Thursday, February 28, 2008

Random Fact

When a Dog's skin has a flea infestation the type of flea the dog has is most likely to be Ctenocephalides Felis. Which is more commonly known as the Cat Flea.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

XNA Playable Games Now Available

Firstly to get started:

Go to the Games Blade > Games Library > Game Store > More...
Then Go to Game Add-ons > New Arrivals
Select the XNA Creators Club (bottom of the list)
Download the launcher

Back out to the Games Library
Go to My Games
Go right to XNA Creators Club
Press Y to see the list of games and get to downloading
- [From]
Then download away.
Free Image Hosting at

Culture "Gardening Game"
Three puzzle games in one all centred around a garden.
Blood, involves circling weeds.
Paint With Flowers, is just painting by numbers.
And Flower Garden, requires you to cross breed flowers to get the target plant (actually fun because it isn't a dumbed down breeding game).

JellyCar "Crayon Physics"
Drive the flexible car to the end zone. The physics and art style are done very well, gameplay is a little unrefined.

Little Gamers "Ownag3 Platformer"
You just kill stuff from themed level to level, only really for the die hard Little Gamers fans, but the art style is very sharp, just like the webcomic.

ProximityHD "Abstract Strategy"
Abstract puzzle game that is too architected to be fun. Each turn presents very little challenge to the player and very little to consider on each turn as players will quickly develop a winning strategy. Plus the game's random element is too random for any hardcore strategy development.

Rocketball "Wacky"
Third person dodgball game with button mashing.

The Dishwasher "Meaty Chunks Everywhere!"
If you like Devil May Cry, Legacy Of Kain or Alien Hominid, I highly recommend that you have a look at this. The story is tedious, but the combat is fun and bloody.

TriLinea "Read The Rules"
Somekind of realtime pattern matching game on a board against an opponent. It suffers from information overload and isn't very noob friendly.

A Possible Explanation For Mass Effect's Faults

Mass Effect is a great game, but there are a few things which clearly make it less than it could have been and this has been bothing me since I completed it. The game was in development for a long time, the team didn't lack vision and they had enough money to throw around, so what went wrong? Why wasn't Mass Effect all it could have been?

An explanation for the shitty side quests, incomplete dialogue and general gaps in the RPG world could be seen as a lack of commitment from the developers, but they hyped the game so much that this explanation seems silly. That is until you Read Stories About Unhappy Employees and Bad Employment Practices. Then it all makes sence, Bioware is a bad place to work.

I have had a couple of jobs now working for particularly bad managers, they work long hours and are under a lot of stress so the people under them should feel that pressure too and they think they are getting the job done, but what they are really doing is dismantling the company culture and destroying any enthusiasm their employees might have about their work. Then for the employees their job turns from an opportunity to a black hole in their lives and in the end they will look back on their old job and be glad they it is all over.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Achievement Types

Not got much to say so here is a little soemthing I put together last week. It is categories for all the Achievements avalible for 360 games. This doesn't include a category for silly achievements, but each one of them based on their own merits can fit into one of these categories anyway so there isn't a need for another.

Be The Best
eg Become number one in the world

Time Will Tell
eg Get 1,000,000,000 kills with your left thumb

eg Get a hole in one

Progress Marker
eg Compleate level three

eg Defeat the final boss on ultra mega death hard with only the pistol and without dieing

Baby steps
eg Watch the tutorial

eg Collect all the hidden flags

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Weiner Circle (NSFW)

I have a list going of places I want to visit at somepoint during my lifetime and it is way too long for me to actually go to all of the places on my list, but my latest addition is The Weiner Circle in Chicago, a hotdog restraint.

And incase you too want to visit:

View Larger Map

Friday, February 08, 2008

Time And Time Again RRODs

I was thinking about my history with my 360 and having had one for two years I have also had two cases of RROD which is nowhere near as bad as what some people have had it, but this begs the question, do I think I will have another case of RROD and when will that be?

17th March 2006
Bought my first XBox 360 for £279.99

9th April 2007
First console develops RROD.

17th April 2007
Recieved a replacement console (my second).

25th January 2008
Second console develops RROD.

7th Febuary 2008
Got second console back with a new motherboard and DVD drive.

In both cases of RROD when I used to turn my console off I could hear the plastic cracking as it cooled, this symptom is present in my current fixed console, so yes I do expect another case of RROD. Looking at the historical data it should occur sometime February 2009 assuming that the Added Heatsinks that has probably been fitted are ineffective and I continue to use my 360 on a regular basis (normally once a day).

Do I have any advice to people worried about RROD?
Don't let it bother you, you are covered by warranty so when it happens just Call Microsoft and let them collect it. But when it comes back keep the packaging they send it you in, because if you do have another RROD you will then have correct packaging available to send it in (first time you are going to have to find something to send it in).

The 360 is an awesome console, but the hardware has a high failure rate, I expect in future that Microsoft will have to extend the warranty period again or start compensating customers in a different way.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Got My 360 Back

So I go my 360 back and as well as a new motherboard, has had it's DVD drive replaced. Now I have the BENQ DVD Drive (see's Xbox 360 DVD Drive Comparison Page).

Supposedly the BENQ DVD Drive is quicker than the others and after running a few tests I have found that it is faster than my old Samsung. The way I know this is by racing a fast car around the motorway on Saints Row which would normally cause the road to start popping in infront of me because the DVD drive couldn't load the levels into memory quick enough, (I once even managed to fall through the level by driving over a bit of road that hadn't had it's geometry loaded in before I attempted to drive over it) but with the BENQ I can't even make even a hint of this problem occur, which probably means that load times will be better in general on all titles.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Something Original

It isn't often that I see some original gameplay, but Factory Balls a flash game about making balls does it for me.

There are already puzzle games where you have to decorate a cake to make it look like one on a card, but what Bart does it make his game more challenging by making you learn how to use your decorating tools. And that adds a feeling of accomplishment that those other games miss.