A Long Hiatus / A New Future


Hello everyone, Lisa here! Some of you may have sort of noticed that there hasn’t been any new content since the beginning of this year and previous to that, new content had almost entirely fallen squarely on the shoulders of poor Will.

The reasons for this are that I got a new full-time job back in July last year that had occupied the vast majority of my time and energy, whilst Voo’s Review also requires a similar full-time input to keep it ticking over at 3 decent sized articles a week. You may not believe it, but writing is hard work.

After that, at the beginning of this year our lives got turned upside-down slightly as we moved from Merry Old England to the Pacific Northwest of Americaland...

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2015 Retrospective: Part Two – Smiley Face Stuff

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That first part was a bit of downer, wasn’t it?  Not least of all because of the thousands of pounds of damage to my living room.  It wasn’t my intention, the negativity just kept pulling me in (and I’m not allowed near matches any more).  I was lassoed in and a glum frown slapped on my face.

But remember!  Happy!  Smiles!  Good cheer!  None of the lamenting of their kin!

E3 was a highlight this year, with everyone trying to outdo each other.  Bethesda kicked in the door, swung off a chandelier and stood on a table.  Full heroic pose in effect.  While standing in some poor bugger’s trifle they announced the surprisingly close release date for Fallout 4 (with super-duper plastic tat Pip-boy for some of us lucky pre-order nutters), they announced a new Doom with some hilari...

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2015 Retrospective: Part One – Frowny Face Stuff

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It’s the end of another year.  As I sit in my living room by the fire, swirling my brandy (okay, it’s cola…no…it’s chocolate milk), I contemplate the year that’s been.  And also wonder if I should have a real fire there…

Let’s not do anything as prosaic as writing in chronological order.  This is partly because I don’t want to do the research to see when any of this was and partly because I want to get the saddest part over and done with right away.

Satoru Iwata’s death was as huge a loss to the gaming community at large as it was for Nintendo.  He was a shrewd businessman, being coordinator of software for HAL Laboratory led to his association with Nintendo.  His abilities as a programmer were great and he helped create (and problem-solve) for games like Kirby, Po...

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Konami’s Triumph!

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Who could have seen that happening?  Hideo Kojima taking up the position of President of Digital Development at Konami.  It was unexpected, to say the least, but let’s be honest, it was a smart move from a publisher who has been making a lot of smart moves in the last year.  Couple that with Kojima’s double triumph of Silent Hills and Metal Gear Solid V and you have a man at the pinnacle of greatness.  He’s ideally suited to be at the tiller of a company riding the crest of a wave of dazzling success.

Hideo Kojima gets to continue his stellar work with Kojima Productions while turning his expert eye over the whole stable of upcoming Konami properties...

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Microtransactions: Why So Little Noise?

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Note: I wrote this piece before the Pay Day 2 furore, I won’t go into it, but, yeah that was a mess.

Sometimes it feels like games publishers and games media are trying to make me sad.  Their colluding in a scheme whose sole aim is to make me alternately cry and rage in eye-ball-capillary-bursting fury.  It’s almost like the creation of entertainment also gives birth to a bunch of hollowed human wraiths whose only source of sustenance is the rage and sadness of the gamers they’ve entertained.  It’s like fun hurts them and they have to make up new ways to make us suffer.  I think I may have given too much thought to that metaphor.

What’s got me pounding the keyboard again today?  Why am I torturing metaphors and similes like they killed my entire family?  Where do I get off prattl...

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EGX Birmingham 2015 – The Outline

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EGX 2015 was a bit of whirlwind for us this time around as what we thought would be 3-4 days of basking in the glorious electronic glow of gaming screens for hours on end, turned into a single day of running around like headless chickens in an attempt to divide and conquer.

The move to the NEC is both a sad one and one full of promise, I’ll miss it being at Earl’s Court but the NEC will hopefully provide it with the opportunity to grow even further beyond what it is already the biggest gaming event in the UK. The only problem with this particular weekend was that there were at least 2-3 other shows on, with one of them being a seemingly very popular Cycle Show...

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Konami: AAA, PES, Nostalgia And Pachinkos.

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Rumour that Konami cleared their decks of all console development, after quotes in various publications appeared stating that the company would “pursue mobile games aggressively” and that “mobile is where the future of gaming lies.” – Though at the time there was no mention of their coin-op/pachinko part of the business that makes them a solid earning in their primary Asian-based markets.

Konami president Hideki Hayakawa told publication Nikkei Trendy Net, “With multiplatform games, there’s really no point in dividing the market into categories any more,” he said, “Mobiles will take on the new role of linking the general public to the gaming world.”

There’s a certain amount of sense to what he apparently said, in terms of the insane growth of the mobile market over the last few years and...

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Early Doors: Grim Dawn

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Early Doors is column where we play games that are in early access, aiming to give you the information you need about buying-in before release.

Today’s post was written by Daniel Fifield.

Grim Dawn is the first offering from Crate entertainment. A studio founded by Arthur Bruno, former Lead Designer for Iron Lore, the devs that brought us Titan Quest and its expansion Immortal Throne. Grim Dawn is an action RPG built from the Iron Lore code base.

The action RPG genre has been around for a while now, so there’s an established formula and plenty of competition. If I had to draw a comparison, I would say Grim Dawn is more like Path of Exile, than Diablo 3, both in terms of gameplay and appearance. You start with next to nothing and have to build your reputation through your deeds.


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Deus Ex: The Great Pre-order Palaver

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You want to be certain of getting that big new game, don’t you?  Everybody and their neighbour’s goldfish wants to get their slippery fins on that giganto release.  It’s all anyone in games media is seemingly talking about.  A parade of frothy and whirly-eyed articles reveal more about this titanic game.  You’re caught up in the hype and you have to get the game, day one, hour one.  So you go ahead and make the decision to pre-order.  If you get a little extra for doing so, all the better.  Or maybe you’re just after that one special thing.

Before I go on here, I must cop to having pre-ordered twice.  Both instances were to get some bit of gaming related tat.  I pre-ordered Resistance 3 from Asda in order to get the Chimera Hybrid Sackboy keyring...

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Tentpole or Flop? The Video Games To Film Discussion.

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So.  A Borderlands film, eh?  Is this going to be another excuse for me to go off on a rant about the Borderlands games?  Nah.  I’m over it, for the time being at least.  No, what I want to do is look at video game films and bring a little baggie of positive to the conversation.  Especially considering the critical kicking and audience apathy Hitman: Agent 47 received.  Borderlands isn’t the only video game getting a big-screen adaptation.  Looking at the Wikipedia page, the list of upcoming films is dizzying, both the sheer amount of them and some of the choices.  Tetris?  The mind doth boggle.

To say that the history of video games being turned into films is chequered would be to suggest that there was anything above mediocre in the ouvre...

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