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#285094 Life Status

Posted by TheShend on 14 April 2014 - 08:54 PM

So, how are you guys?

I'm getting married in August with a stag doo at a retro arcade & pinball convention in Gateshead. Such nostalgia. Kids can't be far off after that. Eeep.

I took on a 3rd job. Or rather became self employed on top of the regular 37.5 week job and the weekend bar work.
The new chef at the pub is on another level though, stints at prestigious places such as Noma in Copenhagen, Heston's The Fat Duck and such. Plates look like art. Search for @erniechef on twitter for what he does.

My extra work is Network Marketing in nature, but I'm happy with it as the company is very supportive and I work with some nice people I wouldn't otherwise have met. I even started to attend a local breakfast network group with people who have like, proper businesses! Wishing I'd given business more serious attention a lot earlier but I always thought it was something better people did.

Since getting a smartphone I find I waste a hell of a lot more time than I used to. I don't even get through my subs to Private Eye or Viz. Before I'd just devour them in a few days. i don't know, the internet can be such a time sink. I'd like to post more but hate typing anything longer than a sentence on the thing.

Still weightlifting, still uploading 3rd Strike matches and I've gotten into Gin.

Getting on.

How are you fine men getting along?

#286940 kept you waiting huh?

Posted by Owain on 19 October 2015 - 02:44 AM

bit dead on here.

shout-outs to former #greenhillzone crew.

#5047 Birthday Thread

Posted by Paul3704 on 03 May 2005 - 06:49 AM

Happy Birthday to Space. Twenty two years old and not a pube in sight. Well done that man! :)

#287776 Ghost Trick

Posted by MrToad on 19 October 2017 - 11:36 AM

Technically this isn't really a new game, but an iOS conversion of an old DS classic. The good news is it's great, largely because it's a complete breath of fresh air in many ways :)

At the beginning of the game your character finds that he's a ghost next to his corpse, which is lying at the bottom of a junkyard. An unfortunate side effect of being recently dead is that you've completely lost your memory, so you've got no idea who you are, let alone why you're lying dead or how you got there... or who the redhead girl is or why she's being attacked by a blue skinned hitman in a sharp suit. And you've only got until dawn to unravel all these mysteries.

Thing is though, you're a lucky ghost because you've got special "powers of the dead" (or indeed "ghost tricks" ;)) which allow you to possess and manipulate objects, travel down phone lines and rewind time to four minutes before someone's death (except your own, of course) so you can change their fate. And thus an unusual film noir-esque mystery thriller unfolds through the medium of a continuous series of puzzles.

The action itself is quite straightforward. You switch into "ghost mode", where time is paused, to move between objects which you can then manipulate when you switch back to real time. But your transfer range between objects is very short, so you have to create a chain of objects to get from A to B. It starts off pretty simple, with solutions as simple as opening a box will cause the lid to extend far enough for you to reach the gate which you can swing to knock the gun out of the hitman's hand and save the girl... at least temporarily. But it gradually gets more complicated and introduces timing related challenges too, such as open a cupboard door to flick a ball across the room, then quickly move to the ball so you move with it and get into position for the next trick. Thankfully the game is quite forgiving; it's primarily about solving the problem, not precision timing. Once I'd worked out what I was supposed to do it usually only took a few goes to get it right. Also, while some of the solutions can be a little "unusual", the characters are often quite generous with hints to point you in the right direction. I found I made it through the whole game quite comfortably without ever really getting stuck for long.

However, what really sucked me in and held me was the plot. The story is quite dark in theme, but told with tongue firmly in cheek. There's a large cast of crazy characters and events get increasingly outlandish. Things possibly get a little too silly towards the end, but is saved by a suitably satisfying denouement. It's also just about the right length too - I managed to blitz it in probably about 10-ish hours.

I found solving problems and manipulating events from the shadows became immensely satisfying, particularly when combined with the wacky but involving plot served with large dollops of humour.

On iOS it's free to download the app itself which includes the first couple of chapters, and that's more than enough to know if you'll like it. After that you can buy the rest of the plot as an IAP for £9.99, which is a fairly reasonable price for the considerable enjoyment I had from it :)

If you want something completely different and refreshing then I highly recommend it :)

#287234 Lo

Posted by SonicMarmalade on 24 July 2016 - 05:58 PM

Howdo ltns, wondered how you guys were all getting on the other day after god knows how long. Hope you're all well. I'm married now with a 3 month old little dude to get screamed at by. I've been pretty much exclusively on Dayz since discovering it 2 years ago - currently overpoch on the fatcat.gamingdeluxe.net server if anyone wants to pop on and say hello. Not even owned the last 2 generations of consoles, but yknow, Dayz. :D

#287137 The Mega Man Megathread

Posted by shadowman on 09 April 2016 - 09:08 PM

Did you buy all 3 versions? Physical or digital?


Yep, got all physical editions released bar the Amazon Exclusive release as that was just something Amazon threw together, as opposed to being a proper retail release:



PS4 and Xbox One editions (also pictured is a rare, small print run of a fan made 2D Mega Man Legends 3 Prologue demo that Capcom staffers helped with. Apparently it only had 100 copies made, not sure if that's true or not).



Both 3DS editions - Rockman Legacy Collection E Capcom exclusive that comes with Dr Wiy's diary (that has actual journal entries in it from the good doctor) as well as stickers and 6 alternate sleeves for the game (each sleeve features the original Famicom cover art from each of the 6 games on the collection.

The USA exclusive edition comes in one of the cheapest damn boxes I've ever seen, good luck getting one that isn't dented... It comes with a Gold Amiibo Mega Man (that unlocks 3DS exclusive challenges) and a few postcards featuring the characters in the 6 games (art on the post cards are really nice).

#287023 Happy New Year

Posted by ssmmdd on 01 January 2016 - 11:08 PM

Just thought I'd wish everyone on here a Happy New Year.


Because why not?


Hope you all have an awesome 2016. :)

#286827 Life Status

Posted by Electric Boogaloo on 13 July 2015 - 07:27 PM

I'm not going to comment on it (in case I get an awful case of the quoteys). Just try it out when you can!


We showed off some more in Orlando this morning: http://www.businessi...ise-demo-2015-7

#286821 Life Status

Posted by Electric Boogaloo on 11 July 2015 - 03:56 AM

as work has mostly gotten in the way. 


And this is what my work has been for the past few years...Microsoft HoloLens!


#285340 iOS and Android gaming recommendations

Posted by MrToad on 20 May 2014 - 08:21 AM

Saw Fuddle had bought an iPad and couldn't see a thread for these, so I thought I'd kick one off :)

These days my gaming is pretty much exclusively on my 4th gen iPod Touch, so all games mentioned are iOS, but most (I think) have an Android version too.

EDIT: Have now got an iPad mini Retina, so some of these I'd only recommend for newer iDevices. Those that work well/acceptably on the last gen iTouch are tagged with (iOS 6).

Stuff I'd recommend:

  • Bastion - see impressions thread
  • Galaxy on Fire 2 (iOS 6) - cracking spaceship shooting/equipping goodness - currently the nearest you'll get to Elite on a mobile. If you've got an iPad get the HD version.
  • Swordigo (iOS 6) - a pretty darn fine platform action adventure.
  • Tiny Troopers (1 + 2) (iOS 6, although it struggles a bit) - it's basically Cannon Fodder, but on your mobile
  • Infinity Blade (iOS 6) - 1-on-1 hack and slash fun
  • Tron (iOS 6) - sadly the lightbike controls are rubbish and annoying (well, I couldn't get on with them) but the tank game is good enough to be worth a mention, and it's free
Turn based strategy:
  • Hoplite (iOS 6) - see impressions thread
  • Greed Corp (iOS 6) - a rather different take on the TBS genre. iTouch is a bit small to do it justice, but this'd be cracking on an iPad (if you get the HD version).
  • Hunters: Episode One (iOS 6) - awesome TBS that's pretty much a mobile version of Space Crusade / Space Hulk
  • Hitman GO - see impressions thread
Quick 5 minutes:
  • Plasma Sky (iOS 6) - awesome retro-styled bullet nightmare shooty fun. See impressions thread
  • PewPew (iOS 6) - old school beat-the-score manic shooting goodness, with 4 different game modes.
  • Sonic Jump (iOS 6) - not the classic Sonic style, but a well presented platformer that I keep returning to.
  • Peggle (iOS 6) - puzzle and skill goodness
  • Cut the Rope (iOS 6) - a puzzle classic
  • Where's My Water? + Where's My Perry? (iOS 6) - physics based puzzling at its best
EDIT 15/8/2014: Added Plasma Sky and Walking Dead.
EDIT 11/9/2014: Added link to Plasma Sky impressions.
EDIT 18/9/2014: Added Bastion and iOS 6 tags.


Posted by Singho on 05 March 2014 - 11:57 PM

Hey Dudes


Not had much time to post on here recently, few of the GHZ lads already know, but thought I better post up a thread here in good old Off topic...I AM THE DADDY, POW!  Didn't even have time to post here been so busy... :lol:


Born on the 31st January 2014, my little beauty Harley was born. ^_^




My first child and future Martial Arts Champion!


Mrs Singho is fine, I am also now fully recovered for those of you that are concerned. ;D

#284775 Now You're Playing with Power. The NES.

Posted by bowser123 on 02 March 2014 - 07:13 PM

Like for most people on here, and probably in Europe, the NES was a machine that didn't get much time. I started with a home computer (Amstrad in my case, Spectrum for the majority) before progressing onto a SNES (again maybe altered for a Mega Drive for others). I imagine that's a similar story for most and if you did go 8 bit it'd be for the Master System.
I did own a NES, along with Mario 3 and Double Dragon, all bought for me as a present. The problem was the machine was bought when the NES was dead and after I'd already owned a SNES for about 18 months. I did play the arse out of SMB3 and think alongside SMW it represented the pinnacle of 2D platforming.
Over the years I bought, played and completed a few more Nintendo classics like the original Zelda and Metroid on my NES. Enjoyed them all, but again, belatedly playing them after I'd finished Super Metroid and LttP took some of their impact away. Other NES games I played largely came from compilation discs like Mega Man Collection on the Gamecube, Zelda 2 on the 3DS. Almost uniformally everything I've played has been Nintendo made. Other stuff was bought on NES cart- Battle of Olympus, Low G Man, Mega Man 2, Cosmic Spacehead- but they largely remained unplayed. Duck Tales, Chip 'N Dale and Blades of Steel are some I played more of to a degree but again it's only really Nintendo classics I've finished.
Then the other day, inspired by the Mega Man thread, I decided to seek out and play stuff I'd never really tried before. Made a list using NESguide by selecting developers I know (Konami and Capcom mainly), aided by a top 100 list , which again is predictably dominated by Nintendo, Konami and Capcom. First game I tried:






Played and completed the original Catlevania inside a day. That's the first none Metroidvania from the series I've managed to finish. What did I make of it?
It's reasonable but nothing special. By far the best bit is the music.
The game is split over 15 stages or so, with a boss at the end of every 3 or so. The bosses are where the main challenge is introduced really, besides death meaning a restart from the beginning of the stage with no checkpoints. By far the hardest for me was Death though having played him again I realised I could cheese it by trapping him in one place with the fire water. Dracula was reasonable but quite easy once you got his pattern down and destroyed his flame attack with said water.
The game finishes, gives the credits and reveals the names of the enemies involved. It then loops back to the start (bottom right pic) where the game begins again with seemingly more enemies that move faster and hit harder. It's a reasonable starting game though nothing special, one that was tricky but didn't force me to rely on save states. I used them, but mainly as a way of saving the start of every level and only Death forced me to utilise save states at various points of the same fight. Then again I tried him again once he was down, reloading a save state and cheesed him in one spot.
Castlevania: B-
Talking of save states and the screen grabs from my actual playthrough, hands up time. Despite owning a NES, and having some of the games on cart, I've gone the emulation route. Several reasons really, mainly being the limitations of the hardware. The NES being RF or composite only everything looks shockingly bad on my LCD. Worse than that there's an element of lag present that's noticeable. I also suffered with hardware faults like the flashing light, having to load a game three times to make it work, jamming a second cart ontop of the first just a few things I had to do.
I very quickly grew tired of these hardware issues and played the games through my modded Xbox and a surprisingly perfect Android emulator on my tablet. The NES pad is also really uncomfortable. Luckily for me I have an adaptor to use different pads on the Xbox. Better still the tablet lets me use bluetooth controllers so I've been using a Wii Classic Controller and the official Wii SNES pad . Got to say flicker free, enhanced graphics with a comfortable pad and save stats very quickly won me over. The games no longer feel dated.
Second game I played, and it's an absolute revelation. Stupid name, brilliant game:


Metroidvania is one of my favourite genres. I've played and finished so many, it really is a genre that hooks me in. A quick think and I reckon I rate the genre like this in my order of preference:
Godly games- Super Metroid, Castlevania Symphony
Superb games- GBA Castlevania and Metroids, Kirby Amazing Mirror (man that handheld)
Decent- Megaman ZX, Shaman King, La Mulana, Cave Story
OK- Monster Tale, Guacamelee, NES Metroid
Anyway. Point of the list? I reckon Ufouria ranks below godly but deservedly in the "superb" list. It really is that good and quite possibly in my (limited) top 3 NES games. One thing for sure is it's miles, miles better than NES Metroid. What makes it so good?
You start the game with one little dude, the blue fella (left pic). He can do very little and is weak, though the game is kind initially in allowing him to take four or five hits off his HP before he dies. His initial aim is to reunite with his three other buddies. This is important as each has their own unique skills that makes traversing the world possible. The first guy jumps hight and is fast, the second dinosaur (middle pic) can swim and traverse successfully on ice. Trying either with a different character outright fails as only the dino can stay upright on ice and is able to move in water.
All have a basic attack, similar to Duck Tales in that you jump and have to hold down to initiate a stomp. Merely jumping without the stomp results in you taking damage. Later on there's secret weapons to find that enhance their attacks. Generally though you stomp on an enemy and it either turns into a blob (left pic) that you can throw to attack, or less frequently a heart to top up your HP. You switch the characters with a pause menu., intelligent use of their powers necessary to overcome the puzzles.


Lot's about the game is very bizarre and makes it feel quite unique. The enemies are varied, the use of items super. I like the idea of a plunger to help you wall climb for example.  Everything looks so weird, the level of oddity is so high. One can attack by detaching his head, another when ducking proceeds to lie on his back and crawl around. The animation is of a high standard and the music catchy.




The real quality of the game? It allows real exploration, a genuinely none linear experience. Once you have the first two characters you really can go almost anywhere, skill allowing. Aided by a map (which has to be found, above right), it later highlights parts of interest. Judging by the difficulty of the bosses and the items I've received I've definitely been playing out of order something that has come about by my exploring.


Whilst the map is little more than perfunctory in quality it's immensely valuable in comparison to something like the original Metroid that had none. I've enjoyed returning to old areas and using new abilities to create a shortcut. These new passages have been important because upon death the game puts you back to the original start point. There's no lives or checkpoints, but you do retain all your items so death isn't too frustrating. A small concession to this is the bosses that place you just outside their room. The game also isn't that hard so it hasn't been a regular occurrence to see the game over screen, it's a game where I have used no save states outside of saving when I turn off to negate the use of passwords.


I don't really know how far I'm in but I estimate about halfway given the filling of the item screen and the ticking off of the green special areas. So I don't think it'll be much longer than a 10-15 hour game, but so far it's been immensely enjoyable.


So much so that the game enthused me enough to want to write about it.





Point of the thread? A blog for me to keep track of the new stuff I've played. Hopefully it'll reveal some new games that people will try. Though I won't be retreading old classics like Zelda and Mario it's always nice to read about them if you do play them.


Next post- completing Ufouria. Writing about the excellent Gargoyles Quest 2 and maybe inroads into Kid Dracula.



#284635 The day we turned our industry into an industry

Posted by hankwang on 07 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

Hello. I'm Rob. For over a quarter of a century, I have played the vidja. I'm not 100% sure when the fascination started, although I believe it was when I first played Commando in the arcade in a holiday camp deep in the midst of the 80s. I know when the obsession started, however.
Our house was always full of home computers. We were pioneers of the 80s. Between my brothers, we had a Texas TI-99/4A, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, MSX and a Commodore 64. Some of them were shifted on for better and brighter models, some of them burnt out their transistors and were replaced, and some are still with us today. When I was 6 or 7, as my brother elected to use his part-time money to buy an Amiga, I was given the C64 as a hand-me-down, along with his gigantic pirated tape library, and a few official games to boot.
This was the early age of digital Britain. Buried under the surface in bedrooms and pokey offices up and down the country, the haphazards were bolting together any old concept that worked, trying to eek out whatever was left out of their sprite multiplexers and harvesting a precious byte here and there to try and fit the music in at the end. And all for what? To put a tape in a plastic case with a cardboard inlay and sell it for £2.99 at Boots and WH Smiths. This country was one of the early masters of the video game, a reality honed by the government's computer literacy project.
All I did was play. I understood games. I knew what to do to avoid the game crashing bug that would wipe you out on the third multiload of TMNT. I knew how to get through the ridiculous tricky water-platform section on Creatures. I even knew that the home computer versions of Street Fighter 2 were as garbage as it comes. Sadly, I also came to know that what rolled out in these early days were quickly slap dashed arcade ports that barely resembled their sublime fathers, and budget offerings that were as economy as a Sainsbury's value sausage roll. You had to be sharp and informed to avoid the tosh, lest your pocket money was wasted, and lest your savings for the next full price title were eaten into for a quick fix.
My friend had a Master System. That was the big ticket at the time, the hearts and minds of kids everywhere almost universally owned by Sega. His parents were... relatively well off, so he'd always have a new cart to play with (he did pay them back with bloody good grades, in fairness). We had a pact of sorts - whip through loads of my pirated and budget C64 titles, get a good feel for the kinds of games that were being produced, and then take on the majesty of something really polished, like Master System Double Dragon. I remember one summer, in between bouts of Psycho Fox, we worked on the job of mapping and finishing the entirity of Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap. Easily one of my fondest memories of gaming, even if we did almost kill each other trying to figure out the fucking pigmy dungeon.
These were the kinds of games I wanted to play, not this second rate Professional Ski Simulator and BMX Ninja tosh. After a lot of petitioning, I got my wish. The Megadrive. The new home of gaming. Golden Axe. FIFA. Sonic the motherfucking Hedgehog. And from there, the blue blood of Sega corsing through my veins, I moved onto the Saturn. Guardian Heroes. Sega Rally. NiGHTS into motherfucking Dreams. There was this real, twitch skill, quick blast arcade feel which was always deeper than your credit allowed you to experience, and always had you coming back to find a more methodical, rewarding experience. This was an age where almost every gamer universally understood that you any amount of content that was engineered to provide you with fun would last for hours on end.
Let's fast forward to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is my opinion that 2006 to 2010 was something of a golden age for vidja. MS had position the 360 as the gamer's console, and did its utmost to inspire us with internal and externally funded affair that had a broad stretch. The Japanese RPGs, Mass Effect, Alan Wake, Forza, the list goes on. And Sony, of course, had to fight back. Uncharted, Motorstorm, Resistance, the list goes on. And smack bang in the middle, the third parties made the most of it, the exponential growth in competition and gaming that offered them the ability to experiment and break fresh ground. Whether you had complete enjoyment for all of them is another matter - the fact was there was quite literally a game for everyone.
2010 was the last full year I enjoyed as a gamer. It would be remiss to criticise video gaming as full speed downhill from then on, but in terms of the rise from where *I* stand in what *I* want, that was the summit. Maybe I am a dinosaur for not embracing certain things, but I have my reasons and I don't feel they are out of step. There's a vocal crowd, positive about where things are going, and a silent crowd that sit in dismay about where things are going. I'm not sure which sits larger. Perhaps we will never know.
I feel the anger when I speak about gaming today. I may be an opinionated guy, but I am pretty liberal. You want to do what you want to do, you do it, good for you. In everything I do, I'm mellow. But it's just not the case here anymore. I have to hold back the spitting of venom everywhere. And the problems all largely lie at our own feet.
Let's look at the big corporations first. Microsoft's fuck ups with the Bone are well documented at this point, I don't need to go into that, it was a mess and they deserve to be trailing. What they did manage to do was produce a large and varied lineup of specifically tailored software for launch, whether those games were all good across the range or not. Sony had the platform, but not the games. So you were left with a choice - buy the more powerful platform, or buy the platform that might have something you'd want to play on it.
But it's not the corporations who cause this problem. It's us. We're the ones who wouldn't give Kinect a second chance, not even as a user interface. We're the ones who cried bloody murder about the microtransactions bolted onto certain games, despite not playing them ourselves and confirming whether they were a problem or not. We're the ones who gave Sony carte blanche to leave a big empty hole in the release schedule by buying that system in droves until they eventually catch up later this year. We were served multiple failings from all sides, and we bought into every single one of them.
What about our indie darlings, sweeping in to save us from the dredge? Well, I don't fully believe that's the case either. I think there are some good things happening now, in 2014, but it's taken too long to get there. I must go back to my late 80s comments to define this - the slap-dash of putting a game together in someone's bedroom. You've got a great idea, and you can string a few lines of code together -  it doesn't make you a game designer. So many of these highly-praised titles, like Super Meat Boy, have liberally stolen mechanics, theories, and even level design from the earliest examples of the genres. So many of them have cobbled their style together from pixel art, because they're not artists and it's the only way they can do it. And so many of them don't even attempt to prototype what they put together - it's a good idea, it works, the hell if whether it's fun for more than 5 minutes or if all our ideas combine to make one whole. It's not an acceptable excuse to say "it's a one man band and it's cheap", because it's just plain *LAZY*. I lived through the first form of this - taking us back to an 8-bit world when it was the best that primitive machines and the first real breed of games programmers could do.
But it's not the indie developers who cause this problem. It's us. We're the ones who buy things like Gone Home and hold them up as iconic storytelling and atmospheric examples, despite being no more advanced or deep than the tension and narrative of a Silent Hill, for instance. We're the ones who give Team Meat, Phil Fish and their ilk a free licence to spread vitrol and attack others whilst they count the money of bug ridden games that feel and play like they've come straight out of the 80s. And we're the ones who praise pixel art like it's the second fucking coming, despite it being in what feels like every single major selling indie game for the past 3 years.
And Valve? Valve who devalue gaming with continual constant sales, that encourage gamers to hold onto their pennies until they can essentially buy 2 or 3 for 1? Valve, who are actually driving technology backwards because of the increasingly high costs to produce assets for games are returned by the inability to gain credible and reasonable returns.
But it's not even Valve who caused this problem. Because publishers are always looking for a revenue stream, and if it's not selling in the first two weeks then OH SHIT PUT IT ON SALE RECOUP THE COSTS. And that's when we strike, like vultures around a carcass, picking at the bones saying we do it for love, but we do it because we see value and we want to suck that up as quickly as we can, even if it means never truly realising what we actually HAVE. And let's be honest here, we don't just do this with the games that cost £30 and £40. We do it with the games that cost £5 and £10 as well.
What happened? Did I grow up? Did I see this industry transform from hobbyist, to a gaming led business, to a segregated, them against us, good-for-no-one cash grab before my very eyes? In the judgment of how we got to this place, no one is innocent. Not the publishers, not the developers, and certainly not the gamers themselves. How can we call this an artistic entertainment industry that has every right when the critics and the fans frequently fight among themselves often for the award of who the biggest twat is?
I'm Rob. After a quarter of a century of being inside, I like to go outside now. It makes me less angry. The only problem is, how do you ever truly let go of something you've known for almost your entire life?

#284417 Game of the Year 2013

Posted by davejm on 06 January 2014 - 10:10 AM

I assumed that due to there being no thread already, that we weren't going to bother doing a vote.  I guess the forum isn't busy enough to do that.
So here are my favourite games released in 2013...
1.  The Last of Us
I'm marking this down as the best game I've ever played.  I don't think any game has ever sucked me in so much.  It starts very quickly, but then settles down to the point where you're essentially moving through the environments at a pretty slow pace, and you're just trying to survive against infected or humans looking to take you out.  The pacing is perfect, with moments of intensity as you're faced with a new area or set-piece but then you have downtime moments where you can reflect - and where there are often nice character building segments between the characters.  The combat is scrappy (intentionally so), but it's perfect in that sense because it adds to the intensity.  You never feel like an uber-god, and often find yourself in a fight for your life when your stealth goes to shit and you're spotted.  The combat as a whole weaves so neatly into the narrative, it's perfect.  It felt like an epic journey (helped my it's length), and felt so attached to the characters and their plight that I was sad to finish the game.
2.  Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
What a nice game this is.  It's a short (3 to 4 hour) journey where you're controlling two characters (two brothers) one with each analogue stick.  You control their movement with each stick, and then activate things in the environment with the bumpers.  It's a puzzle game, in that the older brother is good at some tasks and younger one is good at others - so you have to control them both independantly but at the same time.  I've never had to control a game like this before, and it was so refreshing.  It was wonderful to solve the (albeit simple) puzzles, but it was more about the joy of coordinating your movements and progressing rather than brain taxing puzzles to solve.  The characters don't speak English (they just utter something akin to sim-lish), so the story is told through the events as you see them on the screen and the reactions and facial expressions of the characters.  The story itself is emotionally touching, and does something hard hitting late on that is only possible with this medium.  If it wasn't for The Last of Us, this would be my game of the year without doubt - and by a long way.  These two games sit pretty far ahead of the other games in my list.  I urge anyone that hasn't played this to pick it up asap.  It's £3 on PSN for heavens sake, and has been really cheap on Steam and Xbox Live too.
3.  Bioshock Infinite
This seems to be getting a caning at the moment.  I've seen it in many 'worse games of the year' lists, but I've also seen it in a lot of 'best games' lists too - and it finds its way onto mine.  I've never been a big fan of shooters, but I find the Bioshock systems fun to play as the vigours mix things up and give you different ways of mixing up combat.  I can understand the criticism it gets - the combat is simple (no cover mechanics), crappy AI etc - but it's fun.  Considering I find the combat fun, a game then needs to give me an environment that keeps me interested.  This totally did that.  It also needs to offer up a story that is engaging, and I was totally enthralled with this.  Was listening to Chet and Jon's podcast the other night and they mentioned it felt like a dream, and I totally agree.  It felt like I was somewhere else, and I loved being in this fantasical world.  I'll be honest, the story itself was a brain-melting and confusing experience, but I was captivated.
4.  Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Bit of a surprise this one.  I'd never played the AC games at the time of release, and had only dabbled with them in the months prior to this coming out.  But I'd played enough and quite liked how they controlled, to the point this appeared on my radar - in part, due to the pirate setting.  I haven't been disappointed.  There are problems with the controls, but the naval combat is brilliant.  I'm astonished at how good it is, and with fantastic graphics it's so satisfying sailing on the high seas with your crew mates singing shanties.  It's excellent.  There are more problems with it, in that everythings 'identikit' with no world detail.  It's a massive map, but once you've seen a few small islands with a chest on you've seen them all.  It'd be nice if it had anything near GTA level of detail - but even some NPCs to talk to, or random world events would have been nice.  The good thing, is that even though there's not much detail, I haven't felt bored because there are lots of gameplay systems and as long as you mix things up it stays very fun to play.
5.  Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
So very lovely.  Lovely graphics, lovely music etc.  A nice (albeit simple) combat system, and this was just so charming to play through.  I'll be honest, I got bored with it all towards the end because it doesn't really have any depth - but I was enjoying the setting so much that I ploughed on and I'm glad I did.  It's very much a 'by the book' JRPG yet with none of the depth of the best ones out there, but I had a really nice 'fuzzy' feeling when playing this and it genuinely cheered me up getting stuck into this in evenings after work.  Very nice.
6.  Shadowrun Returns  
This came out of no-where for me.  I haven't got any knowledge of the Shadowrun games or its universe, but I liked the look of it (the art, the graphics etc) and once I watched a few videos I was sure I'd enjoy it.  And I really did.  I loved the turn based combat, because every combat encounter was so well designed (rather than the game just throwing mobs at you) and I really felt in control of my squad and felt comfortable with how the tactics of combat worked.  The writing was great too, and it wove a really nice story.  Very linear, but very well written.  Looking forward to the follow up campaigns, and there are also some publically created campaigns now due to the game shipping with an excellent editor.
7.  Gone Home
I first saw this as a preview in GamesTM and instantly knew it'd be for me.  I wasn't disappointed.  Some would say this isn't a game, and is more of an experience.  I can't be bothered with getting caught up in debate about that.  It's a first person narrative led experience where you arrive home after travelling to your parents new house (so it's new to you) yet no-one is home, and you're not sure why.  It looks like something has happened to the family, so you have to interact with items in the house to uncover the mystery.  There are visual clues, objects that tell you things, and audio (diary) logs left by your sister.  So everything just unfolds as you work through the house.  I won't say much else, because it'd just spoil things, but I loved it.
8.  The Swapper
Ooooo, this is gooood!!  It's a side scrolling game where you create clones of yourself in order to solve puzzles.  The clones are created by dropping them somewhere, and they move as you do from that point onwards - mimicking your movements exactly.  So you can use them to push objects, each places that you otherwise couldn't - and so on.  It's such a simple and genius idea, I'm surprised it hasn't been done before.  As well as it playing really well, more joy comes from the way all of that is framed - inside a lovely sci-fi story set on an abandoned space station.  So as you progress you uncover the story of the old inhabitants.  Lovely stuff.
9.  Tomb Raider
Another surprise for me.  Thinking back, I'm unsure why I even bought it - but I'm glad I did.  It's getting some stick for being an uncharted clone, which is fair enough.  If you leave your brain at the door and want a spectacle to sit through, you can't go wrong here.  The way the action sequences play out is over the top (planes exploding around you, bridges failing etc) but it looks so good - and I admit to being a graphics whore at times.  The combat is fun, and although the exploration/platforming is more simple than older games in the series - I really enjoyed it.  It's well polished and put together nicely.  I also really enjoyed the female lead - with great voice acting and modelling (facial expressions, movement etc).  I haven't finished it yet (I shelved it as my old PC was too naff for it) but now I have a new rig, I'm going to go back to this when I've finished Black Flag.
10. Football Manager 2014 and FIFA 14
I didn't think either of these would show on the list, but I've been playing lots of both.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first being that my Son is a total football fanatic now - so plays lots of both too.  I've been playing co-op FIFA which is great fun, and the Ultimate Team mode is very addictive.  So we've been playing lots of the different modes and I found it to control really well.  I'm able to play in different styles, and adapt tactics on the fly and everything seems realistic and responsive.  So much fun.  Football Manager is a wierd one.  I played these games LOTS when I was in my teens, but I've never had the time as an adult.  I've also dabbled with FM-2013 but never go on with it.  But I fired up FM-2014 and started a game with Spurs, and it's been good.  I crafted a tactic that suited my squad, I adapted my training to suit - and it's felt like the game has picked up the way I wanted to play and that was reflected in the performances on the pitch.  I'm 3 points ahead of Chelsea in the Prem at the moment with 8 games to go.  So yeah, enjoying both of these games.

#283800 XBOX ONE - Launch...Hype (?) Thread! (!?)

Posted by hankwang on 24 November 2013 - 08:04 PM

I uploaded this one to YouTube to prevent further fuck ups!


#283746 WRASSLIN!

Posted by hankwang on 23 November 2013 - 10:48 AM

Singho, this is what I was talking about last night. Go to 17 minutes and listen XD


#285526 Bodypoppin' w/ Singho

Posted by hankwang on 27 June 2014 - 09:02 AM


Please proliferate before he takes it down.

#285106 Life Status

Posted by E. Randy Dupre on 15 April 2014 - 11:41 PM

Thought this year would be the shittiest year of them all. Entered it knowing that my job role was being altered on a fundamental level, entirely against my wishes and without any proper consultation with me.


In the event, and bar a couple of exceptions, I love the team I'm working with now. Friendly, social, professional. Three things that I've not had from work colleagues in the last eight years.


Plus, I started renting a house last Friday. It's potentially lovely, but is in reality a bit crap in a lot of places, due to landlords who clearly don't give a shit about it as long as they're getting the rent. This is fine, though, as it's in the nicest bit of town - old-school Victorian terrace on a cobbled street, near a load of nice restaurants and arty-farty shops, right on the doorstep of the town park/gardens and the river - and is, relatively speaking, dirt fucking cheap.


Plus, I entered into a relationship with somebody I met within that new team at work. Two weeks in, I discovered that she's into Persona, Gurren Laggan and loads of other cool shit.


I offered to lend her the import Persona 3 & 4 soundtrack CDs. She already owns them herself.


So far? Best year ever.

#284423 Game of the Year 2013

Posted by qazimod on 06 January 2014 - 02:34 PM

C/Ping my list from rllmuk. Note that I'm including games released in Europe this year, even if they were available overseas earlier. Also note that I can't complete the whole list because I didn't buy 10 games from 2013:


1. Persona 4 Golden




I've gone on about P4G far too much in the past, but it's a new release of one of my favourite JRPGs of all time, with an enjoyable battle system, an extremely well-judged difficulty curve, meaningful character arcs and relationships that are given a sense of interactivity with Social Links and excellent presentation throughout. It pretty much sold me on a Vita as soon as it was announced and I don't regret it one bit.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V is the first game in the series that I've actually enjoyed from start to finish. With every other game in the series I inevitably hit a difficulty spike of a mission with no alternative way of progressing, but GTA V makes some really smart design decisions, from brave innovations such as the multiple protagonists, to sensible concessions such as mid-mission checkpoints and regenerating health. Hopefully this is the start of a rebirth for GTA :)
3. Persona 4 Arena
P4A is a strange beast and I probably haven't played it as much as I would like to - my beat 'em up diet is usually exclusively Capcom-based, so going back to Arc was a bit of a risk for me. However, the game combines some excellent gameplay mechanics (that integrate Persona skills brilliantly) with an enormous story mode that I ended up playing to completion with all characters. The netcode is also stunning and online matches are unbelievably smooth, so it bodes well for P4A2...
4. Tearaway
I wasn't intending to get hold of Tearaway straight away, and to be honest I was a bit nervous about doing so after my experience with LittleBigPlanet, but having received the game as a Christmas gift I've ended up enjoying it a lot. Sure, the puzzles and missions aren't too taxing and people will point fingers and cry "style over substance", but the game is as much of a joy to play as it is to look at, and the gimmicky moments with touchscreens and microphones never feel too out-of-place or overstay their welcome.
5. Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite has a few flaws, sure - some of the battles aren't that much fun, Booker's justifications for his actions are shaky, Elizabeth's attitude towards Booker can be inconsistent with the gameplay ("oh no you killed all of those people but I'll still spawn this gun turret for you") - but the gameworld is a joy to explore, the vigors and skylines make the gunfights a little more lively, and Elizabeth is still an excellent AI companion who's up there with HL2's Alyx.
6. Killer Is Dead
At this point in the list I'm just remembering that I only bought a handful of games in 2013 and so I'm trying to fill the rest of the list. Killer Is Dead does a lot of things wrong - certain missions have so much going on that you don't know what you're supposed to be attacking, QTEs are a chore, the characters are dumb and the story's confusing, some of the environments are a mess to look at - but the combat is such a joy that I almost don't mind. It rips off Bayonetta's Witch Time and Dante's Royal Guard and makes each battle feel awesome as you dodge to safety and then mash out hugely damaging counters, and every time you mess up it feels like your fault. Which is how it should be.
7. Divekick
Divekick's mainly there because I backed it on Kickstarter and then the developer found a publisher to fund the game but still chose to honour the backers' pledges - it's why you can see Qazimod in the "Special Thanks" section if you wait on the credits for long enough. Even so, it's a hugely enjoyable game once you get your head around the air and ground techniques of each character, and the netcode is pretty solid for such a fast game. It's also great for quick sessions during the day, whereas with most other fighters I only indulge in marathon lobbies. Oh, and I watched a lot of the eSports hours that detailed the current progress of the game and I guess that helped me respect the awesome team that was behind it all. :)

#283733 XBOX ONE - Launch...Hype (?) Thread! (!?)

Posted by hankwang on 22 November 2013 - 06:17 PM

The Good
It worked when I turned it on!
Initial setup was quick and not inconvienient. The patch downloaded in a couple of minutes and the following basic options and sign in was as painless as possible. Even Kinect was helpful, capturing my face and setting up it's biometrics with me only having to press a single button to confirm it was me.
Kinect's biometrics/monitoring stuff is also great. Left the machine for 5 minutes, came back and it was in screensaver mode. I walked in front of the camera, pop - out of screensaver mode. I put the pad down, walked away, came back, picked it up and it said "hello, Rob" almost instantly.
The pad. This shit is amazing. I was worried when I felt the sticks for the first time and they felt even looser than the Dual Shock, but a quick lap or two around Forza and they soon started to feel right. Starting to think my issues with the Dual Shock are down to the convex sticks rather than the lack of resistance, so that's all good. But the real star here are the triggers. No one's lying about these puppies, the feedback you get from them is immense. In Forza you can absolutely feel, without exception, when you are pushing a car too much or braking too hard. It adds a whole other layer to the experience - no more just having to rely on your eyes and ears, you've now got full feeling as well and I can't wait to see how else they can use those.
Forza is beautiful as expected. Slightly more simulation than Forza 4 was without losing the handling feel that makes those games so accessible, the single player AI is now worth a crap with Drivatar as every opponent is very much unpredictable (Boog's Drivatar is an utterly terrifying psychopath) and the level of content here is not so bad when you factor in how it scales - you now have to WORK to get a car, not just end up drowning in them when they're given to you every 5 seconds. Solid game.
The Bad
A lot of the system software feels rushed. Upload Studio puts out some really muddy disappointing video.
The UI. I am in that small minority that thought Metro 360 was a solid interface; Didn't hide anything away, everything was clear, and it all just made sense. One of my biggest bugbears with the PS3 is it was the exact opposite of that.
Unfortunatly, this appears to have gone more that way. Options are hidden under crazy submenus. For instance why is Settings under Games and Apps? Why is the option for turning Skype notifications hidden under Display and Sound?
It doesn't help that Kinect's voice recog is far from perfect. Although it's the ideal way to navigate this mess, it still trips up on certain phrases. On 360, Sky seemed to be the default app for when Kinect missed a beat. Here it's Xbox Music.
There's no obvious way to step back in certain applications without using it either. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to figure out how to go back a page in the store before finding my cursor needed to be over a specific thing and press B to do it via pad. Still don't know how to do it via voice.
FIFA let me play it when it was half installed, but all I could do was play Barca Vs. Real and then it crashed after 90 minutes. Hrm. (mind you it is about 100x better than the shit version they put out on current gen)
The Singho
I called this mug on Skype via Kinect and he answered  :singho:
MS did a really good job of showing off the UI in those videos, because it sure as shit doesn't work like that in practice. There is some promise and I do not regret buying it for Forza - at the same time I can see that will be all I'm playing until Titanfall's released. 6/10 must do better.