Doth mine eyes deceive me? This week’s news stories all have an air of the inconceivable about them, the unpredictable, perhaps even the previously considered impossible. Apple released startling statistics for its App Store which, while far from unpredictable, are really fucking incredible, Playstation Plus celebrated its first birthday, Facebook hit three-quarters of a billion users and Ubisoft went on record saying that Far Cry 3 would be 10 times bigger than Far Cry 2 – a game ten times too big for its own good.
And yet the highlight (which didn’t actually take place but was widely reported on this week) was even more unthinkable. Onward.
Sultan of the Trolls Tim Langdell Releases Actual Game: Sprawling Science Fiction MMO Featuring Revolutionary 4D Graphics, Support For Mind-Play and Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.
Not really, it’s a silly little 3D ball rolling game.
Despite being hoofed in the face by the Horse of Justice, troll extraordinaire Tim Langdell, who has dedicated the best (debatable) part of his life to hounding real game developers, only went and released an actual, genuine, bona fide, legitimate, playable videogame on the iPhone. Living up the “playing games so you don’t have to” mantra – but not going as far as to line the infamous bugaboo’s pockets – I played the free version. Protip: don’t.
The game, inspirationally and delicately titled EDGEBobby 2, perturbs to be the sequel to the 1986 title Bobby Bearing but as that predates my existence by almost a half-decade, to my ignorant eyes it’s Marble Madness with a tinge of Mobi Games’ Edge by way of The Elephant Man because to look at it is like cheese-grating your eyes.
That awkward EDGE in the title is likely placed to underpin Langdell’s unwavering belief that he’s the proprietor of the word. He isn’t, of course, having emerged defeated from his court case mid last month, a moment that ushered in a wave of schadenfreude among his many enemies.
But what of the game! Two seconds spent in its unsavoury company and it’s clear that it was assembled in the time it took Langdell’s TV dinner to cook one Saturday night. Menus are garish, buttons take about seven taps before they respond and the word “Rerolled” is employed. You maneuver the charmless Bobby through Marble Madness-esque levels by drawing his route, which is difficult when your eyes are shedding tears of blood. You can’t fall out of the world but with controls like this you can chalk that up as an ingenius decision on Langdell’s behalf.
Suffice to say it’s a right old shocker and the review section of the game has been annexed by gamers eager to let Langdell know what they think of him.
Chizzer71 went with the candid: “Tim, i hope u get face aids”.
Ngc891 conjured up some truth: “I would like to thank him [Langdell] however for releasing this free version. That way people can vent their anger at him. Not a wise decision.”
Michael Blumental didn’t mince words: “The game itself is as fun as eating soup with a fork. Bad ugly soup.” But do you eat soup or do you drink it?
Jimran Buffalo – more than just a man with an amazing name – spewed invective in style: “Most vile, uninspired piece of crap that has ever been created within the entire history of the universe.” Jimran Buffalo there, clearly never having watched A Night in Paris.
What next for Langdell then? Only time will tell, but if we have to wait another 20-odd years for his next game it will be all too soon.
Ubsisoft: Far Cry 2 too Small
There were plenty of viable criticisms levelled at Far Cry 2 but it lacking in the map-size department was not one of them. The game took place in a beautiful, sprawling but largely empty Africa that took about twelve Earth days to travel across, partly on account of the fact that every 50 meters your car would break down and you’d have to get out and hold Y to fix it. But apparently that wasn’t enough for Ubisoft, who may or may not have been playing Just Cause 2 incessantly for the past year.
Speaking to Edge Magazine, Ubisoft man Jason VandenBerghe said: “If you look at the vistas and the scale of Far Cry 1 and 2, take that and multiply it by ten, we want to take that even further. We’re focusing on taking that scale and making it dense, so that around every corner there’s something to find or see.
“That’s a key in open-world experiences. We ask ourselves: if there wasn’t anyone to shoot in the game, could it still be fun?”
Ten times? Really? I think this is a willy waving contest. There’s no way Far Cry 2 would have benefited from being ten times larger and unless Ubisoft are planning to include helicopters that airdrop jet-fighters at the touch of a button ala Just Cause 2 I fail to see how this is going to enhance the Far Cry formula, which wore realism on its sleeve last time out.
Playstation Plus Statistics
Playstation Plus celebrated its first birthday recently and Sony took the opportunity to reflect on the subscription services’ introductory year:
“[…]while we said we’d deliver over £200 of content during the year, we totted up the totals for all the games, discounts themes and avatars and the value actually came to over £700,” he said.
“In anyone’s eyes that’s a pretty good deal for under £3.50 a month!”
Indeed. What the press release fails to acknowledge is that £700 figure is based on RRPs – the price no games sell at. It’s also worth noting that should you ditch your subscription to Playstation Plus you forfeit that £700 of content and your £40 subscription fee.
Still, taking off my cynical sombrero for a moment, that’s not a bad haul at all.
More than 15 billion apps have been downloaded on the App Store, 5 billion of those in the past seven months. Seriously.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has announced that Facebook has 750 million active users (to qualify as “active”, users have to have logged in within the past 30 days). I’m friends with 160 of them, pitiful.
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