Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Dairy entry 1: For those who came later

The smell, that's what tells you something is wrong. The smell of evacuated bowels and rotting flesh is always what you notice before you see one of them, its a perfect early warning system for anyone with a working nose or dog. Once your smell them your body takes on a life of its own, you prepare you shovel, cricket bat or other blunt instrument. I personally chose to use my father's old shovel made of sturdy wood with decent iron head that makes a gratifying cracking against the skull when used as mace but with a sharp end that can be used to decapitate if brought down in the walkers jaw. I guess I should have mentioned walkers earlier but seeing as your reading this you know full well what a walker is by now.

My first walker was a terrifying experience. news for weeks had been filled with some new flu that the papers did their best to make it sound like it was the new black plague, I ignored it, having grown sick of the papers crying wolf as often as they did. It was a wet may day and I was home alone, both parents at work with my sister away in Iceland on a field trip. The door bell rang, I was expecting it. the alarm man had made an appointment yesterday to come and check our houses alarms system. He was a short man with grey hair and leathery skin. I let him and offered him a cup of tea, he accepted, then burst in to a coughing fit, he told me not to worry, some bloke at his office scratched him and since then he couldn't stop coughing. He wouldn't be too long doing the alarms. I left him to his job while I made him a cup of tea and prepared some bread for a slice of toast. I could hear him mumbling, moaning and coughing, then nothing. I called out if he needed a hand (not that I knew a thing about the alarms) and from around the corner I saw what he became.  The short man's face had blood running along from orifice, one of his eyes was totally obscured by blood and puss. I was in shock just looking at him, I managed to mutter if he'd like me to a call an ambulance, as I did so I moved closer (fool as I) he barked at me and stumbled forward, dragging his feet as he went, his arms rose, his hands snapping like a crabs. I picked the bread knife on the counter beside me and told him to wait in the living room while I got bandages, Of course he didn't stop, just kept marching towards me.

 "He came at me, it was self-defence" That's what I thought I was going to have to say to the police when they came. Here's how it went, as best as I can remember. He lunged. He landed on the knife I was holding like some knight in a bad movie. Still holding the knife I moved to my left, tearing his torso. He fell to the floor but clearly wasn't dead. I pulled the knife out and ran to the living room. I tried to dial the police but my body was in shock and couldn't get the simple 3 digit number right. I heard the walker moan from kitchen, He was still alive! I pulled away from the phone holding the knife in my hands shuddering. He stumbled into the living room and this was when it hit me he wasn't a man any more, as he walked he dragged along his guts and intestines. he stumbled towards and it rose my arms up (like it was some god dam Aztec sacrifice or something) and brought the knife down on to his head, the blade went through surprisingly easy and I saw it destroy he left eyeball. He fell to the floor and gargled in his own blood before it died. I can't tell you much of what happened next. 

I came back to consciousness about a hour later, the body was in bits and in black bin liners in the garage ( I must have gone psycho on the corpse), the floors had been cleaned but the smell of entrails would haunt the house for a week or so after. I had stripped off my clothes and thrown them away. I called my mother but no reply, then my father who picked up; he'd been told there was some sort of siege going on in his lab and was told to go home by the police after being stripped and searched. I told him what had happened and he told me everything was going to be all right and that the police would understand. When he got home I've never been happier to see him, but he looked terrified, I told him that mum hadn't replied and he broke down in tears (the second time I've ever seen him cry and the first was when my younger sister was born). when he regained his composure he asked if it'd been scratched, cut or bitten during the attack, thankfully I hadn't. We turned on the TV to see if anything was in the news about what was happening, this was what 24 hour news was made for, shocking picture from all over the world of what looked like riots, live from Paris a horde of protesters were slowly marching on riot police, my dad made a sarcastic about the French work ethic, I laughed. The laughter stopped when the two lines meet and the slaughter began. It was on for only five seconds before the channel quickly went to news room where some presenter tried to explain what was happening. Both me and dad knew. It was the birth of a new world. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

I want to write about Zombies

Zombies. Zombies are the most over used enemy other than real humans. As a child I would just read the titles of Zombie movies and be fascinated by the concept of being trapped in my house with the re-animated corpse of my mother locked inside her bedroom while I decide what to do with her. That said I was Terrified of Zombies as a younger guy (I'm 19 now) I refused to watch "Shaun of the Dead" when I was 13, by the age of 16 I decided to man the fuck up and stayed up one night to watch the Classic "Dawn of the Dead" (Original) needless to say I loved it. In my view any decent Zombie film isn't about the Zombies but the people surviving (with the odd bit of gore for good measure) and the Romero trilogy captured that perfectly. Recently I've been reading and watching a lot of zombie stuff which is pretty much a genre of its own. World War Z by Max Brooks is currently fuelling my imagination, The Walking Dead (Both show and comic) are both thrilling (despite the differences in plot)

I'll quit beating round the bush and just say it; I want to do some Zombiefic. a blog seems like the perfect medium for a Zombie story. I'm unsure what form it will go, most likely i'll do some sort of dairy of surviving. I'll start it once I get a good starting point.   

Monday, 18 June 2012

I'm Back!

Wow it's been a while since I last posted here and I'm commitment to try and get this up and working. I really just need the practice for my writing, both of my fiction and non-fiction. for my fiction I may start posting up some old short storied I've had around and for Fiction I'll be doing a bit of reporting on gaming related press releases just for some minor journalistic practice. hopefully my post will be daily in terms of news and once weekly for stories.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Me and the League E-sports

Over the last few months I've been playing a few games of League of legends. Now if your PC gamer you've probably heard about this games and yes I'll be honest the community has its nastier sides but that's only if you play like an idiot. Kill stealing, Feeding and AFking can often lead to torrents of abuse from players who take the game just a little too seriously.Now i'm not going to do a review since that would just pointless since its and ever changing game with a meta game that changes like the tides instead I'd like talk about its growth as an E-Sport.

Quite recently Riot the developer relesed spectator mode and this has opened the game to be a real  e-sport. Now games such as Starcraft 2 already have a thriving E-sports scenes with guys such as Husky and Totalbiscuit  doing an excellent job at casting top tier games of StarCraft. for me however I don't care much for StarCraft having never played it and not having a history with the game. DOTA like games such as LoL and Hon  seem to me to be a perfect choice to the E-sports treatment due to their high skill threshold to be a top player, the team set ups affecting all and the way every match can turn out down to one or two kills at the right or wrong time. Quite recently Lol had a show at MLG and this was a joy to watch to a Lol player such as myself as it was top tier teams fighting for real money in a way I enjoyed to watch. With the intro of spectator mode I now have the option to watch a game any time I choose to do so. They're are some issues with this mode but its still only in a Beta phase so most bugs can be over looked. The mode allows you to watch a custom matched between 2 teams trying to knock the living shit out of one another and calling each other Noobish cunts to prove their big men! This mode for me as a noob is a great way to learn my own mistakes as player.

Of course like most E-sports there is a problem for people who are new to the game not getting a lot of the technical subtly that take place in a high level tiers of game play. Something that makes E-sports so different from real sports is that we can all appreciate the athletic talents of a footballer who runs around a pitch for 90 minutes but with a E-sports we can't (with out looking out for it) see all the work and skill that goes into the average high level player. Games Like LOL and Hon have a high level for the their skill ceiling.

Friday, 11 November 2011

My plans for this blog

Content I know has been a little sparse of late, that's partly due to my moving to London and a new found social life (Lynch mobs were the most common thing to happen to me in Bristol) and the arrival of Onlive which has opened my eyes to a lot more big titles of late. This being the case I'm going to start moving from doing game reviews and articles and start doing more creative works such as flash fiction or short stories. I will still be a gamer however so I will being doing reviews and articles when the mood takes me. At the moment I'm writing an article on the popularity for apoclyptic games right now which should be finished soon if my schedule allows it sleeping, failing to get with girls, drinking and of course gaming (and some studying) all take up a lot of my time and I find myself being rather burnt out of ideas for new content.

O who am I kidding no one reads this I can say anything I like: George Osborne shot and sodomised my dog. He didn't but hey no ones going to read it and UK libel reform should be coming soon (or is it defamation since I wrote it?) any way hope you enjoy reading and that your sexual prowess peaks while reading my stuff........... I'll write literally anything.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Onlive is frankly brillant.

The title honestly says it all frankly, if you've been on youtube and before you watch the dancing child or annoying tween singers you may have seen adverts for "Onlive" a new cloud gaming services that honestly blows my mind with how futuristic, here's a quick sum up of what Onlive actually is and does:

Onlive is a free service that allows the user to buy games and play games, that's the normal part that we can all relate to with steam and such like. The mental part of this is you never download the game and once you've bought it you can play it instantly! how is the possible you ask? well from what I can gather Onlive streams the game via a video stream straight to your screen and then lets you play. I know that explanation is a little crap but that's beside the point since I'm not a tech guy and all I know is that it works.

When you launch Onlive after signing up at at the website (Link in the notes) you can instantly play loads of free 30 minute trails of quite a few triple A titles such as Mafia 2 and Assassins Creed 2. games are add to the system quite often with various Pre-order options for new games such as Batman Arkham City, Saints Row 3 and L.A. Noire that reserve your place to play them. with most pre-orders you can get a 30% discount if you are a PlayPack subscriber (more on the playpack later) and also a free £5 code off to use on any future purchases.

The PlayPack is one of Onlive introductory offers that allows you to play a large range of games that vary between Indie and big budget games such Batman AA, Borderlands, Just Cause 2, Saints Row 2, F.E.A.R 2 and way more than I can list. The playpack requires a £6.99 per month subscription fee that with so many games really makes the the money worth it really.

The social aspects of Onlive vary right now. you have a friends list that you can add and view what your friends are playing but right now there is now way of joining or inviting friends to games right now. another aspect of the social scene of Onlive is the Arena which allows you to view random peoples games and then choose to give people a Thumbs up or down. So far when people watch my gameplay I kinda of get quite nervous about what their thinking since i'm terribly shy and I don't need my gaming critiqued as well. I've found when people are viewing your play they fall into to two categories the 1st will be quiet maybe give you a thumbs up if you pull off something cool and then leave after a few minutes and the 2nd will go nuts with the thumb options, yell down their microphone that your a useless C*** which if just lovely.

I'll be honest if you've got a Xbox or PS3 Onlive may not be for you, but if your running a slightly older PC or Netbook at you miss being unable to play top tier games I'd say give it a go and like me you may be pleasantly surprised.

Looking Back Through the scope: Borderlands.

Ok first things first: this retro review is possible due to the service ONlive which in my view is the best thing since the blowjob. I could write a entire article on how good onlive is and never do it justice so i'll just leave a link at the bottom and you can check it out for yourself, add "Cynical hunter" if you fancy a game some time.

Borderlands has to go down as one of my favourite games of the last generation: its a great shooter with the best parts of the RPG genre with a great art style and a sense of humour that has me crying some times. That's it *walks away from screen.... returns to screen at the command of man with pump action shotgun pointed at my head* fine I'll write more.

Lets start with the shooting shall we: Borderlands was released with the boast that it had over a bazillion guns to use to rain down death on the inhabitants of Pandora and you know what? THEY WERE RIGHT. The only time i've seen the same gun twice is when they are drops from certain bosses such as Sledges Shotgun which at the level of attainment can be stupidly over powered. Every gun has its own maker and specs which makes choosing a weapon not just which one does the most damage but which ones handle right for you. one gun may have loads of recoil, high fire rate and a large clip while a other will have no recoil, slow fire rate and small clip making choosing a gun for you if a case of trail and error honestly, which some may like while others don't. Guns sadly can't be modded which was a fact that surprised me but with so much choice already isn't a big deal. The shooting it self is great fun as any class and with any weapon, be it a automatic pistol to acidic rocket launch.

On the RPG side of things; there are 4 different character classes to choose from: The soldier who leads the fights with turret ability, the siren who can phase through different dimensions, the hunter who acts as sniper and commands a hawk to attack the enemy and the berserker who smashes foes with his fists. All of the classes have there distinctive strengths and weaknesses, that said I've honestly find the soldier to be the most well rounded for both team and solo play due to his turret pet just being overpowered in certain cases. As you go through the game you can customize your skills by choosing from a variety of different skill trees, meaning that in teams of 4 of the soldiers there will be some difference in play styles between each of them, which can be handy but I'll explain during the multiplayer section. All characters can equip grenade mods that change the way grenades act for example a transfusion mod will steal health from the enemy and give it to you, this combined with class mods can make each character different in how they approach the situations at hand.

Multiplayer is the surely the main piece of the Borderlands ensemble with up to four people blasting their way through changing environments, picking up loot, killing midgets (there are a lot of them), driving across the wasteland, killing more midgets and getting your ass handed to you by Crawmax the secret last boss. Each member of the group scales the difficulty up so it doesn't become too easy, this scaling of difficulty becomes more noticeable when you have people who aren't similar level; For instance I was playing with a group of 3 mates all around level 17 when a level 47 entered the server, this made the enemies stupidly hard and the three of us quickly wiped while the new guy just griefed us before we learned we could kick him and make the server private. There is a slight bug I've noticed on the steam version of borderlands that makes on of the first quests of the game always appear on the quest log as incomplete which quickly becomes annoying when it becomes apparent that the quest is almost viral in its nature and anyone who comes into contact with your character becomes infected as you did making it some quest based STI.

Borderlands is a blast of a game and well worth a look at if you haven't already. Borderlands 2 is on the horizon in 2012 and if it comes to Onlive i will most certainly be picking it up and hope to see you on Pandora.