Wheel of Time – Completed

Ah, it only took ~15 years, but I have now completed the series. What started out as a racing set of books, then slowed into a crawl for book ~8, 9, 10, 11 and turned back into a racy  adventure by book 12 and was a full on blood bath with plots getting sorted rather fast and furious in the final book 14.

Quite pleased how it went. Glad some main characters died. Over all very pleased.

I didn’t get much else done in the last month, so now I am free to enjoy other things, and am currently having the ‘completer type’ sense of done-ness about the whole thing.

Thanks Jo for getting me into the books and lending the early ones to me, and thanks Harvey for lending/giving the latter ones to me. Much appreciated to the both of you.

Movies: New Personal Best

The new PB for movie watching on a plane, six movies, and the last one finished 1 minute before landing. That’s good timing, even if I do pat myself on the back. The flip-side is that I’ve not slept in the last 24 hours, and I have another 7 hours till I land back in P-Town.

So the movies where:

  • Just call me nobody – A great Kung-Fu movie with great star-wars references
  • Thor – A very cheesy cartoon remake
  • Bridesmaids – Yes I finish it this time. It was quite good in the end, not exactly what I’d expected
  • Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – A slightly better PotC plot as compared to the earlier in the series, unfortunatily there were many gaps left open for yet-another-sequel….
  • The Switch – ok movie if not a little predictable at times
  • Arthur – very much what you might expect from the cover, blurb

So I’m starting to get a real fancy for Kung-Fu movies when flying. They are so cheesy and simple plotted, but action fun packed. Kind of like the old Arnie movies but with swords instead of bullets. Also of note was the sillest of the movies Artur was the only one I cried in, and I put that all down to mental fatigue after 12 hours of movies and not at all that the completely hapless lead character finally started to get a small grip on reality.

Long Haul Flight: Movie Review

Back in May I flew to New Zealand for a work summit, and I normally track the movies I watch, as there’s not much else to do on the flight. I had written blog posts on the WordPress iPhone App, but not uploaded them to the blog. So here with a four month delay is the movie report in order of enjoyment.

Kung Fu Wing Chun

Kung Fu Wing Chun was a fantastic Kung Fu movie. Lots of great action with ridiculous plot. Lots of cheesy humor also made this a great film.

The Company Men

The Company Men was a great film, really enjoyed the darkness. Working for the man.

Minority Report

I had resisted watching Minority Report due to reports of terrible VR scenes and weak plot. Not sure if it was the poor air on the plane or what ;-) but I quite liked the  plot really. Yes the VR acting/hand waving was obnoxious but I liked the movie none the less.

TRON: Legacy

Now, this was a cheesy film. Very bright suites. Plot was a little weak. Funny to see the ring on the fathers back while they are on the mission to reclaim it.

Who Cut The Cheese?


I purchased Who Cut The Cheese? – An A-Mazing Parody about Change (and How We Can Get Our Hands on Yours) from a local library books sale for $1, and it was fantastic parody of the Who Moved my Cheese book/program that was ran at a previous employer before lay-off’s.

This book was a very quick read, but so funny in it’s parody. Many frowning looks from my wife as I really laugh-out-loud, and read parts out to her.

Interestingly there seams to a large number of Cheese books on Amazon, and this is probably the best one…

Also if you want a good laugh, read the one star reviews of the original book on Amazon, there are gems like alternative books titles, “It’s Never Easy Letting Valuable Employees Such As Yourself  Bill, I mean, Bob

iPhone CRPG Review

Well I’ve been busy over the last few weeks, searching the App Store for CRPG‘s.

For me I’m looking for Role Playing Games on a Computer verses fantasy button masher version of Street Fighter, like Final Fantasy.

Thus I’m looking things like: Bards Tale, Dungeon Master, Ultima, Ultima Underworld, Might and Magic, AD&D Gold Box games, Baldur’s Gate, but not dungeon crawls of the Rouge-like types.

So the games I’ve found so far are:

Perilar

Now this was very early retro style game. First thoughts where the graphics were crazy old, but I read lots about the intention of the game, and it hits it’s design goals. Once you accept the graphic, you can get into the mechanics of the game, how combat works, the restrictions of one weapon and armor at a time, this all makes taking notes helpful to learn the system, while exploring an ever greater area of the game world.

While I enjoyed exploring the game mechanics, I’ll be honest, I played till I reach the levelling limit of the free version, and then felt no need to buy the full version, it was fun, but it was not what I was looking for. There was very limited side quests.

The Quest

This is much more closer to the mark of what I was trying to find. The game has a long history on PC and mobile devices, so this is really a port of the game to the iPhone platform. The game is very elaborate, and there is a lot that I enjoy, but a issue that grated for was the graphics. While they are claim to be buatiful hand draw pictures, and I assume they look good when seen at 100%, but they look really bad as they get scaled due to depth, movement. As the pictures are restricited to a 255 palette, they have the hard colour bands that come off really badly with the subpixel selection method they use, now if there where blended, and where more softened to being with I would have played more, but really it bugged me enough that I went looking for better.

I was going to return if no better was found.

Hero Of Sparta

This is a button masher, thus not what I’m looking for. It looks good, because it has too, it’s pretty lights and button mashing.

Next..

Undercroft

This game is fantastic, very reminiscent of the class of game that I’m searching for. The game mechanics are great, you have a team of four people, but most importantly, it looks good. As you can see in the above picture, their is classic out of place look about the wolves to the back ground, but both look good, so it does not break the immersion (wonder if it’s pre-rendered or just good blending).

I have been enjoying exploring the combat skills system, some very note worthly points are:

  • It has multiple save games, and auto save.
  • It’s turned based, so you have time to think, and plan your actions (no button mashing), but you can still do that by pressing the attack button as fast as you like, but you soon learn to slow done verse big monsters, to track health levels/damage etc.
  • I like that they have a auto generate party otpion, this allowed me to start playing with pages of help explaining how the different stats/classes/skills effect things. Now that I’ve got the game understood, I’m keen to play again with a custom party. What I’ll be keen to explore at that point is how well the game replays, or weather it will be 100% replay..

So I have found the type of game I was looking for. In fact, Undercroft is very much what I was thinking I would like ‘my game’ to be, so my hats off to Rake in Grass for this classy game. They even have little humour points like the One-Ring to rule them all in the magic shop for only 999K.

Update, 1 hour later: Just purchased the full game ($6.49 NZD) as I got to the end of the lite version. Very good price for a game that I’ve already spend a couple of hours playing..