Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review - God of War Collection

When it comes to certain games, I am a late bloomer. This is true about the much loved – and much hated – God of War franchise. My first Kratos-related quicktime event occurred earlier this year at the Penny Arcade Expo when I tried out the demo for God of War III. I had previously avoided the games for two reasons – the first being that I loved Greek mythology and couldn’t stand seeing it raped by the media. I’d had too many disappointments to think this would be any different. The second reason was that I knew someone who once employed an “anger stick” after each session of the first God of War – meaning he went into the basement and beat the couch with a stick. He also used to order a “car burger” to eat on the way home from fast food restaurants to slake his hunger until he got home, so perhaps I shouldn’t have trusted his word – or that of his terrified wife.

Judgments aside, I’m glad that I waited so long to try the game out, as Sony very recently released the first two games together on one handy blu-ray disc, along with the demo for the third, coming out this March. This was a dream come true for someone as anal retentive as I am – I can’t stand playing games out of order. So I dove right into the remastered God of War and subjected myself to all the fun…and all the frustration.

The story of the first God of War is very simple: Kratos, an ambitious young Spartan general, calls out to Ares for help on the battlefield, and becomes his servant. Kratos soon discovers that being the servant of the God of War lends itself to no end of rape, pillage, and generally unpleasant situations. After years of servitude, Kratos simply wants to be released from his suffering and torment. Athena appeals to him for help when Ares attacks Athens, and Kratos sees a chance to get revenge.

At first, I loved the game – the puzzles, the battles, even the bosses and their wrist-numbing quicktime events – all of it was great. I couldn’t understand why people were frustrated while playing the game. I began to see it as I hit a few bumps in the road, places where the game mechanics were terrible. I painfully started to understand the mythos that surrounded the game.

And then I got to Hades.

Sweet mother of mercy, did I hate Hades. My boyfriend, Mike, had watched a lot of videos about the games after playing them, and he said that even the director, David Jaffe, admitted the horrendous flaws in Hades. That section was added in because they felt the game wasn’t long enough, and it was the only part of the game not strictly quality-controlled…and boy, does it ever show right through the veneer of lava and flames. I crawled my way to the end, determined to just finish it.

I debated whether or not I wanted to start God of War II…ever. Mike convinced me it was worth it, that there was nothing nearly as frustrating as Hades, that there was a great storyline to this game and I was going to love it. (His argument is always that I love Battle of Olympus despite the fact that it’s not true to myth – but taking something I adored as an adolescent based on my favorite Greek myth is totally different than taking all the most famous stories and jumbling them into one convenient delivery system for Kratos – even if they DID get Harry Hamlin, Perseus from Clash of the Titans, to voice Perseus.) Against my better judgment, I stepped into the Titan-fueled waters of God of War II.

I’ll admit to several betters – the game play is vastly improved. The battles flow much more fluidly, and it’s easier to dodge and block out of special moves. There are no horrendously glitchy platforming sections, either. Any time a section of the platforming is less than stellar, it’s because either you haven’t figured out what you’re supposed to do, or what you’re supposed to do initially seems so ridiculous that you can’t wrap your brain around what they’re asking. Fortunately, they’ve also improved this game by giving better hints – that is, giving ANY hints at all. The story is also much better, and while not at all even remotely canonical (can I say canonical about Greek mythology?), it is interesting to see the way they incorporate the characters.

However, these things brought with them inherent flaws. My wrists and elbows are killing me from incessant quicktime events. I hurled a controller for the first time in 22 years – since playing Zelda II: the Adventures of Link as a kid. (Can you guess what part? I’ll give you a hint – it involved the hammer.) The story, while better, lost cohesion, and I frequently found myself asking why I was in a certain place and what exactly I was trying to accomplish. In spite of all of this, the ending is epic, with a plot twist almost ridiculous in its predictability.

There are several bonuses to getting the God of War Collection – it’s remastered, though only in game play. The cut scenes are still in the original rendering, and the transition can be jarring at times. It has two sets of trophies, one for each game, which is a major plus for me. And, of course, the God of War III E3 demo is available on it as well, so that you can play that controversial scene of ripping Helios’ head off over, and over, and over again, right in the privacy of your living room.

Final analysis: worth the buy. I’m hoping my next PSP purchase will be God of War: Chains of Olympus. And now, I’m going to go put my right elbow on ice.

Review - Batman: Arkham Asylum

This was my first blog post at No Game Network. I still haven't finished my PAX review!


Please note: my PAX review is on the way, and will be here soon. For now, satiate yourself with this tale of the caped crusader, and know I slave over a keyboard to bring you more words.

Batman: Arkham Asylum does a lot of things for me. It doesn’t feed the cats or wash the dishes, but it does make me feel like I have just administered a lot of justice…with my fists. It is a highly satisfying brawling game composed of one part ass beating, one part stealthy sneaking, and one part puzzle solving. More than anything, it is a Batman fan’s dream come true: it features a plethora of villains and is rife with enough back story to make the most devout comic book fan squee with joy.

The game starts with a cinematic of Batman bringing the Joker to Arkham Island. Batman is highly suspicious of the Joker, who – uncharacteristically – has given up without much of a fight, causing Batman to insist on escorting him into the asylum. This is where things go very suddenly – and very terribly – wrong. We discover the Joker meant for it to happen all along, and with the help of Harley Quinn, begins to quickly and efficiently take over the island.

At first, the game seemed too easy. I was playing it on normal, and I kept thinking to myself, either this game is really simple or I have gotten totally amazing at video games. The foes were easy to defeat (though even as they got harder, it was so much fun to fight them that while it felt challenging, I just kept coming back to the word “satisfying). The Riddler has hidden trophies and set up puzzles all over the island, which, initially, were also quite easy. But then, abruptly, the game became very hard, and I realized the entire beginning sequence of the game was something of a tutorial – a warm-up, so to speak – for the rest of the game. Not long after that, the game became totally awesome. The creators were trying to do something dark, and succeeded in a way that was more than a little scary.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this is my review, so I’ll just say if you don’t want to know what happens, you might want to stop reading here. I simply wanted to comment on my favorite parts of the game, which were, by far, the scenes in which the Scarecrow (how I wish they got Cillian Murphy to voice that villain!) drugged Batman and things go completely – no pun intended – batshit fucking loco. The first time it happened, I thought I was going crazy, but once I caught on to what was happening, I slid into the sudden change in gameplay and let it roll over me. It was amazing.

The one complaint many people have is that the game is too short. I beat it in just 6 days, so I can see where they’re coming from. But for me, the game was so satisfying from start to finish that I can’t voice that as a complaint. I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I wanted gathering the Riddler trophies and solving his puzzles because I was wrapped up in finding out what happened next in the story. I do plan on going back and finding everything, which, to me, is what a great game is all about: it’s one you want to go back to, one you crave, even after you beat it. This is why I buy games instead of renting them – if I were a renter, I’d end up with a stack of games that I couldn’t let go of. (And for everyone who says they want to “try the game out first,” my only reply is: isn’t that what demos are for?)

Tangent aside, my final word on Batman: Arkham Asylum is: yes. Yes, very much so.


The good news is: I've been writing! A lot. I'll be posting it in here as soon as possible. It's been a really great time for me writing-wise the last few weeks.

The bad news is: I haven't had nearly enough time to play all the games I want to play. The main reason for that is because I got into grad school and it kicked my butt the first term. I took two online courses in the Library and Information Sciences program at Drexel - Action Research (statistics) and Information Users and Services - and worked hard and got two A's! I'm very proud of this accomplishment.

I have beaten a lot of games, but I'm still working on the Final Fantasy series, which I started at the beginning and want to finish before XIII comes out here in North America (on the day after my birthday!). We'll see if I can do it - I'm so close to the end of 4 I can taste it, and I've got 5 ready to go. I'm planning to write a feature for Press 1 about this, so I'm hoping I can get it finished in time.

Keep an eye out for some work coming up soon, hopefully tomorrow. I've also been watching some movies (*gasp!*) and Mike and I watched The Office (American) and now we're on Sopranos - season 4. I've been reading a ton and I picked up knitting again, which feels sooooo good. And I am so ecited for Christmas I could stay up all night over it :)

Hope you are doing well! More to follow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Latest Happenings

Hi, everyone! I've been working on some writing lately - in fact, you can see some of it at my brand new column at the magazine Press 1. I write video game reviews for them now - you can see my first official one here, with the tentative title "Geek with Tan Lines." I also have some things about to go up at No Game Network, including my PAX review, so stay tuned for that as well. For now, I guess you'll just have to see this, and understand that i will be rolling around my apartment in just 5 days.

I may write some stuff about fashion, so I hope you're ready for this jelly.


PS: Grad school application is in, and other projects are a GO. More on those later.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Review Forthcoming

Hello, everyone! I have been very absent from the internet for the last few months - I've deleted my Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and I've stopped using internet communication devices as my main source of contact with the outside world. I spent most of the summer playing video games, writing, and preparing for grad school, to which I applied yesterday. Now that my personal statement is finished, I am ready to start writing again! I've beaten close to a dozen games since last I wrote in here, but most likely, I'll be writing about the game I just beat last night - Batman: Arkham Asylum. I've also got a review I wrote for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, but that will be on a REAL website (as opposed to this blog), and I'll link to it as soon as it's available. But for now, I have to get back to work. And if you don't hear from me in the next few days, relax - I'm at PAX, writing up a storm. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Video Game Review: Resistance 2

It’s been ages since I wrote my last review, for a plethora of reasons:

- I turned 30!
- Spring term started – we’re currently in week 7 of 10 – and I’m taking 3 classes (making up my incomplete in Japanese 201, a class on the literature of comics, and readings in fiction)
- I’ve gotten involved back in the philosophy club and with a local writer’s group
- We’ve been busy every weekend since the term started
- We got an AMAZING new TV.

In the time between my 30th birthday and the new term starting, I managed to beat 3 games – Resistance 2, F.E.A.R. 2, and Dead Space. (We also started watching Curb Your Enthusiasm and got through 3 whole seasons. It’s hilarious!) I’ve started and finished a bunch of other things since then as well – along with the literature I’m reading for my classes (and all the Japanese I’m studying – oi vey), I finished book 4 of the Dark Tower series, and re-started two Final Fantasy games – 7 and the original (well, the remake of it that looks sort of like Final Fantasy as a Saturday morning cartoon). I also started playing Battle of Olympus and Marble Madness again on my laptop ever since getting this awesome piece of geek heaven:

To top it off, Mike and I have been giving the Gamecube some play – now that we can have all of our consoles hooked up, we’ve been taking advantage of it. I started playing Mario Kart: Double Dash again and have almost everything unlocked (damn you Rainbow Road on 150 CC!!) and Mike’s been dabbling in the Megaman Anniversay Collection as well as the my collector’s edition Zelda disc (right now he’s playing Ocarina of Time).

Add all of that to our regular coursework and spending time with our families as well as all the other things that come up on weekends – and the fact that my mom is getting a knee replacement surgery this Friday – and we have been busy kids. But I’ve been really wanting to write a review lately, so here goes nothing…

Resistance 2 completely redefined the concept of a first person shooter for me. That isn’t really saying much, frankly – I’ve only played a handful of shooters, and I don’t really think I’m qualified to say that anything redefined anything, so to speak. But having played a handful since I got my PS3, I can say with confidence that it’s like nothing else I’ve ever played.

First and foremost, the Technicolor quality really is like Dorothy stepping forth, as I said in a previous post when I was commenting on the omnipresent grey of the first Resistance game. The colors are vibrant – almost too vibrant at times when you’d rather be seeing less detail than more – and add a really vivid and occasionally almost surreal quality to the game. The scene I mentioned in a previous post is applicable for this one as well – when I was in Twin Falls, searching for my team, I came upon dozens upon dozens of pulsating cocoons. Once I met up with one member, we discovered everyone else was back where I’d started…only now, predictably, as we were heading back, all the cocoons were exploding, and Chimera that I can only describe as “fast-moving zombie-Chimera” – formal name of Grims – were attacking us on all sides. I finally got through the backyards and almost out of the last house I had to get through when Mike casually mentioned, “oh yeah, there are going to be a million outside.” I thought he was kidding, but in reality, he was only applying slight hyperbole.

Despite the fact that it took me several tries to get through that part – and dozens of other parts – and I did, at times, submit to overpowering frustration – the game was very enjoyable. It really did change the way I thought about the shooter genre. It forced me to think about what gun to use, which options on the gun I should use, where I should come out from, who I should shoot first, and just what kind of general strategy I should employ with each scenario. Again, I’m sure dozens of people have come to this realization in dozens of games, but for me, this was my first shooter that really helped me to employ an intellectual strategy.

The weapons are far more powerful this time around. The Auger – barely a mention in the last game – has been ramped up to be able to see enemies behind walls. The Bullseye is also more potent and the tagging system seems to have been improved. I love the Rossmore even more, and the best part about the pistol is the secondary fire, which is an explosion – you shoot, it sticks, you explode it. (This was especially helpful in the aforementioned scene with the Grims.) But by far the best weapon in the entire game is the Wraith, which not only shoots out 200 bullets in rapid succession, but also incorporates a shield as its secondary fire. I approve!

On top of having amazing graphics, what I felt was an incredible storyline (far better than the first one, though I think it really shows how they were coming into the story and improving on it and making it into an interactive experience more so than just “here is video game, you play A to B”), and an ending that I would consider to be “cinematic,” the Resistance 2 online experience is ridiculously addictive. Mike and I have played a lot of co-op and competitive but my favorite is the team deathmatch. It’s sort of like Unreal but less frenetic and plopped down right in the middle of some of the best moments in the game (I think so far my favorite one is in the mansion in Louisiana).

All in all, I would have to say that the Resistance series has been added to my list of favorites. The PSP game recently came out, and while I bought it already, it’s been collecting dust on the shelf. I’m also not caught up completely on the comics (read: at all) and I just found out the book came out and we didn’t notice. It may seem silly – well, actually, it would have seemed silly to me a few months ago to buy a novel based on a video game series. But this one is so good that I’m willing to give it a chance. Actually, I once read a Harry Potter novel that I thought was a leak of the seventh book but turned out to just be really long fan fiction – and I finished it even after finding out it wasn’t Rowling’s. (The writing was about the same level, so I barely noticed.) I still read the 7th book anyway. If I can waste time reading those books – and I’ve read them more than once – I think I can give a book based on Resistance a chance.

This was way longer than anticipated, and far rustier! Fear not, loyal readers – if there are any of you left – for I will reward you with more reviews in the coming days.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled homework.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And Now, For Something Completely Different

I started this a week or so ago in the hopes of somehow cataloging my video game experience, and I'm not sure if it came out the way I wanted it to. It reads more like "My Summer Vacation" than my typical reviews. But anyway, here it is: the somewhat complete history of my video gaming.

Enjoy :)

Since before the days of elementary school, I found myself drawn to video games. I played Centipede in arcades, standing on crates my mom would lug over so I could reach the buttons. Later, I spent all my pocket money playing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game between bowling matches. I got a Nintendo and played Marble Madness, Paperboy, Tetris, Zelda II: the Adventures of Link, Gauntlet, Gradius, Contra, and Battle of Olympus to exhaustion. When the Super Nintendo came out, my stepfather surprised me by buying me a pile of on-sale Nintendo games, including Ultima III: Exodus, The Immortal, Milon’s Secret Castle, Wizards and Warriors, Solstice, and Legacy of the Wizard. I borrowed – and beat – the first Final Fantasy game, as well as Shadowgate and the first Legend of Zelda. I had fewer games for Super Nintendo – Paperboy 2, Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally, Final Fantasy II & Mystic Quest, The Secret of Mana, and The Seventh Saga – all except the last of which I beat. I also delighted in the Super Mario series of games, as well as the Castlevania games – beating all except the fourth, which never ceased to frustrate me. And let’s not forget Megaman – I can’t remember how many there were, but I know I beat all the ones I could get my hands on. So, I would have to say that, initially, I was mostly into side-scrolling games that were considered platformers, and a handful of RPGs.

Once I got to high school, I started playing sports and joining clubs, and stopped playing video games almost completely. This changed when I got to college – my roommate’s boyfriend had a Playstation, and I started playing the first three of the Crash Bandicoot series – another set of platformers – constantly. The third, “Warped,” was my all-time favorite. After that, it was on-again, off-again with video games – I got heavily into both Grand Theft Auto III and Final Fantasy VII during my winter break my senior year of college, and then put it down when classes started again. In 2003, I started playing again – mainly Diablo II on my PC, my first time playing any game at all on a computer. I owned my first computer at age 8, but it was a Tandy 3000, which wasn’t amenable to much other than word processing and making my own music. On my new computer, I also played some Quake 2, Doom 3, and even a little Tribes. I collected a pile of games I never played – Enter the Matrix, God of War, Kingdom Hearts, Castlevania: Lament of Sorrow, Jak and Daxter: the Precursor Legacy, and Ratchet and Clank, all for the PS2. The reason I never played these could be attributed to two more major addictions – the first was Mario Kart: Double Dash, which brought me to a new level of cursing with the introduction of blue shells into my life. The second was Katamari Damacy and We <3 Katamari, both of which I beat within a month of owning them. But things really changed for me in 2005, when I got my first hand-held gaming system.

It started with a Game Boy Advance, and simple games, like ports of Zelda II and Mario 2. Then I got a DS, and mostly played Mario Kart (and later, New Super Mario Brothers, Speed Racer, and Ninjatown – the last of which being the only one I’ve beaten). In March of 2006, I got a PSP, which changed my view of handheld gaming completely. I was playing Me and My Katamari (the only game I’ve beaten on the PSP so far) and Death, Jr. – the two main reasons I got the system – and later got N+ and Loco Roco. But the real treat came at the end of 2008 – in August, I went to the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle; in October, I got my PS3; and in November, I met the love of my life, who I ended up taking to the Video Game Expo in Philly later that very month.

The Penny Arcade Expo was incredible, as I’ve mentioned previously in this blog. It was overwhelming and amazing to really feel like I was around a bunch of people who were like me. It felt like home. I get the same feeling whenever I’m around Mike – that I’ve found someone who finally gets me, who I can be myself around and not hide any aspects of my inner geek. The Playstation 3 has been a ton of fun and has been instrumental in getting me into the new world of gaming, in which games can be downloaded as well as played online, something I’d never done with a console. The first game I got for it was Little Big Planet – I scored a post-recall clean copy a week before it was supposed to come out – and Dead Space. I went back and forth between the two games, playing Little Big Planet for hours until I felt like changing it up a bit, and then playing Dead Space until I felt I needed to change my pants. It was just before this time that Mike and I met, and we started discussing video games all the time – I got him interested in Fallout 3, and he got me into Resistance 2, both of which I bought after we started dating. Resistance 2 was so amazing that, on black Friday, I got a copy of Resistance: Fall of Man. I mostly played Little Big Planet until I beat it, and then I started in on Resistance. When Mike got me F.E.A.R. 2 for Valentine’s Day, that was all I played for a week or so, and then I went back to Resistance, because he had started playing Resistance 2 online again and I wanted to get to where he was. (I should mention I’ve got an annoying habit of wanting to play games in order, and read books in order, and see tv shows and movies in order, etc; however, in this case, it was also that I wanted to beat Resistance and Resistance 2 because I felt like those were good places to start in order to get better at playing first person shooters). Since Friday, though, the main thing that’s been in the PS3 has been Killzone 2, which was my Valentine’s Day gift to Mike, and which is SO insane and intimidating that I haven’t played it for more than 20 minutes or so. I’ll get there, though…I will make it to Helghan!

So, there it is – everything I can remember about my video game history. I’m sure I’ve missed a handful here and there, especially with Nintendo and Super Nintendo games. I tried to make it sound creative, though it seems more matter-of-fact than imaginative. Hopefully it’s not too pedantic, and gives my faithful readers a little more background into this side of me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Video Game Review: Ninjatown

I did, in fact, take that mythical trip to Oz, not this morning, but starting last night. I am definitely pleased with the gameplay of Resistance 2, but holy FUCK, it is nigh impossible. The guns are far more effective (especially the Auger), but the enemies are harder. The colors make everything more beautiful, but sometimes, I find myself regretting asking for more color – specifically running through the town of Orick, being chased by Grims, which exploded from cocoons all over the damn town and scared the shit out of me. GOOD TIMES!

Really, the game is great, but I need to take a break from it to do some homework and laundry, and to let Mike play more Killzone 2. Now that I’m full of dinner and I don’t quite feel like finishing up my homework, I thought I’d write another review of a game I beat about 2 months ago, Ninjatown.

The characters in Ninjatown come from the mind, palette, and soul of Shawn Smith, the creative genius behind Shawnimals ( I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle in September of 2008, after seeing Wee Ninjas and Wee Devils running around the convention center (I even got my picture taken with them, as you can see). I was intrigued, and decided to check out the game. I was interested in the pins as well, scattered across a table with a sign begging people to be honest and take only one – which, in addition to the fact that they were the cutest pins I had ever seen, made me want a pocketful. My evil plot was thwarted by the appearance of Shawn himself, who explained how the game was played on the demo that had been set up next to the pins, and also recognized my Patrick the Wolfboy shirt and commented on it. It turns out that Art and Franco had worked on his Ninjatown comic! It was a righteous coincidence.

Ninjatown itself is a painfully adorable tower defense game for the DS. You help Ol’ Master Ninja defend Ninjatown by strategically defending it from Mr. Demon and his angry hordes. A variety of ninjas can be called upon to help, starting with Wee Ninjas and later getting volunteer Business Ninjas and even Lava Ninjas. Each Ninja has specific powers and is ideal against certain devils – I find the Anti-Ninja to be the best defense against the Chubby Devil, and the Business Devil is best defeated by his swift Ninja counterpart. Each level requires another area to be defended, and you can choose which Ninja Houses you want to build – depending on how many Ninja Cookies you have. Yes, that’s right, I said Ninja Cookies – that is the monetary value you’re dealing with here in Ninjatown, and Mr. Demon is trying to steal the recipe.

Not cute enough for you? What if I were to tell you that you can gain tokens with each level beaten, and that the tokens include Baby Ninjas, who are so cute the Devils must slow down, as well as Ninja Droppings, which…well…that one’s obvious, now isn’t it? You can also enlist the direct aid of Master Ninja, who flies above you in a hot-air balloon. You can unlock various powers for him to help you in your defense of your beloved town.

On top of being cute, it’s also addictive. I found myself playing levels again and again, trying to best mixes of Ninjas to defeat the onslaught of Devils, addicted to seeing that grade of “A” after each one was finished.

So, the gameplay is fun, the characters are fun and lovable, and it’s a level of challenging I found quite satisfying – it wasn’t so easy I beat it in a day, but it also wasn’t so hard that I got frustrated with it. All in all, I would say Ninjatown is definitely a game I heartily recommend to everyone.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video Game Review: Resistance

For the last two weeks or so, I’ve been playing the original Resistance, broken up only with frustrations at playing Phantom Hourglass on my DS and frustrations playing Death, Jr. on my PSP. Both of those handheld games have their obnoxious sides; the former is a kid's game full of puzzles and riddles and going through the same fucking map 10 fucking times, the latter, a not-so-kid's game that I’m sure I’m not playing in the right order because I’m constantly getting my ass kicked. When I am home and playing Resistance, however, I can say that I have very few complaints. It’s a very good FPS (first person shooter, as they call it in the biz), other than the fact that everything is GREY, grey, grey. I can't complain about the fact that I have a health bar and it's not just the typical "if I hide behind this wall, I’ll regenerate like any normal person" FPS health meter. Not that there's anything wrong with that, that's how things are in Resistance 2, which I’m really looking forward to getting back into, now that I can tell the different between a black Carbine and a Frag grenade and the grey ground/wall/door/dirt. I love the guns in the game - the Bullseye, with its tagging feature, allows you to shoot around walls, and the Auger, while not as powerful as I’d hoped, allows you to shoot your enemies through a wall, which is pretty amazing (I should point out these are both Chimeran guns - though I will also grudgingly admit I like the shotgun in this game – the Rossmore – more than I have in any other FPS I’ve played, and that the Carbine has grown on me exponentially every time I fight a wave of Leapers). The firefights never get boring to me; they're not too impossibly easy or hard in either direction, and in addition, things get changed up constantly. My one and only complaint is that it is LONG as all hell - I really can't wait to be in the colorful world of Resistance 2, which will feel much like Dorothy must have felt when she walked out of the house after the twister and realized she wasn't in monochromatic Kansas anymore. I’m also eagerly anticipating the release of Resistance: Retribution on the PSP next month, which, according to what I saw in the latest Qore episode, promises to be anything but a disappointment. All in all, two thumbs up, and I hope to be finished with it tonight and well on my way to Oz by morning.

Addendum: an hour after writing this, I did, in fact, beat Resistance. The final fight was definitely a worthy one, though the ending itself left much to be desired in comparison to the ending of the second one (which I saw when Mike was playing it, and now wish I hadn’t). But I dutifully watched the credits and I was rewarded with a partially satisfying scene that made me want to start the second one even more. So, hopefully, I’ll have a follow-up review for that one within the week – that is, if I don’t end up writing my critical essay due Tuesday, or work on my application to graduate school, or do any of the work for my travel writing course, or, you know, sleep.