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Moves, Demos and Drivers

Evening all! My apologies; I was working on a news post on Tuesday, but I got distracted. Only eight days 'til me birthday! Yahoo!

The biggest news in the past couple of weeks is that me mate Gav has moved out of the family domicile in Berowra and into me old mate EvilHayama's place within spitting distance of the CBD. As some (including Gav) have commented, this puts him within half an hour's walk from Games Paradise, which, I am sure, will allow him to keep up the levels of exercise he maintained on the daily trek from his old place to Berowra Station and back. I must claim some credit for this, as it was I who suggested Gav to Hayama when the Evil One was looking for a third housemate (after Evil and Dane's last one moved out). It's been five nights so far and they don't seem to have killed one another yet.

My Tron 2.0 itch has been scratched: Monolith and Buena Vista have released a multiplayer demo, including a single Disc Arena/Tournament level and a signle Lightcycles level. I downloaded all 160 megabytes from Gamespot on Tuesday, and damn I'm glad I did; it looks positively spiffing on my new graphics card and the gameplay is challenging but fun.

Tycho of Penny Arcade has a very low opinion of the demo, comparing the Lightcycle gameplay unfavourably to the freeware Armagetron and describing the Disc gaming as "an expression of hatred toward gamers, an epithet". Well, Tycho, I'm not familiar with Armagetron but I wouldn't go that far in criticism of the Disc gameplay, mate. Granted, the general consensus is that the netcode needs tightening, but Monolith has a good month of QA before Tron 2.0 needs to go gold in order to meet the August 26th available-at-retail date that BV Interactive have stated. I'm also optimistic about the single-player game, although when given the designers' assurances on it, he says "in this instance one must consider the source". Well, yes, indeed one must, Tycho: the source in question being the maker of the No One Lives Forever series, lauded far and wide for their gameplay, quality and sense of humour, much like the venerable institution that is Penny Arcade itself (barring, of course, the gameplay bit). It is even responsible for the capable Aliens Versus Predator 2 and Shogo: Mobile Armoured Division, so it's probably fair to say Monolith can speak on the subject of the enjoyability of its own games with some authority.

Frankly, I'm not willing to put the mockers on Tycho too much; he and Gabe did justifiably sound the clarion on Halo's repetitive level design when it was needed. In that instance, though, they did so in a way that made sense and, outside the strip of course, explained their stance capably. So far in this instance, all Tycho's done is use hyperbole and expletives, and although I'm willing to grant him that he wouldn't be so disgusted without reason, I'd like to see said reason in written and, shall we say, reasoned argument, which I know he can do. If it's just a matter of taste, fine, Tycho, you sit in your corner and I'll sit in mine. If it's not, let's hear the nature of your grievances.

I put that long rant on Battlestar Galactica together - and decided I don't really like it in its current form. I feel as though it glosses over a few too many things. I might just post it anyway, but I think I'll revise it later.

I'm still trying to sort out a new hard drive for Dan's PC. My plan is to give him the working 20GB one in Vickie's PC right now; to that end, I bought a new Western Digital Western Digital 40 GB 7,200 RPM drive (with 8MB cache) for Vickie (she's geting close to the limit on her 20GB one, anyway) and am attempting to get it running as a new primary drive. I say attempting, as I seem to be encountering stumbling-blocks as I go. For some odd reason, Windows XP doesn't like the latest Realtek drivers for the motherboard-built-in sound card. I've built the system with the new hard drive twice, and on the second time (last night, as a matter of fact) I had virtually everything installed and running agreeably when I remembered I'd not installed the sound drivers. I downloaded them, restarted the PC and now it hangs on startup. The problem is, I can't seem to find the CD-ROM that came with the original motherboard, so I can't install the drivers that I know work. I'm going to try letting the Windows XP repair utility have a go tomorrow night when Vickie's at work; if that fails, I'll have to borrow the CD-ROM for my old motherboard (which is identical to Vickie's) back from Dan.

It's really annoying, because I gave Dan his new PC over a month ago, and he's been without it for a few weeks since the hard drive I gave him as part of it died. There's a word I'm looking for, and I think that word is "fuck".

Anyway, enough of my grousing. I'm going to go de-rezz some more users.

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