Friday 3 June 2011

Shitty Box-Art Round Up

Art Academy

Brad: This is another one of those "It takes as much practice as just doing the real thing" games, that I don't see the point in.
Rob: To be fair, you can argue that point for almost any game. I could wander the sands of Nevada like Fallout: New Vegas.
Brad: No, here's my thing. In...Madden, say, you can play a little mini-game, and your character will get X amount of improvement as a result. The amount of time it takes to learn a song in Guitar Hero is nothing compared to how long it would take on a real guitar.
Rob: True.
Brad: And that's cool - it's abstraction. It's playing. It's what games are for!
Rob: Sure.
Brad:'s something that gives you all the time-consuming practice of drawing...without actually any of the benefits of drawing! Unless there's H.R. Giger DLC. Then I'm all over this.
Rob: Ooh, that'd be awesome. Dali is too obvious, Giger would be good
Brad: Or Escher.
Rob: Escher would be excellent. You know what would be cool in gaming?
Brad: Tits.
Rob: ...You know what else would be cool?
Brad: Bigger tits.
Rob: Fucking hell. I have an idea. Do you want to hear it?
Brad: Even bigger tits.
Rob: I didn't even ask...If you could draw something in Art Academy, like an Escher drawing, and then use it in some sort of Mario game as a level design.
Brad: I would play the shit out of that. Didn't they try and do some sort of "draw something make it come to life" thing with the PS3 camera? I vaguely remember seeing a trailer for it.
Rob: It sounds familiar. I reckon we can get away with saying it definitely exists. Selman doesn't really know his games.
Brad: And our 5,999 other readers?
Rob: They don't seem interested.
Brad: Fair point. Would you buy this?
Rob: I don't think I would, but then I hardly play my DS.
Brad: 7/10.
Rob: 6/10. I can't figure out how it's step by step beyond "Step 1: Learn to draw. Step 2: Do it."
Steel Diver

Brad: I'm looking forward to the possibility of a "Revenge on Ecco" scenario.
Rob: Fuck, I hate that dolphin.
Brad: Everybody did. That's why they ran away and left him alone to die. That was the ending I made up in my head after pissing around for fifteen minutes, then throwing the power switch to "Off".
Rob: Don't forget about the Badly Rendered Tornado of Doom!
Brad: So, looking at can play as a boat...a submarine, a submarine or a submarine. Yay, variety!
Rob: Where's the Diver? Or are they just using 'diver' as a euphemism for submarine?
Brad: He's being eaten by the Ammonite.
Rob: Tough break.
Brad: This looks like they're going to war against the giant mollusc.
Rob: Yeah, that does seem a little battly.
Brad: What's your plot for this?
Rob: I reckon it's one of two things.
Brad: Okay.
Rob: Either it's like Endless Ocean, and you're some sort of explorer/underwater photographer.
Brad: Ah, Dead Rising.
Rob: Or, you play a magic paper giraffe....
Brad: I reckon it's a Tower Defence game, where you play as the ammonite defending itself against a horde of submarines, where you have to...oh, I don't know...plant different types of coral to fend them off. Also, the submarines are zombies. Score?
Rob: 5/10.
Brad: 1/10.
Rob: It's not very exciting, and a little on the blue side.
Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse Of The Full Moon - Collector's Edition

Brad: This looks like one of those t-shirts that you see douchebags wearing.
Rob: Don't they come with slogans as well, usually?
Brad: You often see people who want to be thought of as bikers with the hilarious wolf-shirts. I don't usually remember seeing them with slogans. So...this is one of those "Hidden Object" games.
Rob: There are plenty of those douchey shirts about.
Brad: I own a few.
Rob: Really? I wouldn't consider that Aliens shirt you've got to be douchey.
Brad: The fact I have to ask "Which one?" tells a lot about me, doesn't it?
Rob: Indeed. I meant the sort of acid wash green one.
Brad: The one of the Xenomorph playing an electric guitar?
Rob: It's playing a guitar?
Brad: I have two. One's a Giger painting that I got at the HR Giger Museum in Gruyere. The other one is cartoony drawing of an alien playing an electric guitar. It's a custom, spray-paint one.
Rob: I'm thinking it's probably the first one I'm thinking of then.
Brad: Most of my t-shirts are either Star Wars themed, or of bands that I've played with.
Rob: What you should do is get a gig with the Modal Nodes, then you'd only need one shirt.
Brad: The sad thing is that my Mum has a Max Rebo Band shirt.
Rob: Nice.
Brad: 8/10.
Rob: 8/10.
Street Cleaning Simulator

Rob: I bet when they went to the publisher and said "It's a game about cleaning up the streets" they imagined they were getting the next LA Noire.
Brad: There are no words to describe what a stupid and redundant concept this is. I mean that literally. I can't describe it. From now on, when you see a redundant and/or bizarrely niche game, people will say "Wow, that's a real Street Cleaning Simulator".
Rob: If we create that meme, I'll be fucking livid.
Brad: Who is this aimed at? And can you promise me that I'll never meet them?
Rob: I'm not sure. And no, you know I can't promise that. The same as I can't promise the authorities that you'll never meet Natalie Portman.
Brad: My mother always said that there are no monsters...but there are, aren't there?
Rob: Just not in the way you thought.
Brad: I am literally just staring at this thing, dumbstruck. Who...why...What is the...How...
Rob: I don't see how it can progress in a narrative sense.
Brad: "Choose from a selection of highly detailed sweeping machines as you navigate the city in search of detritus.". Who wants this? "Get up close to the grime with custom zoomed camera views and a dynamic particle system as your cleaning vehicle devours the dust in fourteen challenging missions.". I...don't...Help. My soul hurts just knowing that this exists. 3/10
Rob: 1/10.
Brad: Let's find something less weird.
Traffic Manager

Rob: You said "less weird", right? I didn't just imagine that.
Brad: We seem to have crashed into a parallel universe where all gamers are superheros, carjackers, muscle-bound soldiers and big-titted archaeologists who like to unwind by playing games where they do menial jobs at the local council.
Rob: See, this belongs as part of a bigger game. Like in Sim City, if this was loaded up as an option within the game, I'd be okay with it.
Brad: I get that.
Rob: I could even understand its appeal as a Facebook game.
Brad: I can't understand the appeal of any Facebook games, beyond "Wind Up the Emo Bitch".
Rob: Hmmm.
Brad: You know what I love about this cover? The hyperbolic font. "HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A..."
I have hiatus hernia and a lackadaisical attitude to work. I think I'd be perfect.
Rob: Indeed.
Brad: Rob, this is making me hate video-games.
Rob: Hang on, we need a quick antidote.
LA Noire

Rob: There you go.
Brad: This looks more like it. I reckon this is about detectives and stuff. What do you think?
Rob: I hope so, otherwise I bought it for nothing.
Brad: So, here's what I think this is about.
Rob: Okay.
Brad: There's this Dick Tracy type follow, who's looking to solve two crimes at once. The murder of a mysterious, drowned girl, and the arson of a large patch of forest just outside the town. He's got to do it by punching as many old ladies in the face as he can, until one of them confesses.
Rob: Right.
Brad: With terrifying motion controls. Am I close?
Rob: Nope, but please continue. These are always dynamite.
Brad: So, as the case progresses, he gets slapped with an assault charge, after he inadvertently punches his boss in the face, mistaking her for an old biddy. There's then an exhilirating chase from hospital scene, at which point Giant Ants start turning up everywhere.
From that point in, it's pretty much a Time Crisis clone.
Am I getting closer?
Rob: Closer than you were, but that's not difficult. Carry on.
Brad: *Contains Spoilers*
After that, there's a few snowboarding competitions, and then you have to have a big showdown with the main gangster who's running the whole show. He's Man Mountain Beef Jerky McQuim, and there's a mass gun battle around the grounds of his alpine lodge. Finally, he frames his grandmother, so you punch her in the face. Credits roll.
Right or wrong, you'd play the shit out of my one.
Rob: "Jerky McQuim"?
Brad: Yes.
Rob: Ok, I'd at least download the demo, I'll give you that.
Brad: 7/10.
Rob: 8/10.
Demolition Company Gold

Brad: Fuck!
Rob: "Gold Edition"? What's extra?
Brad: More buildings, I imagine. Maybe some...I don't know...Gold.
Rob: Maybe you start the game with more capital.
Brad: I can understand the appeal of this more than I can the street cleaning one.
Rob: Only because you like destruction.
Brad: Games are more geared towards explosions than they are know...picking up empty crisp packets.
Rob: This is true.
Brad: The guy on the cover appears to have a Phalanx Cannon, too. That's pretty cool.
Rob: There is that. I suppose it's pretty good for destruction.
Brad: I wouldn't buy this, though. Out of all these games, which do you like the look of most?
Rob: LA Noire.
Brad: Same here. Giant Ants FTW.

Words: Brad Harmer & Rob Wade


When beautiful, young women start disappearing from the streets of LA, it's time for good-guy Callan (a.k.a. Cross) and his crew of weapons experts to kick into high gear and uncover the mystery. Granted incredible power by his ancient Celtic cross, Callan must fight to stop an immortal Viking from destroying mankind. Also Starring: Vinnie Jones,Tom Sizemore, Jake Busey and Lori Heuring.

Thanks to our friends at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment UK, we've got two copies of Cross on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to before midday on Friday 10th June, making sure to put "Cross" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Cross" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Cross is available from Monday 6th June.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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