Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Animal Crossing: Wild World Review - DS


Animal Crossing: Wild World is a life simulation game for the DS, and the second Animal Crossing in the series released in Europe, being on GameCube before now, and eventually having the third iteration released on the Wii. It was released in 2005, but I forget when I purchased it.

StoryHelp me, I'm trapped in here!Man, this is hard. Animal Crossing’s story is very limited, what with it being a life simulation game. You could either see that it has a continual story, evolving as your village goes on, or that the story essentially ends once you’ve finished paying off the loan on your house. I choose to view it as the latter. Once you move in to the town and create a character you are given a house, which you have to pay off and expand as the game goes on.


This is no Land of the Lost The controls are absolutely sound for a DS game, but the gameplay element depends on what game you want to play. I use it as a “collection game” as there’s tons of stuff to collect ranging from fossils to t-shirts and there’s also great rare items that may take you years to amass as well as bugs and fish that appear and change monthly. You can also visit other people’s towns to trade villagers and things, which is always good fun to do.


I can’t knock the graphics, they’re very similar to the GameCube version but I suppose they could have made certain elements better.


kkThere’s not much of a soundtrack to speak of. You decide the town tune, and there’s little stings of music here and there, but the main attraction is K.K Slider, who performs many songs on a Sunday night at the town’s coffee shop. You get to keep these songs and play them on your CD Player/cassette box/stereo in your home provided you’ve purchased one.


Let’s see, it’s 2009 and I’m still playing this in spots. The community behind it is great and collecting all of the items takes a damn long time, it just depends on whether you can bothered to play at least every other day for a bit to keep your town in good shape.

Story: 3.2/10
Gameplay: 6.3/10
Graphics: 5.5/10
Soundtrack: 7/10
Replayability: 8.7/10


  • 0 – 19% Unplayable - why the hell did I even buy this?
  • 20 – 49% Poor – Certain elements of the game hold it back
  • 50 – 69% Average – More good than bad, but you might need to be a fan to really get in to it.
  • 70 – 84% Good – A nice franchise or single game, that just misses out on being great because of a few flaws.
  • 85 – 89% Excellent – You could play this for ages and be happy
  • 90 – 100% Fucking Excellent – You should have this game and play it every single day.

Want me to review a game? Comment and let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Twitter Categories


I’ve written about Twitter a few times and consider myself a pretty prominent user of the service having used four separate apps for it on my iPhone (partially my reason for getting one) and a few desktop apps as well as text updates when I began. I was musing on the people I follow and thought that I might be able to categorize a few of them.

Real World

fragmadPeople that I know in the real world, such as @benjirino and @fragmad (above). I follow these people because I’ve known them for a number of years, and don’t always have time to see what they’ve been doing much like people on facebook.


dreyesboPeople that I follow because of a mutual interest obsession with the TV show Lost, which is now entering it’s final season. Some such as @TheODI I follow for Lost news, others such as @Dreyesbo (above) I follow simply to have a chat about Lost with occasionally and see them live their everyday lives.


lanceYes, like anyone on Twitter, I follow some celebrities. Ranging from @lancearmstrong who is well known to most of the world to @NatalieAbrams who is one of my pseudo-celebrities I follow, who I’d also class along web comic artists and things.

Social Networkingclaire-aka-bob-119028_240_180

I know Twitter is a social network anyways but I also follow my other social networking contacts such as @Claireakabob from Fanpop and various EWBers.


The locals such as @CannonGod are nuts as evidenced by the above photo. I just follow them so I can see what’s going on in the area around me, such as the Leicester Twesta events which I haven’t yet been able to attend. :(

I follow loads of other people as well, and have long since forgotten the reasons, such as @chunkyrican and @geekandahalf as well as @austenw but I still love following and interacting with them all.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Lexi & Rodney

tobycloseMany of you have read the blog post about my dog which still makes me sad to read and think about. The dog above, from The 10th Kingdom, does remind me of him a little, but Toby was more of a mixture than a pure breed, so was more rugged than that.

Recently, fellow blogger Rodney (better known as moog) lost his dog within the last week, and wrote about it here and it resonated with me and made me sad.

I don’t want to go out of my way to make you, blog reader extraordinaire sad, but rather just to highlight how painful it really is to lose a pet.

I was also recently informed that a cat almost as old as I am is on his last legs, and I fear that will break the owner when he dies, as he’s now 17 years old and I’ve known the own for at least 20 years, and know how much happiness having that cat has given her and how much it will tear her apart and that saddens me too.

Sorry, no laughs or social commentary or reviews today. Leave a comment for Rod on his site if you’ve had to go through a similar thing, and let him know he’ll be fine. Cheers.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

“The clock was broken, so no one knew what time it was”

broken This is my story for the Fanpop Writer’s Group, based on the above prompt. Let me know what you think.

Broken Time

The clock was broken, so no one knew what time it was.

We coughed and spluttered still, that clock hadn't worked since the second time we reconstructed the thing. We all made sure to incorporate William's little syncing batteries in to our watches though.

I wonder what had gone wrong this time around. Time for the usual check up. I was in charge of that for his this mission.

"Will?" I asked, getting to my feet. "Yeah, I'm here...whatever *cough*" I pulled my device from my pocket and checked him off, as well as myself. "Juliet?"

Nothing. "Juliet?" Will shouted out too. "JULIET?"



"Yeah, I'm here, shut up."

I felt a strange wrenching in my stomach and disposed of my stomach contents from my mouth. That happened often with this, I remember Will yammering on about temporal displacement or something along those lines.

We met up by the machine, as we usually did. I asked Will what had gone wrong, and he muttered something about me inputting the wrong trajectory details. Which, I may have done, his algorithms and things are sometimes hard to track and remember. Juliet set about on maintenance to fix it.

We were within the machine’s cloak, so no-one could see what we were doing. I recalled a close call back when Maya was still around when the cloak had been disabled by a fault and I had a lot of explaining to do.

Juliet emerged a moment later with her little machine that fixed the bigger one and informed us it was now working just fine. Will was the only one who didn’t always carry a little device on him, he somehow kept it all in his head.

With the absence of Maya, I’d taken lead of the “team”, so prepared for my second ever “leadership” speech ever.

“Right guys. We’re currently in…" I glanced at my watch “1950. Everyone has their vital information?”

They both nodded. We had information stored within our heads or devices in order to know who was prime minister, king or other certain important things of the time we were in.

“This is where Maya travelled to in the old machine, we’ve beaten her here, so should see her appear moments later to save her from dying within this timeline.”

“But won’t-“ Juliet spoke up.

“Yes, Juliet I know. The whole paradox thing. We wouldn’t have come back if she hadn’t been killed, so we wouldn’t have come here to save her, thus causing a paradox. I know. I know", but we have to hope it works.”

As I walked to the road to await Maya’s known arrival, I saw a brilliant flash of light, and another machine that looked far superior to ours arrived close by. Two men in identical blue outfits grabbed Will and Juliet, and I gave chase. One withdrew a weapon, and fired it at me. It’s odd shaped bullet sailed by me, and hit in to the chest of a woman behind me.


I turned to see her there, as she slumped to the ground. Juliet and Will shouted out, as the blue men’s machine went off where it came from. I knew this would happen, but it still shocked me.

I quickly withdrew the antidote needle from my jacket, and injected Maya as I had practiced, and her eyes sprung open.

“Maya, no time to explain. Take my hand, we have to save those two.”

Maya got up, staggering and we clambered back in to the machine and I set the controls for February 20th 2070. This is what I had known was coming and had been practicing for for many years. We’d save the whole team, and take him down.

I breathed in and then pressed the button as we began our descent in to madness.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Torchwood: Children Of Earth Review


A review of a TV series? Not sure how I will do this, but let’s give it a quick go. First of all, a brief introduction to this:

Torchwood is a series occurring in the same universe as Doctor Who (oft called the Whoniverse) with a company of people attempting to combat alien invasions and so forth. Based in Cardiff in Wales, where there’s a small rift in time and space enabling many curious or violent aliens to wander through. There’s been two series previously, and a few members of the Torchwood team have died since the new team was established.

Storythe456I feel that this story probably resonated more for those with children, whereas to myself it made The 456 seem like a race of paedophiles, when they requested 10% of the children of earth. The eventual decision by the Prime Minister seemed like a likely solution to a problem like this, should it arise. The story was pretty okay and fit the schedule well.

Character DevelopmentMr_frobisherJohn Frobisher (Peter Capaldi) made this mini-series fantastic. The whole Ianto/Jack thing would have been good were it not for his permanent death, which means we’re now to down to just Jack from the team we saw in the first episode. Another great character was Denise Riley (who hopefully becomes PM).

Gwen being pregnant was kind of expected, but with a child I suspect that will eventually knock her out of the Torchwood team too. Clem was alright, but they never explained how he smelt odd things did they?

Jack’s daughter was good, his grandson and his death, not so much. Lois Habiba turned out great as well and I hope she becomes part of the team. It was all about the supporting cast this time around.


Tw_ep01_jack_rupesh_02Urgh. I’m very half and half on the soundtrack. Some tracks were great, whilst others felt very, very out of place.

Pace & Flow

Tw_ep03_ianto_gwen_jack_01 Putting the show on a weekly schedule seemed to work pretty well, but it seemed that certain events didn’t have enough time spent on them, such as Jack and his daughter and Rhys always deserves more time.

Setting & Location

Lois_abibaObviously we’re in Cardiff again, but placing us on a council estate before realising that these children will be the ones offered on a platter was nice work. Not much more I can think of on that actually. Kind of new to TV reviews.


Story: 8.3/10
Character Development: 7.1/10
Soundtrack: 4.9/10
Pace & Flow: 6.2/10
Setting & Location: 7/10

  • 0 – 19% Unwatchable - why the hell did I even watch this?
  • 20 – 49% Poor – Certain elements of the show hold it back
  • 50 – 69% Average – More good than bad, but you might need to be a fan to really get in to it.
  • 70 – 84% Good – This is what you’ll be talking about with people in the office the next day.
  • 85 – 89% Excellent – This is what you’ll be talking about for the next month.
  • 90 – 100% Fucking Excellent – This is the best TV show ever, therefore going by Josh Whedon logic, it will soon be cancelled.

There you have it, my first TV series review. It’s not quite right yet though.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Long Live The King


@fragmad (otherwise known as Will) sent out requests for some flash fiction (short stories based on pitches), so I sent along this:

a king passes in fantasy-medieval times, and the sons find a way to name the rightful heir...with weapons of course.

I like fantasy stories, and stories that deal with monarchs in the times that we used to settle things with swords and spears, so this was simple. Anyways, read it on Will’s blog of Quick Tales and see what you think.

I certainly enjoyed it, Will’s been a good writer since I’ve known him. He might be up for a few more pitches in the future. @ him on Twitter, or comment on his blog and see.

Oh yeah, that is Henry VII by the way, just thought he’d do well at representing kings in general.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

MRI-Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai

alpha5mightymorphinI was thinking of the word MRI and it reminded me of the gay robot from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I am a geek, as the blog mentions so you can see how my train of thought went.

So anyways I had an upcoming Magnetic Resonance Imaging appointment at the hospital, but was called up earlier to come in to the hospital that day.

This meant that I had to leave all metallic things elsewhere whilst going in to the giant death machine. It’s the longest time I’ve ever been away from my iPhone since getting it.

350px-Modern_3T_MRIThese things are bloody freaky.

Anyways, I was told to lie down, and given some music to listen to ( blech) but it did little to block out the monstrous sounds of the magnets.

I had to wear a strange thing around my head, and when I went in the machine I was staring at a blue line, and was told not to move and was pretty sure I couldn’t anyway.

Some magnets went off, and then later the doctor tapped on the outside, which was rather loud, and then that amount of magnets went off (i.e. he tapped four times, four magnet bursts went off).

I was taken out of the machine, and told I was done. I won’t know any results or anything for a while, but of course I will blog about it when I do.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Sketchy on the details

tompl_01 @tompl who I follow on Twitter for initial reasons that I have long since forgotten, but now for his wicked tweets and things, sent out a tweet asking people to describe a character for him to sketch, so I sent out this pitch:

James Wolfsbane – Thief with a fondness with wolf-skin tunics & gold coins. Unkempt appearance, but posh boots, regularly stolen.

I think this was an amalgamation of an old D&D character, a thief character that I made for something and spur of the moment creation. Anyways, he became this:

s4t_pkmntrainerJ Which is great, I plan to use the character a fair bit and Tom did an awesome job.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Podcast Mention #4

episode083 No, no, not the FullSignull podcast. I was instead mentioned for “rising from my grave” in Episode 83 of the 2P START! LIVE podcast.

2P START! is a great video games web comic which updates every week, and has a weekly podcast which might actually be funnier than the comic. Give ‘em both a try.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

More than half the year gone, the rest yet to come

So last month I did an “It’s June” post, to signify what was contained within my month, so now we’ll have an “It’s July” one, only with a less spontaneous title. Let’s see what I know July has in store.

More Reviewssection_review
I’ve been really enjoying writing my reviews for this blog, and do want to branch out in to movies, books and more things to review.


I like creative writing, almost as much as the next subject on the list and have put up one example and had a guest post on the subject so far but plan to keep doing more. I write whenever the mood takes me, or am given a good prompt.


Fine blog readers, I admit it. Ever since I started reading Darths & Droids (a Star Wars/D&D comic) and chatting to @austenw & @DurgisFlak who have been running games in the real world and on forums, I’ve been thinking about “rolling the dice” again, especially with 4th edition being out.

So I’ve picked up and read all through the Player’s Handbook, and will soon buy the Monster Manual, DM’s Guide and a campaign. It may be the geekiest thing that I do, but I don’t care.

If you know me personally, and want to get in on the first game, contact me. It won’t be until August though to give me time to read rules, do tests and so on.


Picture 001

Okay, maybe you do not know, but I have a DeviantArt page where any stuff that I’ve drawn gets scanned in. I can see that my drawing has improved from the poor scraps that I did a year or so ago, but I’m still not quite happy with it yet. I’ll get there though.

Guest posts?


I keep pimping this out, to say that if people want to do guest blog posts all they need do is contact me, and it’ll go up on the site. Based on last month, I should get about 300 visits this month, which is nice.

Hopefully I manage to keep blogging too, though I thought it not worth mentioning. Oh look at that. Oh well.