Lava boats, because Sh!t just got real.

24 05 2012

Hey guys, thought I would firstly let you know that my review for Trials: Evolution is live, so check it out here: http://scottishgeeks.com/trials-evolution-review/

Now, I have been playing a lot of minecraft on the 360 over the last couple of days with my friend Dan, however, when we found several rooms filled to the brim with lava, I couldn’t help but feel like there should be some better way to get over a pool of lava to grab some of that elusive obsidian, so, I decided that there should be lava boats in this game. Clearly, iron can hold up to those searing heats when it is in the form of a bucket, so why can’t Steve just go ahead and make a giant, man-sized bucket and float around the lava in it? makes perfect sense to me ūüėõ

Lastly, as it is my mothers birthday today, I thought I would bring you guys a list of the worst parents in gaming. So, I’m currently working hard and writing that, so watch this space, it should be up here soon ūüôā





A Hardcore Shooter

23 05 2012

Hey, guys, just thought I’d fill you in on today. Basically, I’m rather busy, so probably won’t be able to post anything til tonight at the earliest. However, the good news is, I have now joined the writing force over at hardcoreshooter.com as well, so go check them out ūüėÄ

As apologies for not bringing you some new content, I bring you a picture of a pony I just made instead, enjoy! ūüėõ

Image





That Hanging Feeling

22 05 2012

Right, okay guys, even though I should probably be working away right now, I thought I’d give myself a well deserved break ūüėõ I thought I could bring you another list article today. So without further ado, I bring you guys, ‘The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover’, I hope you like it ūüôā

The Top 7 Games To Play When You’re Hungover


Okay, So we’ve all been there, (or at least, most of us have). Waking up in the morning, finding yourself half naked on the bathroom floor, with a horrid smell coming from the toilet, and a foul taste partying in your mouth. You attempt to stand up, only to find that the laws of gravity have 3x the power they usually do over you, and your head feels like a 100kg weight, throwing itself to the ground with every bit of energy it has. When you finally get up and get yourself back in (slight) order, you¬†realize¬†what a mistake last night was, and try to remember even the smallest details about the night before, most notably, how you got home. Then, after throwing a bunch of medicine down your throat in the hope that something helps, you vouch to never drink again, as the long ¬†day looms before you. What to do, why, what else but game of course, but what to play. Your reflexes are almost none existent, and loud noises become echoing screams. This leaves your games collection considerably reduced, as the whining of teenage boys telling you ‘you’re a noob’ would burn your ear drums, and anything which requires too much energy, concentration or timing would melt your puny little dehydrated brain. Well, I am (hopefully) here to answer your prayers and give you a list of 7 games that are almost designed with this moment entirely in mind.

7. The Sims 3 (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)

Only the beginning of their problems

Now, this is not quite the perfect game for a hangover, as you still have to put up with the whiny, annoying little sims whose lives you have to look after. However, the beauty of sims is that you don’t have to pay attention to them. You could spend all day in build mode, finding awesome and creative ways to build your dream home. If you’re anything like me though, playing The Sims whilst hungover becomes somewhat of a more masochistic affair, as I usually just spend hours trying to kill my little virtual pets, and all their friends too. First you start off small, and just stick a bunch of sims in an enclosed space filled with flammable objects, and start a fire, such a classic. However, you soon start to¬†realize¬†that there are much more creative ways to inflict so much pain upon those unsuspecting victims that it makes your hangover seem like a picnic. Why not lock them in a basement with not quite enough resources to survive, and see what they do. Or just invite your¬†neighbours¬†around, lock them in a basement, and keep them as hostages, then bring them out 1 by 1, with a challenge prepared for them. Start out simple and see if they can cook 5 meals without starting a fire, then ramp it up a bit more¬†every time¬†leaving them with near impossible tasks, like making their way through a flaming obstacle course. Don’t let me think of all of your ideas though, use your own imagination.

6. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Sackboy: the happiest sack I have ever met

Again, this is one of those games, which, in the wrong hands, can be horrible for a hangover, making you use your brain and reflexes if you decide to play some challenging levels. However, we’ll ignore that side of the game in this situation, but rather, we’ll focus on the creation aspect. If you can think of it, you can probably make it. Personally, I am not a big fan of using the LittleBigPlanet tool set to create entire levels, but that’s just me, you can go right ahead. I personally prefer to create little balls of furry fun for me to mess about in, why not just make a giant rabbit and see how high you can get it to jump? or maybe create some chickens and make them a race course, only to put a giant pit of lovely (and only slightly deadly) spikes at the bottom of a 100 foot drop, right at the end of the race, leaving that happy winning chicken some time to think about what he has done before meeting a timely end. Again, this is one for your imaginations (not my rather messed up one).

5. Viva Pinata (Xbox 360, DS)

They’re just so damn cute!

Viva Pinata is a game which has a bit of a slower pace than most, leaving your hungover self a very happy bunny. You are tasked with maintaining your very own garden, so that lots of cute Pinatas will want to come and live there. From the moment your very first Whirlm becomes a resident in garden, the enjoyment begins, almost every Pinata is cute as hell, and explodes with their own personality, all the way right down to their mating dances (that’s right, pinatas get it on by dancing). There is so much joy to be had when forging your garden from a small Whirlm patch, all the way up to a Sanctuary for your precious Elephanillas. The only issue for your slowly disintegrating mental health is the extremely annoying ruffians which insist on destroying your ornaments, filling up your pond and breaking your pinatas, sending them to Pinata heaven, a wonderful world filled with Ice cream hills, Chocolate fountains, ‘candy’ mountains and all without a single sour pinata in sight…they go straight to hell.

4. Minecraft (PC, Xbox 360)

…Not quite as cute…

Yes, we have creepers, pig-zombies and ghasts in Minecraft, however, turn peaceful mode on, or play in creative mode, and you have one of my¬†favourite¬†hangover cures to this date. Whether you are mining for resources, trying to build your perfect house (which always ends up with me trying to make an entire perfect city) or just exacting sweet, sweet revenge upon those damn chickens, you can literally sink hours upon hours into Minecraft. Stray away from the multiplayer and just dedicate the day to finally finishing your utopia project, and you’ll be saying goodbye to crippling headaches before you can say ‘there’s a creeper in my house’.

3. Journey (PS3)

Just…wow

What better way to forget about the journey that was last night, by starting a new one yourself. Journey is a delightful game, and at times feels more like a piece of art than it does a game. Simply put, everything about this game will make your brains retreat back into your skull. Whether it be the amazing soundtrack, or just the glorious sights that are to be seen. You can just focus on getting your little scarf clad self back on its way. This is one journey that you certainly wont want to forget, let’s just hope that the memory loss from the alcohol doesn’t spill all the way over to the (now rather beautiful) hangover.

2. Flower (PS3)

One of many calming moments you’ll be having


This is yet again another game which is practically just a piece of artwork. Heck, this game is so good, it even manages to make the six-axis controls feel useful. drifting your troubles away into a flurry of flowers and petals is a great moment, and suddenly all those dark, dank horrible colours from last night transform into a whirlwind of beauty and calm. I don’t know what else I can say about this really, other than it will relax you so much, you may forget that you are even awake, let alone hungover.

1. Animal Crossing (N64, Gamecube, DS, Wii)  

Laughter is Indeed the best medicine


The real world is one full of horrible crimes, foul people, and the most unrelenting and harsh creature in existence, mother nature. However, Animal Crossing lets you forget all about the real world and live inside a true utopia. Andrew Ryan had it truly wrong, to make a perfect world, all you need is animal neighbours. With your letter box full to the brim with letters about how wonderful the weather is today, and how much everybody loves you, nothing could make you angry or upset in this little town. Everybody’s smiles are almost tearing their faces in to pieces they are that big, and I can see why, this is a town built around being friendly, making everywhere look nice, and fishing, what’s not to be happy about. Heck even the most horrific face of the town, Tom Nook is still a nice guy, who runs around his shop laughing away (probably because of how much profit he’s making, but still). In a world of drunk people and hangovers, there is no better cure than to live in one filled with picturesque towns and happy animals…Just don’t forget to save…





To Kill a Chicken

22 05 2012

So today I thought I’d update you with a little article that would kind of give you guys an insight into what I actually think about when I’m not screaming at creepers or fearlessly¬†charging head first into a patch of tall grass. That my good friends, is chickens. Yes, you heard me, chickens.¬†You see, I have noticed over the past week or so whilst playing several games, that I have some sort of vendetta against chickens (not the real kind, but the pixelated kind)

Personally, I think that this all comes down to me playing the Legend of Zelda games far too much. As many people will know, chickens, (or cuccos, as they are known in Zelda games) are somewhat of an often sight in the land of Hyrule, appearing in no less than 10 different games. This is not my reasoning however, it is more that these are creatures of extreme power, and when set off, they have no mercy, give me a Gannondorf over these guys anyday.

Enough to defeat 4 links at once

 

You see, ever since A Link To The Past, Link can be trotting around Hyrule (or wherever else he may be), only to see a gathering of cucoos ahead of him. Being a curious little boy, Link tentatively walks up to these¬†intriguing creatures. However, this being Link, the havoc wreaking punk of all Hyrule, decides that it would be a great idea to turn this beautiful moment into a bloodbath, drawing his sword and swinging wildly with no remorse. Little does he know however, that he has just messed with the wrong guys (and probably would have been better sticking to breaking¬†everybody’s pots). Without a question, the Cucco calls for help, and before you now it, a hurricane of Cuccos are flying around your screen,¬†invulnerable, and on a rampage. Swooping down with hits worthy of multiple hearts of damage, Link quickly¬†realises¬†his mistake and runs for the hills, but it’s too late, and before he knows it, his bottles, once filled to the brim with fairy dust, are all empty, and a short lived life comes to an end with the sight of a game over screen.

This is not the end of it however, as much as I know how bad an idea it is, to this day, not matter what Zelda game, I continue to attack any Cucco I see on sight, in the hope that one day, I will find a weak spot in their defences, and fell one of the foul beasts. To this day, I have not found one, but I am a patient man, and I may not win the war, but one day, I vouch to at least win a battle.

Unfortunately, this mentality has spread over to other games as well. For example, in Minecraft, I cannot see a chicken and let it live, it must pay for all of its ancestors wrongdoings towards me. The same goes for Gears of War 3, as soon as I see a chicken in that game, I drop whatever objective I had, charge headfirst no matter what lies ahead of me, risking life and limb, all so I can kick that bird into a sweet puffy ball of feathers and blood.

Peter knows the true evil of chickens.

There are even more games I could rant on about, however, I may be here all day.Long story short, if I see a chicken in a game it dies. If it can’t die, I at very least make its life a living hell, just ask any chicken-like residents I have ever had in Animal Crossing, their mail boxes are full to the brim with letters about how I plan on killing them for my next meal…

Thankfully, I am still at the point in which this horrible mindset has not bubbled over onto the path of my reality. I can see it now, me laughing in a restaurant, mocking the dead chicken as I devour it, screaming insults at it and claiming my revenge whilst the public stare at me, wondering why I am not in a mental asylum yet. If, (or more like when) this day comes, you will all know where to find me, in the local farm, striking down chickens as they come at me with¬†terrifying¬†fury screaming “feel the wrath of my wooden sword! I knew it would be dangerous to come here alone!”. Then as I was escorted away by the police, I would feel happy inside, as deep down, I knew I’d finally won…

Wow, well, it’s a very good thing I’m not crazy just yet. You win for now chickens. Your move.





Nocturnal

1 02 2012

Well, it’s gone 6am, so naturally, I’m wide awake, when I should be sleeping. :/ In these late hours of the night, I have been searching the internet for my usual gaming fix, naturally, I came across more articles about the recent piracy issues, however I came across two that sparked my intrigue more than usual (http://digitalbattle.com/2012/01/21/the-hypocrisy-of-pc-gamers/¬†and http://digitalbattle.com/2012/01/31/letter-from-an-indie-pc-developer-regarding-piracy/) and quite frankly, I am disgusted with what these articles are claiming.

Personally, I am against the whole SOPA and PIPA nonsense, however these kind of articles do make me think sometimes that we could very well do with an act like SOPA or PIPA, but just a toned down version, which wont shut down the internet as we know it. So with all that in mind, I have decided to write about what we could do to stop this stupidity.

How to save the modern world.

Firstly, I am going to level with you all, and tell you that I did at one point actually support piracy. This was several years ago, when I was young and never really thought of the consequences it actually has, to me, it was just free stuff. However, I now write to you as a much more mature man, with an (albeit slight) understanding of the workings of the world. I have gone from never buying a thing (that includes music, films, TV and games), to occasionally pirating difficult to acquire items, to being against piracy in full. Just as a side note, I am also, for the same reason against buying used, however, I consider this a necessary evil, as otherwise, trying to buy anything more than a couple of years old would become near impossible/insanely priced.

Now although I realise that all this piracy malarkey¬†has an effect on many industries, I am, as usual, going to take this down the route of gaming, as this is what I know best, and what is most relevant to me. Originally, (as I’ve been planning to write on this for a while) this was going to be an article about how piracy should still be allowed, and that publishers and developers should be finding better ways of distributing and marketing their games, however, after reviewing many articles lately, my mind has become much more opposed to piracy than it used to be. However, that said, they could still try.

The future is steamy

Now really, this is what started my switch from pirate to …ninja? well, I’m not really sure what I am now, apart from not being a pirate. Steam is a superb way for us to buy games, and for developers to sell them. With cloud based saves, a profile linked to all our game purchases (so no hassles when changing to a new PC) and insanely good sales, it’s more than fair to say that Steam is a great example of how to distribute games.

The logo of the future

You may also want to read this http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114391-Valves-Gabe-Newell-Says-Piracy-Is-a-Service-Problem. So, me saying that distribution¬†is a way to solve the issue means nothing, but it certainly holds a bit more weight when we have massive gaming icons like Gabe telling us. Yes, I would be stupid to think that just putting every game ever on steam would solve piracy, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.¬†I mean, Steam is by no means perfect, but it is still a work in-progress and continues to receive constant updates from valve, keeping it the best way we have to get out games.

Whilst I do not believe that games should ever go fully digital, I do think that the next-gen of consoles could also do with taking a page out of valve’s book and greatly improve their digital distribution services. Whilst Xbox Live and PSN to an acceptable job at bringing us add-ons and ‘arcade’ games, there is a huge lack of retail games for sale on them, they continue to be overpriced, with very few sales.¬†They are also very cumbersome, proving only useful at getting us to places we know we want to be, discovery clearly isn’t a word in their vocabulary.¬†In short, they need to get more developers behind the services they are offering, so that we can get a¬†much greater¬†mix of indie and blockbuster games, at better prices,¬†from the comfort of our couches. I’d love to see what the three next consoles have to offer us in the future, and it is clear they at least need to match up to steam’s mighty standards if they want to lay the foundation for the next 5-10 years worth of their online services.

Basically, my theory is that, if we get given the tools to easily find, buy and play our games, no matter the platform, for a good price, then there will be much less piracy in gaming. Sure, the developers will be getting less money per game, but some money is better than none, right? One big thing on my wish list would be a cross-platform service, where we could buy games for play across several consoles, like portal 2 (buying the ps3 version got you a steam key, and saves were shared across the cloud). However, this will likely never happen, as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will probably never reach a point in which they could work together to make this happen, as they all want their product to be better on an individual basis.

Show some respect

As a potential future games developer, it strikes fear into my heart that the PC has a 90% games piracy rate. I mean, it is difficult enough for a developer to make profit on their console games, let alone on a platform which shows a 9x higher piracy rate. Games will need to be selling millions more copies on PC for the studio to see a blockbuster worthy return on their games compared to console games, no wonder the developers more commonly choose consoles as their main platform.

What could have been ūüė•

Really, us gamers need to buckle up, we need to start showing some support for these guys, I mean, if we truly love their work, and want it to continue, we need to ensure¬†they have a job. We can do this very easily, start buying our games (they also have to be new, not used). I mean, really, I can honestly say that I have paid more on going shopping for sweets than some of my games have cost me (especially when looking at my steam library). If we start being more open to spending a few more pounds here and there on games (and DLC etc.), then the industry will start looking much better for it. It might just mean fewer trips to the sweet shop for some of us. Of course, this is under the assumption that we get met half way, and getting access to these become easier, because most of the time, the reason I buy a game used is because I can’t find anywhere to buy it new (at an anywhere near reasonable price anyway). We scratch their backs, they scratch ours…simple

We don’t want a treasure hunt

Simply put, marketing needs to become bigger, better and smarter.¬†I mean, I realise this¬†doesn’t have too much to do with piracy, but it will help. In the past few years, countless people have lost their jobs due to games just not selling, and yes,¬†although¬†sometimes this is¬†due to realising a poor product, but probably just as many times, it is just due to nobody¬†knowing about the game. Many people claim that if a game is good enough, then it will sell no matter how¬†bad the marketing is and whilst this can be true (look at minecraft for example, a game sold almost entirely from word of mouth), you also have to get lucky, there are clearly more¬†games that this theory didn’t prove¬†true with than those that did, making this tactic a little bit more than foolish to rely upon.

Yes, I appreciate that indie developers may not have the resources to pull out a call of duty style marketing campaign, but why not think outside the box, and design an innovative way to catch the interest of the gaming community. For example, Dead Rising 2 marketed itself with an odd cross-over between game and demo. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero provided a few short hours of Dead rising 2 gameplay, but with a unique prologue story, set in a location outside the main game. This was all offered a couple of weeks in advance to the full game, and for a fraction of the price, meaning any gamers wanting to get their hands on the game, and anybody unsure about whether to purchase the full game or not, could pick up this and get their hands dirty. This went down great with the community, and quickly became one of the fastest selling arcade games on Xbox Live, and (probably) boosted the awareness, and therefore sales, of the final product.

Admit it, you loved the dress.

Whilst this is only one example, it is probably one of the best, with the developers giving us¬†a much¬†better idea of how the game plays than our typical, stupidly short demos, and gaining some money for their efforts in the process, everybody won. Other, smaller ideas are things like a new promotion for Soul Calibur V (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_TLUJlhxrs) in which they painted a¬†promotion for their new game right across a London wall.¬†Whilst it is not quite as big a step as with DR2, it¬†still raises awareness¬†of the title, in a way that isn’t just a banner lurking in the corner of our monitor screens, it still does¬†more than nothing though, and (at the time of writing) over 30,000 people¬†have watched it on youtube, which is still¬†a possible 30,000 extra customers for the game, every little helps, right?¬†¬†

Shut down the pirates

Yes, I said it, we need to sink all those pirate ships before all this stops. Whilst the developers and publishers need to improve, I would have to think that, for us gamers to really show a big improvement, we need to stop the pirates. Sure, we can tempt them away with sales and easy access, but many people will still always go for the free option, so long as it is still an option. Whilst I still clearly disagree with the acts of SOPA and PIPA, it is not the fact they are killing piracy for me, more the fact that they would destroy the internet entirely, shutting down anything they want, whilst backhandedly claiming some sort of stupid (and possibly made up) breach of copyright, and we would be able to do nothing about it.

The good type of piracy.

So, we need to find a way to shut down the pirate sites, or at very least, all of the big ones, as searching the entire internet for every pirate copy would become a bit more difficult. If we make it almost impossible for people to pirate, they will have no other option but to start playing the honest game. Sure, many people will just not play the games, but I know that I’d much rather have a game with 2 million players, that all bought the game honestly, than a game with 4 million players, but only 20% actually buying the game. Makes pretty simple sense doesn’t it? ūüėõ

Rounding it up

I believe that to solve this crisis, and ‘save the modern world’ we will need an effort from all parties. I think publishers and developers should make an effort to find a simpler and cheaper way of getting the games to us gamers, as well as stretching their imaginations as far as the marketing process. At the same time I expect the option of piracy to be shut down, or at least reduced to a point of becoming obsolete. Finally, us gamers need to step up and take responsibility, buying our games (new), and embracing the digital services and what they offer us.