Good day sir/madam and welcome to the world of someone who calls himself Anus Mcphanus. In the real world I go by the name of Dan.
The name Anus Mcphanus comes from back in school in 6th form. We had a TV in our common room and I used to bring in my N64 to play games during our lunch breaks. Being in a public (or private to you yanks) school meant that we couldn't shout out obscene profanities so openly and so we made up words/names we could say and not get in any trouble. Eventually these words became associated with a certain person and I became known as Anus Mcphanus which meant arsehole. I thought the name was quite hilarious and so I kept the name and use it as my online and gamer name from then onwards.
In my free time I enjoy being Welsh, taking long walks down the beach and punching small children in the face.
My life is rather dull and uninspiring.
I apparently like to drop my trousers. A lot.
I can't sing but often kid myself into thinking I can.
I do not like things up my butt. Except penis.
This is my sorry arse
Favorite Games Ever:
1.) Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
2.) Suikoden 2 (PS1)
3.) Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn)
4.) Rock Band 2 (PS3)
5.) Dungeon Keeper 2 (PC)
6.) Mickey & Donald World of Illusion (Mega Drive)
7.) Guardian Heroes (Saturn)
8.) Brave Fencer Musashi (PS1)
9.) Goldeneye (N64)
10.) Bioshock (360)
1.) Green Day
2.) The Libertines
3.) Arctic Monkeys
1.) Wayne's World
3.) This is Spinal Tap
Another week, another adventure for Dtoid UK! This time we venture into beat-em up territory as we attend the Tekken 6 PAL Territories finals at the Proud Galleries in London.
The tournament itself was a double elimination style tournament where the losers of the "main bout" would then face off against each other and the winner of those matches then re-enter the main tournament. So if you lucked out in your match there's a chance for you to unleash sweet vengeance. Contestants traveled from as far as South Africa, Australia and all across Europe to compete with some big prizes to be won. The winner goes home with £2500 and a Sony Bravia TV, 2nd place gets £1000 and a Hori arcade stick and 3rd place gets £500 and a Hori arcade stick. The winner and runner up also get an all expenses paid trip to Japan to compete in the Tekken 6 World Finals, so there's a lot to play for!
As can be expected from gamers of this caliber, the matches were all extremely tense and thrilling with some truly memorable fights. That being said, no matter how skilled the players are if you watch match after match after match of Tekken 6 it's going to get a little tedious, especially when you're not the biggest Tekken fan around and you don't know the people playing. Luckily for us there was a number of distractions for us to abuse. First and foremost there was an open bar which rest assured was well used. Secondly, every iteration of Tekken was playable at the event. Everything from the very first Tekken to Tekken Tag was represented which brought back a lot of fond memories. Tekken 3 was the last Tekken I played and giving it a whirl certainly filled me with a nice sense of nostalgia.
So since there were a fair few PS3 consoles loaded up with Tekken 6 lying around I thought we might as well use them and drew up our own Dtoid UK Tekken 6 Tournament.
Most of us had never played Tekken 6 before and we were all pretty awful at it so this was just a bit of fun with nothing to lose or gain but pride and probably a few sexual favors. However, about halfway through our little tournament a Namco Bandai rep discovered what we were doing and very generously offered a prize to the winner:
A PS3 version of The Tekken 6 Limited Edition Arcade Stick Bundle.
Now that we had a prize tensions rose and the spirit of competition had been ignited. Matches were fierce, tears were shed, clothes were lost and a victor emerged from the haze of ambition and drive. The only thing was..... that person... was not a member of Dtoid UK.
As you can see (or probably can't because it makes no sense and I just scribbled stuff down as I didn't think it would end up being serious business) from the tournament sheet above, the winner was a lovely lady named Laura. She's a friend of Pheonix Blood and she has never played a Tekken game before. Yes, you read that correctly. This was the first time she had played any Tekken game let alone Tekken 6 and she won the Dtoid UK Tekken 6 Tournament. Now, I feel I am mostly to blame because she didn't know what she was doing and I told her to pick Christie. She only found out how to block after her second or third match and she still won. I'm sorry. I'm not sure if this highlights how much we suck at Tekken 6 or how broken Christie is. I hope it's the latter.
Either way a big Congratulations to Laura for whooping our butts!
Being a very gracious winner Laura decided to give her prize away because she doesn't own a PS3. So after a rather touching speech she passed the prize onto Justice who as you can see below, was overcome with emotion.
So another successful outing for Dtoid UK. As usual I'd like to thank all of Dtoid UK for being your usual amazing selves and I'd also like to thank Namco Bandai for letting us attend the event and for supplying us with a prize for our own little tournament. Oh and the French guy won the actual Tekken 6 PAL Territories Tournament if you missed that part!
and finally our fearless leader Pheonix Blood has a few words for you all:
Over the weekend Dtoid UK were lucky enough to be invited to the first ever Capcom Europe Community Christmas Party in Roxy's Bar on good old London Town. After all, nothing says Christmas more then Santa hats, video games, good friends and an open bar! Good times were had, new games were played, loud noises were made (mostly while having sex...mostly) and lots and lots of booze was drunk. I'd say we had more than ten shit loads of Amaretto and Cranberry which seems to be the unofficial drink of Dtoid UK. It may not be the most manly drink but hell if it tastes like red slush puppies than I am all over that!
The event started off on a very high note with some great swag bags. (picture stolen from Nikmonroe, who stole it from Atheistium from Console Monster)
3 t-shirts, a SARS zombie face mask, 2 figures and lovely bag means we were all very happy from the get go! The "Capcom is for life" t-shirt is especially awesome since it was made specifically for the party. Only 50 or so were made and they are dated as well. There were also raffle tickets in each bag as well and this is where Capcom start to show how fucking ace they truly are. EVERY SINGLE PERSON who came to the party won a prize.
Now while most of us won a bowl of Monster Hunter branded instant ramen, a few lucky Dtoiders managed to win some epic stuff.
Atheistium managed to score some Monster Hunter rice cakes while her friend got one better and won herself a Lost Planet 2 salamander plushy.
ThePhil won himself a light up Dark Void statue (so jealous!)
Hammerteim is now the proud owner of a pair of signed Monster Hunter earphones and NJ looks like he's going to enjoy that Monster Hunter ramen in his hands later.
The real winner of the raffle goes to Gandysampras who now owns a signed and framed Street Fighter 4 cell of Seth (Mega Jealous!).
Christmas really had come early. Gandy literally would not let go of that cell all day and seeing the joy on his face when he opened it and saw what it was he was holding is what Christmas is really all about.
Now it wouldn't be a Capcom party without some video games now would it? I was praying for some super exclusive showcase like Super Street Fighter 4 or Dead Rising 2 even if it was the E3 demo but alas my hopes were perhaps a little too high and they weren't there. However, we did have Lost Planet 2, Dark Void and Tatsunoku Vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars which are always good to see. To be honest I don't think many of us spent much time on Dark Void or Lost Planet 2 but the code of Dark Void they were showing was definitely a newer version than the one at the Eurogamer expo which looked a little rough around the edges. From what I saw it's definitely shaping up to be something you should at least keep an eye on. Lost Planet 2 is still looking great and I for one am really looking forward to it.
The main event game wise was definitely the Tatsunoku Vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars tournament. Dtoid UK put up a brave fight but alas we were defeated. GandySampras and Half Left made it through to the Semi-finals while Surplus Gamer and I battled through and were beaten in the Quarter-finals. I must admit I was a little upset I didn't put up more of a fight in my last round but I guess I just have to train harder!
Still getting to play TvC:UAS on a massive projector was still awesome
The real kick in the teeth though was the prize that the winner of the tournament received: a limited edition TvC:UAS hoodie signed by the producer Ryota Niitsuma. Congrats to the winner but dammit I wanted that hoodie so badly!
Throughout the day we were treated to videos that Capcom Japan had made for their European fans. All the big name developers including Keiji Inafune (Dead Rising 2), Jun Takeuchi (Resident Evil 5), Katsuhiko Ichii (R&D), Yoshinobi Ono and Blanka (Street Fighter 4), Hironobu Takeshita (Ghost Trick) and Minae Matsukawa (Last Ranker and Ace Attorney) made a video message for the fans. This is why I love Capcom so much. It was just a video message so they could have easily just done a quick hello and Merry Christmas video in the office but a lot of effort went into these clips. The locations were all different ranging from a canteen where one developer was eating Monster Hunter Ramen to a sound recording studio to inside Takeuchi-sans car while he was driving or to a massage parlor where Takeshita-san was having a message. They were quite long messages too, lasting at least 5-10 minutes each and they were genuinely funny and entertaining. The things they talked about ranged from development and personal stories to what they do at Christmas or as Takeuchi-san calls it: "Die Hard Season" (because he and his friends watch all the Die Hard movies back to back at Xmas). It's always good to see the quirky side of developers since when we normally see them, they are doing PR for their games. Capcom Japan do certainly seem a little crazy and that's why they are awesome.
Speaking of awesome, we have to mention a special lady at Capcom Europe. She's the Capcom Europe Community Manager and she goes by the name Tenebra on the Capcom forums.
Without her none of this would have happened. It was thanks to her that Capcom Japan made those videos and it was her who got all the prizes together and organised everything. Oh and she also gave us our invitations. She does a fucking lot for us when she really doesn't have to, especially since we're not technically part of the Capcom community. She always wears a smile, is a pleasure to talk to and we love her for being so amazing. Now since this is Dtoid UK, we don't do things half arsed. That's not how we roll. We had to get Tenebra a present to say thank you and merry Die Hard season. So what did we do? We commissioned our very own Dtoid artist Mikey to draw a special one of a kind master piece.
Thank you for the drawing by the way Mikey, I think everyone will agree that it's perfect, it was a shame you couldn't have been there to hand it over personally. It's the little things we do like this that make me proud to be a member of the Destructoid Army and why I adore Dtoid UK. That and the sex is fantastic.
We ended the day on a festive note by filming a special video reply back to Capcom Japan where we all sang a zombie themed Jingles Bells tune because all game developers need a song to sing when they are hunting for brains. The lyric sheet can be seen below for festive cheer!
Once again I'd like to say a big thank you to Tenebra and everyone at Capcom Europe who always bring out the awesome! I know there's a few people who work behind the scenes as well who help make all these events possible so THANK YOU! Also a special thank you goes to Capcom Japan for taking the time out to speak to us lowly Europeans and another thank you to Dtoid UK for being ace.
THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! <3 <3 <3
P.S. After the Capcom party Dtoid UK went on a bit of a rampage so I'll add a few photos of win in the galley for you to see the sexy carnage. Alternatively check out the Dtoid UK flickr group
[NOTE: Pheonix Blood has already written all the details on the front page but I just spent the last hour and a half writing this so I thought I'd put it up anyway]
and it's about bloody time! While the US has had Netflix to satisfy their movie on demand needs, us poor Europeans have only had the abysmal Microsoft movie rental service and if you owned just a PS3 you were out of luck for any kind of online movie service.
That is until now!
This week sees the launch of Zune HD on the Xbox 360 and Sony's own Video Delivery Service (VDS) on the PlayStation Network. Last night saw the official launch party for Sony's VDS in a secret location in London and of course Dtoid UK was there to represent. The question is, is the service really something Sony can be proud about?
The Sony Video Delivery Service! (Couldn't they have thought up a catchier name?)
The VDS has actually been live for most of the day now so if you're reading this then you've probably had a look around the store and maybe even downloaded a few things so I'll skim the details (some of which I'm having to remember from last night and well let's just say there was an open bar...) and just lay out the main points.
1.) To access the VDS you just need to click on the tab at the top of the menus in the PlayStation Store to swap between games and movies. Alternatively if you access the PlayStation Store via the store icon under the movie section on the XMB you will automatically be taken to the VDS.
2.) There are over 2000 movies available at launch (today, for this week) with at least 50 movies being added every week.
3.) The movie updates will happen on Mondays (in the UK) to coincide with the retail DVD/Blu Ray releases that happen in stores on Mondays, so you don't have to wait until Thursdays when the rest of the PlayStation Store gets updated.
4.) You can rent movies in SD and HD but at present only SD movies can be bought and stored on your PS3 hard drive. However, Sony are hoping to allow you to buy and store HD movies in the very near future.
5.) When renting, you will have the movie for 14 days but as soon as you press the play button, you have 48 hours to watch it. Renting costs £2.49 and you can transfer the movie to your PSP and watch it on the go as well.
6.) If you buy a movie. You own it. This means that you can transfer it to other devices and stream it on your PSP via remote play. There is also no download limit like there is on other content on the PlayStation Store, so you can re-download any movie you've bought as many times as you want.
7.) You can only watch SD movies on your PSP.
8.) You can download movies in the background of the XMB while playing other games so long as you are not playing anything online.
9.) The VDS may include TV shows in the future.
10.) The VDS features full parental controls, similar to the rest of the PlayStation Store.
11.) On an average internet connection (whatever that is?!) an SD movie will take about 1 hour to download whereas a HD movie will take about 3 hours. However, you can watch your movie while it is downloading and because it's not technically streaming there's no compression or drop in quality.
Overall I'm pretty impressed with the VDS. There's a lot of movies on the store which isn't surprising since they have the might of Sony Pictures but when the Microsoft video service only has a fraction of what's on offer on the Sony VDS after being out for a year, you've got to be a little impressed. The VDS shares the same user friendly interface as the regular PlayStation store and all the movies are sorted into genres and categories so it's easy to find a movie when you're in the mood for say a "superhero" movie or even a "movie influenced by a video game."
Quality wise I was impressed with what I saw. I saw a few HD movie clips and while they looked good I can't say if they looked just like their Blu Ray disk counterparts because I hadn't seen those movies on Blu Ray and the TVs at the event were HUGE! (way bigger than mine) and I had a lot to drink. All I can say is that the HD movies looked very good.
There are two things that disappoint me greatly with the service though.
1.) There are no movie trailers. There's no way to preview a movie before you rent/buy it.
2.) If you download a HD movie, you have to download the SD version separately if you want to watch the movie on your PSP. This isn't such an issue at the moment since you can only rent HD movies but when you are eventually able to purchase HD movies it's going to suck if you still have to buy the movie twice if you want to watch it on your PSP on the go. Hopefully this will be addressed in the near future.
All in all though, it's a service to download movies. It works, is convenient and well designed with lots of support, what more can you ask for?
The launch party was great! Free booze always leads to a good time but Sony really know how to throw a party. Any place where as soon as you step inside and there's a row of good looking people holding trays of multicoloured glasses, you know you're in a good place. Set up inside a seemingly normal (but huge) house in Soho, London it was a cosy affair but with plenty of room to explore. There were multiple rooms with VDS demos, large sofas, DJs including Radio 1s Annie Mac and a semi acoustic set from Little Boots.
I love semi acoustic sets since they are so different to what you hear on the record and while I'm not a huge fan of hers she's got a great voice and has some great catchy songs under her belt. It was just a shame that she only played about 4 or 5 songs and I was the only one dancing! Serious faces were indeed serious all around. I did get a shout out from Little Boots though as I probably was making a royale drunken arse out of myself! but at least I was clapping in time dammit!
So yes, we got drunk, Hollie and Lauren broke a bed, I broke a polystyrene P sign and Hollie dragged me into the ladies bathroom to pee. This my friends equals a fucking ACE night.
Thank You Hollie <3 lots! and thank you Destructiod.com! I must also apologise for no doubt being a complete arse but hey at least if I look really bad, it makes you look even better!
[Note: My friends and I produce an arts and culture radio show for Roundhouse radio in Camden and I thought I'd post the first draft (before it was altered for radio) of my most recent piece which is surprisingly on music games. Apologies in advance because it's unedited and probably a case of TLDR.
If you're at all interested the actual radio show can be streamed here:
Arts Attack - 28th August My piece is towards the end at around the 25 minute mark. Be kind as it's my first proper radio piece]
By now, everyone has heard of the games Guitar Hero and Rock Band. These video game franchises have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. In fact, Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock is the first game ever to pass a billion dollars in sales from a single video game title, which is an insane amount of money and then when you consider that over 50 million additional songs have been downloaded for Rock Band, you can see that there’s a lot of people playing these games. The popularity of downloadable content for music games is so great that the UK Official Download Chart is considering including these sales in the music charts and record labels and bands have released brand new material through these games. Guns & Roses gave fans a taste of their Chinese Democracy album when the track “Shacklers Revenge” was featured in Rock Band 2, months before the album’s release. You also have to remember that this happened at a time when no one thought that album would ever see the light of day. The developers of these games must be doing something right then and even Time magazine recognises this when they named Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, the founders of Harmonix and creators the original Guitar Hero in the magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2008 for their work on the Rock Band games.
So you can see the impact music games have had on the music and games industry and we haven’t even mentioned Sony’s Singstar games which have sold over 16 million units in PAL regions alone. One game in particular demonstrates how powerful these games are and how important they have become. That game is The Beatles: Rock Band, a game about The Beatles that is also being released simultaneously with their full re-mastered back catalogue on the same day. It’s hard to understate how big of a deal this is for the games industry. It’s easy to dismiss this game as just another game based on a big band such as Guitar Hero Aerosmith and Metallica before it but then you then have to remember that The Beatles are probably the biggest band of all time with a huge loyal fan base. It also wouldn’t be a stretch to say that their back catalogue is the most treasured and valuable in music and more importantly it has also never been legally made available in digital form. This all changes when The Beatles: Rock Band comes out because not only will the game feature the newly licensed and re-mastered recordings but the whole albums of Abbey Road, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul will be made available to download. So the first time you’ll be able to download any music by The Beatles will be via The Beatles: Rock Band. If that doesn’t convince you that music games are at the forefront of music then nothing will. After all there is probably only one other band that could rival The Beatles in terms of how treasured their back catalogue is and that is Led Zeppelin and even they have made their music available on iTunes.
One of the unique features of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games is that every week more and more tracks are made available to download and play in the games. This makes it much easier for music gamers to be exposed to new music. This is especially true for younger gamers who maybe listening to older bands such as The Grateful Dead, Boston and Talking Heads for the first time, since those bands aren’t played on the radio or MTV these days. In 2008, a survey conducted by Brown University’s Kiri Miller found that 76% of the players of Guitar Hero bought music they heard in the game.
Games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are a hell of a lot of fun. They give you a whole new way to experience music and plays to the strengths of video games as an interactive medium. If you want to listen to music you have CDs and downloads, if you want to see the music you have music videos and live performances and if you want to interact and play along with music you now have these music games. Let’s also consider that not everyone is able to go to gigs/concerts to see bands live. Some people are limited by their age or location and in the case of some artists such as The Beatles, it’s simply impossible to see them live and these music games gets you a little closer to the bands/artists. You feel like you’re playing music together with them which is a completely different experience than passively listening to their music. Both experiences are very enjoyable but are very different.
If you’ve ever heard someone play one of these music games without the music playing it kind of reminds you of children banging on pots and pans in the kitchen and diving off the sofa with a tennis racquet guitar. This raises an important question, are music games trivialising music? The fact that music is being simplified to 5 coloured buttons on a plastic guitar controller has worried a lot of people. Instead of thinking of the correct chords in the song, you’re thinking about pressing the green, red, yellow, blue and orange buttons. Some musicians take offense to this and feel that it’s insulting to change, manipulate and strip down music to make it fit the framework of a videogame. They would argue that this makes the music featured feel like a cheap substitute to the real thing and distorts the artists work and vision. Because you are fixated on the screen when playing these games and focused on hitting the right “notes” you don’t get the same kind of mental imagery you get when you are just listening to music.
That being said, a lot of people don’t realise that Rock Band and Guitar Hero have never been designed to be a replacement for real instruments or teach you how to play any of those instruments, with the drums to some extent being the exception to the rule. You will probably learn a few musical skills such as keeping rhythm and hand and finger co-ordination but that’s not the primary focus of these games which is to experience music in a new and fun way. It’s important to remember that not everyone who plays these games are musically minded so seeing the note charts in these games can also foster a level of music appreciation. Having all the charts of instruments on screen side by side, you can see how the song is put together and when a player is performing poorly, you can hear the notes skipping in the music which can teach you about how each instrument adds to the song. All together this can help build a stronger level of appreciation and respect for the bands/artists of the music and as Noel Gallagher put it: “If it puts little plastic guitars into kids' hands and fires their imaginations, I think that's a good thing. It's harmless fun, innit.” A very valid point and not only that, it’s clearly more than harmless fun as a study by Youth Music found that 2.5 million out of 12 million children in the UK have begun learning how to play real instruments after playing music games such as Guitar Hero.
It’s obvious to see the impact games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero have had on the music and games industry. Guitarist Steven Van Zandt who is famous for playing the guitar and mandolin in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band claims that “in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, Rock Band may just turn out to be up there with the rise of FM radio, CDs or MTV.” The amount of time and money spent on these music games is a true testament to how well they are designed and how much fun they are to play. No other medium can allow you to experience music the same way that video games can and the commercial success of these games means that more and more bands can be featured in these games and be exposed to a whole new audience. I think Noel Gallagher put it best when he said that that these games are better for kids than ones that feature “somebody getting their f*cking head chopped off with a samurai sword while getting f*cked by a goblin up the arse with a laser” and “If it get’s kids interested in playing the guitar, then, wow.”
The UK has been lacking any kind of gaming expo for quite some time now but it looks like we now have one that we can truly be proud of. At the end of October the Eurogamer expo will once again be returning and they're starting to announce a few games that will be there.
As you can guess by the title those games are:
Bayonetta and Aliens Vs Predator and not only will they be playable but Sega will also be demoing the multiplayer version of AvP.
Last years expo was awesome. All the games there were playable future titles and although they mainly focused on the Christmas line up there were a fair few games that were coming out the following year (2009) like Killzone 2, HAWX, Bionic Commando and Street Fighter 4. It looks like this years expo is going to be even bigger and better than last years!
I'm definitely going to at least one of the London dates and I think it'd be really cool to have some sort of Dtoid NARP or at least a chance for us to hang out there and get blind drunk.
The tickets are only £6 so it's a pretty fair price to check out what's coming out and after going to last years expo I would highly recommend going.
The dates are:
27th & 28th October in Leeds
30th & 31st October in London
NOTE: I thought I'd repost this blog since I got a few of the prices wrong (sorry!) but luckily they are cheaper than I thought they were so it's time we all got our Singstar on! Also a couple of these are flying off the shelves (not surprisingly), especially Street Fighter 4 so if you're thinking about picking any of these up I wouldn't hesitate.
I know Gemsi does the UK bargains blogs every week but since he normally only mentions online bargains I thought I'd do a shortblog to let you all know that hmv have dropped a load of prices on some really good games. These prices apply to the retail stores but I've checked a few titles online and some games are a little cheaper online but some are not. Anyway that's enough chit chat here's the list:
Street Fighter 4 - £19.99
Resident Evil 5 - £27.99
Dead Space - £14.99
WWE Legends of Wrestlemania - £19.99
Fifa 09 - £19.99
Singstar vol 1 - £14.99
Singstar vol 2 - £14.99
Singstar Queen - £14.99
Eternal Sonata - £19.99
The Wheelman - £24.99
Saints Row 2 - £19.99
Tomb Raider Underworld - £19.99
Street Fighter 4 - £19.99
Resident Evil 5 - £27.99
Dead Space - £14.99
WWE Legends of Wrestlemania - £19.99
Fifa 09 - £19.99
Ninja Blade - £19.99
Halo Wars - £19.99
Gears of War 2 - £19.99
You're In The Movies (including vision camera) - £14.99
The Wheelman - £24.99
Saints Row 2 - £19.99
Tomb Raider Underworld - £19.99