leynos: (Default)
Australian exclusive Blu-Rays are starting to show up at reasonable prices on eBay, including In Bruges, Amelie and Baader Meinhof Complex.

Looks like some good shopping in store for the new year.

In other news, Criterion have announced Yojimbo and Sanjiro; and Eureka are releasing Fritz Lang's M.
leynos: (Default)
I've cut a prototype of the front panel out of plasticard now, and I'm checking to see if everything fits. So far, it's mostly all good. The one big puzzle I have left is mounting tact switches on a PCB behind the panel. I've found that 6x6mm tact switches fit snugly into trackboard in the correct configuration, so now I just need a safe means of mounting the trackboard securely. It seems that someone makes 2.54mm pitch screw terminals that should do the job nicely.

I've also found a company that will laser cut and etch the panels for an affordable price. Hopefully I can get some done in February.

Pics to come, of course.

Bayonetta

Dec. 4th, 2009 03:08 am
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)
Platinum show just about everyone else on the planet how to make a 3D action game:



(Demo playthrough by Saurian of NTSC-UK)
leynos: (Jack Off Jill)
And Lup Salad arrived. It's a good albeit simplistic platform puzzler. I hesitate to use the word limited, because some of the greatest and longest lived puzzlers have been simplistic in nature. The nature of the game is that of a progression based block puzzler with in-game avatar ala Sokoban. I.e., you either clear the level, or put yourself in an intractable position and restart. There are no lives or timer in the story mode, only a count of the number of times you have retried. The block disposal mechanism reminiscent of Puzznic – in this case, three or more blocks of a kind touching will disappear. In an apparent break with tradition, the player's character can push any number of blocks horizontally, instead, various traditional platform game tropes perform the role of shaping the game's puzzles.

Each level conceivably has an ideal solution, measured by the number of footsteps taken to clear the board, however, the game does not appear to track this metric. There is also an action mode and a versus mode, the latter of which I have not yet had a chance to play. These take the basic game mechanics and transports these into the context of a falling block puzzle. I'm skeptical as to the level of success these modes can achieve however.

I'm happy to have acquired this game, as purely progression based puzzlers aren't the most common variety. That being said, it's definitely not on the same level as Braid, but that shouldn't stop you playing it.

Obscurity

Sep. 10th, 2009 10:03 pm
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)
Some time ago, during his one man backlash against Braid, Icycalm highlighted a game by the name of Lup Salad as an example of a platform puzzler overlooked by the games-as-art crowd due to ignorance. Well, a copy finally showed up on eBay for a fiver, so it's now winging its way to me via Japan Post. It had better be good.

It has also, incidentally, been ported to the Nintendo DS.
leynos: (Jack Off Jill)
The reason I avoid digital distribution (and the concept of 'phone home' software) wherever possible:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7271611&id=623900290
leynos: (Wolfteam)
From the Digital Bits rumour mill via Blu-Ray.com there's some news regarding what will and won't be coming this year.

The good:

North By Northwest, Heat and Boogie Nights will be seeing the light of day in 2009.

The bad:

We'll have to wait until 2010 for the Alien films, Chinatown, The Sound of Music and Back to the Future.

There's a good stack of Disney/Pixar stuff due in 2010 too, including Beauty and the Beast, but they're a law unto themselves anyway.
leynos: (Default)
...that Pisses me Off something Royally.

Okay, here's the deal. A detailed critique of a film wouldn't be complete without providing a sense of context - the way in which the film relates to previous examples of films in the genre; How it advances, or fails to, the achievements of films with similar narrative structure or story telling techniques; Which of its successes are its own, and which it rightly (or wrongly) borrows from other films; And where its achievements fit in the grand hierarchy of all that has come before.

So, why then is it perfectly acceptable, even in some cases encouraged, to blithely ignore all these criticism techniques when offering, what is perceived as, a detailed criticism of a videogame? This is one of the fundamental hypocrisies of the "videogames as art" crowd. They profess to love the medium. That they want it to be seen by others as something on par with film or music. Yet they don't even bother to show it the basic courtesies that are afforded to any other medium.

This is why they do not deserve our respect and why they should not be listened to. And why I get angry at the people who do listen to them, yet are perfectly capable of making the informed distinction between the wizened critics and the wankers with an axe to grind when it comes to some other medium.

If you want to come carpetbagging to another artform because you failed in your pithy attempts at becoming a recognized critic of film, music, or whatever: Show some fucking respect.
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)
http://www.siliconera.com/2009/06/05/nis-america-wants-to-keep-original-voices-for-sakura-wars/

It looks like game developers are starting to realize that the principal market for SRPGs are exactly the sort of people who wouldn't tolerate their favourite anime or foreign language films being released in English without the original vocal talent intact.

Given the amount of care and attention that goes into the production of these games it seems a sin to leave so much of that work on the cutting-room floor.

I'm not against American / Commonwealth vocal talent. I just want the choice to experience the game as it was originally released. That is all.

Applause to NIS, and fingers crossed that their desires are reflected in the version of Sakura Taisen 5 they bring to market.
leynos: (Combichrist)

Brick

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/10164821/Brick/Product.html

I've been waiting for this one for ages. A bargain too, if I must say so.

Elephant

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/10164832/Elephant/Product.html

A meditative film about a shooting at a highschool in America.

Nine Songs

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/10164838/Nine-Songs/Product.html

A well observed film about human recollection as it applies to love. Although it was shot on DV, so I doubt it will gain much from being on Blu-Ray.

Junebug

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/9663473/Junebug/Product.html

This is also coming to US Blu-Ray but it's worth mentioning anyway. There are few films made in the last ten years where you'll find characters who feel so real.

Go

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/9600948/Go/Product.html

It's time to get all nostalgic about the late nineties, when everyone wanted to make the next Pulp Fiction.
leynos: (Wolfteam)
The sequel to the best game on the N64:

leynos: (Jack Off Jill)
Highlights from E3 so far (IMO):

Jambo! Safari announced for the Wii

http://www.siliconera.com/2009/05/20/jambo-safari-rolling-onto-wii-and-ds/

Photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/segaeurope/sets/72157618443858959/

I hope this means we can get some more of Sega's unported arcade games brought home. (Brave Firefighters and Planet Harriers, please... )

Phantom Brave We Meet Again will have a Japanese dialogue track

http://www.siliconera.com/2009/05/30/phantom-brave-we-meet-again-delayed-to-add-japanese-voices/

This is the Wii port of the PS2 game Phantom Brave

New 2D Super Mario Brothers Coming to Wii

http://www.siliconera.com/2009/06/02/new-super-mario-brothers-wii-announced-for-wii/

Team Ninja Are Developing the New Metroid game

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other_M

That's the Ninja Gaiden team now sans Itagaki-san.

The Third Game by the Ico Team

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Guardian

There was a video leaked already, but it has a name now, apparently.

I'm hardly a Wii fanboy, but the other consoles seem rather devoid of exciting news. I'm still really looking forward to Bayonetta and DJ Hero, and the 360 has a promising career ahead as a destination for bullet hell arcade shoot 'em up ports. But aside from a new Metal Gear and that 3D video camera thingy, there hasn't really been much I'd call news.
leynos: (Wolfteam)
http://nisamerica.com/pressevent/2009/press/Sakura_release_20090507_support.pdf

+++ Sakura Taisen is coming to the US. Hell freezes over. Hoardes naked otaku seen dancing in the streets. Film at eleven. +++
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)


A Spectrum can really do bump mapping?

Although the bit that really gets me is the faux realtime raytracing bit at 5:46.
leynos: (Cooking Mama)
Quite possibly the maddest thing I've seen (or heard) all week:

http://hackaday.com/2009/04/03/cnc-music-factory-still-alive/

Probably also wins an award for best abuse of a stepper motor.
leynos: (Default)
Another video of Muraasa on the Wii. This one's a bit more trailer-like:



Since this is getting a more or less simultaneous US and Japanese release, I'll probably get the US version so I can understand what's going on, but I worry that it'll lose some of its character without the Japanese voice acting and typesetting.

Muramasa

Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:05 pm
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)
I don't know how I missed this, but it looks a lot of fun. It's an action game for the Wii (looks like the game that Shin Shinobi Den wishes it was). GameFAQs has it pegged as an action RPG, although I imagine they mean that in the sense that Gunhazard is an action RPG. Anyway, check out the video. You won't regret it.

http://gamevideos.1up.com/video/id/23128

The developers, Vanillaware, were responsible for the beautiful and fun Princess Crown on the Saturn, which explains things a little. I'll definitely be getting a hold of this.

Due out April in Japan and July in the US.
leynos: (Default)
I've been making an attempt at learning Haskell over the past few days. It's been interesting, but I'm still more than a little sceptical. I can see the advantages to functional programming a little bit better now. The book I'm reading, Real World Haskell, is doing a better job of explaining them than any lecturer at University managed to accomplish. The problem is though, that any task that interfaces with the user requires imperative programming. Haskell has what are called "pure" and "impure" functions.

The pure functions have no side effects and are immutable. These are the bread and butter of functional programming. The stuff that does all the heavy lifting. The stuff that can be mathematically proven. Interacting with the user requires impure functions. Writing impure Haskell seems, from what I can see, to be little different from writing code in an imperative language with first class functions. (There are some distinctive features, but humour me for a minute). And in writing, for example, a task list application using GTK or Cocoa bindings for Haskell, I can see myself writing a lot of imperative code with bits of functional code here and there to do the "real" work.

Most of this is early doors yet, and there is plenty of time for further research and experience to change my mind, but here is my thought regarding this at present: Wouldn't it be better to take an imperative language, that people are comfortable working in, and adding a means of declaring functions to be "pure"? There is no reason then that these "pure" functions in this hypothetical language extension couldn't use lazy evaluation and behave largely as Haskell functions.

I'm going to keep at this for a while though. I'm aiming to write something non-trivial at some point just to see what functional programming actually brings to development of user applications. I'm still curious.

Addendum: It seems that "D" has this discussed "pure" declaration. I will have to take a closer look at D at some point.
leynos: (Jack Off Jill)
It looks like Channel 4 have finally gotten over having their fingers burned with HD DVD, and have announced a bunch of films for UK Blu-Ray release. Most of them re-releases of earlier HD DVD releases, but at least I now know I can confidently get rid of my Channel 4 DVDs. Shallow Grave is also back on the menu, whoever is releasing it.

The first Akira Kurasawa film to be released on Blu-Ray with English subtitles has been announced. It's Ran, and it's a Criterion release.

The last update I'd like to bring to your attention is the Canadian release of Se7en, due out in March. Woo yay.

Easy Gravy

Feb. 8th, 2009 08:19 pm
leynos: (Cooking Mama)
Makes enough for one and a bit, so for 2-3 people, double everything, etc. This is also a bit of a work in progress, so feedback is welcome.

Prepare some beef stock by dissolving an OXO cube in half a pint of water.

Finely chop two large shallots (or four small shallots).

Fry the shallots in butter until they begin to brown, then add about a tablespoon of port, and let this boil for about a minute to get rid of the alcohol.

Take the shallots off the heat, then in a saucepan, melt a tablespoon of butter. To this, add a tablespoon of plain flour and blend the two together.

Let this mixture cook for a minute or so, then add the shallots.

To this mixture, add a teaspoonful of balsamic vinegar and the beef stock.

Stir well, season with salt and pepper, then allow to simmer over a low heat for about five minutes, or until it has reached your desired consistency.

I had this on my bangers and mash last night. It was g00d.

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