30 January 2009


Sorry, have been distracted by Far Cry 2.

News in short:

  • Xbox is back. Hurray!
  • Have nearly sold my old laptop! Hurray!
  • New computer is still wicked! Hurray!
  • Haven't been to the cinema for far too long! Boo!
Will do a proper update when I finish FC2...

22 January 2009


My Xbox is bricked. That's deeply unhelpful, but anyways, have sent it off to Microsoft to fix the bugger. Quite impressed with them, to be honest. I reported it yesterday night - that's after 9pm - and the dude from UPS rocks up today with the parcel label. Had to hastily assemble something vaguely resembling a package, and he slaps the label on, and the Xbox is gone! Apparently it's going to be back to me within 2-3 weeks.

Basically, got back home from going out to the Post Office Depot, Call of Duty 5 in hand. I'm playing it for all of about 5 minutes when suddenly the graphics start strobing rather violently. So I turn the console off and back on again, and I've got an E74 - which, if you guys don't know, is the lower-right quadrant of the Ring of Light being red. So not the fabled Red Ring of Death, but almost as bad. The really annoying thing is that 9 times out of 10, an E74 will resolve itself simply by switch the console off and back on again. But of course, I get struck by the 1 in 10. Oh well.

But on the bright side, the UPS dude also brought some cake, and a rather shiny iPod touch, which was part of my birthday present from my Dad. The other part is something rather special - a brand, shiny new computer! Specs are...
  • Dell XPS 630
  • Intel® Core™ 2 Quad-Core Extreme Processor QX6850 (3.00Ghz, 1333MHz FSB, 8MB cache)
  • 4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
  • 1GB nVidia GeForce GTX 280 graphics card
  • 1.2 TB (2x 640 GB) Serial ATA (7200 Rpm) Dual HDD Config Raid 0 Stripe
  • 4X Blu-Ray DVD RW Disc Drive & 16X DVD Rom Drive
  • 23in Full HD+ Widescreen (2048 x 1152)
The words 'HELL FUCKING YEAH' spring to mind immediately, oh yes. Can't wait to get my grubby mitts on it.

Should be going to the cinema within the next week - I really want to start going again after being so annoyingly jaded as to being let go from Cineworld. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans should cheer me up, I hope. Will certainly post a review of it, so watch out for that.

That's about it really. Lots of excitement, some shite, and time rolling on. Fun.

17 January 2009

Nearly a year older...

Yes, I am 22 tomorrow. Depressing isn't it. I don't particularly want to feel older given the fact that I didn't get my contract renewed by the fucking cinema. Jerks. Regardless! I shall soldier on, and with the distinct possibility of a rather new and shiny computer on the horizon, I think that may be the best course of action.

INdeed I lost my job. Apparently the cinema 'didn't do enough business over Christmas to justify the permanent hiring on of more than two of the temps', and I apparently wasn't among the best. But considering that I personally on one day took enough to pay my own wages for 3 months, I find this excuse highly suspect. Maybe they didn't like that the cash office seemed to constantly make mistakes when they cashed me up (two 'recorded conversations' because of that which were swiftly stricken from my record). Maybe they didn't like that I took a week's holiday during the time that they didn't do enoough business for. I don't know, but it's fucking annoying to say the least. At least I've got experience working in a cinema, which means I can go back to working in one. Not Cineworld though...

Not Cineworld because the fucking jerks were so unsubtle as to the fact that I was losing my job. Contract ended officially today, and I didn't have any work from Tuesday, and only had 12 hours of work. That coupled with the fact that they refused to tell me whether or not I still had my job until the end of my shift - clearly they were firing me because they thought I was stupid as well as whatever else there was. But I did predict it exactly, and even phoned up someone to tell them that I was concerned that I might be losing my job. But anyways...it's the Vue for me once again; am never going anywhere else.

But yes, officially I'm a victim of the credit crunch. Unofficial, people think I'm not clever enough to work in a cinema. Oh well. Life could be worse.

Will post more news about the new PC if/when I get the info on it. Definitely looking forward to finding out about it!!!

8 January 2009

Shit! Boomer!

Yes, I have Left 4 Dead. And it is wicked. Although I'm still doubtful as to Half-Life 2's 'BEST GAME EVARRRR!!!!1111' tag, I do have to admit that Valve are impressing me as of late. Portal was absolutely fantastic if a bit short, Counter-Strike: Source is still going strong, and now Left 4 Dead has just segued it's way onto my 'Currently Playing' list. It's fantastically designed, with wonderfully smooth gameplay and it's genuinely entertaining, despite the limited amount of content. It's also perfectly placed for some downloadable conent, whether it be new campaigns, new enemies or new weapons. So not only is it already a great game, but it's got huge expansion potential, which - for me - is nothing but a good thing!

Bought The Orange Box as well, so have been perusing through Portal. Will eventually hop on the Team Fortress 2 band wagon awhile, but only after I've ploughed through the whole of Half Life 2. A replay of Prince of Persia looks to be necessary too...that games was short but sweet. There's an achievement that you get for completing the game in under 12 hours, and I got it without even trying! But would like to go back and whore all of the light seed achievements. Fun times.

Saw Australia as I thought I would, and it's interesting how immune to criticism it is. For ever script clunk, there's a touching moment or two, for every piece of hokey support acting, there's two fantastic leading turns from Kidman and Jackman. Baz Luhrmann's work seems to thrive on this phenomenon...intriguing, no? Anyways: imagine Pearl Harbour, Titanic and any epic Western you may care to think of smashed together, and you've pretty much got Australia. It's long, it's slightly bloated, and yet I couldn't help but like it. It's charming, it's got charismatic leads, a decent sense of humour and some epic action sequences. All-in-all, good film.

That's it for now...still brewing that insight into downloadable content, and this post'll probably serve as good a segue into that as any. But until then...tata!

7 January 2009

To the cinema, Jeeves!

Watching The Dark Knight. It's awesome. Makes me really want to see it again in the cinema, though - it is a movie that deserves full hi-def picture and sound. But anyways...I'm going to see Australia tomorrow in said film-viewing-place. Should be good, I hope.

First day back working at the cinema today. Forgot lots of people's name, which was annoying - but beyond that, everything went swimmingly. My brain just isn't in a mode to be working there just yet...hopefully it'll reach it on Thursday when I'm next in. But for now...

That's pretty much it. I've got a 'rant/insight' into downloadable content brewing...maybe I'll write it up, maybe I won't. Should probably focus my creative energy on the novel...anyways, have a day, everyone.

1 January 2009

Oh fuck, is it 2009 already?

And I didn't even buy a sweater. [/randomness]

So yes, 2009 is upon us. The year that Barack Obama will step into the White House, 2 solar eclipses, a zombie apocalypse and a strange beast attacking New York and tossing the Statue of Liberty's head about willy nilly.

And - hopefully - it'll also be the year that The Raider's Dream is seen on the shelves of lots of bookstores. But one can dream, no?

Didn't have that great a new year - was working for the majority of it, from 5.30pm - 8.00pm, and then again from 12.45am - 3.30am. Wasn't allowed to get drunk between it, so kinda just ambled about with a very drunk Fee for the actual bells. Still, got paid £200 cash in hand for my troubles - we were putting down flooring on the ice rink so that a caelidh could be held, and then we had to pull it all back up again. Should pay for the copious amounts of arnica cream and back massages that I'm now going to need.

Was going to try and go see Che (Parts 1 and 2; Cineworld are having a 1-day-only showing of the whole film with a 10 minute interval), but I'm rather stiff, and sitting on the couch all day with Guitar Hero, Prince of Persia and my laptop stuck me as a much more appealing idea.

Speaking of Guitar Hero, it's still damn good fun, and I now have the drums and the microphone. The drums are actually surprisingly realistic, given how unlike real guitar the guitar parts are. Although on 'Expert' difficulty it puts drum-beats in that aren't actually there, which is kinda weird, but I'm managing just fine on Medium and Hard. Same cannot be said of Fee, who has failed to progress properly past Easy mode. But yeah, it's excellent fun, and rattling off the solos in Lostprophets Rooftops or anything from earlier than 1985 is extrordinarily satisfying.

Prince of Persia is great too. The best way to describe it would be if someone watched a surreal edit of all the best bits of Hero and House of Flying Daggers whilst playing Sands of Time, all the while huffing a rather superhuman amount of marijuana smoke. The action, fighting and free-running is spectacularly lyrical, and the dynamic between the two leads - whether it's bantering or in terms of actual gameplay - is surprisingly sweet. It more than makes up for the fact that the game is surprisingly - almost shockingly - easy, and that the combat is rather dull, repetitive and occasionally rather frustrating (the words 'I need to be closer' my eventually become synonomous with your tossing the controller out the window). But when you're belting from one side of the map to the other, taking in lush environments - you almost forget any of the minor niggles that bug you when you're fighting. It's a damn fine game, and I reccomend it to anyone who's able to play it.

That's about it, really -fantastic excitement and rather numbing pain in my arms. Good times all round, then.