Tag Archives: LOLcat

Here’s some unused Grinding Down images

As my dear readers know, I like to do things a certain way here at Grinding Down. Specifically, I’m talking about how every post is headlined with a photoshopped image a la LOLCats. I take a lot of pride in finding the right image, adding the right words, and tinkering with it to follow the right format. And by right, I mean my format. Anal-retentive Pauly is anally retentive.

However, sometimes I create images in hopes of posting about them, but then things happen, life gets tossed upside-down, and I never get around to musing about X and/or Y. Here, then, are some images I was gonna use as topic starters. Have fun figuring out what each one was gonna be about:

There you go. A little behind-the-scenes glimpse into how things work around here. Isn’t blogging just fascinating?

Found my first bugs in Fallout: New Vegas, and I’m not talking about radroaches or bloatflies

Fallout: New Vegas was only released like two weeks ago, and the world mostly knows it for being an extremely buggy game. And we’re not talking about a wasteland full of mutated swarms of praying mantises or radroaches; no, these are programming bugs, wonky coding and scripting that can totally ruin one’s gameplay session. Or, in my case, help keep me alive for a few more minutes. More on that later. But yeah, bugs. LET ME SHOW YOU THEM, says LOLCAT.

How bad can it be? Well, the game shipped, and several players found a rather unsettling bug in the very first few minutes. Not a good start. Luckily, Doc Mitchell’s head stayed put for my first playthrough. Over the past few days, thanks to a patch, Obsidian Entertainment passed along 200 scripting and quest bug fixes for those connected to the Internet. Me? Nope, no Web yet. Still gotta call Comcast and get it all set up at the Leaky Cauldron, which means I’m playing vanilla Fallout: New Vegas, the true layer, broken and spotty, the way it was meant to be played because, well, the game shipped like this, and that’s actually a little sad. They had like two years to toy with that engine. But Fallout 3 prepared me for glitchy gameplay, and there’s nothing too terrible to really get me to put this game aside.

So, last night, while working on the quest My Kind of Town I came across three different bugs.

Buggy bug #1: I entered an NCR tent near Primm to find a trooper standing on top of a chair as if she was five years old and throwing a tantrum for a cookie before dinner. Tara and I laughed out loud and waited for her to walk off the chair back to the floor. Which she did quickly. Odd, all in all.

Buggy bug #2: Being chased by two radscorpions, which, if both hit me, would be certain death. Thankfully, one of the radscorpions walked into a rock…and got stuck there. Like…inside the rock. I could target it with V.A.T.S. and all, but it was not moving from that rock. Sweet. I took care of its brother and then left it to die a rocky death.

Buggy bug #3: Now, this is the one that worries me. Was in the NCRCF, taking out Powder Gangers left and right in search of a new sheriff when all of a sudden…my gun disappeared. Poof. Gone. No more 9mm pistol. Yet I could still fire and damage enemies. I just had no way of aiming, but V.A.T.S. still worked as well. I tried putting my weapon away and taking it back out so to speak, but nothing showed. So I hid in a corner, freaking out with a bunch of corpses and bent cans. Then, without reason or sound, the gun came back. Thankfully, the room was already cleared out by then. This kind of bug can be very damaging though, and I hope I don’t see it happen again.

But at least no quests have wonked out on me…yet. That would be the saddest thing ever, like not being able to finish one’s favorite meal. I love quests. I love starting them, following them, and finishing them. Especially Fallout quests; they are so inventive and open, and they can be done this way or that way or not even done at all.

So, yeah. Fallout: New Vegas is kind of a crappy game from a programming bird’s eye view. However, that won’t stop me from having a good time. Think I might even head to the strip soon…

Spirit Tracks: Blowing, Not for the Faint of Breath

Recently, I brought my car in for an oil change. Normally, since this place is right next door to a shopping development, I’d wander for an hour or so until it was time to come back and mosey on home. However, I decided to use this hour to my benefit instead of wasting it window shopping…or worse, actually shopping. So I sat uncomfortably in the dealership’s tiny waiting room and took out my Nintendo DS, the cartridge for The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks ready to go. All I had to do was ignore the blaring TV and few other waiting souls in the room. Easy enough to do…until I had to play the Spirit Flute to continue playing.

For those not in the know, the Spirit Flute is one of the first items you’ll receive in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. To play it, you have to slide the flute around via the touchscreen and simultaneously blow into the microphone to hit the different colored notes. Some songs will perform special actions in-game while other songs are vital to plot progression.

Unfortunately, the song I had to currently play to continue was not a simple one like the first two or three were. This song involved skipping a colored note and playing the one next to it. A tricky manuever, I can assure you. Why? Well, blowing into the mic and moving the flute around are two actions that work against each other because, naturally, you’re also trying to do a third: see. Yup, fight as you must, you will be trying to look down at the touchscreen to see where you’re moving the flute, and when you do that, if you’re exhaling, your breath will miss the microphone hole considerably, setting yourself up for EPIC FAIL. Well, maybe not that hardcore. I just never get to write EPIC FAIL, y’know?

And I was hoping to get it right on try #1…because, while simply playing a Nintendo DS in front of a bunch of manly men talking about gears and tire pressure and engine noises got me some looks, the ones I got for raising a tiny device to my mouth and then blowing at it like a candle gone wild were, more or less, variations of the following:

But I didn’t get it right on the first try. Or the second. Not even the twelth attempt. Practicing didn’t help much either. Each time I failed, I grew more exasperated, and I think one of the fellows sitting across from me suspected I was having a panic attack. I wasn’t. If only I could have told him the truth. If only the truth wasn’t so ridiculous.

So I stopped playing and wasted the next forty-five minutes watching TV.

I later got past the tricky song part when I was home, in the comfort and silence of my apartment, where the only mocking looks I got were the ones I gave to myself in the mirror. In short, I’ve never much liked DS games that implemented the microphone, and now I have another reason why to add to the list. The Spirit Flute is fine when used optionally, which most of the time it is, but a pain in the jaw when forced down our throats.

Scribblenauts comes out today!



::types in confetti and streamers and ice cream cake and go-go dancers::

But I’m not allowing myself to purchase Scribblenauts until Thursday evening so I can get some comics work done this week and not feel guilty about the whole thing!

::types in sad face and spoiled milk and stereotypical drill sergeants yelling about my pansy pants and keyboard cat::