Archive for Games Journalism

Tennis Video, Watsky & Writing

I’ve been on a bit of a filming binge recently. I recently recorded some thoughts on Watsky’s first UK show (which was excellent) and then at the weekend, some tennis action complete with shaky cam. I also put some pen to paper for one of the most personal gaming articles I’ve written. A while ago I wrote and semi-lamented that I was coming out the other side of my gaming habit, but oddly my grandfather’s passing helped bring me back.

It seems, as the article suggests, despite an increase in gaming activity, I’m still finding more time to still play tennis regularly, learn Italian, sell stuff on eBay, socialise loads and go to the cinema most weeks. Maybe it’s helped me realise that it wasn’t gaming that was taking up my time, but refreshing the same websites over and over again.

Oh, I also bought a new camera lens, but more on when that arrives.

Discussing Halo and its appeal / lack of

News image

A while ago I asked  Twitter what it thought of Halo and whether users were fans. The responses I got gifted me a a lightbulb moment – this is obviously a game that totally divided people. Marmite gaming you could say. So I wrote a feature on Halo and tried to draw a conclusion of just why it did this to people. This feature in fact. Head on over to Strategy Informer for a read.

The other camp sees it as mediocrity personified. A simplistic shooter with repetition as its drive. It oozes faeces from its pores. Master Grief. Every single cash-cow edition of the series damns it to gaming hell.

Ugly or understated beauty? Refined gunplay or Fisher Price shooting? Goosebump evoking score or aural abuse?

What did Halo do to receive such criticism? It’s no different from any other popular gaming series. Could it be the exclusivity – the faith in the Xbox brand? Traditionally single platform games take the most flak. Haze, Killzone, Halo – they’re there to divide gamers. Halo is the Grand Canyon of gaming – a deep gash across popular opinion.

Crimson Alliance – XBLA Dungeon Crawling

I’ve written about my love of Torchlight and Titan Quest previously, so having a go at Crimson Alliance, the latest XBLA dungeon crawler for Strategy Informer made sense. Despite its sub-standard graphics (obviously my opinion), I had a blast. I’ve played through the campaign almost twice – that’s testament for the game. Anyway, my review is here and the usual quick quote:

With everyone focussed on October and November’s packed release calendar, Crimson Alliance is the perfect game to squeeze in before gaming gets busy again. It’s also a great title to return to when you’ve got fifteen minutes to kill, and kill you will.

Bioshock: Rapture Review

Courtesy of Gamasutra

Remember this? Well, here’s the review I was talking about – I’m actually quite pleased with the quality of writing. The book’s good, but nothing more – it’s certainly a decent read and one that’s perfect for public transport.

While on the topics of games, how awesome does the debut trailer for Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines look?

Bioshock – Rapture

Courtesy of Gamasutra

I should hate anything like Bioshock – Rapture, the latest book tie-in from John Shirley. I did English Literature after all, a high-class degree that taught me methods of critique, analysis and written eloquence. Then again, I enjoy relaxing with mindless entertainment more often than not, and Rapture is just that. It cleverly, if sometimes hurriedly, pieces together a back story of Bioshock’s sunken city.

The game’s a fantastic piece of art – and yes, very few games can be given that title. It’s wonderful to read more narrative in such a rich universe. I won’t spoil the full review that’ll appear on Xboxer360 soon, but I enjoyed the book.


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