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PixelBedlam.co.uk Posts

Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade Toy Review

Ruaidhri Walker

Oh the fun of Assassin’s Creed, running along roof tops like a fiddler and leaping from great heights just to shiv a guy. Assassin’s Creed is one of many games where I’ve taken the game sub consciously into real life. I’ve been waiting at bus stops and looking at the buildings around thinking “I’d run along there and climb that, jump over there and swing down that pole” all the while tracing a route with my eyes. Of course I can’t do those things, firstly because of the legality of prancing about on other people’s roof tops and secondly because I am a man in his late 20’s who is overweight and with a bum knee.

Is James Bond a Sociopath?

Ruaidhri Walker

Like many people this past week I went to the cinema to see the latest James Bond film Skyfall. I’ve seen all of the Bond films over the years and although I wouldn’t class myself as a true fan of the series there have been elements in each that have entertained me.  There’s high points in the Bond series and low points, Skyfall itself is actually a great film, if only slightly ruined by its’ butt numbing length.

Something has always bugged me about James Bond though, it’s not his smug attitude or his callous killing sprees; it’s the jokes. The jokes that came mainly around the Roger Moore era of Bonds where he would take a man’s life away in the blink of an eye with no remorse and then make a pun about how he dismissed him. This is not the behaviour of a sane man, this is someone who is clearly disturbed on a mental level.

He-Man:The Most Powerful Game In The Universe – iOS Review

Spike

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.

Save Them All – iOS Review

Ruaidhri Walker

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.

Carmageddon Review – iOS

Ruaidhri Walker

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.

50 Shades Of Grey Skin: Unsung Horror Games You Should Play

Spike

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)

Young Justice: The DC Universe Done Right

Ruaidhri Walker

The concept of a cartoon featuring Superboy, Martian Manhunter’s niece and Aqua Lad is something that would normally make me want to take all my lovely comics and burn them in my garden in a hope that the gods of nerd would somehow see my sacrifice as enough to smite the unholy that came up with this abomination. But then I sat down and watched Young Justice, a cartoon that is currently showing its second series in America and made me realise something; with the right writers and story, that showcases the universe and the characters, this may just work.

One Girl And Her Pig: My Favourite Game And Why You Should Play It

Spike

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.

Magic The Gathering: Experimentation Retrospective Vol.1

Ruaidhri Walker

I’m not the first to make the observation that schools are just a series of cliques forced into the same room for 45 minute periods of pretending to learn. There are obviously many cliques it’s possible to fall into. The Goths, a breed that I can associate with in as much as I hate sunlight and quite enjoy the moany tones of The Smiths and The Cure. There was the cool kids who at my school seemed to be mainly about people who found farting on each other’s heads and being douche’s hilarious. I fell into neither of these groups, I didn’t even fall in the sporty clique or the nerds, I was a nomad, I had really good friends in each group, but I could never commit to one or the other. This lead to me seeing a lot of things from the outside but never taking part for example; the sporty kids who actually did exercise, something I’ve witnessed on many occasions but never participated in myself.

The nerds was where my interest was really piqued though. They knew things and did things which just fascinated me. There was actually a sub-group within the nerds; nerds means many things to many people, a higher level of intelligence or a fascination with Dragons and Orcs, well our nerds contained both sub-species (smart and fantasy not dragons and orcs). The thing is I wasn’t much better myself; I from an early age had an obsession with computer games, but that was relatively hidden at school, it wasn’t until university I was truly open as to how into games I was. These nerds were open about their interests and not ashamed of it, they would play quick sessions of Dungeons and Dragons on the school field and the collectable card game Magic: The Gathering. I was curious, I went as far as to buy a few packs to be able to build a deck, but short of looking at the pictures, I can’t remember ever actually using the cards.

Colin Jones Interview: Rockstar Ate My Hamster and My Childhood

Ruaidhri Walker

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.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: A Retrospective

Ruaidhri Walker

About once a year something comes around, something that is more annoying than Winter/Summer, delete as applicable if you’re a goth or emo, this something fills me with despair and to an extent upset: The “10 TV Show That Shouldn’t Have Been Cancelled” list that every “culture” website seems to wheel out like the good crockery at Christmas.

The thing with these lists is that whilst at heart they come from a good place they’re mostly just telling people what they don’t have any-more, it’s almost like the obituaries section of the Oscars, you’re reminded of some awesome talent that has taken a disliking to breathing. Whilst it’s wholly inappropriate for me, the self opinionated nerd I am, to start ragging on “rival” sites for these pieces, I also find myself drawn to the article topic myself like a moth to an inferno.

They Scare Me Ok?: A Personal Look At Children In Horror

Harriet

I love horror. I like to read it, I like to research it and I especially enjoy a creepy film. I love the feeling of unease, tension and the anticipation of something jumping out of my nightmares and onto my television screen. There are many things in the world that give me the creeps. Spiders, Cows and sometimes, being left alone in the dark for long periods of time. There is only one thing that can induce the warm, embarrassing flow of the ‘fear pee’ through my jeans. Little dead kids. So, when it comes to horror films, I’m open to watching any flick, unless it features a dead looking child on the cover. Then I hesitate.

A Review of Gloom: Consumed by Card Games

Harriet

 

‘Cousin Mordecai found himself playing with rusty old bear traps in the woods. Unfortunately, he slipped and the trap took off his arm. In a horrifying turn of events and due to the lack of modern medicine, he found himself Galled by Gangrene!’

 

I love Gloom. Not only because I have an unsettling interest in the morbid and gruesome, but because it’s so much fun to play. I don’t have experience of card games on the whole; the best I could do is fluke a game of snap. So my relief was overflowing when I was introduced to Gloom.

Stallone’s Pile Of Shame: Party at Kitty and Stud’s

Ruaidhri Walker

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.

The Boxee: My Favourite Gadget

Ruaidhri Walker

So lets get this out of the way now, every TV show and film I have on my hard-drive are legitimately sourced and are on the most part just digital rips of my hefty DVD collection. I need to point this out now so that I can talk more openly about my favourite gadget I own, The boxee.

The boxee is a media centre. The weird melted cube that sits next to the TV allows you, the viewer, to plug in hard-drives (many if you find a USB hub that works with it) and the boxee will play the media files on the drives. The thing is that it will recognise nearly every codec and media file type going in the world today, and with a relatively frequent update for the OS and the Boxee itself it means that rarely will you find something that will trip it up.

Thomas Was Alone – PC Review

Ruaidhri Walker

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.

Top 5 Meta-Horror Films

Ruaidhri Walker

The concept of Meta-Horror as a genre is something that has only really come into its own in the past few years. Films of the 80’s and 90’s although being “self aware” never really subscribed to the whole “break the 4th wall and have the horror universe as a real thing”.

Notable exceptions include Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, a bastard offspring of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and Seed of Chucky. Both of which took the concept of the previous films in their canon and acknowledged they were films, but placed the latest in reality of a new film production. Quite simply Meta-Horror is something that’s painfully hard to explain so if nothing else why not see this top 5 as an explanation and a praising of the fledgling genre. It’s worth noting however that there is a difference between Meta-Horror and a parody, Scary Movie whilst having many references to the genre is not really in the spirit of the genre. And to pre-empt comments I will say now SPOILER ALERT for some of the following film descriptions.