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Ask CVG Anything: Who has the best beard in gaming?

Plus: Which songs should be on the GTA V soundtrack?

Ask CVG Anything does exactly what it says on the tin. We ask followers on the CVG Facebook page and forums to send in their best game-related questions, and do our best to answer them.

If you want to see your question featured in a future edition of Ask CVG Anything, either add it as a comment at the bottom of this article or keep an eye on our Facebook page or this forum thread where we'll be regularly asking for more.


Have any of you guys stepped foot in a gaming arcade in the past 10 years? Have they become irrelevant with the advent of Kinect, Wii and Move? - HelloLadies

Tamoor - Yes. I used to go to Casino in Goodge Street and the HMV Gamerbase in Trocadero (both in London) to play fighting games. Alas, both have closed down now but most of their cabinets were picked up by a fan of the scene, who has refurbished them and opened up Heart of Gaming in North Acton. Simon Parkin recently did an excellent feature on the place for Eurogamer, give it a read. Check the place out, maybe I'll see you there.

Chris - Arcades have become mostly irrelevant but not just because of motion controls. They've become irrelevant for loads of reasons.

They used to offer games that visually outclassed what was on offer on home consoles, and now they don't. Stuff like online gaming is making players stay at home and get more out of the games they already own. The dancing game fad is dying down. And arcade games get more and more expensive as cabinets get more elaborate and interest gets ever smaller.

For all these reasons, arcade gaming is sadly on its way out, at least in the west. It's still thriving in Japan, thankfully.


When's blue coming back? The real official colour of the website, not that smashing pop group from the early 00's. Oh, and when's Blue coming back? The smashing pop group from the 00's, not the real official colour of the website. - TheLastDodo

Chris - Just to be a massive nerd, if you go all the way back to the first issue of CVG in November 1981, the logo was red and white. So if you want to talk real official colours, technically red and white were CVG's original colours.

Oh, and Blue are already back and performing a variety of gigs in the UK throughout October. See you at the Hammersmith Apollo gig!!!!111!!!!!one!!1!

Not really, Blue are pish. Though I do have a soft spot for Simon, because everyone ignores him and I like an underdog. I'd like to see him teaming up with John Hendy from East 17, Lindsay from B*Witched, Johnny from Hear'Say, Siobhán from Sugababes and everyone from 5ive who wasn't Abz to form a massive supergroup called The Forgotten Ones.

Tamoor - I'm more of a red man myself, there was actually a decision made to go to blue and then I crashed in through a window and shouted "NOT ON MY F**KING WATCH". I proceeded to utilise Krav Maga, a non-competitive tactical martial system developed in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, along with realistic fight training, to subdue everyone in the meeting room.

Once incapacitated I released a mind-altering toxin that opened everyone up to suggestion, under its influence I ordered that the website remain red. Once confident that the decision was reversed in my favour, I used skills acquired from watching and reading about crime scene preservation and analysis to return the meeting room to its original state, placing the room's inhabitants back on chairs, posing them in ways that seem like a natural part of conversation.

Using my Restoration Ray, which I developed after months worth of research into advance weaponry, I created a localised time distortion field around the window and reversed the flow of time so that the pieces of shattered glass fit back together. Once completed, I sprayed some Glade lavender air freshener to sooth the transition back into consciousness and then exited through the door.*

*None of this happened and red isn't going anywhere. And f**k Blue, they suck.


Should all games come with a custom sound track option? - Tailisjoy

Tamoor - I think it might just be easier to implement custom soundtracks at system level on consoles, like the Xbox 360 did. I used to play the MGS3 soundtrack during Modern Warfare multiplayer. CoD4's OST was actually done by Harry Gregson-Williams too, so it fit amazingly well.

Chris - It depends on the game, I reckon. If it's a cinematic plot-driven game and the soundtrack's being used to evoke emotion then it really should keep the original score. I don't think The Last Of Us or Silent Hill: Shattered Memories would have sent quite as many chills up the spine if their beautiful soundtracks were replaced by the latest Beyonce album (or even worse, The Forgotten Ones).

If it's something more action-packed that doesn't focus so much on storyline (like a racing or fighting game), or if the music is only background noise that isn't incidental to the plot (like the radio stations in Grand Theft Auto) then yes, you should definitely be able to chuck your own music in there.

That was actually one of the early Xbox 360 features that I adored, but it was quietly ditched in a system update. I used to be able to plug in my iPod, load up a playlist and enjoy my own music while playing the likes of Project Gotham Racing 3 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. Cleverly, it didn't just blast music over the game, it just replaced the in-game music with your own and kept the same sound effects and the like.

I'm not sure if that's still possible with custom soundtracks on the 360, all I know is that iPod support was ditched at some point and now it doesn't recognise my iPod. Which is a shame, because Project Gotham 3 was a lot better with Rob Zombie playing over it.


Now that Don Mattrick's been replaced, marks out of five for Mattrick 2.0 please on suitability for the job (and fancy jackets)? - Balladeer

Chris - If I'm being completely honest I don't know an awful lot about Julie Larson-Green. As something of a Windows fanboy though (I swear by Windows 8 and ditched my iPhone for a Windows Phone), I'm happy with her background and I'm sure she'll be a good replacement for Mattrick. Let's face it, considering the mess that went on before, during and after E3, she'd have to do something pretty drastic to be worse.

If nothing else, since I'm a Celtic supporter, since Celtic wear green and since our best player in my lifetime was Henrik Larsson, I'm more than happy for the Xbox boss to be called Larson-Green.

Tamoor - 5/5 plastic faces.


Who has the best beard in gaming history? I always thought Barry Burton couldn't be topped but Joel from Last of Us has run him very close. - El Mag

Chris - If we're not allowed to count licensed characters (in which case the Undertaker circa Corporate Ministry era would be in with a shout), then I'd say Jinpachi from Tekken. That thing defies gravity. Runner-ups include Dr Light from Mega Man, LeChuck from Monkey Island and Max Payne in Max Payne 3.

Tamoor - Bitores Mendez from Resident Evil 4. I imagine he's got all sorts of food and dead bits of people stuck in there. Disgusting.

Rob - Zangief, obviously.


I understand it means more money in their pocket but do you think Sony have done the wrong thing by making people fork out approx $350 extra to get a Vita for its second screen ability, whereas Microsoft chose to use SmartGlass which can be installed on all types of smart phone and tablet devices that most people have nowadays? And if it means less people would have access to a Vita do you think it means Sony developers won't even bother with second screen application in games? - slpstrm

Tamoor - If you consider the Vita primarily as a second screen for the PlayStation 4, maybe. However, if you consider it as a machine to play games, I think it's a great price. I adore my Vita, so I think it's worth it.

Chris - I really don't think second screen gaming will take off anywhere except on Wii U. That's not a case of 'Nintendo knows how to do this sort of stuff', it's just that when you make something optional rather than mandatory you're immediately hacking away the size of the userbase.

Even though lots of people have tablets and smartphones, that doesn't mean they can all be arsed to find out about SmartGlass, download a SmartGlass app and sit there with their phone propped in front of them. Naturally, with PS4, even less will want to go out and buy a Vita if they don't have one already.

With budgets becoming ever more important, developers and publishers have to prioritise and decide which features are least important and, ultimately, which features are likely to get the chop if development is going over budget or taking longer than expected. And, naturally, the features likely to get dropped first are the ones that not everyone will be able to make use of, so the optional second screen stuff will go.

The Wii U is different in that developers know with absolute certainty that 100% of Wii U owners have that second screen, so second screen functionality will be a priority. Instead they'll drop something like Pro Controller support (because not everyone has one and it might require extra work if the game is fundamentally based around two screens).

It's true that any games coming to Wii U might as well have second-screen support on Xbox One and PS4 but let's be realistic here - the transtitional launch period aside, how many Xbox One and PS4 games are really going to get Wii U ports? Nintendo's console is looking more and more likely to have its own unique software library composed of great first-party games and great indie games (through the eShop), and that's no bad thing. But it does also make it likely that second screen support, which will be optional on other systems, will end up being a Wii U thing and will slowly get dropped on other systems.

With Kinect being mandatory though, motion gaming won't be going anywhere this generation. Yes, the PlayStation Camera for PS4 is optional, but since developers will likely be adding Kinect functionality to Xbox One games anyway, I'm sure it won't be as much of a hassle to add PlayStation Camera support to multi-format titles.

Rob - Here's the thing: the entire games industry is caring less about the second-screen experience at a dramatic pace. Even Nintendo isn't bothering right now, and SmartGlass is quite a poor experience and I think it's only a matter of time before people try it and realise it's not worth their time.

The whole Vita remote play thing isn't about enhancing the console experience, it's more about trying to sell Vitas by connecting the systems via PSN services.


I used to really enjoy the round table discussions on the Xbox World (RIP) disc and also the XBW/PSM3 podcasts. I also thought the League of Next Gentlemen and E3 instant reaction vids were great. Have you considered doing a weekly CVG 'show', maybe summing up the weeks news, reviews etc. or a weekly podcast? I know these things take time & effort to set up but I enjoy seeing/hearing debates of people actually working in the industry. - Gigerman70

Chris - Don't worry, we've got plans to add plenty of new things to CVG in the future. Now that E3 - our busiest time of the year - is out of the way, expect to see us trying some new things. I've already started adding the Retro Vault and History Lesson features each weekend, Tamoor's been doing livestreaming, and we plan to include more video content in the future. In short, you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from us in the future, but we'll be looking for our readers to give us feedback too and let us know what they do and don't like.

Tamoor - Trust me, I'm trying my best to make this happen. If you're reading this and you want to see something similar, make some noise on the website and say you want it. That'll make it much easier to pitch and for the right people to give the go ahead.

Rob - I really want to do it but it's a massive hassle. We'll see if it can work :)


Seeing as GTA V seems to have everything anybody could want in what songs would you like to have on the in-game radio stations? Surely it's time for Eye of the Tiger to be on there. - Barry316

Chris - It's probably a bit late for this suggestion (unless Rockstar is actually doing it and I've just been a brilliant guesser, which is unlikely) but I think GTA should ditch the radio station format altogether. Who really listens to the radio these days? (Cue a million people replying to say they do.)

Here's what I'd do. I'd make it that your character's phone has an MP3 player function. When your character is at home you can access an iTunes-style store and use in-game cash to (legally) download compilation albums from the radio stations in the game (a bit like the real-life CD soundtracks released for Vice City and San Andreas.

Then any time your character buys a compilation, that album is then available to play - not only in the car as you drive, but when you're walking about too through headphones. It'll still let you take calls and such because, you know, it's a phone. And you'd be able to properly learn and enjoy each song instead of ebing hit with 500 different tracks at once.

I'm getting more excited the more I think about it. You'd be able to buy older albums, like the V-Rock soundtrack from Vice City, and you could make your own playlists so you don't have to just hope your favourite songs randomly turn up on the radio.

Now I'll be gutted when that inevitably doesn't happen in GTA V.

Tamoor - I want a radio station with nothing but themes from classic cartoons on it. HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE?

Rob - Raised Fist and Madonna.


Following this week's Forza thread, this question was inevitable: What's the best biscuit to have with a cuppa? In particular, dark chocolate or milk chocolate? - Balladeer

Chris - Definitely not dark chocolate, that can do one. I don't drink tea, so I'm probably not the best person to ask this, but I'd go with the rare but delectable white chocolate chip cookie. I'd also say a Jaffa Cake were it not already well established that it's a cake and not a biscuit.

Alternatively, if you want to get a little continental, how about a macaron? Not a macaroon, mind, but the little French biscuit things. You can buy them in McDonald's in France, which is weird, but the chocolate ones are nice.

Tamoor - Ginger nut is the one. I'm quite fond of milk chocolate digestive biscuits. Outstanding work on that thread by the way everyone, I was thoroughly entertained.

Rob - My god I read through that whole thread and was starving by the end of it!

Now, my honest answer is not something that others have recommended, so I feel it is a matter of urgency that this beauty is discussed.

Fox Classic Biscuit Bar

Zoom

Visuals: A beautiful sandwich of two thick biscuit wafers stuck together by bright white cream, submerged in a generous layer of chocolate. One of those rarities that looks just as nice halved with its sugary innards exposed. I should add it's also the size of a large thumb, making it an unconventional tea-dunking apparatus.

Variety: Like with Kit-Kats, the long-term beauty of the Classic bar is the variety in approach. Yes, you can munch through it traditionally, but you also have the option to tear off the chocolate roof and expose the entire cream centre, which can be scraped off in a messy manner that resembles most drug addictions. When dunked into a hot beverage, the chocolate surroundings are compromised and slosh around the mouth more freely.

Longevity: I've been eating these when visiting my parents for about five years now. I still look forward to it more than anything else.

Verdict: Though rich tea snobs may scoff at the idea of biscuitised chocolate bar, the tongue never lies and this is the most varied and substantial tea-dunking experience on the market.

10/10


Chris - I can't imagine Rob telling someone "the tongue never lies" and it not ending in a night in the cells.

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