It’s so true

Posted in games at 3:31 am by wingerz


Parents can be so unreasonable sometimes.


New Super Mario Bros. – Further thoughts

Posted in games at 8:49 pm by wingerz

I beat the last castle in The New Super Mario Bros. this evening. I continued playing it for another hour or so since I haven’t collected all of the star coins (3 per level) or explored all of the paths through the worlds.

The reviews for this game have been generally positive, with a few occasional haters who complain about the challenge (or rather, lack thereof), the items (no SMB3-style suits, no flying item like the feather or cape), and the similarity to previous Mario games.

To the haters: Bah. This is a great game, with many memorable, ingeniously designed levels. All of my favorite moves are still here: dashing and ducking to squeeze into narrow spaces, getting mad ups from stomping enemies, kicking and following a shell until it hits enough enemies to give you a 1-up, sprinting over 1-block holes without worrying about falling in, jumping up to grab a power-up mushroom as it slides by.

My one complaint: I hate the wall jump and wasn’t too crazy about the butt stomp. Both of the moves make the game easier. The butt stomp lets you hit blocks on the ground (rather than fetching a turtle shell and firing it). The wall jump makes it quite easy to jump out of bottomless pits – and falling into bottomless pits is an integral part of any Mario game. The mechanic is modeled after the one in Jungle Beat and 1) doesn’t feel as intuitive as the Super Metroid wall jump and 2) is too easy to pull off. If a wall jump is going to be included, it’s got to be a nontrivial operation.

Other than that, I’m a huge fan. It’s not as good as SMB3 or SMW, but still great. Hopefully it will drive some DS Lite sales come June 11.

I love this game

Posted in basketball at 8:11 pm by wingerz

The NBA Playoffs have been unbelievably good this year. There have been a ton of great games and schedule is just about perfect from a TV watcher’s perspective (in stark contrast to last year). It worked out nicely because the Western Conference games would come on around 10:30pm.

Four Game 7s so far. Three (Lakers, Cavs, Clippers) of them have not gone my way. It’s especially tough when the team you’re rooting for was up 3-1 or 3-2 at some point – makes those “what-ifs” all the more difficult to swallow. I’m cheering for the Mavs the rest of the way for the following reasons:

  • I hate the Suns .
  • I hate the Pistons.
  • I don’t really like the Heat.
  • Mark Cuban can be loud and obnoxious, but he is quite the basketball fan.
  • The Avery Bunch (Courtesy of Joey)
  • More nut action (Courtesy of deadspin.com, which I just started reading on Grant’s recommendation)



Posted in development, dogooder, web at 8:32 pm by wingerz

I was adding links to feeds on doGooder a few nights ago. I wanted to create some ‘subscribe to this feed’ links for various RSS readers, so I started hunting around for the appropriate icons. I stumbled upon FeedBurner (via several sources, including vitamin).

Point Feedburner at your feed and point your users to Feedburner – they’ll see a page like this (all good deeds) or this (approved good deeds). The original feed is in Atom, but Feedburner converts it to whatever format is required. And it provides all of the nice little icons.

Feedburner does other stuff as well – the subscription tracking looks quite nice. Will be playing around with it more.

The Konami Code

Posted in games at 6:51 am by wingerz


Riding the Da Vinci Code wave. Very clever.


The Somewhat New Super Mario Bros.

Posted in games at 9:20 pm by wingerz

Picked up a copy of New Super Mario Bros.. Thoroughly enjoyed the few levels that I’ve played through.

The graphics have a nice 3D sheen to them, but it feels like a classic Mario game. Mario keeps things fresh with some new moves and new powerups. I’m definitely going to savor this one as I play through it. It’s been a long time since I got my SNES with Super Mario World packed in.

Love the TV commercial as well – it starts out with level 1-1 in SMB1. Upon grabbing the first mushroom, Mario powers up but continues to grow to screen height and everything morphs into NSMB graphics.



Posted in games at 9:23 pm by wingerz

Been following video game-related blogs pretty closely over the past few days as the Electronic Entertainment Expo is going on in Los Angeles. Things have changed a lot since my earliest video gaming days, when I’d have to wait for the next issue of Nintendo Power or EGM to read about the big E3 announcements. In recent years things have been better, with news coming through the big gaming sites. Now I can get a lot of different viewpoints from various blogs.

Looking most forward to:

Super Paper Mario (gc) – Loved the art style and graphical effects of the previous games.

Zelda (wii) – After numerous delays, people inside Nintendo are calling this the best, most beautiful Zelda ever.

Super Mario Galaxy (wii) – New Mario game, getting lots of praise from bloggers. Gravity model looks pretty interesting.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (wii) – I’m going to play every match as the Nintendog.

Gotta love streaming video.

I’ve kind of been glossing over the PS3 ($600!?!?) and Xbox360 news. The screenshots look amazing, but the Wii is just too intriguing – I find myself wondering how the controller will be used in new games. Really looking forward to getting my hands on the controller to see what it feels like. Sounds like the overall buzz has been quite positive, which is a great sign for Nintendo.


Upgrade to Rails 1.1

Posted in rails at 9:08 pm by wingerz

Yeah, yeah, I’m several weeks behind. A quick note for people who are (still) upgrading to Rails 1.1 – if the old Rails gem is still around make sure to edit environment.rb so that the newest gem is loaded.


Firefox Extension Keysets

Posted in development, firefox at 8:43 pm by wingerz

I helped my friend and colleague, Elias, debug his Google Calendar Quick-Add Firefox extension a a few weeks ago. The problem was that on some machines (including mine) the keyboard shortcut was not registered correctly (even though it showed up when we ran KeyConfig). Since KeyConfig itself successfully added a keyboard shortcut, I extracted the code to take a look.

Apparently in some configurations newly created keysets in the extension’s overlay.xul file are not added to existing global keysets. I changed the code from this:

to this: