Archive for October, 2008


Greatest Game Protaganists of All Time – Lara Croft

We like lists, we like heroes and we like games. In some sort of heinous effort to combine all three we’re launching this little series celebrating the greatest gaming protagonists of all time (according to us, who are never wrong). We’re starting with an international icon and one of the most recognisable characters in gaming, Ms. Lara Croft.  It’s relevant too, you see, as the demo for the next Tomb Raider instalment: Tomb Raider: Underworld has just been released, and can be found here.

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Dante’s Big Think – Casual Games

Picture courtesy of Rock Paper Shotgun

Picture courtesy of Rock Paper Shotgun

We at MVH like thinking, it’s mostly productive, sometimes dangerous. This week Dante has been thinking a little too much, to the extent that his thoughts have started actually leaking out of him. So we present to you, dear reader, the first of several pieces dealing with life the universe and everything, but first, something smaller. Read below for Dante’s definition of casual games’

For quite some time now I’ve been thinking about the growing use of the term ‘casual game’ and it’s supposed counterpart, the ‘hardcore game’. There’s been a lot of articles written about this, in fact I’m rather late to the party regarding the debate, but when I saw that famous loudmouth Cliffy B was talking about Gears of War 2 having ‘casual appeal‘ I decided it was time to chip in my two cents.

You see, I think Gears of War already is a casual game, very casual, confused? Read on.

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Ludo’s Angry Hour – Orcs

October’s pale sunshine and crisp days are about to turn the corner into a dark and wet november, full of foggy mornings and cold nights, the streets flickering in the dull glow of tangerine streetlights. Icy Russian winds are already heading in, and soon I’ll be forced to pull out the scarf.

So to celebrate, I’ve made a November resolution, one which will severely affect my gaming habits over the next four months. Fortunately, despite it’s long, meandering and dangerous connotations it can be summed up entirely in one line, and it goes something like this:

If it’s got Orcs in it, I’m not bloody playing it.

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Two Weeks of WAR

We spent some time dabbling in the MMO genre. In our MMO showdown we had a look at trials of three of the most popular MMO’s of recent years and gave some impressions. We got many comments, but the two enduring themes were that a) trial versions are a rubbish impression of the full game. b) you can’t pass any judgement on these games until you’ve poured your life into them. While the former is true and the latter is debatable we felt that the MMO has been such a huge part of PC gaming over the last five years that it would be remiss of us not to have a proper look. We chose a new release, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning so that we could see how it differed from the other MMO’s we tried and, more importantly, to get in on the ground level while the Guilds are still young, and before the game’s focus inevitably shifts to cater for elite high level players. No trial accounts, no nonsense, and we’re going to stick it for as long as we can, (or until we get bored).

So find below the cut the first of our entries on WAR when we consider one of the great issues of our time – in a fight between a Squig and a War Lion, who would win?

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Not-Quite-A-Preview: Mutiwinia

We thought it was a preview, but then we learned the game had been released on the weekend of the Showdown. But it’s close enough for jazz, so read on for our not-quite exclusive thoughts on Multiwinia.

From Introversion, the self styled ‘last of the bedroom coders’ comes the multiplayer iteration of Darwinia. But don’t be fooled, despite surface appearances it plays completely differently to the inspired strategy game that saw you guiding the angular but strangely lovable Darwinians in a quest to defeat the omnipresent threat of invading computer viruses. In fact, if I was pushed to make a comparison, I’d say that Multiwinia, in some respects, is a lot more like pinball.

Why? Find out beneath the cut.
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Dante – The Political Machine

“Texas is lost, move our forces to Florida, we must defend it at all costs”

No, I’m not playing Defcon, or World in Conflict, but an entirely different kind of strategy game, if it can even be classified as such, this is the Political Machine 2008 and I’m taking Barack Obama to the White House.

GalCiv creators Stardock first released The Political Machine in 2004, to coincide with that year’s election, so it’s to the surprise of roughly no-one that they’ve re-released it, with snazzy new features and cute as hell bobblehead graphics, for this year’s epic match up.

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First Impressions – Far Cry 2

I’ve been shot, I’m slowly bleeding to death, I manage to esape around the corner from the hail of gunfire, but I’m not getting better, in fact I may well be getting worse.

“Press H” our host whispers in my ear.

I do so, and my hands reach down, jab a knife into my own knee and lever out a bullet. I recoil in shock.

Digging bullets out of your limbs is the first thing anyone hears about Far Cry 2, but dispite knowing about it already I still flinched to see it in action. There are actually a whole variety of first aid animations, from a simple bandage or self administered injection to minor surgery with pliers, or the classic gunpowder self cauterisation.

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