Game Room Thoughts

Gam3 r00m

Game Room came out for the old Xbox, and shockingly enough, I knew bog-all about it. I remember hearing that you could pay for shots on old-school games but that was about it.

So off I went and downloaded it – which took long enough with my slow connection, not even mentioning the fact that the phone-lines were down for 5 hours – then just as I booted it up, more downloads. Great.

But when I started playing it, or exploring it would be the more appropriate term, I was quite impressed. The design is nice with some great retro-flavoured themes, but the games themselves? Well, they are nostalgic, capturing the look and difficulty perfectly, but a lot of them are rubbish. Really, really, poor.

This is coming from someone who did not experience most of these titles in my childhood, so maybe that has something to do with it. But even so, 240 points for a game that will probably only be played occasionally is still a lot. At least you actually get the machine that you can place in your own little arcade, which is cool, in a rather sad way.

Microsoft have tried to make this more friendly though, with credits allowing you a single play of a game. If you don’t have credits then you can pay 40 MP for a shot which is not too bad, but I doubt I will personally be forking out the points.

The one thing that really impressed is so trivial, so simple, yet so brilliant: when you’re playing a game the screen is reflective, like a proper arcade machine, meaning you see other random avatars walking around behind you, playing different machines. I know, I know, I’m a sucker for little touches like this.

Although it may sound like I have complained about Games Room, I’m a possible fan. If they bring out other game packs that are more suited to my knowledge – maybe even allowing you to play pre-purchased classics like Sonic, Frogger, Digdug and Gauntlet – then I will jump at the chance to play them in this extravagant, kitsch gaming wonderland.

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Eats Reads and Lives

I’m slowly coming round to fulfilling a promise I made back in… January, I think; that promise was to read more often. The book I’ve been reading is a sort-of-educational yet still fun read called ‘Eats Shoots and Leaves – The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” and I have to say that so far it’s been very good.

It should help me brush up on the English languauage, as well as getting my back into reading in general, as I have a mighty pile of books to wade through.

I also picked up the most recent GamesTM, something I have not done for about  four years now, and have been slowly working my way through that. Some of the articles are really interesting, covering the design of Fable 2, how sound is recorded in games and a discussion on ultra violence, among a few others. I’m now tempted to pick up the subscription as it’s pretty cheap and even gets delivered to my door, pleasing the lazy bugger within me.

Rockband Will Leave Me In Ruin

I bought a microphone this week and tested it on Rockband 2 last night; it sure beats the headset. The only problem with my performance was sobriety, as I generally only sing post-pub when my inhibitions are reduced and I can really go for it. This makes reviewing Lips an interesting conundrum as it may turn me into an alcoholic (joke).

I had a look at the Rockband Network and there is some good stuff on there, but I don’t really know what it is? Is it just another store or is there some sort of user control over it? I am confused.

I bought Australia by the Shins and, seeing how it was St. Patrick’s Day, Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly. Although after purchasing these with the meagre slice of MP I had left on my account, I went to the store and saw the amount of excellent tracks they have added since my last visit. I seriously could spend in excess of 2000 MP but I won’t; not in one go, anyway.

So tonight I am going to watch the Liverpool game then go and add some points to my account and pick up some more songs to really warm my vocals up for Gloria Gaynor and Lips. Bring it!

Weekend Musings

I’ve used ‘musings’ too much in my headers. Must use a theasuarus… thesaurus… and a dictionary. I’ve already kind-of failed my #oneaday restart, but to be fair, this has been the most brilliantly busy weekend. If only I had my Tumblr set up to email updates, then I would have been able to fire up some on-the-go photos, and the likes.

Friday

The morning was spent firing some work out before heading away to Glasgow to see the brilliantly crass Stephen Lynch. Yes, his songs are about AIDS and the likes but I love him. Highlight of the show was the amazing vocals of his friend, Joburg (David Josefsburg). We were in stitches with his first song, and thanks to the amazing YouTube, you can view THAT performance right now:

Oh, and one more video, my favourite Lynch song, D&D, again from the gig:

Great gig, almost ruined by annoying drunk ‘weegies and a woman, sat behind me, with the most guttural laugh.

Saturday

After a mammoth sleep to catch up from the travelling and laughing that was Friday, it was time to write a review. Then I had to hammer through some housework before going to the pub to celebrate a birthday and watch Scotland draw (should have won) against England. I came back after 5 pints to Sarah’s brother, Kevin, who was staying the weekend. I did plan to write a quick misspelled update but I fell asleep on the couch. Damn afternoon drinking.

Sunday

Kevin was still here and we had the mighty task of repairing a couch ahead of us. Thanks to his excellent craftsmanship and my stout advice we had that baby sorted in no time. A quick fry-up then we went adventuring into the countryside, first visiting a flooded quarry up in the hills, then heading to a small dam. Although I found a purple golf ball at the quarry, which was nice, the real highlight came at the dam. We found this:


This tunnel ran directly into the hillside and under the reservoir, eventually leading up a ladder to a platform in the middle of the water. We could not go that far as it was pitch black and did not want to risk breaking our legs. But next week, however, we’re taking torches and snacks as we plan to go all the way (into the tunnel that is… the stone one in the pictures).

Once Kevin left my cousin showed up for some FIFA. That passed a few hours before I had to partake in the Sunday ritual that is Skate 2 until the wee hours with Damo.

So as you can see, a very busy weekend. This week should be quieter, besides writing and gaming, so I’ll be updating regularly.  Now, to bed…

Twats

Why do people thrive on confrontation? Whether it’s the real world or the online world, I just don’t get it. I have got in my fair amount of futile online arguments, mostly when I first started playing and actually spoke to random players in my team, imagine that! The only time I argue now is when I hear something so wrong and unjust that I have no option not to throw my spit into the wind.

Real world confrontations, on the other hand, are something I avoid. Always have done, always will do. I’m not a fan of fighting unless I have a pad in my hand, and through this I have developed a strong fight detector, always seeming to seep away into the background when I sense trouble brewing in pubs. 

But my question is simple: why do people seek out confrontation? I went down the street for toilet toll, tobacco, chocolate and Grolsch (I had a healthy tea, honest) only to be berated by twats wasting their time and petrol by standing around on the street corner. As I walked past one of them, the pack leader, said 

A’ll gee wan ae you a tenner if u kin hit ‘im on tha heed wae that baw

Ok, ok, they did not sound like that, I am not from Glasgow, but it does further my point and make me sound like an absolute gent. I stared at the afore mentioned twat as I walked past, letting him know that I was not going to react but I was not going to ignore him either. When I came wealking past on my way home he was stading there with his one large black ball in his hand. I clocked him and kept walking only to hear the ball bounce past me after what must have been a really fucking limp wristed throw. He followed with  a comment about going home to my bed or something (?), don’t really know what he was trying to convey.

Did I say anything? No. Should I have? Maybe, but my common sense clocked three of them and one of me. Although saying that, one of them could have probably dealt with me.

Why did he have to do that, though? What does he get out of it? At least in the online world trollers are looked down upon and scorned by the masses with no fear of fist based reprisal.

I don’t think I will ever work it out, but at least I’m cosy, warm, spending time with people I care about rather than cold, skint and butt fucking ugly.

#Oneaday: A New Hope

As you may have noticed, hopefully, I stopped doing oneaday articles. I felt they were becoming a hindrance, and like many others have said, I found myself sitting in front of a WP document for an hour with nothing to write.

But now I have stopped bad things have happened. I’ve lost my writing routine and now find it hard to get anything done. Which is pretty bad when I have a pile of reviews knocking at my door. So I have decided to pick up the burden of #oneaday again to get me back in the groove. But this time I’m not going to be as strict; if I have had a bad day or a busy day then I will just skip, but this will be a LAST RESORT. I promise.

I suppose the big question is, am I welcome?

57. Wordplay

I got some Tweeps to throw some words at me. Here are the results. Oh, and thanks to all involved. I will need your help for an even bigger idea later in the week.

Billy Dee Williams – What a twat. Seriously, I hated this guy as a kid – he betrayed the mighty Han and was sleazy to his bird. I would have nutted him right there, call yourself a friend, sheesh! But, in retrospect, he is an absolute legend, so huge that I had to Google his name to work out who he was. Why was he not in any other memorable films? I flicked through his imdb list but did not see anything that triggered besides Fanboys, which doesn’t really count as he is only in that because of his one memorable film role. How confusing? Am I missing something?

Buffetmussel – Yeah, thanks Sam. I can’t work out if this is mussels served at a buffet or a giant mussel that double as a buffet? Surely the latter would be a more interesting idea? Not quite sure how it would work though. Yeah, thanks.

Commodes – Wonderful creations. Apart from the morning after where you have to go and wash them out – I have never done this by the way, which does not mean I have one under my bed overflowing all over the floor. How horrid. I would have one though if it came with full plumbing and all the stuff required to, you know, flush. But then I might as well have an en-suite then.

Peanuts – Num. I love peanuts. I don’t buy them much but often finish a massive bag when I only intend to have a handful. Besides eating them, the first thing to comes to mind is this little video:

Buddhist – Monks. I like them. I would become one if they allowed beards, alcohol, swearing and Xbox. But it looks like I might have to wait. I’m intrigued by Buddhism, I like it’s simplistic ideals and the way that the faith builds from these requiring anything from a minimal fulfilment to complete devotion. Something that other religions should take not of. Ideal’s and morals not devotion. In my opinion, anyway.

Stiletto – Fuck shoes, we’re talking knives here. Long wicked sharp bastards too. I have (had) a rather large interest in weaponry, specifically in school, often reading about them and drawing/creating my own. Especially medieval/old-and-wicked weapons, my particular favourite being the Halberd. I did like guns an’ that but I’d rather have some evil piece of steel in my hands. I don’t like the shoes.

Countryside – I live in it, and I like it. The funny thing about living in it is you take it for granted. When you just stop and look around you, taking in them much for granted snow covered hills and the open forests within five minutes walk, it really takes you back. I would feel so uneasy without these views. I love it.