(It’s been quite a while since Grutus’ last update. My powers of persistence are minimal at the best of times, and I really couldn’t get my head around documenting the second half of Grutus’ adventure in the school. However, after seeing a particularly large dog shit in the middle of the sidewalk, I was again inspired to continue to write of Grutus’ mucid tramplings through Fallout.)

Grutus had become a giant fist. The world had only one purpose: to be punched. His muscles began to spasm, contracting and extending; automatically punching even when there was nothing to punch. The school was now nothing but a blur through which Grutus’ fist flew into the faces of those who inhabited it…

Be they human…


Canine…

Formicidae…

Of alternative lifestyle…


Or computerised.

Eventually Grutus had punched every creature in the school to death, unintentionally living out the fantasy of public school principals worldwide. The ‘roids were wearing off, and Grutus was bemused and irritated by the thing he had inadvertently put on his face while punching. He wandered outside and away from the school. Suddenly he felt a stab of pain in his gristly hide. Then another. He turned to see one last raider, revolver in hand, trying to avenge his fallen comrades.  Grutus walked towards him, snorting, slobber dripping down from the inside of his mask as the man shot at Grutus four more times.

The man began to swear as he struggled to reload his pistol; as Grutus drew nearer and raised his fist…


A fist that never needs reloading.

I'm Sven and I want to make beauty.

Hi gorgeous, I’m Sven Svenson and I’m going to be a big fashionista! I used to be in band call Svenpop, but it was too hard to be professional singer when many mans are wearing tight trousers and no shirt and after embarrassing failure at Eurovision, I come to live in new town name Oceanviews.

Since I was beautiful young man, since I see myself in mirror, I know Sven is destiny for beauty. He will change the world. I get into town and yellow taxicab takes me to the fashion parlour, where I will start Crusade of Cuteness, my Battle for Beauty!


That’s me in yellow taxicab with my first scent of mainland America man musk! He didn’t say much but he definitely giving off a vibe to me.

Yellow taxicab pulls up, but I don’t get the driver’s name. Oh well, plenty of hugely endowed narwhals in cold waters of Baltic Sea!

I walk into the fashion parlour and huge hunk is behind the counter. Tight jeans make walk very hard, I use my charm and wiles on hunk and ask for job.

And they work so well I now have job AND my first date!

 

Watch out gentlemans and fashion world! Sven is come to make beauty!

 

Grutus finally emerged from his crapulent slumber. The brilliant rays that had peeked in through the dilapidated shack Grutus had ransacked had gone, leaving it gloomy and cold. Grutus, with his unique heat-retardant body grease, was not in the least bit bothered by the freezing rain that washed over his naked body as he stepped out into the night. His metabolism was burning so furiously with the recent influx of highly irradiated canned food and alcohol that most raindrops turned to steam as they landed upon him.

Filling the wasteland air with the pungent aroma of Grutus.

Grutus wandered around the derelict town, snorting heavily as he scented for food or prey. Before long, he came to a large building and, hearing human voices coming from within, decided to investigate. A weathered sign denoted that the building was a school. Grutus never learned his letters, otherwise he may have avoided a place dedicated to the complexities of learning (Grutus’ only fear).

He punched open the rotting doors and blundered in to  a sight that made a warped smile form across his mustachioed and pockmarked features.

Dismembered corpses and tin cans are a few of his favourite things.

As Grutus was rolling around in the pile of cans and severed limbs like an incredibly feral cat in sea of mouldering catnip, he was rudely shot by a man almost as repugnant as Grutus himself. Enraged at the disturbance of his bizarre ritual, Grutus leapt upon the filthy man and pummelled him to death.

Grutus’ partiality to irradiated food causes him to glow.

When his rage finally diminished and his arm began to cramp from furious punching, Grutus noticed the perfume of urea. His nostrils flared with delight as he realised that it was coming from the bloodied clothing of the man he’d just beaten. Despite the fact that Grutus hated clothing, he couldn’t resist donning the greasy and sodden rags.

Dressed to infest.

Now clad in the reeking attire, Grutus decided to follow the sounds of the numerous voices that had awoken with the gunfire. Other similarly filthy people were wandering the corridors of the school, and Grutus shrugged off bullets and knives to slam his calloused fists into their unwashed features.

Grutus’ new clothing allowed him to soak up the blood of his enemies (to be sucked out of the dirty fabric at his leisure).
KA-
!

Grutus stopped to lick the gore from his knuckles. As he was doing so his madly rolling eyes fell upon a strange little bottle. Naturally, Grutus would have to consume its contents.

Buffout. No explanation required.

His body palpitating with anticipation, threads of thick saliva dangling from his greasy lips, Grutus tore the lid off the bottle. In one swift movement, he swallowed the entire contents.

For a few heartbeats nothing happened.

Then Grutus’ testosterone-addled mind exploded with ‘roid rage unlike anything any normal human had ever experienced.

To be continued…

A couple of days ago two trailers for Sims 3 expansions popped up. As such, neither has been confirmed by EA. They showed “Generations” and “Unleashed”, the former’s premise being a concept I found uninspired and lacking.

Having watched the trailers, I’ve warmed slightly to Generations yet still think it fairly unoriginal. It seems to place more emphasis on differences between ages, but the thing that really interested me was the appearance of video cameras and family photos. It looks as though Generations offers a little more posterity for your game world. I hope that picture taking will be autonomous or semi-autonomous, as I always found it tiresome to have to arrange Sims for photographs. And the addition of anti-social behaviour in the game is always one I welcome (it’s a step closer to being able to murder other Sims).

Much more exciting is the trailer for Unleashed. Whereas Generations seems to consist of smaller additions to the game, Unleashed offers the huge and much requested addition of pets. And not just pets but wild fauna as well. And rideable horses. It could just be the trailer-hype, but it seems as though EA are actually going to get this one right. The animal animations look smooth and believable, the wild creatures seem to add a lot of atmosphere to the neighbourhood, and the traits shown seem suitable (with the exception of Fluffy the cat, who like to swim).

Sims 3 Expansions still don’t hold as much promise or content as the Sims 2 ones did. Generations is a more original concept, in that Unleashed was already done in The Sims 2 and 1 — but, given that it doesn’t seem to offer anything ground-breaking, that’s not surprising.

Without further speculation, the trailers:

The Sims 3: Generations

The Sims 3: Unleased

My enthusiasm for Dead Island was recently curbed due to a screen shot in a look at the game over at Kotaku.com.au (found here) showing an electrified machete.

After viewing the screen shots on the official site, I mentioned that the samurai sword was a bit gimmicky. However, in the light (so to speak) of electrified swords…  I suppose the gimmick will instead be a flaming samurai sword.

I had hoped that Dead Island would evolve to be a more realistic and terrifying zombie survival game. Now it seems to be shaping up as another fantastical take on humans surrounded by the undead and, while I look forward to seeing more of the game, I doubt that it will live up to its incredible cinematic trailer.

I’m sure that there are numerous people who are thrilled by the prospect of crafting weed whackers with flaming barbed wire on the end, but I think it’d have to be one boring zombie apocalypse if a survivor had the time and desire to do that sort of thing.

As Grutus ambled down to a nearby derelict town, he noticed ancient containers that were once known as ‘trash cans’. His insatiable seven stomachs rumbled at the prospect that they may contain food. What he found was something much better:

Named for the mellow high some illicit substances produce that Psycho definitely doesn’t.

After squirting a full shot of Psycho up his nose, his sinuses flared with pain and Grutus’ already hate-filled compartment generously known as his ‘mind’ became more enraged than it had ever been. His bowels and bladder immediately voided, mucus poured from his nostrils. The green tinged wasteland turned blood-red.

As his body shuddered and his pupils contracted to a pinpoint, he noticed a floating ball piping numbers from “Marching Music for Minutemen“. Naturally, Grutus responded in the only way his Psycho addled mind allowed him.

Acting on instinct alone, Grutus’ sweaty digits curled into a tight, hateful fist…

And punched the ball so hard it exploded.

His fists still tingled for more. The Psycho coursed through his veins and his fists ached to punch. Snorting flecks of snot from his flared nostrils, Grutus looked around for his next victim. Hunger ached inside him.  So when he saw an intact house, Grutus wasted no time in letting himself in.

The only way he knows how.

As he smashed through the door, he disturbed the lone resident of the building who, like most people, was extremely perturbed  by Grutus’ sudden proximity.

Due to his thick layers of gristle, guns have little stopping power against Grutus.

Grutus shrugged off six bullets before punching her to death. He looted her inventory of drugs and 400 caps, which serve as money in the Wasteland but which Grutus kept simply because there were so many of them, and stashed her corpse away for later eating. Then he ransacked the house for food and booze.

All of which he ate in one rad-filled binge.

His hunger temporarily sated and his Psycho induced rage dulled by two bottles of alcohol, Grutus took one last look around the house, picked up all the empty tin cans he could find (because he collects those as well as caps), and fell to sleep.

Dragon Age was a great RPG. Some may not have liked the constant cut scenes, but I found they added a lot of character to the, err… characters and enjoyed the chance to stop hitting action buttons and swap witty repartee with Alistair or make advances on numerous members of the party.

So, I already intended to get Dragon Age II when it was released. I don’t expect demos of games nowadays (as opposed to back in the day when everything had a demo) and was therefore a little surprised when I saw it on Steam.

I downloaded it and quickly ramped all the graphics up to full (because that’s the first test of any game) and sat through the introduction. The voice acting is up to par and the cut scene animations convey the characters well. One thing I particularly liked is that, when you converse with a party member, you character speaks whatever line you choose. In the demo, you seem to have only three choices whenever you’re prompted to speak: A good, a neutral/cheeky, and a cold/dark one. Each have a fairly different air about, so it seems a little character breaking to be a bold, serious and good character one moment that then says something witty – unless your character is bipolar.

Breasts grant an AC bonus in fantasy games. She’s also your sister, so don’t get any funny ideas.

Two negatives: the first is the camera controls. I instinctively held down the middle mouse button to turn the camera, which didn’t work. Holding down the right mouse button rotates the camera in Dragon Age II, but it seems to flick back to a default angle when you right-click to move somewhere, which is a bit frustrating.

Secondly, and this could be due to me pushing all the graphics up, the occasional and awkwardly placed ‘loading’ breaks. A couple occurred in the middle of a cut scene and, due to the length of them, really broke the flow.

In fact, I thought that it was actually one of those lengthy and out-of-place loads when the game crashed.

So I decided that this was the chance to try out another class.

Combat is pretty fun in Dragon Age II. There’s a lot of gore spraying about, and you really feel the effects of using your abilities. Combat animations seem a bit anime, and the rogue looks like he’s being driven by clockwork when he’s attacking normally.

I got past the area I’d crashed in previously only to die due to forgetting to level the rest of my party up (I didn’t even notice until they were dead).

Time to test out the third and final class in the demo: the mage.

Targeting seems a little difficult if you’re not pausing the game to issue commands. There were a few times when I was left wondering whether I was actually casting a spell or not. I have a feeling that this, like the camera controls, would be something that you’d get used to after a little bit of playing. However, I got to the same huge demon that killed my rogue and died again.

So, I went back to the warrior (the easy class for any game) and finished off the demo, meeting the stripperific Isabella and the chest-bearded dwarf who seems to be narrating your tale.

Low-cut tops aren’t limited to the ladies in Dragon Age II.

The demo holds back some pretty tantalizing stuff; character customisation and access to your inventory, both of which are big components of an RPG. But it gives you a look at the visceral combat, interesting characters, some very smooth and refined visuals and a story that, while not thoroughly gripping (as such), still leaves you wanting to know more.

I wasn’t at all bothered about Dragon Age: Origins when it was released but when I finally played it, it turned out to be a compelling and refreshing game. Now, having played the demo of Dragon Age II through, I’m going to go back and complete Origins while I wait in anticipation for its release.

The all-powerful tomato sauce attack.

There’s been a lot of speculation about the next Sims 3 expansion pack (due to some leaked info on the main site, et cetera). Dubbed “Generations”, the leaked info promised to add such incredible and game-changing things like “Kids can hang out with friends in tree houses. Teens can pull hilarious pranks. Adults can suffer midlife crises”!!!!!!

 

I’ve loved the Sims games since the very first. To the point that I’ve even bough most of the expansions (I don’t give a shit about the stuff packs. They’re like buying a box of French fries and having to pay half the price of the original box to get five more fries thrown in). But I have to say that, while Sims 3 added an incredible open world to play in, it also seems to lack something the first two games had. And, as for the expansions for Sims 3… well, in comparison to the incredible amount that the expansions for the other games added, they just seem half-hearted cash makers.

 

So, hanging out in tree houses and pulling ostensibly hilarious pranks and midlife crises don’t exactly seem like much. In the previous three expansions are anything to judge by, there’s not going to be much more added that isn’t advertised.
Just reading through the comments, I see many people wistfully hoping that pets and weather are going to be included in the expansion. But it’s called “Generations,” a title which has minimal climate and animal implications, and EA always knows better than fans of its games.

Quite frankly, I think a better title for “Generations” would be “The Sims 3: Getting Old” because, without the creative genius of Will Wright, it really is.

The residents of vault 101 thought they were safe from radiation. They thought their children would grow and thrive, unaware of the monstrosities that plague the wastelands.

They were wrong.

When Grutus’ mother saw how ugly her baby was after giving birth to him, she died. The only thing that saved Grutus’ father that, being a doctor, he was desensitised to medical horrors, and thus he decided to raise the child out of scientific curiosity. This was the worst mistake of his life.

Grutus grew, greedily devouring the Vault’s supplies. The other residents constantly petitioned to have young Grutus sent out into the wastelands, where mutants belonged. But his natural body grease and strange strength made him too difficult to capture, and so he remained in the vault.

The residents of the Vault came up with a plan. They’d throw a birthday party for Grutus and poison the cake he was bound to so gluttonously consume. Unfortunately, they didn’t key the Vault robot in on this and he destroyed the poisoned cake out of spite for Grutus.

Like all children's birthdays, it was a trap.Grutus stared hungrily at the old lady. He could smell death on her — she would be an easy meal.

The ploy failed, so Grutus’ father quickly rushed him to the reactor where he intended to shoot him up with a BB gun, but Grutus wrested it from him and, to avoid the wrath of the armed ginger before him, Grutus’ father acted as though it were a present.

Nevertheless, Grutus shot them a bit before they managed to offer him a giant roach, which he hungrily consumed.

Eventually, as Grutus evolved into an even more abominable being, his father became so ashamed of him that he ran away forever and the rest of the vault decided that it was time to get rid of Grutus.

But Grutus wasn’t easily disposed of…

Grutus awake!Grutus awakes to the sound of alarms, his huge wooden pole gripped firmly in both hands.
Which he forcefully introduces to the denizens of the vault, who are dressed appropriately for dealing with Grutus.
Grutus kill!He thanked Amata for her constant whining…
The excretion of GrutusAnd, in his quest for further people to punch, accidentally went outside the vault door. Which quickly shut behind him…
And so he stepped out into the light.

The other night I watched the Dead Island trailer. I was amazed.

“This,” thought I, “is how a zombie outbreak would really be: heart-wrenching, frantic and hopeless.”

In a genre where every game has you hunting zombies like you’re some sort of aquatic filter feeder and they are krill — where the characters are bad-asses to whom the sight of a rotting corpse shambling towards them is no more disturbing than crossing the path of a violent and ankle-loathing terrier – this trailer showed the haunting side of an outbreak that the modern human, enthusiastic in the certainty of its own survival and the copious supplies of weapons and ammunition that magically appear in convenient locations, seems not to think about.
It looks like an actual horror game. With horror instead of stupid one-liners and blazing shotguns.

Of course, this was only a cinematic trailer. To make a game as frantic and emotionally stirring as that is going to be difficult.
There’s a Holy Trinity of making games: What the consumer wants, what the game needs and functionality that caters for both. It seems like zombie games give the player a lot of what they want: action and guns, both of which detract from what a zombie outbreak needs, which is a sense of urgency and real danger, and maybe a bit of fear.

The prospect of battle being mostly mêlée based makes a lot of sense to me, as I’m not from America and therefore guns aren’t a casual accessory for civilians. Furthermore, that mêlée weapons degrade and break adds that sense of urgency. Reloading a gun is one thing — having an axe break in half in your hand is quite another.

Left 4 Dead is a great zombie game, but it follows a very basic pattern: You get health and ammo at a checkpoint, then work your way through hordes of zombies in the happy and certain knowledge that there’s more health and ammo at the next checkpoint. Whether or not Dead Island is going to have that certainty of safety on the other side of its rotting hordes remains to be seen – it’s difficult to break that “Do this and get rewarded” scheme in a game without making it into a simulation.

 

 

When I was browsing through the screen shots, I came across one of a zombie in a huge restraint suit charging at one of the characters while she held a samurai sword. When I first saw this image, I thought it a pretty stock-standard Zombie-Action! Game shot and flicked past it. Samurai swords are too easy, I think. And restraint-suit zombie? What a gimmick.

It was only looking at it a second time that I really realised what was going on in the shot. Sure, there was still a samurai sword, but the background really told the story of why this gimmick zombie was present. There’s a police van crashed in the background, and a few police zombies milling about. This zombie was in this huge restraint suit because he was a prisoner in transport. Suddenly he seemed more like a horror than a gimmick. But, yeah: a samurai sword.

As much as there is of the game that’s yet to be known and to what degree the game shall change to balance those player-wants and game-needs, and whether or not the game will ever be released, as news about it has been popping up every now and then for a few years now, I have to say that the trailer has captured my interest and excited me more than any other announced release.