Misc: At the top of the agenda tonight, a first for Drinking Coffeecola - an energy drink review.
Called Zombie Blood, this green-tinged liquid comes inside a plastic squeeze bag made to look like the same sort of intravenous fluids pouch you'd see in a hospital or science lab. The flavor is described by the manufacturers as ‘Lifeless Lime’ and that sounds about right. I wouldn't say that it was really a refreshing citrus taste, but probably something more akin to an unfrozen Otter Pop. It's fairly sweet and has a little bit of a sugary bite going down. Interestingly, the beverage contains milk and soy ingredients although it's clear and not creamy at all.
I have to admit that I did have a little bit of hesitation before taking my first sip, but that was purely psychological on my part. I think I was a little afraid that it would taste like a joke drink; foul, or with some kind of hemoglobin tang to it, but that wasn't the case. After I was reassured that I didn't have to brace myself for a mouthful of yuck, it went down quickly. Within a few minutes, I did notice a jolt of energy (the drink contains caffeine, among other things) and the manufacturer states that it's good for up to four hours of energy.
…Whether that's enough to rouse the dead remains to be seen.
If you're interested, Zombie Blood goes for $3.99 per pouch, and is available at Fry’s, FYE, Hot Topic, a few other specialty stores, or online at this site.
Games: There's been a strange turn of events this week.
I've been eagerly anticipating Red Dead Redemption for quite some time, and my copy finally arrived last Wednesday. I'm huge Western fan, and good Western games are incredibly few and far between, so it was dead center on my radar. I popped it in immediately upon arrival input about an hour into it before I had to go off and do other things. I thought I'd be totally on fire to get back to it ASAP, but here's that strange turn of events I mentioned:
As I was driving around taking care of some errands, my brain kept coming back to Monster Hunter Tri instead.
Since the last post, Tri has undergone something of a shift. The first six hours or so that I spent with it were pretty slow and tedious. Painful, really. However, I'm a fan of big monsters and an even bigger fan of killing them, so like I said before, I set my mind to sticking with it. Shockingly, the dedication paid off.
Don't get me wrong, there are still a ton of things that need fixing or changing from a critical perspective. The game is nowhere near what it should be in comparison to current standards and norms in development, but the niche subject matter has a great appeal to me personally, and the developers have wisely included some new tweaks to the formula that helped stave off the grinding I was afraid was coming.
For example, players eventually gain access to a small farm that can reproduce important bugs or plants that are necessary for item creation. Players also can employ a fishing boat to go and harvest fish for resources, or to hunt for treasure to boost the player's bank account. Both of these things require minimal effort once they’re unlocked, and are each a hell of a lot less painful than physically going out and collecting everything that's needed to craft weapons and armor. They are shortcuts, pure and simple, and Capcom was dead-on correct in adding them. Scouring FAQs has also provided some much-needed information shedding light on some of the game’s more obscure elements, as well.
The end result of all this is that playing Monster Hunter Tri has gone from being boring and painful to being slightly faster in pace and a bit more action-packed. It's still not what it could be (or even what I would want it to be) but I am glad to say that I have been able to enjoy the game more than I expected to. This might turn out all right, after all.
(Oh, and I haven’t been back to Red Dead yet.)
Books: It’s been a while since I really dug into a good book, but I had a copy of Clive Barker's Galilee laying around, and just so happened to have a couple of hours to kill. Putting the two things together, that time flew by.
I'm not going to attempt to describe the book outside of saying that it's enormous in scope and details the history of a family descended from primordial beings. It would take me a series of posts to even begin to capture Barker's work in detail, so I'm going to leave it at that, and just say that it's infinitely more interesting than I've described.
I actually haven't met very many people who have read Barker's writing which is surprising, considering how well-known he is and how many of his texts have become films. More people know him thanks to the silver screen than the printed page I suppose, but if you haven't read any of his books, let me say that they probably aren't what you'd expect -- and I mean that in the best possible way. In fact, I don't think it's even accurate to classify Barker's work solely as Horror since they encapsulate so much more.
If you're in the mood for something incredibly detailed, literate, emotional, and yes, creepy and horrific at times, do yourself a favor and pick up a Barker book. He's easily one of my favorite authors, and after getting a few hundred pages into Galilee, I was chastising myself for having stayed away from his work for so long.