Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Feel Another Hiatus A-Comin'

Unfortunately, I will have to put this beloved blog on hiatus for the second time in two months (or is that three?). It might be as long as our May Break, as we hope to be back before August. It won't be a total blog-out either: Chord du Jour will still have a daily dose of music education (we're currently in the Key of E, relatively speaking, and are going through the circle of fifths on a weekly basis).

I wish you all a Happy Fourth of July tomorrow, as well as various Happy Birthday wishes to my friends with birthdays in the near future.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kudos to the Bloodless Rescuers in Colombia!

Initial reports say that the Colombian military bloodlessly rescued various Americans, Colombians, and a former Colombian Presidential candidate from the hands of the rebel . I am sure the comic book superheroes who avoid lethal combat would be proud of these real-life heroes.

Of course, the movie version of this event will feature explosions, a massive body count, and an kung fu duel between an 80s action hero and the main villain, played by a current pro wrestler. (Producers, bid for movie rights right now!)

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Still Want to Talk About Video Games and Diablo III

In political news: Supporter X of candidate Y said something bad about candidate Z, and candidate Z and his supporters are disappointed that candidate Y didn't apologize for the words of supporter X, or didn't condemn him strongly enough. Wasn't that last months news? And won't that also be next month's news, too?

So let me ramble a bit more about Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming game, Diablo III. Apparently, there might or might not be a console release in addition to the standard PC (Windows/Apple OS) software. Since it's a mouse-point and click (and click some more) game, I don't know about the calls to port the game for the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. The Wii has a controller interface that most resembles a computer and its mouse, so I'd like to see Diablo III on that console, if I had a say (which I obviously don't).

There's a lot of backlash from some very vocal fans of the series concerning the more cartoony/less diabolical graphics of the preview movie. To an extent, I sort of agree. The first Diablo game has the most creepy graphics in any video game I ever played. (Less so for Diablo II and its expansion game Lord of Destruction.) For example, the last four levels of the mid-1990s game take place in an ad hoc version of Hell: No fire and no brimstone but walls made of bone, rivers of blood between the walls, and naked-mangled-impaled victims and would-be heroes strewn about the scenery. When the game is finally finished, I hope that it's less like World of Warcraft (also from Blizzard) and more like something that'll actually motivate the player to point-and-click vengeance.

On the plus side, there are going to be extremely interactive environments in the game, as the first two games only had treasure chests, barrels, and a few other odds and ends with which to interact. In a sense, Diablo III might be an isometric God of War game.

Speaking of which, I can't wait for news about God of War III for the PlayStation 3. Zeus is gonna get it, man.

Les armoiries de la famille Schwarzenberg, à l'ossuaire de la ville de Kutna Hora, République Tchèque photo credit: Martin St-Amant.

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