Thursday, 7 August 2008

Tying it all together

Just a little mention of this great game “Braid”, now available on the Xbox Live marketplace for the sum of 1200MS points (about a tenner). I’ve been playing Geometry Wars 2 and thoroughly enjoying it’s frenetic yet strangely calming gameplay, and now, what do you know? Only another great XBLA game that is it’s polar opposite.

Braid is a strange one, a magical and oddly compelling tale, of Love, time and a Princess told through the medium of Super Mario style platforming by way of Blinx style time manipulation.

I won’t try to describe it in any great detail, suffice to say that even if, like me, you are not great with platforming games this needn’t be an obstacle to exploring the beautiful hand painted worlds. Central to the game is time manipulation, and whilst more advanced versions of this are in each game “world” the central mechanic of rewinding time is always present. The difficulty of the game is thus understanding your abilities and the world, rather than your gamepad dexterity. I can’t recommend it enough, don’t forget every XBLA game has a free trial.

I found the story rather affecting as well; an unusual admission in respects of a platformer!

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Friday, 1 August 2008

A really major story?

Wow, it really is nice to see a story concerning "future" power sources that isn't a crackpot with a perpetual motion machine. Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan at MIT have authored a paper describing a new system for storing the energy obtained from solar panels. This new technique, based on the photosynthesis of plants, allows the Sun's energy to be stored by splitting ordinary tap water into Hydrogen and Oxygen gases. Later, these can be re-combined in fuel cells to power Cars and other devices.

"This is the nirvana of what we've been talking about for years,"
-- MIT's Dainel Nocera

Requiring nothing but non-toxic natural materials available in abundance, this discovery could bear fruit within 10 years, hopes Nocera.

"This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind,"
-- Barber, Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London

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