Friday, June 30, 2006


It's only in the fucking post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THREE DAYS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RUNNING OUT OF EXCLAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brain Training FAQ

Are you stupid? Can't get your Brain Training score lower than 80? Eat your own shit for breakfast? Then this is the guide for you!

Each month I will help you score higher in a different minigame in the popular-but-ball-achingly-dull Prof Something's Brain Training, a game that shows that all the academics who hate games really want is fame and adulation. They couldn't care less about us!

This month's FAQ focuses on the mentally exhausting X20 Calculations minigame.

********************** TABLE OF CONTENTS **********************

I. Version History
II. Frequently Asked Questions
III. Calculations Basics
A. Addition Basics
B. Subtraction Basics
C. Multiplication Basics
IV Credits

I. Version History

Version 0.10 (29/06/2006): Began work on this guide. Outlined the sections, and started on the Version History section.
Version 0.20 (29/06/2006): More or less finished the Versions History section. I have the feeling, though, that I'm missing something there. Had a wank.
Version 0.30 (29/06/2006): Finished wanking.
Version 0.35 (29/06/2006): Thought about the Addition Basics section. Seems like a lot of hassle. Can't think of anything funny to blog about, though.
Version 0.40 (29/06/2006): Started on Addition. This'll take a while, I think. Harder than I initially predicted.
Version 0.50 (29/06/2006): Addition section is proceeding. Added a FAQs section.
Version 0.60 (29/06/2006): Removed FAQ section.
Version 0.70 (29/06/2006): Listened to radio.
Version 0.80 (29/06/2006): Played with knob a bit. Unable to muster enough strength to have another wank so soon after completion of previous one.
Version 0.90 (29/06/2006): Searched net for pictures of Keeley Hazell. Some luck!
Version 0.91 (29/06/2006): Wanked.
Version 0.92 (29/06/2006): Did Subtraction section.
Version 1.00 (29/06/2006): Did multiplication section.
Version 1.01 (29/06/2006): Thought about a third wank.
Version 1.10 (29/06/2006): Boss has complained that I am wanking in the office too much.
Version 1.10a (29/06/2006): Added a FAQs section. Thought about if that should have read "an FAQs section".

II. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. It doesn't register my handwriting, why is that?
A. You are using the Japanese version. Try writing the answers in Japanese.

Q. It doesn't understand what I am saying, why is that?
A. You are using the Japanese version and speaking in English. Try speaking in Japanese. If this proves difficult, swap all the L and R sounds around for maximum scores.

Q. Can I reproduce this guide anywhere?
A. No, you fucking dickwad, I rely on this shit to put food on my plate. How would you like it if I walked into your house, shat in your mouth and had sex in your wife's bottom? Exactly.

III. Calculations Basics

A. Addition Basics

0+1 = 1
0+2 = 2
0+3 = 3
0+4 = 4

And so on. If you substitute any of the numbers for any other numbers, adjust your calculations accordingly.

B. Subtraction Basics

Subtraction is one of the four basic arithmetic operations; it is essentially the opposite of addition. Subtraction is denoted by an minus sign in infix notation.

The traditional names for the parts of the formula
c − b = a
are minuend (c) − subtrahend (b) = difference (a). The words "minuend" and "subtrahend" are virtually absent from modern usage; Linderholm charges "This terminology is of no use whatsoever." However, "difference" is very common.

Subtraction is used to model several closely related processes:
1. From a given collection, take away (subtract) a given number of objects.
2. Combine a given measurement with an opposite measurement, such as a movement right followed by a movement left, or a deposit and a withdrawal.
3. Compare two objects to find their difference. For example, the difference between $800 and $600 is $800 − $600 = $200.

In mathematics, it is often useful to view or even define subtraction as a kind of addition, the addition of the opposite. We can view 7 − 3 = 4 as the sum of two terms: seven and negative three. This perspective allows us to apply to subtraction all of the familiar rules and nomenclature of addition. Subtraction is not associative or commutative— in fact, it is anticommutative— but addition of signed numbers is both.

C. Multiplication Basics

Remembering 9's
What's 9 x 7 ? Use the 9-method! Hold out all 10 fingers, and lower the 7th finger. There are 6 fingers to the left and 3 fingers on the right.
The answer is 63!
This method works with any numbers.

IV Credits

I would like to thank the author of Itsy and Shigsy for being a lazy fucking cunt and not doing any more strips. This blog has really gone downhill since he started playing Rumble Roses XX. Get your fucking cock out of your hand and get drawing. Jesus, we can't keep people reading when our ideas are as weak as this.

If I've missed something, please contact me at: Unless you're a spammer, in which case PLEASE DON'T CONTACT ME!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, and in case you didn't get my little hint above--NO SPAM, PLEASE!!!!! I still hate spammers.)

(And if I've missed something then PLEASE! Read my FAQ first before you email me with your inane question. I have a life too, you know!!!)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

1200 pts

For GRAW's new content.


Battlefield 2: MC - the definitive review

"Medic! Need healing."
"I have a health pack here, come over and I'll heal you."
"Medic! I said medic! Are there any medics here?"
"RIGHT HERE. I'm HERE. There's a medic HERE. Let me HEAL YOU."
"Where's the fucking medic! I need healing! Why won't anyone answer me?!"
"Jesus, no need to shout. I've been calling for ages."

And so it goes on. The dance of irregularly failing voice comms is just one of the many quirks that makes Battlefield 2 on the 360 that little bit realer. That little bit more chaotic. That little bit more, well, shit, I suppose. And I hate it for that. I hate it for having shit voice comms that drop in and out, and the erratic ranking system, no option to set up private games (clan games definitely don't count), for allowing the players to vote on which maps it wants to do (Backstab again?) and for the total lack of community support on the official forums.

But - BUT - I also fucking love it. I love laying mines, I love running behind my team mates and healing them, I love never being the engineer, I love moving from cover to cover, I love war. I love war. I never thought I'd say that. I've always taken a stand against war games because, well, they're so dull to look at. And BF2 is dull to look at, for sure. But it puts me there, in combat with my friends, moving from point to point trying to seize the upper hand, and it makes it fun, somehow. And it all feels quite real. Obviously not that real since actual war is rubbish. No respawns, no health pack, tons of camping, friendly fire if you pick the American side and nobody lets you fly the chopper.

Scores -

Tanks - 3 out of 10. Because I drive it into a bush and it blows up. Fuck off.
Choppers - 2 out of 10. Because everyone else is invincible in them and I can't fly them without making a detour into a building.
Engineers - 1 out of 10. Because they have NO splash damage on the bazookas you fucking idiots! Well, ok, some, but not much. Fucking hell, why is everyone an engineer?
Support - 9 out of 10. Air strikes and healing? HELL YEAH *whoop whoop*
Backstab - bored out of 10.
The oil rig level - 9 out of 10. Hold the bridge! Chuck grenades in! Dude, protect my back! Dude! Dude? Dude!
The graphics - 3 out of 10.
Community support via the forums - minus a million out of six billion.
Voice comms - a negative mark so low, it breaks the laws of mathematics
Protecting your homies' backs - 11/10
Cantonese voices on the Mandarin-speaking Chinese soldiers - ignorant Americans out of 10.
Playability - 10 out of 10
Lastability - infinite replayability
Addictingness - 9 out of 10
Lag - absolutely no lag out of 10

Overall (an average of the scores) - 12 out 10 when it's working, 2 out of 10 when it's not.

Shitting and thinking

I sat there last night, on the toilet, trying and failing. So I picked up my toilet book, A Brief History of Nearly Everything, and I flicked through. Realising I always did that I went straight to the first page to guarantee I got something I hadn't read recently, and started on Bill Bryson's reasonable attempt at portraying the scale of the universe. As he moved from protons to solar systems, my brain struggled to comprehend just how big everything is, and how small everything is. It really is impossible. But I tried, and tried, and tried, and then EUREKA! My bowels exploded in a symphony of plopping delight.

Bill Bryson really knows how to get shit out. I don't recommend reading his books unless your trousers are already down.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I finally got my copy back from a friend last night. Although I've lost my 100+ hours save I still have the urge to play this game. A quick hour of running through the tutorials last night to re-acquaint myself with the system before Disgaea 2 arrives has made me think a couple of things.

Firstly, I now think Makai Kingdom is the best place to start your Nippon Ichi journey. The way it eases you in, the streamlined system, the slightly more 'casual' metagame (though casual is definitely not a word I'd use to describe it outside of this comparison) and freedom of party development all make Makai Kingdom the better starting point. Which is kind of a shame, since by the time it came out most people had either decided Nippon Ichi games weren't for them or they'd already learned things the hard way (ie playing Disgaea first).

Secondly, I'd forgotten how bewildering Disgaea is. How did this game score so highly across the board when it's so impenetrable from the start? Did everyone understand it better than I did? Or was everyone content to play the game with only minimal understanding? Or, did we all think we got it after 10 hours and it's only now, with 250+ Nippon Ichi hours under my belt, that I have begun to realise the genius at work.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Retro [Gamer]

This month's issue of Retro Gamer has something very wrong.

A Jaguar article.

It's not the subject that's wrong. That actually turns out to be moderately fascinating. The wrongness is the fact that they appear to have printed a draft rather than the final copy. Either that or placing [random words in] brackets throughout [the article] is some brave, avant-garde assault on the aesthetic conventions of printed type.

I won't dwell on that as my real beef is something a lot more serious. Well, at least to me.

I like technical info. I can kind of understand it and when placed in the context of a good explanation, it helps me understand the hardware I play games on. This understanding makes the magic all the more magical, as it exposes the true scale of the effort programmers put in and bridges the gap between the real and abstract components of a videogame, bringing two previously disparate understandings together in some drug-crazed harmony inside my head.

I remember reading an old Edge article about the 3DO that went into the ram-to-video memory architecture in a depth that impressed me, mostly because I couldn't understand it. That had rarely happened to me in over a decade of reading videogame mags and I think that prompted my growing desire to understand the technical aspect of gaming hardware and software. Actually, I tell a lie. Tech Niche in Crash regularly stumped me, but that bit was never about games so fucking fuck off, ok?


This Jaguar article skimps on the technical detail to a depressing degree. In the sole paragraph dedicated to the technology that makes the Jaguar such an oddity, the claim is made that the machine contained true 64-bit chips. However, we are not told how the chips were 64 bit and instead are told more about the Motorola 68000, but in a tone that suggests it was custom silicon itself, rather than a staple processor of the 16-bit age. They even left out the mandatory fact/legend that the 68000 became THE processor of choice for washing machines. Instead of a technical overview of the Jaguar's exotic innards, we're told that a 64-bit chip from 1993 is rubbish compared to a 32-bit chip from today, again without any explanation of why!

The problem here is that the lingering 64-bit question is resolved by having a programmer saying "yes! It is 64-bit!". The custom DSP chips are not explained in any way, nor are any of the juicy tidbits like the hardware bugs, which are briefly referenced in the most simple terms possible. Much is made of the Jaguar's power when programmed correctly, but none of the claims are backed up with reference to the hardware's capabilities. I'm left knowing nothing new about the hardware, having read less information that I'd get on the console's own sales sheet.

I know it's a massive geek-out to want that kind of info, but to me it's a fascinating glimpse into the darker, mysterious underbelly of videogames. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to read something in a videogaming mag that's out of his depth. It's not as if Retro Gamer can't get the info (people have reversed engineered gaming hardware to death in the race for universal emulation) and we can understand it if we read it enough times and ask some really geeky people on the internet.

Gimme the geek knowledge!

It's a fucking magazine about old games. It's already broken the geek barrier about a million fucking times so wtf?!?!

Friday, June 16, 2006


I bought my first 360 dashboard theme last night from Live Arcade. 150 pts. The Street Fighter II one, obviously. What a TOTAL ripoff. A couple of average-at-best pictures in the background and a colour change on the blades? RUBBISH. I have about a million better SF2 pics on my PC and from various guides over the years. There is some amazing artwork out there, which Capcom must surely own the rights to.

Also, is that what themes are? Background pics with colour changes? I had hoped for the graphic on the blades to change at least. You know, instead of a simple straight-ish line sliding over the screen I want Ken doing a dragon punch, or Blanka spinning. That's worth spending money on. Not changing the colours. Cunts.

The gamer pics are good, I suppose. Pretty cheap for something that should basically be free with the game. I'd like to see elite gamer pics. You know, if you hit five million in Geometry Wars you get a special gamer pic so that everyone knows you're just better. Maybe they exist already and I just haven't seen them. I mean, I have, obviously, I just choose not to show them. I HAVE A BIG WILLY TOO.

Also - Battlefield 2 Modern Combat has been patched. Some changes have been made that were annoying the community, apparently, and they fixed the voice comms problem. Only they didn't. You STILL can't hear what anyone is saying half the time. They just removed the fucking graphic that lets you know someone is speaking. What a total con. I only realised because my friend called me up and said "I'm standing next to you shouting, can't you hear me?" No I fucking well can't. At this rate we'll have to play Perfect Dark Zero. And nobody wants that.
And while I'm on BF2, there has been absolutely zero community support on the official forums since April. Cunts.

It's ok to call an entire corporation a cunt, I think, but I'd better not call Nick Pateman a cunt, or he'll close us down LOL

Thursday, June 15, 2006

TDU: The original and best view

In the demo, there's an option to turn up the sensitivity of the steering. I did this and I reckon my car got much nippier. I still found things a bit unresponsive at super high speed, though. Another thing that's still fucking me up is going off the road, but that's mostly because I'm too used to the likes of Burnout, Ridge Racer and PGR3.


Hopefully enough people have complained about the handling that it'll get tweaked before release.

Jesus Suki, you're such a fucking pessimist.

Disgaea 2 countdown - day 27

Seriously, where the fuck is it? I want it BAD. I need it. I need a screen full of stats that look boring but actually offer me REAL ULTIMATE POWER over my team, how it works, how I play the game and how I RAPE bad guys for exp. and dollar$, yo.

Expression of oneself through mathematics. It doesn't get any sexier than that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Test Drive Unlimited - the other view

I played the Test Drive Unlimited demo too last night, and I think my opinion of the game is different enough to Boss Nonnu's to justify a second post on the demo.

First off, Boss is WRONG. And not just the regular "in the head" wrong. I mean, he's wrong about the handling. A full push of the stick in TDU has the same effect as about a half push of the stick in every other driving game I've ever played. He's right in saying that at top speeds you wouldn't turn violently and cause your car to crash (unless you were trying to kill yourself). He's wrong, though, about thinking that that means that the developers should remove that choice for you. Real cars don't deactivate the steering wheel's more excessive movements at top speed. You just don't turn the wheel all the way at 100mph. So likewise, in the game I don't push the stick all the way when I get to 100mph. Or at least, I didn't in any driving game ever (bar maybe Outrun 2 and the odd rallying title) until Test Drive Unlimited. It's like riding a bike with stabilisers on, and it makes any sort of exciting maneuvering redundant. I know I'm a PGR3 whore but come on. I'm no elite driver. Surely most of us are capable of pushing the stick only half way in. That's what analogue is all about. You might as well assign the steering to the dpad.

Secondly, Boss is WRONG. About the experience making the car change characteristics as you progress. Initially, when he told me this idea I thought, sure, why not? As I considered things further, however, I realised that this idea is batshit insane. Sure, it might *mimic* the process of skill development in some way, but it also retards that very process that it's trying to emulate. One of the primary factors in physical gaming skill is muscle memory. A game's control system must remain solid and constant in order for your body to get used to it and, eventually, perform delicate and precise movements naturally and without deliberation. If the variables are changing all the time then it becomes really difficult to build up that feel for the controls. Boss Nonnu's system would only restrict movement in the beginning and then slow down the process of learning how the game controls in the long run.

Also, I thought the sound of the engines was just "ok", but I don't really have a phat system hooked up to my 360 anymore, so I'm not really capable of commenting on that. And I didn't take out the Exige, which Boss tells me sounds like sex.

All in, my time with the demo has saddened me and made me less excited about what is an incredible game on paper. I love the whole concept of a persistent island populated with other drivers, and roaming around looking for races, and I can forgive the choppy framerate in the out-of-car view and the ugliness of the scenery. I can even forgive the shocking lack of damage to your car, allowing you to drive into traffic at 150mph and completely wreck it yet drive away unscathed. But I can't forgive the horrible handling, which represents roughly 90 per cent of the joy I find in any driving game.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


That's the word that lingers in my mind after playing the Test Drive Unlimited demo.

Burning around a hawaiian island is lots of joy for me. So much so, I re-loaded the demo a good four times in a row the other day. That fucking time limit is a fucking disgrace, by the way. However, it looks like everything's going to be in place and it'll work. I'm definitely looking foward to going for a drive with my mates and parking up by the beach to take group photos.

The sound is fantastico. The Gallardo sounds fucking wicked as it reaches the high gears and the Exige is raw fucking sex with its supremely fierce trumpeting. Having a quick blast on PGR3 immediately afterwards is a bitter disappointment, but then I was always a bit upset with the transparency and thinness of PGR3's engine notes.

Someone I know said that the handling was non-existent. I think he's confusing PGR3 for a simulator.

Mind you, I only accept the unresponsiveness at high speed because it feels like that's the way it really would be if I was driving a car like that.

It occurs to me that for a nice sense of character progression, it would be fucking sweet if TDU started you off with heavy handling and then, as you progressed and learnt how to handle that particular model, the game granted you progressively more looseness and freedom. You'd get a brilliant sense of learning how to drive mental cars then.

I wonder if that's what it's like in real life, but with fear as the handling variable.

One final thing:

The replays have a really high helicopter camera angle that gives me almost exactly the view that I want. The joy this brings me is immeasurable.

Monday, June 12, 2006

We opened for Guns N' Roses

And we did it with a video game.

Technically, what happened was that the very first act at the Download festival last weekend was both myself and Affectionate Diary user Simon Byron playing Guitar Hero. Guns N' Roses were the headlining act. That means, followers of logic and fans of accurate truth, that we opened for Guns N' Roses. That is a STONE COLD FACT, validated by various people from Gibson management as well as a couple of stage managers and audio technicians. Though to be honest, that's not really all that. Guns N' Roses are really just Axl Rose now, who is a tragic shadow of his former self - fatter, uglier, even more arrogant and, worst of all, can no longer sing. And the rest of the band are just session musicians. Which means they're now more tribute band than rock gods. Which is a shame. So I'll settle for downgrading the claim to one of the other headliners - we opened for Metallica. Only, Metallica have sucked ass since their guitarist died. Which leaves me with no choice other than to claim that we opened for The Prodigy, who are fucking INCREDIBLE.

We opened for The Prodigy.

Hmmm, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

We opened for Guns N' Roses.


Other things that occurred during my four-day stay at the Download festival, whilst promoting Guitar Hero - we made people's dreams come true. That's what one kid said when he came off stage, sweating and delirious, barely audible over the cheering and screaming from the crowd who loved him.

Also, I stood at the edge of a Hell Breed mosh pit, which was one of the most surreal things I've ever done. Several thousand people standing behind me, kind of pushing forward a bit but not really, and in front of me a wide open space with maybe 20 people flailing their limbs as fast and hard as they can to hit each other but not really ever hitting anyone on the outskirts. I totally didn't get it on any sort of personal level at the time. It wasn't until I went to see the only non-metal act at the event - The Prodigy - that I understood what it was about.

The Prodigy played in the Snickers tent, which was rammed. I thought there'd be plenty of space, actually, what with it being a metal festival, but apparently Keith has loads of followers because he has tattoos and piercings. That was pretty much the stupidest thing I'd heard all day, but I'd seen little to no evidence of intelligence for most of the weekend so I wasn't really surprised. I got there early with the sexiest girl on the planet and we pushed our way to about five people from the front, ignoring the pain in my now-throbbing knee, an injury that had no apparent cause. And we waited.

They were late on, obviously. Every act had been thanks to the football. But when they came on Oh My God were they amazing. I had absolutely no control over what my body was doing, only that I had to rock as hard as I could, hoping to keep some sort of vague semblance of rhythm. I think I managed, but it was hard to tell because beyond a little bit of bouncing for the first couple of beats of each song nobody was moving. I mean, there was some cheering and fists in the air and rock horns (FUCK OFF), but generally speaking I got the impression that the crowd couldn't hear the music. Most of the people around me gave me savage looks and shoves as if to say "stop fucking dancing you prick, you're disturbing me".

How did that happen? At a fucking METAL FESTIVAL. So I pushed to the outer edges of the tent where there was room and proceeded to dance. On my own. Tina stayed at the front and persevered, but I really had to rock. Looking around me, I realised nobody else was moving beyond a sort of head bounce. To The Prodigy. What cunts. It was a sea of people caught in stasis, frozen from the moment they had all got in position to prepare for the dance ahead. So I got my head down and got on with it. I felt estranged for my music, and slightly angry that I'd been forced to enjoy this experience amongst heathens who couldn't understand the purity of the need to get down, and I was barely in control of my movements. I couldn't feel the pain in my knee. I thrashed wildly. In short, I became a metaller.

I think. I mean, I don't know because I'm not one. But right at that moment I felt like I wanted to mosh. I wanted a pit of screaming people in front of me hellbent on unintentional violence that doesn't really end in anyone getting hurt, and I could no longer feel pain. I had no control and I loved it, and it was all because of the music.

I have a deeper appreciation of metal now, though I wouldn't say I enjoy it. I doubt I ever will, even though I love that their drummers use two kick drums to beat out a REALLY fast bass sound and that guitarists use trampettes to get enough height on their jumps to pose while they play. And it's changed the way I play Guitar Hero too. Those few songs I played on the Gibson stage showed me how the game should be played, and it's never sitting down. Seeing the kids go crazy - on stage and off - to Guitar Hero was one of the most affirming video gaming experiences of my life.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Playing games

An interview in the current issue of Edge with Lego Star Wars publisher Giant has really resonated with how I'm thinking about games at the moment. Specifically, Tom Stone talks about how he sees some gamers as people "whose only goal is to finish the game. Not play the game, but finish the game."

I have to say, I couldn't agree more.

Not the most recent, but definitely one of the examples that sticks in my brain the most, is conversations with people I've had about PGR3 when it first came out. I heard many, many arguements as to why it was rubbish, why it disappointed and why it was inferior to Ridge Racer (despite being an entirely different type of game altogether). I heard that it had no sense of progression. That it was too easy. That you could buy the fastest car in the game from almost the very beginning. That could simply race the same car all the way through the game and never have to take out a slow or fast one if you didn't want to.

Yes! Yes! Yes! I applauded many of these game design decisions. I couldn't understand why people saw it as a flaw that PGR3 let me race exactly how I wanted to, in whatever way I wanted to. I had felt that the next generation of "game" was upon me. Nearly everyone else thought we'd taken a step back. Never mind the supremely refined handling, or the track design, or the freedom of choice, here was a game that didn't require the player to work. Just play.

Not that the game was perfect, obviously. An overly laborious menu system and the reloading of things that should be still fresh in the 360's memory system would have been much easier to criticise, and yet nobody mentioned any of that. People seemed to at least be enjoying those things. Perhaps they need to suffer to feel alive.

And then today, a friend asked me if Geometry Wars uploaded your score if you played offline and then went online later on. I had to say I knew it did so with achievements, but I wasn't sure on score. Oh, he said, then it's not worth playing till I get home. I suddenly felt completely disconnected from him, as a gamer.

Playing games is about playing. Not working, or achieving (though achieving as a natural consequence of playing is obviously not a bad thing). Even I, perhaps the most competitive gamer ever, am happier playing than working. It's why Akira is so much fun to play in VF. You don't win, or progress. You just try to pull off amazing combos. It's just playing for fun. It's why I've stopped Animal Crossing. It's why I love Geometry Wars, which has no end ever. It's why I can play the first Mute City track in F-Zero GX over and over again. It's why I still play Super Monkey Ball from time to time. And it's why in my eyes, PGR3 is the best driving game ever made. Until the next one.

Sex games

A friend of mine has often puzzled at the lack of any sort of porn-based video games (the old "my friend" routine.) And he has a point. Why are there no proper porn-based video games? And real video games, not a Virtual Jenna toy or some bullshit anime girlfriend simulator (you can only jack off over cartoons so many times - I heard). It would be simple enough to make if you had the porn footage. You'd play it over and over and never get past the first two minutes. I mean 30 minutes.

The obvious way to do it would be a series of porn scenes and a really rubbish but also brilliant graphic-adventure-type casing. Each "level" is a standard porn scene. You'd be, say, a plumber, and you have to go from house to house servicing various abodes. Your actions would determine how far you got in each house with each woman, and different houses have different objectives. Amanda would need O and A level tutoring, for instance. Success would be determined by either conversational minigames or perhaps a Dragon's Lair-style multiple choice system. And when you've completed every level you get to go to the house with the Korean triplets.

Outright porn with a minimal amount of "game" housing. Like the early Mega CD stuff, but with proper porn. I'd buy it and, knowing our audience here at Affectionate Diary, you'd buy it. Who wouldn't? I'd even follow the adventures of Mario the Plumber through several escapades over several releases, determining which women he slept with (all of them) and which other trades he try his hand at. I imagine gardening would be one (in white overalls, of course).

Unlockables, bosses, plot progression, it's all such a non-brainer. It's actually, genuinely amazing that it hasn't been done.

Industry Interview - Dan Griliopoulos

Welcome to the next installment in Affectionate Diary's internationally lauded series of interviews with journalists, in which Affectionate Diary FLIPS THAT SHIT ON ITS HEAD, HOMES, and interviews journalists. Which seemed funny at first but we're kind of running out of things to ask.

This week, we're proud to present the only journalist in the industry who knows more words than the dictionary does, and possibly the internet.

Hi! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions. Let's start with a little introduction for our readers, please. Who are you and what do you do?

Hullo! My name is Dan Griliopoulos (regularly monikered Grill) and I am both full-time reviews editor on Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine and a freelance whore. I pimp out my own squalid ass for the sponduliks necessary to maintain my luxurious lifestyle, and that’s only working for Microsoft. (Ironic laughter follows, breaking rapidly into heartfelt sobs.)

Many consider you to be games journalism's most evil, vindictive, all around NASTY son of a bitch. PRs dread dealing with you and Jon Hicks of Windows XP: The Official Magazine has gone on the record as saying that he wouldn't like to fight you on fair terms, even though he really wants to cave your fucking head in. What do you have to say for yourself?

I never forget a face, though I tried really hard with yours. Jon and I have a deep spiritual link that transcends the understanding of mere mortals. (It’s something to do with quantum entanglement that affects the Micro(soft)chips implanted in our prosencephalons.) For this reason, we understand truly the squalid depths of the human soul and loathe the race of men in general, each other in particular. To be honest, he’s all talk anyway. He couldn’t squash a gnat without running it past the boys in Redmond. Wimp.

Sorry, we were talking about Evil weren’t we? Yes, I have certain pride in being… evil. Someone needs to provide a sense of balance to the moral sphere and I’m glad that my reputation reflects the obsidian glosses of my psyche. You PRs have it too easy, too many of your victims are taken in by your glib lies and fail to realise that they’re being manipulated. I feel that my random assassinations of games, dissemination of dastardly rumours and general vicious ratlike behaviour might strike the fear of god into you scum. (Also I look cool in Fable, what with the glowing eyes and horns. And I get to use really cool powers in KOTOR.) When the revolution comes, you’ll be just after the lawyers and garden gnome owners. (N.B. These are solely my opinions, and are not necessarily those of my magazine. The fucking cowards.)

Let's talk about your feud with the wonderful, fair and just Jon Hicks for a moment, if we can. We all know about your famous public spats, but when did it actually all start? And did you *really* say you wanted to **** his *** with your big ****?

It was very hard to pronounce all those stars but, being the last native speaker of both Aramaic and Cornish, I managed. Hicks, I spit on his name, p’tooh! Hicks! Our…disagreement started back in ‘84 when we were both at the secret Microsoft base beneath Bognor, having our control chips implanted, and Bill Gates decided he wanted to see us fight for his pleasure. Obeying the Glorious Leader (long may his name live in infamy!) and stripping down to our loincloths, we… (If you want to find out what else happened, you’ll have to download the full movie Hot Hacks 3: When Geeks Attack from The Official Micturosoft Official Porn Official Server. Official.) …and then we had some toast. It was lovely!

Of course, everyone can remember that brief week where you both made up and moved in together, only to fall out later over a Tempest high score argument.

Is that the game where you take control of a out-sized tropical storm in order to water-damage a town in America, thus hastening the advent of mid-term elections and distracting the world’s media for many months from true suffering and starvation happening on an industrial scale elsewhere in the world? No? Oh.

Archer Maclean was brought in to check the machine's highscore table for tampering and it turned out that you had modified your score in order to beat Jon's.

I did it with Minesweeper too, on all his machines and he never noticed! Ha, eat that, Hicks!

Obviously this sort of dispicable behaviour is par for the course for a man of your nature, but what I want to ask is - are you a gay lol

You see, this is what I hate about PRs. Always prying into your lives, sticking their unwonted noses in, using long-lens photography to get insalubrious snaps of us, infringing the privacy of us poor hard-working types who’ve only agreed to a no-holds barred interview with some glamour shots. Not like us journalists, models of probity one and all. Like my hero Piers Morgan or that guy who helped the government kill David Kelley. And their spelling is terrible. What if I was a gay lol? Would you dare to ask question then? Yes, you would. You’re almost as Evil as me. I admire that, you filth.

You are well known for having digs at your co-workers behind their backs. Last week you said something mean about Gary Cutlack. Because he doesn't read this, it's quite safe to repeat yourself, so please, tell our readers what it was you said.

Bloody Cornish tyke, forcing his pasties on us, reaming us with his extreme talent and modest silence. I’m going to out him. HE LIKES PISSING ON R KELLY AND FANCIES THE STEAMING CORPSE OF RICHARD “TWICE NIGHTLY” WHITELEY! (And he writes the immensely influential and funny UK Resistance). The sod.

And finally, because I can't think of any more questions and because I loathe reading everything you write, can you sum up everything you hate about the world, including why you think Serenity didn't get the recognition it deserved and whether or not you would bone Tom Cruise.

I’m bored now. Can I go home? Oh, hate? Well, I think I’ve expressed hate at the world in general, life in particular, but let me think. Is there anything that rouses me to especial indignation? Hum, lack of complexity, ignorance of true storytelling and sticking to rigid formulae pisses me off whatever the context, but particularly in games. Oh, and the poor. And immigrants. And people who care about things. And what does Suki mean anyway? Is you surname Fiddydollah?


Friday, June 02, 2006

Anonymous commenters

Is this the most common off-topic post subject ever?

Anyhow, I'll echo the wishes of millions of blog authors the world over and ask that the anons at least leave us clues as to your true identities and some token of your affections.

Something like:

"love u, xox"

"lol u r cool, xoxo"

"much luv! <3 <3 <3"

pls rply asap pls. TIA.

The Wii question


I don't really care if it ushers in a new age of intuitive control methods, or becomes a nasty, gimmicky box for massmarket digital toys.

I just want to know what an hour of repetitious wrist movements in all angles will do to my tendons.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

A proven track record

Betamax. MiniDisc. BluRay.

Nuff said.

Overheard just now

Boss Nonnu just described a football management sim thing as "good if you like that sort of thing" and "not Shadow of the Collossus".


Disgaea 2 countdown - day something or other

Right, this is looking a bit non-happening now. I'll need to actually wait for the PAL release at this rate.