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Lucy Orr

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Having a scientist Dad, Lucy Orr grew up close to CERN and FERMILAB. Although surely exposed to high dosages of radiation, sadly her mutant talents never manifested, so she had to resort to playing MUDs, programming BASIC and reading comics. Now an expansively tattooed lecturer in digital arts and animation, she finds enough time to review games in between petting ferrets, drinking cider and listening to pop punk.
SteamOS installer splash screen gets psychedelic

The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

Gamers' perception of Steam over the years has changed considerably. This digital distribution platform, which was developed by Valve, was met with derision when it launched back in 2004 – but jump forward 10 years and Steam is the coolest kid on the block. What self-respecting gamer doesn’t blow all their money on a Steam sale …
Lucy Orr, 20 Aug 2014
Atari Games: Gauntlet

Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Rumours of a new version of the Atari classic Gauntlet at E3 took me straight back to the arcade circa 1985. I remember being dwarfed as a preteen by the fearsome presence of Gauntlet’s massive cabinet. It dominated the arcade and the rest of the machines in the room with its huge screen and impressive multicoloured keypad. …
Lucy Orr, 16 Jul 2014
Valiant Hearts

Battle ready: Valiant Hearts and Company of Heroes: Western Front

Later this month we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Europe's plunge into the deadly turmoil of World War I. Valiant Hearts War stories The role of dogs in the Great War was varied – sniffing out explosives and lugging equipment are just two of their tasks that spring to mind – but I can presume they played a much …
Lucy Orr, 08 Jul 2014
Elder Scrolls online - Breton in Stormhaven

Fantastic fantasy four-way fling – and family-friendly fun

I'm 300 pages into Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance from The Storm Light Archive and I have decided it’s the best fantasy book I've ever read. On Sunday nights I drag my eyes from the page to watch the fourth series of Game of Thrones – I’m all about fantasy at the moment, just call me Lucy Targaryen, Mother of Ferrets. …
Lucy Orr, 06 Jun 2014
Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order ... BLAM-BLAM! That guard did Nazi that coming

I doubt very much when Philip K. Dick wrote The Man in the High Castle that he imagined the very same subject matter could be dealt with in such a rip-roaring, gore splattering, dual-wielding romp. The victorious Nazis are no match for Wolfenstein's B.J. Blazkowicz. Wolfenstein: The New Order Wolfenstein: The New Order – a dual …
Lucy Orr, 22 May 2014
Godzilla movie 2014

Smash 'n' grab: Fighting GODZILLA in your lounge? Read this first

My Japanese friends suggest the new American Godzilla looks too fat and bloated. Maybe it’s something to do with MacDonald’s Japan now serving churros. Godzilla, the movie: hopefully a decent game will appear, eventually Toho would not approve. I would like to suggest that now, just like the state of Gojira’s teeth, there’s …
Lucy Orr, 16 May 2014
Gigabyte Brix Pro

Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

PC sales maybe on a downward trend, but it seems there will always be an interest in an alternative to buying into the console wars. Enter the Gigabyte Brix Pro, just one offering among over a dozen from manufacturers that have committed to releasing Steam gaming machines this year. This heralds the beginning of the latest …

What the frag? Earn millions as the world watches you SLAY rivals

After learning how much Swedish gamer PewDiePie earns in a year from his YouTube channel (reportedly $7m for 3.7 billion views), I recommend everyone buys an HD capture device and starts uploading gaming videos. You never know, perhaps you too can cash in before the filming-your-reactions-while-gaming bubble bursts... But …
Lucy Orr, 12 May 2014

WTF happened to Pac-Man?

During the finale of this season’s King of the Nerds, one of the nerd challenges was to complete the first level of Pac-Man in a set time. I was delighted to see they were playing the original arcade version, albeit on an iPad. Pac-Man: original and best? Pac-Man: original and best? Pac-Man is 34 years old this year. With the …
Lucy Orr, 21 Apr 2014
Dark Souls II knighty knight

It's not just incredibly hard, it's really quite pretty: Dark Souls II

I knew there was something eerily familiar about the dead-eyed shuffle of my enemies in Dark Souls II and now I realise they remind me of the huge cannibal giants of Attack on Titan. Shambling to my recurrent death, I am now convinced the less forgiving the game, the greater the elation, sense of achievement and immersion. Dark …
Lucy Orr, 14 Mar 2014
South Park: Stick of Truth

'Mommy got me an UltraVibe Pleasure 2000 for Xmas!' South Park: Stick of Truth

Over the last few seasons South Park has become a bit of a stinker – and, more often than not, licensed video game adaptations are pretty whiffy too. When I first heard rumblings of South Park: The Stick of Truth I was dubious whether it would be any good, despite assurances that the production was being overseen by the creators …
Lucy Orr, 07 Mar 2014
Elder Scrolls Online preview

Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

Up until now, there had been only one MMO in my life, but now I think I might have to become polyamorous. The Elder Scrolls Online beta has had me up every night recently, bashing my way to level 10 so I can PvP in my nifty lava spike armour. During the course of just one week in which players were allowed to try it out, the …
Lucy Orr, 03 Mar 2014
Preview - World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Battling with Blizzard's new WoW expansion and Diablo revamp

Kerrigan is hunting me down and the Zerg are swarming. Praise the Earth Mother – Chen materialises to rescue me with his Brewmaster skills and calm me down with a tankard of Thunderbrew. Am I hallucinating? No, I’m at the EU Blizzard HQ to talk to the development teams behind the new expansions for World of Warcraft: Warlords of …
Lucy Orr, 28 Feb 2014
Empire of the Bs - Robot Jox

Empire of The 'B’s: The Mad Movie World of Charles Band

There’s definitely a buzz around B movies these days, with the genre seemingly, er, healthier than ever. Take Sharknado, which aired on SyFy and became a Twitter sensation. I think the only thing I managed to tweet last year was “My feed is full of Sharknado". This low budget movie has now clocked up millions of viewings and to …
Lucy Orr, 11 Feb 2014
DayZ survivor game

The revival of survival – the gaming genre that refuses to die

In these times of austerity it seems ironic that my free time is being taken up with trying to survive death by hunger and cold. Next I'll be nicked for dumpster diving behind Iceland. I am, of course, in the grips of day 48 of Don't Starve, a perfect gem in the rash of survival games popping up on Steam. Early Access on Steam …
Lucy Orr, 04 Feb 2014
Lego Lord of the Rings PC game

Review: Lego Lord of the Rings game

Being half Scottish, many of my summers were spent camping in the glens. After the daily grind of hitting each other with sticks, getting bitten by midges and eating fried spam, my sister would fill our evenings by reciting The Lord of the Rings – from memory! Being a more committed geek than me, by the age of 14 she had somehow …
Lucy Orr, 04 Jan 2013
Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim

I can’t think of one person I’ve met who didn’t enjoy the run and gun fun of Earthworm Jim. Released in 1994 on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive (Genesis) it made my eyes pop. The graphics were revolutionary (and surreal) and it’s certainly one of the most popular platform games ever made. It went on to spawn a cartoon …
Lucy Orr, 11 Dec 2012
Xcom: Enemy Unknown

Ten... PC games you may have missed

So now my Panda is Level 90 I thought it might be time to get my head out of the Brewmasters keg and have a look a selection of other games that have been released while I have been in my MMO reverie. If you don't fancy playing COD: BO2 or Halo 4 and are bored of relentless franchise titles then take a look at the games below. …
Lucy Orr, 21 Nov 2012
Astrogaming A50

Ten gaming headsets

Recently, I have battled underwater in Guild Wars 2 and fought through the Temple of the Jade serpent in The Mists of Pandaria. Luckily, during my adventures, I have had the opportunity to test some of the best gaming headsets money can buy, but which headset allowed me to hear every bubble burst and even the quietest Windwalker …
Lucy Orr, 10 Nov 2012
World of Warcraft Expansion: The Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria review

A couple of years ago I was addicted to Farmville and I've always had a soft spot for Pokémon. As much as I hate to say, it the Mists of Pandaria is coming over all Pokéville 2. Everyone is battling minipets or farming, which all feels a bit twee but I can’t deny it’s also extremely enjoyable... except when I see my baby polar …
Lucy Orr, 30 Oct 2012
Half-Life

Valve's Half-Life

I’m not a fan of modern first-person shooters, which is a shame because there used to be a massive soft spot in my heart for Half-Life and its head crabs. When then small, independent developer Value announced it was basing its first game around the exploits of a theoretical physicist, most gamers were understandably …
Lucy Orr, 17 Oct 2012
Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 game review

I’ve just been reigning supreme on Tekken Tag Tournament 2 playing Panda and knocking out the advanced bear fighting moves while I wait to play a Panadrian Monk in the mother of all MMOs World of Warcraft. I wasn’t planning on playing Guild Wars 2, as I was worried it might become a distraction in couple of weeks when I need to …
Lucy Orr, 02 Oct 2012
Populous 1989 Bullfrog Productions

Populous

So I just re watched Cabin in the Woods (spoiler alert) and when the big glowing god hand explodes out of the earth in the last frame, I was left with a niggle at the back of my subconscious. Populous 1989 Bullfrog Productions Divine intervention It wasn't till later in the pub that I remembered my formative god/hand …
Lucy Orr, 26 Sep 2012
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

I didn't play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when it was first released in the late 1990s because I was too busy on my SEGA playing Sonic. However, I do remember that I always used to think the name Zelda referred to the main character. It wasn't until I watched The Legend of Neil that I realised the hero's name was Link …
Lucy Orr, 12 Sep 2012
Ghostbusters 1984 game

Ghostbusters

In 1984 Activision released their adaptation of the classic movie Ghostbusters. I was 12 and remember after seeing the movie wanting the game more than George Michael's Careless Whisper which, in hindsight, was quite a sensible choice. Ghostbusters 1984 game The ghost of pixels past As Ray Parker Junior says "I ain't 'fraid …
Lucy Orr, 29 Aug 2012
Darksiders II

Darksiders II

Typically, the only death I have any time for in my life is Terry Prachett's characterisation of Death and his constant fascination with humanity's foibles. Unsurprisingly, the Death of Darksiders II is a different incarnation altogether, a less bleak and more blood thirsty kinda guy. Darksiders II Purple blaze Life's not …
Lucy Orr, 21 Aug 2012
Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Playing Goldeneye always felt more like an event rather than a gaming session. Four controllers and a 20in telly – it seemed huge at the time, believe me – headshotting friends had never been such fun. I have always had a soft spot for commies but playing Pierce Brosnan – wreaking havoc on Eastern Europe in Goldeneye – made me …
Lucy Orr, 15 Aug 2012
Spyhunter 1983 by Bally Midway

Spy Hunter

Take my money! Spy Hunter at the arcade was definitely school of hard knocks, just trying to stay alive meant keeping my foot on the brake as the Peter Gunn soundtrack, with it’s chugging beeps, ricocheted around my head. Spyhunter 1983 by Bally Midway Arcade moneyspinner turned console favourite Ported to my NES, the whole …
Lucy Orr, 25 Jul 2012
Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall Of The Samurai

Ten... PC games you may have missed

It's been pretty dry – unlike the British weather – for big title PC games since October, Star Wars (now free to play) and Diablo being the only exceptions. With the amount of time people are spending indoors this summer, I am surprised gaming companies aren't rushing titles out in hopes of seeing the money pour in. The games …
Lucy Orr, 21 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

My dad found the Higgs boson! Reminiscences of a CERN kid

When your Dad’s a bus driver or a bank manager life must be simple. Bring-your-kids-to-work day involves things like garages and spreadsheets: when I was little it meant trying not to step in front of a particle beam. As a child I attended the playgroup at CERN while my older sister was enrolled at their international school …
Lucy Orr, 06 Jul 2012
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

The only Batman I have ever cared about is the cynical desperate anti-hero of Frank Miller's The Dark Night Returns but Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes may have just changed my mind. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes The fall of Superman Like the Batman franchise the Lego game series is prolific. Since 2005 we have Star Wars, …
Lucy Orr, 29 Jun 2012
Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe

Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe

I know it’s not 2095 yet but with Boris back in power and the Olympics imminent, I am preparing myself to witness London fall into terminal decline due to sports related overspending and aggressive austerity measures. Indeed, I can envisage an appetite for a Rollerball-style games event; entertaining the galleries of corporate …
Lucy Orr, 20 Jun 2012
Diablo III Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo III

Back in 1997, I worked in a youth centre and some fool gave me the keys to the place. So I would sneak in every night to continue a degrading tryst with Diablo I, cutting down waves of monsters in anticipation of a loot splurge. It was a while before I worked out the portal system – I used to moan about the amount of walking – …
Lucy Orr, 18 May 2012
Miner Willy

Ten... eight-bit classic games

Reg Hardware Retro Week Logo I live with geeks, and when they aren't at hackfest they are in the front room playing Vindicators and Spyhunter on a Friday night. I think they only tolerate my presence because my dad works at CERN and I used to be able to program Turbo Pascal before all that PCP melted my frontal lobe. One …
Lucy Orr, 25 Apr 2012
Jazz Jackrabbit 1994 Epic Megagames

Jazz Jackrabbit

What with Easter's inextricable link with bunnies, it seemed in order to revisit an old lop eared friend. Jazz Jackrabbit is a side scrolling platform game and one I consider to be DOS shareware gaming at its finest. Who would have thought our friend Jazz would come from the same stable as a Gears of War Nemacyst? Jazz …
Lucy Orr, 11 Apr 2012
Rock'n'Roll Racing

Rock'n'Roll Racing

Having just reviewed the Steelseries SRW-S1 steering wheel on some pretty serious racing games, I was reminded that I have had a soft spot for a certain genre of racing game but it was a long time ago and involved some particularly severe riffs. Rock'n'Roll Racing In my humble opinion - and yes I did go to Download and …
Lucy Orr, 21 Mar 2012
Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

I had my doubts whether any game could live up to the amount of hype seen surrounding Mass Effect 3’s release. I shouldn't have been concerned though, I love it. The twisting compelling narrative; the authentic character interaction; the seamless integration of cut scenes and action and, last but definitely not least, the awe- …
Lucy Orr, 09 Mar 2012
Wacom Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display

Wacom Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display

So the Wacom Cintiq 24HD shows up at my door and it's huge. Seriously, this marriage of 24in display and graphics tablet tech needs two people to lift it out of the packaging and there are step-by-step instructions on just how to do it. This is definitely a professional piece of kit and, costing around £2000, I reckon unless you …
Lucy Orr, 06 Mar 2012
ten_Gaming_Mice

Ten... gaming mice

The three qualities I look for in a gaming mouse are: comfort, aesthetics and accuracy. And considering the imminent financial meltdown of the entire world, I'd like to think that I can get these three qualities for less than a week's shopping at Sainsbury's. Compared to last year prices, what's on offer seems to be slightly …
Lucy Orr, 03 Mar 2012
legs_skirt

Ten... digital adult toys

Reg Hardware Sex Week Wireless vibrators activated by your mobile phone or MP3 player – who would have thought it? Growing up during a time when women still had pubic hair and leading a fantasy romance with Tony Hadley took up most of my time, if I was lucky Valentine's day involved a card and a flower picked out of someone …
Lucy Orr, 18 Feb 2012
Steelseries SRW-S1 gaming steering wheel

Steelseries SRW-S1 PC gaming steering wheel

Admittedly, until recently my idea of a racing game was Super Mario Kart as I don't play too many driving games. However, the Steelseries SRW-S1 steering wheel certainly had me intrigued enough to want to take it for a spin. Steelseries SRW-S1 gaming steering wheel Custom job: Steelseries' SRW-S1 gaming steering wheel …
Lucy Orr, 17 Feb 2012
Leisure Suit Larry icon

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Reg Hardware Sex Week I'm actually surprised that it took till 1987 for someone to make a real effort and bring sexy time into a computer game. This new sub-genre effectively combined sex, comedy and gaming into a somewhat sleazy but hilarious adventure. It's all about the polyester leisure suit and gold chains... feel that …
Lucy Orr, 15 Feb 2012
Eight... HD phonecams

Eight... HD camera smartphones

You know that really annoying person who is videoing the gig with their camera phone to stick on Facebook when they get home? That's me. These days my TV is HD and my games console is HD, so it only makes sense that my phone – the device I use the most, day in and day out – should be HD too. Luckily, HD on smartphones is …
Lucy Orr, 04 Feb 2012
Looking Glass Studios System Shock

System Shock

We've come along way since Looking Glass Technologies released System Shock in 1994, which earned it the distinction of being first first-person game with an engine able to render sloping walls. Before then, gaming environments were limited to verticals and horizontals. System Shock by Looking Glass Technologies Making waves: …
Lucy Orr, 01 Feb 2012
Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massive game with hundreds of hours of game play, so this review is just a chicken scratch on the surface of something we will see develop and grow over months, if not years. Undoubtedly, SWTOR has a solid foundation but does it have enough successful constituent parts to be enduring? Star Wars …
Lucy Orr, 06 Jan 2012
Santa's Xmas Caper

Santa's Xmas Caper

So let’s just get one thing straight: 99.99 per cent of Christmas-themed games suck. I might make an exception for Christmas Nights on Sega depending on my mood, but, hey, it’s that time of year again and between the overwhelming urge to take a machete to every brightly tinseled tree I see, there must be time to reminisce about …
Lucy Orr, 21 Dec 2011
The Dark Meadow iOS game icon

The Dark Meadow

I've just been to see the Guillermo del Toro produced cinematic update of Don’t be Afraid of the Dark and it was all shades of Pan's Labyrinth, dark basements and flesh-eating homunculi. The Dark Meadow steals this striking vision and mélanges together mechanisms of FPS combat, role-playing and exploration. The Dark Meadow iOS …
Lucy Orr, 14 Dec 2011
Rainbow Islands

Rainbow Islands

I know you played this. Admit it, darn you! Or at least you coveted it from afar as I did, watching my little sister Chloe play it and waiting till she fell asleep to sneak into her room to worship it’s vivid iridescent rays - or as close as you can get with just 4096 colors! Rainbow Islands is one of the most successful …
Lucy Orr, 07 Dec 2011
Silverlit Spy Cam

Silverlit Spy Cam

Never mind all my boasting about training for a helicopter pilot licence to help me survive the zombie apocalypse, it's been a long time since I had a go at flying anything. Looking back, that was a mistake because this Spy Cam 'copter is fun, fun, fun. I was really impressed at how simple this toy chopper is to set up and use, …
Lucy Orr, 05 Dec 2011
Star Wars: The Old Republic

Hands on with Star Wars: The Old Republic

So I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and finally the gaming world is flooded with Star Wars: The Old Republic beta keys. Star Wars: The Old Republic Slays against the machine My first question is, what level could I get to before Sunday night? After that, I don’t get to play again till 20 December, the day the game …
Lucy Orr, 30 Nov 2011