So, I'm Sitting Here...

Jun 30, 2009

...relaxing! My Archy and I finished making love and she's drifting off to sleep with the help of some lovin' and a nice mimosa after a long day of shooting. We're in Alameda doing shoots around here, Oakland, San Fransisco and other places. Today, we went to a place called The Rose Garden and did some shooting there. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like - a rose garden! There are a lot of trees, plants and water fountains there that made for some interesting shoots. Later in the day, Archy was given a challenge: if she could figure out a nice makeup look to go along with a pair of vibrant, green contacts - she could keep them! Of course, she blew us all away with a black fading to deep-purple eye look along with lovely deep red lips. The look was awesome - so awesome that it sparked another shoot! We're trying to stick with more location-based shooting for this trip, but studio is definitely welcome when the situation calls for it. It was getting late and so it was the only option to capture her evil, electric goth look. So Archy got to keep the pair of electric-green contacts, and was also given a pair of a vibrant blue ones. Cool! I love working with her photographer, Trillance ( He's such a cool guy; very down to earth, generous, fun yet professional, and he's really good at directing. I have been working for him for a while (as mentioned), with the main goal being a Canon Rebel XT kit with multiple lenses and lots of accessories. He found that I would need more space since I'll be taking lots of pictures with my new camera, so he decided to throw in a 500gb external hard drive with the kit! If you ever read this, Trillance - even though I'll get the chance to tell you in person - thank you! You've opened up great opportunities for me. I know that you think you're not paying me well enough for the graphics work I do for you, but trust me when I say that I don't think I'm paying YOU well enough for the things you've given me. You've bought me the parts to build my own photo editing capable PC, you've got me the monitor I need, mouse, etc, and soon I will have the photography kit. I am extremely thankful! Anyways, yup...tomorrow (or, later today, rather) the Canon Rebel XT body will arrive via UPS from being professionally aligned, cleaned, lubed, etc, and I will begin my foray into DSLR photography. I totally can't wait! Lot's more shoots and places to go before we leave on July 4th, and I'm totally ready! Oh, one more thing! One set that I edited for Trillance rewarded me a domain name!! That will be my portfolio site where I'll showcase all of my work and also offer graphic design services. Visit it periodically to check it's status. Right now, it's just a front page, but soon it will be a full-featured flash-based site. Anywho, take care, and thanks for reading!

Driving...gah/Current Events

Jun 24, 2009

I drove a LOT today, and it was freaking HOT OUT!!! I saw a bunch of people I know while driving though lol, so it was kinda funny. I feel beat. I wanna take a nap now! In any case, I just finished installing Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, so I can work with HD video now...woot! We're getting all geared up to leave for Alameda/San Fransisco on Friday, which I can't WAIT for! It will be such a relief to be outta here from the 26th until July 4th. That's, like, 9 days or something. I'll be getting my camera/kit while we're there, too, so that's definitely something I'm looking forward to! I can't wait to start working with my first's very exciting! Of course, I've used DSLR's in the past, but this will be the first one I actually own, so I'm ultra-mega-hyper excited!

Ohhh, I beat Resident Evil 5, as I talked about on the previous blog. That game was sweet. Now I'm playing through the career mode on Project Gotham Racing 4, and - of course - I love that game. I'm a big fan of the racing genre in general, and I think that PGR4 has a great blend of arcade/simulation that sits well. The physics in the game are sweet, and the graphics are great, as well. Can't wait to progress further into the career. The game constantly rewards you with unlockable goodies, so it's cool. I tried out Dynasty Warriors 6. It's a "blah" hack 'n' slash game with simple controls, terrible voice acting, and mediocre graphics. It can be enjoyable, but the whole dying once and it's game over thing kinda sucks. A little too "arcadey" for me.

In any case...I'm done babbling, so you can go waste your time doing else now, but thank you for reading :)

Resident Evil 5

Jun 23, 2009

Well, I beat it today, so I thought I'd leave some impressions. I liked the game a LOT. It answers a lot of questions I've had since Resident Evil Code: Veronica, and even some I've had since the first Resident Evil game. If you're really into the story of the series and are looking to get into a lot of the backstory as well, then that alone will be worth it to you to play through this game. I love how it ties up pretty much ALL of the loose ends, but leaves the future totally wide-open for events to come. The only thing that MIGHT turn off some purists is, without trying to spoil anything, some of the action in the game. Resident Evil 4 took the series in a nice step toward the future with the enemies being intelligent and all, but there's something that bugs me a bit about fighting against enemies who are fully aware of themselves being a monster, and even more so becoming a monster being part of their "plan". I'm not sure I like that whole idea. Something I loved about the older Resident Evil games is the fact that what you were up against were mindless creatures that wanted to kill or feed for no apparent reason. This Resident Evil game sort of pits you against those who created the whole mess, if you get what I'm saying. I'm really not trying to spoil anything, though, so I will say that no matter what it is you're up against, it's almost always something extremely terrifying. This game really has some of the creepiest monsters you will fight in any Resident Evil game - some new, and others - well, old, but updated. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that the Lickers return in this game - though, for a short time. If you remember in Resident Evil 2, the Lickers were very scary - but also fairly easy to kill. In RE5, whenever you encounter them, you really get this, "Oh SHIT...." feeling that comes over you.

The game was fairly easy overall, but there are a few challenging moments, namely - the last boss in the game. No matter how easy the rest of the game was, that last boss took me at least 8 to 10 tries to beat, and I played through on "Medium" difficulty. I was kind of scarce on ammo, and it can feel that way through most of the game. But - that's definitely a good thing. The ammo you can obtain varies depending on the weapons you have in your arsenal. I do like how you don't get more ammo depending on what your weapon of choice is. Meaning, even if you use the shotgun a great deal of the time, the game isn't going to give you shotgun shells all the time, so if you use up those shells, you may not get some back right away. That's what kind of keeps you on your toes the whole time. Another "edge of your seat" feeling comes from the fact that, unlike the previous RE games, your items/weapons menu is accessed in real time, meaning that switching weapons and equipping items has to be done QUICKLY when you're in the heat of battle. It kind of sucks sometimes, but I guess it's pretty cool. Without it being that way, the game would probably be a LOT easier, which would be no fun. One thing that makes RE5 difficult sometimes is your partner, Sheva. She can be extremely useful at times, but at other times, she can be the biggest pain in the ass by getting in your way or taking an item you wanted. Of course, you can switch items via the item menu in real time, but if she grabbed some ammo that you desperately needed in the heat of battle, you'll have to navigate to the real-time menu and work out an exchange. Not the funnest of situations to be in, but hey - it makes for some interesting moments for sure and adds to the challenge.

The game definitely looks beautiful. I run @ 1080p on my 23" Acer 1920x1080 monitor over HDMI, and the game does look good. Although, like most Xbox 360 games, RE5 doesn't display in true 1080p. Instead, it's a 720p signal upscaled to 1080p. The upscaling is apparent, but the game's AA makes it look pretty nicely when upscaled. The in-game textures are nice, although, I have to admit that I am spoiled by my PC. I am used to playing games like Far Cry 2 and Crysis: Warhead rendered at full 1920x1080 with very high resolution textures, so where I find the textures in RE5 are "pretty good", others may find them amazing. It just depends on what you're used to, really. Where the game does shine, though, are it's high-polygonal models and awesome shaders. The graphical style and finesse in the game is absolutely stunning. The cut scenes are done in real-time within the game engine, and they are very impressive. The graphics alone would score the game a 10/10 for me, aside from the textures which, as stated, are definitely nice, but I've seen much better.

The music in RE5 definitely adds to the tension during most scenes. The music is creepy when it needs to be, it's jumpy when it needs to be; sad, angry, etc. I don't know what to compare it to other than a high-budgeted film. The music during the boss scenes is especially brilliant.

SO...overall, the game is very fun. It has great graphics, the story resolves a lot of issues yet leaves the series wide open for more. The gameplay, while annoying sometimes due to your partner, is fun and challenging without being too hard, and sometimes - a little too easy. Great game overall. Lots of little extras and goodies to be unlocked throughout the game, and after as well.

Damn You, Xbox Live!!

Jun 17, 2009

Soooo, today, the day that I actually get the 360 up and running - also the day that, coincidentally, Xbox Live was scheduled for maintenence - a BIG one. It was supposed to be down for UP TO 24 hours....but so far - it's been longer than that. CRAPPY! Anywho, at least I've been able to play Resident Evil 5 and Project Gotham Racing 4 - two games I've been DYING to play. That's all thanks to my wonderful and awesome love, Archy. This was the best surprise I've ever gotten! :D


Jun 13, 2009

That's right...she told me that a farmer gave her workplace fruit, but they couldn't sell it so they were able to take some home. I get to her work to pick her up, and she has a box labeled "Fruit, Archy". She told me it was mangos lol! So we get home, I open the box, and what do I see?

An Xbox 360, play and charge kit, Resident Evil 5, Dynasty Warriors 6, and Project Gotham Racing 4!

AHHHH!!! I have been missing the 360 since I sold mine in 2007. I get to finally play Resident Evil 5!! I can't believe it! My lovie is sooo awesome! :p I love you baby, thanks for the awesome surprise!!

Mac versus take.

Jun 8, 2009

I just got done arguing with someone on youtube about Mac vs. PC. What people need to understand is that it's not "Mac vs. PC" anymore, because Mac's are just PC hardware now, complete with Intel Inside (pun intended). All Apple is, is an OEM that only puts OSX on their PC hardware. The base Mac Pro is $2500, and the only nice piece of hardware in the box is the Xeon processor. It only has 3gb of RAM and an Nvidia GT120, which is literally a rebranded GeForce 9500GT. I built my latest system with the main specs being a Pentium Dual Core E5200, 4gb of RAM, and a GeForce 9500GT for exactly $370. That price also included the case and a new hard drive. Now, you have to look at that. $370 versus $2500 for specs that are so insanely close that the price difference could NEVER be justified. Sure the Xeon is a nice processor - but the price to performance ratio just isn't worth spending so much extra money on.

So, as I said before, it's not "Mac vs. PC" anymore - that was gone as soon as Apple started using regular PC hardware, years ago. It is now "OSX vs. Windows" - if you want to even say that they are up against each other. Microsoft has over 90% of the operating system market taken, so I think it's clear who is winning here. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Apple at ALL. I think their design is amazing, and I have owned a Mac Mini, a Powermac G4, and an iBook. I thought OSX Panther, Tiger and Leopard were all great operating systems. I like them better than XP, in fact. I do, however, like Windows Vista more than OSX. As nice as Apple's design is on average, I find that me being able to customize something the exact way I want it down to my last specification is a lot more pleasing or rewarding.

How's that for an unbiased view? I hate when I see screen names like "mac4tw" or "pc>mac" and other crap. It's like, as soon as you start arguing with me about stuff with regards to operating systems, you automatically lose ANY credibility you may have had in the first place. To me, you're just another whiny little fanbitch, and I automatically don't respect your "argument".