Monday, September 26, 2011

Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep

We're going to submit this one to the wildlife photographer of the year and see if they notice
Wow a proper review. Makes for a change huh? We were huge fans of the first game and although it didn't set the world on fire sales-wise it has a dedicated following.

The second game is an improvement on the first in every way. The first game was a very relaxed adventure, leaving the player with relative freedom to explore the fictional region of Manauri, discovering various oceanic animals, photographing them and guiding visitors around the ocean. There was a very loose story driving the game but fittingly, the game was endless. You could (and we did) just keep playing forever with the goal of collecting all the species information and salvaging treasure. Each species has three bits of information, unlocked by finding an animal and then tickling, feeding or drawing for it. However, some of the creatures were a bit too crytpic and very hard to find once let alone three times (our playtime is up to well over 100 hours and there are still four species we've yet to see). Salvaging treasure items was also slightly "too" random, nobody is yet to find all of the items scattered in the ocean.

Orange Sea Slug
Endless Ocean 2 takes the adventure away from one fixed fictionalised region (necessary in the first game allowing a bit of creative freedom with the distribution of species which are found globally dispersed in real life) and has you join up a diving company that travels the world. You can go diving in locations from the bright tropical waters of the Aegean Sea, to river diving in the Amazon and even navigating the chilly ice flows of Canada and Antarctica. The environments are more varied than the contiguous region of the first. The icy regions let you explore a narrow vertical band just below the ice and in the Mediterranean you explore sunken castles and shipwrecks. You can venture onto land in most regions and you get to see more semi-aquatic and terrestrial animals in their natural environment. In the previous game, terrestrial animals would show up albeit unprobably as guests on the deck of your ship).

PENGUIN
In stark contrast to the original, from the off you are bombarded with things to do; discover new species of animals, salvage treasure, explore new areas, heal animals, solve quests for totem poles, dogs and bluebirds find "legendary" creatures, get achievements, unlock titles, collect coins, customise your character, build your own private reef, open an aquarium and upgrade your equipment. The whole concept has been gameified more and at the same time much less is left up to chance as with the salvageable treasures in the previous game. If a complaint of the first game was that there wasn't enough to do, there may be too much to take in in the second. More often than not your dive time will run out whilst you are trying to multitask treasure hunting, general exploration, cartography, special quests and animal photo requests.


Early on in the game you visit an aquarium, which becomes the base of operations for an RTSLite, you are charged with rotating the animals on display (from the pool of animals you have spotted in the wild) in the aquarium according to popular trends in order to keep visitors coming in. You also get a cut of the profits and occasionally undertake observations of behaviour in the wild for big research displays. Nineball Island, your base of operations starts off as a little more than an island shack but as you progress you upgrade the island, attracting more staff to your diving company and different kinds of quests and you can purchase items which let you speed up in game time, lead to one off special quests or spot legendary creatures. Also much like the original there is plenty of scope for just relaxing, be it playing the guitar or lazing in a deckchair or hammock.


One of our favourite features from the first game was the option to play your own music in game. Unfortunately, this option has now gone but a significant improvement is that you can now save any photos you take to an SD card (hence all the images in this post).


It is a great game and a marked improvement on the first one. The pace is very relaxed, there are some wonderful sights to be seen and chances are you will learn something about marine life on almost every dive. The different species really are the stars and Endless Ocean 2 boasts a more biodiverse cast than the original including some fairly cryptic and curious beasts. With the disappointing Afrika and Aquanaut's Holiday looking unlikely to ever reach Europe, Endless Ocean (and Everblue 1+2 before it) has really managed to corner the niche in virtual natural history games. Sure, its not for everyone but when gaming seems to have become shorthand for manshooters it is nice to be able to point to a game that is doing something different, educational, fun and a game you don't have to be embarrassed about.


Friday, September 16, 2011

AT. LONG. LAST

The genius of Animal Crossing is that in the early days, you find new furniture, clothes, insects, fish and all the other items at such a rate you quite quickly become adept at organising your inventory and running back and forth to Tom Nook's shop a la Diablo. As time goes on, new items get rarer and rarer. Finding and catching those last elusive fish and insects become all night hunts, camping rivers and beaches to catch that damn tarantula or coelacanth. Weekly shopping trips to Crazy Redd get so disappointing as you look for that last painting or obscure bit of furniture. The good days get rarer. UNTIL TONIGHTS BUMPER HARVEST THAT IS!


Perhaps the lucky clover had something to do with it?


FINALLY Crazy Redd gave up the Triforce. By comparison, Link's various quests for the Triforce are a cake walk.


One of the elusive squid visitors moved to town! I'd begun to believe they didn't exist. Like Animal Crossing's own Nessy or Jesus. We were resigned to the fact that the village would be full of frogs and cats for the rest of time.


AT LAST. Giant Bloody Petaltail. Two minutes before a full two hours of running around Gaywood with a bug net, I caught one!


MUSEUM. DONE.


Yeah, damn right Mayor. Bestow upon me great gifts. If it had been up to to the other villagers the museum would still be half full. Although, in all honesty, I would have appreciated the golden net before I'd caught every single insect. Thanks guy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Music of..... Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City

Nintendo fans will know that if you buy new Nintendo games you get a little voucher which you can redeem online to earn Nintendo stars. In order to get the stars you have to fill out a quick survey about where you saw the game advertised, where you bought it from, who plays it etc. In return you earn nintendo stars- normally 250 per game and more for a console or handheld. You can then redeem these for exclusive nintendo gifts. Back in the gamecube days these would be pretty sad affairs, ringtones or desktop wallpapers. More recently though there have been some really nifty bits and pieces and seeing as the stars you earn are "free", why not splash out. In the past I've got a stuffed pikmin, a wiiwheel keyring and a metal pokemon DS game case (albeit in Spanish, however, as much as I begrudge it within two weeks of receiving it a bookcase fell on it and the metal case saved my DS games). It had been a while since I'd redeemed any stars and so I browsed through the catalogue and couldn't resist ordering the Animal Crossing OST. Why not? Of course I could probably rip the mp3s from the internet but I actually like having physical stuff. I like having a music, book, DVD and game library to browse. Sometimes just look at or rearrange. We'll miss boxed products if those games companies get their way and make everything digital.


Normally for no reason known to man it takes about a month and a half for the stuff to be delivered but the CD turned up within the week. Much to my surprise I really enjoy it! Now we're a bit fanatical when it comes to the music of video games. To the point where we shun all other music.

The CD is mostly composed of K.K.Slider tracks. Don't know who K.K.Slider is? He's a musician who turns up on Saturdays and plays music. He then gives you a copy of the song to play back at your home. However, he sings in Animalese. It's a bit mental.



OMG in looking for that video I've just discovered the world of K.K.Slider remixes of popular songs. This is both brilliant and horrific.

Considering you only hear most of the K.K. songs once in the game, listening to the OF COURSE THERE IS A K.K.Numa Numa.

Imperial March obviously. How did I not know about this? K.K.Thriller.

Right, well the CD is good but I have to now go and listen to all these horrific versions of otherwise popular songs.

UPDATE: K.K.Still Alive

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

REPEATED ASS KICKINGS


We've been playing a bit of Pokemon White recently (well, a third of us has at least). It tends to be how we play pokemon games, Weeks of intense activity, followed by months of abstinence. Then we're back in again and in again big. I've still got quite a lot to do, players will know how it is. Pokemon to catch, Ghetsis Goons to find, trainer card stars to acquire.

I thought I'd try some online battling. My god. Frustrating. We already complained about the lack of imagination that players have back in April. Well it turns out that since then, the nuances of the meta game, tested through millions of online battles have trimmed down the options for a competitive team to what seems like a handful of team combinations. Not only does this make for very boring games but the easiest counter-strategy is for players to join in with a me-too team. Currently, you can expect to see Hydregion, Amoongus, Reuniclus and Chandelure in 90% of double battle teams. SNOOZE.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Boo Hoo Hoo!

Yet another Pre-owned hurt my games sales. This time it's Quantic Dream. I actually remember looking for a copy of it a month after it launched. For sale. In a games retailer. In London. Couldn't find one.

But yeah, hey. I'm sure it the secondhand sales thing.

Omastar Comics, Big News!

Hey kids, remember Omastar Comics, TGAM's hit webcomic featuring everyone's favourite fictional ammonite parody? Well there's a reason there hasn't been a new comic since April and that's because we've been in discussions with a major film studio to turn it into a film! Because films based on comics are always awesome right? There might be a game of the film too but that is still under discussion. Imagine being able to play as Omastar in a video game? Amazing.

Here's a sneak peek at the current draft of the script for Omastar: The Movie.

OMASTAR: THE MOVIE

AN ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY BY Cunzy1 1, Richie!, Đoþþelgänger

September 10, 2011 Directors' Revisions

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OMASTAR: THE MOVIE

TITLE: OMASTAR: THE MOVIE -- ON BLACK, DISSOLVING TO COBALT BLUE

EXT. OCEAN/UNDERWATER
Blue, deep and featureless, the twilight of five hundred feet down. PROPELLER SOUND. Materializing out of the blue limbo is the enormous but sleek form of a Hoenn-class ballistic missile submarine. INT. S.S.Driftveil -- In the attack centre, darkened to womb-red, the crew's faces shine with sweat in the glow of their instruments. STARYU and MR MIME crowd around RATICATE, operating a sonar display.
STARYU Hyuuuup? Hyup, hyup, hyup!.
RATICATE Rrrraticate, raticate. Rrrrrrrrraticate. Raticate.... raticate.
Raticate puts the signal onto a speaker and everyone in the attack room listens to the intruder's acoustic signature, a strange THRUMMING. Staryu studies the electronic position board, a graphic representation of the contours of the steep-walled canyon, a symbol for the Driftveil, and converging with it, an amorphous trace, representing the bogey.
STARYU Hyuuuup?
MR MIME Mime, mime mime. Mr Mime! Mr Mime
RATICATE Rrrraticate! Rrrraticate!
MR MIME Mr mime....
RATICATE Rrraticate. Rat rat raticate, rrraticate.
SLOWPOKE (simultaneously) Slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.
MR MIME (low, to Staryu) Mr mime mime mr.
STARYU Hyuuup. hyup, hyup. hyup. Hyup.
GARDEVOIR Gardevoir gardevoir!
BELLOSSOM (Whilst dancing) Bell. Bell, belloooosom!
MR MIME Mime mr mime mime! Mime mime mime mime mr.
RATICATE Raticate rat raticate, raticate,. Raticate raticate...raticate!
MR MIME (really freaked now) Mr mime mime mr mr mime!
Suddenly the control room lights dim almost to blackness. EXT. S.S.Driftveil We see only the effect, not the source, as a large diffuse light passes rapidly under the sub's hull. Moments later a shockwave, like an underwater sonic boom, impacts the sub, slamming it sideways.

Exciting stuff we think you'll agree. We'll let you know more as soon as we have it.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Syndicate from EA!!

Remember Syndicate? that classy retro sci-fi shooter the isometric bacgrounds? An extremely original style and way of playing, still unique to this day?

Well it's being rebooted!!!!

Awesome, finally a chance to play this corker again...

Oh...

Wait...

No...

Turns out it's just being rebooted as an FPS:


Bugger it

Love and Persuadertrons,

Richie X

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The next thing we're getting pushed on us

Ninja Theory "the big retail model is creaking" and "the digital revolution can't come soon enough" Via EDGE

Yeah sure it can't. Especially when you can't be bothered to do any market research before you spend three years and millions of pounds on making a game, do any proper marketing, don't do product support beyond launch day, you don't even sell your own game through your website*, new or pre-owned copies aren't available on the high street after week 1 and you don't do much localisation beyond English. Yeah. Gee. I wonder why your products haven't been selling like hot cakes. Boo hoo.


* In fact on their official website they haven't even bothered to list their game Enslaved. You know the one that came out almost a year ago.**

** In fact...

to: webmaster@ninjatheory.com
subject: Your website kinda sucks

To "The Webmaster"

You haven't even listed Enslaved yet, you don't tell people where they can buy your games, you don't even bother to link in all those press interviews and your latest news post is five months old. Are you still an active company or have you gone bust?

Do you have a web marketing person? If not I'd be happy to do it for twenty quid a week.

Kind regards

Cunzy1 1


UPDATE: Looks like they finally changed their website. Didn't get an email back either :(

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Name That Game

You play as a host of characters including; a legendary troll who cheats on his pregnant wife, a millionaire author, and a gang of deviants who have a reputation of rape, drug abuse and violence. They are controlled by an organisation rife with corruption, money laundering and various shady operations in impoverished countries.

Answers on a postcard!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Gears of War 3 FAQ

*/___ _ //[[ \/ || | *
*|¬ / ~ === | \/__________/ *
* |_ |/ *
*\ \_|

Fuck it. Imagine "Gears of War 3" written here in ASCII.

=========== CONTENTS=============== [01]

CONTROLS [02]
Walkthrough [03]
Tips [04]

============CONTROLS==============[02]

Same as all the other games.

=========== Walkthrough==============[03]

Watch the cutscene at the beginning of the game. Then walk along the obvious path until the end of the game. Occasionally, the path might be interrupted by a cutscene or a shooting gallery section. Watch the cutscene or shoot all of the baddies from the fixed position and then go back to the beginning of this section, repeat until the game ends.

============Tips==================== [04]

Sometimes you might find yourself exploring familiar scenes that have been mirrored. This means you have turned around and are walking the wrong way down the path. Turn around 180 degrees and then continue until you get a cutscene or shooting gallery.

============ END=====================


WORST WEEK EVER

We're not even going to do a proper Now Showing this week because it is so dire but jump on the Wii and check out the latest weekly download video.

For those nintendinly challenged the only download this week is this.




Saturday, September 03, 2011

Catherine EU release date


Sexy-charged game Catherine has been hyped over the pond and beyond, but the EU have yet to get an actual confirmation on its release. Provisionally a few distributors have tagged this as December 2011, which is not unreasonable, with only its sub-risqué subject matter delaying (or perhaps even cancelling) its release. Catherine is set around a dude and his obsession with a girl surprisingly called Catherine and Katherine. Much of the sexyness of the game can be peeled back to a platform puzzler set in the protagonists guilty dreams. You know what? I'm just going to stop there, that is fucking cool. I know you can call it sleazy but c'mon my previous sentence... That's an original concept I'm playing it, Fuck all you nay-sayers saying it's for pervs. FUCK YOU. This game is worthy of my time, deal-with-it!

Love and Guilty dreams about a game.

Richie X

Autumn Gaming; things are looking good!


As summer begins to close its legs to the sporadic penetration from the suns rays, and winters chill creeps its icy fingers up those luscious thighs, we get stuck in the limbo that is Autumn, leaves turn brown and fall, but most importantly the nights get longer and darker. And thus we are justified in sitting in front of the box rather than constantly saying to ourselves that we need to get outside and soak up that hokum "Vitamin D".

Rather than catching up on that latest drama series, or episodes of Family Guy, don't you thing you should give your console some love?

This Autumn, Xmas comes early with a plethora of KILLER games, we kicked off the season a week ago with the much awaited and highly regarded sequel to Deus Ex! Booya some Sci-fi Action RPG with some beautiful and haunting sci-fi goodness. A long awaiting sequel that is a swing and a "hit" that hardly ever happens! but we also has some mishaps XBLA and PSN got the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection which as fun as it was to revisit, it was dire, full of bugs and glitches. In general MKAK was one to miss, with Street Fighter III re-release proving to be better to get your retro fighter needs on.

But that is not all! as the lead up to Xmas draws ever closer, these cunning marketing departments are hoping to see more and more of these games under the tree. The biggest ones are Skyrim, the fifth in the elder scrolls series, dragons, magic, cat-people, but sadly no Sean Bean or Captain Picard. Secondly we have Gears of War 3, more shooty-hidey action, and this time with tits! We also have the compulsory Modern of Duty: Medal of War: Battlefield 5: Shoot the Terrorists! Now with more realistic gun reloading sounds. There is also the lukewarm Dead Island, everyone was fapping over this games first announcement trailer, "ZOMG little girl zombie!", unfortunately after E3and the various other games shows the game seemed mediocre. The PC is also getting a lot of Love, Diablo III makes itself known, Star Wars: The Old Republic, is making everyone polish their 3PO. On the XBLA/PSN side We have finally got RE4 and RE:Code Veronica HD-ized! Fuck yeah yet another platform for me to Play RE4 on, (GC, Wii, PS2, PC was not enough).

Now that summer is over and the nights grow longer you have no excuse, get on that sofa and play the fuck out of these stonkers!

P.S. The Wii has a new Zelda game.

Love and Sexy seasonal analogies

Richie X