The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on August 30th, 2009 at 11:57 am.

Sundays are for doing a lot of work, avoiding that lot of work with games of Champions and compiling a list of the fascinating (primarily) games related reading from across the week while resisting linking to a genuinely stunning performance.

Failed.

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142 Comments »

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  1. Some Guy says:

    these get longer every time

  2. Garg says:

    That old Eurogamer Torment review had far too many ellipses and exclamation marks for my liking. You can understand the point of view for some of the points he’s making, but really how can you argue that death has no consequence being a bad thing when you have the ever present ability to load an earlier save if things get hard? If death were a negative, then you’d just load an earlier save and it wouldn’t matter.

  3. Lack_26 says:

    Ohh, those 3 frames were interesting. And it’s good to see some more love for Space Hulk, I just wish they would do a version of Inquisitor, that would make for a great isometric X-com style game. And probably be fairly easy-ish to make to boot.

  4. Tom Armitage says:

    Jesus, Gillen, don’t tell everybody else about the Space Hulk re-issue, now it’s going to sell out and everything. Gah.

  5. Dracko says:

    Dini’s taking the piss: The writing in Arkham Asylum is amazingly lazy, its central plot absolutely awful even by his own standards and it all ends up with a game that leaves casual Batman fans in the dark and hardcore fans with retreads and at this point, total cliché as far as the use of the antagonists go.

    Thankfully the execution fares better, but that’s really not to his credit.

    The game is otherwise fun, but nowhere near 9/10, let alone Game of the Year material. Eidos seem pretty desperate to sell it, though.

  6. Jockie says:

    I remember asking for Space Hulk one Christmas when I was quite small, I was gutted when I opened my big present to find this little castle thing instead, though I managed to keep my composure and say my thank yous. Fortunately my birthday is in February.

  7. Igor Hardy says:

    Thanks for the link to our Downfall interview.

    I can’t really say how the game’s storytelling compares to modern horror games because frankly I don’t play them (I suspect they don’t present the player with real choices), but fans of stuff like I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream and of Stephen King’s writings should definitely try it out.

  8. hatman says:

    Games Workshop are doing a new edition of the lovely PC-game inspiring boardgame Space Hulk

    OH GOD I HAVE NO MONEY BUT I WANT IT.

    :'(

  9. c-Row says:

    I spent some good money on eBay to get the original Space Hulk and its two expansions. And now I am gonna pay 80€ just to get me the updated version, which is sad, or at least some part of my brain tries to convince me to believe this. Meanwhile, the other part is all “Space Hulk WOOHOO!”

    I hope the old floor tiles can be connected to the new tiles.

  10. Mort says:

    “ohmygaad, no waaay!”

    Anyway, dammit first article led to an hour long rummage through the Games Workshop store. Came away with Space Hulk. Nostalgia is expensive no? Although the fact that my eldest son is almost as old as I was when I first played it scares the shit out of me.

  11. Susan says:

    Peter David: still a total douchebag.

  12. hatman says:

    £58

    What? When did this hobby get so expensive?

  13. radomaj says:

    For people who can’t see the Kseniya video because of copyright restrictions:

  14. BrokenSymmetry says:

    That Ukrainian Sand Animator video as amazing. Never seen anything even remotely like that.

  15. Shadrach says:

    Agreed on the sand animation stuff, my eyes are still wet, damn you RPS :)

  16. Turin Turambar says:

    Confirmed.

    Sand > videogames.

  17. mcw says:

    I found it pretty interesting that Downfall was rejected by Steam for content reasons, they have Manhunt after all.

  18. Taillefer says:

    &Links everybody to the sand painting&
    Man, that’s beautiful.

  19. Arathain says:

    You know, I read your intro paragraph and thought “I wonder if he’s going to link to that Ukrainian thing.”

    I did some rock drumming in school and Uni. I’m an OK drummer, but nothing special. I quickly realised that I’d know I was getting good when I could intuitively play the beats I hear in my head when I listen to music. I never imagined that sort of thing was possible with visual art- she moves her hands and flowers appear.

    Brrr. What a performance.

  20. Arathain says:

    That Space Hulk article is a great geek love story. Also, Lost Property is one of my favourite Divine Comedy songs.

  21. Xercies says:

    Unfortunatly I’m not a Space Hulk person but just a bog standard W40k guy, but everything else about the nostalgia is pretty true…I remember the days when I had to put my Choas Space Marines in a Lunch Box…

    @Hatman

    Are you kidding Games Workshop has always been bloody expensive and the wrong kind of expensive as well where you pay more for points a miniture costs not actual materials used. I think it costs them pennies to make the plastic models and they sell them for £20.

    Also the magazine thing isn’t new, I really wish scores could be gone altogether…really…music doesn’t need them from what I’ve seen glancing at a few music mags.

  22. Ian says:

    When I got my laptop back off (er, make that “replaced by”) Acer I need totry and get Planescape: Torment running again. I wanted to do it using the various patches and UI upgrades and such but couldn’t get the damned things working.

  23. MrMud says:

    That PST review is probably one of the worst reviews I have ever read.

  24. jarvoll says:

    Couldn’t agree more: Holy cow that original Torment review was so hilariously wrong, while never getting a single actual fact incorrect. Talk about unappreciated in its own proverbial lifetime.

  25. Seol says:

    And that re-release of Space Hulk is what I presume impeded the release of Teardown’s Space Hulk game. Although rumour has it that v1.1 can be acquired through shady means…

  26. mrrobsa says:

    I guess It’s because of his proximity to the work but Peter David’s response to Christian Nutt’s piece is a little full-on. Had no plans to anyway, but now I definately wouldn’t buy based on Peter David’s rebuttal of Nutt’s piece as well as the ties to anti-gay lord Orson Scott Card.
    Oh and Brandon Sheffield wins an internet for asking Peter David: “Would you buy something from a guy that outspokenly says “Peter David is a jerk” even if it was a compelling product?”

  27. bill says:

    I’m really confused by what i learned about Orson Scott Card last week, cos his Ender novels seem to be about acceptance, and Ender seems to be a mostly liberal character. Weird.

    On the plus side, i have the original Space Hulk *nyah nyah*
    (plus somewhere i have the original Blood Bowl, Epic and Adeptus Titanicus boxes too. )

  28. Dracko says:

    Have you actually read the Ender novels? Well, if you haven’t, don’t bother, they’re a turgid waste of time anyway.

  29. lumpi says:

    Yarg! Why can’t I see the Ukrainian sand animator due to copyright restrictions? Do they seriously think I would buy a DVD of “Ukraine Got Talent” to see it?

  30. Gap Gen says:

    On the point of boycotts, the author mentions the Whole Foods thing. Question is: why the hell did the owner of Whole Foods feel the need to piss off his client base for no apparent reason? Otherwise, I think that in general, causing businesses to act more ethically through your purchases is probably a good thing – even if they’re a megalithic corporation, they’re not pure evil, they just want to make money.

    Ender’s Game was good. I felt no real need to read sequels, though.

  31. JKjoker says:

    its nice knowing that there was actually a time the marketing guys knew what they were doing (/me looks at Dragon Age and sighs)

    i would love a modern Space Hulk game but i doubt there is any chance it could avoid becoming consolized, turning into a gears of war clone and losing the control of the other troopers to “friendly” AI

  32. Justin says:

    So, if one wanted to actually get Planescape: Torment because of all the times the usually-right Rock Paper Shotgun people talked about it, and also so that you could read past the areas that say “WARNING SPOILERS” in the linked retrospective here, where would you look?

    It’s not on Steam, Direct2Drive, or gog.com, as far as I can tell.

  33. Mil says:

    Interesting reading on the Shadow Complex boycott thread. I’m not sure which side I agree with.

    On the one hand, I have a deep distrust of chilling effects as a method for enforcing social conformity. They ultimately lead to a Disneyification of discourse where anything that could cause offence is preemptively expunged. I tend to agree with Peter David’s comments on this subject.

    Plus, I also believe that creative work in general can be valued and appreciated irrespective of its creator’s defects. Is “Ride of the Valkyries” somehow bad music because of Wagner’s antisemitism? Of course not.

    On the other hand, ever since I found out some years ago how much of a wingnut Orson Scott Card is (not just about gay rights, by the way — he’s the complete package), I’ve found myself avoiding his books. Partially because the discovery more ore less completely ruined my ability to suspend my disbelief for his prose, but also because I hate him a bit now and I don’t want him to get any of my money.

    So, would I still buy Shadow Complex? I guess so, but only if Card’s influence and style is not too evident. I can absolutely see why some people wouldn’t, though.

  34. Kieron Gillen says:

    mrrobsa: “Would you buy something from a guy that outspokenly says “Peter David is a jerk” even if it was a compelling product?”.

    I totally would. As in, buy something for someone who things I’m a jerk. I do that all the time. Christ, what sort dick cares about whether people who make their art likes them? I don’t pay them to be my friend.

    (As a journalist/critic/whatever, I’ve had to learn to deal with not letting any personal feelings get into what I think of the work. I’m not important.)

    A better comparison – which I haven’t seen if someone threw at Mr David, but someone mentioned elsewhere – would be “Would Peter David buy something from a writer who’s openly anti-semetic”. Because this isn’t about the personal. This is actually about something a bit more important than the personal.

    EDIT: Worth noting, I wouldn’t take that as arguing for or against a Boycott. While understanding while people wouldn’t want to support it personally, I’m not exactly sure something as formal as a Boycott makes sense.

    KG

  35. UK_John says:

    Re: the Ukrainian Talent 2009 winner sand art video: Firstly, I was surprised how emotional it was and secondly it made me realise how little we see of the world…. What else is out there?!

  36. Mentalepsy says:

    That Planescape review is hilarious. To be fair, though, that slowdown bug WAS pretty annoying. :p

  37. Sunjammer says:

    The discontinuation of Space Hulk, alongside Necromunda/Gorkamorka, are some of the most confounding events of my gaming life. They are totally killer games, and everyone should be given the opportunity to play them.

  38. fuggles says:

    wow that shadow complex article is crappy. Frankly I have no idea what the problem is with it, and despite an article discussing it, I’m still not concretely sure.

    Way to go journalist, nothing like a brief and clear recap of the subject at hand to bring new people up to speed….and there was nothing like a brief and clear etc…

  39. fuggles says:

    No I retract that…I just am crappy at reading journalism.

  40. Heliocentric says:

    Necromunda/gorkamorka weren’t as economicaly demanding as most of the other games. £20 and you had all your starting models, £20 for extras and customs. Done, nothing like the hundreds for warhammer 40k.

  41. perilisk says:

    Hmm… legally people can do what they want regarding the boycott, but ethically I think there is a world of difference between boycotting a business whose business practices are unethical, and boycotting a business to cause harm to someone who is a political opponent. You’re directly complicit if you give money to a company that dumps industrial byproducts into a river or uses slave labor. It’s the same rationale behind banning child pornography — even if the owner doesn’t directly abuse kids, he’s financing those that do by buying it.

    Outspoken leftists should consider that if this rule was fairly and evenly applied, to the extent that they often end up on the side referred to, right or wrong, as “anti-business”, that none of them would have jobs. Business would just boycott the labor of those who supported all these laws that they viewed as harmful. And anyway, is it ethically all that different from the blacklist of alleged communist sympathizers in Hollywood back in the day?

  42. James G says:

    @Bill
    Yeah, OSC confuses me as well. I looked up his wikipedia page after enjoying Ender’s Game and Speaker, only to find the guy completely contrasted with some of the ideas I read into his books. Reading various opinion articles by him only serves to reinforce this. Frankly its destroyed any home of me reading further novels in the series, not so much a result of a boycott, so much as I know I’ll just spend half my time thinking what a edjit the author is. (Hadn’t realised that he actually sat on a board dedicated to opposing gay marriage though. Makes me tempted to use a stronger word than edjit.) Its a bit like my feelings when watching Cruise, its not only the dubious practices of Scientology which fill my mind, but also images of a clearly crazy guy jumping up and down on a sofa.

  43. aoanla says:

    Hmm. Boycotting a game because of the views of one component of its production process is problematic, as the Gamasutra article notes. (It’s more straightforward with novels, for example; and my boycott of Neal Asher’s books is working pretty well at the moment – I just have to wait for them to turn up in second-hand bookstores so I can buy them without any money going to Asher himself.)

  44. Gap Gen says:

    “And anyway, is it ethically all that different from the blacklist of alleged communist sympathizers in Hollywood back in the day?”

    I think there is a difference. The whole witch hunt aspect of the communist scare (see “alleged” above) meant that even if someone didn’t wear their communism on their shirt, they’d still get hurt. Card is very open about his views on gay marriage.

  45. Lewis says:

    Dracko: I thought the writing in B:AA was exquisite, and the game every bit 9 out of 10 material.

    The central plot isn’t too inspiring, but its delivery is superb and really deftly paced. I like the game a hell of a lot. Most I’ve enjoyed an action game this year, I reckon.

  46. perilisk says:

    “I think there is a difference. The whole witch hunt aspect of the communist scare (see “alleged” above) meant that even if someone didn’t wear their communism on their shirt, they’d still get hurt. Card is very open about his views on gay marriage”

    While I take your point, I don’t know that it would be any more justifiable had it been limited to those that openly supported communism.

    Personally, I tend to find celebrities insufferable about their political/religious/philosophical beliefs, even when I agree with them — but it’s never stopped me from seeing an otherwise good film. If the film itself was preachy and insufferable, that would be different. No way I’m paying ten bucks to sit through a sermon.

  47. Baylith says:

    While I fully support the right to boycott a game,(or anything else, really) I have to disagree with this one wholeheartedly. Mr. Card had such little impact on the development of Shadow Complex, that to punish the developers seems to be quite a bit more distasteful than the association with Card itself. He didn’t write the game, he didn’t write for the game, and really the only thing the game shares with Card is a loose tie to one of his IPs. Furthermore, the argument that Card is a vision-less bigot seems to be largely unfounded. He disagrees with the idea of homosexuality, but describing homosexuals as “human beings with as complex a combination of good and evil in them as I find within myself” *hardly* seems like hate to me.

    I have pretty strong feelings towards companies that employ substandard working conditions to manufacture items inexpensively. But does that mean I’m going to wish financial ruin on you because you’ve purchased an Adidas/Nike product throughout the course of your life? NO! Because the chances of the art you create, or the work you do embodying or reflecting those ideals is practically nonexistent!

  48. mrrobsa says:

    @ KG: Oh I agree totally, I don’t think personal opinions are relevant unless it has spread to the body of work, I just had a gigglefit at Brandon’s blunt but topical response.

  49. Dan says:

    I had Space Crusade as a boy, not Space Hulk, and loved it. Looked it up on Wikipedia today, and it seems it was essentially Space Hulk for retards.

    Memories…tainted.

  50. Alex says:

    Outspoken leftists should consider that if this rule was fairly and evenly applied, to the extent that they often end up on the side referred to, right or wrong, as “anti-business”, that none of them would have jobs. Business would just boycott the labor of those who supported all these laws that they viewed as harmful.

    There’s a world of difference between boycotting a product/service and ‘boycotting’ employees. Namely that the second one tends to be illegal.