Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Got a Steam account? Got 2 quid to spare?
Splash it on this Futuristic yet retro Alleyway/Peggle hybrid and you've got something to occupy yourself for 3 minutes or half an hour!It's even got boss battles in it!? Do I need to say more?
Get it done! (If you don't have steam I believe it's up on the PSN aswell!!!)
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
The alternate reality prison sequences have the potential to be pant wettingly terrifying
Silent Hill is probably the one franchise that single handedly got me into survival horror games, yet still the latest announcement left me with a feeling of doubt yet hopefulness that it could recrown itself as one of the leading survival horror franchises after suffering a few unworthy treatments (which in my honest opinion is Silent Hill 4 onwards).
Vatra Studios new trailer for Silent Hill 8 (planned to arrive sometime in 2011) looks promising indeed, ditching the dated characters looking for relatives who’ve oddly run off and/or disappeared in Silent Hill based storyline, and instead putting you in the proverbial shoes of a prison escapee Murphy Pendleton, who escapes a prison transport crash only to end up in Silent Hill (gutted much?). Cue all the nasty psychological horror traits of the series where Silent Hill goes all Hellraiser, transforming into a disturbing reflection of the prison Murphy’s just escaped, hopefully cueing some interesting terrors stemmed from the choices he was confronted with serving time behind bars.
SH:8 promises to blend the flash light exploration and crap yourself scares, mind boggling puzzles mixed with the new use of certain everyday objects such as chairs and bookcases into the combat to prolong your imminent death at the jaws of some grotesque abomination.
If all this is done well and scary enough then Vatra might be onto something, finally rekindling the franchise that Silent Hill: Homecoming failed to do next gen justice.
Gabe Newell suprised just about everyone this year. We all knew we would get some info on Portal 2, but I don't think anyone would have guessed he would walk out to present it as part of Sony's conference. Valve have had a history of saying that they have trouble working with Sony's hardware, due to the programming differences compared to a Windows based system they work with on both PC and Xbox360. A great suprise then, that not only are they planning to get behind the PS3's rise to glory, but they are going to do it by using their own platform, Steam, to deliver content updates and provide access to the steam community through your PS3.
Fancy stuff and unsuprising to see it happen on the PS3 first. You might think this kind of thing would work much easier on the Xbox360, and I would agree. But Microsoft are becoming legendary in their scrooge-like efforts to make everyone subscribe to their premium gold service. If this Steam idea comes to the xbox360, I would expect it to be avilable to gold subscribers only.
So a little less about the platform holders, and a bit more about what this article is about.
So Portal 2 is coming, but what does it have to offer us? From the interviews and the developer walkthroughs show at e3, Portal 2's story is set up to be twice as long as the original (which is good news, as the first took me about an hour 1/2 to complete first time), but not only that, it has a completely separate co-op story, which is again twice the length of Portal1. So that's four times as much portal goodness. In addition to more length, the Arpeture test facility has developed a few new things to test you with.
The first major ones were are shown are the 'Excursion Funnel', a kind of tractor beam that you can send through portals and use as a lift to carry you across gaps or up to high areas, the 'Faith Plate', which are essentially bounce pads that throw you up in the air, and the 'Thermal Discouragement Beam', a high powered laser that you can direct with new weighted cubes that have mirrors inside them. The really interesting ones however, are the introduction of two new 'gels', "Repulsion Gel", which changes the surface to bounce you off it, allowing you to jump much higher, or even off walls, and "Propulsion Gel", which increases your movement speed as you move across it. The effect these two gels have on the scope of puzzles that can be created is huge, possibly allowing for intricate and massive chambers.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Well, with only 24hrs to go until the electronic entertainment expo closes it's very expensive doors for another year I'm here to give you a 'lil round up of what has captured us so far.
Microsoft hit us with the U.K launch date of their new black slim 250gb 360, tasty.
Forza 4 announced WITH Kinetic support,
Fable 3 and Gears 3 got demo'd.
Free ESPN channel for all gold subscribers on live.
Star wars got the Kinetic touch,
Sony got us going with an impressive Move demonstration along with a streetdate and price,
Gran turismo 5 announces 3D support,
Killzone 3 dated for Feb'11,
The fantastic Infamous gets a sequel next year,
The real suprise came when Steam announced it's connection to the PSN, a real suprise considering what Gabe Newell has said about Sony in the past. I see $$$$ !!
Nintendo's 3DS got the show going with it's impressive floor demo, showing off Kid icarus but failing to give a retail date.
GOLDENEYE FOR THE WII !! (I liked the look of it)
Zelda Skyward sword announced for the Wii, along with Motion-controls,
Anyone for a new Mario Sports game - booya thats-a-coming in 2011. Mini games ahoy for the Wii,
A final and solid release date for Metroid Other M in the U.S
New Donkey Kong country rumors were true, Q4 in 2010, nice !!
I'll be back in a couple of days to add some more nuggets of tasty info for you all.
Have a glorious day
The good Dr.
Monday, 14 June 2010
I’m almost bored of modern games basically handing me the story with very little challenge rather than making me work for it, somehow it doesn’t feel so rewarding. Although in the same breath I don’t appreciate being denied the story because I have to grind almost endlessly, or be superhuman to detect enemies before they appear. Is it possible in the current world of games for developers to do it well without just ramping up the enemies or damage etc?
I’m the kind of guy who plays Call of Duty of Veteran, basically because I’m not too fond of being a sort of ordinary marine in FPS’s who is actually the Terminator in disguise who can almost wipe out a platoon of enemy troops without breaking a sweat and still have time for a cup of tea. Although if it's done wrong it's infuriating, so don’t get me started on the invisible enemies and grenade spammalicoius tendencies of Call of Duty:World at War, that’s another matter yet an good example of difficulty done wrong.
Don’t get me wrong I love my narrative and story, hell that’s what makes half a game but if the other half (whether it be shooting Nazis/aliens, slaying mighty gods, saving the world from ultimate doom etc ) can’t hold it up without at least a bit of a challenge I find myself thinking ‘somethings not right here’.
But I also find there is the satisfaction of learning a section to a degree that makes you try something differently than before but it working out is such a pay off, take Dead Space for example. This is a game that I started on Hard right from the beginning because I knew I wanted to have the crap scared out of me throughout, especially from the variety of disgusting creatures who have the ability to turn you into mince meat if you stumble into them unawares or sod’s law reload your gun at the wrong time.
Now I hit one boss a year ago that had me gouging my eyes out, I saw no way of completing this bugger so much so that after a considerable amount of time invested in restraining lobbing my controller through my T.V it was put on the shelf for nearly two years or so! Until now that is. I thought ‘lets have a bash at this bastard once more’, loaded up the section, and bugger me next thing I know I’m trying something different and finishing the sod in no time. So I got that great sense of achievement, aswell as the realisation that the game has been opened up for me once again.
Which brings me to Demon Souls, I’ve been playing this hardcore gamer gem since it’s American release, after reading about it over the internet it sounded like my kind of thing. The main feedback of the game is it being rewarding, but notoriously infuriating. It makes you get better at it or get your ass handed to you in a variety of ways that will make the most masculine of men cry like babies.
You’d think you’d have to have an almost sadistic nature to enjoy this game, but at the same time never has a game been so compelling for me to have that ‘one last try’ at a gigantic boss or area that I couldn’t overcome because I was too hasty, ignoring the fact my previous death 2 minutes ago nearly brought me to tears. If you buy it you won’t be sorry, it’s an amazing tome to what gaming can be, just be prepared to be retracing your steps a lot and perfecting the art of playing this game without going all Wolverine on your TV.
I enjoy being tested at skill and my ass being handed to me in equal measures if it makes me try something new or really push me as a player to risk something or think outside the box, just not having the game make me give it up and place it in its sadistic claws sprinkled with sugar and a cherry.
And don’t get me started on the world of Trophy/Achievement whoring, that’s another article.
So to quote my fellow blogger BrapScallion:
‘So, in the days of 100+hour games, Fully immersive stories with actual plots and twists worthy of Hollywood, who wants to break the illusion by dying a thousand times just to get through that awkward choke point with the bad guys with grenades?’
I will if it makes the gaming experience feel that little bit more epic and worthwhile when it’s over.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Long before I watched Deadwood, I discovered a TV show way back in 2002. Six Feet Under first aired in America on HBO in July 2001 and reached our shores shortly after that, it came to its genuinely heartbreaking and critically acclaimed finale in August 2005. It spanned 5 seasons over 63 episodes. As I type this my wife and I are watching the last 2 episodes of season 5, after re-watching the previous 61 episodes over the last 2 weeks.
The show revolves around the members of the Fisher family who, after the Death of their father must stand together to run their Funeral home in Los Angeles. It also focuses on their friends and lovers. The ensemble cast included members that went on to have acclaimed shows of their own. Peter Krause plays Nate fisher the eldest son of the family, Michael C. Hall his younger brother and business parter, Lauren Ambrose their sister, and Frances Conroy as the long suffering Matriarch. The astounding cast rounded out with Rachel Griffiths as Nate's on-again off-again girlfriend and the excellent Freddy Rodriguez as the Fisher's family friend and mortician.
Each show begins with a death (anything from drowning, faling off cliffs, car wrecks,) which would paint the tone of the show, this is one of many strong themes that the show was known for. It was never afraid to hide from the utter truth of death, the hard facts of life.
The show also had a strong dosage of black humor and surrealism running throughout.
A recurring plot device that ran the length of the show consisted of the main protaganists having imaginary conversations with the deceased. These were parts of the show that I loved the most, dark exchanges between Nate and his late father, or Federico's 'chats' with the recently past-on as they lie on his slab. Awaiting to be embalmed. The idea that these represent the living characters internal monologues exposing them as external conversations. Awesome !!
Now comes the unprofessional gush - I fucking love this show. Always have, always will. The writing and the cast make this show near perfect, it's tone, it's pitch. The 63 episodes cover many years of Fisher and sons funeral home, life, death, grief, joy. It's all here in an amazingly written piece of now legendary Television. The major themes that are scribed here by American Beauty writer Alan Ball (the shows creator) try to capture life as it is, bringing morality into the picture and focusing on those who must deal with it on a daily basis. Just like Deadwood you feel for the family and their subsequent partners, it all leads up to the astounding finale that has gone down in the history books as one of best TV endings ever. I'm not going to lie, I cried. Like a little girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.
You know that feeling you get when you think you discovered something, something special. I didn't know anyone that watched S.F.U when it first aired on Sky. It was unique to me, I didn't have anybody to talk to about it.
2nd time through however things are different, DVD sales and torrents make this accessible for all. I do urge anyone and everyone to buy the boxset off Amazon, book off a weekend and blitz it. You will not be disapointed.
Go seek out excellent TV as opposed to 'Britian's got this..' and 'Pop idol that.' Stupid drone television that seems to consume the masses. I don't watch the idiot box that often but if more shows like this were broadcast i'd guarentee my bum would be glued to the seat.
Peace and love