jkefka: (kefka finger)
Your city has been covered in a paper-thin sheet of invisible ice, which has then been covered in water. You must brave a near-zero friction coefficient, psychotic drivers, tumbling southerners, and unexpected puddles over a mile of rush-hour sidewalks. Your challenge doesn't end there! Through the next eight hours you must brave continuing rainfall and dodge deadly ice chunks as they slide from the rooftops, all while moving around almost 1500 envelopes that need to be sorted and delivered by tomorrow morning! Welcome to...[personal profile] jkefka's day at work!

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

And some EVE stuff )
jkefka: (Default)
I'm creating a public checklist of tasks that will be accomplished today so I can be harassed if I fail to accomplish them. Today will be a day of grocery shopping, apartment cleaning, and ambitious cooking experiments.

This morning's cooking experiment: Omlette, with pastrami, cheddar, and candied jalapenos. Worked brilliantly, but would have benefited from the addition of mushrooms and using ham instead of pastrami.

Today [personal profile] thaumaturgist and I will:

Clean the bathroom, notably the bathtub and toilet [BAM]
Clean the kitchen, notably the stove and sink [*peel layer of grime off stove* "eeeeewwwwwww"]
Move piles of books off kitchen tables and onto bookshelves [Good enough!]
Clean out the fucking fridge [*BOOM HEADSHOT*]
Take out garbage and recycling [YYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH]
Do a proper grocery shopping trip, to hold us not just the rest of this week but also next week [LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING ADULT]

Dinner either tonight or tomorrow is going to be a very hearty cabbage and beef stew recipe I got from my dad, using one of my holiday presents (A cauldron). Probably tomorrow, because it is a long cook. Half an hour to an hour of prep, as many hours of simmer as you can reasonably get. However, once cooked, it is literally a week of meals for two people, and perfect for those frigid winter days.
jkefka: (Yatzhee Bother This Nonsense)
The more I play Sonic Unleashed the more it just boggles me. They have something wonderful, truly wonderful here, and they went well out of their way to bury it under crap.

I was massacring my way through the next werehog level in order to advance the plot and it was just a goddamn punishment. It was long, it was stupid, it was buggy, there were some absolutely bullshit jumping puzzles, or rather perfectly reasonable jumping puzzles ruined by bullshit grab mechanics, followed by a gimmick boss that you had to kill three. fucking. times. With quicktime events. It was a good thing I got all the QTEs right on the first pass or I would probably have thrown my controller in disgust.

Despite fouling up jumping puzzles, taking time to find the little medallions hidden in each level that are REQUIRED to advance the plot, and generally feeling like I half-assed my way through the entire thing I got an A. I don't even know.

I decided to keep poking around after that torture in hopes of finding a new Sonic level to cleanse my palette with. If not I could replay some of the old ones and try to improve my score, but really I had played each of them at least five times and, while I certainly had room to improve, I couldn't really until I'd advanced the plot and sonic a little further. In searching I discovered I had opened a new high-speed stage, and with great relief started it.

This stage is the best 3D Sonic level I have ever played, and I have played all the 3D Sonic games. EDIT: Except, I realize "Sonic the Hedgehog" on the PS3 etc. I don't count "Sonic and the Secret Rings" and all that bullshit. And I haven't gotten Sonic Colors yet. But otherwise yeah.

Let me put that in even broader terms: This stage stands among my favorite Sonic levels of all time.

It's huge. Vast. You start off at high speed and you stay there. There are bounces, bumpers, carefully placed "fuck you" enemies, actually fun rail-grinding sequences, pretty fantastic (and beautiful) set-pieces, higher-speed paths that require absolute focus to get, and more than a few instances where I would have said "that was AWESOME" if I wasn't busy dodging laser beams at a hundred miles per hour. It has something I didn't realize how much I'd missed, a jumping puzzle that was not homing-attack based, didn't rely on any of your bullshit superpowers, none of that. You. Moving platforms. A > B and certain death below.

Get going.

It's 100% pure Sonic goodness. First run was seven minutes. Second run was 5:50. I look forward to cutting that down even more.

Levels like this keep me going. I just wish I didn't have to put up with the werehog bullshit in between.
jkefka: (Yatzhee Bother This Nonsense)
Dear dev team of Sonic Unleashed:

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you on a job well done. The Sonic run-fast levels of Sonic Unleashed are the best 3D iteration of Sonic to date. For the first time you have provided evidence that you have learned something over the past decade, and put it to good use. The levels are fast-paced, fun, have multiple routes for the clever and quick-reflexed, and are not of the Sonic Advance "just hold right and you'll get there eventually" school of design. I have to work for my level completions again, and what's more I will have to work much harder to get good ranks on them. The bosses, at least so far, have also been excellent. The first run-fast boss required fast reflexes, learning his attack patterns, and like all good Sonic bosses as soon as you had him figured out you got him down to half health and all of his attack patterns changed. Bringing him down was very satisfying and took a great deal of attention, and working out how to bring him down faster will be more satisfying still.

Now, to talk about the God of Werehog portions of the game, let me introduce my compatriot Fred. Fred, the perceptive among you may notice, is a big stick with a bunch of nails pounded through it. You will all come to have an intimate knowledge of Fred's opinions of the terrible controls, poorly planned quicktime events, inconsistent ledge-grab mechanics, Prince of Persia rip-off jumping puzzles, made yet more frustrating by the afore-mentioned ledge-grabbing issues, and the imitation Zelda box-dragging puzzles. Most of all you will come to understand what Fred thinks of the fact that you have to play as many of these wretched punishments as you do fun Sonic stages, and often have to slog your way through one or more to get to the good stuff. It is my hope that you will learn that, when you have created something good, you should not proceed to mix it in with the most heinous of shit. At least in Sonic Adventure 2 you got to drive around in a kickass mecha when you weren't making a mockery of land-speed records, now you just get to play Kratos in a furry suit.

What the fuck, gentlemen. What. The. Fuck.
jkefka: (Default)
I've been playing a lot of this game, lately, and I realized I hadn't talked much about the cast or the plot or even some of the funnier mechanics. So, a post about that seems like a good idea.

Nippon Ichi is a weird company ) I will post more on this game if people are interested. The mechanics are crack on toast and the plot thus far has been kind of entertaining. Also I have some epic stories just from things that happen. Perhaps I will even post them.
jkefka: (Yatzhee Bother This Nonsense)
So, girlfriend's family was going out for a whale-watch as a joint birthday present and of course we were invited. It sounded like fun, and we had other things to do in Boston, so we went for it. As a warning, girlfriend mentioned that she had a long history of sea-sickness on previous whale-watches, but her general tendency for motion sickness had drastically decreased since then. I, meanwhile, had never really been properly sea-sick on any of the boat-related activities I had taken part in. Visual Aid 1

So we get on the boat and head out of the harbor, and we're both fine. We have snacks, enjoy the fine view of Boston harbor, and are generally fine. We have a nice seat outside, we're watching the ocean, and we get further out. The see roughens up a bit, but I'm ok. Girlfriend starts to feel it a bit and begins staring determinedly at the horizon. Visual Aid 2

Since the whales did not seem to be forthcoming, the captain apparently decided to go further out to sea. This was a bad plan.

We get further out and the waves get bigger and nastier. The boat starts zig-zagging in some sort of search pattern. At this point even I'm starting to be a little off. Visual Aid 3. Then we start taking some really crazy turns crosswise to the waves for reasons entirely unclear to me. At this point they're telling people to get off the bow and hang on to the railings and things are generally unpleasant. I start feeling really off, but I'm still holding to together, and then I'm like "I'm going to run in and get some ginger candy or something" and girlfriend is like "yes ok still staring at the horizon."

Bad idea. Italics bad idea. BOLD ITALICS CAPSLOCK BAD IDEA. Visual Aid 4.

So after losing my lunch over the side of the rail (as about 1/3 of the boat does the same into conveniently provided baggies that I didn't get.), I kind of hang on to the rail for dear life, giving the same death-stare to the horizon. Meanwhile the spray comes up and drenches me and the boat turns around, meaning we're suddenly in the shade, wind, and wet. And yet, we are paralyzed by misery. Visual Aid 5.

Eventually we manage to stumble over to the sunny side, still staring madly at the horizon. As we get closer to Boston, the water evens out and the ride gets smoother. I am shivering like crazy at this point, and I am not one to ever feel cold. I eventually am forced to go inside just out of hypothermia, and I'm pretty goddamn miserable, with girlfriend's family worridly taking care of me (having done the same for girlfriend many a time).

Eventually, we make it back to dock, stumble off, decide we are taking the rest of the day at my parents' house to recuperate and taking tomorrow as a goddamn sick-day to drive home. I'm just now getting back to some semblance of OK, and she's still kind of conked out, even though she somehow never actually threw up. More experience with being seasick, I suppose, though I don't envy her for it.

Also, it may not have been the most professional thing I've ever written, but I started the e-mail to my boss explaining I was taking tomorrow as a sick day with "Due to a series of events that will probably be amusing in retrospect...."

And that was my day.
jkefka: (Default)
This is mostly just to test the ability of DW to crosspost to the eljays successfully, but I also haven't posted much in a while so I figured I might as well.

The reason for the aforementioned lack of posting is simple: I have been crazy-busy. I'm succeeding myself to death at work. I got us access to huge subject pools, now I need to wrestle all the materials to actually run the studies and figure out schedules and WHARRGARBLE. So, that's been taking up my days (well, that and everything else I have to do). When I get home there are projects that have required my attention, and somewhere in there I have to apply to grad schools. That increasingly looks like a weekends thing, because I just don't have the brain to handle it when I come home from work during the week.

Gaming-wise, well, it's been EVE and Recettear mostly. EVE is as it ever is. I'm at a point where I have a great deal of choice in what I do, but my playtime has been restricted enough that I really don't have opportunity to do much. I'll hopefully get some time this weekend to really poke around and, I don't know, make my trade/haul alt an actual successful trader rather than just a painfully slow source of extraneous isk.

As for Recettear, well, what the hell is Recettear you ask? To any JRPG fan, imagine Persona 4 as executed by Nippon Ichi, and replace the murder mystery with an economics textbook. In layman's terms, you play as the owner of an item shop in a JRPG world, and you hire adventurers to go into dungeons and acquire goods for you, dungeons which are randomly generated and you have direct control of the adventurer. You only get to use one adventurer at a time, but there are something like seven adventurers to pick from and they all handle radically differently. It's a very good time, and it scratches that same capitalist itch as EVE, just in a completely different context.

I don't know why I love capitalism games so much. I think it's escapism for my repressed urge to go to business school or something.

Certain other projects have also fallen by the wayside (see: Special Topics), to be picked up in due course. I'm still not sure if I will be more or less busy when I get to grad school. I think on balance I might be as if not more busy, but because I'll have a flexible schedule I won't feel as busy. Hell, just being able to go to bed later than 10pm without paying for it the next day would be nice.

With that I should probably return to work. Speaking of capitalism...
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