Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No More Heroes

You can't seem to go anywhere in the blogosphere at the moment without people getting all hot under the collar about GTA IV. Personally, I just can't get excited by it. On Saturday I bought 'No More Heroes', the universally acclaimed cell shaded oddyssey of anti-hero, wannabe assassin and cyber punk, Travis Touchdown. This highly original game (described in N-Gamer, -where it acheived a stellar rating of 94%- as "a love letter to gamers") has all the killing, sassy chicks and riding around the city that I need. I can honestly say that this game holds TONS more appeal for me than GTA IV and I will not be in any rush to go out and buy Rockstar's trump card for 2008... (Cue derisory comments from Funnyman... and yes, as far as I know you cannot have sex in this game...)

Having said that, I'm also totally sucked into the world of the Gamecube Resident Evil remake, so I'm having to divide my time between the two. But for the first time in a long time, the Wii is satisfying all my gaming needs and the 360 has been somewhat left behind.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dizee Rascal - Uniquely British

I'm just watching documentary on Dizee (a very successful British MC) touring Austin Texas. It's so obvious that Americans don't get him or UK hip hop in general. But we swallow up even the shittest of US rap and don't ever spit! (OOOOH!) LOL!

So I present Mr. Dizee and my favourite UK MC, the legendary Skinnyman! 'Enjoy!'

Umbrella Chronicles Review

Resident Evil 0 (Wii edition)

As you might have guessed, I'm having my usual Resident Evil enthusiasm period. This happens about once every two months and I get all giddy for anything Resident Evil. Right now I'm praying that the Wii edition of RE Zero (originally brought out to mixed reviews on the Gamecube) becomes a European release as well as a Japanese one.

The Wii edition of RE4 made a great game even better. If this title gets a PAL release, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. If not, I'm already determined to secure it's Gamecube edition. Anyone out there played it? My only experience of it is the RE Zero section of Umbrella Chronicles and I liked it pretty well!

Billy Cohen? Your Wii destiny awaits!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Resident Evil Remake (GameCube)

Having just about run out of steam on Half Life (I'm about 4/7 of the way through), I needed a break. I do intend to come back to it at some point and will keep a Dreamcast VMU dedicated to it, but sheesh! it's become a grind!

Looking through my "bought but not played" pile of games (not an unsubstantial horde, you understand...) I found the RE remake for the Gamecube. On popping it into the Wii, I was stunned by it's gorgeous graphical representation of environments I'd only ever experienced on the DS - a direct port of the Saturn/PSX version.

Now this could have been partly due to the fact, that for all it's innovation and originality, Half Life on the Dreamcast is no looker! Resident Evil GC on the other and is sumptuous. Now I've played through the DS version this year (my best ever handheld experience) so I know the plot inside out. But there are a lot of twists, variations and expansions to keep those who played the original, more than satisfied. The main variation is that zombies you have dispatched will come back later in the game, twice as fast and fucking scary, unless you blow their heads off or set them on fire! (nice!)

Now, I'm not garanteeing I'll finish this, Resident Evil games have a habit of making me cry, and I'm still stuck on the last boss in UmbrellaChronicles. But for now I'm loving it!

BTW it's really interesting to see how much of RE:GC has been recycled (very sucessfully) in Umbrella Chronicles - character models, environments etc.

I'll let you know how I get on!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Age Of Innocence Has Gone...

As I came home from work tonight and walked through the door, I could hear the familiar sounds of 'Call Of Duty 4' eminating from the living room. Expecting to see one of my older sons battling the virtual-Russian horde, or wasting the cyber-Arab militia, I was somewhat aghast to see little Ted, my youngest Ginger, sat with his eyes literally watering from squinting into his scope, nerves on edge and hanging on the every word of Captain Price...

But hang on dear readers! Little Ted is only 10! (and a child like soul with no pretensions of approaching adolescence) He likes Dr. Who, Pokemon, Ben 10 and so on... His gaming preference is World Of Warcraft (about four hours a day for the last four months) and the only 360 game he owns is Viva Pinata. He's even got Nintendogs for Christ's sake!

But sure enough, there he was kicking ass like a good'un! He can really play the game and is sweeping through the missions from checkpoint to checkpoint. I guess he's finally growing up!
Lord knows he's been exposed to the game enough. Since Christmas, his brother Mart is on the Xbox, playing online death matches at every opportunity.

I guess the influence of his older siblings has finally filtered through. I'm kind of proud of his gaming ability and his graduation from the world of blood elves and dwarves, to the blood stained alleys of Chernobyl or wherever the fuck Call Of Duty plays out it's campaigns. But it's also a little bit sad too. He's my baby and he's growing up.

What next? Is he going to be pimping ho's in 'GTA4' or popping a cap in the ass of rancid tramps in 'Condemned 2' ? No...

Now you may be wondering as a parent, what my policy is on censorship and age appropriate games etc. Well, my policy is this... My kids grow up in one of the most gun riddled, gang influenced and fucked up areas of the UK. They've all been mugged (the oldest three times.)

Can playing a game warp their sensibilities or brutalise them? Nope! Whilst playing games, they're inside the house where I know they're safe. They're all good kids with good manners who do well at school/college. Their morals and views on life are well rounded and wholesome. They know a game is a game and that the taking of life or exploitaion of women (in real life) is fundamentally wrong. They are anti-racist, vegetarian, anti-war and tolerant of those who are different. The older boys don't drink, smoke or do drugs and have a healthy scepticism of those who do...

The moral code bestowed on them by me and Mrs. K, play a fundamental part in who they are. A game, movie or gangster rap tune, is never going to rock that foundation. So they are allowed access to all of the above. (The two older boys have seen both Eminem and The Sex Pistols live!!)

I say let them enjoy the fruits of the gaming, movie and music industries, if they are comfortable with it. From what I saw today, Ted is very comfortable with COD4 - despite it's socio-political imperialistic leanings! (He was back on World Of Warcraft as soon as I took over the TV to play Half Life and very pleased to be so...)

And he'll always be my baby ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Half Life (Dreamcast)

This game is something of a slow burner, but when it takes off, it really goes with a bang. What an excellent piece of gaming history this is! It's great to be playing on the Dreamcast again, as I never played a FPS on that particular shooter, and I figured my favourite console deserved some love after my Wii and 360 dominated start to the year...

My Dreamcast and Saturn stash...

As you can see from my picture of my recently ordered Dreamcast and Saturn stash, I shouldn't be moaning about lack of games... And Half Life is a brilliant re-introduction to the last generation!

I'm only about a third of the way into it, but I figured I needed to play it before I get my grubby mits ont 'The Orange Box' (yet another title on my wish list.) I'll post more on this when I'm a bit further in (or have completed the game...) For now enjoy the video!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Blacksite Area 51

Well, it seems I've made something of a 'faux pas' in terms of my gaming choices, as I'm currently the above title. My good friend Funnyman, literally slapped himself in the face, he was so horrified!

As the title suggests, this is an alien based FPS, with a fairly flimsy backstory...

OK, what are my impressions? Well, I haven't found it too bad so far, and I have to say I like the mixture of driving and shooting... Alright, I'll admit that there are a lot of flaws. The graphics are sub-standard for a start... Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii and even games like God Of WarII and RE4 on the PS2 are far superior. There are some really jarring glitches, like guns floating in mid air once they've been discarded and an inconsistency in objects that break when shot.

But as it goes, I've played far worse. I'm wavering as to whether I should complete it now. I want to totally reorganise my games collection and trade a few titles in so I can buy No More Heroes for the Wii and Call Of Duty 4 for the DS...

So, we'll just see, I'm not abandoning it yet. What do you think dear friends, should I take dear Funnyman's advice and trade it in? It'll take me a while to sort out my games, which I might do over the weekend. So I'll hold fire for now and play through for another few days. I've got a bit of a reputation for enjoying games other's have panned... (Red Steel and Blue Stinger spring to mind...) As usual, here's some links!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Give A Little Love Original...

And if you don't remember the original, shame on you! I saw this at the pictures like, thirty years ago! I wanted to live in Bugsy's world!

Once again, enjoy!!!

Coke GTA Commercial...

Sometimes commercials show a stroke of genius. This one inspired by Rockstar's GTA franchise and employing a great feel-good songfrom the classic kid's movie Bugsy Malone demonstrates such commercial goodness! Enjoy!

This One Is For Elderly...

Words (or indeed music) can't express how much I miss dear Elderly... hope this goes some way to displaying my love.

Love you dude, please come back to us!

Big Pimpin' (Cyprus Style!)

This is the first official pic of your's truly in Cyprus. Yes, I know I'm in my 'best man' suit, but I couldn't help feeling a little pimplicious in that get up... Should I turn my attention away from teaching kids and start pimping ho's?

Answers on a postcard please! LOL! =D

Call Of Duty4:Modern Warfare

Well, it was somewhat inevitable wasn't it? In a household where COD4 is played online at every hour of the day by gaming ginger-ninja big Mart, I was eventually going to give in and be lured into the world of 'Soap McTavish' and Captain Price...

And after a week of non-gaming in Cyprus, I needed a big dose of videogame fun to satiate my needs... And so it was that Call Of Duty4 was the game I plunged into on my return from the Med's most beautiful of islands.

What can I say? This game is an essential 360 experience! The graphics are stunning, the environments brutally realistic and the gameplay sublime. I've never played a 'war-game' before, but I've loved it!

Of course, there is a certain moral dilemma in deriving pleasure from the horror of war. This is not the same as destroying the Locust Horde in Gears Of War. The game's main antagonists are Eastern Europeans and Arabs. You (of course) represent the 'forces of good' i.e. UK and the US of A. But in real life, their campaigns in the real world, largely impacting on civillians, are less than morally acceptable. Is this Western morality propoganda disguised as gaming?

Still, if you can put your moral high-ground on hold (and I managed to do just that) this game is a great piece of escapism. The ammo and weaponry are abundant and the health gauge forgiving. The auto-save system allows you to progress through the game with ease and I found myself completing all the missions in a few hours. Bonus!!! I love the games I have played on the 360 recently. Bioshock, Gears Of war and COD4:MW are all easily achieveable, not time consuming and represent a realistic proposition in terms of my available gaming window of opportunity. That is, I can play them in the snatches of time avilable to me in the Krishna household.

I've not forgotten the Wii during this time, however. I've been playing Umbrella Chronicles in my down time and I'm in love! I'm stuck on the final boss, but I play it every day in the hopes I can bring the game to it's conclusion! This game is indeed THE best gaming experience I've had since playing Bioshock back in January...

I've also enjoyed a little DS magic by playing Need For Speed Carbon: Own The Streets, Resident Evil DS and my new discovery, Brothers In Arms DS. Handheld gaming never felt so good! Here's some links!

Call Of Duty 4:Modern Warfare
Umbrella Chronicles
Brothers In Arms DS

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ali G

I'm back from Cyprus...

Wow! What a trip! Cyprus was amazing! Firstly may I say, just breaking the confines of the UK was amazing! Getting on a plane and heading for an unknown destination was a trip indeed!
So me and Mrs. K headed off to Cyprus without knowing a thing about it!

First of all, let's place it on the map! I thought it was in Greece, but it turns out this idyllic holiday isle is nearer to Iraq, Israel, Egypt and Syria! Surely that's an advert for getting to know more about the world!

Number one, it was great to head off to warmer climes, and hitting the mediterranean climate in March was fun! We're talking sun! Warmth! T-Shirts and shorts!

Despite being a million miles away, Cyprus is very English! They drive on the same side of the road, have just given up the pound, and even have the same electric hook up! But that's where the similarity stops...

The place is a historic and mythical goldmine! I went up 'Mount Olympus', saw the 'birthplace of Aphrodite' and gazed on many a Roman mosaic while I was there... Truly inspiring!

The Cypriot people are fabulous and the welcome was amazing... If you want to know more look here...

Suffice to say the holiday was amazing, and to be best man at my best friend's weding was an honour indeed.

Now back to videogames and television, I knew there was a reason for me being here...