We all live in a pokemon world for realsy

Its happened, it’s finally happened, you go out into the real world with scary people and you literally catch wild digital pokemon. And every other bugger is doing the same thing, it’s practically normal. Huzza. I’m not saying there’s going to be a time when I’m in a cave on a snowy mountain and Charmander and Squirtle are going to share body warmth but still. I’m going to be a Pokemon master. And here’s how you can too.

Pokemon go Gym Leader

Pokemon go Gym Leader

So first up. Capture your pidgys and your weedles and any other pokemon that take 12 candies to evolve, this is your level up bread and butter. If you’ve got something that will evolve into a pokemon not yet captured maybe save this too. Basically there is an item called a lucky egg which lasts for about 28 minutes and will give you double xp, so activate the egg and evolve those beauts for double xp, thats 1000xp a pop, new pokemon thats 500 normally, bosch 1000. see where we’re going here. Great now you’re leveling up. you can also use your 1 free never ending incubator to hatch an egg by walking, try to time the hatching for when you’ve got the lucky egg going. The updating of your distance traveled can be a bit delayed so don’t be surprised if you’ve a few hundred meters to go and suddenly its hatching. If you’re going a 10k egg then chances are you haven’t got that pokemon and you’ll get that new pokemon bonus. but if you’re going to spend real coin then get the lucky eggs and incubators, each incubator you buy lasts for 3 turns, I use them for 10k and 5k and then use the unlimited one to knock off the 2k eggs during this time.

New Pokemon

Gyms Defending

Payout baby

But if you don’t want to use your real money on coins here is how you get them.
Battle the gyms, leave yours in, head to the next one, when you’re defending all the gyms you can (up to 10 I believe) go to the shop and collect the shield in the top right. This will lock you from claiming again for 21 hours. You have to be level 5 to be able to battle gyms.

Ultra Pokeball at level 20

Ultra Pokeball at level 20

Right, next up capturing those pidgys, hold the pokeball, make circular motion until its glows, time the yellow/green/orange circle around the pokemon so its to your capturing preference then fling the pokeball to the side a bit and let it curl to the pokemon. takes practice and its hit and miss form here but sometimes you at least get a curve ball if not a great for extra xp on the capture
Great Throw

And the post for July is saved, all hail Gym Leader Lartens

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My first via ferrata Kandersteg Allmenalp

My first via ferrata, class 4 not recommended for beginners as you’ll see lol. But it was manageable, just don’t look down hehe

If you get bored then skip ahead to 19:00 for the last 30 secs, other good moments are 8:30, 10:00, 13:30, 15:30, 16:05, 17:00.

From around 12:20 its one clip to give a better idea of what its like.

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The Loooooong Contained…

genie

Woah, so it’s 15 years since I left university?! WOAH!! It’s 20 years since Pokemon!! WOAH, it’s 476 millennia since I posted part one of the Grand Revotunion! And all through March I was like “nah, I’ll wait til April and use this sucker then” and whaddya know, that whole freakin’ month went by and no postage. So thank the Dibloons for Lartens whose tech-bantz saved our perfect run…

But fret not. For here we are, gentlemen, at the official unveiling pf Part 2. Which would be exciting except I am, of course, effectively just going to re-post comments that you two have not only read but have, in fact, written. But to dwell on such things would be madness incarnate so let’s crack most swiftly on!

Sonic CD – Palmtree Panic (Present) – Jap / EUR version

Yes, there’s nothing that a high-pressured journalist with a deadline likes more than picking a track from Sonic CD. It’s one of those quick wins you know? Those ‘speed tasks’. The ones that ‘write themselves’. I am, of course, joshing with you as it’s a freakin’ nightmare. Jap version? US version? Past, present, and future versions?! Mega CD, Sega PC, Xbox re-release, 20th anniversary remix, fan-dub… Holy b’griggers. Still, if you want an example of when developers gave a flying hoot about their music, picking a game with six versions of every level is a good option, no?

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – Temple/Palace Theme

Oh yes, we’re mixing it up. Choice from Dibbs right up there with a choice from Lartens just down here? It’s all happening! And as if that weren’t enough, I’ve freakin’ McGroove’d up the joint with this little number. Hey, I’ve got to add some value right? Check out his high speed acapella action at the one minute mark. Oof, that’s a doozy!

Nights into Dreams – Soft Museum

This is a classic Pom-style selection – that little pan-pipe riff at one-minute in is just your kind of jam, eh grigadiers? Interestingly though, not a game I’d have ever picked out for its music. Probably because I had such high levels of stress just trying to pull off a grigging paraloop that my ears had probably shut down or something.

Zelda II – Overworld Theme

I mean woah, talk about going off in new directions you weren’t expecting. If you’ve never played Zelda II, like me, you hear this puppy strike up and you’re thinking, oh, OK, it’s an old version of the SNES music. But no way, Jose Carreras. It fires off in all kinds of places you didn’t see coming. Because what about that crazy-assedness when you’re 40 seconds in? This was some avant-garde 80s activity and no mistaking.

Sega Rally Championship – Getting Muddy (Mountain Stage)

Just like that time when Celine Dion knocked the UK into 2nd place in Eurovision ’88, Sega Rally’s OST slipped out of the GRiG’s first list by just a single point. And much like Scott Fitzgerald’s loss, it wasn’t without controversy. Indeed, while Dion, like Part 1 of The Revitunion, is now beloved by Titanic-fans and perverts everywhere, the fact that the Canadian-born songstress represented neutrality’s very own Switzerland – a country that is not in Canada – shocked Euro-philes to their core. And there’s an unnerving similarity there to the horror of the the GRiG-reading masses who couldn’t believe that Sega Rally, as the undisputed holder of an All-Time Top 5 Video Games Placard (laminated), didn’t make the cut first time around. It was, indeed, a shock. Even to me. As I wrote it. For there’s a perfection to Sega Rally that is, as Louis Walsh might say – were he judging this musical run-down with the X Factor hyperbole that is his wont – exactly what this competition is looking for. Every curve is well placed, every leap is well timed – and the music is the seamless extension of that attention to excellence. Joe Satriani plays his part, of course (just as he did in the burgeoning career of Kirk Hammett, tutoring the young lad before he went on to join Metallica in 1983. (C) GRiG Facts 2016). But he’s not quite the main man. For let us use the fag-end of this lengthy piece to pay tribute to that other unsung hero of Rally’s epic tunes – Mr Naofumi Hataya. For Fumi-san was not only lead composer on the Saturn port soundtrack (kudos), but also on none other than Sonic CD and Nights. And Golden Axe 2. Well I never.

Super Mario Bros 2 – Overworld Theme

My favourite thing about this little number is the echoes of the music for Jim Davidson’s classic ’90s gameshow Big Break. It would fit seamlessly into, for instance, Virgo’s Trick Shot. That said, Mario has done a great deal to eliminate racism in the modern world, what with being simultaneously Japanese and Italian-American, while Davidson has shamefacedly [SNIP – GRiG lawyers] all through the 80s. So the similarities are fairly short lived. As they were, of course, between the original Super Mario and its vegetable-throwing cousin. Diversity, you see. It’s how things should be.


Hilarity, yesterday

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Oculus Rift, it came, it went, I’m going to Switzerland

Rift Shinny And New

As you know I’ve been looking forward to a better rift for years. Three years ago this month I received the First Development Kit that went out to backers, and the immersion was amazing, but the screen door effect was jaring and the response in head tracking wasn’t there. Well fast forward three years to the present day and the screen door is still there though less so, the resolution is better but not there yet and the head tracking is vastly improved, however, most of the experiences I tried were stories revolving around you in a fixed position. Luckeys Tale did pan around to keep up with the little guy but it’s far from running around like you could on Team Fortress 2.

This is the other thing, the old games that had rift DK1 support even if unnoficial seem to rely on running the rift with a certain sdk, which is something not easily done. especially on a windows 10 machine apparently. My hopes of have the bajesus scared out of me in Alien Isolation were dashed, at least for the time being. But hey, wearing the rift still looks so cool ^^

In the Rift

My advice is definitely to wait. When its better it will be worth it. Maybe even 500 dabloons worth it. It’s early days yet for mass support, though game makers have had three years to prep for this. As much as I enjoyed Henry, it was short lived, and to be fair I didn’t buy any games, only checked out the free stuff, so maybe there is a compelling reason to get a rift, I personally wasn’t fussed about laying down the cash for an experience I wasn’t enjoying. And I really wanted this.

AS for 360 videos, that was a huge flop for me, resolution and motion was too low, needs to be way better, I believe Facebook have just revealed a 360 camera they are open sourcing, so in time we may have the right content for the VR but agian not yet sad face, even the aurora borealis video that I used with the dk1 wouldn’t run probably due to the reasons mention before, it was built to run with an earlier oculus runtime. Sad times here griggers, sad time.

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NiGHTS into Dreams Statue

So NiGHTS is here, in all his pointy butt glory. This is the exclusive edition with the light up moon.

NiGHTS Exclusive

It’s been a long time coming and First 4 Figures have delivered on an well made detailed statue of one of Sega’s greatest IP.

There will never be a time that is as good for games as the 90’s, Sony may have won over the Saturn but the Saturn had NiGHTS, Sega Rally, Daytona, Panzer Dragoon, some of the best games going. It’s sad that the hi def remake a few years back lost the fidelity in the controls, proving that the analog saturn pad was vital to the game back in the day.

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Woah, the Vive is how much!

HTC Vive is coming in May for the princely sum of buh, that’s £689 to you and me plus £57.60 for shipping, holey moley.

Viva le Vive

We all know the £499 price point of the Oculus Rift, which seemed insane compared to the development kit that was around £240 including shipping. But the HTC Vive is making the Rift look like a total bargain, especially as yours truly is getting his for free ^^.

vive pre order

So what is VR and which one should you get?

Virtual Reality headsets are the new console wars, except its hardware for a PC (not entirely accurate), which by the by you need a good PC too, we’re talking modern i5 processor at like 3.3Ghz and a GTX 970 graphics card.

For the most part VR gives you an immersive experience, I mean the field of vision is incredible, and how head movements relate to in game head movements makes this come alive, it’s easy to forget you’re just sitting at your desk when you’re trying to check something out in the virtual world, it’s only when you bang your head you’re like, oh. This is the one thing that the Vive definitely has on top of the Rift, and that is the camera that can overlay part of the real world when obstacles are about to become a problem. Personally I think I’ll tether the Rifty beauts to a longer cable and lye on the couch hehe.

So what games can you get, and where?

Well the HTC Vive is partnered with valve so the Steam store will totally have you covered for games supporting the Vive. And the Oculus Rift has it’s own store too but that doesn’t mean oculus ready games won’t show up on steam, Gabe Newell has said in an email to somebody that he doesn’t have a problem with competition.

As for actual games, the rift has kind of support for things like Alien Isolation which I may start again on PC for the full terrifying effect, but there is also full support in games like EVE: Valkyrie, Edge of Nowhere, The Witness, Elite Dangerous and of course Minecraft which some are touting as the killer game for VR.

The Vive as some games too, nothing major looking at the moment I don’t think.

 

Posted in Games, lartens, PC, Tech | 2 Comments

Everybody’s Looking For That Soooooooooomething…

postman-pat_onward_journey_image_bid

Somewhere in this grimy universe lives a man… A man who knows what crazy ass buh i did to that last article so the comments didn’t work. That man is not me. So this Postman-themed follow-up is purely a depository for your pent-up observatory musings. Let them not go to waste! To put it one way: place them at the end of this article fronted by Postman Pat. To put it another: stick them in Pat’s bottom.

Either way, let’s hear from ya!

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It’s Gurn-a Be A Hot One, Mother

Bey

Ask yourself: would you ask Beyoncé to build you a conservatory? Would you ask a nine year old to file your tax returns? Would you ask a Labrador to drive you down the shops? Well no, of course you wouldn’t. And why not? Because that lot clearly don’t know what they’re doing. By which logic, avert your eyes right now Grigadiers, because this is an article about melody written by a tone-deaf 35 year old. Its conclusions may be… flimsy.

Yes, I’m no Steve Wright in the afternoon when it comes to picking my pops. But this much I know: the music in Wii U Mario is rubbish. Tragically rubbish, in fact, because the game itself is superb – so giddyingly near-perfect, in fact, that its horrific soundtrack is not just abusive to the ears, it’s jarring to the soul. This melodically-challenged mush is basically elevator music. Or worse – because even in the urine-soaked lift in Blackpool’s Houndshill Shopping Centre you at least have the comfort that you didn’t pay £55 for the privilege. So it’s a sad failing for the company, and the franchise, that’s brought us some of the most memorable themes of the past three decades. And it got me thinking.


Some piss-stained mush, yesterday.
Modern game music is, in some ways, in a league of its own. It’s unfettered by limits of memory, or audio channels, or synthesisers – it can be anything it wants, sound any way it wants, sample any thing it wants. And while sometimes it’s still amazing, mostly it’s… easy. Modern game designers can churn out a half-baked backing track in half an hour (or pay a D-list indie band to do the same) and so they do. Meaning that, just like the next-gen itself, going big, loud, or gaudy is enough.

It wasn’t always like this.

When you look back, gaming’s musical past stands out not just because of the number of belters – the ratio of memorable tunes to garbage during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras was pretty healthy, too. And why? Because they had to try! When the tools were rudimentary, the only thing they had was their skill. It took craft – and a melody! Because sure, orchestral nonsense and EDM are great when you’re padding out level 42 of your latest blockbuster franchised gumph but, to be a classic, it needs a tune! And so begins the GRiG Campaign for Melody – our noble crusade to bring back the art of tunage and save the Millennials from a dystopian future of half-baked auditory hell. Viva la Revotunion!

And, to whet your whistle, here are some classic examples of how it was done – and a few newbies to show that some still keep the dream alive… (And yes, not for nothing does Smooth McGroove make an appearance. Because what unites the Smooth Megamix? Melody! His acapella loveliness only works with exactly these kind of gems… So sing on McGroove! You’ve earned yourself a GRiGPeter Badge!)

Super Mario Land – Muda Kingdom


Smoothness, yesterday

Of course, you know I love a bit of Muda Kingdom. Often overlooked in the face of the main Mario theme, this is a beautiful bit of 90s dreaminess. All the better with the Man McGroove at the helm…

Bravely Default – Dungeon Theme


A man scratching his nose, yesterday. (Wait, has he even got a nose?!)

Of course, RPGs are a good hunting ground for hwality tunage. They need a bit of mood and so they do put in the man hours. This puppy is actually what first made me think of this article – it’s the first bit of modern game music I’ve had stuck in my head for years. It is a slow burner – the best bit is really a riff, and you’ll find it at about 1:04! – but it’s a standout tune… And if you’re wondering why this YouTuber has called this music “Infiltrating Enemy Territory” and I’ve called it “Dungeon Theme”, well… He’s right. But he’s also a tosspot. Who calls music that unless they’re making some kind of bad euphemism about bumming? Not me! That’s who!

Super Castlevania IV – Simon’s Theme


A box posted by an unimaginative YouTuber, yesterday.

Can there be a game music chart – hell, can there be a music chart?! – that doesn’t feature Castlevania?! Stonking.

Sonic 2 – Chemical Plant Zone


A bearded controversy, earlier

Sonic has quite a few claims to this list, as does the man Smooth. Arguably his version of Green Hill Zone is his better work – while the original game version of this one actually sounds better, benefitting from the synthy edginess that even McGroove’s acapella magic can’t reach. But I like to mix it up so…

Streets of Rage 2 – Dreamer


A contradiction, yesterday

Well, never let it be said that I shy from the controversies. Because one, why is Yuzo Koshiro all the way down here at, like, fifth in this list?! I disgust myself! And two, doesn’t this piece kind of disprove the melody theory? I mean, this is really dance music with a beat and a riff isn’t it? Erm.. Well, yes, as I think we’ve covered on these very pages, Yuzo was apparently quite a fan of 90s EDM and there’s more than a little of European House sprinkled through this Mega Drive classic. But it’s still a great example of making the most of your limits – there’s what, four tracks here? They’re so intricate – and actually that mid-section is verging on a tune. So get off my freakin case man. Jeez.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 – Akuma’s Theme


Knock knock. Who’s there? Akuma. Akuma who? Akuma mutata! Hahahahahahaha…, yesterday

Well, the surprises keep on coming. Because you say classic retro tunes and Street Fighter in the same sentence and you think you know what Benny’s gonna pull, don’t ya? You think he’s gonna reach for Guile’s theme with one hand, and Smooth McGroove with the other and slap down a bit of Guile/McGroove combo action in this here retro tune compilation sandwich! But boom! He’s pulled the old Akuma switcheroo on your asses! (I actually prefer Ken’s theme anyway…) Hey, remember when Capcom did cool buh that was, y’know, finished, rather than release half made games for twice the price? Ho ho, such good times.

Anwyay, here’s Guile’s theme from Smooth McGroove. Sorry.


A lack of surprise, earlier

So there you go – a half-arsed, cobbled together list. But this is only Part 1 of The Campaign (TM)! Clearly, there are loads of beauts I’ve missed off this effort. So how’s about it GRiGadiers – what are your favourites, old and new? Put them in the comments and I might even do a follow up article! (Please do. It’ll totally save me having to think of something new to write about in March. Hurrah!)

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Consumer Oculus Rift confirmed 499 GBP

  
son of a motherless goat. The Oculus Rift will cost a staggering £499 here in the UK with current shipping time of Q2 2016!!

Fortunately four years ago I backed it on kickstarter and get this little beaut for free. Hopefully sooner than Q2 too, but for the rest of you… Well

What’s in the box

  

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GRiG at 5! Mid-Term Report!

Sometimes, even the greats have to stop and take stock.

Amidst the constant stream of parties, women, and fast cars that is the life of the average GRiGadier, it’s easy to get lost in the heady daze that success brings. But how are we really doing, five years in? Are we the shining beacon of hope to the rest of humanity that we set out to be? To find out, we’re going head to head with the class of 2011 in a straight up Battle of the Greats. Via the magic of the Transspatial Temporal Dimensional Fluxovator (which I found down the sofa while looking for the remote over Christmas), we’ve tracked down our 5-year old peers and hauled them into the GRiG Halls of Justice to determine once and for all who’s the greatest.

Ready? Fight!

Round 1!
Grigorig copy
versus
Verge copy

Well, for starters, what a bunch of rip off bastards. A website launched in 2011 with a mix of entertainment and tech news? Get your own freakin ideas you bunch of punks! So embarrassed have the Verge been since this brazen act of pilfery that they’ve been forced to become of one of the foremost modern media sites in the world just to HIDE THEIR SHAME. That’s clearly a win to us.

GRiG 1 – 0 World

Round 2!
Grigorig copy
versus
Eon
The Hyundai Eon

Providing our first real competition of 2011, The Hyundai Eon launched to massive fanfare in October (so, amazingly, it’s still a few months shy of its 5th birthday!) and quickly became the world’s FAVOURITE car / product / word EVER. Several notable car companies including Ford, General Motors, Scalextric et al all immediately closed when it was launched out of pure fear and, indeed, the GRiG did consider a hiatus to see whether its hexagonal grille, crescent shaped tail lamps and sweeping curves would simply close the internet. Thankfully, the Eon limited its domination to being king of the road and left control of the web to us. But, while we come close in a head to head given the Eon’s lack of retro gaming coverage, even we can’t match this beast’s impressive mileage at 21.1 km per litre. A win for the world!

GRiG 1 – 1 World

Round 3!
Grigorig copy
versus
ipad-both-turned
The iPad

Even though the iPad had a few advantages over the nascent GRiGorig – launching half a year earlier, having the backing of a multi-billion dollar international company, having an “i” in front of its name – it’s fair to say it’s been a comparative failure ever since. By the time of the GRiG’s arrival, Apple were already scrabbling around with a new model because most people confused the first one with a cursed mirror that stole your soul – and embarrassingly, they’ve gone on to release loads of versions while the trusty GRiG has remained almost unread… wait, I mean unchanged… since its launch. And it gets worse, as these days most people now think the iPad is a tea coaster, whereas no one ever rests a hot beverage on the GRiG. And finally, of course, the iPad doesn’t even have a keyboard whereas we’ve got, like, three. I mean, frankly, it’s been a paltry half-decade of insignificance for Apple so let’s move on.

GRiG 2 – 1 World

Round 4!
Grigorig copy
versus
organism copy
Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0

Just like the poetry of GRIGorig’s name, the massive popularity of Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 owes much to how its name trips off the tongue. Marketing, you see. And that’s not all that the world’s first fully synthetic organism shares with your favourite retro gaming blog. Both are made on a computer. And… well, they’re the only two things. In the five years since its birth, however, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 has struggled to keep pace with the GRiG’s exponential rise, and these days most scientists acknowledge we’ve made a greater difference to the advancement of mankind. However, few people fear that we might accidentally morph into a world-destroying superbug. And that’s a real chink in our armour. Point to the world, methinks.

GRiG 2 – 2 World

Well, GRIGadiers, like every Royal Rumble, this GRiG At 5 WrestleFest has only five rounds [note to sub – check the rules of wrestling before publication. Thanks!] – so before we announce our final competitor, let’s have a quick look at some other Titans of Nature who have tussled with the GRiG in the last calendrical quintet.

Super Street Fighter IV
ss4
Launching a few months ahead of the GRiG, SSFIV is arguably the definitive version of this next-gen brawler and certainly one of the best fighters of all time. Sadly, while the GRiG has remained free to all comers, Capcom have proceeded to fleece their adoring fans for every penny just to change the colour of their clothes. Or something.

The Other Guys
tog
5 years in, and this is still the funniest thing Will Ferrell has ever said.

This KFC burger
kfc
Sadly, this KFC beauty died from its own cholesterol levels before it could take over the world. What could have been.

Sphero
sphero
When Sphero launched in 2011, it was thrillingly billed as “a robotic ball that can be controlled by your phone”. Which of course sounded shit, so its founders saved the day by explaining “it’s fabulous for dogs and cats” and pointing out “you can imagine the military applications for something like that too”. Thus proving they had absolutely no idea what to do with it, either. But, five years on, and it’s turned into BB-8 – and even George Lucas in his wildest, wettest dreams couldn’t imagine merch that cute. So well played, Sphero.

3D TV
tv
Back in 2010, some claimed 3D-tv wouldn’t take off. And they were absolutely correct. It’s terrible, and this gif of a man with a match is, genuinely, better than any 3D film I’ve ever watched. Sorry, progress, you lose.

match

Anyhoo, those also-rans were no match for the GRiG, so who’s the last contender to test our might? Are you sitting comfortably?! Then we’ll begin. Erm… or end. Oh god, I’m sorry, this has been going on a long time and I’m getting confused.

Round 5!
Grigorig copy
versus
lost copy
The Final Season of Lost

It’s been just over five years since Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and the other ones that no one can remember finally reached the end of their epic adventures and, it’s fair to say, their popularity has soared ever since. Yes, so beleaguered were fans by the time this monstrosity lurched to its hamfisted conclusion that there was wild partying when it finally ended and a sense of unity spread across the globe like never before. Since then, the eagerly anticipated follow-up, where former fans sit facing a grey wall screaming nonsense while wondering if they’re really alive or dead, has proved to be even more popular than the original and, in 2016, some have even finally got over the night-sweats and come to believe that their torment is really at an end. Joy, indeed. Sadly, all good entertainment should feature at least one episode with Teri Hatcher in it and, as we know, that’s one area where the GRiG has excelled. So, close as it was between us, the final point goes to… The GRiG!

Final Score: GRiG 3 – 2 World

And, in a meta-style twist that would make even J. J. Abrams proud, your own torment at trudging through this behemoth of an article has, also, finally ended. Hurrah! [sounds of rejoicing, mingled with gun shots and screams]

Until next decade! Adieu!

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