Blog Challenge!! ONE WORD!

TO EVERY BLOGGER, WRITER, PHILOSOPHER, ROCKET SCIENTIST AND SELF PROCLAIMED GENIUS IN THE UNIVERSE.

I’m welcoming any of those to challenge me to a ONE WORD write off!  All you have to do is comment ONE WORD and I write two paragraphs.

THEN, I pass that challenge onto the the person challenging and ONE other blogger!!!  

Once that is done I’ll take up ANOTHER WORD!

REBLOG this link on your page with the challenged word so they know the rules, if you intend to challenge others.

The challenger must give the word of his or her choice, that is all.

-Raccondaddy, original author.


Advertisements

DOG…GONE!

Last month, I was coming home from work one morning and opened the front door. Normally, our 25lbs chubby brown puggle Daisy would come walking up to the door to greet me. Except I was greeted by her and a grey Yorkie about half her size, with beady brown eyes.  For a moment, I thought…I’m in the Twilight Zone, cuz we don’t have another dog and we never let one in recently.

This is the closest resemblance to Rosie, sorry I don’t have any available pictures to show, at the moment.

I called up Louie and it turns out, the dog was cowering in front of the doorstep as she was leaving for work that morning.  The poor dog was lost, with no tag or collar and simply walked and brushed up against her leg.  She felt that it had chosen her, and who wouldn’t, the dog was really friggin’ cute.

Once Louie got home, we started thinking of ways to find it’s owner.  First, it was the SPCA, which we found out that she didn’t have a chip.  Then we did flyers, social media and Craigslist ads (which were a waste of time, really).  Nothing…no one could either prove they owned her or wanted to take her in.

Maybe I should’ve put this up on Craigslist, as we kept getting emails about “owners” of Rosie.  None had ANY proof of ownership!

So we took her in, not knowing what to do next.  Mostly, she was a great dog around the house and warmed up to the family almost instantly!  Louie and Grace, loved her so much; Grace (our 4yr old) named her Rosie Cozy.

However, we noticed that Rosie had issues with fear and would tend to cower and hide.  This lead to difficuties having her go to the bathroom and ultimately accidents in the house.  Also, Daisy was not getting along with her and the two would fight over food and sometimes bed space.  These things were making her stay to be difficult but managable.  Until she ran into the busy street last week…

When bolted out into the road, she almost caused a multicar accident on a two-lane street. This led our neighbor (who is normally pretty friendly to us), to yell at my wife for almost causing that accident outside.  After a talk with the neighbor and with Louie, we decided it was time to give her up.

Luckily, we found a no-kill shelter that could take her in and help her find a new family.  Louie couldn’t bring herself to take her and Grace, had become so attached to her, that we had to tell her that we’d found her original family.  (Telling her that would’ve made it much easier for her to understand Rosie leaving)

When I got there, I was pretty much told to wait outside and was told to “wait until our dog person will see you”.  But it looked as though they weren’t going to be able to take her that day.  By sheer irony or just crazy good luck, the dog expert there said that she knew someone who wanted a Yorkie.  It turned out that the owner of the local bakery was the same that made our wedding cake almost 5 years ago!!

Talk about a crazy coincidence!!

KINDA LIKE THIS!

I THINK…NOT!!

A couple hours later, we met up with the baker’s family.  Rosie warmed up to them almost instantly; which is pretty much what happened with us.  I really didn’t need to ask, “Do you want to have as part of your family?!”  Everything seemed to come together that evening and it only got better.

As we waited for Rosie to get her inoculations and paperwork to be finished, her husband Rob, began talking about work and what do as our daily.  He and I ended up having a ton in common and we ended up doing some business networking and it looks like I may have a new job opportunity with his company!

Fingers are crossed like you cannot believe and with how everything went from one month ago to today, seems more than coincidental.  Capitalizing on this, I made a stop into the their bakery and bought a birthday cake for my wife.  (Who had her’s the next day) and took Grace and Louie out to Don Pablo’s.  Overall, a phenomenal night and can’t remember one day that went so smoothly.

DLC WHY IT IS AND ISN’T WORKING!!!

Since the introduction of the Xbox 360 (maybe earlier?), gamers and players alike were treated with little bite sized snack add-ons, we call DLC or downloadable content (for those who’ve been living in a bunker for the last decade) At first, it started as an avatar picture for your profile, a new weapon skin or an new character to play with.

Then came major add-ons from games like The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, which added totally new areas to explore, which was pretty cool, but most of it was just REALLY short.   The Shivering Isles expansion was a MUCH larger world that took the same game and placed into an “Alice in Wonderland” kind of world.  Fans LOVED it and companies steadily picked up on the fact that additional content AFTER a retail release was a GOOD thing!

 

Mass Effect, Gears of War, Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and many others began launch their own content MANY months following the release of a successful title.  (BIG HINT:  SUCCESSFUL TITLE!  More on that, later.) Fans that bought the add-ons were left salivating for another release or add-on.  Some were given what they wanted, others sorely disappointed by stale sequels and poor expansions.

Currently, the market is FLOODED with DLC content!!

funny-flood-meme
Okay everyone!  Put on your rose-tinted glasses!  – link

 

Most releases are GUARENTEED to have expansions, regardless if the game is successful or not!  Games are given shorter production windows and made smaller in value.  It seems like we’re getting the short of the stick with many of our games.  (At least, the Playstation and Xbox owners are, not sure about the Nintendo crowd.)  Recent releases such as Destiny, carry a heavy price tag for players that just want the FULL experience RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!!  Will this ever be the same?!   No, probably not.  Unless community mods become a welcomed staple on console games, it’s not going to.

Which brings me to whole purpose of writing this shit today, I’ve decided to weigh what’s truly good about DLC and what isn’t.  Maybe this will encourage you and others to be more mindful DLC purchases or just plunge into a really great add-on!

 

BAD – IT COSTS TOO MUCH!!  A prime example, is the expansion for Fallout 4: Far Harbor.  Following a price increase on their “season pass” from $29.99 to $49.99 Bethesda (Fallout 4’s developer) released Far Harbor with a $25 price tag!  (WTF right?!)  Many fans believed this was due to it being a massive addition to the game, extending play for many hours.  What most people got was an add-on that was short, but sweet, lasting up to 10 to 12 hours.  It left many fans with a sour taste in their mouths, if they ended up paying the full price for that DLC.  (Opinions may vary)

husband-wont-stick-to-a-budget
THIS!!!  (Points finger at picture and circles picture)  I don’t want… THIS!   (P.S. THIS only happens by buying DLC, Guns, LOTS of booze, and “tips”)

On a note with season passes, many of these are going for the price of FULL RETAIL purchase!  Many of which, are being announced at PRE-RELEASE/PRE-ORDER times.  (Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch!)

GOOD- YOU GET MORE STUFF FROM THE GAME YOU LOVE!  Many will complain about the price of DLC.  But in all honesty, IF YOU LOVED PLAYING THAT GAME, wouldn’t you want more content when everything is all said and done?!  SURE!!  DLC does this, with it, you’ve got new modes, weapons, skins, customization options, stories, areas, maps, etc.  For example, I love playing Mortal Kombat X (or XL as it’s described with all of the content added), the new characters like Jason Vorhees, the Predator and other classic characters folks asked for and got.  DLC works out great when it works for you!  Hell, I’ll even admit, Call of Duty’s zombie maps ARE creative, with their easter eggs, new weapons and guest characters with one liners tossed in for good humor.

BAD-LACK OF CREATIVE CONTENT!   Sadly, when we get a fantastic game, that universally, fans love.  We find a yearning for some extra continuation of that same gameplay and feel.  But the expectation is pretty much a letdown once the real content arrives.  Borderlands 2 did this with its second season, which seemed to have its team already exhausted from ideas on expanding the current game as is.  Most likely, a lot of the material was more director’s cut, stuff that really didn’t need to be resold to us.  (They were bit sized add-on that were cheap, admittedly and were SORT OF fun, if you weren’t already bored with the game.)

GOOD- ADD-ONS BREATH NEW LIFE INTO MULTIPLAYER SESSIONS.  Electronic Arts and Activision have always been pretty good at putting out map packs.  Premium members on both tend to get an expansion once every three months, which is clearly intended to EXTEND its server life.  This usually keeps its loyal fans in sessions and constantly in competition.

BAD – ONLINE GOES DEAD WITH EXCLUSIVED SESSIONS.  Battlefield Hardline and Arkham Origins were perfect examples of this.  One or two months after an expansion was released, the exclusive servers focused on that particular expansion were GHOST TOWNS.  Think about how many times, you’ve seen a session like that!!!  IT HAPPENS A LOT!!  Fortunately, EA has been catching onto that with Hardline and has been gradually been offering their DLC free during certain weeks.  Does it change anything???  Not that I’ve noticed, as too many players have moved away from the game.  (Battlefield with less vehicles and small maps, makes for a less interesting game!)

Go on Hardline’s “Betrayal” maps and this what you get…forget having 64 players.

BAD – DEVELOPERS ARE FORCED TO MAKE DLC!  Street Fighter V is the prime suspect with this crime!  The title was marketed out as a retail release with the competitive players in mind.  BULLSHIT!!  Capcom, you shortened the window because you thought that making a earlier release would boost sales.  Well, they were right!  But the barebones presentation burned a HELLUVA LOT OF BRIDGES with the fans.   The ONLY thing that might have saved SFV was that the eventual content was made free.  Personally, I passed on this version, as there WILL be another version released at one point.  Put simply, give us a finished product, THEN release new content.  That seems fair.

YEAH! This is what I wanted to see…oh wait, this never happened.

GOOD – IT TIDES US OVER UNTIL SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG.  You’ve got the content and DLC and you’re loving it more than Mickey D’s.  Then, BAM!  The game you’ve been waiting for has been released.  Hardcore gamers can identify with this, yet that’s what a game backlog is for!  Either way, you’re good to go.  (Personally, I don’t fall into this category and just play my older games in my spare time.)

GOOD – FANSERVICE IN A GOOD WAY!  An honorable mention is Batman: Arkham Knight.  As much as people bitched and hollered about the season pass for that game.  If you got the discount, you ended up with a SHIT TON of bat goodies:    6 playable short stories w/characters to use in the challenges, 50+ outfits and vehicle skins and 1 major story add-on.  I was lucky and paid $20 bones for it, but I admit it would’ve been a value at full price!  DLC does this really well most of the times; sure it should be stuff they add as unlockables from the retail game.  But sometimes, you wouldn’t get to see that content without DLC, after release.

BAD – MOST DLC IS EITHER FUN OR A CHORE – I can’t count how many times, I’ve played DLC that was poorly injected into the game or story of something I was playing.  This just SHOWS the developers laziness and poor efforts in planning the additional content.  It bothers me knowing that have to expect this when I get DLC for a game.  It shouldn’t be that way.

 

Thanks for reading this lengthy rant on how DLC MAKES or BREAKS a purchase.  I may be preaching to the choir with some of you guys, but maybe some of you were stuck on being indecisive about it.  Hopefully, I helped today!

Thought Provoking Questions! – Dragon Age: INQUISITION

  1.  Knowing what a REAL WORLD inquisition is like, say your a lowly farmhand in the Fereldon.  Would you run for your life and hide, or join up to smell the witches BURN?
  2. If you knew there was a womanizing crossbow wielding dwarf, with all kinds of STDs running around in your party.  Then he asks you, “Would you like to play with my crossbow?!”  What would your answer be!
  3. Guess what?! You’ve got magic!  Cast a spell!
  4. You’ve just woken up with a glowing green mark on your hand (that can save the world), and everybody’s treating you like Jesus Christ!  How you gonna handle this?
  5. Pick a class Rouge, Mage, Knight.  Why?
  6. Now that your running the Inquisition, who are you going to inquisit?  (In know not a word, but you get it.  Right?!)

 

 

 

Title Image Source

Poetic Justice – Mother’s Day Part 2

To Louie,

 

Flying blindly beyond uncertainty, you saw hope with me.

Seeing beyond the quirks, quips and silliness, it didn’t fool you, it was known that there was much more beyond that mask.

Behind that shyness, was whit, creativity and unrivaled passion, which magnetized my soul to yours.

The pair matched by none, yet questioned only by us.

Those ventures we embarked on were foolish, yet always landed on solid ground.

No matter how much we change the clothes we wear, time doesn’t slow to tell us.           That it fits.  We fit………perfectly.

Never forget, that you’ve created amazing things; especially when they’re made of sugar, spice and everything nice!

She is life, so sweet and wonderful; yet so much like us!  SHE IS GRACE!

When time slows down, I realize, that you are my happiness, my everything, my God I need to stop, before you make me melt, like an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

My joy, so much more is yet to be told of our story.  I just know, words don’t capture that kind of happiness.

Please remember, through these many years, don’t ever get tired of my sappiness.

 

I LOVE YOU LOUIE!

 

Title image – SOURCE

 

Trash it or Recycle: Filler Content

Most gamers look at these things as simply more things that they can do in a game.  Others view it as a means to expand the game to unnecessary lengths.  When we play, many titles are littered with side quest/tasks/missions, collectables, one-dimensional characters and side stories that don’t pertain to the narrative.

I feel it’s overused, personally.  We play further to get the better gear, equipment and really try to improve our characters progression.  Years ago, this was throttled fairly well, many games balanced progression from having someone being OP’d (overpowered) and from gaining mindless junk.

573689538_preview_map
Love or hate Fallout 4, how much of this was storyline-related? – SOURCE

Now we are given tasks that do help us get to where we’re going, but there seems to be so much unnecessary content.  Take “The Witcher” games; as you progress in the story, little by little, you are given access to various quests based upon your level.  Some are under you level and you can clearly see that, in the menu.

But if complete them, which can range from being pretty lengthy to a 5-minute hike, you are rewarded with paltry amounts of gold and only 1 XP; should you be well above the level.  Each title does this, why?

Getting the collectibles can be fun and enjoyable, but is now bordering on tedium.  EVERY game has them now, with the inclusion of trophies and achievements.  It pretty much become a forced feature, as all games HAVE to include a trophy/achievement set.  (Don’t get me wrong, I like trophies/achievements, for the most part)

I look at it much like eating a desert.  Was the content enjoyable, bland or just some much that ruined the dish or made it too rich?  Take this whoopee pie, for example.

WhoopiePieMarshmallowFillingFifteenSpatulas
SOURCE

The cake layers are most likely going to taste pretty good, suffice they aren’t burnt or overdone.  (If they did, you would not have an overall good quality game!  Which would ruin the experience.)  Is the filling inside, marshmallow, frosting, Kool Whip or Elmer’s glue.  Depending on those factors, is how that filler or filling is going to cater to your enjoyment.  Now that is food for thought

Filler also really needs to stop being the distraction from the true purpose of the gaming experience.  Look at Metal Gear Solid V, if you just played the story and listened to the tapes; you probably got a better experience out of it than most of us.  When I played, I searched every nook and cranny, completed every mission and compiled resources.  For what?!  Bragging rights, mostly.  (which is getting kind of old)

Some do get it right; Borderlands is a prime example.  Much of the content remains fresh, with hilarious voice-overs, level-balanced loot and multiple characters that do have unique play styles.  It was a good balance, which never felt old to me.

So, what do you guys think?  Is it getting old or do you like it?

Title source

Tweaks and Rage, how we f*ck up fiction!

Following my completion of The Witcher 3, I moved back onto Arkham Knight.  So far, I’m almost done.  But I have a few issues with the whole Arkham series and just comic adaptations….period.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m lovin’ this like Mickey D’s, and I’ll elaborate a little more on my perspective later.

The narratives in the story for comics are always the standard that these adaptations adhere to.  This bothers me, BEYOND ALL BELIEF!!!!!   Why?!  Aren’t the fans getting enough homage to their favorite characters just by making the adaptation?

First is TWEAKING; which is when movie/videogame/tv adaptations change the story to suit the audience.  Why must they only tweak it?!  Why can’t the writers just do something dramatic and just …WRITE!  I’m so tired of seeing people complain about the movies, game or show not following the “CANON” story.  Who cares?!  Really!  Okay, Okay we know that nerd rage is out there and sure, it’s as big as a Mack truck.  But here is the funny thing; I think tweaking is pissing more fans off than actually changing the story!

Take for example, this whole bitch and complaining about Marvel and Disney changing the character in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie.  They are changing the character in order to take the character in a different direction, as opposed to Batman Begins, that seems to have a similar storyline to the new movie.  (which makes sense, if you’re a writer!!!!)  However, there are the ragers out there and conspiracy theorist that are saying they’re doing this to appease the Chinese audience.

17djyaF
(Nerd rage!) Okay, put the guns DOWN, I mean UP, okay.  1..2……………..3, you win!

 

You see, the character they’re changing is Tibetan, which we all know wants nothing to do with China.  People believe that China will ban it, thus Disney & Marvel losing major cash profit from Chinese viewers.   I get it, Disney/Marvel are greedy SOBs and want to get as much as they want.  That and appeasing to the Chinese censoring, by changing your writing is pretty much like a writer becoming China’s bitch.

Whatever the case, maybe it’s like that or the companies ARE just doing it to prevent foreign censorship.  (This is the total opposite of creative writing or just creating period.)  Yet, it’s tweaking that bothers me overall.  Why can’t writers, keep the basic premise of the characters (how they got powers, supporting roles, setting and villains), but WRITE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, be BOLD and SURPRISE the audience!  How would it be, if certain characters got killed off, others changed affiliations or some made different decisions?  It would be dynamic!

Look at the Resident Evil movies, fans don’t like them as much as the games, for obvious reasons, they WERE different!  But most non-gamers liked them and if you ignore THE RAGE on metacritic, it’s a fairly good title.  This holds true for most of them.  Yet, I found that the writers kept trying to please fans and general viewers.  This is where they failed HARD.  You either do one or the other, NOT BOTH!!  The further they went in different directions, the worse these titles got!!

In Arkham Knight, they did it right!  They took the stories from the comics and took it in a different direction.  Yet, does it still have to affect the canon, if it’s different? Depends, but I think that’s up to the writers at home base, not up to the fan base, if you follow my meaning.

tynvnxhducx48dkbywhl
Perfect example of coming with something new!

Second, is OVER-EXPOSURE; which does nothing but make viewers tired of the same things fans have experienced.  Once you’ve done a trilogy of something, stop making origin stories in the productions, if they’ve already been told.  If you missed it, go watch the earlier movies; plain and simple.

Throughout the Arkham Games, it seems your always fighting a lot of repeat villains; while iconic, is repetitive and gets old.  Despite this, there were some great moments in many of the returning ones, while others just should’ve omitted from being filler content.  Batman has a vast array of characters to work with, draw from them?  Knight did this, keeping too many familiars in the game.  Sure, they were side quests, but did we need them, debatable.  (They are optional, after all)

xray-stooges
Results from over-exposure can result in death.

Last, is PLAYING IT SAFE!  The Walking Dead, both on TV and the comics have HUGELY successful simply because they do the opposite!  Despite as to how much fans hated this recent television cliffhanger, the writers have us HOOKED!  The reason is, “NO ONE IS SAFE”, which is what the theme for the season was.  As far as we know, we could see the main protagonist be nixed!  What would happen, if it was done major characters…perminantly!  Comics do this way too much!  In fact, they abuse it to the point that fans expect dead characters to return, in some way.  Personally, I hate that!

It’s great to do fan service, do Easter eggs and references.  But catering to a certain crowd, just ends up looking like either too much editing or an excuse to be lazy with writing fiction.

I did it!!!!

After tons of dedicated time playing The Witcher 3, I’m officially done!  All of the main quest is DONE!  No more contracts, gwent or errand running.  At a later dates, I’ll make entries like I’ve been doing before.  I haven’t recently, as I’ve been trying to have a more structured system here for my posts.  That will be addressed as is!

I’m feeling for now, that weekly features will be available as I can imagine my brain processing the material so…..

bear_with_me2_zpsxfk0itt8
Source

Yet, I digress, let me get back on topic!

After finishing it; initially really felt let down!  As grand as the final areas were for the last battle, it seemed lackluster and not the swan song finish I was expecting!

However, here’s where everything began to make this game feel more like a living experience, than JUST A GAME.

When you are playing this, after a while, you’ll notice that you keep running into characters from the past titles.  Many of them are for the purpose of a fluid movement of the narrative, but a few are characters that were not expected to have survived the previous entries or their fate was left in question.  While playing, you are given the chance to give those characters full closure.

Here’s the kicker, the ending of the The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

is THE WITCHER 3!!!

funny-shocked-dogs-no-way-husky-snow-pics
SOURCE

Yeah!!!!  Now, what do you think of that?!  By end game many of you will feel as hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny!!  But think about it!  Did you have any unanswered questions about what happened to whom?

If you did, then you probably had them nixed from your choices you made in Vizima following the end of the first chapter.  (Which was essentially there for the non-PC players that couldn’t migrate their saves or were new to the series)

Despite that, I’d say this game was as fantastic as Red Dead Redemption!  (In terms, of everything as a whole!  RDR is a masterpiece in its own explanation!)

Geralt’s finale has my highest recommendation, should you pick it up!  However, a neat little tip, avoid the under-leveled quests, I found them to be 8/10 a waste of time!  With the exception of, the character related ones, they’re worth your time.

For now, I’m off to take a little break for the next few days and will post some shares, videos and such to keep you guys entertained!

 

Title image – SOURCE

CHECK IT OUT!!! Reblog share! “Today I Played!”

About a month after I had started my blog, I came across this guy’s page during the early hours of that morning.  It’s called,  “Today I Played!” His self challenge for this year, is play a different game EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year, and write on it!  For the most part, he’s done that!

12442

Its really an interesting concept, taking an avid gamer’s perspective and gear it towards casual gamers.  If I had reservations about trying ANY new titles, this would be the first blog to get your feet wet on.  I feel he kind of gives you that brief snapshot needed to get you interested in something new!

mgsv-1

There is so much quality content and nostalgia, (covering all gaming generations!) to be had here and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you go check it out!!

HERE IS THE LINK TO HIS AMAZING PAGE!!

2452193-0002