Reasons why PC Gaming isn’t dead in 2011 – Part 1.

So here we are in 2011 – another sparkly New Year and PC gaming is still chugging along in the wake of those shiny consoles with their spanking new motion controllers and glistening awards. But in this article and my others beyond it, I’m going to be highlighting reasons why PC gaming’s time is far from over, and how this year is going to see it thrash console gaming into submission. To start with lets talk about those games that carried PC Gaming over into 2011:

Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 – the only game, that to me, really dragged PC gaming back from the brink in 2010 and into a bold new competitive gaming spotlight. Unlike in Korea, Starcraft 2 isn’t anything close to a national sport in the UK, so my dealings of the game used to be non-existent, what with me being an FPS junky and all… I was too busy enjoying the plethora of good competitive games like Unreal Tournament, CounterStrike and Quake 3. None of this ‘thinking’ bollocks.

Then I discovered it. Starcraft 2 was my first experience of a clean, polished and cinematically stunning RTS game. I’ve dabbled in Command and Conquer before. But this was something different. It was special. It felt like a distant relative that I’d been brought up hearing great tales of, coming home to roost and living up to the hype. It was slick, suave and had a deep history that meant those that knew about the Starcraft universe could teach you about how to properly enjoy it. What a fascinating community I had stumbled across!

It’s helped spawn my utter adoration and respect for

http://www.youtube.com/user/day9tv

and enjoyed the brilliant

This game is continually growing and evolving as new patches fix and change the way the game is played. It’s also getting modded to hell, and some of the stuff that I see are nothing short of separate games in their own right.

Starcraft 2 was an explosive way to announce the re-emergence of wider PC gaming and how it could still suck every drop of your life from your body.

Minecraft

Yes I know, everyone is bleating on about Minecraft these days. I was a sceptic at first – dead against this new phenomenon. But since I’ve played it, I’ve thought ‘screw it’. Minecraft is a social sensation! Videos of the game with millions of hits – what with its crude pixelated graphics – is not something I saw coming. It was a refreshing change from some kid commentating on some awful console footage of Call of Duty.

Playing this game brought back my love for all things menial and pointless. I got all nostalgic of those days I used to spend hours mining away on runescape. I went into Minecraft blind, I just bought it on a whim. I saw it everywhere and decided to jump on the band wagon. The first 20 minutes was a bit of a blur. I was like a fish out of water, dropped in this world created just for me. I was scurrying about smashing everything I could with my fists. It was like some euphoric roid rage. Obliterating everything I could with my pink stumps.  Little did I know I was up against the clock – a clock that was as unforgiving as I was when let loose in the airport terminal in Modern Warfare 2. It wasn’t long before a creeper blew me up.

After a few sleepless nights, hiding in a mud hole peering out of a single block waiting for sunlight, I had finally gotten used to this curfew set by the damned. Minecraft is now how I wind down the end of my weekdays. Like an old episode of the A-team, I disappear into a cave and emerge covered in armour, wielding my bow and arrow. I gun down everything in my path like some oppressed traveller wanting to squat in peace.

Sometimes I don’t even play the game. I just watch people’s adventures on the internet, such as these from the lovely fellows over at Yogcast

or the infuriatingly popular SeaNanners. Here is a man that could play minesweeper and talk about it for hours, and I would still watch.

Next time, I will discuss how the goliaths that are steam are thwarting pirates, and how they and other developers are pushing the boundaries of gaming.

If you Enjoyed this then please tweet this article, it keeps me warm at night.

Why 2011 is the Year for Thinking Man’s Games

Action games have had their time. First person shooters are starting to stagnate. Gamers’ minds are craving more to tease and tantalise their intellects – luckily for them though, 2011 has them covered. We’re declaring 2011 to be the year of games for the thinking gamer. Why? Take a look at some of the below:

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire Logo

Oh Rockstar, you never let us down. If you’re not trailblazing with titles such as GTA and Red Dead, you’re cooking up something groundbreaking such as L.A. Noire. It should be out this year – Spring 2011 – we hope. And if it does drop down in the first quarter, we’ll be treated to a real crime thriller where we have to use our brains as detectives to solve some grizzly 1940s murders. We’re confident that Team Bondi are going to create something that really fries our noodles – Heavy Rain meets GTA? Let’s hope so…

LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2

The legacy left by Media Molecule’s is there for all to see. Custom levels aplenty all over YouTube and accessible for all to play – I must admit though, being a terrible dunce and lacking any kind of imagination at all meant that I had some difficulty in crafting something of any worth in the first LittleBigPlanet that wasn’t big, throbbing and utterly hilarious. That seems to have been addressed for schmucks like me though in the sequel, and with the ability to create actual games instead of levels, those of you with creative talent – as displayed by viggie42G in the below video – are going to be utterly spoiled for choice.

Patapon 3

Patapon 3 logo

Let’s give some love to the much-maligned PSP. What, there’s going to be a third Patapon?? It’s not too surprising if you haven’t heard – the second one, though improving on the first, went largely unnoticed which we don’t feel is exactly fair for such a wonderful brain-bending puzzler. Patapon has a knack of getting in behind your spine and kicking it until you get your tactics spot on. The third is likely to do the same, all to a generous, healthy rumba beat that gets you shaking those titties and wiggling that ass.

Portal 2

Portal 2 box art

The return of GLaDOS. The first Portal split our skulls wide open, releasing all the moths trapped inside. But our brains needed a spring clean anyway – Portal was one of those games that gave you a satisfying burst of happiness after you’d completed it, beating everything that miserable machine-woman thing laid out in front of you. Portal 2 is no doubt going to torture us again and put us through the mill, especially if we have to go co-op and rely on our dumb-ass mates to help us out now and then. But what we’re really looking to is how the puzzles are going to make use of the new weapons. Tractor beams, lasers and a portal gun? Big ol’ brainy bliss points right there!

Minecraft

Minecraft logo

OK, so this is a bit of a cheat. I’m very well aware that Minecraft has been on the scene since 2009. But Minecraft has been something of a very slow burner – its fame and scope is only just starting to be realised thanks to the efforts of those who play it and its fantastic community. The church of Minecraft is starting to get notice thanks to YouTube virals and media plaudits. We predict a mainstream Minecraft explosion in 2011 and a fully-completed version. Minecraft is the ultimate thinking man’s game. Download it now, gogogo!

2010, and the Sexual Liberation of Female Game Characters

Whilst 2010 will be remembered as a wonderful year for gaming, we at NAGF will highlight it for another reason. To us, 2010 was the year when the female of the species entered a new state of gaming sexual liberation, with all sorts of saucy scenes gracing our screens. Phewf!

We’re big fans of women’s rights and liberation and all, but last year seemed to be the time when developers gave characters of the lady persuasion power to use their sexuality in a context we haven’t quite seen before in the general gaming sense. Er… we’re not really complaining at all – we’re also sure the developers didn’t have to take too long in deciding to shoehorn sexual content into their games. After all, sex sells, right?

So which lady used her sexuality the most and to what effect to reach their goals in 2010? Well, let’s take a look:

Errr, oh yeah. SPOILERS BELOW and shit.

Juri

Juri Super Street Fighter 4

“She is an untamed animal who seeks to destroy and consume all that enters her sight…She has altered her own body in her insatiable quest for power. She respects no law. No morality. She does whatever it takes to achieve her goals and quench her limitless thirst.”

Well, so says Seth anyway. There’s also another side to the darkness that is Juri. A playful side, especially when she comes up against Chun-Li and Cammy – she accuses Chun-Li of ‘having a schoolgirl crush on her in a very seductive manner and flirts outrageously with anyone else she comes up against.

Juri completes a number of firsts during her appearance in Super Street Fighter IV. She’s the series’ first Taekwondo user, the first Korean, and possibly the first lesbian. We can’t really tell – maybe it’s just down to her evil motivations that she’ll break any boundary she has there is to succeed. Juri combines her power and fighting ability with intense sexuality – we have no doubt that, even though she hates Bison’s guts, she’d still do the business to get to the top of S.I.N.

(Below video courtesy of Nixel85)

Aphrodite

Aphrodite God of War 3

A tough one this because, as Kratos, you have a choice whether to fall for Aphrodite’s seduction or not on your first meeting. God of War III leaves little to the imagination when you first walk into Aphrodite’s chamber. There she is, sprawled on the bed with two lady lovers. We’re not too sure what happens next because our glasses steam up.

Insatiable, Aphrodite bends Kratos’s ear about her lame old husband, and demands that Kratos ‘take her now’ to fulfil her desires for a real man. Which Kratos duly does if you press ‘X’ and complete the following mini-game, while her two friends watch. Kratos can go back whenever he wishes for more, but in our eyes, it’s more the power of Aphrodite that holds firm here. She’s the only one with the power to pull Kratos off his bloodthirsty quest for vengeance, no matter how brief. She well and truly has the God of War by the nuts. You go girl!

(Below video is utter filth, and entirely NSFW)


God of War 3 – Sex Mini Game
Uploaded by prelude326. – Discover more gaming videos.

The Bailey Twins

Bailey Twins Dead Rising 2

Video after video on YouTube describes Dead Rising 2‘s Amber and Chrystal Bailey as psychopathic lesbians. Which is odd because we’re sure they’re sisters. Whatever they are, they’re certainly of the affectionate… er… psychopathic type. Their sexuality also seems to stem from the masochistic school of being a slutty bitch – they’re plain horrible to Chuck in every single encounter and use everything in their vocabularies to demean the poor fellow.

Bumping into Chuck after leaving an elevator, Chrystal comments that she was disappointed with Chuck’s performance on ‘Terror is Reality’, but he ‘must hear that a lot’ (cow). Later on, during the boss battle, other snide remarks pop up such as ‘looks like you can’t keep it up’ and some crude insinuations in the initial pre-fight cutscene that he has a small willy and can’t satisfy anyone with his small willy. Ouch.

Whatever their reasons/upbringing, the Bailey Twins know exactly how to use their sensuality to get what they want. Though they eventually end up dead. And you can batter them to death with a dildo. Go figure…

Kim Pines

Did you know that having a same-sex relationship can restore your health? Well, it does if you’re Kim Pines and live in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World world.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the below video where Kim and Knives Chau share a health-restoring smooch:

Not convinced? Then how about:

Kim Pine and Knives

Hipsters…

Commander Shepard

If you decide to have a female Shepard then your sexual power is boundless across the galaxy, and you get the chance to flirt with anyone in a totally awesome bisexual manner. Bored with having to choose between the train crash that is Thane, or the face-like-a-bag-full-of-chisels that is Garrus? Then send some saucy emails to Kelly Chambers or get (nearly) personal with Samara. Or some strippers.

(Above video by Barthezzcz)

Commander Shepard is the epitome of galaxy-wide female interspecies sexuality, and she uses it to great effect in Mass Effect 2 – if you play your cards right. Commander Shepard’s experiences are a lot more spiritual and personal than Aphrodite’s for instance, which indicates that Mass Effect 3 is going to be an emotionally-charged rollercoaster that will – ah hell, my glasses have steamed up again…

NAGF’s Top Ten Gaming Characters Over the Last Ten Years

What a decade it’s been! As gamers we’ve been well and truly spoiled for choice across all genres. There’s been so many games released, so many franchises created that it didn’t feel right or fair to do a top ten poll and choose any one winning game character or a favourite. They’re all winners, and any of the below could easily have romped to top spot.

So, in the spirit of things, we’ve just picked ten characters who stuck in our mind most during the past decade and who we’d love to be friends with in real life. Master Chief isn’t in there though cause we aint really fans of Halo, hyuck hyuck! So, without further adoSPOILERSBELOW:

John Marston

John Marston

Ol’ Marston only made his debut this year, but his immediate impact and take-no-prisoners attitude has seen him earn a place in our top ten. Though he could be a bit boring at times, whining about his brat of a kid and whore of a wife, he showed wisdom beyond his years on certain missions and was a dab hand at shooting people right between the eyes. John Marston made the wild west cool again for a whole new generation.

Solid Snake

Solid Snake

Not so much for his work in the cutscene-heavy Metal Gear Solid 4, which frankly bored us to tears at times, but more for a solid decade where his character fleshed out across various consoles and genres. Smash Brothers, you say? Snake’s impact on the gaming universe has been immense over the last decade, even when he was fighting immortal, nanomachine-huffing ballet boys. Surely he won’t be around for another ten years?

Captain Price

Captain Price

We’re talking mutton-chopped Captain Price of Modern Warfare fame here. He felt like a genuine father figure, but was crazy enough to deploy an EMP over the land of the free. All-action and driven by instinct, Captain Price was a well thought-out, very real hero that, sadly, the press doesn’t pick up on in these tough times. There’s thousands of Captain Prices out there, risking their lives on daily basis. Captain Price made it all seem a bit closer to home.

Frank Fontaine/Atlas

Atlas Bioshock

Frank gave us one of the greatest gaming twists in history in Bioshock with his wordplay. When we found out ‘Would you kindly?’ was being used to control our actions all along, our jaws fell to the floor along with our controllers. Which we had to pick up again pretty quickly to kill Andrew Ryan. As a final boss Fontaine may have been pretty run-of-the-mill, but the build up stayed with us long after we saw it, and we underline it as an excellent example of just how powerful video game scriptwriting can be.

Gordon Freeman Ph.D.

Gordon Freeman

Yeah he’s a theoretical physicist, but you have to admit, he makes… er… theoretical physics look pretty damn badass! The whole universe and its wife is against Gordon, but despite that he’s still alive and kicking – though we can’t imagine it’s much fun living without a voice. Combine-kicking resistance freedom fighter, Gordon offers hope to scientists everywhere that they too one day might be cool enough to wear a pair of Oliver Peoples glasses.

GLaDOS

GLaDOS

The only machine to make the list, Portal’s Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System has inspired some creepy-looking hentai fan art since she appeared on the scene in 2007. But then again GLaDOS herself is pretty odd in the head department too, having killed her creators after a mouse chewed through her AI bits and bobs. Nah, not really, but to us GLaDOS is the future of artificial intelligence and computer morality. We can’t wait to see how ape shit she goes in Portal 2…

Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson

CJ Johnson

Niko was going to go in, but then we remembered how much more fun we had as CJ in San Andreas, pumping iron and embarking on savage turf wars in a quest to avenge our moms. CJ encapsulates everything we love about GTA, and while we love the fourth instalment the realism was just too much. Give us CJ jumping out of a plane any day with a parachute strapped to his back before wasting some foos bouncing their vee-hickles in front of our house.

Alma off F.E.A.R

Alma F.E.A.R

Bloody weirdo…

The Joker

The Joker

Heath Ledger’s Joker was good, but Mark Hamill’s version in Batman: The Animated Series knocked our socks off in the 90s and blew us away again in 2009. Hamill has a natural affinity with the character – we’re certain that if someone else was cast to do his voice then Arkham Asylum wouldn’t nearly have been as intense and captivating. Excusing the crap boss battle at the end, Joker’s chatter over the PA system from start to finish was engrossing. As Batman, we had to take him down. Arkham City can’t come soon enough.

Kratos

Kratos

Kratos has been on one hell of a mission over the last decade, and it’s that determination which helped him slaughter thousands of innocents within his wake. His approach is vulgar, bloody and brutal, but hey, it got him results! A chain-whipping, spell-casting bad boy of the highest honour, he literally went through the depths of Hell itself thanks to the same single-minded stubbornness usually displayed by a nan or girlfriend. With his appearance confirmed for the upcoming Mortal Kombat remake, we’re certain that Kratos has another ten-or-so years of mileage left in his tank. Hats off to you, Ghost of Sparta!

The Best Games of 2010, and the Dullest Google News Stories

There’s all sorts of top 10s and 20s all over the internet at the moment, all of which crowning the same this and lauding the same old that. So we’ve decided to be a little bit different here at NAGF, and the chances are that you probably won’t like it!

We hang around Google News a lot, picking on some of the smaller, fatter kids who wander past. We also hang out there with some of the biggest titles on the best consoles, but secretly, when it’s their turn in the search bar, we laugh at them behind their backs at some of the crap stories they throw up.

So without further ado, here are some of our favourite games of 2010, and some of the shit associated with them on Google News:

Heavy Rain

The game:

Heavy Rain

An intense, multi-choice psychological thriller where literally anything can happen. Engrossing and wonderfully acted, this is one of the very few games we’ve played this from start to finish without moving our eyes from the screen.

The Google News:
Google News for Heavy Rain

‘Campers caught out by heavy rain’. Something about a storm in New Zealand. Or something. Zzz…

Fallout: New Vegas

The game:
Fallout: New Vegas

The follow-up to the awesome Fallout 3, where an incredible amount of glitches and bugs set the scene for some amazing exploration and combat situations. What makes it so good? That said glitches and bugs haven’t stopped it from flying off the shelves or damaging consumer trust.

The Google News:
Google News Fallout

‘Local fallout’. People can’t fly from JFK airport because of the snow/something else deathly dull.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

The game:

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

A blistering, critically-acclaimed Gran Turismo 5 killer, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit goes back to its roots and gets the pigs back in on the action. Let the dog see the rabbit, my ol’ son…

The Google News:
Gary Speed Google News

‘Pritchard’s need for speed’. Gary Wales has been appointed national manager of the Welsh football team. Yacky da.

Vanquish

The game:
Vanquish

High-octane cold war robot shooting and that. Shit-hot suits and spastically-fast situations lead to a compelling – if desperately short – Christmas day sit down in front of the telly.

The Google News:
Vanquish Google News

‘AP High Court vanquish Dubai based Emaar properties’. Buh?!

Fable III

The game:
Fable III

Completing the Fable trilogy, the third instalment gives you greater choice than ever before and further scope to expand on your surroundings however you wish. Something to really invest an enormous amount of your life into.

The Google News:
Fable Google News

YES! GET IN THERE.

Our Five Favourite Fallout: New Vegas Glitches

OK, so the first few weeks after launch were hardly ideal for Fallout: New Vegas. Complaints, moans and demands for a patch were almost instantaneous – and with good reason!

But we think that’s part of the charm of a game the size of New Vegas. A project that size is never going to be perfect, and unless the bug is something so severely game-breaking then more often than not they tend to be downright hilarious.

There’s been sufficient time now since the game’s launch for YouTube to be crammed full of user videos. So after spending another weekend hungover, we dug up the following five glitches that tickled our funny bones the most:

The Horrific Death of Joe Cobb

Convict leader Joe Cobb has probably had it coming to him for a long time (depending on your karma), but by anyone’s standards this death is pretty brutal. Uploader Torley decided to smack Joe in the face with his boxing gloves. Instead of hitting the deck like any normal victim of actual bodily harm, Cobb instead turns into a flurry of jerking limbs, spazzing across the daylight sky like a complete and utter moron.

To Infinity, and Beyond!

TeamLAG have found a way to leave the confines of the New Vegas universe itself, jump into the ocean beyond and swim away to freedom. If you count wallowing in infinite toxic sludge as freedom.

The Terror Within Boulder City

Now this one’s just bloody horrible! Apparently spotted by a gentleman called ‘Luff’ – er, or maybe a lady? – the below gives you instructions on how to activate the most dreadful of glitches in Boulder City on the PC version, giving yourself nightmares for all eternity and beyond.

Clone Benny’s Crucifixion

What the…

The Amazing, Indestructible Siamese Triplet

Our favourite by a country mile. As L1games says in the video description: ‘Just cause glitches are fun.’

Why You Need to be Good at Fighting, Not Writing, if you Want to be a Games Journo

Gran Turismo 5 Embargo
Press hat

Public relations. Diplomacy. Fighting fires. But when do I get to play some gaaaaames?

The real life of the games journalist is all about liaising with the opposition and becoming their friend. Proving to them that you have a publication worthy of an exclusive and that you have a big enough circulation to warrant a drip-feed of jaw-dropping screenshots.

And why shouldn’t they demand that? They have a job to do, after all. Game publishing houses are sales driven, it’s their job to maximise product sales and outsell the competition.

But proper journalism gets lost amongst that, especially against scandalous rumours of embargo-busting early positive review scores. But that’s partly the fault of publications – especially amateur ones – who bow to the pressure and contribute to such a massive Catch 22.

It’s the most vicious of vicious circles, though. How can a magazine on the shelves hope to corner a slice of the market and shift copies if they don’t have an exclusive on the cover that shits all over everything else on the stands?

It’s endemic across publishing houses worldwide, and the only real victim is the content itself. Well, the consumer too if the case of Gran Turismo 5 is to be rolled out. An embargo until the day it hit the shelves? That doesn’t benefit anybody bar the pockets of the assholes who demanded it.

Gran Turismo 5 EmbargoHow could anyone pre-embargo know that there isn’t much sheer driving pleasure to be had?

The goalposts can’t be changed will-nilly, and there surely has to be a defining break somewhere along the line (hopefully the best thing that can come from the recession). But for all the schmoozing and friendliness of it all when it’s all going right, the cold shoulder when review code falls short of expectations is horrible, and shows why games journos need lessons and guidance in tact and caution as well as in how to make a judgement about a game.

It’s not a case of a game landing on your desk, reviewing it and telling the world how good or bad it is. Jobs and lives are at stake. That may sound dramatic, but if a young developer is working for somebody and the reception for a game is negative, they’ll more than likely get the chop and move on. Er, unless you work on Dynasty Warriors and have license to churn them out every other week…

It leads to a situation that feels almost openly incestuous. Everybody knows it happens, but what can you do? Games journalism is one of those dream jobs. If some daft bastard is going out of their way to pay you for doing it, you get to be a Peter Pan of sorts, immersed in a perpetual childhood until you have your mid-life crisis.

The most fun I’ve had personally in games journalism is doing interviews. You meet a lot of lovely people and write about projects they’re really passionate about. The only real interaction you have with PR is to chase it up after the initial request – that’s the kind of games journalism I love.

I hope that kind of games journalism is the future.

Why a ‘Come Dine With Me’ Game Would Never Work…

A game based off the smash Channel 4 television show, Come Dine With Me? Absurd. Why would you even suggest such a thing?

Well, no-one has. It’s Tuesday, our least favourite day of the week, and we’re catching up with the programme on More 4. Literally counting down the hours until we die…

Cooking games are crap anyway. There’s no place for cooking in gaming. Personally – and I haven’t got a blind frigging clue why – I’m addicted to the poorly-edited US version of Hell’s Kitchen. And – again, I haven’t got a blind frigging clue why – my interest was tickled when I heard there was going to be a Wii version of the smash ITV 2 television show.

Corks, it was terrible. Unsurprisingly. A game based off Hell’s Kitchen? Absurd. Why would you even suggest such a thing?

Hell's KitchenYou’ve only gone and burnt the fucking cornflakes, you stupid fucking bitch

Cooking Mama was probably the closest that cooking has ever come to being fun, apart from the fourth level in PaRappa the Rapper. And even that wasn’t about cooking, it was about a dog and a chicken on her blob making a fish cake of some sorts. Even cooking in cutscenes is boring – I’m thinking specifically of that weird kid born of Olga in Metal Gear 4, shouting out numbers while breaking eggs like a proper bad biff.

But a Come Dine With Me game, where four players can participate and download their own menu, competing against each other whilst giving secret ratings? Don’t be soft.

Couldn’t find a picture of the chicken, so here’s PaRappa and his frog mate. Seriously doubt he survived the recession.

Even in a social media context, where Facebook friends can partake on a weekly basis with scores refreshing every Monday, while hilarious Dave Lamb quips pop up on screen? Please…

Or an iPhone app that pits you against everyone else in the world, with a massive competitive leader board, where you upload photos of your own meals and let the world judge for themselves? Preposterous…

Yep, a Come Dine With Me game could never work. Ever. And if any of the above ideas show up any time soon then we demand royalties for being bored and turning a formulaic TV brand into a worldwide social gaming phenomenon.

Royalties? Absurd. Why would you even suggest such a thing…

The New Gaming Disease – Oneweaponitis

Dead Space Line Gun

Nearly completed Alan Wake, and so far I’ve only really used the revolver. I’ve used the shotgun on a couple of occasions, the flare gun once by accident and the hunting rifle once.

It hit me that I was keeping them to one side. I always do. Simon’s just completed Dead Space and made full use of his arsenal – I remember when I played it, I only really used and upgraded the starting pistol weapon thingy. Come to think of it, BioShock too. I had a lovely catalogue of powerful weapons but only really stuck with the pistol, using the shotgun sparingly now and then.

I think I’m ill. I have an aversion to using the biggest and best weapons that game designers have spent hours lovingly crafting. I’m scared of wasting them. Does that make sense? It’s psychological – I’m worried that I’m going to be cornered, in a really sticky situation and I can’t get out of it because I’ve been arsing around, firing my massive plasma thingy into the air or something.

The worst thing is, though, that I know I do it, and that in doing so, I’m seriously decreasing my enjoyment of the game. Why shouldn’t I go mad and wipe everything on-screen out with a BFG in Doom? It’s like money; you can’t take it with you when you’re finished. All those ace weapons will disappear when the credits roll, so make the most of them while you’ve got them in your back pocket.

I’ve found, in my case, that the same isn’t true for sandbox games, though. In Grand Theft Auto IV, I’ll run around with a rocket launcher and terrorise the local Jewish populace. Er, not because I have anything against them, you understand… I just like their hats falling off when they run away.

I’m not really sure how to cure this. Do I have to loosen up [the weapons, not the Jew thing…]? Or is it a skill thing – hark at me, ploughing through Alan Wake with a pistol like Billy Big Bollocks. It increased the tension a wee bit, and there’s also an incentive to go back and play it again. Trolly through everyone with rifles and grenades.

Doom Chainsaw

But a game like Alan Wake, I have no intention of playing ever again. I love it, but it’s too story-focused. I don’t want the fuss of essentially reading the same book again just to satisfy an itchy trigger finger.

It’s a problem I’ll have to conquer myself. I obviously have some kind of horrible little bug feasting on the insides of my anus that I need to be rid of. I look back to a time when I was playing Resident Evil 2 when it first came out and I was a young, impressionable little shit. Ammo was really sparse and I had to make the most of everything I had. I blame the Resident Evil series for my woes. And Silent Hill, that essentially put me under the same predicament.

What a horrible thought. That one or two games from my youth have shaped the way I play forevermore. The only way to remedy this is to dip into Red Dead and shoot some cows in the face.

NAGF’s Top 5 Gaming Wives Who Are Punching Above Their Weight…

We were playing Alan Wake over the weekend, and couldn’t help but notice just how plain and ordinary-looking Alice Wake was. Plus she’s petrified of the dark, leading us to believe that Alan put a ring on the first thing he saw – or, in the immortal words of Mrs. Merton: “So, Alice, what first attracted you to the millionaire Alan Wake?

Alice Wake

Alice Wake is clearly punching above her weight. And in the spirit of being a horrible bunch of bell-ends, we’ve compiled another five gaming wives who should pinch themselves for being lucky enough to have husbands with dreadful self esteem.

5: Abigail Marston – Red Dead Redemption

Now it might be the effects of the ol’ dusty trail, boy howdy, or a poor conversion over to the PS3, but we got more wood from our horse’s hitching post than when looking at Abigail Marston. It was probably the let down of playing Red Dead for 30 hours to be greeted by an old pro who could rough it with the best of them and ruin every stew she made that tipped us over the edge. Or maybe we’re being unkind – the fashions she was wearing were pretty current for a young woman in 1911, after all…

Whatever the reason, Abigail Marston does nothing for us. And a maverick gunslinger like you, John Marston, could have any woman in the west.

Abigail Marston

4: Sindel – Mortal Kombat

We’re talking about Mortal Kombat 3 Sindel here. Though played by the lovely Lia Montelongo in real life motion capture terms, the in-game character herself is an absolute misery guts.

Not content with being (forcibly) married to the emperor of Outworld, she makes a point of dressing herself up in 70s Kiss make up and a rock-and-roll wig – to be seen out in public in. And you wouldn’t know she was unhappy or anything, she only screams at the top of her lungs all the time. The miserable cow – exactly what you don’t want to come home to after taking over another dimension.

Come on Shao, you can have the pick of any woman across two whole realms. Stop selling yourself short, son!

3: Nicole Brennan – Dead Space

Dead Space’s Nicole Brennan is everything a butch plain Jane should aspire to be. An astronaut working on a mining ship who whines and nags and moans to our courageous hero, Issac Clarke. Strong, handsome and brave, he has to traverse a desolate ship, battling off one hideous mutation after another in an attempt to reach her.

And how does she repay him? By attacking him just before the credits roll. An utter minger in every sense of the word.

Nicole Brennan

2: Alex Curran

Steven Gerrard’s in the FIFA and Football Manager series. Which makes her a fictional computer game wife. Who is punching above her weight. So there.

Alex Curran

1: Sunny Funny

We assume that after PaRappa settles down with Sunny Funny at the end of the second game that they get married, have kids and the whole shebang. PaRappa doesn’t seem to realise though that he’s going out with a flower. Christ, PaRappa, you may be desperate but c’mon – this isn’t even interspecies love here. It’s trans… trans… we can’t even find a word in the dictionary to describe a dog shacking up with a flower.

Plus she’s as plain and ordinary as anybody’s business. So well done Sunny Funny for turning PaRappa’s head and making him get a day job – he’s ditched his dreams of stardom for someone who thinks it’s OK for her dress to clash with her hair colour, but walks off every time he complains about her making noodles for the third day in a row.

Slut…

Sunny Funny

Why So Serious? A Follow-up to Panorama’s ‘Addicted to Games?’

BBC Panorama Logo

Panorama can’t keep themselves out of the headlines lately, but that’s their job, we suppose. Tonight the BBC investigative journalism programme had a pop at gaming. We sat and watched it, and though they raised some interesting points, it was, in true Panorama style, constantly on the attack. Aggressive and unrelenting in its tone.

We realise that everyone and their nan will have an opinion on this. But what many may not realise is that there’s a wealth of positive documentaries out there, celebrating the world of gaming. So we thought ‘bollocks to the BBC’. Here’s our favourite gaming documentaries on the net today:

4. E-Athletes

Possibly one of the greatest gaming rivalries of all time. Team Complexity and Team EG were the American dream of E-sports. This documentary follows them to China and other gaming events, giving an insight into the lives behind the gamer tags and the managers who brought the teams together.

This film is out there if you want to find it. The ability to support the makers has gone as the site appears to be down at time of writing.

3. Frag Movie

Truly sensationalist but also truly brilliant. An insight into the underground professional gaming scene and the extent gamers will go to reach the top. To this day pro gamers are still screwed over by their sponsors and kids as young as 16 years old have been stranded in foreign countries due to people not keeping their end of the deal. It features who we consider to be one of the most successful gamers of all time, Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel.`

Available from http://www.fragmovie.com/

2. I Got Next(Short Cut)

I Got Next is the only free documentary on this list and one of the best. Created by Ian Cofino, It follows the the culture surrounding fighting video games, specifically the Street fighter series. It’s much more low budget than all the others, but the sheer passion and excitement you draw from just watching is why it’s one of the greats. Watch it, and we reckon you’ll be itching to fork out £100 for a fighting stick.

Available from : http://www.igotnextmovie.com/

1. King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

King of Kong is the most well known of our four documentaries. It follows the competitive gaming world of arcades. Viewers are plunged deep into the depths of the arcade world escorted by lovable, dedicated protagonist Steve Weibe. As we learn to love Steve we also learn to loathe the comically arrogant Billy Mitchell. The whole thing pulls at the heart strings, and had us rooting for Steve throughout. This is a film that is accessible to all – not just gamers – and is why we’re proud to crown it as our top gaming documentary.

Available from: http://www.newline.com/properties/kingofkongtheafistfulofquarters.html or all good DVD stores.

Thought of any more? Then Comment Below.

OPINION: Why I’m a Knight Who’ll Say ‘No Thank You…’

Ministry of Silly Games

The very idea of a game based around Monty Python fills me with absolute dread.

A press release landed in our inbox over the weekend from ‘The Ministry of Silly Games’, and I’m still trying my darndest to uncurl my toes:

‘Created by leading, UK-based, social gaming company Zattikka in conjunction with the Monty Python team, The Ministry of Silly Games draws its inspiration from British TV’s most memorable comedy series in the form of an innovative new social game which enables players to play the world’s most ridiculous games within a Pythonesque virtual world on Facebook.

Games such as Camelot Smashalot, Gumby Flower Arranging and King Arthur’s Knight Fight, among many others, take place within the madcap Monty Python virtual world – and will be available to play for free when the game launches in Q1 next year.’

First off this isn’t an attack on Zattikka. We think they’ve done extraordinarily well to harness the powers of two of British comedy’s true greats, especially in a social gaming context. Untold riches await them if they get it spot on. A visit to Zattikka’s front page on Sunday morning though, and the first thing I saw was the following tweet: Not too happy with C4 cutting my interview on Monty Python game launch – ‘ too commercial – too much of a Zattikka advert’.

Oh the negativity. I need to underline something, I currently work in search marketing and all day I have to hear about how the social gaming scene is on the verge of explosion. How, if companies can harness the lingo consistently enough, they can reach an audience of potentially billions on Facebook et al.

Zzz. As far as I can see Zattikka’s Python coup has already got them halfway there – and isn’t the point of it to be a Zattikka advert anyway? To put their name in the shop window and grab a massive slice of the social gaming pie before this ‘explosion’? It can’t all be about Python, it has to be about Zattikka and their abilities as developers first and foremost if they’re to survive as a business.

I think what fills me with fear the most is that Python-esque humour is going to be unleashed on a whole new audience of 11-14-year-olds who won’t understand it, adopt it and who simply won’t let the ‘funny’ die. Sometimes when I’m out in town I see drunk students falling over themselves laughing and quoting Python. They’re getting younger and younger by the pint.

I now associate Python with crap students who weren’t around when it was popular and still regard it as revolutionary. British comedy has moved on since Python and is more daring than ever (unless you count the likes of BBC’s Miranda), and to see it described  as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘madcap’ in the same press release brings me close to tears.

Monty Python StudentsAbove: What Google Images throws up when you search for ‘drunk Monty Python’

No matter what platform it’s hosted on, whether social or console, things like this just simply don’t work. I present to you the Little Britain game and hold it to task. It’s the same philosophy as why games don’t translate to the big screen. Comedy and gaming are chalk and cheese, polar opposites. The only way comedy can work in gaming is if it’s original and well thought out. Rockstar’s character-based comedy in Grand Theft Auto IV and some of Red Dead’s side missions should be the beacon, the example for everyone else to follow.

“Monty Python is one of the most iconic comedy licenses around, but there has been no new material for over 20 years,” says Zattikka CEO Tim Chaney. “The Ministry of Silly Games will be transporting Monty Python into the 21st Century, with a totally new experience for their unique comedy that will delight old and new fans alike.”

That quote in the PR sums up my point. There has been no new material for over 20 years. Pleeeease Alias Gilliam and Jones, for the sake of the industry as a whole, do something original, developers! Inspire your target market and give them a new generation of catchphrases they can shout at each other when they have their first sip of Guinness at 16.

So, in closing, good luck Zattikka. But if I hit 40 and have to put up with a new breed of schmoozy twats shouting ‘HE’S NOT THE SAVIOUR, HE’S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY’ in my local then I’ll be the only one there who isn’t smiling. And I’ll let you know about it in no uncertain terms.