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Ovirew Blog

Time and Threats

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This weekend was a busy one, for us geeks.

Firstly, the Playstation Network was hacked again, by a 'Distributed Denial of Service' attack. But as though that weren't enough, the hacking group also issues a bomb threat to the airplane the US CEO of Playstation was riding on.

The hacking group also went on to hack Blizzard's Battle.net, XBox LIVE, and a few other services throughout the evening.

The whole issue has me actually kind of angry. Angry that there are people out there who actually waste time like this, and cause trouble for others. And, more importantly...:

"Proof im online. Im on their administrative server. pic.twitter.com/t9Q4TMBafX"

They can't even spell worth a fuck!

The hacking is bad enough, but the bomb threats are much worse. This goes from being hacking with potential to steal information, to being hacking with a potential to steal information PLUS Terrorism.

I actually saw one user on Gamespot point out that the President of Sony is partly at fault for putting it out there what flight he would be on. Maybe that was a stupid move, but BULL SHIT is it his fault. It takes a dickless bastard who thinks he knows it all to make a bomb threat, real or not.

The sad thing is that these hacker groups are idolized and almost glorified by some people on the Internet. Along with this 'Anonymous' bullshit. Are these really people's heroes? Because honestly, I'd rather just have the whole Internet taken away and abandoned than have it used to cause more problems. That's where the term "Doing more harm than good" comes into play.

I think another thing that is bothering me, is that Playstation is the main target for this hacking. Should I be concerned because I like XBox? And what does it say about the people who are doing the hacking, that they are targeting video game services? Does it say that they are gamers, or that they hate video games? It's really a mindfuck question to think about.

But on a more positive note, Saturday was the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who.

I couldn't get into Matt Smith's Doctor as much, but since Peter Capaldi was announced for the role I've been anxious to see how he'd do. This episode finally gave Capaldi his chance to play as the Doctor, and give his take on the timelord.

I liked the episode, but to be fair, I feel like we didn't really get the chance to know Capaldi's Doctor yet. He spent much of the episode in a bit of personal stupor, trying to remember who he was while at the same time dealing with yet another alien threat.

The episode was good. Capaldi even proved that he can do comedy pretty well as the Doctor. And I think there were a few moments where the premiere really hit upon questions that this new Doctor is facing. But I get the impression now that it may take a few episodes before we really see Capaldi as "The Doctor", before he grows into the role.

Which is funny, because when I think about it, that's exactly what most of the previous actors who played the Doctor had to do.

The villain of the episode, the unnamed 'androids', were actually - from what I can tell based off of the episode - the 'clockwork' robots from the 2nd season of the new series. Apparently they had evolved to become more human than robot, and their appearances changed a lot as a result.

The biggest question is, of course, where the season will go from here. But the episode laid the foundations for what could potentially be a great new series and Doctor.

~ Ovirew

Coming Up: 20 XBO Games I'm Following

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The other week I talked a bit about XBox One games I may get through the end of the year, and it got me thinking about the long-term of games on the horizon for the system. Over the last couple of weeks I've started following more XBO games, and it feels like now is a good time to list all of those games, discuss their pros and cons, and take a look at their projected release dates. Keep in mind that not everything on this list is necessarily stuff I am going to purchase:

1. Super Time Force

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: A sidescrolling action shooter in the same vein as games like Contra, but with a time-bending mechanic like in Braid.

Pros: The game is $15, and that's about what I am willing to spend on another game at this point. It looks fun and funny, and sort of oozes that Sunset Overdrive vibe in a way. It seems interesting with the time mechanics. I guess it's the kind of game I might be in the mood for right now?

Cons: No demo. It could potentially be released on Games with Gold. I'm not sure how good the game is, or if it will hold my attention. Wonder if I will get my $15's worth.

2. Dead Rising 3

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Sandbox-style game where you fight waves of zombies with every manner of weaponry, and odd costumes.

Pros: Less stressful timed events than in previous games. Lots of goofy fun. Tons of weird weapons and costumes to find and use. A nice linear, single-player adventure. Different gameplay modes.

Cons: I couldn't get into the first Dead Rising game for some reason. $50 is still a lot of money and I'd rather wait until it's a better bargain. It has DLC now, which I might feel pressed to buy. Not sure that I would have the necessary time for it right now.

3. Titanfall

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Competitive online FPS game where you can battle inside of and outside of mech suits.

Pros: Will likely remain a popular FPS on the One for a while. Mechs are cool.

Cons: Can only have so many online FPS games at a time. No single-player. Has DLC. Made by Activision.

4. Kinect 2.0

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Okay so technically it isn't a game, but the XBO Kinect is still a costly investment worth lending some consideration to. It is an alternative control method and another way of interacting with your XBO, and could see more integration in the future.

Pros: You can tell your XBO to do stuff. Doubles as a microphone for online games, and a webcam for Twitch streams. Recognizes motion and other things about the user.

Cons: The technology still isn't perfect. $100 give or take is still not pocket change. Not extremely necessary or useful right now.

5. Sunset Overdrive

Release Date: October 28, 2014

What is It?: An open-world game where you run around fighting mutants and hooligans in a big, fun city.

Pros: Great single-player adventure. Has drop-in, drop-out co-op. Plenty of customization options. No matter how it turns out, it is already a great effort. Getting it.

Cons: There are no cons major enough for me to be uninterested.

6. Costume Quest 2

Release Date: October 31, 2014 (Targeted)

What is It?: Sequel to the hit 2010 game, CQ2 follows the adventures of twins Reynold and Wren, and their other young friends as they go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. The sequel aims to give fans more of the good stuff, and improve upon the base laid by the first game. It will include new costumes, among other things.

Pros: Another must-have downloadable game for this Fall. Big fan of the first game, so I am looking forward to this one.

Cons: It is unclear how much the game will improve upon its predecessor. Very few details and little information have emerged thus far. Could potentially get pushed back, possibly to next year?

7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Release Date: November 11, 2014

What is It?: A re-release of the four main-series Halo games, along with the Anniversary edition of Halo 1 and the new Anniversary edition of Halo 2. Also includes the Nightfall story and access to the Halo 5 multiplayer Beta. And like every main series Halo multiplayer, modernized.

Pros: Tons of value. Updated Halo 2. I will get to finally play Halo 2 and 4. I can play Halo 1 and 3 again. Includes Nightfall feature. Lots of multiplayer options. Good for multiplayer, single-player and co-op. Getting it.

Cons: Not anything technically 'new' or next-gen.

8. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Release Date: November 18, 2014

What is It?: Third game in the DA series, it is the most ambitious of the games yet. You create your own unique character who teams up with various characters from the world of Thedas, and go on an adventure to set right the messy situation the world is in.

Pros: Looks fantastic. Possibly a vast improvement over the other two DA games. A great single-player adventure. Lots of replay value. (I apologize for the lame screenshot.)

Cons: Already getting it on PS4, but question whether I should get it for One also. Have not completed the first two games yet so I have no idea what the hell is going on. If I bought my own copy, it would likely not be for a while yet.

9. Ori and the Blind Forest

Release Date: Q3/Q4 2014

What is It?: A platformer with fantastic visuals. Players control a furry, white forest spirit named Ori, and go on an adventure to rescue his caretaker who raised him after it goes missing. Ori is joined by another being called Sein, who can help him fight enemies and grow stronger.

Pros: Gorgeous. Looks like a solid platformer with a heartwarming story.

Cons: Unclear release date.

10. Minecraft: XBox One Edition

Release Date: September 2014 (Likely pushed back.)

What is It?: Minecraft is coming to XBox One. As of 8/21/14, the PS4 version of Minecraft was found to be very buggy, and will likely be under development for some time to come. People suspect the XBO version will be in a similar situation.

Pros: Relaxing, familiar fun on the XBO. I might actually play Minecraft again if it's on XBO. Potential exists for actual updates to the game over the course of a console's lifetime.

Cons: There are much better games to play on XBO. I don't want to pay for Minecraft again. Minecraft is rarely updated and improved. I much prefer the PC version of Minecraft to the console versions, even though my PC apparently has trouble running it. My fiancee will likely buy it for the PS4 when it does come out for it.

11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release Date: February 24, 2015

What is It?: Based off of a hit series of novels, the Witcher games are a series of video games made by Polish developer Projeckt RED. The games folllow the exploits of a monster slayer named Geralt. Have built up quite the reputation in recent years among PC RPG fans.

Pros: Looks great. Deep single-player adventure.

Cons: Never played any of the Witcher games before.

12. Hover: Revolt of Gamers

Release Date: April, 2015

What is It?: A parkour game with 1st-and 3rd-person gameplay, in the same vein as Mirror's Edge and Jet Set Radio. You play as a group of rebels trying to stop an anti-video game cause.

Pros: Looks interesting. Nice character roster. Worlds look unique, and kind of Futurama-ish.

Cons: Could wind up being mediocre. Not sure if it will be my kind of game yet.

13. Quantum Break

Release Date: Q2 2015

What is It?: A television show and a video game. At the same time. The developers, who are known for their work on the Alan Wake games, created this game in a similar vein. But whatever happens in this game can influence what happens in the TV show, and vice-versa.

Pros: Pretty revolutionary idea. Adds variety to the XBox One library.

Cons: Could be QTE-fest. Not sure if I will like the story or the show. It's risky. No solid release date or air date.

14. Fable Legends

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: A new Fable game, this time without the series' trademark morality system. Set before the first game, you control a band of adventurers and go on co-op adventures with other players - and one player can play as the villain, setting traps and commanding monsters from a top-down perspective. Apparently players can also make their own characters, take on quests and jobs, and partake in pub games.

Pros: Looks like the most refreshing Fable game to come along in a while. 4-on-1 co-op seems fun. The cast of characters from E3 seem like cool party members. Beta inbound in a few months.

Cons: Still don't know a whole lot about the game. Is it multiplayer co-op and versus only? Not sure if it is anything like the other Fable games. No certain release date.

15. Cuphead

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: Painstakingly recreated in the style of old 30's cartoons, Cuphead is described as a run-and-gun shooter. It features continuous boss battles, and has a single and multiplayer mode.

Pros: One of the most ambitious games of all time, if just for the sake of its animation process. Looks great, looks fun. Most likely will get this game.

Cons: Release date is likely a ways off yet.

16. Below

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: By Capybara Games, the makers of Super Time Force, comes their newest game. You play as a warrior exploring an underground cavern, and there is a heavy emphasis on difficulty and permadeath. It will also feature multiplayer.

Pros: Sounds good, especially if I like what Capybara did with Super Time Force.

Cons: Don't know a whole lot about it yet.

17. Space Engineers

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Sounds kind of like Minecraft, but more interesting and potentially more fun. You control an astronaut, and build a space station and attempt to stop asteroids, and stuff like that. Is available on the PC in alpha mode now.

Pros: Very interesting concept. Kind of like the XBO answer to No Man's Sky.

Cons: Maybe there isn't much to do in the game?

18. Halo 5: Guardians

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: The latest Halo game, wherein Master Chief is being sought for by a mysterious new Spartan named Locke.

Pros: Oh yeah!

Cons: Idk?

19. Scalebound

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Developed by Platinum Games, the guys behind Wii U's upcoming Bayonetta 2. Little is known about the game, other than you will be able to fight dragons alongside a dragon, and apparently technology and fantasy will be mixed.

Pros: Human-dragon partnership brings to mind fond memories of Drakengard.

Cons: I know NOT-SING!

20. Crackdown

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Spiritual successor to the original Crackdown, also sort of a retelling of the story of the original game. All we have so far to look at is a trailer, but it is awesome.

Pros: Right team in the right place to make the right sequel to Crackdown!

Cons: None.

So, there you have it. 20 games to consider on the horizon for the XBO. Which ones will turn out well and be worthy of my purchase? We shall see in time...

~ Ovirew

The Next Semester...

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Last night the realization hit me that we technically only have 1 1/2 weeks left in the first semester of college.

We had been talking about end-dates for a while, but I guess I hadn't realized how close everything was until just now. So literally I have 5 more classes, and then it's break-week, and then on to second semester. O.O;

I still have work to do for all of my classes between now and then. I have to put finishing touches on one project, I have to get some more information for another project and make progress on that... I have to study for a final test, I have to write up a short paper and upload it to a portfolio. ...And I need to finish 3 math lessons yet.

My fiancee is in a similar boat, though she has likely already written her portfolio paper and is behind on the math lessons. I think we will both make it through okay, but i'll need to make sure I'm on-task for all of this stuff going on. It won't be this cake-walk.

I got my schedule for the next semester. I'm excited about this semester, but also pretty nervous about it. In the first quarter we learned the basics, and had the same teacher for all of the classes, and my fiancee was in all of the classes. This time around we start learning more about the subject we are going to college for, I will likely have 2 or 3 entirely different teachers, and I have 2 classes with my fiancee and 2 classes with another classmate we befriended.

My schedule is different this time around. It will take a bit of getting used to. I no longer have Saturday classes, which is kind of nice - not gonna lie - though I still have classes on another morning since it's the only way I can stay full-time at work.

Tonight I will discuss the schedule changes at work. Hope that goes well.

My biggest concerns are how much more challenging things will get this quarter than last. And roadwork has started back up a lot on the highways and roads and everywhere, so I am wondering if that will impact things. Hopefully I won't have to contend with bad weather yet this quarter. And work is probably going to get busier as we near the Holidays.

This week I'm going to go to the State Fair, I'll spend more time with my woman, and try to get my other work finished in preparation for the new semester. I'll try not to think too much about it yet, but I will miss this semester.

~ Ovirew

Pre-Ordered, Game Outlook, Balancing Act

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Today I decided to pay off my pre-order:

Sunset Overdrive. I don't know what to say, the game just captivated me ever since I first heard about it however many odd months ago. It's a game I've been looking forward to, and probably the game I am most excited about at present. It represents refreshing, over-the-top, upbeat gaming.

This being the 'Day One Edition' of the game, it also features a few extras. You can dress up as Fizzie, there's a more powerful version of the Hi-Fi Gun, you get an impractical hammer weapon, and there's also a code that gets you a mutant-inspired costume and weapon.

To be honest though, I don't care if it's the Day One version, or just the regular game. Either way I'm looking forward to SO.

I'm not sure how much gaming I'll do over the 2 1/2 months between now and then, but I will be sure to make some time for Sunset Overdrive when it arrives.

I might not buy any other games this year. I have no idea. I don't want to say I won't, for certain, because then if I do I'll just look like a liar and an ass. But other games I'm interested in, which I may or may not buy through the end of 2014?:

I am still kind of interested in the downloadable title Super Time Force, but I remain on the fence about it since I have no idea whether Microsoft will just decide to add it to Games with Gold one of these months, given their recent additions. It's also difficult to make a decision about the game since it's $15, and has no demo.

At any rate, it looks like a better game than Crimson Dragon, and at least as good as Halo:Spartan Assault. So it's staying on my watch list. Might get it sometime, we'll see.

And of course, there's Dead Rising 3 out there. The game is now a bit cheaper, but $50 give or take is still quite a bit of mulah. I will probably wait the game out until it reaches a better bargain price.

I don't mean to sound like it's unreasonable for a game to cost $50 almost a year after launch. That's not too bad. But lots of other good games are starting to come out now, lots of high-profile games.

My thinking is that we will see some very decent deals on launch and launch window games come this Holiday Shopping Season.

I would like to get the Master Chief Collection this year, but if I can't then oh well. I'll toss it out there as a gift suggestion for my fiancee, but otherwise it's something that can wait.

By the time it comes out my current Gold subscription will be expired. Unless I renew it to keep playing PVZ, or something, I would be playing it solely for single-player. Of course, this would be a fantastic package of single-player content, alone.

But September... As we near September, and the final days of Summer, it quickly becomes time to start thinking about gift-shopping.

Juggling college and work has been a challenge for me the past few weeks. It wasn't so bad those first couple weeks of school, but as things went on it has become a bit more difficult. I worry about the two group projects I'm working on, and also the homework for one class which I am behind on. Maybe I will make it through this quarter, but what about the next?

The other war I'm fighting is the struggle to stop spending money with credit. It has turned into a real problem the past few weeks, as work and school have become more stressful. I keep wanting to buy snacks and sodas on breaks, which really adds up, and I got into a binge with fast food. It is hard to get things under control.

I might have to cut my losses and just do what I can to stay afloat in all aspects of my life right now. Rew is getting spread thin.

~ Ovirew

Gamescom, and Competition

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Lately Gamescom has been happening, kind of crept up out of nowhere this year. I feel like, in all honesty, the event wasn't as big this year as it was last year. Or maybe that's just the way it feels. After all, I didn't really follow the event these past few days like I did last year. Sony fans seem to be in agreement that they won this one. Maybe they did. I won't back down from my feelings that Microsoft delivered on a much better E3 than Sony did this year, but maybe Gamescom wasn't a strong showing for the XBox brand in 2014. That said, the fact remains that we already knew pretty much what to expect for the remainder of 2014, and that's what counts right now.

If possible, I'm hoping to pay off my pre-order for Sunset Overdrive next paycheck, just pay the whole thing off. I would like to make better use of my One by the new year, and after all it is the big game I've been looking forward to on the system. PVZ GW is fun, but SO is the main dish. It is what could truly define the beginning of this console gen for me.

I've also, slowly, began to give thought to buying a Kinect to enhance the One experience. I guess a lot of it is curiosity, wanting to know what this technology is capable of at present. How far has it come since the 360? Hopefully a ways. A lot of it also now stems from my interest in computers and college work. And seeing if this could make the whole XBox One experience more fun to navigate with.

I've become a bit more defensive about XBox as a brand recently. With Microsoft facing the problems its facing, potential bankruptcy, and the backlash from fans over the One that still persists... It faces a long uphill battle to regain momentum in the console war. I feel more passionate about the One than I did the PS4 just one year ago. I think maybe a part of that is because Microsoft is now the underdog, and now I have the opportunity to make my voice on the matter heard more, rather than being lost amongst the crowd of millions of people with a similar opinion. I think it also comes back to my firsthand disappointment with the PS4, and my longtime lean towards logic over style.

I guess some competitiveness has emerged from a friendly difference in opinions with a fellow classmate, who is a die-hard Apple supporter and Microsoft shunner. I think my classmate is very knowledgeable and raises good points about Macs and their architecture. I think there are a lot of benefits to the Apple way. However, I also see the benefits in the PC way. And I tend to still favor the PC hands-down. But maybe different people have different preferences, and there really is no 'best' anything. Maybe there isn't one ultimate computer or game system, but rather, many different takes on that concept.

Funnily, my last blog saw us at the start of August. We are now just about halfway through the month. Dang! I'm also fast-approaching the end of my first semester of college. I'm a little nervous about that.

~ Ovirew

Morning of Clusterfux

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Building on from yesterday's blog, I find myself in a much different place this morning. I am confused and baffled big-time.

While yesterday my main concern was figuring out how to manage my time wisely, today my main concern was whether I have been learning the correct things at all. And, just trying to comprehend what was being talked about.

Another teacher subbed for ours' this morning. His teaching style was very different. Our teacher usually takes the time to explain things and make sure we understand them. This other teacher blazes through problems and tells us the key to everything is taking notes and doing things over and over again until we get it. It was very frustrating. I do feel like I learned some things in class today, but I feel like my math skills are now very bad off.

I am more concerned than ever about whether I am getting behind my classmates, and I am not sure if I am a success or a failure already. This is pretty difficult to deal with after nearly two months of class. It doesn't seem fair to me that we've spent all of this time with one teacher, just to have another come along and do things his way, and confuse the hell out of us. Some students actually thought today was better than usual. My girlfriend and I felt like today went worse. But I realize all too well the importance of being prepared for anything, and of working with people you may not necessarily care for.

My hopes are that classes will revert back to normal following this morning, that it was just a one-time thing. But I'm aware that we are nearing the end of the quarter, and I'm concerned since I have no idea if I will be prepared for what the next classes will address. I think I am struggling now. It is not a good feeling. And now I can't stop thinking about the possibility that I may not graduate at my expected quarter, that I could fail along the way.

I am not sure if my instructor, the sub instructor, or myself are mostly to blame for this tough time I'm having. But juggling two group projects along with one really befuddling class, and then throwing today's experiences into the mix, makes me question if I have learned anything of value.

I don't know if I'm looking forward to college anymore...

~ Ovirew

Perspective and Balance

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Hello blog,

I had some things I wanted to talk a bit about really quick. I figure maybe it'll provide me with decent perspective, and help me organize my main thoughts. So here goes:

Well it is officially August 1st now. This past week has gone by quickly, but I guess it has told me some things about myself. Mainly, my usage of my finite amount of time on this Earth.

For weeks now I've concluded that it's getting tougher to balance school, work and daily life. It is, but we spent last week's class talking a bit about procrastination, and last night's class talking about time-management, and idk, maybe I can manage to make this work. But it still isn't easy. Earlier today I finished an assignment most people had finished in class yesterday, where we had to jot down an overview of things we did over the course of a week by the hour onto a chart. I estimated and guessed a lot, but still I feel like it gave me an overview of things I could improve in my weekly schedule.

I also have two group projects to work on now, instead of just one. The first project, we need to work on that one some more for certain, but this Saturday might be our first real chance to get anywhere with it. I'm a bit concerned over that one, primarily since my fiancee and I have limited opportunities to discuss things with that partner. The second project we started talking about yesterday, and we're working with two other people that we only have one class with. I am concerned about the second project, not so much because of progress - I feel like we are off to a very good start, but because I am worried that my partners have contributed more to this project than me already, within the first night of discussion. I need to come up with something interesting to add to the data, but maybe that will come in time as we work on it more.

I am also way behind on assignments for Saturday's class. I apparently haven't stepped things up enough for that class, and maybe I will need to forget about video games and most other distractions entirely this week. I will make an exception for Halt and Catch Fire though, since I do love that show and it is the season one finale.

Speaking of sitcoms, I'm considering skipping some of them this Fall. I know I had a thing with Big Bang Theory there for a while, but now the three main stars want to be paid $1 mil. per episode. Imo, they really don't deserve it - none of those stars really do. But come on, how much do Leonard and Penny even add to an episode of BBT anymore? Blah, once a sitcom reaches this level of greed, I guess I just get sickened by it all.

Apparently Microsoft is having some sort of issue with services on both the 360 and One. I haven't checked out the One in a few days, so I'm not sure what all that entails - hopefully the issues are resolved soon, though.

Anyway, getting back on topic, wrapping things up... Well, college is getting tougher. We are over halfway through the first quarter, and approaching the end. There is still a lot of work to do before that time comes. I do worry about it, and I hope I can stay in a positive mood and end these classes on a good note. Hopefully I won't have to retake any of them.

Work has been alright this past week, especially since the return of our old supervisor for now. But our boss is going to be out a lot for the time being, and I feel like I'm expected to step things up a bit. I will try, but I hope my superiors realize that I have no intentions of taking on a permanent leadership role if the need should arise.

I think the hardest thing to deal with right now is not knowing what others are thinking. If people don't like me, and are looking down upon me. I wonder this about classmates, coworkers, even my manager. Sometimes I wonder if my soon-to-be-mother-in-law has begun to dislike me. I feel like at least one classmate has grown disgusted with me and my fiancee, for some reason. I fear one of my coworkers may feel like I dislike them and tattle on them, though it's really just a bad coincidence that has carried on lately. I will try my best to stay on good terms and show there is no singling-out of anyone these next few nights.

I have no idea about any of it though, I guess it's just the perspective I have on things right now.

This week I need to be creative, and get some homework done. I'm not sure how people with busier schedules do what they do, but they do. My one classmate that is working on the project with us has an even busier schedule than I could imagine, and he is further ahead in those assignments than I am.

Maybe it'll also help to avoid Gamespot for a while...

~ Ovirew

Agitated Distraction

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Lately I've been moody, more so than usual. I don't know why, maybe the tag-team of work and college is starting to get to me a little bit. I have good days and bad days as usual, but I've grown sick of my workplace and the typical problems I have there. And college demands more of me, but lately I just want to find time to relax and de-stress.

I'll take some time to talk about recent episodes of some of my TV shows I follow:

I haven't seen the most recent episode (that will be for tomorrow night) of Halt and Catch Fire, but last week's eppy, 'The 214s', was probably my favorite episode of the show thus far.

The episode revolved around Cardiff Electronics getting locked down and put under investigation, and the pending Comdex computer event where the company hoped to show off their new Giant PC. Everyone is at odds for much of the episode, but Gordon manages to bring everyone back together after breaking into Cardiff and stealing the Giant, and planning to take it to Comdex to sell to interested buyers anyways.

There was so much I liked about this episode. For starters, just the fact that everyone was getting along by the end of it was nice. There was a lot going on in the episode, it was eventful. And there was something going on for pretty much every character. It was nice to see Gordon and Cameron talk for pretty much the first time as well. Even Joe's potential abandonment of his teammates was unexpected.

Of course I can remember from previews that this week's episode would show the group wasn't out of the woods, yet. Comdex has frozen Cardiff's place on the floor, and it seems like there will be a lot of work involved just to get the Giant into Comdex. I'm excited to catch up on the latest episode soon. After that, there is just one episode left in the season.

The latest episode of Steven Universe, which hasn't technically aired yet, has been making rounds for days now. In the episode Garnet merges with Amethyst to form Sugilite, their crystal fusion, so that they can destroy a bunch of sturdy pillars with brute force. During the transformation the two do a weird and provocative little dance, which was funny.

I guess I should start by mentioning the fact that everyone has been making a big deal about. Nikki Minaj *cringes* voices Sugilite. Not that you can really tell. Or maybe you can. But anyway, the episode was heavily promoted during all of this Comic-Con biz that's been going on for the past few days. (Comic-Con got lots of over-coverage this year, as our society becomes one of superheroes and zombies mainstream geekery...)

Sugilite really didn't look anything like I was expecting her to. I guess after Opal turned out to be really cool and pretty, one might expect similar results from the other fusions. But I can also appreciate the idea to show that each gem fusion is created for a specific purpose, and yields different and original results.

The rest of the episode had Steven trying to get people buffed up, and then Pearl fighting the crazed and destruction-happy Sugilite. I guess it wasn't a bad episode, but I walked away feeling like it was disappointing when you consider all of the build-up. The show hasn't had any new episodes air in some time, and I felt like I came off of the high of the first dozen-or-so episodes since I'd watched them. But the show is apparently back, so I will look forward to more new episodes.

Adventure Time has gone back to being pretty much like it was for the majority of last season, unfortunately: aimless. The latest episode was called "Thanks for the Crabapples, Giuseppe", and followed the Ice King and some of those other odd wizardy characters as they went on a road trip on a bus. Where did the bus come from? Who knows.

The bus stopped and picked up different people, and along the way also some silent old man named Giuseppe. Giuseppe has hardly any purpose in the episode initially, but when the bus breaks down and the ice king makes an ice road for it to glide along, he spots some crab apples and sends Giuseppe to get some for them.

After this Ice King reads a story Giuseppe wrote on some toilet paper, which is overly sappy and dramatic, and shows that there was more to the character than some old man. Later, when the bus becomes stuck in a swamp, Giuseppe reveals that he is a powerful wizard and raises the bus from the water. And then he fades away. The wizards get special rings, in honor of Giuseppe and his crab apples.

I guess what irritates me the most about Adventure Time anymore is that most of its episodes have no real beginning or end-point. There is usually just some silly idea, and no real resolution or reason. For the most part an episode of Steven Universe goes somewhere, and has a defined beginning and end to the episode. There is almost no structure to Adventure Time, and it seems like anymore it is some medium with which to explore different artsy-fartsy styles and satire.

Recently D&D saw the release of its 5th-edition starter set. I have never actually played D&D, and I do not own this set, but I am at least somewhat interested in the game these days. The 5th edition has a guide you can download for free, and also a starter set and some other goodies you can buy to help you get on your way.

A key piece of this 5th edition release is that D&D is going back to its basics. What this means is that most classes and races aren't really a part of the focus yet. There also isn't a whole lot of variety for new character miniatures yet, but maybe there will be ones I like in due time.

I came to discover that there is an 'official' Wizards of the Coast gnome player character mini for D&D, which came out a few years back. And he looks pretty cool. But he is a ranger, and I was kind of hoping for a wizard or something.

And the human swordmage also looks kinda cool. I guess of the more recent releases, they are two of the more interesting ones. But I guess the newer figures have a bit more detail, maybe.

If I hold out for a while, maybe they will release just the kind of character I'm looking for.

But then again, do I even want to play D&D? And can I even? Maybe it's just one of those fleeting thoughts I have, like so many others that I have had. It probably is. But still, it was cool to do some research and learn a bit more about D&D and its miniatures.

Hopefully I can stay in a positive mood today, and just get through the night for tomorrow. I have some things I could be accomplishing, but I just want to get away from stuff lately. Tomorrow might be a good opportunity for me to get some things done.

~ Ovirew

The Middle of Summer 2014

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For the most part we're now about halfway through Summer 2014. The Summer feels like it's been breezing by for me, and that's because this year has been different for me than the last. In 2013 I didn't work as late, and I didn't usually stay up as late as I often do now. And I also didn't have college to contend with. I guess I wonder which Summer has been truly the more eventful one. I'd like to think that 2014 has been a better year in general, though 2013 did have Breaking Bad going for it which was great. Maybe the years are going too fast for me anymore for me to even really consider each year separate from the last.

Last night in school we spent some time talking about the Internet, and just how difficult it is to separate fact and reliable sources from lies, opinion, bias, persuasion, and any other type of unreliable nonsense. Everyone knows you can't trust everything you read online, but dang, I don't think too many people realize just how much work you have to do to get fair and balanced facts.

Halt and Catch Fire has become pretty much my new favorite TV show on the air right now. I think this week's episode made that feeling official. It was great to see all of the characters getting along again, and there were many sub-stories going on all at once that wove together into one overarching plot nicely. With two episodes left for the season, it will be interesting to see how things wrap up. From the sounds of things, the finale will have something to do with the year 1984, the next year in the timeline of the series.

I've also has some thoughts about possibly subscribing to Netflix again, to catch up on some other shows I've been interested in. Most notably two of AMC's other shows, Hell on Wheels and Mad Men. I know, I've been talking about them both for ages now. But maybe after HACF's first season comes to a close, I'll want another show to follow. It'll be a while til next year's premiere of Better Call Saul. But then, there also IS Doctor Who to look forward to... I think I will try getting back into that again, now that the new Doctor is IN.

Tonight I'm downloading the Destiny beta, for the heckofit. I don't know how I'll feel about it, but it's free so why not give it a chance? I kind of wish I could be playing PVZ while I wait, though.

I've been thinking that I might try paying more money towards my bills each month, a little from each paycheck instead of every other one. I know it's easier said than done - usually we end up needing to use most of my paychecks for something or other. Money is so tricky. I hate it.

There's been a lot going on with Windows lately. Lots of layoffs, things being closed, etc. I'm not 100% sure where I stand on the issue anymore. I do hope Microsoft continues to support the XBox brand, and does right by it. But who knows where we will be a few years down the line. XBox might not always be synonymous with Microsoft. The world we live in is an unpredictable one, I suppose. Oh yeah, I gotta make sure I put some more money towards Sunset Overdrive again, sometime.

I've essentially been busy with homework and work this week. I haven't talked to my parents in a while, so maybe I'll attempt that in the morning.

~ Ovirew

General Update 7 - 15

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July is halfway over. Several weeks strong into Summer now, and I think this has become my fastest year since I moved to New York. My continued work schedule and sleep cycle have made it that way. I've been living a pretty irregular existence for over half a year now, and it is difficult sometimes, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the peace and quiet of long, late nights. Maybe I am officially a night owl now?

I didn't really mention it in my last blog, but a few days ago I officially celebrated 26 years of life on Earth. That was a lousy day, maybe that's why I didn't really want to talk about it, but it wasn't all bad. I always kind of use my birthday as a gauge for how much time is left in the year, and the Summer in particular. It will probably be Summer-like until late September, going by the recent trends. It actually could be later than that. And then, Fall will slowly work its way into our hearts.

School and Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare have been at the forefront of my mind lately. Also music, in particular some stuff that is more recent than most songs I tend to listen to. Last night I listened to some GNR Lies while I did homework, among other albums. It was nice, I wish there were more popular music nowadays that was this good. I've been debating going into school early today to have some more time to concentrate, and maybe even get a head-start on an assignment. I may do that still, though I won't get there as early as I originally imagined I would.

On PVZ GW I've been playing a lot of Gardens & Graveyards. It's kind of addictive because both teams are really giving it their best, either to defend the gardens or destroy them. You also usually walk away with a lot of in-game coins from the mode, which is great. I'm hoping to unlock some more goodies for the Peashooter, since I want to have an edge whenever I use one of my favorite characters.

I wish all of my classmates would take school seriously and be as altruistic about it as I am, but at the same time I wish I could learn more each day than I presently do. That's another reason why I want to spend more time at school - I need to absorb as much as I can, take advantage of the facilities. I count on Saturday classes to not get much better than they presently are, though...

~ Ovirew