Monthly Archives: June 2012

Yo dawg, I heard you like 2D platformers – Super Retro Squad gets funded

Exploding Rabbit, the folk behind the amazing Super Mario Bros. Crossover, are now ready to take their world-mashing expertise to the next level. With a little help from Kickstarter – and lots of help from people with evidently good taste – Super Retro Squad has reached double its intended goal of $10,000, with a whopping 20 days left to go. Clearly it’s not time to give up on the human race just yet, eh? Click here to check out the Kickstarter page, there’s still time to jump on the bandwagon. Although, by this point, it’s not really a mere bandwagon any longer; more like a juggernaut. Either way, world-colliding-happiness lies ahead!

If you haven’t played Super Mario Bros. Crossover, say goodbye to (at least the) next hour of your life and click here.

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Lights, camera, boom, headshot – Valve releases the Source Filmmaker

If you met the Pyro yesterday and lived to tell the tale (and if you’ve got a head full of eyeballs) you might have spotted a Source Filmmaker logo at the end of the video. So yeah, that’s a thing now. You can sign up for a beta key at that link; and, if you’re lucky enough to get one, you’ll be given access to the very same software that Valve used to make ‘Meet the Pyro’ – and indeed, all their other Source-based videos. Given the particular nature of the people who get through, we could either get wondrous feats of creativity, or penis levels for everyone.

Those are Vegas odds; and the house is on the side of the penises. (there’s a sentence that can’t come up too often)

At long last, it’s time to meet the Pyro

Valve’s finally released the last episode in the ‘Meet the Team’ series, and…well, it turns out the Pyro’s even scarier than we thought.

War never changes in 10-year old game of Civilization II

In the distant future, three superpowers are locked in an endless war with each other over the scant resources left on the planet. The communist Celts, the theocratic Americans and the theocratic Vikings are all that remain of the dozens of nations that once existed on the planet; with all the other civilizations having fallen before their military might and been assimilated into their burgeoning empires. The war has lasted almost 2,000 years, and the stalemate just about half that. Nuclear fallout has swept the world, rendering large swathes of land uninhabitable. What arable land wasn’t irradiated is now mostly swamp, because it was inundated by the melting of the ice caps. Between nuclear annihilation and famine, 90% of the world’s population is dead. The survivors live in hellish suffering, as military production takes priority over absolutely everything else. Guerrilla uprisings sporadically occur, and are ruthlessly suppressed. The year is 3991 AD, and there’s no end to the war in sight.

Very Orwellian, no? The above paragraph isn’t inspired by 1984, or indeed any other pillar of the dystopian community – it is the state of affairs in a Civilization II game that’s been going on for 10 years. As he describes in this thread on Reddit, user Lycerius kept at it well beyond the game’s usual end point in 2020; because, as he says, “I thought that it might be interesting to see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be.”

While the ramifications undoubtedly turned out to be pretty grim, he’s doing everything he can to fix the world based on suggestions he’s received from other Reddit users; and, what’s more, he’s also uploaded the save-game so that others can try their luck. It’s even spawned an entire subreddit – titled, appropriately enough, The Eternal War – dedicated to ending the war; it’s devoted to strategies,  comparisons and, inevitably, fan-fiction. (Update – at least one player has managed to end the Eternal War already; check out inigos’ account of his victory here.)

It’s been 16 – sixteen! – years since Civilization II released, and it’s still giving us amazing stories like this. This is why I love gaming.

While I highly recommend you read the thread itself, it’s possible you may not have the time to go through it. So, if you’re interested, join me after the break where I’ve posted a few of the more brilliant bits.

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Virtual reality? In Carmack we trust

The man, the legend.

If any man can help VR realize its potential, it’s technology legend John Carmack. Eurogamer’s Oli Welsh was lucky enough to meet the man himself, and he’s written about it over on GameTrailers.

That awkward moment when E3 makes you realize your life is a hollow shell

Curse you, Crusher. I'm starting lean towards Sheldon's point of view.

It wouldn’t be E3 without some over-the-top marketing showpiece that you recognize for what it is, but which you really, really want anyway. That right there, ladies and gents, is an actual life-size Warthog. The original Warthog, of course, became famous as the death-dealing go-kart of 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved (although with substantially less Wil Wheaton).

In 2010, the year I attended E3, there was a Dead Rising chainsaw bike, a Gran Turismo 5 Ferrari, a Need for Speed Zonda and a TRON Lightcycle. (pics to prove it did happen!)

Surely, with all these drool-worthy vehicles just sitting around on the show floor, somebody must’ve considered pulling a heist of some kind. Large-scale vehicular larceny, anyone?

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Watch Dogs – partying like it’s 1984

On the basis of the above trailer, I can say that one of the games I’m most excited about in the coming year is one that I didn’t know existed until a few hours ago. Say hello to Watch Dogs, the new game from the folks over at Ubisoft Montreal. Here’s what I got from this astonishingly gripping video –

It’s Orwell by way of The Matrix, if they stopped off at Assassin HQ for a coffee with Prototype on the way.

It’s a gorgeous open-world game; so gorgeous, in fact, that it might very well be our first look at what the next generation of video games is going to look like.

It could be very, very special indeed; and I simply can’t wait to find out more. Luckily, there just so happens to be this expo thing going on…

(Check out the original announcement trailer after the break!)

 

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Quantic Dream + Ellen Page = Beyond: Two Souls. (Also, profit.)

So this is what Kara‘s going to be when she grows up.

As  David Cage reveals in the admittedly-long-but-still-extremely-watchable video above, Beyond: Two Souls is the name of Quantic Dream’s new project. From the included cinematic, it looks like it’s a return to the supernatural element that so dominated Indigo Prophecy; also, Beyond definitely looks like it’s more action-oriented than Heavy Rain was, but only time (and a gameplay trailer) will tell.

Ellen Page will play the part of Jodie Holmes, the protagonist; and while that looks like a very promising setup indeed, I can’t help but wish for some kind of role for Valorie Curry, who was jaw-dropping as Kara.

With no word on a release date yet, all we can do is wait. And watch that trailer repeatedly. There are worse ways to pass the time.

E3 2012 – Boom goes the dynamite!

Come, all ye faithful!

And the biggest carnival in gaming rolls round again. Hide your daughters (in other castles) and ready your nerd-rages – there’s nothing quite like E3.

Meet Troy Baker – you’ll be hearing a lot from him

Thierry Nguyen, over on Joystiq, has written this interesting article about Troy Baker, the up-and-coming name in the voice-acting industry. Hailed as the ‘new Nolan North’, Baker’s voice can be heard in games as diverse as Diablo 3, Final Fantasy XIII, Saints Row: The Third and Mass Effect 3; as well as the upcoming much-anticipated heavyweights BioShock: Infinite and The Last of Us. It’s a well-written look behind the scenes, and definitely worth a read.