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Gamespot - House of Horrors

Jess McDonell ( and Zorine Te ( of Gamespot Australia play scary games each week in a live stream.

All links contain archives of all the episodes in full. Here is the Gamespot page that goes into more detail about the show and provides links to highlight reels for earlier episodes. From the Lumber Island episode onwards, the episodes are archived in full at Gamespot as well as, but they are generally shorter, lasting about an hour. Episodes can also be accessed via this show page. Bear in mind that the earlier episodes contained there are in highlight form only. The Gamespot archives are usually available in 720p, unlike the Twitch archives.

1. Penumbra: Overture (2H 06m 19s)

2. System Shock 2 (1H 55m 47s)

3. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

Part 1: (3H 27m 33s)

Part 2: (3H 22m 42s)

The live stream for part 3 dropped a few times which is why it starts abruptly and is fragmented into several parts below.

Part 3a: (2m 26s)

Part 3b: (57m 07s)

Part 3c: (26m 22s)

Part 3d: (1H 06m 46s)

Part 3e: (29m 26s)

Part 4: (3H 50m 35s)

4. Lone Survivor (1H 50m 10s)

5. Slender: The Arrival (1H 48m 39s)

6. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (2H 03m 07s)

7. Dead Space (2H 36m 05s)

8. Clive Barker's Jericho (1H 52m 51s)

9. Silent Hill (1H 53m 48s)

10. Doom 3

The BFG Edition (1H 59m 18s)

11. Alan Wake (2H 17m 39s)

12. Resident Evil (1H 19m 42s)

13. Lumber Island (42m 38s)

This stream lasts about forty minutes because only chapter one of the game was available to play at the time of recording. Instead of a highlights reel they have hosted the entire recording (link below) on their own site as well. Presumably because of its relatively short length. Also, you may prefer to watch the version below as it's available in 720p (40m 30s)

14. Cry Of Fear

This second Gamespot link is the second half of the stream for Among The Sleep. They had completed it and so revisited Cry of Fear for the remaining thirty minutes.
15. Among The Sleep
At the time of recording, only the very short Alpha Demo was available. The Twitch archive above contains the full playthrough of that but only lasts about half an hour. The second half of the stream features a revisit of Cry of Fear. The Gamespot link below features the playthrough of Among The Sleep only.
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A Piece of History

I wanted to note down my observations of the Whiskey Media buyout. It's an event that surprised a lot of people and upset some for one reason or another. It is, for the most part, from the perspective as that is the site I visit most frequently.

No Caption Provided

It all started on Monday 12 March 2012 when Jeff posted a twitter message (image left). Assuming that Jeff took the photo, this meant that at least Jeff and Vinny were not in the office on Monday. This struck me as very odd. Especially when you consider that content has been thin on the ground recently (something Jeff admitted later in announcing all of this) and that they were at GDC the previous week. You would have assumed they were busy outputting some GDC content or something. But no.

Then a video went up on Giant Bomb on Tuesday. A belated but brief I Love "Mondays" video.

On Wednesday, two more videos went up:

A "Chili Day" video...

...and an unusual Quick Look of Street Fighter X Tekken.

I was starting to get worried because there was more and more evidence of them not being in the office. Not just Jeff and Vinny now, but also Patrick and Dave at the very least. What was going on?

No Caption Provided

Jeff announced on Twitter that an announcement would be made at 10am PDT on Thursday in a live stream from Dave’s house which was where the photo and videos had been taken this week and not at the office.

On Thursday in the live stream, Jeff announced that CBS Interactive had acquired and and that they would be moving to the same office as Gamespot. CBS own Gamespot, and Gamespot is where Jeff was controversially fired from in 2007. As you can imagine this was big news. But the news got bigger when he also announced that later in the day he would be sitting down with the Vice President of Games Programming for CBSi in a live stream to set the record straight about why he was fired and to allay fears/worries people may have about the move. I trust in Jeff’s reassurances about this move. Giant Bomb will continue as a separate independent site. It is not merging with Gamespot but they are working in the same office space. Here’s an interview that you may find interesting that sheds further light on it.

Here's the original live stream video archived on Giant Bomb's channel. (For some unknown reason, I am unable to embed the video on this page). Also, here is a link to photos that Drew Scanlon took on the same day. Update: This link is now dead as Everpix has now closed down.

Jeff finally gets the story of his Gamespot termination off his chest.

No Caption Provided
Meanwhile, Will Smith had tweeted that he would be making an announcement at around the same time as Jeff’s. So I was very surprised to see that would now be working with Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters. They’ve been acquired by a company called BermanBraun. BermanBraun co-produce a new T.V. show called Unchained Reaction. A reality gameshow where two teams are given tasks and identical equipment. Adam, Jamie and a guest judge the results.Tested has been the first site to relaunch with a new design as you have already seen. A lot of users’ first impressions were not good, mine included. Will and Norm’s presence on the front page had been swept aside and Adam and Jamie’s photo is prominent (along with their names in the new logo) and they were calling it their site. This is a bitter pill to swallow because this is Will and Norm’s site. They are the ones that have put all the hard work in. In my opinion it was very insensitive to aggressively change the front page like they have. But apparently it is still work-in-progress. Some of the Whiskey Media engineers (also acquired by BermanBraun. Dave and Alexis have stayed with Giantbomb & Comicvine) have been rushing to launch Tested’s site redesign because Adam and Jamie were on tour at the same time or something. Will and Norm are apparently very excited and thrilled about the move so we’ll see how things pan out. Will is aware of users being upset and posted this to try and reassure them.

Things seemed a bit in the dark for Screened and AnimeVice. Users for both these sites have voiced concerns because they are worried for the future of these sites. All we know at the present is that BermanBraun has acquired them. Alex Navarro has officially said goodbye to Screened because he is now working full time for Giantbomb. At the time of writing, Matt Rorie didn't know the future of Screened or whether they will continue to employ him. It was all a bit uncertain but I don’t think they would buy these two sites only to close them down. That would be silly and not make any sense. Update: Tom Pinchuk (Staff Contributor for Anime Vice) posted a very short update on Anime Vice's future on Monday 19th March 2012. It states that a long-term plan is being worked on.

To sum up, I have followed Jeff Gerstmann and his colleagues for about ten years now. I have come to trust him and what he says. I might not always agree with his opinions on games but he always comes across as trustworthy. I think things will be very rosy for Giantbomb. I think it will be exciting to see what they can do now that they have a bigger budget and more resources to do what they love to do. I can see Comicvine potentially expanding its audience because CBS haven’t had a comic book website before now (that I know of), and comic book movies are a big deal these days, so that may help with crossover-mainstream appeal.

I think things will be fine with Tested too. We just gotta give them a chance. Will and Norm are very happy so it must be good.

I have my fingers crossed for Screened. I like the site and how it is laid out, not to mention the wiki work I have put into it. Here’s hoping it has a long and fruitful future.

It occurs to me that faithful users to these sites feel strongly about these events not just because they enjoy the personalities but also put a lot of heart and soul into the site themselves, especially when you consider the Wiki System. So there you have it. It's sad to see the Whiskey Media family split up but I wish them all well in their future endeavours.


Useful blogs / threads / lists

The reason for this blog is for me to have useful information that is normally scattered around the site.  I want to have it all in one central space, so that I am not contstantly trying to remember where it was and not having to dig through endless pages on the forums to get to it.  I will be providing links to not just the post itself, but also to the user who created it.  Creating this post makes me wish you could add favourite topics / blogs to a list or something, oh well.

Blog / Forum Thread / List & Comments
Flaime Flaime's Tips and Mini-Guide on Page Formatting  
Any keen Wiki editors must read this useful post by Flaime.  Using tables can make a world of difference to page layouts.
X19 TNT Archive
X19's TNT Archive post was inexplicably un-anchored from the forum.  This obviously can make it a little harder to locate, so here it is.
djames216 Free PC Games
This is my useful list that contains free-to-play MMOs, flat-out free full games etc.

UStream / - possible fix for video not playing.

For the last couple of days, I have been experiencing major problems trying to play videos on ustream and  I never used to have a problem before, then it suddenly decided it simply wasn't going to play the video at all.  The most it would do is play a video advert at the beginning, then stop dead, even though my net connection seemed to indicate it was fetching video data etc. and my firewall settings seemed fine.  After much searching, I came across a solution that surprisingly worked for me and may work for you too.  It relates to accessing the global settings for flash player.  

  • Going to this link is the first step-  It takes you to the global settings for Flash Player. 
  • Click the "Global Storage Settings" tab, and make sure there is a check mark next to "Allow third party flash content to store data on your computer"
  • Click the "Website Storage Settings" tab. In the lower half of the settings window, you will see a scrollable list of all websites that your flashplayer has visited and has storage settings for.  You can elect to either manually search for the UStream and/or sites and delete them from the list, by highlighting them and clicking "Delete Website" - or - you can do what I did and click "Delete all sites".  After doing this, I refreshed the ustream page I was on, and voila! The video was working again.
I hope some people find this fix useful.  I'm just glad I managed to find a working solution.  Apologies if this information is already in the forums somewhere, but I couldn't find anything when I searched.
Update: I have recently experienced problems with not playing videos again.  I tried my above solution but it didn't work this time.  I eventually solved the problem by simply rebooting my router.

Gray Matter Demo - First Impressions

I decided to download and give this game demo a shot, based on the fact that it is written by Jane Jensen.  She wrote the acclaimed Gabriel Knight series of adventure games.  I have never played them, but they seem to be held in high regard.  I purposefully avoided any additional information or marketing about this game in order to see how well the story comes across to the player.  I am, unfortunately, generally unimpressed with this game so far.  The initial cut scene starts with a well worn cliche - a dark and stormy night.  How many times have we seen that before?  Anyway, a woman is riding a motorcycle, and appears to be misdirected to Oxford.  She inexplicably arrives at some mysterious mansion.  We then see some other woman knocking on the door of the mansion and abruptly disappear for no apparent reason.  The biker woman then approaches the mansion and is let in.  The cut scene ends here, and we're introduced to the game proper with a tutorial.  You are tasked with finding the biker woman's rabbit (the fact that she suddenly has a rabbit is not explained, but I will forgive that, given that this is a demo) and to feed and water it.  Once this is accomplished, control is transferred to what appears to be the owner of the mansion.  He looks like what I can only describe as a Phantom of the Opera wannabe, as he wears a half mask across his face.  I realise that because this is a demo, that context can be limited, but we are given absolutely no direction whatsoever for this second character.  The only thing you can think to do is randomly explore the grounds hoping to happen upon your objectives.  Amusingly, I spent more time trying to figure out what this character's objectives were than the objectives themselves.  As you progress with this character, you learn that his beloved wife has died.  He likes to constantly remind us of this, when you are examining objects etc.  I found this to be tiresome after a while, and as a result found it difficult to sympathise with this character.  This is rather worrying, considering the fact that if you can't sympathise with the characters you are controlling, then why bother at all.  The 2-D backgrounds are colourful and detailed.  All the characters appear to be 3-D polygonal models, but their animations can be stilted and limited at times.  The point-and-click interface seems to be suitably intuitive, and I appreciated that a double-click of an exit would quickly load the next location without waiting for the character to walk there.  I feel like this demo's main purpose was to show off the graphics and gameplay, and that the story was secondary to the proceedings, as it was very difficult to figure out what was going on out of context.  Obviously, I am not making a final judgement on this game, based purely on the demo.  But it would seem I will need to wait for a full review at the very least before I decide on whether to buy it or not.

One more thing.  Are the Gabriel Knight adventure games that good?  I've been toying with the idea of perhaps buying them from  So far, the only thing that makes me hesitate, is the fact that the second game uses FMV.  This obviously can lead to horrible acting etc, which really puts me off.  Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.


Initial (bad) experience playing Dead Space

I just wanted to get some thoughts off my chest  while they were fresh in my mind.  I bought the PC version of Dead Space from Steam (I couldn't resist at £5.10).  Upon starting it up for the first time, the following things were on by default.  Vertical Sync and maximum brightness.  For those that don't know, Dead Space uses shadow and dark corners to good effect to establish atmosphere.  The brightness issue severely affected this, I didnt realise what the problem was straight away as I couldn't put my finger on it, but after a couple of hours of play, I finaly realised and corrected the error.  Amusingly, adjusting the game's brightness to its minimum garnered the perfect look.  Another thing that struck me was how unbelievably "floaty" the mouse cursor was on the menu screen, (barely moving the mouse would move the pointer almost off the screen) before I had even started the game.  I erroneously dismissed this problem at first, as I was playing it with a 360 controller.  So there I was, playing right up until chapter 5.  I hit a brick wall, I simply could not get past the boss encounter in this area.  I was very low on health and ammo and had no nodes and almost no credits.  Being fed up of hitting this wall, I googled for some help to defeat it.  I stumbled upon a post that detailed the "floaty mouse" problem and explained that V-Sync was to blame.  Turning off V-Sync completely solved the problem.  I was suddenly playing a much more repsonsive game that was no longer "floaty".  A game I feel I would've enjoyed more and progressed through more efficiently (and probably would'nt have hit that wall), if this problem hadn't occurred.  What puzzles me is why this degradation in performance was allowed to happen.  If you coudn't solve the v-sync problem developers, why have it on by default?
These issues could have easily been avoided by merely having different default settings.  But instead my experience of the game has been marred.  I decided to restart the game from scratch.  I am currently in chapter 1 and have more health and ammo than I know what to do with (this didn't happen first time round).  Thanks a lot E.A., while I may well complete it, I seriously doubt I will bother with the sequel, if this is how you sloppily implement a PC game.


Carpal Gaming


So I have recently contracted a relatively mild form of carpal tunnel syndrome (no pain or tingling, just occasional numbness/weakness).   I am currently wearing night splints to help alleviate the problem.   I am also rationing my gaming, especially PC gaming.   PC is my preferred platform for games, but as you can appreciate it doesn't lend itself well to the welfare of my carpal tunnels.  

Anyway, I have been searching for other gaming means to satisfy my appetite in the meantime.   I firstly decided to get a vertical mouse and speech recognition software.   Using speech recognition, I decided to start playing a browser-based role-playing game.   It's called improbable island.   It's almost entirely textbased, but has some very unusual ideas, monsters, etc that I found appealing.   I originally discovered the site via an advert placed on   This particular game in conjunction with speech recognition meant I didn't even have to raise a hand while playing.   The speech recognition is clever enough to click links for you as well as for text dictation etc.   This isn't a permanent solution, but keeps me occupied for now.  

Another avenue of gaming (though not one that particularly helps me rest my arms so much) I decided to take up was to look at ZX Spectrum emulators.   The 48k ZX Spectrum was my first gaming computer.   This is a machine that dates back to the early 80s.   So anyway, I did a quick Google search and came across a site called   And it seems to be a very comprehensive site listing all kinds of emulators, old games etc for download.   I haven't looked through everything yet, but it would appear that some of the emulators are free and some are shareware.   I'm going to have fun rediscovering some old games that I haven't played in over 20 years.

The first game I decided to have a go at is called Marie Celeste.   I originally bought this game, way back in the mid-80s for a mere £1.99. It's a text adventure, not one of the best, but I found a certain charm in using my imagination to fill in the gaps.  It's just a shame that I can't use the speech recognition with these text adventure games, at least not with the emulator I am currently using. Ah well you can't win them all.   Perhaps there are some out there that are compatible, who knows?


Giantbomb makes you play stuff!

In the last couple of days, I've come to the realisation that if you want to submit cool wiki stuff to the site, then you gotta dig out that game.  Even if it's just to grab some images from it.  Before you know it, you end up getting sucked into whatever game you just dug out and enjoy the hell out of it all over again.  This site has reached a new level of awesomeness for me (and it was pretty awesome already).  I know of no other site that could do this to me.  All hail Giantbomb!