Room to Expand

9 08 2012

Dear me, but that elven babe on the box looks bored.  She’s got a PhD in international law, you know.  She could’ve been a big shot at the UN, but alas, like most elven babes, she ends up modelling for low-end game marketing.  “What’s this Spellforce job involve?” she asks her agent excitedly.  “Er…steel bikini and loincloth.”  “Again?”  “Yeah, but you get a sword this time. It’s very empowering.”  Not quite the Security Council, though, is it?

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Pre-Order Ponderings

2 09 2011

This man speaks the truth. In ‘Pre-Order Penance’, published today over at, columnist Rob Fahey explains the reason why he’s being put off from pre-orders: the various bits of bonus content that can only be bought from certain retailers. The case in point is Batman: Arkham City. We already know that certain shops have been allotted exclusive skins for the game: buy from one and you get a bonus 1970’s Batman costume in-game, buy from another and you’ll get a version based on his look in the animated series. Then there’s big chunks of exclusive content like new levels and scenarios which are also being dished out. Whilst these promotions are meant to encourage pre-orders, Fahey rightly points out that it creates a strange situation where consumers are pushed into deciding which piece of extra content is worth more to them rather than shopping based on price, which can make the process seem ‘exploitative and unpleasant’.

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Things I have Got Out of Gamescom

19 08 2011

Only a quick update today, it’s late and I need to pack a bag for going holiday tomorrow. Gamescom, the big expo in Cologne that’s still ongoing, seems a fair enough thing to talk about, although it’s been a tad underwhelming for me so far. Still, there were a few interesting things that came up, so here they are…

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From the Pulpit

5 08 2011

I never thought I’d read a two-page article on games in the Church Times, so this morning provided something of a surprise when I spotted an enormous picture of two World of Warcraft Night Elves strutting their stuff next to the book reviews. What’s this, thought I? Has some eccentric vicar taking up virtual preaching outside Stormwind Cathedral? Has a scholar uncovered some profound theological parallels between the exiles of the Israelites and the Gnomes? Alas, no, but someone really should try out both of those.

Not the picture you expect to see next to a review of the book 'Historical Jesus'.

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Expansion Packs or DLC?

3 08 2011

I miss the days of expansion packs. Of course there are still some being released, but for the most part the big £15 addition has been replaced by small updates or expensive but short DLC. How can I spend seven or eight quid on three or four hours of adventure when something like the Shivering Isles pack for Oblivion added so much more at such better value; not just a new, big-ish quest to deal with, but an entirely original, unique, custom-built world entirely different in tone and feel from the original game?

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Replay the Day Away

11 07 2011

Firstly, this a big one. Read at your peril! Or if you’re just a bit bored. Anyway, let’s crack on…

I’ve just fired up the topic-o-meter, which tells me that today’s post should be about replayability. Good call from the machine, since I’ve got two fairly decent starting points on the subject. Firstly, I’ve just finished playing Batman: Arkham Asylum for the third/fourth time (no idea which one) and the game has pulled it’s usual trick of making me want to start from the beginning immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Years Time

6 07 2011

I quite fancy being a games journalist. Actually, let’s ditch that knowing, understated tone – I want to be a games journalist. Maybe I’ll do it for a few years and get game burnout, or perhaps I’ll miraculously complete my first novel/epic poem/screenplay and be catapulted to literary stardom, but for now I would leap at any and every chance to become a staff writer on whatever magazine or website needs someone to crank out the content, whether its reviews of indie minnows or killer features on the front cover. I am also trained in brewing a variety of warm beverages, but you’ll have to ask nicely if you want one.

Thing is, with the way the industry is going, I have absolutely no idea what that career might involve in five years time, maybe even less. Read the rest of this entry »