Apr. 21st, 2017

dmilewski: (Default)
As I go car shopping, here are things that I want.
  • Length, width, and wheelbase similar to 96 Outback.
  • Mirrors as good as Ford Five Hundred. (And they are good.)
  • Car-like dash.
  • Correlated to the dash, broad windshield. I don't want the dash pushing up into my viewing space.
  • Manual climate controls. (If automatic, both heat and cool must have separate settings).
  • MP3, or a reasonable way to get an MP3 player into the car.
  • (Maybe) manual shift (but only if I like the action).
  • Good stereo or easily upgradable stereo.
  • Medium-weight steering.
  • Cozy but comfy seats. (I don't require seats for ample American waistlines).
In general, the car should be an excellent commuter as that is what it will do 90%+ of the time. It will wade through traffic, play music, and eventually get me to work and back.
dmilewski: (Default)
Seven Sacred Beasts (2013) is a JRPG released by Kemco on the Kindle Fire. It's a basic monster evolution and fighting RPG, containing all the mechanics that you've come to expect from the genre. You capture monsters, evolve monsters, and fight monsters. To add some spice, there's a competition. All of that sounds like a nice relaxing grindfest of monster-fighting-fun. But wait, there's more, because between the various fights are interminable cut scenes where the characters yak and yak and yak. Oh My GOD, will they ever shut up? This game would have worked well enough as a monster-fighter with a light plot.

If that's not enough, you'd think that a game featuring a tournament would feature the tournament as the end fight. You'd be wrong. The whole thing is really about a final boss battle. I understand following convention, but isn't that taking convention a little too far and a little too literally?

As a monster fighter, the game is a lighthearted grindfest appropriate for anyone. Go team! As an RPG, it feel like somebody dropped a piano from the third story. Don't play this game for the story. 
dmilewski: (Default)
I honestly don't know what Robin McKinley was thinking when the wrote Deerskin (1993). While technically readable, if not wonderfully so, I found this particular book so full of fluff, so pulled one way then another, that I lost all connection to the lead character. Meanwhile, I found the overarching story so thin that skimming at excess speed did nothing to undermine it.

This book was not for me, and that's okay.

While Robin usually includes interesting fantasy elements in the story, the fantasy elements in this story felt tacked on using nine inch nails. The romance felt tacked on as well. We hardly get to spend any time with the hero, barely getting to know him. So with both the fantasy elements and the romance elements feeling superfluous, the results simply didn't satisfy any of my interests. 

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