Mount&Blade: Friggin’ Finally!

So, I finally got Mount and Blade: Warband and not only that, but Total War: Shogun 2 showed up on the same day!  Unable to decide which on I wanted to play first, I left it up to my fiancée.  She told me to play Shogun first, so I did.

Little did she realize, both Warband and Shogun are computer games.  She thought she had one-upped me by getting me to play a console game, when in reality they’re both computer games.

So we still have to share the computer so that she can play her Facebook games and play Gaia Online.  So needless to say, I didn’t get to play it at the first opportunity.  She had a bunch of stuff to do in retaliation for being attacked by someone in this little Backyard Monsters game that she plays on Gaia.

I mentioned that her defenses looked a little week and spread thin and that was probably the reason the guy who had attacked her had done so well.  So she decided to hire an Independent Military Contractor to help rearrange her base: Me.

I instructed her on where to put her buildings, arranging her resource-producing buildings in a ring around her base’s central command center.  I told her that the resource buildings will act as the last-line of defense against losing her command center, which basically results in immediate defeat.

At that point we put her long-range defensive towers in amongst the resource buildings, which confused her.  She asked why the stronger and longer-range weapons weren’t put out on the last line of defense where they could shoot at things before they even made it into the facility.

I told her that they could shoot over the things placed in front of them, so the buildings we put in front of the long-range defensive towers, like the short-range cannon towers, will act as a wall before the enemy can take out that sniper cannon tower.

With the towers in place to protect the inner, and outer, buildings of the base…we placed the tertiary buildings such as her monster hatchery that produces monsters and the housing where they are kept (monsters are attack-only, they just get killed when the base is attacked for some reason, rather than defend it), and her catapult to fling monsters at an enemy to attack them.  All things she doesn’t need to rebuild the base if it is damaged, all mostly offensive buildings: If the base is damaged, we can still fix it but can’t attack.  Unlike when I came in where she was screwed and struggling to rebuild the damaged parts to full efficiency.

Then we placed a surrounding wall around all the buildings and put the short-range cannons along this wall.  Unfortunately a cap limit on how many sections of wall you can build left an opening surrounding her housing, making them prime targets for an attack.

So we mined it with a bunch of booby traps.  People will send their monsters in to attack through the open angle and get laid to waste by the covering fire of a cannon, a sniper tower, an electro-shock rail gun kind of tower, and a bunch of land mines.

She has since fought off three attacks with minimal to no damage and laid waste to the guy who attacked her three times, leveling up to the #2 ranking among her friend’s list (she was struggling in fourth and trying to reclaim third place when I started to help her).

With all that done…I started my installation of Shogun at a little after 2 in the morning.  First it installed Steam and forced me to make a Steam account.  Then I had to restart the disc to get it to install the actual game.

It told me the installation would take 29 minutes.  So I spent some time with my little wifey woman reading Black Bird with her, and then went back to the computer just as it said to put Disc 2 in.  I switched discs and it told me it would be another 19 minutes…so I bothered my sweetie-pie a little more.

Finally it was all done and I tried to start the game, at which point it told it had to download an update and it would take 11 minutes.  So I let the wife play her little Backyard Monster game again for a bit while it downloaded in the background.

By the time everything was said and done…it was a quarter ‘till four in the morning.  I started the game up and only then realized: Nope, I’m in more of a Warband mood, anyway.

So…at about five after four in the morning, I installed Warband.  That took about fifteen seconds.  Then I went to bed…maybe tonight I’ll actually get to play something.


Review: Black Bird, vol. 1-4

I talked about buying Mount&Blade while at a Half Price Books store, but let me now talk about the other things we bought.  Given my occupation I have plenty of time to read, but I have to constantly look up to examine bits of movement on a camera or examine passersby.  That being the case, full-text novels are ill-suited for my job posting.  But graphic novels and comic cooks are perfect!

As such my fiancée and I raided the graphic novel section and came away with some gems.  I got a pair of comic books about a Catholic Kunoichi (female ninja) named Shi, also the title of the comics, which sounded somewhat interesting and each comic was only 50 cents, so I got both of the ones they had of her.

We also picked up a copy of the Witchblade manga and a copy of the giant manga, Clover.  I didn’t have much interest in Clover, and I hesitate to take Withblade to work because it has an almost naked woman on the front covers and I don’t want people to think I’m reading pornography while on duty.

Nonetheless, we also picked up the first four issues of this little manga called Black Bird, by Sakurakoji Kanoko.  At the time I thought it was Yaoi, man-on-man comic book porn, because both of the characters on the front looked like flat-chested women; which is what yaoi men generally look like.

I come to find that it is actually a yaoi-like man, holding on to a sixteen year old girl.  That explains the flat-chestedness…that and she’s wearing a tight kimono which flattens them anyway.

The mixture of sweetness and humor is blended well in Black Bird and I find it speaks deeply to my own relationship with my future wife.  In more ways than I readily admit, actually.

If I could cite one problem with the story it is the main character Misao’s repetitiveness.  She has a tendency to repeat the same things multiple times in soliloquy-style thought bubbles.

But other than that, it is very nice artistically and it has a good story; especially suggestible for romance-buffs.  If you’re looking for nothing but hard-core action, you might be disappointed with Black Bird; then again if you’re looking for mindless action a Steven Seagal movie is probably more your taste than a manga anyway.


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