Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gears death crawl

A valiant attempt by our own Faux Bot to reach Raised By Finches for aid came to a tragic end Monday night. Minh Young Kim will be missed.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Street Fighter X Triumvir

Streetwear label Triumvir have been making some incredible pieces of Street Fighter clothing for the past year or so: ranging from graphic tees to their 'Psycho Brigade' collection - for the Shadaloo soldier with style.

Regrettably, I passed on their first line of Street Fighter graphic t-shirts. This is not a mistake I plan on repeating. Knowing how it felt missing them, I thought I'd make you all aware that there will be another line available for pre-order from the Triumvir web store tomorrow (link). I've already bought at least five of them in my head.

Only 2 days 'til SUPER, for us Brits anyway........sad face.....Oh, what's that? Your pre-order has shipped already? GET HYYYYYYYPPPPE!

Split-Screen Podcast Episode 7: Sandwichcast

Today I have mainly been thinking about sandwiches. In fact, aside from my morning toast, I have exclusively eaten sandwiches today. Even then, toast is sort of in the same genre (the bread genre). It's fitting then, that this illustrious, seventh episode of our almighty podcast is named in tribute to the sandwich. I think we mention them a few times, along with me bumming Capcom, more wild, unfounded statements about the industry and some discussion over the nature of achievements.

Validation, as in comments, is entirely necessary. Thanks for listening.

Download it here


Hateris sucks. It is evil and nasty and makes me want to cry. I always thought I was half-decent at Tetris. Maybe I still am or maybe I'm missing the point. Either way, this game is pure, concentrated evil. It's the worst kind of evil - the kind with no purpose or clear motives. Right now, I would swear that it's only reason for existing is to upset me.

Hateris is programmed to give you the statistically worst piece every time. It's only saving grace is that the blocks don't fall as in the original game. Right now, my top score is 2. The record is 28. Post your scores in the comments.

Read more here

Play it here

Via Offworld

Monday, 26 April 2010

Video Review: First Play

I don't know why I did this now. The auto focus thing is horrible and I don't know how to turn it off, so apologies for that and, well, eveything really.

Videogame Music Corner

Hello all and welcome to the second installment of Videogame Music Corner. This week, we're going to be looking at a few of my favourite in-game tracks. It's by no means a definitive list, more the first five that came to mind.

Parodius (NES, 1988)

Parodius is one of the strangest games I've ever played. It's just as well-known for it's unique roster of characters and enemies as well as it is for it's distinctive soundtrack. It features a blend of classical music, original tracks and remixes from it's predecessor Gradius. It's only fitting that a game that sees your penguin spaceship tasked with taking down a giant bikini girl, should have an equally bizarre soundtrack.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (Dreamcast, 2000)

The only reason that I am not looking forward to Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is because they've tried to justify it with a story. You just know it'll be some run of the mill alternate universe bullshit and they have to team up to destroy a greater evil, blah blah, blah.....
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 relished it's own irreverence. It made no sense that these characters would be fighting each other and that's the way it should be. MVC2 was comfortable with this, an element perfectly echoed by it's characteristic soundtrack.

I think this would be referred to as some sort of 'lounge jazz'. Whatever it is, it didn't fit with the game in any way at all, which made it all the more appropriate. The game and it's music were a heap of unrelated elements, all thrown together in a blender to create one of the most distinctive and eclectic games of all time. The character select music was easily it's most memorable track and one that loops in my head almost constantly.

Kirby's Dream Land (Gameboy, 1992)

I've got a terrible memory - something that would have me convincing myself that I never actually played videogames as a child. I did, of course, play more than my fair share, but it often takes a little push to get my memory retrieving data correctly. Playing the likes of Smash Bros -with it's integrated Nintendo history archives- is what usually gets the motor running. Music such as this from one of the first games I ever completed is the kind that sets me off a a nostalgia bender. I'll spare you and stop here.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive, 1992)

Apart from their distinctive art direction and subtle blend of speed and precision platforming, some of the greatest achievements of the Sonic series can be attributed to it's soundtrack. Sonic 2 featured varied soundtracks that were specific to each world or 'zone'. Each of them set the tone and formed just as much an integral part of the world as the art design did. Selecting a favourite was pretty difficult, just know that Chemical Plant Zone was a close second.

Juri - Perfekte Welle/Rock Band (Multi, 2007)

You may have already heard of a Rock band outfit by the name of Try For Cannon. Being based in Europe, Try For Cannon were lucky enough to see Juri's Perfekte Welle included on the disc. Having re-titled the song Perfect Welt, Try For Cannon have truly made it their own and it regularly features in their playlists.

I think this is what passes for rock music in Germany. In the video, as you can see, the band really likes to hang out on the beach. I think this is more out of necessity than choice because their strict parents threw them out for their hard-rocking ways. Juri's hard-rockingness is perfectly captured by this heartfelt song about a girl and her precious flower. Juri is in love with a boy and she wants to give him her perfect welt. As we all know, a Lady can only give her perfect welt away once, so this song is a lament from Juri as she agonises over this tough decision. She realises that her welt will only be perfect once and is worried that her true love will not feel the same way about her once her welt has been broken. More than anything, she wants to give him her welt, but she is scared that he is only interested in her for it's untouched perfection.

So, there we have it. Nearly a regular feature. Tell me I'm a good boy and I'll do this again.

Don't fuck with The Haggar

If you're foolish enough to go start some shit in Metro City, then you should really watch this first. This delightful little ditty is the cautionary tale that Mad Gear probably wished they'd heard before they decided to swipe Jessica.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Jet Set Radio coming to XBLA?

A leaked image of an XBOX 360 dashboard shows, amongst others, Jet Set Radio as being a recently played game. It adds weight to rumours of a slew of Dreamcast classics that are set to head to XBLA over the course of the year.

If this is real, then I'm about to reach new levels of wonderment and happiness. Do you know how much I love this game? Obviously, I do, but my ongoing struggle to resist talking about my dick leaves me drawing a blank as to how I can convey this to you. For the foreseeable future, I am unable to effectively express myself.

I had a countdown on my calendar leading up to the release of this game on the Dreamcast and I sank countless hours into completing it 100% - it was then, and in a lot of ways, still is, the most imaginative and captivating game ever.

I wish I could control myself over stuff like this, but then I realise what my alternatives are. It's impossible for me to give a shit about the likes of another Halo game when, by comparison, an up-scaled version of a game I've already cleaned out several times just seems more alluring. Games like Jet Set Radio are something of a forgotten art now. So many titles have such lacklustre mechanics and art direction, that contemporary gamers, or 'the kids' as I prefer to call them, can be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing beyond realistic war shooters and sports sims. I'm sure most are happy with their lot, but the lefty optimist in me sees the potential for this game to be discovered by a whole new generation. Hopefully it will resonate with them as much as it did with me, so that they too may go on noble quests to express themselves without talking about their genitalia.

via Kotaku

Getting a little tired of this crap.

Living in Britain occasionally sucks more than normal. I've slowly come to terms with living in a land where finding (official release) anime is like pulling teeth, and now it seems we're set to be left out in the cold once again. I am of course talking about the best limited edition set to ever see the light of day- Record of Agarest War.

Why would such a thing not warrant a UK release?! Official OST, pillow case and an oppai mouse pad wonderfully describes as 'sensual'.

Set for North American release on Tuesday (27th), not only is the UK not getting this XBOX giga-edition we're not even getting the game. This XBOX version is apparently a port, and the original PS3 version is available. Can you guess what the PS3 collectors version comes with? An art book, a poster and some art cards >_<. Don't make me fucking laugh, I'd rather not have access to a version at all than have access to an inferior version. The game looks mildly interesting but not a definite buy on its own- that XBOX version swag would have tipped me over the edge, but it'll be a cold day in hell before I let another shitty art-book persuade me of anything.

Paperboy's God of War 3 Review

THE God of War series has always successfully set up its blood-spattered tent in the mindless fun camp. Rounding off the trilogy on the sleek black powerhouse that is the PS3, Sony Santa Monica could churn out a divine and equally mindless third offering for its congregation, safe in the knowledge that the spittle-flecked zealots would hoover it up in its droves. But this time round, the quality that has been a positive for so long has finally become a negative; when GOW3 is mindless, it runs the risk of being forgettable.

Unlike its main protagonist, however, there is a lot to like about this latest adventure. Kratos's single-handed quest to introduce atheism to Greece on a pile of holy bones has never looked better, and has never played more tightly. The trademark of the series has always been its gallons and gallons of mythical beastie blood, but in truth the secret to GOW is how it keeps such a relentless combo system interesting – a fact that the third series showcases. Yes, there are horrific and winceworthy deaths at the touch of a button for anyone who felt a bit funny watching Hostel, but getting to those deaths is much better than before. The new weapons are infinitely more satisfying than previous gimmick items, and each individual encounter confidently proves GOW's combat has always been a puzzle game at heart. Minotaurs may be stronger than Gorgons, for instance, but if both are on screen you better take the Gorgon out, pronto, or the big bull's launch attack will see you hit the floor in stone-scattered shards.

To even begin to harp on about the graphics would be pointless, as any still shot or moving image proves the game is making the PS3 sing. Special mention should be given to some highly stylised cutscenes and flashbacks, that really add an epic feel to this new retelling of the Greek myths.

Sadly, just as the gods wilt before ol'sour puss Kratos, the skillful weaving of lore long past is hurt by the iconic character of the Ghost of Sparta. As a man who knows my Hermes from my Hercules, the criticisms that have been aimed at the ending by the big sites don't feel justified. But the game is infinitely poorer for turning Kratos into a one-note harbinger of revenge. Of course the point is that he is the “bowling ball with knives” when it comes to solving diplomatic squabbles, and the point is that his methods are gloriously over the top for the player to whoop and cheer. But his complete lack of humanity means there is no connect for the player, no anchor to invest any of our emotions – so why should we feel the emotion of revenge, and of bloody satisfaction? Only 14-year-olds get off on gore for gore's sake – and the 18 certificate proves the game wasn't made to satisfy said squealing man-children, right?

GOW 3 tries to rescue the situation and capture the emotional punch of the first game's quest to avenge your family near the end, but the title has made such an effort to portray Kratos as a stone-cold bastard, his sudden moments of compassion would have made me laugh if I hadn't been so disappointed with their implementation.

Looking back after 12 hours of god-slaying and block shifting, the biggest crime I can levy against the game is that I feel nothing. I made a demi-god's skull resemble a Tetris piece, had unorthodox sex with a goddess while two of her maidens got frisky, and took out more deities than Richard Dawkins looking for another book deal. But unlike God of War and its sequel, I feel no need to breathlessly tell my compatriots about its awesome bits, or even play it again. The core game is as entertaining as ever, but a killer app for your machine shouldn't just be an entertaining diversion to gather dust a weekend later. No matter how skillful the glue holding the wings on, or how thrilling the ride, after three goes this Pegasus has finally failed to escape the fact it's a one trick pony underneath.


Saturday, 24 April 2010

Booby Ladies with Guns and Robots

Yes, that's right, Lost Planet 2 has it all now. Not only will it be an all-out arcade action masterpiece, but it'll also feature ladies....with boobs!

People may question the practicality of their armour, or even accuse Capcom of blatant fan service. Some may go even further and say that this kind of thing is unwittingly keeping videogames in the dark ages - assuming that all gamers are easily-pleased, sweaty-palmed basement dwellers who can knock one out over the merest glimpse of a set of norks. Not me, though. I think this is amazing and if you don't like ladies, boobs and guns then you are most definitely a homo and need to go back to watching Glee.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Posse Up!

Every trailer I see for Red Dead Redemption makes me want it that little bit more. Knowing it's not out next Friday is a a silver-lined cloud for me: I have to wait even longer, but at least it won't clash with Super Street Fighter IV.

Every element of this game is giving me a raging hard-on lately; the music, the art direction, oh, and the tonne of modes that it will contain. The idea of forming a roaming posse, getting into 'Mexican' stand-offs and swiping bags of gold has perked my interest in competitive multiplayer for the first time in months. Maybe it's the aesthetic, God knows I'm sick of realistic modern combat, or maybe it's my eternal faith in Rockstar. Either way, I'm confident of Red Dead's ability to deliver on every level.

If it's possible to have me even more sold on this game, then Rockstar have achieved it by announcing their plans for a 30 minute long advert/machinima together with none-other-than John Hillcoat: director of The Proposition and more recently, The Road. [source]
I'd always thought that Red Dead Redemption carried with it a similar style to The Proposition. Everyone looks filthy and degenerate, it has a contemporary, yet undeniably classic western soundtrack and a strong visual sense. Get Nick Cave on board, give Danny Houston a starring role and I'll gush. Everywhere.

Coming up next week: I go on a quest to find ways of expressing my excitement that don't involve talking about my dick or the stuff that comes out of it.

I want a cape made from dragon scrote

I'm seriously considering buying a Wii now, simply because Monster Hunter Tri looks so badass. It's a game in which you kill huge fucking dragons and then use their body parts/hides to make killer armour and weapons. This is possibly the best concept for a game ever, yet it seems that Capcom are intent on limiting it's audience. Putting them out on the Wii and the PSP just seems counter-productive to me, but maybe I've just got my knickers in a twist because right now I'm not able to wrangle sea monsters onto dry land, beat the crap out of them and use their nutsack as a shield.

This sort of thing is really starting to bother me. Why isn't there some sort of almighty power reading all of these posts and then just sorting things out so that the world pleases me? Is that really so much to ask? I've been plugging away at this blogging thing for a good while now and I've had my fair share of rants and made numerous wish-lists. So I'm calling on you, almighty Internet deity: make this happen. Monster Hunter on either 360 or PS3 in the West and then if you have time, make a patch for Mass Effect 2 that allows me to rail Yeoman Chambers.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Natal rears its head again

As the first possible 'leaked' pictures' of Natal come out and start doing the rounds, I can't help thinking two things. The first is that hard facts and information are still lacking, and the second is at this point I cannot see a future in which I'm using this system. Of course it's early days and information will come whenever its ready, but with rumours of unreasonable space requirements among other things already raising eyebrows, I've begun to wonder what everyone else thinks?

Feel free to elaborate in the comments section. Or not. Jerks.

Tatsunoko Marvel vs Capcom 3

Well, here it is, the notification of release

I'm hating youtube right now, it's embed sucks - or will until we get our flashy new site. Just right click and view on if you're having issues.

For anyone that was sad about TvC being a Wii exclusive can sigh no more - they are seemingly going to be using the very same engine for MvC3. Personally I'm not at all excited by Chris Redfield, if Strider Hyriu is still in I can just pick two more rushdown characters and be ready.

Videogames an Art?

Now then, this guy doesnt feel that videogames can be art, and that we, the gamers, will not experience games becoming 'art' in our lifetimes. I felt compelled to add my thoughts on this topic.

You see, I've always believed that gaming, even tabletop gaming has always been looked down upon from people in other fields of entertainment and media. Anytime there is something in the games industry that is seen as being controversal the media whip up a storm. Past posts include the now infamous "titchmarsh" incident, where I'm sure no-one needs reminding of this. But heres my point, most art movements and forms of media where frowned upon upon their births, even after decades. This makes me believe that it doesnt matter what people outside the gaming community think, its about what we, the people who live and enjoy this exciting and still young medium think and feel about the games we play.

The videogames industry will be frowned upon for many more years, and whether it is viewed any differently when I'm sat in a rocking chair retro gaming with Super Street Fighter XX Walking Stick edition I do not care, because I know I'll see moments of utter briiliance from some of the most creative people in any media related industry in the world.

The icing on the cake, is how slowly videogames are inspiring art.

Art to me is all about passing a message and stoking up some emotion, so thank fuck for the experiences I've had in this amazing world we call 'Games'.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Earthworm Jim HD makes me ponder

Do I need more HD remakes of games I owned several years ago? The list of HD revions that I own seems to be growing by the week. Last week it was Final Fight, this week may see me buying After Burner and we've got this elastic-headed buffoon to look forward to even further down the line.

I'm tempted to say that I'm sick of paying for theses remakes. The only reason I buy them is so that the old games I loved now sit better on my HD screen, not to mention that I'm also being saved the trouble of tracking down the old cartridges and machines that I foolishly sold as a child.

The optimistic outlook is that this is one step closer to a non platform-specific future. It's a while off, but this trend could be showing the beginnings of what the future of gaming will be; emulated games that run on any hardware - giving you a versatile back catalogue that isn't constrained by your choice of hardware.

It's late. Lost is really fucking with my head as I desperately try to catch up with the rest of the world and I really should be in bed already. I just thought it was worth noting that my initial despair at 'yet another HD remake' has been turned around and could actually prove to be a postive stride towards the future of gaming. It's a nice, socialist future where consoles can be afforded by all and no-one has to worry about choosing the wrong one, for games are no longer constrained by.......sorry. I'll stop now.


1. Yes, I do think the people in this trailer are knobs.
2. Youtube is being a jerk and won't let us embed in anything other than widescreen now. As you can see, this makes Blogger go nuts. Fear not, we'll have a proper website in a few months!

The World Warriors: The Everlasting aesthetic quality of the original Street Fighters

In an age before FMV sequences and dialogue heavy cut-scenes, game designers faced greater challenges in order to express the personalities of their characters. The visual design was paramount in order to tell gamers who or what they were playing as. A character’s design had to speak volumes in order to engage the player, or at least captivate their imaginations beyond the duration of a play session. Without exposition and cut-scenes, designers would have to strive to create memorable images that would remain firm in the minds of the players and fans. A costume or a haircut had to speak a thousand words. It was an age of overcoming limitations with unmatched creativity and simple, effective design.

Proof of this simple, effective character design can be seen in the lasting, almost iconic images of Pac-Man, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. These designs have retained their aesthetic basics for decades and have proven to be both memorable and endearing enough to warrant sustained success for their respective games. Admittedly Pac Man and Sonic may not enjoy the same successes as Mario, but the strength of their images despite commercial failures in more recent years only reinforces the quality of their design. Such classic characters needed strong, likeable designs in order to keep the player interested and more importantly, give the games a unique and identifiable mascot. After all, being forced to play as a character you hated the sight of for the duration of a game is not likely to sustain your enjoyment. So, what happens then, when the player is given a choice of characters? How do you create images for a selection of characters; images that are so strong, that a player will be able to identify with them and enjoy playing as them for the duration? I think Capcom has the answer to that one.

In Capcom’s first Street Fighter game, the player took control of Ryu – the series’ long standing protagonist- as he fought colourful and varied opponents around the world. With Street Fighter II, they changed the template and gave the player a selection of eight different characters from which to choose. How is a gamer meant to cope with such unprecedented levels of choice? Back then, such diversity was unheard of and Capcom still had to ensure that everybody didn’t simply just pick Ryu, or Ken, to be more accurate. Capcom’s answer was to create eight unique fighters, all with images so memorable and emotive, that a player could make a heartfelt choice. Add to this a slew of unique fighting styles and choosing your world warrior became less about which was the best and more about which was the best fit for you. For me, personally, this is where the character’s aesthetics play the biggest role.

Each character’s appearance speaks volumes about their personalities and history and it is this that allows players to make the informed choices about who they prefer. No need to read a backstory, no need to research their strengths and weaknesses – just put your faith in how well-balanced the game is and pick whoever you think is the coolest.

If you want a safe bet, you’ll pick Ryu, after all he’s the protagonist from the series’ beginning and his design is the simplest of all. Like his fighting style, Ryu’s design is straight up, balanced and effective. His stoic gaze, his muted colour palette and his well-rounded repertoire of moves make Ryu a logical starting point. His white suit and red headband not only echoing the simplicity of his design, but also representing his home country of Japan. Simple and pure both in aesthetics and mechanics: Ryu is the all-rounder, the starting point.
Next, we come to Ken. To the untrained eye, he is effectively the same as Ryu, only displaying a few subtle, but massively important details. Ken is Ryu re-drawn with a grin, a red outfit and the blonde surfer hairdo that, in the 90’s, seemingly represented American males the world over. He is the Zach Morris of Street Fighting. If Ryu was American, he would be cocky, wear his hair long and not be seen dead in an understated white outfit. Ken, like his design, is Ryu’s louder, brash cousin.

By simply changing a hairdo and swapping some colours, Ryu’s character model is transformed into Ken and his personality along with it. The loud red suit and unkempt hair show us the polar opposite to Ryu’s serious warrior persona. Such minor changes transform the character and give us another design that speaks volumes about the personality it represents. Only a dick such as Ken would leave his hair down for a fight and you don’t have to read a back story to figure it out.

With such simple changes impacting characters to such an extent, Capcom could have adjusted Ryu’s colour scheme and hairdo with enough variety to fill out the whole roster. Thankfully, they instead set about creating another six varied fighters from all across the globe. Again, their aesthetics would serve to express their personalities; whether it was the wild-man Blanka throwing himself around the screen, electrocuting his enemies and sinking his teeth into their flesh, or Dahlsim using his spiritual powers to conjure fire and contort his limbs. Add to this mix Guile’s ‘brush-head’ hairdo, Zangief’s Mohican and scars, Chun Li’s hair buns and - to a lesser extent - Honda’s face paint and you have visual calling cards for each and every one of the warriors. These elements have been integral parts of each of the characters’ designs from their inception and have remained intact in their most recent iterations in Street Fighter IV. By reducing and simplifying each character to a bold, limited colour palette and giving them each one defining visual characteristic, Capcom is able to ensure the lasting impact of their character’s designs.

With so many iterations of the Street Fighter series over the years, you could be forgiven for thinking that such simplistic designs may become quickly outdated or at least lose their effectiveness in more recent years. Capcom seem to adhere to a set of well thought out, self-imposed rules. Street Fighter IV looks just as contemporary as any other game currently available, yet sacrifices nothing about design choices made nearly twenty years ago. They focus on simple, distinctive characteristics, allowing the characters to be given a visual makeover and still retain their personalities.

Logically, these rules would apply to just about any character design. If you think about Batman, Spiderman and their superhero fraternity, or the aforementioned Mario and Sonic, the same rules echo true. However, said rules are all the easier to follow when you have only one protagonist to focus upon. As I said before, Street Fighter II’s design team had to make eight individual characters work. The best validation for their efforts would be that the designs of the original eight world warriors still remain so strong and fully intact. You can still choose your character based upon how their visually expressed personality resonates with your own: something that is not easily achieved.

You have a man who wears the evidence of his bear-wrestling on his chest, another who has hair that defies gravity and reasonable logic, yet is somehow more believable, and memorable, than any of those Final Fantasy fops. Mix in a thunder-thighed Chinese police officer, a Brazilian wildman, a lunatic sumo and an Indian mystic along with our much-discussed martial arts experts and you have one of the most memorable and colourful casts ever assembled.

It’s probably apparent by now that I can wax lyrical about Street Fighter characters all day long but no matter how many big words I use and no matter how well I rationalise things and try to appear intellectual, my love for the World Warriors comes down to very simple emotions. Each and every one of them is cool: totally and utterly rad. As a boy I would draw them endlessly, dream of decent action figures and yet still put up with those horrible GI Joe style movie tie-in ones.

I still feel the same way about these characters as I did when I would obsess over the artwork covering my local arcade cabinet. They are the epitome of good character design and my desire to own decent action figures is one that still burns brightly even to this day.
Capcom’s flair for lasting, quality design goes way beyond their original eight street fighters. The four bosses retain the same iconic qualities of those that challenge them and throughout the series’ life span Capcom have continued to introduce a plethora of equally as impressive characters. However, as much as I may love the likes of Dudley, Gen and Ibuki, there is no-one quite like the original eight. Whilst Ryu and Ken, along with Gen, Adon and Sagat may have retained their images from the original Street Fighter, it was in Street Fighter II that we saw these images and personalities be forged.

It was Street Fighter II that captured my imagination unlike any other game before it and I will forever, stubbornly insist that it is the true, original Street Fighter game. That game cemented such strong and vibrant images and personalities into my consciousness and to have them awakened and sustained by Street Fighter IV is the greatest testament to the quality of their design. Like an old photograph, those characters evoke powerful emotions in me and without Capcom’s timeless design, such things would not be possible.

Access Vanille's box

So wrong, but so right.

via Gamovr

Friday, 16 April 2010

Post-Pokemon Remorse

A fair amount of the time, it feels as if I am able to step out of my body and observe my own behaviour as an onlooker. The problem is, no matter how much or how loudly I scream at myself to stop, it always falls on deaf ears. It happened again yesterday: I bought Pokemon Soul Silver for my DS and I don't know why I allowed it to happen.

I genuinely thought it was a great idea at the time - it would be the perfect time-sink to tide me over until Super Street Fighter 4 and it was all nice and pretty and colourful. I even argued with my manager over it - he said he'd lost respect for me after buying it. I responded by calling him a closet homo and insisted that by playing Pokemon I displayed just how comfortable I was with both my masculinity AND my sexuality. His protests only strengthened my resolve - leading to me buying my game in the loudest, proudest fashion possible.

As soon as I boarded the bus home the remorse began to set in. The first stage was shame. I felt dirty; I'm supposed to be a 25 year old grown man, what the fuck am I doing playing Pokemon? I convinced myself that it was justified by being part of a generation whose 30-somethings even fap over cartoons of transforming robots. I still hid it in a bag, under my arm, clinging onto it with sweaty palms for fear of it falling out and exposing a horrible truth to the teenage girls behind me. They may not have noticed my receding hairline, now if I can just keep Pokemon out of their sight, one of them may dream of getting fucked by the dude on the bus with that awesome jacket with the eyeball patch. I am a pathetic loser.

I played it later on that evening. In four minute installments. This was all I could take. The game is unbearably shit. The eight year old inside me died a long time ago and my inner child is now about 13 and ready to tear shit up at a moment's notice. I want to smash the fuck out of things and listen to Pantera, I want to use fuck as an adjective more than is humanly necessary not take faggy little animals on walks and get them to fight other faggy little animals in tall grass. I just can't make myself do it: I have to admit defeat.

My boss was right the whole time. It's a dumb game that is very well designed...FOR CHILDREN. As childish as I am, I cannot make myself regress this much, no matter how much I want to. He may have lost respect for me, but nowhere near as much as I have lost for myself. I have now sold the game to my girlfriend. It's gone.

I'd like to think that I'll learn something from this, but unfortunately, I very much doubt that I will. Most likely, I am doomed to make these sort of mistakes for eternity, leaving my girlfriend to pick up the pieces and broadcasting my misery to you. You've been warned.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 announcement imminent

This is a pretty solid rumour now. After the successes of Street Fighter 4 and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, this was pretty much guaranteed, barring licensing issues. The same guy that leaked the whole cast for Super Street Fighter 4 last year -he was right about every character-has said it's happening. He even got banned from the boards for doing so. Keep an eye on him for other leaks. Here's his Twitter

Apparently it will run using a similar engine to that seen in Street Fighter 4. For all you non (true) believers out there; get ready, because when they announce this my dick is gonna spray like a fountain and you're going to hear all about it. What's that? You thought I'd already made all the possible nerd/boner/jizz fountain analogies? Oh, how wrong you are....

Via ForceDisconnect

JRPGs in 2010: The Last Story

With FFXIII coming and going, it's only natural to think ahead to what JRPGs are on the horizon for the rest of 2010. It seems the Wii will be playing more of a part in our lives this year, and Jim sterling has provided good food for thought with a positive Wii article a few weeks ago laying out what we can expect from the Nintendo machine in the coming months. Most encouraging from said article is his conclusion that 'a number of Japanese developers are starting to recognize some potential for the Wii to become a PS2-like mecca of JRPG experiences'. It does seem we'll be trading HD environments for a more traditional open-world, questing experience but I don't think this would put any fans off. In fact it'll bring many deserters back to the fold. No fan of art and story would shun a larger catalogue of JRPGs based on the fact they didn't all look like the uber-mega-blu-ray edition of Lord of the Rings. Things can be beautiful without being high-def.

Of the three titles mentioned for the Wii this year (Arc Rise Fantasia, Xenoblades and The Last Story) the eye is immediately drawn to Nintendo/Mistwalker's The Last Story's artwork.

Looks a little like Final Fantasy with a hint of Fable, yes? Details are a little slim and the official website is in Japanese ( and flash, which renders auto-translators helpless) but fortunately some people can translate. I sure hope this person can translate otherwise I'm bringing you his LIES. I'm sure its fine:

'- characters from last night's art update [below] are the main character and heroine
- "There is a wall between the two," says the director, meaning that something is keeping these two apart
- expect multiple stories in the game, including
* The fear of speaking your true feelings
* The mystery of the father who went missing on boat
* The difficulty a leader has in making decisions
* The close accomplice who's turned to evil
* The foolish archaeologist's prison break'

This ticks all the classic boxes as you'd expect, and any game that claims to incorporate 'the fear of speaking your true feelings' sounds like it has depth and has my interest .

If The Last Story turns out to be anywhere near as good as Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey I'm going to have to get a Wii. I can't manage my time as it is, so a third console is definitely what I need. Hopefully we'll have some trailers soon.

There are some JRPG titles out this year for those other 2 consoles- you know the ones, but to prevent this piece spiralling out of control they'll have to wait for a separate post.

Browser rage

Did you ever see a website so offensive to you it needed destroying on the spot? Now you can with a simple add-on for FireFox. For the low low price of $free, Destroy The Web is yours to use as you wish. I cant decide if there are hundreds of amusing uses for this or none, I'll leave it to your imaginations.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Face it dude, you're in love with a dude.

It's a harsh reality than some unfortunate males have had to deal with: you're eyeing up some broad, you may even cop a feel, and then you realise. It's a dude. That fine piece of ass that you were going to take home is packing more meat than you. What do you do now? Walk away embarrassed, or refuse to throw away all that ground work and live a life of denial, insisting that anal wasn't the only choice, it's just what you fancied that night. That sort of denial isn't healthy. You knew she had a rod. You probably even gave her a reach-around. You enjoyed it, that's fine: this is the twenty-first century after all. Gender is meaningless.

This is meant to serve as a wake-up call for all of you that spent this afternoon fapping over Final Fight's Poison and Roxy. They are dudes. Officially. Street Fighter 4 producer and Capcom luminary Yoshinori Ono said so himself [source]. So face it - you've got a boner for a dude and depending on what country you're from she's either still got that thing down there, or had it turned inside-out. When Final Fight was first ported to home consoles, Capcom deemed it inappropriate to be cutting, smacking and piledriving innocent, fragile streetwalking whores. So, to avoid controversy, they changed Poison's -and consequently Roxy's- back story so that he/she was a post-op transsexual. Inexplicably, In Japan she just 'tucks it away' kinda like Marylin Manson.

I'm not going to deny that the denim cut-offs, high heels, long legs and magnificent cans are enticing, but just remember what's in those shorts. A great, big, ugly wang.

If you really need more proof: NSFW

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Videogame Music Corner

For all the love I have for Mass Effect 2, the game's soundtrack still bothers me a little. The Vangelis-esque pieces from the first game have taken a backseat for some run-of-the-mill John Williams style grandeur. As competent as it is, it's nowhere near as memorable as the original Mass Effect score. It's made me think about it in the more general sense and address my feelings on videogame soundtracks in general.

Maybe it was the limited tool set that gave 8 and 16-Bit era soundtracks their distinct charm. Maybe it's simple rose-tinted nostalgia. Either way, it feels to me that contemporary game soundtracks are always lacking. Obviously there are a few exceptions - Castle Crashers, Street Fighter 4, Left 4 Dead - but that itself is the problem; games with decent soundtracks shouldn't be the exception, we need memorable, distinctive soundtracks as the norm.
Amid all it's lunacy, Bayonetta had an amazing soundtrack. Say what you will about endless remixes of 'Fly Me To The Moon', at least it's distinctive: I, for one, cannot hear that song now without thinking about climaxes and lollipops.

The development of videogames as a medium has, like any other, relied on technological advancement. As technology improves, developers will, and always have, found new ways of making games interesting and engaging. This advancement, however, always seems focused on the visual element. It's almost as if post-Playstation, audio technology reached some sort of plateau. Surround sound would have been the last frontier for videogame audio and even then, original soundtracks would have been unaffected. Graphical development still has new ground to break; there are still visual styles that have been left untouched and 3D is on the horizon. Audio, however, faces a much less determined future.

I'm hoping that somewhere out there, someone or one particular game will reassure me - tell me that it's all going to be alright and videogames won't be permanently restricted to aping shitty Hollywood idiot-fodder. A boy can dream. Until then, said boy is going to keep the rose-tinted shades on and keep listening to Mux Mool. Retro fans, enjoy:

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I'm sure you've all seen this by now, but I just got my new sound card today so video is once more enjoyable for me. It's directed by Patrick Jean. It makes me miss New York and despite all the retro goodness in the film, it was the Ocean software logo reference that gave me the biggest nostalgia pangs. *sigh*

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Sweating Bullets

Bad News does the best impression of Dave Mustaine I have ever heard. Him and The Dawg make this a performance to remember whilst me and Burgy piss ourselves and Kris dreams that he is playing Bass for Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen in some sleazy New Orleans jazz lounge.


TV game advertising

Always interested in the way games are advertised, I thought I'd share this UK advert for Pokemon SoulSilver/ HeartGold.

After watching, do you feel:

a) I'm going to buy the new Pokemon
b) I'm going to buy the older Pokemon Gold/Silver
c) I was more interested in the pretty lady
d) What's a Chansey?

I can't decide if this type of advert helps to raise sales. Does the 'She's playing it so I want to' tact really ever work? Lets be honest, it's not the first time we've seen this and it wont be the last.

As an interesting (!) side note, while searching for this video I found a Gamefaqs thread discussing the advert. Not interesting at all until one of the users claimed to be the girl in the advert and provided the following picture to those challenging her claim. Heh. Very nice.

The thread is dire if you read it all, a collection of trolls and weirdos (nothing at all like our high-brow corner of the internet), but as ever with this type of thread it's good for a laugh.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Another riposte

We all saw how awesome the new paper advertising for Super Street Fighter IV is. You know what, wouldn't it be more awesome if they animated it and put it on TV? Well, here you go.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Chuck Norris VS. Omega Tom Hanks

I'm still not bored of ridiculous Mugen videos.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have created NEWS!

Ah CVG, you loveable tykes: looks like appealing to a demographic of 14 year old hormonal crotch-tuggers has truly stunted any sort of imagination or integrity that you may have once had. CVG often likes to post 'news' about how EDGE - a magazine published by the same company -keeps giving out ludicrous and unfair review scores, sometimes as horrifyingly low as 6 out of 10 for major blockbusters like Yakuza 3!

Sorry, I should really dispense with the sarcasm now. CVG are at it again though; this morning posting about Quentin Tarantino's 'controversial' views on video games. Apparently, he doesn't like them. Knowing that their readers will nerd-rage over just about anything, some choice quotes and a bit of spin ensure that it will cause some manner of debate and therefore, PAGEVIEWS. Is this surprising to anyone with a shred of intelligence? That a filmmaker wouldn't be that interested in games? Particularly a filmmaker who has made his career on having an encyclopedic knowledge of his medium - how would he even find time? I'm willing to let him off in light of this and as thanks for all the hours of joy that his movies have brought me.

Remaining on form, the retards happily get on board, denouncing Tarantino and his films. Thankfully and surprisingly, a few of the CVG user comments have proved insightful: my personal favourite being 'this is news?'. Conveniently enough, I also have the answer to that question. You, me and CVG have made this news. A few throwaway statements made back in February have made it around at least four websites so far, three of which actually have massive readerships. It wasn't news, but now it is and I feel slightly dirty.

Kotaku via CVG via The Telegraph

Split-Screen fact: Me and Tarantino both share the same face and hairline.

Friday, 2 April 2010

A Riposte.

In addition to the awesome new Street Fighter advertising recently posted Manuhell has created some awesome zombie SSF promos. Here are two of them. Hit his name for more.

8-Bit Bayonetta

I couldn't be bothered with Destructoid for the whole of April fool's Day. It was just too much. Thank God for Twitter then, directing me to this Gem. Ah, Platinum Games, is there anything you can't do?


Coolness officially bestowed upon Street Fighter

If you needed more convincing that Super Street Fighter 4 was going to be the raddest thing to happen to gaming ever, then Capcom has the answer in the form of it's print advertising campaign. Getting together with some of the biggest names in contemporary graphic design and graffiti, Capcom have produced a unique set of posters boasting the game's new feature sets and showing off some of the new characters. 123Klan, Dalek, Futura, Cody Hudson and Grotesk have all contributed. Seems like Capcom have done their homework. Futura fans tend to have massive disposable incomes, you should see the prices that guy charges for scribbling on military jackets....
However, I digress. Futura has skill got it, I loved Grotesk's artwork for The Cool Kids and 123 Klan are so cool they'll make you reconsider the French. The ads will run in Complex and Vice amongst other publications- this is some smart marketing, hitting the borderline hipsters right where it hurts.
Enjoy radness:
GroteskSee the rest over at the Capcom Unity blogs (source)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Look at this cool picture of Street Fighter characters drawn in a Mario Brothers style.

Look. Cool isn't it?

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix is only 560 MS Points right now too. You should really get on that.

Via gamovr


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