Archive for the 'interludes' Category

Thumb Candy

Wow, a record two posts in one day!

A couple of years ago I caught the end of a really fantastic TV documentary by Iain Lee, the guy who did “The 11 ‘O Clock Show” on Channel 4. It’s called Thumb Candy.

Well, this evening I thought to search for it. And it’s on google video. Hurrah!

The show follows Iain as he meets some of the people who were involved in the evolution of videogames, and includes interviews with the reclusive creator of Manic Miner Matthew Smith, with Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, and some more familar names like Shigeru Miyamoto.

If you’ve got an hour to spare, I recommend getting comfortable and sitting down to watch it. (You can even blow it up full screen if you follow the link in the embedded video.)

[The google video is now gone, but the show’s still on YouTube, in several parts. It doesn’t look like it’s going to reappear on google video anytime soon, so I’ve just linked to the first part.]



I’ve been playing a neat little action game lately called Nikujin. The jist of it seems to be that you’re a naked ninja who’s been hired to break into a castle and take out some old guy, all the while dealing with all the other naked ninjas on the way in.

You can find out more about it here with Xander’s excellent review for TIGSource.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because, as it turns out, it’s an awesome skill game. And I get very competitive about these things. Here’s my speed run at the practice level. (It’s my first youtube video!)

Apparently I’ve already been beaten… 😥


Alex’s Adventure

Here’s a great game I found recently on Tim W’s Indygamer Blogspot. It’s a simple platformer called Alex’s Adventure.

Although I’m a pretty critical guy, there are basically two ways games tend to win me over. The first way is to have an excellent story, lovable characters and a quirky sense of humour. That’s unfortunately pretty rare in indie-gaming.

The second way is simply to exude style and atmosphere. Like Alex’s Adventure does. It’s only about an hour long, but it’s probably the best game I’ve played in months.

In fact, I think I’ll add it to my Awesome Games list. It’s just that good.


Three Hundred Game Ideas

Last year I thought very seriously about coming up with a new idea for a game, every day, for a month, and posting about it. (I’m still sorta thinking about it, to be honest.)

I only mention this because a guy by the handle of Squidi has started a project that’s literally ten times as ambitious, called “Three Hundred“. To quote him:

What is this place?

Simply put, a challenge to myself. Every day for three hundred days, I will post a gameplay mechanic that has (hopefully) never been seen in a commercial video game. Three hundred mechanics. No more. No less.

(I expect it’s the “No less” part that’ll slip him up.)

Anyway, he’s only been at it for a month, but so far it’s absolutely astonishing – check it out. The ideas are great and it helps that he’s a really talented artist. I’m like, totally jealous.

And on that note, sorry it’s been so quiet around here recently. I’ll start updating again very soon, I promise.


Drink, Feck, Girls,


The new Arsecast is out. Bastard didn’t mention me once.

He’s also started something new – an audio blog. This is promising.

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It’s so depressing…

Someone found my site by searching for Final Fantasy VII Windowed Mode.

Oh the times! Oh the customs!

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If you want to join in a terrifying conspiracy to overthrow the government, now is your chance!

There’s an election here at the moment.

The problem with politics in this country is that the only people with any hope of getting into power are the two identical Center-Right parties that were once the same organisation. If we’re lucky, party B will get into power in a coalition with an ever so slightly left wing party, but that’s really the best we can hope for.

I say we need more. We need Kouichi Toyama!


Captain Planet saves Belfast… FROM ITSELF


Move over “Irritating Stick”, we have a winner

There’s a game Kotaku have mentioned a few times now that’s piqued my interest. It’s a cartoon JRPG set to classical music by Chopin. As far as I can see, it appears to be about terminally ill kids who go to a fantasy world where they have magical powers to heal people. It’s called Eternal Sonata. (At the very least, that’s what they’re calling it here. In Japan, it’s called Trusty Bell of all things.)

There’s obviously a lot to like here – I love the whole concept behind the game, and the quirky bits I can see in the trailer (using an umbrella as a weapon? Fantastic!), and the fact that it’s not by Squaresoft (who’ve basically lost all credibility in my eyes at this stage). Still, I’ve got a horrible feeling that they’re going to make a mess of it. And I’m not just talking about that stupid giant wombat thing from the combat. I just half expect to discover that when it’s released that, oh, I dunno… that the English voice-acting’s been done by some awful C-Movie American actors who can barely read (like in Silent Hill), or that it’s badly translated and said bad actors actually say things like “For great justice!” (like in Silent Hill) or the whole game is a series of slime killing quests with progressively bigger slimes or… well, I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling about it. I’m not sure when I got so cynical about what used to be my favourite genre.

Well, right now it’s looking pretty neat. Pity I don’t have an Xbox 360 or have any plans to get one.


Trials and Tribulations

In my humble opinion, Phoenix Wright is shaping up to be the best commercial game series since Final Fantasy. Both games one and two were exceptional – and from what I’ve played of the third one, I think it could potentially be the best of the lot.

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