Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video In Historic Experiment
I won't even try to put into words how awesome this is.  Basically, it's exactly what it sounds like.  Video has been constructed from human memory.
There's even a video comparison of the difference between the actual video being watched and the brain activity interpretation:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mario Kart 7 First Impressions

So yesterday, I finally picked up a new 3DS game; Mario Kart 7.  Here's an unsorted list of my thoughts on the game so far:
-The computer players are fucking assholes
   -Seriously, this is one of very few games I can think of where human players are actually much easier to win against.
-The tanooki tail power-up is not very useful
-the 7 power-up isn't as much of a game-changer as it sounds.  In practice, it gives you about as much of a boost as a Bullet Bill or Lightning Bolt.
-Graphically, the game's pretty impressive for the 3DS; a slight step down from the Wii version (understandable) though some of the Wii tracks that have been brought into 7 have been updated to look a little prettier in some areas (the cave in Mushroom Gorge is a very noticeable example).
-Speaking of, the imported tracks are not entirely faithful recreations this time around and have various little bits redesigned to compliment certain new elements of gameplay, such as the gliders.
-Character roster is not as fun and diverse as in the Wii game and the inclusion of characters like Wiggler, Lakitu and Honey Queen just makes me scratch my head; who even remembers Honey Queen?  And how can Lakitu race and also hold down the Wrong Way and lap-count signs?  Well, I guess there are multiple Lakitus.
-Metal Mario is one of the last characters unlocked and quite a letdown as a result.  If it was going to be an alteration of a character already one the roster, I would have preferred Dry Bones Bowser.

Well, I guess those are my thoughts so far.  In a way, it feels like a trimmed down experience from Mario Kart Wii which is sort of disappointing as 7 is Wii's successor, but understandable in a way since 7 is limited with being on the 3DS.  I really wish 12-player online was a kept feature but sadly you can only have a maximum of 8 players in Mario Kart 7.  Oh well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ultimate Spider-Man Premier Thoughts

So, yesterday (time of writing is 1:20 AM, April 2), the newest animated Spider-Man series, Ultimate Spider-Man, premiered with the first two episodes.  The episodes themselves were titled 'Great Power' and 'Great Responsibility'; so, quite literally, great power came with great responsibility...clever enough I suppose.
So, for anyone reading that hasn't seen my 'Best Superhero Shows' list that I made back in August, let me just reiterate that Spectacular Spider-Man is my favourite superhero show, bar none (Batman The Animated Series took the #1 spot purely because I was trying to view it all objectively).
Ultimate has a long way to go before it will compare with Spectacular, unfortunately.  That's not to say it's bad, it's passable at worst, but its start was nowhere near as strong as Spectacular's.
In simple terms, things I liked:
-Flashy but relatively simple effects animation for a lot of the 4th wall humour
-Animation is pretty good, lacking in the fluidity that Spectacular had but that's to be expected with the more complex designs.
-Some jokes made me chuckle a bit

Things I didn't like:
-Spider-Man's voice. The more I hear of Drake Bell, the more I just hate the voice. When I heard it first, I actually liked it...this is backwards to how things usually go, but I just can't say I'm liking it. Sooner or later, I'm sure it'll just be there and not bother me, but for now it's irritating.
-Spidey's banter wasn't very clever.
-Slapstick sound effects were overdone.
-Most of the humour was really flat.
-The voice cast in general I'm not liking too much actually. Harry's voice really threw me off when I heard it for the first time and still just doesn't sound right in my head. I like Norman's voice though.
-The writing in general for the 'high school life' segments. I've never been able to figure out why high school settings and student interactions were portrayed the way they were in 90's sitcoms because, in my experience, high school was nothing like that. And the high school scenes in this show scream 90's sitcom to me.
-No theme song.

Yes, the con list is longer than the pro list, but I don't think that makes the show a miss.  There's potential here and I expect the show will get better.  The premier just seemed to want to pull out all the stops on every front and it became an unsorted mess; I think it's safe to assume that the show will turn down its dials now that it's passed the 'first impression' stage.