Archives for category: general

A while ago I mentioned on Twitter that I hadn’t turned my Wii on for over 6 months. Considering the hype that surrounded the Wii prior to its launch – hype that I bought into – ordinarily this might seem a bit odd. Not so odd when you take into account the fact that there seems to have been a total dearth of decent games released for the Wii for some time. The second to last game I bought would have most likely been Smash Bros Brawl, or possibly something else around that time. The only reason I turned my Wii on again recently was for House of the Dead: Overkill.

I’m sure some readers (Ha! Readers.) will be insistent that the Wii has been blessed with a truly bountiful selection of the games in the past months, like Wii Music, Wii Fit, Smash Bros Brawl, Madworld, and uh, that one game that wasn’t just a collection of mini games or some licenced garbage. You know the one I mean right? No? Me neither.

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I’m going to go right ahead and blame the lack of posts on here on the fact that posting using 140 characters or less is easier than typing paragraphs upon paragraphs. Of course I shouldn’t forget video games, either. So many video games. 

Speaking of video games – what else do I speak of on here – I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on a genre I would never touch with a bargepole. Dawn of War plus expansions have been eating up time recently as has RTS-that-actually-works-on-a-console Halo Wars. I’d probably have bought Dawn of War 2, but I don’t trust this laptop to run it for any length of time without it turning into a pool of molten slag. I’ll have to look into it once I actually get the cash together to buy a beefy enough desktop machine. For some reason Dawn of War is actually holding my interest. Whether its the fact you don’t have to grind for resources, or that rushing with a single unit isn’t as effective (hello Starcraft) I’m actually having fun with an RTS game. I’d assume this is also the reason I’m having such fun with Halo Wars. All that tedious resource harvesting has been replaced with building structures that serve no purpose other than to give you a steady stream of cash for you to destroy more Heretics/Covenant/Xenos with. 

Thinking about it, Dawn of War and Halo Wars actually seem fairly similar. Both of the games have all but eliminated grinding for resources, rushes of a single unit type rarely ever work, and I can actually stand to play both of them. Something else that I actually rather like is the relatively low unit population you’re allowed, if only because it means turtling doesn’t seem as effective and that you really do need to have an evenly balanced army to stand a chance. It’s all well and good having a dozen Scorpion tanks, but what good is that when the other guy can easily decimate them all with a sqaudron of Banshees? Replace Scorpion tanks and Banshees with Dawn of War units as applicable.

One gripe about Halo Wars though, it’s all well and good playing through as the UNSC but a Covenant campaign wouldn’t be unwelcome either.

In retrospect, maybe two separate posts about both games would have been a better choice. But maybe I can save that for the next update! There’s going to be another update after this. Seriously!

don’t bet on it

Unfortunately my income as a retail wage slave isn’t enough to buy a car – not even a shit one – so I’m stuck getting the bus to and from work whenever I can’t cadge a lift from somebody. More often than not its just an hour of quietly smouldering rage while some pond life or other is blasting shitty techno over tinny mobile phone speakers, or blasting shitty techno over tinny earphones, or an extremely fat man leans into me as the bus rounds a corner. It should be noted at this point I’m not sure if there is any other kind of techno than “shitty”.

Today was different in that apart from the underclass and their mobile phones that just refuse to run out of battery power, I managed to eavesdrop on a few conversations more than I usually would, but these were worth remembering because they were a lot more ridiculous than usual.

First of all, the granny in her 70’s talking to an equally decrepit friend:

“If I was going to kill myself, I’d use pills. I couldn’t hang myself. Think of the mess some other poor bugger would have to clean up!”

I think there needs to be a change of staff down at the Day Centre.

Secondly we have a cluster of underclass discussing the finer points of sex education, by shouting it across the bus:

“My mate tells us that if’n yer don’t wanna get pregernant (not a typo), just go fer a big fuckin’ piss afterwards like and yer won’t get pregernant because it washes yer out, like.”

“‘Ey really? I’m gonna haveter try that when I see my Tezza tonight, he can’t be doin’ usin’ a rubber fuckin’ johhny.” 

Neither of these two girls looked over 15. The part that worries me most is that these two will eventually be adults and will be free to roam around in public, presumably once their probation period ends. Both were also playing shitty techno at the same time, although I don’t know if that counts for anything. I think I need to invest in a pair of iPod speakers so I can drown out everybody else with Iron Maiden, or something equally loud.

A few days back I got hold of the Spore Creature Creator trial – the leaked version, actually – and basically, I couldn’t peel myself away from it the entire time it was installed. I knew eventually that I would have to uninstall it, and in time I weaned myself off of it long enough to begin the process of uninstallation. Of course shortly after that I went and dropped £5 on the full Creature Creator but that’s beside the point.

Even though there’s no trace of the full version of Spore in it, this Creature Creator is one of the most fun things I’ve installed in long time. It’s not like you even have to pour in hours to make the perfect creature, I knocked up this little bastard in about 20 minutes or so:

He enjoys pottery, soft furnishings, and ripping his enemies to shreds.

His name is “Bitey”.

It really is ridiculously easy to make things like this. No matter how many legs, or heads, whatever you throw on it the game will animate it, texture it, and pull all sorts of technical trickery on it. I’ve made some quite literally terrifying things with this, and the game doesn’t bat an eyelid at rendering whatever eldritch horror you come up with. I don’t think you can make asymmetric creatures, but thats really a non-issue. What really gets me going – in a really geekish sort of way – is how the game stores your creature in a 30kb or so .png image. I’m curious how much of that is actually the image and what space is left for the actual creature data. Nigh on everything is procedurally generated so I’m going to assume its the bare bare minimum to recreate it.

I didn’t really give a damn about Spore previously, with everything that Maxis were promising I wouldn’t have thought they would have been able to ram everything they were hyping up into it. After spending some time with the Creature Creator though I’m really looking forward to Spore now. The system specs aren’t exactly demanding either, so you won’t even need a Crysis-spec computer to run it. I would imagine your CPU would need to be suitably beefy for all the procedural content, though.

My only issue is that once I get the full game, my in-game universe is going to be dominated by dancing genitalia. It really didn’t take long for people to start making crudely modelled penises, but what would you expect? It’s the internet.

I’ve only just realised now why whenever I start one of these blorg things they die after a while.

It’s because I’m not interesting enough to maintain one for any longer than, say, a really short period of time. Still though, maybe I just need to get into the swing of updating these things more and not really bother worrying about whether its interesting or not. I mean come on, I’ve seen other blogs full of the most boring shite, and they seem to last.

So from now on, I will strive to make this blog full of boring shite too. Wait, thats not right, is it? It’ll come to me eventually, I’m sure of it. Maybe.