TORT - Episode 41 - "Deck the Halls"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Christmas past

TORT - Episode 40 - "Put'em in a Body Bag"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss The Karate Kid movie

Comic Book Recommendations - Batman - Part 3

Check out Part 3 of my Comic Book recommendations for Batman

TORT - Episode 39 - "It Takes Two To Shenmue"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss DCC 2014 and Shenmue

TORT - Episode 38 - Iron Man Origins: The Dark World

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Batman Arkham Origins, Thor the Dark World and Iron Man 3

5 Reasons 2 Hate: Batman Arkham Origins

Don't say I didn't tell ya so

TORT - Episode 37 - "JP3, PS4, USF4"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Jurassic Part 3, PS4 and Ultra Street Fighter 4

Comic Book Recommendations - Batman - Part 2

Check out Part 2 of my Comic Book recommendations for Batman

TORT - Episode 36 - "Mr. DNA's Betrayal"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss The Lost World and Ultra Street Fighter 4

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Skyrim: Days 6 - 15


Time for a Skyrim update. I am now at Level 37. I still have not even continued the main story but I have discovered plenty of locations, increased plenty of skills and found lots of fun equipment. Also, I found more glitches in the game which I found pretty humorous. So here are more raves and rants about Skyrim.

CAUTION: SPOILERS

I just have to start with the glitches. First off, I have finally experienced the famous, freezing glitch that Bethesda games are known for. It wasn't in game but during a loading screen. The game just crapped out and I had to restart. It was a good thing that the game Auto-Saved before this. I also wasn't too upset. This glitch has happened once and it wasn't until I was 60 game hours into it. You can tell that Bethesda has been working on it.

The next glitch was a dragon I fought in the southeast area of the map in the area called Eastmarch. I did the typical slaying of the dragon but something odd happened. After a dragon is killed, you get a dragonsoul and the dragon dissolves into bones. This did not happen. The dragon did not turn to bone and I did not get its soul. I was able to take items out of it but it just laid there dead. I'm not sure if it is because the beast wasn't supposed to give me a soul or because it was twitching on the ground as if it had an unstoppable seizure. Seriously, it was bugging out. Another odd thing was that when I hovered over the dragon, the name of it simply said “Dragon.” It wasn't like the other dragons that are titled, Elder Dragon, Frost Dragon, whatever. I didn't know what to make of it so I continued on.

Finally, I encountered my most feared glitch in the game that has haunted me since Fallout: New Vegas. Quest glitching. I hate this shit. This is a glitch where you are trying to do a quest and something FUCKING STUPID happens and you can't complete it. This glitch has only happened once so far, and it was just a Miscellaneous Quest. There are 5 villages where the Orcs live. I approached the one in the southeast near Windhelm. In order to gain entry, you must travel to a cave and retrieve a pair of gloves. I did so. I came back to the village in morning in which I gained entry to the village. The gatekeeper told me to take the gloves to the village chief immediately. I went into the longhouse in which he and all the other Orcs were sleeping. I talked to the chief and he began to thank me. But I then noticed that the other Orcs began to scream at me, telling me to leave. All of a sudden, I get by an arrow, the chief's dialogue stopped, and they ALL STARTED ATTACKING ME. Talk about a massive fail. I couldn't complete the quest which meant I could not gain access to any Orc village. Luckily, once again, I had the Auto-Save from going into the longhouse and I was able to reload and complete the quest. I mean, this is just ridiculous. No quest should be glitching out, preventing me from finishing it. I would rather the game had froze than do that stupid, fucked up, cheap trick.

Let me dive into some rants. Dragons. Dragons are fucking annoying. Not that they are difficult, they are just fucking annoying. So many times I would plan to travel to one location. I would start to make my way there where I hear a dragon roaring in the sky. This is immediately followed by an aggravated sigh on my part. Dragons appear too often in this game, especially when you want to do something else. So you fight it, slay it, get the soul, move on. But it happens so damn frequently that sometimes I just ignore them. This is very irritating and really makes dragons feel like a waste of time.

Next, some skills are WAY TOO EASY to build. I somewhat mentioned this in the previous article but it has gotten much more ridiculous. Starting with the Smithing Skill. Now, I thought you had to make a piece of equipment at the highest value to increase it more. NOPE! Regardless of what you make, it increases the skill all the same. And how do you do this easily? Just buy Iron Ignots and Leather Strips and keep making Iron Daggers until your skill in Smithing is at 100. It's that easy and you will be smithing Dragon armor in no time.

The Lockpicking skill. Naturally, you build your skill in Lockpicking but unlocking locked doors, chests, etc. But, you also increase the skill even when you fail a picking. Basically, you can purposely fail picking a lock and just watch your skill increase. Now, you will need to have MANY lockpicks considering that failing to pick the lock doesn't increase the skill too much, but it does nonetheless. You kind of stop caring about trying to carefully unlock treasures and just half ass it. Takes away from the lockpicking experience if you ask me.

Finally, no customization at all. You'd figure with a game like Skyrim and a skill like Smithing, you would be able to create custom weapons, armor and items. Instead, you just pick from a list. You can't design the shape, color, nothing. I'd figure we would have been far enough to where this ability would be available. Some of this armor isn't the coolest looking, especially the dragon armor. I looks like you are walking around with bones and dead carcase strapped to your body. As long as we are on this topic, why can't I put a cloak over my armor? Seriously, the equipment and customization options are pretty much pre-selected. The only option the player gets is just choosing which to wear. It's very sad that a game as advanced as Skyrim can't offer more control and imagination to the player.

Now that I've gotten my bashing out of the way, lets talk about what I like. Exploring. Like in any Bethesda game, I get totally consumed in attempting to find every location possible. So naturally I would like it in this game. The environment is so beautiful and the different types of areas and terrain make this game a literal adventure. I have discovered over 100 locations so far and I have only explored maybe 1/5 of the entire world of Skyrim. The high number of locations and the immense size of the map gives you a feel that the game is infinite and you don't want it to ever end. I'm sure my opinion will change when I have discovered everything but for now, it is a really fun feeling.

Werewolf Vs. Dragon Vs. Giant. I had an EPIC fight with a Dragon recently. I have the ability to change into a werewolf and I wanted to fight a dragon as one. As soon as one swooped over, I changed and engaged. I slashed away at the dragon but it then flew into the area and landed somewhere else. I ran it down only to see the dragon attacking one of the giants in the game. I jumped into the combat and made it a triple threat match for the ages. It's so cool that you can have combat like this. I mean, who has ever heard of a werewolf fighting a dragon? And throw in one of Skyrim's giants? Totally kick ass.

Like I've said before, I'm at Level 37 now and have only covered 1/5 the map. I still have only discovered two holds in the game. I know, I know. I really take my time with games like this. But I have the addictive urge to find and clear out each location. I'm near the city of Riften where I'm sure I will be littered with quests and new locations to explore. Skyrim is a great experience, even though I've spent a lot of this post ranting, it is an awesome game. Maybe someday I will get to the story. But that's what is so awesome about Bethesda games. I can go through and complete the game any way I want to.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: The Perfect Host (2010)



The Perfect Host (2010)
Directed by Nick Tomnay

I just recently watched this movie and I really enjoyed it. I was browsing through Netflix and saw a David Hyde Pierce movie and immediately added to my queue. David Hyde Pierce has always been a good actor in my book. I really liked the TV show, Frasier, in which Pierce played the main character's brother Niles. I remember him being very funny and energetic. The Perfect Host shows a different side to his acting talents that will have you amazed.

The film begins with a bank robber named John Taylor played by, Clayne Crawford. I've never seen a single movie he has been in besides this one but he looks like a young Ray Liotta. Taylor is escaping a bank he just robbed and dumps evidence and switches vehicles for a clean get away. He soon finds out that someone at the bank has ID'd him as the culprit and seeks refuge in a high priced neighborhood to hide out for the night. After being denied by Jehovah's Witness into her house, he comes across the home of Warwick Wilson, played by David Hyde Pierce. Taylor sifts through his mail and finds a post card sent by someone named Julia from Australia. Our criminal makes contact with Warwick and claims to be a friend of Julia's that just came back into the States and has been mugged, seeking some comfort and a place to wait until other accommodations can be made. Nervous at first, Warwick lets John in and the two get to know each other.

Clayne Crawford as John Taylor
Warwick gives John some red wine and begins to ask how his friend Julia is. Taylor responds with some bland answers, keeping his secret clouded. Taylor experiences a close call when Warwick attempts to call Julia but gets her answering machine. You can get the idea that suspense is building and you wonder if Warwick will bust John or not. Very entertaining to watch. Warwick Wilson appears to be a rich, successful member of society with a passion of cleanliness and a collector of antiquities, much like the character David Hyde Pierce played in Frasier. The two continue speaking as Warwick is preparing for a dinner party for him and his friends. He mentions that one of them is a lawyer and Taylor attempts a get away. Warwick convinces Taylor to stay, unknown for any actions the robber has caused. A news flash comes across the radio detailing that John Taylor is wanted for bank robbery. Taylor snaps as Warwick realizes who he has brought into his house. John explains to Warwick that he will live if he pampers his needs, threatening with a butcher knife. Warwick responds with a great line: “You can't kill me. I'm having a dinner party.” Taylor forces Warwick to call his buddies and cancel. Everything seems to be set for a high tension knight at home. But of course, we get to the twist.

David Hyde Pierce as Warwick Wilson
John takes a seat, ready for the long night, when he grabs a framed picture sitting on an end table. The picture shows Warwick with his arm around no one. Taylor begins to fall into a daze as Warwick reveals the the red wine was spiked and the criminal falls unconscious. John recovers from his blackout and finds himself tied to a chair at a dining room table. Warwick is sitting across from him talking out loud as we see 6 plates of food set up. One for John and one for Warwick, but four are placed at empty seats. This is where everything becomes freaky. When John speaks his dialogue, it is silent, just him and Warwick. But when Warwick speaks, the four empty spots at the dinner table are filled with four people, laughing and having a good time. This transitions back and forth and we realized that Warwick has some imaginary friends. Ok, I DID NOT see this coming. Now the picture of Warwick with no one makes sense and my mind was blown. Warwick is speaking to his four made up friends, Rupert, Monica, Chelsea, and Roman. This begins a great display of transitioning from a sane man's mind to an insane one. John sees nothing but in Warwick's head, everything is a grand party. The voices in Warwick's head are his friends. And he likes to party with them.

Warwick and his imaginary friends
The rest of the evening is full of wacky antics and much psychosis. Warwick opens a binder the portrays a collage of other people he has trapped in house for his dinner parties. He shows John the stages in which his victims go through. Midnight tied to a chair, 3 A.M, drunk and confused, and finally, dead in a bathtub by 6 A.M. He then drags John into another room to watch a movie. This is where things get really freaky. The movie is a black and white short of David Hyde Pierce in drag, cutting his self with a knife and licking the blood off of it. Really creepy stuff. I saw this and was mind fucked. This is such a break of character for Pierce and it was really amazing how well he could play another character. Warwick compliments himself on doing his own hair and make up.

Warwick did his own hair and make up
Back to the living room where Warwick has invented more people and it is a huge party now. This leads to my favorite scene in the movie. Warwick does a synchronized dance to the songs “Car Wash” with his imaginary friends. Of course, in Warwick's mind, the music is blaring and everyone isn't missing on beat to their dance number. Then we cut to John's point of view, and it is dead silence with Warwick dancing on a table. This was freaky and hilarious at the same time. The director did a really great job at displaying the difference between both character's minds and atmosphere. John tries anything to get Warwick to set him free so he asks if he can join in on the fun. So Warwick makes John a drug cocktail and Taylor passes out again. But not before Warwick carries him around the house in his imaginary conga line. Fucking great.

Best scene in the movie
Now, there are flashback scenes of John before his crime. He experiences them during his countless blackouts. We learn that John was robbing a bank to get money for his girlfriend that has some disease. His girlfriend worked at the bank he robbed and the plan was to just have her give him the money. A simple caper. After a flashback, John wakes up strapped to a floaty in a pool, moaning and groaning; unable to speak due to the toxic drank he had before. Warwick's busy having the time of his life, swimming with all his adoring friends. Everyone is out of the pool when Warwick's neighbor, the Jehovah's Witness from before, comes and checks the loud groans from John. Warwick quickly places a mask on his head and claims that John is just drunk coming back from a costume party. The ruse works as John is brought back into the house for coffee. John pleads with Warwick not to kill him and to let him go. We then notice that Warwick is writing a postcard and we find out that “Julia” is just another imaginary friend. John attempts to explain to Warwick that all these people are him but is easily pushed away. But Taylor gets an idea to win his freedom. A game of chess.

Most frequently used image when researching this film
If John wins, he gets his freedom, if Warwick wins, who knows. Now, I like how this scene is set up. Obviously, you can tell that Warwick is great at chess and we are made to believe that John is some dumb criminal down on his luck. But, we get an explanation of why John would have such an idea in a flashback he has with his girlfriend. He uses chess an analogy of the bank robbery and we soon find out that John is no ordinary fool. John wins the game as Warwick claims he cheated and storms out. Taylor begins to scream and accept that he will not get out alive when Warwick cuts his ropes and tells him he can go. This leads to my least favorite seen in the movie. As John attempts to leave, Warwick begins to badger him about being nothing and no one, just a dumb crook. John takes offense to the words and instead of gaining his freedom, turns to confront Warwick. I hate this because it is too obvious what is going on and if a real person would be in this situation, would probably just bolt and not give two shits if their attacker was running their mouth. But John wants to get even after being humiliated and grabs a knife hang from a wall. He lunges towards Warwick and stabs him in the stomach and Warwick drops. Or does he? Laughter is heard as Warwick jumps up with his shirt pulled up screaming surprise! We notice that there are no cut or even scars on Warwick's body. John looks at the knife and discovers that it is just a toy and is once again, knocked into unconsciousness.

Least favorite scene
We cut to a really odd scene that is just shocking and funny. John wakes up in a bathtub with the lights out. He sees Warwick, with his robe open, humping the air. He turns to John and says, “Have you ever seen a piece of ass like this, John?” He then finishes his imaginary fucking by screaming, “Love me! Love me!” John fades back to unconsciousness. I laughed my ass off when I saw this. What an odd scene. I thought maybe it might be misplaced, but it was too funny. It had to be purposely placed. One minute, John is unconscious, he wakes up to see David Hyde Pierce fucking the air screaming “Love me!” And then fades out again. Really weird.

We then segway to morning. We see the neighbor looking very worried on the phone as John is laying murdered in the alley with his throat cut. But once again, or is he? John comes to and stands up, unknown to the injuries he has suffered. He lights a cigarette and notices a large red spot on his hand. He reaches for his facial wounds and begins to peal them off. They are fake, including his throat cut. Remember how proud Warwick was of his own make up? Aaaaaaah. And the knife John tried to kill Warwick with was a fake...and Warwick had no scars from his “movie” he debuted earlier in the film. All fake. John finally gets away. We cut back to Warwick sitting in his living room with a huge smile. He then reaches for a pill bottle and takes a pill. One of his friends say that he is supposed to take two as the others grumble about not wanting to leave. And according to Roman, Warwick needs to be clear headed for work. There's a knock on the door with a detective standing outside. We then discover that Warwick is a Lieutenant on the police force and the detective is showing him John Taylor's bank robbery.

Meanwhile, John makes his way to a car rental shop and wants to confirm if his 9 A.M. Reservation for him and his girlfriend is still there. It is confirmed. John decides to wait and plays the caper in his head. He then realizes that the only witness that could have turned him in is is girlfriend. He begins to call other car rental places to see if his lady has reserved a car somewhere else. Low and behold she has reserved a car for 8 A.M. Back to Warwick with his fellow detectives, they are tracking John's girlfriend. So John, his girlfriend and Warwick are all heading to the same place. John confronts his lover and exposes her. He takes the money and the rental car and drives away, leaving his betrayer to the police. As John attempts to exit the scene, he is stopped by Warwick. Warwick lets John go for the money he stole so he can keep it for himself. Then something kind of odd happens. Warwick gives John two stacks of hundreds and tells him to be careful crossing the border(Canada). John says thanks and drives away. Really weird. But I think this was Warwick's way of paying off John to not saying anything in exchange for his freedom.

Megahn Perry as John Taylor's girlfriend , Simone
It's three months later and Warwick is in his office at a police station. His fellow detective receives a letter that has a picture of John and Warwick from their dinner party. The detective shows Warwick the picture. Warwick lies and says that they are fake. The detective then brings up a witness, the old neighbor from next door. Warwick is backed into a corner but has an idea. Instead of bringing all the police to his house, he invites the detective to come over and have a dinner party with him and his friends. This way, they can “maintain their friendship.” The detective agrees and Warwick leaves the building with his imaginary friends surrounding him.

David Hyde Pierce is awesome!
This movie was excellent. A good suspense thriller and a good mind fuck movie. To be honest, I had low expectations when I about to watch it but I was happily mistaken. The display of Warwick's mind in contrast to everyone else's was done so well. It keeps you hooked and you won't want to do anything else until you reach the credits. A great hidden gem in the Netflix library and an outstanding performance by David Hyde Pierce.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Skyrim: Days 1 - 5


Last Friday one of the most anticipated games of year came out; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I have played it for 5 days now and this will be my thoughts thus far. I plan on entering this like a journal for some(or like an actual blog entry, lol). So whenever I experience something awesome or I feel a need to talk about, it will be posted. I don't know how long I will do this, considering I put 200+ hours into Oblivion and never beat it, but here we go.

CAUTION: SPOILERS

Let me start off by talking about the midnight release. Me and three friends went to the midnight release at Gamestop in our local mall. We got there about 40 minutes early and there were a lot of people. Probably about 75. We got our receipts and made our way to the back of the line. Now, the end of the line was a little bit unorganized. The lines was looping clockwise around the kid's play place instead just flat out around it. We had to walk ALLLL the way around it to get to the end of the line. The organizers noticed minutes later that the line was fucked up, and told everyone to make the line against the wall instead of the play place. So what did me and my friends at the end of the line do? Took two steps to the left and we cut 50 people without anyone noticing. SUCK IT.

By the time midnight came, the was about 200 people there. We went through, got our copies and made our way to the car in the parking lot. One of my friends starting opening his case when we already noticed bullshit point number one; the “cloth map” that you were supposed to get with the game was more like a placemat. It feels like it's made out of wallpaper. I guess it will come in handy when I instantly revert my age to 5 and bust out the play dough. Plus, the map was IN THE GAME CASE. That means that the games on the shelves HAVE THE FUCKING MAP IN THEM. So, what the fuck was the point of pre-ordering? Seriously, this is why game stores are going to be dead in 10 years. Stupid, USELESS bonuses that, in Skyrim's case, DIDN”T MATTER. They are really going to have to up the ante to get people to actually buy from their store. But I'll save this rant for a different day, back to Skyrim.

The game opens up with you as a prisoner sitting in a carriage with Ulfric Stormcloak; the local rebel leader in Skyrim. You are brought to the town of Helgen where you and the other with you are to be executed. This is halted, however, by the attack of a dragon. Through some escape tactics, you survive barrage and follow a guard to a nearby town. There you are advised to go to Whiterun, one of the capitals of Skyrim, to seek out the Jarl and report on the dragon. You make your way to Whiterun and give your findings to the Jarl. The town is then put on alert as another dragon is waging its violence at a close by watchtower. You defeat the dragon and gain its power which leads to your discovery that you are Dragonbourne; an ancient race of people that are linked with dragons. The Jarl of Whiterun tells you that you must head to speak with the Greybeards, a band that calls out to you. That's as far as I got in the main story.

Now that the story is out of the way, we can talk about the game. The motions are the same, the way you quest and explore is the same; I mean, it's an Elder Scrolls game. Lets start with the difference in leveling. Instead of having based skills that built your level like in Oblivion, you just have skills and all of them go towards your level. Each skill is divided into a tree in which you can use a “Perk” to gain an ability(You get 1 Perk for each level you get). For example, a Perk in Lockpicking is “Novice Locks are easier to pick.” Stuff like that. They took a bunch of skills out of the usual Elder Scrolls set. The Athletics and Acrobatics skills are gone, which is awesome cause who the fuck cared about those any way? But one thing that really pisses me off and is the only thing I hate about the game is that they combined Barter and Speech into one skill set. Now, this sounds like a good idea, but when you look at the available perks, they mostly give the advantage to Barter. There is no Speechcraft mini game in Skyrim. You just get selections of Persuade, Bribe or Intimidate. Which I have only encountered this selection like 4 times. So Speech got a huge nerf. I hate this because Speech was my favorite skill and now it is worthless.

About the Combat, it plays a little more difficult and challenging. You really need to Block. No joke. You must find the strategy of block then attack and try to master it throughout the game. Otherwise, you get into an annoying scenario that allows gives me some trouble. If it just you fighting 4 enemies head on; you're dead. And if one of them have a Greatsword then just forget about it. You're going to have to try to either pick some off with arrows or use Sneak and take some of them out before you have to do a head to head battle. Trust me, this will get to you. Or if you're too low leveled, a simple creature like a Troll will just own your ass. First time I came across one of them, I had to flee and come back later when I better prepared, something I didn't feel like I really needed to do in Oblivion. Skyrim is probably the most difficult I have played out of recent Bethesda games(Oblivion, Fallout 3) which isn't a bad thing. You also get instant kills in this game. They seem to happen at random but a little cinematic will unfold when it happens. My favorite is when I bash some dude with the shield, forcing them to their knees, and then stab them in the heart. Never gets old.

Of course, a Bethesda game is accompanied by some glitches. I haven't froze yet, thank God, but I did encounter some funny stuff. For example, if you installed this game on your hard drive, you may experience some textural map glitches. In Whiterun, there is a little creek. Instead of being blue or clear with water effects, it just solid green. Apparently, a patch is going to come out to fix it. I also encountered a glitches with NPCs chopping wood. When you chop a piece of would, you pick up both pieces. Well, one NPC glitched and the pieces never disappeared giving the character lumber hands. It was quite funny. And of course, you have the “getting stuck and angry” glitch. This is where you stand on or in something and you are unable to move from your position. I've only experienced this once on the side of a cliff so it doesn't appear that it is going to happen a lot in this game.

My favorite mission so far is the Companion missions. The Companions are a warrior group in Whiterun. When you do some missions, you become part of their “Circle” and you get the ability to turn into a Werewolf. Now, the werewolf plays pretty simply. Werewolves get increased speed and strength but can not block. So the goal is to hack and bite your way through enemies as fast as possible. Once an enemy is killed, you can feed on it to recover health and prolong your time as a Werewolf; this is called Bloodlust. The werewolves are really fast and seem to get instant kills quicker. Very fun to play but it's not something that really gives an advantage to play through the whole game like that.

Onto the dragons. After you complete the Quest that lets you fight your first dragon, they will then randomly appear throughout the map. When you kill them, you get a Dragonsoul. These are used to activate “Shouts.” An extra ability that is earned when you kill the first dragon. You have to find a large dragon statue that sits upon a wall covered in words. Each time you find a wall, you learn a new Shout and use a Dragonsoul to activate it. These walls are all throughout Skyrim and I think there are like 60 of them.

The final thing I will dawn on is the Misc. Quests. You have main quests, side quests and misc quests. These quests are infinite, supposedly. I'm thinking it is this way so you will never have nothing to do. But they are really stupid. They are mainly, fetch this item or deliver this item, or go to this location. They're good if you're bored. But they are pretty stupid. For example, a courier ran up to me and gave me a note. I'm like, “Whoa, cool. What could it be?” The message read, “I heard you have a created a Dwarven Shield? Bring me one!” Ok? Why the fuck would I do that? How did this random dude find out? Just dumb shit like that.

Well, I'm at Level 23 right now. I usually focus all my perks in One-Handed Weapons, Heavy Armor, Smithing, Archery, and Block. There are a lot of ways to gain levels fast by exploiting certain skills. Some are just too easy and some seem broken. Here are the three I have found that are pretty easy to build:

Smithing – Just by making equipment that has the highest value gains you made levels in this skill.
Enchanting – You gain a level in this skill for disenchanting one item and then just enchanting one item. Seriously, I have this skill at like 50 already and I'm never going to use a single perk in it.

Sneak – Why Sneak? Because if you get close enough to an enemy or an NPC, you can just SIT THERE and the Sneak skill builds. Super easy.

I'm sure there's plenty I forgot to mention or didn't talk about but I'm hoping that it will all get covered in the entries that follow. Skyrim is a really fun game, as to be expected. Here is how I rate it to the most recent Bethesda or Obsidian games:

  1. Fallout 3
  2. Skyrim
  3. Oblivion
  4. Fallout: New Vegas

It is a strong number two with New Vegas being a weak number four. That's it for now.

ND Football Review: Notre Dame Vs. Maryland


Notre Dame extends its record to 7-3 after their victory against the Terrapins of Maryland. It was a cool scene at Fedex Field in Landover, MD where the Irish wore their green jerseys accompanied by some odd helmets. They were a weirdly shimmered gold along with a large clover. I thought they were awesome as they played their second game in the “Shamrock Series.” This series is where Notre Dame will play a team at a neutral location(which is usually a large ND fanbase). But unless you've been dead all year, you probably noticed that Maryland had some flashy gear of their own. The Terrapins wore their “Maryland Pride” uniforms(which is basically the Maryland state flag). It was a battle of football and fashion. Lets recap the game.

ND's uniforms
Notre Dame opened the game on defense and forced Maryland to a three and out. They then drove down field on the shoulders of Jonas Gray that completed the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. Irish up 7-0 early. After each team had some offensive woes, fifth year senior kicker, David Ruffer, nailed a career high 52 yard field goal. Irish 10-0 at the end of the first. The Irish defense was playing tough forcing Maryland to 5 straight punts on their first 5 drives.

The second quarter lead to more of a stalemate. Neither team could really move the ball and they had to trade punts. But half way through the quarter, Tommy Rees finds, who else, Michael Floyd for a leaping 19 yard touchdown play. ND 17-0. Maryland responds though, as they switch to a no huddle offense. In about three minutes, the Terps were down the field and Maryland QB Danny O'Brien through a TD pass to Quintin McCree. Irish 17-7. But the Irish, once again, put the ball in Jonas Gray's hands as he brought the Irish offense down field and capitalized on another 1 yard TD run. ND 24-7 at halftime.

Michael Floyd catching a TD
It was all downhill in the second half. The other ND running back, Cierre Wood, scored a 3 yard touchdown run to expand the Irish lead to 31-7 half way through the third quarter. Then on the Terps next drive, something rare happened. Notre Dame got a defensive touchdown(THANK FUCKING GOD!). O'Brien overthrew his WR on a bubble screen and the fell right into the hands of sophomore cornerback, Lo Wood, who took it 57 yards for a pick 6. Irish 31-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Cierre Wood diving for a score
In the fourth quarter, Maryland's starting QB went out with an injury and the backup, CJ Brown stepped in. He lead a drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter that he ended with a 24 yard touchdown run. Irish 38-14. Time then slipped away as the game neared the end. ND put in their second string defense but not before Rees found Eifert for an explosive 34 yard touchdown pass. Irish 45-14. Maryland got a pity TD at the end but the Irish came up on top, 45-21.

Tommy Rees threw 2 TDs and 0 INTs
This was another great game for Jonas Gray. Each week, he is looking more and more like a promising NFL player. He's a big back with great speed for his size. Cierre Wood inched closer to a 1,000 rushing season(I think he only needs 90 some yards). The Irish didn't turn the ball over and improve to 7-3. It was really nice to get some revenge over Maryland coach Randy Edsall. He previously came into Notre Dame stadium a few years back when he coached Connecticut and beat the Irish which lead to the departure of Charlie Weis. So two ACC teams down and one to go in our ACC stretch. Next up is rival Boston College for Senior Day at Notre Dame stadium. Can you believe that it will be Michael Floyd's last home game for Notre Dame? But until next time,

GO, IRISH! GO!!

ND with the W

Monday, November 7, 2011

Canada Cup (2011) Day Two - SSF4:AE - 5v5 - Finals


Canada Cup just ended and the 5v5 did not disappoint. A ton of great matches and some awesome action. Before I get to the results, I want to talk about something odd with this tournament. Apparently, there were two streams for Canada Cup 2011. One that was free and a premium stream that actually cost money($8.95). The free stream was laggy as hell. I mean, sometimes it would freeze and you had to wait about 10 seconds before it continued. This made some matches impossible to watch. Plus, you had to deal with ads that would block the screen for 20 seconds. Very FUCKING annoying. And to top it off, it was only in 320p. LAME. But if you purchased the premium stream subscription, you got 720p resolution and no ads. Now, this is one big reason why I HATE that Street Fighter is getting so big. They made this tourney more like a Pay-Per-View event rather than just a normal stream. It is really lame and I fear that this is just the first step to SF selling out to the mainstream and tournament runners jerking off to the sound of cash registers in their heads. Very sad.

Aside from that, this was a great 5 on 5 tournament and I doubt we will see action like this for awhile. Here are the results:

>>>>> NOTE: Lots of Canada Cup matches at SpanishFly's YouTube channel here!

Team Canada loses to Team USA

Riceata(Blanka) defeats Floe(Yang)
USA: 0
Canada: 1

Riceata(Blanka) loses to Justin Wong(Rufus)
USA: 1
Canada: 1

Air(Ryu) loses to Justin Wong(Rufus)
USA: 2
Canada: 1

Jozhear(Vega) loses to Justin Wong(Rufus)
USA: 3
Canada: 1

Snafoo(Dhalsim) loses to Justin Wong(Rufus)
USA: 4
Canada: 1

Chi-Rithy(Yang) loses to Justin Wong(Rufus)
USA: 5
Canada: 1
FINAL

Team Singapore loses to Team Europe 1

Real Deal(Ryu) loses to Louffy(Rose)
SGP: 0
EU1: 1

HGY(C. Viper) loses to Louffy(Rose)
SGP: 0
EU1: 2

Zhi(Zangief) loses to Louffy(Rose)
SGP: 0
EU1: 3

Xian(Gen) loses to Louffy(Rose)
SGP: 0
EU1: 4

Leslie(Sagat) defeats Louffy(Rose)
SGP: 1
EU1: 4

Leslie(Sagat) defeats Evans(Fei Long)
SGP: 2
EU1: 4

Leslie(Sagat) loses to Skatan(Sakura)
SGP: 2
EU1: 5
FINAL

Team Europe 2 is eliminated by Team Korea

The Emperor(El Fuerte) defeats Naraks(C. Viper)
EU2: 1
KOR: 0

The Emperor(El Fuerte) loses to Laugh(Ryu)
EU2: 1
KOR: 1

Andreas(Rufus) loses to Laugh(Ryu)
EU2: 1
KOR: 2

FWord(Ibuki) defeats Laugh(Ryu)
EU2: 2
KOR: 2

FWord(Ibuki) loses to Zzang Moo(Zangief)
EU2: 2
KOR: 3

JiJi(Sagat) defeats Zzang Moo(Zangief)
EU2: 3
KOR: 3

JiJi(Sagat) defeats Whitedoong(Dudlet)
EU2: 4
KOR: 3

JiJi(Sagat) loses to Infiltration(Akuma)
EU2: 4
KOR: 4

Problem X(Seth) loses to Infiltration(Akuma)
EU2: 4
KOR: 5
FINAL

Team Japan 1 loses to Team eLive

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Bas(Akuma)
JP: 1
eL: 0

Neurosis(Bison) loses to RF(Sagat)
JP: 1
eL: 1

Mago(Fei Long) defeats RF(Sagat)
JP: 2
eL: 1

Mago(Fei Long) loses to MOV(Ken)
JP: 2
eL: 2

Tokido(Akuma) defeats MOV(Ken)
JP: 3
eL: 2

Tokido(Akuma) loses to Kindevu(C. Viper)
JP: 3
eL: 3

Momochi(Cody) defeats Kindevu(C. Viper)
JP: 4
eL: 3

Momochi(Cody) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
JP: 4
eL: 4

Bonchan(Sagat) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
JP: 4
eL: 5
FINAL

Team Japan 1 shuts out and eliminates Team Europe 1

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Cuongster(E. Honda)
JP: 1
EU1: 0

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Evans(Fei Long)
JP: 2
EU1: 0

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Louffy(Rose)
JP: 3
EU1: 0

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Prodigal Son(Yun)
JP: 4
EU1: 0

Neurosis(Bison) defeats Skatan(Sakura)
JP: 5
EU1: 0
FINAL

Team Canada eliminates Team Korea

Air(Ryu) loses to Laugh(Ryu)
CAN: 0
KOR: 1

Riceata(Blanka) defeats Laugh(Ryu)
CAN: 1
KOR: 1

Riceata(Blanka) defeats Whitedoong(Dudley)
CAN: 2
KOR: 1

Riceata(Blanka) defeats Naraks(C. Viper)
CAN: 3
KOR: 1

Riceata(Blanka) loses to Infiltration(Akuma)
CAN: 3
KOR: 2

Jozhear(Vega) loses to Infiltration(Akuma)
CAN: 3
KOR: 3

Chi-Rithy(Yang) defeats Infiltration(Akuma)
CAN: 4
KOR: 3

Chi-Rithy(Yang) defeats Zzang Moo(Zangief)
CAN: 5
KOR: 3
FINAL

Team Canada gets shut out and eliminated by Team Japan 1

Riceata(Blanka) loses to Neurosis(Bison)
CAN: 0
JP1: 1

Jozhear(Vega) loses to Neurosis(Bison)
CAN: 0
JP1: 2

Air(Ryu) loses to Neurosis(Bison)
CAN: 0
JP1: 3

Chi-Rithy(Yang) loses to Neurosis(Bison)
CAN: 0
JP1: 4

Snafoo(Dhalsim) loses to Neurosis(Bison)
CAN: 0
JP1: 5
FINAL

Team eLive defeats Team USA

Bas(Akuma) loses to Mike Ross(E. Honda)
eL: 0
USA: 1

RF(Sagat) defeats Mike Ross(E. Honda)
eL: 1
USA: 1

RF(Sagat) loses to Filipino Champ(Dhalsim)
eL: 1
USA: 2

Filipino Champ(Dhalsim) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
eL: 2
USA: 2

Justin Wong(Rufus) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
eL: 3
USA: 2

Floe(Yang) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
eL: 4
USA: 2

Wolfkrone(C. Viper) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
eL: 5
USA: 2
FINAL

Team Japan 1 Vs. Team USA

Bonchan(Sagat) defeats Mike Ross(E. Honda)
JP1: 1
USA: 0

Bonchan(Sagat) loses to Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
JP1: 1
USA: 1

Neuorsis(Bison) loses to Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
JP1: 1
USA: 2

Momochi(Cody) loses to Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
JP1: 1
USA: 3

Mago(Fei Long) loses to Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
JP1: 1
USA: 4

Tokido(Akuma) Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
JP1: 1
USA: 5
FINAL

Team eLive defeats and eliminates Team USA GRAND FINALS

Bas(Akuma) loses to Filipino Champ(Dhalsim)
eL: 0
USA: 1

Kazunoko(Yun) defeats Filipino Champ(Dhalsim)
eL: 1
USA: 1

Kazunoko(Yun) loses to Floe(Yang)
eL: 1
USA: 2

MOV(Ken) defeats Floe(Yang)
eL: 2
USA: 2

MOV(Ken) loses to Mike Ross(E. Honda)
eL: 2
USA: 3

RF(Sagat) defeats Mike Ross(E. Honda)
eL: 3
USA: 3

RF(Sagat) defeats Justin Wong(Rufus)
eL: 4
USA: 3

RF(Sagat) loses to Wolfkrone(C. viper)
eL: 4
USA: 4

Kindevu(C. Viper) defeats Wolfkrone(C. Viper)
eL: 5
USA: 4
FINAL

Team eLive, aka Japan Team 2, came out the winners but the USA got a very respectable 2nd place. I'd say my favorite moment was Wolfkrone bodying Japan Team 1. I think this is a strong shift that the US isn't going to be raped by the Japanese any more. Also, props to Jozhear for his dominate performance Day 1 against the Team Europe 1 team. He has the best Vega I have ever seen. And Kazunoko, god damn. I'd say the best Yun player out there(also, he was the champion of the SSF4:AE singles tournament). Well, congrats to Team eLive for winning it all and props to Wolfkrone and the USA team. You guys did a really great job!

And if you're looking for any videos for Canada Cup 2011, check out their YouTube page here

Sunday, November 6, 2011

ND Football Review: Notre Dame Vs. Wake Forest


Notre Dame had another ugly win this weekend against an east coast on the road. It was somewhat of a nail biter but the Irish got it done. Notre Dame had to start two freshman(Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch) and one redshirt freshman(Louis Nix) on the defensive line Saturday night due to injuries. They handled ok for their youth against a good Wake Forest team. Lets go over last night's game.

In the first quarter, Wake Forest started with the ball and made their way down the field with almost to adversity. Wake QB Tanner Price threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to RB Brandon Pendergrass on a misdirection play giving the Demon Deacons a 7-0 lead early. The Irish defense looked lazy and not on target; shades of the SC game. ND responds with an ok drive that leads to a 44 yard David Ruffer field goal. WF 7-3. After a good kick return from Wake but a good three and out stop by the Irish defense, WF kicker Jimmy Newman nails a 46 yard field goal to extend the Wake Forest lead to 10-3. But the Irish respond quickly at the end of the quarter when Tommy Rees finds a wide open Tyler Eiffert for a 44 yard touchdown pass. Quarter 1 ends in a tie, 10-10.

Tyler Eiffert
The second quarter was a defensive gridlock. Neither team could move the ball at all. The defenses for both teams refused to be denied. Nothing really active happened until the last minute of the quarter as Wake Forest made a good push and got down to the goal line. With 28 seconds left in the first half, sophomore RB Josh Harris scored a touchdown from 2 yards out giving the Demon Deacons the lead going into halftime, 17-10. Now, I was pretty upset with the Irish offense. The passing game wasn't clicking but the run game was becoming effective. But just as soon as the run game would meld, it seemed like the offense would then throw like 5 straight passes and the drive would stutter. Very frustrating.

Brandon Pendergrass and WF made their case in the first half
The third quarter is when Notre Dame decided to just stop fucking around. Their opening drive leads the Irish down the field and is capitalized by a 1 yard Jonas Gray touchdown run(even though he should have gotten the TD on a 26 yard run he had earlier, but, whatever, stupid fucking refs). Irish tie the game, 17-17. The ND defense makes a stand and the offense gets the ball back. Tommy Rees then finds Michael Floyd, double covered mind you, for a 16 yard touchdown pass. Irish 24-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Jonas Gray had another great game Saturday night
The final quarter was basically ND's defense just pimping. The young defensive line got pressure on the Wake QB in the second half, sacking him 3 times. One sack came when the Demon Deacons were threatening to score that then lead to a missed field goal. The game ended with ND on top 24-17. A cool fact about this game is that the seating capacity for Wake Forest's stadium is about 32,000. They had 36,000 at the game. Everyone shows up to watch the Irish play.

Notre Dame with the W
So the Irish are now bowl eligible. 6-3 record with two more ACC opponents left(Maryland and Boston College) until the final game of the regular season at Stanford. Everyone's predicting ND to probably go to the Champ's Sports Bowl in the postseason but some are saying that technically, the Irish have a chance to still make a BCS game, but it is a stretch. ND can go to a BCS bowl game if they have 9 wins, which they can do, but they also have to be in the top 14 in the BCS, which doesn't seem possible. I don't care about any of that. I only care about winning out. I want to beat Stanford at the end of the season. I won't the Irish to be 9-3 going into bowl season. That would make my day. Next week, ND has a neutral site game at Fedex Field in DC against Maryland. Until then,

GO, IRISH! GO!!

Canada Cup (2011) Day One - SSF4:AE - 5v5


Day one of Canada Cup just ended a few minutes ago. Normally for Street Fighter tournaments, I cover the Grand Finals for singles. This time, I had to make an exception. At CC '11, there is a huge 5 versus 5 tournament with teams assembled from all across the globe, representing their respective  country or region. Listed below are the teams:

>>>>> NOTE: Lots of Canada Cup matches at SpanishFly's YouTube channel here! 
Team USA
Justin Wong
WolfKrone
Mike Ross
Floe
Filipino Champ

Team Canada
Air
Snafoo
Riceata
Jozhear
Chi-Rithy

Team Japan 1
Tokido
Mago
Shungoku
Bonchan
Momochi

Team eLive Japan or Japan 2
Bas
Kazunoku
Kindevu
RF
MOV

Team Korea
Laugh
Infiltration
Zzang Moo
Naraks
Whitedoong

Team Singapore
Zhi
Xian
Real Deal
HZY
Leslie

Team Europe 1
Cuongster
Louffy
Evans
Prodigal Son
Skatan

Team Europe 2
The Emperor
Problem X
JiJi
FWord
Andreas

It was an exciting first day. The bracket is set up for double elimination and each fight is played, as they stated on the stream, "Pokemon style." This means that when a player is defeated, the team can choose who the next player will be to fight. I have the fight record below. The initial four matches were played for day one, and they will conclude day two(Sunday, 11/06/11):

Team Europe 2 Vs. Team eLive (JAPAN 2)

FWord(Ibuki) defeats BAS(Akuma)
Europe 2: 1
eLive: 0

FWord(Ibuki) loses to MOV(Ken)
Europe 2: 1
eLive: 1


The Emperor(El Fuerte) loses to MOV(Ken)
Europe 2: 1
eLive: 2


Problem X(Seth) defeats MOV(Ken)
Europe 2: 2
eLive: 2


Problem X(Seth) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
Europe 2: 2
eLive: 3


JiJi(Sagat) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
Europe 2: 2
eLive: 4


Andreas(Rufus) loses to Kazunoko(Yun)
Europe 2: 2
eLive: 5
FINAL


Team Japan 1 Vs. Team Korea

Momochi(Cody) defeats Laugh(Ryu)
Japan 1: 1
Korea: 0

Momochi(Cody) defeats Naroks(C. Viper)
Japan 1: 2
Korea: 0

Momochi(Cody) defeats Zzang Moo(Zangief)
Japan 1: 3
Korea: 0

Momochi(Cody) defeats Whitedune(Dudley)
Japan 1: 4
Korea: 0

Momochi(Cody) loses to Infiltration(Akuma)
Japan 1: 4
Korea: 1

Bonchan(Sagat) defeats Infiltration(Akuma)
Japan 1: 5
Korea: 1
FINAL

Team Canada Vs. Team Europe 1

Jozhear(Vega) defeats Evans(Fei Long)
Canada: 1
Europe 1: 0

Jozhear(Vega) defeats Prodigal Son(Yun)
Canada: 2
Europe 1: 0

Jozhear(Vega) defeats Skatan(Sakura)
Canada: 3
Europe 1: 0

Jozhear(Vega) defeats Louffy(Rose)
Canada: 4
Europe 1: 0

Jozhear(Vega) loses to Coungster(E. Honda)
Canada: 4
Europe 1: 1

Chi-Rithy(Yang) defeats Coungster(E. Honda)
Canada: 5
Europe 1: 1
FINAL

Team USA Vs. Team Singapore

WolfKrone(C. Viper) defeats Real Deal(Ryu)
USA: 1
Singapore: 0

WolfKrone(C. Viper) defeats Zhi(Zangief)
USA: 2
Singapore: 0

Wolfkrone(C. Viper) loses to Leslie(Sagat)
USA: 2
Singapore: 1

Filipino Champ(Dhalsim) defeats Leslie(Sagat)
USA: 3
Singapore: 1

Filipino Champ(Dhalsim) defeats HZY(C. Viper)
USA: 4
Singapore: 1

Filipino Champ(Dhalsim) defeats Xian(Gen)
USA: 5
Singapore: 1
FINAL



For day one coverage, I'm just going to post results for now. For day two I plan on posting the rest of the 5v5...and maybe the SSF4AE Finals. Still not sure yet but I will include actual details for the day two post. But if there is anything else I can add, like YouTube videos, I will make sure to post them as soon as I find them.

You can watch the Canada Cup stream via EventHubs.com at this link: Canada Cup Stream

Canada Cup will finish off with its second and final day starting at 10am MST. The SSF4AE Top 32 will begin at 2pm MST and the 5v5 will conclude at 6pm MST. I can't wait to see how it all wraps up. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Here are some helpful links for more Canada Cup or Street Fighter info, etc:

EventHubs
IPlayWinner
SRK

NOTE: Don't know who any of these Street Fighter players are? A simple solution I found is to just go to YouTube, type in "Street Fighter" then the player's name in which you want to see. As easy as that!