Blog 684: Close, But No Biscuit – James Bond – Part 4

SPECTRis all the more irritating because of the good things it had that it completely squandered. Willingness to retcon away the crap bits — nope, let’s retcon them to be even worse. Dave Bautista as a Proper Henchman — disposed of barely past the half-way mark. Crater Base as a final boss location — blown up after five minutes of screen time and it wasn’t even the finale. It was all me, James! (Smart blood.)

(Transcript is included in the blog post.)

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Blog 683: The Second Last Mission

I hark back to Star Wars: Empire at War every so often, but it’s more an interactive film than much of a strategy game. You build a huge fleet, set it loose, and turn on the autocamera mode — and it beautifully recreates space battles right out of the movies. Beyond that, there’s not a lot to it.

As with many games, it took an expansion pack — Forces of Corruption — to really bring it to life. A larger tech tree, of new pirate units alongside a mix of stolen classic Imperial and Rebel craft, a more involved plotline in a single longer campaign rather than split between two sides… It’s still far from perfect, but it made good progress.

And that expansion brought with it one particular mission that’s a real favourite of mine, despite its flaws: a raid on the Imperial Archives on Coruscant.

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Blog 682: Close, But No Biscuit – James Bond – Part 3

To be honest, I’m surprised I lasted until episode 3 before shoehorning A-ha in there — of course I would say that The Living Daylights has the best theme tune. There are many lessons to be learnt from a Bond film’s opening moments — the starting stunts, the title sequence and, of course, the music…

(Transcript is included in the blog post.)

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Blog 681: The Design of the Warrior

I’ve made no secret that my own attempt at a real game is basically a Nox clone, albeit with a few twists and (hopefully) upgrades. The Warrior of Nox has five special abilities that make him a well-rounded individual, and I’m going to follow that formula with my own All-Purpose Assault Mech (and its inevitable variants)…

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Aside 60: Ludicrous Mech Games


I was recently reminded of the classic third-person shooter Lost Planet and its hilariously overblown mech sections. I replayed it but had no new thoughts to add to my original review; it’s beautifully optimised, hilariously explosive fun, but suffers from low manoeuvrability. Maybe one thought — I do really love its vehicle art style, which is a perfect blend of rule-of-cool design features and plausible industrial sci-fi (i.e. what I’m aiming for).

Then that put me in mind of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (spelling aside), another game with overblown giant mech action mixed with on-foot meanderings. I didn’t have any new thoughts about that either, but I had a total blast replaying it — the mech levels are pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

Basically, I want more of this — so does anybody have any recommendations for other “ludicrous mech games” that I might enjoy? Not simulation-heavy MechWarrior-likes, but silly, large-scale, over-the-top first/third-person shooters. Mmmm.

Blog 680: Close, But No Biscuit – James Bond – Part 2

You know, in transcribing this podcast, I realise how differently I speak than how I write. In real life I stutter and switch tracks, lose my place and thoughts that I was about to say dribble away. To be fair, most of my blog posts spend a week (or even two) being refined and massaged into shape, turning a formless blob of thoughts into some kind of coherent narrative, and the live and raw nature of a podcast means my slow wits often let me down…

On that note, it’s time for part 2 of the James Bond Suite of Close, But No Biscuit! This one even has a musical interlude — check it, Brosno.

(Transcript is included in the blog post.)

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