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Interactive Texts (VG article)

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Gamers are positioned as active “participants” in the narratology and ludology of video games, as well as “consumers” of gaming media. This dynamic signifies how fluid the cultural understanding of video games is, with some gamers interpreting them as an interactive artform (or texts), while others view them in purely mechanical, gameplay terms. And like all creative modes (cinema, music, design), video games are part of a highly competitive industry that, at the...

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Sweeney Todd (film review)

Posted on February 10, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Set in the filthy streetscapes of Victorian London, Sweeney Todd (Tim Burton, 2005) might be described as a “horror musical”, revolving around themes of revenge, cannibalism and hairdressing. The film, like most of Burton’s work, is black humoured and extravagantly gothic. All of the characters, from Depp’s blood-thirsty barber, to Rickman’s sadistic Judge Turpin, are deathly pale, with black rings around their eyes. The city of London is a nightmaris...

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Xenoblade and The Last Story to be localised in the West (VG article)

Posted on June 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Fantastic news for Wii owners came today. After I whined a couple of weeks back about there being very little on the horizon for Wii owners, Nintendo have today confirmed that long-awaited titles Xenoblade and The Last Story (previously only available in Japan) will be given a European release. Xenoblade will also be made available to American gamer...

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Duke Nukem Forever finally arrives (VG article)

Posted on June 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

After almost a decade and a half in development hell, the elusive Duke Nukem Forever has finally been released onto an unwitting public. The sequel to 1996's Duke Nukem 3D was dogged by delays, poor management, layoffs, and unrealistic expectations, and has been regarded as vapourware for the past few years, until it was suddenly released last week. And after 14 years being made, critics are wondering what was done during the other 13 and half.No-one expected the game would be a masterpiece, ...

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Nintendo's E3 Press Conference 2011 (VG article)

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I was little let down by Nintendo offering at this year’s E3. They didn't reveal any new games for the Wii; just another Zelda trailer, which actually managed to look worse than the 2010 trailer. The 3DS lineup looks great, with a new Super Mario and Luigi's Mansion previewed, but I'm not a really handheld gamer. And Nintendo's newly unvealed console, the WiiU, is intriguing, but that won't be out for at least a year, and even then the software lineup will be thin. The system features a...

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Gamer Embarrassment (VG article)

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I found this article about why it’s still not cool to admit you’re a gamer, and I found it quite interesting. I'd actually have to agree with most of its points. I'm not really embarrassed to tell people I play video games (though I don't think I'd refer to myself as a "gamer"), it just doesn't come up all that much. And there's no point talking about video ...

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The Appeal of Modern Warfare (VG article)

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

With the impending release of Battlefield 3, the growing hatred for the Call of Duty series has reached a boiling point. Gamers (including myself) are continually flawed by each gameplay video of this upcoming title, with a host of gaming bloggers and YouTubers declaring Battlefield 3 the “COD killer”. While I feel COD gets a harsh wrap amongst gamers, I can sympathise with their distain. Like Tony Hawk and G...

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"Anonymous" Responsible for the PSN Outages? (VG articles)

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Apparently Sony posted a message that “an outside party” may be responsible for the PSN outages (which could last another couple of days). And this message was posted by the Anonymous Facebook page:

 

"Take a break from online gaming for a while... it will help your skills, your health, and your emotional levels, which by the way are a bit out of order if they are being shackled by the PSN being down. We have no qualms about our actions, even though it may affect ...

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Resident Evil 5 (VG review)

Posted on April 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Resident Evil 5 is tricky game to critique. On its own, it's a perfectly enjoyable and engaging action horror game. The visuals look superb, and the level of detail in the environments really helps immerse you in the storyline. The enemies are creepy and suitably threatening (as zombies should be), and the soundtrack creates a real sense of nervous tension. However, the game is part of a series, and the fact that it borrows so liberally from the previous installment really hurts the experienc...

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Donkey Kong Country Returns - Thoughts, Frustrations & Triumphs! (VG article)

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

So I started playing this game about a week ago, and I was really enjoying it, but I was kind of disappointed how bananas and lives weren't really as important as they were in the original DKC games. The original game in particular forced you beat about three levels at a time, before you could save your progress, and lives reset to 4 once you turned off the console. In DKCR however, you kept your lives; you could buy more lives; and the game saved automatically. The actual gameplay was fun an...

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Shooter Showdown: Modern Warfare 2 v Black Ops (VG article)

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I beat Black Ops last year and I actually just bought Modern Warfare 2 a few weeks ago, and I have to say, I much prefer MW2. The visuals are crisper and cleaner; the levels are better designed and more detailed; and the weapons and gadgets are much cooler. The campaign in BO is probably more interesting and certainly longer, but I felt it was too linear, with too many quick-time events, like the dev's were funneling you along this prescribed path and you were just going through motions. The ...

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What's the Point of "GOTY" Editions? (VG article)

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I can’t seem to figure out the appeal of these re-released game packs. The ones I've seen just include a bunch of new maps/costumes that can be downloaded online, anyway. Am I missing something? I'm assuming you're a huge fan of the series because you're planning on getting the DLC before even playing it, but that also means you're going to have to restrain yourself from buying/playing the next installment in that franchise, possibly for 12 months. It's like a strange kind of torture. S...

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Using Headphones for Gaming (VG article)

Posted on January 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Recently I've noticed how little I actually use the TV speakers while playing games. I always use headphones, even for movies. I find that it creates a much nicer atmosphere; it's more immersive, you can detect all of the subtle sound queues that would be lost in speakers, and it blocks out unwanted noise. It also helps you focus a lot more on what is going on on-screen, since the audio isn't being filtered. I suppose if I had a surround sound system it would be even more immersive, but those...

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Component Cables in Department Stores (VG article)

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Has anyone noticed that department stores like K-Mart and Target refuse to hook up their video game displays using anything higher than composite cables. The Wii and 360 don't seem to suffer too badly, but if you blow up video from a PS3 onto a widescreen LCD, using composite cables, then things are going to look nasty. I was playing an Infamous demo the other day, and the graphics seriously looked like they were pulled straight out of Grand Theft Auto 3. It looked like Vaseline had been smea...

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Shooter Showdown: GoldenEye 007 v Metroid Prime (VG article)

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

That's a tricky one. Obviously GoldenEye 007 is the more influential game, as it created many of the conventions of modern day first-person shooters, and practically revolutionised the genre, but being a 12 year old game, it holds up nowhere near as well as Metroid Prime does. GoldenEye has a brilliant multiplayer and an engaging, challenging single-payer experience (certainly longer than contemporary incarnations like Modern Warfare). Unfortunately, as FPS's are the dominant genre these days...

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The Wii Horizon (VG article)

Posted on September 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Now that we’re in the homestretch of 2010, a sad thought occurs to me. There is very little to get excited about on the horizon for the Wii. Apart from the new Donkey Kong and Zelda (which do look brilliant), I'm kinda apathetic to every upcoming Wii title. Epic Mickey could be good, but the E3 demonstration was pretty dull. The 2D section looked fun, but the 3D sections were very unimpressive. I guess nothing is ever going to live up to that incredible concept art we first saw. I thoug...

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Metroid: Other M disappointment (VG article)

Posted on September 11, 2010 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The real disappointment in this game is the script. It is horrendous, on a writing level and on an acting level. I don't know whether the dialogue was lost in translation or something, but it is just excruciating to sit through this melodramatic mess. Characters repeat the same lines over and over again, saying 20 words where 3 would do. It's not quite as self-indulgent as the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's pretty damn close. Samus talks in Metroid: Other M. In fact, the problem is, she do...

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Finishing Metroid Prime 2/Thoughts on the Trilogy (VG article)

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

So I got the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Christmas last year. I beat Prime 1 (one of my fave games of all time) in about 7 days, with 100% scans/items). And then moved on with great anticipation to Echoes (which I had never played). Sadly though, I didn't find it nearly as engaging an experience. It took me almost a month of playing bits and pieces of it to complete the first level (Agon Wastes). I found the environments dull and claustrophobic (a far cry from the lush terrain and wide open spa...

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A Bittersweet Life (film review)

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A Bittersweet Life (Ji-woon, 2005) is a South Korean gangster flick that manages to transcend its own genre. Like John Woo’s The Killer, it is firmly routed in revenge/action territory, but just when you think you’ve got the film pegged, it springs into these moments of pure poetry. “Crime opera” may be a more suitable term to describe it, as the film combines stunning cinematography and gorgeous choreographed fight scenes, with one of the most mesmerizing film scores ...

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Did Deus Ex predict 9/11? (VG article)

Posted on August 12, 2010 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This may be a bit of an old topic, but according to Wikipedia, the PC games Deus Ex, released in 2000, accurately predicted the destruction of the Twin Towers at the hands of terrorists. The image of the towers was apparently removed from the game due to texture limitations, but the idea of their destruction in the near future was still written into the games narrative.

 

I'm no conspiracy nut, but that's kind of amazing. People talk about these vague predictions made by the ...

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