The Ill Communication

Don't count me out

July 14, 2017 | 23:18 | Written by: snake911

I'm not done yet, but yeah, a lot is going on in real life.  You see, I got this new job and it's super rad, but due to a long commute and learning everything I need for this new position, it has not only taken away much of my free time, but it's also taken the free time of my free time; which is what I used for working on this website.  Kind of a shame to see this place running in low powered mode because I had an awesome feature for the Games Journal that was timed to coincide with an anniversary, but alas, I don't think I'll make that deadline now.  Priorities, people!

I'll still post stuff here, but there will be huge, canyon sized gaps between each posting, so don't check weekly for new content.  Instead, check on a monthly basis.

That's it for now.  Love y'all!

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Flying at the speed of Zero-G

June 7, 2017 | 21:10 | Written by: snake911

Wipeout's back in the spotlight this week and rightfully so.  With the release of WipEout Omega Collection for the PS4, hopefully it can bring a new generation of fans to the series, even though the original studio that created the franchise closed down a few years back.

My past experience for the series isn't as big as I liked to admit.  I've always appreciated it from a distance, and played the demos whenever I came across them, but I've never really played it until last fall when I was researching the original three games.  For me, the underappreciated Wipeout 3 has to be my favorite.  Why?  Because of all three original games for the PS1, that one just oozes with style!  The futurism appearance The Designers Republic put into this game makes this title stand above all other games that came out around the same time.  Add in how great the graphics look, the music, and sound, and you got yourself a winner.  Just check out this video and judge for yourself!

I'm planning to get Omega because that will fill the later years for the series so I can see both the beginning and end to see how the series evolved.  I think controls have to the biggest improvement due to the introduction of analog controls and more buttons, making for both driving and fighting foes on the track easier.

And yesterday, I stumbled across a video online showing a Wipeout clone worthy of continuing that kind of futuristic racing.  Formula Fusion from developer R8 Games looks to be the best one for the job.  Heck, they got tDR onboard, so that should show that they got something on their hands that just might work.

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Cool flick

June 5, 2017 | 20:19 | Written by: snake911

A friend and I went to see Wonder Woman during its opening weekend and I gotta say it was pretty rad.

I was already hyped for the film as I'm planning to see all of the DC hero movies, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this one as I really only know her from the Justice League animated TV show from the early 2000s.  Batman and Superman are the big names while The Flash currently has a TV show, and Aqua Man jumps around enough through the DC universe to know who he is.  But for Wonder Woman, I was kind of in the dark about her and her backstory.

The movies lengthy clocking in at nearly 2 and half hours in length, but held itself well from start to finish.  I was surprised that it was actually that long when the film ended!  It doesn't feel like it was stretched out nor does it feel like they didn't give you enough content.  It was the perfect length!

If you want a big blockbuster movie to see then opt to see this one as it's just as good (or even better?) than last year's Batman v Superman movie.  The cast and acting were great, the story was awesome, and the overall fun factor is a 5 out of 5.  Check it out!

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Eyes on the prize

May 25, 2017 | 19:41 | Written by: snake911

So I've been playing Shenmue 2 over the last couple of weeks and have been enjoying what I've seen thus far.  The world seems much larger than it was in the first game, but not so much in the nitty gritty details.  In terms of street exploration it has expanded exponentially, but the number of stores you can enter have been cut back, so there's a bit of compromise for balancing the size of the world out.  But so far, I think I've entered a city that's, as of now, like 10 times larger than the town was in the first game.  Huuuuge!

Right now I'm trying to earn enough money to be comfortable with spending some of it on useless things like toy capsules and food, and that requires working a part-time job moving crates around, and I think half my time with the game has been working this one specific job.  A job that requires me to quickly enter a command of either pressing the left or right button on the D-pad.  Which button I press depends on what direction shows up on the bottom of the screen; which shows up right on Ryo's butt.  This means I've been looking at Ryo's butt for about half the time I've been playing this game.  Good times!

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One giant leap

May 23, 2017 | 22:10 | Written by: snake911

Over the weekend I finally got around to getting a new phone, upgrading from my iPhone 4 that I purchased back in 2010 and replaced it with the latest iPhone 7.  Yep, that means I had my previous phone for 7 years!  Welp, can say without a doubt that I got my money's worth out of that phone.

And boy, did I have a lot of catching up to do, feature wise.  But before all that, I had a heck of a time transferring my data to the new phone.  I guess 7 years was too big of a leap because of incompatibilitys of what is expected of backups.  With my iPhone 4, it was syncing with iTunes from my old MacBook with Snow Leopard.  This meant my iTunes was a version from, I think 2014, so it wouldn't have been compatible with my new iPhone.  This meant I needed to buy a new Mac, so a few months ago I bought a Mac Mini in anticipation for the new phone.

While going from an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 was a piece of cake, where I was able to transfer everything without an issue.  Going from 4 to 7 was a pain as it was only able to transfer my music and nothing else.  My contacts and photos did not transfer, and going to iCloud didn't work because the OS on my 4 was too old.  So through trivial methods, I was able to copy my photos to my Mac Mini and then utilize iCloud to make sure this doesn't happen again.  As for my contacts, I decided to just manually enter them into my new phone, and then again, utilize iCloud so this doesn't happen again.  This was both a blessing and a curse because while it was a pain reentering contacts, it gave me an opportunity to purge a lot of phone numbers of people who I haven't talked to in over a decade.  Now my contacts list is slim and trim to where I'm even considering making full use of it by actually including photos with my contacts, but we'll see.

But yeah, this new phone is great.  I got the 256GB version so I wouldn't have to worry about juggling space on my phone as I was doing with my 32GB iPhone 4.  Podcasts made it a pain to manage because space was so low, but now I'm utilizing only 1/8 of free space, so it'll be a long while before I have to worry about that again.  On top of that, it's great to use apps again that require logins because the apps on my old phone were severely out of date and were not allowed to log into systems without a more up-to-date version.

Pictures look incredible on this new phone!  Compared to my old one where pics looked grainy and yellow, this one looks so crystal and great!  Now I no longer fear the humiliation of texting sending pics to others where the resolution is off and the pics are low quality.

Then there's the snappiness of how everything works like how fast apps launch or how fast the maps app can pull data over the cell network.  It makes commuting with directions much easier, and when streaming music, much more pleasant as I'm not waiting for buffering or for the app to load in data.  Finally, I'm able to see this new thing called emojis rather than an alien face in a box.  Such wonders!

Yep, I'm back in the saddle again with modern tech.  Weird as it is to say, but I feel like I'm back with society again rather than being an outsider.  But then again, I was able to get by ok without the latest and greatest for many years, proving that you don't necessarily need the latest phone year after year.

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Hippity hop

May 12, 2017 | 22:57 | Written by: snake911

Not too long after we received the wonderful remastered version of PaRappa the Rapper, we got another bit of great news for rhythm games.  It was announced that creator Masaya Matsuura, and Keiichi Yano of Gitaroo Man fame are collaborating on a new game titled, Project Rap Rabbit, starring a rabbit who's dressed like he's from times of historic Japan.

But the twist is it looks like it may take some ques from Samurai Champloo because the video shows silhouettes of modern and historic building structures, leading that it may not be locked in by staying traditional to the feudal Japan era.

Hopefully they pull gameplay mechanics from both PaRappa the Rapper and Gitaroo Man and add to it an awesome story that pulls the game forward.  I'd hate for it to be just a series of mini games with little to no connections between them, so fingers crossed that it's as awesome of a story like those two games had.  Hopefully it's very Japanese and crazy!

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Battle of the sugary drinks

May 8, 2017 | 21:23 | Written by: snake911

The other day I was at a local donut shop because I woke up late and needed something quick to eat; and thankfully this donut shop has a huge variety of breakfast sandwiches to start the day right.  So while I was waiting for my order, I saw a drink on the menu I never saw before with a name I couldn't refuse to get.  It was called "Death by Chocolate."

Yowza!  Fearing the worst this drink could do to me -- possibly an early trip to my final resting place ;-) -- I decided to not get it that morning, but to get it later, so I made a mental note to come back another day.  Well that day came and went and I can say that I came, I saw, and I conquered.

Unfortunately I was kind of disappointed in it.  Its reputation does not live up to the name.  While it was chocolatey, and it was a delicious drink, I wasn't too thrilled on the lack or richness that was actually in this beverage.  In the closest competitor to this drink, I'd have to say the Dunkaccino is a clear winner by far.

Although, I did opted to get it boba styled with those little balls you usually see in Asian coffee drinks or teas.  And while they did do a good job a keeping me from downing the drink in one or two gulps, they did very little else to help enhance the drink, showing yet again how the Dunkaccino is supreme.

Hmm, now I need to challenge the Dunkaccino to what 31 Baskin Robbins had called a Chocolate Blast.  Terrible name (if you know what I mean), but great to drink.  But is it better than the previous winner?  We'll need to test this out in the near future.  Diabetes, here I come!

Permalink - Category: food



May 4, 2017 | 22:45 | Written by: snake911

Hard to believe it's already been five years since we lost the great Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, to cancer.

Being my favorite hip hop group of all, the Beastie Boys were able to weave in and out of many genres of music, but keeping that hip hop vibe all along the way.  It's interesting to note that they are probably the only rap group to be played on rock stations on a regular basis, which shows just how well respected they are.  Now I love the group as a whole, but if you were to tell me which one of the group I gravitated to towards the most, I'd have to say MCA would be the one.

Why?  I dunno.  All three spit out great lyrics, but of the three, MCA had the most distinct voice due to his being the deepest and somewhat raspy, so it's easier to pick his voice out from the trio.  That, and when he does radio interviews, I like his personality.  His calm, laid back, and funny attitude combined with his slower than average speech gives a comforting appeal about him.

But it's not only him being a musical artist that impressed me, it's how he expanded into media in general, going into video production by founding Oscilloscope Laboratories, a film company helping bring indie films to a larger audience.  In addition, he directed a number of music videos under the hilarious pseudonym of "Nathanial Hörnblowér," and directed a movie called Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! which involved handing out a number of camcorders to fans at a Beastie Boys concert to film their experience at the event.  And also Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot which showcases high schoolers with the potential for joining the NBA.  Pretty cool stuff.

Then there's his personal life, displaying a strong contrast to his early years from Licensed to Ill by showing how much he'd grown up by helping out with global affairs.  Acting as a human rights activist, he fought for Tibetan's freedom and respect for women.  Following the Buddhist religion mellowed him out, and got married and had a child.  Overall he was a well-balanced individual where he seemed like he had his priorities straight.

For a more somber sounding track, here's one from Check Your Head called "Something's Got To Give."  Included is a music video and lyrics that call out for peace and understanding.  This is echoed from the 1998 MTV Music Video Awards when he got on the podium and used his time on the mic to explain how the US should use alternative, non-aggressive responses to issues in other parts of the globe.

So while others are celebrating Star Wars with the "May the fourth be with you" tagline, I'm going to be quietly celebrating Adam Yauch over here by listening to a few Beastie Boy albums.  And as a cool tribute, someone on YouTube made a neat-o video splicing together the first line MCA speaks from every Beastie Boys song from every album!  You gotta check this one out.

RIP Yauch

Permalink - Category: music


A need to return to the dojo

May 2, 2017 | 20:18 | Written by: snake911

For every month that passes, I get another update from the team working on Shenmue 3 explaining what they are currently doing while in development for Yu Suzuki's long awaited third game for the series.  For me, I'm getting these update because I contributed to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign back in 2015.  At that time, I had both games, but I never played them.  Last year I finally got around to playing the first game and I loved it.

Everything from the graphics, the story, the music, and just the sheer amount of things you can do and explore in the game made it a worthy title to play.  Now I need to finish catching up by getting to and completing the second game which looks just as interesting as the first.  I have the Xbox version, so I should have no problems playing since it was translated into English, but it makes me wonder if Yu Suzuki and team or if Sega have plans to remaster the first two games to build anticipation for the third game.  That would be pretty cool if they did, allowing people to experience the full trilogy.

Permalink - Category: games