Posts Tagged ‘of’

The Troll’s Opinion – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, first of all: Spoiler Alert! This review is full of descriptions of important parts of the movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and don’t want to mess up your own experience, do yourself a favor and do not read this. You have been warned.

I admit that I am a person who really believes the hype, unlike what a certain rap song tries to tell me. But when I saw the first teaser for Transformers 2, or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I was sold. And after my big brother teased me even more by going to the premiere of the movie in the US, I just had to see it too. So, I grabbed my buddy Daniel, and we went to the movies.

So, in case you can’t be bothered with reading this whole review, let me sum it up for you in the words of the Nostalgia Critic: adequately satisfying. Starting off very good, the film had its moments of random, forced humor and stupid scenes that just didn’t contribute to the movie. So, how did it go, Aki?

Well, as I said, the movie starts off extremely well, showing us how the Autobots that remained on Earth work together with a special military unit called NEST to seek and destroy remaining Decepticons. During an operation in Shanghai, the Autobots and their organic buddies blow up half of the city, and the American government is anything but pleased. Arguing that the Autobots will just draw more Decepticons to Earth, a representative of the President demands them to leave, so that Earth will not become the battlefield for an alien vendetta. Optimus Prime, still being voiced by the awesome Peter Cullen, understands the fear of the humans, but knows that the recent growth of Decepticon activity has a completely different reason, namely the return of the so-called “Fallen”… (insert dramatic music here).

Meanwhile, our protagonist Samuel Witwicky (Shia LeBouef) prepares for leaving to his college in Europe (by the looks of it, I guess he’s studying in Britain). While calling his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan “Hot Piece of Booty” Fox), he discovers a sliver of the Allspark in one of his old, torn-up sweaters. As Sam touches the shard, he is infused with the knowledge of weird, alien symbols, and turns into a complete mindfuck in the coming days. The height of his possession comes during his first astronomy class, and afterwards he paints the walls of his dorm full with the cryptic signs. This seems to draw the attention of a hot co-ed, who turns out to be A FREAKING DECEPTICON! Since when do Transformers take the form of a human?

Oh well, it all turns awesome when the Decepticons start to hunt Sam because of his knowledge, which seems to be the travelling guide to some kind of Sun-sucking machine, which turns the energy of stars into pure Energon, the lifeforce of every Cybertronian. However, the Autobots know what it means when the Decepticons, now clearly lead by the enigmatic Fallen, would blast out the sun: not only would the entire human race be doomed, but the Decepticons would have enough Energon to raise a whole army, even without the Allspark. A thrilling race against time starts, full of explosions, epic battles, a bit of romance and the death of Optimus Prime.

Who-whoa-whoa-what?! Optimus freaking Prime dies? No worries, crying fanboys, he is resurrected, but I was kinda shocked when he was stabbed to death by Megatron (who’s voiced again by Elro…ehh, Mr. Smi…ehh, Hugo Weaving). Even though this is a good twist, I can’t help it but feeling like this movie could have been so much more…

Of course, it had some really awesome stuff. For example, Jetfire is one of the coolest Transformers I have ever seen: old, senile and relying on a walking stick / battleaxe to walk around. Everytime he talked, I had to think of all those Vietnam veterans telling their cruel war stories. Jetfire is even so old, that his transformation looks clunky and anything but smooth! Also, the special effects and combat scenes are off the chain. Just like in the first movie, the fights between gigantic robots, with little human soldiers crawling beneath them look unbelievable epic and awesome. And last but not least, there’s not just one very pretty lady in this flick, but two (even though the second turns out to be some brain-eating killer machine)!

Still, this movie is flawed in several ways, suffering clearly of Sequelilitis. Some of the dialogue just feels crappy and rather weird, and the kid-friendly characters like the twins Mudflap and Skids started to annoy me the second they were introduced. Furthermore, the ending is anything but satisfying, turning Optimus Prime into Ultra Optimus Prime and having him one-shot the Big Bad Evil Guy a.k.a. The Fallen. The directors could have really extened that fight, just to give the viewers a satisfying ending. Believe me, I left the cinema with very mixed feelings.

However, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is not a bad movie, it’s just not as good as its predecessor. The whole movie just doesn’t feel as epic, dramatic and cool, and just lacks the genuine “kick” of the first one. Still, this movie offers enough to be worth its money: it is a firework of special effects, large-scale combat and even a bit of romance and family drama. It’s not a movie for everyone, but most surely one for us guys who just love to pop open a beer, lean back and enjoy the show. Autobots, transform and roll out!




The Geek Pit

People who know me know my geek-potential, which is quite high. So, to figure out how geeky I truly am, they ask me questions like: Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers? Pokémon or Digimon? Dungeons & Dragons or Tunnels & Trolls? Well, most of the time, I just ignore queries like those, but one question just keeps coming back:

“Aki, are you more in the Star Wars or the Star Trek camp?”

Frankly, I don’t even know. So, to see which of these two franchises can conquer my heart, I’ll have them duke it out in The Geek Pit: Star Wars vs. Star Trek! In a three-round epic battle, we will see which science-fiction brand is King of the Hill! A word of caution: I do not base this fight on any objective perception and empirical study, just on my bare gut feeling. So in case you’re not sharing my opinion…don’t try to find out where I live.

Round 1: Creativity

When it comes to science-fiction, I like my shows to be in some way original, and not just as some carbon copy of something I have seen a million times. Both Star Trek and Star Wars are the foundation of many of our modern sci-fi clichés, but what was their “catching phrase” when they came out, and which one was better?

When Star Trek aired in 1966, it had some very creative stuff: spaceships flying at post-light speed called “warp”, alien races that were either friendly or extremely deadly, and the technology to “beam” objects and living beings around. Later on, Star Trek discovered that their fanbase was largely made up of PhD’s and semi-scientists, so they could turn it up to eleven and add even more half-true technobabble, giving the franchise the reputation for being quite a “realistic” outlook on how our future could look. However, this made the show also very, very heavy and somehow even truly philosophical, which is not exactly what you want on your Friday evening while enjoying a cold beer.

Eleven years later, the first Star Wars movie aired. Before going into premiere, George Lucas organized a private presentation of the film for the crew and their friends and family. After the movie ended, George’s wife just said: “What an amount of bullshit” (or something like that). Well, miss Lucas, apparently science-fiction fans just LOVE bullshit, since the franchise is the best-selling movie series after James Bond and Harry Potter. What makes Star Wars stand out is the unique combination of science-fiction technology and space-faring heroes with classical fantasy elements like the quest of a Chosen One and an order of noble knights using a mysterious power (the Jedi and the Force). Definitely, Star Wars is a lot more epic than its rival: it has the bigger space-fights, the more dramatic one-on-one-duels and that gritty feel to it. All in all, the whole concepts and ideas behind this brand are more accessible to the broad public than Star Trek is.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my share of intellectual talk about the probability that a worm hole could end in subspace, causing a spaceship to be reduced to nothing but quantum particles. But let me tell you where Star Wars has the cutting edge when it comes to creativity and shaping the science-fiction genre, next to epic storytelling and revolutionary shots: lightsabers. Say whatever you want, but lightsabers are the coolest thing that ever came from a director’s mind. So, I have to say…Round 1 goes to Star Wars!

Round 2: Coming of age

Now, we all know that both franchises are old: Star Trek turned 43 this year, and Star Wars is just ten years younger. However, my question is: how did both franchises evolve over time?

The Star Trek franchise spawned six television series and about a dozen full-length feature movies, each exploring different parts of that big Star Trek cosmos. Until today, nerds fight about who is the best captain, and what ship was the most awesome. But in the end, all that matters is that Star Trek was one heck of a productive franchise in these last 43 years, and…the women on the show got more gorgeous! Nichelle Nichols a.k.a. Uhura from the Original Series was not THAT special, but just look at Jeri Ryan a.k.a. Seven of Nine. Damn, if all Borg looked that HOT, I would get myself assimilated ASAP!

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Now, women are not everything (but, frankly, quite much), but Star Trek did quite some other stuff to keep itself alive, with its latest spawn being the new Star Trek movie. Even though most Trekkies (including me) are disappointed, the movie did manage to give Star Trek a young and more action-packed face. This franchise isn’t dead yet, even though it limits its presence mostly to telly shows and big-screen movies.

Star Wars, on the other hand, made sure to fully use every medium available, and did especially well on the novel and comic book market. Also, the “new” trilogy gave the whole saga an even more epic presentation, giving Lucas the chance to show the world what he really had in mind when he started filming the original trilogy way back in the seventies. Also, media coming out under the label of “Expanded Universe” keeps the cosmos of Star Wars growing and growing, elaborating on existing storylines and adding new ones. The television show “The Clone Wars” used quite an original animation style to depict the events between episode II and III, and novels and comics based around the movies just keep coming.

However, Star Wars didn’t change much in these 33 years. Where the Star Trek franchise actually at least tried to look like it changed (changing crews, ships and locations in the universe), the galaxy of Star Wars just remained the same for the ignorant observant. So, I’m afraid I have to cut Star Trek some slack here. Round 2 goes to Star Trek!

Final Round: Memorable characters

No matter how good your plot is, no matter how expensive your special effects are: if your characters are dull and boring, your story is an instant failure. Luckily, both Star Trek and Star Wars are rich with thrilling personas, races and factions. But which brand has the coolest of ‘em?

When it comes to Star Trek, most people will think of either Captain James Kirk or Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as they are the hallmark of the different captains. In pop culture, these two have become the reason for the geekiest of discussions: which captain is better? However, Star Trek has some other quite interesting characters, like Scotty, Data, Seven of Nine (forgive me, but…RAWR!) and the hologram Doctor. Unfortunately, most of these never really got into the common mass media, and stay quite unremembered outside of the nerd-o-sphere.

Enter Star Wars, a brand that managed to create the most stereotype of sci-fi bad guys, who’s most renowned quote gets abused so often in pop culture it’s not even funny anymore: Darth Vader. Who DOESN’T know him? His suit, helmet and voice are more than remarkable, and what bad guy can say he has a theme like him? Pure awesome! But we’re not done yet! Who’s green and never heard of grammar, but kicks your ass anytime? Oh yes, Jedi Master Yoda! Another character that gets quoted so often and somehow everyone tries to speak like the little gnome, but fails miserably due to being educated in linguistic structures. Even sidekicks like Admiral Ackbar made it into pop culture just because of one damn line!

So, I hate to break it to you, but this final round just has to go to Star Wars. I think we have a winner!


But don’t worry, Trekkies, it’s not like I don’t like your stuff. If you just had light sabers and Force powers, instead of technobabble and Vulcans…



On the horizon: Star Wars – The Old Republic

You cannot tell me this is not so awesome and epic. It might be because I have the hots for Star Wars and everyone who uses a lightsaber as his primary weapon, but I’m still drooling all over this.

Of course, I know of Star Wars: The Old Republic for quite awhile. After seeing how Star Wars: Galaxies by SOE failed miserably as they made essential changes to the core concepts of the game, I believed that LucasArts wouldn’t trust anyone ever again when it comes to turning the good ol’ franchise into an innovative and progressive MMO. But I guess when BioWare, creators of renown games like “Knights of the Old Republic” and “Mass Effect”, came knocking on my door to create a game based on my gazillion-dollar-franchise, I would have a hard time to say no.

But what makes me have so much trust in this title, except for the fact it is made by a group of people who obviously know how to create an immersive experience? Well, call it a marketing technique, but it definitly got me hooked: BioWare wants to add a missing element to the MMO world: story. Now I know that most MMOs at the moment already have some kind of story backdrop, but think about it…what direct impact does the story have on YOUR character? Does it influence him in any way, except on a role-playing level? I think not. All the MMOs I’ve played so far had good background stories, but all of them were just that: background.

BioWare strives to creating a personal storyline for every class. In that storyline your character will have choices to make, and this choices will make your story different from that of someone else who plays exactly the same class. Think about the following: you are fighting a grim battle against the man who killed your beloved one years ago, but who also happens to be the only one who knows how to get off of this hellhole planet. In an epic battle, you have the chance to wrangle your arch-nemesis to the ground, ready for taking the final blow. And here comes the choice: do you let vengeance guide you, and kill this bastard, or do you let him live, so he can get you off the planet? The choice is yours. Believe me, if this works out like I hope it will, I guarantee goosebump-moments and some epic storytelling. And guess what I just LOVE in video games?

The other thing that really interests me is the setting BioWare picked: the Old Republic. This sets the game several thousand years before the rise of Darth Vader, and lets us play in a time where Jedis and other force-wielding persons were more common than in the “default” Star Wars setting. This will also make it more plausible for having quite some Jedis and Sith as characters, unlike what SOE did in Star Wars: Galaxies. Still, BioWare should make sure to not screw up the immersion: the Force is still a very rare gift, and the last thing I want to see is a server population of 75% Jedis, and 25% other classes.

Which leads me to my only real problem with this game: handling Jedis and Sith. Personally, I liked SOE’s early approach to “Jedihood” in the early months of Star Wars: Galaxies. Players had to fulfill a long, long chain of quests, which took you a very long time to beat. At the end of this chain, you had to face a very hard and perilous trial, and only if you could beat that, your character rose into the rank of a Jedi, wielding power unlike most other characters on the server. This made Jedis rare and unique, and it just felt right. Of course it was not the fairest way to handle it, but it kept the amount of these gifted people low.

As we all know, SOE changed that later, in a way that was just completely sick: everyone could roll a Jedi from the very START. This threw off the balance of the game, and was the essential suicide of the whole game. So how will BioWare work around this? Jedi and Sith as a starting class, or as something you have to “unlock”? Or will they take some complete new approach? I can hardly wait to see what these geniuses will do!

Until then, I can only say “May the Force be with you”!



The Hunt for Gollum

You want to know what kind of stuff you can do with about $3000? Well, you could go on a very expensive shopping spree, or get yourself a very, very nice second-hand car. But I know something even better: making one heck of an awesome Lord of the Rings fan movie.

Certainly the most entertaining 40 minutes of my Sunday afternoon.



Solutions, friends…solutions!

Well, most quotes from my last post were more than easy. But I heard from several sources that the remaining quotes were extremely hard to guess without using Google-Fu or someother research martial art. Well, folks, let’s solve this puzzle once and for all!

“The video arcade is down the street. Here we just sell small rectangular objects. They’re called books. They require a little effort on your part, and make no bee-bee-bee-bee-beeps. On your way please.”

People who know me can tell that if there is one movie from my childhood that left a damn big impression, it must be Neverending Story. Seen from a professional point of view, the movie wasn’t THAT good. Compared to the book it is based on, it even kinda sucked. But boy, did I LOVE the sight of Falcor the Luck Dragon. And guess what? My mood still gets all sunny when I see that smiling dog-like face! But who actually said that quote? Well, it was this grumpy old librarian…

Mr. Koreander, the stereotypical old man who just KNOWS that kids know longer read books, but are only entertained by the sight of virtual bloodshed and high scores. Little did he know that one day, a socially awkward boy named Bastian would stumble into his bookstore, and that a book from his collection would send that child on the adventure of a lifetime…

“Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

I’m keeping this one short, because it is terrible easy: Aragorn from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. That wasn’t TOO hard?

“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

There are some movies that are so awesome, that not seeing them is just a sin. A cardinal sin. One of these movies is Forrest Gump, another one is The Dark Knight. I think it’s more than clear from what movie this quote is, right?

“Me? I’ve had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am… I am a faun. Your most humble servant, Your Highness.”

Guillermo del Toro is one of the biggest visionaries when it comes to movies. One of his most memorable movies is Pan’s Labyrinth. The movie revolves around a little girl in Spain during World War 2, who flees from the horror that reality is, and finds refuge in her own imagination. The movie has a somehow sad ending, but is filled with memorable scenes and creatures. The most memorable of them is the scary, yet somehow charming Faun, who has a firm place in my movie memory. I mean, look at him, you just have to love him!

“I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne. Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky…”

Indiana Jones. But which one, and from who’s lips? Well, this one is from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, my favorite of all the Indy-movies. Not just because of the epic storyline around the Holy Grail, but also because of Sean Connery, and his role as Professor Henry Jones. No, not as DOCTOR Henry Jones, that’s his son. Connery knows how to play the charming, yet somehow strange and bizarre old man with his ivory-tower approach. Still, you score about 500 points in my book when you quote Carolus Magnus, or Charlemagne for those who slack in Latin.

“Sam, wait! No matter what happens, I’m really glad I got in that car with you.”

Transformers, duh! But, ladies: guys didn’t watch this movie just for the shape-shifting cars. No, there was a certain other reason…

“None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with me.”

Yes, we know that, Rorschach. You made your point quite clear by incapacitating several of your inmates. But still, Watchmen is a terrible awesome movie, even though a gigantic blue penis is waiting around the corner of every scene. Ahh well, it could be worse, huh?



Stitching Up

“An’ dere I was, wit’ a bunch of bunnies an’ hares, not knowin’ what ta do wit’ em. An’ ya wanna know what I did?” The scarred Troll looked at the Orcish soldiers in front of him, and they just shrugged.

“Well, we Trolls have an’ old sayin’: if life gives ya bunnies, make stew out of ’em! And dat what I did. Was da best stew I had in’ ages!” The Orcs laughed, but turned silent when a tall and heavily armoured Blood Elf entered the improvised tent. The Blood Elf was accompanied by two bodyguards. Both were of High Elf origin, yet their eyes had a green glow, coming from their addiction to all things arcane. Their leader looked at this assembly with a cold glare. The Troll just smirked, and walked towards him.

“Ahh, Commander Dawncaller. What can we do fer ya?” he asked, saluting.

“I thought that you already prepared your soldiers for our assault on the Wintergrasp Fortress, Akinya. Yet they are still not armed, or donned in their armours.” Commander Dawncaller looked at the Orcs, and most of them looked away. They heard of the harsh treatment the Blood Elf gave his subordinates, and were not willing to feel his wrath. The cold of Northrend had already taken hold in his heart.

“Ya be just lookin’ wit ya eyes, Commander. I donned these soldiers in da armour of confidence, and gave ’em a blade sharper than anythin’ in da world: conviction.” A young Orc laughed silently, and even Dawncaller’s bodyguards had to smirk. The Commander, however, was not amused. He glared in anger into the old eyes of the Troll, and lifted his eyebrows.

“Tell your troopers to prepare for the assault. Afterwards, come to my tent. I have a special mission for you, shaman…” Dawncaller left the tent, followed by his two servants. Once the Blood Elves had left, Akinya turned towards his subordinates.

“Get into ya plate, and grab yer’ axes. But when ya meet da Alliance on da battlefield, oppose ’em with our strongest weapons: strength and honour!” The Orcs raised their hands, and let out a fearsome battle-cry.

Akinya entered the tent of the Commander, who looked down on a map of Wintergrasp. Slowly, he was moving around wooden pieces, representing his troops and units. Dawncaller seemed to be fascinated by the strategies he tried, but got drawn out of his trance by a Tauren sitting behind him on a few furs. Akinya looked over to the Tauren, and recognized him: Horoan Blackhoof, but for most he was simply “Ro”. Ro was dressed in light mail armour, his shoulders adorned with the heads of two majestic bears. His dark eyes pierced through Akinya, but were suddenly filled with joy.

“Akinya! My trusty, old shaman! When was the last time we saw each other?” the Tauren asked, walking towards his old friend to embrace him.

“I think it was in da Howlin’ Fjord, when I saved ya from a band o’ bloodthirsty Vrykul.”

“You didn’t save me! You just bought me some more time!” Akinya and Ro laughed loud and long, but the Commander and his bodyguard stared at them, surprised by the warmth and friendliness they offered each other.

“As soon as you are done with your nostalgic chattering, could you return your attention to the head of this operation, which happens to be me, Eriel Dawncaller?” Both the Troll and the Tauren cleaned their throats, and saluted quickly. Dawncaller moved around the wooden pieces on the map, and starting his explanation.

“I ordered both of you here because our assault on the Wintergrasp Fortress has an extra dimension to it today, gentlemen. Last week, one of our elite agents infiltrated the Wintergrasp Fortress, to assassinate one of the big players of the Alliance. However, our agent was betrayed by our own men, and the Alliance has locked him up beneath the Fortress, inside an intricate cavern system. We need to extract our agent alive, for he might have vital information about the military action of the Alliance.”

“So, who is da agent? An’ if he so good, why did he fail?” Akinya asked.

“A Knight of the Ebon Blade, named Nason Silverpath. He has often helped us ou…”

“Nason?! Ya don’t say! Ya sent dat nit-wit of a rotten corpse ta infiltrate? All he can do is swingin’ ’round big weapons an’ act all…well, dead!” Both Ro and Dawncaller looked puzzled at Akinya, and the Commander raised his right eyebrow.

“It seems like you know all my soldiers personally, Troll. Maybe you invite them too often to your ‘shamanistic vision parties’, right?”

“Nahh, I meet most of ’em in da sick bay, an’ chattin’ wit’ ’em while stitchin’ dem up is quite enjoyin’. Believe me, dat Silverpath fellow was often in my ‘patching tent’. He was also part of the group I saved in Icecrown, ya know.” Dawncaller nodded, and moved around two big wooden pieces: one went towards the front entrance of the fort, the other to the western wall.

“The problem is that the only useful entrance to these caverns lies right inside the Fortress. My solution to this problem is the following: we will split up their forces by putting the heat at both the front gate and the western wall. As soon as we have breached one point, you will both slip in, and sneak towards the courtyard. The entrance is hidden in a drainage entrance. Just follow the drainage down, and you will come into the caverns. Be careful there: we don’t have any intelligence on what or who is guarding Silverpath. Any questions, gentlemen?” Ro raised his hand, and Eriel gave him permission to speak.

“Why did you pick us for this mission? I am just a hunter who knows how to track his prey, and Akinya is a field medic, so to speak. We both have military experience, but I do not consider us experts on the field of extraction.” The Commander nodded, and started to walk around.

“You might lack the experience, but both of you show great potential. Akinya has proven his worth last month, as he saved a group of our elite soldiers from an aerial assault in Icecrown. And you, Horoan Blackhoof, always find your prey. As soon as find Nason Silverpath, Akinya can stitch him up quickly, while you find a way out. With a healthy Knight of the Ebon Blade on your side, you will also have additional firepower. Any more questions?” Ro and Akinya turned silent, and Eriel Dawncaller saw this as a sign to dismiss them. They left his tent, preparing for this dangerous task…

La Familia – How gaming with the family works

My guildies know it: not just I, but my brother and my sister are devoted WoW-gamers as well. Even though I am the one who brought this plague into our household, I am not the one who hooked them up, at least not intentional.

Still, people ask me: “Isn’t it annoying to game alongside people who you have around twenty-four-seven?” My answer is: “Nope, it is just very handy!” Why? Well, let me illustrate with an example.

November 13, 2008: Wrath of the Lich King hit the stores! However, my brother Phil had to work, and I had to be at the university. So, the two of us couldn’t pick up our little blue boxes in the morning, install them and have a game of exploring Northrend. Normally one of us would have to pick up the copies in the afternoon then, and install them. This would cost us precious leveling time however, and put us at the end of waiting queues for quest mobs.

Our solution: our dear little sister Julia a.k.a. Kibina. Julia is an almost 18-year old girl who has grown up with video games from the start. She witnessed how my brother and me killed Jafar in the SNES-version of “Aladdin”. She shared our frustration at several boss encounters in “Final Fantasy VII”, and had her first console shooter experience in “Halo”. Sometimes, I blame myself for ruining her life, and injecting her with the virus we all call “video gaming”. On the other hand, I see how much she can enjoy a good video game, and as long as she’s happy, everything’s fine, right?

Well, back to my example. Julia had a day off on that fateful day, and “volunteered” to get up early, hit the local toy shop, get our three copies of The Rage of the Rich King, and now comes the best part: she installed and patched it on ALL THREE computers. Also, she upgraded all three accounts to Wrath of the Lich King! So when I got back home, I found my laptop showing the log-in screen, and my sister telling me everything was ready for my trip to Northrend. Sarcastically, I replied: “What?! Akinya ain’t eighty yet!? You failed me again, Execu-eh, Julia!” Of course, she ignored it, and continued her rampage across the Howling Fjord.

This is just one example of how advantageous it can be to have your brother and sister gaming with you. Also, the three of us can form a stable basis for a Heroic Dungeon troupe: two damage-dealers and a healer. Yes, it would be better if we had an “in-house” tank, but that was not the way Destiny wanted it. But believe me, it is a good feeling to assemble 60% of a group in mere seconds.

But you know what the coolest thing is about this? The trash talk! You won’t believe the amount of hilarious things that come up when sitting next to each other. Real-life topics get dragged into WoW content, and WoW content gets dragged into real-life topics. We start discussing tactics for our fight against Rivendare’s Pony Club, and end somewhere talking about the boobs of Alliance races. No wipe is bad enough to kill our sarcastic statements and freaky topics.

When the day comes that we all move out of our parent’s house, I guess that somehow, gaming will become different to me. I mean, not just WoW, but all kinds of gaming. I think I will miss to have someone to challenge to Guitar Hero, to tell me how bad I suck at Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, to clean the floor with in Tekken, and to experience Guild First Kills in WoW. Luckily, that day hasn’t come yet, and my brother can still disturb my peaceful TV-watching with the legendary line: “Yo fatty, wanna go HC?!”

And hopefully, that line will repeat itself another thousand times…