The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on February 21st, 2010 at 2:19 pm.

Sundays are recovering from the aging-celebration of Ex-PC Zone Ed Will Porter, watching the last part of the Corner and compiling a list of the fine (mostly) games related reading that has crossed my path this week while trying to resist linking to whatever piece of pop music is on repeat on my PC right now. I’ve got to manage to do it eventually, eh?

Failed.

.

147 Comments »

  1. JuJuCam says:

    Regarding the couchiness of Alan Wake, I do believe that it’s a cinematic and varied enough game that it could be an interesting shared experience for a night of somewhat terrifying gaming, but I for one would be happy to play it on my PC.

    I have to agree that some games are just plain developed for the wrong platform(s), and in the case of ports to detrimental effect to one or the other system. I sat and watched a friend play Fallout 3 on her xbox for minutes at a time. Really not a gaming experience that needs to be shared. Unfortunately the UI was developed for the console and felt klunky on PC, although in that case it was happily modded to satisfaction.

  2. the wiseass says:

    So, what exactly is the deal with the “Failed” at the end of every sunday paper?

    • Auspex says:

      He has “failed” to “resist linking to whatever piece of pop music is on repeat on (his) PC right now”.

    • Nobody Important says:

      Keiron fails to not post a pop song.

    • qrter says:

      I have never, ever clicked one of those links. I win.

    • mandrill says:

      I learned a long time ago that my taste in music and Kieron’s don’t quite match (read: are so totally different as to be part of different realities) and so never click the music link. Thats not what The Sunday Paper’s are for anyway.

      PS. I still want to be able to login on the front page. having to go to what looks like a WP admin login is confusing to someone who uses WP on their own site.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Mandrill: I find that hard to believe if you like any music whatsoever.

      KG

    • Gnarl says:

      @Kieron Gillen
      Going by what you link to at the end of your posts, only one song has not caused me mild pain (At the Drive In, in case you were wondering). And I’ve listen to almost all of them. Just to make sure.

      You do have some peoples anti-taste.

    • Wulf says:

      It wouldn’t be the Sunday Papers without KG linking to bizarre music that I don’t exactly mind.

      Then again, I like Era and Amon Tobin, so… perhaps I’m an anti-taste person, too.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Gnarl: The assumption I’m noting isn’t correct is believing what I link is my entire taste. I smiled at the number of people who presumed that Gameboys From Hell wasn’t a reference to what it was obviously a reference to, just because it’s Pantera rather than indie-girls with fringes and boyfriend problems and/or indie-boys with musicianship problems.

      There’s very, very few people who I won’t at least share some common ground with. That’ll be people who are solely into micro-genres of certain bits of dance music.

      KG

    • Duck says:

      See, folks? Kieron’s pop-nonsense linking was just trolling after all! Now, let’s pop in our OK Computer CD’s, listen to some real music, and move on with our lives.

    • Taillefer says:

      Obviously he doesn’t post enough Iannis Xenakis.

      I’ve enjoyed several music links so far. Never stop failing, Kieron!

    • Thants says:

      Wulf: Who doesn’t like Amon Tobin? He’s fantastic. Everyone should like Amon Tobin.

    • DMcCool says:

      I too can’t really imagine someone that wouldn’t share ANY taste with Kieron, but then again he appears to like all the bands I like and then on top of that can stomach all sorts of genres I can’t stand. One of those people I just look up to and go “Wow, you can listen to lots of types of music”.
      I shamefully only click on the link when its a band I already like.

    • Wulf says:

      @Thants

      You’d be surprised how many people I’ve met who don’t like Amon Tobin.

      I’ve rarely had any success conveying to people why they should listen to certain sorts of music, though. I think the most unfortunate people whom I feel sorry for in hindsight were those whom I ranted about Ayreon to. Especially Electric Castle-related rants.

      So everyone who likes things a bit out of the ordinary probably feels a little odd about it until they finally discover that there are actually other people who listen to whatever sort of music that is, too.

    • Psychopomp says:

      People who don’t like Bloodstone make me a sad pomp.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      The Sunday Papers just needs more Mastadon.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Re: Mastodon

      What, post about a metal band that aren’t long-haired testosterone-fuelled idiots? A metal band NOT fronted by a vocalist that resembles a cookie monster? A metal band that doesn’t play their “instruments” with their gentleman vegetables? (Try some Fucking Champs as well by the way, they’re rather special.)

    • MadMatty says:

      well i checked out the Yardbirds and ssome ambient suff the same day. It was quite good.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      Joanna Newsom for the win.

    • TeeJay says:

      02/08/09 indie rock – Rumble Strips – Not The Only Person
      09/08/09 spoken word – Laura Dockrill – Heaven Knows
      16/08/09 indie – The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make?
      23/08/09 indie electronic – Saint Etienne – How We Used To Live
      30/08/09 na – Video of the Ukrainian Sand Animator
      06/09/09 indie rock – Sleater Kinney – Sympathy
      13/09/09 indie pop – Los Campesinos – The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
      13/09/09 punk – S*M*A*S*H – Kill Somebody
      20/09/09 indie electronic – Fuck Buttons – Surf Solar
      27/09/09 indie electronic – The French Horn Rebellion – Up All Night
      04/10/09 house – Felix Da Housecat – We All Want To Be Prince
      11/10/09 indie folk – Mountain Goats – The Life of The World To Come (album)
      11/10/09 classic rock – Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
      18/10/09 punk/grunge – Daisy Chainsaw – Love Your Money
      18/10/09 punk/grunge – Huggy Bear – Her Jazz
      18/10/09 punk/grunge – Hole – Beautiful Son
      18/10/09 indie electronic – Stereolab – French Disko
      26/10/09 punk – At The Drive-In – Rolodex Propaganda
      01/11/09 punk/pop mash-up – Go Home Productions – Finally, Did You No Wrong (Sex Pistols-Ce Ce Peniston mash-up)
      08/11/09 indie electronic – Gonzales & Jarvis Cocker – Francophobia
      15/11/09 indie pop – Kenickie – Can I Take You 2 The Cinema
      22/11/09 na – Video of people dancing at Comic Con/Thought Bubble
      29/11/09 indie rap – Akira the Don – Steven Wells mixtape
      06/12/09 indie shoegaze – My Bloody Valentine – Only Shallow
      13/12/09 indie pop – Florence & The Machine – You Got The Love
      20/12/09 indie electronic – The xx – Infinity
      27/12/09 pop – The Muppets & John Denver – 12 Days of Christmas
      03/01/10 indie rock – Weezer – I Want You To
      10/01/10 punk cabaret – Amanda Palmer kitchen-ukulele-’blogsong’
      17/01/10 indie pop – Florence And The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
      17/01/10 indie pop – Camera Obscura – French Navy
      24/01/10 indie pop – Los Campesinos – Romance is Boring
      24/01/10 indie rock – Eddie Argos / Art Brut – G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N.
      31/01/10 experimental freak folk – Tune-Yards – Real Live Flesh
      31/01/10 indie electronic – The Knife – Tomorrow, In A Year (album)
      07/02/10 indie rap – Akira the Don – ATD20 (mixtape)
      07/02/10 indie electronic – Chew Lips – Solo
      14/02/10 indie experimental – Gowns – Stand
      14/02/10 alternative funky rnb – Janelle Monae – Tightrope
      21/02/10 Indie pop – Lucky Soul – A Coming of Age

      (‘genre’ based loosely on most frequent last fm tags for that artist)

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      : Mastodon is woefully overrated. While the Fucking Champs can play (and as I recall one of their number was in the stellar Black Metal band Weakling) they’re not that great. Worse the majority of their fans are indie/scenester scum that think the band is being ironic as these people would never be caught dead at a real metal show.. I clearly recall seeing them at 12 Galaxies while the indie kids with their white belts and ironically mussy hair talked all the way through the set.

      The same kind of people I would later see talk loudly though Damon and Naomi, with Kurihara, to the degree that I was 5 ft away from Damon and could barely hear him sing. I loathe these people. Clowns that go to a show to be seen.

      @Kieron – i dunno but other than MBV and the Sex Pistols half of the mashup it seems we’re pretty far apart. Oh, and Sleater Kinney.

      If you want so-called thinking man’s metal you should be looking at Neurosis, Isis, Hammers of Misfortune, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and the like. Avant metal supergroup (members of Converge, Isis etc.) Old Man Gloom belongs on that list as well.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I did a Mastodon comic in the last issue of Phonogram!

      EDIT: I’m fine with far-apart, my friends. I object to no overlap, basically.

      KG

    • Lilliput King says:

      My favourite Kieron-linked tune was this because I’m a bit creepy.

  3. qrter says:

    Interesting interview with BioShock 2‘s Zak McClendon, although he must have had a hard time washing all of Tom Chick’s spittle off, afterwards.

  4. Morte says:

    The consumer at large cares little about small (sub 1k) ‘outrages’ by comment campers at creeping drm piss takes by the likes of ubisoft. Which is precisely why they couldn’t care about some silly protest either. (See steam).
    It certainly does not mean some kind of impending doom for pcgaming (lol what STILL?). We all know it will sell like candy coated crack. I’m happy enough to simply make a rational decision not to buy, and move on with my life.

  5. Lewis says:

    As I said to LewieP on the SavyGamer comments thread: I’d be much more interested in encouraging each and every journalist who ends up reviewing the game to think very seriously about factoring in the DRM as a major component in their decision of what to write and which score to award.

    • qrter says:

      That’d be nice. Sadly, most reviewers tend to ignore that stuff (maybe because they don’t tend to review retail versions of games?).

    • LewieP says:

      I completely agree, that is definitely something I would like to see happen too.

    • mandrill says:

      Are you implying that reviewers are not objective or impartial? How dare you sir, game reviewers are the pinnacle of honour and integrity and will not let a publisher influence their score-giving with promises of free stuff. I demand satisfaction, damn you!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Mandrill: It’s more that they think it doesn’t matter and should be reviewing the game, not something tangential to it. It’s much like – say – altering the mark according to the game’s price. Some people really believe it shouldn’t influence it.

      Of course, they’re wrong, but that’s neither here nor there.

      KG

    • Lewis says:

      What Kieron said, basically. It’s a tricky one, and I suspect there are no solid answers. I admit, I’ve been guilty of reviewing games without having even checked at what price the thing’s retailing.

    • qrter says:

      It comes from the idea that games reviews shouldn’t be ‘consumer reviews’. Which is fine, but then those same reviews will still go on to cover other technical stuff like graphics and sound.

      Seeing as games are all about a whole experience, how DRM (or any other technical hitch) might dampen that experience should be part of the review.

    • Bowlby says:

      I can only look to myself as to why I read reviews for games, and that is: to get an idea of whether it is worth buying or not. Frankly, if a review doesn’t take into account price, DRM – whatever – then that review is less useful for it.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Most reviewers will ignore it though. Of course it’s going to be a great indicator of which reviewers can be trusted. Basically did they mention it?

      NO means they either are NOT informed, which is bad. Or whores to the industry and don’t want to upset them, which is worse.

      YES means they are both INFORMED and have integrity enough to make sure the consumer knows they’re being fistfucked by Ubi.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      I think so-called journalistic objectivity is a stupid thing to aspire to. As long as the person writing the article is frank about their biases, and flaunts them, then I can engage my frontal lobes and work around them if I don’t agree. For this reason, I like RPS. Generally, issues such as price and DRM tend to color the opinions expressed on the site, and in outrageous cases will be explored a little bit.

      That said, I want to get more Marxist reviews on computer games. Might be fun.

    • bill says:

      I dunno if it’d be right, but it’d sure be useful These days whenever a game is on sale I have to waste ages looking around to check if it has some form or horrendous DRM and what the install limits are.

      Of course, another problem is that the DRM often varies from site to site and region to region. A DVD might have different DRM to Gamersgate, whic might be different to the steam or impulse version.

      But if the DRM causes problems for the reviewer then they should mention it, just like a bug.

      @Kommisar Nikko:
      Not so much for games, but the problem with journalists not aspiring to impartiality, and wearing their beliefs on their sleeves, is that we end up with what the internet is becoming. A collection of highly partisan writers who just hurl vitriol at each other and squabble like little kids who’ll never understand each other’s viewpoint. And then people just read the news that reinforces their world view, and the split gets more and more extreme.
      Writers who try to be impartial might not always succeed, but I think that if they at least TRY then we might end up with slightly less divisive politics and media.

  6. Simon Jones says:

    I like the number of exclamation marks in the Thor issue’s blurb.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    On reading Quinns’ secret origin: ah, State. I miss you.

  8. Cinnamon says:

    Ert vs Fon? I’m still trying to work out if a White Mage can play the Blues. According to Activision, games are packaged goods and that is all the taxonomy that a man who is respectful towards corporations and authority, like myself, requires.

  9. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    A warning to those thinking of taking up on Savygamers escapade: nice idea in principle, but wont work in the real world. Tesco purchases from ubi, the custemer purchases from tesco. Gamer returns to tesco, tesco cannot return to Ubi. Tesco loses money (who cares right?) Ubi wins, shows huge sales, belives POS comsumer bitchslap works, doesent get message, bitchslap proliforates, we (the gamer) suffer.. Still, cudos for trying.
    Btw, kieron: just got Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter TPB. Feckin awesome work. Always loved the cosmic side to marvel, must have been fun to write.

    • LewieP says:

      I agree it would be unrealistic for this protest to completely change Ubisoft’s mind in one go.

      But there are smaller goals that I think are more achievable.

      Perhaps after loosing out on AC2, Tesco will mark clearly which games require constant internet connection to play. Perhaps they will then sell less through Tesco. Perhaps they will order less of future Ubisoft titles.

    • Morte says:

      Has it been explicitly stated somewhere that a requirement for constant internet connection being required is not to be shown on the box?
      Serious question, I may have missed it.

      If warnings are there, then I cease to care about the whole thing. You pays your money….

    • LewieP says:

      I don’t think that the final retail box has been seen yet, I’ve certainly not seen it.

      Online retailers are mostly not mentioning it.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Interesting…It might well work so I wish you luck, sadly I wont be able to lend a hand as im currently an englishman living in the states. (and before anyone asks: No, im am not Tossers muse) But all the same I wish you luck

    • archonsod says:

      It would probably be more effective to simply get everyone to write a letter to Ubi listing games they were interested in but will now no longer be purchasing due to the DRM. Then they can see exactly how much it’s costing them and why, rather than getting a bunch of returns or low sales and being left to interpret the reasons themselves.

    • Heliocentric says:

      I too feel that a protest which involves giving money to a corporation which is doing something you disagree with is inherently misinformed.

      Tesco marking the products properly is the only possible success.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      I just think it’s unfortunate, given this site’s demographic, that Lewie didn’t choose an international retailer like Amazon. Then again zero rating the game there may well have a greater effect on the buying public.

  10. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    Damn you invisible edit button: you have revealed me as the dyslectic goon that I am

  11. Hentzau says:

    @ Arathain: State was amazingly pretentious and cliquey, but it was also incredibly funny. There are times that I miss it too. Then I remember that everyone on there regarded me with at best mild dislike – when they could remember who I was at all – and I don’t miss it so much after that.

    • Lewis says:

      An editor I pitched to recently said he remembered my name from State, which I took as code for “You wrote some absolutely godawful stuff once, right?”

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      @ Hentazu: It was particularly good for me as a perennial lurker. I could pick and choose what I read or commented on without the emotional involvement from which all great things and all bad things come from. I didn’t post enough to make an impact on anybody. It helps that I’m no writer.

      I remember you, though. I didn’t dislike you at all. For what little that’s worth.

      It’s been a fascinating process to watch, though. From PCG Delphi, to the bizarre, wonderful fragmentation that ended in, to State, and eventually, for many of us, to here. Everything being very much its own thing, and leading to something else neat.

    • Hentzau says:

      @Arathain: Kind of you to say so, but unlikely since I went by a different handle back then. It was a fun enough place to lurk, but once I tried to get involved I always felt like an outsider having not posted on Delphi PCGF at all. All communities are a bit insular like that, I suppose, but State was peculiarly unwelcoming in that regard.

      Still, it was probably the best of the Delphi offshoots, and did produce some genuinely great pieces of writing. I look back on it with fondness. Just not too much.

    • Lewis says:

      Come to think of it, didn’t “Bow, Nigger” originate on State?

    • Hentzau says:

      It did, yes. I think always_black still has a site where it’s hosted, actually.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      Sorry, Hentazu. Must be manufacturing memories.

    • Lewis says:

      Here: http://www.alwaysblack.com/blackbox/bownigger.html

      Everyone has read this, right? If you haven’t, click through this instant!

    • TeeJay says:

      I hated that article. :(

    • MadMatty says:

      @Lewis

      read the blackbox article, and it reminded me i never sweat while playing computer games either…. until around 200-2001 where i played ranked Clanmatches of Counterstrike (we made it to 40th world ranking) and i swear it was dripping from my forehead in some matches :D

  12. Andy_Panthro says:

    On the subject of “buy and return”, in what possible shop could I return a PC game? They tell you flat-out that you can’t return them for system requirements etc..

    Also totally 100% agree with the Alan Wake rant on gamecrashers. I was really hoping for an “Alone in the Dark” experience (the 1992 version, rather than the 2008 version!). Sounded perfect for PC gamers and yet the game has changed through production (happens perhaps a bit too much that) and now is an xbox exclusive. Sad face.

    • LewieP says:

      I have said on the post, Tesco specifically say that you have 28 working days to return any sealed software for a full cash refund.

    • mandrill says:

      Then there better be a bloody warning on the box stating that you MUST be connected to the internet for the game to work, rather than it being part of the EULA or on a peice of paper inside the box. Or the retailer, and Ubisoft does not have a legal leg to stand on and must accept returns.

      This is a legal grey area anyway, there is alot of debate as to whether a shop can legally refuse to accept the return of an unsealed peice of software. Much in the same way as theres a debate about whether EULA’s are actually enforcable.

      Remember the kerfuffle over BF2142 and its targeted advertising malware that you had to install? That happened when I worked at GAME and we were told to refuse returns of it, but a plucky local solicitor informed my manager that we had to take it back and give him his money back even if the box had been unsealed, as the information regarding what he was purchasing was incomplete until he’d unsealed it, Therefore he could not make a reasonably informed decision about his purchase until after he’d done so, which was a breach of something of other. It was quite funny to watch this guy run rings round my boss, and I was completely on his side. It ended up with him on the phone to our legal department and them confirming that actually yes, what the solicitor was sying was correct and we had to give him his money back or we could end up in court.

    • LewieP says:

      Indeed.

      If there is no warning on the box, then you can get a refund even after opening the box.

      If there is an (adequate) warning on the box, then you can still get a refund, but only if it is sealed.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Just tell them the disk didn’t work. They’re lageally obliged to refund (if the disk didn’t work, that is).

    • Bonedwarf says:

      UK consumer laws will work well for this. I’ve lived in two countries, the other being where I am now, Canada, and the UK’s consumer laws are SO much better than here.

      I really hope a TON of people do this, and that Ubi don’t make it blindingly clear. Keeping it INSIDE THE BOX will be like them providing the nails to bang into the cross they’re going to be nailed too.

    • Clovis says:

      In the US, make sure to pay with a credit card. If they won’t take the game back, then dispute the charge with your credit card company. I honestly don’t think this would be necesary though, regardless of store policy. Speak to a manger about it. Threaten to twitter about the game store’s bad service. Unless they have the worst customer service ever, they will take the game back.

      The whole idea of not accepting PC Games returns is a bit silly now anyway. If someone wanted to copy the game they would just download it anyway.

  13. Nick says:

    I thought exclamation marks were for PC Gamer covers.

  14. EthZee says:

    I am very much interested in the “games as ert” debate. Personally, despite my ertistic leanings I do concede that games are very much objects of fon. But I’d like to hear more about this ‘ertfon’ theory…

    • MadMatty says:

      I skipped that, as they haven´t brought anything new to light- and also,

      How can games NOT be art !?!?

      Theres lots of audio/visual artwork in them, and storytelling sometimes. Also the design of the game in general can be a bit artsy.
      The only thing which isn´t strictly art is the programming, but its the thing that binds the art parts together and provide functionality for the “piece”.
      If you want to label it something else than a game, you can say its “interactive art”.
      If you ever go to a live art expo, and find something labelled “Interactive art” chances are the installation is a bit gamey (you can press some buttons/mess around).
      Must be “slow news days” over there.

  15. mbp says:

    A little bit off topic but does anyone know what actually happened to PCZone? I subbed to the magazine for 10 years but cancelled a couple of years ago when half the editorial staff left within a 3 month period and I finally accepted that the quality of online journalism had caught up to that of the print media.

    • Frosty says:

      @mbp: Things changed. Lots of things.

      http://ramraider.blogspot.com/2008/09/walkout-at-pc-zone.html

      The bright side is that Hogarty is the current editor, the darker side is that he faces a impossible climb to get the magazine back to it’s former status. In fact, from a business perspective, why keep Zone alive when you already have PCGamer?

      PCZone has gone down the pan since it was sold to Future Publishing and Dave Woods left. Porter did his best, but as you can see he realised it was a lost cause.

      Oh PCZone, how I miss you. How I miss you.

    • Katsumoto says:

      Hogarty is the editor eh? What happened to that Alison, then? She only joined around a year ago didn’t she? I briefly subbed to PCZ in addition to PCG, then stopped when all the writers left a month later. Timing!

    • mbp says:

      Thanks for that Link Frosty – I sort of figured something like that was going on.

      I do remember PC-Zone with fondness from “the old days”. There was a lovely conviviality about the magazine – it genuinely felt as if you were talking to a bunch of friends about games. I didn’t always agree with their opinions but that was OK – I felt like I got to know the writers and where they were coming from . PCGamer never quite managed to hit the same highs for me – it always seemed as if it was trying too hard to be to be cool or be relevant or be laddish or whatever the going fad was (sorry Kieron et al.)

      Now with the interwebs of course we can get all the games journalism we want instantly for free. We can even talk back to the journalists in comments sections! Still though – there was something to be said for getting a paper magazine in the post and making excuses to your family while you hid in a quiet room for a hour or so to read it.

      I never quite understood why my posted subscription copy always arrived one week after it was released to the shops though! I am rambling now – better stop.

    • Frosty says:

      @Katsumoto

      Ali has moved away from magazine work all together, doing something else game related that I forget. I’m not entirely sure why she left but I don’t think she ever fit as such.

      I got to admit, I was a Zoner through and through. I always saw Gamer as the mainstream enemy, and was initially doubtful of RPS due to it been staffed by ex-PCGers. I am happy to say such doubt was entirely misplaced.

      Still, print is pretty much dead these days. The internet has allowed RPS, Yahtzee and Ram Raider to happily express their opinions quickly, easily and partially able to circumvent the bulltshit speak and review embargos that major publishers push.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      PC Zone. The 90s. Charlie Brooker on Comic Duty. Heady days. Thank goodness for RPS, then.

    • TeeJay says:

      “print is pretty much dead these days”

      There is still a market for it, if it adapts. For example I’d still be buying PC Gamer if it got rid of the stuff that most readers will see a few weeks earlier online – including this just emphasises that it’s behind the curve (sunday papers don’t bother repeating last weeks daily news). Instead it should shift focus to the stuff that is better suited to nice page lay-outs and extended reading time in a comfortable armchair, train journey, sitting in a café eg extended features and interviews, rather than stuff which is the same as hundreds of other outlets reproducing press-releases.

      Quality reviews have always been it’s ‘backbone’ so it should aim at being the toughest and most detailed rather than being “first”. I’d encourage a shift towards extending the review process to become more interactive and ‘ongoing’ to reflect what gamers are saying about a game – for example a publication being aware of problems and people’s reactions and acting as a focal point for this debate.

      Of course a viable print publication also has to have an equally important web presence. PCG/Future plc has especially dropped the ball in terms of it’s online websites and forums which are a complete disaster zone. People having been making suggestions and giving feedback for several years now but it just all enters some Future plc black hole never to been see again. There are plenty of examples of publications who are doing it well and Future can’t blame their peformance just on ‘the market’ or ‘the web’, as this doesn’t explain all the things they have screwed up.

    • Sonicgoo says:

      @TeeJay
      So, you basically want a RPS, the magazine?

  16. Dracko says:

    Another week, another plug and a distinct lack of talking about deaths in the industries. Priorities!

    • MD says:

      Care to elaborate? I have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sounds like it might be interesting/important.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Dracko: That’s weeks old now. Start your own linkblog! I’d totally rip stuff off from you.

      KG

    • Dracko says:

      Yeah, and for some reason you lot didn’t see fit to mention it then, haven’t amended it anywhere that I’ve seen, but seem to believe mentioning that Hyped and Advertised Mainstream Game has been released and Leigh Alexander Yet Again Makes an Ass out of Herself are newsworthy topics.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Dracko: You know, considering how charming you are, I’m always surprised how easy it is to ignore your suggestions.

      KG

    • Dracko says:

      I like how you find it appropriate to dismiss what’s actually pretty important news simply on account of the source delivering it to you in deference to rehashing the same toss every other website brings up.

      What? Can’t swallow your own damn pride out of respect to a person who helped push the medium – let alone its iteration on a format – you claim to adore? Too big to even mention that they passed away? Are the wills of Activision and EA just that damn important?

      Congratulations on being utterly dismissive in the light of someone’s death. I’d tell you I’d hope your demise wouldn’t also be met with the same sort of apathy and swept aside by the tides of marketers and publishers who have no shame in expressing their interest in you is solely monetary, but I’m afraid, Mr. Gillen, that I’d be lying out of my teeth. And despite what you may think of me, I’d rather not fail so miserably as a human being in that respect.

  17. Eight Rooks says:

    Much as I admire Ken Levine I’d take Bioshock 2 over the first game any day and I was pretty sure of that by the time I’d got about three-quarters of the way through. As far as presentation goes it doesn’t have anything in it that reaches the dizzy heights of That Twist and it still doesn’t do… as much as it could, shall we say, to develop its ideas (narrative or gameplay), but it’s far more consistent, more fun to play, and more emotive overall (where by the end of the first one I cared much, much less what the hell was going on than I had done to start with and a very vocal internet contingent didn’t care at all).

    Good call on the Thief sequels. Wonder how further details of #4 will be received, if they’re still working on it?

  18. dan :/ says:

    Man, I loved Death’s Head II (Overkill, I think, was the comic I read). Never did read the originals. I even made a Tuck skin for Freedom Force back in the day (which has since disappeared into the ether of the internets).

    • Homunculus says:

      O.G. Death’s Head for me. It’s all about the genuinely shocking brutal demonstration of how to permanently kill a Transformer.

    • Bret says:

      Put me on the original’s side, yes?

      One of the most delightfully odd moral codes of any character I’ve seen, fun little quirks, and, importantly, he hits just the right amount of badassery.

      Plus, a great visual design.

  19. RobF says:

    That Tale Of Tales piece makes me want to punch a wall in frustration. Just the punk is anti rock n roll at the end is enough to make me want to punch them in the cock for being idiots, the rest of it is so lacking in a clue about music that I’m quite suprised to discover that there’s something they know even less about than games.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Seriously? I thought it was a pretty solid way to look at it. Granted, I think it works better when you consider context; “rock and roll” at the time punk first started turning up was stuff like Zepplin and KISS, and the early punk stuff stood very much in opposition to what that sort of music represented. Until, as he said, The Ramones, The Clash, and similar bands came along and changed things up. Which was a good thing IMO, but that’s neither here nor there.

    • RobF says:

      It’s not anti-rock and roll though, is it? More returning rock and roll to the hips and ragging it back from primarily beard stroking, weedling or whatever form of technical ability over raw groove hairy bugger stuff that got spewed out at the time. Punk is the absolute essence of rock and roll distilled. It’s totally pro rock and roll

      Were the MC5 anti rock n roll or were they the hip grinding raw bastard child of it? Did The Ramones just pop their heads round the door of music one day with Phil Spector in tow or y’know, were they gigging in 74 at CBGB’s with the rest of the cats? What of Strummer’s anti-nazi rants, firebranding left wing politik and so on and so forth or did none of that happen and only Should I Stay Or Should I Go remains from their back catalogue?

      7 minutes of Straight To Hell calls bullshit on the whole ToT argument that these bands made it “all about the fun”.

      The Dead Kennedy’s which are bizarrely listed as an exception in the ToT post were want to cover rock and roll tunes and I doubt if you collared Jello Biafra he’d say “nah, not rock and roll guys”.Although given they didn’t turn up until the late 70′s, what ToT are on about is anyone’s guess. The Clash’s debut album came out before they were even formed.

      It’s just clueless elitist drivel and making shit up to suit.

    • RobF says:

      That said, I learnt everything I know about game design from Cauty/Drummond’s The Manual so y’know, *whistle*

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Clueless elitist drivel indeed. As well as factually and historically inaccurate to boot.

      Rock and Roll wasn’t about “fun” it was about sex and, to a slightly lesser extent, rebellion. Just about every song that Chuck Berry or Little Richard wrote was about sex. Its roots are clearly in what was called Race music at the time. It wasn’t until whites appropriated it and made it “safe” – your Pat Boones and Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and whathaveyou that it became innocuous. Only Elvis had the raw sensuality and showmanship of his black peers. It’s what made him dangerous. Danger is inherently a part of rock and roll.

      If anything can be considered anti rock and roll it would be something like No Wave or perhaps Musique Concrete. Even then I wouldn’t say that either is diametrically opposed in a philosophical sense. To claim that the Ramones came along after – when they were one of the originators of the genre is not only wrong, it is idiotic.

      What punk so gleefully took us away from was lyrics based on Tolkein. Frankly I think Robert Plant should be arrested for crimes against humanity for his contributions along those lines.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      I just posted some commentary on ToT’s site. I expect it to be expunged quickly. FWIW here is my ranty post:

      “Every single thing you’ve written about rock is not only historically inaccurate but just plain wrong. Next time you are grasping at straws as to how to frame something please do the world a favor and research it first.

      Most of what I see here is posturing on your part in order to elevate yourself and your efforts to some higher plane. It’s pretentious. Worse, it’s pretension built upon a musical history you’ve deliberately re-arranged in order to prove your point.

      In the case that you just don’t know what you’re talking about then at least read the Trouser Press guide, or Greil Marcus or something that at least approximates an accurate historical context. Punk as “anti rock and roll” – bullshit. Rock was always about sex and rebellion-not “fun”.

      How did the Ramones come along “later” when they are a first wave punk act? The Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls and the Velvet Underground were the seminal precursors to punk. The Doors had nothing to do with it. All of those bands had not only a sense of danger to them they also had a sense of frivolity. Yet your portrayal of them is that they were essentially humorless. Further you proclaim that rock and roll is more a spectator sport than is folk music. You provide no theory to back this up. I suppose that moshing, slam dancing, crowdsurfing etc. isn’t participation in your view. Still, when was the last time Simon and Garfunkel invited you on stage? How many acts, in any popular music form, have singalongs?

      Punk wasn’t anti-rock, it was anti-pretension. The very thing you are guilty of here.”

      Edited to add: yup, deleted. Pomp and pretense -1 Reality-0. >:(

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Actually, I take back some of what I said, I just had a nose around Wikipedia. I’d been under the impression that the artier punk acts like early Talking Heads and Patty Smith had come out earlier than they had, and that The Ramones had come out later. So yeah, fie on ToT’s timeline there. Still, I’m not convinced the analogy is totally without value, flawed as it is.

      Also, rock and roll about sex and rebellion? Well, yeah… and sex and rebellion are fun as hell. I see no problem with saying that rock and roll was about fun; sure, it wasn’t about fun as a concept, but it was about fun things. Is there another way to make music about fun? I can’t imagine writing about fun itself in a direct way could be anything other than pretentious as hell. Rock and roll is and was about fun, at least when it doesn’t suck, and the non-punk stuff in the ’70s reflected that as much as The Ramones did. KISS was fun. Zeppelin was fun. In it’s way, Sabbath was fun. ToT’s timeline may be fucked up, but to say the rock and roll of the time was not about fun is to misunderstand the music itself. Bitch about the Tolkien lyrics if you like, doesn’t change the fact that it was fun stuff.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      @invisiblejesus: The problem with saying that it is about “fun” is that fun implies some G-rated activities. This, in concurrence with calling punk “anti-rock” are ridiculous, without merit and wholly false. Given that all his points vis a vis rock music are wrong it leads one to the inescapable conclusion that his whole argument is without merit. The problem is that you and I may disagree about what is fun.You have merely extrapolated that what you consider fun _is fun_. Any examination of rock can’t merely be based on one’s observations on 70s rock but on the originators of the art form and what they meant and what it meant in the culture at the time. Boiling it down to fun does rock music a disservice and relegates it to essential frivolity.

      What is factual is that rock and roll was about sex, rebellion and danger (with a healthy dose of racial crossover and all that implies along with it). You are working far too hard in trying to make Michael’s case for him rather than looking at what he wrote.

      If you want your argument taken seriously you have to know what you’re talking about. Once it is clear that you don’t you have lost your potential audience. Unless, as in the case of the other commenter on the site, you are a fanboy/bootlicker etc. If Michael were to have asked “Is Warren Spector gaming’s Robert Fripp?” then you could have a reasonable debate upon it (provided a solid groundwork had been laid). By predicating his points on falsities he has undermined any point he could possibly make. That’s even skipping the fundamentally pretentious premise of the piece.

      A few niggles I must address- the name rock and roll is a euphemism for fucking. Kiss- 99% of their songs – about fucking. Would have named themselves Fuck if they thought they couldl get away with it. Led Zeppelin – again fucking. Add Plant’s egomania and a bit of the occult for seasoning. Strangely The Ramones had no songs about fucking that I’m aware of, and Sabbath maybe 2 songs about it (Dirty Women comes to mind) but then they were heavy head music as long as Ozzy was in the band. Given that you can draw a straight line from obscene roadhouse blues to rock music it only makes sense. Whereas any notion of fun, however you define it, is more of an abstract.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @destroy.all.monsters

      “The problem with saying that it is about “fun” is that fun implies some G-rated activities.”

      What? Why the hell would you think that? Why would anyone think that? It doesn’t even make sense. “Fun” implies no such thing. Trust me on this one, I’ve fucked before.

  20. Alex F says:

    Maybe I’m misremembering… but [i]weren’t[/i] people initially down on Thief 2 when it came out? I seem to recall complaints about it just being the same Thief tropes done again at a higher difficulty.

    (I still haven’t played it, myself… loved the first one, and keep meaning to pick up a cheap copy somewhere.)

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Thief 2 is worth playing, but I think you’ll eventually find that its the numerous fan-missions made for it, that make the game worth buying. Especially for the likes of T2X, Seven Sisters, the Rocksbourg series and such.

    • Muzman says:

      No, you’re right Alex. Thief 2 wasn’t all that well recieved initially, particularly by fans of the first game. . Critics who hated the undead in Thief loved it though.Thief 1 is still superior in storytelling terms, but 2 has some all time classic level design.
      Arguments over which is better are probably still going on among fans right now, but most forgave Thief 2 an awful lot once Deadly Shadows came out.

    • Pemptus says:

      Oooh, another excuse for me to write this: Go play Thief and Thief II, they’re both still fantastic games. Although the first Thief, while much more atmospheric, had larger, more confusing levels. Some people liked it, I preferred the more focused Thief II.

      And good God, yes, if you don’t play at least some of the top Fan Missions, you’re missing out. Some are tons better that the original missions and offer some of the best gaming experiences ever. Look up ddfix (to make it run flawlessly on new machines, fix some bugs, enable high resolution textures), Darkloader (to install and play fanmissions) and maybe Widescreen Patch (I don’t have widescreen, but it reportedly works well).

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Alex F: Yeah, but I think it’ll be considerably more now. The mass of the internet has changed between now and then.

      I half suspect people would be down on Planescape Torment if it came out now, for being Balder’s Gate redux.

      KG

  21. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    About couch gaming: I have to disagree that Uncharted 2 is well-suited for playing on a couch. As he said, people tend to come into the room or sit down to watch you play. In Uncharted 2, I sometimes just wanted to slow down and really look at the detail in the levels. But I was playing it with a friend sitting next to me on the couch, and then you automatically stop slowing down. Because if I am just staring at the stupid vases in the Buddhist temple, that is boring for my friend to watch.

    So if you are planning on playing Uncharted 2: Play it by yourself. Or at least be aware that having someone sit next to you will pressure you to constantly try moving forward. Because if you are aware of it, you can resist it.

  22. A-Scale says:

    The thing I don’t get is why Tesco will have to sell AC2 again at lower cost just because it was bought once. Provided it wasn’t opened, why can’t they resell it at full price? It’s not damaged merchandise (at least, it’s no more damaged than it was when Ubisoft shat upon it).

    • Heliocentric says:

      Time passes, value drops.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Don’t underestimate the value of shelf space to retailers. A month out from release a game is far harder to shift than on opening weekend, much like movie ticket sales. Although I see heavier discounts on collectors editions and other non standard form factor boxes. I managed to get a brand new collectors edition Batman: AA (+ Batarang!) on Xbox for cheaper than the used price at the same store.

      A sufficient amount of returns on a given title will certainly get someone to sit up and take notice, even if it’s just the stockboys who have to find a place to put them all.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Time passes, value drops.

      Try telling that to Infinity Ward.

    • Clovis says:

      @Casimir: No, try telling that to the morons who keep buying it at full price. Why would a retailer drop the price on something that is still selling at a high price??

  23. autogunner says:

    I really enjoyed listening to the lucky souls while revising today, cheers kieron I would not have found out about them if it wasnt for you, oh and the pigeons song you linked last week was very interesting and would make a great game trailer score, but the rest of their stuff is too strange for my tastes

  24. sebmojo says:

    Because it’s hilarious!!!!

  25. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    The second Bioshock 2 article was good, but had several misinterpretations of the plot (ARR THERE BE SPOILERS HERE):

    In the opening scene, you watch as she’s yanked away from you, leaving you in a coma – but you revive a decade later and come running after Eleanor

    I think they made it pretty clear that you died rather than lapsing into a coma. Maybe not until late in the game, but it becomes fairly obvious at that point that they basically stuck some sample of you in a Vita-Chamber, and poof, you were reconstituted and ready for action.

    Eleanor survives, but your physiological bond to her has been broken. The game and the script disagree on what this means. Ludically, you’d think that saving Eleanor has become an optional goal, because now you can survive without her.

    I’m pretty sure the result was not that you were free to survive without her, but rather, than you were going to die even with her, i.e. that the “you need your little sister” part is gone but the “… or else you die” part is still very much in force. The log entries about your series and how they reacted to losing their sister to death were pretty clear on this — coma, insanity, etc.

    Doctor Lamb’s orders, once you’re restrained, are to leave you alone and let you lapse into a coma on your own; she says that any sort of trauma-based death would have you appear elsewhere, i.e. popping out of the last Vita-Chamber you passed. You’re not free of the bond, you’re just doomed even despite having satisfied it.

    That’s why presumably Eleanor’s plan all along was to “rescue” you via ADAM-syringing when she no longer needed you to physically defend her and only needed you to spiritually guide her. Even if she could get from the middle of nowhere to a land-based facility in time, it’s not like they would know what to do to save you.

    I do think that understanding this would have significantly changed some of the last paragraphs of that article, although the underlying point remains. If you extend the parenthood metaphor: You’re an aging single parent, still reasonably fit and an imposing presence, but past your prime and not entirely able to handle everything on your own. But the child you once had to work to protect on your own is now working at your side. You still have seniority and you get to decide when she helps and when you take it alone, and you’re still working to ensure a good life for her, but you can share some of the burden and get a helping hand when you need it.

    • Xocrates says:

      (MORE SPOILERS)

      “That’s why presumably Eleanor’s plan all along was to “rescue” you via ADAM-syringing when she no longer needed you”

      Except in the “Neutral” ending she doesn’t (admittedly, because apparently that was your wish). The reason she uses the ADAM syringe at you in the end is because you were dying, and couldn’t go with her so she makes that, in a way, you keep guiding her through life. Also, as far as we know she never left Rapture, so it’s unlikely she knows whether or not you could make it in the surface.
      It’s perfectly valid to assume that Eleanor expected you to escape with her an accompany her through life.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      True enough; it was a bit presumptuous on my part to assume that she would realise there was no hope to be found in the outside world, nor would you possibly survive long enough to find it.

      And obviously, up until the bond was broken, I’m sure she was expecting you to live on (in the physical sense) once they reached the surface. Though after it was broken (and you were running around doing the occasional “HNNNGH I’M DYING” thing), I do think she was pretty clear on the notion that you were living on borrowed time.

    • Xocrates says:

      True enough. But you would fall into a coma, not outright death. You only needed to be conscious long enough to escape Rapture, and if not the mishap at the end she might have tried to find a cure, even if you were not conscious.

      But ultimately all this is speculation.

  26. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    @TaleofTales what the hell is this blog and what has it done with my kids? Booooooo

  27. sinister agent says:

    I remain firmly attached to the principle of very sparing use of exclamation marks, balanced by occasional deliberate overuse. F’instance: “It’s the reading of the Sunday Papers. Sunday! Reading! Papers! Of! Exclaim!”

    I’m with Elmore Leonard on “Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue”, too. They bludgeoned the opposite of this into us at school, and if you paid attention you’d end up with a story that read like a slippery turd. I’m not sure about his point on adverbs, though – they can be slipped in sometimes if your narrative is involved enough.

    Totally with him on detailed descriptions of characters, though. It’s probably a side-effect of having grown up with largely televised storytelling, where description simply isn’t required, but I’ve always skipped over physical descriptions of people in books, as the picture the writer gives you with explicit description, unless charicatured or a bit part, is never a match for the one in my head.

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it put better than Roddy Doyle’s “Good ideas are often murdered by better ones”

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Regarding the use of “said”: I’m not an author, but I’ve got an author-turned-editor in the family, and she’s just as grumpy when her writers try to find all kinds of “creative” ways to replace “said”. But as someone who reads a lot of fiction, it’s been my experience that it’s often possible to avoid using “said” altogether.

      The whole reason they tried to teach us to avoid “said” in school is that, left to their own devices, most kids would probably be putting “said” on every single spoken line in their stories, and the teachers want you to shake it up a little.

      Truth is, you can completely avoid using “said” quite a bit. So long as you follow the rule (and you should always follow the rule) of putting each character’s speech in a different paragraph, you can often get away with using the character’s line as the entire paragraph. Or, if it’s not immediately clear who’s speaking, you can make it clear by having them do something else. For example, ‘Bob shrugged. “Whatever.”‘ is just as clear as if you had explicitly included “Bob said”. And in a two-person discussion, if you’ve already established who’s on what side of a discussion, you can get away with quite a bit of omitting names altogether. But when neither of these is appropriate, “said” is still better than the alternatives.

      I guess I’m just saying, there’s three sides to all this, and they’re all sort-of right. Yes, “said” can get monotonous, but that doesn’t mean you should use all kinds of wacky replacements. Yes, “said” is still usually better than those wacky replacements, but that doesn’t mean you should use it non-stop. And the glue binding those together: Yes, you can often get away with putting quotes in separate sentences and paragraphs, avoiding both “said” and the wacky replacements. (Although you shouldn’t force the issue; just use it when it flows better that way.)

      And yes, adverbs on “said” can be used sparingly (IMO). Overuse gets silly, but turning to a random page in a book on my desk, I can’t think of a better way to express pairings such as “said uncertainly”, when all you want to do is note the uncertainty in the character’s voice and not belabour it.

    • sinister agent says:

      Can’t disagree with any of that, really. I suppose it’s inevitable that there’ll be disagreements, since you can’t really write 10 rules about writing that apply perfectly in all situations. Most lists will end up being more of an indication of what far too many writers are currently doing wrong than what is actually good practice.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Adverbs are buttresses for poorly crafted dialogue, he typed authoritativly.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Also, screw allthat and read this:

      http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Indians/offense.html

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I’ll admit that when I was re-publishing on RPS all those Making Of features I’d written for PC Format, I had to remove a whole load of not-said stuff. I was clearly getting over my school training, as described above. Say, unless there’s a bloody good reason to do otherwise.

      (Mainly, if it’s funny)

      KG

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Hmmm, yet despite this I still view writers like Clark Ashton Smith & J G Ballard as master wordsmiths. And they do spit on these rules. That they do.
      Ive always felt it rather counter productive to enforce a set of rules to something as freeform as writing (Perhaps thais applies more explicitly to creative writing) Rather like enforcing rules on the technical process of art. There are plenty of techniques and variations to be sure. But claiming a Trump card is like whistling in a hurricane

    • Matt W says:

      You should follow rules until you fully understand them – at which point you should feel free to ignore them at your own discretion.

  28. The Dark One says:

    It’s not that Rob Liefeld couldn’t draw feet, it’s just that those bits of rock in the foreground were incredibly important to the narrative.

  29. SwiftRanger says:

    I think this DICE video panel would have been fitting for these Sunday Papers as well.

  30. KillahMate says:

    I find it interesting (and by ‘interesting’ I mean ‘rage-inducing’) how Alan Wake, a game that was once positioned by Microsoft as a beacon of DirectX 10 gaming, has now tucked its tail between its legs and run away to the safe haven of the thoroughly DirectX 9 XBox 360. Apparently the Superior DX10 Grafix was all marketing spin, as hard as that is to believe.

    But it’s just that by touting a game as a Vista flagship, and then canceling it for the platform entirely they have plainly told us to go F ourselves. This one was low even for Microsoft.

  31. Chris Dahlen says:

    Wisq, thanks for reading my column and for being kind in your corrections: as this video shows, Subject Delta is dead for ten years, not comatose; and yeah, when the bond is broken, Delta doesn’t become more independent so much as more doomed.

    I’m still unclear too on what Eleanor was planning to do when they got to the surface, and whether she thought they could really save Delta. Since she doesn’t know much about the surface, she might’ve imagined they would find something that would help. I guess that stack of dynamite you run into on the way out the door was meant to make it clear that Delta wasn’t going to get out alive.

    • Chris Dahlen says:

      Crap, sorry, that was meant as a reply to Wisq’s comment, and I thought it would be covered by spoiler warnings. If you RPS guys want to delete it for spoilers, feel free.

      Always feels great to place your first comment on a blog and totally screw it up. I’m gonna slink to the door now.

  32. Bowlby says:

    ***BIOSHOCK 2 SPOILERS***

    I don’t know how it struck everyone else, but Eleanor always seemed like a sociopath to me, and her sticking the needle into you at the end only reinforced that notion. She used Delta and exploited that bond, right to the end, where she refuses to let go of him and keeps him alive within her, because she needs his moral guidance.

    I don’t know. I sort of felt betrayed, in a way. It’s all take, take, take, you know?

    • Frosty says:

      @Bowlby

      Didn’t read your post, but much appreciation for the bold writing there. You make my life so much easier when several other people (not on RPS necessarily) have accidentally ruined it for me.

    • Xocrates says:

      (AGAIN SPOILERS)

      It makes a lot more sense if you actually see yourself as Delta, as opposed to a player controlling Delta. Consider this, you are meant to be Eleanor’s father figure and protector, and therefore not only the person Eleanor was more likely to ask for help but the person with the duty to do so.
      (and by the way, she does try to help you along the way, so it’s not all take, take, take)

      Quite frankly your analysis is very in line with the bad ending, in which you show no care for Eleanor and she reacts accordingly.

      The good ending however is meant to represent a father who sacrificed himself for his daughter, while she does whatever she can to preserve his memory.

      Ultimately the problem with your analysis is that you think the game is about you.

    • Bowlby says:

      ***BIOSHOCK 2 SPOILERS (cont’d)***

      Interestingly, it was the good ending I was referring to. I think part of the problem is that I did not sacrifice myself for Eleanor; rather, she was the one sacrificing me for herself. I had no choice in the matter, and I found that unsettling at the time.

      I suspect that I didn’t engage with the character quite as much as the game required me to.

  33. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    On the Couchiness of Alan Wake: It clearly means that they’ve set the FoV massively low and are too lazy to up it for monitor users.

  34. Malagate says:

    Aww yeah, I love it when “art and videogames” comes up, especially as I actually went to an art gallery yesterday. All works from 2007-2009, they included:
    *a rope passed through several glass orbs arranged in a circle
    *small screens that showed pairs of eyes that occasionally blinked
    *tear-drop shaped glass containers full of white feathers
    *childish (aka shitty) drawings of galleons on lace handkerchiefs
    *an arrangement of square metal tubes supported so as to make a pretty shadow
    *and a series of 3 photographs showing a skirt being lifted up, ending with muffage

    I get the idea that gaming can be moving and convey some clever ideas and concepts, I’m just not sure if “ert” is about that anymore, judging by what I saw of modern “irt” yesterday.

    • MD says:

      Yeah, given the state of (some) modern art, I think it’s pretty clear that a) there’s no reason games can’t qualify as artworks, and b) this is nothing to be proud of.

      On the plus side, Tale of Tales seem slightly less unbearably wanky by comparison to certain subsets of the ‘real’ art world.

    • Dracko says:

      It’s amazingly wanky to compare glitchy pieces of crap designed out of spite to the medium you’re dealing with with the likes of the works Genesis P’Orridge and Blixa Bargeld.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Thank you Dracko.

  35. Tom says:

    Love how all you hip writers love name-dropping David Simon shows.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that David Simon is the best (certainly most important) american television writer and producer of this generation. If you want to categorize Kieron as a douche that’s your perogative but Simon is the only guy out there telling it like it is. Brilliant, heartfelt and completely grounded in reality.

    • Dracko says:

      I’m having some doubts though, considering the spirit of journalism found here, that Simon’s message is being appropriately appreciated or processed by people who name-drop him.

      But that’s sadly par for the course when dealing with pecuniary mass mediums that have to debase themselves to the lowest common denominator.

  36. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    i always imagined that Kieron secretly listens to this while he’s posting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04

    But mayhap thats just me

  37. DoctorAcko says:

    destroy.all.monsters, did you see this amazingly measured and reasoned response your initial comment got from Auriea Harvey, founder of Tale of Tales?

    @destroy.all.monsters
    its called an ANALOGY
    please insert whatever bands you like in whatever order.

    and allow someone to base their own blog posts on their own experience and interperetation.

    one thing i’ve always wondered is why people get so fucking upset over things Michael says? Well thank you for solving that mystery. You are an idiot Mr. “destroy.all.monsters”
    a complete and total fucking moron. coming here and repeating your bullshit “problem” after it was already deleted.
    we got it, we heard you. you “don’t like” what Michael said. It makes you “angry”
    And we are supposed to give a shit about that.
    Well here it is, I do.

    Michael never said he was an expert on Music.
    He is not claiming to be writing some factual essay on the history of music.
    Its his point of view.
    You feel so free to express your own point of view. Where ever it drops you wallow in it. SO, why can’t he simply write
    ON HIS OWN FUCKING BLOG, YOU CRETIN
    GET YOUR ASS BACK TO THE ROCK YOU CRAWLED FROM
    and leave us here with our
    “ignorance” and “pretentiousness” before i come and “punch YOU in the nuts” you fuck!

    love,
    Auriea.

    Truly, these are visionary game-changing adults we are dealing with, not onastic myopic infants that easily lash out whenever their prejudices aren’t catered to.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      My, I am now an internet hero! Nice to know that this person confused any number of posts here with mine as I’ve certainly never made a post in my life about punching anyone in the nuts.

      I presume what she meant by “experience and interperetation (sic) ” is “whatever my people say is just and right and you, sir, are a major douchebag for not agreeing that the sun is black and the sea is orange- because it is if we say so”. Apparently some people can’t take even minor criticism, let alone be called on about being factually inaccurate.

      It is nice to know I’m a moron in the eyes of someone that knows significantly less than I do about music and history and has to resort to personal attacks. Color me very impressed. I’m sure the part where I told him never to write anything ever again (you know – that thing I didn’t actually write) really must have rankled her.

      Oh and Aureia feel free to tear me apart next time I make a post about something I barely know anything about in order to puff myself up (and come across in a high handed fashion to boot). Just don’t hold your breath too long. Not all of us live to boost our egos or to deliberately diminsh those people whom we disagree with. The bottom line is that when you make a hypothesis, or argument, it is incumbent on you to not only have your facts straight but to make sure that you aren’t contradicting yourself while you’re making your case. Michael failed at both of these. Worse, he made it sound as if he were an expert, which he most certainly is not. I don’t mind when somebody makes a mistake but I can’t stand when someone’s pissing on me and tells me it’s raining. Which is exactly how it came across.

      Thanks for the heads up Doc.

      Edited to add: Damn, did I just feed a troll? I don’t see her post anywhere. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

    • RobF says:

      Nah, there was a couple of responses up when I looked this morning but they’re all gone now.

      I was going to respond and point out it was me that made the (what I thought was rather blatant hyperbole) cock punching comment but by the time I’d gotten the kid off to school and had chance to sit down and compose something, everything had disappeared so y’know, no point really.

      Although thinking about it, there probably wasn’t any point anyway.