Perspective After I Heard About The Branches

27 03 2009

A man I (to be honest) barely knew before he left to work in Jordan (the country in the Mid-East, not the basketball player), wrote a great story over at his blog.  I wish I knew Brian better before he left, because I was just starting to form a connection with him, his wife and his kids, through a video I filmed for the church, dedicating their daughter to the Lord.  

We talked a little more after that, and then he had to leave.  But I think we shared a lot of perspective on things.  Anyway, Brian wrote a post a little while back that I just got around to reading.  I suggest you read it, because honestly, what I say next is kind of all about that.  It may or may not make sense without the context, so…yeah.  Do as you will.

Anyway, what he said really got me thinking, especially with the very apt section from the book of Jonah about the vine.

It got me thinking about social class.  It got me thinking about wealth.  It got me thinking about all the ways in which we, who are privileged, become even more greedy.  

Now, before you cluck at me and think to yourself: “Maybe YOU find yourself more greedy, but really, that’s not the case with me!”

And if you’re right, then that’s awesome.  Of course it could just be me. Read the rest of this entry »


Resident Evil 5 Quick Thoughts

16 03 2009

I’m still very early in the game so I can’t say all that much as far as reviews go, but here are some of my quick thoughts on the game thus far:

* Everyone’s all hyped up about how the controls suck so bad.  I think the controls aren’t awesome, but work just fine.  The problem is not the controls.

*It’s the camera and the perspective that are the problems.  3rd-person cameras are nothing new.  But having the camera so close to my character that I can’t see half the screen?  Not cool, Capcom.

* The game is gory and drops right into the action.

* Why would an enemy stagger, run up to me full-sprint, and then stop just a step in front of me, then wait a second before attacking?  (This is practically saying, “Oh, Hello there!  If you don’t want to waste ammo, you can just use your knife.  Have a nice da-arghagghghghghgurglegurglegurgle”)

* Um, all that racism talk?  I find this game perfectly normal given the setting.  Yes, it is a white guy (and an unrecognizable nationality, presumably African, woman) killing Africans and others, but honestly, that’s the setting, not anything else.  Other than the point above, this isn’t any different than killing the white zombies in the early games, or the Latino zombies from 4.  It’s about the setting.  If I was in a warehouse or some other generic location that had nothing to do with Africa and was killing only black zombies, then sure, that would totally be racist.  That is not the case here.

* The game isn’t as scary for me as it was in 4.  Mind you, that’s just me, but for not playing a scary game in quite some time, the game never really freaked me out.  I don’t know if that’s having a partner all the time, or what.  More to come on that, when I do my full review (after completing the game).

*The only scary moment I had was when just over an hour ago, I was playing and at the beginning of a stage, the zombies started to swarm, and then-  the power to my entire block went out.  Total darkness after playing about two hours of RE5, at just near 1am.  Not cool, ComEd. 🙂

* Oh, also, the Xbox 360 is starting to minor-red-ring more frequently.  (see:  Not cool, Microsoft.

Film Review – Dangerous Calling

10 03 2009

Dangerous Calling

So it was one of those days.  I had recently (within the week) written my blog post about my perspective on the relatively nascent Christian film industry, and my feelings about how many Christian films lose the art for the sake of the message.  Some people agreed, others thought that perhaps without the main focus being the message, that the films then became something other than Christian film entirely.  And I also somehow gained a follower on Twitter that week, that seemed like spam at first.  The name was “DangerousCallin” and seemed to only be hyping a film, Dangerous Calling by the “Daws Brothers”.  I had heard nothing of this film or its makers, but the idea alone sounded–well, a bit ludicrous:  a thriller (meaning murder and suspense, people…) based in the world of church politics.

However, I saw that the “tweeter”(?) had offered to let someone have a copy to review, so I figured, what the heck… I’d see if he’d send a copy my way so I could check it out and give it a fair shake.  He read my post about the criticism of Christian film, and agreed to send me a copy for review.  (So, for full disclosure, I received a copy of the film for free, for review purposes.  This is commonplace in review circles, but just to be completely transparent, I want to throw that out there.)

It sat on my nightstand for literally over two weeks, as I had other things to do, and I honestly didn’t expect much of the film.  After all, Christian film had burned me in the past, and I figured that if this guy was sending me a copy after reading my article, it probably ditched all semblance of Christianity, and tried full-out to be simply a slasher film aimed at pulling in unsuspecting Christian audiences, or very light intrigue on top of a preachy film…one or the other, right?   Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Week – Virtual NES

6 03 2009

Today, I bring you the motherlode of flash technology…in my opinion, the reason flash was meant to exist.  (Okay, not really, but it’s really cool!)  Virtual NES!  Being the last day of Flash Week, I thought it would be good to go out on a bang, and give you the opportunity to not only play just one game, but over 100 games, all released on the Nintendo Entertainment System we know and love.

Some games are a little buggy, but it’s a great way to enjoy your old favorites (and try some games that you never heard of before) from any browser, anywhere.  So thanks for following me during the first Flash Week of 2009, and I’m already looking forward to the next!

Flash Week – Don't Look Back

5 03 2009

This one’s a little different.  It’s a great use of Atari-style graphics and using the minimalist nature to focus on the gameplay and the “story”.  This one is an artistic masterpiece, in my opinion.  Give it a try, all the way to the end.  (Took me, about 10 minutes, tops.)  “Don’t Look Back” is an excellent use of the medium!

Flash Week – Don’t Look Back

5 03 2009

This one’s a little different.  It’s a great use of Atari-style graphics and using the minimalist nature to focus on the gameplay and the “story”.  This one is an artistic masterpiece, in my opinion.  Give it a try, all the way to the end.  (Took me, about 10 minutes, tops.)  “Don’t Look Back” is an excellent use of the medium!

Week of Flash – Day 3 – Auditorium

4 03 2009

I’ve written about Auditorium by Cipher Prime, LLC before, but as the game is now fully complete and can be purchased, I highly recommend you check it out again.  The demo is still the same as before, and the gameplay is still wonderfully puzzle-y.  The soundtrack is the star of this game, and really makes for a relaxing experience.  The basic idea is that you’re altering a flow of energy to feed a number of individual instruments and themes, that when completed, create a complete, orchestral whole.  If that’s confusing, then you simply have to play it to experience it!  

The game can be difficult at times due to the great later-stage puzzles but overall, it’s never overwhelming due to the knowledge that given enough time, you can always solve everything through strategic placement of the “controls” and that many puzzles have multiple ways that they can be solved.

If you haven’t checked it out before, you would definitely be doing yourself a disservice not to do so now.  Check out Auditorium!