Thursday, 26 June 2008

Dear EA - I take it all back.

I've never been kind to EA, and with good reason. Years of dull sequels and their ongoing campaign to eradicate Take-Two sicken me. Their greed, it seems, knows no bounds and like most companies at the top of their respective food chains, they won't be entirely happy until the competition is all but dead and they have a license to print their own money.

Despite this, I've never doubted the positive effects that some EA fat-cash (tm) could have for smaller, more imaginative developers, look at Skate for example. EA have been putting their fingers in all the right pies lately, what with Rock Band currently reminding me of just how bad Guitar Hero 3 really is and some lovely looking new IP in the forms of Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. I wanted to refrain from the old shenanigans of just posting and commenting on game play vids, but here are some frankly stunning game play vids, and these words are my comments on them.

The Mirror's Edge one is a tad old, but I promised 'ol Rightbullets that I'd post it ages ago, yet I couldn't find a good enough reason to do so. The Dead Space videos are as fresh as the blood that covers every inch of the screen and do more than enough to convince me that EA are headed in the right direction. That on-screen display, that art design and the wondrous, wondrous sound. I am very, very excited for Dead Space. Mirror's Edge too, but I'm pretty sure I blew that load when I posted the screenshots.


The Faux Bot

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Games & Fashion: Part Deux

Last time I wrote about gaming fashion I didn't have this snappy headline, so think of this as being more like a spiritual sequel rather than another one of my half-arsed attempts at some sort of consistent feature. Again, I'm sourcing this from hipster's favourite, where they reveal that Triumvir are set to produce a range of Street Fighter t-shirts. The Orange County-based, self-professed "independent lifestyle company" have found themselves lucky enough to be granted with the opportunity to produce a clothing line to coincide with Street Fighter 2's 25th anniversary and the launch of Street Fighter 4.

This could so easily be just a case of some guys knocking out a range of shirts with Street Fighter screen prints on them. However, the fact that the first set of tees are being built around the theme of Shadowloo -Bison's crime syndicate- suggests that Triumvir are taking this more seriously, looking to communicate with fans of the series, rather than simply cash in on the name. This, coupled with their delightfully nostalgic blog is more than enough to get me excited. I love the idea that the popular culture that I personally grew up with can now see new light through re-interpretation and re-appropriation. I'm not going to get all postmodern on yo' asses here, I'll refrain from that and keep it simple. I fucking love Street Fighter 2 and I want to see it on t-shirts. I'll keep the postmodern recycling slant for future essays. Should also mention that Shadowloo theme equals maximum potential for the inclusion of Cammy. Enough said.

As I mentioned before, it's partly down to the nostalgic blog that I am so much more interested in these t-shirts. I too have fond memories of Street Fighter 2's arcade cabinets. Brynmawr Chip Shop had one and I sank more 50p's into that thing than I ever spent on FA cup sticker collections and Hubba Bubba's combined. Childhood was incredible and it wouldn't have been the same without Street Fighter 2. It's so pleasing to know that we weren't the only kids who replicated the moves in the playground, I just wonder if anyone else got their mates to do the energy bars for them, now that's the innocence of youth right there.

Check that blog here:

The Faux Bot

How much? Gnome freaking way!?

You readers know how it is, constantly forgetting to research things you've heard about on the web, so easily distracted by shiny links and playboy bunnies demonstrating wii fit. However today I remembered to look something up and my mind was blown (literally, pre frontal cortex everywhere).

I'm referring to the sale of WOW (World of Warcraft) accounts over the internet to people presumably too lazy to level up their own characters. It happens, and everyone who knows the game knows it happens, but are they aware of the cost? has a list of characters for sale with full statistic info for those who wish to circumnavigate the laborious task of starting from the beginning and getting straight to kicking ass. I for one would love to know who utilizes such avenues. Money no object? Flex your online muscle with a Lv 70 Blood elf Priest for $1149.00, or a Lv 70 Dwarf Priest for $1099.00.
Slightly further down the scale you can get a lesser character for around the $800 mark.

If you're in the market for a high level 'bargain' I'd jump all over the Lv 70 Gnome Warlock for the low low price of $399.00. How this is still on the site is beyond me! What a giveaway.

Ah, who has such a love for the game and so much money to fritter away? What kind of satisfaction could possibly be gleaned from cleaning up online with a character you had no input in the creation of? I cant imagine a more hollow victory, its like punching out a six year old.

I'm amazed and bewildered at the same time- if you can't be bothered or simply don't have the time to level up surely its not the game for you.

The level 70 Dwarf Priest was happy with his price although still felt something of a whore being passed user to user.


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Beautiful user generated help guides

Recently I came across some help guides on youtube that I thought to be of note and more than worth my time commenting on. I've been playing Beautiful Katamari the last few weeks and enjoying the craziness immensely it must be said, so imagine my delight to find some awesome help videos for the hard to find presents and cousins (not to mention 100 point guides). All at the touch of a button no less!

Mr 'ZoopSoul' has taken the time to film some of the best videos I've seen on the subject, with, I hasten to add, funny as hell commentaries to boot! Currently 84 videos in his repertoire makes his video collection pretty comprehensive, and with their help I'm convinced the 410 gamer-points I've accrued so far will soon increase in size much like my little Katamari.

Roll on my crazy friend.


Monday, 16 June 2008

Got the MetalGear blues

Not being a PS3 owner and having a job that involves selling shiny new copies of Metal Gear Solid 4 on a daily basis can take its toll. It is no surprise that I'm pining for some tactical espionage action and there is no hope in sight that my beloved 360 can deliver it. Short of finding 350 quid lying around, I must admit defeat and find other things to do. I know I'm not alone here, so I've compiled a list of things that you can do whilst you wait, save or just plain avoid Kojima's latest bizarre opus.

1. Try out new and exciting pasta combinations:

Beefburger, sundried tomato and red pesto is fucking amazing. It really shouldn't be. If I had MGS4, I would have settled for some plain old Italian sausage combo. With an open and uncluttered mind I was able to see just how fantastically diverse the humble burger is and how it perfectly sits side by side with the acidity of the tomato.

2. Perfect your Liquid/Solid Snake impressions:

It may only serve to increase your sense of emptiness in the short term, but after a while you will begin to realise that there is no greater satisfaction than confusing your family and co-workers with a pitch perfect delivery of a gruff "A HIND-D!?" or a deliriously camp "WELCOME BROTHER!".

Pop Fact: Cam Clarke has the best voice ever! He's not in MGS4 though. What a load of crap.

3. Play Rock Band:

It's better than Guitar Hero 3 in every conceivable way. Queens of The Stone Age's 'Sick, Sick, Sick' is an absolute motherfucker but also the most satisfying rhythm-action experience I've ever had. First guitar, then drums and mic. If you're British you may start to think that alternatively, you are half way to affording that PS3 with MGS. Don't look back now, stay strong and forget the past. You've achieved so much!

4. Watch a movie:

You'd be sitting still watching the bloody things for hours on end anyway. Replicate the Metal Gear experience on the cheap by playing Splinter Cell for 15 minutes at a time and then watching the Lord of the Rings Director's cuts in the breaks.

5. Watch Metal Gear Awesome for the 100th time:
Because it is just that. (Awesome) *heh*

6. Find a friend and watch him play it:

If you can find a friend with the game, invite yourself over their house, get the kettle on and settle in for the day. The odds are that he is better at it than you are anyway, plus you won't have to deal with any of the frustration. Sit back, shout things like "hide in that bin!?" bust out some of your well-practiced impressions and try to figure out what that little monkey is all about.

The Faux Bot

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Time to admit defeat

It appears as if I only post here on Sundays now, which makes a lot of sense seeing as it is my only guaranteed day off. What I'm saying here is, for the foreseeable future at least, I will only be posting on Sundays. This is me admitting defeat. Work-a-day world - you win this round. When I'm a fully rounded man of leisure who can work from home, I'll probably have a lot more time for this. I know some of you still read this blog and it is to you that I am most grateful. Every time one of you mentions to me about something I've posted, I well up (eyes, not trousers) because I know that no matter how futile this may seem right now, there are still some reasons to keep it alive. I think we must be approaching our 1 year anniversary soon as well. If I can get my shit together, I'll do something special to celebrate. Anyway, I just want you all to know how grateful I am, and to know that even though it's only once a week, I am aiming for some sort of consistency here.

To get you warmed up; a GTA IV flavoured treat, courtesy of those rapscallions over at Gamesradar. Just when I was reaching the end of my tether with their excessive GTA coverage, GR post this slice of postmodern comic genius. Alright, maybe I'm over-selling it a little, but whichever way you look at it, GTA + Naked Gun = Awesome.

The Faux Bot

Sunday, 1 June 2008

I'll give you 'enter sandman' ya little prick

I kid, really I do. I shouldn't toy with paedophilic humour, but if you know the song and you've seen the video then you'll have to admit that this headline is the wittiest thing I've conjured up in ages.

This kid absolutely destroys Enter Sandman's drum track on expert and I can't help but be a bit jealous. Not only because I can't afford my own Rock Band set up, but because there's no way I'd have the talent or patience to get this good. I suppose the only thing that comforts me is that Little Stevie here, or whatever his damn name is, clearly has to drum his way into daddy's affections. No shirt, skinny as hell. What does that tell you? That the only way to get good at Rhythm Action games is HARD WORK, something that Stevie's dad knows all about. Sure, he's cold and hungry now, but when he earns that shirt after 100% completion of And Justice For All... he'll know its true value. Work hard now, sit on stacks of cash and women with your very own shirt when you reach the top of the international leaderboards.

Is he doing the kick pedal as well? I can't figure out how that works. It looks hard enough with just the four pads.

Also, Youtube now hosts a number of videos of guys who have filmed their girlfriends playing Wii Fit in their underwear, but I'm not going to post them here, we're far too high-brow for that.

The Faux-Bot