Friday, September 07, 2007

Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release

At last a new rave album that actually is ravey (rather than just indie with keyboards and glowsticks).
Some good scratchy bleepy noises perfect for us venerable pop music pensioners who enjoyed acid house the first time around.
Like all good dance music the album is named after some knobs that can be found on a synthesizer.
I was a bit sceptical when I downloaded this that it was going to be all hype and no content as the group are flavour of the month due to their association with The Arctic Monkeys (remember Dustins Bar Mitzvah… ergh) , but I was very pleasantly surprised.
It's available on e-music so if you have an account get and download it, and if you don't then get an e-music account then download it!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rick Rubin Gets It

Link to an excellent NYT interview with Rick Rubin. Rather awesomely he is now one of the heads of Columbia records.

It makes for some very interesting reading. It is refreshing to hear someone who now represents a major label acknowledging that much of the problem of the record industry is that they use their clout to strong arm crap onto people. It sounds so obvious to say it, but it takes someone like Rick to make them understand that quality = sales.
He also supports the all you can eat for a flat fee model of music which is prevalent in the tech industry, but anathema for the majors.

Rick is one of my heroes anyone who could have kick started the careers of: LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Slayer, RHCP and renewed Johnny Cash is alright by me.

I'm now expecting the Gossip to go far if Rick is taking an interest. You heard it here first.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Gottlieb Pinball Classics - Wii Review

Billed as the most accurate pinball simulator of all time this PS2 port was one of the launch titles for the Wii.

The RRP of the game is a quite staggering £40 which to put it in context is £10 more than the magnificent Resident Evil 4 and the same price as Zelda Twilight Princess.
Much as I love pinball there was no way I was going to shell out that kind of cash for it. Luckily came to the rescue selling the game for a much more reasonable £17.99 which is the point at which I decided to make my investment.

The game features exact emulations of 11 tables from the history of the famous pinball manufacturer focusing on tables that are either historically significant, or favored by pinball enthusiasts. Unfortunately licensing restrictions prevent many of the classic games making an appearance so there is no Streetfighter II or Mario pinball to be found which is a shame.
The play of the tables is to some degree a touch hit and miss. Some of the tables notably Black Hole and Victory are great tables with lots to do and keep you entertained. Unfortunately some of the tables have been chosen because of their appeal to competitive pinball players which equates to them being exceptionally hard rather than fun, though fortunately this is only the case for a couple of the tables.

As a pinball simulator the game doesn't make huge use of the Wiimote, but the buttons for the left and right flippers are on the Wiimote and Nunchuck which makes it feel more like a real table than holding a gamepad and you can nudge left and right by shaking either hand.

As a PS2 port the graphics are pretty much as you would expect and though clear and smooth the textures aren't that sharp and don't do anything to dispel the 2 Gamecubes taped together myth put about by Wii haters.

The game is a very full package featuring voice over histories of each game with promotional material and strategy guides and offers a nice 4 player tournament mode, but does have a slightly weird system whereby you have to play tournament games until you earn credits to play games in the arcade which you can then unlock for freeplay by attaining challenge goals. This kind of thing seems to be all the rage in games these days, but personally I would rather just be able to freeplay all the tables from the off without jumping through any hoops.

All in all if you want a realistic pinball simulation then this is the game for you, but make sure you don't pay the frankly insane full price for it.