Friday, June 25

Red Letter Days

You'll have to forgive me, but the last few days haven't been conducive to hours of gameplay. With the glass ceiling well and truly being shattered, and some promising World Cup developments, I found myself glued to the TV for different reasons.

The most exciting development of course, is that the Italian diving competition has come to a spectacular, and what some would say, premature close. I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about soccer, and I'm not going to pretend that I watch it at any time other than the World Cup, but I was hoping to see that diving would be policed, just slightly, after Australia's farcical exit from the 2006 tournament. I'm not saying that Italy is the only team guilty of it (even my beloved Oranje have tried to win a few extra kicks with unscrupulous tactics), but they are, if anything, the most prolifically reported divers at this year's fixtures. With the Socceroos and the All Whites failing to proceed to the Round of 16, my eyes are fixed squarely on the battle between Slovakia and the Nederlions.

Now to politics. What a crazy day yesterday was in Australia's history. The first, first-term Prime Minister to be deposed by his own party and the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in to office. Canvassing colleagues, friends and family, the disparate opinions on each occurrence were equally fascinating. Some felt sorry for Kevin Rudd, others were excited at the prospect of the mining tax advertisement campaign being brought to a swift end. Regardless of how you viewed these historic events, the political landscape of the nation has been invariably changed. Congratulations to the Honourable Ms Gillard, commiserations to the Honourable Mr Rudd.

As for this weekend, I am sure to get my game back on. I'm travelling to Brisbane, so that will inevitably mean that I will be turning to the PSP. Currently I am addicted to Tekken 6, most specifically Ghost Battle. Believe it or not, the controls are actually more responsive on the PSP(go) as opposed to the Playstation 3. A Phoenix Smasher requires an almost half-circle on the Sixaxis (or Dualshock 3), where as a quarter circle is adequate (as it very well should be) on the portable console. If I find the time I will resume the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker campaign. Much like Portable Ops before it, there are too many opportunities to become side-tracked.

A few questions for you guys. Who plays a portable, whether it be PSP, DS or iPhone? What were your thoughts on the historic ascension of Julia Gillard (please keep the chauvinistic trolling to a minimum)? Who do you want to win the World Cup (go the Dutch!!!)? Has anyone had the pleasure of participating in the Medal of Honour beta?

Have a good weekend loyal readers.


  1. I used to be a big PSP gamer...these days, not so much. It's the odd PC title and the rest on PS3.

    To your other questions:

    - I feel really sorry for Kevin Rudd, and watched his final media conference with wet eyes. Gillard has fallen into the sway of what seems to be classic NSW Labor Party-esque powerbroker movements and it was a collective fist that plunged the knife into Rudd's back. If it wasn't for the global financial crisis, we would be in a very different place. I've no problem with Gillard - she's a practical and gutsy politician and a perfect counter to Abbott. However, I'm far more proud of Rudd sticking around after the party left him out to dry in the biggest way possible. I didn't even get to live a day under the man's government.

    - The World Cup? Couldn't give two hoots of a Vuvuzela. Trust humans to choose the most boring sport in the world as the international game. At least the Gaelic folk had the sense to think "holy shite, dis rarely ain't all dat fun, t'be honest" and picked the damn ball up.

    - Not super excited about the beta, more keen for the single player. But even then, it won't be a pick-up any time soon. Gran Turismo 5, on the other, has all of a sudden become a must-have. The feature list is huge!

    Night/Day transition
    Stunt Arenas
    32 player online lobbies
    16 player online races
    Spectator mode
    200 PS4 cars and 800 standard cars
    Nascar license
    WRC license
    Super GT license
    Rolling and damage (eerily real weight)
    1st person walkabout photo mode
    YouTube uploading
    PS Eye headtracking
    Motion controls
    HDMI 1.4 Stereoscopic 3D @ 60fps
    Track (not map) Editor (think Forge where you decorate existing ones)
    Best graphics in any driving game (lighting, physics driven smoke, attention to detail..etc)
    Real life tracks recreated in maddening quality (up to 2 year dev times)
    20+ locations with 70+ variations
    PSP Connectivity
    Go karts to Rally to classics to sport to Drag car, ordinary cars...etc etc etc
    Animated drivers, handling and gear shifts, pit crews, tire changes etc
    Custom soundtrack
    Text and Voice chat
    Narrative involvement by popular drivers and Top Gear crew
    Top Gear Test Track
    Open free-form Track Days
    GT Life (career mode, this time with earth map and real time clock) & Arcade mode
    Profile pages
    In-game (bulletin-board) message boards
    Gran Turismo Video store (Top Gear Show has 350+ million viewers)

  2. Socceroos and all whites can feel proud of there world cup. It will take a very very good soccer team to beat the argentians. As for k-rudd, well he has made a career of backstabbing people, I guess what goes around comes around.

  3. What backstabbing are you referring to?

  4. Taz - I have read about GT5 during and after E3 and it sounds like it is going to be a world-beater. Lookin' forward to Stiggin' it up.

    I think the ALP acted a little too swiftly to dump Kruddles. He was still leading the preferred PM stakes by over 10 points. I also think it is criminal that 6 of the 10 richest Australians fund a scare-mongering, advertising campaign and the Australian Government loses its resolve. I think Kevin Rudd would have won the next election easy. As he said about 500 times in one day a couple of weeks ago, the alternative is Tony Abbott.

    It still is exciting to have a female Prime Minister. Didn't think it would happen this soon.

    Benny - I am not going to pretend that I know anything about the back-room deals and factional nature of the ALP. What I do know is, the MSPT scared the shit of the Australian public, thanks in no uncertain terms to a relentless marketing campaign funded by a throng of mining magnates.

  5. Dude, the MSP scared the shit out of people because people don't understand that it is a better way to tax the resource. Personally, Gillard hasn't really done, anything to earn the PM yet, so I don't consider glass ceiling broken until she actually wins an election. And I can't see that happening.

    I was fortunate enough to get into the beta, and while I really do enjoy the gameplay, the beta has too many issues. For example, I can unload half my clip into someone and not drop them, that person turns around and I will be dead within two bullets. This has nothing to do with connectivity, but with that fact that my screen pauses when I am close to dying, so I have no chance of evading.

    Another issue is that the game will freeze once every 3-5 games. Just out of the blue freeze. That and I really hate TDM style gameplay.

  6. I can't handle much other than TDM. My mind wasn't built for much else: that meaning shoot people from other team, teabag, repeat.