Bastion Narrator Invades Other Games

IF you read my Bastion review a while back you know that I highly recommended the game. It’s just a beautiful game with a unique presentation. Mostly though, the narrator talking all the way through and narrating almost your every move is one of the best parts of the game. I know it sounds annoying, but it just…works.

Anyways, I saw this a few months ago and neglected to post it so I am doing it now. If you played Bastion already you will love it of course. It’s good either way though.

Terraria Quick-Review: Dig Like a Boss

I know that Terraria has been out for almost a year (?) now, but I never did a review on it because I wanted to play it for a long time first to give it a bit of a better write up. As you may remember I bought this like many others during the Steam Holiday Sale in December for I believe $2.49. Let’s just say that equates to about 1 penny for every 5 hours of playtime I have put into it so far, and I am still playing it.

At first glance, many called Terraria a bit of a Minecraft rip-off. I’ve never played Minecraft so I really don’t care about that. I will say that the addition of combat into Terraria likely makes it amuch different game than Minecraft.

Terraria has virtually no story. Other than the NPCs you meet, and the monsters you fight , there is absolutely no tale being woven here other than the one you create yourself in your own mind. The NPCs have a few lines of dialogue, but really it is just them commenting on the state of the universe you are in and not weaving any sort of plot.

That said, this game isn’t about story in any way. It is about creativity, digging, building, digging, and more digging. You start the game out with creating an old school 8-bit looking srt of character that can be male or female with very minimal options other than skin color and hair color. This doesn’t matter either really. What matters at the start is what level of difficulty you plan to play with. Softcore, Mediumcore, or Hardcore. Once you pick, that character is locked into that setting for all worlds they jump into. Softcore is recommended for beginners, and most people play that way all the time due to the death losses you receive from others. You jsut lose a little bit of your cash when you die on Softcore. On Mediumcore you lose all your equipment you are currently holding, which can be a significant amount of loot. IT lies there until you find it again, unless you die, or quit the game. IT totally sucks to lose this stuff. Start over worthy if you do IMO.HIGHTLY advisable to start on Softcore.

Now the bulk of the game is in minng for materials so that you can build better shelters, create new weapons, and even find yourself fancy new outfits that have to be crafted. When you acquire materials you can build crafting stations in which will allow you to create more and more unique weapons, potions, armor, and other building materials. While at first you may be lost in how to create certain things, they give you a handy guide NPC that you can talk to and ask about any materials you are holding, and what they can be crafted into. It makes this process much easier to decipher and shows you things you didn’t even know existed before you asked him about your materials.

When you first start you want to get some wood, or stone ASAP so that you can build a shelter before nightfall….because at nightfall the ZOMBIES come out and attack you. With your puny weapons and life force at the start you are likely in trouble. It will probably kill your guide too, although NPCs auto-replace themselves in a day or so if they do die so no worries there really. You start out with a shanty house probably and now you are ready to start digging to find better stuff, or you can explore left/right of your starting point to find many other biomes like Jungles, Corruption, and even water. Each area has unique enemies and resources.

Your main goal here is to buld yourself up to higher strength, with better armor, helath, mana, and weapons so that you can fight the BOSSES in the game. Softcore has 3 main bosses you can fight that you will figure out on your own. You beat all 3 and the game doesn’t end. There are still optional bosses, and there are bosses that send your game into a harder difficulty for good as well. All the while you are attacked by zombies every night (they can’t get into your shelter unless it is a Blood Moon), you may encounter a Goblin Army, or any number of random events.

As you find more resources you also must build more shelters for new NPCs to arrive.Suppose you find some grenades in a chest digging down below. It is an explosive, and until you find an explosive the Explosives vendor won’t roll into your tiny little town. You also must have a sufficient shelter built to house the new vendor, or he will not arrive. The game explains this all.

Overall the game is a MASSIVE time sink. You dig, and build, and build, and create. IT’s very fun. In fact, you can even play with other people online in a world and create together, trade resources, and you can fight them too if you want! It’s awesome.

One other thing you may not pick up on right away is that the game randomly generates world for you. You can have it create as many as you want until you find a world you actually like. At the same time you can build in multiple worlds with the same character. For instance say you beat all the bosses in one world, you can create a new world and bring all your loot to it from the old one if you choose. You can go back and forth between them from the main menu, take resources from one and bring them to the other. So you could have a boatload of great loot from your old world and be a beast already entering you new one and just destroy everything with no problems. Items like Piggy Banks, and safes can be used to transfer things to other worlds without eve taking it with you. For your character whatever is in that container is always in that container no matter how many of them you have, or how many worlds it is in. In fact, the safe is player specific completely. Even if you play online with other people they cannot steal your stuff out of a safe. It only shows them what is in THEIR safe.

This game is completely worth the money and has many other things to play with that I didn’t mention. This game gets a solid 9/10 MUST BUY from me due to the massive amount of time I got out of it, and the fun of it.

I recommend watching the video below for starting the game because you will most likely be lost when you do begin like I was. This video told me basically all I needed to know. That and the Terraria Wiki is a great resource. The game has very low system requirements so any POS Hardware can run it and can be run windowed so you can check online fin the Wiki anytime you need to which is perfect.

Bosch electric fuel pump

Nothing worse than having car trouble. Especially since most of the time it comes at the worst possible moment both financially, and when you are busy.

That’s why when making the right call on a fuel pump I always go with the best. The Bosch electric fuel pump is easily the replacement part of choice if I need a new fuel pump because I know it is likely going to last the rest of the life of my car.

“Awake”, Looks Like a Promising New Show

EDIT: Accidentally posted this write up on the wrong blog, but it is entertainment so I will leave it here.

It has become quite rare for me to be excited about any sort of broadcast (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) drama these days. We have come to the point that any sort of serialized show is not fit for broadcast television simply because they can’t get the ratings. Something that cable channels such as AMC, HBO, and Showtime don’t have to worry as much about due to their payoffs coming from subscriptions. Since that is the case almost every relevant drama in the past several years has come from a cable channel with few exceptions.

Broadcast dramas tend to be mass appeal shows, and with that the networks assume that all of us are idiots so the shows should cater to that. While there have been several that started out promising, as ratings became a factor meddling has ruined them and made them into cheesy junk drama with no reason to watch. Other than Lost and Fringe I can’t think of many in the last decade on broadcast TV I truly felt were worth watching due to weak writing, acting, and basically falling into the trap of missing the mark completely on what makes some of these shows great. Most of all it all comes down to the fact that they think we are too stupid as a whole to watch a well-written and character driven drama. They are probably right since the highest rated drama on AMC happens to be The Walking Dead, which while entertaining in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 sort of way most of the episodes, it appeals to a wider audience due to it not being so “high brow” I guess you would say. Watching idiots in an apocalypse always has its laugh factor, although many of the characters make you wish you had the chili burn runs rather than listen to them.

“Awake” began Thursday in a rough timeslot on NBC. The 10 PM ET slot with no strong lead in. I watched it nearly 2 weks ago on the NBC website due to the pilot having an online release early to try and stir up word of mouth and get people interested. (Can still be viewed here if you missed it: http://www.nbc.com/awake/)I found it to be a very strong pilot, and one of the better ones I have seen on broadcast since maybe Lost.

It is about a guy who is living two lives. Not figuratively either. He is living one life where his wife has died, and another where his son has died. Neither of which do we know if they are real, or a dream.

What I found interesting about it, however is that when it was over I actually wanted to discuss it, and I wasn’t completely turned off by poor writing, or acting. This, I am sad to say is quite rare for a broadcast drama. I found myself speculating the mystery of it all, which is a fun thing to do of course. It’s definitely worth checking out and getting in at the start. Now we wait and see if they do what broadcast loves to do and try to make it only about the secrets and forgo any real development of the cast.

Ratings were mediocre. a 1.9 in the target demographic, but since many of us already watched the pilot online it is difficult to say what the impact there was. The next episode is Thursday March 8 at 10 PM ET, so we should know much more by then if this show has a chance. On NBC they have nothing to replace it with so I can’t imagine it will get canned too quickly.

Moving this summer

Thanks to Roman May

We always said that it would take a seriously incredible job offer for us to move away from here. We have so much family in town. We are pretty much always getting together with family or celebrating something with family. Every holiday we have a family get together. I love that my children have gotten to grow up around so much love and laughter. I was an only child and never had the experiences that my kids have gotten to have. Well, that incredible offer came and we will be moving to Beaumont at the end of this school year. I know we have time before we go, but it is like every time I see people we are saying goodbye one more time and I am getting really tired of it. It isn’t like I can pack anything either because we need everything in our house. At this point all I have done is looked into getting Green Mountain energy in Beaumont. I am ready to make the move and I don’t want to all at once.