Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gaming Achievements You Wish You Had: Richie Remix

Following on from Doppelgangers post.

I have my own set of achievement wish lists.

#1 Final Fantasy VII (PS1): 1000GP
Fucking RIGHT I got 1000 points:
I spent so long on this game, getting some of the harder "achievements"
- 'Everyone' at lvl 99
- Obtained Yuffie and Vincent
- All Ultimate Weapons
- Omni-slash obtained.
- Aeris's final limit break.
- Bred a Gold Chocobo
- Master Summon, Magic and Support Materia's
- Ruby Weapon Defeated
- Emerald Weapon Defeated


#2 Super Mario World (SNES): 1000 GP
Yeah entirely completed, 96 exits located. I know this is isn't the hardest of "achievements" but this one in ingrained in me. I guarantee you I could straight up complete all the way up to 96, with all the tricks timing and secrets safely stored away in that mess of useless grey matter I call a brain. In fact to confirm this myself and Doppelganger went through this again a couple of years back. We straight up played 2 player start to finish in one day all on the glory of a 55" TV. And it truly was glorious, to quote myself, "the Question mark Boxes were as big as your fist!" 

On a similar note, I should lump in Super Mario 64 I did get 120 stars, onto this bad boy. Which indeed just makes me wonder if these numbers for 100% completion are not just primitive precursors to the achievement system, and in retrospect I may have been a cheevo-whore even back then.

#3 Diablo II (PC): 650 GP

Only 650 GP?!??! Shit man And this is a 1250GP game (due to the expansion). Despite the horrendous amount of time I pumped into this game, I'll be missing simple ones like; got to level 99, the various Land-mark cheevos for the classes I didn't play as. I certainly didn't collect all the Unique weapons/armour/accessories, ugh dammit. I wonder if D3 has cheevos? oh god...the Completionist genes are firing off, *twitch*

#4 Resident Evil 2 (PS1, Dreamcast, PC, N64, Gamecube): 950 GP
Classic game and originator of this blogs namesake. I did everything I even completed Hunk's scenario! I unlocked Tofu BUT never completed Tofu's scenario. so I'm down 50 Cheevos, I reckon, for that. 

#5 SSX Tricky (PS2): 750 GP
We have mentioned our previous obsession with this game, or more specifically one level on Show-off mode. Repeatedly tweeking our routes to get more and more points. However to fully unlock the Uber board and Cotumes we did have to complete all possible combinations of tricks, and come first all levels for Racing and Show-off modes. But we only really did it for Marty, Kaori, and Zoe. Most of the other characters went unloved. As we had to spend all of our waking hours (SSX Tricky playtime) playing Garibaldi to get epic scores.

That's It for now there are a few more on my list that I would like to mention, but due to them being hazily in the past I doubt I could even begin to calculate my Gamer Score For. So just a little shout out to a few of the games I would like to have on my list: Flimbo's Quest (C64), CJ's Elephant Antics (C64), Creatures 1&2 (C64), Bart vs The Space Mutants (NES), Syndicate (Amiga), The Settlers (Amiga), Cannon Fodder (Amiga), Super Mario Allstars (SNES), Killer Instinct (SNES), Mortal Kombat 3 (SNES), Pilotwings 64 (N64), Goldeneye (N64), Resident Evil 1&3 (PS1), Tekken 2 (PS1), FFVIII (PS1), Soul Blade (PS1), Gran Tourismo (PS1), Bushido blade (PS1), Twisted Metal World Tour (PS1), Resident Evil: Code Veronica (DC, PS2)Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GC, Wii), Silent Hill 2, 3, 4 (PS2), *YAWN* All of the Dragonball Games (PS2), FFX (PS2), FFX-2 (PS2), Kingdom Hearts 1&2 (PS2) StarCraft (PC), Warcraft 3 (PC).

Love and Hugs as big as your fist.

Richie X

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Iran in controversial 'Typist' threat.

Remember this from last year? Out of the blue Iran chose to single out the speedy normal type Pokemon. Banning all broadcasts featuring the slinky Pokemon, pokedex #53.

psychological warfare

The "BBC Persian, which will go on air next week, will be used by British intelligence for "espionage and psychological warfare", according to Iranian officials."

Were Team Rocket involved? Bizarrely, Meowth were fine. Original story here and super-mad-props to Rob is Gay who has given us enough of these to run with forever.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Axillophiles go nuts.

Exposed armpits confirmed in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Dear Dragon Quest IX. We're Sorry

Nintendo are pushing DQIX so hard and via the various channels that we consume all things video games we run the risk of getting Dragon Quest indigestion. Both EDGE magazine and ONM have run DQ retrospectives and articles in addition to those horrid PROMOTIONAL FEATURES that look like NON-PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE FEATURES. There have also been a couple of DQIX videos on the Nintendo Channel and a number of prime-time TV spots. Even the bloody real-life newspapers were carrying reviews and previews on Sunday. There was no escaping it.

Sorry guys
And yes, we know how they all go. "DQ sold a bagillion copies in Japan". "Nobody is interested here". Except for the PS2 version. That was quite good. Yet, for all this rhetoric and the unanimous glowing reviews we aren't even going to bother buying it, here's why.

Firstly, and least importantly, there just isn't the culture of ad-hoc multiplayer play here that there is in Japan. I lose count of the games that have these 'nifty in principle' ideas that use the Wi-Fi jiggery pockery but that you never ever get to use: the letters in Final Fantasy III, rescue missions in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates multiplayer and bark mode in Nintendogs. Great ideas but rarely used in our experience. Hell, we can barely manage to get together to have a bloody Pokemon battle once every nine years let alone co-ordinate four players with full DS batteries and copies of whatever game. Because this is the case it feels like a bit of a rip-off buying games like DQIX where I won't get to experience the game to its fullest on a technical get-out. It would be like buying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 exclusively for its single player campaign.

Secondly, if we did buy DQIX it would just end up on the Pile of Unfinished RPGStm. Hell, that pile got so big that we made a separate pile for the unfinished DS games alone. We're outside one of the towns on Final Fantasy III and have been for years. What was I doing again? Where was I heading? We'll never know I guess. We enjoyed Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates in multiplayer but picking it up again and we're not sure where we were heading or what we were doing in the singleplayer mode. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is okay and we fall in and out of playing it but the winning strategy seems to be "spawn loads of guys" over any kind of deeper strategy. We've still got both Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Soul Silver games on the go as well as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and all of that leaves us exhausted just thinking about RPGs and we aren't even counting "RPGs" Animal Crossing Wild World and all those Pokemon-clone Dinosaur games like Dinosaur King and Fossil League Dino Tournament Challenge. As for non DS RPGs we've perhaps 'completed' (the storyline at least) maybe three or four total? Okami, Koudelka, Final Fantasy VIII and for that matter Dragon Quest VIII are a handful of the unfinished RPGs we have in the collection.

Thirdly, there's bloody loads of RPGs on the DS and the likes of Infinite Space, Mario and Luigi Inside Story, Chrono Trigger and Fire Emblem already gnaw at our conscience. "Why don't you play me?" they whisper when I walk past a game retailer. STOP IT! IT ISN'T PERSONAL. I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME......

So sorry DQIX. There's very little doubt that we wouldn't have absolutely loved the first five hours of you but that is about as far as we would have got and we can think of five things we'd rather spend £6 an hour on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Streetfighter vs Tekken!

Following on from my previous post, it seems that it might actually be happening!


Oh yeah!
Ryu and Jin
Richie X

Saturday, July 24, 2010

In Memorandum...

To those of use we lost 12 years ago to this day during that “incident” in that “mansion” just outside Raccoon city.
To the brave souls of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha and Bravo teams we lost; May we never forget you!

Love and dearly (re)departed fake specialist police teams,

Richie X

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Namco vs Capcom" vs "Capcom vs Namco"

Holy shit bubbles!

Rumours are circling the internet that there will be a Namco vs Capcom game AND a Capcom vs Namco game!
Word of mouth is that Namco bandai will produce “Namco vs Capcom” using their Tekken 6 engine. And Capcom will produce “Capcom vs Namco” using the Streetfighter IV engine!
Bad ass, if it were true, it all seems a pipe dream... to good to be true.

But Fuck it... on to the wish list.

Capcom is easy, we all know the Marvel vs Capcom series line up on the Capcom side, that’s fine. we love it. But Namco? Now that’s a toughie, their strongest mascots are probably the Tekken/Soul Calibur group... but whom else?

Pac-Man:
Not very likely methinks, a round yellow ball with a mouth... not the most complex button mapping to do...

Mr Driller:
Little guy in a pink suit that Drills underground, It’s doable, would like to see Megaman Vs Mr Driller.

“Tales of” Series:
Now admittedly I am pretty gay for Tales of Vesperia, I never played the other ones as they are on completely different system, and were not always UK releases. but yeah I’d dig seeing some of the Vesperia Troops.

*Frantically looks up wikipedia to research any other Namco games*

Klonoa:
Never played these games, but apparently has a cult following, so expect to see him.

Katamari:
I’m sure we can get the Prince in, possibly a few of the cousins as “Pallete Swaps”

Dead to Rights:
One man and his Dog.

Time Crisis:
Honestly I don’t know if these games even have recurring characters... but sure Fighting game with some guns, not like it hasn't been done before.

Love vs Hugs and Hugs vs Love,

Richie X

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gaming Achievements You Wish You Had




I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Achievements (Trophies if you swing that way).

In some respects I hate the fact they try and control the fun to the extent where I feel like I can't cut loose and just enjoy game anymore.

I do however like to have something tangible now from a game upon completion, something that I can look back on and at a glance tell how much I got from the game , how long I spent and even to an extent how much i enjoyed the game.
So when we did the Painful Moments in Gaming week it got me thinking about games from my past and how it would be nice to have a record of time spent on games from my childhood.

So here is my top 10 list of games that I spent a lot of time on as a kid, each of which I'd love a record of achievement for and what I think I would have scored..

(I am aware that some of these games are available on XBLA) 


#1. Treasure Island Dizzy(C64): 970,  I was robbed of a perfect 1000 score... it still hurts man...

#2. Double Dragon 2 - The Revenge (C64): 950,


I played the shit out of this game, however there would likely be a cheevo for not dying once through a playthrough or something wank like that.

#3. The Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past (SNES): 970


 I had everything in this game expect the  "Find all heart Pieces" cheevo. I had them all except the last quarter which i could not find for love nor money.

#4. Super Mario Kart (SNES): 1000, My Favourite version,  I played it to death and would like to think there was a cheevo for using an atomic mushroom on Ghost Valley 1 to make the jump at the end while knocking your friend off the track by landing on them and causing them to  come 5th. Yeah!
#5. Street Fighter 2 Turbo Edition (SNES): 1000


Before the game got too silly with combos and laser guns, it still loosely felt like a real fighting game, albeit with scantily clad upside down spinning women. Seeing the different endings in this game was awesome and worth the multiple playthroughs.
#6. Gauntlet II (C64): 700??


Not sure what I would have scored here, however remember playing it for many many many hours with my cousin searching for the 'Exit' in a seemingly endless game.
#7. Sim City 2000 (SNES): 1000, I had many many different cities, the most successful of which was a Megalopolis called 'Shitville'. Great game and a great console port.
#8. Doom 2 (Mac): 700?? I definitely didn't get 100% in every level or remained under par in terms of time, however i played this game many many times and it was the first game to genuinely scare me.
#9. The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time (N64): 900  as im sure there would some hideous Water Temple achievement or chicken herding time to beat.
#10. Flashback (SNES): 860


I got lost in the plot of this game for many months and it was the only game I ever called the Nintendo Hotline for. I couldn't work out a way to open a vital door and had tried everything from remote controlled exploding mice to fooling security robots into activated the door followed by Indiana Jones style forward rolls. The advice from the friendly Nintendo Hotline Worker? "Shoot the door mate" Great..

#11. Secret of Mana (SNES): 1000


My favourite RPG to date, it had 3 player co-op and I loved it! I played this sucker many times, making sure i got all the orbs. Great game with a great soundtrack!

So that's my Top 10 Top 11!

So dear reader, cast your minds back and let us know what games of yesteryear you wish you had an achievement record of.

Đ

Well why the fuck not?

We used to write a blog about Resident Evil dontcha know?

Sounds

We already mentioned ALREADY JESUS CHRIST ALREADY GET OFF MY BACK MOM ALREADY! That we are big fans of video game soundtracks. Be it the official tunes, an inspired remix and very occasionally we even allow songs which have merely sampled an OT. to creep onto our MP3 player. PRO TIP: Never ever, ever be tempted to listen to a video game related song which has been filed under the 'comedy' or 'humorous' genres. They are almost exclusively 11 year old boys who sound like girls on helium doing the first season Pokemon theme tune. Tetris remixes aside, of which we are veritable connoisseurs, we do like hard copy soundtracks. They are often objects of beauty as well as magically trapping the music onto a disk.

Here's our top 5. Yeah that's right bitches. Doing a list. Lists are normally the reserve for the green around-the-gills, unskilled new video game bloggers. But when you've been blogging as long as we have you are allowed to sometimes ironically do a list.

To be honest Final Fantasy VII was the first game (proved not true down the page) whose soundtrack we even considered wanting in the first place. Now, we do enjoy a good chip tune but often they aren't worth hunting down and back when this came out, you did have to hunt it down by GOING OUT TO THE HIGH STREET and looking for it in comic shops. Crazy days. We bought a copy of the lovely multi disk set for our brother (yeah, we share a brother) and secretly wish we had it. Still. Let it also be noted that we're going to use disc and disk interchangeabley throughout this post.
Back in the day out of sheer child-like curiosity we would put PlayStation discs into a CD player and see what they played. PRO TIP2: Always skip the first track which is horrible noise that happens when a CD player tries to be a console and a game tries to be a CD. Of our favourites to 'listen to' Alien Resurrection had some awesome atmospheric scary noise, Nightmare Creatures had some good angry rawk and Tomb Raider had the cool soundtrack as well as all of Lara's recorded spoken audio. PRO TIP 3: Play the "Now I'd better get out of these wet clothes" sample over and over again with your eyes closed whilst masturbating and it's like Lara Croft is really there. Obsessively, compulsively telling you about her wet clothes. Well. It worked for us. Anyway, the collector's edition of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Tomb Raider came with a special Tomb Raider Legend soundtrack. We burned it onto our MP3 player and after months of filtering almost the whole soundtrack is still on our 'most listened' playlist.

Almost every time a GTA comes out we see the 148 CD soundtrack box set for sale everywhere and we never buy it. And now it is expensive or out of stock or sold off disc by disc. It really is a testament to the quality of the radio stations of GTA Vice City that if you burned all of the radio station tracks and played it in your car it is STILL 1000000% more compelling than national or commercial radio stations and significantly less repetitive. This is the one that got away.


Still brilliant today. We lost the original CD SUPER SAD FACE and now we only have the original soundtrack as stupid fucking WMA files. We're positive that we can legally download Killer Cuts again but that would require firing up a PC and installing things which sounds too much like PC gaming so pah!


Cheating a bit but surely, the greatest video game soundtrack of all time? Not only are the original soundtracks some of the most inspired in the video game 'genre(?)' but the re-masters, remixes and mash ups in this game's soundtrack are mental. Proper mentally good. Our personal highlights are almost any of the Kirby tracks, the Pokemon stadium/evolution track and of course, the Tetris A remix. But that is a mere smidgen of the hundreds of quality tracks from Wii Sports through to the G&W mashup. We wish the above pictured product existed but alas 'tis but an imagined dream by KoopaDasher, original here. And of course, Nintendo being Nintendo the SSBB soundtrack is available for purchase from every decent video games retailer*.

Now ladies and gentlemen some super secret extra content! This post was also published over at videolamer but without this bonus content:

Cunzy1 1's Top 6 Video Game tracks of all time until tomorrow or something.

Devils Never Cry by ShootieHG?
Timb Raider by Norwegian Recycling
Frozen Hillside from the SSBB soundtrack
Astrolander or Neotokyo remixes of the Siberia theme from Timesplitters2 by Graeme Norgate
Back 2 Back Sonic Rush Hideki Naganuma + co.
Ice Cap Dance by Desydiox
Pokemon RBY Gym Battle by Justice Rose Cannon.

Right enough of this music bollocks. It's getting a bit NME in here.


*LAST PRO TIP: First boss from the original Crash Bandicoot

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ruthless

Underestimated
Is? Is this a new series? Maybe, maybe. Chronicling the activities of the often underestimated bug/grass pokemon. Do not underestimate bullet seed.

Trigger happy paras Full article from here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nintendo Channel: Now Showing

TGAM gives you the low down on the Nintendo Channel, Nintendo's sometimes under-used promotional channel available for free download on your Nintendo Wii. This third of team TGAM is a big ol' Nintendo fanboy and is keen to evangelise the rather good comunity stuff that is on offer for the Nintendo Wii.


  • Another two weeks of Weekly Downloads Trailer On Wiiware, DSiWare and Virtual Console, round-ups of the latest new content on the Nintendo Shop. Pearl Harbor [sic.] Trilogy- 1941 Red Sun Rising actually looks quite good. Kung Fu Funk looks like fun in short bursts if you've never played Warioware. The mental Toribash is given a bit of love although even we wouldn't buy it from the weird ten seconds of footage. Zenquaria: Virtual Aquarium is yet another virtual aquarium for your Wii except this one had Mii compatability. And looks rubbish. DSiWare has the rather shambling new line up including Steamworld Tower Defense (yet another tower defense game!), Hair Salon Pocket Stylist (yet another hair, clothes and make up game) and yet another Solitaire game with 5 in 1 Solitaire. Soul of Darkness from Gameloft is more than a little reminiscent of Castlevania, superficially at least. We're being cynical about DSiWare though, the addition of 'puzzle' game 2Pizzlelt-Fantasy, what-the-hell 16 Shot! Shooting Watch (????), 4 TRAVELLERS- Play French (their capitalisation) and Crazy Golf (have you heard of any of these?) really pushes the DSiWare format. Sadly it seems nothing new of note is up on the VC.
  • The Official Nintendo Magazine continue to spam add valuable content to the Nintendo Channel. Nintendo TV Episode 5 is a Zelda special. We aren't fans of LoZ at all but we love the chance to see Miyamoto awkwardly flailing around on stage yet again. More exposition of the new Zelda using the same stuff hat was at E3. The show draws some nice little references to the series' previous games but falls down with a nonsense "which kind of Link are you?" rubbish quiz thing. Recently ONM did a really excellent article in their magazine about the 'true' LoZ timeline and we couldn't shake the feeling whilst watching this epsiode of Nintendo TV that we would have rather watched that in video for seven and a half minutes than this guff. We imagine that this episode may inspire Zelda fans to dig out some of their favourite older titles either through the virtual console or in real life but it left us wanting to dig out our malleus and our corneas.
  • Nintendo TV Episode 6 is a DQ IX special. The episode opens with the obligatory "famous in Japan" rhetoric but amicably goes on to try to sell the series to newcomers. Initally this is accomplished by drawing a weird parallel with the LoZ series. From the footage shown here there's no doubt about it, it is looking good. ONM's Simon Bramble fails to hide his sheer fanboy excitement at playing the game in an interview at a recent preview. Which is nice. Even Seth Green has been roped in to hawk the series. It seems that Nintendo are really upping the ante when it comes to pushing interesting third party series.
  • The Game and Watch series has recently been released on DSiWare and there's a quick trailer for them on the Nintendo Channel. Even though the games do look nice, the graphics have been retro-fitted to give the appearence of the old G+W LCD screens, at 200 points a pop for each individual game, we'd much prefer to see a slightly more costly bundle or better still we'd wish someone would buy us that gorgeous looking Game and Watch Collection for the DS.
  • The E3 trailer for Pokepark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure is up on the channel. We are huge fans of the main Pokemon series and a few of the side games were worth a purchase- Mystery Dungeon, Snap!, Stadium and the mental Channel. Some of the side games weren't worth a purchase- Ranger, Colloseum, Battle Revolution. The latest title looks very much geared towards the young ´uns so we'll definitely be giving it a miss. Maybe. Probably.
  • As ever, if you are on the channels then do check out the latest Competitions on the Mii Channel either to; submit a Mii- someone who is good at taking care of plants, judge a contest- A TV chat show host (there is an excellent Jonathon Ross Mii that we voted for), or view some recent competition results. Make sure you swing by the Everybody Votes Channel to vote on the key isues of the day- Do you walk under ladders? and get your latest forecast on the Today and Tomorrow Channel. Our Care hints advice today was to "moderately clean" "Around the TV". Which is very uncanny as it did need doing. We weren't too sure about the advice for dinner though "big servings" of "seafood" "soup".


  • Lastly, there's a new competition up on the Mario Kart Wii Channel, it is a 5 lap time trial race around the DS track, Twilight House. Our best time is 54 seconds, the world leader is at a broken cheaty cheaty 21 seconds which is literally impossible without some heavy exploiting going on. We've only been doing the competitions since May this year so they are all new to us but sadly a lot of them are repeats from older competitions. Come on Ninty more new uns please.


  • Until next time, nanu nanu.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Omastar Comics #28

    Omastar is away this week:

    Does anyone read the alt text anymore. For those who do here is some special Omastar Comics behind the scenes gubbins. The Omastar in this comic is not the regular omastar. It is MIRROR OMASTAR. Omastar's arch-nemesis
    It has happened. The rot set in. The series sold out. Omastar comics will never be the same again. In order to get the #8793rd most popular webcomic on the web to go back to its roots and ditch this new style then sign the petition here.

    To be honest Omastar, in your absence, the ratings were up, readers loved the new style and to be frankly even more honest than before fictionalised cephalopod molluscs just don't sell copy anymore. You're done and I'll see to it you never work in this town again. Again.

    In other news:

    No gaming news. Nothing. Nada. Go outside you rapscallions.
    Blockquote tags discovered on blogger and used in odd ways by bloggers!

    Disgraceful

    News story from here. Shame on you Paras.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    A Moment For Gaming Literature

    Books innit? In between writing about games, listening almost exclusively to gaming soundtracks and reading about games on the Internet we occasionally find the time to actually play some games. Rarer still, we find time to pick up a game related book and give it a bloody good read and now is a good a time as any to be reading about games. This time five years ago, you'd be hard pressed to find any gaming based literature in your local book shop. Now, for the discerning reader, it is hard not get buried by it.

    Jay the editor of videolamer is a ninny
    First up, we've been reading The Second Life Herald: the virtual tabloid that witnessed the dawn of the metaverse by Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace. This book is 3 years old now but charts the early days of the growth of things like The Sims Online and Second Life and where interesting stuff happens with emergent behaviours in games. If you completely missed this chunk of gaming history but want to know more about why people bother with second life, what the Upskirt Museum is, the Shadow Sim Government and the infamous Evangeline, then it is well worth picking up. Be warned though! Ludlow talks about himself as the person behind the avatars in various virtual worlds as that avatar's typist. It may be me but this twee little distinction really grates by page 200. Also, despite the ballsy title the interesting virtual world stuff is nowhere near as succinctly parceled up as in Jim Rossignol's This Gaming Life or Tim Guest's Second Lives and the need (in 2007) to keep explaining frames of reference can detract from the flow of the book. Our interest in this kind of discourse really starts to wane when an interesting philosophical problem is turned into a mountain of a life-or-death situation. Ludlow's railing against EA and Maxis here is as tiring as all the Linden Lab-Stockholm syndrome love/hate prissiness that used to run through the pages of sites like Terra Nova before Second Life bottomed out. Along the way, Ludlow does occasionally overstate the case and anytime all that Bill of Avatar Rights guff comes up, we tend to skim read. Interesting yes, quite so fundamentally life changing? Not-as-much as is made out here. Not as much as the academics keep telling each other. Worth a read certainly if your interest in games runs beyond your dps or kpd.

    Jay the editor of videolamer is bentNext up we have our freshly delivered copy of Replay: the History of Video Games . We have a number of history of video games volumes but as far back as 2006 we've been complaining that most of them were americacentric and mostly about boring hardware. However, a glowing recommendation from Rock Paper Shotgun secured our copy. We haven't read it at all yet so here's our preview of the box art alone: It is a hefty volume. The finish on the cover is very nice even if we aren't too keen on Mcauleyauley Kalckin mug gooning at us from the front cover. Also, we noticed it has a forward by Richard Garriot.



    Jay the editor of videolamer has FIVWe also ordered Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter largely because of the title of the book. This book is written by Tom Bissell who by total coincidence was also on the Brainy Gamer podcast we were listening to when this book arrived in the post. For those of you who don't know, Tom is that tosser who kept going on about playing GTA whilst on coke. We've played Shadow of Memories whilst high on mixed herbs but we don't keep going on and on and on about it*. People go into Tescos bogs all the time to shoot up but I doubt they write edgy pieces of 'journalism' about it. Some might say tosser is a bit harsh but having heard him get fellated by Michael Abbott here we can confirm he sounds tosser-ish but at least knows a thing or two about talking bollocks believably. We reserve final judgement until we've read it.
    Jay the editor of videolamer is really unskilled in first person shooters Lastly, and we don't normally proudly count strategy guides as 'books'. In fact we keep them in a different room to the video game books. But we selfishly spoiled ourselves and bought Pokemon: Heart Gold Version Soul Silver Version: The Official Pokemon Kanto Guide and National Pokedex. Our long term reader knows that 66% of TGAM is good-sense-gay about Pokemon and so we indulged. Early Christmas present from us to us. It's so big and thick. Sometimes I just sit and stroke the cover of the book. After a long day at work I press the cool spine against my cheek and hum spanish lullabies. On occasion, when the wife is out, I take the phone off the hook, close the blinds and have a look inside. Annoyingly, the book points out at every instant that I'm nowhere near finishing Pokemon Soul Silver at all and just how massive these handheld games are. It does fuel the mystery as to why Nintendo keeps so much of the game completely hidden unless you religiously navigate Serebii or purchase Strategy Guides too. Bizarrely, in the sections about training up Pokemon (dubbed the 'metagame' by the online Pokemon community) the guide still doesn't go the whole hog and describe the mathematics behind the game that every dedicated trainer learns and applies. It's fair to say that delving into the mechanics in detail may confuse the younger readers but this book half goes into some detail about effort values and the importance of breeding anyway but then bottles using the real statistics and discusses generic and confusing 'base stats'. Ranking each statistic out of 6 instead of using the known numerical values. Which, if anything, to the uninitiated is more confusing and vague than explaining the precise and exact system in full. Sadly, this means you'll still have to keep that Serebii link close to hand.

    There we go, reading. Ain't so bad after all.




    *We mentioned it once, here

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Lost Planet 2

    We played and wrote about (in yellow?) Lost Planet and pretty much hated it because it let us down. This was supposed to be next-gen.
    Then Richie tried to hide his excitement following the hype train for Lost Planet 2 and bemoaning the near-transparency of this IP amongst several 'hardcore' gamers.

    Well, like the adolescent boys we are we've had a little play for the first time [of Lost Planet 2] and we like it.

    Don't play with it too much or it will fall off!
    WHAT WE LIKED
    1) This is essentially an HD, fighting large things version of the truly truly excellent Freedom Fighters. Why didn't a single review (disclaimer: that we read) draw this parallel? Freedom fighters was excellent. This game is also mostly excellent. Space dwelling snow pirates freedom fighters!
    2) The Capcomness. Unlockables include emotes, nom de plumes, weapons and clothes. There are thousands of emotes and nom de guerres to collect and it''ll take even keen players forever to unlock them all. Once again, some of the unlocks are CAPCOM MAGIC(TM), like special noms unlocked if you have other Capcom save games (I've covered wars don't ya know, BSAA etc.) and costume elements from Dead Rising. Brilliant brilliant cross over stuff that you just don't get from other Studios.
    3) It's freedom fighters against massive fucking monsters. Did we mention that? And when it isn't co-op freedom fighters against massive fucking monsters it comes damn close to being co-op Starship Troopers (the film not the game), standing side by side unloading clips into swarms of Chigs, Bugs we mean Akrid.
    4) Some of the co-op elements are truly amazing like cooling down, loading up and firing a cannon the size of a house. Fun Fact: That sequence with the big desert fella plays very similarly to both the same bit in Monster Hunter Tri and the Giant Octopus Battle in Zack and Wiki. Other highlights include being fired miles into the air through Heatran's anus.

    We won't talk about DLCWHAT WE HATED
    1) This will be a killer for some players. In split-screen co-op, each player gets a quarter of the screen for no good reason. The other quarters of the screen are taken up by one of gaming's least useful maps ever. From now on, fucked up split screen co-op screens will be called 'Chronic Resident Evil 5 syndrome'.
    2) The story is pants. Everything is twelve years, then two weeks, then three months after everything else. After what? Nobody knows. On top of that you bounce through the game playing as a 'Snow Pirate' or a 'Carpet Bagger'? It's all a bit silly but although following who is doing what when is tricky there are some humorous cutscenes particularly the section with the desert people. Who may or may not be Carpet Baggers.
    3) If you play through in co-op it only charts the cheevos, unlocks and progressions for player 1 even though player 2 has to sign into XBL. I was player 2. I'm not fucking happy about it.
    4) There are some bits, in between it being freedom fighters against massive fucking monsters or the Starship Troopers simulator we've always wanted where it is standing on a train and waiting for the last hidden bad guy to come out because the next bit isn't triggered until he dies. A couple of blips like this mess around with the pace but it is a minor complaint.
    5) The end of level stats screen is timed? Again, not a biggie but we played this after we'd played ODST and comparing stats is a compelling mini game.

    If you want a splitscreen co-op game, like big monsters and have any love whatsoever for freedom fighters then we recommend you pick it up. If you have a small TV, get confused with games that require more than two buttons or really value a followable story then we suggest Modern Warfare 2.

    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Congratulations ONM!

    Congratulations to out favorite Uk-based Official Nintendo Magazine on their new Guinness Book of Records (Gamer's Edition) World Record for:

    Most articles published on least content [Nintendo Franchise]

    The prestigious magazine picked up the tenuous award upon posting the article titled "New Pokémon outed". This record breaking article made the books as the 2210,0067th article on the unreleased game Pokemon Black and White. So far, a handful of screenshots and a dozen confirmed new pokemon have inspired the skilled team at ONM to:

    Write more news articles on this one game than Pokemon in the pokedex (with the new editions).
    Produce articles which when printed out and bound, forms a series of volumes larger than that human genome book series that twattish scientists keep banging on about.
    Write more words than neurons in the average human brain.
    Draw more inane comments than bricks in the Great Wall of China.

    The record was previously held by blogger Ed Green, who, due to a programming error had his article 'My idea for a zelda kart gaem [sic]' automatically reproduced 2210,0066 times in Spring of 2008.


    Editor Neil Long [pictured] will be contacted for comment as soon as this post is published but understandably he has yet to preemptively reply.

    Sometimes

    Sometimes, you can't help but just post up a link and encourage people to go and bloody click on it. So BLOODY CLICK ON IT. I promise to you friend, you won't regret it.

    Via RPS.

    Post Script: Sometimes also, we wish we could write too.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Catching Giratina

    We bitch loud and hard every time a Pokemon event comes to town. It means looking like a paedo, travelling to undesirable parts of the country and is a massive pain to lie to everyone about going to. However, despite "hating it" we did go to the Arceus (and the Mew event but that is a different tale) event earlier this year. I only just got round to doing the special in game event, the first of two, the second I will never do because you have to have yet ANOTHER Arceus and well. My eyes have just experienced perhaps the trippiest thing I've ever seen on my DS.

    SPOILERS by the way if you intend to ever do this event and want to keep it secret.



    Against my better judgement I feel special for being allowed to see that little video first hand without cheating. Certainly better than other DLC and makes the traumatic experience of obtaining these event pokemon that little less painful. Good on you Nintendo I say, good on you!

    Also, props to the 'community' for taking the time to recording all these videos and uploading them for reference.

    Sunday, July 04, 2010

    Nintendo Channel: Now Showing

    It has been a while since we checked the Nintendo Channel to give you, the armchair hardcore gamer who 'hasn't plugged the Wii in for months', the low down on what is essentially Nintendo TV. We (well I) am a big fan of this service and I'm keen to get more of you to use it and I'm keen for Nintendo to contiue to support it.

  • Nintendo TV episodes put together by the Official Nintendo Magazine continues with three new installments.
  • Episode 3 highlights the best of Wiiware and DSiware (Lost Winds, World of Goo, Bit Trip, PicoPict, Earthworm Jim). A lot of people on the ONM forums were complaining that this episode was a bit unneccessary but having seen first hand how; a) few Wii owners have ever explored the Nintendo Shop let alone understand what Wiiware is and b) hard to navigate the stores are if you don't know very specifically what you are looking for, I'd say that this particular episode was well in order. It is stil a shame that Wiiware demos are no longer available.
  • Episode 4 is a Nintendo E3 round-up covering the 3DS, Goldeneye, Legend of Zelda, Metroid: Other M, DK, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Wii Party. There's nothing here that wasn't covered elsewhere actually during E3 but we welcome the opportunity to watch through the footage on our massive TV rather than on a tiny blocky PC monitor. Two further E3 trailer round-ups, one for the DS, one for the Wii allows you to get up close with the new footage. In particular, the Donkey Kong by night level looks great as does er Carnival Games 2....
  • Nintendo TV Special Super Mario Galaxy 2 Launch is the last Nintendo TV video, covering the launch event at London's Oxford Street GAME Store showing the freaks who dressed up as Mario and queued overnight to get their hands on the game.
  • Every week on the Nintendo channel is a trailer for a dodgy DS game. This week's candidate is Real Crimes: Jack the Ripper from the trailer this looks like a glorified hidden object game with a smattering of mini games thrown in.
  • Two weeks of Dsiware, VC and Wiiware download trailers undewhelm again with Jett Rocket, Hello Flowerz The Tales of Bearsworth Manor, Uforia:The SAGA, Ball Fighter, Maestro Green Groove, Puffins:Let's Fish, Prehistorik Man, 24/7 Solitaire and Extreme Hangman. With the exception of Maestro and Art Style I wonder how many of these will actually get reviewed?
  • Jam with the Band continues to get hyped with a trailer. Jam with the Band also continues to look completely incomprehensible to anyone without a degree in sound engineering.
  • Date or Ditch the 'absorbing date simulation simulator' looks absolutely brilliant as a free download. As a full game you're expected to buy? We say, nay.
  • The Warioware DIY vids continue with Ron Carmel (from 2D Boy) who makes a game called 'Suck Goo'. It's not the hardest micro game in the world but as ever, it is available for download now!
  • Lego Harry Potter years 1-4 looks to be shaping up nicely with all the characters and locales you would expect and certainly, to my mind, I have higher expectations than for Lego Batman or Lego Indy.
  • I'm a huge fan of the Rabbids, I know not everybody is, but the Raving Rabbids Travel in Time Announcement Trailer shows the usual attention to detail and humour that has seen the Rabbids upsurp Rayman in recent years.
  • Lastly this week is the trailer for A Shadow's Tale. Since it's announcement and teaser a while back a number of similar looking games have appeared. It still looks as beautiful as ever but already some of the novelty of the concept has worn off. Let's hope it is out sooner rather than later.

  • And here ends this week's round-up. Whilst you are on the channels, make sure to check in with Everybody Votes, the Mii Channel and the MK channel.