Thursday, May 31, 2007

Playing with Junk

The newly cleaned (scrubbed) Dreamcast had its first proper shakedown today, having hooked it up to the office projector after finishing work at 6 p.m. With the game of choice being the off-balanced, but colourful and engaging 2D beat-em-up known as Marvel vs. Capcom 2, it was pure madness with all the button mashing going on.

This is a confirmation that this purchase, wasn't done in vain and that the cleaning methods employed a couple of days earlier onto the console, controllers, vibration pack and VMU didn't harm the parts at all.

I've entertained thoughts of getting a used Gamecube (PAL) and a brand new original Xbox (Asian version), both unmodded, and despite the rather attractive price (for the both of them) the lack of games is THE determining factor in my decision not to go ahead with the purchases.

The trouble with purchasing a half a decade old console is that if it doesn't come with games, you are pretty much screwed. Any attempt to look for original games on the local front would be in vain and despite Ebay being your new best friend, shipping charges are pretty much killer.

So if you are planning to buy and play with junk (which is aptly put, for some people), be sure that you have channels to get games (regardless whether they are brand new or used) or otherwise, you'll end up with a white elephant in the living room. Having a big budget would help in the part of getting games, but hey, you would be better off saving for an Xbox 360 or a PS3.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Megatron Has A Bat-Ass Face

If you find yourself cringing at the mug shot above, no worries, it's the movie version of Megatron. Almost everyone will feel the same way as you do. Even with a face that ugly, even a mum would find hard to love, isn't it strange that he bears a resemblance to that of Man-Bat (below), from the Batman comics, or any other bat for that matter. See for yourself:

I'll be surprised if ol' helmet head doesn't transform into a metal bat, come on, Scorponok transforms into a big metal Scorpion in the new movie.

Speaking of Batman, the "A Death in the Family" story arc is a pretty interesting one. Jason Todd a.k.a Robin dies in this one, after being beaten up AND blown up by the Joker but unlike Superman (in the Doomsday arc), the actual killers are not the writers and the artists but in actual fact, the readers.

Given that the readers were asked to participate in a telephone poll to determine the fate of Jason Todd (and thus the storyline), the majority of them chose to have him killed off. In an age whereby there were no Internet polls or forums to participate in, you can't help but admire that 10,614 readers participated, with a majority of 50.339 % voting for his demise.

Let's just hope real life doesn't come to that but in any case, the trade paperback has gained a place in my new bookshelf.

Awww...Feeling Sore?

You know when someone pays you the ultimate compliment while playing HALO, when he or she accuses you of cheating, where as you have done no wrong, except shooting him (in-game) on the head everytime he shows up.

To the sorry chap who got pwned earlier tonight, I'm sorry. I was once like you too, skills wise, minus the attitude. But at least your compliments were enough to distract me in the next round; it was just too bad you weren't there. LOL.

No animals nor humans were harmed throughout the course of the game, although some fella's ego did take a bruising.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memoirs of a CnC General.


"When you get your new PC, you must get this new game!", said the young boy to his older cousin, while pointing at a newspaper article reviewing the game, Command and Conquer.


"Are you sure this will install?", asked a friend to another. The reply was "I guess so". The installation sequence and the opening FMV of Westwood Studio's groundbreaking title, Command and Conquer, leaves both with jaws agape, starring at the screen. We're not in Dune anymore.


Boy gets up from his seat to make a cup of Milo, or to go the bathroom during the loading screens in between missions of Command and Conquer: Red Alert. It turns out that his PC is abit under-powered for the game. Upgrading his PC to match the release of important FPS games solved this problem.


"Why are the troops moving so slowwlyyy?!" That was the general remark for Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun, and it was pretty unremarkable. Note that the PC used was more than adequate at running Quake III Arena.


Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2. Nothing else matters, not even Quake III.


Yuri's Revenge. Nothing else matters, bar the original Red Alert 2, as you needed it to run the best expansion pack of all time, for any game, for that matter.


"OI! You guys want to play one or not? Play properly la". A multiplayer game of Command and Conquer: Generals degenerates to a WMD slugfest as everyone sits back behind their plethora of base defenses and let their Scud Storm/Ion Cannon/Nuclear Missile do the talking.

2007 (Present):

"Welcome back, Commander". The RM 65 investment in Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars, Kane Edition, holds alot of promise. More on that later, as it's back to the fray.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Whence Cometh Thou?

A friend of mine asked whether the Nintendo DS game reviews on my blog were for original games or otherwise. For the record, the answer is the former. These games are all part of my personal collection of original DS games which now stand at 21, and counting.

Some of you may argue that content is key for a blog, and that I can operate on a don't tell policy, writing review after review on pirated stuff that I own/download/rip (take for example my vast collection of PS2 games and Dreamcast games). But it simply wouldn't do the developers any justice, nor do I derive any satisfaction in doing that.

Which comes to my conclusion, if you are passionate about blogging, and you run a blog similar to mine (game reviews and such), but for some reason you are writting content off pirated stuff, have the decency to be forthcoming about it. No point recommending someone to purchase a game while you got it off the 'Net.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Luke, I Am Your Father.... NOOOOOOOO!!!

It's the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, and despite my colleagues not knowing about this, they are getting into the act (which I started) of reciting lines (in really funny ways) from the original trilogy. Aloud.

The most popular one would be: "Luke, I am your father", followed by the cringe inducing reply: "Nooooooooooooo!!!". Now, repeat that in Cantonese or Hokkien, or Manglish. Hehe.

Three cheers to the best bunch of people that I have the privilege of working with. Now, BBC has a pretty nice minisite (more like compilation) of sorts to commemorate the 30 years of Star Wars. The place has some nice articles, click here to go visit the site.

But before you do, take the Star Wars quiz (also on BBC), over here. I got 13 out of 14 questions answered correctly (and aptly named Jedi Master), what about you?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Consoles, Old Consoles.

Owners of modded Xbox 360s must have gone through a torrid time this past week as most of them are getting banned from the Xbox Live! online service. It's the first time Microsoft actually laid the banhammer on modded machines and the ban applies on the machine itself (now, that smarts), and not the owner's Live! account. Well, it's no Live! for you guys, so go get an unmodded Core unit for your Live! fix.

On the other hand, I added a new (well, secondhand) console to my collection. One that doesn't get banned going online, not that it needs to go online anyways, since the servers for the last remaining online game for this console were shutdown back in 2003. Enough hints? Yes, said console is a Sega Dreamcast.

The funny thing about beige or white-coloured consoles and PCs is that they tend to discolour over time, gaining a yellowish-hue combined with all the dust/dirt/fingerprint stains. My latest acquisition is no different, since it's produced circa 2000, but the owner seems to have taken care not to scratch the console. It's safe to say that it gotten old...gracefully.

As for the rest of the details on this particular console of mine, for starters it's not modded and is a US machine. The interesting part is that I can load Japanese games with the help of a bootloader CD. The entire package cost me RM 200, and it came with 3 controllers, 1 additional casing, 1 VMU, one vibration pack, A/V cables, and the seller's entire collection of games, with one original copy of PSO (now, what am I gonna do about that).

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean. Brought to you by Nuffnang

I just got back from Cineleisure, Mutiara Damansara, having attended a free screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End courtesy of Nuffnang/Exabytes (and thanks to Aaron for the ticket - do visit his site, he is starving for traffic).

Having never attended a gathering of bloggers prior to this, seeing so many (250) in one place was abit overwhelming, but I did get to see some familiar faces. Here are some of the typical questions normally asked during these kind of meets.

Q: Do you blog?
A: Yes I do.

Q: What's your blog address?
A: Thats nine over ten... in letters

Q: Do you read so & so's blog? -> I heard this question being asked to someone else, and I suppose the answer below would be appropriate, if I were to reply in the negative.
A: Errr. No. Am I supposed to?

No talk about work or food or other things in life, just blogs, blogs, referrals, ads, ad providers, traffic, blogs, some reference to sports and more blogs. I write about my hobbies usually, and unlike most blogs, not my personal life (or commentaries about life), so naturally I was a bit out of place :).

However, enough talk about bloggers, the main highlight of the event was the movie. I thought it was abit indulgent (maybe convulated to some) on part of the screenwriters and producers, but it was not bad. Jack Sparrow and gang are abit funnier than the previous movie, despite the darker setting and captain is nuttier than ever (you might think he is schizophrenic).

As for the rest of the movie, lets just say that things don't end up the way you think to be and with all the craziness going on-screen, you would do well having some shots of Vodka, or a bottle or two of Heineken to accentuate the effect or help you through some long talk scenes.

A word on Nuffnang, I thank you for your effort in organizing in event, but I'm seriously considering moving the Nuffnang ad to the bottom of my sidebar. Reason being it takes too long to load and at its current position, it prevents the rest of my sidebar from being loaded properly. You guys can certainly do better.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Having Fun with Lego

Try hazarding a guess on what the following Lego Technic figure is modelled after:

This post is brought to you by the letters S, W, P, M, D and U. Have fun now :P

Making Patching Easy - R4 Guide

For R4 users (or any other Flash Cart users) who don't know how to use the command prompt to patch your Nintendo DS ROMS with the DLDI tool, don't fret as there are a number of GUI based solutions for your predicament.

Some of following links are from Chishm's website and the systems belong to their respective authors:
This should make life easier for the less technical savvy or Macintosh users among us. For my original post on patching a ROM file, please refer here.

The Second Coming of Starcraft and Trailer

It's been a long time coming, but after TEN LONG YEARS, Blizzard announces Starcraft 2, long awaited sequel of well, Starcraft. Here's the trailer for the game:

Strangely though, the trailer's look and feel reminded me more of the Warhammer 40,000 PC strategy game released not too long ago. But hey, this is Starcraft 2, and it might just be the next best thing since, well, Starcraft :P. Do note that this form of nonsense posting was due to
delirium caused by Blizzard's announcement.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Luxor doesn't Suxor for the PSP

Apologies for the fanboy-like title :). I've been playing Luxor: The Wrath of Set for the better part of this Saturday morning, and this title is a surprisingly good casual game for the PSP. Produced by MumboJumbo, this game presents gameplay akin to that of Sega's old Lose Your Marbles title, but in a different format. Your job: destroy lines of marbles before they reach the pyramid!

The gameplay is classic easy to play, difficult to master. The first few stages are pretty easy but you'll find that the intricate mazes will require more than just knowing where to place marbles (luck helps alot). Graphics wise, it's clean, crisp and colourful, reminisence of Metroid Prime Pinball on the NDS.

The PSP seems to be holding up rather well in terms of battery life, nevermind, scratch that. The thing is out of juice now.

I've got the means to get an Xbox 360 or a PS3, which should I choose?

What is the first thing that comes into my mind, when a person goes on a public forum and asks: "I've got the means to get an Xbox 360 or a PS3, which should I choose?" It is like having the money to purchase either a Ferrari or a Porsche sports car, but at the same time, asking the car dealer, or your neighbour next door/pet dog/senile aunt/village idiot to choose.

This being rather stupid in my book, my first question in reply to that person would be: "Excuse me, are you a retard? Cause nothing short of an idiot will ask that question of yours.". It's not a matter of what fanboys (forums are filled to the brim with them) want or think or are delusional about, the only thing that matter is your choice! Go check out the consoles, play the games, weigh your options and then make a decision, isn't that why God put a brain in your head in the first place?

Now, back to lighter topics. I've got one brand new Adidas ClimaCool running shirt and a Nike DryFit equivalent hanging in the closet. Purchased earlier this evening, these are gonna replace my old, well-worn t-shirt that I usually use for badminton and cross-country running. What remains to be seen is whether they perform as advertised (e.g. designed to draw sweat from your body - ClimaCool) as I usually sweat bucket loads (small buckets ya:)).

The weekend will be the testing ground for these two shirts, and stay tuned for my findings then.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Invitation By Proxy...and This is American Idol!

I'll be watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on the 24th, thanks to Aaron who got the tickets from nuffnang. The previous installment left another friend of mine squeamish as we had a sushi meal before setting our eyes on Davy Jones and his raw seafood mish-mash of a crew. Suffice to say that said friend was rather quiet throughout the movie.

American Idol viewers were in for a surprise tonight, as Melinda Doolittle gets the boot. Even though it's sad to see one of the best singers this season leave, at least my favourites are in the finals, say hi to Jordin and Blake. They probably do a good job in the final and it will certainly be a tough call, I'm saying this despite being more a Blake fan (beat-box...woot!)

Footnote: I'm in the opinion that Jordin's 2nd rendition of I (Who Have Nothing), was more "hebat" compared to that of the first time. You know what would be cool? Blake performing Quincy Jones' Ai No Corrida in the finals.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Death of Superman" and Finally, The Ultimates

It's easy to relate the storyline of "The Death of Superman" graphic novel to that of a generic first person shooter, where you have a badass, no-name protagonist beating up a host of, in this case instead of zombies or alternate history Nazis, superheroes with the end-level boss being Superman. And die trying.

There you go, a summary to the "The Best-Selling Graphic Novel of All Time!" It makes for a rather entertaining read and despite the early 90s feel, the artwork is generally good and rather colourful, although I've been spoilt by artwork (and paper quality) from The Ultimates paperbacks.

Speaking of which, it is finally coming to an end. Issue 13 of Ultimates 2 is out today states-side and with that, I can look forward to the trade paperback. Thus ends a 30 month for 13 issues journey (I got that trivia from somewhere else, didn't actually start counting).

Back to Form: Final Fantasy III

I've been abit preoccupied with several things such as work (BSA's Software Audit... good thing we are in Microsoft's Partner Program), my figurine collection, running and books, to play/write about the latest additions to my collection of DS games: Final Fantasy III and Custom Robo Arena.

I got the both of them for a total of RM 125, and yes both are secondhand items but are in excellent condition. However, the game that intrigues me more is Final Fantasy III. Having gone through a bout of RPG allergic reaction last year with Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (I put PIT in cold storage after passing character level 20), this title will represent a challenge to play .

My first impressions of FF III is pretty favourable. For starters, it has something that is more of a norm with PSP titles, an intro movie! And in addition to the nice soundtrack, the in-game graphics is really something to talk about. More on the gameplay next time, after I've played through a decent portion of the game.

FF3 is available on Play-Asia at USD 44.90 (click here), whereas the OST is available too, at USD 23.90 (click here)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Today's MKDS Session, Brought to You by the Letters W, F and C.

I've been playing alot of Mario Kart DS lately, among friends and it has become some sort of Malaysia vs. Japan match-up, courtesy of Nintendo's WFC. Cooking Oil Boy and yours truly are in Malaysia while Aaron and Bruce are both in Japan. If there are two things to be learnt from these sessions: I need more practice, and the rest of the guys are getting way better :P.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

300 Graphic Novel

"Slicing people (as if they were) like tofu". That was the first and most succint comment I got for the movie 300. I was familiar with the source material by Frank Miller, prior to the release of the film, having downloaded (my bad) the graphic novel in 4 parts.

Having said that, I managed to purchase the hard-cover 300 graphic novel for RM120 at Mid Valley, and it pretty much rocks. I like graphic novels, beats the hassle of collecting issues, like the ones for the Ultimates and the Ultimates 2. And they make nice bookshelf items.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is very close, so what have you done for your mum? I belong to the camp whereby, as corny as it sounds, everyday is Mother's Day. Skeptical or even cynical? Take it this way, no mum = no you.

Or for the pro-gamers amongst you, no mum = no Carmack = no Doom = no fancy first person shooter you are playing now. So there, go out, get at least something nice for your mum, even though some of you have sadly made it your life's mission to give her grief.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


"In their collective state, the Borg are utterly without mercy, driven on by will alone; the will to conquer. They are beyond redemption, beyond reason"

- Jean Luc Picard

Yup, you got to love them Star Trek cyborgs known as the Borg, from their contributions to pop culture with the oft-repeated line: "Resistance is Futile", and of course Jeri Ryan, not forgetting their role in making later day Trek series (especially The Next Generation and Voyager) a whole lot more interesting.

Public enemy number 1 (at least in Star Trek), also happens to be my favourite sci-fi race/faction, and having said that, I managed to successfully bid on Ebay for a Borg Cube model produced by Furuta and it arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Part of Furuta's Star Trek Federation Ships and Alien Ships Collection Volume 3: Beta, the Borg Cube is the fourth addition to my collection, which currently consists of the USS Grissom, the Excelsior and Spock, all three are from the Alpha set.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sleek, Black and Sexy PSP

Curious thing, this PSP that I bought earlier today. It's kind of like the Borg, assimilating features of various multimedia devices and video games consoles into a sleek, portable, (depending what colour you get) black piece of hi-tech, oozing with a lot of sex appeal.

However, I would call the PSP a "jack-of-all-trades", because features wise, it's really is a master of none (although it does score high points for trying and for that really slick presentation). Compared to the usual suspects such as the Nintendo DS (and its repertoire of games) and the Apple iPod (with its nice integration with iTunes and excellent usability), you'll wish that the sum of the PSP's capabilities/parts/hype wouldn't be that... underwhelming.

So why buy Sony's thingamajig of a portable video games console? I'm guessing it's a matter of personal taste and in my case, I'm buying for my brother. He's a fan of the PS2, having finished a lot more games compared to this brother of his (only 1 title - SSX 3), and the idea of playing games such as GTA on the go really appeals to him. And it doesn't hurt that his favourite game, God of War, is coming to this platform, come November 2007.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Separating Idiots

You know how somethings people get onto your nerves, by not reading the manual and instead choose to ask you a million and one questions on say, setting up a WiFi router? The first few questions are ok, but after half an hour, you'll start wondering whether should you start charging by the minute, as it becomes bloody obvious that the answers can be found in the user manual.

I've worked both on the hardware and software sides of the I.T industry and naturally I'm a magnet for these questions both on and off the job. Think of me as a walking FAQ, from setting up network printers, configuring Active Directory, installing Sharepoint Services, coding VB.NET to even the sequence of wires in Cat 5 cabling.

I don't mind helping out, and I'm damn sure that there are many others like me, but some people do not have an inkling on helping themselves first. Suprisingly, most people that I know under this category work in the same industry as I am.

"Why bother reading the manual, while I can ask my friend?" First of all, we are not the ones sitting in front of the device/pc/piece of software and troubleshooting a problem; you are! So naturally you'll have to extricate yourself from it.
Asking intelligently plays an important role in getting answers and things done, but to babble like a village idiot you are gonna make people feel like hurting you.

Do remember that these people are volunteering their knowledge to you, and they are NOT customer service representatives.

Monday, May 07, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird

Today's lunchtime reading list: To Kill a Mockingbird. When I was younger, I used to read this for free (and other books as well) at the local bookstore, until the management decided to shrink wrap all the books with nary a sampler in sight.

In my opinion, people tend to buy what they can read. It's a good thing that bookstores such as MPH and Borders have the sense to provide nice comfortable chairs and reading areas, and in the case of MPH, the member's lounge, for people to actually grab a book, sit down and read.

Now, if only video game stores are like that. Who wouldn't like that?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Of Squirrels and Men

"749" That's the price of a PSP quoted to me by a sales guy at Gamers Hideout, Cineleisure while he was still munching on a mouthful of food. I felt rather grossed out, both by the price (the package doesn't come with anything, he didn't even bother to calculate in stuff like the screen protector and the Memory Stick, talk about a lack of enthusiasm) and the fact that he looked like a squirrel stuffed with nuts in its mouth.

I'm not a fan of people acting like squirrels, or anemic sales people. It's the second time I've been to the place and I must say besides the staff being too engrossed playing video games to pay attention to customers, the place, though different in terms of presentation compared to other video game shops, is overrated.

Anyways, it was rather lively at the Curve and Cineleisure today despite the hot weather outdoors. Got a big display case from ShiokToys for RM 39.90, 4 books from Borders (it's the last day of sales) along with a Moleskine notebook and a Naruto figurine. Children of Hurin is on my desk now, but it will have to wait until I'm done with my work.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm Back!

It's been a busy holiday week, and I finally get to sit down and blog. First of all, the visitor count has broken through 3000, since March (when the counter was installed). Secondly, a warm thank you to those who commented. A big shout out to El Maz, who took the time to comment on my post regarding the i am 8-bit exhibition even though he really didn't have to. Thanks man, I really appreciate the gesture.

El Maz, on the inclusion of Earthworm Jim in the exhibition:

"hey there, a friend of mine directed me to this site. i might be able to clear something up for you. i am the artist that painted the earthworm jim piece in the "i am 8-bit 2.007" show. anyways the title of the piece is "sixteen versus eight". the idea of the piece is to have a 16 bit character(earthworm jim) hunting a bunch of old 8-bit characters(paratroopas, bullet bills, duck hunt, etc). hope that clears up why jim was included in this piece/show."

On to other things, American Idol is probably the only thing I watch on TV these days, and did you catch Blake's performance on Wednesday? My brother and I were watching the show and at first when Blake mentioned that he was going to perform "You Give Love A Bad Name", we were really skeptical. Come on, this was to us the ultimate rock song when we were kids, and I still sing along to it whenever it comes on radio. Thank goodness his rendition was safe to say, jaw-dropping.

Compare them for yourself:

Last night was Spiderman 3's night, as I was lucky enough to get tickets for the movie. No spoilers here, but interested parties would like to know that it makes for a rather satisfying end to a trilogy.