Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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I've just started a new blog for my upcoming book releases: http://mark-adams-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Gaming update.

It's been a good time for games recently. There have been some great games and game demos released, and I have spent quite a bit of time playing a variety of them.

My first new game is "Rock Band Beatles" (which I have mentioned briefly before). After hours of play, Sara, Karl and myself completed the game on Medium difficulty level. With 45 Beatles songs, the game is huge fun and a must for anyone who likes the band. Vocals are brilliant fun to sing, lead guitar is great and bass guitar is sometimes quite hard. We've only played it with drums once or twice, and they were actually quite difficult. Good old Ringo played a mean beat! If I was to rate this game out of 10 I believe it should get a 8/10.

Second new game is "Need For Speed: Shift". It's a racing game, that is split up into four different tiers, plus a fifth super-special tier. At first, I was a bit dubious. Graphics are more life-like and less colourful than other games of this genre, however the in-car cockpit view is absolutely awesome. Once you get a little way into the game, it becomes like a drug. Unlike many modern racers, you can actually throw these cars the track and have some serious fun. The track design is brilliant, and there's a great selection of cars. Anyone who knows me, knows I love racing games, and for it to be something special, it takes a lot. I think "Shift" is now my favourite racing game. It mixes old-skool throwing the car around, with modern driving physics and overall great control... and it's FUN! I'll rate this 9/10.

I'm also in the process of going through some older games. I'm replaying "Uncharted: Drakes Fortune" for the third time, and I'm loving every minute of it. I forgot how good the graphics, story and game play are in this game. This gets a 10/10 easy, and was probably the first PS3 triple A title. I'm also going through "Brothers In Arms: Hells Highway". This game takes some getting used to with the controls (as you have to command a couple of other teams as well as control yourself!), but once mastered it's a great WWII shooter. Graphics are nothing special, but the overall feel of the game is pretty good. So far then, over half way through it, I'll give it 7/10.

I spent an hour or so playing some classic Megadrive classics yesterday also, "Super Hang-On", "Golden Axe" and "Wonder Boy III". Wow, how games have progressed, and these games only managed to keep my mind occupied for a short time. I even completed "Golden Axe" in that short time I played the games!

So, next big game being released is "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves", which I have on pre-order. Review will be coming up soon!

:) Mark

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Beatles Remasters - A Review

On 09/09/09 the entire Beatles back catalogue was re-released in brand new packaging and with totally revamped and re-mastered sound quality. On that day I received The Beatles Stereo Box-Set and I also managed to acquire The Mono set of CDs as well. Since that day, I have been listening to these albums and making some decisions on the sound quality.

First off though, some background. I had in my collection all the original 1987 CD releases, plus I had CD copies of the 24-bit remastered Dr Ebbetts editions of all the Beatles collection. The Dr Ebbetts selection gave us much improved sound quality over the original official Beatles releases so the new official releases had a lot to live up to.

The Stereo Box-Set comes in a lush black box, with all the albums recreated lovingly in fold-out reconstructions of the original LP covers. They all come with great quality booklets with notes and tons of pictures, and it looks like a lot of work went into these beauties.

So, the sound quality is where of course it matters most. These days I am used to listening to 24-bit digitally remastered classics by my other favourite artists, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and The Byrds, so The Beatles remasters had a lot to compete with.

The stereo albums without a doubt sound far superior to anything ever released by The Beatles. They knock the spots off the 1987 CDs and they are superior to the already amazing Dr Ebbetts versions. There is a nice amount of bass, the mid-range is now much better and the top end is pristine. Never does a song sound like it is going to crack at any second, everything breathes and you can hear things in the recordings that you never noticed before. Guitars sound stunning, drums sound real and cymbals make the right noise. Vocals too sound perfect, and when yoy hear Paul sing "Yesterday", it's as if he is in the room with you.

The mono versions of the albums are sometimes regarded to THE albums to listen to. Yes, they have some subtle (and not so subtle) differences to the Stereo versions, however for those who have never heard the mono versions, this is the best they have ever sounded, only slightly better than the Dr Ebbetts releases, however better. For me as an avid fan, I would say listen to both versions when ever possible, however, for the first time ever I now say The Beatles in Stereo sound have that little edge on the mono recordings.

So, which version should you buy? Well, the only versions available of the albums that are sold sepreatly are the stereo versions, so for a casual fan these will be more than adequate... Infact, the albums Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour are all must buy purchases!

:) Mark

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

General update

Life in general
So, it's September 2009. Time is flying by at an unbelievable pace at the moment and I just can't keep up with everything. I've been looking for work, and I've been enjoying my time off. It's a whole mish-mash of feelings at the moment, but I want a job that will do me for a few good years yet. I'm working on my own business, but I don't know how that will pan-out yet.

I got back from London yesterday. Sara and me had a good time, although Sara found it hard work with her bad knee and crutches. Everytime her leg seems to get slightly better, it then gets slightly worse. I do sympathise with her, and I wish that it would get better as I can see the constant pain that she is in.

My blood pressure seems to be ok at the moment (touch-wood), however, I'm getting worked up at stupid things, so I'll tell the doctor tomorrow when I visit him. I'll be just glad when everything is back to normal and we're all working and money is coming in again.

I've not had much chance to do a lot of gaming recently, however I have installed the new firmware 3.0 for the PS3 and I think it's ok. The new sparkle effects are nice, and everything seems to be running that little bit quicker. I like the BBC iPlayer icon and I like what they have done to the internet browser. So, all in all not bad.

I have played a few demos, Dirt 2 being my least favourite probably. It looked nice don't get me wrong, but just doesn't "feel" right. "Wet" looks interesting, but I've not had time to fully explore this yet, as does "mini-ninjas".

I really fancy doing some old-skool 8-bit and 16-bit gaming over the next week or so, so I'll probably fire-up my emulators and have a good old blast of Zub and other classics.

Beatles Rock Band and Stereo Box-Set
So, this time next week I will hopefully have the above titles. I'm really looking forward to them and know I'm just going to have a blast. Although I have always been a fan of the Beatles albums in mono, I have heard great things about the stereo mixes on the forthcoming release.

So, I'll blog next week on the Beatles goodies that I should have... Until then... Chow!