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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Pf Slot

We've been digging into this obscure little web game from way back when.  Its essentially a HTML page with a shockwave clip and brief description in Japanese. 

The actual SWF game itself is a Puyo Puyo version of a pachislo slot machine, you gain 100 credits and have to match 4 puyos of the same colour so they disappear, the game ends at 300 points (originally you could download it from Sonicteams website when you reached that amount) and you play again. 

I originally came across this through the old Insertcredit site  (not the rather moribund new version) when I first joined the Internet age, 10 or so years back.  It was to promote a Dreamcast version of Puyo Puyo Fever along with a slider puzzle (that old make the picture by sliding tiles) and various wallpaper.  We had this on our old PC along with some other stuff and forgot all about it.  Clearing out our old PC we found this and decided to give it a translation, and alter the graphics so they read in English.  I'm not sure what you'll need to alter the SWF file, but Libre Office can handle the webpage side of things, and that is mainly done now.  All it needs is the text cleaned up and its ready to play.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Farewell Old Friend

Before I start on this weeks topic here is a sentence I never thought I would say, I actually agree with a Liz Jones column.  Specifically this one on Red Nose Day.  Though we may share different ideas about this, (she finds it inherently patronising and borderline racist whereas I just find it to be overpromoted, cynical and promotes an involuntary give us your fucking money culture rather than leaving it voluntary).  Africas main problem is and will always be corruption, and I would rather pay for items in a charity shop or put small change into one of these than "do something funny for money" see also children in need as well.

This is of course not what I wanted to talk about, but rather the slow decline and demise of my old PC.  Bought back in 2003 for a grand along with my first digital camera (also fucked)and Printer thrown in (ditto) and was home to our first Dial Up internet connection (to AOL of all places, now cancelled).

It had a lot wrong with it in the end, starting with it not being able to play DVDs properly, having virtual memory problems, adding a Zonealarm firewall introduced a host of problems and corrupted a lot of things  prompting an upgrade to a vista pc.. It lost a USB port due to the clumsy git installing my broadband, before  it was relegated upstairs, offline and out of sight pressed into service to print the odd document or emulation fun. 

Its final decline was announced by finding an old XP machine chucked out at work, slightly better processor and with a flat screen to boot.  We took it home and cleared some hideous cyberpatrol rubbish off it and a load of Turkish MP3s.  It was then that my old machines fate was sealed,  I spent half a day off taking it apart keeping various bits and pieces (mouse and keyboard as well as a kettle lead for my new monitor) and reserving my old HD before it went to the tip.

Here are a few pictures I shot to say goodbye.

DVD, CDR, and Floppy are your choice of drive.
They tied a knot in our power lead!
Groovy carpet check, Extra gubbins check.
On board Video by NVidia.
256MB of DDR RAM.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Asocial network games.

 Before we start Sundays sermon, Dr A has a review of Blazes NEO GEO X and it is as disappointing as it sounds.

You can continue now.

This is a follow on from this, on notorious shillfest Real Racing 3, a game that requires you to spend to tune up after every race and freemium gaming where your only real cause is to pay to win.
We play a few games on facebook namely Farmville2 and Candy Crush Saga.  The first needs no introduction, its a farming game from Zynga, kinda like a dumbed down Harvest moon but with pay to play items, the other is a rather insidious Bejewelled clone that relies on lives and levels, and pretty harsh unlocks.

Zynga of course are well known for this stunt, want some extra fripperies or in my case a Yucca tree and they'll happily sell it to you (we didn't buy of course) cheap, so long as you have enough rupees (or farmbucks).  None of these things they sell are essential by the way these extra cows and ornaments are not needed to progress just to give variety and make the place look nice, and a few more XP to level up.  

Candy crush saga on the other hand is evil, a Bejewelled clone that is not only very good but also a complete shill, requiring either pay to use unlocked items or real cash to progress past a certain pointI've always hated that either paying for freemium content or social networking stuff that penalises the friendless (and lets face it I'm a loner and proud).  There are of course people who will pay up for stuff as well as those with massive rosters of friends to call on to help unlock certain stuff, I'm lucky relying on Farmville community members to grab stuff for me and my cousin to help out with the posting stuff (occasionally).  But it still comes down to this, if you're a loner, you really aren't going to like freemium social networking stuff.

Even worse is that freemium relies on In App Purchasing (why is nothing a program anymore) to play to win.  That leaderboard top spot should be earned by skill not by how rich you are(n't).  

I would love to see a game where pay to play is penalised, if this is truly the new arcade then you should play by arcade rules.  Old Capcom games used to add a number in the unit columns of your score to show how many times you continued (SNES Streetfighter 2 is a prime example) maybe a separate hi score table for those who pay and a proper one with unlockable in game currency for those who play normally and get above a certain score (maybe beating the initial in game Hi score or top spot).
I would also love to see a game where all the IAP purchasing was either unnecessary or rigged in some wayTake for instance an RPG where a sword bought in game will leech your XP to use or in exteme cases not allow you to level up for at least 2 months after purchase (they love the timer unlocks freemium so lets at least have some fun with it).  Or in candy crush's case those special items that work but do not record your score and use up a life to trigger.  
 Or to put it another way If you pay to play you're a sucker.

We're saying our market is suckers — we're going to cast a net that catches as many mentally ill people as we can!"
Nik Davidson Amazon.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Room 101 pt 2

We did one of these way back, looking at Jehovahs Witlesses, Marzipan, Storms, N Dubz and our Cilla (who lets be fair wasn't that bad).  The show has had a bit of a redesign so in order to comply with the new rules it we'll add a further three to the list and go into more details.

 Incidentally, the show itself is a bit meh now, Frank Skinners the host now and  there are now 3 people argue their cause instead of one guest with a list of stuff.  Its still funny but has its own problems.  Most of the guests are rank and its locked down to certain approved genres rather than a general whinge.

For those that keep track of such things here are how its gone down over the years.

The Original with Nick Hancock and Frank Skinner as guest.

The later version with:
Paul Merton as Host and Stephen Fry as guest.

and finally:
 Frank Skinner with old vinegar tits Craig Revel Horwood as one of the guests the other is some comedian and Sheila Hancock.

You'll see a sharp decline in quality here as both Paul Merton and Nick Hancock are supremely watchable whereas Frank Skinners internship, while still boss, is noticeably crapper.

Thats enough about the show I'll add my further three things to exile for oblivion here.

Paloma Faith.

The new format gave us an unholy nexus of evil that had Michael McIntyre and her as guests on the new series.  The last guest I've forgotten but could have been Pol Pot for balance sake.  Anyway McIntyre is of course an Insincere Dave a telemarketer posing as a comedian with a plastic soul and bugger all funny and he's still runner up to her.

Imagine if Janet Street Porter and Polly Toybee from the Guardian spawned a child, so left wing and irritating in both voice (a little girl voice thats enough to drive you mad) and politics (Socialist nonsense), that the only sane response would be to kill it with fire.  Room 101 only lasted 30 minutes but when she was on I'm sure it lasted a whole millennium.  She's the reason I can safely demote Cilla Black to only a harmless Irritant. 

In App Purchases.

Do you play games on facebook or smartphone, you'll know what you mean.  They are the optional bollocks you get so you can add custom tat to your farm in Farmville, or give yourself extra lives or do anything in Candy Crush Saga.  They're a cancer ruining decent games, often giving you a massive paywall so you either pay up to proceed and gain better stuff or you get left behind.  I may write more about this, but so far its the singlest most unappealing thing about modern games.

A Question of Sport.

 I'm no lover of Sue Barker, so this goes in.  Nick Hancock used to do a show called They Think Its All Over, a sports quiz that pisses over this from a great height.  I see its reusing some of the rounds that were on there but with its trademark Forced Bonhomie.  In fact that would be an enjoyable rebranding A Question of Forced Bonhomie.  Its been going on since the mid 80's (it had David Colemanballs as host and was enjoyable) and seems stuck in a timewarp of bad puns, smugness and bloody Sue Barker draining the life out of everything she touches.