Rayman’s a bit of an underappreciated figure these days. Notwithstanding his acclaimed comebacks in Rayman Origins and Legends, he seems to have dropped off the map again now, with a dearth of new content starring the limbless hero.
I would like to take a bit of time to praise the Rayman series, particularly the entry I spent the most time with in my youth. (I should like to return again to the Rayman series to look at my favourite as an adult, but that will have to wait.) My first Rayman game was the first sequel, Rayman 2: The Great Escape for N64. Continue reading
While writing my recent post about the music of Gradius, I felt the need to experience the music in context. I’ve spent at least some time with each game in the series, but Gradius III has my favourite soundtrack and was the one I really wanted to sink my teeth into. Who could have known that such easy listening would accompany such a difficult game?! Gradius III is one of the hardest, most gruelling games out there, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Beyond a staggering difficulty, Gradius III sports some utterly baffling game design. But there’s a solid core of enjoyable gameplay in all the Gradius games and, thanks to that steady foundation, I was eventually able to “complete” it. Continue reading
You’ll never get rid of us. It’s all about the franchises this week: Harvest Moon, Civilization and Excitebike. To be specific, we offer up thoughts and impressions on Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Special Edition, Civilization IV, and Excitebike 64. Adrian finishes the segment with some brief impressions of satisfying fare which did not receive sequels, namely ChuChu Rocket and Steamgear Mash.
Impressions out of the way, we return to the old chestnut of women in games. This time we come at the topic via that old chestnut of a blog, A Most Agreeable Pastime. It seems AMAP’s post about Ubisoft’s recent gender slip-up regarding Assassin’s Creed has turned us into die-hard feminists, because despite intending to cover multiple topics in this second segment, we ended up devoting the entire second segment to this issue. In our efforts to rescue the gaming world from inequality one creative director at a time, we discuss everything from the impact of Japanese versus Western game design on gender, through to questions of genre. Finally, we address that all-important question: what might “visual assets” actually mean when used in reference to designing female characters?
And that’s the show. Back in two weeks, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for the show, please drop us a comment!
Episode 4: I’m Not Sexist…My Best Friend’s Metroid
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Hello reader. Hilarious and weird are the themes of the day, although this is the internet and that’s pretty much the average temperature round these parts.
In the hilarious category today, for your pleasure we have an absurdly funny and at times mind bending video of Charlie Brooker, the host of several TV shows in recent years, notably Gameswipe and How Videogames Changed the World, attempting to teach a stubborn Jon Snow to play videogames. It’s a long video but I urge you to watch the entire thing. Charlie Brooker is so earnest here, you can’t help but sympathise. This candid video reveals Jon Snow to be a true news reader – conservative and stubborn to the core, he appears to genuinely believe the rubbish he spews everyday on the news. Someone switch his news anchor switch to off! After this interview you can imagine them heading to a nearby restaurant, only for Snow to start up his horse-meat-in-ready-meals diatribe again, while everyone sighs until Snow leaves. He then hops in his private jet home because he heard that you’re more likely to die crossing the road than in a plane crash.
It’s pretty remarkable to find a grown man react to exploding Lego on-screen with “it’s violent and horrid”, “you think a child doesn’t think those are real people?”, “I’m told that people can watch these things for five hours a day!”, “they’re going through the psychological experience of killing people”. All the stereotypes are out in force then! That includes obligatory snide remarks about the number of men who play videogames in proportion to women. And Snow’s constant cynical interruptions are breathtakingly redundant: “I don’t watch videogames.” “So it’s a technological intrigue.” “You think I’ve had a sad and bereft life by not having dabbled in this stuff?” “I thought this was supposed to be state-of-the-art”. Brooker has the patience of a saint.
Elsewhere on TV…
This koala does the adverts for some toilet paper junk, and he manages to make cleaning your bum cute and fun, which is no small feat. The advert below starring our dear koala bear here absolutely proves Brooker’s thesis that videogames have in fact changed the world. Videogames have changed how people wipe their bums forever! I yell “SOFT COMBO” every time I swipe now.
Thanks Cushelle and Charlie Brooker, and most of all videogames – you all get a big thumbs up!
What are the lessons here then other than Cushelle’s advocacy of basic hygiene? Brooker once called the news “the world’s longest running soap opera”. Great quote, but what does it mean? Well, for one, it means this video of Jon Snow is not about the launch of the Playstation 4 at all. The Playstation 4 is a rather clunky plot device, while the meat of the drama is the character study of one man, Snow, as he descends into madness and his job utterly consumes him. How can we trust the news with this unreliable narrator at the helm? We cannot. Now, everyone go out and buy Cushelle.* In conclusion, news = bad, advertising = good.*Sentence sponsored by Cushelle.
Hi there. Welcome to Very Very Gaming! This blog is sponsored by NerdyCrap. In this series of posts I’m going to talk about storage space and videogames, bringing you all the top tips on running a gamer-friendly household on a budget. In this week’s post, I’m going to show you how to free up valuable shelf space without spending a penny. Come on then, let’s get a move on!
Now, if your partner is a bit bookish, an old-school music nut or a knick-knack collector (I’m really sorry), you might have competition for shelving space in your home. Here’s a great tip you can use. Build yourself some DIY shelves, then offer them to your partner and label it a “present”. With any luck, they’ll be wracked with enough guilt that they’ll actually use the inevitably hideous creation, leaving you with precious shelf space to use for videogames, or whatever your shelf-hogging hobby may be. Later in this post, I’ll show you how to build your own unstable edifice out of a cardboard box. Continue reading