I’ll level with you: up until about 6 weeks ago I had no interest in the Halo franchise. I bought an Xbox – the original one, made from pinball machines – not long after launch. I also bought its ‘killer app’ (as marketing execs and teenage mutant ninja turtles would be wont to say). My initial thoughts at the time were, ‘this looks great’ and also ‘this looks boring’. I held that belief for almost ten years, until curiosity got the better of me (and because a brand new trilogy was on its way). Turns out I loved Halo the second time through… but this article isn’t about the whys of gameplay, or the hows of instigating a new era of shooters. No, this is about the one thing that even my indifferent self of ten years was curious about. The story of Halo…
Chances are if you own an iOS device, you’ve played a runner game. From Temple Run to Jetpack Joyride, the genre and platform are a perfect match with short, sharp, pick-up-and-play sessions lending themselves perfectly to gaming on the go. Does Sky Hero, the latest offering from mobile publishing giants Chillingo, offer anything new to the genre to really stand out from the crowd?
Mini Dash is a long in production and eagerly anticipated game from Pocket More Games, and my goodness it is great! With three huge worlds to navigate through, brilliant graphics, and the ability to have you hooked for hours, it makes for a fantastic iOS game.
I have never made secret my love for Mirror’s Edge, I wrote an entire love letter to it here. It may seem like a bit of a faux pas to start a review for one game by talking about a love of another but for me it’s like telling your friends that your girlfriend/boyfriend looks like Mylene Klass/ David Tennant, the comparison is more praise than anything else you can give. Endless Road is close to aesthetic perfection as Mirror’s Edge.
What is a pony? I genuinely have no idea. Is it a short horse? Or a breed of horse? I am 26 and I have only just come to the realisation that this is a piece of information I am missing from my brain. All I know about ponies is that there are 3 types of people who truly like ponies. The first is little girls, this seems like a given. The average little girl like ponies and kittens and ballet. “Pink stuff” I refer to it as. The second person to like ponies are the middle England upper class that enjoy watching Crufts and fox-hunting. The final person to enjoy ponies are bronies. To explain what a brony is I should first say, they scare the hell out of me. These are generally guys in the mid twenties who watch My Little Pony cartoons in a supposedly ironic way but then also have an undying love for it. They’re weird, really weird, the kind of weird that leads to a hotel room being filled with photos and red string leading from one face to another.
Formula One is something that I’ve never had an interest in. The loud noise and repetitive nature always perplexed and bore me rather than rattle my core and send me into a screaming frenzy. The sight of cars that can go so fast in such a small amount of time being forced to screech to a halt to get round a corner is more of a confusion than titillating. And the process of the drivers doing 70 odd laps was mind numbingly dull. It should be said now that no sport has ever entertained me, I’ve tried with football, I tried rugby and I even tried snooker but each I felt was too long. Being the walking hypocrite and contraction I am I did for a very short time find golf fascinating, not because of the skill or excitement, but because the quiet sound of some birds tweeting, the occasional golf swing and the bright green colours would send me into some sort of serene fugue state.
Over the last few years executives all over the world have become acutely aware of the selling power of nostalgia. From live action Transformers to semi-anime Thundercats and everything in between we are choosing more and more to watch/read/and play stuff we liked as a kid. Now i’m certain I watched He-Man as a child but as I came to play this game I realised that I remember almost nothing about the show that inspires it. Which is pretty bad for my own identity as a nerd from the 80’s, but probably a good thing to go in fresh as a reviewer.
There’s a question that often enters my balding head, one that in this return to pick up and play/one minute/pooping games is more prevalent than ever: Do games need a point?
Games with plot and characters obviously have motivation and a reason to keep playing but then there’s endless run games like Temple Run, Canabalt and Save Them All which try to maintain player interest through the concept of power ups and score board whoring.
There was a golden age in gaming, a time where copyright and intellectual property laws were hazy for PC games. This time allowed small PC developers to essentially rip off films without any comeuppance and at the same time rise up the ranks in the consumers eyes. During this era we had such classics as Rowdy Roddy Piper’s film They Live get large chunks stolen and put into Duke Nukem 3D “I’m here to chew gum and kick ass, damn I’m all out of gum”. And we also saw Stainless Games lift the concept and point system from the 1970’s film Death Race. Well look who’s back risking law suits with a re-release of Carmageddon on iOS.
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.
How to draw a character from Thomas Was Alone: Draw a straight line, well done, that’s a great straight line. Now draw a shorter line coming off it at 90 degrees (clockwise) draw a third line equal to the first again 90 degrees from the second. Finally join up the third and first line. There you go, you should have a rectangle. Give this rectangle a relatively common name and you’ve created your own Thomas Was Alone character.
Violence is great, but in the real world we can’t get away with shoving a baseball bat down someone’s throat or taking a machete to their arm, that’s why the weak civilized nerds have taken to gaming. Games are at their base level about escapism and doing the stuff we’ve always wanted to do but physically or legally can’t. I feel the need to point out that at no stage have I ever dreamed of feeding someone a baseball bat or giving them a crash diet by cutting out some intestines but at the same time I’ve never dreamed of going to space, yet I like Halo.
Birds are a complicated creature for me to form an opinion on, they’re aggressive and annoying but can be fun when they talk and quite often are beautiful, this coincidently sums up my feelings towards Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken.
Rocketbirds was originally a flash game, and much in the same way as Alien Hominid, it’s spread it’s wings and come home to roost on consoles. It’s transportation to the console market has found it perfectly set up as an exclusive PSN title.
It is said there are only a few certainties in life; taxes and death. Well by proxy of death there is another, getting old. At age 25 I feel like I was born in a perfect time to enjoying gaming, systems were out and gaming staples were in place by the time I was able to comprehend what a console was and how to use a controller. Technology and genre’s are unlikely to vastly jump from the categories we have now; fighters, platformers, FPS’s are all going to advance but the basic premise is still there.
P.Walter Tugnut, a skin head with a gun and wearing a green body warmer, or is it a barrel? No it’s a jet-pack. In this game you can choose any number of outfits for the hyper-violent Tugnut. What’s caused this red mist to descend on the presumably previously pacifist Tugnut? A giant robot destroyed his house and had a disturbing sexual encounter with his truck. Within the first minute of this Shoot em ‘up platformer you learn all this character motivation and are sent on your way with a gun and a jump button.
In 1998 something was spawned, something that at the time no one could have predicted it’s popularity, even I fell under it’s spell and spent many an evening watching it with my family. 13 years later and that horse you hear still being flogged is “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”.
With it’s rights sold a number to many different countries, it was only a matter of time before a computer game would be expressed from the powerful teat of the franchise. The first came in 2000 for the Playstation, and to be perfectly honest what’s changed?
Zombies are awesome. I’ve written two reviews of games on this site which feature them, and I’ve even written an article on why we need more zombies in gaming. As such you would assume that a game like Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City would be a zombie apocalypse wet dream for me, and thankfully it is.
The first thing you should know about this game is that it’s a bully, a big mean bully, it picks on you the player and makes you feel like nothing. Now much like dealing with a real life bully there’s only two ways to sort it. The first is to cry and never return to a mile radius of said tormentor, the second and better option is to gather a few friends to beat the crap out of the bully.