Posts

E3 2019: More Thoughts

Image
Have you seen how smooth Squall's face looks?

Square Enix has done a lovely job of tidying up everyone's favourite teen mercenary for ..... wait for it...... Final Fantasy VIII Remastered!

I almost fell off my chair when the trailer started. I was so excited, I didn't know what to do with myself. Should I watch the trailer? Look at the twitter reactions? Fax my wife? Pretend to do some work because I was at work and I'm not being paid to watch E3 trailers?

Within seconds of the trailer ending, Twitter came alive with idiots sharing their terrible opinions about VIII. These pitiful, hateful dimwits lack the cranial capacity to appreciate such a masterpiece and should not be trusted on any matter that requires any semblance of good taste. With that being said, I'm low-key terrified that I won't enjoy returning to my first Final Fantasy, and will be forced to apologise to all the people I just insulted in this paragraph.

Nah, it'll be fine.

The FFVIII remaste…

E3 2019: Day One Things That I Thought

Image
It is 5:45 AM.

It is Monday.

It is very early on a Monday.

I'm fumbling with my phone. I'm trying to navigate Twitter through bleary eyes, looking for the Microsoft stream so I can get my E3 fix while getting ready for work.

I'm still half asleep. I'm not entirely sure what day it is - it is Monday - or what I'm supposed to be doing - I'm supposed to be getting ready for work - but I have an overwhelming urge to hear Phil Spencer talk about video games. In my early-morning haze, E3 had initially slipped my mind, but my gamer instinct, my Ginstinct, has kicked in and and I'm able to get my gaming sustenance.

Anyway, long story short, I watched some of the Microsoft presser when I was getting up this morning. I caught up on the rest of it during my train ride to work.

There was a bit where one of the devs described Project Scarlett, Microsoft's next-gen platform, as being the most immersive ever created. This bothered me far more than it should've, a…

Damian Lillard and the Video Game Shot

Image
Tuesday night, Damian Lillard, point guard for the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, hit a game-winning and playoff-series-ending three pointer against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I don't think I've ever seen a shot quite like it. Or at least not outside a video game.
Damian Lillard is, by most accounts, one of the ten best players in the NBA. With apologies to any undiscovered basketball prodigies hiding out in the remotest corners of the globe, that makes him one of the best ten players in the world. Even still, that shot was insane.
His game-winner came from way behind the three point line, from a spot where few players would dare let it fly, and certainly not in the dying seconds of a playoff game. Also, he hit it with Paul George draped all over him. Paul George, 6-9, athletic and one of the most gifted defenders in the league. And just to make it even more challenging, it was a side-step, fade-away three. And he did all this with only seconds left on the clock.
Oh, and hi…

Sekiro - Are You Enjoying This Game?

Image
"Are you enjoying this game?"

I'm fighting a Sekiro mini boss. An unimposing foe who has already killed me a dozen times and wasted a good half hour of my precious time. Time that would've been better spent studying Japanese, doing the washing up, or going to bed early.

"Are you enjoying this game?"

My wife is asking. She's seen me playing Sekiro on and off for the last month. Me, Games King, as I've asked her to call me, slowly chipping away at a game that refuses to respect my time or lack of hand-eye coordination.

Every time she glances at the screen, I'm dying. Trampled by an over-sized bull; cut down by a rooftop samurai; outwitted by an ape without a head; bested by a cliff. Fucked by a regular monkey. I can understand why she might question my enjoyment of Sekiro.

This particular mini boss is completely optional. However, now that I've engaged with her once, I feel bound to keep at it until I finally figure out a way to defeat her. I t…

Filling a Steering Wheel Sized Hole

Image
¥980.

That was all they wanted for it. A boxed Sega Saturn Arcade Racer Joystick for the cost of a pint.

As with most used electronics here in Japan, it was in excellent condition. Boxed, bagged, and with instructions - near pristine. The epitome of Japan-used. I wanted it, but I didn't want to lug it around all day and then have to take it on a rush-hour train.

You see, I was shopping during my lunch break. Suited and booted, rummaging through boxes of old games dressed in my finest; the dapperest bargain hunter that you ever did see. Quite the spectacle in Akihabara, where most of the visitors can hardly dress themselves and, if they can, they're probably wearing a hideous anime t-shirt (Japanese) or a shorts-and-massive-rucksack combo (white people).

I wanted it, but it was impractical. So I walked away and spent most of the afternoon regretting my decision. That is until I remembered that I was going home via Akiba that evening. So I went back and bought it, and braved t…

The Vita Has no Games

Image
All signs point to the end of the Vita, with shipments of the remaining models set to end "soon".

To celebrate the life and mark the death of Sony's beautiful, ill-handled and ill-advised portable, I have written a poem.

The Vita has no Games by me
The Vita has no games said the man on the internet
Yes it does said another also on the internet
I can name plenty of exclusives worthy of your time Examples of developers at the top of their craft Especially if you like hentai games rubbing the back of your Vita and looking daft
No wanky shit said the man on the internet The Vita has no games!
Then what would you call Persona 4 Golden Lumines Electronic Symphony and Uncharted Golden Abyss? No games you say Are you taking the piss?
Retreads and derivatives said the man on the internet The Vita has no games!
Well how about indies? Undertale, Thomas was Alone, Olli Olli and TxK Excellent games made even better by letting you choose where to play
No one bought a Vita for indies sa…

Please Don't Let This Priest Murder My Family

Image
This post contains minor spoilers for the opening hours of Assassin's Creed Odyssey
In a plague-ravaged village, a family of survivors kneel, bound, before their would-be killers.

They are a young couple with a girl, about my daughter's age, and a son, a little older. They are quite adamant that they don't want to die. They plead for mercy and appeal for aid; a priest and his two executioners wait to see if I will help the family or turn my back on their desperate pleas.

Should I kick-off or should I piss off? Do I intervene and protect the defenceless family or do I leave them to their fate. The decision is not as simple, not as black and white, as it would seem.

It is the fifth century BC, I'm a mercenary and somewhat of a local hero on my Greek island. I have a very difficult decision to make. Only it's not Alexios who has to make this decision - it is I, Matt, Brit abroad and relatively unpopular, who has to make this decision and live with it. And I'm real…

The Best & Worst Games of 2018

Image
The Best & Worst of 2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010

And that's another year done.

Another year closer to PS5, Xbox One Two, and Nintendo 2witch.

Another year closer to new TimeSplitters.

Another year closer to the Final Fantasy VII reboot being another year away.

Another year closer to death.

We learnt a great deal in 2018. We learnt that there will probably be next-gen reveals in the next 12 months, that Lady Gaga digs Bayonetta and that Battle Royale isn't just a Japanese movie about a bunch of juvenile delinquents being forced to murder each other with kitchen utensils but is also the genre of a cultural phenomenon, where juvenile delinquents murder each other online and also dance. Most important of all, we learnt that shoddy canvas bags are unacceptable.

I really enjoyed video games in 2018, as I do most years. I liked the games I thought I was going to like, and was also pleasantly surprised by a handful that I wasn't expecting. I spen…

The Massacre at Guthrie Farm

Image
I just wanted to say hello.

I was out on my horse, exploring Red Dead Redemption 2 for the first time. I was overwhelmed, unsure of the controls and equally unsure of where to go.

I'd just skinned a bison and was combing my horse when I spotted a small farm on the horizon. There will be people there, I thought, and perhaps they'll have some important information for me. At the very least, they'll have something entertaining to say.

I slung the bison pelt on the back of my horse, made sure my guns were holstered and headed straight for the farmstead in search of conversation and companionship. I spotted a farmhand working the field a stone's throw from the house. "Howdy partner", I said in my head, in a silly cowboy voice. The middle-aged man took one look at me, shouted something unpleasant, and drew his weapon. What a dick.

Turns out Arthur (me) is a wanted man. Earlier that day, I'd unintentionally murdered a travelling salesman. I just wanted to steal…

The Sega Saturn Mini

Image
By now, you know that Sony is set to release the PlayStation Mini later this year. Following in the footsteps of Nintendo with the NES and SNES Mini, it'll feature a handful of pre-loaded games on a chibi version of an iconic console. Sony has announced five of the twenty games thus far, with the rest to be revealed in the build-up to Christmas.

By now, you also know which games every prick with a Twitter account wants to see on the PS Mini.

What you don't know, however, is which twenty+ games would belong on a Sega Saturn mini. This is because (a) it doesn't exist yet, and (b) the Saturn was a criminally overlooked system. Yes, Sega fucked it up, from the messy launch to the even messier system architecture, but there are plenty of gems on the Saturn that are worth playing today.

Trust me, I have lots of Saturn games and have played at least six of them.

If I were in charge of filling a Saturn Mini, these are the games I would choose. I've tried to include a mix of g…