Category Archives: games

The mid-life crisis officially starts NOW.

So I appear to have bought a bass guitar. This is an unexpected development for the year. I wasn’t planning on it at all, although I’d started to have favourable feelings about the idea of trying to learn bass guitar a little while ago after I discovered that I preferred following basslines to lead guitar on Rock Band et al. It was a thought that clearly lingered with me.

And now I’ve gone past 40, and seen the only Olympics I’m ever likely to see in my country, I think my mid-life crisis has started and forced me to buy it. I have planned for said crisis, I’ve thought through the possible routes:

  • Affair – costly, too much organisation
  • Leather trousers – stumpy legs
  • Ponytail – not with my hair. I’m holding back the Hulk Hogan haircut for late 50s
  • Motorbike – costly, I’ll kill myself, q.v. leather trousers
  • Tattoo – this was the one I was planning on doing, I have a design in mind, have done for ages. Think I can handle the pain, all good. Just don’t seem to have got round to it yet

So my brain and my credit card skipped through the plan and went with bass guitar instead. The actual persuading factor was the release of a new game, Rocksmith. It’s the same sort of logic as Rockband, except you have to use an actual guitar or bass, and it’s designed more as guitar tutor through gaming. Exactly the sort of thing I can get behind. Although I’m going to try and do non-game learning and practice too. It arrives tomorrow, and I can’t wait to start.

I think they've passed the audition

Beatles rock band. Absolutely blown away by the trailer for this. It isn’t an original game. It isn’t an innovative game. It is a license game, which the vast majority of suck incredibly hard. So why has it impressed me?

It has been done right. It oozes the source material. Right outfits, right look and feel, even the right sideburns for the characters. Little side comments at the end of songs. It just feels so accurate. And it sold me. It also doesn’t hurt that I know all the songs. I was brought up on them, these are some of the first songs I was taught to sing. Blame a liberal education in the seventies for that if you like. This is how you make a licensed game, you basically pay a load of attention, and then make it right. Should be fairly obvious, but in a lot of cases people just don’t bother

I’m not going to shell out for the fancy instruments, but I’m definitely getting the game fairly early on.

Super Mario Live

This clip of Super Mario was brought to my attention by gaming blog Kotaku.

The style may be familiar, especially if you remember the clip from a few years ago of a table-tennis game as if it was filmed in the style of The Matrix. Both came from a Japanese TV show called Kinchan no Kasoh Taisho, which I believe is an annual event celebrating this form of performance. It’s well worth looking at the related videos on youtube, as there are many more to watch, performed by seasoned teams and talented kids alike, and they can be a joy to watch.

Welcome to flotsville, a MyMiniCity city

A little oddity this, flotsville. You don’t even sign up for it, you just enter where you want your city, and the name of it. Then as people visit it, it expands. A little like the Sims, obviously, except the only thing that promotes growth is vistors. Every visitor each day adds inhabitants and makes it grown. Have a look, have a go, and if you start your own city, let me know in the comments so I can come visit too.

What am I into at the moment?

I’m currently playing Super Mario Galaxy, which is a gorgeous game to watch and play, Puzzlequest, which is an RPG meets a Bejewelled-style puzzle game, and the expansion version of Phantasy Star Universe.

I’m watching Heroes of course, the new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is compulsory, it’s very good), the Mighty Boosh, and I’ve just watched my first episode of Flight of the Conchords, which I’d heard was a very marmite show, but I got it straight away, stupid in a great way.

Settlers of Catan

I’ve been playing quite a bit of Settlers of Catan on the Xbox 360 recently. It is a great board game brought onto Xbox Arcade, which as far as I can tell keeps all the board game elements, and then provides you with either decent opponents or the ability to play online. I picked it up pretty much from diving right into it, and I’m rather enjoying it. Let me know if you get it and fancy a game.

I want a Wii and I want one now (or at least I think I do)

On Monday I set out to try and track down a Nintendo Wii. I’ve been pondering it for a while, and having just been paid this weekend, I felt the urge to own one overwhelm me. Could I find one? Not for lack of trying. I hit every possible store in town, to no avail. The last one I went into I just dejectedly asked “You haven’t got any Wiis, have you. No? Good. Bye”. It has only been out here for six months, one would think they wanted to sell the bloody thing. Now I’m annoyed and don’t know if I want one at the moment, especially if it means tracking them down, rather than being bought on a whim (wiim?).

Bizarre Creations Next Live Game – Kotaku

New Xbox 360 Live game coming from the makers of Project Gotham:

Bizarre Creations, the guys behind Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Project Gotham Racing, are working on a new Live Arcade title.

Boom Boom Rocket, set to go live this spring, is described as a hypnotic rhythm music game conceived by Electronic Arts’ casual game site Pogo.com.

The game has players firing off rockets to the beat of music as they travel through a 3D city. The goal is to choreograph the firework-like explosions to the music. The game features 10 original tracks.

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