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Sivart Thirteen

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video games, personal maintenance, and forgetting always forgetting [Feb. 9th, 2010|10:43 pm]
Sivart Thirteen
About three weeks ago, I finally stopped watching The Daily Show / Colbert Report, after a five year streak of never missing an episode. Prior to that I'd normally try to catch up on Sundays, and also experimented with watching them on the train with the Macbook Professional.

I no longer performed this task to derive joy, but out of obligation. It wasn't entertainment so much as medicine, and I wasn't sure what it was supposed to cure. The jokes were stale and hurtful and the method of their telling hadn't seemed to change in years. Formula rants, whooshy graphics, angry fights with republican guests, making fun of people doing political things outside, same stuff every day.

I can say my life has since only changed for the better. I can spend those three hours weekly doing something other than being yelled what to believe about the political process.
Did a cursory runthrough of Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion, which I started right before going to New York and promptly and correctly forgot all about.

This at least allowed me to finally uninstall it and the gazillion mods you have to cobble together to make Oblivion playable. That's like twelve gigs I've got back in my life.
Tore through Mass Effect 2 in a couple of days; one of the best put-together games ever. It shot its way right onto the list:

Planescape: TormentBlack Isle1999
We Love KatamariNamco2005
Mass Effect 2Bioware2010
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2iNiS2007
Deus ExIon Storm2000

This evening I tried to move my car across the street because of street sweeping, but the key wouldn't turn. I knew I'd encountered this issue before, but didn't remember how I solved it.

Went home, got my spare key to see if it would work any better. It doesn't help that my car is a 15 minute bike ride from my apartment.

Just when I was ready to call AAA (necessitating another home-and-back trip, I don't keep my card on me), I read-the-fucking-manual: if the key doesn't turn, try moving the steering wheel left or right until it does. Done. Goddamnit.

See, this is only a problem when I park with the steering wheel way all the way to one direction, which happens maybe once a year. I remember enough to know that it was a problem in the past but I can never recall how the problem got fixed.

Programming-wise, this is how I tend to feel at work every day.

[User Picture]From: gen_witt
2010-02-10 06:50 am (UTC)
I find it odd that 3 of your top 5 games would be sequels.
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[User Picture]From: sivart13
2010-02-10 07:11 am (UTC)
I don't. Sequels of games are almost always better than their predecessor. The technology has advanced two or three years so everything is easier to do, you've got a stack of reviews with issues you can resolve, and you've had a longer time to think out your original goal and refine the gameplay.

See for reference Assassin's Creed 2, which I haven't played yet but almost certainly will enjoy.

This normally applies only if they were made by the same team as the original. I just started Bioshock 2, I'm keeping a cautious optimism. Likewise by a game's third installment the people who were following an original vision have probably moved on so it's anyone's guess.

It's interesting to contrast the games and film industry in this regard: games typically benefit from more time in the oven. If a game gets delayed it's (probably) going to get better, but if a movie gets delayed it's certainly going to be worse.
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[User Picture]From: arletterocks
2010-02-10 08:13 am (UTC)
Sometimes turning the wheel all the way to one side engages the steering wheel lock. My old Audi has that, and I think my old Camaro did, too.
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[User Picture]From: iamlying
2010-02-11 11:04 am (UTC)
planescape: torment is great. I thought almost no one knew about that game.
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[User Picture]From: sivart13
2010-02-21 01:21 am (UTC)
It has a reasonable cult following for PC RPG purists. Baldur's Gate 1/2 and Fallout 1/2 are better-remembered from that era but the writing in Planescape is worlds ahead.
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[User Picture]From: littlenick
2010-02-12 03:49 am (UTC)
yeah I think the daily show can be kinda depressing and a little formulaic.

I still tune in when something big happens to watch him make fun of it though.
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