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Top 5 Underrated Open-world Games

Ruaidhri Walker

With Grand Theft Auto V, rightly so, causing a tingle in many gamers pants with its latest trailer, and games like Saints Row The Third getting enough sales to fund the development of a country made of brothels it’s easy to just think of these two series as the only open-world games in existence. Clearly that’s a stupid way to think and with that narrow mindset put to one side we at PixelBedlam present the Open-world games that didn’t change the world, but deserve a play; whether it’s the story, the gameplay or just the experience, here is our top 5 most underrated open-world games.

Braindead: “The little bugger bit me!”

Max

As Christmas time approaches and Phoebe Cates is reminded again of her dead dad stuck in a chimney, a new blockbuster opens in cinemas nationwide.  But while Martin Freeman swaps a shirt and tie for prosthetic feet and ears, I would like to look back at one of my favourite comedy horrors, donned by the very same Peter Jackson of the new Hobbit adaptation (and that other dusty box-set on your shelf).  This is 1992’s Braindead (or Dead Alive, as it’s known in the US, strangely enough).

The End Of The World As We Would Like To Know It: Top 5 Apocalypses

Spike

If you’re reading this a week from now then the Mayans were wrong. Or I suppose more accurately the whack-jobs that misinterpreted the Mayans were wrong. Yes, it’s finally here. This Friday is the end of the world, and I’m looking forward to it. As a vague rule of thumb if you want to interest me in a game/book/film, set it in a post apocalyptic world. Maybe it says something deeply wrong about my psyche but I love a vision of the world without people, those few left eking out a living off what’s left of the land like the frontiersmen of old. So it seems fitting at this time to bring to you my favourite visions of the end of the world. So grab yourself some bottled water, board up your windows and doors and stick REM on the stereo, its the top 5 apocalypse’s …apocalypsees …apocalae?

‘Don’t make a girl a promise’: A Brief History of Halo, Part Three

Max

 

Miss Part 1? Read it Here

Miss Part 2? Read it Here

 

‘They let me pick, did I ever tell you that?’ These are Cortana’s opening words in Halo 3. They – the UNSC – let her pick, and she picked the best of the best.  An icon, not only in a universe filled with alien races with a penchant for the colour purple, but for a whole generation of gamers.  And after going through so much – dying, reloading, scratching your head at its ludicrous plot, you feel like you’ve reached the final chapter of something important, and that’s because you have.  You are the Master Chief after all, and you’re here to save the galaxy.  Sure, you might have saved it from Reapers or Sith or any number of black and red orientated bad guys, but this is different… okay, maybe it’s not, but let’s at least wrap it up until the end of the next trilogy in 2018.

Monster Truck Destruction – iOS Review

Callum

Ah, monster trucks. Sitting somewhere between professional wrestling and NASCAR events in American culture, it sees over-sized vehicles powering around arenas, over cars and through caravans in a motor-fuelled orgy of engines and manly-ness enough to excite motorheads and thrill-seekers alike. Although an impressive spectacle to watch live, it’s not exactly a format that lends itself to gaming, with this generation’s Monster Jam effort not only slipping under the radar but borrowing miles beneath it. Developers Odd Games attempt to change this by bringing the mayhem to iOS with Monster Truck Destruction.

Zooniverse – iOS Review

Vin

Freemium [free-mee-uh m] noun. A sales strategy, especially on the Internet, in which the basic product or service is free, but customers are charged for additional features and content. That’s the dictionary definition for an ever prevalent format in current gaming. Zooniverse is latest offering of the genre, brought to us by the mobile giant Chillingo.

15 Desert Island Essentials

Andy

Its happened to most of us, you know how it goes. Your family disown you, the life you thought you loved no longer brings you joy, the sight of people makes you want to start mowing them down with a machine gun, you need to get away from it all, and where better than a deserted island. But wait, before you book that flight, think about what you need in this new island paradise. Or better yet, just read my guide to desert island survival.

Potshot Pirates – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Pirates, they’re a wacky bunch aren’t they. Ever since the acting chameleon that is Mr Depp first dressed up as a pirate everyone seems to have forgotten about the slavery, alcohol abuse, murder, and to put it politely, the slavery, abuse and murder of women. When some fey man prances around like Keith Richards and wears eye liner we all swoon and ignore their illustrious past. Pirates are now a hot property, so much so that they’re appearing in all sort of weird games on iOS, today’s game that features the wanderers of the sea is Potshot Pirates.

A Resident Evil 4 Retrospective: “What are ya buyin’?”

Max

To quote The Mighty Boosh‘s Hitcher: “Elements of the past and the future combining to make something not quite as good as either.” That pretty much sums up the current trend of the Resident Evil series.  But there was a point in 2005 when it took a U-turn, that not only surpassed (in my eyes) its predecessors’ survival horror roots, but has never come close to topping with subsequent releases: Resident Evil 4.

Top 5 Alternative Christmas Films

Ruaidhri Walker

Christmas is a time for family and fun, but not everyone, including myself, really subscribes to the “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” style of festive film. As such we at PixelBedlam have come up with the Top 5 Alternative Christmas Films for you to watch, feel festive with and on the most part watch people get blown seven ways from advent.

‘I will ask, and you will answer’: A Brief History of Halo, Part Two

Max

Miss Part One? Read it here: http://pixelbedlam.co.uk/?p=1100

Halo 2 is the tortuous story that follows on from the destruction of the Halo ring in Combat Evolved. It’s the Attack of the Clones’ bureaucracy to A New Hope’s simplistic wonder. That’s not to say the game itself is bad (dual weapons wielding and a cloaking device spring to mind), but this is the one that is essential to understanding Halo 3.  And it gets a little confusing.

Man in a Maze – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Crystal Maze was cool, this is a simple fact. So cool that when it appeared in the awful film version of Dungeons and Dragons it made one scene almost cool. For those not old enough to remember, or born in an area that wasn’t in the UK, the Crystal Maze was a game show which featured Richard O’Brian, who wrote The Rocky Horror Show. He led a band of men and women around a disturbingly well designed set in a studio featuring; Aztec Zone, Industrial Zone, Medieval Zone and Future Zone. In each zone various challenges were submitted in different rooms and with that came a time limit, if said contestant lost or ran out of time they were locked in the room until their team mates deemed their life valuable enough to warrant sacrificing some of the game shows money to buy back their pathetic existence.

“Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…” – Mike Judge’s Office Space

Max

It’s Monday.  The alarm goes off.  You hit snooze.  It goes off again 10 minutes later.  Remarkably you find the will to get out of bed (fighting the urge to sink back into its somniferous warmth).  You brush the sleep out of your eyes, take a shower and have some breakfast, and make the morning commute to the office.  And then you sit in front of a computer for 8 hours, looking at lines and lines of data, talking to people (for the most part) you have little or no concern for, before making the commute back home.  After 4 hours you go to bed.  And then you wake up and do it all over again.  For the next 45 years.

The Last of His Kind: A Brief History of Halo, Part One

Max

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…

Sky Hero – iOS Review

Callum

 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?

Arkham Asylum: A Psychological Profile

Max

“Some idiot is running around the asylum, dressed like a bat…! I know! Crazy!”  While the Joker’s words could be viewed as – and admittedly are, if you’re sad like me – funny, there is something unsettling about them.  2009’s Arkham Asylum is, at the very least, one of my favourite games of recent times.  Everything it excels at is there in a neat package: graphics, storyline, script, gameplay, voice acting – but there is something else that makes it so masterful.  It’s a head fuck.