Thursday, October 25, 2007

2GB of ram kicks ass!!!!

Well not as much as 4gb of ram, but that's like on my desktop PC back home :P

Just upgraded my laptop to 2GB, and boy, it's like I can breathe! Running a Houdini fluid sim whilst I type this, and I have my email and a few other tabs running. It's a tad late else I'd like to setup a more serious fluid sim... but oh well....

Go for it! Newegg rocks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I wish the Thunderbirds, old, new or 2086 were real. Sigh.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chocobo Tales for the Nintendo DS


Usually when people buy a Nintendo DS, they would buy games to play. And I've bought a grand total of.... 4 games for the DS. Seems like I'm just too lazy to keep up with the latest and greatest to waste time. Cough. So a few weeks back, after playing Mario Kart DS day after day on the bus/mrt/us bus, I finally got somewhat bored at trashing the cpu carts. (NB, when I go online, I usually get trashed :P)

StarFox simply wasn't cutting it (completed it the first day I bought it!) and Brain Age was well... not my kind of game. So a trip down to the nearest Game Stop to hunt for games. Several that caught my eye included a new Mana game from Square, and some version of FF 12 for the DS coming out later this month, and.... Chocobo Tales (NB: I was on the lookout for the latest Link offering, but it wasn't there.)

Being such a yellow bird lover that I am, I pondered (quickly) between this and Mage Knight, and decided to send my hard earned cash over to the evils of Square Enix.

Chocobo Tales is definitely a kids game with the extremely, extremely cute graphics. Only probably dog pups and cat kittens could be any cuter. It's definitely running off the Final Fantasy III DS engine. Dang, I forgot FF 3. Means I bought 5 games to date, lol. FF3 kicks ass btw, but due to being and RPG, there is like.... Zero replay value.

Now where was I.... the game's graphics were yes, on the same level as FF3, but alot of the battle sequences and game challenges were done in a very artistic Crayon kind of rendering. Just imagine your kid sibling's crayon art come to life, and fighting. Combine that with a card game dueling battle system, and you got a definite winner.

Now a little problem with the game - I completed it all in under 11 hours! GAH! I then spent an extra 2 hours to finish up some minor side quests to rescue all the Chocobos that were captured. Geez. The game itself was less like a traditional FF game where there'd be random encounters all over the place and EXP to earn, rather, the fights are at pre-determined locations. As mentioned, the battle uses a card system, so by doing mini "quests" (aka Micro Games) you will get extra (not necessarily better) cards for use in battle.

Apart from the card duel boss fights, alot of the game revolves around participating in various Minigames, of which a win will give you cards, or an event that will further the storyline. In general, most of them are pretty straight forward to complete, but there are multiple difficulty levels of the same challenge, each yielding a different reward. Some are just plain luck based, which is *totally* annoying, to downright impossible to win. In fact, there is one microgame called "LeapToad" that I've never had the reflexes to even manage more than 3 seconds before I'm dead :P

Which makes me wonder how an 8 year old would fare.... then again.... 8 year olds are doing websites and hacking hardware nowadays so they'd probably kick my ass ;)

Controls are generally very good, and the music is extremely nice for an old FF retiree like me - I could pick out tunes from FF3 NES, FF6 SNES, FF7 and other tunes that I have heard but can't place. The final battle music has to be the best - I've been replaying that stage for the fun of it and the music. And the final battle HAS to be one of the more innovative fights I've every fought - you play Air Tennis with the final boss :P At least it's not Debarrier - KOTR - Win! (Yes I got to the final cave about lvl 40. So yeah it was an easy last boss)

Final verdict, if you are a FF fan, this is one to get. Just don't expect a gigantic storyline like the other FFs (the newer FFs are just crazy), you only visit an area about the size of perhaps 20 blocks (!!!!). I think only one boss, the 2nd, a golem had me fight the card duel with it about 5 times. Oddly enough, the rest of the duels I was just too lucky. Many times I was down to a few HPs, and I managed to cast a TetraFlare+ card, which basically kills off anyone in late battle :P

I'll probably keep this cart around for a few more days before selling it on ebay, or perhaps trade it for Phantom Hourglass if the tradein is worth it. Or I should get the GB FF6 and see what's the new dungeon about. Gah.

I bought a Zune

About a week ago, my Creative Zen Micro decided to give up the ghost. One day it was working perfect, and one afternoon, it just shutdown, never to wake up again :( And so the quest for an MP3 player starts again. I'm just going crazy at work without some music!

So I narrowed down my choices to the new Creative Zen, and the Cowon iAudio. Having tried quite a few mp3 players before choosing my Zen Micro (I like the warmth of the sound. Pair that with my Grado SR80s.... oooo low end eargasmic heaven.) The Cowon was chosen based on it's reputation for sound, and I didn't get a chance to try it out.

Today however, just mere hours ago, I was out doing my weekly shopping and decided to head out to Best Buy to check out if they had any MP3 players. Sad to say, they didn't carry either brand, only some lesser known brands, some Toshibas which were very nice, but extremely expensive, lots of Ipods that I ignored (no thanks, the last one I tried I wasn't too impressed), and.... Microsoft's Zune offering.

Now the only thing about the Zune that caught my eye before today, was their advertisements. Motion Theory did the Birds ad - but I'm not sure who did this Phallic advertisement :P

The Zune itself was rather large, coming from a person using a Zen Micro for more than 2 years - the Zune is, from my estimates about 3 times as large. However, it makes up for it with a lovely, lovely large screen (perfect for showing off Demo Reels and tech examples hehehehe!) and a 30gb hard drive. What made me really interested in the Zune was the interface - it was just pure simplicity. No multi tiered menus to scramble through - I picked up on the controls instantly. Basic features that I required were there - Mp3 play back and some EQ controls. Didn't see any custom EQ settings like my (dead) Zen, but I don't use the custom EQ anyway.

I almost wanted to just drop my cash then and now (it was US199 for the Zune, and you'll need to add tax...), but I kept my resolve - giving myself the excuse that it used a custom USB cable - so therefore, it sucks. :P

So much said, I did not get a chance to try the sound quality. Would it at least exceed the last ipod I tried, and perhaps at least come close to the Zen Micro's warmth? Well.... I'll know in about a week!

It must be an act of Synchronicity - I was searching for the best prices to buy it. First hit was Circuit City - they had it for 149, and with tax just barely 170. I was about to change, grab my keys and head out, but again, I calmed down, and decided to read more reviews to see if it would suck. After a bit more searching (and deciding, after reading some posts about people using it with some Grados, and the Zune seemed to be driving them pretty well...), Amazon (duh) had it for only... tada! 129! WOO!

Still... keeping calm.... I was still trying to find something about the zune that sucks so I'd not buy it :P The software portion of the Zune seems to be a major down side, but hey, it's the same for my Zen Micro so I just kept going. And suddenly. Dun-dun-dun! This website, had the brown zune for 79.95! Granted it was a refurbished unit, but people who had bought it early reported the units coming in a pristine, like-new condition.

It was the brown version though, and while the price was right... brown isn't THAT appealing to me.... Nearly bought it but..... decided to hang out in some Zune forums :P And came across similar fantastic deal, for the black zune for 99 on

And that was it. No reason not to get it! So now I'm just waiting for it to arrive. If the sound quality is really bad, then this baby will go on ebay. Else I'll just enjoy it until they manage to create the perfect mp3 player :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sony Bravia Ad

Making Of:

Stop motion kicks ass!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Life Of Mann! Updated!

My ex colleague Josef runs The Life Of Mann, a monthly comic. Please check it out @ !!!!!