Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dark Tower, Mouse Wars and 480p

Marvel have just recently announced that they will be producing a series of comics based on the Dark Tower books written by Stephen King. This will be a six part story about the origin of Roland, the gunslinger from the stories. This is great news. I’m a huge fan of the Dark Tower novels and any additional material which may add to this saga would be most welcome.

Also the artwork looks stunning:

It’s been several days now since my last sighting of the mouse. I now have traps (both lethal and non-lethal) and poison in which to try and deal with the problem. However, the last time I saw the little blighter, he casually scuttered out from beneath the fridge, took a brief look at the poison and the traps, promptly ignored them, and then scuttered happily behind the oven. I have now laced the poison with scrapings of chocolate in order to tempt it further, but have seen no sign that this has been touched at all! What does it expect? Cooked meals?

Now Roz has informed me that our fridgefreezer seems to have stopped working. I know that mice are prone to chewing electricity cables and if I find out that it’s mice related I’ll be less than pleased (we really don’t need the expense right now).

The other day I happened to read on a Gamecube forum that the UK Gamecube is capable of outputting progressive scan (480p). Now it was prior belief that only US Gamecubes were capable of this, but if you own freeloader and a US version of a progressive scan game, then you can still activate progressive scan mode by holding down the B button as this loads up.

I tried this on the 2 US games which I own which support progressive scan, namely Animal Crossing and Mario Golf. The effect really was quite stunning. The picture was sharper, the effect of any blurring on a LCD was significantly reduced (very noticeable on Animal Crossing) and overall the picture quality was improved considerably. This makes me wonder why on earth a progressive scan mode isn’t included in PAL games? After all, the Gamecube is capable of this, and the same can be applied to the PS2, where US copies of games support progressive scan (and even HD is some cases) and the PAL games only support standard 480i. It really is no wonder why people import consoles. I can only assume that this is because High Definition sets have been out for some time in the US and have only recently started coming out in Europe, but still if this is incorporated in a US version of a game, surely it isn’t too difficult to retain this for the PAL version.

I think I’ll keep my eyes peeled to see if The Legend of Zelda : Twiglight Princess supports progressive scan. If so, I may import rather than buying a PAL copy. The only down side of this, is that it’s highly unlikely that freeloader will work with the Revolution idc, so I’ll have several US games that I will be able to play on the Revolution, however, I’ll still keep my Gamecube, so I’ll always still have this to play them on if needs be. It also occurs to me that I’ll have to keep an eye out to see whether the Revolution supports progressive scan, and if so, whether this is the same for all regions.

The PS2 version of GUN should be supporting 480p, which I should hopefully be getting a few days after my birthday. It’ll be interesting to see how this looks on my LCD.

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