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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Trips out.

First of all, I'd like to say a sad farewell to Loleatta Holloway, who by the sad coincedence of dying at the same time as Liz Taylor didn't get the send off she deserved.  We'll always remember you as  the voice of disco and a thousand unofficial house tracks, we'll add this link to Ellis D My Loleatta as it captures her at her best even if it was bootlegged by Brian Forest.

Secondly we had a grand trip out to the Ideal home exhibition in Earls Court.  Our primary objective was to find the Nintendo stand and blag ourselves a go on the new 3DS, however despite being advertised, we never actually found it.  Our record of trade show stuff is pretty woeful,  Last time was a go on the Phillips stand circa 1994.  They offered up Hotel Mario and Burn Cycle which were pretty average if I did say so myself.  Burn Cycle was a sort of Interactive Movie shooter in which a woman kept saying shoot now in your ear, and Hotel Mario is a bastard mix of door closing and Elevator Action with execrable animation, utterly redeemed by Youtube Poop.  It could easily be reworked for the SNES if the shonky cut scenes were erased or left as stills thats how basic the game is.

Anyway if you couldn't make it or weren't bothered enough to go, the exhibition in a nutshell is basically a live version of the kind of home shopping channels running at the higher limits of Sky.

Hi. I'm Billy Mays.
With Prominent posters of Linda Barker, and Fiona Phillips the show itself was dedicated to the expensive and the gadget orientated.  A load of food stalls and home beauty stands mixed with the occasional toy or big business stand, (Nissan and Virgin Media this time) Ideal Home is the perfect balance of the unaffordable and the Rinky Dink in one.   They recreated the Rovers Return pub from Corrie and had a big lake in the middle of the center for some reason.

Certain stuff was nice if you had the room, the games company could do you a cocktail mame cab for 6 grand, or the latest pinball (Stern's Rolling Stones) for 4.  There were the usual rubbish adjustamatic beds, non sexual massagers and beauty therapy stuff.  Oh and free samples of food which is always nice.

We will leave you with what could be the worst celebrity snap of all time.  Linda Barker.
Is that her? Behind the camera?

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Stuff I didn't know

Welcome to an occasional column where I discuss stuff that quite frankly I didn't know existed but actually does exist.  Two fascinating facts for you here.

Fact one.

Bob Carolgees has his own candle shop.

I'll say that again, Bob Carolgees of spit the dog fame has his own candle shop.

There's a link there proving it, and all told its quite baffling.  How many old quiz show hosts have their own online stores flogging homeware.  Chris Tarrant doesn't have a webshop dedicated to quilts nor does Bob Monkhouse have a store promoting decorative glassware. (though he did have an archive of film of quite staggering proportions in his house)  I find this quite Partridgesque to be honest.  Incidentally if you wish to buy candles from Bob Carolgees or a Spit The Dog puppet you can.

Fact two.

The Japanese electric grid systems run on both a 50HZ and a 60HZ system.

Thanks to this link it proves quite interesting reading.  From a gamer perspective if only they went with a Pal TV option and kept the 50HZ output then you wouldn't really need all the hassle involved to run import consoles, just a plug adaptor like you would use for trips to mainland Europe.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

First bootsale of the year.

First of all I'd like to update you on Neverwinton.  While it does work saving and indeed messing with your body shape will cause it to crash out, this is why I never ever mess with PC games.  We also had the misfortune to play Dragonball Ultimate Battle for PSOne.  We heard it was bad but we didn't imagine it would suck that much.

Oh and a belated if not heartfelt, Sumimasen to those suffering in Japan.  A megaquake, tsunami and reactor meltdown.  Watching NHK news at the devastation, nature can be such a cunt at times.

Anyway, its the first bootsale of the year and the first Saturday one I've ever been to.  Its up at Charlton parks meridian centre, just past the QE Hospital.  A long walk and a 50p entry fee got us some goodies.  Quite a lot of records and tapes, though the amount of non trade people selling were actually few and far between. 

First lulzy stuff.

Pirate stuff.  Mainly some dude flogging Mccarthy antivirus suite with no "Kegen" apparently, but your usual array of stallholders with bent DVDs and CDs.  They had someone with Reason along with non  legit Windows XP and 7.

Bibles.  In some unknown language* (some sort of african dialect, we have a load of africans here) all I could gather was they were called Bibeli Mimo.  Which sounds like some IDM group.

*Ah its Yoruba, (thanks google) which explains alot.  They had Nollywood films too one called Chelsea VS Liverpool.

Stuff I bought.

CDS, a DVD and some records. 

Degrees of Motion Album. 
For some reason, bought  this and two others for a quid, the guy wanted me to grab something else but through all the other stuff he had a lot of stuff I didn't want nor was interested in.
The album is appaling, like a third rate C+C Music factory.  Degrees of motion are best known for the song Do You Want it Right Now, which is a reasonable  track, however the album goes downhill fast after they play this.  Adding some dude to rap and even attempt some ragga at one point is the crappest thing evar our tolerance for dancehall is low. Gyptian and Chaka Demus is about the best I can hack before wanting to commit genocide.

Low price Best of Acid House Volume 1.

Part of low price musics best of acid house box set.  Drawing together the old Acid Trax compilations from Needle / Serious Records and essentially making each one a radio mix, they are not the full length versions as described on the box.  Still they are a nice compilation for those without access to the original records or indeed a box set of 4 CDs that Low Price punted out.


So far the word major disappointment would be gifted out now.  We have Kurtis Mantronik Trickstyle EP as yet unlistened to, and some French Gabber from Psychik Genocide Records. 

We did some major soul searching here.  Both records are fucked, I don't mean scratched but with major chippage to the outside its as if someones taken a chisel and whacked off a good chunk from the edge.  The good news is that it doesn't affect two tracks on the 4 track EPS.  We got a Hardcoholics EP and DJ Radium Vice Machine, both tracks will be uploaded in due time.  We left behind a DJ Promo / Hellfish EP from the same label (similar fate) and a few unofficial bootlegs of D Mob and Inner City.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Neverwinton Nightmares.

This is basically a rant against PC gaming in general.  Stuff that never appears on PC and a few general installation woes thrown in.  If you want an eloquently written rage against the machine here is the Rev's take on the same theme.

For once we decided to take a punt on a pc game for sale up in Oxfam.  Its the critically acclaimed Neverwinter Nights from Bioware.  Unlike Stu who's tolerance of Orc's is set somewhere on the minus area of the chart, I don't mind messing with goblins and the like.  So after putting in the hours with Baldurs Gate Shadows of Amn. We decided to give Neverwinton a punt.  Big mistake.

First up, we decided to Install all three disks, and after much waiting we decided to load up, only to be told that you need a playing disk to play.  Looking in the box we found that there wasn't any such disk there, but a look online on Biowares forums showed that the latest patch actually did away with such things.

Which is our second mistake.  The game is supposed to update and patch itself but for some reason it doesn't well not the latest patch (1.69).  Through more poking on the forum, we found a link to the patch we needed t o download, and it updated our game excellently.  Booting up as normal we found that the game itself crashes out at the title screen, a quick uninstall and a trip to my old PC running XP finally got the game working (well sort of it crashed a character generation screen).

Two things here. Games on PC are always going after the highest spec where most people are running something much, much lower powered.  Why do you think The Sims is so popular, low specs to run and walling people up in the toilet.  (Incidentally my Sims 2 had a bug where they could never order food meaning any relationship was doomed to slow starvation.)

The other stuff is the weird dichotomy of PC gaming, its either call or duty or object poking simulators, leavened with World of Fucking Warcraft and the like.

Harvest Moon could never be made for PC, (though farmville is, I suppose, its coin sucking equivalent)
primary colours aside.  There are never any JRPGS for the pc in mainstream shops, same with Mario and the same with Dodonpachi.  Platformers and 2D shmups are never considered for PC gaming. 

I'd love a fps with the same mentalness as Parodius, giant cats that are half submarine, imagine how much better Call of Duty would be if the Russians wheeled out a massive laser spewing elephant with the communist flag on its back, all the while playing tannenbaum / Red Flag in the background.  Or Wolfenstein where hitlers head could explode like in Bionic Commando.  I don't expect realism in my games, I don't want it dirty, brown or indeed miserable.  Gimme a blue sky and I'm happy, gimme the commie elephant as an end of level boss and i'll even think about playing COD.