Every weekday one of the denizens of RPS Towers scuttles into a corner and deposits a unique Supporter post, ripe for reading, into a wicker basket. At first we put these online behind the RPS Supporter Program curtain but eventually they fly the nest, heading off into the wider world and gathering curious readers as they do.
In case they passed you by we've scooped just some of the latest batch up in our big net (it's the net we usually reserve for capturing freelancers and/or January sales bargains) and collected them here for your delight!
You can find out more about the program or sign up here BUT FIRST, here's a taster of what lurks within...
Alec and the case for Fallout 4 as a survival game:
"Fallout 4 is not a roleplaying game. Fallout 4 is a survival game. That’s how I’m playing it, in my journey around the outermost edge of its world, making do only with what I stumble across, and treating every fight as potentially my last rather than something I can beat if I reload the game enough times. Every item I find is meaningful. Every enemy I encounter is my ultimate nemesis. There is no temptation to fast travel, because there is no goal other than to keep moving forwards without dying. "
John speculates on what might still be up Telltale's sleeve - Downton Abbey?
"As the television series draws to a close, Telltale plans to expand on the run, bringing the lives of the Crawley family and their servants into the 1930s. Following the themes of Fellowes’ programme, the five-part episodic run will explore how the major events of the time affect the family members and their relationship with their staff."
Pip shares everything she knows about Japanese Spider Crabs:
"The Blackpool Sealife centre apparently houses the world’s biggest crab – a giant Japanese Spider Crab called Big Daddy. There is a professional Dota 2 player called BigDaddy. You can tell the two apart because one is a crab and the other is not a crab. Also the crab is 10.2 feet across. I think BigDaddy is like 5 something."
Alec on the games he dismissed or praised and now regrets:
"Even by the time I was working a computing & games magazine, I openly mocked the colleague who delightedly volunteered to review Civ III. It was for beardy weirdos, right? It wasn’t cool. Inevitably I played it a few days later and was sucked in entirely. I’ve been an enormous fan of the series ever since. What a stupid, feckless teenager I was."
(Part 2 is here - Alec has been wrong about a *lot* of things)
Adam tries his hand at creating a tiny choose-your-own-adventure:
"Attempting to ignore the snuffling, sneaker-squeaking of the gangly-limbed werehog at the chilli dog trough, you pick up a menu. On cue, the proprietor appears..."
John vs approximately half the RPS audience:
"I’ve tolerated dogs in videogames before, although never without knowing they’d have been better if they were a cat. Dogmeat had a chance. But good grief, what a disastrous piece of crap he is."
Or at least four reasons for Adam to love toilets in videogames:
"Toilets are everywhere. And so it makes sense that if a level designer wants to make a space seem more believable, a toilet is a fine addition. Imagine the first level of Duke Nukem 3D, that beautiful cinema with the projector room, arcade and screen. Would it have seemed half as realistic if there hadn’t been a toilet?"
John's gallery of men who look away from explosions:
"Well, it’a a tradition now. As with Just Cause 2, and this year’s Mad Max, it is imperative that we gather together images of Avalanche’s central heroes not looking at the enormous explosions they’ve caused."
Can Graham win a no-betrayal playthrough of Subterfuge?
" I’d not played with most of them, they’d had their own experiences, and were consequently wary to return. And so my thought was: can I play Subterfuge and, while likely still attacking people, at least not betray anyone? Any alliance I made, I would honour to the end of the game assuming the other players did the same. If I had the intent of invading someone, and they asked me for a favour, then I would say no."
Marsh on Black Ops' segue into sci-fi:
"By leaving current-day warfare behind, Blops has unshackled itself from many of the series' problems. It dispenses with that icky propagandising for today's wars and, in more recent instalments, adopted a more clearly cynical perspective on who pulls the strings and what they have to gain."
Pip spends an evening fishing. And also drinking medicinal brandy:
"You seek solace in fish but the fish are idiots and one of them has bugged out. It is swimming like a duck, arse in the air, face pointing downwards. “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM,” you demand of the fish. The fish just hovers there. Willful. Mocking you and your relaxation attempts."
Brendy investigates banditry in Arma 3 mod, Altis Life:
"Recently I was dispatched to a UK server to make contact with the citizens. I discovered tales of banditry, traffic regulations, police corruption, salt barons and much more. Most of my information came from a criminal known as Hank. Here we offer you the chance to hear my ridealong with Hank firsthand"
Adam on why he loves digital expansions:
"There’s a Shigeru Miyamoto quote that does the rounds whenever a release date is postponed: “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.” I’ve always thought it’s apocryphal, or at least paraphrased, but it’s a useful reminder that a delay of a few months can be a good thing. The nature of digital expansions and updates means that a bad game might only be bad for a while though."
Alec moves a step beyond navel-gazing and discovers... leg-gazing!
"I like to see a little bit more of what my usually unseen character looks like, how he or she moves, and most of all how they are placed in the world. Without the legs, I am essentially a floating orb spewing some manner of death from a disembodied hands. With the legs – and of course with the torso they should be attached to, unless something really weird is going on – I am controlling an entity."
Confession: The crackers were Pip's idea but everyone contributed the jokes!
"Why does Rico Rodriguez give gifts when it isn’t Christmas?
Which games industry figure makes the best Christmas cake?
What do you call a dog who helps you with your Christmas presents?"
John and the things Twitch can't replicate:
"Here, at the end of a long day writing about games I’ve played, it was a real pleasure to lie down on the couch and watch Jonty play games I wasn’t writing about. I most especially remember Burnout 3: Takedown. To this day I’ve never played a minute of that brilliant-looking game, but I’ve watched it for hours and hours. My role was to cheer loudly as the ludicrous crashes raked enormous scores, without ever having to lift a finger. Drink was spilt, pizza was wiped on furniture."