Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekly Shlockness with John Mikula

                I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve just had a day that was stuffed to the brim with Shlockness. My partner in slime Mike came over to the house, we started a new Let’s play, we got another ‘how far can we get’ done and now at 12 o’clock midnight I’ve got to write this blog for you, our lovely and talented readers. Sure, it’s technically not Saturday anymore but I hope beyond hope that y’all can find it in your hearts to forgive me on account of I just spent ten hours before hand making content for you clowns! I’m sorry; I don’t mean to snap at you. I’ve just been having a rough time down at the office. I lost the Henderson account, someone stole the cookies out of my lunch, and I saw that saucy receptionist flirting with the vending machine guy. Let me make it up to you by telling y’all what I’ve been playing this week.
"In the circus, no one can hear you scream"
                To start off the week I finished up Silent Hill 2. My overall impressions are very good. I had a really fun time playing this game even though the ending I got was a real bummer. For those of you who’ve played the game I think you know which ending I got. But yeah, the things I said last week about the story not making a lick of sense were rectified towards the end of the game. Some things are revealed about the main character that makes his motivations a little bit clearer, and I felt a good sense of closure when I beat the last boss. Everything gets wrapped up nicely for James, yet not much is touched upon regarding the nature of Silent Hill itself and there was at least one character that I still have no clue as to what their deal was. This isn’t a bad thing in the slightest; a good horror experience needs a bit of mystery to really be effective I think. I should also probably mention that I put the action on easy mode, which I hear would otherwise be incredibly hard, wound up being stupidly easy. Hell, I bet even Mike could beat them. Well…never mind, that’s probably a dumb bet to make. But that’s not the point. The point is that I probably didn’t get the true survival horror experience that I ought to have. I was never really worried about ammo or my health, and any enemies were basically no trouble at all; but you know what, I don’t care. I had a great time just wandering around Silent Hill and seeing all the creepy things this foggy little resort town has to offer me, and I would highly recommend this game to a lot of people.
would you rather go back to clown town?
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                Now, I didn’t get around to playing any Resident Evil or Psychonauts this week because the rest of my week was consumed by Minecraft. This isn’t your ordinary Minecraft however. I’ve found the normal version of the game to be incredibly boring for quite some time now. I’ve been playing the technic pack which is a collection of mods that, when working together, expand the game to an insane degree. There are a ton of mods included in this pack but the three big are the build craft mod, the industrial craft mod, and the equivalent exchange mod. Build craft is all about automating the fundamental actions of Minecraft by constructing engines and machines to do all of the mining and transferring resources for you. Industrial craft then gives you a bunch of recipes to build machines that expand the functionality of your items as well as giving you a means to power your home with electricity. Equivalent exchange focuses on the principles of alchemy where you can use all sorts of wizardry to transmutate your items into other items. That’s just the cliff notes for these mods, when you actually crack them open and see all that they have to offer it is truly amazing; more so when you combines the mods functionality together. You can build a nuclear reactor that powers a quarry which will automatically dig out given area of blocks, then transfer those blocks over to a transmutation table that will turn all of the junk into diamonds while the useful ores get macerated into powder and then smelted into ingots. I can’t even think of all the possibilities that are made available to you when you hook up this mod, but I have seen some people on Youtube who have made some really impressive machines. The endgame for this mod gets insane. You will eventually have indestructible armor with magic rings that set all the land around you on fire. You can build nukes, jetpacks, automatic tunnel boring machines, tools made out of dark matter, and much more. I really love this mod. It makes Minecraft infinitely more interesting and if you’re someone like me who’s getting bored of Minecraft, give this mod a look at and be prepared to get sucked back in.
Damn thass allota wrenches!
picture from:
                I’ll do my best to describe my set up so far. Right now I have my laboratory as I’ve been calling it and there are two rooms in it so far. I have a room for storage with probably six double chests in it, and I have a room for my machines. On the roof of my house I’ve got a couple of wind mills that generate electricity into my battery box. From the battery box I run power to an extractor for which I’m perpetually funneling rubber wood into with the help of some redstone engines. Rubber is extracted from rubber wood which I then pump back into the storage room (you can use rubber to insulate copper wires, which is what I’m primarily using it for). I’ve then got power going to a macerator which is being fed various ores that I’ve found and turning them into powder. You get two powders for each ore and what you can do with that powder is smelt it back into an actual ingot. I’ve been doing my smelting with an electric furnace so I don’t waste coal. This whole set up means I get twice as many ingots for each ore that is fed to the machine. The ingots are then fed back to the storage room for later use and the best part about it is that I don’t have to lift a finger. Everything is automated so I can go mine some ores and then have them turn into useful ingots all while I’m working on other things. It is really a cool setup and the next step is to build a quarry so I don’t even have to mine anymore, I’ll just sit back and reap my rewards, oil baron style.

                My setup doesn’t even scratch the surface of all that is possible, and there is just too much to talk about when you’re talking about the technic pack. With that in mind I’m going to save any more writing on Minecraft for next week when I have a little more machinery under my belt. But yeah, I hope this was enough shlock to satisfy your monster sized appetites. I know MMwMM is coming up, so you’re going to need all of sustenance you can gather before then so you can survive against the harsh drought that occurs whenever Mike writes an article. Stay strong y’all, and we’ll get through this together.
Well ain't you special

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