Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Get Hit by a Bus and Knocked Clear the Frick into an Epic Battle Between Good and Evil at the End of the Universe Day. AKA... monday.

Last year's post pretty much sums it up.

"As fun as halloween might have been when I was a young child... and okay, yes, not so young a child... I find that as an adult it's rather annoying, I mean you've got kids running around demanding that you give them candy when they've done nothing to earn it from you, trying to act like whatever they're dressed up as... usually not very well. And then you've got the loser teens who see a night to get free candy and go for it. I can't say so much about them because I used to be one of said loser teens, but at least I went christmas caroling and worked for my free candy, unlike some rejects from society.

Anyway, I figured that if I'm going to celebrate on a day that has been completely and utterly ravaged by commercialism I'm not going to celebrate their holiday. I'm going to make up my own holiday and celebrate it instead!

Sooooooo *drum roll* I hope you all join me in celebrating Get Hit by a Bus and Knocked Clear the Frick into an Epic Battle Between Good and Evil at the End of the Universe Day on Oct 31st. This holiday marks the day I first got the ideas rolling for Spires of Infinity whilst handing out candy to greedy children and pretending to smile over their costumes. One of the aforementioned loser teens was dressed up as a lawyer that had been hit by a bus, tire treads and all, and that's where the idea for the story came from.

Get Hit by a Bus and Knocked Clear the Frick into an Epic Battle Between Good and Evil at the End of the Universe Day is typically celebrated by eating all of the candy you bought to pass out to children trick-or-treating and watching anime and/or the syfy remake of Battlestar Galactica and/or The Big Bang Theory whilst pretending not to be home so you can keep all the candy for yourself."

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Eternal Chain Chapter 3 First Draft

So I've kind of gotten a bit sidetracked over the last month or so and have not done much writing. First there was a mail count at work that sucked my will to live, then I discovered Xenoblade, and then the last few weeks have been awful at work in recovering from the Columbus day off.

Anyway, I've finally gotten around to writing again, and have completed chapter 3 of The Eternal Chain, and you can find it at the bottom of this page.

This is a much bigger and better version of the original chapter upon which it is based. Rather than Raven vs a few idiots, there's a full house at the tavern, and the entire thing errupts into a huge and deadly brawl. More importantly there are quite a few elements of character developement here that were missing in the original. Kriss is shown as something of a cold killer, which she was in the original, though I didn't do so good a job of illustrating that character trait. Raven is the most powerful sorcerer in the world, but he is prohibited from using his power because the Black Tower can trace him by his tattoo. Brand shows a bit of his sadistic side, and you get a few hints as to why Raven is such an angry douchebag. I didn't really delve into that ery much in the original, but here I plan to more fully develope his character and his reasons for doing what he does. I also found that I was relying a little too heavily on his power as a Sorcerer in the original, and used quite a bit of plot conveniance to have the Black Tower showing up wherever he went. The idea that he can be traced every time he uses his power gives him limits, an provides a much better explanation as to how the Black Tower is dogging his trail.

This chapter completes the first cycle in the viewpoint pattern I intend to use for most of the book. This one is told from Raven's point of view, the only character beside Brand in the original to recieve any chapters from his viewpoint. Next will be Brand, starting off the next cycle of Brand, Kriss, Raven, and in that cycle I will be adding Temari to the end of it.

Enjoy =)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I finally found an actor I believe LESS as an action star than Matt Damon. Yes, that's right, someone smaller than a man even I am taller than, and scrawny besides. Justin Timberlake. Bravo Hollywood, Bravo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Sooooo Brandon Sanderson is doing a charity drive to raise money for the Mayo Clinic (where Robert Jordan was being treated at the time of his death) and those that donate $10 or more are put into a drawing to have their names used as characters in teh final Wheel of Time book Details can be found here on his blog. And my name got drawn almost right off. Woohoo, my name is going to be used for a character in the finale of my favorite book series of all time ^^V. The character is a soldier in the White Tower Guard, though I doubt many of the people who read this blog are geeky enough to know what that means.

And one of the online reviewers I follow put up a pretty awesome video here with one of the most awesome lines ever in it. "Oh, great, your total apathy has turned us all into Gray Lanterns... The defenders of not giving a crap." Of course, that joke is only hilarious to nerds. The guy in the fedora is a mormon so the language in this one is mostly ok and when it's not it's mostly bleeped out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: The Great Hunt

Next in my reread of the entire Wheel of Time series in preparation for the next and final book is The Great Hunt, you can read my review of it here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Found a new online reviewer that's pretty entertaining.

Obscurus Lupa Presents

She reviews action and horror movies that are so bad they're hilarious. Check her out. Her Sci-fi original movie double feature and Birdemic ones are probably the best.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I finally understand...

Well, anyone who knows me probably knows that I have a list of actors whose movies I boycott. This list includes:

Will Ferrel
Sacha Baron Cohen
Steve Carell
Ben Stiller
Vince Vaugn
Owen Wilson
Luke Wilson

They're divided into two groups, those whom I can be forced to watch if I absolutely have to and if someone else is paying (the bottom five on the list) and those whom the very mention of fill me with rage and I would rather submit myself to torture than watch, because torture, as horrible as it may be, is far less painful (the top two on the list).

I am very vocal in my hatred of Will Ferrel. Show them what I'd like to do to him Seth MacFarlane.


Anyway, I can't stand the guy. I don't find him even mildly amusing, which completely defeats the purpose of any movie he's ever been in. And you know what, I actually kind of feel dirty while watching his movies. I wish that I could inflict upon him all of the suffering I've endured being forced to watch his god-awful movies on dates. There are no words for how much I dislike his movies. My hatred for him has grown so great that I've actaually started enforcing a rule with anyone I date, I will never, ever, ever, EVER watch one of his movies, EVER! In return I'll go to pretty much anything else without complaint... except musicals... I hate musicals...

Anyway, my sister is trying to set me up someone with who loves him, and that's cool, everyone's entitled to their opinions and to enjoy the things they enjoy. So I sat down last night and tried to watch one of his less stupid movies and figure out just why I don't like him.

First, I don't find Will Ferrel funny, at all, not even the slightest bit. I've never even cracked a smile during any of his movies. I don't get him. I don't understand the joke. I don't understand why the things he says and does are supposed to be funny, so they're not, and as his movies have little else beside his supposed comedy in them, they're long, dull, soul-crushingly boring, and painful to sit through. Did I mention that they make me feel kind of dirty to watch? It's like watching a movie completely based on a contextual joke, where the context isn't set so it's impossible to understand the joke.

Now, I am not an expert on film, nor am I an expert on comedy. Even still, I can tell a good movie when I see one, and a bad movie when I see one. I can tell a funny joke when I hear one, and a not so funny joke when I hear one. I do have a sense of humor, though I've been told it's rather dry and quite morbid. I do enjoy other comedy movies. Just not his.

My first encounter with him was the movie Superstar, which was, quite possible, the worst movie I've ever seen, and keep in mind that I've seen the un-MST3K-riffed version of Manos: The Hands of Fate, which is widely regarded as the worst movie of all time. I actually thought to myself during Borat, "This is the worst movie I've ever seen... no, actually, I'd rather watch this than Superstar again." I am not making that up. Every encounter with Will Ferrell after that has been worse and worse until I came to the point where I absolutely refuse to watch any of his movies ever for any reason because even the mere mention of his name fills me with rage.

At first I thought I was too smart to understand his supposed comedy. I imagined a plywood cutout with a cartoonish circus ringmaster on it holding his hand at about waist height and a little comic text bubble saying, "you must be this dumb to enjoy the movie." But that's not it. People that I know to be far more intelligent than I am like his movies. That left me stumped. I have no idea why people think he's funny. I have no idea why what he does is supposed to be funny. I have no other clues as to why I might not enjoy his supposed comedy.

I'm reminded of an interview on a latenight talk show a few years back with Robert Duval, one of the greatest actors of our time, who had the displeasure of working with Ferrel on a film, I forget which. When asked how he could keep a straight face while acting across from Ferrel, he kind of stared blankly and said he didn't understand. Thank you Robert Duval, one of the greatest actors of our time, FOR HAVING SOME FREAKING TASTE!

Anyway, I'm rambling. So I booted up my netflix and chose out the Will Ferrel movie people keep telling me is better than the others (it isn't by the way, it's the same garbage as all the rest, just with a cutesy christmas motif to it. It's still the same old crap, whether it's decked in christmas colors or not).

Again, I have no idea why this is funny. I just don't understand what makes other people laugh at this crap. It's not funny. Hell, it's not even entertaining. But I did notice something. Again, as I was watching it, I kind of felt uncomfortably dirty. Then I saw something I never noticed before. Will Ferrel is retarded. No, really, like actually, literally mentally handicapped. Watch how he talks. Listen to his tone of voice. Look at how he moves and his manerisms. And not just in his movies, in his interviews as well. He's mentally handicapped. That's why I feel dirty watching his moves. I happen to think it's horribly wrong to laugh at the mentally infirm, and when everyone else does, it makes me feel a bit soiled by it.

Anyway, I still have yet to figure out why people think he's funny, because he's not. At all. Not even a tiny bit. But I did figure out why I feel bad when I watch one of his movies. I still refuse to EVER watch a single one of his movies ever again, and I really wish that people would stop paying money to watch them so that the people making hte movies would get the hint and stop casting him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And then...

And now I'm randomly NOT following my own blog anymore... WTF Blogspot...?

Monday, October 10, 2011


I just got an e-mail from saying that my review of The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind is the most viewed review for that book having just reached 500 hits. Amongst a tiny niche of fantasy bookworm geeks, people actually seem to care what I have to say. Either that, or people on that site just aren't used to seeing an angry douchebag ranting his hatred for all to see and want to check out the train wreck for themselves. I'm quite pleased with this, as out of the reviews I've posted on that site, that one is my favorite. I had so much to say about how awful that book was that I actually had to edit it down a bit because it wouldn't fit the 20,000 character limit that they put on reviews.

Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, check it out. I think that it's pretty entertaining to read, but then again, I think most of what I write is entertaining to read whether it actually is or not. And, if you wouldn't mind, if you would be so kind as to click "Like" at the bottom of it when you're through, it would be most appreciated. The number of likes that a review has determines how far up on the list it is when someone searches for the book.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Xenoblade: BUY IT!!!

I've just finished playing Xenoblade, and here's what I thought about it.

The word epic does not even begin to describe Xenoblade. Those familiar with Tetsuya Takahashi’s work (Final Fantasy 6, Final Fantasy 7, Crisis Core, Xenogears, Xenosaga) will probably know that he’s one for epicness on a ridiculous scale. However, if you were to take all of the epic from every other game he has made and pour it all together, it would not even be half as epic as Xenoblade.

Xenoblade is a classic tale of boy meets girl. Girl meets killer robots. Boy steals magic lightsaber and runs away from home to seek vengeance. Girl is resurrected as a killer cyborg with her memory erased and sent to hunt him. Boy gathers the forces opposed to the machines to kill them all. Love conquers all, and there’s some vague threat from the mastermind behind the machines to eliminate all organic life in the world, which may also come to an end when the land itself gets bored of sleeping and wakes back up to resume its eternal fight against the other half of the land. And only the one chosen by the magic lightsaber as its master can calm the two titans that make up the land again.

Yes, it sounds cheesy, but here’s the thing. Rather than focusing on the events, and the flashy explosions—of which there are not a few, I will admit—or the excellent graphics, this game, first and foremost, focuses on the characters. I have never seen a video game put so much care and effort into developing its characters. It’s like watching a master novelist weaving his story around you. The character development is so good, in fact, that you forgive any ridiculousness in the plot. You really get to know the people that this game is about, what drives them, what they hope for and fear, and why they keep going even when the odds are completely impossible. You can feel the emotion of the main character Shulk as he pleads with the girl he loves, Fiora, to break the control over her mind that the villain has implanted in her, and the triumph when she finally does. You completely understand how deeply they love each other when he dives off of a floating city to save her, because he can’t bear to lose her again, and when they kiss while falling to what they believe is their death in each other’s arms, it actually means something to you. The effort put into foreshadowing is both excellent and subtle at the same time, giving you enough of an idea of what is to happen that it enhances the story rather than ruining it, and it makes you truly want to continue.

The characters are extremely well developed. The villains are suitably mysterious and inventively evil. The story tying them together is good enough on its own merits that I would have played the game to the end even if the character development had sucked. This game really is a masterpiece of storytelling the likes of which is rarely seen, especially in a video game. The way that it blends science fiction and fantasy together is excellent as well. The world feels real. The people in it feel real. The mythology has a lot of thought and effort put into it. It is no wonder that this game took seven years to make. To pull off a story this epic and well told with such a rich world and deep characters had to have taken a massive amount of work.

The biggest gripe that most people had about Takahashi’s previous works, mainly Final Fantasy 7, and the other games in the Xeno series, was that there were long, long, looooooooong stretches of story sequences, sometimes lasting hours, and not enough actual gameplay between. I’m happy to say that though there are story sequences in this game, and quite a few of them, they are blended very well with the game play, and you feel a lot more like you’re playing a game rather than watching a movie with this one. I’d go so far as to call the integration perfect. You still have the depth of a well-told story, but at the same time you still feel like you’re playing a game. The controls are excellent, the battle system is both extremely fun and very simple to pick up and use. It’s also very addictive. Fighting off the endless hoards of enemies is not a chore in this game. The world is HUGE and very fun to explore, and you are actually given a chance to do so.

The biggest problem I’ve seen with RPG video games over the last decade or so has been the degradation of storytelling in favor of employing more and more stunning graphics. This game gives a story told so well that you’d swear it came from the era of gaming when the stories stood out as the best thing in the game because they had to in order to overcome the constraints of the graphic technology of the times. At the same time it also has the absolute best graphics I have ever seen on the Nintendo Wii. Rather than distracting both player and game maker alike from the story, the graphics in this game enhance the story to such a degree that you can see the world and the people come alive in a way that would have been impossible even ten years ago. Every single setting in the game is simply amazing to look at, and the action sequences are both very well paced, and thrilling to watch. Imagine a sky that, at night, is full of an unbelievable amount of stars, or covered with an aurora that rains down sparkling bits of magic. Imagine an icy wasteland where the ice crystals bathe everything in a warm yellow glow and shine upward like ten thousand spotlights into the sky, or a swamp with a multicolored haze of latent magical energy hovering over everything. Imagine one of the characters having one of the most epic duels I've ever seen as an avalanche crashes down all around them, and enemy fighters circle around the sky firing their weapons down at the the two, or a floating city exploding all around the characters as they desperately try to make it to safety before everything comes crashing down. The large scale ariel and ground battles in this game are breathtaking, but so are the quiet moments of characters looking to the horizon as they try to deal with their inner turmoil. Rather than being a special effects and highly choreographed snorefest like the star wars prequels, the duels are meaningful because you know why the characters are fighting and what the fight means. The flashy effects like a city exploding all around them, or an avalanche crashing down only enhance what is happening because you're so invested in the characters themselves that even if it was done with sixteen bit graphics you'd still be on the edge of your seat. The flashy graphics and effects enhance the story spectacularly rather than trying to replace it as so many games and movies are trying to do lately.

It is no secret that the voice acting in video games is hardly award-winning. In fact, most times it’s downright awful. However, the British cast of this game is excellent. I don’t know if it’s just that it’s harder for me to spot bad acting because of the accents, but in my opinion the acting was some of the best ever featured in a video game. Every single voice fit the characters, and the translation of the script was done very well, so none of the dialog sounded fake, forced, or strange. The music was so great that after playing the prologue of the game I immediately bought the soundtrack off of Amazon. It enhances the mood of the scenes and the world to make it feel so much more real than the already realistic graphics and story make it. The only gripe that I can give is that the words do not match up very well with the movements of the characters mouths, but, then again, they’re not supposed to. The game has the option to use the original Japanese audio track, and that doesn’t match up very well either.

I absolutely HATE motion sensitive gaming. It is, in my opinion, the most retarded thing that anyone has ever thought of. It is the reason that I took me so very long to get a Wii, and I do not buy any games that require the use of motion control, because I think it is stupid, and should never have been implemented. Xenoblade is one of the few games on the Wii that completely ignores the fact that the motion control even exists. You cannot even play the game with the normal Wii controller. You need either a gamecube controller or a Wii classic controller to play this game. I count that as an EXTREMELY big plus and I hope the idiot that first came up with the idea of motion controls is currently addicted to heroine and blowing a guy for his next fix.

This game was excellent. It is probably the best RPG I have ever played, and I have played a LOT of RPGs. I lost two weeks to this game because I literally could do nothing else until I finished it. Lately I've had trouble rousing the interest and patience to play a game this long, even old favorites, but this one sucked me in and wouldn't let me go. Every single element of it was perfectly done, and blended together so well that it’s flaws are barely noticed, and few and far between. The English version of the game is translated and acted extremely well. The story is beyond epic, and if there is a word for how good the character development is, I don’t know it. For fans of Tetsuya Takahashi’s games, and of RPG video games in general, this one is a must. Unfortunately, Nintendo of America has refused to release this game in the Americas, and the only way that you will be able to play it is by importing it. If you have the means of obtaining a PAL version Wii, or a region modded one, or have a good PC emulator to run the disc on, and have the time to sit down and play this game, you will not regret it. Even my brother who absolutely hates video games was drawn in by this one. The storytelling is just so good that even someone who considers games to be a complete waste of time can't stop playing it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: The Eye of the World

I've posted a new book review, the next in my complete reread of the Wheel of Time Series in preparation for the final volume which will be coming out next year, possibly as soon as march.

Click Here To Read It.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bwaahaahaa take that, nintendo of america

Soooo, a game taking place in the xenogears/saga universe was announced a few years ago and i was waaaay excited about it because i loved those games. Rather than being on playstation as previous games in the series, this one was going to be on wii. Luckily, i owned a wii so all was well. The game came out in japan and was named rpg of the decade. This got me even more excited for it. And then... Nintendo of america annoumced last year that they had decided never to release xenoblade in rhe usa. I was incredibly pissed about this, as you might imagine. I'd waited years for this game. It takes place in the world of some of my favorite games of all time. It was named rpg of the freakin decade! And it was written by one of my favorite japanese writers on top of it all. But then, earlier this year, nintendo of europe announced that they would be releasing the game in english and french in the pal format. Sooooo, i hopped on ebay, found a pal format wii for about $20 used, did some creative rigging to hook it up to my ntsc tv, and ordered the game from When the game finally arroved it was all i hoped it would be and more. In fact, i would go so far as to say that it is probably the best rpg i've ever played in my life. Go kill yourselves, nintendo of america!!!!!!! You can suck my pal version wiimote. You conspired to keep this game away from me, but i got it anyway and i looooooove it.