Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Gaming Tees for all!

After an eternity of preparation we have finally managed to get our t shirt empire off the ground and live for the masses. Videogametees is a collaboration between myself and the good chaps over at Teefly and hopefully this can grow into something nice and wonderful for all involved. Our original aim was to get at least eight shirts into each of the four sections but time constraints prevented me from completing them all. Suffice to say, I have a ton of ideas and they are being developed into shirts when time allows. Each shirt idea goes through a long research period where we come up with the concept and then set about seeing if it can be translated into a workable design. The process by which we make the shirts means that the artwork must be strictly prepared. For this reason a lot of ideas get tossed aside simply because they are too complex for the production methods. We did manage 16 shirts though and you can at least browse the site and see if any take your fancy. With plans to get all site sections live by March and more shirts added every month it's highly likely you'll eventually see something that takes your fancy. Except for Richard that is. I made it quite clear that we where NOT making a design based on the recent spate of Pony games. Sorry mate.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Kameo for little kids!

I was asked why Kameo keeps appearing in my GamerTag as a recently played game. It's perhaps the only game, along with Sonic & Pinata, that's suitable for my eldest offspring. The rest of my collection is packed with guns, gore and adult excess which I keep locked away from prying eyes! My lad was not old enough when Kameo was first released but he saw the box and wanted to play. To keep him happy I made a Top Trumps version of Kameo using what artwork I could scrounge from the web. We managed to scrabble together about twenty cards and I considered contacting Rare to get more art to make a bigger set but I gave up. Games industry PR is universally up it's own arse! So when you see Kameo, Sonic etc appear in the GamerTag you can be assured I haven't lost all sense of reason and taste…
Working through this basic shooter I got cheaply from Ebay recently. It's worth the £15 I paid for it but I would have been a little miffed had I paid full retail. Gears of War this isn't. Still, a few nice things in there with some interesting Hellraiser-style critters and more gore than we usually see on the Box. Level design is pretty basic (turn left, walk forward, kill, turn right, walk forward, kill more), enemy AI is non-existant and even on Hard you've got to really suck at games not to breeze through the levels. I'll try some more out tonight.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

F**k those Flags!

All of them. And the person responsible for making them such an irritating achievement on Assassin's Creed. I want the achievement. I want to feel the overwhelming joy when the very last flag prompts the unlocked bar to pop onto the screen. But I am not a masochist (which as the dictionary states is a willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences) so it's not going to happen. Still, it's just one of a few problems with the game that is only saved by a truly spectacular environment and game mechanics. It's so much fun to actually control the lead character you can mindlessly plough through the same set of tasks again and again and defy boredom! Only problem now is the Xbox keeps telling me the disc is scratched and I am so close to the end! Going to try to clean the disc and hope that it fixes the problem.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Overload? No thanks mate…

One of the original titles for the magazine before we settled on Maximum. We were extremely lucky to be told beforehand that Overload was the title of a certain… you know, men-who-like-men top shelf rag. Must have been one of the few that Richard did not subscribe too but there you go! Boom. Da Daa! I glanced through a few issues I kept hold of and began to ponder the the reasons for its demise.
1 First off, too many fighting games. What were we thinking? I should have been punched hard in the face for throwing endless beat 'em ups and Neo Geo nonsense across every issue. Sure, it had its place but we went overboard even by Maximum standards. VF, Tekken, Soul Edge, Darkstalkers, KoF, more Tekken, X-Men plus a little more Tekken to wash it all down.
2 Too much import and arcade coverage. Nowadays I just laugh for a LONG TIME when I see the pages we wasted on King's Field. PC Games should also have been canned. Hardly any of our audience even owned a PC back then let alone care for the games on them.
3 Thirty pages with a purple background? Should have stuck with the Overload title methinks…
Zeppelin should have sucked godammit!
But they didn't which makes not being there so much more painful. Then we had to endure smug pensioners leaving the O2 arena gushing praise whilst keeping the false teeth in. Damn their eyes! World Tour now Page!

Monday, 3 December 2007

House full of elves

Been asked by the family to write down some ideas for xmas. So far it's a long list of Xbox games... hehe. List is getting shorter by the day though as some of the games are getting terrible reviews from the press. Normally I would not give a monkeys left nut about what the unwashed masses of 'professional game journos' would happen to think but in some instances (Blacksite) I think they might be on the ball.
GameSpot of bother
The firing of some chap I don't know from GameSpot seems to have the interwebs in quite a state. His treatment is pretty shocking but it's really not a surprise. Having worked for a fair few publishers and heard enough tales from the places I did not work I can confidently say that the 'suits' hold most staff in the highest contempt. These businesses are run purely on profit regardless of what the lower ranks might believe. You are there to make them RICHER! Still, Jeff has balls and took the CNET BS on the chin and walked out with his integrity intact. No doubt he will be much better off because of it and you gotta feel sorry for all the chaps left behind.
Tee for Two?
A interesting retail partnership I formed with some dear friends is close to becoming a reality in the next week or so. Following on from some tshirt ideas I produced for the popular shirt site, I have expanded this idea into its very own site. Not much more to say on it really other than when it goes live I shall let you chaps all know about it!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Whats the Story?

Wrapped up Modern Warfare on hardened the other night. Thoroughly enjoyable romp with the exception of the endlessly spawning enemies that had me gnashing my teeth on several of the stages. Oh, and don't even mention Mile High. Still, like the sucker I am, I will now go through it again on veteran to see if I can earn some extra points. Won't be for a while though as I have Assassin's Creed to work through first then Mass Effect and Blacksite after that. Oh Xbox joy!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Resident Tat

Maximum was one of the first mags in the UK to break the Resident Evil franchise to UK gamers. Of course the rest is history and no doubt it's success was purely down to our hyped previews... yeah, right! Still, despite Maximum dying on the newsstands it was much admired by the industry even if it was only for the chance to get more pages from one mag than all the others put together. Biohazard was also well up there on the office Tat-o-meter with large piles of T-Virus infected produce to enjoy. 99% of it was STARS gear like shirts, jackets and replica firearms which were just a little too expensive to hide from the boss. I picked out a few things I had left like this Anniversary collectors pack with the first three PSOne games and two bits of junk that came with the Biohazard briefcase. Both fall well within the circles of purest tat.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Yes. It's superb. It's insanely superb. I want to play multiplayer ALL FREAKIN' DAY!!! I felt the same with Team Fortress 2 but no one plays that! No such problem with COD4 as the servers are packed with players. Ground War and 17 other guys going mental on each other is such a rush. A major plus is not having to listen to the usual crowds of pre-teen American 'doodz' with their squeaky, obscenity-laced drivel that we had to suffer with Gears of War. Speaking of Call of Duty 4, I threw together a background for the Live Theme contest they ran on the official COD website recently. Well, after the dust had settled and the votes counted I luckily got my entry chosen for the final pack! The theme is free and becomes available on Live on 16th November. My image will be seen on the 'Games' blade and doesn't look too bad seeing as I had little time to put it together. Congratulations also go out to the three other winners!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Modern Warfare in 12 hours!

That's how long I have to wait before it gets rammed through the letterbox and torn from the packaging for rampant playage. Well, I will have to wait a little longer as I have crackerjack deadlines on at the moment but when I get the chance. Of course that will mean all the other games get put 'on hold' for the foreseeable future. Orange Box, Sonata and VF will need to sit tight. Virtua Fighter 5 is especially enjoyable at the moment even though I am getting mixed results on ranked online matches. Plays like a dream online but, as I had not played VF for ages, I am extremely rusty and slow on the pad. As an ardent Wolf player I am getting mauled by the new characters like Brad, Blaze and Goh so got to keep practicing and figure them out. Still, don't have the time to learn like I did in the old days. VF2 was always a popular choice at the Emap haunt and was a Maximum favorite at the time. VF4 also got some serious workouts during our time on PSW but other than Richard there weren't too many others who wanted to play. Pansies.

Friday, 2 November 2007

It's all GO! here…

During my tenure with NMS I was asked to help out on the other Emap tomes every now and then. One such stint was knocking out the mini-handheld magazine GO! which was a freebie with C&VG. Working with Paul Rand we belted out this portable abomination every month and, as well as the layout of the pages, I also drew these dinky robots for the review section. I don't have any copies of it mind but I did hang onto the artwork.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Multi-tat! Gettit! Chortle... /coat.

Crawling through the attic unearthed this SNES tat treat from yesteryear. Once we sampled the four player antics this Hudson multitap provided we could never return to the Hori monstrosity we had been using before. Though we never used it for Bomberman I might add. Sorry Hudson!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Decent updates incoming

Been chocka with work stuff and no time to wipe one's backside so my apologies for a delay in new posts. Plenty of interesting tales are in preparation for future updates including some choice words on NMS freebies, Maximum, more top tat, Go magazine and others. Wrapped up Blue Dragon a week ago and it wasn't too bad at all. Ending was a little easy due to some insane power levelling that boosted the shadows till nothing could touch us. Blasting my way through Orange Box now so I can clear the decks for COD4!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Puzzling Tat of our Time

Now when you think of pastimes that rival video games in terms of fun and sheer pulse-racing excitement what is the first thing that comes to mind? Freakin’ jigsaws that’s what! They don’t come any better than this T.Hawk 108 piece classic either. Who needs Gears of War 2 when you can idle away the hours figuring out which part of Hawk’s jeans you have in your hand.
Ken ftw!
Capcom announced a new Street Fighter game with a cracking trailer which you can watch now on Eurogamer TV. Trailers aren’t the best way to get me enthused over a game but this particular example is truly superb. The paint splash effects and the stylish use of tones and shading are really nicely implemented. It’s unlikely the game will look anything like this of course but it’ll be interesting to see what Capcom have done to the brand this time around. What we don’t want is another SF EX okay!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Don't be blue Mistwalker…

…because Blue Dragon isn't all that bad! It got torn apart by 'professional' game reviewers (I know exactly how writers react when get forced to take a RPG on) and from the demo it appeared to be an endless string of brain-killing monster encounters. Blue Dragon isn't perfect by any means but its true old-school RPG nonsense in the traditional Japanese vein. It's got enough boxes ticked to please pretty much anyone who gets a kick out of playing one of Square's efforts. Heck, any game where you battle crabs & snakes made from 'poo' and has Boss battles drenched in glorious Ian Gillan rock music has to be a winner! Well, until Orange Box hits at least…

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

One of the first but not the final

Another very old image drawn right at the start of all things Mean Machines. Final Fight was a big arcade favorite of mine so it made it an ideal choice for this comic strip-tips combo. I did two pages but the second was wrecked when I attempted to colorize it and made a right pig's ear of things. What a monkey.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Mean Issue Zero

Dug this parchment out of my old college art binder, which was a big surprise, as I did not realise I had it anymore. This Ninja Gaiden doodle was my first ever image for Emap and also the first time I had combined ink and paints. Looking at it now I can see that blending orange and yellow hues with a solid black cloud inked with pen was a disaster waiting to happen. Still, the cover console strip that ran down the left hand side managed to hide most of it.
Art Class incoming
Going to begin a step-by-step series of posts that show how I draw a little comment character. Starting soon, I have chosen a Leadbetter figure and Bioshock is the game he will be customized for. In fact, I reckon Rich will make an excellent Little Sister as he is already used to skipping around in tight skirts with his hair in a ponytail…
Thirsting for games
There’s a bit of a good games drought in the Harrod household at the moment. I picked up Blue Dragon on Ebay the other day for under £20 but the post strikes are keeping it from me. I wasn’t overly impressed with the Blue Dragon demo but it will serve to pass the time while I wait for something better. Valves Orange Box might be the ticket. Played Half Life 2 to death but it was a superb game so I can quite easily go through it a second time on Xbox. Very interested to see how it controls with a pad this time around. That and Team Fortress 2 will hopefully be enough to tide me over till COD4 kicks down my front door.
Better in the red than miss Led
It now seems I am one of the 980,000 other people who never got that email with the Led Zeppelin concert code so I only have one thing to say. Arsecakes. Still, it might get recorded so I could at least see what went on and skip through the support acts, which no one cares about anyhow.

Monday, 1 October 2007

To read this post turn to page 45

I picked up a few copies of Proteus magazine off Ebay recently. Proteus was published by IPC magazines and was a blatant attempt to cash in on the Fighting Fantasy book phenom. I worked with other regular artists to produce the artwork for each issue. The magazine did not last long but was a nice supplement to my other work for Games Workshop.
Kick to the Kods!
COD 4 beta ended yesterday and I am already suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Curse you Infinity Ward! Make it a little less addictive and more like Halo then I won’t be sobbing at the demo screen trying to launch the game!
Last FM
You may or may not have noticed the smart music-playing widget that sits over in the sidebar to the right. This neat pop-up allows you to listen to the kind of stuff that fills the air at Harrod towers. The constant barrage of guitar-filled noise keeps me sane during deadlines and now you can make your soft, easy-listening attuned ears bleed to real music!

Heavenly Hill or Silent Pigswill?

Silent Hill. Love it. Played all of them to death and both of the forthcoming Hill games are starting to generate some great buzz across the interwebs. The horror series has a passionate following and the fan forums have probably written a billion words on the decision to take the development reins away from Inamura and Team Silent. I am pretty confident that both games will kick ‘monkey ass’ judging by the trailers and screenshots for both Origins and Silent Hill V. The Xbox 360 developers, The Collective have gone back to the visual style of SH2 which most people agree was the best of the series. You can also see plenty of nods to the Gans movie and we can all agree that the visuals where the only thing that movie had going for it. Still, I'll be buying both when they get a shelf date. Thinking about it, Origins will be the only reason I will turn on my PSP since I got the system from LA when it launched a few years back! Go Sony!

Sunday, 30 September 2007


The first person shooting genre wasn’t much to shout about during the Emap era. Sure, we had a classic selection of blasters on the PC like Doom, Duke Nukem, Hexen etc but setting them up for play on our crappy office PC’s was a nightmare. During the Maximum years (well, months actually!) we begged for a decent console FPS but always had to turn to the PC for a decent LAN match along with the essential control combo of keyboard and mouse. That day is now over I believe. It seems the biggest FPS names are making the headlines first on the consoles and Xbox is clearly leading the way. Bioshock, Gears of War and Halo 3 have already kerb stomped the PC to the head. Now we have Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the bullet to the brain, has at last, been finally delivered. No painful installation process, no Starforce protection b*llocks, no performance issues because your graphics card needs updating. It is just amazing, incredibly solid online action with stunning graphics and one of the best character customization features of any shooter to date. Oh and did I say it plays like a dream on the control pad? Sadly today is the last day to enjoy the beta build so if you have an account then hop on and pop some more terrorist scum before it’s turned off!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Attack of the Mutant Tat!!

Probably one of the nicest gentlemen in video games today is Shigeru Miyamoto. I doubt I met or interviewed anyone as much as this chap and he always had time to talk to you, answer any question and scribble his name on anything thrown in front of his face. One such item was this hand crafted ocarina we picked up in Japan and took with us for one of many interviews we had at NOJ headquarters. These instruments are readily available in Japanese stores so they are quite easy to come by. Purchasing one that is signed by the legend who also adorned it with a little triforce drawing will be next to impossible though.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Feel old just thinking about it!

Long before NMS and Mean Machines existed I sat at home in my bedroom earning a few bob drawing fantasy art for various tabletop games companies and magazines. Most of my work was for Games Workshop in the form of Warhammer 40k. The success of this work earned the occasional stint for TSR and White Wolf but it was with GW that I did most of my work. Games Workshop was a cool and laid back company in those days. Not anymore it would appear. I found this out when I tried to secure some of my old artwork back from their evil dungeons earlier this year. I was up against the modern day equivalent of a castle wall with automated phones, personal assistants and legal departments throwing up every defence imaginable to prevent access to my old artwork. They were just too lazy to fish a few pictures out of a drawer and mail them to me. What was annoying was the fact that they placed an ad across the internet asking for artists to reclaim the material as they were clearing out the old artwork! They tell you to get in touch and then tell you to get lost when they change their minds. Any budding artists out there take note: Never send originals!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Tat of our Time

Not Japanese and not particularly desirable but this ancient Time Boy is purest tat nevertheless. It was considered the coolest of covermounts at the time and did it’s fair share in shifting NMS when it was first launched. Didn’t know I still had one but found it lurking under a crateful of hoarded tat up in the attic.

Halo good? A myth surely...

Living in a games-filled household I naturally keep an eye out for upcoming product that might entertain me or my boys in the future. I have several categories for the games which I update each day based on reviews, recommendations from mates and other sources. Bioshock was classed as a must-buy. No plodding through Ebay looking for a bargain, no wait-for-weeks Tesco rental. I had to own it without delay! Other games like Overlord and Prey were listed under wait and see. They looked decent but did not quite justify those extortionate retail price tags. I got both of them for silly money on Ebay after waiting patiently for a decent auction to appear. With so many products shipping in the next few months I have a huge list to work my way through. One game that’s not on my list is that pile of spank known as Halo 3. I find the whole Halo experience quite boring and shamelessly derivative. The Sun are calling it the 'Game of the Decade' and I am willing to renounce my Halo-hating ways if Micro$oft write me a cheque for a similar amount. Bungie need to return to their roots and bring back a updated version of Myth. Maneuvering a pus-filled explosive zombie behind your opponents line of archers and then… boom! Now that’s magic!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Saturday Night Stupor

Another Saturday evening stuck in front of the computer. I suppose it’s a good thing I have plenty of work coming in but people need sleep for heaven’s sake! Still, typing this post has me slightly more alert than formatting another instruction manual in Spanish or perhaps downloading artwork for the umpteenth time. If you are curious as to what I get up to nowadays you can wait a few more weeks for my site update which will show some nicely arranged images of recently completed projects. The PDF method I currently employ is not as immediate as some people would prefer so I will be adding a gallery on the site instead.

Not much gaming this week due to work and the kids hogging the plasma with the sickeningly garish Wii incarnation of Paper Mario. I will admit to playing and enjoying the first Paper Mario but after few years of Xbox 360 ‘therapy’ I no longer have the patience to tolerate these sugar coated offerings from Nintendo. I need thrills, suspense and a little grit from my games at the moment and titles such as Cooking Mama, Tamagotchi Party On and Mario Party 6 Billion aren’t cutting the mustard. I grabbed a few demos from XBL this week and will give those a blast when I get some time. Timeshift, Stranglehold and the Call of Duty 4 beta all await. I know, all guns, all killing but that’s my bag right now. Almost all the big games around nowadays such as Bioshock, Halo, GTA, Lair, Heavenly Sword etc all involve… well death basically! Except on Nintendo. They have floating pink dresses and pastry rolling.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Off my feet!

Going to be short on updates while I work through a mountain of projects. Got lots to talk about but no time to write it or find the right pictures. I managed one resized image for the Lair story a few posts down. These new pics look much more effective and will allow me to show either larger images or a collection of images in a comic-panel style. All the earlier posts will get tweaked at some point. Where's a Tardis when you need one??

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Blogspot breaks

Just changing some things on the blog today so hang tight while I switch the header graphic and make the pictures bigger and meatier. Tried it once and the site just hangs and can't finish the job. Technology today eh readers!

Ok, header done. All the post images need to be reworked to the new size so I need to do some photoshop jiggery. Then things will not look like you're viewing the blog in glorious 'cack-a-rama' vision.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Little Men

Another idea poached from the pages of Famitsu were the comment box characters of the staff writers. Famitsu review section had its own little drawings of the four main writers and everyone agreed it was the best approach for the Mean Machines reviews. Not only did we miniaturise the staff we took on the super deformed Japanese style with the tiny bodies and massive heads. Sketching countless variations of characters was easy to cope with especially as a lot of the drawings were generic figures that could be reused again and again. It was not so easy when new staff joined the magazine and a brand new set of character drawings had to be made. I got so lazy near the end that I just drew the heads and stuck them on the old bodies.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Tat Attack #2!!

Nintendo are the masters of tattle and probably keep more kids locked in warehouses packaging plastic toys than any other games company in the World. The star of this particular tat update is an oddball card game for Mario Kart. You seemingly build a kart track using the cards and that's about all I can figure out from the box. Complete pants but still more entertaining than most of the rubbish that’s released on the Wii.

Sony Suxxors?

Another incredible week for Sony. Crappy PSP sales, rampant ownage by Nintendo in Japan, major PS3 titles getting kicked in the teeth. Oh, lets not forget the almost daily hilarity of Sony staff getting caught doing retarded things like a shambling review of Bioshock and this week’s editing of the Halo 3 wiki entry. I’ve worked with SCEE on a few occasions and their PR department always seemed to be staffed with chimps and gimps so I shouldn't be surprised anymore. Still, recent activity beggars belief don't you think?

The jury is still out on the PS3 as far as I am concerned. I’ve yet to see that killer title and there’s nothing on the horizon that won’t be out earlier and play better on another system. Lair is the latest next-gen tragedy to receive a Kipper with some truly appalling review scores. I recently finished the design for a Lair promo guide and was forced to use a load of pre-production artwork instead of screenshots so it wouldn’t look so... err... naff. Still, the onliners who have recieved a copy seem to think the reviewer's guide is 'elaborately illustrated' so mission accomplished!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Black lines. Don't do it.

My first few weeks at Emap were spent creating illustrations of one sort or another. I had a technical illustration background along with reasonable freehand skills so most of my day at Priory Court was spent preparing the templates for the launch of Mean Machines. I was put to work constructing the icons, symbols, score panels and the 'little men' charicatures. We took inspiration from Japanese magazines and game packaging. Famitsu magazine and a host of game manuals and boxes were always strewn across my desk for inspiration. It's also interesting to note that we never had any computers for the design department when Mean Machines began! All layout was created by hand then photocopied and stuck to paper templates using a wax machine. We endured this 'method' for two years before we got our first Macintosh Quadra for the launch of NMS.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Weekly Tat Update #1

Keeping to the chicken theme I reckon it would be neat to reveal snapshots of some of the hoard I’ve collected over the years. I'll select one item a week that looks either interesting or completely rubbish. First up are some cool metal figures that came as part of a pre-order freebie when you bought SNES SF II. The figures were randomly thrown into the package so you had no idea which characters you would get. Vega is a keeper but the others aren't that exciting.

A shocking theme

It’s not often I go through a game again so soon after beating it but such is the case with Bioshock. Doing it again on Hard (which isn’t hard at all), listening to the soundtrack and searching the web for any Bio-related malarkey that might be available. What isn’t so good is the Cult of Rapture theme for your Xbox that Eurogamer are currently pimping. It’s free but you’ll need to give over some of your personal details before you can claim it. Anyways, got my code, downloaded the theme and… ugh. Nasty, porno colours and an uninspiring choice of preproduction artwork thrown across cheap textures nicked off the internet. Who is responsible? Are they colourblind? An interface similar to the faceplate with the rusty, metal textures would have been so much better.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Tastes like chicken

When I worked at GameFan we had a word to describe all the freebies sent to us by the software companies. That word was chicken. We loved chicken. We hoarded chicken. We fought wars over chicken. Chicken made every day worthwhile as we worked tirelessly to get our grubby mitts on the hottest software, toys and promotional garbage that would bombard our postbox each morning. I had an advantage with a brother living in Japan whose monthly chicken round-up was the envy of all the other staff. Most of it was magazines, games and game guides that we would tear apart for news and other stories. The rest was a selection of weird plastic licensed tat that included card games, stationary, novelty toys and plushies. Most of it is gone now as it just took up too much space but I did keep a lot of Street Fighter merchandise. We gave more coverage to the Street Fighter series than any other game hence the huge amount of material we had managed to blag over the years.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Never forget your first

Mean Yob was probably one of the most successful creations from all of Emap's console magazines. It was Julian's sneaky way of telling the readers they were 'mentally challenged' and not take any flak directly. Yob was one of the first illustrations I did for Mean Machines and became a popular figure for contributors and other artists. For some bizarre reason I gave away most of my original Yob artwork when I left Images back in 1996. Luckily I held onto the first Yob painting I made and it's still in pretty good nick. This image was first sketched out onto CS10 paper and then inked with a .25 Rotring pen. For the life of me I cannot remember what I used for the colour but I was a complete amateur with brushes and avoided them as often as possible.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Bioshock in good game shocker!

Bioshock really does kick ass! So it's another 360 shooter, not particularly original and for an 18 cert I was expecting a little more splatter. A bit cack then? Not on your life pal. My tired eyes are testament to the marathon sessions I've put into the game since I grabbed my copy from Tesco the other day. It's riveting, suspenseful and almost impossible to break away from once you get immersed into the story. Especially if you get sidetracked on achievement hunting and the endless search for upgrades and tonics hidden across the levels. This is not The Darkness-style collectible drudgery either. Every room is skillfully rendered with plenty to examine or just simply to admire. Throw in some expletive drenched splicers, ear-splitting alarm bells or the whale-like drone of the Big Daddies and you have edge-of-the-seat stuff for anyone with a pulse. I reached the part where you need to photograph dead bodies for a nutcase who is making some oddball statue out of corpses and picture frames. I had the photos an hour ago but I keep walking around looking for unexplored rooms and machines to hack. Bioshock is pure class and you've got to be a muppet to ignore it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

12 years on...

...and Gary's Gossip returns! Torn screaming from the dusty pages of Nintendo Magazine System and tortured by the CIA until it agreed to spill more gaming diarrhea for the fans. Yes, all seven of you. Going to post a mixture of old and new so expect to be 'thrilled' with unheard of tales from the 'ol Emap days. The new stuff will cover my gaming habits, industry opinion and the odd yet obligatory jibe at someone elses expense. I've got a ton of cool pictures that will keep the retro freaks happy along with some interesting snaps of what might have been had Moloney not screwed it all up for everyone.

What the hell is Gary's Gossip anyhow? How did it start? Harrod? Who hell he? Answers to these and other global issues will be answered in the months ahead. If you are an impatient bugger you should perhaps check out Damien's fine memorial to Mean Machines magazine for a crash course on what old skool gaming magazines were all about.