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Archive for August, 2010

Review #367

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Disney Guilty Party
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Wideload Games, Inc.
Genre: Mini-Games/Party Game
Release Date: 08/31/2010

I’m a big fan of mystery games and I review several of them every year. Guilty Party caught my eye as it was a multi-player mystery game that appeared to offer a light hearted story while combining Mario Party ’s mini game/board game feel with Blue Toad Murder Files. Savy gamers might recognize Wideload Games as the creators of Stubbs the Zombie and Hail to the Chimp. The former was neither a critical nor a financial success, but the latter received positive reviews from both DHGF staffers Matt Yeager and Joel Rose. Having played neither title, I decided to take the review duties on this simply due to a cinematic for the game I saw that made me laugh along with the aforementioned love of mystery games. The question is, did the game keep me laughing throughout…or was I ready to snap the Wiimote in two by the end of it?
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My Poor Little Bunny Boy

Friday, August 27th, 2010

As mentioned previously, my birthday involved me noticing a set of tiny lumps on Mr. Chewie Biteums and bringing him in for emergency surgery. At 5:30pm, the histopath came back and it was as bad as bad could possibly be. Chewie has spindle cell cancer, which is exceedingly aggressive, malignant and it has a high chance of return. Worse, they could see that the margins weren’t clean on the removal, which means he still has it in him. I dropped him off at 7:30 this morning for his new surgery and they are going to try and cut all of it out of him, even taking more skin than is necessary just to be on the safe side. They warned me it is going to be a pretty large cut and some major removal, but if they can get it all this time, it might not come back, especially because I found it when it was so tiny - only about a millimeter in diameter. Usually spindel cell tumors are found when they are much larger and even then there is a chance to get it all out. So I’m trying to cling to that one thread of hope. The reason they didn’t get it all last time was because the previous biopsy showed it was just scar tissue and so they thought they were being preventative and not going with the assumption it had already metatisized into cancer.

God I just want him to be okay. He’s so healthy and happy right now. he was running and playing and snuggly and even humped Baby last night. Not the actions of someone supposedly dying of cancer. I’m just so confused and scared and hurt right now. Worsy of all is that the cancer was originally his scar tissue from when someone set him on fire as a baby. If someone had just said, “Let’s remove this now before it can become something bad” or even told me there was a possibility of this becoming cancer, I’d have had it removed when he was still young. Maybe that could have prevented this. Or if three months ago I had them remove the scar tissue anyway when I became paranoid about it even thought the biopsy said 90% chance this is just scar tissue. There said it is a 10% chance this could someday be a tumour but there are so few spindle cells it’s unlikely. If I had it removed then when they told me it was just uncessary surgery, would he be okay today?

I feel like the worst pet owner in the world. Especially since he doesn’t know what is going on. He just knows he hurts from the surgery and wants to be cuddled and played with - something he never normally wants. We just snuggled most of the night and cried.

This is the second pet I’ve had die directly due to someone from Minnesota being an asshole to an animal btw. And people wonder where my general hatred for that state comes from.

I still remember the day I found him so vividly. Laura and I were coming back from something…I don’t remember any of the day but from the second I saw Chewie, everything is so crystal clear. There was a little brown baby bunny in the street while it was snowing and I remarked that it was pretty odd for a bunny to be out in the winter, especially in the street. Then someone walking by us remarked he had been out there for a while as if lost or confused and he hadn’t moved. Like I do with most wild bunnies, i tried to come up to him. He hopped a little bit away as I approached, but not much, and enough that i could tell by his colouration and size that he wasn’t a wild rabbit. At least not by choice. He hopped onto the lawn next door to my complex. I tried coming up to him again, he moved, but even less this time. The third time he let me pet him and I could see he had open cuts and burns and he was just so scared and hurt that my heart broke instantly. Meanwhile Laura’s ranting about not touching wild animals and that it might have fleas or disease. I didn’t care. I knew he wasn’t wild and needed help. I picked him up and he struggled for just a second and then let me carry him into my apartment building and up two flights of stairs to my apartment, where I laid out a towel for him in my bathroom and set him down. He was scared, but less so than when he was outside. I went to my refrigerator to see what i could give him to eat and all I had that was acceptable for a bunny was a bag of baby carrots. I gave them to him and he ate the whole thing…then peed on my floor. Laura left at some point, I wasn’t paying attention to her at all.

I just remember looking at this scared little creature and wondering who could have done such horrible things to him. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and he was obviously something you had to buy or breed. I still can’t imagine what went through someone’s head to say “Let’s set a bunny on fire.” How fucked up do you have to be.

I remember not petting him, just looking at him. This funny little thing whose ears were longer than his body and who was the softest thing I had ever touched. I remembered how much it hurt when Zuel had cancer and how she died and what happened after she died and how I said I’d never love anything again or have another pet because it hurt too much. But there I was, with a little brown and white bunny in my home and I knew that I was going to be head over heels in love with this little guy and that I just wanted to give him the happiest life he could have after all the horrible things done to him. I was so scared to pet him, even more than he was probably scared for me to touch him. We just looked at each other, I put neosporin on his cuts, blogged about it in my old livejournal and eventually I went to bed.

The next day I brought him to work with me where he ran and ran and ran, took him to the vet next door to be checked out, spent my lunch break buying him a bowl and a little box, and then after work went to Scott’s and god Zuel’s old cage and some of her stuff. I set it up in the bedroom and from that point on we were a family.

He never did like to be touched, but I loved watching him hop all over the house with his silly stuffed animal or when he’d mount this pikachu doll I gave him. I loved that he’d sneak on to the bed at night and sleep next to me, but the second he thought I was awake, he’d jump off. He didn’t want to be touched, but he wanted to be around me and that’s all I needed.

I remember leaving him with Terra after two weeks because I had this Australiain trip and all I could think about while there was if he was okay or if he thought I had abandonded him and how happy we were to see each other when I came back, even though we were still new to each other. I remember the funny naming contest we had in my livejournal that was a parody of the 2004 elections and how much fun we all had with it. I remember when he first starting hugging me as a baby and how cute it was and then it turned out to be him wanted to hump but being to young to know what he was doing. He was so adorable, even when he was being bad.

God, I’m so scared this surgery won’t be enough. That they won’t get it all. Or worse, that they think they’ll get it all, but it just happens to be somewhere else in him right now we don’t know about. I’m terrified of him needing radiation therapy as it can kill him or scar his lungs or destroy his immune system. It’s like if the cure will kill him than it comes down to me having to decide how to best kill him and that’s such an awful thought. I can’t think of a more horrible situation to be in.

If he needs to be put to sleep, I don’t know that I can do it. I mean, he’s spent his whole life not trusting humans and being hurt by the, that I can’t bear for his last act on earth to be me killing him. Or worse, for him to realize that’s what I’m doing. It would be a total betrayal of him and I think I would just completely collapse.

I know how stupid this is. I mean, he’s a bunny rabbit. All he thinks about is food, humping baby and sleeping. But god, I love him so much. He’s my perfect little guy and this whole thing hurts so much.

I remember last Thursday when I picked him up from the vet. He was so happy to see me. On the way home, he climbed out of his carrier, jumped onto my seat and the curled up in my lap and fell asleep bunny purring. he’d never done anything like that before and it was the first time he had ever shown me physical affection. I don’t remember ever being happier than that moment. And now I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared or depressed. I just want him to be okay. I want him to be healthy. I want him to live and be spoiled.

The vet talked to me for about an hour. If they get clean margins, it won’t be able to come back. But that’s if they get clean margins. And that’s if it hasn’t already travelled elsewhere. It’s a lot of big ifs. And of course even if they get it, it could still come back at any time. It’s going to be a day to day nightmare with him from now on, but I’ll also be treasuring every moment I have with him.

Oh Mr. Chewie Biteums…please be okay.

Busy Busy Busy

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

So, it’s been a long week. I had M-W off and although my plans were to relax, play Trinity Universe and read a bunch, shit happened. Tuesday was my 33rd birthday, which puts me at the official position of middle age for a human being in regards to worldwide life expectancy. Fuck I’m old, Unfortunately, I work up to find Chewie on the bed and his little bumps on his should had noticeably grown overnight. I panicked and called the vet and booked him an appointment for the next day. I thus spent my birthday worrying if my little rabbit was going to die of cancer. God knows we’ve already had two other cancer scares this year, one of which was over said bumps that just turned out to be scar tissue.

This time though the vet suggested Mr. Chewie Biteums go under the knife and we booked his surgery for 2pm that afternoon. It only took about 14 minutes thankfully and the vet reported he was up and about almost instantly and made a full healthy recovery. It’ll be another week or two before a biopsy on all the bumps and lumps come back but the vet said they were still very tiny compared to nearly anything else she had seen and even in the worst case where they could have become malignant, we got them in plenty of time before they could have spread or become something fatal. Huzzah.

Thursday was a crack of dawn four hour long meeting with HUD, or the federal department of Housing and Development. The meeting was supposed to go until 5pm, but my new boss allowed me to leave at noon so I could go pick up Mr. Biteums from the vet. Oh the poor little guy. He had an incision down half the length of his body and he was obviously scared and in pain when I got him. I pet him on the drive home and he was so happy to have me back. If you haven’t met Chewie than you probably don’t understand what a thrill it is for him to let me pet him for a prolonged period of time. He HATES to be touched. By me, my other people, even by Baby who is bonded mate. On rare occasions he will let you pet him for a few seconds, but here he let me pet him all the way home. When we had a third of the way to go, he actually climbed out of his cage, jumped over to my seat and curled up on my lap and fell asleep making happy noises. I could have cried like a sissy little girl, it was so touching and out of character for him. He’s been especially affectionate since then, wanting to sleep with me (not in a carnal way, you sick bastards) and always being near me or around me. It’s very sweet. He is very active though so I am worrying about him splitting his stitches.

Saturday was a three hour jog to the county fair where I had a mediocre gyro, a tasty strawberry and nutella crepe, and encountered DC’s usual level of goth douchery that served as a prime example of why I tend to avoid anything subculture related in the metro area. Oy. Today was writing the review of Ys Seven and working out to the first disc of MASH, Season 8. Nearly done!

This week it’s two meetings on Monday, a meeting with Sony on Playstation Move on Tuesday night, Chewie’s recheck appointment on Thursday and a meeting in way Southern MD on Friday morning. HMIS goes does from Weds the 25th to Sept 1st, so that’s a little less work I have to do, but man has August been exceptionally busy and hectic.

Review #366

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Ys Seven
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: XSEED
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 08/27/2010

Although we’ve only had a fraction of the Ys (Pronounced YEE-s) series make it stateside, 85% of which are remakes of the first two games anyway, it still has a nice loyal cult following here in the States. Let’s go back nearly two years ago to the day when Books of Ys 1 & 2 was released on the Virtual Console. See the love we have for the original Turbo-Grafx 16 title? Well, it’s not the first version of Ys 1 & 2, but it was the first for a North American release. Since then we haven’t really seen a lot of the games hit stateside. Ys III landed for the Sega Genesis, Turbo Duo and SNES, but only in a very limited print run. Then it was silence. We missed Ys IV and V, and the near countless remakes of all the games along the way.

Finally in 2005, Konami brought Ys back to our side of the Pacific and localized Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim to the PS2 and later to the PSP. As a long time fan of Adol Christin, I pounced on the chance to review the game and sadly found it to be a fairly mediocre experience. Flash forward four years later to 2009 when Atlus brought over Legacy of Ys: Books 1 & 2. I was a bit perplexed as to why they did this for the DS and charged $34.99 for it when you get could the originals for only $6 on the Virtual Console, but I was so happy to have a Ys title localized, I reviewed it anyway. IT STUNK. Finally, in preparation for Ys Seven, I picked up the PSP version of Ark of Napishtim and found it to be the worst Ys experience of my life. It was so bad I wanted to break the game – something I haven’t felt since I was in 8th grade trying to beat the Eternal Champion in well, Eternal Champions (which I finally did with Trident and Slash).

So with all this in mind, it’s obvious I was past being wary about Ys Seven and was full on into outright pessimism about the game. Did the Ys franchise go 0-4 in the past five years, or has XSEED finally been the publisher to bring over a quality Ys a quality Falcom experience?
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Review #365

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Disney Sing It: Family Hits
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Zoe Mode
Genre: Karaoke
Release Date: 08/04/2010

I have two funny things for you. The first is that although both Mark B. and myself are considered to be the most diehard gamers on the staff, playing obscure, retro and horrible games alike, both of us have a weakness for Karaoke video games. Hell, I even imported Singstar 2 because it came out in Europe a year before it hit the States. The second is that although I’ve seen every Disney and Pixar film released (or re-released in the case of animated features older than myself), I can’t really say I’m a big fan of Disney – or at least a big enough fan to own a lot of their stuff. I own Lilo & Stitch, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and all four of the rare and overpriced on Ebay The Chronological Donald sets. I’d probably add Aladdin, The Lion King, and Hercules if Disney would ever release them on Blu-Ray though.

Which brings me to Disney Sing It: Family Hits. When I first asked our head of PR, DJ Tatsujin, to request a review copy of this game, I did so with a specific request to get the PS3 version so I could review it. This is because I may not own a lot of Disney, but I can’t deny that the music to their animated features is often incredible…or at least incredibly fun. This way, I got what is often my favourite part of Disney films, I got to add another karaoke game to my collection and most of all, I got to see clips of Disney movies in full 1080i/p. The latter of which was the big one as this would be the first time that any piece of these films would get a high definition release.

So how was the game? Has Disney put out a title worthy of Singstar or Karaoke Revolution, or is this game akin more to the horrible licensed games that accompany most Disney films?
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Atelier Rorona Preview

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Diehard GameFAN exclusive - HERE

Review #364

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena
Developer: Mumbo Jumbo
Publisher: Mumbo Jumbo
Genre: Adventure (Hidden Object)
Release Date 07/27/2010

The Samantha Swift series has been around for several years as a PC exclusive casual game series. The franchise has three different games out currently and Mumbo Jumbo has finally decided to test the waters by porting the first game in the series over to the Nintendo DS.

We’re no strangers to reviewing hidden object games here at Diehard GameFAN. Just this year we’ve reviews The Mystery of the Crystal Portal, The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2, The Tudors, and Becky Brogan and the Mystery of Meane Manor. If you click on each of those reviews though, you see all have been for the PC save for one, which is on the PC. One would think that due to the touch screen controls of the DS, hidden object games would be a great fit for the system, but so far they have been few and far between with the best being a port of Cate West: The Vanishing Files. So how does Samantha Swift hold up? Do we have a nice little title for casual gamers or, like Crystal Portal, does a PC to handheld port just not work? Also, I want to apologize for the screenshots being in German – that’s all they had. Crazy, huh?

Let’s Review
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