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Everything posted by Simon

  1. Stranger is looking good

    'Penis-nailingly original'. Just think about that for a second. Idle Thumbs = quality journalism, these are the kind of descriptions we need. I played Abe's Oddysee (is that the correct mis-spelling?) and found it a pretty entertaining little platformer, some nice new ideas well-executed. It wasn't really ground-breaking or anything, but I dug it for one play through. Not played any of the Oddworld stuff since, but the pic here looks very cool and the article promises much (not watched that hefty video file yet). Potentially this is an addition to my rather meagre collection of XBox games come next Spring.
  2. It came out in Britain a while ago and was pretty much universally loved, it's a lot of fun. I've only seen a few episodes of Spaced (it's great but I got into it late haven't caught any repeats) but it seems that if you like that, then Shaun Of The Dead is definitely your kind of thing. Whilst I'm not wanting to over-hype it too much, it is super-funny stuff.
  3. Our lowest hour (SEGA)

    It's hard to believe that Sega were kings of the console at one point, what they're now reduced to is a sad thing indeed. I was playing some of my old Megadrive (Genesis for you Americans) games through the GENS emulator recently and I realised what a great console that was. Memories of working my way through Sonic The Hedgehog 2 are still pretty vivid, there were lots of addictive platformers like that. Also, Pirates Gold! on the Megadrive had nicer graphics than the PC version. Ahh, the days of yore... The idea of Sega and corporate deals with McDonalds probably isn't that shocking to me, however. It's not like they're all about artistic integrity and protecting the character, seeing as Sonic is basically a contrived corporate mascot in the first place really. I'm actually surprised McDonalds went for that even a year ago though - Sonic is hardly as iconic and popular as he was in the early 90s.
  4. Gmail invites

    Yeah the options are probably going to be expanded, but I haven't noticed this problem with ads. I think it'll be a few more months before they launch it but as it is I'm digging it more than with Yahoo and my brief spell with Hotmail (the amount of spam you get on that thing is unbelievable). It's hard to get too excited about a webmail account but getting in early enough to have my real name without numbers etc. for once is neat, I don't have to be 'darth_vader_87924' or anything like that anymore.
  5. Tim turns 37

    I've been looking for a copy of Surfin The Highway for a while too, but they don't come up on eBay that much anymore and I always seem to miss out on them. What with the frequent rumourings of a new collection, I might be able to hold on that bit longer. And just so you know, if you do steal Tim's copy, I'll blame you when Psychonauts and new Action Comics get postponed because Tim stops work and gets everyone he employs to search the offices for his book, and they never find it, even after months and months.
  6. Tim turns 37

    On a related note, fans of Tim (I'm sure that's most of us) can catch a glimpse of him in his office with his head in his hands at Ron Gilbert's Grumpy Gamer blog. Apparently Ron's been borrowing a desk at Double Fine, you see. What does Tim's desk tell us about the mind of a gaming genius? Hard to say from such a small photo, but whatever it is, it's fascinating stuff.
  7. Star Wars...

    Yeah, I do think all the technology makes for the often stilted acting of the prequels. Even a decent actor like Ewan McGregor doesn't come across too well in his scenes. The prequels have had their cool moments, the action stuff, but the action scenes in the original trilogy were more than that, because Lucas had set up some decent characters. It just seems like there's more at stake when Luke's fighting Darth Vader. Watching it, I don't feel either is just there to fight and be killed, like I do with Darth Maul vs Obi-Wan in Episode I. Talking about 'decent characters' in Star Wars is pretty relative, I'm not saying that anything in the original trilogy was that developed and deep, but they were endearing and interesting to watch, rather than awkward and frustrating. There's something about the limits of the 70s/80s technology that made Lucas construct better films. When he has all this CGI and can just let his imagination run riot, his stories and characters are pretty terrible, somehow. Also, I think he should have probably delegated the directing duties and just produced.
  8. Star Wars...

    As "Barren Wright, 32, from Modesto" points out in that article, it does have a nice symmetry with 'Return Of The Jedi'. Also, Simon Pegg (British comedy writer/actor) once said that the new Star Wars prequel titles all sound a bit like horrible parasities or diseases (this was when 'The Creeping Fear' was a much-rumoured title) - thankfully this breaks that mold. However, none of this will matter if Lucas' story and script hasn't improved. Frankly I now see the prequel trilogy as unsalvageable, it's tainted the greatness of Star Wars as a concept for me - but I'll see it and hope for the best. So far so good with the title, let's be positive.
  9. Doom

    Doom had its moment, definitely, and obviously would have nothing on, say, Half-Life if released alongside that. The genre has just become better in quality it would seem. From Quake onwards there's been a steady improvement in the richness of these games - looking up and down! more interesting 'puzzles'! more story-driven gameplay! Unlike adventure games, where the game's way of conveying a story actually hasn't changed much in 10 years, FPSs have moved on a lot. The whole point of these games is shooting enemies and reaching the end of a level, and technology has allowed for far more interesting ways of doing this over time. So logically, who would play Doom when they could play a modern FPS that has so much more going for it? Well, lots of people, but I couldn't say why. I think there's just times when you just feel like loading up Doom and blasting your way through a bit of 'Knee-Deep In The Dead', I have on occasion. I'm sure it's more than a nostalgia trip, there's something about the simplicity of it that appeals. It's like the best dumb action movie ever, it can still be really likeable, but its qualitatively still not as good as a more developed action movie.
  10. Intro Sequences in Games

    Thinking about it, Monkey Island 2 was pretty straightforward, but just so effective. I remember being pretty excited with the credits rolling and the new rendition of the theme playing out in MIDI to a montage of 'piratey' stuff, then fading into the lovely campfire music as we see Guybrush on the beach. It does its job very well. LucasArts intros got more and more cinematic really - look at Indy Atlantis through to Grim Fandango, all have very strong cinematic stuff going on. Of those, I think I like Sam & Max's best. For sheer comedy and setting up the characters/situation, it's a wonderful start to the game. Again, LucasArts' credits/montage idea is very effective, a series of funny drawings of Sam & Max at work, busting punks, before we reach their office to dispose of the ticking mad scientist head/bomb. Classic.
  11. Tell Us About Yourself

    I'm 19, in the United Kingdom and study Literature. My name is Simon, but on the Internet I have previously gone by the name of 'Gonzo' and occasionally 'Captain Gonzo'. I still love the muppets, but I realised it was time to grow up and stop hiding behind the lovable big-nosed stuntman. Obviously I like games and became aware of this site through Mixnmojo. I still dig the old adventure games the most and enjoy finding new underground creations in that genre, but I get excited about new stuff too, and play all kinds of different games. Psychonauts and Sid Meier's updated Pirates! are probably my most anticipated games of this year. Recently I've been getting retro and playing with the Sega GENS emulator, the old Megadrive (or Genesis if you're American) games are fun to go back to. I'm also big on films (Spielberg, Leone, old Coen Bros., Tarantino, animation) , TV (favourite show ever = Futurama), and comics (which I also sometimes try to make). As a Literature student, sometimes reading lots of novels can seem like a 'bus driver's holiday' if you know that phrase, but I enjoy stuff like Pratchett from time to time.
  12. Alternative Comics needs YOU

    I've got the first Hickee book, and I recommend it to anyone here who frequently enjoys DFAC and doesn't have it yet. Some may find it patchy, but even then, it is lovably patchy. I think Raz and Nathan are both way better in this Hickee than on DFAC actually. The cartoonists that were new to me were all great as well - Joe White's work is gorgeous, for example. Only thing is I wish there was more Scott, he only has two stories, though great they are. Very cool book overall. Grickle is great too - still funny, but more thoughtful. Most of the stuff is far removed from the DFAC brand of humour, but it's hard to see what's not to like. Haven't read Further Grickle yet, and Graham has a new book, Stickleback, coming out soon I think. Buy these books, and keep your fingers crossed for Alternative Comics. Hooray for comics!