Regarding recent events

8 Dec

I’ve just noticed that while the frequency with which I write stuff here has gone down, the number of people reading it has gone up. Since years of reading music websites has led me to believe that popularity correlates with the number of people thinking you’re a talentless villain, allow me to re-address the balance. A few things:

CODBLOPS came out

I wasn’t waiting on this with bated breath like I was with Modern Warfare 2, for a couple of reasons: one, I wasn’t particularly interested in the story (as a fan of dumb action epics I take no offence at the COD series’ increasingly bent narratives, but this doesn’t have Soap and Price in it) and two, the only brand-new additions to online play – quirky, heavily modified games modes like the one where everyone only gets a crossbow and a knife – are limited to Wager Matches. These are horrible; what should have been a silly knockabout with ample opportunity for amusing crossbow-related war stories is forever tainted by the fact that in-game currency (the only way to unlock new guns and perks) is always at stake. It’s surprisingly hard to enjoy chasing five other people around with spring-loaded knives when you know failure to be the best at chasing five other people around with spring-loaded knives will cost more than time and pride. Besides that, single-player is fairly enjoyable but never, ever spectacular, Zombies mode is a chore, and bog-standard multi is better than anything else Treyarch have done but is still blighted – for me – by the chasm of a skill gap between myself and most other players.

I wrote about Octodad


“Loving father. Caring husband. Secret octopus”. I love how writing for Gaming Daily has got me playing things I wouldn’t normally find the time for – here’s my experiences with Octodad, one such barmy student-made effort. Like a fool, I didn’t include any kind of link to the download page: I’m atoning for that, with this.

It’s been bloody cold

Sometimes, during Summer, I argue with myself which is worse – being very hot, or being very cold. After having to make two trips up and down from my second-floor flat with a large jug of hot water to destroy the ice on my car’s windows, because the first time the steaming water simply froze over in seconds, I’ve concluded the part of me that argued against being very hot is an idiot.

Coldness is a virus, infecting your comfort and luxuries and lording over them with a spiky, numb fist. It turns motor vehicles into impotent, dithering husks, begging pathetically for de-icer (which will just freeze over anyway) and an extra twenty minutes to get the heating up to a level which could arguably be described as ‘heat’. It demands an extra two layers of clothing whenever you go out, which is just unflattering, and actually makes you unbearably warm once you get inside, having just escaped from the unbearable cold. Cunning, wintery bastard.

I saw Biffy Clyro again

Hnnnnnngh. Won’t say much as my opinions on Biffy are well-documented and everything I saw on Saturday served only to re-affirm those beliefs. Actually, I might go as far to say it was the best gig of theirs I’ve attended, though I might be exacerbating on account of having Nando’s only an hour prior.

My team was knocked out of the ETF2L Highlander Tournament

And so ends the glorious underdog campaign of the V3 Highlanders. I find I’m not really sad at all, partly because the guys that ended our winning streak are the best-performing team in a related competition (it’s worth repeating – the fucking best), but mostly because we were as ragtag and mismatched as any team was likely to get, and we still overcame seasoned competitive teams to get into the last 128 out of over 800 entrants. I maintain that TF2 in an organised competitive format is TF2 at its most dramatic and exciting, and look forward to possibly taking up arms again sometime in the future. I went into a bit more detail as to why we should keep our chins up in a post on our Steam group page.

Peeps still be protesting

I saw a picture of some furious undergrad with a sign saying ‘no more Giant Douche/Turd Sandwich Politics‘ a few days ago (linked in case you have a more intelligent taste in television than me. Or him). From my eyes this is pure, crisp, delicious irony – I can’t actively back a policy that would all but abandon courses like mine, of course, but I absolutely don’t want to join the resistance movement either. I can’t think of a single group that comes off looking good from this dreadful, dreadful episode: not the Government, who now look like they hate kids, not the protestors, who either engage in or simply enable disappointingly childish acts like getting in shouting/punching matches with the police (diplomacy, the student way: ‘Give us what we want or we’ll break your shit/will sit on this floor and won’t move until we need the toilet, at which point we’ll get angry because we forgot to occupy a building with toilets), not the police (though they have been and probably always will be damned if they do, damned if they don’t), not even the Opposition – Labour’s opportunism and hypocrisy have pretty much cost them my vote for another four years. All in all, a lot of feminine freshness (thanks Nick Hewer) products and poo subs, so I think I’ll save my tiny sphere of influence on the matter until the next election.

Oh, but if I had to crown an Ultimate Fees Increase Giga-Dick, it would probably be awarded jointly to Cardiff Uni Socialist’s Society. Their blind devotion to practices that will only ever make themselves and students on a whole appear to the public as over-entitled hooligans is almost as despicable as their deeply cynical attempts (though a ubiquitous, inflammatory-worded advertising campaign) to turn the feeling of genuine sadness of an otherwise reasonable and intelligent student population into some kind of self-serving recruitment drive. Bah, I’m annoyed now, let’s talk about Nando’s again.

Nando’s: Still amazing

Ahhhhhhhhhh.

I Blame Coco’s album is out, decent


After saving one of my two nights out clubbing from becoming a terrible dance music nightmare, and me subsequently forgetting what all but three songs sounded like, I was determined to listen to The Constant until the disc lost its shine. And it’s been pleasant. There are a few songs which I don’t think she sand on the night, which are thankfully the worst ones – Playwright Fate is on the wrong side of dainty, and It’s About to Get Worse is a far too pedestrian way to end an upbeat pop record. The ones I recognised were either as good or better than I remembered, Selfmachine and In Spirit Golden both being energetic and emotive singles. Quicker could do with a bit more drive behind it, but the main piano-y riff is fantastic, and Please Rewind rides a filthy, pacey bassline all the way to infectious chorus glory. Coco isn’t an especially gifted singer, but her husky tone fits nicely between the indistinguishable (Katy Perry) and awkward (Florence and the Machine) binaries that are currently occupying female-fronted pop. She happens to be much more listenable than either.

The Walking Dead finished it’s first season

Finally, new US television I can get addicted to. With the happy lack of anything approaching knowledge of the comic this is based on, I was able to enjoy it to its fairly disloyal full. A zombie disaster series that only very rarely has zombies in it, TWD excels on the depth and likeability (mostly) of a big cast of human survivors that becomes the unwavering focus. Rick, the leading man and Sheriff’s deputy, is a joy to watch, and I’ve never seen a man in any horror media that I fear being killed as much as Dale – the warm and witty but diligent father figure of the group. These people and their stories are sufficiently interesting, filled with camaraderie and conflict, that trivia like the source and habits of the shambling undead (beyond trying to eat our heroes) is safe to ignore. Only a couple of weak links have appeared – Andrea’s only notable character trait is that her sister is dead, an event that wasn’t truly sad to watch yet causes Andrea to slump into a painfully dragged-out state of silent moping. The series finale was also weak, with a stalling plot and only a laughable threat to the survivors. Five episodes fighting, hiding from, and falling to hordes of horrific reanimated corpses and it’s considered a suitable send-off to the season to have them briefly argue with a friendly scientist who won’t unlock the doors?

Oh my word I’ve been writing this for over an hour now

So have a video I’ve been repeatedly watching.

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One Response to “Regarding recent events”

  1. Elliot December 14, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Agree regarding GD making me play games I’d never normally play. My first piece was on Dear Esther, for crying out loud. I didn’t even know what an Esther was.

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