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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Rock Band? Not today. ~ UPDATE

So, wassup?

Let's just get this over with:  My life has been hectic yada yada yada etc.

Anyway, I'm currently about half way in of the week off I get from College.  Whoop!  But I have 2 exams the first day I go back.  Damn.  It sucks that I still have 3 exams left; I can't believe I have two in a row the second College starts again.  And to top it all off, it's a Maths Module first; followed by a Media exam directly afterwards.  Which I'm still not fully prepared for.  Sometimes, I hate college...


Moving onto some slightly better news.  I got Rock Band on Saturday... well, the disc anyway.  Since the game is split into the Solus edition and Instruments in a Box version.  The Solus (game disc) has come and we've mainly been messing about using the headset but we're still waiting for the instruments because of stupid Parcel Force.  It came Friday... at 7:50 in the morning.  Then it was meant to be redelivered on Tuesday (today) and I woke up at 7:30 to wait for it.  It came at 7:05 apparently.  F*CK.

So, we made them redeliver it tomorrow.  Hopefully we can actually receive it this time.  Damn Parcel Force, maybe they could have given us an estimate time of arrival or maybe, you know, ring us to open the door.  Since we're in anyway but just upstairs.


Oh and I've been playing on GTA IV online via XBL and I've gotta say.  I'm lovin' it.

The online service is just so well made and voice chat seems to be a great addition that helps a lot during actual gameplay.  I've only really played GTA IV online (haven't really tried any other games online yet) and it's really really really fun.  It's just the way the game is made, the whole sandbox theme that enables for such unpredictability when playing alone.  But when playing online against other people, the unpredictability factor is multiplied ten-fold as the human opponents employ strategies the in-game AI wouldn't use even if I drew it out on the floor for them.

I usually play "Cops 'N Crooks".  Which is basically two teams take it in turns to be crooks or cops.  Makes sense, right?  The crooks have to get to their getaway vehicle (which is either a boat or helicopter) and the cops have to stop them (by killing them).  There are two modes:  "All for One" and "One for All".  I usually enjoy playing One for All since everyone gets only one respawn which means most people are a lot more cautious.  But All for One seems to put Teamwork as more of a focus as the crooks have to protect a boss, these games seem to go much faster though as the cops spawn in police cars while crooks spawn out in the open.  Meaning it's really hard to get a vehicle.

I've seen all sort of tactics employed during this mode.  Everyone just rushing to the waypoint in two cars, everyone splitting up into different cars, everyone staying back and arming themselves to take out cops.  There's just so many ways the whole thing could pan out.

Like, for example, when playing I was riding shotgun with my friend who was driving a car while we were chasing the crooks who were in a helicopter.  I manage to hit the petrol tank or something with my sub-machine gun when I was leaning out the window and BOOM!  The helicopter explodes into pieces.  They all die.  My friend and I promptly exchange virtual high-fives and "woots!" are heard on the headset.  Until I find that we were still travelling pretty fast into the direction of the giant burning ball of flame that is now the helicopter.

"OH SH*T!  U-TURN!  NOW!"  I shout down the head set.  But to no avail.  It's too late.  The helicopter lands right on top of us.  Oh my god.  It was a bit depressing when we died, but it didn't stop it being any bit the least awesome.

Another time was when their were two crooks left and about 5 cops.  One crook had managed to get into the helicopter while the other crook was on the roof of this museum place.  I was on the ground with a rocket launcher.  The helicopter tried to pick up the crook on the roof before and I shot a few rockets at it and now it was in a bad condition.  It wouldn't be able to take many more hits.  It flew atop this high sky-scraper where I couldn't touch it and everyone was playing the waiting game.  The others panned out in search of rocket launchers and helicopters to try and take it down.  So I was left, alone.  Against a helicopter and a guy sporting a assault rifle atop a building with only ONE rocket launcher ammo left.  I get into a fast car and make it look like I'm off searching for more RPG ammo and the helicopter takes the bait.  It starts flying down to pick up the final crook, I execute a perfect 180 and head back the other way.  They didn't see me coming and BOOM!  I take out the helicopter is taken out by my rocket launcher.  I also managed to take out the other crook.  Now that is how you play GTA IV.  It was truly one of the most intense and great games I have played online.


It's about time I got back to working on revising (I'm meant to be revising now actually...) so I'm cutting this post short.  Until next time.


UPDATE #1:  Godammit!  The kick-pedal's broken!  It came off in a particularly heated play of "Run for the Hills".  :(

Made me only get 4 stars (I continued with a broken kick-pedal!).

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Not mauled by land-sharks (pst~ new banner)

Contrary to popular belief.  I am not dead.  And, possibly more importantly, I haven't been mauled by land-sharks.  No matter how much you will it so.

Anyway, long time no see.  It's been... what?  11 days?  According to my memory it has, since my last post was the anniversary post.  In that time not too much has happened.  Things got even more hectic than before (is that even possible)?  As now I'm plagued by the ominous  presence of exams every waking moment, and it just makes me stop and wonder:  Why the hell am I doing all these exams?

For a sheet of shiny, colourful piece of paper?  A letter from the alphabet?  Or for numbers to contribute to this total that could affect if I go to university or not?

It's not just me though, for the last week or so, the whole nation has been gripped by exam fever.  SATs, GCSEs, you name it.  I'm just reluctant to believe the whole: "These are the most important exams of your life and will stay with you FOREVER!" after it's been used THREE F*CKING TIMES already on me.  First, Year 6 SATs, our teacher tells us that.  We work hard and we're all like: "Yay!  Good grades!"  Get to secondary school and we're told:  "Pft.  The SATs you did in Year 6 mean nothing!  Now do these SATs for Year 9!  It's just like the ones you have already done before BUT HARDER.  Oh, and did I add that these exams are the most important exams you will ever take?"  So, yet again, we're fooled into thinking that doing bad in this will ultimately mean you end up living in a dumpster, eating rats for a living (professional rat eater FTL).  After obtaining damn good grades in that (Daisy still bugs me about the bloody 8 she got in maths, damn woman) we're told:  "Screw the SATs!  Here come your GCSEs!  We decided to mix it up a little so it doesn't seem like your just doing slightly harder exams over and over again!  Oh and these are definitely the MOST IMPORTANTEST EXAMS THAT YOU WILL EVER EVER TAKE."

By now, we're all a bit skeptical about the whole educational system and life in general.  It's like older people deliberately throw exams in our faces just to see how we thrash about and flail our arms wildly because of all the pressure.  Maybe they derive pleasure watching us suffer, who knows what goes through the minds of the people who make the exams.  Oh, and while we're on the subject of the 'Exam makers' (what the hell are they called anyway?) I've got a question for them:  Why are your questions so awkward?!  Let me throw in a similar question that might show up on our exams:

Bill and Ackmed are in a field.  They notice a lighthouse 200 metres away.  From Ackmed's eye level of 1 metre of the floor, he calculates that the angle from his eye level looking up to the top of the light-house is 56 degrees.  Work out the height of the light-house.

Wait, what?  Apart from the obvious question of why the hell Bill and Ackmed aren't playing like normal children and are instead doing maths outside, not to mention how the hell they can perfectly pinpoint who far away the lighthouse is and work out the angle that they are looking at to see the lighthouse!  If they're so smart why don't they work out the height themselves?!  It's not like it'll be difficult to their super-genius brains.  You've also got to notice the inclusion of "Ackmed" in a blatant way to introduce an ethnic minority.  It's like the people who write these exams deliberately attempt to make the stupidest questions just for kicks.

Where was I now?  Oh yea, we finish our GCSEs (some with flying colours) the teaches are like:  "Oh good.  Yippee.  Now go to college."  And so repeats the never-ending vicious cycle of work, exam, repeat.  Don't think it you break out of this ruthless cycle when you go to work, since there will be exams there.  Only they will be cleverly disguised as obstacles and other things.  So, in the end most of us live in this monotonous world doing the same things over and over again.  Doomed to repeat ourselves.

Gee, the future looks bleak.


That being said, I have 7 bloody exams this week.  *sigh*  At least I can look forward to the Summer holidays which are tantalizingly close.  So close... yet so far away...


Anywayz, let me get out of miserable-emo-like-exam-hating mode.  In other news, I made my way through GTA IV and utterly loved it.  It's just that Liberty City feels so... so... ALIVE.  I'm continually awed by little touches Rockstar has put in for guys like me to notice (like the beating heart in the Statue of Happiness), and making it more realistic has really improved how this game immerses us into feeling part of that world.  It doesn't mean that the game is not fun anymore as it's too realistic, far from that actually.  It's not all realistic like, as I found that in GTA IV travelling quickly in a car and hitting something impossibly tiny and insignificant (like a traffic cone or the odd person) results in a jaw-dropping, eye-melting, five minute long saga of flips, rotations and explosions.  Well, what can I say?  It's a great way to show off the physics in the game.

The game just never fails to amaze me, while you're driving along there are people who have broke down on the side of the road and are fixing their engines.  Other people have hit each other and have decided to settle their quarrels in a contest of who-shouts-the-loudest.  Then there's also how you can turn off your radio and have a gander at what others are listening to.  And it's a perfect fit.  Gangster-types are listening to the rap radio station, while OAPs tend to like listening to Classical music.  And piloting helicopters without tails is always fun.

Oh and Rock Band comes out here on May 23rd apparently.  After some long discussion, I think we're getting it.  Hooray!  For quite the hefty price though.  £140 from PLAY.com (with both versions), and that's the cheapest I can find them.  Man, why is Europe rip-off central?  But you can't deny that the game looks fun, especially played in a group of people.  As the following picture shows:

Above.  How to look like fools when playing Rock Band.

I'll definitely tell you how awesome it is when I get it.

I think that about wraps things up... oh and Super Smash Brothers Brawl is coming out June 27rd!  Hooray!  FIN-FRICKINALLY.

EDIT#1:  New banner.  Hooray!  I decided to go for a simple design this time, clean and minimalist.  That and also because I'm short of time.  Enjoy.  Here's the banner for future reference:

Friday, 2 May 2008


I'm not sure if blogiversary is even a word, but hey.  This is the internet so meh; who carez bout spelingz aniwayz?

Anyway, as the title suggests today (or rather yesterday - as it's pass midnight here) was the blog's one year anniversary!  Yay!  Hooray!  Break out the champagne!  Yea, so it's a big day for us all, especially it seems as the exam gods felt like they would like to mock me by making me have a full day of maths with two maths exams.  Argh.  Anyway, nevermind the worse is over now and it's clear blue sky until next Tuesday!

Sorry, I digress I've gone off-topic again.  It's the one year anniversary for the blog.  Yes, it's been one whole year since I first started this devil spawn of a blog and I'm rather impressed.  Let's see now...  22613 hits since it started.  That's just under 62 visits a day; not bad for a relatively new blog.  And let's look at the all important post that started this all off:

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

First Blog

Ok, so after being encouraged by my friends to start a blog - names not included, you know who you are *cough* Gavin & Ashley *end cough* - heres the blog...
Ok, so it needs a little work but geez give me a break; I've only just started blogging.
Right, firstly... erm.... *attempts to think of something funny* heres one - A rabbi, a priest and a monk... ok, actually thats not that funny. Hm... dammit Gavin & Ashley, what was the point of this blog?
Anyway, a little about me:

  • I'm currently 15, birthday soon (mental note - yea!)
  • GCSEs are around the corner (mental note - boo)
  • Drama exam is in two days time (damn... we haven't even finished yet - I blame this on Daisy with her holiday; don't worry if you don't know who she is. Just count yourself lucky)
Well, I have a Wii (yea, Wii FTWZOMGMOO - thats for you Ashley) and if yours is connected online then you can add me:

8879 6062 9250 0429

Currently I have one added Wii (Lewis ☺) but should be getting two more online soon. It's also funny because I originally had two people in the Mii Plaza - Lewis & Gavin - but I... kinda... accidentally deleted Gavin... so Lewis is walking all alone in the Mii Plaza, almost makes me pity him, almost.
So, anyway, thats about it for my first blog. Not much to say, send in your comments and ideas of what I should talk about in my next one and I'll try to oblige.

Ok... woah.  Did I really post that?  If I did, I'd take some of what I took back then, it's pretty messed up.  I gotta say.  During this year, a lot of things happened.  Gavin joined in on the fun (and we even started this little story - good luck finding that btw) and Kate did later on.  But soon, they found other things to do and I'm the lone surviving author for this blog (not that their dead though).  It's funny looking back at some of the posts I did; it reminds me of what I was thinking of the time and I can generally look back at it from a different angle and see how things could have turned out.  It's all very confusing stuff to the hebetudinous.

Funnily enough, I'd actually been playing this post for quite a while now and thought about what to write in it quite a bit (most of the ideas come from when I'm in the shower, har har har!) but now that it's time to write it, I've gone blank.  There's some much I'd like to say but if I told you some of the stuff I knew I'd probably have to kill you.

Ok, let's move on to more recent events in my not-so-but-still-quite eventful life.  There was Daisy's birthday bash; which somehow trickled down to a more somber controlled event - most noticeably the loss of a bouncy castle - but it was still fun.  It had been a long time since a group of us had been together like that and just chilled for a while (for me anyway as I missed Matthew's party).  Not much to talk about really, except I jumped off a roof and we played "Irish Snap" and got my hand cut by someone with long nails; I have yet to figure out who the culprit was.

All in all, we had a laugh.


In other news, I got GTA IV and have been playing for a good few days now.  And all I've got to say is: Wow.  The game looks awesome and plays well (much better than previous versions) and I'm glad to say that it lives up the the enormous amount of hype it's been generating.  And the city just feels so alive, no joke.  I was driving along one day when I noticed an over-turned truck which had nothing to do to me and police were coming to the scene and everything; there was also another time where I was walking down the street when a person accidentally rams the car in front at the traffic lights.  The person in front doesn't like it and they start an argument, this soon descends into a fist fight and they're duking it out while police sirens get closer.  One of them gets arrested while the other runs off, but is shot.  I found this hilarious as this was the first time I've seen the police arrest someone other than Niko (the main protagonist).

There's also many chances for hilarious moments, especially with the physics as good as they are.  I think the best moment I've had yet was when crashing my car with the car in front and flying out the windscreen I roll over the car in front (it's all in slow-mo and black and white) and into the junction, then BOOM!  A truck comes careering into Niko as he's in the air and I've got to say I was cracking up seeing that as it was a one off thing and I doubt I could pull it off again.


Anyway, it's about time I wrap this up.  It's getting late and I've got an early start tomorrow.  See you in the (hopefully) forseeable future.


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The awesome dude behind the blog
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Daily updates
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Being able to laugh at people I don't know
Nothing (Me: Why are you here?)
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Good. Just one or two places that need changing.
Ok, could improve some things.
Bad. Back to the drawing board for you...
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Yes. You're antics bore me now.
ONLY if the other author is similar to you.
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