The Trials Evolution edition with Radio Wammo

Trials Evolution is a downloadable game on Xbox Live Arcade. It’s the sequel to Trials HD, which came out a couple of years ago, and it was one of those games that really bought out the competitive spirit between your XBLA friends. How dare they beat my time by one one hundredth of a second!! I shall avenge my previous high score!

Today with Glenn “Wammo” William, I spoke about Trials Evolution and how much I love it. I do. It’s the most played game in our house over the past week (although, I was off work sick today so gave The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition some love this afternoon. Oh, how much I hate that kayden swamp monster!)

I’ve just watched the video and apologies: I look worse than I expected. I didn’t really do my hair, I’m unshaven and I just generally look like a slob. I hope my words come out better than my appearance.

Let me know in the comments section what you think of Trials Evolution. Please.

Tuesday usual on a Friday

It’s Friday now but I really should have posted this up on Tuesday as, you know, seeing as that’s the day I chat to Glenn “Wammo” Williams about gaming on Kiwi FM. That’s might slack of me, to be honest. Oh, well, sorry about that.

Anyway, with Glenn we chatted about Kinect Star Wars and, sorry, but I didn’t like it that much. It’s a great idea – let’s pretend we’re real life jedis waving our lightsabres about the place – but unfortunately it’s just a very average game – even my 12-year-old son who likes Star Wars (a bit) didn’t like the game much at all. Most of the issues I had, apart from the lacklustre story and the average visuals, was that Kinect didn’t seem to be able to keep up with all my movements all of the time.

I actually found – maybe subconsciously – that holding something in my hand, such as a TV remote, actually worked better than just holding thin air or a fist in front of Kinect. I still think, and I’ve said this many, many times, that for certain games I still think Kinect needs some sort of peripheral to help with the motion tracking. Just a thought.

Anyway, watch the video and let me know what you think in the comments section. One thing I did notice was that I shouldn’t stretch like I did at the beginning: It made me look like a fat bastard. And I’m not.


So what did exactly did I do in New York?

Well, I walked a lot, ate quite a bit, bought a few things, saw some amazing sights and – the main reason for my visit – attended the Kinect for Kids event, held in a building in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen district. Today I spoke to Glenn “Wammo” Williams about it today.

You can hear about it here, whether you’re a fan of Microsoft’s Kinect hands-free controller or not.

Go listen. You know you want to.

Game Junkie chews the fat with Glenn “Wammo” Williams

Yesterday, during my radio slot with Glenn “Wammo” Williams we discussed those games that were absolute beauties that every gamer should play  – but sadly, probably hasn’t, meaning not enough people played them to make them a real commercial success. Great games, with lots of innovation, but just didn’t find favour.

You probably know some of the games I mentioned: Psychonauts, Child of Eden, Shadows of the Damned, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – all games that have received critical acclaim from journalists but just didn’t sell that well – and I’m perplexed about that.  Perhaps it’s through a lack of marketing on the part of the publisher or maybe the gaming writers really didn’t know what they were talking about. I find it unfathomable that games like Duke Nukem Forever sell better than games like Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned in the United States – but then, realistically does that come as any surprise to anyone?

I’d be interested to hear from anyone on games they think every gamer should play – but probably hasn’t! Give us your list of games we all must play at least once!

Gamewise, I’ve been playing a few games lately. I’m making my way through American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns, and you know what? I’m actually enjoying the whackiness of it. You’ll find teapots with legs that shoot fireballs, gooey slug-like things, cages full of ducks (or are they dodos?), and all sorts of crazy goings on. It’s a mix of platforming and combat, with my favourite weapon so far the pepper grinder, which is used to not only shoot enemies but “pepper” flying pig snouts. See what I mean about it being whacky?

I’m also playing a wee bit of Child of Eden, the psychedelic “shooter” from Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi. It’s a Kinect game – one of the very few good ones around. If you’ve got the chance to play it, give it a whirl. I’m also playing Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Cars 2, both games based on movies. They’re both pretty average – the Transformers one especially.


The Tuesday usual: Game Junkie chews the fat with Radio Wammo

Apologies for the infrequency of posts over the past week but I’ve only just managed to get my internet connection working properly after a week of “on again, off again” broadband.

Long story short but it seems that, somehow, my router’s VPI and VCI settings had changed to the wrong ones, meaning that my username and password wasn’t authenticating with my ISP. It seems sorted now, so fingers crossed. Hopefully it means that I can join in the Well Played podcast with some of my fellow (Auckland) game journos this Sunday.

Today, being Tuesday, is Kiwi FM day where I discuss all things gaming with announcer extraordinaire Glenn “Wammo” Williams. We chatted about why video games based on movies are usually so terrible today, why they are so hit and miss.

I said it’s because development companies have so little time to actually complete the game that it’s usually just a rushed mess released to coincide with a blockbuster movie release. Case in point was the game based on the first Transformers movie, Terminator Salvation and Enter Matrix, the game based on the Matrix movies. Those games were pretty bad.

We both agreed that probably the best game based on a movie – and it was loosely based on a movie – was Westwood’s Blade Runner, a four-CD game that came out in 1997 but still plays well today, even if the graphics look a little pants at times. I loved that game. I still do. It captured the feel of the movie so wonderfully (they need to do a remake using modern technology. I’d buy it day one).

Wammo said he loved the old Commodore 64 game Days of Thunder, based on the Tom Cruise movie of the same name. I asked if that meant he was a closet Tom Cruise fan – he laughed and muttered something. You’ll hear it on the video. I think he said he’s a great fan of Tom Cruise.

It’s a rubbish day outside, so get a warm drink, rug up and have a watch. As always, please, please, please leave some feedback if you like what you see or don’t  (I sound desperate don’t I?).

The Tuesday usual: Game Junkie chews the fat with Radio Wammo

It’s  chewsday   Tuesday, so we all know what that means: it’s the weekly chat with Glenn “Wammo” Williams on Kiwi FM. Don’t tell me you didn’t remember?

Today, we sort of freestyled it: instead of a review we talked about the (Wammo’s words) “anti violent video game law smacked down in California” by the US Supreme Court yesterday, and some of the games appearing on the Winter of Arcade (Summer of Arcade in the US).

I lost the plot slightly in the second part, where we talk about games coming up in the Winter of Arcade, after my computer mouse dropped from my desk and I’m too embarrassed (and polite) to pick it up – despite Wammo telling me it was OK if I did afterwards. Some of the arcade games, such as Fruit Ninja Kinect, From Dust (which appears to be a god-game) and Bastion, look pretty good. Off topic, but I’m going to download Trenched tonight and give that a whirl (and the Uncharted 3 beta client tomorrow morning)

Enjoy and let me know what you think and what topics you liked discussed in future.

The Tuesday Usual: Game Junkie chews the fat with Radio Wammo

Today’s Tuesday, so that mean, as it has done just about every Tuesday for the past two years (has it really been two years? Really?), I talk games and games-related stuff with Kiwi FM’s resident tech overlord and the most connected guy I know, Glenn “Wammo” Williams.

This week, though, rather than review a specific game we chatted about the hubbub surround the launch of Duke Nukem Forever where a PR guy handling public relations duties for 2K spouted off on Twitter a little too much. He got the sack from the 2K account as a result.

We also talked a little about whether DNF fitted into the modern generation of gaming anymore. but anyway, I couldn’t talk about the game as I still don’t have a copy yet – but interestingly,  there were developments on that today.

2K’s man in Australia emailed today asking if I’d received the copy of DNF he’d sent over. I said I hadn’t but had send the signed NDA back almost two weeks ago. I joked that I thought I’d been blacklisted because I hadn’t got a copy. He has replied to my email. Maybe that is a bad sign.

So enjoy the video. No doubt, as usual I’ll ramble something shocking and go off topic and sound like a blithering idiot. I’ve long said I have a gift for words but not a voice for radio. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Me? I’m off to play some Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D on my 3DS tonight while the missus watches Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. I think OoT 3D sounds like the better proposition, don’t you?

UPDATE: After watching the video again, I’ve decided I need to make my background more gamey as it looks decidingly middle-income surburbia and very un-man cave and game room. Any suggestions?

What a shit day yesterday was … and here’s an inFamous 2 video review

Well, to be honest, yesterday was just a shit day, thanks to the two big earthquakes that hit Christchurch – I see that they’ve now been upgraded from 5.5 and 6.0 to 5.7 and 6.3, respectively.

Frankly, my nerves – and those of my family – are frazzled and we seem constantly on edge for when the next one will come. It’s been a most stressful nine months, since September’s first quake, but at least I’ve still got my family and video games to keep me company. Video games could well be the rock that keeps my mind off the shifting ground.

Here’s the video review I did with Glenn “Wammo” Williams this morning on inFamous 2, the PlayStation 3 sequel to, well, inFamous. I’m liking it: McGrath, the dude who gained the ability to harness the power of electricity after the massive explosion in Empire City at the start of the first game, now has some upgraded powers but is facing off against armed guys called the militia and some rather nasty mutated creatures.

Check out the video review: I probably ramble a bit but that’s what I tend to do.  Feedback is always welcome so let me know what you think.

Hopefully today will be shake-free. Fingers crossed, eh?

On the wireless: Game Junkie talks E3 with Radio Wammo

… and the E3 onslaught continues, this time with my weekly radio segment with Glenn “Wammo” Williams on Kiwi FM. Here we discuss mainly the Xbox press conference from this morning, but some non-Xbox related E3 stuff near the end.

Oh, it may look at some point that I’ve actually lost interest in the sound of my own voice, and I drop my head, but I actually think what happened there was I was typing in a user name and password into a website account – and forgot that I was using the video option with Wammo. Yep, that’s exactly what happened.

Enjoy (I promise this is the last update for the night. Maybe. Although Private Practice is on TV in half an hour and I need something to keep me busy while that’s on …)