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Oh, Woe Is Us...

A very sad event occurred last weekend - Vickie and I finished off the Neverwinter Nights Campaign. Now we have nothing to play together... at least, not until Shadows of Undrentide arrives in July! (Coincidentally, that's around the time of my birthday... so if anyone's thinking of a natty present for moi...)

Well, that's not entirely true; I downloaded Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne's Penultima campaign yesterday, and we managed to complete Episode 3, Hazard Pay, by the time Vickie had to get ready for work. Of course, there are the various NWN communities out there, but Vickie's too shy; she insists she has no idea what she's doing. Looks like I'll have to add a new phase to my Evil Plan to Turn Vickie Into a Gamer (because I don't know what's good for me and can't stop at pencil & paper and co-op computer gaming): NWN Online... (So if Vickie kills me sometime in the next few months, don't be surprised if the judge rules it justifiable homicide, okay?)

It doesn't help, of course, that Katrilla, member of the Neverwinter Nights Downunder guild and wife to one of the main DMs there (she's also a good, if impatient, DM herself, I understand), has been at me to get Vickie into the guild ever since I told her Vickie and I were playing through the Campaign together. Katrilla wants more women in the guild, see. I think probably the best thing to do would be to take Vickie into the Tavern, NWNDU's mostly-persistent meeting area, one night for a social chat - no modules, no adventuring, just chat-rooming with fancy graphics and the odd goblin to slay. Or maybe log her into the NWNDU forums so she can converse with the other gamers in a less intimidating text-based format.

Actually, if any of the femmes on the group fancy wandering in sometime, you can find the link to NWNDU's forums on the Links page (Editor's Note 27 October 03: The Links page was a feature of the old site, which has since been removed.) (hommes are welcome too, of course). The IP addresses and login details for the Tavern are contained therein, as well as info on their ongoing campaigns.

The Easter Long Weekend was nice and quiet, even if things did get awkward at Mum and Dad's. He started on his usual quiz about whether we're looking to buy a house and what I'm doing to improve my work prospects and how I ought to come to him when we're going to buy a new car (thanks Dad, I did hear you the last three times you told me). Anyway, as I'm not good at responding to his face on the spot, I wrote him a long, polite letter after I got home and put it in the mail on Wednesday. If he's got it yet, he's not called me about it.

The upshot was, we have a standing invitation from Aunt Ned and Uncle Joe (whom I hadn't seen since Vickie and I moved in together, for fear of getting from them more of what I'd been getting from Dad) to go up and see them on the Central Coast sometime. I'm hoping to take advantage of it soon.

We did indeed go and see Dreamcatcher on Monday, and I put a review up on the page the next day. Let's just say I'm thankful we had Final Flight of the Osiris before, and Shanghai Knights afterward, to cleanse the palate as it were.

Staying on the general topic of movies, Vickie and I are off to see a charity screening of Whale Rider, a new movie from New Zealand, tomorrow morning at the Greater Union in Hornsby. We're definitely looking forward to it; as Vickie pointed out to me one day, movies from the Land of the Long White Cloud that see international release tend to be very good, both in plot and characterisation. I must confess, I'm yet to see the critically-acclaimed and very intense Once Were Warriors, the movie that was the breakout pic for Temuera "Jango Fett" Morrison (a bloke I hope to see more of on the big screen).

Remember a few months ago, how I commented how there seems to be a concerted effort on the part of the media to milk the nostalgia glands of us twentysomething geeks? It's just got worse - or, depending on your viewpoint (especially if yours is anything like mine), better. Warthog is working on a Battlestar Galactica prequel game for Xbox (Woohoo!) and PS2 that puts you at the controls of a Colonial Viper as a young Adama (who grows up to be Lorne Green), and judging from the pre-alpha gameplay videos on GameSpot, it ought to be a fun, Wing Commander-style spaceflight romp.

On top of that, the Sci-Fi Channel is "re-imagining" the Battlestar Galactica universe in a new mini-series scheduled to hit screens in the last quarter of 2003. The Sci-Fi Channel is keeping the details close to its chest, but they've signed Edward James Olmos (yes, that Edward James Olmos) on as the new Commander Adama. Fans of the original show who were hoping for a "continuation" series with the old cast are up in arms, but I have to agree with the approach the studio has taken, much as I'd love to see Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict back as well. To be successful these days, any re-vamping of an old franchise needs to not only keep the fans of the old show interested but also draw a new audience from those who missed or weren't around to see the original (witness the Mission: Impossible movies and the runaway success of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its spin-offs). I just hope that the new Galactica, as a stand-alone show on its own merits, doesn't suck.

And finally, I am playing a little more Freelancer than I was expecting to be by now; Telstra GameArena hosts a Freelancer server that drops out every so often, but doesn't count toward my monthly download limit when I play. It's quite fun, and the chatting aspect helps jazz things up. There's also an added element of risk in the persistent nature of the server, as I found out when I had a nice, profitable load of cargo in my Rhino on the way back to the New York system from the Texas system. I got jumped by a bunch of Outcasts near the Texas-New York gate and was blown to smithereens before I could use a shield battery; when I was resurrected at the port that I'd left, my cargo hold was empty, but I'd not got the credits I'd spent on the cargo back. (Makes sense; when my ship went blooey, the Outcasts just activated their tractor beams and scooped up the booty. Bastards.)

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