drop of any coaster in the world. It's since lost that title, but it's still one of the best rides in the park in my opinion. The best part is that the lines are never too long, probably because the train never goes upside-down. We started our day out by riding this one twice in a row, and we'd have done it again later if time had permitted.
A couple of other notes-- We avoided Superman: The Escape based on my past experience with it. It's loud as hell, uncomfortable to ride, very short, and not much fun. I'd recommend avoiding it altogether, as my group did. X2 is a great thrill ride, but not worth waiting 2 hours in line for. I'd have much rather ridden the Batman-themed rides or Tatsu a few more times than waiting for this beast. Viper and Revolution are showing their age, and rattled my head bones as though I had done something wrong. Revolution's restraint bar also opened like a gunshot, catching my fingertip quickly enough to cause a blister. Ninja is good fun, though the Karate Kid branding on all the cars seemed a little gauche. I think that's pretty much everything, and I thank you for the opportunity to ramble about my vacation for a bit.
Or, perhaps you have ignored everything up to this point, for which I would not blame you in the slightest.
Anyway. Lots of good blogs today. Lots of bad ones too, but what're ya gonna do? You're gonna leave the sorting to me, if you're clever. Let's get to it.
*-Coincidentally, I have the Bioshock 2 spinning in my turntable as I write this. Check out the exceptionally sweet Alpha helmet Bluerob will be wearing to Comic Con.
*-The latest LawofThermalDynamics interview features the semi-androgynous songslinger, Xzyliac.
*-Mrandydixon received a package full of handjobs and puppies from another Dtoider, and shares his bounty with the rest of the class.
*-BulletMagnet's latest series crams your head full of learnings, forcing out vital grammars and things.
*-Xzyliac gets a double dose of topsauce today for writing an article that will likely fall on tragically deaf ears.
*-Jaws scarred my psyche very early on, but not in movie form. That is a tale for another day. The tale for today was ably written by Alex Barbatsis. Do click through, won't you?
A-Apologies to TonicBH, whose very good blog on Valve rumors went overlooked last week.
A-VitaminDexter has a proposal that could solve two problems at once.
A- Dinin Vorta makes a strong case for development of a game that will cause him to create a pants pastry right on the couch.
A-Enkido's E3 wrapup is a masterpiece of understatement and image-fu.
M-Brandon Holmes' Musing explains how games are his anti-drug.
S-PixelSith64 got ripped off at a local GameStop. ProTip: Never pay anything for a demo.
C-SenorDoucheoisie is giving away a Scott Pilgrim poster. Right neighborly of him.
D-SenorDoucheoisie got that poster at the Scott Pilgrim party, crashed hard by Dtoid. Epic!
S-Kinjiro sings the praises of free Wi-fi. Preachin' to the choir, sir.
P-Lowell B wrote a bit about what he thinks Skyward Sword will bring to the Legend of Zelda series.
P-Paul Barber gives his impressions of Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, his personal game of E3.
R-Red Beret didn't care for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.
R- Chatoical gave us a nice, in-depth review of Mass Effect 2's Overlord DLC.
T-DfendrOfHyrule talks about how she (unsurprisingly) enjoys the Zelda series.
T- JC83's list of his favorite expansion packs.
T-Vanor thinks Nintendo is going for Sony's throat with its recent announcements.
T-LuccaLover wonders if he's missing something in the Gears of War universe.
T-CharlieKun plays Makoto, and here explains why.
$-Diverse clues us in on a couple of free indie Japanese games.
M-A new Gorillaz video is apparently available.
F- S0lesurviv0r said it, and I agree. Toy Story 3 is a thing you will enjoy if you have a soul in your body and eyes in your head.
R-Zyrshnikashnu posted a blog about math. It made my brain wrinkle. That's not a bad thing.
V-A Call of Duty/Saving Private Ryan mashup.
V-I didn't watch either of these because the author is basically shilling for another site. If you're into Rock Band 3 though, it might be awesome.
VScary Hair Studios released this halloween-themed Dead Space fan video.
R-Some free-floating thoughts from Kytherno. Listen to Elsa, for she is wise.
C-It's a great blog, but we frown on cross-posting around here. Thanks for being up-front about it, though.
C-There's some funny stuff here, but there's just something lacking. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful than that.
?-Danny Merritt gives us the skinny on the latest iphone Operating System update.
F-No, actually. Not "nuff said."
F-Can I have her spam instead of the baked beans, then?
F- Lovely spam, wonderful spam.
F-So... in a game series that features talking fish, rock men (with rock nipples) and flower people with coconuts for heads, you're all bent by the fact that the villain has more melanin than the hero? Some people just seek out things to be offended by.
F-Aaand user was banned for this comment. There is some justice in the world.
F-Ignorant fanboys are not welcome here. Literate, intelligent ones are fine, or would be if that were not an oxymoron.
F-See, because it's Magnum Opus, not Magma. I have a thesaurus too, jackass.