Monthly Archives: October 2004

Firefly

I finished watching the “Firefly” box-set, and it is so good it is hard to describe. I bought it (UK import) on recommendations and don’t regret a bit. It is too unfortunate that the show was cancelled (butchered) by Fox after 14 episodes. I think, I’d much prefer this to continue than the new “Battlestar Galactica” (which is not bad at all). Incidentally, the CGI is done by the same studio. 😉
It an odd mixture of Western and Science Fiction, but somehow the distinct characters make it all work. It is also amazingly funny, but can be very serious and sad as well.
Anyway, there’s looking forward to the “Serenity” feature film and hopefully, they can continue from there.

(New) Battlestar Galactica

The first TV-episode of the new Battlestar Galactica has been aired and it manages to keep everything that was good in the pilot. It continues directly from the mini-series and manages to have a very oppressive feeling with the an FTL-chase happening every 33 minutes for the past 5 days, wearing down the human crew immensely. I will definitely keep watching!

Halo (Xbox)

I finished Halo yesterday (in order to be up-to-date when the 2nd part comes out). I had given it a go when it came out on the PC, but that was just running painfully slowly and ended being not much fun. On the Xbox however (strangely) that is not the case (if you ignore the last bit of the last level which is chugging quite heavily).
It has great music and great art-direction (with some cleverly used cube / environment maps), a good AI, nice physics & vehicles and a decent story. It also has some repetitive levels in the middle section and some vehicles (Scorpion) are underused. The gameplay decision to only be able to carry two weapons at a time makes for some interesting choices and definitely adds to the game.
Overall, I’d have to agree with one of the video interviews of the Bungie-people stating that “Halo” is basically 2 minutes of fun over and over again. Getting into close-quarter fights with the Covenant or the Flood, throwing some grenades and seeing the bodies fly is simply good fun. 😀

Ed Unofficial 0.1

Slight update. Getting better at this… 😉 Changelog:

  • compiled busybox and pure-ftpd with uclibc, saving quite a bit of memory
  • some kernel modules included (nfs, nfsd, smbfs, usb-stuff, audio)
  • working logging (in /var/messages); /var and /tmp are writeable (tmpfs)
  • video output (at least for me) using vesafb
  • extended web-server with downloadable dmesg and syslog

Ed Unofficial 0.0

I’ve done a bit of fiddling with the “ed-on-a-chip” release from the SmartXX people. It is an embedded linux “distribution” running from 2mb of flash on the Xbox. Changelog:

  • Updated to 2.4.27 + xbox-linux CVS patches + (maybe) proper F & G support
  • Updated to busybox 1.00rc3
  • Updated to pure-ftpd 1.20
  • Updated the initrd image and linuxboot.cfg from Ed on a Chip 0.0.4
  • Fixed Makefile autodownload failing with current wget (-c behaviour changed)
  • Fiddled about with kernel-settings. Some kernel modules can be made manually; these include USB (input + storage), NFS (server + client) and smb. They are not in the initrd by default due to space restrictions.

Phantom Dust

“Phantom Dust” is a game developed by Microsoft Game Studios Japan, and seems to flying under everyone’s radar, as MS has said it will only be published in Asia. It is developed by the guy who worked in “Panzer Dragoon Orta”, and is even more visually gorgeous.
It has you fighting (3rd person) enemies in fully destructible post-apocalyptic urban arenas (more adjectives, anyone?) with some sort of deck of skills (attack and defense) that you can map to the face buttons of the controller to pick them up. It seems to be very much tailored for online play on Live, where you can (supposedly) trade skills and (obviously) fight.
It has gotten very good reviews from Japanese magazines (34/40 and 36/40) but Microsoft is still vehement on not publishing it outside of Asia — in spite of it already having an English language option. I don’t get these people…

Tiger Woods 2005

I played this with Patrick for quite a bit yesterday. First off, shame on EA for not including Xbox Live functionality (which is in the US version). Other than that, it was surprisingly fun. A major factor in this was probably the ability to build your character to pretty much resemble your real self; that’s why we spent the first two hours creating the characters. But once you see your virtual character doing any of the completely overdone celebration or anger reactions, we were on the floor laughing.
The game is surprisingly easy, I’ve never had so many chip-ins in any other golf game I remember, but as I won, everything seems to be in order.