Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Mind Bullets.

Inspired by Bojack's return to the fray, I have decided to once again add my two penneth. After playing COD4 now for almost two weeks I have become increasingly disturbed to discover the appearance of the grenade warning icon on the inside of my eyelids when I close my eyes... Not content with the idea that its simply my brain rebelling I have decided my eyes have developed something akin to screen burn. Worrying, yes?
Figuring I would find respite in one of my other games, something a little easier on the reflexes perhaps, I discover that PES6 aside I have nothing in my small collection of games but shooters. The further thought occurs that the best games I have been lent this year- Bioshock & Crackdown to name but two, have also all been shooters. Inadvertently it would appear I have become 'therightbullets - warmonger' through no intention of my own.

With Kane & Lynch on my Christmas horizon it seems I am doomed to forever fight my one man war, but woah there Silver! I have the power to choose another path. I'm off to seek my very own second hand copy of Viva Pinata and sign up for an amazon notification regarding Beautiful Katamari- in case it ever reaches these shores, and I hope it does.

Goodbye mind bullets, hello kaleidoscopic seizures.


Tuesday, 27 November 2007

But...XBOX LIVE're usually so intelligent....

I fucking hate this bitter, cruel world. The kind of fucking stinking shithole of a planet where the hatred of other fuels my own. Like most leisure pursuits, gaming is dominated by entry-level fucktards who have little else to contribute to society. Seeing as I consider Halo 3 to be the sort of ITV/The Sun/Fox Network of gaming, a large concentration of said fucktards can be found in the piss-filled depths of rumble pit and the like. This video pretty much confirms why anybody would consider gaming to be a bad influence. I mean, I would execute my children if they turned out like this....

The Faux Bot

Sunday, 18 November 2007

The easiest 1000 Achievement points ever?

Achievement whores (Bojack) get your asses down to BlockBuster, or any other respected rental outlet for that matter......

The Faux-Bot

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Assassin's Creed hoo-haa bight time fight ding-ding round 3. Knockout OMG

Check the link if you missed this in the week. Thank God for Destructoid. After slamming the PS3 version of A.C. for texture pop-up and screen tear that got so bad that it affected gameplay, IGN kindly changed the review the next day. WTF!? Indeed. Apparently due to a 'copy and paste' error. Maybe Sony asked for those gold-plated PS3's back? Who knows. But at least we know that IGN are definitely frauds and corporate suck-ups. No wonder they bummed Halo 3 so heavily.

The best thing to come out of this though, is that I've discovered Metacritic. If you can't be bothered to trawl around looking for the general opinion on a game, check to see what everybody thinks.

The Faux-Bot

New GhostBusters game in the works

Some of you may remember, a few months back, that a European developer was slapped for developing a next-gen Ghost Busters title without the licence. Whilst I can't confirm that this is the same developers, you can clearly see that next-gen ghost bustin' is a go. Being raised on a staple diet of this and Turtles, I can barely contain my excitement at the announcement of what seems like a very good use of the property. The only way they could possibly get me more frothed is if there were to be some sort of special edition that came bundled with a tub of old-fashioned Ghost Buster slime. That was the best, with the little monster inside, and the grate on top of the HQ that you could ooze it through. I wish I had a time machine.


It looks awesome and the released details only serve to make it seem all the more appealing.
"Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson are all set to lend their likeness and voices to the game. Dan and Harold are also working on the storyline for the game which takes place shortly after the events of the second movie. The biggest surprise out of the press release is that you are going to be playing as a new recruit and not as one of the famous four Ghostbusters
." nicked from Destructoid.

This can't come out soon enough. I want to wrestle Slimer now!

The Faux-Bot

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Nintendo and the Videogames renaissance

For all of its mainstream success, the Nintendo Wii has also seen more than it's fair share of backlash. Whilst it isn't exactly the kind of backlash that will realistically damage sales, Nintendo's fanboy stock continues to fall each time they pander to the casual market. With the casual market currently tearing their hair out in order to get their hands on Wii's, its no wonder that Nintendo are going to stay firmly where the money is.

At either Leipzig or E3 this year, I remember hearing several reports of just how Nintendo seems to have 'shunned' it's core audience. With Nintendo fans doing so much to keep the company afloat throughout the mediocre 'successes' of the N64 and the Gamecube, you can understand why so many of them would feel bitter after having to endure maximum promotion of Wii Fit and a comparatively meagre showing of Super Mario Galaxy.

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, it is undeniable that Nintendo's Wii has the potential to forever change the Videogames market. Microsoft's attempt to steal a slice of the 'family' pie by offering up Scene It and Party Animals this Christmas, clearly shows us how seriously this 'casual sector' is taken. No doubt Sony sees their new iterations of Singstar as their opportunity to at least pick up some crumbs from Nintendo's well-stocked banquet table.

This increased focus upon appealing to casual gamers is one that will divide opinion across the board. As games like Bioshock, Mass Effect, The Orange Box and the promises of Grand Theft Auto IV continue to push boundaries and expand possibilities in this current generation, much of the success and fame is awarded to Wii Sports, for example. Interface aside, Wii Sports and indeed many of the Wii's more successful titles, are incredibly backwards-thinking and primitive games. It would seem that as far as the maturity of the genre goes, expanding audiences requires sacrifices and thinking retrospectively, something which more passionate or 'hardcore' gamers may frown upon.

However, I see great potential for the medium as a whole. I am fascinated by the idea that the Wii will provide videogames with some sort of renaissance. Effectively, I view the current situation, post-Wii as 'wiping the slate clean'. Despite its primitive nature, much of the more successful Wii software appeals because of its simplicity and ease of use, these are not daunting or involving games. But with an expanded market, there is great potential. There is the possibility that this new wave of gamers will have tastes that will develop and needs that will change over time. The Wii could merely be their introduction and as they begin to seek new and more rewarding experiences, the may begin to discover other consoles and more mature titles, those with intriguing and well thought out storylines, characters and aesthetics.

Whilst constant comparisons with cinema continue to hinder the development of Videogames as a 'true medium', in this case, cinema provides a strong example to illustrate my point. A child begins by watching quite basic cinema, say Disney movies for example. As their interest grows, they may take a particular liking towards animation as a medium. They may then go on to explore and come across Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. As they grow, they may go on to seek out more of Tim Burton's films. Becoming fully engrossed in his aesthetic they may begin to trace the roots of his style, arriving at German Expressionist cinema of the 1920's. Although Disney movies did not have the responsibility of expanding a medium's audience, they would have still opened the door to many a fan of cinema. Whilst there is a greater responsibility upon Nintendo's shoulders, they are unwittingly, opening the door for masses of potential gamers whose tastes will mature and grow.

Combine an expanding market with increasingly sophisticated tastes and you may see a very fruitful future for Videogames as a whole.

The Faux-Bot

The best Kane & Lynch advert ever.

Coming soon: Real posts.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

More of this, please.

Its times like these that I curse Kane & Lynch, for you see, I can only afford the one game. This looks cool. As if this game needed any more going for it. If I was a rich man.....*sigh*

The Faux-Bot

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Thoughtful gamers; hear my call

I have never made any attempt to ever hide my sheer piss-pants excitement regarding the release of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, and I don't plan to start now. If this instantly turns you off, please, I beg of you, try and repress your knee-jerk reaction this one time and read on.

I have followed the development of this game from the second that I heard of its announcement, which as many of you will know, makes for a long wait on my part. Its not as if K&L has had a particularly 'troubled' development, more that it has just taken its sweet time. The problem with this is that there are a few glaring issues with the game that just seem to put people off and quite rightly so. Due to its development time, it now looks quite dated in terms of its visuals. This, coupled with a lack of online co-op makes for alot of sore heads and "rental only" responses. Whilst I get frustrated at this attitude, I fully understand it.

If you are one of the aforementioned sore-heads, please consider this post as a gently persuasive argument. Despite its problems, Kane & Lynch has enough originality and style to compensate. I just want to look at the positives, so that you, the possibly undecided reader, can see the good in this game. I'm not going to list the features that make this such a potentially fantastic experience; they have been written about time and time again, and if your aren't aware of the amazingly original online multiplayer mode, Michael Mann aesthetic, fantastic characters and ingenious storytelling, then I probably already lost you in the first paragraph.

What I want to put across is that as gamers, we have the power to support and shape the future of the industry. IO have a fantastic back catalogue of games behind them and I for one, would hate to see their stock diminish because of a few minor errors. I want to see this game supported because of its glaring originality and sense of character. I want to see games like this succeed amongst the likes of bigger blockbusters, if only to convince publishers that there is a market for games such as Kane & Lynch. The game has a fucking colour palette for God's sake! An intended set of colours that set the mood and tone of each scene. Admittedly it won't be of Bioshock standards, but its nonetheless inspiring to see a game that pays such attention to detail. Also, don't forget that you get to play as complete bastards. No Hollywood-style redemption, no overcoming adversity, just two bad people in a bad situation.

Arguments like this will always be fraught with personal preferences and opinion and I understand how off putting this can be. But, if you are toying with the idea of buying this game, you have a relatively disposable income and you consider yourself to be a 'thinking gamer' then please, I urge you, as someone who already craves sequels or at least more games in a similar vain, please buy Kane & Lynch. If you're the kind of person to buy multiple iterations of the same movie, or who would buy another re-issue of Spaced on DVD, then consider smart and distinctive game design as another cause worth supporting, you wonderful Fanboy, you.

The Faux-Bot

P.S. Also worth noting is that K&L's release has been pushed forward a week due to it going Gold! Which is inspiring. Also, also, check out the very cool viral campaign in the form of this blog: which concerns the investigation of the fictional, in-game criminal organisation - The 7 - for whom Kane and Lynch are forced to work.

Friday, 2 November 2007

A scientific analysis of Gaming News

I'm struggling to find any decent news lately. There really is very little that catches my eye. Some kid punches his mother over Halo 3, some conservative dicks prattle on about the evils of Manhunt 2 and the PS3 and 360 bicker over sales figures. *yawn*

So whilst this may not be a particularly fruitful time for gaming news, it certainly is a fruitful time for games themselves. Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, Kane & Lynch, Assassin's Creed, Rock Band, Guitar Hero 3, Super Mario Galaxy and Haze are but a few reasons to get frothing this Christmas. Maybe, there is a correlation here; as actual game releases rise in number, the discussion of and news relating to games releases falls. See graph below.

With geeks such as myself so full to the brim with gaming goodness, we don't have time to dig around looking for little nuggets of information to whet our appetites. Our appetites are being satisfied to such an extent that news almost ceases to exist. This can be further understood when taking into account that gaming news can be broken down into a small number of distinct categories:

As you can see, the most substantial part of the News Pie is occupied by 'Hype', with only Flamewars, or more specifically, the fuel for Flamewars, making up the second largest slice.

Cross-analysis of these two sets of figures reveals that 'Hype' as a portion of gaming news becomes substantially reduced at certain times throughout each year. With this in mind, we can also then come to the conclusion that without Hype, there is very little news left.

It is my firm belief that there is a direct link between game releases and gaming news. Both are in a constant state of flux, with one consistently affecting the other. This study also reveals that this constant cycle is not necessarily within our control, it is in the hands of higher powers. Higher powers who laugh heartily at our eternal struggle. "What is this struggle?" you may ask. Simply put, we as gamers, whether we are aware of it or not, strive for a constant, almost straight line of regular games releases, coupled with a steady flow of news and information.

Our struggle is indeed, naive by its very nature, but is that not an essential part of the Human condition? As a scientist, I say yes and as a human being, I blindly ignore everything I have just said.

Good Day.

The Faux-Bot