college has been awesome. I've been having a wonderful time, and I've been busy, so I haven't been posting much. I just finished up astrophysics and now I'm going home with my girlfriend. life is good.
I got Fallout 3, it rules.
I got a ticket to the inauguration. Hell yes.
Left 4 Dead is fantastic. There will never be another game so dependent upon co-op play, or one that's so damn fun with co-op play. I spent the whole night a couple of days ago playing Left 4 Dead with some friends. We stayed up all night beating that damn game, and we had a phenomenol time together doing it. people could sit by the TV, and when asked why they weren't bored, they'd say 'it's like watching Dawn of the Dead.' Not only do the little touches with the movie posters create that sensation, but the pacing accomplishes this as well. Suspense is constant, and you're frequently freaking out. It's a game that grabs you powerfully and doesn't let go, despite its weak story.
so anyway, I like that game quite a lot, and now I'm chilling in DC for Thanksgiving, and when I get home I need to wrap up college apps due Monday and then get back to beating Left 4 Dead on some more challening difficulty settings.
the fall's here. I've been busy. I rowed my last race of the crew season yesterday. then my boatmates and I went to the hospital to see one of our coxswains who's got some problems with his belly right now, but he should be fine. then I found out I did better on the SATs this time around. I'm doing all right in school too. then I got Far Cry 2. It's all right.
I'm still mucking about when it comes to girls and haven't got any clear direction at all.
I need to get into college and I think I'll be able to do that.
this relates to pretty much anyone who listens to music. this is one of the most fascinating things I've ever read about music. there is a drum beat called the amen-break. it's all over the place. as soon as this video plays it, you will recognize it. it's an awesome beat. it's used all over the damn place. the video is extremely well made as well very well worth the twenty mintues, I can assure you.
there's an essay about how this drum beat has the golden ratio (you've read the Da Vinci Code, right?) in spades. this is an awesome beat, and its use says something very interesting about our culture. basically, this is the drum beat to end them all, and I've been hearing it over and over again. I'd like to hear more of it. anyway, here's the essay:
this is the stuff keeping me up at night, you have no idea.
I went to Kentucky with my Youth Group, which I am only a part of because of this one girl, to do some humanitarian stuff or whatever because this girl asked me. I'd never spent so much time with her. We got along fine, but I realized that that whole thing doesn't mean what it used to to me and though it'll always matter, it's just not what it was. I had a good week. My grandfather is from that area of Kentucky, and I'd been around there once before, but it was nice seeing it again. We put siding on a shed. People in Kentucky let their dogs go free, and this girl who talked me into this adopted one for a night thinking it was a stray. Things are strange.
My senior year of high school begins in two weeks. I've got to get my act together. I have the majority of my summer work to do still. I have not seen any colleges, though it is on my mind. I've been reading Don Quixote for part of summer work. It's kind of funny.
I find myself sleeping later. I go to bed earlier because I have no one to talk to on the phone with. I wake up later because I can sleep better without that stress.
Life is getting better.
The gameplay is not so much changed as it is enhanced. I played a lot of MGS3, and the sneaking and such worked very similarly, only with the addition of some awesome new CQC moves, like smothering. The Metal Gear Solid series discusses the role of the soldier pretty heavily, and since soldiers don't just sneak in the shadows, MGS4 has made gun-play better than ever by adding an over-the-shoulder view, which is extremely useful.
The gadgets are tons of fun. The sheer volume of weapons is very refreshing from MGS3, which didn't offer too much variety when it came to that. Thanks to a man known as Drebin, the player can customize the numerous weapons throughout the game, all of which are a lot of fun.
The boss battles are as great as ever, though the camo you recieve for tranqing them out is a little bit different than how it was in Snake Eater. You get to have the face of your opponent now, rather than just their skin. Anyway, between the Beauty and Beast unit and all the others, the boss battles are just as good as the serie's reputation has them, if not better. I'll not talk about the specific boss battles, but I think that they got better as the game progressed, and my favorite B&B was Mantis.
In terms of graphics, this game is unmatched, and probably will be for a long time just as its predecessor was. Partly, it's a clear technical mastery of the medium, but also, the taste is outstanding. The levels simply look outstanding, not necessarily because of raw power but because it's so pleasing to the eye, and that should be the continued aim as graphics technology gets better. This game looks to capture the beauty of people and flowers and sunsets, all in a 'tactical espionage game', and it accomplishs this with wild success.
It's true, so much of this game is cinematics. It aspires to be a cinematic game. The gameplay is in itself great, but it's within the context of a story. I don't know why developers haven't tried with this concept before. Authors use the structure of their sentences to try and echoe their larger point that the contents of their novels convey; why shouldn't video games work the same? This may be the last game of the series, and it ties up everything it ever could with that being the case (watch all the way through the credits). The vioce acting is great, and everything looks terrific. I don't want to say this game is quite philosophical, but it certainly aspires to some kind of philosophy, and it seems to merge it a bit with some kind of comment on the structure of society, which is a difficult thing to do.
Over all, I'd say this was worth about $550, including shipping.
My dad had a business apointment, so he's talking on the phone when he wakes me up. I've anxiously told my friends to get out of my house, it's raining, and I'm trying to enjoy that. I keep picking up and putting down my guitar. I won't bring it, imagine dragging it through the streets of the city. I've already had one Spanish guitar stolen in a similar fashion, forget that now.
My dad holds up a finger, mouths that he's on the phone as I walk down the small incline that seperates my house from the street, and I've always liked that, my pets like it too, but it makes dragging the trashcans a bit more difficult, not so much anyway. I get in the car, we pull away, he talks on the Blue-tooth. I feel I have some reason to complain, I do not, I am modest, as you know. We drive into DC, talking about college and my life, not too philisophical but. College. Excessive video games. the like.
the train station is swamped, naturally. It reminds me of Gotham City, old Gotham, with this 30s statue with wings going on, and all plain pillars around, but of course, a horde of people there today as no other I've seen it. We get in line to get the ticket. He indicates some discomfort with me having no ID, I tell him he's a nervous wreck because I'm a nervous wreck too. the line is long, I'm standing there while he goes off and does his thing, whatever that may be. 'Connor' I hear, and get out my cell to call him, because he's made sure not to get in plain view. I see him, leave the line, purchase the tickets from some kiosk, here's the ticket's, 20 bucks, gotta go, have a nice time. I like that, in all sincerity, I like the way my dad says good bye.
I refrain from putting on my headphones for as long as possible walking around. I look at some deli there. I see Subway, I go there instead. eat fresh or you'll die, not that you wouldn't anyway. There are a bunch of empty tables over the way, I sit in the corner, so I don't have my back to anyone, people watch. Never enough attractive girls at train stations, I don't know why, they flock airports. Next to me are a couple of nerds playing some strategy board game with dice, never seen it. I keep looking because I'm interested but try not to look like I'm looking, as you're too familiar with. They're both so hunched over they wouldn't notice, their knees up to their chests, totally lost, one now standing to get a better view. they don't care. I'm always interested when I see someone with the answer, I feel like if I look closely enough I'll find it, but it doesn't work that way.
black dude walks up to me, says he needs $4.65, and he's got 70 cents. I give him two bucks, say I gotta keep the ten for trainfare when I get to DC, he thanks me. I avoid alcohol myself for the same reason I give people money to buy it.
I walk around, looking to sit close but not too close to someone, so as to watch the board. I'm not late yet. I sit down, listen to some music. I see it's on time. The time is now, the place is stair 3. I get in line for stair 3. I freak out to Squarepusher standing in line, get to the end of the line, flash my ticket to get down to the platform. "Sir, you need to pay attention. First of all, the ticket you are holding says you're going from Washington to Philadelphia. This train is going to New York." "Oh. Thank you very much sir, I'd've really been in a fix without that." I walk out of line and try to calm down, because it's stressful trying to be so cool all the time.
I freak out about ID here now, real bad. The first stop is in Deleware. I don't want to be in Deleware with not even twelve dollars on me. I want to be in DC. The train gets a half hour late, 40 minutes late, 50 minutes late now and I don't know where the gate is. I know where the gate is, I go to the gate, get down the stairs, get back up the stairs, after we are told that that is not the correct track, get in line for the other stairwell right next door, and then back to the original, where the train finally is, an hour late.
I get on the train, sit next to a black man out of cultural awareness. He's on the phone, the train is moving, I am not with my headphones yet, which is a willfull condition of being for me. I don't know why. "Did I hear you mention this is your first time on a train?" "Yeah, sh, I'm a grown man and ain't ever taken the train before" He used that line on the phone too. We talk, he flatters me with his wise praise, I try to politely accept. You can't disagree with a compliment, bad manners, not healthy for your ego, etc. etc.
Water's pouring down. We get all the way to New Carolton. The lights are out, the train's electricity is shot, it'll just be a minute. We go over on a train headed the same way, because the tracks actually end at DC, and the bullhorn says we can. Bingo. Sit next to a man rearranging his flight or something or other, I don't care. The train stops, I get to the metro, take the stops, walk up the escalator, two blocks to grandma's house, and knock on the door. Crossing rivers and walking through woods is much more difficult, even with rain.