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All posts for the month October, 2010

Fable 3: A Bit Further In Now

Published October 29, 2010 by Hemlock

Well, I don’t really know what to say about this game. I really don’t, other than I’m disappointed.

I discovered that both the health bar and the traditional experience bar are no longer present. So, if you’re playing and you’re given the option to either eat, or take a health potion – do it. Supposedly, based upon some pre-release articles I read, the world was supposed to get grey as your health declined, however, I have not noticed this. I think that I was hearing a heartbeat during one of my battles and that’s when I was prompted to take a health potion. I had plenty of food on me, but apparently, it didn’t want me eating. Frankly, where I get my health from should be my choice.

Also, on the food thing, I discovered while playing that you can only have one type of food on you at a time. I’ve had my girl living on Tofu and Carrots when I get ahold of them (playing through as ‘Good’ and then I might play through as ‘Evil’), and went to buy a blueberry pie. It gave me the choice of buying the pie, but told me I’d have to ditch my Tofu (no carrots at the time).

My dog is still pretty much useless, but that could be due to the lack of books I’ve been able to find.

Getting money is much easier in Fable 3 vs. Fable 2 which is a little depressing. Last time it took a lot to get the money I needed to buy my first home. This time, however, I have only about 3 hours of gameplay in, maybe 4, and I already own 5 houses that I rent out, and will own a business shortly. I do find, though, that I’m not purchasing as much in this game when it comes to clothing or weapons. Just don’t need to because everything’s being given to me.

I’m not too keen on the battles, either. Everything really feels like it’s on Easy Mode. With no manna or spell power to worry about, it’s literally just a “blast ’em ’till they’re dead” type of battle system. At least with Fable 2, I had stuff to manage, and I don’t care what anyone says: I miss the old experience system!

I don’t know why everyone complained about it. It wasn’t difficult to figure out that the type of experience you got was based on what you used during combat. Whatever, though.

It’s Fable, so I’m still going to play through, but it’s depressing. I feel like the game has been completely dumbed down. I understand that they wanted to make the game available for all player types, but if that’s the case, they should have just gone with the age old standard of Easy-Medium-Hard. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my enjoyment because someone complained once.

Let The Countdown Begin…

Published October 28, 2010 by Hemlock

Nano is almost here! I swear to you, this is going to be my year. I have, what I think, is a great concept for a story. Best of all, I think it’s going to be possible to meet my 50k.

I’ve been trying to win since 2007, and each year I get closer, but I’ve never met that 50k word count. Last year I believe I hit somewhere around 10k words. I know, not much, but I only made it a week or so in before life got in the way. This year, though, life will simply follow in my wake as I make that mad dash to 50k words in 30 days.

Xannatos and I have gone shopping and acquired some munchies, and the best incentive of all is that CreateSpace has offered to print proof copies of Wrimos who manage to meet their 50k goal. How cool is that?!

So, the countdown has begun, and though I hate to do it, this year my story will require some planning ahead of time. It’s OK though, I’m motivated!

Fable 3: Early Review

Published October 27, 2010 by Hemlock

Okay, Fable 3 was released yesterday, and I must say, I was very excited. This was my birthday present, so Xannatos got me the Limited Collectors Edition. This came with an extra quest, a new dog breed (mine was not the one originally spoken about in all the ‘official’ releases I had been seeing), and various other things like a new town, some tattoos, and a sword. OH! It also came with a really cool deck of Fable themed playing cards that don’t feel cheap and flimsy, and a Guild coin that’s actually made of metal. You heard me right, metal, not plastic. Take that Star Trek Online!

How is the game so far? Not bad, but a little frustrating. The art is pretty much the same, though the female character option has breasts the size of most of the villagers heads. Normally, I wouldn’t complain, except for the part that she’s wholly unbalanced and has a flat body-builder-type booty. Oh well, small price to pay.

What was really getting me, though, was some of the features they’ve taken out of the game. It might be that I simply haven’t gotten far enough into the game to discover these things, but it’s making the game a bit onerous to travel about in.

First of all, for those of you who have downloadable content, such as the stuff from your Collectors Editions, let me tell you that it’s all there as long as you redeemed your codes. You won’t, however, see your items (like your new dog breed) until you get into the first town of Brightwater (pretty sure that’s the name of the town). Wish they had said something because I was quite upset before we discovered that.

Secondly, there’s no easy way to manage travel anymore. There’s no button that is set to your map or town business/economy. Nope, each time you want to look at a town, or fast travel somewhere you have to push your start button which then transports you to The Sanctuary. Once that page has loaded, you have the option to check out your clothing, weapons, take a look at your map which is now a giant war table, and see various other features available in the game. This is also the location you go to in order to see and open any gifts given to you by the villagers and Microsoft Live buddies.

This really bothers me, as instead of simply pushing a button to see my map, I now have to load an entirely new location. It’s awkward and time consuming.

What bothers me the most, though, is that I can’t for the life of me figure out where my health bar is! This is crucially important, and leads to my last complaint: the instruction manual leaves a bit to be desired. I’ve been through that manual quite a few times and nowhere does it explain your HUD/Screen. Nope, so during battle, I’ve just been popping food and/or potions when they pop up on the screen. I don’t know if I really need them or not, but since I can’t see the damn health bar, I don’t really have any other options.

Hopefully, someone who has played a bit further into the game than I have (this should be easy, I’m not that far in), will comment on my blog post and let me know they’ve discovered where the health bar is located.

Overall, though, considering how much I enjoyed Fable 2, I think it’s well worth suffering through what I would consider a design mess. I may have a different opinion later on, but right now, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

RIP Walkman… You were a dear friend to me

Published October 25, 2010 by Hemlock

Here lies the Sony Walkman, may it forever rest in peace, and be remembered fondly…

According to a post on the UPSHOT news blog Sony shipped its last Walkman back in April of this year and will no longer produce the product; though a few Chinese companies are apparently going to keep going for the few of us that still have cassette tapes.

Now, I remember my first Walkman. I don’t remember where I got it, but I’m pretty sure it was a hand-me-down from my mother. It had a crappy set of headphones, and the unit itself was a little beat up, but it was mine.

I took many adventures with that gadget… I went with Goofy on his car race and discovered that, “Slow and steady, steady and slow, that’s the way we always go”, is a completely viable way to win a race. I also followed Jack up the Beanstalk, and sang songs to Mr. Sun, the Moon, Baby Belugas, learned the myriad of words that rhymed with Apples and Bananas, and you can’t forget the “Elephant Song”… you know, the Skinamarinkydinkydink song.

I have many fond memories of my Walkman, and despite the move to portable CD players, I held true to my cassette player. CDs were too expensive, for one, they scratched easily, and to be frank: the damn motion-anti-skip thing was a fucking joke. I didn’t give in until about 3 years ago when I finally got my first MP3 player. I never did like those damn portable CD players, and even if I stopped using my Walkman, it was only because it was getting harder and harder to find cassette tapes. I simply opted to either carry my CDs around with me (which invariably got scratched up pretty bad as I was horrible about putting them back in their cases), or just listen to the radio.

Either way, it’s a shame to see that the Walkman is officially moving to the wayside. However, I’ll be very upset if I’m not able to listen to my vinyl records one day. I can still get a record player, and buy the needles to replace the old ones… but, nothing sounds quite like an old vinyl record. I’ll take the scratchiness over songs that were recorded in pieces and then spliced together any day!

I’m Just Procrastinating

Published October 20, 2010 by Hemlock

So, here I am, sitting in some sort of comfortable chair at my local community college. Why am I here? I’m waiting for Xannatos to get out of class. Nothing exciting unless you count my procrastinating interesting.

I’m about a week behind in my schoolwork due to some very unfortunate things that have happened in the Hemlock-Xannatos household this past week or so.

Anyways, I’m just about caught up, but I’ve had to stop because I don’t understand what one of my professors is asking. So, due to the idiots here at the college, I must wait to get home in order to email my professor because I can’t get access to my online courses *sigh*.

Anyone know what a “What She Said / What He Said” Tamil poem is? I have to write one of each, and I’m confused as to what they are, and every search that I’ve run just pulls up a bunch of non-translated poetry writing in some language that I have no idea how to read *grumble*.

I guess this blog post is really pointless… just venting.

Though, I do have to say that I hope they rip Octomom’s reproductive specialists license away. I can’t believe he transferred 14 embies! That’s insane!

On a positive note, a friend of mine got married last weekend! Yay! Oh, and Littlefoot’s eye is looking better, so that’s good as well. Ummm… ok, enough of the rambling. Maybe I’ll go search the internet for something to be overly opinionated about and come back and write a post about it =)

Dear God… what have you done Blizzard?

Published October 13, 2010 by Hemlock

So, yesterday was update day for World of Warcraft. Figured there would be a sizable update since Cataclysm is coming out the beginning of December… not a big deal.

At first…

The update didn’t take too long on my computer, and once in I found that all of my Talents got reset. Okay, whatever. no big deal. Graphics hadn’t changed despite some of the files we saw scrolling across my install bar. I’m sure the graphics changes are there, just disabled at this point.

Anyways, all was going well until I started reading what exactly was done in the update. What it comes down to, is that Blizzard completely and utterly NERFED my game. Mind you, was WoW the best MMORPG to ever hit the internet? No. It was, however, the only moderately playable game on the market at the moment. It’s an easy game, that takes no skill to play, but, I was there for Closed Beta, why not continue? Normally, I wouldn’t be too upset, but they seriously killed the game, and my Frost Mage along with it. They’ve also done away with the need for Hunters to have ammo, and ‘Locks to have Soul Shards, as well as getting rid of Spell Power (so now the Azure Silk Vest I was selling on the Auction House isn’t worth crap), and a bagillion other things.

I was so angry last night that I just couldn’t continue playing that evening. I’ll log on at some point before my game card expires and see how badly broken the game is, and at that time determine if I’ll get another game card or simply go back to abusing my Xbox Live account.

Based upon what I’ve seen thus far… Well, it looks like they’ve dumbed the game down even more. I really didn’t think it was possible. I really didn’t.

I have to vent about the 1st Amendment

Published October 11, 2010 by Hemlock

I was reading an article about how someone threw a book at the President. Wasn’t meant to harm, just an over exuberant supporter. Anyways, I started reading the comments, and once again just sat at my desk flabbergasted. Why all the hate? Why all the racist slurs? Why all the bigotry? Why all the ignorance?

I didn’t like Bush and I didn’t support him in any way, but you didn’t see me going around calling him a Gringo-Cracker-Honkey…

I understand that people are upset with the current economy (trust me, I’ve fallen victim), but the fact of the matter is that if there is anyone to blame for anything it’s ourselves. We’re the once who purchased homes beyond what we could afford. Yes, the Lenders allowed us to borrow the money, but we didn’t have to take it… it’s called self control.

We left one country (in reality, as The Melting Pot, we left many) because of the hate, bigotry, and ignorance directed at people’s various beliefs. Yet, here we are, some 200 years later, behaving in EXACTLY the same way our persecutors did.

Yes, it is our Right as Americans to voice our opinion; to enjoy that Freedom of Speech that we’ve come to take for granted. However, when it becomes hateful, it’s wrong, and we are no different than the people our ‘Forefathers’ sought to leave behind.

Whatever happened to treating others as you would be treated? Stop slinging the slurs, both racial and political. You make yourself look, and sound, like an idiot… what a great thing to teach your kids.