Tag Archives: comedy

Agents of Mayhem gets a release date and new trailer

The Saints Row spin-off, Agents of Mayhem, from Volition and Deep Silver, will be releasing on this August 15 in the US and August 18 in Europe.

Along with the release date comes a new trailer where the Agents offer up some hints on themselves and what abilities they wield.

In Agents of Mayhem, the only hope for governments and global corporations swept aside by the evil LEGION are a group of corporately funded super agents called the AGENTS of MAYHEM. Set loose in the city of Seoul, with your choice of three agents each offering a different set of skills, weapons, as well as their own unique looks and personalities, you must bring LEGION to their knees.

Manual Samuel review

Although it’s brevity and depth makes it little more than a proof of concept with experimental mechanics, Manual Samuel still manages to put a smile on your face and challenges you to approach everyday tasks – and a few more extreme ones – in a way you’ve seldom approached them before.

You are Samuel, a complete douchebag who’s rich, pampered, and arrogant. But after a fight with your girlfriend and a little accident with a chemical truck, you die and are whisked away to hell, where you meet the skateboarding, hoodie wearing Death. You strike a deal to return to the land of the living but in order to earn your second chance, you need to survive 24 hours doing everything manually. Mechanically this means every action requires manual control, from walking one leg at a time, to blinking and breathing.

Controlling Samuel is a matter of pressing the triggers to walk, left for your left leg and right for your right, pressing a button to blink, holding another button to breath, pressing yet another to breath out, straitening your spin if you walk too fast with the d-pad, and stopping a marker that’s quickly moving side to side along a gauge for context specific tasks like drinking coffee without burning yourself, or peeing. There’s no analogue stick walking or action button shortcuts here and it makes for a refreshing challenge.

manual-samuel-2

Inevitable you’ll mess up a button input or forget to do something. Pressing the same leg trigger twice will cause Samuel to do the splits; meanwhile, not blinking turns the screen blurry and not breathing can cause Samuel to faint. It’s pretty amusing stuff but also treads over the line into frustrating quite often. No matter how long you play, you simple won’t fully adapt to these mechanics, and as tasks become more urgent, mistakes are more easily made.

But it is funny to see Samuel flail his legs around and collapse in a heap, or fail entirely to hit the toilet when taking a pee. And despite the urine mishaps and frequently snapping spine of your seriously disabled protagonist, it’s never visually crude or shocking, just funny. Some excellent, plinky plonky music accompanies your escapades that match the tone splendidly, meanwhile, the 2D cartoon aesthetic is charming and quirky, straight out of a Saturday morning show. Unfortunately, however, some of the humour stems from the same morning cartoons.

manual-samuel-1

The hip take on Death is especially irritating, with his constant use of the word “faeces” quickly grating, and the rest of his dialogue feeling clichéd and like developers Perfectly Paranormal are trying too hard to be funny. However, the narrator, who joins you for the entirety of your 2-3 hour playthrough, is terrific. And indeed, the title is inherently funny. The silly concept, paired with the well-paced and amusing story, makes for an entertaining little adventure.

Manual Samuel channels the same quirkiness of titles such as Octodad and Stick it to the Man, with it’s neat take on controlling the protagonist, extraordinary slice of life narrative, and its cartoony visual aesthetic. It gets frustrating trying to manually control Samuel’s every move, but it’s clever and ultimately entertaining when you do manage to complete each task and make it through the day.

Thanks to Xbox and Curve Digital for supporting TiX

Recipe for the perfect game

Games are hugely diverse and expansive, which is why they’ve become such a popular entertainment medium. But with such a vast choice of genres, cooking one up from scratch and ensuring the meal is delectable is a mammoth task. Fear not though, the recipe for gaming perfection is mere sentences away, and it will guide you fully in the preparation, cooking and serving of a most delightful meal.

burger

Shall we begin?

No, we shan’t! Put your cooking tools away and instead sit down and think about what you’re about to cook. The preparation is as important as the act; you need to know what kind of game you’re baking.

The options before you are vast. You can essentially make whichever game you fancy. You must decide which experience to focus on at this early stage and then commit to that idea completely. And there we have the first ingredient: the high concept stock cubes.

Now this idea of yours needs to be strong. It needs to be something interesting, unique, and most of all viable. No doubt the other designers in the kitchen are going to have ideas of their own and it’s important to crush those opposing ideas under the weighty brilliance of yours. And remember, however vicious and heated the argument gets about this key ingredient, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Of course their opinions will be wrong so always stick with your own.

Now you need to purchase the rest of the ingredients for your game. All are available from any good supermarket.

Ingredients:

  • Idea/High Concept Stock Cubes
  • Setting Authenticity
  • Graphics Flour
  • Aesthetic Flour
  • Raw Music
  • Innovation
  • Depth of Experience
  • Gameplay
  • Control and Interface Salt
  • Programmers
  • Level Designers
  • User Interface Designers
  • Publishers

Method:

First of all you need to create the flavouring mixture. Boil some programmers until they scream then add two high concept stock cubes and leave to simmer. As the agonising screams turn to tired moans, finely chop some setting authenticity and add it to the simmering brew.

Whilst the flavouring is simmering, you can prepare your base. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of level designers with graphics flour and aesthetic flour. Be careful with the measurements for both flours; don’t get confused by people telling you they are the same thing. The graphics flour will add technical visual power to your game; adding to the taste and making the finished meal more appealing to the eye, but aesthetics flour dictates the style of your meal; the mixture of colour and texture to each and every bite. The measurements don’t have to be equal but do be careful not to overpower one with the other. Once you have a firm dough to work with, line a baking tray with it and pour on three quarters of the simmering brew, allowing the flavours to soak into the dough. Place the remaining flavouring mixture back on the heat.

Keep the flavouring on the heat until you hear mutterings of discontent from the programmers. Do not allow it to boil over to cries of lawsuits or you’ll find the flavour too bitter. Whilst you wait, you can prepare the true substance of your game.

Cut some of the raw music into small chunks of sound effects and the rest into long strings of melodies. However, there are two things to remember when using raw music: don’t buy cooked music, otherwise it’ll ruin the tone of your dish when you cook it up later. Secondly, make sure you cut off all the high pitched tones from the raw music. If prepared incorrectly, music can kill on consumption.

Now dice up some innovation and marinade it with the sound effects and melodies in the remaining flavouring brew. Add a sprinkling of the wonderful spice depth of experience to really accentuate the flavours, before adding the meat of the simulator: the gameplay. Emergent or narrative based gameplay will be fine, chef’s choice.

The game is almost ready for the oven, but first it needs some kind of topping. You have a few different options available to you at this point, so keep in mind who your audience is and craft the topping to fit. You may want to ensure a more approachable, casual game, in which case mix together another batch of dough, this time with user interface designers instead of level designers, as well as the graphics and aesthetics flour. Then shape the dough to either cover the other ingredients entirely or semi-cover in a pattern of your choosing.

If your audience are gaming connoisseurs then feel free to leave you dish open, to allow your audience to really see the ingredients. Either way, before popping it in the oven, be sure to add a sprinkling of control and interface salt.

Now you have the choice of baking or broiling the simulator. Baking is quicker but there is always a risk of undercooking, broiling is the best option, if you have the time.

With your game cooked, it’s time to bring in the publishers to help you serve the dish. It may be the best cooked meal of all time by no one’s going to eat it if it’s sloped onto a plate with no care for its presentation.

Now bring an unsuspecting tester in off the street and present to them a plate full of your game. Encourage them to dig in, to play with their food, and then ask them what they thought of the presentation and the meal itself. If after a few bites they are still breathing, then that’s a great sign, it means you prepared the music correctly after all, good job! Now take the testers thoughts on-board and adjust your presentation accordingly. If the meal itself raises concerns then try adding a selection of spices. Depth of experience, setting authenticity, or even some whisked up developers and programmers can add spice to your meal.  Now see if the tester finds them suitable solutions, or even begin planning for side dishes – also known as expansions – to compliment the meal. Be warned though, if the tester hates your meal or dies from tasting it then I strongly advise you start again from scratch.

And there you have it, a perfectly cooked simulator ready for mass consumption. Bon Appétit!

TiX Podcast: Quantum Infinite

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Steve Peacock and for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 27 Quantum Infinite. In this episode the pair discuss Quantum Break, what they’d like to see next from Rocksteady, Call of Duty Infinite, E3 rumours, and Gears of War 4’s multiplayer Beta, and of course the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-quantum-infinite

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @stevetheblack

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)

TiX Podcast: BvS…I Mean Videogames

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Steve Peacock and for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 26 BvS…I Mean Videogames. In this episode the pair discuss Quantum Break, Resident Evil 6 and Arkham Knight briefly, before falling down the rabbit hole of Batman Vs Superman, and of course the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-bvsi-mean-videogames

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @stevetheblack

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)

TiX Podcast: United Over The Division

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens, Steve Peacock and guest Mike Barnes for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 25 United Over The Division. In this episode the trio discuss some recent news about Xbox at GDC, but mostly they talk about their adventures with The Division amongst the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-united-overthe-division

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @stevetheblack as well as our guest this week @Njoixbl

The book mentioned in the show is Online Game Pioneers at Work

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)

TiX Podcast: A Little Nostalgic

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Steve Peacock for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 24 A Little Nostalgic. In this episode the duo discuss the recent news about a unified windows experience across console and PC, as well as the games Prison Architect, Dungeon of the Endless, GTA 5 and Fable Legends (before the recent news about its cancellation), amongst the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-a-little-nostalgic

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @stevetheblack

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)

TiX Podcast: Mass Exodus

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Steve Peacock for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 23 Mass Exodus. In this episode duo discuss Fallout 4, Lego Dimensions, Mass Effect and Dying Light The Following, amongst the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-mass-exodus

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @stevetheblack

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)