The TBoD Podcast – 82 – Wubbing myself off

Hi everyone,

The boys are back in town with a similar kinda funk again this week. We talk:

The Game Awards winners, including:

ZELDA!!!!

Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt; and

Bloodborne

The PS1 turns 20

Our indie game this week is Before

As ever, listen, enjoy, laugh, cry, subscribe, rate, the usual. Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all the others.

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See y’all soon!

The TBoD Podcast – 81 – Gettin’ Stuck on the D

Greetings friends,

All the gang is back together on our inaugural fortnightly cast. This episode, we riff on:

Halo 5: Guardians news

Blizzard’s new FPS/MOBA, Overwatch revealed

Arkham City easter eggs still being found

And we discuss the latest trailer for Telltale’s Game of Thrones

Our indie game this week is Zombie Night Terror

Enjoy!

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The TBoD Podcast – 57 – Wanted, on Xbox Live

Whaddup?

We’re back again to talk the latest gaming news.

This week: starting out with the XBone Zone, we look at the unbundling of Kinect, as well as the Netflix and Hulu Gold requirement being lifted, and Games with Gold – officially no longer shit! Moving on, we talk new Halo news.

Our Indie game this week is beautiful looking The Forest, go check it out.

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As ever, get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, or leave a comment below.

The TBoD Podcast – 56 – A Ball for Each Bongo

Well met adventurers!,

We have a veritable feast in store for you this week.

In this show we cover: an addition for Naughty Dog following their recent departures; could Titanfall be coming to PS4?; Steven Spielberg’s Halo series may not be as exclusive as we once thought; we get a bit weighty with our thoughts on sexism in gaming and society, thanks to this article; the obligatory Destiny circle-jerk continues, and further; plus, an exciting reveal from Sony on the real purpose of the DS4’s lightbar.

Our indie game this week is Stoked!, currently on Kickstarter. Head over and give it a look.

As ever, leave us your thoughts either below, or on Twitter/Facebook.

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The TBoD Podcast – 51 – TBoD Bingo

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

TBoD return the normal schedule this week with more news from the gamesphere from the past 7 days or so.

We firstly bash Xbox for erroneous reasons; the Game with Gold this month is indeed Hitman: Absolution. Apologies to Microsoft…

We touch on our thoughts around the more broad points from Gagnon30’s recent post.

Phil Spencer promoted;

Disney buys Maker Studios; and

Amazon Fire TV, among others

The indie game this week is the truly excellent Gang Beasts

As ever, get your lugs (English for ‘ears’) around our dulcet tones, and give us your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section below.

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The TBoD Podcast – 50 – Virtual Insanity

Hey folks,

The crew reunite after a split to take in the sights and “experiences” of Amsterdam to talk through the latest news in gaming.

This week, we couldn’t really talk about anything other than the Facebook/Oculus union.

Have a listen, and give us your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section below.

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The TBoD Podcast – 45 – Redacted

Yo,

Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast.

Hot off the press, onto our lips, and into your ears this week::

The greatest battle evaaaarrrr, and the aftermath.

DayZ updates.

Nintendo boss halves salary.

Elder Scrolls Online will not require PS+.

EA ruin some more stuff.

Octodad gets even more hilariously ridiculous?

Wolf Among Us episode 2 teaser released.

Our indie game is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter; a beautiful-looking Horror Fiction.

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Enjoy and leave a comment if you like.

The TBoD Podcast – 44 – The Teabag or Die Saga

Howdy partners

The whole crew is back this week to go through the latest gaming news, along with our views and opinions.

This week, we discuss:

Sony announcement – what could it be?

The solution to gamer rage?

Bound by Flame

Medieval fantasy epic, Kingdom Come Deliverance

Banished release date confirmed

Assassin’s Creed future settings

Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor announced, not without controversy

Lastly, we discuss some copyright issues around last week’s indie game, the Banner Saga

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Enjoy and leave a comment if you like.

The TBoD Podcast – 43 – The Neverending Tangent

Yo homies,

Another weekly digest of gaming news, views, and the inevitable tangents you all love us for.

This week we talk about:

Rust and DayZ – sources http://playrust.com/intro-video/http://www.incgamers.com/2014/01/facepunch-knocked-out-by-rust-sales-figures, and http://kotaku.com/dayz-or-rust-which-players-are-friendlier-1501109843?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Twitter&utm_source=Kotaku_Twitter&utm_medium=Socialflow

The Last of Us DLC – http://m.uk.ign.com/articles/2014/01/13/your-first-look-at-the-last-of-us-single-player-dlc

PS Plus free game news – http://www.gamepur.com/news/13285-ps-free-games-february-2014-leaked-outlast-ps4-bioshock-infinite-metro-last.html

The Banner Saga – http://store.steampowered.com/app/237990/ and http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/the-banner-saga-review/1900-6415626/

Xbox One features in action – http://kotaku.com/the-xbox-one-can-do-a-lot-more-than-you-might-think-1501411519

The return of Shooter’s Corner – Evolve – http://uk.ign.com/articles/2014/01/07/evolve-first-gameplay-and-multiplayer-class-details-revealed

We Called the Dog… – http://kotaku.com/sick-of-shooters-heres-a-mind-bending-first-person-pu-1497750193?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Twitter&utm_source=Kotaku_Twitter&utm_medium=Socialflow

Enjoy!

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TBoD Picks: Top Bad Guys in Video Games

Happy Friday ladies and gentlemen. For this week’s post, we’ve been indulging our darker sides. Everyone loves a good bad guy and we’re no different. Rudimentary creates of blood and flesh; let me present some of our favourite video game bad guys!

Crinbot

Darth Malak – KotoR

Darth Malak

No bad-guy list would be complete without at least one Sith Lord, of which Darth Malak is arguably the epitome. His appearance is as dark as they come thanks to his imposing height, the tattoos adorning his shaven head, and his prosthetic jaw covering the horrific ruin of the original sustained whilst fighting Revan. These features enhance his dark persona and go some way to demonstrating the burning dark energy at his core. Once a Jedi Knight, his path to the dark side was started when disobeying a Jedi Council edict during the Mandalorian wars along with his friend and mentor Revan. After betraying Revan and taking the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, Malak continued to wage war against the Republic and Jedi, destroying the Jedi Temple on Dantooine, and the planet of Taris.
His end, however, raised questions about his character. After in intense lightsabre duel with Revan the two spoke in one of the greatest death scenes of all time:

Malak: “Im… impossible. I… I cannot be beaten. I am the Dark Lord of the Sith.”
Revan: “This is the way of the Dark Side, Malak – all things end in death”.
Malak: “Still… still spouting the wisdom of the Jedi, I see. Maybe there is more truth in their code than I ever believed. I… I cannot help but wonder, Revan. What would have happened had our positions been reversed? What if fate had decreed I would be captured by the Jedi? Could I have returned to the Light, as you did? If you had not led me down the dark path in the first place, what destiny would I have found?”
Revan: “I am sorry I started you on this path. But you chose to continue down it.”
Malak: “I suppose… I suppose you speak the truth. I alone must accept responsibility for my fate. I wanted to be Master of the Sith and ruler of the galaxy. But that destiny was not mine, Revan. It might have been yours, perhaps… but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me… I am nothing.”

Loghain Mac Tir – Dragon Age Origins

1714684-loghain

In my gaming life, no other video game character evokes as much hatred, scorn, and ill-will in me as Loghain. In the Human Noble Origin story, Arl Rendon Howe, acting under the direct orders of Loghain, lays siege to House Cousland and murders Teyrn and Teyrin Cousland, as well as their daughter-in-law and grandchild. Not long after, Loghain betrays King Cailan in the battle of Ostagar. Later in the game, after being bested by the Warden, Loghain attempts to join the band of misfits in their quest to unite Ferelden, I think you can probably guess what I did…

Eremenko

Dr Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog

Robotnik

The evil persona of Dr. Robotnik, which was borne from one of Ivor Kintobor’s many scientific experiments, was the very first console villain. An evil so odious that his very shape matches that of the rotten egg he has become. His badness knows no bounds and he will stop at nothing to destroy Sonic, steal the Chaos emeralds for himself and take control of the planet Mobius.

Sephiroph – Final Fantasy VII

Sephiroth

The best baddies often start life as heroes and Sephiroph is the ultimate example of that. The most well-known and admired of Shinra’s elite SOLDIER, Sephiroph was the idol of many young boys and the inspiration behind Cloud’s decision to join up with the private militia of Midgar’s most wealthy and influential corporations. Once he learns the manner of his conception and the experimental creation which made him the ultimate super soldier , Sephiroph loses his mind and will stop at nothing to return the planet to what he believes is its rightful state…. devoid of all human life.

Ganondorf – The Legend of Zelda

Ganondorf

Ganondorf is Link’s greatest enemy and he will be forced to defeat him time and time again throughout lifetimes and universes. Ganondorf has been a blight on the kingdom of Hyrule. His towering stature is enough to send lesser heroes fleeing to the hills but Link will never shirk his responsibility and will forever stand against Ganondorf’s constant attempts to steal the tri-force and the power it contains. Usually a pretty one-dimensional enemy, Ganondorf’s motives are often unclear but he’s the type of enemy where you don’t need to be told that only badness can befall if he is successful in his schemes.

Albert Wesker – Resident Evil

Wesker

Wesker ….. just the name is enough to anger fans of the Resi series. Former head of the S.T.A.R.S unit Wesker was once Jill and Chris’ superior. During the operation at the mansion in the Arklay mansion, Wesker reveals his true colours and it turns out he has been working for the Umbrella corporation the whole time. His scheming almost gets the entire bravo team killed and more importantly, he forced poor Barry Burton to help him hide his secret from his friends. A purely evil bastard Wesker will do anything in his pursuit of power. Luckily during Chris’ final battle with the Tyrant Wesker is killed ….. or is he?

Quim

Solomun Grundy - Batman: Arkham City

Solomon Grundy

The epitome of menace, Solomon Grundy’s outward appearance is as huge as it is grotesque. Grundy, originally known as Cyrus Gold, came into being after being tortured to death multiple times and brought back to life in a Lazarus Pit by Ra’s Al Ghul. Driven insane and having forgotten his past he finally escapes, only to be captured by a circus and given his name. This giant was a really tough nut to crack in Arkham City and his story is one of the darker tales in the Batman mythos, definitely a bad guy that has stuck in my mind in recent years.

David – The Last of Us

David

For me David is an extremely memorable “bad guy”for two reasons, his sinister nature as a character and the circumstances that this man was borne from. At first sight the acts that David and his group committed in The Last of Us were both shocking and barbaric. However when you consider the reasons behind his decision to lead his group down such a monstrous path, decisions driven by desperation, David becomes possibly the most complex villain to grace a video game. With that said it takes a certain mindset to commit these acts and David must have had that killer instinct buried deep inside, something you can immediately see in his eyes and the quiet menace in his voice (Nolan North does a great job). Gameplay wise, the battle between Ellie and David was one of the most intense experiences I had this year, all this makes David a must as one of my best bad guys.

Did we miss anyone out? Who are the characters you love to hate? Tweet us @TeabagOrDie, send us a message on Facebook here, or comment below.

Link

Like most people, I was anticipating September 17th with moderate (read uncontrolled) levels of salivation. The glimpses of gameplay released showed a beautiful landscape, painted with complex, diverse, and interesting characters. Add into the mix the cutting satire we are now accustomed to, all new mission types, a plethora of drivable/flyable/pilotable vehicles, and we have the makings of something very, very special.

Initially, I wasn’t disappointed. The introduction and prologue provided an excellent starting point, setting the tone of the game, whilst intelligently and rationally explaining the new control features. Granted, following the prologue, there was the obligatory forced driving mission to start off the game proper; this time though, it was a dash through some of the more affluent areas of Los Santos in a choice of one of the two of the nicest cars in the game. Once that was finished with, we met the first two characters, Lemar, and one of three main protagonists, Franklyn. Two small-time hustlers, both ambitious, albeit it in different ways. At first it felt a little formulaic; ok, so here are two young, black guys from the ‘hood, a ‘dogg’ here, a ‘homie’ there (just think of a stereotype and it was most likely there). Throughout the opening stories however, we were shown a different side to Franklyn, a side of youth which is not often publicised in general media, that of a conscientious, honest, and good man. Subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) we are shown Franklyn’s more complex character, something I have been yearning for in games. Too often, characters are shown to be one-dimensional products of their environment with no depth, hidden or otherwise. It becomes apparent that Franklyn isn’t just some small-time hustler content with selling a few wraps, no, Franklyn is so much more. This can be demonstrated by the way he car-jacks. I know, it sounds ridiculous but he carefully pulls the driver out of the car; no violence, no screaming. Compare this to Trevor’s method and I’m sure you’ll agree that this was intentional from Rockstar.

Char

This theme is continued as we meet the other characters in the game, and is not merely confined to the main 3. Yes, they have the most depth, but Rockstar didn’t stop there, they added this philosophy to all characters you meet in the game. Be it Devin Weston, the ruthless, smarmy billionaire, who somehow manages to be both despicable and admirable at the same time; Simeon Yetarian, the eccentric crook who prays on the manners and insecurities of prospective customers (just look at how he plays Jimmy in his first scene); or even Dave Norton, the average FBI agent who made a bargain with Michael, and now must deal with the consequential shit-storm. The characters are deep, well thoughtfully realised, and very believable.

This attention to detail in characters has been applied to the story too. The introduction of each character and the story around how they came to know each other is well thought-out and convincing. At no point did it feel contrived or forced, which truly is a great achievement considering the aforementioned complexity of them all individually. I actually started to invest myself in the characters, which is usually a symptom of good literature, not video games. Moreover, the difference in opinion between me and my gamer friends was quite extraordinary and goes a long way to attest to character-realism within the game (listen here to our reaction special)

gta-5-gameplay-trailer-21

In this circle-jerk of detail and depth, it would be unforgivable of me to overlook the graphics and feel of the game, and in this humble writer’s opinion, it has to be one of the most gorgeous games I’ve ever seen. Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of sunsets, and I was astounded by what I saw; the colours, the contrasts, the clouds, all of it. Another noticeable feature is the water; I can’t see how water can be made to look more real; it’s truly incredible. From the waves, to the foam they create and the way the water splashes against the rocks, Rockstar have surpassed themselves, along with many other developers.

So from the opening few hours of gameplay, I was thoroughly impressed. One thing struck me however; after 25 hours or so, I noticed the game completion percentage was quite high. I put this down to the fact that I hadn’t just blasted through the main story, and had taken time to look around, sample some of the leisure activities available, and get a feel for Los Santos in general. More on that later…

After the initial ‘wow-look-at-all-this-stuff-it-looks-amazing’ glow had subsided, the story developed and grew; the missions became more in-depth and exciting. Unlike one of the main failings in GTA IV, the missions are rich, diverse, and most importantly, congruous. The side missions, rather than distracting you, immerse you further in the lives of these characters. Be it the dysfunctional family life of Michael, or the maniacal maelstrom that is Trevor, we understand the characters better, without the missions becoming abstract or arbitrary.

Then it all came to a rather abrupt end.

In some ways, I can understand it; better finish on a high than to string it out for another 10 – 15 stilted hours and end with tame, laboured (anti)climax. I also reasoned that the additional content would be interesting enough to keep me going until online was released (little did I know about the problems we’d suffer from with that however). Ultimately though, it was disappointing that a game filled with such satisfying intricacy came to a thoroughly predictable and somewhat unremarkable conclusion; no twists, no turns, no ‘holy shit!’ moment; just ‘that’s all folks!’.

After the interminable credits (honestly, they must have been 20 minutes long), I settled back into my chair to embark on the quest for 100% completion with my pockets greased with cash (see, only a little spoiler!), and I must say, I was thoroughly unimpressed. I had all but exhausted the Strangers and Freaks missions, the random world events became boring and sparse, and worst of all, the collection missions were an absolute abomination; find 30 pieces of nuclear waste which are scattered along the sea bed; collect 30 submarine parts for a not-so-grieving widow…are you serious?! What is the attraction with collection missions other than to string out game time? Who honestly enjoys this bullshit? Not me, that’s for certain.

Before I get too negative, I need to say that I do genuinely love this game. The looks, the stories, the characters, the freedom, it’s all top-notch. My problem is that it’s too short, and that the additional content is artificial and boring.

My disappointment with the game was tempered by the promises made during the online gameplay trailers and thus far, I’ve not been let down. I’ve spent around 10 hours doing missions, races, parachute jumps, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. I can now only hope that the ongoing content release keeps up pace with our collective appetites.  After all the launch problems GTA Online suffered, it looks like Rockstar need to pull multiple rabbits out of multiple hats for some time.

Get yer tackle out

I’d like to start with a confession: I’m not what you would call a “good” gamer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at games, I mean I have the odd flash of genius amongst the marginally-better-than-mediocre norm, it’s just that I have my own style of gaming.

I don’t really follow the big franchises like Halo, Assassin’s Creed etc. or get excited for the latest releases. I don’t research updates and new DLC. I don’t look at my stats on things like Halo Waypoint and the EA Gunclub. And although I’ve played pretty much all of the “big games”, I mostly dip in and out depending on my mood and how bored I am.

All this being said, I would class myself as a gamer and I play a lot of games.

Now that’s out of the way, I’d like to talk to you about a game which has taken up much of my time recently, New Star Soccer.

I play on my Android-powered HTC Desire HD and can comfortably say that this is not only the best game I’ve played on my phone, but one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played full stop (period for any American viewers).

Harking back to the days of Sensible Soccer and similar to the already popular Jumpers for Goalposts, NSS is a combination of text and action sequences where you control your player from the very beginnings of their career.

Starting out as a precocious 16 year old, you complete a series of trials which serve the dual purpose of showing you the basics of the game whilst maintaining a more realistic beginning for a young footballer. After the trials you embark on your quest for world domination and enslavement of the proletariat!  um sorry about that, *cough* footballing deity, by playing games (obviously) and buying stuff.

The gameplay is fun and involving without being exclusive through difficulty, and the extra detail in the home screens are informative without being superfluous, insightful to the very border of nerdy, and fun enough to keep you playing, even when between games.

New Star Soccer

My current life section

In the ‘Life’ section (shown above), you can buy almost anything any self-respecting footballer would want including stables, luxury jets, even a castle. You can also visit the casino where you can play blackjack, roulette, and slots, as well as buy, train, and bet on horses. Also within this section is an ‘Awards’ tab showing an extensive list of achievements.

My career stats

The stats for my player

All in all, I can’t see an end to me playing this game (barring any serious new update cock-ups of course), and whilst I hesitate to use the uninspired “addicted” tag, this beguiling game will keep you playing way past the shelf-life of most others.

-Garreedo

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