Got square eyes? Dream in pixels? Put down the controller, step away from the keyboard and take a break without, you know, taking a break, with Ben and Tao's leftfield video game analysis, fresh from the screen.
I'm Ben. And I'm Tao. And this is... Pixel Vision.
Even more breathlessly than usual, Ben and Tao discuss the (quite literal) ups and downs of fast-paced parkour slasher, Ghostrunner. They get competitive in stat-chat to see whose reflexes aren’t quite holding up with age, discuss the increasing trend towards masochistic games and the Crash Bandicoot dilemma, and whether autosaves are the difference between a good, challenging game and a gamer’s hellscape.
Chunky story spoilers, but no-one plays this game for the story.
Content Warning: PEGI 12. Some swearing, lots of shooting, sweaty palms.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was not an exclusive. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in North America in June 2016.
The firearm-based martial art used by Kurt Wimmer and Jim Vickers in their 2002 film Equilibrium is Gun Kata.
Atlas is the name of the Bioshock character who Ben compares with Whisper aka. The Architect.
The Ghostrunner Original Soundtrack is by Daniel Deluxe, released 27 October 2020
Alan Partridge in Tesco
Synne Sanden - Tigers`s Net (Synthomania RMX)
The Lawnmower Man (SNES)
Titanfall 2 theme by Stephen Barton
Jungle Book 1967
Mirror’s Edge OST by Solar Fields
Dying Light theme by Paweł Błaszczak
Premium Rush feat. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
‘Escape’ by The Chemical Brothers from Hanna
MTV’s ‘The Matrix’ spoof with Sean William Scott, Justin Timberlake and Will Ferrell
Arrested Development - Tobias Funke ‘excuse me’
The Last Samurai main theme by Hans Zimmer
The Harry J All Stars - The Liquidator
Finally out of exile, Ben and Tao visit the resort of island 24 for a spot of light holiday crime solving in the surrealist fantasy mystery puzzler, Paradise Killer. Cocktails in hand and against a backdrop of sexy synths and sunsets, the duo talk kinks and dating sims, Vimto and Diogenes, and when it’s simply not cool to accuse your friends.
Major story spoilers, primarily towards the end.
Content Warning: PEGI 12. Moderate randiness, a bit of light swearing, sweet ass tunes.
Music from Paradise Killer is by Epoch
According to the developers, the mature content filter just replaces swear words with **** and blocks some of the voice acting lines which contain swearing. It doesn’t affect any gameplay or visuals.
Rule 34 is an Internet maxim which asserts that Internet pornography exists concerning every conceivable topic.
The dating sim games Tao is pretending to have no knowledge of are: Dream Daddy and Monster Prom.
We’re talking about Kafka Memory, not Kafka Memorise (whoever that is)
Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy.
The duck test is a form of abductive reasoning. This is its usual expression: “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”
The Simpsons - Who Killed Mr Burns?
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Braintax feat. Dubble Edge - Anti-Grey
Midsomer Murders Theme
Exit Music (For A Film) by Radiohead
All This Love by The Similou
Don’t Bring Me Down by PREP
Love on a Real Train - Tangerine Dream (State Azure cover)
Sound of da Police by KRS-One
GTA San Andreas theme by Young Maylay
The Cat Empire - 1001 (Hidden Track)
Fresh from the saloon with dusty wide-brimmed hats a-tilt against the scorch of the midday sun, Ben and Tao turn gun-slingin’, knife-flingin’ cowboys and massacre their way across the Wild West in pursuit of vengeance in the paradoxically stealthy, real-time tactics showdown: Desperados 3. Topics include: when it’s ok to cliché, bad parenting, charming shamans, and if game themes really matter, so long as the game is fun.
Major story spoilers in the final third, heavily forecast.
Content Warning: PEGI 12. Some swearing, lethal dynamite and a bit of hoodoo voodoo black magic.
Music from Desperados 3 is by Filippo Beck Peccoz
Ben’s Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun review
Dr Bones McCoy Star Trek compilation made vastly easier with thanks to YouTuber Biribissi Biribissi, their video here.
Back to the Future 3
Red Dead Redemption 2
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Quick and the Dead
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly theme by Ennio Morricone
Mariachi Sol De Mexico
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Mighty Boosh S01
There Will Be Blood
Prison Break theme by Ferry Corsten and Ramin Djawadi
Mouse Outfit feat. Dr Syntax - The Shaman
Will Smith - Wild Wild West
The Offspring - Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
Dr Bones McCoy - Star Trek compilation
Dragon Age Inquisition
New Year is off with a flash and a bang and not just on Capitol Hill as Ben and Tao get down to some rigorous rib-ripping, head-lopping and eye-popping demon slaying to save Earth from the ravages of Hell in first person shooter, Doom Eternal. Tao flexes his thumb muscle dominance, Ben finally uses the platform to bang on about time-to-kill (TTK), and the duo disagree over the innocence or not of the phrase ‘Mortally Challenged’.
No serious spoilers. Things die.
Content Warning: PEGI 16. Gruesome animations, generally violent delights and swearing. Lots of swearing. We’ll do better...
All Doom Eternal music is by Mick Gordon.
The opening music is Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ which caused a riot on its debut in Paris in 1913. It seemed appropriate...
The original Doom was out for MS-DOS in December 1993.
The weapon Ben refers to in Dead Space is the Plasma Cutter.
The four demon types are: ambient, fodder, heavy, super-heavy
Doom Eternal OST
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle perform Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’
The Revenant feat. Leonardo DiCaprio
Elon Musk talks to Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast about his flame throwers.
Parks and Recreation S05E16 - Bailout - “She’s the worst”
Cupa Soup advert c. 2002
Halo Grunt Birthday Party Skull
God of War ‘Ragnarok’ theme by Bear McCreary
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Henry Jackman
Handsome Jack, Borderlands 2
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, S03E05, Dennis Reynolds peaks.
Dead Space 2
Rollercoaster Tycoon theme
Desperados 3 OST main theme
In this special Christmas bonus episode, Ben and Tao give Royal Mail a run for their money as post-apocalyptic couriers, stacked high with teetering packages but ready to deliver by road, zipline or exoskeleton in Death Stranding. Ben grills Tao on exactly what he found to enjoy in Hideo Kojima’s post-Stranding USA (or UCA as it’s called in-game: The United Cities of America). They debate product placement; the use of celebrity voice acting; voyeurism, auteurs and their egos; and whether Tao is a passive and subservient consumer. (He’s not sure.)
Some spoilers from around the half way mark, but nothing that will shed any serious light on the confusing plot.
Content Warning: PEGI 16. Frequent strong language and angry rants abound. Plus some eejit tries to nuke a few cities.
The original score was composed by Ludvig Forssell
Tim Rogers’ review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZHUY-nVXKU
Tim Rogers’ spoilers summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYlDQbHJ_ms
Red Dead Redemption 2 OST
Minority Report feat. Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell
Die Hard feat. Bruce Willis
Rock Flag and Eagle feat. Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
The Transporter films montage feat. Jason Statham
Forrest Gump feat. Tom Hanks
Prince of Persia 1989 OST
Fable OST ‘Witchwood’
James Bond 007 theme by David Arnold
‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting
‘Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel
‘Bones’ by Low Roar
‘Don’t Be So Serious’ by Low Roar
Nursery rhyme montage from Identity, Conjuring 2, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Dead Silence
Quiet’s Theme from Metal Gear Solid V by Akihiro Honda
Kentucky Route Zero
A road trip through the Deep South finds Ben and Tao soaring among the clouds and scouring the deepest mines on route to deliver a prize antique in surrealist point-and-click-and-choose-your-own-adventure-kinda, Kentucky Route Zero. From poetry and music to humanity’s impending obsolescence and the nature of, as Tao likes to say, voracious capitalism, no stone is left unturned as the duo try to decipher the impossible. Fasten your seat belts.
Spoilers throughout (but it’s not that kind of game).
Content Warning: PEGI 12. Surprisingly clean fun for once. Just careful of the bears...
Tao is referring to the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere
Andy Shauf’s bar concept album is Neon Skyline
Harry James Angus’ album is Little Stories
Barack Obama and crowd chant
Spaced S01E07 ‘Ends’ (1999) feat Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes
Greensleeves (anon and F. Cutting) performed by Daniel Estrem on renaissance lute
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street (1978) saxophone
OSMOS (2009) game soundtrack
Billie Piper - Because We Want To (1998)
Phil Collins - Sussudio (1985)
The Shining feat. Jack Nicholson and Joe Turkel
Andy Shauf - Neon Skyline (2020)
Harry James Angus - The River Queen (2017)
Rage Against The Machine - Take The Power Back (1991)
Twin Peaks OST
Johnny Greenwood’s ‘Spooks’ from the Inherent Vice OST
Lemon Jelly - The Staunton Lick
If your into your games or want a little insight as to what a game is like then then this is a must listen 10/10.