Rockstar Lifestyle: Crunchy Underfoot

It’s been a turbulent few weeks for Rockstar studios; the release of their latest open world behemoth overshadowed by the issue of studio crunch once more being the focus of widespread discussion and confusion in the preceding weeks. The waters were muddied by internet commentators on all sides of the debate shouting down the opinions of others with their own and the situation at Rockstar itself rapidly evolving as they went in to all out damage control seeing the potential hit to day-one sales looming.

Holding my hands up, I can’t offer any further insight here, after-all I’m just a consumer and have started this particular piece a few times as the situation morphed before giving up and just waiting for the dust to settle. It feels like we’re at a point now where I can at least safely write some kind of post about it all, but given the complexity of the issue it’s difficult to even know what it is that I want to say. Continue reading “Rockstar Lifestyle: Crunchy Underfoot”

Night in the Woods: Feeling Stuff

Stuff! Heck, we all feel “Stuff”, you know from time to time, like… you know when feelings and things…

The truth is, despite that masterfully elegant opening paragraph, I’m pretty bad at articulating feelings. In my “day-job” this isn’t a problem; few people really want to know how metallurgy makes me feel, so the papers and reports tend to just stick to the science. However, that’s just my daylight hour alter-ego and outside those hours I’m someone who loves games that make me feel things. Of course I do feel things all the time, but I’m rarely called upon to explain, understand, or write down exactly what I’m feeling.

So recently I’ve been playing “Night in the Woods” (I’m some way through, but havn’t completed it yet so no spoilers in the comments please!) and it makes me feel things in a way that the simple charming 2D graphics of an anthropomorphised cat manage to hide really well to the casual observer. It’s a game all about feelings and I’m going to do my best to break down what it makes me feel, and maybe even why.

Continue reading “Night in the Woods: Feeling Stuff”

Spy Party: Purloin That Guest List

Hello… are you sitting comfortably?…no, come closer… slide your chair in… closer… closer… move in to uncomfortably close territory as though you’re trying to see the flaw in a waxwork. Now start studying my behaviour intensely and try to work out if I’m doing anything devious.. am I?… 

This is what Spy Party feels like.

Spy Party is a game that has been in development for an extraordinary length of time. I first heard about it in an issue of Games tm (so back when I still bought print magazines) maybe ten or more years ago. Since then I’ve kept an occasional eye on the Spy Party website for development updates, I even bought the game in beta (although didn’t really play it at that point), and finally in recent months it has hit Steam; albeit in early access form. It was the simple, yet instantly understandable, concept that hooked my interest, held it for all those years and is what makes it a very interesting experience now I’ve finally spent some time playing. Continue reading “Spy Party: Purloin That Guest List”

Prototype Mansion: This Game Contains Scenes of Explicit Parody

Fun Thing to Remember: This article was written early December 2017 and is based on the state of the game at that point… also Hello ‘future people’! How are those hover cars working out for you?

I find Raccoon City a comforting place, which might say something about me as a person given how zombie infested it is on a typical day, but I largely square it away to being due to the huge influence that Resident Evil 2 has on my tastes as a gamer. I’ve written before about how much I miss the level of detail conveyed in the visual presentation of those early PS1 era survival horror games, but that’s just one part of their unique blend of obtuse puzzles, cheesy take on Romeroesque horror, bizarre locations, and skewed take on reality that I enjoy. It’s unsurprising that my interest was therefore piqued when I first heard about “Prototype Mansion” from indie team “Jupiter Lighthouse“. Described by the developers as a “Love Letter” to those early 90’s survival horror games, ‘Prototype Mansion’ currently exists as the first episode of a title clearly heavily influenced by and parodying that era.  Continue reading “Prototype Mansion: This Game Contains Scenes of Explicit Parody”