Tuesday 10 November 2009

Feeling a bit of a…

Okay, so Max was round last night. He had done his usual thing – gone out and bought Dead or Alive 4 on budget for the Xbox 360. Nothing unusual there, apart from the fact that Max does not own a 360. He has a 360 gamepad, and 2 games. But no 360. He is of the PS3 camp, usually natural enemies of me. He buys them purely to bring round and play on my system. This is quite normal for Max, and not the first time he had done it. But I digress…

Now, DOA4 is nothing new. It has been out for a while, and I have not purchased it. I am still a big fan of beat’em ups, but there are those that I have avoided, usually on principle. I don’t like Tekken. Never have, never will. I have never been a big fan of DOA4, because I think that the gameplay is fatally flawed, and the AI that the programmers have sadistically implemented is neither fair, or logical. Now there are games that defy logic. Usually with things like Nitrous Oxide refilling itself, or suspension that does not break even after the car has dropped over two hundred feet from the road. Or the ability to withstand an entire clip of machine gun ammo, and still being able to sprint and fist-fight. Throwing fireballs from bare hands and so on. But when the computer can repel your attack with a counter, and then unleash a nine-hit combo with a multi-throw tacked onto the end, that is enough to make me have to retrieve the gamepad from a smashed TV screen. But I digress again…

I have never really liked DOA, unless I am playing against another player. Another player of comparable ability. Like Max. Max, in turn, likes being the female characters. He likes being the female characters in any game, but he particularly likes DOA because he can turn the ‘Boob-Slider’ right up to 99 and get very distracted. He also likes purple hair. This might also explain why I am married and he is not.

We were playing away, making various grunting noises and light hearted bad language whenever a counter actually worked when the wife walked in.

‘What is wrong with the women’s tits?’ She asked.
I stopped to consider my answer, while Max simply burst into hysterical (if somewhat embarrassed) laughter.
‘It is Max’s preference’ I replied, carefully.
‘Well I don’t think it’s fair,’ she responded. ‘If that is the case with the girls, then why don’t the men’s lunchboxes jiggle too?’

She left. Max and I looked at each other, with a small look of thought, and a large expression of disgust on our faces. Why on Earth would we want to see that in a game? Would girls even buy a game where the male protagonist’s genitalia animated as much as the females? Would that not make it a very viable target during the fracas?

I have never really thought that this could be a concern. Okay, normally it is a funny addition, and we all know that sex sells. But I didn’t really consider that this sort of game would even appeal to the lady folk.

Ever since then, my wife has found it amusing to try to emulate the jiggling every time the game is mentioned. Which of course, is a tremendous plus-point for me. J

Oh my God. I used a smiley in my post. That is very worrying.

- Galford

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Just when you thought…

Okay, so when does the bad become good? When something even worse comes along afterwards…

I recently re-watched the Nostalgia Critic’s review of Streetfighter The Movie. He was, of course spot-on with his outlook of the whole shambles. However, after watching that, I thought I would watch the Streetfighter film once again. Just for old time’s sake. Yes, there was a time I thought it was good. I was not old enough to know better!

Every time I see it, I love drawing the same conclusion. I will dispense this revelation now.

So, the winners – who effectively ‘complete’ the film/game are: Guile, Chun Li, Cammy, Ken, Ryu, Zangief, E. Honda, T. Hawk, Balrog and Captain Sawada. Apart from the fact that Balrog should be on Bison’s side. And Zangief was on Bison’s side in the film. And Captain Sawada has never been in the fucking game. Streetfighter The Movie The Game doesn’t count.

I have never been able to complete any Streetfighter game currently available with that many people simultaneously. Well, technically I came close with Marvel Vs Capcom 2. But that one doesn’t count either.

Okay, so people that didn’t survive: Bison, Dhalsim, Blanka and Vega. Except for the fact that we aren’t actually sure if Vega is dead or not. But what can I say? Life sucks for you guys.

Finally, there are the people that survived the explosion, but didn’t win: Deejay and Sagat. Apart from the fact that Deejay should not have been on Bison’s team. Neither should he have been consumed with money. And Sagat – come on Wes, you should have more self respect than to take a job like this in the first place!

Oh and of course Fei Long. Who didn’t exist. Apparently.

Yes, this was a God-awful film. But then, Max managed to persuade me to see Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun Li.

No. no. NO. NOOO!!!! What’s going on? Just when I thought that it could not get any worse, it did! How could they actually manage to screw up the Streetfighter film franchise even further? THIS IS NOT STREETFIGHTER! For fuck’s sake. It’s only saving grace is that, if I don’t think of it as a Streetfighter film, and that the names are purely coincidental, I can just about get through it! Continuity? Canon? CHARACTERS?? What’s wrong with you people? No one even looks remotely like they should, Bison dies before the Streetfighter tournament has even fucking begun, and he doesn’t even wear a fucking fucking hat! Suddenly, Streetfighter The Movie looks really, really good. Mortal Kombat looks even better. Streetfighter the Animated Movie? In comparison, it’s absolute Oscar material!

- Galford.

Monday 17 August 2009

Make a deal with the Devil, or buy Games from GOD?

Okay, so there’s nothing wrong with buying something online. Virtual shops are all well and good. However, I am not very convinced when it comes to buying virtual products. I have never, and will never purchase music through Itunes. Apart from the obvious total and utter hatred and contempt for Apple, I much prefer to have a physical copy of the artifacts that I own.

This for me then, is where Microsoft’s Games On Demand falls on it’s face.

Yes, it’s all well and good being able to buy games usually only available off the shelf online, and download it straight to your 360, but why? They say that it takes a few hours for the four to six gig games to arrive. In that time, I could’ve popped down to Gamestation, or CEX and… bought it. Wait just a few hours longer, and Amazon will deliver it to my door. Also, I have a 60Gb Xbox premium edition. That means 10 games, and my hard disk is full. If I wanted to have more games, I would have to go into a shop, and purchase a bigger hard disk. Or, I could… you know… buy the games instead. What a waste of time!

Not only this, but at time of writing all the games available through GOD (lord help me!) are all £19.99. Burnout Paradise is available second-hand from CEX for £15, less than 100 yards from where I work! Yes, I know it’s used, but it’s still a physical copy of the game – more than you get from GOD…

This system is in its infancy. Thankfully. Because at the moment, it is fatally flawed. If the games were being sold for like £5, seeing as there is no manufacturing process required, I would be much more interested. As it stands, right now I am still happy to stretch my legs and get the wife to go buy me my next game.

Thanks Darling. Love you!

- Galford.

Sunday 28 June 2009

Xbox 360 Obtained – Achievement 10G…

Okay, so I haven’t posted for a long time. This is because… I finally have an Xbox 360!!! YOSHAAA!

I was able to scrape the money together, enough to purchase a next-gen console. I only have a handful of second-hand games for it at the moment, apart from one – Street Fighter 4. Oh yes. Mm mm Mmmm!

It’s funny though, because I often wondered if the 360 would live up to my expectations. Now, they have a Wii at work in the canteen room. From playing on it quite extensively, I knew that my original supposition about not wanting to own one was accurate. It’s novel, it’s different, but it’s stupid. Max has a PS3. I don’t want one of those on principle. The 360, on the other hand is every bit as good as I expected it to be. I was worried for a while that I was becoming an Xbox fanboy, but I don’t think that I would actually die for my console of choice. But I do believe that it has a significant edge over its competition.

I am, however putting off adding my credit card details for Marketplace purchases. It’s not that I don’t trust Microsoft’s security measures; it’s just that I don’t thrust my own. If I put the ability to pay for some of the content without even having to refer back to my credit card, I will be bankrupt by the end of the day. …What? What was that? Street Fighter HD is a third cheaper? For a limited time? Dammit!!

There is no doubt that the other reason I wanted a 360 has also lived up to its reputation. I love Street Fighter 4. But, this does bring me onto my next point…

Seth Ruins Street Fighter 4.

Oh my God. What a fucker. What a way to completely shit on the best game ever. It’s like ordering a chocolate ice cream sundae. It is sublime. Tasty beyond compare, smooth, cool, perfect; until you get to the big ball of dark chocolate at the bottom and discover that it is shit. Actual shit. Unfiltered, straight from the porcelain throne after a good curry shit.

Why sink that low when creating the best of the best? All of the other characters in the game are excellent. Perfectly developed, artistically spot-on and a joy to use. Even wierdos like Rufus are pick-up-and-play characters. But Seth feels like a reject from much lesser fighting games than this. His appearance is awful. His moves suck ass and his fighting style is utter bollocks. He is worse than Rugal, he is worse than Shao Khan. He even manages to make the end-game bosses in Dead or Alive seem well balanced. Trying to unlock Gouken, I was fighting his as Akuma, on very easy. Just wanted an easy run to simply get the job done. But no, after beating everyone else with little to no effort that blue motherfucker pulled out the most piss-poor moves and beat me. Akuma. Very easy. FUCK YOU! I’m not the best player in the world, but I’m better than average, as my online bout statistics show. But it’s like Capcom said ‘Well, we know you have spent years on the various Street Fighter games honing your skills, and we know you can complete SF2 and Alpha on the hardest setting, but fuck that. We are going to show you how shit you really are.’

Fuck Seth. He caused me to destroy one of my pads when I threw it at the wall in disgust. I play the game until I get to him, then I turn it off. I don’t need that.


- Galford.

Monday 27 April 2009


Why is it, I always get attached to technology that I invariably collect during the course of my life? I am still no closer to my 360, in fact – truth be known, I am getting further away. This is a double blow considering that nearly fifty percent of my birthday fund has gone on trivialities, leaving the once proud amount rather waning. Still, I will not be discouraged! I know, I can sell things on eBay. How about my rather considerable (considerably daft, more like!) collection of phones from days gone by? Well, I could, but… they either are not worth enough to bother going through the rigmarole of listing them, or they are still just too useful! Okay, how about my amassed defunct laptops? Again, I could – but they may still be useful, old games and programs that I can’t be bothered to upgrade or make compatible that lurk around the grotty crags of my office may once again be pressed into usefulness, either out of necessity, or boredom. Right. Old toys? Hmm… but they remind me too much of my youth. A time in my life that is getting further away by the day! Besides, my darling three year old Son has found a boxful, and as a result, are now broken and completely worthless. My old 1:18 scale car collection? I…took ages to get them all together. I don’t want to have to reverse my efforts, losing money hand-over-fist in the process. That leaves… Internal organs. Any of those I’m not using?

It comes to something when I would rather sacrifice a section of my own internal workings that part with a piece of what is rapidly becoming retro technology. I love old gadgets and the like, mostly because they are the genesis which has spring-boarded us to where we are now in the modern day. But then, what would I be exchanging them for? New technology! Hmm… New technology, old technology. New technology, old technology. New technology, old technology. New technology, old technology. New technology, old technology… You know – the more you say it, the less it helps!!

- Galford.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Penny-Pinching Bastard

Yes, I suppose I am really. I don’t like to admit it, even though I just did… and I don’t like other people agreeing with me, despite the fact that I’m sure most of you did the very instant you read the title.

Basically, it goes like this. I am close to buying an Xbox 360. Very close. However, I was short by an almost considerable sum of money. I was given a cash injection due to yet another birthday, but it was not enough. I have tried to ignore the fact that every single time I express an interest in purchasing said hardware, someone, somewhere, after eating a Toffee Crisp, experiences the red ring of death. This is still the one thing that puts me off more than anything. But, when I weigh that against the prospect of owning Streetfighter 4, it just… doesn’t seem that big a bother, actually. So yes, I am still going to go ahead with it.

I was considering the purchase of a second-hand one to reduce the cost somewhat, but then I became a victim of what I now call the ‘hundred pound trust syndrome’. This is basically, that I have seen a few pre-owned 360’s for sale in various outlets, most of which seem to retail for about £120-£150, given the spec and condition. This is just the wrong side of my budget at the moment. I look on longingly, wondering if it is worth going into my overdraft in order to own one. This, however is tempered by the fact that to also procure Streetfighter 4 and an additional pad would probably push up the cost dangerously to nearer the £200 mark. Way, way out of my current spending budget. So I have put aside a sizeable chunk of my lifespan to finding one that is cheaper. This happened, strangely enough in the same day. Walking through the local town centre, swatting teenagers as I went, I discovered a small electrical store with of all things, a second-hand 360 in the window. As with such things, I did a double take. The pain should wear of eventually, I hope. The price tag badly stuck onto the side of it with sticky-tape stated that it was worth £79. (The Xbox, not the price tag. Obviously. Durrr…) At this point, I looked the white unit up and down. Most of the blanking plates were missing, as was the hard drive – although I did not know if that was so it didn’t get pinched. Even so, alarm bells rang inside, and I thought ‘That’s rather cheap. Too cheap. What’s wrong with it? Is it broken, abused or stolen?’ I backed away from the window. Turned and walked away.

This is the strange thing. I looked for ages to find an Xbox for under £100. When I found one, I didn’t want it, because it seemed too good to be true. Having been burned (literally) by cheap shit gadgets before, I did not want to chance buying something that despite fitting the financial requirement perfectly, would almost undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the mouth, and me out of pocket when it fucked up. A strange sort of irony, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Time to buy a new one, I think. Time to rob a bank too, I guess…

- Galford.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Sonic Rocket-Launcher. Okay, come on… think about it…

Okay, so the more astute of you will realise that I am talking about Sonic Chronicles – The Dark Brotherhood on the DS. An RPG that I procured recently. I think it’s fair to say that I have never given up hope on the round blue spiky one. I know that most of the games he features in as of late have been rubbish, but each time I see a new one released, I will still feel compelled to part with cash for it. I will tell myself repeatedly in my head that I will like it regardless. Maybe that’s why Sonic is still around after all this time…

I think it’s fair to say that SC-TDB (ugh) falls into the same pitfall as a lot of other Sonic games, like Sonic 3D or Sonic R – It’s just not fast. I wouldn’t even say not fast enough, just… not fast. At all. There are bits and pieces in there that echo the Sonic days of old, like spin-dashing round loop-the-loop set pieces, but I can honestly say that this reminds me too much of another game. And for once, it’s not Mystaria.

If you look at all the elements, the 3D Characters on a drawn background, the strange quick-time events, the turn-based combat strategy sections, the cheesy storyline… It is basically, an anthropomorphic Final Fantasy 7.

The problem with Final Fantasy 7 is though, I never completed it. It was a cursed game. Not because I lacked the ability to play it, as I own both the PC and Playstation versions of it. But The savegames always just… evaporated. Disappeared. Vamoosed. Vanished. Ceased to be… and for some of these reasons, I thought that playing such a game would be doomed to failure, and that I should not really invest that much time on it. However, I am still trying to decide that, after nearly four and a half hours of almost constant play…

- Galford.