Thursday, 30 December 2010

Ups and Downs of 2010

The time has finally come to look back upon the previous year as we step into 2011.

It's been a big one for video games, The Terminator himself decided he had an issue with video games, a Swedish bearded man hit the jackpot with a strangely addictive pixel game, we all adventured to a desolate New Vegas with Zachary Levi and Felicia Day, ran a kingdom with the help of Stephen Fry and Simon Pegg, we even assassinated a Cuban Prime minister - And of course you are now the controller.

But what were your fondest memories? Perhaps it was the rise of the Western RPG? The announcement of a new Elder Scrolls? How about the addition of Keyboards to the Rock Band series?

Personally my GOTY was Mass Effect 2; With an amazing story line, immense gameplay, some of the most indepth characters I've ever felt attached to and some brilliant DLC to boot it easily sums up what I love in the video game industry.

My developer of the year is the studio that created one of the best, If not the best MMORPG ever; Blizzard.

The recent expansion Cataclysm as well the continued support that their entire studio and team provide their user base gets them recognised in my books.

As for the biggest flop of the year, it's going to have to be Real Time World's All Points Bulletin.

Whilst I enjoyed the game for it's amazing customisation options, it's sprawling urban setting and it's quirky little features such as ram raiding, radios and Gangs; It was terribly balanced and never really got it's footing, for me that was £40+ down the drain.

So guys; How about it - Your GOTY, Developer of the year and Flop of the year, reply in the comment section below

And here's to a good 2011.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Mass Effect 2 DLC for 200MSP!

All ME2 DLC is at 200MSP each, the sale ends at midnight tonight! It's also available in the US and EU (Not sure about any where else, but try it)

So that means you can get Lair of the Shadow Broker, Kasumi and Overlord pack for 600MSP all together, usually these packs retail at either 800MSP each or 560MSP each.

The other DLC available is either already cheaper than 200MSP or comes with the game, well worth picking up as they're all highly rated DLC packs.

Lair of the Shadow Broker is not compatible with Czech, Hungarian or Polish versions of Mass Effect 2.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

DA:2 homosexual relationships are still A-OKAY

David Gaider recently revealed on the DA2 forums that DA2 would still contain the option to have sexual intercourse/relations with a character of the same gender.

This sparked controversy from several right wing news stations when DA:O originally featured homosexual relations, between either Zevran the overly camp Elf, or Leliana the religious Bard that was willing to experiment.

For those unaware of David Gaider; He is not only an active member of the Bioware forums, he's also the Senior Writer at Bioware's Edmonton Studio.

In reply to a post about bigotry and homophobia that goes around on the forums as well as the decision to disallow male gay relationships in ME2 and only allowing female Shepard to sort of try it on with Jack, but not really.

David had this to say:

So long as romances of any kind are optional and need to be actively pursued by the player in order to be experienced, they simply don't have a leg to stand on. Advocating that nobody should be able to have content you don't intend to personally use is largely pointless-- outside of a vague notion that such efforts should go towards other things, instead. Personally, it's not a lot of effort to include them. The resources we can devote to a minority of players isn't great, but I imagine to those players it's quite worth it... and I would hope that some folks could be sensitive enough to be happy for those players, at the very least out of the selfish notion that they may one day end up in the minority of some content issue and receive the same consideration if nothing else.

Maybe with DADT finally being repealed Shephard can have all the homosexual sex s/he consents to whilst serving, but for now players will simply have to deal with DA:2's open mind on the subject.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Indie iDevice sale

As of today the Indie Sale has commenced for the Apple iPod/iPhone, with 1/3 of the profits going to Child's Play charity.

The sale will be going on until the 31st of this month and it includes six individual titles; Canabalt, Eliss, Spider, Solipskier, Osmos and Drop7, these titles will all cost 99cents or 59p.

Some immense savings here and it's for a good cause, so head on over to the iTunes store and pick them up

Not only are they offering these great iDevice games for a cheap price, but you can also pick up some free wallpapers and lock screens too, so head over to the site, tweet about it, facebook it - What ever, just try and do something for the cause.

http://www.indiesale.com/

Here's some more information on Child's Play - http://childsplaycharity.org/

Monday, 20 December 2010

Secret Of Mana iPhone/iPod Touch



Many of you know I love the Secret Of Mana series, so earlier this year when I heard of an iPod Touch/iPhone remake I was over joyed, well finally SquareEnix have given us a release date.

Tomorrow.

Sort of short notice, but I'm still as excited as ever, currently not aware of the price but it will allegedly be launching in your area at midnight tonight.

UPDATE: The video has the prices displayed at the end; $8.99, £5.99 and €6.99

MikuMikuDance - Kinect



It was practically a dot on the cards that Kinect would be used for modded software and more entertainment based programs for the PC; But after Microsoft shot down the idea of any sex games appearing on Kinect (Or atleast on the Xbox360) titles such as this one here might some day make it.

Here we have an animated Miku from the famous Vocaloid programme dancing using the Kinect hardware, whilst there is some animation glitches over all it's impressive.

I've no doubt there will be more great programmes out there soon similar to this, so keep your eye on the Indie market.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Nostalgia review - Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

To me Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (FF:CC) is similar to a deceased relative, I loved them so, so much, but they're gone now and I can hope and wait that one day the technology to bring them back will be available, but we all secretly doubt it.

A game that was so beautiful for it's generation and could have been so ground breaking went unnoticed some how.


FF:CC stars you as a member of a caravan that annually leaves it's small humble village to collect Crystal drops from local dungeons that will fuel the crystal residing in their previously mentioned cosy town and stop the miasma from invading and killing everyone.

It sports some of the most visually amazing graphics for it's generation, especially the Gamecube and has a sound track crafted by the heavens and some of the most creative multiplayer going - So what went wrong? First off to play this game you required.

A. Gamecube (Duh)

B. The Game (Also; Duh)

C. Gameboy advance

D. Gameboy advance link cable

E. Atleast one friend (Not entirely necessary, but pretty key If you wanted to get the most from this game)


Secondly a lot of the dungeons in game were very repetitive, first time round they were charming, second time round they were still charming and were spaced out enough between the first run that it didn't feel too repetitive, third time round it had already begun grinding on you, all those charming features had now left the atmosphere and it was merely a matter of collecting what you needed and enjoying the parade at the end of the year, which might I add, was always as lovely.

The actual game play was easy to pick up and easy to master, it relied on setting items that you could hot key using the L or R button, this would include magic, defend and attack; Tap A to do a simple attack, or hold down for a charge shot which worked with both magic and attack.

Travelling from each level was done on an over world map with a simple interface that allowed you to add new characters to the party or even to export your character onto a memory card so that you could join someone else's world.

Dungeons would range from underground caverns, to mansions and even to cities that had been swallowed by the dreaded miasma, each with their own area that you'd have to battle through to reach the boss, whether that was achieved through puzzle solving to merely slaughtering all that came towards you was entirely dependant on the level you'd decided to travel to. After trekking through a level you'd fight a boss and depending on your success, you'd gain a drop of crystal juice (Can I use that term?) which would enter your chalice and take you one step closer to helping your village survive another year.

Character customisation was quite basic but charming none the less, to start with you could pick your character's race ranging from two human like species with the Selkies being more at home with nature than the Clavats who were your basic humans - To the Yukes who were lanky magic users with giant helmets on and Lilties who are small warriors and knights that used spears.

Next up you had the choice of four different styles for each race, these were fairly basic and were features such as hair, hats, colours, clothes; After this step you were ready to choose your families profession, this would help later on in the game when you came back to town with materials, jobs such as Blacksmith, Tailor and Alchemist would grant you the ability to forge new gear, where as jobs such as Fisherman, Farmer and Rancher would get you specific materials, this decision also changes what your family sends you whilst you're out on the road.

When I recently tried to get back into FF:CC I found it hard, in fact, I found it terrible, it's aged terribly especially in a world where grinding dungeons, multiplayer and basic character customisation is something that most MMO's now base their entire franchise off of, but something most MMOs will never have over FF:CC? Atmosphere.

This game built atmosphere like no other, maybe my mind was merely younger back then, but I've never been so involved in a game before, I strived to save my town each year, I loved those little festivals, I grew close to the other characters; My family would send me letters after each journey with little gifts ins or ask me how I was, it was so much fun, so personal - And with all four players you could sit and read your letters through your GBA and just chat about them, we'd laugh and send little presents we'd found on our journeys back to our persistent mothers, or our proud fathers, needless to say, this game really captured my imagination as a 13 year old fan of RPGs.

I really loved the random events that would spring up whilst you were out on the road, random little things like traders or the mysterious "Black Knight" all adding more charm to a well developed Universe that had only been established in this one game, Square really out did themselves with their atmospheric creation, the music, the voice acting, the visuals - It was so right!

I can only hope that Square see the error in their mistakes and bring the FF:CC franchise back to it's glorious origins as the newer titles are doing it no favours what so ever.

9 / 10

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Fallout New Vegas' first DLC trailer released



Titled 'Dead Money' this trailer seems to show a sort of Saw-esque concept in which you'll have to work with three other NPCs to steal the contents of the Sierra Madre's vault, the catch is, Richard Nixon* a mysterious stranger has put an explosive collar around your neck, If you try to run, you die.

It seems very story heavy which I for one look forward to; Dead Money receives it's Xbox 360 launch on the 21st of December, no word on price as of yet nor any word of a PS3 or PC launch date.

*He does sound like Richard Nixon doesn't he? I'm not imaging things am I?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Humble Bundle #2

It's that time of year again; The Humble Bundle 2 is upon us, this time round it's Braid, Cortex Commando, Machinarium, Osmos and Revenge of the Titans.

All money proceeds go to the Child's Play foundation and you can pay what you want (Bear in mind that under $0.30 means that have to pay for the transaction fee, so you're essentially stealing from them)

Altogether these games would cost $85 and they're compatible on Linux, Windows and Mac, also DRM free.

So, If you've got a couple of dollars laying around, just drop them into this, it's a good cause and you get five nice Indie games out of it.

http://www.humblebundle.com/

Also; Cortex Commando and Revenge of the Titans are still under development, and If you buy now, you're eligible for all future updates free.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

PETA are at it again

Veggie enthusiasts PETA are at it again, this time taking a dig at the brilliant Meat Boy game.

I don't think there's a group out there that PETA hasn't tried to piss off, as a regular user of Tumblr I'm privileged in the fact that I get to see most of PETA's ad campaigns that don't quite add up.

When it comes to PETA Vs Video games, they like to make their own games, essentially a mock up version of the title in question, Cooking Mama received scrutiny from PETA previously and now Meat Boy has gotten it's very own PETA safe version.

Ladies and Gents may I introduce to you - Tofu Boy.

Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds.

And yes that's a terrible illustration.


Previously PETA has pulled stunts such as;

As well as a series of naked women, with slogans written all over them (It's an ad campaign that they practically roll with every time)

Whilst I am all for fair treatment of animals, I won't fully go into my political/personal opinions on these matters, but terrible clone versions of games won't do the world any good.

Here's a link; http://features.peta.org/super-meat-boy-parody/ It's more like the original flash version of Meat Boy.

Leave your opinions and comments in the comment box below

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Top 5 Video game sound tracks

Video Game Soundtracks can be a vital part to a gaming experience, for example - Imagine Silent Hill rocking some Green Hill Zone. Think about it - Not working that great is it? Exactly.

So I want to highlight some of the greatest sound tracks going, let me know If you agree, send in your suggestions or just comment in the Disqus box beneath this article.

5. Brutal Legend

Perhaps I'm a little biased in this case, I'm a fan of metal music so it might seem a little unfair, but don't lose all faith in me quite yet. The reason I chose this game and it's soundtrack is due to a few of the cut scenes this one (Spoiler alert) in particular which features Ozzy Osbourne's Mr.Crowley

The final boss battle also featured Judas Priest's Painkiller, there's not many games out there that could pull of a Priest song during a Boss battle, but Brutal Legend managed

Here's that scene that I was talking about - DEECAAAAAAAPITATTTIOOOOOONNNNN (Spoiler alert)

Not only that but the OST in general is pretty rockin'. Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Angel Witch, Motorhead, Budgie, Black Sabbath - AND MORE.


4. Fable Series

The first Fable had some of the most enchanting sounds I've ever heard, the scene was entirely set for me infact I'd even go as far to say that the atmosphere that I experienced in Fable 1 put the game within my top 10 games ever.

Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw composed this amazing soundtrack, which was then reused in Fable 3. Fable 2 on the other hand lacked a certain magic, perhaps it was the soundtrack, perhaps it was just a bad game, we'll never know.

I still rate Fable 1 as having the best soundtrack, atmospherically you won't beat it. here's Oakvale - I get shivers when I listen to this.

Fable 2 was lacking in that magic, but this track was definitely a throw back to the first game in terms of atmosphere

Fable 3 returned with a sound track very similar to the first game, evidently Lionhead had been taking notes. Here's the Brightwall theme, sort of a clash between sounds from Fable 1 and Fable 2


3. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

This one brings back some amazing memories, the first in the series of Crystal Chronicles games (The only good one in my opinion). It featured this amazing Intro which still gives me the goosebumps (I believe I even have it on my iPod)

Every year If you were successful in collecting the Crystal drops, then you'd head back to town in your caravan and basically have a massive party, this is the music that would accompany said party.

In this scene everyone would be dancing around, being merry, drinking, it was all good fun - Once more a game that really set an amazing atmosphere, I suggest that If you haven't played this game, get three friends, four GBAs, the cables and a Gamecube, sit down and play it, you don't even have to play through the entire game, just play through and soak in that classic Squaresoft atmosphere, it's a tasty dish best served with a side order of nostalgia.


2. Fallout 3

Three Dog OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

That should really be enough to tell you what I'm getting it. Wasteland Radio never sounded so good until our good friend Three Dog came along, popping out some of the greatest tunes from the early years of the last decade. Acts such as the Ink Spots, Roy Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Tex Beneke and Billie Holiday received attention that they wouldn't have received this generation If it weren't for Fallout 3. Not only did Fallout 3 bring a generation of music up to date, but once more it managed to capture the atmosphere of a post apocalyptic wasteland quite well.

Rather than rolling with the usual sort of wasteland equals banjo playing, the guys behind Fallout decided they'd really draw from the 50's pre-nuclear American culture, now here's some of those tracks that Fallout 3 made us love

Maybe

I don't want to set the world on fire

Mighty Mighty man

Butcher Pete

Now you might wondering what could beat all these amazing soundtracks? Well, it's a shocker.


1. Pokemon Series

Pokemon is a long running series, some say that Nintendo are milking it for all it's worth, some just love it way too much to even care about dairy products - Either way you'll know the classic themes used throughout the games

The intro to the first generation of Pokemon games will always have a special place in my heart.

If you were to hear this in public, you'd brace for impact - You know what it means! Shit is about to go down is what it means.

and whilst the quality of the tracks improved over the years, you will never beat the classic R/B/G/Y sounds, don't get me wrong, I'm all for innovation, I love newer Pokemon games, I argue with anyone that goes "I used to like Pokemon, but now there's over 500 it's lame", but the soundtrack will never be beaten, not for nostalgia's sake, not for me at least.


Games worth a mention:

Cave Story

Animal Crossing Gamecube version

Harvest Moon: It's a wonderful life

Secret Of Mana

Kirby series

Zelda series


So guys, tell me what you'd rate put in your list of video game soundtracks.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Cave Story DS

Cave Story for the DS has received a release date! For those who have never played Cave Story I highly recommend it, it's a side scrolling, platformer, shoot 'em up - It started off as an Indie game some few years back and has a sort of cult following.

It also received a Wii release last year.

Well, for those of you who can't wait no longer for the DS version, fear not! Because tomorrow is the release date, that's right the 29th of November.

So get ready for some epic music, some amazing game play and some bad ass guns.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Index Holdings go bankrupt

Allegedly Index Holdings have gone bankrupt, this is just rumours as of right now, but If it's true, developers such as Atlus will be looking else where for a publisher.

Hopefully this rumour is not true and even If it is, I can't see Atlus not being bought out by another publisher, they're one of the biggest Eastern developers that have a big influence on Western gamers.

Atlus is famous for the Persona series, as well as Snowboard Kids, Shin Megami, Demon Souls and Trauma Centre.

I will update you guys as soon as I know more details.

Steam Sales!

For those of you in the United States, sales mean nothing to you right now, Black Friday is all around, Infact I'd say you were bored of saving money, yep.

WELL, If you're from outside the US (Or you aren't bored of saving money quite yet) then head on over to Steam, they've got some good deals on.

Personal favourite of mine is the Indie Story Pack, it includes; And yet it moves, Gish, Jolly Rover, Puzzle Agent and Recettear.

For £3.99!

Saving you £36.96 If you were to buy them separately.

Worth picking up, I'd say just for Recettear which retails at £12.99, but I intend on playing through those other titles too.

Also If you haven't picked up Batman Arkham Asylum yet, it's £5.10.

But you've only got one more hour to pick these deals up! SO HURRY!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

ClaDun! This is an RPG European release date

For those of you that know me, you'll know I love, love, looooooooooooooooove Dungeon Crawlers, I recently played through Recettear and even more recently Rune Factory 3 rating them in my top 10 games of the past ten years.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that ClaDun, a previously unreleased title finally got it's European release just last week.

The game is available on PSN as a Download only and allegedly won't be receiving a UMD release.

ClaDun has some really cool features such as the ability to create your own character through a pixel editor, ad-hoc multiplayer and an infinite amount of dungeons due to the game's dungeon randomiser.

As if ClaDun wasn't good enough, we're also receiving release dates for three other NISAmerica titles including; Disgaea Infinite, Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman and Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood!

I for one am super excited about this news and I will be picking up my copy of ClaDun as soon as I can, I suggest you guys do too.

Also, check out the ClaDun site, it's interactive and very, very cool.

http://nisamerica.com/games/cladun/

Axl Rose to sue Activision

So for the sake of Axl Rose, let's just pretend it's 2007, Guitar Hero 3 has just been released and Axl Rose is soon to be relevant again, even If it's only for a brief period of time due to the release of Chinese Democracy, shortly after Axl will appear on stage late, leave gigs early and generally cause problems for venues all around the globe.

It turns out Axl has only just realised that Activision used Welcome to the Jungle as well as Slash to promote Guitar Hero 3 and is claiming $20 Million dollars; Some what fitting that Axl would turn up late to the party.

Skip Miller (Axl's lawyer) had this to say:

"They began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in GH III but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle,' "

This lawsuit is about protecting Guns N’ Roses and 'Welcome to the Jungle' and is about holding Activision accountable for its misuse of these incredibly valuable assets"

The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages."

Slash was used as not only an in game playable character, but he also appeared as a boss and played one of G'n'R's biggest tracks 'Welcome to the Jungle'

It strikes me as a little odd that Axl some how did not notice until now, the advertisements even featured Slash playing Welcome to the Jungle, even someone living under a rock would have noticed or even had it mentioned to them.

What do you guys think? Is Axl merely trying to cash in now that his career is in shreds after this year's touring circuit?

Leave a comment in the section below.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Rumour: Budcat to be shut down too

Following yesterday's rumour that Bizarre Creations would be shut down, it appears Activision are closing yet another developer down; Budcat.

Probably most famous for their ports of games to the PS2 system including Double Fine's Psychonauts, as well as most of the Guitar Hero titles.

This news comes just before the Christmas period and will most definetly hit hard on the guys who've lost their jobs.

Tim Schafer the man behind Double Fine had this to say "Sad to hear about Budcat Creations. They took on the impossible task of porting Psychonauts to the PS2, and did a great job." He also added that they were all nice people.

There's been no official press release as to why Activision are dropping these developers.

In similar news, sources say that Bizarre Creations will probably be picked up by a different publisher, once more the community is uttering the words "EA" and "Microsoft", but no one knows as of yet.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Rumour: Bizarre Creations to close down


Creators of Blur, Project Gotham racing and Geometry Wars might be closing down after Activion have decided it's time to axe another studio.

Nothing official yet, but lots of back handed press tips are flying around the web, sources such as Giant Bomb, NeoGAF and VG247 are at the center of all these unconfirmed pieces of information, but according to Giant Bomb's source Bizarre Creations will have a "90-day consultation period, statutory redundancy"

As always If I get any updates, I'll let you guys know.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Blizzard hint at Diablo III for consoles

Blizzard recently launched a series of new jobs, including; Lead Designer; Console, Lead Programmer; Console and Senior Producer; Console,

We’re exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles and are currently looking to fill a few senior console-related positions on the Diablo III team. As we’ve said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we’re interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in such a project. If you’re passionate about all things Diablo and have the requisite skill and experience, then head over to our jobs site to check out the positions and apply.


Please note that this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs and don’t intend to allow any possibility of a console interpretation to delay or affect the release of the game.

Whilst Diablo was originally ported to PS1 back in 98, this seems like a weird progression.

Blizzard also claim that this will not slow down the PC version, so you can keep your pants on guys.

Bulletstorm's new trailer

Developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly Bulletstorm is an FPS that claims to Kill with Skill.

By the looks of this trailer it's living up to it's name, looking very swish and (Without sounding like I'm in some Nu Metal / Scene band) quite brutal.

This trailer features those famous family classic catchphrases "Son of a dick" and "Pull up that skirt and strap that dildo on"

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/hey-man-bulletstorm/707451

The trailer also reveals the release date to be March 22nd 2011, so get pre-ordering now for the next big balls filled, testosterone snorting, bear punching title.

Lionhead announce Fable 3 DLC; Understone Quest Pack

Just under a month since Fable 3's release and DLC is already hitting the shelves, this DLC features three new quests, as well as a new town built underneath Bowerstone, the Wheel of Misfortune and the Mercenary Shooting range.

The pack will cost 400MS points and will be available on the 23rd of November.

Lionhead have also announced that they're releasing several accessories/pieces of clothing/dye for your in-game character costing roughly 160MS points each.

By the sounds of things Lionhead intend on moving onto the Microtransactions market, which is fine by me as long as they continue to provide actual in game content and adventures.

Here's some more details on the quests and items from the Lionhead site.

"“The Voice”: In the main quest, explore the mysterious underground land built by Montague Hummes in fear of the Spire in “Fable II” -

  • Discover the origin of the voice that controls the people of Understone
  • Features a moral decision that will lead to two drastically different outcomes in Understone

“Shooting Range”: After defeating Saker during your quest to become King, the remaining Mercenaries have turned their camp into a tourist attraction. The main attraction being the replayable shooting range mode -

  • Beat the high scores to win three prizes that can be used while playing the minigame: the Marksman 500 (gifted to players for downloading the the pack), Money Shot (prize) and Black Dragon (prize)

“The Wheel of Misfortune”: After Reaver vacated his home, he set up a venture for budding heroes to replay the thrilling arena-based challenges within his new dwellings -

  • Beat the high scores to win three new weapons that can be used while playing in the minigame: The Full Monty (gifted to player upon downloading pack), Dirty Harriet (prize) and Dead Ned’s Revolver (prize)

Also available for purchase on Nov. 23 are the Exclusive Hair Pack (160 Microsoft Points) with corn rows, afro and asymmetrical bob styles and the 5 Star Dog Potion (80 Microsoft Points) that gives your canine companion the full 5-star ability for digging, diving and tracking down hidden chests right from the start." - http://lionhead.com/blogs/fable_2_development/archive/2010/11/15/fable-iii-launch-trailer.aspx

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Child's Play


Usually I’m not one to get behind charities in ‘the press’; Because it sort of hints that I’m biased and maybe the kids in Africa don’t deserve the money, but the kids with Cancer do.
Etc.
Maybe I over think it, but ANYWAY; This is a relevant cause.
Child’s Play Charity is looking for donations, it’s a worthy cause that donates video games to Children across several different countries including; Britain, Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia and Egypt.
Last year they raised 1.78 Million Dollars worth of donations, they’ve also got some pretty big names behind them and were originally set up by the creators of Penny Arcade.
I personally intend on doing a sponsored event, but don’t worry I won’t be pestering you guys for that.

Anyway; If you want to check it out go here - http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

If you’ve decided you’ll be doing a sponsored event let me know, I’ll give you a little shout out.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Viacom announce that they're dropping Harmonix Update

John Drake of Harmonix Studios had this to say on the Harmonix Forums

“Hi Guys:

We’ve seen a lot of questions pop up in response to Viacom’s statements this morning regarding their intention to sell Harmonix. We’ve posted this thread to respond to those questions. Please keep your forum conversations regarding this matter in this thread. We’ll check in throughout the day as we’re able.

This morning’s announcement does not affect the ongoing work at the studio as we continue to support our existing franchises, Rock Band and Dance Central. As stated earlier, Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please post them in this thread. If you’re a member of the media with inquiry, you can reach out to us atpress@harmonixmusic.com. (Please don’t email this address if you’re not from a press outlet).

Regarding potential publishers, it’s premature to discuss specific publishers at this time, though we look forward to working with Viacom to find the best home for our studio. Please keep speculation about that to a minimum in this conversation.

Many of you have asked about DLC. To be clear, our earlier statement that we will continue to support our existing franchises holds true and work at the studio is not affected by this announcement. RB DLC will continue unabated. We’re excited to confirm that The BeeGees are our next DLC pack.

Some of you have been chiming in about our different partners and what this announcement means for [the Fender Squier/Mad Catz Hardware/EA Distribution]. Those partnerships are unaffected by this announcement with regards to existing titles.

Most importantly, the Rock Band and Dance Central will continue to be worked on at Harmonix for the foreseeable future. We’re not leaving them behind.”

Also more rumours are being seen surfing the web; currently EA are top of the rumour chain to buy Harmonix with Activision and Microsoft following shortly behind.

Viacom announce that they're dropping Harmonix


So Viacom announced earlier on today that they’d be dropping Harmonix Studios, famous for developing the Rock Band and recently released Kinect title; Dance Central.

But - Both Harmonix and Viacom have promised that the developers will carry on supporting their titles as well developing new games/IPs.

The question that’s on everyone’s mind is - Who will buy them? Viacom says they have a few people in mind; Some sources say that Microsoft have been interested what with Harmonix’s exclusive 360 title Dance Central being a smash hit with the Kinect crowd.

Others say Zenimax will pick them up, once more following the trend they’ve set over the past few years.

No one knows as of yet, but as soon as I hear the word, I’ll pop you guys an update.

Rumour: Street Game Retailers punish Publishers for using Steam

I’m unofficially hearing that Street Game retailers such as Game, Gamestop, EB Games and Game Station are punishing publishers for using Steam as an online outlet to sell games.

This is unconfirmed and I’m yet to hear any other stories about this, I will follow this post up later in the day If I hear any more news about this.

I’m going to try and get in contact with someone from Game (UK’s largest game retail branch) and see if these rumours are true.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Greatest Video game commercials

I recently saw the latest Call Of Duty Black Ops ad' on Youtube, the American version features Kobe and Jimmy Kimmel; It reminded me of the good ol' days when advertisements weren't specifically all about showing off gameplay.

Back in early 90s we went through this period of advertisements that always featured a kid, some sun glasses, some cheesy lines from said child - And a voice over guy that tried way too hard using phrases such as "MIND BOGGLING GRAPHICS!" "BOGUS VISUALS!" and of course "RADICAL FUN!"

The 80's were similar, but more of what was terrible, more kids in massive glasses, more terrible voice overs.

When we hit the late 90's you'd either have some CGI animation that was generally irrelevant to the game - Or some 'real life actors' acting out silly situations that were also irrelevant to the game, then the terrible voice over would kick in - And then some game play; The 3D era had to prove itself much more than the other previous generations, so game play had to be shown, suddenly people actually cared about graphics.

This trend continued on into the early 00's (Is that pronounced naughties?) where graphics were even more so important with the Xbox, Gamecube and PS2 biting at each other's necks for more attention.

Occasionally we'd get a voice over who wasn't all that excited about the game, infact they usually sounded like they weren't too excited about life.

Crash Team Racing (Featuring Dominic Keating as British rock star)

Soul Calibur 2 GameCube

Soul Calibur 2 PS2

Soul Calibur 2 Xbox

Pacman World

I like the idea of Verne Troyer and Mr.T living next door to each other..And playing WoW together

Marketing has gotten to be a huge part of gaming over the past few years, with the internet being used an amazing viral tool it means that developers and publishers can create these amazing works of art and know that they'll get around, even If they only air them in one country.

So I've decided to take this article and use it to show you some of my favourite video game commercials - And I urge you to do the same. Send me your top five favourite video game commercials, no matter what the reason, whether it was horribly cliche, funny or just straight up bad ass.

Halo Reach and Halo ODST

Halo ODST

Halo Reach

Both the Halo Reach and ODST commercials hit the nail on the head for me, both contain real actors with minimum amount of C.G.I (Obviously there are some parts that are C.G.I).

Any one that was following any press coverage of Reach knew what the game was about before it was out, everyone knew they'd all die - It was clearly advertised in the other Halo games, as well as any press material released about the game, the advert not only reinforced this amazing plot point - But it was also pretty bad ass.

The ODST commercial was brilliant, this advert was broadcast in primarily English speaking countries (It was actually in Hungarian) but still managed to have a huge effect on both it's fan base and gamers who probably weren't interested before hand - It's intriguing, deep and once more - Bad ass.

There's also a longer version that's around two and a half minutes long, shows some more footage of the war, the struggle and a brute getting his shit stomped.

Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow

I loved these adverts, some times involving a some what chubby Bus Driver determined to 'Catch 'em all'.

But what I really loved was the mix between real life and games - Back then Pokemon was...My life - I'd watch it, play it, dream it, snort it, inject it - You name it, I was doing it with Pokemon (Head out of the gutters please)

Pokemon Red and Blue

Pokemon Yellow I like how Pikachu will go to any length to help his trainer get Pokemon, he'll even trap them in cages, trucks and cars!

Super Mario Sunshine

I never saw this ad' til recently - And that's probably for the best, it's terrible! Even as a joke (I hope it's a joke) still it's hilarious, it might put me off the product, but that's probably why I enjoy this so much.

Remember kids, littering is bad! Everyone loves happy times! =D

Super Mario Sunshine

Fable 3

The original trailer that was released online and I believe is still used in America; In the UK we now have Children Of The Revolution playing instead of Young Dead Men by the Black Angels.

I really like this commercial, I think I'm a little biased as I'm a fairly big Lionhead fan, but this ad' got me all hyped up.

Fable 3

Gears Of War

I really love this advert, when this first appeared on TV It gave me chills - I still to this day haven't played Gears Of War, but the bought the sequel based off this advert (It stuck with me)

It's really chilling, and back then I didn't know Marcus was a key character, so as far as I knew he was just another casualty in the war.

Gears Of War


Also here's the COD Black Ops commercial I mentioned at the start

Black Ops

That motherfucker at the end, he does not give a shit. Makes me laugh every time - And usage of Kimmel in any situation is brilliant if you ask me.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Notch + deadmau5 update

After posting a rumour just the other day, confirmation has come in the form of an actual audio track posted directly to deadmau5's Sound Cloud
You can find that here


Allegedly deadmau5 is recording several tracks as a taster for Notch; either way it's exciting stuff for deadmau5 and Minecraft fans.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

But how does that affect me?

So we’ve all heard about the Schwarzenegger vs EMA case now and you might even be following it.

But do you know why it affects us all? I’ve had countless conversations with people who always seem to end the conversation with “Well, sucks to be a gamer in California”

Well; I hate to inform you guys but this case could affect the entire populace of gamers all round the world, depending on the result of course.

It has been said that several other states may follow behind California if this passes, how many exactly can’t be confirmed, but lets say for argument’s sake that 15 states follow behind California, now that’s 16 states that won’t sell R rated games essentially.

Now you might be sitting in your house in the South of France, Australia, China or even sunny ol’ Britain saying

“Aha! Silly Americans and their rules!”

I hate to break the news to you folks, but when a huge section of the market, i.e - America decides it won’t be buying R rated games any more, we’ll see a drop in violent games being developed, sure it will take some time, but this is a path we really don’t want to head down.

Now on a more positive side, I can’t see that this case has a leg to stand on; Quite literally it seems as If this is being taken as a joke, it was revealed yesterday that the violence could still go on, as long as the creature or humanoid that was being maimed, raped or slaughtered wasn’t real - This information was brought to light after confirmation that you can now do what ever you’d like to a Vulcan without prosecution.


Justice Kagan: Would a video game that portrayed a Vulcan as opposed to a human being maimed and tortured, would that be covered by the act?
Morazzini: No, it wouldn’t, because the act is only directed towards the range of options that are able to be inflicted on a human being.


There also seems to be some significant focus on games that allow you to murder and torture children and / or babies.I can’t say I’ve ever played or even heard of games like this

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dragon Age 2 + Penny Arcade

When Bioware went to the guys over at Penny Arcade and asked for an item design, I can only imagine that they expected a certain degree of sillyness.

And I guess they got what they asked for; Hindsight.

For years now the waist has been ignored by RPGs all round the world, well now it's time has come.

Hindsight is a belt that will be appearing in game, alledgedly it will save the owner from specific types of demise, specifically those that previous owners experienced.

"There are more famous swords than you could count, there are helms beyond numbering, and there are breastplates, daggers, and even mystical footwear that roll immediately off the tongue. There are storied rings, gloves, and even bags invoked around a camp's common fire. But belts? There are very few noteworthy belts.

It was here that the dwarf Thaulid Hammerspur decided he would make his mark. Here, he thought, between the tunic and the trousers, I will stake my claim.

He was familiar with the state of the art, of course; as an artificer making a name for himself in Orzimmar, he had access to the typically robust record-keeping of the forges. He knew of the Drunkard's Cinch and the Pouchpaw. But there was no poetry to them, no lineage. They were parlor tricks, the domain of hawkers and pawns. He wanted a belt whose buckle gleamed with purpose, but what purpose? He worked on it from time to time, waiting for inspiration to strike. In the meantime, he needed something to keep his pants above the knee; he might as well wear the damned thing.

And he did so, until (after an especially memorable night at Tapster's Tavern) he managed to fall into his own forge. Shoveling out his remains, they found among the grey ashes his belt, somehow mercifully preserved.

Hindsight is a belt possessed of a strange, slow intellect. Whatever would have killed the wearer, does. At that very moment, the belt develops a resistance that would have saved them. No one knows how Thaulid managed this, and at this point, it would be difficult to ask him. When the belt is held in the light just so, the leather reveals a grisly catalogue, etched in glinting lyrium:It went on like this for many years, until it fell into your possession. Your temporary, temporary possession." - Dragon Age 2 site - http://dragonage.bioware.com/da2/info/pennyarcade/


Here's the animated comic that Penny Arcade recently put out to promote this item and Dragon Age 2, which receives it's release next March.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S6eMcUBe0Y

The item will be available through download, not sure whether it'll be free or a purchased item.


Sunday, 31 October 2010

All Hallows Even' is upon us - And what better way to celebrate than with games? Forget answering the door to snotty nosed kids asking for free food! You're busy!

Here's a nice little run down of some games that are celebrating Halloween with some nice event items, quests, tasks and other fun activities.


World Of Warcraft

The realms of WoW celebrate most holidays, they've even got an in game calendar that allows you to check when things are.

Previous Halloween events were based around the head less horse man and had players using water buckets to put fires out, as well as some extra dungeons with rare drops and mounts.

This year is the same with some minor things altered, defenetly worth checking out If you're a WoW player.


Team Fortress 2

The guys over at Valve have treated us once more, this year bigger and better than any other year, introducing TF2's first Boss.

The Horseless Headless Horsemann.

Valve once more take a very tongue in cheek angle, providing some nice hats, achievements and a new level based inside the Mann Mansion.

Check it out If you've got TF2, I've spent hours on this event so far.


Minecraft

Announced earlier this month, the Halloween update has finally landed with some nice features, listed below with a tick list courtesy of Notch himself.

The new Hell world is accessible through a portal that must be made of an Obsidian frame 4x3 and then the bottom blocks must be set on fire.

I'm yet to explore the Hell realm myself (The Slip is the official name) because I've been playing with the Biomes that were also released today.

The Slip and all of today's updates are only available in the purchased Single player and Multiplayer Survival modes.


Adventure Quest/Dragon Fable/ Mech Quest

Referred to as Mogloween within this Universe. These are all browser run RPGs, generally quite fun and a nice little time sink and it's free to play (To some extent).

The Halloween event will have you fighting beasts, trick or treating and gathering event based weapons - Not a bad little hour's worth of fun.

http://www.mechquest.com/

http://www.battleon.com/

http://www.dragonfable.com/


Gaia Online

Whilst Gaia Online is mainly an anime based forum, it also has a browser run MMORPG built into it; It's nothing to write home about and it really only appeals to those that enjoy the forum side of the site, but it might be worth checking out.

http://www.gaiaonline.com/


Transformice

Transformice is a charming little game that features Mice and no transforming oddly enough.

The basic aim of the game is to get the cheese by solving the puzzles within each level, it's a multiplayer game and sometimes you have to rely on the help of team mates.

The Halloween event on Transformice consists of flying on a broomstick to collect cheese, it's a random event that pops up every once in a while whilst you play through normal stages, so go check it out and get addicted!

http://www.transformice.com/en/


Gears Of War 2

Currently hosting a double EXP weekend for Halloween, worth checking out If you enjoy the online.

I believe that Dude Huge mentioned that those who've done extremely well in Gears 2 will receive something in Gears 3; I believe he tweeted it earlier this year - But don't quote me directly on this.

Black Ops Zombie mode

This article potentially contains Spoilers!

Do not read on If you do not want to spoil Call Of Duty Black Ops for yourself!!!


It turns out that you’ll be playing as either; John F. Kennedy (The 35th President of the United States of America), Richard Nixon (The 37th President of the United States of America), Robert McNamara (The Secretary of Defence under Kennedy) Or former Prime Minister of Cuba; Fidel Castro.

Presumably this will tie in some how with the main campaign as it is allegedly unlocked after completing the game.

Whether or not there will be more skins/characters for the Zombie mode is unclear, but all will be made clear on November 9th when Treyarch’s iteration of the series pops it’s head up once again.

What are your opinions on this? So far the gaming community hasn’t declared this disrespectful, but do you think it is? Let me know.


- Note: The video and all images that I'd previously found have been taken down, confirming this as either a PR scam or an actual leak.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Notch + deadmau5?

Turns out that musical man deadmau5 is a big fan of Indie hit Minecraft, the rumour began circulating after deadmau5 uploaded a video of himself playing Minecraft onto his official Youtube account.

The video entailed of deadmau5 beating a pig into a minecart and then pushing it onto an endlessly looping track.

Whilst you might think this isn't quite newsworthy, the rumour that sprouted from this is - deadmau5 would like to make the music for Minecraft.

Information from Notch's Twitter feed and deadmau5's social networking sites only excite this rumour more so.

Notch's Twitter feed - "Oh hey look, I DID get an email from deadmau5 several weeks ago!"

Confirming that there has been contact between the two.


For those of you who are unaware of deadmau5, chances are you've heard his song Ghosts 'n' stuff, It's been used quite a bit in advertisement and such.

You can find the video of deadmau5 playing Minecraft here

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Realm Of The Mad God /// Interview with Alex Carobus

For a while now I've been constantly distracted from every day tasks, some people call this ADD, I call it RotMG.

Realm Of The Mad God is a strangely addictive Top Down, Mini-MMO shooter (With less concentration on the MMO part) It boasts a some what retro look to it, reminiscent of your favourite NES RPGs perhaps? Except maybe 10x more crazy, enemies come at you from every direction, you will never be safe; And to add to this, If you die - That's it, Game Over man in the wisdom filled words of Hudson.

You lose all your stats, items and character, some might criticize this labelling it as a horrible mechanic that only pulls the player back in to defeat past demons - You'd probably be right in saying that it pulls you back in, but that's the genius of it.

The game sports several different classes to choose from including Warrior, Wizard, Archer, Priest and a group of unlockable classes too (I won't spoil them for you)

Plot wise the game is hardly a Bioware title, but I don't think it's meant to be; It's a fun little mess around that is strangely addictive and will most likely put your productivity levels to 0%.

I got in contact with Alex Carobus from Wild Shadow and asked him some questions about the game.

----

Me: So let's start from the beginning - How did the development process get started?

Alex: Realm of the Mad God has an unusual history. Rob and I wrote the first version for Part 2 of the Assemblee competition at TIGSource. We had not originally planned to take it any further but we got a great response from the players. We saw a lot of potential so we have continued to work on it.

Me: How many members are there in the development team? Is it just you and Rob?

Alex: Rob and I are the full time programmers. Our friend Amit sometimes writes some stuff for us including our map generator. We also have various people we consult with and contract art/sound/music/etc from.

Me: As a gamer, I'd describe RotMG as a mini-mmorpg, top down shooter, how would you describe it in one sentence?

Alex: That's pretty good. We recently put the tagline "the co-op fantasy mmo shooter" on the title screen in development so yours was pretty close. Hopefully, people won't read too much into the "mmo" part though. We definitely made it a goal not to follow the standard mmo genre conventions.

Me: What are your plans for RotMG? Future developments, stuff like that?

Alex: We have plans to expand RotMG in many directions. We are planning to add new content and also try a few things we haven't seen in other mmos. We have a pretty significant change we will be testing out in the next week or so. Unfortunately, I can't really give any specifics but RotMG is very much a work in progress.

Me: Awesome, and finally are there any features you'd really like to implement in the future? Obviously without giving away any currently in development features.

Alex: Yea, again, I'd rather not say specific features but we have a very long todo list. There are lots of features, big and small, that I think would be so much fun but they just never rise to the top of the todo list because higher priority features keep jumping in front of them. I guess one example that I can give of a small feature on the todo list is revising the sword attack to be a swipe rather than a projectile attack. I think this would give the melee classes a much more distinct feel and I am definitely going to implement and playtest it some day but unfortunately, this will probably not make it into the next release.


Thanks to Alex for that interview, you can also play RotMG here

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Assassin's Creed 3; Brotherhood - Eurogamer expo 2010

I've never been a fan of AC, the first game really didn't do much for me once I'd gotten past the initial "I can climb that?!" factor and the second game hardly reinvented the wheel.

That being said, the new multiplayer mode in the latest AC game might just have added some bad ass shiney rims to it's predecessors wheel.

AC was one of the first games I jumped on when I got to the expo, mainly because it was located right next to the exit of the developer conference area, but that's beside the point. I jumped on after seeing a bunch of the guys playing it really enjoying it and getting into it, to be honest I sort of figured these guys were fans of the series, but after asking them a few questions at the time they admitted that the other games hadn't really done much for them in terms of gameplay, but graphically they enjoyed the series.

The multiplayer demo that I played entailed of you hunting the other assassins, whilst they hunted you - But it wasn't just a death match, Oh no - Much, much more, your target was a random assassin that was human controlled, but in a bustling city filled with NPCs, to make things harder all assassins have skills; skills can range from the ability to transform into a different character model for a brief period of time to smoke bombs and even a hidden gun, these skills felt nicely balanced, whilst giving the advantage in specific situations they could all be countered in other situations.

Certain features weren't unlocked in the demo, there were specific skills that were not available and some characters were missing from the playable line up, the demo was also set on one map with a 10 minute timer.

I personally took a shine to the executioner instead of the boring knife attacks that most of the others sported, he had a hatchet which he'd still use in stealth based attacks, he was also adorned in classic executioner gear too.

Amongst the other characters were; A female, an artist, a barber, a doctor and an assassin, but images that I've seen around the net have revealed other characters including a Knight, a Jester and a Blacksmith.

Overall I'd say the Multiplayer would be enough to convince me to purchase AC:3 Brotherhood.

But for those who want a strong campaign mode we'll have to wait and see If single player can keep up the standards that the online mode set.

Assassin's Creed will be released 19th November 2010

Little Big Planet 2 - Eurogamer expo 2010

I spent the entire day trying to get on Little Big Planet 2 and only just managed within the last 20 minutes, I guess that's a sign as to how popular it was at the Expo, considering there must have been at least 16+ Little Big Planet 2 games going on at once, all with 3 player possibility.

The game is very similar to the first one, but includes some nice new features, sadly I didn't get a chance to play around with the creation kit, but I saw some other people playing around with it and the newer tools that are available are quite nice.

Gameplay is the same as the first LBP with the exception of the new tools, weapons and scenarios that come up within the game, essentially LBP2 is LBP+New Took kit; Essentially lots of DLC that you'd have to pay for individually that will upgrade your experience ten fold, so I guess I'm grateful they're releasing this as a seperate game, they've even made it so that most of the maps from LBP can be imported to LBP2.

Whilst I wouldn't label LBP2 as a failure or a let down, it was essentially the same with a grappling hook and some neat tricks like zero gravity - I could have literally been playing LBP with some DLC similar to the Pirates pack which added water, instead this was the..I dunno, spider man pack that added hooks.

I don't really want to continue on about the similarities between LBP and LBP2 (Because that's potentially the most boring article ever), so I'll go onto the awesome features that the tool kit can now build.

Playable Arcade Machines: Games such as Pong and Breakout had been built into little screens, quite a nifty little feature

Gravity: You can now play around with gravity, making it so it's either stronger or weaker in specific areas, perfect for space levels.

New game modes: The ability to create go-karts was revealed a while back, but with the new creation kit much more can be done, I saw some rhythm games popping up.

I'm sure there's much, much more; But I sadly didn't get much hands on time, none the less I really enjoyed the time I had.

LBP2 will be a definite purchase for anyone that enjoyed LBP (So pretty much everyone?) and will offer a huge variety of levels outside of Shark and bomb survival maps.


Fable 3 / Peter Molyneux developer speech - Eurogamer Expo 2010

To start with I should announce my blatant fanboy-ism for Lionhead and any thing that they lay their hands on, that being said - Fable 3 didn't do it for me.

Essentially I felt it was Fable 2 with some nice addons; Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both Fable 2 and the 10 - 15 minute long preview of Fable 3, but I felt crushed by it, potentially this was my fault; Peter has been kept shut tight for a while now, but I still can't help but feel there must be more to it?

Whilst the story, the quests, aesthetics and the characters are improved ten fold, the battle system remains the same boring one button bull shine.

It seems that apparently adding short, slowed down cut scenes on special attacks was Lionhead's way of improving the battle system, rather than cutting all the simple mechanics and making it some what more challenging and to make matters worse, the hammer combat was terrible (I'm a fan of using hammers) it was basically flurries, with only one or two special attacks consisting on smashing the enemy to the floor.

The sword combat was a little better, but the same type of combat with a bunch more cut scenes.

The magic system was also practically identical, merely with the ability to mix spells together, which in my case (I used vortex and force push) was boring; Maybe some of the other mixtures would have been more fun, but magic was never really my shin dig within the Fable universe.

Guns work exactly like they did in Fable 2, I was told that the system was alot more slick and felt different, but it looked and felt the same, also the buttons are mapped out exactly the same.

In the Developer conference Peter mentioned the fact that he loves fighting games, he then proceeded to list of all two that he could remember at the time (Street Fighter and Tekken) but then went onto saying how the amazing moves that you can do in those games are impossible for the crowds that aren't very good at games; "Those that lack the dexterity" I believe was his direct quote.

Now; I try not to get involved in the big "Casual VS Hardcore" arguments, but this seems like someone hasn't done his research? I really enjoy Action RPGs, but I really don't need them to pander to my needs like Fable does, I can successfully press more than one button at a time, or tap a series of different buttons one after the other and yet I'm hopeless at fighters such as Tekken and Street Fighter, especially when it comes to combo moves (I still can't hadouken after all these years, seriously, diagonal? Pffft) what I'm saying is; If their demographic is the action RPG audience, then maybe they're under estimating their audience? Or are they trying to draw in the VERY casual market? Peter mentioned the women really got into Fable, thus the reason why female characters were introduced in Fable 2 - The female market is a massive market that is missing out on games (Obviously not all females).

On a plus side; the quests were very nice, the staff working the booth asked me If I wanted something more combat or quest based; I went for the quest based stuff as this is where Fable really shines and I wasn't wrong to do so.

I was given a quest called Table top, in which three NPCs said something along the lines of "Play our table top game with us"

Not really, I have no idea what they said, even though I had some giant head phones on the Rap Star booth was all of 20 foot away and the whitest guy in the world singing Gold Digger drowned out all of the sounds coming through my headset.

I was shrunk down onto this table top game of Dungeons and Dragons, with the faint murmurs of the Dungeon Masters telling me specific instructions that I once more could not hear, so I followed a long the path, spoke to some more NPC characters (This time they were figurines, the sort you'd find in table top games) and ended up fighting some wolves, like I said I was disapointed with the combat system; But this gave me the incentive to change some stuff around in the newly designed menu.

By pressing start I was instantly transported to an area where John Cleese began talking to me, once more, his words were useless compared to the torrent of bad rapping I could hear.

I instantly stumbled into the weapon change room and got myself a bad ass hammer and then over to the clothes room, which was a little bleak, but this was a demo, so I can't place judgement on that.

This new menu screen is very Black and White-esque, for those unfamiliar with Lionhead studios outside of the Fable franchise, Black and White was a god game for PC, the main mechanics of the game were based around choices such as; Kill every thing to impress or kill bad guys and provide grain - Oh and there was a massive animal that could eat it's own shit.

I finished the demo and as per usual the Lionhead team had filled it with humour and joy; the audio that I could hear was of the usual amazing standard that Lionhead employs.

Graphically it was impressive, but there was some awful tearing and frame rate drop but I will say in defense of Lionhead, this was an early version of the demo, or so I was told by one of the staff from Lionhead.

The Peter Molyneux developer speech was very nice; It started with a live sword fight on stage (Albeit a pretty pathetic sword fight, but the novelty was nice) and then a town crier showed up, shouting out in what was presumably a satirical view of old English.

Peter rolled onto the stage with a presentation that went through the history of Fable as a series, showing the inspiration that got the Fable series where it is today and some of the concept art.

Sadly it's quite obvious that Peter over the years has either A. Gotten tired of all the bullshit he receives from either the press or just gamers in general OR B. Been slapped on the wrist so many times by Lionhead that he's become a some what cynical, unhappy man when it comes to presentations - I'm not saying he was bad, or that he wasn't happy to be up on stage, he just appeared to be some what unhappy with how things are going - I could be wrong, but that's how I read his body language and speech.

After the history of Fable he proceeded onto a new surprise; A brand new Smart Phone App coming out soon for Apple devices, Android and The Windows Phone - Essentially the app tracks where you are and you can place a marker for either the rebels or the loyalists, doing so gains you Fable 3 gold which is transferable to the game and who knows, it might have some effect on future DLC.


Golden Gems: Part One

Whilst writing the article about Western and Eastern audiences earlier I got onto thinking about those classic 8/16/32 bit games that really stood out for me; but games that you might've missed out on.

Here's part one of Golden Gems, featuring two of my favourite under rated titles for the Super Nintendo.


Soul Blazer - Super Nintendo

A game I recently discovered, developed by Quintet and published by Enix.

The game lends lots of features from the rest of the Quintet games such as Illusion of Time/Gaia and Terranigma, it also seems to lend heavily from Soleil, a Mega Drive game that never really took off (But I fell in love with).

The story of Soul Blazer is some what similar to a previous title developed by Quintet, instead this time you feature as a servant of the Gods. You are sent down to the Freil Empire to free the living creatures as Dark Gaia has trapped them all - To do this you must trawl through dungeons freeing the people, buildings, plants and talking goats.

Two aspects that really interest me;

1. Dungeon Crawlers - I love them, especially when they have anything to do with Quintet.

2. I really like the idea of freeing villages and cities; I know this will sound sort of abstract and weird, but I love the cozy satisfying feeling you get when you return to town to find happy villagers, It's primarily the reason why Digimon World on PS1 is still ranked within my top 10 games.

The game features power ups, equipment and the usual RPG gear - Definitely worth picking up and playing through.


E.V.O; Search for Eden

When I started this article I didn't intend on having all the games published by Enix, but I guess they just did a good job of publishing games? I dunno.

This game is a jewel, not even kidding - One of the best games from the 90s.

You take the role of a prehistoric creature slowly evolving through the ages - To do this you must eat the other creatures around which changes what features you will have on your creature, sound familiar Will Wright?..Oh ho ho, just when he thought he'd gotten away with Spore, his original idea. BAM. POW. Chris Leddy disproves his originality with the citation of an epic Super Nintendo game.

I suppose If you wanted to look into the story a little bit more, you could say they sort of split the religious and scientific stories and bundled them into one big ball of fun; the game begins with Gaia (A common trait in Enix published games apparently) telling you to swim to your little fishy's heart content.

The game play can get some what repetitive, but it's not too bad and the changes in scenery as well as game play mechanics sort of alters it a bit, enough to keep you interested perhaps.

I suggest picking this up too.