Sunday, 17 February 2013

[Lets Play] Rome Total War

Sorry once again for my usual disappearing act, to make up for it I have for you.

A Scotsman In Egypt!

This phenomenal piece of work was made by Jerusalem and is actually hosted in PDF format over at the Lets Play Archive, what i have done is simply stitch the files together to make it one easy to read file.
It is a fabulous tale of two brothers who embark on a drunken quest for glory.
Twists, turns, love, loss are all interwoven into a brilliant tale worthy of publishing into an actual novel, I kid you not.

Here it IS

As usual this isnt my own work, it is simply something i feel should exist, all credit to the original writers and whoever came up with the wonderful design of the pages of the PDF files.

File is 145.38MB and designed for viewing on tablet devices, don't start mailing me (again) if it looks bad on your phone.

Friday, 16 November 2012

[Lets Play] Animal Crossing

From the deepest, darkest, parts of Chewbot`s imagination comes a tale of horror.

of Despair

of Tragedy

of.......Animal Crossing!

Do not read expecting a typical LP of a banal childrens game with no conflict whatsoever oh my no, this is a spine tingling horror story with an amazing series of twists and turns culminating in a truly terrific ending.
It features custom artwork from those incomparable Goons and a mind-melting alternate ending. Animal Crossing

File is a 37MB(ish) PDF file, custom created by yours truly, designed for viewing on tablet devices, once again, if you try this on a phone i am not responsible for how ill it appears on your screen!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Just a Quick One....

Gentlemen, the next Lets Play should be up tomorrow for your consumption but i`d like to address the myriad variations of the same question ive had fired at me via e-mail over and over again since yesterday...

Yes, i am aware that the LPArchive hosts images.

It alters nothing.

That site is probably my thord most visited site of all time, i love it to death and have contributed to its continued existence.


It is simply ONE site.
If the horrible eventuality occurs whereby the site suddenly ceases to exist then all the masterworks it holds would be gone in an eyeblink.

Incidentally im not making any money in doing this, so please those four of you with half a brain between you please stop with your rubbish.

Those of you clogging my e-mail with requests....... maybe is all you`ll get, i`d rather surprise you, my blog, my rules.
Sue ME.

Yes, Syrupleaf is being worked on but think of this, if Headshoots had 85 "parts" and was 440 pages long then how big will Syrupleaf be when its 255 "Parts" long.

Gimme time lads ;).

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

[Lets Play] Headshoots.

Headshoots is a Dwarf Fortress Lets Play created by the (insane)people on the Something Awful Forums collectively named "The Goons".

They are a bastion of incredibly talented people who frequently pick up games and post Hilarious/Informative/Completionist/Insane LPs of them.

This Lets Play is a succession LP, this means the the first person to start the LP passes it on to the next person who expresses an interest and so on and so on.
This leads to extraordinary stories and wonderful gameplay stories.

A game like Dwarf Fortress is perfect for a succession LP due to its emergent game-play and so this story proves, Madness, Fire, Death and Hilarity ensue and a legend is born.

That of Holistic Detective.


File is a PDF - 86MB and 440 pages long i created for viewing on a tablet device, don't come crying to me if you tried viewing it on a phone and it doesn't look right!


So thats it.
After a long time with no posting due to real life issues I`ve decided i cannot write reviews to save my arse after re-reading them.
I`ll leave them for posterity`s sake as something to laugh at.
My plan at the moment for this site is to turn it into a place where you can grab files of the best Text/Screenshot Lets plays.
As a massive fan of them im currently extremely worried about their durability, let me explain:

Let`s Plays are essentially slaves to the various websites that own bits of them, take the Lets Play Archive for example, you have the actual LP there and then you have the images (usually the most important parts) hosted on a variety of websites.
This situation could very well lead to the slow melting of the lets plays that so many people poured time and effort into should a site like waffleimages suddenly die out of nowhere.

I`m not going to let that happen, I`ll be converting the very best of these files into custom PDF files, no website ripping, so that they may live forever!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

(Game) Gran Turismo 5

Many reviewers commited a grievous error in my opinion when they reviewed GT5 at launch and didnt revisit after a few months.
The concept of a continually evolving game on a console was and remains a rarity in our modern enlightened era and yet as games such as Minecraft and Terraria have shown they are becoming more and more common, i actually think of GT5 as a trail blazer in that area in regards to consoles.

Hilarious as the idea that a studio as introverted as Polyphony Digital could be considered innovators is I believe it to have merit.
Upon release GT5 was fighting its own infrastructure, crippling lag induced by the game trying to speak to the online servers regardless of whether you were connected or not left some reviewers who were fighting to release the first review of the game out to believe that it was simply bad game design as opposed to releasing too earlier for its fledgling infrastructure to cope with.

To give PD credit this issue was very quickly addressed and while never being a lightning quick experience the menus eventually became usable enough that I for one never thought of them in a critical light again.

The problem with the game has less to do with what didn't work but the length of development time the game had.
I`ve often thought that console gamers have a significant deficiency in terms of patience compared to the PC gaming community, very rarely have the console community ever had to wait years for a game to be released as a result they saw a five year wait as meaning that the game, when released, would be as close to perfect as possible.
This simply is not the case nor would it ever be the case.

PD are noted perfectionists, when modelling Spa and other real world circuits they walked and mapped every bump, every change of surface and in the case of the Nurburgring every piece of graffiti!
Its small wonder it took so long! and yet every bit of this serves to make the actual experience of driving the circuit the best ive ever experienced on a console.
Tyre degradation is excellently modelled and has a major effect on braking, especially for hairpin turns, you know something? Driving has never been so good on a console and ill put that in a certificate for PD they can frame.

Too often in driving games you dont "feel" the change between Tarmac and Dirt, too often elevation changes and bumps mean nothing whatsoever to your handling or peformance but with the level of detail in GT5 all of a sudden it did.
Try risking a glamce at you hands when running for the first corner at Monza after you exit the Parabolica, those little twitches your making? thats the result of perfectionism my friend, enjoy it because outside of PC driving simulators such as rFactor you`ll never find such an accurate modelling of driving.

The B Spec mode is an interesting addition too, i grew up with games such as Grand Prix Manager and when it was announced that this game would have a mode in which you play the owner of a driving team i literally yelled "Yes!" much to the irritation of the wife.
This Spec however seems less of a feature and more of an afterthought, yes there is a whole series of B Spec events and rewards but that feeling of disassociation with events on-screen is far more powerful than it used to be in the GPM series, the lack of the ability to perform R&D and use a Wind Tunnel is, in my opinion, responsible for this feeling.
Its just a level of detail that would have completed the sense of immersion necessary for this type of mode to work.

Now i know i havent mentioned the Online component, well thats mostly because its simply functional.
It has a range of options such as Performance Point restrictions, Specific Car championships etc all rewarded by credits and EXP for your single player but there is no gloss to it, its not slick in ny way and almost feels like it was a bolt-on job.

Oh and a quick word on Licenses, they used to be harder and they used to mean so much more, they feel ok and there are rewards for getting all gold medals etc on all of them but gone are the days of bragging to your mates about grabbing the S licence.

Ive gone on longer than i wanted here but i have to be critical of Polyphony Digital here, whilst the driving is fantastic and the Premium cars are almost photo-realistically beautiful they need a catastrophic kick in ass from Sony.
The game isnt worthy of the current generation. There i said it, the reason for it is that its Gran Turismo 4 Part 2, it has all the feel of the old games, the music feels recycled, it still has the massive amounts of pointless Japanese cars despite its overwhelming userbase in Europe and the US and like Sony itself they seem to be stuck in 2004, the Internet has become so much part of modern life that to have a Online component that feels like an experiment from the PS2 is simply not good enough.
I just cannot understand the mentality of people who`d happily throw time into the Photo Mode of GT5 rather than make more Premium cars, it honestly comes across that they live in a bunker, unaware of their competitors.

After five long developmental year, more modelling of tracks and cars than is healthy and collaborations with Red Bull Racing on the X1(or whatever its called these days) its just maddeningly old school, to the point it needs to be told by the new school of driving games just how embarrasing its becoming.

Bet you thought i`d defend it didnt you?


Thursday, 26 April 2012

(Hardware) Samsung Galaxy S 2.

Once again keeping to my promise that id pretty much review anything ever created by man that i can get my hands on I turn my attention to the Samsung Galaxy S 2.

Now i don't currently have and predisposition towards any brand when it comes to consumer gizmos, ive used an iPhone and ive used android, hell ive even had a whirl on one of the new Nokia Lumias running WP7 and trying to find a favourite is rather difficult and probably depends on the kind of person you are.

This phone, as everyone and their aunt will tell you, is currently the best selling Android phone on the market and most peoples favourite go-to device for comparisons with the iPhone 4S.
Thats true but you wont see any comparison here because I believe on judging something technical by its own merit, sure you can review a game and compare it to rivals etc but I believe that something mechanical has a feel to it all its own and that you do a disservice to it by comparing it with anything.
Besides the only phone I can get for a direct comparison is the antique Nokia 3210 I keep in the Draw of Eternal Rest in the kitchen.

The version of the SGS2 I hold is currently running Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a rather huge leap from when it was running Gingerbread, the other delicious sounding "Flavour" of Android.

For the uninitiated it holds within its monolithic black exterior:-

a SuperAMOLED plus capactitive touchscreen (For the un-nerdy: Colorful Shiny Shiny Swishy Screen)
a Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex A9                        (For the un-Nerdy: Thing that make phone work Fast)
1GB RAM                                                       (For the un-Nerdy: The phones Braaaaaains!)
16/32GB Storage                                             (For the un-Nerdy: Where you put stuff)
MicroSD Slot (upto 32GB                      (For the un-Nerdy: Little slot for little card of MOAR Stuff)
Bluetooth                                                          (For the un-Nerdy: Makes phone talk to other things)
Wifi                                                                  (For the un-Nerdy: Internetz!)
8MP Camera with autofocus and flash               (For the un-Nerdy: Its a damn Camera......)

And a whole lot of smaller stuff that i cant be bloody arsed to type out, put it this way, if you've owned a reasonably smart phone since 2005 then this phone can do all that small stuff i haven't been bothered to write about.

Now the first thing you`ll notice when you hold this phone in your hands (assuming you've turned it on) is how bright and colourful the screen is, it has a wonderful range of colour that seems to just jump right out at you, also the blacks are true blacks, none of this namby pamby fake black you've been hearing about, oh no! this phone has blacks that if stared at long enough will suck you straight into Satans grinning black maw.
You may detect sarcasm within.
Just because the phone is able to display a certain standard of blackness should not be a selling point for anybody, yes it is a good screen but is that really a handset seller for you?

The touch-screen is nice and responsive and considering the battering mine gets on a daily basis its very durable.
It must also be noted that the touch-screen is quite a pain when it comes to fingerprints though, attempting to wipe them off will only lead you to create rainbow-like smears on the screen itself, this is something that truly bothers me, I don't expect to view my book through a kaleidoscope.

Android itself is a very zippy OS, everyday usage of the internet (assuming you've downloaded a sensible browser and not the clunky thing it comes with) and the booting up of applications is fast and almost immediate, the integration of the horribly renamed "Google Play" is excellent.
However there are things about Android that im not particularly sure should be there at this point in the OS`s life.

Chief amongst my complaints with Android is the level of poor applications, i personally try to avoid the Free App category altogether these days because of the level of poor apps aping popular apps, general sleaze-ware and suspected malware.
The Apple infrastructure comes under attack from all comers but i have to say that in this area I couldn't honestly tell you that the Play Store is at the level of the App Store.

The Camera is responsive and pretty good if your into that sort of thing but a quick scout of the internet will find you many phones with a far more advanced camera but thankfully it does come equipped with a good LED flash so unlike it predecessor its capable of running well in the dark.

So what else is there? i could have written a piece the size of Engadget`s usually review posts but I don't feel the need.
The phone connects to the internet well, the OS upgrade was a good thing, Bluetooth works very well and ive experienced no problem with GPS or dropped calls.

So that wonderful big ol` question.

Should you buy it?

Why? well the new one will be out fairly soon so you`ll be throwing money at a product soon to be relegated in terms of its position in the crowded Android market (hah, get it?....oh) and the price drop that will inevitably follow will be quite substantial.
Of course there is a market for cheaper phones and this one is certainly among the best you`ll be able to buy, its fast, easy to use and i find Samsungs TouchWiz interface very intuitive.

Phone tech is a sector in which new advancements in chip size and speed occur more and more frequently, NVIDIA posted a graph lately comparing the graphical power of Desktops, Consoles and Mobiles in which the Mobiles have powered up to par with the current (if horribly outmoded) console generation.
Very soon this handy and capable little phone will be forgotten as its big brother comes storming onto the scene and I just cant justify you guys throwing your money at something that will cease to be relevant very very soon.