Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: etc, etc, etc

In a sentence, imagine Street Fighter II with slightly nicer graphics and hyper combos.

In more than a sentence, why is it that Capcom’s fighting games are allowed to be so lazy and yet get relatively good reviews? Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and the 1.1 versions of both of those. Shallow and lazy. Particularly the versus series. Great potential for some kind of interesting story mode reduced to a handful of cool cutscenes.

So. What do you get in Tats vs Caps? Not a lot. Punch people in the head on seven stages in Arcade Mode. Punch people in the ahead against the clock in survival mode and punch as many people in the head before your life runs out in Survival Mode.… Read the rest

Monster Hunter Tri

If at first you don’t succeed ha ha ha ha. This is now the third attempt at a review of Monster Hunter Tri. Before I start can I just say that it isn’t actually a review. My inner critic has been blinded by adoration. It is more of a love letter? Hmmm. Maybe more of a state of the union of gaming as exemplified through this one game? Who knows what it will be? I don’t. But it begins now in any case.

I wasn’t a fan of Monster Hunter on the best PlayStation. I remember playing the demo that came with Devil May Cry and being a bit underwhelmed by it.… Read the rest

Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers

Presumably, there is a design doc at Square Enix that defines what defines a Crystal Chronicles game.  A character called Cid, cactuars, marlboros, flans, chocobos, airships, trains and magical jewelery are all borrowed from the main series. What makes a Crystal Chronicles game seems to be an obsession with talking about crystals, carrying things above your head, real time combat and a world populated by four different races. What I didn’t know until I hit the Final Fantasy Wiki is that all of the Crystal Chronicles games are set in the same universe but thousands of years apart. Which is nice and explains the obsession with crystals.… Read the rest

The Passion of Tetris

Back in the day, a passion for video games meant a healthy interest in video games as part of a normal, balanced diet. These days, anything than less than full retard could see you harshly labeled as a newbie on some internet forums. But unlike wine or film it is hard to be a connoisseur of the whole of gaming-kind. There are so many games that humans cannot tell you how many there are any more. Thousands? Certainly. Millions? Maybe. It depends. Is every slight mod a separate game? Is every two second flash game a ‘game’? Do not seek the answer to those questions young one, to seek to answer them is to look into the void.… Read the rest


I may have already mentioned ALREADY JESUS CHRIST ALREADY GET OFF MY BACK MOM ALREADY! That I am a big fan of video game soundtracks. Be it the official tunes, an inspired remix and very occasionally I even allow songs which have merely sampled an OT to creep onto the MP3 player. PRO TIP: Never ever, ever be tempted to listen to a video game related song which has been filed under the ‘comedy’ or ‘humorous’ genres. They are almost exclusively 11 year old boys who sound like girls on helium doing the first season Pokemon theme tune. Tetris remixes aside, of which team videolamer are veritable connoisseurs, I do like hard copy soundtracks.

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The Epicest Clash Ever

Scholars have argued for hundreds of years over which belief system is the best and the jury is still out on the definitive answer. Is it the system with the most money? The system with the most followers? The system that fits in with current knowledge of how the universe works or is it the belief system that advocates fiddling blind kids and Africa dying from the AIDS? Sure, we’ve had global conflicts over some of these issues and even then the winner couldn’t be definitively decided. Now, however, through the invention of the Nintendo Wii, we can create the greatest match up of all time ever and finally see who is the best*.… Read the rest

To Waggle or Not To Waggle?

That is actually the question. With the recent release of some concept shots for the PS Move inviting a glut of mixed internet people reactions from the logic failing PlayStation fundamentalists’ “this is all Nintendo’s fault” to the long suffering Wii forumite’s “how do you like them apples?”, motion controls seems to be the hot topic at the moment in the internet video game blogosphere. Which reminds me, we really need a catchier name to describe that paper thin veneer of people to whom proper discussions like this might make sense. Video Game Historians a la Art Historians sounds too formal and elitist although subjectively and endlessly explicating something we are passionate about instead of doing useful things for the greater benefit of mankind are common to both ‘occupations’.… Read the rest

Resident Evil 4 Revisited

Recently, a brand spanking new copy of Resident Evil 4 for the Wii caught my eye. Reduced to clear and put in the shop window of a generic electronics shop in London’s laughable ‘electronics mile’, I couldn’t face the heart break over the thought of that particular copy of that gem of a game slowly yellowing and fading in the shop window, destined to be ignored by the people looking to buy new headphones or a replacement ipod nano charger.

So now I have two copies of Resident Evil 4. One for the PS2. One for the Wii. I should buy the Gamecube version to complete the shelf.… Read the rest

Post PlayStation 2: Choose your own adventure!

You are in an excellent position as the market leader in the gaming industry. The PlayStation 2 went from strength to strength and, with few exceptions from the enemy, had some of the best games ever created. Nintendo have frankly just given up on the Gamecube and the Xbox is really heavy. With a huge installed base and the future looking bright what do you do next?

There’s only one thing for it! Make the PlayStation 3. Go to 1
We’ve only just seen the true power of the PlayStation 2 with, of all things a Gamecube port. Let’s stick with it for a while.… Read the rest

Love the Capcom

This is a transcript of a presentation I gave at the Women’s Institute last week.

In the ongoing, victimless, and utterly pointless console wars Capcom is America. It’s selling arms to everyone. Ammunition for all the fanboys to use on each other. Sure the Wii can’t do Dead Rising but then Zack and Wiki just wouldn’t work on the Xbox 360. HD is the only way to play Resident Evil 5 but then is there any greater pleasure than being able to carry around the entire original Resident Evil around on the DS? Science says no. So as the fanboys shoot each other down in flames Capcom continues to produce a stream of the greatest games that ever existed.… Read the rest