The Daily Word in the State of the Union, $100 hotdogs and Lego Minecraft
The owner of the Guild is appealing his 2008 fine for showing an adult movie during the Pornotopia Festival.
Navy Seals rescue an American held by Somali pirates.
Apple earned $13 billion last quarter.
You can't hide behind your encrypted computer anymore.
A Georgia Representative is trying to pass a law making it illegal to Photoshop heads on naked bodies.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma a lawmaker wants to ban the use of human fetuses in the production of food. Wait, what?
Awesome article on President Garfield's assassination.
Lego Minecraft? Yes please!
Epic interview with Maurice Sendak on Colbert last night. EPIC!
You don't have to be a douchebag to enjoy this $100 cognac-infused bratwurst, but it helps.
Soon we'll be stealing cars from the Pirate Bay.
The Cranberries are back?
Finally "his schlong" is a Family Feud answer.
How The Return of the Jedi should have ended.
R.I.P. Dick Tufeld, voice of Robot from Lost in Space.
What Are You Playing This Weekend?
So, I managed to break away from pick-axing one meter square digital blocks in Minecraft and get myself a copy of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It has turned out to be very solid, and I haven't found myself this engrossed by a platformer since 2003's standout Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In fact, it may be the similarities between that two that drew me to Enslaved in the first place. It has that same spooky, empty world feeling that I loved so much in Sands of Time, which was sadly abandoned by later entries in that series. And like The Prince and Farah, the interaction and eventual rapport between Monkey and Trip is a breath of fresh air in games. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Andy Serkis (Gollum, King Kong) lending his voice, face, and mo-capped body to fill out Monkey's persona. Trip is voiced by relative newcomer Lindsey Shaw, but the chemistry between the two is spot-on, which lends gravitas to the savory, post-apocalypse (robot apocalypse!) story from writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine). I have heard complaints that the platforming and combat are too simple and repetitive for some people's tastes, but for me the writing and characterization mortar those cracks just fine. And in a time when many big game titles are followed by 2's and 3's, Enslaved provides a top notch balm to relieve that franchise fatigue.
How about yourselves? Are people coming down from the Halo: Reach high, or is it still all multiplayer, all the time?
Here's what I want to play: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. It's by Ninja Theory, the same team who made that gorgeous mixed-bag of a PS3 launch title, Heavenly Sword. This game also looks absolutely beautiful, but the word on the street is it's actually quite good. Hooray for the benefits of hindsight! The action is set some 150 years from now among Earth's crumbling urban ruins, which are overrun with colorful plant life, and lumbering robot sentinels. Our hero, Monkey (voiced by Andy Serkis of Gollum fame, no less), has been (ahem) Enslaved by a woman named Trip who needs a guide through the wasteland. Hijinks of a satisfying gameplay variety ensue, or so I hear. Want.
Here's what I probably will play: Minecraft. Because it's what I've been playing during every spare moment since last weekend. It's a "game" where you Mine. And Craft. Over and over, in a way that's disturbingly similar to addiction. You have nothing when you start a new game, but the land, rocks, trees, and even water are made out of pixelly blocks that can be broken down and added to your inventory. Day 1 goes a little like this: Gather some lumber (by punching trees!), convert it into refined wood via your 2x2 crafting menu, and build a workbench that has a 3x3 crafting menu. Build an axe and a pick-axe. Gather more lumber, and then, before the sun goes down, dig into the nearest hill for shelter. Use the blocks you gathered while digging to wall yourself in for the night, because if you don't, zombies, spiders, skeletons and exploding greenies will wipe you out fast. While you're there, you might as well start digging. Down. If you find coal, you can build torches to light your way. If you find iron, you can build a better pick-axe, and dig ever deeper. When you come up for air, build a tower (or the Enterprise D), surround it with a moat of water (or lava), and on, and on. Days 2 through 100 (more?) go pretty much the same.
Ok, so last weekend it turned out I lied a little. I meant to play more Cave Story, but what I did instead was put a capstone on F.E.A.R. 2. It had been on my PC for almost a year, but I never quite managed to slog through to the end. Don't get me wrong, it's super creeped-out, extremely impressive visually (whips Wolfenstein's ASS), and the controls are very satisfying. It just seemed to be missing some indefinite something, which kept me from gobbling it up. I finally found my motivation, though - my hard drive is so choked with games that I can't fit any more. I got a little program to tell me which are the biggest, and F.E.A.R. 2 clocked in near the top at 10GB. Since I was pretty close to the end, it was the first to fall. This is why, despite any promises to myself that I'll try something new, like the oh-so-intriguing Minecraft, I'll probably spend my gaming time revving up ye olde 15GB Dragon Age: Origins. After that, maybe Crysis?