And again, the Pokémon distribution seems odd, though part of it might just be which Pokémon I wanted. Plus there seem to be some limitations on the movesets that I sort of expected coming off of VC Red—it seems like, in later generations, Pokémon get access to (better) STAB moves earlier than they did in the first few generations, because they seem to have a bit of trouble with that here on the Virtual Console.
But…dang. I love it.
The graphics are retro while still showing a massive improvement over the first gen, the music is lovely, so many great system and interface changes are popping up, and while I’m having trouble finding some of them there are a lot of Pokémon here that I really adore. It’s Gold. This was more or less my first real Pokémon game—not one that I shared with my sisters, but one that was really mine—and the nostalgia is wonderful, much more so than was the case with Red.
I started with Cyndaquil, of course, and have named him Blaze V, as in Blaze the Fifth. Blaze was the name of my Cyndaquil in the original Gold, and when I played HeartGold I named my Cyndaquil Blaze Jr in his honor, then when I needed a Cyndaquil and Quilava for my Living Dex we got Blaze III and Blaze IV…I considered going with something else, but again, I just couldn’t resist. The bloodline must continue. Currently a Quilava.
The rest of my team, which I just finished putting together:
-Will the Golbat, because I figured it’s time I use a Crobat. My thought process on the name was “Bat -> Batman -> Lego Batman -> Will Arnett -> Well I don’t have anything better so let’s just do that.”
-Mettaur the Pineco, who took a bit of time to get because Headbutt trees but at least he didn’t use Selfdestruct thank God.
-Lurerre the Chinchou, and now I never want to fish again.
-Tau the Natu, my gosh you know how out of your way you have to go to catch a freaking Natu, when I heard they were at Ruins of Alph I got excited but nope you need SURF to get to the only patch of grass with Natu, and you have to go through Union Cave just to get to it, and some of them know Teleport, GOSH.
-Gori the Mankey, since I liked having one in LeafGreen but never finished LeafGreen so…second chances.
Okay, I’m off to grind. Cianwood is next but it's looking rather far away.
The Lego Ninjago Movie was kinda meh.
There, I said it.
I mean, it was a good movie and stuff, but it is definitely the lesser of the three Lego movies. In fact, there were some of the TV show seasons that I think would outshine it in terms of story and characters. (Tournament of Elements and Skybound, to be precise.) I thought there was potential that it didn't quite live up to, so yes I was kind of disappointed.
So what follows is a semi-spoilery review. I mean, I won't say anything too serious. Like, I'll tell you WHO the Green Ninja is, but not WHY the Green Ninja is...
So it was still a good movie, but still a bit of a let down... and I very much went into it hoping for the best. Honestly, now I'm more excited for the next season of the television show. Yes, the animation will be less impressive and it's not like the fight sequences are any better, but the continuing story probably will be. (At the very least, it won't have to work as hard to establish all the characters.) I probably will get the Lego Ninjago Movie when it comes out on disc, simply for the ability to pause and marvel at the scenery and background characters, because soooo much zooms by on the theater screen that I know I missed out on a lot. But still... mixed feelings about this movie, and that averages below my lofty expectations.
Anyway, those be my ramblings. Now, the Ninjago video game... THAT looks like it might be fun!
I am a big fan of linear, narrative gameplay. I love the Uncharted series for its tight and moving narrative that thrusts the gameplay along and I will critique the Assassin’s Creed games for their tendency to waylay their own plot with an overabundance of pointless side missions. I yearn for games that propel me along, marrying good gameplay with an strong narrative. Including so-called ‘walking sims’ like Journey or Gone Home that may not have revolutionary gameplay, but still use their gaminess to move the player. I like these closely curated experiences that lead me along a journey.
And then, there's frickin’ Metal Gear Solid V.
Though as batguano crazy as the others in the series, MGSV is downright restrained compared to the preceding games. Sure, there are the weird parasites, the bizarrely sexy sniper, and “the day weapons learned to walk upright” (actual quote), but it's not as propulsive as we've come to expect from creator Hideo Kojima. There aren't ten minute lectures on nuclear proliferation or odd digressions into code names, nor cutscenes that rival a television finale for length and spectacle. Oh, the story missions – and their accompanied plot developments – are fun and well crafted for sure, but they're hardly the main draw.
Rather, it's the game’s open world, the well-crafted vistas of 1980s Afghanistan and the Angola-Zaire border region — and all the military kerfuffle it entails. And all the kerfuffles you can cause.
Consider the following.
You, on horseback, come across a Soviet patrol in the Afghan wilderness. You kill them and leave your horse in favor of the jeep. Your target — home to the side quest objective of a blueprint or hostage or some other macguffin — is not too far away. You drive up to the outpost’s outskirts and take out your sniper rifle to start picking off guards. But you miss the fourth one and he shines his searchlight on you, exposing you against the night. The remaining guards rally and start shooting. You figure there's nothing for it so you put “Kids In America” on on your high-tech Walkman and jump in your car.
Shortly thereafter, you're driving your captured jeep into a Soviet Outpost in Afghanistan while blasting Kim Wilde. You dash to the prisoner’s location, drag him out into the open air, shoot the soldier running at you with your tranquilizer pistol, then attach the prisoner to a Fulton balloon to extract him. Your base needs more staff too, so you run up to the tranquilized guard and Fulton him too. He rises into the air with a terrified yell. That gives you an idea – you put Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” on. Gunfire! The other guards are after you! You sprint out towards the desert and whistle up your horse, leaping onto your steed midstride as you disappear into the night.
The beauty of MGSV is that none of that is scripted or planned. Rather it's the game — and me — reacting to emergent developments. MGSV gives you a wild playground and an awesome array of tools, and it's up to you to figure out what to do with it. It's also fun when things go wrong, of course, and you have to conceive some other bonkers plan to salvage your rapidly deteriorating one. You make your own fun, often it's as much — or more — fun than the more planned story missions.
The two pillars of gameplay and narrative are a constant tension. There are some, like game designer/critic Jonathan Blow who firmly believe they are inherently in opposition. But then there are games like Uncharted 4. But then you have something like MGSV that has compelling story missions that keep you coming back, but wonderfully fun, emergent gameplay that provides copious entertainment between missions. It's hard to narrow this down to just one system (though the inclusion of a Walkman and an excellent selection of 80s tunes springs as readily to mind as the game’s base management) and that earlier description of events
When all’s said, I wouldn’t say that MGSV is inherently better than a linear game due to its open world nature; but then, Uncharted 4 isn’t great because it’s linear and well defined. Like how Lost isn’t an incredible television show because it’s an hour long show and not a half-hour one. The trick is to do something good with it.
the one that screams about xb2 nonstop and little else. and the only reason i'm back is to scream about xb2 and play games. did you guys know i'm excited for xenoblade 2? i don't think you guys knew. i preordered the special edition already and there is no way xb2 will disappoint me.
xbx didn't disappoint me when it disappointed a lot of fans of the original. it'd be a horrifying miracle if monolith somehow makes xb2 a bad game, considering i've loved nearly everything shown so far.
granted i just don't like pyra's outfit or rex's pants and that's it.
anyways yeah hi i'm here i'm still a girl and you can't stop me.
I GOT A JOB IN WASHINGTON AS A PASTRY CHEF AND I ACCEPTED IT AND NOW I HAVE TO APARTMENT HUNT AND FIND A PLACE TO LIVE WITHIN A MONTH AND THIS IS REAL ACTUAL ADULT STUFF THAT MY EDUCATION AND LIFE EXPERIENCES DID NOT PREPARE ME FOR.
WHAT IS? HOW DO?
But, like, everyone at work keeps telling me finding a place is the easy part and that I'll be fine and that is reassuring.
This is gonna be fuuuuuuuuuuuuuun.
Seems there's a fancy new part coming out soon. 1x2 place with hollow studs and rounded corners. Along with all the other neat things it could be used for, one thing I want to see it used for is some kind of flag or banner material. From what little I know of the techniques, most "curve" builds use a mix of 1x3 plates and 1x1 round plates or some staggered arrangement of 1x2s and 1x1 rounds. But the new piece looks like it could maybe provide a much simpler, better-looking, and more stable way of doing that. I'm sure it'll be good for other compact curve uses too, like cylindrical shapes.
Just want to get this thought out there.
So let's see:
I'm cute, so bi, so trans, still part of Thunderfury, all that.
Dang, I can't believe it will have been two years since I started HRT in November.
Now the bit that I wasn't prepared for was the fact that Lhikan's Greatswords apparently have very fragile and breakable axles. Upon close inspection of the pieces, I realized one of the axles was glued to the actual sword and when I poked at it it came off with barely any effort; needless to say I'm rather disappointed with the seller, but I've decided to let it go. Here's the issue: Lhikan Greatswords cost a lot on BrickLink, precisely because of their breakability. So I've decided that I'll go ahead and try to mend broken fences, i.e. axles.
My idea right now is to basically even the surface out of both the sword and the axle and then glue them together at as perfect an angle as I can manage. First I'll need to fill in the small crater on the sword with glue or plastic, then file it to produce an even surface. Then I'll file the broken surface of the axle. Then I'll glue the two.
What do you guys think? Yea or nay? Any better ideas? Have any of you gotten a broken piece like that and how did you deal with it?
Perhaps I should get a cheap piece in the same pearl light gray (I think?) color, melt it somehow and use that instead of glue?
In addition to just spending basic quality time with my family and girlfriend, I've been eating all the food I've missed (good homemade soup! good breakfasts!), and taken some outings I went to San Francisco comic con with my girlfriend the other day and saw Cary Elwes and Renne O'Conner, and left with a Rapunzel print that I'd like to get on my wall. I enjoyed the convention, though I was really disappointed that so many of the vendors at the event were, lets be blunt here, scalpers. I don't know enough about the Pop Vinyl market to tell you if those prices were reasonable, but I do know that there's no reason whatsoever to be selling LEGO blind bag minifigures for $8.00 a bag. Disgusting.
I'm also catching up on movies! Or trying. Watched Assassin's Creed, Moana, and Wind River, and am hoping to watch Alien: Covenant and Arrival before leaving. And I am going to see the theatrical re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind today so that should be fun.
Basically, I'm trying to jam pack my schedule with everything, though I already know I'm not going to succeed. I won't go to all the restaurants I want to go to, I probably won't get to go hiking (we are experiencing a heat wave with temperatures up to 110-111 and no one wants to hike in that), and I won't get to see all the people I want to see. Still, I think I am getting all the possible potential out of this break. I will be coming home again for Christmas, and from a mental standpoint it will help me get through the next few months knowing another vacation is coming up soon and not 11 1/2 months from now.
1. SPACE PIMP
2. Shaquille O'Neal
3. Lumpy Space Princess
...yeah I lied there's only three everyone go home
Perhaps Makuta isn't quite as dead as everyone once thought.
Suffice to say, bad things are coming.
Ko-Wahi, Mount Ihu Summit (Two Weeks Ago)
Turaga Nuju died screaming.
Or, to be more accurate, he died making a shrill, strained whistling sound not dissimilar to that of a distressed Gukko bird. This sound broke off in an echoing crunch as his flailing, falling body finally struck the bottom of the ravine he’d just been pushed into.
“What…” Matoro stammered, staring dumbstruck at the familiar being responsible for Nuju’s abrupt departure from the realm of the living, “…why?”
“Why?” The other Matoran scoffed, taking a few steps away from the ravine edge, “Because your precious principle of peace is overrated. Because he was leading our people to stagnation and isolation. Because he was too weak to stop me. Because you were both stupid enough to agree to this meeting.”
“Wha- what are you going to do to me?” Matoro whimpered, clawing at the flimsy bone knife strapped to his thigh. He finally managed to pull it free, and brandished it before him with his shaking hands.
“What do you think I’m doing to do?” The other Matoran chuckled, withdrawing a compact crossbow from within the folds of his furred coat. “Are you afraid I’m going to kill you?”
“Ye-yes.” Matoro looked to be on the verge of sobbing now.
“There’s no need to be afraid,” the killer said gently, momentarily lowering his weapon, “But I’m still going to kill you.” Quick as a Doom Viper, he whipped his crossbow back up, and fired.
Unlike his Turaga, Matoro didn’t even get to scream. The barbed bolt that lodged itself in his throat made sure of that.
Onu-Wahi, Southern Mine Extension (Eleven Days Ago)
“I’m not getting paid enough for this,” Mavrah whined, as he continued hacking away at the rockface before him with his pickaxe.
Well, the pickaxe wasn’t his, per se. It had come with the job, and, just like the job in question, it was absolutely terrible. The useless tool broke off pieces of itself almost as often as it managed to chip chunks off of the rock wall.
“None of us are,” snapped back the grizzled Onu-Matoran next to him, “You don’t earn the right to complain about it until you’ve been down here a few decades longer, boy.”
“Pffft, I don’t think so,” Mavrah abandoned his pickaxe, and rounded on the older miner, “I’m getting out of here as soon as I make enough money to buy an Ussal.”
“And what are you going to do with a crab?” the old miner scoffed, “Animals aint cheap.”
“I know. But an Ussal gives me freedom. To travel, to explore. The island’s changed so much over the years, but no one’s made much effort to document those changes.”
“That’s because no one cares,” the miner guffawed, “Now pick up your axe and get back to work.”
Mavrah glowered at him a moment longer, then bent to pick up the dropped pickaxe. Ever though it had landed right by his feet, it still took him a few moments of fumbling to find it again. This was a natural tunnel that the miners had only recently burrowed down into. It was deep, and mostly unexplored, and as such, the lightstones that were normally strung up in the mining areas were few and far between in this new section. He and the old man had come across a promising-looking vein of ore while exploring, and decided to make a head start on digging it up. They only had one lightstone between them, and it seemed to grow dimmer the deeper they went.
He heard a gravelly rustling behind him, followed by a gasp of surprise and a sort of wet crunching sound. The yellow-white glow of the lightstone on the floor behind him shifted to a grisly red. Mavrah turned around slowly, and what he saw was something that would have terrified his nightmares.
The old miner – what was left of him, at least – was gripped in the pincers of a hunched, chitinous being, more and more of his twitching form being gradually shoved into the monster’s multi-jawed gullet. As Mavrah moved, however, the creature released its meal, and focused its narrow, beady eyes on him.
Mavrah screamed. The creature lunged.
His body was never found.
Ta-Wahi, North Mine Entrance (Eight Days Ago)
“You’re going to have to run that by me again,” Takua said, his patient tone contrasting harshly with his growing inward frustration. He was the Chronicler, one of the few Matoran on the island who could still travel free and unhampered through every village on the island, and here he was stuck in some backwater clearing in Ta-Wahi, listening to a grumpy – and quite possibly inebriated – miner boss, who was whining about a supposed ‘monster’ scaring away his workers.
“What part aint you understandin’?” The Ta-Matoran burped, “Three o’ me workers quit yesterday. There’s somethin’ down there, I’m tellin’ ya!”
“And what did this ‘something’ look like?” Takua pressed, “You need to give me something to go on beyond ‘big’ and ‘scary’, otherwise no one’s going to believe your story.”
“They’ll defin’ly believe it if you’re the one tellin’ it.”
“That may be so, but I don’t believe your story right now, either. You need to convince me to convince everyone else.”
“I dun’t get it,” the drunkard frowned, “You think I’m lyin’ to you?”
“No, I think that you think that there’s something down there… which doesn’t mean that there’s actually something down there. Belief doesn’t equal fact. You need to give me proof.”
“If my word aint good enough for ya, then there’s nothin’ else I can do.”
Takua sighed loudly. “Which way is the mine?”
It was the last question he ever asked.
Po-Koro, Dark Alleyway (Three Days Ago)
Ahkmou was dying. He was slumped against a wall in a desolate backstreet. A spiked dagger was buried up to the hilt in the centre of his chest. Blood was seeping into his lungs. This was the end.
He hadn’t expected to die like this. In truth, he hadn’t expected to die at all. He was protected, shielded from age and injury. Or so he’d thought.
“I’ll take that,” his assailant bent down to pry a gleaming black object from his clenched hands. It was a Comet, one of the cursed Kolhii balls that Makuta had used to spread a terrible plague through Po-Koro almost one hundred years ago. It was, as far as Ahkmou knew, the only vestige of Makuta’s power left on the island, and somehow, it had kept him safe and ageless for all these long years he’d spent in hiding.
He coughed up a mouthful of red. “How did you find me?”
“You’re not the only one with Makuta’s blessing,” it was a woman’s voice, “He thanks you for your past service, by the way.”
His response came out in a breathless wheeze. “Why?”
“Because you stopped serving, Ahkmou. You hid yourself away, and exploited Makuta’s gifts to prolong your own miserable existence.” She slipped Ahkmou’s Comet into a pouch tied to her belt, and smiled coldly at him. “You squandered the blessings he bestowed upon you, so I’m taking them away from you. Along with your life.”
“Wh- who… are…”
“Who am I?” She purred, leaning in close to give the handle of her dagger a sharp twist, “I guess you can think of me as your… replacement.” Without warning, she ripped the dagger free. It was a cruel weapon, hewn of shimmery black metal, and covered in thorn-like edges. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ahkmou. Goodbye.”
The Po-Matoran was too dead to compose a reply.
Ga-Koro, Docks (Present Day)
Tuyet stepped off the ferry and made her way into Ga-Koro, unable to hide the growing smile on her face. Makuta was pleased. Everything was progressing as planned.
It was good to be home.
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