Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Why you shouldn't watch the Spike Video Game Awards

If you live in Europe, you won't be watching it anyway, because you don't get the Spike network and (if you have any intelligence) wont bother staying up late to watch a couple of trailers on Ginx TV's live stream , which you'll be able to see on youtube the following morning anyway. Unlike their shows, which you can only see on their facebook page because their youtube views were so laughable.
But never mind that shit, if you live in the states or have access to a stream of the live show, you might wonder why I would advise you not to watch it? It's not because I think it's pointless -like gaming awards shows are- it'll be a waste of time to see D-list celebrities pretend to know what Battlefield 3 is. No, if you've ever uploaded or enjoyed video game related (or in fact any) content on youtube then you should boycott the VGAs.  Why? watch this video:




If you can't be bothered watching, toy genius and advocate for a free internet: Mike Mozart, is speaking about Viacom: who own MTV, Comedy Central, Gametrailers, paramount and the Spike network. Viacom will be know to anyone who has tried to enjoy a youtube video and discovered it was flagged over copyright. Anyone in  games media who has tried to upload a "lets play" video or a trailer (something PR people are fine with if you check with them) and you're not IGN or Machinima, you get flagged, as a matter of course. Now, Viacom isn't flagging everyone on youtube, but they started this whole: "Youtube is stealing our copyrighted material and we can't pay Will Ferrell to make more shit movies now!" Watch the video and Mozart tells us how Spike.com's "viral" section has stolen videos from youtube, without their permission and puts ads in them. So they're stealing someone else's work and profiting from them. Have a look: a "will it blend" video on their site with no link to their website. Which is weird seeing as Spike, at one point  used to known as "ifilm.com" which actively encouraged you to upload and share copyrighted material and a company they owned called CNET did just that before there even was a Youtube or even Napster!

The whole point of an awards ceremony is to celebrate and promote an industry or individuals.  But how can the Spike VGAS do that when their parent company tries to clamp down on individuals on Youtube, yet happily steals material that doesn't belong to them, host it for money and give the originator NO CREDIT!? And to anyone in gaming who has anything to do with the VGAs you're a fucking hypocrite, The entire games industry is heavily crying out over piracy, yet you're cosying up to a company that has been involved in piracy for years now and continues to do so!
If you're a gamer, then you should be boycotting the Spike VGAs, and letting them know why. Because the big companies (be it EA, Activision or Viacom) continue this "One rule for us and one rule for the rest of you" attitude, that seems to be excused because a new 10 second trailer will be there while a drunken PR guy accepts a shitty looking trophy from Snooki for "game of the year". Tell the bastards you'll be watching a 3 hour lets play video of the bootleg Streets of Rage instead

Friday, 25 November 2011

oooh look, King of Fighters 13 is coming out!


As stated in MCV , Rising Star Games have revealed their advertising campaign for the Pal version of King of Fighters 13 (want me to write "XIII", then go find a professional writer that gives a damn) which is focused mainly on  "community-driven campaign" which means turning up at what ever event they can bluff their way into to they can flog their games there to you direct and hoping they might mention a release date on their facebook or twitter page. yeah, good luck with that one. You know how I found out No More Heroes 2 came out? It was for sale at the Rising Star stand, at the MCM Expo, even though I had contacted their PR guy several times about release dates. But the lazy bastard couldn't give me a link to a press site (which games journos all sign up to for automatic updates on the latest releases), so I was surprised as everyone else at their stand was. Bit confusing as they had more people at their stand than Sega or Namco and they put me on their contacts list in next to no time.
Are Rising Star hoping that sheer word of mouth will sell the game? The mouth breathers at beat'em up tournaments pretty much already hyped for the next instalment of their favourite fighting game is coming out, so you're only preaching to the converted. And , no doubt, they're wanking themselves into a -sprite based- frenzy over the four-disc soundtrack that comes as a bonus with pre-orders of the game. That is if anyone actually knew when the game was actually coming out. But for that unimportant bit of information, you need to check the website for that. It's out today, by the way. But you wouldn't know that from the news post linked at the start, would you? Never mind Rising Star, I'm sure there's plenty more obscure Japanese games that you'll embezzle the promotional budget out of coming soon

Monday, 14 November 2011

Attention all aspiring game developers


Gaming recruitment agency, Aardvark Swift is on the look out for up and coming developer talent for some reason. Maybe to  save the effort of publishers going through the trouble of telling everyone, in the UK, who wants to work in games development , that they need to relocate to Canada. In fact, why is their senior recruitment person Hollie Heraghty (pictured) even bothering setting up a site to find recent graduates from game developer courses? You can find them along with all of the UK's gaming talent: The job centre

Thursday, 27 October 2011

GMA sponsors make twats of themselves at awards



What's the old saying: "There's no such thing as bad publicity." Try telling that to Gary Glitter, Lindsay Lohan and, most recently. UK games retailer: Grainger Games.
Before you ask, no, I've never heard of them either. but apparently they're a  chain of games shops based in the North and North East of England and they were the main sponsors of this years gaming media awards (GMA) where games journalists, of all mediums, get together to celebrate their god forsaken industry. I don't much care for who won what, basically  the Guardian's Steve Boxer got the nod and Ready Up and Destructoid didn't, so smart choices by the judges there. As if anyone cared. Well, quite a few people are talking about it now because the people representing Grainger Games made a drunken and/or coked up embarrassment of themselves.

Someone talking about me?

By all accounts, things started pretty shambolically and got worse from there. With Grainger games impressing only the chavviest of people with a bright orange Hummer van with bikini clad booth babes and midgets on hand to give out the awards. Also rather strangely, all the tables at the event were festooned with Grainger branded condoms. What the fuck for? Gaming- so by extension games media- is predominately male, were they expecting he guys from Eurogamer to grab hold of those two twats that make those videos from Xbox LIVE, drag them them into the gents toilets and give them the anal shagging of a lifetime? As the event began it was clear the Grainger crew were totally wasted and heckled everyone, from the host: Greg Davies to all the winners and getting on everyone's tits by shouting quotes from the Inbetweeners and chant's of "toon army!", as described in full by one attendee and -for some reason- giving a slow hand-clap to industry legend, Colin Campbell. It really says something when games journalists think you're twats (or automatically assume you work for Official Xbox Magazine) and just what Grainger thought they were playing at beggars belief. For a kick off, you're meant to get all fucked up AFTER the event, and the journos have spent five minutes writing the rough draft of their report on it. Unless their aim was to piss off the entirety of gaming media in this country as many writers are raging about the behaviour of Grainger games. To the point where GMA head honcho: Stuart Disney publically apologised for said antics
I would post a link to the apology on Grainger's site, but that's down for some reason. Maybe it has  a hangover? Whether this drastically effects business for Grainger Games, is yet to be seen. They're weren't hugely known around the UK and they seemed to go out of their way to alienate anyone who might give them publicity. I very much doubt that means magazine publishers will turn down their advertising (when money concerned, publishers would gladly throw a writer down a volcano full of acid if needs be) but the websites might very well tell them go fuck off. Or ask them who their dealer is?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Before you buy Arkham City on the 360, get your catwoman code first. FREE!



I have a little consumer tip for you. The supermarket: Asda have a little problem with their consignment of Arkham City on the 360. If you weren't aware, WB Games have implemented the catwoman portion of the game (her story and challenge modes as well as two extra costumes) as downloadable content. By means of a code included with new copies of the game. So if you buy Arkham City pre-owned, you'll have to pay to download the catwoman pack from the xbox LIVE marketplace.
However, the copies sent to Asda didn't include the code to activate catwoman. But WB know of this problem and all you have to do is either phone their customer service hotline: 0207 984 6480
or email: wbcustomerservices@technicolor.com
To get your code. All you need to do is tell them you bought Arkham City from Asda, tell them the location of your nearest branch of Asda-and if you're on the phone-your email address. And they'll send you the catwoman code in no time.
So why not take advantage and get your catwoman code, and save it for when you get the game pre-owned? Because frankly, WB games decided to fuck the gamers about with their bullshit pre-order bonus skins, which had everyone runing around, trying to find which shop/website had the specific one they wanted, to the point where even Rocksteady (Arkham City's developer) said WB Games was taking the whole DLC stuff  too far.
So it serves them fucking right! It's a pre-owned game, not a pirate copy. Don't punish gamers because high street game shops score such huge markup on their pre-owned games. So feel free to save some more money when you get round to playing it and fully enjoying the complete game, at no extra cost. And hey, it's what Catwoman would do

Thursday, 13 October 2011

FFS Sony!


To the surprise of everyone, except Playstation 3 owners, Sony has been the victim of yet another online attack.
"We have detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment (“Networks”) services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database"
 Sony are trying to downplay the attack, by stating that less than 0.1% of their PSN, SEN and SOE userbase may have been affected. Which is much less than the previous hacking debacle, but it's still 93,000 accounts that could be compromised and Sony say no credit card data was stolen but will refund anyone who found any unauthorised activity on their account. So you may want to check your finances, if wanted to play Uncharted and saw this instead:

Wait, I never downloaded Swagga Jagga?



  Sony recommended re-setting your password and, in a slight dick move, said the following:

“We want to take this opportunity to remind our consumers about the increasingly common threat of fraudulent activity online, as well as the importance of having a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites”
So instead of apologising for letting a few -V mask wearing - fish slip though the net, Sony have a go at the customer. Even though they're right -you really should have smart passwords for any online accounts you use- Sony aren't in any position of laying the remotest amount of blame on the user, seeing the PSN was a open door to hackers anyway, and they didn't bother to notify said users. So just get on with, you know, FIXING YOUR BROKEN NETWORK! And dear reader, don't just use one-word passwords. Use several, and add numbers in there too, then try it out on password checker ok?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Why cloud gaming is the future, but not with OnLive



If you attended the recent -not as shit as last years, but still minging- Eurogamer Expo, you might have been one of the many people who got their hands on the, not massively talked about, OnLive "MicroConsole" (retailing at  £69.99) for free. If you don't know what OnLive is, it's the next big step in cloud gaming. So instead of buying physical games, or downloading them, you stream the games directly to your television. All the microconsole does is connect to your router and your TV and you play via the bluetooth, wireless, 360 rip off controller. You can also access the OnLive service via your PC, Mac, laptop and soon your tablet, with free apps and using a 360 controller (just don't use windows 8 drivers to use them)  to play the games on their servers. You can either rent titles for 3-5 days for £2-4 per title. "purchase" full titles for £39.99 or play any multiplayer only games for £6.99 a month. And if you were one of the many body odor ridden masses at the Eurogamer expo, then you got your microconsole and pad for nothing. Fantastic!

OnLive is amazing because this person told me it was



It is fair to say, cloud gaming is the future. In a ever evolving industry like video games, we're always going forwards. Well, the technology is at least. I, for one, welcome it. On the plus side, it would mean an end to the endless fucking console zealotry that clogs up the majority of games forums. Universal launches would become the standard, at the very least with English language versions. Larger game libraries would open up as you wouldn't have to worry about hard drive space and it would hopefully put an end to all the rip off DLC crap, console owners have been putting up with. I do like the idea of cloud gaming, for the most part. Hell look how well Steam is doing. However, I don't think cloud gaming is gonna be the norm for some years yet, and I don't think OnLive are the people to do it. Not with their business model and current broadband set up in the UK.

Be how can it not be awesome? It was free
 


If you've played OnLive, and you don't have a super fast broadband connection (even though some reporters say a 2 MB connection is adequate), then the majority of your OnLive experience will be suffering quite a bot of lag and/or waiting hours for the servers to ease up, so you can actually play a game. Now it may seem unfair to criticise OnLive so early on. After all Xbox Live wasn't exactly amazing at the beginning. But at least it worked and even if you couldn't play online, you just play your game offline. However, that the servers ground to a standstill when it would've been, at most, a over a thousand world wide. Then some serious work needs to be done. Because all OnLive has is their online service, and it that's not working then all you have is a glossy plastic box and a knock off 360 controller and fuck all else. Also, it should be noted that no matter your broadband speed, the screen resolution isn't that great. Side by side with the console or PC version of whatever game you're playing and it's noticeable. Another issue is the pricing. The whole rental idea is actually a good one. And is totally workable, and is a better way to get a proper feel of a game than a demo. But paying full retail for a game you own but never actually posses? That is the single player only, and you can't play if the servers are packed. Also, what happens if OnLive goes tits up this time next year? All those games your paid for, gone for good. Think I'm being over cautious? Read the terms and conditions of your OnLive agreement, then tell me if you trust them 100%. I've also read of some players complaining that the multiplayer games are missing some of the options from their console/PC counterparts. And even if you still fancy getting a microconsole and having a go. Then good luck with your local branch of GAME as mine had no display nor did any of the staff know anything about OnLive. OnLive have made a brave step in progressing cloud gaming, with the current broadband set up we have in the UK and the stupid pricing set on full games means we're some way from it becoming the standard. Just stick with your consoles and Steam for now. And don't forget, Eurogamer secretly hate you and jizz themselves into fits of laughter every time you buy a below average title they hype to holy heaven.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

PS Vita is region free, cool! ...oh wait



If you're as excited as a paedophile on the first day of school holidays at the prospect of getting your hands on Sony's new handheld: the Vita, and you've thought about trying to get it early (out in Japan 17th of December) then good news, as  Sony has confirmed that the handheld will be region free. So no matter where you got your Vita from, it'll play games from any country. Whether that's also the case with DLC remains to be seen (I wouldn't bank on it) but it seems Sony is being so kind to you people who like to get games early or source obscure Japanese hentai and mahjong games.
Just one little problem. Unless there's a half decent independent games shop near where you live, then you'll have to buy your import Vita and games online. The  best know place for buying items from Japan is, of course, play-asia.com. I've used it before, their shipping costs aren't stupid and they have a great selection of stuff to buy (like N64 controllers, fighting sticks etc). So one click on the Vita section to pre-order this great new, region free, handheld and you see this:
this is racist!

That's right, you can't buy one from Japan's most reputable online retailer. Could that be because a few years ago, Sony threatened legal action to anyone who imported Japanese Sony products into Europe?  So because of that Play-asia blocks you from ordering any Sony console (or related game) if you live in the EU for fear of getting in the shit like import and console-modification site: Lik-Sang did, when they lost a legal battle against Sony and had to shut down.
So I guess what Sony really meant was:
  "The Vita is region free, for everyone except those cunts in Europe. That'll teach them for speaking so many different languages!"
Very lazy bloggers/writers often play the victim and bleat about how "Publisher X hates the UK" (and the rest of Europe by extension), which is bullshit. It's just that the European branch of certain publishers are either underfunded or run by incompetents. That said, when a big name like Sony does something like this, it's not hard to see why people think it's based on a personal disdain for our riot ridden, sceptred isle.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Gaming media needs to be more mainstream say IGN


IGN's president: Roy Bahat, told MCV how video games media wasn't living up to it's: "extraordinary potential" which is an awfully loose term.  I mean, I have extraordinary potential to be a fireman, because I own a hosepipe. Doesn't mean I can though. What Bahat means is: "We've done alright with our crappy videos, but we're sure we can do better. We just don't know how"
But Bahat does have a point. video games is a huge business now, the demo graphics of gamers is more wide spread than ever. Young and old, male and female. They're all playing a video game of some description. Yet, if you look at any gaming website, magazine or television show, it's only aimed at the stereotypical 15-25 year old male market. Or young children, at a push. If you're not playing games 24/7, in a gaming clan or  terminal male virgin, then there's very little appeal. Case in point, IGN themselves, you'll most likely be familiar with their "IGN stradegize" videos on xbox LIVE, in which the moderately attractive Jessica Chobot, presents gaming tips with further decreasing enthusiasm. You can't blame her, she probably thought her presenting career would take off by now, and she must be sick of people thinking she writes and produces those stradegize videos, thus calling her a "stupid bitch" for not going into minute detail on a  particular achievement. Her only upshot being the ego boost from lonely gamers treating her as if she was a supermodel.
"Oh, you big gay loser, with no girlfriend" you might think "you're being unfair and sexist"
You might be right. As an embittered failure, who resents everyone else in gaming media,  I'm just being unrealistic in thinking gaming media gives women a shortcut, purely to attract hairy palmed losers who will wank over any remotely approachable female, who will gladly let her male co-workers act like borderline rapists, in order to progress their media career. So the millisecond a better gig turns up, they're off to flounder on established TV shows and try and fuck  a major music star
Hello!



Ok, that could just be the exception, I mean there could be tonnes of professional females working in gaming media, that never shamelessly exploit their feminine appeal to attract the horny male viewer. It's talent and ability that counts in this business, right?

Ermm
And it's not like they and their producers/editors are just exploiting the obviously targeted male fan base, even though they have very little to no gaming experience and couldn't actually give two fucks of a dead donkey about gaming...
Ah, for fucks sake!

Next time any "beautiful" female in games media gets criticised, look at the comments defending her: It's always homophobic bullshit about how "gorgeous" and "awesome" she is. Male journalists/presenters don't get that sort of following, so it's not hard to see why such cynical casting is employed. It gets the gamers in (in part) but it's what pushed away the mainstream, and since the Wii and Kinect became big business, that's the audience everyone wants to chase now. So if you're a fan of the attention whore brand of games journalist, I would suggest getting your wanks in while you can. Because if IGN (and gaming media on the whole) wants to be accepted as a proper branch of entertainment then that means doing what some of us in gaming did: grow up. Whether that means IGN would then  start making videos that actually deliver real information about a game (instead of just commenting on what they see in a trailer) is yet to be seen.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cocaine sales expected to rise in late October



That's because in an industry that hates itself, and the medium it writes about, it's good to congratulate those that actually want to be game journalists and are actually quite good at it. Thus the annual Games Media Awards (GMA) raises it's drug addled head on October the 26th, where Greg Davies (that guy that plays the really tall teacher in The Inbetweeners)  will spout autocue drivel to a audience of the usual shower of thieves, drug addicts and borderline autistics that comprise the great and the good of games journalism.  The list of nominations can be seen here, comprising of the top people in video games media, be it: magazine, website, blog, podcast. And in all honesty, pretty much all of those listed deserve it. With maybe the odd (to some) omission

But I invented games media!




 

Maybe some of you are wondering why The Gadget Show, Gameface/The Blurb isn't listed. First of all The Gadget Show isn't a gaming show per se and the fact that their "gamer" Jason Bradbury refers to all games as "computer games" should tell you all you need to know about his gaming knowledge. And Gameface/ Blurb isn't on because it fucking sucks worse than Blues Brothers 2000.
Personally I'd like the Guardian to win best newspaper coverage, as keeping such a consistent level of writing while juggling a mild coke habit and a Thai mail order bride has to be admired. Same goes for  Destructoid's Hollie Bennett. Not because she's an amazing writer, because she's not, but seeing as Destructoid's readership is like xbox live, in print form, all her feedback is either:"STFU U stupid but4ch3 bitch!" or: "Wow Hollie that was amazing, now that I've payed you a complement, I'm entitled to wank your bum off" So anyone who can put up with that, deserves a spot in this business.
One thing that puzzles me is the inclusion of ready up in the best blog category. I mean, there are hundreds of blogs and this collection of  creepsplagiarists and attention whores get shortlisted? If I could be bothered to write daily content (it's quality over quantity with me chaps) then I could get more hits than those ball sacks. hell, any of you could just by shouting out of your window. In an unjust world where rioting twats destroy Sony's storage warehouse (how am I supposed to buy Stewart Lee dvds now?) yet Eurogamer's building still stands, I have an awful feeling Ready Up might just win.

Monday, 1 August 2011

game related crap alert



As video games have staggered into the mainstream, merchandise has moved with the times. From crap t-shirts and badly sculpted action figures  of old to properly designed statues and smartly marketed toys (like those Angry Birds plushies, that you can throw at your little brother) that target the fan base properly. For example, replicas of the weapons from shoot 'em up and action games. What can be cooler than that? Proudly displaying an accurately produced, life size cog lancer. I'll tell you what could be cooler, replicating the excitement of playing a modern video game with a dice and little plastic figurines on a piece of cardboard.

Grey paint sold separately

According to the PR blurb from Esdevium Games

The game comes bundled with over 200 cards, 75 tokens and 30 plastic figures based on both the COG forces and the Locust horde. Players will be able to use classic tactics from the video games, including Roadie Running from cover to cover and ripping enemies in half using the Lancer.


Brilliant, in fact, why play Gears of War 3 at all? When you've got the heart stopping excitement or a throwing a dice, picking up a card and moving a little plastic Cog soldier about! Take that Epic Games, we don't need your high definition graphics and tightly honed gameplay, when all my shooting action is decided by a random number generating cuboid. The only drawback I can see is, there's no real life xbox live to find people for you to play with. And if you buy (or want to buy) this item, then chances are you think friends is an American sit-com with the chick out of Masters of the Universe in it.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

PC version of Driver SF in DRM dick move



If you're looking forward to the PC version of the latest incarnation of the the Driver series: "Driver San Francisco" then get ready to be annoyed by Ubisoft as Driver community manager: Mathieu Willem ( a poncey made up name if ever there was one) confirmed on his twitter the PC version will be using the ever pointless and irritating Digital Rights Management (DRM) of; always-on DRM. Meaning if you want to play Driver SF on your PC you must be connected to the internet, always. Because not running an internet bill is obvious game piracy.
Honestly, I really can explain why publishers think DRM will stop piracy. I've never heard an half decent reply (if any) as to how this will stop someone from thinking: "Fuck this DRM crap, I'll just illegally download or buy a pirated copy so I don't have to be online to play the game"
But then I doubt Ubisoft even know why either. Maybe they all suffered mild amnesia and have forgotten how their servers got attacked last time they tried to impliment always-on DRM. Just a theory, and one that makes more sense than DRM ever does

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Dom Jolly has a go at a gaming show...kinda



You know Dom Jolly, he of the popular hidden camera show: "Trigger Happy TV" -where he mainly played an obnoxious bastard who shouted into a over sized mobile phone. Or as a contestant on "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here" -where he was an obnoxious bastard who ate insects and rat testicles. Well now, he's the star of his new youtube channell: Dom Jolly's joystick. Where he's an obnoxious bastard, hosting a video game show. At least, I think it's supposed to be one. I assume it's an attempt to get  a show made for television, but seeing as no channel in the UK will touch video games with a ten foot pole, he's had to stick on YouTube. Which is amusing in of itself as he's chosen the worst possible time to do it, seeing as the publishers have set their sights on the terrible people that record game footage and put it up online (how dare they). Which would explain the lack of gaming footage in his latest video, him waxing lyrical about playing Call of Duty.
To be fair, he clearly does play games, that comes across in his delivery. however he also has some glaring gaps in his knowledge. In on video he starts with the question, "Remember when Nintendo took the fatalities out of Mortal Kombat 2 on the snes?"
No Dom, nobody does, because they never took them out of Mortal Kombat 2. It was the first Mortal Kombat that was censored for Nintendo consoles. Maybe you could try a little something the rest of us call "research"?
It's not hugely funny either, which is ok, if Jolly just wants to talk about the gaming. But as he's on screen for the majority of the time, it's a bit of a drag. However, the videos are refreshingly short. Lasting no more than two to three minutes, they have an intro, go right into the subject and no waste. If The Blurb delivered it's links like that, I wouldn't be scrubbing my eyes with bleach now.
Is Dom Jolly's joystick breaking any new ground? Not really. But as a work in progress it shows promise. So long as Jolly keeps it game related, does more than a quick look on wikipedia when writing and gets rid of the title. Because it's only good for the one "you wanna have a go on my joystick" joke, then it's just pathetic

Monday, 4 July 2011

Do you play games and have breasts? EA needs you!

Pic taken 3 years and (2 stone less) ago
Are you female, considered "attractive", can pretend to like ok-ish racing games and don't mind being perved over by sweaty-knuckled gamers and drug addled sexual predators  games journalists? Then EA have the "ultimate job" (blow and hand, most likely)  as their European spokesmodels.
And as rookie models are more likely to read this crappy blog than MCV , let me enlighten you as to what that entails.
As EA states, the two chosen models will be acting as "brand ambassadors" for the Need For Speed franchise at events throughout 2012. Meaning you'll have to turn up to various gaming or racing related events, stand by the NFS stand, and attract people to have a go on the game, in between bouts of posing for camera and pretending not to be totally disgusted by the clientele. Also included, in the job. is you'll get over "£1,500 worth of entertainment merchandise"
That's a lot of t-shirts and key rings.
So if you still fancy the job, the UK sign up is right here. Only three girls have signed up for it so far. So I'd suggest getting in there quick before the Frag Dolls reform as tits for hire.
Good luck!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Games Journalism 101: The freebies



If you ask most video game journalists: what's the best thing about your job? nine times, out of then, they'll say:
"All the free stuff"
In fact, it's safe to assume, that same ratio of gamers would like to be game journalists for that very same reason. Who wouldn't want to get games for free and get paid for playing them? But free stuff is just the tip of the complementary iceberg. Games journalism is run on free bars, promo items, trips to foreign countries and review code. If it weren't for the free stuff, most game journalists would probably turn to prostitution - as sucking cock and taking drugs, don't really qualify one for much public sector work.
When you work as a reviewer, you get sent "review code,"which are promotional copies of a game. These tend to be a regular copy of the game, with the yellow "promo copy" strap (see title image) on the cover. Or the disc in a plane CD case, with a sheet of paper telling you what the controls are. And these games -if you don't already know- are free. I remember how exciting it was to get a promo copy of a game sent to me for the first time. And all it came with was a promotional sticker! But it was a free promotional sticker and a sing that I was a proper games journalist.
If you do want to make it, in the upper ranks of games journalism, review code -and any associated promotional items- will become part and parcel of your work. And soon enough you'll be living off canopies from press launch events, flogging that promotional statue of Kratos on ebay and taking all your free review code to your nearest branch of CEX. 
Any journos living round Camden may be in trouble
But if you're reading this then either you're a proper (hack) games journalist, getting his jollies by reading the pathetic rantings of an industry failure. Or you're wanting to enter the insidious, nest of vipers, that is games journalism. I'm gonna assume you fall into the latter category. And probably think that if you're not working for a big website or magazine and you think getting review code is out of the question. Not so.
Even if you're writing for a low viewed website/ blog (most likely for free- but that's another subject we'll get to one day) getting sent review code is possible. Ultimately, it comes down to views. If you have a decent sized audience and your site/blog/online videos look professional enough (Meaning you don't write everything in "l33t" and your writing doesn't sound like the old PlayStation plus magazine) then send a nicely worded email to the game publishers head of PR. You can usually find their email on the official website or a full list of them, on a industry site like gamespress (which is about all it's fucking good for) or Edge magazine. You introduce yourself, tell them who you work/ have worked for and politely ask for any review code going spare, and if not, can you also be added to their list of press contacts. Never ask for a specific game, being a newbie, you wont get it and you'll come across like a 14 year old chancer. What's important is getting on that list. This usually involves being sent a link to their press site. Once you're registered, you get sent all the latest news about release dates, trailers etc. Which is the bread and butter of games journalism.
Of course some PR companies are nicer than others. Some will let you know if they have spare review copies, and whoever wants it can get it, first come, first serve. Some PR people will be helpful enough in hooking you up with people from a games development team for a interview. Some will at least tell you of how many hits you site needs to get review code. And some just mug you off, because you ain't one of the big boys or they're just massive cunts. But you'll find that, throughout all of life. For every head of PR for Capcom (probably the nicest person I've met in the whole industry after the bloke that used to do Rockstar's PR) or Koei (yeah, their games suck. But their top guy is a baby doll) there's  several heads of PR for Rising Star (do you guys actually do anything?) or Nintendo UK (you know you work in the games biz, right?). You just have to take the rough with the smooth. And not take it personally.
But even then, a nice email and well run site may not quite be enough. That's when some face time is needed. If you are writing regular content (and you should be, in way, shape or form) it's time you did a write up on a games event. Something like the Eurogamer Expo or the MCM Expo (yeah, it's full of cosplaying morons and whores, but it usually has loads of games), and find the press section on their site and apply. I mentioned regular content because you're gonna need a link to the site, you're representing, as proof. And afterwards, they'll want links to what you'll write up on the event.
If you get your press pass, then well done! Not paying for something is the first step in becoming a proper games journalist.
Remember:
Dress smart-casual. You won't get taken seriously looking like a fanboy and NO COSPLAY! You're a professional damn it, so look like one.
Not like this twat
Wear your press pass where it can be seen. Which is why you should always try to keep your lanyards. because it's handy to keep spares
Bring a note pad and pen. Cliched as it sounds, you're not gonna remember every detail of every game you've played and every person you've met. So always have a note pad handy. You never know, you have suddenly have to interview someone, so you've got something to quickly jot you questions on. Also, when playing a game for the first time. I like to write down my initial impressions and notes of information. It's a god send, when writing about it later.
Be sociable. Introduce yourself to whoever looks official at the stand. Ask for the head of PR, that's who you'll get the usual information from about the game. And it's a good chance to have a little chat with them and ask about their press site. A PR is more likely to give someone a game if they show interest in it.
Get some business cards done up. You can get it done cheap as chips online and even if the PR guy doesn't keep it, they'll be obliged to give you their card. So now you've got their contacts details.
Concentrate on the job. You're there to check the games out, network with the PR people and get those games written about. Don't be distracted by the cool stuff for sale or the mouth-breathers dressed up as fucking Cortana. Get your work done, then you can go buy some over priced DVDs and drunkenly try to chat up a booth babe.
If you can do that, then you might never have to pay for a game again. Because on your way, while working for the smaller websites. You'll have to get your own review code. That's right, even on the sites/blogs where it's all done for the love of it all, editors are still lazy bastards who covet that Crash Bandicoot Mug you got sent one Easter. Exactly like the editors of big websites and magazines


But remember one thing. Even though you didn't pay for the game you're reviewing, the person reading your review will be. So don't feel obligated to shower praise on a game, just because the head of PR sent you one, out of the kindness of their hearts. Even if it's not a glowing appraisal, so long as it's decently written and thought out. The you shouldn't feel any shame sending them the link to your review/preview/news post. Your job is to give an honest, unbiased opinion about a game. Not be swayed by free keyrings and alcohol

Thursday, 23 June 2011

How Jim Redner exposing the games business is a good thing


In 1987, WWF superstars: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik were pulled over by police, on suspicion of drunk driving. The police discovered that Duggan, the driver, was under the influence of marijuana and Sheik was on coke. Both got busted for drugs possesion, with Duggan getting a conditional release and Sheik getting probation. The WWF suspended them for most of the year as not only did they bring bad publicity to the company but as two performers, who were in the middle of a heated rivalry on TV, sharing a car together, they had exposed their notoriously secretive business. And that is what former 2K Games PR: Jim Redner did by venting on Twitter about the negative reaction, amongst reviewers, to Duke Nukem Forever.
If you're not aware, Redner stated on Twitter that he would withdraw sending any future review code (games sent out for the purpose of review) to media outlets that had criticised the game. Right away 2K Games denies any connection the tweet and fire Redner as their US PR.

Boo, hoo. It's not 1996 anymore!

Even if Redner was only venting his frustrations at the vitriol aimed at DNF's overt misogyny, and wasn't really serious about blacklisting certain websites and magazines. He certainly gave the impression that's something that he, and by extension 2K Games, would do. Thus adding to the long running theory that many a magazine or site has to suck off the publishers in exchange for review code and if they play their cards right, the odd exclusive.
Redner spoke his side of the story in a guest column in Wired  in which he mentions (but doesn't name the journalist in question) the review that caused him to post the now infamous tweet:
"Opinions are never wrong. Reviews, when backed by fact, are always correct regardless of the score. The reviewer’s story was downright mean spirited. It’s as if the reviewer had a grudge and finally found an outlet to unleash his hostile brand of negativity."
Because he doesn't mention the exact review, we'll have to take his word for it. Which is easily done, if you've read some of the reviews. Which sum the game up as an fair to middling first person shooter that's so overtly sexist, it's genuinely hard to tell if it's supposed to be a tongue 'n cheek parody of generic video game protagonists, and how all females in games  are just either feeble damsels or shameless eye candy. Or if the whole game was developed by 14 year old boys who think swearing, gore and tits are the height of mature entertainment. And it must be frustrating to someone who represents 2K Games, who would like DNF to be judged on it's gameplay. Which is fair enough, I enjoyed the God Of War games, despite it's lead; Kratos being wholly unlikable. But then Sony didn't use Loaded magazine style soft core wank offs, like 2K and Redner fucking did!

It's fair to say Redner won't be working in the games business again for this debacle. However, I'm glad it happened. Even if Redner had no intention of blacklisting the reviewer in question, it's shone a light on something hardly anyone likes to talk about. Even though most gamers suspect it and most games journalists talk about it to each other. And it's happened to me. Certainly I didn't get a brick sent through my window, with a note attached saying: "How dare you say Darksiders is average, you'll get nothing from us, you prick!" But after sending them a less than glowing review, I've not gotten a peep from them since. It's an odd relationship, reviewer and games PR. You don't want to come off like a Kokatu writer and just do a 800 word diatribe about how the character you play as is so annoying, it's ruined video games forever.The publisher is doing you a favour by sending you the game. But as a professional, you feel obligated to be unbiased and not write it like a Eurogamer review and just copy and paste the game description, on the back of the box, then trade the game in afterwards. Because you're also doing the publisher a favour, by publicising their game. And if it's no good, then that's not the reviewers fault.
Hopefully this will rattle enough cages and make the publishers and PR companies (and some of the games journalists) aspire to be more professional. I.e. don't react like everything's a personal attack and lash out like a spoilt child.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

New show review: The Blurb (warning contains traces of N-dubz)


If you're aware of production company Ginx TV's threat to launch a gaming channel, in the UK, thus increasing on their current output of shit news and review shows: Gameface and Ginx Files. Well, their channel has now launched on BT Vision, so for the 90% of everyone  in the UK, who has Sky or Virgin, their Challenge TV slot (after the crap wrestling show) is being used to now show Ginx channel's flagship show (I'm guessing): The Blurb. So I felt I would view its first episode on Ginx's youtube channel so you don't have to (because I love you). And if you've never heard of Ginx, then take the following as a severe warning.
The Blurb starts off with a rather inoffensive animated sequence, involving - what I can only describe as- sentient bacteria (maybe based on the foul germs that imagined this show) jumping on a snes controller. We then see the studio: a totally white room, decorated with only a black leather sofa and a plasma screen, on a stand. Try to imagine the MTV Rocks/2 show; Gonzo, but set in a dentist's waiting room. And like Gonzo, The Blurb has a ultra-class, annoying presenter. Yes, you guessed it, no one liked her on Gameface, but if you suck the right cock, you're in for life...it's Julia Hardy!

Just like how she was on Gameface, the Camden fuck-about still sports enough hair extensions to strangle a blue whale, and acts like she's never been on camera before: same pasted on smile, lame delivery and god-awful banter, aimed at (what sounds like) three people, applauding off-camera. She mentions that with a new show, they should look back over the last year in a retrospective. Why? If this is for a  new gaming channel, the audience on BT Vision (all 38 of them) want the very latest news and previews. Doing a retrospective just looks like you're reusing old footage to fill time. However, what's odd is, they don't do a retrospective of the last year in gaming at all. They go right to gaming news! Well, I say news, it's just Julia wearing glasses, mentioning three vaguely video game-related stories, exactly like she used to on Gameface. But much worse because she's trying to be funny,  interesting, or ironic. It's hard to tell when she keeps contorting her face like her eyeballs are going septic.

"So now the gaming" I thought. Alas no, even though this bottle-blonde, harpy has gurned her way onscreen since the beginning, the next section is about her, having  a fucking makeover! That's right, on this brave new gaming channel, on the first episode of their main show. The first actual segment is their presenter doing some shameful attempt at comedy as she prattles on about her looks. Don't know why. It's the rest of the world that has to fucking look at her all the time. Anyway, she goes for a makeover and is done up - for reasons never explained- as a zombie. Cut to Julia stumbling down Bond Street, while passers by don't give a shit and offer inconsequential vox pops. "What does this has to do with games?" you might ask. Well for a second, the logo for F3AR (F.E.A.R. 3) popped up! Take it from me, the actual footage is much worse than it reads here.

Actual screen shot from the segment






Back to the studio for an interview with two dance music DJs, whose names -in a typical act of unprofessionalism- I can't be bothered to remember. That said, their gaming knowledge was pretty good (one of them knew that Killzone 3 was actually the fourth Killzone game to be made) as they talked about their current, favourite games. This could've been a half decent segment were it not for the fact that Julia Hardy doesn't seem to have grasped the basics of interviewing. That being you ask a question, shut up and listen while they talk, and base your next question on their answer. If not then refer to your next written one (the one real ability I've gained from games journalism). Not, go "yeah, uh-huh" to feign interest and then interrupt  your guest, by bringing some unrelated bollocks about  some (probably made up) person on Ginx's facebook page, then clumsily going to a piece about Homefront's launch event in New York.
This was presented by a guy (honestly, his name is really worth the time looking up) who looks remarkably like the Adam and Joe show character: Ken Korda, except he's only 3% as entertaining as Adam Buxton's wannabe film director. He asks the usual questions from someone from the publisher, then makes a bit of a hash trying to use uDraw, on the Wii. Not amazing, but at least he kept things on topic. Whoever he was. Then it's back to the studio where the two DJs have a go at uDraw and verbally trash it, as does Julia. I think this is about as close to an actual video game related opinion as she gets. Well done Julia, the drawing pad on uDraw isn't much cop. I'm sure the BAFTA is on it's way right now.

After 20, agonising minutes. We get the first, and only, review! It's dragon Age 2. For those of you who've seen Gameface/ Ginx Files, the review style is exactly the same. That is, a disembodied Scottish man reads the back of the game box, tells you how the game is played and pretty much, offers no opinion, one way or the other. During the review, he suddenly mentioned the old Sega arcade title: Golden Axe, but it had no on screen information of format (i.e. compilation disc, xbox live arcade), then regaled us  with the sage wisdom, that one of the Voice Actors was Captain Janeway, out of Star Trek Voyager. For a show that's one hour long (but feels like three) you'd think there would be enough room for at least two game reviews, that didn't  pad out the writing with stuff copy and pasted off the official press release. Maybe that's why the show is called The Blurb. because the bulk of the reviews are lifted from the PR blurb, that comes with games sent to you by publishers. And why continue the Gameface style or review, where the review will stop to mention a totally unrelated game? It didn't work on Gameface and it doesn't work now.

Back to the studio, where Julia makes some inane comments about the lack of decor in the studio, which is odd, seeing as The Blurb seeks to emulate MTV Gonzo's format -  a twatty poser in an empty room- which The Blurb has copied 100%. Julia is then joined by the owner of the previous reviews voice over. Looking like a  human bucket of offal, I wished he had stayed as a voice, never to be seen.
Then  we go straight to a piece which sees Julia interviewing the lambrini and cyber bullying fueled  music act; N-dubz. Because they had a music video made via the video creator function in Little Big Planet 2. Normally any section involving N-dubz has front man, and all round gobshite; Dappy, bouncing around like a 11 year old, who's had to many jammy dodgers and been asked to do an impression of P Diddy. However, in the presence of Julia Hardy, all three members of N-dubs look about as interested as a dead nettle bush, thus Dappy almost comes across as a normal human being! Maybe he was shocked at finally meeting someone more obnoxious and untalented than he was?

Back to Julia, in the studio, who goes into a "my two cents" segment (just like she used to on Gameface) about sidekicks and general non-player characters NPC) in games. Especially the female ones. Yes, when you have fuck all to talk about, either bring up online abuse, biased media portrayals of gaming or mention how every female in games has massive tits. It's the oldest hack journo trick in the book. To be fair, Julia may have had an actual point , where it not for the fact she mainly brought up the female characters in Mass Effect (who least have something resembling a personality) and forgot to mention the almighty, Alyx Vance, from Half-Life 2 as a positive example of a female N.P.C done to great effect. Plus it didn't help that Julia was spouting jokes so bad, even Michael McIntyre would've squirmed with embarrassment at them.



Then it's back to New York, with Ken Korda playing WWE All Stars and showing that doing, off the cuff, intros to camera isn't his strong point. Things take a turn for the worse when the PR rep from Mad Catz  (that fat bastard who used to be on Games World, Alex something) appears, to mention the WWE All Stars arcade stick. Thankfully things pick up with a little appearance by the frankly awesome Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. And to Ken's credit, despite not being an obvious hack -who sold his soul to the television devil- he avoided the obvious hack-journo thing of mentioning "fat men in pants" like every other crap games journalist does.

Sadly, that's where the proper gaming ends as we join Julia in a *rolls eyes* "spoof cookery segment". Yes, you read that right. She smashes up some mushrooms in a bowl with some chocolate stars to make "soup for Mario",  "Sonic Salad", a mixture of bread and cat food, and "Pacman fruit salad", from some tinned fruit. Things descended into Jackass territory (another MTV show, what a surprise)) when the morbidly obese, voice over guy was invited on to taste these dishes. To say it wasn't very entertaining would be the understatement of the fucking year. This pointless "skit" lasted 6:43 minutes...six minutes and forty three-cunting- seconds! It felt like hours as I watched these two mouth breathing, carbon blobs, go about destroying what little credibility gaming TV had left. It was like a watching a girl, you've always been in love with, getting gang raped by Darth Vader and Megatron. I'm sorry if that's an offensive metaphor, but I was greatly offended by the sheer, utter drivel that polluted my pc monitor, as I found myself screaming:
"IS THIS STILL A VIDEO GAME SHOW? HUH? YOU REMEMBER VIDEO GAMES RIGHT? THE INDUSTRY THAT SOMEHOW HAS GOTTEN YOU WORK ON TELEVISION, BUT YOU REPAY THAT BY SPUNKING PURE VENOM IN IT'S ARSEHOLE!"
If I had a gun, at the time, I would've shot the monitor to end the pain. After watching it all, I wish I really did have a gun, so I could murder everyone involved with the making of the show and make it look like a suicide pact, where all the Ginx employees agreed to kill themselves out of sheer shame. But it's quite clear shame is a concept, beyond the comprehension of anyone at Ginx TV. As is professionalism, sincerity and talent.

Then came the final segment. A sketch called "The Pitch", based at a fictional game publisher, where a young man - who wishes he was Robert Webb, despite his obvious lack of comedic talent- pitches a game, based on going to sleep, to a bemused board. Compared to the cookery section, this would be quite tolerable, were it not for the fact that The Pitch is clearly a shameless rips off of the Video Gaiden sketch: "Devco" with some generous, stolen heaps of The Office thrown in. Normally, Robert Florence needlessly bangs on about how he invented any bit of gaming telly, post Dominic Diamond, but in this case, he would be well within his right to call his lawyer. The plagiarism is that obvious.

Then it's back to Julia to sign off on this televisual turd. She does the pre-requisite request to check the website, join the facebook, yadda-yadda-yadda. Then utters the priceless line:

"We've been making TV history"
 Yeah, you actually have. You've hammered the final nail into the coffin of video games TV in the UK. I hope you're very proud. If you couldn't tell, I don't think this show is remotely good. All it is, is Gameface, badly mixed with MTV's Gonzo. Which is not surprising as Ginx CEO; Michiel Bakker used to be the boss at MTV UK, so he's only following his own, old crappy formats. And making them much worse. And if this is any indication of the rest of the Ginx channel, I feel sorry for any poor soul who has BT Vision and happens to flicks onto it. The only positive is, that being on a provider hardly anyone has and being on late at night on a channel dedicated to quiz shows, at least hardly anyone will see it. But I did see it, so you didn't have to. Don't make the same mistake I did. And email the crap out of Challenge TV to demand repeats of GamesMaster instead.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Duke Nukem Forever latest...TITS!

The merch bro, it's all about the merch


Whether you think the said chesty substances are related to the female mammary glands, on show, or the people behind the marketing, I'm not quite sure. But in the run up to the long delayed -but finally coming out, whether it's any good or not- Duke Nukem Forever, you can masturbate the time away, waiting on this promotional site:  Duke Nudem! In which you play a very basic flash target shooting game, to see clips of women taking their tops off. You gotta hand it to 2K Games, they certainly know their target audience. Mainly being 14 year old boys and those that had some sort of electro-shock treatment and have no idea of the Call of Duty games.
Duke Nukem Forever is set for a June 10th release, so get your wanks in now. Before getting shouted at by an obese teenage boy, during capture the babe mode, really messes you up

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Arcana Heart 3 gets euro premier at MCM Expo. Sorry Green Lantern



Sod the Green Lantern game. Now the attention whores and mouth breathing anime fanboys of England will have something else to play at the MCM London Expo.
 If you're the kind of person that likes Guilty Gear or BlazBlue, but wishes it was more creepy, then you're in luck. Because, all girl beat 'em up: Arcana Heart 3 is coming to European shores June 30th. And the publisher: Arc System Works, have smartly decided to premier this title in the UK  at the London Expo. Which is the focal point of exactly the kind of sexual predator that goes for this kind of wide-eyed, anime wank off.


So, if you fancy taking part in a a little tournament on this game, and wining exclusive prizes (I'm guessing a one way ticket to Cambodia and a months supply of jelly babies) -as well as Arc System Works' other titles: Guilty Gear: Accent Core and PSP title: Gladiator Begins- get on the London Expo website for more details.



...you dirty bastard!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Games Journalism 101: "Style"

As a failed games journalist that is leaving the party, he was never really invited to, it seems fair to impart my knowledge and experience in the business, should you feel the need to step into the world of games journalism. In all honesty, you would be smart to do the opposite of what I've done. So if you've played more than one game, like the idea of snorting coke off of a 3DS touchscreen or you're just a shameless shill who lives for free t-shirts. Then read on! This entry in the series will look at "style"
More often than not, you'll see a job ad or request from the editor to write a pitch for an article of example of your writing: "in the writing style of the website/magazine."
"In the style of" means: "Exactly like." Look at the reviews, news posts and articles on the site or magazine, observe the structure of how they're written and the language used: jokes, use of metaphors etc. And write something exactly like it.
A site or publication likes to have a single identity. That means one voice, one personality. Not several different ones. Which is why some reviewers get asked to be more forgiving with their scores, thus giving a consistent, overall, opinion to whatever games they cover. An editor is not looking for the next Charlie Brooker. They don't want someone to exhibit a flair for expressing an opinion,  playing devil's advocate on a hot topic, or injects their writing with humour. They want someone who can knock out a -by the numbers- piece, that doesn't need any editing and meets the deadline.
I use Charlie Brooker as an example, because although he's become successful and relatively well know -as a critic/writer and Konnie Huq fucking, misery guts- nobody knew who he was when he was a games journalist. It's only when he left to work for more legitimate  press, his own personality came through and got peoples attention. And Brooker's not the only one. 
What you have to understand is, Editors - on the whole- don't like being in the games business. Like everyone else, they look down upon it. Instead of wading through waves of obese Pokemon cosplayers at events or reviewing whatever Dynasty Warriors game has come out this week, they'd much rather be writing the great unwritten novel or doing the one hundredth rewrite of their fucking awful sitcom. They want to be the ones breaking out of games and fucking a crap TV presenter.
That's not to say, there aren't any gaming sites that encourage creativity and individuality. But they either pay very little or no money. And then the only thing you'll be writing is an application form for shelf stacking job at tesco. If games journalism is something you want to do. Then that means starting off doing the same standard writing, on demand. It'll make you soul cry, but it will teach you the importance of keeping to a deadline, learning to edit down or stretch out a piece and -if nothing else- improve your grammar and spelling. Because editors hate to actually edit. So the less they have to change, the better.
Just remember, if you do actually want to express yourself, creatively. The games journalism isn't the place to do it. It's gonna be the first step to bigger and better things. And if you just like getting games for free, then go for it. Just ask yourself, would you rather finger Ellie Gibson? Or accidentally hang yourself, in a  sex game gone wrong with one of the Saturdays?
I know which I'd prefer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More Green Lantern game awesomeness!



As you see in the trailer above. The first gameplay trailer for the Green Lantern game is now available to view, with your own eyes, if can believe such a thing. In it you can hear the movies star: Ryan Reynolds reciting the Green Lantern oath.
And even though he's delivers it with all the enthusiasm of a dead crow, he's still not good enough to be in the 5-star Wii and DS versions, which are going to be amazing in every way, shape and form. And even though I won't be able to get an early go on this sure fire gem at London expo, I will fulfil my duty to my viewership (cheers for the mention on twitter, Liam) to keep you up to date this game. And if it isn't the best game ever, I'll fuck my dog right in the ear! Which would still be far from the most disgusting thing someone in the games biz has done.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Green Lantern on the 3DS must be the best game ever! Says MCM Expo

If you weren't aware. The MCM Expo  has been going for around ten years now. Hosting events for fans fo comics, movies and manga/anime fans alike around the country. In recent years it's added gaming to the mix, and has grown to be a impressive part of the event. Even better than the Eurogamer expo. In terms on new games previewed, at the very least.
At last Octobers London Expo, they had the first playable versions (in the UK) of Marvel vs Capcom 3 and The Goldeneye remake, amongst many other games. The one coming up, over the weekend from the 27th-29th of May seems a bit different. In the run up to the event, you normally get sent notification emails about all the events and guests that will be at Expo. And there's only been one.
The confirmation that the Wii and 3DS game of the Green Lantern film (which looks like a fan made movie) is listed as the only game at the entire event!  Which can only mean, the game is so amazing, that no other publisher wants to get totally overshadowed by Green Lantern's mind blowing gameplay. So much so, that it seems even the normal collection of star guests are afraid to be in the same building as such a colossal step in game play. The cowards!
It's times like this I wish I wasn't quitting the business. Because as much as I'd like to play this -bound to be- epoch making game. I'm not paying to go to an event crawling with the usual motley crew of attention whores, mouth breathers and PR scumbags (Yes, Rising star games, I'm looking at you). But if dressing up as your favourite fictional character, buying some cool stuff and catching herpes off a 15 year old, obese harlot, then sign up for a ticket!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Sun hates 3DS, for some reason


That great bastion of legitimate, unbiased and quality journalism: The Sun, seems to have developed some sort of personal problem with Nintendo's latest hand held console: the 3DS.
They've been "reporting" that the console has seen "record return levels" (they obviously never heard of the Sega Saturn) -something both GAME and HMV have denied.
They also delved into the non-story of some reports of people experiencing migranes or dizzyness, due to prolonged exposure to the 3D effect, you get from looking at the 3DS screen. Most normal people would read the instruction manuel and follow the guidlines not to look into the screen for more than an hour and to turn the 3D effect off on the screen if very young children are playing. But not the Sun, oh no.
The Sun's very own doctor (who's probably the kind of person who thinks you can cure homosexuality drinking the silicone from Jordan's tits) carried out a series of tests on some fat cunt. He concluded, the fat cunt's pulse and blood pressure increased during play. Read all the accurate scientific analysis  utter bollocks right HERE
And if that wasn't enough. The Sun's business editor has linked the supposed rash of severe migranes and demands for refunds to the recent departure of Ninty's head of PR!
If anyone from the Sun is reading, look. Nintendo are really stingey with giving machines out. Don't take it personally, just save up and buy a 3DS. Or hack the phone of some premiership footballer, and black mail them into getting you one. Ok?


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

UK Resistance closes down. 14 Shenmue fans give a shit



After about 15 years of trying to convince himself Sega hasn't become the equivalent of George Lucas. UK Resistance owner/writer, Gary Cutlack has shut up shop on one of the most established, non commercial, gaming sites. Originally dedicated to all things Sega, UK:R became a favourite amongst pro websites and journalists (who would love to be able to speak their mind about games, but prefer not being unemployed) with the site later going multi-format.
Although the site kept the focus pro-Sega, to the point where you weren't sure whether Cutlack was being ironic with his (admittedly funny) attacks on Sony and Nintendo (but never the xbpx360) or a shameless zealot?
But what most people will remember are the countless pictures of any anything remotely Sega related. From creepy fan pictures of Cream the rabbit (which is a character from the current -shit-sonic games, not a furry website) and pictures of booth babes, that would be accompanied by some ironic text, to make it seem alright to show upskirt photos of an Asian Ulala cosplayer.
Even though it took you 15 years to realise, what took me 2:that there's no place in games journalism, for anyone with their own style, voice, or opinions- you were a true trailblazer, Cutlack.
Now do a line of coke, suck off the PR people (if they haven't already stolen your husband), and get ready for a lifetime of writing news posts.
...And remember, don't ever dream

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Nintendo 3DS London launch: Less than 100 people turn up. I blame Hadouken




















That's right, The London HMV store held it's midnight opening for the new Nintendo handheld: the 3DS. And in grand fashion (by Nintendo UK standards) the first 500 people in the queue were given a free game for their new hand held console. Although by midnight, less than 100 were there for even a  free selection of ,what has to be, one of the weakest launch line ups ever.
So after freezing my balls off, waiting for "special musical guests", which was the fuck-awful poser band: Hadouken (Atari Teenage Riot for the brain dead) and Plan B (soul music for chavs) I got a quick go on three of the launch titles. Super Street Fighter4 looks and plays fairly faithful to the original version, but with (obviously) diminished graphics. Although it's still impressive looking and plays decently enough due to the properly designed D-pad, so pulling off special moves won't be such a pain. And even if you do struggle with doing a quarter-circle then you can set the touch screen to do special moves at the touch of a (on screen) button.
Pilotwings Resort  is easy to get into and shows off the whole idea of the 3DS technology, but I couldn't shake the feeling this was meant to be the, once talked about, Wii Pilotwings game. Especially as it uses Miis in it. But the 3D screen gives a great sense of depth as you take your first dive with the hand glider. Nothing special, but the bare minimum of what you'd expect from a launch title.
Pro Evo 2011 3D was a bit of a shambles. I had to turn the 3D effect down as the default camera is fixed behind the player and the background revolves around constantly, which really disorientates. Thankfully, you can set the camera to the traditional pro evo set up. And then you're reminded of how crap the pro evo series has become.














Being a gaming event, the usual collection of media whores, drug addicts and borderline autistics -that make up the ranks of video games media- turned up to cover the event. Well, they talked to a couple of people in the que then helped themselves to the free food, then pissed off home while the legit media talked to the first person (in the London HMV) to buy a 3DS.
Personally I was too busy trying to (unsuccessfully) chat up one of the shop staff. Don't judge me, I don't drink and don't do drugs, so the usual diet of free alcohol and cocaine, doesn't interest me.
That red headed angel is too good to be dealing with Nintendo fan boys...curse my lack of money, looks and charm!