Why hello FFWD readers. My, you're looking lovely today... Okay. Alright. I know that isn't going to work. You're much to smart to be won over by petty flattery. I should have known better. It was disrespectful to even try. You know and I know that I got some splainin' to do.
As I'm sure all six of you noticed, I've been AWOL for about a month, and I left without so much as a how-d'ya-do. I've been wandering around Italy for the past four weeks, looking at paintings, wandering through cathedrals, and eating excellent food, all while you've been sitting there, staring into the warm glow of your monitor, pawing feebly at a new animated Mel Gibson gif and wondering why, Kyle? Why did you abandon us?
Well, Ive returned, and to show you my contrition, I've brought you … Read More
Click here to read Part I of this story, if you like a) context and/or b) dull academic blather interspersed with stupid jokes. Read on if you crave only sweet, nourishing lists.
5) It was a bet made with the imaginary spectre of Sergio Leone whose anachronistic clothing and manner would understandably frighten a simple bandit-cum-rancher.
“Hey-a, Jon-a Marsden.”
“Sweet mother Mary I’ve done-gone and shit my under-onesie again.”
“Don’t-a be-a alarmed-a. You-a see, it is-a not so unusual I am-a here, seeing as so much-a of this-a world—including-a you, John—has-a been pretty much-a lifted wholesale-a from one-a of my movies-a.”
“Hold on now, pard. I’m just … Read More
Like any self-respecting nerd, many of my Elementary school lunch hours were spent playing videogames in the computer lab. There was Scorched Earth, Archon and Quest for Glory. There was a multiplayer space-dogfighter I can’t recall the name of. But mostly—when we could reasonably guarantee we wouldn’t be intruded upon by a teacher—there was GTA.
The first two GTA games were my first experience with open world gaming, and even then, I was playing the awful backseat designer. They were fun, sure, but they were basically still just asteroids with a series of elaborate “off” switches. You wanted the enemies to come? You started shooting. Flick. You wanted them to stop? You got your car spraypainted. Flick. You could upgrade your weapons … Read More
Oh, wow. So, it turns out one of my favourite videogames of the past five years ever is now available for the cost of a few gigs bandwidth. Which is to say: Portal is now completely free (for a few days). And you can even get it for your Mac, you bohemian, you.
If you're still reading this, I'm assuming it's because you don't know what Portal is, and/or you're waiting for me to make a dick joke. Let's start with the first one. Portal is a first-person puzzle game where you must escape a weapons-testing facility that has been taken over by an evil speak-and-spell. The only tool you have to do this is the "portal gun" -- an apparatus that allows you to create an instantaneous connection between any two surfaces. It sounds simple, but the puzzles become more and … Read More
Though I might not be thrilled the sequel to one of the strangest, loveliest, most genre-bendingest game series ever is a plain-Jane FPS, I'm thrilled that the Bioshock 2 team are the ones handling it. And if the screen above is any indication of their approach to the aesthetics, I have to say, they're doing it fucking right.
Just look at that. It's like 1950s coldwar paranoia meets Spielberg. These new XCOM agents are the sort of guys who will spend their days blasting apart aliens with a shotgun, shower off, then go home and chastise their stay-at-home wife because they hate meatloaf, and she knows that. Then they'd go toss the pigskin around with their son, who would rather just sit inside and read comic books, but they're going to do it … Read More
For one week only, the Humble Indie Bundle is available for the low, low price of... whatever you feel like paying. The proceeds are split evenly between the developers of the games and two gaming-related charities by default, but you have the option to divide your doubloons however you desire. God, someone fire me already.
As for the games themselves, I've only played two (World of Goo and Aquaria), but both are ace. WoG is an incredibly charming little puzzle game where you build stuff out of semi-sentient silly putty in a cartoon world. Aquaria is an underwater adventure in the mould of Zelda, except that collected "songs" stand in for boomerangs, bombs and--well, it's actually a bit like Ocarina of Time, come to that.
The others I can't … Read More
That headline serves two purposes: 1) Using letters as numbers will totally make me seem relevant to the microbloging crowd and 2) This post actually concerns a re-mastered version of stompy robot classic Mechwarrior 4 being released for free. Ha ha ha I'll cut you.
Though this doesn't quite top Peter's free gaming find for the week, it's still pretty awesome. This release of Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries has been totally revamped by the delightful and talented MekTek with Microsoft's (very recent) legal blessing. There are better graphics and new bits to stick to your robots, I gather, which presumably make them even better at The Stomping.
And in case that wasn't enough of a sell, here's a gaming anecdote from me about … Read More
Ever wondered how Samus Aran would handle a swarm of goombas? Think MegaMan has what it takes to take out Bowser? Well, now you can put those incredibly nerdy theories to the test. Some intrepid programmer has seen fit to update the original NES Super Mario Bros. game to allow players to choose between six classic characters (the others being Mario [naturally], Link, Simon from Castlevania and the dude from Contra), and the results are as glorious as you might expect. Just head to www.mariocrossover.com to check it out, or click on the screenshot above. Why did I ever get rid of my Gravis Gamepad?
(Thanks to FFWD's Garth Paulson for the link)Read More
First of all: Thanks for everything. I mean that. You’ve been reviewing movies longer than I’ve been alive, but even when my inner film nerd started to show himself in the mid-to-late nineties, your writing was there as a major touchstone for the development of my taste. I can say that I would not be here, writing about film (and music, and comics, and games…) for FFWD if it weren’t for you. So let me say it again, Roger: Thanks.
I love this job. I love this job that you encouraged me, without even knowing it, to pursue. I love it because I’m good at it, and because I think it’s important. In some cases, critics are gatekeepers to certain media that our readers might not have the time for or inclination towards. But more importantly, we represent … Read More