Wednesday, 15 July 2009

There's a lot of secrets in District 9

Ever since that awesome Halo short film, it's been clear Neill Blomkamp is one to watch. The first trailer for District 9 was intriguing, but didn't give much away, even when the unblurred and subtitled version emerged. But now with the arrival of a proper full on trailer, we can all start to get very excited. It looks to combine the gut chillingly unpredictable thrills of reality shows like Cops with stomping mech battles, which in no ones world could be a bad thing, but what the movie is really going to be about and where it will take us remains firmly mysterious. Very exciting stuff. Also check out the short Blomkamp made that no doubt got Peter Jackson even more interested in his work.

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Monday, 6 July 2009

I just need one more hit!!

Cigarettes. Crack cocaine. Haribo Tangfastics. All extremely addictive. Now a new member has joined the ranks of the dangerously moreish, and is being delivered directly to our homes by Nintendo. Sold under its street moniker of “PiCOPiCT” (or "Picobits" in the States), this DSi Ware title has swallowed up hours of my time with its compelling gameplay and faultless presentation. Easily mistaken for a Tetris clone this puzzler is in fact as original as it is pretty. As blocks fall from the top of the screen, you have to move correctly coloured blocks into their path to match 4 and cancel them out, clearing away the tiles. Things start simply with just a few colours and slow moving blocks, but by the remix stages you’ll be sweating bullets and spitting blood as the similarly coloured tiles pile up. Classic symptoms. The stylus is perfectly suited for the speed and precision you’ll require to beat later levels, and you may need to resist the urge to dash your DSi against the nearest wall as the tiles inevitably and impossibly fall faster and faster in ever more complex patterns. You will however, take great pleasure at how good you quickly become, squeezing the maximum efficiency out of every wave of falling tiles while clearing each perfectly with lots of combos becomes imperative, and provides the fundamental gaming hit that is so very jaffa-cakeishly moreish. The game is themed around 8 bit Nintendo history, so in addition to the brilliant game itself, you’re also treated to a feast of nostalgia, complete with awesome reworking of classic Ninty themes by Japanese Chiptune outfit YMCK. As you liberate the tiles on the lower screen, they fly up to form the picture of one of your 8 bit memories on the upper screen. Nice.

The whole thing bodes incredibly well for the future of the DSi shop, and in one fell swoop has totally justified my purchase (of a DSi, which I wasn't still wasn't convinced about, as nice as the camera and web browser are). Picopict is available via the DSi Shop and costs a measly 500 points. Which meant I got it free, as I resisted the urge to buy that lame looking WarioWare snapped with my free points. Hurrah.

Right, back to it..

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