Some things I've learned....
(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time
(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!
(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....
(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!
Friday 31 August 2007
Let's take a trip back to the age of the mobile phone. In the beginning, as Saved By the Bell fans will remember, mobile phones were as far from mobile as I am getting up for college at 6am. They were huge, brick-like demons, which ran on single cell battery power and had an antenna as long as a Pepperami. Then, the device was cut down, to just larger than todays modern phones, still keeping in touch with the basic funtionality of the phone, which was to make phone calls. This was fine. It was simply improving the functionality and robustness of a device to make it more convenient for the user. Great. Text messages were introduced. Still great. Why? As text messages were (and still are) a form of communication, and it seemed appropriate that such a communication add-on was related to the mobile phone.
The years past and the basic premise of phone calls and text messaging remained the same. So what changed? The thing that changed, and is still the forerunner in deciding on a mobile phone today is what my phone does that the other ones don't do. Whether its taking a 5 million pixel photo, or being able to hold 100 songs is now the prominent decision in phone shopping. How is it that those things, which aren't related to the premise of making a phone call, decide how one should buy a mobile phone? As I see it presently, Apple are the main criminals on this front, thanks to the introduction of the iPhone.
Let's move on to music. We all had either a Walkman or a Discman back in the day. Hell it was great, we could go for a walk and listen to music at the same time....music that we didn't have to make up or try to remember in our heads!! Then came a revelation! The mp3, or at the time, the iPod. As many of you will know, I don't like Apple, but nevertheless, the iPod was a mastercraft in music playing technology. Now we could hold thousands of songs on this pocket-sized device, as opposed to a single cd's worth on a cd player as large as my hand. Things changed soon after. Apple decided: "Why don't we let people put photos on our iPod, so they can have something to look at?". Why oh why would someone incorporate photos to a music playing device. MY own mp3, a Creative Zen, plays only music, and that's all I ever wanted it to do, I've had it for 2 years now and not once have I considered to replace it.
Apple didn't stop there though. Then they decided to introduce videos to a music playing device. Nice isn't it. Instead of listening to your favourite band, you can now not only look at photos of last nights party, but you can also watch music videos of the band you used to just listen to. Move over music player, now I can watch, listen and reminisce. What's next, a vibrate function when the battery is low, or when its time to change songs?
For me, things like the Camera and Video Camera have managed to hold true to their purpose. They both still do what they're supposed to, and all the recent technological breakthroughs have only improved this functionality, changing tapes to flash cards or discs etc. TV's are a funny one, on one hand they've improved thanks to LCD, HD and all that, but why then do Philips advertise a TV with back lights, that change at the touch of a button? When did TV's become responsible for room lighting effects in such a way?
The gaming industry is also guilty of this 'What it Does and Doesn't Do' disaster, though it's more hidden and secret than the others. For me, this starts right after the release of the PS2. With the PS2, for the first time ever, people could watch DVD's on a gaming system. This wasn't so bad at the time, because DVD players were quite expensive, and in the PS2 there was a convenitent alternative to forking out big money for a DVD player which didn't also play games. Then the Xbox and its successor the Xbox 360 hit the shelves, and things changed. The premise behind the hype over the 360 was what it could do more than the PS2 could, namely a very impressive online gaming function and the ability for wireless controllers. Sony's response with the PS3 was equally as bad as the 360. With the PS3 you now had up to 7 wireless players at once as standard, the ability to browse the net, play DVDs and BRDVDs, not to mention the ability to hook up your camera and upload photos to the PS3 browser and set security settings. Even look at the Wii! Nintendo figured they'd go all out and throw a whole online community into their console, not to mention deciding they'd be totally different than everyone else and make controllers that you can juggle, throw over your head, swing like skipping ropes, all so you can play the damn thing!!
Currently, both the 360 and the PS3 share these features. What was once a gaming system is now a DVD player, a music player, a photo album, a video collection, an internet browser, a text messager and god knows what else I haven't found on it yet.
With all these extra functionalities being introduced, as well as more and more devices being subject to these add-ons...in time, how will we distinguish one thing from the other. At present, both the 360 and the PS3 can do almost everything a PC can do, at much faster speeds. The only thing that we recognise as a PC is the classic tower CPU and large monitor with keyboard and mouse. Consoles have replaced all these with the X button and an analog. Where will we draw the line between mobile phones and music devices? Will my TV eventually be able to make me a cup of tea or a bag of popcorn so I don't even have to leave the room? Will the toilet wipe us clean for us? Or how long will it be until my watch can make video phone calls like in Thunderbirds???
Thursday 30 August 2007
I'll leave it at that for the moment, because I really need a more efficient way to upload these pics, let's treat them as a sample so.
Bow to the King!!
Wednesday 29 August 2007
I'm going to do my best to keep this guy anonymous, but he's up to so much now, that I just can't keep it in anymore. If you see him, give him a good hard potential energy converting to kinetic energy kick in the balls from me.
Where to start? Let's take you back to 6th year Chemistry, the cheek of him to get 108% in an exam. How dare he??? Like if he's going to do the impossible he should at least tell us beforehand. Sure he might own a multi-million euro business empire, but thats no reason to hate him is it? So what if he started a war in Yemen, and wreaked havoc across the French countryside, poisoning the maize and wine crop.
Well I'm going to tell you what pisses me off most!! First of all, that dress sense, shirt and jeans....where the hell did he get that from? Not to mention the fact that black and black doesn't go together, neither does a slightly patterend blue and white shirt go with bluey jeans, nor does khaki trousers go with a beize and white shirt... Never! At least my dress sense is better than his!
Now let's get on to his blog, cause I have a lot to say. First of all, he regularly posts the AVGN videos, which unfortunately I have to admit I'm grateful for, since the Nerd stopped posting on youtube and this guy seems to have the right links to all the videos. Put what DOES piss me off, is that he has the nerve to write up blogs about stuff that pisses him off, I mean who does he think he is? Secondly, most of his blogs are WAY too long, and he usually goes into too much detail. That's another yoke I can't stand about him, he always looks into everything, and works stuff out in his head to the Xtreme, postulating all known probabilites and possibilities. And another thing, why does he always sign off as 'The Damo', who has the right to put the prefix 'THE' before their name, only The Queen, and The President or The Silent Assassin is allowed to have something like that. He also has those stupid little one line pieces before the end, like their lyrics from songs or words from a TV programme or something!
What's more, he always signs off comments in blogs or the final message on the phone with XXX. Who's he trying to fool?? We all know this guy has no sense of affection or anything like that, not to mention he seems to be void of all emotion except for rage...as in his blogs. And what's with all the Red Dwarf stuff anyway? It's not even funny, it only had 8 seasons, 64 episodes, a huge fan base and an International Emmy award for Season 6. All the cast are washed up has-beens, two have their own shows on Discovery Channel, another's in Coronation Street and another is in movies.
And why does he listen to metal music? Metallica and Megadeth, not to mention Iron Maiden and Pantera aren't even that good!! It's just the same crap all over again, them and their anti-religious vibes, satanic worshipping metal heads.
Now let's get on to people!!! Cause this has got to piss me off the most! All he does is chat to them, listen to what's on their mind and help them out if their troubled by something!!! He always bleedin tries to lighten the mood or end awkward silences and he'll always help out someone in need! Who's he trying to fool? Who wants someone to text them wishing them a happy birthday or invite them out for some drinks? Honestly, this guy has to get his act together. Why does he even bother to compliment people? He's too selfless and considerate...you know what, I can't write anymore or my head will explode.
What the hell is THE EDGE that he's talking about over on the right anyway????
Tuesday 28 August 2007
Characters>Nathan Hale - the main protagonist and player character. The U.S. Army deployed in Britain to face the Chimeran threat. No sooner had they landed than thousands of soldiers were incapacitated by the Chimeran virus. Hale was the only victim to recover. Shortly after awaking, Hale continued on his mission, and freed British Resistance Captain Rachel Parker, who takes note of his strange gold colored eyes. Throughout the war, Hale would prove to be a vital member of the Resistance forces, and the last hope in defeating the Chimera..
>Captain Rachel Parker - is the primary figure in coordinating a resistance to the Chimera in England, and eventually helps lead an offensive on Chimeran power grids. She takes the role of the narrator in the game aswell, describing the events of Nathan Hale and the evect of the Chimera virus on him.
>Lieutenant Stephen Cartwright - is a lieutenant in the British Royal Marines during the war against the Chimera. Not much is known about Cartwright's life other than the fact that his known family consist of his youngest daughter Angela Cartwright, who was found in a bunker after the purge of London tower. The fact that he has a daughter may or may not suggest that he has a wife. He accompanys Hale on several missions throughout the game.
The Chimera are the fictional, alien-like mutants that are the main enemies in the game. The creatures come from somewhere in Russia and they are believed to be the result of a biological experiment gone wrong, although events and revelations further on in the game and the Chimeras' advanced technologies (such as advanced weather control and force fields) might rightly lead a player to deduce that the Chimera are, in fact, extraterrestrial in orign. They infect humans with a transformative virus which causes its victims to fall into a coma, during which the virus transforms them into Chimeran creatures.
The Chimera are much stronger than regular humans, and have between two and six yellow eyes. The Chimeran metabolism is twelve times that of humans, which allow for extraordinary healing abilities, but it causes them to overheat quickly; for that reason, Chimera soldiers are implanted with cooling devices on their backs, and they alter their climate to lower temperatures. Chimeran technology is much more advanced than human technology. It is also said in several intelligence reports during the game that they will devour their own kind, usually their wounded or dead.
The Cloven have not appeared in Resistance: Fall of Man, and are fairly mysterious. They appear to be a kind of superhuman. An unlockable skin in multiplayer under the name "Cloven" features a bald, pale-skinned humanoid in a foreign military uniform. In intelligence reports and on the official site, they are said to be maniacs who speak Russian, ritualistically mutilate themselves and their victims, and feed on the bodies of their own dead soldiers. In another intel document within the game, the Cloven lured the Chimera to York which was where the Americans were landing. In another intel report, the Cloven are said to kill themselves to avoid turning into Chimeras. Also, the British guess that they probably turn into Slipskulls (A type of Chimera). They appear to be enemies of both the Chimera and the Euro-American forces.
M5A2 Carbine - This is the first weapon you have when you start the game. It's quite good, and is useful for dealing with virtually all enemies in the game. This is your trusty weapon, I always use this when I can, the attached grenade launcher also dishes out some extra firepower. There's ammo for this thing lying around everywhere, so there's no reason why you shouldn't use it. (American Weapon)
Bullseye - The primary Chimera weapon. The great thing about this baby is that you can tag you enemies by hitting L1, and then blow them away with your entire clip when you hit R1, from anywhere, behind walls over hills, in the sky you name it! This gun is great for taking out some of the bigger enemies in the game. Often times the accuracy it require to get enemies with the bigger guns require standing still, which can get you hit. Bullseye allow you to move around and still makes sure you bullets hit their mark. Later on in the game you pick up the Bullseye Mark II, which shoots blue rounds and is basically a more powerful version of the original. The only downside is that the enemies are armed with it too!! (Chimeran Weapon)
Rossmore 236 - This is probably the most trustworthy and reliable gun in the game. When you get frustrated and you just want to blast your way through an area, you can nail everyone in the face with this gun a few times, and you can pretty much survive. Experiment with its long range capabilities. I was able to take out several enemies located on high platforms with the shotgun, though it does deal less damage at longer range. It's a more versatile weapon than one would think. (British Weapon)
Auger - This beauty is good when you're in tight quarters, and you know enemies are coming around the corner. The discharge from the Auger fires through walls. Aim the cross-hairs at the walls and watch for it to turn red. If it does, let loose. At the very least, you'll soften the assault, and set yourself up for some efficient killing. In face to face instances, I wouldn't advise using this weapon, as it is fairly weak on its own. The more solid objects it passes through, the more powerful the shot is! (Chimeran Weapon)
L23 Fareye - Here's you next best friend, the sniper rifle. The genius ability here is that when you hit L1, you slow down time and have a better chance of lining up an accurate shot (called focus mode). This comes in handy when you've got enemies shooting at you and you see the bullets coming your way. You can slow down time and get a shot off before the bullets reach you. Other times, you don't have time to use the time exploit, and it's better to just use skill to eliminate the threat. (British Weapon)
Sapper - When I got this weapon, I didn't really use it all that much, though over time, I found it to be very effective against leapers and rollers, saving your more useful ammo. It discharges bio-mines that glob up on the ground, and enemies that are stupid enough to walking into them die real good. Bigger thugs like Steelheads and the like don't get hurt as bad with this weapon. So save it for the enemies whose main task is to run directly at you, and better still, those that don't shoot back at you. Just pull the trigger and back peddle. Hit L1 will blow mines if they don't get used and you need to walk past them. (American but possibly Chimeran Weapon, as the mines it spits out are identical to the mines the Widowmaker spits out)
Hailstorm - I love this weapon. I wish there would have been more ammo lying around for it. The bullets themselves bounce off walls and continue to do so until they find a soft target, like the Chimera. And as an alternate, hitting L1 will discharge the entire clip, and turn it into an auto-turret that fires the ammo everywhere. Its cool looking and effective, but I just needed more of it. (American Weapon...I think)
L209 LAARK - Well it shoots rockets. That much is for sure. But the new catch is that you can control the flight path by hitting L1 and then swivelling the laser pointer on its nose using the right analog stick. Turns out, I don't have time for all of that crap. I just need it to hit the enemy hard and fast. So more often that not, I use it to clear clusters of enemies in the distance. It's especially good at taking down Stalkers as well (if you manage to sneak up behind them). (American/British Weapon)
Frag Grenade - This is a simple grenade that does the job.
Hedgehog Grenade - This nasty weapon shoot spikes everywhere and usually takes out more enemies than a regular frag grenade.
Air-fuel Grenade - This is the sexiest grenade I've ever seen in a videogame. When you throw it, it'll stick to surfaces (a Titan perhaps), discharge a greenish looking smoke, and than set the smoke on fire, like napalm. It's mean, and it works so well. I've cleared whole rooms with this little bastard.
The Enemies - Know Your Foe!Menials - These are the most human-looking of the Chimera, and also the easiest to deal. They walk toward you slowly and when they get close enough, they grab and bite you. The idea is to shoot them before the get close. If they do happen to grab on, shake SIXAXIS controller and Hale will throw them off. Recommended weapon: Rossmore.
Leapers and Rollers - Fighting against these creepy guys will give you the heebie-jeebies. You can do the rolling leaping math to figure out what they actually do. They like to flood in from nowhere and surprise you. Remember to back peddle and keep them all in front of you. Recommended weapon: Rossmore or Sapper
Hybrids - You'll find these guys everywhere throughout the game. They have the basic cooling unit on their back and they also carry around the Bullseye weapon. A healthy diet of bullets and grenades will take these guys down. Some will get aggressive when you least expect, so watch out. Recommended Weapon: Anything really.
Steelheads - These guys have much more armor than the Hybrids, and they carry around an Auger. Yeah, it can shoot through walls, but you'll have it to, so you can give them a taste of their own medicine. Sometimes you'll throw a grenade at these guys and they'll take the hit and get back up. A double-shot of the shot gun to the face should knock them down. And the Air Fuel grenade should serve 'em up dark and crispy.
Hardfangs - I thought these guys were Steelheads when I first saw them. But then they hit me with that Arc Charger and I found out otherwise. Treat them as you would the Steelheads and show no mercy. The shotgun will always do a good job of putting these merciless creatures in their place.
Advanced Hybrids - You won't see these guys until later in the game. When you do, they're carrying around that Bullseye Mark II that deals a lot of damage. Take these guys as fast as possible. You don't want them overwhelming you because that could spell danger. They look a little skinnier than Hybrids with more armor. They look creepier than they really are. Recommended Weapon: Bullseye Mark II.
Howlers - Are they dogs? Are they bears? When they get to you it won't matter. Just don't let those claws get to you, and put you out your mind. A few shotgun blasts to the face should calm Fido down.
Slipskulls - These jerks are hard to hit. They jump from wall to wall, zeroing in with their laser pointer, trying to shoot you. I like using the Bullseye on them. Wherever they jump to, that tag will make sure the bullets reach them, and that's all you need.
Gray Jacks - These guys look like Slipskulls that have been stretched out and made to look abnormally tall. But these guys aren't too dangerous. The shotgun will lay them down quick. There's one point where a stage is set-up to make these guys look like bosses and you're supposed to be all scared. Don't trip. Just aim for the face.
Titan - He's just an overgrown bully. He's huge with no armor, but thick skin. If you walk in front of him he'll pound you into the afterlife. And yes, you do want to avoid those fireballs he shoots, as they will make you very sorry you ever when up against him. Recommended Weapon: Anything except Sapper.
Stalker and Goliath - Ahh, the Stalker. This mechanical monstrosity is your worst enemy when you fight it, but you'll love it when you're driving one. And who can forget its bigger cousin, the Goliath that takes more damage that anything in the game? Just know that when it's time to take down a Stalker, you want to get behind it and fire at the power core. Rockets in the face help out too. The Goliath on the other hand will die at the hands of Stalker you control. Just remember to hit that X BUTTON to make quick dashes to avoiding get hit.Widowmakers - I hate these guys! They're huge giant spiders that happen to be powerful and fast. You can't hope to line them up for an accurate shot from the rocket launcher without risking them shooting that acidic explosive at you and chopping away at your health meter. I suggest using the Bullseye to tag them and run for cover, blasting all the way to safety. (I placed a picture of one of these in the old previews)
Angel - These guys are creepy! Seriously. It's an 18's game and all, but when you first meet one it hangs down out of nowhere screehing, making your vision all blurred. And if you let them line you up for a shot of their poison cloud or spikes, they'll show you why they're so feared. They glide in the air like ghost which really has a chilling impact on the atmosphere. Don't take time to appreciate their beauty. Just tag them with the Bullseye and run. You can think about what they looked like after they're dead.
Stay Blogged for Part 2!!
Monday 27 August 2007
The demo explores the environment Snake will be operating in, as well as the many new game features explained in the video such as Snake-Eye, Octocamo, new targeting system, new movement controls, the improved CQC from the previous game and many other snippets.
There's little point in me describing what happens in the video, as Hideo himself does a pretty good job on the running commentary (the subtitles, because as you may have guessed, he's Japanese).
Certainly one of the things that will strike you ahead of previous MGS games is just how intense the battles are. MGS has always been a stealth game, and it does continue that way in the 4th installment, the only difference is that you are infiltrating a warzone and the gameplay is designed to have you cope with a live battlefield environment.
The vast array of new controls is also impressive. Snake now has the lowered stance movement available, instead of just crawling on his stomach. Also, thanks to the SIXAXIS, the game can be played as a FPS (First Person Shooter), similar to how the earliest trailers of the game suggested the gameplay might be like.
I'll leave you to make up your own thoughts on the video, so do leave a comment if you've anything to say about it.
The second trailer is back to a real-time movie standard, entitled "Beauty and the Beast". The trailer reveals four of the bosses that will appear in the game.
Picture (from left to right); Laughing Octopus, Screaming Mantis, Raging Raven, Crying Wolf
Several things make these bosses special and unique, compared to previous bosses. Firstly, they're all women. Not that that's a bad thing or anything. Each of them was modelled on a real world (fashion) model. Previously the boss "unit" in MGS featured both men and women. Secondly, this is the first game to feature bosses that are -mainly- mechanical, although they're female form (aka the Beauty) is underneath the mechanical form (aka the Beast).
Thirdly, on initial inspection it would seem that each of the bosses is named after bosses from the first Metal Gear Solid: Decoy Octopus, Psycho Mantis, Raven and Sniper Wolf. HOWEVER, on looking at their names, it seems as though Hideo Kojima has also named the four women after the bosses in MGS3. Although I haven't covered this game yet, four of the bosses in MGS3 are named: The Joy, The Fear, The Fury and The Sorrow. Now, take into account the human response to each of those names.... Joy = Laughter, Fear = Screaming, Fury = Rage, Sorrow = Crying. Therefore, we can conclude that the names of The Beauty and the Beast unit are derived from both MGS and MGS3, thus showing another aspect of Hideo's creative genius and also his cleverness to incorporate minor references from the previous installments.
Enjoy the video. Speaking strictly of gameplay terms, these bosses are going to be a biatch.
On one final note, Hideo Kojima confirmed in person what we all hoped and that was that MGS4 is in fact PS3 exclusive!!!!
Likewise, the Games Workshop blog is also underway, just trying to get pictures of unpainted miniatures.
And now to the Nerd... this video goes back to Atari, though it's quite different from his previous videos. Not for the faint of heart...and I mean it...
It's Payback Time!!
Anyway, I've spoken muchly about the anti-Dublin vibe from RTE sport, but it's no secret that this opinion exists outside of the RTE media.
Wednesday 15 August 2007
Some brief news before I post the latest Nerd Video:
The 'Resistance: Fall of Man' blog is on hold as I have yet to complete the game due to my situation just outside The Pale.
I have in the works another Games Workshop blog, this time however on a positive note.
I am also now making myself available to cook fancy meals for people so if you have my number, as most of my blog readers do, we can have a chat about it.
This is the Blowout (really blowout your ass!)
Remember kiddies, verify your age!!
Who has two thumbs and doesn't give a damn?
Bob Kelsow, nice to meet you.