Friday, 22 February 2008

Ya know what really grinds my gears?

I saw another headline for an article about the whole 'Are Games Art?' thing today. This is easily one of the most futile debates ever. Who cares? Does being classed as 'art' some how legitimise the medium? As if one day we'll wake up and suddenly games are no longer mere entertainment tools, but works of art and instantly our views on them will be changed. It's ridiculous to think that anyone has the power to suddenly decide that any medium should be classed as 'art'. No-one has the right to tell me what is and what isn't.
To whoever has decided to elect themselves as the worldwide minister for culture:

Go fuck yourself, we don't require your validation.
The Faux Bot

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


For a while now I've been making a conscious effort not steal all of my articles from Destructoid. I am proud to say that this has worked out for me so far and that I am greatly improved as a human being for doing so. However, I don't have the privilege of going to GDC this year, or an industry events for that matter, so I'll have to break the fast for just a moment.

Please watch this footage of Fez. They say its coming out for the PC, but I feel confident that something this inventive; that doesn't feature Elves, Orks or first-person perspective guns will get ported to consoles. Seeing this is almost as refreshing as Viva Pinata or Littlebigplanet.

The Faux Bot

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Game developers never lie/Selotape solves everything: A double-pronged video attack

Consider this a lesson in how, and how not to, promote your new game. The first video, over-hyping Prototype, shows us how some moody lighting, and equally moody music can be used in order to make shitty, pre-alpha build tech demos seem interesting. This video is essentially some pompous directors talking about how amazing their game is, but not why. I remember New York, lots of paintings, and some guy at the end looking like he's gonna beat the shit out of the poor shmuck behind the camera for even suggesting that this may be just another exercise in hyperbole.

The second video shows a tech demo for the new Alone in the Dark game. It features the coolest inventory screen I've ever seen, lots of selotape and a boatload of potential. This game, as far as I am concerned is going in the right direction, allowing gamers to make their own experiences through gameplay options, rather than feigning them through pre-set dialog trees. I assure you, that is by no means a dig at Mass Effect.

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to Prototype, it should be great fun, but come on....are those guys for real?

Also on the subject of hyperbole, Peter Molenyuex has stopped talking about Fable 2 now, probably because it will never get released. Instead, he's decided to harp on about how the new game from the Black & White team will be so amazing that it will both cure cancer and restore peace to the Middle East. Molenyuex is a dick, plain and simple. You'd think after Fable being so painfully underwhelming in light of his hype, that he'd have learned his lesson. I guess not. Like I said though, the guy is a dick and I can’t be bothered to write about it properly, so follow this link and save me the heartache will ya?

The Faux Bot

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Combat, Comaraderie, Cash........Cocks?

Army of Two is a funny one isn't it? Held back from the Christmas 2007 onslaught for 'extra polish' one could be forgiven for forgetting it even existed. A smart move on the part of EA, or should they have gotten in while the getting was good? I was under the impression that EA made their name by capitalizing on such holiday feeding frenzies. But, we forget. This is the NEW EA, right? The one with Mass Effect, The Orange Box and Skate, maybe they were just making the game better.

Whatever their reasons, EA did right to delay Army of Two. It would have just been another game at Christmas, whereas now, in the post-seasonal games drought, it can reign supreme. What is reassuring though, is that EA seem to have actually stuck to their word. Before it's original, intended release date Army of Two looked nothing more than your average post-G.O.W third person shooter, with little to offer in the way of originality except for a slightly ham-fisted co-op strategy. Now, as details emerge for it's online multiplayer modes and the in-game footage shows less and less bland 'oh-so-now' middle eastern battlegrounds (see: AIRCRAFT CARRIER!!), things might just be picking up.

To say that I'm excited for Army of Two would be a bit generous. But, I am definitely interested, as they seem to be taking their cues from the right places -clearly emulating the online multiplayer styles of both Gears of War and Kane & Lynch. EA still have alot to prove, but by supporting the development of new IP’s such as this, the task will be alot easier.

The Faux Bot

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

'He's crying because he's seen so many penises'

Hands up who likes cock jokes? Thought so...

Theres a good chance you guys have seen this but I almost coughed up Jack Daniels laughing, so I'm reposting it. The Faux-Bot brought the original video to our attention a few weeks back and I thank him as it led me to this.

Anyone who sees this and pretends to be above it all is a liar. Enjoy.


I drew a picture of Nero

It's not the Roman one, sorry History fans.

The Faux Bot

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Anyone familiar with DOS programming?

Bloody hell. Consider me a changed man. I've had about 3 million ideas in the past 10 minutes. This, and the last video, were created using a game engine called Mugen. I was heartbroken to find that it wasn't just some simple wizard software, as all my hopes of creating a Mugen fighter went out of the window with my unavoidable laziness.

Then, I saw this one, and the million others on Youtube and thought 'this is for me'. I'm learning how to program in DOS to get this done. Dont' know how, don't know when, I just know its going to happen.

The Faux Bot

This is why the Internet exists.


The Faux Bot

Monday, 11 February 2008

Padthrowers Anonymous

Call Of Duty 4 (on Veteran)

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I never spent much time playing videogames as a child. I was an active sort, never particularly good at sport, but always outside trying nonetheless. Games appealed to me for their character design, stories and the opportunity to "beat up and smash shit" without consequence. I was baffled and put off by their systems and the time so many of them required you to spend in order to succeed. I never really felt in control which always has, to this day even, led to a great amount of frustration.

The reason for so much harping on about gaming past is because, despite appearances, Call of Duty 4 is a very 'old' game. Online, it is fantastic, on regular and hardened, it is fantastic, but on Veteran, the cracks start to appear.

Now, many of you will be thinking at this point "you aren’t up to the challenge, so you decide to criticize the game, go play Animal Crossing, noob." Well, you'd be right. I do suck at Call of Duty and I do, very often, go play Animal Crossing. But, what you fail to see, is that sucking so hard at games gives me a unique insight into their flaws. If I am failing, it’s not my fault; it’s the game's.

Call of Duty 4 reminds me of the games from my past because its Veteran difficulty cannot be beaten by manual dexterity, or quick thinking, no, what you need is to understand how to beat the system. Finding cover and killing everyone is not good enough, no matter how well you do it, because at certain points, the enemies continually respawn. There is an unlimited stream of enemies, literally. The only time this stream is cut off, is when you reach a certain trigger point. What am I to do? I cannot reach the trigger point, for you see, every enemy that I kill respawns. By this point, I am at a total loss. My mind and body begin to separate and I react in the only way I know how. I want the system to know just how frustrated I am. The pad leaves my hands.

The problem is, you can’t tell a game what you think of it. I can shout at my TV all day long, but its never going to hear me. I can throw my pad forever, but it will never feel pain. Hell, I could even snatch the disc right out of the tray, snap it in half and take a shit between the two pieces, but that would just be silly.

The root of my frustration lies in the fact that to beat this difficulty, I have to trick and overcome the system, work out its patterns and use them against the game, much in the same way you would have to do in order to get a supreme Donkey Kong high score. It isn’t about thinking on your toes, or using your imagination, its about exposing and exploiting flaws or gaps in a system.

I'm sure that even some of my most loved games, Bioshock for example, can also be criticized for the same thing, it is after all just as much a game as any other. But the important difference is that Bioshock doesn’t force me to expose its inner workings in order to beat it, and it never made me throw my pad, not even once.

The Faux-Bot
Point of interest: typing 'shit on a disc' into Google image search yeilds poor results.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Worst. Interview. Ever.

Gametrailers interviewed Tetsuya Miziguchi and just asked him some bog standard questions. I'm offended; you get to interview one of the most interesting creative directors of the past two decades, and this is the best you can turn up. It's like asking Ghandi what his favourite flavour of crisps is. Jesus Christ. Here it is anyway.

Its worth watching just to see how steroetypically cool he is for a Japanese guy. I remember my mother used to work with alot of Japanese people, and she would tell me how they all thought her red hair was cool. This was about 10 years ago, so I guess his coolness is outdated a little. Which just endears him to me all the more. He also wears a leather jacket. Boss.

The Faux Bot