Tag Archives: Xbox

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 17th MARCH – 23rd MARCH

Powers

Last year Sony announced that Sony Pictures were working on exclusive tv content for the Playstation. It has been unclear up until now what kinds of content Playstation owners could expect but it was finally announced this week that the first show will be a drama called Powers.

POWERS

The show is to be based on the police procedural graphic novel of the same title, which was written by Brain Michael Bendi and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming. There are to be ten episodes in total and we hope that it is successful, for while this content isn’t specifically related to videogaming, it is nice for providers to start creating content aimed directly at gamers. At the moment in terms of on demand titles there is very little mainstream content aimed at people who play games.

Powers

Steam this week also released the free to watch documentary called Free To Play. It follows the lives of three professional Dota 2 players in 2011, as they all compete for a $1 million prize. The documentary doesn’t focus too sharply on the details of DOTA and you don’t have to be an expert on the game in order to know what is going on. Instead the film uses the passion of each of the players to fill in any gaps, and each player’s backstory is just as intriguing as the competition itself. Free To Play also looks at the commercial success that eSports have seen in countries such as Korea and China as a result the documentary manages to explore many aspects of professional gaming which will appeal to a wide audience.

Free To Play

Sony and Steam aren’t the only ones providing custom made video content for their users. Microsoft have long been working on a large number of shows and  have even teamed up with Steven Spielberg who is producing a Halo series. A documentary series is also in the works that charts the legendary failure of the E.T. videogame by Atari.

E.T.’s sales were so bad in 1983 that according to urban legend Atari were forced to dispose of a huge number of the unsold cartridges by burying them in the desert.

ET Atari 2600

Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Interactive who are making the documentary want to excavate Alamogordo landfill in New Mexico looking for the buried chache of retro games. Unfortunately their excavation permit was denied on Thursday this week due to concerns of toxic substances that may be unearthed if the dig were to go ahead.

It’s fantastic to see Sony, Steam and Microsoft forge ahead with creating custom tv content for their audiences. For too long there has been little to no games coverage on TV in the UK, so now with the advent of on demand viewing it looks like gamers are finally going to receive the content that they have been denied for so long. You never know we might get really lucky and Games Master might see a revival.

Gamesmaster

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DIGESTIVE GAMING NEWS: 24TH FEBRUARY– 2ND MARCH

Kinect

This week has been a bit of a frightening one. Documents were leaked showing that GCHQ conducted an investigation into using our consoles against us, and Xbox Kinect was evaluated for use in spying on us in our own lounges. I had always suspected that Nintendo had managed to secrete a camera somewhere upon the Nintendo Wii, just to laugh at ridiculous westerners who were stupid enough to purchase a console named after a toilet technique, and play games that made players look like they were having an epileptic fit. GCHQ are a bit more menacing than Nintendo though and have motives for watching us other than pointing and laughing.

Between 2008 and 2010, a project with the codename Optic Nerve collected images of users through Yahoo’s webcam service. While it’s not certain whether the Kinect camera, or other camera’s for other consoles have been used. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden specifically mention that the camera within the Kinect device had been identified by GCHQ as a potential source of information.

Kinect

Rather than capturing terrorists, it seems GCHQ are more concerned with cultivating a huge databank of teenage boys wanking over characters such as Bayonetta. We can only imagine how excited they got when Lara Croft Tomb Raider Definitive Edition had been announced for Xbox One. That would grow their databases exponentially. GCHQ were probably also excited that they could open up a whole new specialist collection consisting of fat angry nerds crying whilst they beat off due to the realisation that Lara was only in 900p and not 1080p.

It’s just a bit of a shame that no one pointed GCHQ in the direction of Chat Roulette sooner because I can’t help but feel like it would have saved a lot of interns a lot of work and mental scarring.

Abe

In other dystopian news Fresh Meat released more screen shots for their upcoming remake of Abe’s Odysey. The game is called New ‘n Tasty and is a completely new ‘from the ground up’ rebuilding of the original with 3D visuals, silky smooth animation and improved music. In more Oddworld news, we also reviewed Stranger’s Wrath this week, which you can find here.

Nintendo Force also conducted an in depth interview with Fresh Meat in their January/February issue. You can see a brief overview of that issue here.

Sony Santa Monica

Abe’s not the only employee with an axe to grind this week either, Sony Santa Monica laid off an unspecified number of it’s employees after cancelling an unknown new triple A IP. Sony Santa Monica were the team behind the grisly, gore-tastic God of War, and whilst I am a huge fan of the series, the games haven’t changed a massive amount since their inception. Therefore it would have been great to see something completely new from the incredibly talented studio. Lord knows that the PS4 is crying out for exclusive killer IP at the moment. The Order: 1866 will only satiate so many for so long.

South Park

South Park fans in Europe also faced disappointment this week after Ubisoft announced that they would be censoring their own upcoming comedy RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth. At least two minutes of footage are to be greyed out with a description from Matt Stone and Trey Parker depicting the incredibly graphic imagery behind.

I can’t help but wonder whether this is a marketing ploy on the part of Ubisoft to drum up hype about the upcoming game. Rockstar can testify to just how well controversy sells videogames. A more recent example would be Senran Kagura, whilst a group of outspoken people were up in arms about the concept of two scantily clad school girls fighting one another, a less outspoken group of people were ordering the game in huge numbers sending Senran Kagura flying up the pre-order charts.

If Ubisoft truly are worried that the content is too graphic for gamers than I think that is an even bigger outrage than if it were just a cheap marketing trick. It’s a sad state of affairs if the videogame industry isn’t confident to explore subjects with the same amount of profanity as other media. If that’s the case, then Ubisoft have weakened videogame’s stance as a legitimate art form in the eyes of its critics.

Nintendo Wi-Fi

And finally, while GCHQ are looking to tap into people’s lives through their consoles, Nintendo are looking to disconnect them. Nintendo announced they will be turning off the Nintendo Wi-Fi service that allows players to play online with Nintendo DS’s and Nintendo Wii’s on the 20th of May.

This is a shame, but Nintendo will be relocating resources to strengthen services for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. With the release of Mario Kart 8 and the new Super Smash Bros. later this year, they are going to need quite a strong enough infra structure. Especially if Nintendo expect to provide a flawless service to the most complacent species on the planet. Gamers.

Review: Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is a title I have wanted to play since its initial release as an Xbox exclusive in 2005. Unfortunately, it came out in the same year as FEAR, Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4, so my first person shooter thirsts were more than adequately quenched by a sea of future classics.

I then meant to download it on Steam for PC, but it always seemed to be 
in the sales at the wrong time, lost amidst a digital dump of downloadable 
treasures. Then I noticed it on the Playstation Store. “Wow”, I thought. “I could play it on my PS3 and enjoy it as it was originally intended on a console”. But, getting off of the sofa, locating my credit card and engaging in a long
drawn out purchasing process without a keyboard and mouse seemed to be precisely the kind of hassle I intend to avoid when vegging out on the sofa 
like a rotting corpse.

Then I saw that it was available for PSVita, so when I was given 
some Playstation Store vouchers as a gift It seemed like the fates had aligned and I went ahead and purchased Stranger’s Wrath. Frustratingly, I wish I had bought it 9 years ago.

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath on the PSVita feels like a vintage wine that has aged past it’s best, and instead of enjoying it at it’s flavourful peak, it must be used as a vinegary dressing for a salad. Time and the porting process have not been kind. Graphically it is OK, although the Vita’s incredible OLED screen does highlight a few jagged areas and muddy textures.

For those not familiar with the game, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is the 
fourth title released in the Oddworld Universe. It follows the exploits 
of a bounty hunter called Stranger as he journeys through Oddworld trying to 
earn enough money to fund an apparently life saving operation. Now I 
must warn you that this review will contain spoilers, because it is impossible to give a reasonable critique without revealing a few plot elements. (Even then it’s impossible for me to offer a reasonable critique if we are painfully honest). So if you already have your mind made up and you are going to play this game or are already half way through maybe look away now, as I don’t want to ruin 
some of the game’s remaining impact.

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

There are gameplay techniques from wide ranging genres such as stealth 
titles, platformers and first person shooters. The action elements start off as great fun and the game’s weapons are ingenious. Stranger is armed with a crossbow that he can arm with a variety of critters, all with their own
unique effects. These range from fast firing hornets, exploding bats, 
electrified bugs and gaseous skunks.

Stranger, in typical bounty hunter fashion, must capture different criminals in a bid to gain more ‘Moolah,’ (the games equivalent to cash if you hadn’t 
figured out the subtle naming.) Players receive more money for capturing outlaws alive so some of the Critters will only incapacitate targets as opposed to rendering them inert with a violent explosive death. This is a nice way of rewarding players for skillful play and will cajole a few into playing through levels in a stealth like
fashion. Unfortunately, the rewards aren’t really big enough, and 
the gameplay isn’t as addictive as titles like Hitman where it’s possible to get 
sucked into replaying the same level in five different ways in an effort to achieve the best rating. It is possible to set traps for AI enemies by luring them under cranes before dropping huge shipping containers onto their heads, however these traps soon lose their appeal. Partly because it feels so staged and partly because the Critter that is used to entice enemies over to certain areas is so annoying, it’s a lot easier and just as much fun to run in, Boombat’s blazing.

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

About two thirds of the way through the game we learn that Stranger isn’t actually the species that he claimed to be and is actually a Steef. Steef have been hunted pretty much to extinction because the evil villain Sekto offers a small fortune for their heads. This means that Stranger is forced to team up with an indigenous tribe called the Grubbs who have been displaced by Sekto to bottle their water supply and sell it as expensive mineral water. At this stage in the game Stranger no longer needs to capture criminals for cash, instead any enemy that he captures is used as ‘Critter food’, essentially allowing the Critters to breed and give players more ammunition. Upgrades are also handed out at the end of each section by the Grubbs as a way of thanking the Stranger for his effort. As a result, exploration becomes completely unrewarded with little point as there is nothing to spend cash on and the Critters continuously copulate providing an endless ammunition supply.

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

If Stranger’s Wrath was a film it would be a mixture of Chicken Run, 
Serenity, Avatar and The Last of the Mohicans. While this description of the plot might seem faintly damning, the plot itself is actually the best part of the game, despite the negative impact it has on the gameplay. The overall themes of Industrilisation, Anti-Capitalism and Socialism that are present in all other Oddworld titles are all present here and despite there being a lack of Abe it’s obvious what universe Stranger’s Wrath takes place within. The humour at times does wear itself a little thin, especially when the sound-bites of The Chicken’s and the Grubb’s are concerned. After hearing the same phrase bleated out in the same annoying voice for the fifteenth time, you may find yourself searching for the nearest cushioned implement to stuff your ears.

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

The confused identity of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is amplified in the PSVita version through the controls. At times, the touch screen controls are well implemented. To switch from 3rd person to 1st person perspective all you need do is double tap the touch screen. This makes engaging in combat after a platforming section feel seamless. However, there are other times when it seems like the developer just forgot about the touch screen altogether. The menu screens in the stores for instance are impossible to properly navigate and it doesn’t seem like you are actually able to scroll down through all of the items on the list.

Age has not been kind to Strangers Wrath;  gameplay features that were new and daring at the time of it’s initial release seem diluted and rather than being a game with plenty of well implemented and established ideas, there is just a sense of confusion. There still isn’t really a game like it that I can think of and had I played Stranger’s Wrath back in 2005, it may have felt like a more complete package,

Oddworld Strangers Wrath

Wrath is by no means a bad game and I wouldn’t want to dissuade anyone from playing it, but if you are going to, please do so after getting in a time machine and taking a trip back to 2005. If this isn’t possible (and I have a feeling it isn’t, I’ve probably just been watching too much Dr. Who again and not taken my medication). Then pick up a copy for the Xbox, it’s cheaper on eBay than on the Playstation Store and you will end up with a nice box to clutter your shelf with. If you are really lucky, it will have come from a smoke free environment and won’t make your lounge smell like an old video rental store.

Score: 5/10

PSVita

Bought From:  Playstation Store

Digestive Gaming News 30th Jan – 2nd Feb 2014

This week Nintendo were reportedly set to announce that they would be releasing titles for tablets and smartphones. Mario on a phone? Prff, yeah right next it will be reported that Mario and Sonic are in the same game. What, oh yes ahem, they already are never mind.

nintendo

Nintendo were very quick to quash this rumour and while I can completely believe that Nintendo may release some sort of app for tablets and smartphones in the future that may expand the Miiverse or just deliver trailers and news, there is no way that Mario et al will officially end up on a mobile device that doesn’t contain Nintendo branding anytime soon. Those of us who are happy to play imperfect ports with terrible touch screen controls should have a google on the internet for this thing called an Emulator and stop bleating in internet forums. Its not Like Satoru Iwata doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Satoru Iwata

In fact, so confident is Iwata in his abilities at the helm of the worlds most beloved gaming company, he also announced this month that in the light of ailing sales he is willing to take a 50% pay cut until he has put Nintendo back on track. If only more CEO’s were as willing as Mr Iwata to take responsibility of their companies performance.

titanfall

Microsoft have had some exciting leaks and announcements of their own. A limited edition Titan Fall Xbox One, White Xbox One with 1tb HDD and a cheaper, optical drive-less Xbox One have all been touted as seeing gamers living rooms by the end of the year. Microsoft really could do with making a cheaper Xbox One, I’m not sure disc-less is the way forward though, but there is definitely room in the market for one without the Kinnect nonsense included.

Microsoft have also managed to acquire the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games and stated that they have already farmed out the series to Black Tusk studio to work on the latest sequel.

319951

The Xbox One definitely needs to get some exciting exclusive content under its belt, out of the current library I count… no titles, absolutely nothing worth forking out over £400. To be fair the PS4 only slightly edges ahead with Killzone bearing the slightest resemblance of anything interesting to me but then I’m a sucker for an average fps with eye smashingly intense visuals.

I’m not sure another Gears of War is required, I can’t help but feel like the prequel was a title too far for the franchise as the trilogy was so perfectly rounded off with GoW3 and the gameplay was already starting to become slightly repetitive. It’s funny how Nintendo are currently receiving a complete kicking from ‘hardcore gamers,’ about the Wii U not having enough original titles and launching without a Mario title, but its perfectly acceptable for Microsoft to launch a console without their spiritual mascot the Masterchief, and a catalogue of titles that has less originality than a TV show pitch from Simon Cowell.

Epic followed up the Gears announcement with a statement of their own as they felt the need to remind us they still make games and not just tech demo’s to sell the latest games consoles, mobile phones or tablets. And whilst they certainly do a better job at shifting the latest tech than Michael Bay, apparently there’s this online shooter called Fortnite that has been in development the last couple of years that Team Fortress fans might want to check out.

fortnite

The forums would also like us to believe that Sony gave Nintendo a good kicking this month by buying the manufacturing plant that makes the DRAM chips found in the Wii U, and it was also announced that the PS4 was the fastest selling console in the UK of 2013. Nintendo is hardly quaking in its boots, the 3DS was the BIGGEST selling console in the UK of 2013 and lets face it, I’m pretty sure Nintendo has enough of a back log of Wii U’s to give them enough time to source a new supplier of DRAM chips.

Vamers-Tomb-Raider-2013-Lara-Croft-Injured

Not content with troubling Nintendo though, the Sony fan boys were crowing over those daft enough to blow over £400 on the latest Xbox one. Because not only is the Xbox one’s pricing strategy under scruple, so is Lara Croft who apparently looks a lot prettier on the PS4 than the Xbox one. Surely anyone who cares has already played Tomb Raider Lara Croft by now due to the extensive amount of times its been on special offer on steam, Live, PSN and even given away as a free title with GPU’s. Also, lets remember graphics don’t make a game, gameplay does. Lara I hope you are reading this, just remember I will always love you no matter what you look like and however many frames per second you run in.