Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sofa Story: Honda Slaps the World

Many of my fondest gaming memories are of playing Super Nintendo with friends. There is something to be said about sitting right next to person you are playing with and feeding off each others interactions with the game. Simply put, this is an element modern multiplayer games are missing. Sure you have voice chat, but you lose out on the intangibles of being able to physically distract your opponent when you are badly losing or slapping a high five when your teamwork pays off. Today, I recant a tale of badly played but thoroughly enjoyed Street Fighter 2 on the SNES with one of my best childhood friends.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Playlist - October 22-28, 2013

This past week was spent easing myself back into the flow after a short vacation as well as starting to get familiar with the new sites I will be contributing for. I downloaded the release version of Path of Exile and have mostly been playing it with the intention of producing a full review. For the stream, I made some decent progress into Super Mario World and, based on some feedback, played a bit of Eternal Champions to see if it will work for a future broadcast. Rounding things out, I scratched my Civilization itch and whiled away a bit of time with QWOP.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Roundup - October 20-26, 2013

This week featured quite a diverse selection of interesting news. No single story stood over another but I was particularly interested in Grand Theft Auto 5 snatching Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards. Also, we were treated to some new details for Ultra Street Fighter 4, production for the Wii was officially halted, Blizzard won a major legal victory against bot manufacturers, and Beyond: Two Souls received some unwanted attention for digitally rendering Ellen Page naked.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sofa Story: Burton's Miracle

Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour may not have been the most balanced real-time strategy game ever released but the theme of near future technology mixed with the trademark C&C hammy style ensured that every match was fun. One of the most unfortunate issues with Zero Hour was its horrendous net code which could lead to incredibly buggy gameplay even when playing over LAN. Today, I elaborate one multiplayer match where a bug lead to the most comically improbable dismantling of an enemy base by Colonel Burton.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Back to the Future: Where The Sofa is Waiting is headed

Back from a week long vacation, today I am going to break a bit from my normal routine and posting style. The reasoning for this is twofold. First, it is a way to easy myself back into the rhythm of posting after taking a bit of time off. Second, and most importantly, I want to talk a bit about some of the changes that will be happening with the blog itself (all good in my opinion) both immediately and over the next few months.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Sofa is on Vacation: 10-18 October 2103

Hello everybody! This is just a heads up / reminder that I will be on vacation for the next week. While I initially toyed with the idea of maintaining the blog, a particularly stressful September has compounded the fatigue after over two years without a holiday. As such, I have opted to give myself a proper rest instead of pushing myself to keep the content rolling. I have a few big announcements in the pipe and will hopefully have everything in place so I can share them when I get back. You can expect to next see me on my Twitch stream Saturday 19 October at 18:00 London time. Until then, I will be sporadically checking my email so feel free to send me a message.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sofa Story: The battle of Lando and the Stormtrooper

One of the best parts of gaming is being able to control the main character in your own personal narrative. Whether it is a multi-player battle or a quirky and imaginative way to tackle a single-player challenge, every gamer has a story or few about an epic moment. Today, in my first ever 'Sofa Story', I relate a vivid memory from an intense multi-player session of Jedi Knight.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rogue Starship: Faster Than Light (review)

The roguelike subgenre has experienced a tremendous surge in popularity over the last few years. Blending heavy RPG elements with the constant threat of permanent death and success often at the mercy of a random number generator, the appeal of roguelikes rests in fast gameplay and the player accepting that victory is anything but assured. While I have not personally explored the roguelike genre heavily, the space opera setting of FTL, developed by Subset Games, was enough to finally bring me over. Today I provide my (belated) review for FTL.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Playlist - October 1-7, 2013

Today, in my first ever 'The Playlist', I highlight the games I have been playing last week and give an idea of what to expect coming up in the blog in the next while. Most of my time was, surprisingly, eaten up by Marvel Heroes but I also gave a couple games from the recent Humble (Indie) Bundle a whirl to mixed results. Rounding it out I dusted off some Borderlands 2 for my twitch stream on Saturday. Blog wise, I am tweaking the weekly format a bit and am prepping for a much needed vacation.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weekly Roundup - September 29 - October 5, 2013

This week's news was sadly topped by the death of Tom Clancy (aged 66). Other news included a bevy of server woes with the launch of GTA5 multiplayer, the trademarking of Half-Life 3, an official date for the Warcraft movie, and word that Maxis is currently working on an offline mode for Sim City. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

What to See: Great gaming sites and shows

Following up on yesterday's post (Where to Go), as promised, today I elaborate some of my favourite non-news focused gaming sites and shows. As with yesterday, this list is presented in no particular order and is not intended to be a 'top 5 countdown' or similar type list. Instead, it can be considered a representation of some of my frequent haunts for quality content. Many of these are extremely well known to gamers but hopefully most will find at least one that they aren't aware of.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where to Go: Great spots to get your gaming news

One of the questions that I am frequently asked by non-gamers is where I get all of my gaming information. Obviously, it isn't picked up by internet osmosis, and, like mainstream news and other forms of entertainment, there are a multitude of sources. I don't think that the people asking me this question are unaware that these sources exist but rather are trying to find out what they are called on how to access them. In today's post I cover some of the main places I trawl for my dose of gaming news. Tomorrow, in the same vein, I will highlight some of my favourite non-news gaming sites/shows. As always, this is a list of my preferences presented in no particular order, it is not a 'best of' or 'most popular' listing; feel free to disagree.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Casually Excluded: Are casual games really video games?

Explaining video games to non-gamers can, at times, be a difficult task. While the notion of escapism is present in many other forms of entertainment, I think that games are less relatable than other mediums in that many people have had only minimum exposure to them. Unlike, for example, reading, which many people engage in on a daily basis even if not for pleasure, games generally only serve as entertainment and are only accessed as such. Exacerbating this is that, for many non-gamers, the limited contact they do have with video games is limited to so-called 'casual games'. A common utterance in gaming circles is that 'casual games aren't games' and today I aim to unpack this statement.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fabulously Free: Some of the best free to play games available

Following on yesterday's post (Payment Plans) where I outlined some of the different pricing models that have been implemented in gaming, today I thought I would highlight some of the best free to play games available on the market. As always, this list is in no particular order and is far from exhaustive but should give an idea of the sheer variety free gaming out there.