archive for the Gaming category

African Safari

Gaming Saturday 23rd February 2008

The Consolevania review of African Safari had us in absolute stitches at work the other day. Well worth a read for a laugh, that fence is long.


Video Game Music + Marching Band = Win

Gaming Tuesday 29th January 2008



Gaming Sunday 4th November 2007

My good buddy Ian (dude, fix your website) recently put me onto the incredibly fast-paced “zero punctuation” video reviews done by a fellow Brit living in Australia. With his dead-pan voice over and accompanying stick figure animation he manages to brilliant summarise some of the latest games, as well as get in plenty of sight gags and pithy commentary. Here is his review of Valve’s Orange Box:


Recently I have been…

Gaming Sunday 30th September 2007



Gorgeous visual, gorgeous sound design, brilliant voice acting, almost real moral choices. Runs like a dog on my aging PC but is still an amazing game.

Quake Wars: Enemy Territory

Also runs like a dog on my “rig” but is very fast and fun, in the same vein as the original Enemy Territory. Similar to Battlefield 2, but then also very different – more arcadey. It also has the usual technical/gameplay polish of all the iD/Splash Damage games.

Team Fortress 2

The very, very late sequel to the original Team Fortress is now in beta and it is one heck of a lot of fun. Inspired visuals (cell shaded cartoon style) give it a whole new take and makes it a different kind of game. The slightly simplified graphics also help to make it fly along on my PC.


Heroes Season 2

From the first episode it is certainly looking promising and just as good as season one. From the upcoming guest star gossip it also sounds like there is a lot more fun to come.

The Wire Season One

I watched the entirety of The Wire “off the internet” and now I’ve started buying the DVD boxsets because it is so damn good. Possibly one of the finest cop shows ever.


A new show created by one of the writers of The Sopranos about the lives of the “madmen” – the Madison Avenue ad (as in advertising) men in the 1960s. Interesting period stuff which is covering a lot of the changing social aspects of American life.



Gaming,Me Friday 8th September 2006

The ioquake3 project aims to build on id software’s release of the Quake 3 source code. Tremulous uses ioquake as it’s engine and the project will hopefully allow for many more games that are stand-alone and use a decent engine.


Mario Theme Tune on the Royal Mile

Edinburgh,Gaming Tuesday 15th August 2006

Saw these guys performing a version of the Mario theme tune.

Gamers are everywhere these days.


Revolution = Wii

Gaming,Logos That I Like Sunday 30th April 2006


Silliness aside, it is an extremely clever brand and logo. Just what we’ve been led to expect from Nintendo really 🙂

update: and the new wii website is just as purty as the logo!


Child’s Play

Gaming,News Saturday 17th December 2005

childs play

Buy some toys for sick children at xmas.


Mostly Been Playing

Gaming Wednesday 30th November 2005


FEAR stands for something daft like First Encounter Assault Recon. FEAR has some truly awesome fire fights, the “gun play” is very, very good. In firefights the developers have gone for a full on experience. Particles and chunks fly off every surface as your bullets inpact on it. Paper sprays off bundles of paper, splinters fly off piles of timber, glass shanters into lots of pieces and sparks and smoke come off all the weapons. Whilst you’re getting all of this eye candy thrown at you, the AI is cunningly flanking you, flushing you out with grenades and generally being clever (or giving a very good illusion of being clever). This was the first game since half-life 1 (when the grunts first flushed me out with a grenade) where the AI actually surprised me. The bad guys will vault over surfaces and pull over desks and filing cabinets to provide cover. Get too close to them and they lunge at your and knock you flying. It’s all very impressive.

So, the guns, the fire fights and the AI is all good. Unfortunately the level design is mind-numbingly repetitive. Abandoned warehouse, abandoned office, sewer, repeat. The story seems pretty good initally but the briefings at the start of each mission get more and more pointless as you realise its just another warehouse of bad guys to shoot your way through. It does have some genuinely creepy moments, just as you turn a corner a ghostly figure will walk past into a wall. Or, just as you reach the top of a ladder a figure will be there and then scatter into lots of fly-like black particles. It does bits of horror stuff very well in places, but then you round the next corner and it’s back to mowing down bad guys again.

I’ve been playing it in small bursts, it seems to be best that way.

Call Of Duty 2

Call Of Duty 2 is very much a sequel. It doesn’t look vastly different from the first one. There has been a bit of polish to the engine, it has very good smoke for one thing and still has its intense edge. The one thing that stands out after playing FEAR is how static the scenery is. Everything is completely glued to the floor, unless it’s scripted to get blown up by a tank or something. I mean, a small wooden crate can provide cover from a tank shell, which is just silly.

The various scenarios are still huge fun though, and you get into those intense situation we’re you’ve got enemy fire zipping past you and you’re throwing grenades and jumping over walls and stuff. Crouching…reloading…popping up…sighting down the weapon…capping a bad guy. Great stuff.


Crates & Barrels In Games

Gaming,Links Friday 15th July 2005

Great site devoted to Crates & Barrels in games. You won’t “get this” unless you’re a gaming geek, sorry.


Video Game Sprites

Gaming,Links Tuesday 21st June 2005

Video Game Sprites


Video Game Controller Family Tree

Gaming,Links Tuesday 31st May 2005

Sock Master’s Video Game Controller Family Tree


Multicolour Nintendo Revolution

Gaming,Links,Technology Saturday 21st May 2005

Now this is a sexy looking console. Give me this over the Xbox 360 and PS3 any day.


Homebrew Grand Theft Auto for the 8-bit Nintendo

Gaming,Links Saturday 21st May 2005

This guy is making a port of Grand Theft Auto for the NES, yes the NES. He is one dedicated guy, considering he had to make: an assembler, graphics editor, map editor and a host of other tools all from scratch just to make this game!


A Comic Using Half-Life 2

Gaming,Links Sunday 17th April 2005

This guy has constructed his own comics using screen shots from Half-Life 2 for all of the artwork. It is very, very well done. This guy has some skills!


Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival

Edinburgh,Gaming Thursday 7th April 2005

In August the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival has loads of free (I think) screenings of upcoming game footage and talks by industry types. I missed it last year for some reason but heard good things about it. More info here.


New Look GameSoc

Design,Gaming,Me,Technology Wednesday 23rd March 2005

A while ago in my role as “webmonkey” for GameSoc I thought that we were due a re-design. The site design had been unchanged for atleast a year and was starting to look rather dated. It was based around a horrendous table layout with a huge banner graphic. Really old-skool stuff. So, I’ve updated the colour scheme and stripped out some of the table layouts. A lot of the table stuff is still there but I really don’t fancy digging around in 30+ files changing <td>s and <tr></tr>s to <div>s and <span>s. The original site back-end code was written before CSS layouts were vogue. I think I’ll phase out the tables gradually.

I’ve also managed to crowbar in some nifty png image trickery. The shadows on the sides of the page content are actually pngs with variable transparency. This means the background image can change and the shadow will still ‘make sense’. Neato stuff, except that is totally breaks in IE (surprise). One hack later and IE is atleast displaying the image properly. But now you can’t click on any of the page! Slight flaw there microsoft… Another google later and I find this life-saving page. Apparently your image has to be really small in one of it’s dimensions. That’s one nasty bug.

Anyway, I like the new look and I’ll continue squashing those nasty tables. What do you think?


Natural Selection

Gaming Wednesday 16th March 2005

I finally got to have a game of the super-new version of Natural Selection last night. I haven’t gamed online for ages. With my non-student working lifestyle it’s often hard to find the time. There have been some nice improvements and it is looking more polished than ever. It is probably the most professionally done mod I’ve played in a while. You completely forget that you’re playing a community-built free add-on for a game seven years old. Cracking stuff.


BAFTA Gaming Results

Gaming Friday 4th March 2005

Looks like Half-Life 2 totally cleaned up at the BAFTAs.

BAFTA Results : Guardian Unlimited Gamesblog


Pacman, The Snow Level

Gaming,Work Thursday 24th February 2005

It’s amazing what you can do in your lunch break.



Gaming Wednesday 23rd February 2005

David Jones the guy behind Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings is currently working on a new game called All Points Bulletin (APB). It’s a MMOG but not in the Warcraft vein, instead it pits the factions that want to uphold the law against the rabble who prefers to break it. Sounds a little bit like an online GTA to me which is not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t sound amazingly original but then most of the stuff from Dave Jones turns out to be gold-dust.


Raising The Bar

Books,Gaming Monday 17th January 2005

I just got this with some of my christmas money. It is extremely shiny and nice:



Gaming Saturday 8th January 2005

No, I haven’t been honoured. But, Peter Molyneux has been. Molyneux seems to have been around for ever and constantly has amazingly original game ideas. I never really got into Populous back in the day but I did love the Syndicate series and many other Bullfrog games like Theme Park and Theme Hospital. It’s good to see the UK gaming industry getting some recognition at last.


Carmack In Blogging Shocker

Gaming Monday 3rd January 2005

Interesting update about the Quake 3 engine and general game engine talk over at John Carmack’s blog. Including this snippet:

“There are still bits of early Quake code in Half Life 2…”

That’s crazy considering how old the original quake engine is, and a testament to how ground-breaking it still is.


Edge Awards

Gaming Saturday 18th December 2004

Half-life 2 seems to have swept the board at Edge magazines awards this year. Winning ‘Best Game’, ‘Most Innovative’ and ‘Best Visual Design’. Strange, as I always think of Edge as very console biassed. From Guardian Gamesblog.


Origins of PlayStation

Gaming Thursday 16th December 2004

An Interesting chat with SCEE’s Executive Vice President of Development Phil Harrison about the origins and growth of the Playstation:
Guardian Unlimited Gamesblog


Half-Life 2

Gaming Sunday 21st November 2004

Wow. Just….wow. I was up untill 3:30am last night playing possibly one of the finest action games of all time. It’s just mind blowingly polished in everything it does, you just know that Valve have tweaked, tested and optimised every possible facet of the experience. It really is getting close to the convergence product of an “interactive movie” that we keep hearing about. There are no cut scenes, a interface that is minimalist to the extreme and a world that is so full of possibilities that it is a joy to play. The story is just brilliant, it picks up from the end of Half-Life 1 and drops you into this Easterm European soviet-chic police state (1984 style) with no explantation of why you are there, how you got there or what you have to do next. It is left to the player to use their imagination to explore and interact with the surroundings and maybe guess at what is going on.

The physics are just plain fun. Barrels, boxes, tables, chairs, radiators, phones; everything can be moved around, smashed, burnt, blown up, thrown, stacked, floated, catapulted…It’s just sublimely fun. And the graphics! Oh man! I thought my PC would struggle (1.4 Athlon, 512 RAM, Gf4) but it’s coping surprisingly well at 1024×768 and rendering the Half-Life 2 world beautifully. Birds fly from rooftops, smoke and mist hangs around creepily and custard yellow paint peels from apartment block walls. Water effects are brilliant and don’t turn my pc to treacle. Reflections, frosted glass, sun streaming in through windows, and sheets of glass breaking gradually all look amazing. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the following screenshots taken whilst playing. I’ll try and get better ones up later but most of the time I’m too engrossed to bother pressing the screenshot key.



Gaming,Me,University Sunday 21st November 2004

GameSoc had it’s AGM last week and the new committee is now in full effect. No one else wanted to be the WebMaster so I volunteered to stand again and was duly elected. This year I’m gonna try and put my stamp on the site by stripping out a lot of junk we never use. We never use the forum, the front page needs a re-design and the colour scheme is looking a little dated. On major task would be to make the whole site standards compliant. Not as easy as it sounds, as most of the pages are generated by the back end so it means lots of hacking around in php files. I should really write some kind of numpties guide to the backend aswell as I’m not going to be doing this forever.


More Battlefield 2 Shots

Gaming Monday 20th September 2004

Some more very tasty Battlefield 2 screenshots revealed on ea games here.



Gaming,University Friday 17th September 2004

Had a day off work today and decided to help out at the GameSoc Freshers LAN. There was an ok turnout but surprisingly most people were playing Wario-Ware on the Game Cube instead of playing Quake 3! It’s usually the other way around.


Post-Doom III id News

Gaming Thursday 5th August 2004

“Amidst all the various Doom ports and expansions, we are starting up on our next game. It will have a new rendering engine, which will be keeping me busy for a while, but the only other thing we are saying for now is that it won’t be a sequel to any of our previous work.”
-John Carmack


Guardian In Games Blog Shocker

Gaming Monday 2nd August 2004

Could be worth keeping an eye on: Guardian Games Blog


Sequel to Wolfenstein

Gaming Monday 19th July 2004

“During a Q&A with id CEO Todd Hollenshead, Todd confirms the already stated plan for id’s next internal project to be an entirely new intellectual property, and drops the news along the way that some unnamed third party is currently at work on an as-yet not officially announced sequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the World War II shooter originally built on Quake III technology.”


(from bluesnews)



Gaming Tuesday 1st June 2004

Half-Life completed in 50 minutes:


First Battlefield 2 Screenshots

Gaming Saturday 17th April 2004

Brothers In Arms

Gaming Wednesday 14th April 2004

This looks promising, I’ll be keeping an eye on it:

Brothers In Arms Game


Half-Life 2 Trailer

Gaming Thursday 15th May 2003



Half-Life 2

Gaming Wednesday 23rd April 2003

Ooooo, an entry in the gaming category.
Valve have finally admitted that they are working on Half-Life 2 (like they weren’t going to make a sequel, come on!). E3 is just around the corner and they will undoubtly steal the show. A few magazines had some screenshots under strict emabrgo, but as usual they were leaked onto the web.
Looks like I’ll need a new computer this year…

P.S. I apologise for the entry below, I was very tired.



Gaming Thursday 20th March 2003

Just got this microsoft game, seems quite good. Its a elite-style space sim, but with a shallower learning curve. They’ve made the controls a lot more arcadey but it is still a lot of fun. A huuuuge universe to explore, but it seems a tad repetitive at times, as they reuse the same dialogue and locations but with different names.


So true…

Gaming Wednesday 12th February 2003

“The only reason that people can get away with insulting friends and foes was because they knew them so well”



and another thing…

Gaming Sunday 2nd February 2003

unreal2 = bling



Gaming Wednesday 29th January 2003

Quick link to an Unreal 2 mod a few of my buddies are working on:



More Deus Ex 2 goodness

Gaming Wednesday 29th January 2003

Folowing up on my deus ex2 fanboy trip, the deus ex 2 website, cunningly titled:



Deus Ex 2

Gaming Monday 27th January 2003 have started taking pre-orders for Deus Ex 2. Deus Ex has to be one of my fave games of all time, the sequel looks like it could be as good, if not better.
Then I see the release date: 23/05/2003. Right before all my exams… linkage


Natural Selection

Gaming Wednesday 27th November 2002

Does really good ‘marine V alien’ fps/strategy/commander type game all in the half-life engine float your boat? Then this is definetly for you:


Tony Hawks4

Gaming Thursday 31st October 2002

Now this sounds really sweet, support for upto 6 players and a capture the flag mode!


Unreal Tournament 2003

Gaming Saturday 14th September 2002

One of the most hotly anticiapted game demos has just been released. Pretty damn good it is too! The new game mode ‘Bombing Run’ is also much funness, it combines a football game with manic fps action.
Grab it here