Illegal to teach all information?

•April 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I hate writing about politics. I’m quite uninformed, and really, I don’t pick sides; I pick ideals. I’ve come to the point where I know I’ll offend someone by saying something, so I’d rather not say anything at all.

This article got to me though. It isn’t the first time that schools have been affected by religious views, yet every time, it’s just as annoying. I have nothing wrong with teaching abstinence, but as the only solution? That doesn’t work. It’s disheartening that jail time can even come into play, even though this was set in Wisconsin recently:

…under the new law, which was backed by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, schools that do must teach a range of topics, including the benefits of abstinence, the proper use of contraceptives, how to make responsible decisions and the criminal penalties for underage sex.

So, why does the DA then feel it’s alright to take away an important part of the sex-ed lesson plan, despite the fact that his county had a teen birth rate of a whopping 33.9 percent? I really do hope that teachers don’t take the threat seriously though, and I’d hope that the state stands behind them too.

Happy Zombie Jesus day!

•April 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Just felt like saying that for the 10 readers out there. Anyways, I’ll have something up this week, and I’ll probably write something about the boredom of first aid courses (which I have to take for my next job) for the hell of it.

Random encounters and set save points are evil

•March 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m really wanting to kill some of the designers of Lost Odyssey these days. You see, after a year long hiatus from the game, I decided to play the game because of all the JRPG talk (with FFXIII coming out and all). I figured out what to do again and got with it, and the game was getting fun again. So I decided, why not before going to beat the final boss, go beat all the optional bosses? Easy enough, until I got to backtracking.

See, it’s not like what I run into is hard, but in pretty much every area, there are random encounters. Being the only way to encounter normal enemies in a turn-based RPG, they are unavoidable. Other games have placed No Encounters spells or items, but in Lost Odyssey, there isn’t one. Making it worse is the Temple of Enlightenment, which I kid you not, is one of the most godawful, annoying dungeon.

And it brings me to another point, set save points. There are only two save points in the dungeon; one at the start, and one at the middle. You only have that point before the boss to save at, and if you don’t beat the boss, you have to keep going through the puzzle of a dungeon with a shitload of random encounters.

I guess I should explain why I hate both these features. First of all, a set save point doesn’t create difficulty; it only creates annoyance. It’s an archaic style, and considering that I don’t have the time and patience to do all of the backtracking to get to a save point. As well, random encounters only make a game longer and more frustrating. If you must keep them, at least have a no encounters item.

Employed again!

•March 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve got nothing really on my mind, so I’ll just share a bit of life news that won’t bore you too much (assuming you haven’t already gone elsewhere). But as the title of this post says, I have gotten a job. Now, it doesn’t start until the 28th of April, but it’s going to be a 4 month summer job. I’ll have to get first aid certified as well, which won’t bother me.

Anyways, it’s going a bit better. Unfortunately, I’ll probably miss the awesome Iron Maiden/Dream Theater concert.

Nintendo 3DS is on the wrong platform

•March 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Over a month ago, I gave my opinion on 3D TV, and to put it simply, I felt it was an overpriced gimmick that wouldn’t fly. Now, Nintendo has announced that their next-gen handheld, the 3DS, will make use of 3D imaging.

I am skeptical, but not for the same reasons I would be with 3D TV. First of all, one wonders whether the small screen with 3D imaging would be supportive enough. Yes, there will be more depth, but will that depth and more content mean it will be near incomprehensible? Of course, we can’t tell that yet. Second of all, if it’ll function like the 3D imaging we all know, that will mean that the controls will be behind the 3D display. This could make things very awkward (and I’ll come back to this later). Lastly, one must wonder if there will be a limited field of viewing as well, making controls awkward.

Now, Nintendo isn’t the company to shy away from gimmicks. Some fail, and some do amazingly well. But Nintendo hasn’t assessed this as well as they should have. While I felt that for average viewing, 3D was ridiculous, for gaming, it could actually be fun. It would also need some sort of interactive control system to make it even more immersive, a platform they already have.

Sure, the Wii doesn’t have depth in their motion controls (and I don’t know how hard it would be to implement either), but the possibilities are much better on the Wii. Imagine a Legend of Zelda game up close and personal, with your sword and shield overlapping your Wiimote. Or a rail shooter with a light gun. At this point, I could give less of a damn about looking like a tool, because that would be quite awesome.

Phew, went the whole article without mentioning the Virtual Boy (until now, but this doesn’t count).

Retro Gaming Week

•March 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This week has been a blast from the past for gamers. Last Sunday, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver was released in North America, and on Wednesday, Perfect Dark was released on Xbox Live Arcade (can you guess what I was doing all week?). Both of the games have different philosophies on how to update though, and both lead to two different nostalgic experiences.

First, I’ll start with HG/SS. I played the hell out of this game when I was a kid (before I rejected Pokemon for a while before starting to play it again). Since I knew they were going to use the D/P battle style, I was looking forward to it. Seeing an improved Johto was going to be awesome as well. I was preparing for nostalgia to hydro pump out of my behind.

Champion Badass, more like it.

Hard to get a more badass team.

Someone once said to expect things to be less than what you want so you don’t get disappointed. While I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t really impressed, either. Don’t get me wrong; it still is, in my opinion, the best Pokemon game ever made, yet the nostalgia doesn’t seem to still be there. Maybe it’s the lack of 8-bit graphics, maybe I’m getting old, but some changes weren’t for the better. Rather than making you “work” for some HMs, they’re pretty much given to you. As well, I really don’t care about legendaries, so you can imagine how annoyed I was when I was told I’d have to go meet Lugia before even being able to go to the Elite Four. There were a few other little things that took away from exploration, and prevented me from doing things I’d usually do.

Then again, nostalgia is way too blinding, and I could just be complaining that it isn’t the exact same as the old game I knew and loved. Yet I still will be willing to love this, just not as the same being.

That being said, I didn’t really know what to expect from Perfect Dark’s remastered version. I didn’t play the game much at all, but I do remember playing multiplayer a few times, and knowing that it basically was the same thing as GoldenEye at the core. So I was expecting a good game. Continue reading ‘Retro Gaming Week’

Dear NFL, the Overtime Rule isn’t the problem

•March 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In the past few years, everyone has been clamouring for the NFL Overtime Rule to be changed. Many don’t believe that the team that loses the coin flip doesn’t get a fair chance to win. Therefore, once again, the NFL will go into voting to make proposed changes to the OT rule. This is the main proposal.

Under the proposal, if the team that wins the toss proceeds to score a field goal on its first drive, the other team would get the ball. And if that team also scores a field goal, the present sudden-death format would then be in place. However, if the team that wins the toss drives for a touchdown, the game is over.

This would be interesting, and I’d rather this than both teams getting a possession. Nevertheless, I’d rather they look at some other rules, rather than changing the overtime format.

To begin, between 1974 and 1993 (as shown in the article previously linked), there was no difference whatsoever in win percentage for the winner and loser of the coin toss. Which brings me to my argument; the problem is that the game is too offensively oriented. There are far too many rules to protect baby the quarterback, and many rules to give the wide receiver as much of an advantage as possible. Sure, the defensive game isn’t completely dead, but these rules are making it harder.

To change the overtime rule to where each team gets a chance puts even less emphasis of the defense. I’m willing to go as far as to say it will take the defense out of overtime as well. This is why I’m against the change. The losers shouldn’t complain; rather, they should just shut up and make a defensive stop. Changing the rule, in my opinion, is just admitting that you’re taking out yet another aspect of defense from the game.

Thankfully, the conservatism of the owners will probably mean that the rule won’t change. Then again, the offensive-minded rules won’t be adressed either, sadly. There are a few rules which annoy me, personally:

  1. 5-yard defensive holding always resulting in a first down. Quite obvious, it’s just giving the offense even more rewards.
  2. Illegal contact. It only penalizes a corner for being aggressive, even if the ball isn’t thrown to his area. As well, this rule doesn’t exist in the NCAA.
  3. Defensive pass intereference. It always assumes the catch would be made. While it is a big foul, the NCAA has this one right yet again, giving a maximum of 15 yards on a DPI.

I doubt we’ll ever see these changes in our lifetime, and I’m willing to bet on it. While it won’t stop me from watching NFL football, it does have me shaking my head a bit.