The Year in the Rearview Mirror – 2015

suck-a-fAs far as I am concerned the year 2015 can go fuck itself. Sure that may seem harsh but hear me out. I’ll give you my main reasons for hating on the year but keep in mind I’m not looking for sympathy. Rather I’m looking to lay it all out there and leave it all behind me.

Death – Obviously I am not dead(or am I a ghost writer?) but plenty of people that I knew fondly, directly, and even indirectly passed this year. I actually had to sit down and make a list just to keep them all straight. The list ended up with no less than fifteen names. Some were surprises and some were inevitable but they were all mournful. I tried to be there as best I could for people but sometimes you only get that empty feeling like there is really nothing you can do.

Insult – Working for a living can suck no matter who you are, let’s be clear on that. The year of 2015 decided it should especially shit on my plate by having two of my co-workers go on extended medical absences simultaneously which left me trying to help cover. Sure some of my other co-workers pitched in on the day to day duties but do you think anybody wanted to take any of the weekend on-call duties? No, they did not. Then it happened again when two people quit in the same week and we were again short-staffed.

Injury – Who loves bowling? I do, or I did until I herniated my L5 disc doing it. It amazes me and perplexes me how in this age of modern science and technology those in the medical field are so incredible inept. Too harsh? Well, if you’ve ever had back pain you may understand my frustration from bouncing of doctor to doctor, from pills to rehab, to injections to setbacks all in vain only to have my greatest relief come from a chiropractor’s hand. I had been told by friends and colleagues to seek such treatment but I declined, not for fear of the chiropractor as I had been to the same one before, but rather because of other health issues that caused me discord. All those other issues dissipated but the back problem still remains. With my chiropractor’s help and the calisthenic regime he gave me, things are improving.

Although I left out other things, I still hold true to my claim that the year that was 2015 can definitely suck a fuck. However I won’t have you think that I am taking this poorly or it will continue this bad. Again I will say I want no sympathy because I plan to do all I can to make 2016 worthy of forgetting all the bad things about 2015. Give me no comments or lines wishing me well, don’t even acknowledge my plight. It’s all up to me and I’m planning to be better you see and that is what we should all plan to be.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

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When I Think About Remakes…

remakes

After reading about the Final Fantasy Vii and Point Break remakes, I can’t help but feel like this. Some re-makes or reboots have been well worth it, the Tomb Raider games are a good example, but overall I really wish more people were making more original games and movies rather than rehashing or reusing stuff.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

2015 Games of the Year

The year of 2015 is almost over and what better time to reflect on this year’s games. To that effort, I am ranking my games year. This list will only include the games I played and it is shorter than I expected. We’ll take it from worst to first, what I liked the least to what I liked the most. And we start with…

theorder_guns

The Order: 1886 – What can I say? This games was just bad. Style over substance made the looks of the game its best feature. I keep wanting to play this game as to discover something else to make it worth my while but then I find my time better spent doing almost anything else.

Fallout_4_box_coverFallout 4 – It just would have been cruel to rank this game lower than The Order: 1886. This game isn’t necessarily bad but I couldn’t even keep myself interested enough in it to bother finishing it. Maybe next year.

2891183-batman-arkham_knight-review_promo_20150618Batman: Arkham Knight – If there would have been less Batmobile and more Batman I’m certain I would have liked this game better than I did. Once I finished the main story of this game I never played it again. The prospect of DLC gains no interest from my part and my hopes are that the next Batman game will indeed have more Batman.

h5-guardians-campaign-reunion-starstuff-03-e1f7b32aa49f4fb4b28b3bd86880db6fHalo 5: Guardians – Having a long love of the Halo series, it is disappointing to have this game this low on my list. As Reach and ODST were not true “Halo” games, this entry came off less as Halo 5: Guardians and more as Halo: Guardians – featuring Master Chief.

devastation-transTransformers: Devastation – If the game had better mechanics it may have been higher on this list. The art was absolutely beautiful to those of us that grew up watching the cartoon on tv but the gameplay made it a sad state of affairs.

mgsvtppMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – As serious as this game tries to take itself it is the most rewarding for being the most ridiculous. What other games lets you tie balloons to anything from cars to tanks to sheep so that you can send them back to your base?

battlefrontStar Wars Battlefront – Even though it is not a deep game, it is a fun game. I can hop on at any point, play as much or as little as I like and have a good time. Being a Star Wars fan certainly helps but if you are looking for a game to play casually then this is a good choice. Although, I will admit that I do not see myself purchasing any DLC for this game.

rise-of-the-tomb-raiderRise of the Tomb Raider – This game was absolutely fantastic, hands down. As mush as I loved the previous game this one was better in every way. I am still playing more of this game by working through collecting relics, documents, and the like. I tried more of the expedition modes and still didn’t care for it but I can see where other would have interest in it. It even hits me that this title would be worthy of repurchasing on the PS4 upon its release just as to experience it again.

2016???

With 2015 behind, we can look forward to 2016 and all it has to offer. I’ll be taking a look at the upcoming game schedule and deciding as to what meets my fancy. So far as I have look it seems a little thin as far as numbers, as this year was, but the few titles that do interest me are strong and deep.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dudewood

 

dudewoodI imagine this would be what happened if the Dude lived in Deadwood.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Raiding Was Never So Good – Rise of the Tomb Raider

rise-of-the-tomb-raiderIf you wanted the last Tomb Raider to be even better, well…you have it.

Lara Croft’s adventures continue as she intends to clear her father’s name. For most of his life, Lord Croft believed there was an ancient city and prophet that held the secret to eternal life. Little did Lord Croft or his daughter know was that a shadow society, bent upon having the secret of eternal life for themselves, was on their heels. Years after her fathers death, Lara is now closer than ever to proving her father right and avenging his death.

As good as the previous Tomb Raider was, this one is better. Beyond the expected improvements of graphics and gameplay, the story and character of Lara Croft have evolved as well. Lara is far less shy about the situations she finds herself in and what she must do to escape them. Where killing was once a deplorable last resort it is now an unfortunate yet inevitable certainty. The entirety of quest that Lara is on is more flush as well as the side activities of the game. Not only is the story better and deeper there is the addition of tombs to raid to bring this franchise something more towards its namesake.

The game, however, does have its imperfections. Whereas the lack of multiplayer is an improvement over the original game, the Expeditions mode may not be of much interest to some. The mode generally entails playing back through missions of the campaign while trying to attain a high score. Although modifiers can be applied, via cards, to vary the game play it amounts to not much more than simply replaying parts of the campaign. Another mode is more target based as you are tasked to take out people of interest in order to obtain a high score, again there is not much fascination to this mode. It may be a mis-observation on my part but it seemed as though though some of the Expedition modes did not have the same graphic resolution or fidelity of the campaign.

This game was on my list of games that I was going to wait for a price drop, however the more I heard of it I felt compelled to play it. Being a PlayStation fan, I had wanted to wait the year until it is released on my platform of choice but my decision to give in was well rewarded. Despite my few misgivings about the game and having to play on the Xbox, I happily report that it was all worth it. Although I don’t care for the Expeditions mode, I do plan to go back and play the tombs as well as to find the collectibles in the game.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Thought It Said Furry – Fury

furyTanks for another war movie.

In World War II, the Nazis had a distinct advantage with their tanks. Not only did the operators know the terrain better, they had superior machines. Despite being at a disadvantage, Don “Wardaddy” Collier has earned his name with his resolve and ability to deliver results. As the end of the war draws near, he must lead a push through the enemy held land so that his fellow soldiers can make their way to Germany and end the Nazi’s reign.

As far as war movies go, Fury delivers its own level of grit along with some frustration. The movie points out quickly, and quite often, that people die in war. No one from solider to civilian is immune to this fate. It also makes a point that the men that made up the Allied forces were no angels. Plundering and other lewd acts were commonplace. The movie falters in its delivery of it various messages. In what I’ll call “The Dinner Scene”, it drug on passed the point were we understood that people are shitty. There was also the fact that the main character that was supposed to be relatable and sympathetic become more of a whiner and nuisance.

Fury turns out to be a well shot and edited movie but one that struggled with making its point. Clearly things could have been told more quickly and clearly which would have also reduced the unnecessarily long runtime of this film. If you are into war movies, particularly WWII, add this one to your list to watch it at your leisure but it is not a must watch.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

King Me – Kingsman: The Secret Service

kingsmanEver since the original Austin Powers movie, it is hard for me to watch a spy movie with British accents and not expect everything to be a gag.

The Kingsman are a group of people working in secret to keep the world safe. No government affiliation and no headlines in the press. An evil plot is afoot and one of the Kingman”s agents was on the case but was murdered in the line of duty trying to stop it. The case falls to his colleague, Harry Hart aka Galahad. He must not only solve the case but also  find a suitable replacement for his fallen friend. To the later end, Galahad seeks to repay an old debt by calling upon a young man tied to his past and ties to make him into a Kingsman. As Galahad tries to foil the evil plot, his apprentice endeavors to become the agent Galahad believes he can be.

The movie fits well into the spy and action genres, even with a few issues. International forces with high-tech gadgets fighting against each other while maneuvering theirs forces to invoke their plans, typical spy stuff. Admittedly, the hook of the Kingsman being a secret society is a bit weak and comes of more like they are an unrecognized Boy Scout troop. The writers were more creative as to what gadgets the agents could employ rather than flushing out the details of and making the history of the Kingsman more interesting. A tip of the hat goes to the scripting of the fight sequences, with one exception. In the final fight scene they failed to capture the same style as the other fights but any fight other than what I will refer to as “The Church Scene” does seem a lower grade but not as much to the extent of the final scene. A lack of commitment to the style made the last sequence not flow as well or look as good thus leaving me somewhat disappointed in the finish.

Kingsman: The Secret Service ends up falling into the category of good but not great level of movies. It was fun to watch and entertained me but i don’t know that I would want to see more of it. This is partly because they end up killing off some of the more interesting characters and I’m not sure I really care for a few they left alive.

What I really wonder is why Samuel L. Jackson is talking with Mike Tyson’s lisp through the entire movie. Was this his attempt at a British accent?

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.