Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yours Truly, Angry Mob

Just got the new Kaiser Chiefs Album : "Yours Truly, Angry Mob" It included the new single Ruby. The album is a fanatic one at the moment. You will have to wait to see if it stands the test of time. It is true to the previous KC album as it contains many witty lyrics such as:
"Loves not a competition, but I am winning"
"Due to lack of interest, tomorrow is cancelled" - This is almost Beatles quality
"We like who we like, hate who we hate, But we're also easily swayed" - This is almost Morrisey quality
"No need for IDs, which those dresses"
"I can do it without you, but it won't be very good"

I always make prediction as to what the second single will be and I want this guess to be recorded. I think it will be "Heat dies down" This song is very good and is upbeat like all good KC songs. Guess made: 28/02/07

Monday, February 26, 2007

PS3 Advertising Campaign

The PS3 is coming out in March this year for the UK and Europe. So naturally, advertising starts to appear in shop windows. Now normally, when a product is expensive, as the PS3 unarguably is, the advertising campaign is usually good. This is because, when the company has made such a huge investment into the product, spending money on advertising seems to be money well spent and quite trivial. So, naturally, I thought the PS3 advertising campaign would be good. In blockbuster however, they had hand drawn the words "PS3 Pre Sale; £50 Deposit". Each character was on a piece of a4 paper. Now if that isn't rubbish I don't know what is. Games was slightly better, they had printed of a black and white picture of the PS3 and stuck it on to a a2 piece of paper with "Pre-order your PS3 inside today only." This was top of the range: TYPED! That was up for about 2 weeks so whether they got not enough pre orders or couldn't be bothered to take it down I don't know.

Fortunately, there are now proper adverts up printed on a colour printer! I was going to post this before they sorted it out, but my internet broke :(.
In other news: Google has released Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I think this is a sure sign they are going to make a OS or at the very least a web browser. To demonstrate I have put a spread sheet up for you all the view here. Contains details of console sales in January. Prices estimates.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

PS3s REALLY not selling

This took me a little longer than it should have but it has just clicked. The PS3 shipped 933 000 units in America, but sent 1million over there... That means, there are 77 000 PS3s in America that HAVEN'T sold. Wow! And to think people killed for them!

This does look like the end of Sony. With all there fans asking for reasons to love them

I want to love you Sony, I do, but your making it real hard at the moment
Chris Burnside -

If Sony fall, and Microsoft take there place (as I have been predicting) then we risk getting what we have with computer OS. Everyone gettting Microsoft, ignoring other companies who might be making something better for less simply because there Microsoft. Google can save us on the computer front, but I can't see them releasing a console. All eyes to Apple?

Wii takes lead in January - News at GameSpot

Wii takes lead in January - News at GameSpot

Wii has sold the most consoles this month, even beating the Xbox 360. The PS3 is still stuck in 3rd. In December the PS2 sold more than the PS3! Overall, the 360 is still in first place for no. of shipped consoles with 4.8 million, the Wii, still quite a little way behind but catching up, with 1.5 million and the PS3 with a very disappointing (and somewhat suprising) 933 000. I may not like the PS3 but it has a cult following so I was expecting it to run away with the sales. I wasn't the only person as most analysts predicted this too. One possible read is that there are only 933 000 PS3s in existence, where 100% have been sold. That however, contradicts with what the ONM said (see blog update>PS3 Sales)

thk out

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blog Update

I didn't post when I said I would but I was ill. I have a great set of posts lined up for you though. I got the new official Nintendo magazine yesterday and I am going to make a number of points.


This was the cover article, was likened to Animal Crossing and is on the Wii. This made me fairly excited, I loved the concept of Animal Crossing but it wasn't enough to make me buy a DS so to say I was thrilled to learn it was coming to the Wii would be a understatement. However, upon reading the preview I was instantly disappointed. It was more Sims than Animal Crossing, which I don't like. The main concept is drag-and-drop construction of items for your village. The developers even admitted it wasn't like Animal Crossing :

"It's [Animal Crossing] a delightful game and we're honoured by the comparison but I think you will find this game very different"
Rod Humble - Head of Studio, EA Redwood Shores (Official Nintendo Magazine Issue: 14)

PS3s not selling

I read in the magazine that Wiis were still difficult to get in America and that there were PS3s spare in shops. This goes against what I heard. According to GS, the more unbiased of the two sources, they are completely sold out. When my dad next goes to Washington I will ask him to check although it may be too late then.

And yet there are still stacks of PS3s in shops

Games I am watching this year:

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R - Action Adventure, roam around a nuclear map, looks a lot of fun though I will need to upgrade my computer. Expected release: March

  • Battalion Wars - Shooter/Strategy/War game, this is everything that I want: Ninty licence, solid reputation and prequel, shooter and Wi-Fi. Expected Release: Spring

  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - The first person shooter that EVERYONE will get. Wi-fi fun guaranteed. Expected release: Summer

  • Halo 3 - This is the game that everyone will be playing for the next 40 years regardless of how good it is, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Expected release: March

I will undoubtedly add to the list, but these are the games I intend to either get, or at least play.


Oblivion is coming to the PS3. It is one of the launch games for the UK. This will be very good, as it will give time for Bethesda to sort out the bugs, like the game stopping and the player being forced to restart the console. Also, it promises frame rate and slightly smoother textures as well as the expansion pack bundled in.

Upcoming Posts

  • Poor PS3 Advertising Campaign - I'm not even joking, have you seen it?!

  • Wii Virtual Console - This is dependant on me downloading some

  • Battalion Wars Preview - If anything more gets released

  • Xbox Live Reviewed - My friend recently got it so naturally I was there

As well as my usual slew of promised reviews for Civ 4, Civ 4 Warlords and now The Legend of Zelda, which has joined my list of games to review.


Vista is out, another friend of mine is going to get it at some point because his computer came with a voucher to upgrade or something.


This year is set to be a good year for gaming. As all the consoles are out and no new ones on the horizon. On top of that DirectX 10 has just been released. Excellent, maybe I will review some games as there will be less news!

Monday, February 19, 2007

George Bush Cartoon

Drew this cartoon this afternoon:

The labels on the buttons are names of countries and the depressed one is "Twin Towers" (OOOOh, thats lair!) Feel free to put it on your website providing it links to this blog. Should of singed it. I have another one lined up, don't worry this craze won't last long. If you want to read the lables click on the image for full size version.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Restaurant, people, quote and a book

I haven't posted in a while but I will be posting tomorrow. But here is a less normal post that bears no real relevance to absolutely anything. I am currently enjoying my half term and last weekend I went to Beaminster for my grand-fathers 80th birthday. To celebrate, we went to a posh restaurant. The food was lovely, I have momentarily forgotten the name, but Beaminster isn't very big, so if you happen to be there, it is down the road from the high street. However, like every other restaurant, the best bit isn't the food, but the fellow customers. About half way through our meal a group of six old people turned up. One of them had a very high pitched voice and started bellowing orders about where they should sit. One of the others said, in a suitable cheesy voice, "oh, I'm between the girls am I?". Once they had managed to sit down, they had a heated discussion about...hedge trimmers :"Is it rotary?!" Later on in the meal the leader talked about how we get pears or something from New Zealand, and how shops claim that people want it all year round. She said that "if they weren't there, people would just get by." As true as this is, she did get a little too animated.

I found this quote on my Google home page today and I needed somewhere to dump it it was so good.

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.

Finally, I have just finished reading Bill Bryson's Notes from a small island. It was very funny and if your English makes you heart swell with pride.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wiiview (Wii Review)

So here it is, the final analysis. 2006 Best post coming soon and gaming show going on air tommorow 8pm GMT.

Introduction + Packaging

The packaging is very contempary which is good but dosen't fit entirly with the Wii

The Nintendo Wii was released last November for £179. This included the console itself, a wiimote (the controller), a numchuck (the attachment), all relevant cables and Wii Sports (a selection of mini, sport based games). I managed to get a Wii January the third a my local game store. I did not buy anything else because everything was out of stock. The packaging is clean white. On the front the word "Wii" is clearly printed in a large simple font. It also depicts someone holding the controller. The other side as a picture of the console. There is no pictures of games for the Wii or anything "in your face." When you open the box it is in two layers. Overall the packaging is very contempary and stylish. Although this may sound good, I do not belive it fits in with the fun, light hearted aspect of the console.

Set up
Considering the complexity of the console, it was relativly easy to set up
As consoles go, this was going to be the hardest to set up. With wireless controllers, a sensor bar and the fact that you point at the screen to select stuff. There are only three things to plug in to the back and each plug is different so it didn't confuse me too much! When the controller turns on there a number of forms you need to fill in. This is the first time you pick up the controller and what you enter is quite important. However, it is easy to change anything you type. When you type your Wii's name you must use the pointer to select the letters. This takes quite some time as your hand is not used to this. I found myself pressing the backspace a lot of times. It is worth noting that you can use the d-pad to select letters if you find it impposible although it dosen't make this clear.

Main menu
The menu is very contempary which is good but dosen't fit entirly with the Wii
Once you have got through the set-up you are presneted with a dazziling white screen filled with boxes. Most of these boxes are blank as they are for downloaded games and software. The first box is for whatever is in the disk bay at the moment. When you select that it scans the disk bay for a disk. Inserting a disk is very class. You put it near and it eats it. After a couple of seconds it will load the games front screen where you press enter A to enter the game.

Mii Channel
Varying amount of choice. Very good with ceartain areas although colour, height and lardness (Ed: not bothered about PCness)
The next box is the Mii Channel. This is where you create your Mii, which is your avatar in many games. This feature is yet to be fully embraced, however, it is simmilar to the profiles on the 360 except the Miis are a lot more fun to create. When you create your first one you are presented with the "deafault" person. You can then choose the colour of there skin, shape of there face etc. There are many hundereds of options to choose from. There are 6 pages of hair styles! The control is really given to you with things like eye brows, you can move them for example like small horns! My first criticism is that the colour selection is fairly limited, obviously Nintendo wanted to keep a bright colour scheme, however you have a much greater choice in say Fifa. You can also choose height and weight for your Mii. This is also a point of criticism as the choice is not quite as extreme as I would like. The Miis are a bit of fun so it does not matter if they are not realistic. It is particually noticable in the weight where the fattest setting looks like a slightly inflated version of the thin one. I think this is disapointing but it may have caused graphical errors and it is more than made up with the freedom granted throughout the rest of the creation.

Mii Plaza
Limited number of ways to order them, putting Miis on Wiimotes is a very clever feature
Once you have created your Mii he drops down on to your area. All your created Miis will cluster here. They will walk around but nothing interesting happens. You can choose to line up your Miis according to some properties. There is, however, no ability of organising them by height or weight. You can also go to your Plaza where Miis from consoles you have conected with can potentially gather. I have never seen this happen as I have not conncted with another Wii. You can transfer your Miis (up to 8) on to you Wiimote so you can take them round to a friends house. This is simple to do and saves memory cards etc.

Photo Channel
A little gimicky but very well executed.The transitions could have been more varied and random
The next channel is the photo channel. This allows you to view photos on a SD memory card or in your message box. I only have two images, the ones Nintendo have sent me, however I experimented with what you can do with them. You can put them in to a slide show and play a number of background musics and 3 different tansition types. These are not particaully different though. Also, you can play with the photo by either doodling on it. The control is fairly impressive with 8 coloured pens, 4 stamps and the ability to crop it. Also, you can put a "mood" on it where it will brighten the image, or turn it to back and white, or turn it to strictly black and white or finally invert the colours. Finally, you can jumble the pictures in to boxes then you have to rearrange the boxes to make the orginal image. Although this is well done, it is very gimicky and I wouldn't think less of the console if it didn't have this.

Shop Channel
The shop has a good range of games with promises of many more. The navigation can be frustrating when you click on the wrong button
The next channel is the shop channel. This allows you to download (for a modest fee) retro games from the NES, SNES and N64. To purchase these games you need to puchase points, this can be done through 2 methods. Either register a credit card, or alternativly by a pre-paid card at your local store. If you go for the latter you will get 2000 points. This is £15. 2000 points will buy you 4 NES games, 2 SNES games with 500 pts left, or 2 N64 games with nothing left. Each game has different support for different controllers. Obviously none of them use the motion sensitive capabilites of the Wiimote. There are 3 controllers for the Wii. The Wiimote which most NES games support, the Nintendo GC controller and the arcade controller. Most games run on the NGC controller and all of them run on the arcade controller. I have not downloaded a game, however I have had a good look and have ear marked 3 games I wish to download. There is a OK selection of games at present. Nintendo aim to add more games regulary, at the moment there are four pages of games. The shop naviagtion is fairly intuitve, however, the loading times are un-acceptable and if you press the wrong button, which is perfectly possible unless you have sniper hands, there is no cache so you are forced to reload the page. This is both irrating and time consuming.

Weather Channel
A little gimicky but very well executed. The globe is prerendered which makes spinning fun
The next channel is the weather channel. This was not innitally avalibale, however it became avalaible not long after I got it. Also I get a message from Nintendo (XD) telling me the weather channel was now avaible. When you load up the channel you have to select the place you live nearest to. The selection was pretty vast and the location I choose in the end was pretty close to where I live. At first it is quite confusing to find out what weather it is displaying as I thought today and current were the same (how stupid). Once you have got past this it is easy to find out the weather. Also, you can go to the globe, which is simmilar to Google Earth in many respects. You can spin the globe etc. I have noticed no lag when doing this, even when I spin it REALLY FAST. The problem with this channel is, to access this you need internet, so you may as well check on the BBC website. It is a nice feature though with very soothing music.

News Channel
No real need to this as BBC is freely avaliable however it is still easy to use with some cool features.
The next channel is the news channel which was very impressive. That is, once I got past the download errors which kept crashing my system when I tried to download this. The news is sorted in to a number of categories and has plenty of articles from around the world. You can get it to slide show all the news articles or news in one category. Also it has a globe that you can spin etc. and see where the news is breaking. This has a nice feel to it but is also gimmicky.

Wii Conect 24
Some really frustating errors and no cancel button put this on to a bad foot and with no online games as of yet to save it this is not a good point for the Wii
That nicly leads me on to my next paragraph. The internet, Wii Conect24, patches, built in Wi-fi and the like. When Nintendo boasted built in, free Wi-fi that allowed online play I was over the moon. Once the inital excitement had subsided enough for me, I browsed to the settings section. After looking at some of the settings and not changing them I progressed to the Wifi area. The Wii found my network instantly and I could connect as soon as I entered my ridiculous (and safe) long password which was, to say the least, painful with the pointer. Once you connect however, things start looking less positive. First of all, it tests your connection. It failed the first time because MSN was running or something like that. Once it passed the test it said, "downloading patches". There was no button to abort or any button to cancel. The home button is disabled and the only way to escape is by disconnecting the power. The patch took at least 20 minutes to download on a 2mb internet connection, with nothing else on the bandwidth and only a couple of feet from the router. As it finally drew to a close I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Then it started to download another one. Once again no choice, or even a hint that this was the last one. I was getting quite impatient by this point and so it was fortunate that this update was much quicker.

The Controller

The controller is fun, intuitive and lived up to its hype. The speaker and rumble packs are nicly intergrated in to the controller and games. The battery life is not too short
The controller is obviously the selling point of the console. The controller is a magic wand that looks like a TV remote. It also has a attachment called a numchuck. Both of these parts are motion sensitive. The buttons are fairly limited, and the accesible ones even more so. On the Wiimote only the A (big button on the front) and the B (trigger on the underside) buttons are accesible. There is also a D-Pad, a plus and minus buttons which act as start and and back. a home button which is like the Xbox button, and 1 and 2 which are like the black and white buttons on the Orginal Xbox. On the numchaq there is a joystick and two buttons. All of these are accesible. The motion sensing is ussally instant although, sometimes, it dosen't pick up small movements if you are not standing directly infront of the TV. This is particually noticable on golf when you are trying to do a small put. The control design is very slick and the blue, white and gray means it fits perfectly with the colour scheme. There is a strap on the controller that you are advised to put on your wrist to avoid the Wiimote flying off when you swing it too hard. When I was reading about this on the internet, I thought you would have to be a complete idiot to do that. However, once I did let go of the controller, fortunatly the strap was on so no damage was done. However, this shows it is very easy to let go. Syncing controllers is, as far I can tell, automatic. If the sync does get broken is is farily simple to reset it. You can also to choose to do one sync, for when you are at a friends house, or permanent syncing for your console. The Wimote supports a rumble, which is farily powerful, and a speaker. The speaker is very powerful as on one or two it is perfectly loud enough and it goes up to atleast 10. The controllers need 2 AA bateries and do not support rechargeable batteries. I am half way through my second set and I got my Wii on January the third. The life has improved a lot since I turned off the speakers in the controller and started using duracell bateries.

Wiisports - Tennis
A very fun game, best game included in Wii sports. The lack of real SP or online MP is made up but the fun easy game play of this game. Smooth, crisp animation is also present.
Seeming as Wiisports was packed with the console it seems right that it is in fact part of the hardware so should get reviewed in this. Also, it serves as a way of reviewing the rest of the console. In Wiisports you can play one of five different sports: Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Bowling and Boxing. Each game uses none or very few buttons to opperate your character (your Mii). Also all the games support multiplayer on the same console. The tennis is, in my oppion, the best game. It supports up to four player and uses no buttons. All the games are in doubles as you are not able to move your character. The game claims to pick up 100 different shots, however only a few are actually animated. The animation is smooth and pleasant if some what funny. For example, if the ball was passing over you, and you swing the 'mote to get it you character will jump a ludicrously high distance in to the air, swinging the bat as they do, randomly glance the ball and then land perfectly on the ground. Do not get the impression this detracts from the game. It's this kind of light heartedness that makes the Wii so adorable. The AI steadily builds up in difficulty level. The problem is, and this goes for all the Wii games, the single player is dull and repetive with no rewards aside from gaining pro status. There are no cups to be acheived or tournaments to be one. The flip side to this is, potentially, the AI and single player goes on forever as they can just keep making the opponents faster and less foolish. However, I have discovered that it caps out as 1900/2000 and dosen't get any harder.

Wiisports - Golf
A simple game, single player is dull as no AI but good simple multiplayer.
The second sport is golf. Although you have to hold A to take your shot, this game is also intutive. The purpos of A is so that you can take practise shots. The game has a very simple way of managing shots. You have a power bar with 4 dots on. These correlate with the 4 dots on the minimap and represent where the ball will bounce (if there is no wind). You have a very limited choice of clubs and you rarely ever change. This keeps the game simple. There are 3, 3 hole course games or you can play all 9. The courses increase in difficultiness and rediculousness. The last map is actually 5 completly sepreate islandsin the middle of a ocean. Once again this adds to the light hearted humour of the Wii. The problem with this game is the limited number of holes, and when you do single player it's only against you and your personal best.

Wiisports- Baseball
This has probably the best single player, the multiplayer however is not very good
Baseball is the next sport. This is probably the hardest to get to grips with. The timing is vital when you are in bat and the computer has no mercy even on the easy difficulties. This game probably has the best single player as the games are long enough for it not to matter that there is no real goal. The controls are simple and when you are batting the speed which you swing the controller has no effect on how far the ball goes. The bowling is not very good as it requires buttons to do the more advanced bowls. This seriously detracts from the game as they are not hard to execute and very difficult to return. Whenever I play multi player I ban these as it makes batting no fun. If you do not know the rules of baseball, like me, it can be a bit confusing when you start, particularly when you alike it to cricket and there seems no viable reason why you are out!

Wiisports- Bowling

A simple game, single player is dull as no AI but good simple multiplayer.
The next sport is bowling. This is the one that I was least looking forward to. Bowling is fun and challenging in real life because the ball is heavy and the speed matters. Obviously the Wiimote wasn't going to be anywhere as near as heavy as the ball. However, the game is easily as fun as it could possibly be. In some ways it is better than the real thing because it isn't as noisy! The controls are intuitive and, although buttons are used for direction, spin and speed are controlled with the motion sensing. Like golf, this game is terrible in single player as you don't play against anyone. However, if the 4 player multi player is a simple, relaxing and surprisingly fun exercise.

Wiisports- Boxing

A extremly fun highly addctive game. Rivals tennis for best game. However, it is too energetic to play for long periods of time like tennis

The final sport is boxing. This sport requires the use of the Numchuck. There are no buttons to press. This is very energetic and you will work up a real sweat very quickly. You can dodge shots by swaying side to side, do upper cuts, round houses etc. This rivals tennis for the best sport. The only problem with this game is it might be a little too energetic. The multi player is intense and the single player fun. The additional cost of the Numchuck and the increased battery requirements are more than justified with this fun game. It is rather funny to watch as, when you Miis knock someone out, or are lying on the floor, if like mine, you gave it a smiling face, it looks ridiculously twisted! Other amusing physics errors also occur, for example, once I did a upper cut and the guy back flipped on to his head and then bounced all the way round.


Even I can't conclude a conclusion.
That is the Wii. Is it worth £179? Yes. The fact that it is bundled with a game puts this beyond any doubt. The controller is used well in Wii sports and acts as excellent demonstration of what is to come for the Wii. The controllers are erring on the side of VERY expensive as the Wiimote is £33 and the Numchuck is £18. However, this is probably countered by the cheaper console and games. The outlook for games appears to be good with plenty of non-ninty developers jumping on the band wagon. The launch games were a little weak, Zelda was very good although a lot of the big external developer games were a let down (Red Steel). The Wii has not had many problems except with the patches and the virtual console works fine. The Wii gets a thumbs up.

A note: Since writing this I have had occasional technical issues with the Wii and it not turning on. These can all be fixed by removing and reconnecting the power cable, but it is worth noting it is not 100% reliable.

Blog Update: There you go, the official Wii review, tell me if you see any spelling errors. I hope you like the new blog design complete with streamlined BTR player (look on the right). I may type up my 360 analysis that I wrote 6 months ago. Yes I managed to get this out within 15 minutes of when I was supposed to XD

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Crazy Wii

Crazy Wii

This qute little animation sums up the Wii pretty well!

"All your base are belong to us"