Noise to Signal

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September 2009

Gameswipe, then. / 30.09.09

As you might have gathered, there are three things we like rather a lot on Noise to Signal : Doctor Who, games, and Charlie Brooker. And in the absence of TARDISwipe, last night’s BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe was bound to get us a bit excited.

And a fairly decent piece of television it was, too. While far from the best thing that Charlton has ever put his nickname to, it generally spoke from an informed and authoritative position, was as well-made as ever (including a wonderful opening titles sequence), and made a number of salient points, some of which had never really been touched upon by TV-based games coverage before (including a discussion of… TV-based games coverage). And with each new series, the Zeppotron archive-hunting department seem to get better and better, with some brilliant choices of old footage (indeed, the sections that looked at the mass media’s attitude to gaming over the years were generally among the programme’s best material).

Nevertheless, we wouldn’t be complete bastards if we didn’t get nitpicky, so here are a few general thoughts on the show, and on how we felt it might have done a bit better.

Benjamin Cook. Doctor Who Stuff. Ebay. / 27.09.09

As blethered about on Twitter. Listings are here; 10% goes to Children In Need.

Not sure I’d pay a single penny for a Voyage of the Damned script, but who knows what else might show up…

At What Point Do You Stop Being 'The' Sugababes? / 21.09.09

With the Right Said Fred-quoting Get Sexy still in the charts, the last original member of Sugababes, Keisha Buchanan, has quit the band. From their official website:

“The current line-up of the Sugababes has disbanded. Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue as the Sugababes and will be joined by new member Jade Ewen. They release their album ‘Sweet 7’ on November 23rd through Island Records. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record for Island Records as a solo artist.”

Gypsy Creams / 20.09.09

If, like me, you’re fascinated with 60s advertising, you should enjoy my new site, Gypsy Creams (after the iconic biscuits of the era), which will be updated reasonably regularly with my thoughts on the huge number of 60s print advertisements in my possession. As these all come from women’s magazines, I may well be tempted to expand my thoughts to the problem pages, which, as you imagine, make very interesting reading.

Feedback, comments and bug reports are all very welcome!

PRINT "BOOBIES "; / 14.09.09

Not so much a sister site, more a third cousin twice removed - The Iconbar has a great report on last weekend’s Acorn World 2009 event (part of the Retro Reunited convention).


Gameswipe, there. / 10.09.09

Shamelessly nicked from Off the Telly (and speaking of that site, we’re a bit late in wishing Graham and the gang a happy tenth birthday, but it’s well worth doing, because it’s collectively one of our favourite sites, and indeed perhaps the biggest inspiration for the creation of NTS), here’s some info from Endemol on the upcoming BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe, a project that I imagine something like 99.9% of the regular readership of NTS are probably at least a bit excited about. Hurrah!

Flat Out / 09.09.09

The next core series Sonic game has had its initial teaser released somewhat earlier than expected- the games are on a two yearly cycle, and the 2010 release has been announced much earlier than Unleashed was. It’s a rather more retro affair this time around, with the ‘Project Needlemouse’ described as being the HD old-school 2D game that the mass media have been requesting for so long. I’ve got mixed views here- I’d happily have settled for a straight sequel to the sublime Unleashed, but with Sonic Team apparently having put their house in order during the development of that title, I’m reasonably confident that the result will be a quality offering.

Reaction to the news has been largely predicable, with expressions of mild interested on display amongst the expected bashers of 3D Sonic in general and Unleashed in particular. The one thing that wasn’t expected, however, is the vocal cries that the game should use spites rather than polygon models displayed side-on. It’s not entirely clear why, as fully 3D models would offer greater gameplay and display flexibility, given the varying resolutions available under the HD banner…

The ABC of Dee / 06.09.09

Following on from Simon Dee's recent death, NTS presents a scan of an interview with Simon Dee at the height of his fame, taken from the June 14, 1969 edition of Woman's Own. Although the day-in-the-life is something of a puff piece, it does feature the passage "Dee seems, to his fans, boyishly engaging. To his critics he is irritatingly incompetent", suggesting that opinion on him was, at the very least, divided.

Simple Things / 04.09.09

Unlike the western release earlier this year, this month’s Japanese version of the House of the Dead: Overkill has a familar presence on its cover, in the form of the iconic red HotD logo. This is the first time that the original branding has been used for a core series title since 1999’s House of the Dead 2.

That is all.