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Well, I'm Mark, I prefer to be called Griff but there we go. I'm a Languages student from the UK, I love videogames. I play PC games, console and portable ones. I first got into gaming at a young age, only got the Playstation in 2000, but before that I played lots of games on the Mac. I played a hell of a lot of demos, I used to play them over and over. I love all sorts of games, apart from sports and strategy really. Had a long run of FPS games during GCSEs and Sixth Form when I should've been studying. I love point and click games, particularly Lucasarts classics, but also Telltale's more recent titles. Recently, I've really got into games with a unique concept (for example Echochrome, Crush, Mirror's Edge, and others) and even if they have flaws, the concept alone is often enough to draw me in. I'm a completist as well, I tend to play to win, or finish and get overly competitive. I would love to do voice acting as a future career but I really don't see it happening.
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Hello,

Just a heads up if anyone cares... I've not really played many games this week, so if anyone wants to leave questions in the comments here, I'll try and answer them.

Looking to record and release on Saturday, if you guys want a deadline or whatever. Bit tired so this isn't coming out as well as I'd hope, but it's probably better to give people more time. Maybe.

Not sure if anyone will care, but worth checking maybe. Hope everyone's well and that.










Hello! Welcome to the second episode of my games of the week podcast! Too much enthusiasm, that ends now. It's about twice as long as last week's episode, due to a 5 minute ramble at the end that my best friend requested/demanded. Lots of games this week. I hope someone likes it.

I also said QTEs like "cuties" or something. Many times. Editing podcasts is more trouble than it's worth, by the way.

The intro music, if edited correctly, was done by my friend Colin, who does lots of music and you can listen to some over at: http://www.myspace.com/papertruth

Please leave comments and feedback, I'll try to react to it for my next one as it's something that's relatively new to me. It missed the end off, where I messed up again, but I doubt anyone will listen that long. Basically said thanks to Colin and thanks to anyone who listened for listening! Hope you enjoy, I'm British and awesome (or so I'm told) so yeah, listen maybe if you want?

All the best, till next time.

Episode 2 Linky

P.S. Podbean failed me, so I'm using Mediafire instead.







Mark Griffiths
3:32 AM on 08.25.2010



Slowpoke (ヤドン, Yadon), is known as a Dopey Pokémon. The name Slowpoke is an insult for someone who acts or moves slowly. Slowpoke's Japanese name, Yadon, has the word don in it which means slow or stupid. This mammalish Pokémon has a tail which gets lighter towards the tip, a tan muzzle, and curled ears.

They use their tails to fish by dipping them in the water at the side of a river. Slowpokes do not feel pain if their tails are bitten and take 5 seconds to feel pain when under attack. They are often vacantly lost in thought and can spend entire days loafing at the water's edge. Slowpoke's tails leak a sweet sap from the tip which make the tails pleasant to chew on, though the sap is not nutritious. If a Shellder bites its tail, it will evolve into Slowbro, and if one bites its head whilst holding a King's Rock, it will evolve into Slowking.

Residents of Azalea Town in Johto place Slowpoke in high regard and the community revere them. The town is home to the Slowpoke Well, a small underground cave where lots of Slowpokes live. It is said that the yawn of a Slowpoke from the well ended a drought plaguing Azalea 400 years ago. Team Rocket tried cutting off their tails to sell in Mahogany Town. In the anime, Slowpoke has never been seen to use an attack. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, Slowpoke is a member of Team Slacker, the zero motivation exploration team.

Score: 10 -- Flawless Victory (10s are as close to perfect as you will get in a genre or on a platform. Pure, untarnished videogame ecstasy.)

Photo Photo










Hello. I'm Griff. A British gamer. I've been gaming a long time, and listened to a fuckload of podcasts since properly discovering Destructoid. Podtoid, Retroforcego, Brittoid and The Electric Hydra; as well as some old Podcastles. One of the elements common to these podcasts is the games of the week segment, where cast members would say what games they've been playing and what they thought of them etc.

I wanted to do that. I wanted to be on podcasts, and tell the whole community what I've been playing, in my glorious British voice; giving all my opinions and stuff. I'm not good enough for podcasts though (except the TARDIScast one I was on and the E3 podcast fun - I'd namedrop but they're all so awesome I can't order them) so ANYWAY...

I did that. Listen if you want. Please don't think I wasted your time. (This first one's 9 minutes long.)
(If you want me on your podcast, I'd be very honoured and do it in style.)

First episode thing










There certainly has been a lot of sex in games, particularly in the last few years. Whether this is meant to shock, excite, attract, push boundaries, keep the medium fresh, there certainly has been a fair bit. But is it mandatory?

Mass Effect 2, or so I've read numerous times, has a sex scene. Depending on the character's interactions with the other characters in the game, I'm assuming Shepherd forms a relationship and eventually has sex with someone. This may seem a reasonable aside to the plot or even part of 'the story' that the player is telling, if they/their Shepherd feels strongly enough towards a character. If you're not interested in that, I'm presuming it doesn't happen, as even going down a relationship path, there's still choice in the dialogue and you can probably take it as far as you want. If it didn't have this choice, and was a scripted event, then that may turn players off to the story that they were previously enjoying, or many other possible reactions. Dragon Age Origins also has the option for it, but I'm sure that, again, it's not "scripted" and if it happens, you've pretty much set out with that intent, and there is also the possibility to carry on the game without ever knowing it was there.

Heavy Rain also apparently has a sex scene. I don't know anything about this one either to be fair, but with the nature of this game it seems to be "sex scene coming up do you want it to happen, yes or no" almost like the option with No Russian; as opposed to the joke with the false interactivity in the cinema in Futurama, and opposed to the aforementioned western RPGs take on it, with dialogue trees and actual direction.

Just imagine if Halo, for example, had a sex scene. There is no way that could possibly work. Moving on.

The only game I can think of that had sex in and that I played, was Edmund. I played this a few months ago after hearing someone on a podcast (most likely Anthony) mention it. Being free and having time to kill, I decided to try it out. Knowing what it was about going into it gave me a certain impression of the game, but I (accidentally) started on the jungle story first, which was strange and seemed a dumbed-down megaman clone as opposed to something about sex; with things waiting to kill you and checkpoints etc. and this sort of "gave a reason" for what would happen in the taxi part. I by no means condone the character's actions, and I'm not sure whether the sex was mandatory at this bit or whether you could kill the victim instead of putting them through that.

When I played the taxi part however, I shot the rapist as soon as I got in the room, instinctively, and it was game over. I retried, with continuing as the narrative would want me to, hearing what he had to say, and I shot him again, knowing full well what the result would be. I can't remember if I tried to walk away, but if the game had just been about rape and that was it, with no reason whatsoever and no alternative outcomes, then that linearity would have reduced player input to essentially pressing right and maybe jump a few times. That sounds odd.

Basically, games by their nature reflect the desires, needs, wants, etc. of the players, and this interaction (among other things) makes them games as opposed to films. Whilst sex doesn't fit into the narrative in every film it's portrayed in, it's generally more accepted as there's nothing we can do about it. In games, we SHOULD have the choice if we want to not do it or not, otherwise the game will remove all interaction, say "look I put sex in this game, look at me", even if it's not integral to the player's choice, story, or interests. Making the player have sex when they don't want to? That's practically rape.










This morning, I got the shower to just the right temperature, (something that's been bugging me since I got to Spain, but hey) and I thought "I could stay here all day".

I know we all feel like that sometimes, mainly in bed, especially when you've got a busy work day ahead; but here's where I'm going to tie it into gaming: do you ever have a bit in a game that's so epic or fun or entertaining that you could do it all day?

Here are some of mine:


Portal

I love pretty much everything in Portal. I've finished it 5 times, the last of which was just before they changed the ending. As soon as Valve releases its Mac version, this is pretty much never going to be off my hard drive. The atmosphere is perfect, it's fun to hang out with Glados and mess around with Portals. I love the mechanic, and how even I can at least finish the game. I can't do the challenge rooms, but I have enough fun in the main game that it doesn't matter. Flinging things and Chell through Portals is so much fun, I can't wait for the second one.



Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

If anyone's ever played Klonoa and liked it, they'll probably know what I want to say here. If you haven't tried it, I suggest you try to find the PSone version. I've not tried the Wii one, but they've ruined the ending in that version in my opinion. I've got a cblog planned on the subject of this game, so don't want to dwell too much. Again, the atmosphere and mechanics mean I have so much fun that I've finished this game maybe 8 times, each time as interested as the last. I love it. This is probably how some of you feel about Shadow of the Colossus, but for different reasons; and I haven't played that. Hanging out in that world, the characters and the fun, I just don't want to leave it. Wish they'd release it on PSN classics...



Canabalt

For its simplicity, this game gets incredibly involving. I love the art style, and if I didn't have things to do, I would play it all day. The music is brilliant, particularly on the iPod version where there's an extra bit of music. It's challenging, but fun, and dying doesn't frustrate me, it just spurs me on to try again. I could never get tired of this for long. Its pick up play nature and the fact that there's no story to it just make it even better, there's the opportunity to make things up for yourself, or just get on with playing. As a side note: Robot Unicorn Attack is great, with its soundtrack and other things, I just like Canabalt more.



The airboat bit in Half Life 2

Holy crap. This needs a mention. I know pretty much everyone who wants to has played this by now, but I only played up to the bit with the slicey things and then not continued for whatever reason. I am so glad I did this properly last weekend. Now I'm up to the bit in the mines I think. Anyway, as stated above, my favourite bit so far, besides the fun with the gravity gun and the saw blades, was the airboat section. My first thought was "oh god not a vehicle section" but shortly afterwards I was grinning my head off, speeding around the sewers, being chased by all sorts of crap and it just felt really epic to me. The music is just right at the most awesome parts and even the scripted bits didn't feel scripted, I felt like I was only a little bit away from the hunter thing, in my little boat. The bits that broke up the speeding around were well placed too, and I rushed through them to get back into the action. It felt sort of like James Bond, except I was doing it. When I finish the game I'm definitely coming back to this bit a few times.



Bioshock

I got Bioshock gifted to me on Steam, so naturally I had to play it before things I've bought myself. The atmosphere was great, but the aspect I liked the most, as others will probably agree is the plasmid powers mechanic. I liked the electricity, zapping things in the water, and setting fire to splicers, but, like the gravity gun, my favourite was the Telekinesis. Using things to kill other things saved on ammo, was fun, and often downright hilarious. This ended up being my favourite plasmid, and I could play with it all day, pretty much.

Anyway, those were some of my highlights, though I know I have many others. I hope you enjoyed reading this. What are your things you could do all day or just really liked?