Deus Ex 3 Announced!

I just stayed home today and -since something was wrong my internet connection earlier- put up the Christmas tree and the Nativity (which just shows we're half Christian and half pagan). It was almost an uneventful day until I got my internet back during the afternoon. So I browsed around some gaming websites and then boom: Eidos announced the development of Deus Ex 3.

Concept art for Deus Ex 3

Deus Ex probably sits in my top 3 games of all time, and the second in my top 30s. So you couldn't possibly imagine how flabbergasted I am with the announcement. I mainly love the Deus Ex franchise because of its dystopian, cyberpunk atmosphere that has lots of issues. And it looks like the the world of Deus Ex 3 is going to get even more fucked up. Just based on the picture above, post-humanism must be rampant and that they're feared. So they're starting to segregate them.


G.I. Joe's 25th Anniversary

Cobra Commander, Beachhead, and Firefly.

Yeah, I found these 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe toys when I went to Wal-Mart earlier this afternoon. It was very nostalgic to see these re-issued action figures, complete with the original artwork. Hasbro only released a couple of characters, however, and most of them I already have. But I'm so happy to finally own a hooded version of the Cobra Commander. I couldn't find one when I was a kid. I also didn't have Firefly (I only have the horrendous green version of him) and Beachhead. So I got them too since they're my favorite characters. Now, I wish I could go back home in the Philippines and get the rest of my original G.I. Joe action figures and vehicles. There are like 90 of them back home, and all in good condition.


First Impressions: The Witcher

I've been waiting for this game called The Witcher ever since I heard about its development back in 2005. Now that I have it installed, and currently enjoying it, in my PC...all I can say is that I'm very pleased with this game. All that was said about it -during developer interviews and the previews- were all true, no hype at all. It's a gritty and grey world without moral compass but full of choices and consequences. That's real RPG goodness right there.

Geralt, the newest anti-here in town.

As for running the game, I never experimented with the setting since I was in a hurry to play. I only followed the recommended setting for my system, which can be found in the "ReadMe" file, and adjusted everything to medium and set the resolution to 1024 x 768. I also removed the grass effect and pumped the AA and AF into 2x. With this setting I achieved an average of 20 FPS outdoors and 35 FPS indoors. The loading times can be quite long too. Although the wait is not much of a promblem for me since this game is awesome.


Fade to Black Friday

Here's what I got yesterday.

So it was the Black Friday, or after Thanksgiving Sale, yesterday. The very peak of holiday consumerism where stores open as early as 5 a.m. in the morning and give huge discounts on various merchandises. I went to Best Buy a little bit late (6 a.m.), as I intended, to avoid standing on the line, outside the cold, in order to get in to the store. Unfortunately, the line was still a bit long when I got there. So I, nevertheless, stood outside the cold for more than 10 minutes. When I got in, it was chaotic, but I was able to get all of my stuff (see this post for my list) right away and quickly left the store.

I was really glad that I got everything I need (and want)...and then some more. The Orange Box and BioShock I got for half the original price (which was $50), The WD Passport Hard Drive for only $70 (original price was $155), and 2 SanDisk Clip mp3 players for $35 each (original price was $60). Though I bought The Witcher and World in Conflict without discounts but that's fine since I've set some money aside for those games. I also got myself a Columbia jacket, because my current winter jacket is going to fall to pieces, for $145 (original was $230).

All in all, I was able to save more than $200 for everything. Now I have gifts to give and gifts for myself.


Album Review: The Con

Tegan and Sara - The Con
9.0 of 10

I'm not familiar with Tegan and Sara's work prior to this album but I've been listening to The Con, their fifth album, for about a month now...and I'm very impressed. They had melted different music for their latest work, creating a "poppy-electronic-folk" sound. Amidst the sister's sterlingly cute and melancholic dual vocal approach, I really enjoy listening to the acoustic folk guitar being assaulted by electronic synths and beats in all of their songs (especially "The Con"). Their lyrics are angsty and catchy enough that makes you want to sing along with them. The Con is probably one of the best albums I've heard this year, and I highly recommend it.


Black Friday List

It's almost Thanksgiving Day, and that means the Black Friday sale is only a couple days away. Though I promised myself not to spend excessively, and have budgeted $200. Black Friday is also very chaotic and can be very disappointing. You have to wake up really early in the morning, stand outside the cold to wait for the store to open, trudge through the chaos of holiday shopping, only to find out that what you want is not on sale. So I kinda prepared in advance and checked several Black Friday websites (www.bfads.net and www.blackfriday.info) to find out if what I wanted is on sale, and where I could get them.

Here's my Black Friday List: (most of which are from Best Buy)

1. 2.

3. 4.

1. Western Digital 160 GB Portable USB 2.0 Hard Drive - $70 ($85 off!!!)

2. SanDisk Sansa Clip (2 GB) Mp3 player - $35 ($25 off)

3. Half-Life 2: Orange Box - $25 ($25 off)

4. BioShock - $25 ($25 off)
Both the BioShock and the SanDisk Mp3 Players are gifts. I'd probably get 2 SanDisks to close the $200 budget. I also need to get The Witcher and World In Conflict PC games, but I already set some money aside for those two. So they don't include my Black Friday budget.


Album Review: In Defense of the Genre

Say Anything - In Defense of the Genre
8.3 of 10

I know nothing of Say Anything, and their music, before. But when I saw their new album at FYE, yesterday, I got curious. It's only because I've never heard of an emo band releasing a double disc CD. To my surprise, this album is fun. While the title of the album says In Defense of the Genre (I'm assuming emo or pop punk) it has done nothing to defend it but rather elevate it to new heights. The band has slightly incorporated other genre, such as electronica and even show tunes, into their music. "No Soul" (my favorite track), in particular, is your regular poppy punk song but with drops of synths and beats that makes it so interesting. I'd recommend this to everyone who loves emo.


DVD Spree

Damn, I haven't seen any movie for more than two months now (the last one I think was 3:10 to Yuma back in September). Not only that, I've also missed a lot of good films that came out this year. So, before heading home from work this morning, I stopped by F.Y.E. and bought a couple DVDs.

"A cooking rat? Now that's a gonna be a magical summer film to watch". That's what I thought when I first saw the preview. While I missed it in the theaters the DVD proved I was right. It is a magical film...and more. The movie also relays a message that we should appreciate a person for what he does, regardless of his/her ethnic, cultural, or social background.

This Is England, set in 1983 England, is about a young boy who found friendship amongst a group of skinheads after his father died in the Falklands War. This is a really good film that touches a lot of topics (both personal and political). It also presents the skinhead subculture, their fashion, music, and lifestyle. But, best of all, it informs us that not all skinheads are racists.


The Witcher Censored

You won't find any naked Dryads in the US Version of The Witcher.

I've been wanting to get a copy of The Witcher ever since its release weeks ago. Although time have been my enemy as of late, with my schedule and all barricading my way to the nearest game retailer. However, I found out that the US version of The Witcher is censored. The nudity and violence were removed, and even the dialogue had also been cut short. Here's an example of that:


Elf Bandit: What do you seek here, witcher?
Geralt: Murderers.
Elf Bandit: Then visit the city. It’s inhabited by a criminal race. We fight to survive. Humans only comprehend force and thus will we talk to them.
Geralt: I doubt you’ll live long.
Elf Bandit: You threaten us, dh’oine, but know six ape-people, including women and children, remain inside the crypt… with the ghouls…

(published English version)

Elf Bandit: What do you want?
Geralt: Murderers.
Elf Bandit: Visit the city. It’s inhabited by a criminal race. We fight to survive.
Geralt: I doubt you’ll live long.
Elf Bandit: You threaten us, but six ape-people remain inside the crypt… with the ghouls…

So now, I'm thinking of getting the European Uncut version of the game. I don't mind the missing nudity and violence, I can get those two using other mediums. But if they removed the strong language, then that makes The Witcher less grittier. Censorship sucks. I guess this is a marketing move to earn an "M" rating instead of an "A", raking a bit more consumers.


Loss and Deprivation

I stepped onto the scale to weigh myself, earlier this morning. I was surprised when I saw that I dropped 3 lbs. While it sounds like a good thing it's actually not. I know what I've been eating, and it's the stuff that'll choke your arteries. I think the reason I'm losing weight is sleep deprivation. I've been working nights and afternoons, and getting a lot of overtimes these past months, that my sleeping schedule is messed up. Sometimes, I can't even sleep because I'm just too tired. Like the other day, for example, I had to go back to work without sleep and I was awake for 26 hours straight. Eating bad and sleep deprived...this has got to stop. While I'm not a health nut I still love to save money and enjoy my time.


No World for the Avenged

I haven't heard any new music for... a month, maybe. It has been a while and I didn't even realize it. I guess I got caught by the "games rush", saving and spending for it. But I just got the new album of Coheed and Cambria and Avenged Sevenfold. I've been listening to them and its great. I'll probably write a short review sometime soon.

Anyways, I remember that, two years ago, around this time, these two bands also released their albums. Those two albums were the staple music in my CD player (my pre-Mp3 player days) during my early, cold morning train commute from my home to my clinical site in north side Chicago. Quite nostalgic, really.