The Final Countdown
It’s taken me a while to get here, but at last I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, with only three modules this term (Building Reliable Web Apps, Cryptography, Mobile Interaction Design) it will be pretty sweet. It’s the first time I think I’ve officially had a “day off” from Uni*.
Last week was a pretty relaxed week considering the stress I’d been under the weeks before. But I guess it is now starting again. We have an interim document to be submitted by this coming Friday (8th) and it should tell our lecturers what work and how much of it we’ve done up until now, and I am safer in the knowledge that most people I’ve talked to still haven’t done an incredible amount for it.
Last weekend I started playing Burnout Paradise. It’s very very good, and immensely fun online. The challenges are especially cool because they are different for the different number of people that you are playing with. The game does have a large learning curve (because of all the free-roaming stuff) but like I said, much like GTA, you’ll learn the roads after a while and it’ll become second nature, however there are some annoyances with the game:
- You can’t quit or restart a race from some in game menu. If you go into showtime mode you don’t have to drive all the way to the finish line just to lose and then drive all the way back, which is some consolation
- The navigation system sucks to begin with – the map seems only designed for HD displays, the compass is hard to use and the flashing road signs appear way too late and can even put you off course
- There are no lapped races – I love lapped races, and in fact I can’t think of a game without a lapped race, but Paradise is one of them
- The map should have a user made marker, meaning you should be able to click on an event and either “jump-to” it or make it obvious on your mini map.
- No two player split screen. Thinking back to GameCube, XBox and even N64 times, games always tried to push for 4-player multiplayer, but the 360 (or at least the bigger games) rarely seems to have more than 2-player multiplayer games. Paradise is a one player only game – I don’t get it.
- Soundtrack really sucks – with a few stellar tracks on the album, for the most part it completely sucks. I actually copied the Burnout Revenge soundtrack to a USB stick and listen to that instead.
Having all those negative things might seem like I hate the game, and they do tarnish it somewhat, but other than that it’s definitely the best online racer and a damn good racing game overall. I love how all the cars seem to be acrobatic too, some of the stunts you can pull off are incredible.
Films wise, I’ve recently seen Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street and it was very good. It seemed weird to me though, being a musical that there isn’t really any song in it that you leave singing or even remembering. It just seems like a normal spoken script is just being sung. I also caught Charlie Wilson’s War and it was really good (better than Sweeney Todd in my opinion) . It was a very insightful (and I can say that because it was based on a true story) and surprisingly funny film. If you get the chance go and see this one, Tom Hanks is ace.
There’ve been a lot of people talking lately of what they’re doing when they finish their degree, and I was surprised by the number that said they’d like to do something similar to myself. One of my ex-housemates, DJ, text me just this week to tell me that on 25th February he is embarking on a round-the-world trip starting with Japan. I am incredibly jealous of him, but it’s not long (hopefully) until I can do pretty much the same kinda thing. Anybody interested in joining me, let me know :).
Also, recently I’ve noticed that I haven’t really bought anything big this year. I am being quite reserved with my money and I don’t know why – there’s plenty of things that I want, but I’m just not buying them. For example, I know some people have bought new displays for their gaming primarily I can assume, and I know Rich has bought a Macbook and an xbox 360 elite, and I know loads of people who’ve bought iPod touches. I guess it’s because I have more important things to be concerned with right now. Exam results are out on Friday.
*This doesn’t actually mean I’ve got a day off, it means that I’ve got a complete day to spend on my dissertation and project!