johncoxon: (Default)
I got my Nintendo Wii the month after it came out, whilst I should have been revising for my first round of A2-level exams, and whilst I must confess I enjoyed Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, I found the experience was slightly lacking. I gave up playing LoZ:TP after about thirty-five hours of gameplay (I intend to come back to it and complete it this summer, it's a pride thing), and although Mario Kart Wii is fun in short bursts, I'm the first to confess it probably hasn't justified the money I paid for it yet. The other game I got back then was Red Steel, which was, although a fairly competent FPS, by no means great (or indeed all that interesting a plot). The graphics were poor, even for a Wii game, and the swordfighting was really not a good showcase of the Wiimote's potential.

The reason I mention Red Steel last is because I bought a copy of Nintendo Official Magazine today, and it has a feature in it on the sequel. As some of you will know, there's a peripheral coming for the Wii this summer called the MotionPlus, which adds functionality to the Wiimote - essentially, the console now knows exactly where your hand is and how you're moving it, meaning that much finer controls are available. Red Steel 2 uses this functionality to finally deliver the epic swordfighting that people have been waiting to see on the Wii since its conception.

To cap that off, the developers have opted for a cel-shaded, almost Japanese arthouse style of graphics. Graphics are not the Wii's strong suit, it's nowhere near as powerful as the PS3 or the Xbox 360, and that is blatantly obvious in some games, so the solution is to opt for stylistic graphics that make a game unique, rather than the überrealistic graphics found in the Xbox 360's and PS3's games at the moment. This is pleasing, I must confess, and I really think it works well in other games of the same type (XIII and Viewtiful Joe are both cel-shaded GameCube games and neither looks like it's an old game today, so why not harness that for the Wii?).

This is encouraging enough for my underused Wii as it is, but that's not the only thing currently getting me all excited about my little white box. Sega have been beavering away on some games for the Wii this year, and they released House of the Dead: Overkill and Mad World pretty much at the same time. I purchased HOTD:Overkill recently and I was amazed at how good it is. It's a prequel to the other HOTD games, and it's in the same arcade style - the Wiimote shoots mutants, you put the Wiimote in the Wii Zapper or lightgun accessory of your choice and you're away! It's amazing to play, really, really good fun and I'm currently working my way through the director's cut (it's haaaard).

On the subject of Sega, Mad World also looks like good fun (I got it today, not played it yet) and they're releasing a game soon called The Conduit, an FPS designed specifically to be played on the Wii, which looks awesome. Another game I'm currently getting excited about is Need for Speed: Nitro, which is another game specifically designed for play on the Wii, and will be a different experience from the upcoming game Shift for the Xbox 360 and PS3. I think that's good - you're far more likely to do well from a game designed for the console you play it on, than a game designed for a different console, and intelligent use of the Wii's controls is usually far better than a port from one of the Wii's big brothers.

Oh, and then again, there's the GameCube compatibility. I bought Viewtiful Joe, a brilliant game I never owned for the GameCube, recently, and also the bongos you could get are coming in handy for nights playing videogames with my mates.

I have spent the last year being unconvinced by videogames that were either shitty ports for the Wii or videogames that were expensive and would have required a console I was unsure I wanted to buy for me to play them. Suddenly, I've bought an extra three videogames in the space of a month and I'm playing on my Wii every day. I toyed with the idea of selling my Wii so many times last year, and I am so glad I didn't. The humble games console from Nintendo is finally becoming a viable choice for those of us who don't just want to play minigames or keep fit.
johncoxon: (Default)
So, I'm going to the USA on holiday in a couple of weeks and I need some good SF for the plane. I'm thinking a couple of books, taken from this year's Hugo, Arthur C Clarke and BSFA shortlists. Three notable exceptions to this: I haven't included Bryan Talbot, because I have been recommended him by many, many people, and will eventually buy one of his works, but I'll get that at a later date. The other two are Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod, who are the first two SF authors outside Iain M. Banks that I started reading. I already love both authors, so there's no point in seeking my flist's opinion of them!

[Poll #1210305]

In addition to whatever is recommended here, I'm planning to take JPod by Douglas Coupland (I loved Microserfs, so I'm hoping it'll be more of the same, which is how the Wikipedia article describes it...) and Iron Hands by Jonathan Green, which is a Warhammer 40,000 novel from The Black Library (I'm fascinated by that particular chapter of the Space Marines, so I want to read the novel). I might also take an unread Discworld novel and one of Ian Watson's Warhammer 40,000 books that I bought at Picocon.
johncoxon: (Default)
They're opening an Apple Store in Leicester before the start of next term. Anyone care to guess how much money is going to be spent by me in there? :D The good city of Leicester is also receiving a John Lewis (wooo!) and a Wagamama, courtesy of Highcross Leicester. This is clearly awesome news.
johncoxon: (Default)
I want something from the iTunes Store. More specifically, I want something from the American version of the iTunes Store. So, would anyone reading this be willing to get me a $15 iTunes card and mail it to me? Alternatively, does anyone know whether the 'Gift This Music' option works from the US store if you want to send it to someone who has a UK account? The album I want is this one, Doctorin' the TARDIS (warning: your browser will let iTunes connect to the iTunes store if you click that link).

So, yeah, if the 'Gift This Music' option works, I'd be willing to pay any American person $5 via PayPal for their trouble, or if it doesn't, I'd be willing to send a pre-negotiated amount of money over for someone getting me a $15 gift card. :)


May. 1st, 2008 11:26 am
johncoxon: (Default)
Ladies and gentlemen, it's the return of an old column I used to write... eBaywatch, where I go through a lot of Douglas Adams and Hitchhiker's Guide stuff and tell y'all what it's selling for. I am no longer as used to the eBay situation as I used to be, but I shall endeavour to link you guys to some interesting auctions and make wild guesses about how much it'll eventually sell for. And now, the list. )

Share and enjoy!
johncoxon: (Default)
I would like to take whoever worked on 'Verified by Visa' and shoot them. I CAN RESET MY PASSWORD USING THE DATA YOU ASKED ME FOR ON THE PREVIOUS PAGE, SO THE PASSWORD IS NOT MAKING THIS PROCESS ANY MORE SECURE. Grrr. Same goes for the MasterCard version.


Jan. 7th, 2008 01:03 am
johncoxon: (Default)
I just completed it for the very first time (I don't have a Windows machine powerful enough to run it for more than five minute stretches and so had to wait for my brother to get it before I could actually play it for more than fifteen minutes, even though I've been waxing lyrical about its awesomeness for ages) and I would like, as a result, the Orange Box soundtrack and this Companion Cube T-shirt.

There aren't any plushes yet! :(


Dec. 18th, 2007 09:53 pm
johncoxon: (Eagles Guitars)
Find a song that you love on the iTunes store and then tell me what it is. I'll go on, have a listen and if I like the preview I'll download it.


Dec. 1st, 2007 12:36 pm
johncoxon: (Default)
A couple of people asked on someone else's LJ why it'd taken me so long to get my laptop, and here's a summary of what the hell's been going on. I ordered a laptop and iPod on October 26th, which was a Friday, at 18:30. Thus, the order didn't get processed until the Monday, and I received the shipment on 10th November. I then promptly sent it back on 15th November because Apple had released a new shiny update (essentially, they'd done the one thing that would actually make me care about a spec upgrade to the range - updated the graphics card so the MacBook can now play Command & Conquer 3 in WinXP), and I ordered the laptop that's currently on its way to me on November 23rd. It should arrive in the middle of next week, at which point you will be treated to alternating squeeeing and pleading for Mac help. :)
johncoxon: (Default)
So, firstly, the degree. In all the work I've handed in, in only one unit of Maths and in the Labs module (Labs make Baby Jesus cry, btw) have I achieved below a first-class mark, about which I am extremely happy. [touches wood] Max [ profile] hawkida has posted a video of me technobabbling at her, which honestly isn't that impressive, since it's just the first three weeks of an undergraduate degree and anyone who's done Physics to A-level probably knows most of what I'm talking about anyway...

Speaking of which, Max came to Leicester to see me this weekend! It was very fun - we went into Leicester from the train station initially to do some low-level shop browsing (essentially, I went to HMV to ask a question and to KRCS to buy a software suite for the MacBook that's currently in Apple's 'orders yet to ship' list. Max went to Primark). After that, we went to see some zombie films at Day of the Undead - it was very, very good fun. We bumped into Simo, who was in attendance for the first couple of films, and said hello. Max and I saw the first and last films, skipping Versus in order to go and grab a bite to eat at Bella Italia, which was great. The films themselves, well, I'm not really an expert on these things, but I did like the zombie cows from the Irish film Dead Meat and the genius quote, "I kick ass in the name of the Lord!" which came from Peter Jackson's Braindead (which had some really funny bits).

Then we went back to my room, and I showed Max my TARDIS, and then we went to bed and woke up and went to Asda before coming back to cook brunch, which was in the shape of an omelette each. Not just any omelette though - these had mushroom, bacon, sausage, black pudding and cheese, and they were three eggs each (because I forgot I already had six eggs, and thus bought six more...). As a result, I now have a full freezer (partly because I froze the leftover bacon and a pack of sausages, mostly because I got to the 'Reduced to Clear' section just as they were filling it up and managed to acquire several extremely cheap ready-made things for days when I forget to go to dinner and end up being hungry).

Then we went into town, and Max had some trouble with trains, which is detailed on her journal, and I won't bother to document it. After Max had finally managed to stick two fingers up at Leicester public transport and actually manage to use it (I swear the city council here have designed the transportation system to put people off...) I headed to the pub just up the road from the station, where I met Gramps, his girlfriend and my girlfriend, Claire (!) and we had a couple of pints together whilst talking happy amounts of toot about anything that crossed our happy little minds. (Arsenal drew with Liverpool, if anyone's wondering.)

After that, Claire and I went back to hers, and watched an episode of Green Wing before sort of falling asleep on her bed and deciding we really should be going to bed. And, as such, I am updating LiveJournal. I have a fuckload of work to do tomorrow afternoon if I want to go out on Tuesday night... two units of first-year Maths, one unit of second-year Maths and one unit of Physics. At least it's dynamics, and not electromagnetism, which is made of fail (although I remain fairly confident that I got most of the questions right when I handed them in last week, it's just such a difficult topic compared to, well, the rest of Physics generally. Although I'm quite happy that my tutor is teaching one of the modules I'm taking next semester, because it'll be much easier to follow with the lecturer helping out...! Also, he hadn't done electromagnetism in a while when we asked him questions, which makes us hopeful that some branches of astrophysics won't have any electromagnetism in them).

But life, as they say, is good. I am going to be seeing two of my brothers next weekend when I go to Norwich, The Long Road Out of Eden is finally released tomorrow (I ain't getting the special edition that's released a fortnight later, as I've got the two songs that are added onto the special edition already through The Complete Greatest Hits, so the incentive to wait a fortnight is, at best, slim) and my new MacBook and iPod should be arriving either this week or the next. Oh, and I have a girlfriend, it would appear.

Win! :D
johncoxon: (Eagles Playing)
I don't think I need to tell you guys how excited I am that I just pre-ordered the new Eagles album through, who are the the people that the Eagles linked to on their MySpace blog. It comes on 29th October, and it's great, because I've used a gift certificate on the purchase and don't have to worry about making sure I've got enough money in my account to perform a debit card transaction.

This brings me onto a question - it's being released by Universal Music Group on copy-protected CD. Has anyone got any experience with ripping CDs that feature copy-protection, especially Universal CDs?
johncoxon: (Default)
I should really sue Universal Pictures. BSG is fucking my sleep patterns. more...

(Should also sue Apple. Just found Kung Fu Fighting on the iTunes Store. And Streets of London, too.)

Adam Hills

Jul. 19th, 2007 12:14 am
johncoxon: (Go You Big Red Fire Engine)
So I might go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year to see Adam Hill's offering. And you can get the Go You Big Red Fire Engine audio CD and the Adam Hills Live In The Suburbs DVD off the Internet, too, so I might do that.

EDIT: Just got the DVD. £13 including shipping from Australia. Good deal! :D
EDIT2: Actually, think I'll drag my half-brother to see him in Norwich instead. It's easier and nearer and Norwich, 'nuff said.
johncoxon: (John Lewis)
I am looking at getting this 'LaCie 320GB d2 Quadra Hard Drive with Quadruple Interface' to go with my MacBook (I haven't got it yet but I've begun to think about the stuff I'm going to be buying to go with it) - I want something that will let me back up my hard drive using the inbuilt system for doing so, but I also want to be able to put media and other such things on the drive so that when I'm at home I can easily access my documents from the PCs we have there. Is LaCie a good brand of external hard drive? If so, is this hard drive a good one?

I am new to all this so any help would be welcome.

And obviously, I will shop around before buying the drive, I'm well aware that the Apple Store may not be the cheapest place... :)


Jun. 12th, 2007 03:21 pm
johncoxon: (Eagles Guitars)
Whilst I love And Did Those Feet... and the English Cricket Team, the Jerusalem single released by "Keedie & The England Cricket Team" is something I've not yet decided on... The gospel mix is OK, the sing-a-long version is crap (where did the words go?!) and the radio edit, well, it doesn't really have enough ooomph. It's gotta be sung with some ooomph. The G4 one is OK, it's got some more ooomph, but it's also about ten times more pretentious. So can anyone recommend a decent version of the song, preferably one that's available on iTunes?


Apr. 22nd, 2007 01:27 pm
johncoxon: (Default)
God, my voice has changed loads since I recorded the audio on my website, hasn't it? Headsets from Poundland ftw! (Max [ profile] hawkida, it looks like the mic you were looking at should be A-OK because this one seems to be doing fine.)

Now to try it on Skype. Any volunteers? :)


Apr. 18th, 2007 07:32 pm
johncoxon: (Aston Martin Vantage)
Today, I went to get a new camera from Argos who are awesome. It is a Samsung S850 and it rocks - 8.1 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, some fancy thing called Advanced Shake Reduction and the ability to take my über-SD card (4gb SDHC, baby!) and put photographs on it (around 1600 photographs when it's empty, to be precise). There is a 2.2MB photograph of an Aston Martin Vantage beneath the cut, because, y'know, if you're going to test out a shiny new camera, you might as well test it on one of the best things in the Universe, ever.

Photograph )

Oh, and as a result of having a shiny new camera, I've a sneaking suspicion that I may suddenly start to develop new usericons at an alarming rate. :D
johncoxon: (Zelda)
I appear to have a Wii. Now to buy a TV for my room so that I can play it at University. :D
johncoxon: (Beer Drinking)
Last weekend, as most of you will already know, it was my birthday. I've blogged in a very minor way about it in this entry, but I'll try and include slightly more detail. People began to arrive on the Thursday, with my Aunt Jennifer coming over on that evening. On the Friday, the fun really started, with my grandparents and my half-brother David turning up as well. On the Saturday morning, my half-brother, my brother and I went to see Casino Royale at the cinema, which was excellent. I really enjoyed it - it's very different to most of the other Bond movies (I know everyone else has said that, too, but it is!) and it's really cool. I also bought an issue of The Boys as well as two graphic novels (Sandman #5 and Y: The Last Man #2). In the evening lots of other family members and I went to the pub to eat fine food, which was nice. On the Sunday (which was my actual birthday), I woke up, had breakfast, opened cards and got some rather cool presents! ) After that, we went to the pub and I bought a round for thirty people with my Dad's money, and after that, we ate lunch, and after that, I went to the pub (or more accurately, several) and had a good time. In attendance, at various points, were (in a rough sort of order): myself, David, James [ profile] thunderbird2, Tobes [ profile] tobesv, Max [ profile] hawkida, Josh [ profile] jippyjosh, Liam [ profile] derbyboy88, Mark, Hannah, Darryll and Louise [ profile] ___lou___. It was, in general, a good sort of night, and a good weekend.

This weekend has also been good. Friday saw the arrival of NCIS Season One (if you haven't seen it, then watch some - it's shown on Saturdays on Five, IIRC). It also saw the purchase of Metroid Prime: Hunters, which I haven't yet played owing to a logistics cockup (James, being the kind soul that he is, very kindly took it home for me. To his house. Wahey.). On the Saturday, I went to York, which was good, as it saw the first train journey of my new leather bag. I plan to keep a log, of sorts, detailing the movements and other activities of The Bag. OCD? Me? You've got the wrong bloke, guv... In York, I met up with ZZ9ers and we slouched. In attendance were myself, Vicki [ profile] simbagirl, Sherlock [ profile] sherlock42, Abigail [ profile] abigail_42, Daniel, Isaac, Pepper [ profile] adelheid, Charmaine, Red [ profile] redbrown and Elle. My godsister, Jessica, also came along for about twenty minutes (i.e. the walk from York Minster to York railway station). After all the other slouchers had departed, Vicki and I walked about some more - we ended up playing cards in a McDonald's and I did some card tricks. It was really good to finally meet her. :D Eventually, we arrived back at her place, and stayed up talking and mucking about on the internet until Bob knows when. The train home was all fun - it arrived back at Peterborough seventy-two minutes late (comparing my watch's time to the timetable) owing to engineering works on the line between Doncaster and York.

In other, very random, news, it has been announced that a company has bought the rights to the Firefly MMORPG from Fox. This could be quite good, as it's Firefly, which will work well as that sort of thing (the Serenity paper-and-pencil RPG looks good, too), however, it's not a major name in videogame development and so I'm slightly apprehensive about whether it'll be any good. Also, if I get a MacBook, I might not get to play it. Ah well, we'll see.

One more, very small, thing: this post marks the first post to be labelled with the 'travel' tag. This tag will be used for all posts dealing with me gallivanting off around the country (and, eventually and hopefully, the world). It should round up most of the more interesting posts.
johncoxon: (Scissor Sisters)
SMS Secure Mail Services are responsible for delivering my concert tickets to the Tenacious D gig on Friday. This is because >GIGSANDTOURS.COM (the people who did the presale of the tickets - I would have gone through the NEC Group directly) do not use Royal Mail (and, as such, I will never get tickets through them again...!). They tried to deliver today, but I wasn't in, so they left a little card with a phone number with which I could get through to a horrible automated voice recognition line and rebook. This didn't let me choose a delivery time, and they won't just leave it at the Royal Mail depot which is less than a mile away and let me sign for it there, because they aren't Royal Mail. So I rang their 0800 number after Googling their 0870 number (nice little trick, that...) I got through to their customer services department and gave the phone to my mother. I love living at home.

Just to sum up - >GIGSANDTOURS.COM are crap because they use SMS Secure Mail Services, who are also crap. And I hope this comes up on Google, too, although it's probably unlikely.

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