March 2016 - Videogaming

So what have I been playing recently? Well, the Division has been the biggest game that has probably launched and I have spent a lot of time working my way through that game. The Division has perhaps one of the most detailed and intricate world maps I have ever come across. A ravaged New York City has just tons of detail on each and every street in the game. 

The game is a sort of loot based shooter, similar to Destiny in some ways. The story in the game is convoluted and mostly wrapped up into various audio files you find throughout the world. They are remarkably well put together, it is too bad though that so much of the story is hidden behind those and not tied more closely into the actual "story" missions. 

The shooting is fun, but things do begin to get a bit repetitive towards the upper levels. I have no hit the upper level cap in the game and apart from cleaning up the side missions I still need to do there isn't a ton left to play for unless you just want to grind and get better gear. That isn't something I really want to do at this point. 

I have also been playing a lot of Miitomo from Nintendo this past week. I don't even know if I would truly call this one a game, but it is a sort of social app where you answer questions with your friend's and get cute clothes. It seems to be a perfect iPhone type of game to share with friends.  

A New Rear Rack for the Motorcycle

So this summer I hope to get Megan on the back of the motorcycle and do some trips. Part of this involves here getting some gear, but it also has involved her having some sort of "backrest" for the back of the bike to lean against. My bike doesn't have a ton of options for this, but after doing quite a bit of research this winter I opted to go with the Givi system. It was cheaper than the BMW system (and the case looks better) and it didn't involve me purchasing an entire new seat for the bike. 

After getting the rear rack on the bike, I am not thrilled with how it looks, but it looks fine. It just detracts from the minimalism that I like on the bike. The Givi gear seems to be really well built. I just feel that the top plate they have is a bit thick and it unfortunately does not have any utility for strapping gear down when the case isn't on the bike. I may look into trying to fabricate a replacement aluminum plate which could be thinner, but we will see. Again, it doesn't look horrible. 

I can't deny the utility of the top case though. I used it riding to work last week and the 47l case can hold quite a lot. 

Ridelog: 04-21-13

View Ridelog: 04-21-13 in a larger map

Went for a nice ride today and decided to just sort of head south on 55 and then turn off to head west somewhere. I sort of randomly found myself ambling just south of the Des Plaines river. There is a nice bit of scenic riding through here and i was pleasantly surprised.

After a few hours of riding i came upon route 23 and thought to myself that looked awfully familiar. After taking a pit stop and then checking my phone, I found that I was right near Starved Rock. Who would have thought.

Apparently there are two nuclear power stations in this area and i even happened upon a wind farm on my way back that I had to check out. Riding through the wind farm was actually really cool, despite the roads just being straight. You can see in my map that I zigzagged through that for about 20 minutes.

The Dresden Cooling Lake also had a really interesting covered bridge going over it that at first had me thinking that I stumbled onto some sort of private access road or something.

Post Mortem: Kawasaki Demo Day

Had a blast at the Kawasaki Demo Day yesterday. The crowd was pretty full because the weather was poor on Saturday. Kawasaki had about thirty bikes there to demo. I signed up for the Versys and the KLR 650 since I am currently most interested in a dual sport at the moment. I wanted to get a ride on the Contours, but it was booked up until the late afternoon and I didn't want to wait that long to ride it. The day was already long enough as it was. 

The demo ride was about 20-25 minutes long and first up was the Versys. After the ride I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. It has a very standard seating position and a sporty overall feel. Ergonomics were great on it, but I can't say I was a huge fan of the instrument panel. Personally I think the dual speedo/tach is the most perfect of designs since everything can be very easily read at a glance. The Versys however had an analog tach with a digital speedo. I am not sure if it was just my newness to the bike or not, but I just couldn't make my mind click with it. Granted I only rode for 20 minutes. One other minor gripe was the positioning of the foot pegs. They were set so far forward that I had to put my feed on the ground behind them. All just a minor annoyance that has more to do with my personal habits more than anything else. Overall though I could see myself owning this bike. It is a perfect size for someone who is 5'8" like me and has the bones to do longer trips. 

The second ride of the day was on a KLR 650. Having demo'd the BMW F 800GS last fall I was prepared to try and handle a bike that was too tall for me. To my surprise however I was able to get both feet on the ground, although tip-toed. Everything about this bike surprised me quite a bit. It is only a single cylinder engine, but it had plenty of "git-up" in it. It won't be winning any speed races, but it cruised along about about 70 mph very easily and I was able to mostly hang with the other cruisers in the group ride. The bike setup was also a very standard riding position that was incredibly comfortable. The KLR is definitely more of a dual sport than the Versys and it showed in its suspension. It is a very tall bike that rides high. I can see how people take this thing across the country. The only minor gripe I had with it was that the turn signal indicator was a single light for both signals. There was one instance on the demo ride where we had to make a right and then left very quickly and I wasn't quite sure which way my blinker was going.  Overall though super appealing and I came away a little more interested in it than perhaps the Versys. 

With the riding position so upright on these bikes and both having fairly high suspensions hoping back onto my ZR-7 at the end of the day sort of felt like getting onto a toy cycle. Bike ZR-7 isn't small by any means, but it is comparatively small to a bunch of these other bikes. 


April 2012 Videogaming

This past month has been pretty crazy. Spring is here which means that outdoor and housework have come in full force, so I haven't had an opportunity to get a lot of gaming in. After completing Mass Effect 3, I found myself back in the world of Skyrim and I eventually got around to "beating" the game. Now I don't think anyone ever really beats an Eleder Scrolls game, but I can say that I completed the main story and then just continued to play. 

At this point I am basically just wadering the world, which seems to still be satisfying. I never really took to the previous Elder Scrolls games that much, but this one is sticking with me for some reason. 

A couple of a days ago I also started playing Splinter Cell Convication. I believe this game came out sometime last year. I never was into the Splinter Cell games before because I honestly don't have the patience for stealth games. This one started out frustratiing for me because at its core it is a stealth game. After spending a few days with it thoug, and learning the mechanics I am beginning to understand how it works. Can't say I am really enjoying it, but I am determined to finish it through to at least see how it plays out.