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Dead Island

What’s this? Another zombie game!? Oh God not again–oh look, a family.

How lovely this family looks!

Dead Island is pretty much your average zombie-killing game, but with a few twists! I mean, who would’ve imagined that a zombie outbreak would hit an island, and a paradisaic one out of all places? The plot still isn’t fully revealed, just that you wake up after a night’s party, with the outbreak already wrecking havoc upon the island. From what you can see, the mechanics are kinda… Mended with the ones from other games. Almost like a rag doll, but cute and functional (at least we hope so).

The game does have on thing that’s essential for most of this genre, but quite often and, sadly, forgotten: Stamina. After some period running and/or attacking, your Stamina Bar decreases, and this depends –obviously– on the weapon you’re wielding. I hope it’s not just on that, seeing how there’s rain in the game which would, realistically speaking, slow you down a bit and even slip (think Dead Rising 2). Speaking of which, wasn’t there a workbench mechanic on it, so you could put weapons together? In Dead Island, this seems a bit more explored, seeing how you can also fix your weapons.

What have they done...!?

Also, while on the weapons subject, some zombies seem to have some. Or, at least, to use their bones as some kind of weapon (like “The Butcher”, who flails his radius/ulna around to hit you). Therefore, you need to focus your attacks if you want to survive longer and, obviously, to choose your opponents, since your stamina bar depletes kinda fast. So you get to also break arms and legs in Dead Island, aiming on said limbs to weaken your undead enemies, or even disarm them.

Dead Space, anyone?

Not that it’s all that bad, I mean, it’s a mechanic that makes perfect sense. It’s just slightly over-used (in “”gaming terms””). Then again, I never said I didn’t welcomed it! This fine piece of unreleased game also has, mind you, a few things from an RPG game. You know what else it borrowed from some RPG engines? Fast-travel.

Oblivion (well, yeah, not the only example, but the more practical one) says hi.

But he just wants a hug!!

One thing I didn’t quite understood was, if there’s quests and all that, but the island is so big it makes the use of fast-travel valid, why would they like to focus on it being “a very pretty place where you can doze off for a bit, given its beauty”? You’ll probably use fast-travel a lot, I hope there’s some way to circumvent this.

And please God let it not be awful collectibles like the diamond suitcases in FarCry 2.

There’s quests, side-quests, survivors to save here and then randomly (I don’t know why but I keep smelling Dead Rising, must be the weather). Even though some have weapons and others are quite capable of defending themselves (so it seems), only the four playable characters (in principle, remember, it’s being developed) are “Heroes“, which means they fly around and blow shit up with their laser vision fuckyes—

No, not really. That’d be cool, though. But that just means they aren’t affected by the virus, which is indeed very handy.

How brave of her!

On the small –photo-subject of different enemies, I mentioned “The Butcher” earlier. Well, there seems to be more, like “The Suicider”, “The Ram” and “The Drowner“. But this is taken from wikipedia, so I’m not placing any bets on the enemies names. Also, there are slightly stronger zombies, it seems. I just wish they had more enemy versatility. I mean, why can’t they adapt? At least I also hope they adapt.

And see what I meant with “rag doll” earlier? Not to say that’s an entirely bad thing, but it’s not good either. Since this will be a multi-platform game, I kinda wished they’d start doing the PC version first, instead of porting things over (it never ends well). But that, sadly, doesn’t seem to be the case, here. I know, there should be a video below, but they disabled that feature for some mysterious (right) reason. Instead, have this:

Really wish there were something more to make me actually feel the slight urge to play this game. Since it is most likely being ported, graphics won’t be all that “marvel” they could be on computers.

Ah well, who cares about them? I play roguelikes for God’s sake.

(I own none of the images/videos/links above)

Amazed how I spent hours (I blame Worms 4) to write this small review,

Arthur Müller.

(Sorry if I sound like an excited salesman, it’s just sheer excitment!)

I should get one of those for me, it looks nice!

I was supposed to do this a while ago and, well, since I don’t like to procrastinate –actually, I do, but end of the world and all that-, it’s best if I take this out of my chest:

2011 was oh my God Apocalypse is the year of gaming for computers, hands down. There. Sure, you could say “Oh but Steamworks is on PS3 now!”, or “Oh My God! Kinect for the X360!“, but that still wouldn’t change my mind. And yes, I am well aware that this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. (E3 2011) still needs to happen, and my opinion still is resolute. Yes, Nintendo will most likely blow everyone’s mind like they did with the Wii and 3DS, and we’ll probably see yet another scripted presentation by Microsoft, and some more motion-failures by Sony.

God forbid we have another speech about there being no “competitive industry” and that “we are all gamers at heart”.
Also, he masqueraded quite well PSMove’s flaws:

But I have to admit, I do think we’re all gamers at heart, no matter the platform. It’s just that I’m more used to PC gaming.

Speaking of which, not only I was sure some titles wouldn’t fail to get on PC as soon as they were released, like Super Street Fighter IV and Fable III, but there are amazing games just this semester, including but not limited to!:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Now, let’s assume you never, never played The Witcher. First of, I’d recommend it to you, strongly. Unless, of course, you dislike Computer RPGs mixed with some action and a mature (read: with sex and nude content) story filled with options. Fine, mainly three paths (Good, Neutral and Evil), but it made the game all that much better. That and the gameplay as a whole. When you play it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. And when you play The Witcher 2, you will not tell me what happens I haven’t played it yet God damn it!

But I can vouch for its integrity as it being an amazing game, truthful to Computer RPGs. Maybe not as open-minded or nonlinear in terms of choice as Baldur’s Gate II or Planescape: Torment, but still.

And here, a few, nice battle scenes from The Witcher 2:

Those graphics. Can’t wait to buy (“Gasp, you actually buy games!”) this gem!

Total War: Shogun 2

This. You can always expect good things from the Total War series, and Shogun was a game to remember! Back in the days, it was one hell of a strategy piece, making it an even more remarkable experience for any Total War fan. If you never played Shogun, rather, never played a Total War game, but like strategy ones, then that’s a shameful display of your overall knowledge and experience in the gaming world. Take a look at this siege battle from Shogun 2:

Sweet, and this one is definitely worth it!

Portal 2

Why am I –and will– speak of multi-platform games, such as this “piece of precious stone” right here called Portal 2? Because, contrary to popular belief, I think they shine the most on PC. Specially if the ones I talk about are developed first (or separately) for PC. Ported games, though, are another story. Try playing a rally racing game on your keyboard, it’s not as fun as it’s frustrating.

You obviously played Portal… Right? … No? Whoa. OK, fine, here if you own an nVidia GPU or here if you own an ATi GPU so you can get Portal’s First Slice (11 levels) and some other games. Now, on to Portal 2. Better gameplay, graphics, soundtrack, a compelling, amazing story and even better puzzles! Granted, the ones from the first game were pretty much straightforward, but now you have up to, if I recall correctly, six hours of solid Single Player! “Oh but that’s too little boo hoo.” well cheer up, because it has multi-player modes, challenge maps and an amazing co-op!

Anyway, this teaser makes me feel the chills every time, and with good reason:

That makes it, what, the third worth PC purchase so far? I haven’t even started on the games to be announced/released! Oh buoy.

Duke Nukem Forever

You, young reader who never played a Duke Nukem game, know nothing about how excited I was when I first saw the teaser. And when I looped it for the first ten times. So on, so on. Come on, it’s been on the making for over ten years! Thing is, Duke is your over-the-top typical american hero. Blonde, strong, proficient with any kind of weapon or fighting style and, more importantly, he doesn’t give one simple fuck about morals. At all. Which is exaggerated in Duke Nukem Forever, very much so.

Honestly, it can even seen stupid to most players, and it is! It’s stupid to the point where you’d feel shame in knowing this game will be played by many in a blissful way! And that’s the best part!! See, Duke was made to make fun of so many things that I can’t even begin to count. Which is one of the reasons why this game will be (yes, future, few weeks actually) truly amazing. In the very least.

Here, look at this. LOOK AT THIS:

Sure, the release date was pushed twice (it launches June 9th now, for sure), but I’m patient, I can wait.

Guess what: Dungeon Siege III

Yet another multi-platform game! You’re probably still wondering why I said “PC gaming” back then. You see, Dungeon Siege is almost an epic in computer gaming, destined to fill our lives with an excellent story, already present since Dungeon Siege I, and more action since Dungeon Siege II. If there’s one thing about this game series, it’s atmosphere. Seriously, you can’t play this and not get immersed in what’s happening, hell, even fear plays a factor in this game. And this series is specially fun due to its multi-player and co-op modes, which double the fun!

This video may not show much, but I am somewhat excited for this game, so check it out:

Until it’s release, though, I’ll just have to sit and wait.

Yes, it's Red Faction: Armageddon!

Wait. A new Red Faction game? You bet it is! Gameplay’s been improved, meaning this baby will present better destructive scenarios, more weapons, tools, enemies and an amazing concept, the Magnet Gun. It’s pretty much obvious what it does in the video below, but to simplify things: You can attract two objects with simple “shots” (clicks, rather), which means you can make the side of a building fly right into an alien, or make an alien soar through the terrain and collide against something, even another enemy! Red Faction‘s soundtrack never really attracted me, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t set the mood for an amazing experience! To top it off, this’ll launch together with Duke Nukem Forever, if I’m not mistaken. Yes, June 9th will be a busy day for some of us.

I was going to mention three more games, but they’re so big in their story, depth (ok, one of them isn’t) and fame (so to speak), that I think they deserve special posts.

Not to say I won’t talk about motherfucking Duke Nukem Forever when it comes out, just so you know.

(I own none of the images/videos above)

Wondering if Valve will announce something at E3 just for fun,

Arthur Müller.

So bright, so dazzling, so energy-filled... Wait... Wouldn't that be...

So, tomorrow is May 21st, Saturday, Judgement day, when the Rapture will happen. Again. Now, I’m not making fun of it or something, I’m just saying that it was supposed to happen some good time ago. Eleven times, to be more specific. Then again, 12 is somewhat of a lucky number. And for those who don’t know, this doesn’t mean the world will suddenly end this Saturday, it’s just the beginning of five months filled with suffering and tribulations for those who didn’t accepted He, made of pure love, as their saviors.

I’m glad, though. It means the world will end in five more months, after my birthday. Thus, more time to party! Until, of course, the horrible –and already predictable– end:

I just hope no one asks me to go anywhere tomorrow. With all due respect, but I don’t plan to miss out on what’s going to happen in the next five months! Plus, my birthday is in October, so I’m not gonna miss two parties because of that! If someone asks me to go to Rapture tomorrow, this is what I’ll do:

I’ll get on my computer.

And I’ll play.

Bioshock.

Ah, Rapture City! THIS is a good place to live! The music, the culture, the hierarchy!

One day, though, real apocalypse will happen. There are many theories to it, but let’s face it: We’re on an universe filled to the brim with galaxies, stars and planets. Just the fact that no deathly meteor stroke us during our short-lived life as a species is something to celebrate. Add that to the perfect environment for our kind to procreate and damn, we’re as lucky as we can get. I for one would love to believe in Newton’s theory, but he calculated “our Rapture date” on pencil and paper. Yeah, without a computer. I mean, he could be off by a couple thousand years, who knows!?

And, on the subject of apocalypse, eventually resources run out. Big wars rage on.

Or solar flares happen.

Ah Nic, amazing acting, as always… Ahem.

Anything could happen to us, and it’s just a matter of time. To be honest, I’m surprised we haven’t nuked ourselves to death so far! Sure, some other places got nuked, but look at them! Hiroshima and Nagasaki are excellent examples that anything is possible with enough determination and, obviously, money. Japan was always a place to look to in times like these, and I’m sure that in less than 5 years it’ll be amaz—oh geez. What am I saying!?

We only have 5 months!

(I own none of the images/videos above)

Thinking if it’s possible to live life at its fullest in 5 months,

Arthur Müller.

One month.

Here, have a free, awesome wallpaper! 1920x1200, by the way.

One month of WordPress. I told myself I wouldn’t transform this into a personal diary of sorts, but I guess monthly posts about anything at all never do any real harm.

I guess.

So, impressive month, eh? What with all that happened, deaths, weddings and so on. Some people are saying the Apocalypse comes this Saturday, May 21st, but I’m sure I can’t make it then. I’ll be too busy playing games and such, so yeah. But if you have the chance to attend to it, by all means, take some pictures and let me know who was there as well!

Now, to tell the truth –and changing subjects-, this blog was supposed to be about some random stories, just that. And maybe one or two thoughts. I saved the draft of the first one (Guingûr, King of the Seven Seas if I’m not awfully mistaken), but then I lost it. Not that I don’t recall everything, but it just feels like this blog lost that purpose. If I just posted it, as “cool” as it was (and it wasn’t anything special, in my opinion), it’d be like… A new kid in a class filled with people who already know each other. Lost and scared, missing classes and rarely seem due to not fitting in with everyone, or at least some other people.

The other main reason for me to not write stories, since I tend to create all of them –all of them– so fast and randomly that it become common for me to get about one complete story per day and losing it in the chaos that is life. Another reason –though not that important at all– is that I also imagine scenarios, in rich detail. Now, one might think this to be awesome and all, if one knew how to draw at least well. Or kinda well, depends on what you want, or on the art direction you’d like to take, it all depends, just like everything in life.

Concept art for Orzammar, the Dwarven City in Dragon Age.

Life. I seem to be thinking an awful lot about it and, honestly, I don’t really care. I think I’m on this stage in life where whatever comes, comes, and it’s all for the best. I think. Or at least it’s better than over-thinking things.

On an unrelated matter, here, have this video:

Yeah.

Funny how that makes me think about the future and, strangely, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If I knew I could make kinda of a living by just doing some minor jobs, I’d sure as hell spend my life traveling and taking pictures. Or just go abroad and teach English. Or maybe open up a small computer store and make somewhat of a living, no luxuries or anything. I’m not really an ambitious guy. When I take into consideration only myself, I mean.
Family is something completely different.

On a lighter note, yesterday was a good day, specially because of this:

Everyday I’m Hussie’in, by Octopimp (ft. Gamzee and Tavros)

Amazing, really amazing work! Gotta get that on a shirt someday.

Octopimp did the lyrics by himself, with some help from Livestream chat users and, pardon if you haven’t read Homestuck (or any other comic in MSPA) yet, but this is just perfect.

Superb, even.

And I wish the rain in here would never stop. I love rain.

(I own none of the images/videos/sounds above)

Wondering if it’s hard to make a living as a foreigner in Japan,

Arthur Müller.

(I seem to speak an awful lot about Sony, gotta check that sometime)

And the PSN is up again! This time, I hope, at full force. Then again, it was no surprise to everyone when it went down shortly after powering back up again, due to a server overload. Good users, after changing their passwords, were informed they could download 2 of the following games for their PS3: Dead NationinFAMOUSLittleBIGPlanetSuper Stardust HD or Wipeout HD+Fury. This offer is valid up to 30 days after PSN Store is up and running again and, in my humble opinion, this is just a small offer of theirs.

Hooray, a racing game! Then again, there could be more.

I’m not saying the games listed are bad, not in the slightest! First of, you get LittleBIGPlanet, where you can pretty much make any game you want, limited only by your imagination (and one or two game mechanics, but let’s leave it at that). Wipeout HD is another really fun game, then again, I love racers, so I’m kinda suspicious. But we also have Dead Nation, a good shoot’em up, like it’s “predecessor” (well, made by the same company, anyway), Super Stardust HD! All of the mentioned with multi-player action, which is a smart option by Sony, given how multi-player games can make all fun last a little while longer. Or a bit more, depends on your friends and on the game!

Dead Nation also has really amazing graphics, at least for a shoot'em up!

If you’re a fan of single-player games only, there’s inFAMOUS, which is OK, I suppose. I mean, I for one like Prototype way more than inFAMOUS, but that’s just good old me. Now, what was I saying about games? Oh, yeah! Their selection seems good, but it’s not that much, honestly. With so many good single-player games to be released as well, like Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, an exclusive JRPG, but a good one nevertheless. Speaking of JRPGs, White Knight Chronicles, another incredible title which could’ve easily been put as a free game for a period of time. Or even Heavenly Sword, an amazing hack’n slash game which was highly regarded by everyone. With Killzone 3 released, I thought they could also give Killzone 2 for free, but for a lesser period of time (something like a 3-day-limit or so), it’d work wonders. Hell, even Siren: Blood Curse would be an excellent, excellent choice!

"Hey we're sorry PSN was down, here, have this awesome game instead, free of charge!"

“But it’s not that easy to get such games for free and” oh, cry me a river then. Do you know how low PSN being down would look like if they gave one of the mentioned (and exclusive) games earlier, doing something like what Steam’s doing with their deals, one game per day for a period of 30 days? And then, maybe, a mash-up of the top 6 most downloaded games on the 31th day. Hell, this would make everything look ignorable. But no, they did that. It wasn’t that bad of a move, but it seemed a bit… Inconsiderable of them.

I’m not complaining about their choices.
I’m just saying they could’ve acted a bit smarter there.

(I own none of the images above)

Thinking about playing Dead Rising 2 anytime now,

Arthur Müller.

On Cold War Kids

(How I hate short posts, must be a psychological disorder)

Ah, Cold War Kids. They’re relatively new in the music scenario, started in 2004, practicing on Jonnie Russell’s (vocalist/guitarist) apartment, just above the Mulberry Street restaurant. Shortly after, their first EP was released, named after the restaurant (I wonder if the restaurant is good or not, damn I’m hungry). After two more EPs, the band released their first album by 2006, Robbers & Cowards, and with this, one damn good track:

Their entire album was well-regarded amongst critics, which means they either have good connections, or are just that good. I bet on the latter. It’s incredibly good, and it has a nostalgic feel to it, can’t quite point it out where or how, it just does. If you enjoy good indie music, just give this album a try, it’s a good one.

Moving on, after this album, more EPs were released, but nothing quite major. Until, of course, their second album, Loyalty to Loyalty, in 2008. They even released this song before the LP’s release, available on their website:

Vocals aren’t what they appeared to be in the first album, and the overall quality isn’t as good as it was, but it’s still to listen to.

And then, after one more EP, comes Mine is Yours, launched on January 25th 2011, denoting a great change in direction and even –although slightly– style. I’m not saying it’s a bad album, just that it somewhat lost it’s influence and rhythm from their previous first work, which was, in my opinion, amazing.

Then again, I’m a sucker for this kind of melody:

See, it’s not that bad. Just the chorus that gets a tad repetitive soon, but that aside, it’s a good song and, if you get the time to listen, you’ll see it’s a good album. Not awesomely good, but good.

Plus, I really like that cover art.

(I own none of the videos above)

Considering on another quick review,

Arthur Müller.

Oh that poor, poor man's ears! Now he needs to hurt his friend!!

You know what? I know I already ranted about this, in general, on a previous post, but today, today things went a little too far. Now, I’m usually a very calm and centered person, those unlucky enough to know me can vouch for it. But every once in awhile, as an inhabitant of Brazil, I see some things that really bother me. I mean, more than usual.

I’d love to be talking about things that are already trivial to me and pretty much any other Brazilian (sadly), such as an evaluation on our faulty education system, security issues, awful politicians, infra-structure problems and so on. Granted, it’s like that (though to a much smaller degree) in most countries, it’s just “hidden” in a better way.

No, I shall talk about something that spoiled my day and made me realize how lost we are, in the near future, if no action is taken.

This:

"Collection: Living, learning. - For a better life", used with 5th to 9th middle graders.

Firstly, let’s take this down by parts. This, if some of you know nothing about Brazil and/or Brazilian Portuguese, is the cover of an educational book, already translated up there. Doesn’t seem like much a big of a deal to some, sure, but it teaches something that looks almost fundamental: language is a living being, always changing and adapting itself when need arises. Yes, that’s correct.

Then again, it also says that, and I quote:

“You may be wondering, ‘But can I say “them books“?‘. Sure you can. But stay tuned because, depending on the situation, you run the risk of suffering language discrimination.”.

Ugh.

One could think I’m overreacting about this, but I most certainly am not. Most grammar books state that, although there is a colloquial aspect to all languages (the so called “slangs”), everyone should be wary of the correct form, study, learn it and use that, to write and speak. Yes, this sentence will be “fixed” in newer editions, but the mistake was already made. Once your country’s Ministry of Education and Culture authorizes such atrocity, it opens an entire array of precedents to future errors. Yes, errors.

Let’s say you talk like a “regular person”, using slangs here and there. I see no problems whatsoever, that’s quite common! Now, if you speak in a wrong, blatantly absurd way, because  you have no education level whatsoever (someone probably pulled your ear by now, and if not, I can’t let it slide), no worries, I can ignore it a bit and give you some fair warnings on language. For instance, if you say “I runned“. Some children tend to speak like this in English, usually due to their Latin creation, but one can speak like that without any Latin-derived heritage. As long as that’s corrected, I see no issues, honestly! Just don’t say “aw it’s cute for a kid to talk like that” instead of correcting him/her, please.

But if it was because you were actually taught that speaking like this is OK, or if you know you’re wrong and keep speaking “profanities” because “It’s okay.”, bear in mind that, with all due respect:
I shall discriminate the flying, flamboyant and flaming fuck out of you.

Our education in a couple of generations.

This is but one of the reasons our education system is so flawed. Again, granted, the book uses this as a simple example, saying that if you speak it wrongly, it’s OK, but you have to write things properly. We all know that he/she who speaks poorly, writes poorly, so when you tell a child that it’s OK for him/her to talk in any way he/she sees fitting, it “kinda” becomes a big deal.

In theory, a student just wants to –rather, should want to– learn what a teacher knows. If both are provided with tendentious materials, pointing that both uses are correct, the teacher will merely try to “impose” the correct way of using your theoretical knowledge, like on Grammar Lessons. The student, however, will quickly learn to use it on essays and so on, specially at a young age. Meaning they’ll grow to understand that this, although “wrong by the rules”, it’s even nice to use. I mean, everyone speaks like that, why not write like that too? Educators (and by this, I mean the ones in charge of releasing such books, who we dare to also refer to as “Educators”) tend to, more often than not, misjudge and underestimate a child’s mental capacities. They absorb too much info on early ages, and that’s something to be looked at with caution, not only in an academic environment, but other places as well, specially at home.

But they’re kids, it won’t be that bad for them to speak badly, will it!?

… Will it?

(I own none of the images above)

Time to hit those showers (during the cold oh God),

Arthur Müller.

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