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10:16 AM on 09.17.2013

Let's Play: Spelunky Part 3



Grant and Sammy continue to "play" Spelunky. Contains scenes of idiocy.

OneManAndHisBird are a British couple currently living in southern England. The two of them suck at video games really badly and have to constantly sabotage, kill and maim each other to feel superior. In game of course. And now, for your amusement, it's broadcast all over the internet!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GShipcott
Blog with old stuff: http://gshipcott.wordpress.com/

Music by the fantastic Kevin MacLeod - Brightly Fancy
http://incompetech.com/   read


6:26 PM on 09.14.2013

Let's Play: Spelunky Part 2



Grant and Sammy continue to "play" Spelunky. Warning: contains scenes of idiocy.   read


12:50 PM on 09.09.2013

Let's Play: Spelunky



Grant and Sammy "play" Spelunky. Grant sacrifices Sammy to Kali and Sammy whines a lot.   read


12:31 PM on 08.17.2013

Let's Play: Papers, Please



Apologies for crappy audio in this video. New mic is difficult to get used to. Not that anyone will watch this video anyway. :P

Today, Trix travels back in time to a dystopian past where she proceeds to FAIL MISERABLY!!!   read


3:37 PM on 08.15.2013

Let's Play: Castle Crashers Part 1



Taking a break from our usual schedule of dying in Rogue Legacy, we took some time to die in Castle Crashers instead!

In this episode, Murdock compares himself to an insane celebrity, they both get too competitive when it comes to collecting coins and Trix starts to realise she's made a mistake agreeing to do these videos.   read


8:48 AM on 08.15.2013

Let's Fail: Rogue Legacy Parts 3 & 4






Yet more failure, more deaths and more swearing!   read


12:10 PM on 08.12.2013

Let's Fail: Rogue Legacy Part 2



Part 2 of the epic tale of two squabbling idiots trying to play a game they suck at.   read


4:12 AM on 08.12.2013

Let's Fail: Rogue Legacy Part 1



My girlfriend and I have decided to start our own Let's Play series! But, unfortunately that has to be on hold as we start by failing at Rogue Legacy.

Fun drinking game: take a shot every time Murdock says, 'Bollocks'. Note: We are not liable for any illness or injury that may occur.   read


12:51 PM on 08.11.2013

5 Things I would like to see in FIFA 14

So, with FIFA 13 heading towards the exit door and FIFA 14 slowly appearing on the horizon, its time to have a look back at the last year of awesome goals, annoying controls, iffy AI and controller smashing annoyance. FIFA 13 was probably the strongest FIFA game to date but even then it got blood-curdlingly frustrating at time. So what major differences would we like to see in the next instalment? I've taken a few minutes to comprise a short list of what I would like to see.

A few honourable mentions before I begin because I either didn't think of them before I started writing or I didn't feel they were as important. I'd like a better physics engine as players are constantly tripping over each other just by brushing past or falling over a piece of paper someone left on the field. I would also like to see a Road to the World Cup style mini game, which you can get to a point in FIFA 13, except that it's called the World Championships and just doesn't feel like the World Cup.

I'd like to have a bit more freedom in the Player Career mode. It would be nice to be able to buy things with your salary, appearing on shows, do news conferences and interviews. And while they're at it, they could make the goalkeeper mode less boring as well.


1) LESS SCRIPTING


Scripting is a bit of a myth in FIFA. There are people who swear it happens just about every time and others who say it's all down to the fitness levels of your players etc. If you don't know what scripting is, it's FIFA lingo for a goal, or game that you can't prevent or win. For example, if your winning 2-1 in the 90th minute and suddenly it feels like your players are crap, you can't manage to get the ball and the opponents run straight to your goal and score, that is scripting.

I'm not sure I truly believe that this happens, but you can't deny that the amount of 90 minute goals scored both by the AI and the player is an absolute joke. You hardly ever see last minute goals in the premier league and yet you will be scoring them every game or so in FIFA. So, I would like to see less of it. Conceding a goal gets even more frustrating when it feels like there's nothing I could have done about it.


2) BETTER FINESSE SHOTS


Again, for those who don't know what this is, a finesse shot is choosing placement over power. In FIFA 12, they were overpowered. If you used one you were almost certain to score assuming you were within scoring distance and didn't blast it over. However, in FIFA 13, they nerfed them to buggery. This wouldn't be a bad thing if they didn't do it so haphazardly. They've turned them from all powerful shots into the equivalent of a five years old's shooting.

So some kind of balance would be nice. To not score ever single shot, but not miss ever single one.


3) LESS PACE WHORING


In FIFA 13 all your team needs is pace. If you have a fast squad you will be just about unbeatable. Sure there are other stats that make it easier, such as having high stamina, but generally as long as your fast you're going to win. The way the AI has your players making runs effectively means a well time chipped through pass over the top will leave the defenders eating dust, so as long as you don't choke when you get one on one, you're going to score.

Defenders are generally slow, but strong whereas attackers are fast and weak. This is supposed to balance out as centre backs can muscle forwards off the ball, but they can't get anywhere near them in the first place. I would like to be able to employ a better tactic than 'run past the opponent' in FIFA 14.


4) OFFICIAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LICENCE


Any football fan knows that the Champions League is the biggest tournament in club football so it makes absolutely no sense that the official football game of the FA isn't actually allowed to call the tournament the 'Champions League' using the much more generic 'Champions Cup'. I think having the official name and logos will add to the atmosphere of career mode more than just about anything else.

Also, a small nit pick, but I would like for them to have the correct match orders in the Champions Cup as well. They don't seem to understand how the fixtures are set during the group stage which annoys me more than it should.


5) BETTER PLAYER FACES AND STADIUMS


Marouane Fellaini is the face that really annoys me in this game. He is a really good player attracting interest from all the good clubs, but his face just looks like crap in the game. It looks like EA grabbed the postman that morning, stuck an afro on him and tried to pass him off as Fellaini. It's not enough just to use the players name, I want to actually feel like I am controlling the official players not their uglier twin brothers.

As for the stadiums, there are a couple in FIFA 13 such as the Etihad and these ones are by far the best. The generic stadiums just don't feel right for some reason. Any small boys dream is to play at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the Emirates, but, as an Everton fan, I have always wanted to play at Goodison Park. Unfortunately, there is no sign of it in FIFA 13.


As I said, I believe FIFA 13 is the strongest in the long line of football games, but it is no where near perfect. Polish the game play, fix a few issues and generally tart it up and I believe FIFA 14 could be the defining football game.   read


7:18 PM on 08.10.2013

Papers, Please Review

There aren't many people whose version of a good time is mindlessly stamping pieces of paper for people who secretly hate you and who you're not particularly fond of either. Personally, it reminds me too much of a few failed retail jobs, but 'Papers, Please' does the impossible of taking a boring job and making it...well...not fun. Even more depressing.



Papers, Please is set in the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka where they apparently assign jobs by a 'Wheel of Fortune' affair as you have been randomly chosen as the new Immigration Inspector at the new checkpoint. Arstotzka have recently ended a six year war with neighbours Kolechia and you are tasked with weeding out the liars, drug dealers and criminals trying to creep into your beloved country.

You have various mechanics to do this with, but the most commonly thing you'll be doing is looking at the date to see if their passport has expired. It doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, but the game quickly introduces special instructions at various points in the game. For example, at certain points the game won't allow a certain nationality through, will force people coming to you're county to work to show valid worker's permits and giving out ID cards to all foreigners so you can make sure they aren't too tall etc. It's oddly compelling and satisfying when you realise that someone is three centimetres too tall before slamming down the 'DENIED' stamp all over their pristine passport. In between your job, you wander off home to manage your bank account. You get paid pittance for your crappy job leading to some difficult decisions when you arrive back to your family and you realise you only have 25 credits which is enough to use to eat, or to have heating and not both.

It makes you determined not to screw up, as if you do your superiors will issue you a penalty causing you to lose even more of your meagre salary and, further in the game, you have so much to remember to do you'll sometimes forget to check the obvious, like making sure they match the picture, or that the date of birth is the same. I played the game for an hour straight, then took a breath and realised I needed more oxygen and it took me a few minutes to realise why. Every time I let someone through I was holding my breath, waiting for the dreaded printer sound that indicates you've screwed up. Any game that also makes me suffocate must be doing a good job.



If there was ever a game that proved you don't need shiny graphics to be a good game, it is definitely this one. The entire game is made entirely with pixels giving it a retro feel. The lack of beautiful visuals actually adds more to the game giving it a gritty, surreal feel that hammers home the more poignant moments in the game, such as when a woman with a terminal illness can't get the right documents to get through and obtain the surgery she need, so you have to choose between sending her back to inevitable death or letting her through taking a cut to your own salary that may be the difference between your children eating that night or not.

There is something of a storyline as well. Every now and then something will happen, whether it be being given a list of criminals to watch out for, being approached by a secret group trying to 'save' the country or just a dirty old man trying to sneak through border patrol with a hand made passport. You'll also have people trying to jump the barricade and getting shot down by the soldiers near by, or by you if you're quick enough, suicide bombers attacking and a few regular customers visiting you repeatedly to keep your chin up.

I've listed a lot of good things here and, if I'm honest, it's a bit of a struggle to find criticisms. There definitely were some. No game is perfect, but they all seem to get dog piled by what the game does well. But, I owe it to my integrity to find a few nit picks. Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether there is actually an anomaly on someone's passport or whether it's just the way the characters were drawn as the pixellated aesthetics can be hard to decipher at times. But then, it is fairly quick to check whether or not it's just your imagination, so you don't lose too much time. Sometimes, when you're given missions to do they're really vague about how to do it. At one point I was told an assassin was trying to get through and I had to 'stop him'. I wasn't sure whether this meant deny him entry or kill him, but seeing as I was given some poison as well, I assumed the latter but no matter what I tried to do I couldn't seem to do it. I guess it's the pacifist in me, but it meant I had to deny him access and was promptly fined for turning away someone who was allowed in.



But these things just don't seem to be such a big deal when I think about them. The game is charming, atmospheric and really makes you want to do well. For a while, I was repeatedly restarting when I went wrong because I was getting sick of the dreaded printer noise and the pile of fines growing on my desk were starting to mock me. I would be lying if I said I had 'fun' with the game, because that's not really what it exists for. It shows you the life of the downtrodden. It shows you a cruel world where you have to scrimp and save to stop your family from freezing during the winter. Where you have to accept bribes simply to be able to eat.

The gameplay may be fairly simplistic, but it gets the job down. I can't think of another game that has made me this terrified of failure and for that alone it is worth a recommendation.

9/10 - Don't go into this game expecting a rip snorting adventure. This is a game where you watch someone waste their life in a menial job. Go into it with an open mind and you'll be as transfixed as I was.   read





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