Chris is a dedicated gamer and writer who is always looking to improve his skills in both areas. Having failed miserably to pick a major, his degree from the University of Hertfordshire combines English Literature, Creative Writing and History. (Oddly, it doesn’t even end there.) He lives in St Albans, but knows few people would ever have heard of such a place, so the nearby London is always a better answer. From the 'London'-based marshland nest he calls home, he writes gaming/humour/gaming humour articles and the occasional horror story, and benevolently attempts to befriend passing insects. As yet, none of them have been interested. He even offered a range of homemade baked confections to them once, to no avail.
Have you ever wondered why men have lower life expectancies than women? There’s probably some convoluted biological, sociological, zoological, cosmological BS at work there too, but the biggest factor? Because we do so much dumb shit, that’s why.
Death-defying renegade badasses that we are, there are some stunts that even the staunchest Jackass fans shouldn’t attempt. In the world of video games, there are none more studly –and limb-endangering– than Assassin’s Creed’s leaps of faith.
You know the deal: our free-roaming hero cruises to the top of a building, pauses for a little fancy-ass slow motion pose, and jumps. Height isn’t a factor; as long as you land in one of the game’s many conveniently-placed haystacks, you’ll be completely unharmed.
But as we know, the real world isn’t nearly as fun as that. The University of Leicester’s science dudes are here to tell us that, nope, that’s not happening.
On what must have been a slow day in the Merry Old England learnatorium, physics students have written a paper titled ‘Falling Into Straw.’ It explains that this hay business is a viable technique, but not from the heights seen in the games. Nerdly knowledge after the jump. Read more… »
Modding is a huge part of PC game-ery. The possibilities are endless, and usually completely freaking ridiculous. It’s usually a because I can, that’s why sort of deal. Ever felt a hankering to swim though a completely submerged city in Grand Theft Auto? Or dick about with a selfie stick and Instagram filters in Doom? Of course you haven’t, but you can.
Generally, it’s all harmless enough. Pretty damn technically impressive sometimes. It can take a turn for the pervtastic, what with nude mods and enhanced jiggle mods and that sort of business, but we’ll excuse the lonely gauchos who devise such things. If someone decides to dedicate months to removing that pixely blur from showering Sims, who are we to judge?
With big ol’ expansive RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, there are whole communities of nerdly creators doing their thing. Which is all well and good, until… THE DEATHS START. Hold on to your asses, gentlemen, it’s the tale of Morrowind Mod jvk1166z.esp.
Supposedly, this one started life as just another suspected virus. If you tried to install it, your copy of The Elder Scrolls 3 would be completely wiped on booting. For some 300+ hours players, that’s a goddamn horrifying curse in and of itself, but it gets worse. In some mysterious, lurid corners of the internet (not the ‘give us your credit card details to see GILFs violate their poodles with cucumbers’ ones, different lurid corners), jvk1166z.esp. has itself a nightmarish reputation.
When you did manage to get the damn thing to work, you found that the mod has some really creepy effects. If your character remained stationary for too long, their health would drain away. If you went to take a leak or something and died in this fashion, a new guy would appear in the game. Players knew him as… The Assassin.
According to listverse, the Assassin is the kind of guy who’d make Slenderman sleep with his little Thomas the Tank Engine nightlight on: ‘He appeared to be a man except his legs and arms were long and bent like a spider. Players began to notice that if you paid close attention the player could see the assassin around corners or scurrying up the walls, but only for brief moments.’
No effing thanks.
The legend states that spending too long with jvk1166z.esp caused players to hallucinate and obsess. A new dungeon it added to the game had a door which could not be opened. Affected gamers would spend days on end, fixated with trying to get it open. More importantly, they’d see the Assassin crawling along their walls and ceilings in real life. I’ll leave you with that image.
It’s all BS, natch, but this mod actually exists. It’s probably not haunted and/or evil, but you won’t catch me downloading it.
Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? When there eventually was a wolf, nobody cared and he got his face chewed off. Or, y’know, something to that effect. The moral was don’t be a big ol’ lying asshole, anyway.
So when Grand Theft Auto V finally does hit PC, you’ll excuse us for not quite believing it. By then, we’ll all be OAPs anyway, and the game will be obsolete. Either because we can’t fandangle a mouse or controller with our arthritic hands any more, or because PCs will have been replaced by tiny nanochips in our foreheads.
The same’s true of the much ballyhooed heists, really. Snow across Los Santos and all these other spangly holiday updates are all well and good, but the heists have been ‘coming soon’ for months now.
But anywho, those are the breaks. Here’s the fresh batch of dates. The PC edition has been bumped back to April 14, which is possibly another tentative placeholder. On consoles, meanwhile, it does seem fairly certain that multiplayer heists will hit as scheduled: March 10.
Damn it, Rockstar. You’re a bigger tease than Katy Perry.
You’ve probably heard the legend of Pac-Man’s creation already. If you haven’t, buckle up, buddy boy, because it’s coming at your eyeballs right now.
The character’s designer explained his origins thusly: ‘…arcades were filled with male players. I wanted to brighten up the atmosphere by drawing in women and couples. For that to happen, there needed to be a game for that audience. When it came to women’s interests, I thought of concepts based on fashion and love stories but ultimately ended up with the idea of “eating”. While brainstorming on the idea of “eating”, I picked up a slice of pizza and saw the shape of what was to become PAC-MAN.’ (pacman.com)
So, to sum up, women love eating. Guys like pizza. Pac-Man is a freaking pizza. All of this points to only one logical conclusion: we need a Pac-themed restaurant.
The Windy City obviously knows its shit when it comes to the foodtastic. So it’s the perfect place for Level 257 to open. In case you missed that, the eatery’s name is a nerdly reference to a kill screen that occurs on reaching the 256th board in Pac-Man (preventing the game from being completely finished, technically).
The restaurant offers cocktails named after video games, including ‘”Game Over,” “1 Up,” and “Midway,”’GameSpot reports. It also boasts ‘seating for 180 people… a bowling alley, ping pong tables, and of course, Pac-Man video games to play, among other things.’
Other things, you say? I hope said things don’t involve that damn wakka wakka wakka sound being played on an infinite loop over the soundsystem. I’ve got an alarm clock that does that, and it’s a royal pain in the ass.
Anywho, you can pay them a visit at the Woodfield Mall in Chicago (‘beta testers’ only just now). In the interim, hit the link for more.
Let’s not be snarky about a 2002 release counting as ‘retro.’ When you’re a renegade badass cruising into the mouth of hell on grandpa’s mobility scooter, you have slim-to-zero effs to give about trivial matters like that. And I am one. That’s so me. I won’t even apologize for starting that sentence with ‘and’ back there.
So, to business. Nintendo’s cutesy GameCube didn’t quite set the gaming world alight back in the 2000s. It got a nice crop of first party classics, granted; that’s what these guys do best. At the same time, though, there wasn’t a lot outside of Mario, Link and co. Third party support has long been a weakness of their consoles.
Ports are one thing, but exclusives from outside are as rare as sightings of Bigfoot having his wicked, hairy way with a unicorn in your backyard. Which does happen. So did Silicon Knights’ Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.
This survival horror has a Quantum Leap-ish, protagonist-hopping deal going on. You begin as Alex Roivas, a young woman investigating her grandfather’s fancy-ass mansion for clues to his murder (because the police themselves are being assholes). While cruising about the cavernous house, she finds a hidden room containing a mysterious book, The Tome of Eternal Darkness. Which is where it gets ugly.
Reading from this human-flesh-bound book, she learns of mankind’s millenia-long struggle against the Ancients. These vast, powerful beings look like something that would give H.P Lovecraft nightmares, and they’re out to seize control of the cosmos. Fear not, though, because Alex’s ancestors and their buddies have been working against them behind the scenes.
Each chapter of the book serves as a stage of the game, is set in a different time period and stars a different character. The first tells of studly Roman centurion Pious Augustus, who started all this shit off in the first place by reviving one of the Ancients’ lost artifacts in 26 BC. He is possessed and corrupted by it, and then becomes the antagonist, trying to summon his big ol’ slavering master and destroy the planet in the process.
After his encounter, we move through the timeline and play as everyone from a Persian swordsman in 565 AD to a World War I soldier. Each has their own little piece of the story, which all fits together as a whole. Some of them even meet each other, and it’s all very clever and converge-y and all the rest of it.
Between chapters, you return to the ‘hub’ (the mansion, as Alex), where a little Resident Evil- style light puzzling and exploration turns up the next page. And so it goes on, until Alex’s own timeline meets with Pious’s in the year 2000 and she has to whup his undead ass personally.
Whichever member of this motley crew you’re controlling, the gameplay is unchanged. It’s all very Resident Evil around here, in the puzzling and inventory-wrangling, but with a couple of crucial additions that set it apart. The biggest of these is magic, which each character can cast for a variety of effects. You can simply enchant weapons to increase their power and heal yourself, but it gets much fancier than that. By the end, you’ll be summoning hulking Horrors and effortlessly finding hidden secrets.
The second, and possibly most badass, innovation is the Sanity system. Your sanity has a meter just as HP and magic does, and it’s depleted whenever you encounter one of the stage’s enemies (if you’ve ever seen any of these crazy bastards, you’ll know why). There’s a spell that can refill it, and you can gain a little back by performing a finishing blow on said enemy, but you don’t want this dipping too low. As you lose sanity, all kinds of special effects will occur. Unseen babies will cry in the background, your character will hallucinate, and you’ll even see a message on screen reporting that your memory card has been formatted.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of a kind. It did a great job of switching between characters and keeping the story together and engaging, which is an easy thing to screw up. It was a taste of Ye Olde survival horror, and also brought something new to the idea. It’s a little obscure, but this one’s got cult classic written all over it.
Kanye West will not, shall not and cannot be stopped. Ever.
From impregnating Kardashians to those shit scarves he used to sell, from dicking about on a motorcycle as ‘Evel Kanyevel’ to boasting about his high school grades (“I got A’s and B’s. And I’m not even frontin’”), there is nothing this guy can’t do. And even if there was, he’d just give it the middle finger and do it anyway. Twice over. Blindfolded. Because you don’t eff with Kanye.
So when he announces that he’s about to revolutionize video games as well, you’d better freaking believe that he’s going to. That, or it’ll be another mobile ballache that undeservedly makes trillions. Either way, over to Yeezy.
If the deeply mocktastic RPG Kanye Quest wasn’t enough for you (check it out after the jump), there’s now an official West-approved effort in the works. This weekend, Kanye announced that Only One has been in development for six months. All we know so far is that it’s dedicated to the late Ma West, as per the song of the same name.
This undoubtedly glorious slice of software, Destructoid reports, ‘will have players trying to get momma West to the highest gates of heaven “by holding her to the light.”’ I don’t know about you, but I know a classic in the making when I see one. Read more… »
In the Nineties, cool was king. Remember Will Smith’s funky-ass technicolor Fresh Prince of Bel-Air outfits? Did he ever stop to think, wait, hold the phone, I look like a ridiculous asshole right here? Of course he didn’t. Because that was what fresh –whatever that means– looked like back then.
Hindsight is a bitch, as we know. Who doesn’t have cringetastic old photos of the questionable hair they sported back in their salad days? All that sort of BS should be dumped into time’s landfill site and left to rot, forgotten.
On the subject of Nineties shit which should never see the light of day again, feast your eyes on Guardians of the Hood. It’s a scrolling beat ‘em up in the Streets of Rage mould, and the trailer is a kind of time capsule of the era. Atari assaulted our eyes, ears and faces with this little doozy in 1992, and it’s replete with muscular dudes. I can’t emphasize the muscular dudes enough. There are almost too damn many muscular dudes.
This is everything the era thought was badass and/or cool in 2:47, and it’s horrific. But even so, shoutout to the ginger guy. You wouldn’t eff with him. Enjoy!