All we want is a proper 16-bit Sonic

I’m dying to do a parody of ‘All I want is a propa cup of coffee’ on the dilemma of sonic fans.

Sega has spent since 1999 offering us Sonic experiences we didn’t want. Sonic fans have never been overjoyed by the constant need to introduce new charecters, nevermind playing with sonics design & turning him into a warewolf. Now I dont want to be harsh, as clumsy as they were Adventure 1 & 2 I absolutely loved, and Sonic Colours/Generations finally got 3d sonic games about as right as they will ever be. I personally reccomend Sonic Colours.

But throughout out the last 13 years Sonic fans have been increasingly asking for one thing – a true to the original sonic game. They want it in 16bit, with every sound effect intact and for sonic model to be an EXACT replica of him in any of the Mega Drive games and for the levels to be true to the original style – Out with realism!

These fans are being prattish. Sonic has never looked the same in any 2 games. They all bitch about the invinsible melody not being used any more. But go back to Sonic 1, 2 & 3 it was different in each of those games. Sonics moves have constantly evolved too. No one want to go so far back he can’t do the spin dash, but for gods sake Sega listen to these guys! Fans have never wanted less! Why turn down easy work?

As awkward as they are I do agree with them. I dont want to say goodbye to 3D sonic, but I would kill for a true Sonic 4. I didnt think that episodic pile of bob could let me down. How could Sonic 4 episode 1 get it so wrong? NO HOMING ATTACK FFS! NO MODERN SONIC FFS!! And there really was no need to recycle classic levels as much as we can see that was Sega trying to please us. Just so it’s clear to Sega, it’s not all about Green Hill Zone. But it is ALL about the 16-bit music in the traditional style. We are all sick of that friggin gitar crap.

We just want a 16-bit sonic these days surely a games designer cant get and easier or cheaper job. We don’t mind them using a bit more power so long as it looks 16 bit. By all means make things more busy an animated, make up for the shortcomings in 16-bit where it makes things look better but still retro for example no one will moan if explosion effects are a bit more snazzy and level don’t look like lego pieces put together as anyone who did the UP C Down C left C right C – cheat on Sonic 1 came to see. Although some would say there’s not even the need to go that far, be totally true to the originals.

Most of all it’s about how sonic moves and plays. Any modern sonic game would go down far better if sonic moved and looked as he did in the original games. Mega man went back to his roots and it went down well. Mario while he has evolved has always stayed true to the image and feel fans have of him in their heads. It’s quite funny that modern sonic at his best was probably his appearance in Smash Bros Brawl. Perhaps Sega should ask Nintendo to make the next sonic. If one things for sure, Nintendo knows how to respects it’s franchises. Sega, alas, is famed for cocking theirs up. If it aint broke.

The 3DS in 2012

After a bumpy first year which just managed to scrape a decent offering of quality titles the 3DS is looking OK, and our offerings for this year, which we know of so far sounds OK

1) Luigis Mansion 2         2) Resident Evil Revelations            3) Animal Crossing

4) A 2D Mario                  5) Kid Icarus                                     6) Metal Gear Solid

7) Final Fantasy Threat Rythm

But 7 headlining titles is hardly enough. Few will be interested in all. I only intend to buy 3 of them.

There’s plenty more on the way of course, Sega are supposed to have some strong games in the pipeline, and im sure there’s any number of titles Nintendo are working on that we know nothing about, when we see them is another thing.  

If you own a 3DS and you hot on the heels of its best titles, like me your probably about done with those games now having played them to death. I’ve downloaded everything of interest on the eshop too. It looks like my 3DS will soon start collecting dust again.

I’m not convinced Nintendo have got their act together. Gaming droughts this year seem as likely as Britain having a crap summer. That is not good considering the Vita is out now and no doubt Sony are working their asses off to make it sell. It has a far brighter 2012 ahead in term of games than the 3DS, not that many peak my interest.

Rather surprising is the sheer lack of racing games for the 3DS, it seems the handheld could do with a snowboarding game too, and why has everyone gone off touch screen games? Personally I’d love a sequel to Kirby power paintbrush and Yoshi touch and go…and why not PacPix too – They seem to be top choices for new eshop downloads.

Nintendo has to find a balance between its current efforts of modern games for the 3ds that are aiming to be on par with what you’d buy on a console and making sure it doesnt loose sight of the retro-style gaming that has always served it’s handhelds well. While typical PSP were pushing the technical limits, DS games of technical simplicity even for the DS were selling great. People clearly didnt care about graphics as much as gameplay. So basically I dont think Nintendo need to work as hard. Few will moan about a new Zelda or Metroid that goes back to it’s roots.

E3 this June is how long we have to wait to gauge if Nintendo is on the ball this year, we wont hear much from them untill then. It’s seems sily really considering conversation untill them is likely to be dominated on the Vita. Considering their showings at the last 4 E3s, I’m not optimistic. I have the feeling 2013 will be the year of the 3DS, if they’re getting their fingers out. I think we already know about all the big games this year and that will be pathetic consider the majority were announced at last years E3 and we were expecting them last year.

 

 

Introducing Ms Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa is one of those comics you probably don’t know about, but will provoke a strong reaction once your acquainted with her. To me she is one of the funniest people alive and I urge YOU to check her out.

She’s got a mouth as big as her cunt (she sleeps with a lot of black guys) and runs to a controversial subject faster than Spick to a government paycheck. Thats one of her jokes, im not being racist!

Lisa is for mature audiences only & and mean mature in a rather different way to what you are thinking. This level of maturity is a mindset that is very rare in the world, to most it seems impossible, heck some might call you a racist in denial. Lisa’s comedy is all about prejudice, she could make Roy Chubby Brown blush! But Lisa is not racist. In manyy her humour shares a lot in common with the likes of Family Guy. It’s about everyone laughing at things we know are wrong, but the joke is in it being risque a sort of “oh no she didn’t” attitude. Shes attacking Politcal correctness, sterotypes, do gooders and polite society. Her humour is a liberation of words for this mature section of society that is way beyond both prejudice & politcal correctness.

And she basically comes with a full seal of approval. Lisa has significant fan bases in the Black, Gay and Hispanic communities.

If your worried if you’re supposed to say Black or coloured then dont watch Lisa. If you whine about if your allowed to say the N word, definatly don’t watch Lisa.And if you you have to talk about how great the gays are and how we should all jons hands and feed the world then Lisas gob will hospitalise you.

We Lisa Lampanelli fans, to resort to slang, are some next level shit. We dont think like other people, were better than you. We’ve worked our way out of the fog of political correctness and way beyond the shores of prejudice. We look back on those things to find our humour knowing we are laughing together and not at each other…Well we are laughing at each other but in a fully approved manner.

The absolute best thing about Lisa? Most conservatives hate her, most liberals hate her, most socialists hate her, she really doesn’t discriminate, she pisses everyone off! As racist as she sounds, you wont find any racists who like her, as much of a modern thinker she is, she aint ever winning praise off the liberal elites, unless you count the gay community who absolutely worship her, and rightly so. We can laugh at ourselves! Lisa Lampanelli fans queue up to be insulted, your not dreading your turn, your waiting with anticipation.

Lisa has basically taken the reigns from the working mens club comedians of 1960s Britain, but removed all trace of prejudice and cause for complaint while becoming more outragous than they ever were. It’s a rather astonishing accomplishment, one that makes little sense on the surface. it does of course require that maturity I mentioned to be understood. She does run the risk of attracting prejudice people and giving rights groups strokes, but she doesn’t really.

If you like shocking comedy and foul mouthed women Lisa’s the gal for you. As far as I’m concerned she’s the funniest women in America. Sorry Joan she’s knocked you off your perch….I feel like I’m gonna go to hell for saying that.

Life on Jobseekers is a blast.

I kid you not. It’s fantastic! You go once a fortnight, they do absolutely nothing, and you get 70 quid a week to live off!

Seriously though, the Job Center is a joke. How much help you get, how well you are treated is dependant on how seriously your advisor takes their job. Then there’s the well meaning but generally incompetant ones. Forgetting about the lack of jobs, its no surprise people stay on the dole for long periods of time because there is no active attitude to help you get employment. You just have your money withdrawn if one of them is in a bad mood and doesn’t think you’ve done enough to find work in the last 2 weeks.

Virtually no advisors know the first thing when it comes to writing a good CV, so while they demand to see your CV, they can give you no advice beyond the basic crap you’ve heard before. No one tests you on interview behaviour unless you’ve been on the dole for 2 years, so no help there either. They are supposed to do job searches with you. I personally in 8 months of being on Income-based JSA only did the job search wthing with an advisor twice, and the best they could find was a 10 hour a week job in a Heron shop 15 miles from where I live.

Lets also be clear about how much you get. Yes if I lived alone I could have got Housing benefitt and help with my council tax, but obviously you dont live on that money. You live on 70 pounds a week which goes nowhere, most claimaints end up having to get a string of crisis loans to try and stay afloat, I never qualified for one. #Worldsmallestviolin As Louise Mensch is fond of saying.

I personally think it should be more like £120 a week, but I wont try to fight that fight, but I will argue that the Job Center doesn’t work. There’s nothing inherantly wrong with the system, it just isn’t ran very well.

One of the big changes in policy they need to make however is how they dish out proper help. In your first 12 weeks of claiming they really do do absolutely nothing. In a way your treated like a human and with the trust your genuinly looking for work. However its in this time most are inclined to ask for additional help and are told no. in the 12-24 week period they bully you somewhat scrutising your Job Seekesr diary, the log you keep of everything you did to try and find a job. In futher intervals of 6 weeks past the 18 week mark you slowly get more assistance, however much of that assistance feels more like punishment and that it is only being done because they now deem you a lazy scrounger.

Its seems stupid that real help is only given once the process of finding a job has worn you out of all your enthusiasm and you’ve got to the point where the night before you have to go to the Job center is a sleepless one with you worrying they will take your money off you. Help should definatly be given upon request if that’s the only change to the rules they make.

It would also make sense if agencies were incorporated into the jobcenter, but thats against rules on competition apparantly. The Job center search machines shouldnt print off jobs, they should automatically apply you for the jobm after a session of cover letter & CV writing that is stored on the Job center servers. And frankly when it comes to that diary, there’s no way to prove it. Anyone can just lie, it isn’t checked unless they’ve employed a hardcore Tory who smells a rat.

Sure cheats exist on JSA. I saw many. More than once I saw people loosing money because finally after 12 weeks of signing on the advisor realised the person hadn’t done anything to find a job, hadnt given the job center their CV and most importantly, couldnt even speak English. Yes it took 12 weeks. The system is it’s own worst enemy, even the most honest person can get away with murder with ease. I cant describe how annoyed I was that I had the one advisor who took his job seriously. Not that he was helpful, he apparantly had no time to ever do anything, but he was always looking hard for a reason to take my money off me. I was told my another advisor at the center he had stopped payment for over half of the claimants he dealt with!

The job center lack drive and ambition. There’s no sense of urgency to help get you back into work, and everything about the job center seems to make the whole process feel tougher than it is. It’s not hard to fall into the trap of just making sure you diary says the right things so you can get in and out as fast as possible without complaint and then you sit around loathing the next time you have to go. Its a horrible and degrading experience. You might think that would spur you on to find a job but it doesn’t.

The government will never deal with this problem, when they try things become more complex and unworkable. They seem to spend millions of silly plans that have navigated around rules and roadblocks of their own making which caused the problem to begin with. The job center should be a hub for any employer r agency to come look for workers, but it isn’t allowed half the time. People dont need to see advisors they need to see possible employers or people who have direct links to jobs. The job center is a rather redundant do nothing middle man.

Alas while the national attitude is ‘take money off the bastards’ I doubt anyone will show concern for any of this,

 

The rise and rise of British Sci-fi

Ever since the return of Doctor Who, UK TV has gone to warp-drive on sci-fi. Quality shows keep materialising, they include Primevil, Misfits, Being Human, Torchwood & The Sarah Jane Adventures.

British Sci-fi is back while American Sci-fi is going into hibernation. American TV Networks have sought to buy the rights to all of these shows if not playing the original UK versions. Those they copy are with limited success and to listen to the critics at the expense of what made the originals worth watching. America cant get Sci-fi right at the moment, and Britain it seems can’t fail.

What is behind the UK’s success in Sci-fi? Well clearly it’s originality but that originality isn’t just in telling new stories. British Sci-fi breaks all the conventions. We’ve basically chavved-up Sci-fi, we’ve married sci-fi concepts to things the diametic opposite to what we’ve come to expect. A bunch of chavs on a rough estate doing community service getting superpowers? The domestic lives of Vampires? The smartest and most powerful man in the universe getting slapped by mums and acting a total idiot? British sci-fi writers have basically rewrote the rules and opened up sci-fi to a much bigger audience. British Sci-fi is about having a laugh, serious social commentary is an optional sidedish.

British sci-fi is based in the now, not an inconcievable future, it’s about real people, not legandary giants, even those giants are designed to be relatable and flawed. British sci fi doesnt feel compelled to explain everything or create some complicated drivel to make something more believable. It also knows how to live on much tighter budgets which clearly have driven them to stronger storytelling and more memorable dialogue.

British Sci-fi to some extant has reached into the past to rexplore ideas which seemed redundant. a rabid cat that turns people into Zombies? So cheesy, yet it made for one of the best episodes of Misfits. American sci-fi tries to be too credible, it has forgot that sci-fi is about the impossible and the absurd. Sci-fi needs a wild imagination, one could argue the demise of Star Trek and the dismay at the star Wars prequels was due to a loss in the obscure and too much of a drive to seem credible.

British Sci-fi hasn’t ignored it’s past either. It is famed for being overwhemingly dystopian, and all our new sci-fis carry on that tradition in some form or another. Despite some decent efforts with Battlestar Galatica and V American sci-fi is consistantly optimistic, clean and self rightous. It clearly got boring.

What also stands out is that while everyone is riding on the back of the success of Doctor Who, all of our sci-fis stand out on their own merits, they are significantly different from one another. Hardcore scifi fans tend to get lost in the world of their favorite sci-fi and dont like the concepts of another sci-fi treading in the same realms. British sci-fis dont really let a person get that involved and they certainly don’t close you off to enjoying other fantasy worlds. That is largly due to their narratives being left open to the viewer to enjoy on their terms rather than trying to get them to subscribe to a bigger picture and blasting you with exact intentions of the writers. Basically British Sci-fis dont do the “I learned something today” speeches.

Thats the other important side to British sci-fi. You won’t find many ‘the moral of the story’ moments. If there was one and you have to be told that you clearly weren’t listening! but our sci-fi spends more time questioning morality in dark and open ended ways. It hasnt got the time to tell you that humans are great unless its the Doctor but we normally end up letting him down.

All of this comes down to one thing really. Our writers are lost in the characters and the chase. What matters is a good story and not ‘proper’ sci-fi as Terry Pratchett would point out. What they are doing really is taking drama comedy and soap conventions and thinking how to inject a bit of sci-fi. It’s sci-fi in rather normal circumstances crossed with a celebration of classic sci-fi. It’s what makes them so good and noteworthy. Any sci-fi fan wishes more non sci-fi fans could see what they see, and British writers have done that brilliantly by taking all obsticles people see to enjoying sci-fi out. I seem to forget the obsticle to me becoming a major Trekkie was always the techno babble, because I now understand it I think why can’t anyone tolerate it for the sake of getting to these amazing stories. Clearly most people dont make the effort, and People like Russel T Davies were wise to see that a good sci-fi doesn’t have to be about the science.

There’s a great sense of pride to be had for British TV reclaiming Sci-fi on our own terms. We are reshaping the genre on a global scale and it has welcomed more viewers into the world of sci-fi since Star Wars and Back to the Future. Sci-fi is no longer the property of a geeky elite who think you should be assimilated, it has become something that can be attached to anything and has the flexibility to make something halirious and different. Sci-fi is now something that can be the side-dish to a show, where comedy or domestic life comes first. Sci fi no longer fears having to tick certain boxes. Best of all scifi is no seen as an element that can make something more fun.

How britsh scifi manages to be so bloody fun and downright halirious but dystopian at the same time is a testament to how brilliant our writers are. Long may they continue.

Is Charity Worth The Effort?

Everytime there’s a massive chairty drive, questions soon follow asking where all the money went. The truth is never uncovered.

Very few charities go to the trouble of showing exactly how they spent their money and proving it. Too many charities spend money to hopefully make more money. Charities have been capitalised. No longer is it about helping the cause you represent. It’s about the long game, a stock portfolio, PR, investment. It is one thing to save money for a rainy day, another to start thinking the money is better spent elsewhere than on your cause, because in the long run you could have more to spend.

Charities are answerable to no one. No group should get tax expemt status for playing economic and social games with money donated by well meaning people who believe their contributions will quickly and directly help someone or thing in need. Nor should they get it if it can be proven they spend more time doing other things than spending time and money directly on their cause.

No charity should get tax exempt staus if they employ people to raise money. If someone is being paid to raise money, well meant donations are paying that persons wages. Thats not charity.

To me there’s few charities worth bothering with. They are not transparant and are too busy justifying their behaviour at the cost of actually getting on with what they claim their job to be. Like with Haiti, it would have been far better if all those who donated had been able to directly send money to families, rather than putting it in a fund that paid for charity workers to spend days in luxury resorts while people sat around a mound that used to be their home.

I wont say that Charity starts at home, but one cannot think of themselves as charitable if they’d rather throw a few quid at a cause but not wake up to the problems of people they see everyday. All those people are doing is trying to absolve themselves of guilt. Just because you make the minimal effort of giving up a few quid you can live without doesn’t make you a good person!

The Jewish faith has a special word that means both charity and obligation. To them the two are interwoven. Charity is an obligation to their fellow Jews, its not about a warm fuzzy feeling, it’s about what is right. Too many of us use chairty as an excuse to proclaim we are decent people and anyone cynical about charities must be a selfish person. In fact it is the lack of obligation charities feel to their cause which makes people like me cynical. With a greater sense of obligation comes a greater sense of honestly and transparancy not to mention greater and more efficient drive.

Charities wont change their behaviour while people continue to support them, and I will not be fooled into thinking that on balance things are OK just because they are seen to care. it is better for us to become our own charity doing what we can to help people knowing 100% of the effort goes straight to the cause in question. Not only that but disregarding the rant on obligation, it is the most satisfying form of charity. You didnt throw money at someone else to take care of a problem. You got off your arse and did it yourself. One person cannot change the world, but it probably thinking on such grand scales that has led to charities being in the mess we find them today, that and thinking the finacial impertive is a good ideology for a charity.

Dappy got out of Nappies then it went a bit Whappy

I’m not exactly an N-Dubz fan, but I have great admiration for them. They made it alone, they are their own thing, there’s nothing manufactured about them.

Yet they get a good deal with Def-Jam records and it’s like they’ve died a death ever since. They seem to have lost the sound that made them so original and popular. And poor Fazer, he’s basically boned now.

I’m inclined to call it a Simon Cowell conspiracy. His job offer to Tulisa seems to have broken up some serious competition to his own artists, while sending Dappy on a ill-fated quest for a solo career, in a world where Marty McFly is considered a good metaphor in a rap song. Dont even get me started on putting a British Chav in an American Ghetto. Say cheese.

It’s like the world of music is willing N Dubz to no longer be and how does that happen when you get an amazing offer of a record label like Def-Jam at the top of your game? It seems very unfair.

Maybe the N Dubz gang are very happy with the current situation but I doubt their original fans are. What is happening to them is a classic scenario and if Dappy doesn’t take control their music carrers are going to be over very soon. A working brand has been messed with, put on hold, split to later reform, and is loosing its original appeal. Reinvention only works when people are getting bored and they weren’t.

Tulisa needs to exit the sinking ship known as the X Factor and get back to what people liked her for. While she has that job N Dubz future is very limited and so is Dappy’s. Dappy is not an easy person to like and alone he is even more annoying, but for their genre they make great music together. I hope this band survives because it is great offering from the British music scene. People have messed around and are coming very close to destorying something that worked very well, and its not exactly the fault of the band members.