Archives for category: gaming

A few days back I got hold of Spore – after minimal wrangling with the EA store, which was strange considering the faffing I had with the Creature Creator – and apart from the time I spent on this post I haven’t been able to tear myself away from the game. The only reason I stopped is because my laptop overheated and made my graphics go all glitchy, which was nice. I’m posting this from my iPod while watching Dragon’s Den, which I guess makes me some sort of Web 2.0 multitasking machine! Well, drafting it. I’m still Web 2.0. The only thing I’m missing is a hipster haircut.

When Spore was in development I really wasn’t too interested in it, mostly because I never thought it would be able to live up to the hype a game like this would inevitably generate. I ignored the development for a while, also for the reason that I wouldn’t have even thought it would even run on my rapidly aging PC. Then my computer imploded in on itself, I got a laptop more powerful than a wristwatch, and Spore got interesting again after watching a few gameplay videos and some lots of tinkering with the Creature Creator. 

So September 5th comes, my Spore preload gets decrypted, and before you know it I’ve pissed away several hours. I had to break off the game for the night because I managed to wake up the entire house after pissing myself laughing at befriending a Portal turret during the Creature stage, who then went on to lead a full and happy life destroying the enemies my creature couldn’t charm the pants off of. Speaking of my creature:

This guy later went on to convert the entire planet with an international jihad.

This guy later went on to convert the entire planet with an international jihad.

One charm offensive later – with help from my best buddy the Portal turret, a Fatty O, and a Crunkle friend – my guys harnessed the power of fire, and before I knew it we had a full blown Tribe going. Not being one to change my ways, we later went on to convert the nearby tribes with a set Broadway musicals. But, because not every tribe can appreciate the finer points of a 12 piece band complete with maracas, didgeridoos and wooden flute things, we had to use spears instead to convert them. Convert them to corpses, I mean. After that, the tribe celebrated with a dance party:

What better way to celebrate your superior charm with a dance party?

What better way to celebrate your superior charm than with a dance party?

After building a city, my guys took it upon themselves to charm their way across the planet using religion. Not content to stick to throwing impromptu musical skits, we soon decided that it would be much more efficient to use 200ft tall holograms to get the point across to these heretics:

The power of Crunkle compels you!

The power of Crunkle compels you!

A planetary scale jihad later and the planet was mine. 

I don’t have a lot to say about the Space segment, but only because I spent most of the time I played on it flying round the planet being awed at this fantastic game.

For the interested, I have a stash of things I’ve created on mootnet. I also go by “mootzilla” on the Sporepedia. Needless to say I doubt I’ll be uninstalling this game soon, and not because of that “Three installs and you’re out” bullshit either.

A few days back I got hold of the Spore Creature Creator trial – the leaked version, actually – and basically, I couldn’t peel myself away from it the entire time it was installed. I knew eventually that I would have to uninstall it, and in time I weaned myself off of it long enough to begin the process of uninstallation. Of course shortly after that I went and dropped £5 on the full Creature Creator but that’s beside the point.

Even though there’s no trace of the full version of Spore in it, this Creature Creator is one of the most fun things I’ve installed in long time. It’s not like you even have to pour in hours to make the perfect creature, I knocked up this little bastard in about 20 minutes or so:

He enjoys pottery, soft furnishings, and ripping his enemies to shreds.

His name is “Bitey”.

It really is ridiculously easy to make things like this. No matter how many legs, or heads, whatever you throw on it the game will animate it, texture it, and pull all sorts of technical trickery on it. I’ve made some quite literally terrifying things with this, and the game doesn’t bat an eyelid at rendering whatever eldritch horror you come up with. I don’t think you can make asymmetric creatures, but thats really a non-issue. What really gets me going – in a really geekish sort of way – is how the game stores your creature in a 30kb or so .png image. I’m curious how much of that is actually the image and what space is left for the actual creature data. Nigh on everything is procedurally generated so I’m going to assume its the bare bare minimum to recreate it.

I didn’t really give a damn about Spore previously, with everything that Maxis were promising I wouldn’t have thought they would have been able to ram everything they were hyping up into it. After spending some time with the Creature Creator though I’m really looking forward to Spore now. The system specs aren’t exactly demanding either, so you won’t even need a Crysis-spec computer to run it. I would imagine your CPU would need to be suitably beefy for all the procedural content, though.

My only issue is that once I get the full game, my in-game universe is going to be dominated by dancing genitalia. It really didn’t take long for people to start making crudely modelled penises, but what would you expect? It’s the internet.

Figuratively, not literally.

However that may change when Beyond Good and Evil 2 comes out. if it’s anything like the last game, I will have to change my underwear several dozen times. I’m hoping more than twelve people will buy this game this time around, as I would love it if there was ever enough sales of this game to warrant a trilogy. Going on the first one, there is easily enough story in the game to keep the momentum going for a thrid game.

I did originally plan to put down a lot more about this game, but all I can think about this is “DO WANT DO WANT DO WANT DO WANT”.

Needless to say I’ll probably throw something more up on here whenever some more information about this is made available, right after I contain my inner fanboy and stop squawking about it like some overly excitable retard.

Fun fact: This was originally posted over on YCNN before here. So good I’m posting it twice!
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I’ve been planning on doing this review for quite a while now, but ironically enough it’s been the game itself that has been delaying me from throwing this review up here. Mainly because I can’t seem to stop playing it, no matter how much I need to get other things done. Like writing a review, for instance.

No matter, as I’ve beaten the to within an inch of its life, and now I don’t need to play the game… as much. Damn you, game! Considering my DS’s battery has ran out, while its charging I can finally get on with starting this thing.

I’m not going to bother including any screenshots here, as you can get far better grabs from Gamespot, or – shudder – IGN.

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OK so I picked this up a while ago, breezed through the easy stages, and had a challenging time but relatively trouble free time on the Normal tier tracks.

Until I reached the Final Track, Jumping Jack Flash.

Well. Whoever designed this particular level can go and kill themselves right now as far as I’m concerned for unleashing this monstrosity of a stage on the population. Seriously. The game lulls you into a false sense of security for the first two phases. It’s still a challenge, but nothing that an EBA player who got this far on their own couldn’t handle. Of course, it doesn’t stay that way. Oh no.

After you polish off phase two, You think you’re the goddamn king. You can take any combination of numbers this game throws at you. No sequence  too tough, no phrase bar too long, no spinner unspinnable. Of course, thinking this way leads you into the unavoidable rapefest that is phase three. The game literally spews numbers at you with wild abandon until you either shatter your stylus during the onslaught and break down suffering nightmares for the rest of your life, or it rapes you so hard and so fast you won’t even realise you’ve been violated in such a heinous manner until you try to sit down. Then you feel the true wrath of Jumping Jack Flash. And that’s if you haven’t had a seizure already. I don’t even want to know what vile debauchery is inflicted on you after that.

Jumping Jack Flash is coming, and he wants your ass. For dinner.

I think this game gave me cancer.

Just a little heads up here, for those of you who may be thinking of buying Mario Strikers Charged hoping to get some intercontinental matchups going. Sounds pretty cool, right? Yeah.

Nintendo dropped the ball with internets play by not allowing EU and US – and I’m assuming other regions – to play matches against each other. As far as I’m aware here, lag is a total non-issue as I’m certain Xbox Live can do these international matches without breaking a sweat.

And Friend Codes! Don’t forget Friend codes!  Because using your Wii code – that is, a code unique to each Wii console, much like an Xbox Live Gamertag – would totally be impractical and inconvenient for passing around for netplay purposes, right?

Well, no. Not really.

I hope this isn’t going to be the standard for future Wifi Games. Not sure if this is the same deal with Pokeymans, because thats not out on Wii here yet.

I’m sure by now some of you have heard of Wii Fit, right? The game that promotes fitness or something or other by getting you to balance on a board. How this actually makes you fit I don’t know because frankly I’m not keeping too big an eye on it, what with being the peak of fitness myself (note: lie).

Alas, already people are looking to ruin the experience by finding you can still play the game by just sitting on the board.

Now you can get fit by sitting down with a cheeseburger in each hand! Kind of like playing DDR by just swatting the arrows furiously with your fat meaty hands, I guess. I don’t know if anybody actually does that but I wouldn’t put it past some people. OK, fair play if you’ve had both legs amputated, but for the rest of us theres no excuse for us people not to thrash around wildly in time to flying arrows, is there? Or balance on a small board, at least.

Well, I have an excuse. I’d look stupid doing it.

But not because it sucks more than a black hole, because a top player in Brazil was threatened with death unless they gave up their Gunbound account.

Also they were selling this account for $8,000.

Correct me if I’m making any rash judgments here, but you’d have to pretty mentally deficient to buy a Gunbound account for $8,000. I won’t go into how much of a mentalist you have to be to play it for that long in the first place. Ok, I will. A big mentalist.

Only on the Internet!

So I’ve gotten into playing DS games over WiFi again, and I just remembered why I stopped. Turns out, NiWiFi appears to be full of sore losers and lameass kids. You know the kind I mean, the kids who disconnect as soon as you show any semblance of getting a lead. Or those who abuse exploits in the game to “win” (I’m considering snaking in Mario Kart an exploit because I fukken hate it and its cheap), or those who just hack the game and cheat. I’d have thought there would be controls in place against hacking, but what do I know.

I know its enough to stop me even going on the Matchmaking services. I usually only play friend games now, but those only happen once in a blue moon and everybody is playing pokeymans now it seems anyway, which I don’t plan on getting. Speaking of matchmaking, has anybody noticed how totally crap it is for Nintendo? I don’t play many games on it because of the previously mentioned kids, but really. Is is that hard to matchmake (totally a word) me against somebody I might actually have a chance of a good game with? All I seem to get is people with 325590 games played and about as many wins. Whats up with that? Then again, matchmaking is run by Gamespy so I hear who have a reputation with me for being beyond shit anyway. Gamespy arcade is just a horrible, horrible program. And Fileplanet. They used to be cool before introducing that queueing shit.

I digress. I’m curious about Xbox live though, and their matchmaking thing. Is it really that good as everybody says? I haven’t really heard anything bad about it. I suppose I’ll find out eventually, I do plan on getting a 360 after a while because right now, as sexy as the Wii is there’s not exactly a throng of killer content out for it right now. Of course this could all change come Min-E3, but thats in a week or so and my Xbox purchasing days are months away.

Quick note about Wifi play on Wii, I picked up a copy of Mario Strikers a while back, and while its a good game the Wifi service is crap. Crappy matchmaking (still), which I have to use – if I actually wanted to play it, this puts me off and I know nobody else who has the game – and Friend Codes. Why? Whats the point in the Wii Code if you’re not going to do anything with it? The one thing that disappointed me most though was that within mere hours of WiFi going live, some saddo had already got around 600 games on it. I must have checked into it about 4 or 5 hours after it had gone live.

I could say something about PC games, but my computer is far too crappy to play anything post 2004.

Hey look at me, I’m posting gaming news with a cut-off so I don’t make this page more huge than it already is.

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