Eccleston Who?

David Tennant and Billie Piper

As I posted back when I saw the episode finale of the revived Doctor Who, I wasn’t convinced that David Tennant would be right for the part (too young, looked silly in those clothes, etc), but the BBC have released a veritable torrent of tidbits on the new series including, as you’ve probably noticed by now, a photo of Tennant in his own costume.

Now I really can’t wait. I’d heard about a pinstripe suit, trenchcoat, and trainer combo and reacted with a certain amount of apprehension before I saw the picture but he actually makes it look a lot cooler than Eccleston’s black leather jacket. It’s a unique and interesting look with, arguably, more character than the previous Doctor and does more to imbue him with the traditional idiosyncrasies that each actor brings. He still looks young if I’m to be picky and I’m still sure that his relationship with Rose will definitely go further than it probably should in Doctor Who (I’m not being prudish, but it just doesn’t suit the tone of the thing).

Of course I’m just speculating based on a photograph and it’s far too early to declare Tennant a worthy successor to Eccleston (who was great; don’t get me wrong because I’m not intending to attack him), but I’m definitely more excited about the new episodes now. Whether Tennant is better or not, we have the Cybermen, Sarah Jane and possibly K-9, a Stephen Fry episode, various guest stars, and more to look forward to.

Now I just need to pass the time until The Christmas Invasion…

It Don’t Matter if You’re Black or Ceramic White

The list of cool stuff happening while I’m in Japan grows. Sony today announced that the long-rumoured white PSP will be released in Japan on September 15th, the day after I get there and the day before the start of the Tokyo Game Show. It’s definitely good for the part of me that’s planning on picking up PSPs to sell cheaply over here, but I’m not actually sure which version I want. The white ones won’t be dirt and fingerprint magnets in the way that the black ones were and will probably more desirable for a time, but I think aesthetically I prefer black.

Pearl White PSP Value Pack

Either way it looks like I’m going to be buying at least a couple of each.

The other good news was the announcement of PSP firmware 2.0. It will fubar any homebrew/emulation developments for the time being, but the web browser is definitely cool as are features like wallpaper and wireless photo sharing. The thing I’m happiest about however is the addition of support for WPA which means that I won’t have to drop my security on my wireless network to the swiss cheese WEP. It’s not WPA2 which I’m using now, but it’s better than nothing and is less likely to cause the wi-fi apocalypse predicted here.

Resident Evil 5! At TGS!

As if the announcement in this week’s Famitsu of Resident Evil 5 on Xbox 360 and PS3 (no Nintendo love this time?) wasn’t enough, Capcom are hinting that an appearance at the Tokyo Game Show is a distinct possibility, which is seriously fantastic. I loved RE4 so a sequel that follows the same formula but with the extra muscle of the 360 and PS3 will be great, and when you look at how beautiful they made it look on the GameCube imagine what they’ll be able to do.

I can see a move on the scale of the one that took you from the mansion/labs of Resident Evil into the city environment of RE2, but even more pronounced. Hopefully you’ll be given more free reign of the city this time instead of being shepherded into a distinctly mansion-like police station within ten minutes.


Perhaps unsurprisingly I’m approaching the news that EA is to distribute Valve games including Half-Life 2 with some trepidation.

As far as I know it’s not a publishing deal as some are reporting, presumably putting 2+2 together to make 5, but simply a distribution deal. Still, I don’t like EA having their foot in the door at one of the few remaining independent developers with enough clout to remain independent and have some creative freedom. EA started with publishing/distribution deals at both DICE and Criterion, but both are now owned by EA and are churning out nothing but Battlefield and Burnout games. We’re approaching the fourth Burnout game (plus the “best of” on the PSP) in four years and we all know about how rushed both Battlefields have been.

I’m really hoping that Valve really have made this agreement on their terms and have the financial security to stay independent because the day that EA takes them over will be a truly dark day for gaming. One of the most respected series’ and a proven and fully developed online distribution system which has shown itself to be capable of distributing millions of copies of one of the biggest selling titles ever is an attractive acquisition for anybody, after all.

Japan is Booked!

The planned trip to Japan in September has been at the back of my mind for the best part of six months and now that it’s been booked it actually feels like it’s really happening. I’m going to have a load of money to spend as well because we’ve got a pretty amazing deal on it – if we’d gone for direct flights we’d have paid something like £500, but by making a 45-minute changeover in Paris we pay a little over £200. That’s for a return ticket to Tokyo from London.

In total for ten days in Tokyo in a very nice hotel (Hotel New Otani) and including transport to and from Heathrow we’re paying £790 which is a fucking bargain. We’re going to the Tokyo Game Show where we’ll play Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, visit the Ghibli Museum (loads of great pictures in English here, including the best DVD player in the world), and generally spend copious amounts of money on tat. Not forgetting that Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is out the day we arrive so I’m going to try to nab a couple of copies of the limited edition DVD.

I’ll have my laptop so I’ll be keeping this updated for the benefit of the folks at home, but the countdown begins here. 60 days to go!

For Fuck’s Sake…

As I’ve said before, Battlefield 2 is still bug-ridden and they’ve somehow managed to make it worse with the v1.01 patch, and I don’t think anyone’s surprised that they’ve already announced that an expansion pack is coming before the end of the year.

Battlefield 2: Special Forces

If I hadn’t seen EA do similar things countless times before I’d be frankly disgusted that they can charge £30 for a game and then have the nerve to start working on more content which they’ll charge another £20 for when they can’t even be bothered to fix the broken and unfinished product that they’re already pocketing the money for. Fucking scum…