Apple makes amazing products and our iPad became a brick less than a year after we bought it. “Less than a year == warranty is still active” decided we and visited a (Takhisis forgive me) Apple Genius Bar. I feel embarrassed just typing this! Our device was officially announced dead (something with its power) and we were offered a replacement for just $500. We asked what the hell and turned out that according to their data our warranty had already expired. Luckily for us, we managed to convince them that it had to be the wrong date (apparently, they used the date the iPad was shipped to the retailer). So, waiting for a new one.

London Knights started selling tickets to the next season and I’m a simple man — so bought them to 4 games already, mainly because they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse — get the ticket to the home opener if you buy two more in addition. Going to be fun.

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We’re getting more and more decent game or rendering game engines which can be used for free.

Google release a rendering engine, filament — reportedly very well documented:

https://github.com/google/filament

Xenko has become a community project under permissive MIT license (and it contains an implementation of the Bowyer-Watson tetrahedralization algorithm, I was looking for one to toy with probe based lighting).

A concert with a line-up including Slayer, Testament and Anthrax can’t be bad by definition — so no words of excitement, just facts.

Napalm Death’s vocalist is wild but unlikely that will make me listen to them. But his stage behaviour is… something.

Testament were super relaxed and played a good set that included universally loved “Over the Wall” and “Into The Pit”. Minus one point for skipping “Disciples of the Watch”. Turned out that Gene Hoglan is again behind the drums for Testament — I had to re-check that because my eyes aren’t sharp and I could’ve easily mistaken him for another guy.

It was a bad idea to include Anthrax as a warming up band. I kind of looked forward to the Testament’s part because I hadn’t seen them live but, frankly, Anthrax stole the show (comparing to their Bay Area colleagues) — my neck started aching after “Madhouse”. They started and finished the set with “Cowboys from Hell” and it was a great thing.

Completely skipped “Lamb of God”. First, I’m not a fan of them. Second — we had to be ready for the main part.

Slayer performed a long set and gave the audience everything we wanted to hear. There were songs from almost all albums and for me it’s hard to find a song I wish they’d played in addition. It was the first concert with fire effects I saw and I can only imagine how hot it was on the stage because even on the more than 10m distance we could feel the heat. But it looked truly demonic sometimes (“Hell Awaits” with fire all over the place — it was brutal). Araya didn’t talk much, just in the end said that they’re going to miss us. We’re going to miss them too (although we’re lucky bustards we saw the original Slayer line-up with Lombardo and alive Hanneman).

Gamelog: Ratchet & Clank

A funny story with all those Rachet & Clank games. Every time I start playing another one, I do it rather reluctantly, like “Again Ratchet & Clank, unlikely I’ll finish this one, it’s the same shit I’ve played before” and so on. And every time it grabs me after a couple of hours, I complete it and collect all golden bolts.

PS4 edition is an almost perfect platformer. Yeah, the story is sort of boring and I enjoyed it less than the original game — but gameplay is second to none. After releasing millions of other R&C games Insomniac simply couldn’t make it bad =) Ratchet is the team’s muscles — he’s crashing everything on his path, riding a hoverboard, flying around on some levels and having a lot of fun. Clank is the brain and his gameplay moments are dedicated to solving various puzzles using bots. Not as awesome as time travelling puzzles in “A Crack in time”, which is my favourite game in the series, but anyway it’s a very good pace-changer. The game isn’t long or difficult and playing it was a perfect way to relax after work. So, I guess we’re going to see the second (hehe) chapter sooner or later =)

 

Animelog: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou

I didn’t watch the original “Legend of Galactic Heroes” and after watching the first part of  its remake I think that I should have. Because despite reading good reviews and seeing this show in various “anime you must watch before you die” lists I’d been very skeptical and the main reason for my skepticism was the length of the anime. What the hell, 110 episodes? Who being sane and relatively sober makes anime that long? But after 12 episodes of the remake that nonsensical amount of episodes started to look more, let’s say, justifiable.

This is an epic anime. Dozens of characters, a few plot lines; if there’s a skirmish — a least a million soldiers must be participating. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see how one generation is changed with another during the course of the show.

This is an anime for patient viewers. One battle can easily take a couple of episodes.

This is a beautiful anime. Production IG did tremendous job (and probably invested a noticeable sum into visual) but I’d say that results say for themselves. One of the best CG in anime I’ve seen recently and even better 2D graphics.

I’d really like to say that the “Legend” is an anime for adults and to some extent it is. I guess if I were 15 it’d be really boring for me to watch all this political and military manoeuvring. Unfortunately, sometimes this anime reminds us that originally it was made in 80s. Sometimes it’s too naive, sometimes characters behave like they’re, you know, anime characters. Wen-li Yang is too positive to be realistic but his antagonist on the Empire side is impressively grey-ish even according to modern standards.

Maybe because of my long love to Gundam and their epic space battles, maybe because I hadn’t seen any space opera anime for a long time but for me “Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu” finished as the best anime of this spring season and it’s a huge disappointment that we’re not going to see how the story’s winding up until 2019. Well, maybe it’s a sign — that the original show is waiting.