Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dead Space, post-mortem

Dead Space was an excellent game. Much more than I expected it to be before I played. Now, many months after I finished it for the third time, in the Impossible difficulty setting, I still feel like playing it. Too bad I have so many other games to play more thoroughly before I can get back to DS.

This week I thought about how they could improve the game for the sequel, which I hope to God is being made as I write this, hopefully to be released in 2010. I thought of three things, basically. The first would be the shadows, that were somewhat pixelated in the original game. That definitely needs improvement. Another graphical issue is the aliasing, which can get pretty evident in some parts. They could increase the anti-aliasing if that didn't sacrifice the frame rate, and we would be thankful for that.

The last improvement in my view would be with the Plasma Cutter. It's the first weapon you get in the game, and frankly it's the best one overall. Even when I had many other powerful ones, I always went back to the Cutter. After properly upgraded it packs quite a punch, ammo can be found easily and it's great fun to use. I thought they could integrate it more to Isaac's armour in the sequel. Since he's an engineer, he could be shown making what I'm about to explain himself.

The Cutter would be integrated to his right arm/wrist/hand, staying above these parts, unassembled when not in use. When the player chose to use it, it would unfold around his hand, expanding parts that were collapsed, and it would instantly be ready to use. It would be visually nice, and gameplay-wise it would make the Cutter something similar to the pistols in Left 4 Dead or the revolver in Killzone, for instance. Definitely not powerful weapons, but ready to use in case of emergency.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Borderlands is for Real Gamers

Link: IGN Video: IGN Originals Video - Borderlands is for Real Gamers

I'm not really sure this is a good approach. I mean, it's a nice ad, funny and all, but it may be a little over-the-top. Seems like a desperate move to promote your game.

I hope it doesn't "fucking suck".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vettel did it again

This boy (and I say boy because he's younger than me) is truly a genius, and apparently the only one capable of stopping Button this year. Button won 6 of the 8 races so far this year, the other 2 victories belonging to Vettel. He's combining his superb skills with an excellent car and is on the road to fight for the championship.

Also, Button didn't have a great car today, but still he proved that he can't drive behind other racers. If he has a good car and is in first place, there's no competition. But if he has a little worse car and is behind other racers, he isn't very competitive.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Headaches with Playstation 3

This is a post that hopefully will help other people who had the same issue I had this week.

I was downloading the game Trash Panic from the american Playstation Store. Left it downloading for an hour or so and went do something else. When I came back to check the download, it was at 42% and wouldn't download any more. It tried for a few seconds, displayed "Pending" instead of "Downloading" for half a second and then tried downloading again. So I realized something was wrong. I tried cancelling the download, and that's when everything started...

The PS3 froze up. Nothing would move in the screen, I couldn't go back to the XMB from the download item. Holding the PS button on the controller, though, worked, so I tried turning it off. The screen went black, the green light in the PS3 started flashing and wouldn't turn off. I left it flashing for a long time, and nothing. So I had to turn the power off manually in the back of the PS3.

When I turned it on again, it greeted me with the lovely message "the hard disk's file system is corrupted and will be restored". My hand started shaking. I have many games from the PSN in the HDD, as well as a ton of saves from many games I haven't yet finished properly. I was in the final mission of my last run in Dead Space, in Impossible Difficulty, and to lose that save would really piss me off. The system didn't give me any other options besides "restoring", so I went to Google and searched for this issue.

Many people said that the system formatted all your HDD when that message appeared. I only found two, if I recall correctly, saying that they didn't lose all their data. So, with my heart in my hand, I accepted the restoration. It took about a minute, and then the console rebooted. Thankfully, everything was still there, including the problematic download. I managed to cancel and delete it, and then immediately backed up all of my game saves to my pen drive. I was lucky this download didn't corrupt much in the file system, it was probably just a few blocks.

So I decided to try downloading the same game again. And, with a smile on my face, I saw that when it got at 42% again it stopped the same way, and the system wouldn't turn off once more. So I turned it off manually, turned it on again and there it was again, the message about the file system. This time restoration was even faster and again I didn't lose anything.

So my message is: if you see that notification ("the hard disk's file system is corrupted and will be restored"), don't panic. It doesn't mean you lost everything. Keep your hopes up and let the PS3 do his thing. You may not be that unlucky in the end.

And one more thing: screw that game, I'm not downloading it ever again. Trash Panic, alright. The name suits it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


As a complement to the previous post, I've started playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 again, this time the PC version. Finally made the PS3 controller, DualShock 3, work as a gamepad for my XP. This game is still absolutely excellent and I intend to get 100% of everything, with time, once more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Legend

I have a Wii. And a Playstation 3. In this day and age, with the latest technology available and with a console more powerful than gods, what have I been playing? The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, in the Nintendo 64.

A little background: when it first came out I rented it, played it thoroughly, got everything and returned it to never touch it again. I didn't really like the game. It wasn't "an Ocarina of Time", and having to go back in time every couple of hours annoyed me deeply. So I never played it twice, and the memories of it faded away with the years.

For whatever reason, two weeks ago I started playing it again. And I'm really into the game this time. It's very fun to play, and the way they arranged the game is nothing but brilliant, now that I'm seeing it with better eyes. There's so much going on in the 3 days that the game has, and everything is happening at the same time. It's a sense of real time that you usually don't have in a videogame. The people and places are much more plausible than what we're used to, and it deserves much praise for trying to be different.

I'm currently heading for the third temple, in the ocean. I'm using my free time to play it, instead of not having free time and studying more, and I'm definitely enjoying it a lot. It's still not an OoT, but it has its own (great) merits.

After I finish this, I'm going to start Wind Waker all over again. Can't wait for the time to come. I loved sailing those pretty waters.

Season finales

So every series I'm watching have ended their seasons.

- House was very cool and surprising, but nothing GREAT. Ending of S4 was infinite times better.

- 24 was, uh, weird? It didn't really end, it just "cut" at some point.

- Lost was the best of the three, with something major happening at the last seconds. Now we're left to wonder how the hell can they explain what happened.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eurovision from hell

Eurovision already has some pretty screwed-up performers, but THIS:

I'm speechless. He/she reminded instantly of Desire from Sandman:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek

So I watched the new movie last Sunday. I'm not a fan of the series, have watched very few episodes from the classic ones and two movies of the new generation. I went to the theatre expecting a cool Sci-Fi movie. But I didn't get that.

I got an absolutely awesome movie that's so exciting that I almost went to see it again right after it finished. The plot is great, the characters are very well represented, from Kirk through Spock to McCoy, and especially Scotty, played by the best comedy actor in my opinion, Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame. The visuals are nothing but stunning, the sound design is excellent (hint: vacuum) and at one point in the movie it plays Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.

What more could I ask for? J. J. Abrams is really in fine touch with what audiences want, and the movie being a huge success among everyone is the proof of that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


THE_REAL_SHAQ: Just got dat underwater ipod adaption device jammy so I can hear music unda water, I b aqua jammin, Waaaa Waaa Shaq-mu The quilla ...

He's too cool to be true...

And yes, that's his REAL profile, he posts pics of him all the time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Sandman

Have you ever cried after waking from a dream?

Or have you ever waken up crying?

I most certainly have, particularly when I was a child. There are a few reasons for that to happen: you could have been in a nightmare and you just wanted to get out of there; you didn't know it was a dream and you just wanted to get back to a familiar place; or you realized you were in a very good dream, and you didn't want to wake up from it...

My time with Sandman has been one of the most well spent of my life. I began reading it when the brazilian hardcover edition was released by Conrad in 2005, if I recall correctly. I hadn't even heard of the series by that time, and bought the first volume after a very intense recommendation from my friend Jefferson. I enjoyed Preludes and Nocturnes, but didn't become a fan. After a while, I bought The Doll's House and Dream Country in a bargain, but for some reason never read them. Until February, 2009.

-- Notice: there might be a little spoiler or two of the stories ahead. Nothing major is said, but some things might lead to some conclusions. Read at your own risk. --

In February I read P&N again and liked it even more, noticing some subtleties and beginning to see how marvelous this universe created by Neil Gaiman was. I then read Doll's House, which was brilliant, and Dream Country, which wasn't as good as the previous but still excellent. At that point I was becoming a fan, and bought the next four volumes all at once.

Volume 4, Season of Mists, was the turning point that made me admit I was in love with this series. The story, scenario and characters of this arch are just beyond words. I couldn't believe someone had created such a rich mythology by bringing together several others from all different cultures, from the Japanese deities to the Norse gods. They were all there, together, and it felt so real, so amazing, that it really must have been a vivid dream, in which I was so lucky to be.

After Season of Mists, I was just addicted to this story. I dreamt of it. And even though the next four volumes, A Game of You, Fables and Reflections, Brief Lives and Worlds' End weren't as epic as Season of Mists, they each still managed to have their particular characteristics that never stopped entertaining me for a second.

Volume 9, The Kindly Ones, begins and ends with similar scenes. The journey through the book is one of suffering, yet of redemption. You know what's going to happen, and you can't do anything about it. It really saddened me, but as I kept reading I came to see that what would happen was not only necessary, but innevitable. All our actions have consequences, and even when we know what they are, sometimes we just can't turn our backs and walk away.

The Kindly Ones is the longest arch in The Sandman series and in it, Gaiman managed to bring all the loose ends from the previous archs into a knot, a perfect knot that ties the whole series for its wonderful end, that begins in this volume and ends in the next one, The Wake.

The Wake was so wonderful and so magnificent, and so very sad, that it made me cry. It was a perfect conclusion to a perfect series, and I don't see how different it could have been. This was the end of the dream, the end of a Dream, and I didn't want it to end. I wanted to get back to it, and have it with me forever. But that would not be possible. And that made me shed a few tears.

The story in Sandman could only be so good with great characters. Gaiman created one of the best comic characters of all time, starting of course with the superb Morpheus, the anthropomorphic representation of Dream. He starts the series with an arrogant persona, but throughout the series he grows to be a more caring and likeable character. At some points he even shows compassion, affection and friendship towards others.

His kingdom, The Dreaming, is where everyone goes when they're dreaming. It's a place that reflects one aspect of Morpheus, and therefore changes with him. The castle in the "heart" of The Dreaming is where his throne is, and where we can find some other excellent characters, like Lucien the librarian, who catalogs all the books ever dreamt of, Mervyn the pumpkin, an employee who's the greatest comic relief of the series, and Matthew, a raven who's usually by Morpheus side and is the closest thing to a friend Dream ever had.

Dream is one of the Seven Endless, brothers and sisters who are older than men and gods. His two older brothers are Destiny, the eldest, and Death, the best of the Endless. After Dream came Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delight, who became Delirium.

Death is by far the best of the Endless. She's always beautiful and always cheerful, providing aid to her brother Dream whenever she can. She's probably my favourite character of the series, and it was wonderful every time she showed up. Death is said to be present twice in one's lifetime: when one is born, and when one passes away. This also happens in the story archs, for she is there in Preludes and Nocturnes, helping Morpheus when he is "reborn" and at The Wake, when it is time for things to move on.

Of the others, Delirium is the one I enjoyed the most following, She's so naïve and lost in her own thoughts, and it's a delight to see her talking to others or doing what she likes best, turning things into cute little flying fish that she can admire. She has a main role in Brief Lives and Gaiman lets us bond with her, even for a short while, and it's a great experience.

There is so much more I could say about Sandman and how it has become my favourite comic series of all times, surpassing Watchmen, but I'll keep it at this for now. It's such a rich world, with so much to explore and show. Gaiman is a true master of storytelling, and justice was made every time he received a literary award, especially those that didn't involve only comics. Sandman is a novel, a book told not only with words, but with beautiful images, and it deserves every praise ever said about it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne

Now that's a way to start a championship! BrawnGP proved that it wasn't just fast at the tests and qualifyings, it's a really good team with an excellent car. Ferrari disappointed everyonw, with neither Massa nor Kimi finishing the race. Williams was a major flop as well, especially Rosberg, in whom I had hopes to be at the podium or maybe even win the race.

But that doesn't matter, because it was one of the rare cases where Barrichello got lucky and, against all odds and problems, finished second, behind his team partner Button.

Go, Rubens!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shaq Fu

This is probably one of the worst games ever made, but that doesn't mean it can't be AWESOME to have Shaq throwing deadly laser shurikens at ancient egyptian gods and crazy, freaky swamp monster.

I bought it for a dirt cheap price last month and it was worth every cent. It's the brazilian version, which has awful literal translations for the texts in the box. They're so bad they're funny.

Kick-ass cover:



Just look at his pose. His fingers. He's going to crush your soul with his mighty claws of doom.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's in the box?

This video shows a first-person perspective of some nameless, faceless guy running from a HAZMAT unit of some kind after acquiring a strange cube. It is amazing on its own, but if, as Kotaku says, it is a viral campaign for Half-Life, then it's even more worth watching. It sure has a lot of relations with HL, but I don't really think Valve is behind this. I hope I'm wrong.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Random band of the day

I think I'll start a new series of posts, with bands I like and think that are not that well-known.

Uh Huh Her is an electropop duo that released their first CD last year. I have no idea how I found out about them, but I'm happy I did. Their sound is great, a very simple yet catchy electro that really grows on you the more you listen. Three recommendations follow:

Common Reaction

Say So

Not A Love Song

Friday, March 13, 2009

Classic music videos take 1

MTV still has salvation. While eating breakfast and skipping channels, I saw that "MTV Labs - Classics" was on and gave it a chance, and I saw two great ("great" by the definition of the 80s: it's cheesy and bizarre, yet amusing and funny) videos that need to mentioned:

Take That - How Deep is your love:

The video was quite surprising for this one. I liked the "plot" and its contrast with the romance of the song.


New Kids on the Block - Step by Step:

This is just awesome. Color changes, crazy dances and MEGAHAIR flopping around while the members dance. A true classic.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Living in the name of...

I've been thinking about personal sacrifice lately, perhaps influenced by this House episode. How far can a person go in benefit of others, in spite of her own? How fair is it for someone to not live his life, so he can improve or save the lives of others? And how can we judge such a thing?

Some researchers live entirely for their research. They abdicate completely from their social life, and many times from family life and even family duties to work, work and work. The problem is that this way might be a necessary evil for mankind. The most useful breakthroughs in science usually come with a huge effort, with a lot of sacrifice from cientists.

So how can we know which side to take? If we're doing something that might be useful to people, or even paramount for some, one may need to live for that work, instead of work for a living. But some are just not meant to do that.

I realized that I don't want that for my life. Of course, this cannot be confused with laziness. I know I must work, and work hard, to be successful. But that doesn't mean I must jeopardize every other aspect of my life for it.

I have spent very little time with my family since I entered college. I've distanced myself from them, always due to the immense amount of work and assignments I always had to do. Even when I had free time, I was always so tired that I just sat in my room away from them. Not to mention cousins and aunts whom I like very much but hardly ever see or spend time with. The same applies to my friends.

My hobbies were also left a bit aside, namely playing videogames, riding my bike around town and learning new languages. I tried getting back to those three after I graduated from college and started working on my masters, but that proved difficult, since now I seem to have even more work and research to do. But it's better than it used to be, at least.

So my decision is to enjoy my life as much as I can. I will try to enjoy things more, to go out more with my friends and to be happier than I think I currently am. I need this, otherwise I'd crack and then things would get really ugly. And my advice is: think about your life, about what you're doing and if you think that's what you want. Don't be afraid to judge yourself and, mainly, to change if you see fit. Life's too short, and we must be sure that what we're doing is fulfilling or not.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Found it

I finally found a reason to not forget (completely) my Nintendo Wii: Metroid Prime. The first one.

Walking around the Internets I stumbled upon this IGN article about the "wiimake" of the first Metroid Prime that was just released in Japan. I had completely forgotten they're goind to release Prime 1 and 2 with updated Wii controls. And that made me quite happy, for both games are my favourites of all I've played to date. I even consider them as one single "entity" to place it at my #1 spot.

Can't wait for this to be released in the US. I'll buy it as soon as available.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The dinosaurs

Bernie Ecclestone on the left, Frank Williams on the right. Respectively, the man who made Formula 1 one of the biggest sports in the world, and the man who is the most admirable Formula 1 owner/manager, who even in these days where big manufacturers own the teams, still has some breath left to run his team without outside interference.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cruel Intentions

This one.

I watched this back when it was in theatres. Didn't really strike me, besides the lesbian kiss, Sarah Michelle Gellar herself and Bittersweet Symphony at the end. Today it was on TV and I watched.

That movie is great. Besides the three factors mentioned above, the acting is really good, the plot is interesting and the cruelty and dissimulation of the characters are impressive. It really got me hooked up till the end and it's now in my list of favourite movies.

Now let me look at that Sarah x Selma kiss just one more time...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The things you learn...

So Kirsten Dunst was the girl in Jumanji. I never knew until today. And she was as cute as it gets, a prelude to how beautiful she is today.

Monday, January 26, 2009

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

I got the F.E.A.R. 2 (hate those dots; at least it's not S.TA.L.K........ you know which game) demo the other day and played it for a while. I never played the first one, but I always wanted to. Back in "the days", it looked great from the videos, and that whole atmosphere was awesome to my innocent eyes. So, when I saw this demo in the PSN I instantly grabbed it and tried it out. I loved it, it's brilliant and highly surpassed my expectations.

This is Alma. She will scare the shit out of you.

Ok, I lied. I hated every single second of that demo. The graphics are average, not to say ugly, especially compared to how sexy Killzone 2's are. The controls were awful, not nearly as smooth as an fps should be. And it's too God-damn dark with a flashlight that can't even light up your feet. I played the demo until some bus dropped from the sky and killed me. At that point I quit the demo, deleted it and tried to bring back the good memories from 1 that I had. I'm still working hard on that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ferrari F-60 2009

They have just unveiled the new Ferrari at As expected in a year with many changes in the category, the car ir a whole lot different from last year's. The front wing is a lot larger than before, the rear spoiler is narrower and taller and the exhaust is quite noticeable at the rear-top of the car. Overall, it's a lot uglier and less classy than before, but what can I do. Let's just hope the team doesn't screw Felipe Massa again so he can win this year with ease.