Friday, January 03, 2014

Year End Notes

Video Gaming 2013

Running a year late as usual, my favorite video game of the year was Far Cry 3, many a critic's game of the year for last year (2012).  The gameplay is so solid that I played this game through several times on every difficulty despite my issues with its story.  I even picked up the O-K Blood Dragon version which is a re-do of the game with a somewhat 80s theme (as visualized by people who were born in 1985).  All good fun.

I also played through the Bioshock series and got to the end without seeing what all the hype was about.  Sure they had a deeper story than most video games, but lets face it, that's not saying much.  Beyond that the combat is clumsy and crowded (a lot of fights felt like I was dropped into my bathroom with a dozen Al Qaeda dudes) and the well done artwork seems to go nowhere, like an end unto itself.

Running up for my game-of-the-year-that-I-played was Infamous 2.  A minor tweak to the "evil" (and/or "good) ending would have made it one of the greatest games ever, but the fact that it took an easy way out turned the game into a bit of a retread.

A closer runner-up is the latest iteration of Deus Ex.  Yeah all the endings were dumb, but this game felt like one of those great PC games from the late nineties/early singles.  It has that rare combination of linear gameplay and freedom of movement that makes a game completely engaging.

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Death by Lethargy

Unfortunately at the moment I'm suffering from rather painful lower back pain.  I know that you're thinking that I pulled a muscle while moving a dresser full of clothes or hauling orphans out of a burning building, but it's actually more mundane.  I get a week and a half off for Christmas and this year we decided to be lazy homebodies.  Not that I'm usually a model of overactivity, but I guess my non-stop video gaming/football watching couch potatoism (with occasional trips to the liquor store gym) took a toll and my back got bent out of shape from sitting on the couch too much.  Oof, a lesson that I should travel during my break to be sure!
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Another Year, Another Dollar

How about that Obamacare?  How about that (lack of) global warming?  How about that knockout game?  It seems like the media occasionally, and begrudgingly gets off their duff when issues get too big to ignore.  Still in the "ignore" bin is the poor state of the economy and the overhang of worldwide debt.  My workplace is going to match even more 401K money.  I'm torn on this since it's free money from work but every government on the planet has telegraphed the fact that they plan on destroying these plans in some way, shape, or form.  I dunno, I guess I'm stuck with the status quo for now since alternative options aren't all that great either (ironic!).

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