Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Man Vs Wild: Bear Grylls gets a video game. Oh dear.

There is something profoundly irritating about Bear* "Man vs Wild" Grylls. I think it's the fact that he talks about taking on nature and winning, rather than respecting the natural world and having the common sense to leave it well enough alone when it's shooting poisonous barbs. Here he is drinking the blood of a turtle.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Top Spin 4 review, social networking and saying stupid things on camera.

Right, first things first. Here is my review of Top Spin 4 for GodisaGeek.

If you like it, please consider rating it on N4G.

Asking for this kind of support makes me feel awkward, but it goes with the territory. The internet has opened so many doors for so many people and it continues to provide a dizzying array of platforms for people to communicate and share ideas. Consequently, social networking is emerging as one of the most devastatingly effective forms of advertising on the planet. So if you read something you like online, it really helps if you "like" it or tweet it or share it. I often forget to do this when I read something excellent, but it is so important if people who create good online content are to get the recognition they deserve.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Interspecies Lovin’: How Mass Effect 2 Championed Diversity, Whether You Like It Or Not

Yes, it's Godisageek feature time again!

There are few things more rewarding than working really hard on an article, and then seeing it posted a few days later, proof-read and furnished with lovely images.

I am particularly proud of this one.

It is here. If you like it, be sure to leave a comment or a tweet, because everyone at Godisageek works really hard and your support is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What the upcoming Tomb Raider film needs to achieve, and why Roger Ebert needs to crawl back to his cave.

I'm ashamed to say that my first thought upon hearing that yet another Tomb Raider film had been greenlit was:

"Oh please no, not again. The last two films made Tomb Raider fans look stupid."

Before you tell me that it shouldn't matter what the rest of the world thinks, consider the competing representations of video games available to non-gamers, and try and come up with one that is:
  • More insightful than the Tomb Raider films (or in possession of even a smidgen of insight).
  • As well publicised and funded as the Tomb Raider films.
When the highest profile interpretations of video games available to the general public are as stupid as the Tomb Raider films, it is no surprise that the notion that gamers must therefore also be stupid continues to pervade.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Horse Riding in Video Games

I've never been into horses (they are not as cool as spaceships), but last night it struck me that I really, really like horse riding in video games.

Shadow of the Colossus' Agro rears up

In practical terms, horses are just in-game vehicles, albeit a rather small subcategory. But there's just something about a video game horse that really demonstrates the quality of a game's physics in a way that no other mythical beast (I'm looking at you, Chocobos) seems to do.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Review of Persona 4, or how to harness the power of your repressed self...

Trying to articulate the premise of Persona 4 in a single blog post is like trying to explain the plot of The Usual Suspects through the medium of interpretive dance. Although the central mechanic can be boiled down to "JRPG meets Social Simulator", the threads of plot, theme and gameplay are so intricately woven that they cannot really be discussed separately.

Persona 4 Inaba High School
The protagonist arrives for his first day at Insbs High School

That's a good thing for the player, of course, if not the writer. The major gripe everyone (myself included) has with videogame narratives is that plot is all too often separate from gameplay, a meaningless appendage rather than a vital organ. Consequently, when a game comes along that truly makes use of the delicate relationship between the two, we get really excited, but our lack of practice in dealing with such a well-formed entity can make it hard to discuss.

Bejewelled Blitz Live Review

I don't post much about casual games on Well-Rendered because they don't have plots.

Bejewled Blitz Live is no exception, but I reviewed it for GodisaGeek becaue I am a huge fan of developer PopCap's masterpiece Peggle, and I once spent eight cold-ridden hours playing Bejeweled 2 on a plane.


Here is the review.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Flying Manta Rays, Hovercraft And The Geographical Genius Of Beyond Good & Evil

It is Godisageek feature time again. This week I have written a piece about why Beyond Good and Evil is such a great game.

It is here.

In other super-exciting news, I have finally finished Persona 4. I think two months is the longest time I have ever spent on a game without taking a break. It was brilliant and I'm in the process of writing something about it.

And yes, the fabled project is in the works too. Someone asked me the other day "What is it? It sounds cool." The answer to that (and all other similar enquiries) is: "Oh no, it's actually not that interesting. But I still don't want to tell you what it is."

So there.

Beyond Good and Evil, everybody!