Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Note From Management: Quarantine And Smash Brothers

No, I'm not dead - although I've felt a bit like warmed over. I've caught the mother of all head colds, the kind that makes you cry uncle with a fever before even bothering with those normal pesky symptoms. Most of the fever seems to have subsided now, but the symptoms are still have their late night party. This has been going on since Wednesday, mind you, and feels every bit like those unwelcome guests that trash your place at this point.

The only plus is that I finally got a few free hours with Super Smash Brothers: Brawl. The thing about this game is that it really isn't one you can just jump into ... it just looks like it. Until you get the hang of how points work, what tricks you need to pull to knock people out (and hence ... score points) and at least a smattering of the controls - the game can be fairly annoying.

Once you get the hang of some of that, though, it's good brainless fun. And the wealth of options, from the stage builder to spectating (and betting) online fights to the adventure mode is pretty keen. Subspace Emissary, the title of said adventure mode, has gotten a few bangs. And it's certainly not perfect, but it's fun in that old school 2D way when you haven't run into a sequence you wish someone had playtested a bit further. Like yesterday I got stuck in a shaft because I gotten Link activated and getting his jumps to work properly for the situation was simply impossible. Any other character in the queue would have worked - but I wasn't even in a place to off the old elf so that I could swap.

There's the additional burden of Ninteno's bizarre friends list concept. That being that everyone will need to swap Brawl codes as well as Wii codes in some instances. I'm not sure why simply being on the Wii list isn't enough, but there it is.

All in all a definite thumbs up though, especially when you can't remove yourself from the couch anyway...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weinsteins Strike Back - The Fanboys Controversy Starts

Fanboys is a movie involving Star Wars and Kristen Bell. Generally speaking, I would need to know little more about it in order to go see it, but apparently Producers Weinstein have decided I wouldn't see it if it mentioned cancer.

Did I mention it has Kristen Bell?

Oh, and this is choice:

Steven Brill, director of Little Nicky and Drillbit Taylor was brought in to do several days of reshoots to erase any reference to terminal illness. The new scenes were shot during the writers' strike, and the dialog was mostly improvised. The original director, Kyle Newman, and screenwriter Cline were not involved in the reshoots or re-editing. "Have you seen the cancer version of this movie?" writes Brill in an email to an angry fan. "I have. It is unreleaseable. It would be irresponsible to release it."

Because people - if anyone ... anyone knows what is unreleasable and irresponsible ... that person would be the director of Little Nicky and Drillbit Taylor. Cancer? Knowing this guy had anything to do with it makes me less likely to see it. I would take cancer over a screening of Little Nicky any day.

A Very Buffy Reunion

Most of the cast got back together to reminisce the old times, and IGN was there to report on it ... so if you need that one final injection of the show's behind the scenes tales, this would be it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Netflix Crashes

The Girl was saying that NPR had a story today that Netflix has taken a dirt nap, and sure enough ... at the time of this writing the website is down. News is pretty bare on what's what, but it looks like movies might get delayed getting sent out.

Sometimes, the iPhone Dev Center Just Closes Down...

This has actually happened to me a few times. I'll have a page open to some Apple documentation or the like and when I try to click around, I get kicked to the registration page. I try to login again with my dev account and I ... get kicked to the registration page.

I get that Apple must be just swamped - but not being able to maintain a login?

Wii Blamed For "Effeminate" Violence

WASHINGTON—Concerned parents are again blasting the Nintendo Wii for an incident of effeminate violence following a 13-year-old boy's limp-wristed attack on three of his classmates at a Cleveland-area middle school Tuesday.

The incident—the sixth of its kind in as many months—has left parents searching for answers and struggling to comprehend the dainty assault, which left the necks of two sweaters severely stretched out and countless fingers stubbed.
-- Wii Video Games Blamed For Rise In Effeminate Violence (The Onion)

Note ... it's The Onion.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Some iPhone SDK Disappointments

The simulator not supporting Open GL is definitely a bit of a downer, but the Core graphics set is pretty decent for a lot of uses (although obviously not for rotating a 3D teapot, for instance).

I didn't realize, though, that the SDK does not seem to support accessing the iTunes library for playback. This really seems like a fairly strong handed restriction - I could see restrictions on manipulating the library itself but removing access completely shuts out a large portion of the functionality. So no new visualizers, music based games, podcasting, or mix software for you. I can't see where there's a DRM issue here, it's not like you'll be burning CD's off the thing ... so it really feels more like a stranglehold on the iTunes experience.

Also the SDK's dev site has a bit to be desired. There's no real search functionality, Getting beyond the surface topics and basic tutorials are difficult at best and OS X topics are interwoven with the iPhone ones with the occasional "has not been reviewed for accuracy" on the latter note. For instance, I can't even find a page that overviews the above and if you google "iPhone SDK restrictions", two full pages of result don't include any information from itself.

I was going to take some time today and try and port my old visualizer code over to the iPhone ... but apparently that's out...