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Monday 31 December 2007

Supremely in Command entering 2008 [Am]

As we approach the year end, it should be noted that we did a lot of varied gaming this year - probably more than any recent year or perhaps in any year since the clan formed. As also noted (in part) elsewhere in the game of the year blog for instance, we've seen this in PC and console based fun; the advent of the fantastic Wii controller and the amazing gameplay dynamics that releases in games like Super Mario Galaxy, Guitar Hero a-plenty, some fantastic FPS orientated games such as BioShock, COD4, Crysis and then a variegated host of other console based games. Latterly of course, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance an RTS of all things for heavens sake has become a bit of an obsession.

But who are these fools playing this RTS I hear you cry. Can we trust them at all? Surely they must be wrong for I know I hate RTS's...... well... as copied from the rather reclusive wiki, I give you this cast of characters. Would you put your trust in them?

Currently playing SupCom: FA
  1. Lurks - AKA Dr RTS, Professer Template, The ACU With No Name, Cheating Hax0id Fucknugget. Has been playing RTS's since 1784. Has a clue innit. Currently ably assisting the fundamentally challenged to learn this game. Also currently remarkably restrained at telling others that they don't possess said clue. Mostly.
  2. Pod - A gamer, even when only at 50% due to the onset of combined necrotising fasciitis, smallpox, bubonic plague, ebola and west nile virus or something. AKA The_Bloke_With_The_Laptop_From_Hell due to his 4^H386 cpu when it comes to co-op with maps more than 9 feet square or unitcaps > 12. Playing co-op with Pod in such circumstances is not unlike freewheeling down a steep hill on a sunny day with the wind whistling round you only to cycle headlong into an outstretched tree-branch.
  3. Muz - can do economy, and military... just not at the same time. Sekretly wants to be the best at this game. Will not stop until the Lurker falls.
  4. Beej - turtle/tech. Loves tac missile and flying engies and SACUs around. ACU most likely to take his ACU on a charge into the enemy base. Breaches etiquette in doing so. When Beej captures ACUs, the whole world sits down at the peace table... its a shame he's never captured an ACU.... probably sits down at his word processer and writes terse security-reports on the situation after the fact starting 'I TOLDS YUO SO!!!! IT'S ME!!!!! WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!!'.....
  5. Am - is probably really good at this game. In a parallel universe at the present unfortunately.
  6. Brit - Justa bout getting to grips with handling AI rushes. Likes turrets. Enjoys a good Strategic Bombing. Warned off the game occasionally for the sake of preserving a harmonious loving relationship in his domestic environs.
  7. Slim - Currently lurking around in single player and will not play multi-player until he is sufficiently good that he feels that he can pass off his ability as being related to natural_gaming_skillz. Will not be believed by anyone.

I hope more might join us in the New Year. And while we're at it, lets do a few more New Years wishes;

- World Pea....oh furgeddabouddit

- Continued gaming creativity from the industry. You've all done very well. No really you have. Have a sherbet dab. Now get back there and code up some more you mishapen monkeys

- Rorz gets a decent computer

- And Pod :)

- Most of the rest of us get some clues

- More Lans - NewYearLan / AmLan V etc

- The Tenth Anniversary Bash!

- P00nage!

- 0wnerage!

Happy New Year!

Air Vice Marshall Sir Gerald 'Tin Legs' Amnesia FFS, WTF, OMFG and bar

Thursday 20 December 2007

The Boss of all Bosses [Shedir]

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

Paraphrasing Laurence Binyon may seem course, giving his poem is about war heroes. But I'm just back from the 02 arena. Where I watched my one time absolute no hold bars musical hero, utterly own the stage.

Ladies and gentletypists, Springsteen was quite utterly awesome. I've seen him a few times, not as many as I'd have liked thats for sure. Manchester a few years ago was fantastic and it helped I was only a handful of rows from the front. But vocally last night, he belied his age.

Time was rolled back, for him and the audience both. They came out and blasted out anthems from the new album Magic but, as per, the old material drew on a more poetic Bruce. and a more involved audience. Bruce's writing ability belied his guttaral efforts at singing, I'd given up on the old man a while ago that brown jug stuff just wasnt what I want(ed) to here.

For me his voice was gone, with it the passion he put to the very best of uses had banked low.

Well, whatever he was on last night. When I'm 60, get it on IV.

I saw him nearly 20 years ago in the SECC, without the E St Band. He blew me away with his energy in a no frills show, which split my hands from clapping and left me unable to talk properly for 4 days from bawling.

Last night wasn't like that, I was in the 4th floor and halfway round. But how I envied the folk in the VIP section, the thing that scunnered me most was it wasn't full. You could see these bastards jigging about with room to spare. While I, I who've loved his music since I was 14 and was given the river by a classmate in english, was stuck up in the gods with oxyen cylinders and sherpas for company.

No gimmicks, no suspended bridges. No dancers, no pyrotechnics. No 3d holograms, nobacking tapes or any of that chiccanery lesser bands employ.

A ball breaking, arse numbing, damn near 3 hour marathon by the hardest working pensioners you're ever likely to see in your life. Some of the newer material fell flat, one singalong died on it's arse because the song was poor. Lil Steven jumped in when he realised the crown didn't know the words.

But it didn't matter, when the crowd got too noisy behind us. The band pulled out "racing in the streets" and 20,000 people fell silent as he wove a spell of pure magic over the "big big room".

If he could only put that passion he feels onstage into the studio, he could sing the phonebook and have sales which would make opec shudder at the vinyl required.

This trip cost me a fuckload of dosh, I wouldn't spend this much going to pretty much anything else. I didn't go to Seville to see Celtic in the uefa final. I've not followed scotland all over the globe,but hand on heart I don't regret a penny.

There's still tickets at the emirates, I'll probably go again. But fuck the security and fuck what it says on the bit of paper I'll be clutching. Because next time, I'm gonna get as close to the front as I can and let those years fall away.

Maybe a little staged, with the VIP punters handing the hats out at the end. But even Santa Claus is coming to town worked damn well and gave a fair old giggle and Miami Steve's daft headware. You may know him as Sil from the Sopranos

Sunday 16 December 2007

Soundbridge Homemusic [Slim]

For too long I've been enviously eyeing devices like the Squeezebox, desparate to set my mp3 collection free of my pc and mp3 player, but the 180 quid price tag was simply little too high for me to justify.

But I recently spotted the Pinnacle Soundbridge Homemusic on Amazon for 40 quid, and stone me if it doesn't look like the audiophile fave Roku Soundbridge device. A bit of googling, and it turns out this is indeed a Roku Soundbridge with the big screen replaced with a two line diddy thing and a cheaper remote. Big screens rock and all, but this thing is 140 quid cheaper, and ticks all the boxes.

So now I have one, working, and it's bloody lovely. Needs a firmware update first off to get you on wifi wpa security, but it's got a little SD card slot that make that pretty painless. WPA key entered, it's found my upnp server (twonky), and suddenly all my tunes are available via the soundbridge.

Can it really be that easy? Seems so. No addional client software installed or required if you're already doing some upnp, so I've now got the same libary shared out to me xbox 360 in the living room and me soundbridge in the dining room.

What's more, as this is actually a roku device, all the online roku shit works a treat. You go to Rokuradio, it finds your device on your lan, and shows you what it's playing. Want to preset some radio stations to buttons on the remote? Do it via the web, now the device is truly wife freindly; "turn it on dar, and press 1", that's it. Here's how my presets are set up:

1 - Radio 12 - North Pole Radio (it is xmas!)3 - Radio 7 (for the kids)4 - xfm Manchester5 - Manx Radio6 - Radio Paradise

The last ones a bit of a new find for me, but after tuning in, they played Radiohead, Jose Gonzalez, Coldplay and the Stone Roses, so it's a keeper!

Problems? Well the screen is small, so navigating huge collections is a drag. It does have a nice search facility though, and you can skip forward one alphabetical letter at a time through any list, so it's all well thought out.

Playlist support is also a bit wonky, tho that might be twonky rather than the Soundbridge. It's also fully reliant on tags rather than file names, so I really need to spend some time sorting that stuff out in my collection.

Dead chuffed tho, a total bargain for 40 notes.

Wednesday 12 December 2007

Why Supreme Commander FA is like olives [Am]


Until the recent experience of Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, I never really liked RTS games before. Oh sure I'd bought a couple of high repute like TA: The One That People Raved About No I Can't Remember The Name and the much admired Company of Heroes. But they were a bit fffmmm, a bit hrrrmnmnmnm, simply when all was said in done (and I do recognise this was probably down to me before you load up a transport, add two supporting gunships and start to build experimental anti-pe0n tech), well to date I simply found them a bit meh.

I also never liked olives until I was about 22. Distasteful things that could wreck a martini by simple immersion and would make me look at attractive women eating them and think 'why didn't you just stuff a worm in your mouth instead for all that has just done for your attractiveness, you and your soiled cakehole?'..... Olives this is, rather than an RTS game. You can't fit a CD in a martini glass nor in the mouth of that average woman can you, slot-loading or not?*

And then one day you suddenly decide you like them. Hey I quite like playing this. Good grief this could work on a pizza. And common to both - there's black and green ones here all over the place and I've got no idea what the difference is, better get stuck in and see....mmm....wonder if you'd get an adjaceny bonus with an anchovy?

I've no idea why I like it. Perhaps one of the old hands could tell me that I've matured (may be largely disputed to which I say pfffffffftttt b1t3 meh l00z4rs) or is it substantially different / more action orientated? But whatever the reason, I do like it. I like the multi-dimensionality of considerations; thought, planning, awareness, interaction, mouse-action, scroll-viewing, guessing, scheming, fearing, advancing, retreating, plotting, revising, re-arranging and nuking the living fucking drilled shit out of alien scum lords.

And more specifically yet, while the co-op is suffering a little under the strain of collective processing and netcode, it has to be time for us to get with some pvp 2v2 or 1v1 even. I'm up for it and I've improved. Who dares risk their reputation, yay verily even tonight, for an Amwhupping?**

--SupComAm Out--preparing an intergalatic-can of azzwhupp--transmision ends--

* although there was this girl at the University of Bristol who could put her entire fist in her gob but that wasn't terribly attractive either for your normal bloke let alone those scientific types reading Desmond Morris who would tend to get especially queasy at the biological allegories.

** Lurks need not apply for 1v1 unless I stab him in the eye with this here spare olive stick.....

Wednesday 5 December 2007

The Definitive Once-And-For-All Best 90's Albums [Catalyst]

Since we're in the mood, I thought it might be interesting to see how the top 5 90's songs lists correspond to the top 5 albums of the 90's. Seeing as a single song might be top notch, but the rest of the album might not be up-to-par, I suspect the lists will be slightly different.

My top 5 albums of the 90's are as follows:
  1. Pearl Jam - Ten (Not a surprise, I expect)
  2. RMB - This World Is Yours (Yes, the the album is really that good, Am ;))
  3. Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
  4. Faith No More - King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime
  5. Korn - Follow The Leader

The Definitive Once-And-For-All Best 90s Song List [DrDave]

I wanted to be more extravagent with the blog title, something epic and awe-inspiring to properly mark the creation of the Definitive Eat Electric Death Top 5 90s Song List Ever erm, list. But sadly Beejtech can't transmit more than 30 characters, so we'll have to make do with what would fit in the box. I find it helps if you imagine it in neon.

So, we've had 7 years to cool down from the cultural mayhem that was the nineties, time to reflect and ponder on what was one of the most creative and artistically fruitful decades in all history. The decade that gave us "Doop" and Timmy Mallet's unique take on the old pop-standard "Itsy Witsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini".

I think it's time to pack that decade away into a crate, place it in a lead lined container and bury it five miles below the antartic ice shelf personally. But before we do, we must formulate amonst ourselves a fitting eulogy for a musical decade. And what better way to do that than to fashion a Top 5 90s songs list, in the best EED tradition?

Here's mine. I'm not sure it's in any particular order:
  1. Tender - Blur
  2. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  3. Even Flow - Pearl Jam
  4. Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim
  5. Loaded - Primal Scream

Come now clan, express!

Tuesday 4 December 2007

xbox 360 divx upnp goodness [Shedir]

M&S don't do honeypot blogs, but if they did it'd be like this one. Anyway.

MS have added divx playback to the uber xbox 360, FAQ here, now I had loads of problems with windows media player 11 sharing my stuff. So rummaging around the net and slims head, a solution has been found!

TWONKY! A upnp server which is multiplatform, a doddle to setup and a breeze to use from the 360 side.

So I plopped it on my old mac last night to see how it went. Good god, no bother at all.

Open mac web browser to configure twonky, no linux terminal shit at all. Added the 360's IP into twonky as a device, I don't think this is strictly necessary but it didn't work unless I did that, then bosh. Movies folder shared. I watched an xvid but divx wasn't put in the update til this morning.

Reports from our agent in the field, Dr Dave, indicate that it works a treat though. Downside is twonky is 20 quid, not the end of the world but still maybe a free one can be found. Get sniffing readers.

Monday 3 December 2007

Game of the Year 2007 [Slim]

Very hard year to pick out a single title, there's been so much superb shit this year.

My game of the year is Super Mario Galaxy (wii). It's just so fresh feeling vs the cynical wave of first person shooters that all seemed to arrive in the same month, it's re-invigorated my love of gaming and underlined the fact that it's gameplay that matters, not hardware power. A perfect sofa vegging console experience.1st runner up: Orange box (pc). Got weeks of pleasure out of Team Fortress 2 in particular, and portal was wonderful, best ending ever. Ep2 was a let down in comparrsion but still loads of fun.2nd runner up: Bioshock (360). In the end it was System Shock 2 lite, far too easy, but so well put together that it really didn't matter.