Protocol Snow

Archive for February, 2008

MGS4 PS3 bundle!

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Sony just announced a PS3 bundle for $500 that comes with Metal Gear Solid 4 + the upcoming Dualshock 3 controller. It’s the 80 GB version of the PS3 with backwards compatibility and comes out June 12th!

That makes a $500 PS3 much more palatable. This is also timely news since, well, I need a Blu-ray player now that my HD-DVD player is a paperweight.

I’m getting a PS3!

Written by Protocol Snow

February 26th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Games

Jetstream of sound

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Here’s another great video that shows how Audiosurf customizes tracks according to the song. I love tracks that have a strong beat and are really bumpy. Just goes to show how music is a rollercoaster ride of sound.

Also, don’t get intimidated by how hard the game looks. There’s various difficulty settings, and this guy is playing at the top level.

And did I mention that Audiosurf features online leaderboards? It’s true. Leaderboards are set-up per song so you can immediately compare your scores with other players. The inevitable problem with this is that since songs are identified by their ID3 tags, you might be the only one on the leaderboard if you have a weird tagging system. Still, you’re #1!

Written by Protocol Snow

February 20th, 2008 at 2:51 am

Posted in Games


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I was slow to jump on the Steam bandwagon, but I’m beginning to be a believer. Audiosurf, the first SteamWorks game, was just released on the PC a few days ago and it has done nothing but impress.

Audiosurf is a rhythm/puzzle hybrid that features the music on your own hard drive. The game analyzes the song and spits out a racing track for you to play that dips and bumps in time with the music. It’s very reminiscent of Rez in that respect, and the pace of your “vehicle” on the track matches perfectly with the tempo of the song. Slow, melodic moments will have you cruising uphill, then the beat kicks in and all of a sudden you’re plunging down the mountain at breakneck speeds as lights pop in the background.

I’m surprised how songs of all genres seem to work well with this game. You might think techno tracks would be best, but I’ve tried Mozart, J-pop, and jazz and they all fit in well (though experimentation with individual tracks is required).

I’ve mentioned that this is a rhythm/puzzle game, but there’s actually several modes within Audiosurf. The puzzle modes have you collecting different color bricks on the track and matching like colors, which is decent. But my preferred mode has nothing to do with puzzles and more with pure ninja reflex. The track will be littered with either gray bricks or color bricks, and your task is to weave around the gray and collect the colors.

Nothing I type can capture the game so download the demo and give it a shot. You can only try 4 of your songs before the demo locks up, but it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect. Alternatively, check out this video. If watching this doesn’t get you interested in the game, then it’s not for you. And as the video shows, yes the game works with any mp3 you want.

Written by Protocol Snow

February 18th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Games

I’m a masochist

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That’s the only explanation for why I continue to watch awful shows like The Apprentice. I’ve stuck with The Apprentice and indeed haven’t missed a single episode in the entire series. You can tell a show is tanking when they have to pull the celebrity card, but this season’s Apprentice featuring a whole bunch of B level celebrities had some admittedly entertaining moments. The show had a flash of brilliance when Vincent Pastore (from The Sporanos) was fired — the ending to that episode was a parody of the very controversial Sopranos series finale, complete with “Don’t Stop Believing” playing in the background.

But for the most part, the season has been a complete waste. Most of the challenges boil down to the celebrities calling their buddies and asking for big donations. As my brother pointed out, it’s awkward to see these already successful people taking orders from Trump and playing his little games. After Gene Simmons won a challenge and some money for his charity, in the next project he basically committed suicide and forced Trump to fire him so that he can get off the show and go back to his normal life.

I wish I could do the same (go back to my normal life without the show, that is). But since I always finish what I start, I’ll see this season through. I’m finished with The Apprentice after that though, I swear.

Written by Protocol Snow

February 18th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Posted in TV

Valve really loves me

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The newest patch/update to Team Fortress 2 comes out today with a remake of Badlands, a popular Team Fortress Classic map. How sweet, what a lovely Valentine’s present. I have only eyes for you, Valve!

On the subject of TF2 and love, check out this machinima about the tender relationship between a Heavy and a Medic. Skip to the 3:40 mark unless you want to listen to a review about Sim City Societies (Zero Punctuation reviews were funny at first, but their shtick is getting old).

Lastly, soak in the hotness of this photo as Danny Choo once again ventures out into Tokyo and troops it up, this time accompanied by a couple idols. He is an inspiration to otakus everywhere. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Danny Choo Tokyo stormtrooper

Written by Protocol Snow

February 14th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Games

To catch them is my real test

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I’m in the Host Defense blocks of med school right now, which involves covering different bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can invade the body and cause all sorts of disease. It reminds me a lot of Pokemon actually. Every time I learn about a new bug, I add it proudly to my collection and marvel at their attack powers I can use to fight other trainers. I am building up a fearsome arsenal to fight Gym Leaders and collect all the gym badges. My ultimate goal is to conquer the champion… er, test.

Ok, lame. But anything seems amusing after studying all these dumb bugs.

Written by Protocol Snow

February 12th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Posted in School