Category Archives: Video Games

So Long For Now – Blog Hiatus

Yep that’s right. I’m going to be taking a break from writing for Mind of MrGseff. When I return; I cannot say, though I will explain myself.

I started this blog almost 4 years ago simply because I enjoyed writing essays for Media Studies during my time in sixth form, I decided that I would start writing my opinion on things outside of school and start publishing them online, originally it was made to help those doing Media Studies in AS and A level media as a source that was reliable but not too academic to the point of being boring.

I like to think I succeeded in that.

As the years went on, I decided that writing was something I wanted to do as a full time job, this meant putting more work into this blog in order to increase my chances of writing what I like but on a more professional level where I could network with others.

I can tell you, I have succeeded at that too.

I started looking for voluntary writing jobs that could be considered professional writing jobs and one of the job posts that jumped out at me was one for a company called GamerTime. They only asked for a few articles a week and when speaking to the owner; he was very understanding of the fact I’m still a student with many other responsibilities meaning I can’t write every day. He also gave me the freedom to write about whatever I could think of that was interesting, including news and editorial pieces.

We spoke for an hour before he told me I could start, I was ecstatic about the news; drinks were had in celebration. Then I realised something; if I was going to write for GamerTime, write a dissertation on Stoytelling and Narrative in video games, write a script for a 30 minute film and also write a report for a Research & Development module, all whilst working part time as a bartender in a local pub; I would have to let something go, and I have decided that it would have to be this blog.

Though I won’t abandon this blog, it will still be available for all to read my articles of the past, and who knows; I may return to this blog after University to continue spreading my work all over the internet like some delicious Philadelphia cheese.

So for now, thank you for viewing all of the things I have written; both the good and the bad. If you need me, I will be at GamerTime doing my best rants and babbles there instead.

Click the link below for GamerTime goodness:


New Silent Hill and the ‘P.T.’ Advertisment

It seems the world is soon be graced with a new Silent Hill title oddly named ‘Silent Hills’ whether it is planning on being a sequel or a reboot of the franchise is currently unknown. One thing we do know is that the internet is currently going mad about it.

Since Silent Hill 4, the series has been stuck in a rut so usually the news of a new title in the series wouldn’t be a huge deal and for the most part would cause its fans to be very doubtful towards it, not this time, this is because Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear and Zone of Enders fame is working with brilliant Hollywood film director Guillermo Del Toro and The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus to bring this new title into fruition.

I’ll be honest; when I heard this piece of news, I couldn’t help but find it funny. The amount of collaborators involved with the project made me believe that the project sounded too big to be anything more than another game made by a Hollywood director that would end up being a flop (as much as I love Lollypop Chainsaw, it is a major example in this case):

Though this changed when I saw how this new team did their marketing, a few hours after announcing this new Silent Hill title, a free game appeared on PSN called P.T., otherwise known as Playable Teaser. Sadly, I haven’t managed to play this P.T. as of yet, this mainly due to the fact that I have yet to buy a Playstation 4 (reasons as to why will be mentioned in a future article), though if anybody is feeling charitable today, I would graciously accept a Playstation 4.

Instead I have had to do my research on this title by watching numerous LP’s on Youtube and Twitch to get an idea of what this teaser is like.

My answer: Pants shittingly terrifying. I have come to the conclusion that P.T. is probably one of the most effective ways to do marketing for a horror video game as P.T. proved itself as not simply a good piece of advertisement for an upcoming video game; but instead made a brilliant standalone horror title. It has a brilliant and downright creepy atmosphere; also the game gives nothing away. It starts with you waking up in a house and walking through the same L-shaped corridor over and over, each time giving you a bit more story development as well as some fucking terrifying surprises. It’s a title that feels very similar to an indie horror title; everything about it is so simple, yet incredibly effective.

The only downside is that it seems to rely heavily on jump scares, if that’s your thing; you’re in luck, jump away because this teaser offers a lot. Though jump scares aren’t very Silent Hill. Silent Hill tries to rely on the disturbing surroundings and absolutely fucked up creatures to make you squirm. Maybe this the new direction they are taking because remember; this isn’t Silent Hill anymore, it’s Silent HillS, emphasis on the plurality, more hills, more jump scares.

Though hopefully P.T. is meant to be something to simply wet our whistles whilst we wait for any new development of what sounds like a fantastic collaboration between Hollywood and Games developers. Hopefully it won’t turn out like the rest of them and can bring some respect back to the Silent Hill franchise. Oh wait, sorry. Silent Hills.

A Newbies Reaction to Metal Gear Solid

In this article I give a short rundown of my experience with the Metal Gear series, what I liked, what I didn’t and whether or not I recommend it to the masses.

No matter how long you have been playing video games, how many adventures you have completed and hours you have spent on Call of Duty; there will always be a widely popular video game series you have not played whether it be due to time constraints or simply the fact that it didn’t really appeal to you. For me, that was the Metal Gear Solid Series.

This was mainly due to the fact that I never actually owned a PlayStation console throughout my childhood years, I was exclusively a Nintendo gamer until mid-way through the previous console generation. So by the time I actually could play the Metal Gear Solid series, it was already on its fourth (and at the time; final) installment. Though a friend of mine would regularly recommend the series to me with the same line I fed people when I wanted them to play a Legend of Zelda title; “It’s absolutely awesome and I consider it the best video game series in existence”, and when you are given a recommendation as high as that, it’s very difficult to pass up.

A few months back I managed to pick up the MGS HD collection for my PlayStation 3, sadly this collection didn’t include the original Metal Gear Solid title released on the original PlayStation, so I started my playthrough of the series at Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, followed by Snake Eater and I am currently halfway through Guns of Patriots (or as some may call it; Metal Gear Solid: The Movie). Well, enough of my life story leading up to this moment. Here’s what I think:

The Metal Gear Solid series is a ‘Tactical Action Espionage’ game which means you have to spend most of the game avoiding encounters with enemies and trying not to raise any alarms through the duration of your mission. This doesn’t mean you can play the game as a pacifist akin to the original Deus Ex, there will be certain moments in the game where you have to kill bosses or kill a bunch of enemies in order to advance in the convoluted and at first very confusing story.

A gripe I found with the game early on is that even though the game tells you the very basic of things such as controls for movements, but most other things you just have to find out yourself. A good example would be the save system in Metal Gear Solid 2, I played it for 20 minutes at first and then decided that I wanted to stop, this meant I had to save but sadly the game didn’t inform me how to save the game which lead to me googling the phrase “How to save on Metal Gear Solid 2” which lead me to a forum of some moron asking the same question as me whilst millions of Metal Gear experts sniggered and laughed at this poor fellow. I then played the game for another hour before being told how to save.

In retrospect it isn’t a huge gripe and most certainly doesn’t justify the huge paragraph I typed out explaining the situation. In fact it is mainly a fault on my behalf for having the attention span of a goldfish with ADHD.

The next thing I’m about to say is something nearly anybody who has heard of the Metal Gear series will already know; and that is that there are a LOT of cutscenes in these games, seriously, if you and your friends ever feel like marathoning a TV show on Netflix but can’t figure out what, just pop a Metal gear game in and it will feel like a similar experience. Usually I don’t mind when a game features a lot of cutscenes, I talk a lot about my love for Telltale’s The Walking Dead; a game which is in its entirety just one giant interactive cutscene and also the Last of Us, a game which features roughly 7 hours of cutscenes. Cutscenes are brilliant ways to continue the narrative in a video game and can create some awesome and even some heartfelt moments, but when the majority of cutscenes take place in codec calls or is the cutscene equivalent to a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or a phone call, it can get very dull after you realise you have been watching it for 15 minutes.

Though don’t get me wrong, those are my only gripes about this series. The rest of this article should be nothing but praise and recommendation featuring the odd humorous anecdote.

When you do actually learn the controls and sit through enough hours of cutscenes to actually play the game; it makes a very fun game. The controls are pretty tight and movement is very precise which means it will very rarely be the control’s fault that you were spotted, it will be your fault; because you are clearly terrible at this title. Its combat is also decent enough for a game that often advises you not to engage in it though if you are like me and prefer to shoot people using the click of a mouse rather than the pull of a trigger; gunning down your enemies may resort in you pumping many rounds into the walls surrounding your foes.

The story of Metal Gear Solid is made for anybody who enjoys story driven titles. They’re long and full of enough plot twists to even make M. Night Shyamalan jump excitedly in his seat like a child.
The game itself also has an element of cheese to it, especially in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater; which has seems to resemble the cheesiness of an old James Bond movie (awesome 70’s soulful intro song included) some of these moments would make the more serious gamer place their head in their hands and sigh, but I found them absolutely hilarious and made a nice to break from the more serious sections of the game.

The main question is do I recommend it? Of course, if you like cinematic gaming experiences such as Wolf Among us or the Uncharted series then this is for you, it’s essentially the father of cinematic experiences in video games and also offers a fantastic, lengthy story to engorge yourself in all summer long. Seriously, go play Metal Gear Solid.

Battlefield Hardline BETA Review

Oh golly! A new Battlefield game is in the works, this time it is being made by Visceral Games; developers of the Dead Space series so while DICE work on another Battlefield title; or continue to attempt to fix Battlefield 4, they’ve let another company make what I really hope doesn’t become an annually released franchise.

While most Battlefield titles put you in the role of ‘Cannon fodder soldier #158542’ and drop you in a war zone of modern times, because modern shooters have become the new WW2 shooter because WW2 was totally old school but not old enough to be retro and vintage and therefore deserve a comeback. Hardline has decided to crank it up one preverbal notch and place you in a jolly old game of cops and robbers meaning you either play a justice loving police officer or a cold hearted criminal who steals money, says bad words, refuses to say please and thank you and looks at his phone in the middle of a conversation; in other words, a very bad person.

For those who didn’t watch EA’s E3 conference, the closed BETA for Hardline is now available, it’s not exactly difficult to get into; you simply register for it on Origin and then you can access it.

Anyways; a bunch of my friends and I got access to this BETA and decided to play a few rounds of this new game

The BETA currently has one map available; this map takes place in a portion of a large city which means large skyscrapers, busy streets and shopping centres; it’s essentially 3 Call of Duty maps thrown into one. Sadly the game doesn’t use the destruction engine used in the superior Bad Company titles and instead opts for the Battlefield 4 ‘Levolution’ style which means instead of buildings being destructible, the map features one big set piece that when triggered; alters the gameplay of the map. It’s a nice little feature, but it always makes me long for the old ways of the Bad Company series.

The map also comes with two game types, one called Heist which is the Hardline equivalent to Rush, the robbers must steal two packages from two vaults whilst the police stop them. The game ends either when the robbers secure the packages or when the police violently gun down enough of the bastards. This game type works really well when you communicate with your team and have a good squad set up, it’s tactical and entertaining and if you do have a good squad/team; you can end up winning a round in a matter of minutes. If you don’t have that then the game usually results in the police winning more times than in a series of Judge Dredd comics.

The second game type is Blood Money. A new game type where you’re team has to secure more money in their vault than the other team. It begins with a mad rush to a big money pile, when you get to this money pile you grab as much of it as you can and then run back to your vault. It sounds very straight forward but Visceral kept it interesting by allowing you to steal from the enemy vault, if you see the opposing team is gaining the upper hand, you can get your squad to rush their vault and completely deplete their money. It’s basically thieves stealing from thieves and I found it to be a genuinely entertaining game type.

The game itself also runs quite well on PC though that is probably due to the fact it is just a BETA and therefore only a small portion of the game, but when playing it on my rig I didn’t notice many framerate drops even during the Levolution sections.

There are also a variety of vehicles to drive such as cop cars, motorcycles and SUV vehicles, they handle like any of the vehicles in Battlefield games, so no complaints from me there.

One improvement in this game is the guns feel like they have a weight to them, because you are pitted against policemen and common criminals they tend to fall down far easier than the beefy soldiers of Battlefield 3/4 which means killing enemies will be easier even if (like me) you’re absolutely shit at the game.


IN SUMMARY: Is Battlefield Hardline any good? Hell yeah, the two game types they have introduced have been very entertaining and the map that comes with the BETA is a great introduction for the rest of the game. My only gripe is that it’s great, but it feels like it would be better suited as an expansion pack similar to Bad Company 2: Vietnam, it adds a nice amount of new gameplay, but not enough to justify a £40/$60 retail purchase. Of course the full game will come with more maps and gametypes but with the major two of this title already available in this BETA, I can’t help but feel that Visceral are going to need to bring more to the table to make this game go from Payday: Battlefield Edition to something bigger, better and more unique.



E3 2014 Summary: Nintendo

Though Nintendo’s conference was the last major conference during E3, I’ve decided to talk about it first.

Nintendo decided not to do a live conference like the rest of the major companies and instead opted to create a short digital conference to show off their games; too be honest I believe they benefited strongly from this digital event. There was no awkward stammering on stage, no crazy developers attempting to be funny and failing miserably (I think we can all remember the enthusiastic announcement for Peggle 2 last year). Instead we had some Robot Chicken animation that pokes fun at how people see Nintendo, we had a Robot Chicken animated Reggie on an E3 stage being berated by an audience member who makes fun of Nintendo for the similar reasons we all do at times; they always make the same games. It’s hard to disagree with such a statement but when Nintendo releases delightful games such as the newly released Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country Returns Tropical Freeze and Mario 3D World; it’s hard to hate them for it as there is always a charming uniqueness to Nintendo titles.

The conference started by announcing that you could play as a Mii in the new Super Smash Bros title. Though it’s a nice feature; it isn’t the biggest reason to buy a Smash Bros title.

We also received a plethora of new titles, and when I say plethora; I mean 4 -5 new titles. The strangest of these titles has to be Captain Toad. In the Mario universe there is a wide range of characters that easily deserve their own video game; I never believed Toad was one of them. Toad always felt like the character you had to play as in New Super Mario Bros if you couldn’t be Mario or Luigi, and now we have to play as Toad, we are all the players 3 and 4 and now we have to suffer.

All jokes aside, it looks like a fun little isometric puzzle and platformer and also looks like a game to watch out for as it may surprise us all, it’s just a strange choice of main character.

We also get a sequel (sort of) to the N64 sickeningly adorable game; Yoshi’s Story. Yoshi’s Wooly World has a similar playstyle to the N64 title but the art style of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, as it also uses a textured wool/yarn visual style. It seems interesting, but it is probably made more for the younger audience rather than those who originally played Yoshi’s story on the N64, ; let’s just say we won’t be getting a dark and brooding Yoshi game on the Wii U, but then again who the hell thought we would? I hope the game won’t be as easy as the original Yoshi’s Story and will have some element of challenge to it, though I doubt it.

Now for the big stuff, mainly a new Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U, it hasn’t got a subtitle yet so as of now it’s just called The Legend of Zelda, so far we’ve only seen a small amount though it promises an open world and a new game style which will probably be similar to A Link Between Worlds in the way that you can tackle the dungeons in any order you wish. The visual style is very similar to Wind Waker mixed with Skyward Sword. So don’t go expecting an ultra detailed Twilight Princess style because once again we’re getting a lovely coloured and bright Zelda title. Sadly no release date, all we know is it’s coming in 2015.

Lastly we have Splatoon; a new 4 v 4 shooter which focuses on covering a map with your team’s colour of paint. It’s one of those simply Team Fortress-esque shooters and it does look like fun, though it doesn’t look like it will be a full physical release and will most likely be a game on the WiiWare store.

That’s it from Nintendo’s conference, as E3 conferences go; Nintendo made sure there’s was entertaining and definitely showed us that the Wii U does have a fighting chance and actually made me retract my comments of regretting purchasing the console.

Well played, Nintendo.

E3 Week – Rumours, Hype & Introduction.

Welcome to E3 week, a week where I write articles about the hype that surrounds the upcoming E3 event. (This doesn’t mean a new article every day of the week, it just means more than one article this week.)

“Choo Choo! All aboard the hype train!” A little sample of the glorious sounds you will be hearing throughout the internet for the next few days, as a beautiful little event is coming up; the national holiday that we call E3. For those who live in the UK, let me drop this analogy on you; it’s essentially getting the winter Argos catalogue as a child, it’s where you choose what you will be getting in the holiday season.


Last year’s E3 was an exciting one as it was all focused on the games that would be joining up with the brand new consoles that would be releasing in the upcoming holiday season.

This year is an equally important one as it will contain the games that will be released in the first holiday season after the release of the new consoles; so if you’re like me and like to wait a while before making the important choice of a new next generation console; this E3 will probably be the one to help you make your decision.

I could go on about what games might be coming up to E3 but if I were to write something like that, then I might as well change this article into a dissertation and get it published; because I will probably be writing for a while. Instead I will just talk about the effects of rumours and hype and how it affects E3 as a conference/event as a whole.

One of the most entertaining parts about E3 are the rumours that come with the event. People start asking the big questions “Which games will be getting a sequel, will it be a game we’re expecting sequels for, will it be a revival of an old, yet never forgotten series? Will there be new surprises to make us excited about future video games or will it just be a massive disappointment for us all as we are given everything we expected”.

That can sometimes be a problem with the vast amount of rumours that come with E3, we start speculating on what we may see, that when we see it; it doesn’t feel as surprising. It’s like reading through a book series and attempting to guess what the ending is, if you guess right then you feel proud at the fact you guessed it, but disappointed that you saw it coming, this pretty much sums up E3.

Though we still remain excited for this event, when it finally comes about; reactions will be mixed, as it always is with E3. Some will walk away after the event saying that they can’t wait for what the video games industry has to offer over the coming months leading to the holiday period and beyond. Whilst others will walk away, claiming nothing was interesting and that the upcoming year will be a boring one for the video games industry. I will probably be the former.

I will do an article in the next few days on what I am looking forward to from E3 and what I HOPE to see but not expect to see, also what I remain to be sceptical about. Until then, ta-ta.


The ‘Revolution’ of Video Game Streaming

I’ve noticed a new trend appearing in the video games industry lately and that is the crazy new invention of home streaming. Though not technically an entirely new concept; back in 2010 OnLive created a mini console that would allow users to stream content through internet straight onto their televisions. Sadly, the console didn’t sell well and support was dropped for it; also the company ended up laying off ALL of its employees in mid 2012. So it’s easy to say that video game streaming has been attempted before and failed. Though I believe OnLive failed as a console due to the fact that the console tried to sell itself on streaming alone, to get people to buy a console; you need more than one feature.

This is could be a factor as to why video game home streaming is making a comeback in recent days. We as consumers saw it was possible to play a video game via streaming it through the internet; of course it’s no substitute for the quality of playing a game on an installed hard drive or through optical discs.

Though companies are now looking towards streaming services on top of their regular platform. We’ve recently seen it in Sony’s Playstation 4 system which allows people to play Playstation 4 titles on their PS Vita handhelds (that is, if you own one) and Steam have recently unveiled their home streaming service to allow users to play their PC Steam games on any other machine using Steam as long as it is running on the same network.

Lastly we have a strange way of using game streaming and that comes from Nvidia’s new handheld console called Shield. The game runs and Android OS which means you can play anything available on the android app store, but unlike any other Android based console; Shield allows users to stream their PC games onto the handheld system. Which (even though in beta) sounds pretty neat.

Though is home streaming going to ADD anything. It seems like a nifty little gimmick that allows people to play their games on the go, which isn’t a negative at all.

I see the idea of home streaming working to an extent, mainly in terms of the handheld market. The Playstation 4 connection with the PS Vita will probably do well and those who own both systems will probably make use of it. This can also work with Nvidia Shield allowing PC game users to play some titles in their library on Shield. Though I only see it working to an extent.

Shield will probably sell a decent amount but with cheap tablets and other handheld consoles on the market, the need for Shield doesn’t seem that large.

Whilst the platform connectivity with the PS Vita and PS4 is good and works well, it requires the user to own both of these systems, one of which is not a huge seller.

Right now it seems that video game streaming is still something of a beta stage, it hasn’t been given that major platform that it needs, right now it’s down to niche audiences. Who knows what will come of the video game streaming idea in the future, though as a concept; it’s a future I look forward of.