Friday, December 30, 2005

X marks the spot for Tresures: 360 degrees of Vana Diel

With the end of the Starlight Celebration what can the adventurers of Vana Diel look forward to in the new year?

For starters we'll be welcoming a host of new adventurers from the X360 console. This is the first time ever in the history of gaming that players from 3 different consoles will be playing together on the same game, online! That's correct PC, PS2 and Xbox360 players will all get to experience the wonders of FFXI online together.

Also the world of Vana Diel is about to grow again with the expansion pack The Treasures of Aht Urgan adventurers will get to uncover new lands, new monsters, new allies, and new jobs such as the mysterious Blue Mage (BLU). So with all this what has Tryptifaeris been up to? Well seeing as Krog is nearing level 70 with his Beastmaster (BST), I decided to go back to basics instead and work on some of my low level jobs such as warrior (WAR).
Krog joined me with his level 13 WAR the other day and we threw together a rag tag PT in Valkrum Dunes with a couple new adventurers, man were those guys green! "what's a DD?" "Where's the ferry go?" It was a nice change of pace using a melee character. I reached level 13 yesterday in Konschat Highlands hunting Sheep and Lizzies then ran all the way from Selbina back to Bastok to upgrade my equipment.

Bastokan Cap....10,000 gil

Bastokan Harness....15,000 gil

Republic Mittens....60,000 gil

Warriors Belt....4,000 gil

Brass Subligar....4,000 gil

Bastokan Leggings....10,000 gill

Being secure in your masculinity to wear this outfit...PRICELESS

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Starlight Celebration 05

It's that time again in Vana Diel, and this year's festivities revolve around trading greeting cards to other adventurers.

During this years Starlight Celebration I had enough gil to purchase the dream hat, but there's also a dream robe available.
In order to get the whole outfit you need to get a card from the moogles, the card needs to be traded to a specific job; War, Whm, Blm, Thf, Bst, Smn...and the cards have a level range also. So If you get a card for a BST level 60-69 you need to find a BST who has the card for your job and level. Not all that easy.

Last years Starlight Celebration I never got a chance to check out Windurst's decorations, so this year I made sure to visit.

Movie Review: King Kong

Peter Jackson's King Kong vs the 1933 original is like the Sistine Chapel to Arts & Crafts at summer camp! The movie is 3 hrs long but I felt like I was there for only an hour and a half.I have to disagree with Javen on this one The emotion that was displayed between Anne Darrow (Naomi Watts) and Kong was far superior than anything Portman and Christensen displayed. A few years back when Final Fantasy: The spirits within came out in theaters there was a lot of commotion about technology and CG characters taking jobs away from real actors, Kong not only is the star of this film he is also one of the best performers, and he never says one word! The CG character made the audience laugh, cry, cheer, grip our chairs with our mouths wide open......... not too easy a task for any actor and this digital gorilla does it effortlessly.This is most definately not some B movie monster flick that will some day get MST'd.There are some very small issues I have as well, the scene in Central Park is not one of them. First minor issue is when Kong takes Darrow the first time I think her arms might have been dislocated, and the scene shortly afterwards when he is whipping her around....can you say whiplash or snapped neck, the animation was a tad poor there.The scene where Andy Serkis (Lumpy the Chef) becomes "worm food" is borderline Hellraiser scarry. I have a strong stomach and that made my stomach turn. Oh and if you have issues with bugs.....offer to go get a refill on the soda then they fall down the chasm on that tree bridge.....The inhabitants of Skull Island are stone cold ruthless, my only quib is if they are soooo isolated and modern civilization has yet to find them, why would they be so terrified of gun shots?I will say with full confidence this movie is worth full price admission and would rock to see it in lends itself to it.The finale is pure movie magic and once again the emotion between Watts and a Digital Kong is phenomenal. It's always a good sign when the audience claps at the end of the movie, it's better (sometimes) when they walk out silent. Kong got both!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Movie Review: The Chronicals of Narnia the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

When my wife and I saw Narnia , she loved it but she had also read the book as a child. I on the other hand did not, I was reading JRR Tolkien and thus have mixed feelings about the film, I'll take her word that the film is faithful to the novel. The opening sequence in WWII England was fabulous and the final battle against the White Witch had some interesting similarities. Narnia is a great fantasy movie for children, like Harry Potter I hope this movie sparks an interest in reading the books. Tilda Swinton (The Beach) was amazing as the White Witch! As good as Ian Mckellan was as Gandalf, Tilda was just as good as the White Witch. My only gripe was that I think the film should have spent a bit more time with Jadis so the connection between her and the White Witch was a little clearer. I got it but I think it might be missed by "Joe movie goer". As I stated earlier this movie is for children but there are aspects adults will catch while the kids are mezmerized by talking bevers and lions. I am extremely pleased with the casting of the four children, they could've gone all Hollywood but opted to with truer actors, these kids fit the roles perfectly. Georgie Henley (Lucy) is delightful on screen and Skandar Keynes has just the right look as Edmund and does a good job portraying the character and all Edmunds emotions. There are many sickly sweet scenes, but I don't fault the film, it's that we adults aren't used to it anymore, we're jaded and synical. Children will see this film differntly than we do.But then there are scenes that felt unbalanced, most notably the Aslan sacrafice. It resonates a specific scene in Passion of the Christ. Whether intentional or not by C.S Lewis I made that connection, for kids it may be a bit too scary in my opinion.Another scene that seemed odd for me was when Father Christmas showed up out of thin air and gave these kids weapons. This scene seemed edited and didn't work quite as the extended scene in LotR when Galadriel gives the Fellowship gifts as they depart from Lothlorien.The final scene that didn't sit well with me was Lucy's first encounter with Mr Tumnus, but as I said earlier what I saw will not be what children see. When Mr Tumnus invites Lucy to his home for tea and cake I instantly had warnings going off in my mind. I somehow doubt children would have that same forboding.As I watched the final battle I kept thinking of William Wallace.....why? HmmmmThe fight between Peter and the Witch was enjoyable to watch, the sets were all magnificent, the aerial scenes with the Gryphons were cool, Liam Neeson doing the voice of Aslan was the right choice. There were some obvious super imposures that I spotted, but didn't detract from the overall experience. In the end the thing that stuck with me the most was something Professor Kirke told Lucy, during the credits, when she asked if she could ever go back to Narnia. It was the youngest of the four who first discovered Narnia, it was then that I realized as we get older we loose our imagination, we become jaded and see the world differently. So is the case with the audience, the children in the audience will be able to believe in Aslan and Mr. Tumnus and the beauty of Narnia, we will see four kids wisked away to the counrtyside to escape war torn england and thru there boredom create a fantastic world that mirrors the real world around them.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Game Review: SOCOM 3 US Navy Seals

My first impressions of the online game is...bigger, better. Zipper has incorporated new aspects into the game engine, most notably vehicles. Many socom faithful feared that the inclusion of vehicles would change the core game, but from the time I've played online the addition of vehicles doesn't detract from the game but actually adds an new element to those who play strategically.Some other nice improvements to the online game are the multitude of filters available when making rooms, battlefield maps are now adjustable but most people will make the room max allowable players, I was in a few 32 player rooms and I experienced 0 lag! Other useful filters include the option of day or night for each map, vehicles on/off, and for me one of the best filters is the option to make any map any style from Supression, Demolition, Extraction, Escort, Convoy and Control Point. The latter is similar to SW Battlefront but with the Core Socom game it can be very strategic! The latter two being the new styles added for S3. Other changes to the Socom online game, which I like, is the idea that if you want the extra fluff; clan, friends list, ranking, ladder matches you need to verify your "account" with a credit card. (yes socom is still free) The disclaimer states clearly that you won't get charged, but I still see many complaints. Why? Are you paranoid that you'll be fined for glitching? Do I think that cheaters should be charged? Hell Yeah! If you have never played Socom before now is the best reason to pick up a copy of Sony's flagship online title. And the offline game is tough as Seals, I'll add my 2 cents on the offline game once I've played a bit of it. The interesting thing about Socom is most people buy it for the online play and the off line is secondary, where almost every other game the offline is primary.

online: 9/10 offline: 9/10