Friday, December 29, 2006

Hay Ho

Yes the mighty Orange has cut my Internet off. The bastards.

Currently sitting in Leicester Library using the Internet here as being on support from the government requires me to keep looking for a job to continue getting free money and the papers have had no job listings all week so my little job hunting diary has very little written since the last meeting I had with my Job Centre person.

Apparently I can signup to a new ISP on the 3rd next month, but even then I still have to get that all setup so I should be back blogging proper by the middle of next month.

New years resolution will be to make blog more interesting and more personally relevant to me and my musings as not having the Internet has made me realise how little time I spend free thinking on my normal routine.

And incase I don't get back to you by the end of the month, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I know I haven't been updating much in the way of actual content on what I have been doing of late, but it looks like my ISP might have closed the account I have with them. Not sure why but I might have pushed my Unlimited account over it's 40GB limit. So might be away for a week and a bit.

Merry Christmas to all.

P.S My ISP is or was, Orange.

Pinata Sacrifice

Kotaku is reporting that on bonfire night Rare sacrificed a giant Pinata to the gods of hell. The Photos look very scary indeed and only adds the the growing concern that Viva Pinata isn't such a cute game after all.

Game Demo From Hell

So some company is looking to employ student game designers. You go to their game presentation and then this happens:

Friday, December 15, 2006

Maybe Maybe Maybe

So I was reading a few video games industry bits today and I just got tired of it. Nobody says anything affirmative or insightful anymore. For example everybody seems to be very bipolar about the Wii controller. One says it is a gimmick that is working to capture the mass market, the other says it is the way of the future that everybody will emulate. The fact is that the controller is a good pointing device like a mouse is for the PC, but it becomes quickly awkward when the user has to move the camera and point at something, yet nobody says this. It's all maybe maybe.

Maybe the Wii will win this generation because of it's innovative controller.
Maybe the 360 will win because it is an all rounder and is pushing things like connectivity, video on demand, exstensability to make into new areas at a wim and indie development into new directions.
Or maybe the PS3 will win because the PS2 sold 112 million units and that means the PlayStation brand carries weight.

Less and less do I see insightful commentary like This (and click link on page). So here is what I will do, I will make some predictions and reasonings because I am annoyed nobody else will.

The Wii will sell better than the GC and with every console sold because Nintendo is making a profit will put Nintendo in a better position for generation eight, but the Wii will ultimately sell badly towards the end of this generation because of the lack of third party support just like the N64 and just like with the GC. Without the powerful graphics chip capable to handle direct ports from the PS3 or 360 it won't even get cheap licence titles as publishers don't don't see the Wii as worth the investment.

The 360 will continue to do well this generation as the XBox did last, but will fail to do well in Japan. Microsoft launching in japan without a sound product was a mistake and they will be paying for that into the next generation. But Microsoft's attacks into the areas of online and their efforts in making their platform open to indie developers will reap bountiful rewards to struggling studios, thus helping Microsoft in the long term. Microsoft will come second with about 40 million units sold. And further more will entre generation eight in an even stronger position.

The PS3 despite no reason (what so ever) will do well this generation possibly winning, but with a significant unit loss from what the PS2 sold.

I will most likely be completely wrong, but at least I am committing to something and not debating bipolar phantom issues like gameplay over graphics which is BS because everybody knows a game isn't fun without gameplay and will put people off if it is ugly.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Will it Bland?

I have been holding onto this one for a while now wondering what to say about it, but really you just got to go over to Blendtec on YouTube and watch for yourself.

After that you had better watch the spoof posted below. I could have listed all the WIB videos, but there are just so many. The Bottled Beverage it my favorite so far.

Ubuntu Satanic Edition: Evil Edgy Released

Ubuntu (oo-BOON-too) is the worlds most user friendy Linus Distrobution and in July a Christian Edition became avalible. Well Satan didn't like that so he set his minions to work and they have created Ubuntu Satanic Edition whitch is just a theme at the moment, but as more people use it and the distrabution's dark powers grow should be getting some more features soon.

A Visual Walkthrough is available so you can see what it is like before you turn to the darkside. Not that there should be any doubt for anybody with a cold heart or one who wants a cool looking theme.

P.S Using the Satanic Edition might be evil, but is still not as evil as using Windows XP.

Zelda Guide (spoiler free post) has finished posting all their videos of their Legiond of Zelda Twilight Princess for the Wii Visual Guide. Meaning you can now download a video of somebody playing the entire game from start to finish.

With not enough room to swing a Wii-mote in, I thought I might as well watch the thing as it is going to be the closest I will get to actually playing the game from start to finish (less time consuming too). And there are a few questions I have after watching, but all in all it seems like a good Zelda title. I particularly liked how the game reminds the player of how big the game is towards the end with both the Credits and the final battle with the Twilight King.

Anyway one of the guys who runs the site has obtained the Limited Edition Twilight Princess guide and the thing Looks Beautiful. The only place I could find that sells it however is who sells it at a very reasonable £15 (plus import tax). I would buy it if I was a fan of the series, but I have no use for it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World

I was on YouTube earlier and noticed this video (see below) featured on the front page. It features some girl doing a rebuttal to some ass named Bill O'Reilly. And I think the world would be a much better place if everybody took to heart what she is saying and was more empathetic towards other Humans.

Bill's response was to suggest that social services be called and take the kid away from her parents, but he is just some old guy who hates liberals, I don't think anybody takes him seriously.

I did some research (as you can probably tell) on who this Bill guy is and I think this video (below) sums up what I foundout about him, in that he is a very hate filled old man that should probably take some anger management classes and learn to listen to people once in a while.

Incidentally the parents of the little girl have a band going that is rather good and has an album up for download form their website

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Wii Day

So the Wii launched in the UK today. And from me thinking before November that Nintendo would be playing catchup with Sony, it is now apparent that Sony is playing catchup with Nintendo, as thay have had three good launches now and Sony is still yet to ramp up production to meet the needs of people who want one, even though there is little reason for anybody to be buying one now.

Looking at some of the games like Rayman Raving Rabbids (see video) the Wii looks like a lot of fun. I am tempted to get one for that and other reasons, but there is the consideration that the Wii does not do HD output. Nintendo has been launching new Game Boys and then improved versions of the same model for a while now, and that means there is a chance that Nintendo will also be be doing that with the Wii and brining out a new version of the Wii that does HD. And I want a Wii that does HD-out, so I don't know what to do.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gears of War (Completed)

I thought it was about time I wrote something.

Gears of War is an excellent action game. The story is deep and interesting. It feels like the story is being told in a TV drama type way with the game having an overall plot, the viewer not knowing the full story/backstory, and several slight subplots happening while you are watching the action. This is opposed to a film where there is really just one two hour story.

GOW does several gameplay things that seem like stokes of genius. Like in most games when I check my objectives I press START the game pauses and then I navigate a menu to view my objectives. In GOW checking my objectives is as simple as pressing the LEFT BUMPER button on the top of the controller. When I do that the screen goes gray and I can see my objectives, but the action keeps going and I can still interact with the game.
The only showstopper to the gameplay is death, which is handled by loads of seamless checkpoints. Walk through a door 'checkpoint', kill all the Locusts in a section 'checkpoint' it all works very well and doesn't pause or slowdown the action (unless you just died of course).

The cover system in GOW is rather interesting, it isn't the first game to use a cover system and many of the cover actions are used the same as they are in many other games, but there are three major things that make the cover system so good in GOW. The first major improvement in is that cover isn't entered and exited by pressing the left thumbstick down or by holding down Y, instead you simply press A. This is interesting because the A button is a primary function button, not something to be used for game actions that are not used often. So obviously the person who designed the controls wanted you to have easy and frequent access to the cover system. Secondly pressing A doesn't just allow you to enter and exit cover when you are standing next to a wall like in other games. Instead at any time when you press A your character will enter and exit cover by either immediately slamming themselves into whatever is infront of them or by holding down A, do a crouch-run forwards and slam into whatever they run to. This makes getting into cover very easy and is preferable to simply running away from the line of fire because using A and the cover system is quicker. Once in cover moving the left stick and pressing A will preform different actions relating to cover, so pressing forwards and A will command your character to leap over whatever cover they are behind and forwards. Pressing left or right and A will either activate a dive from behind cover or an automated move to another piece of cover. This means you can hop from one bit of cover to the next simply by pressing a direction and tapping A. And that brings me to the third thing that makes the cover system so sweet and that is the fact that cover is everywhere. The levels don't just look good, they also play good and work very well with the cover system. The game was obviously designed from the ground up with all this in mind as the game also has blind fire so you can fire at people without lifting your head from cover (sounds odd, but much appreciated during play) and the player health is done in a Call of Duty style where you regain health simply by not being shot and waiting behind cover which obviously encourages you to stake your territory.

Weapon wise GOW has a good spread with grenades, sniper rifle, automatic rifle, pistol, shotgun and such. But just like the RPG Fallout where killing someone will result in a completely over the top killing effect shooting a shotgun at close rang in GOW results in meaty chunks flying everywhere. You can plant a grenade on someones back and then dive away before it explodes. The automatic that is your primary weapon has a chainsaw on it that allows you to activate a death move where your character saws another character in half with blood spurting everywhere and a corpse of two halves that has organs and intestines all showing. When it happens it looks horrendous, but feels so satisfying.

Graphically GOW is the best looking game money can buy, today. There are times when I found myself just walking around looking at stuff, especially later on as the levels become quite stunning.
Soundwise the game is great, the music is excellent and there are sounds in the game that will spark panic. Voice acting is brilliant with the main character Marcus being voiced by John Di Maggio who is known for doing a lot of voices, but most notably Bender from Futurama.

Multiplayer is good if you can stand overly competitive jerks, but they are to be expected since a lot of the game's Achievements are earned online. I haven't tried the cooperative play yet, but from what I have heard it is nothing short of the model all games with cooperative play from now on will be copying as a fiend can join your singleplayer game at any time by taking control of Dom, a character who is with you the whole way through of the game.

On the negative side the main campaign could be said to be a little short on first play through, but I have replayed it a few times and trying to complete each section on harder difficulty is something I see most players wanting to do because of the game's achievements. There are sections that mildly frustrated me because of their level of difficulty, but I am all smiles when I do complete the section because sections are challenging and not purposefully made difficult for the sake of being hard. Difficulty is not auto-balanced and GOW never gets to that point where because you are playing a later level the designer though that the game deserved infinite spawning hordes of bad-guys.

GOW is one of the best action games that I have ever played. It is one of those game that when I tell someone how good it is, I have a big smile on my face.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Random Fact

The Human body sheds 1.5 Grams of skin every day which under ideal conditions is enough skin to feed 1 million Dustmites.