Monday, March 23, 2009

Breaking News from Gaylando

I skip town for a few days and all hell breaks loose. Reports of abuse, AXE MENTALISTS and the credit change crisis. Not to mention the weeds. GOD the weeds.

Minnesota police were right!
This seals it. I'm boycotting Nooks until all this blows over*

A sentiment many would love to share
Economic crisis and or credit crunch hits virtual world. Would be the headline I would get the BBC intern to write using this screenshot. I'd put climate change in there too.

Good, kill Poncho he keeps paying under the going rate for my fish
An AXE MENTALIST came to town too.

The rumours are that you are an axe mentalist. Tell me it isn't so
This is not how you talk to AXE MENTALISTS.

But elixirs are really hard to come by
Nor this.

Acid bubbles
Expect lives to be lost.

*Well maybe next week. I have turnips I need to sell this week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Sheva from Resident Evil 5 Nude Cheat

Surprisingly, we've managed to find a little Easter egg from Capcom in their latest survival horror game Resident Evil 5. That is right sports fans, you can unlock a nude(ish) Sheva. Here's how, accompanied by some artists reconstructions because we'll be damned if we can take screenshots. Them shits is too professional.

NUDE!Here's how to do it. You need to beat the game first. We beat it in co-op so it doesn't seem to make a difference if you do it solo.

OMG NUDEThen start the game again when you get back to chapter 3-1, (the boat level) you'll need to pick up the Beast and Warrior slates (this is what we did, we don't know if you need to pick up these slates but it's best to be sure). If you then check your map you should see a tiny island to the west of the long tentacle looking thing (the stream) on the South West of the map. Head here.

NUUUDE
On this island there is a small hut (previously not much to do with it). If you approach it an "Enter" command will pop up. Press to enter, the screen will black out and you'll hear the familiar zipping noise straight from Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 when you change into alternative costumes using the special keys you get from completing the game. Then you can see Sheva in her natural beauty (she still has pants but her rack is there to see).

Buzz Bonus: By pressing the locate partner button, Chris will automatically focus on Sheva as normal but this time he gives off a "woot-woo" sexy whistle.

Remember kids you read it here first and thank you capcom.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

Shit! What if I am and I don't know it yet?

Pachamama

Hotlinking to some news that's been all over my boink today. For those of you who are lazier than we, the premise is to slap a tax on violent video games to ugh cut knife crime, Britain's second favourite national sport.

We don't think the tax is a good idea because a) People who stab other people don't buy games, they steal them at knifepoint duh and b) People who play games don't stab people*. They stay at home and play games.

I'm all for reducing knife crime but I think there is a better way to be going about it, like nuking Britain from space until knife crime goes down or mass sterilisation of people who wear caps. However, I am in favour of slapping taxes on Theme Hospital to improve the NHS and we should tax the fuck out of Train Simulator to keep trains running on time. Taxes on Katamari Damacy to cure cancer etc. etc.



*Excluding FIFA, Halo, CoD, GoW, the other GoW and MySims.

A very Wii-k

Destroy Man! Easier than the school girl by far thank the lords
For reasons not to be divulged here, I had a week off of work and for reasons too painful to recount here I spent most of it on the sofa playing games. Sad perhaps but a week I thoroughly enjoyed as I relived the glory days when I could really get my teeth into some games rather than snatching the odd hour or two or playing games and then dreaming of playing them for the rest of the week, the routine that modern life forces us into. I played the Wii exclusively, proving that you don't need marines in space or space marines on planets or future marines fighting nazis to have a good game session. Here's the synopsis for all none of you out there who are at all interested:

Dead Rising chop til you drop (or shop til you drop as one googler who found this site typed in). I still can't decide whether this is a good game in its own rights, a yorke notes version of a good game or just a bad game. Having played through it all of four times now, I am still none the wiser. Perhaps this game has lodged itself in that part of my brain that pokemon used to inhabit but I find it really hard to exit to the Wii menu after the credits roll and not start the whole game over again. A few notes and addenda to this quasi-review: The convicts are in the game although beating them is now a QTE affair. For those who battled them in the original version this is no great loss at all and may I dare say it is actually a minor improvement. You can put hats/buckets on zombie heads by shooting them until they are stunned. Later on in the game this becomes impossible as even the hangun blows legs clean off but still glad the feature is there. After the first playthrough the "odd jobs" minigame is unlocked and after progressing through odd jobs "second amendment" series of minigames using the rifles is unlocked. These mini games and challenges are a sheer joy and really show off the possibilities of the game and the ingenuity of capcom. The single complaint is that there just aren't enough of them but trying to get S ranks on them all adds some replay value. Following extensive playtime I did have pretty vivid dreams in dead rising but most of them concerned me running into walls and having to press A+Z to turn around, only to run into another wall. The number of times A+Z flashes up on the screen during the is quite high so I imagine I've been subliminally programmed by Capcom. The next time I pick up a mop I'll let you know if I try to A+Z first.

Tomb Raider Underworld. After Resident Evil, I've always had a soft spot for Tomb Raider even with Angel of Darkness being the Outbreak of the series. Similarly to DRCTYD, the problems that many reviewers were keen to point out just don't seem to be big issues. Sure the game is "slightly" broken (the Wii had to be unplugged twice and reset half a dozen times) but ultimately it is a pleasant game to play with some nice links to the other games in the series that came as a nice surprise. I can't see how issues with the camera remain after two minutes of playing the game and there's not really a great deal else out there for such fluid runny, climby, jumpiness on the Wii. Extra kudos for incorporating a vehicle section that wasn't hideous or jarring at all.

Animal Crossing LGTTC. My residents reminded me that it had been a good couple of weeks since my last visit. A number of my friends with the game seem to be miles ahead of my current progress so with time on my hands I decided to not be beaten at a game I recommended to them. After much weeding, planting and fossil hunting the town is back up to a reasonable standard. I just hope that at some point this week Nook offers more than the measly 66 bells for turnips otherwise I might have to burn down the Nookingtons, deforest the town and generally be rude until everyone moves out. You have been warned Nook. On the bright side, my measly room was the model room for a while and I was surprised that my Mii looked quite so fetching in a wedding dress.

A lot of the family were around which meant that Boom Blox, Mario Kart and Link's Crossbow training got a lot of play. All three games relatively simple, all three games unrivalled by other extant consoles for sheer multiplayer fun. Genuine enjoyment was had by all. I also put in a lot of time with Mario Kart online which is addictive. I normally fear online play for all the usual reasons but I had to psychologically yank myself away and stopped when my race and battle points broke the 6000 barrier, worried that my luck might suddenly change. Two quick public service anouncements for Mario Kart Wii online players. Firstly, if you are driving the bikes do some goddam wheelies for the love of christ. Secondly, Moo Moo Meadows is but one track. Just at least try voting for one of the other 31 tracks at least once in four hours. You might like them.

Wii Fit, Sports and Play also got some serious playtime. I finally got a gold medal for bubble bursting and edged nearer to being a pro in more of the sports games. Wii fit is just silly fun, albeit with a depressing lining when you are reminded just how fat you are, how fat you got since your last workout and how crap my reaction times are compared to my younger relatives who must view me as some kind of Grandad, completing the image with some worrying creaking and cracking during the football heading game. The Offical Nintendo Magazine ran an interesting article on playtime and other statistics on Wii games this month which prompted me to return to these simple, yet fun games.

Lastly, I beat Destroy Man on No More Heroes. Unlike the other games which I try to consume at high speed in the precious stolen hours late at night, I've been savouring this game taking each ranked fight at a steady and enjoyable pace. Everything about this game is a delight it's a shame to see that from reviews at least, Madworld and House of the Dead Overkill find balancing mature themes with overall quality a bit of a challenge.

Game on friends and we'll see you all at the next Wiimbledon and this time we'll remember if we're left handed of right handed before the second set.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Silent Hill: Homecoming

So yeah!


We at TGAM love the silent hill series. In our usual overbearing and
graceless manner... here is a review

Well I say review, It is more a haphazard collection of images. But
look at it! It's so pretty it has a manual, an attractive green box, a
reversible cover, on top of that the nurses have clear and evident
cleavage.

Now the game, there was a lot of criticism received about this being a
more "westernised" version. given that it was not developed at the
Konami studios in Japan coupled with the game following in many of the
traditions of the movie. And it's true it does, Pyramid-head is there,
for some reason. For those of you who don't know Pyramid head is
suppose to be a personification of the torment James feels in silent
hill 2. But since he is a cool looking bad-ass, he was brought into
the movie, and as such also into this latest iteration of the series.
Another hat-tip from the movie goes to Silent hill being populated.
There are scary men running about in protective suits and gas masks
who seem to be surviving in the evil of Silent hill. There are
numerous links to the movie, like the style of the nurses and the
transitionary effects from real-word to evil-world. However whether
you liked the movie or not, the story in this latest instalment of the
game is extremely gripping, and now that it has next-gen graphics it
is even more immersive, purely to contribute to the shit-your-pants
factor of the game. Oh and the music is still terrifying, it's the
same dude from the previous Silent hill games, and anyone that has
played them will know how intense that music can get.

TGAM Score for Silent hill: 8.8/10

A worthy successor to he serious. and still pant-wettingly scary.

Luv n Hugs

Richie X

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Agatha Christie's And then there were none..

Boner and the general

For the Wii.Thoughts in roughly chronological order:

I love Agatha Christie. She was genius, I hope Nintendo release a 100 Agatha Christie books on the DS. That would be sweet.
Oh shit man murder mystery.
Who is gonna die first?
Sailor Boys indeed.
It's the Butler.
Cheese? What do I do with cheese?
I hope nobody notices I am stealing everything from this house.
It's Vera.
Vera is hot.
Glad I didn't miss that.
It's Emily.
Blore sounds like 'Boner'
It's Boner.
Stupid Wiimote safe cracking.
GODDAM STUPID WIIMOTE SAFE CRACKING.
Oh, wrong code.
Goddam AWE and your crashes. Everygame.
And again.
And again.
I should save more.
It's the Judge!
WHY WON'T EARRING MIX WITH CHEESE?
Goats.
Goats like cheese?
Goats like apples?
Goats like honey?
Goats like buckets?
Goats like cocktail shakers?
Goats like books about bird watching?
What do goats like?
GODDAM AWE GLITCHES SHOULD SAVE MORE OFTEN.
Not a glitch actually.
It's the Doctor.
Goats like walking sticks?
Four little 'sailor' boys.
Gross dead bodies.
Not gonna use GameFaqs.
The Goats are hiding Bellman's Universal Embrocation?
Bellman's Universal Embrocation in a bathroom?
Is cheese used to make Bellman's Universal Embrocation?
I've fixed the radio, is Bellman's Universal Embrocation inside?
Used GameFaqs BY THE APIARY OF COURSE ON THE GRASS FOR NO REASON.
Where is everybody?
There's only four of us left why does everyone run off?
Now there is two.
The goats did it?
I love point and click adventures.
Oooh secret ending!
What was I supposed to do with the cheese?
Must read Agatha Christie books.
I miss point and click adventures.
8/10

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why is the Escapist so shit?

Very young Yuffie represents Navel gazingIn theory it should be good. But it isn't. The articles have interesting titles and are on great parts of the gaming culture but after clicking through there is no real insight there or we felt we could write a better article. Yes, us. Rumours are abound that Stolen pixels will start to get funny soon. Unskippable is a great idea. A really good idea. Someone else should have had that idea. And done something with it. Unfortunately, not what the Escapist have done with it. They update regularly, occassionally before Kotaku but then navel gaze a tad too much (the Editor's letters etc.). Perhaps in a few years they'll have something to be so reflecting about but not yet.

The crossword and zero punctuation are saving graces and I don't have time to do the crossword.

I feel bad for the Escapist. I just can't place what exactly they are doing wrong. Until then I'll keep checking zero punctuation.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dead Rising Chop Til You Drop: Review

Exciting times again! This weekend I played through the first six eigths of Dead Rising Chop Til You Drop for the Nintendo Wii. Coverage of this title in the gaming sites was poor (in the end we had to stoop to look at IGN for the review). It may be that the release of some long awaited PS3 game meant that no one really properly reviewed this game. Which, is odd considering it is a wiimake of one of the best next gen titles yet.

For all you who played the original and want to know what's what or for those having second thoughts about buying it on the Wii. Here's the low down:

Something Old.
Three years ago Dead Rising was released on the Xbox 360. And it was great. DRCTYD, is almost the same Willamette Mall and the game will be instantly recognisable to those who saw or played the 360 version. Frank, Tits, Brad, Otis and the rest of the gang are all present and correct. Some of the psychopaths are still here, all the cutscenes and most of the original shops. The aim of the game: to survive three days in Willamette Mall, rescue the odd survivor and perhaps find out the truth behind the mysterious outbreak....

Something New.
But it isn't all the same. There have been a number of additions and a number of removals. Some good, most bad.

1) Poodles and Parrots. For no reason whatsoever there are now zombie parrots and poodles running around the mall (the poodle or one of them is Madonna! the poodle from the 360 version). You can probably ignore the parrots (who will dive bomb you or drop grenades on you) as they'll probably hit you once or twice through the whole game. The poodles however. As soon as you hear their snarl you go into some kind of panic. Shooting the poodles is very hard with the over the shoulder cam as they tend to run around in circles at knee level. After a short time you learn to snipe them all from a distance because if they get up close they can keep mauling you a la Resident Evil 1 dogs. Annoying and everywhere. Fortunately, later on they appear less to make room for the..

2) Zombie Chiefs. Unfortunately, although a fair few of the psychopaths are still present and correct, TGAM favourite lesbian cop Jo, war veteran Cliff and annoying photographer Kent have been downgraded from full characters to 'super'zombies that randomly appear throughout the mall. Over and over again. Sometimes together. Players not acquanted with the original may be perplexed by their appearence but we're glad they are in at all.

3) Escort Agency. Escort missions are still available although instead of Otis radioing over and over again (this has gone thank the gods), you now get these missions from him directly. Unfortunately, the art of escorting has been massively downgraded. You can no longer direct escortees to safe areas whilst you clear a path. Instead they stick to you like glue. You can no longer do three or four escort missions at a time, you have to do them one by one (although you can escort more than one person per mission). You can no longer give the escortees weapons. Some of them have weapons but from experience you can't rely on them to use them to defend themselves or you. This is a big shame as creating a unit of tooled up survivors was very gratifying in the Xbox version. This time around, you are reduced to escorting Ashley Graham around over and over again. However, either through the reduced zombie hordes or a slight upgrading of their pathfinding skills they are much less prone to getting into trouble as in the original version. Of the 20 or so survivors I've escorted back only one came anywhere near to potentially dying and I didn't have to handhold them half as much as I would have in the Xbox version.

4) Zombies! Nearly everywhere. Perhaps the widest criticism of this game before it was out was the massive reduction in the number of on screen zombies. To be honest, this didn't really ever seem to matter. In side by side comparisons, sure it looks bad but playing the game, it never felt sparse and there are always more groups of zombies off in the draw distance fog. Occassionally, this is jarring. After clearing an area from a distance you take two steps forward only for twenty more zombies to 'appear'. A number of areas in the game have been slimmed down. You no longer have a free run across Paradise Plaza, the first floor of the Entrance Plaza, Wonderland Plaza or North Plaza as a number of cheap barriers serve to channel Frank into set zig zag paths across these areas. Before, part of the fun was planning your own route from A to B via thousands of zombies. In the Wii version you have to take the set course, which after 30 or 40 times of doing the same run through Paradise Plaza starts to grate. Also, Frank can no longer walk through the water in the Leisure Park or Paradise Plaza. The sprawling leisure park of before is now more of a largish garden. Which, isn't neccessarily such a bad thing and the convicts in the sodding jeep seem to have gone which is nothing but a good thing in my book.

5) The White Man Cannot Jump. It's true. Many reviewers have pointed out that Frank can no longer take photographs but many forgot to mention he can't jump anymore. This means that the game takes place more or less on one level now. No jumping around, no crowd surfing, no wall kicks, no jumping kicks and much much less use of ingenious little short cuts. You can still jump in some areas a la Resident Evil 4 by pressing A + Z but it isn't quite the same.

6) The White Man Cannot Punch. This version is much much less about meleeing. It's much more shooting oriented. Of course, there are still plenty of items to pick up but you find out very quickly that meleeing gets you not very far, very quickly. The wrestling moves and the awesome disembowel have been downgraded, if present at all, and can only be done on stunned zombies. A is for Slash attacks and waggling performs a special move with the chosen object. For poles, swords etc. this is a heavy swipe. For larger items it is throw. And despite trying a lot, it appears you can no longer put buckets, cones, teddy bear heads or lego heads on zombies :( The number of weapons has been cut back as well meaning that some shops (music shops) are no longer worth ever going into because you can't pick up CDs to use in a last resort. This game is much much more about firearms which, changes the feel of the game a great deal. Instead of picking up and using guns until they run out of bullets, each gun has ammo a la RE4. Furthermore, Cletus (the gun store owner psycopath) no longer dies but becomes the gun shop after you beat him. This undermines his role in the game somewhat. Firing from the hip is gone too.

7) Time Goes By So Slowly. Gone is the feeling of frantically running through the mall with a small army of survivors as three more mission timers click down. Everything can be done at a much more leisurely pace, speed only contributing towards a rank. For me this also changes the dynamic of the game. The best (and worst) part of the 360 version was racing against the clock and many hours were spent desperately trying to save all the survivors, kill all the psycopaths and complete all the story missions. This time around it is easy to do all of these things, time limits have all but been removed and survivor rescuing no longer competes with the main story. For some this will come as a welcome change and allow people to see the whole game for the hardcore this is a shame and reduces the replayability quite a lot because most of it can be done in one sithrough (there seems to be some element of unlocking secret missions, probably associated with rankings).

8) Clothes horse. I was never one for changing clothes much. The standard wrestler boots, woman's dress, goblin mask suited me fine. In the Wii version, Frank is no longer dressed as he is in the game in cutscenes, he reverts back to his default gear. This is perhaps the biggest tragedy of them all. Custom characters in cutscenes is totally under rated. A black mark for Capcom here.

9) Control Freak. Depsite countless playthroughs, I would be a millionaire if I had a dime for every time I pulled out the camera instead of going for a headshot in the 360 version. The controls for the Wii version are significantly improved and allow for quick changing between melee weapons, guns and big throwy weapons. Healing is done via the menu which stops all those annoying occasions in the original when death was more to do with desperately trying to find a melon in the inventory rather than lack of skill etc.

10) Text me. I played these two games the wrong way round. I played the Xbox version on a non HD TV and the wii version on an HD TV. Either way it is inexcusable to release a game where some people might not be able to read the text. This time around I got a little bit more of a sense of what was going on rather than chasing the objective arrow and hoping to make sense of what it was I was supposed to be doing once I got there.

Something Borrowed.
This is not so much Dead Rising: Wii edition as Resident Evil 4: Dead Rising Edition. Downed zombies drop ammo, cash and health as in Resident Evil 4 (and 5) and all actions (opening doors, jumping over counters) are reliant on button pressing and prompting. Dead Rising on the Xbox 360 was not a Resident Evil clone. Dead Rising on the Wii is. For those still in two minds about this game, this may be the deciding factor. If you liked the Resident Evil 4, particularly the mercenary missions then by all means get this you'll love it. If you can't stand not moving and firing, shooting at all or over the shoulder cams, get out of town.

Players who own Dead Rising on the Xbox 360 but don't really play it anymore, obviously, don't get this. Players who don't have it might want to try this version (it's a helluva lot more approachable than the 360 version). For fans of the game itself I would recommend picking it up and playing it through a couple of times at least. It's a nice reimagining of the original and without the urgency of doing everything at once you get to take pleasure in wasting thousands of zombies in Willamette Colorado.
I love this game.