Testing The Old Republic

Testing on the Old Republic wrapped up for my group on Monday.

During the early testing I played as a Jedi Consular. (Think Yoda or Obi Wan when he’s Old Ben and chillin’ on Tatooine). That was fun because you get a lot of force powers that enable you to take on large groups of enemies without breaking a sweat.

This time I rolled a Trooper. A Commando. More like what Rambo would be like if he was a stormtrooper. (This is before they were clones or the Original Trilogy rejects)

The question you might ask (and others asked) is why would you play a Star Wars game and play a character that doesn’t get a light saber? But I would say to you that Troopers are awesome. They get big-ass guns and grenades and they have personal shields so they can take on Jedi and  I think I had more fun as a trooper than I did as a consular. I still chose the Republic side. (I’m a goodie two shoes at heart) But for both rounds of testing, I chose classes that I won’t be playing when the game goes live.

I will be a Smuggler (Come on… who doesn’t want to be Han Solo?) and a Jedi Knight. I’m saving those for the full game. Since we can’t keep the characters we played in the tests, I’ll be starting from zero again. So why play the same story over. Oh yeah the story is excellent. Your characters personal storyline is well-written. And like other Bioware games, dialogue choices and Dark Side or Light Side choices really effect your progression and game play and the way NPC’s react and if you have companions it also affects how they feel about you as well.

When you’re grouped with other players you roll for who gets to decide each choice. You gain points for agreeing with the eventual winner. So if you’re grouped with sadistic players a lot of innocent NPC’s will die.

The game rocks. I can’t wait for it to come out. The graphics are excellent. The capital city of Coruscant is gorgeous, especially at night. It reminds me of the city from The Fifth Element with all the flying cars.

Unfortunately both tests ended right before I got my ship, so there is an entire dimension to the game that I never got to experience… space combat. Also PVP. I didn’t really get into that either. The solo storyline is so interesting and engrossing that I never got around to it.

The best part of the game in my opinion is the combat. Also I like the fact that you can pretty much play all the classes in any of the major roles. Tank, Healer or DPS depending on your game style. I played my trooper like a ranged tank. And I’m not really a grinder. I like to fight mobs that are a little too high level for me. So I found myself spending a lot of credits on healing and repairing my battered equipment. But the combat is a lot of fun.

My least favorite aspect is the mod system. You can improve your equipment at modification tables but there wasn’t much variety. It was just adding to the stats it already had. I would have preferred something with more choices. But it’s a new game and there’s a lot of room for evolving and growing.

I predict that this game will have a long life. A lot of MMO’s come and go. It’s hard to go up against World of Warcraft. And even though I don’t think it will beat the MMORPG juggernaut into submission, I do think it will make a big enough dent in the market so that WoW is forced to take notice. I will probably end up playing both but the next 6 months belong to The Old Republic.



Star Wars: The Old Republic

Beta testing the new MMORPG from Bioware; Star Wars:The Old Republic.

So far it rocks.

The opening cinematic is so good I damn near wet myself.

Loving it.

I was an early tester on the game this summer and they have improved it a lot since then (no need to thank me… they paid me… in cookies).

They released us from our non-disclosure agreement, so I will post details on Monday or Tuesday. So far it’s a lot of fun.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic PC box ...

It reminds me a lot of Knights of the Old Republic except bigger. And it feels like Star Wars:The Clone Wars animated series more than any of the live-action films. Although there are elements from all six movies in the game.

When I tested it this summer, it had a confusing map, they fixed it. It had little to no tutorial, they fixed that. And it had UI problems, and they addressed them as well.

Looks like I know what I’m getting for Christmas.


5 by 5: My 5 Favorite Films by My 5 Favorite Directors (2/5)

We continue the 5 by 5 film series this week with number two, The Artist;

Martin Scorcese

Martin Scorsese at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festi...

I can’t offer any new insights into the work of Martin Scorcese. His films have been picked-over, picked-at and picked clean by smarter bloggers than I. But in my opinion, he is an artist on par with any of the masters; the painters, the sculptors, the poets, the magicians.

martin scorcese

He is an exceptional storyteller.

Taxi Driver (1976)

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Taxi Driver is an under-rated work of art. I’m not being facetious. With all the accolades and all the praise and the historical and artistic importance attributed to the movie. It does not get enough credit.

Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull

Raging Bull, however, is not under-rated. It has been analyzed to within an inch of its life. And though it deserves every award and ever honor it has received. I would rather watch it than read about it.

After Hours (1985)

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After Hours is my favorite of Scorcese’s films. I remember thinking when I first saw it that it was a departure for him. I remember thinking that I would have to put After Hours and later King of Comedy in a different class of Scorcese film. But then I realized that this thing; This sideways glance at twisted people. This love story to the brilliantly and beautifully “off kilter” was what he had been doing all along. It is, in effect, who he is: Brilliantly & Beautifully Off Kilter.

Goodfellas (1990)

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Goodfellas is one of those perfect films. There aren’t many. Enjoyable on so many levels. It’s funny, it’s exciting, it’s dramatic and suspenseful and scary and romantic. It’s all movies. It’s all things. Usually when a film tries to be too many things, it’s doomed to fail miserably. But when it succeeds you get that perfect film. Goodfellas is one of those perfect films. There aren’t many. Enjoyable on so many levels.

Kundun (1997)

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Kundun – Epic. Beautiful. Powerful. Genuine. Classic. Transcendent. A spiritual awakening on film. In the telling, in the making, in the watching… in the experience. I could not make a list of Martin Scorcese masterworks without it. He has many films that are critically and technically better but none as important (at least to me).

Scorsese at the Gangs of New York screening at...

Martin Scorcese is an artist in the classic sense. He is the greatest living filmmaker. The list of his masterworks goes on… Casino, Age of Innocence, Mean Streets, Last Temptation of Christ, Gangs of New York, Cape Fear. And he’s still going strong. We are lucky enough to live in the age of Scorcese. A fact not to be taken for granted as we patiently await his next work of art.

Martin Scorcese Star on Hollywood Boulevard


Lust Looks at Legs III: Look at the Legs on Regis

In honor of Regis Philbin‘s retirement from Live with Regis & Kelly, Lust presents the third installment in our Leg Lovers Series, Lust Looks at Legs III: Look at the Legs on Regis.

We begin with one of my favorite young actresses, the lovely Mila Kunis.

"Regis, you're old enough to be my Grandfather."

"I may be old, young lady, but I'm not dead."

"I'm just glad this tie is covering up my chubby."

"Just don't try to look up my skirt, Grandpa."

"Well someone's a little tease. Isn't she?"

Next up is the very beautiful Eliza Dushku.

"So I hear you're a leg man, Mr Philbin."

"Young lady, I'm a professional. I..."

"Steady Regis. Steady boy."

"They're just legs Mr. Philbin."

"That they are, lovely, lovely legs... oh boy.

"Gelman, quick go to commercial."

"I'll be in my dressing room."

But you can’t have a Legs on Regis mega post without the lovely legs of Kelly Ripa.

Here she is putting Amanda Seyfried’s legs to shame.

"If I knew this was gonna be a leg show I would have worn a shorter dress."

"I don't think that's possible, sweetie... and can I get some of that water, Regis is getting hot.

Emma Watson & Hayden Panettiere‘s young stems don’t stand a chance against Kelly’s.

"3 kids. Yes I have 3 kids and I look this good."

"Go to commercial, Gelman. I'll.. I'll be in my dressing room."

There have been many challengers…

But there can be only one… Kelly.

The winner and still champion… Kelly Ripa’s legs.

So what started out as a Regis Philbin retirement post has become a Kelly Ripa leg worship post… funny how that happens.

Don’t worry Regis. You’ve left the show in good hands… and great legs.


My Evil Kitty (or Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill)

My cat is crazy.

But since I’m insane, it’s like we’re two peas in a pod (or two nuts in an apartment).

She scratches. She pounces. She bites. Then she has the nerve to rub up on my leg like it’s all good… “I’m still bleeding from the last time, damn.”

And she attacks without warning. Claws come out. Snikt – Slash like Wolverine. If she doesn’t like the way I’m petting her. Snikt – Slash. She’s saying,  “Look… I told you already, you bald-ass monkey fuck, I like long strokes from the neck to the tail and then short on the head then back to the body. If you do it wrong again, I’ll cut you again… Believe it. What was that?” Snikt – Slash.

If I’m walking past her and she does that thing where she gets in the way of my feet, but I walk around her, she jumps on the back of my leg and bites into my calf. Her way of saying “Hey, I’m being cute down here and you better recognize.” Snikt – Slash.

I chose her because she was the only adult cat at the shelter trying to pick the lock on her cage. I should have known she would be a handful. They called her Buster. Most likely because she was a brawler from day one. I call her Lucy after the beautiful and kick-ass action movie star Lucy Liu.

The day I brought her home, I had no idea that she was a devil spawn. I showed her the litter box, put some cat food and water in a dish and left her alone to explore her new home. I bought myself some Chinese food. Not really Chinese food but “Ghetto” Chinese food. You know, that greasy fried chicken that they dump in that fucking vat o’grease and deep fry until it’s all crispy and greasy. I love that shit. And after spending all day at the shelter and then the vet’s office, I wasn’t about to cook.

So I’m sitting on the couch. I got my chicken on the table and she’s on the floor just… staring at me. I’m giving her space. She just got there. So I’m not bothering her. She’s got her food, her litter box. I bought her a little jingle ball to play with. I’m just leaving her alone. “You got the run of the house, go explore or whatever. Stop staring at me… damn.” But she’s just eying me. Just sitting there staring up at me. So I think fuck it, I’ll just eat. But before I can even get the food in my mouth – Pounce! She jumps straight into the air and – Wham! – slams down right in the center of my fucking plate. Right on top of my fucking chicken. Like – “WHAT? What? This is mah food now bitch. What?” Scared me so bad, I swatted her and she flew across the room. I made that cat fly… I’m not proud. I’m firmly against cruelty to animals but she startled the shit out of me.

She was establishing dominance (I guess) but I ain’t no kitty’ s bitch. (okay maybe a little)

Our whole dynamic has been um… dysfunctional ever since. I mean she’s cute. She curls up in my lap and purrs and all that cat shit but she has a mean streak and really sharp-ass claws. She’s constantly sharpening those things getting ready for the showdown. Then she looks up at me while she’s doing it as if to say, “Yeah nigger, you know what time it is. What?” Snikt – Slash.

I would never have her claws removed or clipped or anything because, you know, at this point in our… little battle of the species I would consider that as cheating. Calling in a professional and taking away her weapons would not be cool.

Plus I think she’s a lot like me, in as much as she was probably abused in her childhood like I was. Sometimes it feels like she was raised by dogs; the way she likes to bite when she’s pissed. She also likes to play fetch and she actually brings it back (I’ve never had a cat that actually brought the toy back). And she has serious trust issues just like I do, so I’m not about to take away her claws.

In the meantime, if she wants to fight for dominance, we’ll fight for dominance. “I’m like ten times your size and I have thumbs. You got thumbs? Can you work a can-opener?”

“That’s what I thought. – Ya lower life form, you.”

However, what she does have is that rare combination of cute & scary; fluffy & dangerous, So she usually wins. I call her Sweetmeat when she’s being nice because…

“Lucy is a nice sweet meat.”

And then later she sits there watching me scoop out her litter box. Just sitting there staring at me and she’s probably thinking, “Remember when you made me get off the counter that one time? Well, what you’re picking up right now, that came out of my butt. so um… Who’s the lower life form now?”

Snikt – Slash.

I love my crazy-ass kitty (and hydrogen peroxide… I also love the hydrogen peroxide)

– Mel