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This is an amusing Penny Arcade. ^_^ (Of course, it can be thought of in multiple ways, depending on what you want to read into it..)

Nanosaur II: Hatchling is now available, in demo and full forms. Whether it'll run happily on anything I have remains to be seen (given my quirky access of late), but I thoroughly enjoyed the Allosaurian original; the claimed required minimum is a G4/700 and 32MB Radeon/GeForce2. ^_^;;

"Why do you think I took on 'Jaws: The Revenge'? Because it was the dead of
winter, and it was an excuse to go to the Bahamas for a few weeks. I am not
some sybarite or idiot movie star with an ermine-lined swimming pool, but I
do have a certain standard of living, which is fucking high." - Michael
Caine, 1988.

404: these Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed. *giggle*

Can anyone suggest a good place to find a USB keyboard (the musical variety) for as close to nothing as possible? (Or, for that matter, any old Casio or such and MIDI-USB converter)

Oh.. my. Um. Er. There's going to be a Seven Samurai video game..

A Kurosawa Epic Turned Video Game

March 14, 2004
By ROBERT LEVINE

EACH year, to the breathless excitement of some and the
pained exasperation of others, video games develop more of
the narrative drive of films, and movies get more of the
frenetic action of video games. This is not only a matter
of aesthetics. For decades the game business has looked to
Hollywood for inspiration, and nearly every blockbuster
worth its boffo box office eventually becomes a property
for PlayStation, Nintendo or Xbox.

For many movies, the video games practically suggest
themselves. The pod race scene in "Star Wars: Episode 1 -
The Phantom Menace," for example, seems as if it were
designed to be a game, and George Lucas's company made it
one.

In the case of Akira Kurosawa's three-and-a-half-hour
masterpiece, "Seven Samurai," however, a game isn't exactly
obvious. Released in 1954, the film has a stately pace and
an artful composition that would seem ill suited to a
medium associated with twitchy action and lightning-quick
shifts in perspective. But Seven Samurai 20XX, a
PlayStation 2 game made with the cooperation of the
filmmaker's son, Hisao, will be released March 23, which
would have been his 94th birthday.

The project grew out of a conversation between the younger
Kurosawa, who runs a foundation dedicated to preserving his
father's work, and his friend Hajime Satomi, president and
chairman of the Sammy Corporation, a Japanese game
manufacturer. The company was intrigued by the plot of
"Seven Samurai," about a group of warriors who agree to
defend a small village from roving marauders. But the
film's 16th-century feudal setting limited the graphic
possibilities, and Sammy executives feared that Kurosawa's
extended buildup to the action would strain
18-to-24-year-old attention spans. "We had to put more
action in there," said Brian Glazebrook, the game's
producer.

Most of that action consists of hacking up enemies with a
sword, and game designers added fighting to the beginning
of the story, when players must recruit six more samurai.
The company also shifted the setting from medieval Japan to
a futuristic landscape filled with a dizzying variety of
robotic-looking foes designed by the French comics artist
Jean Giraud, who works under the name Moebius.

"We're doing the same thing that the film industry did with
`The Magnificent Seven,' " said Steve Fowler, a Sammy
product manager, referring to John Sturges's 1960 western
remake of Kurosawa's epic. "You could have put it in feudal
Japan, but you couldn't have had all those cool
explosions."

To Hisao Kurosawa, "the movie and the game are two separate
things," he said in an e-mail message, through a
translator. And while Seven Samurai 20XX has enemies
bearing high-tech weapons and a backdrop that owes less to
Kurosawa than to "Blade Runner," the game loosely follows
the arc of "Seven Samurai" and takes on some of its
essential scenes. Those are "the key moments in the movie
he wanted to represent in the game," Mr. Glazebrook said.
In animated sequences that frame the action, players see
the samurai make a flag to carry into battle, just as they
do in the film, and the climactic fight revolves around
cutting off and trapping the enemy. The game player takes
cues from an older, wiser warrior, just as the main
character does in the film.

"Seven Samurai" isn't the only classic movie to be made
into a game: "The Great Escape" and the 1969 version of
"The Italian Job" have had similar transformations. "I
think they were looking for inspiration, story-wise," said
Demian Linn, the reviews editor of Electronic Gaming
Monthly. So far, he said, some gamers who had played early
versions of Seven Samurai 20XX found it not all that
different from other "hack-and-slash" games in which
players mash buttons to execute offensive and defensive
moves. On the other hand, "it has swords," he said.
"Everybody loves swords."

Robert Levine is a New York-based senior editor at Wired
magazine.


The updaters for OS X 10.3.3 are now out via Software Update and on the fruit company's site. Usual bits and pieces, including what may be some helpful Samba enhancements.

An' I drew something last night. ^_^ Just a very quick little head sketch, nothing of any significance, but I'll admit it's not completely hideous, and is (well, okay, not that surprisingly) very similar to my style of a few years ago. Mmm.. it's a feeling I've not enjoyed in much too long.. almost meditative, but with the essence being creation rather than contemplation. (Of course, I forgot to bring that slip of paper along for scanning, but hopefully in the next few days)
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Yep, just the keys - I'd be fiddling around purely in software. Of course, if I wound up being able to lay my paws on something with some audio capabilities of its own, still at a minimal price, I'd be happy to make semi-tuneful twirlips on that too.

eBay's probably about the best option, yes - or even the Chapter Arts Centre's noticeboard, perhaps. I tried one branch of Cash Converters, but their few keyboards were basically new low-end stuff. Not that expensive, but still a touch above what's feasible at the moment, especially with helping with the car taking priority.

Meh. I ought to just see what I can do with the PowerBook's own keyboard first. ^_^;

And I thought the Law and Order video game was a reach.

Still, drawing's great. I try to draw something every day, but I haven't got any way to scan, so I can't further embarrass myself with attempted artwork. Which is just as well, since I'm not up to drawing the stuff I really want to do.

Seven Samurai game...*cough*