Monday, 8 October 2012

General Update 30: Is this thing still on?


Does anyone still pay attention to this blog?

Anyone that follows me on twitter will know that I'm not dead. But if I am then someone is still using my profile! No I've just not really been finding the time or incentive to write, which sounds really bad, but it's the truth.

I have decided that after the purchases I make this week, I will not buy another retail game this year. the games I'm picking up this week are Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I was lucky enough to get my hands on both of them at this years Eurogamer Expo, which was awesome.

Other than that there have been some really good games out this year, and more to come. I do hope to get back into my writing again, and while I may not go back and write reviews fora lot of the games I've missed because I've been getting on with the next big release. Who knows I may go back and write the odd one here or there.

For know though, good night.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Review: Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a first person shooter that is based on a supernatural thriller by the same name. It's a Russian book that takes place in the metro tunnels under Moscow, in the aftermath of a nuclear war, that drives the survivors into the tunnel.

You play as Artyom, a young orphan, that was brought up by a stranger that found him one of the tunnels after his mother died. This isn't mentioned in the game but it is in the book. A friend of your uncle comes to visit shortly before disappearing. His last words to you before he leaves are that should he not return in a couple of days then he is to get to a station quite a distance from his own and let the know that he didn't return. On your way things don't go smoothly and you have to make some detours through stations filled with fascists as well as Nazis and that's if you make it between the tunnels as there are rumours that you might not be the only things in the metro.

The game itself is a fairly decent FPS with a range of weaponry that is a little off the norm to make it feel fresh. It also uses some stealth potions, if your going for some of the achievements which does help to switch it up a little bit. Its got a solid campaign as well, it probably took me nearly 15 to 20 hours to get through it and that's with a guide.

One of the refreshing things about this game is that there isn't a difficulty achievement, so you can rock straight in on easy which is what I did. I also rocked through it with a guide so that I could pick up all the achievements as i was wanting to get it off my pile. That being said I did enjoy it. I also don't think I took anything way from the story by ignoring through it with a guide as I had already read the story in the novel.

I would recommend this game if you've read the book, but I would say it was necessary reading. If you like first person shooters and are getting bored with the same old modern warfare setting then definitely get this game, also being on the slightly older side you should probably be able to pick it up fairly cheap.  
Its been announced that there will be a sequel to the game called metro 2033 last light. There is a book called metro 2034 but it's an indirect sequel, which makes sense as the ending of both the book and game don't really leave it open for a direct continuation so it will be interesting to see where they go with it. Below is the trailer for it.

General Update 29: I'm Not Dead! Promise!

It's been a long time since I last posted and I've been busy not just with work but at home as well. I've started baking which has meant even less time on the Xbox, but it's not all bad, as I've still managed to get some games from my pile out of the way. 

So what have I been up to on the Xbox? I've completed Mass Effect 3 to 100% as well as Metro 2033, Skyrim and LA Noire. I really enjoyed Mass Effect 3, it was sad to see the story come to an end but I was satisfied with the ending. I know there was a big kurfuffle about the ending on the internets. I most recently completed Metro 2033, it was good game, I have read the book it was based on, and they are obviously different if the game was to follow the book it wouldn't make a very compelling game, however I'll touch more of that in my review. 

Before I move on to the next game in my pile, which I still can't decide on what its going to be, I thought I would go back and clean up one of the games that hadn't been out in long while. Fable 2, my housemate has the classics edition that contains the all the DLC which also allows me to clear up the last achievement for the main game as well. The thing I notice most is the fact that the game hasn't aged well in my opinion, don't get me wrong though I'm enjoying playing it but the graphics can be a little flakey in some places. 

So I can't decide on my list as to what I'm going to play next, it's either going to be Assassins Creed Revelations, Rage or Ninety-Nine Nights 2. All 3 of which have been started but I'm not sure which it should be. My house mate has also started ACR so if I do work in that well be able to discuss it as we're going through it, I've also got the fourth novel to start as well, which I want to read only after I've finished the story as that's what I've done with the order books in the series. 

The other thing I've been up to is thinking about possibly give the blog a little over haul. This would mean actually spending more time on it, which is party other reason for me putting together another post. I also felt I should, try and get a review done as I've not done one in like forever. I have been meaning to get back into my writing, a while back I picked up some post-it notes so that I could write down blog post ideas, and it has worked as I've got a few ideas written down, I just need to refine them and get them written up. 

And with that I think I shall leave it there, after all these games aren't going to play themselves. Thankfully!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

General Update 28: So Long And Thanks For All The 'Chievos!

It’s a sad day today, because I go back to work tomorrow after being off for nearly a week and a half. The reason for the time off was because I needed to burn off some holiday before my new allowance came into affect on the 1st. I didn’t go anywhere as I didn’t want to, instead it was to try and tackle my way through that list I posted in my last General Update.

I started the first weekend by finishing off Space-marine, as I said before, I enjoyed the story and I’m working on the review for it. I did have some trouble near the end and found a video to try and get some tips for playing. In the end I persevered and beat the final boss. Following that I then went onto to finish Timeshift. I had gotten stuck but again I looked up a video which gave me some Ideas which I was able to use for the rest of the game. After completing time shift I picked up Bayonetta as I was not even half way through it and I finished that as well. It will require another 2 playthrough’s at least, but not yet.

With 3 games complete I thought I should try and knock another title from the list. Seeing as i had completed and action game I started American McGee’s Alice. My first impression is that it hasn’t aged well. The control scheme does feel like a dated platformer, not that this is necessarily a bad thing. I also went back to try and put some more hours into a more lengthy game, but completing a few cases on L.A. Noire. I’ve completed 2 of the DLC cases and I’ve got one more Vice case before I move onto the last case desk so progress, despite being slow, is being made.

Oh yeah, before I started back in on Timeshift I went back and started something that I needed to do before March, play Mass Effect 2 as my fem-Shep. According to Raptr, an achievement tracking service, I’ve sunk 33 hours into that play through, and in my defence I did do ‘ALL OF THE THINGS!’. Everyone was loyal and survived, I explored every planet and did every side mission, including some that i hadn’t found before. I also completed the last DLC, Arrival, which I thought add some good narrative to the story but I did think it may have been a little on the short side.

Bioshock: Rapture is finished as well and seeing as, I’ve not made it to Assassin’s Creed Revelations yet, I thought I should pick up some new books. I made my way to Waterstone’s and picked up the 4th Mass Effect novel, Mass Effect: Deception, and Deus Ex: Icarus Effect. Obviously I’ve started Deception, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s interesting to see someone else’s take on the Mass Effect universe as the other 3 were written by Drew Karpyshyn who was a lead writer on the games.

One last thing to mention is that Inversion, the interesting third person shoorter, has been delayed. It was supposed to be released on Feb 10th, but it has been delayed until the vague date or early 2012. This means I’m not going to be buying a new game until march 9th when Mass Effect 3 is launched. Incidentally the demo for Mass Effect 3 is to be released on Feb 14th.

It is now time for bed as I’ve got to try and get used to having early nights and early starts. The rest of this week is going to be long!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Everyone loves Ghostbusters, it’s a fact. Almost everyone wants there to be a 3rd film. I’m not sure if I do any more. They first two are legendary but I’m not sure if the actors would be able to pull it off now! However if there was a way they could make them immortal then they could still come up with a cracking idea that stays true to the films. Immortality is not possible, but the likenesses can be used and generated in CGI and with the actors voices used to voice the character as well it’s as good as the real thing, which is lucky because that’s exactly what they have done with Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

The story is based 2 years after the last film and a Gozer exhibit is being shown at the museum and things then start heating up from there.  You play as a rookie joining the team which means the tutorial feels natural. The story and humour feel like a Ghostbusters film, and they’ve pulled it off very well, probably because Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd were the writers. The graphics and character models look really good and the voices, voiced by the original actors, are the icing on the cake. During the game you run in to characters old and new and it really does feel like the whole thing has been nurtured and not forced.

I must admit that to start with catching the ghosts is does feel a little clunky but once you get used to it you can really enjoy it, and as silly as it sounds you do start feeling like one of the team. The rest of the controls are easy enough to get to grips with. Another thing I will mention is the multiplayer. It’s no secret that if you provide multiplayer that is a little different from the norm then you are usually onto a winner, take Bioshock 2 for example. Well Ghostbusters fulfils that as well, however I was a little disappointed because it was subject to a lot of lag, this may have been my network but it was a little disconcerting. I believe there was also an achievement glitch that meant one of the achievements wasn’t obtainable this was supposed to be a fixed in a title update, I’m not sure if this is still the case. Having done a quick wiki search to check my facts it says that they are still unachievable.

Overall if you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters franchise then by all means go ahead and get this game. I have at least one friend on my friends list that has it, and as far as I know he enjoyed it. it’s a well made game and will definitely satisfy the child in you.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

General Update 27: Famous last words!

“I’m not going to buy any more games!” - Chris Pragnell
It’s a bold statement to be sure, but and one that comes with a couple of caveats. Firstly there are 2 exceptions to this, Inversion, to be released on Feb 10th, and the second is Mass Effect 3, to be released on March 9th. The second caveat is that is my birthday is in February, so it’s possible I may receive games as presents.

Why have I decided that this is to be the case simple, I need to get through a lot of games. My list spans around 20 titles, that I need to start/finish the main story line. That does mean that it doesn’t cover those games I need to go back and put more time into. Here is the complete list, in no particular order.

  • Spacemarine
  • L.A. Noire
  • Assassins Creed Revelations
  • Halo Anniversary
  • Bayonetta
  • Timeshift
  • Alice Madness Returns (which includes a download code for Alice)
  • Metro 2033
  • Sonic Generations
  • Wolfenstein
  • Ninety-Nine Nights 2
  • Skyrim
  • Deadspace 2
  • Battlefield 3
  • Dead Rising
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Star Ocean
  • Rage
While I was looking through the stack of games I did notice an awful lot of first person Shooters, so my aim is to try and mix it up a bit so I’m going to start out with Spacemarine and L.A. Noire. Last weekend I managed to make some good progress on Spacemarine, and I'm liking the story which is always a bonus we all know I'm a sucker for a story. As for L.A. Noire, it’s a fairly long game and probably one I can get a decent amount of ‘Chievo’s on, plus a lot of my friends have completed it so I’m trying to catch up with them. 
My To Do List. . .
What else have I been up to? I’ve tried to go back and get through a few more games on my phone i picked up IloMilo earlier in the week, as there is no reason why I haven’t got any further on it. I also tried to pick up my xbox Arcade version as well but I'm stuck on one of the bonus levels. I completed Gears of War 2 on Insane with the help of my housemate. I enjoyed that, it also means that he’s able to now start Gears of War 3

This week saw the demo of Final Fantasy XIII-2 released. I downloaded it along with Asura’s Wrath and Choplifter HD which is an arcade title. I really enjoyed the demo for FFXIII-2, it looks very pretty, and has added some new features to that of the original that are interesting, and it does mean I’m looking forward to it, even if I do need to go back and put some more time into FFXIII. Asura’s Wrath intrigued me when I heard about it, and after playing the demo I’m not so sure. The demo included 2 boss battles and after doing some searching on youtube, for game play between boss fights and I’m worried that, as far as gameplay is concerned, it’s going to lack depth. Choplifter HD, is an HD remake, that I hadn’t heard of, but I thought I would give it a go anyway. It’s a good game but I don’t believe it’s worth 1200 MSP. It doesn’t have any multi-player, but it does have leader boards. In the trailer that plays as you exit from the demo it announces that there will be DLC for it, and following a quick google, it looks like that DLC will be free. Will that be enough to entice me to buy it, not at the moment, if I see it in the deal of the week then it’s possibly I’ll pick it up.

Monday, 2 January 2012

General Update 26 : New Year, New Beginnings!

So it’s fairly safe to say that the end of last year saw me getting a little slack with the old blog. Naughty Praggers. However that doesn’t mean I was being lazy, far from it. December saw me being the busiest that I've been in probably for the entire year.

I had plenty to be getting on with gaming-wise and sacrifices were made. I was very tied up with Gears of War 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As well as Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Lego Star Wars 3. That doesn’t include the games I've bought that are still in their cellophane wrapper, or those I've just not started; DeadSpace 2, Alice Madness Returns, Ninety-Nine Nights 2, Dead Rising 1 & 2, Wolfenstein, Battlefield 3 and the game of the year edition of Red Dead Redemption. That list also included Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and Shadows of the Damned, the last two I got for Christmas, but I’ve started all 3 and finished the last 2 already.
My to start list!
There are a load of mammoth games on the horizon with Final Fantasy XIII-2, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and culminating in Mass Effect 3 at the beginning of March. This is to go on top of Skyrim which still has loads of legs left is in it as does Gears of War 3, especially with all the latest DLC, and I still need to try and finish LA Noire and Rage.
|Gingerbread and Shortbread
The other thing that has been tying up my time before Christmas, is that I've started baking. I baked some Gingerbread, emphasis on the bread, some shortbread and then I went a bit crazy for brownies. It’s something I’ve going to carry on with this year as i do enjoy it and there is a sweet, or savory payout at the end. I have also thought about incorporating it into this blog, giving it a major overhaul and renaming it. We’ll see but in the mean time expect to see a few more baking related posts. I’ve got some ideas, so lets see if I can get them to fruition first. I suppose the first thing I should do is update the blog more often. *winking smiley*
Double Brownies
Just to make matters worse I went out today and picked up Sonic Generations and Halo Anniversary Edition with money I was lucky to receive for Christmas. Happy Gaming.