Archive for the ‘Graphics’ Category

Blazing Angels and MassCool MassImpressive

Blazing AngelsI wanted to put up a little Blazing Angels update. As noted yesterday I had downloaded the demo of the game for PC. Oddly enough this game came out on PC a year ago this month so it’s been out for a while. The game looks amazing and when graphics are cranked to the max its still capable of dropping the frame rate to low for comfort on my 256mb ATI X1600.  The sound is excellent with clearly under stood radio chatter and nicely mastered 3d audio effects. The game sounded great even on my comparatively weak laptop speakers. Game play is just complicated enough to make you feel like you’re mastering something but not so complicated that you can’t pick it up and fly. The catch is that the game is designed for a controller that isn’t a PC keyboard/mouse so you almost have to get a game pad or joy stick. You should probably be using a joystick for flight sim’ing any way. As I guessed the action is slow enough to keep some nice close range dog fights going. Throw in a nice lean $19.95 for the game from Direct2drive.com and this becomes a nice, cheap well rounded but beautiful piece of gaming. I will be purchasing it my self for PC and possibly for Wii as well.

By way of my job I get to work with computers a lot. Sadly like a lot of employers they like to cut cost when/where possible. This means a lot of the time we’re left scrounging for resources. One thing we had but that didn’t stick around were external USB hard drives. This poses a problem as there are certain systems we have to update that are not allowed on the network. So how do you move large 4GB+ files to a system like that? Obviously enough the USB hard drives we don’t have. So with the move to our new employer we had the opertunity to request some things of them and one of those requests was for external USB drive enclosures. We had some old laptops so we asked for 2.5″ enclosures.

Masscool drive enclosureWhat we found were the Fanner Tech MassCool drive enclosures for a mere $9.75 from mwave.com. Talk about a heck of a deal! I expected some low quality terrible looking monstrosity. What we got was quite the opposite. With a shiny gloss black exterior and nicely matched silver caps it’s definately a nice product to look at. It’s designed exactly like the other 50,000 enclosures out there. One end cap comes off and you plug the drive in to it and slide it in to the casing. Securing it with small screws on the side of the case. What set this apart to me was the attention to detail. The kit came with a little screw driver just in case you didn’t have your own teenie-tiny screw driver. They threw in an extra screw. I don’t know if that is a bakers dozen sort of situation or if they just wanted you to have a spare. The screw driver, or screws, were magnetized to make it easier to put them in with out losing them. I know it’s not a big deal to most of you but to a technician who has lost a laptop screw or two in his day this type of detail is amazing. Fanner isn’t a big manufacturer but if they keep this sort of detail they will be huge very soon.

Wii is pretty fly for a white guy!

Wow so here comes the airplane games. Not sure where this is coming from exactly or why they are all hitting right now but Wii developers are unleashing the airplane games. Three in short order. Only one even begins to wad my panties.

Heatseeker

Heatseeker: A modern day air combat sim. The game looks ok but not spectacular. Any one(whos a game developer) can throw some airplane models in a game and make them shoot guns and rockets. Other than controls there doesn’t seem to be any innovation or particularly great design qualities. I’m sure the game will be fun and everything but there is no innovation and nothing new.

Wii AirplaneWii Sports Airplane: Or what ever they’re going to call it. I’m not really sure what to think about this. A motor sports version of Wii sports just sounds a little goofy. Wii sports was fun for about 10 minutes. It was obviously a pretty clean capabilities and controls demo for the Wii and has some very over simplistic game play to the point of not fun. I’d hate to see this suffer the same fate. Based on what we’ve seen of this that is most likely the case.

Blazing AngelsBlazing Angels: Here is where you can get excited about flying on the Wii. This game looks amazing graphics wise and the slower action should yeild some very nice close aerial combat action. I’m sure this will nicely make use of the Wii’s novel controls. This is still on it’s way for the Wii dropping on the 20th of this month. I’ve just downloaded the PC version so I may well soon have some game play input some time in the next couple days. I have high hopes for this game. The video looks amazing!

Keep an eye on these games. If you like to fly the Wii will be taking up your time in the near future.

Game Free!

Mega Man Head BangingSo I’ve been around for a while doing the online thing and in that time I’ve come across some pretty fun and amazing free gaming. It occurred to me that I should consider sharing that knowledge with those of you that actual read this little blog. So with out further a due here are the links and explanations.

Gunbound – Think Worms meets RPG online. You play the game almost identical to the way Worms is played only with a different set of weapons and in a more anime style. The game is only playable online against others and it has an element of RPG in that you can win (fake) money and buy items that give you power ups and advantages. Once you figure everything out it’s a very very addictive game. I highly recommend it.

Albatross 18 Season Two – Online golf game with the same sort of RPG elements as Gunbound. Buy/Win items online to power up your character. Choose from out fits to accessories to get the winning edge. This is the game that Super Swing Golf is based on. Definitely worth a look.

Wolfenstein Enemy Territory – Ok so this is kind of being taken over by the new Enemy Territory Quake Wars thing so it’s now buried by the newer Enemy Territory Quake Wars. Wolfenstein Enemy Territory is still free to download an play. It’s based on the new aging Quake 3 engine which should be good and speedy on all but the oldest of hardware out there. You’ll need to go to the downloads section of the site to find the client software.

Americas Army Special Forces – Ok if you want to shoot stuff and you want the best simulation with the best game play for free this is it. The US army wants to let you play with their toys but obviously can’t afford to mail you an M16. This is based on the UT2k3 game engine so it’s a bit newer and nicer looking than its older Enemy Territory counter part. Rough learning curve but a ton of fun and satisfaction once you get it down. Very technical game play. Tactical Shooter is a good term for it.

Bomberman Online – I havn’t actually played this one but it looks pretty tight and is based on what used to be a retail version of the game that was eastern countries only. The fans apparently wrote their own version for free. I’ve never met a bomberman that wasn’t fun. Enjoy!

Update:

I forgot about Frozen Bubble. I should be shot. I’m no longer worthy to be called a gamer.

Frozen Bubble – Frozen Bubble is a free linuxized version of the popular and addictive Bust-a-Move(Puzzle Bobble) game that has been on almost every system in existence in one form or another.  It’s open source and free for all platforms! In writing this I just discovered Frozen Bubble now supports online multi player as well as LAN play!

Rasterbation is good for the eyes

Take your dirty mind out of the gutter! I wasn’t born yesterday. I know what you were thinking. This isn’t about that other thing. It’s about rasterizing images and blowing them up really huge in chunks so you can print the massive image from your standard every day printer.

Some brilliant person/people had the idea to write some software that takes an image input of any size and convert it to raster dots that can then be blown up to what ever size you want. Then it spits out a PDF file containing the individual 8.5×11(or what ever size you desire) pieces of your giant picture puzzle. Put them together to get one massive picture.

The questionable naming of Rasterbator can be easily over looked once you see what kind of sweet large posters it is able to turn out from even moderately sized image files. It’s also free to download or they have a fully online version. The online version is limited in the resolution and file sizes of images it can manage so if you have big images or want to create massive images you’ll want the download version. Have a look at the one I made at work in about 2 minutes including trim and taping time.

Zelda Rastorbated