Video Games

Phil Fish Wants You To Hate him

Phil Fish Wants You To Hate him

Fez was decent, least I thought it was, at it’s heart it was a fun title that made me feel kinda happy. Fez was colorful, slick, enjoyable and consistent. I enjoyed the game and looked back at it as pleasant experience. After all was said and done, I decided to look into the games development and see how it was crated, this resulted in me finding one Phil Fish. A talent young man, there is no doubt, but a egoistical fella. There’s nothing wrong with ego, look throughout creative media, sports and various other purists, a lot of the best people have a ego. The problem with Phil Fish is…he seems to think the world owes him something, he seems to think I owe him something and that you owe him something. Phil Fish isn’t a person, but a person consumed by a character.   I came to this conclusion after watching ‘Indie Game: The Movie’, a lovely little number that shed light on the hardships, struggles and high points of creating a vision. While everyone featured in the film seemed genuine, real, Mr.Fish always seemed like he was ‘playing’ for the camera. As time went on, and his twitter account became more and more active, it seemed like Mr.Fish had turned heel, full heel. Why do I use a term generally used in relation to professional wrestling? It’s simple, Phil Fish is acting like a WWE wrestler, a poor man’s CM Punk. The way in which he interacts with people over social media, his trash talk of his peers, the way in which he reacts to criticism, it all screams ‘playing a character’. I’ve always wondered why he acts like this, my only real conclusion is bad press is better than no press. In running his mouth, slagging off his peers, going overboard on current events, he earns himself a lot of heat which in turn gives him a lot of press. Phil Fish could announce any game he likes at this point and the internet would be all over it, social media (within video game circles) would be buzzing. Even when he’s not working on projects he stays in the news, he’s playing the system. Ethically, his recent exploits are a little dark. Requesting civil war and insulting his fan base seem like awful moves, but given he’s turned Heel, it’s a easy way to get gain heat. Phil Fish wants you to hate him, he thrives on it, he works lives on it. While you could argue it’s a clever means to stay relevant, the whole concept cheapens the joys that Fez brought. The whimsical charms of Fez feel slightly corrupted when you take into account the attitude of it’s creator. The real shame is Fish is super talented, and truly talented people don’t come along too often. His obsession with trying to play the bad guy is his main obstacle. There’s a hope that maybe one day he’ll change his focus, he’ll stop playing the villain, but that doesn’t seem likely. Phil Fish wants you to hate him, and he loves you for doing so....

P.T – A Word of Mouth Success

P.T – A Word of Mouth Success

The popularity of P.T has made me sit back and change my views on a few things. Demos have became a rarity in the modern market, hype sells and thus the big games have no need for a demo. Heck, even the smaller games tend to release without demos, they’ve became a thing of the past. In place of demos, we now have early access, alpha/beta tests and marketing…this is why P.T intrigues me. P.T is part demo, part marketing…a playable piece of marketing…and that’s fantastic. Word mouth of works wonders, and P.T has been doing the rounds as soon as it hit PSN. Given P.T’s length, content and hidden puzzles, it’s perfect to recommend to someone, even if it’s purely to try scare the hell out of them. When people hear how terrifying a game is, they often want to test it out, see if it’s as scary as people say. P.T’s simplicity opens it up to the masses, anyone can play it regardless of skill level or knowledge on what the game is. P.T goes beyond being a demo, the manner in which it popped out of no where, the way it captured peoples attention, it’s a similar impact to that of the original Flash game Slender. Sure it may have some major names behind it, sure it’s part of a major franchise, but it’s the perfect PR move for a franchise that’s been rather out of date for some years. Silent Hill has struggled for sometime now, while Downpour may not of been awful, Homcoming was just ‘okay’ and the Wii titles went under the radar, the franchise on the whole is stale. Announcing a new Silent Hill title wouldn’t of made much of a impact, but with big names such as Kojima behind it…things go up a notch, and P.T took things even further. Given how many variables exist within P.T, and how many things can go unseen on initial playthroughs, people banded together and began to discuss various things they had figured out or differences during their playthroughs. This was yet another means in which P.T became almost viral, it created a active community for a game just announced, bringing a potential base of buyers already.   While Demos may of became a less popular option for bigger games and names, P.T proves there’s still a foundation to be built upon. While it’s unclear how much of a representation P.T is for the final product (one assumes it won’t truly mirror the final release in most ways), the buzz it’s already crated for the game is staggering. A true triumph in using a kinda demo, kinda marketing tool, to inflate hype for a franchise essentially dead in the water.  ...

The Red Solstice – Review (PC)

The Red Solstice – Review (PC)

I recently got the chance to sit down and try my hands at The Red Solstice which is a top-down, tactical, squad based survival shooter developed by Ironward. The Red Solstice plays very similar to games like StarCraft in the way of how you control your character. That being said, I had some major issues trying to connect to an online match, but once I did I was greeted with a gameplay formula I’ve been very familiar, and comfortable with since the launch of the original Starcraft in 1998. Plus, it has that whole Starcraft/spacey-wacey shooter vibe going on. So, that helped me get into the game when I booted it up.  Now, to be fair in terms of single-player content I only played the introductory tutorial to get an understanding of the game, plus this game is all about hopping online, starting a squad, and blasting some aliens. From what I got in the tutorial I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. I didn’t feel like the game was offering anything new, or unique. However, I pushed through and played through the tutorial. Most tutorials are fairly meh in games, but I’m going to throw that up to the fact that I feel like this game is built around being in a squad and playing with other people. You’ve got eight different classes to choose from when playing: Assault, Heavy Support, Recon, Marksman, Demolition, Terminator, Hellfire and Medic. The classes are pretty straight-forward, but the shining two classes would have to be Terminator, and Hellfire. And no, we don’t mean the T-800 from The Terminator franchise. So, if you’re one of those people who want variety in these types of games then the class system has just that, if you’re dedicated on ranking up and unlocking these things. Probably my most favorite, and memorable aspect of the game is an ailment system which allows your character to be poisonous or bleeding and various other ailments creating a new and harder aspect of the game. This is pretty great, and can definitely change the flow of the game instantly. I applaud the developers for doing something like this, it breathes something unique and fresh into the game, but also gives us that degree of difficulty that makes these kind of games fun and challenging. From what I got to play of TRS was a fun experience, albeit with some flaws. Connecting to a multiplayer game was quite the task, and when it finally worked itself out I had a blast. The game is also slightly punishing in the way of unlocking classes, and what-not. You have to be good at the game to score achievements and rank-up, they just won’t throw them out to every player who hops in game (which is nice). You need to play well with a team, and actually play tactically. No Rambo fun here, or at least from what I encountered while playing. Would I recommend this game? That depends. I’d say if you were fan of tactical/strategy games like Starcraft then it might be up your alley in terms of enjoyment. But, if you prefer games that won’t require some form of skill, and prefer just to shoot dudes away without any risk of defeat then this game probably won’t appeal to you. It’s a fun game, and for the $19.99 price tag, it’s quite the deal. Now, it is part of the Early-Access program on Steam so that means it’s constantly being updated, and having new bits & pieces thrown into the mix. So, if you’re one of those lads, or lassies who likes these types of games then go gather 8 of your friends together and dive into The Red Solstice. Mars won’t ever be the same....

Divinity: Original Sin Review (PC)

Divinity: Original Sin Review (PC)

The Divinity franchise has been around for some time, but it’s never truly became a house hold name. With various spikes and drops in quality from across the years, the franchise has never truly imposed itself upon the masses. Divinity has earned itself a rather cult following however, but its latest installment, Original Sin, could be the game to truly make a impact…at least on the RPG fan base. Divinity: Original Sin is one of the many success stories of Kickstarter. After going over it’s goal, and garnering a lot of attention, the game went through early access and finally hit retail release. Larian Studios made it quite clear that Original sin was a ambitious project, made by RPG fans, for RPG fans. Their ambition is easily measurable in the sheer amount of content and personal touches burnt into the core of Original Sin.   In terms of role playing games, the genre has been going in the wrong direction of late. Action has began to take over the core elements that traditional RPG games are so heavy on. Original Sin feels distinctly old school from the off, and that is nothing short of glorious. Having the ability to roll a character is such a welcomed feature. The option to select each stat, trait and role is liberating to say the least. Players aren’t restricted to fulfilling a set class with all the expected skills, instead they are given the freedom of choice. Original Sin has a interesting variation on the party system. Players are given two characters to customize and mould how they say fit, these two characters are bound together for the entire game. Both characters act as the main protagonists as they jointly venture through the world. There’s a number of points within the game where the two character can discuss matters at hand. These discussions can depend on various stats and actions the respective character has taken through the game. It’s a neat dynamic that works especially well in Original Sin’s full online co-op experience.   The trend of old school mechanics bleeds into the core combat of Original Sin. Turn based combat, fueled by action points, makes for some truly intense battles. Every action is dependent on how many action points the character has at the ready. Using action points well is the key to victory, strategy becomes a must. Planning how to make the most of each action point is where the game enters it’s true depth. One mistake or waste of action points can lead to a swift defeat. The combat offers a truly intriguing mechanic that gives each battle it’s own dimension, especially in co-op. Spells and skill can be combined to create powerful combos, this expands the scope of each battle, halting any sense of repetition from sitting in. The true joys of the combat come in the shape of using the environment to your advantage. Spells and skills can be used to interaction with the environment, creating opportunities to cause heavy damage to the enemy. Setting alight oils, dislodging boulders are just some of the nifty tricks available at the players finger tips.   The interaction with environment isn’t exclusive to combat. There’s a number of situations in which using spells and skills on the surroundings can aid players in their exploration. Be it a puzzle, a hidden area, or just a simple short cut, these little interactions give the world a touch of life. The world itself is a character, full of curiosities and wonders. The world is huge and populated with some truly fascinating NPCs. The adventures to be had all feel like they have a purpose, be it to make the player laugh or give them that next step up in the various stories dotted around the game. At no point will the player find themselves disengaged or disinterested, there’s literally something to do at every point of the game. While the core gameplay, and all it’s mechanics, are solid, it’s Original Sin’s charm that shines through. There’s a sense of awareness to the game and it’s writing, it know it’s market and it knows how to engage them. Humor is provided in vast amounts, making each quest and interaction with NPCs enjoyable and satisfying, rather than just a means to gain a quest. It’s not uncommon to spend 45 minutes in a new area, purely talking to people. The world has so much charm and character that the players time never feels wasted.   Original Sin’s production values are pretty slick. The visuals are vibrant and reflect the tones of the game nicely. Character modes and environments are packed with detail consistent with the world. When the spells are flying, the visuals take on a new life. Explosives colours burst into life, the audio sings proudly, it all feeds into the end experience. The size and scale of Original Sin is something to marvel at. Creativity, charm, a immersive experience, all with a strong focus on traditional RPG values. The only issues to be found are minor quality of life problems such as inventory management and a rigid fast travel system. The main plot may be a little bit ropey, but the ‘side quests’ within the game offer a number of interesting short stories. Huge in scale, and hugely enjoyable to play though alone, or with a friend. Divinity: Original Sin is one of the best games of the year so far, easily worth the time of anyone looking for a true RPG experience.      ...

I Couldn’t Finish The P.T. Demo

I Couldn’t Finish The P.T. Demo

In terms of media, there’s not much that really scares me. Horror films and video game rarely scare me, though some make me uneasy. Big name horror titles from last year such as Outlast didn’t really have much effect on me. I understand how they were trying to scare, but it felt like a haunted house more than a genuine horror experience. There’s a certain craft missing from a lot of horrors, both video game and film. True fear isn’t created by simply creating a ugly image, nor is it created by jump scares. True masters of horror build up their scares, they create tension, they slowly cut into the player/viewer. The P.T demo caught my interest pretty early on. Ignoring the hype, the big names and the brand name, I went into P.T utterly blind. What I found was one small, well crafted, finely tuned experience. The demo starts cold, no trailer, no background, not a single detail…and it works perfectly. There’s a mystery behind P.T that slowly reveals itself, as long as the player is willing to take in their surroundings. Each footstep, each turn of a corner, each opening of a door, it all flows into the creation of tension . The sound effects that inhabit P.T stalk the player making them question and worry. The subtle touches dotted around the demo create a truly uneasy atmosphere in which the player begins to become unnerved…and they cant even out their finger on why. It’s these touches that give P.T a sense of character, a real sense of craftsmanship. *spoilers in video – my live reaction to P.T* The demo had truly sent chills down my spine. P.T shares similar tones to films such as Easerhead and Japanese horror such as Ju-On. It’s all neatly tied together to create a simple, yet highly effective, horror experience that leaves the player feeling utterly at the games mercy. Lighting, sound effects, visual cues, they’re all utilized in such a manner that it leaves the player utterly distraught at what is coming next. P.T managed to do what very few films and video games do, it managed to get into the head, it became more than just a set of pixels on screen. I genuinely felt creeped out, uneasy, vulnerable and scared. It got to the point where I couldn’t finish the demo in fear of waking up the neighbours. If this is a sign of things to come, perhaps we have one of the purest horror titles in video game history on our hands....

Why Smite On Xbox One Is A Big Deal

Why Smite On Xbox One Is A Big Deal

If there’s one announcement that shocked me the most at Microsoft’s Gamescom conference, it was the reveal of Smite on Xbox One. It’s a reveal that has seemingly made barely any impact, no reaction from the Xbox faithful… and that’s a real shame. Perhaps it’s the fact the game has no hype behind it in terms of console users, maybe it’s the alien concept, or maybe people just have no clue what Smite is. Smite has earned itself a rather strong cult following over on the PC. After a lengthy Beta period and resulting release, Smite has had a lot of MOBA players in a fluster. Doing away with the standard formula of the MOBA, in favour for a more action focused game, Smite is insntatly engaging. The third person view point gives the experience a familiar, yet refreshing, feel to the core gameplay. While DOTA2, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth may be the most well known MOBAs, Smite is creating a name for itself. The competitive scene is growing, the player base the expanding, the game is regularly updating, adding new playable Gods. Smite remains as one of the more accessible MOBA titles on the market, it’s open nature makes it a fantastic option for people wanting to try the genre without requiring any true research. Why is Smite such a great addition to the Xbox One? It’s a pretty simple answer, no other console offers a MOBA of this scope. It’s a truly unique offering, in terms of consoles at least, that has no equal on other systems. While in terms of games and genres, the PS4 and Xbox One have rather similar offerings. Smite represents a offering no other console has, even if it’s not a triple A game from a well known franchise. It’s a truly shrewd move from Microsoft to bring Smite to the One. The success of Smite on Xbox One will depend purely on the player base. While the core game is great, it’s the players that will keep going for years upon years. The challenge Smite faces on Xbox One is simple, appeal to a market of people alien to the MOBA. It’ll be a tricky challenge to tackle, even more so given how relatively unknown the game will be with a large section of console users. If Microsoft get behind Smite, push it as a unique console offering, make the Smite concept and name know, it could easily become a big feather in the Xbox One’s cap....

The Problems Of Adopting New Systems Too Early

The Problems Of Adopting New Systems Too Early

Buying into new consoles is always a odd experience. There’s a number of elements that come into play, mostly attempts to justify spending vast amounts of money on a system with barely any games. The chief feeling, and most welcomed, is excitement. There’s always a buzz when it comes to walking into the store and picking up the ‘next big thing’. I waited for months, pre-order slip in hand, counting down the days until the PS4 was released. My enjoyment of video games had became a little stale, the PS4 was something to get excited about. New experiences, new features, and as lame as it sounds…them shiny visuals. Killzone: Shadowfall was the main game that had me wishing the PS4 was closer to release, seeing the glory of the game in action was mouth watering. While my PC had given me plenty of visual thrills, the idea that consoles were pumping out these visuals was a wonderful concept to behold.   The PS4 release came around, I booked a day off work and set off to pick up my system. Even on the way there I can recall thinking about all the risks I was taking in terms of investing early. The lack of games at launch, what if it suffered errors like the 360 did at launch? How do I justify spending this much money on such a trivial object. By the time I had picked up the system, paid, and journeyed home, all the doubts faded, only excitement remained. It’s a cycle I’ve went through with every console release since the Game Boy Advanced…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My traditional cycle, when it came to buying new systems, had been thrown out the window when it came to the Xbox One. After saving up money, I found myself in a GAME store looking at Microsoft’s big fat black box. My feelings towards the Xbox One were a little off, the disastrous E3 (2013), the terrible PR, it had left me a little wary of the system. Even with all that in mind, I found myself walking out with a Xbox One in hand.   I’ve enjoyed my times with both the Xbox One and the PS4, but issues had arisen. By buying both system so early on, I had found myself barely using one of the systems. While the Xbox one had me hooked on Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, beyond that there was little to keep me around. Titanfall was a brief distraction, as too was Dead Rising 3, but the Xbox One was far my system of choice. Multiformat titles were often purchased for the PS4, resulting my library out numbering my Xbox One games by a large margin. The truth is, neither system has games that are exclusive while being must plays. Both consoles offer enjoyable games, but nothing that will make a true impact on the player. While nice visuals are a treat to behold, and using consoles various nifty features (the PS4 touch pad for example) makes for curious enjoyment, neither system truly feels like it’s the next step in video games…at least not yet. Call it buyers remorse, regret, or even nativity, buying into both systems this early on was a mistake. After nearly a year of decent, but not brilliant, next gen (or new gen, if you will) games , the resulting feeling is a little underwhelming. It’s a similar problem that popped up with the release of the Ps Vita and the Nintendo 3DS, so it’s not like this is a new concept. While others may be more than pleased with their next gen experiences, there’s still niggling sense of regret personally, too much too soon feels like the best way to sum up the situation.   2015 is looking far better with a plethora of big name games coming to both the Xbox One and PS4. While 2014 has been a rather sleepy year, the new systems will hopefully pick up traction in 2015, eliminating my lingering senses of regret. At the end of the day, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is still the best next generation experience so far…and that is the biggest surprise when it’s all said and done.    ...

2014 In Reflection: The Disappointments So Far

2014 In Reflection: The Disappointments So Far

As the busy window of major release comes ever a closer, it seems like a good time for a spot of reflection. 2014 was set to be the next generations first year of glory, but has it been the case? 2014 has been a strange year, filled with delays and more questions than answers. With hardware questions and concerns aside, the games of 2014 (so far) have been a mixed bag. Major releases, returning favorites and under the radar games, plenty of choice. 2014 has so far left a slight bitter taste in my mouth, mainly due to the failings of some of the biggest games. Pointing out disappointing games is easy, what’s hard is underlining exactly what made them disappointing. Watch Dogs, arguably the biggest game released so far, was a prime example of curious disappointment. Watch Dogs is not a bad game, in fact it’s a decently crafted game with some nifty ideas….but that it never goes beyond decent. Watch Dogs felt safe, so safe that it became unremarkable. When a game is ear marked as one of the biggest releases of the year, it’s hard not to expect something beyond decent. Watch Dogs came and went, it’s impact never truly felt as profound as it was once expected to be. Watch Dogs wasn’t the only big title to result in underwhelming reactions, EA made sure they took that crown with their half arsed UFC title. After a full year of hype, PR, heavy marketing campaigns and constant plugs, EA’s début UFC title felt like only half a finished product. While the game looked and sounded fantastic, the gameplay was uneasy mix of arcade and realism. For a game that boasted about how true to life it was, the gameplay felt silly. The stand up was decent, the ground game was a utter mess, the lack of content was unforgivable. EA UFC, as a whole product, was utterly hollow. While Watch Dogs felt like a flat, but well crafted game, EA UFC felt like a rushed out cash in on the fattest growing sport. A true disappointment in every respect.   Titanfall fronted Microsoft’s Xbox One charge, the next big thing into competitive multiplayer, and to it’s credit the majority bought into hype. Familiar gameplay married with smooth movement, jet packs and mechs, it’s easy to see why Titanfall created such a buzz. Upon its release, Titanfall was hugely enjoyable. The fast paced action, the meta game, the game within a game, the engaging action, it all worked. Titanfall is well made, it’s confident, but it’s also lacking. The lack of maps and game modes hurt the game in the long run. Titanfall soon became a overly too familiar experience, and was yet another game lacking content. After all the promises of Titanfall changing the multiplayer shooter scene, the end result felt more like a sign of potential rather than a statement of intent.   On the flip side, InFamous: Second Son shared a similar fate. While the game was truly beautiful and well crafted, a wafer thin story and lack of content left the game falling short of high standards sets by previous entries. Second Son was hugely enjoyable, but it’s abrupt ending and sloppy story detract from the overall experience. After the story was complete, the lack of content truly became clear. Traveling around the environment is initially fun, but wares thin pretty quickly. Taking out enemy outposts and collecting bits and bobs was the only real additional content, which was a crying shame. A good showing of what the PS4 is capable of, but hardly a compelling experience like the last two InFamous titles.   2014 has so far provided a number of disappointing games, but it’s also played host to some surprises. Surprise contenders for Game of the Year, fantastic modern experiences bleeding with classic mechanics, a pure fun. These surprise titles have all offered something different and already began to earn themselves a cult following. We’ll look back at these titles in the next reflection....

Darkwood: Horror Done Right

Darkwood: Horror Done Right

When you think of horror games nowadays the likes of Outlast and Amnesia come to mind. However, there’s one title that has left me pleasantly surprised. Gone is the first-person perspective and we are now given a top-down survival horror game titled ‘Darkwood’. This game proves you don’t need next-gen visuals, or the playstyles of Amnesia/Outlast to make your game scary. Darkwood does everything you’d expect from a horror game in a top-down, minimal world. Sure, the game is only in Early Access on Steam so it’s pretty early in terms of development but from what I’ve played it is one of the eeriest, creepiest, and most fun horror games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. I’m glad to see a studio take on a game of this format. I can be quite honest in saying I’m tired of seeing all the Amnesia/Outlast clones in terms of horror. Darkwood is a refreshing take on horror, and a game I can safely enjoy sinking numerous hours into. It feels like every time I sit down to play the outcomes of my journeys are going to be different every time. It’s sandbox survival horror and it works really well with the appearance and style of the game. I recommend everyone check out Darkwood on Steam. It’s probably the best horror experience I’ve had this year. Without a doubt. Also, be sure to check out my video on the game below to get an idea of what it looks like in motion. The game may be $15 but it’s well worth the price. I guarantee it. Steam Store Page: [Click Here]...

Resident Evil Remakes: What About Outbreak?

Resident Evil Remakes: What About Outbreak?

With the announcement of yet another version of Resident Evil, the question popped up of which Resident Evil game truly deserved a remastering. There’s been a few remakes of early Resi games, most notably the ones that appeared on the Gamecube, but there’s one entry that always felt like it was out before its time. Online survival co-op horror with RPG elements and slight PvP features…Resident Evil: Outbreak always felt like it’s ambition was kept down by limitations of the time. While it’s easy money, something Capcom would like to entertain after the last few years, to remake Resident Evil, it feels like grounded already passed. Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Directors Cut, Resident Evil Remake and now a HD remastering. There’s nothing wrong with it, if anything it’s a nice reminder of what survival horror was rather than what is is in the modern market. At the end of the day, it’s Resident Evil…it’s core market is already there and willing to pay, as previously said, ‘easy money’. The concept of remaking Resident Evil titles is exciting, at least to me, purely based on the hope that Outbreak would get the remastering treatment. Back on it’s original release the game was victim to the limitation of the PS2′s online capability. To make matters worse, Outbreak didn’t even feature online play in Europe, leaving a whole territory missing out on the experience. Outbreak, as a concept, sounded fantastic. Playing through one of five scenarios, as one of eight characters in a co-op survival horror experience was a pretty neat idea. Which each character having their own skills and perks, players were forced to work together by solving puzzles, surviving threats and making choices based on the characters skill set. Outbreak, at least looking back at it, felt like a game that was well ahead of everything else in terms of online co-op. Players working together could achieve success, but there was also a dark art to the game…being infected and not telling anyone. Sneaky players, who had been victims of infection, could hide their wound and wait until they turned, granting them the chance to kill the other players. It’s a tiny touch that gave the whole co-op concept a minor PvP touch. Take this concept, and throw it into the modern day industry. Online play has come so far and is now considered the normal, voice commutation is no longer a rarity, systems are far more capable of hosting such concepts. This is why the concept of a Outbreak remastering/Remake is such a appealing notion. The chances of it happening are admittedly slim, even more so given Capcom’s rough few year sales wise. There’s still a hope, not a expectation, that if this is a sign of multiple Resi remake then maybe, just maybe, Outbreak may get the remastering treatment it deserves....

Page 1 of 21123»