Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Highest Praise You Can Give... Vol 1

What is the highest honor you can give something? It almost certainly must vary from thing to thing. As the highest praise you might give a song will undoubtedly be different for a movie, or a television show, or a person. This also will most definitely be different from person to person. However, here I will tell you the highest praise I can give to various things.

Music. While I am not huge into music, I do know what I like. And the highest praise I can give a song is staying in the car to hear the end of it. I have already reach my destination, but I enjoy this song so much that I will let the car run a few more minutes to hear it till the end. This doesn't happen often for me.

Video games. I am a collector of games. Whatever the system, I tend to amass large libraries of games. However, I will almost never buy a game for more than one platform (of the same generation). Yes, it does happen with remakes across hardware generations, but I am not talking about that. Hollow Knight has received this honor from me, as I first owned it on Steam, but liked it so much that I bought it again on Nintendo Switch, so that I could play it on the go. Payed full price for it the second time too.
A person from the internet. Ever meet someone on a forum, or a comment section, etc? How often have you been interested enough in that person to stay in contact with them out side of that website? Well for me, only once. I won't name them here, but there is one person that having meet online, I have gone out of my way to stay in contact with them.

There are of course many other things that need praise. However, I can only handle so much positivity at one time. So, this will serve as the first part of a series.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Retrofitting a story.

So Borderlands 2 tells is meant to be a direct sequel to Borderlands. Except, all the story elements, and personalities of the characters are pulled from no where. Which is fine, it is used to make the game more interesting, and make the player care about the situation.

If you play the original Borderlands, it is made clear that all playable characters are only here for money. They have little to no personality, we get a few words of backstory, and now they are "vault hunters" and are here for fame and fortune. It is not exactly deep. The various antagonists get much more in the way of story and personality, but they are all dead by the end of the game.

Then you start Borderlands 2, you have 4 new characters, this time with backstory and personality out the ass. Which is good. However, you the meet all the playable characters from the first game (now as NPCs), and suddenly they are acting far different then what you would expect. Now the old characters have distinct personalities, and apparently are not just here for money, they want to protect the poor people of Pandora. Where did this come from?

No where. These personalities came from no where. There wasn't much to work with to base a sequel on after the last game, they had to make some up. The second game was more popular, and many of its players never played the first game. So, they get a pass on this.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Link's Awakening Questions.

I did a play through of Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening recently. It is a game I have played through many times, and is likely my favorite of the 2d Zeldas. While playing I got thinking about what is happening in this game, and how there are many unanswered questions concerning the events of the game.

We are told through the course of the game that the island it take place on is a dream of a being known as the "Wind Fish". The rules of this dream are unclear. We are told that all that exists (other than Link) are all parts of this dream. The bosses at the end of each dungeon all mention being part of this dream, and work toward keeping the "Wind Fish" asleep. However, none of the people (or talking animals) of the island mention any knowledge of being part of a dream. So do these people actually breed, and age, and die? We see children as well as old people, there is a graveyard to be found, but did all of these things just appear when the dream started, or did they develop over time?  Have the children all been children for possibly hundreds of years as the "Wind Fish" took its nap?

More over we see ruins on the island. Here again, have they always been ruins, or have there been civilizations they have risen and fallen over time on this island? In one ruin we find literal writing on the wall that the island is a dream of the "Wind Fish". Did the first people as part of the dream know this, and write it down, or did this ruin materialize with the message already in it?

We also see an odd level of civilization on this isolated island. We see a guy running a shop with a huge mechanical arm that gives out prizes, but no where else do we see this level of technology. We see that there is a library, and telephones throughout the island, but we see no evidence of any carpenters or electricians. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

PS3 Controllers

It seems it is impossible to get first-party Playstation 3 controllers these days. Third-party controllers are also becoming scarce. Only three options seem to be readily available, and I have one of each.

The first two are both made by Powera, one wired, one wireless. They use the same case, and feel the same in the hand.  The wired version will run you 15-20$, the wireless 30$.

The wired Powara controller is very light, and feels cheap. It has no rumble motors, or sex-axis support. However, it handle modern games well, with the sticks being accurate, and the buttons being responsive. 2d games are not easy to play with this controller due to the placement of the d-pad.

The wireless version is heavier, and feels a bit better in the hands for it. In addition it has dual rumble motors and six-axis support. This has the same strength and weaknesses as its wired counterpart. It has decent battery life running for about 20 hours on 3 AAAs.

Both of these are alright, at least for modern games. If you play a lot of 2d games, or PS1 classics, these are not very good options.

The final controller is made by PDP. It runs 20$, wireless and is made of clear plastic with lots of LEDs. Thankfully the LEDs can be turned off.

Unlike the other two this controller has the same layout as a first-party PS3 controller, while being a little thicker in the hands. It runs on two AA batteries, getting roughly 18 hours play. It has dual rumble motors, and supports six-axis. The buttons are responsive and springy, and sticks are accurate and feel good on the thumbs. The d-pad is decent, having a central pivot.

Overall, of the options available I think PDP Afterglow is the way to go. Combines a low price, with the proper Playstation controller layout. Making it good for all game, not just modern ones.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Saying "no" never felt better.

Earlier this week I was contacted by a former classmate of mine. It would seem one of our old teachers is very close to death. The teacher would very much like to see our class altogether again, as we were the last one before some unfortunate events happened in her life. This is not a much of a task as you might think, there were only a little over 30 students.

Apparently, I was the last person that they were contacting. This classmate of mine had stayed in contact with our teacher over the years for reasons I can't begin to fathom. She however, wasn't asking me to come be apart of her little project, she was more ordering me to.

If you read the title, you already know my response, at least the short version. I have no good memories of the teacher. So I said "It gives me more pleasure than you can imagine to personally deny that old c**** dying wish. But you have a great day!". She began to yell in a way that only someone not used to hearing "no" can, but I didn't stay on the line to hear it. It is somewhat of a shame I couldn't deliver the message personally to the teacher, but that would ironically defeat the purpose.

That place was a hell I was in for two years. To get any kind of payback is so very sweet.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Shocked I need to say this.

Because a few people have asked, no I am not getting paid by anyone when I post about various video game controllers. Don't get me wrong, I would be happy to get paid, but at the moment that has NEVER happened.

I was really surprised anyone thought otherwise.