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August 2008 - petrostudio LLC

29

Aug
2008

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double whammy

On 29, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

Jeff Gerstmann was right. And if he truly got fired for his review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, then he at least has convictions.

Copying the game mechanics from Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter seems like a no-brainer – until Rainbow 6: Vegas, nobody had done the cover mechanic better. Even the simple squad controls – cover, move, attack – are borrowed from GRAW.

And then, the ambition was to craft an elegant story. That’s what we heard all through the run-up to this game’s release – two men thrown together… the struggles, the choices.

I knew that they wouldn’t pull it off completely – I mean, how often do you hear about “groundbreaking gameplay” and “innovative storytelling” and “freedom of choice” when game companies talk about their games? Fact is, these things are what they WANT to do, not what they CAN accomplish. Krap & Lurch: Damn Mess would be a better title. (Sorry, that was the best I could come up with this morning.)

Graphics: Everything is either too light or too dark – there’s not “shading” per se. You will think you are going blind.
Controls: The best part is rubbing up against a flat surface and HOPING, PRAYING, WISHING that you would “stick” to it to take cover. This works as well as you think.
Gameplay: Hold the left trigger to “precision” aim. Only do this if you want to miss a lot. Fire from the hip, not even really in the direction of the bad guy, and you can Rambo your way through the level.
Story: Write a compelling “buddy” movie, say 20 scenes. Roll a 20-sided dice 10 times. Remove the scenes that correspond with the rolled numbers. Add the F-Bomb in every 3rd to 5th word. Hire terrible voice actors and let a drunken monkey direct them. Perfect.

It’s worth playing, just for the “wow, this DOES suck as much as everyone says” factor, but only on rental.

Now, this is worth playing, if just for the badass-ness (if you will). I played through the single player, since my co-op buddy (you know who you are!) is too busy playing Soul Sucker.

The partner controls are easy to use and a snap to control aggression/cover/attack conventions. With co-op this would be even easier, as you don’t need to control your partner (though you might want to at times).

Don’t look for story. At all. This is just an excuse for two dudes to kick the crap out of about 30,000 generic terrorist-type people. And, for that, it’s a lot of fun. And the game time is longer than expected for a co-op, 3rd-person shooter, so you can enjoy the carnage longer.

This is kind of the Doublemint of games – double your treasure, double your guns.

But, play it with a friend you like. One with a brain, preferably, or else you’ll spend half your time trying to fight your way over to revive them.

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27

Aug
2008

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an oval idiot

On 27, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

Looks like my bid for President in ’08 has paid off:

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26

Aug
2008

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my nra dinner (head) trip

On 26, Aug 2008 | One Comment | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

So I forgot my Obama shirt. I did. But I don’t think I would have been allowed in the car if I had it on.

My father-in-law asked me to go to this “redneck event thing” (his words) Saturday night. Come to find out, it was an NRA booster event, which the family business, AMTR, contributes to. And it was actually a good time, hanging out with the family, eating good barbecue and getting tipsy. Well, I didn’t drink much, and most of us got drunk, so I’ll split the difference.

Very pro-American, very pro-prayer, very pro-guns. And there were some hair-dryers, cutlery sets and deer corn on raffle, so that’s nice.

The NRA are not known to be progressives. But from some of the “facts” I got that night, they might not even be living in this country. I was told, and I’m dead serious about this, that you do not register your guns down here because, if you did that, the government would know what you had and where you lived, and then Obama and the Democrats would get into office, and into Congress, and then (and I swear I did not make this up) they would “take them away from you”.

Yeah, that makes sense.

I don’t even know how to respond, except to say that guns are a MAJOR sticking issue for a lot of Republicans down here. It’s the one issue that they are adamant about, and they have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Look, when you BUY the gun, they take all your info. They already know you bought it. The idea of registration is to TRACK it, so that if you decide to sell it to another person, or give it away, law enforcement can know that. That way, when a law-abiding citizen like yourself hands a pistol or 12 to a kid for their 13th birthday who promptly goes off and shoots someone, there might be a paper trail to find the responsible party.

It’s not about “taking” guns away from people. It’s about making sure that the guns have an owner.

I don’t see people down here complaining about having to register your vehicle (which you can’t own and drive unless complete), or yourself to vote (which you can’t participate in without doing so), or your kids for school (which they cannot attend without). Nobody thinks “the Democrats want to take our cars away from us”, do they?

Think, people, think. Democrats own guns, too, and support the second Amendment. Shit, I own a pistol, and I’m proudly left-brained. Someone breaks into my house and threatens my family, I will shoot the motherfuckers, too.

I just think we need to keep track of these things better. Is that so bad?

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20

Aug
2008

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vegas, baby… or is it?

On 20, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

Ok, so I love the original R6:V. It’s great. Period. Not only is the single player engaging, but the multiplayer rocks, too. The best part about it? You can play the entire single player experience in co-op, a la Gears of War.

So when Vegas 2 was announced, we all lost our collective minds. More Vegas? More Logan? More killer co-op? Yippee, someone hand me my pants!

Gamefly delivery, pop it in the 360, settle in for a long session (baby just went to sleep, so there will be at least 20 minutes of free time, yes!!!). Great, the new Pyrenees-themed casino… um, 5 years ago… France… Bishop…?

What the hell did you do to my Vegas! You made it into France!

See, I don’t understand when reviewers give games great reviews when they clearly don’t deserve it. This game is more of the same. More of the same, but not as interesting. Not only is the gameplay not an improvement (or much of a change at all) but the story is inscrutable. When I have to check Wikipedia for the plot of a game I’m currently in the middle of, there’s a problem. It took me 3/4 of the game to realize who the main antagonist was. Which is sad. And when the title is “Rainbow Six: Vegas 2” and the majority of the action takes place outside of Sin City (part of what made the original exciting), then I just lose interest.

Not to say that it is a bad game. It’s not, it’s just not worth the 82 to the original’s 89. The main change they made was to allow single-player experience to effect your multiplayer experience – essentially they are one in the same. But unless you play multiplayer, it doesn’t help you much at all – there’s not enough of an opportunity to gain enough XP throughout the game to unlock useful weaponry.

To be fair, I didn’t play the multiplayer. The reason? If the change to multiplayer is as slight as the change to single player, I know it would be great. It would be fun. But it wouldn’t be enough to make me devote the time I’ve already spent in the original Vegas.

Maybe I’ll find it in the bargain bin some time and I’ll pick it up for some hilarious multiplayer times with Mr. Bohl. But until then, I’ll await my next delivery.

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10

Aug
2008

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dinnah theah-tah

On 10, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

OK, I”m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of my “dinner theater” experience last evening, especially since friends of my wife were in the show. And it wasn’t the show, per se, that was… interesting. I mean, it’s a musical, first off, so it’s got that going against it, and it’s dinner theater… BUFFET. DINNER. THEATER. So there’s that. But it’s the culmination of all the elements that really make it, um, special.

It’s one of those experiences where the director is the star. And the lighting designer. And the set designer.

So it’s a ham-fest. Which musicals are, anyway. But more than most. And the crowd is less than highbrow, which doesn’t mean they don’t deserve theater, as well. Shakespeare originally wrote for the masses, you know. And it’s ok, I guess, that the giant man at the corner table has on cargo shorts, a dirty Red Sox T-Shirt and hat and sandals, and happens to be shoving copious amounts of fried chicken (yes, fried chicken) into his face.

But it makes me want to shoot myself. I’m not trying to be a theater snob, but I am. It’s the same reaction when Indiana Jones and the Craptastic Staff of Doody or whatever receives great ratings and a thumbs-up from my nephew, or my nieces tell me they’ve watched “Camp Rock” (or whatever other “High School Crapsical” clone comes on next week) 147 times.

It’s not good art. It’s not high art. But it’s art, in one sense. It tries. Fails, but tries.

But what I’m mad about is that this is stuff we are supposed to show to kids. You know what, watch ANY Disney movie ever made, or any of the shows and movies on the Disney Channel, and tell me that they don’t perpetuate negative stereotypes. These are the ONLY things we have for our children to watch, aside from Nickel-blow-dion, which isn’t any better – tell me that each and every show isn’t about being a hot, trendy and rich girl (or trying to fit in with them) and catching that cute, mop-topped, kinda-on-the-edge boy. It’s utter trash, and it is all the same. And each 14 year-old girl is dressed like a 20 year-old whore (you may not be a whore, but you are wearing a whore’s uniform -DC), and vying for the attention of the boy/man she desperately needs.

Am I the only one that notices this? And this is what we show our children, because it is “family” entertainment?

You know, I would care less about “adult” content in stuff that kids watch (they watch it when you aren’t looking, anyway), if it would just have an empowered, smart (and not candy-coated) message for them.

“Gee, Sally, you’re right. We should all be nicer to each other. Now hike up that belt-for-a-skirt and French kiss Rocko, the semi-edgy rocker dude who bet his friends he could make any girl look, walk and talk just like the rest of us whores.”

And “Guys and Dolls” is the same story. And “Grease”. And “Annie Get Your Gun”. And… well name me a “family” musical that DOESN’T follow this pattern. Please. You know, for a change, go watch “Sideways”, or “Little Miss Sunshine”, or “John Adams,” for fucks sake, which are all stories about NOT fitting in, about sticking to your guns and being who you are.

Which are all worthwhile things for children to see. Empowered. Proud. Happy.*

Smart. How about smart. For once.

*Well, not so happy, in the case of “Sideways”, but you get my point. And so what. Life isn’t all beer and Skittles, anyway, fuckers.

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07

Aug
2008

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you mean I have to like the Jets?

On 07, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

I don’t normally do this, post sports stuff, but this is pretty big news.
Packers Trade Favre to Jets

Um. You mean the Jets might actually give the Pats a run this year?
Oh, wait… silly me. Never mind. I lost my head!

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02

Aug
2008

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sing along brilliance

On 02, Aug 2008 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By petrostudio

I feel like I was living under a rock in the week from the time of its release to my viewing of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog. But I’ve seen it, and I love it.

Kudos all around. Go see it now – it is simply brilliant.

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