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"Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."

Isaac Asimov 
 .:[ Rebooting... ]:.Posted: 21:00 on Monday, 02 August 2004 
State: average  Music: none 

Yup, the start of another month for the web log (it's a miracle, it didn't fizzle out and die after a few weeks!) and time to shuffle the previous log file off and start afresh... shame i've got bugger all to actually say for this entry! Well, i went shopping earlier and got all three Terminator films on DVD for under 20, so i s'pose that's news; watched T3 again for the first time since i've seen it at the cinema, the twist at the end didn't jar as much as it did and i enjoyed it a bit more this time.

Speaking of films, saw the poster for Bourne Supremacy whilst out and about so there's something to look forward to...

 .:[ Shooting stuff! ]:.Posted: 14:10 on Wednesday, 04 August 2004 
State: sniffly  Music: Cybernetix 

i'm having a "quiet" day today, by which i mean i'm not coding anything and just playing games. Anyone who has been subjected to this web log (let alone the "real" me on IRC!) knows that i play quite a few scrolling shoot-em-ups and that i don't limit myself; if there's a good game on a platform i don't have, i go looking for hardware or an emulator! One game i've come across during todays frenzied alien/robot/whatever got in the way of the laser splattering that has grabbed my attention and puzzled me lots is a horizontal blaster called Insector X originally from Taito.

Gameplay wise, it's fairly typical of the late 1980s progressive weapons blasters and therefore something wot i like, but (and this is the bit i don't quite get) it comes in two distinct flavours; The arcade version and NES port both feature cute, almost Rainbow Islands-esque characters riding on what appears to be a rocket (sort of similar to Hikaru from some of the games in the Parodius series). Fine and good you say, except the Megadrive version is different. Generally speaking, it sort of plays the same, the level maps and backgrounds are fairly similar too from what i've seen and the blasting action is all there - but suddently the player is some sort of bio-mechanoid insect, the pseudo-cute nasties aren't cute any more, there's a lot more of 'em banging around and the difficulty level is set through the roof in comparison!

Not that i'm complaining about the latter or indeed any of the changes, i prefer the Megadrive version to play simply because the difficulty level gives it a feeling of "getting somewhere" and i'll always play the bio-mechanoid with a gun games in favour of the cutesy character driven ones anyway, but it's just strange that a cute-em-up should mutate so heavily in the transition to Sega's kit. i'm left wondering if it's because some policy regarding cute games was in place at the time; from what i understand Nintendo saw themselves as catering more for the pre-teen market whilst Sega wanted to be more teens and upwards so perhaps the decision was made to harden up Insector X during the porting... Y'got to wonder about the logic behind that, if the ports are supposedly driven by regognition of the original arcade game why would it change so much?

Still, at least it means i don't have to play what is quite a nice game with the cutesy graphics so i s'pose i'll just be happy about that... =-)

 .:[ More shooting ]:.Posted: 14:03 on Thursday, 05 August 2004 
State: confused  Music: Thundercross 2 

Come to think of it... why did Konami cripple Thundercross for the US/Euro release? It was weird enough changing Gradius's name to Nemesis or Salamander to Lifeforce but in this case they pulled all the weapons bar the Vulcan, threw in two outriders at the start and added a smart bomb with a silly name! Probably why i've been playing Thundercross 2 for several hours instead... =-)

 .:[ Beep! Beep! ]:.Posted: 10:49 on Sunday, 08 August 2004 
State: mixed  Music: none 

We had a day out yesterday, wandering around the seafront at Scarborough and i wandered into the arcades (there's a surprise) to do a little exploring; found three of Outrun 2 machines (only one of which wasn't sat next to a DDR machine so i could hear the soundtrack), a couple of Thrill Drive 2 cabs and what is rapidly becoming a favourite, an Initial D.

As i mentioned in June when i first played it, what makes Initial D interesting is that it's got a back story based on what i can gather is a sort of anime Fast And The Furious, a story of road racers duelling on the streets. The story mode adds more detail to what would "just" be a nice driving game, each credit only pays for one battle win or lose but since each race is a couple of minutes long that's not too bad going in comparison to other coin-ops. The machine itself is well built, with a very substantial steering wheel and a little force feedback to make driving more interesting as well as a decent sound system to pump out the selectable Jpop background tunes - and it's worth looking one out and feeding it a couple of quid just to have the save card!

 .:[ Supreme ]:.Posted: 13:11 on Friday, 13 August 2004 
State: sort of bouncy  Music: Extreme Ways 

The Boss and i piled out of the house slightly later than scheduled last night, but still managed to got to the cinema in time to see Bourne Supremacy and it was well up to expectations; we pretty much went into Bourne Identity without expectations and were blown away by it and, whilst it's harder for a second installment to have the same impact, Supremacy still managed to be a continuation of the original rather than just re-hashing what went before. The story starts two years after the original and Jason's having problems with a reoccurring nightmare...

i don't like to give spoilers out here (it's "public", no matter how few people read it! =-) so it's a bit hard to talk about specific scenes but a few i do feel fairly comfortable with mentioning are the use of a magazine and a pop-up toaster as offensive weapons and the most violent car chase i've seen in a film to date which pretty much manages to top the Mini chase from the original and that's no easy job... i'm really starting to like Matt Damon, he manages to make Bourne seem almost superhuman and incredibly vulnerable at the same time and there are a couple of moments where he doesn't need to say a word but the audience knows from his face that the bad guys are just totally screwed! i've not seen him in much apart from Bourne, apart from the fabby Dogma and i felt that spent quite a bit of that in Ben Affleck's shadow... Anyway, back to where i was going and it's well worth seeing - and Moby's Extreme Ways is used for the end credits again, so sorted... =-)

It must be that time of year actually; looking at the poster board at our local cinema prompted a chorus of "want to see"s followed by a couple of "seen"s. Neither of us are too keen on seeing Catwoman for some reason, i'm a bit dubious over Hellboy and the Boss isn't keen on seeing Magic Roundabout but the bulk of films lined up for the coming months look pretty interesting and the trailer for Chronicles Of Riddick looked very interesting...

 .:[ Having ideas... ]:.Posted: 14:22 on Wednesday, 18 August 2004 
State: thinking  Music: Mission Impossibubble 

i've had a few rough nights lately, not sleeping properly (or to be more accurate, sleeping even worse than usual!) due to a toothache so i've had a few odds and ends on my mind. Power Rangers has been one of those things, since i've half been following PR Turbo the last couple of days.

What a cool idea for a series though, certainly from a production standpoint; just like action series of old (Knight Rider, Airwold et al) each episode is packed out with set pieces like the morphing, appearance of the zords and assembly of the Mega Zord. Two morphs and a Mega Zord later and that's a good five or six minutes gone from a 25 minute show! The rest is cheap as chips too, as long as the cast know a bit of martial arts and everything is done as single pass as possible with a couple of cameras, a few minutes of fight scene can be dragged out quite a way. Add in the comedy elements like Bulk and Skull and all it needs are a few Angel Grove or Power Chamber scenes to nudge things along a bit. Bloody inspired!

It surprises me somewhat that the various telly channels here haven't seen how well Saban does from the franchise - after all, it wouldn't add that much to the cost to CG the equivalent of the Mega Zord battles or film everything new with CG effects, as long as certain "rules" were observed and the pace and sense of humour kept up it'd be a winner...

The other thing on my mind is games, i have a vague idea for a new one that could prove interesting but i need to make some scribbled notes, scratch me head a bit and chew the end of a gel pen before i'm sure where it's going. The base idea is the Hallucin-O-Bomblets subgame from Batalyx meets Intensity but i've got to juggle the ideas to decide where the focus'll be...

 .:[ Movies 2 - The Revenge ]:.Posted: 22:36 on Saturday, 21 August 2004 
State: average  Music: Psyvariar 2 - level 1 

Whoops, slipped a little - two films in three days and no self-absorbed opionions yet! First up was I, Robot, the Boss and i trundled off to have a squint at it with the eldest of the likkle ones and had a good time. It's been pitched at the "summer blockbuster huge explosions and shitloads of CGI" market (us! =-) but it's actually a little more thought provoking than i'd expected even considering the original story's pedigree. Okay, i've not read the original since school, so my terrible memory means i'm not aware of how much of a blasphemy against Asimov the script is - but i felt it was more than reasonable as an action film and there were enough not particularly subtle but at least partly veiled undertones in there to keep it from being yet another "blockbuster". Plus there was the look, the CGI in general was decent and one of the the lead characters is actually animated and looks reasonably believeable with it.

The second film wasn't believable, but i'd have been disappointed if it was since it was Garfield. Now, in my fevered youth i was a huge fan of the furry ginger one (even to the point where i ate lasagne to the point where i can no longer stand it!) and i was looking forward to seeing his big screen debut. Okay, so Nermel was just wasn't right and Odie didn't really drool as much as he should have but generally speaking it was all good; Garfield himself looks excellent, moves and interacts well and Bill Murray's voice fits the bill as only his or Lorenzo Music's could have. All the set pieces were there apart from mashing the alarm clock with a mallet, Jon was suitably wet and hen-pecked by Garfield, Odie was suitably daft, the lasagne all got eaten and the chain reaction started with Odie's ball was pure class. i've already mentioned it, but my only real gripe was Nermel - he's a sickeningly cute but sometimes naive kitten in the strip, but here he's fully grown and a little dim... after that, loved it and laughed out loud quite a few times so it does what it says on the tin. =-)

 .:[ Meep ]:.Posted: 12:45 on Tuesday, 24 August 2004 
State: bouncy  Music: Gaplus 

Forgot to mention, there's a BBC version of Reaxion on the go courtesy of a Beeb programmer i was put in touch with by Simon at Cronosoft and i got to see the Speccy code running for the first time the other day and it already plays well. Nice one Sack, if you're readin'! =-)

 .:[ Pr0n ]:.Posted: 02:09 on Friday, 27 August 2004 
State: annoyed  Music: Ikaruga - Trial 

What is it with porn sites? It was bad enough that we used to get banner adverts for them, then spam emails... i've just had to disinfect a machine from two similar adware infections that were periodically spawning windows with pornographic images. If it were my personal machine i'd not be worried because i'd have noticed it and dealt with it and no real harm done - but the machine i just had to clean is the one used by our children.

i'd always assumed that, as long as we kept one eye on the sites they visit and there was no mail client running, the machines were reasonably safe but it seems i'll need to rethink things a bit... and possibly install Mozilla.

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