Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Psychonauts Sale: It's Mental!

Until the end of this Thursday (Steam time) Psychonauts is on sale for a piddling one pound. A quid, or squid if you like. One buck. 100 tiny shiny digital pennies. (Or $2, or I believe 2 Euros but don't quote me. Either way, it's practically nothing). You now have no excuse for denying yourself the joy, hilarity and vision of Tim Schafer and Double Fine's finest game.
I don't have time to convince you, just buy it already, please. As a present to yourself. Go ahead, make your day, punk! - Toodles!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Survive The Road: A Lesson On The Journey

Time was when I would regularly go to the cinema. Once a fortnight, on a Monday during the 11th hour of the day, right after ... sigh, after signing on for Job Seeker's Allowance. I'd have the screen to myself, every week. Just perfect as far as I'm concerned. And The Road is exactly the kind of film I'd go to see - boring TV advert not-with-standing. But I've not gone to see it. Never read the book. Might do one of them though after playing Survive the Road.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Rapture: The Untold Story - BioShock 2 Character Interview

I've been avoiding learning too much about BioShock 2 (or Mass Effect 2, for that matter), intending to come to it fresh when it is released on - woh! - only February 9th. However when an interview with BS2's Lead Designer, Jordan Thomas, appears on my radar I can't turn it down.

Thomas excitedly expands upon some of the conceptual and philosophical backgrounds of the game's key characters and compares them with some of the people we 'met' the first time through Rapture.
'There was a concious effort on the part of Ken [Levine] and the guys to make sure the voices you heard were very strongly differentiated from each other 'cause they all live in Radio Land.'
Video after the jump.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Alice is (still) Dead 2

Continuing the extra-surreal adventures of Alice is Dead, the next episode has finally been released. It's a clever little (very little at ten or fifteen minutes if you get stuck) point-and-click starring the White Rabbit as a furry, big-eared hitman who must escape from the Queen of Heart's own maximum security prison.

The atmosphere is dark genius and the addition of voice recordings and general graphical improvement over the first episode gives it an extra polish. However the puzzles are somewhat overly easy and the inter-screen navigation is confusing at times. It wasn't until I (lazily, yes) checked a video walkthrough that I realised there was a whole other room that I was missing - not part of the cell, after that.

Find the original here.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Sex Sex Sex - Must Be The Weather

The BBC News service made an interesting report today. Amongst the footage of people using clever vehicles to get over the snow and endless commentary on an Irish political hoo-hah, a reporter mentioned that sales of contraception are up as people spend the long cold nights at home. (No jokes about trying to keep warm here, no sir!) So that might explain why the gaming intelligenci is -again- discussing various sex/gender related issues across the internet.

Michael Thomsen over at the Escapist has an article provactively titled 'Vaginophobia: Fear of Women in Gaming' in which he explores the male 'fear of the feminine' and contrarily obsession with masculinity with an emphasis on games. It is a fairly rough overview of the subject but has intelligent quotes on the subject.

As far as GTA4 goes, which Thomsen considers 'contains misogynistic experiences', I am playing through it at the moment myself and so far it seems to be ridiculing the "pussy" obsessed male characters' insecurities with the female secretary the only sane person around. As for the more general point that many males are insecure around women, hell, I accept I am never going to be a classical Man but I am still insecure around everyone!

Meanwhile the superlative Leigh Alexander writes about Bayonetta as an experience which empowers women through their sexuality over at GamePro. (OK, this isn't a PC game but you do not need to be familiar with the game to appreciate the argument). Just do yourself a favour and avoid the comments - they are particularly depressing.

While we're on the subject, Alex Raymond has a great many smart and insightful things to say about games and feminism over at White !Finished.