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.

Photocopier

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.

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
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeejjije
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.

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 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?

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 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.

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

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.

White

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.