The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on May 17th, 2015.

Sundays are for this and only this.

  • This was the best thing I read this week: a pixel artist renounces pixel art. It’s one of the creator’s of mobile game Auro talking about game art, communication, and how audiences and critics appraise certain styles of work. Or more specifically, how even incredible art and animation will be criticised if it fails to conform to meaningless and arbitrary technological buzzwords like “HD”. It’s a fun read, well illustrated.
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The Great Screenshot Quiz Bonanza Spectacular Of 2015

By John Walker on May 16th, 2015.

I’ve got a quiz for you!

Part of this arduous labour that is my job is to take an awful lot of screenshots. And once taken, they need names. Now, a better person than me would have some sort of System, which would make them so incredibly easily organised, labelled, and rediscovered. But I am not a better person than me. I’m me. So it is that I give them three or four letter names that I ludicrously believe will mean something to me more than four minutes later. Then, they get dumped into a section of my screenshot folder entitled “OLD”, which after almost eight years of RPS stands at exactly 30.0GB big. 30GB of 100k-ish cropped screenshots, poorly labelled, archived for Later Use. Let’s see if you can figure out what the bloody hell they all are.

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The 25 Best Simulation Games Ever Made

By Tim Stone on May 15th, 2015.

Ready to discover once-and-for-all whether X-Plane is better than FSX? Whether Falcon 4.0 is better than Milk Float Simulator 2012? Ready to read the word ‘realism’ 46 times in a single hour, and spit feathers on discovering that the sim that caused got you through your divorce has been cruelly cold-shouldered by an idiot with a bus fetish and a sci-fi blindspot the size of the Crab Nebula? You are? Splendid. You’re in the right place.

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The Games That Got Away

By Alec Meer on May 15th, 2015.

Pathologic

Maybe it’s just a symptom of getting old, but increasingly I want to revisit games I feel I could yet get more out of far more than I want to play something new. I’ve got these two awful tendencies: one is to run away from something if it’s too demanding, and another is to be so preoccupied with collecting or unlocking everything that I don’t stop and smell the flowers. I deny myself appreciation for and insight about some games because I’m too worried that I’m missing out on some infinitely more ephemeral aspect of them, like whatever’s behind that door or what that high-level spell does. So these are just a few of the games I want to play again, in an impossible world where I had the time to.
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Wot I Think: Chroma Squad

By Rich Stanton on May 15th, 2015.

Children are fickle creatures, and today’s craze is tomorrow’s landfill. One of my earliest memories is of mum trying to convince me that He-Man was much cooler than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and, despite there only being one of him, that he could easily take them in a fight. I stubbornly refused to accept this reasoning, my painstakingly-accumulated He-Man collection was on the scrapheap, and the poor parents had to start buying TMNT toys instead.

Now that the children of the 80s and 90s are adults, something funny but predictable has happened. Everything old is new again, reborn or rebooted to try and bring our inner child back – and so we come to Chroma Squad [official site], the greatest Power Rangers game there never was.

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The Flare Path: Postponed

By Tim Stone on May 15th, 2015.

Would you mind awfully taking that milk off the boil, ironing those antimacassars, collecting this prescription, and feeding Blohm and Voss for me (there are some dead mice on the second shelf down in the fridge)? I’m ludicrously busy today, so busy in fact today’s Flare Path has ended up shorter than a Brewster Buffalo with a calcium deficiency. Below the jump is a foxer and nothing else. Return at 2100hrs GMT and the reason for my blue-arsed fly impersonation will become clear.

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“We’re experimenting with something that nobody’s done before” – Larian On Original Sin’s Enhanced Edition

By Adam Smith on May 15th, 2015.

Divinity Original Sin [official site] is one of the finest and most distinctive RPGs of recent years. That’s quite an accomplishment given the level of competition that exists at what is hopefully the dawn of a renaissance for the genre. When Larian told us that an Enhanced Edition of the game was coming later this year we spoke to Larian’s founder, Swen Vincke, to learn more about what exactly this massive overhaul entails.

Free to people who own the original release but also releasing as a new game on console, PC and Mac alike, it contains much more than visual polish. Quests have been rewritten, new side stories have been added, splitscreen co-op and controller support are in, and full voice acting has been recorded. We discuss all of that, as well as some of the smaller changes, along with some hints as to what’s next for Larian.

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Which SSD Should You Buy?

By Jeremy Laird on May 14th, 2015.

All of this has happened before. All of it will happen again. I speak of the seemingly constant state of flux that afflicts the solid-state drive or SSD market. Well, that and my posts on SSDs which routinely predict an end game for SSD tech that somehow arrives and then starts all over again. First it was stuttering drives, then it was random versus sequential and compressible versus incompressible. Latterly, it’s PCI Express versus SATA. Whatever, it’s time to catch up on SSDs. Have they finally attained the glories of BSG up to season 1.5 (don’t argue, it’s down the pan from season two, episode 11)? Or are we still looking at the horrors of the final five? Let’s find out if anything has really changed and what the best buy is here and now.
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The Best GTA 5 Mods: Drive Trains, Be Police And More

By Ben Barrett on May 14th, 2015.

Yeah, the writing on the gun is backwards. WHAT.

Yes, alright, well done Rockstar. You’ve made a massive open world filled with dozens of scripted stories, activities ranging from deep sea diving to golfing, plus UFOs to summon, cars to tow, and much more. Sure, fine.

But where’s the ability to fly? Where are the telekinetic powers? Where’s the mode that causes all the pedestrians to become psychotically violent and armed to the teeth? Why can’t I drive the trains?

The modding community answers all these queries with an emphatic “hello there” and a dangerous disregard for sense, reason and logic. I’ve dived into the fast growing archives of GTA5-Mods.com to find the very best on offer.

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Wot I & My 2 Year Old Think: DOOM Cacodemon Plush Toy

By Alec Meer on May 14th, 2015.

I’m amazed it took them two decades, to be honest, but there is now an official soft toy based on DOOM’s floaty, cyclopic head o’death the Cacodemon. What was once meant to be a chilling avatar of demonic terror is now furry, squeezable and cute as big red button. Because I am an entirely-self interested father, I bought one for my daughter Connie’s second birthday instead of getting her a sparkly Frozen dress, a Peppa Pig playset, a cordless hammer drill or whatever it is young girls are into these days. This means a) I can get her to review it for me here and b) I can claim it as a tax expense. I totally win at toddlers’ birthdays.
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Wot I Think: Galactic Civilizations III

By Adam Smith on May 14th, 2015.

Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is the long-awaited sequel to the 24th best strategy game of all time. I’ve spent a week looking to the stars and planting my flag in every planet in sight in order to understand the changes that have been made, and the improvements and failures at the heart of this behemoth. Here’s wot I think.

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Dote Night: How League Of Legends’ Starter Champs Work

By Philippa Warr on May 13th, 2015.

Ashe. She's the first champion I played and I absolutely ripped the other team apart. Coming from another MOBA and knowing a lot fo the rules already is fun!

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart. THIS WEEK, however, she will be finding out how League of Legends picked out their starter champion lineup!

League of Legends [official site] treats newcomers ever so slightly differently to veterans when it come to which champions they are allowed to play for their first few games. Instead of just plunging these baby Leaguers into whatever’s on the free rotation you get to pick from a pre-selected roster of more straightforward characters like Ashe and Aatrox. If you’re more familiar with Dota 2, it’s similar to that game’s Limited Hero pool. The idea is to give players a bit of guidance and prime them for a more positive introductory experience to League than if they pick a character like Orianna and proceed to get utterly destroyed. I got in touch with Riot to find out how their picked their champs:

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Wot I Think: Kerbal Space Program

By Brendan Caldwell on May 13th, 2015.

Kerbal Space Program [official site] is a game about exploration, vehicular design and physics. It involves triumph and tragedy, careful meticulous planning and improvised catastrophe. We asked Brendan to suit up and go forth, in the name of science.

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