My broadband connection was on the blink this morning, which affected me less than it would usually would have because I had a dentist appointment, so I didn’t think too much of it. I heard on the radio when driving to said appointment that the whole island was affected so that made me feel a little better, and everything came back about an hour after I returned. However a friend of mine works at one of the local telecoms companies (and which is also the broadband wholesaler to the others - kind of like our local version of BT) phoned me at lunchtime to ask if my connection was back, since he hadn’t seen me on Skype (I’d actually just forgotten to turn it back on).
As I’ve said before Harmonix really like Foo Fighters, and/or the Foos really like Rock Band, because this week we had more tracks from the band (plus some from Nirvana, where of course Grohl cut his teeth as a drummer before emerging from the shadows as a bloody good all-rounder) which is great in my book. Despite this year’s album being a little too easy-listening for my tastes, Foo Fighters remain one of my favourite bands of the last decade or so.
Woohoo, Torchlight, the new ARPG by Runic Games and using OGRE for rendering, is launching today! Well, strictly speaking the single player game launches today, with an MMO version planned for 2010. Torchlight has been developed in Seattle by a veteran team composed of the designers and leads of projects like Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos, and Fate, so you knew this was going to be good. Well, Runic were kind enough to send me an advance copy which I played a little yesterday, and boy, is it polished.
I’m not sure if this is the intro or just a trailer, since the first game had an intro which led directly to the starting point of the first chapter, which worked well, which this one clearly doesn’t (unless they start you in absolute mahem which would not make sense). If this is the intro, then I have to say I preferred the intro from the first game, which was a bit more suspense and atmosphere and less chainsaws & explosions, but I suspect it’s just a marketing trailer and hence appealing to the attention-span-challenged is paramount.
I could hug Harmonix. They have lived up to their original promise to providing a large, ever-expanding and varied collection of tracks on Rock Band with the kind of fervour that I think even fans have been surprised by. Apart from a couple of odd cases (Lego Rock Band and Beatles: Rock Band - the former puzzling, the latter due to brand management insistence that The Beatles should be revered as gods and can’t be seen mixing with peasants) Harmonix have avoided fragmenting the content available as much as possible and the result is a lot of people who have no reason to buy another music game; in fact there’s a positive incentive not to.
I like Steam. Sure, you’ve got all the people moaning about not being able to sell on their games afterwards, but I don’t care about that - maybe because I don’t buy that many games compared to some, and I tend to hold on to them regardless more often than not. It’s the nearest thing to XBox Live on the PC and it does a pretty good job of it. Buying games and keeping them up to date is simple, and it’s indie-friendly with far less of the snooty attitide that seems to be increasing in the console online marketplaces now they’re established.
Oh hell yes. Finally, one of the best British classic rock bands that was sorely missing from Rock Band makes an appearance on 20th October, and how: Another One Bites The Dust Crazy Little Thing Called Love One Vision Fat Bottomed Girls I Want It All I Want To Break Free Killer Queen Somebody To Love Tie Your Mother Down Under Pressure Now, I could lament the absence of Don’t Stop Me Now, and Princes of the Universe which I would have loved, but really that would be being petulant because this list is pure class.
You know how you realise one day that you’re not part of the ‘young generation’ anymore? If you don’t know this, you’re either still in your 20s, or you’re kidding yourself; akin to 45 year olds thinking they can still legitimately be part of the clubbing scene. Well, it manifests itself in a number of ways, some positive - you’re in theory more financially & emotionally stable, and you generally give a lot less of a toss what people think anymore - and some negative - suddenly you can no longer treat your body like dirt and expect it to gleefully rebound.
Finally. After months of speculation and general acknowledgement by all except Sony that the PS3 is too expensive for the market, and that no amount of brand loyalty, Blu-ray cross-marketing or theoretical performance advantages were going to outbalance that inconvenient fact, the inevitable has happened and the PS3 is now £50 cheaper in the UK. That’s actually pretty good; we usually get stiffed on prices in Europe so despite not quite being on par - a $100 cut in the US should mean about a £60 cut at current exchange rates, but they do have to hedge their bets there - it’s a healthy amount and I’m sure will help sales.