I was an awkward kid, always trying to fit in at school. When music became a thing, I listened to the popular shit. The "I'm Blue yabba something something" and whatnot. Those songs where my first introduction to the world of music, and it quickly dawned on me how much it sucked. Put later that year, I was introduced to Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The album "Californication" had just released, and a friend of mine brought it to school. He put it on between two classes, and I was hooked instantly. I went to buy the album the next opportunity I had.
I still had my slips into the world of shitty pop-music, mostly trying to fit in. But as the years went by, I realised that was silly. Why listen to bad and inferior music, when I could listen to great music instead? More albums by RHCP was aquired, and I was introduced to Metallica. I had previously thought I would not like heavy music, but the more I listened to it, the more I realised how intricate and technically good it was. Metal wasn't just someone hammering on their instruments, it was actually good music! But I still limited myself to few bands, RHCP and Metallica being my main source of music. Then I was introduced to Tool. Boy, had I been missing out.
As a teenager, up to the age of about 17, I was a metal head. Everything else sucked. I was a stupid teenager. Eventually it dawned on me that music didn't have to be classified as heavy to be good. From the age of 18 to my now ripe age of 23 I have matured a lot when it comes to knowing what I like. Tool is still my favorite band, but with so much good music out there, I cannot limit myself to one genre.
Starting up my "Favorite music" list on Spotify made me think of this blog. On this list you find Muse, Ennio Morricone, Jesper Kyd, Black Sabbath, Fanfare Vagabontu, Queen, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Simon and Garfunkel, Kaizers Orcherstra, The Ink Spots, Dream Theater, Nick Cave, Metric, Opeth, Tori Amos, Cat Power and much more. I think a red thread thoughout my taste in music are either stand-out vocals, great lyrics or excellent knowledge of the instruments played. My taste has become very specific, yet very broad.
It is weird thinking back to when I was a kid, sitting in my room listening to "All Around the World" on my inexpensive stereo. It was all so new back then. But even though I have heard enough great music to not be surprised as much, I still find gems that can bring a chill up my spine, or a tear in my eye. Those moments are cherished. And at those moments I am glad I am not one of the sheep who follow blindly the popular music, going from one forgettable song to the next, never experiencing the joy of something made out of love instead of love for money.
Instead of posting a lot of recommended music to listen to, I'll just post my favorite Spotify list. Sorry for you who cannot use Spotify. Also, all of this blog is merely my opinion. If you disagree with my taste in music, then don't even bother to write that down. I don't care. What I would like to see though are your own musical life. Has it changed dramatically from the first songs you actively listened to? Did you go through phases you now look back at with shame? Do you still listen to crap like Spice Girls?
I'm a wuss. There. I am unable to play scary games. Whenever I try to play something scary, anything where unexpected enemies can pop out if the woodwork any second, where I can suddenly die horribly because of one wrong step in a pitch black room... I just can't handle it. I shut off Doom 3 fifteen minutes in (thank God it was my dad who bought it for himself), I have trouble crawling into dark buildings in Stalker. I even have problems playing parts of Half-Life 2. I only played through Episode One twice (even though I found it to be excellent) solely because of the zombine parts.
But I so want to play Dead Space! Everything about it appeals to me. A freaky story, great monsters, satisfying combat. Hell, the Dead Space games are one of the few games I have seen that don't take your death lightly. I have seen videos with various ways to die, and they affect you. Seeing Isaac struggling for his life as he is being pulled into a hole by a tentacle... it's disturbing due to his flailing about, his pained screams and grunts. In other games you just die and start over, in these game you die.
I know the only way to "get better" at playing games like this is just to jump in there and suck it up. But man, I hate jump scares. I hate them. I'm also sure I am not the only one like this, not being able to play a perfectly awesome game because of silly personal "problems". And if you was like this but got better, how did you do it? Did you start with a less scary game, then ramped it up? Or did you just jump into the scariest shit you could find and played till your head hurt from banging it into the ceiling?
Been playing two hours of Darksiders on my PC, after getting it during the sale. It is awesome, but that is not why I am typing this. The reason is this: every time I blow the horn "Earthcaller" I get the feeling War is only dreaming... At the 7 minute mark here you can hear the Earthcaller. While you can hear the sound I am thinking of here.
This makes the game a lot deeper, and more meaningful. GOTY 2010.
I beat the Dark World Final Boss in Super Meat Boy! My God though, that was tough! The only thing left for me now is to get the final 30 or something bandages and beat most of the warpzones. I also have several levels without A+ rank... I'll most likely never get the 100% achievement, but I'm happy just beating the Dark World.
I am in the process of making a quite large Train Station, where I will have fully automated carts going to at least four locations. There is nothing at those locations right now, but this is a save I will use for a loooong time.
Beat it a couple of days ago. Loved it. But I have always liked the Halo games, so I figured I would. It is more of the same old, but the few new things they throw in there makes this the best Halo experience to date. Something about the movement and everything seems to be subtly changed, making me feel more like an agile fast Spartan. The cutscenes and stuff also shows more what the SPARTANS are capable of. I'm glad they did that, because if you have only played the first ones you don't really see how the Spartans can be called super soldiers. Sure, they survive a lot of beating, but you seemed clunky, slow and fumbling. While in this game they are much more fluid, fast and even graceful. I'd say that the feel from the books got translated a bit to the game, which made it all the better when it comes to the Spartans.
I am not a good Halo player however, so I will never beat it on Legendary. I don't have any friends who plays it, so I won't even be able to do so in Co-op. Which is fine really. I have barely played the other Halo's online as well, but this I tried a bit. And it is super fun. Having stuff to unlock also makes it more tempting to play just one more round, which then turns into such a fun game that unlocking things doesn't matter anymore. They did good with this. Now I only need more friends I can play funny game modes with.
Let me recap what I liked about Halo: Reach, and what I didn't like. This is from me having played plenty of SP Halo 1, 2 and 3 and Halo Wars, not played ODST. I have read the five first books in the series as well. This recap serves as a kind of TL;DR as well I guess.
The feel of the Spartans. They, and you, seemed stronger, heavier, faster and more super soldier like.
The weapons where great.
All the active abilities was fun to play with. Sending out a hologram to confuse your enemies worked great.
The story, and the fact that we got a bit more of it this time around. But you being just another soldier means you are on a need to know basis. Thus it makes sense that you are just told to go there and blow up that thing. This goes for the other Halo games as well really.
How the cutscenes worked. I like the whole theme of this being security footage from your helmet, cameras, satellites etc. That theme carried over to the limited Black Box edition as well.
Graphics where great, the skyboxes are breathtaking as always.
Music and sounds overall.
Slowdown in FPS during some cut scenes. Not that big a deal, but it was very noticeable.
Some checkpoints where placed oddly, making some sections extremely finicky to do even on normal. Especially towards the end.
Driving vehicles with wheels are still as dangerous as useful due to the driving controls.
Not enough squad mechanics. I wanted to really feel like a squad, not just having a few other Spartans running around trying to kill stuff. Which they usually didn't do anyway.
Jumping still feels kinda floaty, which doesn't make sense on Reach since its gravity is a bit higher than on Earth. The Spartans weight is about a ton in the Mjolnir armor, so while they can jump high due to strength, they should not float down slowly.
The Elites. What is wrong with your face? (Stupid Plinkett quote there, which I have had stuck in my head for days. Maybe this can drive it out)
So all in all I loved it, the few rough edges doesn't matter that much, because this is the ultimate Halo game. If another Halo game is made I hope they focus more on how the Spartans are in the books. That way we'll get a lot more tactical game.
I also got a few questions someone might have an answer for.
Do you earn money playing Campaign missions?
Do you earn more if you put on scoring?
Do you earn money when playing local MP?
What about when playing custom matches with friends online?
Who would win, Duke Nukem or John-117 aka Master Chief?
With all the Limited/Legendary/Banana/Special UFO Happy Editions that comes out these days, there are precious few of them that appeals to me. The few special Editions I got are special to me because I love the game. And in most of those instances the thing I love most about the games are the story. I got the Lunchbox edition of Fallout 3, being a major fan of the first two games. I got the Black Edition of AssCreed 2, because I loved the story the first game started. And I got the Halo 3 Helmet Edition because I loved the story in the.... no wait, Halo games have had precious little story in the games themselves. But the books on the other hand, are some of my favourite sci-fi books ever, only beaten by Hitchhikers Guide and most of Asimov's stories. The back story of Halo is actually very good, you just have very little of it in the games. This actually makes perfect sense though, but that is not what I am going to write about here, I am writing about the Limited Edition of Halo: Reach.
I never bought ODST because of limited money to use on games. I want it, I just don't want it that much. It was the same with Reach really, seeing how I already knew how that was going to end. Then I saw what the Limited Edition was to contain. The book. Dr. Halsey's Journal. First of all, it looks cool. Second of all, it was to contain a lot of background info. I just had to have it. So I bought it, and I got a lot more than I thought I would get.
The book in itself is brilliant. A few pages are even sloppily ripped out, making it seem like the real deal. All the information in it are either stuff I already knew from the books, or non-important things that are still fun to read. But then there are also a lot of other extras in this book. A map of Reach, a photo of NOBLE Team, an Elite and something big in space (most likely High Charity) the psych-files or something of three NOBLE members, some news printings etc. Three of the things you get are especially fancy though. Like the plastic ID-tag for Dr. Halsey herself, or the weird test result chips for John-117.
To put it shortly, the Limited Edition is awesome. If you are a fan of the story. If you are mostly a fan of the shooting, or the MP, then I don't think this version is for you. I love it though. And the game itself is also loads of fun. Not even halfway yet (bought it two days ago, the same day I got Dead Rising 2 in the mail), but it is without doubt the best Halo game there is. Seeing how you can unlock things for use in SP with the armor pieces and such by playing MP, I might just do that this time around.
What do you think of the Limited Edition? Was there things in the book you found especially awesome? Have you found out secrets to unlock by using a barcode scanner on the ID-tag? Or do you disagree completely?
Everyone who are customers on GOG.com probably know this already, but for those who do not: They have quit. Simply put. According to their site, which now is down, they will find a way for everyone to download their games next week. The story can easily be read over at The Escapist
That's right. I opt out of being called that, because I don't fit into that space anymore. Let us check what the criteria are for being called a gamer.
Like to play games, and do so almost every day.
- I do. Some days I only play for half an hour or so, but I mostly play more than that. And if I don't play at all I most likely read about games at least. So I got this point covered.
Know things about almost every platform of gaming.
- I do. I read a lot about gaming in general, so I know more and more about this every day. A "Check" on this point as well.
Own at least one gaming platform.
- I own a gaming PC, Xbox 360, Wii and a DSXL. So I got this as well.
Bitch and moan about a variety of minor things having to do with gaming.
- Hmm. I don't do this.
Be extremely negative towards something you have never tried because it is new.
- I don't do this either...
So there you have it. To be called a gamer these days it seems you have to be negative and bitch about things. Let me write down a few of the things I have seen around the internet the past year(s) or so: - [insert popular game title] suck! It is the worst game ever to come out! - They should just stop making Kinect. It just doesn't have any use at all. I'm not going to buy it, so why bother? - Consoles are for retards. If you cannot use a computer, you shouldn't be called a gamer. - Causal gamers aren't gamers. I wish they all died, 'cause then we might get better games on the Wii. - The Wii is a waste of space. Nothing but shovelware and casual crap no-one wants. - Dead Rising 2 is going to suck because it has a time limit and the saving is crap. - Steam is a cancer in gaming. I hope it crash and burns so that we non DRM people win.
I am not saying it is wrong to dislike something. You can hate Halo all you like, you can think the Wii is stupid. But if you cannot get it into your skull that someone think the opposite, then you are stupid. I don't like Metal Gear Solid. I don't like Final Fantasy. You do? Great! We are different then. We have different taste when it comes to games. That is what so many gamers these days seem to forget.
*sigh* I hereby opt out of all that. I am no longer a gamer. I'm just a guy who like to play video games now and then. I love Steam, I love my Xbox and I am hopeful that Kinect will turn out good. I love the time limit in DR, and I am sure I will love it in DR2 as well. I don't like DRM, but it is not going to stop me buying games I really want. I am optimistic about things, which means I don't fit into the gamer mold these days. Everyone else who are optimistic about things are free to join me in having fun. Which gaming is really about.
I guess this whole blog post is a bit ironic. Here I am, bitching and moaning about being sick of gamers bitching and moaning. But I just had to get this rant out.