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Yay I got Live... ADD ME

Well i also got a 360, but more importantly. i've got LIVE now :)

Add me : Robotoconnor

I wanted RobotGeek, but some sod has already take that - _ -

anyway, hope to play you all soon!

Also, I'm on playstation 3 as DanOConnor

Original... Aint It? :)

Updates

ROBOT GEEK

Hey guys, hope all is well.

Just thought i'd update you a bit with the vision for Robot Geek, and what's changing etc etc.

First of all, we've gotten rid of scores from our reviews, we trialled it for a bit, but faced a lot of backlash over some scores not being the highest, and it's made us realise, we don't want to score our games. It encourages people not to read the review and go straight for the score and flame the comments, it also seems rather disjointed to slate a game for ages then give it a 3 out of 5. We've got a podcast coming out eventually, yeah yeah i know that was meant to come out ages ago, but we've all been super busy.

Again we'd still really appreciate you signing up and giving us a looksie, we update the site fairly frequently, and our writing is definitely getting better, it's a slightly more lax ****than over here, but I feel the site benefits from it.

We're also thinking of possibly expanding into another form of media, and making the "geek" a franchise, if anyone has any suggestions or wants to write or anything at all let me know. The two that come to mind at the moment are Music and TV, with the latter probably being my favourite. However, if there were enough people out there willing to write for sports or something, well, my mind is still open.

I've still been frequenting here, just not commenting, apologies really, it's laziness on my part. Yet as you can probably appreciate i'm incredibly busy trying to do billions of bits and bobs.

In terms of Life, things are going alright, the site is picking up steam slowly but surely, we're getting review codes in now. We're still finding our feet, I didn't realise how hard it'd be to get the site noticed, but like i said, it's all coming together. I'm in a production that's being put on at the National Theatre in London, called Greenland. Which is pretty awesome, and i've also got a workshop with disney in a few weeks time which is rather surreal. The promise of meeting the kids from Suite Life of Zach and Cody has me positively shaking with excitement ;)

But seriously, I'm all good, work, school, site, acting, sports, same old same old really.

How's everyone else? hit me up in the comments!

Ivy the Kiwi Review

There's somethingostensibly methodical about the way Yuji Naka approaches games, and it translates easily into your playing experience. The developer gives you one or two basic game mechanics that last you throughout the game, and then increase the variety of ways to use them or change the level design to give you a new perspective on how to play. It worked with Sonic, where the variation found in the level design made running at full speed all the more fun, it worked in Burning ranger, and it works again here to a certain extent in Ivy the Kiwi?. The latest creation behind the revered Japanese developer that again features an anthropomorphic(ish) animal mascot.

If you've played Kirby : Canvas Curse there is a certain level of familiarity that can be found in this game. You don't control the titular character directly, who aimlessly wonders about the level, refusing to stop if danger approaches, instead you influence the path Ivy travels by using vines to make her change direction, create ramps, slingshot her across the level, and shield her from all sorts of nasty things, such as water. It's a good fit for a DS game, you use the stylus to draw the vines and manipulate them, and for the most part it work. You learn pretty quickly how to manipulate them to the best of yourabilities, and learning to judge how far you can fling Ivy so she doesn't hit the spikes dotted around every level becomes second nature fairly quickly.

Yet the manipulation of Ivy isn't all that you have to contend with throughout the game, enemies, such as rats and birds, are introduced, and as soon as Ivy hits them, it's an instant K.O, accompanied by a cry from the helpless bird that near breaks your heart. Occasionally you'll come across boulders dotted around the level that can be used in tandem with Ivy to pass obstacles, while slingshotting Ivy into certain blocks will break them, you can also use the boulder, which can either be pushed along by Ivy or moved along with the vines.

The level design is fairly good, something you'd expect from the developer of the three "good" sonic games. It gradually gets harder, and you never feel you are in over your head while playing. For those that aren't as adept at playing the game, you can simply aim to get through the level, but for the "hardcore" players, who seek more of a challenge from the game, you can also aim to collect ten feathers dotted throughout the level that require you to take alternate paths as well as complete the level in the fastest time possible. It's a neat idea that makes the whole game very accessible to the audience.

Yet the graphics themselves seem a bit of a missed opportunity, while I can't fault the simplicities of the gameplay, as they remain fairly addictive through all the hundred levels, the graphics, which have a certain story-book feel about them, are too simple to remain particularly interesting, and create a sense of monotony while playing. A slightly animated image in the background, isoverlaidby the level itself, which is created purely out of simple brown blocks, and it seems like a missed opportunity not creating a whole world for Ivy to explore. It creates a feeling of De Ja Vu while playing, which detracts from the level design itself. It lost the game it's feeling of uniqueness, and about halfway through the game I felt as though I had played everything there was to offer. It killed my desire to replay any of the levels and collect all the feathers or try and best my time almost immediately.

It doen't help that everything is covered in a Sepia tone that creates a rather dull aesthetic as none of the colours come across as particularly vivid. This created a further problem when I realised I could only play the game in the best lighting conditions as the game became incredibly difficult to see even with only the bedroom light turned on.

Another limitation I found with the game was the size of the DS screen. While this obviously something that couldn't be remedied by the game developers, I found that Ivy's pace didn't particularly reflect the small size of the screen, meaning some of the moves you pulled off weren't carefully thought out, but instinctive. It also led to a lot of cheap deaths as spikes came into view just as Ivy was about to stomp on them. While thankfully lives aregratuitouslydoled out throughout the game that you can play this through trial and error, it didn't quell the sense of frustration that I felt with the game at some points.

There were also some questionable lack of game mechanics in the game which I though could have improved the overall experience. A lack of clear button for the vines meant that I found myself drawing pointless vines just to delete a vine that i'd accidentally drawn. It was a rather minor annoyance but one that I still feel needs to be mentioned, especially as you'll end up drawing a lot of vines accidentally. The main reason for this is the slingshot mechanic, too often i'd find myself trying to pull back on a vine to slingshot Ivy up to a higher part of the level and the game would simply draw another vine for me, surely this could have been remedied by only allowing the ability to slingshot with the push of a shoulder button?

While Ivy is adorable, and the gameplay mechanics mesh well enough together to make it a fairly pleasant experience, Ivy the Kiwi? isn't of a high enough standard that I've come to expect from Yuji Naka and his team at Prope. Sure it's a venture into a gameplay style that hasn't been explored fully, but the basic graphics really do make this a ratherforgettableexperience. Even now as I'm writing this the levels have all merged together in my mind to one brown soaked vine fest. Perhaps if they'd spent time creating a vivid world, I couldrecommendthis game whole heartedly, and would be raving about it as the next platform king, but they didn't, and instead I can only recommend this if you're looking for a rather unremarkable platformer.

Podcast and questions questions questions

Hey guys, podcast coming on sunday, first one ever, so we're pretty stoked. We'd really appreciate if you'd come on over and visit Robot Geek at http://www.robotgeek.co.uk/

And hell, We'd love you even more if you registered and left comments! We're trying to build a really strong community so we have the motivation to implement new features constantly!

Anyway, apart from the news that you can all hear my dulcet tones this weekend, what we'd like to have are some questions. So feel free to submit them to me in the comments below, we'll do our best to answer all of them.

I'd also like to apologise for lack of activity on the site, the truth is Robot Geek takes up a lot of my time and i'm crazy busy. So As far as blogging on this site goes, i doubt i'll be doing much more of it :(

Also, we've got an interview with CD Projeckt next weekend (the guys behind the Witcher 2) If there are any questions for them you'd like us to ask! LET US KNOW and we'll endeavour to ask them all!

Dan :)

Why Mainstream Media need to Shut up and just play games

I make very little secret about my distaste for the portrayal of video games and developers by the mainstream media. Games still have a stigma attached today that we still haven't been able to shake off, that we gamers are a sweaty, pale acne-ridden faced bunch of nerds with bad body odour and less social skills than Forest Gump and the entire cast of the Big Bang Theory combined. Yet the reality is much different, contrary to what gamefaqs says. Many of us have other halves, have an adept social life at least, and enjoy other things apart from making long lists of combos and rubbing our own Solid Snakes whenever Meryl comes up on screen.

Yet it's not the stigma I have a problem with, it admittedly makes me chuckle once in a while how the media portrays a lot of us, it's the fear mongering and misleading articles that anger me. What happened to journalistic integrity in the case of "GTA: Northumbria"? Jerry Lawton a "journalist" and author of the so called article, not only made up a load of lies and called it a story, he deliberately upset a 69 year old grandmother of one of his victims to ask her opinion on the article.

"It is sick — it's blood money. The game is beyond belief," It is sick. Sick that the media can get away with upsetting a victims grandmother with an article like that, and it's beyond belief that papers like the Daily Mail are still in business. They then have the cheek to look down at the video games world with the sort of snobbery that the Conservative party has for those that don't sport a monocle and a top hat and proclaim that we aren't "Real Journalists". Thank **** god we're not, because i'd be ashamed to be associated with people as idiotic as they are.
" is baffled by the fury of adult gamers! These are grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another who've today chosen to enter the real world just long enough to complain about my story slamming a Raoul Moat version of Grand Theft Auto! You would think I'd denied the Holocaust!!! Think I'…ll challenge them to a virtual reality duel….stab….I win!!!" – Genuine quote from this Mr Lawton's Facebook page about the aftermath of the article. In a word. Tool.

The problem however is that this one example of extreme ignorance and poor taste isn't the only example. It's not hard to find a paper citing that "video games turn you into murderers" as a fact, or that "if you play videogames, you'll become a terrorist." Or even stories such as this where videogames get the blame for a horrific act of violence. It's an inanimate object, it just its there, what is onscreen isn't real, yet seldom do you see film and music get solely poor press compared to videogames. There's always the "Citizen Cane" on which film and music can fall back on, the mainstream critics offer no such grace for video games, despite games like "Shadow of Colossus" evoking more emotion out of me than anything on the silver screen ever could.

However it's the recent controversy over Medal of Honour allowing you to play as the Taliban that has gotten me riled to the point where I can't take it anymore. For years, gamers have played as "Opfor" or something along those lines, character models who have been designed to look like the Taliban, yet just have a different name. Yet when EA decide to go for an honest approach and just call their character models what they are, Taliban, the media is up in arms. The whole game is based upon the war in the middle east, it'd be a disservice to the soldiers to call the enemy anything else, to pretend they were care bears or something of similar ilk when there are soldiers out there fighting the Taliban is plain stupidity. The analogy that we're killing our own soldiers is redundant as well. It's a multiplayer game, and it's not real. It's not like every time we kill someone on Medal Of Honour we'll actually be killing an american of British soldier, nor it is supporting terrorism. Last I checked, EA wasn't an active terrorist cell (although it wouldn't surprise me if Activision were), the money they made wasn't being used to fund the war on terror, for either side.

The media's handling of this has been atrocious, worse than the "Ground Zero Mosque" crap that i've been reading about recently as well. Calling the mother of a dead soldier and asking her to come and damn the game is incredibly pointless, Liam Fox calling the game Un-british, when the reality is that EA have worked closely with military officials to create a game that simulates the experiences that some of the soldiers have in Afghanistan, is also wrong.

Yet you know how all this could have been countered? All these times that the Mainstream Tabloids (of which i'm aiming this article at specifically) could have avoided this rubbish ? If they'd shut the **** up and just played the god damn games before spouting their mouth. It'd be nice if instead of being sensationalist, they portrayed games in an accurate light. Not Murderer makers, or terrorist turners, but a developing form of medium that is becoming more and more accessible to the public, and provides an interactive and immersive experience.

http://robotgeek.co.uk/?p=429

It's Up It's Up It's Up It's Up It's Up!!!!

sorry, i couldn't contain my excitement there. Just a quick announcement to say that http://www.robotgeek.co.uk is now UP and running! we've got a team, we've got news, we've got two pieces of content... and counting though! But it's up!

Come over and see what you think, join up, it's easy enough, and hell, you never know, you might actually enjoy it!

and since no one responded last time.

HOW IS EVERYONE DOING?

Robot Geek - Writers Wanted

Hey guys and gals of gamespot, i've been inactive a fair while now and i've got a confession to make. It's because i was in the process of starting up my own site ! :)

It's called Robot Geek, and well, basically it's gonna go live fairly soon. We've got the platform, the one thing that we need to cover now is the content. So i'm asking any aspiring games journalists that are interested too... well just read the advert. :)

A brand new site with a focus on the games and not the industry statistics. Robot Geek aims to provide a range of features to help cover all the games industry has to offer, from podcasts to original video content, it's an ambitious project to say the least, and it requires equally ambitious minds to write for it. The platform is there, what we need now is content. Currently staffed by two young gaming geeks and a extremely weary video technician, we need content writers. We're based in London but we're open to everyone, and we mean everyone. It's all very well and good having a journalism degree but if you don't know your stuff about video games or haven't played your console all summer then there isn't any point in applying, but if you're mad about games, enjoy reading up in the latest news and feel you can provide 3-5 posts of a high calibre every week then apply following the guidelines below.

Application Guidelines:

1) Send us a couple of example pieces, let us get a feel for your style of writing. It can be a review, a piece of news you want to cover or a feature. If you can send a variety even better, we can see how you handle different pieces!
2) We're not a formal site, you don't have to use the queens english and be completely serious, we prefer you enjoy writing and have a laugh. On the other hand of the spectrum however we don't want n00b speak or anything of the like, good grammar is still a must!
3)Let us know why you think you'll be good for the site! what can you contribute? also let us know how many hours you can work etc.
4) Finally send your submissions to dano.connor@hotmail.co.uk

Other than that, How've you all been? I've not been around for a while and although i've checked on a couple of blogs i've been a bit lazy! update me people! :D

Resident Evil 5 - a review of sorts.

It seems Capcom is becoming more and more like my uncle Lenny as they get older, what at first used to be humorous casual racism is now becoming borderline uneasy when we meet up for a gathering. From their glamorous portrayal of Spanish farming communities, to their quite frankly creepy stereotypes on street fighter (although you have to love Dee jay), they are becoming almost as bigoted as Gillian Duffy. (topical humour ahahahaha)

So does Resident Evil 5 fare any different? After the success of resident Evil 4, with a new control scheme and a great combination of tense thrills and action, it seems only fair that they attempt to repeat their success with the sequel, perhaps they could build on their success of the first one, by introducing fan favourite Chris Redfield back into the fray (now with biceps so big they are actually larger than a human head) and his new African partner ShevaAlomar? (sadly of no relation to captain Olimar)

So what's changed? well for one, the setting, instead of shooting up the local farming community, Resident Evil 5 now has you jetting off to the slums of Africa to shoot black people and the occasional white tourist, but it's ok, because you're partner is black, and black on black violence is completely acceptable :) . Admittedly I never bought into the whole outrage that gamers faced initially when people were asking, where are the white people? Mainly because I realise that for a game to be set in Africa, you need to use Africans.

However it wasn't the shooting black people that actually made me feel the game was borderline casually racist, despite Capcom's constant claims they aren't . The game initially builds up tension fairly successfully at the beginning by placing you in a fairly deserted shanty town, but by the end of act 1, you've abandoned any sense of civilisation and are shooting at people wielding spears who live in mud huts, with grass for skirts. Seriously. This is further exemplified by the fact that the spear wielders are actually hopping around in movements reminiscent of a primate lower down on the evolutionary scale. It's a little disconcerting to know that the zombie virus makes tribes hop around on the ground dragging their knuckles, but maybe it's the new strain of "uroburos" that is being released that does it.

And apart from that, that's all that's new about the game... Well except Sheva.

Sheva is perhaps the biggest problem i have with the game, while it possibly may have been a slightly worrying experience if you were playing it by yourself, you aren't, you have a partner with you who holds your hand at all times that suffers from an extremely bad case of AI and makes things way too easy. The real problem I had with Sheva apart from the fact every time i told her to move she replied "you can't be serious", was the fact that I spent more time running away from her than the bloody zombies I was supposed to be shooting. When you're running away from you're partner in game, surely the A.I designers thought, "hang on, this isn't right". You see, the reason you spend so much time running away from Sheva is due to the fact that she is perpetually thick, she'll use a shotgun as a long range weapon, use up your limited health items as soon as your bar even nears the danger area, not saving them for when they are really needed, and she also uses up all her ammo killing one enemy instead of trying to go for well placed shots. I ended up taking all her ammo off her and letting her defend herself with a knife, purely because she couldn't use up the precious ammo in the game. That said, if I left her long enough, no doubt she would have found a way to use up her knife as well.

The other biggest problem I have with the game is that the only reason we fear something is because it is unknown, which makes this zombie infested game a bit redundant. Calling it "manjini" or "ganados" doesn't hide the fact that they still shuffle about fairly aimlessly and are about as intelligent as my 6 year old brother after I've given him half a bottle of vodka. Path finding is a issue with both Sheva and the enemies, some enemies walking into doors for ages until you finally decide to approach them just to make them realise you aren't hiding in the keyhole anymore. It ruins what little experience Resident Evil 5 has to offer, and it's a pity, because the core mechanics are just as strong as number 4. But with more exciting variants of zombies out on the market like those found in Left 4 Dead, these shambling creatures offer little in terms of variety, except a reskin and the occasional giant worm popping out of their head.

The African setting is wasted as well apart from a few places, most of the game ends up being the generic resident evil game that you come to expect, temple? Check. Caves? Check. Factory and warehouses? Hang on is this still Africa? Check. It's so disappointing after the first chapter of the game to find yourself going through routine structures that are so bland and generic that they make "Gears of war's" brown palette look like a masterpiece.

Fans of the other games in the resident evil series are likely to enjoy this game regardless of it's faults, it does a fairly nice job of tying up many of the loose ends that were left in the other games, even if the writing does continually comes across as a joke. Chris' desperation to find his partner, stop Wesker and decide "if it's all really worth fighting for" are clichéd and boring at best. While Sheva's constant whining and ropey accent puzzle you as to whether she really is a native of Africa or a sunburnt Australian. The cut scenes and acting are just as over the top as ever, something that I'm not sure whether it was a deliberate homage to the old resi games or not.

I guess from the above you'd think that I hated the game, but the sad thing is I didn't, I'm just disappointed that it wasn't as good as it could have been, after the delays and the initial promise that it showed, not only was it not as good a game as resident evil 4, it was a step back in the wrong direction. Chris is slower than Leon, which makes the movement a chore, and during some sections feel like you're making barely any progress at all as you crawl through a puzzle. His figure also takes up a lot of the screen, often getting in the way of your laser pointer, the only means in which you can aim, when you can't see what you're aiming at in a game like resident evil 5, you have problems.

One area of praise that i do have for the game except Chris' inhuman biceps are the graphics, Resident Evil 5 is a good looking games. From the cut scenes to in game, you can't help but admire the scenery, especially in the first two acts where you are playing in an African shantytown and a tribal area, although a little clichéd and probably a fair bit inappropriate in terms of politically correct level design, more often then not, it works. The open spaces means enemies can come at you from anywhere in theory, and it keeps you on your toes.

And that's the problem with resident evil 5, it works, that's about it, it doesn't make an attempt to improve itself over resident evil 4, even though you tie up many of the events left unanswered in resident evil 1 - 4, you still feel fairly incomplete after playing it. The mercenaries mode returns again, which is as successful as always, but the story is so hashed and clichéd that even though it's its own story, I feel like I've heard it a million times before. It's an alright game, nothing special, nothing amazing, nothing revolutionary, but it's a competent resident evil game that builds upon the solid foundations made by resident evil 5, even if the building it builds is a bit of an eyesore. (stupid analogies ftw)

Why Aladdin is Blatantly Better than Mario

And if you disagree you're a fan boy, but I'm not a fan boy because I own all the consoles so there.

When people tend to think of the plat former genre then the name that is usually associated with it is Mario. Apparently he's done so much for the genre that his name is synonymous with it now. However I'd like use yet another silver bullet on the plumber that refuses to just die, and state that his crown is undeserved. That's right, i said it. I believe that Aladdin is the Platformer King, and I'm going to tell you why.

1. Aladdin has better Physics

Sure Mario may have introduced better control into his jumps, but who can honestly jump that high? especially some midget who eats a mushroom to get to the same size as a turtle? In a world where we strive for realism, I'd like to point out that in Aladdin, the jumps are not outlandish. And if you disagree with me you're clearly a Nintendo fanboy even though Aladdin actually was multiplatform and came out on the Snes (but that doesn't matter to me as I own all the consoles and am not a fanboy). If you jump in Aladdin, you can just about jump onto an enemy, and you can't do a ridiculously long jumps, you need to use a carpet and turn it into a parachute. And these physics are clearly more complex than simple jumping physics that are found in Mario, which are all floaty and just so wrong they make me feel sick. In a world where we strive for realism, This simply shows that Mario should go back to toadstool kingdom with his racoon tail between his legs which he gets from eating a leaf.

2. Aladdin Changes up the game play modes

Run. run. run. run. run. jump jump. run run. Sound familiar? of course it does? it's every single Mario Game! He is a one trick plumber, and it's getting old. 28 years old in fact ha-ha. However Aladdin and the guys at Capcom, who are amazing and brilliant and completely genius unlike that moron Miyamoto. Aladdin has a magic carpet which he rides, he has boss fights, he also changes the game completely depending on what console you play him on. I hear that on the megadrive he has a sword! Mario can't even be bothered to go multiplatform, instead sticking to one company!

3. Princess Jasmine is Hotter than Princess Peach

Well you know it's true...

4. Aladdin's Graphics are better

In today's world where realism is everything, and graphics are valued so highly. Aladdin reaches the pinnacle of plat former realism, see the way his legs flail slightly as he jumps, or how dust comes of a ledge when he pulls himself up. And this is only on his first adventure! compare this to MARIO's first adventure, and you can see why Mario doesn't deserve his crown, he's had a billion attempts at getting the graphics right and he's only just stopped looking like a three year old monkey has drawn him with crayons! I mean for crying out loud look at his proportions! his head is bigger than half his body!

5. Mario is Racist, Aladdin is not.

Capcom have never been racist, from their delicate handling of setting resident evil 5 in war torn Africa, to their totally non stereotypical fighters in Street Fighter. Nintendo on the other hand, are constantly racist. Their unbelievable attacks on the Italian people with Mario are astonishing. Not only this but they have made Mario himself racist, he only seems to try and save Princess Peach in the games. And Princess Peach has blonde hair and blue eyes, like the rest of the Aryan race, and Mario has dark hair and a black moustache which is mighty similar to Hitler Therefore, Nintendo are the equivalent of the Nazi party.

6. Aladdin has a story, Mario does not.

Aladdin the video game ties it's levels together with carefully constructed scenes, that provoke genuine emotion for the character. You really are ecstatic when you go in the lamp, as you feel that Aladdin is finally getting what he deserves in life. However in Mario the plot is too intricate and really complex, needlessly frutrating the player with 40minute cutscenes when the player just wants to stomp on turtles and hit bricks.

So there you have it, proof that Aladdin is better than Mario in every way. However he's not as good as Cole Mcgrath, no one is as good as him, especially not that Alex Mercer.

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