Friday, October 30, 2009

Bayonetta: The tiny head that could?

So our good firends over at the Zeonic Front have gone and made a nice photo shgop edit of bayonetta, in proportion! Well done:

Yeah we concur, the proportions of she-dante were totally out of whack!

Regarding Bayonetta, we have been wrestling (in a non-homosexual way, we just finish each other off in the showers afterwards) over this title for a while. You see it DOES look good, there are some classy Dante-esque manoeuvres, and we all love Devil May Cry. But despite the fact that the DMC genre is not ripped off that much *looks in Kratos' direction*, it is SEGA that is doing the ripping off, and well SEGA suck, they have done nothing but 3/10 forgettable trashy cash-ins. I just cant get excited about this game, ultimately I feel it will be an underwhelming disappointment, Too much hype, to much focus on inferred nudity (and I'm usually a fan, though it helps if their head is not tiny), and too much focus on how great it is gonna be.

Anyone else feeling this?

Putting lotion on it's skin,

Richie X.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gamer Laureate

Some things aren't good enough for that other site we occassionally write for. And then sometimes we forget we've some stuff that doesn't get published and then it becomes out of date and then we post it here. Here is one such fine post.

You may all be delighted to have heard of the recent appointment of Carol Ann Duffy as the first female, first Scot and first openly bisexual person to become the poet laureate of the United States of the Kingdom of the UK. Congrats to Carol. Good job. But what does a poet laureate actually do you may ask? Aside from being a staple answer to a pub quiz question (and with three firsts Carol Ann Duffy will be the answer to trivial pursuit questions for many many years to come) a poet laureate composes poetry for state events as well as being a spokesperson for poetry. To disseminate its worth and to kindle the eternal flame of poetry at all costs. After all, there are few forms of media that will help you to get laid, 'I directed a film for you' just doesn't sound right.

It was upon reading about the new poet laureate here that I had a revelation. We need a gamer laureate. By need, I mean need as much if not more than we need a poet laureate. And by a gamer laureate I mean me.

It would be great. You get paid to disseminate the wonders of gaming to the nation, the state and the queen. And don't we need it? As gamer laureate here is my manifesto/action list:

Poetry in screenshot people

1) A public campaign to raise awareness of bad games that should not be bought in any event, even if they are part of a bundle or £20 cheaper than a decent game.

2) I would make it part of my job to publicly challenge celebrities, politicians and international dignitaries at various video games. Would you trust the prime minister better if he was good at Mario Kart? I know I would. Fuck the elitist background, experience and acumen, if the man knew his way around Cheep Cheep Beach he'd do significantly better by me and undoubtedly better in the opinion polls. Similarly, global conflicts might be resolved by a best of 3 game of Dash to Destruction than through a bloody waste of life expensive and unpopular war.

3) I'd be an advocate for the gaming nation and work with other gamer laureates around the world to unite our underground nation. It always surprises me that gamers haven't formed their own nation yet. There's enough of us. Shit. Even if all the Wow players got together that is a respectable mass of people. We could control the world.

4) Work to preserve the gaming heritage. Every year, games slip away into the ether as discs, hardware and code is lost and damaged. As gamer laureate I'd create a national museum of video games. It would be at the V&A because the nation doesn't really need a national museum of clothing, cutlery and crockery. It would be great and at least people might be interested whilst they are museuming in London. It would be a great place to celebrate the achievements of British coders and gamers who, frankly have added more to individuals lives and wider contemporary culture than wanker millionaire artists.

5) Set up a charity national hints and tips phone line. Anyone who has ever seen a google analytic report for a gaming site will know that so many of our fellow gamers don't know how to use google or that gamefaqs even exists. I'd help to set up and run the helpline for gamers in need of that extra bit of advice. Helping gamers all over the nation to complete their games. The helpline would also be available to support victims of griefing, blue shelling, spawn camping and ganking. A demographic currently ignored by government.

6) I'd act as personal gamer to the Queen. If she every wanted to co-op Half Life or play a bit of deathmatch on CoD and Harry and Wills weren't around, I'd be her player 2 (or 3, not 4 though).

7) I'd work with national media to make sure they get their shit straight. No more errors or mistakes when blaming secondary school shootings on games and no more lies in the token 'games' sections in the newspapers and magazines.

8) I'd work hard to make gaming more socially acceptable than wine connoisseurs, bird watchers, foodies and people who play polo. Of course, we are more socially acceptable than these elitist snobbish hobbyists and activities but gaming has had a bad rep for such a long time it barely hovers above fiddie kiddling in the national lists. Support me to put gaming in it's rightful place, above people who waste wine for a hobby.

9) I would be available to play games with people at state events. After all they have to put up with poetry so a spot of minesweeper, micro maniacs or uno wouldn't be out of place. Would it?

10) Hand out the excellence in gaming awards every year. The awards are for those British people who have struggled against the odds to set new high scores, to top international leaderboards or for particularly impressive speed runs. Awards for notable gaming journalism, literature, machinima, fan fiction or audio remixes would also be awarded.

So that's it so far. It's a lot I know but it needs doing. Drop any suggestions in the comments and I'll send it to King Tony Blair to see what he thinks of the whole idea. I promise not to forget about the little people when I get there. x x x

The Ad Man is a Bad Man

Those of you living in the United Kingdom Emirates may have seen a couple of the recent Fallout 3 GOTY edition TV spots. This makes a refreshing change from the constant Wii adverts.

We looked for a relevant video on Youtube but there are so many gameplay videos it was tricky to find. So instead we're going to go back in time to 1950 and explain the advert using only words*.

2 second clip of someone doing a head shot.
2 second clip of someone hitting someone with something else.
2 second clip of someone having an explosive device thrown at them.
2 second clip of someone having something [indistinguishable] violent done to them in slow motion.
THE GUY WHO DOES ALL THE VOICEOVERS FOR AMERICAN ACTION FILMS: Gwame of the Ywear Edition out No[Gravel, gravel, Gravel]w.
1 second shot of credits.

Now we're all for televisual adverts for great games but is the advert really capturing what is truly great about Fallout 3? We thinks no. We think it represents a game so great for many many other things, perhaps great for not focussing so much on all the things the ad highlights. But we also recognise that it is really hard to sell all those lovely extra features in such a short time slot but it doesn't stop us coming up with an alternative version:

You're breaking my heart. You're shaking my confidence daily. This image was the only one I could find that was relevant and the only way in which it is relevant is that it comes from a post about a spade by the excellent Pentadact

TGAM's FALLOUT 3 ADVERT- WORKING TITLE "A Dreamscape's last hiatus".

Black screen to opening of 'Cecilia' by Suggs.
4 minute clip of a player chasing a mutant across a wasteland continuously swiping away with a spade. At the end the mutant escapes and the player starts randomly shooting grass, trees and other scenery with a pistol.
1 second shot of credits.

We know which one we think most accurately describes the game. And we would happily make this ad for $4,000.

*We managed to find a computer old enough that would actually let you type in words. Then via a spectrum of younger and younger computers we managed to get it from a 490 inch floppy disk to a USB stick and then onto the internet. If we weren't so tech savvy we could say, hand on heart, that this post wouldn't have otherwise existed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast - The Inevitable.

Yeah it happened... Delay #1

Where it was previously set for October 23rd UK release. It is now set for a November 13th release.

No news on any new characters... so it looks like we are just on the usual set of DBZ characters, with a few of the movie characters. Though there are rumours circulating of around 4 or 5 extra characters. Which logically will be Hercule (Comedic character), Cell Jr (Spawns of Cell), Saibamen (Little green aliens the Saiyans use) and Janemba (The big bad that fought Goku and Vegeta's combined form, Gogeta, who has already been confirmed, though I suspect that SS3 Broly might be his adversary [interesting, maybe we can get SS3 Gogeta?]).

On a personal note. I would like them to return all the previous characters from previous games, GT aside there was plenty of interesting "What-if" scenarios in the previous games such as Goku and Hercule fusion (Gocule) Tien and Yamcha fusion (Tiencha) and even the addition of the original Dragonball characters (Young Goku, Mercenary Tao, Grandpa Gohan, Yajirobe).

But who knows...

Stay tuned,

I'm always right Richie XX

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bethesta Announce:

An Elder Scrolls book:

Fuck that shit, get the finger out on Elder Scrolls V! Stop fannying about with Fallout 3 DLC! Jesus...

What we're all thinking,

Richie V

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Breaking News

Internet fiend and Leaderboard legend the Hockster just gave us the tip-off about the new Resident Evil 4 HD version. We're pretty sure this is breaking so you'll see it in a TTECNK on lesser sites soon.

Here is the original:
You thee I am a thpanith giant! Here is Resident Evil 4 HD. You can see that Capcom, fingers burnt from Resident Evil 5, have played it safe and set the whole thing in Asia land.
Expect upskirt shots within minutes. Can't racist yourself! Except you are being racist if you just racist yourself and not everyone. Try again Capcom.

That Guys Interviews.

Gaming is trying hard to be mainstream, even though it already is but not in the way many gamers gamers can appreciate because they are too busy grinding and cyberring to spend enough time in the real world. A world without elves and muscle men and barrels and princesses and invisible walls. One thing that might help the deluded to believe that gaming is more mainstream is if we create some Gaming Celebrities. That way we join the common woman by slating off how fat, ugly, beautiful, stylish, hideous and underweight our favourite gaming people are and we can OMG to our hearts delights every time Jeff Minter takes a crap and it makes headlines.

Our part in all this is to interview the top 100 gaming celebrities pushing them from blogosphere obscurity to the heady heights of celebrity and maybe see them take part in ice skating, ballroom dancing and orgies-on-islands television programmes like real celebrities do.

This is not Leigh Alexander.

We emailed over 500 gaming celebs and we've already got some great names lined up but first, it is our pleasure to reveal our exclusive interview with rising star gaming writer Leigh Alexander. Chances are if you follow the gaming blogs you will have discovered some of Leigh's excellent writing about games from reflective pieces on what it means to be a gamer to some thought provoking articles questioning some of the most common words in a gamers lexicon. Also, despite the fact she has two boys names she is a woman.

TGAM: Hello Leigh and thank you for taking part in our ambitious project and extra kudos to being the first one to get back to us.
LA: It is a pleasure and I kinda appreciate what you guys are doing but not necessarily the way you go about it.
TGAM: One of our most popular posts of all time have been, Danger Women in games. Are you familiar with The Party Song by Blink 182?
LA: Yeah. Yeah I know that song but
TGAM: It goes like this: 'Do you want to come to a party
My friends picked me up in their truck at 11:30
This things at a frat house but the people are cool there
Reluctant I followed but never dreamed there
Would be someone there who would catch my attention
I wasn't out looking for love or affection
So I paid my 3 and the girls got in free
Shine the beer and tequila and we headed into the party
And then in the backyard some terrible ska band
Someone in the background was doing a keg stand
This place is so lame all these girls look the same
All these guys have no game I wish I would have stayed
In my bed back at home watching TV alone
Where I'd put on some porn or have sex on the phone
Far from people I hate down from anywhere state
Trying to intoxicate girls to give them head after the party
And then I saw her standing there
With green eyes and long blond hair
She wasn't wearing underwear at least I prayed that
She might be the one maybe we'd have some fun
Maybe we'd watch the sun rise'
LA: Okay
TGAM: Then it goes 'But that night I learned some girls try too hard
Some girls try too hard
Some girls try too hard to impress
With the way that they dress
With those things on their chests
And the things they suggest to me
I couldn't believe what this lady was saying
The names she was dropping the games she was playing
She dated this guy who now rides for Black Flys
How she's down with the Iwise well constructed disguise
Now I'd rather go dateless than stay here and hate this
Her volume of makeup her fake tits were tasteless
So I said I'd call her but never would bother
Until I got turned down by another girl at a party
So when you see her standing there
With green eyes and long blonde hair
She won't be wearing underwear and you'll discover
This girl's not the one and she'll never be fun
You should just turn and run because you'll find out that
Some girls try too hard
Some girls try too hard to impress with the way that they dress
With those things on their chest
And the things they suggest to me'
Do you think that song was written about you Leigh?
LA has signed out of chat.

So thanks to Leigh Alexander. I think you'll agree it was a great interview. Next week: Well hopefully it is someone that doesn't check the blog (= a shitload of people).

Ciao! CZY1 1

Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast - Goku Balls Naked Super Streetfighter IV: WE DID IT FIRST!!!

HA, this isn't really an update, but more of or crazy conspiracy theory that Kotaku may be "the man" and he is keeping thatguys down, mainly through subliminal hits and Machiavellian conduct. But also sapping and impurifying the precious bloggily fluids with their fluidic and readable posts.

It goes all the way back to Jesus, man! 'Kotaku' in Sanskrit means nothing more than "wanks over graphical representations of girls/boys with exaggerated eyes and which have possible insinuations that they are not of age of consent". And of course any layman can see this is synonymous with the church, which in-turn are synonymous with the fabled Illuminatti. The Illuminati...blah, blah, blah... Dan Brown is Brian Crecente...blah, blah, blah...Moses was the original top-ten list Blogger...blah, blah, blah...4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42...blah, blah, blah, yakity, smakity...Is nothing more than biased media dictating what we should and shouldn't like.

That aside, yet again we have proven ourselves better than Kotaku by bringing you news you "care" about

P.S. Our picture was better, FYI the pic Kotaku have is of Vegeta only "trying" to power up to Super Saiyan 2 (I wont spoiler but, c'mon even maths dictates that is a 2 stages before SS3) whereas WE brought you actual images of SS3 Vegeta in Raging blast.


Richie XXX

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast - Goku Balls Naked Super Street IV Update

Warning Gibberish:

Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta!!!

He's in the game and I'm a happy man.

Currently the game is set for a UK release on 23rd of October... I still highly doubt it...


SS3 RichieXX

Monday, October 12, 2009

Top ten genicon gaming characters.

We wanted to say the Gypsie woman from Alex Kidd but couldn't find an image of her so it's Gorilla boy instead. Look it is Monday okay!It's Monday okay! Much easier to bash out a dirty top ten than it is to do any actual thinking. Here are our top ten characters to get you 'there' if your current humpee ain't doing it no more.

1) Q Bert
2) Merchant from RE4
3) Zangief
4) Lickitung
5) Ms Pac Man
6) Aeris (dead).
7) Zelda as Sheik.
8) That tranny from Neir.
9) The gorilla dude, above, from Alex Kidd when he loses a game of paper, scissors, stone (and also his undies)
10) Murdered maidens in Tenchu.

All of these are tried and tested winners according to our girlfriend.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

PSPGo and stay there.

Carnival gamesYet again the technology companies are pushing the technology that we didn't want or even ask for. PSPGo has been creating some headlines with some rolling their eyes and others heralding the dawn of the package-less game. Like they did with mobile games. And all those other times.

If you are anything like us, you have some severe reservations about it all. One of them being that the average person who plays games doesn't buy games mags, they don't even know about metacritic, they probably don't follow gaming blogs, the still go to the high street to buy their games and they probably haven't even taken their console online and if they have they probably have not downloaded any games let alone check the new releases every week. This is the average gamer. These are the people that saw the Wii soar to the heady heights. This is not your average forum lurker. This is not your average office of game journos. This is why many many great games perform underwhelmingly in the charts and this is why obscure or bad games occasionally pop up on the charts (before ONM stopped publishing the UK Nintendo charts the GBA and Gamecube charts each week were hilarious). A lot of people who play games still walk into a shop and buy something they see there. Presumably Games companies pay a lot of money for their new game to be pride of place in the store for the week it is released (hence those "top 10" displays in GAME. Top ten what is never actually made clear. It doesn't seem to reflect quality it seems to be the top ten new games that came out in the last two days). So everyone gets short changed. For the casual gamers they end up picking up a load of shit games and missing out on the greats (If I have to recommend No More Heroes, Zack and Wiki, Lost Winds, Kudo or 1vs 100 to another friend I'm gonna start charging commission). For the hardcore gamers it means they keep getting new products and peripherals pushed on them before the old formats are even redundant. PSPGo, PS3 Slimline, DSi and to a certain extent the original DS and the Wii are all examples. This would be fine if gamers were given an option and old formats were still supported for longer than two seconds. But go into a game shop today, this vary day and I'll bet you won't find any decent GBA, Gamecube, PS2 or Xbox games despite the fact that these formats are still good for it and in some cases still supported by the current gen. This is insanity people. Insanity. The current crop of games are not the best games. This isn't true for many other forms of media. You can go and buy books and films that are decades old. Yes, the language or the cinematography may have dated but they are still bloody good books and films. Classics if you will. And the people who own the rights to such things are still turning a profit on them years after they first came out.

I will point out that I'm not anti-PSPGo per se but it's not as if the PSP has a great catalogue of games as it is. Couldn't the PSPGo have waited for a couple of years. Until the PSP was actually good? Launching the PSPGo now is clearly for one purpose, to get all you morons to buy another PSP for a high price. Can't get more people to buy into PSP? Then get all the people who already have one to buy another one oh and all the games again. It's new, it's shiny. You want one, you have to have one otherwise people will point and laugh at you for your original PSP. Oh we're also going to be discontinuing some of the support for the older formats dontcha know? Yeah that new game, sorry it's DSi only now. Oh we're ditching backwards compatibility. Oh and the whole time we're going to bitch about the second hand games market despite it being the only way you can actually get copies of some of the classic games.

Yes this is ranty. Yes this isn't the first time I've argued all of the above points and sadly the games industry struggled through the recession proving that if they want to sell you a new thing, you are going to buy it. People who work in the games industry are expected to burn out quickly and then start all again come the next quarter rather than sitting back for a bit and enjoying the profits. This month's EDGE interview with David Jaffe on God of War exemplifies all of this.
By spending more time bigging up games for a longer time after release and by communicating with retailers that there's easier money to be made by stocking the good games regardless of age I believe that gaming would be accessible to and taken more seriously by more people, gaming culture can develop beyond a hyper focus on next week's releases and getting the quick buck for new things. For the people who work on games careers can be a bit more stable, reputations can be sustained and the all-too familiar tale of great companies starting, shining, burning up and then leaving the creators of some of the greatest examples of interactive media of all time penniless, bitter and fading into obscurity would be nothing but history.

Read some of this for more. It isn't de facto evidence to prove all the claims I've made but it is food for thought.

We only buy new when times are good

Monday, October 05, 2009

Games on Display

Yes, gaming is very exciting indeed Our glorious hobby is now so almost mainstream that it is time to give it up and complain how it was better back in the day before it got popular and spolied. Last week I couldn't sleep so ended up watching people trying to sell a Wii on one of the shopping channels. A year ago I would have smirked and sniggered my way through it as the orange hosts said the names of games wrong or struggled with the controls. Sadly it turns out the presentation was almost flawless and at one point the male orange went on a tangent about Super Star Wars and Metroid. I died a bit inside.

But shopping channels, TV shows, proper adverts aside you know that gamin has made it big when Museums put on exhibitions all about gaming. Museums are the vanguard of culture and no matter how great you thought your latest tweet was in 50 years time if it ain't in the museum then nobody will know about it. In recent years there have been a number of gaming exhibitions. Some good a la Science Museums' Game On, some experimental like the http gallery and some tangential like the Design museum exhibition a few years back.

But with rare exception the exhibitions always seem to boil down to putting consoles, peripherals and game boxes under a glass case with a boring label. A streaming video here and there if you are lucky. It doesn't make sense. You wouldn't go to a painting exhibition to see the brushes, rags and frames that were used in making great paintings and so it seems bizarre to portray the very interactive gaming through displaying a bunch of not very interactive boxes and plastic things. This is largely because these exhibitions are put on by museum people who love games and static displays is what they know. Alternatively, the people on the gaming side of things are so chuffed to be included in a museum that they don't even think to shake up the paradigm.

Game On was a great exhibition in that you could play most of the games but does a five minute hands on with Beneath a Steel Sky really portray why it was so great? How do recapture and communicate the excitement surrounding games if you display them without context next to a bunch of other games. Yes, you may get a sense of progression if you play Wolfenstein, then Medal of Honor then Halo 3 but is that really all we want to communicate?

TGAM don't do museum gaming exhibitions but here's what we would do if we did:

1) Get the Photoshop Phriday guys from Something Awful to do all the artwork both in the exhibition and on all the publicity. The gaming related Phridays really push the boundaries are demanding of the audience and have some laugh out loud in jokes. So what if the mainstream audience won't get it, snobbery is part of culture. Just look at Art galleries.

2) Okay so getting people to play through FFVII isn't going to happen in a gallery and streaming a video is even worse. I'd organise a series of events where you watch someone play through a game live. Could be boring but if you made it competitive or had the game makers on hand for a live commentary then I would go and see that shit and hopeful will have learned something too.

3) Bring in the critics. Some of the top Art critics are recluse semi-legends whose words appear only in the glossiest magazines. Gamings best critics all write freely available on the internet and out of love. I'd get them all in and do a series of events around them and their stories about games. With no thought at all we've got desert island games, my first game, the game that blew me away and who wouldn't want to see Wright, Gillen or Bartle wax lyrical in front of an audience?

4) If you are going to have boxart around I'd get the best people to interpret it.

5) Never ever display a peripheral without having one that people can have a go with.

6) Probably at the end of the exhibition we'd have a thing about how we as a people aren't preserving gaming heritage at all. Related to 1) most of the people responsible for gaming as a thing are still alive today. We have a unique opportunity to get almost 100% historical evidence and coverage of gaming yet how many of these people's stories have been recorded or written? We need to fight for our gaming heritage.

7) The Art of Games or some such, bring back the guys responsible for the most iconic images and memories of gaming. That Megaman box art, that Tetris tune, that little yellow circle who ate the smaller circles. Bring in some people who know about media to talk about why gaming in the mass consciousness still = plinky plonky chips tunes and laser zapping despite modern gaming rivalling film in terms of depicting and exploring hyper realism through to abstractness.

8) Get someone to ape this image:

We actually did a mock up model of this once when we had a power cut. It rocked.By filling a real room with recognizable items from gaming past and present. We all love those images where you have to spot all the game references so by making a museum of imaginary objects real. Well we are doing something special I just don't know what it is.

So there we have it. Just a few ideas from TGAM. If you are thinking about putting on a gaming exhibition please don't do the tried and tested styles of display because that is lazy and misses the point.

P.S We're free for some free consultancy work and anything else actually at the moment.