Friday, July 2


Two weeks since my last post, I'll have to invest more time in this blog on the road. I've been extremely busy turning my idea into a reality and a plane ticket into a trip. In fact, it was only when nothing good was going on that I had time to write a decent post. Since my melancholy and that random post about internet/movie stuff things have really shifted into high gear. Have I just written the same thing three ways? Yes.

This computer is one of the only things not packed into a box at this point. I'm having a going-away party in a virtually empty house tomorrow night, where people will be free to eat and drink anything I have left. Then a hung-over move down to the countryside to set up with my fiancee in what will be our home when I get back. I'll spend the last week down there focused on my folio and any last-minute correspondence.

Prior to this I have been frantic; buying mics and adaptors, consulting my doctor, buying meds (checking they're clear to bring), grabbing a backpack and sleeping bag, cleaning my house and moving out, throwing out a lot of stuff (*sob*), testing all the equipment, seeing relatives and friends, painting painting painting. I'm trying to get three things done every day and even still there is so much left undone. I figure if I at least get the main things right I should be okay.

But that's not to say I haven't been enjoying myself; one should always make time for fun. My fiancee has been down for the week (school holidays... she's a teacher you sicko) and we have been to a shopping mall for clothes/books/icecream every single day. I've been counterbalancing this phenomenon with healthy bouts of gaming.

I gave up $60 of my travel funds to buy the first two games since I was fired:

Machinarium, which is a cutely styled puzzle adventure that reminds me very much of The Neverhood (best puzzle adventure of all time, in your face Myst and Zork) and is well worth a few hours of your time. I particularly appreciated the hint option which I used once and was rewarded with a comic storyboard that gave me a clue without completely giving away the solution. Puzzle games used to just stop you dead, but people know how to google 'Gamefaqs' so it's nice they put the effort into the clue feature. Alternatively you can play a Zero Wing style minigame to unlock a more comprehensive guide that looks like the actual game design document.

The second was BlazBlue which, for $37 still included the arcade stick. Nice! I've been working on my Taokaka and Rachel and general arcade-stick skills in anticipation of my encounter with the best SF4 players LA's arcades have to serve. I know it's futile, but I do love me some frantic zany 2D fighting.

I also managed to finally fully finish Final Fantasy firteen which was actually pretty average. The gameplay is an interesting and challenging upgrade from traditional turn-based rpg (although I prefer my combat turn-based, which gives me oldschool cred) but the story is more Japanese psychobabble and the lack of an option for Japanese dialogue (which any anime fan will tell you, improves the story a LOT) further exacerbates this fact. The setting is interesting, the characters establish themselves well (although they are anime archetypes of the most insipid variety) and even the slow revelation of the plot is eventually rewarding. But it just fails to compel me in the slightest. These terrible Australian accents and whiney verbose cartoons completely bore me and, despite the high graphical upgrade, the background environments feel more soulless and underdeveloped than a Disney animated feature.

On the other hand, I managed to log in to Warhammer and find my guildies rolling Order toons on another server with a much larger Destruction population. I recall we started there about a week ago so my White Lion (whose lion is more powerful than the actual character) is rank 11, but everyone else was just reaching 40. They were grinding in a high level hour so I joined them and was up to rank 17 in about 30 minutes. It's good to have friends. Most of them are playing similar classes to the Destruction side, and they comment that Order classes seem near-universally superior. Not that they didn't pwn on Destro; since the Australian servers closed we've found a much lower skill level on the US servers. Now I'm not saying US players are bad, just that the average skill level is lower. I guess only the hardcore AU/Asian gamers still play with the bad lag and all. I won't have much time to play while I'm abroad (if internet cafe's even support WAR) but I wish them the best of luck facerolling the Destro zerg before them!

I'm having a going away party tonight and looking forward to seeing a lot of friendly faces. Then it's a week in the countryside just me and my girl and my folio/final pack before launching the shuttle to an unknown planet. Hope I will meet more Pikmin than Predators.

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