Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FFXIII: Pre-Coital Disappointment

I was looking at our meager shelf of PS3 games, determined to play one now that the PS3 is back on its feet and we finished Little Big Planet 2. Boy, was that ever a disappointment as well. But more on that later.

I looked inquisitively at Valkyria Chronicles and then back at FFXIII. I knew VC wouldn't disappoint me but I'd given up on FFXIII. Maybe I'd been too hasty on giving up on it, maybe I didn't give it the chance it deserved. I mean, a lot of time and money went into its development, it couldn't be that bad, could it?

Every single day my phone's shuffle treats me to some fond memories of the past. I even have two copies of this fanfare in there so it pops up fairly regularly.

The Final Fantasy brand meant something to me. I'll admit though, I'm not the biggest fan of FFVII. I tend to be put off by big hype trains. The first Final Fantasy I actually played was FFVIII. The story thinks too much of itself and takes some ludicrous turns some times. But the gameplay was complex enough to make me want to progress and improve and there were enough side-quests and easter eggs that made me play the game for a very long time. And Tetra Master. Oh my God, I spent a shameful amount of hours playing that card game. It was so simple and yet so addictive. It was so good they made an actual trading card game edition (of which Mike has a few cards still) and I believe there's still an online version of it going strong.

Bear in mind, Final Fantasy has disappointed us before. And when they do, they seem to want to do it twice over. Like, they want to rub it in your face. Remember FFX? Well, they went on to make an FFXII, an absurd sequel with JPop stars double-wielding pistols in skanky outfits. It was very Sailor Moonish and scary. The world didn't like FFXIII either so they squeezed out an FFXIII-2. I refused to even look into it so I have no idea what it's about.

We've had a few gems in between, when Square decides to think outside the box. FFIX was a pretty good try at returning back to the saga's roots. It was entertaining even if the story was a bit lacking. FFXII was a God send and you people have Team Ivalice to thank. From their minds spawned the wonderful Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. They be awesome and I love them and I wish we could see and hear more of them.

But no, Square decided to go back to a more FFX oriented formula of futuristic settings and idiotic stories. Quite. Or maybe they had FFVII in mind seeing as the game also starts with a train. Hmm. No?

All of this went through my brain as I looked at the cover of the box, deciding whether or not I should subject myself to this again. 'Let's save Valkyria for after I'm disappointed in this', I thought. Good omen. And so I pushed the Blueray in.

During those few but long seconds of black screen until the words SquareEnix announced the show was about to start, I went over what I could recall of the story in my head. I knew there were big God-like creatures (aren't there always with these people) and these things made human slaves of sorts for themselves. The story was mostly set on a big moon-like place whose inhabitants had some phobia against the main planet below. I started cringing in fear of its convolutedness even before the intro had started. This was not going well. I pressed New Game and light a cigarette to get me through the long FMV I knew was coming.

You know how these hip japanese developers are. They love small breasted chicks showing off a lot of leg, spiky hair and plenty of jumping. I remembered this intro well and I remembered how much it had put me off the whole things. I swallowed back all these feelings and focused on finding positive things about the game, valid reasons for why I was wasting my time with this game yet again.

I'll shock you now, oh you that has played, feared and loathed the game, and tell you that I don't really mind the Paradigm system. It is very much like the Rift soul swapping system only for an entire party and you can do it mid-battle. You can resort to a mix of three characters and choose from tank, dps, rdps and healing clichés, switching around as needed. Too bad that the first time you are faced with a boss battle in which you actually get to change your Paradigm you have to do exactly what the tutorial tells you to or you die. Repeatedly. And the shifting animation takes a long time while the battle doesn't pause during it.

And that's another thing. They do love their tutorials, don't they? Last time I played the game I was getting tutorials on after four hours of playing. You'd think I'd have gotten the gist of things by then, no? The game makes it a point to tell you how stupid you are and takes you by the hand through a series of narrow hallways and repetitive enemy encounters. There isn't a single point where you can deviate from the story which you probably are having a hard time following. 'This is what you have to do and this is where you have to go,' the game will explain in a patronizing tone. 'Here, let's have another tutorial and I can show you how it's done.'

The characters are... well, let's just said that I didn't fall in love with them. I loved Balthier in FFXII from the moment I saw him. There was something specially pretentious about him (maybe you can blame Mr. Gideon Emery for my love of Balthier and fascination with Fenris). I can say I didn't really like-like any single character in FFXIII, orphaned kids, annoying kids, spiky haired femme fatales, cocky bulky hormone-ridden dudes. And Serah! God, they spend an absurdly long time yelling out 'Serah! Serah!' You know how irritating that is? Every single Sarah in a game or movie is either dying or dead or raped or missing or... Urgh. Not interested. And the story wasn't realing me in either nor was the gameplay, to be honest, and I knew there was a grinding period approaching, seeing as my reluctance to grind made me hit a wall of a boss the first time I played through it.

So I casually dismissed the game again. Not even the music was vaguely interesting. Their recycling of at least one FFX theme was annoying enough. My advice? Don't play it. It's not worth it. I'm not sure it's even worth you reading this review. Shiva is a two-broad bike ffs!

Monday, May 30, 2011

WAR: Veteran's Prerogative

I'm a veteran WAR player. You know what that means to me? To the world in general? To Mythic? It means I've had to put up with a lot of crap, a lot of bugs, injustices and bad ideas. And it means that I've paid my way through the better part of two years to do so.

I have wasted millions of renown points thanks to a renown rank cap they removed after I've gotten 5 characters to 40. I wasted dozens of hours going through PvE instances hoping for healing gear that seldom dropped, gear I eventually acquired right in time for them to implement the Harbringer changes that made all Intelligence based gear relevant to a healing Zealot. I have been pulverized by bombers, Slayer trains and every other FotM OP class. I have been overhealed for no good reason other than shorter cast times. I've been outDPSed on account of the bad class implementation bat. I've lain dead on the ground with healers trouncing all over my dead body after I've rezzed them consecutively for minutes. I've been robbed of loot and fights over crashes and graphical bugs. I've been branded a quitter when the game fumbles in loading screens. I have acquired currency that was never enough to use and has now been rendered useless. I've been killed by mobs, enemy players, backlash, guard, falling, shrubbery, walls, pebbles, Something. And, for all of this, I've paid a monthly fee.

I'm not bitter. When I get bitter I stop paying and I stop playing (as I have before). Life's too short to do something only to complain about it. I do, however, feel entitled to certain things. I will exploit the shit out of the game at any chance I get if I can get away with it without any negative repurcussions to me or my guild. I think I deserve it. I think I've endured enough bad decisions and managerial tomfoolery to warrant some shady business. Haven't we all? From being robbed silly in our real life accounts to putting up with game breaking bugs (like when some keeps became unattackable and all you could do was stare at them) we've put up with our share of shit. For a fee.

Quality in a product is not too much for a paying costumer to ask for. I don't feel I've always gotten what I paid for. In fact, I feel that people that have been paying for less time than me have it easier, what with their freshly turned 40s being over rr60. I'm not gonna beg for goodies, though. I've been paying and playing of my own accord. I wasn't forced into it. I do feel under appreciated which is probably why I feel no remorse in taking advantage of my good old mates, the bugs and exploits. I've never used third party out-right cheating tools but I've never had to. The game itself provides almost every tool for the kind of exploitation I feel entitled to. I'm a girl from the 3-manning in balcony keep takes era.

Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me a cheater? Do I care? Should I care? For what it's worth, I seldom do anything shady with my main. What she is, for better or worse, is made of pure skill. But my alts... I've got a whole batallion of them. I can't always play fair. And I don't want to. It takes two to play fair. Right Mythic? After all, after all your msitakes and threats of new ones, I keep coming back. Where's my kiss on the cheek and pat on the head? When is it my turn to sit on your lap and tell you what I want? I've been a good girl all these years. Well, mostly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surviving Real Life, Barely

So real life's been a bit shitty lately. This internship is gobbling up most of my time. Even now I'm typing very slowly as to not make much noise and call attention to myself. The work itself is certainly not up my creek: organizing credit applications for people qho can´t afford them. Why someone that makes 600€ a month takes out a 10.000€ loan to pay 3.000€ worth of credit card debt is beyond me. And I'm helping this. And I hate it.

It's the same thing country-wise. So our international debt is paying paid off by some entity that's gonna charge us the same amount plus 6% interest? So, if we couldn't pay our debts before why would we pay them this time? What's the point? Greedy bastards, the lot of them.

Anyways. On to happier topics.

I've got nothing. I've been playing WAR on an almost daily basis. Just had a ToVL run yesterday. Managed to take a relatively green group up to the 7th boss. I rocked some awesome comebacks on near wipes in trash mobs but I was getting a bit bitchy and testy when we got to the 5th one. Seriously, what's with that? What's with the annoying bosses that are just annoying for the sake of being annoying?

I get most bosses. The first one tests your ability to kockdown. Always a handy skill to have. The second tests my individual ability to kite, regardless of lag. The third tests, for a healer, their HoTs effectiveness and for everyone, tests their spatial awareness and reflexes in jumping out of bombs. The 4th boss tests how well you work in a team and how well you can keep an eye and assist your fellow team-mates.

Now the 5th boss tests... your luck in NPC pathing, your luck in the mobs you get, your luck with parrying, your absolute luck with critical heals. Even if you know your place, your rotation, your duty, even if you know the sure-fire route to PvE victory, WAR weaves a bit of its PvP soul into it, adding a scent of unpredictability. I think that's why they keep the dungeon buggy. So it's always different, always novel in a weird non-agreeable way. Like when the 5th boss drops from the world and takes a stroll around the third boss' turf (he is, in fact the 3rd, 4th and 5th boss so I guess he's entitled).

And if by some miracle only one person dies and you make it to the sixth boss you then have to cope with the most horrendously boring PvE encounter ever designed. I wouldn't even mind having to heal thrice as much if it would take a third of the time to down them. Then when we're 20% of one scorpion's health away from winning I get swallowed by the world and I get a bit more testy.

By the time you get to the 7th boss you've seen enough of egyptian themed mobs to poke your eyes out. Getting all the aura colors right and fleeing the running mobs and not bumping into clouds can be a bit overwhelmind, seeing as all you've been doing for the last 10-30 minutes of your life has been banging on scorpions and jumping up and down on pillars.

If by some weird twist of fate you get to the 8th boss (after you've dealt with the bird staircase of doom) be prepared to learn his speech by heart because groups tend to get a bit wipey before getting its working down pat.

Well this turned out a bit like a short guide to ToVL which wasn't my intention at all. I've got so much stuff I want to share and so little time to do it in. Weird that it was ToVL what I ended up blabbing about. I don't particularly enjoy doing it past the third boss and I don't really need to do it anymore, not in my main anyway (which is the only one geared well enough for it).

I wanted to talk about my Little Big Planet adventures or my Tribulations with Phoenix Wright. Maybe finally write up a review of ME, ME2, DA or DA2. Or even talk about that inspiring city siege the other day when we turned things around so astoundingly that we were called 'unfair'.

But I write unscripted as silly as that may seem, and I don't have enough time to purge all my thoughts to keyboard.

Oh well. Here's an unrelated thingy that always cheers me up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shockingly Good!

Ok, not really a shock. He's a very intelligent man to be honest. But he rarely decides to comit his thoughts to post. I'm very glad he did. And in doing so he managed to sum up my life in WAR since inception.

And now I leave you with the story of John. John lived and died doing what he loved. They both did. You have to admire their spirits.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WAR: Rank My Sorc Up!

Wasn't Prodigy great? No? Well, I liked them. Did you know they were named after the Moog Prodigy? No? Well, now you do. You're very welcome.

So I rolled yet another Archmage (can you believe it's my third?) but this time I did it on Norn. Hey, if I can, I will. Maybe one day she'll be high enough to contend with the likes of... Seeno. Grr.

But since I've been healing non-stop on my main and I was afraid to get bored with it (again) I decided to go make the rounds on all my alts. I regeared my Sorceress, wittingly named Pirilampo Mágico (I don't think I purchased a second name yet though), and off I went to try and kill stuff. And by God, I killed lots of stuff. Doombolting willy nilly in scenarios. I find that killing other players is actualy quite enjoyable. Imagine my shock!

Ploiter heal Champion hiding in the spawn point. Classy.
We pulled him out and killed him. 75k renown.
I'm really looking forward to playing her again. In fact, wtf am I doing here?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weird Shit I Listen To

I'm swamped today. And I supposedly have a ToVL run later.

Here's something I've listened to until my ears bled.


You know, from that joke where a chinese man jumps out from a crate?

I started an intership today (in fact im due back there in 30 minutes) so my blogging time has been severely cut into. At least until I know if I can or not blog in there.

In related news, I dinged rr75 and had a real nice time healing slices and dices in WAR, most remarkably a few EPIC scraps in Dragonwake and a Chaos Wastes Battle Royale yesterday.

Parsion said it best: "I'm much happier being shit in WAR than I was being shit in Rift."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WAR: Fictitious Roles

One thing I will miss about Rift is the viability of the Role system, where you had different speccs you could equip with the press of a few buttons, virtually anytime and anywhere. My cleric was a perfectly capable tank and DPS if the need arose.

If you compare it with, say, WAR, the different spec trees leave a lot to be desired. I'm not saying there isn't a way for a healer to be a respected DPSer but you need to have spent a very long time studying a good gear set, spec and rotation. Not to mention you better be a high enough renown rank (for the gear and the renown passive skills) and have enough money to be respecing around as needed.

For example, I have a rr30 DoK I love to play in Sacrifice spec. I've heard Sacrifice isn't really viable, that you should pick either pure heal or pure DPS if it's a DoK you rolled but Sacrifice speaks to me. Same thing with my Shaman. He's currently around rr30 as well and, until T4 I always played a pure Da Green spec which was impactful in any battle. But when you reach the major leagues you're expected to be useful, even if against a premade of  >rr90s. How are you supposed to do that? Just last night I heard bitching about a DPS DoK.

Before 1.4 I had respeced them both into pure healers just to get them to rr50 so they'd be able to wear a mix of Conqueror and Invader. Needless to say I didn't get there, mostly because that's not the play style I was looking for in alternative healers. When I want to heal I'll use my main. But I made the effort. Now, with the gear shifting, they're both able to wear at least Conqueror. But now we're up against even higher renowned players and going to battle with a character in its 30s just seems a bit underwhelming.

Nobody seems to want a healer that isn't there mainly to heal in their parties. Groups will ask for tanks and groups will ask for healers. They might even ask for Magi. But they'll rarely ask for a damage dealing healer. For PvP at least. PvE is another story entirely. Which is a shame because exploring other ways of playing our characters would increase the longevity of the game. Or maybe I just suck at DPS healers and am just making excuses for it. :)

I was asked to log in my Shaman once.

Although I did play as a Squig Herder for most of the night I was asked to log in my Shaman at some point (I'm pretty sure that's me at the bottom left corner at 0:35). Why? Well, we were all going to die anyway and we might as well have someone there to insta rez a few gits.

You get a pretty accurate remark about bombing warbands in the last 10 seconds of the video.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WAR: Things I'd Do

I'm bored.

Whenever a faction won a city siege I'd host a special event in their capital city, the scope and size of which would depend on the number of successful instances that faction had had. There would be a big celebration, warriors would be allowed to dance, for once, expressing their joy for finally accomplishing something. Scantily dressed ladies would hand out AP potions to entertained passersby. There would be fireworks and celebratory music, taking advantage of the wonderful sound staff that Mythic obviously has. For five minutes, that is,  then it would be back to bashing as usual.

It just seems to me that when you win a big battle and nothing happens, it kind of defeats the purpose of it happening at all. Sure, we get phat lewt but this is supposed to be beyond loot. It's about winning over the other side. It's about having your ideals proven superior over what the Orders your opponents believe in.

Now I've managed to get some wonderful mental pictures of Chosens grinding Zealots, DoKs and Witch Elves taking their tops off, Blackguards twirling their spears and Orcs playing any kind of appropriate percussion instrument, like the corpse of a Slayer. I mean, is there anyhting in the lore that says warriors can't have fun? Especially Greenskins, I bet dem bitches have tons of fun.

In related news.

Mythic recently asked what we like about crafting.

What is your favorite aspect of the current crafting system?

My views will mostly reflect talisman making as it is what I'm more familair with. I like it that the grinding up to the useful items isn't as tedious as it could be (I will refer you to my battle against burlap). Also, you can make items that are useful for any level, depending solely on the crafting supplies you use (once you're 200 that is). I have pushed my alts up a notch above teh noobs due mostly to the talismans I am able to craft for them. Feels lovely.

What do you consider the most useful item(s) that can be produced in the current crafting system?

Crit talismans, Power talismans, liniments and armor potions. I just listed the only things that derive from crafting that I actually use. And you can limit the liniments to the ones that give power and crit. All others are just junk in mah trunk.

What single aspect do you feel is lacking in the current crafting system?

Diversity. Useful diversity that is. I've got two rows of useless liniments in my bank that I'll never use and nobody will ever buy.

What if you could specialise in different types of talismans or potions? Or if you were able to combine useful effects from some with others. You could even put some kill quests in there to learn or use these specializations. Like, say, you could pretend a key ingredient for that awesome new potion you wanted to make was A Bright Wizard's Scorched Heart or a Slayer's Left Big Toe. You'd have to go and kill a whole bunch of players to make your best stuff.

What type of item(s) or benefit(s) do you feel are lacking in the current crafting system?

Or about Octopus Twohanders?
And we'd call them Takoto!

Jewelry. For goodness sake I can't even begin to think of the hours I've sobbed over the lack of caster jewelry sets. Sure there are plenty of others (Strife&Torment, Ascendant Verses&Deep Oaths, The Lost Vale set, the one you have to kill a billion gnoblars to get; these are all very tankish) What if you could make some jewelry to get you going until you can find a decent jewelry set for your caster, AKA, ToVL.

Oh. A girl can dream...

Monday, May 9, 2011

WAR: Smile, Even Though It's Breaking

By the time I give up on it completely I'll have covered the entirety of the song's lyrics.

It seems that every time I need hope rekindled in the game, there's only one man who's right for the job. But I guess that comes with the job description when you're a guild leader.

Apart from the whole "when the master says JUMP you say how high" commandment, the massive multiplayer bit is the only reason I play MMORPGs at all and I missed the regular KF multitude. I was so disenchanted with Rift that they all eventually ground their way to 50 while I was still in my 20s. So when the rally call came, there I went, if a bit begrudgingly.

I was a chick once.
I was afraid, see. Afraid that I'd get there and things were as they were and I'd feel inadequate. We hadn't seen each other for a while, I didn't know how I'd face the game or how the game would treat me. First of all, thank God for Worn Sovereign. Too bad it came some 5 ranks too late. I was 5% into rr74, on my way to my first Sovereign set piece. Still I ended up spending all my money buying full Worn Sov. It's the first time since Devastator that I've worn a full gear set. I lost some 70 Willpower by not combining it with Warlord or Tyrant but I earned a nice proc (whatever% chance to increase healing power by 100). But I lost a tactic slot (had to equip Discipline) and many Wounds talis to get my Willpower back to over 1050.

So, was the game all I had hoped it would be? No, it wasn't. I've been burnt before, I won't be easily satisfied now. C'mon Mythic, you saw this coming. We're never the same when we come back. We're always more cynical, more ceptical, more defiant.

And yet, I had fun. Get those jaws dropping because I did. I had a wonderful time. From healing under the bridge in Gromril's Crossing and dodging the limp corpse of a Runepriest as it fell from the battle above to impressive keep sieges where my heal-debuffing Morale 4 foiled many a push, I had a good time. I'm not as effective as I once was but I expected that. I've been there. I'll get over it.

I had forgotten how completely frustrating some players (and guilds) can be. I thought 'I did not miss this', after being pummelled into submission by Pohlice Brutality for the fifth time but then I reconsidered. How do you know if you're any good if you don't have good players on the other side to contend against? So I guess I did miss Pohlice and Djolle and Sejanus and all the BWs with two braincells to rub together (no, jk, I don't miss those). I even named my flash drive after Sejanus. True story. Just not that one.

Also, WAR got Marillion in my head.
For various reasons:
  • Aylesbury
  • The ambiguous name Khalie which I'm not entirely sure how to pronounce.
  • Fish
  • Fish's hairdresser
  • WAR is it too late to say I'm sorry? And WAR could we get it together again?
    I just can't go on pretending that it came to a natural end
    WAR, oh I never thought I'd miss you
    And WAR I thought that we'd always be friends
    We said our love would last forever
    So how did it come to this bitter end?
I couldn't let it end on that note, so suddenly, so abruptly. I'm sure there are still some Mythic people out there that love the game as much as I do so I'll give them another chance to make it worthwhile to give them my money. I will try to not get as invested in the game as before, though. It's been twice now that we've broken up. This "on again, off again" shtick just isn't for me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Drakengard: Dragon Ate Your Tongue?

And then there are a few scenes you just don't think you'll ever see in your life time, things that don't even cross your mind may exist, let alone in a Square Enix videogame. For me, one such episode was one of the endings of this game Drakengard.

Drakengard came out back in 2004 but, to this day, it remains imprinted in my mind as a great, revolutionary game that completely changed my expections of Square Enix games. I was, like most of us were, used to the addictive yet light hearted nature of games such as Final Fantasy and... Front Mission? Anyways, I first got my hands on it because my boyfriend at the time had a part-time job reviewing games for a magazine (if only I'd played my cards right at the time). I was expecting a light game with dragons. Maybe a bit of flying around, a bit of passable dialogue, a bit of lighting things on fire.

The game went beyond all my expectations and delivered a solid story, good voice acting and absolutely purgative as well as addictive gameplay. The soundtrack was powerful enough to keep up with the game's pace which was pretty intense.

The main premise of the game was that Caim, a young prince who had seen his parents murdered by a dragon, now found his life tied to that of a dragon in order to save his own. He underwent such a ritual so he could, in turn, go and save his sister Furiae. The dragon agreed to this pact because it was dying itself. After this co-dependency pact, Caim loses his voice but gains a dragon. A fair trade, if you ask me.

I must say, the details of the game become a little fuzzy (it has been seven years since I played it) but I remember that, apart from the main gameplay, there were a few bits where you did get to fly around and blow stuff up on dragonback. Which is always a plus in my book. But the main gameplay consisted of you picking up a big sword of your choosing and hacking and slashing through hordes of baddies. Baddies on foot, baddies on horses, big baddies, smaller baddies... And this, ladies and gentlemen, was what made me play this game.

It was absolutely cathartic to just pick up a big sword and slash the heads off pixelated opponents. And there were hundreds of them over a pretty big map. You had the option of collecting said swords and upgrading them. 'And how, pray tell, did you upgrade said swords?' you ask, your eyes all atwinkle. By killing more baddies. Oh, the bliss. This engine reflected the co-dependency between you and your dragon: you needed swords to kill things and you needed to kill things to better your swords. At the time, I couldn't and wouldn't ask for anything more.

The game didn't receive that many great reviews and it probably never will what with its outdated everything. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was out of the norm and it had a solid base: it entertained both by bloodthirsty thumbs and my story hungry mind. Which leads us to the event I mentioned at the beggining.

Drakengard had a multitude of endings. By multitude I mean around 5. My bad. But the FMV leading to the end (I'm not sure if it was to all of them or just a specific one) was what marked me. 'Wow,' I said, all those years ago. 'Naked babies falling from a red sky. I did not see that coming.' And I didn't. And, to this day, I never expect to see it again. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it worked for me.

On skimming the Drakengard Wikipedia article, I gathered that one of the endings was actually a bridge to a new Square Enix game: Nier. Although Drakengard had a sequel (originally titled "Drakengard 2", who picks up from a different Drakengard ending) I never got around to playing it, possibly because I was so content with the first one.

But I might try out Nier. I recently watched a Zero Punctuation review on it and, seeing as I don't recall Yahtzee being particularly harsh on the game, it might even be any good.

I'm sidetracking again. My main point in dragging Drakengard from the grave is: repetition may not always be a bad thing IF that's what you're looking for. When I played Drakengard, running around the field slashing things and opening crates was what I was looking for and it was extremely rewarding. I got to see some weird ass shit as a result, too. So, for me, Drakengard was an extremely rewarding game and one that set the bar for the entertainment value of other games. Hmmm, mindless slashy goodness.

A Palavra Será Apatia

Ou eu nasci muito à frente dos tempos ou muito atrás. Ou o meu lugar no mundo ainda não foi inventado, ou fui feita para um tempo em que nada seria esperado de mim além de procriação. Qualquer uma destas opções parece e até bem que pode ser uma desculpa mas não deixa de ser verdade. Não sei bem se devo culpar a sociedade ou a mim mesma por a minha pessoa como ela é não se enquadrar na roda viva do "emprego". Porque é que crescer e ser economicamente financeiro tem que ser sinónimo de infelicidade monótona e apática? Parece-vos saudável? Que eu duvide das minhas capacidades, que a minha auto-estima estremeça, que me ache menor só por não querer sucumbira ao manto cinzento de dormência que cobre tudo o resto? Ora por um lado me puxam para a convicção de que só se vive uma vez, que as nuvens que vemos só as veremos desta vez, ora me dizem para não sair da fila, para andar ao mesmo ritmo, que ser crescido é assim, que a infelicidade é o curso natural da vida, que o melhor da vida já eu o passei.

Ou seja, convencem-me de que tenho que aproveitar cada segundo e de que cada segundo tenho que o passar a fazer algo para o matar. E ando eu a matar tempo enquanto o tempo me mata a mim. Estou farta desta apatia, desta afasia, desta filha da putaria.

Lutaram tanto pelo 25 de Abril. Quem me dera a mim lá ter estado, ter tido essa motivação. Era a altura em que a relutância dos tempos em mudar tinha consequências graves como a morte ou encarceramento. Hoje, temos o aumento dos impostos. Não tem a mesma urgência. Não tem o mesmo tom melódico. Não incita as massas à rebelião. "25 de Abril Sempre", gritam eles, na esperança que o 25 de Abril não seja nunca mais.

Meu Deus, deve haver alguma coisa lá fora para mim! Alguma coisa fora do normal! Alguma coisa que eu não estou a ver! Foi-me prometida felicidade. Foi-me prometida tanta coisa. Porque me tiram o Fizz de limão e o Calippo de Coca-Cola e me dão trinta Magnums que sabem todos a cartão? (Mentira, eu até gosto de Magnum. É gelado, porra!) Onde estão os carros voadores que me foram prometidos? E os hologramas? E a Terra ainda não escoou derretida pelo buraco da camada e a Skynet também não acordou. Mas o Captain Planet ainda não se livrou da poluição. Ainda ontem comprei estas calças, já hoje não lhes caibo. Mas prometeram-me um futuro que não vejo realizado.

É agora que a minha paz de espírito se transforma em apatia de espírito. Como sempre, e como todos, sempre tive a sensação, melhor, a crença de que tudo se resolveria. Porque, afinal, se a televisão nos ensinou alguma coisa é que a vida continua, independentemente do que façamos. Cada vez parece que me importo menos, cada vez me sinto menos incomodada por FMIs, troicas, baldroicas, eleições e governos. E quem de nós quer verdadeiramente saber? Sim, pois, há as juventudes partidárias mas também as há para motards e adeptos de tuning e não vemos o país a ser governado por veículos motorizados. Já não queremos saber; o espírito revolucionário está em coma.

Conclusão? Como disse o japonês mirradinho que interpelaram nas notícias no outro dia "os portugueses têm que perceber que os trabalhadores e o patronato têm que trabalhar em conjunto para serem todos mais felizes, não o contrário. Se não quiserem todos o mesmo não funciona. Não dá." Faço do dele o meu conselho. Animem-se; vejam a Rua Sésamo e aprendam a ser amigos e dar as mãos. Já agora, aproveitem e vejam o Conde de Contar, dará muito jeito quando chegar a altura dos impostos.

Não foi isto mais do que um devaneio, uma série de pensamentos, sentimentos, sem nexo que jorraram por meus dedos. Que verborreia. Não teve nenhum fio condutor isto, pois não? Nenhum sentido maior, nenhum grande propósito. Mais uma infantilidade, mais uma perda de tempo. Mais uma perca de tempo. Solha.

Que fome que isto agora me deu.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mass Effect 3: Fangirly Drool

There are certain episodes in your life that help you define and reaffirm what you are.

I'm a girl. A fangirl. I am a Kaidan Alenko fangirl. And yes, it's mostly (if not completely) due to Raphael Sbarge's sexy voice.

Which is why I was so flamboyantly excited when I found this in BioWare's Facebook.

'OMG OMG!' my over-excited brain yelled. 'It's Kaidan. I get to see him again. I get to nag him about professing his undying love for me and then shoving me off when some shady characters he had no particularly strong feelings towards had brought me back from the dead!'

Oh, yeah. And Liara's back too, apparently. Yay.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WAR: Reminiscing

Oh WAR, how you broke my heart. All the fond memories, and all the wasted potential. I loved you WAR. Deep inside, I still do. I will find myself staring out my window thinking about all the cool times we had together. The strolls on the beach, the picnics on the hills, the wipes in the last boss in ToVL, those Darkpromise boots you didn't want to get for me... We were an item, WAR, we were a thing. But I felt like you didn't care. Like my feelings didn't matter to you. I loved you and you played with me when I should've been the one playing you.

Seriously now, I was looking through my screenshots and all these feelings came rushing back. WAR had this flavour, see. It left a gritty flavor on your tongue, like you'd actueally been riding on the back of a Cold One  in the dirt for hours. There would be dozens of us, defying the laws of real men; dozens of us occupying the same coordinates, keeping our Orcs quiet while we laid an ambush behind a rock or inside a tent. We would be so patient, so generous with our time. And, sure enough, they'd start pouring from the hillside or across the bridge, ripe and ready for us to deploy our forces on their flanks and rear. It's a wonderful feeling, seeing enemy characters you know are controlled by real people run for their lifes or giving in to the inevitability of your supremacy.

Hi Hun! ^_^
But that (PvP) wasn't everything I loved. I even loved the PvE, Maker forgive me. Running dungeons was easy and most times rewarding. I liked kiting the 2nd ToVL boss. I was good at it. And the other bosses were entertaining if not entirely bug-free. It was a good change of pace; we would have this scripted encounters to test builds and tactics for more unscripted ones.

But who am I kidding, PvP was what WAR was all about. The yells and screams of tanks and healers alike succumbing to the unrelenting bombing of a Wizard-centric Warband; the throngs of half dead characters spawning on healers in the back lines of a keep take. These things I haven't seen since. These things, this frenetic pace, this sense of urgency, that whatever it is you can contribute with you better do it quick, I miss. I'm not saying there aren't other games out there that can provide similar feelings and adventures but WAR was it for me. It was my first, my one and only. The game that made me feel like I had something to tell the world. And now it's little more than a painful reminder of happier times.

You learned to respect some names, some groups in the battlefield and you learned to disregard others. You knew who was who not because of trolling or other forms of epeen stroking but through their skill and efficiency. At least that was true for me. I was never into that whole forum thing.

Ah, WAR... If only you'd listened to us. If only you'd done it sooner. I feel like coming back, I really, genuinely do. But the part where I said WAR broke my heart was no joke. It's somewhat disheartening loading up a character you've spent years loving to find it's near to useless. I couldn't play a rr75ish healer against... anything without dying a gruesome death within the first few seconds of an encounter.

I don't know what the future holds for WAR and for me. I just miss it's epicness, the feeling of hundreds of people focusing on one goal, one ideal, one sentence: "Red is dead."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little Big Smackdown

With the PS3 back on its feet Mike looked at me with his big puppy dog-eyes, wagging his tail and pointing his snout at the Little Big Planet box. Although the memory of an electrified wheel that halted our progress through the game still haunted my dreams, I caved in. He did fix the damn thing, after all.

Still, I also remembered having a lot of good laughs with the game. Pulling him back at the last minute causing him to fail-jump into a spiky death was always a crowd pleaser. That and him smacking me around with a frying pan in response.

The game is actually quite fun and doesn't scream "kiddy-timesink". We're both mature (*snicker*) adults and we thoroughly enjoy spending our post dinner/pre bedtime break hours getting through the levels. It's like Doritos: Crash Course only with more levels and more customization and... more fun. then again, it isn't for free like DCC is. It's also possibly the one platformer that I can in all honesty say I like (not counting Prince of Persia. And that Outland thingy looked somewhat cool in the demo... Damn you Ubisoft!)

It's not completely fair to me, though, when we play LBP. We only have one PS3 controller so I end up connecting my old PS2 one using the good old reliable "Orange Dragon" as I always called it, due to the fact that the thing is orange and the brand has a "dragon" in its name somewhere. It's cool that it works but the signal gets mixed up and the X and O are switched and so are SQUARE and TRIANGLE. The left analog stick is all wonky so thank heavens you don't need it in LBP for anything apart looking gangsta. START and SELECT are also switched. All this means is that my brain goes through an extra loop whenever I get on-screen indications.

Long story short, Mike got it in his head that he'd buy LBP2 to get a "cheaper" second controller. Oh well. I think I still have some Guitar Hero stickers left (after I spent an obscene amount covering something up on our bathroom wall) that I can decorate my new controller with. And maybe I can convince him to play some pew-pew games with me. We did enjoy Army of Two when we tried the demo together, which is the only way to play it apparently. Too bad we yell so much at each other about who's going to kill what and split screen makes our heads hurt.