Call Of Duty Black Ops Nuketown Sniper Montage

NotActualGameFootage.com presents our first in a series of Black Ops sniper montages. We’ve seen grumblings of how the sniper class is ‘broken’ in the latest Call of Duty, so we decided to show all you bitches and moaners that sniping is alive and well. Please rate comment, subscribe and tell us what you want to see in part 2!

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.

Sega Discounts are an Absolute Steal

Ecco the Dolphin

Let’s do some iPhone news. Or iPad or whatever else is the current must-have. Sega’s blog today announced that, just in time for the Christmas holidays, they’ve gone bonkers and slashed the prices of the majority of their games available on the app store.

The new prices are as follows:

ChuChu Rocket$4.99 $2.99
ChuChu Rocket HD$6.99 $4.99
Ecco the Dolphin$2.99 $0.99
Golden Axe$2.99 $0.99
Gunstar Heroes$4.99 $2.99
Phantasy Star II$4.99 $2.99
Shining Force$2.99 $0.99
Super Monkey Ball 2$5.99 $2.99
Super Monkey Ball 2 Sakura Edition$7.99 $4.99
Sonic The Hedgehog 1$5.99 $4.99
Sonic The Hedgehog 2$5.99 $4.99
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1: $9.99 $6.99
Streets of Rage: $2.99 $0.99

Golden Axe is a snip – get it. The slight decrease on Sonic 1 and 2 though show that Sega still consider it something of a cash cow, and don’t want to lop too much off the price.

Still, however you look at it there are some pretty excellent bargains here for when you’re sat on a bloody train into work at 7am in the freezing cold. Except for Ecco the Dolphin. That used to give us nightmares growing up and we’ve never played it since.

Kratos K(c)onfirmed for Mortal Kombat

kratos_cosplay

US Official PlayStation Magazine has a sneaky exclusive up its sleeve. The Mortal Kombat remake will feature God of War’s Kratos as a playable character, with his own fatalities, special moves and what-not.

No story mode for Kratos as it would indeed probably be pretty bollocks. Not the Kratos story itself, you understand – we love the God of War trilogy. But squeezing him in a cutscene with someone like Jax? How naff could you get…

Anyway, true to form, and in typical 4-year-old boy fashion, Kratos’ designer David Jaffe tweeted: ‘[He] would have a FUCKALITY and fuck the SHIT out of Sonya AND Katana at the same motherfucking TIME!!!!’

Intent on making parents everywhere vomit in disgust, he then wrote: ‘Kratos should reach out and pull the fucking MK classic Narrator into the game and gut the fucker! Oh, or rip the head off ‘toasty!’ guy!’

No news on any exclusive 360 content though at the moment. Who on earth would they pick? Our bet is on Alan Wake, or a car from Burnout Paradise or something…

Shenmue 3 Moves a Step Closer

Shenmue 2

The possibility of a third Shenmue being made moved a step closer thanks to designer Yu Suzuki – who isn’t a model of motorbike – who recently told 1Up in an exclusive interview that the concept to make a third game is indeed in existence.

“The concept for Shenmue 3 already exists, so… The world of Shenmue 1 and 2 expanded outward. But Shenmue 3 doesn’t expand outward, but inward.

“A lot of the dialogue is used for the main character and especially dialogue with Shenhua. They talk about a lot of different, deeper things. For example, and I can’t say too much, but here’s an example.

“This is not actually in the game, but as an example to give you an idea of what I mean by deeper dialogue, when Shenhua and Ryo are at home, Shenhua will ask Ryo if he would like to drink tea or coffee and the player will select one or the other.

“Or, Shenhua will ask Ryo a hypothetical question like: ‘There are four animals; a monkey, cat, dog and bird. You are crossing the river but you need to leave one behind. Which one will you leave behind?’ And the player has to choose one.”

Some pretty deep stuff there. We would snap it up in a flash, such was our obsession with the first two. From what Suzuki also says, he wanted to make a third Shenmue straight after the second, but poor sales figures saw Sega nip the project in the bud.

You can add your voice to the ever-moving Shenmue 3 campaign by taking off all your clothes in public and burning them in the middle of the street.

Dead Space 2 Demo Dated for December 21

Dead Space 2

Keep a note in your Dead Space diary – a Dead Space 2 demo is scheduled for release on December 21.

NAGF staff member Simon admitted recently that he couldn’t play the first one without papping his pants in fear and still hasn’t completed it. We’ve therefore banned him from buying the sequel until he can finish the first one, which is pretty illogical in hindsight because if he’s too scared to play the first one then why on earth would he play the second one?

That’s a problem for Simon to figure out for himself though. EA have little sympathy for him, saying in a recent release: “The demo will allow players to discover the Church of Unitology and help Isaac defeat the Necromorph outbreak in a gruesome, unforgiving battle on The Sprawl.

“Players will also have access to a variety of new tools that Isaac can use to fight Necromorphs, including the new Javelin gun, updated stasis recharge mechanic and enhanced telekinesis ability.

“Players will also experience the advanced suit, equipped with jets that will allow Isaac full 3600 control in Zero-G space.”

So, if you don’t want to miss out on all those amazing new additions Simon, then conquer your fears. Or read how the game ends on Wikipedia or something.

New Batman: Arkham City Trailer Lands on MSN

Batman: Arkham City

The shortest, most obscure teaser trailer ever was released today.

The new Batman: Arkham City vid is obviously designed to get the blood pumping, and although we absolutely adore Arkham Asylum, developers Rocksteady may as well have just walked into our homes and tapped us on the end of our todgers with a wooden spoon.

Don’t get us wrong – it looks great! All well directed and such. But we wanted to hear an evil cackle from Mark Hamill. We wanted to see the scale of anarchy tearing through Gotham. We wanted more than this, Rocksteady!

Maybe we just want the game to be released that badly that nothing will placate us until it’s nestled in our slimy, sweaty grasp. Then again, the game is apparently getting a full reveal at the VGAs this coming Saturday. We’ll be watching with bated breath…

What do you think? You like what you see, and think we’re overreacting? Comment below then and give us a good telling off…


Video: Exclusive: Batman – Arkham City Teaser Trailer

Crashing the Castle – An Exclusive Chat With The Behemoth

Dan Paladin and Tom FulpAbove: Dan Paladin, left, and Tom Fulp, right.

* John interviewed The Behemoth’s Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin for Imagine’s X360 magazine back in 2009. Here’s the whole four page spread, featuring the most promising creative developers on the planet today.

Castle Crashers stormed Xbox Live Arcade when it was released. A smash hit in its first week, it has since found another outlet via PSN, cultivating a whole new following thanks to the art direction of Dan Paladin and the imagination of Tom Fulp. Good progress then after their 2004 debut, Alien Hominid.

Those who played Hominid will no doubt have made the obvious link between the two titles. Their developers, The Behemoth, are fast catching the attention and critical praise they’ve worked incredibly hard to receive. What you might not know about these people, though, is the story that led them from a bedroom in Philadelphia to your own front room.

Those who have shelled out for Hominid and Crashers have been treated to a homage of games gone by. Influenced by classics like Metal Slug and Golden Axe, Crashers spent a painful three years in the making. The accusation was that Hominid was a one-off, and bettering it through a follow up would be too tough a task for two amateur developers.

Alien Hominid

Tom always refuted such a notion, putting his faith in the feedback he received from those who saw Crashers during its development. “We always loved showing off Castle Crashers because it got such a great response from people. We didn’t need to win over any publishers because we opted to self publish.”

There was a point though, when Castle Crashers was nearing three years in development and conventions became somewhat bitter-sweet. “People still loved the game, but they also questioned if it would ever be finished, and it pained us that it wasn’t.”

In its first month, the public’s patience was rewarded. After spending so long out of the spotlight after Hominid, they took Crashers around the world to show that The Behemoth was still biting. San Diego Comic Con, Tokyo Game show and more. They were sat there, tired in their stall, with flash demos of Crashers which took a painstaking 15 months to code.

Tom admits there were low points during the development phase. “If people had hated Hominid, I probably would have just stuck with web games, but there was this feeling of unfinished business that remained afterwards. It was like we got a taste of what we could do on consoles, and we wanted to give it another go and make something bigger and better. It helped knowing there were fans out there who would appreciate the effort.”

Behemoth conventionAbove: Tom and Dan work the floor at Comic Con

Web games were all part of an exhausting journey into the development spotlight for Tom. He was praised early on in life for his creative school projects, but constantly stepped over the line with some of his more outrageous creations. A video book report in Year 6 featured death, drugs and alcohol, and earned him a D. Throughout school, Tom dipped into coding and found his passion for programming, animating shorts in the school media centre and growing up throughout the mystical golden age of gaming with his Neo Geo and other classic consoles.

The influences from these consoles shine in his debut project, Alien Hominid. Problem was, Tom could see the difficulty pitching his idea to an already flooded platformer market. “We learned early on that it would be an uphill battle to pitch Alien Hominid, considering it wasn’t based on an existing film or console franchise.”

Rather than land a development deal up-front, he took a leap of faith and made the game on his own, funding it from his own pocket. Tom recognises it was a massive gamble. “Some publishers totally didn’t understand the appeal of the game and didn’t have any interest, while others wanted to pay us lots of money and lock up the characters for sequels and licensing deals.”

Castle Crashers

Tom rejected such ideals and stuck to his guns. Alien Hominid took off and sales grew steadily after its release. Hominid was getting a great critical reception and sold particularly well in Europe, becoming a cult favourite with gamers. Tom was in no mood to rush the next project though, and actually had difficulty establishing what console it should appear on after Hominid‘s cross-platform success.

Alien Hominid was a rewarding but stressful experience, so I wasn’t in a huge rush. We dabbled with a lot of stuff and eventually just sort of fell into Castle Crashers when we knew it felt right.” They originally started with Gamecube and PS2, but knew these platforms were on their way out of the market. “We tinkered with PSP for a while but weren’t really feeling it. Once we settled on XBLA, we knew we had made the right choice. It was an awesome platform for our style and had enough processing power for us to go nuts.”

Not as nuts though as some of his early work. It was in 1995 that Tom created an HTML website called ‘New Ground Remix’ that hosted all the shock content he created out of boredom. It hosted a game where you could take up a bat and club a seal, to a celebrity slugfest known as ‘Assassin’, which featured ways to bump off the most irksome figures of the 90s (Britney Spears’ monster truck for instance is still relevant today…)

What started off as a bit of fun ended up generating quite a stir. Letters from the BBC threatened to sue following the sadistic Tellybubbies game, but it wasn’t all bad. Tommy Lee described one of Tom’s first games as the best thing he had ever seen on the internet.

britney_KFedAbove: Newgrounds always hit the mark with its satire, when it wasn’t busy hitting Britney…

“I was just goofing around when I first set up Newgrounds, but I always wanted it to be a fun destination for people to visit,” explains Tom. By 1998 the site evolved with a new Flash interface, with lots of simple games appearing developed with Flash 2, moving off free hosting provided by his ISP.

The Flash interface was crucial for the next stage of the project in 1999 when he created a section called the Portal, intended as a black hole for small or unfinished projects. “Other people were making games with Flash and looking for exposure, so I started to showcase their small projects in the Portal alongside my own”. The demand became so great that he started becoming overwhelmed by all the files people were emailing him. YouTube? Newgrounds did it first.

Newgrounds soon developed a following and was the first place on the internet that people could submit their own creations to get an instant mass critique. One artist in particular was Dan Paladin who, in 2001 and beyond, climbed to the top of the awards system with his quirky and colourful submissions. Dan remains humble, though. “Newgrounds had a significant impact on discovering things about myself as well as how an audience reacts.  It can sometimes be a tough crowd there who can either push you to better yourself or to give up – all depending on how you take the really honest reviews.”

Chainsaw the Children

Tom took notice of Dan’s popularity. It was only a matter of time before the artist and the programmer met. Tom remembers their first project with fondness. “Dan and I met and just casually started talking about making a game together. It was all just for fun – Dan made funny cartoons in Flash and I made Flash games so things just clicked“.

Their first game revolved around a guy with enormous testicles. Players used their giant sack to bounce around on and crush kids. Dan agrees with Tom’s first impressions: “We clicked really quickly since our approach and tastes are somewhat similar. We are passionate about what we do so we have strong opinions. Sometimes those opinions differ but the great thing about that is we always find a compromise which ends up benefiting our games greatly each step of the way.”

Their shorts were well received on Newgrounds. With fire in their bellies, their next project was a breakaway flash game – Alien Hominid – which currently has over 19 million views on the website alone. Newgrounds was something of a guinea pig to test their skills, and the reception from users was glowing.

Then real life took hold. Dan’s employers shut up shop and he, alongside some industry mainstays found themselves destitute after working on an early XBLA project. Proving that it’s not what you know but who you know, Alien Hominid reached a co-worker of Dan’s, John Baez, who loved the web version and wanted to see it on consoles. The three got their heads together and formed The Behemoth with some of Dan’s ex co-workers, becoming an entirely self-funded company devoted to publishing their own titles.

The Behemoth

For anyone else looking to set up their own company, John issues a stark warning. “Remember that each developer is on their own in terms of funding, the hardware manufacturers are not funding games they don’t own.” John, now considered an industry veteran, emphasised the point early on that pitching Hominid would be thankless.

The differences between designing a game for the web and for a console began to become very apparent. With a new title to show off, conventions had to be attended with an incredible desire to prove themselves. After Hominid’s acclaim, the desire – thankfully – was still there to tap into for Castle Crashers. “When you have little time and put a lot of care and love into what you’re doing, things can take a while!” says Tom of Crashers’ delay. Three years may sound like a long time, but in hindsight, both men have just hit their thirties and have two bestselling games to their name. Anything is possible in the future.

Despite seeing both titles thrash the competition when released on XBLA, Dan still has a tone of regret in his voice. “I would have liked to see 2-on-2 arena battles [in Crashers]. People are still finding ways to have team battles by calling out who is on which team.  So in a way, it is still able to be achieved but I would have liked to have a leader board for it. We had this feature on its way but I believe we had to drop it due to time constraints. I’ve learned that no matter what happens we’ll always want to go back and change something. I think realising that has given me a little more peace of mind with Castle Crashers!”

Crashing Concepts

Below, Dan takes us through the character creation stages with some of his gorgeous Castle Crashers concept art:

“A lot of the time I will show Tom a character design and we both talk about what he might do, what would be funny and so on…”

Castle Crashers concept 1

“Then I will go and create a few actions for him and Tom blocks in his attack patterns”

Castle Crashers concept 2

“After we play around with that for a little while we brainstorm once more for the finishing actions and touches.”

Castle Crashers concept 3

“Sometimes approaching something that doesn’t feel right later with fresh eyes makes the correction that was needed extremely fast and obvious!”

Castle Crashers concept 4

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.