Archive for January 2012




General round up

Let’s see – an overview of the last week or so.

Tusk had holidays starting on the Sunday, so was unable to take Saturday off for our anniversary, so I ordered Thai take away and took it down to his work, and we ate that and drank a bottle of nice non-alcoholic cider.

I received some awesome cake decorating books from Tusk, and can’t wait to start experimenting.

Sunday, saw us head to a baseball game. This was my present to Tusk. He’s not a huge sporting fan, but he has always wanted to see a baseball game – just once. So we went and watched Perth Heat whoop play Brisbane. We had great seats, and it was an interesting experience.

Late Monday we headed to Geraldton with The Boy and The Nephew for a five day sojourn.

It included a day at Port Gregory where I mostly avoided sunburn, except for my Achilles Heel. Literally. Slightly pink on anywhere exposed, but bright red on the back of my ankle and heel where I repeatedly missed the sunscreen.

This was followed by a day at the pool on Thursday which was interrupted by the requisite trip to Geraldton A&E. I think there’s only one visit that we’ve made to Gero where we haven’t ended up at the hospital.This time it was my uncle – he has only just recently come out of hospital after having a knee operation accompanied by post op complications, and he was at the pool to do his hydro therapy when he got severe abdominal pains. He ended up being taken to hospital by ambulance, and it turned out he had kidney stones.

Friday the 13th – it was an up and own kinda day.  The bad – Some things caught up with me and I felt rubbishy and migrainey for most of the day. I wanted to bake, and escape into my own little world, bt that wasn’t possible. The good – it was my mum and dad’s 42 anniversary, and overall we had a pleasant day. Mum got a wheelbarrow from dad, so she was rapt 🙂 The Nephew had trouble wrapping his head around the idea that a wheelbarrow could be an appropriate gift – he couldn’t quite picture his mum being as pleased.

Saturday was an early start to help my uncle (the post-op, kidney stone one) do some tree lopping before heading home. We started at 7, and it was HOT. AND MUGGY. And generally disgusting. But we got through it – albeit with some additional sunburn.

Today, has been about relaxing, spoiling ourselves with a PS3, and crossing a bridge.

Add a comment January 15, 2012

REVIEW: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)

I didn’t play Deus Ex, or Deus Ex 2, and generally the completist in me dictates that I need to finish the preceding games before I can go on, so I have context. So I had no intention of playing Deus Ex: Human Revelations. But Tusk twisted my arm, and finally convinced me by telling me a) that is was a prequel, so I didn’t need back story, and b) about the “Pacifist” achievement. Normally, I’m not fussed about achievements, but this one intrigued me, so I decided to give it a go.

It very nearly lost me during the training session. Actually, to be honest, it did lose me. I wasn’t feeling crash hot as I started it and so I gave up really quickly. So Tusk completed the training scenario, swearing that those killed during that time don’t count in the quest for “Pacifist”. (Ha! Ha, I say! ) And then, about a week later, in a moment of boredom, I picked it up again.

And the next week or two was spent sneaking around Detroit, and Hengsha, and a few other locales.

The Scenario: 

The year is 2027 and humanity is poised on a knife’s edge, ready to create the next step in its own evolution, by embracing augmentation technology. Yet not everyone likes this – dissenting groups around the world are rioting and committing acts of terrorism.

In the initial stages of the game, Adam Jensen, the protag, is caught in a terrorist attack on Sarif Industries (SI), a biotechnology firm specialising in human cybernetic enhancement, and to save him from death, he is augmented and turned into a version of the Six Million Dollar man. This attack not only destroyed precious research but seemingly killed several scientists including an ex-girlfriend of Adam’s.

Six months later he is brought back early from his recovery when SI experience another attack.

Because of the deaths during the training scenario, I failed in my attempt at the “Pacifist” achievement. So I did something I’ve seldom done before. I immediately re-started the game. And to add another element to it, I decided to try for “Foxiest of the Hounds” achievement as well.

The fact that I actually revisited a game immediately after completing it is testament to how much I enjoyed it. I get bored with games quite easily, and often don’t finish them, because, well, they don’t grab me.  But DE:HR pushed the right buttons for me so I found myself diving right back in. Of course, there are things I would rather skip now that I’ve done them once, but since I don’t have that capability I’ll just plod on through it as the mood takes me.

The Good:

  • There’s nearly always more than one way to achieve something. Often several ways. You can go in with brute force, or you can try a subtle approach.
  • The hacking mini-game. Not the most awesome of things, but they do provide a nice change of pace.
  • Dialogue and persuasion. Conversation choices really do affect outcomes. Your responses can make the difference between a hostage being released or killed or learning critical information for free.
  • It was good to see some of the bosses were females.
  • Playing with the augs is fun.
  • Ambiance
  • Faridah Malik! I’d happily play a game about her. I think she is an awesome character.

The Bad:  

  • I would’ve liked personal interactions to be a bit more in depth.
  • It would’ve been nice to see female gang members and Bell Tower soldiers.
  • It’s a bit sad that you can rifle through people’s drawers, while they’re sitting there and they don’t even notice.
  • It would also have been cool if people eventually revive after being knocked out. Or you know, maybe you have to render them some assistance, or drop them off at clinic or cop shop before they die.
  • On that note, it would be cool if guards that are patrolling notice when their mates actually disappear.
  • More side quests would’ve been good.
  • Boss fights. I don’t play these games for the combat, and these were tedious. Not necessarily challenging, just very…meh.  I found myself wishing that final scenarios for each mission could be varied and not just a straight out, one-on-one fight.
  • Some areas were a bit dark, and with all those awesome augs, you’d think one of them would give you night vision, but no, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Overall:

Engaging with a diverse range of quests. I found the game very enjoyable, but I’m not sure that it’s an accurate reflection of how good I thought the game was. It was flawed, and predictable in places, and quite clichéd in areas, but something about it grabbed me. And for that I can forgive a lot.

7/10

Add a comment January 13, 2012

Meh…

The last seven days have made for a hard week. I have surpassed general blahness and headed for some serious arghness. Mostly, I think, because of the break in, which has affected my sleep somewhat, but also exacerbated by suddenly working full time (and then some) hours again.

The week has gotten on top of me, and I’ve found myself indulging in behaviours I know hurt me, and aren’t good for me in any way, shape or form, and that I usually try to avoid. All that adds up to my not being able to cope to well, and by yesterday I was at the point where EVERYONE was ticking me off. Customers were asking stupid questions. Everyone was getting in my way when I needed to go somewhere. Just general arghness with the world.

This has all led to me being teary and mournful, and just generally miserable, last night and today.

The upside is, I only have to make it through six hours tomorrow and then I have a week off, Tusk will be on holidays and after a flying trip to visit my parents, we can potter around home and enjoy each other’s company.

Add a comment January 5, 2012

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