Welcome back for episode 70. We have super special guest BadMotherLicker joining us in Crinbots absence this week you can find Licker on @ on twitter. He joins in the fun to chat with us about;
And much more.
Welcome back for episode 70. We have super special guest BadMotherLicker joining us in Crinbots absence this week you can find Licker on @ on twitter. He joins in the fun to chat with us about;
And much more.
Back to basics this week with our original duo The Quim Ninja and eremenko representing TBoD, Crinbot couldn’t make the show this week but the two of us still managed to go long as usual on the following topics;
our ‘we called the dog…’ game this week is The Firm,
Thanks as always for listening if you have something to say about the topics discussed hit us up on twitter or comment below.
This week Quim and I were lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Pete from White Paper games. After a Q&A session about Pete’s work in the industry and in particular on the studios debut title ‘Ether One‘ Pete was kind enough to stick around and discuss some of this weeks big news including;
‘sup baggers, we’re back apologies for the delay but we do have a rather special show for you today.
This week we’re talking Destiny and all Destiny.
Sit back relax and have a listen to our impressions from the beta.
We were super stoked to have the wonderful Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore of Punklabs fame join us for this episode. We spend the majority of the episode gaining insight into the life and work of an indie developer but we also manage to cover some news;
We had a great time with this one so I hope you all enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording it.
Barbershop Duet (right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download)
Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum
try getting that one out of your head.
Quim and Menko are once again a twosome for this weeks episode, joined in brief cameos by This is Reklaw and BadMotherLicker. The focus this week is in shooters with the following up for discussion;
Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,
updates to Titanfall and BF 4,
all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games
Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.
This week we cover;
A few listener questions and,
and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’
Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.
We’re short a member again this week, Crinbot’s absence means we have no song either so apologies for that. We do have the usual content for your listening pleasure so without further ado the stuff we cover;
as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have a special E3 cast in store today brought to you by two out of three of our regular hosts. The topics up for discussion this week are’
Hope you enjoy the show, let us know your thoughts on the top showings and give us a run down of who you would award what in the following categories;
Upset not to see
Best in show
The regular TBoD aural assault is here for your listening pleasure.
This week we talk;
Enjoy mother funsters….
Ok folks, welcome back to another episode of the TBoD Podcast, our lively debate this week consists of the following stories;
Undead labs were kind enough to provide us with a steam key for the latest DLC for the epic Zombie survival game State of Decay, I threw together a quick review featuring gameplay footage from my playthough of the game.
Check it out here or over on our YouTube channel.
Special thanks to The Wach for helping us to secure this review copy.
Another week, another installment on the TBoD podcast.
The topics on the smörgåsbord for discussion this week are;
and our Indie game of the week is “Total Chaos“.
As always thanks for tuning in, if you like what you hear leave us a comment or a review on iTunes, if you have a burning question that you need answering in a meandering tangenty fashion by all means give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment here on the blog.
With an Open Hand < — Right click and choose “save as” to download
Howdy chaps and chapesses,
Here we are again. Another week older, but probably not any wiser; you be the judge.
This week we talk:
XBONE price drops
Virtuix Omni secures funding
Playstation Plus free games for May
New Watch Dogs gameplay video
Civilization: Beyond Earth – wowzers…
Four player narrative coop announced for AC: Unity
Minecraft real-world application awesomeness
Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)
We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:
Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.
Nice words from a Titanfall dev.
And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.
Hello boys and girls,
Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast, the topics up for discussion from our likely lads this week are;
Hello Tea Pots,
Welcome to another freshly poured cup of the Teabag or Die podcast. This week the boys discuss;
TLoU movie (again),
and this weeks “we called the dog…” title is ‘This is my War‘
have a deeks, let us know what you think and keep in touch in all the usual ways.
Welcome back to the stage of victory….. or something less dramatic.
The TBoD guys are back with their regularly scheduled programming, the topics on the bill for discussion this week are;
Microsoft reduce the price of the Xbox one in a new Titanfall bundle,
Duna duna duna duna duna duna duna duna BATMAN!
This weeks Indie game is 10 second Ninja
We had some technical difficulties this week so there have been some audio cuts, apologies for that.
As always let us know what you think of the stories discussed this week via the usual portals.
Thanks for listening,
UPDATE: – Audio has been cleaned up slightly, no cuts in the latest version so re-download latst version.
We’ve been a little busy this week what with one thing or another and thus we have taken a break from the regularly scheduled podcast but we didn’t want to leave y’all hanging so we popped out a little special for your listening pleasure.
In this special we talk about the beginnings, the ever changing nature and the potential future of the Massively Multiplayer Online gaming scene. We also recorded a very special intro just for the cast, stay tuned at the end for the blooper reel.
Hopefully you will find this as interesting and entertaining as our regularly scheduled programming. Let us know what you thing about the topics discussed in the comments below.
Don’t starve focuses on the adventures of Wilson the gentleman scientist and was first released by Klei entertainment (Eets, Shank, Mark of the Ninja) on PC April 2013 now however this absorbing little title has made it’s way to PS4 and the PS+ service.
Most of the fellow PS4 owner I have spoken to about it have really struggled to get started but as someone who adopted the game early on PC I thought I would write up a little starter guide to get you newbies through the first few nights, a lot of the beauty of this game comes from discovery so only read that which you really need to survive.
The absolute most important thing you are going to need to survive is a light source, a torch will save you in a bind but it won’t last you an entire night, you are going to need a fire, preferably you want a fire pit but a regular campfire will do for the first night. To do this you will need to gather sticks and flint and some grass for kindling … quickly, search your surroundings for those also picking any berries, carrots and seeds you can find. By all means munch some of these up if you get hungry but they are better if you cook them on your fire. So make an axe take down some trees to get some logs, you will need two and three grass to make a campfire. If you can manage it crafting a pick axe and mining some stone will give you a far superior fire-pit but you will need twelve stone too. Once your fire is lit you will need to ensure it stays burning through the night so make sure you have some spare logs on hand to stoke those flames. Once it’s burning cook up any food you have and get stuck into some nom noms. An important part of making survival as easy as possibly is the correct placement of your base camp, if you don’t manage to make a firepit you can always relocate but if you have a fire pit try to place it nearby some berry bushes, grass nodes an most importantly some rabbit holes… these will soon become your easiest and modes satisfying food source.
Quick quide (Day 1 minimum requirements: two flint, two sticks, five logs, three grass, food)
<Day 1 recommended requirements lots of flint, lots of sticks, lots of grass, lots of logs, twelve stone>
On the second day your main goal is either to find some stone (if you haven’t already built your fire pit) or to start harvesting food. The easiest way to do this is to make a bunch of traps (six grass, two sticks) which can be found in the survival tab of your inventory. Once you’ve made a couple drop them over the top of rabbit holes and leave them for half a day or so, when you return to them they should be filled with tasty rabbit. You can then murder the poor buggers and turn them into tasty morsels which you can cook up on your fire. The next thing you should ideally achieve on the first day is collecting some gold. Look for a rocky area and try to ferret out some of the larger rocks with the gold veins running through them and mine those up. You will also need more logs and stone if possible, don’t use all your logs up because you will need them to add fuel to your fire through the night. If you have plenty though four logs four rocks and one gold will allow you to make a science machine which will allow you to prototype some new tools and inventions which will aid your efforts to live on.
(Day 2 minimum requirements: Stone, Logs, traps, food)
<Day 2 recommended requirements: All of the above plus gold)
By day three you should start to become more comfortable with the mechanics of survival in this weird and wonderful world and it’s time to concern yourself with protecting yourself and your assets, you can do this a couple of ways, items don’t despawn if you leave them on the ground (but don’t drop them too close to your fire) or you can build a chest to store your things, if your lucky you might find an eyeball on a stick which will grant you the company of chesty the chest monster (you can get him to stay at your base if you lead him there and place the eye stick inside his storage). The next thing to do is plant trees all around your base, you should have plenty of pinecones from your much chopping of trees, plant quite a few but save some in your inventory in case of emergency. If you’ve gathered plenty of stone you can refine that into cut stone and use that to create walls (don’t bother with straw or wood walls they are really worthless). Your base will never be truely safe because you can’t make a door but a few walls will make you feel a lot better on those scary dark nights.
(Day 3 minimum requirements: Science Machine, Chest, walls)
- Don’t attack bees, it wont end well,
- Chopping wood is all well and good but should you upset a tree beast he can be calmed simply by planing enough pinecones,
- Food is important, you can eat berries, seeds, flowers and all but the real boost comes from meat. Get traps and nets as soon as you can then focus on trying to make all of the items in the food tab,
- If something looks nasty, it probably is do not provoke them,
- Spiders are a great source of loot and mats that you will need, don’t be reckless though, use traps and cunning to thin their numbers before hitting the nest.
Ok everyone, hopefully this will help you to survive in don’t starve, just stay calm and keep plugging away.
You can play on your PS fooooouuuur…. *ahem* *cough* er …. anyway, So launch day came and went with the TBoD alumni emerging victorious with PS4’s in hand, and as you know from Quims posts about the hardware and the games we are having somewhat of an epic time with our machines. One of the things he has not had a chance to play with is one of the things that excited me most pre launch (especially after I picked up my Vita) Remote Play!
PS4, Vita and you … the perfect three-way?
This is nothing new really, it was touted as a massive feature with the PS3 and the PSP but it never really managed to get off the ground, partly due to lack of support but also due to the restraints of the PSP system. Still it was something that Sony would continue to tout and the introduction of the Vita to the picture in 2011 would force the issue a little further.
Titles such as Little Big Planet, Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD and The God of War Collection HD supported full remote playability but these Sony in house titles alone were not enough to draw more people into buying the Vita itself. The announcement of heavy support for the PS4 remote play feature however set a few tongues wagging.
Enough of the history lesson let’s talk about how it fairs.
I love this horse and this affection is not scale dependant
I want to make it clear that this is by no means a perfect system and it certainly has it’s flaws. First and foremost if you don’t like gaming on a handheld system this feature is not for you, the screen is small so you’re gonna need to focus. The Vita screen is a beautiful thing, those OLED’s sparkle and pop when playing a Vita title but that shine is taken away somewhat when playing Remote Play, games which run at 60fps on your PS4 will only display 30fps on the Vita screen and the resolution leaves a little to be desired, textures are a lot muddier and in general it’s not the ideal way to admire the gorgeous graphics of your brand new £350 system.
The truth of the matter is though it’s an unrivaled system that is excellently executed (not perfect, but still fucking ace). What’s not to love, well there are some things, some really freaking massive things that will drive you to the borders of madness in fact, but on the whole it works really well and you can literally play your ps4 games from anywhere that you have access to a decent enough internet connection which is just class. With 4G fast taking over the world it’s only a matter of time before you literally do not have to go without some next gen console action wherever you are. Now I have tested this theory, I have played Battlefield 4 from a house some 4-5 miles away from my own, admittedly this was using a 60mb internet connection but the experience was as close to flawless as I could have possibly expected (playing it on hard was probably a mistake) and I was very impressed with the responsiveness and just the plain fact that I could access my PS4 dash from somewhere else was so pleasing.
I literally never have to be separated from you again PS4!
At present it literally works with every single game available for the system, Sony are playing their cards close to the chest but indications are that this will continue to be the case, the software is written into the machines OS (once you’ve downloaded the day one update) and chances are every game for the PS4 will be playable via remote play and that is some feat. The Vita has all the input options needed to fully emulate the DS4 it does a stand up job all told, the front screen emulates the track pad (and does an arguably better job while it’s at it) the sticks work well, the triggers are automatically mapped to the bumpers which makes playing FPS games a damn sight easier, even the motion controls from the DS4 can be replicated by the Vita and most importantly the extra analogue stick which was so sadly lacking on the PSP is there and it makes all the difference, this is how we play. Nearly all games now use the dual-stick input method and it had to be done for this function to work properly.
That’s all well and good but it does have a couple of issues when it comes to controls, the sticks are no where near as precise as those on the DS4 (probably more precise than a DS3 though) and you only have one set of shoulder buttons (the rear track pad emulates l1, r1, l3 and r3 it’s not perfect but it’s manageable with a little practice). The controls do respond pretty well but there is a noticeable input lag even when playing on your own local network (it’s noticeable but only very slightly).
.A small caveat for some reason at time of writing my Remote play does not allow me to watch Netflix, I find this a little strange but I imagine that it’s something to do with Licensing and the ability to use the same Netflix account in two places simultaneously? This wouldn’t be an issue were it possible to get the Vita Netflix app here in the UK …. we’re still waiting over for Sony/Netflix to pull their fingers out.
Probably my biggest complaint about the system is that there is simply no way to party chat, you can party up from the vita to the PS4 no problem what-so-ever, I can be playing Gravity Rush and chatting away to my friend on PS4 playing BF4 with the greatest of ease but as soon as I fire up remote play my Vita party chart app closes down this would be fine were it not for the fact that the Vitas built in mic is not recognized by the system during Remote Play and thus you cannot talk in a PS4 party, you can listen but not talk. Many people have suggested simply keeping your headset plugged into your DS4, not possible when you activate Remote play the DS4 disconnects, when you re-activate the DS4 the Vita disconnects, it’s infuriating. Hopefully this is something they can remedy in a further update but I don’t have the answer to that right now sadly.
“What else can it do?” I hear you ask, well in addition to Remote Play the Vita can also serve as your second screen device, it’s not something I have had the pleasure of fully using yet but with such a focus this generation on the second screen experience I think this will prove to be a vital tool. All I have used it for so far is to avoid the pain in the ass of having to manually input each letter of every password and every account name, the Vita’s touch screen makes text entry so much easier, although admittedly this can be done with any Smart Phone hooked up to the system using the new PlayStation App.
Maybe it’s not perfect in all aspects but it’s an idea that with refinement could really take off. As Sony and third party developers create more games that support cross platform play, more games that focus on Vita support and more importantly take into consideration the Vita’s many control mechanisms I can honestly see it growing stronger. Right now however it’s more fun to use for something like DC universe or contrast where super responsiveness isn’t all that important rather than something like Battlefield or Resogun where speed and efficiency can make the difference between life and death.
The TBoD boys are once again babbling about the latest gaming news in a week that has seen the most press covered launch since Atlantis’ final trip to ISS other topics include; GTA online and it’s first batch of DLC content, exciting news about a PS4/vita bundle heading to the UK, trouble across the board in server-town with Dice’s ultimate FPS BF4, TLoU, Bioshock Inf and the other usual suspects line up for another award ceremony, the Dice summit set to put the gaming world to rights, Telltales new Game …. of Thrones?
As always if you think we rock or suck let us know in the comments, the facebook and the twitter.
Stay tuned for more content this week as Quim and ‘menko are all set to join the next gen by Friday.
Another week, another TBoD podcast. Our new permanent line up stretch their vocal chords talking about;
The DRM debate that has escalated due to Sonys new ToS,
a touch of class from MS in the console war,
Crinbot and eremenkos excitement over a potential new Fallout game,
all the excitement and troubles of the PS4 launch,
and in our “we called the dog … ” section we highlight “Obduction” the new title from the creators of “Myst” and “Riven” which has smashed it’s kickstarter goal.
Coming off the back of a “game of the year” winning title with a new series of games is always a tough ask for any developer, and Telltale games were always going to have an uphill struggle after the rollercoaster success that met the studios acclaimed series of “Walking Dead” games. The follow-up in this case is “The Wolf among Us” based in Bill Willingham’s “Fable” graphic novels. So does it leave me howling with joy or is it all huff and no puff? (See what I did there? Clever).
From the outset it’s pretty clear that the mechanics are almost identical to those in previous titles, this isn’t a problem more of a “ain’t broken don’t fix it” kinda deal really. The controls may be a little clunky and the combat somewhat awkward but that just lends a little more difficulty to a genre that would otherwise amount to no more than a walk in the park with puzzles. That is no criticism of this type of game, I know of many much simpler titles out there whereas here at least you are forced to think both in and out of the box, in fact some of the decisions you make may come back in a myriad of ways to bite you in the arse very brutally at times.
Mirror, Mirror oh so wonky, what the fuck’s up with that flying monkey?
Graphically there have been some improvements from the studios previous titles but nothing completely awe-inspiring, sure the skins look nicer and the comic book style is further emphasized here but the character skeletons and the whole engine really seems to be pretty much identical to that used in TWD. This may not be a big issue though as the primary appeal here comes from the characters and the world they inhabit, flashy graphics are nice but they are not a necessity to tell a good story and this skewed fairy tale is shaping up to be a great one.
Obviously with both the Back to the Future and The Walking Dead titles Telltale were creating games in a worlds that were already pretty well-known and loved by many and this will have stood them in good stead from the off. While Fables is a pretty popular graphic novel it cannot be claimed that it has anywhere near the notoriety of those that came before, even so the story of “The Wolf Among Us” is apparently to be considered canon by the writer himself, so in creating the game the devs had a new challenge in keeping an interesting story whilst not alienating those who have read the comics. I don’t want to spoil even a moment of the experience of this first part in five so I won’t mention any specifics of the story here but I do want to touch upon the characters, primarily to compare them with the two heroes in TWD. Lee and Clem no doubt stole the hearts of all who played through their adventure together and to begin with I wondered whether I could feel the same way about the twisted versions of these classic fairy tale heroes and villains, however my fears were allayed almost immediately. Bigby, former antagonist of pigs and red hooded girls turned sheriff of fable town is immediately likable as the dark anti-hero, a film noir style investigator struggling with his inner demon. Trying with limited success to make up for his dark past by helping those in need in the present seems to be his main concern, but given his tendencies he is clearly not afraid to get his hands dirty in his line of work. The supporting cast around him are all as brilliantly realised and portrayed and the setting for the story is a sinister one which only adds to the overall feeling of hopelessness and foreboding.
Things are getting hairy ….. oh dear.
It isn’t long before the shit hits the fan and, just like a bear’s porridge, the plot begins to thicken, so compelling is the world that this small morsel has left me salivating for part two and cannot wait to devour the entirety of Bill Willingham’s series, without doubt another happy ending is written here for Telltale.
Recently we at TBOD towers have been playing an insane amount of GTA V. Alas there are times when we simply cannot be attached to our consoles and thus cannot become lost in the world of Los Santos, during these moments it is absolutely vital that we keep our thumbs exercised and I’ve been doing so with a couple of real quality titles on my mobile.
I don’t usually like tower defense games but Ironhide studios “KingdomRush” was one of the best in the genre in terms of flash efforts, the mobile port was excellent and the new to android sequel “Frontiers” is an absolute delight.
It’s pretty much your traditional build, kill, earn, build, upgrade format but with a slight twist in that you can deploy soldiers from your barracks to block the path of your unyielding attackers. The theme of the game is taken pretty much straight out of fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings or World of Warcraft, fully equipped with Dwarven explosives experts, Elven archers, stout Paladins and crafty Wizards fighting for the side of good against waves of Goblins, Orcs, Lizardmen, Undead, Giants and overgrown insect pests.
What makes the “Rush” franchise so engaging is it’s upgrade system, not only do you have the opportunity to upgrade your towers as you go but each round see’s you acquire stars which you can use to bolster your troops abilities permanently. There are also hero characters available, these heroes can level up and improve their abilities through a basic talent tree upgrade system, one gripe I have is that despite having paid for the game there are still micro transaction to unlock further hero characters. It’s a massive pain but I can understand the dev’s desire to do so and can’t think of another example where IAP is handled so un-obtrusively.
This sequel improves drastically on the original in many ways that wont be immediately obvious, this isn’t a bad thing as the format of the first title was pretty much perfect but as you go through the levels you unlock extra tower upgrades, all of which are intelligently designed and oh so satisfying to use.
The second title I have spent some time with this week on my Android is a reworking of an all time favourite of mine, manage your planes, trains and automobiles in the triumphant return of “Transport Tycoon“.
I have spent way more time than I would care to admit with “Open TTD” and have loved every minute of it, when I was younger I was really into “Railroad tycoon” and “Sim City“, OTTD provided me with even more ways to interact with my city and meticulously plan train routes and station placement. I know it may sound boring to some of you but hey …. I don’t grief any of you for loving “My Little Pony” do I? Each to their own when it comes to entertainment eh?
So you can pick up an OTTD port on Android, but that’s all it is … a port. As impressive and achievement as that is it’s still somewhat buggy and the touch screen controls are pretty much non-existent. As such a genuine touch screen version is a welcome addition to the Play and iOS library. Add to this the cooperation of the original games developer Chris Sawyer and surely we must be onto a winner? In short yes, the game feels every bit as immersive as it’s PC counterpart which is an impressive feat. The interface has been simplified somewhat but just enough so that it is manageable on a four-inch screen you never feel like your missing out on anything. The game-play is almost identical to what you would expect from a tycoon game and despite the edited touch screen controls being a little tricky to get to grips with you will soon be joining towns with all the efficiency of the Japanese rail system.
I may be somewhat biased due to my love of this classic game but I cannot fault this port, it has a bunch of great challenges to complete and even the ability to play a sandbox mode. If you love city sims, strategy games or if you just have a penchant for playing with trains then this title is a must have.
To sum up, it’s really nice to see some titles coming to mobile that clearly have a lot of heart and soul poured into them and it’s refreshing that they aren’t hampered by ridiculously over the top price tags (*ahem* Square-enix) or riddled with in game adds (everything ftp on the Play store) hopefully this will usher in a new era of games that are priced well and play amazingly.
While we are on the subject of Mobile games with pure class…. please, please, please go check out Nicoll Hunt of I fight Bears debut title “Fist of Awesome” , I had a brief love affair with it at eurogamer and am off to go play it to death right now as it’s just come out for both Android and iOS. Review to follow.
We’re back from our stint in the capital at Eurogamer expo and feeling a little worse for wear. Hopefully this isn’t immediately obvious as we discuss some of the latest gaming news including;
Valves latest announcements,
Battlefield 4’s Beta launch,
Quims console conundrum,
GTA onlines teething problems and what little of it we have played,
If you enjoy the show leave a comment or rate the post, any reviews on iTunes would also be greatly appreciated.
We are so freshly returned from this years Eurogamer expo that I can still taste the feverish excitement of thousands of passionate gamers fresh in my mouth.
We just wanted to take a moment to thank all the amazing cosplayers who stopped and took time out of their hectic gaming schedule to allow us a quick pic. These are some of the most dedicated fans out there and their skill with a needle and thread should be well respected. On with the pictures.
He’s the greatest… he’s fantastic
A lovely Lara
Judge those Zeds
A great Link
TF 2 heavy and Sephiroph
Some sinister nurses
Red Ranger on crutches
Guild Wars 2
AC Tifa Lockheart
A Sith and Ewok and Nate Drake
A battle scarred Lara Croft
Dead Risings Frank West
Vergil from Devil May Cry in female form
Thanks again to all you great sports. If any of these are you let us know in the comments below. We always love to see well put together cosplays and hope you all enjoy the remainder of the expo.
Video games have always struggled to strike the right balance between the size of the game world and the detail poured into said world, this dilemma is something that has become easier and easier to dodge as our gaming machines have become more and more powerful. Creating a living breathing world is an incredible achievement and those few who manage it are revered like Gods in the gaming world and much like it’s immortal counterpart this idea seems to never die.
For me this idea of exploring a world at your own will began with early RPG titles. While not necessarily “Open world” games, titles like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Breath of Fire gave gamers an early opportunity to navigate an entire world in the however they wished and while some of these games may have changed tactics in recent iterations other developers have taken the idea and made it their own.
Grand Theft Auto (1997) though simple in it’s execution was huge in scope and allowed players to travel through three large cities however they felt necessary. Many others have challenged Rockstars crown as the Kings of the open world title but the Edinburgh based production house remain firmly planted upon their very own iron throne. This isn’t to say that one of to days most admired titles has had it all it’s own way, nor is true to say they haven’t taken a few hints along the way.
The Humble beginnings of a world beater
Shenmue (1999) is widely regarded to be the first title to be set in a completely open 3d city which featured a “living” populace offering players un-rivaled freedom to interact with the world around them. This was a huge step in the video game world and Segas contribution cannot be ignored although it may have been somewhat overshadowed by what was to come.
Is this the real life …. or is this just fantasy
Rockstar as ever unwilling to relinquish their grip on the open world genre would soon after release GTA III, the first game in the series to feature a fully 3d sandbox city in which the player was free to cause as much mayhem as they wished, it was an insane achievement. Sega did not want to give up the fight though and they struck back with their own crime based open world title Yakuza and all the while PC gamers were gifted with The Elder Scrolls series which is undoubtedly the most important game in the “open world first person” sub-genre.
All of these titles featured impressively sized game worlds be it a city, county/state, island and in some cases even a country but in 2004 Blizzard came and stole all the accolades by creating a game that encompassed an entire world to be explored by you and millions of others in the most acclaimed MMORPG of them all. What WoW did affected and continues to effect everything that came and will come, despite recent drops in revenue this game will forever be regarded as a gift and a curse by gamers across the world. Then there’s the small matter of a little game you may of heard of called Minecraft the founder of the proceduraly generated unlimited world, MC once again changed our perspective of just how much of a sandbox a game can be and it’s popularity continues to soar, this kind of dynamic world and changing environment could be seen the epitome of the genre.
This place is your life now!
Most games these days don’t shy away from creating an experience that can be shared with a friend, even games that are traditionally a solo experience are beginning to see the value in multiplayer, after all a game like any other form of entertainment is at it’s best when you are sharing it with a friend or two .. or more. Forthcoming titles such as Destiny, The Division and The Crew have shifted ideals from being about multi-player or open world and instead look to focus on creating a persistent shared world which can be occupied by thousands upon thousands of players. This idea is one still very much in it’s infancy but it’s something that we all as gamers are becoming more and more intrigued by with every passing day. Combining the elements of open world play with the full on living world experience is a salivating concept for everyone. Add in to that the ability to meet strangers along the way, those who may wish to join you or those who definitely wish to kill you (and steal your beans) and you have a frighteningly appealing genre that might just mean the end of the real world for good.
Is the MMO the ultimate gaming Destiny?
All that said “Sandbox” games can be something of an enigma and it seems difficult to achieve balance between a compelling story and complete freedom, many games have tried and many have failed, sometimes you don’t need a story as proved by the hugely popular Arma II mod DayZ but other times it’s simply the most important part. Some of the most critically acclaimed games of recent years buck the trend for open world and are much stronger titles for being more linear. Bioshock, The Walking Dead, Half Life 2, Dishonored, Portal, Heavy Rain and The Last of Us have all been nominated for and taken home many awards globally. This shows that there is still life in games that are more focused on creating a story than simulating a world these smaller more narrative driven titles offer the player something deeper than a world to play in and will often invoke a stronger emotional attachment than their larger counterparts but it may just be that they are more difficult to develop.
Get ready to be punched in the feels
Creating a living world is one thing but creating a believable story is something else entirely and something that can often be neglected in games which are more focused on adrenaline fueled action and competitive multi-player. The art of weaving a tale is as old as time and I for one don’t think it’s ready to rest it’s weary head just yet.
It’s true to say that video games are always evolving and always looking for that next big idea, how do you guys feel the gaming world will evolve next? Are open worlds or deep stories more important to you? Do you value a short game over a seemingly un-ending one or would you prefer that your favourite game could last forever? Let me know in the comments below and as always thanks for your time.
Catchy title huh?
One Finger Death Punch
Anyone who’s been following the podcast will know that a couple of weeks back we featured the game “One Finger Death Punch” as our indie game of the week in our “We called the dog…” section, well I’ve been playing it and let me tell you it’s every bit as fast, furious and fun as we had hoped.
Behind an incredibly simple premise hides a game that is amazingly well crafted. Using only two buttons, you must face off hordes of enemies. From your standard one hit kill henchman to the tricky boss sections every punch, kick, slash, slam and throw is as satisfying as the last this is due largely to the dedication of “Silver Dollar Games” team to recreate classic moves from a selection of martial arts schools.
You may only be a stick man fending off waves of similar dimensionaly challenged fighters but when the combat flows and the combos roll you will feel just like Bruce Lee in his prime pulling off an array of special moves and killer finishing moves as the hapless enemy ninjas fall at your feet. There is no way to move your character except by attacking and you must time your attacks to perfection if you want to get through the levels in one piece. Most of these levels come in the form of “Mob Stages” where you are tasked with taking down a set number of enemies and your ranking comes from how many times you mistime an attack (tip: you don’t want to do this as you are going to get bitch slapped for your troubles). These brawling stages are broken up however by the introduction of special stages like; timed battles, boss stages and the incredibly satisfying and visceral weapons stages my favourite of which features a familiar looking (and sounding) beam sword capable of slicing and cauterizing all in one….. it’s lethal and hella good fun.
This title truly is a Kung-Fu masterpiece and is for me the most satisfying martial arts games going. Anyway the game is available on Xbox live for the paltry sum of 80 Microsoft Pacmen so what are you waiting for go buy it and have fun.
Quim and ‘menko are back and as bad as ever.
This weeks topics include;
Our longest ever shout-out section dedicated to Super Sugoi,
and much, much more.
Tune in kick-back and let us know what you think on twitter or in the comments below.
p.s kick up the bass boost for the outro this week :D