Today is GeekOut Bristol Meet, taking place from 2pm at the Old Market Tavern. One thing we love to do here at GeekOut, is provide some unique themes for the events. This month’s theme was more to get people chatting about technology as a whole. As such, to get people chatting, I started to create some very basic little infosheets about a couple of pieces of tech throughout history. Check out our pieces – and let us know if there were any amongst these that you didn’t know about!
Last week, the gaming industry received news that Microsoft had been working on a new controller. Unlike all previous controllers, this one was something quite different. No, there wasn’t just a rubber grip on the back of a standard Xbox controller; nor was there a new clicking mechanism in the buttons. Instead, Microsoft have taken the first steps as a big distributor of video game hardware to open the market up. They introduced their Adaptive Controller, which was met with huge fanfare! Finally, a huge console manufacturer has started to cater for those with disabilities – But that isn’t the true limit of this hardwares capabilities.
“A Necromancer! I hoped I’d never have to lay my eyes on one of your kind again” – Gheed.
Yes, the Necromancer is a powerful spellcaster who is capable of bringing the dead back to life. With a penchant for the macabre, these dark magicians are able to manipulate bone, flesh and even go so far as to cause disease and further. Typically though, we’re going for those who bring the dead back to life. As such, we’re not focusing on disease or any of those aspects of this dark art.
So buckle up and get ready, for it’s time that we count down our Top 10 Necromancers. (more…)
Religion and science doesn’t usually mix, but in this title, they could be the combination that literally kills you. In the latest iteration of the Phoenix Wright franchise, we’re back with a vengeance – and this time, defense attorneys are in as much trouble as their clients. From religious ministers hellbent on making sure you fail, to divination seances designed to make your clients look guilty, this might be Phoenix’s toughest trial yet.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
These are the laws that may one day save us from a Matrix/Terminator style situation, the rules that all artificial intelligence must be bound to, with some possible extra stipulations to prevent I.Robot happening too. Despite the fears of luddites who still beat their phones with rocks hoping for the fire that might cook their freshly slain microwavable pasta, science marches on with an army of entirely hypothetical robots at its back with only the purpose of discovery, and also having a cool butler who makes drinks and you don’t even have to pay him. (more…)
Caped crusaders and righteous paladins leaping to save the day to the tune of victorious fanfares and screaming groupies, then they leap from the fray, utterly unscathed and twinkling everywhere a hero should twinkle. Doesn’t it make you sick?
Some do-gooders do so much good you start to wonder. Nobody’s perfect, so what’s wrong with them that they aren’t telling us. Or maybe their flaw is so obvious and insipid that no matter how many lives they save we just can’t bring ourselves to let them off the hook.
Welcome, you judgemental band of thugs, to our Top 10 hateful heroes!
10) Desmond Miles – Assassins Creed
Axed after only three of the… where are we now, seven games (not including the smaller titles). Alright so in his third appearance he was actually quite interesting, but the only purpose he’d served until then was to be the reason for telling the stories of assassins throughout history. Short sections of the game made to feel torturously long by the dramatic loss of action and sudden upswing in long dialogue in which your role is to get off one bed, go to another, and back again in the morning.
Desmond Miles may not be utterly loathsome in himself, but there’s no denying that his participation in the narrative seriously breaks up the flow of the action. For the bulk of the series he’s taken a back seat, his story being complete, and him being dead and whatnot. His DNA strand continues with a little narration every now and again to remind you why the later games are better.
9) Ash Ketchum – Pokemon
Get this: The opening theme to the original series of the Pokemon anime went and said words like “I wanna be the very best, like no-one ever was.” Then why, pray tell, do we have Ash Ketchum? He’s nowhere near the very best, in fact, he’s amongst the very worst in the whole of the Pokemon universe. Many people feel this way about him, that he wasn’t exactly the winning Pokemon Master that we wanted to see in our Pokemon anime.
In the manga, we had Red, who legitimately was a brilliant trainer. So then to be given Ash instead of Red, it feels like something of an insult. He might want to be the very best, but he’s only ever won one Pokemon League and that wasn’t even a main one. Bah, my character in Pokemon Black and White was a better trainer than him!
Also he hasn’t aged.
8) Captain Amazing – Mystery Men
The great and mighty guardian of Champion City, swooping in to save the day whenever it’s in peril and he’ll get good publicity out of it, for himself and his many, many… many sponsors. How else could he afford all of the arms, armour and the cool jetpack that just keep him so very amazing? I mean, he’s good friends with billionaire philanthropist Lance Hunt, sure, but Lance has his own life to lead, doing… come back to that one.
Anyway, this is the man who intentionally allowed super-villain Casanova Frankenstein back on the streets in order to raise his public profile; apparently the multi-storey statue wasn’t cutting it any more. It may be a little bit of a cheat, including the hero we’re supposed to hate on this list, but Mystery Men does such a good job of setting up this loathsome little fall-guy that it really makes you really think hard about the heroes you blindly accept as “the good guys”.
7) Wrathion – WoW
I was recently introduced to this character having dropped out of World of Warcraft… And I can’t find a single redeeming feature about him. He’s childish, he’s brash, he’s arrogant and he’s a god damned child hero. This is never a good mix. The only plausibly redeeming factor he has, is he may one day grow up… And the world (of Warcraft) will rejoice in unison at this little scamp when he stops being such a poor, typical character.
It’s all well and good wanting to draw in younger audiences, which this guy will easily do. He’s likable in that you know he means well but does so in arrogant ways. It caters well to a younger, more rebellious audience. But to the rest of us, he’s just a spoilt brat of a kid who doesn’t actually understand the direness of the situation the world is in. Urgh.
6) Alice – Resident Evil Films
“Alice? Who’s that?” says the fan of the Resident Evil game series who rightfully avoided the films, “OH!” They continue, “You mean that character who doesn’t exist in the games, has no personality, and was basically just an excuse for Paul W.S. Anderson to wiggle his wife into six films? Sure, I know Alice.” This is followed by a look of withering sarcasm.
Milla Jovovich is a more capable actress than the Resident Evil series would have you believe, and clearly she’s enjoying the whole mutant/zombie slaying rush that the role of the mysterious and ~cough~ enigmatic Alice offers. But while it’s always more fun to watch an actor in a role that they like than it is to watch an actor bored blind, there comes a time when ego stroking and self-aggrandizing gets seriously dull. And yet somehow they keep making money! At least the next one’s called “The Final Chapter”
5) Mario – Nintendo
Hear us out here. We all love Mario, this is undeniable is it? However he really is an utterly contemptible little man, because there’s another man in this equation… And several peaceful individuals are also ruined by his constant presence and his corny catchphrases. Let’s take the obvious route first and talk about his younger brother, Luigi. Mario is the poster boy of Nintendo: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine; you get the point. What does Luigi get? An admittedly cool vacuum cleaner, but it’s still a vacuum none-the-less. Mario gets to chase the princess whilst Luigi gets to be haunted by ghosts.
So even if his brother doesn’t like him, what about all of the Goombas he’s running around and stomping on? Don’t forget all those shrooms he’s taking. Mario, you’re one pitiful, nasty little slime ball of a plumber and I hope you DO wear a tie (bonus points to anyone who gets this reference. Comment on the reference below.)
4) Scott Summers – X-Men
So on the list of loathsome slimes with superpowers, introducing the guy who cheated on his telepathic wife with another telepath! Really smart move there Cyclops. The ability to shoot force blasts out of your eyes does not make you useful and the shades make you look like a douchey frat-boy. And someone put this idiot in charge of a school? Nope. He vapourized former head of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, Charles Xavier.
Officially the lamest of the entire Summers bloodline, which includes Cable, Havok, Vulcan and the power-mimic Hope Summers. Poster-boy for the X-Men and devoted pupil to Xavier, Scott may very well have recruited hundreds of kids to the sanctuary of the school and the safety he never had as a child. He then proceeded to turn the place into a super-soap-opera.
3) Shinji Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion
Whine and whine, this is all this little boy does… But the thing is, we hate him for it. He’s not a compelling character and the worst part of all of this is that we don’t hate him just because he whines. We hate him because he is what we all hate about ourselves.
Think about it. If you’ve been faced with perils of the entire universe, that only you in your limited knowledge of this ship that no one else can control. So pray tell, why is it that the first thing you think isn’t “I must stop the baddies” but more “I must curl into foetal position and cry this nightmare away”? The reason we hate Shinji so damn much isn’t because he’s whiny, or pathetic or even weak… But he’s an accurate representation of the vast majority of humanity in a nutshell. Many of us, even the proudest, will not find the inner strength to save whole worlds.
2) Superman – DC
What? How did this happen? Number 2?
Yes, DC’s Swiss Army Super Hero may be one of the most irritating retcon engines in comic book history with a battery of powers so complete that the possibility of him losing in any situation seem as laughable as wearing your pants on the outside (underpants for our American readers). He’s not without his weaknesses of course, not just the shiny green rocks that are so rare that only billionaires and people who really want it can find it. He’s also quite vulnerable to magic and a lack of vitamin D.
He died once y’know! Just popped right back up again. That’s the top of a list of disappointments: glasses as a disguise, cape, powers “because aliens I guess”. It’s so bad it’s practically a meme! Most of us are still waiting on a decent reboot but with Zack Snyder at the helm that’s not likely to happen for another decade or so. So how did the All-American-Boyscout get beaten to the number one slot?
1) Bella Swan – Twilight
Here is where I deeply crack my knuckles.
I have read excerpts, wikis and summaries of Twilight, its’ sequels and unauthorised spin-off, and that’s about the limit of investiture I’m willing to put into it. I’m prepared to give the quality of the writing, the weaving narrative, the supporting cast of characters (who I hear are actually fairly interesting) the benefit of the doubt. But I am utterly stymied by the sparkly vampires, weirdly predatory relationship behaviour, and above it all the unabashed, sickening and utterly characterless Mary-Sue “protagonist” Bella Swan.
Loathsome? Certainly, but how do we derive hero? It’s the name we often falsely ascribe to those people around whom the story revolves, and Myers – sorry – Swan does nothing heroic to speak of. She does obtain an array of powers after her transformation into a vampire, but here’s the interesting thing: As a mortal she’s noted to be clumsy and a bad liar, afterwards she becomes uncommonly agile even for a vampire, and she also has the ability to shield herself from psychic powers, and therefore hide her thoughts.
Thus completing the role of blank canvas that any girl can pretend is really her, and super mysterious guys with rippling everything will love them. Lesson for everyone, male or female: Interesting is attractive, cardboard cutouts are not.
We have never meant the word “Honourable” less. You can leap to the rescue as much as you like, you can’t win ’em all, you’re not winning us, and you didn’t even win a spot on the list! You’re just sad.
Here’s a couple of schmucks we decided to throw a bone to. You’re welcome.
Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars
We once did Top 10 Sci-Fi Cliches. When we did that article, we listed Child Geniuses as one of the Sci-Fi Cliches that we feel is done to death and is just not fun. So Anakin fits this mould perfectly and is one of the most cookie cutter characters created. Honestly, if you watch Episode 1, he’s far too young to be doing anything of the sorts that he does… But hey, he brought in a young audience right..?
Is that really such a good thing, though? I mean apparently, this little kid built C-3P0!? Sure, he later on becomes a cool character, in the name of being a brilliant bad guy. However the young Anakin in Phantom Menace is an inexcusable mess.
Romeo, o Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?
This dude is really just out there man. I mean, the whole tragedy could have been avoided if he wasn’t such a crazy guy who likely had attachment issues. Honestly, think about the story for a minute and you’ll come to realise that if he had literally waited for a bit and mourned his “loss”, then not all would have been lost. But then all was lost, because he goes ahead and offs himself. Don’t question why I gave such a massive spoiler there, this is Romeo and Juliet, everyone knows the “spoiler”.
Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies. Only this time, Juliet falls, Romeo (then Juliet) dies!
Ok, we’re done hating for today. Next week, no super heroism! Maybe super-heroism, but we’ll try and cut down, we promise. In order to remain on your good-side, and keep ourselves off this very list – or worse, the honourable mentions – get to voting for our next Top 10!
Didn’t see your most hated hero? Disagree with our ordering? Disagree with us in general? Or maybe you just want to chat? That’s ok, we’re here for you buddy, take a seat, I’ll get the kettle on. Join the discussion in the comments down below, and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
What is it?
For any of you unfamiliar with the Ace Attorney series, you play as a defense lawyer. You are in court rooms, defending your clients by proving possible ways that they could not have been involved with a crime.
As such, each story within these games (Of which there are several stories) can span over several days in game time. You start a case by being briefed or being (unwittingly) there during the crime. Usually you seem to be defending your friends. I hope this isn’t a true reflection on real life “lawyering”, that you get most of your cases through defending your friends’ innocence of murder, but what do I know?
So, let’s now get down to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies.
The franchise, having been popular on the Nintendo DS, has now moved to the Nintendo 3DS and yes, the 3D does look good. I will divulge more on this later.
Artistically, the Ace Attorney series in game has always been akin to that of anime styled visuals. This is also true to the zany-ness of some of the characters that you defend and/or interrogate. A truly eclectic blend of clever writing and fantastic artwork is what will keep you coming back to this franchise. As for this game, it steps up the anime aesthetics even further with very fluid animations and even full anime styled cutscenes. Plus we finally get to hear the voices of the characters other than their famous words: “OBJECTION”. “HOLD IT”. “TAKE THAT”.
I wasn’t just going mad, honestly.
Dual Destinies has done something rather smart, if you ask me. They have made it so you cannot buy a physical copy in stores. You buy this game via the Nintendo eShop on your 3DS for just shy of £20.00 (£19.99 if you want to be really clear of the price!) Further to this, DownLoadable Content (DLC) is available for this game, making it, to my knowledge, the first Ace Attorney game to do so.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of DLC in games except for the purely cosmetic… But due to the way the Ace Attorney series plays, it feels right having DLC. The DLC, as well as having additional outfits for the characters (for rather cheap), seems to also have extra “episodes”, which is what they call the different cases in the game. Every episode is a single case, which can take hours to complete alone.
Gameplay is generally split between several sections of a case:
– Opening and starting investigations.- The first hearing.
– Further investigations.
– The second hearing/final.
Of course, sometimes a case goes on longer and there are some exceptions, as some of the earlier ones might not have investigation parts, etcetera.
Another new point with Dual Destinies, there’s a new girl in the Wright Anything Agency (The group of lawyers and… everything… bits and bobs… that the game centres around).
Meet Athena Cykes, a young lady who has studied psychology in order to tap upon peoples emotions within the courtrooms, believing that courtroom psychology would be beneficial to the legal profession. She turns out to be right as of course, every one of our lawyers are gifted with a unique ability/item. Phoenix Wright was provided with a Magatama that let’s him sense when someone hasn’t opened up to or trusted him to tell him the whole truth. Apollo Justice has a bracelet that lets him sense when someone’s lying by tightening. Athena has widget, the blue necklace she’s wearing. Widget allows her to analyse a persons emotions and to have a visual representation of the testimony. She detects the discord in peoples voices with heightened sense of hearing due to her training as a psychologist.
So, the gimmick of this game revolves around emotion. Actually, this has to be my favourite gimmick of all of the main characters.
So far, I’ve played far enough to see the return of the legendary rock star prosecutor, so this is great news to me as he was one of my favourite prosecutors. I would love to see the return of Godot one day.
Another little touch they added, which might not sound too important but has helped me immensely: There is a button on the bottom screen that allows you to go see a transcription of all of the dialogue that has been spouted throughout the scenes. This is very important in case you accidentally skipped through the dialogue, or if you just need to recap quickly. Well done to Capcom here.
Should you buy this game?
Related articles – Seriously, Phoenix Wright is a brilliant series.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies review: Your honor, I have no objections (gamesinasia.com)
- Summary Judgment: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (commonmemory.wordpress.com)
- Phoenix Wright speaks in a new animated Ace Attorney 5 story trailer (polygon.com)
It’s pretty late here in England, but it doesn’t mean I’m not ready to post!
So activity for me has increased quite a bit. Being a one man band (Who isn’t Heath Slater), I have to think of things that are relevant to me. As such, in this post I’m going to discuss one of the most important elements of my life and I do say this is an important element of my life: Gaming.
I’m actually shocked I’ve focused more on Cosplay in my blog posts so far, but this being said, that is my most recent endeavour. So I’m going to talk about the game that truly made me a gamer.
I’ll set the scene:
It’s a cold night and a young kid with something called a Game Boy is in his hands. He puts in a cartridge and his mind is blown as these geometric shapes are falling down and forming lines… then vanishing before his very eyes.
Yes, it can only be Tetris.
This is a game that can bring together gamers and non-gamers alike. Why would a gamer like it? Score systems. Why would a non-gamer like it? Because it’s not a game as we know it now-a-days.
My gamer view
As a gamer, I was immediately hooked to Tetris. At the time, I was quite new to gaming, having played just a few games beforehand. I’ll post more about those another day. But Tetris is a game I would play for hours on end. Day in, day out, I’d pick up my Game Boy, put in Tetris and play.
As I got older, more advanced games appealed to me, including one of the most insanely popular children’s games of all time which children and people even well beyond their 50s and 60s play. That’s for another post. Growing up, all the games I played were platformers, puzzlers or arcade beat ’em ups. So I picked up Tetris, expecting a game that was “heh, fun! Will kill some time.” What I didn’t expect was something so simple could be something so incredible to play.
I didn’t have any other Nintendo console, at least not until I got the Nintendo DS. In fact, unless we count the PS1 or the Wii, my only consoles have actually been hand held!
I had the Game Gear, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Colour, the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo 3DS and the PS Go (… I really haven’t used it that much, sadly.) So my handheld days have mostly been conquered by Nintendo. So seeing Tetris was a Nintendo game, couldn’t be a bad game. It wasn’t but instead I found myself having friends come around to beat my ridiculously high scores. By that, I mean I was often finding myself able to score back to back Tetris scoring for max score boosts.
Then I saw documentaries on it and people with the -truly- insanely high scores. Of course, this made me go “… Aw :(” I had a horrible craving to do better and kept playing it. Much to the annoyance of people who knew me, as whenever I lost it made that horrible sound…
Argh, that’s a sound that’ll break you.
It’s a game that you want to do better and better in. Why? No real reason except: “I BEAT MY HIGH SCORE!”
Sure, other games have done it arguably better, too. But ultimately, Tetris was such an easy game, it could turn someone from a non-gamer into a game sympathiser at very least. I’d be interested to find people who haven’t played some variant of Tetris and to see what their views on it would be if they played it. In this day and age, Tetris isn’t as easy to convince as a fun game as it used to be, not since a lot of gaming has gone to be “social”, but honour your roots when you can, folks.
Well, I wanted Tetris to be my first gaming post, as Tetris… Oh hells yeah. That’s a game that people need to have played in their lives.
Got any views on Tetris? Share them with me!