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Currently Playing

14 Oct

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (PS3)

ESRB Rating: E10+

This is a LOT of fun! It takes scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and turns them into action scenes to play in the game. Basically, this game retells the movies LEGO style and comes with the music score from the movies.

It’s easy to play (perfect for relaxing!) and often quite funny. The puzzles are varied and logical (so far, at least) + there are secrets to discover, lots of goodies to attain and lots of characters to play.

Here’s a trailer:

As the trailer says, LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures are similar to LEGO Star Wars, which I liked a lot, too.

At the moment, I’m much more likely to play LEGO Indiana Jones than Final Fantasy XIII. I can’t get into FF XIII. Or maybe it’s not the game, it’s my age and I’m just too old for investing a lot of time playing games.

* * * ~ * * *

I recently read Sarah Mayberry’s Hot Island Nights and liked it a lot, especially the heroine’s character. I didn’t expect it, but it’s now one of my favorite novels by Mayberry.

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Currently Playing: “Final Fantasy XIII”

12 Sep

I’m just a few hours in so I can’t say much about the game. So far, I’m actually a bit confused about what’s going on because all kinds of strange terms are used – l’Cie,” “fal’Cie,” “Cie’th,” or “Gran Pulse” and I find it damn hard to remember what they mean.

Here’s what I think I know: the game is set in a world called Cocoon. It’s a gigantic sphere and outside its shell is some kind of netherworld known as Gran Pulse. Fal’Cie are otherworldly beings and there are two kinds: the Fal’Cie and the Pulse Fal’Cie. Pulse Fal’Cie are considered dangerous and people who come into contact with one are viewed as infected and called l’Cie. The game starts when government troops take care of a whole village whose people are suspected to be infected by a Pulse Fal’Cie. Some civilians resist because they suspect they face more than just an evacuation. That’s the grand scale.

Then there are the individual characters who make up your party and most of them have a more specific reason why they fight the government troops. For example, one of the l’Cie is the fiancée of one character and the sister of another and they try to save her.

First impressions: Final Fantasy XIII reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy VII (the design of the city, fighting against the government) and Final Fantasy X (the characters’ looks, personality). There’s a bit of romance. But the female character (the one that got infected) looks rather child-like when she’s standing beside her boyfriend, so I can’t bring myself to really care about them. Actually, all female characters so far look a bit on the anorexic side, IMO. The game also seems very linear so far. No exploring, just following the path the developers want you to take. Oh, and the battle system is fast and I think my best option is to just press one button. (Or maybe I just need to get the hang of it.)

In short: great graphics; a slightly confusing story and battle system (but both with potential); I miss the magic of some of the previous games a bit.

Here’s a trailer:

July, 29, 2010

29 Jul

Currently Playing

It’s nearly a month now that I quit playing Runes of Magic. A few days ago I read that they improved the account system. It seems it’s now possible to use different passwords for all the accounts you create by signing up for the game + the number of failed logins is restricted now. I don’t miss the game so I won’t go back. Besides, I still have other, equally serious, issues with it so no.

Anyway, I’m playing something else at the moment: Torchlight. It’s a Hack&Slay and looks and feels like the Diablo games but I don’t mind, I love those games. To be able to play an updated version is fun.

Here’s the trailer on youtube:

New Books

Last week I was tempted into buying books because I had a 11%-off coupon available. I wanted to buy much more books actually (for ~ 60€) but I managed to tame my “me-want!” side down to books for 30€. Phew!

Here are the books I bought:

Demon Blood by Meljean Brook

My favorite paranormal series.

Period.

There’s nothing more to say.

Academ’s Fury by Jim Butcher

I really liked Furies of Calderon, the first book in the Codex Alera series. So much that I wanted to read the next one right away. Of course I couldn’t because I never (well, at least I can’t think of an example) order several books of a series before I’ve read at least one book in it. But I was very tempted to order all the remaining books in this series together with Academ’s Fury.

The Lawman’s Redemption by Pam Crooks

I like to read Western romances now and then and this sounded interesting: the hero is “as wild as the fierce Montana landscape he roams”* while the heroine is described as “all fine city clothes and polite manners.”* Plus, I like to try new-to-me authors from time to time.

*from Harlequin’s website

One Unashamed Night by Sophia James

Again, a new-to-me author. What made me take notice of the book is that the hero is described as slowly losing his eyesight. I also liked the excerpt = buy.

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas**

I like Kleypas’s contemporary voice and so it was only a question of when I would buy this book. I bought it this time because it was the only book I wanted that was in stock. I have to wait around three weeks for the others to arrive in my “me-want!” hands.

**already read

June, 18, 2010

18 Jun

Currently Reading: A Fortune Wedding by Kristin Hardy

ONCE, HE WAS HER WHOLE WORLD…

…until Roberto Mendoza left Frannie Fortune and their hometown far behind. But she was no longer the seventeen-year-old in love with the smoldering ranch hand. She was a woman accused of murdering her husband.

When he left Red Rock nineteen years ago, Roberto swore he would never return. But when an unseen enemy threatened the Mendoza clan, he found himself charging to Frannie’s rescue, determined to help her clear her name. And when passion reignited–hotter and more powerful than before–Roberto knew he’d do anything to heal the past and build a future with the woman who’d always belong to him.

The woman he’d never stopped loving.

I like the writing and the voice in this novel (like I usually do with Kristin Hardy’s novels). I think Hardy’s a good writer and she knows how to tell a story. But this time, I have a hard time getting into the story.

The first thing that threw me off was that apparently the police didn’t search the surrounding area where someone was killed. Otherwise I can’t explain why Roberto had to show them where to find the murder weapon nearly two weeks after the murder… And his brother implied that Roberto did something wrong by coming forth with this knowledge. Umm, right.

The other thing I have a problem with is Frannie. After she realizes how dependent she’d been on other people – first her mother, then her husband – and how deep in trouble she’s now because of that, she never wants to be dependent on anyone. I say, good for her and totally understandable.

But she also has a debt of two millions and when Roberto offers to look into the matter of the properties she now owns (she never even had any idea her husband bought them) she refuses, never mind she doesn’t know the first thing about managing properties. In fact, she probably should sell them as fast as possible but she won’t accept Roberto’s help (who knows a thing or two about that because that’s his job) because she has to do it on her own. Umm, right. Well, at least she comes around after Roberto points out that she could pay him – like all his other customers do…

I guess what bothered me was Frannie’s insistence on her independence (I take care of it on my own no matter what) in that situation seemed more stupid than strong to me. Why couldn’t she have taken Robert’s offer of help and said she would pay him? Without him having to point out that possibility? Instead, the way she handles the situation reminds me of the heroines of old who stomp their dainty foot and toss their luscious curls over their shoulder.

Currently Playing: Runes of Magic?

I seriously think about quitting. I think I’ve said that several times already but it gets truer and truer every time.

The rip-off tendencies I saw in the game from the beginning get clearer and clearer with each new offer in the item shop. There are more and more gold sellers on the servers and a lot of bugs that simply don’t get fixed. In addition, the support is…I don’t know what to call it.

Then last week I learned that by signing up for the game, I actually opened three! accounts. One for the game, one for the real money transactions for the game’s item shop and one for the forum to the game. I now play for nearly ten months and didn’t know that. I simply was never told when I signed up. What’s more, all three! accounts use the same login name and the same password… When you change the password, you just type it in one time. You don’t need to type in your current password before you change it; you don’t need to repeat the new password to make sure you didn’t make a typo; you don’t get a email notification;… I changed all my passwords (except the one for the forum; you can’t change that on your own…)

On Monday this week I learned that my login name and my password was transmitted in plain text every time I logged in to play…

I changed my password for the game again.

The last time I played was last weekend. Right now, with that kind of “security” measures and irresponsibility on the comany’s side, I’m not sure I want to play again.