I shouldn't be allowed to design in Forza

Whenever I find myself exploring the painting aspect of Forza 3, I always seem to find myself making ridiculous things that just seem to come to me and infiltrate my mind. I'm often held against my will by some mysterious force that wants me to make the most terrifically terrible designs. Once an idea pops into my head I am held hostage by that mysterious force and cannot stop until I have completed my original thought. Sometimes it's something simple. Other times it's something that takes several hours of hard work to come to fruition. But the overall result is always the same. And that is something that's crazy pointless. The mysterious force struck many times during my time with Forza 2. Now that I have been playing Forza 3 for a couple days now, the force has returned with a vengeance.
 
The first time I decided to take a look at the new design editor feature I ended up making something pretty simple. It looked something like this: 

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 Now I have absolutely no idea why that happened. The first pieces I put down were the circle parts of the pan. Next was the bacon shaped squiggly things. They are originally a lot larger but I was messing around with one of them and thought it looked like bacon when I shrunk it. Once I realized that, I was off to the races. Yet another meaningless and strange design was born, and my first in Forza 3.
 
After that, I neglected the design editor in fear of the mysterious force reoccupying my mind. OK that's not true, I just wanted to race. But anyways I didn't return to the design editor for a while, choosing instead to race, race, and race some more. I have built up a lot of credits in the past few days and have even honed my drifting skills. It's been good times.
 
But then last night it happened. I was sitting in the darkness of my room. Only the blinding bright, white menu screen of Forza 3 lit my gloomy bedroom. The mysterious force had returned and it was leading my hand towards the design editor section of the Forza 3 menu. As the cursor hovered over the option to create designs, I sat, starring. Finally my mind couldn't resist the force any longer and I--with a quick stroke of the A button--found myself starring into the eyes of the beast. It was at this point that an idea was born. It was as if this idea had hatched, slithered over to me, up into my ear canal, and into my brain. There was no way I was going to resist this. Struggle was futile. I then took a deep breath of the dry, dusty air surrounding me, and was overcome by the mysterious force.
 
Long story short, I made this:
 
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I mean seriously. What the hell is that?! How in gods green goodness did that happen? I don't even like Mike Tyson!
 
Peace out ya jive turkeys!
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Vroom Vroom?

Have you ever wondered how to stuff a thanksgiving turkey with with several leather shoes? Have you ever wondered how much you could save on car insurance by switching to Gieco? Have you ever needed to know how to hide a dead body from the police? Do you ever wonder what would happen if you microwaved an unopened box of Twinkies on high for 10 minutes?
 
Well if so, you are definitely in the WRONG place. Although I'm sure you could easily find this information and more on fellow Giant Bomber's blogs.
 
Anyways, back to the reason I'm really writing this: Forza Motorsport 3. I've decided I would rather write blogs about games than proper reviews since I never seem to get around to writing reviews due to my always wanting them to be well written and thorough. I figure if I write blogs instead I can be more relaxed with it and just talk about what I think of the games I play.
 
So I got Forza 3 for Christmas this year. Most of you know its a great game by now. I have been waiting in anticipation of playing it and now that I have I am blown

 My sweet turquoise and white 'Vette in Japan.
 My sweet turquoise and white 'Vette in Japan.
away by everything the game offers. I thought I knew everything about the game by reading reviews and previews etc. But When I sunk some time into the game I realized all the little things that are not mentioned so much in reviews and things. For example, the way cars will bounce around the road a bit while driving at high speeds. One of the little things that bothered me the most about Forza 2 was that the cars looked they were on smooth rails at all times while driving, not ever really reacting to bumpy roads and wind resistance. So I was pretty excited when I was going like 180-200 mph in my Audi and my car was bobbing around a bit. I'm weird for that, I do realize it, lol.
 
I'm pretty much hooked on Forza 3 right now. I played around 7 hours yesterday and another probably 5 today. You would think after 7 hours that some significant progress would be made but to my surprise, after a little more that 7 hours I had just 9% of all events complete. I was a little shocked, I thought I would have made a bigger dent than that. But at the same time I'm glad that I'm not going to run out of events any time soon.
 
As everyone knows the Storefront is an amazing aspect of the game. I'm absolutely loving being able to type something as simple as "GBDC" and being able to see all kinds of Giant Bomb community created designs, pictures, replays, etc. It's so cool how creative this community can be. I made a couple pretty cool designs back in Forza 2 but I am yet to get crackin' on one for Forza 3. Actually that's not entirely true, I did make a bacon frying in a pan design for some reason that I may never figure out myself. If anyone is interested, I of course put the "GBDC" tag on it.   :P
 
 My first car with a free downloaded design via the Storefront.
 My first car with a free downloaded design via the Storefront.
I have been playing the single player the vast majority of my time so far. However I did recently jump into a random XBL drifting match. Dude... you can choose drift from a menu and just jump into a freaking presetup drifting match! This is totally awesome. What used to be a pass time between friends is now it's own beast with it's own rules for anyone to jump in and enjoy. So yeah, I played that for like an hour with some random dudes. They were all way better than me. It was pretty awesome that I was able to download an Initial D paint job for my Toyota Trueno and a drift tuning setup to match. I was actually able to compete with those guys because of the Storefront. Awesome awesome stuff by Turn 10, loving the game so far. I can't stop playing it, but I'll have to because Assassins Creed 2 is in the mail and will arrive in a couple days.
 
 
Well in other news, I got some new cymbals for my Rock Band Ion Drum Rocker. They're pretty awesome. I have 2 good cymbals and 1 of the Ion original cymbals now. Still haven't actually given them a proper test run. I played maybe one easy song since I got them and then ran for Forza 3. So I'll probably get back to some Rock Band tomorrow. The only thing I still want to get is a splitter so that I can have double bass pedals. How totally radical would that be? (Yes I did indeed just use the word radical)
 
I'm now bored writing this which means anyone reading was bored about three paragraphs ago. I hope everyone had a happy holidays and will have a great new year. Wow... we're totally gonna be living in the future in a few days. Twenty-ten duders!
 
Peace out ya Jive Turkeys!
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"The shit just got REAL." - Alex Navarro


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That's the reason Alex's twitter feed is so awesome. You never know when you're gonna get crazy/awesome shit like this. I thought this was worthy of it's own special place in my list of blogs, so there you have it. Special thanks to El Vampiro Jun.... I mean Alex Navarro again for his awesome pic. I just wish I would have thought of this before last Halloween.
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*Warning: This blog may be too interesting for you*

  

 
 
 

Basketball talk

 
As witnessed in the prior video, Greg Oden had a heck of a game Monday night. In combination with a few other Blazers nice nights lead to an easy win over Chicago's once great Bulls. Greg had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks if I remember right. Likewise, LaMarcus Aldrige put on an All-Star performance with 24 points, and 13 rebounds. These two in combination really took control of the boards and held Noah (the NBA's leading rebounder) to a rebounding total well short of his average. Of course 2-time all-star Brandon Roy had a run of the mill night with 18 points and a game high 7 assists. But the win was made easy by Rudy Fernandez and Andre Miller (both in double figures) hitting shots to space the floor. This is how you win games in the NBA.
 
However I do realize that the schedule the Blazers have faced has been less than ferocious thus far. None the less, we have been winning games that we should be winning and right now we have one of the best records in the league at 12-5. John Hollinger of ESPN also has the Blazers at the #3 overall spot on his tried-and-true power rankings. Things are looking pretty good this season for my dear dear Blazers. Despite two seemingly impactful injuries early in the season, we are still playing basketball with the best of them. That really shows how much depth this team has. On any other team, if two of their key players go down for long periods of time they can almost start looking to next season. Not the Blazers though, we have enough talent to fill two teams! OK, that might be going slightly overboard but that's what it feels like at this point. 
 
 

Video Game Talk

 
Anyways, this is a video game website so how could I go without mentioning what games I have BEATEN recently? That's right, I beat a game. It's a rare occurrence. Almost like drawing a royal flush in poker, or Brad NOT dying in a quick look. Anyways I finally put the finishing touches on Condemned 2: Bloodshot. That game started out so promising but by the end I found myself frustrated a lot. The screen in constantly getting blurred and disorienting in the final stages and it was really getting on my nerves. I powered through it though and I'm glad to cross that one off the list. 
 
I haven't visited the land of Torchlight in quite a while and I just may do that now. I have been under a lot of stress due to my class schedule this term. That means I didn't play a lot of games recently which is the main reason for my desertion of Torchlight. But yeah, I really want to get back into that as well as Castlevania: OoE on my DS. I have played most if not all of the Castlevania games that have been released on the GBA and DS but I have yet to get very far at all in OoE. So there you have it, my plans. Play Torchlight and Castlevania. I'm gonna be getting some new 360 games come holiday season so I'm looking forward to playing some of this years real games a little later on. 
 
 

Movie corner with "The Weatherman"

 
Oh yeah, I have been watching a lot of movies recently and I just want to quickly rate which ones I have watched on a 1-5 scale. Lets see if I can remember them. Also keep in mind I am winging these ratings, haven't put any deep thought into these ratings until right now. 
 
Bowling For Columbine: 5/5 - This movie is a must-see. Really opens up your eyes to how crazy America can be. (Especially Charlton Heston)
 
Inglorious Bastards: 3/5
- I think this rating could easily change but my first impression immediately after the movie was over was kinda meh. So got to stick with the 3 for now at least. Worth watching though for sure.
 
Gamer: 2/5 - This movie really was pretty bad as far as characters and story go. But it's really not a bad strait up action flick, which happens to be what I wanted at the time so I somewhat enjoyed this movie. Not completely terrible. 
 
American History X: 5/5 - Awesome movie that does a good job of showing the horrible reality of racism these days. The only beef I had was that the main character's beliefs were changed seemingly too easily. This was probably done for the sake of entertainment but it came off as a little unrealistic. Not gonna knock a point off though, the rest is too good. 
 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: 4/5 - This is one of the strangest movies I have seen, but it's good. That's all I know for sure right now. To be honest I strongly feel like I would have to watch this a second time to fully grasp the film. There is a lot going on and knowing what I know now, I feel like I could easily piece things together that I completely missed the first time through. Great movie though. 
 
(500) Days of Summer: 5/5 - Even with the sappy nature of this movie, I absolutely loved it. The style this movie had really surprised me and the story is really well thought out. A few good funny moments are scattered throughout too. I have actually seen this twice in about a week or twos time. I may watch it a third. 
 
Fahrenheit 9/11: 3/5 - Good Michael Moore movie but it lacks something. It just didn't draw me into the topic for the full two hours in the way that "Bowling for Columbine" or even "Sicko" did. Good movie, but not Michael Moore's best in my eyes. 
 
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: 1/5 - Well, a 1/5 may be a little harsh but I really was disappointed by this movie. Honestly I didn't expect a whole lot beyond the visual effects department. It was when (most of) the visual effects sucked as well, that I just shook my head in disappointment. 
 
Well that's what I have watched in the past couple weeks. Usually I don't watch that many movies but I kept justifying it by saying that if I was playing video games I would be wasting more time than watching a movie. Probably turned out untrue but it's OK. I enjoyed my movie time. Oh and I still plan on writing a review of the Backspacer DLC album for Rock Band but I haven't had enough time playing it on each instrument to feel confident in writing a review yet. Probably sometime soon though. Maybe mid December when I'm on holiday break. 
 
Now that I'm finally finished, I want to leave this unsettlingly long blog with a random ass picture: 

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You know what? One more for good measure!

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Peace!
--JJWeatherman
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Been playin some Torchlight (and Rock Band of course)

It's been a while since I have posted a blog so... ta-da!
 
Of course I have been keeping up with my non-stop Rock Band-age lately. I like to call it Rock Bandito, but that's neither here nor there. I recently bought Pearl Jam's Backspacer DLC album and it's pretty awesome. Some of those songs are a lot harder on drums than I would have expected. Also, "Just Breathe" on guitar is really tough for me. I'll get a review up on that soon I suppose. 
 
The other game I have been spending time with recently is Torchlight. The forums have been ablaze lately (ablaze I say!) with topics about this game. Bottom line is I think the game is awesome. It really surprised me how much it feels like Diablo. I know the old Diablo guys worked on it and all but dude... it is SOO Diablo. I think anything I could say about it has already been said many times before so I'll just leave it at that. If you like dungeon crawlers, play this game. It's not without a couple faults but overall it's very worthwhile.
 
Here's a video I made of my first hour or so of playing. It already has over 7,000 views on Youtube in just a few days, which is awesome! Most views on one of my videos to date.
   

 
  
Until next time... Wakka wakka?
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Back from Vegas and back to school

 I got home from my trip to Vegas a while ago but have been being lazy in blog writing as usual. Well I have wanted to blog about other things so I thought I better get this one out of the way.
 

 The road looked like this most of the time
 The road looked like this most of the time
The road was long... with many winding turns (stupid song reference). But yeah, the road was long and very boring for the majority of the ride. At times there were some nice mountains and things but the majority was just open desert terrain. Total drive time was about 17 hours one way. 
 
But after arriving, the trip was pretty awesome. The reason I went was to see my cousin get married which was pretty awesome. The actual wedding took place in Caesars Palace and then the reception was in a huge rented house a few miles off of the strip. There was an enormous pool in the backyard of this house that included a pool-side bar type thing that was pretty awesome. You could just swim right over to the bar area and get a drink if you wanted. It also had a basketball court and a batting cage in the back yard, so everyone had a lot of fun. 
 
 Typical Vegas
 Typical Vegas
Besides the wedding though, I was able to walk down most of the strip which was pretty cool. I got to see all the big hotel/casinos. I gotta say, Caesars Palace and The Bellagio are side by side, and together they are probably the most impressive section of the strip as far as hotels go. They are both massive and very nice. If you go into the forum shops in Caesars Palace, there is nothing but the most high-end shops. It's kinda crazy. The thing that struck me as I took all this in was the fact that I was essentially in the middle of a desert. It must be a hassle getting all the water and supplies needed to keep this town going. Really, Vegas has to be one of the most environmentally unfriendly cities on earth. They have billboard trucks driving around at all times of the day. Basically their only function is to advertise. They must waste a ton of gas doing that. There is also a never ending supply of people trying to hand out flyers for strippers all of the way down the strip. It's pretty ridiculous when you come up on a pack of like ten of them on each side of you all in your face trying to give you stripper flyers. But all in all it was a great trip. If anyone hasn't been to Vegas, I recommend going at least once. It's definitely an amazing experience. On the way out of town I stopped at an In-N-Out Burger to try it for the first time. Gotta say, it was pretty good. I don't eat a lot of burgers so I don't have a lot to compare to but I would eat there again for sure.
 
So now I'm back and getting ready to go back to college. It starts this Monday and I'm actually fairly excited about it. I'm not dreading it at least. Well, here's a few more pictures of my trip in case anyone wants to see:
Oh and just FYI, I took that "Welcome To Vegas" sign picture as the car was driving by, through the rear windshield. Yeah, I got camera skills.    :P
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Las Vegas + some Rock Band related blogging

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. At least that's what I'm told.
 
This will be my first trip to Vegas so I'm pretty excited. I'm going down for a wedding so time to mess around will be fairly slim, but I'll make some time. There's a lot to do there though so I doubt i will see everything I want to. I'm driving down from Oregon, so that kinda sucks. The drive will be long and it will just get hotter and hotter the further south I go. Expected high temperature in Vegas is suppose to be over 100 every day I'll be there. This may be brutal. Anyways I guess I'll take some pictures so they may or may not be posted here on my blog sometime in the future. I've yet to decide whether or not I want to keep what happens in Vegas... in Vegas. I'm guessing the hotel I'm staying at will have wi-fi but I may not have time to log on. I'll be back hitting up the forums on Tuesday for sure though.
 
Anyways, enough about that because I just 5-starred "The Perfect Drug" on Rock Band 2 drums like a half hour ago. For anyone that doesn't play Rock Band, that song on drums is one of the toughest in the game. A lot of super hard songs have been released as DLC since "The Perfect Drug" came out but it's still a hell of a drum song and very hard to keep a multiplier on. It is probably the only song that I have been consistently going for 5 stars on and never quite getting it. Here's a screen shot I snapped for... some purpose I have yet to discover. It's for this blog! There now it has a purpose. Now, said picture:

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That 5 star is a pretty big Rock Band accomplishment for me. Now I can finally shake those nightmares where I get sooo close but can never get the 5 stars. Just to be clear I don't really have dreams about Rock Band. That would be a little creepy. But if I did, Alex Navarro would totally be playing drums in my virtual dream band. I should start a real band and name it "Virtual Dream Band". Or maybe just "Virtual Dream". OK, I'm getting wildly off topic and since this isn't the Bombcast, I'm gonna wrap this up. 
 
I'll miss you while in Vegas, Giant Bomb. If anyone actually wasted a chunk of their ever so precious life by reading this, you are now stupider for it. But you're also now my best buddy for it. Oh and please find the time to leave me the most random PM you can think of for absolutely no reason while I'm gone. I want that inbox full when I get back!    :P
 
 END

By the way, I have the first post attached to the Las Vegas "location" on the site. That rocks.
 
(OK, actually) END
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500 songs and counting + some XBLA action

 Well I just was given an Xbox Live account from my friend that has lots of Rock Band DLC and XBLA games on it that I can now play, so I thought I would write about it. 
 
Basically my friend is selling his Xbox 360 and all his games and accessories. So instead of wasting all the DLC and everything he has spent points on, he just gave it to me. Officially the coolest thing ever. Anyways, after downloading all the DLC tracks that I didn't already have I now own 500 Rock Band songs. Technically like 498 but I'm callin it 500. This got me thinking about exactly how much that is. About 380 of the songs are DLC, subtract the 20 free songs and I have about 360 songs that either my friend or I paid $2 a piece for. That would come to around $720 worth of DLC. Of course a handful of the songs were either free downloads or they were only $1. But I would say 95% or more were $2. So I think I can safely make the claim that I have at least $700 worth of Rock Band DLC. Is that too much? lol. 
 
Anyways besides the DLC I also downloaded all the XBLA games purchased on the account. There were a couple I already owned, but the new ones are (in alphabetical order): Castle Crashers, Duke Nukem 3D, Galaga, Geometry Wars, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Mega Man 9, Portal: Still Alive, Smash TV, Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter 2 HF, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Whew, that is quite a list now that I see it. So yeah, I got some gaming to do. It was super awesome of my friend to give me all this. If anyone actually reads this and wants to play any of those fighting games via LIVE, give me a shout. My gamertag is the same as my name on this site btw if anyone wants to just send me a friend request. Just so you know beforehand, I suck ass at most fighting games.
 
On another note, I will also be buying my friend's old ION Drum Rocker from him for $153 (don't ask about the extra $3, lol). The ION kit will come with the--count 'em--2 Rock Pedals that he has bought for the IONs as well as like 3 sets of drum sticks. The pads are a bit worn, but maybe I can swap them around and spread the beating amongst all the pads as the red one is by far the most worn. Anyways I was looking at the website for the ION Drum Rocker and found these sweet light-up drum sticks: 
 

Red Version
Red Version

Blue Version
Blue Version
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
I'm not necessarily going to buy those but they look freakin awesome none the less. Although after writing about them, I'm really considering buyin them... 
What do you guys think? Should I blow $25 on a set of mad awesome drum sticks?
 
Anyways, until next time.
 
PEACE
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So there was a raccoon in my house...

It was around 3am and I heard something rattling around in the kitchen so I decided to check it out. We just recently had a raccoon come in the other day so that's why I pretty much already knew it was another one. If you are wondering why I am taking so long to get to the kitchen it's because I'm SCARED! :P

Check it out:

  

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