By aurahack 9 Comments
Well, it certainly has been a while, hasn’t it. I’d make up some excuse but honestly, I have none. I’ve just been busy, and have decided to pay more attention to the thing that deserve it. Or, need it, rather. That said, it’s summer break, so why not actually update for once.
I had the misfortune of having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out on Wednesday. Pain, guys. So much pain.
On the bright side, the procedure is over and I can forget about it forever. Once the next two weeks have passed, I’ll be clear of having to re-live this misery again. I’m “blessed” with a greater sensitivity to pain, so it’s been a wonderful ride of nerve-damaged torture over here. For once, it’s illegal in Quebec (maybe even Canada) to knock you out with gas for dental procedures. Something about the risk of death being too high. My argument that it’s as likely for me to get hit by a car when going home did not impress the dentist’s assistant. Instead, they freeze the area of operation and let you stay awake for the whole thing. Fun! They froze everything as much as possible, but I still felt inordinate amounts of pain for three of the four teeth. While I didn’t feel “sharp” pain, the pressure from the dentist cramming tools into my mouth and pulling out the teeth was enough to have me shaking the entire time.
When I got home, I was white as a sheet. I was in constant pain, and it took hours for my painkillers to kick in. I was pacing back-and-forth in my house, intermittently yelling and shaking because the pain was just too much to deal with. Fortunately, after three hours of awful, awful pain, the painkillers kicked in. And by painkillers, I mean Oxy. Things were pretty... “colorful”, let’s say.
The other unpleasant business was constantly spitting blood every minute. I’m surprised I didn’t faint from loss of blood considering that I was evacuating it by the bucketload. Certainly felt weak, that’s for sure.
A day later, and it’s better now. Pain is still there, though it’s more like a constant nuisance now. Painkillers and ice cream is doing wonders as opposed to yesterday. Though pain or not, I cannot wait to eat solid food again. Dump a fat burger into my mouth... fuck. Can’t wait.
Later edit: It's two days later now. My jaw has swelled up. I look like a chubby teenager, and I can barely open my mouth. It's not very painful, but it feels like my jaw is going to asplode at any moment. Then again, I'm on painkillers, so who knows, really.
School’s also taken up a fuck-load of my time. Second year is done with, finally. The last few months were really taking their toll. I could barely leave my house I had such a massive stack of homework. Designing a classroom layout, reproducing a Vermeer painting in actual paint, building and painting a creature, designing a travel poster... So much work. But, it’s over with, and I passed all my classes. Woo!
I’ve also taken up artwork a lot more, recently. I’ve done some actual work, but I’ve mostly been drawing some silly drawings of myself. What started as me cribbing the Adventure Time style has slowly started turning into my own thing, and I love it. It’s the best way to just... chill out and doodle. I love making complex, pretty pieces, but there’s an entirely different kind of enjoyment out of drawing something I can look at and just laugh and like.
For example, I did this big piece not too long ago. I like it a lot, but it also took me something close to twenty hours to make. I am also fine with investing that time, but I also made this piece that took me about an hour and a half, which I totally love. This one, done for a friend of mine (NSFW), also took me about the same time. They’re fun and silly, look neat, and a ton of fun to draw. I get the same amount of enjoyment out them than I do out of drawing something super complicated, and I don’t know how that makes me feel. I almost want to stop making complicated stuff for a while and just do dumb stuff like this.
But alas, I can’t. I have a table at Otakuthon this year, and some serious fan art is in order. Journey, Diablo 3, FEZ, Persona... A bunch of prints will be drawn, and you can come buy them! :D
Also, I've set myself up a Tumblr for me to post artwork stuff on. There won't be many updates coming within the next few days, because I can't really draw in my wisdom-tooth-pain condition. I can barely lean forward, let alone concentrate on a drawing.
After owning Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on the PS2 for many years and never getting around to beating either, I ended up borrowing the HD collection from a friend. After a surprisingly short 5 hours, I beat Ico. I... I had mixed feelings on the game.
I suppose that is partly due to having the game revered as a classic this whole time, and going into it in a time where it probably doesn’t hold up as great as it did back then. I adore the minimalist presentation and the lack of serious story exposition, but the combat is fucking terrible. Early on, I almost completely gave up on playing it it was so infuriating. Fending off hoards of shadow-men for 20 minutes because your stick is a garbage weapon is not fun, and I seriously doubt it ever was. There is just too much combat, and the only way I got to get through it was by getting the two-hit kill mace.
That said, the last sequence is brilliant. The lack of save points is... odd, but I feel like the game would have benefited so much more by taking that approach than its combat-heavy start. The final boss fight was great, and the presentation was just terrific. Loved it. The end certainly made up for the early passings of the game.
Shadow of the Colossus, on the other hand, is just as wonderful as I remembered it being. I played it originally on the PS2 around its launch, and got up to the 9th colossus until I stopped playing for some reason. I’m back to that spot now, and I’m more excited than ever to finish it. The cinematic quality of the game is astounding. The music, the presentation, the camera, and the gameplay mechanics all compliment each other so well. Truly brilliant. While I can appreciate Ico, SOTC is the true classic, here.
Probably at the top of my summer bucket list was Parasite Eve, a game I’ve owned forever and never got around to playing. Unfortunately, I got myself stuck in the game, but I’ve certainly got thoughts about it.
For one, it’s really made me miss the PS1-era of RPG presentation. Where all the backgrounds were pre-rendered in 3DS Max with student-level effects, where the HUD was complex and unnecessary, where gameplay and presentation truly started to balance out in importance. I feel like if something was going to come back in some nostalgia pull, this is the thing that should be it. Quick, everyone! Learn 3DS Max and only use Blinn textures! WE’LL MAKE IT HAPPEN. The gameplay is also a lot of fun. I love the battle system, and the pacing is pretty great. My only real problem with the game is the lack of direction, as the game isn’t always 100% clear on where you should be heading next.
Case in point: where I am stuck. At the start of Day 5, you are given the option to go to either Chinatown or a warehouse, with no clear indication of where the story progresses from there. I went into the warehouse, not knowing that this is actually an optional dungeon that should be entered after the Chinatown area, because you will be too underleveled otherwise. I got into the dungeon, fought the first encounter and ran into a room with a locked door. I saved in that room, stupidly without making a backup save. The key to unlock the door is in the room with the first encounter, which I need to re-fight in order to exit the warehouse/get the key, yet I cannot get past that fight because the enemies just completely decimate me. All of this could've been avoided had I not gone to the warehouse, but such is my luck.
Other than that, though, the game is super cool. I love the story and its bizarre pseudo-science, the characters are pretty cool, and like I said, the gameplay is great. Just a shame I got myself stuck so far in. I don’t know if I’m ready to go ahead and re-start the game just yet, or in a while. :(
The last game I cleared off my bucket list was Midnight Club II. Rockstar recently gave away free copies of the game for PC, and boy, let me tell you: that Midnight Club II sure is a fucking great game.
I’d imagine it’s worth noting that Midnight Club II has been my favorite racing game since I originally played it on PS2. The car selection, the open world, the cities, the characters, the super-tight controls, gameplay mechanics, hidden passages... everything about the game is pure arcade-racer bliss. And the best news? None of that has changed since. Despite coming out almost a decade ago, the game’s strengths continue to be incredibly strong.
I loved playing through it again, and it made me sad that I had completed it so fast. It took me somewhere around 15 hours to complete, but those hours just completely flew by. The game takes a steep difficulty climb when you reach Tokyo, but you’ll have acquired so many skills by then that shortcuts, maneuvers... they all just happen. Like some bizarre sixth sense. Mind you, memorization is also a very strong factor in winning races later on--pure skill can only take you so far. Either way, it’s an insane challenge and it felt so rewarding to beat the game.
There’s just something about it, too... the style of it. That early 2000’s-era of arcade racers, where you needed little context to actually justify anything about the game. Just drive! Why can you control your car in the air? I don’t know, you just can! This car can accelerate faster than an F1 car? Whatever, man! It’s not a sim! That pure, fun-ass arcade experience... I don’t know who’s keeping that alive anymore, and that bums me out some.
That's it for this edition of the blog. Maybe I'll update next week. Hopefully. That'd be cool, right? I don't know, we'll see. Life's hectic at the moment. A set schedule for this stuff doesn't always work, especially not as of late. Whatever the case, it won't be the last you hear from me. Keep up with me on Twitter or Tumblr for the time being, I suppose. :)