Sunday, September 28, 2008

Making plans for Nigel?

As a new round of International fixtures looms, here's a short message to Mr.Worthington.


In other world news the financial crisis deepens. In the USA the Government has stepped in with a multi billion dollar rescue package and closer to home my Government has nationalised the Bradford & Bingley. I'm not a financial expert but it seems to me that Banks are businesses like any other? If they are failing due to mis-management or whatever that is their problem? I don't see why my taxes should be used to bail out a failing company just because the Government says so. When my Dad was alive and ran a Petrol Station nobody gave him any tax payers money when he had a 'bad week', why should it be any different for anyone else? If i was American i would be very very unhappy.

Nice to see that the Conservative Party have stated at their annual Conference that will field candidates at every Constituency in Northern Ireland. And about time too.

In theory anyway this could mean the beginning of the end of the 'tribal' politics we have had here since partition. I'm not a particular supporter of the Tories but given a choice between the local Parties and the Conservatives, i know where my votes going. Lets hope they live up to their promises and that Labour and the Liberal Democrats follow suit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Famiclone Update #9

I think the Sony Solicitors will love this one?
This is the Double Match Game handheld and it's made by somebody or other in China.
As you can see it's remarkably like the PSP. Right down to the box artwork.
It's a very impressive piece of kit. Comes with 5 built in games and mine arrived with a Multi-Cart containing 112 extra. All games are the usual NES/Famicom ones or hacks of the same. There is a pretty good selection and the Multi-Cart doesn't appear to have the usual set of games repeated over and over. I've only checked about 30 but so far so good. Carts are the same size and shape of GBA cartridges and One Station Carts also work fine.
It takes 4 AAA batteries but 9v mains adaptors are also supported.

Comes with English Manual, AV cables and a second handset. TV out and two player games are supported. TV out is fine.
Buttons are laid out exactly like those of the PSP and are acceptably responsive. The screen is smaller but is bright and clear. It is , as you would expect, a lot lighter than the PSP.
The only problem I've had is that one of the battery covers won't stay on when batteries are in place but that's a minor quibble.
Excellent stuff from those good people over at Cost was about £20.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Short Book Review



I have a story about Maggie O'Farrell.

You know how it is when you start a new job. You always spend the first few days dandering about with that 'Please give me some work to do' look on your face. Well i started a new job a while ago and deep within the depths of my new and almost empty desk i found a battered copy of Ms O'Farrell's 'After You'd Gone'. I dismissed it as a 'Woman's book' but was really bored one lunchtime and started to read it. It was fantastic.

This one is fantastic too.

It concerns a girl who discovers that she has a previously unknown Great Aunt who is to be released from a Psychiatric Unit. The girl befriends the Great Aunt and slowly but surely the events of her tragic life are exposed.

Ms O'Farrell has a wonderful imagination and perfectly tells the story of Esme Lennox. It's without a doubt one of the best novels i have ever read with each chapter containing a different and unexpected twist in this poor woman's life.

The only downside is that it ends too soon and the ending is a little bit ambiguous leaving this reader wanting more and wondering what actually happened in those last few chapters.

Very highly recommended!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Famiclone Update #8

Here we have the Play & Game Cassette Vision by YSN.

A fairly standard Famiclone from China.

110V and plays Japanese Famicom Cartridges. No built in Games.

2 Controllers, power supply and AV cables are provided but no instruction manual.

YSN seem to producing a lot of Clones and I've a few more of their efforts to list soon.

It's fine. Well built and the controllers are responsive.

Nothing much more to say really. It's standard, it works and the box is nice.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Famiclone Update #7

Got 4 new systems this week but haven't had time to test them all yet so i thought i would start listing some Pirate Famicom Cartridges. I've got dozens of these things and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of different examples available. It's another of the things i love about collecting Clones.

This one is a single game pirate called NBA Basketball.

It's 60 pin and for the Japanese Famicom. Not 100% sure that this is a pirate but i can't find it listed on any Famicom cartridge sites so i presume it is? If anyone knows any more info feel free to let me know.

It's a sh*t basketball game. I hate most sports games with a passion anyway and don't even know the rules of basketball so was bound to hate it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Foot in Mouth disease....

As the competition hots up for this years 'Stupid Bitch of the year' awards, a surprise new entrant is none other than Hollywood 'starlet' and ex squeeze of Marilyn Manson, Rose McGowan.

Ms. McGowan has just finished filming some movie about those brave 'soldiers' and erstwhile 'freedom fighters' of the IRA.

Commenting on the film McGowan said that she would have been happy to have joined the IRA and that 'my heart just broke for the cause'.

Oh dear dear me.

Perhaps, as one of many many examples, McGowan would have liked to have planted the bomb at La Mon House? Or blown the legs off a few soldiers and Policemen? Or kidnapped, tortured and murdered Jean McConville?

Or, considering that this is the anniversary of the 9/11 New York bombings her heart might also have 'broke' for those poor downtrodden jihad martyrs?

At worst this is naivety beyond contempt. There is no at best.

Why 'C' list celebrities have to keep opening their stupid mouths about things they know f*ck all about is beyond me. (I'm sighing loudly now).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Short Video Game Review.

My latest completed game is this one.
Sacred Plus for PC CDROM. An RPG by Ascaron.
It's easily reviewed in three short words - Generic, Boring and Repetitive.

First of all it looks OK. A Diablo style 2.5D world with none of those horrible third person 3D shenanigans that are impossible to control and make me feel ill.

The storyline is the usual type of nonsense for this type of thing. A world in danger when an ancient magic is released etc etc. I lost interest in the plot very very quickly.

It's easy enough to get into and all though it initially looks complicated it's not really. The interface is fine with quick select buttons in all the proper places.

The bad points are numerous i'm afraid. 'A massive world' it says on the box. It's not. Considering i completed the game with only 39% discovered is testament to that. A big proportion of the map is covered by inaccessible forest which limits your movement somewhat.

There are numerous side quests but they do quickly become very boring. 'Save my daughter who has been kidnapped by Orcs' type affairs. Problem is that they are far too easy. After levelling up a bit they are all the same. Kill a lot of random characters, nick the weapons etc they drop move on to the next similar quest....ho..hum.

There are also numerous glitches in the game. Quests that don't register as completed (even though they are) is a particular irritant.

AI is also hit and miss. Some enemies will just stand idly by whilst you pick them off from a distance, not moving even with 5 arrows stuck in them.

Another problem is that by about half way through you have the best weapon and it can't be upgraded any more and end up having to pick up 100's of inferior items just in case something worth buying might eventually appear in one of the shops.

The magic system seems to be tacked on with very little thought or imagination. You don't have to use it anyway as by the time you actually need it you have a strong enough weapon to cope with anything the game throws at you.
It ends with a wimper. The legend 'To be continued' is displayed. Somebody kill me...please!!!!
In all, very disappointing. And to think i wasted almost 40 hours on this. That BTW is not because the game is challenging, just that i'm shit at games.