Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Games you are supposed to play.

In ordered to be accredited with any kind of standing, or respect within the pseudo-community of gamers there is a plateau of geeky knowledge that is a standard, however as more and more niche corners become mainstream...

On a side note I refer to this phenomenon as ironic-hipster-reversal; bringing to attention obscure elements of information to appear more knowledgeable in a subject, yet unintentionally bringing it to the foray for everyone i.e. Wearing a a T-shirt with the konami code. Pay attention to this people, this level of marketing and advertising is more powerful than social media! 

...as I was saying as video-games-geeky-knowledge becomes more mainstream the level of knowledge to be respected within the community becomes more convoluted and obscure. There has always existed a level of this autistic desire within games culture, from the early days of imported rare japanese titles. But nowadays games culture has expanded to a respected and widely used area of pop-culture, that in order to stand out from the norm you have to "go deeper". 
So bottom line, there must be a certain level/standard/number/knowledge of games to "qualify" someone as part of games culture beyond that of pop culture. So the question is, where do we draw the line? 



I mean Mario Bros (1, 2, 3, Super Mario World) should be a line everyone should know/play that one, but again to what level? There are so many dimensions of secrets, glitches and hidden things in those games which are referenced, 100% completion is more a lifetime task rather than keeping up with your "peers"

As I mentioned before the bar has moved, as for game you are supposed to have played you almost have to assume that most people have played/know the standard 16bit fayre; Marios, Zeldas, Sonics and Final Fantasys. So what games "should" you have played to be considered part of gaming culture?

In modern culture these titles evolve every 3-6 months, and you pretty much have to buy on release to surf the curve, the big icons of the past year include Assassins creed, Borderlands 2, Sleeping Dogs and Mass Effect Trilogy. And you, as a gamer, should have 100% completed them and have your own formed options on them. But gaming culture does not put its blinkers on past 6 months. You need to have informed opinions on classic titles.

Now at this point I could list off a bunch of obscure titles from the mid-nineties only to have "OMG I cant believe you didnt mention [insert obscure japanese side-scrolling beat-em-up]" thrown back in my face. So I wont, instead i'm going to conclude this post with one game I think I wish I would have played, or more specifically a game I am "supposed to have played".



Mother 2: Earthbound

Never played it, yet it gets referenced as one of the best off-the-radar stories with a unique atmosphere, art style and cult following. I have had this game recommended to me to me so many times. Yet, what about Mother 1, and then there is Mother 3 which has not even got an official English version. Chronological issues aside, why havent I just decided to sit down and play this? Is playing it to tick it off the "list" legitimised nowadays, after all the hype am I afraid that it will not live up to its "reputation". Or despite all the imaginary gamer rep I will get for this, am I just not willing to invest in an older game?  Who knows. Anyone played it and got something bad to say about it?

Love and collect three warp whistles to warp while you are warping,

Richie X

Monday, January 28, 2013

An Apology

Chuff's back and he's backing down. He's compromising his principles and it's disgusting to watch.
I would like to take this opportunity to whole heartedly apologise to fans of Mutant Mudds and all members of the Galactic Senate (not you ET, never you). When reviewing the aforementioned game I confess I was under severe pressure due to missing a year of deadlines, and was suffering from depression due to flashbacks of not handing in book reviews on time in Mrs Lawrence’s English class. This lead me make glaring errors in my reporting and missed out on a key feature that Mudds has that truly elevates this game to another level, I did not appreciate this during my first play through. Once again, I apologise. I genuinely do not realise how I came to miss this, there is an idle animation. Mutant Mudds: 9.5/10

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mini Reviews: Mutant Mudds

Chuff's back. He's our man on mobile which has been pretending to do games for a long time. Over to Chuff_72.

Look at this shit, does this look like the sort of game a tough Role Playing Mother Fucker like me would be into? 

So for some reason (for any reason - AMERICA), I’ve been attracted to these really tough, unforgiving platformers that have been creeping into the App store. I really got into a game called League of Evil, smashed it, then smashed up the sequel, three starring the shit out of it BEFORE they nerfed all the completion times so your Mum (Mom) could finish it too while she’s rubbing one out (rubbing, furiously, there’s a squeaky noise and everything).

It’s got some story. It’s about a boy who has an uncomfortably close relationship with his Granny who he keeps in the attic. Then Aliens happen. 

The controls are pretty gross, a button* for up, down, left and right, NO DIAGONAL, because if the C64 taught us anything, it’s that pressing the Diagonal Button to jump is for Mugs. There are even a couple buttons for Actions. Jumping and the shooting. 

Despite the fact that this is, in fact, a touch screen game in my opinion, the controls are incredibly accurate**. There is no double jump in this one, it is replaced by a limited hover ability, NOT EXPLAINED IN THE STORY (I understand if this is a deal breaker for some). The levels are your standard walking and jumping, interrupted by hammers and shit, there is a cute triple layer thing going on, leaping in and out of the screen, it’s cool, but on the iphone the back layer is pretty damn small. 

You get the usual unlocks, hover further, jump higher etc, there are hidden “really hard” levels – made harder due to having all your buttons made out of one piece of glass, and there is a sexy Granny in it. 

So yeah, a quality iOS exclusive platformer! It’s exclusively on DS too, with actual buttons and everything. 


*THERE ARE NO BUTTONS IT’S TOUCH SCREEN AND THEREFORE WHY HAVE YOU MADE A RIDICULOUSLY HARD PLATFORMER THAT REQUIRES PRECISION CONTROLS YOU BASTERDS. 

**This is lies, but we have to pretend or people will never believe us when we say it’s our primary gaming console because of all the awesome sauce, and not because we are ashamed of carrying a DS about in public.*** 

 ***Talking of being ashamed, I once sat in a park outside my office in 30 degree heat, and made a MAGIC: THE GATHERING deck inside a rucksack (backpack).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beaten: The Last Story

This time of year our better half will go into a torpor and if left uninterrupted will sleep forever. A physiology we took advantage of, not like that, to get a couple of hours of gaming in and finally saw the credits of The Last Story. Looking at the Nintendo Channel stats for this game our playtime of just under 41 hours was almost double the time that the 1753 other players (who have allowed Nintendo to publish their data) spent on this game.  Other lesser sites also reported a playtime of 20 hours. So what kept us?

Well this is a head scratcher because unlike other RPGs, The Last Story does an excellent job of cutting out the obligatory filler content. There are only a dozen or so different dungeons. Armour comes in six different flavours and is easily upgraded without epic or repetitive quests for rare materials. We honestly just spent all that extra time taking in Lazulis City, a hub city, that's probably up there with the best game places to just spend time soaking up the sites and sounds, chasing the odd trivial side quest here and there and exploring every nook and cranny just for the sake of it.

It's a lovely place to spend time and has been efficiently created so that at first it seems labyrinthine but after a while becomes easily traversable but still with areas that can turn you around and niches with an extra item, character or subquest that are easily overlooked. More than this Lazulis City feels like a living breathing city. Rarely will you see three identikit citizens strolling down the street a la Grand Theft Auto and it doesn't feel like six interactive buildings linked together by a soulless architecture like No More Heroes' Santa Destroy.   Lazulis City feels more like a working city than Xenoblade Chronicles' major cities which can at times feel like static buildings with stereotype behaving NPCs, breaking the immersion as the go for their daily walk, day in and day out. Lazulis citizens change their dialogue often enough and NPCs react to the progress of the main story, subtly giving hints about new subquests, hidden areas or what might becoming next. 

Even the way that Zael can interact with the city and it's inhabitants is very limited but Mistwalker has piled in extras and secrets that make you go the extra mile to seek out the Orchid Gang, flirt with a string of women or deliberately bash your head on as many street signs as possible during the down time between progressing the main quest. You can even take on the job of an NPC, giving a market trader time for a smoke break as you flog your excess kit to other NPCs. Sounds boring but we probably spent close to one of our 40 hours doing just that.

The game delivers on the rest of what you might expect from a game and then some. Syrenne and Mirania stand out as female characters who are believable and atypical of the Mary Sues in most games (sadly Calista is a let down when she isn't being Jasmine from Aladin scene-by-scene). The localisation is the best I can think of in any game. So good that I can't picture Lowell, Syrenne or Horace ever being Japanese characters in the original version. The banter is of a quality that'll make you tread carefully so you don't skip it and there are moments that trigger a wry knowing smile rather than a full belly laugh. The main story is a bit hackneyed and the reuse of environments, up to four times in some cases, borders on the cheeky but just about gets away with it. The combat system that gave the development team quite a few headaches, according to the Nintendo Channel Interviews, works although once you unlock all the tricks in the offering you tend to stick to a rinse and repeat cycle of combos, the enemy tactics have been carefully thought about to encourage a variety in approach to a mob and stops things getting staid. The rest just ticks all the boxes, you can customise the appearance of your characters' armour in such a way that doing this alone provides a substantial distraction, the soundtrack is fantastic and there's a farming and trading mini game which is completely optional but strangely compelling.

Lastly, this title and Xenoblade Chronicles have underpinned a revelation we had about the Wiimote and nunchuk controllers for these kinds of games. Both titles can be controlled with a classic controller (Xenoblade Chronicles special edition came with one) but playing with a wiimote and nunchuk not only felt comfortable but a significant improvement over joypads. The Wii controllers are oft criticised for shoddy controls but motion controlling aside, the freedom and fluidity of not having your hands cramped around a joypad for hours on end is something that should be celebrated a lot more than it has been now we're expected to hold a fucking tablet controller. 

So there we have it, we've fallen in love with the Last Story and can't recommend it enough. The caveat is that this is very much our sort of game. If you can't stand a lot of whimsy, don't care about little details or just don't do exploration for it's own sake then I can see how The Last Story might seem a shallow and short.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On that Dante...


Another goading response from Team Ninja.

Put simply there is a divide, and it can be sweepingly categorised into a generation/age. Devil may cry series has spanned over 10 years, and at each end of that spectrum it has picked up a selection of generational players, and frankly the younger/alternative kids (you know the ones that use terms like speed thrash metal) specifically liked it for the broody, angsty, gothy design. But some people liked the DMC series for its gaming style with a fun tacked demon stuff.

Dante was iconic, as a character he appealed to a large audience. This new Dante is just a little too alternative to appeal to the spectrum he once appealed to, this video is the glacé cherry on top of the spiralled turd that was the "no-white-hair" announcement.

Love and Ah fuck it, its not Dante,

Richie X

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Why we'll never have a consensus about how we feel about PC games

This just in, stoic TGAM contributor Chuff_72 who hath spake the BIG ONE, Sold Out, and spake thrice, wades into our flip flopping about PC Games to speak once more. Chuffty:

I did not grow up owning a PC, but my best friend always had the most up to date system, 386, 486, Pentium etc, so I played all those games when they first came out; Wolfenstein, Frontier, X-Wing, Warcraft 2, Dark Forces 2, etc. Great times. Then at a certain point “Graphics Cards” and “ETC” came along and suddenly there was no standard PC anymore and everything stopped working.

I didn’t touch a PC to play a game from about 1999 to 2004. In late 2004 I gave a mate £400 and asked for a PC that could play Dawn of War (“a good 40K game, holy shit take my money!”). My custom built PC died about a year and a half later, Limewire + 4gig of porn resulted in about 3000 viruses (literal, not figurative). After a deep cleanse the graphics card stopped working, at no point could I be arsed researching, ordering, and installing anything, shit should work, if it is not working it is dead to me.

Monster Hunter saw me through to 2008. I had £600 and wanted to play Crysis. This PC lasted till 2012, and in early 2013 it was wrapped in towels, rammed (with great care and tenderness) into a suit case, and dragged to Cunzy1_1’s gaff, where it recently inspired a love letter to the PC on this here webshizzle. I would just like to say that this PC was always very happy running Crysis at Medium settings and Warhammer Online (jeez, 40K, Warhammer, at this point I guess I might as well just throw in a bit of Magic: The Gathering to further destroy my street cred [but up my webgeek cred?]), and never truly let me down.

So, I spent £1000 on a laptop (Samsung Series 7 Chonos) last March, essentially it was for working from home, in reality I just really wanted to be able to sit on the sofa and play some cool new PC games.

The very first thing I did was install Steam (actually the first thing I installed was Magic: The Gathering: Online – at this point I feel I should just come clean), and dug around for something cheap to test my new machine, Serious Sam 3, step up! “ERROR – YOU ARE A CUNT”. Oh, I guess I am, well, I’ll just put the 360 back on (fired up MTGO more like), bye bye PC gaming.

9 months later and it was the olde Steam Sale, and I really couldn’t help myself. However, the Serious Sam situation needed to be solved, Google, Google, Google. Oh, apparently all I need to do right click and verify files, then if there’s a problem Steam will re-install the “file”, it does this by itself. So, why is this a manual check? Steam is checking, finding there is an error, calling me a Cunt and not then not fixing the error or giving me any useful info to work with. After this little re-install of corrupted files the mo fo loads and runs like a dream.

REVIEW: Serious Sam 3
It’s really similar to the other ones, but someone must have fucked up and changed the Croteam colour palette from “actual colours and stuff”, to “shades of boredom”. HOWEVER 10/10 FUCK YOOOOOOUUUUSSSS. It’s brilliant.

Come on:
Or:
So yeah, PC games and stuff. Steam Sale!

Dawn of War: Something Something WARHAMMER
Oh, can’t find my graphics card, running on the Intel Something Card, that’s weird. Wow this looks… pretty embarrassing. I am never playing this game. Instead of this:
I get this:

REVIEW: The Witcher 2
Oh, can’t find my graphics card, running on the Intel Something Card, that’s weird. Wow this looks… pretty embarrassing. I am never playing this game. Instead of this:
I get this:

After hours of my life spent Googling the shit out of Google it turns out that PCS ARE SHIT*.






 *Not really, I just want my stuff to work, if it’s not working then someone should make it work for me. This is why I’m a Console man at heart. SECRET HAPPY ENDING: Half Life 2 looks like this:


Monday, January 14, 2013

Snow

For those of you outside the UK the current weather may not seem like a topic for conversations lasting more than a couple of minutes. For the British however, it is a source of endless conversation particularly when the weather does surprisingly interesting things outside of the format: depressing rain. 

Well now it's fucking snowing so productivity in the UK drops ten percent, not because, people have to stay at home because of death warnings and avalanches but because everyone takes the time to tell everyone they meet that "It is snowing", "It's cold" and endless details about the varying extent of the snow from their own areas and the areas they've heard of through friends and colleagues "I heard Essex got it bad but Kent is fine".

Us. We'll just rerun this post from two years ago thanks.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why I'll always be A PC Gamer...

...because every time I sit down at a keyboard my fingers default to WASD.

And because some of my best memories and games have been on the PC, from the heady sprite driven days of DOS games; pointy-clickies like Discworld or the ancestral king of FPS's Doom.

 SETSOUND=SB16 

Through to the graphic driven monsters that plague benchmarking sites.

My gaming memories start with the humble Commodore 64 in the 8-bit era and Amiga 1200 in the 16/32 bit era. Yes I flirted the consoles of that time, NES, Mastersystem, Super Nintendo and Mega Drive, but weirdly I remember playing Street Fighter II on the C64:

But my first PC was an ex-office PC that ran windows 3.1 akin to the specs below:


But as time went on I learned more about PCs I upgraded my 33MHz CPU, to 166MHz. My GFX card got a much needed boost, and as time went on upgrading just became a thing that had to happen, not necessarily just to play a game, but to keep a PC ahead-of-the-curve for a few more years.

The advent of 32/64-bit era changed a few things the Playstation and N64 dominated the market creating a slew of games in THREE FUCKING DEE! that's right, in the confines of your living room TV you could play platformers and puzzle games using the legendary third dimension. "3D" games on the PC had been around but due to hardware costs were not available to everyone. And before this turns into a history lesson: through to current gen there has been an evolutionary arms race between Console and PC where the quality of graphics and processing power was reflected in the games.

There was always a place for PCs and Console gaming in my heart. The PS2 took much of my time as a gamer, yet at the same time I was enjoying Warcraft III or The Sims 2 on my humble PC. On some occasions deciding to buy which cross platform version would cause chaos. However it boiled down to multiplayer games being in the living room under the TV, or in the case of pure single player games it would usually comedown to the controls...
...Games I feel are better on joypads, stay on the console, but the PC has some real gems which really require the mouse/keyboard combination.
Oh yeah, and kinna on a side note, the achievement system on the 360 definitely lured me away, why play a game on the PC if you can play it on the 360 and get cheevos for it?

There has been some real gems on the PC over the years and I would quite happily revisit them:

* Sims, Spore and many of the Will Wright phenomenons.
* A very honourable mention to all Blizzard games Starcrafts, Warcrafts and Diablo games (especially 3).
* Bit of a left-field one from gog.com Ghost Master.
* Molenauyeaeuyioaeux's Black and White 2.

Love and please insert disk 3,

Richie X

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why I'll Never Be A PC Gamer

Our part of the Internet is all a flutter about A not THE Steam Box (Piston or something) and now some biometric gaze tracking thing but I for one couldn't care less. Note, American friends it is couldn't care less not could care less. Could care less means that you still care about something. You could lower the level of care about something. Couldn't care less. Could Not.

Anyway, I'll probably never be a PC gamer. Don't get me wrong I think PC games can be brilliant. Rock Paper Shotgun is my little window into the world of PC games and every now and then I'll get a little bit jealous of the gaming opportunities I'm missing out on. I love the stories that come from the RPS team and the unique gaming experiences that can only be had with mods, indie platformers almost as good as older platformers, the 'five second' games and loser generated stuff that really reaches into the upper echelons of what gaming is capable of being. On the other hand though I cannot be fucking bothered with PCs at the best of times particularly not in my ever diminishing leisure time. 

They're a fucking faff to start off with. Install this, update this, buy this, upgrade this. I know that some PC geeks get off on this. They love 'optimising' their rigs and pissing around with settings and tirelessly working on their own mods to fix commercial games or completely remix them. I'm not begrudging the people who enjoy this at all. But it's not for me. It's boring. I half read articles about the best hardware configurations and how to fix games that don't come with standards that allow you to play with the best FOV and Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I'm also an entitled consumer. I pay money for something I expect it to work. I don't expect to have to mess around with files, settings and patches to fix something I've bought. It genuinely scares me the model of PC (and console games now) where you never actually own a game. You merely buy the right to possibly play it. Until the servers break down or are permanently switched off or on those odd days you can't get an internet connection or when the latest patch somehow makes the game unplayable. I care about games and I care about celebrating the heritage of them and paying homage to older games. To me none of this has ever been properly built into the way that games are made so the only way you can ensure that you can play older games is to keep the machines that play them in working order and the games you want to play in working condition. How does the UK, a country which is a large part of gaming history despite some morons thinking it all began with Japan, celebrate it's rich gaming history? Well tax payers money goes towards funding this museum of grey machines. Missing the point much? Gaming history isn't the machines we used to play games on, it's the games and the experiences we have playing them. The somewhat transitional nature of many PC games put me off. In fact I refuse to play any MMOs purely because one day they'll all be turned off. Emulation is a way of keeping older games alive but the problems with emulation are so rife that I struggle to see how 'progress' in technology means playing the games of yesteryear with the wrong sound or aspect ratio or botched controls. That ain't how I play games. I'll just plug in the PlayStation and my memory card and within minutes I'm continuing my Resident Evil game from over a decade ago thanks.

PCs should work and don't. A classic case in point? Every ten years or so I'll upgrade our home computers (you know for writing documents and making graphs) and recently I was given a four year old PC far more powerful than any previous computer I had. I cracked out my slim selection of PC games from yesteryear to finally play them without problems and lo and behold seven year old Paraworld inexplicably crashed during the tutorial level. And then wouldn't load level 2. And then Snooooze. Two of my geek friends have been struggling with getting Day Z and the Witcher 2 playing on their machines and they have far more knowledge and willpower than I do. I'm just not happy to buy products that don't work as they should without an investment of my time in fixing them. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to waste time in games. As we speak I'm halfway and ten hours into the slow process of transferring my living pokedex from Pokemon White to Pokemon Black Version 2 all for a shining charm and different coloured trainer card. Am I having fun? No absolutely not but I'm not having fun in a way I choose to rather than un-fun being forced upon me by an unintelligible error box or installation progress bar.

Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face? Not willing to put up with hours or days of pissing around in the guts of a PC for what surely amounts to half a lifetime of crazy gaming experiences? Maybe but then it's always been this way with PCs so I'm voting with my wallet by not having bought a PC game for the last seven years. The rub however, is that HD consoles are so progressive and advanced nowadays that they almost perfectly replicate the frustrating PC experience authentically:


I'll link to that all day. This is pretty much the dramatisation of how I interact with PCs and what's causing me to gnaw my teeth at modern HD consoles. Want to know what one of the best console games of this generation is for us? It's 1vs100 on the Xbox 360 and it was fucking brilliant bringing together families and hundreds of thousands of gamers in a way that flailing your arms around never will. Don't believe me? Well tough because it was only available for a limited time only. It's gone. You missed out and you'll never be able to experience that again. 

Back to PCs. I don't have to put up with essentially working for somebody else for the privilege of experiencing someone else's game and I won't. Make it easy for me because I have like a hundred other demands on my time and the returns are guaranteed to be better. For all of two seconds I was excited about Piston. It sounds like a PC I can just plug in and play. Sort of like a console but with all the benefits of PCs. Sort of like how Ouya and Onlive R.I.P were supposed to be. Sadly though it's looking like it'll be a gimped PC with sub-console accessibility. So the worst of both worlds then. Great. 

Until PCs become more accessible, PC gaming is always going to be the quintessential computer geek's domain. The lonely boys' club where conversation may turn to how many graphics can fit on the screen and everyone but the smelliest dies of boredom. There are such things as accessible PC games that ditch all that aggravating pissing around to make stuff work, hello PopCap Games and Zynga R.I.P. But then the boys' club doesn't deem all that to be proper gaming. If it isn't the content from an 11 year old's dream (shooting! Elves! Aliens! Fire engines! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee) with the prerequisite of messing around with installing stuff and upgrading graphics cards it isn't 'proper' gaming. But until this changes, PC gaming won't ever be for everyone or more importantly me. At the moment I don't feel like I'm missing out enough to bother trying The gap is closing though and it's really only Nintendo that's keeping me hanging in with consoles now that everything is ported to PC and when it's done right, it's better on PC*.

*Or Mac ha! There's also mobile and tablet gaming which is still an oxymoron.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Operation Boobfall

As we mentioned in this post we've finally acquired all of the Operation Rainfall titles for the Nintendo Wii and we're proud of it. Thanks again to all the people who badgered Ninty to localise these titles. We've spent hundreds of hours on Xenoblade Chronicles, tens on the Last Story and fractions on Pandora's Tower. Nonetheless we're now in a position to bring you the most important information about these innovative titles that caused a mini renaissance in JRPGs. That was until nobody bought them. That question, which we bring to you now, uncut and unedited, free from the chains of 'the man' who keeps the video games press subdued and gagged. That question, which we're about to ask and then answer is: What are the tit physics like in the Operation Rainfall titles?


We know. Finally right? Each of the games being a JRPG of sorts, Pandora's Tower is more of an action adventure if you insist on using nonsensical genre terms like that, features titted protagonists. In the Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles, developers have cottoned on to the fact that if you allow players to choose whether or not they strip their characters down to their underwear, then you can't be accused of being a pervert or being sexist. Weirdly though, when we're given the option to run around in the buff we tend to get a little bit protective of our female characters but are happy with the men running around in their grey boxers. That's an exclusive to the world btw. However, purely in the interest of research we were forced to strip Sharla, Fiora and Birdlady from XC and (Heart) Syrenne and Mirania from the Last Story down to their briefs and examine their jigglypuffs both in menu screens, stills and in the field. Unfortunately, the sometimes grotesque Elena from Pandora's Tower remains clothed throughout so we had to judge from cutscenes alone.

The Breasts
Both Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story boast a total of six breasts from the female cast and Pandora's Tower has two or less depending on how much Elena is mutated at the time. However, all the breasts on show here are really (and sometimes literally) in the shadow of Sharla from Xenoblade Chronicles rack. The pair dominate every cutscene they are in and are bigger than the other femme fatale's heads, probably put together. Well done Sharla, we salute your front shirt watermelons. SPOILERS SON An honourable mention goes to Fiora from the Xenoblade Chronicles who manages to maintain her breasts, presumably now mechanised, even after she is given a robot body by the Mechon. I'd love to see the design documents for the assimilation of Homs that rationalises why female robots still require breasts. Not very efficient design is it? Then again the mechon do tend to have an art deco flair to their design.

The Camera
Now Capcom has been the King of the Creepy Cam in recent years with barely a Capcom female character having anything less than a camera shoved down their inappropriate top making Metal Gear Solid 4 look like   a tame video game version of calendar girls. But which one of these titles never misses the chance of a gratuitous tit shot? Surprisingly, it's Pandora's Tower that delivers with creep cam and very early on in the game too. We almost spat out out tea with shame and instantly penned a letter to Points of View when in the middle of a cutscene the camera decided to give us an eyeful of her, not to be confused with mountains, breasts. Medical is the term we'd used to describe that shot. Medical.

The Jiggle
Ah the jiggle. The proverbial starting task for those starting out in game development. Some games dedicate an inordinate amount of time to the ridiculous jiggling of breasts and both Xenoblade Chronicles and poor old Elena's Twangers are once again abused by pervy old developers. The boob jiggle in both of these titles is doubly obvious however, especially in cutscenes, as the rest of the character models seem to have been lazily choreographed, the movement and posturing reminiscent of the wooden posing in Resident Evil. Characters move around like puppets but unfortunately for them their breasts seem to bound about of their own accord as if they are surrounded by a magical field that amplifies the force of a passing breeze to send them reverberating in reaction to the slightest motion. Once again, Sharla, or elastatits, as we affectionately call her takes the prize, her breasts frequently steal any scenes she is in. We spent at least four hours on the equip menu screen mesmerised by how they flop about every time a neutrino passes by. Elena gets a close second place because despite not having a continental shelf hanging under her chin her slim jumper puppies have still been given a little bit of jiggle nonetheless. For God's sake. It's as if these developers have never seen or indeed touched a range of breasts and have only heard third hand stories about what they are and how they react to the physics of this Universe from a guy in the mail room whose friend's brother once copped a feel.

The Outfits
The Last Story breaks with many JRPG conventions. Upgrading armour and weapons is simple but not basic, dungeons are bite size rather than laborious and most surprisingly, the armour design mostly falls on the side of appropriate. Of course if you wish you can invisibilate it all and have your characters run around in the buff but when we found ourselves wanting to perv on the women researching this post we were hard pressed to find outfits that draw the eye to cleavage (Pro tip, until you get the invisible dye, your best bet is the Hunter's armour and then remove the chest mail. Bonus tip and word to the wise, although it looks like Syrenne has the bigger pair both Mirania and Syrenne share the same body model. Psychologise that). One exception is a glitch that we discovered on our playthrough. At a certain point in the story Calista leaves your party for a relatively long time. Whilst she is away if you dress her in her ball gown she'll randomly appear in cutscenes with a naked male torso and no legs looking all the world like the top half of Sephiroth's final form. We can't find images of it online so EXCLUSIVE RIGHT HERE. As far as we've played, Elena doesn't get a costume change, although in the opening cutscene she's wearing an alternate costume that is a little bit exposing but in video games is practically prudish. Xenoblade Chronicles wins for the perviest costumes. When characters aren't running around in the buff, throughout the game various questionable armour can be found including a bikini and even armour that is just oil or gel. Wearing it doesn't change the appearance at all. It's the emperor's new clothes but with stat boosts. Not that Sharla needs an excuse to show off some tit. Virtually every costume has her exposing side, under or interbooble regions. This screenshot (thank you pervs) shows typical Sharla garb.

The Winner
If like us you can only get off to sleazily creeping over virtual girls you can get to know over the course of a hackneyed RPG then Xenoblade Chronicles is the title for you on the strength of Sharla's dairy baguettes alone. They wibble, they wobble and you needn't worry about upgrading her armour because virtually every set gives you access all areas to her mounted globes. You'll miss entire plot points and dialogue details just watching them bound, lope, jiggle, flap and bobble over hundreds of hours of gameplay and you'll find the free camera 'accidentally' honing in on them just for the chance to see what they're up to. FILTH. 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012 & the lack of quality

Okay, so we all take review scores with a pinch of salt M'kay? That said it interesting seeing how the world of games with it's bagillions of entries looks when you par each game down to a grade or number and compare them to each other, or platform to platform or year to year. MCV (who definitely did not have a bad year last year) reports on Metacritics analysis of last year and the results chime with how we felt about last year's games. 

They were just a bit pants and this is the games that were making the headlines and everyone was talking about. For our personal tastes we hardly picked up any of these titles. Ass Creed still hasn't fixed the flaws that put us off the first and second one and Far Cry seems to be picking up GOTY nominations here there and everywhere by default. Like everyone else Dishonored was good but eerily instantly forgettable.

Last year our gaming palettes were gorged with Xenoblade Chronicles (technically a 2011 release for EU), Pokemon Black Version 2 is going to keep us going for a long long time but barely received reviews when it came out, the problem with long running series and we've only just started on the Last Story (v.good) and Pandora's Tower (7/10 judged from the opening titles only).

And on the horizon? Well for the first time in a long time I find myself not owning a current generation handheld or console now that the Wii has been virtually mothballed and TBHFMHoH there still isn't anything on Wii-U and 3DS that has made me start saving the pennies. Worryingly both Nintendo machines seem to have reset the exciting developments in gaming back to zero so we go from the brilliant, quirky and odd Operation Rainfall titles and Beat the Beat on the Wii back to the usual suspects on Wii-U. Meanwhile on the other HD consoles stuck in a rut couldn't be more apt. All that potential power is wasted on graphics providing a glossy sheen to broken or sub par games. 

But enough. You had one of our New Year's resolutions this week. Here's our second, we're giving up fighting the gaming community and industry in our own little way by complaining about the community being idiotic shit munchers (and happy about it too) or the industry being run like a chimpanzee tea party pastiche of a proper industry and we're going to join the shit heads because we couldn't beat them. There will be less probably be less of this kind of stuff; whinging about games retail and whinging about what some asswipes on the internet don't seem to get it and more about the latest boob jiggling physics and our favourite kind of reticule in shooting games where you play through the eyes of a 30 something man and shoot things in the face with guns.



Wednesday, January 02, 2013

That resolution is a maniac.

New years Resolution are like video games, [insert witty analogy here. Perhaps watch that "The Thick of it" DVD box set your snooty guardian reading friend got you for Xmas for inspiration]. And as such we have some resolutions this year.



Number one, do more posts. And dear reader(s) this is not just for you, you conceited twat(s), don't be so selfish. This is for us too. We need to spit some venom and bile about how games are not as good as they were X years ago, otherwise it builds up and the only way to vent is by punching random handicapped children on the street.

Number two, We do solemnly vow to refuse to accept browser gaming, any review of such will only be ironic or sarcastic. We almost did a review in 2012 of Family guy online which is a browser-based- microtransaction-fueled-wow-clone, (remember when games were just defined as, Shoot-em-up, RPG, Beat-em-up, Platformer...) But thankfully we got our act together and did our usual; opened blogger and cried into the keyboard as we contemplated the Games Industry and its ongoing spousal abuse from media marketing.

Number three, use the word "Fuck" more. I mean we use it a lot but in 2013 we hope to bring you such wonders as a post of nothing but "Fuck" repeated, reused and inventively incorporated, caused entirely by our sudden brief outrage to some publisher/developer/spokesperson/game in 2013

Thanks to all of you(s) that have shown your support to TGAM through 2012 better or worse we are sticking around like a malignant tumor.

Love and Hug(s),

Richie X