Busy, Busy — An Excuse for an Open Thread
Posted on September 23, 2004 Posted by John Scalzi 23 Comments
Athena spent half the night hacking like a smoker, so I’ve decided to keep her home today. Add her happy but intensely distracting presence to an already full slate of work which includes my first interview for Old Man’s War (yay!), and what you get is a day where I don’t have much time to hang around here. See you all tomorrow.
In the absence of my saying much, consider this an “open thread” entry. Go nuts, you crazy kids.
First interview? Coolness. Who with?
(I know, it’s an open thread and I’m asking you a direct question. Answer when you get a chance and/or are so inclined.)
First Post! What a dork I am!
I’ll be just as busy today, but I thought I’d leave a “thank you” for your consistently entertaining and/or thought-provoking posts. Huzzah for intelligence!
Second post.. I am defeated…
Thought you might be interested in this: The Last Starfighter, the Musical http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=89&ncid=789&e=10&u=/playbill/20040921/en_playbill/88513
Cause you have a passing interest in sf movies, or some such, right? :-)
Freelancers! Any excuse not to work.
I’d like to present a short review of the new game Star Wars Battlefront.
The game has only been out for a couple days now, so this is really a preliminary look at the game. I should explain my background in this genre – I’ve played numerous first person shooters throughout the years, and have most recently been heavily into Socom 2, both single player and online (look for ).
I got this game on the day it came out because I’ve enjoyed Socom 2, and wanted something to extend that joy. Also, my hope was that with a new title I would be able to start out playing online and kick some butt.
First impressions of SWB? The manual showed more options than with Socom. You can be multiple characters, and also drive multiple vehicles. This would be a lot to learn.
Second impression? The game was very clunky. Very very clunky. It turned out my virgin disk was dusty, and the game was having trouble reading the sound track, and that ruined everything. Cleaning the disk fixed that problem.
Next I tried the tutorials, but they all looked like they were filmed through enough gauze to make Phyliss Diller look good. Why are they so fuzzy?
Jumping into a game I found out that the gameplay is much bigger than in Socom. Instead of 4 on 10 or so (in a single player game), SWB has about 150 on 150. The computer controlled actions starts right away, so you better be ready to jump in and start blasting.
Speaking of blasting, the controls are different from Socom. Maybe they are better. I know I like R1 instead of X as the trigger button. But they were different enough that all my instincts were wrong. This makes playing the game very frustrating at the start.
I know that it took awhile to learn Socom, so I am willing to learn SWB, but it looks like a fairly steep learning curve.
Overall, then, Socom is realistic, SWB is fantasy. Socom graphics are gritty, SWB graphics are fuzzy. Socom is slower paced, SWB is fast. Socom has a few options, SWB has many options.
I haven’t dared try online play yet. When I do, the butt that will get kicked is mine.
SWB may turn out to be pretty good, but it is not a better Socom. It is different, and I expect that is what they wanted it to be.
Whoops, looks like my Socom 2 name got deleted by HTML above. Look for (less than)Floyd(greater than).
Tripp, you can use “<” for ‘<‘ and “>” for ‘>’ (no quotes) to dodge around that. I have to use them any time I want to <shrug>. Huzzah for HTML!
“The Last Starfighter: The Musical”? I am truly speechless. And more than a little scared. Especially since I remember seeing that in the theaters back in the day (I was not a fan, despite the presence of the ever-fantastic Robert Preston).
BTW, John, that picture? One of the sweetest ever. I hope Athena feels better.
Shameless Self-Promotion for my own blog and a recent article I did about Drug Pricing and Importing Drugs.
My Blog: http://g-blog.net/user/Zhaneel
Importing Drugs: http://g-blog.net/user/Zhaneel/entry/19999
Also (older series): My journey as a Writer (4 parts)
http://g-blog.net/user/Zhaneel/entry/17822 (part 1)
http://g-blog.net/user/Zhaneel/entry/17913 (part 4, reference listing)
Poor Athena. Hope she’s feeling much better by now.
Ivan, now a tropical storm, is heading toward Texas. Good thing I didn’t plan on going anywhere tomorrow, because it’s gonna RAIN!
if a vampire drinks blood for food then can vampires drink their own blood and then never have to go looking for food again i mean really or maybe vampires cannot live on their own blood because their blood contains negative calories but in that case can vampire blood be the new diet fad, THIS IS IMPORTANT
Tripp: There aren’t 150 all at once; those are the number of reinforcements you have. They deplete as forces get killed or when one side controls the majority of command posts. Also, Jet Troopers and Dark Troopers are THE MOST FUN.
Watched Smallville and Veronica Mars last night. Smallville was awesome as usual and Veronica Mars was great as well and it is going to be a good show for UPN.
I also bought the American Dreams season 1 DVD and I’ll be getting the Unsolved Mysteries DVD Sets soon as well.
I can’t wait for GTA:San Andreas to come out.
Hmmm. SW: Battlefront. I REALLY don’t need to buy more games right now …. I’m in a “replay old games I never finished” mode instead. I’m partway into Fallout: Tactics, and recently finished (for the third time) the incomparable System Shock 2 with all the fun new mods. It rocks.
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Rock on with SS2… one of the best games I’ve ever played. Similar to Deus Ex… DX had a similar control style, but felt sorta watered-down from SS2. More politically opinionated plotline, though. Just downloaded the demo for DX2, gonna see how that compares to the original.
BTW, here’s snopes on the draft spam above: http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/draft.asp.
Aw, I forgot to watch Smallville last night.
And … I love that photo. Sweet. Funny, too, because I noticed the little bottle of Visine sitting on the desk.
Thanks for the tips. I wondered about the respawning.
As you say, the Jet Troopers are AWESOME. I went online and smoked some guys.
Considering that this thread is still open, and for once in my life I went to see a movie near its release date, I’m going to review “Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow.”
As you must already know, the movie was filmed with live actors entirely in front of a blue screen. Most everything besides the people were added in later. That is the ‘hook,’ the ‘gimmick.’ As a hook it is fine, but not enough to hang a movie on.
The people – Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Angelina Jolie. The movie should have been called “Polly Parker and the World of Tommorow” because it is really Polly’s (played by Gwyneth) story. She is a plucky reporter set in a world of 2000 as imagined by the creators of the 1900 world’s fair.
Gwyneth does a fine job, Jude (as the heroic captain of a band of mercenaries) does a fine job, Angelina does a fine job given a part smaller than you’d expect from the trailer. The problem is there isn’t anything special to any of their characters. I wouldn’t want Polly as my girl-friend, Jude seems adequate at best, and Angelina as the ‘other girl’ is mostly, well, lips.
The entire film is done with very muted colors, dark sets, fuzzy CGI. The movie’s emotions are equally muted. The music is the most energetic part of the movie, evoking perfectly the drama of a 1930’s serial adventure with cliff hangers that shows every week at the local cinema.
This movie is a novelty in the same vein as “Dick Tracey.” It is a perfect replica of a 1930’s serial thriller, but how many of us still want to see a 1930’s serial thriller?
My summary – interesting but mediocre.
dramatizing inner and outer conflict the bible with a precise, knowing wit. The husband las vegas holds “Yes and No together with one hand/ paris hilton while parrying the words of wife.” The south beach diet wife marvels “at her husband’s ability sailor moon to place the world within brackets.” Sensibilities kazaa unravel and reassemble as contradictions usher beget tautologies: “If I could kill you lindsay lohan