Thursday, 31 January 2008
Well those of you who know me better know I do love a spot of videogaming. Not as much as I used to I must admit; I don't often get the time anymore. Nonetheless It still holds a special place in my heart, especially with some of the classics, and you will still hear me trumpeting the merits of the magnificent wii and 360 (and the failings of the ps3).
The other day I was reading about a particular game that I love. A game which, in concept, appears to be any videogame fan's wetdream, the Smash Brothers series. This is a series which so far has had 2 games, designed to celebrate all of Nintendo's history and goodness. This includes characters and levels from all of the main franchises owned by Nintendo as well as many eastereggs and nods to the more obscure ones, and it's all jolly good fun. Anyway it has inspired me to do this, ranking the Top 10 Videogame Characters of All Time.
It is with some trepidation that I include Agent Dark on this list, as she is essentially two different characters. There is the Jo we know from her Nintendo days, when she was an ultra cool, British, james bond-esque super spy who came off credibly, and then there is her new Microsoft guise, in which she has become American (typical), rather more cartoony and cliché. However I include her based on the merit of her first game for the old N64, which was classic, epic, atmospheric, mature and much darker than what we expect on a Nintendo machine. Think bladerunner mixed with james bond and that's what it's like.
I used to love dinosaurs as a kid. I like this one too. Who could blame me. Started off as a side character and proved so cool that he had to get his own games, and is now a necessary addition to any game featuring Nintendo's mascots, quite often appears as an easteregg in other franchise games, such as in Zelda. He's also my mario karter of choice.
Ah Bomberman. Now those were pretty classic games. I have pretty good memories of multiplayer mayheem with the old megadrive versions, and even the less popular 3d ones on the n64 which i quite liked. That's not even mentioning the contribution bomberman made to handheld gaming. With the launch of the gameboy advance handheld gaming first started to really hit the mainstream, and along with mario, bomberman was THE must have title. Its simple pick up and play gameplay was perfect for a handheld, and it took advantage of the multiplayer features to provide some of the best fun you could have with multiplayer games.
Another classic Nintendo franchise, this game was cheesy, a complete star wars rip off (right down to fox's voice even sounding a bit like luke) but god was it fun, and the fact that it was one of the first games to include a branching structure, where you could take multiple paths to the end, and really make the most of it, made him an even bigger joy to play. He's also one of my mains in smash bros
He brought a new type of hero to the world. Rather than making games with either a cartoon character or a big muscley 'arnie' figure as the protagonist, Half Life gave power to the geeks, picking a bespectacled, mute, scientist to become the one man army at our desposal. The games in this series are about as close to gaming perfection as one gets, and he is all the more memorable for being a total badass.
I couldn't really resist having him here, just because he's so funny. The true anti-freeman, this guy is basically a blonde arnie, saving the Earth the only way he knows how, with cigars, oneliners, and his boot up their ass.
Right now I have a lot of confused readers at who the heck this is. This one's a throw back to the really really really old days, this game, Bubble Bobble, was released for the original nintendo system in the same year I was born, and It was a real classic, with pure and simple addictive gameplay and cute colorful (if basic) graphics and annoyingly catchy music. However it is this dino, Bob, the blue one, who really makes the game. This is the character that a second player can control, and it is in multiplayer that this game really excels. Even today this is amazingly good fun for two people. It's just been released on the wii virtual console, so if you have a wii, go download it, thank me later.
The so called 'Mickey Mouse' of gaming in the early 90s, if journalists are to be believed, which of course they are not. In fact as I recall, when I was young very few people had mario or nintendo, it was all about sonic and sega, but journos seem keen to pretend this wasn't the case for some reason. Never the less, he is still a classic gaming icon and appears in some of the tip top games. Right now he certainly does live up to the mickey mouse billing, as a symbol of nintendo's current dominance over all things videogame related.
Just one of those things that people who grew up playing it will never be able to forget. This was one of the darker and more mature games from Nintendo, pure fantasy, without the geeky over the top crap you see in something like lord of the rings. It was one of the first games to really immerse players, to be able to touch them and make them feel for the characters. They were also bloody huge games. It's no wonder that every single zelda game scores more than 95/100 in every review, no coincidence that when they are released they sit at the top of the gaming charts for months, and all the while you control this man, another mute character. Zelda was designed to recreate the feeling its creator had as a child exploring dark caves, and in that spirit the protagonist is moulded.
Here's what it's all about really. This is the guy kids grew up playing as. Great early games focused on speed and (at the time) funk graphics, one can only shake one's head in disappointment to see how he has fallen in recent times, and how kids these days won't recognize him as the icon he is.
This is something that pissed me off when i first got the iPhone. Normally on a computer you can just tell the internet to use a specific authentication to access the internet, but on the iPhone you normally wait until it asks you for it, however when attempting to use the Imperial wireless, it does not do this.
Instead what you must do it set u a VPN (virtual private network) connection, and don't worry that's not as big an effort as it sounds. Go to Settings>General>Network on your iphone, and first of all make sure you're getting your wireless signal, which at Imperial will be ICWLAN. Then go to VPN, and select PPTP at the top of the page. Then enter the following information:
account : (Your Imperial Username here)
RSA SecurID: off
Password: (Your Imperial Password here)
Encryption Level: None
Send all Traffic: On
Then click 'save' at the top of the screen. Then simply click 'on' for VPN, either on the VPN screen, or on the general settings screen, wait for it to connect (make sure you're connected to ICWLAN) and voila, it should work, as if by magic.
NB: if you are using an iPod touch, you have to update to the most recent software (which costs extra money for some reason) in order to use VPN
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Well this is going to be a big one I can see. Its a fair bit into the new year now and I haven't posted since Christmas. Been very busy recently with various endeavours, both social and work related. In particular the massive Spy Party which was fairly awesome, perhaps not quite as enjoyable as the first one, but the party itself was way cooler, engineered to perfection by myself.
I recently cast my eyes on this article, detailing how four very bright young (and sexy) medical students won an experimental 'NHS Innovation' Prize. Truly worth a read, this impressive feat is mentioned not only in this article but also in a few papers on the ashford and st peters website as well.
In short, these are very bright prospects in the world of Medicine. The article is here: http://www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk/intranet/Ashford---/News-and-C/Aspire-Bul/14-01-08-ASPire-Bulletin-186.pdf
and for those of you who couldnt care less about the NHS i post this picture of the prize winners, particularly the guy in the green cashmere sweater. now thats a doctor. youd love his opthalmoscope inside you.
song of the day: "Time to Pretend" by "MGMT"
pic of the day:
Being in Medical Journals
the Spy Party
Being in real newspapers
All other parties past present and future, til the next one i throw