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Idle Dreams / 20.11.09

It’s always difficult to know how to react to internet campaigns and petitions. Whether you agree with the cause, it’s hard to see them as anything other than shouting in the dark, with an undertone of pessimism throughout. But it’s easy to sympathise with the recent calls over NiGHTS’ exclusion from the forthcoming Sega Allstars Racing, a hotly anticipated piece of fan service due out in the second quarter of next year. Sonic Team’s second most famous creation has been a mainstay of the Superstars sub-franchise, and when the jester was excluded from the initial line-up, most fans merely assumed that he was being saved for a full announcement of his own.

Gameswipe, then. / 30.09.09

As you might have gathered, there are three things we like rather a lot on Noise to Signal : Doctor Who, games, and Charlie Brooker. And in the absence of TARDISwipe, last night’s BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe was bound to get us a bit excited.

And a fairly decent piece of television it was, too. While far from the best thing that Charlton has ever put his nickname to, it generally spoke from an informed and authoritative position, was as well-made as ever (including a wonderful opening titles sequence), and made a number of salient points, some of which had never really been touched upon by TV-based games coverage before (including a discussion of… TV-based games coverage). And with each new series, the Zeppotron archive-hunting department seem to get better and better, with some brilliant choices of old footage (indeed, the sections that looked at the mass media’s attitude to gaming over the years were generally among the programme’s best material).

Nevertheless, we wouldn’t be complete bastards if we didn’t get nitpicky, so here are a few general thoughts on the show, and on how we felt it might have done a bit better.

Gameswipe, there. / 10.09.09

Shamelessly nicked from Off the Telly (and speaking of that site, we’re a bit late in wishing Graham and the gang a happy tenth birthday, but it’s well worth doing, because it’s collectively one of our favourite sites, and indeed perhaps the biggest inspiration for the creation of NTS), here’s some info from Endemol on the upcoming BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe, a project that I imagine something like 99.9% of the regular readership of NTS are probably at least a bit excited about. Hurrah!

Flat Out / 09.09.09

The next core series Sonic game has had its initial teaser released somewhat earlier than expected- the games are on a two yearly cycle, and the 2010 release has been announced much earlier than Unleashed was. It’s a rather more retro affair this time around, with the ‘Project Needlemouse’ described as being the HD old-school 2D game that the mass media have been requesting for so long. I’ve got mixed views here- I’d happily have settled for a straight sequel to the sublime Unleashed, but with Sonic Team apparently having put their house in order during the development of that title, I’m reasonably confident that the result will be a quality offering.

Reaction to the news has been largely predicable, with expressions of mild interested on display amongst the expected bashers of 3D Sonic in general and Unleashed in particular. The one thing that wasn’t expected, however, is the vocal cries that the game should use spites rather than polygon models displayed side-on. It’s not entirely clear why, as fully 3D models would offer greater gameplay and display flexibility, given the varying resolutions available under the HD banner…

Simple Things / 04.09.09

Unlike the western release earlier this year, this month’s Japanese version of the House of the Dead: Overkill has a familar presence on its cover, in the form of the iconic red HotD logo. This is the first time that the original branding has been used for a core series title since 1999’s House of the Dead 2.

That is all.

Best. Game Trailer. Ever. / 02.06.09

Hot Potato Cools / 08.04.09

The chronic indecision that has plagued the western release of magnificent horror epic Mask of the Lunar Eclipse appears to have been resolved, but not in the way that Wii owners would have wished. While developer Tecmo and publisher Nintendo have previously claimed that the choice to release the game depends on the other party, the designers have now come forward and stated that the format owner has declined to publish the title in America and that rights issues prevent them doing so themselves. While there remains a slim chance that the title will see a European release, it’s unfortunate that this (literally) haunting creation may well remain confined to its Japanese homeland.

Scalded / 13.03.09

Of the three remaining pillars of full-priced essential PC gaming, the Creative Assembly’s truly magnificent Total War series has so far escaped the problems of piracy and validation. While World of Warcraft avoids these problems by its very nature and the Half-Life series is policed by Vale’s Steam spyware, the only RTS series worth considering has so far politely ignored the issue. But, as last week’s long-awaited release of Empire: Total War made clear, a fate worse than death has now befallen the historical epics.

What’s the problem? Find out after the jump.

Save The Redfield / 12.03.09

Tomorrow sees Resident Evil’s Chris Redfield embark on his toughest assignment yet. The horrors of Racoon City are nothing compared to the shadow that the Tricell Corporation has cast across the cradle of humanity, and the spectre of his arch-enemy, the infamous Albert Wesker, is lurking in the background.

And it’s all going to end in tears.


Find out why your help is needed, after the jump.

W-A-N-K-E-R-S / 01.03.09

I am addicted to Facebook Scrabble. In fact, it’s pretty much the only thing I do on Facebook, as I’m allergic to proper socialising, and prefer to sit there giggling at CUNT and QUIM.

Quake Live / 25.02.09

Oh, yes. Lovely stuff.

Haven’t had a chance to give it a whirl yet, but will be doing so VERY SOON. If it works well, it’s an amazing testament to how far browser-based gaming has come, considering the game was absolutely cutting-edge less than ten years ago - but then, you only have to look at the likes of Football Manage Live to see how well games with a relatively small (if any) client download that then then be played anywhere, entirely over the net, can work.

My only question is… when do we get a Quake II version? Or hell, a DOOM one?

Fat Plumber Overtaken by Streamlined Athletes / 07.01.09

2009 rolls in and the guards are changing: Super Mario Bros. is no longer the best-selling video game of all time.

Think about that. I mean, really. Just take a moment to consider it; this is the real and fast evolution of culture right before our eyes. Sonic couldn’t topple Mario. Pokemon couldn’t topple Mario. No, not even M&M’s Go-Kart Racing Bullshit Adventure could topple Mario.

But Wii Sports has done it, a mere two years or so after its release. The game that allows your much skinnier (admit it) avatar to armlessly bowl the night away, or allows you to play doubles with Ned Flanders, Batman and Adolf Hitler, has out-sold every other video game in history.

And before you start griping, “Oh, but it’s a pack-in…” be aware of two things: it’s not a pack-in in all territories, and Super Mario Bros. was also a pack-in and nobody ever bitched about that.

An African Residence / 04.01.09

With the next Resident Evil game only three months away, Capcom’s Japanese demo of the title has been gradually circulating around the globe. Unlike the trial of the fourth game, which basically gave away the first twenty minutes of the title, this trial offers two separate scenarios, playable in single player or split-screen co-op.

Opinions after the jump.

Flat-Out / 14.11.08

After the success of the two dimensional Portal, which later had its content ported back into the original game, flash conversions are starting to follow hot on the heels of most high-profile games. You can try a sample level of Brad Borne’s Mirror’s Edge 2D, which narrowly beat its big brother to release, here:

Diagnosis: Slaughter / 05.11.08

We flagged up House of the Dead: Overkill when it was announced a couple of months ago, but a further trailer has been released, and it’s looking very promising indeed. Showcasing the second level, Bayou County General Hospital, it looks like the comic Darkplace-style tone will be maintained throughout……

The Unfinished Swan / 29.10.08

Linked to in a number of places, but if you haven’t seen it, check out the video. Beautiful.

Amazing how unsettling the atmosphere is at points. (The approach to the black door reminded me of Knightmare, actually…)

Kieron Gillen being a funny fucker; Deus Ex 3 details to follow / 30.09.08


Unfortunately, this does mean I’m going to have to buy an issue of PC Zone. PC Gamer has long since taken the role of funny yet high quality games journalism from ‘Zone.

Anatomy of Adventure / 25.09.08

I’ve been to Al Lowe’s Humor Site before but I believe this section is relatively new: original game design documents used in the creation of his games.

Amazing stuff. Not only is a trip through adventure gaming history, it’s also an interesting assortment of ideas that never came to fruition. I personally love that Lowe intentionally made Freddy Pharkas “round,” meaning that all of the plot development would unfold in the same limited area…opening the entire game up for exploration from the very first. I loved that aspect of the game.

Anyway, dig in. There’s all kind of great stuff in these documents to enjoy.

Football Manager 2009 / 14.09.08


A 3D “TV Mode”! Proper press conferences! And, most intriguingly, you can be female!

I’m sure there’s plenty more to be announced, but naturally, it’s the move to 3D that intrigues the most right now. It would just appear to be a slightly different visual representation of the existing 2D mode - and almost certainly only optional - but nevertheless, it’s an interesting step in a new direction. Will FM2009 see SI make further dramatic changes, rather than simply resting on their laurels or concentrating overly on FM Live? We’ll find out in November…

"A none lethal takedown is always the most silent takedown..." / 13.09.08

I realise I’m a little behind the curve on this one (most gaming sites reported on this about ten million years ago), but if you haven’t already I implore you check out this brilliant re-cutting of the Deus Ex opening cut-scene and mission. If you need some context, then I suggest you watch the original intro first. Either way, the hilarious re-cut version is after the jump…

UP AND ATEM / 01.09.08

Now is about the time to get properly excited about Bethesda’s Fallout 3, as evidenced by these five excellent new gameplay videos.

Back From The (House Of The) Dead / 19.08.08

It looks like the Wii conversions of House of the Dead 2 & 3 sold well enough to bring the zombie lightgun series shambling back to life in an original title. Ditching the environmentalist angle of the core titles, HotD: Overkill seems to be aiming for a 70s pulp atmosphere:

Not sure how successful the implementation will be, but the phrase “Slo-Mofo Time” has me grinning…

My Friend Flicker / 07.08.08

“Good” news, everyone: the upcoming Mega Man 9, which is a Wii-Ware exclusive, will be rediscovering the series’ roots in more ways than is actually sane.

PC Gamer Top 100 / 01.08.08

The yearly BIG LIST of their 100 most loved games has been released by PC Gamer (you can see the full list in the latest issue, or check out the first half here), but what you should really check out is their excellent special podcast detailing the reasoning behind their Top 10.

Sonic Models / 01.08.08


E3 2008: Pretty much all you need to know... / 30.07.08…

…with the added bonus of it being the funniest thing you’ll see this week.

Concerned in Oblivion / 26.07.08

There are a great deal of very talented people out there on the 'net, and a great deal of them turn to popular computer games as a means to show us that talent, be it through web comics, machinima or just plain old blogging. Today I'll be pointing you towards one of my favourite talented people, Chris Livingston. A working knowledge of the Half-Life and Elder Scrolls games is desirable to fully enjoy his work, but I'd be interested in how outsiders view his work regardless, so do read on.

Oh good, it's a Watchmen game / 25.07.08

This is probably the most unsurprising news that has ever surprised me, but it seems next March’s Watchmen film is going to come with its own computer game.

Fawlty. Towers. Counter-Strike. Map. / 06.03.07


(Via The Icon Bar.)

Not enough Wii jokes? / 14.01.07

Read this and write your own. And you thought the Sony riots were bad.

Mission In Snowdriftland / 20.12.06

Bored at work in the last few days up to Christmas? If so, I recommend trying out Mission In Snowdriftland, a thorougly charming and polished platform game made by Nintendo. The music in particular is amazingly good, and I hope that Nintendo create more web-based games of this quality, especially if they're playable on the Wii's Opera Browser which, incidentally, is being released in demo form this Friday.

Wii Oh My / 18.12.06

My Wii review on The Iconbar, the former RISC OS community website which has widened its remit to computing in general. I cover the console and Wii Sports in detail, but I don't have much to say about Wii Play, because I'm crap at it.


Did somebody say Gunstar Heroes? / 15.12.06

I also don't usually post things without at least a little commentary, but again, this is a special occasion:

Gunstar Heroes has been added to Nintendo's Virtual Console for the Wii. JUMP IN THE AIR AND LET OUT A GUTTURAL BATTLE CRY.

If you don't plan on owning any other Virtual Console game, get this one.You won't be disappointed.

I've said everything that needs to be said.

As if there weren't enough reasons to hate Sony... / 16.11.06

... they've managed to get Lik-Sang shut down.

Well, thanks a fucking bunch.

PS3 Japan Launch / 12.11.06

Fucking hell.

Limbo / 10.10.06

Teaser video and art for upcoming game.

It looks great. And is a reminder that far too many games these days look the same...

Wiiactions? / 15.09.06

So, Nintendo's European Press Conference is drawing to a close as I'm posting this, and after two days of speculation based on information from the Japanese and American conferences, we finally know the important facts about the Wii launch here in Europe: -

Touch Me / 08.09.06

Apparantly, Nintendo DS is in touch with original comedy. Which is why they've decided to just copy this for their Channel 4 break bumpers.

Playstation 3 Delayed in Europe / 06.09.06

Just in case you didn't catch the news, Sony have delayed the PS3 European release as well as vastly reducing their unit estimation from a projected 2 million over 3 territories during the first 3 weeks, to half a million over 2 territories (Europe being the one that takes it in the ass ...again.) The PS3 is now going to be almost a year late in Europe.

Linking to YouTube instead of bothering to write proper articles / 16.07.06

This and this are currently my favourite adverts of all time.

Disclaimer: I spend far more of my time emulating the SNES than I do the Genesis/Megadrive.

The Accidental Video Game Porn Archive / 04.06.06

I like childish things waaaaaay too much.

Sony shoots self in foot. Again. / 25.05.06

As if Sony's handling of the Playstation 3 couldn't get any more cack-handed, Games Radar have just reported this:

Mario Live / 30.04.06

This is excellent.

Wii Wii / 27.04.06

Wii? Wii?

What the fuck is "Wii"?

Never mind the fact that people have been calling the thing the "Revolution" for however many years... now you have to go and give it the worst name in the history of consoles? Not to mention one that also happens to be the name of a bodily function (and yes, according to the website, you pronounce it to rhyme with "wee")?

For fuck's sake, Nintendo!

Motion Sickness / 05.03.06

It pisses me off. I never get it in cars these days, but I've had to give up playing GTA because I just get too sick.

Still, at least Kingdom Hearts will be fine OH NO I FEEL SICK WITH THAT NOW FUCK IT.

Any ideas as to how to stop getting like this? I currently feel like throwing up across the room, and that was with 10 minutes play...

It's in the game... / 30.09.05

So, FIFA 06 is released today, to the sound of much joy from every Tom, Dick and Scally PS2 owner the country over. But walking into Gamestation today, with them playing it out over screens all over the shop (we never had big plasma screens in Gamestation Southport when I worked there, let me tell you!), something about the game struck me - longtime FIFA commentary man John Motson (who's been on the games since FIFA '97, and has got through Andy Gray, Chris Waddle, Mark Lawrenson and Ally McCoist as commentary partners) seems to have been replaced with...