Wednesday, 15 October 2014

You’re on your own: Telltale’s The Walking Dead grows up


I’m going to tell you a story, if I may, about Clementine, the protagonist of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season 2.  Specifically a story about her curious ability, as a child, to make for a more empowering lead than a strong, dependable, burly man’s man named Lee.

!#!SPOILERZ WARNING!#!DO NOT CROSS!#!SPOILERZ WARNING!#!


I’m covered in viscera, edging my way cautiously through a bloody big mob of the walking dead (Season 2, Episode 3: In Harm’s Way). It’s a tense affair. I’m dressed up like a walker (zombie) in an attempt to fool them into thinking I’m one of their own. My head is lolled a bit to the left which accentuates my double chin more than I’d like. I’m gargling with the phlegm I keep nestled in my throat. I’ve got a bit of poo dripping slowly down my forehead, ready to, in about a minute or so, plop off the end of my nose and maybe, God forbid, land on my slightly extended lower lip. I’m running the risk of eating walker poo for one very simple reason: I don’t want to become walker poo. Not today at least. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Postal 2 still has more about it than most other games wherein you shoot things (not hard though, is it?)


The below is a mostly unedited account of what the fourteen-year-old me had to say about Postal 2 off of the GeoCities I created:

“What can I say, Postal 2 is a great game. You really can push the limits of the real world here. Chances are that if you're here you already play the game and know what it's all about, but if you don't click here

as im sure you can all see the whole idea of the site was to say somethin about Postal 2, but since i dont have any map or other game editing/making talent at all, and really cant be arsed to do anything anyway I'm gonna use my space to say something, havn't figured out what yet, but lookin at the poll, which really shows the site to be what it is: shit, i realy need to do something to turn it around.

and remember if you ever want to say anything at all just use the fuckin forum, its not a crime, use it cos it took me like 10 minutes to set it up lol”

From it we can gather a great number of things, most of which aren’t good. I mistakenly though incorrectly spelt words made me appear cool (it doesn’t and I, thankfully, now know this); I had little skill at wider video game-related activities (including writing, something I feel I’m a little better at now I’m fully grown); I, even then, favoured protracted, multi-clause sentences over simply more sentences (I clearly still do: please see above). We can also (kind of) see that I found wanton digital-murder to be a relaxing and often creative means of letting off a little adolescent steam. Thems was simpler times.

Friday, 29 August 2014

I’m not playing Hearthstone: Doctor Who and Vinnie Mac got me covered (for a 1-2-3)


When I were a young ‘un the Star Wars films were re-released in the cinema. I went with the Beaver Scouts and found myself watching A New Hope, despite actually wanting to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit-aping basketball extravaganza Space Jam. You see: our lovely-yet-rapidly-aging leaders thought a film about a traffic jam in space would be a bit boring for a bunch of eight year olds, which is fair enough, however off-target their interpretations of the conspicuously vehicle-free poster were. At the same time the lovely people at Walkers crisps decided that all the children, regardless of their moviegoing preferences, would benefit from sharing in the great warmth generated by the beloved cinematic series. They started hiding little plastic Pog-like disks in bags of their delicious snacking aids, all of which were emblazoned with a precious image from the hallowed Star Wars history books. I never managed to get a full set of fifty, but that wasn’t really the point; I satiated my internal hunger to seek stability and security for a bit and managed to help a $10billion-plus corporation achieve its lofty profit goals for the year. That’s a win-win all day long in my mind.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Game Dev Story is a bit mean to its staff, int it?


Wolfenstein 3D, Custer’s Revenge, Ethnic Cleansing , Super Columbine Massacre RPG!,
that game where you shoot JFK: all are examples of aspects of the real world being looked at through the lens of video games. They’re all - to differing extents and in their own ways - difficult to laude as works of high (even low, in most cases) art or defend as rounded, fair or (maybe) even worthwhile endeavours. They are all button-pressers: games that wear their controversy-courting intentions proudly on their sleeves (sometimes just above an insignia-emblazoned armband). While the first two examples are merely sillily offensive, it’s that all five are grounded in very explicit real world contexts - as part or complete recreations of specific events and happenings - that imbues them their power to wilfully shock and/or disgust. Game Dev Story isn’t like any of these because it hasn’t a divisive bone in its body. It does, however, centre itself on a very real world industry, and by doing so is actually quite mean in the process, if, of course, you’re inclined to look at it that way (which I am, just so you know).