Posts Tagged ‘2012’

h1

Ain’t That A Bitch: NFL Fantasy Football

December 30, 2012

So, yeah. Been a while. There’s a little background for this one. Last season, I wound up second after being intensely involved in the league. I made a spreadsheet of the players I was hoping to get in the draft. I was making changes to the lineup once, maybe twice a week based on how I thought the players would preform next week. That level of dedication got me second place my first real time out.

This year, on the other hand, I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t participate in the draft, with all of my players picked by the computer. And I didn’t change around my roster at all. You know where I wound up? Before I tell you, go find a pen and paper or pull up a text editor and write down your guess for where I wound up in a field of twelve. I’ll give you some time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready? Fourth. I wound up fourth. By doing absolutely nothing.

If I’d scored three more points in last week’s game, I would have won the league.

I…I’m not even how that happens. Think about that for a moment. A team whose owner and head coach is completely uninvolved in any of the processes running the team goes on to first place in the league.

Ain’t that a bitch?

Advertisements
h1

Review: Dexter

December 4, 2012

First and foremost, UNICEF is raising money for children in Malawi schools to get desks. There are kids over there who are sitting on concrete floors and dirt floors, and it’s really doing a number their ability to learn. If you can, if you would like to give, you can do so here: UNICEF

Second, things are stabilizing a bit, but updates are still going to come in fits and starts for the foreseeable future. I won’t be following any schedule, which should help things.

And now, your featured presentation.

There is a Dexter video game.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Showtime series, Dexter is about a blood spatter analyst with the Miami police. And he kills people who evidence shows have been wrongly freed from the justice system. And collects their blood. Not in, like, jars or anything, but on microscope slides. Get it? Because he’s a foren-you get the picture.

There is a game based on this.

I am absolutely shocked that this game got made. Mainly because you play a killer. And it’s a game where you actively stalk and kill people (albeit, yes, people who are themselves killers). It’s kind of weird.

As for the game itself, it’s not bad. It follows closely the events of the first season, with the first kill in the game being Dexter’s first victim in the show, the choir director who was dead five minutes into the pilot. After that, you return to Dexter’s lovingly-rendered apartment where a message from his adoptive sister Debra awaits. And that’s where the game starts to impress me, because they got all of the voice actors to come in and reprise their roles for the game. And all of them give good reads, with the notable exception of Julie Benz who, in her defense, was about a season away from leaving the show.

The game itself isn’t bad – the first season is done well even if the graphics look a bit dated (c. 2005-ish). But the sticking point is that the game is kind of…unsettling, as a game where you play a serial killer might well be. It forces you to think like a serial killer to a certain point, and frankly that’s a place in my own head where I don’t want to go. And having Michael C. Hall’s dark narration over characters with soulless eyes really isn’t helping matters any.

I…I can’t recommend this game. But it’s not for anything in particular with the game. It’s the fact that the source material really shouldn’t have been adapted to a game. It just really gives me the creeps.

h1

Review: Aces High and Prisoner of War

September 19, 2012

I’m…kind of hesitating about describing Aces High, because I’m not entirely sure how to go about it. Aces High is essentially a World War II-era combat simulator, but there’s more to it than that. There certainly are planes – there are a shitload of planes – but there are also ground vehicles, there’s a PT boat you can pilot, there are ground defense guns, and there are also aircraft carrier groups.

There are also a number of editors for the game: a terrain editor, which lets you create your own arenas to play in (I’m currently working on a Southern California one centered around LA), an object editor which I haven’t played around with enough to know what it does, even a cloud editor! You can edit how clouds form in the arenas! I…that is a level of incredible, almost obsessive depth that I am utterly unfamiliar with.

Hell, I recommend it even if you never go online with it. And I recommend not going online, because after two weeks there’s a monthly fee. Just be well aware that you’re going to need a proper joystick or a controller.

And then there’s Prisoner of War. This one is really easy to explain: USAAC Captain Lewis Stone and Lieutenant James “J.D.” Daly are shot down during a reconnaissance mission over Germany in the summer of 1944. Both men bail out and are eventually captured by the Wehrmacht (more specifically the German Army) and sent to a holding camp. During an escape from the camp, J.D. is shot and killed by General Stahl, in charge of at least a portion of Nazi weapons research and in the area purely by chance.

From there, Stone is bounced between Stalag Luft I and Oflag IV-C (better known as Castle Colditz) along the way getting roped into an English SOE operation to steal plans for a new type of V-rocket, calling for British bombers to launch a night raid on Stalag Luft I to destroy this new rocket before it can be launched at London (the raid itself is a goddamn miracle, because the bombers managed to hit the rocket and only the rocket), and to sabotage the weapons research taking place underneath Colditz.

The gameplay is heavily stealth based, and it is the only videogame I’ve seen that features soldiers of Nazi Germany and you aren’t shooting them. In fact, this game has the lowest bodycount of any World War II-era game that I’ve ever seen – exactly two people die. Three if you count one of the Colditz prisoners who is possibly taken to a concentration camp during your second visit to Stalag Luft.

But the most amazing thing about this game is that, despite being a decade old, it runs fine on Windows 7. Well, unless you count the fact that it doesn’t capture the mouse. That can get annoying sometimes.

h1

Review: McHale’s Navy

September 19, 2012

Well, let’s just face the facts: It was only a matter of time before Tom Arnold and Tim Curry would show up here. I’m just surprised that it was in the same movie. I feel that I should give some backstory on this one because it’s a little more obscure than Wild Wild West was.

McHale’s Navy ran from 1962-1968 and starred the late, great Ernest Borgnine. The series was spun off from a dramatic one-shot called Seven Against the Sea, in which McHale uses a stolen Japanese PT boat to assault a Japanese carrier. The series was…considerably lighter, mainly dealing with the comedic differences between McHale and his second-in-command, Ensign Parker.

And then we come to the modern remake. Tom Arnold plays the son of Quinton McHale, Quinton McHale. The younger McHale has just retired from military service, and now trades with the officers and enlisted at the San Ysidro Naval Base, in exchange for food and medicine for the people of San Moreno. The newly-arrived Capt. Binghampton (played by Dean “Al Calavicci” Stockwell) believes that the sailors have gone native, and confiscates the goods McHale’s been selling them.

Then Tim Curry shows up and generally starts making everybody’s lives hell, because he wants to steal missile launch codes. That’s the rest of the plot, it’s just McHale and Curry’s Vladikov fighting.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this movie in a good many years. From what I remember it wasn’t bad, but reading over the Wikipedia page, it sounds like they took an episode of the series and stretched it out to an hour and a half by adding post-Cold War plot elements.

h1

Review: Wild Wild West

September 9, 2012

Oh boy, Will Smith. When I was doing my minimal amount of research for this review (by which I mean looking up Will Smith on Wikipedia), I found out that Will Smith actually turned down playing Neo in The Matrix to be in Wild Wild West. Oh, to imagine what could have been – a black, wisecracking Neo. But I digress. We’re here to talk about a freedman Army captain turned U.S. Marshall fighting against a legless Confederate scientist with a steam-powered robotic spider I’ve lost you, haven’t I?

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Coming Attractions: September 2012

September 5, 2012

Hey, you know what’s fun? Movie adaptations!

No, that’s a lie. But mocking bad ones is. So, Adaptation Month is go!

September 7th: Things kick off with a film thirty years in the making, about a secret service agent, his inventive friend, and the legless ex-Confederate with a giant mechanical spider they fight, Wild Wild West.

September 14th: Tom Arnold goes against Tim Curry in the month’s second feature, McHale’s Navy.

September 21st: We continue with a movie that I’ve heard some bad things about, The X-Files: Fight the Future.

September 28th: We finish out the month with another example of  a distinct lack of quality, and possibly the worst thing I’ve seen Christopher Lloyd in, My Favorite Martian.

Huh. Now that I think about it, all of those movies are from the late nineties. It’s almost as if that decade was the epicenter of suck for adaptations of TV shows.

You’ll also see a double review of Aces High, a World War II combat sim and Prisoner of War, a 2002 stealth game taking place in, of all places, a series of German POW camps, and the completion (for real this time) of my SimCity Retrospective.

h1

SimCity Retrospective: SimCity 3000

September 1, 2012

This is the post I was writing when I decided to spin off the Todd Akin stuff into a new category, which means I’m about a week or so behind on this one, and this head cold sure isn’t doing me any favors.

SimCity 3000…it’s complicated. See, this is the point in the series when Electronic Arts took over as the publisher. I’m going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here, so if you’re not interested in my opinion on EA, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph. EA has…well, they’ve got somewhat of a spotty record in taking over publishing for established series, the biggest example I can think of  being the rush job they made Origin do on Ultima VIII, shipping a product that was basically unfinished and damn near unplayable, but I’ll get deeper into EA when we hit SimCity Societies.

Now, as for SimCity 3000 itself, I don’t know. It’s-the game isn’t bad, it’s just a big shift from where SimCity 2000 was. The best way I can think of to describe it is that it’s cartoony. Let’s just quickly touch on some of the things the game introduces. First, starting with this game you had advisors for each of seven different matters, and they would give a detailed  account of situations in their field rather than just a short summary. Secondly, it is much, much more stylized, with the advisors being-

Moe Biehl

HOLY JESUS! WHAT ARE THESE GODDAMN ANIMALS?!

Er, yeah. That’s the transportation advisor, and the rest aren’t any better. The buildings are also more stylized. In addition, once your city gets to a certain size it starts producing trash, which has to be disposed of by either building incinerators or landfills, and now you can also deal with your neighbors, buying or selling water, power, or garbage capacity.

PROTIP: Never sell water to a neighbor, because you will eventually run out and when you do, you are going to be paying out the ass because of it.

SimCity 3000 came out in February of 1999, despite Maxis wanting it released in time for Christmas 1998. I’d say it came from the problems EA had with Ultima IX, but SC3K came out almost a year before. So there’s that theory shot down.

All things considered, SimCity 3000 isn’t bad. It’s different – very, very different – from almost everything else in the series, but…well, let me explain it like this. It’s the Temple of Doom of the SimCity series: Not bad, but the weakest until something worse comes along.