PS2 Launch (24 november '000)
The Sony PlayStation 2 is finally launched tomorrow amidst a bizarre array of what is loosely termed advertising. I had a quick look in my big book of "Do I Care?" to see just how excited I should get
about the launch|
Turns out I don't need to get excited at all, I only have to wait two more weeks and I finally get to play Shen Mue in a language I understand.. until then I'll have to make do with all my other great Dreamcast games... what a shame!
I can't believe Rupert Bear Story Time has slipped again....
Thanksgiving (22 november '000)
Happy Thanksgiving!! As I'm sure you all know Thanksgiving is the time of year when everyone around the world gives thanks to God for not being American. This very morning I was watching the presedential election coverage and said to myself "Thank God I'm not american"|
The American's also celebrate something, I couldn't be bothered to find out what but I'm guessing even they aren't
dumb enough to celebrate not being themselves... Are they?
If any Americans are reading this please feel free to bombard me with hate mail at email@example.com.. it makes me feel important to get e-mails
CrazySegaGagaRamaTaxi! (13 november '000)
Hitmaker, one of the old Sega departments (Sega RD#5 or something) have released some info about a game currently in production codenamed Sega Gaga. The game is a business sim of sorts and lets you take on the role of a Sega manager to see how much money you can make for the corporation. Whether the game will accurately simulate Sega's terrible marketting department remains to be seen... rumour has it though that high scoring players (anyone who can so much as break even) will be automatically given a high ranking job at Sega, replacing the morons that are there at the moment. They also made some announcements regarding Crazy Taxi 2 stating that it will be developed specifically for Dreamcast rather than being YetAnotherArcadePort(TM) and will focus on different kinds of missions and many more passengers. The game will be set in New York which will mean less ridiculous hills and more.. er... drugs?.. The soundtrack is supposedly going to be 'harder' this time round.. maybe some Bryan Adams or Bon Jovi then.
Site Change (13 november '000)
JumpySpider.com has taken the first steps towards becoming a Microsoft Friendly website.. well, I've changed the logo at least. I'll be changing the colour scheme (oooh!) and stuff next month, for now though it's Dreamcast as usual.
Leonard Loves Links! (13 november '000)
Leonard Nimoy: What, Lynx as in the mens deodorant? Surely that would be illogical..|
Bruce Forsythe: No, Leonard, not Lynx as in the mens deodorant!
Leonard Nimoy: What, Lynx as in the Atari handheld? Surely that would..
Bruce Forsythe: No, Leonard, not Lynx as in the Atari handheld!
Leonard Nimoy: What, Link as in the character out of the Zelda games!
Bruce Forsythe: No, Leonard, not Link as in the character out of the Zelda games? Surely that...
Leonard Nimoy: What, links as in buttons you click on to visit other websites? s..
Bruce Forsythe: Finally! Well done Mr Nimoy, but you get nothing for guessings the patently obvious, not in this game!...Now, lets get ready to mumble!!... hethethehe... Miss Ford!
Bruce Forsythe: Hello and welcome to Leonard Loves Links, I'm your host Bruce Forsythe.
Boy does that Leonard know a lot about links, and I mean a lot! Take last week for example, he found a link to an old math paper which was thought to have been lost for over four years! Is this guy a genius or what!! Anyway, I don't know why I is pickin up a yankee accent bud id appears ta be geddin woise, so I'll toin ya's ova naw ta Leonard. Take it away bro!"
Leonard Nimoy: What links like when you talk rubbish to fill in the gaps between songs on the radio? Th..
Bruce Forsythe: Joist ged on wid it Leo!
Leonard Nimoy: Oh, okay... Hi, I'm Leonard Nimoy, you may remember me from such shows as..
Bruce Forsythe: Leo, I'm a warnin' ya!
Leonard Nimoy: mrrmmprh mrmrmm see you nice! Anyway, where was I... Oh yeah, links! If like me you love links you'll be pleased to note that JumpySpider.com now has a fresh new links page full of exciting links to some of the best* sites on the web. You'll also notice some adverts for featured sites in between some of these articles, this is just a ploy to try and get other sites to link back to ours, I'm not convinced that our hit counter isn't just a picture you know.
You can also get to the links page by clicking on the into the web text in the menu bar...You've been a lovely audience. NNNiccee!
* may not actually be the best sites on the web
Presidential Special (09 november '000)
After three recounts it turned out that both presidential candidates had exactly the same number of votes each. A deciding game of scrabble was played but again an exact tie was reached, both presidents scoring zero before the game was abandoned due to poor light.|
In the end it was decided that they shall both have their heads grafted onto the same body and they shall then both be crowned joint King and Queen of America, each taking it in turns to be the daddy. The only question to be decided now is which of their bodies to use, negotiations are still underway with the Gore's Mum Poll putting Gore way in front and the Bush's Mum Poll putting Bush similarly out in front.
Scientists have already pioneered this grafting technology by joining together Leonard Nimoy and Bruce Forsythe, when questioned after the operation Bruce said
"You get nothing for having Leonard Nimoy sticking out your arse, not in this game"
while Leonard went for the cheapest gag know to mankind saying
"I have boldly gone where no man has gone before, to Uranus and beyond"
The Mecha-Bush-Gore-King-Queen-Machine will share the duties of being head of America, Gore will take charge of light-entertainment and bible bashing while Bush will take gun smuggling, goverment coverups and bombing the crap out of other countries.
Steven Spielberg is set to make a film about the events stating
"The film will be made to appeal to adults and children alike. It will be a groundbreaking film about Bush and Gore, with plenty of bush and even more gore."
But seriously folks, you've been a lovely audience...
Logic Is Fun! (08 november '000)
The Logic Spider has finally finished his first logic test letting you pit your powers of logic against his. He's quite confident that nobody can surpass his pure logic but judging by his usual standards that doesn't mean much. To test your logic skills and possibly become the new Logic King click on his little smiling face.
Bruce Forsythe Horse Shock! (08 november '000)
Bruce Forsythe is a horse!** Using a high-magnification zoom camera we managed to film him in the garden of his country home obviously being a horse** and not a man or anything. When interviewed he simply said "You get nothing for a mare, not in this game.. hethetheth.. " and then ate some sugar lumps and did other horsey things.|
For anyone who doesn't know, Bruce Forsythe presents a number of light-entertainment shows on British television, and is a horse**
** might not actually be a horse
MSR - The Saga Continues (08 november '000)
We thought the long wait was over, the game is finally out in shops and we've all had the chance to get our hands on a copy. But is doesn't end there...|
So I've played the game a bit and got what I think are some pretty good lap times, so I go online to post my times on the world rankings page, only all I get is a big message saying "Coming Soon".. So I try the competition page "Coming Soon", the chat rooms "Coming Soon", all the other options "Coming Soon"... bugger
In their rush to get the game out it seems they've neglected to get the online side of things working, or maybe they just don't care. Either way it's a pain in the arse to wait over a year for a game and then discover it still isn't finished...
..back to F355 Challenge it is then.
Using Linux to get Dreamcast Online (05 november '000)
I stumbled across this article which details how to get a Dreamcast on the net (both to play games and browse the web) through a cable modem using a PC running Linux as a gateway. I don't know why you'd want to do this particuarly but I suppose it might be a way of getting free online play on your Dreamcast. Obviously you need to have a PC, and a cable modem and be anal enough to know about Linux... this kind of thing wouldn't happen if everyone had an Indrema... or an Amiga CD32 with SX-1 expansion and a PCI expansion board.
Guardian written by horses (05 november '000)
Every week on thursday the Guardian has an online section filled with the latest computer news. Usually it seems to be quite good, only this week had a review of Metropolis Street Racer which contained the following paragraph|
'Given that MSR has finally arrived a year late, hotly anticipated by game-starved Dreamcast owners, this is just an insult. And the overall game structure is flawed too. It doesn't offer the instant, designer arcade thrills of, say, Ridge Racer V on the PlayStation 2, yet the pointless punishing of minor collisions prevents it from being a really nail-biting hardcore revver like Gran Turismo.'
We were quite concerned by these blinkered comments so we contacted the Guardian who admitted they were short-staffed last week due to flooding. In their desperation they had contracted horses to write some of the articles, in particular a horse called Lucky to write the Online section. We managed to track Lucky down and asked him how he got the review so wrong.
"The week started quite smoothly, I've got a GNVQ in computing so I was able to blag my way through most of the online articles. The problems started when I got to the games, the buttons on the joypad are just too small for my hooves! I managed to get through the menus
using the dance mat but without analogue control I didn't stand a chance. In the end I just got some info off my mate Henry and made the rest up."
MSR written by horses! (05 november '000)
After speaking to Lucky from the Guardian we met up with his mate Henry and another ex-Bizarre Creations employee who wishes to remain |maneless nameless to ask them about some problems we've had with the game, (see the next article for the bug list we discussed with them). When questioned employee-X spoke frankly about the development of MSR.
"Some of the people working on Metropolis were monkeys.. literally, that's why it took so long to hit the shelves. Many people were unhappy on the team, there was a lot of rivalry between the monkey coders and the hores, who were mainly working on building the tracks."
Henry was less critical but admitted the project had it's fair share of problems..
"There were many external factors that caused the delays on MSR, city planners were continually knocking down condemned and erecting new ones which caused us endless problems build the levels ,it was just on hurdle after another!
"While this was going on the coders were continually adding stuff, it wasn't so much a case of feature creep as full on feature charge! People adding things without consulting each other and the game become prone to random crashes and lock-ups.. in the end it was rushed through testing and as a result the finished version is bugged to shit.."
These opinions are not necessarily the opinions of Bizarre Creations. Both Henry and his friend have now moved on to pastures new....
MSR riddled with bugs (05 november '000)
Don't get me wrong I love Metropolis Street Racer, I think it's a superb game. But no matter what way you look at it there are bugs, not just niggles or annoyances (although these exist to) but obvious, unmistakable bugs. Here is a list of just some of the bugs I've encountered in MSR so far, I've arranged them in order of increasing severity, starting with minor annoyances and ending with the big one
I only got the game two days ago so I hate to think what I might find when I get further into the game. I guess that after all the delays it's suffered the game has been rushed through Sega's testing department to get it into the shops before PS2 launches in Europe. It's hardly the first game to have these sort of problems, Driver on PSX suffered from random lock-ups, telling you you'd completed a stage before you'd even started and running tragically slowly in places and yet it still sold by the bucketload. It seems the general gameplaying public is happy to overlook these kind of problems... luckily for Sega
- When praticing for a race the conditions don't match the actual race, for example in chapter three there is a hotlap race where it is raining heavily, but in practice there is bright sunshine, making the pratice next to useless. Also in timed races where you must avoid slower cars there are no cars in practice so it's impossible to guess what time you are going to get (which is essential if you want to gain a good Kudos rating)
- When music volume is zero and you press button to start race you hear a second or so of music, not a big problem but it detracts from the general level of polish
- Computer control cars will quite happily slam into you and lose you points even when you clearly have the racing line
- There doesn't seem to be an in-car view with the bonnet on, why?
- When auto-saving finishes the screen sometimes flicks up something in the middle of the screen for a fraction of a second, I can't see what it is (whether it might be a message) but it's very irritating.
- The headlights are rubbish, they only seem to brighten up light areas, dark areas stay just as dark as they were before
- When racing at sunset the track gets slowly darker over time, however no lights come on and some buildings stay bright as if the sun was still up
- When the rear-view mirror is turned on the game suffers from some nasty slow-down which makes it very unpleasant to play.
- Occassionally during races parts of the track or scenery are randomly coloured yellow or blue
- In the winner stays mode in multiplayer it seemed to be random who played next, sometimes both racers would race again in the next round, there might some strange rules we don't understand but it seemed broken
- When selecting Quick race in the multiplayer menu it goes to the statistics of the last race instead of racing, when you select Race Again the same thing happens
- When playing one of the London races the game hung, the screen went black apart from the on-screen readouts and the speedometer read a large negative number
Sega Take The Piss (05 november '000)
Despite their problems Sega have always managed to keep their sense of humour. This was proved again recently when Sega paraded up and down the road in front of the Sony America headquarters in a lorry with this billboard image slapped on the side. If only the rest of their advertising was any good.|
I seem to remember Commodore doing a similar thing back in the days of the Sega Ages ad campaign when they put up a billboard poster opposite the Sega Europe headquarters with the slogan "To be this good will take Sega ages"... and just look where Commodore and their revolutionary CD32 console are now... doesn't bode well for Sega's future really does it.
Sega lie about modem (05 november '000)
Until recently Dreamcast owners living in Europe were under the impression that they had been shafted by Sega who only saw fit to include a 33k modem in the European dreamcast instead of the 56k modem found in the American console. Wrong!|
It turns out we were actually shafted by Sega who included a 56k modem in the machine but
then set it to run at 33k and didn't tell anyone about it. Exactly why they chose to do this isn't clear but I've compiled a list of possible reasons so can decide for yourself which is the most likely
Probably not the last one... Anyway, the good news is that the modem can be switched into 56k mode using the AT options menu on the Dreamkey disk, the bad news is I can't remember exactly how. Daily Radar UK have got the low-down on the story and instructions on how the change the modem settings.
- Sega take a percentage of the profit made from calls to their internet service. Too keep people online for longer they deliberately limited the speed of the modem.
- Sega's internet service machines would be unable to cope with the ammount of data required to keep everyone surfing at 56k so they limited the speed to save bandwith.
- The modem included in European Dreamcasts is only a software modem which means the main processor has to do all the translating from bits to audio (and back again) at the same time as running games, so running the modem at a higher rate could actually make online games run slower.
- The manual for the modem is written in badly translated Japanese and Sega Europe couldn't figure out how to set the modem to 56k mode.
- One of guys at Sega was such a l33t hax0r (elite hacker) that he read, "Eek that's fast" as "33k, that's fast" and decided to set the modem to 33k mode
- There are some pictures of one of the Sega technical staffs mum on the internet. He made the modem slower so it takes longer to download porn, therefore there's less chance of anyone finding the pictures!
- Sega Japan hate all Europeans and are currently plotting to invade Europe and turn it into an amusement park for Japanese tourists.
- Sega had already printed 33k on the Dreamcast boxes and they hadn't got enough money to make any new ones.
- Running the modem at any higher speed than 33k will increase the warp core emissions and could cause a temporal rift which could destroy the universe unless a sufficiently powerful tachyon pulse could be emitted at just the right frequency to destroy the rift.
Quake Free Arena (05 november '000)
The US version of Quake 3 Arena on Dreamcast which launched a couple of weeks back has an option to change internet service provider, so you can hook your Dreamcast up to the net using your own provider instead of being stuck with the Sega one. What this means is that if you've got the Action Replay disc (or a chipped Dreamcast) and an account with a free service provider such as BT or ic24 then you can play Quake 3 online without paying a single penny!|
Hopefully this feature will be included in the European version too otherwise the only way to play for free will be to buy the import version... fingers crossed then.
It's bonfire night! (05 november '000)
To celebrate the anniversary of a man being burnt alive on a big ol' bonfire we're having our very own JumpySpider fireworks display. See invitation on left.|
Sorry folks, the JumpySpider annual fireworks display has been cancelled due to bad weather. Unfortunately we can't offer refunds for the tickets because the vicar has spent all the money on whisky and cheap whores, instead we have made a deal with the village lawn bowling club which means that if you've got a ticket for the firework display you will
be able to get into the annual bowling club whist drive absolutely free! It promises to be a fun night out for the whole family and all the proceeds will go to Enid, the local charity case... at least they would if the vicar hadn't already spent them.
New site design (05 november '000)
Phew, finally I've managed to arrange the site into a sensible (hopefully...) layout, which means I've been able to make the text a bit bigger without everything turning into a big mess.
Hopefully this will make it much clearer where everything is and updates won't get lost quite so easily. The left hand navigation bar has got links to all the main pages of the site as well as the regular Spider columns and all the articles on the current page. So there you have it!|
I'd appreciate any comments you may have about the site, please send any e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the new site..
New threat to X-Box (02 november '000)
Will the battle for next-gen supremacy never end? Just when Microsoft thought they were
safe along comes another company with a console that's even more advanced, even more shiny
and even more like a PC in a box...Long live Indrema!
Indrema are a hugely ambitious company who are set to launch the i600 console next year against
fierce competition from all the traditional console manufacturers and Microsoft into the bargain.
But don't you go ruling the i600 out just yet because.... it's Linux based! And it's open source too which means any old monkey can get their hands on the libraries and write their own games. I bet all the money-grabbing publishers are quaking in their boots.
If you want to visit the official Indrema web-site click on the white icon (or whicon) to the left,
or to visit the JumpySpider Indrema fansite complete with all the latest rumours (including a Jeff Minter) click on the black
icon (or blicon) below the white icon (or whicon).
Anyway, I've got to get back to that Indrema based Amiga emulator I was working on.. I've got it running loads of megademos nearly properly!
Quantum rUl3z (02 november '000)
Over the last few days I have been playing Ferrari Challenge quite a bit, hence the lack
of site updates (quiet at the back) and, as I've been keen to point out to anyone who'll
listen I'm now ranked eighth in the world on the Suzuka Short track on auto-gears setting
and third in Europe, it was second until today... wait, where are you going? Don't you
want to hear the rest? ... |
Go to the
F355 Challenge webpage and click on the Suzuka Short / AT button to see my glory, I'm down as Quantum by the way. Thank you for listening, you've made a sad man happy.
Sega Shocker! (01 november '000)
Over the last few days there have been a few rumours and even a couple of actual press
releases from Sega confirming that they are now going to be developing games for other consoles. They've mentioned PSone and Gameboy as target machines but only to avoid committing themselves to heavily to any next-gen platforms at this stage.|
The voices in my mind told me that X-Box would be the most likely platform so I've put in
an application for a change of console allegience, which should hopefully be processed by christmas. As of 2001 Dreamcast will be a dirty word... like Saturn.. errr!
Long live X-Box!
New month, same rubbish (01 november '000)
What better way to start november than with a quick look back at october.. well, with some
new articles.. that would be better surely?|
Heh, but seriously folks, october finally made a reasonably showing on the updates front
clocking in with nine seperate stories, and some general updates.. that might not sound like
much but compared with september's four and august's two... it's more!
Hopefully November wil be even more action packed... you've been a lovely audience