So just a few quick things for you today and then I'll let you be on your way to your weekend. Which hopefully will be warmer than the one we're expecting. Stupid incoming cold front. Sigh. Bring on the idiocy on the roads. I don't think I want to leave my house again until the temperatures warm up once more. But I digress.
So, I have made it through the first week of the new year pretty well I think. I am working on my goals at a good (and hopefully sustainable) pace. While I have actually mostly been enjoying Kingdom Hearts II very much (still haven't cracked a walkthrough, go me), I have been keeping my playtime short. Thankfully this game, unlike, say, Mass Effect, does not have the crack-cocaine addictiveness factor going for it. I've been playing for forty minutes to two hours during nap time in the afternoons each day, but have been passing on the evening gaming session for other pursuits.
I have two observations (not quite complaints) about the game so far. The first is that whoever designed this game was really, really in love with the new graphics technology that became available between the development of the first and second games. It is cut scene-o-rama around here. I almost feel like the game is too focused on the story. It's a neat story, don't get me wrong, but there's not nearly the amount of running around and exploring each area that there was in the last game. Not yet, at least. Also, every freaking time you walk from one room to another, there is a pause for a "title card" of what new room or area you have entered. It is bloody distracting and it interrupts my gaming flow. Sigh. Sorry, sorry, not complaining, really. The other observation is that the combat system seems to be at odds with itself, even more so in this game than in the first. I don't think it is necessarily a bad idea to have combat in real time--where you can't pause the action while you are trying to heal yourself or decide your next move--but the way this system is designed, you have to constantly be watching the list of actions down in one corner of the screen in order to know what actions are available to you and when. I can either pay attention to the foe I am fighting with, and try to hit him, or I can watch the corner of the screen and wait for commands to become available. I cannot do both at the same time. It leaves for slightly unfufilling battles, and I am often left at the end wondering what the heck just happened because I didn't actually see any of it. It just seems to me like it is the kind of thing that would make more sense if you could issue out a few commands or pause to decide what your next move will be and which enemy you will use it against. Again, I have been spoiled by Bioware, I suppose. But still. I do really like that they have managed to make even the worlds or people you've seen before seem fresh and incorporate their story into the new adventure. That's pretty cool.
Those other pursuits I mentioned I'd been doing in the evenings? Reading. I had forgotten how much I love reading before bed--just a chapter or two. I finished the book I had been working on earlier in the week and Tuesday or Wednesday got started on the final installment in the Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss. So far, so good. I will probably do a writeup of that once I finish reading it. I am very curious to see how this tale wraps up. I suspect it may be a slightly open-ended ending though, since I believe Traviss was originally contracted to write a few more books in the series before The Powers That Be axed it in favor of something else.
Lastly, I finally started my first knitting project yesterday. I took a few days off after the organization frenzy and then played around a little bit practicing the knit and purl stitches before actually starting. The project I am working on (a pair of slippers) is a wonderfully simple pattern, and perfect for a beginner, despite the slight challenge added by working with two strands of yarn at once. But I made good progress yesterday and look forward to maybe getting one of the pair finished (or close to at least) this weekend. I do have to make a run out today to buy some longer needles, though. Last year when I was first getting ready to teach myself to knit, I bought some basic, inexpensive starter needles in a variety of sizes. I never planned to use these needles long-term, just until I figured out which sizes I would realistically need for the specific types of projects I mostly want to work on. As with when I was building my store of quality crochet hooks, my plan is to buy the special needles I need as I buy the yarn for projects. The needles I am working on right now would be fine, except that they are only 5" long double-pointed needles, which is about an inch too short. I probably could work on three needles in the round, but that is beyond me right now, I think, so today I go in quest of 7" needles. I was nervously eying my project yesterday wondering how on earth I was going to move it to new needles when I get them when it dawned on me that I can just knit it off the current short needle onto the longer one. Duh. There is definitely going to be a learning curve here folks, but I am still excited. Also, yesterday I ordered the yarn for what will be my second knitting project--the Doctor Who scarf. Yay!
So with that I bid you adieu and wish you a happy and warm weekend! Have a great one!
Don't forget to swing by Gronk and check out this week's strip while you're playing on the internet though! It actually went up on Wednesday, but I forgot to link to it. We've got another guest strip, a beautiful pin-up piece this time. Enjoy!
Update: There was a new guest Gronk today as well, it just went up late! Here you go, enjoy!