It’s the Sandbox Jim …. but not as we know it..

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Video games have always struggled to strike the right balance between the size of the game world and the detail poured into said world, this dilemma is something that has become easier and easier to dodge as our gaming machines have become more and more powerful. Creating a living breathing world is an incredible achievement and those few who manage it are revered like Gods in the gaming world and much like it’s immortal counterpart this idea seems to never die.

For me this idea of exploring a world at your own will began with early RPG titles. While not necessarily “Open world” games, titles like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Breath of Fire gave gamers an early opportunity to navigate an entire world in the however they wished and while some of these games may have changed tactics in recent iterations other developers have taken the idea and made it their own.

Grand Theft Auto (1997) though simple in it’s execution was huge in scope and allowed players to travel through three large cities however they felt necessary. Many others have challenged Rockstars crown as the Kings of the open world title but the Edinburgh based production house remain firmly planted upon their very own iron throne. This isn’t to say that one of to days most admired titles has had it all it’s own way, nor is true to say they haven’t taken a few hints along the way.

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The Humble beginnings of a world beater

Shenmue (1999) is widely regarded to be the first title to be set in a completely open 3d city which featured a “living” populace offering players un-rivaled  freedom to interact with the world around them. This was a huge step in the video game world and Segas contribution cannot be ignored although it may have been somewhat overshadowed by what was to come.

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Is this the real life …. or is this just fantasy

Rockstar as ever unwilling to relinquish their grip on the open world genre would soon after release GTA III, the first game in the series to feature a fully 3d sandbox city in which the player was free to cause as much mayhem as they wished, it was an insane achievement. Sega did not want to give up the fight though and they struck back with their own crime based open world title Yakuza and all the while PC gamers were gifted with The Elder Scrolls series which is undoubtedly the most important game in the “open world first person” sub-genre.

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All of these titles featured impressively sized game worlds be it a city, county/state, island and in some cases even a country but in 2004 Blizzard came and stole all the accolades by creating a game that encompassed an entire world to be explored by you and millions of others in the most acclaimed MMORPG of them all. What WoW did affected and continues to effect everything that came and will come, despite recent drops in revenue this game will forever be regarded as a gift and a curse by gamers across the world. Then there’s the small matter of a little game you may of heard of called Minecraft the founder of the proceduraly generated unlimited world, MC once again changed our perspective of just how much of a sandbox a game can be and it’s popularity continues to soar, this kind of dynamic world and changing environment could be seen the epitome of the genre.

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This place is your life now!

Most games these days don’t shy away from creating an experience that can be shared with a friend, even games that are traditionally a solo experience are beginning to see the value in multiplayer, after all a game like any other form of entertainment is at it’s best when you are sharing it with a friend or two .. or more. Forthcoming titles such as Destiny, The Division and The Crew have shifted ideals from being about multi-player or open world and instead look to focus on creating a persistent shared world which can be occupied by thousands upon thousands of players. This idea is one still very much in it’s infancy but it’s something that we all as gamers are becoming more and more intrigued by with every passing day. Combining the elements of open world play with the full on living world experience is a salivating concept for everyone. Add in to that the ability to meet strangers along the way, those who may wish to join you or those who definitely wish to kill you (and steal your beans) and you have a frighteningly appealing genre that might just mean the end of the real world for good.

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Is the MMO the ultimate gaming Destiny?

All that said “Sandbox” games can be something of an enigma and it seems difficult to achieve balance between a compelling story and complete freedom, many games have tried and many have failed, sometimes you don’t need a story as proved by the hugely popular Arma II mod DayZ but other times it’s simply the most important part. Some of the most critically acclaimed games of recent years buck the trend for open world and are much stronger titles for being more linear. Bioshock, The Walking Dead, Half Life 2, Dishonored, Portal, Heavy Rain and The Last of Us have all been nominated for and taken home many awards globally. This shows that there is still life in games that are more focused on creating a story than simulating a world these smaller more narrative driven titles offer the player something deeper than a world to play in and will often invoke a stronger emotional attachment than their larger counterparts but it may just be that they are more difficult to develop.

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Get ready to be punched in the feels

Creating a living world is one thing but creating a believable story is something else entirely and something that can often be neglected in games which are more focused on adrenaline fueled action and competitive multi-player. The art of weaving a tale is as old as time and I for one don’t think it’s ready to rest it’s weary head just yet.

It’s true to say that video games are always evolving and always looking for that next big idea, how do you guys feel the gaming world will evolve next? Are open worlds or deep stories more important to you? Do you value a short game over a seemingly un-ending one or would you prefer that your favourite game could last forever? Let me know in the comments below and as always thanks for your time.

-eremenko

TBoD Podcast – Episode 22 – An Origami Crane

Hello!

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

Quim and ‘menko are back and as bad as ever.

This weeks topics include;

Our longest ever shout-out section dedicated to Super Sugoi,

Changes to Xbox Gold membership and payments,

Ultra-realism in oculus rift,

Cart life,

The most epic special edition ever,

Chroma Squad

and much, much more.

Tune in kick-back and let us know what you think on twitter or in the comments below.

p.s kick up the bass boost for the outro this week 😀

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

InsaneCakes’ Top 5 Indie Games!

Here at TeaBag or Die, we’re suckers for great indie games. We commend anyone who takes their time to make their own game(s), and there truly are some incredibly talented individuals out there making some fantastic indie titles, whether they are on XBL Indie Games, PC or mobile, there truly are some great success stories.

However, it can be tough to sift through the huge amounts of indie titles to find those which are worth your time (and money). Currently, there are fairly poor systems for finding the best indie games, especially on the notorious Indie Games section the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. So, I thought I’d do the hard work for you, because I’m nice like that.

In no particular order, here are my top 5 indie games. Currently, that is. With the endless supply of indie titles streaming in across all platforms there are bound to be more that pique my interest.

Game Dev Tycoon (PC, Linux, Mac)

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Game Dev Tycoon was developed by Greenheart Games, founded by brothers Patrick Klug and Daniel Klug. The game starts in the 80s and follows the evolution of gaming over a 30+ year period.

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You start out in your garage, with only the ability to develop simple games for a couple of platforms. You pick a topic and platform, then allocate the amount of time you wish to spend on each part of the game’s development and gain Design and Technology points based on this. Then the game gets reviewed and goes for sale. Over the course of the years, new systems are developed such as the TES (NES), Gamesphere (Gamecube) and the mBox (Xbox), and new research becomes available, which costs research points (earned whilst making games) and sometimes money, and you can move to a variety of offices and get employees. You can create your own game engines, featuring your researched things, which costs money but allows you to make better games. You earn fans from games and can attend the G3 convention (E3) which, like the marketing you can do, builds hype for your games.

My most successful game (so far), the aptly named Game Dev Tycoon 2, which gained me 316.6M in profit. *Victory dance*

My most successful game (so far), the aptly named Game Dev Tycoon 2, which gained me 316.6M in profit. *Victory dance*

The game is simple, addictive and fun. Occasionally the game can also feel slightly frustrating, but Greenheart are patching some of the issues with games you make that should be successful but fail, which will arrive when the Game Dev Tycoon comes to Steam later this year. Even still, when you make a successful game that scores great reviews and sells a lot it is an incredible feeling.

The game costs $7.99/£5.69(+VAT) and is well worth every penny. There’s also a free demo/trial, and people who bought the game (which is DRM-free) will get a Steam key later this year.

Thomas Was Alone (PC, Mac, PS3, PSVita)

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I won’t go into this one as much because Quim did a post on it awhile ago, but this game is a great platformer developed by Mike Bithell which follows on a group of different AI’s, which are coloured blocks. Each of the AI’s is the embodiment of a different human trait; for example, Claire, a large blue block worried about her weight but determined to be a superhero. Read Quim’s post for more.

Little Inferno (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Wii U)

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Little Inferno is a simple game developed by Tomorrow Corporation (a team of 3 guys) that is set in a world where the temperature is constantly getting colder, and the only way to stay warm is to sit in front of your Little Inferno fireplace (made by the company Tomorrow Corporation in the game), buying things from catalogues and burning them. Burning them gives you more money than you spent, which you can use to buy more expensive things from the catalogues. Right.

 

 

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The game is almost hypnotic. There is no way to lose and no penalties. It has a tragic, yet beautiful story told through letters that people send to you as you attempt to work out what is going on with the world. The art style of the game is perfect, and the game’s soundtrack is truly magical. A true wonder for your indie collection.

Mount Your Friends (XBL Indie Games)

This game is about… This game is… This game surrounds… This… Just watch the trailer, okay?

 

Developed by Daniel Steger, who comprises the entirety of Stegersaurus Games, this XBLIG gem is absolutely hilarious to play, and endlessly fun – especially when playing in multiplayer. Essentially, the player has to climb higher than the last person in less than 60 seconds, using the A, B, X and Y buttons to control each limb separately to climb the tower of testosterone-rich individuals on top of a goat. I never thought I’d say that before.

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For just 80 Microsoft Points you really can’t go wrong. Go here and download the trial, you’ll soon see what I mean. Plus check out the other games Stegersaurus has made.

 

 

Fez (XBL Arcade, PC)

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Fez is a puzzle/platform game developed by Polytron, and released on XBLA in 2012 and PC earlier this year. Fez is somewhat unique in that it is set in a 3D world, but always presented in a 2D perspective that can be rotated anytime in 90 degree intervals. As of it’s first birthday Fez has sold more than 200,000 copies on XBLA, which is incredible. 

The game has charming visuals and a fitting soundtrack to play along to as you and Gomez, the magical-fez wearing character you play play as, progress through the game’s countless worlds. Fez is endlessly replayable and entertaining for hours, and his full of hidden secrets.

 

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Fez is another demonstration of just how far indie developers will go to make a game. The game took 5 years to develop and had to go through legal battles before release. Even after release it was subject to some controversies, as a patch that fixed some bugs caused some players’ (less than 1% according to Polytron) save files to read as corrupt. Polytron refused to fix the patch due to huge costs they’d need to pay Microsoft if they did. Ultimately this just shows how hostile the world can be to an indie developer, but it’s something that both Sony and Microsoft seem to be attempting to address, with Sony making indie self-publishing possible on the PS4 and Microsoft making patches free from now on. It’s about time.

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Either way, Fez is still a fantastic game, and new players will not be affected by the issue with the patch. It’s available on Steam, XBLA, through the Humble Store and GOG for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points. It’s also coming to Ouya, Mac and Linux. You should get it. Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. Plus Polytron announced a sequel to it at the Horizon Indie summit held at E3 this year. Be sure to keep an eye out for more here.

So there they are. My top 5 indie games. But I’m curious, what are your favourite indie games and why? Drop a comment below and let us know!

InsaneCakes

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

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.

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Is this what you see when you think of gamers?

Why is it that sometimes we gamers are considered second class citizens? Why do non-gamers so often perceive us as anti-social delinquents with little to no redeeming qualities outside of the fact we can crack resi 2 with less than three saves in a little over four hours? How come gaming is considered less worthwhile and more childish than watching television or movies?

I know plenty of people who love the likes of Toy Story or The Princess Diaries yet believe that video games hold no place in society? I’m a guy so understandably I don’t really understand the appeal of Rom-coms nor do I hold them in a negative regard, they are a piece of entertainment like any other designed to take you out of your real life problems and help you unwind so why is it some people cannot allow the same courtesy to a form of entertainment that is arguably far more engaging and thought provoking? Looking down your nose at the likes LA Noire is akin to saying classic cinema is a bore…… Perhaps this is the way some people feel but at the end of the day its a crass generalisation made by people who have little experience of gaming outside of what they see in the press. Games are a media that covers such a huge set of genres (not to mention art style, direction, game play style) cannot be described purely as one form of entertainment.

With the advent of motion controls being just one in a long series of innovative steps taken by the many thousands of talented men and women behind these mega bucks studios it is rash to say Hollywood or television have anything better to offer. When was the last time you saw a movie where Tom Cruise taught you about the power struggles between the Medici and the Bourgia’s in renaissance Italy like AC2 does? (Won’t I be made the fool when it’s revealed little Tom is playing Ezio in the movie) Or expanded your mind like professor Layton? Hell I remember learning geography from where on earth is Carmen San Deigo when I was but 5/6 years old plus I now understand the rudimentary physics that go in to creating a wormhole into slip space with a Shaw-Fujikawa drive (ok that ones not real).

Learning is fun.

Video games today show so much advancement that it’s a little scary at times, where other art forms (thats right I called video games art those of you who have played any of the Ico, thatgamecompany or Viewtiful Joe games will agree) stagnate video games continue to smash the mould and create newer richer experiences that redefine entertainment at every turn. but don’t take my word for it you just need to jump online to see I’m right there are literally millions of blogs just like this one dedicated to the promotion of a media that people love.

You’ve probably guessed already someone made a throwaway comment about games and gamers that irked me and I know I probably took it too personally but I can’t help it, we gamers are a like minded people passionate about what we believe in. So don’t come crying to me when the Earth is under threat from Aliens, Zombies, Orcs, Ghosts or all of the above because you didn’t put the hours in learning just how to deal with such a situation.

Gaming is no longer exclusively a “guy thing”.

The traditional view of gaming nerds is finally being challenged by a new crop of gaming girls who are not in the least bit ashamed of their hobby and the gaming world as a whole has been more than willing to accept them with open arms (not least because we are unable to speak to girls let alone ask them to leave as the old stereotype goes).The stigma surrounding geeks and nerds has slackened somewhat in recent years, thanks in part to the portrayal of geeks in tv land but it has not disapeared completely and it’s still difficult to explain to a “normy” that gaming can be a social experience too. I’ve played with people from India, America, France, Poland and even a guy who lived two streets over from me purely by accident and I love the way online gaming has brought this aspect to the forefront because gaming like anything else is more fun when enjoyed with others.

Seth Cohen: Making life easier for geeks since 2003

Let me know what you think, tell me your stories of being dismissed for being a gamer or tell me why you think we are a danger to society who should be segregated from the rest of humanity and never allowed to reproduce for fear that we create more deranged VG fans hell bent on destroying the earths limited supply of … erm …. Bandwidth, Cds and electricity?

Elths rant over.

It’s only a game/show?

Howdy folks.

Once again it has been a while. We have a few ideas for upcoming posts and they are slowly coming together but yesterday I managed to tear myself away from pc gaming to spend the 400 Microsoft pacmen I have been saving for just this occasion and played through part 2 of the sensational Walking Dead game from telltale games.

If you frequent the blog (I know there’s at least one of you out there) you’ll know that I briefly covered part one in an earlier post so you will already be aware that I enjoy this kind of story heavy adventure driven experience. This next installment begins three months after Lee and co escaped the ill fated pharmacy in Macon and set up camp on the edge of town in what they refer to as a “motor inn”, which appears to be some kind of drive thru motel? Supplies are scarce and tempers running thin, it’s interesting to note at this point that the characters appearing here will be the characters that you chose to save in A New Day, (part one) from the very beginning you are reminded of those who didn’t make it this far and it is made immediately obvious that the decisions are not going to get any easier this time out. Remember the moment in the show when Rick has to get that kid’s leg off the fence? You, like me might have been yelling at the screen for him to just rip the damn thing off, well you get to test your mettle in a similar situation here very early on and unless you are a wee bit masochistic it is not a pleasant experience.

I said it last time out but this part proves further that telltale really want to go down the darker more sinister route of the comics rather than the more hopeful path taken by Andrew Lincoln and his TV co stars, that’s not to say there aren’t some horrific moments in the show but some of the things that happen in the comic just could not be done on television, interestingly it seems you can go down this path in a video game. I say video game in the loosest terms here as I allude to in the title its difficult to tell at times if you’re playing a game, watching a show or partaking in an interactive comic/novel, this plays to the creators advantage as the story that Kirkham has created is a strong character driven, emotional experience. Both the comic and the show have come under fire for spending too much time focusing on the talking and too little on the Zombie smashing, those nay sayers may feel the same way about the beginning of this episode as the action takes a little time to get rolling and once again the focus is on the evils of those humans still alive rather than the bitey dead heads roaming around.

I wont delve into the plot at all because that’s not my style if you want to play it you will and I don’t want to be the one ruining that experience for you but there are some great nods to both the show and the comic in terms of locations, characters and set pieces. Typically TV show video game tie ins tend to be a little drab and uninventive, what we have here however is a visceral, original experience that doesn’t get too bogged down in trying to replicate the story or style of the show, yes it helps that it has the comic to fall back on as well but ultimately it has come about due to the success of the show. Rather than allowing this to hinder them telltale have run with it and created a tense, paranoia fueled story that runs as a nice parallel to the main arc whilst never feeling like it is repeating the ideas of its counterparts.

At times during this thrill ride you really start to wonder what you would be capable of in such extreme circumstances leaving you questioning just what you would do to survive. Most of us gamers like to think we would be useful in the event of a Zombie apocalypse due to our “past experience” but until it actually happens who truly knows what they would do and whether their perceived good choices would actually work out for the best. This game really pushes that idea, make the wrong choice and things can really go to hell, hesitate over choosing and things can really go to hell, try to play the hero and things can really go to hell. In short it’s hell out there so make sure you pick the right companions or you might be dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.

If you’ve played the game let me know what you think, even if you haven’t all comments are appreciated. If you love the show play the game even if you hate Carl like everyone else.

Elth out.

Don’t stop believin’

So we haven’t posted in a while but since I’ve just spent my bank holiday gaming I thought I’d give you all an insight into what I’ve been up to. We’re talking about the rise of downloadable games on consoles having recently been playing Journey on the Psn and trials evolution/walking dead on xbox 360.

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I’m gonna start with trials as its a game that needs little introduction you’re a bloke, you have a motorbike, you ride, you balance its all great fun. The introduction of multiplayer gives this one an edge over its predecessor but its essentially the same balance of frustration and satisfaction. Trials hd more or less set the bar for early xbox live arcade titles and this addition certainly does not harm red lynx’ claim to the crown of best arcade producers.

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The walking dead is a great tv series (admittedly season 2 features way too much talking and not enough zombie stomping) and with the recent popularity of zombie games it made sense that it would arrive on consoles sooner or later. To be honest this game surprised me the gameplay, storyline and graphical style were not at all what I expected that said I loved it. Not a run and gun/smash zombie shooter as you would expect but a really cleverly put together game that has more in common with monkey island than left4dead. The graphical style owes more to the comics than the show but I for one think that’s a good thing and it shouldn’t put any of you non comic readers off. Little more than two hours of story driven point and click esque adventure and I cannot wait for the next part. Telltale games are really onto something with this episodic installment idea. Well worth 400 Microsoft pacmen.

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Finally we move over to the ps3 for their spin on the downloadable game. Journey, the latest title from thatgamecompany (the developer known for a more artistic direction) whose previous titles flow and flower, while solid games never really set the world alight, have crafted a gem here. So beautiful to look at, emotionally invoking and a joy to play this brilliant (if short) title will leave your jaw slack with amazement (much like Kayley Cuoco’s skimpy outfits on the big bang) I don’t want to give too much away because you really should experience it for yourself. I met a few other players through the course of my 1.5 hour playthrough but I really connected with my final partner (I dubbed him four-stair) whom I met halfway through and saw out the rest of the game with. 10 squids may be a little steep for a short experience but I found it to be well worth it and I think the whole affair will stick with me for much longer than even your average 60+ hour rpg offering.

These titles make the dlc on offer from studios such as bioware look embarrasaingly over-priced. In short the future is bright for download gaming.

Elth out.