Category Archives: Videogames

The Great Non-Finisher

I am a starter of things. A collector of hobbies. Compulsively grass-is-greener and oh-so-fucking-easily distracted. I lack possibly every modicum of discipline and self-control.  Basically, I’m a big fucking child. Honestly, I can hardly walk down the aisle of a supermarket without thinking “Ooh, I AM really in the mood for a pomegranate. In you go..”, “Now, I don’t need half a dozen jars of salsa, but at that price, I’d be crazy not to.” No dude, you already are crazy.

I am an advertiser’s dream. I sell shit to myself. Just point me at something and tell me that it’s slightly different to the thing that came before it and I’m golden. And then something else comes along and I drop the original thing, whatever it may be, and leave it to collect dust whilst I get my “THIS IS NEW AND SHINY AND COOL!” kicks from the new thing. Then that wears off and the cycle repeats itself. It’s financial masturbation, and I know it’s wrong but-OH-LOOK-A-SALE! Deferred gratification is not my bag.

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Sun, Sand and Savagery in Spec Ops: The Line

Fair Warning – There will be spoilers detailing the story of Spec Ops: The Line in the post, after the jump.

There’s very unsettling moment about half way through 2010’s Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days. Having surrendered to the chief antagonist of the game, Kane, Lynch and Lynch’s girlfriend, Xui are subjected to an awful amount of off-screen torture. You regain control of Lynch – who, having been assumed dead – wakes up in a dumpster, naked and bleeding from dozens of deep lacerations all over his body. It’s grimy stuff. Proceeding back into bathroom where the torture took place, you stumble upon Xui’s body, the full extent of her torture obscured via pixelisation, a great use of the games found-footage visual style, all red and brown and black and blue leaving just enough to the imagination to suggest a deplorable level of sadism, but one that is still hidden, protecting the player..

No such veil is left covering any hideous part of Spec Ops: The Line.
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I always used to scoff at my friends who talked about chalking up hundreds and hundreds of hours on World of Warcraft, as I never really encountered what it might feel like to be addicted to a video game. I never really realised that a video game of all things could devour more time and attention from my day than anything else on my schedule. I always used to laugh at the stereotype view of ‘gamer nerds’, hunched over their screens, forsaking meals lest they miss out on one precious hour of time in a game world.

But then, I decided not to eat dinner one night, I figured I was too busy hunting down the next big important piece of loot from a dungeon. Then I knew what it felt like to have a game pretty much take over your life. Then I knew where stereotypes come from. Then I knew I was addicted to Skyrim. Something had to be done. Continue reading

A Game Everyone Should Play

You have to hand it to Nintendo. The release and massive popularity of the Wii exposed millions of ‘normal people’ to the gaming world and really heralded a change in the landscape. Fanboys and fanatics will probably argue this was a bad move, as it diluted a somewhat niche and hardcore community with an influx of casual games that ‘arent proper games’.

Whilst not a big fan of casual games, I have to disagree. The fact is, a large amount of this new audience soon got tired of dance simulators and virtual fitness coaches, and stuck around at the party to see what else gaming had to offer. Continue reading

The First Game You Ever Played

Video games have always been a part of my life. For as long as I can remember, there has always been a computer or a console wherever I’ve lived, and in most cases, I was the one glued to it.

I always thought that the first game I played was Street Fighter on my Dad’s Commodore 64. But I would’ve been far too young to have played that before anything else.
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Take Earth Back

Or, In Defence of Mass Effect 3’s Ending.

FAIR WARNING! There will be SPOILERS regarding the ending of ME3, and some of the plot points from previous ME games. I’ll try not to be too specific, but if you’ve haven’t played ME3 to its end, or have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks and don’t already know what all this ending fuss is about, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

I liked the ending of Mass Effect 3. Continue reading

To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine

So yesterday I spent about an hour fawning over the ending of Red Dead Redemption, one of my favourite video games.

Today, I’m doing the same with L.A. Noire, a game fast becoming equally placed among my top ten. (Actually not a bad idea for a series of blogs, once I actually come up with a concrete top ten list.).
SECOND FAIR WARNING. Spoilers may follow, so if you haven’t finished the game, do it before reading. If you haven’t played it, what are you doing?!
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And The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed.

I finished LA Noire recently, Rockstar and Team Bondi’s 1940’s detective ‘thriller’ (I use ” as its a game that’s very very hard to properly describe). Around the same time last year I finished Rockstar’s western themed Red Dead Redemption. In between that, Alan Wake, a supernatural horror from Remedy.

All three rank among the best written and directed games I’ve ever played. They play out like serial TV shows, LA Noire and Alan Wake especially, given their fairly episodic structure (each ‘level’ is totally self contained, but all lead to a greater, bigger finale). I think this is why the endings to all three were so very effective. Continue reading