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Archive for July, 2013

H-Bombs: Parental controls, controlling parents and R18+

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Wednesday 31 July 20138 COMMENTS

Whenever Matt Hewson feels like going on a killing spree, he comes here instead. In other words, we have the H-Bombs column to thank for our very lives.

When I was a much younger chap I used to have quite a bit to do with Junior Rugby League. I worked at coaching clinics and was a junior referee for quite some time. While I was helping these keen kids and steering them around the park I made a discovery about junior sport. This discovery was that junior sport would be perfect if it wasn’t for the parents holding it back. Why am I bringing this up I hear you ask? Well it seems that the above piece of advice translates to gaming quite well. Gaming would be almost perfect if it wasn’t for the parents holding it back.

Throughout the whole R18+ debate we all kept hearing from groups such as the ACL that if violent, risqué, criminal content appears in videogames then regardless of classification, children will get access to it. In my naivety I thought surely no parent will let their child play an R18+ game. Surely that big black sticker would be enough to warn even the most inattentive child carer that this piece of software was not for their child. Well I must sadly say that I was wrong on all counts. It was during my Thursday ritual of heading to the shopping centre to have a coffee/hot choccie with my son that I witnessed something that made me question objectionable game content in a way I never have before. It got me asking myself if we should really be “thinking of the children” and not ourselves in regards to what happens in video games. Read the rest of this entry »

Gaiman teaming with Winterbottom studio

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Tuesday 30 July 2013ADD COMMENTS

Just your average suburban family.

Giant of the comic book industry Neil Gaiman has thrown his hat into the ring of the video game world with the announcement of Wayward Manor. Some may be surprised to discover that the writer of the acclaimed Sandman series has decided on a video game as his next venture.  However, according to the announcement video, Gaiman considers himself a “storyteller” and he really just tries to find the “right medium to tell the right story”.

Wayward Manor was inspired by classic films such as Arsenic and Old Lace, which Gaiman describes as “playful, funny, weird things”. He believes the story of Wayward Manor needs to be an “experience”, hence the choice of medium. The game is set in New England during the 1920s. You play a ghost and your aim is to find innovative ways to rid the pesky living from Wayward Manor.

Assisting Gaiman with the mechanics of making a video game are The Odd Gentlemen, best known for their quirky and successful The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Wayward Manor is due to be released on PC, Mac and tablets in spring.

Fish blasts critics, cancels Fez II

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 29 July 2013ADD COMMENTS

A screenshot from the first (and apparently final) Fez game.

Just weeks after announcing the project, maverick creator Phil Fish has pulled the plug on Fez II and perhaps even his career in games development. In a brief blog post on the Polytron website, Fish revealed that he is “done” and noted that “this isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign”. He concluded with “you win”, a statement likely to be interpreted as a parting shot at his more virulent critics.

As reported by Kotaku, the decision follows a vicious and profane (not to mention very public) exchange between Fish and video presenter Marcus Beer. In a lengthy Gametrailers diatribe, Beer slammed Fish (who was not on the program) for his attitude towards media requests. He then labelled Fish a “wanker” and an “arsehole”, among other things.

The two men went on to exchange words via Twitter. After first explaining that he didn’t want to comment on industry developments until the facts had become clear, Fish exploded, suggesting (in a since deleted tweet) that Beer should kill himself.

The original Fez arrived on XBLA last year and a PC version followed in May this year.

New Media 142

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Sunday 28 July 20131 COMMENT


Presented in glorious alphabetical order, New Media: Retail Roundup is your indispensible checklist of the home console and handheld titles arriving in stores this week. What will you be playing?

MICROSOFT Xbox Nothing

NINTENDO WU Nothing 3DS Nothing

SONY PS3 Nothing PSV Nothing

VARIOUS PC Nothing


New Media: Downloadable Digest is your handy reminder of the downloadable titles released last week.

MICROSOFT Xbox 360 Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen * Mars War Logs * Star Trek * State of Decay * Zeno Clash 2

NINTENDO WU Kirby’s Dream Land 3 * Pikmin 3 3DS I Love My Pets * Street Gangs * Super Black Bass 3D

SONY PS3 Do Not Fall: Run For Your Drink * Dynasty Warriors 8 * Everybody’s Golf * Shaun White Skateboarding * Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark PSV Mahjong: Royal Towers * Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark

VALVE Steam Citadels * Elsword * Ittle Dew * Mercenary Kings * NASCAR 2013 * The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief * Rugby Challenge 2 * Shadowrun Returns * Teleglitch: Die More Edition