Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh look I remembered I had a blog

So about this time last year I was commenting on Duke Nukem 3D's astonishing cheapness. Well, today I hopped over to and downloaded me a bit of Blood, very much a brother in spirit to Duke (used the same engine, had a similar feel and style, and in fact finding that Wikipedia article has revealed to me that it was co-made by Duke creators 3D Realms, which I didn't realise) - it's a game I have fond memories of playing round a friend's house.

And good heavens, it is even more shameless than Duke. It wants you dead every step of the way, even on the easiest difficulty. To give you an idea, the baseline enemy - the first you encounter, and the commonest - is a zombie with an axe, and may very well get up again shortly after you thought you killed it. I was getting thoroughly mullered for a while before working that one out. It's remarkable how much gaming has become more user-friendly in the last ten to fifteen years. And frankly, I much prefer it.

In completely unrelated news, my current film-based obsession appears to be Tangled. Watched it once, thought "yeah, decent film". Fancied watching it again, did, thought "actually, this is brilliant. I'ma buy it". And now I basically want to watch it over and over again all the time forever. It's great. It's so fun and so pretty. And Rapunzel and Flynn are easily the best leading Disney couple for years - since Belle and the Beast, I'd say. Obviously lessons were learnt from The Princess and the Frog's rather dull stars. (Well, Naveen was alright.)

Also, best horse ever.

That's all. You can stop reading now.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Words on the Internet

Following on from my last post, I think Phineas and Ferb might actually be my favourite show on telly at the moment. It is literally the only programme I have watched this week with the exception of the new episodes of Futurama that were on last night.

(Technically I'm also watching Battlestar Galactica but I've got about five weeks behind on that somehow. All the episodes are sitting there on my Sky+ box waiting to be watched. And on that note, when does the show get really good? Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying it, but at this point - about a third of the way through season 3 - I'm still trying to work out why everyone went ballistic over how good it was. It's a good show, but it's not that good. So I'm wondering if it suddenly kicks it up the proverbial notch at some point. Possibly the fact that I already know the Big Twist over what time period it's actually set in has partially ruined it for me?)

Aaaanyway, to go back to my original point, Phineas and Ferb is great. It looks nice, it's funny, it encourages all sorts of positive behaviour in the younglings without being preachy or worthy, the musical numbers are brilliant ("rubber bands, rubber balls...") and all the characters are worth spending time with. I read somewhere that one of the creators said one of the show's rules is "No stupid characters or jerks" - I guess Candace is kind of a jerk sometimes but she's still basically likable at points - and this is genuinely quite refreshing. Also, Richard O'Brien's in it. What more could you want? There's some episodes up on YouTube, check 'em out.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Apparently I should change the title of this blog to "TV Theme Songs Currently Stuck in My Head"

Today it's this one. Hey, at least it's not a Japanese one so I can actually understand what they're singing about.

I just finished Super Mario Galaxy 2 this morning (well, by "finished" I mean "beat the final boss", not "got all the power stars") and I really don't get why the guys who make these games can craft fantastic, fantastic platformers and then completely fuck it up on the bosses. Both Galaxys have a few decent bosses, but most of them are shit. And the shit ones are invariably the ones you have to fight multiple times because they couldn't be arsed to think up some new ones. I don't get it.

(Actually, as a rule I don't much like boss fights anyway and would be just as happy if they weren't there, but even so.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The latest anime theme song to get stuck in my head

Is this one.

So yeah.

Also, in Fallout 3, I accidentally made the bloke who helps you nuke Megaton run away. So now I'm trying to play through with Neutral karma instead. Go figure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You've tried to lose Karma! And failed miserably!

I've started a second playthrough of Fallout 3, which continues to delight and dazzle with its joyful brilliance. But it's all gone a bit pear-shaped.

My first playthrough was on the Very Good side of the Karma meter. I was lauded far and wide, people ran up to me to give me stuff for free, etcetera. So this time I thought I'd be a villainous villain and go Very Bad. I've even come up with a reasonable in-game excuse: I've made my character Asian in appearance, the little meta-narration in my head explaining that she's from a dynasty of cunning Chinese spies.

That sounds kind of racist. I should explain that in Fallout's backstory, the world has been reduced to a crispy post-nuclear wasteland as a result of a bit of argy-bargy between the U.S. and China. So the idea is that my girl (who I've named Ziyi in honour of Zhang Ziyi because a) she was the first Chinese woman I thought of and b) I really fancy her) is the latest in a long line of craftily planted agents designed to keep on screwing Americans over long after the war. Hence, villainy.

Annnnnyway, it ain't happening. I'm on level 5 or 6 and still on the Good side of the meter. I'm finding it genuinely hard to be a bastard. The worst thing I've done is told Bryan Wilkes, the little kid who kicks off the "Those!" quest (the one with the giant fire-spitting ants) to naff off and stop bothering me. And I would've done that anyway 'cos "Those!" is a really annoying quest and I vowed never to do it again after my first playthrough. And I gave Three-Dog a bit of lip, but since that was after I already helped him out with repairing his radio broadcasts it didn't do much. I did try to nick some of his stuff while he was sleeping, but he woke up, took the stuff back and then instantly went back to sleep again. Git.

So yeah, I apparently don't have it in me to be a wanker. Actually, this is a thing about Fallout which is one of the reasons I love it so much: there aren't enough games that let you be nice. Most open-world, "do anything" games translate "do anything" as "shoot anyone". (Hi, Grand Theft Auto!) It's kind of the standard response in gaming, so to come across a game where you can persuade people not to fight you and give up the vital keycard or whatever willingly is so refreshing that I find it hard not to choose that option. (On a smaller scale, the fact that in Bully you can wander around giving people thumbs-ups and compliments always delights me.)

I am going to try and kick off in Fallout 3 though, honest. I'ma nuke Megaton and everything. Although I need to get my lockpick skill up high enough to rob Sheriff Simms' house and find the Bobblehead that's apparently in there first. Then I'ma nuke it.

Although actually, now that I think about it, another reason I'm holding off on the bastardry is that I don't want to disappoint my in-game dad. Because he's Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson. You don't let Liam Neeson down, for heaven's sake, he's a talking Jesus-allegory lion Jedi that leads the A-Team. And I think he had a beer with Homer Simpson once.

I guess I'm going to have to keep reminding myself that the game's main bad guy is Malcolm McDowell. I'm not betraying Liam Neeson, I'm teaming up with Malcolm McDowell! No jury would convict me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slightly Irritated Max

So to follow up my last post, I watched Mad Max and it's rubbish. He doesn't even get mad until the last twenty minutes of the film! And half of those twenty minutes consist of him driving round trying to find people to be mad at. Piffle.

In not-at-all related news, I'm currently reading David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It's set in 1799, and there's an intimation at one point that one of the minor characters is a distant ancestor of Eiji Miyake, the protagonist of another one of Mitchell's books, number9dream. I love it when authors do that. (And yes, before you ask, I do read quite a lot of Stephen King. But not Michael Moorcock. I've never actually read any of his stuff. I guess I ought to at some point.)

That sure was a blog post!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Charidee, mate

I love charity shops. Today's purchases:

The Twilight Watch and The Last Watch, books three and four in Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch tetralogy (side note: according to Wikipedia, the first usage of "quadrilogy" dates from 1865) = £2.50 for the pair

Mad Max = 49p on video

Lastly, and most importantly, RollerCoaster Tycoon = £1.99. I actually saw this a few days ago, and figured it wouldn't work on my current PC (the box only specifies Windows 95 or 98, not XP). I decided to get it anyway, and it motherfucking works

Hells yes

One of my all-time favourite games, back with me at last

Charity shops, motherfuckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bubblegum: located

Guys, guys.

Duke Nukem Forever is out today. It's actually out. Fourteen years late.

I meant to go into town and have a look at it on shop shelves but I forgot. Nae matter.

'Course, the next question is "is it actually any good?"

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Good news, everyone!

I no longer have the Bleach song stuck in my head!

Instead I have this.

Sha la la!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well Mr. Burns had done it

The power plant had won it
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while
Mike Scotia's tragic illness made us smile
While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the bar-room tile...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Re: brains

I successfully blagged a DVD copy of World of the Dead to review for DVD & Blu-ray Review, and watched it a couple of days ago.

You can't see me.

Well, there are a couple of shots where a blurry zombie in the distance might be me, but that's it.

The end.

In more-or-less unrelated news, another thing I've been reviewing is the sixth series of Bleach. So now I have this stuck firmly in my head. And now I am trying to stick it firmly in yours. Consider it a gift!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


From the age of about seven or eight to fifteen, I loved - loved - the Redwall series of books by Brian Jacques. I had the first thirteen of the series and compusively read and re-read them: my favourites were Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo, Mariel of Redwall, The Bellmaker, Outcast of Redwall, The Pearls of Lutra and The Long Patrol (man, that's eight out of thirteen, I can't decide which is the best! Maybe Bellmaker or Lutra. Or Outcast. Or...).

Anyway, they were wonderful. The first books I'd come across to really emphasise descriptions of places and things, they left mental images in my mind's eye so strong I can still recall them now. They were also the first place I came across several types of animals - polecats, pine martens, and most memorably, the shrike in Bellmaker (named Glokkjaw or something like that?), which I presumed was an animal Jacques had made up until I found it in a bird book several years later.

I re-read the books a few years ago, and they didn't quite stand up to an adult's eye - repetitive, predictable and with some slightly uncomfortable undertones that you could potentially read as mild racism, although I don't think that was intentional - but I'll always have a lot of love for the series as a key point in my reading history. And in fact I'm considering getting a couple of them for my niece to see what she thinks in a year or two.

As such, it's sad to hear of Jacques' death, and the fact that the forthcoming twenty-second novel in the series will abruptly be the last. R.I.P. Brian Jacques, and thank you for many, many, many happy hours of reading.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teenagers? In connection with sex?

Looking through next week's Radio Times, I glanced at the write-up for Monday's episode of Glee. I think it was reviewed by Alison Graham, but I'm not certain and I can't be arsed to go downstairs and check; let's say it was her for the sake of argument.

Anyway, I obviously can't really comment until I've seen it, but apparently it involves much grinding of twenty-something-women-pretending-to-be-teenage-girls' buttocks in a variety of tight costumes. Graham is quite shocked by all this, and says something like, "It used to be such a sweet, wholesome show."

One can only assume that she never saw half of the first series, what with its (very funny) repeated visual gag about one character's issues with premature ejaculation.

Okay, Glee is never going to be American Pie, and it is largely sweetness and light, but come on. It is about teenagers, after all, and to quote the immortal Xander Harris:

"I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."