Saturday, May 31, 2008

Currently Playing

World of Warcraft

Still playing World of Warcraft, still in the same guild, but I've cut down my raiding night to twice a week instead of 4 times a week. My main Astir has gotten a bunch of upgrades and the guild is just starting Black Temple, soon we'll be wearing Tier 6 gear. Good chance that it will be before Wraith of the Lich King.

I played WOW a lot more when patch 2.4 was released but over all my wow time has dwindled down, I'm not even playing my alts much.

Age of Conan

I won't give a detailed review of Age of Conan, in fact there are plenty of places to see other people's reviews. I upgraded my PC to play AoC and it also runs on my laptop (although not at max settings). The game is pretty, very very pretty. The avatar you make actually looks sexy, its one of the most gorgeous avatars on the market. But that aside its not grabbing me and making me play hours on end. I am however playing it in short bursts.

With my current travel and work schedule, I'm only level 14 and playing a Tempest of Set. The beginning area is very well designed but the quests are ... so god damn boring. Run to point A, kill X, run to point B turn it in and run back to point A again. The amount of running back and forth is mind numbing. Don't get me wrong, since WOW was released, I've tried so many other MMO's (SWG, EverQuest 2, Vanguard, Hellgate, DDO, Tabula Rasa, Lord of the Rings, ...) and this is by far the best MMO since World of Warcraft (given what I've seen till level 14). But it still falls far from the bar set by WOW.

It might keep me occupied for a couple of months but nothing I've seen is making me jump for joy.

Jade Empire

I played Jade Empire when it was first released on the XBOX. Heck its the reason I bought the xbox. But its still an excellent RPG. Next to Blizzard, Bioware is the next best computer game studio and I would buy their products review unseen.

The PC version has much better graphics and controls. That aside, I'm still loving the game.

PS. Don't ask me about my avatar's name.


finally, my last game is Mythos. Here's the thing, the game is still in closed beta and I did agree to an NDA, but I'll say this about it...

This game pretty good especially since its free to play. But a few weeks ago we found out that the game is making a huge change. Its going from an instanced game into a real MMO. Previously, the main towns are the only areas where you would see other people. Now, its will be like logging into WOW, their joined all the instanced areas into a single connected world.

This is a huge change, and a BIG gamble. Up till now Mythos has been getting neutral to glowing reviews even in closed beta. But NOW!!! I'm going out on a limb and say that they turned an OK game into an AWESOME one.

I am loving the game now. Its an excellent diablo2 like clone with its own look and feel, its a full MMO game and best of all its still free to play. Mark my words, this one (unlike its brother Hellgate) is gonna be a hit.


Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Getting this review out a week late, but in case you've not seen the show...

It took 19 years and a whole lotta convincing, but we finally have Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I won't give away story plots but the thing to remember about Indy is that its based on pure fun and is a pop-corn movie. As you watch the show, you'll obviously notice that Indy isn't as young as he used to be, and despite that he still had a lot of action sequences.

The villians in the show were quite campy, but then again, another Indy trademark. Although I will say that Cate Blanchett was a disappointing villianess. The film reminds us time and again that its set in the 60's as the Germans have now been replaced with Russians and with constant visual reminders like when a certain someone rides in on a cool harley.

Overall, I loved it. Don't go in expecting to be wowed by this movie, think of it as a final adventure of a very loved character. It was a pleasant journey down memory lane with a familiar musical score, familiar characters and some development in Indy's backstory.

However, eins (my BFF) saw the show and hated it. I'll admit that there were scenes in the movie that were too over the top, (a certain vine swinging sequence) and if you don't like SciFi... well, you're probably not gonna like the plot of the entire show.

My advice is to not expect anything out of the show beyond some nostogila and a want for fun action sequences with a familiar cast. Then I think you'll love the movie.

I give the forth and final Indy flick a 4/5. Not great, but good enough.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Almost Instant Puppodums

Found this awesome item at the grocery store. Microwaveable Puppodums!!!

Puppodums are an indian cracker that you usually deep fry and I'm not sure if these are special but you just have to microwave it for 1 min and you have Puppodums!!! No oil, no splattering, no cleanup and its healthier. The taste is pretty good, not the best I've ever had but slightly above average.

I've found a great new snack.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Movie Review: The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Ahhh another installment of the Chronicles Of Narnia. If you didn't know it by now, the film is based on the books by C S Lewis, and this is book 2 of 7. However, Disney who holds the rights to the series will only be making one more film based on the series and unless both do exceptionally well, we can forget about anymore films based on the books.

I liked the first movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Note that I said liked, not loved. A main problem with trying to make the books into an epic fantasy is that it wasn't written to be epic. If you read the books, it was obviously written for children and in many cases lacking the epic battles scenes or deep emotions that books like Lord of the Rings series had.

Earlier this week, I got the audio version of Prince Caspian from and the whole book was read in about 4 1/2 hours. That should give you an idea of how long the original book was. When I watched the movie, there were some significant changes made to the books, however it was done in the spirit of the books and in my opinion, made the movie much better. I loved the changes, the screenwriters for this show should definitely be given an award. They turned a children's fantasy story into an epic fantasy movie with emotions.

I won't go into detail on all the changes, but making Prince Caspian a major character and older as well as the rivalry between him and High King Peter was a stroke of genius.

Overall I say that this 2nd installment outshined the first movie. In part because we now have a history with the 4 children who have grown and are definitely show their movie chops. Much the same way that the kids in Harry Potter have developed in the later films.

Oh and of course the special effects were top notch. But isn't that mostly a given these days?

I strongly recommend this movie if you liked the first one and if you were so so on the first movie, then this is definitely better. If you've never seen the first movie, the skip this one, there's too much reference to past events to would simply not make sense to you.

I rate The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian a 4.5/5.

Interesting note: Ben Barnes (See the pic above) who plays Price Caspian speaks with a Spanish accent in the show but he's 100% British.

Also, I prefer the movie poster below with the 4 kids, instead of the one being shown everywhere with only Caspian in it.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Green Porno

Its not what you're thinking. The Sundance Channel has released a series of short clips starring Isabella Rossellini dressed in different buggy garb, and acting out the mating rituals of buggy beings -- the bee, the dragonfly, the earthworm, the firefly, the house fly, the preying mantis, and the spider.

Its sooo fun to watch! and educational too. I highly recommend watching these clips with your kids. Below are a few promos on youtube. To watch the actual clips, go to Sundance Channel and watch them.

don't miss the Spider and Praying Mantis, those are my faves.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bread and Butter Pudding

I'm not a huge bread pudding person. But when I read a post on Straight from the farm about a bread and butter pudding, I just had to try it out.

You can get the full recipe here, but I made some changes:

Berry Bread & Butter Pudding

8 slices of white bread
butter, softened (I didn't measure the amount used)
½ C. strawberry or other berry jam
3 T. splender
1 banana in slices
3 eggs
2 ½ C. light vanilla soy milk

The verdict? Its tastes like any other bread pudding. I used a lot of butter but after you add the milk and bake it, the buttery taste just isn't there anymore. Same goes for the jam, once its diluted, its not so sweet.

that's my main problem with bread pudding as a desert, I like sweet deserts and bread pudding just doesn't measure up. Don't get me wrong, its an easy recipe and a decent dish, just not among my favorites.

Oh and skip the banana. that much time in the oven just dries it up. If you like normal bread puddings, I think you'll love this recipe, for me I'll just keep looking.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Movie Review: Ironman

OK, its no surprise that I'm a comic book geek and love superheroes. But truth be told, Ironman is not one of my favorite superheroes and while I admit that Robert Downey Jr can act, his druggie habits turn me off (ie. I'm not a Downey fan).

But I still went to watch Ironman because of all the positive reviews I've heard about. And I LOVE IT!!! This is hands down the best Superhero Origin movie that I've seen. In some respects I would even say that its better than "The Dark Knight" (aka Batman). But only because The Dark Knight is so dark and serious, while Ironman is simply rip roaring fun! You'll laugh through out the show while going Ohhhh and Ahhhh as he becomes Ironman.

Now if you're not a superhero movie person and are forced to watch a superhero movie, this would be the one to watch. Its not too geeky, its funny, it has a good plot and I hate to say it but the acting is very good.

I give Ironman a 5/5.

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