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Posts tagged “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Top 10 – Hard To Watch Moments in Games

GeekOut Top 10s

Games can sometimes be a little bit tense; or they can be so gruesome that you can’t bare to continue staring at it. There are lots of reasons why you may struggle to watch something unfold, be it grounded in reality or absurdity. Whatever the reason, you chose this one, you strange people, so here are our Top 10 Hard To Watch Moments In Games.

Oh and small warning; there’s a lot of horror in this one. (more…)

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GeekOut Shrewsbury May ’18 – May The GeekOut Be With You

Y’know what, I need to start writing down some of the quotes that crop up at GeekOut Shrewsbury. Then never quoting any of it on the website; this is supposed to be accessible to all ages and you people have dirty minds. Some of these games are for families, and there were young minds present, fortunately not old enough to be impressionable.

I’m at UKGE this weekend, so expect some images of that to come, for now here’s a catch-up on Thursday’s GeekOut Shrewsbury.

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Top 10 – Explosives

GeekOut Top 10s

Kaboom! Rumble, tremor, yes, it’s true that a good explosion is probably one of the most fun sounds out there – but have you ever stopped to think about the aftermath of said explosions? The lives potentially lost by the blast radius; the millions of pounds of damage caused by one of the most destructive forces out there? Well, it’s true, explosions are damn cool, yet they can be damn dangerous.

In this weeks’ Top 10, we’re going to look through our favourite explosions in media – If it takes place in an anime, a book, a video game, a TV series: basically anywhere geeky. We’re keen to nuke our way through this volatile list and set the foundations shaking. We’re bringing you our Top 10 Explosions!


Top 10

10) Andy D. Kaboom – Red Vs Blue

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Caboose’s second best friend, after Church of course, was a bomb. Andy was constructed from pieces of an old protocol robot with only one mission, explode, preferably when in close proximity to the Omega AI, also known as O’Malley. It’s something of a fixation of his, almost as if his entire life revolved around that one singular moment, and yet he has so many other uses. He’s a multi-lingual translator, a broad bank of knowledge, and a highly sophisticated AI, who can also be handy in a negotiation situation as both a diplomat and an ultimatum.

Downside, Andy has an attitude problem, and it’s a big one. Aside from the need to constantly distract him from the concept of exploding, exploding, countdowns, or loud beeping noises, he’s also intentionally provocative and insulting to everyone he meets. It’s almost like he’s looking for a reason to go off. And yet he and Caboose seem to get on great, and no one mourns more keenly at Andy’s passing… or rather that time when Sarge swaps Andy for a skull and hopes no one will notice.

9) Stickybomb – Team Fortress 2: Demoman

stickybomb

Team Fortress 2 is a well renowned arena-styled game, where you and a team of bizarre brothers-in-arms go against an enemy team of brothers-in-arms. The team are rather diverse, from the slick and quick Scout, to the sneaky and stealthy Spy. But amongst all team games, there has to be that one person who picks the most destructive of them all.

Whilst Tavish Finnegan DeGroot might not be such an imposing name, the name Demoman strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who might be attacking. From his famed stickybombs to his rather powerful Grenade Launcher, you can bet your butt that the attacking team will be sent flying off through his explosions. None are more feared than the dreaded stickybombs, which are capable of destroying just about anyone who steps too close to one. Better keep your eyes peeled for this drunkard Scotsman.

8) Holy Hand Grenade – Worms

The Holy Hand Grenade is a reference to Monty Python, for anyone who isn’t aware. But in Worms, the Holy Hand Grenade is truly one of the most powerful explosives in the game. Put your Dynamite away, hold back your Super Sheep and by god, why on Earth would you throw the crazy Banana Bomb? No, it’s all about blast radius and strength of the explosion, so if you need power to destroy whole chunks of land, the Holy Hand Grenade is the weapon of choice for you!

Okay, so perhaps it’s a bit risky. If you lob it incorrectly, it might bounce back into an area of you and your team’s worms and then who knows what’ll happen to them? I’ll tell you one thing, having one of these landing at your worm’s body is not going to be a pleasant way to end proceedings. You might as well have skipped rope instead.

7) The Bomb – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

I don’t think I’ve played a game that builds so much tension with so little action. A one player sits in a room with a suitcase bomb while others sit outside and try and talk you through deactivating the bomb one module at a time, and it’s that composition that makes this game great. Simon Says, complex wire sequences, symbol matching, the wickedly composed word codes and the demanding “needy modules” that require your frequent attention.

For the player in the room, it’s heart-stopping, as you watch the timer tick down, and every misstep brings you closer to the sudden darkness. The player outside is left helpless and yet burdened with responsibility, holding your life in their hands. Communication brings frustration, music, timer, and the sudden blare of the alarm clock (why the hell is that even in there?) shred the nerves like a cheesegrater… of emotions. And at the end of it all the quiet relief of success and a job well done, or blackness.

Funny thing, the bomb doesn’t really explode as such, not in the big fiery way we’re all familiar with. There’s a boom, and everything goes black. It’s all rather elegantly final and makes for a great game.

6) Gambit’s Cards – Marvel

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The card-slinging Cajun is one of the most famous X-Men of all time, making it frankly disgusting that he only ever appeared briefly in one X-Men film and it was a lousy spin-off. But that’s a rant for another day. Remmy LeBeau actually has the power to infuse any object with powerful kinetic charges causing them to explode violently with a concussive force rather than a ball of fire, and can channel that power down his staff to create collisions that can shatter bones and walls alike, but that’s not what everyone knows him for.

A thief raised in New Orleans, he turned the parlour trick into a weapon when his mutant powers manifested, making the common playing card into an icon, small enough for him to charge quickly and easy for him to throw accurately. He has a variety of other powers, many linked to his kinetic control, that make for one of the most charismatic and darkly suave characters in the entire Marvel Universe, and he is perhaps better remembered for his moral ambiguity and accent, but the guy can turn poker into russian roulette with a thought.

Where’s his movie Fox?

5) Turnabout Countdown – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

ted-tonate

Bringing about the dark age of the law is quite the accomplishment, but in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, that’s kind of exactly what happened. For those who are uninitiated in the crazy world of Phoenix Wright, you play as a defense lawyer who always believes in his clients. In this particular title, you play as the famed lawyer himself, Phoenix Wright.

This case was called Turnabout Countdown, because it was all about the counting down of a time bomb. Injuring dozens of people and blowing up an iconic courtroom for the games legal system, this was a very impactful scene. One of the main protagonists, Apollo Justice, even took the brunt of the explosion. After he recovered, he needed a break from his law office, the Wright Anything Agency. During his time away, he gained wrong information which turns him on one of his friends.

Oh and the guy who placed the bomb was called Ted Tonate. He’s pictured above.

4) Spirit Bomb – DragonBall Z

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Kamehameha! Okay, so the Kamehameha wave is one of the most devastating attacks in all of DragonBall and that’s A-Okay! I mean it’s a signature move which causes some serious damage, exploding land all around… But what about the single handed most dangerous move in Goku’s arsenal? The Spirit Bomb is the name of Goku’s arguably most deadly attack and damn, does it cause a serious amount of damage?

The Spirit Bomb is the collection of energies from the spirits of the world. Effectively, he draws upon the power of all of the people, all of the creatures and all of the wildlife. Any energy that can be spared, which is then turned into one massive ball of raw energy. When it’s finally ready, Goku throws this at his opponent which sorta crushes them – before the explosion happens. This strange ability doesn’t always explode… But when it does, things are going to disappear rather quickly.

3) The Atom Bomb – Fallout 3

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The number 3 slot is occupied by the only explosive ever to spawn a religion and a political party. It’s also amongst the best known decisions to make in a game, the ultimate Big Red Button: Would you kill a city full of survivors, lose the trust of the people, and cut off your supply of sidequests for a stack of caps, an achievement, and the most luxurious apartment in existence… and a bigass explosion?

The bomb at the centre of Megaton is pivotal in Fallout 3, a huge plot point and a question I am always asked despite never getting far enough in the game to answer “Did you blow up Megaton?” A religious order believes truly that the war of 2077 was a time of rebirth, bringing all people together in “The Glow” of Atom, and that the unexploded bomb is a holy symbol. And on voting day 2015 in Shrewsbury, my pencil hovered curiously over The Children of the Atom on the ballot paper. Whoever you are, I didn’t vote for you, but I love you.

We have a tie for #1! Choose your winner!

1) Voltorb/Electrode

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Oh this is a difficult one. Let’s start with the older entry, the Pokemon the really encapsulates the term “Self Destruct”.

If you’re a veteran of the series you’ll have fond memories of burning through Repels to keep the incessant zubats at bay, the fingers crossed behind the Gameboy trying to capture an abra before it teleports, and the suicidal efforts of wading through the powerplant amidst these volatile little balls of electrical energy. They appear to have either gathered to feed, or they’re born there. They’re rumoured to have spawned in a bizarre energy surge in a pokeball factory, which would explain the uncanny resemblance. Or they originate in Indonesia. Or Greenland. Or Poland.

The Route 10 Power Plant is the only place one could find the legendary bird and posterboy for team Instinct, Zapdos, but the unwary are best advised to stock up on potions and be wary of items. That’s not an icon my friend, that’s a bomb with a smile on it’s face. If you’re lucky they won’t self-detonate immediately, opting instead to zap, shock and roll out some pain, giving you chance to catch one for yourself.

VS

1) Creeper

Creepers Valley

Yes, the Creeper is making it into this vote at an explosive joint number one, but there’s some very clear reasons why. Whilst Voltorb is more nostalgic, the Creeper became an internet phenom. From the early days of Minecraft, where people would turn around and see a Creeper and literally scream, to the current days where Creepers are still an annoyingly terrifying prospect to encounter, these creatures know how to make quite the impact.

Whether it’s because they’re bright green and look absolutely devoid of life, or if it’s just because you know they’re going to damage your beautiful house and garden, these creatures will come towards the player and explode. It’s enough to make you shiver, thinking about all of the work you’re going to have to redo. It’s probably why they made bricks in the game, so you could literally damage control these explosions. But do NOT let them get hit by lightning, whatever you do. You do not want to meet a supercharged Creeper.


Honourable Mentions

Some explosions are memorable, but others not so much. But these would-be forgotten explosions do need to at least be mentioned, as they left a crater in our minds and hearts… Because no matter what you say, explosions are still damn cool!

Michael Bay

WARNING: Explicit content

When he’s not too busy blowing up the box office, Michael Bay is busy blowing everything else up. Okay, he’s not an explosion in and of himself, but basically everything he produces is a massive explosion and we’re not upset about that. Even in the above Epic Rap Battles of History song, Michael Bay is blowing minds (and ratings) out of the water.

Whilst there’s no single explosion we can point at, I’m sure if you watch any Michael Bay film, you will feel that sense of “I’m waiting for the explosions now…” He’s a great director, who could be even better if he’d reign it in a little bit. But ultimately, I’m happy to wager that you’re content with watching some pretty explosions happening on screen!

Nathan Explosion – Metalocalypse

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Sadly disqualified for not actually exploding, Nathan Explosion is the frontman and lead singer for the globally worshipped death-metal band Dethklok. Explosion lends his rumbling growls to the band’s thunderous instrumentals, and has incredible stage presence despite only ever standing still, shoulders hunched and staring angrily into the middle distance. Despite not actually being a bomb or anything like it, Dethklok is notoriously followed by massive destruction in which fans are accidentally killed in their hundreds, and the (literally) die-hard audience returns more maimed and disfigured every gig.

Brutal.

Nathan’s metal-growls are pretty much just his voice, as he talks in the exact same rumbling monotone except with less rhythm or volume. He and fellow band members, Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar, taller than a tree), Toki Wartooth (rhythm guitar, not a bumblebee), William Murderface (bassist, Murderface) and Pickles the Drummer (drummer, doodily doo ding dong doodily doodily doo) live lives of excess thanks to the incredible riches that death-metal have afforded them, and pursue the most metal lifestyle they can possibly muster in a way that certainly doesn’t parody anything.


We’re out of natural disasters and there’s no more dynamite. This article has gone up in a puff of smoke, so don’t let us cloud your judgement any more, as we’re now passing on to you, the GeekOut South-West audience. Let us know what you think next week’s Top 10 should be, amongst these three dynamic choices.

Just like the best of explosions, these articles have to come to an end at some point – and you’ve been patiently waiting for the smoke to clear and the rubble to settle. But don’t be alarmed, we’ll be back next week with another Top 10 – But in the meantime, let us know what you thought of this weeks list. Did the right explosion make it to number 1? Do you think we forgot any in particular? Did we order the rest of our list well? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


GeekOut Tube – Returns and Podcast

We’ve had a few weeks of inactivity on our YouTube channel whilst we prepared for Kitacon and the last GeekOut Bristol Meet… But now we’ve returned and we’ve got some new games to get recording and we’re starting our podcasts over on the platform! Read on to find out more about our upcoming schedule.

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Kita ’16 – Joel

I am exhausted, sore, ill (thanks for that Tim) and damn-near broke.

Worst of all it’s well over a year before we get to do it all again.

Kitacon Karnival is over, a smaller convention hastened together in only eight months, and for the time it took they didn’t do half bad. We were slotted into the Hilton alongside another event that took place over the weekend and took over a few of the rooms we typically occupy so we were also a little shy of space, so the dealers room occupied quite a chunk of the main events hall, and we still did alright. A lot of last year’s legacy stays with us, the good and the bad, so let us take a gander at what the week held.

Friday

One long walk from Birmingham International to the Holiday Inn I was already worn out for registration, but that barely took a moment, leaving more than enough time to chill in the Hilton bar before anything began. Frankly Tim and I were too busy catching up and gathering familiar faces to go to the pre-opening ceremony events, and believe it or not we do talk business from time to time. Rooting through the con-bag yielded a flashing foam baton for the parties, which may explain the absence of Pocky (I mean, c’mon guys, it’s not like we’re not going to buy more unless you leave it out of the bag), the map and timetable to sit and plan with, and the under-appreciated con-book.

The opening ceremony was interesting, especially when introduced by the creepiest circus-style music they could have found/created. First things first, the rule put in place about not hitting each other with the baton came a little too late for some but was generally respected for the rest of the weekend, but this was only the start. Because of a few rather dire incidents last year, some extra precautions had to be put in place, including a raised presence from St. Johns Ambulance, stricter rules on what is and is not allowed in the party hall, and a ban on outside food. That said all of the above was presented in a considerably less dire fashion than you’d expect, and spawned the motto for Kita-Karnival: Safe/Not Safe.

Street food and the milkshake bar were both back from last year, it was a sensible decision then, it was a sensible decision now, and to further the Hilton’s support they also offered us better rates for parking this weekend, not a bad apology for how over-stuffed they were. There was also high level of security around the airport, not for us, but for the EDL protest (for those of you outside the UK, they’re a group of… shall we say excessively patriotic English people) who we were advised to avoid, especially if we were planning to join the Gadget Show at the NEC next-door. At least two people would be attending, as a pair of tickets went up for auction to support this year’s charities: the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Attitude is Everything, more about that later.

Friday also featured one hell of a burlesque show, The Cirque du Geek clever, tasteful, and unashamedly sexy, and opened with the host, Tab, putting clothes on… erotically, as well as a few nerdy parody songs. This was followed by one hell of a night in the bar relaxing with old and new friends.

But moving on…

Saturday

Morning dawned without bacon thanks to some weird policy of the Holiday Inn, but not to worry, because there was a busy day ahead. The morning panel about getting into YouTube as a cosplayer (with thanks to xMoonLilyx) was followed by the Great Kita-panel game that combined a hodgepodge mix of rounds from some of the best panel comedy shows with a massively geeky edge. I was also duped into volunteering for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes with an Abbot and Costello reference and given a team of engineers to work with who took me to the last challenge with ease, but let me die at the bitter end.

Crackly sound

I sat out of the Masquerade, and waited instead for the Untitled Kita Discussion which was callously and maliciously (because a panellist lost his voice at the party on Friday) moved to Sunday. In the mean time I perused the games room and dealers room. Traditional games usually get their own set-up, but instead were merged with video games, it made the room a little noisy but not intolerable, and to be honest I found my attention too readily called elsewhere this year. The dealers also received less space, but there was a great spread anyway, including (shameless promotion of a friend) a demo stand for the upcoming game Dead Pixels 2.

After the traditional meal at Frankie and Benny’s in the International Airport we returned for rock night. This year I came to realise exactly how unfit I am, but gods help me I crammed party enough to cover me for a day or two at least into the hour I spent destroying my vertebrae to the rock-off and making a glorious fool of myself during the metal set. There may be video evidence.

At this point as well I would like to make a special mention to the crew member at Operations who not only took care of my bag, but took pains to make sure that I was going to be ok making the walk back to the Holiday Inn, stopping somewhere shy of actively forcing water down my throat or leaving me unconscious in a taxi with instructions and a fiver safety pinned to my chest. I did not get your name, but you were wonderful.

Sunday

Oh Sunday.

I took my time getting to panels on Sunday as the pain I am feeling in full force now had only just begun to sink in. I went to the Attitude is Everything panel entitled Getting Legless with the Legless, about experiencing the best of life when you have a disability, and huge credit to the charity’s representative Eileen, there’s an experience I won’t forget any time soon, especially not when I managed to make decent use of my sign language skills.

I had to skip the first panel hosted by guest Mr. B because I was determined to see the Untitled Kita Discussion, and I was so glad I did. The unstructured conversation with committee members and convention veterans discussed the convention life and labours that very nearly ran with a 1:1 panel to audience ratio until everyone else spotted the rescheduling, and those of us who made it were treated to an insight into the gears and cogs that spin behind the scenes, a little bit of con-history, and the community as a whole. Out of sixteen possible topics each with a selection of possible question we made it through three, so let’s hope for a repeat next year.

I managed to catch up to Mr. B after the Morsels and Moustaches panel, a follow up to My Favourite Nemesis, dinner and conversation between the Gentleman Rhymer and his greatest competition Professor Elemental. While the conversation with Kita committee legend Luke was fantastic, I think last year’s dinner date was a little more enjoyable, although lacking in fart jokes. Also, My Favourite Nemesis only spawned this panel, next year Mr. B may yet host a panel on gentlemanly trolling, and perhaps a gentle stroll and people watching, and a couple of quotes that I just can’t offer with context… they’re just better without.

“DOW is down, also Deadmau5 thinks you’re a bit of a prat.”

“This is the greatest thing I have ever been a part of, and I was in the scouts.”

Kita’s Got Talent was short. Could have been the eight month prep-time, the fairly short time between registration and the actual convention, or it could have been the reduced size of this years Kita, but it was a nice blend of acts, lead by Tab Kimpton who was forced to perform solo as his duet partner destroyed his voice. Got to give credit to the woman who wrote a song on Sunday morning complete with con-memes, that kind of creativity on the fly is not easy.

And finally, the closing ceremonies.

It was a Safe convention, the convention was officially rated Safe.

The charity auction raised (and I’m sure I heard this right) £1331 before the final three items were auctioned:

  • A framed pixel art by Retro 8-Bit depicting Asgore from Undertale went for £100
  • TT Games sent in a Homer Simpson trophy from Lego Dimensions, of which only fifty exist, mostly given to be employees of TT, who can potentially be fired if they’re found selling it. £170 more for the charities.
  • Finally, a pair of VIP tickets to Kita ’17 complete with shirts and priority hotel booking! At £300 for the pair, someone did damn well for themselves.

Awards were given out for the Lip-Synch Battle, Sakura75 walked away with the belt, but honourable mentions went to a competitor who stepped in for a friend, Becderp. The AMV/CMV competition was won by Racerabbit, honourable mentions went to fan favourite Kaizen Kaos, Paineful Productions for best AMV, and Electrospectrum for best CMV. Cosplay honourable mentions went to Aaelic for Janna Victorious from League of Legends, and Hildaglitz for her Princess Fiona, and the winners were Pinnku, Miro and Jediknight for a Borderlands group cosplay. And well done to the Talent winners, Noodle Cup Cosplay for the solo acts, and Popcorn Suma, Solaria, and Silverwyn for the best group.

If any names were misspelt, I apologize, I can only write so fast.

And finally let me reiterate the final thanks to everyone involved, the staff, event runners, dealers, artists, contributors, tech team, guests, committee, attendees and I particularly want to emphasise the vigilance of the St. John’s Ambulance, and to Hugh the press officer. I know I texted you already, but seriously Hugh, it was great having you on hand.

Finally

Thanks to you, all of you. I’m getting a little misty, although that may be exhaustion. So many of you that I promise to stay in touch with, so many who I can’t wait to see next year assuming you’re not at Amecon at the end of July.

I have skipped over so many of the awesome little details that made this Kita incredible, but a lot of it are parts that you can only really experience in person. If you haven’t been to a convention, get on it, they’re amazing, they’re a joy and they’re all over the country.

See you soon everyone.

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ALcon 2015

Last year I fully intended to attend a convention where I knew that I’d know no one, I’d be forced to interact with people without the safety net of familiar faces around me. That plan fell through and I ended up with Tim at ALcon 2014. After this year I now know that I’ll never be able to attempt a convention flying solo ever again. Let me explain: (more…)