Space Marines are massive pussies who lay down at the first sign of a blade on their Power Armour. Or at least that’s what the Space Marine game would have you believe. Far from the hulking gods they’re portrayed as in the tabletop game and related literature, the Marines in the game can barely take a licking from a few rusty Ork choppas before they submit.
Wayhey it’s 2012! We’ve got the Olympics, the Apocalypse and shitload of new games to look forward to. As these are the three main things that are on my mind for the coming 12 months I thought I’d tackle them all one at a time.
OK this isn’t a post about treacle; I actually can’t stand the stuff. It’s an analogy for how sluggish England is right now.
Case in point; today I actually had to speak to a manager at A4E to get an appointment with my new advisor. Usually speaking to the manager is only necessary when you want to make a complaint or you want a job but these days it seems you have to go above the regular troops to get anything done on your behalf. After being sort-of apologetic but mainly silent and noddy, he managed to magically book me an appointment with my advisor AND introduce me to her in the same 10 minutes. This means that the guy I spoke to last time was either inept or fucking lazy. Or both. He was there today too, chatting up my girlfriend while I took a proverbial shit on his bosses desk. I neglected to mention his incompetence out of common courtesy and the niggling feeling I may one day have to deal with him again but I kind of wish I had now.
Well I’ve now resigned myself to the fact I’m going to forget to do this every day. Instead of rushing to bunch up missed day’s I’ll just dip into it when I remember. Such is life. Anyway, game trailers are often the first thing to be shown of a new title or IP these days and are responsible for unimaginable amounts of hype and abuse for games that aren’t even out yet. My choice for my best of the year is a popular one I’m sure and shows just how few trailers I actually watch. So my pick is:
Dead Island Trailer
This little piece of golden animation caused quite a stir when it was first unleashed onto Youtube. A panicked and terrifying zombie attack in a tropical hotel, made all the more mesmerizing by the fact that half of it was shown backwards. I applauded the editing most, being an editor myself, but the entire thing took my breath away. I’ve always loved zombie stuff and this trailer got me really excited, both from a creative standpoint and from a gamers standpoint.
The fact that Dead Island turned out to be a pretty pedestrian, open-world zombie game is beside the point. Taken as a piece of animation this trailer is wondrous and it served it primary purpose with aplomb. It got people excited about Dead Island and created a media buzz so that when the game was finally released it got some attention.
Right well tomorrow is supposed to be Best Sony Game but since I don’t own a PS3 I’ll skip that one. See you Saturday for Best Microsoft Game folks!
Have you ever been ignored? I’m not going to be so crass and predictable as to follow that up with ‘I have’ but, well, I have been. The Jobcentre don’t give a shit but they don’t really care about anyone so that’s fine. I thought A4E cared, but since they’ve made no attempts to notify me of who my new advisor is or even get them to call me in three fucking weeks, they obviously don’t. And the company I’ve been trying for months to work for seemingly don’t want me because they’ve missed every single deadline for getting back to me since our correspondence began.
They’ve set me goals and tasks and given me dates to have them done by and every time I’ve completed them early. I understood that I was being tested in every way and strived to do better than my best and really show them what I could do. I wrote a self-interview in an evening and made an animation with software I was alien to over one weekend. I put together a presentation on a market I don’t understand and even did a Powerpoint for it. I tried my best. Yet that’s seemingly not enough to even get a phone call. I’ve tried calling them and leaving messages but have never got a call back. Each time I’ve actually got to speak to them I’ve been told deadlines and times I should expect to be called, but none of them have ever been met.
Yesterday was pretty uneventful as all I did was eat pizza and play Condemned all day. I’m slowly starting to betray Skyrim, my most anticipated game of the last year, mainly due to now owning Saints Row 3 and having Condemned to paly for Lovefilm. I completed the second one years ago with my mate. I can still remember our solid week of play (in the evenings anyway) battering it on Hard mode. We had to plan each and every encounter, using the loonies tendencies to attack each other to our advantage. Every move was calculated and executed either by Reece’s precision or my vitriol. It was a right laugh.
So playing the first one on my own has been a bit of a lonely experience. During the scary and tense sections of the game this has been a bonus; there’s nothing better than getting through a panicky bit on your own. When I’m wondering about trying to find my way, however, it’s kind of boring. I understand the game isn’t all about action and I’m glad for it but with no map or waypointing at all, the maze-like corridors of most levels can become awfully tedious. You have to have a photographic memory to remember where you’ve been and which door you now have the weapon to open, which isn’t helped by the fact that everything looks the same. I spent half an hour yesterday walking around a sewer before realising I’d forgotten about a one-way door. A game should be long because it’s challenging or just made that way, not because you have to waste your life searching for the way out.
Ok so I missed a day when I said I wouldn’t. Oooops. Anyway, these days it seems many developers are opting to remake classic games or reboot franchises instead of inventing new IPs. Whether a result of the current frosty economy or just plain lack of creativity it’s already produced some decent titles and some massive disappointments. I’ve played hardly any of the remakes of this year but out of the one’s I have my favourite is:
I have to admit the one time I’ve properly played this was pissed up at a mates house, but it’s about as good as I’ve got to offer. I was never a fan of MK, much preferring Tekken, Street Fighter and Soul Calibur. After playing the new MK reboot at the Gadget Show Live for a bit and having a good old time with my mates on it the other week I can safely say I’m now a fan. The clunky, repetitive and frustrating control of the old games is gone; replaced by a new smooth, efficient and effortless one. The graphics and animation are well above standard and it plays like a dream. There are massive difficulty spikes in the Ladder mode and annoyingly most of the special move combinations have changed, but the new MK is definitely reminding me why people loved the old ones so much.
Right well that was pretty pathetic. Tomorrow it’s Best Downloadable Title and hopefully I’ll be able to come up with a better choice than today’s paltry offering…
I’m going a shitty job of keeping up with this so far. Oh well. I’ve had an iPod Touch for a little while now and while it hasn’t been the uber-gaming behemoth I hoped it’d be it has provided me with a few laughs in the gaming department. It’s not hard to pick my fave of the year and it’s…
Ok so this game might be a bit older than a year but I only got it this year so technically it’s allowed right? It uses simple, innovative touch controls to allow you to cook a massive range of meals; there’s got to be at least 50. While it doesn’t teach you how to actually cook the stuff IRL, it’s provided me with endless chunks of simple, relaxing fun. Most importantly, it’s made the depressing and boring time spent sitting on the squidgy sofas in the stuffy and miserable Jobcentre slightly less boring. It’s still depressing though; no amount of digital, cartoon Falafel can change that!
Ok so I WILL be posting another one TOMORROW. No more missing days! Next up it’s Surprise Hit of the Year…
So me and Katie, my gorgeous girlfriend, suffered the Baltic weather and zombie-like Saturday shoppers and took a trip into Notts today. Mainly to polish off our Christmas shopping but also to get out of the house for a bit; there’s fuck all going on this weekend. It went well, with us both managing to secure some decent prezzies and me even managing to finally finish my Yuletide purchases! But it was FUCKING cold, and that got me thinking.
Why don’t game characters ever get cold? We bang on about how realistic games are getting but temperature is a massively overlooked feature! Too often to our t-shirt-and-jeans wearing protagonists manage to survive hours of freezing night without so much as a shiver. I can’t imaging Steelport is too warm at night down at the docks, but my hard-case avatar is perfectly happy to parade around starkers (it’s a Diversion) for hours. Not a single chatter of teeth heard. A passing old lady neglects to mentions how nippy it is and how he must’ve been at the mouthwash again, despite being wrapped up in 16 layers of Primark fur.
As some of you may know I’ve been going through the process of getting a particular job for about a month now. Working closely with A4E, a third-party company paid by the Jobcentre to help my get into work, to secure a pretty nice position doing interviews and managing a blog for a company in Nottingham city. It’s taken ages and I’ve done 2 interviews but it all seemed to be going well.
That was until the other week. After not hearing anything back within the time specified I called A4E to speak to my adviser. They told me she’d been ‘let go’ and I now had a new one. This pissed me off for three reasons:
1) She was nice and good at her job. If she left, fair enough, but I have a feeling she got let go because of company cuts and the boss didn’t want to take a Christmas bonus cut. Arsehole.
2) A4E made NO effort to let me know the situation, and 2 weeks later I’m STILL waiting for a promised phone call from my new adviser. And they still expect me to come in every Friday for a job search? They can bollocks.
3) My advisor was in the process of securing a very complicated apprenticeship for me to ensure that I’d be able to take the job, if offered it, without having to accept a wage that would actually end up being less than I’m getting now on the dole. I now have no idea what’s going on with that and neither do the company I’ve applied to work for. I don’t know if my new advisor has ANY idea what my old one was working on and by the looks of things it’s all going down the pan.
I’m going to write a letter to the Third-Party Provider Manager at the DWP and express my view to him, as he pays their wages and makes the decision about who is awarded the Jobcentre contract. They didn’t bank on my dad working for the DWP for 40 years and knowing EXACTLY who I need to talk to to get things done.
It’s not all bad though. I managed to get hold of the company today and I was told they’d be making a decision tomorrow. Fingers crossed it’s good news folks.