Tom Clancy’s Net Force: CyberNation

Okay, in my defense, I don’t read a lot of books. I read a lot of magazines and I read a lot of stuff on the web, but for the most part the only books I read are programming books and the like.

Even so, I do feel kind of stupid doing the first update to this page in ages and discovering that the last thing I read was a Net Force novel. But hey, I kind of like them and I can finish them in a week or less which gives me more time for other geeky shit… like updating my website with self defacing remarks!

Anyhow, CyberNation is a pretty tame episode in the Net Force series. It ranks higher than Night Moves, but lower than Point of Impact which I’m tempted to read again at some point. The whole storyline this time around seems pretty formulaic, and I’m pretty sure that Steve Whatsisname, the ghostwriter, is running out of ideas now. I mean, every ten pages it’s some ludicrous VR scenario which although a nice idea five books ago, is starting to wear pretty thin on the ground now.

I dunno, maybe in producing Point of Impact he set the bar higher than he expected. I can recomend this book to folk who’ve read the previous ones, though – it brings some characters back to the fore, like General Howard, for instance. On the whole it’s a run of the mill example of the great concept that makes the foundations for the series.

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Game On

Planes, Trains* and Automobiles…

Twisted Metal Black…. erm… where do I start… well, nowhere, actually. I owned it for less than 24 hours at the weekend there. Took it straight back to EB the next day and swapped it for two other games.

I’ve never done that before… heck, I even gave the terrible State of Emergency the benefit of the doubt (and I shouldn’t have). But it has to happen every once in a while, I suppose. You end up with a product so awful that the only thing to do is to return it or cut your losses and trade it in.

Not so with Ace Combat 4, for instance; I completed it the week before Easter and I’m pretty sure I’ll play it again on a rainy day. The rewards for completing the game were fantastic – you got to start over with all your planes and credits. It opened further sub missions, all the incidental music, and all the missions that made up the storyline, except you can play them individually at any difficulty level.

I haven’t had a game for ages that really rewarded you to this extent for completing it. Well done Namco!

* I was on a train at easter time. Sorry – best I could do for the headline :o)

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Ah pity the fool who has to do this!

I went on one of those funky team building courses on Monday just gone. It was actually quite good fun compared to some of the MoD ones I’ve been on in the past. Sure, it had a couple of dull bits, but since I work by myself for the most part it was good fun to mix with other folk from the building and get creative with the tasks we were given.

One of which was concepting a soap opera, and due to elements that were out of control our team managed to come up with “The Aged Team!” This was a take on the life of the A Team as they are now – in a retirement hospital. I can tell as I’m writing this that you really had to be there to get this one, but it was pretty funny at the time.

Funny up until you have to present it to fifty people including managment on the final day of your probation with the company!

I’ve no idea what sort of an impression it made – it wasn’t the winning concept and quite rightly so, I believe, as the winner was a damn sight less surreal than ours. When you add that kind of thing to a day where you threw eggs at your colleagues as part of a risk assessment exersize, it kind of makes me realise why these things are few and far between!

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