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Thursday, August 19, 2004
 
The sign says, "long haired, hippie people, need not apply"

Better cold-war film:

The introspective: Top Gun
The taught thriller: Red Dawn
Or the touching and emotional: Rocky 4

Top Gun is easily the most quoteable, Red Dawn has to be the most ridiculous, and Rocky 4 has James Brown in it.

-B

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Monday, August 16, 2004
 
All I need is a miracle...All I need is you.

Last week's events were set against the scenic background of Oahu Hawaii. H-bomb and I traveled to the island paradise to attend a wedding and for some good old fashioned R&R.

For those of you who are up-to-date with Heather and I, and our relationship "status" I can tell you that we both had a really good time. While the possibility of awkward moments seemed high, I didn't sense much (if any) discomfort or tension during the trip.

When our anniversary (which took place on our third day of the trip) we sort of acknowledged it, agreed that we shouldn't really make a big deal out of it...And moved on with the rest of our day. Easy like Sunday mornin.

I was under the impression that Oahu was clogged with tourists and over-built to a point that concealed whatever charm the island once possessed. I was surprised to find that not at all the case. Sure Honolulu and Waikiki are crowded, but the rest of the island is quiet and unspoiled. Not only that but those crowded areas are still a lot of fun.

It was also neat to check out the famous north shore of Oahu. In fact we spent most of our beach time at famous breaks like Wiamea, Sunset, and Bonzai Pipeline. During these summer months you'd never know that some of the best waves in the world crash upon those soft, sandy beaches -- the water was as still and calm as any lake you'd ever see. The warm, clear, turquoise waters were actually great for swimming and snorkeling. On top of all that we found those beaches were a lot less crowded

I'll have a video montage of the whole experience up eventually. Stay tuned.

In other news I finished Doom III this morning. Here are my impressions (I'll try and keep em spoiler free)


This is the game I would have made while I was in high school had I had the talent, time and resources. It is so wonderfully dark and so soaked in occult imagery.

It serves to highlight the "tragedy" that I never really played the original Doom games because I didn't have a PC till after I graduated college.

So...I can't really compare this game to the original, but I can compare it to my favorite game of all time: "Half-Life". Like so many good FPSers since, there is a lot of "Half-Life" in "Doom III". It's a single unified world (which I like). The story line and the way in which you move through it is extremely similar to "Half-life", sometimes it does feel a lil too derivative...but elements of the games scenery manage to set it slightly apart.

The world is immersive, and above all -- frightening. The game makes great use of scripted events to both surprise you and creep you out. In that sense it's actually more reminiscent of the "Resident Evil" series. As a player I would frequently approach rooms cautiously - almost not even wanting to progress further into the dimly lit world of Mars.

Game play is pretty standard, with the exception of the dynamic (albeit somewhat contrived) use of the "flashlight". It's great fun to have to search darkened corridors with only your flashlight to guide you. Nevermind that the level of technology you have access to, would seem to suggest that night-vision goggles should be pretty easy for a space-marine to come by. Besides it's much more fun with the flashlight.

The games strength lies in it's visuals. I don't mean for the sake of eye-candy (which it certainly has in abundance) I mean the game employs cutting edge graphics in the service of setting a mood and drawing the player into the game.

The games weakness is in it's anemic multiplayer capabilities. It comes packaged with some 4 or 5 levels...most of which seem to support only 4 players. Normally this would be somewhat disappointing...and I suppose if your only gonna buy one FPS this year - Doom III might not be the one for you. But there's a tidal wave of shooters heading our way this year that should more than fill the multiplayer void. Till then Doom should satisfy your needs.

Final review: not quite Half-life...but close. I would rate it closer to Far Cry (although each game has different strengths and weaknesses).

-B

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