Christmas is coming…

… bringing a dark cloud of chaos across all things. The screaming madness, the wet jigsaw puzzle, etc etc…

Anyway, in the mean time:

‘Direct Action’

Mark

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November 28, 2006. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

How’s your Russian?

My article ‘Out of Control’ is now available in Russian from mobile gaming site MGDC. Anyone wishing to practice their language skills should go here:

‘Out of Control’ (Russian)

Meanwhile, I’ve actually managed to play a game for once, in between writing about them. I got ‘Dead Rising’ on UK release a couple of months back, but after some long droughts have now got back into it. Capcom really shouldn’t have anywhere to go with the zombie game after their numerous ‘Resident Evil’ titles, but with ‘Dead Rising’ they’ve managed something new: a cartoony black comedy with the setting of ‘Dawn of the Dead’, played out as a ‘GTA’ style free-roaming action game, albeit with an underlying mission structure. ‘Dead Rising’ is a game full of choices – whether to follow a mission path or just wander about, whether to save lives or build a huge kill count. All options are fun, and lead to further little discoveries and selections, between weapon classes and costumes. There’s an RPG style levelling up system, and lots of nifty jokes.

Most of all, it’s fun – the game give you the freedom to go mental with a chainsaw or katana in the middle of a vast throng of the undead, knowing that all you need is a good gulp of OJ to get you back to full health. It’s zero consequences, violent fun at its best. We love you, Capcom.

Mark

November 20, 2006. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

Third time’s the charm.

I’ve got a new article up on Gamesindustry.biz about the delays to the European launch of the PlayStation 3. The console went on sale in Japan last week, and goes on sale in the USA about now-ish. So far it sounds like we’re not missing much over here. Anyway, you can read the whole article here:

‘Launch Time’

Mark

November 16, 2006. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

The grip of insomniac excitement

After a few days of being out and about doing exciting things, and the uncomfortable jolt of then coming home to work and domestic tasks, I finally got around to finishing my latest article for Gamesindustry.biz, which will no doubt go online in the next week or so.

I feel like I’m really getting into the swing of these now, breaking down the articles into super-short paras with the odd caption to pace it even further. I’ve been writing for the web for five years as of the end of this year (five years of Shiny Shelf – scary stuff!), and I’ve learned a lot in that time about making text digestible for reading on-screen. However, these editorials have required a further level of discipline in terms of keeping things simple and clear while maintaining the necessary depth and conveying the complexities of an issue.

Having knocked that one and the head and sent it off past midnight, I should really have done the sensible thing and gone straight to sleep. Instead, I’ve booked a few tickets, including ‘Casino Royale’ on the weekend of release and the Pipettes Christmas Party at Camden’s Roundhouse. Unfortunately, the excitement of having all this to look forward to has woken me up a bit. I suspect the thrills will have long worn off when I wake up tomorrow morning…

Mark

November 8, 2006. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

Dual wielding

I have a new games-related editorial online today, not only on Gamesindustry.biz but also its sister site, Mobileindustry.biz. You can go directly to the editorial from either of these links:

‘Out of Control’ on Gamesindustry.biz

‘Out of Control’ on Mobileindustry.biz

Mobile gaming is an interesting area, as the article suggests it has great potential but the games have to fit the handsets (or vice versa). I’m enjoying writing these editorials, combining industry analysis with my own interests, keeping the pieces both professional and entertaining.

For completists, the previous four Gamesindustry.biz editorials are here:

‘Brand Values’ The challenges facing PlayStation 3.

‘Local Heroes’ More globally diverse gaming.

‘A Vicious Cycle’ The disadvantages of regular sequels.

‘Worlds Without End’ Is episodic content the way forward?

Mark

November 1, 2006. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Comments off.