Thursday, 26 January 2012

If you don't like it then fuck off

The big political discussion right now is that of devolution, more precisely it is about Scotland becoming independent from the UK.

They wish to leave the UK because Alex Salmond recently watched Braveheart again and still believes that the King of England has to sleep with a Scotsmans bride on the eve of her marriage.

The radio station that I listen was today debating about what would happen to the North Sea oil and gas reserves should such a split happen as they currently belong to the "UK". Seemingly, the best idea forwarded so far is to draw a line on a map, starting at the border and going out to sea (I'm so glad that we have such experts). This would leave Scotland with around 95% of the oil and 52% of the gas.

But wasn't it the UK government that funded the exploration, infrastructure, legal wranglings and selling of the licenses?

Not for the first time, it seems that what Scotland actually wants is not to have an amicable split from the UK, but to take the best parts of the alliance for themselves and to leave the not so good parts for England.

If you want to leave the UK Salmond, then leave, but don't be that ex that takes all of our DVDs on the way out.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Would you like a bag?

It's 7.30pm, and I've come here straight from work. I've filled a basket with your goods. I used a basket because I plan to purchase about four times what I could carry in my arms. Some of it is frozen, some of it is easily breakable. Use my card please, the value of these goods is more than the cash I carry.

What was that? Would I like a bag? A bag? For me?


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

When you tell me to do something......

I generally don't do it. I was playing on Madden 12 Ultimate Team today against a 99 rated opponent (not that I'd ever accuse him of just paying for a good team) when I received this at half-time with the score 49-7 to him.

I responded by getting on the mic and informing him that if he was late for Bummers Club (The first rule? Don't talk about Bummers Club) then he'd have to quit.

And he did. He gave me the win. Sometimes it pays to be a patronizing twat

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Are games getting worse?

This week I completed Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast and Mass Effect 2 for the XBox 360 within 24 hours of each other. They're both very similar games, double disc RPGs set on fantasy worlds in which you manage a squad and a ship. The only real differences are turn based combat versus real-time combat and about 10 years.

So how did they leave me with such differing opinions of the experience? Was it that ME2 took me 30 hours to complete compared to SoA's 60 hours? Unlikely, as I've never been one to judge a game by its size, I rate Ocarina of Time and Portal as about equal to each other.

The graphics of Mass Effect are incredible, a full High Definition universe to explore, full of galaxies, star systems, planets, space stations and vistas. Unfortunately that means nothing when changing areas removes you from the experience with a garish loading screen. Skies of Arcadia has much chunkier graphics, but no loading screens beyond a brief black screen. I also found the Silver Temple to be much more immersive and awe inspiring than anything I experienced in ME2.

The storylines were very similar, both revolving around saving the world or the universe by gathering a team to man your ship and fight alongside you. But for all the time you spend with in conversation with (and sleeping with) your crew mates in Mass Effect, not a single one of them was as interesting as your SoA crew mates.

And that brings me to the endings. I finished Skies of Arcadia first. The death of the final boss was greeted by sorrow by the protagonists as he was the former best friend of one of them. The flight home showed them torn between staying together as a team or returning home to help their people. Some stayed, some left, some got married, some died, but every single ship mate was shown making tough decisions after such a momentous event, sometimes making the wrong ones.

The next night it was Mass Effects turn. Very Michael Bay, very impressive HD explosions, a brief celebration and a cold, hard, "Export Character/Continue" option. Maybe that was the main difference between two of the biggest RPGs of their generations.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My first impression of EA customer support

Original Content by me

WWE RAW - 2/1/2012

I recently started watching the WWE again. It wasn't intentional but I found it whilst channel surfing after getting Sky Sports activated, and before I knew it I'd watched an entire episode.
It's such good fun, like a man soap opera, and I'm enjoying it as intended this time. I'm just a viewer along for the ride. No spoilers, no over analysis, just balls out fun.

For the past month or so they've been playing these creepy, "The Ring" style videos, the general message being that our world is going to change on the second day of 2012. Timed with the re-emergence of Kane, I've been guessing that they were marking the return of The Undertaker.
So the video plays, the lights go out, the only noise is the crowd. So far, so 'Taker. And then lights appear at the top of the ramp. It the shape of a torso and some outstretched arms and HOLY SHIT IT'S Y2J!!! Chris Jericho was an absolute hero of mine when I was 15/16 years old. I really hope that he doesn't ruin my nostalgic memories of him, but he did outstay his welcome with about 5 minutes of preening and parading without actually saying a word.

Elsewhere, R-Truth spent the whole night stalking The Miz. Despite his pleas for help, he was basically told that it was tough because he started the fight a couple of months ago. This storyline has the potential to become massively enjoyable.

And the finale was exactly the reason why I watch WWE. John Cena is the target of Kane right now and was booked opposite him in a 6 Man Tag Team Match. However, Kane was nowhere to be found, and so the end result was Cena and Ryder emerging victorious in from a Handicap Match. Cue Kane's music, and Cena runs half way up the entrance ramp to cut him off. With his back turned, Kane emerges from the ring amid smoke and kicks the hell out of Zak Ryder, toying with him before going back into the hole in the ring, dragging Ryder feet first after him. Cena came back to the ring to make the save, and as he tried to chase Kane a huge torrent of flame came roaring from the hole. It looked fantastic, real horror film stuff, and just the kind of over the top showmanship that makes the show so enjoyable every week.

Monday, 2 January 2012

First post

Welcome to the first post of my new blog. I know that most blogs fail after a handful, but hopefully I can keep this thing going with thoughts and opinions about music, games, films, food, life, sport and gambling.

Happy reading