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Sunday, 30 December 2012

TV Review of This Year.

Now: Nonce. Then : Hero
This has been a funny old year box wise.  We started off the year like this with a pic of Sir Jimmy and never talked about him and now end up with the revelation that he was the biggest Trevor Chester the UK has ever seen.  He apparently fixed it so that everyone looked the other way while he fucked everything in sight.

But first of all we'll start with a few lost ends.

Best T Power Impression.

Rudimental Feel The love.  Coming over like some 2012 version of Mutant Jazz this is not bad especially for a junglist hater such as myself.

We would add Gotye to the list but to be honest we'll add the Star Wars that we used to know instead as its much cooler.

Which leads into the best TV of the year.

Private Life of Plants in 3D With David Attenborough

Looking at plants in close up with a generous amount of Cacti and succulents thrown in for good measure this was the coolest of them all.  With revelations like bats making use of Cereus blooming to create a nectar Corridor and the worlds smallest (and most Endangered) Water Lilly and its propagation. That was cool.

Storage Wars.

We came to this late but damn this is good.  The premise is this people who cannot keep up with the payments on their lockers have it go to auction where they are sold off to people.  Often with Thrift Stores (a yank charity shop by any other name) or junk shops.  Sometimes the people come across treasure sometimes though they don't.  Its much more riveting than it seems, there is also a Texan spin off where everyone is 10 stone fatter and a redneck.

Best YTP The 2000s were a point in time Da Things. 

YTP is at its best when its used to rip into its target.  This neatly executes a handfull of 2000 songs with such aplomb its uncanny.

Best Source in a YTP video.


A weird little online game that is supposed to teach kids English but comes across as really awkward hosted by a demanding pumpkin.  His catchphrase is I Don't Want that, and would really love it if you gave him the french Fry. 

Best Dreamcast era racing game.

Pyongyang Racer.
A pedestrian browser game that looks like it was coded for Dreamcast but in reality is the first game put out by ronery communist dictatorshp North Korea.  The game tasks you with driving round Pyongyang and collecting items for bonus  trivia. 

Miranda Awards for televisual despair. (we should make a logo for this)

2012 Olympics.

The bastard 2012 olympics as it should be known.  I only care about one Sport (snooker) and to be honest a whole 7 weeks worth of athletics and how they did really well makes me want to puke blood.  The opening wasn't that bad but the Underworld songs were underwhelming.  We watched it on iPlayer and just substituted old Underworld songs instead.  There was a load of cock about the NHS and a load of chimneys. We didn't like it at all.

Apart from that it was all gravy.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Boxing Day

This is what you've been waiting for our irrelevant review of the year show, a round up of the best and the rubbish and the not so good.

First of all current affairs Barrat Ojama won the U.S Presidency beating Mitch Romhack into second place.  A few spree killings in Conneticut and Colorado (don't know their motives and I don't care).  Jimmy Saville was found to be Englands worst posthumous Nonce, (fixed it for him) and there was masses of Fucking sport in Stratford some involving spastics (Olympics they were called).  Oh and the Jubilee.

Music wise this was cool for me in 2012.

Neatest Disco from a modern band.

Elitechnique Rooftops.

A neat little italo disco stomp on Clone, there is a video showing you how they made it on Youtube. Which is nice.

Best oasis in a wasteland of shite goes to.

Ed Sheeran Drunk Lazy Js Wasted in London Mix,  Fun. We are young Kiss FM version.

In the endless stream of shit put out by Kiss these are the only two bastions of good dance that isn't tainted by rap or R +B. I've never encountered these versions anywhere else either they are both sped up house tracks that'll probably turn out to be by David Guetta or someone other underachiever.  Edit its the Lazy Js Wasted in London mix of Ed Sheeran but the Fun. remix still eludes us.

Best old school house tracks goes to.

Paranoid London Feat Paris Briteledge Paris in Dub.

Massive jacking acid track, in an increasingly crowded market of good quality house.  Paris of course made the seminal Learn to Love for DJ International back in the 80s so you know you're getting the real deal here.

Best honourable mention goes to Orgue Electronique Our house, simply because it has Robert Owens.

Best Bond movie theme from an Alison Moyet look alike.

Adele Skyrim Skyfall.

To me this sounds like a mix of diamonds are forever and Martin So Cool from Skint Records offshoot Under 5s. Its not bad but still ubiquitous on Heart FM.

Best track by an Overattached Girlfriend.

Laina Walker Call Me Maybe.

We tend to sing these lyrics instead of Carly Raes so this is some stalkerish nightmare.

Best Electro.

Xosar Rainy Day Juno Jam.

We're rating this not just because she's hot, but because this is a monster of a track. A lovely laid back groove and much better than Ghosthaus which we were indifferent to.  You'll want to check out Xamiga which is a collab with Legowelt.

Best Techno.

D'Marc Cantu A New World.

Sounding more and more like Mike Dearborn this is some heavy dark analogue house and techno here, giving you no let up and was my album of the year.

Best Acapella.
Swedish Chef Massacre Don't you Worry Child.

We don't know nor care that we spelt this correctly, just know this rejig this is whatever audio editor you have and play it with Elitechniques Rooftop for that authentic overblown Italo disco cult classic. I think its the heavilly accented English that makes this.

With all these bests of there has to be some worsts and the following has annoyed the fuck out of me for the past year.

Nicki Minaj Super Bass (though anything with her in it.)
MANAMANAMANAMANAMANAMANA AMAHELAVAGAH. This is how she sounds, all the fucking time.

Stooshe Black Cock Heart.
Fucking absymal track that is like those old KFC soul ads but miles more shit.  Honey i'm waiting for yer monster. Its big and its black, it fits up my crack, he gotta black cock. Well those are the words I sing with it.

Flo Rida. Whistle.

You just put your lips together and you can fuck right off.

Maroon 5 Payphone.

Also unescapable, and the second time Maroon 5 made our cunt list in as many years.  Along with a rap by Wiz Khalifa which is largely bollocks, this edges out stooshe for our worst of the year.  We will alter the lyrics here.  I'm in a gay bar, jacking off sailors, licking up all of the semen they shed.

We'll be back in the new year for all the other stuff and Miranda Awards for Televisual bollocks as well.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone.  We got some good presents this year, mainly jumpers and a neat little usb vacuum for cleaning out your keyboard and that.  This is only a brief update so the main review of the year will go up tomorrow. 

Neo Geo X update. 
For those following the mini handhelds fortunes HG101 have a pretty impressive write up here

Bubble Bobble The lost cave. Revues, chips and teats.

We actually got this patched and playable in MameUIFX a fork off of the main mame project, we spent most of Xmas eve trying and failing to configure it for most other emulators and decided to cut out the middleman and put it in UIFX.  It works and can be found under bootlegs on the main menu screen.

In fact we don't remember any of the layouts except Level 9 (NES) a big brilliant red Maitta that is harder than the level was.  Most of the other levels are not the best and are actually quite hard (definitely later levels it seems), but its quite nice and best of all it has NES style lives progression.  Because I'm a massive Bubble Bobble nerd I know these to be granted at 30,000, 100,000 200,000 and 400,000 along with any you'd get from extend bubbles.  Our top score is about 400,000 odd or level 17. 

Here are some more findings and a brief list of bonuses encountered.

End of level bonuses.

You seem to get these on every fifth stage, these are standard bonuses and not the sort you get for matching the last few digits of your score or player 2's score.

1. Gameboy
5. Popcorn
10. Lollipop (round shape)
15. Bananas

Neat regular score bonuses.

As well as a few musical bonuses such as tubas and ocarinas we've found some nice bonuses to increase your score.

Ptolemy from Fairyland Story.  Worth 4000 points. (don't believe wiki here she doesn't show up in the original game.)
Purple PC. Looks like a purple version of one of the highscore bonus items. worth 4000
5.25 floppy disk.  Don't know how much its worth.

Bonus round Drug score bonuses.

In the NES version these would show up around level 45. But I've actually got a few of these in the arcade version. They give you a bouns round and the chance for an extra life if you catch em all.

Red Drug.  Tuliips
Purple Drug. Sunflowers.

We also got a fire bubble, the kind that actually shows up once in every 4096 games.  It gives you the ability to spit fire (red cross powers) untill you die. Its rather nice and is worth 10,000 points.

We got a few other stuff including most of the wizard canes, a bell that highlights rare stuff and a Chack'n pop invincible heart.  We haven't found any secrets yet but so far I am enjoying this immensly even though its much tougher than the original.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Arcade Bubble Bobble

Well well, its almost Christmas again so this means a  round up of tat and our long awaited Boxing day slagfest / review of the year. They'll be the regulation 2 posts over the holiday period so please give generously.

First up though we've unearthed an odd little thing. Someone has made a hack of Arcade Bubble Bobble, specifically adding in levels and new items from the various console games and backporting them to the arcade version.  Its called Bubble Bobble the Lost Cave and looks pretty swish as it so happens.

I've written before about my massive love for Bubble Bobble and even went so far as to make a NES romhack via various level editors to add in all the Arcade levels and a few of my own for when you reach the door at the end.  So this revelation comes as an early Xmas present.

There is a lot more info here but we really, really hope that Aladars PC Engine version actually comes to fruition as that is potentially very interesting and its something that was skipped for the poor old PC Engine.

Theres also a massive playthrough on YT also for those who would love to see it in action.

 Scan of the week
I Have a Sad story to tell.
Blimey we haven't done one of these in a while, but thanks to our room being rearranged we unearthed a load of promo tat from the 1997/1998 World of Amiga shows.  We actually ended up scanning a whole load of stuff in including various program guides and leaflets.  This is an Amiga favourite of mine from Vulcan Software, Valhalla was an odd adventure game where everything was fully voiced, it doesn't sound much now but this was A. made in 1995 and  B.came on 5 or so 880k floppies.  No CDROM here, and it proved to be quite a stiff challenge as well, with many obscure puzzles and false trails. 

Incidentally, it looks like Vulcan are still going and there are now PC versions of the original Amiga classics. I don't know how they fare up after all this time but they seem to have proper voice acting now.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Party Season

We are in the full flow of party season now, which has seen both our cactus club do and Gilbourne teams party go off and our own works shindig planned for next friday.  First of all our cactus club party, this was a joint mix of slideshow and AGM, with snacks afterward.   We narrowly avoided dissolution (we needed a treasurer but someone stepped up at the last minute) but in all other respects we are doing quite well and may think of a merger with Dartford branch if push comes to a shove. 

Gondar Ethiopia NOT middle Earth.
Our talk was on Ethiopia from some time in the late sixties taking in Addis Ababa, Axum and a few other places and sights too, including some Gelada Baboons from a trek into the highlands.  The best of all was a place called Gondar, a mix of medieval castles transported from the heart of Europe to the dry plains of Africa.  I was astounded by this as all the current images I've seen of Ethiopia is from television which seems to have a one track mind when it comes to Africa (i.e civil war and mass starvation).

Our speaker also brought a guide book (sadly in German) with a few nice pictures and retro adverts for german fags and Ethiopian airways.

Our other party took place in a local pub, on the friday to say I'm not really a pub person is an understatement.  I really don't get the whole pissed up culture we have here in Britain that says that to have a good time you need to get wrecked and meet it through a haze of alcohol the next morning.  We stayed a good 90 minutes and had a few drinks but to be honest it was starting to get to me after a while.  Most of Gilbournes crew was down as well as the Councils training team who graciously let us finish up their buffet. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Round up.

Did you enjoy our Fantasy phone thing we did back in May, well Samsung have sort of made my fantasy phone here.  Called  the Samsung Galaxy Fraulein  Advance Turbo Edtion Sweet Roy its a Cameraphone minus the phone, and looks like the best thing evar.  Best of all its antisocial as fuck no phone no texting and only what Droid Programs you can download from google.

Did you also enjoy the Neo Geo stats we translated back in September.  Well there are some hitches with the distributor Blaze so its been delayed till further notice.  However their site does look awesome so if you have interest then go here for it.

Finally we have sad news, that Patrick Moore has died.  For most of the gaming generation we think of him as part of Channel 4s Gamesmaster slot dispensing wisdom and laying down a challenge for cocky teens on such games as Virtua Cop and Streetfighter II, while Dominik Diamond made cheap knob gags.

He also did The Sky at Night for almost forever, and definitely sparked off many peoples love of space.

We give you our tribute to Patrick Moore right here.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Aqua Aqua Review

We recently picked up from one of our charity shop trawls, Aqua Aqua from the Pickford brothers software house Zed two now (Zee 3 digital).  It was one of those games that always seemed to be available for other systems. The original Wetrix I believe was a N64 exclusive (Wikipedia suggests some other ports including GBC among the line up) making use of the analog sticks and swish water animation, for a rather nice looking puzzler.

Like I say it was one of those games that either slipped through the cracks by either being not available or on a system I didn't own, so when I had the chance to get a copy of the PS2 follow up I snapped at the chance.

For those uninitiated its a nice little puzzler where you have to make rock pools on an isometric landscape.  Land tiles will drop from the sky and its up to you to terraform square pools (and not so square pools) to catch water drops from the sky (make a perimeter wall is the best advice I can give here). Often, stuff will ruin these plans though.  Bombs and level down land that will lower your precious walls and blow a hole in  the level, as well as an earthquake that wreaks havoc with your plans.  Often though its your own incompetence and the slightly dodgy perspective that'll be your undoing as the water sloshes over the edge of the level.  Theres a gauge that will keep track of all spilt water and if it fills up then its game over and your elf drowns (yeah there are elves as well). 

However, its not all bad, you'll get a fireball to dry out those lakes for a meaty bonus and ice cubes falling at random to freeze whatever is in its path, giving you time to shore up walls and plug those gaps.  There is also a bingo board for when those fireballs connect you get bonuses, fill a row and you get all sorts of bonuses (though we haven't managed to get anything yet due to being lame at it). 


Though there is some supplementary guff about mythical beasts awakening and kicking arse for supremacy, most of the time you won't notice that and its you vs computer. 

The tutorial is a bastard as well, you'll fail more often due to dodgy perspective then not doing it right which is  frustrating.

Other modes need to be unlocked as well as the ever present option screen. 

Music and graphics.

Theres a nice ambient score going on that complements the action nicely as well as some good n crunchy effects.  In fact the best thing is the voices in it (by Janet James), every time your areas fill up with water you get a crazed sounding X lakes (x standing for the amount of lakes you have).  It sounds like its from an  old kids show which makes it all the nicer.  


Thanks to the controls you often make mistakes due to perspective leaving stupid gaps for precious water to drain away.  However it is pretty addictive with a hearty one more go gameplay, it just that perspective and pathfinding makes it tough to control.

Overall score 7.  An addictive puzzler due to shonky controls (many times I've created a small gap where I wanted a seamless wall) keeps it from its greatness. 

Incidentally the Pickfords went on to create Future Tactics with Digi's Mr Biffo on script duties (and Tim Follin on sound duties) and make Magnetic Billiards for smartphones. You can read more about what they made and more on Aqua Aqua here.