Thursday, 11 December 2008

It's official: Fallout 3 is amazing.

It's come to my attention over the past couple of months that Fallout 3 just isn't for everyone. It's very much a game that you "get" or don't. Like a good Cronenberg movie, it asks a lot of it's audience, naturally, this divides the lovers and the haters. When people dislike the anything for which I have a particular fondness, I get very self-conscious and start to doubt my own opinion. Perhaps I am the one who doesn't "get it" and have been duped into enjoying myself. I always talk myself round, but today I was given an extra little boost.

• This week Charlie's dismal life continued its sorry descent as he spent the only spare minutes he had obsessively playing Fallout 3, an intensely dispiriting videogame in which you stagger around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland scrabbling for bits of metal and eating radioactive iguana meat in a desperate bid to survive: "What's worrying is that that's my idea of fun right now."

Fallout 3 is officially amazing because the heroic polymath that is Charlie Brooker is as obsessed with it as I am. Can you believe it!? I feel so, so.....validated! Brooker is responsible for Dead Set, Nathan Barley, TV go home and the best articles The Guardian has to offer, amongst several other works of genius. It's fair to say that I generally rate him and take his word as some sort of gospel. Oh shit, now I just realised where the whole "preacherman" concept came from. Ok, forget that then, Charlie Brooker is an absolute cunt.

I'm not making this up! (click)

The Faux Bot

Monday, 8 December 2008

Balance is restored

I've often noticed that PS3 owners carry a certain air of smugness with them. This is by no means a bad thing and it is very much a right that they have earned. This is derived from the fact that they do not have to contend with XBOX Live. Whilst it may be a great service (and one that I begrudgingly pay for) it is full of homophobes, pricks and crotchweasels that make online gaming a chore. You know the ones; those who call everyone 'faggots', those who spend the first weeks of a games' release studying the multiplayer maps so that by the time you get around to playing it, all fun has been removed and you are at the will of the 'Lords of Spawn Point Camping'. These same little turds are also the kind that spill their techno-jizz every time a screen name hints at being a girl, threaten your missus over Uno and have names like Xxx!Hawtymcheartbreak001!xxX. These fucks give XBOX Live a bad name and afford PS3 owners the right to be smug. You can't defend them.

I took satisfaction this morning when I found this video that, to me, levels the playing field somewhat. What you will see below is a '6-way gang-bang' conducted through Sony's equivalent to Chinese Democracy - Home. Actions speak louder than words my friends. The idiocy is spreading.

The Faux Bot

Thursday, 4 December 2008


It's four hours in, and you've done all this before. Years spent clacking your way through the colour patterns of GH1, days spent screaming as your fingers seem to pass through each other on Fall Of Troy's F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X, weeks with your head in your hands wondering why you can't get the hang of upward strumming.

By the time the Rock Band versus Guitar Hero slugfest has begun, you've become jaded. You don't sit there trying to best a new song any more, because it's not fun to fail. Why practice Knights of Cydonia when I can clack my way through Gallows genuinely getting amped up?

So you've booted up the latest GH as a last throw of the dice. The new guitar glistens in your hand, promising much with its plasticy curves. You crack open a bottle of beer, and hope you can blame it for what is essentially an expensive game of Simon says.

And then it happens. Inch by inch, it starts to take you over. The new set structure kicks RB's into next week. Each gig actually feels like a set performance, full of rushing highs and crashing lows. The movement on the stage as your eye darts around on the quiet bit actually feels like your favourite concert.

And the perfect set comes along. It kicks off with a favourite, something you couldn't wait to play the moment you opened that box. The grin on your face hides the easy bits, and pushes you through the hard. Then the metal kicks in for song two, and your adrenaline spikes as you crash your way through it. Solos punish and mock you, and the slow dribble of that needle into the red sets your teeth on edge, licking up any bit of star power like honey.
Then the slow classic begins. Something from the 70's swirls its way through the speaker, and you realise why your parents were blessed. That moment where GH actually shows you why a song was great, rather than reduce it to its clacky beat parts. Your fingers ache as they rest, then seize as the secret complexities of simple favourites rears its head.
Then the celebrity appears, and you flip out. You're in the moment now, and it's like they've pushed through the crowd just to see if you can hang with them. Their song is an epic, and you want to show what you can do. The difficulty is gone as you ride the perfect score, and there's nothing stopping you.

And then the encore. This is the killer moment. If it's a dud (and it rarely is) the moment is gone. You click through it, waiting to see if you can unlock the Tool set yet. But if it's almost go "YEAAAAH!". Seriously, with no irony.

Admittedly this was slightly less eloquent than I would like it to be, but I can't describe how it happened. It just did.