Archive | September, 2008

Nintendo DS Lite (NDSL) vs PSP Slim

This has been quite a long debate between the gaming factions, since the original Nintendo DS (fat) came out and the original generation one Playstation Portable (PSP).

Now we are at the second generation with the PSP Slim and the Nintendo DS Lite, both are slimmer, sexier and have better specs.

The last time I bought something like this was almost 2 years ago when I got the PS2 – I was late to the race with that purchase as I am with this one. But then I tend to prefer that, the prices are lower, more games are available and the accessories are more refined.

So now I’ve been thinking of getting a portable but those times of waiting, airports, plane trips, taxis, waiting for meetings, whilst ladies are shopping and so on. I’ve had my eye on the PSP for a while but after playing it a few times I find it a bit limited…yeah the graphics are good but the games are about the same as PS2, very few originals mostly just ports.

Sony PSP Slim

Sony PSP Slim

You can watch movies easily though, surf the web and play music although the battery life is quite short and load times long with UMD media.

From my testing/observations and research:

PSP Pros

  • Multiplayer & Wifi capability
  • Built in browsing capability
  • Very good graphics
  • Homebrew support
  • Solid build

PSP Cons

  • Slow load times
  • Poor battery life (2-3 hours)
  • Limited range of good games
  • Poor RPG platform
  • Very slow game releases

Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite

Then the Nintendo DS Lite caught my eye, innovative games, touch screen and cheaper than the PSP.

I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo games and their innovative original gameplay, just look at the Wii – that’ll be my next purchase when I get a bigger place!

I loved my NES and SNES and only went for a Dreamcast after that as Sega have a similar heritage to Nintendo…Sony tends to go for flashy games and great graphics rather than entertainment.

NDSL Pros

  • More original games
  • 2 screens
  • Touch screen capability
  • Multiplayer & Wifi capability
  • Great battery life (5-10 hours)
  • Wide variety of game genres
  • Great RPG platform
  • Homebrew support

NDSL Cons

  • Browser needs additional hardware
  • Graphics not super good
  • Hinge can get weak

I’m heading towards DS Lite at the moment, what do you think?

VGEScape has DS Lite on top.
Metafilter – mostly in favour of DS Lite
Someone who bought both…on the SAME DAY!

At current price I think the NDSL is about RM650 and the PSP about RM750.

It’s a tough choice..

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Sunday Roast Carvery at Evesham Country Park

So it may sound weird to some people, but it’s common in UK for people to hang out at the garden center – especially on Sunday afternoons.

The one we went to was called Evesham Country Park which contained Evesham Garden Center and the delicious AppleBarn Restaurant.

In basic terms a Garden Center is a place that sells plants and things to go in your garden like statues, pagodas and so on. Generally however they also contain decent restaurants, usually some kind of factory outlet and a few other shops.

And of course because it’s Sunday we had to have the traditional Sunday Roast Dinner! In this case and in most pubs on a Sunday something called ‘Carvery’ is served. Basically there are fresh joints of roast meet (usually pork, lamb and beef) and a mixture of vegetables and side dishes (stuffing, carrots, peas, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower cheese and so on). And you choose which meat and veg you want, add some gravy and sauce (apple sauce for pork, horseradish sauce for beef and so on) and off you go!

The delicious roast beef with yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and the full works.

Roast Beef Carvery

And even better, roast pork! Salty and delicious with a big dollop of apple sauce and a lump of crackling.

Roast Pork Carvery

It was absolutely fantastic! Carvery is not cheap though, but not too expensive either at about £9-11 per plate depending which meat you choose, yes that is RM60-70 but in economic terms it’s about RM30 if you are earning in pounds so it’s not too bad.

It was actually a pretty nice day so we had a walk around the garden center, this is basically what it looks like. It’s a very relaxing place just to hang out and mooch around checking out the flowers.

Evesham Garden Center

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Continue Reading · 17 Comments · Food/Eating, Photography

Movie Review – Mamma Mia! – Truly Entertaining

Mamma Mia! Movie

Donna, an independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends–practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tonya–from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own.

I have to say I like this new ‘movical‘ genre, it’s not strictly a musical as there is dialogue and not everything is sung…and it uses all the songs from one band.

The last one I watched was Across the Universe, which used songs from The Beatles, it was a fantastic movie but I somehow didn’t blog about it…anyway the next one is this, based on the music of the legendary ABBA we present you Mamma Mia!

The story is cute, pretty straight forwards but oh wow is it entertaining, I haven’t been quite so entertained the whole way through, you want to laugh, cry and sing along. Of course it’d be better if you’re familiar with the songs of Abba, but then most people are especially though *cough* of my agegroup.

The cast is good with Meryl Streep coining the term GILF (work it out please) and yes she is 59! If you are offended by wrinkly boobs on a 30ft screen then please don’t watch this show. I don’t think I’ve really seen Meryl Streep in a funny movie, but boy was she hilarious, especially with her two cronies and her performance of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ was moving.

Meryl Streep as Donna in Mamma Mia! Movie

Julie Walters is absolutely fantastic as usual, her closing rendition of ‘Take a Chance On Me’ had me in stitches. Obviously no-one in the movie could pass for a trained singer but it didn’t really matter, the singing was incredibly real and emotionally charged and the performances were superb. Pierce Brosnan obviously can’t sing for nuts but who wouldn’t pay to see Bond sing ‘SOS‘.

The use of the extras during the songs was really really funny too and the Greek scenery was simply breathtaking. It was a beautifully filmed movie and the pace is fast, really fast…do try and keep up.

Plainly speaking this movie is cheesy and sassy and very very silly, it’s just fun, plain and simple fun, the singing isn’t technically good, the jokes aren’t very advanced or subtle and the plot isn’t complex..if you don’t like ABBA please give it a miss…BUT if you hear an ABBA song and you feel like jumping on the dancefloor or singing along do go and watch this movie.

For me personally it’s one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen for a long time, I shall watch it again…and probably again and again. It shall be filed next to Friday, Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob.

I give it a Dancing Queen 9/10.

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Tiger FC Fantasy Football League

Tiger FC Fantasy League

You might have seen the banner ads around for Tiger FC Fantasy Football League and I guess some of you might already be playing.

Fantasy Football is something that always interesting me more than actual football because it’s more about numbers and strategy, we even had a TV show for it in UK with a celebrity Fantasy Football League. For those that don’t know what it is, basically:

Fantasy football is a game in which the participants assemble a team of real life players and score points based on those players’ actual statistical performance or their perceived contribution on the field of play. Usually players are selected from one specific division in a particular country, although there are many variations.

It will be running along side the English Premiere League (EPL) from August 30th until 24th May 2009.

You can sign up now here:

https://fantasyleague.tigerfc.com.my/default.aspx?page=home&n=regframe

It’s a fairly simple process to sign-up although you do have to fill up quite a lot of info, remember to fill it in honestly if you want a chance to win the prizes! You can even create your own mini-leagues amongst friends or colleagues, each team can be in up to 10 mini-leagues!

My team is ready to rumble, I’ve submitted it so I’ll start earning points.

Shaolins Hooligans

Yah I’ve got Crouch just for the comedy factor.

We also have a mini-league for Nuffnang, so if you join up let us know, so far it’s just me and KY there!

Tiger FC nuffleague

So sign up now and stand a chance to win some awesome prizes, all the info you need to play, the rules and the prizes are listed here.

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A Day Out in Birmingham

So from Worcester the nearest major city would be Birmingham (home of Aston Villa and Birmingham City for the football fans amongst you).

It’s about a 40 minute train journey and to start ourselves off for a long day out…of course we must have the Full English Breakfast!

This is for you HB!

Full English Breakfast

Then off down to Worcester Foregate Street to catch the train…in the rain of course, with grey skies – typical UK weather.

British Rail Tickets

The train are nice and smart though with plenty of room and are almost always on time!

British Rail Train

I hardly took any pictures in Birmingham as it’s not a very attractive city and it was raining and there’s loads of dodgy people around….honestly I don’t particularly like Birmingham.

Church in Birmingham

The New Bullring is quite a fantastic building though…especially on the sunny days with blue skies, which is what? Twice a year! Ha!

New Bullring

The outside is covered in 15,000 spun aluminium discs.

We wondered around, did some shopping, got some bargains at Primark of course and then headed back to Worcester when the shops started to close (5.30pm for the lose).

It’s odd being a place where everything is not open to 10pm, oh well! More coming soon.

You can find all the posts on my UK trip:

UK Trip – August 2008

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Continue Reading · 13 Comments · Trips & Travel, UK

Hennessy Artistry – Shayne Ward, Until June and The DEY – 27th September KL, Malaysia

Hennessy Artistry 2008

Hennessy, the No.1 selling cognac in the world, continues its wildly successful Hennessy Artistry tour in Malaysia! The last one with Flo Rida, Machi and Pop Shuvit was a huge success and the talk of the town for weeks after.

It was certainly one hell of a party! For this one which will be held in Orange Club, KL (Sept 27th) – Shayne Ward will be entertaining the crowds along side The DEY and Until June.

So the event will be mixing up a bit of pop, rock and hip-hop – nice combo! Expect an unforgettable evening of pure unification as Hennessy VSOP blends sound, visual innovation and an exclusive array of Hennessy VSOP world city cocktails.

Shayne Ward became famous after winning X-Factor back in the UK, his music has hit #1 in Hong Kong, Sweden, Indonesia, Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. I’d be surprised if you didn’t recognise these two songs..Breathless & No Promises.

Shayne Ward

https://www.shayne-ward.com/

Until June is a group of 3 very good-looking young men from Hollywood, California, they are often favourably compared to Keane, Coldplay and Ben Folds Five. Theirs is powerful, piano-based rock, with warm falsettos that crescendo into warm moments of emotion. Check out their track What I’ve Done here.

Until June

https://www.untiljune.com/

The DEY is a Latino trio fittingly known as The DEY is ushering in a new era in urban grooves. Composed of MC Divine, vocalist Élan, and MC Yeyo (hence the name DEY), this bilingual Latino trio fuses hip-hop, R&B, pop, and Afro-Latino influences for a unique, singing/rapping fusion-heavy sound that celebrates Latinos’ rich cultural heritage. They got their big break after holing up in Miami for 4 days when they produced enough groundbreaking material to land a deal with Epic Records. You can check out one of their tracks here.

The DEY

https://www.thedey.com/

RSVP now for your exclusive free invite at www.hennessyartistry.com.my!

I’ve got 10 passes to give away (VIP passes) so if you want one I’ll give them to the first 10 people who drop me a line on the contact form.

All 10 passes have been allocated – thanks for your interest.

You can see all the past Hennessy Artistry posts here.

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Movie Review – Run Fatboy Run – Hilarious

Run Fatboy Run

A charming but oblivious overweight guy leaves his fiancee on their wedding day only to discover years later that he really loves her. To win her back, he must finish a marathon while making her realize that her new handsome, wealthy fiance is the wrong guy for her.

Now it’s been a while since Hot Fuzz and before that the instant classic Shaun of the Dead, now Simon Pegg and his gang return with Run Fatboy Run. Scoring a solid 6.9 on IMDB this is a far less silly and far-fetched movie than the previous two.

It’s much more settled, based purely on real life and is very much character oriented. The lead character of course is Simon Pegg playing his gormless self very well as usual, he’s a bit pitiful in this movie (well a bit more than the others..) and is plagued by personal problems.

Simon Pegg as Dennis Doyle in Run Fatboy Run

The movie shows the real London and is really very British (that includes the humour), which surprised me when I found it was directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame. He obviously really gets British humour, but then he was involved in Little Britain USA – so he should!

The much underated Hank Azaria (from Simpons fame) played the smarmy overly-perfect archetypal successful business yank perfectly (Hank the Yank how fitting).

Hank Azaria as Whit in Run Fatboy Run

Over all it’s not a groundbreaking plot, but it’s kinda of a feel good movie and offers some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in a movie for quite some time. Dylan Moran is hilarious as the whacky Irish cousin of Dennis (he’s actually a stand up comedian). There are a LOT of cameos in this movie too if you are familiar British comedy series and comedians you’ll spot a lot of familiar faces.

If you like Brit comedy (and actually understand it) then do watch this movie, you’ll enjoy it. Oh yah and check out the landlords daughter, she’s HAWT.

I give it a very funny 7/10.

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Continue Reading · 4 Comments · General Nonsense

Compaq Stickman Qool! Fun Downloads and a Game

A while back Compaq revitalized their branding, I think this was a great move as Compaq was very much a stuffy corporate brand only used in big companies housing cubicle drones.

But now, now they have sexy shiny laptops with blue LED lights built for media and gaming! Along with this campaign they had a new character which is essentially a Stickman and a contest to name him.

An Indonesian actually won the contest with the name Qool! Head on over to the mini-site and check out Qool!

Compaq Stickman Qool

If you go to Play Avenue on the menu you can play the memory based piano game, I managed to complete it – it’s only about 5 levels though so even with my horrible short term memory I could do it.

Compaq Play Game

There is a game for each section (Work and School too).

And a bunch of cool downloads like emoticons, wallpapers and avatars.

Compaq Fun Downloads

More here:

https://h20426.www2.hp.com/campaign/compaq/my/en/index.asp

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A Trip to Worcester Cathedral & Royal Worcester Porcelain

After a good long sleep and getting adjusted back to UK time it was off down to Worcester Cathedral for a walk around. We happened to be in town during the Three Choirs Festival, so there were lots of events going on.

This part of the Cathedral (the altar) always strikes me as odd, with the very classical architecture and the garish ‘modern’ stitchery below.

Altar of Worcester Cathedral

The ceiling is simply spectacular.

Worcester Cathedral Ceiling

There is even a little cart you can push around with an angled mirror on it so you can view the ceiling without craning your neck.

The glorious East Window.

Worcester Cathedral East Window

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Continue Reading · 12 Comments · Photography, Trips & Travel, UK

Movie Review – 21 – Geek Dreams

21 The Movie

The true story of the very brightest young minds in the country – and how they took Vegas for millions. Ben Campbell is a shy, brilliant M.I.T. student who — needing to pay school tuition — finds the answers in the cards. He is recruited to join a group of the school’s most gifted students that heads to Vegas every weekend armed with fake identities and the know-how to turn the odds at blackjack.

This is a movie I was interested in since I saw the trailer, the dream of all geeks that they’ll learn to beat the system and live the life in Vegas.

And the most awesome thing? This is all a true story based on the book by Ben Mezrich called “Bringing Down the House”.

The real subject of the story Jeff Ma also plays a small part (The Chinese dealer who the main characters calls “My brother from another mother”).

The lead is played by Jim Sturgess (Who you may recongise if you’ve watched the Beatles musical movie Across the Universe). He fits the role perfectly as he can play the nerd and the badboy pretty well, someone like Ashton Kutcher just couldn’t play this role

Jim Sturgess as Ben Campbell

Everyone fit in just right, they were convincing as MIT geeks and as high rollers leading a double life. The plot was fairly coherent, the effects were good, the filming was good (getting the right atmosphere in a low light casino is not easy). There was some funny parts, good tension and generally a nice pace.

I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that Kevin Spacey is an awesome actor too, especially anyone that has seen The Usual Suspects. Some people may find him a little intense but I thought he played the role very well.

Kevin Spacey as Micky Rosa

All in all definitely a movie worth watching, don’t expect a masterpiece of movie making – do expect to enjoy the movie.

For all the aspiring high-rollers, I’d give this movie a solid 7/10.

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