Archive for June, 2007

Review: Legend of the Dragon

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Summary: Horrible- do not buy.

Jackie was planning on being out of town this weekend, so I asked her to rent a random Wii game for me while she was gone. She came back with Legend of the Dragon- looking at the cover it appeared to be some sort of RPG, and she knew I liked those so she picked it up.

Once I fired it up, I found the fatal flaw of this plan. For starters, this was a 3D cell-shaded fighting game similar to Virtua Fighter- between battles you move around this board finding temples to fight at. Well, “move around” isn’t the right phrase… imagine a board with 20 randomly placed points and lines connecting randomly between them… now hide all of the dots except the one you’re at and show the connecting lines leading off in that direction… you can move as much as you want, until you find a temple or some random guy hiding in the woods, then you go back into fight mode.

Anyways I should mention the plot. You start off by selecting one of three characters who is a martial artist that has mastered the way of the dragon (I chose young cocky guy rather than young whiney girl- the 3rd person wasn’t actually selectable I don’t think). Along comes this zodiac lord right as you finish your training and he takes over the world or something. Before you can take him on you must visit all of the zodiac temples and learn their secrets- ironic since neither the book nor the intro/storyline bits teach you how to fight or how the controls work.

Now, I haven’t even gotten to the best part. The Wii is known for bringing a new level of interactivity to the gaming industry with it’s motion sensitive controllers- the only time this is really used is when an opponent randomly changes into a costume and blasts you with a laser beam or some crazy shit like that- then it tells you to shake the controllers to “blast back”. other special moves the opponent uses require you to do a series of movements- I don’t know what those movements are, or how to do them, I just guess that it has something to do with the motion sensitivity since the analog stick and arrow keys don’t have any effect. I tried flailing with the controls as well, but to no avail. So to sum it up, the controls really suck. Probably the worst use of the wii controllers I’ve seen yet.

Speaking of special moves, I couldn’t figure out how to activate them- nothing in-game mentioned it, I even consulted the manual, but no joy. Fortunately the combo system was simple enough- they only gave you two attacks- punch and kick. combos consisted of AA, AB, ABA, etc. the booklet even mentioned AAA->AA, although I’m not quire sure what that meant, I presume it’s pretty awesome.

My third or 4th battle in, I had already established that the jump and kick fighting tactic along with the crouch and kick style of crap-fu were the most powerful in the game- I simply cornered the opponent and then jumpkicked them to death. Little did I know “the fat guy” would shake all that up- you see, he can only be hurt with combo attacks, and since he moves around, you have to time your “AA” or “AAA” combo attack so that the last hit hit him- if you hit him with the first attack, he bounce away from the second. fortunately there was no 60 second time limit like the previous battles, so 10 minutes later I finally killed him.

And what was my reward for defeating the slow moving, slow swinging fatguy who they called the pig master? I GOT TO PLAY AS HIM! First I fought myself and said “ok, I can see what they’re doing here- it sorta makes sense.” After that battle, I was fighting people I had previously fought and thought to myself “well, this is annoying, but I guess it’s to get you used to fighting as someone else.”

It wasn’t until I fought the second or 3rd random person I’d never fought before as fatguy that I got pissed off. I’d been playing fatguy for twice as long as I’d been playing young cocky guy- how long was this shit gonna go on? I just used the jump and kick move, only now it was the “jump and bellyflop”. After a while I just gave up and tried to quit- it warned me, “if you quit now, you will have to start this mission over again.” wondering wtf it meant, I quit, and found myself standing outside fatguys place ready to fight him for the first time. This is when I turned off the Wii.

And this marks the first game for the Wii that I actively did not like. Don’t buy this, don’t rent this, just ignore it and maybe it’ll go away. Ugh, normally I’d proofread an article like this, but I really don’t even want to go back and remember it. The only reason I’m writing this review is so I don’t have to repeat it.

BusyBusy

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So I just realized that I’ve become uber busy as of late. My current side projects look like this:
– Warhammer Army builder for ChrisP written in Ruby (on Rails)
– reviving radio.morgajel.com and rebuilding my stream (RoR, again)
– SecretWord module and Logging for Ziggy (Perl + Po::Co::IRC)
– ImportLDIF plugin for Luma

This isn’t including the miniature painting, work, or Ian. The weird part is it feels nice to be busy- but only when it’s busy on my terms 🙂

Giving Back

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I’ve been using and promoting open source for about 7 years now- it started back in 2000 when I began writing php and playing with apache. In 2003 I made the full switch to Linux. Since then I’ve produced several small little projects and put them under the GPL in hopes that it would help someone else. I’ve also written many articles and how-tos for my site to help spread what I’ve learned.

This past week has been a major milestone for me as I’ve joined the Luma team. For those of you not familiar, Luma is an LDAP browser and administration tool written in Python and QT. My capacity is limited at the moment, since I don’t really know python and am only remotely familiar with QT development- I have, however, been using luma for 2 years now for various ldap based projects.

I’ve already cleaned up and helped organize the bugtracker, and am currently working on an LDIF Importer plugin to feel my way around Luma’s API and python in general. I finally feel like I am giving back to the community.

If you have access to an LDAP server (be it AD, OpenLDAP, Domino, Novell’s, etc), give Luma a try and give us some feedback. We’re looking for beta-testers and python developers- Heck, if you wanted to just comment the code, that’d be great as well. Feel free to stop by #luma on freenode- we’re always minimally paying attention and can probably answer any questions you may have.

How to make Slashdot useful

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Slashdot is full of random crap, cliches and trolls- but buried deep within this pile of refuse is some useful and interesting info waiting to get out. The following is my checklist to find the relevant posts:

1) only read stories that actually look interesting. It seems like a simple thing, but it’s completely overlooked. As heart-warming as it is to read about them recovering Scotty’s ashes, it’ll be a waste of half an hour reading the same old rehashed star trek jokes.
2) Log in. Slashdot has quite a bit of filtering capability, but you have to log in to use it.
3) Funny is a distraction- in my preferences, I assign funny a -6 modifier because I don’t want to be entertained. if I wanted to be entertained, I’d go to fark.
4) interesting, informative and insightful are what we’re looking for- I give them a +2 to put them above the rest of the cruft.
5) Flamebait, Troll and redundant get a -3. The less things are repeated, the more useful info you’ll get. If something is incorrectly marked as flamebait or troll because it’s a dissenting viewpoint, usually a reply to it will be highly rated; see rule #7.
6) Threshold 2- This keeps the boring and uninteresting posts out of the thread entirely unless you click “read parent”
6) Highlight threshold 3- This keeps the boring and uninteresting posts hidden, while the more interesting posts are visible.
7) read follow-ups and parents of interesting posts. Sometimes the response is more interesting than the post you found, or if nothing else, balances out false statements.

This isn’t a surefire list- yes, I’ll miss some good content, and no it doesn’t filter out all the crap, but it has improved my reading experience quite a bit. And yes, there still is some good info on slashdot- take for example, this article about what Linus thinks of Subversion and Git. On the outside it looks like an opinion piece, but once properly filtered, there’s quite a bit of good information about what is wrong with cvs, the difference between git and svn, and how to use git in general.

New Routine

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So I’m going to attempt a new routine- waking up at 6:30 and hitting the gym for 25 minutes every morning. It’s a 5 minute walk over to the gym, so I can get that done, hit the shower, and have plenty of time to get ready in the morning. The goal is to do this every morning, and after a month or so maybe scale back on weekends.

I started on a saturday so I can get in the swing of it before the work week starts. Wish me luck on continuing it.

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