Sunday, June 30, 2013

Just Bwause 2 (Just Cause 2 Completed... Sort Of!)

I finally beat Just Cause 2 the other day. Well, sort of... I finished the main story and entered Mercenary Mode - where I can finish off the 70% of the game I haven't done yet. To be honest, I've uncovered most of the locations (but not all) and just have to work my way from boring shantytown to boring shantytown collecting Blinking Silver Boxes of Obsessive Compulsive Goodness. Of course I've banked a ridiculous amount of money because for the first three dozen hours I didn't use the black market at all. In a game about blowing things up and hoarding collectibles, it's hard to actually spend something you earned to get something that you know will eventually catch fire, run out of ammunition, or get shot up. What I'm trying to say is that in a fictional world of blowing things up for money my biggest enemy is my frugality with the fictional currency.

It's hard to argue against it though, when clipping an enemy patrol car can result in helicopters materializing out of thin air with infinite bullets and rockets just waiting to be hijacked. I mean... why buy the flying death machine when you can re-channel destruction for free, right?

With Brightest of (There's Even A Tracker For Flying Close To The Ground Apparently) Greens,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bwogosphere, The Game #2: BW Downloads Java!

Just a little bwog to let you know I have, indeed, downloaded Java SE and Eclipse. What will be the result? Only time and my propensity to rage quit will tell!

With Brightest of (Probably Just A Character Generator Of Some Sort To Start With) Greens,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dan Bull, Bwogonaut of the Week

Here's the thing: You need to go find Dan Bull's videos and watch them all, and then send him lots of money. He's in England, so you'll have to convert to pounds or... I dunno... Septims? Bottle Caps? He'll probably be cool with septims actually.


That's it. The more words you have to read here means the less time you have to devote to Douglby.

You're welcome.

With Brightest of (English) Greens,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hanbwog (Hancock Film Review)

I just watched this for the second time and felt I needed to share my thoughts - from the past! Before I watched it the first time, and then right after, I composed the following review:

"Academy Award nominee Will Smith stars in this action-packed comedy as Hancock, a sarcastic, hard-living and misunderstood superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public. When Hancock grudgingly agrees to an extreme makeover from idealistic publicist Ray Embrey, his life and reputation rise from the ashes and all seems right again - until he meets a woman with similar powers to his and the key to his secret past."

Looking at the cover and remembering what people were saying about it when it was in theatres, and knowing that I bought it for $5 at Wal-Mart, leads me to believe this is going to be either an underdog that I love or a total piece of tripe. The cover looks like a Hulk knock-off (Smith is portrayed with his trademark furrowed brow and wearing purple shorts amidst a general scene of poorly-photoshopped disaster) but with Hancock's feet inexplicably buried beneath the concrete. Is that one of his super powers - the ability to walk through asphalt up to his ankles while wearing a heavy leather jacket and shorts in a thunderstorm? I suppose we'll see. More furrowed brow shots on the back, with some hints of domestic instability, unhappiness in his new uniform (definitely not at all based on the X-Men movie uniforms...), and - I think - Charlize Theron looking really washed-out. She's the other half of the domestic instability mentioned above I guess, and maybe the eye shadowed version is her in uniform. Actually, the more I look at it... Will Smith is definitely about to clang two cooking pans on her head. Interesting.

This is the "1-Disc Unrated Edition" that contains a number of special features which I may decide to watch - if the film intrigues me enough. So, without further ado, let's have a watch of Columbia Pictures' 2009 film - Hancock!

Predictions: From what I've mentioned about the movie, and from the scant reviews to that effect I remember hearing about the movie (namely - Will Smith is a superhero, you should see this, etc.), I'm going to make a few guesses...

1) It's hard to determine whether the existence of superpowers is known to the general public at all, or if it's just an event that's beginning, or if superpowers are commonplace. Smith is wearing dark sunglasses in what I assume is his new costume but he's otherwise uncovered in other shots - and you'll remember Charlize is depicted two different ways as well. So either it's a phenomenon that Smith, excuse me, Hancock has to grapple with - something like a Puny Banner/Incredible Hulk situation - or something that is mostly known about and accepted (or, in this case, rejected because of performance). I'd hate to think they rip off The Incredibles so much as to have a secret organization tracking all the blah blah blah, but if so then I'm sure that's where Charlize comes in.

2) I would really like to see it turn out to be something like when Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle discover their hero personas while making out. I really think that's one of the most classic and original moments in film I've ever seen and those two pulled it off really well. Smith breaks a door because he's too angry, looks at her in terror that she might deduce he's a superhero, and we see the sink she was standing next to has a big indented hand print from where she was squeezing too hard - a mutual discovery that leads to a Mr. and Mrs. Smith sort of ending.

3) Jason Bateman is in this film as well, and I'm pegging him as either the sidekick or the bad guy. I hope it's not both, since that would be a sign of ripping off The Incredibles again.

[These were just some notes I made in real-time while watching, but I'm leaving them in because, hey, why not?]

Observation #1: Eagles = Eagle's (23m) [This is totally me having caught the reference when Charlize puts on the Eagles shirt to sleep in]

Observation #2: Asshole = head up asses

Observation #3: Heat when together - jiffy pop, cooking

As the credits roll...

Umm... kinda wanna say it's tied for my favorite movie with Iron Giant (nothing will ever supplant that, btw). Reminds me a lot of Unbreakable. Some cute little Easter Eggs (like Charlize's Eagle t-shirt) and an original plot, and I really like that they just skipped the origin story and left it mostly open-ended. I'm really not crazy about the language in the beginning, though I suppose they're trying to establish Hancock as a certain type of personality. I wasn't crazy about that guy losing a second arm and then pointing it out instead of, like, screaming or something, but it was comic-ish enough. All in all... I'd love a sequel, or at least a series. Yeah... a series. It's like this was equal parts Highlander, Incredibles, Unbreakable, and Kickass - and that's a good combination. I'll give it a nine out of ten, with that point being taken off for the language - but I thought the line in the beginning about all the people blocking the intersection being idiots was hilarious - and some of the shots were beating a dead horse just a bit. A solid movie though. On to the Special Features!

...Which I still haven't watched. That's pretty spot-on review though, I really did enjoy the film the second time around too. Go watch it right now.

With Brightest of (He Gets An Eagle Because He's Will Smith, That's It) Greens,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Urban Dead, a Bwogtastic Online Zombie Sim

So for those Bwogonauts who've done their reading, it's no surprise that ol' BW likes RPGs. I also like free games, simple games, and open world environments. I have a special love for survival horror games, with or without zombies, because I like resource management of things like... well, myself. There's something particularly addicting for me about having to get that next healthpack or pistol clip and if I might die of exhaustion as much as feral zombie dogs then all the better.

Enter Urban Dead. I discovered this game years ago - I don't remember the exact date I started playing, but here's my text entry in "zombie appearance" (you can write anything up to 255 characters and it helps to keep track of things sometimes):

First died on Sunday April 27th, 2008 in a zed raid on Bowring Police Station in Spicer Hills. Again, outside the entry warehouse on June 5th, 2008 and in Dickins Park 6/25/08. 8/11/08 at the Mallet Museum. 6/10/13 in the Padden Museum. PLEASE REVIVE ME

My first in-game death was over five years ago. Now to be fair, sometimes I forget about playing this game... like for months and years at a time. It so simple to play though, and so incredibly easy to die if you don't plan ahead, that I keep coming back. The community is persistent too - I have a particular location that I visit often and some of the same players have been there since the beginning (or at least when I started). Okay, on to my review (which you should really just skip to go make an account with UD but have it your way if you insist)...

There's a couple mechanics that are going to, pardon the pun, come into play here. First of all, you only get 50 Action Points at a time. They get used up to do things like... well, like anything. Almost everything costs AP. They refresh at the rate of 1 every thirty minutes of real-time. Consider yourself earned. Secondly, there's experience points. These are gained most from combat but there are other ways (healing players, etc.). You spend XP to buy skills - of which you'll need a few almost from the get-go (freerunning, for instance, is almost essential for anyone playing). Encumbrance is measured in percents, which is really nice, and dropping things doesn't cost AP. The user-interface is ridiculously simple - there's a nine-squared map on the left of your screen (you're in the middle one) that you can click to move on, one square at a time. On the right at the top is a description of the space you're in, including any zombies or survivors. Below that is all your available actions and the AP cost. You can search for things, open doors and enter buildings, build barricades, load you weapons, setup a generator and fuel it, re-tune your radio to a different frequency, attack someone, revive someone, use a first aid kit, and a lot of other things. There's only a handful of weapons in the game which turns a lot of people off (those who haven't already left from the graphic layout that doesn't require a three-hundred dollar video card) but it's a simulator - how many different kinds of weapons do you think you're likely to find in an average neighborhood anyway, and would you know the difference? You get a pistol and a shotgun and that's it, holding a maximum of six rounds and two shells respectively. You can choose to start as a number of different types of survivors but some are better-suited to playing alone. If you're one of those, incidentally, just go ahead and log out right now. We don't want you around Malton unless you promise to distract the zombies with your tasty flesh. Since you're likely going to become one pretty soon yourself, we'd rather not have to waste our precious AP one you. Someone who goes it solo will probably last less than the average Day Z player to be honest, depending on where they start, and they'll totally deserve it. Player Killers are also around for sure, but I think at this point most people are content to survive.

Except the zombies.

Once you die as a survivor, you'll find that you can stand and be... a zombie! There's a whole skill tree for the zeds that you'll be able to buy up, if you're into that. It's not a bad route to go - you can find videos on YouTube of how the proper coordination of zombie hordes can be quite devastating. Some things are persistent, like wearing a flak jacket, but for the most part you won't be able to do anything you could as a survivor. It's commonly accepted that cemeteries are revive points (because, duh) and if you hang out there for a couple days someone will likely come and stick you with needles so you can be your old self again. You'll still have all your loot too, which is nice.

"But who cares, BW? We want to kill things!"

Well that's okay with me, but you won't enjoy UD. In the last couple days (and I hadn't played in almost a year), I logged in to discover I was a zombie, stood up and left my destroyed safehouse (zombies can really cause havoc) and made for my old haunt. I figured there'd still be players there and that the cemetery was a good spot to get revived. I was right and I made it to the entrance (you can barricade buildings up so much that survivors can't enter them except through adjacent buildings using the freerunning skill, so there are oftentimes buildings that are kept just below maximum barricading for that purpose) and then to the main building, which is a police station. Someone mentioned that power was out in the entrance point, I went down and setup my generator (which I'd had for, literally, years) and fueled it and returned to the station. Power has just gone out in a nearby NecroTech building, so that will likely be a project in the coming days. Getting rid of that generator means I finally have a chance to stock back up on ammunition - and that will likely take several days of AP. That's it, no big deal. No killing anything really, and no shootouts or sneaky traps, just surviving. And with a healthy dose of zombies just one click away, we call it survival horror. And we love it.

With Greenest of (User Interface) Greens,

[Edit: You can see the stats for the game here, which tells us there are over eight thousand people still playing. Not too shabby.]