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Tycho / on Wed, Nov 19 2008 at 12:00 am

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The Jubilant Culmination

The first two panels were an actual conversation.  The third is what we might call an extrapolation.

- I’ve been tentatively - tentatively - enthralled with The Last Remnant, even though I can’t prove why I should be.  Videos of the combat system look completely incoherent, with units phasing in and out of reality at bizarre times and the framerate crawling around on its hands and knees.  I can’t tell if the Unreal Engine isn’t suited to RPG development or if RPG Developers have no business hanging around the Unreal Engine, but the products that result are often compromised by the liaison.

No doubt part of the problem is that I don’t have any context for the mechanics of those encounters.  Enthusiasm leapt again when a new batch of screens were released, showing some of the behind-the-scenes work the player does to assemble Unions and Formations.  The always incredibly useful Jeremy Parish recently dined with the creators of the game, and while they do cover some details, they also delve into their overall philosophy of design.  I could stand to read a hundred such articles.

-  In my previous list of things to add to your instant queue, I focused on documentaries because a) that’s mostly what I watch, and b) Netflix as a service has them in abundant supply.  While I was lying in bed, though, wondering if bough and baguette were linked etymologically, I started to wonder also if more “indie” films might be found on the service, since the larger houses were so scarce.  I went downstairs to check, and I’m overjoyed to say that the movie I wanted to show you - Primer - is there, and readily available.  Similar to movies like Memento or Saw, the film is a kind of mental “game” where you try to piece things together or imagine what you would do in the same circumstances.  One man directed, starred, wrote, produced, composed, and edited the film, which cost a grand total of seven thousand dollars to make.  I think you’ll be surprised what a man can do with seven thousand dollars.

Yes, I know Sony blocked their movies from the Xbox, but not any other streaming hardware, including the PC.  You can use MediaMall’s PlayOn to restore this functionality to your box, along with the other cool channels it has available.  I don’t know why people ever, ever try to stop nerds from doing things.  It’s really the most incredible waste of time.

- I’m not certain if I’m supposed to talk about it, but the Killzone 2 Beta is serious fucking business.  Guerilla Games has mastered the hardware, and their uncanny grip on first-person perspective is still unparalleled, so that…  Okay, yeah, I just looked.  The beta agreement says not to talk about it.

Um, I take it all back.

(CW)TB out.  

if i can make this move

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