Archive - Mike Channell
Mike is co-editor at Outside Xbox. His favourite thing about making videos is adding unnecessary special effects. He has heard all of your 'channel' jokes.
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What do Star Trek, The Matrix and Aliens have in common? Enormous fan bases that are hugely invested in their respective universes, for one thing, and also videogames that take the fiction's rulebook and start fiddling with it. Some stomp all over canon more than others, but there are more than enough canonical crimes to go around. Watch on as we read out the charges and dispense justice.
It's not often you get a free game on XBLA, but you'll find that recent release Crash Course 2 can be downloaded completely gratis. That's because it's funded by a giant in the world of adding flavoured dust to corn tortilla chips, presumably in the hope that the goodwill will convert directly into inter-meal snacking. While we're not going to endorse any one brand of corn chips, even if they happened to be secretly our favourite, we thought we'd play a little split-screen and see how the game stands up.
Plenty of games claim to be difficult, but even the notoriously cruel Dark Souls doesn't claim to stop you dead in your tracks. In the spirit of investigation-slash-masochism, we thought we'd try out The Impossible Game, whose title is about as foreboding as they come. Mechanically straightforward yet utterly punishing seems to be the gist.
Everyone knows sharks are the most dangerous creatures on Earth. Or is it humans? Well, it's definitely sharks in water. And it's probably humans on land - that makes sense. So at exactly what depth of water do sharks overtake humans on the dangerousness graph? This is a minefield. Sort of like the underwater minefield that features in Shark Attack Deathmatch, which we play here. And if that isn't the most unnecessarily laboured segue you've ever read, we'll try harder next time.
Codemasters Racing Studio's latest is only a month away, so we thought we'd spend some substantial, quality time with the single player events available in this preview version of the game. GRID 2's world tour spans all corners of the globe, from street races in Dubai to drift events in the Japanese mountains. And as you'd expect from a Codies racer, everything looks positively delicious.
By now you'll have recovered from the frothing excitement of three new GTA V trailers - Michael, Franklin and Trevor. But there's a lot going on in those trailers, and it's possible you might have missed some of the finer details. In this video we analyse all three trailers with a fine-toothed comb, picking out secrets and background bits. There's plenty to talk about.
Cast your minds back through the mists of time (about three weeks) and you'll remember the Call of Duty Championship in Los Angeles. It's easy to be dismissive of eSports as trying to turn an interactive medium into a non-interactive spectator sport, but having watched two of the greatest Black Ops 2 teams in the world face off for a huge prize, we promise you it is genuinely spectacular. That's why you should give this video a whirl even if you ordinarily wouldn't - it compiles the 10 most entertaining, impressive moments from the final match-up between Fariko Impact and EnvyUs.
You might think we limit ourselves to Xbox-themed videos but frankly the real money is in filming weddings. There's something about the lunacy that descends upon prospective brides and grooms that means they'll pay through the nose for an insultingly slapdash wedding video. And nobody does insultingly slapdash like Outside Xbox. So when Dead Island Riptide threw a zombie wedding as a cheesy publicity stunt, we were the first choice.
With Injustice: Gods Among Us slipping into the top of the UK charts like a superhero into his favourite pair of overpants, we caught up with the brain behind the Mortal Kombat series and the man surrounding it, Ed Boon. Topics include making a game that will please both casual and hardcore players, what next generation consoles mean for fighting games and his opinion on the wildly popular Mortal Kombat Legacy web series.
To celebrate the release of the impressive Knife of Dunwall DLC for Dishonored, we've decided to return to our murdering ways. Perhaps you remember our previous two playthroughs, of the High Overseer Campbell and Lady Boyle missions. If so you'll know exactly what sort of Knives of Dunwall we'll turn out to be. Andy is a silent Stiletto between the ribs, Jane is a switchblade to the throat and Mike is a plastic spoon to the eye socket.
What FIFA 14 on Xbox 720 will look like might still be shrouded in mystery, but it's obvious the changes to the mechanics will apply to both the next-gen and Xbox 360 versions. With that in mind, we chatted to producer Nick Channon about how the game will feel different, illustrated by footage direct from the FIFA 14 test bed. If you're a hardcore FIFA fan, this is the stuff that's really going to matter anyway.
If you're one of those people who has been hammering Call of Duty Black Ops 2 multiplayer since release, the prospect of four new arenas in which to embarrass your enemies will be the main draw in the new Uprising DLC map pack. With this series of gameplay tours we dusted off our own meagre skills and headed into each map to get a feel for the layout, with a little help from YouTuber iTemp.
The concept of "many worlds" is key to BioShock Infinite's story: the idea that whenever a decision is made, the possible outcomes split into parallel universes. If you subscribe to that theory, then for every time a change was made in the development of Bioshock Infinite, somewhere else in the multiverse there's a version of the game where that change wasn't made. In this comparison video, we look at just how many of those changes occurred over the course of the game's development, with gameplay from 2010, 2011 and 2012.
What do you call a flashback of a flashback? Because that is what this nostalgic HD remake of the classic rotoscoped platformer provokes. We have fond memories of sidestepping our way around the 16-bit game's lush environs and while the reimagining looks just like our rose-tinted, high-resolution memories, it plays more like Shadow Complex or Deadlight. As unashamed fans of the original game, we got together after playing XBLA version's first level to discuss our findings.
We've identified the reason to pick up Dead Island Riptide. New character John Morgan has a running kick that sends zombies cartwheeling and ragdolling about 30 feet. This is endlessly entertaining and, in a game where the rough edges are part of the charm, perfectly fitting. Watch on for 11 minutes of entirely new gameplay footage exclusive to Outside Xbox.
We're joined by professional YouTuber Syndicate to round up the highlights from Saturday's play at the Call of Duty championships. The competition switched to a two-tier knockout system - teams who were knocked out of the upper bracket had to fight their way up through a lower bracket to stay in the tournament. Drop out of the lower bracket and your day was done. We have all the stories for you.
Missed the news from the first day of competition at the Call of Duty Championship? Join us as we run through the big stories from Friday's matches, in which 32 teams from six continents clashed for a shot at the million-dollar prize pool. 16 teams have already been removed from the tournament and Saturday will see that narrowed down again.
Cast your mind back a good 26 years and you might remember the most famous Mario clone of them all, Great Giana Sisters. Nintendo obviously didn't get the memo about imitation equalling flattery and started putting pressure on Rainbow Arts to withdraw it from sale. Now, the Giana Sisters are back in a game all of their own, but is it any cop?
It's generally accepted that the Western world is in a big old financial mess. Perhaps we need to look to games to find solutions to such delicious-sounding problems as double dip recessions? Xbox Live Indie Game Fiskal Clif has just one such solution and in this video we evaluate whether it can possibly bring America back to its glorious pre-crash prosperity.
GTA 5 an exclusive on the next Xbox? It's not as far-fetched as you'd expect. Join us for a bit of speculation, conspiracy theorising and fantasising - the results might surprise you.
If you're prone to reading tabloids, it'd be easy to assume that videogames glamorise drug abuse. That couldn't be further from the truth. They're usually used as a convenient shorthand for debilitating power-downs that make the screen all swirly and the controls sluggish. These being fictional worlds, the drugs and their effects are often more dramatic and sensationalised than real life. We take a look at the six worst ones to get involved with.
Well congratulations, Volition. We always knew it would happen but, with Saints Row 4, you are the first developer to successfully weaponise dubstep. The Dubstep Gun, which causes its victims to jerk and two-step uncontrollably, is only one of the new, ridiculous additions to the world of Steelport. In this video, we pick out every bit of detail from that first teaser trailer, backed up by interviews with Volition themselves.
Post-apocalyptic fiction tends to be bleak, but there's something about the Russian take on it which is so utilitarian. There's no clinging on to hope, there's just getting on with it. Metro 2033 managed to capture that beautifully and it looks like sequel Metro Last light is poised to carry the glowing uranium torch. We played the game, hence the new gameplay footage, and spoke with the author of the books, Dmitry Glukhovsky about what makes Russian post-apocalyptic fiction great and how close we're dancing to nuclear war.
The original Saints Row game was a straight, gangster-themed Xbox 360 Grand Theft Auto clone. Look at the teaser for Saints Row 4, though, and you'd be hard-pushed to spot that heritage from the gameplay on display. So with a trailer in the wild and more details in the next Saints Row game coming tomorrow, we thought we'd take a look at the outrageous moments from the previous games that Saints 4 is going to have to beat.
There has been a bit of a trend recently for turning po-faced motorsports, normally be the preserve of number-crunching driving sims, into kid-friendly casual racers. F1 Race Stars went the whole hog, transforming the F1 grid into a bunch of bobble-headed cartoons, whereas WRC Powerslide has simply taken WRC 3, pulled the camera out and added power-ups. So is it worth your Microsoft Points? Join motorsport fact cannon Mike and reluctant participant Andy to find out.