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GTAV Trailer #2

Published on 17/11/2012 by in games, GTA, rockstar

So this week there was this new trailer for something or other. Can’t remember the details.

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Published on 01/06/2012 by in games

Did I mention that I love Platinum Games? And Metal Gear?

So the more I see of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, the happier I am. Yeah it’s rather cheesy and silly, but the gameplay footage is pretty spectacular. Check out the pre-E3 trailer:


And I particularly love the title screen for the E3 demo:

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Jack Tramiel

Published on 09/04/2012 by in gamedev, games, rip


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Mass Effect 3

Published on 06/04/2012 by in games

Finally got around to finishing off Mass Effect 3. I have not yet felt the urge to grab torches, pitchforks etc and camp outside Bioware HQ.

Certainly, the final few minutes of the game are somewhat disappointing and nonsensical. It feels like they just ran out of time. Gamers are pretty used to seeing this sort of thing unfortunately, as late-game content rarely gets the development time it deserves.

Overall though, the entire game was a pretty spectacular send-off for all the cast. Lots of loose ends tied up, lots of fan-service, lots of little mentions of decisions I made in the previous titles. Astonishing really. I don’t think any developer has ever done as much to preserve the narrative as experienced by each player across an entire series. Perhaps that’s why each game has become structurally more and more linear – as each sequel must inherit a greater amount of player history, merely supporting the full gamut of player decisions from earlier games leaves little time for creating rich and diverse side missions.

For that reason and others (mostly related to the final minutes of ME3) I hope the next ME game starts anew with a clean slate.

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BAFTA 2012

Published on 18/03/2012 by in games, wtf

I’ve never really understood why British Academy of  Film and Television Arts (or NAMBLA) have a games awards show at all, but that’s a blog post for another day.

The handheld category this year was a surprise. Some lovely little gems such as Magnetic Billiards and Quarrel were faced with the prospect of going toe-to-toe with Super Mario 3D Land. Competing with Nintendo is tough one at the best of times, never mind when they’ve just put out the best Mario in years. However, at least honour would be preserved – there is no shame at all in losing to something as good as Super Mario 3D Land.


The actual winner turned out to be Peggle HD. Fine as it is, the game is pretty much unchanged since Peggle first came out five years ago. It was hard to ignore the irony such a bizarre and out-of-touch decision being made from a podium with the GAME logo proudly emblazoned across the front.

Yeah. BAFTA giving out game awards is a bit too much like a groovy uncle telling you who his favourite rapper is.

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War on Tesco

Published on 13/03/2012 by in gamedev, games
Okay, this is getting ridiculous.
My local Tesco (in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh) used to have a nice long aisle devoted to video games. Now, I estimate that at least 50% of that space is devoted to pre-owned games rather than new releases. They don’t sell used books, used movies, used clothing or used electronics. Only video games are sold in this way – with used copies of games given prominent shelf space previously allocated to new copies.
Let’s hope the next generation consoles will shut down this shit once and for all. Perhaps we should have listened to Armando Ianucci when we still had time.


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Peter Molyneux Leaves Lionhead

Published on 07/03/2012 by in gamedev

Fifteen years since founding Lionhead, Peter Molyneux has moved on to new things.

Personally, I’ve always found him to be a really inspiring guy and a great speaker. Back when I was an undergraduate in Ireland, we brought him over to give a talk. At the time he was just getting Lionhead off the ground and so spoke engagingly about his history as a game developer and his hopes for his new company. He later came out on a marathon Dublin pub-crawl with us, but that’s a story for another day…

Anyway, he made enough of a mark on my impressionable young brain that by the end of the talk I had pretty much decided I should make games for a living.

Really looking forward to seeing what new Guildford based startup 22 Cans come up with. Best of luck Pete and team.

Source: VG247

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Max Payne 3 – second trailer

Published on 16/02/2012 by in games, rockstar
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Dear Esther

Published on 15/02/2012 by in games

Have written about this one before, but I’m delighted to read that sales of Dear Esther (at time of writing, site is down) on Steam have already covered development costs. Indeed, it was in profit after only six hours. Also, Eurogamer seemed rather positive about it this week.

Now if everyone keeps buying it, can we persuade the developer to do a Mac version?

Source: VG247

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Quick recap

Published on 15/02/2012 by in gamedev, games

Like many “gamers of a certain age”, I find that juggling work life with family life results in very few finished games. Worse, when I try to remedy the situation by returning to some half-completed saved game several months old, I find myself out of my depth due to completely forgetting how to play.

Some games lend themselves more readily to being picked up after a long break. First person shooters are generally fine once you’ve dropped a few grenades at your feet and figured out how to not melee-attack friendly NPCs. Venerated Nintendo franchises (Mario, Zelda)  forever hard-wired in our minds and muscle-memory are of course also fine. Some other games though (such as Assassins Creed Revelations) really require a complete restart. I’d forgotten it all – how to move about the world, how to climb, the nuances of combat, and everything else. I just needed a quick recap on how it all worked, and although I COULD get that from the manual I just find it a really dull way to learn anything.

Just once, I’d love a game to recognise an extended absence (as Animal Crossing does) and gently offer some assistance. Also I wonder if there is a simpler lesson to be learned here – perhaps that the hallmark of a well-considered physical interface is something that can always be intuitively learned and re-learned with ease? Such truisms don’t tell the whole story of course – after all, I wouldn’t fancy firing up up an old saved-game of Civilization or Advance Wars only to flounder for several turns, and that’s hardly a reflection of the quality of the games themselves. One thing’s for certain though – the manual stays in the box!


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