Monday, May 14, 2012

Cosplay: It's Not Too Early for Halloween!

Lately I've come across some really cool costume ideas for either conventions or Halloween.  I love dressing up, and I typically get dressed up for Halloween-even if I am working.  Here are some of my favourites!   To be honest, I am torn between the Twi'lek and the Ood costumes from Etsy.  The Twi'lek tentacles look soo adorable, and seems to be a practical costume that allows you to talk and move about normally.   And props to the last photo-what a wonderful ensemble!

                                                                                           Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was blown away with with this book. I have to admit, I read Divergent last year over one weekend. I just couldn't stop reading it-and just had the same experience with Insurgent. Insurgent explores the other factions and gives you a different view on their qualities and skills. You also get to build upon her world further by exploring the settings of each faction. Even though both stories are not that long, I was amazed at how many characters Veronica Roth has written, and their connections with Tris. It is also refreshing that this YA novel does not involve a love triangle like many do. She shows the hubris of both Tobias and Tris, and reveals them as very complex people. Some of the ideas concerning their post apocalyptic world reminded me of Scott Westerfeld's The Pretties/Uglies series, although we won't find out until the third installment where the story will take us. However, I do like the fact that Roth keeps the outside world quite concealed throughout the first two books. As a reader, you are so concerned about the Erudite's plans to destroy and conquer, and you are wondering what will become of the relationship between Tris and Tobias, that your focus remains there. There are so many subplots and things going on in the novel that you will not be able to stop reading it. It will probably be my favourite book of the year. And although I don't really want to compare it to Hunger Games, I have to be honest and say that although I did enjoy Hunger Games, I find that in Veronica Roth's series my desire to read intensifies, whereas with Hunger Games it began to diminish after the first book.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

May the 4th Be With You: Beta Testing and Gaming

I consider myself a novice when it comes to gaming, especially MMORG's (which stands for massively multiplayer online gaming), although I have been playing SWTOR (Star Wars The Old Republic) since a few days before its release date in December.  SWTOR intrigued me, because I've always been a fan of the original Star Wars movies, and the concept of choosing the light or dark side, being a bounty hunter or smuggler (I play both), while teaming up with other players online sounded so cool.  I'm currently on level 21 of my smuggler, and plan to level up as high as I can before I go back to work in June.  Last week when I was reading the boards on SWTOR, I heard people discussing some new MMORG's that were coming out soon and how people were speculating that they were going to be the next best thing.  The names that were dropped were Secret World and Guild Wars 2.  I visited both of there web sites out of curiousity.  They both looked really interesting, even though they have totally different playing styles, plots, races etc...  I liked Secret World because your character exists in a modern, yet alternate world fighting monsters.  You choose one of three professions and fight with that group.  Whereas Guild Wars 2 seems a little more old school when it comes to mmorg, but it has some interesting races and professions, and you can play solo or with a group.  You also level your character, and can engage in pvp (player versus player).  Both games appeal to me because I am looking for more cooperative games, however, I decide to pre-order Guild Wars 2 for a few reasons.  First, there are no monthly fees like SWTOR or WOW (which I don't play).  Second, the settings and character choices look diverse. The game is supposed to come out in July, so check it out if you're interested in online gaming.

I wanted to mention that the Beta weekend was a bit of a fuck up.  Guild Wars 2 advertised that if you pre-purchased the game through them, or another retailer, that you would receive a 3 days head start and access to Beta testing.  Of course, I didn't understand the difference between pre-order and pre-purchase, and I first pre-ordered a copy through Best Buy.  After a few hours I realized my mistake, and then went ahead and ordered it from EbGames who was advertising the bonuses of pre-purchasing.  I did not receive my Beta Code right away, but tried to be patient.  After about 7 hours I called up one of the local stores who said for sure I should be getting one, but that it might take a day or so.  So, I waited.  Nothing.  I then called the online store (waited on hold for 30 minutes), where a customer service representative told me that they were having a lot of problems with the codes.   He forwarded my issue to another dept. and said they will get back to me within 24 hours.  So a little after 24 hours, I received an email from EbGames saying that the Beta was closed and they were not giving out any more codes.  I miss a little po'd, because the EbGames website still advertised that you would get the bonuses.  Luckily at this time, I discovered that Guild Wars 2 had more in stock and I cancelled both my orders.  Of course, I had to call EbGames because it wouldn't allow me to cancel online, and I talked with another confused customer service rep who told me that they still had Beta codes and didn't know why I would receive an email stating otherwise.  Of course, she never offered to give me one, even though the entire reason why I was cancelling my order was because they weren't supplying it.    Ugh.  Everything went smooth after I ordered in from Guild Wars 2.  I downloaded the game and got access right away.

The Beta itself was okay.  At first I was a little disappointed with the graphics and the story line.  I felt like there was very little guidance compared to SWTOR on what you should be doing.  I also did not like the ridiculous mini skirt and bra my necromancer had to wear.  What I did like, was the different methods of combat and attack, and the fact that there were so many people around questing and helping each other out.  I find on SWTOR, the population on the servers is so low, you feel isolated while playing, and when someone does request to group with you, that they just use you for the quest and then take off without even a thanks.  I also think that they world is going to look pretty neat once you start traveling around more.  I can't wait to try out the Sylvari character in Guild Wars.