Dibbs Ahoy

Grig Orig at 5

Well, it’s been five long years since Grig Orig started tearing it up on the Internet. Occasionally, I have a brief flick back through the archives and relive the various moments that, since I don’t keep a diary, have almost become a commentary/reference point on what I was focussing on at the time. Or rather, what I was getting grigged off about in gaming. It’s a slow degeneration from the ‘not much hope’ of the early days, to the ‘that’s it. I’m done.’ of the modern era.

But what a ride!

I laughed! I cried! I cried again. I cried some more. And then I wondered what’s the point. But such is the way of life here at Grig Orig… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Then of course there was the great Griggish blackout of ’12/’13, effectively sheering over a year off of our operation and putting a huge dent in the impressive feat of the aforementioned five years of service… but we won’t go into that.

And so for once, I’m not going to write a fifteen-hundred word strong article that no one will bother reading anyway. What I will leave you with on this momentous occasion however, is the following…

Huh. So that’s what happens when you try and make a video out of a blog.

So there ya blow. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time at Grig Orig, it’s that I use too many commas and don’t quite, know where to, put them,. Oh, and ellipsis’s… serious… overuse.

But before I go, and coz I’m feeling merciful, there’s one last piece of housekeeping to deal with on this most epic of occasions (oh go on then)…

Grig...you're free!

Laters.

Merry Christmas Nights Ahoy!

Well since we’re being productive on Grig…

and yes Lartens, I know I suck at this game. I could almost sense you shaking your head at every missed chip but it’s the best I could do after being no good at the game to start with and then only having 2 warm up goes after a year of not having played it. Also, lag, and any other excuse I can get my hands on.

Yeah. I’m just bad.

Anyhoo, merry Christmas!

Retro vid of retro pickups starring the boys from the Grig!

Well, I said I was gonna trawl this one out… and here it is. No more babbling needed. Roll that shizzle!

‘Kup, Hotrod, look!’

Grig mongers! Now, I ain’t intending to keep posting stuff from Dibbs of the Grig Gaming all over the show here at Grig, but this one you gotta take a butchers at – Transformers Devastation ahoy! And it looks freakin’ sweet! Get ready to run riot with Prime before a showdown with the big man himself – Devastator! Let’s get busy with the Griggy!

So there ya go. Looking pretty darn awes, no? Except for my gameplay. But I’m hoping for good things from the rest of this game coz what I played so far was pretty flippin’ good!

And so, I’ll see ya next time. Same Grig time, same Grig cha…

Ah shut up. Laters.

Some Sega Rally?

Grig-mongers! So Dibbs of the Grig Gaming is racing forth at full steam, throwing out content like it’s going out of fashion… which technically it is coz it’s mostly retro. Or is that now officially cool and in fashion right now? Whatever. The point is that I’ve defied my own expectations for how much effort I thought I was going to put in to this li’l endeavour and have plooped out far more videos than I thought I would. So I thought I’d throw another one up on the ol’ Grig for no reason at all. That’s a lot of thoughts! Sega Rally ahoy…

Well, I aint as good as you two Grigadiers, but I was surprised that I could actually get first after all these years after only a little bit of a warm up. And it was still a dang fine time playing such a beaut again! And I now have a catch phrase which I’ll leave you with…

‘So I’ll see you next time, same Grig time, same Grig channel.’

Yeah, I didn’t say it was a good one.

Just that I had one.

Laters.

Dibbs of the Grig Gaming ahoy!

Well here’s something a bit different. So I had the worst idea ever, but rather than stop myself from doing it, I just blocked out the myriad of voices telling me to stop and went ahead and did it anyway. Yep, I’ve decided for this post to step it up a notch. And by that, I mean make the worst YouTube channel known to man.

My thinking went thus – why spend hours scribing for the Grig when I can just stick on a game and warble a bunch of buh over the top of it in about a third of the time it would usually take me to ploop out one of my posts?

And so, I set up a channel, made a li’l logo, grabbed some random title music off my archaic computer that I recorded about 8 years ago, setup some recording stuff, and I was away… in probably even more time to put it all together than I would normally take on a standard post anyway. Fail.

The results of my recording-related tomgriggery (and poorly handled sound) can be found below. I apologise in advance…

Well… there ya go. Hmm.

I did vet it via Lucy before I put it up by showing it to her. She fell asleep. So I waited till another day since she must’ve just been tired. She fell asleep again. I’m not joking. Oh well, if nothing else, at least there are many great life lessons I can take away from all this. Namely that I am definitely not fit for purpose. And I’m not even just referring to being a person on YouTube who makes videos. I mean as a human being in general. But I will soldier on undeterred!

For now.

Oh yeah, and part 2 is also on the channel if you head there.

This is Dibbs… of the Grig, apparently… signing out. Enjoy your day.

Mega CD FMV Retrospective

Yep, I’m doing ANOTHER post. That’s two in one month, and we haven’t seen that kinda action around here in quite some time. Well, I thought I might as well do something productive since all I’m currently doing is manning the basement door here at Grig Towers waiting to admit The Grigs girlfriend – er, Urethra Franklin – into his cell for another visit. Dread to think what they’re getting up to in there, especially after the curious deliveries they’ve had recently. A Big Jim diving suit minus the bottom half, 106 ‘heavily-thumbed’ used copies of J.D Salinger’s Nine Stories, an industrial grade leaf blower, and seven lorry loads of cement don’t paint a picture I could even fathom a guess at, let alone wish to see. But while I’m just sitting here, I may as well scribe, if only to try and block out all the weird noises coming from inside (Y’see I say that as if I just wrote this, but just for some behind the scenes buh, this post is actually pretty old. Still, time to unleash it on the world!).

mega-cd

The beginning of a new generation of consoles is always an interesting time. The reaction to the usually excessive price, the furore over there being no games to play, and the confused prods in a myriad of directions developers try out with the new options available to them are all intriguing to witness. It’s all part and parcel of the new machine experience. The Mega CD was one such example, and while not neccessarily a new gen as such, the powerful sprite scaling and rotation chips were great for the time, allowing for some impressive SNES-style shenanigans to be implemented. But it was the huge leap in memory availability was a bound of unbridled significance.

MCD
The Mega CD. An absolute Stallion of a machine, but who could tame this unruly bronco?

The brave developers who took up the challenge presented by this new beast waved their arms around in the dark, desperately hoping to find their way. Some achieved this to a degree. Thunderhawk was a sterling example of something that arguably could have only been done on Mega CD, at least to such a standard, and the pretty much arcade-better conversion of Final Fight certainly put the three-sprites-on-screen-character-dropping-multiplayer-devoid SNES version well in its place. Plus it had Snatcher, which as any regular Greader will know, is one of the best games of all time.

But what of the other efforts? One way of filling up all that extra lovely space that game makers far and wide stumbled upon, fairly early in fact, was the use of Full Motion Video, or FMV, thus leading to the advent of the FMV game.

FMV games used memory sapping digitised video footage and sound that would far exceed the limitations of cartridges leading to a glut of titles that were riddled with it. There were several flavours of these games. Some were of the more leisurely variety like the famous Night Trap where it was all about keeping an eye on what’s going on, strategically setting traps, and flicking between video feeds at the right time, rarely relying on reactions. Others however, could be likened to Quick Time Events these days in how they operate, i.e. watch the game playing what’s effectively a cutscene until you’re prompted to interact with well timed button presses. Except in the Mega CD days, they weren’t really cutscenes that crop up every now and then to progress the story. They were the game.

From Mega CD pack-in titles like the anime flavoured Cobra Command and Road Avenger, to Sewer Shark and Tomcat Alley, there were many who tried their hand in the field. But were any of these games actually any good? Have a seat my obsequiously gallant Grigadiers of the Grigmungous order, as we take a brief look at some of the games that broke through their developmental shackles to break out the other side and find their ways into our homes.

Night Trap

Well, let’s not mess around and cut right to the chase. Night Trap. Yep, the game that sparked a whole lot o’ trouble all those years ago, and which, along with Mortal Kombat, lead to video games receiving age certificates in the vein of movies. ‘Sfunny really. The game was about as convincing as an episode of Top Gear, and if you can believe it, even worsely acted. In fact, the only thing scary about this game was the crazy fuss around it, with the press jumping in at every potential opportunity to herald it as the thing that will finally push the youth of the day over the edge.

Night Trap

Course, the thing that they actually should have been focusing on is the bizarre Night Trap song the girls start miming to for some strange reason near the beginning of the game that truly is so bad it’s almost goes all the way round the crap spectrum to become good again. With this song in mind, I’d have argued that the fifteen certificate the game was awarded was lenient in the extreme.

Double Switch

Now I never actually got to play this game back in the day, but I was aware it was treated with some level of prestige, possibly even skating around the notion of being decent. Can’t say for sure if that’s true, but what I can say is that it plays in a similar manner to Night Trap. So chances of that being true are thin on the ground.

Switch2

Anyhoo, starring a character called Eddie who has been locked in the basement of a building, you are to flick between a selection of cameras while setting traps all over the show. Sounds a bit like The Grigs current situation here at Grig Towers. We’ll be sure to keep any and all copies away from him so as not to give that monster of iniquity any ideas.

Switch1

With higher production values than Night Trap, apparently the main criticism levelled at the game was that it was too hard. Better than getting called too crap, I guess.

Silpheed

There were some interesting anomalies with the Mega CD, and one such title that you wouldn’t necessarily consider an FMV game was space-shooter Silpheed, which seemed to show the Mega CD pumping out incredible amounts of polygons and throwing them round like the basement bound The Grig does with poop in one of his particularly noteworthy dirty protests… until you realise it wasn’t doing anything of the sort and was just streaming video of said polygons behind your controllable ship that was layered over the top. Sneaky!

Silp1

Yep, it’s a shooter. But this game had FMV coming out of its ayne!

Dragons Lair

There was also the release of the impressive Dragons Lair, which upon its late 80’s arcade release, was probably the goal post marker for this type of game.

Dragon2

With its voluptuous cartoon graphics and awesome dramatic sound, it was basically as close to an interactive cartoon as you were gonna get back then. And while the Mega CD version had more than a slight tarring of the ol’ grain-o-vision brush, it was still a wonder that this game had made it into the home in its original guise, rather than the awful NES adaptation where it had become one of the worst platform games known to man. I own it and can attest to the buh.

Dragon1

Time Gal

Time Gal was a good one. Well, in that it looked good. The actual game was a pile of Grig, but it had that awesome looking late 80’s anime flava down to a tee. Taking control of the shenanigans of the time-travelling temptress, Gal, or whatever her name is, traversed the circuits of time, hitting up many a period (hee hee! Period!) and taking on an assortment of adversaries as she strove to save her scantily clad hide.

Gal1

Whilst it looks quite good, with the cartoon graphics using simpler and flatter colours allowing for a marginal drop in the usual graininess found in live action FMV, the gameplay is left wanting with confusing scenarios and so fine a line between what you should and shouldn’t do it can often leave you wondering what the Grig is going on. Close, but no cigar.

Gal2

Star Wars: Rebel Assault

Rebel Assault was an interesting one. Up until this point, most FMV games on Mega CD were grain-fests of washed out colours due to the seemingly bizarre issue of still sharing the Megadrives very limited amount of colours on screen. New tech was called for, and so Sega developed new rendering methods that allowed for more colours and a bigger FMV display window. In fact, after a brief Griggle search, I can find nothing on this but I distinctly remember it at the time. Another lead for Grig Orig to track down lost in the annals of time! Anyhoo, Rebel Assault was the first game to bear the fruits of this labour.

Rebel1

Converted from the PC original, Rebel Assault sees you controlling your usual assortment of Star Wars flavoured vehicles, taking down the Empire, and generally kicking Imperial ayne all round the galaxy. ‘Twas a fair crack of the whip, though the Mega CD version came off as slightly lacking compared to the PC original and even missed out a few chapters due to the developers being unable to overcome some of the constraints of the system. Me and Lartens had a pop at it a while ago (note: I think I wrote this article about 2 years ago, so it’s now probably a heck of ‘a while ago’)… think we were done in about five minutes. So it’s still got better lastability than a modern FIFA title.

Rebel2

So that was our merry jaunt down the FMV Mega CD memory motorway. While these games missed the mark for most people, there were undoubtedly some awesome games for Mega CD. Usually not of the FMV variety of course, but they were definitely out there, despite the relatively bad rep the machine still seems to have these days. I certainly never regretted buying one and had way too much fun with it to give a crap about all the people talking buh about it. From Snatcher and Thunderhawk, to Batman Returns and Sonic CD, and the earlier mentioned Final Fight CD to name a few, there were plenty of titles to get stuck in to. And that’s not counting some of the gems that snuck past me, such as the Snatcher-esque The Space Adventure and (somehow) Shining Force CD, which I’m surely gonna be checking out at some point! Anyway, we’ll get round to all those games in a future episode of Grig Orig, same Grig time, same Grig channel! But for now, toodle-doo!

Streets of Rage 4 Stuff Abound!

Origami makers! Took a different approach there on that one. Always thinking outside the box. What’s the haps?! Well you probably all saw these pics already, but this is Grig Orig, and we need posts dang it!

So the ol’ Yooz-meister general, and by that I mean Yuzo Koshiro, has tweeted out a few li’l beauties of unseen Streets of Rage artwork from the proposed fourth instalment on the Dreamcast that never was. And judging from these tech demos that leaked many years ago, that’s probably a good thing as they look ploop.


Yeah, I know it’s a tech demo, but this really doesn’t look too promising.

But these bits of artwork are new, never seen before snippets of Raging-nuggetry that must be perused.

SoR41 copy

First thing to notice is that these dudes are not the original cast that we all know and love. The guy who looks just like Axel is apparently Axels son and is named Burn, perhaps insinuating that his mother could be Blaze due to the fire-based-naming-tomgriggery of the whole matter. Didn’t see any other obsequious purveyors of ploop picking up on THAT one! Call me Columbo. But yeah, it would seem that, based off my watertight theory, Axel and Blaze have been making li’l Ragers. I always wondered what went down after the screen faded to black at the end of each stage down those darkly lit back alleys. Not all just eating turkey’s out of bins it would seem… WOOF!

Anyway, next up is the female protagonist of the group, Erie. She ain’t much of a Blaze as she is not fit at all, doesn’t look anything like my old Science teacher Miss Gatehouse, and has a fully clad clothing get up that doesn’t give any scope for some of the up-skirt shenanigans that kept us glued to the game as teenagers. But we’d have probably at least had mercy enough to hear her out for her shame. She might wanna stop off at Clarks though on her way to apply a hearty dose of ayne whooping at Mr.X’s building to get her feet remeasured, if only just to check, coz those massive boots look like they should have a certain moustachioed plumber sitting in them from Mario 3. Just to be clear, I’m talking about that massive clumpy boot thing you can get in. And that ain’t a compliment.

SoR2

On the subject of Streets of Rage girls foot ware, here’s one that always troubled me – Blazes shoes in SoR2. I mean, what kind of shoes are they? They look more like babies booties or something. Always boggled my buh that did. Thoughts?

The other two dudes we have no idea about. Clearly these are the Max and Skate/Adam equivalents, but no names have we heard at this point, although the Fresh Prince should surely be on the table for the last dude coz that isn’t even a close likeness – that IS him. The big dude, we’ll just call Shamus. Second names, er… The Painus In The Anus. No, I don’t know why either.

SoR42

Moves ahoy! I don’t think I say ‘ahoy’ enough these days. I really need to up my usage of that word, especially since we have such a nautical theme going on here at Grig (except we don’t – ah, another classic.)

And so ends our epic coverage of two pictures. Just imagine if they’d actually released something of any significant content, we’d be here all year. Or is more likely, I’d write a bunch of excessive buh in the upper echelons of unacceptable word counts, store it in my phone for three years tweaking it every now and then with current references to make it seem more relevant, and then ploop it all over the Grig front page as a last gasp hurrah to prevent a missed month in Griggish archive history somewhen down the line. We really should do a Grig ‘making of’ sometime to enlighten our dear Greaders about the workings of this well oiled machine. Yeah, don’t worry, we know the truth really. We have more low bars than a grigging Ewok’s play park, what can I say?

‘Til next time.

Dibbs Belated E3 Warblings.

Uh oh. It’s getting dangerously late in the day for this months post and I can’t detect a sniff of movement anywhere. Don’t worry my Grig-mongers. I got this.

Well, it’s been a good few weeks since probably the most memorable E3 that has ever been, and I needed this long to even slightly digest what happened there.

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It all started out much as you’d expect.

Microsoft brought out all their big guns to try and continue the battle to drag gamers back to Xbox after the most disastrous console unveiling of all time 2 years ago for which it’s still suffering, and in many ways, they did that. All the usual boxes were ticked with Halo, Gears of War, Forza and so on, plus the interesting treat in the Minecraft/Hololens demo which looked very good and generated the kind of intrigue reminiscent of their original Kinect demo with Peter Moleneux seemingly interacting in real time with the virtual kid, Milo. In many ways, this recent offering echoed that same conference, and it was no bad thing as that was one of Microsofts finest showings, even though Kinect turned out to be one big pile of buh.

But the lineup could have easily been the exact same games as they could have revealed 10 years ago, albeit with reduced numbers after each title. It was a predictable showing, yet a solid showing, and a much needed showing, tapping into the familiarity of yore to try and make the excessive number of PS4 defectors look back over their shoulders. If only for a brief moment.

For while Microsoft brought the big guns, Sony brought the legends.

Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue 3.

I could never imagine again such a lineup of games shaking the foundations of gamesville as much as those three have ever again. Particularly the last two. In many ways, the unexpected announcements from the Sony show could likewise have been a games lineup we could have had 10 years ago. Indeed, it was probably about that long ago that they first showed off Last Guardian. But this was different. These were the games everyone wanted, that we’ve pestered the makers endlessly for, and that ultimately, we thought that we were never going to get. Like, ever. It was a real testament to what was going on when grown men in the audience could visibly be seen weeping at the reality of Final Fantasy VII Remake materialising, and then following that with Yu Suzuki taking to the stage to take the lid off of Shenmue 3.

Plus, there’s this. You’ve probably seen this video a bunch of times, but this is a real moment-catcher…

For me, it was the most bizarre of moments when I woke up and hazily picked up my phone to check what had gone on in the night at the Sony conference, and I had a reaction that I’d never experienced before after the show. E3 was always about the hype, the KABLOOM of the next most awesome games, and the laughing and picking at the stupid things that some idiot had inadvertently given us all something to cringe and chortle at. But there was no Cammy Dunaway, no ‘massive damage’, no Don Mattick, and not even a hint of ‘Riiiiiiiiiiiidge Raceeeeeeeeeeer!’ this time.

No sir. This was on too big a scale for the usual tomgriggery of years gone by.

For me, there was a bizarre calmness. Almost as if the hype needle had shot off the scale and I didn’t quite know what to do with myself other than sit still in silence. I even put my phone down to try and comprehend what I had seen, leaving it there for a good period of time as I tried to sift through the information in my head. It’s weird, and I sometimes get like that. I’ve had it when I’ve discovered a particularly amazing retro games shop for the first time and I’ve had to leave after only a few minutes and go for a walk down the street to try and take in the overload of data before I can go back and try and make sense of things.

Things became even more tricky when Lucy tried communicating with me, getting frustrated at how distanced I seemed as she speculated about who was doing what in our usual morning routine. I believe I only managed to utter something about how they were making a Final Fantasy VII remake in response, knowing full well that she would neither know or care what the grig I was talking about, and would still not understand how a games announcement could send me into some kind of weird trance even if she did.

But I couldn’t help it. And I will surely never forget this E3. And that’s saying something when I literally couldn’t have given a skiddy rats ayne about the prospect of this show beforehand, only really feeling inclined to check out what was happening out of pure tradition before I feel increasingly distressed at the way it’s all going. Indeed, if EA and the usual suspects had had their way, it probably would have been just that, especially when the EA representative went on to say ‘Ok guys, it’s time to talk about mobile.’

At E3.

At grigging E3.

No sir.

It is never time to talk about mobile.

Even though they will continue to do so and will get their way eventually.

But I digress.

And while these games will likely not cause a stir amongst the youth of today who are more interested in Generic Future Army Shooter Man Who Swears A Lot With EXCLUSIVE Excessive Removed Content You Can Buy Back As DLC Oh And Don’t Forget To Pick Up Your Season Passes That Cost As Much As The Actual Game Spring/Summer 2015 Edition, or something… for the older dudes, this shizzle is big time.

But only time will tell if these games turn out to be as awesome as they should be. Each of the games heritages should ensure they are, but you never know what can happen. The stench of modern day gamery will surely hang over them in some capacity, be it microtransaction materia in Final Fantasy, pay-to-win ability scrolls in Shenmue 3, or coughing up dabloons to have Yorda tag along in Last Guardian or something, there will surely be some kind of buh at play at some point. It’s not really going to be whether these games have that stuff in them, but whether or not they will still be what we had all hoped they’d be despite those things. But if they can only sidestep that turd just enough to ensure a genuine experience representative of the dreams that everyone has for them, then we could be onto a winner.

We await further details with foolish optimism. But till then, I’ll bid you a good morrow my medieval perveyors of ploop! And by that, I mean bye.

PES 2015 Review – Xbox 360 Version

Well, I took the leap of faith. Conversing with Bedgell recently (it was actually ages ago now. I’m a lazy Grig!) planted a seed of longing to try the latest PES offering as I regaled him with the widespread opinions I had seen online that the legendary series had reclaimed its crown from FIFA with the 2015 instalment. Having been stung repeatedly with every subsequent crappy release after the amazing PES 5 until I finally gave up buying the series around 2010, I wanted to tread carefully, but the hope of PES being awesome again was hard to suppress! Spying the game recently at a reduced cost, I held my breath and took the plunge.

PES Logo

Could PES 2015 really be the saviour of the appalling footballing genre that is so desperately needed, thus rewarding my faith? Read on my dear Greaders for the full lowdown…

In a word, no. And in other words, the game is crap. Atrocious, even. To the point of the wrong kind of laughter such is it’s pitifulness. Picking this one up was a more foolish move than Wenger letting Chelsea have Fabregas. Sheesh. Cheers Konami.

Right, lets get started. The graphics suck. I mean, they are really crap. All the hype about using the Fox Engine is for nowt. And yes, I know the engine and game has had far more effort put into it on the new machines, but they’ve had Fox on last gen for a couple of years and I’d have hoped it would be better than this! I’d be surprised if it was even 720p. I mean, I’m sure it is, but it just looks so fuzzy. And I’d fathom a guess that 60fps is not a predominant frame rate, especially not in ‘authentic’ cut scenes featuring player close ups. I could go into a wealth of details here ranging from the low polygon count cardboard box style shorts that I thought had been left behind in Virtua Fighter 1, the flat lifeless crowds and stadiums, or even the horrible pitch textures that look like they were made in MS Paint… but at the end of the day, just know this – the graphics suck.

PES Gameplay

Football. Looking at this picture I don’t wonder why I spent most of my life thinking it was boring.

Presentation is the same low grade garbage that you expect PES to have but thought that after all this time, couldn’t possibly STILL be awful after all the grief they get for it. But alas, this year is no different. Utter crap. The overall feel is still stuck in PES 2008 days, and the whole taste is more Sky Mangle than Sky Sports. Whatever that means. Actually, if I’m picking Neighbours characters, this is Cody Willis. This. Is. Cody. Let that horror sink in for a moment. Traumatised? Good. Now we can move on. But apart from everything looking toilet, the functionality of it all is pushing the boundaries of poop town too. Just trying to navigate the menus is such a chore that it’s bewildering. Its like they wrote all the options down on bits of paper and then threw them randomly into five upturned hats representing main option categories to decide where everything will go. The most fundamental of options that should prominently feature such as reconfiguring the useless default controls is so well hidden that I actually feared they weren’t in the game until I actually had to visit forums to get pointers to locate their whereabouts. And as it turns out, control options are only accessible from the main menu, rather than the in game options. Utterly absurd. I had to venture in and out of three or four matches to get the game close to what I wanted, painstakingly going back and forth when it should have all been there in the pause menu to adjust instantaneously. Grig! This was made all the more painful by the incredible load times when starting matches which are atrocious and about five times as long as FIFA’s, if I’m being generous. Oh, and which ever asylum-escapee thought having reversed controls for corners and free kicks as standard was a good idea needs a serious medication boost. All in all, major suckage of the highest order.

Ronaldo

Setanta Sports. What ever happened to them?

Sound is typically crap as is synonymous with PES. The usual assortment of ‘last seasons’ outdated pop songs are all present and correct in a poor attempt to mimic the down-with-the-kidz vibe of FIFA, giving PES it’s usual musical retail outlet feel compared to FIFA’s more current offerings. But once again, it’s the commentary that’s the star of the buh-show. In and of itself, it’s the best I’ve heard from PES, but that’s not saying much. The trademark robotic script reading is all present and correct, and the application of what is being said is typically and continuously out of context with what’s going on in the game. Head-shakingly bad as per usual then.

Gameplay wise? Grig me… I almost don’t even know which is the most appalling aspect of this category to even start on since there are so many bad areas on display here.

Passing is awful, with your players just knocking the ball out of play at regular random intervals and just being generally wayward right across the board. Busting through opposition defences with through balls seems to be the go-to tactic, but even then players run on to the ball at speed and then inexplicably slow down by a big margin turning a huge break with all the time into the world into being caught in possession and losing the ball to the opposition in the blink of an eye. And the computer freakin’ loves a good pass straight to the opposition. Again. And again. And AGAIN!!! Course this could partly be down to your horrible team A.I standing around in sporadic clumps with any formation long gone, or just ‘queuing’ behind opposition players to remove themselves as a passing option, but I digress. Seems to be that if the CPU doesn’t quite understand what you’re asking of it via your controller inputs, it defaults to doing something incredibly stupid, often completely at odds with your inputs. Groovy.

Player selection (or modifier, or whatever they call it) , after you’ve spent about an hour getting the assist levels vaguely close to being how you want it, is still awful at the best of times. Clicking through the same two or three insignificant distant players repeatedly doesn’t seem to tip the computer off that you might be after someone different, possibly that one grigging player who would be useful standing near the action if you could only select him! But noooooooooo! Standard nightmarish fare.

Shooting is probably the games strongest point, in that it actually puts the ball on target fairly decently, rather than feeling like there’s an invisible ramp in front of the goal that the ball rolls up in order to intentionally sky it as in previous offerings. But sidestepping crapness by just not being appalling is a low bar, as the keepers are so useless it can feel like they’re not even there leaving scoring being wholly unsatisfying. Watching the most pathetic shots known to man trickle in as the pensioner-like keepers once again sluggishly feign saving movements in the direction of the ball with no intention of stopping it is miles off of being convincing. Unrewarding when in your favour, infuriating when done against you.

Bleeth

A brief intermission from talking about this game because this is more interesting. Yasmine Bleeth caught out and about for the first time in ten years. Darn you time, you vile beast! Thoughts… and I’m looking mostly for words of comfort here?

Defending is a joke since players are all over the place not holding lines or positions in order to intentionally create spaces and playing people onside thus making a lot of opportunities but feeling completely forced and unnatural. Plus the tackling mechanics are so bad I can’t even begin to fathom what they were thinking. Slide tackling is massively delayed and has no relation to the pace at which you’re travelling prior to the slide as it can have next to no reach even if you’re running at full speed before activation one minute, and then launch you meters from near standstill the next. This is made all the worse by the fact that the standard tackle just does not seem to work at all. Hitting and double tapping the tackle button just kinda does… nothing. Well, nothing but send your player into bizarre spasms of indistinguishable animations, often with an opposing player standing there sauntering along with the ball at his feet while you perform some kind of ritualistic erotic dance in rings around them while they venture forward as if you’re not there. If you’re lucky, you might just knock the ball slightly away from the feet of Mungo Jones from Nowheresville United’s under-fives, but taking on Diego Costa you might as well just put the pad down for all the good it does. And its not like these players are getting away from you. You can have three players all over them, but the game just decides that you’re not going to have the ball, particularly against the CPU, hence why it feels like the tackle button just doesn’t work. It’s actually inconceivable that all those years ago since I last played PES, this same gripe was one of the things that grigged me off about this game – buzzing round your opponent often moving in between the ball and the opposing player but without your player making any attempt to take the ball. And here it still is. Grigging A…

Teri1

On the subject of retro babes… check this out from Teri Hatchers Twitter feed! ‘@HatchingChange: Jack & me watching @iliza #FreezingHot Who needs date night when you’ve got a dog & an awesome comedienne?!’
Yeah yeah yeah. Enough of the buh/banter, Tezza. I’m more interested in the fact… YOU HAVE A WII! Gamer confirmed!

Teri2

Finally the Grig is breaking her down and bringing the evidence to light! I mean, it is the first Wii. And i’m guessing it’s seen more Wii Fit than it has a Xenoblade Chronicles. But still!

Wii

In my excitement at this breaking news bombshell, I got our Grig Scientists to mock up a replica setup as best they could here at Grig Towers for added definition… and to make me almost feel like I was there with Teri, firing up a copy of Journey of Dreams while explaining to her how Sega RUINED IT! And yes, the machine we used does indeed have a VHS slot. Grig wins again.

Wii U Compare

There is actually something else next to the Wii hidden in the shadows, though it’s hard to see what. Could that little whitish blob be the Wii U logo on a black machine? Probably a stretch, but could be! But until we find a couple of AAA batteries to fire up the Grig Orig Bat-computer for full analysis, we’ll just have to speculate.

Teri3

Ok, I’m getting desperate here. And this didn’t work. Better give up the ghost before the Police turn up here at Grig Towers. Usually I’d make an entire 15,000 word strong article out of this kind of revelation, but putting out two articles in a month could make people think this blog is active and might make them come back. Best not to push it. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. PES…

The age old foe that is scripting is also abundantly at play here, especially in games against the CPU, trying which was probably the most depressing use of my gaming time I can recall in recent years. Sucker punch 90th minute goals, or in fact conceding three over 6 game minutes if necessary, are all regular occurrences. Watching the CPU sluggishly meander upfield and put it in the net as your pressing players bounce off of them, or if not the actual attacking players, popping off of invisible pockets of space in order to keep you away from the ball, is all too common. In fact, pressing the tackle button should come with a sound effect that activates saying ‘No’, ‘Nope’, ‘Uh-uh’ with every tap as your opposition trapeses through. At least then the grigging thing would do something! Conceding against the CPU feels more like you’re receiving a 2nd class stamped slow moving written confirmation of what you already know to be true by the time you eventually are actually scored against. ‘Dear sir/madam, we are writing to inform you that you have conceded a goal. This goal was delivered as you wrangled helplessly with the controls trying in vain to stop it for approximately 30 very slow and dull seconds after you realised what the computer was doing. If you care to contest this, we regret to inform you that this decision is final. Lots of love, the CPU.’ Tssk! Freakin’ PES!

Free Kick

Better put a picture of the game here rather than something else to do with girls who were hot in the 90’s to avoid ‘norms’ accusing us of going off on tangents. Mmm… 90’s babes. I wonder what Jet’s been up to?

In conclusion, the sad truth is, it’s just a crap version of FIFA. Or rather, a more crap version of the crappy game that is FIFA. Its FIFA if you dropped it into a big vat full of Anusol, and all the gloss and functional parts had fallen off. Worse in every area, despite what I’ve read – and really REALLY wanted to be true – and with the added bane of having barely any real licensed teams or stadia, just to take away from any possible atmosphere of authenticity. While its true that PES has never had that in its favour and isn’t really even worth mentioning, these days it doesn’t even have the gameplay to make up for it. There is not only no point buying this game, but there is no point in this game existing. It’s just a worse version of a game that’s already out with nowt going for it at all. There is nothing good about it. Like… I can’t give you one thing. And I want to. I can’t stand EA, and I don’t like FIFA. But, as much as it pains me to say it, it’s better than PES. By a long way.

Overall: 15%

Atrocious. And I’m being seriously lenient here – I have loads more I could have said about this game. But at the end of the day this game is an utterly miserable experience. Just awful in every regard. It’s not often I experience genuine shock at how bad a game is, but for my first day playing this, that’s what I got. I gave PES one last chance after five years away. It won’t be getting another. You’d be better off picking up any of the past seven or so FIFA’s for 50p at a charity shop. Or just go back to PES 5. I never get rid of games, and I even enjoy the odd crap one, but this game is a goner. Straight through the bars of Grig Towers basement door with it! An eternity in the company of The Grig ought to be about right for it. But in this case, I don’t know who comes off worse…

merrett3

What the…?!!! I should have grigging known! Merritt! From his own Twitter feed, now working for Konami and hosting PES tournaments! So they refuse to fund Snatcher 2, fire Kojima, and yet Steve here is on the ol’ payroll? No wonder the whole company’s going down the pan! Still, looks like a quality turn out for Stevie…

Jet Arena

Well we can’t go out on a low note like that! Jet, seen here presenting Grig Orig Live, went down a treat when we played Wembley Arena. The crowd loved watching us play Street Fighter, getting a guided tour of hot girls houses in Hailsham via Google Maps street view, and heckling The Grig by throwing skiddy gamers undercrackers at him. Probably. I did actually tweet Jet once asking her if she could help me with Sonics construction cheat in a reference to her Games Mistress days. Thought it would be charming. She didn’t reply.

‘Til next time…