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About
A qualified Environmental Chemist who happens to live in a fairly dense city with no real environment or chemistry industry.

I review indie games on another blog and you'll see them pop up here if I think the review is a good or interesting one (along with a shameless bit of self promotion)

I also operate another blog reviewing films and I mean t pick that back up when I can.

I've been gaming since the SNES days. I've been in the pro scene before for tribes 2 but hate the present pro scenes and have no interest in going back into it.

I tend to get into quite a few Betas and love ones without NDA as it means I can write about them. I have even beta tested an xbox 360 game in my time (and no not a normal public Beta one )

In gaming I'm normally the guy looking at the shelf below the AAA titles first to see if there are any great hidden gems.

My gaming drug of choice: Timesplitters in any flavour (Why won't you make Timesplitters 4 Crytek, why ????? I need my fix of insanity )
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TheKodu
4:29 AM on 10.29.2014

 

So firstly I suggest you watch this trailer.


I mean how offensive. I suffer from a condition known as Coeliac which is a genetic form of Gluten intolerance.


You people need to check your wheat privilege because you’re oppressing me by creating games like this flaunting wheat based products you can freely enjoy. Did you know for example that out of all the places that serve food in my nearest town I can only eat in 8% of the places. Yes only 8% of the places allow me to buy food that won’t make me physically ill and that number does include places where I can buy only 1 piece of food from there and nothing else. So now I have to be subjected to games about the products too ? How much do you feel the need to offend me ? I already can’t eat in most of your restaurants and now there is a game about playing a piece of bread whose goal is to be eaten.

What a highly offensive subject to make a game based on. I can’t believe what an exclusionary practice this is just being shown here. How can a game so callously have no consideration for other people as this one ?

How dare a game oppress me in such a way purely based on genetic trait I have no control over ! You glutanist assholes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


So yes I probably should reveal that this is another one of my parody articles if you haven’t already guessed.

 


I am however actually gluten intolerant (Coeliac) and that statistic about the number of places I can actually get food from in town is worryingly real. I’m not going to blame it on some wheat based conspiracy. I get it wheat products have been widely used for years and it’s not a sinister plot but just habit that it’s still used. No-one is to blame here there are some things that could be done without a noticeable difference but believe me Gluten free bread tastes terrible on the whole as thought you’re eating grit. I wouldn’t want huge changes to accommodate me by forcing places to only do gluten free sandwiches because they would taste terrible and people would be put off. Sure it would be nice if some of the places switched from wheat based cooking oil to sunflower as from eating food with Gluten previously I can tell you I saw no taste difference.

The reason I wrote this blog is simple. I wanted to talk about I am Bread as it looks insanely fun. I honestly really hope the good people at creative assembly do somehow hear about this blog because I have a suggestion to really make the game take the piss out of the market. Bread options. It’s inevitable some moron out there will apply an interpretation to the game much like I have and the obvious one will be objecting to it being white bread you play as and claim it’s somehow racist. Hence my suggestion of pick your own bread to take the piss. White, Brown or Gluten Free (AkA hard mode where the bread slowly falls apart just like real Gluten Free bread does). I mean how much of one in the eye would it be essentially to be able to release a trailer called something like I am bread, true diversity. When in one case you’d just have to do a recolour and in the other well you can get a new game mode out of it. Again this is if they wanted to take the piss they really don’t need to, the game looks silly and crazy enough as it is.

Hopefully I've shown just how easy it would be for me to be offended by something if I went out looking for it and I actually look forward to playing I Am Bread as it looks like the kind of crazy silly game I'd like (more so than surgeon simulator).

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Please remember it is entirely possible to critic a product or aspects of it while still appreciating and enjoying the product itself.

The Sims 3 and in fact the Sims as a whole is a sick twisted game series. I mean what other game series would let you dress up female characters in Skimpy outfits and then control them like puppets. Making their lives a misery if you so desire and essentially torturing them. The game actively encourages you to spy and monitor them like some kind of sick pets.

Oh but the Sims games are so much worse, they actively encourage you to kill off you created female characters by creating fire hazards and causing fires. What other game would make it so easy to start a fire and require you to put in far more time to avoid it. What other game I ask you would reward you for setting up a fire hazard by not cleaning up properly. The game even shows the disposability of female characters in games by simply letting you make another character to torture again if one dies with no regard for the acts you just committed. How cold hard and callus is this game to show just how easily replaced a female life is.


The game further dehumanises female characters by turning sex into merely a option to select and a reward at the end of the social interactions. What kind of message is this saying that sex is just a reward ? The game doesn’t even show the potential side effects such as STI / STDs. It’s puerile male fantasy material by allowing a self inserted player character if they so wish to have sex with any of the female characters in the game. What kind of message does this send to people.

It’s important to remember that media does not exist in a vaccum and as such the Sim simply reinforces negative ideologies about controlling people and dehumanise female characters by allowing them to be so easily replaced. The game should uninstall itself if you dare to intentionally kill one of the Sims and I for one applaud the removal of the death device of the pool from Sims 4. It’s clear EA does care for the psychological wellbeing of it’s customers unlike other companies pushing retrogressive harmful ideologies onto people. However it’s still not enough. The Sims simply encourages negative behaviours by being a form of mediated Voyeurism. Research indicates that such forms of mediated voyeurism can increase actual acts and inclination towards voyeurism in reality.

How can a serious aimed primarily at a teenage audience ever be said to be doing good when it encourages such dangerous activities. As you’ve no doubt seen in the media recently numerous celebrities private pictures were leaked, many women are finding their pictures placed online if they ever dare to take part in “sexting” it’s clear just how pervasive. In recent years the number of cases of voyeurism has risen by a shocking 91.6% in recent years and is the fastest rising crime.

The Sims allows Male players to play out perverted revenge fantasies on the girls who in real life scorn them. The Sims allows and facilitates disturbed minds to plan and play out these revenge scenarios and fails to allow them to move on in a positive way and in fact rewards them for their actions. It’s clear while EA is trying to make the Sims better it is in reality nothing but training for psychopaths, control freaks and Voyers and has a negative impact on society by allowing such ideas of revenge to fester.

This a joke article parodying the crap we’ve seen levelled against video games recently, just incase you thought I was being in any way serious here. Now I’m quite done with the joke and getting people riled up I should probably come clean and explain all.

You see the idea for this article actually came about during a recent argument with someone who claimed because you could kill prostitutes in GTA then it encourages people to do so. I happened to remember a very specific video by a feminist song writer about her creating a character in the Sims 3 called Hank Bodaire who was essentially designed to screw up for her enjoyment. Here’s the video.

It really got me thinking that if people can level accusations of GTA reinforcing negative ideologies brought in by societal influence then surely by the same reasoning you can do just the same in The Sims and in fact create more lifelike versions of real people. The whole idea was to show just how stupid the claims are that a game alone can or should be responsible for people’s actions. There’s a reason people get called mad, it’s because there isn’t really any logic behind their actions or none that makes sense to other people.

I'd also advise checking the links you see I just deliberately misrepresented research and the 91.6% rise was the number of cases going fro 12 to 26 and infact if you check the real statistics linked they vary wildly from year to year. This article the style, the presentation and the perspective is designed to hopefully show just how easy it is to misrepresent something as far more sinister than it's reality. 

 

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Disclaimer

Yes this relates to Gamergate though tangentally 

I have put money toward TFYC project mention in this article (See not hard is it Garms jurnalists)

There are some piece of video related to this article, the important ones have been embeded in

You can direct your hate at the comments section, Twitter or my special correspondence email (it's ok this is not my main email or a private one)

normal rules apply in that if I get threats or death threats I will use them if required in future articles count this as a warning just incase.

I will attempt to do a second article on this theme which is a compact condensed version at some point but this is the full thing will as much discussion and points as I feel are needed for the discussion fully.

 

So some of you might have wondered, a little, about if my article on Gone Home and mass appeal was meant to be going some where. The realty was this article is where it was leading to. Consider this my defence of boobs if you will. The general idea of the problem with the Male gaze has been brought up multiple times and in this article I want to point out the plain simple and rather stunningly stupid problem with the present fight going on.

How can both sides be claiming to be fighting for diversity ?
The reality is they’re fighting for different variations. What do I mean ?
Well for a turn up in the books I’ll actually have Anita Sarkeesian’s own work explain one side of this.

Ok maybe letting Anita explain this stuff wasn’t the best idea so I’d better step in and point out that the point to focus on that Anita was seemingly putting across was the way idea that genders aren’t allowed to express other aspects of themselves and Toy’s should be given a more neutral stance to allow development of multiple aspects........ However that really doesn’t explain why even as a young baby I loved diggers construction stuff and at whilst very young studying wheels going round and we had BBC so no toy adverts at all.

So those against #Gamergate are fighting for diversity where every product is designed to exclude no-one. Sounds like a great idea until you come to the reality of this which in the film industry has been shown to dumb down films and cause actual art or passion projects that will only appeal to a small amount of people. Lord of the Rings was a Risk, Comic book films were a risk. Think about that for a moment.


Now for the next piece Movie Bobs own video will help explain this more in depth. Or if you prefer Jim Sterling. (Pick one they both say vaguely similar things)

Very Simple idea different people like different things and making a range of products is better than trying to make a one size fits all model.


So what exactly are people claiming to support diversity and supporting #gamergate actually fighting for ? Well they’re fighting for the video game version of these to be allowed to exist.

The simple way to look at this is the idea of the Girl guide movement (in the US you may know them better as girl scouts)............I know sounds bonkers but in the past the Scout movement was male only, at least in inception. There were calls for girls to be allowed into the movement however due to various other social factors etc the limitations placed on women back then were seen as an issue which would restrict the organisation. In response Lord Bayden Powell said he would help with the construction of a separate movement designed more with girls in mind. Now in more modern times it is entirely possible for girls to join regular scout groups if they want to, there are none of the restrictions which caused the Girl Guide movement to be formed really left. Guides and scouts do even have quite a lot of similar badges often also sharing campsite locations and even large group camp events.

So the question most likely being asked by you the reader now is if they both exist then why haven’t they merged? The reality of the situation is that they haven’t because each is aimed more specifically at a certain demographic. The rule book for scouting is far smaller than for Guides the image of the Scout ending up covered in mud while the Guide is prim and proper is some level of the difference. Men and women are different, it sounds like some kind of very basic thing to say but it’s true. The idea of different interests is entirely possible and yes this is a highly generalised thing and no there is no conclusive proof if it is nature or nurture and much proof both ways but there is proof of differences including interests . As I pointed out girls can be part of the standard scouting movement this comparison falls down when I point out there is no such thing as a Male Guide but that’s a problem with this comparison and people can fight over if this some other time. So as this model has a critical flaw I have to move you over to another example to point out an example of the industry and issues. The critical flaw being no male Guides and Nature vs Nurture the eternal debate seemingly.

To point out the idea of issues and the idea of being an outsider in something I need to do that most bizarre of things and find places that aren’t havens designed to cater to straight white Cis Males (you might want to believe the worlds caters to us but not entirely). So where as a straight white Cis Male can I got to feel like quite the outsider ? Musicals. I’m not hugely into musicals I like music, I like films but musicals well I’m not normally their key demographic. That isn’t to say I can’t find musicals I like.

However there are plenty of musicals I’ve tried to watch and it’s clear I’m not the target audience and I have no problem with that. Would I like more musicals to enjoy ? Sure (Oh no the straight CiS White Male wants things to appeal to him). The difference is I understand that I’m not part of one of the key demographics for musicals I don’t want to change musicals I’m happy with the small amount that I do enjoy. Now musicals are a big thing but they’re not being pushed as THE big thing, gaming is. So if Musicals were THE big thing everyone was being told to care about I would feel excluded from something huge and would want in.

The big problem is how you get in I’m not about to call for musicals to appeal to my own tastes and potentially cause them to alienate the audience that got them this far there’s a reason that audience watches musicals and there’s a reason musicals probably try to target that audience more as a safe bet. When something becomes THE big thing it allows people to carve out their own niche in it just like outdoor youth activities was able to spawn an organisation for boys and one for girls. The problem is and always will be that to a greater or lesser extend men and women will want and look for different aspects (not in all cases or all the time just some, just enough to cause a level of conflict). There is a reason for people coming out to defend tits in games. There is also a reason if I suggested making Twilight or Fifty shades of Gray appeal more to guys I’d most likely be facing a hell of a backlash from it. Video gaming has been considered quite a male past time for a long while. Men do make up 60%+ of the audience depending on which papers you believe (that more women than teenage males thing was done including the mobile market.).

 

Now why would women be enjoying more mobile games ? Well it’s quite simple, present gamers have already played them. The idea I can put forward is that people already long time gamers started playing games at an earlier age they learned the mechanics and systems of them early on. It’s my hypothesis (untested yet) that the reason more women play mobile games is that they’re learning to play games as they’re new to the medium of games. They’re learning the systems controls and mechanics that other gamers, both male and female, have already learned growing up playing games as women are the larger group not in gaming at the core gaming level at present it makes sense then more women would be approaching gaming initially via the mobile market due to the ease and availability of games there. I predict that in years to come there will be more women gamers and that divide will shrink as more women who have only just started playing games learn about games and progress potentially from mobile games to “core” games even without changes . I will say this however does depend on how long games are THE in thing. The reason for this clause is simple because games are THE in thing people have a reason to want to play them and not be excluded. If games were to no longer be THE in thing well without catering more to women then the numbers could actually go back with that 60%ish rising back up. So the big problem I can point out is there’s at present only a very male centric market to step off into and the perception being this is slowing the change. So I now need to return to that musicals analogy and say that somewhere out there, I’d suggest there are some straight white cis male musical fans, they have gone through whatever learning is needed to fully appreciate the genre and they’re probably at this minute screaming at the screen saying how I just need to watch more and learn to appreciate them. Let me be clear, I AM NOT SAYING WOMEN NEED EASIER GAMES OK. I am saying that people learning anything new need to begin somewhere and you don’t cut your teeth on The Tempest if you’ve never read a book before.

As I’ve previously pointed out in a previous article it is possible to get over the inherent differences in different existing niches in gaming, true the Gay adventure game genre or sweaty men climbing games aren’t hugely popular niches at present but they do still exist and from my own experiences with titles in those niches I realised gaming can still be fun and you can see past the differences anyway it just takes time. Sure the niche isn’t for me and initially I was put off by it quite strongly but for a good piece of entertainment I was able to look past it. So with far more of the lets say demographic specific games aimed at men, women may have an easier job simply blocking it due to the added immersion in it due to volume of such material aimed at a male demographic. Due to the volume of demographic specific items once you’re in you might block them out faster but from the outside you do very much spot these things. E.G. the buldging underpants in My Ex Boyfriends the Space Tyrant. Now you might be mistaken at this point for thinking I’m about to turn round and say Women should just “Deal with it games aren't changing". I’m not. I'm also not saying games as a whole need to change just the range of games on the market.

Rather than say just deal with it I’m going to side with the simple fact that be it nature or nurture the differences already exist and rather than fighting for some gender free society. Maybe it’s worth investigating to actually do something with the fairly un -catered for demographic by having a selection of games just aimed at women. At present turning gaming into a fight for gender neutrality is futile and actually probably more damaging to the medium as a whole due to creating the idea of mass appeal games being preferential to demographic targeted ones. The end result will be either an experience most people will enjoy okish or one that leaves people out entirely anyway. A better approach is to have games targeted at demographics. This doesn’t mean that because you’re not being the target can’t enjoy these games just as I’m sure there are straight cis-White males who enjoy musicals. He’ll I’m a guy who enjoys cooking to an extent despite the fact while there are male chefs the majority of contestants on say the great British Bake off are female (I said I like cooking not shows about it though for the most part). The difference is even when not trying to appeal to the demographic if you enjoy it then you enjoy it, to give you an example of such a thing, the fact I like the film Love actually. I hate romance films mostly but Love actually somehow just works for me. Oh and on that note the worst film I’ve ever seen, in my opinion, was Mamma Mia ........... yes I’ve watched that film.

The biggest problem is going to be convincing publishers. The present system really isn’t cut out to expand into new niches, hell it’s only recently the market has been convinced to dip back into old niches like survival horror. With some games selling 5 million copies and not being considered the success studio want then it shows just how risk averse they are and how they will double down on the safe bet. The bet that helped the industry get to where it is today of aiming for straight male gamers or if they’re feeling very greedy trying to make a mass appeal game. Games actually for women will come if the market can prove there is a desire for it, the problem is that desire of games for women doesn’t seem to be proving itself. For example lets compare the player numbers of Gone Home a game with a women main character mostly about the story of a woman and a less well known game lets say Mafia 2 Joes Adventure.

Oh dear. That shows the scope and scale of the problem at hand the reality might well be until a game proves to be a runaway smash hit for with female gamers, and I mean a game not called Candy Crush Saga. That no publisher will see them as a viable demographic on their own for big budget games. It might well fall more onto the indie scene to meet this almost requirement for a smash hit game aimed at women. Though there are ways to help such as trying to help more women into the industry by say funding a project to do just that ? Ok it’s one female developer be if the game turns out to be a hit then it could start something big. Infact most people probably don’t realise quite how many women there are in the industry, I mean did you many of the God of war games were written by a woman ?

Do I have any real answers ? NO, not really. All I can say is artists should make the game they want and while guys in the industry can help with aspects of making games for women, guys are ultimately not women. Unless people can nail down what women want in a video games, actually want not believe they want based on some set of imagined great principals, then progress will be slow and just like Coffee drinkers sales vs focus testing will show a big difference . I’d even argue the fact there are plenty of women gamers already could itself slow progress as it means women in gaming will be a far more diverse range of tastes with a far larger range of developed ability, skill and preferenaces that the market of games for women would be harder to actually make for. Harder to cater to because of that diverse range of desires as to content they might want having both people who are used to the present industry and those new to it.

So let me just say this, no Anita your dream non violent gender neutral dance adventure game with diplomatic politics elements will most likely never be made.
*Waits for indie developer to make this just to prove me wrong*


When you tell the big companies that you want mass appeal, they’ll give you mass appeal and they will damn the niches again. The stupid thing is people calling for these actions and claiming “Diversity” aren’t actually promoting diversity in games but promoting turning games into a homogeneous grey blobs . The industry has enough trouble jumping at ghosts and their own imagined bogeymen without people needing to shout boo at it. There are problems in the industry relating to diversity but the solution isn’t grey goo.

I’m here standing saying I want games made that will not appeal to me. I want games made that I won’t buy. But someone else will !
So I put it to you, do you want grey goo or would you prefer extra chunky ?


Supplementary:


If you want to know more about the idea of differences between Men and Women the BBC has actually recently had a documentary on it about if it’s nature or nurture that shapes us. It’s about an hour long but does sum up a huge amount of research I think it works out at maybe 3 research papers worth of info every 15 minutes.

For UK readers click here for the BBC’s own advert free version

For Readers in other countries enjoy this youtube version with that someone else uploaded.

For even more viewing material I also got linked to this doccumentary film  it clocks in at about 30 minutes but doesn't include some of the research and experiments of the BBC though does include a couple the BBC didn't use.

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Warning:
Yes this article is related to some of the core issues presently in the gamergate debates.

 

So after plenty of times being told by person after person that Gone Home is the perfect / near perfect game that everyone should play I decided to finally start asking the question “Well why ?”
Now as you might expect I got plenty of responses from people saying “You just don’t get it, if you can’t see it you never will.” So after a number of such responses I finally decided to push a bit further and asked someone to explain it. Eventually I found someone who would and what was the great secret thing that apparently made Gone Home so great ?
"It doesn’t require complex knowledge or experience to play and understand".................At that alarm bells were going off like mad in my head and as such I think it’s time to dive into the unfortunate can of worms called mass appeal games.

I’ve objected before about the simplistic narrative structure making it close to PSA level so I won’t go too far into that. The part that initially baffled me was those pushing for simplistic games then I remembered recent reports about rise of mobile gaming and more women playing mobile games and cogs started to tick in my head, or more correctly someone poked the hamster and it started moving in its wheel to make thoughts happen. I’m literally watching someone fight and claim games need dumbing down. If a game is getting near universal praise for its accessibility then there is a problem looming. Now to cut down on long explanations here’s a Moviebob video to explain this [I'd advise watching it].

The very short explanation is film companies like mass appeal because it gets good numbers however passion projects or art projects aren’t what draw in the real money in films so can often get canned to make way for more mass appeal stuff.

High art isn’t that accessible, not really. It’s the reason teachers in schools spent class after class telling you about the symbolism. It’s the reason there are actual books to help people understand an interpret themes in works of art such as the works of Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde.

So don’t go telling me that good art has to be works that are easily accessible. There is a reason for film critiques to exist and there is a reason films and the arts can be studied as a College or University course.

Here’s a piece that was in the running for the Turner prize, personally I think it’s one of the best pieces of art in a long while.


Yes a shed, but to understand the true art of it you have to actually understand more about the piece. The reality is the shed is only part of the actual exhibit. Inside the shed is actually a film showing why the piece is called Shed Boat Shed it shows that the artist built the shed, made it into a boat, sailed it down a river and then rebuilt it into a shed again. It’s a testament to human ingenuity and just how things can be repurposed. I mean no-one would think of a shed sailing down a river but that’s just what was done in essence it represents the interchange ability of things. So now I have a little challenge for you. What does the following art piece mean ?

I won’t tell you its name so no googling it I want to hear what you think it shows. So what do you readers think it's about ?

Now I can entirely understand why there is a push for games like Gone Home. People want more women in the market I have no objection to this and infact welcome it. Here’s where the problem is though the demographic isn’t catered to yet. There is and can be a niche for everyone in gaming who wants it. The reality is not that the present niche needs to change to accommodate more people. More on this another day as it’s just part of this that really deserves expanding to its own blog.

The big problem with Gone Home and similar games is there’s not much going on under the hood. Video games have moved on quite considerably in terms of mechanics and complexity to the games we likely grew up with. Now oddly enough games can and do manage to cater to both a casual and hardcore audience, would you for example believe there was depth in Mario Kart ?
Well there is.

 

Now that’s not saying that games can’t appeal to a hardcore only audience such as MoBA games where almost every Moba aimed at a casual market is struggling or why it seems so hard to make a game like Candy Crush Saga appeal to hardcore gamers. There are places in the market for both however it seems insanely dis-ingenious for so many places to claim a game like Gone Home is one of the best products gaming is capable of producing when it’s been shown that games can have so much more depth and it’s even been shown you can have that depth without alienating casual players in many cases. Gaming is capable of so much more than a essentially a slightly better hidden object game.

So why should this be considered the highest form of art in this medium ? Art is complex why should art be any different in video games? Is it just the audience not being able to see games as anything more than toys ? just as stories are capable of being so much more than a PSA mechanics can provide much more depth and even someday maybe even become part of the metaphors used themselves. I put it to you that mass appeal games aren’t the best the medium can make and just because games like Gone Home are made to try and appeal to everyone it doesn’t mean they actually do a great job of appealing to anyone in particular. While some people might find this a grand obscure idea it’s actually part of the reason in film we have movies like The Fast and the Furious 6 or Transformers 4 and yet titles seen to have less of an appeal like say Guillermo Del Toro’s Lovecraftian film Mountain’s of Madness gets canned actual art suffers at the hands of mass appeal.

Without complexity in mechanics then mechanics can never become more, a game can never provide more to the player and it can never hold people playing it.
So to those who say games need to change to appeal to more people to be “ART” I say to you this.
It is not me who “Doesn’t get it” because what you’re calling for are game to try to appeal to everyone but leave out those who actually want more from a game. You’re leaving out those who do want to study and learn a game and you’re doing it to try and appear sophisticated.

I’m by no mean a sophisticated person but seriously you need to Stop being so pretentious. Rather than making claims about some superior audience and superior games you want, how about looking at the games we have. If even 5% of those in the media claiming games need to evolve would spend some time looking at games and not simply looking for ISMs to accuse it of for easy hits then the medium could evolve. Very short history lesson this happened with comic books too and it was only when people bothered to look for deeper themes that writers could include them more. So you, yes you Garms Junralists are holding the medium back with these claims you need a superior audience and games aren't art. You're holding it back by not looking at the art we have but the art you seem to want. Games are a new medium they offer different things to film so stop trying to push for very narrow simplictic narratives.


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Name: Magic thighs and Slightly Phil

Cost: £0.69 / $1

Format: Xbox 360 only


Review bit: So this is a requested review that’s taken some time coming and for that I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the developer for taking quite so long. I unfortunately have the feeling the developer won’t be too happy this review is happening.

Magic Thighs and Slightly Phil or to give it the full name Magic Thighs and Slightly Phil Save Japan is an homage to Bomb Jack. Here’s the big problem I’ve never played Bomb Jack. I have played plenty of old games but this is one I’ve not played. So I’m going into this judging this game not as a homage but as a game in its own right without any connection to other things.

So enough of me talking nonsense I need to talk about the game. The assets in the game look nice the models look quite unique the UI isn’t bad and the controls and methods to do different actions are nice. The variety of actions available is impressive. The music is ok.


Gameplay wise you collect coins on the level and try to avoid being hit by enemies that spawn in at certain locations. Collect all coins and you finish a level. The aim of the game is to go for a high score and to do this you have to collect “Fire coins”. Fire coin spawn after you collect one coin, at any one point there will only be one fire coin and this replaces a normal coin, fire coins give a you bonus points. The game forces you to try to balance collecting fire coins with dodging enemies and avoiding being killed. The game also does quite a good job of teaching you mechanics one level at a time early on.


All the enemies in the game kill you if you touch them, so no Mario stomping them. The enemies themselves come in two main varieties initially, ones that walk and ones that fly. Walking enemies who make it down to the bottom of the level will then turn into bouncing enemies which bounce round the screen without such set paths. Due to bouncing enemies being formed by regular enemies touching the bottom of the screen this adds a further time like element to the game with it becoming harder the longer you’re in a level. To remove enemies you simply have to collect one of the power up orbs when one spawns, this turns all enemies into harmless animals such as fluffy cats and if you touch these the enemies vanish from the level.

Ok there’s no escaping this any longer. It’s a score attack game. The depth of the game relies upon your desire to compete with people for scores. I played on easy and ended up 3rd or 4th in the world ranking on my first try. For a game like this to work it really needs people to want to compete as the reality is while the level background changes not that much else seems to, sure the platforms move round a bit as do the coins but it just doesn’t feel like it mixes it up much. For anyone other than a dedicated score attack gamer variety is a huge requirement or at least the feeling of variety. Technically the game hold up fine, it’s one of the first games in a long while whose screen size select worked absolutely perfectly (I play on a 4:3 non HD non Widescreen TV ). The only minor complaint is that there is no transition between the enemies being vulnerable and them being able to again kill you, there is no warning the power up is about to wear off meaning I did have a couple of cheap deaths due to it.

I should also immensely praise the games options menu, yes the options menu with separate music and sound effect sliders and the option to change the controls to be more tight or loose.

Verdict:
My score reflects my own feelings on the game very much as someone who is not a huge score attack game fan. It reflects the idea that there seems little there for me. I would suggest if you want to read an alternative take Tim Hurley of theXBLIG wrote a review on this. As a first game by a new developer there’s a lot of good work the problem being despite everything somehow the parts while all working don’t seem to work together to make the game actually good. It’s by no means bad it’s just not good either. Honestly from the title the assets and everything else it feels like there was a game of it’s own not trying to pay homage to the past. Not meaning to take away from the artists vision but I just feel everything in the game could have been turned into something much more than a simple score attack game with very limited appeal.

Score
2 out of 6

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So yeh, I guess as everyone else has seemingly weighed in on this I’ll jump on the bandwagon after the reveal trailer for a new game called Hatred

 

Warning This video contains scenes many viewers may find distrubing

 

My question is simply why ?

 

What purpose does this game have ?

 

In most other games there is some kind of a purpose to the killing even if you’ve had a bad day and are doing it simply to rebel against the game by say killing pedestrians in GTA.

This game just doesn’t seem to have a point to it. Part of the reason for mindless killing in other games is because you’re not meant to do it. You’re being a dick deliberately to the game. This though I have to ask why ? What possible purpose does this game have ? I’ve heard plenty of people say “Well you mow down hundreds of people in other games too” and my response is yes, normally with some plot related reason to do so or you’re doing it merely to go against the game itself. The idea of rebelling against a game is a pretty big thing it’s why people have worked out how to do Pacifist runs in Postal 2. That’s right people have figured out a way to make it through Postal 2 without intentionally killing anyone. Most games further give a framing device for the killing to provide some level of motivation even in Postal 2 the unless you’re doing to because violence is the easier option in the game most of it is trying to get a list of tasks done.  I literally went and played Postal 2 just to be able to write about it in this article, I have had it a while and got it cheap out of pure curiosity about it more than anything but this was the first time I played it.

The idea of Hatred just seems a little archaic really. There are plenty of people saying how it’s fine because it’s just a game. The problem is the game is aiming to make a statement it is putting players into the shoes of a murderous psychopath and it is telling people to just kill people for the sake of killing people. And no before anyone suggests it I don’t think this will inspire similar shootings in the real world. Those on the outside of gaming looking in might decide to use it as evidence against gaming when similar events occur. It’s this kind of stupid stuff that let the Comics code Authority take a strangle hold on comics before when people on the outside view it and whip it up to use fear to mobilise and weaponise people to their cause.

 

Now I’ve also heard plenty of people use the line “Well video games are art so it has the right to exist” and yes sure it does however I question just how much the developers are committed to art when they’ve released what could be seen as a very cynical planned move to get more people to buy the product even simply to condemn it. The idea of video games as an art only works when it doesn’t look like a cynical cash grab with no real concern for video games as an art and any possible ramifications on said art .

 

It just feels like this game is a cynical calculated cash grab that’s not really trying to be anything else. I mean I’ve literally said in the past I hate the world and it was one of the reasons I didn’t want to push to go into research and development science . I literally hated the world so much and watched science get corrupted and used to harm people even it broke my spirit, even my own research at the time could have been used to help humanity or to create one of the world’s most toxic poisons . I hated the idea of watching science be corrupted to harm people rather than help and I hated the world for it. I hated watching people treat anyone in science as some kind of lacky who’s only purpose was to make their lives better and didn’t matter because all scientists are just useless subhuman nerds right ? Now considering all that even I struggle to find anything to care about with the protagonist here, here’s just seemingly a non character who could have been used for so much more. The human mind likes stories and that’s why I’m hoping there’s more to this.

 

Here’s just an idea.

The main protagonist was a business owner in the town, the town officials were corrupt and tried to run him out of business. At the same time his significant other is killed by some local town celebrity type. At the trial despite the evidence the court and jury lets him off as not guilty and the town’s populous shun the protagonist for seemingly trying to smear the supposed good name of their home grown celebrity.

That’s just an idea off the top of my head. It’s a way to let ideas be explored such as the idea of people being driven to kill. Now plenty of people will say “well games shouldn’t have to be a commentary on politics and real life things” and I’d say sure but this game already is a commentary on politics and reflecting themes of real life events.

 

I’ll defend almost anything’s right to exist as an art even things claimed to be blasphemous like The Life of Brain because it was designed to mock religion (being an Atheist might make this appeal even more to me though). So while I’d not going to say something like “Ban this filth” I will question quite what the point is, as the game doesn’t seem fun. You’re not fighting the games rules and systems really, you’re not doing it for a reason, it’s killing for killings sake and even Bond Villains kill for something. I just don’t see the point in killing merely for the sake of it, killing an annoying fly buzzing round you sure but killing it just because you can ?

 

I guess to me the game just seems to be devoid of any kind of motivation to make it worth bothering with be it narrative or even gameplay wise.

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