Nine Inch Nails Collaborated With Llamasoft’s Jeff Minter and Twin Peaks

This is frankly insane, there’s a new video out from Nine Inch Nails and it’s got footage from Llamasoft’s Polybius.  Jeff Minter is Llamasoft and he has made many other trippy and intense action arcade games, most people would know him for Tempest 2000. Although Polybius is only available on the PlayStation 4, a Windows version is in development. The track in the collaboration video above, Less Than, will be on a new EP called Add Violence on the 21st of July. Less Than is available right now on Apple Music.

This is after Nine Inch Nails also appeared on the renewed Twin Peaks:

Nuclear Monster Shirts + Hoodies

When I was thinking about moving this site from Time Doctor Dot org to Nuclear Monster, I wanted to make some better decisions about how to keep the new site operating.

To that end, I’m going to try out selling t-shirts and hoodies with the site’s logo on them. It would be tremendously helpful if you bought one. If this works out, there could be better designs created by actual artists later on.

The Future of Football

I’m more of a baseball guy, but, Jon Bois and friends over at SB Nation have this great article on the future of football.

It’s clear that the sport of football needs to change. And the $64,000 question, my friends, is simple: “how?” Something is terribly wrong. The writing’s on the wall: youth participation in the sport is down, thanks in large part to their parents’ concern for their health.

I highly recommend that you keep reading the article.

Elite: Dangerous on PlayStation 4 & Discounted for Xbox One & Computers

Frontier’s extremely long running space explore-em-up, Elite: Dangerous, is finally out on the PlayStation 4 after the Xbox One version became a thing last year. It’s $30 for the base game, or $60 for the version that includes the season pass and other goodies.

The Xbox One port of Elite: Dangerous is also $30, but the upgraded edition is temporarily on sale for $40.19 for the next few days.

Of course if you want to get truly ridiculous, the Windows and macOS Elite: Dangerous on Steam is only $15 right now. It has some negative reviews there, but they’re from people who have put 200+ hours into the game. Do you hate-play a game for 200 hours? Hilarious demonstration of why the Steam review system still sucks.

Planet of the Apps

The Outline has got this video picking apart Apple’s incredibly shitty Planet of the Apps. Like most things from The Outline, it’s not that great because it mixes useless cheap shots poking fun at Eddie Cue and the way will.i.am excitedly describes things, with legitimate issues the show has. The Outline also pokes fun at the boneheaded business ventures will.i.am and the other investors are involved in. Which, even as dumb as those are it’s good to see more people of color making money off of the notoriously racist as hell technology business. I’d almost say that monetizing tech assholes is worthy of congratulations in any other context, but we’re here to bury Planet of the Apps.

Planet of the Apps is a reality show about business people pitching their app ideas (in various stages of development) to celebrity investors similar to Shark Tank, which is a show I hate watch because practically everyone who appears on it is either the worst kind of libertarian (Kevin O’Leary) or the worst kind of libertarian disguised as a shitty neo-liberal (Mark Cuban) who epitomize this old Twitter joke:

I gave Planet of the Apps a chance when it debuted and could barely get through the first episode. From the moment it starts with the Apple Music logo you’re left wondering “how does this fit into Apple Music?” and that question is never answered. Picture MTV switching to reality shows before they became popular for music videos, that’s what this feels like. Apple Music hasn’t earned the ability to go off music programming when it’s still in its infancy as a music outlet.

What is even going on with that name? It’s clearly a chuckling reference to Planet of the Apes, but the show is so self-serious it doesn’t fit at all.

That’s why this show starts off as ridiculous in pretending to have some kind of legitimacy to a viewer, and then just completely trips over its own banana peel by showing how thin the facade of these celebrity investors is. When it comes to their knowledge of business, tech, and success Gary Vaynerchuk, Jessica Alba, will.i.am, and Gwyneth Paltrow seem to be woefully inept.

Gary Vaynerchuk tries to monetize an app about personal safety and gets freaked out because Google has a half-assed attempt at competing with it. Gary’s freak-out just appears to be how that guy operates, which is pretty sad.

will.i.am takes the cake when he asks if what is obviously an e-ink display on a backpack is e-ink. E-ink has been around for over a decade now. Were the studio lights too bright for him to see what was going on?

None of the celebrity investors on this show seem to know why they are successful, which isn’t very surprising, but they sure do know how to take advantage of their unlikely success to fail in other businesses.

I don’t envy any of the app creators having to deal with the celebrities trying in futility to help them, if that is even the end goal of anyone on the show. All tech investors are there to make as much money as possible, or to fail as spectacularly as possible, instead of creating a viable product. I have been one step removed from, or involved with, a number of SV businesses that were close to some kind of success as a platform that squandered their opportunity because the investors and leaders wanted to cash out.

After the celebrity investors get bored with their lame guidance and won’t continue funding these apps, the show hurls the app creator before actual silicon valley investor groups as a secondary level of shark tanking and the show tried to present these external investors as a technically knowledgable group of  savvy businesspeople.

This show attempts to demonstrate tech savvy and business success for Apple’s App Store with Apple’s clean aesthetic but makes everyone involved look as greedy and disgusting as they truly are. For example, when monetizing safety is revealed to be rooted in creating fear of your neighbors and community. What kind of ghoulish asshole wants to be involved in that?

Reality shows are almost universally shallow and disgusting, I can’t make it through most of them, but they should at least be entertaining. Planet of the Apps isn’t entertaining beyond the curiosity of watching Apple struggle and fail at something so spectacularly.

This show succeeds in one thing: proving that success in any creative endeavor is difficult, especially when you’re attempting to make money at the same time. I still don’t know how this is supposed to fit into Apple Music, besides adding a perceived value to the subscription, and I have no hope that Apple will ever produce an entertaining television show. For a company that is so proud of all the times they say ‘no,’ they’ve created something that is remarkable for existing at all. It’s a car crash I am happy to look away from.

SNES Classic Edition Announced with Star Fox 2; Out September 29th in US for $80

Rumors have been pretty clear that Nintendo would announce a Super Nintendo Classic Edition as a successor to the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, and it turns out that the reports were true. The SNES Classic Edition will be available at the end of September on the 29th for $80, $20 more than the NES Classic Edition. It’ll have 21 games built-in total, 9 fewer than the NES Classic Edition.

Just like the NES Classic Edition, the SNES Classic Edition will hook up via HDMI, and won’t support cartridges or any other official method of loading new games onto the system. This time Nintendo are including two controllers and one of the games on the system will be the previously unavailable Star Fox 2. Although Star Fox 2 was never released, some footage was available and some versions of the ROM leaked, but this will be the first legitimate release of the game. There’s an old interview on Arwing Landing with Dylan Cuthbert who worked on both Star Fox 1 & where he discusses why the game was never released:

Starfox 2 was fully completed. I was lead programmer and whilst Giles made Stunt Race FX, myself and the rest of the original Starfox team (ie. Nintendo’s artists and designers) expanded Starfox into a full 3D shooting game. We used state-of-the-art technology such as arbitrary plane clipping (which has only been seen recently in such games as Crash Bandicoot 2 & 3) to create some rather spectacular effects. (for the time)

The reason for non-release was the then impending Nintendo-64 which of course was intended to be released a lot sooner than it actually was. Miyamoto-san decided he wanted to have a clean break between 3D games on the SNES and 3D games on the new superior 64 bit system. In retrospect, he could have released Star Fox 2 and there would have been over a year and a half before the N64 came out. But hindsight is always 20/20.

Starfox 64 incorporated a lot of the newer ideas we created in Starfox 2 but it didn’t, in my view, take the genre a full step forward. Starfox 2 really was a different direction of gameplay.

Here’s the full list of games that’ll be in the SNES Classic Edition:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Yoshi’s Island

This collection looks great to me, Super Mario RPG is still my favorite RPG, but just as I said when the NES Classic Edition was announced you could buy a Raspberry Pi for $36 today. Load up that Pi with all kinds of emulators and use whatever controllers you want. Which feels even more reasonable when Nintendo plans on ending SNES Classic Edition manufacturing at the end of the year, which will probably make it just as difficult as it was to get an NES Classic Edition when that was discontinued.

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Solo Squad

I’m still playing so much Battlegrounds, more than anything else it draws me back with it’s subtleties in strategy. Deciding if you want to get more combat experience and seek out fights and other players or find some gear and camp in the second floor of a house.

Lately I’ve been trying something different, playing on four-player servers as a lone wolf. It’s the most extreme challenge I’ve found in PUBG, and Cameron Kunzelman has an article expounding the virtues of solo squad up on Waypoint:

The game plays differently in Solo Squad mode. There is no running and gunning. You can’t win any encounters by rushing your enemies and yelling. You can take one player when they’re off guard, but sneaking up on four people is next to impossible. Taking a long-range, tactical encounter is usually your best bet if you’re trying to fight at all, although a shotgun can make much quicker work of a team than you might think if you’re waiting around the right corner.

Cameron’s strategy of fighting instead of hiding in order to better learn PUBG’s combat systems is also recommend. I’d add one more tip: play in first-person. You lose the ability to cheat around corners and will have to keep in mind that other players are able to do so, but I’ve gotten way closer to a chicken dinner by playing in first-person.

“Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!” Gets a Gameplay Trailer Before It Comes Out August 24th

Cook, Serve, Delicious! instantly lets me know that I’m old and can’t keep up with modern process-oriented games beyond Diner Dash. If you’re still young enough to keep up you can play the sequel on Steam for Windows on August 24th, although the game’s Steam page already has system requirements for Linux and macOS as well.