Showing posts from April, 2013

Silent Hill Revelation is not very good

This image has very little to do with the film.

Richie and I were supposed to be saving watching this for a girl's night in but now we live within 600 miles of each other we don't see each other half as much as we used to. So I caved and watched it and unfortunately I roped my better half into watching it. She'd sat through the first Silent Hill film and it had such an impact on her that halfway through the film she confessed that she thought Silent Hill was Hellraiser. In a way I was wishing it was too.
This film is bad in a generic and inoffensive way delivering a double dose of cringe. One cringe for it just been a not very good film. Another cringe for it being yet another not very good movie adaptation of a video game. I've not checked the rankings recently but surely in the order of genres of film, video games adaptation must be down near the bottom of the list just below 'American TV dramas about big city people falling in love with a rural 'merican tow…

GDC 2013 Proposal

We submitted this proposal to GDC. Fingers crossed we get picked!
Session Title: What about the consumers? In the Business and Marketing Track.

Session description Video games we are told are an ever growing market and medium. So why is it that product windows for making a profit are six weeks after launch? Why do game studios continuously close and rise from the flames under a different name? Why don't developers demand more of their publishers? Why don't publishers demand more from the retailers? Why are developer websites horribly out of date? Why does the industry seem to do its best to ensure that the legacy of gaming is destroyed as it is created? Why was Deus Ex Human Revolution at a 75% discount six weeks after launch?
Attendee takeaway This session will give attendees a ground level view of how the average consumer will, if you are lucky stumble upon the game you invested years of your life, blood, sweat and tears into. This presentation will ask where those evil market…

Kotaku: Scraping the barrel

Ok ok, I know we all hate Kotaku, hell even Kotaku hate Kotaku. I shouldn't even grace their hits with a link to their tired under-skilled gawker site.

But sadly it occasionally fawns upon my radar, partly due to out-of-the-loop developer/publishers giving it credible news, thinking they are still the mainstream go-to gamer site from 6 years ago.

But you gotta check this one out it has completely obliterated the line between irreverent and irrelevant. Its a post about how one Kotaku writer doesn't like Cheetos.

That is all.

Love and irreverent irrelevancy,

Richie X

NextGen: A wishlist

Its coming this year, whether we like it/are ready for it or not, the tidal wave of new technology, titles and marketing.

For now we dabble in the foreplay of specs; as the industry giants stand before us hands on hip proudly dangling such numbers and technological acronyms as, 64 separate cores of GPU spinning many trillions of numbers every second or multiple Gigabytes of DDR5 doing what ever RAM does. Teasing us, leaving us salivating, moist with anticipation, gagging for more.

But before we get down to it, we have expectations, its not how big the tech is, its what you do with it that counts. We have been burned before, so before we go all the way, we'd like to set some ground rules.

Keep it pretty, there is little to no excuse now, most of this hardware is dedicated to prettiness and quick prettiness at that! You have the tech, set a bar and stick to it: no clipping/collision issues, no cheap grainy filters, no slow loading unreal textures, and lets keep NPCs properly animat…

The Ideas Factory

We're full of good ideas but lack the skill and will to see them to fruition. We're so charitable though, we're giving these away for free! If you're one of the 140,000 people who make video game videos and other video game content on the Internet, please make one of these. We don't want any credit beside the credit line (c) Thatguysamaniac, all rights reserved. 
1) The Hunk Umbrella GMV. Make it happen people, it's been six years already. Nobody wants to see your Final Fantasy videos. This is that the people want.

2) Capcom Cam. Like candid camera but with Capcom instead. This idea requires quite a big budget but should be a spoof current affairs show with only female panelists and talking heads. At the end of every show, they find out that the cameras have only been filming them above their knees and below their face.  Then Kenzo Tsujimoto pops up and says "Congratulations! You're on Capcom camera". Guaranteed hit.

4) Talk like …

Mini Review- Slayin

Chuff_72 is back. He's stranded on a isolated island somewhere and only has his mobile phone to play games on. He's been kind enough to wire his reviews over so we can laugh and point at mobile 'games'. They'll never be the future.
This is Slayin (no “g”, no fucking apostrophe either, apparently RETRO means bad grammar too).

Despite looking like shit it’s really enjoyable, and a cleverly condensed RPG in the mould of the infinite runner, because that little blue lump keeps on running, but only on one screen.
If you run into stuff with your pointy thing they die, if they run into your back passage you lose a chunk of life. There is a jump button, it’s the massive grey button on the right. The controls (left, right, jump) work for once, which is cause for much rejoicing.
During levels you can run into a shop and buy upgrades to keep you running, there are boss fights, and cheevos. It’s really good. That’s pretty much the review, below is all moaning so feel free to s…

From The Collection: Introduction

There seems to be a lot of discussion at the moment about defining the language we use to describe gaming and more broadly defining the culture. One of the things we worry about here is how we preserve gaming. It's a medium we're still in the position to save most of but very little is being done to preserve it. 
This recent Extra Credits video rather nicely sums up some of the major barriers to preserving the physical stuff of games. We aren't ardent institutionalists but we'd really like to see gaming museums seriously explore preserving and celebrating (museums are more than just historical archives). Museums have started to look at gaming and there have been a number of exhibitions on or incorporating gaming but to date there hasn't been an concentrated effort on displaying gaming for it's own sake. The Smithsonian exhibition The Art of Video Games and the Game On exhibition at the Science Museum were both good starts and both the Victoria Albert Museum an…

An Omastar Is For Life

Meet Omastar, the (Oma) star of Omastar Comics and of twitter fame. You could say Omastar is my favourite Pokémon but you'd be wrong. My favourite Pokémon is Dactylocer, MY Omastar. let me explain.
One of the wonderful and often overlooked features of the Pokémon series of games, including the main series of games and some of the spin offs, has been the ability to transfer Pokémon not just from one game to the next but most importantly from one generation to the next. This feature goes as far back as Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire. Pokémon were transferable from one game to the other in the Green, Blue, Red and Yellow games and these games were compatible with the Nintendo 64 Pokémon Stadium, and Pokémon Stadium 2 but sadly the Pokémon caught in these games couldn't be transferred beyond that. Since 2002's Ruby and Sapphire games it's been possible to transfer pocket monsters from one game to another up until the latest generation Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémo…

You Can Have My Steel

We've been on a bonanza of buying older Wii games to add to the collection. We avoided the original Red Steel on account of the awful reviews but wanted to try Red Steel 2, partly because it's one of the few games to use Wii Motion Plus. We're about halfway through but feel it's enough to put down some thoughts about it.
It's a perfectly functional if somewhat generic game. The motion controls irk at first, swordplay isn't mapped one to one to the Wiimote, the reason for this is so that a multitude of attacks can be mapped to flick, twisting, holding and tapping buttons in combinations with flails. After a couple of hours the controls become second nature and every enemy encounter can be played a number of different ways similar to the encounters in Resident Evil 4. It's not quite mindless and if you aren't paying attention every enemy goon can take you out. 
Oddly, the game  just sort of starts. There's very little in the way of introduction or st…

Now Showing: Nintendo Channel LAST ORDERS AT THE BAR PLEASE

MCV reports that Nintendo will be shutting down several Wii online services. Our heart skipped a beat for a second thinking that maybe the plug had been pulled on Monster Hunter Tri or Mario Kart Wii and our hunter might be trapped in subexcellent armour or our online ranking on MK might be forever frozen at a measly 8500 points. Fortunately, for the meantime, these games aren't affected but come the 28th of June Nintendo, News, Weather, Everybody Votes and Mii Contest Channels will be mothballed forever. Also going is the ability to send messages on the Wii Message Board This illustrates something that really pisses us off about modern consoles; increasingly the console and games you buy are really just a license to use services until such time as the servers are unplugged. 
Now most people probably won't mourn the loss of these services but as this series has shown we thought they were pretty great albeit underused service. We've had some hands on time with New Super MA…

Meloetta Get!

Last weekend, once again we went through the humiliating ritual of busting down to the nearest GAME with our DSi and copies of Pokémon White and Pokémon Black Version 2 to download Legendary 'mon Meloetta. That takes us up to a sweet 648/649 (Deoxys aaargh) in our eternal mission to Catch 'em all, this generation of Pokémon is the closest we've come.
In all our years of playing these ridiculous games, Nintendo seem to have finally realised that yes, Europe is a viable region and that some people do play their multi million selling game series. For previous generations we'd get shafted over special events and event only Pokémon meaning that unless you turned to an Action Replay you were destined to have to live with empty spaces dotting the pokedex.
That's not to say that all regions are treated equally. Oh no. With Pokémon Black and White Version 2 there's now a multitude of ways to receive special gift pokémon and items from Mother Ninty. gifts can be distrib…

Sin and Punishment Do You Want Me To Call You A Cab?

We recently picked up Sin & Punishment Successor to the Stars, Star Rod Sky Pirates Knights. Surprisingly, despite 3 years of rave reviews and fond reflections by everyone who ever played it, it is rather good.

When we get a new game, we have a ritual. We pour over the instruction book first, reading the "plot" bit (which is still the place where most games actually describe the context of the world you're about to visit). Weirdly, the above image is in the instruction booklet illustrating the biography of Kachi one of the two playable characters.

It appears she's hurriedly getting dressed, bra is out, one boot on. Fine. Maybe she's a ditsy character and her thing is always being late or something? We've not yet played through the whole game yet but this doesn't seem to be her deal.  

It's just a weird image to use isn't it? I mean yes, please let us perve over the female characters at our own leisure just don't start the misogyny in th…

1001 A Good Start

We like to play games and we love to read about games. Sometimes it's hard to get the balance right so the reason why we've been quiet in past months is because it was all reading about games and snarking about games and very little actual playing games. We also like to read books about games. We've recently picked up Grand Thieves and Tomb Raiders: How British Video Games Conquered the World and it'll be a nice addition to the growing library of good books about gaming and Resident Evil novelisations. As ever it says a lot about the coherency of gaming beyond the insides of consoles and boundaries of the Internet in that there isn't a massive section in the biggest bookshop by you called 'video games'. Invariably, books from This Gaming Life through to critically under-read Replay the History of Video Games might be under the Internet or indoor games or computing or web/graphics. I'm not going to get on my high horse and say that all gamers are illite…

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes: iOS Fudged Edition

Chuff's our man on the mobile. He's been playing some games on mobiles and some thoughts have struck him thensly. Note, there's a super secret ending to this post only available to those who have played the game:

Well shit, when did “Might And Magic” become “Might & Magic”? What a god damn shame, I guess that’s a pretty damning indictment of our life and times right there. I guess As, Ns and Ds and pretty fucking old school, we don’t want to alienate the Kids.

A little pre-amble; My first experience of the Might And Magic series of games was on the original Playstation, it was an incredible Third Person, True 3D extravaganza called Crusaders of Might and Magic.
Review: 10/10
WARNING IGN LINK Wait! Three out of Ten?

I guess my memories of the game are pretty muddy…

Well, anyway, after smashing that game to bits I was hooked. Come the Playstation 2 era and the first game I played and completed was the awesome sequel, Warriors Of Might And Magic.

Review: 10/10


Mini Review: Punch Quest

Chuff_72 is our man on the Mobile. He's a fallen hero, once a proud gamer now weighed down by responsibilities and such. Where he once played all kinds of games for the betterment of man his gaming life is now spent hiding in toilets and bushes trying to squeeze the most out of mobile games. Games which some people are calling the future and others are saying, steady on pal, Angry Birds and Cut the Rope we're alright but the rest is a big bucket of clunge fodder. He's been tapping away at a little game called Punch Quest. Over to you Chuff, half man, shadow of his former self. This article was sent to us from inside a dustbin so low has the gamer fallen:

 Turns out that running infinitely is fun times.

DINOSAUR ALERT. Looks shit, right? A budget SNES game. This is Punch Quest, it’s fucking great. 
It’s an “infinite running” game, which is essentially a platformer where you don’t have to worry about pressing “right” on the d-pad, because we don’t have time for that shit anym…