The Richie Report: Drought, Famine and No Silver Linings
Hi, Readers! Is it just me or is summer the worst of all the seasons? Aside from the inevitable influx of spiders and wasps, ugly chavs walking around with next-to-no clothing and getting mad paralysed by sunstroke, things also tend to get a bit shit for us gamers. The summer drought is no joke, especially when our limited games input is supplemented by the increasingly dismal Summer of Arcade promotion on XBLA.
This year’s promotion saw the lovely but slightly-cut-down Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD that rolled and reminded us all why we loved it so much in the first place. Deadlight had moments too, although frankly I refuse to play anything with zombies in it that isn’t the wonderful Walking Dead series (and that’s coming from someone that hates pointy-clicky, and is suicidally bored of zombies). Dust (pretty but pointless platforming), Wreckateer (Kinect-only cack for spacky twats) and Hybrid (oh Microsoft when will you learn? Online shooters, Battlefield 1943 aside, always die a quick death on XBLA). Oh well, it’s over now thankfully and, besides, I spent it playing Minecraft anyway.
The full-retail drought means that the truly decent games are few and far between. This is a worry as, traditionally, this is the period where you can release any old shit and it’ll get lauded as a potential game of the year. Remember BioShock (tiresome trudge through leaky corridors) and Deus Ex: Human Resources (not as good as Deus Ex 2 which wasn’t as good as Deus Ex 1)? Yup, everyone thought they were the second coming of the sticky gaming Jesus. Well, it’s with that in mind that tentatively I’m recommending Sleeping Dogs.
Sure, it’s a True Crime game in all but name but the excellent story, detailed combat, fun driving and brutal gunplay do at least ensure that, while it’s not quite up there with the magnificent Saints Row 3, it’s still better than GTAIV by the distance of a Mo Farah saunter and with the eagerly-waited (by our Editor-in-Chief at least) Borderlands 2 just around the corner, it’s time for us to bat away the flies, bury our young ‘uns and stride confidently out of this gaming famine.
Not that our troubles are over. This is still gaming and that means we’re drowning in a sea of bad ideas. Except it isn’t a sea of bad ideas but rather a sea of piss. Remember the last good Command and Conquer game? Yep, Generals. It was pretty wonderful. Not as super-wonderful as Red Alert 2 but it was still excellent. Generals 2 is on the way and… well, it’s no longer called Generals 2 and it’s online only. I can only hope whatever EA fuckwad is producing that abortion accidentally catches his cock on a Tesla coil.
Sticking with EA, they’ve announced that this year’s FIFA will have all sorts of anti-hacking measures in there. Aside, of course, from the one that’ll guarantee we don’t get hacked: DON’T PUT IN THE ULTIMATE TEAM MODE. It encourages hacking, cheating and general cuntiness and was ruined in FIFA 12 by various achievements that meant the marketplace was a sea of unwanted players. On the plus side, Rooney’s lost his job as their favourite face and now they’ve got Lionel Messi who, for all his considerable talent, has the face of a mentally-disabled girl.
How many of you own a 3DS? Not that many I’d wager (given that hardly anyone I know has one). Even fewer of you have bought a game for it recently (apart from maybe New Super New Bros: New Edition Part Twelve). Well, compared to the 3DS, the Vita is still selling like gonorrhoea pie. Indeed even the PSP is outselling it 2:1. Well, hopefully (for Sony, I literally have no fucks to give) the system will get a boost as over a hundred PSOne games are coming to PSN for use with Sony’s sweet-but-neglected handheld. Add to that a bunch of crossover Vita/PS3 functionality to come and things are looking slightly better for the Vita. Not good, but better.
It’s certainly better for Sony than it is for OnLive right now. The best way I can explain the failings of OnLive is to simply tell you that I was given their console for free and I’ve got a sweet 50meg broadband connection and I still only ever used it once before eventually giving it away. It’s an interesting idea and everything, but predictions last year which said that this was the future clearly didn’t take into account that the internet isn’t an instantaneous thing and any amount of input lag on a game is going to ruin it. Nice effort, but next time invent something that actually serves a purpose.
In hot chart news, the all-formats are finally free of Zumba shite.
- Sleeping Dogs – previously mentioned crime-’em-up set in Hong Kong.
- New Super Mario Bros. 2 – new?!
- London 2012: The Official Video Game – good luck with your chart position next month!
- Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes – STOP. FUCKING. BUYING. THIS. SHIT.
- Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 – whatever.
- Batman: Arkham City – thirteen hats for the Batman? Obscure reference-me-do!
- The Amazing Spider-Man – fight crime and a terrible fucking camera. Just like every Spidey game!
- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – the best shooter of the year, yet I never seem to actually want to fire it up.
- Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition – under-rated zomb-my-face title that benefits from lovely weather.
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 – you’re a tosser, Harry!
Look at that. Ten actual games (if you include Lego shite, which I do only under duress). No FIFA or PES either. Until October, at which point they’ll grab hold of the top spots like a fucking Adele album in a nation of cocksuckers.
Next time on The Richie Report. Shane discovers that Pippa is pregnant and Bob makes Trevor an offer he can’t refuse.
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