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Showing posts from 2008

Some of the problems with MMORPGs

I'm not an MMORPG fan. This you may know and I'll say it upfront. Some of the stuff that happens in MMORPGs is interesting to read about and there are some creative folk who can spin a nice tale around something they experienced in an MMORPG. For me though the problem is that the worlds just aren't compelling enough.

Okay, that isn't entirely correct, the worlds are compelling but as soon as you set foot in it the effect rapidly wears off. The cutscene generates excitement but then grinding and questing and PvE events etc. etc. work to make the game into some kind of numbers and skills drive. Nice if you like it, total immersion breaking if you don't know what you are signing up for in an MMORPG.

Case in point? I recently had a look at WAR. It looked nice and everything (immersion breaking HUD aside). My friend (playing as a Magus) summoned his disk of Tzeentch, left the beautiful crystal cave he was in and then crested a hill to end up in the middle of an Elven fort…

Preserved for future use

Comment on a PC whinge blog on a post about PC gaming and how EPIC games (the company) left it's nice smart, flat-chested girlfriend (the PC) for an attractive big chested slut (consoles). If this taken out of context, context isn't cringe-worthy enough:

"… and she has a drawer full of the most variegated toys and an active imagination concerning how to use them. This explains why, when slagging off on the ex, from time to time the new Console Elite’s pupils will dilate, his gait will devolve to something between a stagger and a waddle, and he will start muttering something about “configuration problems landing me in A&R a few times."

Dude. It's a PC. Make some graphs and leaflets if you need to but keep your trousers on whilst you do. Oh and stop watching Battlestar Galactica.

In other news:

TGAM's Top 10 PC games 2008:

1) The Sims 2. Dual heritage edition.
2) The adventures of super person in super land, where everyone else is entitled to and has the same lev…

Have you played as the monkey yet?

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Oh dear, rumours abound that Free Radical might be in trouble. Pre-2005 us are very sad indeed. This could be the saddest news ever.

But that is only because we haven't heard this news yet, which in late 2008, will make us kill ourselves. Truer words are not written anywhere else.

Post-2005 us will be holding a fourteen day party to celebrate, if the rumours are confirmed. The whole world is invited and we'll be burning copies of Timesplitters: Future Perfect and Haze and getting high and then getting dead on noxious fumes.

The Facebook page for this party is up so feel free to bring yourself and all the chav kids from the bloc to ruin our house and stab each other so we can be on TV in a filler spot on BBCNews 24, in between the news about how to save money on mince pies and more news about the end of the world.

The (almost) a year that was. 2008

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It is nearly the end of 2008. Which means it is nearly time for all the vidjogame blogs to start posting "top 100"s and retrospectives of the year.

Here at the laughable TGAM we make no exception and are virtually thrilled to review the trash we put out throughout the year.

January 2008.
No. No. I just can't be bothered. There's too much to look at and it wasn't that great to start with. New initiative. Here are some of the best and worst bits of TGAM this year.

Best Bits.
Probably the Hotel Dusk review if I was being not very modest.
The Front magazine interview and photos continues to generate 98% of our traffic and visitors stay for just under 18 seconds presumably before clearing the search history and logging off.

Worst Bits.
The ten days of Dante-mas which to be fair we did bother to finish but perhaps ten days was too long. No, it was too short, we did eleven days of Dante-mas. Yeah, eleven days was too long and the game wasn't even that great.
Waytoomuchreact…

Where has Richie been?

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Gone since September. Ha he been working hard? Doing research? Travelling the world and conversing with the interesting people he found therein? I am proud to reveal the answer in a rare email from the estranged co-author of this blog.

Okay so playing Wow for some of it but not for 3 months surely?

Oh okay so maybe one month. Anything else?

Jesus Christ. Expansions work people is the lesson here.

Some people are just happy in Wow I guess.

Seriously though, I'm informed they are all level 70+. This is a lapse for him. Perhaps we should send over the big ass crane that winches WoW fatties from their bed to his house before he explodes.

Thank god! A casual game. There's hope for her yet. RIP in Richie.

Animla Crossing Let's Got to the City

Has arrived and been played by me. It's good or is it? Well yes I think it is.

You start off and it is all so familiar, you can import your face, hair and some of your catalogue from wild world but unfortunately, you are still back to square one otherwise. As ever, you need to meet the villagers, undertake some tasks for Nook, and then start afresh increasing your box flat to a mansion, destroying the local ecosystem through over harvesting and turning your hick town into a thriving country 'destination'.

Some veterans might be a bit peeved that although your catalogue can be transferred from the DS version, you still lose all your fish, bugs, gyroids fossils, art works, resident potraits, golden equipment and Sahara carpets and walls.
I am peeved at this. I don't mind catching them again to give to the museum but would it have been so hard to have transferred over the data so that it shows that you have, at some point, caught a banded dragonfly, without neccessarily col…

Ask a silly question....

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We're thinking of doing a big 2008 retrospective because we are lazy, like to recycle content and love to use any opportunity to show off our unforced 'whacky' comradorie?, comradory?, comodorarody? and witty office banter.

So I've been going through the archives, pulling together bits for this epic post about what we did this year, shifting computers every time I finish checking through a month in order to up our unique visitors. Whilst doing so I found this piece where we managed to stay focussed enough to ask our future selves some questions.

Now it is the future and I will answer our pastselves' questions for my own pleasure.

1. Did all the above games come out in 2008 (Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 5, Silent Hill 5, Super Smash Brothers Brawl and TGAM: The game based on the blog based on the games that influence our lives.)?
Yes, Not yet, yes, yes and no. After seeing the shitty Penny Arcade game TGAMTGBOTBBOTGTIOL got shelved.

2. Were they good?
Yes, don't know,…

Killzone 2 exclusive screenshots

We were lucky enough to score an interview with Guerilla games and had some extensive hands on time with the game. They also gave us some exclusive screenshots to use.

SPOILER WARNING: The screenshots were pretty cool with people shooting each other with guns and the like.

It was really good. Thanks Guerilla games and next time we'll bring the biscuits.

Animal Crossing Racism

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You may have read about some recent controversy surrounding some copies of Animal Crossing Wild World that were shipped to journos for testing with the inbound Animal Crossing Wii.
One character, Baabara, has been seen chucking around some nasty racial slurs. TGAM has been contacted for comment. Our comment is divided into 4 easy to read sections:

1) Tellingly, this is being reported with some akwardness by the online gaming journos clearly unfamiliar with Animal Crossing but desperate to report this headline-friendly issue. Some 'journos' even claim that you have to train residents to say such things. This is untrue, you just have to befriend them, then once in a while they'll ask you to change their 'greeting' or 'catchphrase'. As long as it fits the letter count you can get them to say it. This has been a feature of Animal Crossing since 2001 (Europe only got it in 2004 though bastards) and no doubt all kinds of friendly animals have been taught obscenity…

Issues in gaming: The Watchmen

Lots of people complaining about the Watchmen being turned into a film. Also, some people complaining that it is being turned into a game. All complaining that it would be inappropriate to convert such a masterpiece as it was meant to be a comic and the creator never wanted it to be adapted.

Yeah, that just doesn't wash. Of course it will be shit film and game because most films and games are shit. Broken. Couldn't carry a narrative to save their lives. Boxed in by gaming conventions and held back by lack of creativity we are a while off yet before games can carry a serious story without:

a) Getting silly in the last two levels and brining in Aliens, Monsters, Cloning, Mad Doctors or just losing the plot a bit. Finished a game recently, no? Seen a good ending in games ever? No.

b) Having some kind of moving crate/box or barrel problem to solve.

c) Crappy AI........

....... aaabaggd) Sharing an online world with the actual scum of the earth empowered by the ability to insult you wi…

Going underground...

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As you are no doubt aware the end of the world is nigh. If we don't deforest it to death we'll all poor ourselves to death. Fortunately, for the moment the recession seems to be hitting people who have more than one houses and mortgages and savings hard. So for the meantime gamers are safe. For now.

However, Midway are not safe. Apparently they risk being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. This is bad apparently.

Obviously, this sucks for Midway employees and for that we are sorry. On the upside we hope to god that the IP rights for Mortal Kombat are lost in the ensuing sell offs and folding because we, for one, think the world would be a much much better place without the poor man's Street Fighter.

Good bye Mortal Kombat.

And good riddance.

Photocopier

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Note to anyone who has been, is or ever will be associated with a Star Wars game.

Is it at all possible to be so brash to ask that we the gamers don't have to play the Echo Base Hoth battle ever again? Can't we come up with some kind of peripheral that scans all your memory cards and save files in your house and just skips that whole level if it finds a Star Wars save game, which we must have done about a million times.

Yes, using the tow cable to pull down the At-Ats is fun the first two hundred times but enough is enough. Lets stop it now and come up with something that we don't have to borrow from 1980. Because at the moment, when I die, killing that first zombie in resident evil (and subsequent remakes) and going round and round At-ats is going to take up a considerable chunk of my whole life flashing before my eyes. Like more than a fifth at least.

Consoles are dead long li

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Sorry I couldn't finish the title because my computer crashed. Lets start again.

Conso

Sorry I had to install a patch there. I'll try again

Consoles arrererherjehjrhe

Sorry I had to install another patch. Hello? Hello? Is my microphone working? Hello? I'll try again. Hang on.

COnsoles are

Sorry. Three of my friends came over so we were playing multiplayer games. You know the kind you don't get on the PC. Only got shitty RPGs and RTS. Where was I.

Did that work? No. No. I think I need a new graphics card actually. Oh. I'm sure I had a save file. It's probably on my old PC or I deleted it or something. Hang on.

Yeah I'm at a friends house now. What? I can't use it on her PC? Hang on.

Graphics Card issues. Now my monitor won't work.

Nope. Cra@ ~~^^ggg1. Cra^#ing
Finally. On a Mac now. So, today children my point is consoles are deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

Little Sales, Big Joke

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Of course I am talking about LittleBigPlanet. Remember the hype? The endless conference videos showing the game, Kotaku, GameSpot and every other popular gaming blog totally selling out to Media molecule? Those annoying videos where someone recreated another game in LBP, a game that you could probably by on the virtual console anyway? Did anyone see the akward TV spots?


This is egg on the face of all those with high hopes for this "game" and ultimately a sign that a game like LBP may be great in an office full of game journalists with a shared PS3 but for the average joe? It seems that Mario Kart Wii will do fine.
So where does this leave the PS3? Pretty much all the stuff that was due for launch finally came out and it all came out with a poof! Rather than a bang. Is anyone even playing MGS4? No, thought not. Resistance 2 and Resistance? HA! Ummm... Home? Oh not out yet. So much for killer aps.
Looks like the 360 fanboys won the skirmish, battle and war. Just in time for thei…

Gender issues in Games

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So it seems from my all important viewpoint that a whole bunch of losers insist about worrying about gender in games the whole frickin time. "All girl characters in games just look hot or cry except when they are big and fat". And someone will whinge about it if they are all, any or either of the above. So what? Get over it. Male characters have a raw deal in games. So there. All genders get a raw deal when depicted in games. But that's no surprise the same is true in children's drawings, advertising and every other medium ever. Street signs have better narratives than most games the only good thing games have is shiny graphics and a distraction from daily life or news of stabbings, economic crash, climate change. Do not look to games as a fulcrum in your hack paper on gender in games. I mean you Terra Nova.

No. The losers mentioned above use their internet moaning like a horde of "liberal" zombies to skirt around the real gender issue in games. This my frie…

Exclusive Fable 2 Review

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P.S. Fable 2 is just Fable with a dog.

Richie.

Impressions.

This weekend I had a chance to catch up with two new games on the Xbox 360, the alleged "real console". Saying that will make PS3 owners scoff, Wii owners laugh in their gazillions and PC owners head straight to their favourite forum to rat me out for the console loving luddite they expect me to be. Turning on the spot is over rated any case. Anyway, as we are in the midst of the winter of good games after the seemingly eternal summer of absolutely shit games I was anxious to try out two of the games I was particularly looking forward to.
Gears of War 2. DANGER DANGER! SPOILERS IF YOU COULDN'T GUESS THE GIST ANYWAY Having enjoyed Gears of War after it came out and long after most Xbox 360 owners had changed their 20 second attention towards something else a little bit different (Does anyone even play Halo 3 anymore?) I was looking forward to the second one. I'd read a bit about it and Cliffy B spouting off about the story and it being, bigger and better etc. etc. The …

We got another letter!

Dear Thatguys,

Since you guys seem to be into survival horror, I was just wondering what you think of Silent Hill: Homecoming. And what do you guys make of Dead Space?

Regards,

Sherryluvr296.


Well reader, thanks for your question, clearly you are an avid reader and saw our recent epic post on survival horror. Firstly nobody has actually managed to have a proper play at Silent Hill: Homecoming because yet once again, Europe sat at home quietly waiting by the phone for Konami to ring. They promised they would phone in mid-November, but no. We just get a text from our mutual friend Kotaku, saying that Konami is having a bit of a hard time and wont be able to meet up until at least Q1 of 2009. So we retire back to watching X-factor, crying softly into our knitting thinking about all the dizzying and sordid acts that America is currently doing to Konami's Silent Hill!

In short, we are looking forward to it… Expect a review in 2009 along with us prising Konami for giving us some really cool …

I lost my friends to WAR.

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Yeah, WAR. WAR is hell. What is it good for etc. All those cliches. Insert them all here! Well WAR is good for losing five friends. That's what it is good for. A bunch of my staple geek friends all got themselves playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, through a combination of relationships ending, boredom and geographical distance. Now they play it. A lot. (Un)fortunately, I am copied into all their emails so daily I get 145 emails which roughly broken down are: When we gonna meet up tonight, tomorrow, weekend (45%), what we did last night for those who couldn't make it (35%), hey guys I just read the wiki and we should.... (10%), microphone, PC, problems (10%). And dps jokes and all other acronyms which I couldn't care to google are the new order of the day. Just today I got sent this: LOLLERCAUST you will all no doubt agree. But do I despair? Nah. It's how MMORPGs work and the mix of my friends who now play WAR is testament to the tried and tested formula of suck…

Garry's Mod

Click the title if you don't know what it is. It is a silly place with so much potential but it is rarely ever realised. For every 14,0098 awful videos like thisthis and this there may be one good video or idea. Concerned comics is one such idea as is this simple one stolen from here.

The rest however, is a fetid mess. Like a child's bedroom. Banal, derivative nonsense. It is horrible to behold yet it is often followed by clammy sweaty palmed comments of "LOL" and "AWESOME" and it looks like they genuinely mean it. It's what games would be if fan service overwhelmed everything else. Glimpses into the psyche of these morons shows levels strewn with melons (LOL MELLONS) or with G-Man doing the retarded and cliched Gmod dance. What do I care though? I'm seventy going on dead but for you. You poor sorry souls. For you these people are your future.

:( Indeed.

Chortle

Been playing a lot of SSBB recently and this video really struck a chord.



Gotta love Captain Falcon even if you hate his games.

No Matter if you're Black or White

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As everyone knows by now Resident Evil 5 is coming to both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. This week capcom announced some of the DLC which will be available for specific versions. We've gots the lowdown here mofos:

Xbox 360

1000mp Resident Evil 1 Rocket launcher. If you don’t purchase this then upon start up you are faced with the “you are dead” screen from the end of the PlayStation Resident Evil 1. Because there was no rocket launcher Chris died at the end of RE. Buying this content means that Chris didn’t die and you can play Resident Evil 5 as per usual.



450mp Training for Chris. After purchasing this content Chris can fire weapons and throw grenades without risk of hurting himself, fumbling reloads or turning the safety on and off.

200mp Lemsip for Chris. Upon purchasing this, Chris will stop occasionally sniffling or complaining about having a “stuffy head”.

300mp Zombies. Buying this content unlocks an extra zombie at the beginning of the second section.

450mp Hermit mode. T…

Lets join that Bandwagon

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Yes! This seasons bandwagon is four player vs. lots of enemies jobbies. A couple of seasons ago it was vehicles in FPS and the season before it was war games set in Vietnam.


Left 4 Dead, Horde mode in Gears of War 2 and the recently announced zombie mode in CoD:WaW have all recently been announced. Basically it's 4 player co-op vs. waves of things meaning players have to co-operate rather than fight against each other or be on each others teams but not really co-operate. Suspiciously, I should say, that these three games have all spontaneously come up with this idea. Is this innovation? Did we really have to wait until this gen to do these things? The answer to both of those questions is no. Basically, it's a bit of inspiration from Serious Sam, Timesplitters 2 Arcade challenges and virus mode and Project Eden mixed in with a bit of zombie love that has become the flavour of this dev cycle.

Sure, it's a nice feature but we'll all be bored to death of it after the tenth g…

When will blogger be working again?

Blogger is currently broken. Which means you can't see our brilliant yet succinct posts and we can't even upload images we stole from the internet to illustrate posts that you the reader cannot see anyway. Unless you can see this post and the two below it, with pictures in which case, it has been fixed. Ignore the above, the below and the on the same line(s) as this sentence.

We're taking bets on when it will be fixed but unfortunately none of you will be able to bet by the very nature of the problem caused and the subject of the subsequent bet. Good luck!

WHEN WILL BLOGGER BE FIXED?:

1-45 Never.
1 Five minutes before the world succumbs to some kind of apocalypse event resulting in the loss of electricity for 50 or so years.
100-1 October 2008.
5-1 November 2008.

Place your bets now kids!

Survival Horror...

...It's a bit of a dead genre.

Pun intended.

Joined up thinking

Kotaku has the scoop, but the news that Left 4 Dead will have the cheevo "Zombie Genocidest" whereby you have to wipeout 53,595 zombies (one more zombie than Dead Rising's Zombie Genocide achievement) makes us smile.


Well done Valve, have a cookie.

Let's just hope Capcom don't sue.

The State of Play

For all the imploring for games to become more mainstream and "accepted", for all the essays by pretentioushacks trying to read more into gaming than is necessary, for all the protests and for all the forum threads that go on for years about the best characters or the top ten...... For all the social and political commentators bigging up the merits of games for education and art. For all those and more it must be pretty galling to see that Pro Evo just knocked FIFA off the top sales spot.

That's right, for all your whinging and whining about games the meatheads have it. The yearly update to a football game is what most real people are interested in. A game about a game where unnaturally shaven millionaires play football against each other. Unlucky.

*Sigh*

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This image from site we don't normally look at,Joystiq makes us sad. The top is the PS3 version and the bottom one is the Wii version. Looks like Sony tried to ruin it by making all the zombies grey like they're Solid Snake or something. Or a new PSN update or something. Or a sequel to Killzone or something.

The Wii version looks terrible too. Too many zombies. I hope they scale that back before launch. Plus for all those Xbox 360 people laughing at other consoles only getting Dead Rising now at least we'll be able to read the fucking text man and it has multiplayer but they left that out of the press release. We have our sources though.

Omastar Comics #20

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According to the dictionary, apathy is worse than murder. At our recent book group, this issue came up and it was one that went right to the heart of our old friend Omastar. For years he toiled away in underwater caves thinking about how to cure apathy. He thought really hard. Somedays he would think so hard he would need to go for a swim or have a lay down in order to relax. Then, the cure came to him in a dream one night. We were lucky enough to be there on the scene when he cured the world of apathy thus bumping murder a little bit up the list of bad things. Here it is:



Wow, that Omastar, what a guy.

Yes! TEKKEN 6

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Hi guys! We're going to take time out of our regularly updated TGAM top 50 ultimate TGAM top games best list of best games of all time ever to bring you this very very exciting news:



It's bifs again! But not just bifs filth seekers it's Tekken 6 bifs. Tekken is a great game and for those young 'uns who don't remember it here is how the series went:

Tekken 2: The series was so crazy it didn't even start at 1! Tekken 2 was a mashup of your favourite childhood toys, Lego, and your favourite beat em 'up game, Street Fighter. But it was better than Street Fighter because there was no fighting! There was never any contact, contestants just hit each other with neon fireworks until one of them gets tired or something. It was successful and on the PlayStation. Not even the PSOne yet!

Tekken 3: This was Tekken 2 but with a cheaty character introduced to the series.

Tekken 4: See Tekken 2.

Tekken 5: See Tekken 3.

Tekken 6: See Tekken 5 plus "sweat". Lots of sweat.

You are probably here looking for filth.

Yes you are aren't you? If you are the three people that came here yesterday looking for "soul calibur xxx" you probably want to go here or here. If you are the people desperate to find the "devil may cry 4 front mag" stuff you should go here. For the person looking for jay haffling, presumably Jay himself, go here. For the sicko who was looking for people with viagra naked, I would refine your search a bit first and the sad soul looking for porn guy blogger, we presume you didn't find them here.

Disappointing people, disappointing. Where is the imagination? Where are the searches for Guy Cocker or Naked Bif? We've got baby death and all kind of things to put into any orifice of choice. Boobs you want boobs? We got boobs in various flavours, WoW, Resident Evil Underboob (neathage) to mention but a mere few. We got spluff the biscuit going on too. You're not even googling terms like Red & White Bum Marmite and Green and bloody douche juice but it …

Meatspace.

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You may ask when is a good time to use the word 'meatspace' instead of terms like 'the real world' of 'the physical world'.

The answer is never, children, never. You never need to use it and any time you do, attractive girls and normal guys with jobs, cars, pensions and mortgages laugh at you and point at you and call you Urkel and do the things with the fingers to make glasses over their eyes. Then you'll probably make a webcomic where you kill the attractive girls and normal guys with a Buster sword and all your forum friends will send you emoticons until your inner balance is restored.
You may also ask when is a good time to use the word 'meatspace' to refer to female nether regions.

There isn't really a good time to use that word in that context either I am afraid. To reiterate, nobody should ever use the word meatspace.

I have preemptively written to the OED to tell them to take meatspace out of their dictionaries or us and the lads will be put…

Why do you always find things in the last place you look?*

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*Is it because you stop looking or is it because the press coverage runs out?

Next-next gen? Hold up....

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Anyone (unlike us) with their finger on the pulse on video games these days might be excited with all the buzz around what the future holds for next--next gen. There's a new DS (no GBA slot!?), updates for the 360 and a host of expensive clip ons and add ons for the Wii. RUmours are also abound that Little Big Planet and Home might, you know, get released. You may be excited but were certainly aren't.

What happened to last and this gen? The PS2 and the GBA, two fine formats still found in many many houses have been all but ditched commercially. Try it. Go to your nearest game shop and try to find some of the classics for these two formats. You probably won't find anything at all. If you are lucky you might find a copy of Okami or a battered copy of Pokemon Emerald in amongst the shovelware shit that Ubisoft insists on churning out for the all but abandoned platforms.

And what for this gen? The choice for each platform is still hugely underwhelming, each consoles has a handfu…

RAM RAIDER EXCLUSIVE! PC ZONE WALKOUT

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Exclusive from the legendary RAM RAIDER! There has been a walkout at PC Zone magazine! A guy, a guy and some other guy and another guy have walked out leaving the Future Publishing magazine in potential jeopardy!


We asked our source in the heart of Future Publishing some questions surrounding the ordeal:

Us: So what is a "PC".
Our source: Umm it's like a machine for making books and graphs.
Us: Oh. Okay. So what was the magazine about?
Our secret source whose name shall never be revealed: It was about how to write good books and to make cool graphs and to print out labels for CDs and shit.
Us: Shit. And why the walkout at the magazine?
Our super spy inside the actual heart of the "enemy" in between the valves: I think someone accidentally printed out a graph on the wrong side of some glossy paper and someone called it the worst F*****g graph they ever saw.
Us: Damn man! So what is the future for the magazine?
Our source: Both readers of the magazine will be attending a …

Heavy Rain the paper cut killer

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There is hype abound fellow sailors. Hypery and balderdashery truth be told! It surrounds a game called Heavy Rain: The Metro killer. Many of you will have seen The Casting, a full motion video used to show the full body and facial motion capture techniques used to show the full range of emotions that most games still struggle to show. Emotions like "crying" and "angry crying" and "crying because you didn't put the bin out again".

Many of you may know that this game will be the next game from David "shagged a dead guy" Cage, the previous game was Fahrenheit and it involved a woman who shagged a dead guy. What The Casting and previous press releases fail to tell you about this new game is that there will not be any shagging of dead guys in this game. We phoned David Cage to ask him why this wasn't mentioned in any preview we saw and why would he make a game without necrophilia in it:

David: 02 5589, David Cage speaking.
TGAM: You bastard.
Dav…