Franchise features, gaming

Tokyochuchu on: My personal top 5 gaming related moments of 2013

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas (it’s Christmas day as I write this, you see). While it could possibly be argued that 2013 was a disappointing year for gaming (too many sequels, too predictable), I nether-the-less had a lot of fun at home with my various forms of electronic entertainment. Here are my personal top five moments of gaming related joy this year…

#5: Jack Tretton mic bombs E3

Sure, it’s all said and done now. The consoles are out and Microsoft has totally reversed track on their whole online DRM nonsense. But if you step back to E3 2013, you might just be able to re-catch that excitement of a certain Mr. Tretton stepping out on stage and basically announcing; “Enough of this shit! Let’s just play some fucking games!” It was a moment in time that excited the blood and stirred the senses… Also to see Microsoft scrambling back over themselves in the wake of it was pretty hilarious.

For just a few seconds, he was the patron saint of gamers.

For just a few seconds, he became the patron saint of gamers.

#4: Metroid Madness!

Earlier this year, I had a very strong urge to revisit the world of Metroid. That urge soon turned into a full blown bout of obsession. Over the course of about a month I played through and finished; Metroid Fusion (twice), Metroid Zero Mission, Metroid Other M and Super Metroid. Along the way I discovered that Other M isn’t a complete dog of a game and Fusion is actually my favorite 2D entry in the franchise. If Nintendo ever get around to making another full Metroid game, the WiiU is as good as bought!

Apparently, Samus gives no quarter to the disabled.

Apparently, Samus gives no quarter to the disabled.

#3: Bioshock Infinite

I loved Bioshock Infinite. That came as a bit of a surprise to me, because I didn’t particularly love the original Bioshock. I thought it was a decent FPS adventure with oodles of atmosphere, but love it… Well, no. But I was in love almost as soon as I set foot in the world of Bioshock Infinite! With it’s floating cities, amusement park style visuals, alluring science fiction detailing and extreme violence, the title just blew me away. Even better, the game had awesomely fun combat mechanics as well as some memorable emotional peaks. I loved every second and ended up playing through the game twice.

Yes I would... Just sayin'.

Yes I would… Just sayin’.

#2: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

God bless PSPlus. After playing through the “Best Game Ever Made (c)” Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and finding it merely a solid game, my wont to play the insanely hyped third installment wasn’t particularly high. But in a moment of boredom, I decided to download the free 40GB digital version on PSPlus. Man am I glad I did because it rocked the shit! I felt that it was a far superior title to Uncharted 2 in every conceivable way… Oh, and it was better than the Last of Us too. The plot line, dialogue, combat mechanics, atmosphere, set-pieces, gameplay variety… It was all pretty much perfect. I was flipping out the whole time whilst playing! So much so, in fact, that I went back and replayed Uncharted 2. And whilst I did enjoy that game incrementally more than last time, it still didn’t come close to the thrills of Drake’s Deception. See… Sometimes (Michael Bay pay attention) a little restraint can work wonders!

Where's the trifle and cake?! Some desert this was!

Where’s the trifle and cake?! Some desert this is!

#1: Becoming a gaming ‘journalist’

Wow… How egotistical does that sound. It kind off makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. Still, I don’t know how else to say it. This year I started this website (patronized by all of 10 people… and thank you for that, btw) and the (slightly) more successful Axehead Assembly podcast over on Epicbattleaxe.com. These endeavors have added a lot of work into my free-time, especially editing the podcast, but getting together with friends from around the world, chatting about games and entertaining people while I’m at it… That’s a very special thing indeed. And as ramshackle as my website is, I fucking love it. Which is why I’m writing this blog on Christmas day instead of playing Minecraft! So thank you if you’ve been part of either my website or podcast. Happy 2014 to you all!

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Franchise features, gaming

Tokyochuchu on: E3 2013

So E3 2013 is finally over. Phew! What a show! To be honest, E3 isn’t usually my cup of tea. I’m not a massive fan of game media (why ruin the best parts of a game before you’ve played them?) and I even question the relevance of the event in this online world of ours. THAT SAID, even I couldn’t resist the lure of the major console companies suiting up for battle. And it didn’t disappoint in that regard. I also had a lot of fun text chatting with other gamers on a great gaming website that I frequent (epicbattleaxe.com). So without further ado, let’s go through my top 5 of E3 2013.

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#5: BATTLEFRONT – When EA and Disney inked their Star Wars deal, one thing was on gamer’s minds; a Battlefront game using the frostbite 2 engine. And in an uncharacteristic, crowd pleasing move, that’s exactly what EA are going to give to us. There wasn’t much to go on at E3, just a few seconds of CGI video, but then again the ink on the deal is still so fresh that expecting anything else would be folly. I’m really looking forward to the revival of this long dormant franchise, as Battlefront 2 was great fun and one of the best games to ever bare the Star Wars name.

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#4: THE DIVISION – One thing I will say about the E3 content is that it seriously lacked color. Almost all the next-gen games strove for realistic graphics, which meant that everything became a shade of grey or brown. Too many shooters. Too much killing. I like bright, vibrant fun more than busting heads! That said, Ubisoft’s online RPG / third-person-shooter hybrid looks great. I can imagine going through this game with a buddy in tow and having a riot (literally). This is one to keep an eye on definitely.

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#3 MARIO KART 8 – Oh Mario Kart… A game that never, ever changes. We watch as iteration after iteration pushes the franchise further into irrelevan… CRASH! KABOOM! SCREEEEE… That is the sound of Mario Kart 8 bucking the trend and blowing your mind. It’s in HD and it’s obviously been paying close attention to the excellent Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing franchise. You can now drift at lightning speed and even drive on the walls and ceilings! For the first time since the N64, Mario Kart is looking fresh, hungry and reinvigorated. The case for getting a WiiU just gathered speed.

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#2 METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN – The gameplay footage I saw had horses. HORSES!! What more is there to say? Game over, motherfuckers. MGSV has gone from a game I had almost no interest in to one I’m now properly excited about. It’s open world. You can drive a multitude of transports. There is a greater emphasis on stealth. I’m almost peeing my pants right now. This could be a great return to form for the series. I had big problems with the overblown story telling of parts 3 & 4, so I hope Kojima has kept himself in check this time (who am I kidding). Anyway, Metal Gear Redemption / Assassin’s Creed Solid is once again relevant and firmly on my radar.

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#1 THE PS4 OWNS YOUR FACE – No DRM. Used games / lending are encouraged. No always online requirement. No mandatory spycam. Region free. Only one PSN subscription required for all accounts… And it’s 100 bucks cheaper than the Xbone! THANK YOU SONY. Microsoft tried to fuck us in the ass and ruin gaming. Sony have now diligently tended to our wounds. I could watch Jack Tretton’s E3 announcements and the crowd’s reactions to them all day. That was a sheer joy to behold as a gamer and maybe the best E3 moment of all time. The Chuchu will now be getting a PS4 as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

So there you go. E3 is dust. It was great for new console news and OK for games too. But there was no news regarding a new Metroid title. CHUCHU SAD. Come on Nintendo, get your shit wired!

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