Saturday, 17 December 2011

TYRANNOSAUR by Joe Sparrow

Joe Sparrow's take on the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which, to my eye, cannily mixes modern paleontological ideas about biped posture, the colour palette of Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur, and the prehistoric weaponisation of Tyco's Dino-Riders toyline. Mr Sparrow's blog E - SPACE is a delight, full of sketchbook revision, process posts, and a cast of original characters that look like Max Fleischer Popeye people as painted by Koji Morimoto.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Also Van Damme

Sylvester Stallone hands stewardship duties on The Expendables over to Simon West, a former Jerry Bruckheimer stable shooter who peaked with 1997's endlessly rewatchable Con Air. I've never felt like Mr West got his due for Con Air. The film is routinely heaped in with Michael Bay's usual one-note action sludge, despite having a sly self-awareness, and operating sense of humour. It resembles Bayhem, that's undeniable, but it has an ironic streak that'd have Michael scrunching his face up in confusion. Also Van Damme.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


After this week's VGA reveal, here's Hideo Kojima and Kojima Pro staff openly discussing the circumstance that lead to the original incarnation of Metal Gear Rising getting shitcanned. Also of interest is Mr Kojima's brief outline for a possible Metal Gear Solid 5 - what were MGS3's Cobra Unit up to during the D-Day landings? A title focusing exclusively on this fictional World War II outfit is an incredibly exciting proposition. Formed in 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad, and espionage active throughout the rest of the conflict, the multi-national Cobra Unit would be a great framework to interactively examine the shifting battle lines of the Second World War. Look out for more sneak peaks at Platinum Games hyper-caffeinated recalibration too.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


In a world of photshopped, float-head atrocities, teaser posters seem to be the last bastion of stark, singular images designed to hype movies. Warner Bros continues its run of classy, idea based one-sheets with this ad for The Dark Knight Rises. Last year we had a burning, ruined Hogwarts. This year we get Tom Hardy's Bane prowling away from the remains of a Batman.


Striker + Extended Mags = Fun

Despite having a self-publishing suite similar to Black Ops, I've spent very little time messing around with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's theatre mode. In the first few weeks of release playing online was hassle. The maps are tiny and lined with total debris, making movement difficult. The community has been reluctant to dash about and engage, preferring to sit in corners and ambush. Netcode is disgraced by a crippling latency workaround designed, but unable, to give everyone the exact same AAA experience. MW3 has chugged and frustrated.

That's before you even get into a weapon levelling system that leaves some arms effectively hobbled for the majority of their lifespan. Although I committed acts at least as impressive as the un-skill I've previously posted, there was no record of it - one of the placebo workarounds for the total lag experienced at launch was to set recording to OFF. And so it has remained. Six updates in, online play is starting to become bearable again. Mistakes feel like my own rather than the result of an uncaring, spiteful universe that wants me upset. So this is is me, charging around what looks like Hong Kong hip firing absurd shotguns at unsuspecting enemies. Enjoy.

VGA 2011: The Last of Us

Naughty Dog's latest looks set to continue the studio's unbroken streak of bleeding edge PS3 development. The Last of Us sells with an apocalyptic scavenge scenario, staffed by a gruff chap and his Ellen Page look-alike pal. Hopefully it'll be the heartstring tugger Dead Island promised, but utterly failed to be.

VGA 2011: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

After more than a year of radio silence, we finally get a new look at the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Looks like the rumours were true; this troubled title has been handed off to extreme action stalwarts Platinum Games. Ludicrous subtitle aside, Raiden's solo adventure seems to have finally graduated from a slice mechanic tech-demo to a hyper combat game in the vein of Platinum's Vanquish. Is it me or does Raiden sound more than a little like Willem Dafoe too? Although Revengeance appears to have zero in common with the usual Metal Gear tactical espionage, it does scratch an itch every series player has had since 1998 - we finally get to play as a cyborg ninja.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Filthy Little Mudbloods

FilmDrunk ran this earlier; enterprising / mental American college students have translated Harry Potter's broomstick rules footy into an actual real game. Seriously. There's even a governing body that're currently lobbying Pepsi for a grant to get their game into elementary schools. For the first few minutes of this vid I was wondering how they were going to translate the Golden Snitch into boring reality. A remote control helicopter perhaps? Nope! If anything, their solution is much better. A lightweight thug runs around pushing people over and generally dancing out the way of their clumsy lunges. Brill.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Jerry Robinson


Although the meat and potatoes of the combos shown in Clip 1 are still swipe repetition, at least DmC is displaying stability. Granted this vid cap spec is unlikely to be running on console, but it's nice to see Ninja Theory's franchise fuck-about isn't dropping frames, or screen tearing through the action. This footage is bordering on robust - not something that could be said of the studio's last few slide shows. As scripted pandemonium goes, Clip 2's architecture seizure is a fine indication of where Ninja Theory's head has been at throughout development; cannibalising visual cues from Inception to manufacture an impossible platformer. It's not the sort of action that immediately springs to mind when you think of Devil May Cry, but the aggressively fluctuating demands put on the players jump and dash moveset is a kick. These clips, coupled with the news that Capcom and Ninja Theory hit up the authors of various Devil May Cry FAQs to playtest the new juice, would seem to suggest fan concerns aren't being taken lightly. Maybe there's hope after all?


SMASH! POSE! DINOSAUR! It might be a sequel to a lame duck, but at least Transformers: Fall of Cybertron understands that the leap from intergalactic transforming automobiles to intergalactic transforming tyrant lizards is minor, bordering on irrelevant.

Pity the film bods never got wise. Yes, Mr Bay. We understand you must cram every inch of the screen with jiggling lingerie models, screaming dickheads, and mechanical atrocity, but you have elected not to include the Dinobots, because they are silly? Quite right. I mean, why would a twenty-foot tall berserker robot want to mutate into a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Who cares if it's maximum awesome, right? It just wouldn't make sense. It's almost like Michael Bay believes he's making features with operating logic and reason.