In honour of the 24th of July I’m going to take a look back at some of the bestest of best friends in video games. Having a buddy makes those long, cold nights staring at a screen that little bit more bearable. These are the relationships that have helped us get through the good times and the bad times.
It’s rare that a game will make me feel tense. Normally I needn’t be afraid if I bump into a small pocket of resistance. I always have numerous means available to me for dispatching them. But in Far Cry 4’s Escape from Durgesh Prison DLC when I’m moving through the undergrowth, narrowly avoiding a rhino, and I see a squad of Pagan Min’s loyalists, complete with a heavily armoured machine gunner in the back, I’m worried, worried that my knife and pistol won’t be enough to take them out. When I bungle a stealth takedown and the big guy spots me I don’t have a choice. I run, making a dash for the nearby cliff edge and diving into the river below, making sure to be wary of the demon fish beneath the surface.
Near Lancaster University in an abandoned car repair building there’s a lot of graffiti. This is not just any graffiti however, this is some of the most pretentious graffiti in the world.
Video game podcasts are like spleens, everyone has one but no-one really cares. With that in mind, here’s another one. But this one’s different, I swear! This one goes out live on Lancaster University’s student radio Bailrigg FM. Sure, that means it’s unedited and has the occasional awkward pause but it also means that listeners can interact with the show as it goes out, as well as listen to and suggest some of the best music in games. It’s hosted by myself and my friend and PUBLISHED JOURNALIST Matt Cox, along with a number of guests*. We aim to offer insightful commentary on what’s happening in the world of games and discuss what you should and shouldn’t be playing right now. Here’s something of a trailer
During term time the show is weekly, with the new time slot being confirmed in September. You can listen live here:
or listen to our archived episodes here
There’s even a Facebook page
*Yes, the guests are also just our friends.
I wrote a short story for the Wells Literature Festival competition. Chances are I’ll never hear back so in the interests of getting my work recognised to some small degree I’m posting it here. I fear some of the important points of the narrative may have been lost when I had to mercilessly cut the word count to less than 2000. Similarly, some points may have been under-explained. Let’s hope not though. I present to you ‘Pure Ecstasy’.
“Do you believe that happiness can exist without suffering, A-Mov?” Alma asked as she slumped across the table, staring at the tissue box on her desk, contemplating why she had allowed it to remain when she no longer sneezed.
Dishonored was one of my favourite games of 2012. While it had a number of flaws, at its core was an intelligent, liberating immersive sim (though I hate that genre label). DLC has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many gamers in the last few years but it seems that people are finally starting to be turned around. With developers like Arkane offering packages as substantial as the games they’re expanding on these additions get more and more tempting. The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches can contend with almost everything the original game has to offer, whilst also managing to avoid repeating many of its mistakes. Continue reading
Who are the real Rancors?-A look at the questionable ethics employed by the ‘good guys’ of Star Wars
This is perhaps too deep an analysis. After all, the films of George Lucas themselves were presumably never meant to inspire deep philosophical debate or be complex character studies. That side of Star Wars is better seen in the other media that surrounds its universe, such as the many books and comics and in Bioware and Obsidian’s series of games set in ‘The Old Republic’. Within the first half hour of the first film* the world is polarised between the evil dark side and the good light side. Regardless of this, there are still some pretty blaring ethical quandaries and, after all, it never hurts to tear apart the things we love (unless you do it literally).
“I could make a webcomic.” I naively thought to myself. “It would be a good place to put those shorter ideas I have that wouldn’t suit written articles, and they wouldn’t take as long to do.” Ha. Believe it or not this took around an hour and a half to produce, and I couldn’t even keep my art style consistent. Yes, I did cop out and get a picture of Chespin from the internet rather than drawing him myself, but it was probably for the best. Just look at what I did to Pikachu in the third panel. I was planning on making comics an irregular (but slightly more regular than my other pieces) thing on this site, but given how long this took I don’t know if it’ll happen again.