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The Sixth Sense

emoticon:film Over the weekend I watched the Bruce Willis film Unbreakable. I don't know how mainstream this was when it was released, but I've never heard much about it.

The film is certainly different from your usual hollywood fare. Although not fast paced, the film is very evocative and thought provoking, with a "graphic novel" theme. The most impressive thing about it, as well as the good story line, is how effectively the film conveys the emotion of the situation. It's always 'understated', but all the more powerful for that. Definitely worth seeing.

I also tried to watch another Bruce Willis film, Sixth Sense. This has the same director (M. Night Shyamalan), and having seen it before I know that it is another quality film. Nice to see Bruce Willis making good films [1].

Anyway, that reminds me of an interesting factoid. Did you know that humans do have six senses ?

The sixth sense is called Kinaesthesia, and is your ability to tell what position your limbs are in.

Close your eyes (after reading this of course), and move your arms around. You can tell where they are without looking at them or touching anything. Cool hey. Laughing

Maybe The Sixth Sense should be renamed "The Seventh Sense"...

[1]He seems to have recovered from Hudson Hawk, which was a personal project of his that flopped. Personally I enjoyed it. Perhaps now that Leonardo da Vinci is flavour of the month it will enjoy a belated renaissance. Smile

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-22 10:34:59 | |


Rogue Trooper - the Game

emoticon:rogue I've got several projects overdue for updates and lots to do. I have a few free hours, so what's the obvious course of action ? Yep, you got it, time to look for a distraction. Laughing

Luckily I didn't have to look too far. The kind folks at Eidos Games have sent me a review copy of Rogue Trooper the Game.

Rogue the Dude

Rogue Trooper is the blue skinned genetic infantry man from Nu-Earth. Betrayed by the Southers who created him in a laboratory, he goes on a mission to uncover the truth and avenge his fallen comrades.

For more background on Rogue, you could do worse than check out :

The Voidspace Rogue Trooper Page

Having been a fan of Rogue trooper since his days in 2000AD, my first concern was how badly they had mangled the Rogue storyline and atmosphere in making the game. Smile

Before I tell you about the game, I'll let you in on a secret. I don't play many computer games. Since my college days I have had a great fondness for descendants of the game Doom game, so the only games I have time for are first person shooter style games. Rogue Trooper is a third person shooter (which I'd never heard of), more about that later.

To see the screenshots I've taken of the game in action (including screenshots of a couple of the cinematic sequences), see :

The Rogue Trooper Gallery Page

My first impression was simply to be blown away. More seasoned game players may be used to cinematic intro sequences, but I'm not. The game opens with the start of the story as a computer generated scene. It's fantastic quality, with awesome graphics and sets just the right mood.

These scenes continue through the game as you progress, gradually telling more of the story. You don't need to know anything about the history of Rogue trooper to understand what is going on. I'm not enough of a geek to tell you how true to the original storyline it is, but it's close enough. It keeps the dark apocalyptic tone, with the lone warrior pitted against the corporate monster. Classic cyberpunk, complete with environmental devastation and futuristic weaponry. Cool

The game is a third person shooter, rather than a first person. What this means in practise is that for most of the action your view hovers just outside the body of rogue. Occasionally this is annoying (with the view pointing not quite where you'd like it), but most of the time it works very well.

The game starts you off with a nice big gun; so you have none of the frustration of having to play for half an hour before being able to do real damage, which I've had with other games. It takes you through the gameplay teaching you how to use the weapons and special moves. I found this very useful, but if it irritates you you can switch it off.

The Shotgun

After shooting a few bad dudes I was starting to wonder about the performance of the game. Its reaction time was a bit sluggish and it was starting to annoy me. I was doing ok with only one or two enemies at a time, but I knew with more baddies rushing into me I was going to struggle. Suddenly I twigged.

My computer is hardly the hottest games machine around. It's an AMD XP 3000+ (1gig of memory) with a 128mb Nvidia graphics card [1]. Not only that, but I was running some processes in the background. I turned the screen resolution down to 800x600 and the level of detail to medium. Not only could I barely tell the difference in quality, but the game performance improved dramatically.

I've now been playing the game for a couple of hours. I've gone through a couple of levels and unlocked several cinematic sequences. I've also got to the point where I now have all of Rogue's buddies installed as bio-chips in my weaponry. I'm still learning about the game though, and am really starting to enjoy the shoot-em mayhem.

The game has lots of nice touches. Rather than randomly picking up discarded ammunition (like most fps games) you recover salvage and manufacture replacements, with a bit of help from an electronic friend. This means you are responsible for ensuring your ammo box is full and have more flexibility over which weaponry to use. As you progress through the game you have more and more weapons to use (hey, just like Doom I like the shotgun). You also get to use heavier fixed weaponry and mines at various different stages through the game.

Setting the scene.

There is an array of special moves to use, but I still can't get the hang of sticking to a wall and shooting. Oh well. Smile

In the early parts of the game you spend some of the time working as a team with the other troopers, but it's not long before you're on your own. Each level has several ways through, so even on completing a level you get the feeling it's worth going back to see what you missed.

On the negative side, the game is only saved at checkpoints. At a couple of difficult points it was very annoying to have to go over and over the same points just to beat the bit I was stuck on. Luckily checkpoints are fairly frequent.

Anyway, the story develops well, but I can't tell you how it ends yet. I'm really enjoying the game, which is well written with no major bloopers in gameplay. As I may have mentioned before, the cinema scenes are fantastic. The game has enough blast-em-up fury to be fun, but encourages enough tactics and thinking to hold (my) interest. Highly recommended.

[1]Don't ask me which one. Laughing

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-21 22:45:22 | |
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The Old Blog Archives

There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

The Old Voidspace BlogThe Old Techie Blog

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