End of an offline era (possibly)

Last weekend I have mostly been playing…. online. It was a free ‘Gold’ weekend for Silvers (although you would never have known if you didn’t know about it already – no advertising of the fact whatsoever as far as I can tell) so I thought I’d break with tradition and actually try some stuff out. Yes, believe it or not I’ve somehow managed to avoid ever playing a game online until now. And bearing in mind that I was a complete online n00b, I wasn’t expecting much of either myself or the experience in general. What I found was… curious. Read more of this post


Eurogamer Expo 2009 – The Review

EG Expo 2009So, yesterday I spent a rather long day at the Eurogamer Expo in Leeds. My legs may never forgive me, but myself and a small band of merry forumites had a marvellous day meeting the staff and playing some stuff that we hadn’t played before! If you’ve got a ticket for one of the upcoming days then you’re likely to come away rather pleased.

While it’s all still fresh in my head, I’ve done a super-quick round-up of everything I paid even slight attention to. Have fun! 🙂

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Recommended: Shadow Complex

"That spider in the bath, dear? I'm going to need a bigger newspaper."

Super Metroid was, so they tell me, a classic. I say “so they tell me” because I have a shocking admission to make – I’ve never actually played it for more than about ten minutes. Before you kick me out of the gaming club, I was very much a ‘computer’ kind of guy during the 16-bit era so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The fact that I now own a SNES and have somehow managed to avoid picking up a copy remains a mystery, however.

Regardless, I’m a fan of the “Metroidvania” style of game – the first Metroid Prime was excellent (aside from Meta Ridley, I still wake up screaming occasionally even now) and I’ve enjoyed various flavours of Castlevania over the years, so I was moderately interested in Shadow Complex when it was first announced at E3. However, the Splinter Cell styling didn’t really appeal and it didn’t look quite as Metroidy as some people said it was so I was a little dubious.

I was also a little wrong.

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“Well you’re obviously not Dr. Kildare, then!”

Let's raise a peoples' army and seize control of the state!

Patience. It’s a virtue, apparently. Recent revelations have also lead me to believe that I now have significantly less of it than I used to have in the past, especially when it comes to games. The release of the hi-def remix of The Secret of Monkey Island on Xbox Live Arcade almost had me reaching into my pocket – this was, after all, a game which I remembered very fondly indeed. Back in the dim and distant past when I was but a spotty youth I must’ve gone through the entire game at least a dozen times on my trusty Atari ST despite the fact that it came on four disks and took seemingly forever to load. Then once I upgraded to a PC I went through the whole thing again – several times. This was one of my favourite games, and one which was undiminished in my memory – an all-time classic which obviously would never age. Hmm.

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The Tip Top Ten of E3

Lloyd Mangram would be proud!Well, E3’s all over (including the shouting) and by and large it was a pretty good bash, especially compared to last year’s table-top/car-boot sale thing. There was a shocking amount of stuff up for perusal, so much so that I could barely bring myself to check the RSS feeds at one point – that “1000+ articles unread” indicator was just taunting me. But at the end of the day… there have to be winners! And these are mine – an alphabetically-ordered list of the ten most exciting games from last week’s coverage. You will probably disagree, but hey – this is my song! 🙂
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E3 Conferences: Microsoft

MicrosoftWell, that’s it all over for Microsoft and judging by internet reaction they appear to have pushed pretty much all of the right buttons – press and forumites alike seem very pleased with what they had to offer. Myself, I can’t help but feel a slight twinge of disappointment – considering how little Microsoft has announced so far this year, I was sort of expecting to see almost the entire conference given over to ‘brand new’ first or second-party stuff. But maybe that’s just me.

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Doubling Your Chances Of Success

Tasty!Once, when I was but a naive teenager with little experience of the world, I bought a box of Double Deckers. Chewy but crunchy, covered with Cadbury’s chocolate and not yet ruined by the addition of raisins, it seemed like a remarkable deal when the owner of the shop I worked in offered me a whole box of 70-odd bars for a bargain ‘couple of quid’ because they were nearing their sell-by date. Sticking them in the cupboard at home, I was well chuffed – “that’s my chocolate sorted for the foreseeable future”, said I! And for a couple of weeks things were great, too – fancy some chocolate? Double Decker on tap! Nice. Read more of this post