Déjà Vu

The title will probably make sense in a moment.

It has been an incredibly chill weekend for me. Television wise, I started finishing off the final episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones. But more awesomely, I completed the second season of Penny Dreadful. The series greatly improved over the first, being better rounded with its character development, stronger with its emotional impact and incredibly addictive story line, yet still setting and expanding the greater stage. I’m not going to go into too much detail right now simply because it deserves a full, in depth review later.

But Penny Dreadful isn’t alone in deserving discussion. I finally saw Ant-Man this Sunday. It was interesting hearing people’s various gripes regarding the movie, but I had a terrible amount of fun and couldn’t help but think it one of the Marvel’s best. If you’re a little tired of the superhero movie, or even if superhero movies aren’t normally your thing, Ant-Man is unusual and trope toppling as to be worth catching in theaters. This too will probably deserve a full review.

On the gaming front, I’ve been working through Final Fantasy VII for the PC. I’ve been taking my sweet time too, building great levels, earning my Limit Breaks and strengthening my materia early on. In the plot, I only just finished visiting Cosmo Canyon. I’m curious as to what changes will be made for the upcoming remake, so at least now my memory will be fresh.

Finally, writing.

Hate to say it, but I had my hopes up to submit to a “hunting” based submission call. The window of opportunity, being open in Australia, closed at 10:00 am EST. My story had more than 5,000 words down, but it just wasn’t ready yet and still required formatting. The story will be complete and submitted elsewhere. It’s not a total loss, just not what I hoped for.

On the plus side however, I did finish cementing some publishing deals and took care of some domains that I would be needing. For starters, I finally started my own website at www.jamesfadeley.com. As well as my own company, Thunderbird Studios.

At the moment, Thunderbird Studios is more of a tool than a company. An easier means of managing sales concerns and building a brand. My friends and I have a horde of ideas to put together, including a friendly, fan facing Wikipedia for an upcoming series. We plan to go full scale with certain ideas in the next year, but for the time being are content just to tinker and get our technological infrastructure down.

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Gears of War Coop

My new roommate and I are taking some time to get used to one another. After two years of living with a woman whose tastes often run counter to mine, it’s nice to have a roommate you can hang out with.

It has been a lot of changes very quickly. We still need to get some living room furnishings. I gave permission for him to get a dog, and we’ve been working together to keep her happy, fed and walked. I’m also not sure how cleaning is going to go down, as we’ve no formal arrangement but sporadically look after the dishes and vacuuming. The bills and rent are paid, so at least the financials are alright.

One thing that I believe has helped smooth the transition out is our ability to play Gears of War together in coop. 

I know. Strange right?

Working as a team really smooths out the hiccups in our communication and really helps us to get to know one another. Since I’m a veteran of the game, I do my best to inform him of what’s coming out and lay out general strategies to deal with the problems ahead.

GoW is very much about teamwork. Even in single player, the game never lets you fly without a wingman at all times. It’s not good enough to lay down suppressive firepower and watch your wingman’s back- the game tests you on many levels of teamwork. One man drives, the other shoots. One goes for the light, the other has to trust his ally to guide him through the darkness lest he become Kryll bait. One player goes down, the other can revive him.

This is what great gaming is about. Not matter how fun it is single player, adding a trusted friend almost always magnifies the good times. It feels good to succeed, it feels better when both you and your buddy beat the stage. And this is a feeling that happens best when playing together in proximity to one another. Pong, the very first video game, was intended to be for dating. It was meant to enhance human social contact, not dwindle it. Even crappy games, like Brute Force, can be ridiculous fun with friends to laugh with you through it.

These kind of good times are why consoles shouldn’t go away. Sometimes, nothing beat a night like a six pack of beer, maybe some pizza, comfortable seating, a dog to pet and a bud or three to play a great game with.