Sunday, April 26, 2009

deviantART Update: Paint Doodles 2

Another deviantART update. This time I've put up a collage of odd little doodles I do sometimes in MS Paint - usually when the broadband is out and I'm back to waiting forever for stuff to load with dial-up. I've had these ones stored away for ages, but I finally whipped them into something reasonable looking over the last few weeks. Check it out here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gameboy Player

Game Boy Player

I've wanted one of these things forever and I was given the perfect excuse to pick one up last week when the screen on my GBA died. I was nearing the end of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, when the picture suddenly faded from the screen. I tried changing the batteries to no avail. It was pretty clear that the old launch model GBA had had it.

The GBP arrived on Friday in great condition, apart from a few scratches. Installing it was very simple, I just needed to take off the cover of the high speed port on the bottom of the Cube, slot the GBP in there and screw it into the console. The two screws are fixed to the GBP so you can't loose them. Of course, the unit itself is no good without the required software, which came on a pretty scratched-up GC disc. I popped it in and booted the Cube, hoping for the best. Thankfully, it all worked fine.

I was really impressed with how well the handheld games translate to TV screen, even old games from the original Gameboy look nice and sharp. The GBP presents the games in the middle of the screen, surrounded by a border in the style of a GBA or you can stretch the picture to fill about 2/3 of the TV screen. The second option leaves you with a smaller border and doesn't really impact on the picture quality of the game too much.

So far, I'm really happy with the GBP and I'm hoping it'll get me to check out some more GB/GBC/GBA games. Even though I've had a GBA for years, I've pretty much ignored it for most of that time. It's only within the last few years I've started to pick a few games for it, but given the fact that I just bought Donkey Kong '94 on eBay, I think the GBP may be working.

GameStop Pickups 24/04/09

GameStop Pickups 24/04/09

I popped into the local GameStop today for another raid on their used PS2 section. It hadn't been turning up too much of late - mostly old football games of various shapes and sizes. But the was plenty of good stuff on offer today - Dark Cloud 2, Destroy All Humans 2, Scarface and even a copy of the somewhat elusive God Hand (at a hefty €29.99 though). I had €24 to spend and decided that it was best put to use thusly:

Everybody's Tennis - €9.99

Looks like a nice, solid tennis game so far. There's more than a whiff of Wii-style inclusiveness in everything from the cute characters, the relaxing music to the menu design. I started off on the training mode, trying to hit panels on the opponent's side of the court, quite fun. The Challenge mode looks to be the where meat of the game is. For my first match I went for a little girl on girl action on the beach (sorry, I'll stop). The AI character put up pretty decent challenge. It's definitely not the lightweight casual game the presentation might suggest.

Second Sight - €6.99

For some reason, I woke up with a question this morning. I don't know what I was dreaming of, but I was trying to think what was the other PS2/Xbox telekinesis game besides Second Sight - Psi-Ops came to me after a while. Anyway, I really liked the TimeSplitters series and I've been meaning to check out Free Radical's other last gen offering for ages. I played the PC version of this on GameTap for a bit last year, but the voices were all screwed up for some reason and I've always found third person games tricky to control with the muse/keyboard combo -no such problems here.

Tony Hawk's Underground 2 - €5.99

It's been forever since I played a Tony Hawk's game and despite the dodgy reputation this one has, I decided to go for it given the budget price. I hear there are a number of ill advised additions that came in with the "Underground" moniker, but so far it seems like business as usual and I was pulling off a string of ludicrous combos in no time. Liking the soundtrack so far too - "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Site Update: Timesplitters 2/Soul Calibur Review...Thing


Today, I've stuck another old college assignment up on my web site. It's a sort of review I did in 2005, comparing two games of different genres in terms of physics, AI and collision detection. I picked TimeSplitters 2 and Soul Calibur II for mine. As well as that, we had to do a walkthrough for the first level of one of the games to prove we'd actually played them first. A move you might think unnecessary in a computing course, but there were a lot more non-gamers among us than I would have ever imagined.

You can check it out, in all its glory here.