Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Gameswipe. Oh yeah.

Sometimes the show we're all hoping comes along. This is one of those times. Go follow the link and enjoy this- you only have to be half the cynical bastard Brooker himself is to find his take on things informative and hilarious. I caught this at 1.50am last night but people who have lives and help make up society can watch it at a more reasonable time on the BBCiPlayer.

The only downside is unfortunately for now this is a one-off show. Brooker says they'd make another one if asked though and maybe they'll even cover games on Screenwipe in the future.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tim Schafer: We are not worthy of your radness

Look at him there. The man who brought us Grim Fandango, Day of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, Psychonauts and now Brutal Legend. His radness cannot be quantified.

I could perhaps write a biographical piece here, documenting Schafer's radness over his game development career. But right now, all I want to do is spill my metaphorical gamer-jizz all over your internets, because now that I've played Brutal Legend: I'm hyped.

If you need me to tell you that Brutal Legend is a metal fantasy hack n' slash featuring Jack Black, Rob Halford, Ozzy and Lemmy (amongst others) then I just did. You're welcome. Now despite the size of my nerd-boner, I'm not going to blow smoke up your collective arse: as far as gameplay is concerned, Brutal legend is a decidedly so-so affair. Slash, slash, block, dodge, roll, slash, slash slash, slash, guitar riff........wait......guitar riff!? That's not standard hack and slash attire Mr. Schafer! What on earth are you doing? I feel I can answer on his behalf and further my schizophrenic outbursts when I say "I just wanted to make a game that was rad." Well, sir, you seem to have succeeded.

You see, it's not the gameplay that we should be looking at. Whilst being very standard, it is quite playable and is presented with a love and affection for the subject matter not seen since Littlebigplanet. I know there are those of you who will take one look at the sub-par combat and turn thy noses upward. You can't be blamed, but ask yourself: what level of technical excellence are you holding out for? This game expresses more passion and creativity than any other game I've seen this year (perhaps with the exception of Scribblenauts). Sure I'd like groundbreaking gameplay too, but life's never perfect, is it?


Friday, 25 September 2009

I've seen the future!

It's King shaped!

This is a prototype from the Behemoth dev blog. Although only a prototype I think we can agree it's both bitchin' and rockin'. For picture enhancement stare at the picture with Maiden's Running Free playing in the background, maybe pretend he's singing it.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Cho Chabudai Gaeshi

You've had another tough day in the office, your boss is still on your case for those TPS reports, they moved your desk again, the tube was rammed and all you want to do is get home and relax. You get back and sit down at the dinner table. You wife presents you with a questionable meal, your irritating daughter prattles on into her mobile phone and your son twiddles away with his Gameboy. This shit is ridiculous. You are about to FLIP THE MOTHERFUCKING TABLE!!

This happens to all of us some days, which is why Taito created Cho Chabudai Gaeshi -perhaps the only arcade game to feature a fully flippable table controller. Watch and be amazed at just how genius this is. Here's hoping that Activision get the western home distribution rights to this so that they can add it to their ever-growing games with ridiculous peripherals sub-genre. I'd buy one.

What's this!? An actual scoop?

If you're at all familiar with the amount of Street Fighter games out there, then you'll know that Capcom love their sequels. Street Fighter 2 alone had Championship edition, Super edition, Turbo edition, etc, etc. The list goes on and is superbly illustrated by this epic Street Fighter timeline. It's inevitable then that they should, in a timely fashion, be providing us fanboys with an update to Street Fighter 4. Whilst the rest of the Internet goes wild with speculation, I can provide you with so em slightly more concrete information thanks to my friend in a high place and his grilling of an ever-so-slightly big-mouthed Capcom rep.

Here's what we know:

Street Fighter 4 -Dash, as it's tentatively known will, amongst other things, feature:
10 new Characters
The return of SF2's car smash-up bonus stages
Sorted online lobbies, replete with quarter mode (winner stays on)
New stages
New moves for each character
Cross-compatibility with current downloadable content

Sounds awesome, I'm sure you'll agree. Hopefully this all turns out to be true and it's on it's way. My prediction is that we'll see it hit this February at the earliest. More scoops from my secretive contact coming soon.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The History of Hockey Videogames

Ice hockey was the only sport that ever managed to hold my interest, with the exception of basketball, when I were a lad, and my interest has been on the grow over the past year thanks to a fantasy hockey league run by a good friend. You may know him. It always struck me as logical that picking up one of EA's NHL games would be an excellent 'in' for me to get back to grips with the sport, but alas, I find them complicated and alienating. I promise that I will make the commitment to getting NHL 10 and working at it, should friend reviews recommend it.

It would seem that Hockey and videogames have gone hand-in-hand for some time now, a theory backed up by a fascinating article over at The Pens Blog and, to me at least, epitomised by Kevin Smith's best Mallrat - Brody. Whilst I'm no fan of Sidney Crosby (this is based on attitude as opposed to talent) I cannot ignore this article. There are some links to emulators and roms for some of the older titles should you get curious, and it charts a completely thorough history, raking up a few you may have forgotten. Go read.

Makes me want to dredge up a basketball one just to reminisce over NBA Jam. God that game was awesome, who's with me? Also, whilst we're on the subject, would anyone else like to see more sports games coverage on the site? It's an area in which we are criminally lacking. Any volunteers? Good pay and benefits (lie) apply in the comments.

Monday, 14 September 2009

FFXIII voice acting

Having recently had the Blu ray player vs PS3 discussion (again) with The Faux Bot and Prof. Membrain it got me thinking about Final Fantasy XIII. FFXIII looking better, on less disks and with the possibility of dual audio was a definite pull for me. Having said that, no one seems prepared to commit to any actual details about the 360 and PS3 versions. What there is though is virtual confirmation the versions will be the same, and there are snippets of evidence that the XBOX may drag it down for everyone, which would suck as so far the XBOX has been pretty good to me.

There are a couple of interviews around with producer Yoshinori Kitase to be found. Back on May 12th Kotaku had

"Obviously, when we talk about XIII it's for PS3 and Xbox – with PS3 being on Blu ray there would be enough memory, but on Xbox probably not. At the moment we're thinking of releasing the voice in English only".

On August 20th RPG Site had

"RPGSite: What of the two dubs? Will either version of the game ship with dual audio options?
Yoshinori Kitase: Both languages in each version?
RPGSite: Yes.
Yoshinori Kitase: Currently that looks unlikely."

Read the interview in full and you'll see there's a segment on how changes had to be made so it suited both machines and they didn't have to dumb-down aspects of the the game for any console exclusively blah blah blah. Surely the bottom line is if dual audio fits on the PS3's disc, fucking put it on there.

I don't religiously read game sites and magazines so If I'm unaware of any developments on this front please let me know.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Never one to buck a trend

I really shouldn't be posting any more Street Fighter toys, but still...

Anyone who knows me will know I often get put off by highly articulated figures, thinking the joints to be ugly and opting for a more static model. These however look really good, Ryu & Ken especially. They're a bargain too, at a pre-order price of $44.99 for the three from BigBadToystore.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Street Fighter 4 goes back to the old school

If I didn't know better, this blog could easily pass for a Street Fighter fansite at times. I guess I just jump on anything Street Fighter, so sue me. Anyway, Shoryuken forum member steamboy33 re-drew characters from Street Fighter 4 as sprites in the style of Street fighter 3. What's more, is that he has also super-imposed some of them into mocked up fight screens.

Massively impressive, I'm sure you'll agree and a striking reminder of just how gorgeous SF3 was, as if one was needed. Hopefully the impending SFIV Dash update, whatever it may be, will take it's cues from SF3's stunning backdrops. Come on Capcom.

To summarise: wow.

via Kotaku

A chat with Paul Dini

I hope that one day, such a misleading title won't be quite as misleading. Of course, I haven't personally spoken with Paul Dini, the writer of the fantastic Batman: Arkham Asylum, but a real media outlet, namely The Guardian, has.

This five minute audio interview is worth a listen if your a fan of the game, like I know 99% of you are. Having Dini write for the game was a big deal for me, being a fan of his work on the Batman animated series and Batman of The Future (Batman Beyond). Not only is it great to see him getting recognition for his work, but this also provides an interesting insight into the process of writing for a game and just how involved writers are.

Listen here

Left 4 Dead 2 PC User Mods.....on a 360!?

If seems that Valve are seriously considering a distribution method that could see user-created mods for the PC version of L4D2 making their way to lowly 360 gamers. Whilst the content would be restricted, omitting references to licensed material, I can't help but contain my enthusiasm. As you may remember, I've gotten a little excited over PC mods before. Despite licensed material being omitted, we would still get more content, direct from the community. That, my friends, is awesome!

Valve have said that this model could see the authors getting paid for their work too, as nothing is ever free on XBOX Live. Good news then......for the authors at least.

The above screenshot is just one example of why user mods are Look, I'm not into rape or anything.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Is the second raddest thing I have seen all day.

Billtendo Killboy

This is the kind of thing I wish I did with my time. Collecting up old Game Boys and then giving them awesome makeovers strikes me as an incredibly satisfying way to spend one's time.

I'd like to think that I could do half as good a job as this, but I'm afraid that in reality my themes for Game Boy makeovers would be quite shit. For example, here are my first three thoughts on custom themes:

1. Alf
2. Pogs
3. Alf pogs

Best leave it to the professionals. View more over at Thetris' Deviantart gallery.

via Tiny Cartridge

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Split-Screen Podcast: Episode 4: Love and Gaming

We are officially running on new hardware with this episode, and thankfully, you should now be able to hear everything! We haven't quite got the editing down yet, but one step at a time folks. For now, enjoy some clear audio and the soothing tones of me, therightbullets and Prof Membrain.

In this episode we discuss love in games and I still can't seem to stop whining about Peter Molyneux. I'm becoming rather worried now as I don't even have to google him to check that I'm spelling his surname correctly. Creepy.

Anyway, enjoy and comment, for there are three hearts on the line this time.

I've streamlined it so that it is now a wma file and I have only posted it on Megaupload. If any of you require different file types or want to see it back on last.Fm, just let me know and I'll happily oblige.

Download Part 1

Download Part 2

After Arkham

By now, the majority of us have completed Batman: Arkham Asylum and are hard at work bettering each other's challenge scores as we dream of a sequel. Let's face it, being insatiable, Generation Y entertainment junkies, our mindset will always lead to 'what's next?' or 'I want more!'.

The people best primed for imagining settings and scenarios for an Arkham sequel are those with an encyclopedic knowledge of Batman storylines. Thank God then that the writers over at Gamesradar have gone and done the work for us. In an article speculating the villains that would appear in a sequel, they also touch upon potential storylines and settings. By far the most interesting and appealing of these potentials, is one based upon the 'No Man's Land' scenario. 'No Man's Land' saw Gotham being hit by a major earthquake that divided up the city and left it being designated a no man's land by the government, with all bridges destroyed and citizens forbidden from leaving or entering. Villains such as Two-Face, Bane and Zsaz carve up the city into chunks, leaving Batman with the task of taking the city back piece by piece.

With Gotham being too vast a setting to provide an adequate sequel to Arkham, the idea of having a closed-off section becomes all the more appealing, especially with it being ravaged by natural disaster. What this would also leave potential for is a cleansing, or liberating mechanic, a la' Freedom Fighters. Deciding which area to tackle and when would add another fantastic element to an already brilliant set of features.

Obviously this is only speculative and we've got a long wait ahead of us, but dreaming is what keeps me ticking over. This dream was brought to you in part by Paperboy. Oh yeah, and don't forget the link to that Gamesradar article.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Split-Screen Street Fighter 4 Tournament - Weekly Update

Christy! When I said go for it, fair play, you all went for it! This week has seen me inundated with fight results and has resulted in the scores going, to use the technical term, 'ape-shit'! As expected, Prof Membrain and Vandalworks continue to dominate. Imagine that they are Zed and the pawn shop owner, and the rest of us are Butch and Marsellus Wallace. The major difference is that there is no samurai sword justice in sight.

Movie references aside, this week has been awesome and we continue to edge even closer to the playoffs and the finals. Expect the winners to be showered with passive aggressive veiled hatred, and there to be plenty of me getting all weepy because you guys actually shared my enthusiasm.

Keep watching and fighting!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Real life Bayonetta, anyone?

In the best pairing since Lenny and Carl, Sega & have got together to find a real life Bayonetta! This competition will probably yield three things: Some extremely cringe-worthy pictures of girls in appalling outfits, some awesome pictures of good looking lookalikes and some pictures of men in drag. Whatever happens it's worth keeping an eye on. Pictures to be posted October 1st for voting over on, I'll post a reminder then^^.

Enter here:

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Split-Screen Street Fighter 4 Tournament - Weekly Update

After our first week of free-for-all-ing, this is how the leaderboard looks:

Some incredibly close matches this week: I'm informed that vandalworks and the Prof fought right down to the wire, as I know I did when fighting therightbullets. The Red Cyclone and Sagat always make for an interesting match-up. Prof. Membrain continues to play up to the suggestion that he may in fact be able to manipulate the Matrix as he daps me with a rising dragon punch, despite the round seeming as if it was over. My psych-out tactics, faithfully replicated from the Bart Simpson school of psych-outs, seemed to work on Bojack this week as my Zangief finally beat his Cammy.

I hope you are all enjoying the free-for-all template as much as I am, keep having your fights and check back at the end of each week to see how you all stand. Also, I've noticed that all of my fight-commentating concerns my matches only. If you want your tales of daring-do recounted here, give me exciting details and/or quotes when reporting results.