The Final Countdown

Elmo Gorilla

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!


~ by shepherdnick on February 3, 2008.

5 Responses to “The Final Countdown”

  1. “You canโ€™t quit or restart a race from some in game menu. If you go into showtime mode you donโ€™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.”

    I don’t know if you saw my tweet this morning, but I just found out how to get out of a race. Stop the car ๐Ÿ™‚ So far, I’ve only tried going back to the start point, but I’m pretty certain you just let the car stop or slow it down and use the hand brake. when you do that, all of the display goes apart from the burnout meter (like when you start in a junk yard) and when you start the car again everything returns to normal.

    It’s a shame you don’t like the soundtrack ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I found there were way more songs I liked on this one over Revenge’s. I especially love the remix Rockstar for Road Rages and Marked Man events :3 Someone’s put it on the torrents already too.

    “I know some people have bought new displays for their gaming primarily” signed ๐Ÿ˜› You’d be surprised how much of a faff getting a new tv is T_T

    I can’t believe the exam results are out so soon, how do we know they’ve been marked thoroughly/properly?

  2. I didn’t see your tweet – bloody SMS updates stopped working again ๐Ÿ˜ฅ but I remember now DJ Atomika said I could stop a marked man half way through an event, I just forgot. That’s pretty cool though ๐Ÿ™‚

    The soundtrack isn’t completely terrible – there are a few tracks I like, just there doesn’t seem to be any consistency to it – old rock, new rock, old stuff from Burnouts, orchestral stuff it’s just weird and I don’t think it sits right. I keep forgetting to bring that CD in so you can burn me a copy of your soundtrack! I’ll have to put it in my bag so I remember.

    OH! I didn’t know you’d bought a TV too! I know Jon and Rich have had HD TV’s and frosty was thinking about getting one. I’ve wanted one for ages, but at the same time I can’t justify the cost! Is it a good one? What’s it like? I bet it beats playing on a portable! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yeah apparently there was a notice on the board saying the results are out on Friday. Here’s to the rest of the year! I guess they try and get the third years marks out quicker because they need them more for like drafting CV’s or working out results…

  3. Yeah I just saw your tweet about that ๐Ÿ˜›

    Wait, he said that? Awww that dude gets even more awesome :3

    Yeah hehe, I know what you mean. I love the old burnout stuff, well some of it, but it would be nice to be able to say EA Trax or old Burnout Stuff, huh. I think the classical music when you’re idling is a nice touch hehe.

    Yup, hehe I didn’t know anyon else was getting one lol. Some people are just moneybags! Mike and I got a cheap one from eBuyer and it seems kinda dodgey (but it does look nice screen wise), so he *might* send it back. We’ve already been through two (one was the same make but it was faulty) :/ It does beat playing on my titchy tv though ๐Ÿ™‚ ‘specially with the map and stuff, and I’ll finally be able to play Dead Rising.

    Ahh yeah, I didn’t think of that. Still, it is a tiny bit worrying. They just seem so lax with exams in general.

    Re. the interim, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s not done much. Mostly I’ve been putting it off a bit, though I wanted to work on it over Christmas. Revision and 39hour weeks at Sainsbury’s came first lol. One of Mike’s friends tried to ask for an extension and was denied it. Apparently his supervisor said if he gave him one he’d have to give his other supervisees one, only, he’s the only one :/

  4. I know there were a lot of sales on after Christmas that were selling HD TV’s cheap. Well, cheaper than they were. I can’t wait for disposable income ๐Ÿ™‚

    You worked 39 hour weeks over Christmas? That’s hardcore full time, and especially when people are so impatient (well they were at McDonald’s, they all want it hot and fast ๐Ÿ˜› ) It’s the first Christmas I didn’t work, and I guess I’m gonna struggle a bit more this term.

    And it’s now Tuesday evening and I have 2 pages for my interim – a title page and a contents page ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ah yeah :/ we just missed that I think. And me too! It’s the one thing I’m looking forward to most (I don’t count having a job while in uni sinc it isn’t really disposable, is it?)

    Pretty much yeah :/ It slowed down a bit after Christmas, but then I did 9 (/10 – had 1 hr lunch) hours new year’s day. To be honest, the customers were all very patient with me ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of the other people I knew from starting weren’t so lucky ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can imagine it would have been mental at McD’s. I went in there a few times recently ’cause of their two for ยฃ1.99 big mac deal ๐Ÿ˜€ You’ll be better off exam-wise at least ๐Ÿ™‚ I managed okay last year on just my loan so I’m sure you’ll be okay! (it seems to be more easy to do now they give us an extra loan for fees, even if it means more to pay back later on…)

    Yey for progress on interim! I’m at a loss with mine, I’m certian it’ll be late. I know the hardest bit will be printing it off lol (it was such a faff last time) \o/

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