eSports, the competitive play of videogames, has come a long way in its relatively short 15-year history. But, could the unsportsmanlike actions of the few be damaging the sport from going truly mainstream, especially here on home turf?
Snow. Love it or hate it, it’s increasingly becoming a more regular feature of the British winter. So to celebrate it, or to help you through it, Gamebrit have taken a look at some of the best (and worse) snowy worlds in videogaming.
Avaglance at our list, dig out one of the listed games and enjoy the snowy weather from the comfort of your sofa.
It’s 2013, the Christmas decorations are packed away, the New Year’s hangover has gone and the gym membership has been renewed. With the new year well and truly established, it’s time to look back and celebrate another magnificent year for videogames with the annual Gamebrit awards.
The Gamebrit team has deliberated over the best releases of last twelve months and have decided on the following winners, across the following categories. Without further adieu, let the awards commence:
Much to everyone’s surprise Nintendo announced a smaller, redesigned and cheaper version of their Wii home console this week.
Known as the Wii mini, the tiny machine is set to debut in Canada on December 7th, sporting a fun new look, supporting a back-catalogue of over 1,300 games and launching at an attractive price point of just $99. So, what could go wrong?
There was a once a time when finding digital love was frowned upon, but online dating has become more acceptable for those looking for their significant other thanks to the rise of countless dating sites. However, it would seem that finding your perfect partner via the ‘usual’ dating sites isn’t specific enough for some folk, and a whole host of niche websites are keen to capitalise on that.
One such UK site catering to a niche is Date-A-Gamer, which as you might expect, claims to hook up avid videogaming singletons. We decided to take a look at what was on offer, following an exposé of its more blunt sister site, Shag-A-Gamer, by PCGames N. PCGames N found that Shag-A-Gamer seemed to be populated with fake or illegitimate users, the majority of which were not even remote videogame fans.
So, is Date-A-Gamer, which on name alone seems a more reputable venture, a more reputable site? We wanted to find out — does it contain any actual gaming enthusiasts looking for their long-term co-op partner, or is it just another generic dating site?
To investigate Gamebrit sent in Leo Worsdale, 27 from Lincolnshire, who enjoys sport, sunsets and most importantly of all, them videogames.
This year’s E3 finally saw Sony reveal a premium PlayStation Network (PSN) service, one that was hinted at earlier this year, and long before then. It has been confirmed that the service will arrive in the UK on 29th June and will cost PS3 gamers £39.99 for a 12-month subscription, or £11.99 for a 90 day subscription.
So what are the key incentives to get people on board?
Everybody loves lists; if they didn’t why would Channel 4 keep producing them? Best comedy films, best comedy moments, best comedy quotes, best comedians – they are all something we need to know in a sequential numbered format. But top 40’s are often convoluted and tend to loose impact when the number one spot comes around. With that in mind we decided to keep proceedings short and sweet. A top 5, no more, no less.
This time we take a look at those occasional glitches found in our beloved console games.
Seeing characters running through walls are an annoyance at best; but other glitches result in some hilarious, impossible, and often unusual outcomes. Here’s a list of the five that tickled us the most, in no particular order. Enjoy.
Skate was a breath of fresh air for enthusiasts of the extreme sport, replacing the over-the-top tricks with far more realistic and believable ones. Tony Hawk’s only possible option would have been to release some sort of skateboard peripheral in response. Oh wait. Regardless Skate’s aim was realism and it achieved it – well almost. Skate stumbled on an odd physics glitch. Rather than collapsing on the ground in a heap when bailing from a trick, characters would often be catapulted into the air; far, far into the air. Realistic if skateboarding took place at breakneck speed, but at 10mph it’s a tad excessive.
Glitches that see characters twitching like a caffeine addict at 4-am are common, a quick Internet search will produce one hit after another. But objects? That’s another matter. Enough searching will produce gems like this video of what the user accurately describes at the ‘dancing demon car from hell’. The demon car will mesmerize with each twist and turn, whilst eating at the soul of those who dare stare at it’s dark, wondrous majesty. Dance demon car, dance.
A bit like the Olympic sport. Except the field is a generic war-torn urban environment, the javelin is a portable anti-tank guided missile, and the final outcome is… explosive. In the most repeatable glitch on the list, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players needed just to equip the Javelin, arm it and run into an opponent. As soon as the opponent retaliates the javelin would explode, taking down the player and the poor sods that happened to be close enough to it’s over sized comic-like explosion.
Fortunately for the unwitting recipients this glitch has now been fixed. So people will just have to find a find another glitch to exploit, or just don’t cheat.
Ever since the rumours of a cheat that removed Lara Croft’s clothes in the original Tomb Raider, numerous players both male and female have been longing to see their favourite characters in the flesh. Shower scene aside, Quantic Dream’s interactive drama Heavy Rain provided that, albeit through an unintentional glitch.
Following the love scene between Ethan Mars and lead female character Madison Paige in the ‘On the Loose’ scenario, one player reported that he declined the kiss, however the love scene continued. After reloading his last save point, there she was. As the tabloid papers would put it ‘Madison Paige in full frontal shocker’. Don’t start replaying the scenario expecting the same affect though, as reports of a repeat performance have been few and far between.
Numerous people have enjoyed riding donkeys. More people have enjoyed riding… no wait. An odd glitch in Rockstar’s recent Wild West adventure Red Dead Redemption (which has also been turned into a recent film) has combined the two questionable hobbies and allows players to ride a donkey woman. That’s right a donkey woman – a woman’s body, a donkey’s face.
In this odd video the user encounters, approaches and tames the alleged beast. An act that separates the men from the cowboys. It seems as though the glitch is a bug that made it through the testing process, so expect a patch to fix it soon and perhaps the odd dismissal at Rockstar Games’ testing centers.
Sat watching night after night of political debate, getting lost in reams of flyers in the letterbox and feel a little bit apathetic?
Worry not, GameBrit has compiled a list of political games you can play to inject the fun back into the last few days of the General Election. Who knows, they could even influence your final decision on May 6th, or not.
Did you just hear David Cameron say something particularly smarmy? Want to give him a good hard slap for it? With the internet, that’s totally possible. The Slapometer turns your cursor into a big hairy hand and allows you to slap the big three leaders whenever you like, as much as you like. Most people used the Slapometer during the three big live debates, but why not make up for lost time and slap away now? Keep slapping, and you may be lucky enough to see Clegg itch his balls, or hear Cameron say the naughty T word. If you have a webcam handy, wave the different party colours in front of it to slap the correct party leader (it makes for a much faster slap).
Downing Street Fighter
Downing Street Fighter
If, after playing the Slapometer for while, you want to vent a little more anger on the party you hate most, why not try Downing Street Fighter? Extremely easy, just pick your favourite leader and most hated from the list, and put the two to the test. Jab or punch your enemy into oblivion with nimble mouse clicks, but watch out, it looks like Brown cheats, he keeps beating us!
It’s fair to say that radical right wing leader Nick Griffin of the BNP isn’t a popular gent, so much so that on regular outings protesters have pelted controversial party leader with eggs. The Sun newspaper took it on themselves to create a Flash parody of this called “Shell-Shocked“. The aim is pretty basic – throw as many eggs at the flying Nick Griffin faces as you can and try not to miss any.
Your Election Check Up
Your Election Check-Up
It’s time to see how healthy your political knowledge is with Your Election Check-Up. You get one minute to answer each question, which usually involves putting policies in order, guessing who said what quote and filling in the blanks. All on a very tidy looking website. You never know, you might learn something too….
If you play all the above games and are still bored, try Safe Seat. Find your preferred leader some seats in the General Election by catching the right coloured parachutes with your left and right arrow keys. At the end of the game, you even will be told how many more seats the party would need in order to win. Joy.
As you’re probably well aware of by now, there are two new Pokémon titles out (well, we say new, but ‘remade’ would be a more fitting term). Heart Gold and Soul Silver have taken the best bits from previous adventures and distilled them into two comprehensive packages. Like the other Pokémon adventures, they’re great titles, but essentially more of the same. You’ll know by now whether it’s your bag or not.
What you may not know is that these new titles come with a fancy little toy you can play with. Dubbed the ‘Poké Walker’, the device allows you to take one of your monsters with you on a stroll in the real world, gaining experience, items and even new creatures with every step you take. It’s a brilliant idea in theory, but what about in practice?
Join us as we delve into the week-long diary of a real-life Pokémon trainer.
So, motion controllers? Are they really the future of gaming, or just a big fad that only kids and grandparents enjoy? Without being able to travel twenty years into the future to pass judgement, you can only hazard a guess that neither of those two statements prove to be implicitly true. Motion-sensing controllers may well be integrated into all future gaming systems in the same way analogue control, force-feedback and wireless handsets have been in today’s generation.
Nintendo’s bold attempt at widening the market with its fantabulous motion-sensing Wii remote has so far paid off and, inevitably, the competition are not far behind. At the same time however, traditional controllers aren’t going to be completely eradicated, at least not if gaming companies want to avoid the largest flaming campaign since internet records began.
So if they are here to stay, which of the three efforts will be seen to be the most successful in years to come? Hopefully you’ve already read our previous articles on Natal and Move – now it’s the turn of the Wii and Motion Plus!
The biggest reason why Nintendo will stay ahead of the game is that it’s already been there, done that, worn the T-Shirt and banked millions of dollars in the process. Being the first to a new market is incredibly important, and if things go your way, it can make your market share unassailable. Nintendo had already poured millions into R&D for the DS and Wii before Sony and Microsoft started to follow suit. They even had time to refine the motion-sensing technology, in the form of motion-plus, before any rival system was available. For Microsoft and Sony to get to the same point, tech-wise, they must have spent huge amounts of dollars – money that would surely have been siphoned from ‘core’ development. In the end, the R&D bill would have been far more than Nintendo’s outlay due in part to the need to ‘beat’ Nintendo’s technology but also, crucially, due to the extra costs hi-definition development brings with it.
This is another key point, at least from a developer’s point of view; on the Wii, costs for an experimental title aren’t far off those for a PS2-gen title.
It was pretty clear, especially in the first year of the Wii’s life, that publishers weren’t keen on taking a risk and pouring large amounts of money into developing for an unproven platform, judging by the poor-looking works from Ubisoft, EA etc. Those that did take a chance and tried to do something interesting with the new technology got their fingers burnt. Just look at sales of Zack & Wiki, Pro Evo and Mad World for a hint at the general apathy such experimental titles faced at retail. Now imagine a publisher’s reaction to having to take the same risk but with the additional costs of hi-definition presentation thrown in. The flip-side of this argument is that nicer graphics could equal bigger sales, and this is very much a great unknown factor. It’s very possible that the core demographic would pay more attention to a hi-def natal bowling game, or a key franchise updated with built in-motion controller support (such as the upcoming Resident Evil 5 for PS3). The trouble is, unknown factors don’t sit well with those having to front the cash.
Costs associated with early Wii development were offset to an extent by developing multiplatform versions alongside a Wii game. The same can be said for 360 and PS3 development. There is no such luxury with Natal and Move; it’s pretty much all or nothing. You can’t even co-develop between the platforms, as the technologies the two are using aren’t easily compatible (Natal has no associated physical controller for example). So far, there hasn’t been a torrent of games announced from developers, and you shouldn’t expect many to be revealed until either of the new peripherals start racking up the sorts of numbers Wii/Motion-Plus/Wii Fit has accumulated, making exclusive titles a viable option.
Speaking of numbers, Nintendo has this aspect tied up already. For every gamer obsessed with having the coolest, most powerful machine, or the one with the technical intelligence, there are millions of regular people who don’t have a clue what a polygon is, or why having lots of them is so important. All they want to do is have a little fun. It’s this crowd that Nintendo has already won over with Wii and it’s this mass popularity which will ultimately make them the winner of the motion-sensor war. No matter how good Natal or Move are from a technical standpoint, to the untrained eye they are just another rip-off of the Wii.
They are both, undoubtedly, very impressive pieces of kit, but can you see all those casual gamers who have long since put the Wii on the shelf (if some cynics are to be believed) forking out for yet another expensive ‘fad’?
Ah, Mother’s Day. The day where mums can relax and take their minds off keeping their spawnlings in check (for a while, at least). That day of the year where mums around the country are guaranteed presents from their young ones, breakfast in bed and a night out to their favourite restaurant – or a combination of all three if they’re lucky.
But what do you do to whittle away the time between these events? How do you fill the gap between the morning box of chocolates and the time your restaurant reservation is booked for? Never fret, there are plenty of games that are perfect to play on Mother’s Day. Here are five of the best.
Super Mario Galaxy
Everybody loves Mario. The plump Italian plumber has inspired and ignited the imagination of millions of gamers around the world since his first appearance in Donkey Kong nearly 30 years ago. While it’s undeniably always good fun to play as him, jumping all over the colourful worlds (where seemingly everything has eyes), watching doesn’t come anything close to the interactive experience. It’s a good thing then that Super Mario Galaxy allows a second player to aid the first, by using another Wiimote to shoot stars at enemies Mario may have been too busy to deal with otherwise. Hand your charge that second controller and have them be your stellar wingman.
If you can look at the faces of LittleBigPlanet’s sackpeople, no matter whether they’re smiling, sobbing, fuming mad or scared to death without cracking a smile, then all hope is gone for you. Media Molecule have created the cutest and most loveable characters of this generation (so far, at least) and placed them in one of its most charming platformers. With its playful design and floaty physics, it’s easy to pick up and hard to put down. The fact that four people can play simultaneously only helps to sweeten the deal. Playing this with your kids will ensure you’ll all have a great experience, filled with fun, laughter and the occasional frightened face.
Lego Rock Band
Lego has been entertaining millions of children (both toddlers and bigger ones) for decades, so it was only natural that it would gradually make its transition to the interactive medium. It’s proved a massive success, with some of the coolest franchises, such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and, er, Harry Potter being translated into some respectful and briliiantly irreverent platformers. The announcement that Rock Band, an already awesome party game, would be joining with the world’s premier brick manufacturer only made it even more awesome. Knowing its target audience perfectly, Lego Rock Band is perfect for children, incorporating features such as super-easy difficulties and automatic kick drum modes, meaning you’ll be a family force akin to The Jackson 5 in no time at all.
Battlefield Bad Company 2
If you’d rather have a break from the kids, then you can’t go far wrong with DICE’s Battlefield Bad Company 2. Focusing on the ongoing struggle of Marlowe, Sweetwater, Haggard and Redford as they try to redeem themselves in the eyes of the U.S military, these four boys certainly swear like the troopers they are. With f-bombs being dropped casually throughout, along with its fine shooting action, Bad Company 2 is strictly a no-child zone. It’s also great fun online – its exquisite squad-based gameplay lending itself to one of the finest multiplayer experiences you can find today. Find three other like-minded mummies and you’ll be showing younger generations how it’s done in no time.
As you can imagine, the miracle of birth is integral to the foundations of Mother’s day, so this list would feel a little empty if it didn’t contain a title featuring one. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, precious few examples exist in the medium. In Fallout 3, the life of The Lone Wander begins at, well, the beginning. After being born, you’re told by your daddy what sex you are, what your name’s going to be and, through the marvel of futuristic technology, even shown what you’re going to look like when you’re all grown up. Although many mothers may happily remember the day of the children’s birth, events soon take a sobering and tragic turn for the worse, reminding us that unfortunately not everyone’s experience can be happy and that this is a day to remember the loving mothers in our lives we have lost.
What are your favourite games to play on Mother’s Day?
The Nintendo Wii has shown the masses that motion controls are popular. Not just for those who already class gaming as a hobby, but also for people who have never even played or enjoyed a games console before. This has led to the Wii being the current leader in sales followed by the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Naturally both Microsoft and Sony have seen this success and now want a piece of the motion based pie. This has culminated in Project Natal, a camera based option, and the PlayStation Move combination from Sony, featuring a camera alongside Wiimote and Nunchuck style devices. So with both vying for the crown of the motion controlled world, which one has what it takes to topple the Wii? My money is on Sony’s offering, and this is why.
Unlike Microsoft, Sony are no strangers to the concept of motion centric controllers, with experience ranging from the EyeToy of the PlayStation 2 era to the forgettable sixaxis motion features in current PS3 controller. While neither of these truly redefined the way people played games, they gave Sony plenty of practice in the ways of the waggle and have led to the next big thing in gaming immersion – the PlayStation Move.
As you can see from the trailer below, the device works using the collective power of the PlayStation Eye camera and the motion stick to track movements on a 1 to 1 basis. This means wherever you move the controller the camera will track the glowing ball on the stick and tell the PS3 the angle of the device, the distance away from the camera, as well as the where it is on the x and y axis i.e. how far up/down and left/right it is. When you see it in action, it’s truly amazing how smooth and accurate it all is.
Some people will likely prefer the feeling of having a physical gadget in their hands and it’s clear that the Wii has inspired Sony in this respect. While this may not be a bad thing you can expect plenty of protests that it simply copies Nintendo’s idea while adding high definition graphics. This is true, but Sony’s level of motion matching is far superior with the inclusion of distance tracking through the camera. This means that no longer will people be able to get away with bowling through a quick flick of the wrist while sitting lazily on the sofa. The camera also allows players to feature in the games and can even overlay graphics so it appears on the screen as though that huge sword is actually in the real world. Combine this with the future 3D gaming and TVs to lead to a level of immersion that simply hasn’t been seen before.
Naturally all of this comes from viewing videos and reading up on other people’s feedback, but nothing will be definite about the way both Project Natal and Sony’s PlayStation Move feel until they are released later this year. Even then the success will be mostly defined by the games that support them as well as the publicity both receive. Microsoft will undoubtedly market the hell out of Project Natal (or whatever it ends up being called), but Sony will really have to raise the bar and not only get people excited for their product but also excited for the PlayStation 3 as, despite its progress, it still finds itself as the underdog in this generation of console wars.