Archive for 2009

The Sunday Papers

H…ello? Hello. Thank the Lord. Oh Than… let’s do this quickly. Sundays are for crouching in the darkness of an enormous beast’s belly, feeling your legs slowly dissolve in stomach acids, listening to the whimpering of John as he calls for his mother, finally managing to get a little internet reception as the creature that ate us passes some wireless Internet so I can compile and present a list of Interesting reading from across the week and/or send desperate messages for help and/or try and resist linking to some music.

  • Tom Bramwell explains why they never did their critics Top 50 games of the year. In short, too much whining and foot-stomping from the audience. Instead, a selection of splendid individual essays highlighting individual stuff. For example, here’s Tim Stone on Armed Assault II. I admit, when I heard EG wasn’t doing it, I wished RPS had totally ripped it off and did it instead. The writer’s open insulting of each other’s choices would have been a fine way to present this most conflicted of years for PC gaming.
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Happy Holidays (Burp!)

I ate that snowman too.

Oh, hullo! So I guess I should probably post something. Having recently recovered from extensive stomach reconstructing surgery, after Kieron so brutally ripped through my duodenum, I’m finally well enough to have returned and eaten the entire RPS team. Which of course means they’re getting a well-earned rest until my January 4th annual movement. In the meantime, why not take a look through this list of features they’ve produced over the years, or maybe just go on a rampage killing and eating as many innocents as you can. Oh, and take a look at their advent calendar now it’s all finished. I’ll post it above.

Merry Christmas all!

The Games Of Christmas: December 24th

My dwarf is in big trouble!
And so our journey comes to an end. It’s the eve of the day on which we celebrate the infinity of Horace the Endless Bear, and so we must also celebrate the final game of our seasonally festive advent-o-calendar. What could it possibly be? Could it have anything to do with beards? Let us allow the arm of the one true leader of the Autobots to guide us one final time. Take it away, Optimus…
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The 9-to-5 Scale: Every Day The Same Dream

Ironically, I am also only wearing my pants.

Phuzz is disappointed in the RPS Combine. Normally, he sees games here which turn up on Boing Boing later. Except this time, Boing Boing has beat us to the punch. Man! My only excuse is all the Christmas shopping I haven’t been doing. Anyway, Every Day The Same Dream is an art game about the cubical grind. It’s monochrome, moody and magnificent (though I’m mainly saying that due to love of alteration). There is an ending, and it’s certainly worth playing if you’re one of us chin-strokers. To get you in the mood, here’s Dolly Parton.
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Mega-Bargain Bucket: Steam Goes Sales Mad

Digital distribution’s a funny bugger – it’s growing ever harder to predict and apply patterns to it. One day, a new videogame from Steam et al is more expensive than its boxed-copy counter-part, then a few weeks later it can be selling for next-to-nothing. The Steam Christmas sale is almost unreal in both the amount and extent of its discounts, and it’s going to be having Valve’s competitors howling with despair. Honestly: some of these deals are yer-actual-genuine-proper-mental. Today only: Mirror’s Edge is £3.24, GTA IV is £5. In general over the seasonal shakedown: Braid is £1.74, Medieval II: Total War is £2.50, Ghostbusters is £5, Batman’s £20… And dozens and dozens more. Of course, there are sales on at the other major download services too..

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The Games Of Christmas: December 23rd

But when is Satan's birthday, eh?
Are videogames the Devil’s work? Sure, probably. But that Devil guy, he’s okay by us. In fact, all his cousins are getting their party on behind the most recent door of our seasonally festive advent-o-calendar. Assuming you’re standing at a crossroads, ready to make the deal, it’s time to follow the hand of the one true leader of the Autobots, and get down in the nine circles…
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Aliens vs Prequel

Bold attempt to contextualise shooting dudes in the face ahoy! Rebellion’s AvP remake seems determined to make the world take Aliens seriously again – though alas it’s a doubly hard task after the UK developer making a woeful mess of things yet again with the recent Rogue Warrior. I got the chance to try out AvP’s multiplayer a couple of months back, and left the event extremely concerned about how formulaic and rustic my admittedly very brief time with it had felt; but hopefully the Rebellion guys are now driven and veteran enough to kick more heft and character into it than my superficial encounters have suggested. Perhaps, as in the Lance Henriksen-narrated trailer below, pinning it tightly to Weyland-Yutani lore will help…
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Mass Effect 2: Infiltrator Class Revealed

As is traditional, not a picture of the Infiltrator class. Someone at EA needs to coordinate this a bit better.

Another week, another Mass Effect 2 class revealed. This time it’s the Infiltrator, and most specifically, his cloaking. Unlike previous class reveals, there’s not a lot more detail about this than this. Although I guess being able to turn invisible is maybe enough. You can’t heal when you’re invisible, as we all know, and the same is true in the game.

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The Games Of Christmas: December 22nd

Chriiiiiiiistmas.

There seems little doubt that gardening is the new videogames. Even videogames have accepted this truth, as evidenced by the entry in the latest window of our seasonally festive advent-o-calendar. That said, no one is going to make the disembodied hand of the one true leader of the Autobots do any pruning, at least not at this time of year…

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The RPS Electronic Wireless Show 35

There is yabber in the world again. A week or so back, Quinns and I got together and did a podcast. It’s now available. We did over Skype, however, so while Kieron’s new mic was being in oddly good form, Quinns’ was a bit off. We decided to take up the offer of one of the people who’ve said they’d do some processing for us. Mr Hockel had a tweak, and we praise him with choirs of Ursine-Angels. It sounds splendid to me, generally, with the bigger problem more Quinns leaning back too often. And me too, for that matter. Man, our mic technique is rubbish. Anyway – you can get it directly from here, subscribe via RSS here or Itunes here. And for a break down of what we talk about, please find below…
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Dreaming Of UI: Lucid

Not the sort of thing I’d normally link to, but as I sit and listen to Quinns and my Podcast, I find myself playing the new matching-colour game. It’s a matching colour game It’s well presented. You can play whilst listening to Quinns be dry and me be a stuttering buffoon. You can get it from here – though the demo is more than a little short – or watch the footage below…
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Christmas Quake: Live Gets Festive Update


Id’s free Quake III service, Quake Live, has today launched a temporary holiday update. The QL team say:

For two weeks starting December 22nd, enjoy “Silent Night”, a holiday-themed remake of the popular arena “Distant Screams” from Team Arena. During this time Santa himself along with his festive helper Vixen, will be playable character models across all game types.

I guess I might see you in there.

Wired’s Duke Nukem Analysis


Wired’s Clive Thompson has penned a huge diagnosis of the failure of the Duke Nukem Forever project, commemorating the title’s years as a top contender in the Wired vapourware charts.

Yet the truth is, Broussard’s financial freedom had cut him off from all discipline. He could delay making the tough calls, seemingly forever. “One day, Broussard came in and said, ‘We could go another five years without shipping a game’” because 3D Realms still had so much money in the bank, an employee told me. “He seemed really happy about that. The other people just groaned.”

Go have a read.

Cross-Examining Jordan: Bioshock 2

Over on Eurogamer are the fruits of my recent sit-down with Jordan Thomas, the Lead Human on the upcoming Bioshock 2. I’ve got some leftover material from that I may lob up here later, but in the meantime pray enjoy the great man’s high-speed thoughts on Bioshock 1’s backlash, the thinking behind the multiplayer mode, and whether dark metal corridors are more blessing than curse after all. Also, ‘riding seals to freedom.’

(Oh, please steer clear of the vicious war raging in the interview’s comments thread: yes, it’s exactly the same war as breaks out upon any mention of Bioshock anywhere on the internet.)

God Playing With Dice: Divinity 2 Demo

You'll get anything if you axe someone nicely. Ah! Ah! Ah!

The game that’s known in RPS’ palatial suite as Divinity 2: Divinitosity Divine! – otherwise known as Divinity 2: Ego Draconis – now has an English demo available. It’s almost 2 Gigs in size. It allows you to play as a Dragon Slayer – who due to grammatical playfulness, rather than actually killing Dragons, he actually has the ability to transform into a Dragon. Well, I dare say he kills Dragons too. Let’s just hope he doesn’t start with himself. The tragic ending of young Dragon’s lives by their own claws is a growing tragedy. Anyway, get the demo from here or watch some videos below….
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Gridrunner Revolution: Now With High Score

Getting shots of Minter games is always a bit tricky.

Yet more splendid geek-sense. I finally get around to finishing reading the History of Llamasoft – and I’ll save a story about how Jeff Minter and chums did sound-effects back in the pre-Vic-20-days for the next podcast – only to hear news of a significant upgrade for the already released Gridrunner Revolution. Basically, it’s had online-score-tables added to it – whose absence was my main criticism. Even better, both it and the gloriously vicious Space Giraffe are now available for ten dollars a shot – or fifteen dollars for the pair in a one-two good-cop-bad-cop combo. They’re two of the best arcade games of the last few years, both sharing an aesthetic but absolutely individual games (“Good Cop/Bad Cop” isn’t a bad way of personifying their appeals, really). You can play it on trial by downloading Gridrunner Revolution here. More Gridrunner stuff? FOLLOW BELOW…
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Comments: Confusing But Tiny Changes

You may have noticed we’ve introduced a CAPTCHA check into our comments. You may hate it. WELL IT HATES YOU TOO. But seriously – it’s only four characters, and it’s not one of those bastard illegible ones. It is indeed necessary, because we’ve been drawing in a frightening amount of spam lately – basically, it’s either this or you spend your time here reading about how to get herbal viagra and Ugg boots on the cheap. Deleting that stuff has become beyond tiresome.

Also! You can avoid the Captcha by registering. We have no particular reason for wanting you to do this, but it does make life easier for you. As does the new login button at the toppermost right of RPS…
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