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: Dr. Mario

Dr Mario Header

There is nothing –effing nothing– that Nintendo’s mustachioed maestro can’t do. Over his three decade career, he has taught us typing skills, competed in the olympics (both winter and regular-flavored), piloted spacecraft and submarines, done the whole ‘princess rescue’ thing on umpteen occasions and travelled through time with his lanky dumbass brother.

There was even that time he shrunk down and journeyed into Bowser’s colon. And if you’ve ever seen a Mushroom Kingdom public toilet after that huge bastard’s used it, you’ll know how ballsy that was.

But his crowning achievement? His contribution to medical research as his alter ego, Dr. Mario. Watch your ass, ebola. This guy’s on the case.

The good doctor first appeared in 1990, in NES puzzler Dr. Mario. At this time, Tetris owned the world of puzzley gaming goodness, so he had to bring something different to the table of… puzzle games. Or whatever. That something was giant angry mutated viruses, which were in need of some capsules-to-the-face righteous justice.

When the germs are the size of your freaking head, you've got problems.

When the germs are the size of your freaking head, you’ve got problems.

It’s a unique theme, at any rate. Differently colored germs lurk about on the playing field, and Mario throws his two-color pills down to meet them. Your job is to fandangle and maneuver said pills so as to match them with the appropriate virus. A chain of four reds, blues or yellows will eradicate germ and pill alike. It’s your standard match-three (or, y’know, four) scenario, all in all, and one that fans of the puzzletacular will pick up immediately.

But hey, the play field is a medicine bottle, and you don’t see that every day. Much of the time, your objective is different to the usual fare too. In Dr. Mario, the main gameplay is based around individual levels, with an increasingly difficult crew of viruses to murderize. As far as the usual endless modes go, that isn’t the way of the doctor.

The core gameplay wasn’t all that original (and by ‘all that,’ I mean remotely), but this is one hell of a compulsive puzzler right here. Remember The Tetris Effect (it gets capitalized because it’s an actual goddamn medical condition, recognised by sciencey science-dudes and everything)? That’s the sign of a truly affecting game, one that haunts your nightmares and sees vengeful tetronimos chasing you across hillsides to stamp on your face.

Well, Dr. Mario has it too. How many sleepless nights did I have, watching dodgy-looking pills cascading down before my closed eyes? Too damn many is how many. Screw you, Mario.

Exo Suit Zombies Hit ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,’ Because Why the Eff Not?

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare- Exo Zombies

They’re two of the biggest, badassiest forces in gaming: zombies and Call of Duty. Our undead buddies are freaking everywhere in games now, as we know, and there’s no hotter property in the medium than good ol’ CODtastic. So what happens when the two collide?

Well, we know what happens. Zombies mode has been a series stalwart for some time now. Still, we’ve never seen the festering bastards like this before.

Advanced Warfare brings a new element to the gameplay. A breakneck, gravity-defying, bouncing-about-the-place-like-the-dudes-from-Titanfall sort of element. To keep up with that, the undead have to stay relevant. They’ll need to be a little more agile, less shambletacular. So hey, let’s just go balls-out crazy and give them exo suits of their own.

Here’s a first glimpse at the Havoc DLC pack, due in January.

As things were wrapping up around launch, quoth Sledgehammer, we started playing around with the idea of what happens when zombies were thrown into the mix with exoskeleton gameplay. What we came up with is Exo Zombies — an entirely new breed of zombies and an entirely new co-op experience that is truly unique to Advanced Warfare.

‘The Evil Within’ The Movie: This Actually Works!

The Evil Within- Movie

Ah, The Evil Within. If you believed the PR bullcrappery that was flying around prior to release, this was a glorious resurgence for survival horror. It was the latest ball-busting scareathon from Shinji Mikami, creator of Resident Evil. It was a big mothereffing deal all around.

But here’s the rub: you can’t please everyone. Where the Internet is concerned, you’re lucky if you can please freaking anyone. Since release, players and critics have praised and griped at The Evil Within in fairly equal measure. Maybe we should break the stalemate by looking at the game afresh.

As a goddamn movie, for instance. Let’s cut out the HUD, get some 60fps going and watch the cinematic story unfold over two hours.

That, right there, is what Gamebill does best. These mad, mad bastards previously made a 4.5 hour Ellen Page movie from Beyond: Two Souls, brought to us by Kotaku. A little The Evil Within should be easy work for them. From that opening crap-your-pants moment with the chainsaw dude/creepy blood-well, you know this is perfect theater fare.

Behold:

‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Gameplay- An Explosion or Ten at Ace Chemicals

Megalomaniacal crazy bastards just can’t get the staff these days. Scarecrow gave these dudes one job: keep him away from Ace Chemicals. Those orders sound simple enough to me; it’s not like trying to construct an IKEA cabinet, drunk, while squinting at the Swahili side of the instructions.

But there must have been a communication breakdown somewhere here. What’s our ol’ buddy Bruce up to in this gameplay? Punching faces and gonads in Ace Chemicals, that’s what.

In this brief clip, we see some of Batman: Arkham Knight’s new additions to the series. First up, there’s the heightened focus on using the environment to your advantage against the goons. The whole thrusting-henchman-face-into-electrocutey-high-voltage-box thing, and that business with the light fitting, is the kind of resourcefulness that any Boy Scout with anger issues would be proud of.

On top of that, there’s an extra dose of explosive Batmobile action. Remember, it can morph into some kind of crazy-ass tank thing now. Check it out after the jump.
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Gaming’s Whacked Out Week: Having a Chainsawin’ Good Time with PS4

Whacked- PS4 Chainsaw

Remember dOvetastic, Youtube ballache and ‘professional microwave operator?’ His whole thing is wanging brand new expensive electronics into a microwave, then broadcasting their fiery deaths to the world. Like this hapless 3DS, for instance.

These sorts of shenanigans raise all kinds of questions. Questions like what the balls? and why the balls? But hey, if that’s what Youtube calls entertainment, who are we to judge.

We all had our reasons for getting our asses aboard the next-gen hype train, after all. For some, it was the simple allure of new toy syndrome. Others went a little deeper, and wanted to get their slightly sweaty, nerdly hands on the next generation of games. Then there are the crazies who just wanted something price-tacular to throw from a fourth floor window.

Yup, this week saw Wired’s Battle Damage feature engage in the battle of the titans: Xbox One vs PS4, which is more durable? First to let out a final, defeated screech was declared the loser… and summarily chainsawed in half, quoth Kotaku, showing that these bastards are dropping the kind of hardcore science our brains just can’t handle on a Friday morning.

Hit the jump to watch the episode. It escalates from a simple five foot drop to a chainsaw-flailing moment of crazy-ass that Leatherface would be proud of, and you can’t put a price on that.
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The Weekly WTF: ‘Stalin vs Martians’ Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin

Yup. Stalin. Versus Martians. What the hell could go wrong with an awesome idea like that? Absolutely freaking everything, that’s what. Buckle up, gentlemen. This is a real slice of shite right here.

You know how it can be with celebrities. After their star has waned and their fifteen minutes of fame is over, nobody is assed any more. You’re like that depressed fat guy at Comic Con, the forgotten has-been from a sci-fi show that got cancelled in 1978. Who wants your autograph? No bastard does.

All that’s left for these guys is to appear in terrible celebrity reality shows. It’s a similar deal for history’s crazy dictators, who have to appear in ballache strategy games like this.

Stalin vs Martians is a parody of the familiar World War II RTS games. You know the sort of thing: tiny tanks and tinier dudes blow each others’ asses off in relentlessly brown landscapes with dramatic explosions-amundo. For this one, though, it’s all a little different.

Stalin vs Martians 2

Yep, this is just how Stalin vs Martians rolls.

Now, I’m no nerdly historian, but I’ve never heard of ol’ Joseph and his Soviets doing battle with martians. But hey, that’s the kind of interesting anecdote you miss when you don’t pay attention in class. The game’s official site sets the scene:
‘Year 1942. Summer. The martians suddenly land somewhere in Siberia and attack the glorious people of Holy Mother Russia. It is a hard time for USSR as you might know from the history books if you ever attended school. The situation is really f**ked up, so comrade Stalin takes the anti-ET military operation under his personal control. The operation is a top secret and virtually nobody knows about the fact of extraterrestial intervention.’

Those goddamn aliens. Was 1942 not enough of a shitstorm already?

Anywho, what follows is some of the most piss-takey gameplay you’ll ever see. The general unit-maneuvering battling and such is relatively conventional, in theory. But then the toontastic Monty Python-style slapstick comes in. As do Red Army tanks against that three-eyed alien dude from Toy Story. And the disco soundtrack, accompanied by Stalin getting his sixties groove on.

I don’t know why this is a thing. I don’t know why promo wallpapers exist depicting comrade Stalin looking at a map of the world, with the thought bubble caption ‘me so horny.’ But hey. Some things just are, and it’s fruitless to question them.

Images via Stalin vs Martians.

‘All You Can Arcade’ Brings Us Arcade Cabinets to Rent

Ah, San Francisco. The City by the Bay has brought the world so much awesome. The late great Robin Williams rose to fame there, as did musical badassery such as Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead. Come on, Mrs-effing-Doubtfire was filmed there. What more could you ask for?

You could ask for a San Frantastic business idea, that’s what. Feast your eyes, ears and scrotes on All You Can Arcade.

For a not-so-mere $75, you can rent a chunky-ass arcade cabinet from these guys for a month. If, naturally, you live in the Bay Area. If you’ve ever tried to move one of these fat bastards, you’ll know why nationwide delivery isn’t an option.

They have a selection of 50, classics and cult classics all. Buck Rogers, Mortal Kombat, 1973‘s Ramtek Soccer… retro wonderment awaits. That $75 grants you a month of unlimited plays, with no need to keep pumping your quarters into the thing.

There’s a real market for this sort of thing. Whether you’re a retro-head or just somebody in Sacramento trying to arrange a general guy-based event, you should take a look.

Via Destructoid.