Saturday, 28 May 2011

Music Dilema

I've always tried to buy music I liked, whenever possible. And I've always stuck to my guns regarding piracy, especially against those people who have the money to buy music but are unwilling to spend it.

Usually I'm in favour of buying CD's, but I'm starting to lose faith.

I've been listening to some new music recently, and figured I'd buy the albums while it was on my mind. So I managed to find three of them on Amazon, which was convenient. The fourth album I can't find anywhere, not even on their website.

To get all three CD's would cost me £46, which is absolutely criminal. I'm used to paying £8-10 for an album from HMV or elsewhere, especially back in my pre-internet days. But someone was charging £18 for Odium's latest, which is ridiculous. I'll pay ~£40 for a video game because they have lasting re-playability, but I'm not willing to pay ~£18 for a CD which I'll just rip to my PC and put on my shelf.

I'm starting to understand why people pirate music. It's not like CD's are the easiest thing to get a hold of, especially with my taste in music which isn't exactly the popular taste. Some CD's I like can't be found outside their native countries or have to be imported, and that usually means a sky-high price. For example;

Suddenly, piracy seems less selfish and more necessary. It can't cost more than £1-2 to make a CD, so why does someone feel that £48 is fair price? Or £65 for that matter. I can definitely understand why people are opposed to this level of greed.

Here's a tip; if you want people to buy music rather than pirate it -- don't try and rape their wallet in the process. They'll just pirate instead, it's free after all.

On Stranger Tides

So I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean film the day before last, and was actually quite surprised with it. I hadn't looked at any press reviews or any publicity stuff for it, and was going just because it was another Pirates of the Caribbean film.

I think it's fair to call this fourth Pirates film a cash-in on a successful franchise, especially how the original three were meant to be it. But as far as cash-in's go, it was enjoyable. While Mr & Mrs Turner don't reappear in this latest film, Jack Sparrow does - and to be honest he's a big enough selling point.

It wasn't anything groundbreaking in terms of story, but it wasn't bad either. It was your typical adventure scenario - a few sides go looking for something of value, and the main characters end up captives of one of the sides and forced to go along with them. It's a staple thing, it was the same story for both Tomb Raider films.

The only thing I really didn't like was the crappy love sub-plot, which more suitable for Twilight than Pirates. When you tell the audience that mermaid's lure men in and then tear off their faces, it's an insult for one of said mermaid's to be "good". It's more than an insult actually, it's just plain stupid. What, does she sit around with her mermaid friends and talk about being nice and helping out the community?

That really stopped this latest Pirates film from being anything more that 'great', because it was plain stupid. I did, however, like how Blackbeard was portrayed consistently as 'unsavable' and often referred to by his real name, Edward Teech. There were some interesting characters, although the typical "fat slobbish governor" character was just a bad move.

In summary, I think if you got to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides expecting anything more than a good adventure film, you'll probably end up disappointed. I've heard a few people say they didn't like this latest film, so ultimately the only way to find out what you think of it is to see it.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Quick Ponder

Command & Conquer 2: Red Alert
The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind 3
Halo ODST: 3
Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare
Ghost Recon 2: Advanced Warfighter
Unreal 3: Touranment

It's funny how one misplaced number can completely bugger up a game's title and sequence in a series. I have actually heard someone refer to Skyrim as "Morrowind 5".

Friday, 20 May 2011

May work update

It's been quite a while since my last post, sorry. I underestimated how lazy I would be during the holidays. That coupled with finally getting my new PC working, and being able to play loads of new games on it, meant I've done nothing for weeks.

So I pushed myself to do some digital painting practice (another apple, and an item at hand);

Monday, 2 May 2011

Post-Easter Update

Bit of a ridiculous gap between this post and my last, but that's Easter for you. Spent the last week of the break just relaxing at home, catching up with some of the games I missed out on in my time here.

So I got Crysis 2 first, and had fun playing through that. It felt really polished and refined, and had some fantastic looking graphics - I didn't see many overlapping meshes or blurry textures. The only real downside to the game was that nothing was really memorable. Everything that happened I'd already seen before, most of the events and story elements had already been done before in the genre - so nothing really stood out.

Got Portal 2 too, and had a lot more fun playing through that. I don't know how Valve managed to do it, but they took all of the strengths of the first Portal and build on top of that. Found the game a little difficult in parts, but it was nothing that I couldn't work through with a little mind power. But, as much as I loved playing Portal 2, it felt like a sequel for sequel's sake. The co-op campaign felt like an afterthought, and it was a little hard to understand the ties between Portal and Portal 2. Still, Portal 2 was well worth the money, and was one of the more unique releases of this year.

Got some digipaint practices for you too:

Duck money bank.

House key. Yeah.

Food dye! Which my sister uses to dye her hair, oddly. 

Felt like designing a sci-fi weapon, I'd just been reading up on Deus Ex stuff so I was in the mood.

An old one I didn't put up, it's a portrait of John Howard - lead singer of Threat Signal. 

Another oldie, this time of Patrick Stewart.

An older one, of Raziel - a character from the PS1 game 'Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver'



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