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Friday, June 06, 2008

Fly The Cheap Little Wind

That's a line from a FSOL song actually, and with prices these days I won't be flying any cheap winds anytime soon. I will be flying out to San Fran for WWDC which means I don't know how much blogging I'll get done for the next week. Apple is odd about that kind of stuff as it is and I'll probably be spending most of my time as I usually do in these situations - half listening to whatever it is going on around me and half coding on some project which may or may not have anything to do with anything but sounds really, really cool to me at the time.

I'll probably be either updating the app we're developing at work or the game I've been playing with. I still love how game and business development dovetails. I completely rewrote the basic interface framework while we were in New York (The Girl was getting her hair done at the time) and it went so much faster after knowing more about how to build out delegates and views and the such.

In game related news, I'm glad to see Play Digital's podcast finally getting updated with the return of the lovely Katharine and her brutally good reviews. I don't see the site updated, however, which is fine as I'll be taking it with me for the flight anyway.

I got a few follow up questions, by the by, on using the Mac as a wireless media server for the PS3. For a moment there it looked more dire than my initial take on the matter. When we tried to watch My Name Is Earl the video would stutter and freeze about every three minutes or so. This, however, seems to have been a result of my D-Link wireless router finally dying. Well, I say finally for no good reason since the damn thing is barely a couple years old. Once I got a new router (some Netgear number with a big blinking blue top) and got the access point up in the living room (cheaper than paying RCN to come out and "internet enable" the living room cable jack) - it's been stone cold smooth ever since.

So to be specific - I'm using a Mac with 10.5, NullRiver's MediaLink and an area with a really strong wifi signal. I've had less luck with say, TwonkyMedia - although that seems to be more of a format issue than anything else.

The HDTV decision is coming down the pipe soon should anyone have any last minute armchair advice on such a purchase.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Movie Watch: Iron Man

The pun is too easy. Iron Man is easily one of the most solid summer blockbusters put to the screen. I'll refrain from making any repulsor lift jokes though, let's just settle on the fact that the movie manages a near brilliant tempo which avoids the non-stop special effects ride which is so easy for a studio to churn out, skips over the needless changes from the source material and doesn't fall headlong into overwrought romance.

It's quite easily the best comic book ever made.

One of the most impressive things about the script and the directing is that someone remembered that a hero story is sometimes the inverse of a horror story. A lot of good horror stories build the picture of the monster/killer/spooky doll very slowly. In this move, Iron Man is that spooky doll and it makes the payoff of the explosions to follow that much sweeter. Downey's peformance as Stark might not be too far removed from his core, but he plays the billionaire playboy with a heart of iron probably better than anyone else could.

There's a whole other layer being draped on top of this movie - I won't go into too much detail for fear of being spoilerific, but it certainly sounds like Marvel Studios is starting to try and ferry their franchises into a network of movies rather than a series of one-off money makers. It should be pretty interesting to watch.

Highly recommend (as action movies go).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Demo Play: Battlefield: Bad Company And Iron Man

Had a little free time this morning so I finally installed and tried out the two demos I had been sitting, Bad Company and Iron Man.

Battlefield: Bad Company
Bad Company has a pretty interesting dose of grim humor to add to the modern combat arena of shooters. Cast into the "Bad Company", the single player campaign tosses you headlong into a nearly hopeless scenario with little warning. You'll be stabbing yourself with medical hypos in no time flat.

The multiplayer takes a nice avenue from the normal CTF / spawn control style of play. The attackers are looking to take crates of gold from the defenders, which in turn increase the number of spawns the team gets. The defenders are trying to wear down the attackers to defeat. Server side stats are recorded with players gaining rank.

It's quick, gritty and looks amazing. The online play was crisp and easy over PSN. I would definitely at least recommend the demo when it goes fully public on June 5th.

Iron Man
Having just walked out of the movie itself not too long ago, I can say that they're certainly remaining faithful to the film. Downey's voice lends a great deal to the game and all the visuals fall in line with the feel of the movie.

My only complaint is the controls. It's an overcomplicated mess of movement and shooting with little concern for targeting in between. You feel a little less like man shaped tank when your repulsor shots shank to the right or when you accidentally jet yourself into a wall. My most effective attack seemed to be to just run up to a target and punch it a lot. Which worked awesome for the last Hulk game I played, but I was hoping for a little more sophistication from Stark's creation.