Archive for January, 2009

Short update

Posted in Gaming, Site news, Uncategorized with tags , , on 31 January, 2009 by J-Man

Ok, its been a bit quiet on EG for a while, but for good reasons. Firstly, I haven’t bought a new game for ages, so there’s little for me to write about. I’d rather have few posts of good quality, accurate games journalism rather than spamming my blog with crap about games that nobody plays.

Speaking of games nobody plays, I installed Thief: Deadly Shadows on my 2nd PC, because it refuses to work with my main PC, so expect a few posts on that.

In other news, I intend to pitch a few more articles to the Escapist, because their new editorial calendar is out, and quite a few issues have caught my interest.

Finally, I’m considering a change of banner, because this one is getting old. Opinions please.

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Dream Games No.1 – Dexter

Posted in Dream Games, Gaming, TV with tags , , on 25 January, 2009 by J-Man

So this is the start of a new series of blog posts entitled “dream games”. It’ll just be a collection of my unfulfilled and futile dreams of games that should be made. So to start off; Dexter.

The essence of the TV show is that its all about him trying to mix in with society, while having murder as a hobby. Rather than funnel you down a semi-linear, highly scripted experience, like most TV/film adaption games do, this would be completely free-form. There’d be a GTA style city, with huge amounts to interact with. You’d have to manage three things; your job as a forensics investigator, your social life, and your serial killings. Fucking up in one will affect the others.

For example, a messy kill will mean you have to spend time investigating your own crime scene, which means less time to socialise with friends or Rita (who you have to keep pleased, lest she dump you). Inconsistencies show up, and people get suspicious. You could theoretically murder these people, but it’ll be hard to avoid being caught.

Fuck up horrifically, and you’ll enter a flashback, where your father will give you assistance, or advise you on what to do next. The game would have a Left 4 Dead-ish director, making sure things are kept interesting.  The game might have Doakes, a suspicious co-worker, start stalking you, or have Paul, Rita’s ex, suddenly start trying to get back into her life.

But the main part of the game will be managing the aforementioned 3 things; social life, work, and murdering. Mixing them would create interesting scenarios. For example, you suspect someone of homicide, but theres not enough proof to get him legally, so he goes free. You could use your work resources to find out where he lives, then approach him to try to find out more. Once you’ve collect enough intelligence about your target through work and socialising, you can choose your kill-area, set it up, then take the target down in your choice.

The game will basically be a mix of Fahrenheit, Fable, and Hitman. And it’ll be made by the team that did Deus Ex. In the CryEngine. With Source physics. And a script by Tim Schafer.

Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts Review

Posted in Music with tags , , on 17 January, 2009 by J-Man

It’s easy to review a film, or a game, because there’s very basic criteria, and you can easily tick all the boxes on a list in a review. I have no clue how to approach a music review, so I’ll try and do this track by track, which makes more sense to me than lumping all the songs together and reviewing them.

1 – No one said it would be easy

It’s a basic start to the album, and while it isn’t the best song, it certainly does give you the idea of what Cloud Cult are really all about; lengthy instrumental intros, repetition of lyrics, guitars, and a general feel-good atmosphere.

2 – Everybody here is a cloud

A quieter track than the first, it’s also softer and has better lyrics. Bonus points for the SOOKY SOOKY SOOKY SOO! bit.

3 – The tornado lessons

Far more unconventional, this features an organ, and a clip of audio from a message from Apollo 8. The lyrics, while there aren’t many of them, are brilliant. Minus points for the annoying as hell squirrel voices in the background.

4 – When water comes to life

The song with the longest instrumental parts (featuring violins), but certainly the softest. Not brilliant lyrics, but its fantastic in that it turns from a single violin into a massive syntheticy indie piece.

5 – Must Explore

It’s an audio clip of a guy going “man must explore”. Shouldn’t be counted as a track, and serves no real purpose.

6 – Journey of the featherless

It’s a genero-indie song, and to be honest I don’t like it. The lyrics aren’t uplifting, and the ending just doesn’t sound right.

7 – The ghost inside our house

Another genero-indie song, and like journey, I disliked it. It’s acoustic guitars, with a guy singing very softly.

8 – It’s what you need

One of the shortest tracks, it’s one of my favourites. It’s short and sweet, I love the beat and instinctively yell “what you need!” when listening to it.

9 – Story of the grandson of Jesus

I didn’t think I would like this one, what with the theistic implications, but its just a really nice song. Guitars and drums play as a modern-day parable is sung in a slightly computerish voice. Bonus points for when someone laughs “I messed up” and then an incredibly quiet, yet assertive voice says “No you didn’t.”

10 – Hurricane and fire survival guide

The opening makes it seem like this song will be depressing, with a piano peice, and then some high background notes from some weird instrument that I have no idea what is called. But then it reaches a crescendo more than 2 thirds of the way through, and we hear the uplifting lyrics “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”, before they hum along along with the tune.

11 – May your hearts stay strong

Since when was it obligatory to include a depressing song an indie album? AIH did it with Places like this by putting in Feather in a Baseball Cap. If you want to savour the essence of Cloud Cult’s sweet happiness, skip this song.

12 – The will of a volcano

Slightly yell-y, but great singing, and the odd choice of instruments suits it perfectly. Then the electric guitars and drums kick in. The entire song is one crescendo,  before collapsing into silence. Great.

13 – Love you all

A mainly instrumental song, but an electronic voice butts in regularly to talk about loving parents (no, don’t run). The fact that this voice is electronic up until the end makes the humanity of the vocalist all the more striking.

GCSE Module Results

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 15 January, 2009 by J-Man

I do 3 papers to start off with; one for each subject, those being physics, chemistry and biology. The maximum result for each is 50. For A* you need at least 45, and for an A you need 40. So it was with great glee I noted down my results.

P1A – 47
B1A – 43
C1A – 50

So two A*s, an A, and full marks on chemistry. Not too bad. But I’m less confident with my ISA, which is when you’re marked on an experiment.  I also don’t get the results back for the ISA, because the results are subject to moderation by the exam board. Ah well.

In other news, Cloud Cult, Mountain Goats and Architecture in Helsinki are all competing to be my favourite band. Throw some Decemberists in there, and I’m about to explode with such a difficult choice.

Last.fm is brilliant

Posted in Music with tags on 11 January, 2009 by J-Man

So, in an effort to discover good and new music, I’ve turned to last.fm. You create a free profile, download a teensy application, type in the name of favourite bands or genres, and then it’ll play you a big selection of similar music. You then choose “love” or “hate” and last.fm will decide on new songs to play you based on previous choices. It’s very simple, requires no technical skill, and I already discovered 4 new bands I love.

http://www.last.fm/user/existentialistG

Feel good ghosts

Posted in Music with tags , , on 10 January, 2009 by J-Man

Have now replaced “Places Like This” as my favourite album. Sorry, AIH. It’s a beautfiul album, with one particular song that appealed to my more feminine side. For some reason. Look, why are you still thinking about that sentence? Don’t quote me on that. GO AWAY.

Future Publishing: Well, not my future

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 9 January, 2009 by J-Man

I sent a query to Ross Atherton of PC Gamer for work experience, and he referred me to PC Zone, because PCG isn’t offering it. After trying to sound all slick in an email to Ali Woods, the editor of  PCZ, she found out I was younger than 18. Erk.

Nevertheless, it as just really nice how these two editors were so informative and helpful. So here’s to you, PC Gamer and Zone. Also; which one is better? They both seem incredibly similar in format, but I’m going to lean slightly to PCG, because I won one of their competitions without knowing it, resulting in me getting a copy of City of Heroes/Villains and a sexeh figurine. Maybe this harks the beginning of a new experimental videogames journalism series, in which I write about my descent into the misty worlds of MMOs.

Or maybe not. Who knows?