Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Bulletstorm Demo: First Impressions

So today, the Bulletstorm demo came out. I was reminded of this by my girlfriend. She is indeed a fine example of a woman. I've just downloaded it and gave it the once over, and I want to share my thoughts.

It's excellent. It's basically Gears of War, with a camera shift and a sense of humour. I welcome both of these features, as I prefer first-person view, and I always thought Gears was a little cumbersome and poe-faced when it came to the absurdity it was showing you on screen.

Just like Gears, I think it's also going to take a bit of getting used to. I found the leash interesting and instantly understandable. Other mechanics and layouts initially tripped me up though. Things like the run and the kick being assigned to face buttons instead of stick clicks are trivial however, and just require a bit of practise.

The main gripe I had is the lack of options I found when dispatching enemies. This is of course a demo, and so I'm fully aware it could be nothing like the finished game, and I really hope not. Maybe it was my lack of imagination, but I found the number of ways I was dispatching enemies to be a little restricted. Again, I'm going to put it down to needing practise and looking at the way I play FPS, but I hope Epic put in enough variation to constantly make me go 'WOAH!'

It's hard to explain, but this makes me feel like Little Big Planet makes me feel. It's not that it makes me feel stupid, just slightly less creative than I'd like to think I am. We all think we're creative, and capable of great works of art, even if you're chosen canvas is a wall covered in rusted spikes, and you're brush a Carbine Assault Rife. It's not that I feel stupid when I play, just a little bewildered when faced with possibilities. Towards the end of my playthrough this was subsiding though, and I was slowly learning just what to look for, and just what to do.

So yeah, it really did feel like I was playing something a little different. If the game maintains it's brilliant post-modern tone, and provides enough variety and weapon selections, I can see this game being something quite special.

With this and Duke Nukem on the cards in the next few months, could this be the year the shooter goes post-modern, and at the same time, gets even better?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Un-Marvel-Ous vs CrapCom

I couldn't resist the title.

So today, after getting a final answer from Capcom, it seems that Europe will NOT be getting the Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Special Edition. In it's infinite wisdom, Capcom has decided to release this edition in the US only. It looks something like this:

When I asked Capcom if we were getting it or not, we got this response:

Now personally, I feel this is a very shitty deal. It seems a no-brainer and obvious money-spinner that Capcom could of produced this, and given the ardent fanboys following this, it would of been an easy product to sell. In fact, surely this is one of the big games in which a Special Edition would flourish?!?! Fighting Games Fanatics are a special and committed breed, the kind of dudes who don't think twice about dropping £100 on an arcade stick controller. It seems logical that this crowd would go crazy for the luxury package.

I'd also like to point out that due to some awesome digging work by our very own Kermit1986, it seems like the 2 major tangible things in the edition will still be available to UK consumers. The steelbook and the comic will still be available, but you'll have to order 2 copies of the game, as they're pre-order rewards from different companies.

Kermit also found out the fate of the DLC Characters offered with the special edition, Shuma Gorath and Jill Valentine. We'll still be able to download them, but 30 days after the launch of the game, and we'll have to pay extra for them. This sucks. Big time. I'm all for extra, non-essential DLC, but not 30 days after launch fellas. That's bogus.

It feels like this whole build-up is a bit of a flop already. Of course I'll be buying it, of course I'll enjoy it, but it seems I can't even GIVE Capcom my money these days. This game has been 10 years in the making, and I've been waiting for a good portion of those years. And now, in the final hurdle, the ultimate MvC3 experience is still just out of my reach, dangled in front of me by Shuma Gorath's unobtainable tentacle.

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Well now, it's 2011! What a wonderful treat!

Instead of top ten bullshit lists, or ill-informed predictions for the coming year, I thought I'd do something a little different. I'm suffering from extreme post-Christmas lethargy, and watching Alan Partridge, so excuse the shortness of the post, but I didn't feel this needed to be huge in length. That's what she said.

At the moment I'm taking a break from listening to Ricky Gervais' podcasts, and I'm dipping my toe back into the gaming podcast world. New contemporary podcasts are all well and good, but I have a few recommendations of classic podcasts which are both fly and dope.

Don't be scared by the apparent nerdiness of the idea of gaming podcasts. Yes, they are a bit on the geeky side, but the ones I'm about to recommend have something else about them. That little bit extra. They all revolve around similar characters, and some recurr, but here's 3 that I would recommend to anyone who likes games.

Calm down, you don't have to like PC games. The archive go ALL the way back to 2006, and for 3 years this podcast grew into something spectacular. Tales of griefing, people marrying Sonic and everything inbetween, this American magazine's podcast was absolutely superb. Funny, off-the-cuff jokes are met with clever gaming insight and a genuine love for gaming. Don't worry, I haven't heard about half the games either, but that's kinda not the point.

If there was ever a battle between Xbox and Playstation, this Podcast was the battleground. From the mediocre 1Up website came this fantastic Podcast, where 4 Games Journalists would duke it out every week, discussing the news, and projecting the future. Noticeable stars of the Podcast were Shane Bettenhausen and Luke Smith, both staunch defenders of Sony (Bettenhausen), and Microsoft (Smith, who now works for Bungie). Funny, fuelled by Scotch and always heated, listen to the archived stuff from around 2006/7, just before the current gen consoles came out for the best stuff.

Probably the best Podcast I'm going to recommend, and a real work of genius. Robert Ashley, contributor to GFW Radio, has made this very sporadic radio show which looks at the more obscure side of gaming. Absolutely spectacular in every single sense, this honestly feels like nothing you've ever heard before.

Ashley's band I Come To Shanghai provide the soundtrack, and a colourful selection of interview subjects make for a show that is absolutely spellbinding. From the man who infiltrated communist Russia to buy the rights to Tetris, to the Stanford University professor who's been tasked with preserving online MMO's for future generations.

If you're going to heed one of my badly-written pleas, heed this. You NEED to hear this show. It's probably the most inspiring creative thing being produced about games at the moment, and an absolute pleasure to listen to. Indeed, the only downside is it's sporadic release schedule. This somehow makes it a little more mystical, and although frustrating is ultimately well worth the wait.

If you're looking for another use for your iPod, try one of these for your walk to work.