Three months? Almost four, since I last posted? My, how time flies when you’re living. To quote one of my favourite films, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

So what has been filling my days (months) to prevent posting here? Actually, nothing all that exciting. I still have a job, which, in the current economical climate is a big plus. Is it a job that I enjoy? Er…no. Put another way, should I win the lottery, they would not see me for dust! But it’s a job. And I’m grateful to have it.

And there’s about hours gone from my day already. Just like that.

I’m still exercising which quite surprises me really. I don’t think I’ve ever exercised over a continued stretch of time since, well, ever. Do I feel any better for it or can I see any results? I originally was going to say ‘no’ but I’ve cut the Wii Fit down to two days a week now because it doesn’t tax me all that much anymore. I’m even considering getting a Reebok Step to replace it. I’m weight lifting three days a week and I take the weekends off to relax. , Others have said that they can see changes so that’s enough for me. Still a long way to go, though.

When I’ve eventually recovered from that exertion (not a pretty sight, I can tell you), I’m usually reading. I’ve just finished Janet Evanovich’s Three to Get Deadly, which is absolutely hilarious. I’d quote some memorable lines but I’d end up quoting the whole book. I’m not entirely sure who my favourite character is as they are all so wonderful. If you’re not familiar with the Stephanie Plum series, head on over to the site and read an excerpt.

Apparently, they’ve just started shooting the film of the first book in the series; One for the Money and it stars Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum. Can’t wait for that to come out.

My current reading is Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead which is the fifth book in her Young Adults Vampire Academy series. Richelle Mead was an author that I’d not read before, but I had a little money for my birthday and her books were on offer at a shop so I thought “why not?”. And I’m glad I did. Again, excerpts are on her site.

Don’t you just appreciate authors that do that? If you’re anything like me, your favourite authors just can’t write books fast enough and before you know it, you’ve devoured everything but are wary of trying new authors.

Oh. Just me, then? Okay. But I think the pain for me and new authors has been alleviated as I have recently come across Book Chick City and she seems to read the same sort of stuff that I like.

And I have finally! Finally! Finished Dragon Age: Origins. I’d been looking forward to that game ever since it was first announced. After all, it’s by Bioware so it had to be good. And yes, the graphics were gorgeous, I listen to the soundtrack on a regular basis and the roleplay between the characters is amazing. You can tell there’s a ‘but’ coming, can’t you?

But!

And there it is.

But, I didn’t like it. Why? Well, two reasons. First, I found the tactics system to be horrid, unwieldy and I hated micro-managing my companions. The only companion management I really want to do amounts to “go attack that over there.” The second thing is the lack of different models for the armour and weapons. Now I don’t know if it’s because I was spoiled by World of Warcraft, but I honestly felt annoyed that I’d been wearing the same looking armour for ten levels. So I won’t be purchasing Awakenings. Apparently there’s going to be a Dragon Age 2 but we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.

All that said, now that I’ve finished Dragon Age, I’ve started Mass Effect 2 and Bioware have made me all happy again. Well, except for a couple of minor points which I’ll come to in a bit. How much do I love thee, Mass Effect? Let me count the ways (sorry for the misquote, Bill!)

– You can import your character from the original Mass Effect. How cool is that? I know, it’s actually pretty simple technically, but it really hammers home that this is a continuation of the original story and not merely a sequel

– Companions know what to do. My Shepherd in Mass Effect is a soldier which means that I can (mostly) run into a room with an assault rifle blazing. I’m usually concentrating on what I have to do that it’s not until I see something unexpected that I realise that I have two other companions. An example is when I was freeing Jack from Purgatory and I was just about to use a sniper rifle when I saw Kasumi do her special and take the bad guy out for me.

– And mentioning Kasumi segues nicely into additional content. Mass Effect 2’s additional content integrates nicely with the main game, such as Kasumi. Her quest amazing and I can’t wait to play the other additional content. Oh, and the Hammerhead? So much better than the Mako.

– Graphics, music and roleplay are all excellent, which I’ve come to expect from Bioware.

Howeverm there are a couple of niggles, but they are only minor and don’t detract from the game, unlike Dragon Age’s tactic system.

– Mainly it’s the galaxy map. What was wrong with old map? Now we have to drive the ship to move the map. Why? And what was wrong with right clicking to zoom out to the different levels?

– Still on the subject of the map, whilst I do like the idea of resources for upgrades, the scanning is just annoying. It could have been implemented better. For instance, a planet rich with resources would have required 5 probes and a poor planet only one.

– Alright, there is one major annoyance, and that is the romance options. I’m not quite at that point in the game yet, and whilst the romance options are very nice, I’d already cultivated one in the original game which I can’t continue in this game. Unless I want to impact upon that relationship in Mass Effect 3, the only way to get the Paramour acheivement in this game would be with a fresh character. But I can see myself playing more than once, so I guess that’s not a major drawback.

– The Citadel. I was really looking forward to going back and was so excited when the Presidium was on the list of destinations. Alas, it was not to be. You can see it, but that’s all.

And there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering for the past three months but have been busy nonetheless. Hopefully, the next update won’t be so long in coming, but in case it is, I’ll wish you a happy, warm and enjoyable summer!

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