Archive for July, 2009

An underwater guy who controlled the sea.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Wonkey Island

So, LucasArts have revamped, re-animated, re-scored and voiced a new version of the classic The Secret of Monkey Island. And you can get it for Xbox 360, Windows or the iPhone.

I went with the iPhone path, because, hell, a point’n'click adventure makes more sense with a touch-screen than a gamepad, right?

Alas, whilst the game looks and sounds amazing, the controls are totally, utterly and horribly fucked. The developers have kept the mouse cursor part of the original game design, and whilst they have tarted up the UI*, the cursor doesn’t follow your finger on screen. It has a lag that increases the more you move. So you have to move finger, stop, lift finger, touch cursor (which is nowhere near where you want it to be) and drag again. Pity yourself if you need to click near the edge of the screen, because your finger will slide off the touch-sensitive area and the frustration will end with you boiling your iPhone in a Pryex jug in the office microwave oven.

So, my advice? Don’t buy it… yet. Hopefully LucasArts will fix the controls and push out a 1.1 version hat makes it work better on the iPhone. Until then, just play Flight Control.

P.S. Unrelated, kinda, but I found the coolest paint program ever. It’s called Grafx2 and it mimics the Amiga application Deluxe Paint. Why bring this up? Well, back in the dark old past of the late 1980s, LucasArts converted Deluxe Paint from the Amiga to the PC. And they used it for all of their adventure games. In fact, it is how Guybrush got his name, as Deluxe Paint would append “.brush” to the name of a file, and the LucasArts artists just happened to name one “guy”. So, “guy.brush” become Guybrush.

* You can play using the original sounds, graphics and interface. Which is rad. What is not rad is that the cursor lag appears here too, and they have futzed with the screen resolution which means on-screen text looks all jagged and crap. Shame.

Serve as a juror in a censorship case.

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I was never really an outdoorsy kid, as a child growing up. I used to spend my Winters rugged up all nice and warm in front of an Amstrad or an Amiga whilst my friends and neighbours took the opportunity of a cooler clime to fall down mountains on thin sticks of wood.

But as I got older, I found myself spending less time roasting marshmallows over a red-hot CRT/PowerBook and more time with actual, real people. People who did want to go outside. People who would spend money to strap sticks of wood to their feet. Sticks of wood that, over the years, have got wider and wider until they joined together to become one piece – the snowboard.

And yesterday, I did the same. I took a trip from my base to the snowy delights of the Perisher Valley. I bought an expensive jacket, some in-expensive waterproof pants, and then hired a really cheap (yet brand-new and apparently good quality) snowboard, and threw myself down a hill.

Over and over. Again and again.

And I loved it.

So, now I am looking at going again, really soon. Whilst I will likely continue to rent boards this season, I did have a quick look at obtaining either a cheap new board and bindings, or a second-hand/ex-demo setup. In looking around multiple places I found out about Burton’s “Love” range.

Now I want one of these:

Loveboard