The Rise and Fall of Halo 4

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Well boys and girls, I am taking some time off from my NaNaWriMo writing insanity to update my blog.  I know, I have been remiss but with book launches and other books to finish, I’ve been a hoser.  So…..Halo!

The Halo franchise has returned with new developers, a familiar look, great fun and a few sighs of “really?” 

First let’s look at the reasons to run out and buy this game.

Franchise Loyalty – OK that sounds kinda douchy but if you are a fan of the Halo franchise this latest addition will not disapoint (too much).  As the first Halo game not made by Bungie, some die hards were afraid this game would amount to hoards raping their dogs and castrating them with dull butter knives.  This did not happen.  While no new ground was broken in the story, 343 Industries stayed true to the Halo look, feel and story.

Graphics – This is a beautiful game. Even if you are a “wolf pack” gamer that just likes to charge around on Legendary setting, all Skulls set to On, with your dick in your hand agroing everything in sight, take a second to look around.  These developers spent years of work on these zones and they are amazing. It was pointed out to me that if you zoom in with your sniper rifle on a far off waterfall, you can see birds flying around that are invisible without that high powered zoom.

Co-op Game Play – Let’s face it, these types of shooters are more suited to playing with friends than just with yourself.  Isn’t that always the case?  ;-)  The co-op play is pretty seamless and the instant re-spawn by your partner (less your cool guns) is handy.  Sure, you now have to contend with your lame ass default guns but if you are lucky you can pick up your gear in the general area where you died.  Note, this doesn’t always happen so don’t count on it.

Interesting Mod Assortment – I really liked the mod assortment especially the flying turret that saved my bacon a few times.  My second fav was the rocket pack.  Why?  DUDE  it’s a ROCKET PACK!!!  The “Promethean Vision” glasses were also very handy when shooting in the swamp with the fog. You can also create an illusionary duplicate to draw agro away from you, speed away from or towards an enemy and use a shield.  Personally I found the shield pretty useless but everyone has their own game style and this is why I liked the variety of mods.  Anything that allows a wide variety of gamers with different styles to have fun is great in my book.

Storyline – I admit I like games with a story rather than just a “run around and kill things” game.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, I like running around and killing things but I like it to have a plot, a purpose.  It’s kinda like having a great DM that gives you a challenging, multi-faceted game rather than just a Monty Haul dungeon. I think one of the best things Halo 4 did was their “mini film” Forward Unto Dawn.  You can get it for free if you bought the premium  game, you can buy it in one piece from the Xbox store for about $45 or you can just watch it for free in five episodes on YouTube.  I recommend you boot up YouTube on your TV via Xbox Live and watch it there.  TOTALLY worth it!!!! OMG!

Lots of DLC– You are given various Spartan campaigns separate from the game (and not playing as Master Chief) to try your hand at.  Your XP here does rack up with your main campaign stats and they do have a handy “baseball card” UI that allows you to compare your stats with those of your friends if you are into that sort of thing. It’s cool that you are allowed some customization of your armor and look.

Now here is what I didn’t like so much about Halo 4.

Lack of Weapon Variety – OK, I just got off of beating Borderlands 2 with its 80 gazillion guns so I admit I’m a bit spoiled.  A few more random drop options would be nice.  It’s not huge but there it is.

Plot Holes – Fine, Halo has never been an RPG but it does have a story line and this one could have been tighter.  Not everyone has played all of the games so a little “backstory” maybe in a free DLC movie would catch up peeps new to the franchise.  The current story line was weak in some places and had gaping holes in others.  If you are going to have a story line for your shooter, even if it is a basic one, make it tight.

However the number one thing that I didn’t like about Halo 4 –

Too Damn Short!!!!!! There is only about 10 hours of game play in order to beat the game.  Now I know that role playing games are a different animal but allow me to compare. The Mass Effect series consists of about 40-50 hours of gameplay depending on how many side missions you do.  The same goes for Borderlands 2 which took me about 60 hours to beat playing co-op and completing about 2/3rds of the missions and there is still a TON of extra repeatable gameplay there. I would estimate at least 300 hours total playing as each character and playing the one current DLC add on.

I know, I know – Halo is just a shooter with a story as a bonus but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be fleshed out more.  When I beat Halo Combat Evolved there was twice as much gameplay in the main mission.  I realize there are side Spartan campaigns and DLC but some people just want the main story.  It felt incomplete.  Here we were fighting fun enemies in varied terrains, trying to track down the new Big Bad who looks like a combination between Nosferatu and Uncle Fester on steroids.

It’s fun!  There is a great side story re: Cortana your hot AI, the bad guy has some giant … thing that does something bad … and he wants to imprision you in it or not or destroy it or steal it or something.  You see? The story starts to loose focus and fall apart but no matter, I figure these hints will wrap up later somehow.

OK, because I’m not a dick, here is your warning. I’m going to talk about the end of the game now.  It’s not like it is huge but if you don’t want any spoilers, skip the next two paragraphs.

 

 

 

You meet the Uncle Fester boss and…. Ummm, he dies. OK, you are thinking, I knew this was going to happen, he is the final boss but you really don’t kill him.  No, you really do but it’s not a big epic final boss battle.  Most of this final is a cut scene that you just watch then once you get control of Master Chief, it’s a few key punches and bye bye Uncle Fester.  There he goes, off the light bridge and into the spinning lava/hellfire/tornado thingy.

Ummmm, that was too easy and kinda lame.  BUT I figure, OK maybe he isn’t really dead (we all know the big Boss always comes back for round 2) but no, he really is dead.  You set off a nuke and you are in this “place”, have this conversation with Cortana, there is a another scene back on Earth and… credits.

WHAT?! After the Cortana conversation I was thinking we were about half way through, maybe 2/3rds.  The story was still so fragmented I thought there was no way it was over.  We weren’t playing that long. Nope, I was wrong.  We were done.  The “epilogue” just left me saying “What?!” I had no idea what they were talking about or what this meant. Perhaps it was a teaser for a Halo 5 game.  If so, will I buy it?  Sure!  But I think I will wait 6 months and buy it at $30 rather than $60.

Is this game worth it?  Yes it is.  It’s a great game.  Do I think it’s the best game of 2012?  No.  In my opinion that honor goes to Borderlands 2 which is incredibly well rounded.  I do place Halo 4 in the top 5 of 2012 which is not shabby. Mass Effect 3, even with its sucktastic ending, won out for story but Halo 4 beats it for its shooting play.

So do you get it?  Yes, get it! If you don’t have to play it right this second, wait 8 months and get it half price.  If all your friends are playing it and they will be playing the next “new thing” in 8 months then go get it.  You don’t want to be a social pariah.  If you really want to be cool – get the limited edition Xbox controller!  This Halo 4 controller is pretty slick.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  The right side is transparent and the lighting is blue rather than green!  Yeah, pretty cool.

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So bottom line – I give Halo 4 and 8 out of 10 and a thumbs up.  Buy it, you will have a good time.

 

 

I Don’t Believe In Attention Seeking Fairies or My Life Tinks

Well it seems that the “me gimme mine” generation has made the news again. A teenager was denied entry into Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World because she was wearing a Tinkerbell costume. Her boyfriend was dressed as Peter Pan. This is standard practice and the park employees did provide them with alternate clothing free of charge though that did nothing to mollify the pouty teen.


Here is the story:

http://www.newsoxy.com/travel/tinkerbell-costume-disney-world-75399.html

Here is the video:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tinker-bell-girl-disney-park-banned-334306

Now here is what I see, I find it hard to believe in this day and age that two teens, who own smart phones, can record video and know how to upload it to YouTube are ignorant on how to Google items on the net or read the Disney policies on costumes posted on their website. I would be willing to bet that at least 90% of fans know that adults are never allowed in the Park wearing obvious costumes and especially Disney character costumes. the only exception is for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which is a separately ticketed event.

Do I know this for a fact? Yes because I’ve done it numerous times. I’ve dressed like Princess Aurora (in the correct color dress thankyouverymuch) and know the rules. I can pose for pictures, I can’t sign autographs, The Mouse has even assigned me a handler on my last two trips to get me disengaged from photo lines when I want to enjoy the party. I was even put on the back of the finale float under Malificent in Disneyland’s closing parade but it was ALWAYS during that Halloween party.

These outfit designs are Disney’s property and they have to right to defend their product. Let’s say someone dresses like Snow White, has a great costume, looks just like her and then is swearing like a sailor, making out with her boyfriend or girlfriend and grabbing some kids junk. This could present distinct issues for Disney. First it damages their brand. Second it opens them to litigation. They have every right to prevent people from dressing up like their characters except under specific circumstances that they control.

Sure little kids are ALWAYS welcome to dress up! No one is going to mistake an eight year old pixie for Tink. But this gal could be mistaken for the pixie even though her décolletage is a bit too large and prominent for the characters image.

I get it, she wants to dress up, she wants to be Tinkerbell, she wants that attention. News Flash: Life isn’t fair and you don’t always get your way. If you want to be Tinkerbell so bad, why don’t you audition? Better yet, why don’t you schedule your trip during Halloween so you CAN dress up? But no, not only was she denied her “dream” but Miss Faux Fairy proceeded to go on a video and whine about it.

From the DIS Board here is a quote from a woman who actually witnessed this at Animal Kingdom “We were there at AK on sun & saw her. She was in the middle of the park so got through the gate. When we saw her the Disney people were talking to her and she was crying. We thought she was a cast member. Then we heard them say she would get fast passes for the day. I can totally see why Disney didn’t want her dressed up.”

Now I have heard “she’s a kid, don’t be so hard on her”. She is a teenager. She has a boyfriend. She went to the Park on her own, perhaps even driving a car. She is old enough to understand there are consequences for your actions. You put on a costume, Disney said no, they gave her free clothes so she should have taken it with good grace, changed and enjoyed her day.

Instead she got on a camera, she got on the news (someone had to call them, Disney certainly didn’t) and whined and pouted about how unfair her lot is. Also where the hell are her parents in this? While she is a teen with some responsibilities, she is still a minor. Can she sign a release without her parents consent? Did her parents know about this stunt (both the costume and the ensuing video/news crew)? This whole thing stinks like Mr. Smee’s feet.

You want to be a pretty pretty Princess? Here is what I tell kids when they are crying that they didn’t get picked to play the Princess part in an interactive show I’ve been in – “Honey, I’m going to tell you something very important that will help you your entire life. Are you listening? You can’t have everything you want. If you want to be a Princess, that is wonderful! You can be a Princess all day long in your bedroom and in your heart but you will not always get to be picked to be one in public. We have to share with other people.”

So I DO believe in fairies, in magic and in wonder. I don’t believe in attention seeking whiners who are mad because they didn’t get their way.

Utah – WTF? A story of young women, dirty whores and how it seems that is our label now

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sparker/daughter-inappropriate-outfit-school_b_1539939.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk3&pLid=163552

OK, first go read that article from the Huffington Post and tell me what is wrong with that girls outfit. Please, tell me…. I’ll wait. …. Yeah, NOTHING except perhaps, maybe that this is Utah and her Mother is … an atheist. I really fail to see any other reason that the principal would single her out for “Inappropriate attire”, when many other students were wearing shorter skirts. That reason appears to be bogus. Her teachers didn’t have an issue with her clothes, just the principal which speaks to a personal reason having nothing to do with school attire.

WAY TO GO UTAH!!!! Stay Classy! I know how this feels just a bit. The last time I traveled through Utah was 8 years ago. As soon as I crossed the state line into Nevada, I got out of the car and kissed the drinking/whoring/swearing dirt that Nevada sits upon. I’ve never been so glad to see the backside of a State in my life!

I know, I know, you’re saying “Well if you are an atheist why don’t you live somewhere else.” True but sometimes people can’t just pack up and leave. There are jobs, relationships, perhaps family ties to be considered AND you shouldn’t have to move just because you make someone uncomfortable. That is THEIR failing not yours. Just because people fail to see the diversity in culture, learning and opinions that others bring doesn’t mean you should allow them to bully you.

I suppose I can’t be too surprised especially since people in this country seem to be getting dumber by the minute. Now I didn’t watch the Miss USA pageant, as I find it to be a cultural dinosaur but I heard something very interesting that seems to prove my point on the dumbing down of America. It seems Miss Ohio, when asked “Do you think women are depicted in movies and on television in an accurate and positive way? And please give us an example.” responded with “I think it depends on the movie. I think there are some movies that depict women in a very positive role, and then some movies that put them in a little bit more of negative role. But by the end of the movie, they show that woman power that I know we all have. Such as movie Pretty Woman. We had a wonderful, beautiful woman, Julia Roberts, and she was having a rough time, but, you know what, she came out on top and she didn’t let anybody stand in her path.”

Really? Really. A white-washed Disney prostitute is a beacon for positive female values? REALLY? Allow me to give you an education Miss Ohio since you were obviously asleep or brushing your hair during class. A fictional story of a low-end hooker that marries a millionaire and lives happily ever after is not only a total fantasy but can be damaging to women who equate their worth in direct proportion to their sexual allure even if it is exploited for profit.

Now I could write forever on how the majority of sex workers are beaten, raped, murdered, abused, drug addicted and under the thumbs of controlling pimps. In fact the original ending of this movie had Richard Gere dumping her once his contracted time was over and her shooting up drugs. In fact that scene in the hotel where she was flossing her teeth, she was originally shooting up. At least that ending would have been more honest but Pretty Women as an example of a positive female role? Are you smoking crack?

I guess the principal at this Utah school is of the opinion that young girls with no God-centered religious background is just a slutty temptress out to lure God-fearing boys off the straight and narrow with flashes of her hedonistic knees.

Please tell me these idiots are the vocal minority.

Damn You Sigmund! (Apps that suckered me in)

I was a rube, a patsy, a stooge and I’m not even sure what some of those terms mean anymore considering they haven’t been in wide-spread usage 50 years. Today I just have that quaint feeling of being taken for a ride on the trolley of naiveté and rube has a good ring to it.

You see, I saw an article in some fancy, schmancy tech magazine touting the wonders that is Sigmund. It is a dream directing app. Basically, you choose from a wide variety of words and pick five that you want worked into your dream. You tell it what time you are going to bed and what time you are waking up. It will then whisper these words over and over to you in REM sleep and wake you up with an alarm in the morning.

These were the words I chose (don’t judge me) – Beach, boyfriend, lover, castle, panda. That night was a big zero. No beach scene in California or elsewhere, no romance and no panda. Granted I put the panda in to be random but nothing.

The next night I chose – Pirates, lover, mountains, rum, parrot. Fine, it sounds like a bad Jack Sparrow romance novel but nothing. In fact that night I dreamed about coming to work, being buried in spreadsheets and people calling me with the lamest support questions ever like “How do I know my computer is on?” No hot pirates, mountains, booze or birds of any kind except the one I felt like flipping people.

So last night I gave it one more try. I choose Paris, sex, car, travel, wine. I dreamed I was surrounded by huge ass cats while Alice in Wonderland was having a tea party with President Obama.

I am coming to the conclusion this app doesn’t work. All the glowing testimonials are either hooey or my subconscious is sneering at this app. The alarm clock works but my iPhone has an alarm clock already so that isn’t much of a plus.

While I’m not a total app pushover, the instant gratification one finds on line from the juvenile (Pee Monkey) to the addictive (Words with Friends) covers a wide gambit. I just have to content myself with the fact that at times there is a let-down. Just because I imagined this app would provide me with nights of Romance novel hot dreams and then didn’t deliver doesn’t mean I’m a total tweaky Muppet.

Then again…. Maybe it does.

A Conversation with a Taco and a Toilet

What do you say when you meet a walking, talking taco and toilet coming down the street? At a loss for words? Yup, me too. For Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday I thought I would share a small slice of my weekend that is still sticking with me like those shrimp chips I ate last night when I was drunk.

I see a lot of strange things in California but even at an event where some people wear costumes, this takes the cake. No, it wasn’t Halloween. This was a semi-historical venue that was hosting a “steampunk weekend”. Still the costume optional aspect of this event should not have elicited the response of “hmmmm, let’s dress up as a greasy high calorie food and a crapper”. Though I do see how those costumes are a bit symbiotic in a disturbing way. Not even a hoop skirt or a pair of goggles could have helped this sad concept.

Allow me to share my surreal conversation.

Me: Excuse me but what are you?

Taco: I’m a taco and she’s a toilet. WE’RE FROM THE FUTURE! (Yes, that part was yelled in a lusty tone.)

Me: Did you lose a bet? (Actually I said “Didst thou lose a wager” but for the sake of ease I will translate to lazy American speak.)

Taco: Did you? (Good one. Actually I did but I wasn’t going to tell her that.)

Me: So good woman, what purpose do you serve?

Taco: I’m delicious. (Really? Better than Fois Gras? I think not!)

Me: And your companion?

Taco: She’s practical. (Nothing like being the wingman to Taco Girl. Actually of the pair I think the toilet is the one that lost the bet in the costume department. No self-respecting female really wants to be seen out in public as a toilet. It’s damn hard to make that costume “sexy”.)

Me: So then the both of you together are practically delicious! (I chortle at my wit. The taco looked confused. The toilet just looked uncomfortable. I wonder if she felt the need to use herself and the concept was flumoxing her. Honestly I would have paid money to see toilet girl trying to shove her faux porcelain mass into a portable john. Ahh, the irony of it all!)

The lesson to this story, don’t leave the house dressed as food or plumbing even if costumes are “admired but not required”. If you do, understand that people are going to remark on it. If you didn’t want the questions, you should have gone as Naughty Nurse Jessica Rabbit and called it a day.

The UK falls into a pit of US death food and can’t get up!

So today for Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday, I am sad to report the fall of the British Empire. I know, I know, that ship sailed when they left India (taking curry and cool fashions as the consolation prize) but this is an intellectual fall they are experiencing now and it makes me weep.

To me, our brothers and sisters across the pond have served as a reminder of our more cultured selves. Perhaps it’s watching all that Masterpiece Theatre, the BBC and dressing up like the Queen of England on weekends but that’s how it is. Until now.

I have just discovered that Pizza Hut, in one of the foulest experiments known to human kind, is debuting a….. hot dog stuffed inside the crust of their already dough heavy pizzas. Yeah, first we had cheese filled crust, now we have hot dog filled crust and it’s only available in the UK! I would expect an abomination like this to be peddled to the good people of Squirrel Butt, Arkansas but I thought the British were smarter. Evidently not.

Don’t believe me? http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/apr/13/hot-dog-stuffed-crust-pizza

England, you send Jamie Oliver over here to show us the error of our food ways, how we are killing ourselves and our kids with high fat, empty calorie crap and then you eat THIS?! Are you kidding me?

I am going to pray that the stiff upper lip, moral fiber of the British people come to the fore, they reject this insidious abomination and have some nice kippers with their farm fresh eggs. If Britain falls, we are all doomed!

Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday Crawls Back.. with Bunnies

I know, I know, I suck. If it’s any comfort, I have been in Disney World and Disneyland. Oh, I suck more? Fine but I’m doing it for you! Really! Fine, I’m doing it for me too because The Mouse is all kinds of happy, dancing, Mickey crack to me.

I am getting ready to launch a re-mastered version of the Magic Kingdom Guide, working on a guide for Animal Kingdom and Epcot as well. The Squirrel book is in the can and going through the design process and the Easter Bunny got busted for drug possession.

Really! Don’t you people read? It seems a shopping mall Easter Bunny was popping pills on his break (who can blame him with kids piddling on him all day), was caught, detained and arrested. It seems he didn’t have a doctors note for those Qualudes so off to the slammer he hopped. I suppose if he HAD a prescription they would have let him off with a warning and a jar of jelly beans. Honestly, how is a fake rabbit suppose to make a living?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/easter-bunny-busted-illegal-possession-prescription-drugs-virginia-mall-article-1.1058388

Yes, the world is full of sad people, trying to make a living, dressing as furries for a confused holiday. Allow me to share with you a brilliant blog dedicated to creepy Easter bunnies. After you are through looking, you can thank me. – http://www.ibeatyou.com/blog/2010/04/01/creepiest-easter-bunny-pictures/

Personally, I’m here for the Scotch. I know the REAL Easter Bunny really doesn’t give a crap about chocolate eggs, Peeps or plastic grass. The real Easter Bunny is into Scotch, cigars and sitting in a blind at the North Pole waiting to get a clear shot at Santa who’s amazingly nimble for jolly old elf with a bowl full of jelly belly.

Well now that we can settle down to the residuals of our holiday sugar highs, I will start planning my next Mouse trip, do some more writing and be on the look out for a nice glass of Scotch magically appearing on my front porch. Hey…. ummmmm, isn’t that amber liquid a bit warm?

RABBIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fable 3 Is Making Me Mental (but I can’t stop playing)

Yes boys and girls, now that “The Squirrel Book” is in the can, I can get back to Whack-A-Doodle Wednesdays. So as you may or may not have guessed I received an Xbox 360 for Christmas, fell down the rabbit hole and it has eaten my brain ever since. The one thing I wanted to discuss today is the game Fable 3. So here is the deal – the original Fable game came out a couple years ago and it was a sensation. You could decide whether to be good or bad and your choices effected the game. It spawned two sequels.

In Fable 3 you are allowed to play either the Prince or the Princess. You are the youngest child of the Hero from Fable 2. It seems your older douche bag brother is in charge of the kingdom and making a total mess of it.

You start out the game in your palatial bed with your trusty dog under the covers with you, which is a bit strange in and of itself. Your Jeeves-like valet wakes you and you pick out a suit of clothes to wear. They can be fancy or plain, your choice. (Don’t worry, you can always buy the suit you didn’t choose later in the game at one of the shops).

You proceed to meet Elise (if you are playing the Prince) or Elliot (if you are playing the Princess). They are obviously your girl or boyfriend and at this point no you are not allowed to choose a same sex friend. You discover that the peasants are revolting (that’s right, they stink on ice). So you and your new boyfriend/girlfriend and your trusty man at arms are off to confront your douche bag brother about the situation.

At this point you can start making choices as to whether you want to be a wanker or you want to be good. For example you can give the kitchen help a pep talk or you can tell them that they’re all a bunch of lazy idiots who deserve to be canned.

You confront your brother, he gets all pissed off, and tells you you have a choice to make. He will either kill your boyfriend/girlfriend or he will kill a few poor peasants that came in to tell him about how they are being repressed. If you do not pick a person for him to kill then he’s going to kill the poor peasants and the peasant horde outside as an example. Can you now see why your brother is a dick?

I found out after the fact that if you decide to save your girlfriend/boyfriend it will not count against your good score. You will be able to see them and possibly hook up with them later in the game. Bugger. Keep this in mind because if you wish to play as a heterosexual, they are the best looking NPC’s in the game.

So I am forced to kill my boyfriend and then find myself spirited out of the castle with my valet Jeeves, my man at arms and my faithful dog at my side. You are now tasked to raise a coalition of disenfranchised groups to depose your brother so you can rule the Kingdom, bringing happiness to all. This sounds great right? Well now we start getting into the reason this game has sucked my soul and the Top Ten Things I Hate About This Game.

Number 1 – The Sanctuary:

The Sanctuary is basically your inventory. They structured it as a multi-room, magical place you teleport to by pressing the right arrow key to the side of the Xbox button. Instead of just bringing up an inventory screen with various tabs like every other game they have created a new room, actually a series of rooms to do that job for you.

While some people might think it’s keen to have a map room, a weapons room, a treasure room and the obligatory store, I find it slows down your game play. You have to push multiple buttons to view items as well as get details on that item and equip it. What is wrong with just pressing one button and having your inventory screen pop up? That way you can scroll through items and see everything on one screen. There’s a reason that the majority of games on the Xbox do something similar to this, it’s because it works.

This room is also where your annoying Jeeves guy hangs out. Every times you teleport here, you have to hear him tell you the same things over and over. Which brings us to…

Number 2: The Map

The Map sucks ass. 1st of all the map looks nothing like the actual zone you are in. I do not know how many times I have been in some town and find areas that run into each other but are not close to each other on the map. Everything looks like it’s 500 miles away from each other on the main map. Also if I want to go to a specific place, I can’t. Not really. Technically you are suppose to be able to click on something and it will teleport you there but more often than not, you just appear in the general area. Since nothing looks like it does in the map, you have a bitch of a time trying to navigate. You have to look at these little signs on the houses and examine them to find out if the name matches anything you can remember when you looked at the main map. It’s a pain in the ass!

Also there is no “You Are Here” arrow on the main map. I have no idea where my character is in relation to everything else on this map. Also once you have a husband/wife/SO that’s in love with you, you have no idea where they are. This is a pain especially when you are married. Sure, they display a ring over their heads but if I decide I want some lovin and come home I expect my little woman to be home waiting for me so I can shag her. She is NEVER at home. She is somewhere in the City usually sweeping! Where in the city? I don’t know! So I have to waste time running all over that town looking for my partner to get some lovin.

Numbers 3: The Idiotic co-op Play

They “fixed” the co-op play on this version but if this is their idea of good co-op gameplay I really want to whack them in the nuts. Basically you can do one of two things. You can show up in a stranger’s game or play with a friend.

If you want to pick the “pop into a random game”, you stand on this pedestal in the Sanctuary and are randomly teleported to some stranger’s game. I did this once by accident. I wanted to see what the shiny disk did. I stood on it and BAM, I just appeared in a strangers game. Here is some chick, fighting skeletons and I have no idea what to do. I mean am I supposed to help her fight stuff or just walk around and check things out? Since this is a random person, you can’t communicate with them either by headset or send them a tell like an MMORPG and ask to group with them.

I was just uncomfortable. It was like I just opened the door to a strange house and someone was there in their underwear, eating cereal and I couldn’t leave. I felt like a wanker. I grabbed some treasure, killed a few things and ran off. I couldn’t find a way to get back to my game. After about 5 minutes this random person dropped me. I will admit to feeling a bit sad and dejected after that. It was an accident! I didn’t mean to just show up, grab treasure and run! I just didn’t know what the Hell I was supposed to do!

Your other option is to play with a friend on-line HOWEVER you MUST have identical set-ups in order to play. So if your friend has the frackin’ Yule hat or the Dog Package and you don’t, you can’t play together. Also it seems co-op play was constructed not to play quests together as much as have a “virtual family” and pass STD’s back and forth to each other! Sure, they have condoms in this game but if you want a kid, you have to have unprotected sex! I’ll talk more about the sex in the game next time. Believe me, this is a double edged sword

Next Rant – ugly NPC’s , the clunky storyline or “why are you killing my girlfriends/boyfriends”?, Kyle the Whore, Virtual Sex, Kids & STDs

Happy Guilt Day!


Well I have written many blogs on this soul sucking holiday and could think of no reason to write another one except for therapy. Today I am as bitter as day old coffee with a teaspoon of valerian added. Yea, all you hearts and flowers people can bite me. What would make my day bright and happy? A Welch Corgi puppy! Since I can’t have one, I am back to bitter being the new black.

Let’s see, I have already covered:

Valentines Day is a racket instituted by the greeting card companies, florists, naughty underwear purveyors and candy makers to drain your pocket book and saddle you with guilt.

Valentine’s Day breeds desperation. I see too many women more than willing to cut down fellow women’s fragile self-esteem by rubbing their rich husband, lobster dinners and La Perla panties in their faces. OK, that sounds kinda kinky and messy but you know what I mean.

Valentine’s Day guarantees you will be unable to eat out unless (a) you have a reservation and (b) you have arm candy. In fact Pasta Pomodoro has instituted a special couples menu with items that are not available on the menu for single diners. Of course, these offerings look uber good just taunt you. I mean who doesn’t want crab spaghetti?

Valentine’s Day teaches little girls to be mean. Fine, meaner than we already are. I know when I went to school, it was a rule that you HAD to give each and every kid in class a Valentine. I know this was to keep the unpopular kids from feeling the trauma of having no Valentines at all. However this just made us line up all the Valentines from the box and play the popularity game all over again. You decide which cute Valentine to give the cute boys, your best friends, girls you liked and which dorky Valentines to give “those kids”. This meant the lamest Valentines went to the dorky, unpopular kids. Thus teaching kids, especially girls, that this behavior is not only OK but encouraged by the school. What about the boys you ask? Let’s face it, little boys – just like Honey Badger – don’t give a shit. I would be willing to bet they would skip the whole thing if they weren’t forced to do it, usually by a female teacher.

I say we eliminate the whole damn thing along with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day and Secretary’s Day and Bosses Day and any other day that is a racket designed to get you to buy cards, candy, flowers and naughty panties. OK, maybe not so much for the Grandparents/Boss/Secretary’s day and the panty gifts, at least not after the new laws but you get my meaning. I don’t need a special day to tell my parents that I love them and to do something nice for them. If I had a husband, I wouldn’t need a day to wring guilt and lobster dinners out of him so I could feel superior and special. Personally I think that is mean, manipulative bullshit. If you are lucky enough to have someone special in your life, you should be doing little things all the time and not just on one day.

Personally if you have to have a day for appreciation, may I suggest Steak and a BJ Day on March 14th. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

WTF San Francisco?! When did we turn into Raider Nation?

I am really ashamed right now and I don’t even know who to blame or how we fix this as a society. I am a proud 49ers fan and have been for many, many years. I always enjoyed going to games at The Stick with my Dad. I prided myself on the fact that “our” fans were the civilized ones. The rowdy and at times criminal behaviour was for Oakland and the Raider Nation. The Niner fans had their tailgate parties reminiscent of a neighborhood social in Mayberry or Stepford. The Raider fans were crude, rude and socially unacceptable. The Red and Gold set snubbed their noses at their loud “reindeer games”.

True, I haven’t been to a Niners game for some time now, at least a decade if memory serves. My parents moved back East, ticket prices soared out of reach, even when we were the Charlie Brown losers of the league. I was so thrilled by our teams win last weekend against such an amazing team as the Saints. It seemed like all our hard work and waiting was coming to fruition.

And then it turned to ashes in my mouth. My friend Thayer, who moved to New Orleans with her hubby, had a friendly bet with me (as friends will do). As the game went back and forth and near caused me heart failure, never once did I think to trash the Saints or their fans. Those guys played like warriors and everyone’s fans deserve to root for their team. Remember when we were at the bottom of the pile for so long?

Well, this is what she told me – “Hey, are they talking about how badly the Saints fans were treated at Candlestick? Have some friends of friends that were being verbally attacked (Really hurtful stuff, re: Katrina references) so viciously they left early because they were afraid of physical violence if the Saints won. They said other Saints fans on the flight home had similar stories. [:(] “

That is upsetting to me. WE are suppose to be the civilized fans from the “Enlightened” city. I thought perhaps it was a few bad apples. Then I read this in the San Francisco Chronicle with increasing horror and unease – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/18/EDOL1MQO1D.DTL from a Saints fan. Here are some letters to the Editor – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/18/EDC41MQGDD.DTL and here is the letter from the gentleman with his daughters one of the writers referred to – http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2012/01/17/should-49ers-fans-be-concerned-about-hooliganism/

This behaviour is appalling and must stop. Is our society so broken, scared and cowed that hooligans and criminals are allowed free reign? As a city we watched in horror as a Giants fan was bludgeoned near to death at a Dodgers game. We were outraged, as we should be and guess what? We should be outraged now. This behavior is unacceptable! The problem? How do you stop a stadium of tens of thousands of people from turning into a blood thirsty mob worthy of the Circus Maximus? Don’t know what that is? Crack a frackin book and look it up!

Do we stop going to the stadium and just watch on the tele? How do we fix this problem? I really would like some solid ideas because I haven’t a clue. I can understand the fear of standing up to drunk, abusive people especially if you have your children with you. The very real threat of violence or death is not a fantasy. Do you lock up thousands of idiots? SF and Daly City PD just don’t have the presence to police this.

Will I root for my team on Sunday? You betcha! Will we be having my bet-winning King Cake as part of our spread? Yes we will and raising a pint to New Orleans as well! Will I bash anyone who roots for the Giants other than good old fashioned ribbing over a beer? Of course not! We need to clean our houses people. Not just over a football game but in all aspects of our lives. This behaviour does not exist in a vacuum.

And here is where I apologize to the Raider Nation. We all know what they say about people who live in glass houses….

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