Friday, April 28, 2006

Nintendo

Yes. This is obviously going to be a post about the Wii.

"Wii means 'happy' in Japan!".
Yeah, well it means 'piss' too.

Apparently, NOE was excluded from the decision making process. Some NOA spokesman (well, PR Manager) claims that the name came from "some people" at NOA and Nintendo Japan. We can't substantiate this, but it seems glaringly apparent they didn't get much say. Mr Nintendo America went on to call the Wii by it's much better pretend name, the Revolution, just to hammer home how godawfully shit the name really is.

What's most concerning about the name is the hint that Nintendo really don't give a fuck about what the rest of the world thinks. Either that or the really don't have a clue.

Wii is a terrible, terrible name. It's not Nintendo at all. It's corporate pretentiousness of the highest order, requiring a full explanation in order to be correctly understood.

You stupid cunts. Why the fuck didn't you call it the 'Revolutionary Entertainment System' and get a snappy truncation to RES?

Even 'the Revocom' or 'the Familution' would have been better than this literally pissy example of conceptual-branding garbage.

For the apologists and fanboys, fucking listen to the fucking name. Look at the namings of the great Nintendo hardware successes and ask yourself seriously if Nintendo have done the right thing.

Objectively speaking, only an absolute fool would think Wii was the best name they could have picked, which leaves me asking - who's the fucking idiot who approved this shit?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kieron Gillen - photo assets

Neither Tom nor Kieron managed to provide photos to accompany their questions. This obviously means they can never complain ever again if they don't get their "fucking screenshots, you cunt" on time.

Fortunately for Affectionate Diary users, I have some photos of Kieron RIGHT HERE! A short while ago I had the pleasure of working on Shadow of the Colossus. During that campaign, Kieron called me up to request a copy of said game. I made that sucker DANCE for his money. What follows is the WORLD EXCLUSIVE of a multiple-photo sequence that portrays Mr Gillen embarking on a quest that shall go down in history FOREVER - the quest to eat an entire packet of Chewits in one go.


The pack!

The stack!

KG attacks!

No Kieron Gillens were harmed in the making of this slide show. And remember, kids - you saw it here first, on AFFECTIONATE DIARY.

Industry interview - Kieron Gillen

Second in a long running series that attempts to tackle the tougher issues in videogaming, Affectionate Diary recently had the good fortune to speak to games journalism heavy weight Kieron Gillen.

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your time today. Can I ask you to introduce yourself and explain what you do.

I'm Kieron Gillen and I do very little. As little as possible, in fact.
TRUE FACT - At the moment, I'm watching KLF videoes and just gawping.
What I do for cash is...
i) Write about stuff
ii) Wind up people by using long words with a relatively straight face
iii ) And that's about it


Are you a gay lol

Let's go with "Yes, I am a homosexual".

Excellent.

Because I like to represent.

A while back you coined the term New Games Journalism. Or maybe it was Nu Games Journalism. Since then, untalented hacks who can do nothing of worth and continue to knock people with INCREDIBLE levels of talent such as ourselves have done everything in their power to go on and on and on and on about how it's all a load of rubbish. Please use a word to describe these hacks that I will need to look up to understand.

I think they're lovely. Which you may have to look up. Depending how dense you are.

Although you have been seen in public on many occasions, at press events and comic book expos, you have never been seen without your big goth coat. Is that because you carry a shotgun and pretend to be the Equaliser?

I'm not pretending. I prefer to think of myself as the last man in a squad of Syndicate warriors, desperately trying to complete the mission.

Why does Edward Woodward have so many d's in his name?

He's gree-D.

Should that have actually been "ds"?

And I'm hurt you're not TERRIBLY IMPRESSED BY MY PUN.

Of course I am, I am merely remaining professional.
Now, should that have actually been "ds"?

I refuse to answer that question, for fear of taking a production editor's job. I'm no scab.

You are one of only two journalists in the UK that have ascended in the original Guild Wars campaign (to my knowledge). Who do you think the other is?

I bet they're lovely too. Is it someone on PC Zone?

You are skirting the issue.

Is it Ben Ex-Edge? It's the sort of thing he may do. Because he doesn't give the impression of having got out much either.

Good guess! But it's not. It's actually Rick Porter from gamesTM.

Bless Rick Porter. Are you sure he didn't just buy an ascended character off E-bay?

Tim Edwards from PC Gamer is widely recognised as an unethical gamer. First there was Ultimagate, then there was Civ4gate. Can you shop him for any other disgusting online scams?

Edwards, beneath the Tintin-esque exterior, is a moral monster. I'm glad that people are beginning to know better than trust that rosy-cheeked grin.
I almost told the story about apparently Ben Edge slagged me off for a year before having met me, but I'll spare you. It's not much of a story. Just apparently he did. Had about a dozen people wander up and tell me "You know - Ben Edge is being really mean about you". And I was entertained, having - y'know - never met him. Then we went on a trip. And I think we got on fine. So I occasionally wonder whether he still hates me or not.
PEOPLE ARE SO COMPLICATED.
Anyway - yeah, Tim's a bastard. Never play against him. He's currently trying to threaten everyone with tales of five-star on hard on "More Than A Feeling".

TOTAL LIE. Tim is rubbish at games, there's just no way

Yeah. He was probably using a trainer or something.

Do you take your coat off when you go to bed?

Mostly.

I know you like comics and comics are for kids. Do you like kids in *that* way?

The way Dave Taurus Likes them?

Sure.

No then. I respect them in the morning.

How long do you think you would last having sex with the new Lara Croft?

The game character or the model?
YOU INTERVIEW TOM BRAMWELL BEFORE ME?
TOM?


He was the testing ground, you are the crowning achievement. Anyway, the game character or the model? - both.

At once? Not long, I'd bet. Though I dare say I'd have some interesting things to say about relation between the Text and Reality afterwards, which I'll sell to the Escapist for a small pile of coins. And kind of take up the baton laid down by that Sexual New Games Journalism article they ran. Though to please UK Reistance, I'll be sure to give both game-model and real-model marks out 100 for graphics, playability, sound and lastability. As I don't think I could stand the barbs of their satire again.

Thank you for your time.

My pleasure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Industry interview - Tom Bramwell

The first of a series of GROUND BREAKING interviews in which the tables get turned, as journalists get interviewed by anonymous industry PR, Suki, whose identity is a total secret known by no-one.

Suki - First off, I'd like to thank you for your time today. Can I ask you to please introduce yourself and explain what you do.

Tom - My name is Tom and I play computer games. I work for Eurogamer, and spend most of my day writing things about computer games, which I obviously play as well. Though usually not during the day because COMPLETE JERKS keep MSNing, emailing and phoning me to ask me to post shit about their stupid online games on my website. "Oh Tom!" they exclaim, flapping their digital arms oh-so-manfully, "please can you help me! By putting this video of a man clicking on an orc or a robot or some sort of one-legged lesbian witch-elf archetype on your website! They'll whip me if you don't! You must help me - I'm so convincingly sincere." I fucking hate those people. Anyway, it's a good racket, and I care about it deeply even though that's a bit sad really compared to people with proper lives like on TV.

Are you a gay lol?

I tell people I'm not, but have only anecdotal evidence to support this.

It has been widely acknowledged that are rubbish at games, not even being able to get past level three in WoW. How do you live with yourself?

That *I* am rubbish at games, do you mean? At least I can write fucking sentences! I live with myself because at least I have a fucking USB cable to put LocoRoco on my PSP unlike you you sentence-breaking scumbag retard. Also, which of us is it that has all-platinums on PGR3? Because I read somewhere that that was your new year's resolution. I'm not noticing a lot of fulfillment there. Anyway, this entire line of questioning is so fallacious that I'm not going to bother defending myself.

Affectionate Diary has had the misfortune to witness you playing Guitar Hero sitting down. Everyone knows that real rock gods don't play sitting down. Extreme sat down when they sang More Than Words. What excuses do you offer?

It helps me gather my nerves when I'm surrounded by a crowd. Which I was. Because I'm HOT.

The videogames journalism community has always known how rubbish you are at karaoke. Affectionate Diary recently tore you a new vocal chord at a karaoke face off. How long did you cry for and how long have you been a big cry baby?

First of all, I reject the premise of the question - I am so good at karaoke that your ENTIRE BIRTHDAY PARTY booed me out of envy. Second, I believe that you are forgetting a number of key elements of that evening of karaoke: 1) you were bested, 2) you played naked jenga with A REAL GAY having FOLLOWED HIM BACK TO HIS HOUSE, and 3) you were out-Marillion-ed by Ste. Which even HE was surprised by.

Which members of Affectionate Diary do you think you could have in a fight?

I don't know who Boss Nonnu is but I could have whatever-Tony-calls-himself and I'd probably just watch you do lots of bendy leg nonsense then shoot you in the head, Indiana Jones style, so
watch it.


What makes you say that?

Swagger.

Why do you doubt yourself?

Hrm. I might even answer this one semi-seriously, dragging it into a broader context (not unlike the manner in which I would drag your corpse around after me like a trophy for several days). I have always suffered from a certain amount of self-doubt and insecurity. I... actually I can't be bothered.

Honestly, you might not go down really quickly.

Are we still on this?

When masturbating to pictures of the new Lara Croft, how many minutes can you last?

I haven't actually ever masturbated to a pictue of Lara Croft. Zoe from Spooks though, who does the voice, so I expect that counts. In which case - actually I'm not answering that.

Do you think this is how long you would last in actual sex with the new Lara Croft?

...

And finally, why did you cheat in our Mario Kart DS time trial competition?

You mean the time I was so brilliant I accidentally learned how to do the advanced techniques without even realising, thus embarrassing you so completely that you stopped posting times for Mario Circuit 1 out of fear and dread? I wouldn't call that cheating.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you luck in all that you do.

That's fine. Now how about you answer some of mine?

That seems only fair.

Did you know that people often make constant gay jokes to hide their own sexual indecision?

Are you saying you want to sleep with me?

Given that you wear a tank top when you play Guitar Hero, will you be petitioning for the inclusion of Right Said Fred in GH2?

That is an excellent suggestion. Can I borrow your Right Said Fred Greatest Hits CD so that Harmonix can hear what your favourite band sound like? I'm sure they will be Deeply Dippy for them LOL

Why is it that even though I am prepared to TAKE A BULLET FOR YOU (and actually have, providing you count "a shot of vodka and soy sauce" as a bullet, and my liver certainly did), you continually goad me about stuff you know isn't true?

Generally speaking, I have no respect for human life. Specifically speaking, everything I have said is TRUE. You simply can't handle my confrontational style of interview.

And how come, even though I'm ALWAYS on Xbox Live when you are, you never ever invite me to play PGR3?

OMG CHALLENGE!

Is it fear?

Fear of breaking your will to live, yes.

Because that's what it certainly looks like. Also, will you cut my hair? I'm scared to go to a real place.

Do I look like a fucking hairdresser?

More Oblivion musing

You can steal, murder and lie. You can become a vampire and drink the blood of living people. You can fire arrows into people's eyes and see them stick out while you fight them. You can sit in basements and eat everyone's food. But for some reason, you can't rape.

Obviously there's no such thing as rape in the real world because all women want it, but surely we can pretend. I mean, it IS a videogame. A videogame that contains jokes about necrophilia. In fact, some hideous mutant freak woman implied that she was guilty of the crime several times over! My kind of woman.

If this game was made in Japan there would be tons of rape. No killing, just rape. Sometimes, you would sex someone so much they'd die, and that's how you'd win a "fight". Those daedra chaps in the heavy armour who eat up arrows like Willy Wonka eats children would make the best sex sounds. Sort of a cross between the metallic shriek of a devil thing and the high pitched moan of a n00b pornstar taking it backdoor for the first time.

Tonight I'm going looking for the invisible village that everyone talks about.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How I lost my hardcore

Last night I did something I would previously have scorned others for. I turned down the difficulty setting in Oblivion. Not by much - only a couple of notches, from 0.5 to about 0.4 - but enough to have to say no if someone asked me if I was playing the game on the default difficulty setting.

I am now, well, I don't know. I only know what I'm not - hardcore. I could blame a ton of things - I don't have enough time to play games anymore, or I have a girlfriend, or I train four nights a week, or I'm getting older so my reactions are slower. The truth, I think, is much nicer than any of those reasons. I'm just happier.

I think it was the changeover two years ago. Joining the games industry has put me in touch with an entire of circle of people who walk like me, and talk like me, and now my life is filled with people who don't wince when I want to discuss leveling strategies, or when I want to moan about the localisation of my favourite obscure Jap strat RPG. In fact, these days some people bring up subjects like how much travel they want on the new PS3 pad's stick before I do. For the record, it's not the amount of travel but the travel:resistance ratio that's important. And a convex surface area is total idiocy.

And I don't feel the need to dominate these days quite as much as I did. Sure, it's still nice to willy wave my Geometry Wars score around (1.6 million thankyouverymuch) but the fact that I'm only fourth on my friends list pleases me, instead of filling me with a fury that doesn't subside till I'm sitting at the top. Which is, hopefully, a better way to be.

Or, Animal Crossing has turned me totally gay.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Obliv

So yeah, it's the greatest game on the 360 so far. Fucking amazing.

Do I have to type any more than that? I've got quests to do.

Graphix: 200,000/10

It's like that bit in Star Trek 2 Wrath Of Kahn where they have that simulation of the genesis device and you get to see a computer graphics planet, but with much better trees and a fucking huge, free-roaming RPG in the middle of it.

Sonix: 20/19

Great spot FX! I turn off ALL game soundtracks, so the score's just for the great spot FX, which are great and quite spot most of the time.

Playabilitix: billions/any number less than billions

Why am I typing this when I could be playing Oblivion?

lastabillitix: 4.2 /1

This game is easily bigger than Gauntlet AND Dungeon Master put together, which makes it marginally smaller than Ultima 1 - 9 combined, but I could be making that up in my head so I'll say it's really really long.

Overallx:

MAY THE NIGHT MOTHER PROTECT YOU WITH HER COLD EMBRACE/10.

That's about 50,000,000 out of 10.

Here's my quote for any PR report-compillers that somehow manage to pick us up:

"Fuck me. This is a brilliant brilliant game, isn't it?"

Friday, April 21, 2006

Might as well face it

I'm addicted to skills. I can't help it, I've just got to level up my skills. All of them. Specifically, the minor skills, because they're the lowest. I'm not interested in using my high blade skill or my high marksman skill, it's blunt and hand to hand, because they're still lower than 20. Perhaps when everything in my minor skills section is sitting at at least 30 I might allow myself the luxury of using a bow, but until then it's stats stats stats.

Last night I realised that buffs give you experience every time you cast (unlike damage spells, which seem to need to do damage to level up). This obviously meant sitting in a town casting Fortify Fatigue over and over (while running to improve my athletics stat) until I ran out of magicka and then resting one hour to regain all my health and repeating. Slightly monotonous, you might think, and a total abuse of the game system, but in truth this is actual real role-playing.

I like to kick people in the face. It's brilliant fun as long as it involves only consenting adults (or children, though that's fun even when they don't consent). Actually being kicked in the face, though, is not much fun. In order to be better at not being kicked in the face I need to make sure I am fast and strong, two stats that can be improved most efficiently through the process of regular repetition. It's my experiences in the field of ninja power that have helped me realise that repetition is the key to skill development in life.

That's why I love Nippon Ichi, I suppose. They stripped away almost everything from the RPG process bar the levelling up, but made it so insanely complex that the process of seeking the optimal way to become powerful becomes the game itself.

It's also why I have no problem strumming the fast parts in Guitar Hero.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Obligatory Oblivion Observation

The humans in Oblivion make me laugh. Not because they're funny, or because they all have the same accent, or because all the men look like paedos, or because one of them asked me about necrophilia, it's because they all look like spastics. I understand that that term is no longer acceptable but it's still funny, mostly because none of my relatives are spastics. If they were, it would still be funny, but I'd have to pretend I was offended by it. I would still do the "spazzy bus went that way" joke, but only to my spastic relative, because that's an opportunity that shouldn't be passed up.

They all have slanty eyes sitting at unnatural positions on their faces and every time the camera zooms in to talk, I quiver. It's like they want to talk to me but can't make their eyes focus on me. But the thing is, even so, some of the girls are still hot.

Which basically means that I want to have sex with a spazzy.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Itsy and Shigsy - part 4

IGN is starting a blog

Or several blogs for its "writers". I read the announcement yesterday but I can't remember what it said. Basically, though, they implied that the blogs would be an excuse for the staff to be slightly illiterate and ramble aimlessly. How funny, I thought.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

How about posting something?

RIGHT. This blog is still very much alive and ROCKING. I'm sorry if we don't update every day like some internet geeks, we're busy having SEXES with GIRLS and playing GAMES and not just saying WE LOVE GAMES but then don't really play them.

We're also really only one and a half people, cos Boss Nonnu is a seriously lazy fuck and only posts once a month, so in conclusion - shut up. Some wordage to tide you over the Easter weekend -

My 360 died. I'm bitter. Then Xbox support dicked me around a bit (via UPS) and so that's that. No 360 till after Easter. Also, no internet access at home over Easter because of flat movings and stuff. So basically, all my gaming has died bar Animal Crossing, which is still brilliant. Brilliant, except two of my rooms are occupied by my girlfriend's furniture which isn't anywhere near as good as mine. But that's all well and good because I have a Plan.

The Animal Crossing Plan.

I am chopping down all my trees and reforming them into lines to create a race track and then we're having RACE DAYS. The winner will get, I dunno, my Master Sword or something. Maybe a Triforce. Maybe 500k bells. I'm loaded, what do I care?

I caught a coelacanth. HOW'D YOU LIKE THAT, ZORG?

He doesn't read this.

Further ranting from me - my Sony PSP. I dug it out - cos what else am I gonna play at home in my new flat with no internet access or 360 - to play PoPoLoCrois. Here is the definitive review.

PoPoLoCrois - the DeFiNiTive review

Shit/10

Seriously, how can anyone hope to get away with such an ass-sucking piece of code in today's world of Nippon Ichi and Square and Enix and Square Enix? It's like it was made by HOLY SHIT FORGET THAT I KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT.

MCV Awards. I totally forgot about this. I met, for the first time ever, Dave "games animal" Perry. He wasn't wearing a bandana so I wouldn't have recognised him had Affectionate Diary user Simon Byron not introduced me to him. Anyway, it was all good, we talked about nothing for ages till I jokingly said something like, "OMG I would so pwnz0r you @ Street Fighter you n00b!!!!" You know, jokingly like, but actually Dead Fucking Serious. He made some comment about how I wouldn't and then he said something about using a pad. A pad. GAME OVER. So anyway, I said something like, "let's play for charity then" and he said "yes". I have no idea how to make this happen, but basically, IT'S ON.

If anyone reading this knows the original Games Animal then please remind him - it's for a good cause. He really won't win, even if he uses a programmable pad (I don't mind, it can only make it more fair), but it's not about us. It's about the kids. Unless we do it for a gay charity or something, in which case it's about the gays. Though obviously you can do it for both, since some kids are gay.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Guitar Hero - the DEFINITIVE review

Guitar Hero scores 666/10

Sometimes, when I see an early screen of a game or I read an early preview of a game, my body does a funny internal spasm. It's hard to describe but easy to locate. It's sort of like the feeling you get when you need to go to the toilet, but without the actual need to go. You do need to clench, though. It's like you're holding in all your excitement and it's trying to escape and if you stop squeezing for even a second it'll flood out, taking your insides with it.

On even rarer occasions, when I first play one of these "highly anticipated" games, I actually feel this when I'm playing. As I continue to play the feeling ebbs away, hopefully replaced by a content feeling of happiness. I look forward to getting home and playing these games, they make me feel significantly happier and life is generally less painful when they're happening. There is one game I can think of, though, that gives me that "hold my bottom together or everything explodes" feeling all the time. And that game is Guitar Hero.

The easy way out for the budding teenage website journalist would be to start by describing how you actually feel like a rockstar when you play. I, of course, have absolutely no idea if that's true or not because I feel like a rockstar every second of the day. No, I'll be a touch more precise than that - Guitar Hero makes you feel like you're actually playing the guitar. From changing your stance to the way you hold the guitar for better access to the fret board, every aspect of how you 'play' when you first pick up the controller has changed by the time you've mastered Normal difficulty. By the time you're on the third set of songs on Hard you are completely and utterly rocking.

To get an idea of how empowering it is, to see just how well Harmonix has pulled the wool over my eyes and given me Real Guitar Power, we need look no further than an episode of my life entitled Last Night I Went To Kristan's To Play Guitar Hero. While I was at Kristan's I noticed he had an actual guitar on the wall. The first thing I thought was "he's cheating". The second thing I thought was "I'll have that." So confident was I that I now had Real Guitar Power that I pulled the thing off its clumsily-constructed wall bracket, strapped it to my muscular torso and proceded to strum.

Obviously it was broken. And needed tuning. The point is, even though I was immediately faced with something called reality, a concept often best left alone, I still didn't stop believing. We moved on to the game, I totally and utterly destroyed him and all was well again.

I really can play the guitar now. I can slide my hand up and down the fret board and know where it is. I can hold down combinations of fingers that nature never intended. I can strum the strumming thing in time to the music. All of the music. And I can do this not through repeated "practise" but through extended "play". And that, I feel, is a fundamental difference that needs to be observed. Not once do you feel as if you're repeating the same actions over and over in the hope of improving your skill level by five per cent (though, as with all games, that's obviously what you're doing) - you are always performing. Always.

Do a good one.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Itsy and Shigsy - part 3



Ok, so it's lazy, but it's also better than any words in my head today.

Just to reiterate - these aren't our work. They're the work of GOD.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Itsy and Shigsy - part 2