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    Kaiser Farooque

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  1. Ok, so popping in for my annual visit! Both me and Jenner will be there at MAGFest this weekend. I'll try to hop onto Discord so I can chat there with folks. Also, I've updated the guide to the National Harbor again -- not a lot's changed (the MGM Grand hasn't really changed anything on the Gaylord side of the harbor. and there's 4 new restaurant options), but that's good to go here: See you all in a few days! KF
  2. All right! Popped in for my once-yearly update to this thread. A bunch of things have changed around the National Harbor area, but not much that affects MAGFest-goers. The MGM Grand Hotel/Casino was completed last year, but it's on the opposite end of the harbor from the Gaylord, so it's had pretty much no effect on that end (traffic, crowds, or otherwise). Otherwise, there's just one restaurant that is gone (Harrington's), and four new ones (Chipotle, Franks & Shakes [ugh], The Irish Whisper [pub food], and Brother Jimmy's BBQ [?]). Also since so many folks are in the overflow hotels instead of the Gaylord, check out if your hotel has a free breakfast (like Residence Inn). See you guys soon! KF
  3. Augh, I don't check the forums as often as I'd like, but yes, both me and Jenner are at MAGLabs this year! ...it'd be a bit odd not to go since we live like two miles away... No hotel this year though. KF
  4. Ok, so I updated the original post with two things. First, I added OA's review of Redstone (thanks!) to it. Second, I put together a couple of challenge modes that may be of use to some folks (vegetarian, vegan, and cheap). All that's in the original post, but to save the scrolling, here's the added info below: ________________________________________________________________ CHALLENGE MODES: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Below is a specific strategy guide for some players who are looking for a challenge, whether out of necessity or... well, usually necessity. VEGETARIAN MODE: Fortunately the DC area is pretty friendly to vegetarians, so you have plenty of good options among most of the places I listed above. I'll list out the best places for vegetarians and strats to keep in mind at each. Nando's Peri-Peri: Has many vegetarian options -- the halloumi cheese wrap, roasted vegetable wrap, veggie burger, and all of the sides, are good for this. You're definitely not missing out by just going vegetarian here. Elevation Burger: Their vegetarian and vegan burgers are pretty good, and if you're fine with dairy then you can still get their shakes. Rosa Mexicano: They have a specific vegetarian menu. When you sit down, ask for that -- it'll give you more options than you may see on the normal menu. Succotash: There are fewer vegetarian options here, but still enough, and they clearly label which items are vegetarian or vegan on the lunch and dinner menus. Fiorella: There are several vegetarian options as long as you're fine with cheese. Subway: Well, if you're running out of options, you can always get the veggie sandwich at Subway. I'm always suspicious of their veggie patties though. VEGAN MODE: The DC area is also relatively friendly to vegans, though understandably your options will be more limited than vegetarians. But! You'll still have plenty of options here. Nando's Peri-Peri: The only good vegan options are the roasted vegetable wrap and butternut squash salad, plus most of the sides. Mind you, those are all still really good, so you're not missing out by joining us for a Nando's run. Elevation Burger: Their vegan burger is good. However, make sure you are specific that you don't want any cheese on it (I've actually had this problem at other Elevation Burgers). Rosa Mexicano: Similar as the vegetarian mode, ask for a vegetarian menu when you sit down -- you'll have way more options. Many (though not all) of the items on there can also be made without cheese upon request. Succotash: There aren't many vegan main dishes, but most of the side dishes (which have generous portions) are vegan. The menu clearly specifies what is vegetarian or vegan, too. Fiorella: There are fewer options here -- mostly just pasta and sauce, or some custom orders without cheese, but I haven't tried either so I can't vouch for quality there. Subway: ...and when in doubt, there's still Subway. CHEAPSKATE MODE: So you want to get through spending as little on food as possible? Well, that involves a little bit of a different strategy. The short version is that you should make a grocery run before you get to MAGFest, and just store what you need in the mini-fridge for breakfast and lunch, and eat out for dinner. Prioritize fruits, ditch the junk food, and drink plenty of water. So here are some specifics: (1) Breakfast: Pack some cereal, milk, and disposable bowls/spoons; OR some granola bars (...not the kind that are no better than candy); OR some fruit like bananas and apples. Don't skip breakfast -- you just end up hungrier and more tired. (2) Lunch: A bit more of a challenge, but you can tide yourself over with other things you've packed or stocked up on beforehand. Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.), peanut butter crackers, granola bars, yogurt, etc., can help you last until dinner. And drink lots of water. (3) Dinner: Unless you plan on bringing like a portable hotplate (...honestly this is a bad idea unless you have a lot of room, like in the suites, and even then really know what you're doing), allow yourself to eat out for dinner. The best low-cost options are Nando's, Potbelly, Subway, and Potomac Gourmet. (4) Other: Drink lots of water. Yes I know I keep repeating this, but it keeps you from getting too hungry, and makes it less likely you'll get sick. Also, if you run low on anything, CVS and Potomac Gourmet should have what you need to restock. HEALTHY MODE: ...um... ...I'm not good at this one... OA would give better advice here.
  5. All right, so I've updated my annual MAGFest Guide to the National Harbor: Thank you! I just added myself to the group. This is my first time using GroupMe, so hopefully this'll be a little more convenient than scattered Facebook Messengers. KF
  6. All right, so I've finally updated the list for MAGFest 2016! Not much has changed about the area since last time -- main thing is just two new restaurants (Granite City and Succotash, both of which are good). However, I went through and added some more details about parking, and a few subjective ratings. Your tastes may vary of course. And, I'm still open to other comments and suggestions. See you all at MAG! KF
  7. The 2006 French film Renaissance might be interesting to you: The animation style is different (all B&W, and, well, it's the only French one on this list I think), and it has its detractors. But I thought it was pretty engaging. Any other recommendations I'd have were already mentioned earlier (Jin-Roh, Ghost in the Shell, Animatrix, etc.). KF
  8. Oh sweet, this is going to be great! (Honestly MAGProm was a bit of a disappointment last year, so I'm looking forward to this again.) KF
  9. Undertale is such an incredible game. In the last month, I've lost track of how many times I've played through the entire story (at least 6). On the surface, it doesn't present itself as a straightforward RPG (right from the tagline "it's a game where nobody has to die"), but the more you play it, the more you understand just how much depth and complexity there is to this game. This says nothing of all the other elements that make it so amazing. The music, the variability, the use of different game mechanics to tell the story, everything... Anyway, I'll try to summarize my experience here. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm going to use language that's generic enough, but would carry more meaning to those who've played the game once or twice already: My first time, I figured I'd spare all the main characters to see the story unfold, and level up on the random encounters. Now I regret that. My second time, I didn't lay a hand on anyone, and why do I still feel remorse over the first time I played through?! My third time, ok, I'll be perfect and pretend like the other times never happened. Yay! Everyone's happy! ...I hope? ...ok let me reload and try that again. My fifth time, I'm now curious... what happens if you spare no one? ...I had a bad time. ...ok let me erase everything and pretend like that never happened. My seventh time, ok, I'll be perfect again and pretend like the other times never happened. Yay! Everyone's--WTF.... ...I can't bring myself to hurt anyone in the game anymore. ...I'm going to take a break. (*@$^*(@ ANNOYING DOGS Just to be clear... The above includes a neutral run (without befriending Undyne), a pacifist run, a genocide run (including beating sans), and a few more pacifist runs for good measure. KF
  10. Oh I remember that! And the same thing almost happened to me my first game. I've grown up with Civ-like games (well, I've been playing Civilization ever since the very first one, and still have my copies of everything from Civ2 onwards), so for the first, oh, 80% of the game I was still in my "every castle must have at least two defenders" mode before finally giving that up and massing my generals towards the front -- just before that event happened (if I recall, I think I held them off with a few weaker generals to buy enough time for one of my larger forces to get back). In later games, since you know when it'll occur, you can more easily prepare for it. With DF2, same deal except I didn't know exactly when and where those surprises would come from, so I just adopted more of a cautious strategy. Yeah, Dragon Force does throw you a few yorkers to keep things interesting... KF
  11. I still need to listen a few more times through to give my full opinion, but so far I must say most of the tracks are just amazing. It's really what I hoped for. One thing specific though: Ok seriously all of Poolside's songs do that to me, too. I was singing "Shine Tonight" in the shower for weeks after that was posted. KF
  12. At MAGClassic, DJP mentioned something about there being one track in the torrent that turned out not to be the final version (though it's fine on both the OCR and album site itself, I think), and suggested re-downloading that. Is that still the case? And, if so, which track is it? KF
  13. So, I really should've asked this before the con, but just for future reference... (a) any prior experience with yoga expected at these, and ( what kind of attire is appropriate (since, well, I'm usually in either jeans or slacks, and I imagine it's not exactly easy to stretch in jeans...)? Also... I know I mentioned this to y'all, like, thrice over the weekend, but Discocactus was incredible. Like, mind-blowing, completely speechless, I never knew those instruments could be played that well, sort of incredible. I really hope y'all continue to be invited back to more MAGFests, classic or otherwise. That was easily the highlight of the entire weekend. I'm looking forward to an EP or LP one of these days too, if that's in the cards {^^}. Can't wait to see everyone at the main event next February! KF
  14. Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot to mention this one. I played a ton of this after it was released -- even though I just went through once with each of the 8 rulers. It does have a fair amount of replay value, since each ruler has a different storyline and conquest progression, although once you stumble upon a few winning strategies and learn which enemy types are strong/weak to each other, it becomes a bit easy to totally steamroll the AI. I've also played some of Dragon Force 2, but just with one leader. The sequel never got a US release I think, so it's Japanese-only. The strategy is a bit expanded (you can have two enemy types in the same army -- e.g., harpies and archers are a great combination -- there are more types in the first place, and the general types matter more). However, the feel of the game is pretty similar to the first, and it is easy to steamroll the AI after about the midpoint of the game. KF
  15. I'll be there, and looking forward to seeing all y'all who I don't already see often enough. KF
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