Thursday, May 30, 2013

649 Mother Fuckers!

We're a bit Pokémon upped a bit recently. It's our go to game and if we're playing it, it probably means there isn't much else out there at the moment and AMEN AIN'T THAT THE GODDAM TRUTH.

 Two days a man called GARRETT gave me the greatest gift a person can give to another. He gave me a level 44 Tornadus. Fine, you might say. That's done on street corners the world over. Well. You'd be wrong fucker because this Tornadus was the 649th Pokémon for my pokedex. This is huge news. I finally 100% legit CAUGHT THEM ALL. They said it couldn't be done. But it is. What's that, you calling me an Internet liar? I ain't one of them Reddit sun bitches go tellin' lies of this magnitude just to sound cool. Here's the proof that couldn't have been replicated of falsified in any other way because them photos are in COLOUR.

It's been a trial and for the longest time it was darn near impossible to catch them all because those handful of elusive Pokémon you could only get from going to Nintendo events didn't come to Europe nearly as often as other parts of the world. With the Nintendo DS being able to go online, getting those event only pokémon has been a lot easier of late, with Deoxys, Genesect, Meloetta and Keldeo recently being generously given to the masses by Overlord Nintendo, may the generosity of their hearts be blessed. This is the first game in which I've filled out the pokedex, the rarity of legendary Deoxys, only available from the mother ship, created a painful blank spot in the records since 2003's Pokémon Sapphire and Pokémon Ruby. I even trudged through My Pokémon Ranch, Pokémon Collosseum, Pokémon XD, Pokémon Ranger and Pokémon Channel to get Mew, Ho-oh, Lugia, Manaphy and Jirachi respectively (annoyingly some of these would later become available without having to play through a whole game first). 

So that's that done. Until fucking October when a whole bunch more turn up in Pokémon X and Y. How do I feel now though? Well there's nothing quite like the thrill of the chase. Now I just feel like I wasted thousands of hours of my life and all I got was this lousy blog post.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Xbox One: The facts.

The facts are, you read them elsewhere.

Discounting the WiiU, our next next gen shall arrive this year. PS4 and Xbox One, The powerhouses of console hardware have entered the foray with media hub like set top boxes, with internetTV, social media integration, communications, and happen to also play games too.

Don't get me wrong, the stats are amazing they will be delightful machines with future-proofed methods for maintaining the prettiness of games.

However I think I am most saddened by the lack of back compatibility, I mean suddenly my 360 collection is now dedicated to the 360, and well we all know that the 360's are far from reliable. But what gets me is all those digital purchases, the arcade and digital download versions, they are simply now attached to my gamer tag, but will they be transferred over? It seems not, and the same goes for digital purchases on PSN (Heartbreaking if you just bought FFX/Kingdom Hearts). It just makes me think I would have been better paying money to a different platform, like the Steam.

Our old nemesistress Leigh Alexander quoted this new gen as "rich boy's black box for playing Call of Duty and Halo on" (sexist). And though I'm inclined to agree with her, I feel these devices will still speak to the console gamer, unfortunately the quality of releases will have to justify throwing away our digital purchases, and back catalog. On a similar vein having mostly used a 360 for current Gen, I now realise there is little to keep me tied to the xbox franchise. So i may just dabble with Sony for Next gen. SEE That's what not doing back compatibility does, wank-jobs!

Love and sad,

Richie X

Friday, May 17, 2013

Game OS's enter Brand wars.

The great brand wars of our age include: VHS versus betamax, Megadrive versus SNES and HD-DVD versus BluRay. But soon we are going to see a slew of budget "Android" platform devices. These devices are projected to be one of the next steps in gaming, budget range hardware to play mobile platform targeted games; I predict there will be another brand war.

Don't get me wrong I am not condoning these devices, in fact my official standpoint on these Android devices is quite negative. They remind me of the 50-in-1 games "my first console" plastic abortions you could get in Argos. Further to this, it bothers me that the OS is a platform, consoles are a platform, they have traditionally had vast improvements budget-wise over a typical PC due to dedicated architecture, these android devices are just running a gimped version of linux on an underpowered PC.

Despite all this it will more than likely succeed in the casual market all it needs is focused marketing iterating how much "better value" these devices will be. In short these gimpy little boxes will play mobile games, and pretend they are consoles while they do it, they will be the indie "unity fuckabouts" go to access machines. They will be filled with flash clones and micro-payments supported by occasional gems for companies who can easily port their titles. The occasional playable title in found by wading through a fetid sewer system marketplace flooded with throwaway bits of parasitic code.

And these council-consoles will have a brand war they each have their own tweaked android OS and try to outbid/homogenise each other much like a filthy local street market, except the dirty cockney peddlers have taken up real-estate on your TV.

I for one welcome our new legitimate console overlords, PS4 and XBox 720.

Love and Lexibooks,

Richie X

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Dystopian Nostalgia

An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

By Dystopian nostalgia, I actually mean I am nostalgic for the classic dystopian atmosphere created by the games of the 90's. The 90's did dystopian really well, with films like 12 Monkeys, The Matrix, Dark City, Terminator 2, Tank Girl, the influential series Aeon Flux, and the anime such as Ghost in the Shell and Akira. These all created hi-tech Sci-fi worlds, where capitalism/totalitarianism is the new world order and the masses are oppressed  90's games did dystopian. In fact a great deal of games at this time encapsulated the dystopian vibe. The early 90's had great story-driven titles like Syndicate/Syndicate wars, Chrono Trigger, or Beneath as Steel Sky. The late 90's with the advent of the original Sony PlayStation saw many titles encapsulating this dystopian atmosphere fore-mostly the introductory area of Final Fantasy VII, Midgar held this rich sci-fi atmosphere, it had the corporations, it had the darkened jury-rigged power systems of the oppressed masses. Many other games of this time simply followed the theme, the underlying sinister background of a dystopian society, Wipeout racing game with a twist, there was no plot around this but the hyper res sci-fi mixed with the industial-techno music of the tile implied it.

You may have noticed throught that entire paragraph I managed to circumvent the word "Cyberpunk". Cyberpunk is synonymous with the dystopian hyper-technological themes of early 90's however now it is also associated with Cyberdog and other such fashions. But also because of the up-and-coming title Cyberpunk 2077.

For quite a while now mainstream dystopian games have not been meerly happy with a futuristic style, everything must be a fusion genre; retro-futuristic. Your prime examples of these types of retro-futuristic titles are fallout, mixing 1940's with laser guns, and bioshock with its steampunk "art deco" vibe. The recent Blood Dragon meta-squared videogame-videogame parody has touched on this dystopian nostalgia, referencing its precursor seen in the 1980's toy commercial cartoons. as the game is violent it simply takes the roots of the 90's cyberpunk style in another direction.

As I said, I am feeling nostalgic for the 90's sci-fi games; I miss the Phillip K Dick/William Gibson inspired techno-verses. I miss the hyper-industrial, corporation driven megalopolises (megalopoli?) where the downtrodden proletariat have underlying rebellions against the totalitarian regimes, and occasionally there are cyborgs with blurry subtexts about souls.

Love and Persuadertrons,

Richie X

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Omastar Comics #35

Exciting news, Omastar Comics has been published in a hyper-limited-super-rare edition print run of one copy. And that one is ours. So, just look at these pictures I guess. Look and be jealous. Mwa ha ha ha!

The first edition includes the first 33 comics (including two comics 26 and no comics 27). The second edition will cover the comics 34-66 so expect to see it published some time in 2018. Woo hoo! In the meantime here's Omastar Comics #35 back in the retro format.

That Omastar, he just wants to have his cake and eat it. All actions have consequences Omastar. We learned that lesson, the hard way from an episode of He-Man. Until next time Oma omastar!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Loading Bar: London


Tucked away in the porniest part of soho in amongst the sleazy strip clubs, exuberant gay bars and depressing peep shows, there lay our nemesis: a pop-up version of  Loading bar. Years ago we came up with the idea of the games themed pub, then some fuckers did it. We just lay here writhing in our own jealousy.

The problem with the Loading bar is that it is miles away from anywhere, in Cornwall. To analogise this via the medium of Final Fantasy VII its like having a major metropolis like Midgar and putting the gaming pub on the island with the city of ancients. Or Zelda: Ocarina of Time... Its like having a major metropolis like Hyrule Castle/Village and having the pub in the Gerudo desert.

In any case they spotted this and decided to put a pop-up version of the bar in London. In a creepily placed mango enthusiasts cafe? The interior was sad, tired and far from the hi-tech branded wonderland we had imagined.There was a counter with some cakes, an A3 sheet with some games themed drinks on it, and as you delved farther into the cavernous cafe you found a smattering of tables and board games, a 360 with Naruto running on it, and a SNES with a plethora of games. Suffice it to say, we were so underwhelmed we played dominoes. When we got round to ordering, the service was abysmal, for a couple of guys in the catering business with a tech savvy games industry theme they sure had trouble taking drinks orders, and pressing the buttons on the till.

All in all its um... and experience and sadly, sad.

MADD: Loading bar pup-up
Gameplay: 2/10 Dominoes was a classic
Replayability: 6/10 Scary dark and bad service, but maybe return to try other drinks.
Graphics: 3/10 Some odd murals.

Love and analogiseifications.

Richie X