Thursday, March 31, 2011

3DS features nobody will be using in six months time

The predictions are in. Remember the GBA-GC controller and the four games that used it? Remember the proto street-pass thing in Nintendogs and Dragon Quest and pretty much only in those two games? Wasn't playing your own music in Endless Ocean great? Shame that didn't take off. Here's the tech that will probably be dropped almost instantaneously by gamers and developers on the new 3DS:

Street Pass- Fine for Japan where gamers actually congregate. Virtually useless here.
Backwards compatibility- Expect this to be dropped with the 3DSlite or the equivalent.
Augmented reality Fun the first four or five times and for showing non-gamers how fun the 3DS is. Doubt there will be a sixth time.
3D messaging Remember those three messages you sent via the wii message board? Expect more of the same here.
Video content Ever played music through the wii or even visited the photo channel? Nah thought not.

Call us bitter but c'mon face it. This gimmickery is fine for filling up the 10 page pre-launch hype coverage but actually pretty redundant when it comes to long term use. Come back in six months if you don't believe it

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At Last Someone Speaks The Truth

'You can't blame people for buying pre-owned' yoinked from MCV. The CEO of Saber Interactive (?) comes out saying that games are quite expensive so you can't expect gamers to not trade in older titles.

Meh, I don't really see that as the main problem behind the pre-owned market. After all, games of any worth are normally kept hold of but you can't blame people from trading in when format turnover makes older games so obsolete so quickly. Also, our personal little bugbear is that there's literally no other way to buy games pushing a year old because they're out of print and off of shelves. Digital distribution is one answer to this but I see the problem as easily solvable by actually supporting your products beyond launch week. Cunts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I didn't cry until the Streets of Rage 2 End Theme Played

The rise of casual and social 'games' had us feeling a bit chipper. The brownanising, teenarisation and grittisation of all console games only caused a waver in our shit eating grin. Hell, it only took us a cup of tea to get over this new fad for making games shit to play with 3D but the camels back is broken. Sad days indeed UK Resistance has finally closed its doors.

Genuinely funny and in a knowing way UK resistance even in these latter years remained a benchmark for both enjoying gaming and acknowledging the sad sorry state of affairs that gaming is in. Properly funny too, not "Monkey Island" funny (funnier than everything else doesn't necessarily mean funny at all) or Zero Punctuation funny. But it's over now. That's it. Gaming as we know it is dead. We've known it for a while. Modern games try to compensate by giving out achievements for walking down corridors or by showing us tits and gore that twelve year old us would have found fascinating but nothing compares to the sheer joy of running along under a blue sky, collecting rings and freeing animals trapped inside robots. UK resistance closing is the rats leaving the sinking ship.... :(

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If I'm Gonna Stare At Something For Hours On End It Might As Well Be A Woman's Ass

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllllshit. I call bullshit on this oft quoted excuse for men playing as female characters. Because in most games you rarely look at your character, you're focused on the environment, stuff and things. Also, depending on how you associate with your various avatars it's kinda creepy to perve on the character that you are playing. SO here's the reasons why, given a choice I'll probably play as a female character. ITS ALL ABOUT ME HOLMES.
Male Characters Are Boring. Dull, dull, dull. Chinned stubbly affairs driven by revenge or sometimes sheer gruffness. The mind numbing you-aren't-kidding-anyone shit that leaves their mouth, normally with a voice like a 40 a day batman with an acute throat infection, is nothing any man has ever knowingly uttered apart from actors in exciting action films with awful plots. More often than not they are the default character too. The guy will have the standard punch and the standard gun. They're the ready-salted of the video game character world and are boring.

Male Characters Are Unrealistic
Not only do I struggle to relate to them at all but most male characters (there are exceptions) are one dimensional creatures. I'm looking for my daughter. I'm trying to save my princess. I'm seeking revenge because someone took or killed my daughter/wife. Fortunately, I've not had this happen in real life but I can relate. But I've played that character. A thousand times. Still, at least some motivation other than "I'm following orders to kill the bad guys" is better. The unflinching goody two-shoes all American hero. Boring and unrealistic. Only ever disobeying orders to save more people. Always the good guy. That's what made Fahrenheit so interesting to play because even after the day from hell, Lucas still opportunistically knobs his ex. That's much more relatable than the guy who just unflinchingly fights evil (they are the dudes wearing black). Snake is also interesting to play because throughout Metal Gear Solid he just seems to be completely fucking clueless about everything. Sure he's a killer but he just never seems to get what he is doing and why.

A Passion For Fashion Armour for male characters is boring. Sure it's more practical than the stuff that female warriors of sorts sport but nine times out of ten customising armour and gear for men results in changing the colour of the shoulder pad trim. Ladies get to wear bright, colourful and interesting gear. Sometimes their hair is colours other than brown or grey (so we know that a man is old). Monster Hunter Tri is a great example. Female characters get all sorts of interesting bits of armour, guys for the most part get slight variations on all covering plate armour. Just pretend you didn't enjoy the costume spheres in FFX-2.

Change is as good as a rest.
It's fun to gender bend. Ideally games would be doing much better to enable proper role play. I am really curious about how gender affects the way the world reacts to you but most games aren't really capable of communicating this effectively. However, in online games you can experience life in another gender's shoes. The way the community treats females is still overwhelmingly negative but can be positive and increasingly in online games I've played it seems that actually gender doesn't really matter which is encouraging.

So there we have it. Of course, I'm not claiming that all the above isn't true with relation to female characters. It isn't that simple but I don't for a second believe that playing another gender has much to do with staring at asses.

UPDATED: Now with inspirational post art as suggested by Richie.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Resident Evil Revival Selection HD Remastered Version

"Resident Evil Revival Selection HD Remastered Version"

Yep that is the name of it! It is going to be released on 360 and PS3. It contains Resident evil 4 (and the parting ways Ada side missions) and Resident Evil Code Veronica!

Well Isn't that nice? I have played Resi4 on Gamecube, Wii, PS2, PC, and now I can play it on my 360! AND on top of that get some classic "Code: Veronica" on the go!

In saying that though... I kinna which we would get RE1/RE2/RE3 resurrected...

Might happen!

Lickers and Bandersnatches

Richie X

Quick! Provide Content. Anything Will Do.

This statement made us LOL over at Penny Arcade in a post in response to bum-slap-gate or whatever it will be called until something else comes up:

"I shot Gabriel once with a shrink ray, and he used his jetpack to fly out the window like an insect. Fifteen years ago. Still talking about it, about scenarios that to this day no game has managed to top."

It's stuff like this that is gaming gold. I know how that's funny and I wasn't even there, nor do I know either of them that well and I probably played one of the Dukes once. I remember shooting pigs and being worried if anyone saw me watching a 6 x 6 pink pixel with red pixel underwear gyrating around a pole. That is what used to pass for titillation. I can't say that recent gaming has come up with any of those emergent bits that have you giggling so hard your ribs hurt. This maybe because I don't spend half as much time playing games so statistically I can't expect it to happen. It's possibly because our little group of gamers have to book in time to game. Normally up to six months in advance. For a couple of hours.

This is the pig I remember

Resident Evil 5 was probably the last game that created hundreds of these little moments that solicit a little chuckle still. Bausting tens of lickers with cattle prods only, accidentally taking out Jill with a magnum from 50m away, literally hours trying to deflect arrows with a knife and the curse of spade man who would always manage to sneak up on us. I still don't understand why Resi 5 didn't get the praise I think it's worth. This is probably because my experience of it was couch co-op (yes the tiny screen was annoying but after two minutes the problem vanishes) with one of my oldest gaming buddies. I imagine one player must be dreadful and online co-op just prevents all those "Oh jesus christ, did you see that?" moments. Virtually all of the boss battles in Resi 5 were standout and the 'puzzle' bits really emphasized working with your P2 (or P1). If we were lesser writers we'd proclaim that couch co-op gaming was dead. We'd then say something like long live couch co-op gaming. And then we never say couch so why isn't it sofa co-op gaming?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Clint Hocking writes an inspired column comparing the games industry to Viking raiders in this month's EDGE. I suggest you read it.

In other gaming news that I've got anything to say about: Pokedex 67.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We Dare Pulled at the 11th hour.

We dare, is a risqué party game akin to "Truth or Dare" but without the truth part, essentially a collection of suggestive minigames:
(I actually find this pic quite hypnotic)
(She puts the wii mote in her *ahem* waistband, then he spanks her)

Despite the ad campaign which is a bunch of attractive bored swingers this game has been slated by the Tabloids the Sun states: 
A RAUNCHY Nintendo Wii game for kids as young as 12
Well, firstly , its also available for the PS3, and frankly the Move controller has much nicer rounder edges for insertion and whatnot and secondly the rating on it is 12+ it does not mean that it is the target demographic.

Lastly, why pull the game? why not up the rating? or last why not deal wit hit, its a bit bawdy but, we all know you'd just end up sitting on the sofa flicking your wrist to get through all the mini-games.

And frankly any 12 year old interested in this game, is probably already up to much worse than tame "dares". Its called parenting people. Deal with it.

Love and Face-nuzzling a wiimote,

Richie X

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pokemon Black and White: Initial thoughts

Pokemon Black and White are out and will undoubtedly top various sales charts. A common complaint about the game is that throughout all the various different versions since 1996 the game hasn't really changed that much. This is largely true, the 400 games since then have only added to and refined the original ideas. So how does the fifth generation fare? Well here's a list.

1) Not broken but fixed anyway. The last three generations and their various sister and companion games have been very fickle when it comes to features. The love/hate competitions, where you pit your pokemon in dancing and dressing up competitions appeared in ruby/sapphire, disappeared for fire red/leaf green came back in Pearl/Diamond and then vanished from Soul Silver/Heart Gold for example. Other features that were good but were cut were the vs. seeker, the pokewalker, the poke radar and most recently your lead pokemon no longer follows you around. Which is a shame. Not only was it nice to have your chum on screen at all times it was actually useful to know which pokemon you had in the lead position. This feature has sadly gone for no good reason.

2) Flow. The flow of the game has been slightly fixed. Before as you continued on your 'journey' navigating from town to town would be through annoying routes filled with random battles and you'd have to make sure that you had pokemon with certain moves to get from A to B (cut to cut down trees which block paths, surf to go across water etc.). This meant that you'd only ever visit 90% of the world map once, never to return just as soon as you could fast travel from spot to spot. In Black and White there's much more freedom to choose between arduous routes or quicker routes between places and I for one won't be fast traveling so much.

3) It's actually an MMO. Albeit one that is currently broken. Relatively early on you pick up a piece of gear that fills the bottom screen allowing you to connect via IR, Wi-fi or connect to the internet. I've not picked up on any so called video games 'news sites' picking up on the fact that these games are probably the most successful in terms of MMO sales in recent years. Probably because currently (in Europe at least) the whole thing is broken. I'm probably older than most who'll be playing this game but even I'm having a hard time working out how to play online. Reading through the instruction book isn't helpful and this page seems to change from broken to nothing is working until March 30th. The PC-ification of games seems to have spread to the DS, we'll see how well the service is used come April but I imagine many younger players just won't bother by then.

4) The character design. The character design has been one of the most important parts of the pokemon franchise, the design of the little monsters being a kawai spin on the natural world, mythology, art and wider culture. However, this gen is a bit hit and miss. Sure it was ballbreaking to play through every single one of the previous games and fight thousands of geodude and zubat but at least zubat is analogous to microchiropteran bats. By contrast Swoobat seems a bit unnecessary and is the world of birds so small that they're already riffing on pigeons again?

5) Cross generational Compatibility. For me at least this feature is what keeps me playing the games. I'm still playing with the team I originally trained up way back in 2002. As well as ones from other games on the GBA, DS, Gamecube and the DS games. I've no idea how many other players are bothered with this but for me it's a revolutionary and winning feature and it's still in although it does require two DS.

That's the impressions so far. Like I said, some parts are still not working and I've only traversed the first five towns and cities, it's mostly good so far with a few niggles but I imagine it'll still be one of the games we end up playing for well over the two hundred hour mark or so.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


The Norwegian Postal service logo looks like a pokeball.

That is all.

Logos and balls,

Richie X

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lost to Pokemon.

So all of our readers we complaining about the lack of updates... Well its inexcusable I know. BUT in our defence there is Marvel vs Capcom to play through. And frankly dear readers, we have bad news, Pokemon Black & White is out, and we are already playing our little hearts out. So just be aware there will be updates, but more than likely it will be along the lines of:

etc etc.

(Not really, we have just had some pish IRL stuff, we'll be back on track, using the word "cunt" soon)

Black and White,

Richie X