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Showing posts from May, 2011

Awaiting the Miike Treatment – Weekly Recommendations 30/05 – 05/06

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Every week I give three gaming recommendations (very) loosely tied to something topical. These recommendations span platform, generation and genre and are all games that I have played, enjoyed and highly recommend. As always, comments are very welcome so please do chime in with any recommendations of your own. Check back each Monday for a new set, and click here for past entries.


Japanese director Takashi Miike is currently working on a screen adaption of popular DS courtroom series, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Miike recently hinted at his on-going project, describing it as “a very light comedy … a court drama, based on a video game, the Nintendo game DS” but stopped short of naming the game. Capcom later confirmed that the source material is in fact Ace Attorney.
Takashi Miike is best known in the West for his controversial and violent work, most notably Audition and Ichi The Killer, so his being named as director for Ace Attorney surprised many. However, he is an extremely versatile…

Video Games & Drinking

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I have a major case of writer's block. I spent the best part of an hour last night staring at my computer screen trying to think of a topic for this post and bang out something semi-coherent. I have very little to show for my effort, as I found myself surfing the net with little purpose and ended up buying Killzone 3 and Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection instead. Still without a topic and minus £30 I decided to settle upon the first two subjects which popped into my head; video games and drinking. Count yourself lucky, as this post could've just as easily been about sex and tuna-bake.
Drinking has long been a complement to, and a feature of video games. From Shun Di and his drunken kung-fu to Sheppard necking shots at Afterlife and hitting the dance floor, there is no shortage of video game lushes. Moving into the real world, some games lend themselves to drunken sessions, whilst others are best avoided after a night out on the lash, and as I touched upon last week, video g…

What's in Store For the Rest of 2011?

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With LA Noire hitting the shops last week, it feels like the annual slew of big game releases is finally underway. Big blockbusters have been few and far between thus far in 2011, whereas this time last year we had already been treated to Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII, God of War 3 and Red Dead Redemption. There have been some highlights, including Dead Space 2, Dragon Age 2 and Yakuza 4, but I wasn't exactly counting down the days in anticipation of their arrival.

LA Noire marks the beginning of the rest of the year, as there are plenty of big releases to look forward to and start saving for. Two of the highest profile - Mass Effect 3 and The Last Guardian - have already slipped into 2012 but there is plenty more on offer to keep us amused.
This is what the rest of the year looks like from where I’m standing. I hope this collection helps you organize your thoughts and line-up some possible purchases, as it has me. By the looks of this lot, for the rest of the year …

Rising From the Ashes– Weekly Recommendations 23/05 – 29/05

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Every week I give three gaming recommendations (very) loosely tied to something topical. These recommendations span platform, generation and genre and are all games that I have played, enjoyed and highly recommend. As always, comments are very welcome so please do chime in with any recommendations of your own. Check back each Monday for a new set, and click here for past entries.

Following a week that saw PSN finally rise from the ashes, and with the PS Store expected to follow suit in the next few days, I thought I would take the opportunity to look at some other gaming revivals of note.
These three games made triumphant returns from extended lay-offs, reviving dormant series whilst appealing to fans both old and new. The success of the return of PSN is not yet assured, and Sony would do well to learn from the following about how to come back in style.



1. Metal Gear Solid – PS (1998)
There was an eight year gap between Metal Gear 2 and Metal Gear Solid. During that time, series creator H…

Musings of a Gamer III

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I had to throw this post together in a hurry, so you will have to excuse the lack of polish. Besides, something is better than nothing. Probably.

1. Brink & Bringing Out the Worst in Gamers

From gaming blogs to expert insight, the internet has brought the gaming community together and helped it move towards the forefront of popular culture. Unfortunately, it is also a breeding ground for fanboyism and trolling where any idiot can have a prominent voice, detrimental to a hobby which still struggles to some degree with the stigma of being the past time of children, adolescent shut-ins and anti-social rejects.

Brink, a team based FPS, was released a week or two back to mixed reviews. Whereas most agreed that there were fundamental problems with the game, they differed hugely in their overall take. A few claimed it was still a very good game, most rated it as rather average and a minority deemed it truly awful. But what was more surprising than this inability to achieve industry wide c…

To The Ends of the Sandbox - A Closer Look

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Empire Bay is a detailed and vast recreation of an East coast, 1940-50s US city. A fictional metropolis which resembles parts of a number of iconic American cities, it is the most impressive and memorable part of last year’s Mafia II.

Despite being set in an urban sandbox, it is a linear game devoid of side-missions and optional narrative paths. You awake at the beginning of each chapter, receive a phone call from a friend, undertake a straight-forward mission which is guaranteed to go tits-up, then spend the rest of the day trying to pick up the pieces before heading back home and hitting the hay. With the exception of the 159 collectable wanted posters plastered across the city, Mafia II offers no impetus to give-in to your wanderlust.
Finishing the campaign and deciding to mop up some of the remaining trophies (my twelfth platinum, but the first in some time), I began to explore fully a city which had only been teased during the course of the game. In doing so I was truly astonished…

Guardian Heroes Reborn – Weekly Recommendations 16/05 – 22/05

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Every week I give three gaming recommendations (very) loosely tied to something topical. These recommendations span platform, generation and genre and are all games that I have played, enjoyed and highly recommend. As always, comments are very welcome so please do chime in with any recommendations of your own. Check back each Monday for a new set, and click here for past entries.

SEGA have announced that Treasure’s Guardian Heroes, one of the finest games to grace the Sega Saturn, is to be reborn in glorious HD.Headed for Xbox Live - no announcement as yet for PSN - Guardian Heroes is a side-scrolling brawler with unique visuals and character design. The HD update is slated to feature co-op play along with other new modes, including a twelve player beat-down.

Guardian Heroes joins the ever increasing ranks of classics to receive the HD treatment this generation. Like many of Treasure’s Sega Saturn games, Guardian Heroes has increased in value over the years, becoming somewhat of a coll…

My Life Patched For Trophies

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Wouldn’t life be so much more interesting if it were patched for trophies just like a PS3 game or, if you are so inclined, Achievements on the 360? You complete a task and then, “ping”, a shiny trophy appears over your right hand shoulder. Think of all the extra motivation it would provide to complete those mundane, day to day tasks.
This first crossed my mind two years ago when I wrote a short blog about how my average summer day in Tokyo might look with the benefit of trophies (I have included the post at the end of this blog). My circumstances have since changed, so I thought I’d have at it again.
So without further ado, here is my life back in the UK, complete with trophy patch.

Bronze Trophies:
Rural Menace – Do not use the local farmer's tractor trailer as a stunt ramp. Sometimes a farmer’s trailer is just a farmer’s trailer.
Japanophile – Play Yakuza 4, whilst drinking Asashi Super Dry. In cosplay.
Quintessentially English – Play FIFA, whilst sipping on Pimms. In a bowler.
Fina…