As of today, I have gone a week without a TV. I was supposed to get it back on Tuesday… delayed. Yesterday… oops, their delivery van broke down. NO WAIT. It’s working again. “How about later today?” Ok. Half an hour after it was supposed to be here, they call — “how about another hour?” No. I have to be somewhere. Hopefully, today I will finally get it back.

Frantic delivery juggling aside, it hasn’t been missed. It’s not like I watch a lot of TV to begin with (and the odd, rare show I can still catch on my PC thanks to the TV Tuner.) It does suck for gaming and my DVDs though. Especially since the TV broke down literally a day after I bought four DVDs, but even those can be replaced.

Film replacements: For the first time since late last year, when I went to see the shitty Ghost in the Shell 2, I went to see a movie in a theatre. Two of them, actually, within five days of each other. The odd thing is that they were both bird-related documentaries: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and March of the Penguins. I guess I like birds.

They were both good, but Penguins was the better of the two — but also the one with the higher budget, and the Hollywood pedigree, and more backing, etc. Parrots could have been better edited and paced. But apart from the birds and their own love stories, the two are different beasts altogether. The Penguins and their setting were much more visually remarkable than any San Franciso hippy and some parrots could ever be. That’s not a fault of the Parrot movie, but it just doesn’t make for as great of a theatre experience. Clearly, Penguins was an Oscar type of documentary, made for the Oscar type crowd. That doesn’t make a movie better or worse, but it makes it harder to compare to something more independent.

Game replacements: with the current state of portable gaming, it is easy to play quality video games without having a television set. Lately, it’s been a lot of Advance Wars DS. There are quite a few additions like units, new game types, new COs and CO powers, and, obviously, touch screen input, but the game is essentially the same. Since I only played through part of Advance Wars and I never touched the sequel, the formula is still fresh to me.

One of the additions is that there’s now four tiers of “tanks” now, compared to the original Advance Wars’ two (regular tank and heavy tank.) This seems kind of stupid and unnecessary to me. Adding complexity for the hell of it, mostly to appease their current fans with promises of “more units”. For direct combat ground units, there used to be two infantry, one recon, and two tanks. Now it’s the same, but with four tanks. It feels unbalanced.

These are minor grievances, though. The game is still damned good, it is still very portable, and it is still a turn-based strategy with no randomness, which is very cool.4/5

I also played some Facade, finally. It’s… different. Maybe I’ll post some thoughts later, but I might not need to — I’m predictable enough that some people already know what my thoughts would be!

Either way, this video walkthrough is still amusing.

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