Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday - The Wicked Girls

I remember this girl I went to primary school with that never had shoes, her hair was covered in lice and her house was one that I never wanted to go inside.

Her house was opposite the park and the magpies would swoop me while I'd ride past in my fluro pink helmet that I spray-painted to be brighter.

That girl completely reminds me of one of the characters out of the The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

I'm currently almost half-way reading it and it has really sucked me in. I'm new to the crime genre, but I've read enough to be fairly confident what I like and do not like.

What I like: 
- To be surprised
- Horrified
- Feel good that my life isn't as nuts
- Realistic characters that I feel like I could have a conversation with.

What I don't like:
- Stereotypical characters (everyone has flaws, but making a thing that that is what makes them different lame).
- Unbelievable plots or storylines
- Words and phrases and descriptions that are stupid

The Wicked Girls ticks all of my like boxes.

It is engaging, highly disturbing, not filled with police jargon (another thing I hate) and doesn't treat you like you are an idiot. Alex Marwood has been able to create characters that are realistic and a plot that is completely fucked up (in a GOOD way though). Although it is a familiar style jumping back and forth and between characters, it is building to something that is hopefully worth it. These girls did something pretty messed up when they were little.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Halo 4

This week's game review is that of Halo 4!

Halo 4 is the next game in the series featuring John-117, or the Master Chief. This game is developed by 343 Industries, the new developers of the Halo series.

The game is set 4 years after the events of Halo 3, set mainly of Requiem , the recently discovered Forerunner Shield World. 343 Industries has you fight new enemy types, known as Prometheans, a group of "advanced defense AIs" There are only three types of Promethean, but they are formidable enough when you fight them.

The campaign, while short, is enjoyable enough. for any average gamer, the campaign will take 5-10 hours on Normal difficulty. To find the collectibles and gather achievements on each mission will have you replaying the game several times. The story is coherent enough though one of the later missions really felt like a half hour filler.

The chief also teams up with Spartan IVs in the campaign, which was nearly a game breaker for me, as the Chief is meant to be "The Last Spartan" and a "Lone Wolf". However, the missions were varied enough, I actually needed the spartan's help.

The scenery is full of intricate detail and looks wonderful throughout the whole game. The soundtrack wasn't by the usual composers of the Halo series, but it sounds great. 343 Also seemed to have some trouble with the strength of the opponents in Normal difficulty, something I hope to see fixed in the future.

The Multiplayer has been given some time and thought, however. It has been separated into two categories  Spartan Ops and War Games, and it has been given a proper backstory for the first time in Halo's history. Spartan Ops is an expansion of the Campaign, however, you play as a Spartan IV rather than the Master Chief. War Games is the new name for competitive multiplayer, and contains all of the best gametypes from past installments, though I was unhappy to see some of the old game types not reappear in this sequel.

Altogether, I enjoyed this game and I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Multiplayer still has a few bugs and the game is a little too difficult, with ammo few and far between, but the game is a must for any old halo fans.

Finally, Here is my NaNoWriMo widget:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Real life is boring to write about.

So I'm beginning to think that my mind is a little dark and twisted. I've been attempting Nanowrimo for the past 8 days and I am really really REALLY struggling.

I had an idea. It was a beautiful idea that I wanted to write about, but for some reason it is really boring me and I have no direction with it. I had real life characters, who were doing real life things, and that is cool and everything, but I am starting to feel bored with it.

Like I always do, when I attempt to write about something normal.

Which is kind of sad, because it actually had quite deep meaning to me and about someone who I really care about.

I like the dark and mysterious. I've always managed to finish stories that I can incorporate the strange, weird and wonderful into. Real life is really boring to write about. Normal is really boring to write about, and I don't know about your experiences, but normal is REALLY boring to read.

I'm sure the person who I had been writing about is looking down on me and rolling their eyes and muttering 'Stop writing rubbish you goose, I'm not going anywhere. Take your time!!" 

I need to stop writing for the sake of writing and actually make some plans.

Plus, they need a kick-ass story instead.  

Do stories need passion, drama, bad things happening for them to be interesting? I think so. I've struggled with the idea that someone will judge me for something I write about, but I feel that I have overcome that hurdle. I don't need to justify the things I write about, and just for the record: no, I did not stab that vampire with two heads in the chest in real life.

I dream about sharks swimming in my front yard, even though I live in the country.

Think Ill stick with writing about that.

Sorry Nanowrimo. Kudos to you Stuart for continuing the challenge. I'll catch up some other time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just some clarifications...

So I need to settle something with you (and myself) here.

I am a fan of other things apart from vintage horror movies. I don't actually spend too much of my time watching them (1 a week at the most!), so I wanted to share some other things that I am passionate about.

This is, after all, a blog about stuff AND things. Not just stuff and not just things.

I love music. Like seriously love music. I have my headphones in my ears most of my days at work and have my stereo pumping at home on the weekend. I love finding new music, you just never know when your new favorite song will pop up! Live music = heaven.

I love movies. So today I have discovered the world of Vimeo and short movies ( I know - where have I been?) and will be watching as many as I can forevermore. I love movies with real substance, with real beauty - some explosions are necessary and I hate romance movies.

I love the world. After travelling to Vietnam at the start of the year, I have the itch to travel and my list of places I want to go has grown quite a lot in the last few months. Pretty much, everywhere. I want to experience as much as possible.

I am a news junkie. Hands down. I need to know what is happening as soon as it happens. If I hear an inkling of something happening, I will track down what is going on. It's probably kind of sad. Oh well.

I love to write. But I'm terrible at keeping deadlines or sticking to a particular story for a long period of time. I write because I need to, if I didn't I would be a sleep deprived zombie with a brain too full to function. Writing =sense of the world.

I love to read. I am naked without a book in my hand or on my bedside. I will read anything, and sometimes I will be reading three books at once.

So pretty much to sum up. . . I love life!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A very NaNo weekend!

Hello all! Welcome to another NaNoWriMo post!

Over the weekend, I have been able to achieve a much higher goal than last NaNoWriMo post! I am now close to the 10,000 mark and counting! I have so much story lined up and so few words! I never expected this to happen, to be completely honest.

The story that I am writing sprouted out of my brain and into my laptop first in February this year! I never expected it to grow so large. While I m once again under par for today, I am quite happy with my progress, and I aim to write more than par every day this month, in the hopes that even with off days, I will still win the competition.

Of course, then comes the hard work of editing the novel, and editing again before it is completed some time through next year. I hardly expect this story will stop at 50,000 words either, with the way that I am going. Anyway, here is the little widget that displays my word count:

Here is a sample of what I have written over the weekend:

To be a hired sword, Eikki needed to find a means of sharpening his long nlade. To be a
knife in the crowd, he would have to find a way to practice his skills. Eikki never was one for
stabbing another in the back. He was for fair fights with plenty of flashy sword-play. The life
of a murderer was a bad path to go down, and once you started, you couldn’t come back.
You had to see it through to the end, whatever the end may be. Who knew, though, when
Eikki would get a chance to confront the man? He would have to act as Judge, Juror and
Executioner for the justice system to even notice what was going on.

As you may notice here, I have a new character named Eikki! However, this isn't a new character. It's only Buck with a new name! I didn't feel the name Buck quite suited him, so I renamed him.

Finally, Halo 4 is out TOMORROW, so this week's review may be Halo 4! See you all on Friday!

Universal Monsters Collection - The Invisible Man

I'm slowly making my way through my Universal Monsters collection and the latest instalment was The Invisible Man. 

I seriously liked this movie. Apart from the over the top screaming from the Innkeepers wife anyway. That part was pretty painful and unnecessary but who can ignore the witch-like screams of an old lady?  

I liked that the movie started off with him already being invisible. It wasn't a story about a man going mad with his experiments and suddenly becoming a monster, he was already there at the beginning.
The Invisible Man: "The drugs I took seemed to light up my brain. Suddenly I realized the power I held, the power to rule, to make the world grovel at my feet"
The special effects are so good. Even though you can see his outline and you can tell its fake, there is just something cool about it! 

The vigilantism in this movie is exactly the same as all of the other monster movies - with the hunt on with flaming torches through the bush and finally burning the monster and everything goes back to normal. 

I've worked out that these movies are more about scaring people into fearing God and conforming to societal expectations than the monsters themselves.  
The Invisible Man: "I meddled in things that man must leave alone"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Super Assassin's Creed III Review Post

Hello everyone!

As many or most of you guys know, Assassin's Creed III was released over the last week around the world. With Halo 4 a few days away, I really wanted to get this review out of the way.

I have been playing the single player for maybe 5 hours focusing mainly on the missions, and I'm about 50% through the game. However, I've taken a liking to the new weapons, such as the Rope Dart and the Tomahawk.

Add to this a solid story line with at least one extremely unexpected twist, and you have yourself a reasonable game. To fill it with a vast array of characters from the American Civil War, and the great voice acting just push this game a little further.

Conner also has new skills (moving assassinations, hunting) as well as losing old ones (Ezio's way with the ladies). These new mechanics, when brought into battle make for an interesting advancement from the previous games.

The multiplayer is also strong, however, the multiplayer story line isn't as prominent as in previous releases. There are two new gametypes, Wolfpack and Domination. While I haven't played the latter, Wolfpack is a nice addition to the previous gametypes of the series.

I must admit, when the game was first announced, I wasn't much of a fan, but as more details have been released over time, I have found myself wanting to buy, wanting to play. I am glad I did. I give this game 4 stars out of 5, as there are still a few bugs that needed to be fleshed out before the release of the game.

Finally, just before the australian release of Assassin's Creed III, Smosh released a song titled "The Ultimate Assassin's Creed III Song" Have a listen to it!

For those who are interested, you can keep up with my NaNoWriMo progress by watching this image here: 
This image will be at the bottom of every blog post made by myself this month! Stuart out!