Tuesday, April 18, 2006

On pain, and introducing the Handan DVB-T 6000

I've now been using the Nintendo DS for some time. Yesterday, I played for close to four hours. This is mostly a note on ergonomics. Playing the amazing Advance Wars DS, I have absolutely no problem with ergonomics. With Animal Crossing, it becomes an issue after a prolonged stay in the virtual village. (Say, half an hour in my hands.)

But I've played a little GBA F-Zero on it, and it's so excruciating, you'd swear it was meant to inflict pain. I literally can't pass a single game without gritting my teeth in agony. Seriously, I'm not going to buy any straight-on action titles for the machine. Yes, Castlevania may warrant an extended test-run on a friend's copy... Then again, it's really not the ideal environment for those kinds of games, either.

But Advance Wars really does rock a lot. The campaign is ideally challenging - you'll make progress, but the highest ranks take some doing. The additional single missions are very challenging: I haven't been so thoroughly beaten in too long a time.

In totally unrelated news, we bought a Handan DVB-T 6000 digital receiver/HDD-recorder to replace the old VHS VCR. Installation was easy - and free and very able Finnish suport was available on the phone even at 20:57 when I had a problem! The image does seem a little worse than on our previous (non-recording) digital receiver, but otherwise it's swell. We've only tested the thing so far, but the menus seem easy enough and I'm having high hopes. I do think I'll be watching more TV in the near future, if only because it's so easy to "bookmark" shows for later viewing, without the need to manually enter showtimes and so on. It very much eliminates the need for a separate TV guide, too.

Not that there were too many choices in the matter. We weren't willing to pay more than 500€ for the thing (it was 427€), we had to get a twin-tuner model and it had to have a minimum of 160 gb of HDD space. There was a whopping two models to choose from, then, and one of them was getting consistently better reviews. We thought that we had to give up the chance to get data out of the machine, but they've actually added two-way connectivity as a software update to the USB channel. Cool.

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