GamesMaster Magazine

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Dead Space – Developer Interview With Glen A. Schofield

Exclusive interview with Dead Space Creator and Executive Producer Glen A. Schofield. Unpublished, interview was undertaken for GamesMaster Magazine – obtained 9 March, 2009:

Dead Space was an instant hit in the office, a real surprise! Were you confident of such a reception early on in the development stages?

No, you always need to remain paranoid and humble when making a game I believe. We were getting some good internal feedback and we loved what we were making but the final critical success was fantastic.

With Dead Space becoming a franchise, how hard is it keeping things canon? Will you be hands on with projects such as films/comics or are you solely confined to the games?

We’ve been quite hands on with all the products to maintain the quality and continuity. The main thing though is to hire great people. They will strive to work with us, create something great and become a partnership with us.

With Isaac Clarke being named after Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, were you fans of their work? What influences in particular did you draw from them?

I’m huge fans of both if then. I love their huge stories. The idea of planet cracking was because we wanted to do something huge-Clarke wouldn’t just mine a planet, he’d take it apart. Both were great visionaries and I’m still reading and re-reading their books and short stories.

All the major players today seem to be taking a DLC path with their games by adding extended scenarios, yet Dead Space isn’t taking this route. Any particular reason why?

We did have DLC but that was quite modest- weapons, packs and suits. With Dead Space we decided we wanted to make a Wii game (Extraction) with our resources this time around. So in my opinion we’re creating something even bigger and better. But I hear you and we listen to our fans.

The Wii version is up next, what challenges will that set up for development? Will you have to learn the limitations of a whole new console and work around it?

We don’t look at them as limitations, they’re just different challenges and we’re completely embracing the new controllers and the great things we can do on the Wii. I have to say the game looks absolutely fantastic and the new perspective is fun as hell.

The Internet went crazy trying to decipher the language of Unitology. Just how difficult is it creating a new language, and will it be built upon in the future?

It is hard to create a look for a new language. But it’s one of those fun challenges the team just feels is necessary. I loved the fact that people were able to decipher it, we were thrilled since there were some bits of info in them.

Is there anything at all you’re disappointed with? What specifically didn’t make the final cut that you’d have loved to have seen on a personal level?

We got a lot in. Obviously there are things that didn’t make it but it wouldn’t be appropriate to discuss them. You never know if they’ll show up in a future game like Extraction.

How much of a risk was it not including a standard HUD? What other ideas were bandied around the office when inventing new ways to present Isaac’s stats?

No HUD was a goal from day one. There was no other discussions than how to make it work. Huge challenge but that’s what this team thrives on. As soon as you waver on your vision it’s no longer the game you want to make. So the challenges were many but the final outcome is something we are extremely proud of.

Art wise, how much fun went into creating the Necromorphs? The Thing has been heralded as an inspiration; can you guide us through the creative process?

It’s funny, the Thing had nothing to do with it. We just have some exceptionally talented, twisted and demented (in a good way) people on the team who are always pushing every limit and boundary. And as far as fun, well they were some of the most enjoyable and sick creative meetings you could ever have. Imagine sitting around talking about pregnant neceomorphs, babies with tentacles, exploding sacks and infected flying creatures.

Finally, is there anything else you want to add? Any information on upcoming projects such as the sequel?

I want to thank our fans, that’s for sure. Without them we’re nothing.

As for projects, Extraction is the one we are feverishly creating right now. It’s has a great new prequel story, new characters, weapons, mechanics and levels. It’s a definitely following in the footsteps of Dead Space in terms if atmosphere, graphics, sound, innovation and above all fun and quality.

——-

We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster #214

We Want Your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

This issue, it’s more ‘Rhi want your job’, as we talk to Heavenly Sword andOverlord writer, Rhianna Pratchett.

GM: Hi Rhianna, tell us what you do in the gaming industry.

RP: I’m a freelance script writer and narrative designer. That means I help game studios create and develop stories for their titles. I also write the dialogue (mainly from scratch, although occasionally I edit and polish dialogue written by the developers) and sometimes assist with casting and directing voice actors.

GM: Game scripts are notoriously longer than film scripts. How do you keep focused with such long projects?

RP: Very often you’re working on a level by level basis, with each of those levels slotting into the overarching story. That way it doesn’t feel quite so big and it’s easier to keep focused. It’s only when you get to the end that you realise how much you’ve written. Overlord II has about 50,000 words of dialogue. It’s about the size of two screenplays.

GM: Did growing up around Terry help shape your imagination and creativity? What influences do you draw on for your projects?

RP: We share the same sense of humour and way of looking at the world. As for influences, I believe that a writer takes their influences from everywhere – From movies, books, music, friends, family, politics, travel, news stories and from just living life. For a writer it’s rather like saying ‘where do you get oxygen from?’ However, a couple of my writing heroes are William Goldman (who wrote, amongst other things, The Princess Bride) and Joss Whedon.

GM: Do you play your games when finished? Are you ever disappointed if something isn’t translated to screen the way you planned?

RP: Time and budget constrains mean it’s often not possible to do everything you want to, which can be disappointing. Out of all my games I’ve played the Overlord titles the most (often during development.) Because I’m writing so much, I can’t always remember what I wrote in the past. So I sometimes find myself laughing at my own lines, which feels a little crazy. Although I put that down to our fine team of voice actors.

GM: How is it working with the likes of Andy Serkis? Is Hollywood the next step for Rhianna Pratchett?

RP: Andy was great to work with on Heavenly Sword. He was a wonderful asset and an awesome King Bohan. I think he had much more of a genuine impact than most Hollywood types who get involved in games and just phone-in their lines. As for me, I have an agent now, so who knows where that could lead. I don’t want to ever completely leave games, though. They’re my first love.

GM: Finally, any tips for youngsters looking to get into the biz?

RP: Network! Go to events like Develop or the Animex Games Festival (or if you fancy further afield shows like GDC) and get to know all you can about the industry and the people involved. Visit sites like www.igda.org andwww.gamasutra.com which contain fantastic advice and articles about all aspects of the industry. Google is your friend.

Rhianna Desk Pic 1CAPTION: Next stop Hollywood? “I have an agent now, so who knows where that could lead…”

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1: My laptop – for working on the move.
2: Tea – calming in stressful situations.
3: Red Bull sugar-free – for kick-starting mornings.
4: Movies – my ideal background music.
5: World of Warcraft – great for killing things!

VIVA NEW VEGAS! – EXCLUSIVE BETHESDA FALLOUT INTERVIEW – GAMESMASTER #213

VIVA NEW VEGAS!

Listen carefully...

Fallout relocates to a post-apocalyptic Sin City!

This month Bethesda revealed plans for an all-new Fallout game entitled New Vegas. The game is being developed with help from Obsidian, the developer behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. “It is not a sequel to Fallout 3. It’s simply another Fallout game in that universe,” Bethesda’s Pete Hines revealed. “It will be the same sort of role-playing game experience seen in Fallout 3,” he added. Here, we get the lowdown from Pete and lead designer Emil Pagliarulo…

BETHESDA TALK FALLOUT 3

Their lips are sealed about New Vegas but they will chat about our favourite game of last year!

GM: Fallout 3 swept our annual GamesMaster Awards for 2008, did you ever envisage such a huge fan following and cult status?

Pete: Not really. Maybe just because we never let ourselves be distracted by thoughts of that kind of thing. We’ve developed a really good culture here where we focus on the things we can control and trying to make the best game we can. You get your head in the clouds thinking about already being a success or taking anything for granted and it all can go wrong in a heartbeat.

GM: Some of us in the office have invested over 100 hours into Fallout 3. How do you sleep at night!

Pete: I said long ago that our ultimate goal was a global decline in productivity. So the more people that spend untold hours playing the game, the better we sleep at night.

GM: With regards to the Fallout DLC, are you going to keep this world you’ve created and visit different areas on the globe? What does the future hold?

Pete: Well obviously the first one is a virtual reality visit to Anchorage, followed by an actual visit to what’s left of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The third continues the story after the main quest in the Capital Wasteland, so we do like to mix it up both in terms of where you are, and what you’re doing.

GM: How much of a risk was it acquiring the Fallout franchise from Interplay? Was there a plan set down on where to take Fallout beforehand?

Pete: Really, it boiled down to “we loved that series and we want to revive it and make another one.” People ask a lot about how far you’ve planned this series or that one, but ultimately the focus has to be on the next thing you’re doing because if you botch that, there may not ever be anything else.

As far as how risky it was, Fallout was probably pretty high on the “risk” chart. Picking up this beloved franchise that was so revered and making another game in that series and putting ourselves up for all that ridicule and speculation…that was no easy undertaking. I’m glad people like the game. It makes going through all of that worthwhile.

GM: How were subjects in the game such as slavery approached during development? Do you think humanity would resort to that if the Fallout scenario was played out in reality?

Pete: Well the fun of Fallout is that it’s not just what would happen after a nuclear war, but what would happen after a nuclear war in this alternate universe where things are a bit “odd” as it is. We wanted to stay true to as many of the mature themes as possible, without them being distracting. So things like drug use, violence, slavery, prostitution, etc….we felt it was important to include those things without them distracting from the game. We wanted to use things like slavery to give you a chance to define who you are…a good guy, or a bad one? Help the slaves, or profit from them? The way slavery is portrayed in the game is believable enough that you think it could really happen like that. The more things we do to help you suspend belief, the more immersed you become. And the more sleep you lose. And the happier we are.

GM: We’ve stumbled across UFO’s and many other secrets in Fallout’s world. Is there anything that’s gone over the public’s head and you’re disappointed hasn’t been made more of?

Emil: Now there’s an interesting question. You know, in a game like Fallout 3, a big game that gives the player 50 hours of play or so, there’s always going to be stuff the player misses. And as developers, that’s one of the challenges – showing the player something new at, say, hour 30.

There are two systems in place in Fallout 3 that really sort of ensure that players will discover some fresh stuff really late in the game – the random encounters, and conversations. With each of these, we knew we put in some really cool nuggets, but we also realized players may very well never see them. Such is the nature of a system like that. And that’s a really difficulty, necessary thing for a designer to do, to create work you know someone may never see.

Here are a couple of specific examples: there’s a random encounter where a UFO blows up in the sky overhead, and rains down debris… including an Alien Blaster you can find and use. We actually discovered through playtesting that the weapon tends to get lost out there in the Wasteland when it falls, but Dogmeat is the perfect way to find it; if you see an explosion in the sky, you just tell him to find you a weapon, and he’ll likely bring it back.

In the conversation system in the Citadel, you can overhear two Brotherhood of Steel guys talking, and one of them is trying to perfect his “Olde English,” because he figures it’s more knightly; the other guy, of course, makes fun of him. So really, it’s stuff like that I hope players experience, but there’s no guarantee.

GM: Is there anything at all you’re disappointed with? What didn’t make the final cut that you’d have loved to have seen on a personal level?

Emil: I can’t really say there’s anything I’m honestly disappointed in, but I do have to wonder about some ideas we had in pre-production that we ultimately cut. Originally, the Enclave didn’t only take over Project Purity – they also took over all of Rivet City. And this happened while you were at the city, so your task was to help lead Doctor Li and the citizens of Rivet City out of a secret escape route, and escort them to the safety of the Citadel. It was sort of the game’s “escape from Bespin” experience.” It wasn’t meant to be but part of me still wishes we had the time to pull it off, simply because those kinds of large-scale, reactive world moments are so memorable for players.

GM: Some glitches have been found and exploited by players, such as the cap glitch. How difficult is it to eradicate errors like these in a game world as huge as Fallout’s?

Emil: Maybe more difficult than anyone can imagine, to be honest. On the surface, they may seem simple to find and fix, but they aren’t. However, we don’t use that as an excuse. We examine our process, and constantly improve on it. That was the case moving from Oblivion to Fallout 3, and it’s already the case as we work on the Fallout 3 DLC.

GM: Art wise, how much fun and love went into creating the monsters in Fallout? Guide us through the creative process.

Emil: Creating monsters or enemies is always a lot of fun. It’s a guilty pleasure, really, and one of the things that makes me remember how lucky I am to be doing what I do. When I go home, and my kids ask me what I did that day, and I say something like, “I helped design a Super Mutant,” it doesn’t even seem like reality.

For Fallout 3, it was an interesting process, because we weren’t so much creating creatures from scratch as we were updating a lot of the original Fallout creatures. That process started with us determining which creatures or enemies we wanted to have, and how they would be represented in the game. Those initial designs then went to our concept artist, who would crank out iteration after iteration, until we had the versions we liked. And then came the biggest challenge, really – creating those creatures in the game itself. And again, it always came back to us wanting to update the original designs. How do we make a Deathclaw that feels just as scary as it did in the original Fallout? Is this a good change to the Sentry Bot?

In the end, the monsters of Fallout 3 really are an excellent example of every design discipline working in unison. Design, art, programming, animation – it’s all represented in every creature we do.

GM: How hard was it to programme V.A.T.S. combat? Are you pleased with the end result and how it differs from combat in Oblivion?

Emil: Like anything, getting V.A.T.S. to the state we wanted it was a matter of constant playtesting. For us, it was very much about the feel of the system, and how it flowed naturally from run-and-gun combat and any other aspect of the game. It’s really kind of surprising to me how close the end product is to both the initial design, and the initial concepts we did.

Ultimately, I think the system epitomized the Bethesda development ideology of “keep it simple,” but before we arrived at the streamlined system we shipped with, it certainly experimented with more complexity. We had discussed doing an entirely new interface for throwing grenades, for example. And, at one point early on, you could target every explosive environmental hazard in V.A.T.S., from cars to fire extinguishers. But in the end, these added layers of complexity didn’t really improve the player’s experience; they really just served to slow down the combat experience and the game as a whole, so we went back to the simpler, cleaner, and must faster implementation.

I’m incredibly proud of the V.A.T.S. system we shipped with. It was a labor of love for a lot of talented people, and I think it changes the way players think about gun combat – in first-person shooters as well as RPGs. So not only did we create a cool new system, we also challenged some traditional ways of thinking and playing in other genres. That was sort of the unexpected cherry on top for us.

GM: Is it worth doing a Fallout 4 after creating such a massive world? Where do you go after Fallout 3?

Pete: If it wasn’t worth doing we wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble to acquire the license. There are lots of things left to do with a franchise like Fallout.

GM: What was it like working with vocal talent like Liam Neeson? We can’t imagine him being anything other than a perfect gent!

Pete: Our internal joke is “it turns out Liam Neeson is a really good actor.” He’s incredibly nice, and incredibly talented, and was so good at taking the context of his lines and getting into his character and what he was doing and feeling at that moment.

GM: There was obviously concern when the game was leaked before release, but no official comment was made at the time. How do you view the piracy situation now, in hindsight?

Pete: My views haven’t changed. Piracy still sucks and still hurts us as a business. Period.

GM: Finally, any exclusives for our readers? Future Bethesda projects, perhaps?

Pete: You heard it here first: Bethesda will have future projects. J

Thank you very much for your time, folks. Good luck with all your future projects!

We Want You Job! – GamesMaster #213

We Want Your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business

The games industry machine has many cogs in its inner workings. Fancy working in the public relations sector? Roxana Etemad of Eidos gives us her advice:

GM: Hiya Roxy, tell us about your job and what it involves.

Roxy: I am UK PR Manager at Eidos which means I always have loads going on and it’s also a lot of fun. My day to day work changes all the time but mainly consists of planning coverage and speaking to journalists, organising press events, managing my PR agency and, of course, the less fun stuff…PR planning, scanning coverage and reporting.

GM: How many people do you deal with on a daily basis? Is it hard keeping everyone happy?

Roxy: Eidos is a great place as everyone is always ready to help each other out, so there is a lot of support when you need it. The great thing about my role is that I get to deal with everyone in the company whether it’s with Marketing, Sales, Brand or even QA and development. It’s great because you see all aspects of different roles in gaming and gives you a brilliant insight into what everyone does.

GM: What qualifications did you need for the job? University education? Good people skills?

Roxy: I have a degree in Communications and Audio/Visual Production. Coming up with PR stunts and ideas was my favourite aspect of the degree and helped me decide what kind of career path I wanted to follow. A tip for any budding PR peeps – you have to love the field you are handling PR for. You can’t do games PR if you don’t have a love for games. A career in videogames made complete sense to me – I have been hooked on gaming since I was 7 years old playing on my Atari 2600 with my dad…in fact things haven’t changed much as now I play on Xbox Live with him!

GM: Are you into games yourself? How much do you have to learn about each product before presenting it to the media?

Roxy: The great thing about my job it seeing how games develop over time, and playing early versions of our games to present them to press. Once you have mastered the level you want to show, you are ready to rock-and-roll, ‘til you realise you have to be able to speak and play at the same time which takes a little practise. At home I try to play as much as I can but unfortunately it involves having to boot my husband off a controller, which is a challenge!

GM: Finally, any tips on getting into gaming public relations?

Roxy: Although a degree isn’t essential it will provide you with the tools you will need to start out with, which I found very helpful. You need a lot of drive and have to be an outgoing person. Great communication skills are essential, both written and verbal and, of course, you must have a passion for whatever field you choose to get into. Last thing – a PR person is only as good as their contacts, you must always be building and maintaining relationships with people. You never know when you can help each other out!

WWYJ_213

CAPTION: Battleships? During the interview, Roxy couldn’t help but level an entire fleet of ships with one well-placed shot. Yowza!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1) My Blackberry – I can’t survive without it! I tend to be out of the office often so it’s the only way I can keep tabs on what’s going on.

2) Business cards – I have three different versions each with different game artwork on the back which is so cool – at the moment I am on the Tomb Raider Underworld variety.

3) Magazines – I receive magazines on a daily basis and I love going through them to see what juicy coverage we have within the pages!

4) Deadlines sheet – The sheet helps me plan in asset drops, exclusives and when we can announce exciting news!

5) Rolodeck – I have had the same one since starting in the industry. I have the same info replicated on my PC but I always end up using the rolodeck, I guess for sentimental reasons!

We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster #212

We Want Your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

Boo! Hiss! The BBFC often comes in for lots of stick from the younger generation, but they really do have your best interests at heart. James Blatch from the BBFC explains:

GM: Hi James, Tell us exactly what your job is with the BBFC.

James: I’m a Film, Video and Video Games Examiner with the Board. My job is to watch/play submissions and recommend a category. On average The BBFC classifies a couple of games a day and I’m one of ten examiners on the games team.

GM: Many believe the job is just playing games all day and slapping a rating on at the end of the day?

James: Have you been reading my job description? Of course it’s a little more technical than that. We examine in teams of two, all non-linear material is watched in full; that’s cutscenes and accompanying video etc. We’ll play the game through, but because games have a repetitive element we will use level skips and game saves to speed our progression. Unless it’s really good, in which case we cancel all calls and work till midnight.

GM: There was a lot made of Tanya Byron’s review and the confusion over PEGI’s age classifications. Does this raise the case for the BBFC to take control with your instantly recognisable age ratings?

James: Our symbols have an incredibly high recognition rate, they are also trusted and well understood. After all what’s not to understand about ’18 – Contains strong bloody violence’?

GM: It’s risky business banning games, Manhunt 2 comes straight to mind. Do protection instincts instantly kick in with the gorier titles?

James: It’s not as simple seeing gore and reaching for the ‘Reject’ stamp. After all, Dead Rising was pretty bloody, as is Madworld. But we do look at what else is on offer for the player. Is it funny? Is it scary? Is it very mechanical and arcade-like? When we can find nothing else to distance the player from sadistic, unrelenting human-on-human violence, then yes, alarm bells begin to ring. That’s the reason the unmodified version ofManhunt 2 remains the only rejected video game in the UK. (A modified version was granted an 18 following a close appeal).

GM: How absorbed do you have to be with a game before deciding its rating? Do you get cheats to help with a quicker playthrough?

James: I will always try and play the game as if it’s out of the box at home. I terrified myself playing ‘F.E.A.R. 2’ the other month and that’s a good thing. It’s important to take these qualities of a game into account in order to come up with a well rounded classification decision. We often, but not always, get cheats (invincibility, all weapons etc), but we’ll only dip into these for progression reasons, after getting used to normal play.

GM: How well trusted are you to provide a rating, what exactly do you look out for? Is it a group decision?

James: Two of us examine a game and it’s up to us to flag up whether it needs further viewing. Our Director David Cooke will look in on an examination, particularly if it’s a big game that’s likely to be controversial. What do we look for? Violence is usually the defining issue, but increasingly strong language plays a part. Sex is still something most developers stay away from, but it’s certainly more prevalent now than ten years ago. With games at the junior categories, dangerous imitable techniques are our biggest concern. Young children like to copy behaviour. Some developers might not think twice about showing a child climbing into a washing machine, we however know it’s potentially fatal.

GM: Finally, any tips for youngsters who may want to join the BBFC’s ranks?

James: Convergence is the key here. Try to have a good all round appreciation of film, DVDs and video games. This enables you to put video games into a wider context. It stops them being marginalised and getting out of step with other media. I’m a firm believer that video games have come of age. GTA IV for instance, with its incredibly smart writing and high production values sits right up there with well produced movies, so it’s right for us to treat it in the same way that we would the latest Clint Eastwood film.

blatch

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1: 360/PS3/XBOX controller. You should never be more than two feet from one of these.

2: Proper coffee. 15 years at the BBC and 3 years at the BBFC means I’ve had my fill of machine muck.

3: Pictures of my children, Emily, 5 and William, 3. Despite the upside to my job, you can have some pretty unpleasant viewing experiences, but this picture always makes me smile.

4: My favourite phishing email (purportedly from Egg). It concludes with the convincing line “??Please to be urgent with your securities to denial services”

5: A Lightsaber. It’s an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 211

We Want Your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

This month, Craig Leigh, who is helping make Fat Princess, tells us the benefits of having a curvier queen…

GM: Hi Craig, tell us what your role is on Fat Princess.

Craig: Hi GamesMaster, my role is the Lead Designer of Fat Princess. I try to take all of the creativity and good ideas of the team and funnel them into a workable and fun game!

GM: What happens in your typical working day?

Craig: Fat Princess is in the polish and debug phase and so my days are pretty hectic. A typical day is a combination of playing, reviewing and tweaking the mechanics of the game, and working with the team to ensure the experience is as fun and chaotic as possible.

GM: What’s the creative process like when thinking up an idea like Fat Princess? Did the pitches go well?

Craig: At Titan Studios, we all take part in the creative process and throw ideas into the pot when creating new gameplay mechanics and features. The original pitch for Fat Princess went incredibly well. We were discussing our ideas with Sony and they loved the concept so much that we started development shortly afterwards.

GM: Are the lovely ladies modelled on anybody in particular?

Craig: Well that would be telling wouldn’t it! I could not possibly say, I might get sat on and squished!

GM: Finally, any advice on how to enter the industry?

Craig: I originally started in Q.A. and worked my way up through the ranks. If you want to be a designer or level designer I would recommend trying to create mods for existing games as you will learn a lot from the process. The best piece of advice I can give is to join a development studio as soon as you can because there’s nothing better than hands on experience. And your mum is wrong – play a lot of games. You need to know your business!

GM: Thanks, Craig!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1: Two PS3 Debug stations so that I can play with myself all day.
2: My headphones as I need to rock out while developing.
3: PS3 wireless headset, I need to talk to my Fat Princess team to coordinate the attack. CHARGE!
4: Tea! I can’t live without at least 3 barrels of tea a day.
5: My “All Time Gaming Champions” trophy to remind my colleagues of my almost astonishing level of Bubble Bobble gaming domination.

wwyj_gm211

CAPTION: A PlayStation paradise. Keep your eye on Fat Princess, not that you could miss her, of course…

GamesMaster Awards 2009: 4 Page Feature – GamesMaster Issue 210

GAMESMASTER AWARDS 2009

“Oi, you can’t come in here – those shoes are too casual, mate…“

…As for the rest of you, roll on up! Flood the venue and scream for joy, it’s time for us to host our GamesMaster Awards for 2009. We’ve been unable to leave the office due to a constant stream of letters blocking the door, while 12 highly skilled monkeys from abroad were hired just to help us sift through the entries. So now, without further ado, it’s time to crown the best gaming moments from the last 12 months, as voted for by your favourite person. YOU!

GAME OF THE YEAR 2008

1st: GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – (98%)

The top three were tighter than a duck’s bottom, but GTA IV proved you all have memories longer than its final mission as you voted it your game of the year. With ‘The Lost and the Damned’ downloadable content nearly here, is there a chance you’ll make it game of the year for 2009? We’ll just have to wait and see…

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: FALLOUT 3 – (93%)

Just missing out, the sheer depth and scale of Fallout 3 made it a favourite, with its oodles of sidequests and inventive combat system.

3rd: LITTLEBIGPLANET – (96%)

Games with plots are over-rated, according to you folks anyway. The amount of artistic freedom offered by LBP really got your creative juices flowing.

4737-gta-iv-screenshot

CAPTION: Pistol in hand, Niko makes a clean getaway with the Game of the Year award for 2008.

nikobelicCAPTION: “I would like to thank Roman and Katie for this moment… but they are riddled with bullets.”

BEST PS2 GAME OF 2008
1st: LEGO BATMAN – (86%)

There were murmurs of Traveller’s Tales Lego formula feeling stale, but Lego Batman certainly found a home on PS2, the plastic platformer picking up best title in what must surely be the console’s final year.

RUNNERS UP:
2nd: CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR – (N/A)

Despite the lack of online co-op and deathmatch, World at War just missed out on top spot.

3rd: FIFA ’09 – (88%)

The beautiful game isn’t as beautiful on PS2, but the gameplay still scores.

lb_screen_995_360_wave21

CAPTION: Pow! Smack! Shazaam! Batman proves he’s brick hard.

BEST PS3 GAME OF 2008

1st: LITTLEBIGPLANET – (96%)

Being the first console game to really break the online community market, Sackboy wallops Snake into second place and takes the title of best PS3 game with its fascinating online library and amazingly unique visuals.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: METAL GEAR SOLID 4 – (97%)

Second is scant reward for someone who continually prevents disaster.

3rd: RESISTANCE 2 – (91%)

Resistance from consumers was obviously futile.

sackboy_lbpCAPTION: We ‘felt’ LittleBigPlanet would win in the end (hyuck hyuck).


BEST XBOX 360 GAME OF 2008

1st: Gears of War 2 – (95%)

It was no contest really, was it? The emphatic Gears of War sequel offered a twisting plot and a deliciously violent romp, expanding on the abrupt ending of the first game and offering scenes of real emotion.

RUNNERS UP:
2nd: Fable 2 – (94%)

Kicking chickens and doing the dirty deed gets Fable 2 into second place.

3rd: GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – (98%)

Game of the Year, but third on its console? We’re proud champions of consistency here at GM! It’s your decision.

intervention_marcuskantusCAPTION: He may be big, but Marcus Fenix’s BMI puts him firmly in ‘obese’ territory.

BEST Wii GAME OF 2008

1st: MARIO KART WII – (91%)

Not only a game for casuals, Mario Kart is still the hardcore Wii gamers choice, despite Nintendo’s unfair weapon balancing act. Now all we need is a friendlier way to input friend codes and we’re sorted…

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: SUPER SMASH BROTHERS: BRAWL – (92%)

Epic stand-offs between Jigglypuff and Kirby sweep the nation.

3rd: NO MORE HEROES – (90%)

No more No More Heroes? We need more games like this on the Wii, urgently!

BEST DS GAME OF 2008

1st: THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU – (88%)

Now THIS is a DS game. Utilising almost every facet of Nintendo’s dinky delight, The World Ends With You is a game inside a game with its style assaulting you from both screens. Your emphatic choice for number one.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE – (90%)

Brain teasing, cranium twisting handheld agony.

3rd: GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR – (85%)

Finger teasing, knuckle twisting handheld agony.

wewy_titlescreen01CAPTION: If you can figure out what on earth is going on here then contact Consoletation zone.

BEST PSP GAME OF 2008

1st: FINAL FANTASY VII: CRISIS CORE – (92%)

You can’t get enough of the seventh instalment, it seems. Zack’s back-story carries on Cloud’s legacy, and shocked us by actually being quite good, as we gave it 90%. A shining light in a pretty barren ’08 for the console.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS – (86%)

Kratos’s might be able to kill deity’s, but he can’t beat Zack.

3rd: MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX – (88%)

Rockstar weigh in with this decent portable racer.

crisis_core_cg__3__tif_jpgcopy

CAPTION: Genesis has long flowing hair and a big sword and… oh, just stop it already.

BEST PC GAME OF 2008

1st: SPORE – (93%)

Controversies raged over SecuROM installation, game length and super-piracy, but Spore still shoots to the top with its simply amazing scope. Will Wright will right these problems, we hope, when he announces Spore 2 (hopefully)…

RUNNERS UP:
2nd: WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING – (90%)

A strong position for the expansion, Wrath of the Lich King just misses out.

3rd: AGE OF CONAN: HYBORIAN ADVENTURES – (86%)

For God sakes, put some clothes on. The characters are as bare as Hyboria itself.

sporeapp_debugrelease_2008-08-22_13-50-50-42_png_jpgcopyCAPTION: Spore, Warcraft and Conan prove to be worlds apart.

BEST PIECE OF HARDWARE OF 2008

1st: PS3

Could 2009 finally be Sony’s strongest year? You lot seem to think so, as the 360 runs out of steam and chugs into second place. Just kidding, it was actually very tight. Go out and buy a console anyway, they’re all brilliant.

RUNNERS UP:
2nd: XBOX 360

Claiming the silver medal, is this in protest at the New Xbox Experience, we wonder?

3rd: DUALSHOCK 3…

…surprisingly makes an appearance, batting off strong competition from the Wii-board.

BEST GRAPHICS OF 2008

1st: METAL GEAR SOLID 4 – (97%)

Hands down, the best graphics go to Metal Gear Solid 4, as we gasped in awe at Sony’s use of cell wrinkle technology. Would the 360 cope with the strain? We may still yet find out…

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: GEARS OF WAR 2 – (95%)

Steamingly ugly Locust’s and veiny, uglier Human’s captured beautifully on 360.

3rd: GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – (98%)

The over-realistic strains on Niko’s travel-worn face couldn’t guarantee him top spot.

metal-gear-solid-4-beauty-and-the-beast-unitCAPTION: The Beauty and the Beast unit pick up our special design award.

BEST SOUNDTRACK OF 2008

1st: MIRROR’S EDGE – (80%)

Free running Faith’s rooftop fumble was greatly improved by the gorgeous sounds around her, whether it was the strong Swedish influences or simply the sound of her scraping her bum when sliding. Mirror’s Edge takes the GamesMaster Grammy.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: SUPER SMASH BROTHERS: BRAWL – (92%)

Stunning orchestral re-imaginings of Nintendo classics. Far better than Wii Music…

3rd: GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – (98%)

Maybe not as good as Vice City’s soundtrack, but it’s still a great selection for stealing cars to.

falling_webCAPTION: A high pitched ‘GYYYYYUUUURGH’ would have been tops, too.

MOST PLAYED GAME OF 2008

1st: FALLOUT 3 – (93%)

There’s no way this would lose. You have to invest hundreds of hours just to cover the side-quests! Covering every inch of this pseudo-fifties future imagining is still keeping everyone going, month’s after its release.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR – (91%)

Cross-console shooter so nearly reaches the heights of its older, more modern brother.

3rd: SUPER SMASH BROTHERS: BRAWL – (92%)

Multiplayer brawler beats off the competition to land third place.

TOUGHEST GAME OF 2008

1st: FALLOUT 3 – (93%)

Even with the aids of V.A.T.S. combat, Fallout 3 is still a bugger to beat. We could blame the lack of ammo and overly large monsters, but we find it especially tough because we can’t help but start a fight during conversation.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: MIRROR’S EDGE – (80%)

A first-person perspective without the gunplay. Peace and love, peace and love.

3rd: NINJA GAIDEN 2 – (70%)

Now, we think this is just the most stupidly hard game ever. Can’t wait for the third, though…

1167987718_1aaa50e8abCAPTION: Toughest Game and Most Played Game, you sure are gluttons for punishment!

HERO OF THE YEAR 2008
1st: SACKBOY

Despite costing around seventy-five pence to construct, Sackboy has beaten off many established stars to become your hero of 2008. He’s also the gaming equivalent of a filthy shirker, seeing as we do all the hard level building and all…

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: SOLID SNAKE

Ask your Granddad to come out of retirement and kill an army. Snake does it every day of his life.

3rd: NIKO BELLIC

You lot really should look up ‘Hero’ in the dictionary…

BOXOUT:

A lad called Nathan spoke for most of us when he e-mailed in his hero of the year. ‘The Judge who banned Jack Thompson!’ he no doubt scrawled with a grin…


VILLAIN OF THE YEAR 2008

1st: LIQUID OCEOLOT

After missing out on the award for sexiest bloke, Ocelot can take heart at winning Villain of the year in light of his convoluted war effort plot and Liquid Snake morphing arm thingy.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: LORD LUCIEN

Fable 2’s dog killing emo isn’t as tough as he thinks he is.

3rd: DMITRI
Grand Theft Auto’s Eastern Bloc psycho ends up in blouse wearing third place.

mgs4_e3_2006_5CAPTION: You like me, you really like me! Now, die in a fire.

BEST BIT IN A GAME 2008

1st: REVISITING SHADOW MOSES

Snake’s plot-twisting return to Shadow Moses was your stand out gaming moment in 2008, which including an epic battle with Crying Wolf, Vamp, and Naomi’s flippant emotions. A stand out part in one of 2008’s epic titles.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: GEARS OF WAR 2, FIRST LEVEL

GearsHollywood introduction had all jaws on the floor the UK over.

3rd: LAST SCENES OF GTA IV

Choosing who to let live and die was a tear-jerker of the highest level.

1209970353097vr0CAPTION: We thought we wouldn’t ever have to come back here after the awkward Otacon ending of the first game.

BOXOUT:

Our favourite ‘moment’ was submitted by Tom Carlyle of Chippenham who quite enjoyed Dom’s wife ‘looking all skanky and that’…

DISSAPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR

1st: NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER – (79%)

Oh dear. The one constant in this poll was how disappointed you all were with Need for Speed: Undercover. Was it the limp story or the erroneous bugs and niggles? Either way, you let us know that you were let down by it.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: SONIC UNLEASHED – (80%)

Oh look, it’s a new Sonic game! Gathering dust in the bargain bin!

3rd: PRINCE OF PERSIA – (71%)

You can’t die? Breaking Prince’s trusted formula obviously wasn’t a popular decision…

nfs09_game3_bmp_jpgcopyCAPTION: To disappoint you even further, here’s a mobile phone screenshot.

BEST CHEAT OF 2008

1st: GTA IV HEALTH/ARMOUR/WEAPONS CHEATS

Threats of taking away precious achievements proved to be laughable, as you guys used your phone to cheat the game instead of arranging social time with Brucie.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: SPAWNING ANNIHALATOR – GTA IV

Wreaking havoc across Liberty City was ample trade for the ‘Walk Free’ achievement.

3rd: FALLOUT 3 GLITCHES

Said glitches include an EXP hack by changing the difficulty, and swindling caps from wasteland losers.

4418-gta-iv-screenshot-explosionCAPTION: Cheating in GTA IV gave us some hilariously laugh out loud moments.

BOXOUT:

Scott Gilbride’s submission landed on our desk, and written in a solemn cursive font under the best cheat category was ‘I wouldn’t cheat…’. Bless…

MULTIPLAYER GAME OF 2008

1st: LEFT4DEAD – (93%)

Whether on PC or console, Left4Dead still gives us hours of enjoyment, both online and in the office with Team GM running around screaming like pansies. It’s a good job too, as its single player borders on the useless.

RUNNERS UP:
2nd: CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR – (91%)

We’re still unsure about swapping airstrikes with packs of dogs. Doesn’t bother you lot, though…

3rd: SUPER SMASH BROTHERS: BRAWL – (92%)

Nintendo’s character homage shrugs off Mario Kart competition and smashes its way into third.

witch-francis-1680CAPTION: Ding, dong, the witch is dead. Ironically, this makes her all the more dangerous.

SEXIEST GAME BABE/BLOKE OF 2008

1st: LARA CROFT…

… again. It was either the brand new High-Def water flowing off her lycra swimsuit or her sexy new voice actor. Either way, she adds another trophy to her already heaving mantelpiece for 2008.

RUNNERS UP

2nd: FAITH – MIRROR’S EDGE

Free runner Faith keeps her body trim by running up advertising boards and killing corrupt police officials.

3rd: SHAUNDI FROM SAINTS ROW 2

Well… whatever floats your boat, we guess…

lara_croft_-_tomb_r_288491gCAPTION: 95% of the vote went to Lara. 95% of Lara is silicon.

BOXOUT:
Worringly enough, a vote for ‘Professor Pester’ from Viva Pinata caught our eye. Luckily for you, young MAN, we’re keeping your identity secret…

BEST AND WORST BOXART OF 2008

BEST:

1st: LITTLEBIGPLANET – (96%)

Looking like a pilot episode of Rainbow, the LittleBigPlanet box is being used in schools all over the UK as a substitute colour wheel.

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: RESISTANCE 2 – (91%)

Captures the mood of a 1950’s alien invasion perfectly.

3rd: FABLE 2 – (94%)

Bare, yet sombre, Fable 2’s box captured a real sense of character isolation.

pack_shot

WORST:

1st: FIFA ’09 – (90%)

Shockingly, there’s something about Wayne Rooney’s face and Ronaldinho’s teeth that you just don’t agree with…

RUNNERS UP:

2nd: WALL-E – (64%)

That sad look on his miserable face sums up our time with Wall-E.

3rd: PETZ: RESCUE OCEAN CONTROL – (N/A)

Haaaaaaaaaaaahahahahah…

fifa09x360pftukeng_jpg_jpgcopy

Patapon 2 Review – GamesMaster Issue 210

OUT: 31st JULY 09, PRICE: £19.99, PUB: SONY, DEV: IN-HOUSE, ONLINE: YES, PLAYERS:1-4,

PATAPON 2 – PSP

STRAP: ‘Get your Patap-on!’

Just as the tones from the last one had been bled out of our skulls, Patapon 2 lands on our desks and we’re ordered to put in headphones to prevent another office-wide infection. Their loss, Patapon 2 is simply brilliant. Luckily, you don’t need much prior Pata-perception to jump straight into the sequel, it’s a rhythm game, a God game and a mean strategy game all rolled into one with beats that’ll rewire your spinal column and artwork that’ll rewrite your optic nerves.

It’s also why Patapon 2 is a much tidier package than the first. Nothing has been tinkered or tampered with, it didn’t need much improvement. Instead, a slew of whistles and bells have been attached. The core rhythm/God elements are the same, using the face buttons to command your Patapon army in funky motion, yet there’s a whole new host of Patapon to recruit and level up, giving it a more strategic role-playing element. Air units are a blessing as are elemental Patapon and a Hero unit that has special attacks and can change its class. It makes battles more strategic (read: tougher), but when your Patapon army is on song, there’s nothing better.

The same old niggles are still there. You’ll still have to trawl through old levels to collect minerals and level up and you’re severely punished if your timing is but a moment off. However, the addition of a 4 way multi-player egg hunt between friends is a great distraction from the sometimes slow trudge through single player. Patapon 2 could only ever work on PSP, let it absorb your life when it’s released during the summer.

BEST BIT!
pata2_boss_mammboss_high_tif_jpgcopyCAPTION: Building up a Patapon army to deal with any given situation, and taking on the world!


pata2_battle_normal_high_tif_jpgcopyCAPTION: The guy in the mask is your hero. Keeping him alive is pivotal to finding ‘IT’.

2008-06-2053-53-44-096_high_tif_jpgcopyCAPTION: In multiplayer, you have to escort giant eggs to safety with your pata-pals.

pata2_battle_hero_lowCAPTION: Graphically, Patapon is still top of the league.

JUDGEMENT

GRAPHICS: 90%
Spit-polishes the unique and gorgeous look of the original.

GAMEPLAY:87%

Thought provoking strategy, but a lot of backtracking is needed.

LIFESPAN: 89%

It’ll take you an age to build an army you’re proud of to take to battle.

OVERALL: 89%

An oasis in the barren PSP desert, it’s the PSP’s first strong title of 2009.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT:

BETTER THAN: Parappa the Rapper, 75%

WORSE THAN: Loco Roco, 92%
WAIT FOR: Resistance: Retribution
BEST PRICE: £14.99, Play.com

SimAnimals Review – GamesMaster Issue 210

OUT: NOW, FORMAT: Wii, PRICE: £39.99, DEVELOPER: IN-HOUSE, PUBLISHER: EA, ONLINE: YES, WEB: WWW.SIMANIMALS.COM, PLAYERS: 1-4

SIMANIMALS – Wii

ALSO ON – DS

STRAP: Don’t go down to the woods today…

So is SimAnimals a Viva Pinata beater? Not a chance. EA have tagged it with the Sims moniker, but we were alarmed to hear we would be caring for plant life and wide-eyed critters. And sadly, it’s as dull as it sounds. Even Watership Down dabbled in murder and psychosis…

SimAnimals is far from a car-crash game; it just doesn’t really offer anything gameplay wise. As in other Sim games, your Wii-mote controls a floating hand as you arrange plants and trees to attract creatures to your woodland. Rabbits and Squirrels will appear first with carnivorous heavy hitters like wolves and bears popping up in later areas to try and cause trouble in your serene valley.

FLOWER POWER
It matters little. Sometimes there’ll be conflict as a bigger animal devours a smaller one, but leave everybody alone and they’ll get along fine, paw-in-paw as you mess about planting Hyacinth. Plant management soon becomes your primary concern as the animal’s environment becomes more important than the animals themselves. Yawn…

You’ll be given specific challenges to complete at each clearing along the lines of ‘plant eight trees’, or ‘attract two cats to your forest’, they’re very bland and weak. SimAnimals excels in just holding your interest as you unlock the next area or animal. There’s no call at all to revisit once you’ve had a comb, except maybe for multi-player where you can invite three of your friends to roam your forest.

The Wii controls work very well, but presentation is poor. Animals and textures have a last-gen feel to them, jarred edges making them look blocky and rushed. SimAnimals would be great for a younger sister or older relative. Us though, we’re sticking to Farthing Wood for our woodland excitement…

BEST BIT!

riverridgebirdseye_bmp_jpgcopyCAPTION: Building an animal utopia can be satisfying when things go to plan.

rabbitdefendCAPTION: Mate, dammit. We’ve planted some aloe and hibiscus, what more do you want?

skunks2_bmp_jpgcopyCAPTION: You’ll need the help of your animal buds later to stop the upstream pollution…

heron01CAPTION: The in-game encyclopaedia gives us real life facts about the world around us. Zzzz…

BOXOUT 1:

FERN-BULLY

Typically, the last few levels give you access to the heavenly power of lightning. Don’t get too excited, it’s only useful for clearing dead trees. Zzzzz…

01_01_simboxout

CAPTION: Don’t hide there, big guy, you’re in the way of the GamesMaster demolition squad.

01_02_simboxoutCAPTION: Don’t fret. Feeding him startled squirrels and tickling his belly will cheer him up.

JUDGEMENT:

GRAPHICS: 55%
Blocky and bland. This is supposed to be a lush forest, isn’t it?

GAMEPLAY: 54%

Not much in the way of an actual ‘game’ to play here, really…

LIFESPAN: 63%

Multiplayer extends it a little, and you can always obsess over your woodland.

OVERALL: 60%

An inoffensive stroll through a dull park. Buy a ticket to the Zoo instead.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

BETTER THAN: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 59%

WORSE THAN: Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City!, 80%

WAIT FOR: The Sims 3

BEST PRICE: £29.99, gameplay.co.uk

Cooking Mama 2: Worl Kitchen Review – GamesMaster Issue 210

OUT: NOW, PRICE: £34.99, DEV: COOKING MAMA LIMITED, PUB: 505 GAMES, WEB: http://www.cookingmamaworldkitchen.com/, PLAYERS: 1-2

COOKING MAMA 2: WORLD KITCHEN – Wii

STRAP: A recipe for success?

Poor ol’ Mama. She greets us in a bandana in a bid to show she means business on our first day in her kitchen, and although her heart is in the right place as she tries to train us, we turn out to be only as good as our tools. In this case, it’s the Wii-mote. For fans, it’s recognisable Cooking Mama. You can take on the large seven-page recipe roster in a bid to win a medal, cook for a ‘friend’, or take them on in a cooking challenge with Mama herself. Having an extra Wii-mote gives you the luxury of cooking with a buddy, all the ingredients needed to advance from the first Cooking Mama on Wii, right?

KITCHEN NIGHTMARE

It pains us to criticise Mama, but the Wii-mote lets it down dreadfully by incorporating a stirring or pouring motion in almost every recipe. Identikit activities like straight chopping aren’t a problem, a slight flick of the wrist or a shake registers A-OK, but if you’re asked to stir soup, grind coffee beans or twirl an ice-cream cone then throw in the towel. The game does an awful job of recognising the more explicit commands, we looked like the weather vane atop GM towers as we leaped all over the room in an attempt to do the simplest tasks, our temper boiled over like our pan of Miso-soup in the end.

Like a soufflé, we’ll end on a light note. Mama is adorable, addictive fun, especially for kids, and when the controls actually work there’s a full feast of fun to chew on. It’s great trying to perfect the full range of recipes, but the terrible utilisation of the Wii-mote is tougher to swallow than a week old pork pie.

BEST BIT!:

screenshot_013CAPTION: Actually nailing a recipe! When Mama’s on form, she cooks up a storm.

screenshot_011

CAPTION: Mama’s always there, championing our ugly food.

screenshot_010

CAPTION: Graphically, sound, everything you do is in spanking new 3d…

screenshot_0061

CAPTION: …But maybe it’s this extra dimension that harms the control scheme?

JUDGEMENT:
GRAPHICS: 71%
In all new 3D, this is one fine looking Mama.

GAMEPLAY: 65%
Standard Mama, with a few new recipes thrown in for measure.

LIFESPAN: 60%
You COULD master each recipe. If you actually CAN is the problem…

OVERALL: 64%
We think it’s about time for Mama to add a bit of spice into her cooking.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
BETTER THAN: Spider-man: Web of Shadows, 55%
WORSE THAN: Guinness World Records: The Videogame, 77%
WAIT FOR: the next DS Cooking Mama
BEST PRICE: £24.99, Play.com

Reviews Round Up – GamesMaster 210

OUT: MARCH 09, PRICE: £29.99, DEV: MISTWALKER, PUB: IGNITION, PLAYERS: 1

BLUE DRAGON PLUS – DS

Good news! You don’t have to be a Blue Dragon nut to enjoy this DS incarnation. Within an hour, you’ll be brought up to speed thanks to some eye-popping full motion video and handy character bios. Blue Dragon Plus is a tactical RPG in the mould of Final Fantasy Tactics, you’ll move your huge team of recognisable characters (Shu, Zola, Szabo et al) around an isometric grid with your stylus as you try and figure out just how Nene came back to life. It isn’t very accessible for beginners as something like Dragon Quest (see opposite), and battles aren’t as strategic as they should be due to sheer volume of foes on screen, but it’s a solid entry for hardcore fans.

JUDGEMENT: 81%

A risky direction for the series to head in, but a surprisingly successful RPG.

01_bluedragonplus1CAPTION: Like Final Fantasy 4, the FMV on the DS is so impressive, a real sight to behold.

02_bluedragonplusCAPTION: Battling in real time can be tough when there’s so much happening at once.

OUT: NOW, PRICE: £24.99, DEV: GAMMICK ENTERTAINMENT, PUB: DEEP SILVER, PLAYERS: 1

ELITE FORCES: UNIT 77 – DS

Remember Commandos? Elite Forces has a similar premise; you take control of a unit of four soldiers with specific skills (demolitions, sniper, electronics expert and tank), and have to defeat modern day terrorism using only your stylus. Sadly, this draw is also its most concerning flaw. Best-case scenario, your team is bunched together on screen and you’re trying to escape another enemy onslaught. Scenery could get in the way, or you unintentionally select a different character and perish, or shoot a nearby barrel instead, killing your enemies and vaporising your team, too. Distant checkpoints don’t help, but the strategy gets admittedly more fun further in, when vehicles are introduced. The stylus frustrations, sadly, can’t be ignored.

JUDGEMENT: 62%

Fiddly stylus controls all too often get in the way of a great DS idea that had plenty of potential. Maybe next time, eh?

01_eliteforcesCAPTION: There’s no way to defend or evade attacks. Send in team ‘Sitting Duck’.

02_eliteforces

CAPTION: Vehicles are a hoot to drive. When they feel like moving, that is…

OUT: NOW, PRICE: £24.99, DEV: ARC SYSTEM WORKS, PUB: 505 GAMES, PLAYERS: 1-2

BATTLE FANTASIA – 360, PS3

Looks wise, Battle Fantasia’s on a par with Eternal Sonata – it’s impossible not to fall in love with, let alone ignore its sweet, cel-shaded fighters and utterly bonkers character design. As a fighter though, Fantasia doesn’t cut the mustard. The pedestrian pace and lack of attacking options betray the individuality shown in the flamboyant graphics, while the bare-bones options of Story Mode and Arcade Mode quickly turn into a gruelling slog. It isn’t as rewarding a long time investment as Arc SystemWorks’s Guilty Gear offerings – even playing alongside a like-minded mate – and you’ll have little call to return after completing Story Mode a few times. Pretty, then, but ultimately all mouth and no trousers…

JUDGEMENT: 64%

Maybe worth a dip if you’re a fighting novice – but why play this when you could be playing the incredible Street Fighter 4?.

01_fantasia

CAPTION: Quirky characters are all well and good, but Watson the rabbit? We say ‘No!’.

02_fantasiaCAPTION: Despite the sluggish pace, the visuals are pure, cel-shaded eye candy.

OUT: NOW, PRICE: £24.99, DEV: IN-HOUSE, PUB: SQUARE ENIX, PLAYERS: 1

DRAGON QUEST V: THE HAND OF THE HEAVENLY BRIDE – DS

Originally on SNES, but never released in Europe, Square Enix have given role-player Dragon Quest V a complete overhaul and released it on DS. With the 3D graphical revamp, its enormous overworld, charming script and storyline that spans three generations (including the option to marry and start a family), Dragon Quest is one of the most absorbing handheld titles of 2009. There’s a lot of initial grinding to do, and the story doesn’t really spark until about five hours in, but this slow-burn works in its favour as you get to grips with the game’s size. It isn’t an update on the scale of Final Fantasy IV, nor is it as immediate in its intentions, but it’s a worthy rival for your affections.

JUDGEMENT: 88%

Well worth your time, Hand of the Heavenly Bride is an excellent DS RPG.

01_dragonquest1CAPTION: Character battle animations are beautiful and fluid, it’s all part of Quest’s charm.

01_dragonquest2CAPTION: The world map is enormous. You’ll be travelling more than the Hairy Bikers.

We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster Issue 210

We want your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business

This month, EA gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse as we were allowed to chat to the Producer of The Godfather II.

GM: Hi Joel, tell us about your role on The Godfather II.

Joel: I’m Joel Wade and I’m the Senior Producer for The Godfather II. The fun meaty part of my job is working with the game designers, artists, and engineers and acting as an “editor” for all their creative brilliance. I try to keep the entire game in mind, and focus the team on what I think gamers will appreciate the most.

GM: Is working with games as fun as it sounds? How long have you been in gaming?

Joel: I’m going on 15 years, from kid’s games to racing to first-person shooters. It really is fun; having a meeting about how it should feel to “virtually” strangle someone isn’t something most people get to do. Make no mistake, however… it’s a tremendous amount of work. Loving the games is the key to surviving in this business.

GM: What stresses are involved with working with a license like The Godfather?

Joel: Dealing with such a beloved license definitely has its share of stresses. Many people consider it one of the finest works of American cinema ever produced and, unfortunately, a subset of them feel it a sacrilege to extend that into another medium. Fortunately, there are also some really supportive fans who are very interested in carving out their own stories in the rich, Godfather universe.

GM: Is delving into your darker side when making a crime game a necessity?

Joel: In some ways it is. I’m really not a psychopath, but I do enjoy playing one for a little while. Realizing that I can enjoy the fantasy of extorting a racket owner in the game world, and still be a nice, stable person outside of the game is critical.

GM: Any tips for youngsters looking to get into the industry?

Joel: Passion is the first step, but the easiest one in many ways. Flexibility is important as well. Great ideas are one thing, but working with others to execute on those ideas is the hard part. And finally, be persistent! I took my first boss out to lunch every month for a year before he finally relented and gave me a job.

joel_wade_at_deskCAPTION: “Look at all those stimulants! What are you, a schmuck on wheels?”

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1) My three drugs of choice – sugar, caffeine, and Jack Daniel’s.

2) My signed Heidi Klum shot from my 007 days…. sigh.

3) My girlfriend- a nice, healthy reminder of “real” life beyond the games.

4) Headphones – when you really need to get something done fast.

5) The Don – Reminding me to always plan your moves before executing them.

We Really Love Games! – GamesMaster 210

WE REALLY LOVE GAMES!

YOU THOUGHT YOU LOVED GAMES?

These folks have taken it all too far!

This Month: Lauren Swingle tells us about her clay cufflink collection. See them over at http://tinyurl.com/6cefp5

GM: The detail on these is incredible. How painstaking was it?

The first time I make anything new, it’s pretty tedious, but after that… well, actually every pair is pretty tedious! There’s definitely an initial period of trial and error as I figure out how to make each item in the most efficient way possible.

GM: Have you worn them in public yet? What’s the reaction?

My husband wears my various gamer cufflinks to work, and I am always wearing a pair as earrings. We get lots of compliments and it’s a neat way to connect with fellow gamers.

GM: Any more game related wears? How about a Gears of War cummerbund?

No cummerbunds yet. Other than cufflinks I offer keychains, wine charms, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and figurines, many of which are different video game related pieces.

GM: What consoles and games light your fire?

I like all platforms, but as a child of the 80’s, I’m particularly fond of my “old-school” NES. Some of my best-selling pieces are actually the NES game cartridge cufflinks and the NES controller cufflinks.

GM: Finally, what are you up to at the moment?

I’m always trying to think of new things to add to my shop. In my spare time, I love to play with my golden retriever, Leela, and am currently working my way through Resident Evil 4 on my PS2. (I know, I know, I’m a little behind the times!)

GM: Many thanks, Lauren!

01_laurenCAPTION: Lauren shows off some of her best cufflinks!

02_laurenCAPTION: Golden NES Zelda cartridges? Lauren really pours love into her project.

REALLY LOVE GAMES?

Send us your pics to You Thought You Loved Games? GamesMaster, Future Publishing Ltd., 30 Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 2BW and you could be featured in the pages of GM!

Overlord II Preview – GamesMaster 210

OUT: 2009, DEV: TRIUMPH STUDIOS, PUB: CODEMASTERS, PLAYERS: TBC, ONLINE: TBC,

OVERLORD II – PS3, 360, PC,

STRAP: Strike back at the Empire in the expanded world of this fantasy sequel!

We loved Overlord (83%). It played a bit like Pikmin, only on ground level. A third-person action RTS that replaced Nintendo’s vegetable men with angry, dirty little minions. This sequel puts you in the shoes of a new antichrist as you try to make a nearby Roman Empire see sense before they mercilessly remove every kind of magical creature from the plains.

We’ve been promised a new set of races to command, from Gnomes to Elves, as well as the gremlin-like hordes from the first game. You can also name underlings, and should you get attached to one that goes on to die, you can resurrect it in the graveyard. With a larger and more detailed overworld, the scope’s been increased significantly. So you could say we’re ‘Over-joyed’ to see this return!

BOXOUT 1:

MINIONS

Overlord II features a revamped minion AI. Rumours are circulating that they’ll be smart enough to pilot vehicles which should bring a whole new level of chaos to the game…

01_01_overlordCAPTION: Ready for action, our minions gleefully charge towards the populated empire.

01_02_overlordCAPTION: Look at that fat, greedy Caesar. He’ll make a fine feast for our minions.

MOST WANTED RATING: 4

The original was an imaginative, yet sadly-overlooked little treasure. Triumph have taken that template and expanded the game world, tweaked some of its weaker areas and given it some polish.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings Preview – GamesMaster 210

OUT: SPRING 2009, DEVELOPER: A2M, PUBLISHER: LUCASARTS, WEB: http://www.lucasarts.com/games/indianajones/, PLAYERS: 1

INDIANA JONES AND THE STAFF OF KINGS – Wii, DS, PSP, PS2

STRAP: You just can’t get the staff these days…

If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice ‘Indiana Jones’ always features on the Coming Soon bit of our Charts page. Quite what’s happened to that particular game is anyone’s guess because, oddly, this game is a completely new, hitherto unseen Indy adventure, for the Wii and PS2.

Recent rumblings in the air point to a spring release for this latest adventure, and as the title suggests, he’s after the Staff of Kings. Set in 1939, our hero has to outfox old foe Magnus Völler to get his hands on it first. Said staff apparently belonged to Moses so it’ll no doubt have the power to level entire cities or unleash biblical curses – which is why Hitler and his cronies are pulling out all the stops to get it. A third-person adventure, Indy will leave no stone unturned as he travels around exotic and danger-filled locales such as Panama and Chinatown.

NAZI BUSINESS…

Designed for PS2 and Wii, we have to admit it doesn’t look particularly pretty at the moment. Luckily for Indy though, he looks like Harrison Ford circa 1980 as opposed to his recent Crystal Skull outing. Still, as this is LucasArts we’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But we have another worry, too: One of its main draws is that you use the Wii-mote to control Indy’s whip, which as we well know could turn out either way.

However, we have been promised a four player battle royale including bi-planes and tanks as well as cinematic treasures such as the Temple of Doom mine-cart ride and even a wild elephant chase. We’re fervently hoping the game recaptures these Indy glory days, and isn’t annoying and frustrating like Short Round.

BOXOUT 1:

Wii-WHIP

Using the Wii-mote to crack your whip? It sounds too good to be true. Although if LucasArts nail it, it’ll raise the bar for other gesture-based games…

screenhunter_01-mar-11-11262CAPTION: All those circles indicate something to whip.

screenhunter_02-mar-11-11271CAPTION: We hope it’s accurate though, If these tombs are full of traps…

screenhunter_03-mar-11-11271

CAPTION: …We’ll need fast reflexes if we accidentally set one off!

screenhunter_04-mar-11-11291CAPTION:The Wiimote-based whipping action should be brilliant fun. But as this month’s review of Castlevania Judgement proves, that’s not always the case.

MOST WANTED RATING: 3

So far all we’ve seen are screenshots but, given how nice Lara’s adventures have looked on Wii we were hoping that it would look a little nicer. Still, we’ll wait until our first play to judge…

GM Most Wanted Games – GamesMaster 210

GM MOST WANTED GAMES

The ones making us dribble with excitement!

01: RED DEAD REDEMPTION – PS3, 360, OUT: AUTUMN 2009

WHAT IS IT?: The sequel to Red Dead Revolver, Rockstar are taking us back to an open-world Wild West in the boots of beleaguered John Marston. Yeehaw!

WHY WE WANT IT: Playing as a dangerous vigilante, bringing law to the lawless, dustbowl, American badlands? Bedder git yer hat, pardner…

01_redemption2

02: GOD OF WAR 3 – PS3, OUT: 2009

WHAT IS IT?: Kratos has unfinished business, and is determined to get his vengeance on the glorious HD battleground of PS3.

WHY WE WANT IT: The trailer is jaw-dropping stuff. If those visuals are in-game graphics then this’ll complete one mother of a trilogy.

02_godofwar1

03: DEAD RISING 2 – PS3, 360, OUT: 2009

WHAT IS IT?: The sequel to the Frank West’s mall outing, starring a mysterious blonde hero battling for his life in a zombie infected Las Vegas.

WHY WE WANT IT: Have you seen the new weapons? They include roulette wheels and even a giant gladiator ball. Las Vegas is also a brilliant idea for a setting.

03_deadrising1

04: NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT – PS3, 360, PC, PSP, OUT: AUTUMN 2009

WHAT IS IT?: Next up in the Need for Speed franchise is Shift, which is rumoured to have real racers from Dubai helping develop it for that authentic experience.

WHY WE WANT IT: The visuals are awesome. EA needs to clean up NFS’s act after the disastrous Undercover. From what we’ve seen of Shift though, things are looking up.

04_needforspeed1

05: JUST CAUSE 2 – PC, PS3, 360, OUT: MID-2009

WHAT IS IT?: Rico Rodriguez is leaping from his plane to cause more mayhem, this time, parachuting onto the unsuspecting South Asian island of Panau.

WHY WE WANT IT: Messing around on a huge island was a real thrill in the first one. With 1,000sq km to explore and bigger weapons, who knows what the sequel can achieve?

05_justcause1

06: UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES – PS3, OUT: 2009

WHAT IS IT?: Naughty Dog are putting us back in Nathan Drake’s shoes as we go on the hunt for more treasure. This time, we’re on the trail of Marco Polo…

WHY WE WANT IT: The first Uncharted didn’t need much polishing to be a stellar game, if Naughty Dog tighten things up for the sequel, this could be a Tomb Raider beater.

06_uncharted1

07: BAYONETTA – PS3, 360, OUT: EARLY 2009

WHAT IS IT?: Sega’s tale of an ancient witch with completely over the top powers has similarities to Devil May Cry. Bring a towel to wipe up all the blood.

WHY WE WANT IT: Come on, the lead character is a witch with guns on her ankles. We’re interested to see what this femme fatale can bring to the action world.

07_bayonetta1

08: BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM – PS3, PC, 360, OUT: SUMMER 2009

WHAT IS IT?: Eidos’s stunning comic inspired Batman game features the voice of Mark Hammill, and will surely help us get over having no Dark Knight game…

WHY WE WANT IT: The atmosphere is intense, the developers have done a grade-A job of creating a living breathing Arkham. We can’t wait to be the bat.

batmanjokerchoke1

09: STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE – 360, OUT: 2009

WHAT IS IT?: An exclusive 360 RPG that expands the Star Ocean universe. Set after World War III, you’re charged with finding humanity a new home amongst the stars.

WHY WE WANT IT: Square Enix is in charge, and Star Ocean is a brilliant series. Real time battles the chance to explore countless planets should make this a real winner.

star_ocean_the_last_hope__2_1

10: DANTE’S INFERNO – OUT: 2009

WHAT IS IT?: What an idea. This game is based off the poem ‘The Divine Comedy’ by Dante, where you descend through the Christian Hell in pursuit of your lover, Beatrice. Brilliant.

WHY WE WANT IT: Made by the folks who brought us Dead Space, you just know this’ll be scary. Imagine, descending through the nine layers of Hell and fighting Satan himself. We can’t wait…

dantesinferno_screenshot41

F.E.A.R. 2 Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 209

We want your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business!

F.E.A.R. 2 is creeping up on us soon; we talk to Dave Matthews about how he keeps his bowels in check:

GM: So, Mr. Matthews, tell us what you do on F.E.A.R. 2

Dave: I am the Primary Art Lead on F.E.A.R. 2. Throughout the project, I have done many things ranging from UI, to AI Design, Scheduling, Combat design, FX and many other things, ultimately I am responsible for the delivery of Art in F.E.A.R. 2.I think our art team is pretty badass, and I think it shows in F.E.A.R. 2.

GM: Is there such a thing as a typical day when doing all these jobs?

Dave: I spend a lot of time keeping everyone moving forward, this means working with other departments like design, or engineering, marketing, Who ever might need art assets. I try to break down the walls so that we can do our jobs better. Ultimately I do whatever is best for the team, which means each day can brings new things to tackle.

GM: What influences help make you make F.E.A.R. 2 such a supernatural Pandora’s box?

Dave: In F.E.A.R. 2 we started looking to other influences, so you’ll start to see hints of ideas that came from the Russian films like Daywatch and Nightwatch, or some of the newer psychological/horror films out of the US. We really look for moments in films that create an emotional trigger, and then we try to recreate scenarios that will elicit that same trigger.

GM: What improvements can the gaming public expect from other F.E.A.R. titles?

Dave: The horror is still very much a focal point of the game, and much like combat, we have added variety to that facet of the experience. You have to remember that great scary moments require pacing and build up, without that all those tricks in the bag, the scares will start to feel repetitive and expected. With the addition of these various aspects of combat and scares to our already existing palette, we can create a new stratum of experience to show the evolution in F.E.A.R. 2 from F.E.A.R.

GM: Any tips for hard workers looking to enter the development world?

Dave: Never give up… I’ve been in the industry for over 16 years and that seems to be one of the largest traits that I see in people working in the industry. It’s a great industry to work in, it is incredibly rewarding, but it requires hard work and a bountiful amount of dedication. If that sounds like you, send me your CV!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

davematthewsCAPTION: Notice the toothpaste under the monitor? We only interview those with the pearliest whites here at GM

01: My weapons and Range Papers. These remind me we are making an over the top shooter

02: Ipod. Music will be my muse throughout the day.

03: Happy Holidays Barbie Action Figure. Levity making scary action games requires a little levity.

04: The Rooster or cocque…reminds me if our Culture of Quality (coq) always trying to maintain a specific standard of quality.

05: Reindeer Head. Having a reindeer head in your office just sets things askew.

Official UK Chart – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 208

UK Top 10 Games Chart

Call of Duty blasts its way to the top of the chart, while Resistance 2 crawls into the top 10…

GM uses ChartTrack – the only chart officially recognised by the UK software industry. Get the top 10 in GM every month!


1 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR – 360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS, PS2 – ACTIVISION – XX%

2 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER- DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 – EA – XX%

3 FIFA 09 – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 – EA – XX%

4 MARIO KART WII – Wii – NINTENDO – XX%

5 DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING – DS – NINTENDO – XX%

6 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 – PC, PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, Wii – KONAMI – XX%

7 TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, X360 – EIDOS – XX%

8 WII PLAY – Wii – NINTENDO – XX%

9 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR – PS3, Wii, X360, PS2 – ACTIVISION – XX%

10 RESISTANCE 2 – PS3 – SONY – XX%

kawashima1
CAPTION: “Hohoho! All herald my return to the top 10, weak brained, foolish mortals…”

01: CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

Well, World at War has certainly proved the Modern Warfare naysayer’s wrong as gamers show that taking the leap back to WWII isn’t a problem for them at all. With its new breed of multiplayer and interesting co-op campaign, World at War deserves this month’s top spot.

worldatwarCAPTION: Mnyaaaaaow…. BOOM… Ratatatatatat… Playground war sounds are still the best.

03: FIFA 09

Illustrating the fall from grace suffered by PES, Fifa 09 continues to beat it in the charts. Has the fact that EA uses official licenses got anything to do with it? Or is it the excellent ‘Be a Pro’ mode? Either way, Fifa rides high in third spot, pushing PES down to sixth.

cechCAPTION: “WHO ARE YA? WHO ARE YA?” Oh, it’s Peter Cech. Our mistake, the head gear threw us…

08: WII PLAY
We call it the Christmas effect. How else can you explain Wii Play lasting so long in the chart? It’s opened up a new world in the casual market, but when we see Gears of War 2 fall out the top 10, then isn’t something terribly wrong?

wiiplayCAPTION: Wii Play is, amazingly, on its 93rd consecutive week in the charts. Are we missing something?

JAPAN CHARTS

The excellent Chrono Trigger update gets the recognition it deserves in its home country and even 360 makes an appearance…

1: Machi e Ikouyo: Doubutsu no Mori – Wii

2: Chrono Trigger – DS

3: Kidou Senshi Gundam: Gundam Vs. Gundam – PSP

4: Last Remnant – 360

5: Saka-Tsuku DS: Touch and Direct – DS

US CHARTS

The Wii dominates the American chart this month, as the Yanks try to burn off ol’ Momma Mae’s apple pie.

1: Wii Sports – Wii

2: Wii Fit – Wii

3: Call of Duty: World at War – 360

4: New Super Mario Bros – DS

5: Wii Play – Wii

WATCH OUT FOR…

The future’s bright; the future’s these gems…

THIS MONTH
ALAN WAKE – PC, 360

Zzz… What the… we told you to wake us up when it was out. Is it really released this month??

awake

NEXT MONTH
STREET FIGHTER IV – PC, 360, PS3

It’s here, we’re finally going to be able to jam it into our consoles and never let it out! This is the next gen fighter you’re waiting for.

streetfighter
FUTURE

DUKE NUKEM FOREVER – PC

Hail to the King, baby! Old balls of steel’s return is coming ever closer, we can’t wait to see how Duke’s aged.

nukem

HEED OUR WARNING: Here at GM we endeavour to bring you the most accurate release dates around. But the games industry is a fickle beast so bear in mind that the info above is constantly on the move. If it doesn’t come out when we say it does, blame someone else!

CheatMaster Boxouts – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 208

GREATEST CHEATS EVER!

FAR CRY – (PC)

PUBLISHER – UBISOFT

YEAR OF RELEASE – 2004

Far Cry 2 is giving us hours of enjoyment, so much so that a brilliant cheat from the very first game popped into our head when playing the other day. Whilst most cheats on current games equate to lazily entering a code for a quick health boost or to unlock an armoury the size of Sellafield, Ubisoft reminded us how fun cheats can actually be, highlighted by this hoot in the original Far Cry for PC. If you’re bored enough to jump in a buggy and drive it somewhere really unsafe (some stairs, for instance) then a pig will trot along, jump in the buggy, reverse to the nearest road and park. If you were daft enough to get in his way, then no mercy was shown and the pig would run you over. Probably because your surname was Carver…

farcrypig

CAPTION: Die, pig! Swine’s shouldn’t command powerful 4X4’s, it just aint right…

SPOILER!

MIRROR’S EDGE – 360, PS3, PC

Don’t have the faith to get to the end? Read what happens here with a mirror…

Faith reaches the top of the Shard only to be confronted by Jackknife, who has handcuffed Kate. Explaining that Project Icarus is intended, by Callaghan to eliminate all the city’s runners, he boards the helicopter with Kate, mocking Faith. Faith charges at the helicopter and swings inside, kicking Jackknife to his doom. The helicopter starts to spin uncontrollably, throwing Kate onto the edge of the building, where Faith leaps out and catches her before she plummets to the ground. They both stand up and hug, looking into the sunset whilst a voiceover during the credits announces that both have gone missing and are now wanted criminals…

screenhunter_01-feb-16-1251

YOUTUBE SOLUTION
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnMRacUWmEU

DEAD SPACE: KILLING THE LEVIATHAN – 360
After papping our pants in fear on Dead Space, we headed straight over to Youtube to help us kill one of the most fearful beasties we’ve come across in ages. The Leviathan. Follow user SgtStrungOut as he stocks up his armoury and shows us how to kill this tentacle-limbed terror without running away like a space-suited chicken.

deadspace1deadspace2deadspace3deadspace4

CONSOLETATION ZONE

GM – Coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

FALLOUT 3 – 360, PS3, PC

Hi GamesMaster,

I’m a bit bored traipsing around the wasteland in Fallout 3. My friend told me that there is a load of super sized mutants to hunt down and kill in game, is this true? Where can I find them?

Muhammad Baker, Leicester

Sure Muhammad, we can help. What you’re looking for are appalling monstrosities called Behemoths, it’s wise to get yourself at a very high level before taking them on. There’s five to be exact, their locations are:

Galaxy News Radio:

Quest related, it’ll crash through the wall as you enter the area.

Evergreen Mills:
By Vault 112, destroy the electric enclosure to make it escape.

Capitol Building:
Head in the West entrance and find an alternate route to the main room.

Takoma Industrial:
East of the GNR building, it’s hanging around by a bunch of crushed cars.

Jury Station:

Head out west to all the wrecked train cars and take the teddy bear from the trolley.

Our weapon of choice? The minigun. Good luck!

consoletation1

CAPTION: VATS life! Tackle these monsters with Fallout’s excellent combat options.

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR – PS3, 360, PC

To GamesMaster,
Do you have a cheat/tricks for games ps3 call of duty world at war? If you have, plez tell me more. Thanx for the answer.
Jimmyen69, via email

Here’s a tip, Jimmy, learn the art of letter writing! We’ll be kind in this instance, and assume those pesky Nazi’s on World at War have turned your brain to mush. One funky tip we’ve come across is when you finish the main game, a new mode called Zombie mode, where you have to survive for as long as possible against a horde of rampaging zombie’s! Also, if you head over to the random weapon chest, a Ray gun will have lovingly been left within.

consoletation3CAPTION: Feeling’ hot, hot, hot. There’ better ways to spend your holiday, you know…

GOT A PROBLEM? STUCK IN A GAME?
WE CAN HELP! EMAIL IT TO US AT GAMESMASTERTIPS@FUTURENET.CO.UK, SUBJECT CONSOLETATION OR WRITE TO CONSOLETATION ZONE, GAMESMASTER, 30 MONMOUTH STREET, BATH, BA1 2BW. IF WE CAN’T HELP – YOU’VE HAD IT!

We Really Love Games! – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 208

WE REALLY LOVE GAMES

YOU THOUGHT YOU LOVED GAMES? THESE FOLKS HAVE TAKEN IT ALL TOO FAR!

This month, Janis Stevenson’s lovingly crafted DS Gameboy pouches! Check them out at http://tinyurl.com/67clur.

GM: A Gameboy within a Gameboy. Genius! How did you come up with the idea?

I was brainstorming new pouch ideas and it just popped into my head. I started with the original and a customer gave me the idea for the colour.  The original is my personal favourite; I like that it could be mistaken for a real Gameboy!

GM: How long do these pouches take to make? Is it awkward?

Each pouch takes about an hour and a half total. Now that I’ve made around 300 pouches, the process is pretty streamlined and comes second nature to me. The hand sewing takes the most time and effort. Needle pricks and sore fingers are part of the job.

GM: Any other gaming goodness in your head? What are the plans for the next project?

The Wiimote is always in my head, but I haven’t worked that one out yet. I’d like to make a pouch for DS accessories and game cartridges. Maybe a Wiimote shaped cartridge case or a pouch that looks like the Gameboy advance could be next.

GM: Is pocket gaming your only passion?

I’m always finding something different to make. I love Halloween. Costumes, decorations, candy. It gets me in a lot of trouble! I always have time for Zelda, it seems like I’m always waiting for a new Zelda game to come out. They don’t make them fast enough.

GM: Finally, what are you up to at the moment?

I’m sewing everyday! Pouches aside, I am trying to finish a Megaman quilt that I started in February. It gets pushed to the back burner when I get swamped with orders, but I hope to have it done soon. I just beat Fable 2, I’m still working on the achievements, though.

GM: Thanks, Janis!

gbpouch1CAPTION: Hard working Janis makes them all the colours of the rainbow.

gbpouch2CAPTION: Gameboys through the ages. Which one would you rather play, though?

janisCAPTION: Janis, proving the best way to rest sewing pains is to play on your Gameboy!

REALLY LOVE GAMES?

Send us your pics to You Thought You Loved Games? GamesMaster, Future Publishing Ltd, 30 Monmouth St, Bath, BA1 2BW and you could be featured in the pages of GM!

Skate 2 Developer Interview: GamesMaster Magazine Issue 208

We want your job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

This month, we’ve got out our skateboards out in an effort to be cool, doing ollies and being all gnarly and everything. With this in mind, we talked to Simon Roper, who’s helping to make Skate 2.

01: Hi Simon, tell us about your role on Skate 2.

I work in various areas of the game with engineering. Right now my focus is with presentation as I’m the front-end lead on Skate 2.

02: Sounds tough! Tell us about your typical day at work.

Is there such a thing as a typical day? The work involved varies immensely over the course of the project; right now we’re at the end of Skate 2 and wrapping it up. Copious amounts of coffee, coding, emails and bug-fixing are the order of the day – it’s an intense part of the project but it’s fab seeing it all come together….

03: Tony Hawk has obviously dominated for so long, so Skate was a welcome surprise. How are you planning on moving skating forward?

With Skate 2, the game pushes the engine we created and improves every aspect of the original Skate. There’s double the bag of tricks, 60 FPS, more challenges, new modes and much more. What people can do on a skateboard in real-life is crazy enough, and the bar continues to be raised for what we can incorporate into a game.

04: Is a background in skating essential? Do you hang around skate parks and jot down notes?

Nope, never stood on a skateboard in my life! There are some incredibly dedicated and passionate people around the team whose life revolves around the sport and that’s the key on pushing the game in the right direction. If you stare hard enough you may see the odd skate pro walking through the office…

05: Lastly, any tips on sneaking into the gaming industry?

Passion and enthusiasm are key, as is a smattering of common sense. It’s pretty much the foundation upon which everything else feeds off. When I was younger back in the 8-bit era, I wrote to a few coders on some of the big titles back then and I actually got some replies. I was well chuffed and it inspired me to keep trying!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

01: My St Paddy’s day hat – reminds me of enjoying the odd beer or twelve. I like my beer…

02: Coffee – I can’t live without it since moving out to Vancouver

03: Danny Way Skateboard, signed by the maestro himself for working on the original Skate.

04: A random plant – I like to my bit for the environment here and there.

05: An oversized tennis ball. No idea why but its kinda fun.

wwyj208CAPTION: THE WRITE STUFF. Simon’s advice? “There’s no harm in writing to a company or a person directly if you’re really keen. You never know what may happen…”

Review: Final Fantasy Fables Chocobo’s Dungeon – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 207

OUT: NOW, PRICE: £29.99, DEV: SQUARE ENIX, PUB: SQUARE ENIX, ONLINE: YES, SPECIAL: TWO-PLAYER WIFI MODE, WEB: NA.SQUARE-ENIX.COM/FFFCD/, PLAYERS: 1

BEST BIT!
bestbit1CAPTION: Levelling up the different jobs is a welcome break from the Mystery Dungeon formulae!

FINAL FANTASY FABLES: CHOCOBO’S DUNGEON – Wii
STRAP: Chocobo serves up a real tweet…

Square Enix have been pretty cute with the title here as Chocobo’s Dungeon is, in fact, a Mystery Dungeon game. You should be familiar with them by now, randomly generated dungeons centred around a village hub amid searing, back breaking difficulty. Surprisingly though, Chocobo’s Dungeon works very well. It has a smattering of Final Fantasy nods with enemies like Cacatur’s and even a Cid, whilst a unique job system has been included, though we question the wisdom of only being able to select a job at the start of a dungeon and not switch throughout.

There are downsides to Chocobo. The randomly generated dungeons are all terribly similar meaning boredom will creep in on your visit to the fiftieth brown labyrinth, and the clammy hand of frustration will grab your shoulder when you come across an enemy unfairly stronger than you on the sixth floor, killing you and losing everything you’ve collected. The luke-warm story is told via tedious, patronising cutscenes and betrays the tough Role-Playing game mechanics, making Chocobo tough to love.

Still, it isn’t as painful as other Mystery Dungeon visits. You won’t lose all your levels when you die for instance, and there’s the opportunity to grind and level up the various jobs. Dungeons can have variety with fun challenges such as level restrictions and status handicaps, and there are other distractions in the way of online card battles and side-quests. Though unashamedly fan service, it’s a great starting point for those curious of how Mystery Dungeon works.

BOX 1
chocobo1CAPTION: Moogle’s make an appearance and help guide you on your quest!

BOX 2
chocobo2CAPTION: Although cute, Chocobo will constantly get his goose cooked.

BOX 3
chocobo3CAPTION: This bell is the problem; it keeps stealing the villager’s memories…

JUDGEMENT
GRAPHICS: 68%
Overly bright, fluffy and colourful, though disappointingly Dreamcast era.

GAMEPLAY: 75%
A quirky and unique RPG for Wii, but can get very repetitive at times.

LIFESPAN: 79%
Levelling up jobs and conquering dungeons will keep you coming back for more.

OVERALL:
73%
A great introduction to Mystery Dungeon for newcomers, a competent rent for others.

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
BETTER THAN: Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked!
WORSE THAN: Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City (PIC: animal1.jpg)
WAIT FOR: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (TBA)
BEST PRICE: £24.99, Play.com

———————————————————————————————–

Batman: Arkham Asylum Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 207

WE WANT YOUR JOB!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business!

We were invited on a day trip this month to take in the beauty of Arkham Asylum. There, chained up to the wall and screaming for help was Jamie Walker. We tortured him until he told us the juiciest parts of Batman’s latest outing:

I am the Studio Director, and also one of the owners, of Rocksteady. My role involves running the studio on a day-to-day basis and I am involved in the art, production, motion-capture and cinematic departments.

02: How much study and work went into getting Studio Director? Tell us about the path you took before joining Rocksteady.

I went to art and film school in Kent before starting my career as a 3D artist. I then moved into Production Management but have kept up my involvement in the creative parts of making games as that is what I really enjoy. It’s a nice balance of artistic and production roles.

03: Is it satisfying adding your own personal touch to something with a rich history like Batman? How creative can you get?

We have been able to be very creative and Warner and DC have been excellent to work with. We have reached in deep to the universe of Batman and made sure we are making a game the fans will really appreciate as a legitimate Batman title. Whilst working closely with Warner, Eidos and DC, we have designed some amazing secrets in the game which no one is expecting!

04: What kind of tools do you use on the job, and how difficult are they to pick up? How different are they from the tools used in everyday art?

In production and management, experience and common sense are what is needed most. In art and design we use a mixture of Photoshop, Z brush, 3DS Max and Unreal 3. Some of these are specialist tools built just for games. Most of the art and design tools have downloadable versions that you can try out.

05: Any tips for young creative types looking to get into the gaming world?

The games industry is very creative and we are always looking for talented young stars to join us. A strong portfolio of design or art is the best thing to get your foot in the door. Your CV should be interesting too – tell us about yourself and what you want to do. And be persistent! Don’t give up, and you will eventually land a great job.

Tools of the Trade:

01: Scott: Our trusty assistant producer! (*On the right of pic)

02: Peopleware: a great book about teams.

03: Coffee: for the long nights.

04: Xbox: A vital tool of the trade.

05: Batman Comics: A healthy source of inspiration.

arkham1CAPTION: We had a joke lined up about Scott being a tool of the trade, but then we looked in the mirror…

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GamesMaster Magazine Issue 207 – CheatMaster Boxouts

INTRO

Good God, Christmas already? We’d best get started then, quick, load up the sack of games with the biggest titles of 2008 and give it to Santa. Wait, we’ve capitalised the words God and Santa, does that mean that ol’ Chris Cringle is now a deity? He is in the eyes of many gamers who are undeniably spoiled this year with such a fine selection of games, and our mouths are watering at the prospect of tucking into these turkey sized feasts and pulling the cheats out of them like giblets. We wish you a merry Christmas here at CheatMaster, and a happy New Year!

GREATEST CHEATS EVER!

BANJO-KAZOOIE (N64)

YEAR OF RELEASE – 1998

PUBLISHER – Nintendo

With a brand new Banjo game doing the rounds, we thought we would reminisce on one of the strangest cheats of all. Head into the code menu on Banjo-Kazooie and type in ‘WISHYWASHYBANJO’ to turn the beefy bear into a washing machine, killing all around by firing underpants and socks at them. Rare thought they would be sneaky though and implemented a kind of cheat failsafe device. Use more than two cheats in the game and Grunty would delete all of the saved Banjo files from your memory card, the miserable old cow…

banjo_1CAPTION: Nice to see you’ve been busy in ten years old chum, swiping picnic baskets and the like…

YOUTUBE SOLUTION

CALL OF DUTY 4 – 360, PS3, PC

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FbYXV0UivpM

For our first Youtube Solution, we’re going to show you how to get one of the hardest achievements in modern gaming, finishing Mile High Club on Call of Duty 4, Veteran mode. Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, watch where to use your flash bangs and where to take cover in your quest to save the un-named hostage!

cod_1cod_2cod_3cod_4

SPOILER!
GEARS OF WAR 2 – 360

Losing the Light mass bomb is the least of Marcus’ problems as when the helicopter lifts him off the Brumak, it starts to mutate into a huge ugly mess. The team takes it down, realising the monster has the same explosive properties as the Wretches. As it blows, the city above collapses and the mountainside crumbles, forcing a huge tidal wave deep into the Earth killing off the remaining Locust and extinguishing the magma. Marcus tries in vain to contact Anya whilst his friends reminisce on their loved and lost, the Locust Queen’s narrative setting us up for Gears of War 3

gow2

YOUR TOP 10 CHEATS

Share your top tips with us, the best one wins a game!

10: MABOSHI – Wii

NEW WALLPAPER

To unlock a new space background wallpaper, collect a million points for Mr. Maboshi. Points you’ve already collected for him if you get Game Over are carried over.

Sean Campbell, via email

09: FRACTURE – PS3, 360

NEW CAMPAIGN SKIN

On the main menu, press Up, Right, Left, Down, Up, Left, Right, Down on the Dpad to unlock a brand new skin for Campaign mode.

Tijn Janssen, via email

fracture1CAPTION: Jet Brody, solving global warming one grenade at a time.

08: BIOSHOCK – PC, PS3, 360

FREE HEALTH

Running low on health? Hit health stations with your wrench to get free health packs.

James Nixon, Stoke on Trent

bioshock1CAPTION: Big Daddies have stomped onto PS3!

07: DEAD SPACE –360, PS3, PC

MORE POWER NODES

Press start in the game and press Y, X, X, X, Y. You’ll now have two more power nodes but beware; you can only do this once per game!

Paul Spangler, Devon

deadspace1CAPTION: We wish there was a cheat to get the stains out of our pants…

06: SPIDER-MAN: WEB OF SHADOWS – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

UNLOCKABLE COSTUMES

Type these codes into the Insert Code option to unlock some new costumes!

VENOM COSTUME

Enter ‘IEATYOURBRAINS’.

MOON KNIGHT COSTUME

Enter ‘CRESTWARRIOR’.

RHINO COSTUME

Enter ‘MASSIVEHORN’.

Ralph Cerar, via email

spiderman1CAPTION: Use our cheats to unlock this hulking behemoth of a… er… Rhino?

05: LITTLEBIGPLANET – PS3

UNLOCKABLE PROPS

GOOGLY-EYED GLASSES

Complete the Sensei’s Lost Castle level.

PIRATE EYE PATCH

Complete the Level First Steps.

RINGMASTER TOP HAT

Complete The Meerkat Kingdom Level

MOUSTACHE

Finish Burning Forest.

Lauren Dombowsky, Winchester

lbp1CAPTION: Sackboy’s on top of the world in this PS3 smash hit!

04: LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, X360

SECRET CHARACTERS

Enter these codes on the Batcave computer to unlock the corresponding character:

SWAT OFFICER

HTF114

TROPICAL JOKER

CCB199

MAD HATTER

JCA283

MAN BAT

NYU942

Aaron Ferreira, Nottingham

03: FALLOUT 3 – PC, PS3, 360

UNLIMITED HACKING

As computer terminals shut down if you fail a hack after the fourth time, it’s an idea to pull out after the third failed attempt. It will reset the terminal and give you another three chances to get it right.

William Wong, Edinburgh

02: SAINTS ROW 2 – PC, PS3, 360

INFINITE AMMO

Finish the following missions to get infinite weapon ammo:

FUZZ, MISSION SIX (PROJECTS)
Infinite Pistol Ammo

ALL HITMAN LISTS

Infinite Rifle Ammo

SNATCH, LEVEL SIX (DOWNTOWN)

Infinite SMG Ammo

Earnest Vaillencourt, via email

01: FABLE 2 – 360

EASY MONEY

Buy the weapons shop in Bowerstone Old Town and buy a load of weapons from it at a discount. Head to the blacksmith at Bowerstone Market and sell them to him for a tidy profit! Just remember to restock your shop…

Timothy Ham, Greater Manchester

fable1CAPTION: Of course you can’t eat the dog. What kind of cheat request is that?

CONSOLETATION ZONE

GM – Coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

OKAMI – Wii, PS2

Dear GamesMaster
I’m very stuck on Okami because I am looking for the last Canine Warrior and when I go into Kamiki Village the Canine Tracker doesn’t pop up. Why is this happening? Please can you help me, I’m really bad at Okami.
From Max Caffyn-Parsons via E-mail

Don’t worry Max; Okami is a spiritual journey in itself, like a long and winding road. As you mentioned Kamiki, we’re going to assume you mean Chuyabusa, but it turns out that this is actually a clever ruse. Find the Ninja dog Hayabusa who is lying around and pester him until he mentions his hole digging record. Then head to the turnip patch and start digging, keeping the old lady away with an inkfinity stone. Grab the last turnip and take it to Mushi and pester Hayabusa until he reveals his true identity and challenges you to a fight.

okami1CAPTION: We wolf whistled when we saw Okami and still give it a play now and then!

POKEMON DIAMOND – DS

Dear GamesMaster

On Pokemon Diamond, I am stuck on getting the Riolu egg and finding other eggs, and where to find other Pokemon. Hope you can help? Thank you.

Sam and Janet Bonner, via E-mail

What a polite young man, of course we can help! The Riolu egg is on Iron Island, and to get there you will need to beat the fifth gym leader to reach Canclave City. Once there, you can get on the boat at the docks to reach Iron Island and meet Riley who you will need to help through a cave. Then you’ll have to beat some Team Galactic members and Riley will give you the egg (make sure you have an empty space in your party). It’ll take 3,000 steps to hatch and then you’ll be the owner of your very on Riolu!

CAPTIONS:

pokemon1What kind of mum lets their child wander poke-infested streets at 10pm? A bad one, that’s what.pokemon2If only all births were pedometer related…

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Preview Round Up – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 206

AFRO SAMURAI
360, PS3 – FROM: ATARI UK, OUT: JANUARY 2009
Afro Samurai’s visuals look spot on (think an urban Okami) while the combat promises to be anything but button mashing, with the promise of enemy AI being influenced by the surrounding hip hop beat and the ability to chop enemies into thousands of pieces. Developers Namco-Bandai are introducing some fresh ideas for this action romp, we’re waiting to put Afro to the test.
MOST WANTED RATING: 4
Afro could be a new breed of hero. Samuel L. Jackson is providing voice talents, hence the Mature rating, so it isn’t for the faint of heart.
afro
CAPTION: The graphics have seemingly leapt out from the page of this successful Manga series. Expect buckets of blood.

NINETY NINE NIGHTS 2
360 – FROM: MICROSOFT OUT: TBA
Again, borrowing heavily from Dynsaty Warriors fame is Ninety Nine Nights 2. OK, we might not be looking forward to another game of pure hacking and slashing, but early signs aren’t too bad. New developers in the shape of Feelplus-who co-developed Lost Odyssey-are promising to take the series in a much darker direction. Details are thin so, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
MOST WANTED RATING: 2
Probably one for the hardcore fan contingent to keep an eye on, we can’t see Ninety Nine Nights 2 doing anything different to the series.
ninetynine
CAPTION: Ouch. Our thumbs have just healed from Ninety Nine Nights. Can we take another round?

QUANTUM THEORY
PS3 – FROM: TECMO, OUT: 2009
A PS3 exclusive, Quantum Theory is as perplexing as its name suggests. A third-person shooter from Tecmo, it’s uncharted ground for them. Tecmo however are confident they’re on to something with lead character Syd climbing a ‘living tower’ attempting to destroy it. Described as the Japanese Gears of War, details are in short supply, so we’re anticipating a fresh Japanese twist on the genre.
MOST WANTED RATING: 4
An exclusive PS3 shooter can only be a good thing, but Quantum Theory will have to show something new to beat the likes of Gears and Resi 5.
quantum
CAPTION: We’ve been told the environment shifts around in real time in the living tower. Just what the Hell are we getting ourselves in to?

NINJA BLADE
360 – FROM: MICROSOFT, OUT: 2009
It’ll obviously draw similarities to Ninja Gaiden – and rightfully so. Ninja Blade plays very similarly to Ryu’s adventures; we direct Ken around modern Tokyo hacking down all manner of demons and huge bosses in our way with huge weapons and QTEs. It’s all a bit same old at the moment; hopefully it’ll sneak up on us and deliver a killer blow.
MOST WANTED RATING: 3
Developers FromSoftware still have some polishing to do, there are camera issues and slight slowdown to sort out if Ken’s to be the top Ninja in town.
ninja
CAPTION: Ninja Blade is more going for a cinematic feel to try and separate it from other titles in the genre.

R-TYPE DIMENSIONS
360 – FROM: MICROSOFT, OUT:TBA
Due out for Live Arcade, Dimensions shamelessly mashes together the worlds of R-Type I and II and introduces co-op play with the ability to seamlessly shift to a 3D perspective. Thankfully the gameplay has remained unspoiled with bosses looking beautiful, yet menacing. This classic remake should be a leading candidate for your MS points when released.
MOST WANTED RATING: 4
R-Type always makes our ears prick up, and developers Tozai Games are sticking with the formula that made it such a hit in the first place.
rtype
CAPTION: Switching to a 3D view really adds something; it’s on an angle to challenge the most nimble thumbed gamers out there.

RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION
PSP – FROM: SONY, OUT: SPRING 2009
Resistance on PSP is a third-person shooter, making it immediately different from its PS3 incarnations. This makes controlling it on PSP a lot easier than something like Silent Hill: Origins, which will be a help when we’re ducking and diving Chimera in Western Europe. There’s also connectivity with Resistance 2 on PS3, meaning you can ‘infect’ your game to unlock new features!
MOST WANTED RATING: 3
It’ll be interesting to see how the Resistance story is slimmed down for PSP and how it interacts with its PS3 cousin.
resistance
CAPTION: Retribution is looking quite snazzy so far. Can’t wait to see how the rumoured new species of Chimera look…

TAIKO DRUM MASTER
Wii – FROM: NAMCO –BANDAI, OUT: DEC ’08 (JAP)
A hit in Japan, Taiko Drum Master is looking to pull in Western audiences with its scaled down motion-sensing drum plus foot long drumsticks. Looking similar to Donkey Konga, it’s masquerading as an arcade port and features tunes like the first level in Mario World. What, no Chilli Peppers? Still no word on a western release as such, but we’ll keep you posted.
MOST WANTED RATING: 2
It’s hard to get excited about another music game for Wii, but the drum seems very responsive. We’ll see how we feel after giving it a bash.
taiko
CAPTION: The visuals are cartoony and will incorporate your Mii avatars whilst you drum away.

KLONOA: DOOR TO PHANTOMILE
Wii – FROM: BANDAI-NAMCO, OUT: DEC ‘04, 2008 (JAP)
Hello Klonoa, long time no see! Over a decade old, this PS1 platformer is being reincarnated on Wii with sharper graphics and, surprisingly, no motion controls. We actually breathed a collective sigh of relief when we heard this though, as the core gameplay is brilliant and should remain untouched. Offering puzzles and the series staple 2.5D aesthetic, it’s great to see Klonoa being introduced to a new audience.
MOST WANTED RATING: 3
The Nights port still leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth, but Klonoa doesn’t look to be heading in that direction. Let’s hope it gets a Western release…
klonoa
CAPTION: Klonoa is going back to its roots which is brilliant news for the series. Are we looking at potential sequels?

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Tomb Raider: Underworld Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 206

We want your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

Lara’s bringing sexy back. Donning a swimsuit is a brave new direction for Tomb Raider, so we thought we’d ask Creative Designer Eric Lindstrom for his thoughts on Lara’s new adventure:

01: Hi Eric, tell us about your role on Tomb Raider: Underworld.

As the Creative Director of Tomb Raider: Underworld, I oversee all creative aspects of the game experience. I’m a game designer by trade, but as the Creative Director I need to keep the overall vision of the game strong, clear, and consistent, be it design, art, audio, or most importantly, the combination of these elements.

02: How did you go about getting the role of Creative Director? Was it sheer hard work or simply a love of games?

I’ve been in this industry for twenty years, and I worked hard for the first five before I got to lead a project. The biggest thing in my favour with Tomb Raider: Underworld was how much I value all aspects of a game, not just the design mechanics. Everything matters, and you need to give everything its due.

03: How much of your own personal creativity goes into games? Is it satisfying seeing the end results in motion?

Because Creative Directors don’t usually make content for games, there is very little I can point at and say, “I made that part.” Much of the framework of what you do is what I established early on with the small pre-production team. Seeing the end result of those images I had in my head early on is very exciting, what I see now is better than what I had imagined at the start.

04: Are you pleased with this latest imagining of Lara’s world? How much further can you take Lara?

We made her world bigger, better, more lush, and more exciting than ever before, and she can do a lot of amazing things. We did this by magnifying everything people had seen so far in the past couple games, so there are still plenty of different and intriguing places Lara Croft can go in the future.

05: Any advice for young mavericks looking to get noticed in the world of games?

Young developers have great ideas and we need them, but it takes a lot more than good ideas to make a great, successful game. If you’re smart, hard working, and willing to learn, you’ll get noticed. If you want to succeed, bring your brains, your energy, your love for games, and a desire to learn what the industry already has learned, and you’ll be in the best position to jump on opportunities when they come.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

01: Lara Croft: her watchful eyes keep me honest.

02: Water: I drink a lot of it.

03: Notepad: still the best organizer around.

04: Origami: folding paper quiets the mind and keeps me sane.

05: Guinness: ’nuff said!

ericlindstrom_wwyj

CAPTION: Look at all that Origami! Maybe Eric should start his own paper-view channel…

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GamesMaster Magazine Issue 206 – Cheatmaster + Coming Soon Boxouts

Cheatmaster Boxouts

INTRO

We found a cheat in the office this month, a real live one. It was a rare one too, an undiscovered form of big head mode. Unfortunately, the results weren’t too good and half our staff had to be treated for Giganticism. Michael Jackson tried to buy some of us and put us in a pen at Neverland Ranch until, luckily, we discovered the code also worked in reverse. The office was a sight for sore eyes for a good few days, with thermometers sticking out of mouths and ice packs replacing the knotted hankies on our heads. We soon learnt a valuable lesson; cheats aren’t safe and should be confined to pages such as this month’s CheatMaster.

GREATEST CHEATS EVER!

GEESE-Y DOES IT

ART OF FIGHTING 2 (NEO GEO)

PUBLISHER – SNK

YEAR OF RELEASE – 1994

The Neo Geo was the ultimate arcade experience in the early 90’s – for those who could afford it. One example of home brewed arcade genius was that of Art of Fighting 2, one of the toughest brawlers in history. There was a special treat for the hardest of the hard that could go through the game without losing a single round, after the final fight against crime lord Mr. Big you were ushered by helicopter to South Town’s police headquarters to face off against the corrupt commissioner himself – none other than a young Geese Howard! The SNK legend would then proceed to well and truly cook your goose, turning you inside out. If you could beat Geese, then you were either branded a gaming hero or a filthy liar.

artoffighting2
CAPTION: A colourful cast and ridiculous special moves. What more does a fighter need?

THE HARDEST GAMES IN THE WORLD

COMMANDOS: BEHIND ENEMY LINES (PC)

PUBLISHER – EIDOS

YEAR OF RELEASE – 1998

Stealth wasn’t just confined to consoles. Commando’s for PC is one early example, you led a team of six soldiers through WWII; an Irish Green Beret, Sniper, Driver, Spy, Demolitions expert and a Marine. Success depended on how well you utilised your team, but the margin for error was incredibly slim. Guards’ field of vision would cover every possible route and angle, and if you got caught sneaking just once, a team of Nazi’s would arrive within seconds to blow you apart. Not good, as the entire team had to survive the mission for you to progress further. Cue hours of trial, error and self sacrifice to discover the best way through the levels, whilst the politicians sat at home twiddling their thumbs. What a lovely war, eh?

commandos

CAPTION: You were armed with a knife, and you had to take down the entire Third Reich. Easy peasy!

SPOILER

STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED

Want to know what happens if you tread the path of evil? Read this in a mirror:

After killing Vader, Starkiller is told by a delighted emperor to slay the wounded Kota to finally become his apprentice. Starkiller hesitates, then spins around and tries to kill the emperor with his saber, only for the emperor to counter his attack and knock him onto the deck. The emperor then uses the force to bring the Rogue Shadow crashing down on top of Starkiller. We then see him waking up on an operating table, his now robotic body getting its finishing touches. The emperor sneers that Starkiller will now be used as his personal assassin whilst he searches for a new apprentice, effectively changing episodes 4, 5 and 6.

GM’S TOP 5 MOST WANTED TIPS

GEARS OF WAR 2

The first Gears was lacking in the cheats department… has this been rectified in the sequel?

FALLOUT 3

Nuclear Nihilism aplenty in Fallout 3. Any quick ways of levelling up or unlocking all the weapons?

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

We’re rocking out with the new Guitar Hero. Are there any secret songs we have yet to come across?

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD

We’re all at sea with Lara Croft. Do you have any hints on how to navigate these tough tombs?

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

The last game had some hilarious cheats to find. Tell us what you’ve come across in this fifth instalment.

CONSOLETATION ZONE

GM – coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

MEGA MAN 9 – Wii, PS3, 360

Dear GamesMaster,

I’m tearing my hair out with Mega Man 9, I’ve never played anything so hard in all my life! I’m finding the robot masters difficult to beat; are there any invincibility cheats or anything like that I can activate?

Matthew Barnes, Plymouth.

Shame on you Matthew! You’re going to have to prove your credentials as a gamer and beat the game yourself, we’re afraid. What we can offer you though is an order to tackle the bosses and the weapons to beat them with:

01: BOSS: Galaxy Man
WEAK AGAINST: Mega buster

02: BOSS: Jewel Man

WEAK AGAINST: Black Hole Bombs

03: BOSS: Plug Man

WEAK AGAINST: Jewel Satellite

04: BOSS: Tornado Man

WEAK AGAINST: Plug Ball

05: BOSS: Magma Man

WEAK AGAINST: Tornado Blow

06: BOSS: Hornet Man

WEAK AGAINST: Magma Bazooka

07: BOSS: Splash Woman

WEAK AGAINST: Hornet Chaser

08: BOSS: Concrete Man

WEAK AGAINST: Laser Trident

Dr. Wily is a different kettle of fish altogether. We recommend a mixture of Mega Buster, Plug Ball and Concrete Shot. Good luck!

mega_1

CAPTION: Look at all those mechanical mug shots. They’ll teach you new ways to die…

TOO HUMAN

Hello GamesMaster,

I’m having real trouble killing the guardian dog of Helheim called Garm. I keep getting close to him to destroy his armour but he keeps on taking me out. I’m getting really frustrated because I must be close to the end of the game by now. Please help!

Joey Bragg via Email

Well Joey, all we can offer you is a strategy. If you stay outside of his melee range then he will just fire his missiles at you in a semi-circle fashion. These are easily dodged and allow you to run around the outside of Garm, hitting his armour until it breaks and exposing his weak spots. One idea is to equip a laser rifle as they’ll cause him the most damage the longer you fire at him. If you get too close, he’ll simply batter you and take away most of your health, our advice is to keep away, roll and dodge his missile attacks and use ranged weapons to wear him down. Defence is the best form of offence in this situation!

toohuman
CAPTION: Look what I found in my cereal this morning. Compensation ahoy!

GOT A PROBLEM? STUCK IN A GAME?

WE CAN HELP! EMAIL IT TO US AT GAMESMASTERTIPS@FUTURENET.CO.UK, SUBJECT CONSOLETATION OR WRITE TO CONSOLETATION ZONE, GAMESMASTER, 30 MONMOUTH STREET, BATH, BA1 2BW. IF WE CAN’T HELP – YOU’VE HAD IT!

Coming Soon Page

COMING SOON

NOVEMBER

21st – Tomb raider: Underworld – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 – Eidos

21st – Left 4 Dead – PC – Akella

21st – Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zahir Expansion Pack – PC – Atari

21st – Alone in the Dark – PS3 – Atari

21st – Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe – 360, PS3 – Midway

21st – Need for Speed: Undercover – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 – EA

21st – The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon – DS, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 – Sierra

21st – Naruto: The Broken Bond – 360 – Ubisoft

21st – Skate It – DS, Wii – EA

21st – Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome – DS – Awem Studio

21st – Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked – Wii – Konami

21st – Ninjatown – DS – SouthPeak

21st – Mushroom Men – Wii, DS – Gamecock

21st – Metal Slug 7 – DS – Ignition

24th – Grand Theft Auto IV – PC – Rockstar

25th – Chrono Trigger – DS – Square Enix

28th – Resistance 2 – PS3 – Sony

28th – Motorstorm Pacific Rift – PS3 – Sony

28th – Diablo III – PC – Blizzard

28th – Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers – Wii – Square Enix

28th – Silent Hill: Homecoming – PS3, 360 – Konami

28th – SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEAL’s Confrontation – PS3 – Sony

28th – Lips – 360 – Microsoft

28th – Scene It? Box Office Smash Solus Software – 360 – Microsoft

28th – Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party – Wii – Ubisoft

28th – This is Vegas – PC, PS3, 360 – Midway

28th – Heist – PC – Avalon

28th – Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Dungeon – Wii – Square Enix

28th – Ghostbusters – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 – Sierra

28th – Dark Void – PC, PS3, 360 – Capcom

28th – Spyborgs – Wii – Capcom

28th – Shellshock 2: Blood Trails – PC, PS3, 360 – Eidos

28th – Shaun White Snowboard – DS, PSP, PC, PS3, 360 – Ubisoft

28th – Neopets Puzzle Adventure – DS, PC, Wii – Capcom

28th – Moto GP 08 – PSP, Wii, PC, PS2, PS3, 360 – Capcom

28th – Football Director – DS – Pinnacle Software

DECEMBER

5th – Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the City – Wii – Nintendo

5th – Prince of Persia – PC, 360, PS3 – Ubisoft

5th – Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking – DS – Ubisoft

5th – Prince of Persia: The Fallen King – DS – Ubisoft

19th – X-Blades – PC, PS3, 360 – SouthPeak

30th – Lifesigns: Hospital Affairs – DS – JoWooD

JANUARY

9th – Aliens: Colonial Marines – PC, PS3, 360 – Sega

9th – RACE Pro – 360 – Atari

9th – Alpha Protocol – PS3, 360, PC – Sega

9th – Bionic Commando – PC, PS3, 360 – Capcom

30th – Starcraft 2 – PC – Blizzard

30th – Halo Wars – 360 – Microsoft

30th – Alan Wake – PC, 360 – Microsoft

30th – Aion: Tower of Eternity – PC – NCsoft

30th – Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia – DS – Konami

30th – Mad World – Wii – Sega

30th – Tenchu 4 – Wii – Ubisoft

30th – Tom Clancy’s HAWX – PC, PS3, 360 – Ubisoft

30th – House of the Dead: Overkill – Wii – Sega

30th – Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – DS – Rockstar

30th – Lost in Blue 3 – DS – Konami

30th – Darksiders: Wrath of War – PS3, 360 – THQ

30th – Sonic and the Black Knight – Wii – Sega

30th – Infinite Line – DS – Sega

30th – Battle Fantasia – PS3, 360 – 505 Games

30th – Bayonetta – PS3, 360 – Sega

30th – Stormrise – PS3, 360 – Sega

30th – CID: The Dummy – DS, PC, PS2, PSP, Wii – Oxygen

WATCH OUT FOR…

Look out for these latest games to hit the shelves…

THIS MONTH

RESISTANCE 2 – PS3

The sequel to Fall of Man touches down this month and this time, we’re blowing up some American Chimera!

resistance2

NEXT MONTH

PRINCE OF PERSIA – PC, 360, PS3

Just like the singer, Prince has reinvented himself once again. We can’t wait to see some of his new tricks!

persia

3 MONTHS

CASTLEVANIA: ORDER OF ECCLESIA – DS

A new Castlevania makes the hairs on our neck stand on end. We’re desperate to see the new beasties on offer.

castlevania

FUTURE

HEAVY RAIN – PS3

We’re keeping a keen eye on this one. We get the same feeling with Heavy Rain as we did just before Shenmue came out.

heavyrain

Heed our warning:

Here at GM we endeavour to bring you the most accurate release dates around. But the games industry is a fickle beast so bear in mind that the info above is constantly on the move. If it doesn’t come out when we say it does, blame someone else!

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CheatMaster Boxouts – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 205

THE HARDEST GAMES IN THE WORLD
KWIRK – (GB)

PUBLISHER – ACCLAIM
YEAR OF RELEASE – 1990

Before the likes of Mario Picross strained our brains on GameBoy, there was a little known puzzler called Kwirk, which starred Kwirk the Tomato, who had lost his girlfriend Tammy in an elaborate labyrinth after a night out, just like the Bigg Market in Newcastle. Starting from floor one, you had to make your way to the thirtieth floor, filling in holes, navigating one-way turnstiles and block pushing. The puzzles became obscenely difficult at an early stage; sometimes you took control of Kwirk’s veggie friends and had to navigate them out of the maze by using an entirely different path from the one you already carved out. The later levels were absolutely fiendish, causing many to leave Kwirk and co. rotting in the maze with Tammy, like some kind of vegetable Theseus.

CAPTION: Is Kwirk a fruit or a vegetable? Only Tammy will know that, if you get our drift!

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GREATEST CHEATS EVER!
‘BLACK MAGIC!’
SHADOW MAN – (N64, PS1, DC)
PUBLISHER – ACCLAIM
YEAR OF RELEASE – 1999

If you want proof that – sadly – disco will never die, then take a look at Shadow Man. Actually, we take that back, Disco Mode helped transform what was a bleak, Hellish underworld setting into something shinier than Rod Stewart’s romper suit. By finding a secret room in the Cathedral of Pain and activating the cheat from the menu, Shadow Man would emit neon lights whilst wacky funk guitar would loop in the background. Sadly, there wasn’t a cheat that would make him do the splits or take part in the miners strike.

CAPTION: Shadow Man would regularly slaughter people, but he also carried a teddy bear with him like a big blouse.

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SPOILER!
MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES – 360, PS3, PS2

After blowing up the last outpost, Mattias (or whoever you choose to play as) enters the compound to find Solano boarding a helicopter with a smirk on his face. He throws an enormous stash of bank notes at Mattias, claiming that’s all he wants is money, but Mattias gains a conscience and jumps on the front of the helicopter, killing the pilot. As it veers out of control, Mattias confronts Solano before jumping out of the helicopter, watching Solano crash and burn. He goes back top his comrades at the base who close the case and mention travelling to India… scope for a sequel perhaps?

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CONSLETATION ZONE
GM – coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

FINAL FANTASY VII: CRISIS CORE – PSP

Hi GamesMaster,

I’ve come across the hardest boss in the game in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core called Minerva (Mission 9-6-6), but she keeps on battering me. Any chance you can tell me what to do?

Sofie Demey, York

Goddess of the Earth Minerva is a damn pain as she has 10 million HP! What you’ll need to do is equip the following items:

Genji Armor

You must fill up your DMW to 100% completion. Sets your max HP to 99,999 and keeps Regen and Endure cast permanently.

Genji Glove

Sets maximum damage to 99,999 and attacks are always critical. Found in the chest in Mission 9-6-4.

Ziedrich

Halves elemental damage received and boosts Attack, Magic, Spirit and Vitality by 100. Found in Mission 9-5-6.

Protect ring

Keeps Barrier and Magic Barrier active. Found in Mission 7-5-2 or you can buy from the Mythril Mine Traders for 30,000 Gil.

Another tip is to fight her once and steal all of her 99 Phoenix downs and then die. You’ll still have them when you restart the fight and they’re a massive help during battle. Otherwise, you’re just going to have to keep plugging away we’re afraid!

CAPTION: Team GM’s Rory was astonished at the results when he took off his cap.

Dear GamesMaster,

I’m really stuck on Twilight Princess, I’m trying to get the Master Sword but I’m stuck as Wolf Link in the Sacred Grove trying to save Midna. I need to play a game with two statues but am really frustrated and don’t know what to do, please help!

Graham Jones, Cornwall

Ah, this gave us a headache too! What you have to do is get the statues back to their original starting position. It took us an age to do, but when we discovered how to do it, we wrote the solution down on a sacred parchment and locked it up like Colonel Sanders KFC recipe. From Link’s starting position, you need to head Left, Down, Right, Right, Up, Left, Up, Up, Left, Down, Down, Right and Up. The statues will be back in their original starting position and you can go and get the legendary Master Sword.

CAPTION: Don’t just stand there, get your act together and star in another game right NOW!

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Major Minor Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 205

Early one morning, we heard the music notes from new Wii title Major Minor’s Majestic March wafting across the ocean all the way into the GM office. With the likes of Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy under his belt, we talked to Tanaka-san, founder of NicoLabo about his latest project.

1: Hi there Tanaka-san, tell us about your role on Major Minor.

I’m the Project Lead/Art Director.

2: Project leader is a pretty important role, how did you get to such a position?

I had been working for NanaOn-Sha as a graphic designer for 10 years until I created my own game company, NicoLabo 2 years ago. Of-course, most projects I’ve been involved with have been music games, and because of those experiences, I was entrusted to do this important role.

3: Parappa and Vib Ribbon are cult hits worldwide because of their unique music and style. Are you hoping for similar results with Major Minor?

Of course, MajorMinor is a new game developed by NanaOn-Sha, a pioneer in the music game genre.
We’re sure that we will present a new form of musical experience with this game.

4: Will the Wii controls be suited to this gaming format? How different will it be compared to other games on the system?

As a game input device, the Wii-remote is very interesting. Sensory input devices affect the play experience of music games. The infra-red function is an attractive point, but we chose to only
use the motion sensing function this time. I think you can feel why when you play the game!


5: Can you offer any tips to youngsters looking to get into the gaming business?

I think some people might go mad…. but if you want to work in the games industry, please don’t be playing video games all the time! I think it’s important to be interested and have knowledge in various
kinds of things. Often the origins of the most interesting concepts come from something completely unrelated to games. Being interested in various things, having diverse experiences, and then if there are some things you want to express and create, please think about how to make them appealing. Incidentally, if you do choose “gaming”, I hope to have a chance to work with you!

5 Items –

1.Vaio Laptop: I do most of my work with this.
2.Plant: I love plants for relaxation.
3.Coffee cup: I need to drink tea and coffee to keep my sanity!
4.ipod: Music is part of my work.
5.Power stone set(crystal and amethyst): My mum gave me this last year.

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CheatMaster Boxouts – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 204

GREATEST CHEATS EVER!
A PRETTY NASTY RASH
ROAD RASH 2 – (MEGA DRIVE)
PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1993

Road Rash 2 was the quintessential racing beat-‘em-up on Mega Drive. However, if you couldn’t be bothered to do race after race to earn the games library of bikes, you could always hold UP+A+C at the title screen and press start, giving you the ‘Wild Thing 2000’ with unlimited nitro’s. With a top speed of 225mph, it actually gave the game a different dimension as it was near impossible to control and would constantly take off into the air!

Tagline? ‘It’s time to speed and bleed’. Tanya Byron would be furious.

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HARDEST GAMES IN THE WORLD
BODY HARVEST – (NINTENDO 64)
PUBLISHER: MIDWAY
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1998

After releasing Grand Theft Auto to consoles, DMA Design made Body Harvest, a sci-fi adventure for N64 that was harder than anything before it in the genre. Part of what made the game hard was a lack of save points, you could only save AFTER completing a level, and these levels were H-U-G-E! The puzzles spanned an entire map and with several things going on at once including saving citizens, putting out fires, and killing massive alien scum, there was many a frustrated gamer across the land.

Vehicles had a penchant of driving into the water, making you start all over again. Gumph!

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SPOILER!

SOUL CALIBUR IV – PS3, 360

Want to know the fate of the Apprentice? Read this in a mirror…

Out of all the endings in Soul Calibur IV, the Apprentice has one of the most interesting. After defeating Algol in battle, the Apprentice is caught out by a final attack that imprisons him in Algol’s chest claw. Summoning his hidden strength, the Apprentice finishes Algol off, yet leaves the swords behind, deeming them to be of little value. Darth Vader thinks otherwise, and is furious upon his return, choking him to near death for his betrayal. The Apprentice draws his lightsaber and they begin a final battle to the death.

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GM’S TOP 5 MOST WANTED TIPS

01: STREET FIGHTER IV
Capcom always manage to pull a sucker punch with their Street Fighter secrets. Have you managed to unlock a secret contender or any spectacular special moves?

02: STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED
Lucas Arts always jams loads of bonus content into their titles, have you come across a force power that ties enemy’s shoelaces together?

03: TNA IMPACT
GM’s ring is full of meaty wrestlers, and we love dressing them to the hilt with costumes. Have you come across a combination that makes your wrestler look like Mario?

04: FIFA ‘09
We need to impress the ladies in the GM office and lift our vests over our heads. Do you know of any way we can score ten goals in one game?

05: MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES
Mercenaries 2 is an epic orgy of warfare and total destruction, surely there’s cheats out there to make this mix even more explosive?

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EXAMPLES OF SECTION EDITING:

CONSOLETATION ZONE
GM – coming to the aid of stuck gamers since 1993!

Hi GamesMaster,
I dug up Mass Effect the other day for a bargain price, and am certainly getting my monies worth from it. I’m having some real trouble with one of the side missions however, the one titled ‘The Fan’. It just sits in my journal and I don’t know where to go or what to do. Help!

Simon Fisher, Sheffield

We wondered about this one too Simon, and thought we may have done something wrong. It turns out though that if you return after a few missions from your initial meeting with ‘the Fan’, he’ll be there again only this time, he’ll want a photo of you. Hmmm… The third time you meet him (after Virmire), you’ll get a proper chance to interact with him. If you’re rude to him however, listen out for a news report in the lifts that reveals his grizzly fate…

‘Rovers Return?’ That was knocked down years ago son…

Hi GamesMaster,
I heard from one of my friends that there’s a cheat in Lego Indiana Jones that lets you play as Han Solo and you can shoot lasers from his blaster. Please tell me it’s true so I can blast my way through those temples!

Omar Ali, Bristol

Yes Omar, it’s true, you can unlock another Harrison Ford character in Lego Indiana Jones to really make the game completely historically inaccurate. There’s a lot of hard work involved though, as you’ll have to find five different Star Wars characters throughout the game. Don’t worry though, we’ve found out exactly where they are:

C-3PO – Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Lost Temple
Chewbacca – Raiders of the Lost Ark, City of Danger
Leia – Temple of Doom, Free the Slaves
Luke – Raiders of the Lost Ark, Into the Mountains
R2-D2 – Last Crusade, Desert Ambush

Han’s character profile will now be available to buy at Barnett College but he doesn’t come cheap. He will cost you a whopping 100,000 studs, so get hording!

Looks like a massive Shreddie is chasing Indy. Hunger strikes!

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YOUR TOP 10 CHEATS

10: DRAGONBALL Z BURST LIMIT – PS3, 360
If you carry on through story mode and beat the first chapter of Broly’s saga, you unlock the legendary super sayajin as a playable character!
James Roberts, Coventry

09: THE BOURNE CONSPIRACY – PS3, 360
Go to the Cheat menu under Options and type in ‘whattheymakeyougive’. You’ll now be able to play with the Silenced Machinegun to make Bourne even more badass.
Rachel Plant Via Email

08: WALL-E – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
Type ‘STEALTHARMOR’ into the second slot in the cheat menu and no enemies will be able to see you coming.
Dirk Dettlaff, Germany

Caption: He dies at the end of the film you know. Just kidding! Or are we…

07: THE INCREDIBLE HULK – DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PC
Take on the Abomination and win to unlock him as a playable character.
Mike Abraham, Manchester

06: SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL – Wii
To fight Crazy Hand, get to Master Hand on Hard Mode in less than nine minutes without using any continues. He will appear next to Master Hand and more than likely ill you immediately.
Armon Pakdel, Newcastle

05: GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – PS3, 360
Dial ‘359-555-0100’ into your phone to spawn a Police Annihilator helicopter but beware, it prevents certain achievements from being earned.
Jeff Hyde via email

04: RACE DRIVER GRID – PS3, 360, PC
Win every trophy and complete every head-to-head race in Grid world to unlock Ninja difficulty, which will test your racing abilities to the limit!
Ruth Proctor via email

Caption: Nothing better than seeing metal getting twisted. A true rival for Gran Turismo?

03: GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR – DS
Earn a five star rating on every single song on Expert difficulty to unlock the mighty Synapse and Vanguard guitars.
Peter Donnelly, Liverpool

02: FINAL FANTASY VII: CRISIS CORE – PSP
If you get your DMW gallery to 100% completion, you will get Genji armour, which gives you 99,999 hp and casts endure and regen.
Matthew Watson, London

01: METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS – PS3
Get the assault emblem by killing/stunning 50 enemies, CQC hold 50 enemies and avoid discovery less than 25 times to unlock Altair’s costume from Assassins Creed!
Jennifer Tugman via email

Caption: See kids? Getting old is nothing to be scared of. Just ask Jocelyn Wildenstein.

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LittleBigPlanet Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 204

LittleBigPlanet fever has hit the GM office, so to try and find a cure, we talked to Daniel Leaver of Media Molecule who helped make the PS3 smash.

1: Hi there Dan, tell us about your role on LittleBigPlanet.

My role on LittleBigPlanet is level designer. Usually, we would spend our time crafting unique ways to challenge Sackboy as he progresses through LBP. In addition, I helped with balancing gameplay ideas and online features, as level designers usually spend the most time actually playing the game and deciding if a feature is fun or not!

2: Level designer is pretty impressive for such a big title; surely good grades and university played their part?

I’m not sure the course I chose at university played much of a part (considering I did Criminology!), but university proves that you can stick at something and knuckle down. I had a strong portfolio. During uni, I worked on a mod for Valve’s Half-Life 2, which I poured my heart into. That got me the interview at Media Molecule; that and a love of games.

3: Was it satisfying working on the games levels? What makes them so unique and groundbreaking?

Absolutely! Over the last year and a half I’ve enjoyed exploring what’s possible with the LBP physics engine. We simply took the basic game rules we had and pushed what we could do with them. The result is that every level in LBP is different to the one before; it’s a really varied and exciting experience, and we hope it’ll inspire the gaming public to build bigger and better stuff!

4: What are the hopes for LittleBigPlanet? Is it finally going to be the killer game the PS3 needs?

I think that the PS3 has loads of really exciting games on the horizon, but clearly I’d love for LBP to be a big success. I think what we’re good at Media Molecule is not getting carried away with our own hype; we know that after all the marketing and reviews and everything is done, it’s what the player experiences that matters.

5: Any tips for youngsters looking to get into the gaming industry?

A passion for games is vital! As for any art or design roles similar to mine, you’ll need a portfolio to be proud of. Look at other games and artists and at the level of quality they produce; if you don’t challenge yourself and your designs, you won’t improve. Above all, don’t be scared to apply! You’ll never get that dream job unless you try.

Five items:

1: A model of my favourite car, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Probably the only one I’ll ever own!

2: Sir Francis Drake’s ring from Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Awesome game.

3: Jin Kazama from Tekken, clearly the best fighting game of all time.

4: The sentinel machine from The Matrix. It falls under the ‘toy’ category, so I should probably be more than a little ashamed.

5: A photo of my beautiful girlfriend Lindsay-Kay. She’s probably the most inspiring aspect of my life and I hope to make her proud. /gush.

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50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 203

This month we talk to Ed Kay, senior technical designer for 50 Cent’s latest outing Blood on the Sand. So, Ed, tell us what you do:

My role is Senior Technical Designer. I’m responsible for bridging the gap between programming and design to ensure designers get the support they need to create exciting gameplay. I’m also heavily involved in the game mechanics, such as the brutal melee moves you can perform for quick close up kills and utterly humiliating your opponents. At the moment I’m also helping to put the final touches to a level where 50 is taken around a mountain in a Blackhawk and blows the crap out of everything in sight with a huge minigun. It’s great fun.

How closely do you work with a megastar like 50 Cent? Does he sit in the canteen at lunch times?

Well as you can imagine, 50 Cent is a pretty busy guy. He’s provided feedback during the development process and requested certain elements to be included, but most of the development team are more familiar with his 10,000 polygon on screen representation than the man himself.

50’s latest escapade is set on foreign soil. Do you get to do any travelling of your own?

I’m pretty much addicted to travelling and usually struggle to find enough holiday days to cover all the places I want to go to! I actually get to travel through work occasionally which is a real bonus. Last year I spent six months in St Petersburg to help Saber Interactive finish off Timeshift. Russia is a crazy place. Taxis are usually illegal, piracy is expected, ’business men’ sometimes carry weapons, mullets are fashionable and most of the girls are supermodels. Definately worth a visit.

Tell us about your typical day.

This totally depends on what stage we’re at in the project. We’re getting close to submission to Sony and Microsoft so things have been really ramping up. My mornings usually involve running around and chasing up issues, finding out when animation or art fixes will be done and making sure any improvements are shaping up correctly. In the afternoon I might need to do some playtesting and provide feedback on a game mechanic like a weapon modification, or provide direction on pacing and difficulty of a gameplay section. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a few hours to sit down and do some scripting, putting the final polish on the balance of a level.

Any tips for young go-getter’s looking for a job in games?

The good news is that it’s not as hard as it used to be. These days games companies generally have more capacity to employ people with limited experience and train them up. The key thing is you have to be passionate. Making games is hard work and requires a lot of dedication to get the right results. A relevant degree at university will help a lot, but also any work done like mods, levels, or even demos like a simple web game will go down really well. A broad experience of playing games on a variety of formats is a must.

Item descriptions:

1. Headphones
– for shutting out background noise when you need to really concentrate

2. Koosh ball
– to play with whilst you’re waiting for the editor to load

3. Puzzle cards
– for when people come over to ask for something and you want to
distract them so they forget what they wanted

4. Target
– for intimidating people (the holes are from a real Dragunov sniper
rifle)

5. Beer
– for emergencies

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Lego Batman Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 202

This month, we talk to Arthur Parsons from Traveller’s Tales, Lead Designer of Lego Batman. Hi Arthur, tell us about your role on Lego Batman. What do you have to do?

On Lego Batman I am the lead designer, altogether there are 6 designers on the project at the moment as we work to get the game finished. Each of us is responsible for a number of the levels of the game and it is our job to make sure that everything for the levels gets done by working with the team, so that the levels are as fun and interesting as possible. Initially we design the levels on paper, then we work with the tech artists, artists, animators and coders to make sure that everything gets done for the level. Obviously along the way we have to make design changes to ensure the levels are perfect. As well as looking after my own levels as lead designer it is my job to work with the other designers to check over the quality of their levels and approve them. Aside from the level work it is my job to work with the team to ensure that all of the mechanics feel right, that we have a plan for the hub, replay sections, presentation aspects, characters etc – in effect a plan for the look and feel of all aspects of the game. Here at TT we have some very talented people in all departments, and leads in each department so the lead designer is the person that liases with these people to make sure we all know what we are making and that it all ties together. I also have to work closely with our producer so that he can schedule all of the work out to make sure that we finish the game on time.

How did you get to the position of lead designer? Good grades? University?

I look now and see that people can go to university to study video games – how good is that! I however was not so fortunate at the time I went to university, and started off in the industry as a game tester after leaving university from an engineering degree. After a couple of years of testing which was truly an educational experience, I joined TT and have never looked back. I’ve been fortunate to work on some very good games and each one teaches you something new about games. I have gotten where I am through a lot of very hard work, but above everything by having a real passion for making games that people want to play. For would be designers now there is a more clearly defined way of getting into design that I have noted below.

How much research goes into the Lego projects? Is it fun handling official licenses?

There is a huge amount of research that goes into making the Lego games. Not only is there the research finding out what the end user wants to play, there is also researching the property (i.e. Star Wars/Batman/Indy), creating concept art with our highly skilled concept artists, working with TT Games and our publishers to see what they want from the games and also a lot of work dealing with Lego to find out what toys they have or are planning so that we can use them and showcase them in the games. Working on Lego is a great deal of fun for everyone, for example we have an artist that has to build the lego vehicles, which is in effect building with Lego (just via a computer) and he loves his job, artists that get to create the lavish environments for the game, artists that put together all of the fun lego puzzles, people that build the lego minifigs for the games. Lego really is a joy to work with in terms of videogames, and I think that is apparent to people that play the games as the results of the fun we have making the games comes across in the really fun and interesting games we put on the shelves.

What’s your typical day like?

In a word Hectic J I’d dearly love to have a typical day, but I can safely say that no two days are the same as a lead designer. Some days are spent scrutinizing the latest additions to the game, some are spent updating documentation, some are spent in meetings discussing the new features or additions we want, and some are spent crafting the ideas for the various levels or mechanics, there are so many pies that we have our fingers dipped in. Needless to say the variety really makes you want to get into work each day. Even with the best laid plans for a day ahead a curveball comes in meaning that you suddenly need to do a stack of work on something that you hadn’t been planning. The role of a designer really is incredibly varied and this means that designers need to be aware of everything that is going on in the games development cycle to ensure the best possible product at the end.

Any tips for young would-be designers out there?

Anyone out there that wants to become a designer really does have a fantastic range of opportunities available to them. For many years my folks thought I just played games all day and that work was not really work, however I think now that the games industry is as huge as it is parents can see that video games really is a viable and rewarding career. That hurdle over there are hundreds of degree courses where prospective designers can go and learn all about making games, the various elements that go into making a game, and learn hands on the best way to do things. That said a designer’s learning process is never over, and there is always something else to learn, which is why it is such a great job. The biggest tip of all though is to believe in what you want to do, and believe in your ideas. A designer needs to be creative, inventive, passionate, charismatic and a great communicator, if anyone out there wants to make games they should follow their dream and work hard to achieve it. It is imperative that you get good grades at school, but also that you play games and look at them and analyse them trying to figure out what makes them good or bad, what makes them tick. Also for anyone wanting to be a designer there is nothing stopping you doing paper designs in your spare time for levels or games, just working through ideas as doing this from an early age will be a great benefit to you in future years. Lastly try and get some work experience at a developer, as this is eye opening, it will allow you to see the variety of careers that exist in the games industry.

Tools of the trade:

1: Starbucks – I need my daily fix

2: Bucket of Lego – helps while away the time when my mind is stuck…

3: Notepad and Penicl – to doodle level designs

4: Headphones – so that every once in a while I can actually concentrate

5: My Laptop which has everything on it – without this I couldn’t function!

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Castle Crashers Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 201

We speak to American programmer Tom Fulp who created run-’n’-gun game Alien Hominid (released on GameCube, Xbox, PS2, PC and GameBoy Advance). He’snow working on the forthcoming Xbox Live beat-’em-up Castle Crashers. So Tom, you created your own game?

Back in 2002, Dan Paladin (the artist) and I teamed up to make Alien Hominid for the web. A few months later, the game company Dan was working for shut its doors and his co-worker John came up with the idea of forming a new company to make a console version of AH! Fifteen months later, we had achieved our dream of making a console game. It was a difficult but rewarding process, so we decided to do it again with Castle Crashers. Three years later, it’s almost done!

Was the transition from website development to programming console games difficult?

I wouldn’t say it was a difficult transition, but it was on a much larger scale and required a lot more discipline. With web games, you can wrap things up in anywhere from a few days to a few months, or never. With a console game, you need to work hard every day, for years if necessary, and you can’t quit because it would let too many people down and families would starve to death.

What happens in your typical day?

A lot of the time I juggle both running Newgrounds and programming for the Behemoth, where I’m a co-owner. This past five months has been 99% Castle Crashers, for the sake of getting it done. Otherwise, I would have spent the rest of my life trying to finish it. Getting it done has required 12-18 hours of non-stop programming every day (including most weekends), depending on how crazy and obsessing I’m feeling. It’s been a rewarding experience and I love the end result, but I’m looking forward to waking up in a world where I can work on something new, or maybe nothing at all.

Just how much of your input goes into the games themselves?

If I can program my idea, I put it in the game, unless anyone else thinks it’s a bad idea and convinces me otherwise. So overall a lot of my input gets put to direct use.

Any encouraging words for future programmers out there?

Finish your projects! Finishing is the hardest part of any project, and if you never finish it, then it might as well have never existed. So many people work on amazing games that never see the light of day because they never follow through with finishing them and getting them out there. Don’t be afraid to share your game with people. I love Flash because it lets you share your game with more people than any other medium.

PICTURE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

1) A Tankman figure that we produced and sell in our on-line store!
2) My cat tape dispenser… I am totally obsessed with cats, and it goes way back before the whole Lolcat craze.
3) Advil, because I need it sometimes.
4) A tank trophy that we created for our annual awards on Newgrounds.com
5) A picture of my wife, April! It’s from our wedding day.

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Reviews – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 199

Sins of a Solar Empire: Real-time Strategy, Unrivalled Scale Collectors Edition review:
Try reading a Klingon phone book, learning the number of every individual and writing it all out again from memory. Sins of a Solar Empire can be just as confusing, initial tutorials tell you how to politically police entire galaxies and expect you to manage whilst under constant attack. The steep learning curve however makes it immensely satisfying when your space fleet flattens other races as you vie for control of the expansive galaxies. Give it time and you’ll find a deep, involving Real-time strategy game that’ll last you for months.

Format: PC
Out: NOW
Developer: Ironclad
Publisher: Stardock
Players: 1-10

Caption: Research your ships to maximum potential to conquer the galaxy.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 86%

Comment: Not for casual play, but big enough to block up a black hole.

Sega Superstars Tennis:
Not so much the cream of the Sega character roster, more like a glass of warm milk. Sega Superstars Tennis would be a good tennis game, if it concentrated on the tennis. Shots lack accuracy and finesse and whilst the Tournament mode can be finished in a day. Some mini-games are cute and actually challenging, we particularly liked directing Chu’s into a rocket for blast off, reminiscent of Chu-chu Rocket, but these can’t compensate for a pretty average tennis game, especially at the price.

Format: DS
Out: NOW
Price: £29.99
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sega
Players: 1-4

Caption: A tired and dejected Sonic wonders what his next outing will bring.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 64%

Comment: Fun mini-games, but these can’t keep the rest of the game afloat.

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer review:
Mystery Dungeon
isn’t for everyone. Though similar to most role-playing games, it also offers some drastic differences. Randomly generated dungeons greet your quest to reach the Golden Condor atop an unreachable mountain, turn based battling harks back to the SNES days of the series and the weapon upgrade offers depth. When you die however, it’s game over. No excuses. You start from the beginning minus all levels and items which is frustrating, especially if you run into foes ten times stronger than you. Only for gamers with masses of patience.

Format: DS
Out: NOW
Price: £29.99
Developer: Chunsoft
Publisher: Sega
Players: 1-2

Caption: Going into battle means you could progress further or lose everything you’ve grinded for.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 67%

Comment: A journey littered with pits and troughs, but can be rewarding if you give it time.

Ford Off Road Racing review:
Although essentially a Ford car overload, Ford Off Road Racing isn’t half bad. The cars feel solid and weighted like real off road vehicles and it’s variety of challenges add longevity. Modes include Career mode, Elimination races and Time trials amongst others, set against usual rally backdrops of deserts and forests. However, the only reason to keep going back is to increase the amount of Ford cars in your showroom and the wide tracks can sometimes take the competition out of a race. Not bad, but nothing to rev your engine for.

Format: PSP
Out: NOW
Price: £19.99
Developer: Razorworks
Publisher: Xplosiv
Players: 1-2

Caption: Ford enthusiasts will love the range of cars available to unlock.
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 76%

Comment: A solid little racer that handles well, but doesn’t pull away from the pack.

Peggle Review:
Big and bright like Bonfire night, Peggle is addictive high scoring fun. The aim is to clear the screen of Orange pegs with magical assistance from your animal tutors. Greed for Higher scores and increasingly difficult level design will ensure you keep coming back, but Peggle doesn’t reward skill. It leaves you to casually fire a ball into a crowd of pegs and hope for the best. It can be fun and terribly compulsive, but we can’t help feel there’s nothing more than pointing, clicking, and hoping.

Format: PC
Out: NOW
Price: £10
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Players: 1-2

Caption: Top up the Fever meter for explosive high scores!
JUDGEMENT:
Overall: 83%
Comment: Addictive play for the score junkie and a fun distraction for everyone else.

5 responses to “GamesMaster Magazine

  1. I have made a review of call of duty 5 at my site. Anybody who doesn’t play Call of duty 5 should check it out it might give you some useful info!

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  2. What happened to the GamesMaster website?

  3. Hey Gamesmaster greetings froom Cyprus. I want to talk to you about something that concerns me. First of all i wonder why everyone fights about whether the PS3 or 360 is better but they never count the Wii? Imean i have all 3 of them and i think the Wii is way better. But what i want to ask is what do u guys think about whether the psp or ds is better.Personally i believe the ds is really better than the psp, i mean the psp has good graphics but the ds has more battery life more games and has more fun also it has a bigger screen if u combine both the screens together.Everyone just puts up a good psp game and a mediocre ds game and they just prove th psp is better. But they never said anything about mario zelda pokemon kingdom hearts the world ends with you and metroid games. There is no way that a psp game has more fans than any one of these ds titles. But can u guys tell me what is the highest score u ever gave a ds title and a psp title? tnx
    PS yeah i know yeah i know i talk a lot

  4. Pingback: 2010 Ultimate Wedding Organizer Guide (planning Software Included). | 7Wins.eu

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