Apart from my irreverance of it all, ( lets face it there was jokes rolling in a good day or two after the WTC went down. My favourite lays the blame squarely at the Janitorial staff.. Well they did leave the landing lights on.) there is nothing I can add that hasn't been said a good hundred times before.
|RIP Buddy you'll be missed.|
Ginger bows out at 19
We celebrated our own worst day last Sunday, soon after the blog went out, (about Nazi hedgehogs we believe) when my Dad came in crying. We lost Old Man Ginger, our cat of 19 years. He wasn't well for the past month or two, hanging out by the cooker and not moving far. Certainly not like him at all, he would always be in with us either tucked around on my lap or outside in the garden on the picnic table. We got him from a neighbour about 2 years ago, they called him Tails (they owned a cat called Sonic but unfortunately he got run over when Ginger was about 5ish). He came along to us when we had our old cat and ate her food and decided to make our house his official second home, moving in when we lost her back in 1998. Our neighbours got a second cat called Olly and when they decided to move to the country they said he could stay with us as he was too old to go with them and that he was more ours than theres.
The big guy always sat in with us when making film clips or music and even if he didn't like what we made he'd be there as a constant reminder, sometimes doing the typical cat thing of sitting in front of the screen and being a nuisance. He's buried beneath the conifer tree at the bottom of the garden, with a stone tortoise marking his grave.
We finally have a PSP.
We bought a second hand PSP this weekend for £40 and its a rather neat piece of kit. It totally sums up Sony over the past couple of years, its flashy and shiny, and feels like a smartphone. Its also been hacked to buggery with both the signing keys for it and the PS3 now fully available to hackers and homebrew enthusiasts alike. When it came out we weren't that fussed by it, in fact we were rather taken by the DS Lite with its double screens and GBA slot. In fact for serious gaming that would be our first choice. But over the past few weeks we've been getting into PSP emulation for some unknown reason. Whether its the platform of choice for RPGs, (plenty of Nippon Ichi releases for the hardcore in you) or Monster Hunter (hey it revitalised the PSP in Japan) it seems that in its undeath the PSP is getting interesting. Hopefully we'll add some custom firmware and begin Emulating some stuff. But for now a run down on the PSP itself.
Slick looking piece of kit, with a shed load of buttons, including a big power switch and back tray for your UMD discs. D Pad isn't entirely horrible though the Analogue stick is. Looking like some mutant speaker offshoot, the analogue stick is totally woeful, in the one game I used it, I wished there was a dpad only option its that bad. In more strangeness you have to press the home button to return to the bios screen whenever you play a game as switching the console off merely turns the game off where you left it instead of logging out. Its a really weird and unintuitive way of doing things, and it gets no better from then on.
The firmware is actually kinda nice with a logically laid out screen that lets you scroll through all your choices. In fact this could be the best thing about the PSP, that along with the homebrew community and its emulators. Everything is clearly laid out and seems to run off the x button on the console itself, and its simple to get everything running from that point. You have date and time, video, music and a built in Web browser for surfing the internet (need wireless internet and uses the useless Analogue stick instead of a mouse).To run games you need to select UMD and click on the game itself, and you can even update firmware, though it wouldn't let us downgrade to 1.50 (were running 6.20 nerd fans).
We have two games at present, first is one that came bundled with it from the bootsale stall, its Need for Speed Carbon, the other I bought for £5 and its Lumines.
Need for speed Carbon:
A thug lite car simulator that I played all of five minutes of, no thanks to it being too dark, but mainly using the horrible analogue stick and the unremitting awfulness of it all. You end up in a car smash and after 6 months in hospital you need to get back in the racing saddle by going on illegal drift races.
Nice bits, It uses Tubeway Army's Are Friends Electric on the title screen and there is a screen that says that the cars and people are not fully official in case you have a problem with that, (and if you do I suggest that you GTFO all games should use unlicensed likeness even the official ones).
Nasty bits everything else.
Box building puzzler from Q entertainment and horse poking merchants Ubisoft. You drop bicoloured cubes onto the play area making cubes of one colour before an ever sweeping line erases them. Its largely the same as the PS2 version, with decent music and well suited visual for the PSP screen. In keeping with its bigger brother it takes far too long to get remotely challenging, about twenty minutes in before you are truly taxed, but its not half bad and well suited to the PSP screen.