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Marsh Davies

4 years ago

Feature: Cadaver Laugh

Premature Evaluation: Dead Realm

Each week Marsh Davies haunts the halls of Early Access, scaring up any stories he can find and/or enduring the eternal torment of the damned. This week he’s been playing Dead Realm, a spooky multiplayer game of hide-and-seek made under direction from YouTubers. Pretty much every culture on the planet has a form of hide-and-seek and has done for thousands of years - even the…

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Feature: Baaaairns

Premature Evaluation: Zombie Playground

Each week Marsh Davies tears into the unholy children of Early Access with a wiffle bat and comes back with any stories he can find and/or ends up as a brain-pan buffet. This week he’s played Zombie Playground, a thirdperson brawler set in a school. Back in 2012, at least 3787 people looked at Jason Chan’s painting - a helter skelter, valiantly defended against hordes…

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Feature: Power in Numbers

Premature Evaluation: Super Dungeon Run

Each week Marsh Davies picks up his cudgel and pelts into the dank depths of Early Access, thrashing wildly, returning with any stories he can find, if he returns at all. This week he’s been playing Super Dungeon Run, a chirpy top-down brawler that combines Diablo’s procedurally organised goblin grinding with Pikmin-ish mob control. Peasants just love gold. They are willing to throw their lives…

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Feature: Death Cab for Mutie

Premature Evaluation: Caves of Qud

Each week Marsh Davies sniffs out advantageous evolutions among the many horrendous deformities of Early Access, and comes back with any stories he can find and/or succumbs to a gruesome fate in a Darwinian dead-end. This week, every which way he turns is a genetic cul-de-sac in Caves of Qud [Steam page], an uncompromisingly old-school Rogue-like set in a doggedly lo-fi post-apocalyptic sci-fantasy world, heavy…

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Feature: Judgement crawl

Premature Evaluation: Dungeon Souls

Each week Marsh Davies wriggles free of his shackles and flees, filthy and naked, from the dank imprisonment of Early Access, bringing you stories of the depravities he endured therein. This week he’s playing Dungeon Souls, a frenetic top-down roguelike in which the player battles through successive tiers of peril, nipping between abruptly spawning enemies and hails of magic bullets. Titan Souls, Twin Souls, Crystal…

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Feature: Narrow guage

Premature Evaluation: Train Valley

Each week Marsh Davies boards the Steam locomotive as it chugs its way through Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or is cannibalised by rabid commuters while delayed in a siding. This week he’s played Train Valley, a chirpy but challenging rail construction sim. My attempts to run a railway system make a good case for nationalisation: the absurd delays…

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Feature: How Concept Art Is Made

Immaculate Conception: Thomas Scholes

In this (probably) monthly column, I’ll be looking at the inspiration and techniques of the industry’s greatest concept artists. This month, I talk to environment specialist Thomas Scholes. One of the things I like so much about Scholes’ work is his ability to blend impressionistic brushwork with a keen sense of three-dimensionality. His paintings are sometimes ambiguous and the textures within them ignore finicky detail,…

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Feature: Feud for Thought

Impressions: Duelyst

If this year’s E3 was anything to go by, 2015 may well prove to be the year of the collectible card game. All the big names seemed to have one, but none of them seemed to be able to tell you why theirs was the one you should play. For me, these johnny-come-latelys may have already been rather handily upstaged: none seemed to advertise anything…

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Feature: Belle of the balls

Premature Evaluation: CrossCode

Each week Marsh Davies jacks into the virtual battleground that is Early Access so that his spandex-clad avatar may wrestle with the digital monstrosities therein. This week he’s uploaded himself into CrossCode, a top down 16-bit-styled singleplayer ARPG set within a distant future MMO, where the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds have blurred. It is a strange vision of the future in which…

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Feature: Seek Seek Lest

Fail Forward: Dark Souls 2

Fail Forward is a series of videos all about the bits of games which don’t quite work and why. In this episode, Marsh Davies discusses Dark Souls 2 [official site], but ends up mostly talking about the preceding Dark Souls, the legend of King Arthur and wanking onto goblins.

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Feature: Brick Tease

Premature Evaluation: Lego Worlds

Each week Marsh Davies squints at the ambitious blueprint that is Early Access and struggles to work out which bit goes where, and how many pieces are missing, before giving up and, most likely, building a big old cock instead. This week he’s been playing Lego Worlds, TT Games’ attempt to channel the charm of Minecraft’s freeform construction at the behest of their brick-wielding Danish…

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Feature: Halfcocked

Premature Evaluation: Gynophobia

Each week, Marsh Davies roots through the underwear drawer of Early Access and beholds with a mixture of fear and arousal the strange contraptions he finds within. This week, he’s played Gynophobia, a short game about shooting things and being afraid of tits and spiders. There’s even a spider with tits - a lamentable mainstay of monster design that not even Dark Souls could redeem.…

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Feature: A Stitch In Time

Fail Forward: Life Is Strange

Fail Forward is a series of videos all about the bits of games which don’t quite work and why. In this episode, Marsh Davies discusses Life Is Strange [official site], an episodic adventure series by Dontnod Entertainment set in a US highschool. It's great - not because all of it works, but because it's so interesting when and why it doesn't.

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Feature: Chop Logic

Premature Evaluation: Ronin

Each week Marsh Davies slices open Early Access like the soft belly of a hapless Yakuza goon and roots around inside for any stories he can find. This week he’s playing Ronin - a game about infiltrating 2D-cutaway buildings and dicing their occupants up via a sharp-as-hell turnbased combat system. “Tip: this is not Gunpoint,” says a little message on the screen. It’s not wrong.…

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Feature: Hots stuff

Heroes of the Storm review

Heroes of the Storm [official site], which launches out of open beta today, is Blizzard’s take on the MOBA - and if the very mention of the ‘M’-word made you want to heave your monitor out the window then it may just be a game you should play. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas are popular in direct proportion to the degree with which they are hated…

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Feature: Stars in its eyes

Premature Evaluation: Space Rogue

Each week Marsh Davies beams aboard the hostile vessel of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find or otherwise lasers the life support system and surrenders himself to the cold grip of the vacuum. This week, he succumbs to randomised interplanetary peril in Space Rogue, a rogue-like game set in space and strong contender for RPS’s Most Literal Title Award 2015.…

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Feature: Hole Kaboodle

Premature Evaluation: The Magic Circle

Each week Marsh Davies plays unfinished and broken games on Early Access and usually tries to come up with an introductory sentence which says exactly this while using imagery appropriate to the idiom of the given week’s game. But the idiom of this week’s game is being an unfinished and broken game! So, job done. It’s The Magic Circle [Steam page], a game set within…

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