Archive - Mar 2009

Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 24, 09 2:10am

Everyone has their one show which is just special to them, mine is The Worst Witch... and not just because it's about a group of school girls. I've watched it since I was a little kid and I could watch more repeats of it than The Simpsons.

The Worst Witch began 16 October 1998 and so I've been watching it for over a decade now. It's based around a school set in a castle called Cackle's Academy. The storyline revolves around Mildred Hubble and her friends who get into all sorts of fun.

After the original came Weirdsister College, a spin-off series based upon the old cast as young adults in college. It only lasted a funny total of thirteen episodes and wasn't very good... explains a lot.

Then came the The New Worst Witch, a sequel series to the original. The protagonist girl Mildred Hubble is replaced by her cousin Henrietta Hubble (way cuter) and of course new friends and enemies. The teachers carry old and new staff with a very sad result in a new Miss Hardbroom.

Between the new and old there are some notable differences. The old one was more about lessons, both in literal and moral terms. The newer one is usually just some fault of Hetty and having to fix it. The older one also had more diversity when it came to plot writing. Though the new one is of course more realistic and a better flow due to past experience.

They also made it an easy transition to a point where you didn't care about the change in series. Everyone is the same, mostly just replaced actors. The only thing different is the time frame. Even minute details like both protagonists having special familiars.

There's also a lot of similarities to the Harry Potter season. It's to be expected but when you really look into it, the sheer amount is surprising. The Worst Witch actually started off as a book series too, long before Harry Potter as well so nice job mirroring someone elses work Rowling!

This show brings to mind a lot of nice memories for me. It's one of few things I have happy memories of from childhood. The English accents make me miss home. The storyline is interesting and somewhat cute I guess, but not to a point of being lame.

Anyway, come in and tell me what programs from your childhood were special to you. Don't be embarrassed, I just admitted I enjoyed pretending I was part of an all-girl world of magic and fantasy after all.

Oh and I found one decent picture of Hetty Hubble's actor, darn it's hard to find pictures for old children's shows.

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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 23, 09 5:12am

A side to me that few, if any of you, would know about me. I enjoy a good part, a good outing or a good hanging out with mates. Despite the fact it seems I spend all my time on this site, as much as I love it, I have a life! ;-;

So anyway, this weekend I had a couple of mates over. It just consisted of blasting out music, fiddling with my sexy guitar and gaming it out until the birds sing the dawn into existence. This means missing the next day due to sleeping the whole time but it's a decent sacrifice.

Anyway last night was funny, just littered my room. So I took a photo, sorry it's missing a load of cans though one of the two friends knocked a load onto the floor (you can see his hand on the mouse). I made my mate listen to Sylosis because he hadn't yet. We followed this up with Cradle of Filth, Necrophagist, Brain Drill and all sorts of metal bands really.

I'll give $10 to anyone who can figure out the game that's on the computer screen. It's brilliant, everyone should play it.

Anyway I better run off again, 3000 words to write for a novel and the night is running out. Goodnight!

Oh and I love that computer! Had her since 2000 and she still serves me well.

pc music musingsthoughts gaming related sylosis brain drill necrophagist cradle of filth partying
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 16, 09 2:46am

You all know my life revolves around music. If not, you don't know me enough! Though look at my blog and you'll see that I do like my music quite a bit.

So what have I been doing lately in terms of music? Well thanks to my friend, we've really been getting into Technical Death Metal. What an excellent genre it is too, well depending on the band anyway. Currently we've discovered Necrophagist, Psycroptic and Brain Drill. My personal favourite is Necrophagist, we're both learning the song Stabwound and we're taking one of the two guitars each so we can play at the same time and whatnot. Of course he takes professional lessons and puts more effort in, so I let him do the trickier stuff. Funny actually, he ran out and bought a tabs book by them he's into them that much.

Lately though, I've really gotten into Sylosis... and not just because they're British, although it sure does help. They get into influences from quite a few genres, but you'd call them Epic Thrash Metal. Their sound is brilliant and I like the entire album of Conclusion of an Age. Funny band too when you look at them. The singer looks like your average English pub guy, the bassist has mad dreads and a guitarist has really young looks and is a bit hobo-ish.

I have been enjoying them so much, I even had to go to the Music Forum and make a thread which you can find here. Hopefully I can get more people into Sylosis, since they're pretty new on the block and are only just starting to make their way in the music industry... not helped by the fact it's impossible to find their CD in Australia...

So what of the old friends part you ask? Neoseeker has been odd lately for friends. Really old ones appearing again and others changing or disappearing. I really miss a few, wish they'd make some time to actually chat but I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Speaking of friends, Valentines Day sure was interesting. I had three cupid messages from that Neoseeker account. I've been interrogating people, but so far no luck in terms of finding out who are the culprits. All I can say is if you're the one who offered sex, you'd better be good at it.

That's it for now really, yeah. ^^

friends band sylosis guitar music musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 12, 09 5:12am

Those of you kind enough to read my blog will know that earlier in the year I made an entry about joining GameGrep which I felt was a nice promotion for another part of our wonderful site. Today I want to spend some time talking about User Reviews. (This may become a series)

A User Review is simply a review of a game created by a member of our very own site. It's a way for us to get out all our thoughts on a specific game/movie/book and more. Which leads me on to my first point, variety.

People, in the majority, only seem to think you can submit reviews for games. Now this is a skewed idea as it isn't true! I mean, I myself recently did a review for an Australian movie called Gabriel. We have a movie and book sections too, try checking them out some time! Surely if you're not too big of a gamer but enjoy the TV/Movies forum, you'd want to review movies or for those of the Book forum books.

So what is your incentive for writing a review you ask? Well first and most importantly of all, it should be for yourself. It should be for self satisfaction and to tell everyone else what you really think of the object in question, whether it's worth them looking into it or not. Wouldn't you want to save someone from spending their hard earned money and getting something rubbish? Or putting it to something good they would not have thought of before?

My prime and favourite example would be my review of de Blob which I was very proud of. It's a game which people don't really seem to like based upon what they've heard/seen, but I completely disagree! I love the darn game, it's my favourite on my Wii. I wrote the review with a passion to show others that de Blob is a cool game which anyone would like to play, even taking it further to blog about de Blob (sorry for the lack of link it won't work, check out my blog if you would like to read it) in the hopes of inspiring a couple more potential customers.

How do you go about writing a review? It can seem a bit daunting at first, I admit I still read mine over several times once done and many times during typing. Not to mention checking it constantly until it's approved, I just hope I'm the only one with soft nerves. You have three sections which is the best thing to have a look at being Good, Bad and Summary. This can be done in a number of different ways but some people don't do it effectively.

I used to use the Good and Bad sections but I don't anymore. It's best to look at them as a sort of introduction to your review rather than using them as the review. People tend to use Good and Bad for their points and then use the summary as a conclusion which is... well tacky and poor really, no offence meant. What is a good way of using them is bullet points of aspects you found good or bad which you will then outline in the summary.

Your summary is best used as your actual review. Now you can make this look as professional as you like, the review system accepts the same coding you use in the Neoseeker forums so you make bolded sub headings or underline key terms, whatever tickles your fancy. Personally I enjoy using subheadings with simple coding just to give it some more structure and help break up the points better than just a wall of text.

Images and videos are another thing you can incorporate which only a few people actually do, sadly. Again this uses the exact same coding as the Neoseeker forums, so linking to screenshots or YouTube videos is as easy as 1 2 3. These are really nice to put in, as people may notice I enjoy doing with my own... a lot... Anyway, it allows people to see what you're describing and makes for much higher levels of interest from your audience.

Then of course we have our rating system, which can be anywhere from 1 to 5. This is a straight forward decide and click method which I hope you would not need me to help with, but make sure you give it a good amount of thought to make sure you benefit the community as best as possible. Being a very nice person doesn't mean you have to give out very high scores every time if it's not what you think it deserves.

Oh and one thing I like to stress is length. If you have the motivation to write a review, why why why would you submit one which is only a few paragraphs long!? Please, the longer the better is honestly a philosophy I would push upon all of you. Yes we can say that it's quality over quantity, but I think at least around 10,000 characters is needed to make a decent review. If someone would want to debate my statement you may, but whether it's a game/movie/book the diversity allows you to easily make that count with a little thought and effort.

So for those of you who don't get enough by doing good, perhaps I can tempt you with the prospect of NeoPoints. We offer 6 NeoPoints per review, which is a good amount if you ask me. One of the higher paying contributions to the site that's for sure!

If this is still not enough, perhaps you are one who enjoys challenges? Sadly, there is an awesome forum on our site which is largely overlooked. This is the User Reviews Critiques and Help Forum which we encourage all writers of reviews to join. You can share and discuss with like minded people, which I personally find enjoyable. It's a good place to see all the reviews which go into the site, so you can keep up to date with the latest reviews submitted.

One really brilliant thread in this forum is the Articles of Excellence Thread. This is run by Chad who does a great job by the way and does it out of his own time to try and make it more fun for those who make reviews and quite frankly it's disappointing by the fact that few people participate given how many members contribute reviews, his effort deserves better reward. Anyway, it consists of rounds which last for two weeks. He gathers up links to all of the reviews submitted within each two weeks and puts them in the first post. At the end, it's time for voting where people can vote on which they think is their favourite. Then a winner is picked and they receive a pat on the back through congratulations by other members and a guestbook signing or two if you're lucky.

So in conclusion we have self satisfaction, NeoPoints and competition. If that isn't enough, I'm not sure what else I can do other than offer favours or something... depending on what your flow is. Like with GameGrep, I'm willing to tutor anyone who is interested in doing reviews but isn't quite confident enough to start or you what more explanation or pointers. If not me then PM someone else who has a lot of experience like Chad, Insanity Prevails or Vermillion whom I'm sure wouldn't have a problem with helping you either as we'd love to see more people get involved and have our community grow.

So yeah reviews, get into them or do more depending on who you are. If you're interested in my stuff, look here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 7, 09 3:27pm

Now before I start I need to say one thing. I'm a male, therefore I pretty much hate every bit of reality TV you throw at me. One show which always gets my viewing pleasure, however, is the Biggest Loser. Now perhaps watching fat people work out doesn't exactly sound pleasurable, unless you're in front of the window eating ice cream, but my reasoning extended beyond such trifles. I liked the idea that they give a plinth for which people who became overweight and become healthy again which they very likely would not have, just dying on a street somewhere. I enjoy seeing real emotions, which aren't faked by some soap actor who pulls the same face every scene, yes I'm pointing my finger at you Bold and the Beautiful. Oh and I love temptation, you can't begin to imagine how much I drool and want as they bring out all this delicious fatty foods on a plate, especially since I have an inability when it comes to gaining weight.

So why have I suddenly lost faith in the show? What made me think wow, these people aren't nice at all. I have three words for you, Biggest Loser Club.

I came home about two weeks ago and heard the TV announce what was called the Biggest Loser Club. I thought yay, they've extended their hand to helping people out in all gyms or something. I was mistaken after hearing the rest of it. It was a promotion of a bar and milkshake range they'd created, suggesting that fat people should skip two meals a day and have one of their products and they'll lose weight in no time.

Nooooo way man, slow down! You're telling me that skipping on food makes me lose weight? Gosh, never would've thought about that myself. Effective slightly, healthy god no. So now they've got this advertisement showing on a very regular basis which promotes an unhealthy lifestyle to the unhealthy in a bid to get more money. There is already enough stupid milkshake and bar programs out there, does my hero need to sink so low? Must they shift from saving fat people to abusing fat people? If I owned the channel, I would ban the show from being aired and see them lose money and try and make sure it doesn't get shown anywhere else either.

I think what annoyed me most is the two people who were advertising the shake and bar combo was two contestants of last year. I watched their weight journey, both struggles and joys. They put in so much effort to get where they are and now they're willing to sell out and put their face on TV saying "Yeah, this stuff helps me keep my weight off blah blah". I'm just glad I didn't see the trainers doing it, or I would've really raged.

So yes, I've been emotional about reality TV, very un-male of me. I do, however, think it's rather justified in means and end. So now fat people are being used and abused for money, nothing new of course but something I didn't want to see furthered. I'll just stick to Hannah Montana or something.

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