Monday, 21 May 2012

Hang About...Haven't I Been Here Before? The Wonderful World Of Video Game Cartography

Save for a few brave soles who would diligently scribble down in pencil, each and every room from their favourite video games of the 80s and 90s, before inking it all in with biro, adding some flourishes of colour with their best felt tips and eventually posting off their creations to the 'usual address' of their favourite computer gaming monthly, the world of video game cartography has rarely been explored, unravelled or appreciated. That is until now...

Thanks to the sterling efforts of the people over at every single nook and cranny from your favourite 8-bit, 16-bit and even some 32 and 64-bit games has been chronicled, stitched together and laid out for your eyes to feast on, and quite a sight it is too. Ever wondered what the whole of the inside of Dracula's Castle looks like? Or just how long Yoshi's Island really is? Or what is just out of view on those glossy tree tops in Donkey Kong Country? Well all these answers and more are waiting for you over at

It is a highly recommended site, not only for those perilious video game explorers who need a handy hint, or the location of that elusive power up. But simply as a distraction to whatever it is you are supposed to be doing today, and a chance to really appreciate the level design of many of the greats of video gaming. Put the kettle on, grab a handful of your favourite biscuits, and spend half an hour taking in a fresh perspective of worlds you have no doubt visited countless times before...Go deserve it.

Monday, 6 February 2012

ThatGameCompany and GameCity 6 Challenge The Idea Of Audience With 'Journey Live' Event

Whilst shooting a short documentary for a friend during this year's GameCity festival I managed to have some down time, during which I went along to Robin Hunicke and ThatGameCompany's 'live performance' of their new game Journey. The experience was an incredibly captivating one, the audience clearly invested in the nomadic world of the nameless protagonist.

Following on from Robin's Performance of Flower at a previous GameCity festival, these performances mark a new, shared experience in video games before a live audience.

Finally a big thanks is due to ThatGameCompany and GameCity for supporting the video on their official Facebook pages.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Tri Ace Take Handheld Gaming Beyond...The Labyrinth

Big things are not surprisingly expected of Tri Ace's new RPG for the 3DS, the game already having its artistry likened to games such as Ico and A Shadow's Tale.  Aside from the jaw dropping visuals the developers' RPG heritage should also promise well oiled mechanics, intelligent characterisation and dramatic storytelling. Most interesting is the game's experiment in 'breaking of the fourth wall' having the lead character Yorda address you, the player, directly. Tri Ace's RPG credentials, including entries in both the Star Ocean and Final Fantasy series mean this is definitely one to keep an eye on leading up to the official release date.

Yuji Naka Set To Deliver True 'End Of Generation' Gem To The Wii

Until now, details of Yuji Naka's Rodeo: The Sky Soldier had been virtually non existent. There have been no screenshots, no video and no specific details on exactly what Naka's 'very original action game based in the sky' held for hungry Sega fans. That is until now, and the amazing news is that the game is already complete for Nintendo Wii and 3DS, and is in the process of being distributed through Prope.

Rodeo: The Sky Soldier is is a far cry from Naka's 2010 offering Ivy The Kiwi, a well received yet simplistic platform puzzler devoid of the high octane twists, turns, loops and all out speed of Naka's earlier work. But all that is set to change this year with Rodeo.  The trailer not only evoking Naka's signature work, but the in your face blast'em ups of Treasure mixed with the thrills and spills of classic Yu Suzuki. Heck, Naka's not even afraid to take on Team Ico at their own game, having our eponymous hero scale a jaw dropping colossi.

One to book mark your calender for, as soon as a release date is finally attached to this sometime in 2012