Some Random Bits Of Pop Culture

My favorite new bit of music right now is Hakan Lidbo’s “From Hackney To Caracas“. It’s a blend of tech-house and Latin rhythms, mixed with bits of the soundtrack from a b-grade 60’s spy movie. Completely off the wall, and equally brilliant. Something akin to a structured version of Mr.Bungle’s “California“, but sans vocals or guitars. I’ve had this sitting on my hard drive for months without listening to it, boy am I glad I finally did!

Another of my highly anticipated games, Sin Episodes: Emergence, was released yesterday and I took some time to play for a little while last night. So far, I’m underwhelmed. As they licensed the Source engine from Valve Software, which was used for Half-Life 2, I had expected the game to have some similarities. But, so far, it’s far too much like Half-Life 2. From waking up from blackness and listening to a brief monologue, followed by an unarmed chase scene, it starts off practically the same. The environments thus far have the same blend of shipyards and industrial areas mixed with futuristic high-tech stuff that were so common in HL2. The attractive female companion to guide you through things. The same sorts of physics-based puzzles, and so on. It’s not bad, mind you. It’s quite the fun experience, it just hasn’t differentiated itself enough from it’s ascendant so far. Still, it’s enjoyable to play so I’m certainly not going to stop playing it! Good times nonetheless.

I could do without it’s gratuitous T&A though. They’re not even trying to be subtle about it in any way. Makes me wonder how much developer time is spent coding the physics behind the jiggling and bouncing breasts on the female characters. Do they have one guy that does this? A whole team of developers? Do they have a Department of Breast Physics? Is there a Senior Developer in charge of breast physics? It’s all so silly. I’d say that no-one could possibly be turned on by a fictional charter’s polygonal assets, but I just saw one of those viral videos circulating around last week that featured someone catching their roommate masturbating to World of Warcraft, so…

Whatever tweaks your melon, I suppose.

I’m planning to go out this weekend and preorder/reserve a Nintendo DS Lite. They’ve released the first of those Japanese “brain games” here in the states (Brain Age) and that by itself would be enough to suck me in. Then Nintendo goes and announces a partnership at E3 with Opera Software to bring the Opera web browser to the DS. The DS is wi-fi enabled, and now there will finally be a web browser to utilize that connectivity. From the screenshots and specs I’ve seen, it looks like those crazy Norwegians at Opera have finally created a browser that will work well on a small-screen, truly portable device. Yummy. And it should be released around the same time as the DS Lite.

Further on the Nintendo subject, I’ve come to appreciate the sheer brilliance behind their renaming of their next-gen console from Revolution to Wii (pronounced “we”).Yes, it’s a terribly silly name. But the controversy over the name change gave Nintendo tons of buzz and publicity, and did so as they headed into the largest game expo of the year. Nintendo has stolen the show at E3, and looks like they may just re-take their throne atop the console gaming world very soon (especially as Sony has seemingly thrown themselves atop their sword and given up at this point). The name change was a masterful bit of marketing, I bow before you Nintendo. I get it now.