Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our fellow contributor Cr0nt, who would have posted this himself but he had to finish getting the make-up on his hands before going off to party. I assume he was going to a party and not just lurking around the house worrying his girlfriend^^.

Oh, and if you've never played Left 4 Dead, this is the Hunter.

Zombie nrop

Anyone who thinks they'll be getting freaky with the undead when the zombie apocalypse rolls around in June 2013 may want to think again. Thanks to L4D2 for providing this insight. Oh-yeah-baby.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 demo codes

The Left 4 Dead 2 demo doesn't officially hit XBOX Live until next week, but luckily for you I've managed to procure some early access codes for our loyal readers. For those of you who haven't had one already, get these while their hot - first come, first served, ya dig?

JJR6W - T9MXQ - H739T - DDF2H - CX3DJ

W9BJJ - 3D6R9 - JHM4R - DV67H - G4WVB

Now you too can enjoy the thrills of dynamic dismemberment and come to fear the jockey.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

While my (plastic) guitar gently weeps

As I wait impatiently for The Ballad of Gay Tony to download, I have nothing better to do than share my hands-on impressions of DJ Hero with you lovely lot. I managed to sneak in a shifty 45 minute session earlier this afternoon and to sum up my experience, I would say that I am thoroughly impressed. Not that I was ever sceptical; I for one welcome any new innovations to the increasingly-stale rhythm action genre, I just felt that cutting between two records could potentially make for excruciatingly dull gameplay. I was wrong.

The soundtrack and guest stars already had me sold a long time ago: seeing the likes of Daft Punk, DJ Shadow and Grandmaster Flash blaze through setlists comprising of the Beastie Boys, Justice and Public Enemy instantly drew my attention. The presentation is appropriately characatured, and wonderfully reminiscent of Guitar Hero's golden years. DJ Hero's visual style puts GH's latter offerings to shame - perfectly demonstrating how the exaggerated, slightly cartoon-esque style should have evolved with the current generation of hardware. You also seem to have a wide array of entertaining backdrops, again, all drawn with a refreshing character-heavy style.

My experience was obviously limited, but enough to form a strong opinion all the same. Of the two stages I played, both oozed character and charm, with a hyper-real DJ culture aesthetic painting everything in sight. During the brief glimpses towards my avatar- a human tank wearing a denim jacket, big chains and a luchador mask- and observing my surroundings - a densely packed block party replete with abandoned subway cars, all lit in neon and covered in bold graffiti- I am pleasantly reminded of Jet Set Radio. Anyone who knows me, knows that JSR is my favourite game. I adore it, so anything that gets marginally close to making me feel the same way is an instant winner.

Sadly for DJ Hero, there is one thing holding it back: the price. With the standard edition going for £90 to £100 and the Renegade Edition fetching around £170, it's easy to see why consumers used to £75 guitar bundles may be hesitant to purchase. Robust and responsive though it may be, DJ Hero's superbly-crafted turntable peripheral is frightening and alien to most fans of the genre. A higher price point and a fear of the unknown has already resulted in low pre-orders. The broader spectrum of music available will help, but with the Rock Band store showing no signs of stopping with its quality and eclecticism, it's going to be an uphill struggle.

If you've got the cash and want something different, go for it. It works, way better than you'd think, something which is fundamentally linked to DJ'ing itself. With Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I still, from time-to-time, get the sensation that I am simply 'playing along'. Whilst this never ruins the rock star illusion whole-sale, it still lingers over me occasionally. With DJ Hero, I found a very distinct connection with the music, switching between tracks, using the cross-fader, dropping in your own samples and executing rewinds (rolling the record back to replay sections for added points) offers a level of control over the music that the other music games don't. At times, I felt like I was genuinely manipulating the music, meaning that the game successfully makes you feel like a DJ. For me, that is the essence of a good music game- one that makes you feel like you are the guitarist, the drummer, the singer, or now the DJ.

If I can persuade the missus to pony up the cash to get me the Renegade Edition for Christmas - party over mine!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Faux Bot's next-gen dream console

All this talk of Xboxes with the Blu-Rayz has got me thinking about how I wish I could just meld my consoles together - not just because switching the HDMI cable around is getting on my tits, but because my unit hosts so many peripherals and cables right now that I crave simplicity. This got me thinking about the consoles of the future and how if anybody actually listened to me, they would turn out. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a stark and somewhat frightening vision of a future that could be, as I present you with my dream console.

Behold! In the next generation, consoles will do everything! Just look at all those gubbins, all infinitely more useful than that rubbish Sky Player or a photo gallery app. I suppose that when they actually design it, they will find a way of perhaps scaling it down into one, convenient box. I'd be OK with that. Are you wondering about some of my additions? Wonder no more:

PS3, XBOX 360 and Wii:

These go without saying really. Whilst in all seriousness the idea of a united platform is terrible for the consumer, being able to have Madworld, Uncharted 2 and Left 4 Dead on one machine would be all sorts of awesome.


During long sessions of Call Of Duty 4, or any online multiplayer for that matter, I find myself always craving a cup of tea. Not wanting to leave, nor disturb my sleeping family with the rattling of cups, I always find myself left wanting. The Teasmaid is an amazing, self-contained tea-making machine AND alarm clock. Problem solved.


What with my dream console being able to do just about everything else for me, I thought it should probably be able to get me off as well. The inclusion of the Number 1 selling male sex toy is, in my humble opinion, an inspired stroke of genius.

Built-in projector:

Everyone has walls and my TV is broken. This is an all-purpose solution and a gift to the consumer. Standard HDMI-out and what not would also be included, just in case.

What do you think? Would you buy it? What inculsions have I missed?
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo: I will be expecting my royalty cheque in the post.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A winner is everyone

Huzzah, those of us who held off buying the PS3 as a cheap(er) blu ray player rejoice!

Microsoft have given us the news that Toshiba and Samsung are working on (external) solutions to bring BluRay to the 360 (sourced from destructoid but I cannot for the life of me find the URL I had open two minutes ago)! Only time will tell if we manage to get an internal, because my usb slots are reserved for charging my pads and my arcade stick but this news must make us all (except maybe The Faux Bot) even happier!

Would anyone buy the external drive if it was made? I made the assumption that it would be usb based, but I'm not sure whether or not the bus speed is high enough or even how technically they can get the required power to it without taking up another PCI slot (and I don't see a gap for one). Will it affect in any way or tempt people that would otherwise have bought a PS3 and send them over to the Rebel Alliance that is MS (probably the ONLY instance where MS are the people who don't think that people will pay whatever they charge for whatever machine they bring out)? Discuss people.

[EDIT: seems it was this man being an idiot again]

It still astounds me that he is the CEO of MS...

Friday, 23 October 2009

A winner is you!

Weeks have gone by and yet I still pine for our beloved Street Fighter 4 tournament. I feverishly try to make leagues out of everything now; secretly challenging my family to pooing competitions and seeing how many more cups of tea I can drink per day. All have proved fruitless so far. Never mind though, for as I mentioned earlier, bigger and better things are now in the works!

For now, just enjoy this bevvy of post-tourney material:

Vandalworks and myself facing off at our winners ceremony:

Vandalworks allowing his figures to frolic with their newly-acquired friend:

A desktop image lovingly provided by Cr0nt, may we all set it as our backgrounds in some sort of display of uniform weirdness:

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Split-Screen Street Fighter 4 Tournament - THE END

It is both upsetting and a slight relief to say that our beloved Street Fighter 4 tournament has finally come to an end. We've seen fighters come and go and we've had endless delays, but you all stuck with it and for that I can't thank you enough. So, in case you hadn't already heard the news, there is indeed a winner and that man is the ever-awesome VANDALWORKS! Give the man a round of applause ladies and gentlemen, for he is one with a true fighting spirit; a noble warrior and a great opponent. Vandalworks, I salute you and I am more than happy to be handing over the gold trophy to you. This means that I came second place and get to keep the silver for myself, which is nice. Whilst I intended to mail the trophy, I think a celebratory pint and mini awards ceremony is in order, I'll see if I can twist Mr. Works' arm and get some photos of that on here too.

Special mention goes to Prof. Membrain and Bojack for coming so close but losing out on the semis. Man of the tournament award goes to Nafunk for sticking with constant beatings for as long as humanly possible. His determination and courage is an inspiration to us all. I would personally like to thank you all for taking part and generally giving a shit, not to mention putting up with the numerous delays. A particular and heartfelt thank you goes out to my brother Krandal (justtherightbullets) for single-handedly organising this and making it all work with his immense knowledge of systems, leagues and those pesky numbers.

Despite reaching the end, I'm finding it hard be too saddened. I've learned so much from this and enjoyed it so much that more events and tourneys are already in the works. I'm always cautious of making grandiose promises about awesome things I'd love to do, so I'll keep it under the few hats that know for now, but hopefully the future will bring bigger and better things for our expending community.

For now, keep reading, keep listening to the podcasts and know that I am truly grateful for every second you spend here. Thank you all.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bayonetta Contest Update's Bayonetta contest has reached it's final stage and now we can all be 21st century pervs and vote for women based on their physical appearance. Good times. I'm relatively sure you're supposed to vote for the best lookalike, but honestly I'm finding it difficult not to vote for the one I think is finest.

Most of the finalists don't even have costumes (at least the ones that do have costumes have made a good effort) and they we're posted a week or so after the site said they would be. If I had to guess I'd say the whole contest was a bit of a bust that failed to generate much interest. Still, don't let my wild unfounded theories put you off voting, and as an added bonus I believe Maxim has some sort of ass judging contest at the moment. So there's that.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Scribblenauts is officially rubbish now

I've been enjoying Scribblenauts' menu screen time-sink for some time now. Endlessly feeding donuts to my T Rex, then making him kill a goblin. Things were going well and I was happily on the bandwagon; proclaiming the game as pure genius and forcing boyish enthusiasm onto my friends. Last night, this all changed.

I continued with the puzzle mode - the actual 'game' element of Scribblenauts - and found it pleasing enough until I reached Level 3-1 where you are asked to 'Give Santa something he likes'. "Easy", I think to myself, "Mince Pie". It spawns. It's a little on the big side, but it spawns and I'm still happy. I give it to Santa, he doesn't eat it. I'm thinking that the Santa I know would have wolfed that right down and gingerly asked for another. Something is amiss and I'm angry now.

I think I have figured out the problem though and it is that Scribblenauts is, unfortunately, developed by dirty bloody yanks! Stupid Americans who think that 'Santa' prefers cookies. I let it slide when they failed to address him by his proper name -Father Christmas- but failing to acknowledge his love of Mince Pies is a step too far. Me and Scribblenauts have now gone our separate ways, it's for the best. I'm almost upset enough to delete this stinking turd from my R4.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Doritos + Guitar Hero = ?

Recently Doritos launched a Guitar Hero promotion and I clocked the advert on TV a few times unsure what to make of it. A little further investigation has revealed a lengthier ad of 3 or 4 minutes and I'm still not sure. Are they fully taking the piss out of the product and it's target market? Or are they just being funny and I'm as confused as a Mormon in Dixons?

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not offended by this, not in the slightest just I wonder if anyone could be. Personally I love mocking others and any fan(atic) by definition has an over-the-normal fascination- be it guitar hero, cars, bands, books, whatever. All ripe for parody and fair game in my eyes.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

I feel that a tone-lowering is in order.

We've had a lot of serious discussion around here lately, and whilst I welcome it, I still get a little antsy when no-one mentions boobs, dicks or farts. Luckily, I will always be on hand to take the moral barometer down a few clicks, with today being no exception.

If I could read kanji, then Hachi Koi - a touchscreen dating sim on the DS- would be exactly the kind of game that I would play. Bit-titted, totally legal, girls line up so that you may attempt to woo them through a series of dates, conversations and *ahem* 'actions'. The DS touchscreen is used for far more than cycling through dialogue tree options though, far more indeed. Applying lotion to a sunbathing girl's back is proof enough that Hachi Koi is the most innovative use of the DS hardware since The Phantom Hourglass.

One of the girls, or victims if you prefer, that is subject to your in-game advances is a portly lass by the name of Kasugaoka Kurumi. She likes chocolate: a characteristic that has impressively managed to warrant it's very own web-based Tetris spin-off. The standard Tetris shapes are made from chocolate squares and with the clearing of each line, you are rewarded with the sounds of Kurumi's 'enjoyment'. Play it with the sound on, and definitely try to clear four lines at once. Click here.

Via Tiny Cartridge

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Call of Duty 4: The New Male Shorthand

I'm no sporting enthusiast - this is not a secret and because of this, I have gone my entire life without the benefit of what I like to call 'Male Shorthand'. This unique brand of small talk will get through just about any overly-masculine social situation, be it with you potential father-in-law or that one drunk who will just talk to anybody and it's best you just agree with everything he says because he could flip any moment and start threatening to kill you - you know the type. Missing this skill makes me somewhat of a social leper at times. Please stop me if I'm sounding a little too much like Morrissey.

(click to listen to just how brilliant he is)

Thankfully, Call of Duty 4 exists and Modern Warfare 2 is on the horizon. Call of Duty is fast becoming a new form of male shorthand, sitting comfortably up there with the likes of football and veiled cock-comparing. So many males play it now that it's become almost 'normal' to invest large amounts of time into an online game. For many it's a regular social activity and forms a large part of their life.

Enter: Me - the gaming nerd, once confined to the shadows, now out in the open, ready to make all you 'normies' my bitches. Bear witness to my supreme gaming prowess and gawp in amazement as I describe host migration to you. Although I am such a nerd, I am in no way bitter and I resist the temptation to act superior. Instead, I marvel at the ease with which I can now talk with 'regular guys'.
Usually, I want to talk about how tits looked different in the 70's, or how living your life with Devo's mentality is a really positive thing to do. Regretfully, neither of these make suitable topics for small talk. What Call of Duty has given nerds like me is common ground. Society is now my oyster and nerds are becoming increasingly mainstream, the line growing ever-blurry day-by-day.

We live in a period where gaming is becoming more integrated into the mainstream; even cunts like Vernon Kaye admit to their 'COD addiction'. Us gamers are becoming more acceptable and can no longer be easily classified as mouth-breathing bedroom dwellers ; except for when we lose to someone with a higher rank and then we can be all like: "Oh, fuck you. Look at your rank! What, do you live on this game? Fuck you man, go out and get laid, I get laid which is why I don't have such a great rank. Fuck you, nerd. Fuck you."

Whilst the likes of Fifa and Championship manager have been able to boast this 'everyman appeal' for decades, Call of Duty, being a shooter and not having a link to traditional male pursuits is something of a first. Whilst I'm sure there are plenty of men out there who do rank 'shooting things' on their list of interests, it's hardly football. the likes of Fifa are a logical extension of existing interests, but Call of Duty, coming from a more traditional video game mould is a perfect representation of the shifting demographic of gamers. A shooter now has a wider market and could potentially open the door for other, more interesting titles. Call of Duty 4 is in no way a watered-down gaming experience yet it has garnered massive mainstream attention. I'm not saying that your local will now be awash with newly-formed fanboys soiling themselves over The last Guardian, but I do think that if developers like Infinity Ward maintain their character for innovation and development, then we could see the definition of a gamer becoming even more of a grey area.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

It's official

I have no real reason as to why it's taken me so goddamn long to blog about just how official SUPER STREET FIGHTER 4 now is. Seriously, it's fucking happening, after months of us speculating and self-erecting, Capcom are providing us with officially-sanctioned nerd-boner fodder. I don't know what else to say, other than to re-iterate that I am SUPER hyped (heh) and present you with this fine selection of collected material:

No doubt there are more additions yet to be announced, but what do you all think of what's been shown so far? Personally, I think T Hawk looks like the prick he always was and that Ultra Combo looks ridiculous. Seems to be more powerful than Zangief's with far more of a reach. What a bugger. As for Juri, that costume is a bit rubbish, but she has perhaps the coolest Ultra ever oh, and I already miss the old announcer. *sob*

Now, before you argue with me to the death, here is my list of favourite things that I like to hear Yoshinori Ono's translator say: 'beef up the online modes', '8-ish new characters', 'play in larger groups', 'see what is going on with other people', 'brand new openings and endings', 'too much for dlc', 'won't be a full-priced game' and 'the thing I would like to make the most is a new Darkstalkers'. Jurassic Park.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Split-Screen Street Fighter 4 Tournament -This time, it really is AWWWWN

Well, that was another embarrassing delay, wasn't it? Thankfully, it's over now and we are very much entering the 'business end' of the tournament - the Semi Finals, thanks to Muzzledgrunt graciously bowing out due to his crippling connection issues. Somehow I have managed to creep into fourth and secure myself a place, I still am totally unaware of how this came to be. Nevertheless, I am giggling with glee and simultaneously shitting myself with fear. This is a messy and socially crippling combo. Here's the table ya goddamn Juggalos.

The fact that there is a seven point deficit between me and my next opponent is what has me cacking myself. Wait..............I mean BRING IT AWWWWN!


Prof. Membrain (1) vs The Faux Bot (4)

Bojack85 (3) vs vandalworks (2)

Good luck gentlemen. No retreat, no surrender.

I was going to apologise for how badly written this is until I remembered that I'm doing this just after waking up and before I leave for work. I've not even finished my coffee yet. I'm probably going to have a headache all day now. I hope you appreciate it. Bastards.