Following on from 2009′s Gameswipe special, acerbic critic and former PC Zone writer Charlie Brooker has delivered another excellent videogames program this time on Channel 4. How Videogames Changed the World is a two-hour special charting the lineage of videogames from Pong and Space Invaders to The Last of Us and Minecraft. Of course it helps if you’re in the UK and can just watch it on Channel 4′s on-demand site but if you’re somewhere else in the world, I’m sure you’ll have your own means of watching (*cough* YouTube).
If you’ve watched a Charlie Brooker program (or read his excellent TV Go Home) you’ll know it’s a mix of interviews, clips, and social commentary. The history of videogames is told over 25 notable titles with some interesting picks for the defining games that have shaped what we play today. There’s appearances from the likes of Tim Schafer, Nolan Bushnell, Will Wright, David Braben, and Peter Molyneux.
Personally speaking it was quite something to see Hover Bover, one of the first games I ever played on my parent’s Commodore 64, on a TV screen. I say “TV screen” I actually watched the program on my laptop today whilst hungover. Ooops.
Brooker recently gave an interview with The Guardian saying how hard it was to get someone to commission a show about videogames which seems a shame. Mind you, earlier this week Channel 4 also show a program about young Brits on holiday in the Mediterranean which involved them drinking each other’s vomit and urine so maybe videogames can do without TV.
This was one of my favorite RPGs of the year and a game I waited a long time for in English. If your sitting on the fence about it, make sure to check out our review.
But really, what are you doing… go buy this as soon as the deal hits!
Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were treated to company of Cristina Vee, voice actress for League of Legends, BlazBlue, Tekken: Blood Vengence, Skullgirls, Pokemon Origins and many other games and animated films. She is utterly charming, almost to the point of inducing speechlessness.
On one hand you have her compelling underdog story — learning to overcome shyness through discovering anime and its surrounding fan community, getting discovered online for singing anime theme songs, getting her first job in the industry as a teenager, and finally making it to the success she’s found today. On the other hand, you have her personality — a mix of wit, shyness, and slightly unhinged creativity. Over the course of the show she became Pokemon Cubone, sang about Rainicorns, and auditioned with me for the role of Marie Rose, the new Dead or Alive fighter. I made up lines for her to read on the spot about bunk beds and Burger King for her to read in-character. Her performance was flawless. Tecmo Koei would do well to sign her for the roll ASAP.
We also talked about what it’s like to be typecast, the growing attention that games are getting from Hollywood actors, what its like to to do voice acting for perverts and sex secenes, and so much more. Thanks again to Cristina for appearing on the show, and please tune in tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we kick off Adult Swimbemer with Soundodger+‘s Michael Molinari.
Prison Architect was one of the first games to appear on Steam’s Early Access category and I think it’s the game that’s been best suited for the service. There’s been a steady stream of updates since April and Alpha 15 is one of the best so far. There’s been a big improvement in the performance of the game, specifically when it’s a large map with a lot of prisoners present. I’ve not created a really big map so far so I can’t say I’ve seen Prison Architect running slowly but this is a welcome update nonetheless in case I fancy running a really big prison.
Some neat additions are that your all your prison staff will now suffer from fatigue, so you’ll need to built a staff room so your guards and workers can recharge their batteries. Of course, it’s not like I need an excuse to put a pool room in a prison because that’s only going to lead to those pool cues being stolen and used a weapons by resourceful prisoners.
Also added is the ability to speed up the game to a crazy speed, new ways to track contraband and new grants to improve your income. The big feature that’s been added in Alpha 15 is a new way to support mods making it easier for user created add-ons to be used in game. No more altering text files, just drag and drop the mods into the relevant folder and you’re good. I’m glad to see Prison Architect getting better and better; as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a perverse glee to be had in making your prison-less-than secure. There’s comedygold in that approach that offsets the dark thoughts that come with running a prison.
After THQ’s dissolution, the Warhammer 40K license was scattered to the winds. We’ve ended up with an apparently disappointing Space Hulk remake and this upcoming Space Wolf game. What’s interesting is that this game is going to be a turn-based combat game with a card collecting side too. The fact that it’s featuring my favourite Space Marine legion is a definite plus; Space Wolves are like regular Warhammer 40K Space Marines mixed in with a dash of vikings. A winning combination if ever there was one.
Whilst the combat in the trailer doesn’t look the most scintillating thing I’ve ever seen, the idea of a deck-building Warhammer 40K game is appealing. I’ve been getting into card games recently and the only thing that’s stopped me playing more is the lack of a regular human opponent. A version of the game I can put on my phone sounds pretty appealing too but I’ll have to wait until Q2 2012 when Space Wolf is due for release.
Rune Factory developer Neverland has closed its doors, according to a statement on the company’s official website.
The studio ceased operations today and announced plans to file for bankruptcy in the near future. Struggling with mounting debt, the company found itself backed into a corner after attempts to secure outside funding were unsuccessful.
Neverland was founded on May 7, 1993. Later that year, the fledgling developer’s first effort, Lufia & the Fortress of Doom, landed on the Super Nintendo. Two decades later, Rune Factory 4 arrived on Nintendo 3DS. The studio’s swansong is reportedly the most successful entry in the franchise to date.
Though fans can take solace in knowing the series will likely live on under the aegis of publisher Marvelous AQL, our thoughts go out to the members of the development team and their families.
MAGFest 12 is slowly inching its way toward us as I rip the pages off my word-a-day calendar (today’s word is “gluttony”). Next year’s event goes down January 2nd through 5th, and the second stage and MAG Prom line-ups have just been announced!
Here’s what’s in store:
Race the Sun has had quite the interesting launch. After releasing straight from the developer’s website, the game’s creators ran into a major snag — they weren’t on Steam. Despite the fact that sales numbers weren’t quite up to expectations, the devs constantly listened to feedback to improve the quality of the game in the meantime, and even organized a “Not on Steam Sale” to help support other indie devs in the same position.
But it appears as if things are looking up, as Race the Sun is finally coming to Steam on December 9th. It’ll be nice to see how the game performs after a wide release, as developer Flippfly has been extremely forthright with sales numbers and the entire process so far.
Race The Sun Coming to Steam December 9th! [Flippfly]
The results are in for a next-gen gaming survey given to active male and female games in the United States between the ages of 7-54, and according to Nielsen’s findings, the most-wanted title of the eight console generation is Call of Duty: Ghosts. It gets better, thankfully.
To me, the most interesting data was the top five most-wanted exclusives for each console. Those were:
- PS4: Uncharted (working title), Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son, DriveClub, and The Order: 1886
- Xbox One: Halo 5, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 5, and Fable Legends
- Wii U: Super Mario 3D World, Wii Fit U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, and Wii Party U
30 percent of respondents said they definitely planned to buy a PlayStation 4, 22 percent said the same for Xbox One, and the Wii U had interest from 10 percent. Yikes. I’m pulling for Nintendo to come through with the console in a big way.