Kate Wins-a-lot

January 16, 2009 2 Comments

Was this a headline?

I didn’t see it, but seeing as how I’m writing this well behind anyone else it very well may have been. It certainly should be…it’s a damn good headline considering the lovely Winslet has finally won a couple of shiny Golden Globes (I have a few of those myself if you care to get your hands on them Kate?).

Here she is winning, pissing fat-lips Jolie off and accepting the award:





Yeah…I love you Kate – but that was a bit too much…a little bit too gushy.

You’re an actress, and a very good one, so you could probably put on a little performance there and just be…you know…normal. Rather than the apologetic annoying asthmatic pansy you turned into there.

In fact, I think you may have managed to annoy everyone enough to make sure you’re not going to be winning anything else in the near future. No-one wants to listen to that again!

Still…if you want to get your hands on 13 inches of well polished man next month – let me know…




…I’m sure I’ll be able to find a replica.

Design Update

January 11, 2009 6 Comments

I’ve finally finished the new look site, so this post is really just an attempt to see if the RSS still works for the /blog/ section.

It’ll probably update everytime I add something to the site, such as a new game review. Those shouldn’t appear under the actual blog link though, just under the RSS.

Any broken linkage, please let me know. Ta.

10,000 BC

January 11, 2009 3 Comments

10000bcposterI had the misfortune of watching 10,000 BC and not falling asleep.

I think if I was sat there with a few more beers inside me, and someone sat with me poking fun at it, and the complete disregard for research that the writers undertook, then it may have been slightly better – but it was extremely dire.

Luckily I waited until DVD before watching, and as far as I’m concerned I subscribe to LoveFilm so that I can happily get these types of movies without having to buy them.

So…storyline – dreadful. Effects – mediocre for this day and age, and nowhere near enough of them. Dialogue – far too much and far too boring. Acting – Camilla Belle is reasonably hot…nuff said.

If I type any more about this film I think I’ll punch the monitor and bite my thumbs off.

Thinking about watching it? Just….don’t.

The good parts:

camilla-belle

…and then the next good part is when the credits finally start rolling.


Buy this poster – it’ll be
more fun to watch »»

Lost Dog

January 7, 2009 4 Comments

LOST DOG


Have you seen this dog?

Worth - missing!
Worth – missing!

Worth, aged 2, went missing recently. He was last seen outside a Woolworths store in Wigan last week while his ‘best friend’, Wooly, was inside checking for bargain priced pick ‘n’ mix.

There have been a lot of changes in his life recently that could lead to his estrangement; the family company has gone bust, he lost his job, and the sheep to which he was once in command of has become a lover – which of course would be an increase in the mental turmoil of any hardworking dog. Though such a young pup we fear he may have been led astray recently and there are a couple of dubious characters that we would like to bring in for questioning.

Suspect One: Worth-Vader
Worth-Vader

This odd man went to the house of Wooly and Worth a couple of weeks ago attempting to sell them duct tape. Though Wooly claims to have found him to be slightly creepy, Worth certainly took a shining to him and we fear he may have agreed to meet up with him without Wooly’s presence.

We would like to question this dark individual, if not just so we can exclude him from suspicion.

Do you know his whereabouts?

Has he been seen with a dog that looks like Worth?

Please let us know if so!

Suspect Two: Jackie Chan
Jackie-chan-worth

Jackie was last seen in the middle of rush hour on the M6 towards Liverpool 2 days ago. Though he is unarmed he is extremely dangerous and should not be approached under any circumstances. He may be in disguise, so please also take great care around any monkeys that you see – especially if there is a panda in the vicinity.

Please, if you have any idea where Worth – or either of these individuals are – please let your local dog pound know.

Wooly is distraught!
Wooly is distraught!

Every Hand Revealed – Gus Hansen

January 6, 2009 5 Comments

every-hand-revealed-gus-hansenIf you’ve seen the ‘Great Dane’ Gus Hansen play poker over the last few years you would probably have seen him sitting at the table with a hand held recorder which he will speak into after every hand, allowing him to note his comments on what has taken place which he can then relisten to in the evenings and for which, he claims, would help his game over the following sessions.

‘Every Hand Revealed’ is Gus talking about pretty much all of the hands he was involved in when he won the Aussie Millions Tournament in 2007. It’s a tournament diary, as it were, and the thoughts that go into the book are fresh as they were recorded at the time.

After reading many poker books based on the theory of the game, what you should do and shouldn’t do in certain situations and basically telling you how you should play each hand, it’s great to see a pro player coming out and doing something slightly different. Sure, the Harrington on Hold’em books are still the best I’ve ever read when it comes to tournament play, but by seeing hand-for-hand how someone else plays, their though processes and feelings, their reads and their mis-reads you really do get valuable insight into the game. Hansen went on to win the tournament, and he played superbly – but through this book you see that he did make mistakes, he did mis-read hands and people, and he did play rather foolishly at times – just the same as we all do. It’s reassuring to know that.

aussie-gus

Though you may learn a thing or two from this book it’s more entertaining than it is tutorial. As mentioned, there are great insights into the thought processes involved throughout the tournament, and this is something you can certainly take away and include in your own game – but do so only when you have sound fundamentals for he game.

I watched the televised shows of this tourament as soon as I had read the book, and went back to pick out hands which were on TV and where they were in the book. Sure, there are a few simple mistakes – the book states there was a 3s on the flop when there was in fact a 3c…but it’s nothing that prevents you from knowing that this is an excellent write-up of a tournament where Gus recorded his true feelings and thoughts and laid bare for us all to read.

If you’re new to the game and looking for a book on tournament play, pick up the Harrington books. If you’ve been playing for a while and know a bit about what you’re doing – definitely pick this one up – it’s poker porn at it’s best!

Would you like serengeti sauce with that?

January 5, 2009 2 Comments

I went to EAT today for lunch today, buying for a colleague – transcript as follows:

Me: Big simple please…and you realise that your soup menu for today is not the same as it is online?
Them: Sorry for the inconvenience…would you like anything else?
Me: A cheese straw please.
Them: Certainly…anything else?
Me: A cheetah please.
Them: um…a cheetah?
Me: Sorry, I mean a banana…thanks.

See, the colleague I was buying lunch for always buys a banana, and as you know they come in various degrees of ripeness so we’ve taken after likening the ripeness to wild cats. If the banana is beautifully yellow with not much green it’s a lion, and then there’s scale of Puma, Cheetah and Leopard depending on how many brown spots are on it – with a banana so manky that it’s not worth consuming being classed as Hyena.

It’s natural for me, therefore, to take the lunch order by the name of the wild cat depending on how ripe they wanted the banana.

I’m normally very good at asking for a banana when in the shop itself…guess I’m not really with it today.

Gears of War 2

January 5, 2009 Leave a Comment

gears-of-war-2Gears of War 2 is an excellent third person shooter that sees you and the rest of the ‘Gears’ team being attacked by subterranean aliens known as ‘locusts’.

Armed with an array of different weapons, the highlight of which is your gun with a chainsaw on the end, you have to defeat hordes of these locusts as they try and sink various cities.

It’s fast, it’s bloody and it really does absorb you into the alien world as you fight to save your team-mates wife, the last remaining city of Jacinto – and the human race.

gears

As far as third person shooters go this has to be one of the best currently available. Most of the game sees you under cover, with the natural run movement being to that of the nearest piece of wall, tank or shrapnel that you can hide behind. Then it’s a simple pop-out of hiding, shoot, return to hiding scenario as you default those evil aliens.
It’s great fun though, and though the aliens aren’t the most intelligent creatures in the world they come at you fast and strong making you squeal with glee as you shoot them in the head, or mow then down with your handy chain-saw.

Though I didn’t play the original Gears of War I have to say the storyline is the only thing that lets this game down – but not in a major way. I know you’re meant to suspend belief in the real world when you enter a video game, but to find yourself in the middle of a giant worm halfway through the game, avoiding it’s digestive tracts and sawing your way through the major arteries of it’s three hearts just seemed a little bit silly. Still – it ended in a huge bloodbath so who I am to query it, really.



Gears of War 2: Gameplay


I normally get bored of human vs alien shooters (Resistance being the last one that springs to mind), but this one truely delivers on action that keeps you immersed – even in one player mode.

Gameplay
Graphics
Storyline
Overall
   

Ninja Glove

January 4, 2009 1 Comment

ninjaNinja Glove is a collection of mini-games that you need to quickly master and complete in a very limited timescale. These games vary in difficulty, and range from clicking your mouse button 25 times in a row to guiding a small square across the screen, to playing a brief game of dash the asteroids and dressing a ninja.

If you don’t do one of the games in enough time you will lose a life, and if you lose a life it’s game over.

ninjahorse ninjasmile

As you have such a short amount of time to do the levels you most certainly won’t get very far on your first go. It’s only after replaying the game several times, hopefully after you’ve been injected with caffeine and have heightened reflexes, that you will instinctively know what to do as soon as the level starts and get on your way to doing it – I guess that is the way of the ninja.

ninjastars


Play Ninja Glove Now

Crush

January 4, 2009 Leave a Comment

crush-sony-pspCrush is a fantastic little puzzle game made exclusively for the Playstation Portable.

It’s a multi-dimensional platformer that probably isn’t the easiest to explain in text. You have to flip from 3D to 2D throughout each level in order to gain access to areas and platforms that you cannot reach when in a single dimension – and so flattening the 3D environment when looking on from one angle results in a different landscape than when you flatten from another angle. Collect your marbles as you progress through the level, as well as special items such as a trophy, and then get to the end.

Here’s a video that may help to explain it a little better – yay for YouTube!



Level 10 of Crush on the PSP

In a way it’s similar to Paper Mario, though shorter, more unique and – to be honest – more of a challenge even if it isn’t too difficult.

You play Danny, an insomniac who is using a device called C.R.U.S.H created by his psychiatrist in order to regress unti his own mind, literally collect his marbles and eventually allow himself to fall into slumberland once more. It’s a little surreal, and dark, but is slightly amusing and – as with Professor Layton and the Curious Village – it’s great to see for the genre.

Unfortunately, once you have completed half of the 40 levels you’re not really introduced to anything new. The levels do get tougher, which is great, but you will find it becoming a little repetative in places.

Still, if you love platform puzzlers and own a PSP – this is a must buy item that deservers your attention, especially if you lay in bed at night unable to sleep!

Pros
Unique gameplay brings new life to the puzzling genre
Dark and amusing storyline which lacks in other games
Progressive difficulty allows you to get better at the game as you go along

Cons
Only 40 levels will not keep you challenged for too long
A little repetitive after the first 20 or so levels
No real replay value once you’ve completed it a couple of times making sure you get all of the secret stuff

Gameplay
Graphics
Storyline
Overall
   

Play TV

January 4, 2009 1 Comment

ps3-play-tv This litte device – RRP £69.99 – plugs into your Playstation 3 and allows you to watch freeview via the PS3. The prime reason I got this was so I can record television shows straight to the Playstation for later viewing.

Similar to the Sky+ system, you can also pause live TV and, with the ‘buffer’ feature enabled you can rewind a channel that you have been watching should you need to do so.

When you first plug the Play TV into your PS3 you need to also pop in the disc and watch an introduction to the system; this will do a background install and takes a few minutes – after which you will be up and running.

A Play TV menu is now visible on the user interface. Clicking on this option opens the splash screen, and then the Play TV menu where you can go into the live tv mode. This is where the first real noticable difference comes in between watching TV normally and watching via the Playstation. When you switch on a TV, sound and image come through almost instantaneously. Switching on the Playstation and go into the Play TV takes 45 seconds in total – not to mention the additional electricity you use by having the Playstation on just to watch the TV.

playtvmenu

After you’re in you are faced with 7 Menu options
Live TV – this takes you straight in to watching the television.
Guide – Like the radiotimes, this brings up the television guide and is displayed in an excellent format. All programmes are shown over a 2 hour period and a cool faded white line moves across the screen dependent on current time so you can exactly how far through a programme you are. After a recent update it’s also extremely fast to load programmes for the whole week. Anything you have set to record shows up in red.
Find and Record – find a programme you wish to record and set it up. The record feature can be found during live tv and on the guide, so this part is only good for searching for a show by keyword – which takes just a few seconds.
Manual – I’m a bloke, I haven’t read it – but this is basic help for the live tv, guide and library.
Settings – within here you have the following options: manage favourites; parental lock, background recording, live TV buffer, screen size, subtitles, audio, setup, help, about. These are all straightforward options when you go into them. You’ll need to use the ‘about’ section when you see there is an update due for the system.
Schedule – This shows what you have scheduled to record, and features error reports for anything that may not have recorded (prime reason is running out of hard drive space).
Library – a collection of whatever you have downloaded. I use mine in a ‘thumbnail’ view which shows mini screens of wht you have recorded, and starts playing as you move over them so you can be sure you’re about to watch the right show before actually selecting it.
playtvguide

Recording
When it comes to recording it doesn’t seem to be consistent as to how much space is going to be used – and I think this must depend on the format quality being broadcast by an actual channel. 1 hour recorded is usually between 1GB and 1.5GB – but some films less that two hours do end up being over 3.5GB. Therefore, depending on how much you record, and what else you use the playstation for, you may find yourself quickly running out of space with the normal 60GB system.

I’ve attempted to record whilst also playing a game, and though it did manage to record the picture, there was no sound available.

If you set to record for a time when you’re not in, you can switch off the playstation. It will switch itself on when it needs to record, and off again once it is finished.

Remote Play
Play TV works very well with the PSP and Remote Play feature, meaning you can watch anything on TV, or anything that you have recorded, anywhere in the world when you have an internet connection.

playtv-psp

Pros
Record television straight to your Playstation 3, even when watching another channel
Excellent user interface
Works well with the PSP Remote Play feature, so watch your TV wherever you are

Cons
Long load time of 45 seconds from PS3 switch on to actual viewing
Inconsistent file sizes for recorded programmes
Still a few issues with recording things whilst playing games/watching Blu-ray

Usability

Performance
Value for money
Overall
   

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