Getting Restless

I’m getting restless. I really, really want things to finally turn around so that I can get back on my feet and on with my life. The internet is a curse and a blessing. Finding information, playing games, and other fun stuff is a plus. The fact that you can’t get a job without applying online, and then never getting return emails, calls, interviews, or any contact in general, is a bitch. I miss the days I could walk out of a job I hated and then get a new job within a week. Granted, it’s not good for your track record, but I still miss the ability to get a job fairly quickly. In the past 6 months of unemployment, I have applied for hundreds of jobs. Some have automated email responses, such as “thank you for your interest/application with our company”. A couple actually emailed me that they had found “more qualified” applicants. One District Manager actually called me, but when I called him back multiple times he never answered. Aside from the one under-the-table job, I have had absolutely no luck. I applied for a few more jobs today. It seems like the economy isn’t that bad and that there really are many jobs available. But after this stint of unemployment, it seems like a bunch of lies. Bottom line: I’m sick of being broke. So on to the bullets.

  • My trophy whoring has continued. I’m currently halfway through level 8 according to my PSN ID, with 444 trophies. Most recently I finished up Call of Duty Black Ops, hitting 100% and getting the platinum. I also ran through all of the Borderlands DLCs, and got the platinum as well, although I need 3 trophies to reach 100%. So of the 6 games I own, I have half of the platinums. Unfortunately 2 of those games are RPGs, and will take countless hours to get the platinum trophies, and I might never get them. I do draw the line somewhere, although my obsession with the shinies has continued to grow.
  • More on Borderlands in a future, dedicated post.
  • I recently saw The Social Network on DVD, and I must say I enjoyed it. I have a newfound understanding and respect for Facebook, and I just plain love intellectual dialogue based movies. It also had a superb soundtrack, courtesy of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame. Plan to purchase this one at a later date.
  • I went to the movies with Hollee on Saturday. I wanted to see The Rite. We ended up seeing The Mechanic. I wasn’t disappointed with the movie itself, but I think I would have enjoyed The Rite a little more. I’m into Horror movies a lot more in recent years, supernatural ones in particular. The Mechanic was standard action-faire, and though I enjoyed it, it was fairly predictable and ended up feeling lacking overall. More of a movie to watch on DVD.
  • I’m still waiting on one W-2 in order to do my tax return. With it, I intend to fix the windshield of my car, which has a nice crack in it. I’ve already gotten a quote for $200, so I should have some money left over. Hollee is still going to fix the dent she put in my front quarter panel, so after that’s done my car will be purty again.
  • With any residual from my taxes, I hope to purchase a new PS3 game. On my wish list is Mass Effect 2 (the port just released on the 18th) Dead Space 2, DeathSpank, and a few others that have yet to release. The first DLC for Black Ops is set to release in a month too, but I doubt I will have any cash flow by then. Being unemployed sucks.
  • I watched the Pro Bowl on Sunday for the first time ever. I was slightly disappointed. I didn’t expect the teams to play so half-assedly, I expected a hell of a game because these are the best of the best players, and now that the Pro Bowl is a week before the Super Bowl, these are players from teams aside from the Super Bowl teams, meaning it’s their last game of the season. I went into the game open-minded, but still was disappointed. I was rooting for the NFC, and they ended up winning, so I guess it was an ok experience.
  • As I mentioned in my last post, my football team is going to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has always been something I tried to watch, even during the few years when I didn’t really pay attention to football (2001-05 or so) due to lack of cable and other variables. In high school it was very important to me, and my team went twice during those years. Since I’ve gotten back into it, it’s been an excuse for a party, lots of food, company, and lots of beer. This year will be no exception, although instead of going to a party like I usually would, me and Hollee decided to throw one ourselves. So far we’ve had a couple of RSVPs, and I think it’s going to be awesome.

That’s about all for now. I will return with my Borderlands post soon. TTFN.

SuperBowl XLV

It’s already been widely reported, I’m sure, but I just had to notate that my Green Bay Packers are heading to SuperBowl XLV on February 6th. It’s been 13+ years since we’ve seen a SuperBowl, and we had to replace our old legend, Brett Favre, with our new one: Aaron Rodgers. His play wasn’t as phenomenal today as it has been in past weeks, but the team as a whole continues to perform, and perform well. We’ve been able to finish even in close games. And we’ve played our entire post season on the road. Bring it on Pittsburgh. It’s time for Green Bay to get it’s 4th SuperBowl ring and 13th title. Next stop, Dallas! GO PACK GO!!!

Bragging Rights Evolved

Back in the day, gamers didn’t have the luxury of Trophies or Achievements to track their gaming “status”. Their “rank” or l33tness was all measured based on hearsay alone. To be able to brag about something you did on any particular game on the original NES, you either had to have friends over to show off your high score, or someone would have to be in the room with you while you beat the game or accomplished some other feat. Most games didn’t have a save file. Most games didn’t have checkpoints. Most games were played for as long as you possibly could, and were usually cut short when you had to eat dinner/go to bed/go home/etc. Save files were only present on games like Final Fantasy or other RPGs, because developers realized people would never beat these sorts of games without them. The only checkpoints to speak of came in the form of “continues”, and if you ran out of those, it was really game over.

With the advent of memory cards gamers would have a save file, and the ability to save before the last boss/particular event and load that game at their convenience to show off the end of the game or a special feat. Internet gaming made way for online leaderboards so your friends could see your awesomeness at their leisure. Gamers could also get a sort of reputation for being bad-ass by simply kicking ass at pvp online. But nothing is quite as concrete as a gaming profile that is complete with all of your accomplishments, and this is what the PS3’s Trophy system, and the Xbox 360’s Achievement system gives us.

Without a shadow of a doubt, you can say your Rank is level 8, or your GamerScore is 37,000. In an effort to be unbiased, PC users also have Steam’s Achievement system, which also has a player profile, and is set up much like the console counterparts’ communities. But, because I am somewhat biased, I will say that the PS3 system is my favorite, and has become the most addictive.  With these systems, other users can browse your games (as you will undoubtedly earn trophies fairly easily on any game you own, fairly quickly) and see what trophies you have earned, whenever they want (I must note though that the PS3 only allows you to browse friends’ and recently met players’), and even compare your own, so you can see just how much “better” you are than them. Or not.

I find myself more and more intrigued, and more interested in playing games through a second (and sometimes third) time, just to get those last couple trophies in order to earn the platinum (the trophy earned for earning all other trophies in a game, at least DLC). I find myself checking my rank on my PSN profile, and seeing that I’m nearing the next level, then pushing myself to earn more trophies. I just wish we could import past achievements into this current system… I’d like to see how I have done over the years with the hundreds of games played.

In the end, bragging rights won’t earn you a wage, won’t bring the ladies calling, and won’t give you a head change. But to me, these systems have encouraged replay-ability, and that is something valuable. Because when I drop $60 for a game, and that’s not even counting the money that might be spent on DLC, I hope that I won’t be trading it in at GameStop within a month.