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The Faux-Bot's blog

7:20 AM on 07.28.2011

Motion Control: Do it right

If there's one topic that's encouraged more bile and hatred from the 'core' gaming community, then it somehow managed to escape me. For better or worse, motion control seems to be a sore subject: a throbbing cock at a christening - spoiling the mood and making us all feel very, very wrong. OK, so perhaps motion control isn't quite that offensive, but with some of the reactions I've witnessed from self-proclaimed 'hardcore' gamers since its mainstream introduction, you'd swear that the likes of Nintendo and Microsoft had just dangled their erect members in the faces of gaming's first-born.

The problem with the villainous motion controlled games is that they so rarely get it right. The public wouldn't hate them half as much and they'd receive half the amount of disgust if they weren't so bloody rotten the majority of the time. I'm an optimistic guy: I like to think of motion control's success stories - Dance Central, Killzone 3, Super Mario Galaxy. Try telling me that motion controls ruined Galaxy: they were perfectly-implemented in a game that is at the very height of classic design. Well done, villains: you're on the way to winning the public's hearts & minds. But wait, what's this? Kinect Carnival Adventures? Heroes on the Move? Oh, oh dear God, not.....Wii Big Family Game Party.

Even villains can redeem themselves with enough hard work and enough dedication, but it seems that for every success story, there's another ten or so train wrecks constructed for the sole purposes of roping in fuck-witted parents desperately trying to find a way to identify with their kids. I want to come out of this as Mr. Positive, trying to make everyone see the brighter side, but then my mind wanders and I start thinking about Let's Dance with Mel B.

Since the Wii, Nintendo have made Motion control standard on both he 3DS and the up-coming Wii U. Like or not, It's definitely here to stay. Even half of our blockbusters now boast Kinect/Move integration. There's no stopping the tide, as they say. We can rant until we're blue in the face about it, but our villains have taken up residency in our fair city, the question is whether or not they'll develop into a hellish ghetto, or a delightful picket-fenced wonderland.

If we are more willing to celebrate successful implementation, I'm positive in my belief that we can change the climate and all embrace a brighter, multi-interface future. Let's take motion-controlled games out of that box I so willingly crammed them into and allow them to run free. Smack the legs of the bad ones and shower praise and cookies onto the good ones.

Sooner or later, motion controls will be as regular as any other input method and it's up to us whether or not we want to embrace that future. We can fight it, become bitter and jaded, or embrace it: offer constructive criticism and continue to lambaste only shitty, evil cash-ins (after all, they deserve it, right?).

As a consumer, I don't want to 'buy into' motion controls. I don't want to buy a motion camera, re-organise my gaming space or make decisions on whether or not to buy the triple-A regular controlled blockbuster or the motion controlled bit of fluff. I want it homogenised, levelled-off and equal. It's coming, but not until the next generation. Right now, you have to pick a side, defend your purchase and protect your investment. When a new hardware generation rolls around, assuming that they have motion controls out of the box, we'll all be friends again. A handful of high quality titles and no need for extra investment is all that our villains need.

On the whole, it seems that us gamers fear change. I don't think anyone one of us could honestly claim not to be weary of new ideas and the prospect that motion controls could amount to little more than a brief affair: an amusing novelty that we all have to endure before normality is restored.

You know how some fools still search for that ever-illusive 'Citizen Kane of Games'? Well, the mentality rings true for this debate. What motion controls need; what the Kinect and the Playstation Move need, to be exact, is their Mario Galaxy. When the pretenders to the throne prove their commitment and give gamers a good enough reason to open up their minds, then we'll be ready for a brighter future.   read

8:34 AM on 07.07.2011

Freedom: In which I fail

It's been suggested around my household, from time-to-time, that as a child I may have been considered to have ADHD. It's always played for laughs, but there's enough evidence to suggest it: my lack of any real, definable 'skills' or one overbearing interest (videogames aside). So that's why my favourite bit of Akira is when Tetsuo's guts fall out on the floor in his mind. I don't know why, It just looks rad. Wait, freedom. Yeah, I dig rules. I love borders, boundaries and finality. I love having a structured rota, a discernible task. I need rails.

Freedom in gaming may be a revelation for those with greater attention spans than my own, or at least those who possess the ability to focus their ideas into something tangible. For me, character creation tools are a nightmare, open quest structures become a swirling mass of confusion and my Littlebigplanet pod looks like my cat ate the 90's, then shit it back out, then ate that shit and puked. Do you remember Dino-Riders? They were amazing. I wish I'd put more of my pocket money into them as a kid. It's not even as if I have anything to show as an alternative, I bet I spent it on shiny stickers. That's what freedom is to me. No. Crap. I'm not finished yet. Bare with me.

Character creation, in particular, is a real point of contention for me. Largely because I'm so bad at it. I look at some of Capcom's flawless character design over the years and I wonder why anyone would want to do it themselves. I couldn't create a Chun-Li, a Mike Haggar or a Mega Man. Mike Haggar picking up chickens from dustbins. Hahaha. He's so crazy. And cool. Do you guys know the story in Final Fight? Cody's girlfriend and Haggar's daughter (same chick) gets captured and then they go around beating up the Mad Gear gang to find As I was saying, I'm no good at character design. All of my created characters are exactly the same: slightly overweight, muscle-bound punks with tattoos and mohawks. Basically, I have been endlessly recreating one of the titular two crude dudes from Two Crude Dudes/Crude Buster.

There is, however, one instance in which I appreciate freedom. In games. Not reality. I'm a big fan of real freedom. Fallout 3's open-ended quest structure and ability to bypass a boring story about water or something has made that very game one of my all-time favourites. I loved telling my old man to shove his revolution up his bum so I could go off decapitating super mutants and stealing from vampires. Hah! They didn't even see me coming! Chinese Stealth Armour! I can be as much of a directionless, amoral jerk as I want in this game and I'll still, eventually, find some sort of guidance in the form of a quest - probably given to me by an NPC just before I could steal their stuff. This sits perfectly with my supposed condition: allowing me the freedom I need to 'express myself' and giving me enough structure so as to avoid me going totally 'off the deep end'.

So, in summary: a few spoonfuls of spreadable cheese mixed with some herbs and filled pasta is a quick and nutritious dinner.

Sorry, back to the freedom. I'm a fan of it in small doses, or if I barely see my character and I'm glad that it seems to be a continually evolving trend. However, nine times out of ten, I would rather pick from one of three stone-cold badasses and get down to smashing up some street punks who made bad life choices. If they ever want to take my freedom in exchange for sublime character design and diverse mission structure, then they can have it.

Also, do try that recipe idea.   read

2:06 PM on 05.04.2010


Do you like Final Fight!? Do you like Metal Gear Solid? Yes? Then you'll love MADL GEAR SOLID!

Episode 1:


7:29 AM on 04.19.2010

Street Fighter: The World Warriors

The World Warriors: The Everlasting aesthetic quality of the original Street Fighters

In an age before FMV sequences and dialogue heavy cut-scenes, game designers faced greater challenges in order to express the personalities of their characters. The visual design was paramount in order to tell gamers who or what they were playing as. A characterís design had to speak volumes in order to engage the player, or at least captivate their imaginations beyond the duration of a play session. Without exposition and cut-scenes, designers would have to strive to create memorable images that would remain firm in the minds of the players and fans. A costume or a haircut had to speak a thousand words. It was an age of overcoming limitations with unmatched creativity and simple, effective design.

Proof of this simple, effective character design can be seen in the lasting, almost iconic images of Pac-Man, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. These designs have retained their aesthetic basics for decades and have proven to be both memorable and endearing enough to warrant sustained success for their respective games. Admittedly Pac Man and Sonic may not enjoy the same successes as Mario, but the strength of their images despite commercial failures in more recent years only reinforces the quality of their design. Such classic characters needed strong, likeable designs in order to keep the player interested and more importantly, give the games a unique and identifiable mascot. After all, being forced to play as a character you hated the sight of for the duration of a game is not likely to sustain your enjoyment. So, what happens then, when the player is given a choice of characters? How do you create images for a selection of characters; images that are so strong, that a player will be able to identify with them and enjoy playing as them for the duration? I think Capcom has the answer to that one.

In Capcomís first Street Fighter game, the player took control of Ryu Ė the seriesí long standing protagonist- as he fought colourful and varied opponents around the world. With Street Fighter II, they changed the template and gave the player a selection of eight different characters from which to choose. How is a gamer meant to cope with such unprecedented levels of choice? Back then, such diversity was unheard of and Capcom still had to ensure that everybody didnít simply just pick Ryu, or Ken, to be more accurate. Capcomís answer was to create eight unique fighters, all with images so memorable and emotive, that a player could make a heartfelt choice. Add to this a slew of unique fighting styles and choosing your world warrior became less about which was the best and more about which was the best fit for you. For me, personally, this is where the characterís aesthetics play the biggest role.

Each characterís appearance speaks volumes about their personalities and history and it is this that allows players to make the informed choices about who they prefer. No need to read a backstory, no need to research their strengths and weaknesses Ė just put your faith in how well-balanced the game is and pick whoever you think is the coolest.

If you want a safe bet, youíll pick Ryu, after all heís the protagonist from the seriesí beginning and his design is the simplest of all. Like his fighting style, Ryuís design is straight up, balanced and effective. His stoic gaze, his muted colour palette and his well-rounded repertoire of moves make Ryu a logical starting point. His white suit and red headband not only echoing the simplicity of his design, but also representing his home country of Japan. Simple and pure both in aesthetics and mechanics: Ryu is the all-rounder, the starting point.
Next, we come to Ken. To the untrained eye, he is effectively the same as Ryu, only displaying a few subtle, but massively important details. Ken is Ryu re-drawn with a grin, a red outfit and the blonde surfer hairdo that, in the 90ís, seemingly represented American males the world over. He is the Zach Morris of Street Fighting. If Ryu was American, he would be cocky, wear his hair long and not be seen dead in an understated white outfit. Ken, like his design, is Ryuís louder, brash cousin.

By simply changing a hairdo and swapping some colours, Ryuís character model is transformed into Ken and his personality along with it. The loud red suit and unkempt hair show us the polar opposite to Ryuís serious warrior persona. Such minor changes transform the character and give us another design that speaks volumes about the personality it represents. Only a dick such as Ken would leave his hair down for a fight and you donít have to read a back story to figure it out.

With such simple changes impacting characters to such an extent, Capcom could have adjusted Ryuís colour scheme and hairdo with enough variety to fill out the whole roster. Thankfully, they instead set about creating another six varied fighters from all across the globe. Again, their aesthetics would serve to express their personalities; whether it was the wild-man Blanka throwing himself around the screen, electrocuting his enemies and sinking his teeth into their flesh, or Dahlsim using his spiritual powers to conjure fire and contort his limbs. Add to this mix Guileís Ďbrush-headí hairdo, Zangiefís Mohican and scars, Chun Liís hair buns and - to a lesser extent - Hondaís face paint and you have visual calling cards for each and every one of the warriors. These elements have been integral parts of each of the charactersí designs from their inception and have remained intact in their most recent iterations in Street Fighter IV. By reducing and simplifying each character to a bold, limited colour palette and giving them each one defining visual characteristic, Capcom is able to ensure the lasting impact of their characterís designs.

With so many iterations of the Street Fighter series over the years, you could be forgiven for thinking that such simplistic designs may become quickly outdated or at least lose their effectiveness in more recent years. Capcom seem to adhere to a set of well thought out, self-imposed rules. Street Fighter IV looks just as contemporary as any other game currently available, yet sacrifices nothing about design choices made nearly twenty years ago. They focus on simple, distinctive characteristics, allowing the characters to be given a visual makeover and still retain their personalities.

Logically, these rules would apply to just about any character design. If you think about Batman, Spiderman and their superhero fraternity, or the aforementioned Mario and Sonic, the same rules echo true. However, said rules are all the easier to follow when you have only one protagonist to focus upon. As I said before, Street Fighter IIís design team had to make eight individual characters work. The best validation for their efforts would be that the designs of the original eight world warriors still remain so strong and fully intact. You can still choose your character based upon how their visually expressed personality resonates with your own: something that is not easily achieved.

You have a man who wears the evidence of his bear-wrestling on his chest, another who has hair that defies gravity and reasonable logic, yet is somehow more believable, and memorable, than any of those Final Fantasy fops. Mix in a thunder-thighed Chinese police officer, a Brazilian wildman, a lunatic sumo and an Indian mystic along with our much-discussed martial arts experts and you have one of the most memorable and colourful casts ever assembled.

Itís probably apparent by now that I can wax lyrical about Street Fighter characters all day long but no matter how many big words I use and no matter how well I rationalise things and try to appear intellectual, my love for the World Warriors comes down to very simple emotions. Each and every one of them is cool: totally and utterly rad. As a boy I would draw them endlessly, dream of decent action figures and yet still put up with those horrible GI Joe style movie tie-in ones.
I still feel the same way about these characters as I did when I would obsess over the artwork covering my local arcade cabinet. They are the epitome of good character design and my desire to own decent action figures is one that still burns brightly even to this day.

Capcomís flair for lasting, quality design goes way beyond their original eight street fighters. The four bosses retain the same iconic qualities of those that challenge them and throughout the seriesí life span Capcom have continued to introduce a plethora of equally as impressive characters. However, as much as I may love the likes of Dudley, Gen and Ibuki, there is no-one quite like the original eight. Whilst Ryu and Ken, along with Gen, Adon and Sagat may have retained their images from the original Street Fighter, it was in Street Fighter II that we saw these images and personalities be forged.

It was Street Fighter II that captured my imagination unlike any other game before it and I will forever, stubbornly insist that it is the true, original Street Fighter game. That game cemented such strong and vibrant images and personalities into my consciousness and to have them awakened and sustained by Street Fighter IV is the greatest testament to the quality of their design. Like an old photograph, those characters evoke powerful emotions in me and without Capcomís timeless design, such things would not be possible


5:14 AM on 08.22.2008

PS3 the equivalent of a mid-life crisis Porsche...apparently

Did you ever wonder what your particular choice of console said about you? Of course you did. Well, wonder no more as MSN's lifestyle channel is here with their unique brand of enforced self-evaluation. You thought you bought that PS3 because you wanted God of War 3? Think again, subconsciously you envy black men, assuming they all have massive johnsons and this is your form of over-compensation. Thought you bought that 360 because of Live and Left 4 Dead? Apparently not, you latent white supremacist, you. Don't even get me started on DS owners. Kiddie fiddlers.

But seriously.

MSN Dating claims that their guide to 'Boys and their toys' is an invaluable tool for the postmodern woman on the prowl. Why bother discovering your potential partner's personality for yourself, when the Internets is so kind to provide a simple guide to defining men through their purchases.

Ladies; want a loyal, early-adopter with a big bank balance, who demands nothing but the best from his technology, just as he does with his women? Then the PS3 owner is for you! He won't let you fuck around with his Littlebigplanet account though, because collaboration and creativity is for fags. He bought the biggest, blackest machine to serve as a metaphor for his personality, and his cock. He will fuck you roughly, and won't even ask before he puts it in your arse. You will enjoy this.

Ladies; want a fun, upbeat individual who likes it cheap and cheerful? Then the Wii owner is for you! The less he spends on his own hobbies means the more you can milk him for to fuel your own lust for commerce, right? Perhaps, or maybe he's just broke. You'd better get used to the sights and smells of Burger King. But that's OK, because he'll sweat all the filth out of his body by getting up off the sofa to play his waggle box!

Ladies; want a passionate, dedicated and socially active man? Then the XBOX360 owner is for you! His fascination with ultra-violent shooters and penchant for screaming threats of arse rape to his enemies are merely manifestations of his overwhelming passion. Let's not forget that such a passion will inevitably transfer to the bedroom! He enjoys the social aspect of gaming offered by XBOX Live. He just loves to be with friends, and in no way uses the service as a security blanket to curb his fear of genuine social interaction, or to escape from the fact that he thinks the rest of society comprises of around 90% filth and skunk pussy.

Read the real thing here, it's your funeral:   read

7:28 AM on 04.06.2008

Anchovie Pizza

Just one per lifetime is enough I think.

Can I get an amen?


6:13 PM on 03.21.2008

Good Friday Crucifixtion Special!

Is it just me, or is Sonic in every game that comes out now? In a 3-week period, he's managed to get his whorey old arse into the same amount of games: Smash Bros, Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic Riders Zero Gravity. I think I speak for all gamers born before 1990 when I say "what the fuck?"

Is this what one of gaming's most enduring icons has now been reduced to? Nothing more than a shape and a name that can be whored out to the highest bidder. Sonic's metaphorical lady-tunnel has been used and abused, and nobody bothered to clean up their mess afterwards. He is nothing more than a disheveled wind sock, covered in the filthy paw prints and poison semen of lazy, greedy little games producers.

Sonic the Hedgehog on the 360 was insulting enough, but Sega's most recent behaviour is tant-amount to having Jesus guest star in an episode of MTV's Newlyweds; you know, the one where the two dangerous retards are allowed to get married and their helpers get them to try living together as some sort of cruel social experiment.

When you think about it, getting crucified was the best thing that could have happened to Jesus. He got to make his big comeback, which I gather would have been quite a shock, and he managed to avoid any Nick & Jessica related TV debacles. Sure, people do some terrible things in his name, but nobody ever shoehorned him into an abysmal, ill-conceived hover-board racer, did they?

I'm sure that having Sonic in Smash Bros. is great, and that Superstars Tennis is nowhere near as shameless as it seems. It does have Beat in it after all. Regardless though, I can't help wishing that they'd just leave him alone. He should take a leaf out of Jesus' book, and I don't mean the bible.   read

9:54 AM on 03.13.2008

The REAL Umbrella Chronicles

If any of you have played Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii, you probably feel a little cheated. There you were, expecting a game detailing one mans journey into madness and excessive gaming as a result of contracting the Umbrella Virus, and what you found was a lightgun shooter with a bit that lets you play as Albert Wesker. Disappointed, you raise the Wiimote to your mouth, hoping that it somehow works like a real gun Ė the kind of real gun that can end this constant tirade of failure and hurtÖ


Címon man, donít do it! Thereís so much to live for! For a start; this post, the Iron Man movie and GTA4. At least wait until after the summer! Are you settled?
Then weíll begin.

This is the tale of how my week off work coincided with some shitty weather and my contracting of the Umbrella Virus. I was effectively housebound. Oh, and I didn't not get an R4 for my DS Ė thatís a big part of this too.

The best advice I was given for overcoming the Umbrella Virus was ďstay in bed and drink this honey, lemon and whisky.Ē I did that, and for a time, it was good. I grew bored quickly. Occasionally, I found the strength to sit up and play through all three parts of Half-Life 2 and beat the advanced maps of Portal, but I grew tired quickly. I needed something that would better suit my reclined state. Enter: MY TRUSTY DS ô

Despite my rabid hunger for flesh, my family was more than willing to interact with me. I warned them of the virusí nature, but my mother continued to deliver her witchcraft concoctions and my sister braved upstairs in order to deliver to me a package which didnít not contain an R4. From this point onwards, being bedridden would never be the same again. Here are the best games of this illness: more than mere titles, they punctuate each stage of the outbreak, from infection, to recovery.


Animal Crossing: Wild World

ďWait! What!? You never said it would cost that much! Címon man, I paid 10,000 bells for a whole new storey to be added to my house and now youíre charging me 700,000 for a new room on the side! Youíre a Crook, Tom Nook!Ē

Day after day, I spent time in the virtual town of Krondor, ceaselessly gathering various fruits in a desperate attempt to pay off the racoon shylock: Tom Nook. 7,500 bells for 10 minutes work. I couldnít handle it anymore. Some of my best friends left town because I was too busy working. ďIím sorry guys, things are just really tough at the moment! Iíve got so much debt.Ē They didnít care. Boone was the first to go. Waiting in my DS memory, ready to populate the next town I visit. Elmer is still around, but all he does is look at me with contempt. No-one writes me letters anymore and Tommy & Tommy could care less about ordering me my exotic dresser Ė ďYeah mate, itís comingĒ they say, week in, week out.

This sorry state of virtual affairs was not helping my condition. I needed to get out of Krondor for a while, visit a new time and place Ė one that didnít remind me that I was a fruit Ėselling zombie.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

This is by far one of the most intriguing titles available on the DS. For a while, Iíve longed to play it, attracted by itís noir-ish tone and sketchy art style. It delivers on both levels, although your character is a little less hard-boiled than I would have liked. You play as Kyle ?????? an ex-detective whoís now a travelling salesman. Your looking for your long lost friend whilst carrying out your work. When you end up at Hotel Dusk, things start to unravel. Room 215 (your room) apparently grants wishes. The old woman with an eye patch reluctantly accepts another room. Tough luck Grandma, should have got here faster. Iím not that deep into it, but so far Iíve met a mentally unstable child with a secret puzzle of a duck, that pirate grandma and generic young male type 02, who wishes there were a real gumshoe in the hotel. Thatíll be me, then. No murders to solve yet, but itís only a matter of time. The pace is slow, but comfortable considering my health. The game also asks you to hold the DS on its side (like Brain Training) so that you look like youíre reading some sort of sophisticated futuristic interactive book. It fills me with smug.
The game distracts me to a degree, but I canít help wondering if maybe my own flesh will serve as a substitute for a full meal of human.


Point Blank DS

Iíve shot hundreds of clay pigeons, thousands of cut-out crooks and ninjas and approximately 43 stuffed elephants. Usually, this would be a pleasurable experience. But knowing that Iím not the one on the receiving end of gunshots, like so many of my Zombie brethren, enhances it greatly.

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan

Zany, madcap, mental, off the meat rack. Pick your own adjective, because either way you put it, this game is fucking brilliant. If you havenít heard of it, you may know its English Ėlanguage spin-off: Elite Beat Agents.
Why would I go to the trouble of getting the Japanese version? Many reasons, but the most important being that it doesnít contain an absolutely fuck-awful cover version of Avril Levigneís already fuck-awful ĎSk8er Boií. That isnít to say though that the Japanese version is just more bearable. In fact, it has a far better soundtrack all round, and everything is twice as entertaining when its being screamed at you in Japanese. So far Iíve given inspiration to a depressed potter, stopped a cat pissing in a noodle bar and helped a PE teacher gain the respect of his hottie female students. All this was achieved through the power of dance! Oh, I forgot to mention that itís a rhythm-action game. Sorry.



This professor keeps talking to me. It looks nice and he has a spaceship. I think I can beat up creatures, but Iím not sure whether itís a good idea or not. Iím confused enough as it is what with the hunger for flesh subsiding and the fact that Iím off my tits on sugar and whisky by this point. Iíll put this one on the shelf for now.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

This really is the peak of my gaming road to recovery. This game, in itís own little way is up there with Half-Life 2 as one of the most perfectly crafted and refined gaming experiences Iíve ever had. It plays out like most turn-based strategy games, only it has fantastic artwork, characters and music, oh the music! The music gets even better whenever you unleash your commanding officerís special power. My favourite so far is ĎThe Power of Moneyí, whereby the young boy c.o. (Colin, I think) can enhance the power of all his troops by multiples of your cash stockpile. Awesome.

I badly wanted to repress my childish enthusiasm for this game, but it got the better of me. Also, it should be noted though, that this is the kind of game that makes said boyish enthusiasm well up inside me and spill out like an orgasmic fountain of pleasureÖhold on, I just have to ring my therapist againÖ

Anyway, Iíve overlooked this game for long enough, and it hurts even more to know what I had been missing out on all this time. This game is adorable, yet refined and dare I say it, mature, all at the same time. This game exudes confidence in its own design and presentation. If you value either of those qualities, do not hesitate, buy it now.

Itís been a long road to recovery, but at least I can now safely say that I am no longer a zombie. The umbrella virus has completely left my system and I now feel like a powerful wolf drinking the blood of a sheep. I howl at the moon, and go on my way.

I applaud your reading through this. You brave person, you.

Also posted on   read

3:26 PM on 02.16.2008

Combat, Comaraderie, Cash........Cocks?

Army of Two is a funny one isn't it? Held back from the Christmas 2007 onslaught for 'extra polish' one could be forgiven for forgetting it even existed. A smart move on the part of EA, or should they have gotten in while the getting was good? I was under the impression that EA made their name by capitalizing on such holiday feeding frenzies. But, we forget. This is the NEW EA, right? The one with Mass Effect, The Orange Box and Skate, maybe they were just making the game better.

Whatever their reasons, EA did right to delay Army of Two. It would have just been another game at Christmas, whereas now, in the post-seasonal games drought, it can reign supreme. What is reassuring though, is that EA seem to have actually stuck to their word. Before it's original, intended release date Army of Two looked nothing more than your average post-G.O.W third person shooter, with little to offer in the way of originality except for a slightly ham-fisted co-op strategy. Now, as details emerge for it's online multiplayer modes and the in-game footage shows less and less bland 'oh-so-now' middle eastern battlegrounds (see: AIRCRAFT CARRIER!!), things might just be picking up.

To say that I'm excited for Army of Two would be a bit generous. But, I am definitely interested, as they seem to be taking their cues from the right places -clearly emulating the online multiplayer styles of both Gears of War and Kane & Lynch. EA still have alot to prove, but by supporting the development of new IPís such as this, the task will be alot easier.

[embed]70625:8103[/embed]   read

8:21 AM on 02.13.2008

I drew a picture of Nero.

It isn't the Roman one. Sorry, History fans.

The Faux Bot   read

4:04 PM on 02.11.2008

Padthrowers Anonymous

Call Of Duty 4 (on Veteran)

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I never spent much time playing videogames as a child. I was an active sort, never particularly good at sport, but always outside trying nonetheless. Games appealed to me for their character design, stories and the opportunity to "beat up and smash shit" without consequence. I was baffled and put off by their systems and the time so many of them required you to spend in order to succeed. I never really felt in control which always has, to this day even, led to a great amount of frustration.

The reason for so much harping on about gaming past is because, despite appearances, Call of Duty 4 is a very 'old' game. Online, it is fantastic, on regular and hardened, it is fantastic, but on Veteran, the cracks start to appear.

Now, many of you will be thinking at this point "you arenít up to the challenge, so you decide to criticize the game, go play Animal Crossing, noob." Well, you'd be right. I do suck at Call of Duty and I do, very often, go play Animal Crossing. But, what you fail to see, is that sucking so hard at games gives me a unique insight into their flaws. If I am failing, itís not my fault; itís the game's.

Call of Duty 4 reminds me of the games from my past because its Veteran difficulty cannot be beaten by manual dexterity, or quick thinking, no, what you need is to understand how to beat the system. Finding cover and killing everyone is not good enough, no matter how well you do it, because at certain points, the enemies continually respawn. There is an unlimited stream of enemies, literally. The only time this stream is cut off, is when you reach a certain trigger point. What am I to do? I cannot reach the trigger point, for you see, every enemy that I kill respawns. By this point, I am at a total loss. My mind and body begin to separate and I react in the only way I know how. I want the system to know just how frustrated I am. The pad leaves my hands.

The problem is, you canít tell a game what you think of it. I can shout at my TV all day long, but its never going to hear me. I can throw my pad forever, but it will never feel pain. Hell, I could even snatch the disc right out of the tray, snap it in half and take a shit between the two pieces, but that would just be silly.

The root of my frustration lies in the fact that to beat this difficulty, I have to trick and overcome the system, work out its patterns and use them against the game, much in the same way you would have to do in order to get a supreme Donkey Kong high score. It isnít about thinking on your toes, or using your imagination, its about exposing and exploiting flaws or gaps in a system.

I'm sure that even some of my most loved games, Bioshock for example, can also be criticized for the same thing, it is after all just as much a game as any other. But the important difference is that Bioshock doesnít force me to expose its inner workings in order to beat it, and it never made me throw my pad, not even once.

The Faux-Bot

Point of interest: typing 'shit on a disc' into Google image search yeilds poor results.   read

7:53 AM on 02.01.2008

Ghandi's favourite crisps.

Gametrailers interviewed Tetsuya Miziguchi and just asked him some bog standard questions. I'm offended; you get to interview one of the most interesting creative directors of the past two decades, and this is the best you can turn up. It's like asking Ghandi what his favourite flavour of crisps is. Jesus Christ. Here it is anyway.


Its worth watching just to see how stereotypically cool he is for a Japanese guy. I remember my mother used to work with alot of Japanese people, and she would tell me how they all thought her red hair was cool. This was about 10 years ago, so I guess his coolness is outdated a little. Which just endears him to me all the more. He also wears a leather jacket. Boss.

I know there may have been a few c-blogs about Rez these past few days and I'm sorry to anyone sick of them. I promise that this is my 2 pence, and nothing more, I'm done with bumming it now (metaphorically speaking).

I'm also aware that there are alot of Britishisms in my post(s). So here, for the Americans (which i guess is the majority) are some translations:

Bumming: Affectionate term for anal sex, candy-coated, way of expressing overwhelming love for something. e.g. Jim Sterling bums Dynasty Warriors.

Crisps: Chips

Prawn Cocktail: Like shrimp cocktail, I think. Little pink things in some sort of mayonaisse-like seafood sauce. The strangest crisp flavour ever to be accepted my mainstream society. Ghandi's favourite.

Boss: Cool

[i]The Faux Bot   read

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