Monday, October 24, 2011

The Journey That Keeps on Giving

I took a minute break from our proverbial couch to use the restroom and while perched upon the commode, I was lost deep in thought, distracted only by the beaming pride I now possess because I conquered the Temple of the Gods and recovered the Master Sword in Windwaker. In this thought, I decided that I am going to start from the first Zelda game and defeat them all. Now, by first, I don't mean The Legend of Zelda that was released in 1987, I mean the Minish Cap. According to lore (and this guy), the Minish Cap came first, then Ocarina of Time, then there was a split in the time lines, and so on and so forth. I plan on playing timeline A first (Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening, Legend of Zelda I, Legend of Zelda II, Four Swords, Link to the Past, and then Oracle of Seasons) because I own all of these. Granted, some of them are ROMs, but most legitimate copies of the games. Hopefully by the time I overcome all nine of those puzxle intensive masterpieces, I will have enough cash to buy a Nintendo 3DS so I can play most of timeline B, with the unfortunate exception of those titles exclusive to the Wii.
In all reality, I never really plan on beating all of them (maybe just timeline A), partially because of Skyrim and then also because of everyday stuff that pries me off of the couch. I've started most them, finished a few of them, and I say that it's time to finish more of them.

Minecraft Release, Skyrim, and Portal 2 Updates

As per IGN, the long awaited Xbox 360 port of Minecraft is now slated for a 2012 Spring release, as tweeted by @newbreedofnerd. Having the antiquated computer that I do, this is an exciting bit of news to me. My PC plays Minecraft, but it doesn't play Minecraft. Sometimes the tiny render distance just doesn't cut it. Now that there is an official release window, we should be able to expect more details about the features of the Xbox 360 port, such as importing maps from the computer versions, mod integration and PC server compatibility.
As for the mod integration, don't be so quick to disregard such a possibility. In an interview between Notch and Todd Howard of Bethesda, Todd hinted at modding being a very real possibility for the Xbox 360 with Skyrim and that Notch should also keep his options open for mod integration with the Xbox 360 port of Minecraft. Honestly, I had to go wipe twice after that interview (aired on Spike TV during the 2011 E3 conference) because not only were two of my favorite people in a room interviewing each other, but possible modding for Skyrim on a console? This November is looking all the more interesting.
It was recently announced that the upcoming DLC for Portal 2 would be an in-game program that allows users to create their own levels and puzzles. Personally, I think that this is the way that modding for console versions of Skyrim should be handled -- just an option, even a second disc, that allows players to create their own ESPs and ESMs to be loaded into the game just like any official Bethesda DLC. For those of you not familiar with Elder Scrolls modding lingo, ESPs and ESMs are the files that the game loads to load DLC (of cousrse in very simple terms). Something like this probably wouldn't be as effective for Minecraft, as you have to have a great deal of programming knowledge to make mods for it.

Mass Effect Poem

While reading about the Mass Effect 3 demo which is slated to be released on Xbox Live soon, I remembered a poem that I wrote for my junior English class which is currently unfinished due to the fact that Mass Effect 3 is yet to be released. I figured that this is as good of a place as any to put it up:

In the morning light,
The misfortune of Eden was revealed,
Which revealed past civilizations' blight.
And with all regulation repealed,
A new spectre is born.
With alliances made,
The Citadel was saved.
With time bought,
A new plan was to be conceived,
But there were others who sought
to make foul of the heroes good deeds.
So the spectre fell
But only to return
In a recreated shell.
With planets seen burned,
These new foes were pursued
That further revealed the danger.
With tactics less crude
A defeat delivered to these strangers
With questions unanswered
And the ives of all at stake

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Days Until Skyrim: 20

It was a long day at work today, and in my dreary state when a customer asked "What's today's date?" I almost responded "Twenty days until Skyrim," but I stopped myself just in time. The mounting anticipation for this game is becoming more than a little unbearable and I feel like Cartman in the episode of South Park where he freezes himself to make time go faster to get the Nintendo Wii. More information is being leaked every week and despite how eager I am to learn all that I can about it, it's basically a cock-tease. When the official in-game map was rele--leaked, I instantly planned out my journey that my first character would make. Morrowind being my favorite game of all time, it was decided that I would make a bee-line to the Skyrim/Morrowind border and travel it all and find the nearest house to there and settle there. Just thinking about it get me giddy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Communism in Minecraft

I'm not here to start any arguments, but on paper, communism is an astoundingly great idea. Unfortunately, every communist leader to date has been quite the failure and has not practiced communism well at all, which I believe is where this governmental form finds its fatal flaw -- execution. There is no way to execute communism well in real life because of the basic, unchangeable natures in all human beings. This draws a little far from the topic at hand, but I joined a server recently in Minecraft where they decided to use gold as a currency. One hundred gold bars could buy you any sized plot of land to found your own city, so I saved up and bought the equivilant of three chunks of land and walled it up, built severl community farms, roads, and divided it up into equal sized plots. Then, I made a server wide announcement stating that living in my town was 100% free and that you only had to obey the rules of the community, which I had set into motion. Needless to say, the offer appealed to more than a few people, and so they gave up everything to move into my town, which I named Ebonhart. One of the rules stated that since everything was provided, all money would given to me. Think of it as a tax of sorts. So here I am, with the largest town on the server with nine tenths of the people living in it. I am also the richest, so I use the money that I got to buy two nearby towns and I turned them into strip mines essentially and told the people they could keep whatever they found if they dug to bedrock in a 50x50 square in one of the towns. This hole has no purpose, but I only wanted to see if I could make it happen, and I did. I have a digital slave labor of fifteen Minecraft players all because I give free food and shelter. I feel like a pharaoh.

Like Windwaker, but in the Sky....

At the most recent Nintendo Conference, it was discussed that The Legend of Zelda would be like Windwaker, but in the sky.  This unduly snagged my attention when I read about, because the Legend of Zelda Windwaker was my favorite Zelda game of all time, despite the harsh criticisms it faced from many reviews at its time of release. To sweeten the deal even further, it was also announced that the price of the Nintendo 3DS would drop from its staggering $249.99 price tag to a substantially less staggering price of $169.99. I have to say, I haven't been this excited about the release of a handheld game since I bought Pokemon Gold way back in October of 2000, a whopping eleven years ago. I digress, however, because I have been revisiting games from my childhood, Windwaker, in particular.
I just conquered the Forsaken Fortress and am essentially in the same place that I was when I last played the game about seven years ago. Most of the fond memories I have of that game are of a young cartoonish Link sailing the King of Red Lions around, finding treasure, talking to fish and conquering barrel submarines. Good times. I never actually defeated the game, though, so much of it still remains an enigma to me. The only bad memory that I have of that game is the giant octopus-resembling monster that always kept me from meeting Jabun. No matter how many bombs I shot its way, the thing would not die. I feel like it's been a personal impetus that has kept me going these last seven or so years, so that I may one day bring it down and free Jabun and retrieve the third pearl.