The BRITISH Review: Street Fighter V

Shooting Crap: Limbo Of The Lost

Shooting Christmas

Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Ah, shininess. It's lovely, unless you have to take a photo...

Ah, shininess. It’s lovely, unless you have to take a photo…

Speaking as something of a crap game connoisseur and obscure dumpster diver myself, there’s something inherently enjoyable about bad things… especially when someone else is on hand to do all the actual hard-work and supply witty commentary. I’ve always liked Stuart Ashens for that, at least in part because he typically rides a good line between scathing takedown and actual fondness. Bad games or POP Stations or whatever aren’t treated as the worst things to be inflicted on the world since the Macarena, but interesting cultural artifacts worth both plucking from obscurity and a good finger-wagging. Take for instance this old review of Street Fighter clone Human Killing Machine, or the Quickest Game Over videos featuring a truly stunning death from the Speccy version of Grange Hill. A valuable lesson for kids everywhere.

Now of course, his piddling million or so followers is no match for my own A-List YouTube fame, but when he announced he was crowdsourcing a book about terrible old games – yep, that was a project I was happy to throw some money towards. And then leave sitting on my shelf for about a month because this time of the year is a fricking nightmare. But this weekend, finally, I got around to reading it. And writing these words…

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Open Crowd Source

So, this was fun. Just finished a guest spot on Open Crowd Source, the Back Seat Designers YouTube sensation where we try to create an adventure game from random elements in 30 minutes or less. It’s a game. It’s a show. But it’s not a gameshow, because there’s no prizes. I think that’s how it works.

Auditioning For SHODAN

In retrospect, SHODAN's designers regretted going for the Evil Face.

In retrospect, SHODAN’s designers regretted going for the Evil Face.

After many, many long years, we’re finally getting System Shock 3? I am, to put it mildly, ‘a little excited’. System Shock for me is one of those gamer-defining games, with SHODAN one of the PC’s greatest ever villains. While we don’t really know anything about the sequel except this teaser page, I can’t wait to tangle once again with the digital goddess who can do anything except fix her own speech impediment.

The only downside is that out of sheer personal pique, I just know I’ll never be able to fully enjoy it, knowing that other people had the honour of making it. “I hate all of them!” I hiss. “Especially any particularly lovely ones!” But… hmm. Since I’ve scored around 15 years of professional writing experience under my belt since System Shock 2 came along, just maybe I now have the clout to throw my hat into the ring? Maybe?

Let’s find out. Here’s some sample audio logs. Consider them an audition.

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Undertale: Sans Action Figure Unboxing