QotM*: Who is the Most Memorable Video Game NPC?

*Question of the Month is the blogging equivalent of a weaponised Furby who has disobeyed orders and gone rogue, all to the delight of those architects of anarchy at Later Levels

I’m not one for spoiling the magic, but for those of you who might want to peek behind the curtain into this strange gaming blogging world, I will say that this question caused quite a stir amongst the regular participants; there was some question over what constituted an NPC in this context. I know you’re all shouting at your monitors that surely it’s pretty obvious, but the concept of ‘Non-Playable Character’ is open to interpretation and there are certainly examples of entities within games that are both ‘characters’ and ‘non-playable’ that I wouldn’t class as an NPC. Continue reading “QotM*: Who is the Most Memorable Video Game NPC?”

Please Insert Disk Two: Episode 2 – Devil May Cry (Podcast)

The long awaited second episode of  Please Insert Disk Twois finally here!

Sure it’s been a little while since out last audio outing, but Chinery and I have rustled together the next instalment of our gaming cultural exchange. Once again one of us has picked a gaming favourite from their personal history that somehow passed the other by… but this time the roles are reversedContinue reading “Please Insert Disk Two: Episode 2 – Devil May Cry (Podcast)”

Switch Hardware: Autobot or Decepticon?

Whilst last week I was musing about the accompanying parental control app, this week I’ve decided to subject myself to a vague hardware review and ramble on about my initial Switch impressions. I’ve been Zelda-ing, Sonic-ing, and even a little Splatoon-ing (when I can get my Wi-Fi connection to behave) on Ninty’s latest box-of-tricks for a little over a week in which time I’ve gotten to grips with this mysterious bundle of hardware. It’s a console which is selling itself on being versatile so unlike the struggles I’ve had involving previous hardware reviews, I don’t think I’ll be running short of things to say about the Switch and its various configurations. Continue reading “Switch Hardware: Autobot or Decepticon?”

Switch… it off: Parental Controls

I’m pretty sure I always said that I was going to get a Nintendo Switch… right? … 

The day finally came and I now own my first (relevant) Nintendo home console! Regular readers shouldn’t panic however; I won’t suddenly be warping over to the ways of the plumber and given that one of my first purchases has been the widely anticipated retro throwback nostalgathon ‘Sonic Mania’ (despite how much of a liar he is), it’s safe to say that I’m still staying true to my Mega Drive heritage whilst accepting that times change. I’m also not planning on abandoning PC gaming, but hopefully the Switch will fill that gap in couch gaming, local co-op, and portable action that has been lacking despite trying to fill it with the Steam Link.

If forced to give a one word answer about my interest in the Switch, I’d have to go with ‘curiosity’; I’m interested to see how this hybrid home/portable console with confusing Lego-esque controllers and certain retro leanings holds up. Nintendo has always earned my admiration for thinking about how people game and how they interact with those games, even if not all their experiments work in the market place. It’s an innovative company with a new innovative product… and one of those innovative aspects is the parental control app….    Continue reading “Switch… it off: Parental Controls”

PU:BG – Bathroom Surprise!

It’s been difficult to miss the wave of enthusiasm within the gaming community for the fabled ‘PLAYER UNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS’; a currently early access title with its roots set in the modding community (like so many great games before it) and with a user base now measured in millions. Having only a cursory understanding of the game, but a high degree of curiosity, I jumped in a couple of weeks ago and with about 24 hours of playtime I’ve been staring at a blank screen trying to work out how to go about wrapping up these hours in a digestible and entertaining form… If I’m honest I’ve begun and scrapped half-a-dozen attempts to take a witty spin on it, or begin in a quirky off the wall way, and come to the conclusion that for PU:BG, a blunt direct approach might just be the best for what is in essence a clean and straightforward concept.

If there is anyone out there that still has no idea what I’m jabbering on about, PU:BG is a Battle Royale game based on an open world island; 100 players skydive in, all with the aim of being the last standing. Periodically the blue shimmering play boundary, known only as “the circle” shrinks, forcing those hiding and trembling survivors to scamper from their rabbit holes into the rapidly diminishing territory. Players outside the circle are ‘encouraged’ back in through the use of physical damage, and an occasional air strike is thrown in just to keep everyone on their toes. Other than that the game is fairly standard shooter fare with weapons, health, & armour pickups in buildings, vehicles to move hastily (but noisily), and an island peppered with soviet era towns, buildings, & bridges along with a healthy dose of wilderness. The task can be tackled in solo, pair, or four person squad modes and although the island is always the same, the vector of the transport aircraft along with the shirking play-zone seems to keep gameplay fresh whilst allowing the player to quickly recognise landmarks (and even pick out the odd favourite  haunt amongst the buildings). Continue reading “PU:BG – Bathroom Surprise!”

Blogger Blitz*: Mail Delivery

*The Blogger Blitz was dreamt up by Ian over at Adventure Rules

Today’s post is my entry for Round 1 of the Blogger Blitz event hosted by Adventure Rules, and that’s the best place to find details on the concept, rules, and schedule. It’s also where the results will be announced so head on over there to keep track of what’s going on!

The overall silver-shilling of it is that a few of us gaming bloggers have taken up the challenge of pitting our favorite game characters against each other in a tournament of unorthodox challenges. A team of judges will determine which character handled the scenario best and therefore who gets to proceed to the next round. Continue reading “Blogger Blitz*: Mail Delivery”

QotM*: Which Videogame Should Have Had a Sequel?

*Question of the month is the blogging equivalent of that cup of coffee in the middle of a tedious job brought to you by those good people over at Later Levels… with a Jammy Dodger on the side… Game sequels tend to get a raw deal, developers are pressured into slapping a ‘2’ on the end of their successful title, building on the original, keeping it … Continue reading QotM*: Which Videogame Should Have Had a Sequel?