August 28, 2007

This sub-blog is OVER

It was a fun little experiment, but I've folded the content from Fuzzy's Media Consumption back into the main FuzzyCo blog and new updates will appear there, mixed in with regular posts.

August 27, 2007

Rayman Raving Rabbids

Rayman Raving Rabbids is an engaging series of mini-games that utilize the innovative Wii controls in a variety of ways. The design and style of the game is delightful, with the grotesque "Rabbids" filling all sorts of roles, along with pigs, cows, and sheep. There's a slight, but reasonably satisfying framing device that ties all the mini-games together, and it ends with one of the most unsatisfying and frustrating FMVs I've ever experienced in a video game. It's all "our princess is in another castle" with no "just kidding". Seriously, after Erica and I had had a great time playing through the entire game (the story mode is single player, but we'd switch off playing the games and cheering each other on) and having a great time, I wanted to throw a controller out in the window in frustration at that ending. Jerks.

FuzzyCo grade: A- (and the minus is solely from the ending.)

August 26, 2007

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

I haven't played any of the Dragon Quest games, except for the weird little spin-off game/toy, Kenshin Dragon Quest, which features a sword controller that you wave around in front of your TV*. The first enemy you encounter in that game, and I'm guessing in many of the other Dragon Quest games, is a happy little blue slime ball. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime is an adventure game for the Nintendo DS that is entirely from the perspective of one of these blue slimes. Now, this is no bold deconstruction of the fantasy game genre, ala Mary Gentle's Grunts. Rather it's a quick, fun adventure game pitting your plucky blue slime against a gang of punk platypuses who have kidnapped the other 100 residents of your slime village. The game play is fun and the recurring "tank battle" mini-game is one of the most original battle mechanisms I've ever encountered. And there are plenty terrible puns on elements from other Square/Enix games.

FuzzyCo grade: A.

* Which now has a sequel for the Wii.

August 25, 2007


Marathon - The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon

This is kind of the book when it comes to Marathon information, and it is indeed a smorgasbord of advice, tips, anecdotes, and inspirational stories. I'm glad I wasn't relying solely on this book for my marathon plan, but it's a great reasource.

August 7, 2007

Mission Impossible 3

MI:3 opens with a terrifying torture scene. After that, it's just sort of an adequate action movie. And, not to give away too many spoilers on a year old movie, there was only a double-cross where I was expecting at least a triple- or quadruple-cross.

August 1, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Well, there's that, then. I was impressed right off the bat with audacity of the flap blurb -- in lieu of any plot summary or such it simply read "We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Harry Potter." In other words, "look, if you don't know who Harry Potter is at this point, we don't need your business -- just go crawl back into whatever cave you're living in."

I found it somewhat darker and heavier* than the first six, but it's been a build to that I suppose. Now I'm off to read all the sites I was avoiding for the sake of spoilers.

* Including, of course, literally.

July 27, 2007

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Oddly, because of the circumstances, it's hard to think of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as anything expect a prelude to the final book, which I'm about to start. I suppose it'd be different if I had to wait a year for the next one instead of five minutes.

July 25, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I read the first four Harry Potter books and then bought the fifth (i.e. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) while I was in Scotland in 2004. I promptly never read it. But now that the last book is out, I figured I'd better finish up the series quick before all the shocking revelations were just out there in the zeitgeist. As Penny Arcade and Threadless* have noted, there's a statue of limitations on spoilers.

So, you know, pretty good for the cliched kind of wizardy young adult lit that it is. And hey, I did like sweetkealoha and found out which House I'm in:

* In fact, I just noticed that there's a sixth-book spoiler on that shirt.

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!

Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter Quiz ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

July 23, 2007

Puzzle Quest

Puzzle Quest is a rather frustrating game: the graphics are terrible and the game is buggy and crashed frequently* -- a rarity for a console game. But it's also incredibly addictive. There's a veneer of an RPG game bolted onto Bejeweled as a battle mechanic (and item-forging, spell-researching, etc. mechanic). Something about the near-mindless pattern matching combined with the "I'm making progress" of the RPG system combined to keep me (and Erica) playing the game for months. When I hit a brickwall at the final boss, even after completing all the side-quests, Erica helped me grind through enough battles to get enough gold to improve my stats to the point where I could beat Bane. And now that the game is finished, Erica is still playing to finish researching all the spells.

I did have a pet peeve with the intersection of the story and game mechanic. It was incredibly unrealistic that you could capture and control entire cities and it didn't affect your relationship with the inhabitants at all. I realize I'm making that complant about a game where this is high battle, but still.

* Fortunately the game auto-saves after battles, otherwise it would have been thrown out the window in frustration.

July 19, 2007


When we saw 500 Clown Frankenstein last month, the Clowns used the text of the novel in a rather physical fashion. It made me realize that I had never read the original novel. So thanks to Dover Thrift Editions I soon had a copy for $2 (if you can stand to read on a PDA or computer screen, the novel is available for free from Project Gutenberg).

There are, as you might expect, a ton of differences between the original story and the Universal Studios movies that are most people's source for the Frankenstein story. And of course, it's the product of a different era. But I have to say that Victor Frankenstein's passivity and whininess drove me crazy.

I was impressed by one authorial trick -- the novel is narrated by a British explorer who is writing letters to his sister relating the stories that Victor Frankenstein is telling him (think about the layers of meta there for a second) and Frankenstein never actually says how he built a person. Since it turned out to be such a mistake, he doesn't want anyone else to try, he says. But it's a delightful bit of hand-waving that prevents Mary Shelley from having to explain how it actually would work. (Unlike the movies, there doesn't seem to be any electricity or dead bodies involved, though. He just builds a man from scratch. Interestingly, after he's already built a working man he needs to go consult some English scientists when he's trying to build a woman -- evidently lady parts are different.)


This blog chronicles, in nigh-obsessive detail, the books I've read, the video games I've played, and the movies and TV I've watched. It's part of the larger FuzzyCo empire, where you can find out way too much about my life and work.

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