Archive for April, 2004

Curse you, 1-click™ ordering

Wednesday, April 7th, 2004

OK, Amazon 1-click™ ordering is great, but when you’re in a hurry to use up a gift voucher in your lunchbreak and you hurridly purchase a game (let’s say for the sake of argument /Unreal Tournament 2004/), make sure you check the default delivery address. Especially if you’ve moved house twice in the last year. Bugger.

Gaming in general has been a bit of disapointment recently. Joint Operations was looking (from the screenshots) to be a really cool version of Desert Combat with realistic looking water and pretty explosions. Sadly, from the demo it appears that it’s basically the Battlefield game mechanics running in an engine that looks several years old, and with no physics. Ground vehicles glide rigidly over the uneven surfaces of the levels and helicopters are horribly static and lacking in any kind of momentum. I don’t know – maybe NovaLogic thought that a realistic model for helicopters was beyond the grasp of the current generation of gamers, but the truth is that we’ve moved on a lot since the likes of Comanche.

The PC version of Kill.Switch – a game based around the novel use of “Offensive cover” (apparently nothing to do with “Light My Fire” by Will Young) – was recently released in the states. I naively took that as a suggestion that maybe the European publishers had gotten around to shipping it as well. Apparently not. According to /Game/ (EB), /Gamestation/, /Virgin/ and /HMV/, they weren’t even aware of a PC release in development. Come on LSP – do your fucking job! The game practically sells itself, it’s developed by Namco, who have in their illustrious history only ever produced one truly bad game, the PC port was done by the original rock and roll developers – The Bitmap Bros, and it got a really decent review in PC Zone. *JUST TELL ME WHEN IT’S OUT!*

To be honest, XBox gaming has taken a back seat. However, the XBox itself is in frequent use, thanks in part to Xbox Media Center. Now, I delayed installing XBMC because I was under the impression that it was just XBMP with knobs on. And it is, but /what knobs/!

XBMC will scan all the shared folders on your network (that you’ve pointed it to) and create a database of all the music and films that reside on it. Not only that, but during this search it will look up the CDDB and IMDB info (respectively) on each item it encounters. This is a massive feature as it then allows you to list all the media in your house in one big list, regardless of whose hard drive it sits on and browse through it all in order of (for example) its IMDB rating. This also solves the argument of who has the best MP3 naming convention – flip the view mode into browse by artist and suddenly the filename and location become irrelevant as all the shared music in the house is expanded into one big list based on artist name.