I think I insulted myself more times in the past 3 hours than anyone else does in a YEAR.

"LOL WUT?" are the first words floating in your brain after reading the title of the entry. Tongue out But yeah, it’s true. Why? Well… it involves paper and pencils. Wink

Yeah, I’ve started work on my drawing of Ikari, like I SAID I would. Open-mouthed I posed and rendered a SubDragon in DAZ Studio, and attempted to use that as a reference. At first, I couldn’t even decide where to start, but I eventually decided to start with the feet and work upwards. After two MINUTES, I decided to start with the head, instead – I can NOT draw dragons’ feet. Tongue out However, that wasn’t really a great idea either, because I also can’t draw dragon heads. Tongue out That’s ABOUT where I started to murmur about how shit I was at art, and questioning myself why the hell I was even trying. Every single mistake I made (And trust me, I make A LOT of mistakes Tongue out), my brain just thought of a new and fruitier insult, which I’d grumble to myself. Tongue out

I was getting really REALLY frustrated with myself. I WANT to draw dragons, and I know I CAN do it (to a minor degree of awesomeness Wink), but… it wasn’t really showing as I drew the basic shape. I know there’re things that you have to do to draw well and prevent brain hemorrhage while doing so, such as using construction lines (ovals for the body and circles for the fingers and stuff)… but ah, I don’t do that, because, quite honestly, I don’t even believe it helps. My technique level is pretty much, ZERO. I’ve no knowledge of anatomy (and quite frankly, I couldn’t give a crap, because it’s horrifyingly boring Tongue out), I suck at shading, I have no idea how you can show a light source in a pencil drawing, I can’t seem to draw in such a way as to make the image look 3D, my perspective drawing skills are pathetic, and I sometimes get into a situation where I’m confused about how to draw something (YES, I KNOW, that’s really retarded… Tongue out). I basically just draw and hope for the best… which isn’t usually what I get. Tongue out It’s as if I have a very specific physical disability which prevents me from being able to draw well, no matter how hard I try. Tongue out

I watched a speed painting of a dragon a while back (it was recommended to me on YouTube for some reason, when all I usually do is watch YouTube Poops and Red Zone remixes Tongue out), and it was pretty impressive… but that guy didn’t use construction lines or anything. Nor did he make a single mistake. He just DID IT, just like that. From nothing to fully coloured, IN ABOUT TWO HOURS. I still don’t believe that it was legit – I don’t know how he could CHEAT, but… seriously, AS IF you can just draw a perfect dragon, or a perfect ANYTHING, without making ANY mistakes… that’s like playing MegaMan and completing it without getting damaged. IMPOSSIBLE. Tongue out

I NEARLY gave up on this about four times. But I promised myself that I would finish it, and I FORCED myself to keep going, even if it killed me. Tongue out Eventually, I started to concentrate properly. And slowly… VERY slowly, the drawing started to come together. I (through some miracle) managed to finish the basic head shape, although I CANNOT even BEGIN to understand how to draw the underside of a dragon’s head when he’s looking upwards and to the side, like this:

Whatever I do, it looks SHIT. Sad Even with a reference. Maybe it’s something I can only do in colour? I dunno – you tell me. Tongue out

I also managed to get the body shape down, and finish the arms and hands, too. In his right hand, he is holding a staff, which looks okay, but it looks TOO "flat". My aim isn’t to make this impossibly realistic – it’s only a cartoon-style drawing, but I at LEAST want it to look a LITTLE bit 3D… Tongue out His hands aren’t bad, and his arms are okay, too – apart from his left arm, which I just can’t seem to draw right for an unknown reason. Confused Maybe its these chest plates which are throwing me off a little.

Yep, the chest plates are there already, and it’s the only specific thing in the drawing which I can say "that looks GOOD" to, at the minute. Tongue out Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any chest muscles, because I can’t friggin’ do them, because either the chest plates are confusing me, or I’m a retard. Probably the latter. Tongue out

He has wings, which don’t look too bad, but again, my perspective skillz are totally non-existent. Tongue out His tail is finished, and it has these small spikes in the side of the tail, which would look cool if I could actually do them right. Tongue out His legs are done, but yes, as is quite usual for me, I’ve left a fairly critical detail out. The poor dragon doesn’t even have any feet. Tongue out

I’ll draw them tomorrow (it’ll probably take me about an hour or two Tongue out), and then I can start adding details and stuff. Open-mouthed I have to say, though, he doesn’t look bad – he’s really beginning to look like Ikari. By the time I’m done with him tomorrow, he WILL be Ikari. Hopefully. Smile He just won’t be wearing robes – I’ll have to try and transfer him onto another sheet of paper before I even ATTEMPT that. Tongue out I’d show you what he looks like so far, but I can’t use the scanner right now, and I might as well just show you the complete version tomorrow. Wink He’s not gonna be coloured, but I’ll get him coloured eventually. I bet that colouring him will increase his WIN factor by at LEAST 3%. Open-mouthed

Anyhoo, I’m off. I’ll see yas later! Smile

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Temporarily handing control of my Live ID to Ped.

Hmmm. Confused

Need some Live points for the new COD4MW2 map pack, and I have no money on my Visa, and loads on my Gaystro — sorry, MAESTRO, which is the shittiest debit card known to man, and Xbox Live doesn’t accept it (like loads of other sites). So, Ped’s volunteered to use his card for the points, and I’ll pay him back.

So if you see random shit posted here, blame him. Tongue out

UPDATE!!
Oops. Wrong ID. Hehe. My Xbox Live Gamertag was on a different Live ID (assigned to an e-mail address which shouldn’t even exist anymore. Tongue out).

And I see no vandalism. Good Pedro…! *pats on head*

A new character, and APB.

As this is a long entry, here’s some advice for ya: If you like dragons/art/DAZ Studio, but don’t give a crap about gaming, you can start at “New Character” and ignore “APB”. If, however, you like gaming, and you don’t give a crap about dragons/art/DAZ Studio, go ahead and start at “APB”. If you like both, then you sir, are epic, and should read it all. Open-mouthed WinkNew Character.

Okay, so just when I thought I had enough dragon characters, BLAM, another interesting one starts to form in my mind. Tongue out

His name is Ikari, and like a few of my other characters (Ifri, Shadow, Whirlwind), he has some interesting features that really make him stand out. Firstly, he’s very spiritual and religious. No, he’s not a bible basher… it’s not like the Draconic religion has a bible, anyway. Tongue out (You have no idea how well-developed the world of Dragon Tail is. Or, as a Guirian Dragon would say: Sar kar ne nier har kari nurkurir mut eache fur Dragon Tail turk. Wink) Secondly, he sometimes carries a staff, and nearly always wears red robes, unlike all of my other dragon characters, who usually wear… well… nothing. Tongue out And thirdly, he’s freakin’ PURPLE. Open-mouthed I’ve tried to recreate him as best I can in DAZ Studio, so here you go – have a render:


(Click for full version, and please don’t compare him to Spyro – he’s not quite as cool (attitude-wise Tongue out) as the original Spyro, and nowhere near as gay as the new “Spyro”, so there. Tongue out)

And as you’ll probably notice, he’s not carrying a staff, he’s carrying a giant sword. And he isn’t wearing robes, either. That’s because I don’t have ANY robes, let alone robes that would fit the SubDragon, and I also don’t have any staffs. Tongue out These kinda things are becoming annoying problems.

DAZ Studio is, if I’m honest, starting to become too limiting… for my usage, anyway. I ONLY use dragons or other creatures – I’ve never properly rendered a human as of yet… because why would I want to? Why would I want to render human figures when I could render something fantastic that doesn’t exist in the real world? Tongue out That’s my opinion, anyway. If I wanted a picture of a female model posing, I’d take a picture of a female model posing. Alternatively, I’d Google it. Tongue out

So, let’s stick to dragons right now. And DAZ 3D sure makes a lot of them – I have a choice of… 14 types of dragon, but, unfortunately, the SubDragon is the only one that’s any good. The SubDragon looks the best, it has the best morphs, it’s easy to pose and quite flexible, especially with the expansion morphs. Sure, I also quite like the Wyvern 2 – he looks great and is also easy to pose, but his materials are pretty lame, and his morphs are few and far between – about 75% of them are for the wings. Confused

Even with all these morphs and the ability to make a massive amount of unique SubDragons (especially with ninja material modifying skillz Tongue out), the body almost always looks the same every single time. The horns are always in the same positions, the talons are always the same size and style… and unlike the MilDragon, there are a TINY amount of “addons”. With the MilDragon, you get a very nice selection of addons for your dragon – tail fins, tail spikes, natural head armour, different horns, stuff like that. With the SubDragon… you get HAIR. Sure, fair enough… but uh, I don’t WANT hair on my dragons. Tongue out And as for armour, you DO get one set… but it’s pretty poor, and has NO morphs, so it ALWAYS looks the same. The MilDragon, on the other hand, has at least TWO sets of armour. Tongue out So, why don’t I use the MilDragon? Well… he is VERY difficult to pose – I can’t make him stand on two legs without failing miserably. Tongue out Also, there are a ridiculous amount of joints. And the textures are either too unrealistic or total crap. Also, the MilDragon does look a bit lanky, and the lack of expression is almost painful. Tongue out And the SubDragon just looks so much better, too. Open-mouthed

But anyway… Ikari, in that render, is NOTHING like what I have in mind. The colour is a LITTLE too bright (although I can fix that easily), his head isn’t really the right shape, he has white chest PLATES which are impossible to recreate without extensive material editing, instead of the spikes along his back, he has a golden crest that starts at his neck and spans the entire length of his body, he has longer, sharper horns which curve upwards, not sideways, and he has more “chunkier” talons, and with a REAR talon instead of a (sort of) dewclaw. And, of course, he’s not wearing robes, nor carrying a staff. Tongue out A few of these things I could TRY and change – I could try and find a robe for M4 or V4 (DAZ’s male and female models) and ATTEMPT to apply it to the SubDragon (I WOULD fail Tongue out), and I could easily find some sort of staff and scale it to be dragon-sized… but most of the other things are outside the SubDragon’s capabilities. See, I TOLD you the SubDragon had limits. Tongue out

And now, it brings me onto THIS:

<OKAY, I just realised – I’ve left my bag with the Notepad of Doom 4 in it at my Uni accommodation. Tongue out So please excuse my dumbassery, and try to picture a semi-rough, hand-drawn dragon called Lineus SHORYUKEN-ing something called a Failmonster. Open-mouthed Oh, and it was done with PEN, not pencil. Tongue out I’ll get a copy of it posted here when I get back to Uni. Open-mouthed>
(Extract from the Notepadus et Doomus IV. Draconus Shoryukennius. Wink)

Sure, it’s not the greatest dragon pic you’ve ever seen (I can guarantee
Tongue out), but this was done with a PEN on THE WORST PAPER KNOWN TO MAN… WHEN I WAS BORED. Open-mouthed I’ve found that, unless I have a PERFECT reference, I totally SUCK at artwork. When I DO have a reference, I’m not too bad at it. I used a reference for that drawing… wanna guess what it was?

Oh yeah. Previously posed in DAZ Studio. Open-mouthed This is what I’ve noticed recently: every time I’ve ever tried to draw a dragon from MEMORY, I ALWAYS get stuck at the dragon’s shape and/or pose. As a result, I give up. Remember that drawing of Whirlwind I did? I used a good reference for the basic shape – a tutorial. After I got the basic shape down, I actually threw away the tutorial, as I was able to go from there and add extra features and modify old ones – changing the head’s shape, adding horns, spikes, crests, etc, which is what I do best. And look how that turned outOpen-mouthed (remember, this is ME we’re talking about. Tongue out) THIS was also created with a tutorial as reference. Sure, I had an awful graphics tablet and set my line thickness to be a bit TOO thick… but (despite the name Tongue out) this WAS my first attempt at a totally digitally-created dragon, and at least I FINISHED it instead of saying “screw this, I give up”… Tongue out
So… if, when using a reference posed in DAZ Studio, I can draw something that’s not too bad on shitty paper with a PEN… in theory, I should be able to make something pretty good when I try drawing it on GOOD paper with a PENCIL. And then, when I scan it into the PC and colour it in Photoshop, I reckon it could be REALLY good! Open-mouthed If this turns out to be true… well… I’d be able to manually draw each of my dragons EXACTLY as I want them, instead of using a generic model and having limits set on what I can do. And that would be epic. Open-mouthed

I’m gonna test this theory and draw Ikari at some time in the near future, fully coloured, using DAZ Studio as a reference. And, whether it’s good or bad, I’m going to post it here. Open-mouthed Oh, and I’m not kidding – I WILL do it this time. Tongue out

Yes, I know. I’m a programmer. But what the hell. It’s not as if I like drawing EVERYTHING. Tongue out I like drawing dragons, and random monsters. Basically anything non-human that doesn’t actually exist. Tongue out The exception to my “non-human” rule are my epic semi-stick men/women who live in the Notepad of Doom. Open-mouthed And anyway, what’s wrong with having more than one hobby? Tongue out

… Right. That’s the first part. Now onto APB. Open-mouthed All those interested in dragons and art but not games, you may go now. Wink

APB.

Alright, so Ped told me of this new MMORPG in closed beta, and I IMMEDIATELY said “PFFT, FAIL.” Tongue out MMORPG’s, as all sane people know, are just simple, repetitive games for idiots wishing to spend £XX.99 a month to gain access to the game servers which barely require any maintenance, and also to fund the developers’ drinking and drug habits. Tongue out

However… one day, Ped decided to show it to us all through a multi-way screen sharing session. Through the 0.016 FPS I was getting, I saw a crosshair. And an ammo counter. I saw cars that you could jack, and a wanted level at the top left. And best of all? THERE’S NO FRIGGIN’ GAY ACTION BAR. Open-mouthed

My immediate thougts were “HOLY SHIT, IT’S A CROSS OF SAINTS ROW AND GRAND THEFT AUTO… AND IT’S MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER!!” Tongue out I was intrigued, but also kinda reluctant. A persistent world where survival depends on skill and equipment, not level, stats or the ability to press buttons repeatedly?! No way. That’s what EVE Online said, and they were just speaking bullshit. Tongue out I didn’t believe it. Then I saw the developer. Realtime Worlds – the company behind Crackdown, one of THE most fun games I’ve ever played, ESPECIALLY multiplayer. So, maybe this COULD be what it seemed…

So… I decided to sign up for the closed beta, whilst laughing. YEAH, like… SURE, I’D get in. Tongue out I’ve got a good PC, sure, but… I NEVER get invited to these kind of things. It’s been MANY months since I signed up for the Jumpgate Evolution closed beta, and they haven’t even sent me ANYTHING to do with the game, yet! Not even info about how it’s going, or anything!

But, hilariously, one day after signing up for the APB beta, I got an e-mail from them. “APB: You’ve been selected as a Beta Tester!” ONE DAY. LOL, they must’ve looked at my DXDiag and orgasmed over it. Open-mouthed Unfortunately, I now had to download the 8GB client on a 512Kb connection. It took almost 30 hours, and I missed the first of my playtests because of it. Tongue out Not too much of a big deal, because Ped was ill with norovirus, so it would’ve probably been boring playing alone anyway. Tongue out

I didn’t miss the NEXT playtest, though. And do you know what? Realtime Worlds have actually given me hope for future MMORPGs. Open-mouthed APB, despite its weird name (All Points Bulletin Confused), is something that MMO developers should freakin’ look up to and TAKE NOTES FROM!

Now, I’ve agreed to the APB NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), and I would REALLY like to keep my place in the beta. But I guess a bit of info posted on a Space accessed by a tiny amount of people of wouldn’t hurt. Tongue out Besides, it’s free advertising, so don’t whine. Wink

It does throw you headfirst into the tutorial, and it’s quite disorienting at first. But it’s simple – go to each location and PRESS F. Tongue out Yeah, that’s kinda what put me off it a little – to break open a building, press F. To pick up a mission critical item, press F. To spraypaint a target area, press F. And so on. Tongue out I didn’t quite understand why it was so impossibly simple at first… and I didn’t understand how this could be FUN, but I continued on and cleared the tutorial, giving the game a chance to impress me.

And I’m SO glad I did. Open-mouthed I spawned into the district where Ped was, and entered his instance. Each instance of a district can hold about 100 players, so it’s a little different than other MMOs – it’s kinda like a 100-player shooter. Besides, I’d expect that if there were 30,000 players shooting each other and blowing stuff up all around you, sure, it’d be AWESOME, but it’d be extremely disorienting at the same time. And laggy as fuck, and most PC’s wouldn’t be able to run it. Tongue out. Say if one person shoots when there are 500 players around him, the server would have to send that message to 500 people AT THE SAME TIME. That’s just a LITTLE bit stressful on the server, methinks. Tongue out

Anyway, I was still a bit confused at what I was doing, but I decided to just “go with the flow”. Wink Now, what the game does is give you opportunities to enter missions by displaying them at the top left of the screen, along with a “Yes/No” prompt. When you accept a mission, the whole party is entered into it. The missions are simple enough, get to point A, do X, get to point B, do X, and so on, until you complete the mission. However, when OTHER PLAYERS have to try and stop you, or when you have to stop the OTHER PLAYERS, it gets QUITE interesting, and HELLISHLY fun. Open-mouthed I found that it was especially fun and fulfilling when I managed to kill two higher-ranked players with the NOOB GUN that you start with. ^_^

Then there are those times when you have a Notoriety level greater than two. If this happens, Enforcers (also real players) can be dispatched AGAINST you, and you either have to KILL THEM ALL, or survive for a certain amount of time without running out of lives. CAR CHASES. DRIVE-BYS. EXPLODING CARS. FUN FUN FUN! Open-mouthed And that’s all it’s about – FUN. Open-mouthed Unlike every MMORPG ever, this isn’t a chore to play. You don’t play it because you just NEED to grind so you can get enough of a specific item, or earn enough experience to level up. You play it because you WANT to play it, because it’s FUN to steal an Enforcer’s car and then own them in the following mission. Open-mouthed

I can’t really say much more, since I’ve only played it for TWO HOURS, but it’s pretty damn good. Open-mouthed Instead of click on enemy, press buttons, it’s AIM AT ENEMY, SHOOT! Skill is what you need to win, and I love it. Open-mouthed It’s THE ONLY MMORPG that I genuinely LIKE. Open-mouthed Oh, and the character and car customisation is INSANE – Ped’s got a car with the words “EAT MY DUST” written on the back of it. And it’s hilarious how EVE Online said they couldn’t do ship customisation due to “latency issues” or some crap. Open-mouthed More like “we can’t do ship customisation cuz we can’t be arsed and we’re stupid and just want money”… Tongue out

All I can say is… Beta signup. Do it. NOW.

UPDATE!!

HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT APB sucks cocks.

See this. Oh, and this. 😛

I’ve got MegaMan 9. ^_^

And… hehe… I totally suck at it. It is nigh on impossible – it’s probably the cruelest platformer I’ve ever played… not including I Wanna Be The Guy, because that’s just UNAIR. Yes, I know I missed the "F" out of "unfair", because it’s unfair to the point where it doesn’t have any FUN in it. HAHA, get it? GET IT?!? Tongue out

But yeah, I just… I can’t do it. Tongue out Well, okay, I CAN, but it takes a lot of persistence and luck – I’ve had it for about a day now and I’ve still only beaten three out of the eight robot masters – Concrete Man, Galaxy Man and Splash Woman. Yes, Splash WOMAN. Capcom obviously wanted to apply Rule 34 here. Tongue out

And lol, "Splash Woman". Tongue out Also… BIG lol at the weapon you get from Concrete Man. The "C. Shot". Tongue out How’d they not notice that?! Confused It’s almost as bad as "Hard Man" from MegaMan 3. Tongue out

But whatever. I may suck at it, but it’s still quite fun. Open-mouthed Sure, I may only be able to beat 3 of the robot masters so far, and sure, I may only be able to go 21 screens in Endless Attack before getting owned, but I try, and those 21 screens are fun, anyway. Open-mouthed Especially when I’m hitting every enemy with the C. Shot. Tongue out

The gameplay is exactly the same as most other MegaMan platform games. Impossibly difficult levels with enemies in the most annoying places, and if even a pixel of MegaMan hits a spike, retro BOOM, back to last checkpoint. It plays pretty much the same as MegaMan 2, you can run, jump and shoot, but you can’t slide or charge the Mega Buster. Unlike MegaMan 2, however, you have Rush (the robot dog)’s portable moving platform and spring abilities. Open-mouthed You also have the C. Shot. Tongue out

The graphics are 8-bit, retro coolness – just as MegaMan should be, in my opinion. You can even turn retro sprite flicker on, which makes sprites flicker if they overlap each other (like they did on the NES). Open-mouthed Also, the sounds and music are 8-bit, too. And that’s great, ESPECIALLY the 8-bit music. I’ve NEVER heard a game soundtrack (a recent game soundtrack, anyway) which is quite as catchy as MegaMan 9’s soundtrack. Seriously, it’s AMAZING. Open-mouthed When you’re blasting Splash Woman with the C. Shot when you’re listening to music like THIS, it just MAKES the experience. Open-mouthed Oh, and THIS. And THIS. And THIS ONE, too. Oh, oh, and THIS ONE! In fact, why don’t you just download the whole freakin’ OST? It’s incredible! Open-mouthed

If you like your platformers, and you HAVEN’T got MegaMan 9, then you don’t like your platformers. Tongue out I may suck badly at it, and it might take me a couple of weeks to complete it ONCE, but I sure as hell like it. Open-mouthed If you fall into some spikes because of a cheap/evil enemy/spike placement by Capcom, you’ll get frustrated for a second, but then when you hear the stage music begin before you respawn with that flashing retro "READY" on the screen, you’ll just say… "How can I stay mad at you?" or "Okay, I’m gonna do it this time!" Tongue out Then you die again, because your C. Shot missed Splash Woman. Tongue out

But yeah, I’d recommend it. Open-mouthed Plus, MegaMan 10 is out on XBLA on the 31st of March as well, so you’d better C. Shot over there before Splash Woman beats you to it! Tongue out

I’m off for now, but I’ll C. Shot later! Open-mouthed Tongue out

UPDATE!!

The only time this game is ACTUALLY extremely annoying and frustrating is when you’re doing that rock mini-boss on Jewel Man’s stage. It must have some sort of bug. The boss makes rocks fall from the top of the screen, and you’ve got to dodge them. Then, after a certain amount of rocks fall, the boss falls from the top of the screen and hits the ground. Now, when the boss hits the ground, you have to JUMP, otherwise you’ll get stunned and you’ll most probably get hit. However, no matter WHEN I jump, when I land again, I’m stunned, and I get hit for about 5 pixels of damage (which is QUITE A LOT). As far as I know, I’m jumping at the right time – I’m in mid-air before the boss hits the ground, yet I still get stunned.

Ah well. I’ve done it before with no problems (just haven’t beaten Jewel Man yet), but I must have some sort of retardation today. Tongue out

UPDATE 2!!

Re: Update 1, never mind – you have to jump JUST before the boss hits the ground. Jump too early and you’ll still get stunned. Tongue out

Still can’t clear Jewel Man’s stage, though. YET. Wink

Just Cause 2 is total crap.

Ya.

…okay, I’m lying, it’s frickin’ amazing. Tongue out

There’s so much to do, so much action, so many EXPLOSIONS! Open-mouthed It’s amazing, I’ve been playing for nearly nine hours, and I’ve barely even scratched the surface. On top of the great gameplay and ridiculous action, the graphics are stunning, too. It’s nearly faultless, apart from the low frequency of checkpoints in some long missions, but everything good just overshadows the tiny amount of bad things.

So now, after directing my attention to MetaCritic… can I ask why you dickhead critics out there have given it a lower average score than a ridiculously large amount of shitty games?

It got less than BioShock 2. It got less than Dragon Age (and tied with its expansion). It got less than Mass Effect 2 (not particularly shit, but it wasn’t THE EIGHTH GREATEST GAME OF ALL TIME). It got less than Crysis. It even got less than World of Warcraft and ALL of its expansions for fuck’s sake! What the hell is this all about?! Left 4 Dead 2, Darksiders, Braid, Guild Wars, EVE ONLINE, COMPANY OF HEROES, ALL of these scored higher than Just Cause 2. HOW MUCH ARE YOU FUCKTARDED CRITICS BEING PAID?! You CAN’T POSSIBLY be serious!

I’m NEVER, EVER reading another critic review again. I mean, it’s not just Just Cause 2… Command & Conquer 4 got a 7/10 average, as well. Even though USERS gave it 2.5/10, and even though it’s not Command & Conquer anymore, nor does it have any strategy (so I’ve heard). Which is kinda the point in a Real Time STRATEGY game. Tongue out But yeah, I’m never using critics to make a decision again. All they ever do nowadays is rate truly good games lower than pieces of bullshit which don’t even deserve to be called games. Not ALL the games I’ve mentioned are TOTALLY crap, they’re just not as good as Just Cause 2! Nowhere NEAR as good, in fact! But giving it a lower rating than World of Warcrap? That’s an absolute fucking insult.

I know 8/10 is actually SUPPOSED to be pretty good, but all most modern reviewers do nowadays is give games a 6 OR ABOVE. So, adjusting for these critics not being able to count below 6, 8/10 is actually AVERAGE.

So FAR, I would give Just Cause 2 a 9/10, where 5 is exactly average. The game world is huge, there’s so much to do, it’s so much fun, the action is crazy at points, and the story isn’t too bad, either. It’s also well presented and has a great difficulty level (the Experienced difficulty level is not too hard, but not too easy, either… at least for me. Tongue out). And best of all, JC2 makes you feel COOL. Open-mouthed Getting in a fighter jet and shooting down a space shuttle that was just launched? AWESOME. Open-mouthed Destroying a fuel station by driving at it full speed and bailing before you hit the fuel pumps? WICKED. Open-mouthed Planting 10+ remote explosives around a military base and detonating them all at the same time while you watch? SHWEET. Open-mouthed

My rating isn’t final because I haven’t played through much of the game yet (incredibly – I’d be done with most other games by now Tongue out), but it can’t get much higher (I NEVER give 10/10, because NOTHING is perfect. Tongue out). Depends on the ending, whether it gets boring or not, whether it has a sudden surge of bugs towards the end of the game…

But anyway – I’m off for now. If you like action games, get Just Cause 2, you WON’T regret it. And seriously, don’t listen to the critics. They’re obviously stupid if they give it a lower score than Bioshock 2… Tongue out

Oh my, this is embarrassing…

Allllright. So, a while back (REALLY a while back) I posted about how I had entered the world of animation, and gave one of my "unique" reviews about the aniMate+ tool, saying, I quote, "WHAT KIND
OF DUMBASS MADE THIS PIECE OF CRAP?!?".

Now, if you’ll direct your attention there, you’ll notice that ONE OF THE DEVELOPERS OF THE PLUGIN has SOMEHOW found my Space in the dark corner of the Interwebs, and left a comment. And, compared to what I wrote about his plugin, his comment is impossibly nice. Confused

Guuurgh… that’s so embarrassing. Embarrassed I almost feel OBLIGED to e-mail him, but I’m not gonna, because he might not remember the comment he left. Tongue out Honestly, though, MOST of what I spammed that day is TRUE. When I put the SubDragon into a pose and even so much as MOVE the arrow on the timeline, it RESETS my pose. I SOMEHOW got it to work, but I’d all but run out of patience by then, so I never really got anywhere with it. Tongue out The ONLY thing that wasn’t really true was adjusting the length of one of the AniBlocks. I found out how to do that eventually, but that was just about when I stopped trying (and failing) to animate and decided to do something better with my time. I simply concluded that it was a frustrating, overcomplicated, overpriced plugin that didn’t work. Tongue out

Let me demonstrate my problem to you in this video. I don’t normally do this, but I reckon it’s the only way to show you the extent of my problems without spamming a stupid amount of text that makes next to no sense without masses of images. Tongue out

Mongz’ VidBlog Episode 1 – Retesting aniMate+
(You MAY want to download it to disk instead of streaming it – 4shared has a bad reputation for not streaming anything past the first 7 minutes. Tongue out)

It’s about 10 minutes long (was aiming for 5 minutes, but failed Tongue out), and it went quite well and was more interesting than writing stuff down – may do some more "VidBlogs" soon, just for a change. Open-mouthed Mr. Brett, I’d suggest you watch it (preferably with a notepad Tongue out) if you want to know what my problems were. Or don’t, I don’t care – it’s your plugin after all. If it helps to encourage you, there’s an awesome Snake Man remix played when I speed up the video. Wink

(By the way, sorry about my mic – I must’ve had it unusually close to my mouth for it to "pop" that much. Tongue out And I must’ve knocked the microphone jack halfway through, because the sound goes all weird. Tongue out)

UPDATE!!

OMAIGHAD!!!!

*MongMaster controls his sudden orgasm and downloads the new beta* Tongue out

UPDATE 2!!

Oh, okay, that was a disappointment. They literally are just keyframe INDICATORS, you can’t move them or copy them. *sigh*, DAZ, when the hell are you going to make that damned timeline USEFUL?!

UPDATE 3!!

Okay, what the FUCK. I’m sorry, but DAZ, if you don’t grow some BRAINS, I swear, I WILL find something nasty to do to you.

I’ve downloaded the newest version of the DAZ Studio Beta, of course. In this new version, I got indicators on the timeline for keyframes. Fine. However, I LOST the ability to "pin" joints in place. DAZ, can I ask you a question?

WHERE
THE
FUCK
HAS
THE
PIN
BUTTON
GONE?!

Seriously, you CAN’T POSSIBLY BE THIS STUPID. "Let’s add a new feature, joint pinning! Yay!" *a month later* "Ah, we’re bored of this feature. Let’s remove that for no apparent reason and add arrows to show you where your keyframes are instead! Yay!"

Listen, if I’d have known you’d done that, I WOULDN’T HAVE UPDATED THE BETA. But of course, you’re stupid and never tell anyone anything, while the dumb, blind artists on your gay forums think everything is better than it used to be.

I am going to attempt to pirate you to death if you don’t put that damn feature back.

GREAT SUCCESS!

Oh yeah! My mum & dad’s computer is now AWESOME, thanks to me. Wink The problem I had WAS the RAM (that’s three RAM slots out of four busted on that motherboard now, none of which I can explain… Confused), but after seeing the pathetic state of the PSU, I actually NEEDED to get another one. Now it’s got a stable power supply with connectors that HAVEN’T SNAPPED, as well as faster RAM, a VERY good dual core processor, and an 8800GT. Open-mouthed Oh yeah, and a badass case, and a version of Windows that isn’t screwed to hell. Open-mouthed

And me? I have myself a new 1TB hard drive. Open-mouthed Well… okay, 929GB, but that’s because hard drive manufacturers don’t seem to realise that 1TB is NOT 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, it’s 1,024,000,000,000 bytes. And yes, that makes a difference. Tongue out But no matter – 929GB is still WAY more than I’ll ever use.

I bought it because my old hard drive was getting pretty close to becoming FULL, and because it wasn’t the fastest thing in the world. Not bad, but it could have been better. Windows Experience Index gave it a 5.5, which was really letting my rating down (everything else got over 7)… but it’s not like I care much about the WEI anyWEI (heh, I mayde a funny. Tongue out), because it’s not very accurate (it’s not even giving my GTX 295 the top rating… Sarcastic) and no-one ever uses it. I’ve installed this new hard drive, which is supposed to be (and is) very fast… and… my WEI has gone up by 0.4 points to 5.9. Lame. Tongue out What the hell does it WANT me to do to get it to 7.9?! Could buy a WD Velociraptor, which spin at 10,000+ RPM… but they’re like… £100+? And their capacity is about a quarter of what my new drive is. Tongue out

So yeah, I don’t care about the WEI. Tongue out The new drive is pretty fast, and quite quiet, too, so it’s all good. But what WASN’T good was the switchover from my old hard drive. NOT FUN.

Firstly, I got a tool called HDClone, which… lets you clone hard drives. Obviously. Tongue out Anyhoo, I installed that to my memory stick, and restarted the PC, booting from the memory stick. I thought that it was gonna be a pathetic little DOS application which was impossible to navigate around, but it had a full GUI, and it was pretty easy to use! Just tell it you want to clone a drive, select the source and target drives, choose a few advanced options (half of which aren’t available in the Free edition), and click "Start". Then, wait a long time while it makes an exact clone of your chosen drive. It took 6 hours to clone around 300GB of data to my new drive… so yeah. Imagine if you just bought a 2TB drive to replace a 1TB drive… you’d be waiting over 18 hours! Confused Of course, if you’re upgrading to a 2TB drive, you’re probably in a company of some sort, so you’ll want to buy the Professional edition of HDClone for higher speeds. Or you’re a video producer that needs a lot of space, or you’re an imbecile who needs a 2TB drive just to show off. But anyway… Tongue out

HDClone was brilliant – I can’t fault it. However, when I booted into Windows on the new drive, it worked perfectly fine… apart from the fact that Windows was using my OLD drive as the C drive, and my new one as the D drive. That’s about where I started to get confused. Tongue out I’m not sure WHY it did this, maybe because it’d already assigned the old drive to be C (because that’s where I actually INSTALLED Windows)… but yeah, I was confused at the time. Tongue out I tried unplugging my old drive, and Windows REALLY didn’t like that. As it was booting, it was probably thinking "OH MY HOLY CRAPPING GOD WHERE THE HELL IS C:?! Okay, let’s not panic, let’s just try and load the user’s data… from a drive that… doesn’t even exist… OMGOMGOMGOMGOGMG)DKFGOFRYH:QUW(r gOBW8FR6 TWEBFYUASGFLfa  *splode*" So, I tried switching the SATA wires around to see if that would work. No, that just made next to no difference. Tongue out

It was pretty bleak – I was planning to use the old drive as a backup drive, but now it seemed that Windows couldn’t live without it. Confused Even if I tried changing the drive letters around in Disk Management, it would let me switch the old drive to be anything I wanted, but it wouldn’t let me switch the new drive to be C. And if I’d have restarted when the old drive was something OTHER than C, I was gonna be completely stuck. Confused
So… Google it was. Tongue out And I quickly found something that told me I could change some registry values to force Windows to switch the drive letters around. So… I did it, and very nervously, restarted…

EET WORKED! Open-mouthed My new drive is now the C drive, and it is an exact copy of my old drive, with an extra 550GB of space. Open-mouthed My old drive is now the K drive, and I’m backing my data up to that. EPIC. Open-mouthed

So, yes, it was difficult, but it all worked out in the end. Smile None of you who are left reading this are probably gonna be in the same situation as me anytime soon, but this is a blog of what I do, so plah. Tongue out

The Pwnage-O-Matic is SO tricked out now. It’s perfect – two drives, (one for storage, one for backup) an insanely fast DVD drive, a brilliant i7 processor, an amazing CPU fan, a retardedly powerful graphics card, 6GB of ultra-fast RAM and a wireless reciever that WORKS, all plugged into one of the best motherboards you can get, which is stored in one of the greatest cases you can buy. The ONLY thing I’d ever want to upgrade in the future is my monitor, but that can wait – this one is good as it is. Open-mouthed

Anyway, I’m off for now. See y’all lat0rz. Open-mouthed