24 June 2012

Pokemon Conquest

So I picked up the newest Pokemon game last week and have been playing it on and off for a few days now.

Pokemon Conquest is different from the normal Pokemon games by quite a bit. In this one you're a warlord of a small, centralized, kingdom. The point is to take over neighboring kingdoms, while collecting new troops, and figuring out who to keep with you and who to leave in certain cities to "protect" them from other kingdoms once you've conquered them yourself. 

You only get one Pokemon, which you have no choice over, and leveling them up is completely different from how it works in all the other games. Rather than EXP, and levels, you get "Link Percentages", energy, and strength. None of which I'm really even sure about. I just know that I have so much HP, and I need to not die.

Each troop in your party also only has one single pokemon. And did I mention that your pokemon only know one move, and have one special that needs to be triggered to be useable. And by triggered, I mean you have no idea when it'll kick in and if it'll even be useable. Example: I'm stuck with an Eevee. She knows Quick Attack and a special called, according to Serebii.net, Buddha Strength, which allows her to play another move if she defeats the enemy in one shot. Sometimes. You can link with some wild pokemon, and I have with a few of my team members, but I still don't know what the point is. Once that team member's main pokemon faints, you don't see the other one pop out and finish the battle. Maybe I'm missing something still, but so far it seems pretty useless....

Every time I end up in a battle I think of chess. Each pokemon can only move a certain number of spaces, and in certain directions. Also, certain pokemon have to be a set number of spaces away from the enemy to attack them. Where Eevee needs to be right next to the enemy to attack, a team mate's Carnivine needs to be 2 spaces away and to the left or right of the enemy to attack it. Each pokemon is obviously different, so you need to figure out where to move them so that it wont interfere with your other team mates, and will inflict the most amount of damage. Battles only get so many moves. Some cases they assume you should be able to win a battle in less than 10 turns, some more, some less. Also, in order to recruit new troops you have to beat them in less than 4 turns.

Luckily they keep the basic "water is strong against fire" and other type advantages and disadvantages. I don't know if the game has that kind of AI in it, but I went as far as putting warriors in each of my cities with the thinking "If this city's main focus is water types, and grass is strong against water, I should put fire types to protect it in case the invading forces bring in grass types". Probably way over thinking things....

I'm still torn on whether or not this game is fun or monotonous. You don't have a continual time clock. Each "month" you can only do things once per team member. So if you have 6 members and 3 members go to battle, that leaves you with 3 members who can go to the store. Once everyone has done one thing, you move along to the next month. There's no grind training, so you just have to hope that your pokemon gets something out of the one battle a month its allowed.

So yeah. That's Pokemon Conquest. If you're big into putting thought into your games you'll probably like it. I'm more of a "bust out my lvl100 Typhlosion and burn everything to the ground" type person. Brawn over brains I guess... 

16 June 2012

The Legend of Korra

So it's been a few months since this show started. A few years since it was announced. And quite a few years more since the end of its predecessor The Last Air Bender. Everyone who was a fan of the LAB had mixed feelings about the new show. Would it live up to the LAB? Would it fail miserably as most sequels usually do? Or would it be amazing and everything we hoped for?

If you're one of the millions of LAB fans, most of us are proud to say that it might even be better than the LAB. It's been a very long time since I've gotten so into a show that I look forward every week to see the new episodes. Hell, this week I even got sort of squee-ish when I finally figured out who Dante Basco was getting to voice. Way earlier, before the show started, he put out a hint that he was asked
back to voice someone "very close to Zuko". That made everyone wonder if maybe Zuko had a son, or maybe it was a grandchild or something. I got to see that character today and I'm going to be in the "grandson" group, especially with the name the character has. 

But this cartoon has so much stuff that pulls you into it. Familiarity to the old show, you know the rules of bending, the types, who created them, the history of the world. Newness, as the old cast is no longer really there, new places to see, and obviously new villains. Characters that you can't help but love or hate. The designs of everything and every place is great. And a story that is amazing. 

Mike and Bryan, the creators, are doing an absolutely wonderful job at keeping who the bad guy is a secret. No one has any ideas who Amon could be. We just know he's male, he can Chi-bend (which only Avatar Aang could do), and that a fire bender destroyed his face (thus the mask). I am really, really looking forward to finding out who he is. Usually by this far into a show you kind of already know who it is, if you're not told out right at the start.

I have to say that when this show is over, I'm going to be very sad. I never get this excited over TV shows anymore, and who knows how long it'll be before another one this good comes out. I've got all of the LAB, and will need to have this show in its entirety when its over. 

11 May 2012

A Collection of Pin-ups

So a few weeks back, Mike got me a new Wacom Tablet. Namely the Bamboo Create. Very nice thing. Even has the new "touch" abilities, which allow you to use your hands on the active area to do things. With it came a small voucher for a free 20 page, 8X8 photo book through Shutterfly.com. Pretty cool since those things cost $30.

But what to do with it? I've always wanted to make a "professional" looking set of my drawings. So I thought about it and was originally going to make a story book. 10 pages of text, and 10 drawings to go with it. After spending almost a month trying to write a story, I quickly tired of the project. I also could not think of the right way to draw the pictures. I've always been a fan of simple things.

Then I thought again. I wanted a book of something I enjoy drawing. Something I could draw that wouldn't be forced and make me angry. So I'll be sticking with something that I am very good at- pin-ups. I have always loved the simple and classy style of  retro pin-ups. And it's no secret that I prefer drawing the female form far more than the male form. Females are smoother and easier to draw. They're a lot funner to draw with all the curves and flow-y hair.

Mind you, mine will probably don pointy ears, very strange clothes in varying amounts, and probably have insane colored hair and eyes. But they'll be based very much on those old, classic pin-ups. I have 10 already loosely sketched up, and two of those 10 are already at inking stage. I was thinking of doing things one of two ways: 10 pin-ups, and showing each in the sketch stage and the finished color stage next to it OR 20 pin-ups all in color and or sketch. We'll see how far I am by June 20th (I have to order it before June 26th to get it free)...

I plan to sneak some of my OC's into the book in a few of the poses. Just need to pick which gals and which poses. 

So here's hoping this comes out as good as I think it will.... 

08 May 2012

The Avengers- A Review

So last night I hit the mall with Damon and Barb to go see The Avengers. I've been slacking on my Marvel movies, having not seen Iron Man 2, Thor, etc. I really do need to run out and start getting them on blu-ray or seeing if I can find them on Netflix or.... "other" options...

I was not going to miss this one in the theaters. There was far too much awesome for it to be watched, a year later, on a TV screen with sub-par surround sound. 

I will try not to go into details about the movie, so that the two people who actually read this don't get spoilers. Though I'm sure one of them is going to go, or has already gone to see it.

They did good with this one. It started out at a run and kept going. At no points was there ever a slow or boring spot. There was always something going on, be it funny or action-y. There was always something to look at. If you weren't busy paying attention to Tony Stark cracking jokes about Steve Rogers, there was something shiny in the background to oogle over. 

Ever since Iron Man I have drooled over those floaty touch screen computers of Stark's. So every time they came into play I was busy watching those and the people's hands run over them. And all the CG in that movie was amazing. I really don't think these movies could of been made in any other time but the current.

I did not though, stay till end of credits. I had, like a retard, chugged a large soda right at the start of the movie in all my kiddie excitement. That'll teach me. I did though use the power of the google and look it up. While I didn't find a video, I found some write ups which were funny in themselves. I'll have to remember to sit through the creds if I get another chance at the theaters or when I get it on blu-ray. Or just keep checking YouTube and see if someone manages to get it up.

So my final verdict is that if you have not seen this movie yet, spare the left arm and pay for a theater ticket. This one is worth the big screen. 

22 April 2012

System Cleanout; Take 2

So Mike and I have decided to try out this 10 day cleanse thing. Yeah, I tried one of those earlier in the year and it did jack squat as far as I'm concerned. This new one, though, I have seen used and work the way its supposed to. My brother in law, his girlfriend, and some buddies tried out the Advocare line of dieting supplements and did the "24 Day Challenge" with pretty good results.

The diet plan is broken up into 2 sections: A 10 day cleanse and a 14 day "power diet". The 10 day cleanse is pretty much fiber drinks, lots of fruits and veggies, and adding probiotics to your system. The idea is to flush out your system of all the crap that's been building up over the years so that when you start the 14 day part your body is using the foods you eat properly. Mix that with a crap ton of working out at the gym, and boom, lost pounds and a healthier working body. Simple enough, if you can deal with the extremely strict food allowances and all the stuff you have to take along side of it. And by "extremely strict food allowances" I mean eating food that actually takes time to think about and prepare and not stuff out of a box. Such as no frozen fried chicken and french fries. More like grilled chicken with no sauces, only seasonings, and steamed veggies or salad. BUT, the salad has to have either fat free dressing at a very small serving size, or olive oil and seasonings. The steamed veggies cant have butter or anything to dip them in. So plain, grilled chicken, plain veggies, and a bowl of lettuce. Mmmmm...

So today was day one. Mike woke me up with "You're not going to like the morning fiber drink. I should get the camera ready to take pictures of this". I should of taken this as a real warning. I figured he was over exaggerating just to test me. Not so much. I open up the little drink mix packet and it looks like saw dust. No joke. It did though smell like oranges. I figured "alright, it smells pretty good. maybe I can just chug it and the orangey taste will cover up the gritty texture some how..." Not so much, again. Let me explain how this stuff looked in the mixer cup. Take saw dust, add 8oz of water. Shake the living hell out of it for a few minuets. You now have the consistency of extremely watery looking apple sauce with saw dust pieces floating around in it. Except said watery apple sauce doesn't smell like oranges anymore. It smells like weird, slightly off water. Apparently I had a pretty disgusted look on my face because Mike was already laughing at me. 

This was one of those cases of "you better just take it, because its not going to get any better by standing here glaring at it". So I took a deep breath and swigged a mouthful of this gross concoction. Luckily I was able to hold back because I nearly spit it out in the sink. A quick reread of the packaging says that you can also mix it with some kind of fat free drink. While I was digging around my pile of Crystal Light water mixes, Mike was pawing through the fridge. He finds a carton of Peach Orchard Tropicana juice that's fat free and I deem it useable regardless of the diet rules. It says Fat Free, so it counts in my book. I mix the swill into some juice hoping for something better to come out of this mess. Again.. Not so much. Now it's just sickeningly sweet gritty saw dust grossness. And now theres even more of it to drink. Great. After 15 minuets of sipping this stuff down, I finally finished the glass. Promptly afterwards I chugged a rather large glass of water to wash down the taste. This alone is pretty impressive to me because I hate water. 

Its been about 2hrs now since I drank that swill. My stomach is pretty confused. I don't think it knows whether or not its hungry or just trying to get past what I just dumped in it. I should though probably go down and try to eat something. Though with my options of apples, pears, grapes or salad, it's not wonder the diet says you'll eat about 5 times a day. I just hope this crap does something useful in the long run and we didn't waste our money....

BTW- Just for reference, on day one I weighed in this morning at 155lbs.     



11 April 2012

How NOT to get a ferret

 OR: Why Nicole Hates Kids and Their Stupid Parents

So for the new people on here, I work for Petco. I've been with the company for nearly 4.5yrs, and I'm the "ferret person" at the store.

So tonight was like any other night. I get in, mom is telling me what needs taking care of over in the fish dept, and I'm yawning in boredom at the prospect of scrubbing 100 tanks all night. A couple hours into the shift I hear keys rattle at the ferret hex and make a bee-line over to see whats going on. Barb is there with a woman and her daughter holding the ferrets, so I offer to take over. I start talking to the woman as she struggles to hold one of our little kits.

Her daughter wants one, and needed to know what it took to care for one. Now, I wont lie. I have this issue with judging people's intelligence by how they look/dress/speak. The way the woman looked and how her daughter was acting registered as "herp-derp-McTardson" on my intelligence scale. So I start off with "how much do you already know about them? Have you ever owned one?". This is the following conversation that was had--

Mother: well, I had one like.... 15yrs ago? It was before she was born. So a long time ago. But I got rid of it.
Me: Alright, well, a lot of info and care have changed in that amount of time. So, I guess I'll start at the beginning.
Mother: *looks at her daughter, who cant be more than 12, but dressed like an 18yr old hooker at a nice club* You better be listening, because YOU have to take care of this thing.
Me: Alright, so. You'll have to take her out for at least 4hrs every day. You'll have to clean their litter pan--
Me: ...YOU'LL have to clean the litter pan EVERY DAY. YOU will have to make sure that the cage stays clean, take her to the vets every year for a wellness visit and rabies shots, which btw are now mandatory by state law in NY.
Mother: Are you serious?!
Me: Yeah. Like I said, things changed quite a bit. Anyways. Just so you know, ferrets have a VERY high chance of getting forms of cancer by the age of 5yrs. So you'll want to be prepared for that.
Mother: Ferrets dont get cancer.
Me: Tell that to my 2 boys at home who both have adrenal disease. So, do you understand that ferrets are NOT hamsters? YOU WILL need to play with it every day for the next 6+yrs of its life. YOU will be in charge of teaching this little one to not bite, not poop on the floor.
Girl: *Literally bursts into tears. I mean literally. She pulls her hood over her face and starts balling her eyes out stomping her feet*
Me: And all the whining and crying in the world WILL NOT teach your ferret how to act. Again. Theyre not play toys. Theyre not hamsters. You need to be capable of caring for this animals. And it seems like you're still too young to do that.
Girl: I WANT A FERRET I WANT A FERRET NOW NOW NOW *stompy crying hissy fit and storms away covering her ears*
Mother: Do you understand what the lady is saying? Get back over here and listen to her because she knows what shes talking about!
Me: Well, if she's so dead set on one, how about you bring her by Sunday between 2-3pm. We're having a ferret workshop. She can see and meet different ferrets and their owners and I will even personally bring in one of my boys so she can see what a bald, old, sick ferret looks like.
Mother: Bald? That's gross.
Me: Well what happens when your ferret gets sick and ends up bald?
Mother: I'll just take it out back and shoot it. God, Never mind. I'll just come back tomorrow and buy one.

NOT if I have anything to do with it. I've already warned the staff and told managers that if she comes back NOT TO SELL HER ONE. I swear to the gods that if I come to work tomorrow and find out she bought one, I'll be turning whoever sold it to her into animals services.

I hate kids to start with. But ones that act like that just to get what they want, I wanted so badly to just smack her in the face. The mother too mind you. I was extremely angry after that, but just the fact that I made that girl cry and messed up her pre-teen terrible make up job made my night better. Obviously I'm twisted if I get joy out of making kids cry, but sometimes, they need an adult to be flat with them. It almost made me think that I should have one just so I can raise it right and show it off like some rare species of animal.

I still plan to take Titus to the workshop, just to see if they DO come by. And take my word for it, if they insult my Titus because he's old and bald, I may loose my job. And they'll probably loose their teeth.

Have a good night.

01 April 2012

Nicole VS Her First Mocha Latte

As a child I remember always being given caffeine free soda. I wasn't allowed to have a lot of chocolate. And by no means was I supposed to have tons of sugar. Why? Because I was very caffeine sensitive. I remember the smallest bits of sugar would make me even more hyper than I already was. Over the years I sort of created a small tolerance to things like Pepsi and chocolate. I was able to eat them in pretty large of quantities without getting as hyped up. I was still slightly buzzy, but not to the point where I was put into a sugar induced psychotic fit.

I was never a fan of coffee to begin with. The smell alone was pretty gross to me. So all this time I've never drank it. That is until this passed Saturday. Mike took me to Tim Hortons for some quick breakfast and he commented on this picture of a pretty looking coffee drink. It was made with tons of chocolate and, according to him, was phenomenal tasting. My curiosity piqued, and the fact that it had tons of chocolate in it, I asked if I could try one. If I didnt like it, no big deal, Mike would drink it. He quickly agreed (probably wanting to see if my head exploded from the caffeine) and bought me one. It actually tasted pretty damn good once I got past the strong coffee taste.

Que 20 minuets later on the way to the mall. I realized that I did not feel quite right. My head hurt badly, I felt sort of sick to my stomach, and my body felt jittery, shaky, and a mix of very tired but exceedingly wide awake. I felt like I NEEDED to be up and moving. I figured it would pass sooner rather than later. It was a little more caffeine than I was used to, so my body was going to be a little more active than normal. Not so much. By the first hour after I had consumed the drink I felt like this:


But with the same explosive energy as Daffy Duck in that one episode with the crazy invisible animator. My brain felt like everything was changing, nothing was right, and everything made me very quick to react in a very loud and sometimes belligerent manner.


Lesson learned: I'm not drinking coffee ever again. I dislike feeling like that, and no tasty drink on earth is worth that. I'd rather be drunk and or hung over before being that sugar buzzed ever again...