The TBoD Podcast – 106 – Telling Tall Tales

Hello everybody, remember us?

It’s been too long since we were last on air but we are back and ready to entertain once more. This week Quim and I are discussing the latest teasers coming out of the telltale HQ featuring the latest Batman trailer and the latest Walking Dead Season 3 screens and info.

We round up the show by talking about our personal top couch multiplayer games, we’d love to hear what yours are in the comments below.

Thanks for listening as always and hit us up through the usual channels.

Right click ‘save link as..’ download

Batman is Archer

Do you want Batman? Cause that’s how you get Batman.

 

The TBoD Parentcast – Mama and P P Papas


Greetings Baggers!

In this very childish episode I am joined by DayandKnightly, Dunderkitty and The Woaf as we chat about what it means to be a parent and a gamer.

If you fit into this Ven-diagram leave us a comment about the show!

Hope you enjoy!

-Quim

Right Click to Download Episode

The TBoD Podcast – 95 – Random Access Memory Lane (the audio version) Part 2

Part two of our nostalgia riddled trip through the ghosts of gaming past this week, I’m sure there are some titles you remember in here.

Let us know if there are any you think we criminally missed out.

Random Access Memories Pt 2

The TBoD Podcast – 94 – Random Access Memories (the audio version) Part 1

This week we’re doing something a little different, those of you who have followed us since the dawn of TBoD might remember a little post we made by the same title. Today we are re-visiting that post in an audio fashion.

Talking about the games that began our love affair with the medium and cringing at our early inept attempts at blogging, have a listen and let us know what your favourite games were way back before 1080p 60fps was even a thought.

Random Access Memories Part 1

The TBoD Podcast – 84 – False Predictions and Empty Promises

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the the very special two year anniversary episode of our little podcast. We’ve had a blast making the show for this long and today we discuss how we’ve grown over the years and how our attitudes on games and platforms have changed.

False Predictions and Empty Promises

– eremenko

TBoD Extra Points – 1 – Favourite RPG

Hey baggers,

TBoD is back with a vengeance, we’re bringing you more content than ever before and we don’t plan on stopping. Here’s the first glimpse of one of our new ideas TBoD exp. Quim and eremenko will be rapping on single topics in smaller bite-sized chunks.

You can check out the video version of this cast over on our YouTube channel or click below to listen now.

TBoD – Extra Points 1 – Favourite RPG <— right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download.

 

It’s good to be back

eremenko

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.

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

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!

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

The TBoD Podcast – 79 – Porn Judge Wang Dong

Goulish greetings Teabaggers!

In honour of Halloween this week, we have a spooky theme running through the show.

More of a discussion show this week, and we also cover:

Black Glove potentially coming to PS4

DayZ – hardcore mode

Fan remake of Resident Evil 2

Enjoy!

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

The TBoD Podcast – 77 – The Krapton Fyctor

Hey dudes and dudettes,

Thanks for tuning in for another installment of the TBoD podcast. This week, we talk about:

Dragon Age Inquisition

Halo 1 and Halo 2 gameplay from the Master Chief Collection

With Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead getting her very own action figure, we talk about what unlikely characters we’d like to see as action figures.

Our Indie game this week is Elegy for a Dead World

And finally…we do a short profile of 2BC Productions, a YouTube channel Crinbot has been watching a lot recently.

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

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below, and head over to YouTube to see out latest videos.

TBoD Greatest (S)Hits part 2

Howdy guys and gals,

Constraints on time means there’s no regular podcast this week. Instead, we have another installment of our Greatest (S)Hits. So put on some comfy clothes, settle into your favourite armchair or sofa, and crack open some booze to mitigate the aural assault we’re about to put you through.

Also, look out for some Eurogamer video diaries coming very soon.

Enjoy!!!

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

The TBoD Podcast – 72 – Barry Gibb Looks Like a Lion

Hello again friends,

We’re back again for your weekly dose of gaming news and banter. This week:

Destiny ships $500 milion on day one

Microsoft to buy Mojang?

Embarrassing sales figures for XBOne Japan release

What’s the future of mobile gaming?

PS4 and XBOne GTA V release

And finally……this guy completed Dark Souls, using a Rock Band controller…

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

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

The TBoD Podcast – 68 – Patchy Erections

Good morrow friends, and welcome back to the TBoD podcast!

This week, we have mostly been talking about the Gamescom expo, with the old familiar tangents thrown in too.

Listen, enjoy, comment, subscribe etc. in the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or comment below.

/crinbot

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download.

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 – 60 – Tribute

Howdy baggers,

The regular TBoD aural assault is here for your listening pleasure.

This week we talk;

Mortal Kombat,

XBOX exclusives headed to PC,

again,

Hohokum,

Terraria,

One way trip,

Uncharted back on track,

Valvetual reality,

Oculus and Samsung pair up,

and our ‘we called the dog..’ section is about a website this week,

got spare money to spend? buy this…..

Enjoy mother funsters….

Tribute <right click and hit ‘save as’ to download.>

eremenko

 

 

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.

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,

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

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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.

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.

Heroes in a Half-Assed Shell.

Dude, you paid 15 bucks for this game?  NYAH NYAH

Dude, you paid 15 bucks for this game? NYAH NYAH

Step One before reading this blog:  watch this video. Get turtle’d up.

Recently Activision, and developer Red Fly Studio released the latest offering to the Ninja Turtles gaming crowd:  TMNT Out of Shadows.  Unlike previous releases while Ubisoft had the licensing for the series, this game is not a remake, or port of the classic ninja turtle games – but an entirely new game.  And seeming how I’ve been moving at a turtle’s pace as far as my posts here on TBOD go…this felt appropriate.

Still drawing heavily on the series’ roots as a co-op brawler, Out of Shadows still offers that hack and kick goodness we’re all used to, but adds a rather hefty spectrum of combos, counters, special weapons, and an upgrade and level system that rivals most RPG’s out there.  Each turtle has his own level progression tree, and series of up-gradable abilities that encourage replay.

Now, being the TMNT fan that I am, I instantly gobbled this up as soon as it hit, and dove right in.  As a kid I would read the original black and white comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, watched the cartoon(s), and had just about every action figure.  At first glorious glance it was obvious that Red Fly had put some serious fan service into the look, and feel of this game.

The Turtle’s underground lair is essentially your in-game UI menu, and each selection will tour you to different areas such as the dojo, to throw-down against Donnie’s robot Foot Soldiers solo, or as a team.  Learn combos, and get much needed practice to succeed at the rather difficult campaign.  I’ll touch on combat later, but the game uses an attack/counter formula similar to the Batman: Arkham series, but one that is much faster-paced.

Other areas within the Turtle HQ include, A concept art gallery, The main campaign selection map, and the one that made me nerd-squeal: Donatello’s workshop, where you can purchase and upgrade cool weapon mods, and other inventions by the notorious  tech-tinkering turtle.

The coolest addition to HQ which fans of the classic games will love, is an old-school arcade machine where you can play out mini versions of the campaign levels in side scrolling beat ’em up bliss.  Each mission for the classic style game is unlocked via campaign.

The combat system for TMNT Out of Shadows, is to put it “lightly” a gong show.  It’s fun, and rather challenging – but the games wonky camera (which you constantly fight with to prevent extreme close-up angles when it collides with walls.) makes for some rage-quit inducing moments sometimes.

In a nutshell the core combat function is rich, and offers some great animations, and the ability to call out team KO’s and other attacks that really show the brothers true calling, which is kicking the shit out of thugs and ninjas in tandem.

For the first time ever, the player is now able to take control of each turtle on the fly – using the D-Pad.  This makes for some very cool opportunities to practice each turtles unique combat style, speed, as well as how to utilize team attacks to your advantage.  Early on, you’ll learn that the Dojo I mentioned earlier is your best friend as training is important to get a feel for each character before braving the unforgiving campaign.

The health-system is a tad on the stagnant side, offering hidden, and sparse pizza boxes which serve as single use med-packs that you can keep in a mini-inventory along with throwing stars, and any power-weapon you might have purchased from the workshop.  Pizza can be used to either replentish your health meter, or can be cashed in to revive a turtle if they are KO’d.

Due to the sparse nature of health, it creates a frustrating situation where it’s virtually impossible to keep each turtle “healthy” nor recall which of them has a pizza in their inventory.  When you revive a turtle, they respawn with little to no health, thus wasting the precious pie entirely.  I recommend taking the selfish route, especially when you are being swarmed with enemies.  There is one particular moment I was stuck at for some time as a shit load of robots systematically killed each turtle that I was not controlling, leaving me alone against the raving horde of mechanical teeth and claws.  Online co-op can help you get through a difficult situation however – so all is not lost.

The game’s story is based on the Nickelodeon series, which is not a far cry from the animated series I grew up with, so there’s plenty of familiarity with characters like Baxter Stockman & his robots, the foot, etc.  All I can say, is that it’s a ninja turtle storyline, and it works pretty well and will give fans some real nostalgic nerdgasms,  But don’t come here looking for a grandiose dramatic epic.  It’s designed to reawaken your inner 8 year old…and it does it’s job well.

Well enough until the clunky camera shits on your parade when fighting in narrow spaces, or areas with lots of background geometry to literally trip-up and catch the mischievous camera, which seems on a quest to make you want to seriously kick a baby seal in the face.  (Hey, I’m Canadian.)  My best words of Splinter-esque wisdom would be:

“A warrior, will face many dangers, and enemies.  But if his soul is pure.  His presence a shadow, and his ability to rotate the camera quickly before being suckered by a Foot Soldier is true… He shall succeed.”

At first acquaintance TMNT Out Of Shadows is a fun and great offering to the series, that offers plenty of good ol’ gaming nostalgia, with a heaping helping of new school features.

After about an hour, you’ll likely light your XBOX on fire out of rage – but soon enough run out to get a new console so you can let this game give you heavy doses of joy and pure livid anguish again, and again in no time.

Uh….Cowabunga?

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.

Hey Ho RetRo!

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Last Saturday we had the pleasure of attending NERG at the Gateshead International Stadium. Representing for Teabag or Die were eremenko, The Quim Ninja and Crinbot and we were thrilled to be joined by Bradley Hall from the excellent North East Media and Gaming site. We thought you all might be interested in seeing what we got up to so here is a selection of pics from some of the shows highlights.

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That’s right there’s a Sopranos pinball machine RIP Mr Gandolfini

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Point blank was one of only two light gun games on the show floor which was a shame but it was more than enough to keep us (trigger) happy.

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eremenko smashed the competition in Super Smash Bros. melee on the good old Gamecube.

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Four player Gauntlet machine was just epic although not as fun as we remembered it.

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Star Wars pinball complete with moving, whistling R2D2.

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It wouldn’t be a retro gaming con without the famous dungaree wearing plumber … Quim could not get enough of this.

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Even more retro Mario to delight all

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Turtles arcade could’ve been amazing but sadly Donatello wouldn’t move down due a joystick malfunction which greatly saddened eremenko…

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Millipede … nuff said.

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Missile commander …. look at those next gen graphics.

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The game board for Sopranos pinball, what’s the boat all about? I don’t know I’ve never seen the show.

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Starship Troopers Pinball, more exciting and action packed than Starship Troopers 2 ….

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South Park pinball. Look there’s Mr Hankey, he popped up out of that toilet a lot.

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You have never seen a grown man more excited than Quim was when this Star Trek the Next Generation Pinball table started playing the theme tune.

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Robotron … fucking Robotron!!!

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This is the face of delight that most of us made all day.

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I can’t remember the name of this one but I can assure you it needed every inch of concentration Quim is showing in this shot.

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Sadly the board for Atlantis the Pinball machine was slightly water damaged (badum cha).

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The original Crazy Taxi arcade machine …. I dare you not to get excited about that.

You think all that is great? Well there was more to see. In addition to various arcade machines and classic games there were a whole host of folk showing off vintage and modified machinery, plus a whole plethora of tinker’s peddling the goods from their packs. Check out some of this stuff and I bet you’ll see something from days gone by that you wish you had been there to try or in some cases buy.

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SNES!

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Oh what I wouldn’t give to own those games … oh wait I have that one … and that one .. still that’s insane.

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This thing! Oh hells yeah!

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Wan’t to buy the original CE and limited edition Halo 2? Tough Quim got there first. No wonder he looks so Boss about it.

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Oh …

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My ….

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Lord.

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Can you imagine owning this many games?

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Actually you probably can …. cause you do.

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The NEC TurboGrafX … the stuff of dreams … well my dreams anyway.

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The GCN and it’s modified sister the Panasonic Q which played both Gamecube discs and DVD’s … revolutionary!

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Either that remote is massive or eremenko is tiny …. maybe it’s both actually.

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What kind of retro show would be complete without retro sweets…. eremenko went on a sugar crazed killing spree shortly after this photo was taken … it’s ok though the only people hurt were goombas and some henchmen.

That would just about round off our day but for a few chance encounters with some famous faces from the world of gaming. See if you can recognize any of these guys and girls.

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Were any of you in attendance at this event of epicness? Maybe you were one of the folk that eremenko picked up on his 3DS street pass?

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Would you like to attend it if you could? Check out the official NERG website or their twitter @NERGofficial and keep your eyes peeled for more opportunities to take part in some past loving retro goodness. I’m off to play some Streets of Rage.

– eremenko

TBoD Podcast – Episode 16 – Aint no Party like a StreetPass Party.

Crinbot joins us like a spectre to help us journey through the games of Christmas past, present and future.

We blather on about how the U.S. Government could be bringing in a bill that may affect the operation of the Kinect for the XBone, we get all up in that indie ass when we talk about upcoming free-running zombie game Dying Light and Sony’s latest moves in their pledge toward indie developers. – in particular their imminent releases for the PS Vita.

We also get a little wet over the wave physics in the Frostbite 3 feature video which looks amazing.

Then we talk about our day at the N.E.R.G event, recounting some of the retro games we played, merch we bought and of course give you a blow-by-blow of all the StreetPasses eremenko collected on his Nintendo 3DS

And of course this wouldn’t be the TBoD Podcast if we didn’t show Destiny a little love.

Please leave us a comment if you have anything on your mind about the show, something would like to hear us cover or just gaming in general. Cheers big ears.

Right click and Save Link As to download episode.

Player 2. Please Press Start.

In the past I have written plenty of reviews and offered up my opinions in a couple of pieces on various aspects of the gaming industry as a whole. But this week I take a bit of a departure from the norm, partly due to time constraints in playing anything new or indeed anything at all, and also the thought that I would get a little personal with some scratchings about why I love games. Hopefully you may identify with my sentiments, maybe not, regardless I hope you at least don’t skip straight to the TLDR section (however comments saying you did are welcome)

Like most of you reading I have played video-games since I was a kid, I personally would pile round my buddy’s houses to hunch in front of these almost mythical screens in which you inserted tapes or rather large floppy squares then pick up the keyboard or joystick and move some magical character or another across some crazy levels. Unlike my friends, as a youngster I did not own any of the Commodore’s or Amiga’s in their various flavours as my folks couldn’t really shell out for such extravagances, they were content for me to play outside in the back lane and, for time at least I must have been as well. I guess the nagging must have kicked in at some point for them though because one christmas my brother and I were rewarded with something rather special.  My first console, the SNES, oh how I loved that space age contraption in all its two-tone grey glory, I was mesmerised by every pixel that box projected in front of me and spent many a joyous time playing Donkey Kong Country or some such.

Now you are probably thinking “Jesus, another article where some guy languishes in nostalgia that no-one really gives a shit about” – half right I guess, but there is one little snippet from this genesis which I would like to highlight. This SNES was gifted to me and my brother, my Player 2 and my point is it’s this second player that I relish as much as the games themselves, sharing the experience with another real life person. Alas my brother hardly plays ‘games'(vb) now, or certainly not the same one’s as me, but all is not lost because I have new player 2’s and 3’s and 4’s, a whole community of people who I love playing games with, whether they be old school friends, or just good people smattered across the earth that I met via some online medium.

TL:DR I guess what I am trying to say is, for me, gaming is a unique and superior experience over every other kind of media. When I watch a movie, good or bad, I remember the movie. When I play a game, whether I am good or bad, I remember not only the game but who I played the game with and can discuss and laugh over that moment of skill or epic fail.

Graphics are great, but that shared experience with your player 2? That’s what counts.

The Doctor is in

Theme Hospital front cover

Theme Hospital 

(Using the CorsixTH clone)

It feels like an eternity since Bullfrog were plying their trade creating early entries to the time management/tycoon style game which litter the flash game market today. For me they were the top dog when it game to this genre so much so that I recently decided to re-live the experience of one of their most popular titles Theme Hospital. I found that this has been made possible by some clever so and so who has released an open source version CorsixTH, you can download it here for free you will still need a copy of the original game but this clone will run on your much more modern machines without the need to emulate MSDos.

So how does it stand up against its modern day equivalents ….. well considering it doesn’t really have any rivals <EDIT: I just found out that a title named Hospital Tycoon was released in ’07 but apparently it was cack>  it holds up really well. Challenging, fun and funny Theme Hospital is still a clever little game with a lot to offer. Starting out small with just a few diagnosis types and a few cures, you need to keep your little slice of the NHS running smoothly while ensuring you don’t overspend on staff, building maintenance and expansion. Throughout the game you will need to research new ways to cure (or kill) your patients and train up your doctors to become more efficient life savers this is made all the more challenging by the tiredness level of your staff and their temperamental nature.

I remember this game being hilarious back in ’97 when it was first released but looking at it now it seems as if that was more a product of my adolescent mind than anything else, the voice ringing out over the loudspeaker and the descriptions of the diseases are a lot less amusing than I remember although it did pull a smirk from me when one of the celebrity visitors to my simple hospital was a ‘Billy Saville MBE’ luckily for me though I didn’t have a childrens ward. Some of the ailments that your patients exhibit are still fairly amusing, the bloaty head disease and it’s pop and re-inflate cure will always make me chuckle. As the game goes on you will find more and more of these illnesses which will require further diagnosis and more elaborate treatment methods, Slack tounge is another with a ridiculous appearance and an insanely painful looking treatment.

theme hospital ea bullfrog

Bloaty head …. it could happen to any of us

 Graphically it doesn’t look to bad even today, especially with CorsixTH’s hi res upgrade working it’s magic, it’s nothing special but it puts most of these micro management phone/tablet games to shame. That brings me to my next point, there is an Android version of this open source clone available (avoid the paid for one of the market place as you can get it free on the corsixTH website mentioned above) it needs work because a lot of the control elements have not been optimized for touch screens, which is fair enough given that it’s a free project made by some generous fella in his spare time.

The fact that a game like this can be ported to a mobile device kind of makes me wonder why we aren’t seeing more titles like this revived for the mobile gaming market, the architecture is all there and if we can run something as complex as the Dreamcast title Jet Set Radio on even the most low grade of Android device surely games like Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Settlers, Cannon fodder and many other classic PC titles could surely be manageable? Games like this would work perfectly on a touch device with a few tweaks so why not make it happen? It seems that the touch device gaming market is forever doomed to be plagued by these god awful micro transaction games …. I don’t know who is spending the money on this stuff but please stop because our handhelds are capable of so much more if only the developers were forced to try rather than release re-skinned city management and farmville type games.

themehospital2A doctors resume is a lot less complicated than you would think

Perhaps I am wearing the rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia here but I am still really enjoying playing this game again, yes it’s pretty basic and once you have seen each facility  used once there is nothing really new to get from the game other than the satisfaction of running the hospital efficiently but I think those new to the title should still get something of a kick out of it.

eremenko

Do you remember Theme Hospital? Do you know of any other openSource games I can try (I already have OpenTTD), do micro transactions piss you off as much as they do me? or do you love em? Answers on a postcard…..

TBoD – Our year calculasered

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our little blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Ready, Jet Set, Go

276205sega.logo

Ever since the death of thier final console the Dreamcast Sega have been rebuilding themselves as one of the top dogs in publishing bringing out a plethora of new IPs but also bringing back old titles that we gamers had once thought of as long dead. XBLA and PSN releases are one thing but more recently our old friends have been breathing life back into old classics on various mobile devices. One game I never expected Sega to resurect was the Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in the US) series, a quirky, design heavy, fast paced and unique title though it was I had never realised just what a huge following this game had gathered over the years.

Jet-Set-Radio-jet-set-radio-future-23279882-1000-1049-300x314

If you don’t like bright colours, this game is not for you

Having picked up (with great difficulty) a Japanese imported version of the original Dreamcast title in Y2K I instantly fell for this game. A cell-shaded style which was at the time totally unique and an insane J-pop/Hip-hop soundtrack (some of the tracks still get stuck in my head to this day) for some reason really drew me in despite the fact I had no idea what I was doing or what was going on due to being unable to understand a word of Japanese. As a result I could never really get that far with the original title due to the objectives of later levels being something of a mystery to me. Later I picked up the sequel Jet Set Radio future for the original Xbox and that is where my love affair with this series really began.

jet-set-radio-iOS

Imagine my delight then to find out mere days ago that I would be able to rock out to ‘Oldie but a Goodie’ once more while covering the walls, cars and buses of Tokyo-To with tags all the while being able to actually understand what was going on ….. all this for the bargain price of £2.99 for my android device… yes please Sega … gimmie!

Installing this game plus the initial game set up is a bit of a monumental effort for my little HTC but it made it eventually and the results are something delightful. Sega America have managed to pack pretty much everything from the original into our little devices and that is an achievement to be respected. Imagine the future possibilities, a Dreamcast in my pocket? God yes give me that right now. How does it stack up against the original? Fairly well really, it does have a slightly laggier nature due to a heavily lowered framerate (something that might be less obvious on a tablet rather than a smartphone) and the directional stick leaves a little to be desired but I find this to be the case in almost all smartphone games. Apart from these very minor flaws this game is well worth the price tag. A full on gang battle/adventure through the neo-Tokyo streets avoiding the fuzz while raising the fame and increasing the territories of your in-line skating punk gang the “GG’s” is still a lot of fun and the tunes are easily as catchy as ever.

BeatJSRBeat knew cucumbers worked just as well as Lenses

You start out as Beat guided by Professor K (the host of the pirate radio broadcast station Jet Set Radio) who keeps the plot ticking over with little interludes not unlike D.J from the movie the Warriors. You must first defend your own turf from rival gangs before sweeping into their side of town and taking your revenge by leaving your mark on any flat surface you can find and avoiding the cities increasingly psychotic police force led by the bumbling Captain Onishima. Seriously these guys are nutjobs who take real pleasure in harming innocent young inline skaters, they’ll run you over doing wheelies on police bikes, they’ll chase you with machine guns and tear gas they even call in the attack helicopters at one point. Luckily for you they are about as well trained as the henchmen in an Arnie movie.

Jet-Set-Radio_4It’s tricky but soon enough you’ll be pulling tricks and spraying graff like a pro

Playing the game on a phone screen isn’t ideal, comboing tricks and grinds was never easy in JSR but the small size mixed with the lack of responsiveness from the control stick and some mammoth lag makes things trickier than ever here but it never renders things unplayable. The games mechanic for spraying your graffiti translates pretty well onto a touch screen however I cant help but feel they could have done a little more to integrate this input method into the game, the responsiveness is often not quite what you would hope for and you end up having to try your tags more than once before achieving painted perfection. That said it isn’t too far removed from the original stick input so you shouldn’t have any real trouble painting the town red or blue or whatever. All in all JSR is still great fun and it’s style still looks great Tokyo-To feels alive and vibrant and getting to those difficult to reach tag spots is as frustrating and rewarding as ever. Sega it seems are finally realising just how much love people still have for their old DC titles and I for one am hoping for many more revivals, if they ever manage to get Shenmue onto a phone I think i might just cry with delight. So get over to the google play/ App store now and pick it up it’s not a featured game and needs to have as much support as possible folks if the Dreamcast is going to continue to have the respect it deserves.

tumblr_mau330nCZz1r03fmso1_1280Buy this game or I’ll haunt your dreams bitches

Break out your roller blades, get out your headphones crank up your volume and roll with the GG’s.

– eremenko

To be this good takes Ages

As a kid I was always on the Sega side of the fence, fiercely maintaining that our blue hedgehog beat the ‘stache off of Ninty’s pipe fixing Italian fella, all the while staring curiously over the divide watching with envy as Ninty fan-boys rejoiced in the brilliance of Zelda and Mario’s many adventures. In my new wiser state I realise it is not necessary to choose just one of the controlling powers in console land, if I had to do it again however I would still make the same choice.

title screen from miracle world

Platform Mastery was never so tough.

Sega have had some mixed fortunes in recent years but there is no doubt in my mind that the gaming world would not be the same today were it not for the creators of the worlds most famous blue hedgehog. Alex the Kidd on Master system, ToeJam and Earl on the MegaDrive (Genesis) and Panzer Dragoon saga on Saturn are some of my fondest gaming memories.

sega dreamcast

It may look like a dinosaur now but to a 16 year old me this appeared capable of interstellar travel.

 

The Dreamcast proved to be the last foray into the console world for the Japanese giants, long gone now but in no way forgotten. I hadn’t realised until recently just how much of a cult following the DC has garnered over the years. It’s hardly surprising though with classic titles like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, PowerStone, Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Tokyo Bus Route coupled with a surprisingly powerful system a fab controller and a VMU which was completely unique to Sega’s ultimate console.

dreamcast game

Tokyo Bus Route … the most action packed bus simulator ever!

While they no longer produce consoles Sega are alive and well in terms of game production Sonic continues his geriatric sprint putting out titles like nobodies business, most of these however are rehashes or cash ins and the real question is “Where are the big hitters?”. Yes Mr Sega we know you can sell your blue hedgehog but what about the others? JSR and Crazy Taxi have enjoyed a resurgence of late with HD XBLA releases and even an IOS launch for the latter but isn’t it time we had some new releases from these series’? There are many rumours circulating that we will see a new Phantasy Star title on handheld devices at some point in the none too distance future which excites me no end given I was one of the few in the UK who tried with only little success to use the DC’s 56kbps built in modem to play the original console MMORPG.

Look it’s so colourful and fun …. and colourful

This brings me nicely to my main irk with Sega’s current hierarchy “Where is my Shenmue 3?”. Shenmue literally blew my mind the first time I picked it up and popped it into a console. Knowing literally nothing about the under promoted title, I spied it on a shelf at a friends asked if I could have a blast and proceeded to spend the next ten hours completely absorbed in an incredibly well realised world performing QTE sequences for the very fist time all the while knowing I was experiencing something truly magical.

What do you mean there will be no Shenmue   3?

By this point in time I had moved on from Sega and into the realms of the more “adult” PlayStation but this game snapped me right back in and once again harnessed those feelings of joy I had felt the first time I donned a pair of Super Sneakers and sprinted off in pursuit of the evil Dr Robotnik (Can anyone explain to my why he is called Dr Eggman these days? That name is just plain idiotic). Ryo Hazuki’s adventures literally forced me to go out and buy a DreamCast immediately and if Sega announced today that they were releasing a new console bundled with Shenmue 3 I would pre order it right away … no matter the cost. As it seems would many others, recently I stumbled across a twitter campaign calling for the one thing that me and my friends have wanted for years … Shenmue 3 and it seems we weren’t as alone as we thought all this time. The hashtag is gathering pace and the die hard fans are appealing to Sega to release the licence for Shenmue back to it’s original creator Yu Suzuki. If you haven’t played the first two games you probably wont understand and due to 32-bit console limitations it won’t extract the same response now as it did back then but you should still be able to see why it was so revolutionary and the reason that it still holds a place in the hearts of so many. So go now and support this epic cause #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense over on twitter RT, tweet your own desires and generally help convince Sega that this game must be made.

Allow me my vengeance or there’ll be trouble!

eremenko

King of Kong

To celebrate a year since we first started teabagging our words onto your screens I thought that it seemed quite fitting to give my thoughts on a film which shows just how serious some people take their gaming and I think no film illustrates this obsession more than King of Kong.

“This is a war universe. War all the time. There may be other universes but ours seems  to be based on war and games.”  ~ William S. Burroughs

As this quote right at the beginning illustrates, setting records on old school arcade games is taken very very….very seriously. No-one takes it more seriously than the gentlemen at Twin Galaxies International who regulate and verify high scores for a host of classic games and there’s one man who is worshipped above all by this nerd coven. Enter Billy Mitchell.

Billy Mitchell evidently takes Donkey Kong more seriously than his haircut and is initially portrayed as a winner. Fair enough though since the guy is like the Gene Simmons of the arcade having held the world record for this particular game since 1982. Given Billy’s ‘swag’ you can tell he knows his score is untouchable. Until now.

In the blue corner we have our plucky challenger Steve Wiebe, well maybe not plucky more downtrodden. This a guy has tried so hard at numerous things and has been so close to having major success only to come up short and choke when it really counted. He is a truly nice guy despite being totally OCD and from the start you are rooting for him, plus he is like a Donkey Kong rain man and if anyone can beat the mighty Billy’s score its Steve. Which he does on tape whilst his kid is screaming for him to come and wipe his arse,. This man has the skills. Anyway a minor celebrity status ensues and finally for the first time Steve feels a sense of achievement in his life.

The film takes more of a sinister turn at this stage when the group of nerds who Billy is part of take a more mafia style approach and send some minions to Steve’s house to try to find an excuse to invalidate Steve’s score. Watch the film for the specifics but Twin Galaxies says they won’t accept Steve’s tape as they suspect foul play and the new king is quickly dethroned.

Then the day comes where The Guinness Book of World Records comes to town and when Steve hears about it he steps up to prove his worth. Cue the Rocky style montage of Steve fiddling furiously with his joystick, complete with Eye of the Tiger music.

Will Steve succeed and overcome The Illumnerdi? or will The Kongfather Billy Mitchell keep his crown. You will have to watch to find out. You can find it on Netflix and the trailer for this epic battle can be found below.

(In)decent Expo(sure) Part 2

So last week I shared my first impressions from the EuroGamer Expo on Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution and Doom 3: BFG Edition and in this post I thought I would finish you off with the other games I managed to have a blast on between rounds of Halo 4. Read on to hear my incredibly noobish opinions on games I don’t fully understand.

The Unfinished Swan

I thought I would start with this little number which I think was probably the most original title I saw. I didn’t even get a go on it as there was only a couple of monitors with it on but I couldn’t help just watching, mesmerised by the concept. This PS3 title was a first person title where the player starts with a totally white screen unable to see anything except some yellow footprints presumably made by a swan, that is until you start throwing clods of black paint all over the shop which helps reveal the level bit by bit. As the player hoys the emulsion about the maze is slowly unveiled to help you find your way with the end goal of catching that elusive hissing bird. From what I watched I was quite taken aback by the cleverness of the concept. I would happily propel paintball’s in this manner for a year. Definitely one to keep an eye on this one as it seems like to me like a sleeper hit in the making. It comes out on the 23rd of October in the USA and the 24th in Europe on PSN, but if you have Playstation Plus then you can bag this oddball adventure on October 16th in USA or 17th in Europe.

Crysis 3

Out of all the games I played at the expo this is probably the one at the top of my shopping list. Having never played any of the previous iterations this one made me feel like I had really missing out. As soon as I got my hands on it I was immediately blown away by the quality of the graphics. I haven’t seen anything that really holds a candle to it, fair enough it was running on a monster rig of a PC but still it looked amazing. The new engine is apparently a real PC melter but obviously you can turn the settings down to run on a regular PC, but where’s the fun in that, I mean who would want to look into the uber realistic water only to not see your enemy reflected in it. I went for the keyboard/mouse combo over the control pad and jumped in. The gametype I played was very team orientated with the objective to capture an area and hold it whilst the enemy super jumped and invisified up to your location to oust you from the hill which is not exactly revolutionary but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t quite as frenetic or as frequent as I thought it would be but maybe I was unconsciously shying away from it at times, when trouble did found me though it was very battlefield in the way the guns handled and I even managed to drop a couple of people – which was nice, the gameplay was more disciplined and ‘realistic’ during engagements. I did die a lot though which I put down to my utter noobishness, thankfully I made up for points by getting to the objective which others seemed to ignore. The other game mode I saw being played but didn’t get a shot on was the new hunter mode which involves two players being armed with crossbows and the signature predator like shimmer invisibility going against the rest of the players as they shit themselves trying to work out where the shots are coming from. As I say this was my first game of Crysis I ever played and I really enjoyed it despite my lacklustre performance and for a game to impress me despite being fragged countless time is quite a tall order. Needless to say first impression goes a long way and I will be getting this when it comes out next February.

Farcry 3

Yet another franchise I have never got into (damn you Halo) but as I was on a promise to one of our readers I thought I would give it a go. It did look lovely and I could certainly see the comparisons that others were drawing between this game and the world created for the new Tomb Raider. Being an open world game I just went for a bit of drive, tearing aimlessly through the lush jungle, which was fun for a while but then a guy on the stand told me to activate a radio tower to see the rest of the map. Once that was done he pointed me toward hang glider “sweet” I exclaimed “I am gonna hang glide the shit out of that hang glider!”. So a blasted my 4×4 all the way up this mountain full throttle….only to make to the top a crash straight into the hang glider and smash the shit out of it. My mourning period was immediately cut short when a bunch of terrorists streamed out, which to be honest were pretty easy to drop. Later I found the same when I took on a group of arseholes on a beach, sure they hit cover where possible and tried to make it to mounted guns when they could but I found the AI fairly basic, a little disappointing but on the flip side I did feel like rambo when mowing down these poor saps. Overall I had a pretty good time and am sure the full game will be a varied experience and hopefully the AI will get better on a more difficult setting. If open world shooting is your thing cop this on November 30th

Carmageddon: Reincarnation.

This game has always held a special place in my heart as a wee lad. My teens were punctuated with the sound of engines and the alarm of pedestrians come dog food so when I spotted this I had to have a go. A crowd sourced project that brings an updated version of the driving gorefest to the mobile gaming world and it hasn’t lost any of its charm. With new levels, tweaked car mechanics and most obviously tablet adapted controls this still played just like the original, fast, fun and filled with death. On being presented with the cars to choose from I immediately went chose my go-to Carmageddon ride – Vlad the Impalers Annihilator. As in previous games this is still the fastest shit off a stick and if possible has even less turning ability. I basically straight line wheelied the whole course only turning when a wall forced me to, but boy those mugs in the road near the wall were done for, tasting their own intestines before they knew they had been minced. Thoroughly good fun. Meant to be out before the year is over on at least iOS, keep your engines hot and your spikes sharpened.

Here at TBoD we would like to hear your precious thoughts on any of the games we have mentioned here or in previous posts. Will you be getting any or all of these? Or do you have your hard-earned cash for something else? Thanks for reading and we look forward to reading your views!

-MS Dosser