Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

The Mole, The Mob & The Meatball

I’ve been looking for something to do ever since I found out Sudoku doesn’t involve ritual suicide.

-Max, Sam & Max: The Mole, The Mob and the Meatball

Punctuality is certainly one of Telltale’s strong suits, with the third episode in the series taking me by surprise when it popped up early last month and the fourth, the provocative politically-themed Abe Lincoln Must Die, being offered a week early to season subscribers. In an industry where chronic delays are fast becoming the norm, early releases are practically unheard of — just ask the Duke! However the pressure to deliver a new slice each month does seem to be taking its toll.

While the dialogue remains sharp, the gangster-themed third episode featured just 3 new areas (while recycling several of the old ones). The game’s first act starts off well but the second act is over before you know it with an abrupt conclusion that leaves you slightly bewildered. It’s undeniably fun but often the straightforward puzzles require little input from the player as the story largely unfolds itself before you. Reviews suggest the fourth feels much the same. I stand by my assertion that the season subscription is easily worth the money for six episodes but I do hope Telltale are able to pull off a strong finish in the final two episodes rather than fizzling out.

Visual updates to the site have now been extended to the auxiliary pages like the T-shirt store and our beloved error 404 page (which you have hopefully had little cause to see). We’ve also included the first new-style custom header for the blog (based on our old Sam & Max one) to let you know you can still expect more of them.

Microsoft have opened applications for the Windows Live beta. This is the plan to integrate Windows Games into the highly successful Xbox Live to create a single persistent gaming network. This means easy cross-platform multiplayer gaming and communication. And yes, achievement points for your PC games too. Sign up quickly for an early look as Live expands to the biggest gaming platform.

Triple-layer writing is now possible for the HD-DVD format, bringing the capacity up to an impressive 50GB. So in a weird turn of events, Blu-ray is now outselling HD-DVD while HD-DVD has overtaken Blu-ray as the highest-capacity format. To quote Peter Griffin, “My whole world has been turned upside down. Black is east, up is white.”

5 Comments

  1. -> Triple-layer writing is now possible for the HD-DVD format, bringing the capacity up to an impressive 50GB.

    That’s still crap. You can now buy 500Gb disks for ~£100. 10 HD-DVDs a backup and we’re realisitically still at least a year out from writer mass market penetration. By then single disk TB capacities will be knocking on the door. Back when I first owned a CD drive, I couldn’t actually fit a copy of all the data on the local HD.

    Optical media has all but lost the race, and we’re in deep smelly brown stuff over backing up entertainment data volumes. And whilst all this gets worse, the format war continues unabated.

    At this rate write-once flash memory doesn’t look like quite such a dumb idea.

    I’m not smiling…

  2. Agreed. The “impressive” was comparative at best, and probably misguided even then.

    Before I was watching the format war with trepidation, now I am just resigned to it. Both should be considered DVD 2.0 at best (or is the DVD simply CD 2.0 — I think the step up was justified for the video quality it allowed) and people should only be willing to pay for it accordingly.

    +/- £20 for an HD film when I pay on average £5 for DVDs is still an outrageously high mark-up. For backups the situation is decidedly worse. Buying an extra external hard drive and storing it separately seems like a better option at the moment. This is definitely a “filler” format and I hope its replacement arrives before to much damage has been done (in terms of expenditure and reliance). I fear the worst, however.

    The only saving grace is that my DVD collection will still work in new optical drives and the increase in quality is certainly not enough for me to consider replacing my existing collection.

  3. The culmination of Xbox live and windows live should be fun and highly interesting!

  4. Have we reached the stage where both sides have thrown so much money at the competing formats that they can’t afford to compromise and combine?

    Is one system going to die off, or will they both live on a la DVD+-RW with dual-format players?

  5. I think Sony have thrown too much cash in to back down given that they currently need to cover the R&D costs of both Blu-ray and the Cell processor.

    Thankfully for the consumer dual format players are emerging (LG produced the first, I think) but they are even more extortionately priced. For now that’s the safest bet, but it’s hardly an ideal situation. The movie industry desperately needs a single format to boost sales again, but a compromise at this stage is virtually impossible.

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"Lack of imagination is an occupational hazard for an apex predator."

(CC) BY-NC 2005-2019 Priyan Meewella

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