I Did a Thing…

So, I did something yesterday:

I’ve been thinking of getting an XBOX One for a little while now. Yes, I’m a Linux user, but I don’t hate Microsoft, I just don’t like Windows, their game consoles are great. My 360 is several years old now and it has a 60GB hard drive. That was OK, but digital games take up more space than they used to. So, I figured I’d upgrade. I looked at new 360 E consoles on the odd chance they would be cheaper. Nope. For about the price of a 1TB XBOX One S, I could get a 4GB 360. A 360 with decent storage was more than the One S. So, I figured I’d get a One S with my Federal tax return. Then I was on the official XBOX site yesterday and I saw that Microsoft was having a deal where, if you bought an XBOX One directly from them you got a free game. I love free, so I took a look. No need to wait for my Federal return, I crunched some numbers and decided I could afford one. The XBOX One X is $499, but I don’t need one of those. It has beefier hardware and is designed for 4K TVs. Well, I have a 1080p TV, so no need for the One X. Besides, the One S can output to 4K, but it’s not designed around 4K like the One X is. But, the One X was out of my price range anyway. The One S, on the other hand, was totally affordable. I looked at a couple 1TB bundles that were $299, but the one I wanted wasn’t in stock. So, I kept going back to that Halo bundle. I love me some Halo, so that was calling to me. Sure, it’s only a 500GB system, but I can always add an external hard drive later. So, I put that in my cart.

When it came time to select my free game, there were a lot of good games there. However, Star Wars: Battlefront II was calling to me, so I selected that. However, that wasn’t all, it let me pick a second free game! So, I selected Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, as I’ve been wanting to dive into some Assassin’s Creed for some time now. So, everything in the picture was $279 plus tax, shipping was free. And, it’s super cool that the two free games are physical copies, I was expecting download codes, like I got with the bundled Halo games. They always tell you that free shipping is 3-7 day, hoping you’ll pay for more expensive options. Nope, I’ll way. It turns out the wait wasn’t long. Less than 24 hours, in fact. I saw that FedEx truck pull up front, hurriedly disarmed the security system and unlocked the door. (and maybe freaked out the driver a bit, but he’ll survive) Anyway, I took it out of the plain box, posed it, snapped a pic and then tore into it. (not literally, I opened it like a civilized person) So, it’s hooked up where my 360 was and it’s updating right now. I have to go to work in a bit, but I’m looking forward to doing some game play after work.

So, I’ve never ordered anything physical from Microsoft before, just digital stuff. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty darn impressed with their service.

Discovery Ships

OK, let me start by saying I don’t like “Star Trek” Discovery. (yes, Star Trek is in quotes, like I do with Into Darkness) Oh, how I wanted to like it. I gave it the ol’ college try, signed up for a 1 week free trial of BS All Access. Discovery was the only show I watched, so I went to cancel my sub before having to pay and they offered a month free. So, I accepted and continued with Discovery. The first two episodes (pilot) were OK, kind of like a long prologue for the series, a movie lead-in if you will. I dealt with the visual changes. Yes, the Klingons are fugly, their ships resemble nothing Klingon from before and I didn’t care much for the Starfleet designs at all. I don’t like the uniforms, sets or the ships. At least, I didn’t like them for the 2250s era. I get why this was done. Much like the Kelvin timeline movies, CBS didn’t actually make this series, they’re just putting their name on it and distributing it. So, nothing is allowed to look like it did originally, so it’s a visual reboot. However, I can look past the visuals if the story is good and if I like the characters. This is where I had issues. Like I said, the two parter was decent. I thought it was a strong lead-in for the series. I liked the characters OK, and thought it was really interesting having the main character be a prisoner. Then the rest of the episodes started, the “main story,” if you will. It pretty much jumped the shark right at that point, in my opinion.

After they got to the Discovery, the whole thing fell apart for me. For starters, adding tension by having everyone blame Buhrman for the war is stupid. Even if Starfleet tried peaceful solutions, they had to know from past experiences that the Klingons were going to fire upon them. I mean, it happened all the time on Enterprise whenever Archer tried being nice. War was inevitable, yet Starfleet has adopted this illogical attitude that it was all her fault. That’s just stupid. Anyway, what makes it worse is that the characters are all unlikable for me. Buhrman turned into this creature of self pity whose permanent stank face got on my nerves after about 5 minutes. (and the chick playing her is hot, so that’s saying a lot) Lorca is a totally unlikable character for me and always was. Stameets started off really annoying, but did get a little better before I stopped watching. Tilly was probably the most likable character. Then there was Saru. I thought he was OK until he created a computer program to “grade” him as acting Captain based on the performances of other captains. That’s where I lost any respect for him. I have no problem with any of the actors, they were just badly written. Then there was “Haryy Mudd.” Sure, let’s take one of the most beloved scoundrels in Star Trek and completely change him. Plus, they got Rainn Wilson to play him and I can’t stand Rainn.

Aside from the characters, the writing on the show is just bad. Really bad science, anachronistic technology and just dumb plots and plot devices. Please, a SPORE DRIVE!? C’mon, let’s get serious here! That’s a horrible plot device, and the way the saucer spins looks stupid. Also, there are many times where Starfleet officers on the show ignored rules, including the Prime Directive, and there’s no repercussions to it. Starfleet even ordered them to do it at times. Ugh.

So, is it all bad? I stopped watching after the episode “Choose Your Pain.” I chose to end mine and not watch that show anymore. I’d rather watch The Orville, which is more Star Trek than Discovery is. Hell, many Star Trek alums have even lent their talents to the series. But, there is one redeeming thing about Discovery: John Eaves. Anyone who is familiar with my blog should know that I’m an Eaves fan. Before I even knew who he was, I loved his work. I bought his sketchbook on the movies Generations and First Contact back when it came out because I love his style and his designs. And, he’s the main concept illustrator on Discovery, or at least he was for 9 episodes. I don’t know if he’s still with the show, but he’s working on some movies too. His work is very much in demand.

Anyway, my friend Dan “Madkoifish” Uyeno posted these on a forum, the only CGI forum I still participate in:

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