The TBoD Podcast – 69 – The Sexy Number

Hey listeners,

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;

Destiny,

Game4,

Ori and the Blind Forest,

Wild,

our ‘we called the dog…’ game this week is The Firm,

and finally,

two button bashing fish.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

Thanks as always for listening if you have something to say about the topics discussed hit us up on twitter or comment below.

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 67 – Ether One Interview

EtherOneTBoD

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;

Yogs(mis)ventures,

early access on consoles,

Journey down roads travelled,

and

Thanks again to Pete for joining us, we had a great time chatting with him and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The music used in this weeks show is from the Ether One Original Soundtrack by NJ Apostal and is available as part of the Deluxe edition.
Special thanks to Donnie aka @Murderzmedia for the image.
- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 64 – Barbershop Duet

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;

Destiny,

Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,

updates to Titanfall and BF 4,

all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games

 with comments from Ken Levine.

- eremenko

TBoD Podcast – 63 – Towerfall Intervention

Hey all,

Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.

This week we cover;

A few listener questions and,

the punishment of death,

games win prizes,

and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’

Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 62 – Statistically Masterful

Howdy,

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;

Continued support for X360,

Kingdom under fire and the new ‘Blueside’ engine,

PS now service update,

Console to PC parity,

Live GTAV in first person,

Oculus controller?

We called the dog ….. Anna!?!

…. and finally the WOW player who hit 90 as neither horde nor alliance.

as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.

Statistically Masterful

 – eremenko

The TBoD podcast – E3 special

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’

E3!

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;

top 3 from each show

Best graphics

Most surprising

Best trailer

Best gameplay

Best show

Most exciting

Most disappointing

Upset not to see

Best in show

E3 special < right click and hit save as to download

The TBoD Podcast – 59 – Deeply Dippy

Ok folks, welcome back to another episode of the TBoD Podcast, our lively debate this week consists of the following stories;

BF: Hardline leaked,

Dice promise to look after BF 4,

this old article sparks some discussion,

new PS+ content,

and
right, I’ve been eremenko, like, com, scribe and all that shite
.
Deeply Dippy right click and choose “save link as” to download.
go away.

TBoD Video – State of Decay: Lifeline Review

Hey guys,

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.

You can see The Wach’s review in print over on PGCR

 

TBoD Podcast 58 – With an open hand

Another week, another installment on the TBoD podcast.

The topics on the smörgåsbord for discussion this week are;

Xbox stuff,

Frankie is unhappy,

Will Ubi win E3 for the second year running?

Dinner, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner …. BATMAN,

Middle Witcher, Assassin of Mordor,

Evolve,

Destiny,

in no particular Order,

Google/YouTube is feeling Twitchy,

IFightBears Lumberjack-em-up Fist of Awesome comes to mac and pc,

And Greenlight,

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

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 54 – Unleash the Dragon

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

More departures from Naughty Dog

Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)

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

Right-click here and choose ‘save as’ to download

The TBoD Podcast – 53 – Marty be Gone

Sup’ bitches,

We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:

Marty gets kicked

Virtual insanity/reality returns with more news from Occulus. More here. And yet more here.

Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.

Nice words from a Titanfall dev.

And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.

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The TBoD Podcast – 52 – Nintendo Don’t cry

Hello boys and girls,

Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast, the topics up for discussion from our likely lads this week are;

Xbox updates,

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.

Right-click here and click ‘Save As’

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.

Right click and hit “save link as…” to download

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 46 – A Klaus Call

Wassup fools!?!

dungeon-keeper

TBoD is back. After a week off due to illness (both mental and physical) and a celebration of new life we have returned for your listening (dis) pleasure. We do our best to catch up on two weeks worth of exciting gaming news including;

Evolve – a 4vs1 shooter from the team behind the awesome L4D,

BF4 – Resuming the stream of DLC coming out from Dice/EA and the implications on the buggy game itself,

Uncharted territory for Seth Gordon, the front runner to bring Drakes adventures to the big screen,

Titanfall – We couldn’t ignore the Xbox/PC exclusive this week of all weeks,

Sonic Boom - The return of the blue blur with a new look,

Destiny – Is the pressure going to get to Bungie as Activision/Blizzard announce expectations,

Elder Scrolls Online – Cause we can.

As always we have our regular segment “we called the dog…” in which eremenko talks about SpaceBase df-9

As always likecomscribe, hit us up on twitter, facebook etc keep an eye out for our streams and stay safe kids.

- menko

A Klaus Call <—– right click and choose save as to download

The TBoD Podcast – 35 – PS4 Launch Jizzsploshion

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.

Have a little listen, let us know what you think by commenting below, tweeting us, hitting up our facebook page or leaving a review on iTunes.

Right click and select save as to download…

The TBoD Podcast – 33 – 1080 Peed Off

Alright Baggers,

This week we are joined by Crinbot on a more permanent basis to talk all about the things that Games Media have been getting hot under the collar for.

We look discuss the announcement of Season 2 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, a game eremenko and I are really looking forward to.

We lament the ever seemingly rushed launches of each next-gen console and the fact that Titanfall will not be coming to the PS4.

The news about the differences between the consoles achieving native 1080p has added yet more fuel to the fire in this already hot console war. We voice our opinions and read out a few from some of our followers on Twitter.

Occulus Rift is something we are really enamoured with and it was recently revealed it is coming to both PC/Mac as well as Android devices, something that got us throwing heart signs up all over the place.

Internet archive did a good thing, old games through you browser, amazing.

We salute a developer who is not willing to bow to pressure and change their game just because of a little controversy

And its official, Mario Save Lives!

Let us know your thoughts on any of this or the other points discussed on the cast,

Cheers.

Right Click and Save As to download this most awesome episode.

The TBoD Podcast – 31 – Watch Dogs Loses Ball

Hello wannabe futuristic city hackers,

Another week and another raft of stories in the gaming industry, some good and some bad.

On this podcast we discuss a few next-gen stories: -

The delay of both Watch Dogs and Drive Club and how that affects next-gen launch in general as well how one outlet is cancelling bundles that included these games.

The PS4’s Red Line of Death.

Microsoft’s further push into TV Programming with show on street soccer.

The Wii U’s recent sales jump.

We also get retro with the return of Road Rash and a 3D remake of the original GTA, as well the 8 bit inspired awesome game “Fist of Awesome”

Also we comb through the latest Q&A with Dave Dunn of Bungie.

Right Click and Save As to download the latest episode

Play-Mobile: Two for one

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 studiosKingdomRush” 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.

download

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.

kingdom-rush-frontiers-09

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.

screenshot-kingdom-rush-frontiers-game-24

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“.

images

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?

transport-tycoon-650

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.

nexusae0_TransportTycoon3

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.

You’re welcome.

- eremenko

TBoD Podcast – Episode 29 – Rock *Super* Star


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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.

Right click this link and select “save link as” to download

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 28 – Eurogamer Queue Expo 2013

This week took a jaunt to The Big Smoke for this years Eurogamer. We got to experience some of the latest and greatest next-gen queues, and at the end of those queues we got  to play some sweet games. This podcast is about those games, and queues.

The games we got to play were: -

On PS4: – Blacklight Retribution, Octodad Dadliest Catch, Driveclub, Knack, Resogun,

On Xbox One: – Battlefield 4, Titanfall, Dying Light.

On PC/Occulus Rift HD: – Dream, Surgeon Simulator (Rift), Skipping Stones.

On iOS/Android: – Fist of Awesome, Framed.

Right Click and Save As to download and enjoy this Episode

Play Mobile: Futuridium EP

It seems the only gaming I get to actually do as of late is during those snatched moments on my iPhone and when I buy a game I want to get my money’s worth. Futuridium Ep definitely makes you work for it.

Futuridium on iOS

On their site the developers of Futuridium describe the game as a “retro fast paced shoot’em up with a modern twist” and to be “insanely fast, [with an] insanely hard difficulty level” and boy are they right. I’m not going to lie, if like me you think you can breeze through this game, think again. The difficulty curve on this space em up is steep enough to make you pass out from the G-force, but if you persevere the reward is a definite draw to play on.

The art style of Futuridium for reason makes wonder if this is the creation of some unholy carnal act between the movie Tron and the PS1 classic Wipeout, all polygons and sharp edges. It’s pretty pleasing to look at with its Technicolor palette and could never be described as dull. Not the most graphically refined which I think was the intention this title as just enough polish to make it nostalgic rather than dated.

The touch based control scheme took me a bit of time to adjust to, unintentionally banking into the dreadnoughts below numerous times, I think this partly may be down the to the responsiveness of the touchscreen being a little lacking. However once you have had a couple of test flights so to speak then the challenge really begins – The premise is to fly your ship and shoot the blue cubes, when all are destroyed then you unlock the core and away you go to the next level. All the while you energy is sapping down only to refill at the end of each level, so efficient gun play is essential. Continues are given dependant on your score, but if used your score is wiped and you continue from where you left off with nothing to show, great if you just want to see what the next level looks like but if you are looking to set a high score this game is unforgiving with your shortcomings.

The soundtrack itself should be quite pleasing to fans of glitch hop and electro, jazz flute fans less so, regardless the soundtrack goes really well with game play and if you want to listen to the tracks sans space flight the option is there in the menu. Another nice little feature not really seen on the iOS store that can also be found within the menu is the ability to gift the game friends who co-exist in the Apple ecosystem, if you can’t persuade your friends to buy and you think they must play then buy it for them! I do think a slight trick was missed here would be if the game was multiplayer, then this kind of gifting would mean more but still, nice nonetheless.

Overall if you can get used the ever so slightly awkward controls and the punishing progression mechanic then this should keep the hardcore gamer and the masochist in you both entertained. Its available on iOS now for £1.49 or your currency equivalent. Insert coin and get blasting.

Ticket to Ride

Howdy,

You would be forgiven for thinking I’d given up the writing game but alas I am back once again to delight and amuse (read: annoy and bore) you all with another little review of another lovely little title that has captured my heart.

a-ride-into-the-mountains-apk

A Ride into the Mountains

Android & iOS

Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo Chen

69p/99c

Those of you who listen to the podcast will already know I have been struggling to find a game worthy of sinking my teeth into after beating “The Last of Us”, little did I expect that the game to snap me out of my funk would be such a simple little gem.

ride_into_the_mountains4

The premise is not an original one, you play a young man, an evil has been released … you must stop it, hardly ground breaking stuff but it’s the presentation and the execution which has won me over. It’s always nice to stumble across a title which tries to do things a little differently, not satisfied with being a just another build and go title or a rehashed  puzzle game or a blatant rip off of another succesful title, a game that takes on and brilliantly utilises all of the functionality of our ever-present pocket pals is difficult to find …. this is one of those games.

ARideIntoTheMountains_Screenshot_3_large_verge_medium_landscape

The core of the game play surrounds guiding our pixellated hero through a series of levels taking down evil shadow creatures with your bow, whilst dodging their attacks with the maneuverability granted by your trusty steed, it all feels rather easy at first but the learning curve proves pretty steep. Every shot counts and the game can be brutally punishing should you let yourself down with a mis-timed loosing of your bowstring. The enemies get smarter, faster and more aggressive as the ride goes on and the end of stage bosses can and will destroy you time and time again.

mzl.myhetihm.320x480-75

Being both simple and brilliant at the same time is a feat few manage to achieve but here we have a game that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, which all the while retains a strong sense of familiarity kind of like an exotic oriental tea in your favourite old mug. By combining elements from all kinds of genres the Chens have come up with a formula for guaranteed success, I think I have figured out that formula have a look for yourselves and see what you think.

Can you figure this one out? I’ll give you the cheat sheet at the end.

As with another of my favourite mobile games (Super Bros “Sword and Sworcery”) this game opts to go with a pixel art style rather than attempting to create console level graphics on your smart device. This coupled with another excellent midi soundtrack lends the whole thing a delicious vintage gaming feel which I suppose is part of the reason it feels so familiar to me, but this familiarity should never be confused with a lack of imagination because the world created here is one of much mystery and intrigue. Anyway what are you still reading this for? The game is less than a buck/quid go buy it and see for yourself.

eremenko

P.S. For those of you who are interested and didn’t already figure this out the formula…. it means nothing it was just an obscure way to reference a load of games that this one is influenced by without actually naming names as such, the rundown of the games is below.

If you take the epic adventure nature of SotC (Shadow of the Colossus) and divide it by the serene peaceful surroundings of JnY (Journey) times that by the simple controls of aBrds (Angry Birds) add the square root (side scrolling beat em up mechanic) of SoR (Streets of rage) and take away the shitness of build and go games like  FVil (Farmville) you’re left with x i.e something marvelous like “A ride into the Mountains“.

Thanks for reading.

TBoD podcast – episode 19 – Return of the Red-eye

Right click and choose ‘save link as’ to download.

Down to just the dynamic duo for the second week in a row Quim and eremenko discuss what they’ve been up to in gaming this week along with a whole host of gaming news including;

- Oculus Rift pricing

- Photo-Realism in next gen consoles

- One Finger Death Punch in our Indie spotlight

- a loop hole that allows you to buy an Xbone or Ps4 on the cheap

and much much more, give it a listen and feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.

Play Mobile: – Robot Unicorn Attack 2

If you are an O.G. Teabagger you may recall just over a year ago a post where I highlighted the mental and addictive Robot Unicorn Attack as a must play mobile game. This gem was as rare as the mythical metallic mare that was featured in-game. Well RUA2 is certainly sired by the same beast but this steed of steel and steam comes fully loaded with a bunch of extra’s to keep you galloping long into the sunset.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2

The 80s tunes are back and in full force and although this iteration has a jukebox, which offers a varied selection to the player (including the original song from RUA1), it does so via micro transactions. Now the two free songs for those frugal gamers are as ridiculous as the game itself, in my opinion they don’t quite match the hoof tapping majesty of Erasure featured in the original game.

If the first RUA was a wild stallion then I guess the sequel could be described as more trained for dressage. RUA2 has been brushed profusely – no shit in its tail or anything – giving you a very glossy visual experience in-game and also providing you with the ability to completely customise your colt. Whether you are looking to clad dobbin in very portal-esque turret plating, have it mane set aflame or just a nice pink UV horn then its RUA2 Customizationthere for you.

Pimping out your pony isn’t the only carrot on a stick there to encourage you to play as Adult Swim have incorporated Daily online challenges. So once you jump the relevant hurdles and hit a certain level you can choose a side, Team Rainbow or Team Inferno. From there your play time will contribute toward the eternal equine battle and, if victorious, you and your stable mates will be rewarded with in-game credits which can be spent on whatever shiny upgrade or in-game power up your mechanized heart desires.

The game itself does operate on the free to play model, which I personally don’t have any Rainbow Vs Infernoproblem with, as I can play this happily for free. But if you just can’t wait to make your horse look like a hoofed terminator then credits can be bought. My only criticism, which is a small one, is that for those who wish to play for free it does take quite a while to accrue a decent amount of points to unlock any permanent upgrades for your bronco. However if you are happy to trot along and are just playing for the fun of it then it really isn’t too much of an issue. The game doesn’t fall in the pay to win category and that’s what counts.

Since I am almost out of equine based puns I think I best round this up by saying RUA2 is every bit as fun as its predecessor, so if you are looking for an enjoyable funny mobile game to pick up and play without having to pony up then this is a dead cert.

TBoD Podcast – Episode 17 – Your Love is Like Brad Medicine

Teabag Or Die – Episode 17 – Your Love is like Brad Medicine

Right click and Save Link As to download episode.

This week we are joined on the show by Bradley from the belting North East Media and gaming (Nemandg).

The three of us discuss;

In XBone Zone

Don Mattircks dramatic departure from Microsoft to join the ailing Zynga.

The implementation of a new “Rep” system for Xbox live.

- The Activision rep that claims MS have to convince gamers their console is worth the extra hundred bucks.

In the all new section PSForeplay 

- Sony agreeing a deal with UK mobile networks to make it easier for us to blast our cash on games.

- Mark Cerny gets all nostalgic discussing PlayStation past, present and future at Gamelab in Barca (oh the difficult life of a game dev).

In gaming news we blather on about;

- BioShock infinite DLC

- Shoei Yoshida’s stance on the inclusion of PSeye (or whatever they are calling it)

- Google attempting to break into the console market

and finally what would an episode of TBod be without our weekly Destiny Jizz Fest.

Eavesdrop in on our comms and as always let us know what you think in the comments below.

eremenko

Xbox One: To Kinect or Not to Kinect

In its first iteration, Kinect was a sorely underused and unnecessary peripheral, which seemed to be developed solely for children and fitness fanatics that didn’t mind flailing their arms in front of their television, and looking like a fool.

Xbox-360-Kinect-Standalone

Kinect’s only use for the average gamer – the one who sits there playing shooters, RPGs and any game that doesn’t involve movement, was its voice control… When it worked. Relatively few games were labelled “Better with Kinect”, and even fewer were truly better with the peripheral. The only example I feel being noteworthy for its voice control was Mass Effect 3, all other games that used it seemed to be gimmicky, or it was just plain easier and quicker to use your controller.

Microsoft announcing that Kinect 2.0 will be shipping with every single Xbox One (rather unsurprisingly) has stirred up quite a fuss in the gaming community. In fact, the majority of the Xbox Reveal did, but we’ll stick to Kinect.

Kinect 2.0 has evolved massively, technologically speaking. It now boasts a 1080p camera, increased FOV and processes 2Gb of data every second. But that isn’t what matters. Developers’ integration of Kinect into games and services will be the key to its success.Xbox-One-s-Kinect-Can-Be-Turned-Off-for-Complete-Privacy

On the plus side, developers will know that every single Xbox One user will have a Kinect. The fact that it currently isn’t exactly clear how many, say, Call of Duty players have a Kinect for the Xbox 360, limits its use in current gen. Why waste money and resources developing extra things for a game, if only a small percentage of users will use them? Now that is no longer an issue, and developers can add extra features like voice control with the knowledge that everyone can use it. That doesn’t mean to say everyone will, however. What is interesting is how developers will utilize the Kinect for their games in new and interesting ways, not just “x, move”. The only thing that is worrying is that perhaps the hardware has evolved, but the things Kinect can add to an experience have not.

The thing most gamers have on their mind is that the Xbox One is never truly ‘off’, is constantly connected to the cloud, and is plugged into the Kinect, which is constantly watching and listening. Microsoft have confirmed that Kinect can be turned off, but many people are still concerned about their privacy, and quite understandably so.

Many people are still very negative about Kinect from its lack of decent integration in the 360. Others, myself included, are optimistic that if developers use the Kinect well, it can be successful. All in all, the new mandatory Kinect does open a lot of doors and offers plenty of promise, but it remains to be seen if certain gamers can get past the always-connected Kinect and purchase the Xbox One in the first place.

Let us know what you think about Kinect 2.0 in the comments – are you optimistic or do you think Microsoft should abandon Kinect all together?

-InsaneCakes

@InsaneCakes

TBoD Podcast – Episode 11 – A Pair of Cunning Stunts

Episode 11 is here and this is the first of 2 podcasts this week! The world is in trouble!

Today we are here to talk about various innovations in gaming hardware including: -

A new controller system made by a Mad Genius.

The new handheld coming from Nvidia known as Shield.

and what seems to be the prototype for a Holodeck known as the Oton X! and what the implications of all these new devices will have on our gaming landscape.

We discuss the release of Carmageddon on Android and our vision gets all wobbly lined as we flashback to when we used to play the original all those years ago….

Our final Durango Unchained segment as talk about what must be the last batch of rumours for the Next Xbox before the unveiling.

We cast a suspicious eye over EA’s plans to abolish their online pass scheme and some of their other moves in the industry.

We also talk about a little game we have both been enjoying called Terraria and offer you a chance to win a copy on Steam. Woohoo!

Anyway as usual leave a comment if you are feeling chatty or leave an itunes review if you are feeling generous! Thanks

Right Click and ‘Save Link As’ To Download Episode 11

 

Bigger isn’t always better

Micro Machines (3)

Micro Machines – Like Puppy in my Pocket … for boys

Every boy who was around in the 80’s or 90’s will remember Micro Machines, those tiny heavily stylised toy vehicles that were cheap to buy but insanely expensive to collect. The toys were immensely popular and the were literally thousands to collect cars, trucks, planes, helicopters etc at the height of their popularity these little belters even out-sold the toy car giants hotwheels. Anyway getting to the point these toys eventually spawned a series of video games.

micro21Everything is more fun in video game form

My main memory (aside from hours spent playing with the toys) was of a particular game on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for you American folk) Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournement a stupidly brilliant title which saw you racing across pool tables, bath tubs and desks through gardens and bedrooms just the types of places you would be playing with your toys. This kind of miniature racing game was never bested despite numerous attempts (Notably the Revolt games on Dreamcast) but now we have a new challenger.

icon_minimotorracing

Mini Motors available on Android and iOS from The Binary Mill provides a similar experience to the classic mini racers of the past albeit without quite the same imaginative settings. The tracks are based on your more classic racers with High speed race tracks and battles through winding city streets taking the spotlight rather than jumping over plant pots and trying not to drop into the vortex of a toilet or pool table pocket this may not seem at first glance to be quiet as much fun but the game actually handles really well.

superchargedOne of the many great looking cars available

There are options for controls but I prefer to stick with the default mode of having the little wheel down in the bottom left hand corner which you spin to the desired direction. It starts out a little challenging to get to grips with due to the games static viewpoint (something which will be familiar to those who have played Micro Machines V3) but you will soon get the hang of it and be drifting around the courses like a pro. Once you get the hang of the controls the difficulty jumps up a notch the AI racers become more skilled and highly aggressive  luckily the game has an upgrade system which will allow you to ensure your tiny car has enough oomph to keep you ahead of the competition.

grand prixTracks galore

You can unlock a few cars just through playing but many others have to be purchased with  in game cash, however since you are going to want to focus on upgrades rather than making rash purchases of cars the pricing seems a little off. In some respects I feel this is a bit of a cheap shot since it means that to fork out for the new car you are likely going to have to make some in app purchases, don’t fret however none of this is actually necessary because you can just repeat a few races to earn the dough, though that may take the patience some folk don’t have.

fruit ninjaLiscenced tracks and vehicles inspired by other games

It may not be a groundbreaking title but it’s a neat little racer than uses the touch screen to it’s advantage rather than struggling with it, the tracks are well designed and fun to play (with the odd exception) with various surfaces on show (dirt, sand, tarmac, gravel etc) actually affecting the handling of your vehicle. The cars are well designed and each one does handle very differently which gives you ample opportunity to find and max out your favourite model. I appreciate it when a app dev puts out a game for a reasonable price (£0.69 in this case) and doesn’t over use the in-app purchase side of things which is far to often the case now, there is an extra championship on show here that rather than being a paid for dlc is actually purchasable with the money you earn from playing the game which is a real nice touch.

Perfect for playing a few quick races on your daily commute Mini Motors is a title that doesn’t take itself too seriously and rewards you for playing rather than being something you need to throw money at in order to progress. In short this is the type of game I would like to see more of on phones and tablets from a dev who clearly deserve to be taken seriously.

eremenko

PlayStation 4 Incoming.

PS4

Just under a month ago, the head honcho of Sony`s big muscly console arm said that they were waiting for the boys at Redmond to make the first move in the next gen console bout, prior to that 2015 was the date being banded about. I’ll admit I was suckered by this porky pie, so it came as a bit of surprise that they were taking the first leap into the pit of next gen, however given the fact that the massive delay between the release of the 360 and the PS3 cost them dearly in sales, then it makes sense that Sony would try and get in there early. Even the staunchest PS fanboy would admit the arms race has been tough for Sony the past 8 years, with them only matching Xbox sales at the end of last year, so in my opinion the big guns are required if they are to reclaim the might of their dynasty from the Age of PS2. In their own words this event is ‘a moment of truth’.

So post announcement is the PlayStation 4 a big gun? Well in short yes, the conference on Wednesday showed the new PS4 to be a really massive fuck off howitzer. The conference itself for the most part was as dry as a nuns chuff in a tub of silica, sparking numerous *yawn emoticons between myself and my hombre eremenko, especially at the beginning when the lead system architect for the PS4 demonstrated a title he had been working on called Knack, I believe eremenko’s words as written verbatim were “This is a joke right?”. Needless to say it looked shit. It turns out that the plan for the conference was to save all the good shit until the end, but more on that later.

The Hardware itself was billed as some super exciting world conquering set up, which I guess as far as consoles go is true, but PC gamers may have a bit to say about that. 8GB of RAM is huge in a console, and its based on x86 architecture which should make it easier for devs to conjure up good games for the PS4 off the bat, a lesson learned from the PS3 which was notorious for being difficult to build games for. The equivalent of a Radeon 7870 is apparently what will be found on board to make the shiny’s shiny, this is a really good card in PC land, although with new architecture for GPU’s coming this year then as usual the console graphics get outdated before it even hits the shelves. If you want a more detailed look at the specs then extremetech.com have a great rundown here.

As for the design, well the controller is basically a dualshock that has been tested extensively in a wind tunnel and the console, well the console is nowhere to be found. Only Sony could announce a new console and not show us what it looks like. Again makes me think they really wanted to beat Microsoft to the punch this time round. Oh speaking of Microsoft the PlayStation Kinect err I mean Eye was also unveiled….meh.

ps4 controller

With the mobile/internet era in full swing Sony could hardly ignore this in their plans, the incorporation of video sharing and even web-casting right on the console, along with spectator mode, which lets you watch your friends play games are certainly good concepts, as long as the video share is not on PSN only and allows uploads to YouTube, as this could really get more gamers/aspiring video ‘lets-players’ to invest. The whole idea of helping friends complete a level by taking control of their game if they are sucking, or rather my friends taking my game when I’m sucking seems a little much, I’m hoping that it asks you permission to do so, but even then where is the fun in not beating it yourself. Still points for effort for at least encouraging a more social experience I guess.

 ALERT: – This next couple of sentences signifies an up yours to all you loyal Sony fans, enjoy. 

Wait, Whats that Sony? No native support of PS3 games right out of the box? Wow, Fail. They say its coming ‘eventually’… A bit like the PS store’s release in Europe… which only happened this year…

Anyway with that out way the lets get onto the games/tech demo’s (of the latter there was a lot, again making me think this event might not have been the longest in its planning). What was shown looked amazing, literally every game bar Knack was so bloody pretty, Killzone Shadow Fall which will launch with the PS4 looked unreal, I love my shooters on the futuristic and frantic side and this game had a sack full of both.

Drivers Club was well drivey blah blah I don’t give a shit, sorry racers are not my thing.

For those who love all things indie, the guy who made Braid, is exclusively releasing his new game The Witness on PS4. It look like a maze game using the same graphics engine as Knack *cough*

Suckerpunch’s PS4 entry, InFamous Second Son looked amazing too, if you want to know what its about, think big brother state and vigilantes with super powers and if you wanna smash shit up, snap necks and it stick to the man (Oo err) this could be the one you want to shell out for.

Personally the bit I found the most exciting, more so than Bungie’s appearance showing even more of nothing with their open world shooter Destiny, was Quantic Dream’s tech demo of an old dude’s face, I think that literally had me sold on what this console can achieve so early on, brilliant stuff. Makes me want a PS4 or an old man, whichever is cheaper. If you like amazing computer graphics or old mans faces check the video out now.

There is plenty more I haven’t mentioned but if you want all the details then I am sure IGN or Eurogamer will oblige, I’ll end the article how I began by saying that Sony see this ‘a moment of truth’, will it indeed ring true with gamers or fall on deaf ears. Either way, the ball’s in your court Microsoft.

-The Quim Ninja

Thanks for reading, what are your feelings toward Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement? Totally hyped or a bit underwhelmed? Let us know in the comments and please like and/or subscribe for more fucking awesome words in rows.