End of Conflict

I just finished playing World in Conflict. Probably one of the best RTS I've played. Its lack of base building feature is unique in the genre, and a definite A+ in my book. Now I feel that base building in RTS is only a hindrance. I also like the story and setting, an alternate history during the 80's where the USSR invades the US.

Anyways, I find this funny. Seattle, the birthplace of grunge, was the invasion point. At the end of the conflict two soldiers were listening to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again". It's probably a hint that Kurt Cobain died, and that Hair Metal will continue to dominate the world of rock in the future. Now, that's one nightmarish alternate history to live at. But I could be wrong though since Audioslave's "Shadow on the Sun" is also part of the soundtrack, suggesting that Chris Cornell survived. Maybe, he survived but other members of Soundgarden didn't?


Snorg Girl

I was browsing around the net earlier and I came across with one of those Snorg T-Shirt banners again. This time, however, I was unfamiliar with the model. I don't know if she's new or I just haven't seen her. But she has a striking resemblance to this beautiful medical student at my work (especially the picture posted above). The bright eyes, smile, face and body structure all look the same. Maybe, this is her after all. Who knows?



I've been meaning to buy an electronic metronome to help me practice my guitar licks and exercises. But a couple days ago, there was this feature in the news about how people were using the iPod (or portable mp3 players) beyond its normal function. One of the interviewed person was a violinist in an orchestra, and she turned her iPod into a metronome by loading it with metronome mp3s. An mp3 player and a metronome...that's genius. So I immediately "borrowed" the idea and searched for metronome mp3s on the net. Didn't take me that long and found this site, www.reztronics.com, that hosts metronome mp3 (25 beats from 80 to 200 bps). Now, I have my own portable metronome. Not only this has save me $20, it also brought new flame to practicing.


Games for 2008

2007 has brought a lot of great games. Unfortunately, only 3 games were released from my 2007 list (see here), and I only played two of them. Like last year, I still need to minimize my budget for gaming expenses (between $500-$600, maybe) since I'm saving for a new gaming rig. Ironic, isn't it, that I need to lessen my gaming in order to buy a gaming rig. I'm also going to boycott on all BioWare games until they update their development on Dragon Age. Anyways, here are the games that I'll definitely buy this year (in order of importance).

  • Disciples III: Renaissance
The game Heroes introduced me to turn-based strategy. But it was Disciples who pulled me in and made an addict out of me. It -Disciples- has always been a great franchise showcasing excellent gameplay, storyline, and fun. I just hope it'll be released this year...and if it does, I'll probably suffer from sleep deprivation.
  • Space Siege
I've probably mentioned it too many times that Dungeon Siege was the worst game I've played. Dungeon Siege 2, however, had a big leap of improvement over its predecessor. If Gas Powered Games continues to refine their role-playing games, Space Siege might just become a great action-RPG. But best of what I like about this game is it's sci-fi setting.
  • King's Bounty: The Legend
1C games impressed me with their 2d open-ended space simulation game, entitled Space Rangers 2, in late 2005. Now, they're going to release another game, a tactical turn-based strategy with RPG elements, entitled King's Bounty: The Legend (formerly known as Battle Lord). I'm pretty sure this game will be a lot of fun and sleepless nights.
  • Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
Sacred was a very fun action-RPG. I actually found the game to be very unique, during its release in 2003 (I think), with its horseback combat and open world exploration. It was unusual for an action RPG, with an isometric view, to have those features back in the day. While I'm not expecting innovation from Sacred 2, I still love to think it will satiate my taste for hacking and slashing.
  • Starcraft 2
I'm not much of a real-time strategy gamer. But it's Starcraft 2...I don't need to say anything more than that.

So these are the games that I'll definitely get. But, of course, there are other games I want to play as well. Like Fallout 3, for example. Although I won't be able to run those games on my current rig. So until I get a new PC, those game will stay off from my list.


An Empty Bed

I've probably seen a thousand furnitures these past few days since we've been shopping around for beds and what not to furnish our new home. But, with all that shopping, I'm still sleeping on the floor. Even though the furniture store has delivered my bed, I'll still sleep on the floor tonight. Why? Because they forgot to bring the mattress. Technically, they haven't delivered my bed at all. They've only brought some nicely stained pieces of wood that's been artistically nailed together.


Scale Modelling

I bought a scale model kit at a hobby store near our new place. I always wanted to get into building scale models (especially WWII tanks) ever since I was a kid. It seems to me that it's a very cool and rewarding hobby. However, it requires a great amount of time, patience, and skills. Since I'm not so sure about my model building skills, and I don't want to botch my first model, I just got myself this small and cheap 7.5 Cm Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun. I'll just give it a try and see what happens.


E-Project Budget

A couple of blogs ago, I mentioned that my PC is dying. But actually, not really, I was just exaggerating. My rig can still take a little bit of punishment. However, it won't be able to cater to my gaming needs, graphics wise. I'm no graphic whore but I just want my games to run in high resolutions, x2 anti-aliasing and high detailed textures (I don't care about all other GFXs). Last year, I was forced to run some of my games in low resolutions (800 x 600) and low or medium textures. That was a horrendous experience since it took out a bit of the immersion.

So this year, since games will be even more graphically demanding, I'll try to put most of my money to get a better rig and peripherals. I've also decided to get a desktop instead of a laptop (see posts: Laptop or Desktop? and Back to School?) because I won't be going back to school this year. I'm not financially prepared for that, even with a scholarship from work.

Anyways, these are the peripherals that I'm planning to get:

  • Lotigech X-240 Speakers - $55
  • Logitech G15 Keyboard - $150
  • HP w2207 22" Monitor - $350
I also got a laser mouse last week, a Logitech MX400.

Well that's that. I'll definitely get the peripherals but I'm not so sure if I can afford the monitor. As for the rig, I don't know what I should get. The best thing I can do right now is just save money and be on the look out for new products and great deals. Hopefully, I'd get lucky and catch an affordable gaming rig with an HDMI connector and a Blu-ray drive.


The Big Move/January "To-Do" List

We've finally transfered to the new house. While I fancy the new place, moving in it was quite an ordeal. The packing, the lifting, the unpacking, and the cleaning up seems endless. That's why I haven't updated this blog for quite sometime now (plus, I had no internet connection for a day) Now, however, things are starting to settle down. But we still have a bit of work on our hands to completely tidy things up.

Anyways, as promised on my last post, here's my January "To-Do" list. It's a bit short since the move took up a lot of my vacation time.

  • Read a book (either A Bloody Business or Blackwater).
  • Finish playing The World in Conflict.
  • Practice guitar techniques: string skipping and alternate picking to perfection.
I hope I can keep these my promises to myself


No Resolutions

I've never made any kind of "New Year's Resolution" because I know it won't work. A year is too much time...too much time to procrastinate, and I am an epitome of procrastination. Besides, I did well last year -and the years before- without any resolutions. So, instead of writing a year long list of promises, I'll just take little steps by making a monthly "to-do" list.

This list is not a hardcore self-written law that restricts and/or forces me to better myself (like losing 50 lbs or such) but it is more of a guideline that'll help me manage my leisure time, health, and money. Because, even though I did well last year, I had a bit of a time crisis. That left me with plenty of unfinished games, half-read books, unwatched movies, and little progress on my guitar skills.

The content of this list should be short, sweet, and really easy to follow. It would include things like: books, gaming, music, budgeting, guitar playing, and health. Like I said, nothing too extreme. I'll put up my list tomorrow.


New Year, New Phone

I just got a new phone, a Nokia 5300. It's a late holiday gift for myself because my newly upgraded phone went "kaput" last Christmas (the thing wasn't even a year old). So I needed a replacement, with a decent price tag, right away. The cheapest phones ($50) I can find over at the T-Mobile store was this -Nokia 5300- and the Motorola Razor. Since 7 of 10 people here in the states had the Razor, I had to go with the Nokia 5300.

I never even bothered about its features when I chose it. Since I'm not a phone person, I just didn't really care about the features. I just wanted a working phone. But the Nokia 5300 is probably the best phone I had to date. It's a pretty slider phone, a bit bulky but really light. It takes decent pictures and, since it's an mp3 smartphone, it plays awesome sounding music. Too bad that the battery life isn't that good for music playback and the packaged microSD card is only 1 GB.


Top 7 Films of 2007

Due to work, I really missed a lot of movies in 2007. Especially during the first 3 quarters of the year. But that's ok since most of the best films comes out during the holidays anyways, and movies I wasn't able to see in theaters I was able to get in DVDs. Here are some of my favorite movies in 2007.

1. Once
10 of 10
Genre: Musical/Drama/Romance

2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
9.5 of 10
Genre: Musical/Drama

3. No Country for Old Men
9.5 of 10
Genre: Action/Crime/Drama

4. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
9.3 of 10
Genre: Crime/Drama

5. Eastern Promises
9.0 of 10
Genre: Action/Crime/Drama

6. This is England
8.8 of 10
Genre: Drama

7. Superbad
8.6 of 10
Genre: Comedy

Worst Film of the Year: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Surprise of the Year: Once
Missed Film: Juno

Those are my top 7 films in 2007. Now, what's yours?

Top 7 Music of 2007

Music will always be a part of my life. No matter what year it is. But this year, I decided to get back to it and no just listen to it. So I bought a guitar amplifier and started playing again. Progress has been slow but there's still progress to my playing. There have been a huge change on my playlist as well, since I mostly listen to indie rock or post rock/metal. It's probably a sign that I'm getting old. I got myself a 30 GB mp3 player too, which is probably the biggest highlight for me this year (well...next to getting a job, anyways). So now, I can take my music wherever I go. But anyways, here are the best albums that I listened to this year. Boy, it wasn't easy making this list.

1. Mirrored
10 of 10
Artist: Battles

2. Ire Works
9.7 of 10
Artist: The Dillinger Escape Plan

3. 23
9.4 of 10
Artist: Blonde Redhead

4. Everybody
9.3 of 10
Aritst: The Sea and Cake

5. Let's Stay Friends
9.1 of 10
Artist: Les Savy Fav

6. The Con
9.0 of 10
Artist: Tegan and Sara

7. Wincing the Night Away
9.0 of 10
Artist: The Shins

Worst Album of the Year: Remains by Alkaline Trio
Surprise of the Year: Mirrored by Battles
Missed Album: None

Well that's all of my favorite music in 2007. Why don't you roundup your top 7 music of 2007 and share it with me.

Top 7 Games of 2007

Gaming was good in 2007. While PC RPG hasn't recovered from its dry spell, I've seen some pretty good ones that has been released last year. Like they always say, quality is more important than quantity. I also tried playing an MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online. While the game was very enjoyable, it only proved that MMORPG isn't for me. I also decided to get a Nintendo DS, which was very exciting since I never had any other gaming platform -besides the PC, of course- since the NES. Anyways, here are the games that I really enjoyed last year.

1. The Witcher
9.3 of 10
Platform: PC

2. BioShock
9.0 of 10
Platform: PC

3. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
9.0 of 10
Platform: PC

4. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
8.7 of 10
Platform: Nintendo DS

5. World in Conflict
8.6 of 10
Platform: PC

6. Half-Life 2: The Orange Box
8.5 of 10
Platform: PC

7. Pokemon Pearl
8.5 of 10
Platform: Nintendo DS

Worst Game of the Year: None
Surprise of the Year: BioWare being bought by EA Games.
Missed Game: Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass for Nintendo DS

So those are my favorite games from 2007. Why don't you post here and share yours.