Thursday, May 28, 2009





Stupid glitch.

Ugh! I just want to chuck my Fable 2 disk through my tv, use it as a pooper scooper then toss it into my pool. I got "the glitch" last night and I'm pissed.

There's a glitch that seems to happen in random places. There's a guy on one forum who had it happen to him in The Crucible. It happened to me in the Cemetery.

After going into the Cemetery I decided I didn't want to fight 100 Hollow Men right then. So, I tried to leave. Unfortunately the game wouldn't let me. It would dump me right outside of the Cemetery, but no matter what direction I headed it would put me right back into the Cemetery. I tried that three times before the game finally let me leave. It put me near the harbor and the problems really started.

The first thing I noticed was those little glowing orbs were pointing me to where the guy is to take you to Knothole Island. I knew that wasn't my active quest so I pulled up my menu and looked at it. Apparently the game reset my active quest to Knothole Island and when I tried to reset it the game wouldn't acknowledge the change.

Then I started to move. Or tried to at any rate. If I tried to move outside the glowing orb path my character seemed to get pulled back towards the orbs no matter what I did. And when I did follow the path my character moved in jerky movements. I've never had this happen before and even though I've installed the game on my hard drive I figured it was just running through a load sequence and it would get better soon.

It didn't.

When I got to the Knothole Island guy on the pier he had 5 enemies surrounding him and attacking him. I tried to come to his defence but I couldn't pull out my crossbow. Or my great axe. Or use any spells. At this point I was in the middle of them and they started hacking at me and I didn't have a way to defend myself.

So what's a girl to do? I used the quick travel menu option and picked a spot close to where I was. A couple hours of the game clock and one load screen later I was standing safely at the entrance to Bowerstone. Except I couldn't move.

I couldn't walk or run anywhere. I couldn't do any expressions. And I didn't have my dog with me. In fact I couldn't remember the last time I had seen my dog. The Cemetery, maybe? So I went back to the quick travel menu and picked another destination. Same thing. It didn't matter what place I picked, once I got there I couldn't move.

Now, I've read about this "immobile" glitch in the game from several forums. And I'm sure I read there's a way to fix it too. So I saved my game (big mistake) because I had done a lot of things prior to start of all my problems, but I hadn't saved for a long time. Before I decided to go online to find what to do to fix the problem I thought I'd see if exiting the game and reloading my save would fix things. It didn't.

So I ripped the game out of my system and promptly put it back in my game case. Then I got online to figure out how to solve my problem. Apparently this problem was suppose to have been fixed in an update to the game at the end of March. Since I had all the updates I should have been good. But obviously I wasn't. I did some more research and found out that the only way to "fix" the problem was to restart the game.


Do you know how many hours I've invested in that game so far? My character was completely evil and completely corrupt (no small feat that). I had a 5 star ranking in both woodcutting AND blacksmithing. I completed the Hero of Strength quest, had not one, but two statues created in my honor and completed many other side quests of the game. So what if I couldn't figure out how to have sex and wake up with a baby? I think I've pretty much given up on that for the time being when for the last couple of days whenever I tried to use a bed I would get this message: "You can't rest here." It didn't matter what bed, in stranger's houses or either of my marital houses it just wouldn't let me do it. And now I find out I've got to start over? You've got to be kidding me?

There's a big difference between a glitch that allows a player to "hide" in a wall and shot at people passing by but not taking any damage from bullets themselves and a glitch that makes your game completely unplayable. That kind of glitch is totally unacceptable. The "guy in a wall" glitch can be dealt with and the game will go on. An "immobility" glitch stops the game cold and pisses off the gamer like you would not believe.

This glitch makes the trouble I had with a boss encounter in Lost Odyssey where the boss dealt only in magic and my party (forced on me) was weak in magic defence look like a walk in the park and then a joy ride. After that boss I put Lost Odyssey aside because I was angry and frustrated with how many attempts it took me to defeat him and picked up Fable II. Now maybe I'll put Fable II aside and go back to Lost Odyssey. Once I finish that game (I'm on disk 4) I can finally go back to Blue Dragon which is a game I've been dying to get to for awhile.

If Lionhead Studios want me to invest in Fable III when it comes out they need to do a better job at doing their job. That one lousy glitch might turn me off the game for a very long time. I might not even go back to finish the first Fable game (which I haven't done yet). It just makes me go grrrr!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Old School is not always fun

So Gears of War 2 this Memorial weekend was an "old school" weekend. Teams were now limited to 4 players instead of 5. Stun grenades kept your character upright, but stunned instead of knocking you half way across the map. Old school rules applies.

And it wasn't all that fun.

Now, I LOVED the original Gears of War and have many fond memories of playing that game 'til all hours of the night. But once you've played with a squad of 5 players it makes it hard to go back to just 4. Take the River map for instance. With 5 players you send 1 down to pick up the Boomshot under the bridge, 1 to cover him immediately, 1 to grab the frags and then come down to cover him (or throw them up to the sniper spot if there is no resistance at the boom), 1 player up to the sniper/torque on your side, and 1 player to keep an eye on the bridge/cover the player going for sniper/torque and maybe even go for the mortar is possible. With only 4 players someone isn't going to have enough protection for very long.

If you send 3 down for the Boomshot (1 with frags) that leaves the sniper vulnerable to someone coming across the bridge and coming up behind them. If you send 2 in each direction then there is some confusion as to where the frags would be best used. If the guy going for the Boomshot waits until he has frag support, the other team will get the Boomshot. If the person getting frags goes to help cover sniper, then they can't be used to throw up at the other team's sniper spot.

If you split up and travel in pairs to back each other up no matter where you go, if one of you gets killed that leaves your buddy all along to face who know how many enemies. Besides, it's a whole team effort, not mini Wingman matches in a larger game. Having that fifth person makes all the world of difference especially on maps where you can use them as roving support. Helping out where it's needed once you've learned the enemies attack pattern. Maps like Ruins.

And the frags? In Gears of War 2 I've thrown a stun grenade at an opponent knowing it would knock them back 10 feet right to the feet of my teammate who would promptly blow their head off. One down, four more to go. With the "old school" stun frags, the enemy just stands there cowering until they can move again. This reaction seems to not last as long as if the player was knocked down and had to get up. It's much harder to get over to someone to kill them if they don't have to take that extra time to get up.

Now, I'm sure someone will say that the original rule for GOW2 has made me lazy and that playing "old school" made you work harder to get your kill. Possibly. But another thing I did noticed while playing this weekend is that playing "old school" made my team communicate much less than playing with a squad of 5. Maybe it was the fact that we knew if we came upon the enemy we'd have to deal with them ourselves because help wasn't coming. With five man teams we could send 3 players to rush the enemy, 1 to stay pack and snipe and 1 to act as a scout and protector for the sniper. We would communicate all the time. Telling each other where enemies were; where they were headed; and where not to go because they tagged something. Maps that felt large with 5 player teams needed a lot of communication, but with 4 player teams you'll either end up dead or the victor before you could get any help.

A five player team also means you have someone who acts as leader. Someone to decide if your team is going right or left on Day One. If someone disagrees and it comes to vote, there is no tie. Someone steps up and takes charge. And sometimes it varies on the map. I have some friends who experience the kiss of death on certain maps and others who excel on those maps. We all know our strengths and weaknesses and with more players participating we have a better chance at exploiting that.

Supposedly these "old school" rules ended last night. We'll see what happens today when I play (and you know I will). Hopefully we'll be back to the way Gears of War 2 was meant to be played. While playing "old school" games can be fun, sometimes playing new games by those rules isn't.

I've been chastised

At a family gathering yesterday my little brother (kaiakapero) chastised me for not keeping to my "3 posts a week" goal you people set for me. Things have been crazy busy at work and since I love to take a break and type up my entries at work I haven't had much of a chance to do so lately. Yes, I know I could do it once I got home, but after staring at not one, but two computer screens all day I just can't stand to look at another monitor at home. It might be because I've got two 21" flat screen monitors on my desk at work and one 19" old CRT monitor on my desk at home. It makes a difference.

And speaking of my brother kai, his birthday is coming up on June 11th so be sure to pester him with well wishes for growing old. Yes, I know I'm older than him, but I've come to terms with my old age. I'm not sure he's done that for himself yet. Besides, sometimes I think he's lonely playing Call of Duty 4 by himself. We all keep talking about going back to that game. Maybe someday we'll do it and join ya, kai.

And don't worry about this being my only post for the week. I've got another idea rattling around in by brain that I'd like to spill out, once it's more fully framed. And kai and Genghis Khan are to blame if you don't like it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Avatar coming soon!

Keep an eye on my Avatar if you want a clue as to what the next poll is going to be. For the last couple of polls I've created an Avatar to match. A Little Sister for the Big Daddy poll, a Librarian for the reading poll, and a hooker for the sex poll. What will I come up with next? Wait and see.

Poll Results - Have you had sex in a video game?

Here's the latest poll results:

Have you had sex in a video game?

"black coffee" was HOT! (GTA) = 2 votes
I hired a hooker in Bloodstone (Fable II) = 1 vote
I've only slept with my spouse (Fable II) = 0 votes
I don't kiss and tell = 1 vote

Well, unfortunately I couldn't vote in my own poll. I haven't figured out how to have sex yet. I'm not giving up (since one of my husband's status is "wants sex"). I'm determined, horny and pure evil now in Fable II since I picked up the Paradigm achievement the other night. (I killed a villager to get it. It was worth it.)

But speaking of sex, I think my friend metallicorphan needs to change his name to "horn dog" or something similar. He's had a lot more "experience" and he admitted it too. I totally forgot about the prostitute in Fallout 3. I've only recently met her (lovely lady) but that's as far in the game as I've gotten. And I haven't played it for awhile. Orphie came up with a bunch more games I didn't even know about.

I remember when "black coffee" came out and the uproar about that episode, which was hidden in the game. Yet, there doesn't seem to be the same out roar for Fable II, Fallout 3 and other games with sex in them. Are we getting to the point where, as a society, we are more open to sex? Will Netflicks on Xbox Live now start distributing porn? If so I don't think the PS3 has a chance. Microsoft is going to have to build a larger hard drive. And if that happens, I know a few guys I might never play a game with again. I just might have more than one "horn dog" show up on my friend's list.

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Poll - Have you had sex in a video game?

Here's my latest poll:

Have you had sex in a video game?

"black coffee" was HOT! (GTA)
I hired a hooker in Bloodstone (Fable II)
I've only slept with my spouse (Fable II)
I don't kiss and tell

Vote in the poll and then let me know what you think in my comments. We don't need to know all the dirty details . . . save that for your letter to Playboy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poll Results - Read a book?

Here's the latest poll results:

When was the last time you read a book?

Within the last month = 3 votes
Within the last 3 months = 0 votes
Within the last 6 months = 0 votes
Within the last year = 2 votes
What's a book? = 4 votes

Okay one of you admitted voting for the last one a couple of times. I wish all those "What's a book?" votes were mistakes or someone just goofing around. Not only are you messing with the integrity of my polls but you're bumming me out if that's how you really feel.

Personally, I read about 12-24 books a year. Last year I didn't read that many but then I was spending my time trying to buy a house from April 'till October when I finally closed the deal. I even keep a log and 3x5 cards on all the books I read. It's a habit I picked up in college when I had to do it for a class. I had to read 50 books in that semester. Luckily they were suppose to be books that kids in Junior or Senior High would read. It was daunting at first, but once you started to realize what books they liked and how short they usually were they ended up being fast reads. Of course, they were also filled with teenage angst and drama and the writing was usually pretty sappy. You just had to cringe and get through it. I think I ended up reading 52 books for that class.

Dain Bramage was never a reader. He looked at books as a pile of hundreds of little paper cuts waiting to strike at you. I turned him around. I asked him to read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. When he wouldn't comply I gave him the book for his birthday (or maybe Christmas) with a large gift card to Game Stop to use as a bookmark. I told him he couldn't cash the card in until he read the book. I didn't think he would stick to that but he did. And he loved the book. I think it took me two years to convince him to read the first Harry Potter book but he's been hooked ever since.

He's read the "Otherland" series by Tad Williams, "The Homecoming" series and the "Ender's Shadow" series by Orson Scott Card. He also picked up the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe series all on his own. (I'm so proud.) I then recommended the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. The last book in that series just came out last year in hardback and should be coming out this summer in paperback.

The first book in the series is called Mistborn: The Final Empire. It's kind of strange to have "final" in the title when it's the first book in the series. But it's a great series. The magic system in the book is incredible. Every time I've read the books I can't help but think "that would make a GREAT video game". Usually you have books made into movies. I can see that happening with this series. But it's the possibilities with the magic system that would make it a great video game, even an MMO video game.

People are able to 'perform' magic by first ingesting metal shavings and then burning them. But not all people can do this. If you can only burn one metal, like tin which enhances the senses, you're called a Misting. If, on the other hand, you're one of the few people who can burn ALL the different types of metal you're called a Mistborn. You can burn the metal to 'push' yourself off of anything metal, or burn another metal to 'pull' yourself towards a metal surfaces. You could burn another metal to see briefly into the future, which comes in handy when you're locked in a battle with someone. There's metals to soothe other peoples emotions . . . or to riot them up. If you're Mistborn and can burn them all it's wonderful. If you're a Misting you can be a specialist. Think of trying to fight someone while you (or them) are flying through the air bouncing off of metal spires or door hinges.

I've meet Brandon Sanderson many times at conventions. I even interviewed him for a podcast for a writing website I'm a moderator on. He's a great guy and he tells a great story (and he's finishing the Wheel of Time series for the late Robert Jordan). If they can make novels into movies then turn those movies back into "novelizations" they can certainly make this series into a video game. Maybe it could turn into something like the Expanded Universe of Star Wars. Except this time it starts with a book. And so should you. Pick it up and read it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A dog lover, a bigamist and horny as hell

No, that title is not the opening line to a joke . . . or my profile on an online dating website. I'm talking about a game people. Fable II to be precise.

Okay, lets start with the "dog lover". Yes, I know you'd rather talk about being a bigamist or horny as hell, but it's my blog so I get to talk about what I want in the order I want to talk about it. Just consider the "dog lover" talk to be foreplay before we get to the good stuff.

I was playing Fable II and I taught my dog Meko a new trick. Then I started to perform the action that would make Meko do the trick. At the same time my own real life dog Zoe was sitting in front of me wanting desperately to be petted. When she heard Meko bark her ears perked up and she got very still. I made Meko bark a few more times then Zoe turned around and started staring at the TV.

After a few more tricks Zoe walked up to the TV and tried to find the dog I must be hiding underneath the TV. She couldn't find it. So she tried looking behind the TV to find the dog. No luck there. She finally came back to the front of the TV and some movement on the screen must have caught her eye. She stared directly at the screen and watched my character interact with Meko. I pointed to the screen and said "look at the doggy Zoe" and she immediately made the connection between Meko, the dog on the screen, and the sound of the barking. If I ran around so Meko was on the left of the screen, Zoe would move over to the left side of the TV, hop up on the edge of the TV stand and stare right where Meko was. If I moved Meko to the right side, Zoe would move over there. She even started whining at the screen. And once she growled because I made Meko growl. When she started licking the screen, trying to get to the dog, I almost fell over because I was laughing so hard. It made me wish I had a video camera so I could show you what she was like. Yes, I am a dog lover . . . and apparently Zoe is too.

Now for the juicy parts.

I'm now a bigamist. Yep. I'm married . . . twice. At the same time. At least my character in Fable II is. The first marriage was easy. Getting that second marriage was a little harder. I don't know why. I've proposed to several people. I've almost got a whole village engaged to me. But actually tying the knot for the second time and getting the Bigamist achievement seemed elusive. No matter how many properties I bought I wasn't given the opportunity to make it a marriage house.

Then I started working on one of the side quests. I was suppose to deliver a rejection letter to a guy named Alex in town. When I got there my options were to 1) deliver the letter and break his heart or 2) marry him. I chose to marry him. I didn't marry him for love, or money . . . I married him for the achievement and I'm happy with that. And for right now Alex is happy too.

My problem now is I can't figure out how to have sex. Looking at dain's achievements I saw that he has had sex, and a child, so I'd figure I'd ask for his advice. Can you image how awkward it would be if your sister came up to you and asked you how to have sex and a child? It was a little bit awkward but we laughed about it and then I listened to his advice. It was essentially 1) get someone to fall in love with you, 2) get them to follow you, and 3) find the closest bed and "activate" it.

I tried to follow his advice, but when I get to the bed my only option is to rest. I tried it with my first husband (I figured I should give our marriage a chance first before I start stepping out on him) but that didn't work. I've tried it with several of my fiances and with total strangers. Apparently it's "not tonight, I've got a headache" for everyone in Albion except me. But then again maybe I'm too horny for anyone to give in to their "swinger" tendencies.

Yep, you heard me. I'm horny.

I've got two giant horns growing out of my forehead that hang all the way down to my chin. Did you think I was talking about any other kind of horny? I wasn't planning on playing up my darker half, but all the stealing I've been doing seems to have an effect on my appearance. Grown men have run screaming from my presence. And I recently got the "Extremist" achievement for obtaining 100% corruption. I'm not 100% evil yet because I think marrying Alex was a good thing, even if it made me a bigamist. And I might have done a few good deeds at the beginning. Maybe it's just that all the citizens of Albion aren't interested in doing a little "horizontal hokey-pokey" with a character that looks like a devil. Devil's need some loving too, you know.

I think it might have something to do with the expressions. I sold a few books before I read them so there are some expressions I don't have that I should. Those missing expressions might included something along the lines of "lets get busy" but since I don't have those books anymore I wouldn't know. All my money currently has been going into buying real estate. I want to be the horniest Donald Trump of Albion. I would say the world, but we've already got one of those.

So if any of you would like to offer some advice as to how I (meaning my character) can have sex (or the appearance of sex) in a video game (so I can get an achievement), let me know. Feel free to consult your wives, girlfriends or significant others before doing so. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble or the title of "Swinger" or "Bigamist" in real life. Let's just keep those in the video games, shall we?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Poll Results - Have you played BioShock?

Here are the poll results:

Have you played BioShock?

Yes = 7 votes
No = 2 votes
My name is Evil Ric and I will play this game before the poll closes or Pengwenn will delete me from her friend's list = 4 votes

Evil tried to be sneaky and kept voting for the last one, but fortunately it only let him clone himself 3 times before it wouldn't let him do it again. Trust me, we don't need any more Evil Rics in our lives, I'm just saying. And yes, he's still on my friend's list.

For those who voted "no" I'd like to know why you haven't picked up the game yet. It's a fantastic game and it's pretty cheap now. Once we get closer to BioShock 2 that might not be the case.

When I played this game it scared the willies out of me. Every time I heard the thump of a Big Daddy's footsteps I'd stop and look around me . . . on the screen and in my apartment. It was just that creepy. Of course it helped that I usually played it with the lights off at night. I even blogged about a specific night where I was going through a particularly wet part of the game and there was a huge thunderstorm outside. Rain was coming down in sheets and once again it scared the willies out of me.

And I don't want to spoil anything for Evil but when you get to the big reveal about who your character is, what he does, and WHY he does it I just had to go WOW! I never would have guessed about that. But when I stopped to think about it made perfect sense. It made me feel like I couldn't wait to play it again to pick up on all the subtle things I missed that would have pointed me right to that conclusion.

And this is a game I will play again . . . and not just to get the missing achievements. I can't tell you how many times I just spent wandering around in an area LOOKING at things. Art on the walls, construction of buildings, debris left laying around, corpses ripped open with blood everywhere. It was beautiful. As visually stunning as the game is I wished I had a surround sound system to play the game with. That would have been awesome. To hear which direction the Big Daddy is coming from right from the get go would be fantastic. Without a surround system the game does okay in that respect but it still would have been nice to play the game the way it was meant to be played.

I did have some trouble in parts of the game, but mostly because I forgot what my objective was and where I had to go. Other times was because the enemy was too good for the type of weapons or plasmids I was using. I was using a slow gun . . . they were fast. I had inferno equipped . . . they were immune to fire. That kind of thing. Although I had my comfort zone of what weapons and plasmids I was confident with the game forced me to try new things. I don't think I would have used telekinesis if I hadn't had to. But once I got the hang of it I thought that enhancement was fun. And there were times in the game where I saved it every time I came to a corner . . . and then once again when I got around it. And I think I was playing on easy.

I will play it on the super hard mode so I can get that "Ball buster" achievement. It might take me a long time, and many saves, to do it without dying but it will be worth it. If you haven't played it yet. Do it now. If you haven't finished the game, what are you waiting for? And then just before BioShock 2 comes out put the game back in and play again. Would you kindly do so.

Thanks. I'll see you in Rapture.