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I should have written more here [Jun. 24th, 2009|09:09 am]
[Current Mood |crazycrazy]

It may have been the only thing keeping the madness at bay.

I haven't written a proper entry in a long time. I haven't felt the need to say anything here, even if it is for my own benefit. I don't think it's just me, either. LJ has seemed to slow down a lot since other sites like Facebook and Myspace allow more communication with friends. But this is still my journal, my story, and I've often enjoyed looking back on old entries to read about my experiences from several years ago. So when I look back at 2008 and 2009, there isn't much at all.

Things have changed since my last entry, and yet, they haven't changed much at all. I completed my course, with distinction. I still keep in contact with a few people from TAFE, which is surprising for me. But on the other end, I still don't have a job. I've been applying for jobs since December and so far I've had no luck. This has in turn caused some rather unpleasant changes in me.

I am often in a dark mood these days. Previously, I'd had two voices in my head that liked to argue and bicker amongst themselves, sometimes telling me what to do, but not always. Now I have a third voice, and it is one mean bastard. I don't listen to it, though. But it's there. Slowly turning me into a psychopath.

And it's all due to the amazing amount of time I have on my hands. I am barely employed, and yet I'm not doing anything constructive with my time, because I'm stressed, worried, and standing on the edge of madness. I've written a little bit, but not as much as I could have. Most of my energy has gone into the job search, and while I have a few hopeful prospects right now, I don't know if I'll ever have a proper job, be in the position to earn some money and finally get out of this house.

I'm just kidding with the colour stuff. I've been reading House of Leaves lately. It hasn't really been getting to me. I've been like this for some time, anyway. I'm just letting the book carry me away.

Why have I not been writing more entries, dear LJ? Because it's all been the same. It would be 6 months worth of anger, angst and it would all be the same. Is that the sort of thing I want to read about years from now? Perhaps. If I'd written more entries I may have been able to track more easily my downward spiral.

I hope that when things turn around, I'll keep a journal again. Maybe this one. Maybe not.

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(no subject) [Feb. 1st, 2009|12:41 pm]
Not really stolen. Just passed around the Internets like some sort of virus.

Empire Magazine has revealed its list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows ever.
1. Bold the shows you watch/used to watch.
2. Italicize the shows you've seen at least one episode of.
3. Underline the shows you own on DVD (at least one season).
4. Post your answers.

50. Quantum Leap

49. Prison Break

48. Veronica Mars

47. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

46. Sex & The City

45. Farscape

44. Cracker

43. Star Trek

42. Only Fools and Horses

41. Band of Brothers

40. Life on Mars

39. Monty Python

38. Curb Your Enthusiasm

37. Star Trek: The Next Generation

36. Father Ted

35. Alias

34. Frasier

33. CSI Las Vegas

32. Babylon 5

31. Deadwood

30. Dexter

29. ER

28. Fawlty Towers

27. Six Feet Under

26. Red Dwarf

25. Futurama

24. Twin Peaks

23. The Office

22. The Shield

21. Angel

20. Blackadder

19. Scrubs

18. Arrested Development

17. South Park

16. Doctor Who

15. Heroes

14. Firefly

13. Battlestar Galactica

12. Family Guy

11. Seinfeld

10. Spaced

09. The X-Files

08. The Wire

07. Friends

06. 24

05. Lost

04. The West Wing

03. The Sopranos

02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

01. The Simpsons

Not so many. But then, I don't watch a lot of TV.
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Missing a foot. [Nov. 12th, 2008|08:24 pm]
I had such an odd dream last night, and I could clearly remember how real it felt, despite how little sense it actually made. I don't remember many of my dreams, and I don't often remember them well into the next evening, but I still remember this one, so maybe I need to write about it.

The first scene I can clearly remember is me driving down a familiar road in my car (a red '88 Ford Laser, an incredibly common car here. I usually see cars that look exactly like mine every day, and rarely the same one twice). In this dream, I am driving along, when I suddenly notice that the two cars in front of me are both red Lasers. Bemused, I continue driving. The one in front of me seems to be unable to keep up, though, and I get annoyed and overtake. I glance at it in my rear-view mirror a few times. Suddenly I notice his car starts smoking, and then it's on fire.

At this point, I am out of there. Myself and the other red Laser have moved on. I hear about the car explosion on the news, later in my dream. I suddenly feel guilt for just driving away without actually trying to help. I really do remember having such feelings of remorse in my dream. They felt so real. And this is where the dream gets really strange...

The next scene, I'm back in that same situation, only this time, I decide to help the guy in the car behind. Only, I'm a little too slow. I don't remember the connecting scenes, but I assume it involves the explosion. I have survived, but my right foot has been amputated just above the ankle. For reasons I am unaware of. And also, I have no other injuries.

So the rest of the dream, I'm getting around on one foot, which I seem to find no trouble at all, strangely enough. I belive that my foot is still there, though I can see quite clearly that it isn't. My dad shows up and pokes at where my toe would probably be, and I claim to be able to feel it. He calls bullshit. So I say do it again, and I close my eyes and turn my head away. I can accurately point out the times when my invisible foot has been touched.

I wake up at this point, quite relieved that my foot is actually still there.
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Why do I go back and read old entries? [Aug. 31st, 2008|11:14 pm]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

I do this from time to time, and I always come away with some strange feelings... amusement at my old ideas, regret that things went down a certain path... and the main one, the doubts that my younger self had about stuff he was going to do... and then he completely ignored these gut feelings and got burned.

My younger self, of 20 or so, often had the idea of wanting to go back and give advice to his younger self. Fuck, how would that help? It'd be the blind leading the blind. I'm nearly 24 and if I could go back and tell my 20 year old self things, I certainly would. But would my 28 year old self look at what I am now and shake his head and think "What an idiot! Wish I could go tell him what's what."

The past is such an interesting place, and reading some very emotionally charged entries (that I've gone through before and forgotten), can be so draining. I shake my head. I wonder what the hell I was thinking, when I clearly remember things being so clear at the time. Things are clear now. At least, I think they are. But my younger self liked to narrow things down to a few select choices. And looking back on those choices, the path I'm currently on is the product of none of them.

The path I'm on now was a result of opening my eyes and finally seeing what was in front of me the entire time. My younger self remarked in an entry (written back in 2003), that he did not want to be a librarian. Guess what, younger self! I am well on my way to becoming one. And I am really enjoying it. I love books, I love information in general. Being in the library, helping people with their needs, whether it's helping them find something, or just checking items out to them, it's fun and rewarding. I picture myself as some sort of Keeper of Information.

I'm on my second round of work experience. I'm doing it at the library I've worked at since 2001. Everyone knows me, and I know them. And my program is giving me a chance to work in all the divisions and sections of the library, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm seeing for the first time what the job is like from their point of view. I work in the circulation area and I put the returns on the trolleys... then I see the young shelver come in to put them all away. It's kind of strange to be on the other side of that now. But it feels fitting. I'm not getting paid for this, but I'm enjoying every moment of it. I am sure this is where I want to be. I find myself fitting right in with the team, laughing when something funny is said... sometimes being the one to say the funny thing. As a shelver, I was an outsider to all of this, as the young shelver might be now. He just comes in and takes the trolly out to the shelves. He doesn't see all this, as I didn't see it before.

There's something I've heard which I can certainly agree with... "The best job is the one you'd gladly do for nothing." And if you're getting paid for it, that's much better! At the end of this placement, I will be applying for every library job within a certain radius. This might not have been the ideal career all along for me, but it's certainly the right choice now. If this was suggested to me when I was in High School I would have laughed. High School me thought he wanted to get into Information Technology. He was hell bent on it, and he couldn't be pursuaded. Not until he realised for himself that he did not want it. I'm stubborn like that. Then I got it into my head I wanted to be a teacher, and not even my own self doubt could stop me.

But this time, there is no doubt. I've felt it for a long while now, since doing this course, that I'm finally on the right track. By December I will be finished, I will have my diploma, and I will finally have my career in order. Once that is done, I can work on the other areas of my life. Once I have money, I can think about moving out. I can think about having a social life beyond the occasional meet... piss up with my Internet buddies.

So while I sit here and shake my head at my younger self, I'm now feeling confident that my older self won't be doing that to my current self. I feel like I've finally grown up. It took a while, but I got there. Bloomer commented on one of my old entries. He said that this journal stuff we do is one of the only ways we can measure the changes in our life, our thoughts and ideas and plans. It's true. If not for LJ, I probably would have forgotten much of what I've thought and said and did since I started this whole thing in 2003. I kind of regret not writing here as much anymore. This is only the 8th entry I've written this year.

But I've been a lot more stable in my thoughts. I've been focused on a path and I have not deviated from it. Perhaps there simply hasn't been anything that needed to be said in that time. Perhaps I will only need to update this thing when something changes, or when I have a real flash of insight, like I did tonight. And I should stop now, since it's late and I need to be up early tomorrow.

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Things are looking up [Apr. 17th, 2008|08:39 am]
I barely post anything here anymore. Even stopped doing those Gaming/Reading logs, mostly due to not having much time to do either. Yep, my free time is at an all time low, and that is probably a good thing, because what free time I have, I tend to make the most of. Well, right now I'm on a two-week break from TAFE, so I don't have any classes. Still have work most afternoons, but at least I'm not having to wake up early all the time. I am a bit peeved that Grand Theft Auto IV is released on the day my classes start back... 

Anyway, I'm probably going to disappear again after my holidays. Second week back, I start work placement, which is two 7 hour shifts a week at a library. I don't get paid 'cause it's all about experience and learning, but honestly, I don't care. I just need that work experience so I can actually get a job (something I've had a lot of trouble with). 7 years of working in a library, and I still can't get a better job in the library 'cause I have no customer service experience. But this work placement, I have to do it anyway to get my diploma, will give me about 100 hours of customer service experience. So the next time I'm in a job interview, I won't completely freeze when they ask a question relating to that. 

I hear there's some casual library assistant positions coming up at my library. Hopefully it won't appear until I'm on my work placement, to give me a better chance. Casual position would be great. I could finally quit as a shelver, and probably quit that book/DVD processing work I do for the Acquisitions team, since that is getting tedious. 

I finish TAFE at the end of this year, and if my excellent marks keep up, my Diploma is going to look very nice when I go for higher level library jobs. Right now I'd settle for A job that isn't shelving. And soon... I will actually have a chance.
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Reading & Gaming Log - February [Feb. 11th, 2008|09:12 am]

FF3 progress has been slow. But I'm getting through it. On the GameCube, I've been playing Metroid Prime and Rogue Leader, two games I picked up dirt cheap in a recent EB sale. They're quite okay. I wish I'd played them a few years back, since I might have actually felt like playing them more. It's the 360 that takes up the majority of my time. Over the last month, I played a bit more of Kameo, I've started Dead Rising, and I've gotten about 40% of the way through Enchanted Arms. It's a pretty good game once you learn the ropes of the battle system. The last few days I've been doing nothing but play Lost Odyssey. Hit the 20 hour mark, and I only just got the game a few days ago. I don't usually play so many games at once. I was hoping to have Enchanted Arms finished before LO came out, but I got stuck on a hard boss, and it slowed me down. So I doubt I'll be playing much of anything else until Lost Odyssey is finished, then I'll work through the rest of my games I'm currently playing.

Currently Playing

* Lost Odyssey (360)
* Enchanted Arms (360)
* Dead Rising (360)
* Kameo (360)
* Star Wars - Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (GC)
* Metroid Prime (GC)
* Final Fantasy III (DS)


Finished recently:

* Jennifer Government - Max Barry
* Company - Max Barry
* Fridge Magnets are Bastards - Mark Dapin
* Smoke and Mirrors - Neil Gaiman

Currently reading: 

* Dune - Frank Herbert
* Hunter's Run - George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Daniel Abraham

On my shelf to read at some point:

* Memories of Ice - Steven Erikson
* House of Chains - Steven Erikson
* The Troy Game (books 1 and 2) - Sara Douglass
* Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan
* Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan
* New Spring - Robert Jordan

To buy/borrow eventually:

* 1984 - George Orwell
* One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
* House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
* Battle Royale - Takami or something

Jennifer Government was a good, entertaining read. Wasn't quite as sharp or focused as Syrup, but I enjoyed it all the same. I was able to have it finished fairly quickly. I then spotted Max Barry's third novel in the library one day while working, so I borrowed that and began reading pretty much straight after. It was a fascinating book, though there wasn't much in the way of suspense, or even a real resolution to the problems the character had to face. It got through on the intriguing premise alone. I finished reading Fridge Magnets Are Bastards, a humourous book about things and people in this world that are bastards for various reasons. It's an A - Z listing, so I read little bits at a time, and I finally finished it. Smoke & Mirrors is a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman. I'd read some already, when I was in the library before or after work, but I was running out of time to do stuff like that, so I just borrowed it and finished it off. Some stories in there were brilliant, others not as much, but all of his work was of a good quality. I found it tough to read the poetry, the short stories written in verse, and stuff like that. I'm not really a fan of those styles. High School put me off poetry forever, I'm afraid. 

I'm finally reading Dune, a book I'd bought at a huge discount ages back. It's interesting, but a fairly slow read. I love the way the little things in people's reactions show people their motives and all that stuff. The politics, powerplay etc. If this story was just about a desert planet with sand worms, I probably wouldn't have bothered. Finally, I spotted Hunter's Run in the library. A book I wasn't about to buy, but if it's free, why not? Only 2 chapters in so far, and it's not that exciting. But hopefully it'll pick up, and it's an easier read than Dune is. About half the length, too.
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Gaming and Reading Log - January [Jan. 9th, 2008|09:42 am]
It goes on! The start of my third year of doing this.  


Fun with the 360 continues! I finished Oblivion, getting all 1000 gamerpoints (then an Xbox Live update cheated me by adding another 250 - forcing me to purchase the expansion at some point if I do actually want 1250/1250 GP). I replayed Mass Effect, doing a renegade game. Mostly trying to get more achievements (essentialy the ally ones, and the weapons/skills ones as I go). I've played some Project Gotham Racing 3, and made a fair amount of progress in that. It's so much more accessible than Forza 2 (which came with my machine, but I've barely touched). And it's a lot more fun. Played some Kameo, but I haven't gotten too far with it yet, 'cause every time I sit down at the 360, I feel like playing something else. But it's actually a decent game. Started Enchanted Arms, Halo 3, Viva Pinata and Forza 3, but I haven't made much progress on any of these. 

I started a new game of Final Fantasy 3 DS and in one day, I managed to overtake my old file (which took me a week or two), and I'm now much further along. It's a tough game at times, but I'm enjoying the simplicity of it... and with the 360 out there, this provides a perfect bit of balance.

Currently Playing

* Mass Effect (360)
* Oblivion (360)
* Project Gotham Racing 3 (360)
* Kameo (360)
* Final Fantasy III (DS)


Finished recently:

* Winter's Heart - Rober Jordan

Currently reading: 

* Fridge Magnets are Bastards - Mark Dapin
* Jennifer Government - Max Barry

On my shelf to read at some point:

* Memories of Ice - Steven Erikson
* Dune - Frank Herbert
* The Troy Game (books 1 and 2) - Sara Douglass
* Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan
* Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan

To buy/borrow eventually:

* 1984 - George Orwell
* One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
* House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
* The Troy Game series - Sara Douglass
* Battle Royale - Takami or something

I gave up on Marley & Me. I couldn't get into it, and I eventually just couldn't be bothered. I returned it to the library and moved on with my life (so glad I didn't buy it). Winter's Heart took me about a month to read, though I was not doing very much reading at all around the time I got my 360. Amazing finale. I'm not going to dive straight into Crossroads of Twilight, which I hear is the worst of the series. I'm gonna leave it for a month or two (probably two), and try and bring down my backlog of books. 

Currently I'm reading Fridge Magnets are Bastards, which is a book I was given for Christmas. It's very light to read, and it's basically just an A-Z of things that are bastards, and why. (some entires are a line, a paragraph, a page, or a few pages) Very easy to pick up and read for a couple of minutes, though hard to read for extended periods of time, so that's why I'm able to read two books at once. Jennifer Government, I've only just started it, but so far it's fairly amusing, and a bit disturbing. I've been wanting to read this one for a while, and it's only about 300 pages or less, so I should have it read soon. Then maybe I'll finally read Dune, which I bought on sale ages ago but haven't read yet...

I also borrowed Marley & Me from the library. It's a book about a dog, and it's very biographical. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, but I'm not finding it very interesting or engaging. I find my mind wandering while I try to read it, so I think I'm giving up on this one and moving onto Book 9 of the Wheel of Time.
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Resolutions [Jan. 2nd, 2008|07:12 am]
[Current Mood |determineddetermined]

 I have two resolutions. I refuse to call them New Year Resolutions. Resolutions can and should be made at any time. It's just I seem somewhat motivated to make this clear, now, on the 2nd of January. 

1. I will write each day. Doesn't matter if it's for a story, a game review, or just an entry in this blog. I slacked off last year, and I really got out of the habit of writing regularly. 

2. I will exercise regularly. This one is perhaps more important. 

People are sometimes prone to resolving to do more than they really can, but I'm a lazy person, and I get overwhelmed if I have to do too much, so I'm keeping it simple. Write and exercise.
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Games of 2007 [Jan. 1st, 2008|11:29 am]
It's the closest I'm likely to get to reviewing, and maybe it'll even fire off a spark of motivation.

List is in roughly chronological order.

Disgaea 2

I enjoyed it despite it not being as good as the first game, story-wise. But the actual grind of the game became very obvious to me when I played one level over and over (exploiting an enemy level up 10% tile) to level up my party. I spent so many hours on this and managed to breeze through the rest of the game, and it wasn't that fun. I did all that stuff too early on. I should've saved the power-levelling for all the bonus stuff.

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)

I played this through to its completion without letting other games distract me. Some of it was a bit tiring, but I did like the story. It wasn't an overly complex story, but it did have a surprising amount of depth for a Zelda game. I enjoyed many of the dungeons, especially that sky one. That really stood out in my mind as the best dungeon of the game, and it had an eerie quality to it similar to the Stone Tower in Majora's Mask (when you flipped it upside down), seeing the vast, endless sky BELOW you. Also, using two hookshots to swing around was absolutely brilliant.

The wolf bits weren't too bad, either, and I enjoyed the battles while riding the horse. Also, that mini-game ROLLGOAL, obviously designed for the Wii, was a blast with a GC controller.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

It started off okay, but the 4 buttons for the four characters really made playing for more than half an hour at a time really tiring. Plus, the boss fights were way too long and they basically became "use the same few moves over and over until it's dead". The time travel aspect was interesting to begin with, but ultimately it couldn't hold my attention, and it sits on my shelf unfinished.

Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophecy (XBOX)

I never really got into this one. I wanted to, but the timing really annoyed me. In these games I like to explore, and experiment, and most of all, take my time, but I never felt like I could in this game. It was always a race. Plus I heard it got really silly towards the end, and I never bothered playing more than an hour or two.

Baten Kaitos

Picked this one up cheap. Like I really needed more RPGs I'll never finish. The voice acting was terrible (sounded like they recorded it in a cave). Plus, the random, card-based battles were a major turn-off. I guess I was a fool for thinking the game would be good based on opinions from people who actually like card-based battle systems. I'd never played one before, so I didn't know if I would or not. Now I do. If an RPG has a card-based battle system, I'll be ignoring it. Plus, it felt like the characters were ripped right out of FFX. Tidus (the main guy) and Wakka (the tribe guy) mainly. Sometimes, a gripping story can make me tolerate an awful battle system, but the story didn't grab me at all.

Final Fantasy XII

I remember loving this game at first. It was so different, and the politically charged story was pretty awesome. The first half of the game really was good. It moved along at an excellent pace, but somewhere along the way, it got much slower, and much more tedious. The characters didn't have much of anything to say, except in their own very limited roles, and even that wasn't much. I reasoned the 6 party characters out:

Balthier = tour guide to the world
Fran = guide to all things magic
Basch = guide to the workings of the Empire (Balthier often doubled up here, too)
Ashe = the motivation for the quest
Penelo = the moral compass
Vaan = the player's window

FFXII had an awesomely constructed world, and the characters really did little but have a world tour. The most interesting characters were Larsa and Vayne. Fran did have a sexy voice, though.

Fable: The Lost Chapters (XBOX)

This one started out fun, but fizzled out quite quickly. The highlight was luring a woman back to my house, then proceeding to beat the ever-loving shit out of her. The fact that I enjoyed this disturbed me so much I haven't played the game since.

Final Fantasy IX

I started a replay. I didn't finish it. I've finished it 3 or 4 times in the past, though.

Animal Crossing: Wild World

Tried to get back into the game, but got bored after a couple of days. There's more stuff in this game compared to the GC version. More fish and bugs to catch, more items, more fossils... but it all it really did was make the game feel so much like it was less. It really emphasised how shallow the game is. I mean, there's probably a larger pool of neighbours, but rather than have 15 (or is it 16?) of them at once, you only have 8. And with the six personalities, once you've talked to one of each, they're all the same. Especially when every second conversation they're telling you to suggest a new catchphrase, so you're basically moulding them into a bunch of identical drones with different avatars. Collecting fish and bugs and paintings and bones and items and all that shit got boring so much quicker.

Final Fantasy III (DS)

Looked good, but I didn't really feel like playing it. Felt really, really dated. Plus, the class system seemed broken. My thief with a good knife could do so much more damage than my fighter. The mages were pretty useless, so I just kept one and made the other 3 thieves. Got through a chunk of the game before I couldn't be bothered anymore.

Shadow Hearts: From the New World

I loved Shadow Hearts 1 and 2. I was annoyed that 3 hadn't been released in Australia. I eventually got over it, and probably a year or so later, I just happened to see it for sale in stores. It was cheaper than most PS2 games, so I bought it. Technically, it's the same as Shadow Hearts 2, but it lacked that special charm its predecessor had. Maybe it was in the characters, since this batch seemed very forgettable. I did enjoy what I played, but I do remember why I stopped playing. I blame the game I'm about to talk about...

Pokemon Diamond

Fucking hell. The first Pokemon game I played was Leaf Green back in 2004 or so, and I got addicted to it, played the hell out of it, and eventually got it out of my system. I really did get obsessed with Pokemon for a couple of months there. Same thing happened again. Poured a good 60-70 hours into this game, perhaps more. Played it to death. If not for the fact that I had to recharge my DS from time to time, I might not have actually taken breaks. I went to a Pokemon Connection Tour sometime in the middle of the year, and competed in a tournament. Got to the Top 16 (out of 128), so that was a good acheivement, but not enough for a prize. I had some Internet buddies cheering me on. That was my one and only foray into the depths of super-nerddom. Shortly after, I put this game back on my shelf, where it will remain. I do not want to go back. I can't even remember why I liked the game, but I do remember enjoying it to the exclusion of everything else in my life. The online stuff made the game so much better than the GBA one, too. Being able to battle and trade online was awesome.

Clubhouse Games

This one I really only bought 'cause it was cheap, and all my Internet friends were playing it. Many late night gaming sessions were had, playing cool card games like President (and others), plus others like Bowling or Darts, or anything, really. The winner picked the next game. There was also a pictochat thing which we used to draw racist pics to send to each other. We also drew a suprising amount of penises for a bunch of straight guys... I put a fair amount into the single player side of the game, though. But the AI is either stupid or brilliant. There's no middle ground. Either there's no challenge, or too much.

Final Fantasy Fables - Chocobo Tales

Won this. Played a bit. It's a kids game. >_<

Theme Park (DS)

I played this on the PC way back, and when I saw this going cheap, I picked it up. Why do I not realise that all PC ports on the DS tend to suck because of the tiny screen? I keep falling for the fact that the stylus works quite well in these games, but it's not enough to make it great.

Resident Evil 4 (GC)

Picked it up cheap, due to all the good reviews it gets here. Played for a bit. I like it enough, despite being outside of the usual genres I stick to. I haven't really felt like playing it, but one day I will sit down and give this the playthrough it deserves.

Lufia 2

I'd owned this for a while, but never actually finished it, despite liking it. I didn't finish it this time, either. And then I remembered why... my SNES fucking erases files if I so much as look at the machine the wrong way (or breathe anywhere near it when it's switched on). I think it's time I sold my SNES.

Skies of Arcadia Legends (GC)

Played a good 7-8 hours of this one, but I got sidetracked.

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Bought this on release, but never got too far with it. I didn't like it back then. I started over, and actually stuck with it, and realised I liked it a lot. The ocean wasn't too bad, in retrospect, and the dungeons, though few they were, actually had awesome designs. I think because I liked Twilight Princess so much, and had finished it early in the year was the reason for going back to this one. I needed that same sense of adventure that for some reason only the Zelda games can provide. There was one thing that made me think, though, and it's when you find the descendants of the two sages... they sort of just give up their lives and go to guard a temple, accepting it due to fate or whatever. I think a smarter game would've had these two characters resist this a bit more, maybe even fight it, as both characters did actually seem strong-willed enough when you first met them. The implications of fate in these sorts of games aren't explored enough, I feel. Oh, I also wanted to finish this because Phantom Hourglass was on its way...

Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

It grabbed me to begin with. The stylus controls took some getting used to, but they were fine. The story was weak, even for a Zelda game, but I didn't mind. It was all about the dungeons. And the dungeons were fine, except for that dungeon (anyone who's played it will know). Ugh. Oh, and there was a boss fight that was near impossible thanks to the stylus control, and having to switch to the goron character from time to time. It was just too much to manage with a control scheme like that. Never beat it. Eventually stopped trying.

But that's okay, because I bought a 360!

Mass Effect

Even though it didn't come with my 360, it was the first game I played for it. I hadn't really known about it at first, since I didn't follow the 360 news at all, but once I found out it was a sci-fi game from Bioware, with a cast of interesting characters, awesome dialogue, and choices! I couldn't resist. I bought it and played it, and played nothing else until I finished it (and pretty much every side quest I could find). I gave it a rest upon initial completion, but I am currently nearing the end of my second playthrough in an attempt to see the other side of many choices I made (not to mention the achievements, I love the 360 for that). Damn Lasthero for writing such an awesome review for it, that me writing one would probably just be an echo.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

When this game came out, I was only just getting into Morrowind, but I decided I liked it enough to eventually buy this game when I finally got a 360. I eventually found the Collector's Edition cheap in a shop, still new, and I convinced my Mum to buy it (in April or May) for my birthday (in September). She held onto it until then. When September 06 was nearing and I wasn't likely to get a 360, I managed to get it held until Christmas. I didn't get a 360 by then, either, but Mum wasn't holding onto it any longer, and for Christmas I received a game I didn't have the system for. It wasn't until late November (a good 11 months later) that I finally got the damn 360. I was looking forward to finally playing it, and then... I got hooked on Mass Effect instead.

But once that was done, I let Oblivion take me. I was initially intimidated by the size of the game, but awed by its beauty. I remember standing at the top of a very tall mountain and looking down at the vast land below. I could see the Imperial City, its vast towers and all that. The lake around it, and all the beautiful countryside. It really felt like I was in another world. The game had such a vibrant, fantastic, yet realistic atmosphere that I lived and breathed this game for much of December. Every day I'd take on new missions, finish them, and look for more. There was a bit less to do than in Morrowind, but that was good, since I did eventually get overwhelemed by Morrowind, but it never happened to me in Oblivion. I actually completed the main quest, plus the four guides (Fighters, Mages, Thieves, Dark Brotherhood). Got my 1000 acheivements. I've yet to get ahold of the expansion pack, but I will at some point. Perhaps I'm done with the game for the time being. As good as it was, and as much as I loved it, I am glad to be free of it. I needed to get my life back.

Cyrodill is a land I'll return to someday, though. There's still a few odd quests I haven't finished off.

Forza Motorsport 2

Came with my 360. Played a couple of races. Didn't enjoy it.

Project Gotham Racing 3

Didn't come with my 360. Played a lot of races. Enjoying it.

...I really enjoyed PGR2 on the Xbox a while back. This one isn't quite as good, I feel, but it certainly is much more enjoyable than Forza.

Via Pinata

Came with my 360. Played a bit. Didn't grab me at all. But on a system where I've been playing Mass Effect and Oblivion, how could this ever hope to compete?

Kameo: Elements of Power

Actually quite good. I just haven't devoted enough time to this one yet. Played through the very tough opening sequence. Surprised by it, actually. Tough, but not too challenging, and it was quite rewarding. Laughed wryly at the tutorials for very basic things not long after this tough sequence. What was the point in that, exactly? If you didn't pick this stuff up, there's no way you'd have gotten this far...

Also, that chick is fairly hot.

Halo 3

Got it for free. Played some of the first mission. Found myself confused and intimidated. And even on the easiest setting, got my ass kicked. My fault for not really playing a first person shooter since Perfect Dark. Not counting a brief play of Halo when I got my Xbox a few years back.

Enchanted Arms

Zig's review makes me persevere with this one, though I'm not too impressed with the battle system so far. Grid-based battling seems a bit pointless right now, and Koudelka did it much better.
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Gaming and Reading Log - December [Dec. 1st, 2007|06:43 pm]

Early last month I was playing Skies of Arcadia Legends. I hit a tough boss about 5-6 hours in and just sort of stopped. Life is too short to go around leveling up to be able to beat a boss in a game that's not that great. The battle system is too clunky for my taste, and the camera is a bitch to wrestle with. So I started on Grandia II, a game I'd bought ages ago but not actually played. It has an even clunkier battle system, and a less interesting cast of characters, but it was a bit easier, so I got about 5-6 hours in before I got bored with it. That could be due to me finally getting myself an Xbox 360. I have been playing pretty much nothing but Mass Effect, though I've tried to give some time to Oblivion, a game I've had for a very long time, but without the machine to run it on. Mass Effect is better, though.

Currently Playing

* Mass Effect (360)
* Oblivion (360)
* Grandia II (PS2)
* Skies of Arcadia Legends (GC)


Finished recently:

* The Path of Daggers - Robert Jordan
* Confessor - Terry Goodkind
* Syrup - Maxx Barry

Currently reading: 

* Marley & Me - John Grogan
* Winter's Heart - Rober Jordan

On my shelf to read at some point:

* Memories of Ice - Steven Erikson
* Dune - Frank Herbert
* The Troy Game - Sara Douglass
* Winter's Heart - Robert Jordan
* Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan
* Jennifer Government - Max Barry

To buy/borrow eventually:

* 1984 - George Orwell
* One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
* House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
* The Troy Game series - Sara Douglass
* Battle Royale - Takami or something

The Path of Daggers, listed as one of the worst books in the WoT series... wasn't too bad. It was short, not a lot happened, but it was still an interesting read. I think if you'd waited 2 years to read that book, you'd be disappointed, but I've read 8 books in the series over the last 13 months (read Eye of the World in October 2006), so it's really just another installment. At the moment I'm reading a WoT book, then one or two other works before moving onto the next. Confessor, the last novel in Goodkind's series (which I've come to not like anywhere near as much as I used to), was released. I bought it, read it, shelved it in just a couple of days. The writing is still fast paced enough to be a page turner, but good lord, what a stinker that book is. The way the story ends managed to undermine most of the rest of the books, not to mention Richard doing the impossible, giving the Order their own world, but taking away their afterlife. What right does he have? He tries to justify it, but yeah. Goodkind asserts that this new world without an afterlife is our world, run by churches, with just a few enlightened objectivists who know better. What an asshole. I also read Syrup by Maxx Barry. A short book, but a really enjoyable one, in the sort of genre I'd never thought I'd be interested in. It's about corporations and marketing and all that, with some very interesting characters. 

I also borrowed Marley & Me from the library. It's a book about a dog, and it's very biographical. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, but I'm not finding it very interesting or engaging. I find my mind wandering while I try to read it, so I think I'm giving up on this one and moving onto Book 9 of the Wheel of Time.
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