Wednesday, March 29, 2006

DS Lite, Good news and BAD news...

Received my DS Lite the other day...

Elliot waiting for me to open it...

Elliot and I admiring the DS Lite...

Unfortunately, shortly after turning this on I noticed a dead green pixel dead centre in the middle of the touch screen. Being a perfectionist, I know that this would get on my nerves no end, as such I plan on getting a new DS (probably White this time, as Navy smudges no end). Unfortunatley this mean waiting weeks and weeks and weeks again!!!!

*SOB* :(

At least I still have my old DS to contend with.

BTW, apart from the dead pixel the DS Lite is sexy as hell...

I'm sad, I know!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Order sent, Near Dark, Reiki and GDC

I received a magical email from Lik Sang earlier today – along the lines of “your order has been sent”.

That’s right – my DS Lite is on its way… It should reach me in 1-3 day. I presume this is working days, so I should have it by next Thursday at the latest! WooHoo!

More when I get it!

Both Sony and Nintendo’s talks at the GDc have come and gone. For Sony the only additional significant information which was given in relation to the PS3 was that it will be multiregion as far as games go (similar to the PSP). This is great news for importers of games. Now rather than waiting 6 months for a game to be release in Europe after the US, I should be able to get hold of a US copy in future.

There was a lot expected from the Nintendo talk, but very little information given. Many people believed that the “true” name for the Revolution would be revealed, many speculating that this would be “Go”, however, this was not announced. The only new Revoltion news was that it would be able to download Sega Mastersystem games in addition to the Nintendo back catalogue. Good news for Sega fans.

Also on the DS front a new game was announce. The Legend of Zelda : Phantom Hourglass. This seems to be a true sequel to Wind Waker, in that it uses the same animation style as Wind Waker and also shares the same setting. Of course being on the DS, there are also a great deal of touch screen features. All in all, this is looking very promising!

Roz went for her first reiki session yesterday. She said that she found it very beneficial, although I must admit that I’m still very doubtful of the technique, but glad that Roz is trying something new.

One thing that I wasn’t told about previously, was that that her reiki practitioner told her that after her reiki session that she wasn’t allowed to have sex for 24 hours as this would mess with her chi! Sounds like a big fat feminist conspiracy to me!

Films watched:
Near Dark
This is a very different vampire film. I came out shortly after Lost Boys, but is so far removed from this that it is almost a different genre. Interestingly the word vampire is not mentioned once during the film, also at no point is an explanation given to the characters “condition”

This film also cleverly uses many of the cast from Aliens (Bishop, Hudson etc), at one stage in the film, there is even a cinema in the background advertising “Aliens” on the billboard, a little in-joke I’d like to think.

A very atmospheric and different vampire film to the norm.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

BSG, Lite, South Park, Were-Rabbit and RPG’s

GDC speeches by Sony and Nintendo in the next couple of days. It’s been hinted that both will be revealing a few more details about their next-generation systems. It’s also hinted that the final name of the Revolution will also be revealed (my guess is that it will be call… drum roll… Revolution).

Battlestar Galactica has been off the scale recently and really quite dark. Facing the issues of prisoner cruelty and rape in a popular series really is quite brave. I’m beginning to side with the Cylons more and more!

I’m damn annoyed that I forgot to check when Battlestar Galactica started last night and as such missed the first ½ an hour. I’ve taped the remainder I hope to borrow the first bit off a friend.

Eurogamer have got a great review of the DS Lite on their site. They seem very pleased with it indeed (although I’m still not fussed by the Crystal Blue model). Just look at the screenshot on their site showing a game being played… just look at those screens! My goodness!

It can be seen here:


How dare they have one… I want mine now!

I don’t know if you have heard about the Scientology episode of South Park... Basically an episode has been made which pokes fun at Scientology has meant that Isacc Hayes (Chef) has quit the show, as he is a member of the Scientology cult (yes I call it a cult - lets not mess around, that's what it is). Now this! have an interesting article about what’s happening, an extract of which is below:

“You see, according to MSNBC, it looks like Tom Cruise threatened to stop promoting the upcoming "Mission Impossible III" film unless they pulled a South Park episode from television that was supposed to air that made fun of Scientology.

So basically Cruise is taking the movie hostage unless he gets his way. The studio (which also owns the comedy network) has apparently submitted to the almighty demands of Cruise and pulled the show.

Now look, I don't mind when a group of fans who are concerned about a topic decide to band together and protest something in order to try to effect change. But for one guy to take a multi-million dollar project hostage unless something is censored to his personal satisfaction... then that is just BULLSHIT.”

The amusing thing is that this episode has now been put online and can be found here:

South Park Scientology episode

Edit: Just watched this..... :) Very amusing.

Films watched:
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Wow… Simply Wow.

What a great film. I must admit that I’ve always liked the Wallace and Gromit short films, but this simply surpassed my expectations. I was a little concerned before watching the film that it may seem a little stretched over a feature length film, seeing that there had only been Wallace and Gromit short films previous. This was far from the case, in fact there was so much crammed into the film that it could have easily have been longer. There were some absolutely hilarious moments and some fantastic lines.

I must admit that I figured out the plot twist very early on, but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the film in the least.

You just have to love the Wallace rabbit!


Games played:
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness & Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

Yep – still playing away on these.

It’s good to be playing some good SRPG / RPG’s again.

Playing these have made me look forward to future RPG’s on the horizon, namely Rogue Galaxy, Disgaea 2, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy III (DS) and Dragon Quest VIII (hmm, that’s a lot of sequels).

At first I wasn’t too fussed by the looks of Final Fantasy XII, but the more I’ve seen the more I’m interested. Also the fact that it scored a perfect 40/40 in Famitsu is a vry good sign indeed.
I can see that it won’t be out over here until the PS3 is released, but that doesn’t bother me in the least, all this means is that it will be upscaled to Hi-Definition, which can only be a good thing!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Birthday, Taxman, Movies, Movies & Movies

Whilst walking into work this morning I put on my new Beatles album “Revolver”, the first track on this is called “Taxman”… How apt!

It was Roz’s birthday on Thursday, so I had the day off.

She seemed pleased with the pressies she received and we had quite a nice stroll around town in the morning (during which she persuaded me to buy a new suit). Elliot also enjoyed helping to blow the candles out on her cake.

Films watched
Corpse Bride
I brought this for Roz (amongst other things) for her birthday – but it was also a film that I was interested in watching seeing as how I’m a fan of most things by Tim Burton.

The animation was simply fantastic, the models exquisite and the storyline very likeable. Unfortunately as this is partially aimed at kids, they must have decided to follow the Disney route and add a few musical numbers (similar to Nightmare Before Christmas). Now whilst the musical numbers in Nightmare Before Christmas were not good, but bearable, these ranged from average to simply abysmal.

As a consequence what could have been a truly a great movie was turned into a merely good movie


Howl’s Moving Castle
Whilst not quite as good as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, this was still a splendid animated film. The charm that I’ve come to expect from Miyazaki’s films was just as present here.

The story seemed to stay a little around 2/3rds of the way into the film, but had both a spectacular (and amusing) beginning and enchanting ending.

Oh and Billy Crystal is simply perfectly cast in this film as a aggravated fire demon.


V for Vendetta
Now this was one film that I was really looking forward to. It is a film based on a graphic novel which I do own but have never read and somehow seem to have lost. I purchased it at the time because it was written by the same writer as Watchmen and was also meant to be very good, however, other than knowing the basic premise, I went into the film rather blind.

I’ve just got back from the cinema after watching it… My reaction? Fantastic.

This is exactly the type of film which demonstrates that films based on comics can be about ideas as much as action. In many ways this probably one of the bravest Hollywood movies to be made in years. It is after all a film which asks you to sympathise with a terrorist. The totalitarian government that he fights against may be corrupt, but this does not hide that the methods which are used are murder, bombings and terrorism.

This even addresses mental conditioning through torture in a truly surprising way, this is truly a film which you will leave with a few thoughts still lingering in your head.

I’ll just have to cross my fingers that Watchmen may eventually be made into a film… But V for Vendetta will be a tough act to follow!


So, overall a good few films a good few days...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

PS3 release date

The release date for the PS3 has finally been announced, this is:

November 2006 WORLDWIDE!

Yep, the worldwide is a bit of a shocker. Before the announcement, if you were to ask me, I would have predicted the following:

Japan July 2006
US November 2006
Europe Easter 2007

So this SHOULD mean that by Christmas 2006, I should have no one, but two new consoles, namely the PS3 and Nintendo Revolution (which is also due to launch on a similar date in Europe).

I stress the SHOULD because Sony are far from reliable when it comes to launch dates. After all the PS3 was originally during Spring 2006 (i.e. now), but worst still, the PSP was originally intended to launch worldwide at the end of 2004 (In the US it was around 4 months late and in Europe it was around 9 months late). So I’ll be taking today’s announcement with a slight pinch of salt.

Of course if they don’t make a European launch before Christmas 2006, it will be a severe kick in the groin for Sony. They cannot afford to allow Microsoft to enjoy 2 Christmas’s ahead of them!

It’s also been confirmed that the PS3 will have a 60GB hard drive and also upscale PS1 and PS2 games to high definition… All sounding very promising (imagines ICO in high definition glory).

I'm sure I'll find out more in the coming months... namely at E3.

I’ve been listening to The Beatles an awful lot recently on my ipod. I’ve recently got hold of Revolver and Sg. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club and have been listening to these along with The White Album and 1.

All great, great stuff.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tenants, French Connection and Disgaea

We have tenants!

That’s right, you read that correctly.

I didn’t want to mention anything prematurely, but we now have tenants which have not only paid the deposit but also the first months rent. Fingers crossed that everything else pans out okay.

Unfortunately we got the tenants through Swoffers which means that we have to pay a big fat 10% commission to them, which is a real kick in the crotch. What’s worse is that the service from Swoffers was far from perfect. We definitely won’t be using them again in the future…

This means that we will likely be booking a small trip to Jersey in a few months time (which will certainly get Elliot excited – he’s been talking about it non-stop since we went last year).

I’m a tad annoyed with our neighbours…. They are being a bit of a pain in the arse when it comes to the parking, which has given our tenants some difficulties getting in and out of their place, which is not the best first impression to give!

Films watched:
The French Connection
Picked this up (and the sequel) at a car boot the other week. I’ve never watched either of these.

I must admit that I was a tad disappointed. I expected a lot more from such a “classic” film, instead it was pretty much a humdrum police drama. I’m not doubting that Gene Hackman was very good in it, it was just that it didn’t really feely very special.

Great car chase around the elevated subway though!


Games played:
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
I was at a little bit of a loose end now that I’ve completed Shadow of the Colossus. I had toyed with buying Black – but discounted this. I also tried getting back into Beyond Good and Evil, but to be frank, I’ve completely lost the plot and have no idea what I’m meant to be doing. Instead I picked up my copy of Disgaea again.

For those who don’t know Disgaea is a strategic role playing game in a similar vein to Final Fantasy tactics. It also share some element with Advance Wars in the fact that it is turn based and very brain taxing.

It really is a great, great game, and I’m please that I’ve recommenced playing it. The graphics are nothing to write home about (Really no better than PS1 graphics), but the gameplay and strategy needed really are sublime.

Have just seen that DAMN MOUSE again!


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sky, X-Men 3 and Mario&Luigi

Sky came around this morning whilst Roz was in and have fixed a new dish to our house. I have been assured that this is now working - but I'm yet to try it out.

Downloaded the full trailer for X-Men 3 the other day.

This is still looking very promising, despite all the negative press it’s been getting on the internet of late. The vast majority of people out there seem to think that the film is doomed now that Bryan Singer is no longer helming the project.

Give it a chance, I say…


Games played:
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

I decided to make a start on this the other day as it now looks very unlikely that I’ll be getting my DS Lite anytime soon.

So far, I’ve been most impressed. For anyone who has enjoyed the Paper Mario games this is a must buy, it is filled to the brim with charm and humour. In some respects it is almost a simplified version of Paper Mario, as the main attack is just a jump, but as you control 4 separate characters each with their own jump keys, this can still get very challenging.

Definitely one I’d recommend.

Monday, March 06, 2006

SKY are scum and the last Colossi!

Okay – our Sky TV broke down around 5 weeks ago… We had nothing more than a “no signal” message. So I arranged for this to be fixed – direct through SKY. This had to be arranged 5 weeks in advance for March the 8th and I was told that I would be contacted a couple of days before hand to arrange the time etc… I had not heard anything so I phoned today.

I’m now told that they will only phone me – on the day – prior to 9 a.m. This is useless considering that I’m normally in work at 7:40. Roz works the afternoon and is out most of the morning with Elliot, Making life very difficult for me to arrange someone to be at our house when they’re going to install this.

Grrrrrrr…. Most annoyed.

I tried phoning someone else to fix the problem (note we now know that it’s the dish as this has since rusted and fallen off the wall). I was told that this would cost £45 for a new dish and a further £45 per hour! So that options out the window!

Why the hell can’t people book things in advance for a specific time???? Do they think that everyone just sits at home ideally all day waiting and hoping that they’ll arrive at some stage???

Games Played:
Shadow of the Colossus
Completed this before (btw from my last post – still haven’t slept more so this counts as completed whilst suffering from sleep deprivation).

Definitely not as masterful a game as ICO, but still exceedingly good. Whenever you killed a Colossi I always had the inkling that you were doing something very bad and now I know that that was certainly the case. The ending is definitely on the downbeat side, and also somewhat ambiguous. There were definite links to ICO, but these were never really explained. You never know, the next game (for the PS3 presumably) may also be set in the same “world” and may shed a little more light (figuratively and physically).

BTW the last Colossi redefines huge. Its fingers were as big as the smaller Colossi!

Oscar winners

Okay, here is the rundown of my oscar predictions and whether these were correct or not:


NO – CRASH (But I couldn’t be happier to be wrong)




NO - Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE


George Clooney - SYRIANA


Reese Witherspoon - WALK THE LINE


YES (And I was very please with this result)


















"In the Deep" - CRASH
NO - "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW











A total of 15/20 or 75% - not too bad!

The win for Crash for Best Picture was certainly a surprise and a very pleasant one at that, as in my opinion it was the only film nominated that deserved to win.

I managed to catch around 2 hours nap prior to the Oscars and around 1 hours after – strangely I’m not feeling tired at the moment (now 11:00 in the morning). This evening may be a different story – I really am a loon!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Pain in the neck, **, PSP vs DS and “sold out”!

The last couple of day I’ve woken up with an awful pain in my neck in shoulders. The sort of feeling you get when you’ve slept in a funny position and find that it hurts to turn your head too much. I had hope that it would feel better after another nights rest, but if anything it feels worse!

I’ll have to keep an eye on this – hope it improves soon.

Two **’s… That’s right, I’ve managed to reach a two star rating on Mario Kart DS, after much hard racing. Now people will quiver at my presence when they see me racing online.

On a related topic, I’ve read that for Metroid Prime: Hunters, your online ranking will show how many times you have disconnected during a game, so you’ll be able to spot the annoying gits who disconnect during races in Mario Kart, just because they’re losing!

I used my PSP today for the first time in months, the reason? Well, to listen to MP3’s at work as Roz was using my ipod… Certainly not to play a game.

This only goes to show why the DS is far more essential than the PSP. I use my DS almost every other day to play a game, whilst my PSP is gathering dust in the corner. It occurred to me to have a think about the upcoming handheld games that I was currently either going to get or might get, these are as follows:

Nintendo DS:
Animal Crossing : Wild World
Tetris DS
Metroid Prime : Hunters
New Mario Bros
Phoenix Wright
Rub Rabbits
Trauma Center
Final Fantasy III
Children of Mana

Sony PSP:
Final Fantasy VII : Crisis Core – Maybe

And this is even before E3 2006, where there are bound to be plenty of games announced. I think this, more than anything else illustrates why the DS is the handheld to own at the moment. The problem with the PSP is that all they seem to release on it are port of PS2 games, and why on earth would you pay for a PSP port when you can play it on the PS2? Of all the games that I own for the PSP, the only truly original game is Lumines.

On a side note, I had vaguely considered selling my PSP and using the funds to buy the 4GB Datel media player for the DS, but there’s always the possibility that future ORIGINAL games may come out on the PSP.

The DS Lite (Pure White version) was launched in Japan today. The result… Just have a look at the pictures below:

Hundreds upon hundreds of people were queuing in the freezing cold since the early hours of the morning (camping out in sleeping bags) outside every store in Tokyo and the DS Lite was literally sold in minutes with thousands of people leaving home without one.

The likelihood of me getting hold of the Enamel Navy DS Lite on its launch on the 11th March is looking slimmer and slimmer by the day.