Friday, February 17, 2006

Windows Vista

Microsoft have announced their new OS to be released at the end of this year : Windows Vista. Apart from all the usual upgrades in security/performance ect. they are turning Windows style up side down. Windows are translucent, effects 3D and altogether has a very flash website feel to it. Other improvements include live search. ie, as you type a letter in it instantly comes back with the results. This was first used by Google with Ajax and is available at google suggest. If you have Fire Fox with Grease Monkey then you can get a script for it that will use it on the home page.

Another update to the searching it that you can apply 'meta tags' to the file. These are basically key words so you don't have to know what the file name is to find it.

In the gaming world one of the most exciting things about Vista is it will ship with DirectX 10. Microsoft claim it will offer 6-8x the graphical power of DirectX 9. The implication of this is if you are looking to get a graphics card, wait until the big companies release their DirectX 10 cards.

Another feature is the multiple browsers. For example you have a media browser which lets you view images, watch movie clips and listen to tracks, there is also a games browser which will allow you to sort by numerous things. I think they will both be a like iTunes/WMP in the sense that, as far as I am aware, get information of a server that says all the pieces of information.

Stay tuned for more Vista updates and don't buy a new computer unless you have to, hold off until Vista.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Legend of Zelda Wind Waker and Ico

My friends were arguing over some game graphics and as gaming is my one real hobby I thought I'd step in. The two games were Legend of Zelda Wind Waker and Ico. The argument wasn't between which one was better though. They were arguing about whether the above mentioned Zelda game had decent graphics. Ico was only drawn in as an example to show what 'decent' graphics are. Here is my verdict on both of them:

Before anyone goes "They are rubbish because they are cartoony/any other style" I would like to say graphic qualitly has nothing to do with style, it is to do with how smooth a circle is, how far things are drawn and how good the textures are.

Legend of Zelda Windwaker

It is fair to say these graphics are meant to be cartoony. This may put some people off and is certainly not the most widely used style for a reason. The curves are very good and non main features have been blurred to great a soft feel. Textures are possibly the downfall to this graphics. They use plain colors with few gradients and a lack of realistic repeating plans. Also, the water is not very good. The game was released in late March 2003.

Score: 3.5/10


This was used as the example of 'Good Graphics'. To say that at first sight these look amazing. Upon closer inspection how ever you discover that the textures are not repeated but just stretched to create pixelated texture. As with Zelda, water has been done fairly poorly. When some one gets in water it ripples, it is not a solid mirror. Also, they have completely missed out shadow and it does not handle distance at all well. On the other hand, the main characters are beautifully rendered and the textures at a distance look very nice. Because the game is fairly new I would also expect individual blades of grass not a stretched texture called grass.jpg It was released early December 2005.

Score : 4/5

Friday, February 03, 2006

Blog Update

Hello everyone
Hi Dr. thk123

I am truly addicted to playing Civ 4 and now I have played all forms of multi player have run out of excuses of why I have not reviewed it. I will try to review it this month but I have a lot on:

  • Playing Civ 4

  • Lion, Witch wardrobe rehearsals

  • Playing Civ 4

  • Paper Round

  • Playing Civ 4

  • Writing to my French Exchange student

  • Playing Civ 4

  • Having a social life (what ever)

  • Playing Civ 4

  • Doing HW

  • Playing Civ 4

I rest my case. Also, I hope to write some questions for people who own a X360 and so when I get the replies to them I will post them.

I went to the Surrey Skills Festival Yesterday. SSF is this thing for people in year 9 to help them make choices about later life. It was really fun as I got to be on the radio, TV, record stuff, video stuff and loads of other great stuff. (yes there was a competition to use 'stuff' the most times in one sentence.)

In other gaming news Creative Assembly, the genius's behind Total War, have said they are making 'Medieval 2: Total War.' Why not Rome Total War or Shogun Total War. I will get it at some point but as far as I can tell it is Rome Total War in Medieval Times.

Also, Splinter Cell 4 has now been named Splinter Cell : Double Agent. It is now slightly RPGish. I quote the advert "How far will you go to succeed". Basically you are an double agent and you will pretend to be on the badies team. I don't know if this will work. It will still be a good game is my reckoning thought because the original people are on the job and so far all of theirs have been AMAZING.

I would like to draw your attention to my new blog that will soon be changing its address. Currently it is at Basically it is me and a group of my friends making a movie. It will probably collapse fairly soon but what the hey. Read it to find out more.

"All your base are belong to us"