Friday, December 29, 2006
Elite Beat Agents
A fantastic game for the DS, rhythm action and great fun to boot. I’m playing through on the easiest setting and even now on the later stages it’s damn difficult.
This game is exactly the reason that the DS is trouncing the completion. There is no way that this game could be played on anything other than the DS and it is also quirky and amusing as well.
I would highly recommend
Rayman Raving Rabbids
This is another game with Rhythm based elements and also great fun. This certainly makes good use of the Wiimote and has a fair amount a variety to it.
I’m a little concerned that the game itself may not last too long, but there may be some reply value here as well. We’ll see anyway.
Friday, December 22, 2006
The speed of the browser is just as good ad your average PC and the browser handles more complex sites such as Youtube, including streaming video, just perfectly. The only thing it lacks is a keyboard, but even then, typing isn’t as slow as you’d imagine.
For great flash games for the Wii try Wiicade:
Wiicade, just here…
Just finished the 3rd Dungeon in Zelda, which was right pain…. The boss on the other hand, was a complete breeze in comparison.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Sure it's limited (doesn't show Guernsey), but a fun little addition all the same.
Only a few more days now until the Beta Opera Browser. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the Wii handles the internet.
*** Zelda Spoiler ***
For those who have played Ocarina of Time, the words "Water Temple" bring about a shudder of fear... Well let me tell you, it's back... It's bad (as in difficult naturally - not bad, bad).
I'm ashamed to say that my other games really don't get much of a look in at the moment, Zelda pretty much monopolises my time. Although I did get a Fitness age of 27 on Wii Sports the other day, strangely enough, just as I was starting to come down with a cold... Fitness eh!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Managed to nab myself a Wii, I think I was quite lucky by the sounds of things. Demand was high and supply low. I have some friends who also managed to get one, but also, some who didn’t.
I had a couple of friends round last night for a go and I have to say, the Wii make the perfect multiplaying console, an absolute blast.
It is a lovely, lovely little machine…
A great pick up and play game. Wii Tennis is a perfect introduction to the Wii and the other games, whilst varying in quality, also demonstrate how well the controller works. The graphics may be simplistic, but bright, simplistic graphics running in 480p at 60fps suit the Wii just perfectly (more some sometime than more detailed graphics).
Roz beat the living daylights out of me in boxing!
Another good introduction to the Wiimote and a godsend, as this includes a second Wiimote (BTW did I mention how small they are – no – well they’re tiny). Not much reply value for one player, but for 2 player games they are good fune.
Call of Duty 3
Picked this up because I couldn’t get hold of Monkey Ball. Have only had a quick go so far. A bit disappointed that this doesn’t support 480p, but I guess that’s just me bitching a bit.
Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
As I was saying… Popped into town later on in the day and Woolworths must have restocked, and had Monkey Ball! So naturally got that as well (ouch – bank balance cries out in pain).
I love the simply bright graphics, which suit the game perfectly, also runs at a smooth 60fps and looks beautiful. I didn’t have too much difficultly getting used to the controller in the main game and so far, I’m really enjoying it. Does seem to have the random elements of MB2 so far (fingers crossed).
The Mini games are a bit of a mixed bag, some work well, others don’t. Have played these as much so far, but some do show promise (most of them based on older games).
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The BIG one.
At first, I was a little unsure about this, it took me a little while to get used to playing Zelda the new way and also, it starts very slow. Also, most annoyingly, there is a damn difficult fishing challenge at the beginning of the game that makes you want to throw the controller down in frustration and walk away from the game. Once you get passed this, however, things brighten up considerably.
I’m a couple of hours into the game so far and have just entered the twilight realm and I’m now absolutely loving every second
Sunday, December 03, 2006
My component cable for the Wii is currently on it’s way to me from Hong Kong, courtesy from Play Asia. I have to admit that I’m rather sad. I tend to get very excited about courier services where you can track exactly where your delivery is in the world. I just can’t help but take a look every few hours just to see whether it has moved and if so, exactly what has happened to it and where it is. The cables are now in the UK and should be with me very shortly. This will be the first part of my Wii which I’ll be getting.
On 5 more day to the BIG day.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I really, really must play Zelda in all its 480p glory…
I really am very sad…
I really don’t care…
The Medusa Touch
A DVD that I got for my birthday and a great horror film from the late 70’s. I can’t believe it’s just a PG. I know that there’s next to no blood, sex or violence in the film, but jeez, it’s still a little scary!
What surprised me watching the DVD was the quality of the print… It’s fantastic. Taken from a newly remastered HD print, it’s better quality than most current DVD’s film in the last 2 years. Really rather spectacular.
I remember this film gave me nightmares after watching it when I was younger – hopefully the same won’t happen again tonight.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Begun the console wars have
An apt sub-title for this should be “Bond Begins”, because in much the same way that Batman Begins was a reboot of the Batman franchise, Casino Royale is a much needed reboot of the Bond franchise.
As much as I love Bond films, and as much as I enjoyed Pierce Brosnon, it got to the point during Die Another Day, that the Bond films were almost as silly as the bond parodies (I’m thinking Austin Powers and the like). As such, Casino Royale is back to basics, with no over the top effect, no gadgets or plans or world domination. In fact a large portion of the film is based around the poker table.
Stand out moments for me are the chase through a construction site and the torture scene.
Daniel Craig does a fine job as Bond, he may lack the charisma of Brosnan, but instead has a more rugged charm, similar in some respect to Connery. As Bond’s go he’d pretty damn ruthless and also, definitely not invulnerable (I pity his balls, I really do).
My main complain would be the finale in Venice was a bit of a let down, especially if on a pure action level, it is compared to the opening chase.
Overall, a good solid Bond film, but not up there with the best of them yet.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A variety of DVD’s: Vengeance Trilogy, X-Men 3 & Imagine
Disgaea 2 for PS2
Numerous (mainly Beatles related) CD’s
And a selection of John Wyndham books.
On my birthday I watched Oldboy (again). It really is a startling film, which reminds me in many ways in both style and content to French cinema, rather than Asian cinema, most of all the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The sad thing is that although the film is by far the best film that I have seen in recent years, and blow Hollywood films out of the water, I know that it will only be seen by a handful of people and of those that do watch it only a few will “get” it in the same way that I “get” it. I know I’m not making much sense, but what the hell.
This is exactly the type of game that I absolutely love (that and Advance wars). Something that relies on your brain rather than pure reflexes. If only something like this came out on the DS, portable SRPG’s would just be fantastic.
The graphics in the game are frankly rubbish, but then again, Disgaea has never been about graphics, it’s always been about absorbing and highly complex strategic play (with a dash of humour), and it has this in abundance. It’s a shame the most of the characters from the first game are not present, although it would seem that Etna will be making an appearance at least in the not too distant future.
Roll on Disgaea 3 (pretty please)
I had very high hopes for this film, being a big fan of Martin Scorses films, especially Goodfella’s and the thought of another gangster related film was just to good to miss.
I have to say, however, that I was very disappointed. Apart from great performances by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio and an interesting first half, there is little to recommend. In fact, the ending just fell a little flat and at times, the violence in the film just felt like violence for violence sake, i.e. to try to outdo Goodfella’s.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Anyway, I though I’d mention that I got hit by a car whilst on my bike at the end of last week. Some idiot who doesn’t understand the principals of yellow lines…. complex, I know. Anyway, he was going slow and so was I and as such, the collision wasn’t too bad. A slight scrape to my arm and a hip which still aches, but apart from that, fine. My bike on the other hand, didn’t end up so well. It’s currently in for repairs and as such I’ve been driving to work this week.
I must say, that I’ve been finding that I’ve been getting ever so annoyed with the traffic at peak times, something that never really bothered me before. I guess I’m just used to the more casual and peaceful journey on bike to and from work!
Nintendo have revealed the release games and also the virtual console games for the Wii launch. These are (source N-Europe)
Wii Launch lineup (all available December 8th):
Wii Sports Bundle (Including the Wii console and Wii Sports - Tennis, Golf, Boxing, Baseball and Bowling)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii Play (including Wii Remote)
Call of Duty 3 (Activision)
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Activision)
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam(Activision)
Madden NFL 07 (EA)
Need For Speed Carbon (EA)
Happy Feet (Midway Games)
Rampage: Total Destruction (Midway Games)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Sega)
Gottlieb Pinball Classics (System 3)
Super Fruit Fall (System 3)
Disney/ Pixar Cars (THQ)
Spongebob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab (THQ)
Blazing Angels Squadrons of WW II (Ubisoft)
Far Cry Vengeance (Ubisoft)
GT Pro Series (Ubisoft)
Monster 4x4 World Circuit (Ubisoft)
Open Season (Ubisoft)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft)
Red Steel (Ubisoft)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (Ubisoft)
Of these I’ll be getting: Wii Sports (obviously), Zelda (duh – of course), Wii Play, Monkey Ball and possibly Red Steel. I have Rayman earmarked for Christmas.
I’m a little disappointed that WarioWare and Excite Truck weren’t available for launch, but then again it’s probably best to space games out a bit…
NES:Baseball, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Ice Hockey, Mario Bros., Pinball, Soccer, Solomon's Key (Tecmo), Tennis, The Legend of Zelda, Urban Champion, Wario's Woods
SNES:Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, SimCity
N64:Super Mario 64
SEGA MEGA DRIVE:Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Columns, Gunstar Heroes, Ecco the Dolphin, Space Harrier II, Toe Jam & Earl, Ristar, Dr. Robotonik’s Mean Bean Machine
I’m a little disappointed by the selection. There aren’t a great deal of “old” games that I was hoping for available initially. Hopefully these will come in due course. I must admit that I am tempted to get Gunstar Heroes, however, as I have heard great things about this (being a treasure game and all) and have never had the change to play this.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Now, I can’t be alone in thinking this is a VERY BAD IDEA! Whilst Marilyn Manson certainly looks the part, and can sing (if you can call that singing), the question arises, can he actually act? Besides, there is no way in the world that anyone could come close to Tim Curry in the role.
There’s also the fact that the original was actually a flop, it was only later that the cult following started and those cult followers of the Rocky Horror Picture Show will likely be equally horrified at the thought of a remake.
It just spells disaster to me!
Watched Torchwood before (the first 2 episodes taped from Sunday evening). I think they must have intentionally include the first swearword within the first minute of the show (a f**k btw) just to dispel the notion that this was anything like Doctor Who. This was followed by more swearing, sex, references to drink and drugs and as much cross gender snogging as was possible within the confines of the scripts.
Apart from the fact that the “adult” nature of the series felt a little forced on the viewer the episodes were rather entertaining and I’ll certainly be watching the rest of the series.
At long last there has been official confirmation from Nintendo UK that component cables will be sold in the shops along with the Wii (in the US they will only be available online). I’m hoping that this is an unofficial confirmation that the UK PAL Wii games will display 480p, unlike the Gamecube, which was capable of 480p, but only US games supported this. After all, why sell component cables to the UK if progressive scan isn’t going to be supported?
Am I the only geek out there who gets excited about console cables?????
Here’s the beauty in question :)
On a side note, Elliot completed his first race of Mario Kart the other day... He's doing his Dad proud :)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Because of legal action by Sony, Lik-Sang have been forced to close their doors. As a customer of Lik-Sang, this is very sad news. You can’t help but have a little laugh at their final little dig against Sony…
“Furthermore, Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.”
Well at least there is still play-asia, phew! Good job I haven’t been forced to import the Wii, or have been stupid enough to try to import the PS3!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
All we need now is a KFC and a large cinema and I may never need to leave Guernsey again!
This is the type of film that I wished could be remade as a live action film for the English speaking world. The reason? Simply that it’s such a fantastic story, which in it’s current form, will only be seen by a handful of people.
It tells the story of a young female pop idol who is persuaded to leave her group and go into acting, much to the annoyance of her fans. As an actress and model she takes on roles which require a degree of nudity, and as a consequence, people around her begin to die mysteriously. At first it would seem that this is the response of an angered fan, but after a while she begins to suspect that it may be her committing these crimes, in the form of a split personality matching the cute and innocent pop idol image that she thought she’d left behind her.
A simply stunning film.
I have just learnt that Sky have brought the rights to Lost series 3 as opposed to Channel 4. Bear in mind that I cancelled my Sky subscription just a few months ago. This now means that I will likely have to wait a WHOLE YEAR to watch series 3, at which time it should hopefully be out on DVD. The same applies to Battlestar Galactica series 3 and 24 series 6, but for some reason the loss of Lost has hit me harder… Excuse me while I sob quietly in a corner… and no, I refuse to illegally download episodes from the internet.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Maybe I should have been a diplomat instead of tax inspector?
The Girl Next Door
A likeable little post-American Pie teen comedy.
The most striking thing that I noticed was it’s extreme similarity to another, albeit older teen comedy, from the 80’s called Risky Business, staring a young Tom Cruise. All they did was replace prostitutes with porn stars and hey presto, a brand new movie!
Anyway, apart from this, the film was, as I said, rather likeable and even had a neat little minor twist near the end that took me by surprise. Worth watching, but not worth keeping.
On another note, it has recently come to my attention that the costs for my (other) website are due shortly, this being voiceoftheocean.org. As funds are a little tighter these days, now that we have two properties and several very frightening mortgages, I have decided drop this website for the time being.
It’s a bit of a shame, but at the same time I haven’t actually updated this for some time and have finished writing anything new for over a year. It had been my intention to try to promote the website a bit more and like this to other sites of a similar nature, however, this is something that I have never gotten around to.
I’ve always liked the thought that my stories, poems and scripts were online, available to anyone to read, but the fact is that at present, I have very few people accessing my site. As such, it’s probably best that I put this project to bed for a while and maybe approach this again at a later date.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I’ve been getting the Carpenters a lot on shuffle on my ipod (a remnant of the time that I shared my ipod with Roz), and have been finding much to my shock that I’ve been enjoying must of the tracks (although “Close to you” is still vomit inducing in it’s sickliness). As such, I listened to the whole of their Greatest Hits album the other day, and I’m ashamed to admit that apart from a couple of tracks, I really am quite fond of the Carpenters… What next, the Bee Gees? Nah…
I’ve also recently discovered yet another great gaming based web-comic called “Press Start to Play”. A good read if you’re a fan of VGcats and Penny Arcade.
I especially liked their recent strips on Zelda (probably because I’m playing through Ocarina of Time again at the moment – Yes, I know, I desperately need Twilight Princess) and also Goldeneye:
I've also just learnt that friends of mine, Mark and Marie Le Ray, have just welcomed a little baby girl into the world. So a big congratulations to both of them... Sleep eh! Who needs it!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Overall I was quite impressed, for a TV adaptation it was rather high budget (for the BBC at least). There is also a lot of scope in respect of the characters and future plot potentials.
I’ll certainly keep watching it.
Roz and I want to the charity showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday. It was the full blow affair, complete with audience participation and risqué costumes.
I didn’t get dressed up myself, although now I wish I had. I was very surprised by the number of people who did dress up for the occasion – at least half the audience were in full Rocky Horror mode (including Roz). It was really a very good evening and I must admit that I really got into the spirit of things, shouting Asshole and Slut at the approapriate times, throwing toast, wearing a paper on my head and all the usual things.
Anyway, here is a picture of Roz all dressed up for the occasion:
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
The Black Dahlia
What utter, utter, utter garbage!
This is the first and only time that I have ever walked out of a cinema before watching the entire film (I have been tempted twice before for Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Mummy Returns).
I actually paid good money to see this?
How on earth could the same man responsible for the Untouchables and Scarface come up with this crap????
I could write almost endlessly about how rubbish this film is, but to be honest, I can't be bothered.
One word sums this movie up neatly.... AVOID.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
December 8th at £179.99.
A touch later than expected and also a touch dearer, but hell, I’m just please it’s actually coming out before Christmas, unlike other manufacturers I could mention (*cough* Sony).
The games (both disk based and virtual console) are well priced and everything looks good for world domination…
Needless to say, I have mine pre-ordered and will be standing at the front of the queue come launch day (which I plan to book as holiday).
I know, I’m a very sad geek… But I don’t care!
The trip to Southampton went well this weekend. Roz’s tutorial (the reason for the trip) was good and she also managed to fill a hold-all full of shopping. Elliot enjoyed his first trip on a plane and his first journey on a train and overall was a very good boy for the day.
My feet didn’t half ache by the end of the day though!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I may try to knock out another very short story in the interim to try to kick start my writing again (in a similar fashion to when I wrote “One for Sorrow” during “Dance ‘til Dawn”). I have actually written the start and the end of a short story called “Swinging Dead”, which I may try to continue with. My real problem is that I’m great at beginnings, not bad with endings, it’s just the main content that I tend to struggle with…
The Bone Collector
I watched this on my parents (and sisters) recommendation. For some time they have been saying that it’s a really great film and as it was one that I missed when it was first released, I thought I should give it a go.
What a disappointment. What a generic, predictable and frankly stupid thriller. I just hate it when I figure out EXACTLY what is going to happen in a film, where the murderer is pretty damn obvious and every event has a predictable “Hollywood” outcome. I like films to surprise me, to get me thinking. This film did neither.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Where have I hear this before? Oh yes, this sounds just like the European launch of the PSP which was originally scheduled to launch November 2004, but was then pushed back to March 2005, then May 2005 and finally July 2005. Microsoft must be rolling around on the floor laughing their guts out.
The launch date for Japan (Nov 11th) and the US (Nov 17th) remains unchanged.
For me this is great news, for 2 reasons.
1) I had decided not to purchase a PS3 on launch as this was going to be released at the same time as the Wii, and the Wii held priority. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t have time to play on two new consoles at once!
2) This will mean that the Wii will be the only new console launching (fingers crossed) in time for Christmas 2006 in Europe. A great boost for Nintendo, meaning that they will be able to establish themselves without needing to compete against the PS3 launching around the same time. Also any media attention will be focused primarily on the Wii as opposed to the PS3 (with the Wii as an afterthought).
Now, we just have to wait until September 15th to find out for certain the launch date for the Wii. If Nintendo are sensible, they will jump at the opportunity. Nintendo have always struggled in Europe when compared to the US and especially Japan. This is exactly what they need to build a firm foundation for the Wii. After all, originally the DS and the PSP were due to launch on the same day, and the long delay on the PSP certainly helped the DS establish itself.
What’s even more amusing is that Sony ACTUALLY started their marketing campaign for the PS3 yesterday. That’s one day BEFORE announcing that the PS3 was going to be delayed until next year. Utter, utter madness! Hell I know nothing about marketing, but even I know that’s pretty dumb.
Just read also that for the launch the PS3 will have 400,000 units available in the US and just 100,000 in Japan. That’s absolutely nothing in Japan. The DS currently sells around 100,000 to 200,000 a week in Japan (admirably the nearest competition, the PS2 is around 25,000) so that’s nowhere near enough.
I actually feel quite sorry for Sony.
Monday, September 04, 2006
I have to say that apart from the novelty of speaking a couple of strangers (in the US and Romania), my overall impression was that it all seemed a little pointless! Sure the fact that you can customise yourself, buy your own land, run businesses and the like is rather neat, but this is all in a virtual world and as such, isn’t really that exciting. Maybe as technology improves and the virtual world becomes that more realistic, this will appeal a little more. As for now, I think I’ll stick with my normal life.
Just recently rewatched the first series of Blackadder. I must say that it was a lot better than I remembered it. On my first viewing I always thought it was a huge disappointment when compared to series 2-4, mainly because Edmund was less conniving and more of a pathetic wimp, however, I rather enjoyed it this time round.
It seems like everyone is trying to predict the launch date for the Wii… We should (hopefully), know the actual date in around a week and half, but I thought I’d take a stab myself. My prediction? November 10th (if only just to spite me – i.e. a couple of days after my birthday)
Friday, August 25, 2006
- Most no. 1 albums in the British albums charts (15 no. 1s).
- Group with most no. 1 hits in the British singles chart (17 no. 1 hits).
- Group with most weeks in the British singles chart (456 weeks).
- Group with most weeks at no. 1 in the British singles chart (69 weeks).
- Group with most top 10 hits in the British singles chart (28 top 10 hits).
- Most weeks at no. 1 in the British albums chart (174 weeks at no. 1).
- Most consecutive weeks spent at no. 1 in the UK albums chart (51 weeks from May 11, 1963 to May 2, 1964 – this excludes soundtrack albums).
- Most consecutive no. 1 hits in the British singles chart (11 consecutive no. 1 hits, excludes re-issues of old singles).
- Most consecutive top 5 hits in the British singles chart (22 consecutive top 5 hits from 1963 to 1970).
- Most complete ever domination of the British charts by occupying the first two positions in the singles chart and the albums chart as well as the top 3 positions in the EP chart (Extended Play) from December 12 to December 26, 1963.
- Most weeks at no. 1 in the British albums chart within a calendar year (40 weeks at no. 1, 1964).
- Most no. 1 albums in the British albums chart within a calendar year (3 no. 1 albums, 1965).
- Most simultaneous weeks at no. 1 in the British singles and albums chart (45 weeks).
The Beatles’ Please Please Me album spent more weeks at no. 1 in the British album charts than any other album by a group (30 weeks at no. 1, this excludes albums by duos and soundtracks).
I’m beginning to think that I must have been born in the wrong decade for my music tastes. As well as currently listening to the Beatles on my ipod, I’m also currently listening to Albums by, Blondie, ELO, John Lennon, The Supremes, Simon and Garfunkle and Derek and the Dominos!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I’ve pretty much given up hope that they will release the Wii prior to my birthday (November 7), I’m just hoping and praying that it’s still before Christmas (which it still looks likely to be). Otherwise, I might have to rethink my PS3 purchase plans.
This is a collection of 3 short horror/thriller films by 3 leading Asian directors (from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong). I got this mainly because of Park Chan-wook’s involvement (Cut), but was also interested in seeing the other segments.
As its 3 short films, I’ll give a mini review for each:
By far the most disturbing of the 3 films, this tells the story of a woman trying to recapture her youth by eating dumplings with rather suspicious ingredients. I daren’t go any further without offending people.
Quite slow, but very gripping.
The most simplistic of the 3 stories and also the bloodiest. It tells a simple hostage story, that of a film extra taking revenge on a director.
Both oddly comic and gruesome at the same time, this section is only let down by an ending which doesn’t really seem convincing enough.
By far the creepiest of the 3 films and also the most visually striking.. Surprisingly the dialogue for this segment is kept to a minimal, there are several minute where nothing is said at all. At times, slightly unnerving in a “Ringu” like way, but severally let down by a story which make little to no sense.
The ending explains to a degree why it makes no sense, but this doesn’t add much weight to what has gone before.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Release date and price of the Wii???? Move along… nothing to see here.
Okay, so Nintendo never stated for certain that this would be revealed there, but it was hinted and the press conference of “Wii prove our promises” also kind of indicated.
So what was revealed?
Not a lot, or at least not much that hasn’t be announced previously. 2 new games for the Wii, sequels to Mario Smash Football and Batallion Wars (neither of which I own – although I have been tempted by both in the past).
On another note, I’ve recently watched the trailer for The Black Dahlia, which looks extremely promising and is based on a real life grizzly murder which was never solved. Whilst browsing the net, I stumbled upon the FBI website, which actually holds all the original files on the case. Fascinating stuff.
Can be found here…
Looking further on the site also shows that the FBI have files on Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon!
Monday, August 21, 2006
At this point I woke up as my face smashed into my bedside table after flinging myself out of bed in my sleep. I lay on the floor for a while, nursing my throbbing head while Roz got out of bed to see what the hell had happened.
The moral of this story? Be careful what you do in your dreams…
Snakes on a Plane
Does exactly like it says on the tin… Then again, maybe it should have been called “Samuel L Jackson vs Snakes on a Plane”.
This is B movie greatness at it’s best. A film which clearly isn’t a spoof, but at the same time, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Just a damn fun movie, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
What did surprise me was how gory it was. Think of just about any body part you can imagine (and I’m talking about ANY body part), well the snakes took a big damn bite out of everything in a very graphic manner. You really could not help but wince at times.
You can just see the sequel possibilities… Spiders on a Train?
Okay I’ll admit it, I’m positively stuck on 2 games that I’m playing at the moment. The first of which is Advance Wars DS, which I’m replaying on hard campaign mode. I’m on the penultimate mission, which I’ve tried from the start at least a dozen times from the start with no success. I think that if I had stronger sea based CO’s I’d probably stand a better chance, but I’ve never relied upon sea based military units and this seems to be my downfall on this mission.
The other game is a tad more embarrassing. Roz bought Elliot a second hand copy of Finding Nemo for the PS2 and I’ve been playing through this with him. The only problem is, it’s so damn hard! This is a game for 3 years + and it has completely and utterly defeated me. I’m just so damn fed up with it… I’ve tried and I’ve tried but I’m incapable of following Bruce the shark through an underwater mine field!
Friday, August 18, 2006
I also hope that Nintendo reveal the final details about the Wii shortly such as:
- The release games
- Further details about the virtual console
- A better idea of how wiiconnect24 will operate
- The console price (£150.00 seems like a reasonable amount to me)
- Game pricing (hopefully to undercut PS3 and Xbox360 pricing)
- The final specs of the machine and also the Wiimote
- Any further surprises about the Wii that they have yet to announce.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve decided not to get a PS3 for launch. This is of course dependant on the Wii being release pre-Christmas 2006, otherwise I’d likely get a PS3. My reasoning for this decision being:
- They’re damn expensive… I’m on a budget you know!
- No release games look that spectacular. There are a few games coming to the PS3 that I do want, but these will be coming out at a much later date (2007 possibly)
- I’d likely mainly use it to play PS2 games at the moment (upscaled to HD maybe, but still a little pointless)
- There are so many damn good looking Wii games coming out around the launch date that I’d have very little time to have a look at the PS3 (Metroid and Zelda alone will take up a huge chunk of my time)
- Most next-generation console launches (with the exception on Nintendo consoles) are plagued with teething problems. Just look at all the complaints and bugs that were reported on the internet on the launch of the Xbox360! It was very much the same story when the PS2 was launched. As such, it’s actually beneficial to wait a bit until these manufacturing bugs are ironed out.
- Although I’m very interested in HD movies, I’m not convinced that Bluray will win against HD-DVD in the new format war. As such, I’m interested to see how this pans out before I start purchasing HD movies
Why is it that some of the best films these days are Foreign language films? Is this an indication that the Hollywood machine is running out of steam? Anyway…
This is a Russian film which was release a couple of years ago and has just recently made its way onto DVD (it’s sequel Daywatch, the second in the trilogy, has already been release in Russian). This film can be best described as Highlander meets Blade, with a dash of The Matrix for flavour.
It’s basically the story of a race of superhumans called “others” who live alongside humans, yet hidden. These “others” choose to be either dark (evil) or light (good), although it is not so black and white as this, with the dark others being reminiscent to vampires. There is a truce between the light and dark which is policed by both sides, the Nightwatch and the Daywatch and the story starts when this truce is broken.
Visually this film is generally stunning with only a few moments which reveal its lower budget restrictions. The epic nature of the film and its style cannot be faulted, my only real problem is that you can tell that this is only part of a greater story and as such, many characters and aspects of the film are not explained or explored as much as I would have liked. Then again, that just makes me look forward to the sequel more!
Only a few more days now until Snakes on a Plane
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Only one more week of this madness to go!
From the Director of Hostel I was expecting this to be a gory blood bath of a film... and I was right. This is by no means a bad thing. Hostel never took itself too seriously and the same can be said for Cabin Fever.
This is how gory horrors should be made.
Hostel had me wincing during the "eye" scene, this had me wincing again during the "shaving" scene. I'm sure if you've seen these films you'll know what I'm talking about.
Advance Wars DS
Picked this up again the other day - gave hardly put it down since.
Very probably the best game out on the DS, but then again, I really do love turn based strategy games (i.e Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea).
Thursday, August 10, 2006
From my experience of the Beatles and from watching the Anthology series, the music and image of the Beatles roughly falls into 2 categories, that of early sixties and late sixties. Each of there periods is typified by the following:
Early sixties (a.k.a.) Beatlemania
Signature Merseybeat sound (i.e. two lead guitars, bass guitar and drums)
Images of screaming female fans fainting
Traditional Beatles image of smart suits and mop-top
Early Beatles films (i.e Hard Days Night and Help)
Endless tours across the world
English music breakthrough in the US
Psychedelic influences, including drug culture
Indian meditation and Sitar influences
Experimental and maturing music (sound loops, backwards tracks, ambient sounds)
Range of instrument used (i.e. Piano, orchestral, electrical)
A sense of greater individuality between the songs written by each of the Beatles.
I personally tend to prefer the Beatles later work, mainly from Rubber Soul onwards. Although their earlier songs were certainly both catchy and popular, there is little variety. It’s from Rubber Soul onwards that the real genius begins to come to light.
Recently Mojo magazine asked top musicians of today (including U2, Oasis, Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley amongst others) what there favourite Beatles songs were, as a result, they compile the 101 greatest Beatles songs. The top 10 were:
1. A Day in the Life
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
4. Tomorrow Never Knows
5. She Loves You
6. In My Life
8. Happiness is a Warm Gun
9. Penny Lane
10. A Hard Day's Night
As such, I thought I’d try to compile my own favourite 10 Beatles songs. In the end I found it impossible to order them from 1 to 10, as my favourite tends to change all the time, as such, here are my top 10 in no particular order:
Yesterday - Help
McCartney woke up one morning with this song in his head. For quite some time he thought that he’d heard it somewhere before, but after speaking to the rest of the Beatles amongst others, he came to realise that it was something that he’d come up with in his sleep. A perfect, pure and simple song and also to most covered song of all time (fact).
A Day in the Life – Sg Peppers Lonely Hearts Club
The Beatles Epic – for many the highlight of their creative career.
Lennon and McCartney display in this song why the Lennon/McCartney song writing duo is considered so highly. A wonderful blend of styles and lyrics with a truly epic finale.
While my Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles White Album
Harrison (with the help of Eric Clapton) really at his very best. Both beautiful, stirring and inspirational. A gem.
Let it be – Single / Let it be
A very touching song written by McCartney about a dream he had of his dead mother. Some have also interpreted this song as a Christian metaphor (Mary – McCartney’s mother representing the Virgin Mary), but this has always been denied by McCartney.
Quite probably the most well known and popular Beatles single and rightfully so.
Hey Jude – Single / Let it be
Written by McCartney for Julian Lennon (Jules became Jude) to comfort him during his parents divorce. A very heartfelt and touching song and who can forget the almost endless na na na’s!
Strawberry Fields Forever – Magical Mystery Tour
Haunting, memorable, beautiful, exquisite. No need to say more really!
Across the Universe – Single / Let it be
Lennon was never truly satisfied with this song, although it was one of his favourites. I wonder what he’d think of the Let it be – Naked version? This song is encapsulated by the lyrics “nothings going to change my world”. A pre-Imagine song from Lennon about peace and tranquillity.
This more than any other is more often at the very top of the heap of my favourite Beatles songs.
All You Need is Love - Single
McCartney once said that on retrospective, as he looks back over the years that The Beatles were together, he’s pleased that the vast majority of the songs written were about love and peace.
This song, more than any other, fully captures that essence of The Beatles.
Something – Abbey Road
Quite possibly one of the most romantic songs ever written and also one of Harrison’s finest songs.
Abbey Road Medley – Abbey Road
Okay, I cheated. This isn’t a single song, but a group of songs synched together starting with You Never Give Me Your Money and ending with (fittingly) The End on side B of Abbey Road. All the same, this is a masterful blend of songs that really need to be listen to as a whole to be enjoyed. A superb way for The Beatles legacy to come to an end,.
Songs that very nearly made it in my top 10:
I am the Walrus
Here Comes the Sun
Fool on the Hill
I’m only Sleeping
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Favourite Albums (in order)
The Beatles – White Album
Sg Peppers Lonely Hearts Club
There’s a damn good reason why the Beatles are the most successful group of all time… They really were something special. Four very talented individuals who worked just so damn well together. They helped define an era and also expand the possibilities of popular music. They introduced music video’s, experimental sounds and put Britain firmly on the musical map.
If you haven't properly listened to the Beatles for a while, or have merely discounted them as something from before your time, I would strongly suggest that you give them another try.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Just glad that I was feeling fit for London.
It was a little strange being back in London after my previous trip (which coincided with 7/7). Certain locations hold very strong memories of that day and it was unusual returning back, although it good to see London back to normal.
Anyway, London film review time.
I must admit I had my doubts. So far Pixar have been incapable of making a bad film, even their worst (A Bugs Life) was still very entertaining, but the trailers for Cars haven’t been that inspiring. I was pleasantly surprised then that Cars retains the Pixar magic.
Whilst not as good as the likes of Nemo and Toy Story, this is still very entertaining with likeable characters and a good story. Overall a pleasant surprise.
Very much in the spirit of the initial two Superman films, which in my book is a very good thing, as these are amongst the finest examples of Superhero movies.
The story centres on the fact that Superman has been away for roughly five years and as such the world has adjusted to life without him (Lois especially). I had my doubts about this film primarily because I didn’t think that Christopher Reeves would be easy to replace in the role, it was therefore pleasing to see that Brandon Routh does a very fine job as Superman. Kevin Spacey is also, as expected, absolutely great as Lex Luther.
It’s a shame that this film hasn’t been as successful as the studio had hoped, but the fact that a sequel has already been green lit I a good thing.
Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man’s Chest
This reminded me very much of Matrix Revolution, i.e. a totally pointless sequel. This effectively had no plot just a set number of situations, most of which were totally uninspiring and seemed to be just set up to put the main character (but mainly Jack Sparrow) in amusing situations.
A very big disappointment.
I guess that I was hoping that this would be as good as heat (same director), but this was probably hoping for a little too much. Much of the film is really little more than an excuse to make Crocket and Tubbs (and Miami) look as cool as possible, at no stage did you learn much about any of the characters and as such you felt very little for them.
If you like seeing fast cars and fast boats and don’t mind a lack of characterization and plot, then this film is for you.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Lady Vengeance (aka Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)
I said it before, and I'll gladly say it again... This film (and Oldboy) are simply fantastic.
Anyone who is a parent and who doesn't shed at least one tear watching this are simply not human.
I implore you... I'm speaking to the world as a whole here... If you don't mind subtitled films, give both this and Oldboy a chance. They may both be very violent and disturbing films, but they are also amusing at times and are simply one of the finest examples of how cinema can be seen as high art.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my weekend (and a couple of days prior to that).
1. Somehow, don’t ask, managed to back my car into a cesspit on Elliot’s friends farm. As such, one of the wheels managed to dip down into the hole, leaving my car dangling rather precariously. After a bit of leverage and the threat of a jeep slamming into the rear of the car, I managed to get free.
2. Came home to find the police at my house the other day. We seem to have picked up yet another set of tenants which have involved the police making an appearance to our flat. Also, we seem to have picked yet another set of tenants whose relationship has broken up shortly after moving. Hopefully everything should be fine. I have spoken to the remaining tenant after the police left (apparently her ex had come around and had been rather threatening).
3. Actually been to the beach with Elliot the last couple of day and have gone for a swim in the sea. My goodness, I’d forgotten how pleasant and relaxing it can be to swim in the sea as oppose to a pool… I actually enjoyed myself! What’s more, I find that swimming is a lot easier in the sea, must be something to do with the salt adding to buoyancy. Damn bloody cold at first, yeah, but very nice.
4. As I was on the beach, I now have sunburn on my back where I “missed” with the suncream. As such, I look like a bizarre white and red zebra.
5. Also seem to have picked up a case of athletes foot… Ick, I blame the sand.
6. Seems to have been my weekend for accidentally barging into female tenants or Roz’s friends as they come out of the shower, wearing nothing but a towel. I’m not a stalker… Honest…
7. Managed to finish New Super Mario and Tomb Raider Legend. I’m bound to return to Mario, as there is plenty still to unlock and replay to collect missed coins. Legend on the other hand finished rather abruptly. It’s by far the best Tomb Raider game, but the ending just seemed like a bit of a letdown. Oh also finished Phoenix Wright a week or so ago. Great game… Looking forward to the sequel – Justice For All…
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The final episode, I have to say, was a little bit of a let down. No twists or surprises, a couple of deaths, but again nothing shocking. Then again, the series has really been stuck in neutral since series 3 and whilst always entertaining, it hasn’t ever been outstanding.
So bye bye Sidney (Jennifer Garner) and bye bye Sloan (by far the best character from the series).
Just read today that Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Is due to be made into an animated film. It already has an impressive cast of voice actors attached, including Kieffer Sutherland as the voice of Raistlin.
The official site can be found here:
Another thing which is due to be turned into an animated movie is Animal Crossing… I kid you not! There is already a trailer for this (a link is below) and the film is due to be released in Japan by the end of the year.
Animal Crossing movie
I’ve also decided that it’s about time that I sold my PSP. It’s literally been gathering dust in the corner of the room. I’ve only used it a couple of times at all this year and that was just to play the demo on Locoroco. Whilst this game does look very good, I have more than enough to keep me occupied on the DS now and for some time to come. Even exclusives like GTA: Liberty City Stories have been ported to the PS2.
In the end, I’m better off making a little bit of money off it whilst I still can.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I'm very sad. I need help. I know...
For anyone who hasn't seen the Rayman man previous yet.... take a look here:
Bunnies can't play with Fireworks
Bunnies can't do Vacuum Cleaning
Bunnies can't play Soccer
Even if the game ends up being so-so, at least it's got a great sense of humour. One to watch for on the Wii?
Saturday, July 08, 2006
We also purchased a 4 sheets of raffle tickets (not much really) and ended up winning 2 prizes. A free 1 hour go at The Bowl and a food hamper. Included in the food hamper was....
Yes, being a Python fan I've always had a fundness fo SPAM, but never actually tried it... Oh well, there's always a first...
New Super Mario Bros
I’ve had this for almost a week now, but haven’t had too much time to play it. I’m still trying to finish Phoenix Wright (nearish the end now) and that’s been taking priority. However, what I have played so far is very promising. Very much a return to roots for Mario and quite simply a joy to play.
The glowing colours of Mushroom Kingdom welcome you back immediately with open arms and the age old gameplay is just as fun as you remember. This really is Nintendo simply doing what Nintendo does best. It’s just a shame that it’s taken so long for Mario to return to his 2D roots.
My only slight complaint is that the game will only save after you complete each castle or unlock a Mushroom shop. As such, it’s a bit of a pain if you want to retread levels for the extra hidden coins, as in effect you can only save you position if you can collect 5 of this to open a shop or when you attack (and complete) a castle level for the first time.
This film had truly terrible views, real stinkers. Its Rotten Tomato rating is just 10%, but all the same, I like the sound of the premise and I’m rather fund of Milla Jovovich, so I thought I’d give it a go.
To cut my review short… the other reviews were right.
The friend that I borrowed this from described it as The Matrix on speed. A more accurate description would be The Matrix Reloaded – but worse.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Also, we have recently taken down all but one of the stair gates in our house. Elliot had pretty much figures out how to open them, so they no longer really served much purpose.
I’ve noticed that since I’ve started riding into work that I’ve been getting rather uncomfortable chest pains. As such, I decided to go to the doctor to ask about this. He suggested an immediate ECG (which was worrying), thankfully my heart is fine. Instead, it’s some sort of gullet infection which will likely be better soon (actually feeling better already).
There have been a whole host of trailers posted on the web recently, these being:
Snakes on a Plane – interesting could be amusing.
Lady in the Water – Lost faith in M Night Syamalan a long time ago.
Spiderman 3 ( which can be found here)
An unnervingly real account of the tragic flight 93 during the events of September 11. So real in fact, that this almost seems to a documentary take on the events.
The brought back memories to me of my reaction on that day. The utter shock and disbelieve. The feeling that the whole world was coming to pieces. An overwhelming sense of sympathy for those and the families caught up in these events.
As a film, this is remarkable, something that I couldn’t really describe as enjoyable, but could describe as unmissable. If this isn’t up for an Oscar come 2007 I’ll eat my hat. My only complaint would be that the film really is split in two parts. That of the passengers on flight 93 and also air traffic control as they try to get to grips with the events. Whilst the air traffic control events are interesting, they are dragged on a little too long and I feel that the focus should have been skewed a little more to the passengers of the flight, perhaps giving a little more background to them.
The last twenty minutes or so, where the passengers say goodbye by mobile to their love ones and decide to take action against the terrorists really is quite an emotional experience. Highly, highly recommended.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Haven’t I seen this before? No, I’m not talking about the original either. I’m talking about the endless spew of slasher films in the past few years. I’m talking Texas Chainsaw, Hostel, Wolf Creek, Wrong Turn … the list is almost endless.
For all the blood, guts and violence this film had it was lacking one very important ingredient… a plot.
I’m starting to tire of watching the same film over and over again. Hell, I like horror’s, but for god sake, a little bit of originality is needed. Please?
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Tonight we left a potty in his room and told him that if he woke up and felt like he needed to go to the toilet he could use this. We were surprise to see when we went into his room before that he had actually used it. He’d gotten out of bed, used the potty, got dress again and climbed back into bed without us even hearing him. This may sound trivial to non-parent, but you have no idea how proud this make me feel.
I know, I’m a sad, yet very proud, father.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Another recent adaptation of a popular novel that I have enjoyed (the other being The Da Vinci Code), this unfortunately, has not translated to the screen as well.
Yes it has been beautifully filmed and yes it follows the novel very well (even if it skips a few initial chapters), but what it doesn’t capture is the heart of the novel. If there was one word that could describe the film it would be “pedestrian”. It just goes about it’s business slowly, doing what it needs to do, showing what it needs to show, with little flair or spark.
The psychological yet courteous war games between rival Geisha feel flat and pointless. The desires and hopes of Sayori, unimportant. You never feel anything for anyone, which is a crying shame considering the strength of the novel.
If Spielberg had directed this (as he had originally intended) then this may have been a very different film. Now, it’s just a poor and pointless adaptation. Pretty to look at, but shallow and hollow to the core.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Just perfect for pre Wimbledon fever.
I especially like playing John Legend (Lennon) :)
I normally try to avoid them, but…
*warning – spoilers*
This has got to be one of the only films I’ve ever seen where someone (a man, unsurprisingly, in this instance) has been forced to leave the cinema out of utter horror. He was sitting a little behind me and as such, I was privy to his sharp intake of breath as the particular scene took place followed by a comment along the lines of “I can’t take any more of this”.
Two word sum this up very nicely…
Of course you don’t actually see anything (thank god), but it’s the slow psychological build up to the scene and the fact that it doesn’t rush a single second that make it so stomach (or should that be groin) churning. That and the squishy sound effects.
Unfortunately the twists towards the end of the film are a little disappointing, I would have preferred it if you’d been left wondering a bit more about the girls sanity and whether the victim was really a paedophile or not.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
My parent had planned to take Elliot away today for a daytrip to Sark and for a while it was looking uncertain whether he would be able to make it. Thankfully he seemed a little perkier in the morning and has gone and by the sound of things, has been having a very nice day.
It’s been a rather strange day just with just Roz and I, almost as if we were just a couple again. It’s been rather a nice break, but all the same I’ve missed Elliot a bit.
I got the Beatles Anthology DVD boxset through from Amazon the other day and have started to watch through this. It’s all very interesting and I’ll likely post a little more about this once I’ve finished.
At playschool on Thursday Elliot made a couple of presents for me for Fathers Day. One of these is a coaster with a portrait of me that he drew. This is shown below:
The expression is probably about right, not too sure about the orange hair though :-\
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
The remake of The Omen happened to be release on 06/06/06 and I happened to take a look on boxofficmojo.com and saw its opening night figure:
A spooky coincidence, don’t you think!
Had a nice time in Jersey with Roz and Elliot, just seemed to go by so damn quick, before I knew it my holiday was over and I was back to work… I slightly overindulged on all you can eat buffet at the hotel and therefore suffered a bit on the last day, but apart from that everything went smoothly… even Condor was on time!
I managed to pick up a couple of extra Beatles albums in Jersey, namely Rubber Soul and Abbey Road. I’ve also since ordered the Beatles Anthology DVD documentary from Amazon a couple of days ago. Abbey Road has been rocketed to the very top of my best albums of all time list, alongside Sg. Peppers and The White Album. It really is quite something else, an end of an era record (this was the Beatles last studio album) and a much more joyous and less restrained album than Let it Be. It really is something else, Rubber Soul is also an excellent album, but I’ve been listening to Abbey Road pretty much no stop since I put it on my ipod.
My only annoyance is with my ipod. Why is it that the ipod insists on having a slight pause between tracks? This must only be for 1/10 of a second, but for some CD’s this can be annoying and Abbey Road is one of those. The final 11 tracks which formed side 2 of the original record are a collection of song which really form an seamless rock ballad. This makes the pause between tracks very noticeable and annoyingly so. Surely there must be some way around this, but as far I can see there isn’t.
Over in Jersey I managed to catch a few films at their vastly superior cinemas…
This film varied from extremely unnerving and visually striking to pretty humdrum.
I was really hoping that this would be a spectacular game adaptation, the only problem is that for most of the film it felt very much like you were playing the game. The story was led very much by a poor clue A leads to clue B narrative, which whilst fine in a game, is a little dull in a film.
When things got surreal and dark, then the film came into its own and certain scenes (I’m thinking pyramid head and nurses here) really were pretty damn good. It’s just a shame that they felt the need to try and explain just about everything. The good thing about Silent Hill is that you don’t know what the hell is going on.
The Da Vinci Code
Okay, I really liked the book and overall this was a pretty fine adaptation.
Bits of the book were slightly watered down for the film and other parts were quickly mentioned, but overall the film slowed well and the performances closely matched the characters.
I think that really, like many book adaptation, it’s hard to convey so much within such a short period of time and whilst the book has the luxury to take it’s time, the film doesn’t and as such, much of the impact is lost.
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
It seemed that every critic wanted this film to fail after the departure of Byran Singer from the project, but I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and I’m glad to say that in my opinion at least, this more than lives up to the previous films.
My only 2 complaints are that Vinnie Jones was quite frankly a stupid choice for Juggernaught and that the film could have been a little longer to fit in all the story threads.
If this is truly the last X-Men film (which I hope it isn’t), then this is quite some finale.
For any of you that have been put off by lukewarm reviews, I suggest that you give the film a chance, you might be surprised. Just sit back and enjoy the film, as pure entertainment, it can’t be beaten so far this year.
Tomb Raider: Legend
Whilst in Jersey I picked this up at a very good price at Woolworths on the PS2
I managed to have a quick go at this last night and my initial impressions are very positive. It is very much a case of Tomb Raider meets Prince of Persia, but that is no bad thing. Also, the graphics on the aging PS2 really are quite impressive. The old Tomb Raider games suffered very much from a building block like structure to the levels, but this has been removed and the environments really are quite realistic as a result.
Even the combat is greatly improved over previous games… Something I hated in the old games and also Prince of Persia.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve owned a bike, but the plan is to use it to cycle into work. It felt damn weird being back on the roads again on a bike. I felt so damn vulnerable. I also kept looking for a rear view mirror… hmmm…
I spotted a special issue of FHM in the newsagents today, called “The girls of FHM ASIA”, being a bit of a sucker for Asian women my eyes jumped out of their sockets. So much so that my wife bought me a copy… What a gem of a wife I have.
Okay I admit it, I’ve been watching far too much of Big Brother, it’s just so damn addictive. Must stop soon!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
He woke up around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning and proceeded to be sick on his bed and from then onwards, neither Elliot or Roz and I got much sleep (I estimate I probably had around 2 hours sleep maximum). Elliot continued to be sick until around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
Sunday wasn’t much better, although he’d stopped being sick, he was still very ill, and spent most of the day lying down.
Thankfully he seems to be on the mend now. I’m just pleased it was this weekend rather than in a weeks time whilst we’re in Jersey.
Elliot was also a little disappointed because I told him that we could play football in a friends “big garden” during a housewarming party on Sunday and as he was too ill, we couldn’t make it. Also, Roz wanted to have a look around and chat…
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I used to rather enjoy watching Big Brother, but since Elliot came along, finding the time to watch so much television became problematic, as such I did really see much of the last 2 series.
The reason I enjoy watching Big Brother – simple my friends. As outrageous and freakish as the large majority of contestants are, they are still people. As such, after a very short period of time (maybe a few days) their true character normally bubbles to the surface and then you get conflicts, disagreements and arguments… The real fun part.
I guess I always tend to put myself mentally in the house and imagine what it would be like as a “housemate”. For starters, I’d tend to be the oddball in the corner who doesn’t speak to a soul and doesn’t get involved with anything. There’s also the fact that I’d likely hate the majority of the housemates and not hide my feelings or opinions in the slightest. Strangely, I’d probably rather enjoy the experience (even if I was tearing what little hair I have out in frustration after a couple of hours).
Will I watch anymore of this series…? I might, but not religiously so.
We now have the deposit from out new tenants and I’ve drawn up a new lease, just need to get it signed now. The new tenants sound like nice (reliable) people, so fingers crossed, things should go as planned. They’ll be moving in on June 11th.
I’d love to blog about what I’ve been doing at work, but I can’t. Confidentiality you see. I’d love to say that I went … and saw …, then bumped into… Then went … and did …, but I can’t. I’ll just say that it’s been quite an eventful week and probably a little more varied and exciting than usual.
This has got to be one of my favourite games on the DS so far.
It’s so, so simple. Really no more than a simple text adventure really, but as the story progresses and you start to put the clues together and build a case, it really gets the adrenalin pumping.
Roz said the other day that it sound a little too much like work (my work that is). Then again I rarely deal with Silver Samurai actors, Psychics and dead bosses in real life!
Just hope that the sequel is as good. Maybe a Wii version may even be on the cards (although I’m uncertain how the wiimote would be used – unless they included a microphone attachment), I can but hope anyway. After all, Trauma Centre is due to be a launch title for the Wii – so why not bring Phoenix Wright to the party?
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Unfortunately, however, are agent from Martel Maides has told us that there is a rather unfortunate smell in the flat. She described that as like a tomcat had peed on the carpet. So now we have this to deal with. The new tenants seem happy to take on the flat, so long as the smell is dealt with.
The problem is, we can’t very well go down to the flat and tell our tenants that they smell, or even ask what they have been doing in the flat to cause the smell (they could very well be unaware of it). I think our best bet is to simply get the flat professionally cleaned (including the carpets) prior to the new tenants moving in.
Our new tenants would prefer to move in a little early on the 1st June, so I’ll have to speak to the existing tenants to find out whether they are willing to leave early. That's the plan at least, except I don't seem to be able to catch a time when the tenants are actually in the flat...
I read on the internet today that the official response to the Wii from BOTH Sony and Microsoft is that it would make an excellent second console… At this rate the Wii may even get the biggest market share! We can but hope. All I want now is an official release date in Europe sometime before Christmas 06… Pretty please Nintendo.
I’ll be off to Jersey in a couple of weeks with Roz, Elliot and Roz’s parents. We’ll be staying at the Merton Hotel as this is ideal for children, and Elliot seemed to enjoy it there last time. Also the evening buffet meals are lovely!
Whilst in Jersey I’m hoping to catch a few films at their vastly superior cinema… Namely:
The Da Vinci Code
United 93 (possibly)
Saturday, May 13, 2006
They have signed a years lease which was arranged through an estate agent (who took a 10% finders fee). So if we were to allow them to give one months notice, we will have in effect paid the estate agent the commission for a years rent, for just 3 months. Of course I would insist that the deposit was not repaid, which would help a little, but we would still be losing out, not to mention the fact that we’d have to try to find new tenants…. Again!
Alternatively, I could insist that the tenants stay. They have after all signed a years lease. We also hold a letter from their employer which guarantees payment of a years rent. So presumably, if they were unable pay, we could chase the employer via petty debts for the remaining money.
I’ve spoken both to the employer and the tenant. The employer basically said that his employee has to stay and will speak to him about this. My tenant (the employee) has said that his employer will not help out in the least and that he simply cannot afford to pay the rent that I’m asking (which is very reasonably btw).
So, at the moment, I’ve left it that I’ve told the tenants that I’ll think about it… But what to do? Insist that he abides by the years lease and see how payment goes… pursuing the employer for payment of my tenant doesn’t cough up? Also bearing in mind that there would be a great deal of bad feeling from my tenant towards me (they after all, just live downstairs from us). Or, just accept a month notice, keep the deposit (losing out on a few hundred pounds to the estate agents) and start all over again…
Why did I ever decided to become a landlord again?
Elliot accidentally lost a beanbag into the field behind our garden today. I climbed over the wall to try to retrieve this (but was unable to – too many brambles and stinging nettles), then as I was climbing back over the concrete wall, smacked my left kneecap on the wall.
By god is it hurting at the moment.
It seems the longer I don’t use my leg, the more it hurts. I’m dreading the paid tomorrow morning when I wake up…
Lady Vengeance (aka Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)
The last part of the Park Chan-Wook Vengeance trilogy, comprising of Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance.
I simply loved Oldboy. It is without a doubt one of the most astounding films I have seen in years. Unfortunately, when I watched Sympathy for Mr Vengeance shortly after watching Oldboy, I was very disappointed. Therefore, whilst really looking forward to Lady Vengeance, I was also a little cautious that it may turn out to be the disappointment the Mr Vengeance was.
In a word… “wow”,
While not quite as good as Oldboy, Lady Vengeance is still an absolute masterpiece. A very different film, slightly more sluggish pacing and a more drawn out conclusion, but still on a similar level to Oldboy.
I have read that some found that this film wasn’t as shocking as Mr Vengeance and Oldboy. Whilst it is true that for most of the film, it isn’t as stomach churning as the first parts of the trilogy, the final segment of the story is just as powerful.
For the most part, this initially seems a much simpler tale of revenge than Oldboy, but as will the twists in Oldboy, Lady Vengeance holds a spectacular card up it’s sleeve. I wouldn’t spoil the film for anyone, just to say that it turns out a lot different than you might have expected and involved a lot more people than you might expect.
As a father, I’ve also got to add that I found the film particularly disturbing, but again, without spoiling anything, I can’t go into the specifics.
A wonderful. Wonderful film.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I though I’d take a moment or two to write down my thoughts so far on E3.
I have watched all of the Nintendo conference, half of the Sony conference and have downloaded a lot of gameplay video/trailers. Read several “hands on” reports and pretty much taken in as much of E3 as possible without actually being there.
So far, it looks like Nintendo seem to have hit the ground running… and skipping. Sony on the other hand, seem a tad unprepared, over expensive and ever so slightly uninteresting.
Zelda on the Wii is looking very promising and Super Mario Galaxy just looks stella. Other promising looking Wii games are: Metroid Prime 3, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Excite Truck, WarioWare, Red Steel and Super Smash Bros Brawl. My only slight concern is that Nintendo are heavily marketing the Wii as a console that anyone can use, but there isn’t anything as immediately open to non-gamers in the same way that Brain Training and Nintendogs has been on the DS.
Talking of the DS… Phoenix Wright 2, Yoshi’s Island 2, StarFox… Yeah :)
On the PS3 both Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII are looking stunning and I quite like the look of Warhawk, but other than that – nothing truly new or immediately interesting.
As for Xbox360 – I’ve barely even looked…
I thought I’d also mention the PS3 controller. As predicted, this has reverted back to the old dual shock design (playing it very safe Sony). However, they have also include motion sensor in this at the expenses of the rumble pack. This just screams to me as a half-arsed attempt to outdo Nintendo. However, as the controller itself hasn’t changed, I don’t see this being as versatile or as well used as the Wii remote. It’s a good addition, just not sure how much it will be used.
Back to the Wii remote… A speaker on the remote? My first thoughts were simply… “huh”? But the more I think about it, the more I can see the sense of it. After all the sound of hitting a ball and a slight rumble of the remote would be a great indication that you’ve made virtual contact with a tennis ball. It should be interesting to find out how this is put to use by various developers.
Just also recently downloader the trailer for Super Smash Brothers Brawl. That has to be both one of the coolest and funniest trailers ever!
On a less happy note… Our tenant situation has taken a turn for the worse. I’m not really in the mood to blog about it now, but rest assured – the saga is not over.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Magical Mystery Tour
Past Masters vol. 1
Past Masters vol. 2
As I already had the “1” album, I already had most of the singles which are on the Past Masters albums, but it was still worthwhile getting these for the B sides and the rare singles. The anthology album, are fantastic. Again, most of the tracks I already have on other albums, but it’s interesting to listen to the demo’s, alternative takes and the general progress of each song into it’s completed form.
Got the 2 episodes of Lost to watch tonight – definitely looking forward to it. Also, Battlestar Galactica just seems to be getting better and better. I’m really quite spoiled for great TV shows at the moment!
Told Elliot that the new Nintendo console was called “Wii” the other day. He just sniggered and said “no, it’s called poo”. Even Elliot immediately things of urine… but then again he is currently being potty trained!
If anything, Wii is growing on me a little :-
Oh, I've just caught the trailer online for Superman. Previously I've been a little lukewarm in anticipation for this.... Now, consider me excited:
Is it a bird... Is it a plane? No, It's the trailer dummy!
I’ve just spent ages trying to type my opening statement for this game… What to say really?
Well, if you’ve ever wanted to stand up in court and shout “objection” then this is the game for you. It’s a mix of old text adventures of days gone by and something completely different, a lawyer sim.
The sense of satisfaction when a case starts to go your way really is great… Although I suspect this game may not last too long, it is certainly very different and memorable.
I downloaded this the other day from the Japanese PSP site.
It really is quite bizarre, there really is no other word for it! A strange mix of Sonic, Pikmin and Kirby. The fact that I can’t understand a word of Japanese also adds to the confusion a tad. However, this is without a doubt the most original game to come to the PSP since it’s launch and it currently the only game on the PSP horizon that I’m looking forward to!
Got this the other day… It has proven to me something that I have known for some time now… My wife is far smarter than I am. My initial Brain Age… 76 (very bad), hers 35 (pretty good).
I can see why this has done so well in Japan, the incentive to “play” each day to better yourself is very addictive. Also the fact that it keeps a record (in graph form) of my (and my wife’s) performance in the game is also a great idea.
Occasionally the voice recognition isn’t perfect. You have to say a colour in a calm tone for it to work – quite hard when you’re frantically trying to get as many answer right as possible. Also the text recognition slips up occasionally (it doesn’t like the way that I write 5’s and Roz writes 9’s), but then again, this could be seen as a bonus, as it makes us write correctly!
Overall, another great little distraction on the DS.