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Everything posted by Simon

  1. Oscars

    The Oscars have annoyed me enough over the years that I didn't watch this, but what was Clooney's speech?
  2. hickee

    Project Superior is well worth getting. Really varied styles and stories, mostly very excellent - as if Scott Campbell's comic isn't enough reason to buy it. I really liked Annable's Stickleback, which was a single story in a short book. I only have the thick Hickee book, keep meaning to get the slimmer volumes too.
  3. Who are you and what have you become?

    I got a Nintendo DS at the end of 2005, which is one of the best gaming purchases I've ever made. It rocks my world. I stopped blogging because I came to hate the very idea of it. I started illustration-blogging but ran out of creative juice so often that it seemed pointless. I want to get back into that, though. In a few months I should be finishing my literature degree.
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog

    Yeah, it's 'wait and see', these are just 4 screenshots. In my earlier post, I did use an exclamation mark, the words 'spiffy' and 'rocks', and a thumbs-up smiley. But I also tempered that with 'hopefully' and 'at long last'. The implication being that it might be terrible, and Sonic games have been terrible for a while. It's kind of code for my inner fanboy and my inner cynic. I'm sure 3D is partly to blame (cynic), but maybe they can crack it this time (fanboy).
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog

    Wow, it certainly looks spiffy. Sonic rocks, all he needs is another great game at long last. Hopefully this will be it! Thanks for the heads-up
  6. Age of Empires 3 demo

    I like the demo a lot. I had to keep some settings down to run it on my computer with a Radeon 9600 Pro, but it still doesn't look bad at all. I haven't played an RTS in a while and have been looking to pick one up soon, so this might be it. I've probably whittled it down to either this or the Age Of Mythology Gold double pack, which looks fun and a little different. And Snubs, ditto. I can't even crack skirmish mode on Easy yet! I'm terrible at this. But it's still fun, until the English come and burn down my mills and kill all the berry-gatherers. If I can beat the demo and don't just inherently suck, I will probably get this game.
  7. Alternative games?

    Nahhhhh. 'Alternative' is just more confusing. It raises questions. Alternative because it's less popular than a 'mainstream' game, or alternative because the gameplay is something different? Possibly both, but it's still saying very little. Kind of like 'alternative music', which is a stupid way of describing/categorising music, to my mind. Gaming probably doesn't need any more jargon than it already has. Aren't we already swamped in labels?
  8. How did you lose your gaming virginity ?

    I think the original Prince Of Persia was the first game I played, but I can't remember at what point we got our NES. It's possible Super Mario Bros was the one. It's all hazy. But Monkey Island was definitely the one that made me a gamer. It rocked my little world more than anything else I was into at the time, and made me want more, lots more.
  9. Coolest 80ies TV series moment?

    Somehow, The A Team seems like it was really great, until you actually go back and watch it. Out of the poll, the best moment is clearly the Thunderbirds one. But I do like Stingray more, as Supermarionation TV series go. Thunderbirds seemed to indulge in long, boring docking and landing sequences too much, especially that damn movie version. Stingray was always a brilliant quick half-hour, with that lovely 'Aqua Marina' song at the end. Both those series were actually 60s shows, but they were on a lot here in the 80s.
  10. Fahrenheit Demo Out

    It seems very promising. Reading a preview a few months back, I really liked the concept of your choices affecting the stories of different characters you get to play at later points, which will probably be the most exciting thing about the game for me, stupid story or not. The demo's small-scale decision-making was a nice teaser and convinced me to definitely get the full game. I like the mouse-dragging action interface, but moving around is a bit odd, especially when Lucas doesn't seem to be able to turn when moving (at least with the keyboard).
  11. Why isn't Psychonauts selling well?

    No. I enjoyed it on the whole, but nothing blew me away, and there were long stretches of gameplay that were very boring. I took a year to finish it because I was so uninterested in the Manaan questing that I left the game alone for several months. It had some great moments and some nice characters and locations, but I think an RPG, and particularly a Star Wars RPG, could be so much more.
  12. I started reading the books when the third one had just come out and, while I can barely remember what happened in the last one now, I feel I should see it through and find out how Rowling wraps it up, so I got my copy of Half-Blood Prince in the post on Saturday morning. I've barely read it yet though, I'm about 120 pages in. Didn't go for a marathon crunch read like those crazy kids. It's good so far, slower than the cracking pace I remember some of the others having, but it is recapping some of the stuff that happened at the end Order Of The Phoenix, which is handy for me. After this, I will be picking up a few Raymond Chandler to take on holiday, and then some other books for the last year of my American Literature course, to read ahead of term starting. But Harry takes priority, I think my little sister is waiting to read it.
  13. Okay, I get you. Sorry, I wasn't connecting what you wrote with the T-shirts thing, so I might have got confused. Obviously people will have different reasons for why they wear band T-shirts. T-shirts as 'spreading the word' makes sense too, there's a logic there.
  14. Twilo: Love of music is one thing, and being open-minded and taking risks on things has led me down a few exciting roads the mainstream might not have exposed me to, but my satisfaction comes from the music, not from the fact that the band is small and other people might not have heard them yet. Certainly some satisfaction comes from knowing that more of the money would be going to the actual artist too, as you say. It's that posing part of the attitude that I find snobbish and childish. I am all for exploring the cultural fringes, it's essential. People just shouldn't be losers about it, share it in a cool way, not an 'I liked them first' way, or the 'if only you knew' way, which Duncan describes better than I could. Rodi: I think that kind of hits the nail on the head, or at least one of the nails. People do want to be unique, it's natural, and that becomes more aggressive when we see other people a bit like us on the Internet. But there's a balancing act involved when you consider Jake's common-sense/hippy views too.
  15. Great essay, Jake. I especially liked the two paragraphs from 'The existence of the "indie scene"...' I have known people to be a little 'indie scenester' in their approach to culture, hating something once it becomes popular, as you say. I don't think that's actually anything to do with their appreciation of art or a concern for its progression, rather they just like to define themselves by something little-known in an effort to construct a personality. I think that explains why someone might wear the T-shirt of their favourite little-known band until the band break through on their third album, get on MTV and everyone else loves them. Even if the music's still great, the fan's T-shirt doesn't mean so much anymore because other people like them, and it doesn't define the fan alone. He has to find another little-known band and tell people that other band aren't as good as they used to be. Of course, sometimes that's true, but making an omelette and all that. It sounds like a horribly warped approach to music, but it increasingly seems to me that there's something in our modern mindset that leads us to that "Look at me, I'm alternative/indie" silliness. Increasingly you're defined more by what you like than what you're like. A mainstream and a non-mainstream do exist, we don't have to be that childish about them. A little common sense leads us to your view of inclusiveness and sharing of culture. Maybe you should have a blog. Or alternatively, this could have been on the Thumbs front page. Not strictly to do with gaming, but certainly relevant.
  16. Tim Schafer loves me

    Awesome! Muscleman catching 2HB out of a cannon! I was wondering what the floaty-tipping action would be. That pen is going to be so worth the wait.
  17. San Andreas (PC)

    An update on the gamepad woes. I valiantly did nearly thirty missions without a working right axis, but now that there's lots of massive shootouts and stuff going on, I've had to give in and switch to keyboard and mouse. It's actually much better that I thought it would be. I got used to controlling GTA with a gamepad with Vice City on Xbox, which was great, but keyboard and mouse definitely does the trick too. So far, so very good. Favourite missions so far:
  18. San Andreas (PC)

    Argh, I am having that same trouble with my Thrustmaster's right axis too. I tried to map it to the mouse to trick it into mouselook, but it didn't work with the joypad and 'mouse' at the same time. I hope they do some patching for the controls, I think I'm just going to use the standard mouse/keyboard for now. They recommend a twin-axis gamepad in their specs, but the support doesn't seem that solid. I thought Thrustmaster were fairly popular pads.
  19. Project: Superior

    I read Project: Superior quite recently, really liked it. I even blogged it. Scott Campbell's piece is definitely one of the highlights. Also Graham Annable, who a lot of us have come across. does a lovely story called 'Captain Insomniac'. I think I got it on the basis of those two, but it's a good anthology all-round, so there were a few nice surprises. Tim Biskup was one, yep. Also Martin Cendreda (I think his is the first thing in the book).
  20. Any non-video gamers out there?

    I think I tried Games Workshop once, it didn't last long though. I bought some dwarves and a catapult and painted them up pretty good, but my collection didn't get much beyond that. It's a very in-depth hobby, and you need people to plan your purchases and play with, but everyone lost interest around the same time. I can see why people enjoy it. In the past I've played word games a lot, but Boggle and Scrabble are only great if you're a winner, and I usually lose. Also, lots of sets of Top Trumps back at school. I sure miss playing with my deck of non-licensed generic aliens/space-people. The only card games I can think of that I know are Blackjack, Pontoon, Rummy, and Shithead, but those are cool. Sometimes it's kinda nice winding down an evening with a few card games.
  21. GTA Double Pack

    I've played the Xbox double pack and it was great. Vice City doesn't seem to have the strange graphical nosedive apparently found on the PC. Controls were fine too. By all accounts, the Xbox versions are the best versions of GTA3 and Vice City around. I haven't played them extensively on the other platforms, but they looked and played excellent, so I'd say: go for it. San Andreas PC/Xbox versions out very soon, hopefully those will be good ports.
  22. Tim Schafer on Icons today on G4

    This is brilliant! Thanks netmonkey, much appreciated.
  23. Psychonauts hate thread

    I'd just like to add another PC 'I don't have all five discs' whine. I'm amazed other people even in this forum seem to have had that kind of trouble. My Gamestop pre-order arrived on Monday, with two copies of Disc 2, and no Disc 4. This made the game uninstallable, but I called those Texans and asked them what was up, and we sorted it out. I did get that nice tie-dyed T-shirt though, it's great. I wore it when I went out to vote today, spreading the word over the pond. Whoever was putting the discs in boxes needs to wake up, but DVD would have avoided these problems. Seems odd how PC game distribution still hasn't really jumped on DVD at this point. I can't imagine that a lot of people's computers don't have some kind of DVD drive, if they're new enough to be able to run new games. Anyway, I finally get to play Psychonauts after several years of patiently waiting for them to hone it to Excellence. Hurrah!
  24. Dinosaur Comics

    I put in an order for the stompy T-Rex T-shirt a few days ago. I like the EXTREME skatebording-out-of-helicopters one too, but the simply joy of stomping had the edge for me. The only problem is the image is a 'classy' 5 inches tall, which is not quite big enough for the scare factor I want to have when wearing.
  25. Dinosaur Comics

    Daily Dinosaur Comics are fan-tastic.