06 Aug

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Remake This! RoboCop Versus The Terminator

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This is the first in a (probably infrequent) series where I look at the retro games I loved & why they should be remade.

The 80′s was a good time for sci-fi movies.  Empire Strikes Back, Jedi, GhostBusters, Aliens, ET, Last Starfighter… the list is long with goodness. In 1992, two of the 80′s classics came together in a pretty brilliant mini series from Dark Horse Comics & Frank Miller & Walt Simonson and then in 1993, Virgin Interactive (remember them?) brought Alex Murphy & the T-800 to our video game screens by adapting the book AND IT WAS BLOODY GLORIOUS.

I am going to focus on the Sega Megadrive / Genesis version of RCvT. There were SNES, GameBoy & GameGear versions, but they were Terminator: Salvation levels of shite so whats the point?

So where do I start? Oh yeah, the original game…:

The story is pretty straightforward, Skynet sends Terminators back to Old Detroit to take out future resistance fighters (as it likes to do). RoboCop, during the course of his regular bad guy killing day eventually comes into contact with said Terminators & lets just say they don’t sit down for some cyborg tea and scones….

Gameplay: its simple. Shoot almost everything. Seriously. RCvT encourages you to spray hot lead at most things, from gang members thru drones & ED 209 up to waves upon waves of T800′s, mini HK’s…the lot. In addition, you are encouraged to destroy as much of the environment as possible to either find little power ups, health boosts etc, or to just make the place look a total mess. This is particularly enjoyable when tootling though OCP HQ because you know…they are bastards. On the subject of shooting, can we talk about the weapons? The selection you get in this game is drool worthy.  You start off with Robo’s basic sidearm, but soon enemies start dropping some serious artillery for you to use. Some are best saved for later though, as when you get to the Terminator heavy levels, you need the big guns & if you die, you lose whatever weapon you were using (but not the backup weapon strangely enough), once some of those weapons are gone, you are toast…or a toaster.

Audio: A pounding, grinding electro-ish score, interspersed with digitized screams & a bizarrely seductive female voice cooing “Terminator”. Totally mental & totally brilliant. It has been rattling through my head for 22 years.

Graphics: Dark, gritty and 16 bitty. The game was gory as hell for the time. So much 16-bit blood & bodies exploding everywhere as it stayed faithful to the source materials.

So that is the gist of the original game, now take a look at the video (sorry if ads pop up) to see what all the fuss is about and then I will tell you why it needs to be remade:

So why do I think this is perfect for a remake? (If that video doesn’t fill you with a yearning to drop into Delta City & blast some futuristic cyborgs, then I’m not sure what will, but here goes anyway)

1/ The RoboCop & Terminator properties deserve some quality,  hell… WE deserve some quality!

RoboCop has suffered though shitty movies (RC3 & the horrible recent reboot) & as for Terminator, we all know that after T2 things went tits up. Movies, games – all garbage. ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ was tidy, but a mere blip in the slide to sewage.

2/ Its FUN & simple. Doesn’t need over complicating, no need for a driving/flying mode, no first person modes, no drop in co-op…its just you, your guns & a shit ton of destruction.

3/ This isn’t a $60 game. doesn’t even need a physical release. It’s perfect for PSN/XBL/Steam & a $20 price tag.

4/ I WANT IT! Isn’t that enough reason?

Why it won’t be remade:

1/ The licensing would probably be a nightmare.

2/ Some suit types would demand the inclusion of all the things I listed above, along with DLC,  & microtransaction gems like Nike branded Robo sneakers, Red Bull power ups & some nifty RoboCop dances…. You know I’m not kidding.

So that’s my case for RoboCop Versus The Terminator. Let me know what you think via Twitter!

06 Aug

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Mafia 3: An intriguing offer I can’t refuse…

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So the Mafia 3 trailer hit this morning, and as this is a franchise I have always been a fan of, I want to share some thoughts.

When Mafia 3 was first announced a few weeks ago, I knew in my head what I wanted the game to be. I was hoping for a return to prohibition era America, something that let me slip into a ‘GTA: Boardwalk Empire’ style game, work my way up the chain, build my own Family & spread out across the US. I have me a hankering to see that in all its new gen gloriosity (it’s a word, Stephen Fry uses it all the time) with all the processing power of today’s PC’s & consoles used to really give us vast swathes of territory, all plump and prime for the corrupting. I make no bones about my fascination with that era of US history, ‘Boardwalk’, ‘Untouchable’s, ‘Godfather 2′ flashbacks etc. That’s my bag baby.

And then the trailer hit, watch it then proceed:

All watched? Good.

As you can see, it is totally different to my desired game, but after seeing the trailer, I am fine with that.

Now lets get the caveats out of the way before I delve more into why this has tickled my fancy.
I know its a short, CG trailer. I know that it only alludes to what might happen within a game that’s a good 8-12 months off. It’s a teaser, and teaser trailers are supposed to get you interested.

Well done 2K. The trailer did its job.

First up, lets look at the timeframe the game is set in. It’s a post Vietnam America, the period when things were heavily changing. Serious social & culture upheaval was happening & veterans were coming home to a less than heroes welcome when all they were guilty of was serving their country. In short, America was a pressure cooker.
This is an era that rarely gets covered in games, so to see Mafia 3 uproot from the more ‘traditional’ setting is bold and welcome.

This moves us onto the location, The Bayou. Did not see that coming & this is another refreshing choice. LA, NYC, Chicago etc are the usual ports of call for this kind of game, with only inFAMOUS 2 coming to my mind with its fictional version of New Orleans – New Marais. I have no idea why this amazing part of the world gets underused in games, but I’m intrigued by the choice 2K has made. The Bayou offers up so many great options, The architecture, the swamps, the Cajun & Creole cultures intermixing with old Southern money or perhaps more accurately, clashing. Toss into this the organized crime aspect & the pot simmers nicely.

Next up, lets look at the protagonists. The first time I watched the video, the first 60 or so seconds actually gave me a very different vibe to a Mafia game, I felt I was watching a version of Frank Castle (The Punisher). Everything he says, his military attire, the flashbacks & the reveal that a more traditional mafia goomba is tied up in the back seat took me to vintage Punisher territory & that really sets up a potential departure from what we are used to with this series. Throw in the other characters who make an appearance & we have some seriously interesting potential.

Are we going to get to take control of someone going against The Mob? Someone looking to create their own empire? The final 30 or so seconds of the trailer certainly imply that to me, which when combined with all the other aspects of the trailer means that this isn’t your (God)fathers Mafia game & surprisingly, I am good with that.

Mafia 3 hits next year. I’m going to be keeping an eye on this one.

08 Jan

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The Great THQ Garage Sale!!

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year or so, then you know that THQ is coming to the end of its lifespan. It was announced today that bids are being invited for all its studios & franchises, which means that is bye bye time for Toy HeadQuarters.

Now I am not going to postulate where the studios will end up, but I will say that I hope each and every good employee who has busted ass for THQ over the years gets taken care of with a new job. The ones who have helped drive the company into the ground however can all piss off and work for KFC.

Lets take a look at some franchises that are up for grabs, and where I feel they would find the best home (note that this is pure spitballing, and does not reflect on the legal aspects of licenses for some franchises):

South Park – Microsoft

Lets start off with a totally wild one! South Park: The Stick of Truth becomes an MS exclusive. Note I did not say XBox… MS have the cash to pick this up, and have the title & various spinoffs available on Xbox, Windows 8, Surface, Windows phones etc. They are already very entwined with the title following the E3 presser of 2012, so this might not be too loony.

Metro – Bethesda

Metro is a dark, story driven action game. Now let me see…who does these games better than most? Oh right! The people who did Fallout, Skyrim, Dishonored etc. This would fit into Bethesda’s portfolio seamlessly and raise the prospect of some mouthwatering DLC down the line!

WWE – 2K

No brainer for me. 2K have a track record in sports games. They know how to deliver every year and this would fit in so well. Ubi would be an outside bet, as they don’t have a sports franchise. My preferred destination however is on 2K.

Saints Row – Ubisoft

Ubi does not have a dog in the open world/ sandbox battle. Yes I know they have Watchdogs coming, but SR is something unique. Its fun, silly, over the top and just mental. This would be a bold departure for Ubi, but one I would encourage. Hell I would encourage it just to see the PR campaign alone! This would also fit well at 2K, but I think they have something similar coming out this year…

Darksiders – Ubisoft / Square Enix

Ahhh Darksiders. The franchise that needed (but never got) just that little extra amount of love and has always been crippled by lousy marketing. Did you see the campaign for DS2? Well I did see one poster, on a billboard, and it was rubbish. This could find a great home at either Ubi or Square. I think either could up the quality and make it a true heavyweight in the games space. As long as it doesn’t go to Capcom…

Warhammer – Bethesda / WB / Ubisoft

Another franchise that should be dominating charts whenever it comes out. I could see any of the 3 publishers mentioned doing a damn fine job with this series and making each new title worth waiting for.

EDIT:  I forgot to include Company of Heroes – Need I say more than 2K & Firaxis? Nope, didn’t think so…

The kids stuff: WB / D3 / Namco Bandai

Do you really care where they end up? Me either.

So there be my thoughts. Let me know what you think via Twitter!. I am @annoyedgamer

03 Nov

1 Comment

I am growing a mustache for a great cause.

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So yes, I am taking part in ‘Movember’.

Why? Well Movember is all about helping to fight and promote men’s health issues, in particular Prostate & Testicular Cancer.

Now I am lucky, I don’t know anyone personally who has suffered from either disease, and hopefully no one I know will ever get it. However the odds are that myself or someone close to me will develop a cancer of some sort over the coming years.

For the next month I am going to be looking like a criminal from a 70′s cop show. Every show I do including my NBC segment will show off my crazy journey towards facial hair silliness.

Movember

Attack of the facial hair!

As you can see, it has begun!

So please donate, if you can spare just $1 that would be great, although $5, $10 etc would be brilliant if you could spare it!

You can donate here! 

Thanks for reading this, please share it and lets SAVE SOME BALLS! (AND BUMS!)

Cheers!

Marcus

Filed Under: Blog, Uncategorized

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06 Oct

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MechWarrior Online Beta

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So I just got sent a bunch…nay a slew of beta codes for MechWarrior Online. Some I will give away on Twitter this weekend, but most of them are going to be offered to the lovely peeps who populate the AG Forums as a reward for hanging out there and chatting, something I wish I could do more of!

If Meching around is your thing (and really, who doesn’t love a good long mech session?), then head on over to the forums and help yourself to a code!

07 Sep

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End of Nations Closed Beta Key

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Those nice people at Trion Worlds have sent me a 100 use beta code for the End of Nations closed beta that is happening right now!

Here is what you need to do:

1. To redeem your code and get started, just log in with your Trion Worlds account or register now at https://eon.trionworlds.com/account/reg/account-registration-flow.action?request_locale=en_US&flow=eon-beta .
a. New BETA Account Holders:
i. Select the APPLY CODE tab and enter the key below.
ii. Select the Manage Games Page and END OF NATIONS BETA
iii. Accept the EULA
iv. Download the client
v. Jump in on Friday 7th September from 12.01am EST!
b. Existing BETA Account Holders
i. Update the client
ii. Jump in on Friday 7th September from 12.01am EST

And here is the code, good luck with being one of the first 100 to get to use it:

2XXF-2HRP-2X66-7RWE-CQRF

Filed Under: Featured

30 Jul

4 Comments

Want to register for the forums?

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Well you can…with one condition – I must approve you!

Why do that you may ask? Simple really, I want to keep this site free of trolls & spammers & the only way to do that is to personally approve each and every registration!

Yes it might be time consuming, but that is the way I want it to be. It also means that sometimes people may not get approved for a while if there is a backlog, so if you don’t want to wait, simply follow me on Twitter @annoyedgamer then tweet me your username. Makes it quicker for me to check things out & get you chatting with the other top folks who visit the forums!

Cheers!

Marcus

Filed Under: Blog, Uncategorized

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23 Jun

4 Comments

The ‘Secret Project’..

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I have been Mr Tease on twitter this week, hinting about this ‘secret project’ that I am working on, getting questions from people etc.

Well I can finally reveal whats been going on…

I am getting my own show on Gametrailers.com!!

Yep indeed, the Annoyed Gamer Webcast is moving to Gametrailers.com in the next 10 days or so. The show will be shorter and the format has been tweeked, but it’s basically me doing what I love, namely answering your questions and having a rant!

We are in pre-production (or beta if you will) right now, but the show will be appox 8-10 mins long, recorded & weekly.

I have two sets of people to thank for this, firstly the GT crew & Shane for giving me a chance to bring my sunny disposition to a wider audience, and most of all you good people who have supported me over the years! If you didn’t watch my ‘Worst of E3′ stuff, follow me on Twitter or come to this site to chill, this would not happen… so THANK YOU!!!

More info to come soon!