Good evening, lads and lassies. I hope you all had a pleasant weekend. Mine was quite lovely, thank you for asking. After work on Saturday, I made the decision that it was worth a 30 mile drive to attend one of the Dragon Quest IX events being held at Gamestops all over the country. This decision netted a very nice poster, as well as an otherwise unobtainable treasure map in-game. I only hope I'll be able to tackle the boss of this encounter by PAX so that I can pass the map along to those who want it; my party was slaughtered when I engaged the boss, and you need to be able to beat a map to be able to share it.
Pictured: death incarnate. AKA Zoma.
Saturday evening was likewise well spent, watching the debut of the Video Games Live concert on PBS. Even though it's pledge break time, the show is well worth watching. If you've never been to one of the VGL concerts this is the next best thing, and if you have you can still enjoy the music and spectacle of the concert, as well as some of the vignettes with the composers. I learned, for example, that the main Kratos theme in the God of War series came from the cadence for the Greek words for "Redemption" and "Revenge." If you'd like to see when the show will air near you, here's a handy reference guide. It's free, and since you're a member of this site I guarantee there's something there that will interest you.
Finally, on Sunday my brother, my girlfriend and I attended the final day of the California State Fair. Like all good geeks of a certain age, I grew up listening to the parodic song stylings of one Mr. Alfred Yankovic, and he was the headline concert for that day. Before the concert though, we got to wander around the fair a bit, eating truly ridiculous foods like chocolate covered bacon and barbecued snake-on-a-stick. We also stood in line for a while to try out the Kinect, in a trailer set up for that purpose. I'm sad to say that neither of us came away impressed. We tried the rafting game, where we both stood on the sides of a raft floating down a jungle river, and had to step from side to side to move the raft, and jump to go over ramps and so forth. I noticed fairly significant (half second or so) lag between when I moved my arm and my avatar's response on-screen, and as a whole the game didn't seem to be tracking me very well. It may have been that I was too close to the equipment, as the pictures the game took of us in mid-jump show only my torso... but shouldn't the attendant have said something if that was the case? Presumably, the trailer where the tech was being demo'd should be as close to ideal conditions as possible. In any case, we both left feeling that the demo wasn't worth the 45 minutes we had spent in line to try it out, and I have no intention to replace my Wii anytime soon.
After experiencing much of what the fair had to offer, we went to the Weird Al concert. I'll save my ranting about what a great show it is for another venue, but suffice to say he rocked the place and my brother and I enjoyed the hell out of every minute of it. After the show, we took a nighttime monorail ride around the fairgrounds. While standing in line, I met a couple of guys playing Dragon Quest IX, so I had them visit my inn and gave them both the only map I'd managed to beat so far. My girlfriend and brother found my geeking out hilarious, but screw 'em, I was having fun. The sad thing is I had carried the game around the fair all day in canvass mode... and there were over 50,000 people in attendance... but no one else I came into contact with was doing the same thing. Well, just another reason to look forward to PAX, right?
Lots of good blogs today, several bad ones, and a few Monthly Musings on the new topic, "Teh Bias." Let's get to it.