Lock Out

Yes, I got locked out again. I got back to my flat at 11p.m. after working late and explicitly refusing to go to the pub cos I wanted an early night, to find that my landlord, bless his ozzie socks, had been in to show the flat to a surveyor for remortgaging and locked the door with a key I didn’t have. Rob had the key, but he was in Qatar. So I yelled and cried for a bit, then rang the landlord, let’s call him Owen (cos that’s his name) and found out he was in Paddington but very drunk, so I got back on the bus to ealing broadway, picked up some dinner at the chippy, got on a train back to paddington, and by only 12.30 I was picking up the keys from sozzled Owen, and refusing a drink for the tenth time. Then the last train back to Broadway got delayed and delayed, then when I got back to Ealing the buses didn’t turn up, so I started walking at which point three (really three!) drove past me, then I got into the flat, sat down for a second, put my head against the pillow, saw the time, and thought about getting ready for work…

The Grill of Babylon

Woo! I’m doing Metal Hammer‘s game reviews section jointly with young MasterGillen (no not that one), for this month anyway. We need to come up with a name for ourselves though – they rejected Gril N’ Gil for sounding fay. Which is fair for a metal magazine…

Anyway, I’ve been forced to put a bit of blog up elsewhere, for the magazine. It’s rough but it’s up on www.oxm.co.uk. However, you’ll notice (having immediately clicked on that link in your frenzied hunger to consume more of my ouevre – which I think means egg) that you need a log-in code for that link. If you’re really all that interested, mail me and I’ll try and find you one…

Oh, and a friend of a friend died suddenly in the gym about a week ago – 27 I think he was. He’d never looked healthy, but he was actually fit enough he must have just pushed himself too far. No more exercise for me then!


“Ectoplasms, Technocrats, Vegetarian, Freshwater swabs, Harlequin,Harlequin, Hydrocarbon, Polynesian, Gyroscope, Blackamoor, Anthracite, Coconut, ‘Fuzzy-wuzzy’, Anthropithecus, Anacoluthon, Invertebrate, Monopolizers, Turncoats, Ophicleides, Colocynths, Patagonian pirates, Fancy dress freebooter, Impersonations of Abominable Snowman, Iconoclast, Certified ignoramus, Second-rate son of a sword-swallower, Pithecanthropic mountebanks, Moth-eaten imitation camels, Tin-hatted tryant, Doryphores, Duck-billed platypus, Nitwitted ninepi, Fresh-water-spaceman, Certified Diplodocuses, Abecedarians, Anacoluthons, Prize Purple jellyfish, Carpathian Bashi-bazouks, Two-timing Tartar twisters, Odd-toed ungulate, Macrocephalic baboon, Phylloxera, Nyctalops.”

Ah, Captain Haddock’s insults. I’m going to call people Bashi-Bazouks (turkish horse-mercernaries) for the rest of the week.

Game X

I’d just like to point out I *HATE* Franchise X. Really, really it’s the Pits. It’s the epitome of unthinking franchises, designed to eke yet more money out of us, without risking anything, appealing to our basest instincts, sex and conservatism (it’s been around for a long time). The games companies do *so* well with this OUTRAGEOUS MEDIOCRITY that they have no need to panic until their profits sink an iota below their spectacular projections. At which point they’re normally bought out by someone even more mediocre (lowest common denominator games being oddly attractive to investment bankers.)

The ethics of this are convoluted. I have a moral obligation to bring my concerns about this pile of twaddle to our readers, however I also have a moral obligation to give this the benefit of the doubt (inherited from some diseased Romano-Christian mentality), assuming it may improve between now and release (which I know it won’t, seeing such failure of imagination that can only indicate poor, broken developers working for money rather passion, driven by the financial whips of gravy-chinned higher-ups.)

Rather than giving it the pre-emptive kicking that it deserves, which an alternative morality says thickens and hardens it, making it a stronger, more resilient game as it responds to the criticism (inherited from the Judeo-Arabic morality, perhaps) I have to grin like a fox eating shit off a wire brush and dissemble to myself that it might show promise. Also, if I kicked it, it’s likely that they’d pay no attention anyhow, as they’ve their deadlines to hit and my comments are too far down the production cycle to matter (let alone being insignificant to them) *and* it’s likely my magazine would never be allowed near it when it came to review, so there’s an element of selfishness here. Ah, the good ol’ days on Format, where no-one cared what you wrote…

Phew. Hope that’s out of my system. Now to writing the big positive preview… (yes, on my weekend – don’t you just love working on four separate issues in the same month? No, me neither.)