Review: Laurell K. Hamilton-Bullet……..We don’t need no stinking plot!!

 

 

Review: Bullet

Bullet I remember a time when the Anita Blake books had an actual plot, and the sex scenes were there to enhance the story. In the last couple of books, the plot is pretty much gone and in it’s place is chapter after chapter of sex scenes. I remember the golden years of Hamilton developing an interesting paranormal plot, complete with diverse characters, and interesting subplots. Apparently those days are over. In it’s place are essentially Letters to Playgirl.

 

Any time Anita has a problem, the solution every time now is sex. Problem with bad vampires, fix it with sex. Can’t figure out what clothes to wear, just add a little sex and the answer will come. It’s become a little comical. Add to this that Anita has essentially grown very little as a character emotionally, but is the return of Jesus as far as her Paranormal powers are concerned.

 

Alas, my biggest gripe comes from all of the male characters in the story. I can no longer differentiate between any of the men in her life. They are all written the same, which really sucks. They’ve all become neutered man slaves that bow to Anita’s every whim. Their every thought is how they can please Anita. Even poor Richard has jumped on the bandwagon, which is kind of bitter sweet. He always bugged me the most out of all the characters, but now he’s part of the Anita Chain Gang. Now I kind of wish his stubborn dumb self was back.

 

This book has a lot more MM sex then ever before. It’s kind of ironic that Anita doesn’t like FF sex but is totally ok to have major MM orgies. I’ve always enjoyed Laurell books, but this was pretty graphic even by her standards. While listening to this while driving, I was always afraid that someone would hear it and wonder if I was listening to some gay porn, LOL.

 

All in all, this book has almost no plot.It’s essentially entirely sex, with weak efforts to throw in a story every now and then.

Review: The Gathering Storm……Welcome back WoT!!!

The Gathering Storm

Review: The Gathering Storm Audio Book

 

If you would have told me this was written by a different author other then Robert Jordan, I would have called you a liar. This is how the Jordan of old used to write. It’s only later on in the series is when he really started go get wrapped up in meaningless crap, and made it a chore to finish a book. The only difference I could really tell were things that I thought were improvements. Gone are the annoying storyline builds ups, only to have the reader jump to a different character at the crescendo. It was so refreshing to not have to wait another 300 pages to find out how a storyline progressed. This ain’t 1960’s television anymore, we don’t need cheesy cliffhangers to make sure we keep reading.

 

At no point did I ever feel like I wanted to place a gun into my mouth to end my misery from slogging through a couple of chapters on etiquette or local customs.

 

Sanderson touched on all the favorites, Rand, Egwene and company, Matt, Perrin, all the major Aes Sedai and Aiel. Perrin was probably the least written about it in this story, but it really didn’t bother me, as he had bigger parts in the last few books. Matt is always a blast and gets into some crazy situations in this book that just made me laugh. Sanderson does such a good job putting Matt’s perspective on situations that it’s always just so comical, “Why does this always happen to me!”

 

Rand is probably the biggest triumph of this story. The writing gets more complicated as his delves deeper and deeper into what it means to be the Dragon Reborn and all the emotions that come with that.

 

Kate and Michael are the only voices I can ever picture reading Jordan, as they do a perfect job. At times I forget that Kate is reading the male parts because she does such a great job capturing the character’s essence.

 

I released a huge sigh of release after I read this book. The glory that is WoT is back, and is on track for it’s continued greatness. The ending of this finished perfectly.

Xbox180 Reverses it’s position on all DRM policies

xbox-one1

 

The day has arrived I actually thought I would never see.  Microsoft has completely reversed itself on all of it’s policies, which is just unreal. This is a major victory for the gaming community and something unprecedented on this level. I have never seen almost everyone stand up against something like this, and then have the company reverse itself in such a major way. This will have long reaching effects for gamers for many years, and for the positive.  Congratulations everyone.  Hence the new moniker of Xbox180!

 

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/06/19/microsoft-to-reverse-xbox-one-policies-after-fan-revolt/

 

 

Sony clarifies it’s DRM policies for PS4

Sony clarified their position a little more today on their DRM.  Basically, it’s left up to the publishers, which is exactly how it is today.  Some publishers will lock content, and will require purchasing of Online Passes.  This is the current practice that we see today, so this is really a non-issue unless Microsoft decides to buy up all the publishers, then we could be in real trouble.

 

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/11/e3-2013-ps4-used-game-restrictions-up-to-publishers

 

 

Hello Xbone, this is PS4, just calling to let you know the war is over.

ps4

 

Just finished watching the Sony E3 presentation and wow, what a show.  The show started out very slow, and at times tedious, but for those of you who were patient, it was well worth the pain. About midway through, Sony announced they will not be doing ANY DRM.  None. Zero. Zip.  You will be able to buy and sell used games, and do game rentals. They also said there wouldn’t be any 24 hour internet checking for ownership, and you can play ALL games offline. The audience erupted with applause and shouts. At some point, you could actually hear a part of the crowd cheering, “Sony! Sony! Sony!”. If that wasn’t enough, they then announced the price of the PS4 for $399.  Boom, war’s over.  Not a single unit has shipped, and the end is near for the Xboxone.

 

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to this over the next couple of days, as this is a pretty major hurdle to overcome.Right now, only the hardcore gamer community is paying attention to this, but as it gets closer to the Holidays, this will become a bigger issue for the average consumer. I’m also dying to see how this affects Microsoft’s stock price over the next few days as well, considering their Xbox division is one of their brightspots in their current environment.

DRM requested by Microsoft, not the publishers?

Contrary to what I and most gamers believed, word is coming out that it was Microsoft that requested these DRM changes and not the publishers.  I’m totally surprised, not surprised at this point.  Can’t wait for tomorrow and the rest of this week, as we can get everything confirmed at E3. Sorry, I can’t post the link just yet, but we should no for sure by tomorrow so it won’t matter.

Xboxone Outrage Over new DRM Policies

After letting the initial shock wear off from the Xboxone announcement, all of my original feelings and concerns remain the same. Let me preface this by saying none of these restrictions affect me.  I don’t rent games, I’m always connected to the internet, and I always pre-order new games.  With that being said, I’m deeply troubled by these new restrictions which Microsoft has announced. I won’t break down all of them, just the ones I find the most egregious.

 

Required 24 hour internet Connection

This to me is probably the worst one.   For most people who live in cities with broadband, this isn’t that big of a deal. Our computers are already connected all the time anyway, so what’s the difference? My first issue is I spent almost 3 years deployed in support of Bosnia, and I can tell you that a soldiers best friend is porn and Xbox.  Being deployed is just like being in prison.  You are usually stuck on a small base where there are no women around, you spend almost every day working long hours, and have very little to do for recreation besides working out and playing Xbox.  Shockingly, these bases usually don’t have an internet connection for the soldiers to use especially for something like hooking up your Xbox.  You’re lucky to get a real shower and toilet, so putting in an internet connection is pretty low on the leadership’s priority list.

 

Microsoft has known this from the very beginning, and has still decided to give all of our military personnel the giant digital finger. I can tell you this right now, that this won’t fly in the military. The extreme stress  that you endure on a daily basis while deployed, can slowly eat away at you, especially for combat arms guys. Coming back from a stressful patrol or just the stress of missing your spouse or significant other can be almost unbearable at times. Being able to fire up the old console, and rock some madden or wander about in Skyrim can be a major stress reliever.

 

Military personnel will be regulated to playing on the PC now, which will work, but it’s not the same. Like most gamers, I play games on both a PC and a Console. Certain games I prefer to play on the PC and certain games I like to play on the Console.

 

One trade policy

When I was younger, this would have been a death knell for me.  Unless you come from a wealthy family, or a parent who is a gamer (which didn’t exist when I was a young lad), you needed to scrape and save money for months to purchase that game you’ve long waited for, and even then you could only afford so many day 1 releases.  A major portion of your game purchasing calculations was your ability to trade games back to offset new purchases, and then being able to purchase used games for a discount.  The irony in this policy, is it’s actually going to hit the casual gamers much more then the hardcore gamers.  How many times have you stood in line at Gamestop behind a soccer mom with her kids trading in armloads of games to put towards their new purchase? Can you imagine their reactions once they realize that is no longer available to them?

 

Also, let’s not kid ourselves here.  Microsoft is trying to pass the blame here with their explanation that it’s up to the publishers discretion.  The publishers are the ones who have wanted this policy forever, and now they have gotten their wish.  This is like allowing Snoop Dogg to create the laws on marijuana usage. If you’re surprised when he legalizes it, then you’ are going to be stunned when the publishers make trading and selling in used games becomes either completely unwieldy or just killed altogether.

 

Kinect, My Silent Big Brother

As a former Military Intelligence soldier I can tell you straight up, that their are a lot of great men and women who work very hard to keep this country safe and are true patriots.  With that being said, we have tons of very SCARY tools out there that help us perform our job.  As evident by all of the current scandals we are seeing in our goverment recently with the NSA and IRS, the government can easily justify anything to trample over your privacy rights. I’ve found a good rule of thumb is to always assume the government will abuse any power you give them, because it’s susceptible to the human condition.  It only takes a few bad apples to abuse that power, and how would that impact you if that happened.  Are you okay if the government was able to watch everything you said and did while playing your console?

 

In Conclusion

All of the points that I have made are really from a tactical perspective.  What actually troubles me the most is what this means for the future of gaming. Once they start making these types of changes that are not in the interest of the consumer, it becomes a very slippery slope. These changes are driven purely to increase profits, at the expense of the consumer.

 

So what’s wrong with that? Well, for those of you who don’t really care about these changes, at some point in the not too distant future, they will make a change that you will hate, and by that time, it’s already too late. Once you accept changes like this, and they see you are willing to deal with it, it begins to become the driving factor behind the gaming industry as a whole, as it’s such an easy way for them to extract profits for free, while producing nothing for it in return. In fact, with changes like this, you are actually paying them to remove services from you, that you are currently receiving.

 

The bottom line is this is not the tenor you want to the gaming industry to be using, as the end game for this is not good for any gamers in the long run.