Hitman: Absolution has ended a six-year long wait for another sequel in the much-loved stealth franchise. Despite scoring what can be described as very strong scores across most reviews (it’s currently sitting at 81 for Xbox on Metacritic, one less than its predecessor) it has greatly upset some fans of the series due to slightly changing the formulae of the previous four games.
So, Resident Evil 6 is out there and I think it’s safe to say that not everyone is overly impressed. The franchise has veered away from its stated genre in the last couple of instalments and is ever edging towards the unit shifter that is action adventure. Now I’m not going to harp on about the death of whatever or the sorry state of this that and the other, instead I’m going to recommend a couple of games that you could, if you wish, play instead of RE6 to scratch that zombie itch. (Because as we all know there are not nearly enough zombie games around these days)
Rayman Jungle Run has not only been a great game but it’s also been a light at the end of the tunnel. When I loaded it up on my iPad I realised something, something that I haven’t really thought about any other App store release; “this is a proper game”.
There are many great things about the internet. Some are already well documented, some will in time no doubt be discussed elsewhere on this fine website, and some should frankly be kept to yourself you filthy people. The thing that I enjoy more than most is the ability of mass awareness. In the past you found out that something was good because the advertising told you it was good or perhaps someone within your circle of friends had played it. Now, thanks to the interwebs, our circle of friends is exponentially bigger and experiences that would previously have past us by are ours to savour. The songs that you would never hear on radio, the straight to DVD movies, that are so bad they’re awesome, and the strange video game at the back of the discount racks staring a photo-journalist and a pig.
As should be made clear by many of the gaming articles here on PixelBedlam, we’re fascinated by retro-gaming. For me my childhood was mainly spent sitting in front of either a Spectrum or for my formative years an Amiga. The Amiga had some amazing games that have stuck with me 20 years later, one in particular Rockstar Ate My Hamster was not only a fiendishly difficult rock management simulator, but also a game that featured humor in abundance.
The game was created by Colin Jones a developer who after a 20 year break has returned to game development with a new title for iOS Eek! It’s A Bomb! I asked Colin some questions about his own history and his views on the gaming industry over the past few decades.
Companies within games are generally on the nastier side of the spectrum, but who is the most entertaining and interesting among the selection?
There was a couple of announcements on the internet recently, news that made me and many of the other writers sit up and scream. The star of The Party at Kitty and Stud’s, Sylvester Stallone, is going to be in two games in the near future. The first we expect to see is a movie tie in downloadable title, Expendables 2. Secondly we will see the Italian Stallion donning a red bandanna and a permanent sheen of sweat in a new Rambo game.
These aren’t the first games featuring the muscles that mumble. Infact quite a number of Stallone’s films had a tie in games in the early to mid-nineties. I thought before we start looking forward too much to games like The Expendables 2 and Rambo we should look back at see how his previous ventures into pixel land fared.
For some reason everything in life seems to be broken down by gender. Negative or positive, everyone is assigned a role by society. As gamers we are often generalised as being nerdy overweight men, and while in my own case this is true it obviously isn’t for all, you need look no further than this very site to see there are female gamers.
There have been many fads in the world of gaming, certain tropes and choices that developers have relied on to move cartridges and discs. One of the easiest ones to look at is common enemy types. In the early days of gaming we had things like Galaga and Space Invaders. Games that encouraged us to look to the skies for a new species and then blow said species seven ways from Saturn.
After aliens we went through Robots into Soldiers and then two enemies kept rearing their heads like a Whack-a-mole game on overdrive; I speak of course about Zombies and Nazi’s. The push for Nazi’s saw them appearing in a hundred different RTS’s and FPS’s on every console and home computer going. The simple truth is that there are a very few people in the world that would feel bad for attacking them, virtually or in reality they have been, rightly so, painted with the brush that makes them almost universally hated.
I made what turned out to be a surprise revelation to the readers of Pixel Bedlam in an article recently. In my wish list for E3 I mentioned how I am not a fan of Half Life 2. I had some readers, colleagues and friends all question how I could not like one of the “greatest games ever made” and quite simply it’s because it’s tedious and boring. The easy option for any fans of it is to tell me “I didn’t get it” or that I’m somehow trying to be “counter-culture”, where as in fact I feel the truth of the matter is that I think there was a band wagon liking of the game.
This films opens with a Brooklyn accent, an accent that I can only describe as awful, painfully awful, I originally thought this opening narration was done by the awesome acting might of Bob Hoskins, doing one of his always questionable American accents. However, after a quick search online I found out the narration was done by Dan Castellanetta, that’s right Homer from the Simpsons, someone considered a legend in the world of animation lowered himself to this film, as did some other pillars of the acting world.
Bromance is traditionally thought of as pure love between two butch muscular homies, this isn’t always the case however. Even I fell into the trap in my last article on the subject. Every so often gaming throws a spanner in the works and proves that there’s an exception to every rule.
Bromance (Noun): two dudes who have what can only be described as a loving relationship but keep it purely platonic. More often than not the best way to get this across to the uninitiated is to use the phrase “Brother from another mother”. It’s a sense of camaraderie and respect that would normally be seen in a married couple but is usually viewed in men in the mid-twenties to mid-thirties.
In video games there has been some wonderful examples of this phenomenon. Sometimes this just flows over the player because of bad writing and bad acting, but every so often a game has genuinely touched me in the way it’s portrayed hetro-love.
Whether it be DLC, arcade games or full retails releases zombies have returned from a mild mid 90’s drop off the pop culture radar to come back with amazing rambling force. Many aspiring film makers see their first films as being zombie comedy horrors as for some reason in the world of horror it’s ok to be obviously low budget. Literature has seen such examples as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and World War Z both reach best seller status, and have impending film adaptations coming in. Musically I struggle to think of examples unless people will let me get away with Gwar or Lordi…
When it comes to games there have been many examples in the past 5 years of games using the shuffling masses as their main enemies. Dead Rising 1 and 2, Call of Duty DLC and even a game I reviewed on this very site Dead Block. All of them novel in their own way, but with copycats-a-plenty and rehashing of the same principles and genres I decided to try and do the developer’s jobs for them and try to think of some genres that have been lacking on the walking dead front.
I get a lot of weird looks whenever I describe Mirror’s Edge as not only a great game – but also one of my favourite games I’ve ever played. People will often describe Mirror’s Edge as shallow, complicated and sea-sickness inducing. All of these could be true and I’m not going to pretend this game is flawless, but it is a game that I have willingly gone back to and completed on a number of occasions. This is made particularly easier by its short length, but to me, that’s perfect! I’m not looking for a second job when I go out and buy a new game, I want something that I can pick up and play a few evenings a week for an hour or so.
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Looking back to your childhood and those treasured TV shows that you grew up with; that you couldn’t wait to watch each morning; and that made you laugh and gave you shocks – with the cynical eyes of experience makes them seem foreign and unsettling! “Mr Ben has never paid that shop owner once the free-loading git”, “Sure the clangers was good, but that whistling would have got right on my nibblets”,”Should the British Government really be spending the defence budget on training one-eyed rodents as intelligence agents?”
My point is that despite it being painful to dredge up the memories of old and judge them by today’s standards, you sometimes can’t help but be amazed by either the Nostradamus like ability of the games developers to predict future headlines, or their astounding naivety to overlook a glaringly inappropriate element of their design.
I’m 25 year old male and as such, like many people, I have dreams and aspirations. Be it to own a car that doesn’t squeal when traversing a round-a-bout, grow a ZZ-Top beard or even something simple like clear my student overdraft. Since I was a kid my favourite part of a summer holiday was to hit up the local arcade, no matter where we were in the country or even world I would keep my ears open for that familiar twang of midi audio being pumped out of a kids ride or the avalanche of coins hitting the metal tray on a Penny Pusher.
I actually like Street Fighter: The Movie. Perhaps like is too stronger word, but I definitely don’t mind it. I will start this debate of sorts with the films strongest, and potentially weakest point; Steven E. de Souza. This man wrote and directed this film, I imagine a lot of readers are asking who the hell is Steven E. de Souza? Well let me answer your question with multiple questions, Have you seen Die Hard? Have you seen Die Hard 2? Have you seen Beverly Hills Cop III? Well that chump wrote those films, quite simply good action films, he also wrote Judge Dredd but no ones perfect. Perhaps him directing Street Fighter was a mistake, but the writing isn’t all bad, there are a couple of plot points which are excellent, namely around Bison. Him turning around in his boudoir later in the film and looking longingly at his self portrait, something reminiscent of John Wayne Gacey’s painting is oddly depressing moment, only ruined be the set, costumes and soundtrack.