random thoughts to oil the mind

Month: May 2010

GTA: Vice City

It’s good to be back!

Last week I had one of those urges that only a pregnant man can have, to step back into the shoes of Tommy Vercetti and relive the delights of Vice City. This 2003 Rockstar outing was easily one of the best games I ever played, everything about it simply oozed style and polish. It’s almost as if the developers took a standard checklist of things that get rated in a game, made sure every area got given the works, and then spent the rest of their time filling in the gaps. Because it’s exactly that which nails it for this game, the attention to detail that makes playing Vice City like stepping into the ’80s: the clothes, the music, the cars, the giant mobile phones, heck, even the intro scene features the game being loaded on a Commodore 64. Rockstar’s particular sense of humour is also here to see by the bucketload, from the tongue-in-cheek nature of some of the missions, through the fantastic dialogue and hilarious radio stations, to the small jabs and puns that little the streets of Vice City.

All of which is without even touching on the gameplay. Sitting firmly in the sandbox genre, Vice City gives you a wonderful feeling of being able to go about things your own way. Goofing around, stealing cars, running from the police, there’s plenty to do in the game when you aren’t really doing anything! But fortunately that doesn’t mean that Rockstar skimped out on the main storyline, which is by all means fantastic, and features all sorts of mission types, from starting riots, racing through the streets, to knocking off banks and delivering numerous methods of ‘persuasion’ to various denizens of the city. Aside from the main plot, there are plenty of other side missions and extras to discover, which add ample distraction to the standard mayhem generally meted out whilst driving between missions.

Wo blieben wir alle?

Meine Gedichte brauche ich dazu nicht mehr; in meinen Bücherregalen ist das alles viel besser gesagt. Aber was würde mit einem passieren, wenn das schon ein Grund wäre, etwas aufzugeben? Wo blieben wir alle? So schreibe ich weiter, doch oft genug erscheint es mir grau und papieren gegen den Abendhimmel, der jetzt über den Dächern weit und apfelfarben wird, während der violette Aschenregen der Dämmerung schon die Straße füllt.

Erich Maria Remarque, Der schwarze Obelisk

It might not be particularly well featured, but Google Docs does at least provide a quick and easy way to share your documents, albeit with messed up formatting and various other caveats. Today, however, I came across a problem uploading some small files which produced the rather pallid error message “Server rejected.” Something wrong with my files? With the browser upload? With the server itself? No idea.

Fortunately there was an easy, if rather roundabout fix available: simply email the files to my Gmail account, and use the option there to open them with Google Docs. Bingo!

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