Thursday, January 14, 2010

Games, Dirtbikes, and Sunchokes  

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Welcome back to Drinking Coffeecola, and my apologies to everyone who's been disappointed by the lack of updates lately. I honestly can't believe it's been so long since I last posted, but it's been one thing after another and if the truth be told, Mr. Sandman’s been sneaking up on me lately while I haven't been looking.
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Bastard.
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Anyway, on with the show…
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Games: Finished up Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV the other day, and the review is in the can.
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Overall, I thought it was pretty brilliant, but I do have to say that it pushed my aggravation button a few times too many towards the end. Nothing terrible, but it took me a little longer to finish than expected because I had to take a few de-stress breaks. YMMV.
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I don't think I've mentioned it previously, but I also just played through The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces on the Wii. I don't know what's going on over at XSeed, but those guys are on a roll lately. First, Half-Minute Hero rocked my world, and now they've come up with a Wii game that I actually had a pretty good time with.
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Evidently, it's based on an anime that I've never heard of, but now that I've played the game, I'm interested in tracking it down. About a group of fighter pilots who are also cloned/immortal children, the story was interesting enough to keep my attention between missions and the gameplay is classic Ace Combat flight stuff… which makes sense, since it's produced by the same team. In fact, I liked Sky Crawlers better than the last two actual Ace Combat games, to be perfectly honest. Look for the review at GameCritics shortly.
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If you click this link, it will take you to my review of Dragon Age: Origins – Return to Ostagar. This much-awaited (and delayed) DLC was available for something like twenty-four hours before it got yanked off of Microsoft’s servers.
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Evidently, there was some sort of issue with specialty-class abilities not working properly, although I played through the entire mission and didn't encounter any problems. Hopefully it will be back up soon for those of you looking forward to it, although I will caution you to not get your hopes up too much... it's fairly unimpressive.
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All that stuff aside, I'm still cruising through Divinity II, although I guess ‘cruising’ is probably not the right word. The game has been fantastic for the bulk of play, but now that I’ve finally gained access to the much-hyped dragon transformation that is one of the game's biggest selling points, things have gone off the rails a bit.
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It's still fun and I’m still enjoying it (sort of) but the developers have made some really bizarre choices with regard to how they implemented the dragon and how it interacts with the world... really unexpected, and not in a good way. The review is half written now, but I still have a ways to go before seeing credits roll.
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Video: Only partially games-related, this YouTube link shows a video of a guy on a dirt bike and doing totally impossible Trials HD stuff… IN REAL LIFE. If you played Trials, then this will absolutely blow your mind. Even if you haven't, it's still pretty damned impressive. Many thanks to Doug Walsh for sending in the link.
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Food: Just one last quick thing-- last weekend, the wife and I decided to pick up some sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) and give them a whirl. I had never cooked or eaten them before in my life, but the guy at the vegetable stand made them sound pretty good so we went for it.
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The method of cooking he suggested was that we boil them like potatoes and then make a mash of them with a little cream and butter added. That's exactly what we did, but the end result was shockingly sweet and quite creamy, and not in a pleasant way. The flesh of the root was too rich and cloying; if I had put a little sugar and some cinnamon on top, I honestly believe I could have passed it off as a dessert.
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If any readers have some suggestions or favorite recipes to use with the sunchoke, I'd love to hear them… this “mashed potatoes” preparation totally did not work for me, but I'd like to give them another try made a different way.
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1 comments: to “ Games, Dirtbikes, and Sunchokes


  •  

    Hey, glad you liked the Trials video. This one is similar, though on a bicycle. It was one of the most popular videos on youtube this year -- Scottish rider named Danny MacAskill. Nearly 15 million views. Incredible video, even if you're not into mtn/bmx trials riding.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19zFlPah-o