Wednesday, August 30, 2006

'Justice' is Blind

I'm watching the premiere of new series "Justice," and so far I am very unimpressed. But what do you expect from a show who's head lawyer was also the head in Legally Blonde?

I mean, come on...the district attorney was practically putting on a SKIT during one of the courtroom scenes? He wasn't asking the witness a single question - he was practically testifying himself! And what does the defense do? They just sit there and watch...and this is supposedly one of the top law firms? That is just RIDICULOUS.

Alan Shore would have shut that down in a heartbeat. Hey, even Law and Order attorneys would have OBJECTED. WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?! And if the show's creators and writers thought people wouldn't notice, Justice really is blind. And deaf. And dumb. And also, you know...the actual dumb.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Too Tired to Think of a Title

I was just reading Aisa Koh's blog and it hit me suddenly that I won't be seeing either her OR cynthia hsu for a long time. A painfully long time. And it makes me really sad. These two people have been really...really good friends to me. It's hard to imagine not seeing them on campus. Aisa with her craziness and Cynthia with her glaring. Sigh...

I wonder what my life is going to be like after graduation.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Review: The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

You know how this started off as a TV/Video Game/Movie review blog? Let's take a nostalgic turn and delve deep into the artificial realism of all that is Oblivion.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

So i've (...omg I can't remember whether it should be "i've" or "I've." That's not good, is it?)...

Ok anywayyy. I've posted on Oblivion before, and always with enthusiasm. As you may already know, Oblivion is Bethesda Softwork's fourth installment in their long-running Elder Scrolls series. Morrowind (Oblivion's predecessor), was a graphically impressive, extremely open-ended game filled with thousands of npcs and a deeply political/religious storyline. Oblivion continues along the same lines, except the graphics are about 1000 times better, the quests are even more interesting, and the combat has been improved significantly.

Strangely, however, the experience on a whole has not been as great as I would have liked. Sure, in the beginning all the little perks were very enjoyable, but the whole game on a whole started to feel very repetitive.

Gameplay - 4.5/5

Oblivion's gameplay is excellent to say the least. The Elder Scrolls series has always been about exploration, and Oblivion accomplishes this goal without flaw. The world is truly beautiful, and there are little points of interest, dungeons, quests, and just about anything that would pique your imagination just scattered all over the place. Not only that, but Oblivion allows the player to get horses, to speed up exploration, or to quickly get the player past the more dull parts.

Just look at that landscape. It's even more beautiful than the real world! Cuz you know, the people of Oblivion haven't polluted the heck out of it yet.

Combat has also been significantly improved over Morrowind's generic hack and hack system. Yes, not hack and slash. Hack and hack. Morrowind's combat system was inherently dull, and this can be evidenced by one of the game's settings: "Always Use Best Attack." Uh...who would want to use a weaker attack? Note that there were only 3 types of attacks, and the only difference was the damage they dealt based on the strengths of the weapon. For example, spears could do some nice piercing damage, but using it to slash or crush probably wasn't a good idea. But because of the design, if you moved in the wrong direction, these weak and essentially useless attacks would execute anyway. Thus the "Always Use Best Attack." A cheap solution to a bigger problem, but I digress...

Combat now no longer divides attacks into damage type. Now, players will damage enemies based on multiple factors, as well as being able to execute a series of power attacks and flourishes, each with unique abilities. Admittedly, the number of these special attacks was very limited and on a whole they didn't look all that impressive...but still, combat could get very intense, especially with opponents hacking away at you while you try to stagger them with your shield and counter attack.

Eep. This isn't going to be a good day for me, is it?

The roguish arts have also been enhanced. Archery now allows the player to zoom in on enemies for instant kill head-shots. And persuasion and lockpicking now require playing fun little minigames, rather than just simply pressing a button.

Muahaha! Suffer my wrath, wooden board!

Uh...did you not see what I did to that wooden board?

The one thing that I was disappointed with is the magic system. The Elder Scrolls has never been a very good game for mages. While Oblivion has improved the system somewhat - auto regenerating magicka, for instance, the whole design feels somewhat lacking. All the effects look the same, regardless of the strength of the spell...and to be honest, the damage effect spells (frost, fire, and shock) don't really look all that impressive to begin with. Further, while the game allows the player a variety of spells to cast, some of the spells are pretty much useless.

Yea, if only this was a spell you could actually CAST. GAH!

Still, overall the gameplay is decent, if not excellent, and certainly a large step up from Morrowind. And that is saying something, considering Morrowind was one of the top games of 2002.

Graphics & Sound - 5/5

I think most professional game-review sites seperate these two categories, but in my opinion, there's really not much to be said about them. Or actually, I've already said it. Oblivion's graphics are AMAZING. And EVERYTHING looks good this time around, not just the environments (which are dazzling - snowscapes, grassy plains, cities, rivers...all of them are breathtaking). Sound is...well, I've never really cared about sound effects, as long as they sound close. Which they do. And did I mention the game was fully voiced? Too bad they only had a few voice-actors...some of the people started to look & sound very familiar.

I will mention the music in this game. Bethesda hired their long-time friend Jeremy Soule to compose all new music for Oblivion. Mr. Soule also did the Morrowind soundtrack, but while Morrowind's music was definitely very epic, eventually I got to the point where it all pretty much sounded the same. It was almost like the game only had one 30 minute long song and it was left on loop for the entire duration. While on a whole the composition was excellent, the individual songs didn't really have anything that made them stand out.

Oblivion's soundtrack solves that problem. Each piece is very thematic and unique. Did I mention I bought the soundtrack to the game...before the game even came out? It's just that good.

Story - 3/5

And here is where Oblivion left me feeling a bit disappointed. Morrowind's main story was filled with political intrigue, religious fanaticism, ancient prophecies and generally a very engrossing taste. Oblivion's on the other hand, is a rather generic adventure where you stop a great evil from devouring the world. And that evil really has no reason to do so, other than he's evil. The main characters along the story have no real personality (even with the excellent voice-acting). There were some twists and turns here that were somewhat interesting, but truth be told - the whole thing was generic at best.

That's a bad idea, my bony friends. A very bad idea indeed.

And that's not the worst of it. While Oblivion's quests are more interesting, the subplots that drive them are not necessarily. One of Oblivion's features is to allow the player to join multiple guilds (which they could in Morrowind as well). But the guild quests just didn't do it for me either. Really, Oblivion's story aspect is rather unordinary.

What did I tell you? You living dead are all the same...all bones and no brain. Wait, I guess that's kinda the point.

Story is very important to me, I guess. Without a good story, there's no sense of urgency, accomplishment, or anything.

Overall Score: 4.25/5

Despite its few weaknesses, I can not say that I did not enjoy this game. The storylines were just barely strong enough to keep me going, and I guess in the long run that's all that matters. I would definitely recommend this game to anybody aching for a good rpg-fest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I really don't feel like updating...but I said I would. So now I feel obligated. Blah.

The truth is, I thought I would have more to say than I actually do. That happens to me a lot actually. Maybe I'm just tired and can't remember what I wanted to say.

I'm growing more and more anxious as the new school year approaches. I feel like I have so many more responsibilities this year, all of which I volunteered for. What madness is this?! My inherent laziness is waging a desperate war against my fear of not being able to find a job after graduation. I really just want to take time off and enjoy my senior year...really enjoy it. Even if it's just lounging around. Once work starts, there will be precious little time to actually do that.

I'd also like to have a school year where I'm not caught up trying to find that special someone. It's just too frustrating for me to deal with 3 years in a row.

...but then I think that it will never be as easy as it is now. Having to work really limits one's dating opportunities, simply because you don't have as much time. God, I'm such a wishy washy ambivalent arse. Make up my mind, slitch!

Making new friends/meeting new people is also kind of daunting. I seriously feel drained. I think my summer hermitty phase is in preparation for meeting people during the school year, but this summer has been so hectic that I haven't really had the chance to sink into seclusion. Sigh...I hope I'll be able to get along with my floor...

Sometimes I feel distant from everybody - like no one really sees me for who I really am. I think that might be because I don't really like who I really am. I'm a whiny, emotional, lazy, unambitious, depressed-when-he-doesn't-have-the-right-to-be son of a biatch. At least, I think if I didn't keep myself in check, that would be me. I always feel like sinking into that pit of self-pity, when honestly I don't deserve to. And there's no real point to it. mom is coming downstairs to tell me to go to bed. So byeee!

Maybe tomorrow will be better.


I was going to update...but now I have to shower. Okay, bye bye.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


After 21 years of miserable existence, I have finally admitted to myself. I have a problem. A terrifyingly addicting problem: I am an eataholic.

They say the first step to a cure is admitting you have a disease.

Unfortunately, my disease is necessary to my continued existence. You see, eating, unlike drugs, sex, alcohol, or gaming, is a necessary part of life. And since I have no intention of dying (of starvation no less), I am in quite a pickle. Mmm...pickles...

The problem isn't so much it is over-eating. On an average daily basis I would approximate that I eat maybe 3 meals worth of food in one sitting. And I can't help myself. Once I put something into my mouth, my brain no longer controls my body. My stomach does. No, not even my stomach. My stomach often cries out in pain as I continue to gorge on delicious treats. It's my mouth. Damn my mouth to the nine circles of hell!

But in all seriousness, my desire to eat truly dictates my life. Even when I tell myself that I'm going to control the size of my meals for the day, I end up failing miserably. The first servings only whet my appetite - appetizers for a grand feast that my brain doesn't want to consume. My god even right now I'm very tempted to stop typing this post to find a tasty snack to munch on. The SHAME.

...I need help. me. Please?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Atrothesis, Dark Angel

So I totally got chewed out on sunday for being a big flake. Although this time it really wasn't me being a flake! Just a very bad planner.

Anyway me and the usual high school group I still keep in touch with made plans to get dinner sunday night. Then on saturday my brother told me he needed to be picked up on sunday around 7:30.

Yay for brothers. Especially kid ones.

Basically there was no way I was going to make dinner if I had to pick up my bro. By the time I got to the restaurant it'd be time to leave. Much to my surprise though, one of my friends got upset. Really upset. I couldn't understand it at was just dinner right? And it wasn't like I couldn't hang out after.

When I asked him why he was so angry, he said to me:

"Because our group is falling apart."

For which I have newfound respect for him. This summer has been pretty craptacular for hanging out, what with some friends out of the country, others in socal, and what with work and internships and summer school, it's been pretty hard to coordinate events.

What struck me most though, is that this guy had the guts to call it out. And to challenge me to make the effort to keep it going. My feelings toward group-disbanding has always been that it's inevitable. People move away, don't see each other for's only natural that things won't be able to stay the same. Even me just moving up the hill to Hedrick practically cut me off from my second-year friends. be honest though, the biggest reason why I never keep in touch is because I'm insecure. I absolutely hate feeling like I'm unwanted, which is why I very rarely visit people in their rooms. I remember Peter and Michelle accusing me of no longer being their friend the next year, because I never visit them, and that I never make an effort to be a friend. The truth is I'm scared to have to make an effort, and end up being unwanted, annoyed at, mocked.

Which is why when this guy was fighting to keep our high school group alive, I couldn't help but admire his bravery. Maybe he didn't think it was anything of the sort, but to me his words are what I've always wanted to say, but what I've always been too scared to say. Too embarassed. Too weak.

I ended up apologizing to him about missing dinner. There wasn't much I could do about it brother needed to be picked up after all. Still, we hung out afterwards and everything was good. I think. I hope.

I'm glad he chewed me out. Not that I enjoyed it...but I got to see a side of him that I don't usually. And I found out that as long as there are people like him around, even if groups do end, they don't have to right away. Not for a long time.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I was going to write a post about my crazy wacky driving adventures and how I stare at people who are behind me when I drive (through the rear view mirror yes)...

...and then I realized how utterly dull and pointless that post would've been.


In other news,


I guess I have no other news. Bye!