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Category: Features

That’s Death! – The Great Beyond In Videogames


Death is a mystery.  For many brought up under the well-established reductionist model of reality, once your brain stops processing, that’s it – zip. Nada.  For spiritualists, they adopt the Eastern philosophies (sometimes backed up by a quantum theory they don’t really understand), of consciousness as something other than brain matter alone – like electrical awareness passing through a brain shaped TV.  Both camps are stupid.  The real answer to this argument – of course – is 42.  Here’s some videogames about death.  Come on, dust off your funeral jacket and join the party.  We’ve even got those little sausages on sticks.

Diary Of A Wimpy Vin: Part 2


[Miss Part 1? Read it here]

Day one was a bit a slog for me and I will admit to aching a little bit the next day. My personal Fuel Print shows quite clearly that I lack in both fitness and athleticism (a fact it loves to point out by comparing me to the few friends I have with Nike+ as well as the prints of the two personal trainers). Thankfully, the folks at Nike aren’t in this to poke fun at fatties and cripples. The software has preselected which exercises it thinks I would most benefit from and it has allowed me to select precisely which days I can fit my new program in to. Unfortunately for me, my next session was the very next day.

Preview – Hands-On with Tomb Raider

Neil Ramjee

On a bitterly cold Tuesday in central London, I was summoned to an evening at BAFTA HQ to attend Crystal Dynamic’s Developer’s Q&A for their forthcoming ‘rebirth’ (we can’t call it a reboot apparently) of the Tomb Raider franchise.

On hand were studio head Darrell Gallagher, creative director Noah Hughes and seasoned games writer Rhianna Pratchett, to defend their baby which had spent the past four years in gestation.

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Couples To Date

Lyndsay Moir

To once again celebrate the famed month of loved, I thought I would compile a list of my favourite all time geek couples. Couples that have had me weeping in their saddest moments, and rooting for them to finally make it work when everything else seems against them. These couples are seriously awesome, and I doubt they would be spending Valentines Day handing over boxes of expensive truffles or toasting classes of champagne. No they would be side by side, fighting crime or battling monsters. So without further ado…

5 Licensed Games That Should Exist (And Be Awesome)


In an attempt to find something worthwhile to fill the last two weeks of a free month on Xbox Live Gold, I went back to 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game this past weekend. Despite the age-old truism that any video game based on a film (and often any other kind of non-sports license) will be crap, Ghostbusters was a lot of fun, mixing solid gameplay, an authentic feeling script, nice graphics and the films’ original actors (even if Bill Murray is mumbling through most of it). I still think it’s the closest thing we’ll get to a proper third Ghostbusters film. As I slime-tethered down ghosts online, it struck me how many surprisingly awesome licensed games have come out over the past few years.

The Rise and Fall of Rare


My claim to fame revolves around 2 things: the first is meeting Terry Pratchett for the book signing of Jingo.  The second is a bit more obscure, as I didn’t meet them directly.  My old English teacher was married to a man named Chris Marlow.  Great, but who’s Chris Marlow?  Those familiar with Conker’s Bad Fur Day will know that – not only was he a senior programmer – but also the voice of the operatic (and sloperatic) Great Mighty Poo.  Basically, I had insider info for Rare’s up-and-coming games, namely Perfect Dark, Dinosaur Planet, Banjo Tooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.  Did this breach confidentiality?  Almost certainly.  So, bragging aside, I will be taking a look at the gaming history of a once glorious company (and now sadly a corporate corpse).  Welcome to the rise and fall of Rare.

The Wait Of Expectation – Finally Getting My hands On Ni No Kuni


The weight of expectation looms large in the world of the geek. Larger than in other worlds for the simple fact that we are geeks. Our childlike excitement for the simplest crumb of news, our hours of frame by frame dissection of trailers or leaked scripts. The vitriol we spill if, god forbid, someone’s visions and ideas for a beloved franchise do not match our own. We all have those games or books or films that we want to see, and then when they arrive we almost always want to see them done better. Sometimes it can be great, Skyrim (for all it’s bugs) was a great game. And in the face of some of most pedantic of geeks managed to meet most expectations (unless you happen to be playing on PS3). Duke Nukem Forever would be antithesis of this. We waited year after year with bated breath for the defining game of many of our childhoods to rise for the ashes. And then finally release day came, and we all died a little inside. I’ve chosen 2 games as examples here because rabid fan base is coupled with long development times lead inevitably to huge levels of expectation and indignation when they are not met.

The Top 6 Videogame Villains (Who Didn’t Do It All For The Nookie)


There’s plenty of villains out there; while morality is – for the most part – conditioned into us and isn’t real, the best way to describe a villain is someone who wants to shit all over everything.  Aside from the the obvious (Bowser, doing it all for the nookie; LeChuck, doing it all for the nookie), here’s a look at people who liked to shit all over everything, but in a way that didn’t involve nookie.

Devil May Cry: To Hell And Back – Part 2


[Part 1 can be found here]

After the first Devil May Cry had stunned me and knocked me for six, I could not believe how well it had aged. Like a fine wine it had matured with time and had a distinct, rich flavour. It bruised me with its difficulty and lavished my eyes with its epic charm, right from start to finish.

The second instalment did not have the same effect. If anything it only served to highlight why sometimes a great original, does not mean a great sequel. My thoughts drifted to the depths; my only hope was that the third instalment had turned this whole thing around. Devil May Cry 3 was the road that lay ahead.

Games For Every Hangover


As the conversational lubrication of a few drinks slowly morphs into the complete intoxication and possible social embarrassment of a late night binge, not even the greasiest of greasy kebabs can soften the impending blow of a hangover the next day. When moving from bed to the sofa becomes as difficult a task as scaling Mount Everest is for even the most intrepid of explorers, a day in front of the TV becomes the obvious choice of activity for the indefinite future. Gaming, though, can be a difficult task whilst in your most delicate of states as a throbbing head-ache and sickening dizziness combine to all but nullify a players reactions and hand-eye co-ordination. Fear not eager gamer, here is a list of games chosen for each specific type of hangover, so you can continue to earn gamerscore no matter your drink of choice.

Working With Workshops: Managing More Mods (And Alliteration)


The L4D2 Workshop was lifted out of its beta on the 17th January, with the myriad of mods previously available through now being made widely available over the Steam service so if you were ever hankering to try some fresh new campaign content or see how well the Ghostbusters crew can deal with the onslaught of L4D’s motley menagerie of Infected then now you can, and all with just a simple click.

The Top 5 Fictional Devices


Einstein once said, ‘It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has  exceeded our humanity.’  If he meant sitting in the pub reading the latest Facebook status, he was spot on.  If he meant nuclear fallout, meh… give it time.  After the car, washing machine and Sybian, technology hasn’t really helped us as a species.  Do we care?  If you click ‘like’, sure you do.  Here’s some cool shit that isn’t real and should be…

Devil May Cry: To Hell And Back – Part 1


Amidst the blizzard of hysteria and hate that has surrounded the release of the newly rebooted Devil May Cry you may have missed something. Something that I, myself, overlooked; back in 2001 DMC was nothing but a spot on the massive gaming radar. A newly born, scrambling for affection, crawling between the legs of titans.

In the same year that saw Silent Hill 2 turn people into a quivering wrecks and witnessed Rockstar change the gaming landscape with Grand Theft Auto 3, Devil May Cry was not just a face in the crowd. Its hero was a white haired, demon slayer called Dante… and he turned the rest of the crowd into ashes, without ever breaking a sweat.

The following words are going to chart my journey through all of Dante’s adventures. This first part will take a look at not only the sensational first instalment but also at the controversial Devil May Cry 2.

Diary Of A Wimpy Vin Part 1


Going to the gym has never inspired me. I join up and go solidly for a few weeks then something breaks my routine (be it illness or car troubles) and I remember how easy it was to NOT go. I severely doubt I’m the only one with this lack of commitment to exercise, especially amongst us gamer types. What can be done with us? How about attaching achievements to it?

Enter Nike+ Kinect Training, the latest in a line of kinect based exercise software. Yes, I hear the internets collective groan of apathy at the slightest mention of motion technology but bare with me as I take you on a journey through my prescribed four week program!

Mame (Arcade Emulator) Without Jailbreaking iOS/iPhone/iPad Emulator Guide

Ruaidhri Walker

We don’t normally do news here on PixelBedlam, however here is something that will slip under many people’s radar and something that, if you have a slightly grey moral compass, you should take advantage of. I woke up this morning to news of Mame working on iOS devices, iPad and iPhones that haven’t been jailbroken can now play Arcade Emulator extraordinaire MAME. Gridlee was a game produced in 1982 and the creators have recently ported it to iOS, to do this they used a MAME backend, which can be, shall we say, manipulated. Long story short all those Arcade games you played as a kid you can now play on the go on your iPad without damaging it! Guide starts after the jump –

Ecco The Dolphin: Beneath The Waves


The year is 1992, you are sat playing Sonic the Hedgehog on your Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis. You are running at the speed of sound, through loop de loops, jumps and rickety bridges. Collecting rings and defeating bosses in one of the most fast paced, exciting games of its generation. Then you hear Sega announce that its next 2D side scrolling masterpiece is on the way. The gaming world thought they knew what they were in for…..what they got was something entirely different – what they got, was ‘Ecco The Dolphin’.

Arkham County: Top 6 things we want from an Arkham sequel


Recently Rocksteady and Warner Bros have been running around the internet snatching up domains like the little green men snatched up food in Golden Axe. They’ve been purchasing many red herrings and obviously some genuine ones. Most seem related to the title of a new Batman game, Arkham Universe, Batman Arkham Origins and Batman Arkham Knight have all been purchased. A couple seem to be related to the Nolan films with Arkham Rises and such also being snapped up. All of this has led many to believe that we aren’t that far away from an announcement for a new Batman Arkham game. With the series being as highly regarded as it is, and with innovation dripping from the orifices like a teenager’s greasy pores, Max and Ruaidhri saw it was time to start getting their hopes up and sat down to discuss their wants and hopes for the new Arkham game.