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Archive for Joe Martin

Games that break themselves: Hitman 2

Posted on 9th Feb 2009 at 06:58 by Joe Martin with 12 comments

Joe Martin
I bought a game last week – the Hitman Triple Pack. It’s got Hitman 2, Contracts and Blood Money in it, all for £15.

It’s an odd, old purchase admittedly, but the buying habits of game journos tend to be quite different from regular customers in my experience. I already get sent and get to play all the new games as they come out, so any money I spend in stores is dedicated to collecting older games I missed out on before.

Hitman 2 though is a game I have a turbulent and colourful history, mainly because of one aspect of its game design. I've tried to complete it four times now and each time I've given up when I got to the Japanese levels.

Playing Hitman 2 over the weekend, I again got to the second Japanese level (the one with the ninjas, where you have to infiltrate the castle) and I thought of giving up on it again.

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Games I Own: Call of Cthulhu

Posted on 5th Feb 2009 at 13:30 by Joe Martin with 4 comments

Joe Martin
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of The Earth is one of my favourite games and I love it to bits. It’s tense, dark, truly and deeply frightening and possessed of the same permeating sense of atmosphere and macabre fiction as the HP Lovecraft novels it is based on. Created by Bethsoft, it really is great and there’s one chase sequence in particular that I’m sure was a major inspiration for Mirror’s Edge.

But, Call of Cthulhu is one of the worst games I’ve ever played. It’s frustrating and unrelenting, too difficult even at the best of times, with an inspirational chase-sequence that’s harder than Superman’s right hook and a story that both jumps the shark and leaves you hanging unresolvedly around.

The basic premise for the game is typical Lovecraftian horror, with players cast as a 1930s private eye who travels to Innsmouth to investigate a missing person. What at first seems to be a small American town drenched in depression and perpetual thunder, soon becomes something a lot more fearsome, with murders and dark sacrifices slowly coming to light.

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Games I Own: Baldur's Gate 1

Posted on 2nd Feb 2009 at 10:38 by Joe Martin with 9 comments

Joe Martin
There are four stacks I have in my assortment of computer games at home - two piles of DVD jewel cases, one stack of games in smaller CD cases and three or four small wallets of individual CDs. Badlur's Gate 1 is in the stack of CD cases and is one of only two games I own that have cardboard cases.

Before we go any further though, a clarification is in order; I don't actually own Baldur's Gate 1 (and its packaged expansion Tales of the Sword Coast) - they belong to my brother. I nabbed them from him when he stopped playing games as much as I did.

In fact, let's move from clarification to confession: I never really liked Baldur's Gate.

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Games I Own: Gabriel Knight 3

Posted on 28th Jan 2009 at 11:15 by Joe Martin with 5 comments

Joe Martin
As I said in my previous post, I'm tackling my games in no particular order other than that which I happened to dig them out of the pile next to my PC at home. The last game on that list - the one buried at the bottom of the pile, is Sierra's Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.

That said though, I don't actually dislike Gabriel Knight 3 - I like it a lot. I remember playing the demo off a PC Gamer cover disc and then going out to buy it as soon as it was released.

As a fan of all the usual old-school adventure games, part of what I liked most about Gabriel Knight 3 was that it was a modern and dramatic take on this genre. It was 3D, it was scary and it felt really engaging. It didn't matter that I hadn't played the first games in the series - this one was enough to draw me in.

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Games I Own

Posted on 27th Jan 2009 at 14:12 by Joe Martin with 0 comments

Joe Martin
So, this marks the start of the blogs, does it? Well, that's fantastic. I've long been saying we need somewhere to cut loose around here and the idea of having a more informal platform to sound-off than the columns page sounds great to me.

To be honest though, there is one problem. I already have a blog. It may be a Wordpress one, not a marvel like this one created by Jamie, but it does the job for me when I choose to update it with personal rants and updates. Which makes me think of what I can put on this blog that won't just end up there.

And it's at this point in the blog post that I jump into an entirely separate point that I can't be bothered to introduce properly. Blogs are better for that type of stuff than articles.

So, I made a list of all the games I own at home the other day. I was waiting for a game to install and it seemed a good way to pass the time. Strictly speaking they aren't all the games I own - there are countless titles that have been lost or sold over the years, plus a good dozen or so that I didn't care enough for to bring with me when I last moved. All in all though there are 108 games that I have with me.

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