Gamey

So I’ve had my PlayStation 4 for a week now and I must say that I am rather impressed. I don’t want to turn this into a tech blog, there are loads of those already. However I really must write about it so that in eight years time I can look back at this entry and laugh at how impressed I was by a games machine that doesn’t even have a neural interface. I was an idiot back now.

I’ve mentioned before that I went for the PS4 simply the internal gubbins are far better than those of the Xbox One. This seems to have been a good decision as we are already seeing games designers reducing the visual quality of their games to fit on that system.

Anyway, I’m not here to knock the Xbox One. However Microsoft do seem to have made precisely the same mistake Sony made when launching the last generation of blindly fun boxes. Back when the Xbox 360 and PS3 launched (nearly a year apart), it became obvious that apart from the outdated DVD drive the Xbox was the better machine. It had double the memory of the PS3, which was the only reason I needed to buy it. This time the specs are closer but the PS4 wins with a better GPU and that super speedy DDR5 memory, not to mention its compact size and pleasing shape. It looks like Microsoft were so afraid of another ‘red ring of death’ that they designed a box full of coolings but with all the aesthetic quality of a car battery in a ditch.

Yes, I am very disappointed Microsoft. We could have had something together, but you cut corners. YOU CUT CORNERS, YOU RAT BASTARD!

En-ee-way.

The first thing that struck me about the PS4 was the interface. It was smooth, like a silk hanky on a melting butter penis and it was really easy to find everything. I gleefully entered my user name and password half a dozen times to set up the various apps and free trials. Then I fell asleep for an hour. Yes kids, that’s what happens when you get older. You excitedly bring your new toy home from the shops and nod off while setting it up.

After waking up and making a cup of tea, I popped in the copy of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition I’d bought for cheaps on the Ebays and my jaw dropped. The quality of the graphics were astonishing. You could see all the hairs on Lara’s head and the texture of her skin. If I were a heterosexual and a pixelphile, I would have married her in a fancy electric church. Also, I was delighted to see that Lara is no longer the gigantically boobed character of the early games. She is now a strong and heroic woman. Screenwriters, take note.

Well I could wank on about the other features of the console for hours but I’d bore myself, so I’ll stop here. By the way Killzone: Shadowfall is the buggiest game I have ever played, so I wouldn’t bother with it. Also the camera is fun but the voice recognition sucks.

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Update: Killzone was updated yesterday and is now working properly.

Hot Enough

It’s summer in the United Kingdom and the sun is cracking ‘t flags. So what can you do to maximise your enjoyment of this special time of year? Here are some sexy suggestions.

  1. Ride a frozen glove.
  2. Kiss a deer.
  3. Sweat yourself French.
  4. Sting a friend with wasps.
  5. Lick a ghost.
  6. Piss on a jellyfish.
  7. Scream something complicated.
  8. Write a poem called ‘A Maelstrom of Cocks’.
  9. Dress as a Victorian and demand to see the lunatics in your local psychiatric hospital.
  10. Watch Breaking Bad backwards, chanting “fixing good fixing good fixing good…”
  11. Buy an octopus nine pints.
  12. Go into space.
  13. Thrill a mockingbird.
  14. Stick bunting up your arse and call an ambulance.
  15. Inform your family that you have a week to live and die forty years later, laughing.
  16. Get a job at the Cadbury’s factory and fill the Cream Eggs with sick.
  17. Visit Stewart Hall in prison, wearing a giant foam penis.
  18. Glue googly eyes to corpses.
  19. Discover what happened to Lembit Opik.
  20. Lose all your money at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Ta ta.

I Know What You Did That Summer

Last night I popped into my loft, which a feat worthy of a mention because until recently I have been too fat to get through the trapdoor. So for many months I believed the boxes to be lost to me and thought that they would only be discovered by future generations. It would be the find of the century, like the tomb of Tutankhamen or Luke Skywalker’s dad.

The reason I found myself delving into the dry rat-poo infested recesses of my cottage was because of a creeping nostalgia. At the end of this month I’m buying a PlayStation 4 games console. My old Xbox 360 died last year and I have managed to scrape enough money together to buy a new machine. Yes, I did think about buying an Xbox One but the hardware specs are inferior and it looks like an old VCR full of bums.

Because of this, I began pining for the old PlayStation (1) in my loft. That’s why I was in the loft…not in the cellar…I don’t have a cellar. Why are you talking about cellars? You cellar idiot.

After a few minutes of searching through boxes of CDs (remember those), vinyl records (remember those) and memories (remember those). I found a cardboard box containing the grey lifeless corpse of my old PlayStation. It looked like the 1990s and smelling of dust. I love the look of the 1990s and smell of dust in the evening, it looks like the 1990s and smells of dust.

After carefully and clumsily dropping the box through the trap door, I gave the contents a wipe over with Martin Sheen and made it go up my telly. Then I popped in a game disc and pressed the reset button. The machine restarted and the splash screens appeared with a beeooom fring da da da noise and I was instantly transported to my bedroom in the 1990s. I could almost smell the Febreze and hot motor of the fan I used to keep me cool in the sultry summer of 1995, when all my friend were out in the fresh air and I remained indoors making a large breasted woman jump and climb walls.

The game loaded and I was presented with a title screen, it said ‘Tomb Raider III’ and there were two options New Game or Load Game. Out of curiosity I selected Load Game and after a few seconds it displayed a list of check points stored on one of the two the 1Mb memory cards poking out of the machine’s front end. I selected the last one and after a brief loading screen I was into a game which, according to my calculations, began in 1998. The last time I had set eyes on the pixely dungeon containing Lara Croft’s enormous boobs I was a skinny 28 year old. Now I was a middle aged man resting the controller on his paunch and discovering that even 16 years later Tomb Raider III is a brilliant game. I played it for three hours before staggering into bed. In your face Call of Duty.

Now I’m looking forward to getting my old man thumbs around this:

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Goodbye summer.

Twitterlution

Some people join Twitter to sell stuff and other people join to follow their favourite celebrities. I joined to write silly tweet, chat to nice people and sometimes plug a podcasts…but it’s mostly just the silly tweet and nice people thing. However over the last year or so it is becoming increasingly difficult to get any response from people on Twitter. You tweet a funny joke and are met with a wall of silence and a photo of Limmy pulling a face in bed.

Those of you who dabble in comedy or actually make your living out of it, know the unbridled horror of talking to a room full of people who stare at you like you’re informing them of the bumming to death of their cat. That’s what Twitter is like in 2014.

OK, Facebook is quite good. People at least hit the like button when they enjoy a gag. They don’t just stare silently at it, like the folk on Twitter do. It goes without saying that there are cool and lovely people on Twitter who do ‘retweet’ and enjoy what people are putting up there but there are a number of other people who I imagine wearing a hair leotard while steadfastly refusing to laugh.

So what’s to be done?

Perhaps it is time to create a new social network, just for comedy. Where comedians can obtain a steady stream of validation and fans can endure a cascade of jokes about shitting and knobs. All uninterrupted by tedious tweets about politics, gender politics and disease. It sounds like a Utopia doesn’t it? DOESN’T IT!?

Let us then adopt another social network and bend it to our purpose. Google + is pretty quiet and I have an account. Join me over there. I’ll be the one with the carnation in my buttock hole. However I probably continue to shout into the abyss of Twitter until I am nothing but a gay husk.

While I’m here I’d like to thank all you lovely people who have downloaded the Brainjam podcast. We sometimes forget to say thank you to our strongest supporters, so stand in front of a mirror and give your reflection a big snog from me. Not too hard! If you break the glass, you will see me wanking in your spare room.

Here is a joyously enthusiastic video from my favourite Stargate: Atlantis actor, David Hewlett. Subscribe to his channel as it is impossible not to smile as he enthuses about geeky things.

Goodbye Rik

At two o’clock this afternoon the friends and family of Rik Mayall laid him to rest.

That was a shitty sentence to write. The sentence I should be writing is: at 2pm this afternoon the friends and family of Rik Mayall had a late lunch down the pub and nothing of interest happened. That is a much nicer sentence, if it is a sentence? I’ve never quite got the hang of this writing malarkey so I may have just written a spunktrance.

Anyway, that is not the correct spunktrance, so I should go on.

Over the years I’ve seen many of my favourite actors and comedians drop off the perch but this is the first time I remember feeling true gnawing grief. Surely that level of grief should be reserved only for those closest to the deceased, not for somebody who never met them.

Oh dear this is turning into a mawkish outpouring of emotion. Mr Mayall would have hated that. He would have called me a girly girl and done that cocksucker mime. The one where you use your tongue to mimic a willy going in and out of your mouth.

No, I should pull myself together. Let me start again.

Take 2

Rik Mayall represented everything that was new and exciting about comedy in the 1980s.

He was rude, loud, incredibly funny and I loved him. We never met of course, he existed in the magic world of the television and I in the small hybrid industrial/rural town of Halifax in West Yorkshire.

For 33 years I watched him on my telly. From A Kick Up the Eighties to Man Down and he never ever failed to make me laugh. Many people will say that their favourite show was The Young Ones, the show that sent me and my school friends into the playground with a cry of ‘Have we got a video? Yes we’ve got a video!’ And led on more than one occasion to my serving a detention for shouting “you bastard” a little too loudly for the comfort of the dementor like nuns who patrolled the playground. However my favourite show will always be Bottom.

_75405909_bottom91There was something warm and welcoming about Bottom. The world of those poor downtrodden men was beautiful. It wasn’t attractive but it was the loveliest thing on television. Even today, the sight of Richie and Eddie kicking each other in the knackers beats anything the Sistine Chapel can offer. More that that, it was Mayall and Edmondson’s own show. They wrote it and they performed it. There was no underlying political message or attempt to make the world a better place, it was just brilliant comedy. If only younger comedians would take their lead from Bottom and not the tedious, skinny jeaned crap of E4.

Lets face it, Andrew Wilson and I did just that when we came up with Dab and Tench. Tench was a character I wrote in the 1990s (when he was still called Jeremy Tench) and a few years ago we thought it would be funny to resurrect him for a series of improvised podcasts and give him a new friend called Barrington Dab. It didn’t take long for us to notice that the characters were beginning to take on certain aspects of Rich and Eddie and no matter how hard we tried to pull them in a different direction they found their way back. The influence was just too strong to resist and eventually we stopped trying.

The best thing I can do now is direct you to one of my favourite episodes of Bottom. If you have it on DVD or Netflix, go to the first episode of the third series called ‘Hole’ and press play. You won’t be disappointed.

Here is a clip:

Goodbye Rik. We bloody love you.