Pretentious, opinionated language

Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mortal Kombaaaaat! Threee!

UMK3 is on live arcade, and i seemed to remember that i liked it once. This in spite of vehemently disliking the recent MK games, and always being a Street Fighter fan (i hear MK fans and SF fans are completely incompatible, might be true).

Let's reiterate, and i'm sorry if i step on any toes:

  1. What the hell happened here?
    Did someone put Johnny Cage down on paper and someone else went "yeah, that's the look we're shooting for"? This isn't just up there with Tekken's King, this is *far* beyond comprehension. Look at this guy! His special move is doing the splits, and then punching someone in the nuts. It's like first demonstrating his lack of nuts, and then punishing the opposition for having them. He hates nuts! That's his motivation!

  2. This, is SHAO KAHN. Fear the last boss of the game! He has a grand total of 5 moves:

    Running at you.
    Jumping at you.
    Shooting a green fireball in your general direction.
    Kicking you.
    Hitting you with a magically appearing hammer.

    Through DEFT use of these mighty techniques, he has acquired dominion of the underworld, or whatever the hell MK lore calls that place with all the spirals and rocks.

    This is among the worst final boss designs i have ever come across. It *demolishes* Tekken 5's Jinpachi in the cheapness stakes, to the point of mechanical slaughter. This asshole robot will happily spam you with a single cheap move, driving you into the wall with no hope of survival, unless he magically fucks up and lets you get an uppercut in. What the fuck Midway, did you really think this was an incredible design? Did you get up in the morning and look forward to seeing more Shao Kahn concept art, positively DROOLING at the prospect of having this AWESOME character in your game? This is at the same time the Street Fighter boys were making green circular men with red hair not only acceptable but also somewhat popular. I mean come on.

    This was Midway's gift to the beat'em up world? A BUTTON to do what other games spent a joystick direction on? This design made MK Deception almost completely unplayable on the gamecube where Soul Calibur, a much more complicated game, played like a dream. I'm confused as to why an extra button became necessary.

  4. Hahahaha 90s. Purple pants. Rad.

  5. I couldn't possibly write about UMK3 without bringing up Motaro. Not a TERRIBLE boss by MK standards (i mean Goro, come on), but um. It's a horse-cow-man with a cyborg tail. Walking backwards in this case. And backwards is exactly what it is.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why Tomonobu Itagaki is a Smashing Gent

  • 1UP: I'm just trying to imagine putting that to good use somewhere else in another game. Like using those waves for water battles in Ninja Gaiden 2. I could see Ryu Hayabusa jumping on top of waves and fighting seaborne enemies or something like that.

    TI: I think Ryu Hayabusa would look cooler maybe doing some deep sea fishing.

  • [TI:]Then I saw them and said, "You can't have fish not do anything!" Of course the guys were like, "Oh god, here he goes again,"

  • (on the topic of the Ninja Gaiden ghost fish THOSR FUCKERS)
    'I looked at the guy who worked on this and I said, "What is this; what's the point?" And he said it was "for atmosphere." I said, "This is an action game. You can't just put something in there for atmosphere that is taking up memory and disc space. You either take it out or make it an enemy and do what I say because this is an action game."'

  • (On the MGS4 TGS trailer)
    So as I was looking at the trailer and when Snake started smoking I thought, "Yes! They have him smoking -- that's great."

*in awe*

Full interview on 1UP

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What, Tag's too dangerous?

(yes i know the formatting here is balls, so what)
Man, i grew up in a neighborhood with 2 gangs of highschool kids fighting among themselves, and screw you if you were a 10 year old who wasn't in family with any of the gang kids. Me and my buddies formed a little gang of our own. Since playing in the parks and such was basically asking for trouble, we had such a tough time finding "safe" places to play, and it's weird to look back at it now and think of how ridiculously unsafe it was.

We built a fort in the woodworks of this bridge:
Among those boarded sections underneath. We'd stock up on candy and coke, sit in our bundle of boards, look at what floated past in the river below, and count through whatever fireworks we'd collected last newyears. We printed out the anarchist cookbook at my dad's office (he was a teacher back then), we'd go to the gas depot to get dry ice for bombs and other such nonsense. When winter came and we didnt dare go under the bridge (we had to do a lot of awkward climbing to get under there), we looked for alternatives nearby.

We found a passage between two buildings that gave us access to the supports under the riverside buildings. I dare say we owned the river for years. We'd go shoplifting, go under the buildings to count our loot.

We found a way to the roof of the old WW2 submarine bunkers at the harbor . I remember buying water melons and other squishy stuff only to bring it up to the roof of Dora and throw it off the building. Splat.

The best fun we had when i was a 2nd and 3rd grader was going to Kristianstèn fortress
At the time they were doing army exercises in the area, and part of the fun was finding a way up the fortess walls and get into the main grounds without being seen. One of the best childhood memories i have was sitting on the walls of that fortress with my then-best-buddy Tor-Egil at a summer night (bright night), and hearing Deathprod playing from scaffolds at the TMV festival. TMV, or Trondheim Mechanical Workshop, was just a bunch of dry docks and artist studios, and they'd throw these ridiculous rock festivals. Deathprod's "Treetop drive", rolling like fucking thunder across town, and me running like a madman from the fortress to TMV to get closer.

Super old picture heh, can't believe that tripod crane was that old. We climbed to the top of it to see the Deathprod show. It was scary and awesome.

At wintertime, all the snow in the school yard would be plowed into these enormous heaps, and of course the kids would play king of the hill on it. It was sheer madness, you had 6th graders tossing 2nd graders on their heads, and not a teacher in sight. The sense of being able to gang up on one of the bigger kids and bringing the fucker down was about as good as it could get.

God what's so wrong with kids feeling LIFE? I asked my mother about how she felt about the things i did when i was lil and she basically said "after a while, i realized it was meaningless to try and stop you, so i tried to ignore it". I'm so happy she did.. I had friends then whose mothers basically held them by their necks, and it always sucked when they couldnt come out to play, and we'd be telling them about what we did later and they'd be so sad about it. I think true motherly love is in guiding your child, not in controlling it. When i overstepped, you better believe i heard about it. When i stole money from my mother when we were in a terrible rut, and she slapped me, you better believe i never stole from my mom again, and you better believe i learned that money has more value than candy and GI Joes (i collected cobras). Parents should know when discipline and "reality" matters and when it doesn't. I'm not saying i turned out wonderfully, but i have nothing but positive memories of my childhood, and if i'm scarred i'm scarred by what i've done to myself, NOT by what i've experienced, and believe me i've fallen and cracked my head open a good few times. My right eyebrow makes no sense at all anymore.

Kids need danger, and pain, and loss. They need all these things because it makes them stronger, and it makes them more compassionate. Kids won't understand what inflicting pain is until they've been inflicted pain upon, and i think a parent's role, AND the educational system's as well, is to comfort, explain and guide. Not judge, control and shove. I feel terrible thinking about kids today, because their parents are under such immense pressure to mold their children, and i think it's creating a lost generation of conforming fools who don't know the first thing about truly having fun on nature's premises, not through toys, not through technology, not even through other people, but through exploring the world, learning and experiencing the pain of fucking up and realizing you're the only one to blame.

Children must learn to be diligent, or they'll come out as spoiled assholes without the ability to fight for what they believe in on other terms than the purely advantageous. They need to do like i did, ride an unfinished custom bike down the steepest road in their home town without knowing it doesn't have any brakes. Be so scared they're moments from pissing and shitting their pants and throwing up all at the same time, and then come out of it with a hard learned lesson. They need bruises and cuts, they need to staple themselves to the table by accident. They need to see their own blood and know what it means.
They have the right to know they're REAL and WHAT's real, and i think it's the parent's role to give their kids that right.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How to get the Defcon soundtrack

I don't know if this is naughty or not, but i found the Defcon soundtrack so inspiring and beautiful i knew i had to extract it from the game somehow, and seeing it as Introversion apparently aren't too keen on sharing, or even selling(!), i wondered if they'd done the cheapest trick in the book with their .dat files. I was right :)

To get your hands on the glorious soundtrack, simply make a copy of sounds.dat (located in your Defcon install directory), change it's extension to .zip and extract its contents with winzip or winrar. The files are (logically) the largest ones in the archive, and they're all high quality OGGs. If you want them on your iPod or somesuch, it's pretty straightforward to transcode them from ogg to mp3 using winLAME for instance.

Thanks Introversion for a fantastic game AND a fantastic soundtrack. It's kept me company at work for quite some time now :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yes yes oh god yes!

Look at the AV cables. Do i spot a VGA cable there? Jesus christ, Sony better have this for the PS3 as well. No more freaking VGA box distortion! My life += 50% quality. For the win!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why Xbox live is a steaming shithole and the end of all enjoyable random online gaming

If you havent seen this, in short, it's a testament to the *screaming majority* of players i've encounted on live. I realize voice comms is better than typing for consoles and whatnot, but oh my freaking god, what the fuck?

Nothing makes you more aware of how trashy the kids of the world are turning out. What's up with parents? Buying an xbox for your kid, that's a fire and forget op? Argh.

Parents of the world, get your shit together.

Monday, October 02, 2006


You want a black tee that says "Power"? You know you do. Nono. You do. Believe me.