Saturday, June 28, 2008

Deitrix: Man or God?

Could such a stunning piece of creation come from the fingers of a mere mortal? When I woke up this morning to discover this work of art had been fashioned over at the Artworks, I was dancing around like a fool.

Deitrix has already forever marked the Wiikly sermons and SJY with his work, as can be seen by the black and white portrait of your's truly that resides in the sidebar. Incredibly, that was done without him ever having laid eyes on my ugly mug.

However, this new portrait is actually taken from my Cyprus wedding 'pimp' photo. Now I ask you.... How can he make me look SO good when a camera cannot? How many people in the world have actually got a portrait of themselves? in the past that was reserved for noblemen, lords, dukes and dare I say, kings.

Well I feel like a motherhumping king today, I can assure you of that. I'm getting it printed off and framed!!!! It will be a record of me in my prime that my kids can keep forever. I'm actually shedding fucking tears as I write this.

Words cannot express my gratitude and humility in the face of the mighty Deitrix. Make sure you go and check out the Artworks right now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

3rd Bass: Pop Goes The Weasel

First of all apologies to BJ, Funnyman and anyone else who hate my music posts (or the music I post.) Having been inspired by Junlee's latest musical offering, (the very excellent Twista retro rap odyssey) I thought I'd hit my dwindling audience with a slice of early nineties NY hip hop.

3rd Bass were the first serious white rappers (although one third of the outfit was black!) on the rap scene. At the time, Kid Rock was unheard of outside Detroit, the Beastie Boys were considered something of a comedy/novelty act - although that changed with the release of the excellent "Paul's Boutique" - Vanilla Ice had rejected a recording offer from Public Enemy's Chuck D, in favour of becoming a cartoon pop star and Manchester's own MC Tunes was unheard of outside of the UK.

The above track is from the seminal "Derelicts Of Dialect" LP and features a very catchy slice of Peter Gabriel's "Sledge Hammer" as the hook. Seriously under-rated and sadly, largely forgotten, I loved these guys...

Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jet Set Radio! (or Grind Radio if you prefer...)

Oh my god! Having ponced about all over the next generation, going "Oooohhh! Aren't these graphics lovely?..." and "Wow! These motion controls are really cool!" I've just given Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast a proper play and I'm in love...

Dreamcast June was a little idea I came up with over at one of my favourite hang outs, the PDC Forum. Of course, way back in May it was just a concept. I had no intention of having a Dreamcast only month, but I was painfully aware that my Dreamcast was gathering dust and that with my whopping Dreamcast software collection finally sorted, there were loads of games that I'd spent the Krishna family budget on, that I'd only dipped into, or more criminally never played.

However, after messing about on Crazy Taxi and falling in love with Soul Calibur all over again, playing Manchester United with Sheffield Wednesday (and beating them hands down) on Sega World Wide Soccer 2000 (Euro Edition) and then completing Sword Of The Berserk (Gut's Rage) I realised that Dreamcast June was actually a good idea...

Therefore, I've not touched the Wii or the 360 for over two weeks... All of my unfinished and unexplored games on those consoles remain in that state. I nearly cracked on Monday though, fancying a little dabble on Viking or a little zombie dispatching on Dead Rising...

Or maybe I should have completed No More Heroes? After all I was about to waste the number two assassin... *(note to self... "Were you really? I thought you'd tried to loads of times and kept getting your sorry arse kicked all over the show...)*

But no! My resolve stayed strong and I picked out the original cell shaded epic for my gaming pleasure... Jet Set Radio!

Now here is a game that I've dabbled with in the past. Usually that means completing the tutorial and even once completing the first level, but I never really understood the game or got any good at it.

Well all that's changed. I'm two thirds of the way through Garam's challenge after completing three levels. I'm fucking in love!! What a game! The graphics, the gameplay, the soundtrack!!! Fan-fucking-tastic!!!!

Now if you want to know more about it please click on this link...

For now I'll just state that this has been one of my gaming highlights this year. There is so much Dreamcast goodness that I've only ever played in a half arsed fashion, or more ashamedly, not at all...

Here's a little video to make you all go and play it. Right now! (BTW... What should I play on the Dreamcast next? Answers on a postcard please...)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dreamcast June

This month I've left the current gen behind and I've been rediscovering the joys of the Dreamcast. What a truly stunning console and what fabulous games. This month has regailed me with the joys of Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Daytona USA 2001, Sega World Wide Soccer 2000 (Euro Edition) and Tee Off Golf. I've also completed the rather excellent cinematic adventure, Sword Of The Beserk (Gut's Rage).

Here's a little video montage to remind us all of how great the DREAMCAST was/is...


Saturday, June 07, 2008

RE5 Racist? Capcom Don't Think So...

The good folks over at Game Cabaret, a sterling site collectively created by our dear friends Gnome and Guttertalk, tend to look at the topical and more adult themed sideof gaming. I received this article by email this morning. It reminds us of the old quandry that the much anticipated (by me especially) RE5 carries with it... You may remember this article that myself, Gnome, Elderly and J all posted about back in the day.

The setting of RE5 in Africa and the idea of a white 'hero' gunning down scores of black 'bad people' (in this case Zombies) was seen as a rather unsavoury image, particularly when recalling the colonial actions of European countries and the subjugation of native peoples by Europeans in the not too distant past.

This led to several people postulating that it might be a good idea for Capcom to rethink it's setting or change the game's content. The article concedes that Capcom developers were not being intentionally racist, but that they had not perhaps sensitively thought of the way in which black gamers or consumers might receive the games imagery. Thus the game might still be responsible for an unintentional form of racism - racist none-the-less. I'll leave it with you...

Here's the rather excellent article, by Guttertalk, reproduced in full. Oh and don't forget to explore the wonderful Game Cabaret further, there's a lot of great posts which deserve a read!

Resident Evil 5 - No Changes After Racism Charges

Posted: 04 Jun 2008 12:33 PM CDT

"After charges of racism, the Resident Evil 5 team made no changes to the game. Anyone who works in the U.S. for a company of almost any size has probably had training on sexism in the workplace. The point that is made time and time again [as I have had about 4 of these sessions at different places] is that sexism is not a matter of intent but of perception. Argue with that if you want, but that is the definition.The point is that it is not up to the speaker to decide what is sexism but the victim. So does this logic apply to other forms of prejudice. And there is a simple explanation for this perspective: it is possible for us to speak or act in a way that is offensive even though we might not mean it as such. But ignorance does not cut the prejudice to a less harmful dosage. It is simply then unintentional racism.

For example, years ago, I was at a small party of about 25 people in Indiana. There's one who has smoked and drinked a bit, so he's talking loudly and says something about a "porch monkey." The party was almost entirely white. Almost. Two black men were there and became irate. The woman hosting the party talked to them, aware of their anger and then went to the guy and explained that he had been offensive. I believed the guy when he said he had no idea that "porch monkey" was a prejudiced term . . . he thought it just referred to yard statues. He wasn't even aware of the black men or talking about them. He apologized profusely. The black men accepted it, although they were amazed that someone would claim to be so ignorant. It was a clear tale of different experiences for it is possible for some to speak and behave in a biased way without knowing the meaning behind it. I doubt that the Capcom team intended racism. But it's the context and perspective of the victim that matters. Sure, white guys get killed in games all the time. It doesn't matter if no one said anything about Latinos getting shot in other games.

There were ways to address the issue without throwing the game to wayside and starting over. For them to disregard the complaints is a worse action, one done not ignorance but in purposeful defiance. The original charge of racism against Resident Evil 5 seems no different than Sony's "white is coming" ad.But their response would be, thus, be the same if Sony hadn't pulled the ad but stayed with that campaign. I honestly don't believe that Jun Takeuchi is racist, but I think the game's racist perceptions are valid.

I also think it's mistake to judge racism by claiming that it wasn't intended. We know that racism is often expressed in coded but ambiguous terms. I've seen it in play, learning that "welfare" and other terms are loaded, with a wry smile or subtle expression to convey the real meaning. We've seen the "dog whistle" messages at work in the U.S. this campaign season. Whether we like it or not, the victims get the first right of refusal, however inconvenient that may be to some. This is the price of history, which can't be conveniently wiped away within a generation and after happy-happy-joy-joy political speeches."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wylie "Wearing My Rolex"

Another tune for y'all. This one is the best of what's to offer on the UK scene right now and I'm addicted to it. Enjoy?

Resident Evil 5 Screenshots

Well I'm getting lazier and lazier... Here's some lovely screenshots from the best game yet to happen.... Resident Evil 5 (apart from the re-release of Shenmue on the Wii...)