Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Now Playing Dragon Age: Origins

Time flys when you're trying to become a ranger.

Some reviews have said that the graphics in Dragons Age: Origins aren't that impressive on the XBox. Suggesting that on other platforms the graphics march out of your HD tv and smack you round the head with a 2 by 4. Actually, some of the tress in some scenic parts are kind of flat and there's still that uncanny valley thing going on.

There's a slight feeling that this is Mass Effect skinned to look like Lord of the Rings, this is not really a bad thing.

I'm only in the early stages yet, I've just become a Spectre Grey Warden after my human noble family was betrayed and my parents killed. DA:O parcels out the story in little snippets, while heavily suggesting there's a larger world (does anybody read more than a couple of codexs?), keeping you to a fairly linear path in the beginning. There's nothing particulary new here but it does it all very well.

One of the first quests involves killing large rats and the game is cute enough to comment on that.

Currently, I actually want to do all six of the openings just to see what is different, but I'll wait until I get stuck in my first playthrough. I tend to find with RPGs that at some point I do feel like getting everything out of them, but with one playthrough being 20+ hours the greater feeling is that enough is enough.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Still Playing Catch Up

But you should probably go and play Small Worlds, it doesn't take too long and it is quite beautiful in a minimalist way. There's even a hint of a story or, at least, you can interpret it in such a way that it makes some form of sense. It's well worth ten minutes of your time.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

I Predict This Motel Will Be Standing Until I Pay My Bill

The Morning News links to a Newsweek article about some bad recent predictions. See if you can predict which of your favourite ones are on it.

Coming in at number 6 is the death of irony. Which wasn't a prediction and was wrong the moment it was said anyway. Ironically it was uttered by an American a nation whose sense of irony tends toward the suspect (not that they can't do it or understand it but there seem to be any number of literalists over there with too much access to the public).

The end of irony was, of course, a reaction to 9/11. That the Guardian had Chris Morris lampooning the media reaction to 9/11 mere days afterwards was obviously just a death spasm. Irony didn't even ironically survive, it just kept going in the face of any number of people wanting to be all po-faced about it. How could people laugh at time like that? Well, some people are sick but quite a few more use humour, dry sarcastic humour as much as any other, as a catharsis and that wasn't going to go away, just like history didn't end in the '90s.

Mad Men Simpsons Mash Up

The Guardian links to five Mad Men parodies, some better than others, but I sure do hope that someone makes a t-shirt out of this (minus the writing):

Behind The Times

But this is worth a visit if you haven't already been sent there by no end of other blogs. The New York Times has a very well done gallery of Berlin then and now, with a slidey thing so you can see just how clever it all is.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

It's Been A Sci-Fi Week

After watching Star Trek I downloaded the latest mission pack for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to my Xbox 360. It's one level set on Tatooine in, yet another, alternate universe, one where Vader's Apprentice bested Vader at the end of Force Unleashed.

It was too short, I tend to play these things on "Casual" nowadays as I just can't get twitchy enough for the harder levels of these things (I'll tell you about my afternoon playing multi-player Gears Of War one day, a game I thought was a sneak-along...). It took me about an hour to finish, so for a tenner it wasn't much gameplay.


You get to fight Boba Fett, crush Jabba's Rancour and brutally murder Obi-Wan Kenobi. One of the "achievements" involves throwing Jawas into a grinder. If the original game had this much wit and verve for it's whole length then it would have been a classic.

Mini DVD Review: Star Trek

For various reasons I tend to get fan feedback on SF movies before I get a chance to see the actual movie itself. So I got the feeling that there was a sizeable minority of fan-boys out there that were adamant that Star Trek wasn't "Star Trek". Possibly there were mutterings about canon and inconsistencies with established histories.


I enjoyed it. Galaxy Quest may now officially be the second best Star Trek movie. What probably surprised me the most is that I felt most of the broad comedy actually worked. If I had complaints they would that that the Enterprise was a bit of a secondary character overall as was Bones who, as in the original series, should be the soul part of mind, body and soul but here was mostly just bemused.

Somebody Make This Now

It would make my Xmas shopping so easy.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

They Do It On Purpose You Know

The Daily Mail has always pandered to its core readership and on the Internet that pandering just seems to get worse. What else to explain this article which even Fark derided the central argument as "The trouble with a scientific argument is that it relies solely on empirical facts".

Hilariously the article even auto-violates Godwin's Law. Possibly even going on to prove Poe's Law.It should probably be up for some Internet award. Perhaps AN Wilson is trying to compete with Jan Moir.

I am slightly back, by the way, and trying a new "blogging from home" get up. I hope to keep it up, if only to get more use to this keyboard...