Friday, 31 October 2008

A Friendly Reminder

Just to let everyone know that the Resistance 2 beta has been extended to Monday, 3rd November. Hope to see you all online, and for those who didn't get into the test, we'll have our opinions up on the site next week.

/public service announcement.

Eurogamer Expo: Mirror's Edge

Imagine the scene: it’s about 11.02am on a quite chilly Wednesday morning in London, and, recently equipped with entrance wristbands, hundreds of gamers are now swarming into the Old Truman Brewery (now converted into an exhibition space of sorts). Large numbers of them have memorised the floorplan and head straight for the Street Fighter IV or Gears of War 2 booths at the back of the room. Others – like us – simply head to the biggest brightest television in the room. It just so happened that the giant forty-something-inch screen directly in front of the doors was running the very bright Mirror’s Edge.

We perched ourselves on the two stools placed ridiculously close to the screen and I picked up the controller. A friendly Eurogamer staff member briefed us (briefly) on the controls and then we were off. First things first: this game really is good-looking. The white/blue scene presented in front of us was broken up by small parts lit in red and scattered around the level. My first few minutes with the game were – how can I put this – a little bit rubbish; the controls and movement in Mirror’s Edge are not like any other game. L1 is jump, L2 is crouch, R1 does a 180-degree turn, and R2 is punch/attack. The face buttons are used as well, but less often: triangle is disarm for instance. In fact, you’ll do best in Mirror’s Edge if you maintain your momentum, so the shoulder buttons are normally your best bet. There are combinations of controls that enable you to do something a bit special: when running, press crouch and attack to do a slide attack, or jump and attack to kick the enemy in the face. The real difference to any other first person game, however, is how you move. The left-stick is forwards and back and the right-stick is look/aim as ever, but moving the left-stick from side to side actually strafes – a difference that makes sure turning does not affect your momentum significantly – and this can take a bit of getting used to.

The level we played was called ‘The Edge’, and began with Faith (the main character) running across the rooftops to pass a package onto another runner, Celeste. It is one of the first levels in the game, and as such, the complex gameplay mechanics were minimal, however there were a number of sections that really required you to use your head to find out where to go. At one point you are in a rather bland corridor and the only indication of where to go is a red-rimmed entrance to an air conditioning vent. In the end, we worked out that you had to climb onto some storage cabinets, and then leap backwards to a ridge on the wall, then across again to land on a cooling tube which led to the vent. It’s these brain-taxing moments that make the game shine, as it shows how much effort DICE have put into making the most of the first-person perspective, and trying to solve these puzzles without losing too much time or momentum is even tougher. Later there was some melee combat as well, but the level was really about getting to grips with the controls. SIXAXIS motion controls were also present in the game, however they are not compulsory – you can use the left stick or motion controls to balance, and there are also gestures for rolls and other moves – and can be turned off completely in the options menu if you wish.

One thing I will say about Mirror’s Edge is that it has really leapt to the top of my most wanted list since getting some hands-on time, as you really have to experience it in person to understand how it works. For those of you who want to have a go, a demo consisting of a tutorial and the level we played is now available on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace, and if you have preordered the game, you can enter a special code to unlock a time trial mode in the demo too. Mirror’s Edge is developed by DICE and published by EA, and will be released for the PS3 and 360 on November 14th and later this year on PC.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Eurogamer Expo: Overview

Yesterday, my good self and Aquatic Wanderer headed up to London to get a chance to play some of the biggest upcoming games across all the consoles at the Eurogamer Expo 2008.

Throughout the day we got to get our hands dirty with some of the best games coming out in the remainder of this year, as well as checking out what early 2009 holds for us gamers, and in the evening we attended a panel session with some of the editorial staff at Eurogamer where they discussed games journalism.

For us it was a really special day, having never had a chance to attend any events like this before - they're all a bit far away - and spending most of the day staring at 40+ inch 1080p screens was a plus too.

So there's a quick preview of the sort of thing we'll be talking about on the blog over the coming days and probably weeks (there's a lot to talk about), and hope you'll enjoy our content!


Just a quick heads-up, you may have seen I've given the blog a bit of a makeover, all in preparation for the rediculous amount of content that'll be going up over the next week or two from the Eurogamer Expo that we attended in London yesterday.

See you soon!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

WWAP #4: New Arrivals Edition

Hey there, you should finally be hearing from us again on the site this week, we’ve both been laden with schoolwork and unfortunately that meant we didn’t have the time to spend working on the blog. Hopefully though, the heavy work is now past us, and we will be continuing and expanding the site in the near future. More on that soon.

The last two weeks have been quite odd games-wise. I completed Burnout Paradise to get my very first Platinum Trophy (hopefully the first of many), and then took a bit of a break -too much Burnout kills your eyes - marking the first lengthy period of time away from my PS3 since I got it.

Then of course we had the not-so-pleasant news of the LittleBigPlanet delay, made marginally easier by the fact we know we'll be playing it on Wednesday (more on that next week), but unfortunately the new release date of November 5th is the day the Wanderer is off to Italy for the week, so he'll miss the launch. :(

Later on Mercenaries 2 got patched for trophies, so the Wanderer left his collection of Network games for a bit to play, and I ordered my copy for £25 from, which came this morning. More on that one later. Oh and Dead Space just arrived in the Aquatic Household, and from what I've heard from him, he'll be waxing lyrical about that one.

So yeah, been a bit of a break from games and the blog whilst we concentrated on school - we'll be back very soon.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Shinger In Ladows

So. Linger in Shadows.

How to go about this?


...Okay, right, so this isn't a game. God knows how many times this has to be stressed over the Internet not to infuriate fans when they 'finish' it (finish isn't right, considering you can finish it without doing anything). But since it isn't a game, I can't really review it like one. I could review it like a movie? A movie I shake a controller at? One with demonic cats, flying stone dogs, giant rock faces with tentacles and that cloud from Lost? No, I don't think so.

I'll review it as a thing.

And as a thing I really quite liked it. Alright, I give, I'm an art guy. When I see something remotely arty I will at least become interested. But this managed to hold my interest, despite actually having watched the entire thing on a video before! Heck, I even stuck round afterward to grab all the trophies (whether that's due to it being good or me being a trophy whore is up for debate). So yes, I liked it as a thing. Even if it made no sense whatsoever.

...Or maybe that's especially because it made no sense whatsoever...

I give it a B+ as a thing. And so to satiate you who cares, I give it an F as a game, m'kay?

-Aquatic Wanderer


I do wish I could be saying that live from Japan, but unfortunately prior engagements (homework, job, hit-and-runs) have kept us from attending the Tokyo Game Show once again this year. One day, we will make it *shakes fist*.

Anyway, it’s been a good few days game-news wise, although nowhere near as good as E3 or Leipzig from a Sony point-of-view. The loss of Tekken as an exclusive is a downer (but not particularly a relevant point for me as I don’t really play fighters), and the non-presence of Kingdom Hearts III (whether it is a Wii- or PS3-exclusive) and the next big thing from Team ICO.

And that really leads onto the main point I have about TGS: It’s completely at the wrong time. Hardware announcements? No – too close to Christmas, making old product irrelevant just before the biggest shopping season of the year, and an inability to distribute whatever is announced console-wise in time for Xmas means that many will hold out until next year for their buys, which means less monays for everyone in game development. Software announcements? Aside from teasers or more general announcements (“It’s coming” – looking at you Tekken and FFXIII), it’s not really the right timing. We’ve just had E3, the largest stage for developers and publishers to show what they’ve been working on, and for those projects that just didn’t make a playable state in time, there’s also recently been the Leipzig Game Conference. Also, those studios with fall/Christmas releases are winding down (or have wound down) development now and so are either taking some time out or working on ridiculously early (read: unshowable) versions of their next projects.

What all this amounts to is a strange mish-mash of hands-on sessions for imminent releases (LittleBigPlanet, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Dead Space and so on), early showings for the few Xmas 09 games we know about (See Nobi Nobi Boy), and the only games with great presentations (Spring’s Resident Evil 5 and inFamous) are dwarfed by those out this side of new year. not that I have a better solution as to where a games show should go between Leipzig and GDC in the new year. Anyways, enough ranting; on to the games, which I shall discuss in a brief bullet form!

  • Dead Space: More and more interested.
  • Fallout 3: What happened to colour in games.
  • Far Cry 2: Anything with a level editor is win.
  • Resident Evil 5: Tempting.
  • inFamous: Looking lush.
  • FFXIII: Show me some hands-ons.
  • FFXIII Versus: Ditto.
  • LocoRoco 2: Deep and adorable? HEARTYOUTOO.
  • Patapon 2: Anything new here?
  • Mirror’s Edge: Seriously intrigued by new level vids.
  • Resistance: Retribution: Hmmmm… *undecided*.

And yeah, I know I’ve missed many games here, but these are they ones I’ve been checking up on. In other news: R2 and Retribution is nifty, very similar to how the SOCOM PS2 and PSP games linked up – love it. Intrigued to find out more about how exactly ‘Infected’ mode affects RR gameplay. PlayStation Store for PSP? FINALLY. I’m looking at getting a 3000 to replace my smashed 2000, and plan to invest in a 16GB Memory Stick and download games instead of buying the UMD versions. I meant legally, I’m not the Wanderer. Oh and here’s some pure beauty. Home coming soon? When I have it on my own PS3, I’ll believe it’s real. No Team ICO makes me cry.

The Wanderer’s still on a break, but you should hear from me on a daily basis this week providing I manage the time to get a post up.

See you soon!


PS: To those of you here from the PlayStation Forums, hello!

*by the way, this is ‘hello’ in Japanese, but only in the context of answering the phone. It’s also quite casual. Japanese is so complicated. I only used it ‘cos it sounded like something from LocoRoco.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Hello again there.

We’re still on hiatus here at A Pail of Beavers, but I’m dropping by again to let you know what we’ve been playing this week.

Again, both of us have been digging into LittleBigPlanet, although the whole confusion over whether levels would stay online after the beta meant that we spent noticeably less time creating this week, and more time playing. Glad to see that’s all cleared up now, but seeing as the beta finishes tomorrow (which doesn’t give much time for levelmaking) you wont see any new levels from us until launch in just under two weeks. One thing we’ve found out this week in LBP however is just how incredible some of the levels being made are. Most amazing LBP creation this week? The actual working calculator. How? I vote too much spare time. Or pure genius.And yes, the ‘Braaiinnsss’ tag always gets my attention.

Aside from LBP this week, we both bought Linger In Shadows when it went up on Thursday’s store update. And about a quarter of an hour later we were done. What did I think? You’ll find out on Monday. I’ve been dabbling in a bit of Burnout here and there, mostly late at night, as this is when the Americans are online – and that is hilarious. Quoteable online conversation of the week:

“Are you a girl?”


Oh my god.”

The Wanderer has been splitting his time between LittleBigPlanet, PixelJunk Eden and WipEout HD. No-one play him at WEHD, he’s a monster now. He notes that Eden is awesomer (and easier) with other players, its a pity my sisters aren’t as SIXAXIS trained as his brothers :(

See you soon.


Saturday, 4 October 2008


This week both of us have been spending every spare second we have crafting horrendous beautiful LittleBigPlanet levels (except that bit where we read the LittleBigPlanet review. hen we went back to playing). You can find my first level now published online under the name “Frantic Fiery Minigame of Doom” – it’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to get something online before the end of the beta. This week I’ve been designing levels to make once the full game comes out, here’s some rough ideas: V for Vendetta, Robot Wars, Doctor Who, 1984 etc. And of course many many pointless minigames.The Wanderer is also hard at work on his levels.

In un-LBP news, I plan to churn my way through the latter half of Uncharted this weekend, and probably get some good Burnouting done too. Needless to say, I’m sure you’ll here from the other one here about LBP very shortly.