Chris Littlechild Website

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.

Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Oddworld- Abe’s Exoddus

Oddworld- Abe's Exoddus

Odd by name, odd by mothereffin’ nature.

‘Fart power! Abe can even possess his own farts and blow stuff up,’ quoth the back of the Abe’s Exoddus box. ‘No other game has it… no other game wants it!’ Just so you know what you’re getting into here. Strap yourself in, gentlemen. It’s going to be a bumpy ride; into a bizarro world where you can pilot your own explosive farts.

First, a little background fact-tacular. Oddworld is the name of the planet on which the game is set, its own little universe in another dimension. It’s a vast world under threat by the bastardry of big-business (if there were intergalactic rivers to divert from intergalactic African villages for an intergalactic soft drink factory, these assholes would be on that like a shot), and populated by the weirdest space-weirds you’ll find this side of that bar in Tatooine.

Two such species are the Glukkons and Mudokons, and the assholery of the first to the second leads to the events of Abe’s Exoddus. So let’s take a look.

Abe is a Mudokon, and the player character of this crazy-ass platformer. His people have been enslaved the Glukkons (a second time, following on from Abe’s Odysee), shanghaied into producing the soft drink SoulStorm in an Oddworld factory. The drink, we’re told, is made from ‘Mudokon sweat and tears.’ So, what have we learned so far? These guys are dicks. Naturally, Abe has mixed, mostly rage-based feelings about the whole situation, and sets out to infiltrate the complex and rescue these groovy green dudes.

So, to sum up: part Metal Gear Solid, part Lemmings. If you’re not sold by that, you never will be.

Oddworld- Abe's Exoddus

Abe’s Exoddus doesn’t dick around with the usual platformer tropes. It’s not big on snow levels, lava levels, jungle levels or any of that BS. Who has time for that? What we have here is a whole lot of industrial gray and beige. Grimy mechanical doohickeys, angry guards with angrier machine guns, that sort of thing. It’s a dark world, as you can tell from the plot.

In a fight, our buddy Abe would be as much use as a one-legged kitten in a coma. Any hit from the enemies is an insta-death sort of deal, so he has to be a little sneakier than that. Which is fine, because you’re able to possess foes as well as your own ass-gas. By doing so, you can attack other enemies, set their own guard dogs on them or make them kill themselves. Natch, though, the player character is left vulnerable while doing so, so you’ll have to take care with it.

This puzzly platformer can be a real challenge, with an emotion mechanic to deal with as well. The Mudokons you meet can be depressed, ill, hopped up on SoulStorm, angry or blind, and each will need to be dealt with differently if you want to save them. GameSpeak is another feature, which allows Abe to talk to them and console the depressed or tell the angry ones to, y’know, stop that crazy shit (angries tend to slap the hell out of any Mudokons in the vicinity). With this, possessed enemies can also give orders to their minions.

All of this makes for a unique experience unlike just about anything else. Abe’s Exoddus hit the PS1 in 1998, and is still highly recommended for genre fans looking for a deep, challenging and thought-provoking ride. You don’t get that from Mario, that’s for damn sure.

The Ghosts of ‘Pac-Man’ are Freaking Geniuses, Who Knew?

Pac-Man Ghosts

As a general rule, tech from the eighties should stay in the freaking eighties. Failing that, all memory of it should be sealed in concrete and dumped in the ocean somewhere. Cellphones like breezeblocks, big ol’ ugly-ass computers like the Macintosh 128K and IBM 5150 (whatever the hell they were)… it was freaking awful all round.

Sure, the decade brought us Thriller, Michael Jackson’s spangly glove, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and The Smurfs, but that’s not enough for us to forgive the Eighties for its horrible tech-tacular.

But hold on there, buddy boy. Some actual science has been dropped on our asses, and it turns out that the humble Pac-Man was way, way more futuristic than anyone thought. You know the deal, of course. Four ghosts cruising around a maze trying to eat your goddamn face right in the face. But those ghosts? They were some smartasses, right there.

You might have heard that Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde were their names, and each behaved differently. But the latest episode of Game/Show shows just how complex these little bastards’ behavior was. Their personalities, how they tied in with their Japanese names, and all that good stuff. Check it out below, it has more stalkers, psychics and lazy-asses than you can handle on a Monday morning.

Via Kotaku.

The Challenge Tower Returns in ‘Mortal Kombat X’

Mortal Kombat X Tower

Damn it, Challenge Tower. You were a pain in the ass the first time around. Now there are three of you.

Veterans of the last Mortal Kombat will remember this mode. Three hundred little objectives to complete, comprising just about everything you can accomplish in a fighting game (and a lot of ball-busting things you can’t accomplish, which is why the mode made me its bitch). From simply hitting a defenseless opponent with your special moves in challenge one, to that last shit-your-pants showdown with Goro, Kintaro, Mileena and Shao Kahn, this was a great timesink that rewarded you with an array of unlockables.

The latest slice of Mortal Kombat X info-tacular brings news of the Tower’s return. This time, there’ll be thrice the challenge-y goodness, in the shape of the Daily Tower, Premier Tower and Quick Tower.

As Destructoid’s own Abel Girmay reports, there’s the ‘…quick tower comprising of only five challenges, but it updates every two to three hours. The daily tower carries an intermediate level of difficulty, and updates its eight fights every 24 hours. For those more than confident in their fighting mastery there is the premier tower, built with long-form challenges and events in mind that will run for a few days or even a week, depending on how special the event is.’

There’ll be no stupid-ass joke challenges this time around. X is bringing us regular ol’ fights for the most part, tests of skill without any luck or bombs or other weirdery flying around. Letting you freely choose your fighter each time adds to this; it’s shaping up to be the substantial single player test that the genre is often lacking.

‘Dead or Alive 5: Last Round’ Brings the Bikini-Brawling Action, Surprises Nobody

Dead or Alive 5 Bikini

Let’s be frank here (I’m not even assed if your name isn’t in fact Frank, just work with me). Man to man, Ego-ogler to Ego-ogler… our lust for all things boobtastic doesn’t look great on a resume. I don’t know about you, but an ability to recognise any lady in Tinseltown by her aerolae alone hasn’t earned me many job positions.

I did once get a call back for the position of Hooters Waitress Inspector, but it didn’t pan out.

Anywho, the point of all this prattle is that boob-centric careers are a rare thing. But it’s worked for Team Ninja, with their notorious Dead or Alive franchise. Avert your eyes, Little Jimmy! Last Round is here, and this time… it’s jigglier.

Since the first release in 1996, these guys have been refining their perky pugilists’ knockers. ‘Refining’ in the sense of ensuring they’re nothing effing like real ladylumps. Sure, fancy new sweat physics that make their tops increasingly see-through as they fight is a great use of technology, but the Wobble-o-meter has gone way off the charts in the process.

But we know all of this. What you may not have seen is this latest launch trailer. And you really should, because it has it all: new characters, crazy bat-women, demon dudes, theatrical lighting effects and even smaller bikinis than usual. What’s not to like?

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round hits consoles February 17, with the PC and Steam release delayed to March 30.

Gaming’s Whacked Out Week: ‘Katy Perry: The Game’ Won’t be Nearly as Dirty as I Dreamed It

Whacked- Katy Perry

As we know, Katy Perry is a woman of many talents. She can warble her poptastic about fireworks and dark horses and such, show the paparazzi her ass when it inadvertently falls out of her bottoms at water parks and brilliantly not show us her chesticles. She’s damn good at that last one, too.

It was only a matter of time before she added video game star to her resume. So stand the eff back, because here it comes.

Recently, the badonkadonkiest Kardashian hit the world with both barrels of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. This free-to-play ballache made around 50 million dollars. And naturally, where there’s cashtacular, there’s dudes in offices pointing furiously at Powerpoint presentations and saying yup, more of this shit, right here.

So Glu Mobile Inc. are wading in again, with another slice of celeb-based gaming. As Kotaku reported this week, the developer promises ‘an innovative, highly entertaining mobile experience.’ I’m going to call BS on that, and predict another cutesy, Justin Bieber-ish affair like last time. All we know so far is that the game will feature her voice, likeness and personality.

Still, this one isn’t aimed at us. You can tell by the absence of dancing sharks, and the presence of clothing on Perry’s part. Well, assumed absence. There’s always hope.

The Weekly WTF: The Madness of ‘Takeshi’s Challenge’

Takeshi's Challenge 1

The world of the gametastic is now bigger than ever. Since the Wii and tablets and all these newfangled doohickeys arrived on the scene, everyone’s playing. Grandma may have needed diapers since she had that episode, but she can flail away furiously at Wii Tennis with the best of them. Children a year or two old can also get their game on, inadvertently racking up bills for thousands of dollars in app stores on Ma and Pa’s iPad.

However all-inclusive video games have become, though, there’ll always be those who bitch about them. You’ll usually find them in the tabloids, insisting that Grand Theft Auto is breeding a generation of drug-dealing psychopathic kleptomaniac arsonist pimps. With herpes.

But sometimes, this kind of prejudice takes a crazy goose-step too far. One guy hates gamers so much that he created the most evil game of all time to torture us with. Gentlemen, meet Takeshi’s Challenge.

Yep, These are Some Badass-Looking ‘Mortal Kombat X’ Special Editions Right Here

Mortal Kombat X Special Editions

When was the last time a big upcoming release arrived without umpteen special editions in tow? Effing never, that’s when.

Remember Watch Dogs? It had Vigilante Editions, White Hat Packs, Chicago South Club Packs, Dead Sec Editions and Digital Deluxe Editions out the wazzoo. Each of which, natch, included a different crop of exclusive content. Funnily enough, even the most rabid fans of the hacktastic guntastic didn’t fancy buying ten copies of the game to get their hands on everything.

Then there’s the $250 super mega ultra limited edition of Halo 5. But it’s to be expected. As we know, businesses work on a grab-your-cash-then-punch-you-in-the-scrote-and-grab-more-of-your-cash basis. So, as sure as ‘Collector’s Edition’ is going to be spelt with a K, Mortal Kombat X is going to bring us some fancy-ass extras of its own.

Yesterday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced four special versions of the upcoming fighter. For starters, they all feature the Kombat Pack, a little slice of DLC offering four playable characters. Beyond that, the Limited Edition offers an exclusive skin for Scorpion. The download-only Premium Edition, meanwhile, couldn’t even be assed with that, and brings the Kombat DLC only.

But the two Kollector’s Editions are where the action is. The above is the Euro import Amazon exclusive version, and it’s looking pretty sweet. Whether it’s $179.99 worth of sweet is for you to decide. Kollectors may also want to check out the second, below.

Via Destructoid. Hit the link for more on these offers.