Sunday, July 31, 2011

Room in a Box.

I thought this to be fairly interesting. The furniture looks slightly flimsy and bed seriously uncomfortable, but I LOVE the idea! It's like a merging of worlds for people who love IKEA and moving. A lot.

I have Ascended.

Yesterday morning I woke up with the old World of Warcraft loading screen theme in my head, you know, the totally awesome one with the Dark Portal? I thought about reactivating my account, thinking about re-rolling all over again, and playing. The more and more I thought about it, the more and more it seemed like a chore. I would have remember my password for starters, since I can barely remember my own name on a daily basis. Then I would have to go through the agonizing process of patching, patching, patching, as I know I have missed a lot. Then, of course the leveling and the scramble to get on top, or at least as close I could be.

I pushed those thoughts aside and did some yoga, had some coffee, but as I went through out my day, I could not help but think about reactivating my account. Today, I was bored - Ed had control of the TV for some old tymey video gaming, and I put my laptop away. So, with the "awesome gaming computer" waiting for me, I downloaded the trial for Rift. So far, I have played through a minor portion of the starter area, only about maybe an hour or two. My impressions of it are, well, good!

To start, my first complaint is the fact that the trial period is only 7 days. I remember the WoW trial being longer. Ahem. Anyway. So, in Rift, the world Telara is under siege and you as an Ascendant are one of the chosen ones to fight for the world. I liked the opening movie, as I am impressed by flashy lights and pretty colors. So, your first stop is a lot of choices, from which shard to play on (server), to faction (Guardians or Defiant), then race and class. It's pretty standard fare. Having absolutely no knowledge of this game or the story lines, I pretty much closed my eyes and clicked. I ended up choosing a Bahmi Rogue. So, once you get that out of the way, you're dropped into the world. Or, rather, into the world as apparently you find out you were once dead. Like any MMO, you're given tasks, you do them, and you get rewards. Some of the tasks reward you with choices, and these choices are your Soul Attunement, the leveling and class system in the game.

This system is magnificent. The amount of customization is incredible. World of Warcraft's three talent trees and duel class system is a child's toy compared to what this system can do. Even from the beginning you get two "souls" to choose from, and even some helpful suggestions as to which ones could be used together. Altogether you get three souls, along with their branch options and roots. The branches are the points you place yourself and the roots are the standard skills and spells that come along with your levels. So, not only can you build a custom class, you can THEN customize the class to how you want it. For a full listing of all the options, go here.

The graphics are great, and less flashy pants than World of Warcraft, but it's appropriate. You've just been ressurected into a world of turmoil, and your purpose to go fix it. I enjoy the realism and darkness, after almost 5 years of cartoon characters carrying around swords the size of small children. I haven't kicked the graphics up, opting to stay at a lower rate, but even on the low side of things, it still looks pretty. The menu and toolbar are fairly basic, easy to understand for the novice and pro-raider alike.

I haven't played a whole lot of it, but I plan on for the next week as I pay my trial. I have taken advantage of the built in video cap system (also: auto posting to YouTube, posting to Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter of pictures) to post some videos:

I fite with arrows! And a boar-thing!

screwing around in the first main quest area.

and yes, I did recycle my old WoW Mage's name. I am sooooo original. Anyway. I think this has the potential to become the antidote to World of Warcraft burn out. The game is extremely sophisticated from graphics, character customization, and the wide range of class options. The story line and world is engrossing as the game throws you into the action from the very start. It's different though, and coming from WoW, I might be inhibiting myself a little bit as I keep comparing the two, but I can't help it. In two hours, I had a lot of fun playing, but I know I have barely just scratched the surface.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Captain, My Captain.

Shh! Possible spoilers. Don't say I didn't warn you. See, I am being good and channeling River Song!

So, the lovely fiancee and I went to go see Captain America: First Avenger tonight. Now, I am an Iron Man fan. He's the Captain America fan. If you know anything about the Civil War story line in Marvel Comics, you can understand the amount of contention in my household. Fact still remains that I got my movie first, so....nyah.

However, unlike Ed, I am more receptive to other rival superheros. Plus, how can anyone pass up a Marvel movie? I wasn't as super excited, but I ended up feeling quite pleased with the overall effect of the movie and how it fit within the huge overarching ultimate goal that Marvel Studios seems to be working towards: The Avengers. That was the first worry of Captain America - that it would end up feeling like Marvel's first summer offering, Thor. My second worry was how was everything going to tie itself up into one neat little knot within the Avengers? Lastly, would it stand up to the beloved image of Cap in the comics?

Imagine, if you will, one of those friendship bracelets that girls made in the proverbial "back in the day". Think about how they were made, each strand getting knotted around another strand, another and another. Think about how the bracelet would look without one row of knots, with the floss just hanging there, all limp and pathetic. That was the Marvel Movie continuity before Captain America. This movie ties up the knots and makes the friendship bracelet look pretty, and now can be given to Cap's BFF Iron Man. Truly, after quite a few years, Captain America finally bridges the gap between, the highly anticipated Avengers flick and does so without feeling like this effort was tacked on (like Thor).

As a stand alone superhero movie, it was pretty damn awesome. The overall look did quite an excellent job of meshing sci-fi technology with a World War II 1940's style without camp overload. The costumes and running nods to the comics, like Cap's chevron shield, were done in a creative manner that worked fit into the story line. Speaking of which, the story was done so very well. Even though the entrance of the Cosmic Cube was set up at the very tail end of Thor, the writers took something that could have been crap but made into the movie's own possession. Plus, not only does it run with it, but sets up for what I think is going to be the main event of The Avengers Movie (Hi, who did NOT see Loki prancing around with the shiny shiny, then appearing for a split second in the Avengers trailer?). Of course, the movie was peppered with Marvel's cheeky wit and quick jibes between characters.

Also, HYDRA. (Cut off one head, two more shall take it's place.) Who cannot simply LOVE Hugo Weaving as Red Skull? I think he stole the show, with his sweeping long leather coat and sinister looming presence. As a villain, Red Skull is Cap's nemesis, and I really hope he's going to be back in all his evil glory. The final fight scene was done beautifully, with amazing fight coordination and camera angles. The very end of the movie was satisfying, with the right touch of sadness, as now we are painfully aware, Cap is a man 70 years out of his own world.

Lastly, as the Iron Man fangirl, I could not help but just love Howard Stark. Dominic Cooper brought the right amount of RDJ's Tony Stark, but without whacking you over the head with "YES, THIS IS IRON MAN'S DAD". I very much enjoyed Howard and Stark Industries' inclusion, giving a sense history to the Stark family's involvement in important events. Now, I am just wondering who I like better as Tony's dad - Dominic or John Slattery, who was in the Stark Expo short in the Iron Man 2.

In short, my worries were really for nothing. I hate to make comparisons (never mind, I can, it's my own damn blog) but between Captain America and Thor, I get the impression that more thought went into making Captain America into its own movie, not just merely a vehicle to introduce a new Marvel hero and story device for two other movies. Captain America: First Avenger was amazing, well done and thoughtful. It was a joy to watch, the acting spot on, the special effects with enough "wow factor", and action that kept my ADD riddled attention. The best Marvel movie in my opinion? That honor is reserved for Iron Man, but this ranks pretty high. I might change that opinion when The Avengers comes out, so now I wait with anticipation and bated breath.

P.S. There was some outcry over my attire by my friend Mike. He claimed I was not nerding it up enough. I wore my retro style polka dot dress (featured below), with 40's red nails and a red belt. My personal feelings on the matter are that I stayed true to the WWII theme of the movie and got my Andrews Sisters on. Wish I kinda had something with peplum though. Oh well.

P.P.S. I really don't hate Thor. I love Thor. I just think the movie was...lacking.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things I am Crushing On

Just a wee list of things I can't live without right NOW, in no particular order:

This dress. I just got it like, not 2 hours ago from Forever 21 and looks fabulous! I do seem to be amassing a collection of retro inspired dresses.

The NEW Coach Poppy Leather Pushlock Satchel in black. The lines and design are SO classic, but the little ribbon and brass fittings keep it fun and contemporary. Plus, Poppy seems to have grown up a bit! You can find her at Coach

Stupidly addicting, I just can't help myself. I love the fact that your Sims must "party up" to complete quests and tasks, just like in an RPG, or a dungeon crawl. Cleverly well done, and Patrick Stewart does the opening voice over!

I am re-reading this book for the second time. It's been a while, so I am still getting surprises out of it! Just waiting, waiting, waiting for the third book.

It's been very hot lately, and in addition to being delicious plastic tubes of frozen sugar water, they are cooling and refreshing!

And that is all for now, I am going to go stick my head in the freezer and cool off.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hey, look! I have a blog!

Ugggh....Arrgh. Blogging is one of those things where I just plum forget about it. And I really try not to. Anyway, I decided today at work I would actually try *really* hard to actually do something about the blog, as in, use it. I even made a Flickr account so I can add pictures and not just walls of text of me, talking. talking. talking. talk.

So, basically, what I am trying to do is: more pictures, less talky (I really can't promise this one, but I can try), and more style and geekery. Sometimes there will more one than the other. I can't help that. Banana-case, I feel that smaller posts at the least will be a hella lot better. And also, not just clothes style, but for the home, computers, gadgets, etc. So, keep an eye out!