I Heart Usenet

I’m a download whore.

I always knew that me and broadband would be good friends as I’ve never been short of finding something that I’ll happily download and play, watch or listen to.

I consider myself a graduate of the School of Internet. I have the browser I prefer. I have the IM client I prefer. I blog for chrissakes!

When it comes to downloading, I’ve tried most methods available to your average, informed user. Vanilla web downloads. FTP hunting, IRC file servers, eMule, BitTorrent, KaZaa, Direct Connect.

Nothing. Nothing touches usenet. Nothing comes close.

The wonderful thing is that although it looks complex, it’s not. But that hint of complexity deters utter spackers from messing about with it. It also helps that most ISPs (certainly the ones in the UK) don’t provide decent usenet support as standard.

I have four other things to say on the subject:

Now – go out there and get the good stuff.

I’ve had a bit of a rethink..

Now, I like my games. In fact, I like them a LOT. And it’s fair to say that I much prefer games to games consoles. I’m far more interested in what’s going on with the latest installment of Half Life or Metal Gear Solid than the new specs of some graphics card or the screen resolution of some handheld console.

I base my hardware purchasing decision similarly – I don’t give a stuff what it might be able to do. All I care about is will it play the game I’m interested in.

As such, I knew what I wanted and my PS2 delivered it perfectly. Plenty of funky innovative RPGs, a decent array of action titles, good support from my preferred developers. Obvious choice.

I’d been waiting for some ‘must have’ titles to persuade me to part with cash for an Xbox. I can take or leave Halo as I don’t think FPS games work too well outside of mouse control. Sure, Ninja Gaiden looks very tempting. As do Fable and some others. But I still wasn’t convinced.

Then, along comes a very nice young lady and offers me a mint Xbox for 50 quid.

Job done.

So, I go and order myself some Xbox exclusives – Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Splinter Cell and, yes, Halo amongst others.

Having played all the games mentioned above (not anywhere near to completion mind you) I have to say that I regret my reluctance to dip my toe in the greeny-black waters of Xbox.

I’ll be playing my PS2 for ages yet – especially with certain titles (as you’ll read in future blogs) hitting my pleasure zone with the force of Hurrican Ivan. But for non-exclusive games I’ll almost certainly be plumping for the Xbox version.

And, so far, I’m only quantifying my future purchasing decisions on the box itself. I’ve neither bothered with making custom soundtracks or getting Xbox Live for online play.

You still won’t hear me saying one particular box of circuits is better than another but I’m thrilled to have all three of this generation’s consoles to hand and enjoy them all thoroughly..

..although some more interesting games for non-wrestling or kart-racing fans on GameCube would be nice.


I’m still enjoying parts of MGS2. I still LOVE all your Castlevania games. I even managed to get back the much sought after Dracula X for PC-Engine CD. Now you’ve gone and done it! I’ve just spent some time playing the new Castlevania: White Night Concerto for Japanese Gameboy Advance.

In essence this game plays very similarly to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on PlayStation 1. But this is on GBA! The map appears to be just as big. Of course, the animation’s not going to be quite so smooth as it’s bigger, PlayStation brother – but then we don’t have 600mb cartridges do we?

It’s all in Jap but this game is GOOD. I adore the GBA – it means that developers and publisher can stop makeing EVERYTHING in 3D and return to getting the FUN back into games.

Well, a good weekend for English sport. We managed to squeeze a penalty past ’em and Lennox Lewis pretty much finished Tyson’s reputation for good. No room for argument with either of those really! Although, I have to say, the fact that Argentina commented that they were playing in ‘the wrong colours’ as a reason for their loss to the English team seems a bit weak. Still, it’s only a game. Right?

Wasted FAR TOO much of the bank holiday playing FFX and SoF2. Gotta say, they’re both shaping up into some very classy games. I’ve been informed that I’m about 55% of the way through SoF2 (I’m in the hospital levels at present) and loving it. It’s pushing my poor old P600 a bit hard at present but I’m getting there!

FFX on the other hand is slick as hell and I’ve really got into the stride of things. I’ve always found one of the most satisfying (and defining) parts of an RPG is the levelling-up of your party characters. Well in FFX the levelling up is handled superbly. You get to determine (by travelling along an ‘experience’ map dotted with abilities) in what way and areas your characters will improve. Very satisfying.

Well, back in the office today. I put my last project (Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX 2 for GBA) to bed before I left for Crete at the start of May. On my return I looked after Eggo PS2 and GameCube along with Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer on GBA for about a week or so whilst their producers buggered off to the sun (bah! SOME people FINISH their projects before going on vacation!). So now I’ll be on Batman: Dark Tomorrow for PS2 and X-Box which should get finished by around November time. I’m sure I’ll enlighten you with the occaisional rant about it.

Anyway, a little later on today I’ll be able to edit this site with Dreamweaver MX. Woo. Yup, good old e-donkey has come up trumps and found some more tasty software. I love that program.. almost as much as I love ShareReactor.


Well, today started early: 6:30am. My ex (who I still live with.. messy) was looking after her sister’s baby and that baby is LOUD! Still, they were gone by 7:30am and I could get some more shut-eye.

Even though England is playing in the world-cup today and there’s the Golden Jubilee ready to start I can’t say I’m excited in the least. I hate football and don’t like the monarchy a great deal. So, I’ve got a quiet day to myself. This started with a spot of downloading and then thinking about what to do on this site. Current gaming is just getting underway and I always knew that I’d want something like Blogger or NewsPro to update my rant page. Blogger’s really simple though and I can update via a web-browser. So, after an hour or so pissing about with HTML and my template for this data to slot into I’ve got the resulting page you see here. Suits me, it’s simple and goes with the rest of the site. Just the way I like it.

Gotta say that Soldier of Fortune 2 is shaping up nicely, I’m on the Tanker levels at present and they don’t half smell of Metal Gear Solid 2’s opening level. Which is no bad thing. May have a stab at Uplink or Final Fantasy X later on. And there’s still a heap of DVD’s for me to get through. Ah.. much vegging to do. It’s what bank-holidays are made for! If anything I may have too much time on my hands as I’ve got all my boring weekend bits done too..

Perhaps it’s time to search for a decent flat and get out of this place…