Justin here, folks. Sorry I haven't been sounding off much lately, but I haven't been DOING much lately either, and since I don't have any books, movies, or games to review here, I'll just write about my weekend, which, as it turned out, was fairly exciting. As Nick mentioned in his last blog, this weekend was mine and my girlfriend's one year anniversary, and we celebrated by getting a hotel in Panama City Beach (Which is where all the douchebags go for spring break, but if you go in January, it's pretty cool.) and partaking in various activities about the town. The first thing we did was go to a cool old-school little arcade called Funland that looks like it's been around forever, and considering Mia's mom went there after her junior prom, it might have. We spent twenty dollars just playing Time Crisis and this strange little shooting game where you're both underwater and you're tasked with the mass murder of every kind of aquaic life you come across, and each level ends with you fighting some kind of mythological sea creature, such as 'Leviathan' or 'Kraken'. Aside from the boss fights, which were all pretty awesome, the game does a pretty good job of scaring the shit out of you. It's a rail game, and it makes good use of it's ability to have you spin around and be a second away from getting chomped by a shark, or getting all wrapped up in a frenzied battle with eels or tentacley beasts like the aforementioned and pictured Kraken. Funland was overall a pretty awesome experience aside from a creepy drunk/mentally handicapped janitor who crashed a child's birthday party and a register lady in the resaurant who called me 'hon' no less than fifty times in our short acquaintance and is apparently incapable of moving the two feet to the drink machine, opting instead to try to get the drink guys attention for about five minutes so I can get a refill from him instead.
The weekend's surprise awesomeness, though, happened in Pier Park, which is like a huge outdoor shopping mall. They have a place called 'Lazer Craze/Mirror Maze', which is way more awesome than it sounds. The mirror maze half of the store is basically what you'd expect, A trippy maze made out of mirrors, pictured below. But the laser craze is an all new excitement, at least to me. Basically, it's a long hallway with a mock-up laser security system, where you have to try to climb over, crawl under, or squeeze through laser beams, and hit a button on the other side in the shortest time possible. Each time you break a laser, it speeds up your time, and it's surprisingly difficult, for a tourist trap. At the beginning and the end, there are parts where not breaking a laser is virtually impossible for an adult. My end time was 143 seconds, and I hit about 3 lasers. My time was briefly at the ranking of 10th place for the whole day, but that was broken by some military guy (read: Splinter Cell) who low crawled through the whole thing right before we left, denying me my moment in the sun. The pricing for these amusements is a little steep, being about $7.50 each, or both for $13.00 per person, however, you are allowed to do each of them three times, which makes the money worth it, especially considering I've never seen or been through a laser room, and it's very fun, even though it's a little short. Overall, the Mirror Maze/Lazer Craze duo was the highlight of Pier Park, so check it out if you're in the area, or have something similar around you. Note: When we get the pictures developed, we'll have real photos of us in each of these.
Other than that, we also went shopping at Borders, where I got several of the graphic novel collections of the awesome series, Preacher. We have the whole collection in single issue form, but I strongly prefer graphic novels, and since I'm going to re-read the whole series soon, I decided to pick up the collections. If you haven't read Preacher, it's an amazing comic book series following Jesse Custer, a small town preacher (and my personal hero) who receives the power of The Genesis, which gives him the ability to make people do whatever he says, and simultaneously blows his church to shit. He then goes on a quest to find God, more or less just to make him apologize and share a few choice words. It's by far Garth Ennis's best work, and his trademark sense of humor and awesome are on full display. What really sets Preacher apart, however, is it's thematic elements, with powerful views on patriotism, love, friendship, and heroism in general. Jesse has superpowers, but he's not a superhero. He's an ex-preacher with a horrible past, girlfriend issues, bad habits, a best friend, and the kind of honor and values you only end up with if your father raised you as a cowboy. His best friend is a vampire, but he's not exactly Twilight or anything by Anne Rice. He's a drunk Irishman who lost his brother in the World War, and has never really gotten over it, and he can be a right bastard. His girlfriend is a hitwoman, but more often than not she's just a strong feminine presence trying to get Jesse to stop being such a chauvinistic John Wayne wannabe. Oh, and John Wayne's in it, too. Preacher is very hard to explain, but trust me when I say it's fucking good. So good, it's probably my favorite comic of all time, (Equal to Watchmen, The Sandman, and Hellblazer)and if that's not a glowing recommendation, I don't know what is, so if you haven't read it, do so. Stop reading this blog if you have to. And that's not even mentioning Steve Dillon's art. He defines the term 'amazing in it's simplicity'. How can a person put so much emotion in a face while drawing only about four lines?
I also bought the collection of Grant Morisson's The Filth so you can expect a review of that soon.
Aside from all that excitement, I also decided to finally buy a copy of Hard-Boiled, and I won't even bother explaining why, because that picture to the left should be all the explanation necessary.
Well, aside from that, nothing else happened, really. I bought a copy of Syberia for Nintendo DS, because I have fond memories of it on Xbox, and Mia needs something to do while I'm playing my PS3. For those who don't know, Syberia was a really cool, stylish, and weird puzzle game that pretty much slipped completely under the radar. It follows Kate Walker, a young up-and-coming lawyer from New York who has traveled to Europe to help her client purchase The Voralberg Automaton Factory. I won't talk about it too much, so as not to ruin the story, but it involves an awesome automaton companion with a british accent, woolly mammoths, and a psychotic stalker obsessed with a piano player in a hellish abandoned factory. It's definitely worth a buy if you dig puzzle/mystery games, and it's cheap. We paid $20 for a brand new copy on the DS, and the years old Xbox version is probably even cheaper now.