Tuesday, 26 August 2008

I'm online again!

Today marked the day I bought a year's subscription to Xbox Live. If you've not added me already, do so.
Gamertag: Dizturbd666
I get bored easily.
Quick post as I have other things to do. Expect something insightful soon!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Picture time!



Thought I'd give this a go. Found it on DeviantArt while searching for Video games. As far as I know, the original poster was Kawaii-Chocobo. Feel free to correct me. Also have a look at the link and have a go yourself. Mine's a bad job, so I might do another soon. (Yes, I know i can't draw.) I also don't know what the last question meant. Fill in the blank with your imagination. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Sleep deprivation makes for good titles not

You may have noticed the new title format at the top of the page.
Pictures?! Not text?! Crazy, I know, but I like it, so it's staying. In other news, In return for not posting for a while I had a big post nearly done with ScribeFire. Then I reformatted my computer, losing the post. Typical.
So lets see if we can't salvage something from this obvious plea for attention and break from boredom. Recently, I completed the Xbox 360 gem that is Mass Effect. Since completion I've went back and am now on my 5th playthrough. Ruddy good game. The amount of customisation in the game is immense. A player with a lot of free time could easily spend hours in the player creation screen. I lost track of time and spent ages getting my first character's eye position just right. There are a multitude of different character classes to choose from, each giving you different skills and attributes. You even get to choose your history. And then there's the in-game decisions to make. In many cases, you literally decide who lives or dies. There's the usual 'Good or Evil' style you can find in so many games these days helping you keep track of how much of an arsehole you are. The achievements (If you're into that sort of thing.) require replaying the game a minimum of 4 times, each time varying the story greatly. Each achievement unlocks a certain upgrade, such as gaining 10% more EXP.
The story is centered around Commander Shepard, male or female depending on your choice during the player creation process. It follows the discovery of ruins on Mars, helping humanity to build faster than light travel. You start on your way to a planet called Eden Prime, where another of these ruins have been discovered, which you and your alien buddies hope to use for the good of the galaxy. sure enough, everything goes tits up, and it's up to you to kill everything in sight to save our beloved section of space. As with all RPG's, you're sent on many sidequests which could have easily been done by the sender, all in an effort to level up to go beat the bad guy. You could just as easily skip them out, since the enemies level with you, but that means missing out on backstory and sub-plots, something I'm a sucker for.
Mass Effect is highly recommended, as it's one of the best games I've played in a while.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Your friendly neighbourhood addict

So recently I got myself a month's free gold Xbox Live, which so far I've put to good use. Today has been one of those days where I want to do nothing but game. (Read: A normal day.) After finding out a clever trick to use my laptop as a wireless device, meaning I didn't have a LAN cable going from my dad's room to mine, (If I can remember the site, I'll post it later) I took out Grand Theft Auto IV and had a blast at that. Since it's all I've been playing for the past week, I decided to have a go at some of my other classics to see what their online capabilities were like. Condemned and Devil May Cry 4 both have no multiplayer, but I still found the single player modes killed the monotomy of my daily life. Next up was F.E.A.R. I couldn't get past a certain point in the story mode, so after looking it up online, and realising there was no actual trick and I was just being a really crap aim, I decided to put the game away. I've tried online multiplayer before, but I spent 5 minutes looking at the party screen while people came and went, so I don't think I'll be going back to that soon. Stranglehold is a game where I am so immensely bad, I can't get past the first level. I suppose I'll just have to get used to the fast-paced action of the game, but until then I'm staying well away from it. I feel like the game laughs at me. Viva Pinata hints at an online mode, but gives no details away. I had to scour through the manual, and even then it says 'at a certain level'. You'd think with the amount of online safety warnings the game gives there'd be a lot to do, but so far it just looks like you can trade items with people. I suppose I'll have to reach that mysterious level to find out. (I'm level 13 now by the way. Am I close?) Last but not least, there's Halo 3. I have Halo 2, which also has online capabilities, but a man can only have enough Halo in one day. Besides, Halo 2 sucked. Imagine my surprise when the first time I log on, plug in my headset and hear people talking, it's not a 'hyped up 14 year old kids debating whether or not my mother is a whore''s voice like I've been led to believe. It was a guy who sounded about my age, who did nothing but compliment people's kills. Every now and then there was someone else talking who did the same. I heard gasps of astonishment when someone exploded or someone managed a skillful kill (This was a place for beginner's by the way.) This enthusiasm in the human race didn't last long, as the next time I logged on, there was
aforementioned 14 year old constantly saying 'Veto' and saying how much this map sucked. When no-one but him veto'd, he didn't say much during the match. (Which, incidently, I won by default) I thought I'd take up another game, and ended up winning. Heaven forbid! This inflation of my ego will not help my addiction level of Xbox Live.
Tomorrow: I plan to get a life and step outside, weather permitting.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Damn laziness

Mike brought it to my attention that I hadn't uploaded my blog in a while. (See. Other people DO read this thing!) I've not played any new games in a while, so I haven't got a good review planned, so let's talk films.
I've just watched Diary Of The Dead. I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. One the one hand, a zombie's eyes explode. On the other, there aren't enough zombie mobs. The whole film is done in the style of a documentary, using all those skills I learnt in Media Studies which promote realism. Though if this film was real, the American army would be a bunch of cunts, the media would edit everything to prevent panics, and humans would be the real scourge of the planet. Wait, shit.
OK, different film. Iron Man. Now there's a film without even a hint of realism. Because if it was real, life would be a lot more awesome. Just because there's a man that flies with his shoes. Today's brands really need to pick up on the fact that we need more shoes with the ability to fly, coupled with the gloves to help us steer. Screw fancy colours and new designs, flying shoes are what the market needs! Anyway, back on track, Iron Man has to be one of the best superhero films of recent days. It's rare that the origin story is usually as good as this, as demonstrated by The Hulk, from what I can tell are re-making the first film since the first was a huge flop. But I could be wrong. Watch this space.
Next time, I'll probably have played a new game. Or I'll just talk about an old game, just to fulfill your nerdy needs.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Time for another review methinks

It's because I'm bored and there's nothing to do for 8 more hours until work. Anyway, I think it's time I talked about a game that didn't involve mindless killing and destruction for once. Viva Pinata. Note: Though the killing and destruction is infact there, it's more childlike, and nothing actually dies.
Viva Pinata is a sandbox game in which you make a garden for a load of paper mache animals to come live in. Sounds boring? You'd be wrong. And shut up. The game is surprisingly addictive. Remember when The Sims first came out and you spent your days playing that, doing the same things over and over? This is the same. You clear the junk out of the garden, plant some grass, get upgrades on tools, build houses and plat seeds, sell things to buy more things, and get animals to move in. Then you get your garden expanded, and you o the same, but with more space. But the key mechanic of this game is that it's fun. It just goes to show that you don't need guns and dead bodies to make a game fun.
While we're on the subject, if a Pinata does 'die', the paper mache splits to splatter sweets onto the ground, which the other animals come to eat. While that's happening, the paper mache bits float in the air, and reform outside the garden boundary. I found this a fun way to cover up the fact that your child's prized worm just died. It also allows you to technically 'kill' the same thing many times, which could be quite satisfactory.
There was a time in the game when I didn't think about selling the random bits of fruit to make some money, and spent all my time mating my worms and birds. Everytime you try to mate two pinatas, you have to go through a maze mini-game, where coins litter the place. You can get up to 20 coins each time. This meant that there was A LOT of incest in my garden, as I was saving up for a lamp so a moth could move in. This kept me amused for a while as I realised it was a kid's game and I'd just destroyed the innocence of it.
That, and the penis shaped pond didn't help.

Monday, 5 May 2008

No-one's ever blogged about this game before!

It's GTAIV week! Even though I haven't actually managed to get a copy yet, I've played a mate's copy for a few hours. I've been told by a tutor that 15 minutes is all you need to get a feel for the game, so this should make me an expert. Right? Strangely, most of this time was spent progressing through the story, rather than the homicidal rampages which used to pop up after completing a few missions, getting bored, and realising you're holding a loaded firearm in a crowded area. From what I've seen, the story is amazing. The characters actually seem like real people, rather than gangsters who just tell you to go to point B and kill person X because they stole a cherry pie from them last week. (For the record, I'd say this is a pretty good reason for ordering a hit on someone.) The characters are given in depth back-stories, most obvious being the main character, Nico. Nico actually has a reason for his sharp shooting, unlike the previous GTA games which basically insinuate that the character is a really lucky shot.
The map is enormous and really goes to town on the scenery. It may be using the same name as the city from GTAIII and GTA: Liberty City Stories, but that's all it has in common with it's namesake. (That, and the ridiculously high crime rate.)
The cars' handling is more realistic, making the chase missions that little bit harder until you come to terms with it. The 'cartoony' explosion is long gone, with different parts of the car catching fire, before exploding into a fireball and engulfing nearby pedestrians. The wreckage is sprayed all over the place, with the chassis still on fire for a while afterwards. It's not just exploding which makes the cars inoperable anymore either, with the engine failing after one too many hits to that tree.
The NPC aspect of the game has greatly improved, with the pedestrians no longer walking over corpses in the street not paying attention to the strange man with a rifle aiming at them in the distance for some reason. Speaking of which, corpses have actual physics now! Imagine my surprise when I walked over a guy I beat to death with my car, to see that he rolled over depending on how I walked over him. Cue 5 minutes of me running back and forth over him. Which brings me to my other point. The bodies stay there and don't just disappear into the ground, only to be replaced by a chalk outline and a blood spatter. I've not yet found out how/when the bodies do actually vanish, but I'll keep on the case. (Which means my killing will be for science. FOR SCIENCE I SAY!)
There are many more things I could talk about, like how mature the game seems over it's previous violence hungry predecessors, but I'm sure you've all actually got a copy of the game and are too busy playing it to actually read this. Sorry for distracting you, now go back and kill that hooker.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Last (needed) blog post.

So this shall be the last blog post I need to do for my assignment. I'll probably keep updating afterwards just because I'm that vain. Anyway, this task is about what I did during my Easter break. It got off to a good start, being my birthday on the Monday. After officially a full year of boozing I thought I'd give my liver a rest, plus the fact that many of my mates aren't over 18 so couldn't get into clubs in Liverpool, so ended up in Pizza Hut.
I'm sure many people by now know about me and Amy splitting up, which kind of put a downer on the whole holiday fiasco. I'd bought my own copy of Guild Wars, so I spent most of the holidays playing that as a result.
Easter wasn't a good time for relationships. Many couples I know had split in the same week as we did, one of which was a friend of mine who lives just around the corner from me. When I wasn't on Guild Wars, I was there being told about how much men suck, which was replied with the same, but with a gender reversal.
In typical gaming fashion I tried out the LOST video game, got my monk to Level 20, and helped my Dad build my computer when we realised it was actually quite slow and terrible. Buying more Guild Wars games helped with the boredom at times also.
After three weeks, a bottle of Jagermeister was purchased, and it was back to Preston for good ol' education, with the Jager to help with the not going out and saving money for after exams. So far, it's not been working.

How was everyone else's Easter?

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Paul told me to

Due to the Computing Skills assignment, we all have to talk about Asos.com. Since we're all computing students, I thought this was a little off, but that's a different story. After Paul had a look at the site, he noticed the models were doing really weird poses, so we came up with the idea of a little competition. Take any picture from the site, edit, and post on your blog. Best one gets 500exp and a skill point. Or whatever the real life equivalent is. (We'll sort it out later. I have drinking to do)

Here's my contribution. Click the thumbnail for full size.

I just orgasmed in my pants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5v0_TjBxY8
http://www.afhakers.nl/media.asp?x=9721

Dead Fantasy 1 and 2. The second looks much better on the site I found it on than on YouTube. I love Monty Oum just for this. I wonder when 3 is released.

EDIT: Paul just told me about this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL-mR79GErU
Haloid.

Monday, 31 March 2008

A day in the life of Ryan

10am: Awake from stupor after very little sleep.
11am-12pm: Church.
12pm-3pm: Play Guild Wars.
3pm-4pm: Procrastinate on MSN.
4pm-4:30pm: Eat.
4:30pm-10pm:Play Pokémon Ruby after realising the internet is boring on a Sunday.
10pm-12am: More MSN. A little Facebook/Myspace as well.The internet is my oyster.
12am-1am: Stumble.
1am: Find a new Webcomic.
1am-2:30am: Read Webcomic.
2:30am-4am: Try to do some assignment work.
4am: Write a blog just to procrastinate.
????
Profit.

Friday, 28 March 2008

I really shouldn't be told when I get paid

Found out Subway paid me directly to my bank account for once, rather than by cheque. At that moment, by coincidence I realised I needed a Gamecube memory stick and new shoes.
Anyone else hating the boredom the Easter holidays bring or is it just me?

So, a game review. Not done one of those in a while. Let's see, what have I been playing?
I got Lost Via Domus for my birthday. I'm a huge fan of the series, no idea why, so it was a good surprise. The game is a point and click adventure game, to an extent. There is also a puzzle aspect to each level, where you have to sort out the circuitry of some sort of machine to progress. For example, the in first level you have to stop the plane from exploding. The game very loosely follows the TV plot, but follows an unseen character's story. I like the way how I'm 4 episodes into the game, and I'm up to the beginning of the storyline of series 2. I also like the way how the game is set out like an episode. Your character, who has amnesia, has flashbacks where you have to take pictures to remember parts of his past. At the beginning of each level, or episode, you get the "Previously, on Lost:" announcement which is in every episode on TV. Might post more when I'm further, but I'll leave it at that for now. if you're a fan of Lost, buy it. If not, I wouldn't recommend it.

http://wondermark.com/d/119.html
Don't say I never get you anything.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A little late

Probably should have said last week when I actually did it, but I finished the YouTube part of this assignment.

Enjoy.

Oh, and I just found this video.
And I found this one pretty funny as well. He says the German guy 'trained' on Counter Strike: Half Life.
Funny, I've not played that version of Counter Strike before.

It's a great blog as well. Read the recommended reading.


Sunday, 23 March 2008

Why am I even listening?

So I have Kerrang radio on right now, and in-between the adverts begging you to use a condom,they actually find the time to play some music.

Sadly, the 'music' consists of a load of cockney, indie bands with annoying singing voices, all of which think they are being innovative and unique singing about that girl who didn't think they were actually all that great last week and using the same generic guitar riff.

If you're Mo, I've told you about how much I hate one of the DJ's of a night, as he doesn't know what he's talking about, and uses the same comments for each track. If you're not Mo, you've just read it and I don't need to repeat myself.

And the DJ that just finished now, all she does is promote her blog or her Myspace, or both.

Back to the condom adverts, and I've never heard worse excuses for adverts in my life. One of them has the inner monologues of two kids who don't sound to be over 15, and what's worse is that the girl turns Scouse at the end. This, in itself, had me screaming at the TV, as I'd gotten away from all that when i moved to uni. I'd make a joke about scousers not using condoms, but I kind of like living.

My favourite has to be the one where the guy in the advert is talking about not thinking about using condoms when you're drunk. i can't help but think if this was true (which it is) you wouldn't listen to this advert when drunk wither, so it's usefulness is kind of lost. Many people have the dilemma of "I could stop and use a condom, or I could be having sex in 5 seconds." After drinking the bar dry, which do you think will look more plausible?

I realise because of all the bad press I'm giving it, half of you will all go and listen to it now to see what I'm talking about, just like when people protest against video games. By all means, do so. you'll see I'm right. Like always.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Test

I'm posting this from a handy little Firefox extension called ScribeFire. If you use Firefox, I'd reccommend it. Takes a minute to set up, and saves a lot of time logging in to your blog. Can also be used on multiple blogs.
Hope everyone's having a good Easter holiday so far. I've spent most of mine doing D.I.Y on the PC, but it seems to be working awesomely so far.

Watch this space for (imminent) virus whines etc.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Back to normal

Blogging at half 3am?!
That must mean Ryan has internet access. It also means I'm back home.

So I come back from uni for 3 weeks after living away from home since January, and what do I do? (Try to) Install all the programs I need on my newly upgraded desktop so I can carry on with some assignments. But as it's me, something had to go wrong. First off, I've tried installing Visual Studio 3 times. All three times I've had to restart the computer for various reasons. Same with getting my Entertainment Computing pictures from NetStorage. It must be a big file as it's an unknown filesize, and it had been downloading for an hour before I had to restart last time. I have no idea how to set up Visual Studio for the TL Engine when it's finally installed as the Games Concepts website is down. Again.

And to top it all off, as I was catching up with LOST, my computer went crazy and started making noises. I think it was the fan, as I did a bit of DIY and it seems to have stopped.

Hopefully it's all sorted out soon, and I can get down to some work.

On a lighter note, I hadn't been home for 5 minutes and I had mates inviting me out tomorrow night. Popular bugger I am. So I'm off to Roadkill, for a catch up with some mates, Amy, and to see some (hopefully) good bands.

Friday, 14 March 2008

I'm getting geekier by the day

So Dave bought me Guild Wars Prophecies the other day, and then we've been playing the Dungeons and Dragons board game. I love both games, and I doubt I'll get much work done over Easter because of it. Which is a shame because some of the assignments are (God forbid) fun.

Not been blogging as much due to recent Laptop problems. I thought I would have been bored as hell without a laptop, but the past two weeks have been a blast. The above games, going out, and working have filled up my time.
For instance, last night, I went to lectures, made sure I got a pass in Programming at least, went for an all you can eat, then played Dungeons and Dragons before work. Straight after work I ended up in Revs, then we went to Mo's flat. When I woke up, I went to the games lab, played some Guild Wars, went to mine for DnD, then back to the games lab for GW. Rinse and repeat for the past week.

I'm going to have to end it here since I'm going home today. Which means leaving the lesson early.

Oh, and by the way, I'm 19 on Monday 17th. I expect the large, expensive presents by Sunday.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Ten reasons why phones suck.

So today's task is another exciting list. One where I must list the reasons not to use mobile phones during class, lectures etc. I have a feeling this might be due to one dude who's been caught doing this on more than one occasion during lectures the past few days, but that's a different story.

Numbero uno (One).
It distracts others. You may think you're talking quietly, but in a lecture theater, your voice carries. And this is really annoying for those actually trying to pay attention.

Two.
Your ringtones are crap. Not much to say about this. The opening sentence says it all really.


Three.
It makes me feel unpopular. When I see someone on their phone, I can't help but look at mine, and realise no-one has rang me in days. It's quite the ego killer.

Four.
It distracts the lecturer. So some lecturers can ignore it, or at least tell the student to get off the phone, and carry on. But what about lecturers who haven't been doing this for very long, or a guest speaker. It'll be harder for them to pick up where they left off?

Five.
I'm scouse. You have a phone out. Need I say what happens next? Those crime adverts on TV tell you not to advertise your phone to thieves.

Six.
I have the strange urge to throw things at people who are distracting me during lectures. But the only things I have in my pockets worth throwing are my PSP, and my phone, which both weigh a lot. Sit in front of me next time and see what happens. If all goes to plan, you might feel the weight of my phone on the back of your head, in sweet, sweet irony.

Seven.
It's rude. How would you feel if I was on my phone and talking when you're talking to me about something that's actually important.

Eight.
You paid to be here. You're going to waste that money on talking on the phone? Well done.

Nine.
Everyone might see what model you have the displeasure of owning, whether it's the newest model with the thousands upon thousands pointless features, or the brick with the battery the size of my hand.

Ten.
The ringtone may wake me up. If I've been out the night before, or had my usual 2 hours sleep, I won't be too pleased.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

My opinion is better than yours

So I've come to the conclusion that Ticketmaster sucks turkeys, and Seetickets can assult me anally anytime it wishes. So what brings this on?
One simple reason. I have Pendulum tickets.
Save your applause until after these words while I regail a tale of misery and woe.

So I go onto Ticketmaster looking for Pendulum tickets, find some, and reserve them while I fill in my details. It was only until the end when I realise that they do not take my debit card. Should have remembered from when I bought Motley Crue tickets last year really, when I had to use my auntie's card and give her the money. This would have taken ages, as I'd have to go home and persuade her to give me the money again. (Though I am the favorite so it wouldn't have been a problem.)

Seetickets was my next port of call since I've used them to buy tickets for countless other gigs. 5 minutes later, I was £40 poorer, but two pendulum tickets richer. And that's why Seetickets owns. And why I now can't wait for May 2nd.

Pendulum, then Mighty Boosh, then Lee Evans. It's going to be a good Summer/Autumn.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Computers suck

So I fixed my laptop temporarily, only to have the same problem again a few hours later.
I've now figured out that the fan wasn't working, and the whirring I thought was the fan was actually the hard-drive, which means that the laptop has been overheating without me knowing.
You know, except for the extreme heat every now and then which I took no notice of.
Thankfully I still have the warranty of the thing so I should be able to get a new fan soon. I just have to wait until next Friday to send it to Novatech, when I go home for Easter.

On a lighter note, I should get paid tomorrow (tomorrow being 10 minutes away) so I can buy Pendulum tickets for me and Amy. Who should be coming down on Sunday.

To add to the greatness I'm feeling right now, I'm listening to Rise Against.
All is right with the world.

Well, except for laptops, which can burn in hell.
(Probably what mine was doing while overheating actually)

Monday, 3 March 2008

This is hard

Living with limited internet access is hard.
Hopefully my computer will be up and running on Wednesday, so I can carry on blogging like a mad man.

Now, it's been a while, so here's a brief games review.
Brief because I haven't completed it yet.

Being the Final Fantasy whore I am, I managed to get Final Fantasy I for the PSP a few months ago. I've been playing it a lot since I fixed my PSP, and all I can say is that back in the 1980's, they didn't know about exposition. I spent hours walking around the world map figuring out where to go. This has it's ups, as for the majority of the game I've been 20 levels higher than I needed to be. The rest of the game is good though. There isn't much character development, though I didn't expect it from a SNES port. The version of the game I got is to celebrate the 20 year anniversary, where FFI and FFII were remastered to look more flashy. However, only the graphics and the names of some key items have changed. The rest of the game is the same as it was back in 1987.

I told you it would be brief.
I'll probably come back to it at some point to talk about the story after I've completed it.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Video editing

The Entertainment Computing lecturers should realise that when you give a student a camera, lots of weird clips start to appear. (For example, we had a lot involving a photo booth. )

The theme of last week was 'Superheroes.' Apparently, someone suggested it, and since it was his birthday, Nicky said yes. I hope I get asked for a theme when it's my birthday. The videos to come out of that would be priceless. And NSFW.

Anyway, I joined up with the usuals, and we walked around Preston looking for ideas. When nothing came to mind, we ended up walking down an alley to see what was there. At the end was a nursery. We had cameras. I walked away promtly.
It gave Will the chance to point out Bhalock Street though. (Note: Read as 'Bollock')

An extra hour passed where we took random videos and linked them to superheroes very slightly.

The amazing thing is, we managed to make a decent video with the severe lack of footage we took. How we managed to make a spinning chair relevant is beyond us!

Me, Mo, and Will toiled over a hot Movie Maker window for an hour and a half this week to make something relatively watchable. Ricky was meant to help since he was with us when the group split up into groups last week, but he was doing the usual looking at Youtube videos. We still gave him credit since he appeared in the movie though, because we're nice like that.
We'll beat him later.

I'm sure you're dying to see the video, so here goes.
If the video below doesn't work, follow this link.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Say it isn't so!

So my life is practically over!
My laptop is screwing up, and I'm thinking it may have to be sent off since it looks like a hardware malfunction.
It keeps freezing randomly after about half a minute.
I'm hoping it's not an internal error, since I'll be without a laptop for a week or so.
Hopefully it's just a virus.
It took me an hour to back up all my uni work, since it kept freezing in the middle of it.
In the end I had to copy over each folder seperately and hope for the best.
I'll reformat it later and hope it helps, or even better, fixes the damn thing.

Not a lucky day for me really.
I came to the games lab to go on the internet, only to find that Internet Explorer isn't working.
And Firefox is blocking most websites.
Ebuddy and Blogger are thankfully working though.

Sod's Law that this would happen when i have a slight hangover isn't it?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Talk about impulse buys

First off was a trip to HMV. While Mo looked around for a DVD, I stupidly browsed around and found the Airplane 1 and 2 boxset in a 3 for £20 deal. It was my mission to find two more to go with it so I could reap the rewards. My bank balance cried a cry of pain as I found The Holy Grail and Austin Powers International Man Of Mystery to go with it. Proud of my purchase, we all went Subway while I picked up my wage slip. It had £50+ in, which will be a critical point later. For our next lecture, we learnt about the key games, people, and industries we should know. Somewhere in between all the name dropping, a deal in Gamestation was mentioned, where Gamecube's were going cheap. Later on, during a trip down to said shop, I found out it was £35 for the console and any 4 games from the 4 for £20 range.
Remember that £50 I got today?
It didn't help that I saw Ocarina Of Time for the N64 for £9.99 either
So I'm £44 out of my wages already and the cheque hasn't even cleared.
Although I did get the Pokemon Colusseum pack, which had a new Gamecube, Memory card, and Pokemon Colesseum, along with the 4 games I picked: Metroid Prime, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, Star Wards Rogue Leader, and Blood Omen 2.
Combine that with Airplane 1, Airplane 2, Monty Python's The Holy Grail, and Austin Powers Internatiol Man Of Mystery and I don't think I'm getting any sleep tonight.

Belated news

So I can't help but feel like I should blog about last week's Entertainment Computing lesson, just in-case I need to.
So Friday was another fun packed day of sleeping until 1PM, then getting ready for a 2:30 lesson. Thing is, I was still tired for some ungodly reason. Anyway, fatigue aside, the aim of the day was to grab a camera or two, go out into the streets of Preston, and take videos with the theme "Superheroes"
We were all clueless.

For most of the lesson we walked around spouting out ideas, involving some from 'Whose Line Is It Anyway.' We had the idea of 'Impotent-Man', but I didn't want to take the video with that. In the end I found a giant banana, became BananaMan, and smacked Mo on the back of the head.
I'll find a way to relate it to superheroes later.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Games galore

Like many other bloggers before me, I feel it is my turn to infest the Internet with my opinions on what is great and what sucks metaphorical genitalia. Today I'm feeling positive, so we'll stick with the former. And what is the fabled topic of discussion?

Video games.
(Oh come on, like you didn't see that coming.)

Watch as I, for your own amusement, list my top 10 favourite and most influential games of all time.
Or at least post-1992, when I could hold the controller and have the vaguest idea of what the cool blue buttons did.

No particular order. Just the order I think of them.


The Curse Of Monkey Island. (1997, PC, LucasArts.)


One of the first games I ever completed, admittedly with a little help from the parents. The Curse Of Monkey Island is the third installation of the Monkey Island series, and manages to implement comedy with outstanding gameplay. Some of the jokes used in the game are some of the funniest I've heard in a game. You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate (because pirates are obviously better than ninjas,) as you try to defeat the zombie pirate LeChuck, who you meet in the previous two games. You know you're in for a treat as soon as you watch the opening scene. Not only do the opening credits have an amazing song played over them, but you start off marooned in the middle of the ocean in a dodgem car, pining for food and water, all of which float buy much to the ignorance of Guybrush. As a ten year old this was comedy gold to me, and it still is to this day.
The game has advanced a lot from the second game, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. No longer do you have to click the action from the menu at the bottom, but all the actions you need are encased in a coin that pops up when you hold down the mouse button, making it much easier. The graphics have improved a fair bit as well, and I was amazed at how good some of the scenes were animated. Admittedly, LucasArts have spoilt the aesthetics a bit in the next installment, Escape From Monkey Island, by bringing it into 3D. In my opinion 2D looked much better.
If you've not played this game before, or are a fan of the Monkey Island series I'd fully recommend The Curse Of Monkey Island.


Final Fantasy VII. (1997, PSX, Square.)


Let's just get one thing straight before I begin. I'm not using this game because it's the most popular, it made the list because it was the first final Fantasy I ever played, well before all the hype about it came up. Just needed to get any "Fanboy!!1" comments out of the way. FFVII was the game that brought Final Fantasy into the mainstream eye, and was also the first FF Playstation release. Previously, The SNES was honoured with such delights. It was the first 3D Final Fantasy, as the previous games had used sprites, typical of the time. One thing that set it apart from any other games was the size of the game. I first saw this game at a computer fair and thought it might be a good game to pass the time. And that it did. 60+ in-game hours later I was hooked, and helping Cloud and the gang get raped by Weapon and Sephiroth. Even after I'd completed the story mode, there were too many sidequests left just to let it sit alone on my shelf collecting dust. It also opened the gates to other Final Fantasy games, such as IX, my favorite. Recently I managed to get FFI and FFII for the PSP, and got the Advent Children soundtrack, so even now it has as much an impact on me as it did over ten years ago.
The size and depth of the story was amazing, as was the soundtrack, and some of the challenges. (Chocobo Racing, anyone?) The story has caused a few spin-offs, such as the game The Dirge Of Cerberus, and the film Final Fantasy: Advent Children. I could go on forever about FFVII, as there is just too much to talk about. But I'm sure you've heard it all before.


Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. (2002, PS2, RockStar.)


Vice City was the fifth game to be released into the Grant Theft Auto franchise, and the sequel to Grand Theft Auto III, though it is set nearly 20 years beforehand. Before Vice City, I'd never been into the GTA franchise. Sure, I'd played the first few, but as soon as I played VC, I loved it. The story, in my opinion, is the best in the series, and even though the engine needed a bit of work, it was still one of the best. Some of the radio stations where the best I'd heard, and it is another of those games which managed to bring comedy with good gameplay. GTAIII also does this, but I never really got into that game until a few years later. There was a wide range of weapons, and the game was pretty non-linear, which was different to anything else I'd played before then. If I got bored of doing missions, I could go and explore the city, and there was a lot to explore. The range of weapons to be found meant it rarely bored me. It was also the first GTA game to use helicopters and which allowed you to fly. GTAIII allowed you to briefly, but the controls were messed up and needed lots of improvement. And to all those saying these types of "murder simulators" encourage violence, I've not once told a hilarious anecdote about how I beheaded a guy with a screwdriver. But I'll leave the violence rant for another blog.


Sonic The Hedgehog. (1991, Sega Megadrive, Sonic Team.)


Where would any self respecting games list be without Sonic. Possibly the fist game I ever played, and I've never regretted it. My dad teaching me how to play, and the countless hours that followed is one of the best highlights from my childhood. No violence, barely any story, no character development, but lots and lots of shiny rings. Who knew collecting spinning rings and jumping on small animals so they transformed back into bunnies could shape a childhood. But it did. To this day I still have my Dad's Sega Megadrive, along with the three Sonic games with the Knuckles expansion pack.


Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3. (2001, PSX, Activision.)


The game that hooked me into skating games, and possibly one of the early influences of 'Rock' music. Skating, good music, and good challenges. What was not to like? With bands such as Motorhead and The Ramones gracing my ears, I kept going back to play. The range of tricks had a little something to do with it as well. The size and variety of levels has to have an honourable mention, as well as the 'Park Creator' option, which I spent many hours on. Plenty of conversations in school revolved around me and a mate discussing the park we'd created the night before, and the insane combos we'd pulled off. (We weren't the coolest of people.) THPS3 was the final game where the timer was present at all times. This was called classic mode in the later games.


Guitar Hero II. (2006, PS2, Harmonix Music Systems.)


Since coming to uni my love for GH has grown because of my mates. I think it's safe to say I'm addicted. OK, so Guitar Hero III has Rise Against, and Guitar Hero I has Graveyard BBQ, but GHII was the game which made me beg my parents that Christmas for. Just because I played it in a demo booth in Curry's. Shout At The Devil - Motley Crue, who I also saw the following April, because I'd heard this song and fell in love with the band. It hasn't stopped introducing bands and songs to me. The unlockable section is a great feature as unsigned bands get featured in the game, then people like me rejoice since they can 'play' their song. The hammers on's and pull off's had improved much since the last installment of Guitar Hero, which made it a little easier. There's always going to be that argument to "go play real guitar", but when you're having this much fun you don't care. To be fair, real guitar does hurt less though.


Duke Nukem 3D. (1996, PC, 3D Realms.)


Another game introduced by my dad, and the game which brought me into the world of FPS's. 1996, so I was 7. As a 7 year old, seeing mutant pigs with guns is cool. As a 7 year old, controlling the dude that kills them is awesome. I must admit, I had to use cheats to get through most of the game, but that's expected of someone so young, right?
For 1996, some of the graphics were stunning. I'll always remember the space level, I think it was the second one, and just staring out the window into space, or hooking up loads of lasers just to see the explosions.
3D Realms did a great job of enforcing some comedy into the game. Some of the gore was exaggerated, such as shooting a pig and watching them wheeze on the floor, or just some of the quips Duke makes in the game. Well if you're going to make a game about saving the human race and killing pigs you might as well make a few jokes about it.



Hogs Of War. (2000, PSX, Infogrammes Studios.)


Continuing the theme of pigs, Hogs of War was a game I got when I bought my Playstation. It's sort of a Worms clone, in which you control a team of pigs instead. Comedy is a high factor in the game, as the pigs make comments when injured, attacking etc, and Rik Mayall of Bottom and The Young Ones fame popping in to act as the general during multiplayer mode and FMV sequences. For me, it was the Rik Mayall voiceovers that won the game. I loved Bottom and used to play multiplayer against the computer just to hear some of the remarks he made.
The teams in the game represent six nations of the world: England, America, France, Russia, Japan and Germany. Each pig makes comments relevant to their particular stereotype.
Some of the weapons used are typical of the genre, such as bazookas etc, but there are also some new ones, such as the medical dart, which you use to shoot your team-mates to heal them.
With such a range of levels, I never got bored of this game.


Pac-Mania. (1987, Sega Megadrive, Namco.)


Not to be confused with the original Pac-Man, released in 1980 by Namco, Pac-Mania, for me, was the first time I'd come across Pac Man. My mum love the game and introduced me to it. I really should thank her for that. Since then I've bought and been given clothing and other merchandise with the loveable 'hero' decorating it. Originally an arcade game, the aim of the game is to eat all the pellets without touching the ghosts. Sounds easy? You'd be wrong. The difficulty increases each level, and the ghosts get more fearsome. The maps change each level, and grow in size increasing the challenge. It's the ultimate addiction.


Age Of Empires II: The Age Of Kings. (1999, PC, Ensemble Studios.)


Originally downloaded from a demo, I fell in love with the Age of empires franchise, especially the second installation. Some people like the different games for their graphics, the abilities or the settlements. I like it for the sheep.
You could herd sheep at your town centre, and get a shepard to collect food from them. This was a new feature for the second game, which was changed slightly for the third game.
Other, more sane reasons, for liking the game included the random map campaigns. The variety of maps and customisation on each was astounding. If you didn't like any, start from scratch and make your own map. even make your own objectives. Hour, days, even weeks were spent making maps and giving myself crazy advantages. Withing the editor there were also a few troops you couldn't research in the game, such as the Flying Dutchman.
The expansion pack wasn't too bad, as it added yet more maps and settlements for you to try out.

And so ends my list. You may not agree with what has been said, but please remember this has been about what has influenced me as a gamer, not the most successful or most popular game. If you still don't agree, then go write your own blog.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Two blogs in one day. You lucky readers.

So i just read the Entertainment Computing blog and it seems I have to talk about some stuff which I haven't yet covered. I'm bored with no games with me to play in the games lab, so here goes.

The pictures taken the other week have been slightly edited, but the original images came about by the group getting together, discussing what they wanted to do, taking the shot and seeing how we could improve it before we got distracted by shiny things or started taking pictures of boobies. (Believe me, it's harder to not get distracted than it sounds)

I think many of us were going for an 'A day in the life of a student' kind of thing, so the shots we took fit in with the theme quite nicely. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know these include booze and video games. And zombie attacks. You know, the usual.


No idea how i'm going to set out the video yet, or what transitions I'm going to use. I have to have a think about the music I'm going to use as well. Ah well, at least I have Easter to think about it.

Oops

I accidently deleted a blog from the 8th. Was deleting the drafts that saved randomly and clicked the wrong button. Twice. >_<
I blame fatigue.
Anyway, there wasn't much exciting stuff to be lost. It was just talking about editing some of the pictures we took the week before and adding captions. I'll try to post some as I have to upload them to a photo album anyway, but I've not got them with me at the minute. They're all on my laptop
The assignment we have for this module looks pretty good so far, as I have a few ideas for the pictures I've taken, and even a few I've taken outside of lesson time. I'm adding captions to them to add to the humour, and hopefully I won't be the only one to find them funny. Using similar text boxes to the Final Fantasy IX speech bubbles, which I made on Photoshop. Yay for avoiding copyright.

Hopefully I won't lose marks for not having this blog posted at the right date.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Tuesday blogging

Now that my serious posts are out of the way for a while, i can get back to the matter at hand, Video games.

Recently I managed to unbrick my PSP. I was asking anyone if they wanted to buy any of my then redundant games before I realised I had the internet at my disposal and I could at least try to find a good website with any information. Thanks to Youtube (I feel dirty just saying those words) I managed to find a video which gave a very In-depth tutorial on how to unbrick your PSP. As long as you can get to the recovery screen, it would work. I managed to get to the recovery screen, and spent the next half hour frantically taking notes and downloading various programs. Success! It was alive again!

As I'm re-united with my PSP, I thought I'd talk about a PSP game today. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. This is the first in the series for the PSP, set three years before the events of Grand Theft Auto III, but six years after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. You play the role of Toni Cipriani, and his story as he becomes Salvatore's right hand man, as he was in GTAIII. The game uses the same engine as GTAIII, which I can understand as it's set in the same place Liberty City, and uses the same characters. However, once you've played GTA: San Andreas for a while, it takes a while getting used to the controls again. And the not being able to swim thing got a little old after they allowed CJ to swim in SA. On a side note, and not to be racist or to offend, but it seems like only black characters can swim in these games. The next game to be released in the series was GTA: Vice City Stories, where the main character, Vic, is black and can swim.

Anyway, the missions in LCS are pretty easy, and minimal at times. There are a few missions where the goal is to get from point A to point B, with person C shooting at you (and missing.) After the depth of the missions in SA and previous games it seems like we're just filling in the plot holes the other games left.

The fact that it's on the PSP means modding is pretty easy. There are many sites giving you cheat devices and cheats that require minimal knowledge to put on. There is also the custom soundtrack feature which was a nice bonus, as I combined two of my favorite things. Listening to Bullets & Octane and running over old ladies.

The story mode might be pretty flawed, but the multiplayer makes up for it. My college days were spent with 6 of us constantly on multiplayer trying the different match types, and it's so fun. The player can unlock different costumes when they get to different parts of the game, some of which bring some typical 'Rockstar' humour to the game. (Rockstar being the developers.) We all had our own trademarked character which no-one else was allowed to use. Because of this, a gimp chasing a chicken in a truck became a daily sighting. The cheat device can also be used in multiplayer, much to the dismay and frustration of my opponents.

I'd recommend the game to any fans of the genre and series, or just to a first time player. The controls and lack of features may be a little dissapointing and frustrating to advanced players.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Digital Manipulation For Dummies

Photoshop.
Since before the dawn of time, it has allowed us to take an image and change it.
The internet.
It has given us thousands of websites to take more images from.

Censorship has basically become redundant, as anyone can take a picture and manipulate it to our every whim. My college days were spent editing pictures. If I did this to someone's work, it's plagiarism.

Photo editing software is so advanced and easy to come by that almost anything can be done to an image. A few weeks back, in an Entertainment Computing practical, we managed to make a picture of a lake into a Loch Ness Monster picture. Many of the class had never used Photoshop before, but still managed to make decent pictures, many of which looked authentic.

Images have been known to be edited so as to mislead others, a common case in the news. This article is just one example.

Isn't it funny how before cameras and film, miracles happened,(See: Jesus) and strange creatures were seen.
Then cameras came along and nothing happened for a while.
Then editing software came along and now we have tales and 'evidence' of Bigfoot and UFO's etc.

On a similar note, the pictures from a few weeks ago have to be edited slightly to fit in with this topic. So here we go. Fear my skills!
(Note: they're only quick jobs. quality wasn't an issue.)
Click for full size.







Sorry for the somewhat serious topic. Back to randomness and chaos soon. Ideas for my next blog in a Stamped Addressed Envelope to the usual address.

This would be a lot easier if I liked those pesky applications

So a task for our assignment includes listing my 10 favourite Facebook applications in order of preference. Before I do this, can I just make it clear that the majority of application requests go ignored by me, so I don't have that many installed. I don't see the point in many of them, and I hate getting my page cluttered by them. The ones at the top of this list will be the ones I've already installed. After that, if there's space to fill it'll be the ones I've had a look at and which seem OK. That said, let's begin.

1) Wrester - Such an addictive application. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm Central Lancashire champion (and hopefully Liverpool champion soon) or the fact that they keep updating and adding new moves which makes me keep clicking and fighting.

2) Cyanide and Happiness - One of the interweb's best webcomics got it's own application, which I promptly installed. Displays a random comic on my profile. Many laughs guaranteed.

3) iLike - This is on the list solely for the Music Challenge. Back when I played this challenge, many hours were spent guessing the song name for the first 10 seconds of a song. I did pretty well also.

4) Flog Blog - I've found a few bugs with the application, but I don't know if that's just my computer acting up again or not. When I've found a way around them, it's a pretty good application. If you have friends that like to blog it's a little better as it gives you something to read during the boredom hours.

5) What Position Are You? - Put on my profile purely for lol's, and it's stayed ever since for the same reason. A simple quiz tells you what sexual position best suits you. Apparently my personality shows that I'm the Missionary Position.

6) How Good A Lover Are You? - Added for the same reason as above. A simple quiz determines how good a lover you are. I'm yet to ask the lady how true the description of it is.

7) Top Friends - Adds a top friends list, much like Myspace. I think the limit is around 30, but it could be more. This application also lets you 'send drinks' and tells you when people add you on their top friends, bringing your social level up.

8) Photos - One of the default applications, but still a pretty handy one. Lets you create photo albums and upload your own pictures for the world to see. Also lets you tag photos so people can now stalk your friends as well as you.

9) My Drunk Friends - Like Top Friends, it places a list of friends on your profile, this time stating your drinking buddies. Downside is you have to invite at least 10 friends, so if you don't like spamming friends, this isn't the application for you.

10) Counter Strike: Red Team Go - Recently added application so I'm not exactly sure what to do. Seems like you just choose to attack someone and keep doing it until one of you dies. Much like the actual Counter Strike game.

Well that list is done, now to talk about two of them in greater detail. It'll have to be the first two on the list.

Wrester is one of the most addictive applications I've ever had the mispleasure of installing. Many an hour have been lost while I try to keep up with the 6 people all attacking me at once. Went through some major updates recently, making the matches more balanced, using a momentum bar for example. Different moves give differing attack power and momentum power. You can challenge random people in your networks as well as your friends who've added the application. So far my networks include Facebook, England, Central Lancashire, and Liverpool, so I'm never without a match or 5.

Cyanide and Happiness is one of the most crude and random webcomics out there. So when I heard about an application about it I ran to install it. This places a random comic strip on your profile, and you can also add one specifically from their website. When you do this, your mini-feed is updated to show your friends which one you chose. It's a good application since when I'm bored, I can click on my profile and laugh at the randomness. Since the webcomic updates everyday, you can never be short of laughs.

A good Facebook application is one which keeps you coming back to check up on it. I've had many applications where I just installed them, and then forgot about them. A few weeks ago I did a clean up of my applications to get rid of the ones I never used and it took forever. I never knew how many I had. Most of them were pointless application which didn't have a purpose. (Don't ask why I installed them in the first place. I went through a phase of accepting everything.) A good application also needs to have a clear purpose, as there are many out there just designed to spam friends. Many of applications listed above I use regularly. 'How Good A Lover Are You?' and 'What Position Are You?' are quizzes so there isn't much to check on, but the application 'My Drunk Friends' I've recently deleted because I never used it. The Counter Strike application is only below it because it was installed while I was writing this blog so didn't seem fair.

Well I think that covers all the points I need to cover, so I'm going to leave it here as I need to go get some food. And don't you love how I've done next Monday's blog on Friday morning. I need to stop blogging so much.
Or do I?

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Romance day

For such a commercial holiday, today wasn't too bad. Yes, I know Valentines is tomorrow, but today was the only day me and the lady could be together due to those things I like to call lectures. As the male, it's my role to give the best gift and to pay for any meals we encountered. While I fulfilled point two, the first point was overshadowed by her desire to make my present look like the excrement of a sick panda in comparison. Okay, so she loved my gift and gave the typical girly shriek of joy when I presented it, but going out and buying a moogle (FFIX one, not the crappy FFXII one) doesn't compare to a handpainted painting of Vincent Valentine, signed by my one and only. She actually stayed in for two days straight painting this masterpiece.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why my girlfriend is so much better than any of your respective partners.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Hello again

If it wasn't for this damned education, university would be a lot better. Right now I'm in a 'lesson', but everyone is busy procrastinating. It's our social time. But don't worry Mom and Dad, I've downloaded all the lecture notes and worksheets ready for me to read and complete.

Out later! ^_^ Where's Mavis is back to it's rightful home after damage to PR1. This means it's the first week I've actually been to PR1 this semester. First visit of 2008. They're so lucky.


In other news, Valentines Thursday. What have you got planned?
I'm celebrating on the Wednesday instead. The one time of the year I'm obligated to be as romantic as hell. And as broke as a hobo.
It's worth it.

Monday, 11 February 2008

A world without the norm

So here I am, half 2 in the morning, blogging. Doesn't get much better than this. Maybe if I'd tried to get some sleep instead of playing Kingdom Hearts I wouldn't be in this mess. Then again, whenever I try to get an early night I wonder who's online, how my wrester application on Facebook is doing, whether or not I've got any comments on Myspace and if any webcomics I read have been updated.

This is the norm, and since my laptop is next to me at all times and needs to be surgically removed, it sort of interferes with sleep. I can't remember back before I had at least a computer which didn't have an internet connection. Okay, my desktop had a modem which I shared with my dad, passing through to each other when one of us got bored with being online, but still it affected my insomnia. If I wasn't told to get offline, I stayed awake until all hours on (I'm ashamed to say it) chatrooms, and the old social networking sites I used to frequent.

I even had at least two games consoles in my room since the age of 7, and while they've helped me become the lovable gamer I am today, they did stop me sleeping the normal hours when I came of age and was allowed to pick my own bedtimes.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one this has happened to. There are many people out there, like me, who are online at all hours doing nothing. Friends, family, random people who found my e-mail online. I've talked to all of them at 3am when we've needed to be up at 8am the same day for a busy day.

Is this wrong? The amount of times I've woken up for a lecture and regretted writing that wall post at 2am are too many to count.
If only I'd saved my game 2 save points before.
There was nothing on TV so why did I turn it on?

All have been through my mind at some point or another.
So would the world, and people's sleeping patterns, be better off without electronics?

I for one would hate it. Late at night is the only time I get things done.

Monday, 4 February 2008

My balls are bouncing!

Obviously talking about that pool table we're programming.

Well the requirement for this blog was to keep it updated regularly. You think I've surpassed that? It's been 2 days (I think) and I'm back blogging away. Ah well, all in the name of internet entertainment. You lot have it easy. I'm the one who has to think of something to write about, try to use wit, and take time away from my busy procrastinating to form readible sentences. You just have to find this page and read. Not that many people would read this. Maybe I should put a counter on so I can see the pitiful amount of internet traffic I draw.

I'll either inflate my ego, or kill it completely. Win/Win.

Maybe I'll put ads on as well.
Or a Paypal button.
Or some kind of musical video for entertainment.
OR A PONY!

The possibilities are endless.

Friday, 1 February 2008

I could be a photographer

Not a good one, but still. Today as part of our assignment we got given cameras and let out onto the university campus. It was a scary experience for the general public. Armed with cameras we had to take pictures to fit in with the theme 'A day in the life of...'

Hardly any fit in with the theme. And the ones that do involve video games and alcohol.

I need to go back to the flat and shower before work, so a short blog.
And now I can take a break from blogging!
Huzzah!

Winter-een-mas - Night 7

And so it ends for yet another year. The end of Winter-een-mas was upon us, so we celebrated with a bang. Lots of bangs actually. As we played Halo 3 most of the night again. And a bit of Call of Duty 4.

I suggested going 'Old Skool' and hooking up my N64 for some Super Smash Bros, but Ricky has the bigger flat, so it was round to his for next gen gaming.

It's 3am, and I've been gaming since 1PM, after lectures. Got further on Kingdom Hearts, then to the games lab for CounterStrike and Guild Wars. Then it was onto Ricky's.

I've tried to play a different game every day this holiday, but all I managed tonight was half an hour of Call of Duty 4 on multiplayer, not enough to write about really. So I'll skip the 'review' tonight. Good thing as well, since I need sleep.

Thanks to the gaming buddys for a great Winter-een-mas, and I hope everyone else had a good one this year. Bring on 2009.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 6

As I stated yesterday, not a lot of gaming went on today since I had one of those rare things some people like to call a 'day off', within which I took a trip back home to pick up some things which my hungover brain forgot to bring up to Preston back in the days of Christmas Holidays.

It did however allow me to pick up The Sims 2: Castaway Stories, and while I had an hour or so to kill I played a bit of Family Guy on my dad's PS2.

Family Guy reminded me of the Simpsons' game recently released, where every line of dialogue was a joke or line from the show. When I played a demo of it, it took the combined efforts of 5 gamers to figure out what to do (which is a matter for another time), in which time we got the same lines pummeled into our skulls, so much so that what would have been one of the wittiest remarks of the century made us want to kill our firstborn and snap the disc in half. Family Guy was similar in the sense that it was a load of jokes made into a game with a slight plot, but in a way that the same lines weren't used over and over again.

The game is a typical platformer: 'Get from Point A to Point B. Oh, and between the two points are a lot of obstacles that don't make any sense and you could just walk around them or go a different way. Enjoy!' But I'll let that slide since making sense isn't one of Family guy's strong points. Actually, it's the main basis of the show, and the random 'plot' adds to the humour.

The combat system needs work, but then again I wasn't expecting sharpshooting from a toddler, so again, I'll let that flaw slide.

Another game I tried to play today was The Sims 2: Castaway Stories. 'Tried' being the keyword as it took me an hour to install it, and then it wouldn't run. The first installation failed at 98% when it couldn't find the uninstall program or help files from EA. Oh dear. I cancelled the installation. 5 minutes later and I was still waiting for the pain to end. I had been asked 4 times whether I wished to cancel the installation since it couldn't find crappyfile.somethingorother to which I replied yes on all occasions. In the end i gave up and restarted my laptop. The next installation seemed fine, as the game had magically found the files and completed the installation. I loaded up the game and viewed the EA opening scene. Sucess! It worked. Then I had the downright bad manners to click to skip the opening scene for the game. The game didn't seem pleased that I wished to miss out on what I suspect was brilliant footage as it locked up and wouldn't respond at all. A visit to the task manager later and it was gone. Thinking it might have just been a bug, I tried again. This time the game froze of it's own accord. After clicking randomly it took me to the menu screen. I thought we were progressing then and got ready to kill my sims2 minutes after creation. No such luck. I was staring at that pretty loading screen for what seemed like an eternity before task manager got involved again.

I was only trying to install The Sims and my computer acts like I was trying to install Crysis 3. This is why I like console games better. No installations.

For a non-gaming day this has been quite the long blog. I'm glad you all learned something today from this pointless rant.

Never buy The Sims. Ever.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 5

If it weren't for this education, I'd be getting a lot more gaming in. After lectures finished it was back to mine for Guitar Hero. I asked my flatmate to join us, as the gaming was just something to do before we all went out. Since he was more of a Po Evo kind of guy, we ended up playing that as well.

There is a reason I don't like sports games. The main reason is that I hate sports anyway, but there is another. The controls on this game were so weird I couldn't control them. As soon as the opposing player got close to one of my team members, it automatically switched to them, most of the time causing me to run in the wrong direction. It may have also been the fact that I lost 6-0, one of which was an own goal. Maybe if I won I'd have liked the game more.

As we went out tonight and I've already talked about Guitar Hero in a previous blog, I don't really have much to say game-wise. I know it was wrong of me to go out instead of gaming but who could resist 'Where's Mavis?' In retrospect I should have gamed instead. The new place isn't as good.

I'm going Liverpool tomorrow to pick up a few things from home, so I doubt I'll be doing much gaming again. I'll try to play a game I haven't talked about yet during the night though. Or I may not. Whatever I choose to do, no-one will care anyway. I doubt people even read this.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 4

Yet another rambling from the Mouth (Or fingers) of Ryan. At the time of writing I have completed and handed in all my assignments to be handed in this semester. So the next hand in dates are after Easter. This almost makes up for the lack of gaming today. Although I did have a go on Bomberman and Worms on the Xbox 360 in the Computing Building. As well as more Guild Wars and Counter Strike.

Between bouts of HTML coding and making sure I had everything ready, I had a go at a LAN game of Counter Strike with some of the gaming group. We were terrible. Me and Dan vs 5 Normal bots = lots of deaths on our part. Then when we got humans in the mix, I did even worse. Though I did get Vanny a good few times.

Then I stayed in the CAT building, and it doesn't look like I'm leaving soon.
Why?
No reason.
I just like to be sociable. I also hate sleep. I'm too lazy.

Anyway, short blog as I'm too hot and not enough game related things happened today. So here's a video. Enjoy!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 3

Not much went on tonight. After last night's escapades I didn't end up awake until 4pm. No-one was gaming due to assignments due in soon, so I took the time to play through Kingdom Hearts.

I've borrowed the game from my girlfriend, but not played it in months. Thankfully, I wasn't that far in so there wasn't that many controls to remember. All the positive reviews I've heard about it have been right. It's a great game, and even though I've not completed it yet, it's a good story so far. Before I knew it, I'd clocked up 6 hours of non-stop playing.

For those who don't know, it's a Square-Enix/Disney creation, so there are a few Final Fantasy characters as well as Disney characters. I had a strange urge to play some Final Fantasy games, as well as the urge to watch some Disney films whilst playing. For example, Aladdin, which I used to love.

I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't Played Kingdom Hearts before. I'd also recommend it to any who have.

I just hope Winter-een-mas picks up from it's day off today.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 2

So after a 8 hour shift which should have been a 7 hour shift, I came home to find the games night at Paul's had been moved. Horror struck! So I watched bottom since I didn't know where they were. It was a good episode. I was about to go to sleep and sort out my sleeping pattern, when Paul rang and dragged me out. All in the spirit of Winter-een-mas of course. So after dragging Mo out, finding Ricky's flat, and being forced to cook food for everyone, it was time for gaming.

By the way, I cooked the food because I ended up having some for myself. I'm not that generous. Mo helped as well.

Halo 3 was the game and though I'm not much of a next gen player, I gave it a shot. I went in the 'Pirate's team because pirates are awesome. We ended up destroying the Ninja team, further proving my point.

After we all got bored of Halo, it turned out it was 5am. Everyone left and I woke up at 4pm.

So much for sorting out my sleeping pattern.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Winter-een-mas - Night 1

I know I keep going on about Winter-een-mas, but it's my blog so meh. Besides, I'll stop talking about it in a week's time.

All in all, it wasn't a bad start to the holiday. Had a few hours of gaming in the games lab. "But Ryan," I hear you cry. "That's how you spend most of your waking moments! What gives?" Well today was the day I stepped into the world of MMOPRG's, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to the common folk. It was Guild Wars to be exact. All in all, not a bad game. I like the idea of just paying for the licence key, and the lack of monthly subscription costs. To be fair, I wasn't really paying as I was creating a character on a mate's account, but I'm considering buying it now. 2 hours after starting and I have a level 5 Warrior Necromancer. Called Gerald Shlong. Because I'm ace.

After my little trip to online-land I invited some mates round and we had a go on Guitar Hero 3, which I've neglected for the past few weeks. I apoligised to it by cracking open Co-op mode on Hard difficulty. All was going well until we got to 'One' by Metallica. We got to 80% through and my screen 'lit up like a christmas tree'. We had a good laugh about that, rested the fingers, and then tried 'Knights of Cydonia' by Muse. This time there was less lighting up, more manic button thrashing. Yes, we failed again. The main problem with Guitar Hero (not that there are many) is that once you get to hard difficulty, the songs near the end get impossible. This has been said time and time again, but the further you get in the game, the less fun it gets. This is a shame because most of my favourite songs are at or near the end of the game. I only hope Guitar Hero 4 is more challenging than impossible. Yes, there will be a Guitar Hero 4, who are we kidding. After such a successful franchise I doubt they'll stop until the game has been bled dry. It's happening with Halo, and it happened to Tony Hawks.

Although there is a game franchise which has never stopped being fun for me. Final Fantasy. I have been getting a lot of criticism from my girlfriend saying I spend too much time doing sidequests. I'd already completed the game before, but I figured I'd stop with the sidequests in Final Fantasy 9 and see if they had actually made a difference to the difficulty of the final bosses. They were mightily easy. What used to take me an hour of careful planning and strategy became 10 minutes of using high level magic and constant attacking, with very little healing. It was in that moment I felt like a god. A powerful god who destroys anything in it's path, but a god nonetheless. And that's how a game's meant to make you feel.

Right?

Friday, 25 January 2008

Obligatory 'Hello' post

Now that I've gotten used to the site and personalised my page, I'm obligated by blogging law to at least say hi, and welcome to the blog. This is where I'll vent all my words that never got to see the light of day in the real world. So let's start shall we?

So as you may have told from my last blog, it's Winter-een-mas. This is a gaming holiday celebrated from the 25th January until the 31st. If you haven't heard about it, I'd go read Ctrl+Alt+Del. Right now Tim Buckley has started his Winter-een-mas comics so you're in for a good read, as well as an educational experience. Be sure to look through the archives to get the full story.

Since I'm a gamer on a games course, I thought it would be appropriate to actually celebrate this year, instead of just gaming alone and reading webcomics. Sadly, that last sentence describes the rest of my life, but that's a different story for a different blog.

Happy Winter-een-mas to all!

It was the night of Winter-een-mas

And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for a computer mouse

The games were piled on the shelf with care
In hopes that the gamers would soon be there

The fraggers were all nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of headshots danced through their heads

When out on the games lab there arose such a clatter,
I jumped on the LAN to see what was the matter

To open the Steam window I flew like a flash,
Fragged a few noobs and caused quite the clash

When all of a sudden I knew I should go
There was a Halo tournament in the room below

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Good Lord, Winter-een-Mas was here

Merry Winter-een-mas, and to all a good frag

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The story of my blog.

Well a university assignment required me to start up a blog and start telling you all some juicy bits of info about me and my days. Blogger.com was recommended, and here I am. Expect more stuff later on when I'm awake, and I've had a play around with the site to see what wonderful things I can do.