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: Perfect Dark

Perfect Dark

Remember all the ballbusting hypetastic that Destiny received pre-release? Of course you do. It was Bungie’s spiritual successor to the mighty Halo, and that was a big freaking deal right there. Perfect Dark was a similar affair.

As N64 FPSs go, natch, GoldenEye is where it’s at. It’s still regarded as one of the best and most beloved games the genre has ever seen. It had a spiritual successor of its own, which was pretty freaking sweet in and of itself. Strap yourselves in and let’s party like it’s 2000.

Yup, Perfect Dark hit the N64 fifteen years ago. It’s the story of Joanna Dark, special agent and the kind of lady-badass the medium needed back in the day (and still does). In 2023, she is wanged slap-bang in the middle of an interplanetary war between two races: the Skedar (reptile dudes who use a holographic disguise to look like Scandinavians, because sometimes the great ideas are just right in front of you) and the Maians. The latter are much less interesting, and just look like a stereotypical ‘alien.’ So there you go.

The Skedar are dicking about on Earth, safe in their human costumes, but they are threatened by the Carrington Institute. These shady R&D guys are in league with the Maians, and employ Joanna Dark to perform a series of missions to advance their cause.

The whole story escalates into a who’s-really-who-they-say-they-are-and-who-are-they-screwing over conspiracy involving the President, alien weapons of mass destruction and a top secret spaceship or two. But nuts to ‘stories’ and all of that BS, we’re here for the gun-totin’ action.

Perfect Dark 2

So what we have here is a stealthy/shooty sort of FPS, the kind that was all the rage back in the day. It borrows heavily from the similarly spytastic GoldenEye, and that’s always a good thing. Gadgets, sneaking, the very GoldenEye engine itself… it’s all very familiar.

But Perfect Dark also throws in some fancy-ass new tricks all of its own. What with the setting and all, there’s more than a few alien guns to nab and shoot some face with. Your usual arsenal (pistol, shotgun, machine gun, you know the drill) all have secondary functions too; letting you use them for close range attacks or such and adding a little variety to combat.

As is usually the case with the genre, the multiplayer is the name of the game. Unlike 007′s adventure, Perfect Dark isn’t just a deathmatch sort of deal, offering a couple other modes. There’s co-op for starters, and another where player two takes control of one of the campaign’s guard enemies and tries to stop Dark from achieving her objectives.

All in all, Perfect Dark is a must for FPS fans. It’s not as iconic as GoldenEye, true enough, but in many ways it’s even better. The visuals, sound and improved AI are a step above, and retro heads won’t want to miss out on this one.

‘Killing Floor 2’ and the Missing Nipple Rings

Killing Floor 2 Nipple Rings

Now, there are a lot of freaking useless, dumbass ways to spend a year. You could try to develop a flesh-eating loaf of bread to defend your lawn from wayward postmen. You could campaign to get Congress to pass a law forbidding the words ‘Justin Bieber’ being used on the Internet. But this? This takes the cake, right here.

Killing Floor 2, as you may know, is a Steam shooter endeavoring to be the goriest game ever made. It also has an enemy type, the Bloat, returning from the original. These ghastly, lumpen, make-Jabba-the-Hutt-look-sexy bastards had nipple rings in the first game, which were omitted here. And that? That will not do.

One dedicated, possibly pervtastic player saw Killing Floor 2 preview images of the Bloat without their areola adornments. As a joke, he posted a mock-outraged petition on Tripwire Interactive’s forums. It read thusly,
“A great injustice is set to be committed in Killing Floor 2.The grievous absence of this critical component is tearing the community apart, and if it does not return, I predict nothing less than riots in the street. Join me, my fellow Bloat nipple piercing lovers, in my campaign to get our voices heard: BRING BACK THE NIPPLE PIERCINGS.”

This, natch, is the kind of righteous cause we can all get behind, and the kind of story you have to hear about on a Monday morning. For the whole dramatic story that unfolded around this campaign, and a good five minutes of your life you’ll never get back, hit Kotaku.

When Video Games Screw Up: Pregnant Man-Sims

Pregnant Male Sims

Now, I don’t know if you were paying attention in first grade biology class, but how’s this for a big ol’ mothereffin’ factoid: dudes can’t get pregnant. Trust me on this. Male penguins and seahorses may carry the babies about like the poor whipped buggers of the animal kingdom they are, but otherwise? Nope. Have you ever tried pushing a baby out through your wang? No, no you haven’t.

But The Sims isn’t assed about logic. Through the magic of game bugs, anything is possible. The Sims 4 got really screwy with the introduction of the Get to Work expansion.

Now, regular fat guys are ten a penny. To be truly enormous, you need dedication, a voracious appetite and an apartment directly above a Burger King. But to be pregnant? You need some sweet, sweet alien booty. Apparently.

The expansion added alien abductions to the game, and it’s being reported that some male sims are returning from their interplanetary tete a tete pregnant. Just what’s being done to them up there, and what in holy hell will happen in nine month’s time, is a mystery. But it’s not without precedent; there’s already a pregnant male Sims mod for the game. Maybe that’s just how things work down Sims way. More on this at Gamersjoint.

MS-DOS Gaming Gives Twitter a Reason to Exist at Last

MS-DOS Twitter

‘Twitter is simultaneously the best and worst thing ever,’ quoth Destructoid, bringing us this story. How do you argue with that? You don’t, that’s how.

That lil’ blue bird, after all, is responsible for bringing hashtags into the world. It also provided a platform for Justin Bieber to tell the general populace that he had a burrito for lunch, and earn himself a billion retweets and favorites for doing so. As though the little asshole’s head wasn’t inflated enough.

But on the flipside, Twitter is also a way to instantly share the Internet’s vast repertoire of MS-DOS games with the world. And that’s something I can get on board with.

Oh yes indeed. Via the magic of the Internet Archive, you can now play all manner of retrotastic directly in Twitter, simply by embedding the game’s link in a Tweet. It’s very cool, and very dangerous. Like all social media, the site was already a procrastinator’s dream, but this is some next level shit right here.

Check out this awesome new function in action over at Gamasutra. Legally questionable it may be, but damn if this isn’t brilliant.

Gaming’s Whacked Out Week: ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ and its Craptacular Killer Cab Drivers

Taxi A

In many ways, Grand Theft Auto V is a remarkable achievement. The scope of the world, the fancy-ass weather effects, each individual pedestrian having things to do and places to be… Los Santos is a living, breathing world, on a scale the series and sandbox in general has never seen.

But let’s not gush too much. This bastard’s had enough accolades, hype and game of the year awards. Just for a change, let’s point our accusatory finger of accusation square at its face and say hey, Grand Theft Auto V, your taxi drivers suck ass.

Oh yes indeed. The series has always been a make-your-own-entertainment sort of affair, allowing players to eschew missions entirely in favor of selfie taking, secret finding, car collecting or whatever else they fancy. But the game of Survive The Taxi Driver’s Dumbassery is a new one on me.

This week on Reddit, a new Grand Theft Auto V minigame came to light: The Taxi Driver A.I Challenge. It involves exploiting the game’s awful driving A.I, by asking a cab to take you along a certain route. Behold Figure A, the GPS route you give them:

Taxi 1

Then here’s Figure B, the route they’ll actually take. Very badly:

Taxi 2

Finally, put the two together, and here’s the kind of carnage that results:

Dare you try and survive the Taxi Driver A.I Challenge?

Via Kotaku.

The Weekly WTF: The Madness of ‘Killer 7’

Killer 7

Everyone’s had a particularly unhinged dream and thought, where in the name of holy hell did that come from? Even if you haven’t, you have now, because I’m typing these words at your face and I make the rules here. You don’t want to eff with me, buddy boy. I do pilates on Tuesday evenings.

Anywho, the subconscious can concoct some bizarre scenarios. Awakening from a nightmare where ravenous giant fang-y peanuts on legs are chasing you through a golf course can be jarring indeed. Dreams are, as a leading psychologist at Harvard University once said, “mothereffin’ weird.”

I get that same what did I just wake from feeling from the games of Goichi Suda. This nutbag visionary (a sort of Tim Burton of the video game world) has brought us such lunatic wonderment as the No More Heroes series and Lollipop Chainsaw, all cult favorites in their own right. But for many, his standout moment of crazy-ass is Killer 7. Strap yourselves in and let’s take a look.

This action adventure hit the GameCube and PS2 in 2005. It centers around the titular Killer 7, distinct personalities of wheelchair-bound schizophrenic Harman Smith. You can switch between control of them at will, and each have their own abilities which will be crucial to your progress. They’re also all badass assassins, natch.

Now, being able to transform into anyone from an angry drunk Irishman to a Mexican Luchador whenever you fancy is a little whack in and of itself. But mere schizophrenia isn’t enough for Killer 7. Instead, Harman Smith is afflicted with ‘Multifoliate Personae Phenomenon.’ This condition allows him to absorb the souls of other people after their deaths, even physically ‘becoming’ them as he wishes.

Killer 7 2

A useful party trick to have, because this guy’s in some trouble right here. The Killer 7 are under the employ of the government, carrying out high-profile hits where the shady need arises. In the course of their shady duties, they run across an old accomplice of Harman’s, Hun Lan. Lan has the power to spread the Heaven Smile virus, which corrupts humans and turns them into vicious killers. People infected by such form a terrorist group, and Heaven Smiles become the game’s main enemies.

Killer 7 is an FPS, for want of a better word. Combat takes place from a first-person guntastic perspective, true enough, but the on-rails movement and restrictive controls go against that a little. It feels very odd to play because it’s designed to be played in this fashion, as though to be as jarring as possible at all times. Damn it, Suda51, you so crazy.

Along with the setup, the plot itself takes us to some bizarre places. We go from supernatural killers-for-hire to political conspiracies and Japan/US relations at an alarming pace, and the whole thing is a rollercoaster ride of weirdery.

Killer 7 is, in its way, one of the most ambitious, imaginative and artsy games I’ve ever experienced. It’s also completely batshit, and that’s always a plus.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops III’ Brings the SkyNet in a Big Way

Call of Duty Black Ops III

You don’t eff with Call of Duty. You just duck and cover, brace yourself and let it wash over you like the indomitable force of nature that it is. It’s trailer time, gentlemen, and Treyarch demand your attention.

The freshly-announced Black Ops III is doing things a little differently. The first two installments were time-travelly affairs, set during the Cold War and the near future. This time, we’re going further ahead, to a dystopian future where technology is a nano-inch away from going full SkyNet on our asses.

How far can we push technology before it starts pushing back, asks Gravelly-Voiced Voiceover Dude. About as far as you have right here, I’d say. Blacks Ops III is set in 2065, a point at which humanity and the techtastic are really one and the same. It makes for some pretty freaking spectacular wars, what with all of the fancy-ass supersoldiers roaming around.

If there’s one thing Call of Duty already did pretty damn well, it’s war. And melodramatic setpieces of things exploding. Couple them together, throw in even more futuristic military tech than usual, and you have the below trailer. Feast your eyes.