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A self proclaimed professor of survival horror despite only having a BA (Hons) degree in film. Go figure.

Okay, maybe I should write more here but I once did an interview for Law's blog, which explains everything about me.

In the meantime, I'm just a guy who writes about videogame theory and how the medium can achieve better cinematic emulation (while keeping its own indentity). Though, if that's too boring, you can always find something delightfully fluffy in the following:

Gamer Obscura

Gregory Horror Show
Glass Rose
Michigan: Report From Hell
Hellnight
Steambot Chronicles
Chase The Express
The X Files FMV Game
SOS: The Final Escape & Raw Danger
G-Police & G-Police: Weapons of Justice
Koudelka
Friday The 13th: The Computer Game
Hard Edge
DENNIS HOPPER featuring Black Dahlia
Harvester
The Note
The Police Quest Collection
It Came From The Desert
Blade Runner
Men in Black: The Game
Famicom Detective Club Part II
Toonstruck
Ham-Ham Heartbreak

Unsung Heroes

Brad Garrison (Dead Rising)
Jenny Romano (The Darkness)
Cass (Fallout: New Vegas)

Hey, check out these inane ramblings:

The Vague History of UK Videogame TV shows

Part 1 (Bad Influence, Gamesmaster & Games World)
Part 2 (BITS & videoGaiden/consoleVania)
Part 3 (the worst and the future)

The Assimilation of Eastern & Western Horror in Videogames

Part 1 (The Eastern/Western Horror Assimilation)
Part 2 (Interaction and Narrative)
Part 3 (Case Study)

Random

Skip To The End: Max Payne 2
The Lost Idea of An Adventures of Pete & Pete Game
My Unpopular Opinion: I Liked Alone in The Dark 5
Hey BBC! Where's My Doctor Who Game?!
Loving Dr. Chakwas
The 'Fun Simulacrum' of Movie/TV License Games
Why Devs Don't Get The Colonial Marines From Aliens
It's Okay To Like B-Movie Games
Endings That Made Me Cry...Like A Man
Who Do You Trust?
Dancing With Myself
My Unpopular Opinion: Silent Hill 4 Deserved Better
Theme Hospital & The Embarrassing Operation of Old
When It Comes To Noir in Videogames, "It's Chinatown"
My Irreverent & Irrelevant Awards Show 2010
Amateur Bedroom Critics
Sydney Briar is Alive
The Big Gumbo
Alan Wake's Hallowiener Special
...And So I Watch You From Afar

Nostaljourney

Some poor sap let me onto their awesome podcast. These are the horrific results...

Deus Ex
Resident Evil 2
Duke Nukem 3D

Secret Moon Base

They sent me into space for this podcast. There were no survivors...

Fiddling Nightbear

Monthly Musings

I Suck At Games: Stretching My RPGs Out into A Year & A Half Ordeal

Improving Gaming Communities: We Need A Gaming Fonzie

The Future: Laughing At The Past

Something About Sex: It's A Conquest, Not A Catalyst

Alternate Reality: "My other car is a Trotmobile!"

Teh Bias: Starting At The Ground Floor

Groundhog Day: One DeSoto, Two Carefree Owners

Front Page

Nothing Is Sacred: 'It looks like the lock is broken. I can't open it.'

Love/Hate: Shark Jumping Videogame Writers

E for Effort: The Adventures of Mega & Master (A Cautionary Tale)

The Lament of Solitary Antagonistic Horror

2010 Sucked: Why Cing Will Be Unknowingly Missed

Technical Difficulties: Rainbow Six FUBAR

Cass from New Vegas

Honest Endings for Honest Hearts

Growing Old Disgracefully

Thanks for reading!
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Stevil
2:30 PM on 08.03.2010



For the music video to Dancing With Myself, Billy Idol finds himself in post-apocalyptic world where heís a guardian of a decrepit tenement thatís surrounded by zombies with a penchant for stegophily. Idol stops the zombies from storming the fort by blowing them away with the power of his crotch thrusts. This really happens.

Lyrically, Dancing With Myself is a song about onanism.

Jerking off.

Still, one canít help feeling an affinity with the song when you attempt the videogame equivalent of masturbation; especially when the end result is a cheap re-enactment of Idolís electro-crotch scene.

The equivalent is, of course, playing a co-operative game by yourself!

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men might not be memorable to some, but it has a special murmur in my heart. Iíve mentioned several times before that itís not that bad; it just falls short of its spiritual predecessor, Freedom Fighters. All could be forgiven if it wasnít for one grievance that tested my patience to the point of desperation Ė the offline co-op mode.

Iíll freely admit to collecting achievements. If theyíre in my skill range, Iíll pursue them for the extra challenge and thereís no shame in that; though I outright ignore the demanding ones. Kane & Lynchís co-op achievements seemed easy enough - just participate. Itís a menial task if you have someone at hand.

Unless that person cannot comprehend the concept of using two analogue sticks at the same time. If youíre like me, then youíve probably reduced this someone to tears because their unfamiliarity has caused you to turn into Klaus Kinski during the making of Fitzcarraldo.



Plan B involved my maverick brother taking up the co-op challenge. Everything was fine, until the console died. After receiving the replacement, we tried again and this time, the downloaded patch wiped the saves.

He gave up on a third attempt.

A simple 50G achievement had defeated me. Its pointlessness had somehow morphed into a digital Holy Grail. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre theorised that we create emotional attachments on to objects, when in reality they have no actual sentimental value, e.g. a wedding ring is fundamentally a rounded bit of metal. While I agree with the truth of this theory, by this point in my gaming life, I didnít really want to hear it.

Heís also dead and couldnít really berate me for what I did next.

Sometime ago, I had the crazy notion of finishing the co-op by myself. I already finished it twice, exploiting the weaknesses to complete the highest difficulty. So, using a new silver account along with my usual Gamertag, I set off on a journey of unhinged revenge (on "easy").

Kane & Lynch might seem relentless, but it heavily relies on team-based strategies and scripted attack waves. Since the enemies are mentally neutered in favour of large numbers and act as bullet sponges, so many levels involve you being in support. The trick to a solo run on this co-op is Ďfrog-jumpingí your respective characters and using cover. The real enemy is pad-swapping and an awful design decision involving vertical split-screen. When Kane & Lynch steps up with the offensive, itís brutal since the characters are often separated and youíre required to think like an schizophrenic accountant working on yearly balance sheets.

Honestly, what seemed rational to me is probably crazy to you.

Itís still just one guy playing a two player game!



Thatís the kicker though; once you get a handle on things, your mindset changes and a dumb idea is agreeably plausible. Where that mentality clicks in is during the robbery sequence. Itís an early part that forces you to simultaneously defend separate areas. Any sane person will snap and give up. Yet stubbornly, I restarted the same checkpoint countless times to the point of refined precision and it paid off.

All it cost was my sanity.

Wibble!

Though, like Norman Bates in Psycho II, every psychopath can be rehabilitated. A frustrating section like the construction site or the attack helicopter causes so much repetition that the plausibility of ďSolo-OpĒ is chipped away by your inadequacies, yet you regain a sense of justifiable cynicism.

Have you ever watched a desperately emotional scene endlessly until it loses all meaning?

Kane & Lynch has a scene like that. The mind wanders on to other things that could be more constructive, the attention wanes and one pad remains untouched. Then somehow, you get by on a fluke and like the Psycho II analogy, youíre back to your old ways.



Thereís a terrifying test of resolve going on and curiosity in how far your skills can take you. Well, my skills took me far in the end.

In fact, I finished the game.

My heart went crazy on the final run and I developed a nasty headache, but I obtained the one thing Iíd been obsessing over for three years - that utterly pointless co-op achievement. Sartre may be right on many nihilistic theories, but I AM THE TIME LORD VICTORIOUS!



*tumbleweed*

Eh...

Letís see what else is on.



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