My Lazy Week of Nonsensical Behavior (September 23rd – September 30th)

Yeah I’m a liar.  I claimed I would do these every week and that was a lie.  I claimed that this would be a week’s worth of info and that is a lie (this one is eight days).  Well for those who can tolerate liars, read on and see what other falsities I am spewing.

Video Games

  • XCom 2 (PS4)
    • I loved the first XCom but I felt like it got a bit repetitive and it felt very linear.  Plus, for some reason, I felt like the storyline was at odds with the kinda cartoony graphics.  Well this game is a big improvement on the first one.  Every single move (both in the tactical battlefield as well as in the strategic layer) feels like a mistake and you really feel like you are leading a bunch of weary, rag-tag citizens, against far superior forces.
    • There is so much more strategy in the combat in this game compared to the first one.  Part of this is due to their increased health, but mostly, those fu$%#*#$ have some nasty abilities.  Freakin sectoids are the bane of my existence.
    • Sadly, this game runs like ass on a PS4.
    • A part of me thinks this game is a smidgen too difficult.  However, the other part  of me feels like its because I had no clue what I was doing early on and now I’m scrambling to keep up against the Avatar project.2016-09-14_ps4_hud-on_05

These guys show up in the first non-tutorial mission.  20 missions in and they are still the most terrifying enemy

  • Divinity: –  Original Sin Enhanced Edition (PS4)
    • This game has been pleasantly taking up my time as I’ve  put about ten hours into it.  It’s a bit surprising that it’s getting so much time seeing as there are a plethora of flaws:  godawful voice-acting, a bad UI (why is there a dialogue screen covering up EVERYTHING during conversations?), and a mediocre start to a story.  However, it’s made up for with some really amusing dialogue, some great decisions (in the form of virtual rock-paper-scissors) and a fantastic combat system.  Now if only the sound didn’t drop out every half-hour…
    • I do wish I just had one main character instead of two though…it’s a little less immersive for me.
  • Batman:  The Telltale Series (PS4)
    • I’ve been playing this off and on for the month and its like watching a riveting tv show.  On episode 4 right now.  Hoping to get my wife to play it and see how her storyline unfolds.
    • One great decision Telltale made was to not adhere to the standard characterizations of some of the more notable characters.  Makes things much more unpredictable.

 

Board Games

rialto-play

  • Rialto
    • So Alan Moon, the creator of Ticket to Ride, lives in my apartment building and invited me to game night where we played a game about populating Venice.   Yeah that’s not some bizarre fantasy.  That’s the unvarnished truth (despite my assertations above that I was going to lie my ass off throughout here).
    • This game took me a while to warm up to it.  The rules were a bit confusing and there appears to be a lot of complexity.  In reality, this is a very elegant game and once we were half-way through it, it started clicking with me.  It’s area control+card drafting+resource management.  Good stuff.
    • Never knew what a doge  was before this game…
    • I’m not particularly good at strategy games where you have to make split-second decisions (hence why I hate the RTS genre).  I love Dominion but I always feel pressured to not slow things down and end up resorting to big money.  However, I like games like this (and Terraforming Mars) where you have time to develop your own strategy in your head without it taking too much of the other players’ time.  Very helpful for dimwits like myself.

 

Movies

It-Movie-Director-Pennywise-Details-Weird-New-Photos

It preys on our greatest fears:  clowns, disease, showing the monster too much in a horror movie

  • It
    • Yeah I thought this movie was great fun.  I’ve read the book twice and seen the mini-series three times so I was really looking forward to it.
    • The kids are freakin’ amazing in this movie.  Just like in Stranger Things, only with more cursing.
    • So, this was a conundrum.  On one hand, I thought most of the tense scenes were genuinely unsettling (just by the nature of their being a demonic clown present).  Bill Skarsgard is great and had a bigger impact on me than Tim Curry did (yeah I’m a heretic).  However, they should have cut out 3-4 of the scare sequences and separated them better.  By the time Pennywise is unhinging his jaw for the fourth time to attack one of the characters at the end, it had lost all of its impact.
    • Some of the kids were given no development.  Mike is a black kid who doesn’t want to kill sheep and his parents were burned alive. That’s not character development, thats “oh crap, we forgot that there was another character in this movie!”  Also, it took me going online after the movie to remember who the Jewish kid was because I don’t remember any character actually speaking to him.
    • Its kind of rough to see a six year old kid get his arm ripped off…
  • Jason Bourne
    • I like the first three Bourne movies (not so much the Hawkeye Bourne movie).  I don’t love them.  Thus I found myself pretty unmoved by the trailers for this move.
    • It was still enjoyable.  Wasn’t bored, just amused at how it was a complete rehash of the previous movies.
    • I feel like Jason Bourne’s main character trait is his confidence.  He walks so assertively and with such great posture.

 

Books

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  • Way of Kings:  Book 1 of the Stormlight Archives – By Brandon Sanderson
    • I only have a finite amount of time to read so every book I read has to be worth my time.  Well this is the third time I’m reading this 1000 page behemoth and I am completely enthralled.  I am re-reading this and Words of Radiance in preparation for Oathbringer.
    • Sanderson creates such incredible characters.  Sure they aren’t shades of gray like in A Song of Ice and Fire but there is so much pathos to every character here.
    • His action sequences are amazing.  I’m talking Dalinar sliding underneath a chasmfiend’s attack and all of Szeth’s lashings.
    • Shallan is a great character but her sense of humor is horrible.
    • I love this book but, objectively, it is a bit slow, especially the Dalinar sequences.  But I never find myself bored while reading it.

 

Television

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“Overrated??  Well f$*% you!”

  • Game of Thrones Season 4
    • I have complained about Game of Thrones before, saying it is overrated.  I watched the first four seasons back in 2014 and was left feeling underwhelmed.  Well I am watching it from the beginning this year and I am in Season 4 and I am now sold on this show.  Not sure what changed for me seeing as I’ve seen these episodes but its great.  (still overrated though).
  • X-Files Season 1
    • In honor of the show hitting its 24th anniversary last month, I’ve been re-watching it.  The first season is always creaky but there is something so endearing about this show.  Nostalgia is incredible.
  • The Office Season 7
    • Sighhhhh…..this rewatch of the Office has been great.  A lot of the stuff I disliked 5 years ago now doesn’t bother me.  With that said, I think I’m now at the final episode for Michael Scott until the finale…and I’m depressed.  Yeah the show ended years ago but this show has been my comfort food during meals since May!
    • Will Ferrell’s character utterly blows.
  • Silicon Valley Season 1
    • I don’t have much to say about this show…its very good and I really like this style of comedy where there is a serialized plot.  It doesn’t stick with me like my favorite comedies but its really enjoyable.
    • My wife isn’t  fan though.  😦

 

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