Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

Written on July 4, 2012 – 9:21 pm by Ding

Why yes, I did just post a review for a game that’s three years old. That’s either post-modern games journalism or post-relevant games journalism.

This review originally appeared on X, a site I now pretend I never created. You can read my full review below the fold.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Dark Knight in almost all his forms. That Batman has seen so many variations baffles and intrigues me.

Although my taste may indeed have been tempered by the fact that I was a teenager and didn’t know any better at the time, I would highly recommend the No Man’s Land series of graphic novels. They have an interesting if not far fetched setup with Gotham City cut off from the rest of the states and being carved up by the wide variety of Batman villains, it puts well known characters under unusual stresses, and the ending…well, it’s disappointing. The point is there were some great moments there, some extraordinary artwork, a few gems of good story telling and the first two volumes were probably what pushed me off into the deep end of trying to draw my own comics, be that for good or ill.

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iOS Game Review: Niko

Written on February 7, 2012 – 10:00 am by Ding

iOS Game Review:  Niko

Niko is a platformer from Habbo Hotel creators, Sulake.  It is worthy of comment for two reasons:  Firstly, it has some level of integration with Habbo Hotel, a hugely successful and popular virtual world that has been one of the innovators of micro transactions and secondly, it resolves a lot of problems that platform games have on a touch screen device.

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Was the McDonald’s Twitter campaign really a disaster?

Written on January 27, 2012 – 12:40 pm by Ding

Disclaimer:  I am now an intern at M&M Global, a media and marketing trade journal, but this piece does NOT represent the views of the magazine.  Also, see that word intern:  That means I’m a rung on the ladder below junior.  Views to be taken with a pinch of salt.

A Twitter campaign run by McDonald’s got a little out of hand a few days ago.  The fast food chain promoted two tweets with two hashtags encouraging tweeters to 1) learn about the McDonald’s supply chain with #meetthefarmers and 2) share their stories about their McDonald’s experiences with #McDStories.

The meet the farmers hashtag was doomed to mediocrity from conception.  It’s a nice idea and apparently did quite well, but isn’t going to engage mass audiences.  Besides, as soon as you give most people the word ‘farmer’, they instantly translate it into a West Country accent.  When I used to tell people I went to Farmor’s School, you could see them doing it in their heads.

The second hashtag however was just plain doomed from conception.  If you’ve spent any amount of time in the real world, or indeed on Twitter, you don’t need any marketing training or experience to know where the #McDStories was going to go.  Instead of the warm and fuzzy “I’m Lovin’ It” tweets they were apparently expecting, the hashtag very quickly filled up with horror stories and general bile directed towards the golden arches.  The promoted tweet was pulled after a couple of hours when they saw how their social marketing audience had turned.

This incident was reported just about everywhere and heralded as one of the first social media marketing gaffs of the year.  I can’t help feeling however that there’s something more to it.

I think McDonald’s got a lot of mileage out of that one promoted tweet.

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The Chaotic Tortoise Top 5 Games of 2011

Written on January 22, 2012 – 6:20 pm by Ding

Happy new year.  I know it’s nearly February, but that still makes it new and happy.  The Chaotic Tortoise has had a nice hibernation period and is back and ready to clatter away at its keyboard now.

 

The end of the year for many journalists is a time of making lists be they best ofs, worst ofs, most anticipateds or sometimes a combination of the three.  Other journalists complain about how it’s the time of the year for making lists.
Anyone that has known me for any length of time might know that I can get to the party a little late so I feel no shame in posting my top five games from last year, followed by a few honourable mentions, now rather than sooner.

This is composed of games I have been able to play this year and despite doing quite a bit of work in the gaming press itself, that has been less than I would have liked due to 2011 being a really busy year for me.  I’m sure there are many other games worthy of inclusion, but I just haven’t played them and won’t pretend that I have.  That’s integrity for you.

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New Years Resolution: Regarding Cynicism

Written on January 19, 2012 – 11:56 am by Ding

I dislike resolutions.  I dislike what they do to my brain the rest of the year.  If there is something worth making a resolution about then you probably shouldn’t have to wait until you start writing on a new calendar and you should instead just start doing it and the idea of New Years Resolutions makes me not want to start doing something until I get to a neat round number of a date.

It’s probably the same reason I strongly dislike Valentine’s day.  Someone can be a filthy scum-weasel to their significant other all year round and get a free pass if they take them to Paris on Februrary 14th.  Similar with “Christmas spirit” (as in good cheer, not drinking before noon), you should be a good and cheerful person all year round, not just when the world tells you to buy a few cards and presents.

With that being said, with 2012 rolling around, it got me thinking about what I would like to change about myself.  I considered that maybe doing a bit of exercise might be a good idea, drinking less would also be good and possibly being a little more generally organised in terms of diet and lifestyle, but to be honest I’m in a good place with all of that.  The thing that I really want to change is my attitude towards things.  It’s not that I have a particularly bad attitude towards life in general and I consider myself optimistic and irritatingly chirpy at times, but when it comes to media and entertainment, I have been passively brainwashed to hate and despise everything without giving it a fair chance.

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Saints Row: The Third Review

Written on November 28, 2011 – 11:38 am by Ding

I very nearly wrote off Saints Row: The Third after about an hour.  Had I not been reviewing the game and possessing the professionalism to play through to the end, it might have been consigned to the shelf of ‘things I might come back to.’

 

Short version:  I’m glad I kept on playing.

 

Long version:  Hit the ‘read the rest of this entry’ button to read on.

 

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Chaotic Tortoise begins advertising drive

Written on November 26, 2011 – 1:15 pm by Ding

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As I’ve started going for a few sub-editing jobs, I also thought I’d practise my pun headlines…

An Introduction to Video Games – A Different Side to Gaming

Written on November 22, 2011 – 4:23 pm by Ding

In this episode, I have a look at a different side to gaming.

 I know the plan was to look at some more genres, but a good plan is a plan that can change and something more interesting came up!

 Apologies for the sound and lighting.  I’m very much learning by doing, or at least learning by making mistakes and seeing what I can get away with.

Review Scores in Gaming

Written on November 16, 2011 – 12:48 pm by Ding

In quiet moments over the last few weeks where I have been reading through parts of the gaming press, my brow has become furrowed over the furore concerning complaints about the review score system.

 As a brief background to anyone who has missed the mess, Eurogamer gave Uncharted 3 an 8/10 score and were internet-crucified by a series of commenters claiming that Eurogamer were attention seeking, trying to get extra hits, and generally saying that they were wrong and irresponsible to give it any less than a 9/10.  Incidentally, most of these often incredibly harsh and unrepeatable-before-the-watershed comments will have come from people who hadn’t played the game yet.

 

That doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to me, but then I could chalk that up to the fact that I barely understand the desire to leave comments in general. I do however think it’s fair to say however that it’s insane and sadly not existing in a vacuum.  The issue has been discussed and dissected in other places, most recently by Jim Sterling at the Escapist and by Checkpoint on PATV a while back, both worth a look if you are equally perplexed about the issue.

Game journalists complaining about game journalism is actually becoming a bit of a cliché now and is nothing new.  The complaining about review scores has been bubbling away for ages.  One of the main issues is the conflict of interest that can arise in the course of the symbiotic relationship between PR and journalist with the PRs under no obligation to send review copies of games and journalists needing copies of games in order to review them and maintain a readership. I’m sure most establishments could afford to arrange a game-buying budget to circumvent this but regardless, it can make it a little awkward when it comes to reviewing an absolute stinker.

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RSS Videos

Written on November 4, 2011 – 10:54 am by Ding

For anyone subscribed to my site through an RSS feed, my videos sadly don’t show up in there.  I’m trying to work out if I can fix that or if it’s a quirk of the blip.tv player, but in the mean time, you’ll have to have to click through to the site to see them!

 

Oh, and there’s no video in this post.  So you”re ok with this one.  You can stay where you are.