Sunday, 25 May 2008

Brucie gets Wii Fit

Despite the nationwide shortage, Brucie - everybody's favourite roid-freak arsehole has managed to get a copy of Wii Fit. I guess he isn't so genetically superior after all.

The Faux Bot

Friday, 23 May 2008

Goddamn Hippies

Greenpeace as an institution have continued to grate on me for some years now and not just because everybody hates hippies. They always seemed to be a collection of the kind of work-shy idealistic middle-class shitbags who think that they don't have to get a real job but rather they pursue their destiny to save mother earth and piss off mummy and daddy at the same time. They are the kind of people who take a year out of university to 'go travelling'. In short, they are cunts.

Now we find ourselves in the wake of the generation they influenced. The 'green' mentality is all around us and whether the figures would show it or not, as a society we are far more conscious of our effect on the environment. We drink fruit smoothies, sort our plastics from our tins and buy 'bags for life'. So with even the huge mega-evil capitalist bastard supermarkets ramming environmentalism down our throats and choking us on our own excess of carrier bags, what place is there left for an institution such as Greenpeace? Surely, their work is done.

Not quite, you see there are a lot of people on the pay roll, so to maintain income and their reputation they find other things to moan about. If I was in charge of such a waning institution, I'd find some sort of 'hot topic' to latch onto, you know, to propel the name back into the public sphere. Something like a retail sector that "saw a 14 percent growth over the last year" to quote Greenpeace themselves. Something like....videogames.

Apparently games consoles are toxic. That's what Greenpeace seem to think and if their slick new advert with latex gloves and high tech machinery is anything to go by, well, it must be true. I mean, look at the editing, it's all fast and it has 'beats' for the soundtrack. Yeah! C'mon all you hip kids! Send your console back to Nintendo, write them a letter about how they have to 'cool out' and use greener plastics and find some of those processor boards that mother nature so kindly provides on trees, then go outside and paint a mural with all your eclectic friends.

So why is it so bad if they are toxic? Apparently, "Once they’ve reached the end of useful life, game consoles are often dumped and end up in unsafe and dirty recycling yards in developing countries" Yep. Guilty as charged. Hands up, gamers. Now how many have you have willingly thrown out your £160+ worth of console this year? What, none of you!? Ahh come on, we're the middle classes, we throw out expensive equipment all the time, especially when they reach the end of their lives. After all, this generation has been going for a whole THREE YEARS! That's nearly a millennia! Sarcasm aside, this just shows how tragically out of touch Greenpeace are, which is further highlighted by their trivialisation of consoles in general; stating that, "Ironically, despite being used for playing games, game consoles are not classified as toys." This is what happens when you switch off the TV and start reading The Observer - you become a cultural fuckwitt and join Greenpeace.

Douchebaggery in full:

The Faux Bot

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Seeing the light: Sequels R' Us

I fully admit that on times I can be very tough to impress. As a human I endeavour to be the eternal optimist. This doesn't always work, but I try and that's the important bit. As a gamer, however, my personality is altogether far more stubborn and critical. I ceaselessly crave new ideas and constantly refer to past glories (see Jet Set Radio) as being the pinnacles of gaming invention that have yet to be topped. Naturally, with me being the miserable and overly critical nit-picking bastard of a gamer that I am, criticizing sequels is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. And in case you were wondering, the answer is 'Yes'. I thought that Shooting Fish in a Barrel 2 was a load of shit, despite the fact that it had G-Con support and online co-op.

So, with another exhaustingly long and convoluted introduction out of the way, I'll get to making my point. Usually, I frown at sequels, but this year promises some incredible treats, the kind that bypass my usual cynicism and instead see me revert to the mentality of a frothed-up ten year old at Christmas (for similar results see Me at Christmas). "What's in the sequel sack?" I hear you ask.

Skate 2!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fable 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Viva Pinata: Trouble in paradise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gears of War 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, Gears and Fable are going to be the unstoppable behemoths that we all expect them to be and no excitement will be required on our parts because the sheer saturation of hype will work its way into us just like osmosis. It's rare that I give a shit about a sequel that isn't prefixed by the titles Shenmue, Jet Set Radio or Grand Theft Auto. Times they are a' changin'. We all gushed over how fantastic a year for gaming 2007 turned out to be, but with these treats on the horizon along with Mirrors Edge, Dead Space, Alone in The Dark, Castle Crashers and Littlebigplanet, to name but a few, 2008 is already shaping up to snatch that crown away in record time.

I'll refrain from saying I've got a semi.

But, I have got a semi.

The Faux Bot

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Missing: one pair of fingerless gloves

I've been playing GTA IV for around 40 hours now and I've yet to find a pair of fingerless gloves. You know the ones, right? The very same ones that featured in nearly every promo shot for the game? Let me refresh your memory:

I'm struggling to think of ways to eloquently put this, so I'll just go right ahead and say it: WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY!? Dropping the radio from the phone is one thing, but that's a whole game feature, one that could cause any number of problems. I have enough trouble with people ringing me during 3 star wanted ratings as it is, the last thing I need is that lovable bell-end Lazlow to be thrown into the mix. But to drop a pair of gloves. C'mon, that's just weird. And frustrating. They actually do alot to propel Nico into near-iconic status and Rockstar just decided to drop them. Just plain odd. Lost for words, so time to stop. Let me know if you find them though.

The Faux Bot

New Banjo: Meh

Look, I'm sorry, I don't want to be the one to crash the party, but I can't help thinking that maybe this footage of the new Banjo Kazooie game looks a bit - for want of a better term - rubbish. I have fond memories of the N64 and particularly Rare's sumptuous 3D platforming delights, but this looks like Banjo HD and nothing more. I'm sure I'm probably judging it a little too early and that in time some genuinely interesting elements will come to light. But for now the bricolage environments, the achingly-retro character designs are all far too dated for me to get excited about. Still, at least they announced a sequel to Viva Pinata, which on my potential sequel scale ranks as number 3, look:

1. Jet Set Radio 3

2. Shenmue 3

3. Viva Pinata 2

-end abruptly

The Faux Bot

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Online in the real world

I often wonder what it would be like if gaming achievements had more ‘real-world’ influence. For example; would Tommy from Arizona get laid by the girl of his dreams from college if she knew he’d done the Mile High level of Call of Duty 4 on Veteran difficulty? If it were somehow displayed on his shirt as a visible badge of honor to anyone who’d played the game? The answer is probably not; as the chances are she doesn’t give a shit. But what if she did? What if she knew all about it and if she knew that it took him only two attempts she’d be all over him like a wasp in a bin?

OK, so its an odd example I admit, but with thousands of people spending hours upon hours gaming online, moving up leaderboards and leveling up characters I often think about how far removed it actually is from everything else and if it'll ever be any different? I wonder how many level 10 COD prestige players I’ve passed in the street, or how many times I’ve sat next to someone on a bus who has all their final fantasy characters at level 99? I wonder if gaming achievements will ever be worth more? When the guys at the top of the leaderboards step outside their front doors all their effort counts for sweet F.A. It just doesn’t seem right.

For someone such as myself for who fiction and reality are pretty much the same anyway, it wouldn’t be a big leap to see people’s gamertags and usernames floating above their heads as they walk down the street. Not standing out, just as the norm, like on the television screen.

Hopefully the future will bring me all the odd and unlikely things I desire, although I think it’ll take a while for my sci-fi-esq fantasies to become reality. That said, if the masses are reluctant the rest of us will still be able to see what we chose with our optical prosthetics.

I’m not insane.


Monday, 5 May 2008

The GTA IV Widows Club.

20 hours into GTA IV and I begin to remember how cruelly I've neglected my other major time-sucker. It is of course, this darling Blog of mine, oh how I have missed you. I forgot of the ways we used to cavort and caper, and dream of them actually releasing Castle Crashers. But I'm back now baby. Wipe those tears and spread open your factpipe: I'm going to fill you stupid (give you so much knowledge that you'll go back around to being stupid again).

So, yeah.

I take a certain sense of pride in keeping the GTA hype to a minimum here. That said, as with most things, it's futile for me to even try and compete with the major websites or even bother with posting their second hand news (unless I think it's something that has been overlooked by the majority). Grand Theft Radar, or Gamesradar as it was once known has almost literally fucked the game inside-out to the point that I'm confident that by next week they will have reverse-engineered the whole thing to figure out just where the hell you get those fingerless gloves.

By now, you may be asking yourself 'Where is he going with this?' or 'Why do I bother coming back here?', but hopefully what you are really thinking is 'Well, what unique and interesting angle will Split-Screen's GTA IV coverage take?' For those of you with the latter circling your brain, I proudly present the first chapter in our post-GTA madness: The GTA IV Widows club!

Whilst sensationalist right-wing media outlets are busy making their names by jumping on vicious bandwagons, vilifying our favourite source of entertainment and asking us "won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!?" (in their best Maude Flanders voice) it's easy to forget about the real victims. The game does destroy lives, but not those of children, oh no. Spare a thought, please, for the widows of Grand Theft Auto, those who lose their life partners, sometimes for hours on end, to one of the most all-consuming pieces of interactive entertainment ever witnessed. You see the problem with GTA is that so many of those who play are intelligent beings, capable of forming relationships with the opposite sex. World of Warcraft and the like need not worry about its players alienating their spouses, because none of them have any.

If you understand the plight of these strong-willed, yet broken women, then I urge you to follow this link: join the group and make your voice heard. Strength in numbers sisters, strength in numbers.

The Faux-Bot