Friday, March 24, 2006

Game: Oblivion

I've been playing quite a lot of Oblivion the last few weeks. And I must say I'm quite pleased with it. There are some problems however, like crashes or graphical glitches, but overall the game is running smoothly.

I'm quickly finishing the main quest so I can explore all the other lands/cities/dungeons/... afterwards.

In short (very quick because I want to go back to the game):
  • Beautiful graphics! Really.
  • Huge map. Some people are whining about the fact Morrowind was bigger, but in Morrowind you had to look at the same textureset for ages.
  • Radiant AI: it's not fantastic like the marketers said, but it's good enough and offers some surprising situations from time to time.
  • Story. I love the fact that there is a main quest (which you can ignore). It allows me to get to know the game a bit before exploring totally on my own. (I was completely lost in Oblivion).
  • Having a horse is cool.
  • Still a lot of classes and stats.
  • Physics are great, but you can't perfectly drop your items where you want them anymore.
  • You need a fat-ass machine.
  • Occasional bug from time to time.
  • There could've been more enemies.
  • I don't like the Oblivion-plane.
  • I want dual-wielding classes...
  • Xbox 360 lamers. The community is quite friendly, but the Xbox owners are a pain in the ass (most of them). It has to do a lot with the fact that most of them are under 12, and that they have to constantly lie to themselves about the fact that "their system is better and has no crashes". Well let me tell you something: a PC can be better, and in a few years most of the PC's will. We have a construction set (beat that). (Less important) we have cheats. And the Xbox crashes too. So there.*

Now: it's back to the game.

*: If any Xbox owner feels offended here. I'm sorry. I'm only targeting the whiners among you.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

DeviantART leeching

A few days ago I talked about a Flickr background switcher and how it gave me an idea for a little script.

I present you: the DeviantART leech script. Able to quickly show (and store) the newest additions.

Why? You might ask. Well, I like Flickr very much, but for my wallpapers, I like the DeviantART 3D wallpapers more. However, it's an annoying work to check every week for cool backgrounds, click on every one of them, download them, etc... (having more than 30 tabs open in Firefox).

You can see the script in action here. It is set up to only show a few pictures. If you download the script, you can uncomment some lines in the img.php file, so it will store the pictures on your harddrive locally.

Warning: be advised that using this script puts quite the load on the DeviantART servers. I would strongly advise against setting the script up to download all 8000 1600x1200 wallpapers. If you do, I am of course not responsible at all.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

CeBIT 2006

I've uploaded my pictures. There are more on my mobile phone, which I will have to upload some later time. (When I have a cradle or a Bluetooth receiver.)

Enjoy them. You're of course free to give out the link/photos, but I'd appreciate it if you mention my name/blog with them.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Back Home

I'm back from CeBIT, Hannover! It was - like all the previous years - quite the experience. I've enjoyed it very much!

Sorry for not keeping you all updated but the hotel I was staying in didn't have an internet connection, so there.

I will place the photographs I've taken online soon enough. First I'm going to rest a little.

See you soon.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Game: Crashday

I've been playing a little bit of Crashday lately. Crashday is a racing game that will make you remember Destruction Derby. (Anyone still remember that game? I've played it for weeks when I was younger.) If you don't know that game: it will make you remember the much more recent game Flatout. If you don't know that game... well, then you're just not into racing games I suppose.

Crashday starts like any other racing game out there: create a profile, choose a car, start earning money and upgrade your car, then start over again. However, there are some very cool and aggresive updates (missile launcher) and play modes (pass the bomb, deathmatch) which will start pumping adrenaline once you see them in action. Crashday is not a racing simulation game, it is a racing action game, so if you expect ultra-realism, go choose another title.

The graphics however, are quite realistic, trees and cars are nicely modeled, the explosions are a joy to look at, and the tracks are well designed (the stunt tracks are supercool, but not many in number).

The gameplay itself however can become boring in career mode, I would advise everyone to download the completed save game from Gamecopyworld (search for Crashday: it's the Unbiasedgoats unlocker; and yes - it is safe) and just start playing quickies (stunt and deathmatch for the win).

And it really gets cool if you have friends! Actually, the only single reason why you should pick up this game is: multiplayer action. You get a huge kick out of blowing up your opponents while landing from a 300 m. jump (extra points for smashed headlights).

I could rant on and on but instead I'm just going to give a quick summary:

Pro (or: why buy):
- Cool gaming modes.
- Weapons!
- Nice looking graphics.
- Fun tracks.
- Multiplayer action.

Contra (or: why walk past it):
- You need a powerful rig to run it at full detail.
- Not a whole lot of tracks.
- You could consider getting Trackmania (also excellent, but no weapons) or Flatout (also stunning, but no deathmatch) instead.
- You have no friends.
- Career mode is boring.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Cool Flickr Tool

A perfect way to start a blog: write about some little handy tools, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Previously featured on Digg and Slashdot, and now happily living in my taskbar: John's Background Switcher. Basically, it just replaces your desktop background every x hours. (Wait, there's more.)

This tool can operate in three modes:
(1) Select a set of pictures to rotate. (Yawn.)
(2) Select a whole folder.
(3) Now comes the cool part: use Flickr to randomly download a picture! (You can even specify a tag to search for!) If you don't like the picture returned, just double click the icon.

Really cool stuff! I've seen really nice and beautiful pictures already, a pity that you can't specify more options though (popularity, size, category). But oh well...

Actually, this little tool has made me think about a piece of code I could write. I will publish it shortly (a day or so - keeps the visitors coming back).

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Starting Off...

Again a new blog...

Indeed, I hope that I'll be able to update this one a bit more than my previous attempts.
'Why the strange title?', I hear you ask. Well, I don't know really. It just sounds special I guess, and it wasn't taken already.

I will start with a few silent simple postings, before replacing my old blog (Macuyiko's Mindcube), when this place is getting filled with content, I will post a notice on the old pages. So if you've found this blog already, you're in luck ;).

About the theme... It's dark, and it's black, I know. I think there are enough white-web2.0-"ooh, we're so ajaxy/CSS/XHTML/..." designs already. Besides, black will be in again, watch my words. (E.g.: using it as a background in a powerpoint presenation while using clear white Arial text is very classy.)

Ugh, what a rant, I really suck at writing introductions/first posts.