Players of the popular action-strategy video game and peculiar wealth creation exercise Dota 2 would do well to watch Tales From the Trench, a frequently hilarious play-by-play series commentated with infectious enthusiasm by a chap named Rusts. I suspect that is not his real name.
I’m obviously a big fan, partly because of the brilliant Twilight Zone-inspired sequence (which is actually more akin to Futurama’s The Scary Door) at the opening of each episode. Since I’m also a big fan of parody, Dota, writing, and apparently the sound of my own damn voice, I got in touch with Rusts to ask if I could contribute to a future episode with a voiceover of my own.
I could, I did, and the episode in question is now live!
As far as 27 seconds of talking goes, this was a hell of a lot of fun. I love writing pastiches, even if they aren’t my forte, and a game as complicated and characterful as Dota 2 lends itself perfectly to parody. There are a few places where I might have delivered a phrase differently, given another chance, but considering my normal speech consists mainly of shapeless mumbling, I think I gave it a decent crack.
I don’t think I did!
Basically, about this time last year, I started having ideas above my station about learning to cook. Considering that I had, up until that point, been subsisting largely on Tesco sandwiches and McDonald’s, this was a matter of some importance. Of separate blog importance, in fact.
The thinking was that if I had a blog to update, I’d have the motivation to keep cooking. Sadly, it didn’t quite work out; proper home cooking is prohibitively expensive for a young single man renting in London, and – let’s be honest – the thought that I’d feel obliged to update a blog demonstrates a clear failure in pattern recognition. Still, I got a good twelve recipes in before coldly leaving it to perish, and other than some slight regret about the unnecessary profanity, I’m actually pretty happy with the texts within.
Without further ado, then, I present The Slow Roast, pages one and two. By James Archer. Age 24.
I’ll be honest: I’ve kind of gotten really fucking terrible at maintaining this blog. With that in mind, I have some good news: I’ve decided to use this blog to whore myself and my writings like never before. I promise.
For starters, I’m actually updating that Features sidebar on the right there, with a combination of stuff and things that even I think aren’t that bad. First off, here’s a hands-on preview of Stealth Bastard Deluxe – which also includes an interview with lead dev Jonathan Biddle – I did for BeefJack last year.
Interviews continue to be a glowing yellow weak spot pulsating on the surface of my confidence, but I’d say I did alright with this one. I was determined to wrangle at least one truly new bit of info out of a developer who’d been doing the pre-release promotion ‘thing’ for a while by then, and – judging by what did and didn’t appear in my pre-interview research – I ended up with several.
It’d be fun to do more.
Here’s another largely unneccessary post that exists solely to link to my Scriblenauts Unlimited review that went on up PC Gamer’s site earlier this month. Hooray!
I also covered The Showdown Effect, but I’m not quite sure it deserves Featured status as much. For one, it has a lot more comments than Scribblenauts, so since I’m too much of a fat crying baby to read my own comment threads I’ll assume more people thought it sucked and that I’m corrupt.
Specifically, two-and-a-half whole pages of this most delightful (and red!) of PC gaming magazines were written/screenshotted by my own fair hands. Therefore, it’s totally worth paying six quid for your own copy, then perhaps framing the two reviews I did in it on your wall or something. They are, and feature such sentences as, the following:
Air Buccaneers – “Most ship-on-ship battles are surprisingly pacey, with crews racing to load and fire their cannons while cursing the captain – who’s probably trying to perform evasive manoeuvres with a vehicle the size of a cottage – for not keeping her steady. Every cannonball volley has to be deliberate and adjusted for height and distance, and it’s this total non-reliance on freakish twitch skills which makes sinking en enemy vessel an immensely satisfying experience.”
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – “This is a hard game. And that’s fine – even when roughly half of it looks like the Ages 5-7 section of a Toys ‘r’ Us, you could never accuse Twisted Dreams of dumbing things down. But it’s hard to enjoy the rare triumphs when they’re punctuated by deeply tedious boss fights, trial-and-error acrobatics sequences and checkpointing that lurches between moderately generous and diabolically cruel.”