8.31.2012

Red Country: Free Advertising for Mr. Joe Abercombie

     Here's the book trailer for one of my top 3 favorite authors upcoming release, Mr. Joe Abercrombie's Red Country from Gollancz Books.



Here's the book blurb:
They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.

But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own, and out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust. . .
The past never stays buried . . .

     I am not generally a fan of book trailers, but I do appreciate this one.  The whole western feel of the trailer.  Considering I absolutely loved all his other books- The First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes- I have no worries for this one.  The fact he's been apparently reading up on gritty westerns for research and influential material is a slightly added bonus.  Because I tend to enjoy the western grit, it makes me even more excited for this book.
     One recognizable character I am definitely looking forward to reading about again is Nicomo Cosca.  A Soldier that specialized in not doing a thing and somehow reaping the benefits.  His most useful skill seems to be a great streak of luck and chance.  Add that to his wonderful demeanor and his outstanding conversational skills and you have quite an entertaining individual.  He has one of the best quotes ever, after making an awkward entrance he exclaims, "My name is Nicomo Cosca, famed solider of fortune, and I am here for dinner."  It fits his character so well!  Simple, matter of fact, and more than slightly entitled.

     I would also like to say that any Fantasy readers out there should give the First Law books a try.  At least the first book in the trilogy- The Blade Itself.  I have personally bought roughly 20 copies of The Blade Itself and gave them out to potential readers, and only one of the people disliked it.  Most of them went out and got the rest of the series.  So I figure I'll be gifting a stack of Red Country to all the Abercrombie fans I know.

     The only other author I buy up piles of books for and hand them out is Neal Asher.  I would also highly recommend him to anyone that enjoys Joe Abercrombie's books- as Asher has plenty of dark humor and action in all his books.  The Spatterjay series- The Skinner, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, and Orbus- are particularly phenomenal.  Buy these books, they're worth it. 

     Joe Abercrombie's books?  Say one thing about his books, say they're amazing.

8.29.2012

Ghostbusters the Video Game

     Why has this game not gotten more attention?!?  Granted I'm getting to this now, 4 years or so late, but it is still a fun game anyway.  (The game was released in June 2009)

     If any Ghostbusters fans out there are also gamers, I would highly recommend this game.  The multiplayer online is still up and running as well.  So I played a few matches and met some nice people- good stuff working as a team as well as competitive ghost busting. 
     The main game is nothing groundbreaking, but is simply a fun game with all the right touches added.  Ghostbusters: The Video Game fits in after the movies and have plenty of film references.  Many recognizable characters return, all voiced by their original film actors and actresses.  There's also Stay Puft, Slimer, and the talking painting of Vigo the Carpathian (Although the painting was destroyed/replaced in Ghostbusters 2).

     The player is a rookie hired to assist the Ghostbusters with increasing ghostly phenomena. Starting with just the proton pack and the trap - you gradually build the pack up with Boson darts, slime tethers and a full on slime sprayer.

     While I would love another movie of the Ghostbusters, I could understand the difficulties with it being made, so I would recommend more games.  I would definitely purchase any more of these produced.  Perhaps a Lego Ghostbusters?  Or just a sequel to this game itself.
     I'll talk more on a potential movie sequel in a separate post another time.
Vigo the Painting
     I must say interacting with the Vigo painting is my favorite part of this game.  Some of the things he says are so hilarious coming from a cruel ancient despot.  Here's a list of some, there's over a hundred so I snagged a bunch for readers. 
  1. Araghhh...the smell of happiness stings my nose!
  2. Your weaknesses feed me! Please continue to fail!
  3. Compete for my amusement.
  4. Ohhh...this bores me.
  5. Time is but a window - and that window is closing.
  6. If only I could have delivered such humiliation in person.
  7. That was almost as painful as being stabbed and pulled apart...ermmmmm, but perhaps not.
  8. You call that an accomplishment?
  9. Congratulate yourself now mortal, while you still have time.
  10. Another thousand failures and I'll have enough negative energy to return to the world of the living. HAhahaha!
  11. I should've painted myself a bathroom in this thing.
  12. Just another thousand years, Vigo, hang in there. Hang in.
  13. In my day, we had no time for such trifling amusements.
  14. I loathe you from the darkest spume of my craven, boiling bowels!
  15. My veins spurt white hot bile and broken glass as I'm forced to look upon you.
  16. Sure, my cranium is large, but so is my devastation!
  17. I am Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer.
  18. When the day comes, you will be the first.
  19. When my vindication comes, you'll wish you'd been born inside-out.
  20. This pitiful makeshift prison will not last forever.
  21. Psst! Shoes are untied.
  22. Please stop burning the microwave popcorn.
  23. Don't you know me? I am Prince Vigo Von Homburg Deutschendorf.
  24. Oh, this really is a good likeness of me.
  25. Call me Vigo the Despised or Vigo the Unholy or...ahh...uh...never mind.
  26. Nobody ever listens to me.
  27. How about a little sacrifice? Not a baby, but maybe a dog or a cat?
  28. Come here boy! I'll wear you like pants.
  29. Did you know that the human large intestine, when stretched out, will wrap around a city block? You have to get a running start.
  30. Have you savored the exquisite anguish of tortured souls? Salty...
  31. Pull my finger! I command you!
  32. This isn't Ghostbusters. This is The Exorcist!
  33. I dreamt I was in a painting with ponies. It was nice.
  34. Ohh...I have an itch...ah...right...here!
Here are a bunch of small commentaries on our times by Vigo:
  • I see the evil of the times to come. No flying cars - ever! HAHAhahahaha!
  • I see the evil of the times to come. You will choose a king far more evil than myself to rule you. Twice!
  • I see the evil of the times to come. In time all music will be free, but for the cost of your soul.
  • I see the evil of the times to come. You will remember paying $1.45 for gas and will weep hot tears for yesterday.
  • I see the evil of the times to come. Millennial apocalypse! Your world unravels...maybe. Maybe not.
  • I see the evil of the times to come. The glove won't fit.
  • I see the evil of the times to come. "It" is just a scooter.
  • I see the evil of the times to come. They're all juicing. All of them!
Nice making fun of G. W. Bush- "Twice!"  LOL

8.26.2012

Expendables 2: A Manvie. (Man's Movie)

     Went to see the Expendables 2 last night and was surprised to find myself entirely entertained.



     I was correct in thinking the level of testosterone increase upon viewing this film with my Twitter comment a few days ago.  I grew 7 more balls, muscles sprouted on top of other muscles, and my vocabulary shrank considerably.  Walking out of the theater my friend and I were reduced to Tim Allen's type of manspeak- all grunts and noises. 
    
     Ruuuarg!  Ooog rawrrred gurraaawwww!  AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! 
*Incoherent noises and absurd muscle flexing*

     It was a wonderful time being barbaric simpletons. 

     This film is pure action movie entertainment.  Massive explosions, guns, muscle flexing, and ludicrous amounts of homage inspired one-liners.  The Expendables 2 doesn't try to be a large budget blockbuster.  It doesn't strive to win awards.  It was made with the sole purpose of enjoyment- and it more than delivers.  If you want to enjoy a simple action film that harkens back to the GREATS in the 1980's- SEE THIS MOVIE!!!


     If they make a third, which could very well happen, I have a few ideas about that.

     1)  I think it would be amazingly fitting to have a Steven Seagal cameo.  Not as large a part as the Chuck Norris role in part 2, but just have him as...   you guessed it- a cook.  A cook that used to work Special Ops with one of the other characters.  Maybe have him poked fun at because Culinary Arts are his passion above Martial Arts.

     2)  Jean Claude Van Damme had a good role in this movie,  however, I don't believe he had enough screen time.  (Same goes with a few of the others, I want to see more Terry Crews)  As a throwback to cliched movie happenings- he could play his own twin brother out for vengeance.

     This next one is red because I believe it's a damn good idea.  That should be followed up on by the all powerful movie producers and film industry.
     3)  Where the hell are all the FEMALE action stars from the 80's???  Hello Sigourney Weaver, Bridgette Nielson, Cynthia Rothrock, and Linda Hamilton!?!?  They could be sent in to save or assist the Expendables.  Simple and awesome.  These women played outstanding film heroes and I would love to see these ladies kick ass again. 
     Hell- give them their own movie- I'd go see it in a heartbeat. 

     4)  There are still a bunch of others that could show up like Michael Dudikoff from the American Ninja series.  Once again I'm leaning towards a new team to "Pass the Torch to."  Think of the newer actors they could get.  Chris Hemsworth as his actual brother's in movie brother, Milla Jovovich, Tom Cruise, etc. 
   

8.22.2012

Metal Gear: 25th Anniversary

     I apparently missed the 25th Anniversary of one of my favorite video game series ever!  I would first start by saying-

     Dear Hideo Kojima,
          Thank you for creating this masterpiece series.

     And then say-
METAL GEAR SOLID NEEDS AN HD REMAKE!!!
(Skip down to past the 2nd red text for the HD remake thoughts)

Metal Gear Solid PS1: Solid Snake
     I still remember the first time I played Metal Gear.  Not Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation, I mean the Nintendo version.  It was at a kid named Preston's place and we thought it was the coolest game ever, as you could smoke cigarettes.  As I still have the game and have replayed there has grown more respect and liking for it.  Clearly my younger self (8 or so years old) failed to grasp the story and nuances of the game.

     Well, years went by and I was working a prestigious position in a Wal-Mart... all right, in the McDonald's inside the Wal-Mart- and I found the demo in for Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation in the electronics section while roaming around the store during break time. 
     This simple demo immediately had me hooked.  A game of stealth.  Sure one could run in and kill anything that moves or  you could slip by undetected.  No fighting needed.  Stealth was the better option.  This was something new to me.  Intrigued, I would spend most my breaks running back and playing the demo repeatedly.  I was hooked.
     Once the game came out- pretty much all my friends and I spent all our free time playing this game.  Obsessively searching codec channels and looking in all corners of the compound for secrets.  I decided to silently kill every enemy as many times as possible.  So I got to sneak AND kill the bad guys.  My end game ranking for the first playthrough was: ORCA.  I also loved the ranking system.  Based on miscellaneous criteria like amount of times alerting enemies, saves, kills and how many rations you consumed as well as the level of difficulty you played it on.  Brilliant!
     This game also had the benefit of having a layered story.  Dramatic action, wonderful and interesting characters, and bleak Alaskan setting balanced with enough humor to make you laugh out loud at just the right moments.  

Solid Snake- Then and Now- Look at what smoking does!

METAL GEAR SOLID NEEDS AN HD REMAKE!!!
 
     There is a real need to remake the PS1 Metal Gear Solid.  With full trophy and complete graphic update.  A complete overhaul.  Like many old gamers I would pay full price AGAIN!  Not to mention all the potential NEW gamers could be introduced to this earlier Solid Snake. 
     The remakes of 2 and 3 into HD were good, but Solid would be an EPIC remake.  The Twin Snakes update was ok, but it needs the MGS4 visual overhaul.  It needs the update.  No expenses spared.  The game was solid in story, solid in gameplay, and solid in characters.  This is a game for all time.  Only a select few game makers can create such a distinct and moving work.  These games transcend the times. 
     Mr. Kojima could enhance or add all the things he wanted to in the original but had to cut for whatever reasons were necessary back then.  This is one of the few games that I would definitely insist on a remake for. 

Solid Snake- WAY back then
     Maybe even have a remake/update of the NES version as an add on or DLC???  Solid Snake has come a LONG way- his story is great, and I would love to enjoy the journey with him again. 

8.20.2012

I'm completely trustworthy!

     I went to a party this weekend that was themed on douchebaggery.  It was everyone dressing up in some form of douchey-ness and it was epic.  Here is a pic of me in all my swarthy getup.  Fear all ye that look upon this image!


     On a side note, Ryan blew everyone out of the water in his surfer-boy douche duds.  The pink polo, 2 odd angled visors, fake tattoos and retro sparkle glasses? GENIUS!  The wig and commitment to "in character" attitude are what really set him ahead of everyone.  Even ahead of all those people that were real life douchebags that showed up in their natural state.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!  *grumble grumble*  Being an actual douchebag doesn't count when attending a douchebag party... 

     Douches.
Ryan as Chet (pronounced Shet)


Dark Knight Rises: Bruce vs Selina

     Just a little humor to brighten the day.

     It's the Dark Knight Rises with a dash of Ace Ventura.  Catwoman (Selina Kyle) confuses Batman (Bruce Wayne) with her... feminine wiles?

8.18.2012

Borderlands 2 Countdown: One Month to Release!

     I only have time for a quick post, so I'm embedding a video.  It's of my personal favorite weapon manufacturer. 
     ***UPDATE TO POST- because NOT ONE OF THE EMBED FEATURES WORK, i have to post a link here***  (seriously, 2K, IGN, and G4- NONE of them works, each one has a 'broken' link or a missing piece of code)

     Maliwan: Where Form Meets Function.

http://youtu.be/fp_cLQKWGXo


     I love how elegant and simple the trailer is.  Very clinical and scientific.  While I'm not liking the strange new weapon design, it looks so odd and unwieldy- more like the alien Eridian weapons- but I'll give it time, maybe it'll grow on me.  I also miss the blue coloration of Maliwan guns in the first Borderlands.  Perhaps that will return as well.
     Note -On 11/07/09 my first massive Borderlands post was magically deleted from the draft function in blogger so I have no really good Borderlands 1 posts to refer to.  Only 2 posts have ever been lost from the draft feature and they were quite large so I was super angry.  But anyways- I am super pumped for this game!!! 

8.17.2012

Dark Knight Rises: The Prison Chant


     Even when I first saw the trailer, way back when it was first released, this is what I was hearing from the chanters.  I hope this is how you will hear it from now on, and maybe giggle a little.

     The Possum will rise. 

     THIS!  IS!  THIS!  IS!  THIS IS AWESOME... POSSUM!  
          THIS IS AWESOME POSSUM!!!
               THIS IS AWESOME POSSUM!!!

8.15.2012

The Hobbit: Now in Three Parts

After reading this a couple weeks back-

'"So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.
 It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."
Cheers,
Peter J'

 OH! MY! GOD!   A TRILOGY!?!?  BRILLIANT!!!
     -All I could think was, hey, the film industry is trying to gain more $$ from the Lord of the Rings saga by extending the single Hobbit book into not 2, but 3 films! Seriously talk about raking in some extras on this massive cash cow. Didn't the Lord of the Rings gross like 3 billion worldwide just in theaters?
     Here's a few suggestions for the 3rd movie's title-

The Hobbit: Milking Smaug's Golden Teats
The Hobbit: An Expected Lucrative Extension
The Hobbit: Give Us Your Money
The Hobbit: We're Just Making Sh*t Up Now
The Hobbit: Bilbo's Bankroll


    

8.14.2012

Shadow of the Colossus: The Last Big Secret (The Short Version)


Before arbsorbing shadows/fruits
    One thing that's always nagged my mind about Shadow of the Colossus is the fact everyone KNEW you could climb the tower at one point.  How would that be considered a secret?
     It was one of my immediate goals when playing the first time back on PS2.  I spotted the moss trail after circling the Shrine of Worship immediately and knew there had to be a way to scale it.  It was an accessible location. So I figure there'd also be a reason to climb it.  After many playthroughs and eating an absurd amount of fruits and magical shining lizard tails.  You have to put forth a massive amount of EFFORT and WORK to get enough stamina to ascend the Shrine of Worship.  So why would the fruit in the "Secret Garden" return all that work to base level?
  Why would the game's creators make it possible, I'd say- inevitable, to allow players to gain enough power from the Forbidden Lands to scale the tower just to return you back to human?
     So here's a bit of backup for my thoughts on the speculated "Last Big Secret" of Shadow of the Colossus.
From a 1UP interview:
1UP: Are there any secrets in the game that still haven't been found?

Fumita Ueda: I wonder about that, but there seem to be many enthusiastic players so I believe all of the secrets have been found already.

1UP: Why does the fruit in the secret garden take away your stamina? Is there any specific reason for this in the story, or is it just a way to reset your stamina meter?

Fumito Ueda: The fruit in the ancient land was set to get you closer to non-human existence. The [secret garden's] fruit was set to return you to a human one.
From an IGN interview:
Kyle Shubel: Hmmm…I dunno, that sounds like an exclusive. Hmmm…well, everyone is talking about the secret garden. That is pretty much the most popular secret in the game that everybody gravitates towards because you have to do a certain level of time investment to be able to get strong enough to get there and, yes, that was there for the ending movie. They left it in the game for a reason.
After the shadows/fruits
     Well- What exactly is the purpose of returning the character IN GAME to human status???  What is the reason for the garden and what is the true purpose of the fruits???  If I wanted to do that I'd simply start a new game.  Besides which fruits are the forbiddon ones?  The garden's or the land's?  Who forbids it?  Dormin or the Priests?
 
     What if there is something you can ONLY do as a "human." Something that only people untainted by Dormin's power can do.  So it would be something later in the game, but necessarily without the increased health or power. For instance, the Shrine of Worship's front doors seem to only open under specific conditions, is it because the users are merely mortal. 
     Are the fruits designed to lessen or subvert the powers of Dormin?  They purposely deprive you of stamina and health to the lowest level- a regular human- ridding the player of Dormin's influence and that of the land itself.  Kind of like a preventative measure to keep the powers of Dormin from escaping the lands? 
     I really wonder why they would include this feature with the fruits.  Is there something still not noticed in the secret garden itself that requires an untainted human to occur. 
     One important thing, at least to me, is to notice that only "humans" are able to come and go from the Forbidden Lands.  Once you have built your health and stamina gauges to the maximum superhuman level is the first real time you can make it back to the Forbidden Land's front gates again.  Now I'm not saying that it'll become possible to leave, but it is an idea, and I don't know if anyone has tried. Eat the fruit of the garden, then try doing things.  Try exiting the Forbidden Land after the fruit.  Try the Shrine of Worship's front door after the fruit.
     One person suggested the parachute was necessary for the last secret.  I have no clue where that idea came from but - what if?  What if you need the parachute to safely reach the ground again after becoming human again to do something?  Try parachuting through the big hole in the garden after eating the fruit.
     Has anyone tried to beat Malus after eating the fruit?  Is it even possible?  While it is extremely doubtful a different ending could happen, would it be under this type of condition that it might exist?  One where the Wanderer doesn't contain enough shadow material to manifest Dormin himself during the ending.
     Another possibility is the Shrine of Worship's pool.  It seems to act as a gateway throughout the game.  A doorway to somewhere or something otherworldly.  It's the place all the bestowed weapons and items appear after the challenges as well as the gateway that drags Dormin into after Emon's spell and magical sword are cast into.
    Maybe there's a prayer to activate something in the pool.  Although the argument against the pool idea is that you start as a human next to it and nothing has been found to happen yet.  A potential portal waiting to be opened.  Once again, I'm not saying there would be something huge.  But maybe, just maybe...
     I personally would like to find maybe a small room or niche that houses a portion, or whole remains, of Dormin's previous encasement.  I would absolutely LOVE to find a skeleton of Dormin's previous incarnation on a throne.  Perhaps even parts of his ancient self strewn about the land in it's crumbling state.  Even a view of it reflected in the pool while praying would be great.  But, alas, it is just wishful thinking.
     I'd like to leave fellow Shadow of the Colossus players, and "last big secret" searchers, with the question I stated earlier-
  Why would the game's creators make it possible, I'd say- inevitable, to allow players to gain enough power from the Forbidden Lands to scale the tower just to return you back to human?

Shadow of the Colossus: The Last Big Secret (The Long Version)

     With all the Last Guardian hubbub going around I've been replaying these games(Ico and Shadow of the Colossus) over the last couple months.  Both games are short and emotionally moving, they can be beaten quickly then replayed for simply for the joy of a beautiful game.  I like just wandering around looking at parts of the castle in Ico and roaming the Forbidden Land in Shadow.  A wonderful experience.
     So I've been looking around for secrets in Shadow of the Colossus.  Little things that I may have missed.  Along the way I stumbled across a "Last Big Secret" theory that there is something that no one has found in the game yet. 

-WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT THE LAST SECRET-

     I don't know how the rumors of a last big secret started, as I couldn't find an interview explicitly stating it.  But there seems to be a large following of secret believers.  After lots of searching I was coming across many theories on the internet, including a MASSIVE theory about hidden map symbols leading to a possible secret doorway.  I've seen mentions of a 17th colossi (which I doubt considerably), notes about the only other item given to you in a battle (the stick that you light on fire to fight Celosia), and a bunch of other theories and ideas.  A great read even if a lot of the ideas are a bit far out there.  Kind of akin to a conspiracy theory for the game. 
     After reading a bunch of those pages I would guess that it isn't something in the right direction if there is still one big remaining secret in the game.  While a bunch of these ideas are absolutely brilliant, I would hesitate to believe them because of the game itself.  Mr. Ueda likes the simplicity of gaming, not a giant super-secret that needs to be deciphered through ludicrous little clues like The Da Vinci Code.  It seems highly preposterous to have such a complicated "secret" in this game.

     This next link is to me much more plausible:
      I could believe that point with the view of the blurry mountains on the bridge possibly being a view to the "possible Ico castle."  Which might be possible if the "Ico Beach" is a truthful location to connect the games.  It could be true because, I don't know for sure, but they might line up. (see map and images below)  I haven't located it myself so I don't know if they actually line up or not.  Although I do think it is a great find on it's own, as no other lands seem to be visible from within the Forbidden Lands while playing.  (With the notable exception of the intro video and the flying hawk clips)  It would be neat if, story wise, the blurry mountains/castle was coming into being as the culmination of Shadow was occurring.

Map from videogamesblogger.com

Burry mountains/possible castle

Ico (Queen's castle)

Mountains and blurred castle compared.

     Ueda likes "simple" games.  Think of the secrets in Ico.  The hidden mace and lightsaber weapons are in a hidden room.  It's visually set off by one wall being a different color.  While the key to the room's puzzle is a bit further in the next area- hit a tree with whatever weapon you're holding and an orb falls out.  Once you find the room with the visual clue, you must search for the object to solve the puzzle.  Simple and effective.  No extra music tracks needed.  No extra bosses or enemies.  Just a small room with a little extra something.
     The next secret is the watermelon ending.  On the second playthrough after the credits if you just wander the beach you can find watermelons.  The only real thing you can do with them, besides smashing them is walk one down to where Yorda is at.
     These are simple things that lead to the secrets.  Not some huge mystery to be deciphered leading to an intersecting point on a map.  If Shadow of the Colossus still has a hidden something there it'll be hidden in plain sight.  Not something to be glitched into like that Pikol fellow's videos.  Although they are quite interesting, it's VERY doubtful whatever possible "secrets" remain would be found only through glitches.  Especially since the entire "I" column on the map is unused due to the game being shortened for release.  (I would also like to note the fact there are PSN trophies for the hidden things in ICO, and no unknown trophies for Shadow)   
     I also doubt the game's creators would be trolling millions of fans. 


-MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LAST SECRET-

     One thing that's always nagged my mind about Shadow is the fact everyone KNEW you could climb the tower at one point.  It was one of my immediate goals when playing the first time back on PS2.  I spotted the moss trail after circling the Shrine of Worship immediately and knew there had to be a way to scale it.  It was an accessible location.  So I figure there'd also be a  reason to climb it.  After many playthroughs and eating an absurd amount of fruits and magical shining lizard tails.  You have to put forth a massive amount of EFFORT and WORK to get enough stamina to ascend the Shrine of Worship.  So why would the fruit in the "Secret Garden" return all that work to base level?

  Why would the game's creators make it possible, I'd say inevitable, to allow players to gain enough power from the Forbidden Lands to scale the tower just to return you back to human?

       So here's a bit of backup for my thoughts on the speculated "Last Big Secret" of Shadow of the Colossus.
From a 1UP interview:
1UP: Are there any secrets in the game that still haven't been found? 
Fumita Ueda:  I wonder about that, but there seem to be many enthusiastic players so I believe all of the secrets have been found already.
1UP: Why does the fruit in the secret garden take away your stamina? Is there any specific reason for this in the story, or is it just a way to reset your stamina meter?
Fumito Ueda: The fruit in the ancient land was set to get you closer to non-human existence. The [secret garden's] fruit was set to return you to a human one.
From an IGN interview:
Kyle Shubel: Hmmm…I dunno, that sounds like an exclusive. Hmmm…well, everyone is talking about the secret garden. That is pretty much the most popular secret in the game that everybody gravitates towards because you have to do a certain level of time investment to be able to get strong enough to get there and, yes, that was there for the ending movie. They left it in the game for a reason.
     Well- What exactly is the purpose of returning the character IN GAME to human status???  If I wanted to do that I'd simply start a new game.  What if there is something you can ONLY do as a "human."  Something that only people untainted by Dormin's power can do.  So it would be something later in the game, but necessarily without the increased health or power.  For instance, the Shrine of Worship's front doors seem to only open under specific conditions, is it because the users are merely mortal.  Are the fruits designed to lessen or subvert the powers of Dormin?  Kind of like a preventative measure to keep the powers of Dormin from escaping the lands? 
     One important thing, at least to me, is to notice that only "humans" are able to come and go from the Forbidden Lands.  Once you have built your health and stamina gauges to the maximum superhuman level is the first real time you can make it back to the Forbidden Land's front gates again.  Now I'm not saying that it'll become possible to leave, but it is an idea, and I don't know if anyone has tried.  Eat the fruit of the garden, then try doing things.  Try exiting the Forbidden Land after the fruit.  Try the Shrine of Worship's front door after the fruit.  
     One person suggested the parachute was necessary for the last secret.  I have no clue where that idea came from but - what if?  What if you need the parachute to safely reach the ground again after becoming human again to do something?  Try parachuting through the big hole in the garden after eating the fruit.

     Has anyone tried to beat Malus after eating the fruit?  Is it even possible?  While it is extremely doubtful a different ending could happen, would it be under this type of condition that it might exist?  One where the Wanderer doesn't contain enough shadow material to manifest Dormin himself during the ending.

     Another possibility is the Shrine of Worship's pool.  It seems to act as a gateway throughout the game.  A doorway to somewhere or something otherworldly.  It's the place all the bestowed weapons and items appear after the challenges as well as the gateway that drags Dormin into after Emon's spell and magical sword are cast into.
     Maybe there's a prayer to activate something in the pool.  Although the argument against the pool idea is that you start as a human next to it and nothing has been found to happen yet.  A potential portal waiting to be opened.  Once again, I'm not saying there would be something huge.  But maybe, just maybe... 

     I personally would like to find maybe a small room or niche that houses a portion, or whole remains, of Dormin's previous encasement.  I would absolutely LOVE to find a skeleton of Dormin's previous incarnation on a throne.  Perhaps even parts of his ancient self strewn about the land in it's crumbling state.  Even a nice view of it reflected in the pool while praying would be great.  But, alas, it is just wishful thinking.

     I'd like to leave fellow Shadow of the Colossus players, and "last big secret" searchers, with the question I stated earlier-
     Why would the game's creators make it possible, I'd say inevitable, to allow players to gain enough power from the Forbidden Lands to scale the tower just to return you back to human?

8.13.2012

Borderlands 2: New-U Stations

     This post is about a question that's bothered me since playing the first Borderlands game.  The New-U stations exist to recover you from death as a respawn point.  Once you die the stations take your genetic make up to reconstruct your body after death. 
 
New-U Station

"It stores a character's DNA against the possibility of "accidental death or dismemberment" and can create an entirely new body to replace the recently deceased one." (from the Borderlands wiki)
     With the New-U stations being located all over the place, why hasn't anyone hacked them to use for devious means.  Trick the system into believing they're is dead and printing an army of themselves.  I posted something like this on the Gearbox: Borderlands 2 Forums and a fellow over there gave a brilliant answer-
"It's not a loophole at all. It's also been tried before. Why do you think that the bandits who all appear to be identical clones of each other (in their respective categories at least) are batshit crazy? Because they tried to use the New-U system to create an army. The problem is that part of what happens is that your consciousness gets transferred to the new body. If you have two bodies that are supposed to have the same consciousness at the same time, it gets fragmented. Up to about 4 clones of the same person, and you're still pretty safe (hence why you can have 4 of the same vault hunter). Too many more than that and the fragmentation is too much, and insanity sets in."   -Lollybomb
     While a great idea, I'd think it would be more like printing movies or video games.  All the consciousnesses are duplicated in the process of creating the new being.  The information is fully recorded and produced, not a single consciousness spread out over multiple bodies.  I mean none of the psychos seem to get any smarter after killing 1,000 of them.  So the consciousness isn't spreading or condensing.


Handsome Jack has Heterochromia?
      In Borderlands 2 Handsome Jack is now in charge of Hyperion and is what one might consider a MASSIVE ego maniac. Hyperion is the owner and producer of the New-U stations so why not make use of this great potential?

     If anyone would want to make an entire planet love him it would be Handsome Jack- and a whole Pandora of Handsome Jack's would certainly love itself. 
...Or would it hate itself and all the Jacks would end up fighting each other to be the greatest Handsome Jack ever?  Moxxie could sell a billion tickets to that show.

     Unfortunately for us, the Hyperion corporation has found a wonderful way of keeping their employees alive even after the worst case scenarios have played out.  Which also means Handsome Jack may survive death with "Infinite Continues," so to say.  They could also use it as a horrible torture device- torturing people to death, resurrecting them and starting all over. 
     They could also possibly track people's movement with the New-U post activations.  There are tons of possibilities.  So many uses.

     The good part of this New-U system is all the DNA samples could prevent extinction.  The bad part is that beasts like Skagzilla, the Rakk Hive, and Crawmerax the Invincible have all clearly been part of this as they all return repeatedly.

     Well, just some food for thought while waiting through the next month until the game is released.  I am so excited for this game.  Happy hunting for all of you fellow Vault hunters.

8.11.2012

My pet snapping turtle.

Today was a sad day.  I brought my turtle back to where I found him.  Sending him home to the river as he is all grown up now.
Turtle when I first got him.
Well, after a year, he's gotten a bit large for my tank, and fish to feed him costs an ass load- so goodbye friend.  Hopefully you'll fair better in your natural habitat.  May you find many delicious fish to eat.
Turtle today.
After releasing him into the river, his first order of business was to chase after a huge pile of these frogs.  I taught him well.  Only the best wishes for turtle on his journeys.

Ermahgerd: Borderlands 2

This is how excited for Borderlands 2 I am.
Not even kidding.  This is EXACTLY how I feel about it.

8.10.2012

Game of Thrones + Jersey Shore = ...

A Game of Thrones + Jersey Shore = ...
A Game of Shores?  Jersey Thrones?
And this would be... Jersey Drogo?  Maybe Khal Guido?  I have no idea.
The Dothraki Khal has gained a new style, and Khaleesi Daennerys is flabbergasted!  No worries, as Ser Jorah Mormont explains it!



This came from my immediate response to seeing the first image(Ricardo Fort?) someone posted in a Facebook party that a friend of mine is throwing.  A "Douchebag Party." 
Sooooo... I made this for whoever stumbles across this blog.

8.09.2012

Batman: Arkham City: Easter Egg Humor

     After spending ludicrous amounts of time searching for eggs in game and on various forums I made these to add a bit of humor to the search for anyone that swings by here. 

     First- a fake Easter egg secret that I've been wondering about during the endless city searches.  Has anyone watched the skies for anything out of the ordinary?  Man-bat shadows perhaps?  Or what about watching farther out on the waters, maybe something could be floating around- I mean one of the Scarecrow things mentioned in game was that he might have escaped to sea on a Titan container.  Possibly after the also-mentioned Killer Croc attack on him in the sewers.  Just a couple thoughts.


     And one about a joke I made like 2 years ago on twitter.


      Once again, thanks to all the forums and gaming community members in the search for the last remaining Arkham City secrets.  It's been a fun time- quite nice to see entire groups working together to find things in a game.




8.08.2012

Game of Thrones: My Favorite Quote

     This small clip holds my favorite quote from the 2 seasons so far.  There are a ton of good characters and wonderful lines, but this one takes the cake for me. 
     It's the last thing that Ygritte (Rose Leslie) says to Jon Snow (Kit Harington), mimicing his voice- it's just so perfect!  For some reason every time I hear it I laugh.  Enjoy.
     "...But then he said, 'Turn back around.'"
video

8.06.2012

Batman: Arkham City: Potential New Secrets


Catwoman.  Just a pic.
     The "3 or 4 Easter Eggs left" is really driving me bonkers.  I have personally found the hidden Scarecrow radio stations(didn't bother translating or decode), the Killer Croc button(but couldn't get him to appear- I tried both too early and too late), and the Harley Quinn pregnancy test. 
Although I would've NEVER found the Scarecrow barge without looking it up.
     So these last few are really nagging me.  While I love the game, I want to move on to other things.
   
      Anyways, there has been a petition on the forums to have Rocksteady games just come out and release the Easter Eggs now.  It's in the Forums: Spoilers! area.
Also a bunch of decent ideas on the Gamefaqs forums(PS3):

     While I don't think they should outright tell us, hints or Riddler riddles to nudge us in the right direction would be very nice.  I mean nobody has any idea if it's something small like the Pregnancy test, or something big like all the Scarecrow stuff.  Maybe even barely findable like Arkham Asylum's hidden office.  Who could've found that without hints!?!?
     Seriously, I am not wasting all that time foaming and exploding every damn wall around to find a room with a hint at the next game.  Or using every other gadget in the arsenal to locate what may be something just mundane. 

HINTS WOULD BE EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL RIGHT NOW!!!

     In all my renewed excitement for the Batman: Arkham City- and the gaming community surrounding it- I must say, I'm HIGHLY impressed at the level of teamwork and cooperation people are giving to find and follow up on these last few Easter eggs!  Well done people!
     So at least one was "subtle" in the demo, which makes me think it's in only the first area of the game.  The Bowery and Park Row.  Then from there I'd guess in an outdoor area, so either Batman or Catwoman would have access.  But really, how would we narrow down what they consider an egg?  I hope it's something semi large at least.
     So while scouring the net and various forums I've come across a bunch of newer ideas and theories.  Maybe there are a few as Catwoman?  Doubtful, but still a possibility.
 
     I've personally noticed that there seems to be a bunch of various goons or henchmen that run off and hide nearby.  Anyone try to scan/interrogate them?  Maybe sequencer them(this one's a long shot- robotic people)? 

     Then the Maxie Zeus theory: being quoted as "he couldn't be far" from the nightclub.  Perhaps needing the Remote Electrical Charge gun to open or find it.  There are also multiple areas that distinctly "nightclub" music is playing.  So look all over, not in the club, but elsewhere- maybe triangulate the music hot spots or something.

     A few have speculated on Man-bat having a nest area in the church. 

     And I'm still kind of hoping for a bit more Scarecrow stuff.  There were multiple in game suggestions as to where he went.  One was that Killer Croc got him in the sewers, so maybe there is something down there-  Perhaps his syringe glove?  And another suggests he got to safety on a Titan container and went to sea.  Maybe he can be spotted on the horizon at some point sailing a Titan ship. 

     The Lost references- could there be a small island somewhere that only appears at a certain time during the main game? As I see it the eggs can be found at any point in the game, but does "during the game" constitute only until you beat the final battle? Does it include all the free roam afterwards?  What if... Scarecrow's fear gas makes something LOOK like a mysterious island...
     There is that small platform kind of behind and a bit south of the GCPD building.  Mr. Freeze's ice path to Nora passes it.  Actually there are a bunch of small island like things in that flooded area.
     Remember these are just ideas.  

     Also- I spotted a few of these around, this is from Croc's "lair" on the wall by his manacles on the bed, and I also saw one in the Wonder tower area.  Can't read what it says, but hmmmm...    

     If anyone has any more thoughts or ideas, let me know, I'm totally down for some secret hunting.

8.01.2012

ICO - I Have Achieved Enlightenment

Enlightenment Stone
     August 1, 2012 at 7:32:33pm EDT I achieved enlightenment.  At least the Platinum trophy for Ico on Playstation 3. 
     I must say, whoever thought to have a speed run for this game deserves to be punched in the nards. 
    
     While the game is a beautiful experience, it was never meant for a speed run.  Especially because the biggest enemy in the game is Yorda, the lovely lady you are attempting to rescue from an evil queen in this massive castle.  She is a complete idiot at the most inopportune times.  I'm not the only one to think so.  Granted she is programmed to be sort of human like.  Disregarding things you want or need her to do.  Stubborn and outright refusing to do things that are NECESSARY to move along in the story. 
     I mean honestly, I wasted so much time trying to get her to stay put when I didn't want her to get captured and she'd wander off .  Need her to stay on a button to keep a door open?  Nope! Yorda would rather walk over to any other place on the map.  I could barely get her to sit on the couches which are required to save the game.  She'd just walk back and forth shaking her head!  GAH!
     The archaic controls(unbelievably clunky and unresponsive), Yorda's constant stupidity, and the ever devilish camera made this platinum attainment much more difficult than the platinum for Dark Souls.  -Dark Souls being touted as one of the most difficult games of all time.-  At least with that game you are almost certainly responsible for your own failings. Frustrating, sure, but also fair. This game is cruel for the speed run.  Kind of like shooting you in both legs and then making you run a marathon.  Borderline evil. 
     Well, I'll post a more positive blog about this game and it's partner, Shadow of the Colossus, the sequel/prequel later.