Cloudy With a Chance of Gaming -- 2/27/2011

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I'm In 

I'm a day late. I hope--nay, I know--that nobody minds. Anyway, I'm not going to post these to the forums every week due to them not being very video game-centric from time to time. This is one of those times. 


 said three goggles
 said three goggles
I went to my first Portland Trail Blazers game of this season last Friday. It was amazing. One of the best games of the season, probably behind only the San Antonio win. The Blazers beat the Nuggets in overtime after hitting a desperation three to send it there. Brandon Roy--our former all-star, now dealing with injury--was back in full force for the first time this season. In his second game back, he scored 18 and hit several key shots that gave the team the opportunity to win. Glad to have him back. I also bought some three goggles at the game. I'm convinced that my wearing them absolutely made the difference that night.  :P 
All of those fuzzy good feelings were quickly wiped away at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night. Damn you, Atlanta Hawks. As I said a couple of times during the game "Either we have the worst offense in the league, or Atlanta has the best defense." To be honest, it was a bit of both that night. Cold streaks were abound for the Trail Blazers, and the Hawks locking down the paint didn't help anything. This game had a ton of hype on account of it being the debut of the newest Blazer, Gerald Wallace. He was acquired in a trade not too long ago and the crowd was amped to see what he had. Wallace finished with a somewhat lousy 9 points if I remember right. Beyond Wallace's debut, our injured starting center, as well as B-Roy, were coming back as well. All was set for the team to have a big game, but they let down. We'll get 'em next time. 
Speaking of next time: Blazers play the Houston Rockets tomorrow. That should be a win. As far as I know, Houston's defense isn't on the same level as Atlantas. Plus, any additional practice time the team has with Gerald Wallace will definitely be beneficial. He looked a bit lost out there in the offense. 


Is O-Town the name of a boy-band? If so, I'm extremely disturbed that I know that. The Oscars were on last night at roughly the same time as the Blazer game. I was flipping back and forth while recording them both. Gotta love DVRs. I'm not one of those die-hard oscar fans that breaks down every moment and compares it to previous years shows, but I thought this years was pretty OK. I'm a big fan of James Franco, and a bit of a Hathaway fan as well, so the hosts worked for me. They weren't as funny as some other people may have been, but they did alright. Of course the big winner was The King's speech, and I'm kinda glad it was. I've never seen the movie, and I feel really bad about that, but it looked really good. I remember hearing Rorie talk about it on the Screened-cast and he said that he thought anyone could relate to it because it's about overcoming obstacles. At the time I just wrote it off and thought "Yeah, whatever. Sounds boring." But now that I've seen a lot more of it, it really does seem like a genuinely amazing movie that I'd love to see. I'll probably be watching it as soon as possible. Is it even out on DVD/Blu-Ray? I'll check it out. 
Inception won some sound mixing and design, as well as special effects oscars. Well deserved. I still haven't sat down to watch Inception a second time, but man that was an amazing movie the first time. I'm glad it was recognized. 
Natalie Portman and Colin Firth took home the best leading actress/actor awards. I haven't seen Black Swan either (wow, I'm so lame), but she probably deserved it. I've always loved Natalie Portman though, so I would say that. I love you Natalie... awkward. 


These section titles are officially meaningless at this point. Dragon Age II. It's a game. Some people enjoyed it's recently released demo. Others did not. Me? I'm one of the correct people that did enjoy it. Just so y'all know, I'm still working my way through Dragon Age, ze original. I know, I'm a slow gamer. I just like to take my time and feel like the game is really lasting me. It definitely is. I've put around 40 hours into it so far and I still have a ways to go. I'm down in the Dwarfs domain currently. I'm in the middle of fighting on behalf of one of the potential new kings... or whatever exactly's happening. Anyway, I still have a ways to go, yet I'm really anticipating the release of number two. 
I was trying to think of things to talk about here, and I came up with a list of things I liked and didn't so much like about the demo. Lets mix this up and post an unordered list. Why let these fancy HTML tools go to waste? 
Dragon Age 2 demo thoughts
    • Combat is fucking fast and awesome -- I love how fluid the combat is now. No longer do you feel like a robot while trying to move into position and initiate combat. Just hit that A button and wail on dudes. The special moves and spells are a lot more seemless as well. I was using them expecting them to feel slow like in DA:O, but they just happen so quickly and efficiently. It's so nice. This is how combat should have been in Origins.
    • Love the dialog wheel -- I've talked about this a bit in a thread dedicated to this topic. Basically, I really like the dialog wheel. To me, the fun of dialog options comes when you're trying to judge another character's personality and act according to your current whim. This system allows you to act how you'd like to without the ambiguity of confusing dialog options. 
    • Graphics look good, not amazing --There is a style difference from Origins to II that is pretty obvious. It's a lot less gritty, and instead more stylized and clean. I'm a guy that likes his UI clean, so I think I may like the changes. Haven't spent enough time to really say for sure, but it's appealing. The real problem is that the graphics style and UI don't really match the Dragon Age theme that I've grown to know and love. Seems a bit out of place. Kind of like Assassin's Creed's UI, except in Assassin's Creed it's totally justified. Not so much in DA II. Whatever.
    • Framerate’s a lil hitchy -- It's the console version, so I really shouldn't be surprised. I should be used to this by now, but it does still bug me when I notice a poor framerate. Hopefully it'll be ironed out a bit before launch. Not really a huge issue.
    • Standard running animation is odd -- Seriously. When you draw your weapon, the running animation is fine. When it's holstered, the animation is downright awkward. I really hope that's not final, but I doubt BioWare would release a demo without a finalized run animation. It's just so weird.
    • ISABELLA! -- As I mentioned, I haven't beaten DA:O yet, but I was excited to see Isabella in this demo. I've only run into her once so far in Origins, but maybe she'll play a larger role then she already has. She must, right? Why would they bring her back if she just plays that small role inside of a whore-house?  =P

I'm Out

Imma wrap this up, cause yoooo, I've got stuff to do. That's not entirely true, but I do need to eat. I'll be back next Sunday (hopefully) with more thoughts on video games, as well as the random happenings that surround my life. Until next time, here's a song that I like: