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5:45 PM on 05.31.2010

I hacked the Circus of Values.

"Look Mr. Bubbles! This isn't an angel... What is it?"


"I think it's full of adam..."


"I can't read that thing up that... What does it say?"

I love you, Target.   read

8:42 PM on 04.09.2010

Death and A Gamer

On March 31st, a good woman was taken from the world. My roommate's mother was the victim of a break-in when she was alone in her house in upstate Pennsylvania. She was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. The case is still under investigation by the authorities.

This post isn't a tribute to her. I'm not nearly eloquent enough and a gaming blog is far from an appropriate place for it. Instead, I thought I would post about the effects the incident has had on me personally.

As a roleplayer, the Thief has always been my favorite archetype. Stealth and subterfuge has been my preferred niche whenever such an option is presented to me. The number of houses I've burgled, the pockets picked and locks jimmied spans in the hundreds if not the thousands. As soon as your back is turned, little NPC, I'll be rifling through your worldly goods like they're mine. What I can't use, I'll unload at the nearest merchant for a handful of silver. And I certainly can't let you alert those guards if you should catch me.

This play style extends to shooters as well. Presently, my STALKER is waiting at the Bar, haggling for more slugs for his shotgun. They're powerful enough to take down soldiers in one shot if I'm careful. They last me longer than machine gun ammo as well. I've always been lousy at that "controlled burst" notion, you see. No, sniping is my forte. Hide in the shadows and around corners. Wait for the opportune moment. Drop a grenade as I flee to a different ruin, perhaps. A deterrent to any persuers.

I guess that's why Sniper and Pyro are my two best classes in TF2. Surprise attacks. Boom, headshot.

It makes me sick now.

Not in some knee-jerk, emotional response where I'm suddenly looking down my nose at ther players of these games, but an actual tangible feeling. The thought of doing these things makes me physically nausious. I tried to continue my progress in The Saboteur a few days back and after a few minutes of forced play I became motion sick. Even when simply driving around Paris, I felt lightheaded at the thought that I may have to shoot at some Nazis at any moment.

I'm incapable of attacking a virtual Nazi.

I've experimented with the sensation somewhat since then. The nausea only seems to come in situations where I'm shooting at another humanoid. Spaceships, 8-bit foes or heavily stylized opponents don't seem to have the same effect. Neither does melee combat or RPG battle text, for the most part. Small favors, I guess.

Anyway, there you have it. With the incident so closely parallelling what I do as a daily hobby, I can't help but want to break out the introspection. I suppose I should see a therapist at some point. Armchair psychology can really only take a body so far and clearly I feel a need to discuss the situation openly. Comments are welcome.   read

4:17 PM on 01.31.2010

Target just redeemed the worst holiday

I don't like Valentine's Day. Many folks are of the same mind, but for different reasons. Some folks perpetuate the So Ronerly stereotype. Maybe they had a plan backfire into a firestorm of a broken relationship like me that permanently turned them off of the holiday. Or they could be fatally allergic to chocolate. To each their own.

In any case, it's rarely a holiday that intersects with our hobby. Target has been so kind as to remedy this.

Not pictured: the Game Over keychain and Galaga-style tins.

It was enough to make me grin a little amidst an aisle that would generally put me right off. I'd recommend anyone else of the same mind swing by and see if there's something that might turn you around as well.   read

10:32 PM on 01.14.2010

The stylus is dead.

Our washing machine konked out tonight. This is a problem as 1) there's no money for a new washer and 2) I can't drive to a laundromat as my car broke down earlier this week. This is, as they'd call it, a right dilly of a pickle.

Thank goodness for the internet and two decades worth of A-Team, MacGuyver and Mythbusters reruns.

Some Googlin's of the model number and the symptoms brought me to a number of DIY sites where folks had similar issues. I eventually narrowed it down to the lid switch. Think of it like the Door Nubbin in your fridge that tells the light when to come on. It works like that, except it tells the washer that the lid is down. Seems that the current Door Nubbin on the washer just didn't cut it anymore. With the scientific process of Jamming a Screwdriver In confirming the issue, I set about trying to jerry rig a solution.

That was when I saw my DS sitting nearby.

My solution required the noble sacrifice of a spare stylus. Snipped in half, glued into place and reinforced with a few strips of electrical tape... I felt like a monster the whole time, thinking about that scene from Braveheart where Mel gets eviscerated.

In the end, it worked. The washer is chugging merrily away.

The stylus is dead.

Long live the stylus!   read

9:50 PM on 12.23.2009

Silly Books-a-Million

Video games are not books. Why would you sell them, you silly goose?


6:25 PM on 11.15.2009

Oh my god, fuck your points. Fuck them right in the ear.

So here's the progression of events.

1) Sim 3 comes out. I purchase said Sims in a retail environment in exchange for real Human Monies.

2) Best Buy has a 1/2 off sale on point cards for the Sims. Sim-meep is getting along well and I want to get him a DLC tiki lamp. Despite my skepticism at the system, I pick eight of the things.

3) Sim-meep starts getting mad lady action. The game is shelved in a mix of jealous and self-loathing.

4) A pile of point cards shows up in the mail. Swearing commences.

5) It is discovered that Sims points are actually generic "EA points" that can be used in their store. Dragon Age is nearing release. An inquisitive eyebrow is duly cocked.

6) The collector's edition of DA sells out everywhere but the EA store. A heavenly shaft of light pierces the clouds and shines on the pile of cards currently relegated to the Corner of Shame on my desk.

7) Six and a half cards are traded for the CE. There is peace.

8) Now, about to install DA for the first time, I go to the EA store in expectation of being able to buy the inevitable DLC there and burn off the last of the cards. They are nowhere to be found.

9) I venture to the Dragon's Age website, clicking around to locate the DLC. Eventually, I find it.

Seriously guys, fuck you. I'm playing Torchlight first now. Go sit in the goddamn Corner of Shame.   read

5:38 PM on 10.17.2009

I love you, Big Lots.

Will you marry me?

Technically these are from two different locations, but da-yum all the same.


7:32 AM on 10.16.2009

Wither the digital...

So, as I've been posting up and down for the last day or two, I was trying to track down a copy of the Dragon Age CE. When news broke that a special edition of it would be available on Steam for a significantly reduced price, I was pretty happy. As far as I'm concerned the $5 more that this version costs is for the inclusion of the first bit of DLC that I would have been purchasing separately anyway.

Then saw the stack of cards on my desk. Sims 3 cash cards. Y'see, I went through a...phase, I guess you could call it. I played the hell out of the Sims, then abruptly stopped when I realized my sim-self was doing everything that I should be doing instead. Silly me had also stocked up on these cash cards when Best Buy had them on sale. $5 for a $10 point card, essentially.

I had left them on my desk, a tribute and warning to myself, lest the madness be e'er upon me again.

Then I discovered that EA's point cards are universal for their store. The $90 worth of digital lamps and themed expansion packs in-potentia? I could just as easily covert them into something meaningful! An actual game! Callooh callay!

Now I sit, however, a browser tab opened on both Steam and EA's pages. What does the extra $10 get me for the physical CE? Essentially I would be in for the tin, a cloth map, actual discs and a 'making of' DVD. I hate 'making of' DVDs, so it may as well not be a factor. The tin is neat, but it'll spend it's life on a shelf. The map will be covered in cat hair. Do I really care about having a physical DVD over a download that I can back up myself if need be?

Not really, I'm coming to find.

It's about price at this point.

Essentially, I can pay for the game I want or I can use the spoils of my follies to get it for "free" but with a version that's slightly less than what I would want.

It's a damn hard decision. I think I'll ponder it awhile longer.   read

7:59 PM on 09.12.2009

Target's secret clearance endcap

If there's anything that I like, it's a good deal. My constant perusing of CAG and Slickdeals can pretty much confirm this. I'm also a complete sucker for a markdown, even if it's something I'm not immediately interested in buying. This is where the wonder/horror of Target comes in.

You might not be aware, but in all of their stores, they have at least one aisle endcap dedicated to their clearance items. Usually it's one of the DVD racks facing the back wall, away from the main walking thoroughfares, but it can vary depending on the store. Either way, it's a mecca for bargain hunters. Today I walked away with copies of FEAR 2 and Sacred 2 for $28 and $35, respectively. A few weeks back it was Velvet Assassin for $12. Space Siege came home with me for $12 too, a few months prior.

For the life of me, I don't understand the reasoning why some items get dropped here so quickly. I suppose it has something to do with the constant revolution of their PC stock. When you only devote half an aisle to non-fluff games, I guess you have to change it up frequently. Either way, it works out in my favor.

I need a camera that isn't a cellphone :/   read

6:48 PM on 09.11.2009

#100 all up in your business

Bam! Round numbers!

And then she cat-oozed over to where the shirt was on my bed and claimed it as her own.

Honestly, I forgot I'd even ordered the blamed shirt. Mind like a goldfish nowadays... I'm pretty happy with it, though. Good and sturdy, I like the logo size... It shall be proudly worn to the office on Monday!   read

12:31 AM on 04.05.2009

A DSi, I has one.

I'm unboxing! Whee!

Not so much a "midnight launch" on GameStop's part, per say. It was more of a "midnight two fratboys, a kid with his mom and me and my roommate standing around awkwardly and not making eye contact with anyone else." In and out with minimal fuss.

So far, I'm digging the thing. This is a straight upgrade for me from the DS Phat, so I never got to experience the majesty of the Lite's improvements. I've fiddled with them before, though. The D-Pad and buttons feel like they're right in the sweet spot between the clicky-keys of the Lite and the softer mush of the Phat. Screen's nice and vibrant and I can definitely see the improvement in the size. It's small, but very noticeable. Henry Hatsworth is goddamn vibrant.

The system came with a bonus of 1000 points for DS Ware, but the initial offerings really didn't sound that impressive. I think I'll hang on to them until the Katamari downloadable rolls it's way on over... However, registering did push my Club Nintendo account into the Platinum tier... Fingers crossed that this'll mean I'm due for an SNES controller.


Man, I'm out of blogging shape. I need to figure out why I can post on my new netbook, but why my PC has decided to arbitrarily block Dtoid...   read

12:50 PM on 09.05.2008

Consipiracies about Ghostbusters

So... Was the game cancelled? Or was it

From the article:

"Ghostbusters" scares up "Office" writers
By Borys Kit and Leslie Simmons

TORONTO/LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Who's Sony going to call to pen its reboot
of "Ghostbusters?"

Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg.

The studio has recruited "The Office" writer-producers to work on a new installment of the
1980s franchise that starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis as
bumbling ghost-hunting scientists.

The original filmmakers, including director Ivan Reitman, and cast are aware of the project
and involved in its development. Some original cast members might be involved, but not in
central roles.

Stupnitsky and Eisenberg, who are nominated for an Emmy for the NBC sitcom "The
Office," already have the support of one Ghostbuster in Ramis. The duo penned with Ramis
the biblical comedy "Year One," which is produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Ramis,
and scheduled for release in 2009 by Sony.

"Ghostbusters" was Sony's top-grossing film ever until it was surpassed by "Men in Black,"
which in turn was outdone by all three "Spider-Man" films. The 1984 film grossed $292
million worldwide, and its 1989 sequel brought in another $215 million globally.


What would be a more profitable sequel, do you think? A game or a movie?   read

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