Monday, November 10, 2008

Ogon Designs Aluminum Wallet

I haven't carried a wallet for decades. I much prefer a folded stack of bills in one pocket, and a calling card case in the other. My last card case finally got too scungy and I found this brilliant replacement that opens to an accordion of little folders. Clever!

You can fit up to thirty-six cards in it, in seven little pockets. I have frequent-buyer cards in one slot, my business cards in another, my id in one of its own, collected colleages' cards in another slot, and a whole slot for keeping my video game pre-order receipts until release day.

The Last Guy for PS3 (PSN)

I'm a big fan of ten dollar quickies and The Last Guy is one of my favorites. It's a total anachronism -- an eight-bit-inspired game with all the power of a modern console.

You must save the humans from the zombies. You run around collecting people from their hiding places, and they follow you to rescue zones. The more you find, the longer they line up behind you ... and the more likely a zombie will spot them as you run past.

These are the sort of gameplay rules you'd give to a Z80 processor, so the PS3's Cell processor just shrugs them off. It leaves plenty of processor time for decorations. There’s a super-catchy soundtrack played on a Moog synth. There's the playing board itself ... each level is based on a satellite photo of a real city, loviningly traced and colored into a beautiful 32-bit image. The humans scream and shriek when zombies get close. And there's a smooth Japanese announcer guy.

It's a ton of small details crafted into a coherent whole that make the game totally compelling and addictive.

Resistance Two for PS3

Laundry's piling up, new mail goes on the stack, my running shoes gather dust ... everything must take a back seat to fighting aliens in Resistance 2. Foremost, because it's pretty -- the graphics are stunning. Part of the fight takes place in the redwoods of north california and you just keep getting ambushed because you're looking at the lush scenery.

It's also a technical masterpiece. There are parts where you're leading a dozen guys in running street battles. They manage to keep formation around you, they fall back when you fall back, and they subtly lead the way to the next checkpoint. (The bad guys are similarly smart.) The AI is really sophisticated; it's kinda eerie.

I'm not very good at shooters, but this one comes with a "casaul" difficulty setting that a slow-twitch guy like me can handle. And the save points are close enough together that I rarely have much of a walk when I repeatedly die at the hands of an angry squid.

I just sit back and enjoy the cheesy (but fun) story line, blast aliens, and run around the smooth, detailed scenery. I can't put it down! (Which is lucky for humanity, 'cause we’re *whey* outnumbered.) Pew-pew!