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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.

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.
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


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.