Friday, December 19, 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 fortress of some kind. "Cool" I said as the encampment stretched out in front of us, lined with archers, warriors and war machines. Meanwhile, the Elves seem pretty unfazed so we fire balled one and got his attention. A couple of seconds later, the guard was a burning corpse and the rest of the defense force......just stood around. Apparently, not at all fazed that their colleague had been killed and that the base was under some kind of attack. We then saw that a guildmate was in the area so we IMed them and met up. In the middle of the camp. An Orc and an evil wizard stood in the middle of an enemy encampment, shooting the shit, and not getting any trouble from the guards.

"I'm looking for a guy with a sword drop" Noggle IM'ed us.
"Yeah he's named, he's up on the ridge" Was my friends reply.

Both then went off, walked past about 30 guys, who weren't interested (unless you violate their personal bubble of about 2m diameter) greased the named guy and collected the sword. And so it went on.
If this was a game of any other genre, that kind of AI would be game breaking. Maybe Solid Snake and Sam Fisher had it all wrong. You don't need stealth just an air of confidence and you walk straight into the heart of the enemy, kill the bad guy and walk out the front door.

We then went into some kind of capture the flag PvP variant (escort the explosive barrel to the enemy base while they were trying to do the same deal) and the whole universe of Warhammer is shattered when you see 15 disorganised evil doers bundle 15 disorganised 'good guys' for 15 minutes straight. Running around like an idiot, jumping about, clicking icons and keeping your eye on four or five bars is not exactly my definition of fun. There were no tactics, no plan, no communication. Just 15 players spawning, buffing themselves (self gays), running into the fray, dying, respawning. Occasionally someone would pick a barrel up in which case there was some vague sense of escorting them to the base but everytime the ensuing melee would leave everyone, barrel carrier included, dead to start the pointless trial again.

It strikes me that a group of well organised players could dominate most of the game, until that is they hit bad guys of sufficiently higher level which is where MMORPGs suck people in. Leveling. I hate it. And these days, everything is leveling, spells, skills, renown, the guild blah blah blah.

It seems to me that MMORPGs could put their pretensions away for a while and learn something from other genres and dare I say it, console games. Here's a list, as ever, numbered:

1) More mini games.
I'm not talking about wiimote waggling mini games proper mini games that are engrossing and a whole new game in their own right. Remember the FFVIII card game? Addictive as hell. Why every MMORPG hasn't just ripped this off is bewildering. Or Blitzball!? I knew a guy who spent practically two years solidly playing blitzball in FFX. In a game like WAR the obvious mini game would be blood bowl. Imagine it. In fact, there's a whole new class, a Blood Bowl coach. Crap in combat but get some special items from a few quests to boost the coaches performance in a match and if your regional team beats another regions team, the whole faction gets a boost (in various things) until the next match.
Imagine hundreds of players congregating weekly to fill the stadium to watch a game. Hoping that their team wins. Hell, go down this road and you could have your own hall of fame per faction of players of renown.

2) Better Exploration.
A fraction (I won't hazard a guess as to how many) of MMORPGs cite exploration as reason for playing MMORPGs. Problem is, exploration in MMORPGs is shit. They need to take a cue from GTA and Oblivion (Fallout 3 too). Make exploration interesting. As Chuff_72, friend of TGAM says: "Anything, why isn't there a catapult on top of the highest mountain with a parachute to fire you around FOR FUN, or a ski slope, you could argue that this breaks the atmosphere but frankly that's a cop-out. A mini orc circus or fair, with a shooting game, SOMETHING other than walk miles, hit a guy in the face, walk some more." As someone who spent hours exploring San Andreas I fully agree. Reward the players with hidden areas and hide them so well that only the most avid explorer will find them. It could even be built into the game, if you get a guild of explorers together they can go off and discover whole new continents, unlocking new items globally.

3) Persistent worlds.
The ultimate MMORPG lie. Play Animal Crossing for a month and you have a real feel that you have changed the town. Swap records with friends in Pokemon and you are occasionally surprised to see a TV show talking about the feats of one of your friends from undertaking a hardcore feat through to the ridiculous. Play any RTS and you really get a feeling for your base, think carefully about where you build your new buildings and where you put bunkers etc. Play an MMORPG and the hub is the hub is the hub. Some areas can be 'captured' in MMORPGs but often this results in everything being blue to being purple, until the good guys recapture it. Why not launch an MMO where there are no settlements whatsoever. Players can then band together and start to build one. Harvesting resources and building villages, towns and cities in the shape they want. Take the building design thing from Spore, and the resource management and city creation from SimCity and Command and Conquer and you'd be on to a winner.
Players who build their own settlement will be much more connected to it and you'd start to get some interesting conflicts over resources for building between factions and between settlements.
Don't like the main city the players created? Find fellow players unhappy with the status quo and set up your own colony. Every building can be destroyed meaning that to get a big illustrious city you have to defend it pretty well. This means that if you went to a different server the world we be completely different depending on where the factions built their settlements. One server might be a classic setup with good in one corner and bad in the polar opposite. Another server might have one faction building cities whilst the other faction exists in a guerilla state, relying on thieving and raiding to live in nomadic like settlements. It would be great, trust me.

4) Better character customisation.
Okay a potential problem for PvP players because you need to recognise what class you are up against to work out if you are on the right side of the paper, scissors, stone triangle to bother with the fight. But come on. PlayStation games offered superior customizations than your typical MMORPG and they were games you weren't expected to spend 2000 hours looking at the back of your characters head. Character customisation is so dreary, you'd be hard pressed to tell one MMORPG from another from a screen shot, but you would be able to tell what class they were. Some might worry that you lose the sense of a universe if all the buildings and inhabitants looked completely different, but then most universe seem obsessed on making you kill 24 frogs, or rats, or crabs or XXXXs for rewards. At least make everyone start out generic but allow them to customise their character as they progress. That way players would know to instantly fear the giant electric pink gimp, not because they were a gimp but because they'd spent a lot of time in the game to customise their avatar to such a degree.

5) Dispense with leveling.
I don't know how this would work. Leveling keeps players playing and buying expansions and keeps MMORPGs in business. Dispense of it and it becomes another throw away game. Leveling as a means of progression is very cheap though and an easy way to prevent players from running from the starting hub right to the last stage or phase of the open world. Some other mechanism of unlocking new areas, items and skills would be desirable and help to take the genre away from being a basically tarted up numbers game.

6) Persistent worlds II
Did you beat the big bad boss that everyone in the last village was complaining about but didn't get the drop you wanted? It's fine, just come back later and he and his minions will be there again. Every day, round the clock. Narrative breaking. Immersion breaking. And sad to think that villages are kept in perpetual fear by the ever-respawning local bad guy. By the same token it would be a pretty poor game if you spend the whole time trailing the servers leading group, coming across the still warm corpses of all the big bad bosses. In some MMORPGs this system is so broken that you have to queue up to fight a particular battle. Game breaking indeed.
A way around this is, if you beat the local bad guy, you become the local bad guy. Taking their place either permanently, choosing to settle in, decorate the place and choose your own army of minions or by leaving a copy of yourself. This way, it at least makes sense in terms of the storyline and in theory could result in some interesting dynamics.

7) More server wide celebrities.
There may be some MMORPG 'celebrities' but unless you play every day and haunt the forums, you'd be hard pressed to pick out any kind of achiever, arch nemesis or hero on any given server. NPCs should be programmed to chatter about a particular player character who has been causing havoc recently. Some MMORPGs have a king or lord which is one way of drawing attention to successful players but more effort should be put into recognising individuals. If one guild consistently defends a settlement from being razed to the ground then the villagers should start singing their praises. And if the town is overtaken it takes a while for the citizens to stop complaining that things were better under the "I love willies" for example. This would help players build attachments to areas of the world and also add a bit of comedy when NPCs become attached to a particular player.

8) Get rid of the HUD and try to make things look more exciting.
I'm not offering up any answers to this but some of the stuff going on in EVE Online sounds amazing. Watch a video though and it looks like a poor screensaver. The same is true with fantasy MMORPGs. Watch the top players play against each other on GomTV and die of boredom as two avatars jump around each other until one falls over. The HUD and little numbers hovering above players heads need to go. Again, it all makes you take one step back from the universe and just looks , well crap. Also, we all know about bullshots in console games but compare the FMV of most MMORPGs and compare them to the game itself. They are two completely different entities. One is dramatic and exciting and leaves you wanting more and the other is boring and silly with little people firing blue crap at each other whilst hopping around. Plenty of other games manage to disguise or hide menus and lifebars so MMORPGs should look to do this so that regardless of whether or not you know what dps is, the fights look good to everyone not just the people behind the clicking or people who know exactly what is going on when 'the green shit appears on one guys head and the other guy keeps spinning on the spot". Hard to pull off but I think it would help in the long run. Perhaps a bushido blade system should be implemented. It would be hard and tip the scale in the favour of skill, over level and would probably drive most MMORPG players away.

So there we have it. Anyone in the know will probably go through this list one by one picking out why each of the above is either impossible or game breaking so we'll just stick with what we've got thank you very much. That may be fine but until then myself and a few others will remain skeptical that MMORPGs are little more than poor copycat machines designed to keep people paying subs. It's not that MMORPGs aren't popular of course but they could be a hellovalot more compelling IMO.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

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 level of adventures and super powers anyway.
3) Nintenisn'ttheworkforcemuchnicernowthatitisdiverse.
4) Cooking Momma, Papa, brother and sister, animal and homosexual neighbour.
5) Call of Duty: World in peace.
6) Civilisation V: Open all borders.
7) Multifaith deities or no god at all of War.
8) Super Lyndsey Siblings.
9) Spore.
10) Kotobagari Damacy.

Have you played as the monkey yet?

This picture somehow represents the content of this post. If you don't get it you are just painfully out of touch as it is a new meme and was so on Craigslist like a hundred days ago.
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.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The (almost) a year that was. 2008

Inspirational posters, still not as funny as 15 years ago
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.
Way too much reactive ranting about stuff we can't even remember now.
'Jokes' which would have been considered not very funny even when they were 10 years more topical from the 90s was an early theme and perhaps the best material of the year.

No. I just can't even face doing this even. It's too depressing.

Look you all came here to see Soul Calibur XXX and CG tits so here they are. Expect some kind of ironic but deadly serious Game of the year, early next year and maybe we'll finish that top 50. We might get Omastar to put in an appearence. Other than that it'll be tl;dr rants, awful typos (I spelled Animal wrong in the last post FFS), maybe some reviews of dildonics, the occassional image of Marvin the RPD cop as Will Smith, some weak PC vs console posts and if you are very lucky SPOILER [Nope, actually no spoiler here I just ran out of insp]

In the meantime try not to kill each other and have a good Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where has Richie been?

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.

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

HunterOh okay so maybe one month. Anything else?

Waste of time?Jesus Christ. Expansions work people is the lesson here.

And the beat goes onSome people are just happy in Wow I guess.

UnbelievableSeriously 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.

This is exactly what Richie looks like in real lifeThank god! A casual game. There's hope for her yet. RIP in Richie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

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 collecting one yet again when summer rolls around. Playing the game throughout the year isn't difficult but it is annoying when you don't play it one month and you've missed three species of fish and two insects.

As for the rest, well it's Animal Crossing. Just goes to show the dearth of quality games out there when I'm excited about doing it all over again, again. Hell, much of my gaming in the last two, three years has been playing the same goddam game and going through the motions on Pokemon, Resident Evil and Animal Crossing. I still buy the things though so I am fully to blame.

From here on, we do a Kotaku style review:

What I loved about Animal Crossing LGTTC or whatever it's called:

1) Swear words are back! Yesterday I wrote a letter that went like this:

Whore Twiggy, I fucking hate you queer.

And I'm pretty sure in AC:WW that would have been censored to read

Whore Twiggy, I fucking hate you queer.

So expect Residents of Gaywood to be cursing each other within seconds. Some people might think that sending the above letter to Twiggy might be homophobic but I sent the letter and signed it 'Nook', I'm angling for some kind of blackmail situation. I'll keep you posted. (UPDATE: Twiggy got the letter and seemed positively pleased with it. Somehow he (she?) knew it was from me and rewarded me with a Lovely Carpet. I don't know what she (he?) is after so I pretended I knew nothing about it and sold the carpet to Nook, just in case).

2) Individual houses again!
For those who don't know, in the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing, each player (up to 4) gets their own house. In Wild World it was a shared house and sharing a house virtually is pretty much the same as sharing a house in real life. Endlessly tidying up after your housemates or coming home to find apples and turnips all over the floor starts to grate quickly. Also, depressingly, my housemates and I spent longer debating the decor of our virtual house than our real house. So thank Ninty for the seperate houses again.

3) The ability to take snapshots.
Yes, providing you have enough space on an SD card you can snap away, taking photos of all your virtual Kodak moments. Expect the SSBB images which have been dominating this site to be replaced with Animal Crossing images. You can also mess around with these images on the Wii Menu, in the photo channel and on the message board. Some of you may laugh but I find it oddly gratifying to do a virtual 48 piece puzzle of Nook asking me inappropriate questions or creating Warhol like images of my Mii holding a football fish.

4) Mii faces.
Mii faces are in, which is a win in my book. Visit the City and Harriet the hairdressing poodle will give you a Mii face of your choice. Unfortunately, the Mii face works as a mask so you can't add accessories or hats without reverting back to your standard Animal Crossing face. Some players may not like this but personally I am in love with the idea of wearing you Mii face as a mask. Or better, wearing your friends Mii face as a mask. And committing evil deeds. And taking snapshots of it. And posting it on the internet. Along with offensive letters signed in their name.

5) Bigger and better museum.
The museum has had a massive makeover and looks great! Small thing I know, but it matters to me!

6) Some Wii controls.
Digging holes and catching fish can either be done on the nunchuk, wiimote or using motion controls. Forcing motion controls would have ruined the game so it's good to have all the options available. Much like SSBB, there's no point forcing wiimote controls if it really doesn't add to the game.

7) The City.
Although relatively small and certainly not enough added extras to justify a whole new game the city is a cool place to visit and increases the daily to do list as well as centralising some of the pointless occassional visitors to the town. Now Crazy Redd, Katrina, Gracie and Dr.Shrunk can be found in the City instead of randomly turning up in the town. Also, there is a lot more for "endgame" play (endgame in Animal Crossing!) with the ridiculously expensive lavish sets and accessories available at Gracie's store. Yesterday the gorgeous set was on show. To buy it all will set you back approximately 1,000,000 bells if you were to go for the whole shebang.

8) Online stuff.
As well as Wii to Wii compatability (via the DS suitcase) there are a whole slew of features for online use. Auction house, HRA model room and wii messages are there for those who have friends that play Animal Crossing online and who are happy to share friend codes. As a 56 year old without an internet connection this will not be me but I don't feel like I'm missing out on too much for it to be grating at all.

9)Pattern designs.
Sounds totally gay (and it is) but the pattern designing is still in and slightly expanded, it is now possible to design the individual elements of a shirt whereas before, if you were to design a shirt to look like a naked body, you would end up with nipples and belly button on the front of the shirt, the back and the sleeves. Now it is possible to design the elements individually. Again, little thing but a nice inclusion. Also, for the Animal Crossing playing football fans (we know you are out there), you can create a football shirt now. Also, for the perverts who play Animal Crossing (perhaps a bigger demographic) you can now run around with your top half naked. Also, for the alternative crowd who play Animal Crossing (????) you can now run around with your tribal tats and piercings for all to see. etc.

10) Everything you were already used to.
Everything is back in there, the residents, the town hall, the bulletin board, Nook's Shop, Able Sisters shop, the Town gate and the museum. Even Resetti is back and he thanked me for buying Animal Crossing Wild World. Which is nice. People don't thank me enough for buying their games and throwing hours of my time into it when I should be doing the laundry, or paying bills or whatever it is grown-ups do. On top of that the politically incorrect holidays are back so we can all celebrate Christmas and Halloween again. I've not checked but hopefully La Di Da day is gone forever.

What we hated:
1) Losing all the stuff from the catalogue which is just a tad unfair.
Collecting the fossils and fish again isn't too hard but collecting all the insects and rare carpets, wallpapers, resident potraits and paintings is a bit galling. Although, if this stuff did all come over there would be a lot less to do once the mortgage was paid off etc...... Richie once described Animal Crossing as a single player MMORPG complete with grinding (with collection in the stead of levelling) and he was absolutely right but imagine having to start a new character from scrath to play every expansion. Then you get some sense of how annoying this is.

2) Tom Nook.
Seriously, isn't against the
Geneva convention that this guy throws you into so much debt against your will because basically, the dude can't be bothered to collect fruit, items, insects and fish on his own?
So expect some Animal Crossing updates in the future. I haven't decided what the fate for Gaywood is yet, I've been watching the wire a lot recently so I might make it into a mini Baltimore. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ask a silly question....

Just like Ike! Nintendo sent us this image so we used it, so there. PS those killzone screenshots are cool I was looking at them again today, just now in fact.
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, ish, hell yes, N/A.

3. What were the surprise releases of 2008?
Megaman 9 was a bit of a surprise. The least surprising releases were probably Little Big Planet which, if you are a follower of blogs, was so over exposed you felt like you'd played it, discussed it and got bored of it before it was even out. We are surprised that Killzone 2 still isn't out and Home is kinda out but not really despite being on of the Top 10 gadgets of the year according to Time magazine. In fact this was probably the year of least surprise as publishers paid through the nose to hype and advertise shit before it was even finished.
Perhaps the true genuine surprise this year was that Microsoft so brazenly copied the idea of Miis and got away with it.
If we were truly hilarious individuals we would have just answered this question with Fifa 09 and been done with it. Unfortunately, we can only aspire to Gamespot-esque levels of humour.

4. Is Richie still playing WoW?
Hard to say. Our one avid reader may have spotted that Richie hasn't really contributed to the blog since before September. So probably yes then but no one really knows for sure.

5. Is there yet another expansion for it?
Yes which might be the cause of above.

6. Did the Wii’s sell out again this Xmas?
Looks like it, who would have thought. Well past us clearly.

7. Is the Wii any good yet?
Totally depends on which console you are a fanboy of. I reckon this year both the Xbox 360 and the Wii have had a good run of it and both are worth owning if you are truly a discriminating gamer. Although the Wii doesn't have the sheer number of games the 360 does, they do tend to either be classics or shovelware. The 360 has a fuller spectrum of quality from classics through mediocre to crap. But if you like No More Heroes, Mario Kart, World of Goo, Super Smash Brothers, De Blob, Okami (cheating), Warioland, Chocobo Dungeon and boomblox then yes, in the UK at least 2008 has made the Wii good.

8. Is the PS3 still shit?
Yeah totally. Such an awful year and so many hopes dashed as PS3 exclusives went multiplatform, weren't noticebly different to 360 versions, delayed, slagged off as difficult to develop for or just plain ol' cancelled. Just look at this gamespot top 2008 PS3 games list. Take out the multiplatform releases and there is nothing worth forking out for a PS3 for. Truly sad times.

9. Does TGAM still exist?
Barely. Posts are just juvenile rants or copied from other sites. Richie doesn't chip in anymore, we lost our only full time troll and the spelling and punctuation has gotten worse if anything. But technically we're still here so yeah, woot us.
10. Does Cunzy own any next-gen machine (or powerful PC) yet?
Maybe depends if you include the Wii as 'next-gen'.
So there we have it past selves. Happy now? Here's some questions for our future future selves.
1) Did Killzone 2 come out yet?
2) What new element, colour or precious stone will the next pokemon games be? Where do you go after platinum? Maybe radioactive elements? Or poisons? Pokemon Antimony would be pretty sweet.
3) Was Home any good?
4) Did it save the PS3?
5) Has 'next-gen' managed to expunge any of the following from games yet: Crates, Barrels, indestructible scenery, childish or cliched storytelling, bullshots, too much hype, dodgy AI, lies about different storyline/morality system, too many wii peripherals, lava, ice and water levels, lense flare, bloom, FPSs set in linear corridors, boring tutorials, unskippable cut scenes, online abuse, PC gaming frustration, annoying cameras, boring MMORPGs? Or is it still all about the graphics looking nice but sticking to 1990s game design.
6) Did the gaming magazines finally go under?
7) Did everyone realise that Metal Gear Solid 4 was a bit silly really?
8) Was Resident Evil 5 really racist?
9) Did LBP finally sell well?
10) Is there still a TGAM/habitable planet?

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.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Animal Crossing Racism

He died the next year :( 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 and filth so anyone acting surprised is out of touch.

2) Unfortunately, when you give gamers such freedom, some of them are going to abuse it. Nintendo have tried their best to stop this happening with friend codes and with some words outright banned (we discovered this through trial and error in Wild World, although in the orignal Gamecube version there weren't any restrictions?) however, there are always ways around it as any MMORPG player will show you when they call you ghey, gey, g3y or just ga the next time they see you in world. It's an ongoing problem that had the spore guys continuously deleting content and has Sony actively destroying LBP levels. It is a problem that causes endless problems on wankware like Second Life.

Give players too much freedom and they will abuse it, don't give them enough and they get bored or don't feel like their game is personalised to them. This is one of the great things about Animal Crossing, after a number of months you do feel like you've changed the way the village runs. Animals run around in vagina-design t-shirts made by you, they greet you with personalised greetings (I'm wet! or Fuck you!) and bid you farewell with words you advised them to say.
No wanking

3) It's tough to find a place to draw the line. Perhaps this incident can just be brushed under the carpet or seen as an unfortunate incident but one that needs no further movement. We fully agree with Kotaku commentor Jon Man who says

"As someone who has, over 3 decades, renamed in-game characters with comical and obscene names wherever possible, I fully support this.

I must confess though, doing so did sap some of the emotional value from Final Fantasy 7 when Sephiroth killed AnalBeard."

We had literally hours or even days of fun renaming Shiva over and over again in FFVIII just to see Ifrit fret that the party had "Underpants", "Willies" or "Herpes". It's hard to control user generated content and virtually every game lets you customise something from avatar names through to the name of your dog.

4)Anyone who knows Baabara knows she is a rude motherfucker anyway. Ordering you around most of the time and being rude about your face, sexual preference, taste in clothes and intelligence. If anyone deserves to take the fall for this it's her. Nintendo should run a patch for Animal Crossing Wii that forces barbara to apologise to everyone she meets and for her to live in a shaky wooden shack with no carpets, wallpaper or furniture. This one is on you Baabara fall on your sword like the daft racist you are.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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 without you being able to do something.

And we all know that films are shit these days and have probably always been. Shit or pretentious. Never "great".

But people's complaints about the Watchmen not being convertable are pretending that the original content is somehow amazing or untouchable. It is not. Pretty standard comic book japery albeit with a bit of blood and tits. Oh and cancer and shagging so it must be properly grown up. Oh and a pirate ship story in the story! Oooooh clever. It is better than most superhero comics because most of these comics have characters going back in time and impregnating their alternate universe 1950s versions of their own mothers in order to prevent some universe travelling immortal who destroys planets. That's after they've been revived yet again even though they died in 48/52 other spin off series.

And all non super hero comics are pointless. Just write a book for god's sake.

One game would make a nice comic book though and that's XIII. Make that game I say!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Going underground...

There is a theme to this week's screenshots. Can you tell what it is?
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.


Whatever Agent Smith. Ha jokes from 5 years ago!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.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Consoles are dead long li

Far cry 2 on an new computer or is Cannon Fodder?
Sorry I couldn't finish the title because my computer crashed. Lets start again.


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
Update: Hah!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Little Sales, Big Joke

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?

Still not a girl!
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 their 360s to be turned into Wiis. Unlucky.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gender issues in Games

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 friends is the big one. The meat of the sandwich. Is Jigglypuff from Super Smash Brothers a girl? That my friends is the killer question.
DEFINITELY NOT A GIRLOriginally, I thought no. Sure he is cute as a button but not a girl right? There is something not very girlish about him. Definitely a boy.

Boy with a girlish hatBut then he does have this hat. It is a girly hat. 7/10 to be sure but then maybe Jigglypuff is just a trendy boy which pretty much gives you free reign to wear a girls hat, hell you can even get away with girl hair too (it doesn't work the other way round though, girls with boy hair look like those freaky bald cats).

My theory is in jeopardyThen there is this hat. This hat is more like 8.5 girly. But perhaps its just a ruse so the other competitors don't hit him to hard with a baseball bat or eat him huh? Yeah. A ruse by the 'puff no doubt and you all fell for it. Losers.

FudgeYeah so what. Don't tell me you have never worn a cocktail flower umbrella thing on your head and tried to seduce Kirby? You liar. You unscrupulous liar destined for the lowest level of hell. Or highest. Or the worsest one wherever that may be.

Myth Busted! Proved by the use of science and screenshots from here reproduced here under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. However, with gender issues in games now solved it does mean that I have some pretty homoerotic screenshots on my SD card to get rid of.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Exclusive Fable 2 Review

Fable 2, artists impression
P.S. Fable 2 is just Fable with a dog.



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.

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 usual hype. My initial impressions are that calling it Gears of War "2" is a bit generous really. It should be called Gears of War "The corridor" or Gears of War 1.5.

The original Gears was good because it had the reloads and the cover system and a storyline that was less than an inch deep. But it didn't matter it was fun and co-op and generally okay and for those precious months that people were interested it was great to play online.

With Gears 2, they decided that players had too much freedom and the storyline was a bit too deep. So GoW2 has the lovable Fenix and co. travel through one large corridor from start to finish. You don't even need to know your objectives because you follow the one path you can take and inevitably it takes you to it. "Avoid the acid vomiting penises" is the objective and hey, look the next six minutes of the game is walking along a tight corridor lined with acid vomiting penises. Stop the Brumak from attacking the convoy drill thing and voila, you are stuck on a rooftop with nothing to do except shoot the Brumak who is bearing down on the convoy. And it goes on throughout the entire game. Alternative routes are cunningly cut off with such staple barriers as 'doors with metal planks over them' or 'shit loads of debris'. In fact there is more freedom to explore in Link's Crossbow training, that is how on rails this game might as well be.

I played it single player but maybe it is better in co-op because you get those pointless options to choose a left or right route. Take the right route to use the mortar to let the guys on the left route through. In one section you take the left route to turn off the automatic security guns on the right route. Why? Why do that at all? How about everyone takes the right route so we don't need to use the mortar at all or alternatively, everyone take the left route and just walks past the switches avoiding the stupid automatic security altogether? Criminally, once you choose which route you want the game plops you firmly on that side with a magical door blocking your route back should you want to change your mind. Generally, there's no backtracking either, doors cruelly close the second you walk past them or, in the worst examples there are steps which are a little too high for the unjumping marines to climb back over.

As for the storyline, which Cliff is so desperate for you to care about? It is as piss poor as even the stupidest of Gears fans could have written and uploaded to a fan fiction site. Shitloads of cliche and mm deep exposition, or as Marcus puts it in one section of engaging dialogue, "more like 10 shitloads". Every character who isn't one of the main characters dies from one cutscene to the next. At one point whilst searching heavily guarded "prison barges" the only two prisoners you find are one of the main characters from the first game and a secondary character who promptly dies. You start out with a whole army, by the third level theres five of you and by the end it's probably just Dom and Marcus left. And Cole who returns to "damn" and "shit" every four seconds after he appears. Maybe it is a testament to your skill as a player that lets your unit live whilst thousands of COGs die around you. Or maybe it's all scripted. One long scripted set piece corridor that occassionally forces you to stop to take in a set piece. TAKE IT IN, LOOK AT THE HELICOPTER OH THE HELICOPTER GOT SHOT RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU BY A HUGE MONSTER. LOOK AT THAT CONVOY DRILL THINGY OH NO IT EXPLODED RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! Occasionally the corridor is blocked off so you have to stand around and shoot two waves of locust that happily run out in front of your fixed position like a shooting gallery. Then you get to do it again and again. Everything seems to happen at the exact rate it takes you to kill two waves of locust. Quick! Kill two waves of locust until Jack can open the door. Kill two waves of locust until Bobby pulls a lever. Kill two waves of locust until this door randomly unlocks. Kill two waves of locust until Dizzy fixes the truck. Kill two waves of locust until Epic decide to give you another cutscene. It should be a new SI unit.

However, Epic do seem to love Capcom almost as much as us! Remember the Leviathan level in Devil May Cry 3? Well so do Epic because they lovably replicated it all in GoW2 and they started doing files as well. I wouldn't be suprised if you find Brian Irons diary on one level. They even put Hunters in this one just in case you missed them from Resident Evil. I didn't play through to the end but I have no doubt that Viewtiful Joe and Frank West join your unit only to die at the next cutscene. Actually, thinking about it Carmine kinda looks like Viewtiful Joe...

Is it fun? Yeah totally but just don't try to claim it's innovative or god forbid you to try to speak of its story telling merits or that it is anything more than a no frills continuation of the first game. I just stopped caring half way through as you lurch down the corridor to another firefight in which you have to use cover to pick off two waves of enemies.

Left 4 Dead.
We have high expectations of this one and judging from ever trustworthy favourable internet coverage it should be something to look forward to. However, judging from watching a friend play the demo single player on the Xbox 360 it ain't all that. Not at all. Now I know some of you are going to have issues with me drawing conclusions from watching a friend play the demo single player on the Xbox 360 but I would have issues from people drawing their conclusions from playing the game at Valve with valve employees for three days straight.

What we were expecting: A game that finally cracked engaging co-op play a la Project Eden but with zombies. A FPS Resident Evil Outbreak that actually works. A new era of 4 player games that had you do more than play deathmatches against each other or heaven help you, capture the sodding flag.

What I saw: A very easy arcadey run n' gun that might as well have been a single player minigame. Each zombie takes about two shots to kill. You can just run straight past them, run and hold down fire, or you can just stand around and the AI buddies will take care of them. Occasionally a boomer or hunter or tank will turn up but holding down fire whilst aiming at their face does the trick.

Maybe it is because its a demo that it is so easy. Or maybe it's better on PC for no discernable reason. Some of you may even say that it's better in co-op and you shouldn't play it single player. But that's no excuse. A lot of games make the mistake of adding in co-op as an after thought. It's essentially two people playing through single player mode and the second character magically dissapears in the cut scenes. Left 4 Dead seems to do the opposite. It is so geared towards mulitplayer that one player just feels a bit souless. In fact based on the demo it looks like the full game could be done single player in about an hour and half. At one point my friend just stood around watching. The AI buddies were frantically shouting and screaming and firing and getting caught by boomers and saving each other. He got punched once by a zombie and the AI buddies took care of it half a second later. They do a good job at creating what looks to be panic but if you take the time to step back it is contrived.

We'll reserve final judgement like any good cop out would until we play the final release whereby we plan to make a weekend putting it through the paces but from the demo it seems that, like Gears 2, the hype is exactly that. Unwarranted excitement about games that aren't so much as breaking the mold as trying to copy capcom and failing. BADLY.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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?



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 DLC to make up for the delay.

As for Dead Space… well… we're not bothered with it…

Yeah I know, it's a survival horror! Yeah it's supposed to be Resident Evil 4 in space! But, it's just aliens, Care factor: Zero.

The game seemed really creepy with like undead and ghosts and such, but then the trailer just shows crappy little fanny-monster-alien things crawling about and attacking you.

The game just seems to suffer from monster syndrome (monstrum salielasmobranchus), seen in many survival horrors. It is the point in the game where the designer decides that the player needs tougher enemies and as such introduces ridiculous monsters quite often not keeping in tone with the rest of the game.

Such games that suffer from Monster Syndrome:

Resident evil: Starts off with Zombies and Undead dogs and such. Then a big genetically engineered Mutant thing called a hunter turns up, yeah they are scary, but a) they are not undead. b) The only reason they are scary is because they can OHKO you.
And so forth for all Resident evil games, Lickers, purple monkeys, Tremor worms, Giant retards.

Bioshock: WTF is Big Daddy… Just stupid really.

Turok: Starts off with dinosaurs, then it goes all fucked up and there are other dimensions with dino-people.

Ones that don't:

Dead rising: Zombies and Psychopaths that's it. No super-genetically-altered-robo-zombies.

Silent hill: To be fair they are all monsters, but they are creepy and keep in tone with each other, the only ones that don't really are the flappy ones in the original Silent hill and I was never fond of the Gorilla ones in Silent Hill: The room.

P.S. Apparently Dead Space is somehow involved with Scientology, Like it references Xenu (or what ever their God is) and as such I'm REALLY not interested.

Luv n' Hugz

Richie xxx

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I lost my friends to WAR.

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:
Yeah LOL
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 sucking people into the game and getting them to keep the sub fees flowing. Three are longtime on/off WoW players, one would have punched Wow in the balls and spat down his neck and the other one was always afraid he would get sucked into WoW so avoided it. Then BINGO! a new slightly different game comes along and the ex-wowers are back in, the wow hater claims it's very different and therefore okay and the scared ones' transition was made all the easier by personal circumstances and the peer pressure all coming together at once.
Since then it has been by the book cliche MMORPG experience. One of them "accidentally" forgot to have "eaten or anything yet today" at 6pm, a number of them are running alts and one shamelessly traversed London with a PC and a monitor just to play it because his new house didn't have a connection.
Am I upset? Nah! They sound like they are having a blast. As long as they remember to eat (you know who you are?). It's nice that a game can provide for a social experience and bypass that horrible feeling at the end of a good real world geekend whereby you have to pack up your junk and start to think about work the next day on the train home. Of course, the whole social aspect of MMORPGs is highly questionable as most conversations (microphone problems aside) in game tend to be about the game but it's better they are MMORPGing than on the streets. That shit is dangerous.
Am I jealous? Well, who is to say where I would be if I was single, had some frickin time, had a decent PC and internet connection. I'll not be so high and mighty to suggest I would be any different.
Nooch and good ganking guys.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

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 this this 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.


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

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. This content unlocks an optional full on beard and tash for Chris.

5000mp Reverse racism. This content turns all black people into Japanese people as well as unlocking the option to play Chris as an inuit. Playing Chris as an inuit has no noticeable effect on the game except he complains that it is “too hot” after every save.

200mp Wafarin. You can buy this DLC as much as you want but if you don’t buy it at least every two minutes Chris dies of myocardial infarction.

369mp Shoes. Buy this to unlock shoes in the game of Resident Evil 5.

850mp West is Best. Unlocks Frank West as a playable character.

1050mp. Wester is Bester. Unlocks Frank West as a playable character without reducing text size to "unreadable".

Do dododoo do. Dooo. Doo.

PlayStation 3.

£4.50 Level Up. Without this content, the game starts at level 3. This DLC allows access to levels 1 and 4.

£24 Devil May Care. This purchase allows the players to choose Dante as a playable character.

£30 Ebony and Ivory. This content allows players to play as Dante (see above) with his guns this time.

£10 Ear syringe. This allows players to play Resident Evil 5 without constant a Tinnitus sound.

£5 Shell shocked. This allows players to experience the above mentioned tinnitus in stereo audio.

£.20 Fighting force. This content upgrades Chris and stops him from occassionally crying after he murders someone. It also takes him less time to aim his gun without twitching.

£2 Resident Evil 5 lamp. Unlocks a Resident Evil 5 lamp for Home (currently unavailable due date: tbc).

£8.50 Army of two. Unlocks Sheva’s other arm for use in story mode.

Pretty exciting huh guys? Which one are you going to go with? Personally I am going to wait for the Wii 2 version, after they remake zero for the Wii and remake the remake of the original for the Wii. Then they'll do a remake of resident evil 5 for the Wii 2 and it will have all this stuff already available from the start. I can't wait to play it circa 2048.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lets join that Bandwagon

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.

Awesome image by Demonxxx over at
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 game offers up a "wave mode" and the technology could be used to do some more interesting things. This isn't innovation. This is making very small steps outside of the basic practice of copying what was done before.

At least Left 4 Dead tries to take it somewhere new. But until then we'll be sticking to our tried and tested Timesplitters 2 virus mode level we made (current max time 4 minutes 34 seconds after 6 years of trying.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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!


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!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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 pretentious hacks 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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


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.

Maybe I was twisty turning which one is which before you complain 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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Omastar Comics #20

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:

Sometimes all it takes is saying a part of your own name and great changes can be made

Wow, that Omastar, what a guy.

Friday, October 10, 2008


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:

Thanks internet. You don't even have to try to find a biff shot anymore
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.

Unfortunately, it is now coming out for the PS3 and Xbox 360 so the PlayStation fanboys lose perhaps the strongest weapon in their war now that the best game on the PS3 has gone multiplatform. Dang!

We're so excited about this news we almost forgot that the entire Tekken series is a big steamning pile of crap far worse than any other fighting game in existence*.

*Yeah, we're going there, it's worse that Mortal Kombat. We said it now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

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 is all here for ya! All this and more and if you are taking an average of thirty seconds to get yourself off our archive should last you a year before you need to get fresh material.

In short filthy teenagers, you sorely disappoint us with your lack of imagination and creativity. I imagine your moms would be dissapointed too when she sees that the best you could manage was "people naked with viagra". Hopefully you'll be directed to this page from now on as a kind of taster index to all kinds of gaming filth held here.

Cunzy1 1

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


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

My friend, he is a hacker and he once totally hacked the government and like ordered 100 MacDonalds to 11 Downing Street. It was proper Leet.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 putting dictionaries into their meatspaces.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Next-next gen? Hold up....

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 handful of must-owns and this is reflected in sales charts where Mario Kart DS (3 years old) and Wii Play (2 years old) still fly high. Where's the new IP? Where's the good games that don't come bundled with some kind of peripheral bumping the cost up to £50 and £60 (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Wii Speak, Wii motion plus, Balance board etc. etc.).

Why don't game retailers get savvy and instead of stocking shit they've been told to stock for old platforms, offer a selection of classics for the platform? I'd like to be able to stroll into any shop and be able to pick up a copy of SSX Tricky or Freedom Fighters for the PS2. I don't think I've ever seen a copy of Ecks vs. Sever in a shop and it's one of the best handheld FPS, unrivalled today (in my opinion of course).

It all makes no sense. The high street should stop pandering the to people with more money than sense and stock games like bookshops stock books. You'd never imagine going into a bookshop and asking for a copy of A Tale of Two Cities expecting the shop assistant to look at you blankly before recommending some new book that was on Richard and Judy last week.

The loss of the GBA slot on the DSi is a shame. I can see why they did it, probably because GBA games aren't making the money that DS games are. Of course, this is completely understandable because you can't buy a fucking GBA game in the high street anymore. Also, the PS2 is regularly touted as still one of the biggest platforms but you won't find any good new games and you'll be hard pressed to find the great old games offline.

To be fair, Nintendo and Microsoft do allow for some support for the old games with the virtual console and backward compatability and the recent announcement that Nintendo will be re-releasing some of the better Gamecube games is a good one. Anecdotes from the internet and magazines tell how some people are only now discovering some of the old classics by chance or through the virtual console and that is a good thing. However, I still can't play Dino Crisis 3 without digging out an old Xbox and I resent having to buy the old N64 games again when I have a catridge that works fine anyway. Also, thanks for re-releasing the Gamecube games but it wouldn't be neccessary if the Gamecube hadn't been abandoned half way through it's life cycle. And is it worth the Wii points to buy SNES and N64 games just to save the hassle of unravelling miles of wires and searching for old plugs and spare plug sockets? Maybe.

Of course you can probably still find the old classics online but you may have to pay a bit more than you would have and for the new casual gamers just getting into gaming they aren't going to research for hours to find out that Timesplitters 2 was a great game and then order a copy from Amazon. And then a memory card. And then some extra controllers......

I shouldn't have to dig out my GBA to play gameboy games or dig out my old DS to play GBA games. I don't want to spend hours finding the right multitap and the right pads for the right PS2 in order to play multiplayer Red Faction 2. I don't want to spend money on games that I already have for my old console. I don't want any more peripherals that will be supported by three games before being forgotten and I don't want to waste money on slimline, updated or HD versions of consoles or consoles which can take fucking pictures and connect to my sandwich toaster when there still aren't that many good games out anyway.

If games are supposed to be more than just play things for loser adoloescents then how about game retailers and marketing people wise up a bit and start selling games in a more discerning way. How about a "classics" section for old platforms with a selection of the top games from years former. Also, how about selling games like you would sell most other forms of media, i.e. keep a selection of the good ones out at all times. I spent hours searching for Advance Wars: Dual Strike a mere four months after it's release and tracking down Endless Ocean on the high street has been an endless pain. But you'd have no problem finding a great film, good music or great books.
Some games are timeless and the experiences we gain through them stay with us for a long time and it would be a shame to just forget these old games or bar access to them for new generations just to make a dime. Penny Arcade have had some interesting stuff up about DRM, some of which tocuhes on the pains of keeping access to games that you bought and owned, I'd recommend reading it.
In the meantime let's pause a while to forgotten classics and perhaps dig some out over the weekend and let them take you back to simpler times. Times when you didn't need an online connection to play your games and times when plinky plonky music and raw graphics were enough to whisk you off to other worlds.
Review of this artcile: Jesus Christ so Tl;dr and also too much emotion. Must be on the blob or something.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


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 quiet ceremony at Future Publishing Office in Bath. A ceremony OF THROWING FLAMING DEATH STARS*!!
Us: Thanks Graham Barlow former editor of MacFormat!
Graham Barlow: No worries Keith and Mike "writers" of popular games blog that has gone down hill ever since the first post!
Graham, Keith and Mike: Oh no!!!!.....

*Stars of Death not THE Death Star.

Heavy Rain the paper cut killer

Would but only with the cryingThere 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.
David: Hello?
TGAM: We know where you live "Dave"
David: Oh, not you guys again!
TGAM: Gay! [We hung up after that, TGAM 1-David Cage 0]

Richie: Hey we are the first blog to mention Heavy Rain and not use the words "Uncanny Valley"
Richie: Dammit...

Luv n hugs

Cunzy + 1