August 10, 2004


Its been awhile, so heres a picture of my pet piranha. His name is Nixon. He is not a cannibal.

The summer is almost over, and its a damn good thing. My job has become nearly too repetative to bear. 90% of the code I can write in my sleep, and the rest is so cryptic and impossible to discern that I have to ask someone else what it means anyways. The only happy middle-ground was the one program I had to design myself, instead of re-writing, but even that program was frustratingly technical (what should one expect from medical billing software?).

My town resists change better than China. Unless you’re willing to stand by the skate park dealing drugs, or aimlessly wander the streets, there is next to nothing to do, which brings me to my next point. I find the vast majority of the people in this town loathesome. Life in such close proximity to such distasteful creatures invariably makes me horribly anti-social and cynical. I do hope Ann Arbor ameliorates this.

Theres a chance Blueberry Festival may help.

I leave at the end of the month. I can never go home again. I hope I can’t shop there.

No less than 3 of my friends from home have become hopelessly engaged in the promised fortunes of the pyramid scam known as Team of Destiny. I find it deeply disturbing that the promises of easy wealth so easily close the minds of such intelligent people. One of the victims of whom I speak is a Business major at U-M for god’s sake! How can they be taken by this? Sure, someone gets rich off the plan: the people who started it. I’m sorry, but selling packs of overpriced toilet paper that has to be shipped to your friends is not going to make you a millionaire. All the tapes, lectures, and motivational speaking in the world will not change this.

Few things are as beautiful as white flowers reflecting the headlight of my motorcycle on a country road under a clear, august, night sky. Its more than just a sight, its an experience.

Update: Apparantly Barbi is a better name for a piranha. Who knew?

Posted by MrWonton at 2:25 am |

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Collapse Comment by Lois
2011-09-22 04:49:27

Alright arlgiht alright that’s exactly what I needed!

Collapse Comment by yxiafyd
2011-09-23 00:31:49

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Collapse Comment by vxiucftrpep
2011-09-25 11:18:39

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Collapse Comment by Agonzebwa
2013-09-11 13:26:54

I’m sure you’re getting some hate for this rieevw, Joe there’s lots of germans out there, and there’s lots of international PB-fans too. I’m not gonna HATE on you, but I’m gonna be critical to some of your bulletpoints:I agree with you on a lot of things. Faces are re-used, AI pathfinding is weird and often bad, combat is at times incredibly frustrating, boss-battles are rather anti-climactic and so on .BUT! Let’s flip the coin. Skyrim. You gave it a 10/10.-The game re-uses voices over and over and over again. Even the actors who portray important characters have voices for minor-league bandits too! Why didn’t this draw down the experience? Re-using faces is an issue with many RPGs. The original Witcher is the prime example.Don’t get me wrong. Risen 2 s over-use of the same faces is not something I condone, I’m just saying it’s an often-used trick the devs use to save time in large RPGs that take dozens of hours to complete.-AI pathfinding is atrocious in Skyrim too. Too many times do your followers get stuck in caves, and then you have to go get them later on. You aren’t even treated to a marker showing you exactly where you left the follower.You showed an image of you exploiting the AI by fighting a man standing on a table, and he didn’t fight back. Well guess what, that’s fully possible in Skyrim too. You can stand behind a tiny rock formation or a bent-over tree, and just keep firing at enemies who keep running against the blockade. Don’t you believe me? There’s tons of youtube-videos on it. Try searching Bethesda AI at its best on YT, for example. User Mupp33n uploaded a video showing how you can exploit the poor AI. Yet Skyrim still got 10/10.-Combat was frustrating as shit in Risen 2. It’s too simplified, and it was much better in Risen 1. You’re right about it. It’s too simple. BUT now, there has been a small patch released. 40mb. That’s pretty small, and yet it does great things. It adds a dodge-mechanic, and now you can block *most* monsters’ attacks too. SO it’s gotten much better now. The flickering is now gone, and a bunch of other issues have been fixed too. Of course, you didn’t play the game then, so it’s irrelevant. I’m just stating it for those curios. The game IS being patched up, and it’s already a much more smooth experience.-Anyway, back to the combat, and back to Skyrim: The combat in Skyrim is repetitive, to put it mildly. You swing and swing and swing until the enemy is dead. It’s not BAD combat, it’s just repetitive. Sure you can say yeah but you can combine magic and swords! . Yeah well, in Risen 2 you can combine firearms with swords, with voodoo, with dirty tricks like throwing sand in a guy’s eyes or throwing coconuts in his head. Risen 2 s combat isn’t all that great, but it isn’t MORE repetitive than that of Skyrim and most other RPGs out there either. Skyrim’s combat isn’t BAD, but if Risen 2 s combat helps pull the game down to a 4/10, then Skyrim’s combat should alone at least drag the score down to 8/10.-Yeah, you can’t steer your ship manually. It’s too bad that you don’t have that feature in the game. But Risen 2 is an RPG in a pirate-setting, not a pirate-game with RPG elements. Having this feature would be awesome, BUT it’s not there and that’s not something you should slaughter the game for. Once again, Skyrim: The game is all about dragons. From the early teasers, dragons were the central topic. Dragons are in the game, but how come I can’t fly my very own dragon? I CAN’T FLY A DRAGON?! GAME SUX!!!! Not to mention that dragon combat is repetitive and redundant as shit. Anyway, It would be COOL to fly a dragon, but it’s just an RPG with dragons in it. It would be cool, but the feature’s not there. There’s more than enough other features that weigh up for it.See what I’m getting at here? Risen 2 is far from a perfect game. It has issues, and even as a huge Gothic-fan, I’m frustrated and angry at some of the changes from the original game (like no swimming, simplified consolified combat and so on) but giving it a 4/10? Joe, you were solely focusing on the negative aspects of the game. SOLELY. Nearly ALL the issues of this game can be applied to most any other RPG including Skyrim, a game you gave 10/10. Again, Skyrim is a way more polished game (though it was buggy as shit in the beginning too), and it has more content.Now, I’m not saying they should’ve scored equally. But when both games have many of the same issues, and these issues drag down the overall score for one game BUT NOT THE OTHER, not even a tiny bit? Not even down to a 9/10 then don’t you think you’re doing something wrong? That you’re a tad biased? Or am I way off here?I truly hope you’ll reply to my comment (though I understand you sadly might not have time to even see it written here). Feel free to continue this over mail, I would very much like to have a conversation about this with you. A friendly one, of course.

2013-09-13 09:59:04

Bah, what a strange opinion that is. I’m sorry, you make a good point, but it still somehow doesn’t change anything.Yes, the inventory in Gothic 1 and 2 could be better, but it works. But why do you miss a doll? Why would you ever need that when you can freakin’ see your character anyway.And your argument that the starting area doesn’t make real world sense may be true, but irrelevant anyway. You know, in Gothic series, Elder Scrolls series, Might and Magic series, Nevewinter Nights series, Baldur’s gate series, Knights of the Old Republic series, The Witcher series, Diablo series, Dragon Age series hell in EVERY frickin RPG you survive fireballs, dragon’s breath, 304902 slashes thrusts and smacks from swords clubs daggers and all sorts of stuff even though it doesn’t make sense either. Yet people are somehow ok with that. Gosh, you must really hate video gaming overall. No game makes sense.I actually remember myself being glad for the starting area in Gothic 2 when I played it for the first time. Compared to Gothic 1, it was quicker and that mattered. The first game had a very secluded starting area where you had to run downhill for like 10 minutes ’till you reached some civilization finally. Until then, nothing interesting really. Just some herbs to pick up, an easiest mob in the game to kill and poor starting equipment from skeletons. No reason to return there later at any point in the game.The Gothic franchise isn’t garbage. PB however cannot make games very well. Gothic 1 and 2 have so many little issues that it should be, as Joe would say, a chore to play, yet it somehow isn’t. I mean come on. Everyone has live memories of the mine crawler queen in Gothic 1? The Old Mine overall was freakin’ difficult because of the mine crawlers, you saved the game after every mine crawler you managed to kill and then you are supposed to go after the queen. You stock up on potions food everything you can find, drink coffee, meditate and concentrate. Then you move on and it gets dark. The creepy red web. And then duh. You find out the queen is immobile and with slow attack animation. Each time you hit her, her attack animation resets. Quite a boss battle really. You swing left right for 15 minutes with your onion slicer ’till she drops dead Nowadays we call these games broken, but back then, it didn’t matter.The game still had that vibe that no other game had. The Gothic atmosphere. That is the best thing about it. Something Gothic 3 nor Risen franchise didn’t have. Good story that progressed nicely and with cool choices and quests. It’s simply bewitching to know you can choose freely whom to join and that someday you maybe get to wear that awesome armor this guy by the gate is wearing, lolThorus. So yeah, that’s it. You aren’t a genius if you found issues with Gothic games. They have a lot of them (controls! Non functioning spells! Unblockable creatures!! etc. etc.) but it doesn’t matter. Maybe we found something in the game you succesfully ignored. Myself, I had a great time through Gothic 1 and 2 and when nostalgia comes, I gladly play them even now.And I do not expect PB to release a similarly good RPG anytime soon. Gothic 1 and 2 are oddities in game industry. Games that work, but shouldn’t. Their other games simply suck (Gothic 3 is kind of OK once patched and all, but it just does not feel like Gothic anymore) and I personally think PB are trying to make a game they can not. They make good compelling stories but they are still trying to create a open-world exploration RPG of sorts which sucks. Gothic series are NOT sand box exploration games

Collapse Comment by car insurance vero
2013-09-19 03:08:02

Haha, it’s almost like I’m looking at mirror image of myself typing your comment. If your taste in gaming is like mine you should enjoy Might and Magic 6 & 7. Both games don’t have much to offer in terms of storytelling but you get to create your own party members and roam around confined areas packed with secrets and loots. They are also hard core RPGs because you have to take care stuffs like foods when you travel to another area, your party’s fatigue, and status effects which won’t go away until you treat them. Combat is in first person and it can either be done by real time or turn based when you hit the pause button.I didn’t enjoy Elder Scrolls series as much as other people did because it is less structured as a game. The game has this huge world where you are allowed to go wherever he wants, but because there isn’t much structure to it there aren’t any solid outcomes from your actions. The fans say TES series is great because you can have your own story. But what story is worth your trouble where it has no solid reference or consequence that doesn’t affect the game in any significant way? It is fine to have a fully explorable world, but if the size of the game has to water down numerous contents like quests and storytelling, your world better have intricate economy or something. In this regard Skyrim has improved over Oblivion, but it still feels static and without compelling stories and quality quests, there isn’t much drive for the player. Sure you can feel a sense of discovery by searching for quests and items but most of them end up being stale and insignificant.Although M&M series doesn’t have significant plot, each dungeon, quest, and area are all distinctive. There aren’t much copied-and-pasted content aside from monster placement and common items. The developer made this possible because maps are much smaller, and it restrict the player to go everywhere by placing obstacles that require certain skill or quest to complete.

2013-09-21 13:43:15

business.Because of that i rate games differently anyway, which you only do if ever made a game yourself and had fans on that basis.And not with youtube videos or who bribes me money or what facade i have to put up.Normally weak opinions dont interest me, I wont deal with every single user here who will go up in his arms.I want the reviewer.As for myself, i only state my opinion because i got into programming games because of the Gothic series, and because my brother shows me every video of yours because theyre funny – until now.For me personally that acted angriness and shouting is a bit too much, but everyone grows up.I enjoy watching the angry videogame nerd, i always say nothing is better than the original, right?But that surely is a minor matter, and uninteresting for you.First and foremost you can see me as a critic of your work.Its almost a personal insult against the Risen and Gothic fans, as well as the developers.There are enough silly quotes on the internet of you talking about Risen 1.Theres a lot of games out there that you are allowed “warn” about, but talking this game and the whole Series down is not fair.You call yourself a gamer, so we understand each other dont we? I mean, did you really come up with those negative points yourself?Im glad i didnt have to read “Why cant i ride dragons and shoot fireballs pew pew LOL” -1 PointSomething that isnt needed in a game like Risen 2 as a negative point? Are you serious?Or does Skyrim lose a point because i cant drive a car in the game?I wont proceed in comparing a game made by 500 people to a game made by 20 people which was made with heart and together with the community,20 developers which had very rough times.“A true Gamer honors the the hard work that developers put into their games”PS.You owe an apology to the Gothic and Risen community.for example:“My review was too harsh, im setting too high standards for the wrong game”I wont get mad if you wont show some decency.Goodbye and good luck on your future internet endeavours,Im hoping for a professional answer that can be taken seriously.

2013-09-26 02:52:52

Oh my god, reading through your pathetic whining pissed me off more than playing Mindjack (I rented it from a library for free, and i still feel like i was scammed.). He has to apologise for giving an honest review about a game? Wow.Get something straight: A reviewer gives an HONEST, PERSONAL opinnion about a game and whether he would recommend it to people or not. They don’t do it to please fans of the franchise. If you want dishonest reviews like that, check out meta-critic, you’re bound to find one there.AngryJoe reviewed that bad parts of the game, but also the good ones so it is a well-balanced opinnion and asking him to give an apology for that is utterly ridiculous.If he had just come out and bashed the game without any basis, that would be a different story. But he didn’t, he even at the end gave an advice to the developers on how it would be possible to save this franchise. But if the developers do not listen to the opinnions of reviewers or third parties, then it is a slippery slope to becoming the next Capcom.And don’t even try to pull the ‘but we are only 20 developers, not 200 like the people who made Skyrim’ card, that is bullshit and you know it.There are plenty of games out there made by crews of even less than 20 people that are of excellent quality.They are having hard times? So? That’s not an excuse, nor is it our problem.Reading between the lines here, what your post boils down to is:“I’m a fan! I don’t want people bat-mouthing a game i like, take it back!”If you don’t want to hear constructive criticism, just go outside and put your head into the sand and spare us of your fanboy whining.I know you want to stand up for something you like, hell, I like certain franchises and games myself that most would consider mediocre or bad, but just because I run into a review or opinnion of someone who didn’t like it, I don’t go into fanboy rage and write something like what you did, I just accept that the opinnion of these people is different from mine, and leave it at that.Grow up.

Collapse Comment by car insurence
2013-10-25 13:31:27

A really good answer, full of rationality!

2013-10-27 18:51:43

At last some rationality in our little debate.

2013-10-31 12:20:36

Deadly accurate answer. You’ve hit the bullseye!

2013-11-02 00:11:30

I hate my life but at least this makes it bearable.

2013-11-02 17:56:31

At last! Someone with the insight to solve the problem!

2013-11-03 23:50:48

Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are answered!

2013-11-07 10:15:00

Great common sense here. Wish I’d thought of that.

2013-11-10 16:41:56

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for writing!

Collapse Comment by auto insurance
2013-11-12 07:28:01

That’s a sharp way of thinking about it.

2013-11-13 08:58:01

At last, someone comes up with the “right” answer!

2013-11-16 00:21:02

Thanks for sharing. Your post is a useful contribution.

2013-11-20 10:20:00

God help me, I put aside a whole afternoon to figure this out.

2013-11-23 16:35:34

Perfect answer! That really gets to the heart of it!

2013-11-27 02:54:05

Ah, i see. Well that’s not too tricky at all!”

2013-11-27 22:56:10

Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

2013-12-03 04:58:17

This website makes things hella easy.

2013-12-05 10:25:14

Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a certified genius.

Collapse Comment by herb impotence
2013-12-13 21:15:17

Frankly I think that’s absolutely good stuff.

2013-12-15 09:23:30

Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep looking for your posts.

2013-12-21 06:43:48

That kind of thinking shows you’re an expert

2013-12-23 02:21:34

What a pleasure to find someone who thinks through the issues

2013-12-27 05:21:25

A good many valuables you’ve given me.

2013-12-30 11:44:58

It’s really great that people are sharing this information.

2014-01-03 06:39:45

What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for posting!

Collapse Comment by order doxycyline
2014-01-08 06:28:48

If my problem was a Death Star, this article is a photon torpedo.

2014-01-10 21:14:40

Knowledge wants to be free, just like these articles!

2014-01-24 17:59:53

Thinking like that is really amazing

2014-01-29 07:16:06

So much info in so few words. Tolstoy could learn a lot.

2014-02-07 04:04:19

Right on-this helped me sort things right out.

Collapse Comment by Alexavia
2016-04-27 13:05:10

It’s a plarusee to find someone who can think so clearly

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