Thursday, October 25, 2007

Awaiting something completely different

My apologies, to all both of you who read my blog, for my laziness in posting during the past week or so. I've just about run out of things to say about Halo 3, and I think we're all tired of talking about it for now. I was holding out, thinking I would have something new to say because two new games I've been looking forward to were due out Tuesday this week: Conan, and America's Army: True Soldiers.

But thus far, I have been unable to get my hands on the Conan game, and America's Army has been pushed back to a mid-November release! So I'm still stewing, with little to say on the subject of games for now.

So, returning to this horse carcass to kick it a few more times: I did rank up to captain this week in Halo 3 multiplayer, which was by far the hardest rank I've yet achieved. But to my dismay, the rank unlocked no new Spartan armor components. I couldn't believe it.

I've also been tempted to vent about my frustration at people staging stunts to get achievements in Lone Wolf slayer matches. While this is not cheating in the glitching, hardware-thwarting sense of cheating, it definitely violates the spirit of the game. How can you consider this an "achievement" if you're not really earning it?

These guys basically call off the match and stand in a circle, taking turns shooting each other in various ways to fulfill the terms of this achievement or that. It's like an Elbonian firing squad. It cheapens the whole notion of achievements in Xbox Live, and I've lost almost all my enthusiasm for building my gamerscore after witnessing this silly phenomenon. If this is how you're building your gamerscore, it means nothing.

But, thank goodness, I have resisted the urge to say anything about this, because I know nobody wants to hear it. So I'll keep it to myself.

I have also started playing multiplayer without my headset most of the time. I've been concerned that I tend to cuss too much, and the best way I've found to avoid cursing online is to not put a microphone in front of my mouth when people are shooting me.

Witchy woman

A new Best Buy opened near my home, and the first thing I bought there is a DVD of the first season of a "Witchblade" anime series that I had never heard of. The artwork is very nice. In researching Witchblade art, I discovered an artist I admire greatly, Frank Cho.

I hope he will forgive me for posting this one image of his artwork, because I want to show you how brilliant the guy is and direct your to his web site. This Witchblade image is absolutely gorgeous.

Mass Effect book report

I finished reading "Mass Effect: Revelation" last weekend. I highly recommend you read it if you plan to play the game. I already feel comfortable in the Mass Effect universe, and I have a sense of some of the alien cultures and their personalities. So, without revealing any spoilers for the book or the game, here is a brief synopsis of what I learned in the book:

The novel takes place maybe 20 years or so before the game. A human officer named Anderson is the hero of the novel, and it appears he is your boss in the game, a good deal later in his career. The character is voiced by David Keith.

You're also introduced to Saren (sounds a lot like Sauron, doesn't it?), the turian on the cover of the book. Turians, who are described as a rather birdlike, dinosaurlike velociraptorish species, may be OK folks on the whole, but Saren is not a very nice person. That's all I'll say about him.

Krogans are like Klingons, warlike and strong. They're also described like dinosaurs, but not the birdlike ones. They're more like the squat, armor-plated tanklike dinosaurs.

My favorite alien species is the asari. These are the sexy blue-skinned women with tentacle things on their heads. They had me at "blue-skinned" (notice Cortana's pigmentation above), but tentacles on the head really clinch it. I loved Twi'leks already, especially Aayla Secura, and apparently the guys at BioWare do, too. What is it about the blue-skinned tentacle babe archetype that is so alluring? It's one of the great mysteries of sci-fi. As I always say, "Once you go blue, nothing else will do."

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