Dylan.Blog Writing and musings by Dylan Reed

Best Friday Night Ever and Other Awesome Stuff

Well maybe not everMy Booster Packs, but it was a doozy. I finally took a weekend off of the balloon making to have a relaxing weekend of not making balloons for tips. It was a definite hit in the ol’ pocketbook but I think the relaxation was worth it. Plus Sarah and I finally where able to clean our house from top to bottom. But what made Friday night especially awesome is that John and I had ordered a box of booster decks for the World of Warcraft card game and it had arrived the previous night, for those of you paying attention that would be Thursday night. As you can see we ordered from the Dark Portal set and this is my half of the cards in the picture. John not only brought over a bundle of cards for me but he also bought me Taco Bell for dinner, which was delicious and tasty and only made my stomach a little sad. We quickly ate dinner and I opened my cards, what I found was a pretty good variety of standard cards and then in my last pack awesome happened. I finally have the cards necessary to make my priest hero competitive. I already have a hunter hero who pretty much owns the night, I have been trying to use my priest but he lacked abilities. I now have enough abilities to bring the noise as a priest against John’s druid. We shall see.

After I was done opening my cards John and I sat on the couch and watched Sweeney Todd. It was awesome. I cannot lie and say that I hate musicals, because deep down inside I know that I love them. And blood, I love bloody movies. This had both and to top it off cannibalism, what could be better. Johnny Depp was awesome, overall style of the movie was pure Tim Burton and, though I was worried at first, it wasn’t as gory as I had read that it was. The worst part of the movie is the slide\crash of the bodies when they are sent to the bake house. I don’t think that this movie is for everybody. I think that if you where a nun who dislikes musicals then this movie might not be for you. In fact if you hate musicals you probably should avoid Sweeny Todd as it is a musical, a bloody good musical. Sorry about that.

After enjoying Sweeny Todd John and I moved on to our new favorite pastime, killing terrorists. By killing terrorist I am, of course, referring to Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 on the Xbox 360. This is quite possibly the most fun co-op game that we have played. You have a team of four, two computers and two humans, and you spend most of the game rescuing hostages, disarming bombs and killing terrorists. It is quite a bit of fun, in a terrorist killing way. Another interesting part of the game is the addition of an almost RPG type element. As you progress through the game you gain XP which furthers your rank within the Rainbow organization. How do you gain XP? by killing terrorists of course. What do you get for leveling up? Armor, camouflage and other cosmetic equipment. On top of that they have added the ACES system which gives you credit depending on the method you employ to kill said terrorists. CQB: close quarters- killing when they are really close, Assault- killing them with explosives and Marksman- killing them from long range. Each time you reach a new ACES level it unlocks weapons. With the combination of the XP and ACES you unlock a plethora of weapons and armor making you the ultimate terrorist killing machine.

Monday, which I had off from work (thanks Dad), was spent running around getting Sarah ready for another week at school. Which of course included a little shopping, a movie and the last bit of cleaning. My little bit of shopping was buying Endless Ocean, a SCUBA simulator of sorts. What is interesting about this game is that it is addicting like crack. I have only played it for about thirty minutes and already I have the itch to explore more. The entire point, if you can call it that, is to explore and find all of the different species of fish in the game. There is a huge fictional ocean to explore and it is quite pretty to explore, even though it is on the Wii. I spent most of my time in the Coral Forest, interacting with the fish that I saw twelve years ago in Cozumel, and then headed towards the deeper ocean areas in hopes of seeing a Whale Shark or Blue Whale. Hopefully they didn’t include Orcas in the game since I don’t really want to be eaten. I have also spent a lot of time playing with an African Penguin on the deck of my boat and trying to make friends with a dolphin under water. One thing that bothers me just a little is the way that the game choose to handle DCS and other diving maladies. It chose to ignore them. You are able to go up and down and stay under for ridiculous times without you depth affecting you air consumption. I understand that it is a game, but as someone who fully understands the dangers of SCUBA diving I think that they should be mentioned at some point early in the game. Something like “ Please don’t try this without proper training” . That will just prevent Nintendo from being sued when some kid takes his parent’s SCUBA gear goes into the ocean or a lake, gets the bends, AGE or runs out of air and dies.

This next week is going to be awesome, first off a week from today is the release of GTA IV. Which means that I will be busy for most evenings and weekends playing that game. At first I wasn’t very excited about this game, I mean who needs another GTA really, but after seeing some of the videos and reading some impressions by people that have played the game, I need another GTA. I have played pretty much every game since the first one and I have enjoyed them all in their own way. The first one, which Harper brought home from college, was what really got me hooked on video games as a form of entertainment. I had always played games, but not with the enjoyment and intensity that I played the first GTA. As I moved on to the other top down GTA games I found them to be more frustrating then fun. The first one had the beauty of being the first and best of the games, it had a simplicity the led to a further enjoyment of the game. The last two top down games suffered from trying to be to complex and thus losing the fun that the first one had. Luckily they reinvented the genre and the game world when they released GTA III.

Even if they borrowed a lot of story elements from Hollywood, the simple fact that you could do anything made this game the best game ever. GTA III was great because it allowed you to follow the story and then wonder off and kill police, sleep with hookers, be a taxi driver or vigilante and, best of all, just wonder around and take in the scenery. Following the same path as the original they released GTA Vice City, a Miami Vice storied expansion/sequel that added the most important element ever added to the GTA-style game. Motorcycles. With the addition of motorcycles the world opened up and what used to be a couple of minute of screwing around for every hour played became a couple of hours screwing around for every day played. There was nothing more fun then taking a crouch rocket to the airport and heading along the runway towards a conveniently placed ramp and fling across the city. It was awesome.

When they released GTA San Andreas they had hit a wall. It was all about size. They gave up on creating a single city and instead created an entire state. They took every west coast hip hop stereotype and threw it into the game. Your crew consisted of a group of guys the could have been NWA a rising rap star reminded us all of 50-cent. There where crooked cops, turf wars and new to the game exercise. Yep exercise. There is nothing more fun then exercise. The world was huge and had a jet plan, helicopters, crazy off road vehicles and a jet pack. Even with all that it seemed forced. The area was to huge. There where vast expanses of open space and it took forever to travel somewhere you needed to go on the other side of the map. Of the three 3-d games San Andreas was the most disappointing. Because of this my hope for GTA IV where pretty slim.

But then the first trailer came out. OMG, I mean, OMFG this game looked sweet, still I wasn’t excited. Oh yeah it’s the next generation of game systems, so of course it is going sweet. Then I started to read about the game engine, the physic engine and other engines as well. It started to sound cool. Plus Rockstar had included a cover system, finally fixed the aiming issues from the previous three games and added a fully functional online multiplayer. I am still worried for the game, I am afraid that they had gone too real, gotten away from the fun of the previous game and taken it to serious. I am still going to get the game and I will probably enjoy it. I just hope that the mindless fun is still there. Though if the fun has fled I am sure that it just ended up in Saints Row 2 for this fall.

millionAlso a quick update of this. We finally broke 1000000 spam messages blocked by google apps. And by we I actually mean me. In my account in our google apps there have been 1000000 span messages blocked. It took three days longer then my 30 day prediction but its ok cause it is awesome.