Still here, still alive…

Just in case anyone was wondering – yes, I’m still walking amongst the living.

Not much has been happening the month or so since my last update…well, not concerning programming anyway.

The big thing has been my trip to New York. It went very well. A complete success. The main reason for the trip was to see (and hear, natch) Pat Benatar in concert. I’ve been a fan of hers for about 28 years so I thought it was about time I got to see her perform live…and I did…and it was good. Getting to go sightseeing and walking for millions of miles (roughly) was just an…added bonus. Anyway, after initially being seated in a slightly-less-than-optimal spot I got up and spoke to the manager (thanks Joel) and just happened to mention “that I’d come 5000 miles for the concert” (which was true) and y’know what? – I got the BEST seat in the house. WHOAH! I even shook her hand after the concert. Ahh, bliss 🙂 (…and ‘yes’ I have washed my hands since then) Now, I hope to go back the next time she performs in NY and hopefully I can get my best friend to join me.

Speaking of my best friend – he’s drawn the main character for the game I’m doing for The RR CD50 Project. It’s really cute – it’s like a combination of an upright walking anteater and an armadillo (well, I guess you’d have to see it). Not that I’ve made any notable progress on the game itself, but I have added a few bits and bobs to it though. There’s still about 2 months to complete the project but I still I expect to make some progress in the near future…which should be possible now that I’ve completed another time consuming project I’ve been working on -playing Burnout Paradise on my Xbox 360!

Yeah, I just completed Burnout Paradise today.



Well, at least I won’t be playing that anymore. Next game up for me is Mass Effect but a friend of mine just completed it in 27 hours so I don’t really see that as a big task. 😀

…funny really – I have a rule. Well, it’s not an absolute rule and it’s not as simple as black and white, but for years, when I’ve selected which PC games to play, I’ve always checked the ‘estimated time to completion’ first. If a game would (estimated) take more than 15 hours to complete it would be in danger of not being selected to be played – if it would take more than 20 hours then it would most likely not be played at all. I just don’t have the patience for long games anymore.

…so how come I’ve been playing that damn Burnout game for a 100 hours? (and I’m not even going to tell you that it feels like 200 hours or something corny like that – it feels just like 100 hours…although mostly annoying ones). Actually, I’ve played all the Burnout games for more than 50 hours, so there’s something to think about. It must be that pick-up-and-play-in-short-bursts thing that most racing games has – I don’t really have to remember a bunch of backstory and plot. I can just sit down and play in short bursts whenever I have the time and want to, without having to remember where the fuck I’ve been and what to do next, after getting back to a game after 3 weeks.

…and that’s probably what I love retrogames so much – simple, honest, fun gaming. No pretentious, badly written, uninterresting storylines….just pick up and play and have fun!

Just to pad this post even further I’ll tell you what DVD’s I’ve bought over the last week or so;

Wonderfalls, season 1 (…unfortunately that’s all there is)
Down with Love
Houseboat (Cary Grant & Sophia Loren) (1958)
Monkey Business (Cary Grant & Marilyn Monroe) (1952)
Arsenic and old Lace (Cary Grant) (1944)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Spartacus (1960)
Cleopatra (1963)
The Third Man (1949)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Tick, season 2 (Spoon!)
Dark Angel – seasons 1 & 2
The Hunt for Red October 

This is not a normal week for me though – there’s more “old stuff” than normal, but no-ones gonna tell me that I’m only into new flashy action movies. 😉

It’s late and I’m tired. Thanks for reading. I’ve you’ve got any comments, please let me know.

PS. also, there might me a website redesign coming soon.

See you soon!

Burnout follow up + new game in development.

3 Weeks since my last post and I’ve been meaning to write a follow up to my Burnout rant ever since. I’ll keep it very short though. My last rant may have come out very negative but don’t misunderstand me – it is a very good and addictive game. Criterion has definitely done something right…but they’ve also done something wrong. This is the most frustrating and annoying Burnout game in the series. I just played it a bit today – the first time in a week…and not because I haven’t had the time – I just haven’t cared. I’m now 78% through the game and have spent 62 hours doing so (not caring, that is), but I’m so bored and annoyed with it that I don’t see myself playing it much more until the new downloadable content arrives sometime later this year.

Time to play something else…and time to do a bit of programming.

I’m working on a new game for the The RR CD50 Project. It’s not a remake but something original. It’s a platformer but with slightly different gameplay than what I remember having seen anywhere before and I think it’ll be fun. There’s no pictures yet, as I haven’t quite decided on a theme yet. It’s coming along nicely though, but I really need to come up with a theme pretty soon – I need all the time I can get to make the graphics needed…a talent that doesn’t come terribly easy to me. More later.

Rant: Burnout Paradise

I bought an Xbox360 5 weeks ago, primarily for playing Burnout Paradise (BP) …and that’s what I’ve done. It’s been a nice distraction (most of the time) but it’s coming to an end soon I think.

Why? “Because it’s not really all that good.

BP was the killer app for me – the primary reason I plunked down £460 for the system and the game, and thank God I’ve found other interesting games on the system too, because BP has turned out to be a big disappointment.

Let me explain the problems I have with the game.

The game is played in big city, where you’re free to roam as you you please. There is a race at every intersection and to start a race or one of the other ‘missions’ you only have to pull up to an intersection and activate the race that’s there. If you win a race – great!…you’ll have driven to a different part of the map, but there’s usually another race nearby you can participate in.

…but if you loose the race, crash or decide to restart the race, the only way to start that same race again is to drive all the way back to the starting point. It’s okay in the beginning – you need to learn your way around the city anyway and there’s plenty of secondary objectives along the way, but as you complete all those and have learned your way around the city, it just sucks to be forced to drive all the way back. It’s not fun…it’s annoying and just a big fucking waste of time.
Give us the fucking possibility to start a race where we want!

Another thing – when you crash you get this slow-motion replay of your car crashing. Pretty neat…THE FIRST 10 TIMES – then it’s just BLOODY ANNOYING. It fucking disruptive to game-play. How can the developers play the game for as long as they have to, when they’re making the game, and NOT see how annoying this is? You’re sitting there all concentrated, trying to drive well and outsmart the other cars, and then you crash and are forced to watch a 5-8 seconds of some STUPID animation that you can’t skip. Why did it not occur to them that people might want to be able to skip it? Where do I sign up to JAM A FUCKING PAIR OF SCICCORS INTO THEIR CHESTS? Everywhere I’ve read about BP people say the same – “Let us skip that animation” and yet it’s not on the list of fixes in their first update. What the fuck are they thinking?

They’ve also done away with the brilliant ‘crash missions’. That was stupid! They’ve put something in called ‘showtime’ instead – that was a good idea though…on paper. It just doesn’t work and it’s the most boring thing in the world.

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of things in the game that are completely uninteresting (hello ‘road rules’). Lots of different race modes and side missions, but not much of it are actually fun. My personal favorite modes are Race, Burning Route and Marked Man. The rest can just fuck off.

Oh, and there’s no local multi-player mode. Why? Probably because they want us all to go online and play against strangers. The idea is great and they have really made it easy to go online. So, sure, you can play against other people…but it’s costs money. So why should they give os local multi-player action…it’s not like there’s any profit in it for them.

Well, they’re CUNTS for not letting me play against my friends…my real friends – the kind that are actually in the living room with me. Is it so damn hard to imagine that people might like this?

Criterion has sold out! Those cunts!

Let me explain how much I like the Burnout games.

Burnout 3: Takedown. I’ve played this one for 77 hours and completed 96%
Burnout 4: Revenge. I’ve played this one for 55 hours and completed 99%

I’ve played Burnout Paradise for 28 hours, completed 61% and I’ve been sick and tired of it for a long time already.

I was really surprised to learn that one of the bugs they’re fixing in their first patch, is the that the “total time driven” counter would stick at 145 hours. What the hell…are there actually anyone who’s been playing for that long or have they just been stress testing the game?

I won’t be playing this one much longer. Instead I’ll probably fire up B3 or B4 instead, to be able to play against my friends. Sure, it’ll be against one person at the time, but none of them has an Xbox360, so I wouldn’t be able to play against them online at all.

Burnout Paradise is not all bad, but it’s a far cry from what it could have been. It’s just a big disappointment! The next Burnout game will not be bought in blind faith – it’ll be rented, and then I’ll see if it’s worth my money.

…and speaking of money – this was just my 2 cents on Burnout Paradise.