All posts by Toby McCasker
guns_2

By on April 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

I hate guns. Hate them. I often sit around thinking about how America has 99 problems and the gun is a big one. They know it, too. Obama wants to take those guns away, just ask the internet. The people cling to their grammatically unsound Constitution and cry, “How will we protect our homes tho Bamms?” It’s hard not to sit there and go, “Fair call. If there’s a home intruder, all bets are off – but why does it need to be a lethal killing stick? Why not replace everyone’s guns with phasers set to ‘stun’?” They’re bad, don’t like ‘em. I play a lot of shooters though, and I love shooters. I love shooting all them things. Uh?

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Red Faction

By on April 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Sometimes games can start some hell realtalk. Out of nowhere, bananas, you’re committing some heinous act and what makes it feel so heinous is that only the implication of it maybe happening was there. I’m not talking the DIY depravity of Grand Theft Auto. That is clearly an open invitation to do bad things on a massive scale, and this in some way dilutes the impact of it. You know why you’re there. You came to party. What about when you’re just there? First-person shooters make this weird personal phenomenon all the more personal, because hey, you’re you, not the back of someone else’s head or the top of it.

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Bad at Aiming

By on April 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I was always bad at my job, so it’s lucky I hired myself. Technically no one gets hired out here on the field. We’re all just sort of smashed together and asked to come in on Sunday to explode things. Sundays are just like every other day, which makes this job a pretty simple one. A smoking monkey could do it. Sometimes, hey, $moking_Monkey is actually doing it. He’s killing everyone. Dead-eye shot from a lot of paces. There’s no way he’s being made redundant.

Not that anyone gets made redundant unless they realise, “I’m redundant.” I have just realised this.

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Staying Up Late

By on April 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I’ve decided to start sleeping on the gross old couch in the lounge room because a) Emergent alcoholic, and b) Closer to gaming systems. What this means is that sleep, ha, sleep. Sleep doesn’t happen anymore. And so I have become a sparkly vampire like mother always suspected I would, and with these unconventional new sleeping patterns comes a new way of experiencing my git-yer-gun online multiplayer shenanigans. A time to kill, sure, but depending on what time it is that might be easier said than done.

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Bear Simulator

By on March 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

You know what I think is cool, is when something plays itself out. I don’t think it’s cool at the time, though. No one does. I mean, no one wants to sit there playing dumb games with no imagination. That’s bad. The good part is when everyone starts turning their backs on boredom, when there is a demonstrable cultural shift away from a status quo. The thing that played out and got boring suddenly realises it has to get interesting. In its blind animal panic, sometimes it will overcompensate and literally became a panicking blind animal.

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Need for Speed Ad in Battlefield 4

I’ve been playing Battlefield 4 a lot, see, and even months after it came out it’s still pretty messy. The number of times I have somehow dominated everyone completely and utterly with my best m8 Crappy Hand Gun and then suffered a sudden crash is still a lot. The history books will never know my bumbling triumphs.

A few days ago I was haunting the internet looking for gullible people to take my anger out on, as you do. It backfired, ‘cos I found this instead, and I got even angrier. According to a boy and his screenshot, EA are now putting ads in your Battlefield 4 when they should be, I dunno, fixing this thing.

No Day'z Later

By on March 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Forgive my cynicism (or don’t) but I’m not into Kickstarter’s vibe at all and, until this week, I couldn’t really figure out why. It was always an inkling; a something-something about every person and their dog/cat/cat-dog suddenly being given an elevated platform with which to beg for money that, I thought, was pretty galling on a mysterious level. Then I saw some class-A titanium rip-off derp like No Day’z Later in the queue for internet Centrelink and I realised: Yeah. That’s why.

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Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall

By on March 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Dragonfall sucks, because it’s awesome. Hey, what-who? It does. You know why? It’s so much better than the base game that it should be the base game. It is what everyone’s introduction to Shadowrun Returns should be, such is the intensity with which Harebrained heard the critique and used it to affect improvement in just about every area that needed it. It if does anything wrong, it’s that new players aren’t able to play it straight up, ‘cos it’s DLC.

And what DLC. My goodness.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth

By on February 17, 2014 at 11:37 am

The thing with South Park is, it’s not very serious. It is, if you might allow me this open invite to catcalls of U CANT WRITE OMG I AM BETTER WRITAR THAN U, totes cray. Let it not be said Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s satire is stupid, no way. It is the opposite of that. But you would not reasonably expect these two goons of anything-goes to lend their barely animated precious to a hardcore goddamn turn-based RPG. Or maybe you would. They are kind of nerdy fellers with their hearts on fire. Trey has still not gotten over a woman who cheated on him 15 years ago. Her name was Liane. Yes, like Cartman’s mum. No, he will not let it go.

Obsidian have demonstrated a similar kind of obsessiveness in developing the nuances of Stick of Truth, at least from what I saw munting through the first hour of it. Mechanics aside, it is an RPG that loves and hates RPGs, much like South Park itself loves and hates all the silly things that people do.

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Loadout

By on February 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm

As life goes on, you get bored with the surface of things. Things that are pure aesthetic, like Michael Bay movies, lose their luster. Immediacy is not that fun anymore. There is no realisation to divine here, only a headstone to spitfire youth and choices made under the duress of $5 jugs. The depths of things are where your mind goes now. You start to see the subtext in great art – in movies, books, graphic novels with assassin nuns – where before it was something that stretched you, required your head to hurt. Now it is just plainly there: “This is actually about Ronald Reagan’s hair.” It is one of the joys of aging past the 24/7 boner stage. Then you play a game like Loadout.

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Skeletor

By on January 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

I like shooters very much a lot, but they could stand to learn a thing or two about the A to B. Let us be Steve for a moment about the beloved: Very few of them care as much about narrative as they care about your muzzle flash illuminating the panties of male power fantasies left, right, centre. There are, of course, exceptions (IN BEFORE HALF-LIFE I KNOW I KNOW GOD KEEP IT DOWN), but for the most part I do not remember what just transpired between the killing and the more killing – and I certainly don’t recall the bittersweet taste of the bad guy at the end’s blood, ie. A Very Important Impetus.

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Necromancer

By on January 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I went to play Thief recently, where I bumped into games.on.net regent Tim Colwill who was also there to see Thief. Do you know that when Tim goes to things like this he wears a branded games.on.net polo shirt with his name on it? Oh my god it’s hilarious. Anyway so I can’t write about Thief because Tim is presumably going to write about Thief. But there was something else I realised on the day, and unlike most of my waking thoughts it did not feature an army of sentient donut men come to claim us all.

Instead it was the realisation that Square Enix are necromancers. I am quite normal, I assure you.

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Miasmata and Bear Grylls

By on January 15, 2014 at 10:51 am

The fact there are insane mods that make the optional survival aspects of Fallout: New Vegas totally harrowing made me wonder why Bear Grylls has not licensed his likeness and habit of guzzling his own urine to a video game. It sounds silly but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What are games good for but escapism and fantasy, even if said escapist fantasy is not what most people would think of as either?

I’ve seen peeps on YouTube who will play Skyrim like some kind of outdoorsman sim. They’ll pick somewhere remote to live and treat each day like man vs. wild rather than an epic quest to yell goats into submission. It’s interesting, but it’s usually peripheral; players skirting the framework of a flexible world. Someone must tap the emergent genre of Gryllscore and- o hai, Miasmata.

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Alien: Isolation

By on January 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

There are certain combinations of things that fill the hearts of men with a nameless dread: The end of the month and bills. Testicles and fences. Sega and Aliens games. Because that worked out so well last year, they’re at it again. Inexplicably, most might think. This time they’ve given Creative Assembly the keys to the ransacked city. Good boys, but dare I say that while the concept at the guts of Aliens: Isolation seems promising, so too did the signed, sealed and under-delivered fanboygasm that gripped Colonial Marines’ FUBAR.

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Shadow Warrior

By on December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

The end of year plaudits roll on from within the industry and without until they are but one giant snowball shaped a little like The Last Of Us and/or BioShock Infinite.

 I played both these games very much a lot, as did countless other gamers. Yes, they are both fabulous in ways that transcend mere at-home enjoyment of a thing. They are deserving of every pile of unwavering praise they are both to receive, though their monolithic shadows hide another deserving winner you all seem to have forgotten about.

You disgust me. Hang your heads in collective shame.

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Explosion

By on December 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

It’s December and everyone’s doing lists, lists, lists of things they totals liked very much a lot this year. Yes it is that time. It’s a horrible time, and ruins Christmas for me every year. “This game was awesome.” “No this game was more awesome.” “I challenge you to a virginal neckbeard fight because our opinions differ!” “OK but be careful with my thin aristocratic wrists.” And so on and so forth.

By and quite large, I think all these dumb lists miss the point. In their rushes to personally quantify fun, mayhap they bogart the ties that bind us all in mutual admiration: The moments.

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Far Cry 3 with no minimap mod

By on December 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Right now I’m in Fiji. Nandi, to be super precise, in an imprecise place loosely connected by FJD$7 cab rides across vast stretches of Far Cry 3.

That’s what this place looks like: Far Cry 3’s non-specific navel between the Indian Ocean’s loins and the Pacific Ocean’s moobs. Trade the bizarrely Kiwi locals for a hodge-podge of Fijians, Indo-Fijians, and stubbornly made-up expats and you’re there. I remember how much running and sliding and intense physicality Jason did in that game, and then I think of how the idea of even leaving this hammock for a second fills me with a nameless dread.

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Wizardry 8

By on November 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

One of my fave jams right now is Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space by Every Time I Die, in which Keith Buckley declares: “I WANT TO BE DEAD WITH MY FRIENDS!” I don’t know if Keith is a gamer. It appears likely. He has a beard and I’m almost certain he smokes the reefer, madam. No matter what nihilistic despair he might actually be exorcising, every time I hear him howl that line, I always think of video games. I think of how I want to be dead with my friends in video games.

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Quake Live

By on November 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

Sometimes I put some pantaloons on and I go to work in an office environment. Not often, but sometimes. It’s an alright office. The people are nice enough. They wear shirts and ties and prim frocks, and talk in a quaint way that includes phrases such as “Let’s take this conversation offline,” ostensibly to “cut through the noise” and “start warming the room to the idea.”

It’s a business and business is good, because these people do business. That is, until, the clock strikes a certain time every Friday.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts

By on November 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

Possibly like a lot of discerning gamebros (and sisters. ‘Gamesisses’ is a bit Lord Varys, though), I’ve been wondering for ages: When are people going to realise en masse that Call of Duty could stand to stand down? At least until it gets its life together. You can’t just get one awesome haircut and then leave it for years. You’ll end up getting into technical death metal by hirsute default.

…which is awesome, not sure where I was going with that. I guess I started to make a good impression and then totally ruined it straight away by spiralling into irrelevance. Meta as hell and you love it: EXPLOSIONS! Wow! Aaand then whatever.

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The Regulars
guns_2

Sitrep: Hating Guns and Totally Loving Playing With Guns

Toby's absent-minded shower thoughts arrive for your edification.

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Legal Opinion: Bait and switch… with a mankini

Not everybody is laughing following Funcom's April Fools joke on its players.

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Sitrep: Waiting in line at the FPS dole queue

Toby is so incompetent that he needs an entire new genre of games invented just to cater for him.

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Friday Tech Roundup (04 April 2014): Radeon R9 295X2 specs leak

Also, the man behind the "Microsoft" phone scam has been captured and fined.

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