Month: May 2012

Skyrim: Dawnguard Trailer

Well, the official trailer is here and from what we can tell: expanded vampire gameplay, crossbows (first time in an Elder Scrolls game officially since Morrowind!) and DAT SKELETAL HORSE. There’s a whole bunch of stuff from the Skyrim Game Jam that is getting included in this DLC and TAKE MY DAMN MONEY ALREADY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS.

I’m such a sucker.

Oh, and for the Xbox fanbois, you can take your 30 days exclusivity. I’ll take the moddability and superior graphics on my PC any day.

State of the MAME

mame logo

MAME, for the uninitiated, is the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, a project to preserve the inner workings of arcade machines of the past. A curious side-effect is that the games are (mostly) playable.

I’ve been a fan since the late 90s and have almost continuously kept my ROM collection up to date, recently with the help of Pleasuredome, but I’ve not actually been playing any games in a long while, neither have I been keeping up with new developments.

Recently though, I find myself tired of HD gaming (I’ll get back to you Skyrim, when the DLC is here) and found myself wanting to get some MAMEing done, so I went to grab my old go-to MAME variant MAME32 (been using the official builds in conjunction with clrmamepro) and… turns out it has been renamed MAMEUI, and that it has been EOLed.

It still works, but with the explosion of the number of games by MAME supported the ancient controls it uses just cannot cut it anymore. UI refresh is annoyingly slow.

Despite working with and liking the command line for most other things, I just don’t like using MAME from the command line. So, the search for a front end goes on.

IV/Play is a minimalist front end commissioned by John Hardy IV (long associated with MAME32/MAMEUI) and it is not quite what I’m looking for. A tad too minimalist, maybe.

Next I found QMC2, successor to the venerable QMamecat. QT4, so it’s cross-platform. It also supports MAME, MESS and UME*. Plus, it looks like the old MAME32 which I’m immediately comfortable with. Great.

I also found Emu Loader which looks fantastic, plus it supports multiple emulators (Demul, Daphne, ZiNc etc, apart from MAME). Together with its sister app EmuCon which handles console emulators, you’ll just need two front ends to rule them all.

I’m leaning a little towards QMC2 at the moment, since I really only dabble with other emulators, but both should be great choices.

* UME is an effort by David Haywood (maintainer of MAME from 2003 to 2005) to combine the code bases of MAME and MESS, without stripping any functionality out.

Wipe a tear, guys

Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey has been let go by Villa. Some would say he should have stayed a winger and things might have turned out very differently if nearly every manager in his life wasn’t obsessed with transforming him into a (pretty ineffectual) battering ram. The man has been capped 79 times by England, if you count U21 appearances. So let’s look at the record of other notable English players as well over the years shall we?

Stan Collymore – 3
Robbie Fowler – 34
Paul Gascoigne – 70
Glen Hoddle – 65
Geoff Hurst – 49
Paul Ince – 55
Kevin Keegan – 63
Matt Le Tissier – 29
Paul Scholes – 69
Alan Shearer – 74
Teddy Sheringham – 52

So it’s not hard to make out that Heskey trumps all of them. Heck, he even has more caps than Collymore, Fowler and Le Tissier put together. Now, there are of course caveats…..various players have had more competition for places over their active careers, leading to a reduced number. Still, just look at it and MARVEL. It’s really a stunning indictment of the real depth England had during its “golden generation” phase.

As expected, people are waxing lyrical over his supposed footballing demise. Then again, people have been doing that for the last few years and he’s still employed by a PL club until now. I won’t lay any bets he will fall out of the first division.

“Farewell to one of the greatest England’s footballing talent. Sadly, England couldn’t find the style of football that would have been suitable for him. Shame on you, England!”

“Why would Villa release him? He was one of their best players.”

tsk tsk, be kind ur hecklers. Where would Owen be without him?

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