End of the Line, For Now

28 09 2011

I have a feeling that, come next week, I won’t be able to keep this blog going. Not three times a week, anyway. The work placement I’m going on is only for a month, but that month is going to be taken up solely by eating, sleeping, and nine-to-fives. So, unless something really interesting comes up, blogging about digital obscurities is going to have to go on hold. Which means this post gets to go under the ‘excuses’ category. Yay!

Perhaps I’ll kick things off again once I get back at the end of October, or perhaps not. This whole thing has been an exciting project and I now have a good body of non-review based work to show off to anyone who wants to give me a job in gaming media. Eighty-nine posts in a little over six months isn’t too shabby, right? Although the less said about my traffic, the better…

Anyway, time for some narcissism. Here are a few of my favourite posts. Take another look, would you? Especially the bold ones. They are my favourite favourites. Really take another look at those, would you?

04/04/11 – ‘The Art of Multiplayer’: Can multiplayer ever be as emotionally engaging as solo game experiences?

25/04/11 – ‘The Death of Canon’: What happens when the story of a big RPG, played and experienced in different ways by thousands of different players, is solidified into a single established canon?

07/05/11 – ‘Review Supplement – Portal 2: Easily the most pretentious article I wrote in this stint, but also the most comprehensive Review Supplement as well.

01/06/11 – ‘Preservation’: Musing on how to preserve old games.

08/06/11 – ‘Wii U…Hmm…Nope, it’s Pun-Proof’: Musing on the then-recently announced Wii U. It still has a ridiculous name.

20/06/11-27/06/11 – ‘When In Rome (Take Game-Related Pics)’: Parts One, the extra bit in the middle, and Two. My screenshot/photo comparison between the Rome of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and the Rome of reality was easily the best thing I did on the blog, and the most popular since I publicised it on the Ubisoft forums. Hurray for 3,000% traffic increases!

04/07/11 – ‘Just Listen – My Favourite Game Music’: Pretty much self-explanatory. Five amazing tracks from five amazing games.

10/08/11 – ‘Face My Tiny Wizarding Wrath, You Dwarvish Punks’: A post on the brilliant madness that is Magicka. Wins the award for best blog title on my blog that I made. I must make myself a statuette. Or a medal.

15/08/11 – ‘Rawr! (That’s Draconic, By the Way)’: The big Skyrim preview, and why I hope it won’t be too much like Oblivion. This post has the term ‘ludonarrative dissonance’ in it. I love that term.

Right, that’s enough of the self-congratulatory backslapping. Ta very much for reading, all, it’s been really, very good fun.





Newsflash – The Old Republic is Big

23 09 2011

It’s late and I haven’t had time to write a decent-sized post for today, so here’s a picture of a Jawa with a rocket launcher.

Where was he hiding that?

Read the rest of this entry »





Holiday Post 3/3 – Huttball?

26 08 2011

I’m pleased that my holidays seem to coincide with big gaming shows. Back in June E3 came to the rescue when I went gallivanting off to Rome and this time it’s Gamescom coming to my aid as I clear off for the week. It’s three updates on trailers I’m afraid, but they are quite pretty. Honestly.

If you watch this trailer with a basic knowledge of Star Wars and not a jot of knowledge on MMOs, you will probably wonder what the hell developers Bioware are doing to the license. How can Jedi and Sith put aside their differences and decide to fight each other in a game of ‘Huttball’ when there’s all this stuff about good and evil, the balance of the force and the whole universe being at stake which needs to be sorted out? Huttball is a new player vs player scenario announced for The Old Republic where two teams must carry a ball into their opponents endzone whilst fighting one another and avoiding various traps, kindly donated by Czerka Corporation. MMOs have plenty of things to do, from crafting to combat to exploration, so you can certainly choose not to partake in Huttball, but that doesn’t stop it being any less bizarre and seemingly at odds with the whole tone of a heroic story. This isn’t one of my top Gamescom trailers, but it’s certainly one of the weirdest.





Holiday Post 2/3 – PS Vita

24 08 2011

I’m pleased that my holidays seem to coincide with big gaming shows. Back in June E3 came to the rescue when I went gallivanting off to Rome and this time it’s Gamescom coming to my aid as I clear off for the week. It’s three updates on trailers I’m afraid, but they are quite pretty. Honestly.

I don’t dip into hardware issues very often and this trailer isn’t exactly special in itself. It’s not very inspiring, it looks like game footage has been superimposed onto the screen rather than actually running on it and it’s full of marketing guff like ‘Brand new ways to play’, ‘The most immersive games’ and ‘Play, create and share on the go.’ So why am I writing about it? Well, because the Vita is a mighty powerful piece of tech. I’m 99% sure that I’ll never buy it (my last handheld was a Gameboy Colour) and I’m sceptical of whether an expensive dedicated games device can be successful when smartphone gaming is really picking up steam. Nonetheless, the Vita deserves respect for the sheer technical clout packed inside. It’s not something I’ll buy on the strength of an advert, but I’d love to have a go on one.





Holiday Post 1/3 – Battlefield 3

22 08 2011

I’m pleased that my holidays seem to coincide with big gaming shows. Back in June E3 came to the rescue when I went gallivanting off to Rome and this time it’s Gamescom coming to my aid as I clear off for the week. It’s three updates on trailers I’m afraid, but they are quite pretty. Honestly.

  I’ve written previously on the hilarious slagging match between Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, making it perfectly clear that I have no allegiance to either side. I think that supposed impartiality is now gone. The sheer scale of BF3 in this 64-player mission is immense, from infantry battles to tank rushes to helicopter strafing runs and dogfights in jets. That clip at 0:38 is brilliantly terrifying: a vehicle rush of that sort could only be coordinated by an experienced team, but can you imagine seeing that lot rushing at you across the map?

EA and DICE have done it – they’ve lured me in. For the first time I’m considering buying one of the big military FPSs and it’s pretty much because of this trailer. So much for me being fair and balanced…





When in Rome (Take Game-Related Pics) – Part Two

27 06 2011

So this update should have appeared on Friday, but that was a tricky day: my last day at university, packing up, leaving town, saying goodbye, driving for three-and-a-half hours home before coming to terms with the fact that three great years had come to an end makes for my best excuse yet, right?

Back to Rome, in what I promise will be my last Assassin’s Creed-related post for a while. After last week’s look at the Colosseum, Pantheon, Campidoglio and the markets of Trajan, today it’s time to go north of the Tiber to check out the Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s before heading east toward the Spanish steps. Read the rest of this entry »





It’s Been Awhile

22 06 2011

Good too see you again, ‘excuses’ category. What with the uni year drawing to a close this week, I’m afraid a few evenings with friends take precedence over full blog posts. The rest of the tour of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood‘s version of Rome will hopefully now take place on Friday, if I can unpack my desktop quickly enough after returning home. Here’s a few bonus screenshots and photos that I didn’t use in Monday’s post.