Archive for May, 2007

May 30, 2007

Post no Bills

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Just found it too funny to pass up. Can anyone tell me who the Bill on the bottom is?

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May 29, 2007

When there’s no will, there’s no way

I haven’t been blogging for ages, and I figured I’d update today just in case anyone’s curious what’s happened.  The truth is, not much really.  I jsut got bored. Again.  When I started this blog I thought it would be cool to put together a repository of all the geeky and cool things I encountered in real life and while trolling through the internet.  It was fun for a while and I got addicted to seeing my stats rise (thank you antonella barba, you have no idea what your being half naked meant to me) but I’d always have periods where I’d completely lose interest in blogging.

I think it was partly because it felt like it required so much effort to try to be funny and witty and/or snarky while writing that I felt it really wasn’t worth it anymore.  I’d run across a few interesting tidbits on the net and think ah, someone already wrote about it anyway, what’s the point?  Also, I’ve been working a lot on stencils and artworks offline, which frankly gives me a much larger sense of achievement than anything I’ve done on a computer screen.  The ability to actually touch the artwork you made makes a whole world of difference, and I find myself looking for ways to get off the computer more and more.   Let’s just say there’s a different kind of feeling when someone comments on a work you made online as opposed to a friend of yours saying that they like the t-shirt design that you made.

So what’s the point of this post?  I’m not sure that I’ll keep geekofalltrades up, but its not like I’m paying anything for it, so I’ll just let it lie in limbo for a while.  One of these days I’ll post again, but when that’ll be, only time will tell.

Al this drama, and I’ve only had this site for like, 8 months. Jeez.

May 18, 2007

I found out where Jessica Simpson honed her songwriting skillz.

 

So I’ve been thinking about writing songs because a)I’ve always wanted to be in a band but never got the chance and b) actually it’s just a).  I never did join a band cause I was too much of a pussy.  I could never learn an instrument to save my life and musical notes were as good as numbers to me (I’m useless at math, except for calculating 10% of anything) and my voice wasn’t exactly a showstopper plus I have stage fright.  That right there is a horrible, horrible combination.

But this post is not about my songwriting dreams and aspirations, but rather about why the hell does ultimatesongwriting.com look like a fansite for rainbow brite?   Seriously.  I mean, is this where britney, christina, or (insert name of blonde airhead here oh hello Jessica Simpson) go to when they feel like they actually want to write their songs?  Suffice it to say that I didn’t stay there very long, but moved onto bloggingmuses.com, which proved to be a much more visually restrained and interesting blog about songwriting.

Oh look, some of the snark’s returned. Isn’t it grand?

May 17, 2007

So now I’m ALMOST a little bit excited to watch the Transformers movie

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Almost. After seeing this trailer on Defamer. I’m still pissed at guyver-ish redesigns of the robots and the fact that michael fucking bay is directing it, but maybe if I just ignore the fact that this is a transformers movie and just treat it as a regular old summer action flick, I’ll get by without frothing at the mouth and hurling invectives at Bay’s mutilated corpse. Maybe. Oh, and is it just me or do the transformers not talk in this movie? wtf? Sign language maybe? Ok I’m sort of NOT excited again. WEll at least the transforming “e-e-u-u-o-o-u-u” sound is intact, thank god for that.

May 11, 2007

Doom! via Manblog

 

Reading the manblog reminds me of when I was much snarkier.  Now it seems I’ve lost my snark, and I don’t know how to get it back.  Or, maybe being snarky just takes up too much of my energy because I’m really a nice, fun loving guy.  So.  To the man blog it is, for some snarkilarious Doctor Doom! on Peter Parker commentary.

May 9, 2007

Playlist Manila T-shirt

 

Just pimping this T-shirt cause I thought it turned out well.  Made it last Thursday and was planning to wear it to the Playlist Manila event on the 16th, except that I’ll be in bora for a company outing.  You all shoud go to the event by the way, it’s sure to be a blast despite (or because of) my absence.

May 9, 2007

Get Bejeweled for free!

In a gesture sure to garner them goodwill from every mom that hasn’t yet bought a copy of Bejeweled, Popcap games is offering the epitome of the casual puzzle game genre for free from May 9-23. Sure to benefit not only mothers but cheapo gamers as well (koff koff), existing and new subscribers to their newsletter will get a registration code via email for a full retail copy of Bejeweled Deluxe to be redeemed on or before May 30.

I’m never one to turn down a free offer, so you can be sure I’m gonna get my hands on this right quick.

May 9, 2007

ICO game review

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In film, there is a status bestowed upon movies that are brilliant but underappreciated, diamonds in the rough that you’d have to wade through piles of shitty movies in the bargain bin to get to.  ICO for PS2 would probably be the best equivalent of a cult classic in video games, had its fans and subsequent success of its spiritual sequel Shadows of the collosus made sure that it would be thrust into the light of day.

Simply put, ICO is one of the most amazing videogames I have ever played.  I’ve played many games in my lifetime and I say this with no qualms whatsoever.  What makes this even more amazing is the fact that this game was made in 2001, a full 6 years ago, and I daresay it still holds its own against the best PS2 titles out today.

Story

The story of Ico is sparse and frankly it works to the game’s advantage.  The game is cinematic in the way that Metal Gear Solid isn’t, since it doesn’t rely on cutscenes every ten minutes to move the story along.  You are Ico, a boy with horns that has been sealed in a coffin alive to die, in order that the villagers may live in peace.  This is the tradition that has gone on for centuries, and you are merely the latest sacrifice made.  The villagers who take you to the castle even apologize, asking you not to hate them, and that they do this for the village.  By sheer luck a tremor occur and allows you to escape from your tomb, then the game begins…

Graphics

There is little that hasn’t been said already, but I’ll say it again.  The game’s graphics are amazing.  This game is proof that proper art direction can compensate for low poly counts and weak system specs, that videogames are truly an art form.  From the architechture of the castle to the reflections on the water and the slight blurry effectt that is persistent throughout the game, it’s obvious that creator Fumito Ueda has an eye for the minutest details.  An experienced gamerswill notice that some of the textures  look pathetically old, but that rarely detracts from the experience.

The animation in this game is superb, and sometimes I felt like I was watching an animated film instead of playing a video game.  Anyone who’s played through the recent Prince of Persia trilogy must recognize that developers ubisoft took a lot of inspiration from this game, as the animations are fluid and realistic, and indeed convey a sense of emotion that few games can muster up.  There’s a scene late in the game where the other main character Yorda (more on her later) has expended a lot of energy.  When Ico drags her by the arms she usually manages to scamper along with you, but this time after a few steps she falters and falls to the ground.  Every movement is so realistic and fluid that you almost want to ask Yorda if she’s hurt and indeed feel sorry for having dragged her too harshly.

Sparse

Sound, like dialogue in this game, is sparse but effectively used.  The music that comes when shadow creatures are attacking is suitably creepy, the sound effects of torches crackling and bombs blowing up, every single sound comes into play only when neccessary, and enhances the overall feel of the games in leaps and bounds.

Gameplay

After exploring the castle for a bit, you’re introduced to the other main character, Yorda, who’s locked in a cage in the middle of a tower.  After doing a bit of inspection, you find that the only way yo reach her is to jump on the cage, which sets off a sequence in which the cage falls due to the extra weight, free Yorda, then fight off a small horde of shadow creatures looking to drag Yorda into the shadows.

The simplistic gameplay of ICO has been detracted by critics, and it’s easily explained in a sentence or two.  Your objective is to escape the castle with Yorda, while solving puzzles that open up new pathways and defending Yorda from shadow creatures.  You have no life bar, and the game ends only if you fall too far or if Yorda is absorbed by the darkness.  And that’s about it.  But in the best example that good gameplay doesn’t require multiple button presses, ICO rises to the challenge of gameplay like few games have.

The cage sequence I mentioned above is only the first example of what will be a series of intuitive puzzles that do not rely on a player finding crests or keys to unlock a door.  Every puzzle you go through makes absolute perfect sense, and sometimes you want to slap yourself in the head at how simple a puzzle you spent hours solving is.  None of the puzzles seem contrived and while there are still crates, I guarantee that every little puzzle you get through makes absolute perfect sense, be it bombing a door open or slicing through some ropes to let down a drawbridge.  The brilliance of Ico is magnified by the fact that it revolves around your going through a single castle, and going through the game you get a sense of things falling into place, like the game itself is a huge puzzle that fits the pieces together so neatly there’s a sense of wonder as you come upon the last few hours of play.

One last things bout the gameplay is that I love how the save points are spread out so that after finishing a puzzle there’s almost always a save point.  With my schedule, I only allow myself an hour or two of game time at best, and it was very satisfying to be able to finish a puzzle, save, then get some sleep.

Conclusion

Ico is a game that anyone interested in videogames and making videogames should try out.  Fumito Ueda is like the darker version of Shiggy that works for Nintendo, who creates games not according to what is trendy, but according to a unique personal vision, a true autuer of the videogame industry.

Now that I’ve spent my load all over ICO, do yourselves a favor an buy/borrow/steal a PS2 (theyr’e really cheap these days!) and get a copy of ICO.  I guarantee it’ll be one of the best gaming experiences you’ll ever have.

May 8, 2007

Castlevania + Warren Ellis + James Jean = wetpants

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I have no idea how this went over my head, but apparently a Castlevania animated film is being brought to life by writer Warren Ellis (Planetary,Transmetropolitan) and arti directed by Illustrator James Jean (Fables covers, jaw dropping illustration above).  I never actually got to play the game it’s based on (Castlevania III, the last NES castlevania), but I do have a lot of love for the series in general, and the combination of creative power behind this outing seems unstoppable.

Check out the official blog here. 

May 7, 2007

Mr.Potato Head Optimus Prime

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This is the funniest/coolest toy I’ve seen in a long while, and I want one.