On purely technical grounds, I think I've improved the sound a lot since the first go-round, thanks to an old copy of Cool Edit Pro I was able to get working on my Windows 7 machine. Josh didn't join me this time, as he was too busy squishing through the melting snow at a nearby park with his mom, but I'm sure he would have pointed out rocks and trees with gusto.
A 40-minute in-game video from the Mass Effect 3 demo has been released on the interpipes. There's another multi-part look at the demo featuring a female Shepard (check the user's profile for the other parts). While it's just as cinematic as previous installments, Shepard and the Admiral seem to be reading off a list of action movie quotes with only "I'm getting too old for this" left to wonder why it wasn't included. If I read this demo correctly, the game is going to irk me in a way I mentioned in the latest IRQ: It's going to have an illusory ticking clock. Specifically, while you're off trying to get your fleet together, the Reapers will supposedly be exterminating Earth. I'm betting that unless you fight them off (though keeping them as a threat, of course), their rampage will last exactly however long it takes for you to go out and do whatever you want before starting your endgame attack. This could include every side quest and resource gathering mini-game, constituting weeks of "game time." On the one hand, I do like sniffing out every last bit of content in a game I enjoy, but on the other, it kind of feels cheap when I'm being told that time is of the essence, that people are dying, the world is at stake, etc. when it's really just an illusion. The original Fallout had a time limit on getting a water chip for your vault, and the old text adventure Suspended had a sliding scale of how long it took you to solve the game vs. how many casualties the time you took caused. Sure, you can "lose," but I thought that was part of the fun. At least I can imagine any extra detours around the galaxy are irritating the Reapers who can't begin their final push until the Normandy shows up.
As usual, these are too late for use right now, but you can always bookmark for future holiday deployment: First, a zombie Valentine, some celebrity portrait Valentines, and... Help me out here. These are old Valentines, and they weren't meant to be dirty, and the language is technically safe for work, but these vintage Valentines not only scream "double entendre," they yell it through a stadium-sized sound system. There are also cards from Game of Thrones. Lastly, it's technically more cost-effective to grow your own roses than buy them from a florist year after year.
Moving over to the new site is nearly complete! I'm getting the t's dotted and the i's crossed, firming up my standards and practices, hunting for synergy and all that stuff. Some may have noticed that the main site URLs went a bit off-kilter earlier in the week; we assure you this is completely normal and the sites will right themselves before the warp coils fully engage... or so my tech person tells me. He laughs a lot when we talk, which I think is a good sign, right?
Just in case everything on my end explodes, here are some functional sites with more of the content I know you can't resist:
- If you haven't seen it already, here's the trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. If it does well, can someone pick up another weird Lincoln-era property called The Amazing Screw-On Head?
- And on the heels of the next release in the video game series, they're making a movie based on Twisted Metal. I refuse to believe this is an actual video game movie if Uwe Boll isn't on the credits list.
- Sadly, it appears that paying cash for stuff in airports (or at least, coffee) is a sign that you might be up to no good. I'd say that someone looking to do something involving taking a bunch of people with you wouldn't involve cash-for-coffee, but a lack of indignation or anger over the java's price.
- It's got the wanton destruction of the old Paperboy arcade game without the legwork: Baseball Smash has you take your sandlot skills and pit them against windows, cars, and other tempting targets.
- If you're really going to go all-out on a castle for your next miniatures game, may I suggest you consider a Bonsai-based structure?
- Michael Bay is going to direct Transformers 4. He's starting to seem like hurricane season: You know it's coming, there are names involved, and the smartest thing to do is evacuate.
- NBC is going to make a series based around Hannibal Lector and his pals. I'm wondering if someone said "it'll be like Dexter" and did so with a straight face.
- Nothing says you're honoring the passing of a singer like Whitney Houston more than raising the download price for her music a half hour after her death.
- If you'll forgive the term of art, this next link tries to calculate how badly the comic creators behind 2012's comic book movies got screwed out of reaping the benefits of their creations. Work-for-hire is a harsh mistress...
- The latest "you're the subject of a SCIENCE(!) experiment" game is called Sqr. Use the physics-altering properties (as well as stuff like boxes) in each room to reach the exit.
- Nothing is final yet, but there appears to be a Darkover TV series in the works. More for me to read so I can properly complain and/or compare when/if it airs... :)
- If someone in your household can't find their frilly undergarments, you may be the victim of a tortoise.
- I can only hope that the eventual (if ever) reform of trademark/copyright law might come from childish corporate stupidity like this.
- We close with Mr. Bree Returning Home. It's a puzzle platformer where you're gaining new abilities as you remember how to do them, along with snatches of what you did previously that got you into this mess...