Overwatch: In Defence of Bastion.

Anyone with even the faintest connection to gaming has by now been exposed to the fleet of anger and bitterness towards Blizzard’s Overwatch character Bastion. This little robot has raised the ire of certain players who claim that he is overpowered or boring. They complain that he always gets the play of the game and remark that he needs no skill to use.

When I got the chance to play Overwatch in the open beta I was instantly drawn to Bastion. He is a cute, nature loving robot who doubles as a Gatling gun and communicates using Walle like beeps. And it is true that he is a very straight forward character that anybody can play. He can heal himself and can rip through characters in seconds in his turret form. I really enjoyed using him. Continue reading

An Interview with Miracle of Sound.

This week I had the pleasure of getting to speak with a talented musician best known by his Youtube moniker of miracleofsound. In reality he is an Irishman by the name of Gavin Dunne and he writes, performs, sings and mixes songs inspired mostly by video games. His channel has been active for over five years now and has reached the lofty heights of 100 million views.


I contacted Gav and he graciously accepted my request for a short interview where I got to ask him ten questions to explore his music and the importance of games.  Continue reading

Xcom 2 Review

Xcom 2 is a turn based strategy game about human resistance fighters trying to overthrow the aliens who now control Earth.

If you played the first of the new Xcom games Enemy Unknown or its expansion Enemy Within and did not like them then you will not like this one any more. Lots of little things have changed but the visuals and mechanics are still very much in the same vain as the previous game. It is improved in most ways but nothing is different enough to sway opinions on the series.

If you did enjoy the previous Xcom then chances are that you will enjoy this one too. This review is more for the people who have never played an Xcom game or were left on the fence about their feelings towards them. Continue reading

The Failures of Fable and how it could have Survived.

Since the unfortunate news this month that Lionhead Studios is being closed and Fable Legends has been cancelled, it got me thinking about the Fable series as a whole and where it went wrong. I was a huge fan of the original Fable and even though it under delivered on Peter Molyneux’s promises, (go figure), it is still to this day in my top ten games.

So where did it all go wrong? Fable 1, (and its expansion The Lost Chapters), was a great game but does not hold up so well today in its mechanics. As such I can understand why people who didn’t play it originally would not like it. All the same though, it approached the RPG genre in a refreshing way. It was more of a fairytale setting than the more common high fantasy and relied heavily on its strong sense of British humour. It was also able to create the perfect balance between having a character that players can role-play to their whims while having a strong story, something that even modern games like Fallout 4 struggled with. There was revenge to be had and mysteries about your family to discover while the daunting villain of Jack of Blades always loomed on the horizon. Continue reading

Opinion – Games and Anger

Games can make us angry. Whether it is rage quitting, breaking a controller, punching an inanimate object or screaming at the screen, most people who play games will have some experience with the frustration that games can bring out in players. They are competitive and they are challenging. That adrenaline that fills us in a boss battle or a really close multiplayer map is an example of how they affect us emotionally and can trigger chemical reactions within us.

Of late though it feels like gamers have being getting angrier and more violent. We all know of kids screaming insults and swears into the microphone in multiplayer matches, the death threats sent to developers, reviewers and competitive major league players and the new trend of ‘swatting’ (notifying authorities of terrorism to bring armed swat forces to game streamers’ houses). Then there is the ever present perception of gamers as unstable outcasts who are one breakdown away from shooting up a school. Continue reading

Top 10 Well Designed Human Characters in Games

All Top 10 lists are created using my own opinions so will carry bias. Feel free to disagree with any listings and to offer your own but be civil about it. Okay?

In video games there is a thing called the Rule of Badass. Gaming characters are designed to look cool and their looks often tie into just how awesome they are. Some characters look realistic, some like impractical and others look like a twelve year olds’ God complex doodling.

This list will look at the top 10 characters who appear human who look downright cool.

Number 10: John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)

John Marston is a cowboy. Cowboys are pretty cool looking from the get go, especially the grizzled rogue type. The hat, pistol and leathers are iconic to early America and straight away get you in the mood for some gun slinging action. What makes John an even cooler looking character though are the scars. Marston is no pretty boy or handsome rogue. His face tells his story. He has had a hard life filled with danger and the large scars on his face show as much. Living through such injuries back then was a real sign of being a tough bastard to kill and this is apparent in his every outfit and action. We salute you, John Marston. Continue reading

Opinion – Use of the Term ‘Gamer’

Gamer. It is a pretty loaded term in modern society, isn’t it? Between negative press, dilution into mainstream entertainment and a breakdown within the gaming community, there has been growing opinion that the term ‘gamer’ has become redundant or elitist. I would like to put forward an argument to counter this rising sentiment.

Image result for south park gamer
Outward perception of gamers by some people.

For me, gamer has always been a term of acceptance, a label that applied to me that wasn’t directly insulting. When I first started playing video games it was still seen as a social stigma. Words that are positive now such as geek and nerd were insults back in the Nineties and gamers were outcast basement-dwellers. Games were an escape and finding others who played games was the only way that I could make friends since my social anxiety has always made small talk difficult. Gamers back then were kindred spirits in a hostile world. It was an ‘us versus them’ type mentality so there was no room for infighting. Continue reading