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Games I Own: Requiem: Avenging Angel

Posted on 13th Feb 2011 at 10:02 by Joe Martin with 13 comments

Joe Martin
Requiem: Avenging Angel is a classic example of a game that should be very well known, but isn’t. In fact, it’s more likely that you've never heard of it, which is odd considering that it was the first ever game to feature bullet time, while having similar gameplay to Jedi Knight. That sounds like a winning formula, right?

Requiem has more going for it than just a single feature and a passing similarity, though. It was also one of the first modern games to tread in Half-Life’s shoes; trapping players in a first person perspective and allowing players to travel back and forth through some levels.

Unfortunately, Requiem had a whole heap of problems, which outweighed these strengths and stopped it from collecting acclaim of either the critical or commercial variety. Firstly, the levels were incredibly boring to fight through and, while Requiem opens strongly with a few gory levels in hellish Limbo, it eventually descends into a blocky romp through generic sci-fi locations. The obligatory sewer section doesn’t help either.

Requiem’s biggest problem, however, is simply the subject matter; Catholicism.

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Bit-Gamer Competition #6

Posted on 7th Feb 2011 at 12:01 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
Last week we asked you to let us know what you thought about Sony's newly announced NGP for a chance to win one of two bundles of PC strategy games. Now, we announce the winners and set a whole new competition!

First, we'll set the rules for the new competition. What we want you to do this week is either send us a question or let us know which game you'd like us to discuss in our next games podcast.

We have two sets of prizes to give away, one for the forums and one for Facebook.

If you want to enter via the forums then all you need to do is drop your answer in the comments to this article for a chance to win a copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit on the Xbox 360, plus Daniel Wilson's How to Survive a Robot Uprising book!

If you want to enter via Facebook then you should tell us on our Facebook page for a chance to win Medal of Honour on PS3, plus a copy of Chris Ryan's novelization. You can, of course, enter both as many times as you want to increase your chances of winning.

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iPhone Review: Dead Space

Posted on 6th Feb 2011 at 09:52 by Joe Martin with 10 comments

Joe Martin
It’s startling what’s possible with technology these days. A few decades ago Pong! was the pinnacle of interactive entertainment, and digital watches were the height of fashion. Nowadays, games such as Dead Space for iPhone offer console-like experiences on pocket-sized devices. Meanwhile, I’m wearing a wind-up watch, so maybe not everything progresses equally.

The term ‘console-like experience’ is one that gets bandied about a lot on the AppStore, with the likes of the simplistic-but-stylish Infinity Blade making an especially big deal about it. To us, though, the iPhone version of Dead Space is the first title that really lives up to that claim, matching great graphics with decent complexity.

Casting players as a new character in the Dead Space universe, codenamed Vandal, Dead Space for iPhone bridges the game between the 2008 series debut and the more recent sequel. Acting as a secret agent for the church of Unitology, Vandal is manipulated in the opening chapters in order to contribute to the disaster that forms Dead Space 2’s backdrop.

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Bit-Gamer Competition #5

Posted on 28th Jan 2011 at 11:38 by Joe Martin with 3 comments

Joe Martin
In the hustle of visiting Paradox Interactive in New York, we sadly forgot to post the winners for our last competition. On the plus side, we've now remembered and can reasonably claim that we're just being fashionably late.

Before we announce the winners of the last competition though, it's time to lay the rules for the new competition.

We've got two sets of prizes on offer this week, one for those who want to enter via Twitter and one for those who enter via Facebook. What we want you to do is tell us what you think of Sony's new NGP handheld, which was announced yesterday.

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On 1378 KM

Posted on 15th Jan 2011 at 10:38 by Harry Slater with 31 comments

Harry Slater
Videogames rarely shy away from the bleaker moments of human history. From the horrors of the Crusades to the grim, cut throat frontier of the old West, some of the greatest gaming moments of recent years have been firmly rooted in the bloodiest episodes of the past. Unlike other media, though, there's always an air of controversy surrounding videogames that deal with events in living memory.

Take 1378 KM, for example. It’s a Half-Life 2 mod that places players in the role of either a guard or a refugee at the Berlin Wall. The refugees have to cross the wall, the guards have to stop them. Unsurprisingly, it’s currently causing huge controversy in Germany. The game's creator, Jens M. Stober, defends the game as a work of art, suggesting in a statement on the site that it's not necessarily the content of the title that's causing controversy, but the medium.

There have been documentaries, feature films, paintings, sculptures and a huge variety of other pieces created that deal with the terrible things that happened during the communist regime in Eastern Germany, but videogames have one feature that's not present in the others - interactivity. In a videogame, you're not simply presented with the facts, you're presented with a choice. You can choose not to shoot, if you want.

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Bit-Gamer Competition #4

Posted on 12th Jan 2011 at 14:36 by Joe Martin with 96 comments

Joe Martin
We may have only just come out of our tiny, smelly podcast studio, but we're still eager to give away more prizes in the name of bit-gamer.

This week we've got three PC games to give away courtesy of Paradox Interactive!

Forum Prize - King Arthur: The RPG Wargame
Twitter Prize - Majesty 2
Facebook Prize - Mount and Blade: Warband

We're also giving in to popular demand and opening the competition to the forums - but with a twist. What we'd like you to do is have a go on the Online Videogame Name Generator and see us what titles come out as a result.

Then, if you want to win a copy of King Arthur, post the result to comments thread below this article. If you've got your eye on Majesty 2 then send your title to @bit_gamer on Twitter. Finally, if you hope to win Mount and Blade: Warband, post your game name on our Facebook page (you may have to 'Like' the page before you can post to it).

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iPhone Review: Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem

Posted on 12th Jan 2011 at 07:28 by Joe Martin with 12 comments

Joe Martin
There's only one problem with Ultimate Spiderman for the iPhone - there isn’t enough of it and, when the end comes, it feels abrupt and lacks closure. There’s no real plot that ties the action together; just a series of boss fights linked by someone occasionally muttering ‘prison break.'

You knock the wind out of Sandman, run Rhino through a wall, truss Doc Ock up with his own arms, nullify Venom, best the Goblin and that’s it. End of line, as they say.

It’s disappointing because, right up until the end, Ultimate Spiderman is one of the few truly console-quality games on the iPhone. As Ultimate Spiderman you can run, jump, swing and soar through a number of (relatively) gorgeous levels, finding hidden areas and unlocking comic book art, trophies and extra moves.

Ultimate Spiderman’s button-mashing melee is also perfect for the tiny touchscreen, especially when compared with the awkward thumb-panning and auto-aim of most iPhone shooters.

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iPhone Review: Bad Company 2

Posted on 9th Jan 2011 at 10:56 by Joe Martin with 15 comments

Joe Martin
They say they devil is in the details, in which case you should imagine Bad Company 2 for the iPhone as having red skin, horns, a trident tail and breath that smells worse than wet, rotten garlic. What really kills Bad Company 2 is the lack of fine polish – and that, sadly, makes a huge difference to the overall experience.

This is a shame, because Bad Company 2 initially looks good. It has a lengthy singleplayer campaign, which slots neatly into the story of the full, proper Bad Company 2, plus a four-player multiplayer mode that’s supported over WiFi and 3G. The graphics are lush, and it packs in plenty of variety too, despite a disappointing tendency to resort to turret sequences.

The multiplayer is especially impressive, in fact. While five levels and support for four players might not sound like a lot, it’s actually a perfectly judged limitation for a mobile phone game. If you want to sit down and invest yourself in lengthy tournaments and huge clan matches, then you're better off going back to the full version of the game. The iPhone version is much more suited to drop-in, drop-out games that keep you occupied while you’re patiently enduring whatever dross happens to be on TV.

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Bit-Gamer Competition #3

Posted on 5th Jan 2011 at 11:48 by Joe Martin with 24 comments

Joe Martin
As we return from our Christmas break, we’ve got another bunch of goodies to give away – this time not on Twitter! This week three lucky readers will win a copy of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a matching t-shirt made by Jinx and a copy of Chris Ryan’s Medal of Honor novella.

To stand a chance of winning all you need to do is pledge your allegiance by liking our new Bit-Gamer facebook page. If you want to increase your chances then you can post a message to us as well and tell us what games you are playing at the moment, but you don't have to.

We wouldn’t ask you to do anything we wouldn’t do, so rest assured that we’re already Bit-Gamer fans and we’ve tinkering with Princess Maker 2 lately. Make of that what you will.

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iPhone Preview: Dead Space

Posted on 3rd Jan 2011 at 08:33 by Joe Martin with 15 comments

Joe Martin
It’s too easy to use the word ‘impressive’ to describe some of the new releases hitting the App Store lately; the word is starting to lose meaning and isn’t that useful to start with. We’re talking about games running on a mobile phone – all they have to do is be even semi-playable and they end up way ahead of expectations.

Dead Space for the iPhone, however, looks very impressive.

The kudos here doesn’t stem just from the graphical detail that’s been ploughed into the game though, but more from the depth of the gameplay. Dead Space on the iPhone is essentially that – Dead Space for the iPhone, feature complete. It has the same third person perspective, the same sprawling and haunting levels and the same focus on dismembering enemies. Lopping limbs off with your array of mining tools and scavenged weapons is a little bit trickier on a touch screen than on consoles or PC, but it’s still manageable and fun.

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