Monthly Archives: September 2008
A look back: Star Fox 64
I feel like this installment should start off with MY first impression of Star Fox 64. Please watch the following:
At some point in time I must have signed up to recieve Nintendo promotional material. One day a VHS tape showed up with the above video on it. I held onto the tape for the longest time, but I think I finally parted with it just a couple years ago. This game came out shortly after Independence Day and I recall the scene where the UFO settles over the pyrimad seeming errily familiar.
When I got PilotWings 64 back on that Christmas day, this is what I was expecting. Not that I was disappointed with PilotWings, just that I had to wait this long for a game I had imagined on that day. This was all out aerial assault. At the time it really felt like you were in the cockpit of a fighter. You had the ability to lock on to enemies and launch guided shots at them. You could do flips and of course you could “Do a barrel roll!”
For the time, this game was slightly different in that it was designed to be played in one sitting. No save points or anything like that. Think the old Super Mario games where you either had to leave the machine on while you were away, or sit down and kick Bowser’s butt right then and there. This approach, however, left me feeling a bit disappointed in how short the game was. By this time I was used to getting a new game and spending the next couple weeks beating and mastering it. Despite the short gameplay, the “hard” route which required you to accomplish all bonus/hidden objectives did provide some challenge and there were medals you could earn for accuracy.
I believe one of the objectives of this game was to show off some of the technical abilities of the Nintendo 64. It was the first game on the system to use voice acting in any significant form. Due to storage restrictions on the N64 carts, the audio was quite compressed. All the voices were over your ship’s “radio” channel, and due to the compression they sounded very walkie-talkie like. But in the context of the game, the audio quality could almost be perceived as intentional.
But undoubtedly the game was primarily to showcase Nintendo’s new peripheral the “Rumble Pak”. One of Nintendo’s console innovations that is now common place today. You plugged this into the controller where the Memory Paks go, and it provides variable vibrations depending on what happens to your character. While novel, I never really found it much more immersive than without it. Give me a good subwoofer that will let me feel explosions, and I’m much happier!
My biggest disappointment with this game was…never having anyone to play multiplayer with! The multiplayer mode in this game was fantasitc! However when people came over, we always ended up playing Mario Kart or later, GoldenEye. I was never phenominally good, but no one else ever seemed willing to endure the learning curve long enough to stay interested, and thus all my multiplayer matches were short-lived.
Still a great game, but now hard to go back to because it is so short and predictable. If I had some friends to play with, however…I could multiplayer into the night. Bryan where are you!?
Quote of the day
The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too. – Oscar Levant
SNL Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin
She had left the SNL scene, but HAD to come back to do these parodies of the Govenor of Alaska and VP running mate of Senator McCain. I wonder if she’ll come back to do some more after Palin does some more interviews…. We’ll just have to wait and watch SNL every Saturday night!
NBC has removed these videos from Youtube, so I couldn’t embed them into the post. They are linked to the NBC site, so if there are commercials before the video, I’m sorry.
Old and stubborn
Perhaps I’ve had one too many glasses of wine…or I feel guilty for not posting anything of great substance on the blog as of late. Either way, I usually wouldn’t have posted this. I often don’t carry discussions from the message boards over to the blog…and to be honest I’m not really sure why that is.
One of the members of OldsPower.com made a quite wordy post, which I won’t bore you with, about “change”. An excerpt:
So what’s the point?(Summation). Forty is right around the corner and I find myself evolving into my father. When I first moved into my neighborhood I was the loudest person on the block, now I’m becoming that recluse old fart on the corner that doesn’t like anyone or anything: “get off my lawn, turn that crap/music down!”. I’m actually happy to see a Sheriff’s Patrol rolling down my street nowadays. Anyway, I get accustomed to how things are and don’t like new things that I know nothing about. But pretty soon the “new things” become the old ways and I reminisce about them too.
What caught my interest is that this isn’t a unique story. It seems to happen to everyone. Old people are cranky, they drive slow, they are set in their ways. But why and how? We don’t just wake up one day, with weathered bodies and a narrow view on life. It’s a gradual process. And it’s happening to you as you read this. And I postured, that it either has something to do with growing older (i.e. weaker), wiser or a little of both.
I’m a few years behind you (26 now), but I already feel myself gravitating towards the feelings you describe. I resisted getting a cell phone until I was out of college. Infact it was my future wife that insisted I have one. Little did I know it was but the first or many sacrifices I’d make. Even now, I’ll turn the phone off many times when I’m out of the house. I suppose I just long for the days when if you weren’t home, people had to wait until you got back.
I suppose it’s all about perspective. I remember being full of imagination and ambition back in my early college years. I was going to GO places…DO things. Make a name for myself, ya know. But as time went on, I started to realize that wasn’t my nature. Not that I’m not ambitious (I did paint my car with rustoleum ) but that I had re-aligned my priorities.
The world moves at a furious pace, like a fast current coming at you head on. It takes so much energy to keep up. To keep up with the trends…the technology…the politics… I think either as we get older, we wear out and grow tired of trying to keep up with it all. Or we wise up and embrace what we have, what we know and “go with the flow”.
But who knows!? Maybe it only makes sense to me. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had a couple of adult beverages myself…
And you thought we just talked about Oldsmobiles!
Watched the debates…
I went against my initial judgement and decided to watch what I could of the debates. I was able to catch the last half of the debates and it did nothing to make me choose one candidate over the other. I still think they’re both schmoes with the same old political bag of tricks, and I likely won’t be voting for EITHER come election day.
The biggest thing I personally noticed, is that both candidates pretty much agreed on (or completely ignored) most of the real lightning rod issues I have an opinion on. For instance, Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapons, and if they did it could potentially create an arms race in the Middle East. Excellent! Neither candidate is a RETARD! And considering one of these guys is all but certian to be presedent, I suppose that’s good for me.
At the same time, one question I was anxious to hear the answer to, yet knew I wouldn’t… was “What would you give up in light of the potential $700 billion+ bail out. Either both were COMPLETELY unprepared to answer that question (which scares me) or both were very reluctant to make any REAL effort to offset that VERY significant expenditure (which also scares me).
In the end, on one hand I feel I wasted my time…while on the other, I feel I was somewhat obligated to at least observe and digest some information on the future leaders of this country. Neither has earned my vote, however. I still intend to write-in this election.
What can I say?
I was just in awe when I saw the pictures of the Dodge Viper ACR. Not only does the speedometer read to 220 MPH!! But it’s got a massive 8.4L V10 in it. I could definitely scoot around in that!
Just check out the pics here.
You’ll see what I’m talkin about!
A lot of times people get to this site by searching for obscure things. I imagine many times they’re disappointed with what they actually find. I checked my stats this morning and found this:
Something ever just catch you by complete suprise? I head to the bathroom to get around for the day and find my drain in the sink clogged.
The Smoke Can
You’ve probably heard me talk about Smokey Dan before. And just incase you needed justification to that claim, here’s the smoke can. Now I can’t say ALL these are Dan’s. There are a couple other smokers in the building. But I will confidently say that this is 95% Dan’s work.
Legend has it the can has never been emptied. They say through a delicate balance of rainwater and air conditioning condensation, combined with the rusted out bottom, and the random butt that ignites the can in to a smoldering nauseating fountian of filth…that it perpetually remains 3/4 full. It’s one of natures true wonders.
Best of Swap Shop
I got the chance to listen to some Swap Shop today over the ‘net. Still comedy gold. I edited down the half hour show into 3 minutes of Jerry and classic Swap Shop callers. Todays show emphasizes birthdays and garage sales. Shocking!