Friday, June 27, 2008

Hot Shots Golf Open Tee 2 for PSP

Hot Shots Golf is a game that stays near the top of the stack because you keep pulling it out for a few minutes here and there. I love the "Minigame" mode, where you've got one shot to get the ball in the hole ... they're all straight shots, and the green slopes right into the hole, but you have to pay attention or you'll miss. I also like the longer-playing "Challenge" mode, where you complete a whole course.

The thing is, I really don't like golf. Tons of land fenced in, tons of water spent on a few people, super-competetive freaks who don't remember that it's a game, after all. So why does the video game appeal to me? I think it's because they've really *nailed* the scenery and the physics, making it more screensaver than game in some respects. I just enjoy flying through the different sites, and watching the parabolic course of a ball struck with a force and then deflected by gravity. It's actually kinda relaxing!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Burnout Paradise for PS3

I love this game, and not just because it boots up to the rock anthem "Paradise City" by Guns 'n' Roses.

It's a driving game, where you start out with a basic car, driving around town, finding challenges. Challenges can be a race, or a challenge to destroy other cars, or a trial to do stunts in a time limit ... each time you succeed, you collect new cars and things. Some are easy, some are hard, and your choice of car and strategy change things subtly.

It's an incredibly detailed world. The challenges are varied enough you can "just pick one" and never get bored. There are persistent challenges, too, like jumping through all the billboards you can find/reach. The music that plays throughout is great.

The best part, though, are the slow-motion playbacks of your spectacular crashes. Kaaaaaaa--boooooom!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Andrew suggested that we try Brightkite. It's a location based mobile social networking app. It does a good job of doing what others do, letting you "check-in" at different locations and then make notes about each location. Checking in lets your friends track you; and you can see where your friends are.

Unfortunately, all these sites still suffer from the problem of figuring out what "your location" means. Pretty much the only thing I can match on is an address (although once I do that, I can give it a shorthand name) and I just don't know the address (or fancy spelling) of places like University Towne Centre [sic].

The problem of figuring out what "place" means to a user is gonna get solved ... it just hasn't yet. (And GPS is not a solution in itself.)