Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Book and Game Reviews

Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

A week ago, Joel Spolsky wrote some comments regarding a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, written by Mark Haddon. I added the book to an order I was placing at Amazon, and Thursday afternoon it arrived at my workplace.

The story is written from the point of view of Christopher Boone, fifteen year old boy who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. Young Christopher finds a poodle killed, and sets out to solve the mystery of who killed the Wellington.

This book is very definately going to hold a place near the top of my most favourite novels. It is quite simply an amazing novel.

The use of the first-person perspective pulls you into this novel, and engages you completely. When reading this book, you it truely feels honest and real. The author writes as if the main character is writing this book – as if it’s a novel he wrote during his efforts to solve the mystery. It is an amazingly strong narrative technique. If the author’s name on the cover and the character’s name in the book matched up, a reader would never believe this to be a work of fiction.

I recommend that everyone read this book, especially you geeky types. You’ll probably giggle through the first few chapters, as I did, but it won’t take long before you realize how serious things are.

Game: Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia is a role-playing game for the GameCube system. It is published by Namco. It is sure to be available at any of your favourite video game stores.

Colette is the Chosen of Regeneration, fated to regenerate the world and save everyone’s existence. Her party, including the inexperienced swordsman (Lloyd, your main character), a young magician (Genis), your school-teacher (Raine) and a mercenary (Kratos) set out to regenerate the world, each for their own reasons. All that stands in their way is an army of half-elfs, a world where humans are harvested in ranches, and just about everything else you can imagine.

This game is basically amazing. It has wonderful elements of some of the best fantasy games ever, such as FF6 and FF7. The story is a beautiful twisting saga. The graphics are beautiful, cell-shaded, and very similar to Wind Waker’s. The voice acting is the best I’ve ever heard in a video game, as it actually adds to the game’s dialogue rather than making my ears cringe. And finally, the characters are deep (for a video game), and subtle (for a video game).

I recommend this game strongly for anyone who has ever liked Final Fantasy games, and who owns a GameCube. Actually, you know what… buy a GameCube for this. It’s worthwhile and relatively cheap anyways.

The Joys of a New Home

On Monday, I will finally get Internet access at my home. Yay! The Nucleus installer is coming over at 1pm to setup my ADSL line. I’m so happy. The thought of having constantly accessable Internet access is so good. So often lately I’ve needed to use Google to find technical or other information and been unable to without slowly dialing up and blah blah blah and getting angry and smashing things. Or something.

Work is pretty busy. I’ve got a team of engineers as technical guidance people for a new piece of software. It’s less frustrating, more fun, and more rewarding than working on a project alone with no input. I’ve got a meeting on Tuesday which I’m kinda dreading.

Cecil and I spent about 5 hours last night playing Master of Orion 2 at work, until we got tired and hungry and left for food. I came back over to his apartment this morning to continue the game, which took another 4 or so hours before we had happily genocided the galaxy into our own image. We went out, shopped around Future Shop, and then picked up Claudia at the airport after she arrived from her trip home.

I think tomorrow we might go out geocaching, so expect some new pictures and fun! I dunno where we’ll go, or what we’ll find, but I do know that Superman will protect us from the evil Lex Luthor.