Monday, May 29, 2006

BLLLUDD MUNNNEHHHH

If IO, the developers of Hitman had any self re-cocking-spect, they'd make sure at least ONE of the levels in their latest installment had an Amiga 500 playing that now-excruciatingly shit intro to Psygnosis's landmark shooter.

However, the sinful admission of that particular Easter Egg doesn't diminish the invigourated joy that a logical progression of Hitman's sandbox-of-killing provokes in me. I fucking love this shit.

Becoming quite the stalwart, Bloodmoney deviates little from the series template, providing a decently diverse range of colours with which to paint its asassination canvas. Now a fairly solid collection of intermeshing routines, obstacles and means of action, Hitman soldiers on in an entirely familiar vein, providing me with exactly what I wanted.

Disappointing but entirely consistent with the roughly-hewn nature of previous entries, Blood Money has polish in the right places but not quite enough to hide all the game's mechanistic workings. Also missing are obliging accomodations for exactly the kind of obsessive player the game demands for its greatest challenge. A sorrowful showing of minimal statistics is all the player has as a record of their misdemeanours, fleetingly presented at the end of each level before a results-generated newpaper arrives - a newspaper that shows some observation of the player's style has taken place, but not smart enough to name them by signature killing methods or provide forensic details of how the mission slipped from a professional stealthathon into a corner-creeping massacre.

Besides these ultimately minor disappointments, Hitman: Blood Money does its thing admirably well. It's a superb collection of killing-by-puzzle environments with both the intellectual depth and visceral combat to satisfy any terrifyingly gun-obsessed media professional.

As for those wanting tips on any particular kill, this is the best advice I can give:

wtf i just shut him them teh face with the nailgun lol


SCORE:

Death Graphics: 8/10.

"The old-gen engine shows its limitations, but some scenes undoubtedly impress. The Mardi Gras is fucking wicked and I can't wait to get in there with a suitcase bomb and a loaded M4 with the drum clip bang bang bang bang bang bang bang"

Humour: 10/10

"You'll fucking piss yourself when you set off ANOTHER remote mine at the Whitehouse Security gate, blowing up the soldiers body-bagging the civilians you blew up five minutes earlier."

Soundz: 1/10

"The gunshots are actually shit. Maybe even the shittest. The music's a bit poncey too, especially at the beginning."

Killing: 1000/10

"This game is pure killing x1000. Fans of the genre will love it!"

Lasers: -1000/10

"There are only lasers as security devices. You cannot use them as weapons."

Manual: 1,000,000/10

"I write manuals and this one is fucking sweet."

OVERALL:

9/10

Bloody Wicked.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Disgaea 2 countdown - day three

Six days to go!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Disgaea 2 countdown - day two

FOUR DAYS TO GO!

The more astute of you may have noticed that it was five days to go two days ago. This is not an error anyone's part bar maybe yours.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A quick word about Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

If Marc Ecko thinks his game is a faithful representation of Graffiti, then he's a fucking toy.

You can take the cultural structures, disciplines and locales, you can lace it with Kings. You can put loads of wicked Graf in it and you can have simple re-creations the actions required to get up. That's what should be in there.

Setting it in a shit dystopia, however, is completely unneccesary. Making the player some kind of emergent folk hero is fucking spazzy. Having Trane start out with a mish-mash of styles is what really fucks it.

Marc, what you should have done is gone GTA. Don't piss me about with stupid stories and settings. Give me a writer and let me learn a style that's consistent. Objectives write themselves. All I need is the correct playgrounds. Sure, you can even put in a bit of stealth and fighting, but don't think you can give a player whatever style they want from some magical blackbook and stay true to the culture.

Individuality and learning your own, consistent style that remains irrespressably recognisably yours is one of the fundamental elements of being a graf writer. Otherwise, you're only a single step up from Jet Set Radio on the long, long ladder to creating the ideal grafitti simulator.

If you want a much, much better example of capturing a Hip-Hop associated lifestyle, look at B-Boy. The demands in creating an accurate translation of B-Boying may lend itself to a purer setting, but surely - couldn't that be the case for Graf?

I suppose you gave too much of a fuck about how many people were going to buy it, eh?

:(

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Disgaea 2 countdown

It's only five days till I get my copy of Disgaea 2!

FIVE!

Each day I'll count down the number, unless I forget to, or unless I reach number 0 and still don't have it, in which case I'll count up. The number is totally made up, obviously, but I'm not going to let a lack of information stop me from executing my amazing PR campaign.

On the day I actually get it I'll do a special post with even more caps and exclams than usual, which will be require something along the lines of effort.

FIVE DAYS!

In the meantime I have been researching VF4 Final Tuned's changes, so that when I get my ass handed to me down at Casino I'll be able to know for sure that it's because the joysticks are broken. I started to read data for all the characters but it basically said the same thing - all the good moves do less damage and have a longer recovery except Jeffry, who does loads more damage all over the shop and can grab people out of the air BY THEIR TESTICLES after he's hit them really hard. Lion has some new moves that don't do anything, which means I'll be even better if I win a round. Kage has lost TFT SO GET IT FUCKING UP YOU NONNU. Well, he hasn't actually lost it, but it's a 270 now, which is so far beyond Boss Nonnu's capability that they might as well have removed it. I mean, he can't even fucking buffer the knee after a toss to the left. WEAK.

Oh, and that reminds me - someone remarked to me that I don't swear very much on the blog. Not that anyone knows my SECRET IDENTITY, of course. But I overheard them talking about it in the office I work in. I guess that means I can send my dad the link. I don't need to worry about the rape jokes - he lives in Cambodia. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

You might not get that unless you're a sexual deviant who uses Asia's rampant immorality to escape justice being served on your sorry ass.

Monday, May 22, 2006

VF4 Final Tuned in London

In the Casino arcade on Tottenham Court Road. Very, very close to Goodge St station. Go spend some money on it ASAP. Support your local arcade! Or in fact, the only arcade.

E3: Sony and MS

I fucking love Sony, but fuck me they were shit.

It was so sad. Why do that spazzy controller? It's so obvious. Idiots.

The games, however, look quite nice. I found that heartening. Heavenly Sword looks excellent - as long as it can provide those escalating thrills in sufficient quantity. 9 Days looks good, but the footage is fishy as fuck. That was an incredibly stupid thing to do, surely? Unless everything in the 9 Days trailer was real, retail PS3, it can't possibly be seen as good PR at an event where this year more than ever, the real deal is what's needed to convince. Nintendo delivered that, exactly as they should have.

Oddly, Microsoft had the best but the most bland showing. Lots of great looking games coming soon, big stuff for Vista and, of course, that ludicrious tattoo. GTA4 YAY, but it's coming a bit too soon to be really something new and truly next-gen, right?

Maybe it's GTAPS3 that we should be getting excited about.

Despite that possibility, GTA4 is still very much A VERY GOOD THING but not that exciting, really. It's a surprise that I'm not surprised about Microsoft suprising us with, if you get what I mean.

I think the problem is that 360 is the norm for me now. I'm used to it and I have a vague understanding of what I can expect from it. E3 pleased me, but it was like seeing a round of genuinely promising previews.

I'm really glad that Gears Of War is standing out. It looks gritty and nasty in the right way. Similarly, Lost Planet has a style that I really like, so I'll probably be willing to overlook a few shortcomings. There's lots of stuff in the line-up that looks really good. Yay, but not much in the way of drama. Maybe it was the lack of suspense?

The star of E360 is Dead Rising, which looks a million million fun (apologies to M.). Impressive with the sheer number of zombies it provides - as well as its scope for dealing with them, I have to cling to the hope that they fit two-player co-op into it.

Dead Rising has a certain spark - a particular emphasis on pure entertainment that anyone can understand. In terms of selling a console to the laddish GTA set, Dead Rising's sandbox mayhem might well be the right element to tip their favour away from pondering over 360 appearances in chastised wank mags and instead towards adopting it as the PS2's true successor. If the E3 demo reports are anything to go by, the retail demo kiosks are going to have crowds.

THAT IS THE END OF MY EPS3 and E360, or what I can remember of it now that I've had the inclination to sit down and do a post. Sadly, that inclination has been a summer spent, so now I must endure the winter earned.

The winter being going away and listening to some mixes I downloaded. Not that bad, really.

Friday, May 19, 2006

update

Hi.

Sorry I've been rubbish recently, but I suffered a crisis of confidence and wasn't able to post for ages. Well, that and fucking Oblivion, obviously. Cunt game.

in order to make up for me being rubbish, I'm going to do a quick update on the gaming related thoughts that I'm supposed to think are good enough to type out for the internet.


Oh. Well, it was pretty wicked really, but I'm not going to comment about the obvious stuff that no doubt already has fifty million pages of internet dedicated to it. Instead, I'll talk about how both Edge and the Guardian Games Blog mention the Wii's controler in less than favourable lights. That I find interesting, as I've always been skeptical of the ability of current motion-sensing technology to perform well for videogaming. Even more interesting is the fatigue aspect, as that can't be fixed with final hardware revisions.

Unless Nintendo release some amazing robot arm.

Fuck. I've got to go to a media party and mingle with comedic actors. Right now.

I'll finish this later.

BYE!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Disgaea 2

I should have an English language version of this within the next week or so. I seriously cannot state enough how mind-fuckingly awesome I expect this to be. I would sell my own mother to get a copy pre-release. Saying that, I'd sell my own mother to avoid having to finish reading The Da Vinci Code, but the story's basic premise is compelling enough for me to have made the decision to endure what is easily the worst writing ever. Seriously. Worse than the AD&D fan fiction I wrote in secondary school. It's not just me saying it's terrible because everyone else is, it's REALLY REALLY TERRIBLE. But I'll finish it, like I finished Metroid Prime.

Right, like anyone finished Metroid Prime.

Disgaea 2. You've probably not even heard of Disgaea. Or if you have, you probably haven't played it. That's not your fault. It's my fault. I didn't PR it enough. Or even at all, since I didn't work on it. And I'm not working on the sequel either, but I'm not making the same mistake twice.

Quote for the box from credible internet games site Affectionate Diary - "Disgaea 2 is so good you'll not only shit your pants with glee, but scoop that shit up into your mouth and eat it again, it tastes that good."

Expect a million posts on my experience-farming and weapon-levelling strategies.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lesbian threesome

I just remembered that the other night I took part in threesome in Guild Wars Factions. My girl monk, KG's girl assassin and some German kid wanking with one hand and typing with the other. I'm not sure if KG had a quick tug, but I'll guess yes, since his typing broke down when the kid asked him if his pussy was dripping with excitedment.

I obviously DIDN'T have a wank, because I'm still a virgin.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Value for money

"I think when you look at what we put into the box - Cell, Blu-Ray, backwards compatibility, the ability to go online - I think it's a very compelling package for consumers."

Stop me if I'm wrong, but isn't advertising the ability to go online as a feature in the same league as listing polyphonic ringtones as a feature on a phone?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Are you reviewing a game?

Have you just written "addictive" when describing a game you like? Or worse yet, the grammatically dismaying "addicting" non-adjective?

STOP.

You have just made a fool of yourself.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG mario galaxy

Sad Face

I will quite obviously have to buy a PS3. I can't afford not to. The Virtua Fighter 5 exclusive deal pretty much sets that in stone. That's not so bad, though, since I'll obviously be buying whatever sexual stick Hori release, or at least an adaptor for my current Hori RAP. What makes my heart sink, though, is the prospect of playing games on the same tragic analogue sticks that feature on the current Dual Shock 2. My PR training forces me to capitalise the name of the pad, but I really don't think it deserves it.

The Network Platform, or whatever it is, and the built in Blu Ray and all that shit, yeah, cool, that's awesome. I'm totally paying for it, though, at the price point they're asking. But what good is a Ferrari when the steering wheel and pedals are made by Fisher Price? A convex, smooth surface does NOT make for precision play in the heat of things. Nor do the apparently similarly-surfaced triggers (though without a hands on it's maybe a bit unfair to condemn them too). And the travel:length ratio of the sticks are all wrong, and always have been. The worst part is, the Dual Shock 1 was actually ok. It could have done with a bit more stiffness, maybe.

I'm confused, I really am. Not by the fact that so many people are content with these sticks (after all, people are content with McDonalds and East Enders), but by the fact that Sony, who should be leading the market with its controller design, seems to be content with such lacklustre controls. This is the frontline. These are the troops who are doing all the work. These babies should be HOT. Microsoft have really nailed their analogue stick design, showing complete understanding of how our thumbs work with the 360 controller's elegance and precision. And to me, the controller is the most important aspect of any console. I'll take precision sticks over gyroscopic controls any day of the week.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Industry interview - John Walker

The latest installment in the long-running, LEGENDARY series of industry interviews in which the tables are TURNED ON THEIR MOTHER FUCKING HEAD(s) as the journos are asked confrontational questions that force them to look into their dark souls and ask themself - "am I a gay lol?"

This week we couldn't find anyone of consequence. Sorry about that.


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.

My name is John Walker, and I am a rogue games journalist. I wander from magazine to website, helping others, putting right what once went wrong, and then before anyone can ask me why, I’ve moved on, with just my dusty footprints left along the road. None can understand me – none can know my true pain, or the reason why I set out on this long, long journey.

Are you a gay lol?

I can only assume this means, "Are you a gay laugh-out-louder", to which I’d probably have to say: yes.

When Affectionate Diary was first introduced to you, you were described as "PC Gamer's leading adventure game expert". Does PC Gamer editor Mark Donald hate you?

He does. But it’s that sort of hate that goes back through the years, based on his own actions. You see, it was a young Mark Donald, back when his hair was… oh, exactly the same, who first hired me. He’ll never be able to have not done that, even if he invents a time machine, because I already have a time machine and went forward in time to just before when he invented a time machine and stole his quantum pulse capacitor and hid it in the year 34,050 (where only his haircut will have survived). I imagine he’s also jealous.

Mark Donald is the UK's Bloodbowl champ. Is that better or worse than being the Warhammer 40k champ?

Is that true? I don’t think that’s true. They’re both worse than each other, in a crazy ever-escalating bid to be more worst than the other, spiralling off into a dark, dark place. Hang on – I’m going to look that up because I don’t believe you…

…Oh dear. I don’t think it is true, and also I read a frightening Google result about Mark Donald’s oversized friend "dick".

The joke is on you! Mark Donald is ACTUALLY the UK Bloodbowl champ! Or was. Either way, he fiddles with miniatures and likes it.

I’m not convinced the final resting place of this joke is on me.

Have you ever painted a small lead figurine?

No, and I’ll thank you kindly to keep your filthy allegations to yourself in future. I once was given one in the 80s though by some computer games designer friend of my dad, I think. But I was too scared of it because my parents told me lead was poisonous.

So you're basically saying you hate Mark Donald, a marvellous, benevolent man?

I think we may have our Mark Donalds mixed up. I was referring to the tyrant king of PC Gamer, who rules with an iron rod, one storey high.

What do you think of people who do it on a regular basis?

Is this a sex question? If so, I think jealous thoughts.

What would you do to the girls who date these people?

I knew it was a sex question. I think that if I were to "do" the girls who were going out with the guys who paint lead figurines, then they might get cross with me, and while perhaps of a small, weak stature from their lack of exposure to the elements, they have huge amounts of lead at their disposal and the only poison I had was the toilet cleaner but that ran out the other day. And what if they have become immune to poison from all their lead painting, because I bet the paint’s got poison in it too, and then even if I did still have some Toilet Duck they might be totally immune, or it might even make them MORE powerful. So no, I would not do anything to them.

Let's go back to our first meeting again. During that meeting you had terrible hair. Affectionate Diary forgets which colour it was, only that you looked like you'd just stepped off a plane from Chernobyl. Since then you've made similar hair mistakes. To what do you attribute this
frankly grotesque experiment with colour?

Hang on? I’m beginning to get some inkling as to who you might be! So far your true name has eluded me, so-called "Suki", but this might have been your downfall! I can conclusively prove from this line of questioning that you are in some way involve in, or have read about, the games industry! AHA!

Yes, quiver in fear. I will expose you.

As for my hair – it was an investment in the future that has finally come to fruition. I knew that by marking my hair in such a way, in a few years time it would be the key to uncovering the identity of someone writing a blog about something. You walked right into my trap, "Suki", or should I say… SOMEONE SOMEHOW RELATED TO THE GAMES INDUSTRY!

(The identity of RAM Raider is only one bottle of Live XXL away).

Please don't allude to lesser industry blogs whilst answering my questions. If my upfront, confrontational style upsets you, simply break down into tears.

I think you’re rather over-honouring Rammy with the term "industry" there.

Your last five review scores, as listed on your blog, have an average score of 4.6/10. Do you hate games?

You cannot ever understand. My past is a secret, enveloping me in the enigma you can’t quite see before you, but mark my words (on an IGN scale so I definitely get over 7/10) - I will find the game who killed my parents. And it will suffer. And if a few games that should have got 9/10 have to suffer along my journey, that is a small price to pay.

Which games do you hate the most?

Stupid, horrible management sims, since you asked. What kind of idiot gets home from work and thinks, "What I’d like to do more than anything else right now is some pretend work,"? (Is that right? Should it be a comma at the end and then the question mark after the closing speech marks, or should it have been a full stop?) I don’t even do ANY proper work, and indeed already am at home when I am working, and even THEN the idea is still so monstrously moronic that if I were to even think about it for a second I would actually die. Apart from Rollercoaster Tycoon, which is great.

Let's talk a bit about your unremarkable new project, Not Enough Owls. Although the premise is sound, the general execution is somewhat lacking. Do you attribute this colossal failure to your partnership with known imbecile Tom Bramwell?

I don’t know what you’re talking about… Oh, wait. You must mean the new, excellent blog by the erudite and mysterious writers, ‘botherer’ and ‘Daggerpanda’. It really is incredible, isn’t it? I’m not sure why you, Suki, should think either Tom Bramwell or I would have anything to do with it.

Anyway, Tom Bramwell is the nicestest man ever in the whole history of time, and is also super-funny, so I can only imagine you’re seething in jealousy. Also, I haven’t noticed you losing 10 stone in weight recently. I think you should do that.

I think that would cause my immediate death, since I weigh only 11 stone. I did recently gain a stone and a half, though. I'm stacked! Do you want to feel my muscles?

The whole causing your death thing was the point of… OH NEVERMIND. I’d like to feel your heart muscle, pulsing its last few meagre beats as I crush it betwixt my fingers.

What is your favourite type of owl?

The wisest ones. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH. And Tawny.

How many times can you twist an owl's head all the way around before
it snaps off?

Infinite. They’re heads aren’t actually attached to their bodies, as is commonly (but stupidly) thought. They are in fact floating in a magnetic field generated by their necks, which is how they are able to look right behind them. We’re not meant to know, but if you watch sometimes they turn their heads back the other way than they first turned them, which is a real giveaway.

And finally, how long do you think you could last having sex with the new Lara Croft? Real life, obviously, we're not some sort of depraved SICKO who fantasises about making sweet love to female characters in games, no matter how much they turn to the screen and wink at you.

I’m a bit confused. You do realise that Lara Croft doesn’t exist in real life? So if fantasising about having sex with her, it would surely have to be the fictional character? So, ignoring your stupid question, I’ll write my own:

John, you delightful man of whom I’m incredibly jealous and also a bit in love with, for how long do you think you could last having sex with the new Lara Croft who is a games character and whether she’s real or not it’s hardly relevant since this is a hypothetical question?

I’m glad you asked. Because the new Lara Croft in Legend is in love with ME and no one else, and she said so through a series of extremely subtle gestures which others would think were simply idle animations. I would last probably about 35 seconds.

Thank you for your time.

This is paid by the word, right?

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's on!

Let the money raising BEGIN!

Somewhat agog!

So, to recap on the current Dave Perry situation -

First encounter at an industry party, Dave is challenged by Leo to a game of Street Fighter for charity. Dave agrees.

Many weeks later, on an internet forum, Dave agrees once again to the challenge on the condition that £1000 is raised. The agreement is made.

Upon realisation that £1000 is possible to raise, Dave ups the required amount to be raised to a ludicrous £30,000. The agreement is made.

Upon realisation that £30,000 is possible to raise, Dave insists that the match is also televised, attended by every member of the gaming press, and that a lavish party is thrown afterwards (the funds for which would come, presumably, from the pot).

If this ludicrous requirement is met, I expect his next request will necessitate the capture of an albino tiger, three baby elephants and a swimming pool filled with peanut butter M&Ms. Or he just. Won't. Take. Part. Because he's bored of raising THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS FOR CHARITY. Done it all before. And who can blame him?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Games Animal

Affectionate Diary users and reknowned trouble makers The Triforce are currently organising a charity Street Fighter II match, pitting famous, legendary and handsome PR man Leo Tan against everyone's favourite from yesteryear, Dave Perry - The Games Animal.

Thing is, ol' Dave is bottling it.

Get over there RIGHT NOW and sort him out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Itsy and Shigsy 5