recent input

  1. Back in November, I learned about this game called Rez. Well, exoskeleton has a copy for PS2, and he brought it over and we played it on my lovely new projector (which arrived today.)

    It is. The best. Game. Ever.

    I cannot, of course, find a copy of it for myself. I found one store that claimed to have it in stock, and three days after I ordered it, they said "oops! it's gone." And I don't even own a PS2: I was going to buy one just to play this game. (It looks like Amazon's used site has it, but I won't give Amazon money; there are occasional copies of it on ebay, but I find participation in auctions far too annoying to tolerate: I can only really deal with the kind of commerce where someone tells you the price and then you pay it, or don't. Haggling and auction-delay-and-uncertainty drive me insane.)

    So, I'm going to have to hit exoskeleton over the head and take his copy. Please don't tell him.

    Then we started kickin' it old skool yo:

  2. I picked up a copy of the Mind Candy DVD, which is ~4 hours of video of "demo scene" animations. These are, basically, little nightclub-background-video animations with bleepy computer-music soundtracks made by teenagers in the 1980s on computers that, at the time, you would think were way to wimpy to accomplish some of these effects. So that sounds interesting, right? Well, I've only watched a little bit of it but... it really doesn't stand up. The most cringeful thing about them is how they all spend 1/4th to 1/3rd of their time giving scrolling, spinning "shout outs" to their "homies". Who all have jolly pirate hax0r names like "acid burn" and "crash override". It's really pretty embarrassing.

    Anyway, the thing that amazed me most about this disc is that I kept guessing that the demos were way older than they actually were: like, I'd watch one, and think, ``that's pretty impressive if it was 1988 and an Amiga.'' And then it turns out it was 1995... and an Amiga. WTF?

    Not that I'd turn any of these down if they were submitted for inclusion with xscreensaver, mind you. rzr_grl said I need to add an xscreensaver mode that just shouts out to the cru. Lest I fail to keep it real.

  3. We also played the PS2 version of Test Drive (Test Drive 8?) and for comparison, fired up Test Drive 1 (from what, 1988?) on my Amiga 1000. Test Drive 1 is a lot harder, but a lot less fun. (This may be partly because I couldn't find my good joystick, so we were using an Atari 2600 joystick, which was already oldskool when Test Drive 1 was cutting edge!)

    The audio portion of Test Drive 1 is like, totally electroclash. It could be a Miss Kittin song, all it needs is someone talking over it in a deadpan monotone going, ``I'm playing the video games. With all my famous friends. It is, so glamorous. Ha ha ha.''

  4. Also picked up the Cabaret Voltaire: Live at the Hacienda 83/86 DVD. It's interesting, but I'd recommend against it unless you're already an obsessive fanboy about the band (like... me.) I haven't watched it all yet, but from what I've seen it's mostly a really craptacular recording; the sound quality is awful, and the video is mostly black. But it is interesting to see how much live instrumentation they used back then, due to the fact that making those sounds was actually work. So, interesting cultural artifact, lousy concert film.

    There's are a few non-live video segments on it, one of which had several edits a second, leading me to comment, ``wow, that took a hell of a lot of scotch tape.''

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26 Responses:

  1. Mind Candy reminds me of old Psykosonik videos. If you know what I'm talking about, then I simultaneously salute and feel sorry for you.


  2. babysimon says:

    There seem to be plenty of copies of Rez in the UK, in case you care enough to go to the trouble of importing.

    My new mobile phone has a Rez-like feature - you can set each button to make a different drum sound. Amusing for five minutes.

    • jwz says:

      Do UK PS2 games play on unmodified US PS2 consoles? If so, can you point me at anyone online who still sells it?

      • injector says:

        No, and the mod needed to play a UK game on a US system is more than the normal solder-less mod. But if you copy a UK game to a CD then a solder-less mod will be able to boot it. Yes, I know it is odd. I just wanted to import a few Japanese games, but didn't want to permanently change my system. I found it odd that I would have to copy a game that I bought to play it. I never bothered to go through with it.

        You can read more here

    • jfpoole says:

      There seem to be plenty of copies of Rez in the UK, in case you care enough to go to the trouble of importing.

      There also seem to be a fair number of copies here in Canada; everytime I wander into an EB they seem to have a couple sitting on the shelf.

      Maybe it's a Commonwealth thing?

  3. jerronimo says:

    I personally always liked the demos that were more about "what we can do" rather than "who we know"... the ones that have little to no shout outs, and preferrably, no sine scrollers. ;)

    My favorites:

    • Spaceballs - "State Of The Art", "9 Fingers" - full motion video on one or two 800k floppies? dancing to the music? Yup. Greetz? Nope. probably two of the most impressive amiga demos I've ever seen.
    • another one which I can't rememeber which I think was by Cryptoburners? which was all in 3-D.. you need red-blue glasses for it. it was keen.

      (I have ADF's for these, and they play well under UAE/Fellow)

      (PC) (might need a GUS)
    • Coma - just about any of theirs. they had a very neat looking "full motion video" engine. "Washingmachine", "Poliisi", "Agent 42", etc.
    • MiST - "Xaos" probably my favorite PC demo. Every time I watch it, I get this tense felling in my gut. not many demos or even programs do this. VERY cool demo. It does have greetz at one point, but it's very short and to the beat of the music. hehe.
    • Dubius - "Machines Of Madness" 3-d, shadows, mirrors, cool music, even a circular saw to some dude's head at one point. Not really anything super special, but interesting. :)
  4. eaterofhands says:

    Damn, I didn't know stuff was still being released under the title cabaret voltaire. Maybe I'll have to bring my light addiction, though I should probably convince my self that I don't any more than the 10 or so that I already have.

    Now if only someone would put out some ClockDVA stuff again...

  5. injector says:
    1. I bought the PS2 for GT3. Later I found Rez, I just have to say you are so correct, it is the best game ever, its all I play on it now. I've finished the last level a few times, but only once did I get the good ending with the butterflies. Anyone know what it takes to trigger that?
    2. I've been half considering the Mind Candy DVD, but the other half was avoiding it fearing much of what you said would be true.
    3. I only had a C64 to play Test Drive 1 on. Did the Amiga version only have one way your car crashed, that being the crack across the windshield? I remember on the C64 version if you didn't put the car in gear, and revved it to the red line, the windshield would crack. I also played with a 2600 joystick.
    4. I was only a slight fan of Cabaret Voltaire, but I do recall playing Blood Net for the PC, entering a cabaret actually called, Voltaire. I had a brief chuckle.
      • jwz says:

        3. Yeah, the Amiga version crashed that same lame way. I always thought they should have put a little more effort into the endgame, given how detailed the rest of it was...

        4. "The literary and art movement Dada was born in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire, a night-club founded and run by the German poet Hugo Ball and his partner Emmy Hemmings in a rather run-down bar in Zurich, Switzerland. The Cabaret was soon playing host to a small group of young artists escaping from the First World War."

        • injector says:

          Oh, so the joke was on me. In the Cabaret Voltaire in the game there were artists escaping from (something, it has been a while since I played).

    1. chaobell says:

      I got lucky and found a used copy of Rez straight away. And it even waited two weeks on the shelf at GameStop until I rationed the dough to pick it up.

      Doesn't it kick ass? I don't even like shooters and I have the hots for Rez.

      Don't give up. Keep checking the stores that sell used games. Keep checking Blockbuster and its ilk, too; they rent it, and if worse comes to worse, you can just rent the game, say "oops, I lost it, I guess I'd better pay for it" and voila. :)

    2. icis_machine says:

      dude, rez is not all that.
      sure for use sitting back and enjoying the ride it's cool, but for the players, they just tap tap tap.

      the only reason that game did well is because the japanese vibrating version.

    3. dude. i didn't know you were an amiga enthusiast. kick ass.

      home to the best platform games known to man. and some true crap, like shadow of the beast, which i play anyhow.

    4. moof says:

      From what I remember of Back in the Day - the hard part wasn't necessarily coming up with the techniques to do something neat (tumbling hypercube or whatever); it was to figure out what graphics didn't look like ass considering the CPU/video hardware constraints.

      Marble Madness came out as a coin-op in '84, and I remember being wowed by it; however, the Apple //e version had fairly similar (if "chunkier") gameplay. The main difference was that the 2x-3x frame rate and antialiasing on the coin-op made things much more impressive, if not that different.

      Things like "reading the video data from unconnected memory locations to extract the cathode gun position" or "do VBL syncing so that we can shift the palette out from under the video hardware at very very precise intervals" - those were the really really cool bits. IMHO.

      • icis_machine says:

        i remember playing marble madness but it was hard.. i think they made an easier version on nes.

        i totally need to find the game "below the root"

    5. bigdaddyfix says:

      Funny, you're the second person this week talking about Caberet Voltaire. Jason over at Superfecta Recordings just announced his rerelease of Cabaret Volatire - The Original Sound Of Sheffield '83 - '87, The Best Of The EMI/Virgin Years.

    6. nrr says:

      Yes. Rez has to be the absolute best game ever, and even moreso after you've played it for multiple hours on end. In fact, make that days. Days... days... days...

      Don't you just love how they warn about epilepsy issues right when you load the game?

    7. jcurious says:

      got it on from this guy he doesn't appear to have any more in stock... but if you keep your eye on and other used/rare media sellers you will proly run across it.. I bought it used for about $50 he was selling a new copy for $70 took awhile for it to get here.. but it was definitely worth the wait..

      also.. I was wondering how much ambient light can your projector deal with before the picture gets too washed out to be usable?

      • jwz says:

        I did end up getting a copy! Best. Game. Ever.

        I don't know how to quantify your "ambient light" question, but my new projector is watchable during the day with the curtains closed. My previous projector was basically useless in the same conditions (my curtains are insufficiently opaque.)