Sunday, October 14, 2007

Of fat, insectivores and off-kilter bleeping

So it's all kicking off at the moment. Radiohead have caused the music industry a collective heart attack by letting fans decide how much to pay for their new album; Sonic has crashed headlong into Super Smash Bros. Brawl, allowing twentysomethings the world over a chance to settle the highly important "fast hedgehog versus athletic plumber" debate; and being fat is as dangerous as climate change.

In Rainbows, the offending album, is certainly a landmark release as far as the future of selling music goes, and it doesn't hurt that it's a damn good album too. I only downloaded it yesterday, and a Radiohead album is not something that can be fully appreciated in that amount of time, but so far I'd say it beats out Hail to the Thief and Amnesiac - whether it eventually finds itself even further up the echelons of excellence remains to be seen. And good lord that was a long and winding sentence.
It'd be interesting to find out the average price paid for it - I went for £7.99, the usual cost of a download from iTunes, although I forgot the 45p service charge so it actually cost me £8.44. (The service charge only comes in if you pay any money at all, so you can get it for free, but if you try to pay 1p you end up paying 46p instead.) I noted a guy on the BBC website saying he got it for free, but he doesn't like them and he was apparently trying to prove some sort of point (not quite sure what the point was, he confirmed that he didn't like the album and deleted it). The couple of friends I've spoken to both said they paid a tenner, so it looks like honesty may well pay off.

Arguably the most entertaining thing about the Smash Bros. excitement is that suddenly Sega's Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games has suddenly lost most of its raison d'├ętre. I've always been of the opinion that it's looked pretty good but not great, but then I've always had a soft spot for Track and Field-style games. And the brief videos of Sonic in Brawl immediately carry a lot more pizzaz than the whole of M&S (heh).

As for obesity, yes, it is certainly a problem now and will be a much bigger one very soon, but it's a ridiculous comparison to make. One affects one species in a few areas of the world (i.e. most of the developed countries and a few undeveloped ones too - I seem to recall that Samoa has the highest percentage of obese citizens) whereas the other affects every lifeform on the fucking planet (excuse my language, and yes I know there are reports of various species doing quite well out of the shifting climate, I'm striving for effect here). It makes me distinctly angry when people push global warming to one side like that.

In happier news (of a sort), I saw Pan's Labyrinth the other night and it was very good. Recommended.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Our work is never over

Meant to say this in the last post (apparently writing lengthy things straight on the Blogger word processor confuses and intimidates me and causes me to leave things out), but one area of realism in games I do approve of is physics. The best boss in the recently released Sonic Rush Adventure, hardly the most realistic game out there, is one that uses inertia to a degree of realism (it's a robot that dangles big spiky balls at you, and you have to hit the balls hard enough to cause them to swing back and slap him one).

Meanwhile, what I really wanted to show you was this.

(I just spent ten fruitless minutes trying to embed the video, but Youtube apparently does not like the concept of someone trying to highlight and copy the entire, lengthy embedding code, and only gave me the first bit. Then it wouldn't let me scroll onto the next bit of the code, so I couldn't copy it in chunks. If anyone has a solution that doesn't involve "throw computer out of window", "swear until you pass out" or "take plane to Youtube headquarters and beat the site programmers around the head and face with their own severed legs", I'd be grateful. Until then, here's a boring old link. I now have a headache.)