I knew Joe Piscopo from his time on Saturday Night Live. Sure, I was between the ages of six and ten during his tenure, but the weekend is for staying up late. I’d also seen Johnny Dangerously and Wise Guys. So, probably sometime in 1989, when I saw Dead Heat on the shelf of the local video store, it was Joe who made me say, “I need to see this!” These days I remember it as the first movie I recall Treat Williams being in.
I also remember it as being a funny action buddy cop zombie movie.
It’s the story of a couple of cops, Roger Mortis and Doug Bigelow, looking into a recent rash of crimes perpetrated by criminals thought to be dead. And when they track down the nutcase behind the reanimations, Roger gets himself killed… and reanimated. Now just as indestructible as the bad guys, and finding out his condition is irreversible and deteriorating, he’s got a time limit to finish the job before he dies for good.
This is just such a fun movie that manages to blend horror and comedy well, while leaning more toward comedy, and action. And much to my delight, as of this morning it became available on Netflix Instant. I can’t wait to see it again.
As you no doubt may have heard, Nintendo announced their next console: Wii U.
The short of it is this… pretty much a Wii on steroids. Better processors, better memory, better graphics, embraces HD, wiimotes and the balance board are supported as are all Wii games. The early word is that it will beat out the 360 and PS3 for power, but don’t expect that to matter too long as Microsoft and Sony will probably launch their new consoles a year after this and put it to shame… unless the market decided to go sideways instead. I mean, it’s very possible that the next Xbox will be the same as the 360 but with better processors, memory and graphics (and maybe 3D) with an integrated Kinect over a separate peripheral. Sony could do that as well. Iteration over innovation.
But then you get to the other part of the Wii U: the controller.
Aren't you a little big for a game controller?
Yes, that is a screen on the controller. The obvious bits are that you can use it like a tablet and surf the web, and you can also use it as a main display (freeing up the big TV for other activities if needed), it even has a stylus for drawing, but it can also be used as a secondary screen. Immediately many people pointed out it could be used for maps or inventory or other bits of a normal game that could be shuffled off to this second mini screen. I started trying to think of other things…
How about an Aliens game where the pad if your motion sensor? Even just as a large controller with extra touchscreen buttons and virtual keyboard, MMOs become much more possible. A flight or driving simulator where one player controls the action while another player with the pad navigates, does damage control and performs other duties.
So many lost hours...
My best idea yet? Dungeon Keeper.
In the original game, you play the overlord of a dungeon. You set up traps and other things to run your dungeon and protect your treasure room from the heroes who come seeking to steal your loot. It was great fun. But with a setup like this, you could have one player being the hero on the main screen, hacking his way to fortune and glory. On the tablet you have the second player, the overlord, playing the RTS similar to the old game, laying traps and scrambling to react to what the other player is doing.
Really, any game that requires one person to have hidden information from the other players would work beautifully. The only shame here is that thus far word is that only a single new controller will be supported and so card games and board games played local multi-player may be out.
I’m excited for the possibilities… now I just need some people out there to make games like these. Just in case, I’m going to start putting away a couple bucks per paycheck so that I can afford this when it comes out. For once, I actually might want to be an early adopter.
Really like zombie survival games but tired of so many of them being shooters?
Project Zomboid might be right up your alley. An isometric RPG set in the zombie apocalypse. Build defenses, search for food, fight zombies. Decidedly hardcore (they maintain that you WILL die eventually, there is no “winning” or happily ever after), this game of shambling undead is one I’ll be keeping an eye on, which shouldn’t be too hard considering they’ve got the game blog plus three developer blogs and a forum.
With any luck the game will support some form of multiplayer, which might end up making it the game I’ve always wanted to play.
It amazes me sometimes that things can exist that I am not aware of. Especially when they are things that if I had known of them I would have loved. So now that I know about it, I’m a little annoyed that I’ve missed out on three years of loving it. But what can you do?
For some reason, and I don’t know why, I keep thinking that you need level 30 in order to take up archaeology in Azeroth. But it’s level 20. So, basically, I needlessly scraped my way through 10 levels on daily quests, random non-violent tasks, and mining/herbalism when I could have been scouring the world for artifacts.
I feel like Indiana Jones. Not because of archaeology itself, which is quite possibly the worst designed trade skill/crafting ever put into an MMO. On my other characters, the ones who fight, archaeology is boring and stupid. You wander around in a zigzag path hitting the survey key until you get an artifact, which you then pick up. Repeat. On the rogue, however, it reminds me fondly of my days in EverQuest as a monk, feigning my way around zones, checking out cool stuff. Kaens has to carefully make his way though the dig sites and wait for just the right moment to perform a survey. Luckily, with sneak and vanish, I can avoid most of the dangerous creatures roaming the land.
While previously playing the rogue felt like a fun job, with archaeology in the mix is finally feels like an adventure. Now I just need a hat and a whip.
The single best part about archaeology is that I don’t have to interact with any NPCs at all except for when I need training. Otherwise, I just go to the places on my map and I am able to craft my own stories and my own adventures. This might be the most fun I’ve had playing an MMO in a long time.
It was the only clean outfit, or something like that.
I need a new look. I suppose I could always go with the dinner suit or the dress from last week, but I’d rather not. To the left you’ll see a picture of me in my adventuring attire. It looks like standard leather stuff, and that’s the problem. I need to find a way to look less like I’m itching for a fight, while still retaining some stats so that I can survive the occasions when I’m trying to run away from one.
Browsing my way through the auction house, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that remaining in leather is going to be hard if I want to get a look that I like, and might instead have to go with cloth in a few areas. Obviously, as I level I will have more options, but for now I can only wear what I can wear, restricted by level, and so I am limited in my choices. Still, there has to be something better than this.
Another issue I’ve been having is that my desire to leave town was bottoming out. I mean, in Stormwind I can safely earn a few thousand exp every day and never have to worry. But I decided to venture out and checked in with the Hero’s Call board to see where I should go for a level appropriate challenge. I suspect I’ll constantly be back tracking, looking for old low level quests to pad out my growth, but I wanted something exciting and challenging. The board said to go to Darkshire in Duskwood. So I flew out to the logging camp and then headed out on foot.
I love exploring, but sometimes, running on foot through places you’ve already explored can be boring, but what option do I have? Anyway, after a long trek there, I discovered that like much of the world the people of Darkshire just want me to kill stuff. Everyone, that is, except Abercrombie. He had a great series where I was sent out to deliver or gather things and everything was going swimmingly until he asked for some ghoul ribs, which you can’t find just laying around. I was very disappointed to not be able to continue working with him, but on the bright side, I made a couple of levels and got past 20.
Years ago I tried an experiment that I originally titled “Sneaking Sixty” and then after the Burning Crusade released was retitled “Sneaking Seventy“. I had to give it up because exploration exp got killed at some point so that you couldn’t walk a low level character into a high level area and get gobs of exp for surviving the journey, and there just weren’t enough quests to get the job done.
However, with the release of Cataclysm (actually I believe it was in one of the patches leading up to it), they’ve added experience to mining and herbalism. So, since “Sneaking Eighty-five” sounds less cool that the two previous incarnations and because I’m certain the level cap will continue to increase, I’m reviving this experiment as “Sneakin’ Around”.
On the Moon Guard server, Kaens, a human rogue, will endeavor to make his way through the World of Warcraft without killing anything. He’ll ferry documents, deliver messages, fish, mine ore, pick wild flowers and explore the world, all without a weapon in his hand.
Of course, upon logging in, I am faced with a dilemma: the very first quest is to kill things. So now I must decide, can I just forgo the entire newbie area or will I need someone to “assist” me through a few quests to get me on my way? The answer… next time.