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4:56 PM on 08.22.2009

Massive Haiku Madness

So, yeah, I like haikus. Last time there was a haiku competition I was in the middle of a really busy period in work and I still managed to think up a few but this time round, well, I made a few more...

Here is the list. 25 so far...

Let me get this right;
Your friends all try to kill you
But this is still fun?

Run through a dark maze.
Pop pills, fluorescent lights glowing.
Now play some Pac-man.

Do you remember?
Black Yorda, sinking castle?
Running down the beach?

They will realise,
One day soon, that playing games
Won't make us killers

l4d "singles" haikus

Black I.T. worker,
Seeking girl with a shotgun
To cover his back.

Fifty-something male
Seeks mate for killing zombies.
Must bring own ammo.

Tattoed male seeks date.
Hates vans, planes, water, woods, malls.
Likes vests. No zombies.

Female survivor,
Seeking friend with benefits.
Nude mod enabled.

General Gaming Commentary

In role-playing games,
Why is kleptomania
So acceptable?

The sequel generation;
When will it all end?

Don't be a fan-boy
Seriously, why bother?
Gaming is all good.

I am ejected,
Team-killing is fun!

Forever rolling,
I will pick up anything
To put back the stars

Using two portals,
I will find my cake

I will not listen,
Though she is persistent;
That pesky fairy.

Into a small microphone;
I am so lonely.

Mr Destructoid;
He's in Bomberman, you know?
I have blown him up.

Shape of things to come:
"Two princesses, 1-Up" site
Mario vomits.

Mario related

A giant turtle
Steals the princess, all the time,
Mario gets bored.

Insurance fraud scam
King Koopa is suspected.
Castles too fragile.

Toads have freaked me out,
Ever since I found out that...
Those are not their heads!

Driver, Plumber, Doc,
Mario does everything
To avoid marriage

Thwomps get just one chance
And normally fail to get
Job satisfaction

Hundreds of turtles,
Stunned by a viscious plumber,
Naked in the sun.

Mushroom monarchies
Fail to govern well due to
Stolen princesses   read

9:03 AM on 06.30.2008

The start of the affair: Climbing mountains of broken glass

When I was a kid my parents disapproved of a lot of stuff.

I come from Northern Ireland, where everyone is pretty religious. It's just one of those things you deal with. This isn't a story about religion but it's important to understand that there were certain restrictions placed on my childhood, not huge ones, just... restraints. I wasn't one of these children who was allowed to go running about the streets with the other kids. My parents would much rather I stayed in the back garden. And it's not about me hating my parents and how bad a job they did raising me and my siblings. As far as I'm concerned, even if I was a little sheltered in comparison to my friends, it formed me into a force for good. But this is about my childhood and computer games, and religion and my parents played a large part in it all. With hefty quantities of religion, change is feared.
For my family, computer games were change.

I'll start at my first encounter. When I was very young indeed, a friend got a Pong console. I'd love to say I remember the name and manufacturer but I was a kid. I didn't care. It had two dial controllers, displayed in black and white on the TV and had a selection of games from the original Pong through to Squash (Pong with both bats on one side of the screen and a wall on the other). It was fun but, really, it's not exactly imagination capturing stuff, is it?

We were one of the first families in our town to get a proper computer; a BBC Micro B+ (note the +, it placed us above the normal BBC Micro B user.).

It had plenty of games and I even learnt to program in Basic to make myself a 2-player snake-clone. Elite was like playing a book; you used your imagination to fill in the blanks. I played Chuckie Egg for so long that after one go, I stopped playing because I knew that I couldn't do any better. I loved that machine.

My not-my-uncle-but-we-called-him-uncle-anyway, Les, let us borrow his C64 with Time Pilot and Twin Kingdom Valley. Everything was more arcade than the BBC, more action, brighter, more demanding. I can still vividly remember the noise and the anticipation of me and all my brothers and sisters when a Zeppelin was about to appear on screen.

Then a friend of mine got a NES.

And another friend got a Master-System. Then a Mega-Drive!

What were these "consoles" that played such flashy and fun little cartridges?! Sonic and Mario demanded my attention! As you can see, I wasn't the first on the scene for any of this. We didn't have arcades in my home town. I'd only seen a Space Invaders machine on holiday! Other children of the same age, those kids who were out in fields throwing rocks and burning things, they were the ones who got these magic boxes. I was fortunate if my older brother was forced to let me tag along when he went round to see his best friend, where I was like Tommy in front of a pinball machine, playing Columns by instinct alone because I'd never seen it before to practice. Friends would ask me round to complete levels for them.

My parents, despite all begging and pleading, would never, ever get me a video game console.

The BBC was brought into the house for education and word processing. Work came first, play was incidental, though it got a lot more attention from me gaming on it than it ever got the daisy-wheel spinning and bashing out pages of text. What we were allowed to watch on TV was carefully monitored. Programs my parents disapproved of, like Grange Hill and Motormouth, were blacklisted and switched in favour or Blue Peter or even mid-afternoon soaps. Sons and Daughters will have its own special hell if I get to rule down there.

Consoles were something to be feared. They served no purpose, glued kids to the TV for hours at an end and were the stories were totally incomprehensible to them. Well, most of the time they were totally incomprehensible to me as well. I still have no idea why Mario is so happy and concluded long ago that Luigi is either his love-buddy or his crack dealer. But, yeah, as older generations feared what rock music would do to their sons and daughters, so my parents refused to see the good in gaming, regardless of my passion for it. I had to get my gaming fixes another way.

Our camping trips consisted of me saving what little pocket money I had to sit in the arcade in the campsite, playing Arkenoid, Hunchback, Space Harrier, Gauntlet, Golden Axe, Double Dragon, Pac-man and Bomb Jack. One of my favourite breaks was when I discovered the original Street Fighter in the kids room of the bar.

Back home, I would steal into the local leisure centre after school because they had a Street Fighter 2 machine. I would sneak into pubs to play the single arcade machines and eventually into a local seedy arcade that was filled with slot machines and a few token games (1942, Shinobi with the jump broken and King of Fighters). One night, I wasn't home at 7pm and my parents went out looking for me. My father dragged me from the smokey pool room and flashing lights after someone at school ratted on me. He just couldn't comprehend why I wanted to be there, as I wasn't there with friends or trying to fit in with all the cool smoking kids who hung out there. Hell, I didn't drink then and I don't smoke.

When I hit 15, I'd still never had a console.

Something had to give.

My parents were not bad people; I love them dearly. They just had a very low opinion of consoles. They were the kind of people who thought that people could sit around with the TV off and have conversations, like in the old days. All that ended up happening was we'd sit there in silence, wondering what we were meant to be talking about. One thing they always promoted was the concept of money being your own. Once they gave you a little pocket money, you could go and spend it on sweets and toys to your heart's content and they wouldn't complain (though they might comment on the quality of the rubbishy toys you were intending to buy for 50 pence, and were right to do so most of the time!). So when my older brother got a job at a local bar/restaurant as a waiter, I saw my chance.

I asked my parents if I could get a job there too.

They weren't happy about this. After all, I was only 15; working in a place filled with alcohol and drunks couldn't be a good thing. I said I'd try getting a job stocking the shelves and cleaning up so that I wouldn't be waiting or serving behind the bar. They knew the people who ran the place and my home town, hell, my country! is small enough that they knew I'd be ok there. They drove me down to the building and I went inside, cap in hand, to ask if they had any need for someone to do that sort of thing. Turns out someone they had doing that job was leaving so when could I start?

It was the lowest paid job you could possibly get.

There was no minimum wage back then. Employers could pay you whatever the hell they wanted. I think I started on £1.50 an hour and worked my way up to £2.20 after about a year. It was tough work too! Early starts, heavy lifting, picking through broken glass with your bare hands....


This was one of the main parts of my job! Sorting out bottles into their various different recycling bins from all the waste bottles from the bar. I was treated like crap for the most part and hid myself in the basement to avoid the more ridiculous tasks such as slopping out kitchen waste into one of the skips or raking the pebbles in the car park. I could only work weekends as well, thanks to school. I made it my own, though, and knew the job better than anyone else.

It took me most of a summer to save up enough for what I wanted but, that summer, near my birthday, I announced to my parents that I was going to get the best and most expensive console I could find and there was nothing they could do about it. They had watched me working in the bar, driven me home while I was biting back tears over some of the bullying I'd had. They'd watched me devote every weekend, saving every penny I could scrimp together and they knew how much I wanted it. They drove me to the electronics store and helped me carry the package to the counter, so that I didn't drop it. When I got to the till, there was a problem.

I was £10 short.

I felt the tears well up. I'd worked so hard! It would take another full weekend of work before I could get that sort of money together and then I'd have to get my parents to take me to the store again, which was quite a trek from home. It could easily be almost a month before I could get this chance again.

My dad smiled down at me and handed me a crisp new ten pound note. "Don't tell your mum, ok?" he whispered to me. I almost jumped about the store!


My dad was my hero then, is my hero now, always will be.

I took it home and unpacked. I played and let the others play, sometimes. I learnt about "the zone" and playing computer games without sound to guide you. I became master of every game I played, with even my older brother defeated constantly due to the sheer volume of practice I put into it. My local video-store started renting games out and by the end of the year I'd played them all and knew the owner well. I read all the magazines, knew all the secrets, waited impatiently for new releases and even started designing my own games, filled with giant robots and colourful cartoons. This first console, this wonder of my childhood fuelled much of what I am today.

I earned my right to game; it can't be taken away from me.

What was it? Does that matter? I've heard similar stories from many people over the years, whether it's been saving up for a bike and eventually buying a shiny new machine through to people who've put pennies into jars for a year to get it all together. One thing rings true through it all: if you earned it, it was worth so much more than what you paid for it.

This is what set me up to eventually do what I do now. All that "wasted" time in front of consoles and in dodgy arcades actually paid off. I never thought it would. I just loved gaming.

P.s. It was a SNES. The Starwing bundle. I was the first kid in my town to have a cartridge with a Super FX chip.   read

6:15 AM on 04.25.2008

Hancock Trailer & Superhero Games

People are really starting to get into the idea of superhero movies putting butts on seats. Here's a little trailer...


but there's lots (LOTS!) more in an extended trailer if you follow this link.

I like the look of this and think it could turn into a cinema-watchable movie! =)

Now, I like games where I feel like a real, full blooded superhero and I'm beginning to think that, much like the movie industry, the games industry is starting to get on board. Superman games pretty much reek of badness at every turn but Hulk, Spiderman and Batman have all had successful outings as video games. Sure, they've also had their ups and downs but it was getting to the point where I don't wince every time a new Superhero game gets announced.

And then somebody decided that pitting Batman against Sub-zero was a good idea.


I mean, everyone loves Batman! I remember a few years ago when 1Up ran competitions to find out if there was anything in the universe he couldn't beat (he'd already notched up The Phoenix and THE SUN - that's the ball of flaming gas that we revolve around rather than the newspaper with the Page 3 girls). Now, not only are they releasing a Mortal Kombat game that features the heroes of our youth being pitted against crappy video game stereotypes (and taking out the Fatalities - the only real reason to play MK games in the first place) but they're also expecting us to accept things like Batman getting beaten!

This does not stand well with me. I've never been a big fan of MK but all sorts of crazy match-ups come to mind. Hell, Superman is going to be in this game. What're they going to do; limit his powers so that he's not really Superman any more.

I consider this whole concept to be full of error and fail. Do you agree?   read

4:14 AM on 04.09.2008

Another Studio Closes, Another Set of Doors Open

So, yesterday, the Sega Racing Studio in Solihull closed. There were various different reasons, some of which I was privy to thanks to working with people who used to work there and others who are friends of mine. It all boils down to profitability and, sadly, the studio had something of a dry patch in that respect.

I think it’s because Sega Rally skipped a generation.

Gaming “generations” are a lot quicker than human biology. Those halcyon days when we had all the time in the world to kick around playing games and throwing snowballs at each other quickly pass into the bleak world of employment and the search for a partner. There tends to be some defining games within that short period where we had loads of time to spend playing them and, way back in the arcades of my youth, Sega Rally and Daytona were the coin munchers of choice. They were premium games; costing two or three times more than a regular coin-op but rewarding the player with a comfy seat, force feedback and twin-screened vs action. A lot of the time they were also the games where it didn’t matter about the leaderboard, the length of the game or the arcade you played it in.

It was about the experience.

Music would pump all around you, mixed with occasional, outrageously bad commentary, spurring you to the finish. You were totally focused on the screen in front of you, watching the world slide by, feeling the impact of your friend trying to get past....

It makes me kinda sad thinking about it.

I’ve been in arcades recently and the atmosphere has changed. Aside from the light-gun games, there’ll be a few teenage girls on the DDR machines and some tracksuited, fluffy-moustached youths losing money into machines with flashing lights and the promise of a jackpot. The seats of the racing games lie empty, unless someone needs a place to sit with their chips and chat to their friends.

Kids today get the games pumped directly into their veins; they’ve no need to hunt, skin and cook their fun. Sure, they’ve missed out on a great experience but with so many others to be had, who’s to say they don’t have it better? No watching a machine munch your coins and going back to the one game you could afford for the system with the same processing power as your video recorder? They could be onto something...

Sega Rally had so much competition by the time it tried to rejuvenate its market that it never quite made it into people’s hearts in the same manner as the arcade era. It used to be that having the console version reminded you of the arcade. Now it’s just another game...

Anyway, when a studio like Sega Racing closes its doors, the vultures start to circle. With the amount of talent available from such a prestigious company, the stragglers will be picked off before they finish realising they’re unemployed. All the other studios in the UK smell blood and start circling the bodys, waiting to pick off the stragglers. Some are nice about it, like the nymphs of the forest, calling the unwary into the green, while others are the devil with a contract, plying the redundant developers with alcohol and promises. It works out well for those with contacts and those employed elsewhere with bounty schemes for inviting new talent.

The UK is a rollercoaster for smaller gaming studios and it only takes a few titles to get canned, delayed or go astray for everything to fall down around your ears. Sometimes it takes a fall or two to make you realise how lucky you are to be in a stable company.

For now.   read

2:57 PM on 04.07.2008

Not my Turning Point Gaming Rig

Ok, so it might well be. I think I'm late for the competition! That's ok though, if I am, I am.

I've had this little beauty for a few years now, though the monitor is less than a year old (and not very good).

2.66 Smithfield running at 3.00
7950GTX Graphics Card
1mb of 6400 mem
250 gig HD

The blue lights are a fan controller that does virtually nothing but it's got a Zalman MASSIVE fan and heat sink inside, so I can overclock up to 3.6 if I want without having it sound like a Xbox 360 or jet engine.

Also on the desk, Printer/scanner, Photo-printer, 360, 2.1 speakers, lovely Firefly Blood Orange and Manuka Honey drink, loads of DVDs, CoD4 box, laser pen, the bottom of an official Sony duck, GBA SP, packet of honey biscuits (empty), remotes and a graphics tablet!

TADA!!   read

3:22 AM on 04.01.2008

Cod: Now with new weapons?

That is all. Welcome to April peeps!


P.s. Wouldn't it be cool if CoD4 did have some new weapons? I've been itching for a minigun.   read

8:02 AM on 03.06.2008

How to play video games: FPSs

FPSs aren’t just for shouting insults at pre-pubescent teenagers and informing your colleagues as to how and when you violated their parents; they are a vast sea of possibility for a gamer who loves to win and have fun! Below are ten handy hints and tips for people who want to make the most of their gaming time and teach their comrades the correct way to play.

1 – Pick the best gun.

After playing a First Person Shooter for a while you will notice that people complain about a particular weapon being overpowered or cheap. You will hear them cursing about the weapon and getting massively annoyed at anyone who repeatedly uses it. It may even be a combination of weapons or a specific add on. One hit kills are not uncommon and the general belief is that it takes very little skill or effort to use the weapon. “n00b”, “whore” or “fag” are normally prefixed or suffixed – n00b combo, noob-tube, nade-whore, P-90 fag, etc. Gamers understand its effectiveness on the battlefield and this bluster covers their fear.

Use it.

All the time.

It is the key to your victory.

2 – Camp

Camp does not mean acting like one of the Village People.

It means staying in the same, well defended spot and picking off the enemy at your leisure. You are actively challenging the enemy to come and get you, letting them know where you are at all times and still getting good scores. If you are getting killed regularly or people are not cursing at you, you’re not doing it right. Move to another spot and try again.

3 – Bounce

The developers put that Jump button in for one reason and one reason only: they are fans of Mario and understand that if you are a gamer, you are too. Walking and running is too easy and not using your abilities to their fullest extent. Take to the skies!

This makes it fun for other users too, as they rarely use the vertical axis.

4 – Find the spawns

When you die on the digital battlefield, IT’S OK! Miraculously, the scientists of the internet have harnessed an incredible function that allows users to re-appear as if they had never been blown up by that grenade-launcher you’re sure to have been using since you read section one. Spawns are like radar: they tell you where your enemy is going to be so that you can prepare yourself for combat.

Memorise all the spawns and make sure you are ready the moment your companions respawn. Set up traps, make sure you’ve got plenty of ammo and, potentially, pack some sandwiches. If you’re good at this part of the game, you may be here for the rest of the session!

5 – Celebrate!

After you kill somebody, it’s important to let them know exactly how you did it so that they can practice and become “full of win” like you. Go into detail! If you aimed for their head and it popped like a ripe watermelon, make sure you describe in full how hard it was to line the sweet spot of the grenade launcher directly with their cranium. Let people know exactly how many times you’ve killed them in a round, so that they can make notes. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate! Everyone loves a good story and a little embellishment can only add to the fun.

6 – Breathe

Breathing is essential to your continued existence. Without it, you will cease to be alive! Let people know you haven’t forgotten by breathing heavily into your microphone at all times. This is also the easiest way to let people know if you have an illness too! That little rasp in your breath may be the sign to your team-mates that you’re not on top form and they’ll band together to support you.

7 – Game with Pride

Let your love go out to the homo-sexual brethren online! It’s a well known fact that 75% percent of all gamers who play online are homosexual. Let them know that they have your support. Don’t phrase it like a question! Let them know you’re proud of their choice and that, even if they haven’t told their parents yet (both of whom you had relations with the previous evening) they should stand up and be counted. Moreover, let them know how much this pride in their orientation attracts you to them as a person. Once you’ve let them know that you “know”, make sure that they also know that, in a perfect world, if the two of you were in the same locale, you’d be more than happy to bump genitals with them. Specify that you’re a giver, not a taker. For example, a regular chat up line is “Hey! You’re a fag! If I ever find out where you live I’m going to fuck you!”. =)

Sometimes campers really are camp!

8 – Silence is golden

When everyone in your lobby has already taken it upon themselves to learn and practice the techniques detailed in section seven (above) remind them that they should take time to reflect on what they’ve said. Keep on repeating this, as a mantra for them to meditate with:

“Shut the hell up, you fucking fag!”

Use it every time someone slips up and says something further. REMEMBER: You’re also letting them know that you are aware of their virility and sexual orientation! Information is power!

9 – Drop out

If things aren’t going your way, there’s no point wasting other people’s time by continuing. They’ll become bored of lining you up in their sights and soon their kills will amount to double figures! Don’t trouble them with the hefty maths! Get out of there before they get confused! This is especially effective if you are the host of a game, as they will have to start afresh and will quickly forget all about that annoying section of their evening.

10 – Help your Team

There’s no B, C, D, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, P, Q, R, S, U, V, W, X, Y or Z in Team. Team only has four letters; T, E, A and M. There should always be a YOU in Team though. Let others know that you have their backs by aiming for them on a regular basis and sharing some of your ammo with them. You don’t have to shoot them enough to kill them, though this will help them find the Spawn points (see section 4). Just enough to make things more interesting for them when they encounter the enemy. They’ll be more cautious and their skills will improve! It will also remind them of section seven!

These tips will make your gaming a lot more interesting in FPSs and some of the techniques can even be applied anywhere online! As an additional suggestion:


People love snipers and combining this with sections 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 is sure to set the world on fire!


That's all for now, my virile homosexual companions!! Next time I'll teach you how chat to real live girls online! Feel free to add to my incomplete list in the comments section!



6:55 AM on 02.18.2008

Toshiba deny plans to drop HD-DVD

For today...

Plenty of people have been speculating on this one but I decided to wait it out until a press release came along. Well, here it is...

Toshiba deny HD-DVD cancellation

The original story was on many major websites and probably has a foundation in the truth but we're going to have to wait a little while longer for this idiotic race to be conceded. Suggestions that it could be as soon as tomorrow bode well for consolidating of this format war and I, for one, will be more than pleased when it's over. Especially as I haven't bought a HD-DVD player. =D

Original rumour   read

10:32 AM on 01.31.2008

Official: Video Games are Art!

In Europe.

For tax credit purposes only.

Thanks to France.

Actually, it's quite nice to bring up this subject every now and again, much like it's quite nice to talk about infinity, the presence of a higher being in the universe and what end of a soft-boiled egg you should slice off (for me, the fat end because you can get more of your toast-soldier in for dipping purposes). Sure, it's gonna rage on with people who can't accept games as art or people who want all games accepted as art but, really, is it that important.

I mean, look at some of these pictures...

Oops, wait, not that one...

Ok, so, they're all beautiful, right? They're what we ooh and ahh about and contain moments that we'll hold with us and chat with our friends, debate online and dream wistfully about when the crappy sequel comes out. Games have got to be art, right?

Then someone comes along and stamps on your ideas, specifying criteria by which games must be judged in order for them to "become" art. No matter how pretty, no matter how thought provoking or engaging, there will always be a dissenting voice whispering "They'll never be art and that's just final".

At this point I like to think about tomatoes.

Yes. Tomatoes.

Are they a fruit or are they a vegetable. Biologically, they're classed as a fruit (it's to do with seeds and stuff, go look it up ya lazy bums!). They will never be classed as a vegetable in biological terms. Yet we use them like a vegetable, they taste like they should be a vegetable and for all useful intents and purposes (aside from I'm sure some obscure sexual ones and, of course, throwing) they are, in fact, vegetables. Well, you know what?


Chefs classify them as such. They know that biology classifies them as vegetables and they accept that, using certain criteria, they're right. But they know food in a different way to the biologist. They know that it's all about taste and ripeness, flavour and combinations. So they take the tomatoes and all the other food types and use them as they're meant to be used. Sure, some chefs won't agree as to how certain ingredients should and shouldn't be used but they're all pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to the big stuff.

So why don't we just do this with games? We're all much more knowledgeable about games than some art professor who's probably only watched his nephews’ tea-bagging someone on Halo 3 or read something about a warm beverage mod for Great Thief Otto. We can just look at all the games around and know which ones are art and which ones aren't. There will still be debate, just like there is around fusion cooking in the chef-world or the correct wine to serve with a meal. Some people will flock to one corner and some to another, praising MGS but denouncing Tempest 2000 as just a flood of mindless colour and vertices.

At least we can stop the pointless bickering among ourselves if we accept that it totally depends on what criteria are involved in deciding if it's art or not, right?   read

10:01 AM on 01.20.2008

Call of DToid, phwoar!

I’ve had a cracking weekend so far. Xbox live is still playing up every now and again so I wasn’t able to send any friend requests initially but, once I did manage to get playing with the DToiders, well, WOW, what a difference having good people on your internetz makes!


Atheistium, NihonTiger, Martijn Mumbles (pronounced Mar–tine), xomb13 and a few others managed to indoctrinate me in the church that is CoD4 and much fun and japery was had. Let me recount some of my highlights for you.

I was a total newcomer to the world of online CoD4. I’d literally never played a match when I first went in and boy did it show. I took to following people around but a lot of the time they knew the maps so well that they’d lose me if they got even a few metres between us! Everyone was already high level, map ready and kicking ass before I even saw my first enemy. Who gunned me down and ran on like it had never happened. Devastating. Yet, somehow, even with a liability like me on the team, we won all out matches! I levelled quickly and even managed to bag a few kills here and there. A very cool game, I thought, though I can see why people hate some of the Perks. Great when they’re yours to use! Sucks when they’re used against you.

This was my performance for the first several games...

I sometimes have win!

Of course, the winning didn’t always occur. We faced a proper clan at one point, rather than our rag-tag, laugh-a-second crew and had our asses handed to us. But overall, we won more than we lost and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it! Some of the matches were so close everyone was on the edge of their seat. One match in particular stood out for me.

It got tied 730 – 730 and a few of our team had just died. I was alone in a large, grey room, lit up green by my night-sight. Three of the enemy walked into the room in formation. Now, a real soldier would have gunned them all down then and there. I whimpered and hid in a corner! “Guys? There are loads of them right in front of me! AHHHHHH!”


The screen went grey and we’d won! I’d taken out one of them and someone else must have taken out the last guy.

“No man,” said xomb13, “you took out both of them! Fucking yes!!”



Most of the time I have lose

Now, ok, the rest of the combat had a more traditional feel to it. I accidentally picked a sniper rifle and had to have my ass saved numerous times by MartijnMumbles, one of the shots taken over my head as I crouched and fumbled with my rifle. I saved him later but I think I owe him another 5 or so before we’re even!

I got flash-banged in a small room, the world swimming and my vision slowing down. Two enemies slinked in, guns turning to my huddled body. Suddenly, atheistium stormed into the room from the side door and, without pausing or even noticing my presence, double-taps both and moves onto the next corridor. LIKE A NINJA!! She did this later as well! Having a really bad round, she started moving up one side of a long, uphill street. “Watch out,” I cried, “there’s loads of them over there!” I took aim and watched as, one by one, each of the targets was taken out, one knifed and two shot.

But I always have LULZ!!

Perhaps my favourite moment was when my friend Don Joff, who’d joined us for a few round, got killed by a lucky shot from a guy on the other side of a window. I’d picked up the shotgun off a body previously and blew the guy away but Don was down, his pistol pulled for a last stand, with no-one to shoot at.

“I’m sorry man!” I blubbered, crouching beside the body. “I got him for you, buddie! Just hang on, a medic will be on the way soon. Don’t you give up on me soldier! No…no….NOOOOOOOOOOO!”


Anyway, what was more fun than any of the shooting and blowing stuff up was definitely the crowd. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer, funnier bunch of troops for several hours of roaming around battlefields.

THANKS TO YOU ALL!! You made CoD4 a good game, not the development team.

del   read

1:34 PM on 01.18.2008

In case of emergency…: Part 1

Break Game

So, I have a great tolerance for doing things… right. Some people would just call it stubborn but I follow a distinct logical path. Bioshock has been my “after New Year’s” game and, regardless of the fact that I have Half Life 2: Episode 1 & 2 AND CoD4 sitting, staring at me, I vowed to complete my copy of it before I even unwrapped the lovely cellophane surrounding the life-sucker that is Call of Duty 4. All my friends have raved about the multiplayer, the Perks and. well, Friday Night Fights is up again tonight and I was intending to have Bioshock done and dusted yesterday evening.

Fate has cruelly intervened.

At a critical juncture, at what I judge to be the denouement, the finale, the beginning of the end, a disk read error occurred. I’ve cleaned it, reloaded it and tilted my console several times now and nope, no luck. It’s dead. It’s a second hand copy and it doesn’t appear to be badly scratched or anything, so I can only assume that one of the small scratches touches something critical or my Xbox is once again acting up.

This hurt my happiness. A lot. I love completing games. I’ve very rarely not completed a game and normally with good reason. Some day I’ll tell you all about my trials with FF7 (one playthrough took me over 3 YEARS!!!) but I always get there in the end. Now I’m going to have to work more than I had intended just to get this game finished. I think we have a copy at work in the library so I can borrow that but the disk itself? It’s going back to the shop. It works perfectly for most of the game and it’ll be fine after a good clean, so I’ll see what I can get them to do OR I’ll just trade it in. I’m not going to worry about it any more.

Regardless, this means that I’ve been playing CoD instead! YUM! What a game! Sure, it’s not the best single player experience overall (so far) but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a few of the missions. I’m looking forward to hopping onto the multiplayer game tonight. Which brings me to the point at the end of all this.

I’m about to start adding people to my friends list on Live. If you particularly don’t want me as your friend, just tell me to fuck off or cancel the request but I intend to try going through the entire list of Tags on the forum and adding everyone I can!

Prepare yourselves!!   read

10:53 AM on 01.08.2008

Success of BluRayp is Paramount! (Edit! - rumour!)

Paramount may BluRayp HD-DVD

{edit - This has since been marked as very much unconfirmed, thanks MrSadistic for the Next Gen linkage Next Gen say Nuh-uh, they're staying with HD-DVD - Sorry all!}

Now, one of the things that I had to do for my degree was a detailed study of some facet of new tech. At the time, DVD was just about to emerge as a format and I was fascinated by the prospect of optical storage that could hold so much more than a regular CD. I mean, seriously, it was a WOW moment for me back then when I was checking out all the work that had to go into standardising a format for the DVD players, etc. Massive companies were joining with Philips in an attempt to make sure that consumers and developers weren't going to get messed around. So, even though I didn't want to get sucked into this debate, the subject matter still fascinates me.

BluRay is the better format. I don't care one way or the other that Sony have used this as the backbone of their system. If MS had gone with it and Sony had gone with HD-DVD I'd still think it was better. It's more innovative, it stores more and it's got a less confusing frickin' name! It's got drawbacks still, at the moment, with the need for the expensive diodes, etc, but it's still the one that should win this race, and this turnabout from Paramount might be the big turning point.

Basically, if you can't be arsed reading the Financial Times, Paramount had a clause in it's exclusivity contract that allows them to slink their way across no-mans land to the Blu side IF Warner Brothers go there first.


Well, I think I can see their feet shuffling in that direction now.

What'll be really funny is if Dreamworks don't have the same clause! Or even if it does, poor Universal! All alone in the dark!   read

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