Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fooled you! (Not dead)

Haha! I had you all fooled didn't I! I'm not dead (yet)! Though I have been having some strange dreams... But that's beside the point. HERE is the point!

I'm going to start posting again! Woot! So here's the plan: I'm going to try and update every Friday. Try and recap the week prior, go over that weeks comics (At least I'm a cute geek). And if I've picked up a new game (Which rarely happens), I'll let you know what I think of it. And music too. I guess anything new that I come across, really.

Which brings us to this picture here. This is Kyle Hyde (Nice name, eh?). Kyle Hyde is an ex New York cop in 1979. Now he's a travelling salesmen who seems to locate lost items for his boss as a side job. He's the main antagonist of a new game I picked up, Hotel Dusk: Room 215. Hotel Dusk is an adventure game for the Nintendo DS. I think it came out earlier this year, but I've just picked it up last week. The story centres around Kyle Hyde as he stays at Hotel Dusk, in room 215, a room with a history; it grants wishes. Or so he's told. Hotel Dusk is a mystery adventure, akin to games like Broken Sword or Sam and Max (Though without the nonsensical humour that Sam and Max are pivotally known for). Hotel Dusk is divided into chapters. I'm not sure yet how many chapters there are, but I've just started Chapter 2. Thus far, Hotel Dusk is full of charm, colourful characters, and a rich environment. Like any good adventure game, everyone has a story. From the hotel owner, Dunning Smith, the maid, Rosa Fox, and even the bellhop, Louis DeNonno (who has a bit of a history with Kyle), everyone has a story to share, all you have to do is lend them your ear. There are many more characters than these, I've encountered twelve already, and each is very distinct from the last, and none of them give the impression of existing just for the sake of having a large cast.
Gameplay is very reminiscent of older style adventure games, but updated to take advantage of the unique features of the DS. On the touch screen, you are given a map view of your present area, and on the other screen you see your current location from a first person perspective. Movement is handled with either the touch screen or the control pad, and when inspecting items the interface is extremely intuitive and resembles playing an adventure game with a mouse, just like when we were kids.
The music is rich and appropriate for the situation that it conveys, and never seems repetitive or out of place. Graphically speaking, the art direction is utterly fantastic, in my opinion. The 3D renderings are top notch for something on the DS, and the art direction of the characters is extremely unique and gorgeous, featuring rotoscoped actors and suburb animation. Menus are easy to navigate, and you can always tell what you're looking at without having to consult the manual or try and figure out exactly what it is you're looking at before you think of how to use it.
Like any good adventure game, Hotel Dusk features a number of puzzles to progress through the story. I've played a few adventure games in my time, and there have been quite a number that feature very illogical puzzle solutions that I can never imagine myself finding the solutions for. Thus is not the case with Hotel Dusk, with each puzzle I've encountered making perfect sense for its solution. I appreciate that (I don't want to have to figure out that I should dismantle the candle stick so I can build a new curtain rod so I can put the curtains back up because I needed the actual curtain rod to use as a lever to lift a box and didn't want to not have curtains as to not raise suspicion, that's just asinine).
I've only put a couple of hours into Hotel Dusk, and so far I'm really enjoying myself. I can see myself becoming very engrossed with this one, much like I did with the original Broken Sword, something that hasn't happened for quite a while. I'll keep you updated as I progress through it, and share my final impressions once I've made my way to the end.

That's about it for now, so untill next time I'll leave you with the following completely errelevant statement that will make absolutely no sense to anyone: Pie glows past the painful hazard. Cake complements pie next to the dedicated diner. Cake camps! The overwhelmed nightmare profiles the paragraph. Whatever shot strains behind a pub! Pie expects cake.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

What kind of crappy power is Heart, I mean really! Happy Earth Day everyone! Today is the day when a lot of people are going to try and tell everyone else that they have to go green, that they can make little changes in their lives that will help to save the Earth. Well, they're not wrong. There are a lot of little things you can do. Like switching to energy efficient light bulbs, and recycling your cans and bottles instead of throwing them into the trash. Don't run the water when you're brushing your teeth. Things like that. Well, I don't know about you, but these are the sorts of things that I've always done. I do my best to turn the light out when I leave the room (See dad, I try!), and don't run the water while I brush my teeth, and we've always recycled out cans and bottles (we even pick up any that we find while camping, not only does it clean up the forest a bit, but it's free money!). To be honest, I find it a bit laughable that there is a need for a day like Earth Day. I serves its purpose, don't get me wrong, but it almost seems like people shouldn't need to be told to do these things. Besides helping create a cleaner, healthier environment, most of what a lot of people suggest you do to help save the planet is just economical. Recycling your cans and bottles is a great way to get a little extra money back from all those wonderful drinks you enjoyed. Turning off the lights saves on your energy bill, and not running the water when you don't need it will net you a smaller water bill. It almost seems to be like these should be common practice. But maybe it's because that's the way we've always done things while I was growing up. It's not hard for me to think that maybe there are a large number of people who didn't do these things their entire lives. I guess when I Think about it, that's what this day is for. But on the other hand, it does give me a great opportunity to laugh at Oprah as she tries to have a show that tells people to do what I've done as long as I can remember. And any excuse to laugh at Oprah is okay by me. So enjoy Earth Day! Save some energy, and save some money. The Planeteers would be proud!

Now here's a message from Spricket. Enjoy!

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Monday, April 7, 2008

The Confession

By Steven Zerr

Setting: Addicts anonymous meeting, basement of a church. Not very well lit, slightly smoky due to cigarettes. Table with coffee and donuts behind the circle of chairs.

Characters: five to seven attendees, plus a preacher running the meeting

Two or three people stand up one at a time, state their name and problem, and how long they’ve been sober. Typical AA stuff.

The main character stands up:

Hello, my name is Gary (‘Hi Gary’, says the room back to him). I’m an addict. I’ve been an addict for the last 14 years. At first it was okay, pleasurable, controllable. Slowly it became a need, not an indulgence. I couldn’t control myself anymore. Last year I took a life for it. For years they just kept asking me, ‘What would You do for a Klondike bar? What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?’ Well, I killed a man for a Klondike bar! I just couldn’t take it anymore! I snapped. I just need somewhere to go, someone to talk to”

He sits down. Everyone looks shocked as they think about what he said. The preacher clears his throat and says:

Well, I don’t think we’ll be going for ice cream tonight. Can I get some volunteers for cleanup and we’ll see you all next week.”

Gary raises his hand enthusiastically.

Fade to credits.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring is coming

Spring is coming
Originally uploaded by Steve Z.
Spring is on its way! It's hard to believe, isn't it? March already! And April is quickly on its way. Spring is coming, and there's no way to stop it. Well, I'm sure we could think of a way to stop it, but then where would we be? Still in winter, and a lot of people don't seem to like winter all that much (I rather enjoy it, really). But with winter almost over, think of all the winter activities that we missed this year (Or at least that I missed, anyway); skiing (And snowboarding too, if that's your bag), sledding, skating, building snowforts (we built one, but that's singular, we needed at least one more so that we could have snow fights and snow siege. Nothing beats siege!), getting our tongues stuck to things (Don't tell me that never happens to you, I get my tongue stuck to ice all the time, I'm not denying it), and most importantly of all, making snowmen. I don't think I've made a snowman in years, and I really miss doing it.

Honestly, I'm still hoping that we get one good snow before spring comes. Then we'll be able to get some of the things that we missed done, especially going sledding. That's the one thing I miss the most. Nothing beats going sledding on a sunny winter day. What could be better? You get to bundle up in tonnes of layers of clothes (That makes it nice and padded when you hit the tree), and wear a silly hat. No matter how much of a goof you look like while wearing a snowsuit it's guaranteed there's at least 2 other people who look just as bad or worse than you. And it's just an excuse to wear the most ridiculous hat you can possibly find, in fact I think it's a requirement.

Climbing to the top of the hill. It builds anticipation. And it's usually hard too, if you've got a good hill anyways. It's so satisfying to make it to the top. And look how far you can see! And then you get to slide down. The rush of snow and ice beneath you, the wind on your face. Lets out a cry of joy! Exhilarating! But, you'll eventually come to a stop. And look how far you've gone! Ultimately, someone will try and go farther than you, but isn't that the whole idea? And back to the top we'll go.

I didn't get to go sledding this year. I'm a bit sad because of it. But I hear it may snow again soon, which I'm looking forward to. And it means that we'll get to have Sarah come sledding, and perhaps Tabi as well. The more the merrier! And afterwards comes the best part. Hot chocolate. Well, I'll be having Milo, but you get the idea. I don't think there's anything better you can do during the winter. At least nothing better that I've ever done. so I say let it snow! Just don't start singing about it. Haha. Catch you next time!

I lost The Game

You Lose The Game
Originally uploaded by skyo
Well, it's official. I just lost the game. I can't say I'm not surprised, but it was a little unexpected really. Although, I will say it's a rather fun game to play, and quite challenging. I think we should all try and play, really. C'mon, give it a go! Here, I'll even give you the rules;

RULE 1: You are playing The Game.
RULE 2: Whenever you think about The Game, you lose.
RULE 3: Loss must be announced.

See, it's easy to play. Now lets all go out and try to play together!

And if anyone is wondering, I just lost the game. Again. But I'm going for another round. Catch you next time!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How do you eat a kiwi?

How do you eat your kiwi fruit? Cooking aside, just for snacking. What do you do with them? Do you peal your kiwi? Do you slice it up? Do you cut the top off and scoop out the green deliciousness? What do you do?

Want to know what I do? Well I'll tell you anyway! I used to just eat them like apples. My uncle Solomon taught me that, he's pretty great that way. No pealing or anything. Just pick up the kiwi and start eating it! I couldn't really eat alot of them at a time though, they tend you make your tongue a little fuzzy. That's what I used to do, anyway.
What do I do now though? Well, last night I had a little time on my hands, and I got curious. Last night I shaved a kiwi. I started just using a guitar pick, because one was handy, but then I grabbed my pocket knife and gave it a good shaving. Not pealing, mind you, I find that pealing a kiwi takes off too much of the meat. Just shaving the hair off of the kiwi. And I was left with something quite nice. It was satisfying, as well. It took longer than usual to be able to actually bite into the kiwi, but it seemed to taste better. The skin itself has almost a slight leathery texture to it, nothing unpleasant, but very different. A nice crunching as you bite into it. And inside is that wonderful kiwi goodness we're all used to.

I don't generally slice my kiwi up. Kiwis are very juicy, and I like to keep all the juice inside for me to enjoy. I think that's another benefit to leaving the skin on, it helps to retain all that tasty juice. I also like to hold my fruit as I eat it, it makes me feel like a kid again, sitting in a rocking chain in the basement watching cartoons. And this way, I can eat around the core, and have it all at once. The core might be the best part, it's almost concentrated kiwi goodness.

But what about you? What do you do with your kiwi? Do you peal it? Slice it? Wedge it? Let me know! And until next time (hopefully soon), may the Force be with you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm going to post soon!

I swear I am! Once midterms are over (End of next week), I'm going to try and throw a huge assed update. Hopefully I can remember everything that's been happening since Christmast. May the Force be with you!