Just in case you didn't realise, this week's PWNCAST is all about tanks. Tanks are awesome, and so for this podcast, with Jon having returned fresh from hugging giant mobile cannons at Tankfest, we thought we'd chat about some of our favourite tank-related games and tank-specific gaming moments.
Because tanks are awesome. TANKS!
PWNCAST | Season 1: Episode 19, Recorded: July 1st, 2012
Some of the things that get covered this week:
...and much, much more.
This week in particular, we'd like you to get involved. Let us know what your favourite games of all time are, the games that had the biggest impact on you, and pop a nostalgic anecdote or two in the comments below.
We'll maybe even hand out a prize for our favourite.
Finally, do please keep writing in to [email protected] with requests, feedback, and topics you'd like to hear discussed.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be quite a few instances of strong language.
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This week we take a look at some of the worst weapons to have been inflicted upon gaming. Most of those in this list have proven themselves to be loathed through sheer uselessness, but there are one or two of the items below that have made the grade through sheer profane merit. Leg us know if we've missed any!
Honourable mentions: Everything You Pick Up - Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Leaf Shield - Mega Man 2, Wooden Sword - Ninja Gaiden, Bubble Gun - Earthworm Jim 2, Most Things In Dead Rising - Dead Rising.
One supposes that, being set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where presumably most creatures have succumbed to death, it might actually be fair to assume that the only things out there in the wilderness that might hurt you are rusty tin cans. What better weapon, then, for the wastes than your trusty childhood BB gun.
Except, oh wait, there are flesh eating rabid ghouls and enormous mutant killers out there. A nice homage to a period toy, but utterly useless in the fray.
In the land of side-scrolling beat 'em ups, the man with the extended reach is king. Leonardo, Donatello and Michaelangelo all had weapons that came served with a side salad of considerable reach, but poor Raphael shuffled into battle with nothing but a pair of forks. What this meant practically is that anyone playing as the red-bandana'd turtle had to get up close and personal with foes, inevitably dying rapidly to the sounds of laughter from their fellows.Click here to read more...
As gamers, we've been graced with a slew of tense, terrifying and specular FPS levels, and we'll be covering ten of our favourite next Tuesday. However, I remember none quite so fondly as Goldeneye's 'Facility'. It's not just that its James Bond, in pixellated Pierce Brosnan form, or that it came courtesy of the once-loved Rare Studios. It is, quite simply, a fantastic example of level design, gameplay variation and even storytelling.
So what better way to kick off our new weekly feature than reminiscing on just Why We Love... Goldeneye's Facility!
'Facility' begins just as the film did, albeit skewed towards a videogames' unique demands. Bond is crawling through the air-vents of a Soviet chemical weapons facility, silenced PP7 in tow. At discreet intervals, you can glimpse a few plastic-faced Soviet soldiers in the stalls below, dealing with more personal matters. 'Facility' is great because you truly feel like a secret agent, firing suppressed rounds through cubicle doors before a dead soldier slumps out, thankfully with trousers intact. You can even find a soldier standing at a urinal. Surprising him is rather fun.
We should draw attention to the fantastic sound of 'Facility', too, whether its the classic Bond orchestra, subtle to begin with, before gaining pace in later, more tense situations, and the overall ambiance, the pew-pew of the silenced PP7, the rattle of an enemy AK and the deafening boom of a grenade or exploding red barrel. It's basic by modern standards, but even now it has a charm and wonder all its own.Click here to read the rest of Felix's article...
Goldeneye 007 might be best described as a "reimagining" of the original N64 Bond adventure but thankfully it's not become the embarrassing Tim Burtonesque mess that the word tends to suggest. This new version is certainly no token effort; it's a joy to play and it's no stretch to call it a Wii must-have. With most retailers selling the normal version for only around £10 less, it's worth opting for this limited edition and bagging yourself a (sort of) swanky gold controller. Thanks to mrlegit at Hotukdeals!
NB. For those who don't have a store handy, it's worth noting that if you add the discount code, Tesco's price is also the cheapest delivered to your door, despite their extortionate shipping rate.
Breath a sigh of relief, as this remake hasn't let the fans down. Yes it's on the Wii and potato-head Daniel Craig has replaced Brosnan but other than that this is a solid game. This is a different game to the original with new levels outweighing the nostalgia factor but players can choose to take a stealthy approach or go in with both cannons blazing. Extra objectives appear for higher difficulties too. Local / online multiplayer is where fans will get the most out of the game, don't worry motion-controls haters, you can use a pad instead.
The living room of the average games reviewer is not a tidy one. You’ve got all the major consoles. You’ve very possibly got a debug console or three. You’ve got controllers spilling out of drawers plus assorted other peripherals taking up cupboard space.
This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is if you’re married / in a long term relationship / sharing a flat. For me (option one) it means a generally tolerated bit of mayhem. It also means that all the new kit arriving meant a teary farewell to a much loved console and one legendary, much played game. The console consigned to fate? The N64. The legendary, much played – and now much missed – game? Goldeneye.
I have friends who still talk of 36 hour multiplayer sessions EVERY weekend for a year. I have another who made his housemate confiscate his N64 a week before finals when he realised playing James Bond might cost him his degree. I have yet another who’s long emigrated but still bears a (I think) joking grudge for the night I managed to blow him time after time with a missile launcher.
The news then that Goldeneye was to be revamped for the Wii was met with mixed emotions. On the one hand, the chance to relive some of those days was as exciting as exciting gets to us couch potatoes. On the other... what’s that line about the past being a different country? The announcement that it was to be a reinvention and now feature Daniel Craig’s gritty Bond was also a little worrying. Yes, there’s a need to bring it up to date but have a little heart chaps!
Now though, in one of those days that makes the intermittent pay and irregular hours all worthwhile, I’ve had a chance to have a little play on the new title (come on, who wants to touch me?). I’ve also had a bit of a chat with some of the people involved. The result is I’m quite pathetically excited about the day in November a finished copy drops through my door.
As we predicted last month and coyly hinted at the bottom of yesterday's news roundup, the big news from the Penny Arcade eXpo is that Duke Nukem Forever is very much alive. But under new management. Gearbox, the developer behind Borderlands and Brothers In Arms will be taking over from 3D Realms and finishing off DNF for a 2011 release. Excitingly, it'll make its long awaited debut on PS3 and Xbox 360 as well as the PC.
Gearbox, under the outspoken and irascible leadership of Randy Pitchford, is known for delivering some excellent games with genuine personality. On time. Hopefully they'll be a perfect fit for the franchise, and we'll be watching this one like a hawk. Shake it, baby! [DukeNukemForever]
Update: Gearbox has confirmed that development is complete. All it needs now is a few months of spit and polish. [Thanks, CVG]
Activision and Eurocom's reimagining of Rare's classic (and genuinely important) N64 shooter has been causing fans to suffer alternating bouts of extreme nostalgia and anxiety. It's currently difficult to tell whether the Wii version will deliver a truly reverential experience - but according to Martin Hollis, Activision are too focused on the financial bottom line to care about the game itself. Hollis is the director and producer of the original N64 Goldeneye, and stated the following to Official Nintendo Magazine when asked about the new project:
"I imagine it is a business decision, isn't it? This name is valuable, let's use it."
"I find it hard to picture Activision's top management being excited about the original and wanting to do it justice. In fact, I find it hard to imagine them being excited about any game. It's my perception that they are trying to be EA, only more so. I think they are doing a fine job at that."
For the sake of balance, he also stated that he admired Eurocom as a developer and is sure that they're doing their "very best." Only time will tell whether they've been able to get "excited" enough to effectively emulate and improve upon the source material. [Official Nintendo Magazine via Eurogamer]
I managed to play some Goldeneye at Gamescom... and whilst it's showing some promise, Eurocom will really need to step development up a notch in order to hold a candle to the original. Check it out here.
In an attempt to market their impressive Motion Control peripheral to an older audience, Kevin Butler (yeah, I'm still calling him that) has stepped up to the plate and delivered a hilariously epic trailer. Nothing I've seen or played at Gamescom has convinced me that Move is particularly appropriate for hardcore gamers... but hey, why not watch the video and decide for yourself.
Want to weigh in on Kevin Butler's latest mini epic? Fancy raving about Move or bringing up Kinect for no particular reason? Drop us a line in the comments!
Call me a nasty old cynic – because I am. But has there ever been a point, video game wise, to movie tie-ins?
I’m not talking about Goldeneye – that came out sometime after the movie. Nor am I talking about the brilliant LEGO takes on big movie franchises (and I, for one, am pathetically excited about the imminent LEGO Harry Potter). I’m talking about the games that are rushed out for cinema releases. The marketing “geniuses” will no doubt call it “synergy” but let’s call it what it really is: milking the average punter for yet more money while cashing in on the film’s advertising budget.
I’ve been struggling to think of a single title that actually stood up to scrutiny, that might have been made if the film didn’t exist. While I’m happy to be corrected – your comments to the usual address, if you please – I can’t think of one and a good run around Google hasn’t thrown anything up to change my mind either.
That perhaps explains why my heart sinks when I flick through the forthcoming games release schedule. Before the end of March, we’ve got five – count ‘em! FIVE! – games-of-the-movie to “look forward” to.
First up, will be Arthur & The Revenge of Maltazard which has the dubious distinction of being both the worst game never of the 21st Century, and being tied-in to a film nobody has even heard of. It is, apparently, the sequel to Arthur & The Invisibles, a kids movie from a few years back. Nope, me neither.
Around the same time, we also have the game of Astro Boy. What do you mean you’ve never heard of Astro Boy? Apparently big in Australia, the US and Japan, it’s a cartoon about a robot boy with special powers who saves the world. Itching to get your hands on that one? That’s what we figured. There is one possible saving grace: according to my research, Astro Boy fires bullets from his bottom. I reckon that’ll give it another five minutes in the average console before being consigned to the “can use as a coaster” pile. Or, as you might prefer to look at it, a total life span of just under seven minutes.
A few weeks later we get Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief. Based on a massive selling book – 125 weeks on the New York Times list and counting – it’s a tale of a young modern kid who discovers he’s actually the son of a Greek god. Mythology has never done a game any harm. But the chances of this “tactical role playing” game being like a sub-standard Pokemon title? I reckon pretty high.
Fools and their money will then be parted just a short time after that, with the release of Alice In Wonderland. This is the game of the movie of the book, which, like with Percy Jackson, probably equates to triple suckage. The problem here won’t be the source material (which has previously inspired a pretty decent PC game, American McGee’s Alice). The problem here is the presence of Tim Burton.
This isn’t Alice In Wonderland you see. This is Tim Burton’s “reimagining” of Alice in Wonderland. Am I the only that fills with dread? Burton is stuck in a tedious rut of visual quirks and can’t see beyond Johnny Depp as his leading man. The first sign that this is going to blow is the poster. It’s called Alice in Wonderland, so what picture advertises the film? That’s right. A shot of, er, Depp as the Mad Hatter, a character who appears in about three pages of the original novel. Lewis Carroll has seen his work read and re-read and filmed and re-filmed for 145 years. Burton hasn’t had an original idea, or made a film worth seeing, for 16 years. The odds then are that a game based on Burton’s recycled “quirky” take on a classic book will suck harder than a hangar full of Dysons.
And then, finally, at the end of March we get the game of Clash of the Titans. I hope against hope that this is an exception to prove the rule. The potential is certainly there: man Vs all manner of mythological nastys? Tied to the spectacular imagery of this cinematic remake? And all from the people who made Tekken and Soulcalibur? This title might just be the exception that proves the rule... but somehow I doubt it.
So, have I missed a decent game somewhere down the line? Or have they all been about as good, long lasting and thought through as a Happy Meal toy?
And, while we’re sort of on the subject, could someone PLEASE reissue Goldeneye for a modern console? I thank you.
Today’s news roundup sees Square Enix suggest the possibility of seeing a new Wii by 2011, Gears of War 3 rumoured for a November 2010 release date, Rare announcing GoldenEye is “long past” stage of negotiating an appearance on modern consoles, and Guitar Hero looking ready to welcome Project Natal to its gameplay.
Since Microsoft and Sony revealed their plans to bring motion control technology to their consoles, Nintendo had lost the one thing that made their console stand out. All eyes have been on Nintendo, speculating what their next move is. Square Enix president and CEO Yoichi Wada gave his thoughts on Nintendo’s future, and his take on motion control technology. “Present game machines already have a lot of functions: They are a network terminal, a Blu-ray or DVD player, and a gaming machine,” said Wada. “Compared to these three pillars, the [new motion] controllers are quite limited, so the impact may be small. They are an extension of the gaming function,” he added.
Though he doesn’t appear to be the most keen motion control fan, he praised Microsoft’s Project Natal, claiming it has a “fantastic” user interface, which he believes will become standard. As for Nintendo, Wada thinks a New Wii will be available by 2011, possibly with a new controller and additional features such as those found on the Xbox 360 and PS3, in an attempt the close the technological gap between the machines. The Wii HD has been rumoured for a while now, and with Square Enix acknowledging the possibility, the chance of seeing a new Wii by 2011 doesn’t seem unlikely. [FinancialTimes]
According to VgArabia Gears of War 3 may already have a release date, it recent advertisements are anything to go by. Ads appeared on the streets of America for the game, showing Marcus Fenix with a “3” above him in classic Gears Of War writing. Below Marcus sat a release date suggesting the game will hit on November 12th 2010. Hopefully an official announcement can either confirm or deny this. [VgArabia]
GoldenEye on the N64 is frequently discussed by gamers hoping for its appearance on the Wii or Xbox 360. A fan recently asked Rare the chance of GoldenEye still appearing this generation. “That was some time ago, my friend,” said Rare in a Scribes column. “Fate was against us that day. Destiny conspired to raise the hurdles even as we attempted to clear them, resulting in unpleasant groinal injury. I suspect we're long past the stage where an agreement was on the cards, but you never know.” A game port didn’t look like it was on the cards before, but now it looks beyond hope. [NintendoEverything]
Guitar Hero is largely responsible for the huge growth seen in the rhythm game market, thanks to little plastic guitars with buttons on them. Now Red Octane look set to take the formula even further, with president Kai Hung announcing Project Natal’s functionality is “likely” to play a part in the future of the series. “We've definitely been evaluating Microsoft's Natal technology along with a lot of other different technologies that could enhance the Guitar Hero playing experience," Huang said.
"Natal is very interesting because there's so many different things you can do with it, whether it's the motion detecting, maybe sensing how you're playing, or the ability to use it for interactivity purposes and taking advantage of it for party purposes...We're evaluating it, and I think it's likely that sometime in the future we'll have those technologies integrated into our games.” Rather than hoping for air guitar controls it appears more likely Natal will enhance the gameplay through offering more welcome variety.
Recently, a deal was posted for Gamestation selling the Nintendo 64 classic Goldeneye for £3. For those of you who snapped it up or dug their original cartridge out of the cupboard, you may have been disappointed.
Back in the day when the graphics were fairly cutting edge and the game was hooked up to a 21" CRT, it wasn’t too bad. But connected to a large high definition television alongside the current gen consoles....well, I think it’s fair to say that the graphics haven’t really aged well. There’s also the problem with the N64 analogue sticks, which are probably grating rather badly, unless you’ve kept one in brand new condition.
If you’re desperate for your Goldeneye fix but looking for a more modern way to play the game then emulation is well worth considering. It is entirely legal if you have the original cartridge version of the game. By running the game through an emulator on your PC, you can connect it to your TV at its native resolution. Depending on the graphics power of your PC you can touch it up with some anti-aliasing (straighten out jaggy edges) and anisotropic filtering (sharpen up blurry textures).
You don’t need topend hardware either. My Dell XPS M1330 with an 8400M graphics card can easily drive Goldeneye smoothly at 1080p on a 40" TV over hdmi.
For controls, you can use an original N64 adapter over USB. Alternatively, if your controllers are completely worn out, you can use a current controller instead, such as the Xbox 360 wired controller through the XBCD driver package. This can be mapped fairly similarly to the original N64 controller using the right analogue stick in place of the C buttons. This allows A and B to be mapped to face buttons, but it feels a little odd after modern first person shooters.
Impressively, it’s even possible to play Goldeneye online through an emulator although that’s perhaps taking it too far. Of course, it would be great if Nintendo or Microsoft could release the game for the Virtual Console/Xbox Live Arcade but it looks unlikely.
Similarly, even Perfect Dark, (which doesn’t have the complication of the movie license) is split with Nintendo being the publisher and Rare now owned by Microsoft. For multiplayer, there is a Half-life total conversion mod called Goldeneye: Source, which can be downloaded and played on a Steam account which has any Valve game on it. This is in beta though, and the last update was back in March, 2009.
How do you play yours? As Goldeneye was a popular game that was played to death, many people found alternative ways to play the game.
In our flat back in the day, one of my flatmates came up with ‘the challenge’. The cheats for all guns and infinite ammo were enabled, Facility was chosen as the level with 007 mode setting, and the guards were set to "no health" giving them a one hit kill ( same for Bond).
At the start of the level, the player would hit the B button quickly, so the weapons would be cycled but couldn’t be seen and then someone would call stop. The player would then have to complete the level using the weapon they’d stopped at. It could then be upped to ‘the ultimate challenge’ by removing autoaim, the target indicator and increasing the speed and accuracy of the enemies.
What was your version of the challenge?
Goldeneye is easily one of the most legendary first person shooters ever made and a game which has to be up there in the top five to play before you die. So if you have an old N64 lying around and fancy once more stalking the corridors of the Facility with your silenced PP7, copies are now going for the low price of £2.99 from all Gamestation stores.
Although it looks a bit dated now – with some arguing that this one is better left to memory – Goldeneye is an FPS which truly delivers in every respect. The game has stacks of great weapons, superb levels, great visuals (for the 64 generation anyway), and one of the most entertaining multiplayer formats ever. And even though some argue this one is better left to memory, to be quite honest, after playing the game recently it does grow on you again very quickly.
Sure the graphics look a bit ropey to begin with and it takes a little while to adjust to the N64, but after a few goes, the game is just as much fun as ever. There is nothing more satisfying than playing multiplayer mode with AKs and grenades and managing to time one so that it goes off right in your opponents face. So if you want to relive the Goldeneye experience once again, get down to your local Gamestation because for £3 these are going to be selling out fast.
Thanks to HappyCanMan from Hotukdeals