The Richie Report: Profoundly In Love With Katona
“Hot semen, you know”
Yeah baby, it’s October. The best of months. Plenty of big releases, and that means we can focus on the important stuff – the games, honey, the fucking games – and ignore whatever bullshit controversies the world of games journalism wants to fling at us about booth babes and rogue PR agencies.
In the Peoples’ Republic of GamingLives the releases don’t get much bigger than Borderlands 2. If the site’s Editor-In-Chief himself can juggle running the site, running a business, raising a wee bairn, being a full-time Zumba instructor and still play through the original game more times than Jordan’s had hot semen, you know the sequel is going to be big news. You want review score points? Borderlands 2 has fucking ten of them. Blimey. Your mileage may vary, especially if you’re not a huge fan of walking a lot, but after four pieces of piss-poor DLC for the first game, it’s good to see the Borderlands series back on track.
“Chris and Mark. Violently”
When it was announced that X-Com, Julian Gollop’s strategy classic, was going to be getting rebooted, there were real fears that we’d be getting a face-full of Syndicate-style FPS pish, but Fireaxis’ tasteful reboot seems to have stayed true to the original gameplay. Given that the ‘fucking shit’ rate for this kind of venture tends to be at around 99%, this is very welcome news. Especially to me as, criminally, I never played the original. Because I’m some sort of fucking dolt.
Dishonored was probably the most eagerly-awaiting game outside of the Borderlands and we liked it enough to give it a respectable 7. Listen to the wonderfully decadent GamingLives podcast episode 2: Electric Boogaloo to hear Chris and Mark disagree violently over its merits. I’ve not played it yet because Borderlands 2 is just so fucking big.
“Ric enjoyed the variation”
Now, if you ask anyone with an excellent brain to list their top three games, they’ll all put Resident Evil 4 in there. Pound for pound, it is still one of the best games ever made. Resident Evil 4 took away the shitty controls and soul-crushing backtracking from the series and added more terrifying bosses than you’d find at a clown management training seminar where the first training module is ‘how to spit fiery spiders at children.’
Resident Evil 5 took the series in a less-scary (unless you’re a member of the BNP) direction, and turned it into a weird James Bond in Africa mutant-shooting game. It was much-maligned, but I liked it. Resident Evil 6 appears to be getting a similarly-bad reception from gamers, but our boy Ric enjoyed the variation and the newly-reinstated zombies. It’s nothing spectacular, but it works as this year’s barometer for figuring out what sites are easily bought. NZGamer (Nazi Gamer?) gave it 95%. Bless.
“Green Queens: The Game”
Of course, no post-drought round-up is complete without a quick look at FIFA. As ever, PES will be reverting to the ‘we’ll get it right next year’ school of marketing, while FIFA continues to get your money (whether you fucking ask it to or not). The on-the-pitch stuff is more or less exactly the same as it was in the last four games (dribbling seems a tad easier now), and off the pitch the menu system is still as fucking obstructive as usual. The new training mini-games are fairly wonderful for the first few days until you master/give up on them, but they don’t really go very far towards justifying the forty green queens it will cost you.
Blockbusting games aside, the Xbox 360 has also had its new dashboard. These vary from fucking shit to really fucking shit and this one is somewhere in the middle. The ability to ‘pin’ games to your dashboard is a good one, but this is Microscrote and therefore pinned games get buried in a sub-page so as not to get in the way of all the fucking adverts for Lovefilm. Therefore missing the point entirely.
“Fucks and adverts of Jean Claude”
New releases, XBLA deals and other gaming-related bumfluff are hidden away behind panels, menus and generally unintuitive dark corners of the interface, while 90% of it is devoted to music (I don’t want to listen to music through my fucking television you dolt cunts), films (stop trying to make me watch Kick Ass you pushy fucks) and adverts for Jean Claude Van Damme’s hair. Suffice it to say that I fucking hate it and I’d literally sell my kidney to a member of fucking Snow Patrol if it would make it all go away. Fucking Xbox.
Conversely, the interface on my shiny new PSVita is a thing of wonderful beauty. Simple, effective, customisable, no adverts… it’s almost like you want me to get at the games in an easy fashion. Is this what you PS3 owners have been experiencing for the last half-decade? If so, bloody hell. Why didn’t you tell me?
“Grandson’s adventures in Civil War”
Those of you who do actually care about the games industry as a whole have had lots of fun with the hilariously terrible GMAs, the drunken rantings of disgruntled freelancer Rich Stanton as he removed the veil from the allegedly shady reviewing practices of Future Publishing, and the hilarious news that the Zynga bubble seems to be carrying a puncture the size of Kerry Katona’s fanny because, as we all know, Facebook games are the viruses of the games industry and people are finally getting fucked off with game notifications getting in the way of their Facebook comments about the X-Factor and being seen to pity dead folk.
Oddly, despite Christmas being just around the corner, the games industry as a whole is seeing only one game being released in the next three months. Assassins Creed 3 (five, actually) adverts are blocking out all other games content in the world, it seems, so presumably every other publisher is taking the Winter off. Oh well, those of you who care about Altair’s great great great great great great grandson’s adventures in Civil War-era America haven’t got long to wait now. I’d check the exact date but I’m not going to because the fucks I give have dropped to a dangerously low level.
Even though we now, as a nation, associate the charts with everyone’s most dreaded jingle-jangle rapey clown-looking wrestler, let us end with the UK’s top ten.
1. FIFA 13 (Don’t expect this to change in a hurry)
2. Skylanders Giants (What the fuck is this?!)
3. Dishonored (Dishonoured)
4. Just Dance (like a twat) 4
5. Doom 3: BFG Edition (Can you use a torch now?)
6. Pokemon Black Version 2 (Always bet on black)
7. Resident Evil 6 (Cackcom)
8. Borderlands 2 (Dubstep Remix)
9. Pokemon White Version 2 (Don’t trust whitey)
10. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Well done, UK!)
Next month we’ll be looking at Ross Kemp: Black Ops 2, Cabela Seal Clubbing and Just Dance: Wayne Sleep. All on the Wii-U.
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