The smell of determination

So much stuff, so little time

Monday, June 12, 2006 | 03:18 PM | by
The Battlefield 2 GameDay this weekend was lots of fun. I was only around for a couple of hours, but I had a great squad. Maybe we'll do it again this weekend.

I got my DS Lite, of course. My interest in the DS system was greatly rekindled last month at E3, after seeing/touching/fondling/loving a certain number of new related items. Particularly the Lite, but also the increasingly interesting library of games. New Super Mario Bros. already released, and The Phantom Hourglass soon to be released.

It is an attractive little system. Not quite as sleek as the PSP, but certainly a vast improvement over its predecessor. That it's thinner and more compact gives me the means to actually take my DS places now, and not worry about listing to one side or the other, depending on which pants pocket housed the system.

While we're speaking of gaming-related items and the ilk, there are a couple of more items I've been using, which I shall report to you on...

I've used Zboards for the past year or so. I was drawn to the novelty of the swappable keysets, and have a Zboard on each of my computers. I found the keysets more beneficial for slower-paced games, like MMO's and RTS titles, where having all of the commands printed on the keyboard was a convenience for immediate edification.

However, for quicker action titles, like shooters, for instance, I didn't have the luxury of looking down at the keyboard every few minutes. You learned the commands you needed, or you were sniper fodder. But I did like the "butterfly" movement keys. The only problem was, keysets with the butterfly movement keys also featured a condensed regular key layout with a gap in the middle. So typing was awkward and clumsy.

They take some getting used to, since WASD is second nature to most of us by now. But the butterfly keys are larger and more distinctly shaped.

Well recently I got my hands on an early copy of Zboard's new product, the Fang. It offers a gaming-centric pad with the butterfly movement keys, without needing a whole new keyboard  + keyset. You can still keep your keyboard front and center for quick easy typing, and the Fang can be off to the side in a more natural position. Pretty good stuff.

I've also gotten a Sumo Omni beanbag chair, which I've been using for the last week or so. I've always liked beanbags, but it's tough to find a good one. Most of them are too small, or too loose. I've found that the Omni features neither of those problems.

First of all, this sucker is HUGE. It's a large item, so you have a lot of material to work with. When it first comes out of the box it's got a pretty strong chemical smell, but that doesn't last very long.

It's made out of a canvas-like material, so it seems very durable and obviously resistant to stain. What I like best about it is the filling. It's empty enough that you can manipulate it, but sturdy enough that it holds the shapes you mold it to. So you can spend a few days carving out your ideal sitting position, molding this thing to your butt, and it will stay that way (until you shake it out). And it's large enough that you can come up with a lot of different positions.

My only real complaint would be the giant seam around the edge, in certain seating postitions can be uncomfortable and annoying. But you can throw a blanket over the chair and it's all gravy.

The Street Fighter Alpha Anthology for the PS2 is supposed to come out tomorrow. I'm tempted, but leaning away from picking it up because we're supposed to finally get Street Fighter on XBL this summer.

Hopefully.

Fan Art

Monday, June 12, 2006 | 05:40 PM | by
I used to have a fan art section back before the site redesign, and I keep meaning to restablish it when I get time.

But this past week I got two pieces of exceptional fan art that I wanted to share with you. I thought you might enjoy them.

The first one comes from Tauhid Bondia, who drew Super Ethan:



And this Zeke painting was done by the very talented Kimmo Lemetti. I was blown away:



Thank you both for the awesome fan art!