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What I’ve Been Doing 22 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 22nd, 2012 by Dan

What a bizarre TV show theme to remake. Just obscure and weird and I loved every second of it. Hilarious.

Movies

The Avengers – Viewing numero tres. Still really enjoy this movie. Was hoping to make it four viewings, but bedtime for Eric and Danielle came too soon.

TV

New Girl – They really have no clue what to do with Winston. This most recent episode has Schmidt at his most unbearable too. If they were firing on all four cylinders at the start of this season, they certainly aren’t now. On a far less damning note, Zoeey Deschanel’s character is a billion times better written and realized than when she was just “adorkable”.

The Mindy Project – Mindy Kaling’s distinct comedy voice is still working pretty well for me. I loved how the nurse ended up being a bathroom attendant in the club. Nice comedic turn.

The Greatest Event in Television History – An elaborate setup for an ultimately ridiculous premise. I mean, remaking the opening to Simon & Simon? So bizarre, but definitely hilarious.

Childrens Hospital – Really ambitious episode about a year in the hospital. Very well done, but no Malin Akerman makes me sad.

The League – Everyone’s favorite inappropriate fantasy football comedy is back with a vengeance. Every Shiva blast makes me cackle with laughter. Glad to have it back.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – The Cuban restaurant in Chicago didn’t look that great, but I would have dug the lobster corn dogs or the Annapolis, MD BBQ.

Extreme Couponing and Extreme Cheapskates – Both of these shows are filled with people that drive me crazy. I can’t talk about this without ranting…

Misc. SNL Sketches – Eric showed me some stuff from the Applegate and Mars episodes. I’ll get to them on my time too.

Music

This guy, Nils Frahm, plays piano quietly with a mic turned up super high to capture everything. That includes creaking chairs, the sounds of the hammer striking the strings, and, naturally, the haunting beauty of his piano playing. Enjoy!

Books

Off-week

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Oh god, soooo much XCOM. Totally worth it to make it through Classic Ironman. Too bad that wasn’t my recorded game!

FTL: Faster Than Light – Had some good, eventful runs to film. Had a lot of fun filming them too.

Pokemon White Version 2 – Oh man, down to only two pokemon, my Herdier and my Pignite. Stupid crit-ing Rattatas…

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Making good progress! I’m up to Ch. 4 or 5 and I’m beginning to get to the bottom of these mysteries. I think that the townspeople might be clockwork people and I’m fairly certain Inspector Chulmey is a bad guy. Enjoying the puzzles too much, actually. I was up until like 0030 solving them.

Dan Plays Roundup 15 Oct [ER/GO]
Oct 16th, 2012 by Dan

Ok, this is a day late, but I think that I shouldn’t just spam video posts every day of my Let’s Plays. So I’m just gonna link to the last week of them. If you want to watch them in a more timely fashion, just go to my youtube page and subscribe/watch from there. Ideally I’ll find a widget that I can use instead…

So here are all the videos up to today (I think next week I’ll start putting them on Monday or so.

FTL

XCOM

What I’ve Been Doing 15 Oct 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 15th, 2012 by Dan

XCOM is a cruel, but addictive mistress… (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

From last week’s embarrassment of riches we arrive at this week’s slim pickings. It’s not like there was nothing on, it’s just that I played 39 hours of XCOM this week. So…yeah.

Movies

The Lucky One – The things one does for love, right? This movie is pretty much a romance novel. Logan walked (WALKED!) from Colorado to Louisiana to woo this girl. He is a whiz with machines, plays piano, reads philosophy, is a marine…what isn’t he? It’s like Nicholas Sparks got lazy. Anyway, we had fun making fun of it at least.

TV

Homeland – So glad this show is back on the air. The reveal at the end with Brody’s suicide note? Amazing. I hope they don’t drop the ball on this revelation.

How I Met Your Mother – This season has been subpar so far. The nanny stuff was passably funny, but the Robin/Ted stuff was just bleargh. At least I can make jokes about Robin dating a cylon…

Music

Silky smooth…

Books

After the Quake – This collection would be a great freshman survey for Murakami. Jazz, surreal overtones, lots of sex (both appropriate and inappropriate), father issues…Only need to have a bit about cats to complete the Bingo card.

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Watch me play or read my impressions for deeper info, but goddamn I love this game. Super fun. Firaxis really nails that “one more turn…” thing yet again. I hope they never put their powers toward evil.

Pokemon White Version 2 – Didn’t play a whole lot (got distracted by the much lower time-investment requirement from Layton), but this is the best version of pokemon yet.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Wanna know what this game is like? Penny Arcade will tell you.

Dan Plays XCOM E2 – RIP Dan [ER/GO]
Oct 12th, 2012 by Dan

Mismanagement kills.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Impressions [GO]
Oct 11th, 2012 by Dan

Earf’s Last Hope (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

Man, remember when I used to write blog posts instead of just posting like a million videos every day? Yeah, me neither.

So XCOM: Enemy Unknown finally came out! I’ve been waiting for it forever and it has absolutely met expectations, so here are some things that I think.

Things I love:

– The palpable sense of dread when you send your soldiers forward. I took like five more turns getting into position than I needed to for one mission just out of fear.

– The RNG is brutal. Here’s the situation: Two troops minding a corner with Overwatch while another is pressing forward on that corner. TWO MISSES ON OVERWATCH and the alien ices my Squaddie. Farewell, soldier named after my father. You will be missed.

– Research trees: love choosing what to research and learning what benefits I get from that. The flavor text is pretty neat too.

– Hard decisions: Save India or save America? Balance the panic levels and try to keep countries investing in the XCOM project. It’s WAY harder than you think

– XCOM’s class system is pretty neat. I like how you have to think more about how to position and move your guys beyond just their loadout.

– Even when I feel completely outmatched, smart tactics can help me take out Mutons or survive dangerous missions…unless it doesn’t and they overwhelm me.

– The Sniper is a boss. Just sows seeds of destruction all over the battlefield.

– I’ve done plenty of chain reaction things with amazing results. For example, I shot a rocket at an alien in a desperate plea to save another soldier with only 1HP. The result: I murdered both of them with the shrapnel.

– The lose condition cinematic. Chilling. It haunted my mind before I went to bed.

Things I could do without:

– The interface was clearly designed for a controller first. The mouse stuff doesn’t quite flow right…

– THE INTERFACE WAS DESIGNED FOR A CONTROLLER! I’m not sure if this is related to that, but I tried to get a soldier in place behind cover…except the game was freaking out! Is it the higher elevation position or a square on lower elevation where there’s zero cover. Which do you think I was picking, game? Oh, the no-cover position? Yep. So that soldier gets shot to death and the mission spirals out of control, resulting in a loss. Thanks, UI

– Similar to above, the tutorial clearly killed one of my guys because it wouldn’t let me exit the tactical screen

– Free aim for all guns would be neat.

– Having no choice about class assignments is perplexing. What causes these assignments? How come I only ever get one sniper, but many Heavies and Supports. Is it tied to the way I play my characters?

Dan Plays XCOM E1 – Welcome to Earf [ER/GO]
Oct 10th, 2012 by Dan

New Dan Plays series! I’ve been waiting for XCOM for ages and here goes the adventure!

What I’ve Been Doing 9 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 9th, 2012 by Dan

Pitch Perfect -0

I love a capella so there was zero chance I wouldn’t see this (Photo courtesy lissamabcd)

Thanks to the long weekend this is posting a little later than usual. I also jammed a ton of TV in this week thanks to all that extra time.

Movies

The Guard – Irish movie about an Irish policeman who is one of those curmudgeonly old man types. Funny, but ultimately not that substantive. Worth seeing if you’ve got a free afternoon.

Pitch Perfect – I loved most of the music in this movie and I always enjoy Anna Kendrick on the silver screen. Mostly I found myself impressed by how well she inhabited her role. The other two movies I saw her in, Up in the Air and 50/50, had her in a much more professional, trying to be respected role. Here she’s aged back to 18 and everything about her performance reflects that. Good, fun stuff. Go see it.

TV

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – Kind of unnecessary. Barely any politics either.

Up All Night – Not digging the new setup. The new brother character is just not that interesting. I did laugh at the trapeze part in the most recent episode.

Glee – Knocking Tremé is not cool. “Celebrity Skin” not that good. The election episode was so boring. The breakup episode, on the other hand, had a lot more emotion and a lot more going for it. Dug it a lot more.

NTSF::SD:SUV: – The time slide episode was so good that everything afterwards has been a bit disappointing. The SDCC episode was meh as was the Dragon Shumway redux.

Childrens Hospital – Ladies Night! Man, Lake Bell is hot. This show is consistently hilarious/awesome.

Homeland – Danes seemed off early in the episode, but that’s probably intentional since her character is supposed to be off her rocker. Loved the way that Damian Lewis is playing this. As for the plot, this season is shaping up to be very cool. Liked the way they pulled Danes back in and I liked the father/daughter bonding over Islam.

Tremé – The included murder mystery doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the show, but everything else is going well. Nice and slow-paced.

Sherlock – That Reichenbach Falls episode was SO GOOD! I wonder if Moriarty is actually dead (Sherlock isn’t!). Hard to see where the next series goes from here, but that was astounding. It didn’t have the same pounding pressure as Moriarty’s time-limits from last series, but it was still quite tense and fun. Loved the part where Moriarty was pretending to be an actor.

Key & Peele – Not as good as the season premiere, but I really enjoyed that dubstep sketch. Also dug the Luther sketch and the concept of the guy who had to follow MLK’s speech was funny, but it wasn’t executed particularly well.

The Mindy Project – You know what? This show is a lot funnier than some critics are giving it credit. Mindy Kaling has a really sneaky sense of appalling humor that really works. I think this is my favorite new show I’ve seen (so far).

Four Weddings – Sometimes your girlfriend watches stuff that you don’t want to.

Giuliana and Bill – See above…The worst part here is that she thinks this show is dumb too! There just wasn’t anything else on worth watching.

Halloween Wars – Another Food network thing. This has got the Cupcake Wars crew, but they’re carving pumpkins and making Halloween scenes. It’s ok.

How I Met Your Mother – Caught the first two episodes of the season. I’m still kind of bummed that Victoria isn’t the mother. She was the original plan if the show had been canceled. I like her.

30 for 30 – “Broke” wasn’t as good as the other documentary I saw, but I still dug it. This series is worth checking out.

The Daily Show – I’m glad that Stewart went and eviscerated Obama for his debate performance because it was shameful. Not a bad week of episodes.

Parks & Recreation – Two words: Lucy Lawless. Please and thank you.

Saturday Night Live – A lot of bad sketches in this episode, but I did like the lesser known Bond girls one. Daniel Craig can do better? Was it the material?

Music

The Pokemon Reorchestrated project is coming out with fully licensed reorchestrations of Pokemon game music. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.

Books

After the Quake – Murakami really likes writing about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I really enjoyed “All God’s Children Can Dance”

Video Games

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – I was wrong. There are way more hidden worlds than I realized and they’re pretty fun. Liking this game even more.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – I technically “beat” the game, but there’s tons more content to enjoy.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter – This series reminds me of Detective Conan. One of the puzzles really stumped me. I’m dumber than I thought I was, haha.

Pokemon White – Wanted to catch the last few legendaries I was dilly-dallying on. Got that done before 2 arrived.

Pokemon White Version 2 – The package here has gotten so much sharper from year to year, but the nearly identical mechanics keeps a lot of people away. I’m playing with a Nuzlocke Challenge: Defeated pokemon must be permanently retired, you can only catch the first pokemon you see in an area, and, one of my rules, you must use pots to heal. Only one pokemon center visit per town. So far I’ve lost a Patrat permanently in my gym battle with Roxie. Tragic stuff.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Just started it this morning. Played two missions. Loving it! Look for a Dan Plays series to start soon.

E3 2012 – XCOM: Enemy Unknown [GO/ER]
Jun 4th, 2012 by Dan

They’ve chosen not to highlight any of the tactical, turn-based elements of the game in this trailer, but it’s still pretty boss. Can’t wait for October!

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