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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

An odd round up.

Richer sounds punts Playstation 2 Telly combo

This is odd Sony are keeping quiet about this flat screen Bravia / PS2 combo.  Apparently its small screen TV with an added PS2 Slim on the base.  Currently only available through RicherSounds chain of HiFi emporiums, it boasts a line of ports and other stuff I don't understand to keep it future proofed for all eternity (subs please check).  Slims are harder to mod than the original PS2, and for the price they are doing it £200ish, It's not bad at all.  Although my dream set up would be a Modded PS2Fat used as a SKY+ box  receiver (though not sure of the size of the HDD you can add to a PS2).  Failing that would love to see Sony rebadge its PS3 the same way, with neutered PS2 backwards reinstated (Region free of course).

Either that or a VCR in the guts of an old XBOX.

Enid Blyton and Google.

To prove I'm not just a pretty face I've been reading over the xmas period some old Enid Blyton books. More specifically Circus Days Again and despite its worrying preoccupation with "bears"* theres this passage from  page 57 about Mr Galliano hiring new clowns.

"Well the third clown is Google.  He's really funny too.  He has a wonderful motor-car, and everything goes wrong with it - and in the end it blows up into a hundred different pieces! Google has a little dog called Squib.  You'll like hin.  He helps Google with his nonsense."

Make of that what you will.

* Get your mind out the gutter, they are real bears as its an old school circus, no ones queer in Enid Blyton except little Noddy.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Merry Boxing Day.

Todays awardoriffic round up is.

Music of the year.  We listen to a shed load of stuff every day, whether its unwinding after a hard days work or via the radio or online.  The following stream of consciousness is what I consider the best of 2010.

Best KFC Advert that never was.  Cee Lo Green FUCK YOU.
Come on who remembers the old soul tracks that they used to play out over KFC ads about 5 years back, they got into trouble by singing with their mouths full and people thought they were mocking Spaztards.  Well good news it seems that this sort of soul is back and its probably the commercial hit of the year.  Get the one that says fuck you as forget you is for pansies.

DUBSTEP track of the year.  Katy B Katy B On a Mission.
Because its not only haunting but it can be mixed with the Nitro Deluxe track of the same name for retro goodness, especially if you snag the acapella thats on Youtube.

ACID track of the year.  Jared Wilson. Drug Related Stories. Smocid Edit.
Though it can't surpass the original from 2007, this is a pretty bang up old skool acid track.  He also released a non acid set of tracks check out Night Sky JPG From the rise of the machines EP vol 1

METAL of the year.  Merzbow Yurikamone.
We know this as a black headed gull in English, anyway this isn't your daddy's noise, but a proper noise metal track. Proper metal guitars and white noise, and best of all a drum that is simply there as noise rather than beats.

R+B of the year.  Neyo VS Nightwriters Let the monster use you.
The original Beautiful monster was a channelling of Josh Wink style acid with Neyo's old school lyrics.  This is probably the best I've made ever made.  We stripped out the acapella from youtube and added it to the dub version of Nightwriters Let the music use you.   With a lot of sweat and tears it improves the original 10 fold.

Best Techno.  Model500 OFI Huesca.
Even a misfiring Model 500 is still better than 75% of everything ever.

Best 6 seconds of the year.  N-Dubz Girls
Of the intro and that is all you need, the rest is pure shite.

Best commercial pop of the year.  Lady Gaga Lovegame Brian Ice Version.
This is only available via the medium of Youtube but this bootleg of Brian Ice Talking to the night is my Italo Track of the year.

Best YTPMV.  Chriddof It Doesn't do Anything.
Hard electro beat, tough samples and, the cat solo, worth seeing as a video and as audio.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry christmas.

Just a small note saying seasons greetings and a big old merry christmas to all our loyal reader(s).

We are putting together a year review thing, you know the best of's worst of kind of thing so over the next few entries we'll rating you up good so sit tight.

Today is BEST GAME OF THE YEAR. 

Bear in mind that a: we have no current gen console aside from a DS and b: no willingness to poke about in PC gaming other than emulation.

The winner by a long chalk is Dragon Quest 9 from SQUENIX. 

For offering a tight quest, endless customisation and a witty and pun laden translation from the original Japanese.  It also gets a mention for using proper UK English and not going overboard with the accents.
The only black mark is with Nintendos stupid monged up advertising that totally played down the strengths of the game for Jedward spunking about with fans, thus putting the back up.


Runners Up, 
PANG Magical Michael, Rising Star / Mitchell Corp
Laudable reboot of Mitchells seminal balloon popper.

PCSX2 PCSX2 team.
For finally getting and proving that Playstation 2 emulation is doable on an  (un)reasonably specced machine.  Now how about putting CD support back.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

PacSmiles

We've recently been messing about with Engrish friendly PC Engine emulator Ootake seeing as I've always had a curiosity about the system.  The PC Engine or to give it its full American name of Turbografix 16 was one of the consoles they had on show at Trading World in Bexleyheath (now Primark), I remember them showing Marchenland and maybe Cyberlip for NEO-GEO as well as a few NES and SNES games.  

Playing around with Ootake, on a few games I own versions of  (Parasol Stars (NES) and  Pac Land (C64)) I've come to like the little guy.  Maybe because of crack cocaine use or maybe a bad rom dump the PC Engine version of Pac Land is really odd. 

Instead of using the D pad to control Pac Man it simply makes him jump whereas the regular buttons move him either left or right.  Its really messed up and bears all the hall marks that Cave would use some 20 years later for its Loli Horror style Shmup, Deathsmiles.  One button simply switches your position onscreen to face either left or right.  So its the same for Pac Land but much, much more awkwardly done.  We hope this is simply a bad rom dump (all I've found online are) but if it was intentionally programmed like this then man Namco have balls of steel.

Cue Duo Industries AD.

From the We've got a warehouse full pile.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Hup de de ha ha Taiiito!!!!

Seriously lay off the skag.
This weeks scan is of the Taito heat wave, a load of old games from Taito, not limited to but including, Punchbag sim Sonic Blastman.  Cameltry (rebranded as On the Ball here.) and if we're being honest proto only Hit the Ice.  No in fact the only reason we have this guy here is simply the fact it looks just like he's spent most of his life mainlining heroin.

In fact having googled it, he looks just like a young Begbie from trainspotting, minus the tache but with his addiction already in place (seemingly to NES games).

 Similarily I have a major hard on for Bubble Bobble on the NES.   Bought with Xmas money from Boots when they did games as well as aftershave and cotton buds.  In fact they would set up a Megadrive booth around Christmas time and put Sonic in,  we're pretty sure it wasn't a display thing but it was probably the only Sega exposure I had while growing up. 

So Bubble Bobble then, we played it to death as a kid going so far as to make it to level 76 in one credit, (not easy, though it is generous with its lives).  In fact, and this is no boast,  looking at Twin Galaxies Rankings, my 13 year old self, would easily have made it to at least 4th place (though ironically we had no way of verifying this, then).  The NES version was easily the best I played, including the arcade via Legends PS2 compilation or the C64 version (in which it looked like Bub had his neck wrung).  The main reason was lives you got extra at 30,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 400,000 and through extend making it very generous to lame fisted players like myself. 

Sadly making it to level 20 in the NES version would not open the magic door, as in the arcade version, nor were there codes to get permanent stuff or unlock things.  The only thing it had was passwords that let you jump ahead to the boss screen, that in the Disk System original allowed you to save to disk (we'll bore you another time with differences between the two), and stealing lives with select and start.

 Bubble Bobble NES remains special to me as it allowed me to dominate it rather than me like most of my C64 collection.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Saaay Gahhh.

Scanned badly for your convenience.
God where to start on this, yeah we know its a horrific scan, get over it.  This weird young / old guy's foot is supposed to say Kick A(rse) but it got sheared off in the scanner.  Judging by the foot he's either smashed through a plaster or dare I say it a wall made entirely of cardboard.   All to make wildly implausible claims about some dodgy peripherals, from STD.

Coupled with his strange outfit of green jacket, blue baseball cap and rubbish armband, makes him look like an irate leprechaun, than a typical nineties youngster.

STD of course changed their name from an acronym for Sexually Transmitted Disease to the more radder InterAct, and released the gameshark line of game enhancers for which they are to be applauded.  Sega of course had millions of ads out at the time proclaiming to do what Nintendon't.   Largely bombast and bullshit, though to be fair it would be ages before Sega itself caved in and allowed their games on Nintendo consoles.

Thanks to pirates, you can play a ropey version of Super Marioworld on your Megadrive (or Genesis if retarded) and even Super Mario Bros via Emulation (though SMB is actually homebrew).

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

1 year on

Well well, a whole year has gone by.  We started with slang and ended up with scan of the week.  I'd like to do one of the whole flashback to earlier times but I've had a look at my early posts and boy we really didn't hit our stride till May. 

Anyway here is some more slang,  courtesy of my boss.   It concerns the bass from radios and when its really strong like on some dance genres we call it Woofy.  From the bass, as it goes woof, woof, woof in a song or a chavs motor as it rattles along with its windows down.

Anyway we'll be back sunday with the scan of the week from Sega.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Edge never fails to disappoint

Before we get to this weeks scan we will take a short detour to pick over EDGE magazine from Future Publishing.

We haven't bought Edge since the summer partly due to funding issues and partly because its the magazine equivalent of Belgium (Sorry Belgium).  My only reason for buying it is that they have a wall chart / calendar looking at Nintendo games, (this year, 25 years of Super Mario* as opposed to 25 years of Amiga or 20 years of Super NES. ) The wall chart isn't bad and best of all there's lots of space to add dates and notes. Bad news you have to put up with EDGE magazine.

EDGE is quite simply one of the most boring and dull magazines in all of gaming, it has neither the guts to credit its writers nor engage its readership.   It hardly covers anything of mobile gaming systems or cover much retro or Japanese stuff, unlike old EDGE or GamesTM.  Old copies are very interesting indeed, they were not only designed well, but had a truly international outlook with extended out there columns and even retrogaming and Emulation ( up on Stuart Campbell's excellent world of WOS).

The current issue is case in point, for my £4.50 I enjoyed reading about Katamari Damashi and maybe a few bits in the news.  Apart from that, I largely autopiloted through the whole issue,  Git Hero got a 10 whoop de do.  Oh some Kinell (Kinect) stuff did well including Dave Brabens Tiger troubling sim Kinectimals and that but by that time I'd suffered through War, Warcraft and other boring stuff culminating in a spectacularly dull letters page and guest columnists, certainly no Redeye or Mr Biffo here.

Seeing as you've suffered enough, here is todays scan.  It Involves Dargon Ball and boasting from Adam Lee Miller (possibly not)

Mortal Kombat conquered by the dude from ADULT.





Incidentally the current record for a tool assisted speed run is just under 9min

Sunday, 21 November 2010

More hits from the scanulator.

OK this took a while to look for but now we are here we'll present to you the US advert for the CD32 as presented in EGM issue 58.  (We've taken more scans but it seems our monitor has died and what there is is ropey to say the least.)

Is that supposed to be now here or nowhere, we'll go for the latter.
Commodore of course couldn't advertise its wares to save its life, (ironically this is from circa 1994 where Commodore called in the receivers and the sun went down on the good ship Amiga) and this Ad while not that unusual for the time is basically a load of buzzwords and cringing 'street' slang.  At least they didn't resort to selling Vapourware like the Atari Jaguar ads of the same era.  Incidentally this only hung around for one issue only of EGM proving that Commodore really were in trouble then.  

The CD32 was never a success in USA thanks to patent disputes and Commodores bankruptcy, and it really didn't have much impact in Europe, coming just before the PS1 boom.  Most of its games were either souped up Amiga titles with. extended intros and cut scenes or just the regular bad interactive movie games that stank up the early nineties. 

So there you go. The CD32.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Scanulator Redux With TV laughs too.

Everyone likes free stuff so here to prove that my scanner works is Sengoku Basara 3 which is a short magazine given as part of the freebies as part of V Jump Magazine.  Possibly last year sometime.  It's a promotional tie in with V Jump for Capcoms lacklustre in the west brawl em up.

Facts. 

File size 2.9MB
Language: Japanese.
Pages: 8
Zipped with: 7zip with no password set just download away.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/wycnf1sytg2ktf1/Sengoku%20Basara.7z


In unrelated news we have got a new universal remote to work my portable games TV (yeah we party like its 1991 baby).    The  instructions seem to have been written in and translated from stupid to English such is its incoherence.   Anyway these are the instructions for getting the automatic search function up and running as its rendered clunky in English.  Its a Vivanco portable remote.

Step 1. Turn on your TV / VCR / Skybox or whatever.  In my case TV.

Step 2. Hold down the set and TV buttons on remote, till the power button begins to flash.  It'll scan through at this point.

Step. 3 When the TV screen (or device in question) switches off,  immediately and we mean immediately press any button apart from Set to halt the scanning process.   Pushing the power button on the remote will hopefully bring your TV screen (or device) back on.  If not repeat until it does.

As an addendum there is a massive list of hardware companies on the packaging at the back covering 7 columns of closely typed text.  I'm guessing there are around 300 or so companies there with the added line that many more are covered!!. 

I'm sure these are all real companies and the like, its just that they are blessed with either silly or indeed rude names. Errors and crude misspellings accepted.

Alkos: 
Allorgan: Yeah my 50"er is Allorgan baby.
Anttron:  We'd like to think they were a portable / pocket TV specialist
Asat: Asshat. possibly a Satellite receiver box.
Black Panther:
Blackway:  Italo Disco artist too!
CNT: One letter away from immortality
Cybertron: Transformers!
Disco Vision: Possibly a record label
Dong Woo:  Its a 32" Dong, Woo.
Einhell:   German for Hades.
Electro Tech:  See Disco Vision.
Euroman:  Could well be a gay video service.
Grothusen: Possibly a porn receiver.
Harman Kardon: Spoonerism
Hornyphon: Actually part of Phillips now we looked it up.  Though rendered as Hornyphone on the list.
Interfunk:  Also an electro artist, check out our video to Strip Tease.
Kamp.
Kitt. Michael Knight.
Nad.
Noblex.
Phillips CDi: Please have enclosed instruction manual handy.
Robotron:
Saccs:
Sandra Color:
Sinotec (Pepsi Dose): Haven't a clue here.
Starlux
Starring
Stella
Stenway:  These four I'm sure is an 80's scifi complete with leading lady.
Tivo: Sky plus to Americans.
Ultravox: Midge Ure Only.
And thats it.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Happy Rememberance day.

Yellow Horned Poppies for those too ignorant to know the significance.
Please if you have any love of experimental music please get hold of the British legion 2 minute silence charity single, see here for the youtube version. Though they see the act as symbolic gesture of paying respect to those who fell in battle, theres quite a shift in tones and background noise, in which to render this actually as a valid piece of experimental music in its own right, like a radio friendly? version of John Cages 4:33.

Even if you torrent it or get it via Youtube video converters from the link provided please consider giving some change to the poppy sellers you see in the street.  You'll be doing some good providing for those maimed, killed or left traumatised by horrors of wars current and long past, oh and you'll also get a poppy too.

Now fingers crossed for Steve Reichs Come out for Comic Relief.   

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Scanulator

Feeling pretty good today as I've managed to get a dead old scanner working on my old computer. It was originally my uncles and he didn't really use it that much before punting it over to me when he got an all singing all dancing printer / scanner combo. After locating all the bits including 'cutting edge parallel cable' and driver disk complete with MicroGrafx* picture publisher in both 16 and 32 bit flavours, It was time to install.


Looking at the 16it folder on the disk I saw it was broken down into 5 disk folders which if it wasn't for them entirely housed on CD would require an awful lot of disk swapping, thankfully though we XP and so can use the 32bit folder. Helpfully the autorun works so it doesn't require you to do that even simply boot up and install off of the CDROM. Simply installing Micrografx Picture Publisher and then the Driver software will do the job. We were shocked when it actually worked first time with no problems.

We were also shocked when upon saving a scan it gave out options to transfer at modem transfer speeds in either 14.4k and 28.8k flavours. It also proclaimed itself to be the best graphics utility on the market. Which it probably was back then (although with choices to save as a Photoshop file that was then as now a moot point). It was certainly no better than Amiga stuff at the time like P Paint or XI Paint.

Also seeing as its the bad old days and that, you get the odd dialogue box that makes no sense and even less help, whatsoever.
This is what you get sometimes, when installing the main driver.

Of course you'll want to make use of something more modern rather than rely on a program who's guts have long since been absorbed by the Corel corporation. So I decided to see if it could be handled entirely through paint.net. Now its hardly my first choice of paint program but seeing as its A. free and B. already loaded up on XP we gave it a go.

First hurdle, seeing as its not my main PC anymore, its not connected to the internet. So their help file is useless. Firing up my main rig I find out I need twainable, a plug in that lets you use scanners with paint.net. Installing and switching this across with a thumb drive, means that with some poking we can now take images with paint.net.
(located in the effects menu, use grab from clipboard.)

Post script: we were hoping to create an ISO. image from the main CDROM but to be honest, who wants an ancient version of Micrografx, an even more ancient version of Acrobat reader and what little driver software there is on a Multi language CD.
Incidentally if anyone has a Plustek Optic Pro 4831p Scanner and has lost their driver disk then they are located here along with a whole lot more Plustek stuff. Oh and the actual scans.... Damn guess I just forgot.
Maybe later Jack.

* oh and Finally Micrografx still exist its just that all the graphics stuff they used to do are now part of Corel. They do other stuff as outlined in their link above.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Spooky Blog In Spooky Vision.















Happy Halloween loyal reader. Heres some google excellence, in which some meddling kids are unmasked by Scooby doo on the Google logo.. If for some reason you're late to the Halloween Party then they'll be here if you wanna look.

Though we don't really do scary movies and that, this pwned my dreams back when I was 6 or so.

We had a proper old school TV unit, basically a brown cabinet unit on wheels, (you may remember these from the Otis and Marvin bit from the Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer) and Dark towers was part of the schools programming on in the morning. They always had a butterfly testcard type thing preceding it and because I loved butterflies as a kid, classmates would ask me what species it was.

Of course Dark Towers main aim was to teach you Maths and English but to make it interesting they added the drama too, which is where the main problems started. It involved ghosts and one in particular the glowing ghost of a knight, boom voiced and accompanied by thunder scared me shitless and pwned my dreams for about 4 weeks later. Looking back it still gives me the creeps but now I can appreciate the sheer beauty of the Radiophonic Workshop score and chuckle that its really the guy who played Chewbacca in the knight costume. Also Derek (Heads and Tails) Griffiths sang the end theme which wasn't so bad.

We don't remember anything else about Dark Towers except the name which I thought was called Dark Tower for ages, and that there was another programme involving backwards writing spacemen.
But that wasn't scary so it doesn't count.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A good old song session.

Finally managed to track down that Nursery Rhyme Karaoke thing.  Its not by Sony of course (its for the Wii) and it seems that its done by Mindscape and involves quite a list of songs.  Sadly not featuring Bobby Shaftoe or the dirty version of Popeye the Sailorman we used to sing, its got quite a line up of songs including B.I.N.G.O. (and bingo was his name Oh!).

In fact we used to make up quite a few songs to sing when we were kids.   Man I used to know the entire intro song to Willy Fogg, thanks to Richard Farthing teaching me the words when I was 8.  You can probably see the intro on Youtube as well as check out the rest of the BRB International did here.  Actually thats a pretty awesome line up Dogtanian, Iron Kid and Willy Fogg all pretty cool.  With only the interminable David the Gnome series and inexplicable blind kid drama Nico to let the side down. 

Anyway not only did Rich teach me theme tunes he taught me this dirty rhyme too.  It involves one Mickey Mouse being bad and goes like this:

Mickey Mouse
In his house
Pulling down his trousers
Quick Mum
Smack his bum
Before he does another one.

It would be years later before I found out there was another one in a similar vein about Donald Duck written in a big book of playground slang.  For those interested this goes like this:

Donald Duck
Did some Muck
On the kitchen floor
Daisy Duck
Ate it up
Donald did some more.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Update Me Do.

Just a brief update before Sundays inevitable outpouring. 

Seems that nursery rhyme Singstar I alluded to actually exists.  Even worse there is something similar soon to be released for the Wii.  Man there are just no more new ideas.

Seems we have two more for the deathlog as we say goodbye to Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and Wos / BXs very own Rev Owen.

The Rev Owen we solely remember for bigging up the DS version of Fushigi no Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer when BX split from WOS.  He seemed quite a genuine guy and from photos looked spookily like my old Humanities teacher (another nice chap as well).

Mandelbrot of course is known for Fractals, the mathematical representation of an Acid trip  :).  Here is a video that proves this.

Finally the latest beta of PCSX2 finally plays Romancing SaGa Minstrel song, which with a few glitches and framerate drops is simply jaw dropping.  Of course its hard as hell (its Rom SaGa of course it PWNS) and some of the voice overs are questionable we like the woman hassled by a butterfly for some comic relief.
But damn it if the whole thing works.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Kernow PT2. The long and winding road

Hold tiiight because we have an awful lot to get through.

Heligan

Heligan.  Situated past St Austell, Heligan is a typical garden with many things to recommend it.  First is the grounds itself reclaimed from forest after the previous keepers died off in WW1.  Mainly hills with specimen trees and only a few open areas of traditional gardens, these drift into woodland proper, mixed with Rhododendrons and tree ferns just to give you the scale that something isn't quite right there.  There is a quiet kitchen garden area with a wide variety of crops including some pears trained up against  the wall and a pumpkin patch.  The best thing of course is the original glasshouses which hold melons and grapes, and a budding succulent collection including one of the biggest Pleiospilos Neli I've ever seen and a Monanthes up on the wall.
Also lurking around was more succulents including a big starfish flowered Stapelia and a big yucca. 
Further on was a lot of animals including ducks, geese, and a hide with various look outs to the outside.  The best of these had a female Pheasant in the bushes (we later saw a male but he was frightened off into the bushes by a clod hopping rambler).

So thats Heligan, near Mevagissey Cornwall.  £10 to get in.  Senior Citizens, kids and the less able considerably less.

Other Stuff. 

Looks like Pennywise has finally got round to finishing off Monty on The Run for FDS.  Full patch can be found here on RHDN.  This includes a review written by myself in my non UK guise as Monty Mole.

Excellent BX music / game thread here.
For those link phobic it asks you to come up with a genre of game and a setting and add 10 or so songs to it that you see fit.  We came up with a crap version of Singstar but with their mainstream hits replaced with absolute tat.   Coming up with this big old list we were struck by this.  Why is there never a nursery rhyme version of Singstar. 

I suspect that many of them are in the public domain, and would be cheap to licence so why hasn't there really been a sing along version for mums and dads to croon to their little ones.  Or get them to join in, with older members singing the words and that.  I know its not really cool but Singstar is basically drunken entertainment for hen parties, belting out old Hi Energy anthems and current chart hits, so why not do the same for little kids (minus the booze and Kylie). 

Other game idea.

This one also struck me as a no brainer.  A themed Nintendogs but instead of the dogs, allow you to raise Yoshi's instead.  They would look pretty cute as they bumble around and you could give them gifts of Goombas and Koopa Troopas and Watermelons too. 

Monday, 11 October 2010

Sorry Lone Viewer again.

We had major problems trying to get online and it turns out not only was there a fault with the cable outside but, horror of horrors, it looks like an old cable TV installation we had upstairs was causing the problem thanks to the Virgin Media tech dude.  It was leeching power like some kind of energy vampire and to be blunt was causing half our problems.

Worse, catching up with the world at large we find out that Aaron Carl is dead from cancer.  For those not familiar with the guy, he released Down on Metroplex Records one of the best labels around, and something which I haven't heard in ages.  Its pretty sad as it appeared that he died shortly after diagnosis. 

Anyway normal service has resumed.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Kernow pt1. Far east of Eden Project.

Well that was a nice trip, we stayed as the title suggested in a small holiday camp outside of Polperro on the north cornish coast.  We have always loved Cornwall, it just seems warmer than the rest of the UK, and the weather we had there was pretty nice overall.  Sharing with my mum, dad, aunt, her friend and her dog (a peke with a snoring habit), it was quite cramped but overall quite cosy.  

We took a couple of trips out while there, this include worthy ecobubble the Eden project, the lost world of  Heligan gardens oh also Liskeard which is pretty nice.

Eden Project.

Pretty nice if you can resist the urge to freak out and burn down some rainforest.  Set in an old clay quarry, it has two domes and an array of gardens ringing the quarry itself.  Some kudos goes to the WEEE man, a hideous mechagodzilla reinvisioned as some sort of scrap monster possibly as a comment on our wasteful society.  Which is rich seeing as it looks like some skinless giant ape, don't take your eyes of its manic grin it'll lash out and disembowel you soon as your backs turned.  Its traditional enemy of course is  large bee thing, impressive last time we visited, though it looks quite different now (I.E threadbare.)*

Cacti wise the outer gardens have some lovely Echeverias and Sedum including a chocolate coloured Ice Plant Sedum Spectibile.  They also have a maidenhair tree and a ferns along with more traditional garden plants looking  rather spectacular.

Mediterranean Biodome. 

If you like cacti and succulents you can't fail to be amazed here (non cacti people are catered for too, as there's a wealth of other non xerophytic stuff as well as I'll explain).  Covering those areas of the world with a mediterranean climate, this covers the southern states of the USA, South Africa, Argentina and Chile.

For the likes of me, the South Africa exhibit is the most interesting, with a vast mat of Oscularia and a large Lampranthus Goodieanus in flower, there were smaller bits and pieces to including a stand of Glottiphyllum about 2ft across in full bloom and another that had set seed.  If I had a water pistol we could have opened up their water sensitive fruits and seen the seeds inside, but that probably would have got us kicked out.
There's a full compliment of Aloes including Striata, Brevifolia and what looks like Plicatilis lurking throughout the display as well as a nice Gasteria Maculata in pots.

Cactus wise there is a lone Prickly pear and  a Ferocactus to bring up the rear in the California exhibit.

For those non cactaceous amongst you there are some nice displays of popular crops, Sorghum proving popular with the sparrows and a massive tobacco plant with some drying out just in case Eden is considering making their own Eden eco fairtrade fags.  Last time we visited they just had robins dotted around the dome now they are joined by sparrows and blackbirds too.

The Jungle Biodome.

Theres nothing remotely cactaceous here at all, no Epiphyllums lurking in the trees and certainly nothing whatsoever to do with the Cactaceae.  There is a Moringa and a Chorisia that are the sole representatives of succulence and both are about 20ft tall (thats almost a billion metres in metric).  There are lots to see including a few quail lurking in the undergrowth, and a huge variety of massive and not so massive tropical plants.  Buildings include a Malaysian hut in the forest looking not unlike a jail and a rusting tin shack that is part of the African exhibit.  

Food fans are quite well served here with Banana and its cooking equivalent Plantain both growing here.  Jackfruit and Papaya as well as Starfruit are all to be found here as well as Konyakku root (also known as Konjac) being displayed by a traditional roadside stand with various goodies on display.  

Finally there was a few hokey fairtrade bits and pieces that grated not considerably with the whole project, which were hardly few and far between.  It seems that every step you are assaulted with banners for some eco project in the rainforest or climate change.  Some are worthy others actually aren't so bad, but be warned that there are legion and nigh on unavoidable. 

*Sadly the cactus dome / storage area, that I saw in a Eden Project Documentary Circa 2005 hasn't materialised.  This would be a putative third dome covering desert areas and xerophytes in general but now seems to be taken over by the core centre instead. 

Anyway not that anyone is remotely listening anymore thats...

the Eden Project, Bodleva, Cornwall. 

£17.50** to get in,  Kids, Students, Pensioners and the Less Able are of course allowed in with a discount. 
**Gitfaiding your fee, gets you free entry and a clear conscience too.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Hiatus #2

We feel another extended break coming on so as always heres some music to tide you over.
http://www.mediafire.com/?hjf585drvphp4ysVideo version of Nightwriters vs Neyo Mashup.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

September Round up.

We don't really have a big overarching theme to this Sunday's update.  We forgot we were going to talk about MTV, and that so you'll have to deal with various little things.

Contra Puzzle.
We got this freebie from an old copy of Mean Machines (purchased in Penzance, with Parodius on the cover), stuck in with a larger puzzle.  Rather than a video game its an actual 200 piece puzzle from the SNES game Contra Spirits (or Super Probotector as it was here).  Memory is telling me Konami actually did jigsaws as a sideline as well as YuGiOh! cards and Tokimeki pillows.  Anyway seeing as the internet has failed to come up with a single image this is an upload of my own (with crucially a piece missing).
This is, crucially the Japanese Box Art.

Beckenham and Croydon.

Two towns that we decided to make a trip to yesterday.  I haven't been to Beckenham in a long long while.  Home to Raven games , who used to sell PC Engine games from the back of CVG (oh arcade games too) back when it regularly gave 6 page reviews to Darkstalkers on the Saturn.

We didn't find Ravens shop and we suspect that they are soley an internet entity now.  However we did explore the town and came to the conclusion that it was rather nice with a decent Smiths and a good few charity shops.  Croydon on the other hand has gone downhill.  As a kid, we went there for Christmas shopping and to see Father Christmas over the Army and Navy store (showing my age).
Now it is totalled through the joint efforts of  junior gangstas and the happy clappy brigade of African churches.   There are a few places where its not a total abortion.  Where Beanos used to be is a few market stalls with one selling corsets! of all things.  X Electronics are still going though with a variety of odd stock in, a mix of electronics at the front and video games at the back.  A broad mix of the current and the retro with a few speccy and even Vectrex games there {It remains the only place I've actually played on a Vectrex}.

Amanda Lear.

Bizarrely shortly after we put up the post on Sat 1 and Electric Blue then I was contacted through my Myspace page to be a friend of mine.   Funny how stuff works out.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A bit about MTV.

Oh joy of joys, not only is FDS Monty Mole finally getting a translation, (thanks Pennywise) but they're bringing Beavis and Butthead back.

I'll say that again they're finally making more proper shows on MTV and not relying on shit like they have done the last 10 years.  Beavis and Butthead were fucking awesome simply for the fact that they were not only the class idiots but because they were sharply observed class idiots.  They're the slackers slacker, whether rooting down the couch for stuff to go couch fishing with, panhandling with Z from Police Academy (he played a Harold Ramp in the episode of the same name) and of course Cornholio Beavis's alter ego emerging in times of extreme crisis (read sugar rush) chatting about his bunghole and TP the best thing ever.

Finally its the best things that are largely absent from the video compilations and DVDs put out, Music Videos and B'N'Bs stock demolition of each and every one of them.   Edie Bricknell Pinching a Loaf, to wanting to pee on Blur (and apart from the sublime Monkey soundtrack who wouldn't) their put downs rocked.
A raver like me getting into weird metal stuff like Suicidal Tendancies and Danzig (hey Mother does rock even if I still hate guitar stuff with a vengance).  They sometimes played other weird stuff too like MC 900ft Jesus with Beavis singing throughout much to Buttheads annoyance. 

I can sort of remember B'N'Bs church song, Beavis yelling fire at things oh and Butthead being summoned out of the crapper by Beavis because there was bare ass on TV (and him to repeat the trick because there was a dog with a surgical brace round its neck thus earning him a dig to the nads). 

Though I like King of the Hill, and am pretty sure Hanks a relative to Tom Anderson, its great to see Beavis and Butthead return.  May the new episodes rock as hard as the older ones.  I said hard Heh Heh.

Oh and they'll be more on MTV mainly Partyzone stuff and the birth of the career of Davina Mc Call for all the good its done mankind.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Irasshai

Heres a bit of an oddity, the ever reliable Snesorama boards have provided possibly one of the oddest Playstation games around a noodle stand simulator.  Not just any old noodle stand simulator but something that plays halfway between a radio play and a noodle sim. Its basically a noodle stand simulator with heavy (and we do mean heavy) amounts of voice acting.  Factor in that it has full Pocketstation support (for a noodle timer and mini game Ki Ki no Ippatsu) and you really must wonder what they have been toking down at Tomy corporation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UB-nhUabwk Check out the intro, that we literally sweated blood to upload.  Thanks to Hugh from WOSforum for pointing out PSXMC for future PSX Str / XA file ripping.

Now for the rant part, we've tried about 3 or so different programs and found that playing Str and XA programs are pretty outdated, not only that but none of them support my DVD / CD drive not PSXMC is the best but still won't play anything without plug ins that we haven't found so we'll make it our mission to at least get this out dated piece of junk working.  I'm surprised the hacking community haven't actually made something to view at least XA or STR files, I'll probably be proved wrong on all counts but, surely an up to date and modern viewer is at least what we can expect.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Everyone talk about... Pop music.

All I ever hear nowadays on the radio R+B.  I'll rephrase that, all I ever hear is hateful 'music' put out by screaming histrionic women and mongoloid rappers.  Thats radio that is and if you sincerely want anything that touches the lower reaches of 200bpm or makes weird sounds then tough, they don't do it.  There's enough interest in rock to keep Radio 2 in buisness for years to come, and I'll be honest its ideal to work too as it makes no demands on its user being the aural equivalent of grey wallpaper.   They can even surprise you by putting out say a live set by an out of sorts Incognito.  {Which makes you wonder what the Brand New Heavies are up to these days... Apparently nothing.}

No the worst thing is this, if you're young, all the programming you have is heavily skewed to Rap and R+B with maybe some Grime or token dance thrown in for good measure.  I'm  approaching my mid thirties and largely put up with this shit the first time round and you know what it sucked then and it sucks now.  Stations like Capital or KISS and many more rely on  playlists to generate songs for broadcast, and in Capitals case rinse and repeat every track so the same 3-4 tracks come up again and again.  No wonder I called it Capital punishment. 

Kiss of course used to be entirely acceptable back in the day, when all they had to lose what their licence when raided by the DTI, however they lost pretty much all that made them unique back in the mid to late 90's with the migration of Solid Steel to BBC London, {Steve Jackson I think} and Colin Favers techno show to the bin of history.  They still run specialist music but only for insomniacs, apparently real dance is to be ghettoised forever into the wee small hours never to engage or interest anyone.

Back in the day they had house with Alex P and Brandon Block (with their Rule Brittania cover jingle.)
A pretty decent show on Sunday where they played underground hits and asked folk to name a mystery song, which was nearly always some kind of 80's soul.  Though one time it was Nexy Lantons You too.  Sadly though it didn't last and by the time speed garage came out Kiss was entirely shit from start to finish, the last time it rocked was Princess Diana died, and they suspended all regular programming for largely house and techno.

The motto if you listen to the mainstream, don't complain when that supply is poisoned forever and ever.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Foreign TV on British cable #2 the rest of the world.

Yep we're back a little later but here is part 2.

We covered Germany last time so here is France, Spain and Arabic channels.

France was covered by the venerable TV5, and seemed to show a nonstop diet of Subtitled films, none of them pornography. It was situated on channel 15 just down from the original discovery channel and where I could link to wikipedia and such, to be honest I spent most of my time watching Discovery Channel.

Spain is covered by TVE another seemingly ancient channel, and to be honest the only thing I like watching on there was Precio Justo (Price is right).  Incidentally both TVE and TV5 are still part of your Sky package lurking somewhere in the morass of asian channels in the upper reaches of the EPG.

MBC lurked around the mid thirties on your cable box and to be honest wasn't really watched at all in our house, except when they showed a locust swarm when our Moroccan neighbour came over.
That and MBC Movies from a holiday in Cyprus but we'll casually forget about that.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Foreign TV on British cable #1 Germany.

This is really just some random posting of stuff about foreign channels you got with your cable and where applicable satellite.

We'll start with the most infamous, the German channels everyone remembers these because they had softcore porno at 10pm on a Saturday.

There were two channels you had on cable and an extra one if you had satellite.  These were of course, Sat 1, 3Sat and RTL (satellite only).

3Sat was mostly like BBC4, concentrated highbrow programming on the arts and architecture, when you are a teen these came across as unutterably dull.  Even worse than that the channel was located on channel 21,  sandwiched between MTV and Nickelodeon.  It therefore never stood a chance.

RTL. You only got this on Satellite and analogue satellite at that.  As a consequence I only really saw this when staying over at my aunts.  The only thing I can remember seeing on there was a dubbed Captain Tsubasa (probably as Campeones or the German equivalent) and the Megaman cartoon, (both of which never made it to the UK).  Its British equivalent would be a non shit ITV.

Sat1. German equivalent to Channel 5 and yes all anyone remembers from this is the porno.
They did other things such as a general sing along a good 15 years before the BBC decided that was all that people needed on a Saturday night. Oh and Man Oh Man, where a woman pushes a guy in a swimming pool before a crowd of screaming women.  The English version contained Chris Tarrant long before Millionaire payed his pension cheques for life.  And yes it was sexist shit.

 Ok we've put this off for as long as I can.  Pornwise they showed a lot of 70's softcore stuff, Largely Schulmadchen report and Elf Tag Elf Nacht with Sarah Asproon, though at one time it was Carry on Emmanuelle with Kenneth Williams, which was a major disappointment, we are not Jacking off to Babs Windsor not then and certainly not now.  Oh and Electric Blue, which was the first ever place I ever saw Custers Revenge for the Atari 2600.

Memory is telling me that they also had Amanda Lamb singing and dancing under a strip light for some unknown reason.  Of course its not the A Place In The Sun star but Amanda Lear, though if Channel 4 ever do Children in need I'll pledge £5 for the privelige especially if they get Kirstie Alsopp in rubber (though to be fair I don't actually have a fetish for rubber) and Phil in short leather pants for the Girls / Gays.

Custers Revenge was part of a special on erotic games, seeing as every Electric Blue was shot in the 1980s we sincerely believed that they were released for ZX Spectrum.  We had a VCS at the time and couldn't quite believe that they would release porn for it.  Only looking at EGM later in a big Seanbaby article on crap games, there was Custers revenge along with a handful of other shit porn games for VCS.  Would love to see this again as due to limits of VCS programming Custers penis was detachable.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Holiday TV round up.

Part 2 of our holiday special see's us not only reminisce about some great holiday TV but something from work.

We normally don't talk about work, not that its forbidden or nowt but simply because its routine and boring, there's only so much you people could take before your eyes glaze over.  However last friday we cleared out the grass bank at Galena.  Its the mother of all slopes at the back of our tea room and largely a dangerous place.
Doing so we managed to find about 6 Slow Worms hidden underneath various bags and stones,  ranging from small coppery coloured youngsters to a large brown adult male, it was heartening to see them there.  Previously we used to collect them from the self same site when we were kids, and kept one for 3 days until it escaped into the garden. 

OK back to holiday tv,  My parents had the room with the TV so if you wanted to see anything you needed to get a hold of the remote and go surfing.  Sadly English channels bottomed out around Channel 17 with half either fuzz or the ominous no signal.  The rest were German TV and were nothing to write home about, sorry Germans.  English was BBC Northern Ireland (previously Ulster), an Intermittent ITV though thats a blessing seeing the shit they put out, and various guest channels, (German Eurosport and Sky News) with rolling coverage of  Raoul Moat "heroically" blasting his wife, her lover, and a blameless Police Officer before doing the world a big favour and shooting his own steroid addled brains out with a shotgun.  As you can see I have little time for the cunt.

No if you wanted different you had to tune into Spanish TV.  A mix of TV news and Telenovela Spain never disappoints, mainly because they're the only people to have decent kids TV in the mornings.  Oh and Doraemon in Catalan.  Its divided up into TVE, Cinco and Siete as main stations, and is based on a mix of dubbed imports (an impressive Stargate Atlantis comes to mind and a patchy Simpsons with Marge and Lisa being spot on but Apu sounding not unlike Mr Burns), home grown Loose Women type shows and crappy lottery game style shows. 

Worse was the TV shopping shows, this includes a Gold for Euro advert, seeing as that pox has reached Europe too.   Psychics, including the old, the fat and someone who worryingly looked like Jo Brand.  All with a mix of contact ads underneath, so if you don't want your palm read you could always ring up for a fat mature (shudders).

Best of all is Aprende Ingles a station dedicated to teaching the Spanish, English.  Run by Richard Vaughan a Texan, who is the spitting image of dead comedian Bill Hicks if he'd lived to his 50's.
Richard Vaughan

Bill, sorry Richard is the host for most of the shows and is largely there to promote English use amongst the Spanish.  However for kids there's Davey the Dog.  Davey is of course no ordinary dog, being host Marcus Giovanni in a dogsuit.  Yugioh! fans may remember Joey in a similar suit, well this dude does it for real, not only that but he sings Old Mac Donald and various songs.  Its utterly funny but for all the wrong reasons, a proper Meme in motion that would only require a dedicated 4Channer to turn into an internet phenomenon.

Last but not least there is an unknown show that
seems to involve either something from Dig dug or  Black and White Minstrels.  Videoclip of course later.
Bill Hicks Uncanny huh.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Holiday round up.

First some sad news, Alex Higgins known to millions as the Hurricane has been blown out from this world sadly due to complications with cancer.  I'll repeat this that I first saw him on TV as a kid, playing Jimmy White, the guy won a match against him pulling off crazy shots, half the time not in position at all.  He will be missed.

Secondly out thoughts go out to those victims of the loveparade tragedy, the more I read of this, the more I'm saddened by the whole organisation.
Go here and click on the video for more info, actually, fuck the BBC and go here for all the info. Man they had Anthony Rother playing as well, thats tough dudes.

Finally some good news WosBlog is back up and running, no thanks to shameless plagiarist Olin Coles at Benchmark reviews.


Ah You'll be wondering where we were for at least a fortnight, Well we were living it up in Mallorca at the lovely resort of Son Baulo.  Its in the north east of the island to the east of the town C'an Picafort, notable attractions include.

Son Real Necropolis, an Iron age {though they call it stone age, its in operation circa 7-5C BCE so really iron age.}
Bar Puput, which we previously thought of only as onomatopeia for africans talking but is actually the English for bar Hoopoe (a type of bird). 
A good 2 miles plus of Sand dune coastline, complete with eel grass covered beaches and wild leeks.

Not your conventional trips out but still worth a look especially if you looking for nature.  Most of these areas are of course covered by the environmental protection and the Mallorquin take real pride in their natural landscape, which is how it should be.  We saw a lot of butterflies, including Swallowtails and Brimstones and an awful lot of cicadas, which was very unusual by their extreme conspicuousness.  Also they have walks organised to the Son Real estate, a farm that also operates as the local museum.  Its pretty cool to see, a mix of farming implements and memories of the way of life of the workers.  The top two floors held a photo exposition on the local birdlife (ducks featured prominently there's quite a lot of standing water there) and the necropolis down on the coast.

video
One of the things they didn't mention, was that they had wild tortoises. We only saw the one, but it was utterly entrancing.  Its about the size of a rich tea biscuit and near enough the same colour, it spent its time slowly making its way across the path in the woods.  Just in case you don't believe me we took video to back up our information.  In this case we will leave you with ten seconds of tortoise magic.

Friday, 23 July 2010

This is why we can't have nice things.

For those of you who are slow on the uptake WosBlog has been taken offline.  It had been running a story against the site Benchmark tech for pilfering  from puff pieces and marketing guff put out by a posh chair company in its review of a swanky chair.  Full drama plays out here.

Consequently they put up a cease and desist order along with blocking the Revs many Email Addresses from posting comments in their forums, the upshot is WosBlog is banzored.

Now I don't agree with all that Stu says and that: I wasn't around in the Early 90's years when he was in Amiga Power, only getting an Amiga long after it died in the mid to late 90's.   I only got into him as the angry guy from Digitiser, who pissed off Amiga owners in their droves (or rather drove) calling for its extinction, and railing against laborious PC setups and non re definable keys in FPS games.

I've been a WOS member long before the long and acrimonious split that created BX from his whole £2 a month subscribers bonus supergroup, and long, long before world of trolls and the whole flat top hate site.

We fully hope that this whole mess will be sorted out sooner or later but for now from me (Adam) we'll say this.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Happy 50th post

If you haven't gathered were back from holiday, two weeks in the sun, so we have the equivalent of being snowed under by various junk mail and of course Youtube updates.

Consequently theres no update this week, but we'll keep plugging away throughout with various bits of shit.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Hiatus

We'll not be updating for a while so to tide you over here is a short video we made to get you in the mood.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsjjsB8-LKI

Ne Yo Beautiful Monster 80's Cover.

Contains 303 beats and Chris Crocker.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

What is Purgatory

You know there is a 10th layer of hell reserved right now for people who do this, and by this we mean tennis.

Probably the most boringest of games imaginable so imagine my utter dismay when they had this crop up during Wimbledon fortnight.  70 - 68 thats over 12 bloody hours to resolve a fucking tennis match.  Though unpopular this is what I propose that tennis should become.
Get rid of love , advantage, power serves and double bounce and all that shit.Takes far too long.

Instead implement this.  Get it into the boxes to win the said amount. People run on in Mascot costumes and could be hit with a tennis ball for big points.
If it looks like an old Binatone game made live, then yeah, so what, thats what tennis should be.











Two guys (or girls ED) slogging it ou, andt the first to fifteen wins, by my reckoning you would have Wimbledon done in under three days, sorted.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Terry vids

Amiga gameplay vid complete with ItaloDisco theme and eyepopping graphics.


C64 level 1 speed run with Jazzy music and a more pleasing colour scheme.

There that should illustrate what that big wall o text I wrote out much better than me struggling to explain everything.

Terry's big adventure.

There are certain games you grew up with, that although no one ever new, you know deep down they would be special.  NES Bubble Bobble, Valkyrie Profile PS1 and Terrys Big Adventure C64.  Picked up from a market stall in Woolwich market for the princely sum of about £2, Terrys Big Adventure was an ace platform game sort of in the style of the Mario games but of course on the C64.  Unlike such blatant clones as Giana Sisters (which was German and riddled with cheap deaths) Terrys was a completely balanced and tough platformer in the vein of Mario. 

A small character that looks like the tenor from the Go Compare adverts, Terry is armed with rocks and his trusty yo-yo to dispatch enemies, in fact later levels would make use of the rocks to dispatch enemies immune to a  good yo-yoing!.  The fact that learning the layout of the levels meant that you could with some skill make it through to the later levels with no problems was all the more wiser for a hamfist like myself.   It was also tough too, learning to duck under enemies and lightning bolts, avoid poison mushrooms and leap on certain bricks to reveal hidden bonus rooms were all part and parcel and while old games were tough Terrys was completely fair.  If you died its because you hadn't learned the layout or misjudged a jump. 

Random events lead me to the fact that there was an Amiga version available, and with some curiosity, download it from Zophars Rom Subdirectory.  And thats when it all went wrong. 
Memories from  C64 days have not been kind, whereas the original C64 game was quite subdued in its colour scheme, the Amiga version has that strange colour pallete that old A500 titles had, making it seem like its escaped from the Playschool set.  The gameplay is still the same however and even now I made it to Level 2 with little loss of life (where I was tragically slaughtered, thanks to poison mushrooms and the push scrolling). 

Musically though, its gone through some changes.  The original C64 theme was pretty jazzy and fitted the mood perfectly, possibly due to the fact the score was done by Allister Brimble, though he's only credited for the Amiga Score. Full Brimble Discography Pdf Heeyar.

The Amiga score doesn't really fit, being a storming Italo disco / Euro style track, which makes you wonder what the original was based on. 

All in all its a missed opportunity and  though still good, is a come down from the excellent C64 game.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup

Its coming home, Oh...
Well its started, football is coming home again, and by football of course we mean the World Cup which we'll definitely win this year cos the Sun told us and they don't lie. OK, hyperbole over with, football's coming home early, an ignominious Quarter final exit, dropped out on penalties, morose, boozed up and trophy-less, crying into its cross of St George before repeating the whole shebang 4 years later.


If you can't tell I've got no real time for Soccer / Football call it what you will.
I've had a token likeness of Liverpool for years and will on occasion watch them play on TV, but mainly I'd really prefer to see the result in tomorrows paper than watch live.

In fact the world cup has made is especiallly hard for someone like me, not only is it played in South Africa a country I dearly love (I defy any right thinking person not to be moved seeing Namaqualand in full bloom) but their actual mascot is a dung beetle, which is pretty damned epic.  Oh and watching it on television is really surreal thanks to the countless Vuvuzelas being blown in the stadium, the result  is a wall of drone like noise punctuated with random drumming, sort of like if Merzbow were to create the official world cup song, (in fact please do then they'd have to play it on radio 2 and everything).

In fact this is a pet project of mine*, thus having no real love of the game, I would love to see them put on a shit world cup.  Not the top league game that the world cup is, but the dregs of the football league, also rans from the world of soccer, your Australia, Sao Tome et Principe, Greenland and San Marino quality teams.  A celebration of the worst the team has to offer, none of the big footballing countries would take part.  No England, (unless say its a Sunday League team), but a chance for Wales, Scotland and Isle of Man to shine.

A truly representive world cup that reflects the loserness of football, only losing teams go through and theres a crap plastic beaker or pound store knock off of the classic Jules Rimet trophy given to the eventual winner making them the worlds shittest team.

*NNGH the other dream is that Crazy Golf (or minigolf to non english) is televised just like regular golf with all the reverence of the regular show and Peter Alliss doing a voice over.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

WinUAE

Been playing around with this for a week or so. In fact its more like the pure unalloyed joy of Winuae, plus Octamed 5 and a few sound samples and a throwback to the late nineties when I made Dance music just for me. Friday night I called MED night, an excuse to fire up Soundstudio on the Amiga and put some tracks together, in order to emulate my heroes (Largely Derrick May and Juan Atkins but latterly Electro, thanks to Dave Clarkes Electro Boogie X Mixes). Oh and some dub too we never released any of our stuff, although I did give a split tape of Music 2000 Tracks and Amiga hits to a mate. Depressingly none of the tracks convert well when transferring them across to MP3 file format on PC, and we did some corkers (as well as some right old shit).

Sadly WinUAE doesn't make it easy for you, and could really do with taking a leaf out of the Playstation Emulation scene, that relies on plugins for most tasks. There is a big fuck off list of things covering the likes of for various processors, Kickstart roms (Amiga BIOS, display options and Adf Files of old floppy games. Its frighteningly complete and at the same time arcane and obscure heres a list of stuff that I've come across.

Recording.

Getting a video or audio clip of anything is a prime example of the pure unfriendliness of WinUAE, something that is a simple dropdown menu command in Nestopia, actually takes numerous trips to various menus in WinUAE, specifying commands and resolutions and even then your never sure if it'll work. (In fact if it does, it'll run so slowly while doing this you'll wonder why you bothered in the first place). Adding a category to the side bar with a few output options and codecs could alleviate this a lot.

File formats.

Currently all you can run is ADF files which are copies of the Amigas floppy disk format, its the only format that WinUAE recognises and nothing else. Which is a shock because late in the Amigas life most stuff would have been released on CDROM instead of Floppy, and yet its not covered, no iso. or CDROM for you. Another shock is that there is a rival format called IPF international preservation format which covers disks too and yet requires a plugin (which despite following its instructions WinUAE will not recognise). Lastly Amigas use the lha. format to pack files (zip is never used - though lzx is). Look on Aminet and you'll see miles of lha. files without exception, and yet WinUAE relies only on ADF only.

ADF ADF (sorry Earth Defence Force).

The other thing with ADF files its that nothing and I mean nothing will open them or indeed create them save for a few transfer programs. While this isn't actually a problem for WinUAE indeed this is its strength that it can make new ADF files to store programs and files, its certainly needs looking at.

Stuff WinUAE does well.

F12 Program break.

This is probably the best of the lot you can exit the program at any time by pressing F12, to switch disks or generally fiddle with the settings. Remains a genuine feather in its cap and a true modern achievement.

List of stuff.

The big list at the side of WinUAE is not only baffling but counts as one of its most joyful things, finding the quickstart guide and everything else is a breeze because its all labelled correctly. Changing between Amigas and going from the and ancient A1000 to a no less venerable but capable A1200 with 060 processor and 128meg of ram.

Stuff I wish WinUAE did.

Used a folder on the desktop as a harddrive, because while most amigas didn't have them, they were more common during the late phase when Commodore went bankrupt and acutally became an necessity in the end.

Didn't distinguish between chip ram and regular ram, an A500 with 4GB memory, fuck yeah, make it so.

Use samples and stuff already on your desktop. Unlikely, it would take an awful lot of converting to IFF. or Raw format, to make this work.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Update.

We now have a spiffy radio app thing. It's from the good people over at IntergalacticFM. so if your eyes glaze over when reading, there will always be some awesome music to keep you rockin'.

Oh and a new hero has been added to the Roll Call. It's the guys at funny exams man, your one stop shop for exam howlers, (oh and giraffe pictures too). Makes me laugh so it joins the hero list.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sorry lone viewer.

First of all thanks to Virgin Media being cunts, last weeks post didn't go up.  We were offline for a whole week, on the plus side its given us more time to think of new stuff.  Oh and we finished Mario 4 off, so we'll talk about that.

Mario 4. 
Stage 3 as we left it was rather normal no real flubs just being rather too long and no real checkpoints.  Oh and joy of joys a piranha plant as boss.  One which can make fists magically appear and float across and attack you.

Which leaves the final level (apparently thats why its called Mario 4, four levels see.) and oh boy is it a stinker.
Looking like the bastard son of Adventure Island and playing sort of like every B list platformer you come to know and love its the pinnacle of bad design.  There are leaps of faith, ill positioned enemies and water that'll seemingly kill you without a second glance.  It also reduces the bloober enemies from Mario to humble stepping stones.  There are further short gaps to kill you off and at the end a terrifying bear as a boss (alright predictable bear as boss).  Your reward for all this.  Mario indulges in some pocket pool while unfitting music plays.  Overall 52%

Dirty Boy









Eurovision on. 
Are you a non discerning member of the LGBT community, a masochist or simply Terry Wogan then you won't have failed to notice that its Eurovision time again (and that the fact is its over and won by Germany, but we won't dwell on that).  The BBC were hyping up our chances to win, it seems our song was done by legendary producers Lock Stock and Walkman, (Mike Stock, and Pete Waterman and Steve Crosby) after hearing our song That sounds good to me, Crosby, Stills and Gash.  Considerable Radio 2 play made the fucker inescapable, with every presenter saying its a great song, though it wasn't, which made it all the more awful.

Hopefully next year we get Poland, or the Ukraine to do our entry, they always put some nutter forward (subs please check) up on stage, so next year, its a full comeback for Timmy Mallet, in a Tinfoil hat and massive, massive specs, and nothing else.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Unlicensed Mario Joys.

Think you can reach that star? Think again

Finally we've got our fingers out to give you Super Mario 4 for the Gameboy, the review.  There are plenty of things in life to make you frown, such as Westlife in concert, a season dedicated to Cilla Black and on a game, unlicensed version.  Check out Chrono Trigger for the NES for what must be the worst of all pirate ports.

Thankfully Mario 4 is not that bad.

We first got this from a bootsale on a multi cart with Sailormoon, Bomberman GB 3 and an isometric puzzler from Kemco called Snoopy: Hajimete no Otsukai.  (Snoopys opening tasks, thanks to JDict for the translation.) and we found it to be a badly designed and massively unfair game and to be honest our view on this has mellowed as we played it out. 

The game plays sort of like Mario as we know it, there are mushrooms, coins, and starmen, they just don't work like they do in regular Mario.  Mario starts out full sized (no little Mario here unless he takes a hit) and has the odd, but useful ability to throw mushrooms around.  His main enemies are of course Chameleons and Scorpions (I'm sure you'll know what Mario games they are from :)) with the odd goomba to distract him from all the chameleons.  He has the feather cap from Marioland 2 to help him fly and it also fires feathers which is useful.  Yoshi appears as a disembodied head to pick up, this will make you invincible for a short time, it also makes you shoot fireballs too. Coins will give you an extra life but only when you collect 30 of them instead of 100.   Starmen are merely there to stop you dying needlessly by absorbing hits from the enemies.  They are nigh on invaluable from the first stage onward thanks to stupid level design, so get all you can (unless its in that image up top then its out of reach). 

Ah yes level design, one stage each, often split into several areas,  and no checkpoints - if you die there, then you are sent back to the beginning of the stage.  Level 2 is a nightmare of bad level design, bad enemy placement and dumb luck. 

                                          For Example. The ladders here are broken into three pieces so you have to jump
                                         between each part to stand a chance of making it to the top.
This part is especially mean spirited, the Penguin you see here doesn't move from the top of the ladder meaning that even if you are Big Mario (and you'll need to be to even reach that thanks to more shoddy level design work), you won't be for long, and to make it through you'll need to grab a lot of stars in stage 1 to even stand a chance of making it through. 


Stage 3 isn't bad, it has goombas in fork lifts and we haven't made it through yet, but it still is tricky.
Bosses are at the end of each stage, Level one sees your one and only Koopa Troopa, a kind of bubble blowing turtle, who is a push over, level 2 has a weird Sonic alike that when hit reverts to a Bullet Bill. 
Overall If we complete it well give it a solid 52%

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Grand Day Out.

First of all I'd like to thank Neil Robertson for winning the snooker 18-13. That was cool though we didn't stay up all the way through.  No what we are really going to do this time is talk about a few trips up to London itself, starting with a visit to the Natural History Museum.

Butterflies.
A place I often went to as a kid, they have stuffed birds and insects in cases which was cool but now they focus on exhibitions like this.

The butterfly exhibition is out on the green where you come out from the tube, they have a small marquee where the butterflies were housed and it costs £6 to get in.  Inside you have some information on what creatures you'll be looking at and where they come from.  They had a small case showing with pupal cases in and show some of the butterflies hatching out.  We saw a few Morpho species as well as loads of Owl Butterfly.  In fact we have come to the conclusion that Owl Butterflies are natures slackers unwilling to fly even when poked, they just lay around feasting on rotting pineapple and banana.  Apart from The Americas there were butterflies from all over the globe although Europe was held outside with the rain and the murk.
Overall not bad at all.

South Africa Garden British Museum.

Our other expedition was to the British Museum, in order to see their South African Display.  A small garden area out the front of the museum, surrounded by people eating hot dogs and only a few taking photos.  Quite an impressive array of succulents there, not limited to the more massive Aloes, Barbierae and Marlothii took center stage backed up by some impressive Quiver trees (Aloe Dichotoma).  Two types of  Euphorbia, Ingens the big cactus type and pencil stemmed milk bush Tirucalli.  They had some information relating to how these were used by the Zulu and other tribal nations which was interesting, Euphorbias as a tribal remedy to cure cancer (though you would probably die of the toxins in the milky sap long before your cancer went into remission).  Less documented were small clumps of Trichodiadema  and I believe a Fockea hidden amongst larger Pachypodims.

They had a massive Dioscorea on show with a huge caudex like a mound of cracked mud, and Proteas too in flower which was impressive.

Odds and Sods

In Woolwich we saw some preacher chatting about Jeesuss, his Missus also had a Mic though she sounded exactly like Droopy.

Also some kittens in a pet shop wrestling, little black kitten was using the 'top rope' of the cage to leap on the other kittens very awesome.

A proper one man or rather one clown band with guitar and a kazoo.
Some freakish old lady with black rimmed eyes like a vampire.
video
and finally you're not allowed to take photos in arcades anymore we may actually write more about this, as it seems entirely wrong headed and petty.  We have very poor footage of Haniwa De Go by Taito in fact we'll definitely do more on this as theres precious little information online about this at all.

Oh and we'll try and make it a double bill with unlicensed Mario too.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Mayday

Forgive me if this sucks but its written on my aunts laptop (we're down for the holidays and its the first time I've actually used one).  After last week, a lots happened, Steve Davis is out of the snooker, ironically to Neil Robertson who could be the first non UK resident to win the title in ages, fingers crossed.  We'd also like to thank the Greenwich Unison team for all their help too, well done guys.

As for Mario we haven't actually downloaded it yet so no review, but I will say this it involves some of the most hateful level designs after the first stage, we may believe its actually impossible to complete this without tearing out your hair, or heavy savestate abuse.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Snooker Mario.

First up I'd like to say a big thumbs up to my boss for truly fucking up my life (its such a pity we can't render sarcasm in text mode). However what we'd really like to do is, genuinely give thanks to Steve Davis, who at the age of 53 is currently in the quarter finals of the World Masters Snooker. He was my childhood idol, a consummate professional and a genius on the baize so well done Steve.

Like a lot of folks I have real difficulty when they change the name of things, Opal Fruits, Marathons and Oil Of Ulay oh and Jif don't get me started on Jif. But the biggest one is of course the Embassy World Masters or whatever its politically correct to call it now. I've touched on my love of snooker before but I think its time to fully explain it to everyone whos reading.

Most of the time we saw the snooker it was either at my nans or at my grandads house in west London. They both had small tables probably xmas presents to me, so I could play while I was over there. At my nans place my aunt and uncle lived upstairs and their dog Jet would often lurk under the sofa hoping to snag any stray balls that would fly off the sofa. He would then need to be bribed with biscuits to stop him swallowing any balls he caught. We never really had a proper set either, being as I also had a larger table at home, these motley crew of snooker balls were either beaten up spares or worse beads, you try breakbuilding when the object ball is either half or two thirds smaller then your cue ball. We remember the blue being especially tiny.

Cues left a lot to be desired as well, we never had any tips on them so shot making was largely hit and hope (factor in Jet, still lurking under the sofa to pick out stray shots and you have quite an entertaining game).

Home proved less fraught, the only hazard was Weedle the cat, who would either sleep on the table or if in a playful mood stick a paw up the pocket and assault the nearest ball.

We'd like to think we were any good but the best break we had was about 32, possibly due to the lame cues you had and possibly due to pets. So the best thing was to watch the pros on TV and see how its done properly.

Back then most of the non English players in the mid 80's were mainly Canadians such as Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens and big Bill Werbeunik playing on the international circuit, rather like the current crop of up and coming Chinese players. On the home front, we had Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Tony Meo, Tony Knowles, Terry Griffiths and Dennis Taylor. Add in old school players like John Spencer and Eddie Charlton and 8 ace clone Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and the stage was set for the Embassy World Championships.

The Embassy Championship was a big part of my life, sitting back with family watching frame after frame and cheering on whoever was winning at the time. Normally, Steve Davis (6 times world champion dont'cha know), but we also had time for Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White and later on Paul Hunter ( who's sadly no longer with us). My nan really didn't like Stephen Hendry (too surly) but I didn't mind him, and when she moved to Woolwich from round the corner to us we would come home from school and sit down and watch TV.

So there you have it, thats what made us like snooker watching it at my nans, oh and as for Mario, well I'm afraid I just liked the pun, to be honest though, if you're reading Nintendo how about that as a regular sports game instead of tennis or golf.

Next time (If I remember,) we'll get round to reviewing a Super Mario 4 for Gameboy. Part of the pirate range.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Kinda like Kinder.


Kiiinderrrrrr. Chocadooby, TOOOOY. Hallo viewers, you may think I've lost my mind when they say they've made a video game out of Kinder everyones favourite choccy egg. Rather than star the sinister egg beast, its based on their Happy Hippo range of collectable toys, and was only released in Germany.

But first a little history for those who don't know or shock horror can't receive Kinder stuff. They are a popular European chocolate treat featuring two chocolate half shells and a plastic container either containing a self assembly toy or a fully formed figurine made out of plastic. Rarely though you'll get a small card puzzle to assemble. I've got a range of self assembly stuff including a dragon, a small toucan with mini crayons in and best of all a small ship. Figurines range from the aforementioned Happy Hippo, Nobita from Doraemon and a load of ghosts and a few lions from what we called the Leofelcher range, though I suspect they have a non perverted original name.

I don't know if the Happy Hippos have any love on the continent but they barely register here, they are also a sweet too, being largely sesame covered biscuit with a rank hazelnut center, a part of the trinity of vile snacks shared by Kinder Malo and Pork Scratchings for sheer hideousness.

Called das geheimnis der Happy Hippo insel or the secret of happy hippo island via Google translate it was a child friendly platformer that got a release in Germany only, and only for Gameboy Colour. It was produced by JoWood and involves you hippo travelling across Happy Hippo Island avoiding all manner of beasties and putting out fires and animals set ablaze! by the volcano. Across the way you'll save other Happy Hippos and learn all manner of passwords and cheat codes to help you on your way. Attacks are by lobbing water bombs and coconuts at enemies, and later on a sonicesque ground roll.

The first thing you'll notice is that theres no lives at all just a water bar that when depelted will kill off your hippo. You have essentially infinite lives though and whereas contact with enemies, regular platforming environmental hazards like leaps of faith and coconuts will kill you off, theres no real way to die, meaning no matter how much you suck, you'll still make it through.

Graphics are quite nice, don't know how many onscreen colours the GBC could do, but theres some good gradient fills there. Sound also is good, plenty of decent chiptunes here for your pleasure, look on Youtube under its German name to find them. Gameplay as I mentioned is on the easy side, but is perfect for kids whether they know German or not.

We do not know if they work but I'll print up all the cheats to the game, you get these after clearing every level.

Key, D= DOWN, U= UP, L = LEFT, R = RIGHT

A,A,D,U,D
U,D,U,A,D
D,U,U,A,U
D,A,D,D,U
A,D,U,U,A