Tag Archive: iPad


Goth-HAM

Hullo, 

Normal service can be resumed readers, the Xmas/New Year/Winterval (whatever) period is over and we’re now in the unofficial month of starvation where many resolve to stop eating unhealthily, drinking too much/at all, exercise greater financial restraint and typically have less fun. 

Quitters.

Mind you, I’ve been more austere in day-to-day living the last couple of weeks. In fact, I somehow ended up with more money at the end of December than I did at the end of November, despite having my week in Germany. What’s the secret? NO LIFE! Cutting right back on the alcohol, no pub quiz, no work (no work lunches in the canteen) and a steadfast refusal to engage in the usual end of year activities with family and friends. And when I listen to the stories of friends and colleagues about what they got up to and how bored they were by it all – unless they’re telling me what I want to hear – I have to ask “why do you put yourselves through it every year”?

Right, I’ll get off my moral high-ground now and launch into the few activities that did take place in the last couple of weeks. Steam’s Xmas sale was participated in, the Xbox sale was not. Nothing untoward and also ironic considering how little I’ve bothered with my PC this year. But I did see that several older games had made it to Steam, notably Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds and Star Wars Rebellion (aka Supremacy for the UK owners of the game). So I snapped up those as well as the latest expansion for Age of Mythology HD (the Chinese expansion). Grand total – about £7. Galactic Battlegrounds does NOT like MacAfee however and any time I want to play the game, I have to go through a convoluted start up process. Basically, it confuses the intro video with a Trojan and autodeletes the file so the game won’t initialise.

I did find myself playing my PC a fair bit over the break as it happens. Not just the new games but also a couple Age of Empires 3 campaign games, a return to Beyond Earth and finally made some progress in Cubicle Quest once I figured out what the hell I was doing and how the game is played. Usual games on the Xbone, no new purchases to enjoy.

The Blue Oyster Cult would have us not fear the Reaper. They’re correct, you should fear the Werewolf instead. Yeah, in Berlin there was a bit of time to kill so I may have played more than a few games of Talisman on the iPad. Have to say that even though I’ve been a fiend for buying the various expansion packs, I’ve seldom made time to play, not least as a typical game – even on top speed – will take at least two hours to get through (with six players). But man cannot live by sightseeing, re-reading novels and Glüwein alone so I indulged in a few games. And I have to say that the Werewolf, introduced by the Blood Moon expansion pack, is perhaps one of the most challenging characters you face in the game. Why?

First of all, the Werewolf character moves around the board like the Reaper which doubles the chance of being landed on. But not only that, when the night card is in play (i.e. every other event card will trigger night), the Werewolf doesn’t need to land on a character. If his movement catches up to a player, they automatically encounter the Werewolf. The Werewolf doesn’t kill the player outright (like a roll of one on the Reaper chart) but he has three opportunities to rob players of life points and can turn other players into werewolves. Oh, and they add +1 to the dice on the Werewolf chart (allowing for greater chance of reward). What does this mean? At night, werewolves get +2 to combat rolls and must attack characters on the same space which sucks if the other player has better stats. And they can’t steal items except with spells or killing a player outright. But with more expansions in play, especially those adding to the board’s play area, it’s easier to dodge.

It’s the fact that the Werewolf can go flying around the board, aided by a number of adventure cards which interact with him unlike the Reaper who only moves after a player rolls a one for movement. But you can’t play with the expansion without the Werewolf because it’s a pain to separate all of those cards. Playing on the iPad, the AI is particularly vicious in sending the werewolf after any/all human players. So it’s harder to play the game successfully, as evidenced by my three losses which is a shameful blot on my win/loss record.

Outside of gaming, I watched the first and second seasons of Gotham – less “Batman, the teenage years” and more “what if everyone else took a level in badass in a world without a Batman?” Some episodes were very well put together and had lots of Easter eggs for the die-hard fans. Others struggled to advance the plot which did make you wonder if the series really needs 20+ parts per season. There is a fair amount of hammy acting: Jada Pinkett Smith’s smug snake (aka Fish Mooney) was getting more and more Eartha Kitt, especially towards the end of the second season. James Frain as Theo Galavan just reminded me of a young Lloyd Grossman sans the spectacles. I kept thinking he’d come out with “who lives in a house like this”? Even Ben McKenzie’s James Gordon isn’t immune to it when he’s in shouty mode. Whilst an entertaining watch, it makes you think what is this world’s Batman going to do when he comes of age? Many of his foes and villains are already established, unless we go back to the 1960s and resurrect characters like Egghead and King Tut.

C’est tout…pour maintenant.

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Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap

Once again, I have a spell of leave and my ability to compose a blog goes right out of the window. Get back into a routine and I can type again.

My latest addiction – Clicker Heroes. Another game with ridiculously high numbers, not much to do and yet it’s hard to tear myself away. Premise is simple. You’re presented with a monster. Click the mouse or touchscreen on the monster and you do damage. Do enough damage and it dies, giving you a small amount of coin. Then repeat. After killing ten monsters, you advance a level; advance five levels to reach a boss and every ten levels, a new “world” (read background change with different monsters).But what makes the game more appealing in my eyes are the other bits – the allies, the relics, the skills, the ancients, hero souls and the like. The game simply cannot be played by just clicking monsters, you need to recruit allies who lend their strength to yours and who can be powered up. Relics are available after level 100 which give you a random power. Skills are available from certain allies who boost your clicking power, coin collecting abilities, ally power etc. Hero Souls are granted for each 2000 ally power-ups purchased and from killing bosses from level 100 onwards and each Hero Soul boosts ally damage by 10%. Ancients are purchased by exchanging Hero Souls and each one provides a very different bonus. Bonuses granted from Ancients can be improved by exchanging more Hero Souls. Each ten levels after level 100 will gild an ally, giving them a permanent 50% bonus to damage for each gild. And finally, once one of your allies reaches level 150 (I’m not saying who), you can ascend the world to start again but with all of your bonuses intact and you collect/use any Hero Souls amassed. Why would you do this? The Hero Souls are the most important currency of the gain and restarting allows you to collect them all from the beginning.

The numbers – they’re all hypnotic. You just cannot tear your eyes away from them and like AdVenture Capitalist, the game calculates cash earned when not playing so overnight you can rake in large amounts of in-game currency. And you’re patiently watching for the time you can afford that next vital upgrade, not aware that time is slipping from your fingers. And now the damn thing is available on mobiles as well as Steam…I’ve no chance.

Went to Draughts on the Bank Holiday, tried 7 Wonders and came joint first as well as playing Skull, Dominion, Betrayal, that coloured chess-type game, Avalon and Coup. I still would like to try Twilight Struggle but had to forego the attempt this time. Ah well…

My week out of the office was otherwise quiet. Trapped in a Room with a Zombie was the first thing on the Friday. We succeeded with eighteen minutes left on the clock. I think there were fewer puzzles than Hint Hunt but it was still fun nonetheless. Again, trying not to spoil the game but it was certainly more physical and the sight of Alex scuttling up the wall is one I won’t be forgetting for a while.

The incessant rain kept me indoors for a good chunk of the week but I managed to finish GTA IV: Ballad of Gay Tony and made more progress in the Lost and the Damned. But finally fired up GTA V – dialogue notwithstanding, it’s been very not bad. The cars are much more smooth on the road, the variety of additional stuff (trading shares and buying property) is a welcome move. Having trouble flying the planes however, the controls are too…finicky. I also got a hold of a copy of Resident Evil Revelations 2 although I was less enamoured with that as I was the original. Visibility is bad and one of the characters is so annoying, you don’t want to save her, you just want to push a bullet in her to stop her whining. Unsympathetic protagonist.

Think that’s just about it for this update. Keeping it simple.

OOS. Again. 

Intended for posting Tuesday 26th 

A blessed four-day weekend was just the tonic required for frayed nerves and a general sense of malaise. The weather was warm but not uncomfortably so, whilst all was quiet in the Kingdom of Vauxhall. I did make the mistake of only having one cup of coffee in three days (I couldn’t be bothered to clean out the coffee machine properly) so on Monday, I had the _worst_ headache until I made myself go down the road to Tesco to buy a pot of instant (I’m running low at work) and brewed up a mug. It was like sweet manna from heaven and the headache lifted within thirty minutes. Addictions be damned.

It was gaming heavy, the usual two. I finally finished off Resident Evil Revelations on Friday, played Stick of Truth from start to finish (as a Warrior character), began Mafia II and a third play through of Wolfenstein: The New Order on hard difficulty this time. Still going on AdVenture Capitalist, unlocked the moon stuff and approaching 3000 of each commodity in the normal game (about 75% through the unlockables). Although in all that hot pixel action, I still made time to go up to Camden on Friday to Melissa’s bakery for a load of pretzels, walked back home calling in at Orc’s Nest on the way and coming out the shop with ANOTHER Talisman expansion (that’s it, I’m addicted – it was the Dungeon expansion) and the usual comics from FP.

On Sunday, there was board gaming with the Streatham Two followed by a couple of ciders at the Griffin. Played Dominion, Talisman and the others played Takenoko (it’s a four player and there were five of us so I sat and read Viz). Had the worst game of Talisman on my iPad on Sunday – lasted two turns before the bloody reaper finished me off. Threw it in utter disgust. 

Other stuff: FP has been getting in lines of action figures which are a throw-back to 1970s Star Wars characters but for other movie and TV franchises. The ones that stick out most notably are the Buffy figures and the Back to the Future figures. They really do look badly designed which is supposed to be part of their kitsch but all I think of when I see them is that this really was a bad idea and the plastics could have been used for far better purposes. Like half the garbage sold in 99p stores, why does a factory bother churning out this garbage other than profits?

Grauniad reports (speculates?) that there are going to be heavy job cuts at work. We suspect rail will be cut out and spun off – presto, savings made. Of course, with potentially 300-400 staff moved, we really won’t need that big a building to work in after 2018 making a merger of Departments likelier still. I maintain that taxes should increase, just a little to help pay off debts faster. And as part of that, we ought to revisit aviation fuel duties as it just distorts competition. Except it’s part of the Chicago Convention and other countries would never go for it.

Found out that someone else I know has succumbed to meth addiction. When will it end?

 

7/5/15

General Election: The Aftermath.  

 

My chosen candidate was not elected but did finish sixth.  Sufficed to say, I didn’t vote for one of the major parties this time around.  Glad KB was re-elected having fought another incredibly tough seat, otherwise fairly indifferent to the result.  The overall tone of the campaign left a lot to be desired, overwhelmingly negative, cynical and fear-mongering.  It wasn’t a case of “vote for us, we have the best ideas”, more a case of “vote for us, we’re not the other parties”.  Feel decidedly nonchalant about the process.  At least the London Mayoral campaign promises to be more interesting next year.

 

Post Election – still in the fall-out stage though a clearer picture is forming of how the next few years are going to shape up.  Although the government will probably last (albeit drawing on support from the Northern Irish Unionists towards the end of the term), I suspect there are going to be some rude shocks coming up for all.  There’s some understandable trepidation at how deep impending cuts will go as we are generally operating on a shoestring now.  One newspaper (I refuse to give it any sort of publicity by naming it) was saying lots of tax-cuts are impending; surely it makes more sense to keep tax levels as they are and pay off the debt faster, no?  Or are we going to continue to screw over the younger generation?

 

Other news: I managed to score another top mark for my end of year appraisal though as I’ve been warned/informed, I had the dubious honour of being the most discussed person in the entire group (over 120 staff).  Sufficed to say, it’s vindication for my policy of choosing my battles very carefully and striking up the right alliances.  It’s impossible to avoid office politics, that much is abundantly clear but playing the “game” can be done passively as well as actively.  Wondering what to do with the bonus money – if it’s like last year, it’ll be a nice chunk of cash and there’s a couple of items I’d like to get my grubby mitts on.

 

Gaming: been playing a bit of AdVenture Capitalist as it was a freebie on Steam and I ported it to my iPad.  Simple numbers game which manages to draw your attention by watching your profits roll in, making you richer and richer.  It also uses the internal computer clock to calculate how much is generated when you’re not playing which is a nice touch.  Worth a glance but by the time you’ve acquired all the achievements…yup, you’ll never look at it again.  Still playing Talisman, bought the Highland Expansion which new area of the board seems a lot more easy to navigate compared with the Dungeon.

 

C’est tout.

 

Drafts Lost in the Sea of Time

Pathetic – yet another lost draft. This should have gone up last Monday.

It’s half-term, Parliamentary recess and this means that this week should be nice n quiet, at least from the perspective of work. Socially, things are pretty involved this week – dinner, quiz, games, more games, birthdays…

Weekend recap: wasn’t impressed by the ugly downpours on Friday, had some vague ideas/plans to do stuff that evening but trudged my way home, crashed in and almost passed out. Had an hour with the lights off before rallying and thought about dinner. Later on, went for my first swim in a month (really need to get back into the routine) and managed sixty lengths before I gave up.

Saturday – started off with a slow day, ragging on Dr Do(o)m and his poor choice of…sleeping companion. Sufficed to say, we now have enough material to last three months of abuse and torture. Thought I’d run some errands in the afternoon, specifically selling my laptop and iPad to offset the cost of the new iPad. It took a little wrangling and chasing but managed to get £373 for both which is only £27 off my target/ambition. Whilst I was at Cex selling the laptop, I decided to use the last of my vouchers to buy Family Guy s14, Borderlands and Ghostbusters on blu-ray so spent most of that evening binging on the first of the list. In my defense, I had walked almost fifteen miles on Saturday in total (splitting foot in process) and after I sank into the couch, there was no way I was going to be getting up again.

Sunday – mostly a rest day with a brief intermission towards Clapham to go to the supermarket as all three bloody kitchen bulbs blew…one after the frigging other. And for a few other odds and sods. Probably should have kept feet up after Saturday’s marathon but hey ho. Decided to do an Empire at War campaign as the Empire for most of the day whilst doing chores and the like. Was supposed to have a date but yet again, was stood up. Oh. Little Lord Fontelroy decided to send a snottogram yesterday that managed to push all the right buttons. Felt like flinging my phone across the room when I read it, I was that incensed. Lord save me from the perpetually insecure; just because I have something of a life again…FFS.

Think that’s yer lot for today. I’m severely lacking in motivation and general interest. I think I need to book my time in Berlin for April, something in the diary to look forward to.

Noo iPad

First blog entry written on my new iPad – after the usual deliberations and simultaneous emotional roller coaster ride indulged whenever large sums of cash are involved, I decided to upgrade from my iPad third generation to the iPad Air 2. I guess the main reason was that the fuller the iPad got with stuff, the slower it seemed and I hadn’t bothered with a backup since I got the new laptop.

As the old laptop is finally fixed and upgraded, now is the time to try and sell them both whilst they’re still worth something and use the cash to offset the cost of my new toy. If Xian doesn’t want the iPad, Cex can take it off my hands. But it’s kinda sad to part with it – had a lot of happy times together. Had a lot of sweary times together when playing certain games which shall go nameless (Zoo Keeper).

We had a massive power failure at work on Thursday, worked out pretty well as I took the afternoon off, picked up the laptop from Stratford, had a fantastic lunch in Giraffe and had the flat to myself as Dr Do(o)m was out rutting. Good times.

Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday wasn’t bad. Didn’t do anything new – kokob for dinner, afternoon tea at the usual coffee place, usual visit to Media Markt, C&A et al and €61 spent on chocolate for the million birthdays I have coming up in the next six weeks. Bloody Pisceans.

Other than that, not much more to say. No birthday planning preparations to consider as I have made zero moves in that direction. In fact when I tried to forward look the next eight weeks, calendars are a complete mess. Next week will be another busy one with only one free evening. Ah well.

I have no idea why Azealia Banks thinks that she can use the word ‘faggot’ if gay men can use ‘bitch’. And as a woman of a different ethnic background to myself, I’m sure she won’t mind if I assume n-word privileges as an insult. After all, we know what a caring, sharing society we live in judging from all those positive comments when Benedict Cumberbatch had his verbal slip up the other week. No problems.

Just stick to miming to the backing tapes, love.

More precious than platinum?

It seems harder and harder to make time to add entries to this blog. With work dominating more of my brain space and social activities picking up now that summer is waning, a fair amount of stuff is sacrificed for duty AND pleasure. I’d apologise but there are so many apologies flying around these days for all sorts of infractions; perceived and actual. I’m not sure they have meaning any more.

In catching up with things going on, let’s see – we won last weeks quiz and came third this week (enjoyed the chocolate pudding on the menu), Risk Legacy starts up again tonight, been playing a fair amount of Xbox (finished Banjo Tooie and the Force Unleashed on a harder setting) and a hair away from completing NSMB2 on the 3DS. Have completely failed in my quest to find locals (well, ones that I want to try and integrate into my life) to hang out with etc. Though my methodologies have been utterly pathetic, I must concede.

We’re off go-karting at the weekend in Thurrock (Lakeside) as part of our quiz prize from last season: Joey, Alex, David T and myself. Whether we’ll dress up in Mario costumes and throw banana skins at each other or not remains to be seen. Should be fun – and it comes after being able to sleep in an extra hour thanks to Fall Back.

I’m off to Brussels again on Friday for a day chock full of meetings. On the first train out and on the last train back. At least I booked myself into Standard Premier again for the return leg so I can feel knackered in a larger seat whilst playing Robot Unicorn Attack on my iPad. And speaking of the iPad, I’m tempted by the iPad Air as unveiled last night. For a while, because of the Brussels thing and other travels through work (mostly), having a 3G/4G model rather than a wi-fi only model would be handy although there’s the monthly charge to consider, of course. And I said that I’d wait to see what the fifth iteration of the iPad would look like before making a decision; think I’m sold and the 128GB memory would come in handy for filling it full of yet more books!

Oh – Saturday was particularly irritating when the oven went on the fritz. I’d painstakingly prepared a meal (for one, of course) and bunged it in the oven. 45 minutes later when everything was supposed to be done, it was all stone cold and no heat was coming from the oven despite the fan going which had led me to think there were no issues. Checked everything – in so far as my knowledge of catering appliances go and couldn’t find any issues except there was no smell of gas when the oven was switched on but the hob works fine. The cooker is an older model (couldn’t find it on the interwebs so it must be over ten years) so I think it can go the way of the dodo.

At least it saves on cleaning it. See, glass half full.

A Farewell to Saint Ratford

It’s official, I’m no longer an e15 boy any more, I’m living in NW1. Last time I was in NW1 was when I very temporarily lived with Mark and Luigi. All settled into the new place though of course I’m without the usual amenities until I can get them hooked up.

The move itself was tough – not for emotional reasons but for some reason I had gastroenteritis. I think I know from what but the source isn’t relevant. On moving day, I was ralphing every thirty minutes, feeling lousy and still needing to unhook the last of the electricals and interwebs before I could pack them up. Couldn’t keep anything down – sip of water, quarter cup of tea – nope, de nada. Began to feel better around 6pm though and seem to have shaken off the last vestiges of it.

I am supposed to be back at work today but with me feeling terrible as well as the residuals of the move, I begged for today off (lies, I asked and my request was granted) just to get back some degree of normality. So I’m only in one day this week before the weekend but as I recall, it’s a day packed with meetings. Going to have to go in almost blind but the hell with it.

Some nine crates were filled with books. Whenever it is I leave Camden, I want to reduce that number by 25%. As you can understand, unpacking and arranging books took the most time as everything else was pretty simple after that. The Star Wars stuff goes too. I lost two wine glasses in the move – I told the removal people which boxes contained the smashables but my instructions were ignored. Sigh.

Crates are being picked up tomorrow at nine. I only hope that they are punctual as its touch and go as to arriving at work on time. And then sky is hooked up on Saturday. We think we can install a dish as although the building owner claims ownership of the external walls, there are other flats with dishes attached. Will have to get some sort of TV stand though as its currently resting on the floor.

Pressure is on now to start entertaining. That was always the plan for the Stratford flat but it never quite happened for a couple of reasons. But now…I want that to change. First thing is to set up a risk legacy group with Alex, Paul, Darren and another (haven’t decided who). Then have people over.

Right, that’s your lot – I’m scribing this up on my iPad and using iPhone 3G to do so which I dare say is seeping my usage. Might go out to Sainsburys again to get in more food. The only thing I brought with me to the new place were the bottles of booze from the cellar and the jars of German products Daniel bought last month. Got in some odds and sods but only the real basics. Also need a saucepan or two!

Knights of the Old Republic – iPad

So, I’ve finally gotten to the end of my first play through. Rather than review the game in its totality, I thought I’d look at how it’s been converted to the iPad.

Let’s start – perhaps controversially – with a negative. The game is 2GB in size. Yeah, two gigabytes. People with a 16GB iPad are really going to choke that one down as are those with a 32GB. 64GB & 128GB’ers will find it easier to have the game installed on their machines though given the multiple paths through the quest for the Star Forge, it may hang around for a while. Even so, 2GB does take a few hours to download depending on one’s broadband speeds so no casual uninstalling/reinstalling.

The iPad is no PC – which means that one size fits all so the myriad graphic options are eliminated. There’s a set design which is remarkably detailed, smooth and well rendered. Though in all honesty, I’ve played KOTOR on several PCs and despite keeping graphic options at the same – I never noticed a difference. Brightness is an issue in sections of the game and even with the iPad turned up to max, they can still look gloomy and hard to make out. Something an update could sort out perhaps? The movies/cut scenes work so much better on the iPad than they did on the PC – are they still utilising Bink Video? I dunno but they played beautifully.

This version of KOTOR is the full game – i.e. there’s Yavin IV as a planet one can visit for expensive, rare items to purchase for your adventure (not a cash purchase I hesitate to add folks, this is strictly within the confines of the adventure). IIRC, the Xbox version of the game omitted the planet. I haven’t discovered that there is anything omitted for issues of space which is a great thing and will reward familiar players looking to get in on the general nostalgia trip.

One trick the developers really missed out on was the chance to tweak some of the features of the game that Obsidian messed around with on KOTOR II. For example, if you loot a storage locker, it’d tell you it was empty once you’d taken items out of it thus stopping you from going back over previously searched lockers. And some of the feats could have been sexed up also – I don’t think gameplay balance would have been affected too much and even if it were, a minor tweak to enemies the further one progresses would have restored equilibrium. It’s still a shame that the players all cap out at level 20; it’s quite possible to get to level 20 long before you enter the final stages of the game making the last sections redundant and therefore encourages you to skip over sections of the game as Experience Points are no longer needed. Again, if any of the (re)developers are reading, please consider a minor update!

Now the controls – yes, the game as you have doubtless heard utilises a complete touch screen interface. Swipe left to turn/look left. Swipe right to turn/look right. Swipe up to move forward and trace your finger if you want to bend rather than walk in a straight line. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of the controls although you’ll want to ensure you have a decent cleaning cloth as by the end of a session, the screen will be utterly filthy. Conversation options are chosen from a list on the right. Its simple enough to get through and there’s little chance of pushing the incorrect buttons by mistake. And in combat, there are sub-menus that pop up for commands if one so wishes to vary combat stances. It can slow the game down a little (on the PC, the scroll button on the mouse took care of that) but has the added bonus of making you think about combat.

One of the issues that did drive me nuts is the swoop racing – I found it so difficult as to be unplayable. I completed the mandatory race on Taris, utterly failed on Tatooine and didn’t bother with Manaan. The controls just don’t work. Again, you swipe left and right to move the swoop bike and tap to switch gears but the vehicle handles as if you were plastered. This makes you constantly miss the accelerator pads on the race tracks. KOTOR could really do with a couple of arrow buttons on either side of the screen to control the swoop bike section and even a separate button above said arrow buttons to change gear. It’s a shame as the Tatooine swoop races lead on to a couple of side-quests which you cannot really complete unless you can win races.

Haven’t got too much to offer on the sound/music though it’d have been nice to have a “sound track” option to be able to listen to Jeremy Soule’s rendition of a galaxy far, far away. With the default sound levels, there are parts of the game where speech or ambient music can be muffled. I haven’t worked out why as yet though I suspect it’s just a quirk of the game. If you’re listening/playing the game through earphones, no need to crank the volume past 50%, honest guv.

Other odds and sods – the game is a battery guzzler, or at least it is with the brightness turned up to full. Three hours of solid play will suck about 60% of battery life and the iPad will warm up a fair amount so try and rest it on a table. Also, there’s no achievements to shoot for which is a shame although an achievement list would act as a major spoiler.

All in all though, I think KOTOR is a worthy purchase and good value for money, especially considering it’s a ten year old game and how much mileage one can wring from it with all the classes of character, the two genders and the light and dark side endings. It is an excellent conversion and works really well on the iPad. A few tweaks wouldn’t go amiss though but I think that this really is a potential game-changer for the iPad and will hopefully lead to KOTOR II or even…just maybe The Old Republic. And of course the many other RPGs out there.

Watch, Play, Drink

One of the sillier things from last week was the fact that I purchased the blu-ray copies of Archer Season 2 and the Dark Knight Returns part 2 early in the week and lugged them to and from work Tuesday through Friday. It’s not that hard to remember to take the damn things out and yet…

I’d been waiting for part 2 of DKR for months now as the first half was a fantastic adaptation of the 1986 classic, right down to the iconic individual comic book frames and news reports. Part 2 was every bit as good as the first part – they picked a good voice actor for the Joker though of course, Mark Hamill would have been aces in my book. And the final battle between Superman and Batman was a little more even matched than the stomp battle depicted in the comic book. Still, I really would like to see DKR2 adapted for the small screen. And if I win the Euromillions jackpot on Friday, I vow to make it happen (bought five tickets).

And thankee to everyone who thumbed-up the last post about Berlin’s Computer Game museum. Sometimes the best things in life don’t happen by design but by random chance and fortuitousness. To my knowledge, there is a Retro Game Museum in the UK but it’s been sited in several places, last known in Leicester. Funny; I might have lived in Nottingham for eight years but I never, ever went to Leicester. Perhaps it’s time to change that.

On the theme of games, I have been sucking up the iPad purchases lately. First was Mini Ninjas which was a Starbucks Freebie (I needed a Frappuccino and the Coffee one is the lightest in calories) whilst the second was Robot Unicorn Attack 2 – you know, for the colours and the corny soundtracks. And yesterday I snaffled He-Man after seeing it on Wikipedia which is just as camp as the 80s cartoon it’s based on (rather than the recent update). He-Man plays just like a Megadrive (or Genesis for my US readers) game albeit with sexier graphics. I assume they couldn’t get the licence for the original music which is a shame as that is the only thing missing from such a fun “sword-n-run” app. And I’ve found my mojo! Zoo Keeper Battle – finally getting back within the top 50,000.

There hasn’t been much in the diary to report. Went to Ceajay & Alex’s housewarming on Saturday and got drunk though not appallingly so. Left at 1.30 and eventually came crashing in through the front door at 4.10am. How it took 2½ hours to get home I just don’t know but it did and there we are. I did buy some of the new Crabbies flavours – they’ve expanded their ginger beer range into Raspberry & Strawberry and Lime. They taste like liquid Refreshers and I can see them being utterly lethal. Strawberry and Ginger doesn’t sound like it goes together but actually, strawberries atop a cheesecake made with a ginger biscuit base is very not bad. So yeah.

On Sunday I went with Brendan to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness. To borrow a phrase from Garik “Face” Loran, there were plot holes in that film so wide that one could pilot a Death Star through them. It was held back by sloppy, lazy writing: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelhof should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for putting together such a weak story. It kinda robbed the joy out of the film. I must admit though, my views could be coloured by the douchebags kicking the back of my seat in the cinema. They claimed it was accidental but I still felt like crushing their skulls in my hand à la Khan.

Hmm, this weekend is Xian’s birthday. Once again he wants a picnic in the park and once again, rain is forecast. The boy has zero luck when it comes to his birthday despite being in the middle of June. It has wazzed it down every year as long as I’ve known him. Haven’t decided on a gift as yet; he has exacting requirements these days and I did the chocolate thing last year. Hard liquor is always welcome though, albeit a cliché; will consider other options.

And the rolling stone gathers no moss. Despite pleading and threats, I may be moving house again in three months time. Watch this space for further whining.