"What?! This isn't a podcast! What the hell!?"
I'm sure all thinking that but settle down, while we here provide our incredibly insightful opinions on gaming in Australia (a.k.a. destroying your poor ears and minds) we decided that we'd add the odd written feature too to give you a glimpse into the Australian gamer's world. It's nothing special, but try to relax, grab a beer and enjoy the ride.
Australia's a great place, nice beaches, hot women, a shitload of red dirt in the center and on top of all that our lovely country plays host to most of the deadliest creatures in the world. Fantastic.
But did you know that aside from sinking piss and doing doughies in the car park at Lindcome station we also make videogames? We do, and a few of them are actually pretty good.
In fact, many of you have been playing Aussie-made games for years and you didn't even know about it.
Looks like you need an education in Aussie games, my friend. So read on as we inform you on just a some of the games that were made in this wide brown land of ours. Oh and pay the developers some respect because it's not easy to develop a game while dodging snakes and spiders and bogans.
Those god damned bogans...
PC - Torus Games (2000)
Ahh Carmageddon. The game will always hold a very special place in my heart. Spawned from the Golden Age of Violent Games
, Carmageddon was over the top, offensive, messy as a shit-ton of fun to play.
Now of course, whenever there's a good game with enough publicity and hype around it, then you can be sure that there's going to be a sequel that most of the time is just a phoned in, half arsed cash-in pile of shit. I can tell you now that TDR is is not that sequel, only because this game is actually the sequel to the sequel, which makes it even fucking worse. Still, the game simply let you pick a vehicle of death, drive around courses getting power-ups and killing as many pedestrians as possible (or Zombies if you're a pussy-ass country like Germany or Australia which doesn't like the idea of blood).
It was a remarkably average game as Tourus Games didn't really try to add anything to the formula, it was just more of the same with new models and a slightly better frame-rate... then again, I can't imagine that there'd be much you could really add to Carmageddon... apart from guns..... or rockets.... or more emphasis on the speed and racing.... or better levels..... or guns. Obviously Tourus thought that just adding "2000" on the end of the title was more than enough.
PC - Irrational Games (2004)
Before Bioshock, Irrational Games (now 2K Australia) were charged with the task of recreating the multiplayer FPS classic Tribes
since the series original developer Dynamix had shut down. What they produced was (dramatic drumroll) Tribes Vengeance.
So what was the big deal about Tribes Vengeance?
Well, Tribes is all about epic team based gameplay, capture the flag, defend the base or assault the base etc. You can customize your class from heavy to medium to light armor, weapon loadouts are customizable and there is a range of air and land vehicles to use as well. On top of all of this, the most recognizable gameplay aspect that makes Tribes what it is is the ability to use jetpacks, a skilled jetpack user can 'ski' all over a level in almost the same time it takes to get around with a vehicle, making capture the flag matches run at a breakneck pace.
However all that is just like any other Tribes game, right? Well Irrational shook things up a bit and crammed in an entire single player campaign in there as well. Was it good? Well... kinda. Although nobody really noticed or cared all that much. This is most likely because of another game that was released in 2004 that included a full single player campaign and awesome multiplayer... Half Life 2. Motherfuckers.
I love Half Life 2.
Wii - Blue Tongue (2008)
Remember when the main goal of a game was to have fun? It wasn't about competition, unsporting behavior or realism. It was about fun. I honestly believe the last time I felt that a game was all about fun, was Mario 64. A fat plumber, somehow doing flips n shit through a big, fuck off castle and jumping into paintings which in turn have different worlds in them to save a princess that never gives him sex ...Wait, what the fuck am I talking about? I am reviewing De Blob, not Mario. Ahem, well.
Fun is the first word that comes to mind when I look at this game. Remember when you got a coloring book as a kid? Were you the kind of child that tried to color it in to perfection...you know, use the same color texture as an outline? Or were you the kind of kid that liked to fuck shit up and draw cocks all over the place?
Either way, if you haven't played this game, I suggest you try it. You play a blob whose basic goal of each level is to roll around and paint part of Chroma City and, by doing so, gradually free the city from the colorless grip of the Nintendo...I mean, the INKT Corporation. The gameplay is addictive and the presentation is both audio and visual is something that will have you calling somebody who can hook you up with acid to heighten the experience. Recommended to any gamer who enjoys doing it for the lulz.
PS2 - Melbourne House (2004)
The Transformers franchise suffered for so long, with a shit-arse games being made for the NES back in 87, and then no substantial titles released for 17 years, that is until Melbourne House went and developed Transformers. The game only allowed you to control 1 of 3 Transformers, each with their own different stats and abilities in large free-roaming levels, but none of that really mattered because you boot up the game, you press triangle to transform and then YOU FUCKING GOT OPTIMUS PRIME ALL UP IN THIS BITCH YEAH MOTHERFUCKERS!!! It was based of the newer Transformers: Armada animated series, and while some people complained that it wasn't Generation 1 transformers, those people simply have their heads shoved so far up their asses with nostalgia that their opinions are mute by default.
I did own this one, and from what I remember it was a solid title, and probably one of the best games to have the Transormers title slapped on the cover. Nice one Melbourne House, now if only you handn't have gone bankrupt, maybe you could've done a phoned in, half arsed cash-in pile of shit sequel.
On just about every platform made from 2007 onwards - Infinite Interactive (2007)
I'll lay this out for you;
If you haven't heard of Puzzle Quest you really
need to pay more attention around here.
Puzzle Quest is a puzzle game (wat?!) that follows a Bejewled
-style method of matching colored gems on a square grid. Sounds simple and fun enough right?
What makes Puzzle Quest stand out from the other Bejewled clones triumphantly is the implementation of many RPG elements such as offensive and defensive magic, custom abilities and of course experience points. Instead of just some guy matching gems for points you could be a WIZARD matching gems to fill your mana bar to devastate your enemy and make yourself stronger with each battle. WOAAHAHAHEYY!!
Puzzle Quest is incredibly accessible too. If your girlfriend/ladyfriend/ladyofthenight/hooker/hobofromdownthestreet is sick of seeing you match gems all day, give them a try, in no time they will be right beside you, challenging you to yet another duel because they almost have enough gold to get that armor they've been eyeing off.
This horribly, horribly addictive combination of synapse-firing puzzle gameplay and carrot-on-a-stick experience growth was (and still is) the cause of many lost hours, afternoons and nights.
You will have a hard time finding a better way to waste your whole weekend without realizing it, and you'll have an even harder time putting the bloody game down even after all that.
10 out of 10! ...oh wait we're not reviewing these games are we? Are we? No? Well FUCK!
X360 – Krome Studios (2008)
Game show games are something that collects dust on the shelf until your friends come over and get drunk. Or are played by compatible families on allocated times of the night. Either way, it makes me cringe...even though I own this game but that is because I am a movie buff. Plain and Simple. The design of the game varies from mini-game to mini-game, which can be entertaining or just plain annoying. Utilizing a players custom avatar adds some immersion but its not really about that.
If you are the kind of human being that plays this kind of game by themselves...you need to start filling up the bath tub with a razor blade on the side. Then again if you do play this by yourself, I can see why you would have no friends to play it with.
That being said, this is fun to play when you have any number of friends over. A small group of friends is preferable since if you have four teams of two, then each team will most likely overhear the whispering from other teams. Which always pisses me off, not to mention the host in the game. Points deducted for not being able to shut him, the fuck up.
XBOX - Pandemic (2005)
Okay this game didn't win any GOTY awards or anything, but who cares? It was damn good fun.
Basically Destroy All Humans! is a very tongue in cheek 3rd person sandbox-style game set in a 1950s American suburbia.
You play as a pissed off Alien named Crypto who seems to think he's Jack Nicholson (no complaints here), and he is charged with the task of harvesting the brain matter of countless earthlings to save the DNA of the dying Furon empire.
I might have to write a letter to the officials of the Nobel Literature award to get this story a medal or something. Really. Seriously. GET NOBEL ON THE PHONE!! NOW!!!
So, you play as Crypto and as you traverse through a series of sandbox style environments you are given various missions ranging from destroying cattle to evading MIB style government agents and the like. While most of your weapons are pretty stock standard firearm types (Zap-O-Matic = Lasers, Ion Detonator = grenade launcher, etc.) you can have also a few laughs with Crypto's telekinesis abilities which enable you to throw people and cows around like ragdolls, as well as utilize the greatest weapon in the game; the Anal Probe
The Anal Probe is a projectile weapon designed to steal the brain stem of whatever poor bastard you happen to be pointing the weapon at. When fired, the probe goes up that person's arse, and pops their brain out of their head. Simple Uh, wait...
Um, let me say that again, IT POPS THEIR BRAIN OUT OF THEIR HEAD VIA THEIR ARSE. BRILLIANT!
While the missions are nothing special it's the mayhem you cause in the camp 50's American suburbs that offers the most fun, hell you even get a badass flying saucer to swing cows via a tractor beam with, and that alone makes the game memorable one.
X360/PC - 2K Australia (2007)
Is there anything to discuss here? If you don't agree that this is one of the best developed titles in the last decade or don't know what this game is, then you need you join a suicide cult.
There is very little to dislike about it. Perhaps the only thing that is worth slagging is the lack of multiplayer and being overly easy to complete. Other than that this game is a true masterpiece. Visuals, Audio, Plot and a killer twist that will guarantee to have you saying 'What the fuck?!'
True gaming excellence which shows what us Australians are made of.
PC - Team Fortress Software (1996)
Listen up. Many of you are madly in love with Team Fortress 2 at the moment. The game's been out for 2 years and its still generating as much buzz as it did when it was first released. Well, did you ever sit back and wonder "Hmm, if this is Team Fortress 2, then what was Team Fortress 1?". Some of you may stand up and say that Team Fortress Classic for the Half Life engine was Team Fortress 1, but saying that would make you an ill-informed arse-clown and I'd have to slap you in your stupid face.
The REAL Team Fortress 1 was actually the small time mod built on the Quake engine back in 96 by 3 Aussie chaps, Robin Walker, John Cook, and Ian Caughley (with 2 of them currently being the Lead Designer and Lead Programmer for TF2). This was the game i first cut my online FPS teeth on, and at the time there was honestly nothing like it, and I've got many many fond memories of my Demoman antics in the classic 2Fort5.
It surprising just how much of an effect Team Fortress has had on Gaming Culture, as apart as sparking a revolution in team based multiplayer, the developers also unwittingly sparked a phenomenon we know as Machinema with their promotional trailer made entirely in the games engine.
Thats a pretty big achievement for just 3 guys from Melbourne, but this fact along with the ridiculous popularity of the TF franchise over the years, proves without a doubt that Australians are vastly superior to any other race or species on the planet (if not universe), and you all should be kissing our collective hairy beanbag by now if you know what's good for you.
Commodore 64, Amstrad, Spectrum, etc. - Melbourne House (1985)
While borrowing heavily from the title 'Karate Champ' which was released a year before, this title was better for a few reasons.
1. It was made by Australians
and 2. It's name was: Way of the Exploding Fist (which is awesome)
Karate Champ was featured in the film, Bloodsport. Which was pretty much a feature length film of Way of the Exploding Fist. Ironic hey?
It was one of the first titles to to released with realistic movements and graphics and didn't take long to build a healthy cult following because of it. Instead of using the health bar which most fighting games use today, Fist used the point system where depending on which attack you landed on a opponent, would depend on how many points you earned. Once earning enough points, you would move to the next opponent.
But what do you care anyway? You were probably born in the late 80's or early 90's and have no recollection or respect for what helped pave the way for Streetfighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, Mortal Kombat and Dead or Alive...so go fuck yourself.
Now that we've taken a look at some of the best shit Australians have pumped out into the gaming mainstream over the past 20 years, let's have a quick look forward to what new titles Aussie devs are currently working on. Onward....TO THE FUUTTUURRREEEEE!
Xbox360/PS3/PC - Fuzzy Eyes (2010)
If you follow the news on Dtoid then you surely must have heard a thing or two about Fuzzy Eyes' upcoming game Edge of Twilight.
EoT is a third person action game that features a fantastic looking steampunk/fantasy world where two races fight for their planet's resources. One race lives in the Realm of Daylight, the other in the Realm of Eternal night, and your character, Lex, is the only one who can cross between the two realms. The polarity of the two worlds is reflected in your character and the gameplay; when in daylight you engage in brutal melee combat while residing in the night realm will have you using stealth and magic attacks to get your way around.
Come on, what else do I have to say to make this game sound interesting? The concept sounds great, the art looks beautiful, and the combat looks brutal.
Don't believe me? Lookie here
and see for yourself.
I am definitely
keeping an eye on the progress of this game, and you should too.
Platform TBA - Dr D Studios (2011)
Mad Max is a NES game that is based on the film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The object is to survive life after the end of the world by battling survivalists, mashing the B button, and collecting valuable food, water, gasoline, and money in order to continue racing into the desert wasteland that lies beyond.....Not that anyone cares about that.
BUT, the new Mad Max title is a game thats in development by Dr D Studios, headed Corey Barlog (director for some game about 2 gods at war or something). The game started development early 2008 and is based off the upcoming film Mad Max: Fury Road, but then when the US dollar crashed and dragged the Aussie dollar along with it, it pushed plans for both the film and the game back into 1st gear. It's a pity, because the prospect of exploring an outback post-apocalyptic wasteland, battling rebels and raiders and finding makeshift supplies and weapons sound like a fairly unique concept.... if you disregard Fallout 3, Borderlands and RAGE that is, but still, the world of Mad Max certainly has enough potential for it to be made into a fairly bad-ass action game, just like all those other awesome movie licensed titles.
In all seriousness though, there's some big name talent at work behind this game, so it may just be worth keeping an eye on this one down the road.... just, don't hold your breath for too long, as apparently the game is still at least "a couple of years off" according to an interview with George Miller (director of the Film) in May.
PS3 - Team Bondi (Expected god knows when)
LA Noire... fuck. Well shit, I haven't got a lot to say about LA Noire, everything I know about the game is probably everything you know about the game. It's produced by Rockstar and is being developed by Team Bondi which was founded by Brendan McNamara, the man behind the London crime-sandbox game The Getaway
. The game is a crime thriller set in late 1940's LA and obviously is designed to play out like an old Noire film. Think LA Confidential meets GTA and you've got the idea.
Sadly the latest trailer
for the game came out in 2006, and no work has been seen out of the studio since. But fear not, Noire fans, for there is no
confirmation that the project has been cancelled yet, hell, Team Bondi
hiring people, most likely to finish the damn thing.
You have to love that Aussie attitude, it doesn't matter if the game takes them till 2012, they'll get the bloody job done.
Damn I love this country.
X360/PS3/PC - Transmission Games (2010)
Heroes over Europe is about French and Italian guys who fly planes and shoot each other while complaining about whose country has the hairiest women. Just kidding, like the French would have fighter planes, more likely they'd have massive behemoth flying contraptions that could strike fear into Beelzebub himself, yet rather than attach guns, they'd ensure that they had a healthy supply of white flags plus the largest seating capacity available in order to evacuate the entire nation in the case of the enemy even looking in France's direction.
That being said, Heroes Over Europe is looking pretty solid, with long and action-packed campaign missions, a large selection of WWII fighter aircraft, and the choice between arcade or simulation controls. The graphics are pretty shmick too as if you take the time to look down during particular missions you'll see the burning wreckage of London stretching off into the distance. TAKE THAT motherland.
X360/PS3 - BigAnt Games (2010)
It's footy. It's next-gen. Its a next-gen footy game. Thats about as far as my knowledge or interest goes on this topic. Seriously, the only thing worse than Footy, is Cricket, so instead of writing any more on the topic, I'll just leave post something a bit more relevant.