Sunday, 27 October 2013

Budgie Chronicles

I haven't talked much about our beautiful yellow budgie Bruce, so let's change that.

Bruce is actually female, but it takes a little time before it's obvious - the 'nose' changes colour to indicate it. She's usually quiet, but she isn't afraid to yell a lot when surprised by loud noises or whenever we leave her alone to go out. She's also capable of singing quite nicely, though it's not particularly common. Unfortunately, she's quite tricky to handle. Although very willing to come up to our faces and nibble on our noses, she's afraid of our hands and will back off from our fingers if we attempt to get her to step up to them, which is usually something budgies learn quickly.

However, today our persistence paid off; I reached into the cage to play with her, and guessed she was calm enough to try something a little exotic. I don't like grabbing her with my hand, but as she is so unwilling to step onto fingers it's the only way I've found to handle her. After letting her relax, I carried her out of the cage and stroked her for a minute or so while she looked around. Then I set her on my leg and waited to see what she would do.

She was still breathing very hard, so I was worried she'd start flying around at random as usual. To my surprise she walked about carefully, then started rubbing her head on me! Something startled her and she did fly briefly, landing on the floor and looking a little confused. After a little coaxing she walked right onto Emily's hand, which is something I've never seen her even close to doing before. She was happy to let Emily pet her wings and back! She even stepped from Emily's hand to mine, and ate from a fruit bar while still being held. We decided it was long enough for her to be out, and returned her to the cage; she hopped back by herself.

I'm looking forward to what she can learn to do next!

Oh, I've also played some games. I've warmed up a bit more to Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 after giving it some more play. The different Mobile Suits can play very differently, and despite how crappy the non-Ace suits are, they can still be pretty enjoyable, especially when you take out the ridiculous giant suits with them. I've beaten all the Official Modes so now the game is beaten. Mission Mode looks like it will take forever to max... I spent about 15 hours working on Milliardo before realising that he can't join Operation Meteor, so bringing all pilots to Friendship is actually impossible for him. I've started again with Domon, because his voice samples crack me up.

Dream team: Katejina, Domon, Yazan, Ghingham. Also maybe M'Quve because IT WAS PRICELESS!!
The yelling would never stop.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Amalur, Pokémon Ranger, Geneforge

Been a little while, so here's a little update.

Yesterday I beat Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It some ways it was a disappointment; the game world is beautiful, but everything else feels hollow. The characters, while sometimes having well-written dialogue, are rather flat. The game's typical smattering of Elf, Dwarf, Human does not serve the setting at all, and I feel it was somewhat a waste of the creators' talents. The combat is fun, but becomes repetitive fast, because even on Normal difficulty the enemies take forever to die unless I get a couple of critical hits. It took longer to clear some standard groups of enemies than it did to beat the final bosses! Nevertheless, it was quite fun, and I might revisit it again with a different build (I played almost entirely Finesse) or difficulty level some time.

I didn't even mention that I'd started playing Pokémon Ranger almost immediately after finishing Diamond. I'm still not thrilled with the idea after giving it a few hours, though it's short enough that at least it won't be a major blight on my life or anything. Drawing rings around the Pokémon is haphazard; it's difficult to tell exactly how long the capture line will be and even the tiniest movement can ruin it. Some bosses seem unfairly difficult to capture and require furious stylus use to pull off. Minun's partner power trumps everything else, so anything non-boss is a pointless waste of time. I'm Ranger Level 8, so there isn't much of the main game to go, but I would like that Manaphy egg to give to Diamond!

Biff's adventures through Geneforge continue, and the world gets more and more interesting. I feel like if Big Huge Games had asked the Spiderweb Software guys to write the plot instead, they would have turned out a truly excellent game! I'm torn between carrying as many supplies as possible and selling big chunks of them so I can pick up new stuff. The combat is brutal; it's starting to get hard to keep creations alive (I'm playing a Guardian, which aren't that great at shaping) and they don't hit enemies too hard, though my own damage is ridiculous. I'm not regretting joining up with the Awakened at all; they seem to be the most reasonable of the lot, though I was disappointed that I couldn't ask Ellhrah to do something about Astrov, but I guess he wasn't in anywhere near as good a position to help as Rydell is.