Monday, 20 December 2010

Review: GTA IV

Fresh of the boat from Eastern Europe you arrive at in Liberty City in the land of the free. You meet up with your brother who has been feeding you lies about how good things are for him. This is how the game starts, shortly after you end up getting in to trouble with thugs and it all spirals out of control. The feeling of disillusionment is much how I felt about this game.

The game looks ok, with a slightly cel-shaded cartoon type look and the soundtrack will depend on which radio station you choose to put on in the car. I will say that the size of the city and the various routes that you can take around the city show a wide variety of buildings and areas that you typically get in a big city.
The thing that really got to me was the controls, while running around on foot the controls were manageable and while in a car they were also ok, but the controls for when you are on a bike or in a helicopter, and it was this last one that really buried the game for me. Two of the missions need a helicopter to complete them and one is the finale. But I found it really difficult to control it. You had to push the left thumb stick forward just enough in order to move forward, but do it too much and the copter goes into a nose dive. Around the same time I was playing Crackdown 2 and the controls for a helicopter in that were so much more concise.

As far as playing the game again I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to get it. Apparently there is a multiplayer element where you can tear up Liberty City with your friends but I can’t see why you would want to with controls that are this bad. Also once the main story is complete the game turns into that really annoying part of the Sims where you have to keep up appearances with your “friends”, but that was part of the Sims that I really didn’t like. As far as toughness goes some of the missions were difficult and not just because of the controls but it does seem to manage a good balance between easy and difficult missions.

Overall I really didn’t like this game bad controls spoiled the game for me, something else that may or may not have spoiled the game for me was that one of the achievements was to complete the game in 30 hours so I might not have got the most out of the game as I was rushing my through the story. 

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Review: Alan Wake

You are a writer on holiday with your wife when she disappears. While searching for her you discover pages of a book that supposedly you’ve written. There is also a terrible dark presence that is hanging around the town hindering your search. That is the introduction to Alan Wake, from there the game plays out as a mini psychological thriller TV series. This game has been a long time coming it’s been almost 5 years since it was first announced at E3 2005.

The story is really enjoyable and really makes you think, the ending is a confusing, overall in it’s entirety the story is a good length and there is no doubt about it that the game does give you the chance to make your own mind up as to what it means. At the time of writing this I have played the first of the DLC, so I do have some extra knowledge however I don’t think I'm going to see any answers any time soon.

Your main weapon is a torch which you need to use in order to get rid of the darkness that surrounds the enemies, then once that's out the way you can unload with your choice of firearm. As a unique method or combat i thought it worked really well. it also makes you think a little more when jumping into the fray.

The game’s soundtrack is really good with a few tracks taken from actual bands that work really well in the game, the orchestral soundtrack as well helps with the building the tension as well as the setting the mood. Although some of the character models are a little ropey in places, on the whole they are good and the cut scenes are superb. The pinnacle though has to be the environmental vista’s you get of the valley that the game is set in.

There is re-playability in this game, the hardest difficulty is only unlocked after the first play through, there are also some collectibles that are only available in the Nightmare difficulty. As far as difficulty goes the game has a good balance. I’ve just finished my Nightmare playthough and it makes you think before you get into it with a group of enemy's.

Overall I really enjoyed this game and I'm slightly disappointed that the game wasn’t as well received as it was hoped, this has meant that the sequel is not necessarily confirmed. Is the game worth a 5 year wait? No I'm not sure if it is, don’t get me wrong the game is good and is really enjoyable but I do wonder what took it so long.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

General Update 13: The Wanderer Returns!

So you may remember I wrote a couple weeks back about how work was crazy busy? well lucky for me at least work has calmed down a bit, however Christmas is just around the corner so that means present buying and card writing and trip planning and preparation. so things may be quiet on the blog front for the next two weeks, but I'm sure that you are used to that by now. 

Christmas will be spent at my dads which should give me a chance to catch up on at least writing my reviews. and hopefully work out a standard for future reviews. I didn't have many games on my list and the only one that I actually know I am getting is Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. The other games on my list were Spiderman Shattered Dimensions, Dead Rising, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Gears of War 2, Neir and Bayonetta.

Last night was the VGA's, The Video Game Awards. these were shown on Spike TV in America, and I did try and live stream the show, however the stream wasn't great and it went off-line about half way through so I only caught the first half. However that worked out well as it meant I got to see two trailers that are worth talking about. The first was one I was hoping for, as Bioware were looking to announce an as yet un-announced game, this turned out to be, as I was hoping, Mass Effect 3. Below is the trailer that was shown.

The second trailer that made me very excited is below and was for Elder Scrolls V.

And finally, this year has been building up to one defining moment in my gaming career and this was realised on Tuesday. That's right I managed to reach 50000 gamer score. It was dragging on and I had had enough of not breaking the 50k, especially as I was only 10g away. So I looked through my achievements and tried to find a nice 10g achievement in the end I had to settle for two fives. The two achievements were Start Of A New Era from Soulcalibur IV as well as The Creator from Trials HD.

As far as what I've been playing it's really been a tidy up of achievements as I'm working through Castlevania Lord of Shadows on the hardest difficulty and working on the trials on each of the level. I also traded in my copy of Borderlands for the Game of the Year edition which has all the DLC included, and while I've completed the Zombie Island of Dr Ned, I'm a little disheartened by the fact that the Mad Moxi's underdome Riot is really for mutliplayer as it's too hard to do on solo.

Right I'm off to bed as I have work in the morning, but hopefully I should finish Castlevania Lord of Shadows to the full 1000g before I head off on my Christmas Trip.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

General Update 12: Shouting from the roof tops!

Work has been crazy busy for the last week or so and it’s not looking to get any better. I’ve not let work before 8 this week it’s that crazy, which I guess just about evens out the awesomeness I had at the weekend. That’s right It was my friend Maggie’s Wedding, she and her new husband both looked very happy and beautiful, I’m sure they had a great day. So a heartfelt congratulations go out to the newly weds!

It has been a little frustrating though not being able to play on the Xbox as for those who follow me closely will know that I’m very very close to the 50K mark. However I should be able to break through it before the end of the year. I still have a list of game to go back and play to try and get the full 1000g. Alan Wake, Dragon Age: Origins, Wet and let’s not forget the fact I need to complete Red Faction: guerrilla.

However for those who follow me on the Twitter, you will already know that I won a competition for a free Pacman Championship DX download code from Xbox Live’s very own MrPointyHead. The ask with all the gritty remakes being done including Disney’s Mickey Mouse how would we re-imagine PACMAN.  “Vegetarian Det. P. Ackman is hunting a group of drug dealers known as 'The Ghosts ' through Neon Japan's Rave Scene!”  That was my entry and here was the tweet where I found out I’d won. “For a re-imagining worthy of whoever wrote the Super Mario Brothers movie, @GamerPraggers earns the Pac-Man C.E. DX code!”  I’ve very excited and frustrated as I’m not able to go home and play it now!

So this was a quick post to say I’ve not forgotten about you and to gloat over my win, and now back to work! *sigh*

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday LOL 09: If Only. . .

No posts for nearly a month and then two in the same week, what'g going on?

Seeing as I've been playing Fallout New Vegas, I thought I would keep with the theme of that. 


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

General Update 11: We Don't Talk Anymore. . .

I suppose I should be grovelling to you for forgiveness due to my being absent so long, no blog entries or twitter tweets and you are right of course, but I blame my friend Mags, who is getting married in a couple of weeks, she got me hooked on the telly series House. I am now all up to date with the series and can hopefully focus on my writing. I did plan a few entries but never got around to write them the plans are still there and while I do still plan on writing my second entry about the EuroGamer Expo, some of the news stories I want to write about are long gone. But I could use them for writing practise.

So things that I’ve been up to in the past few weeks, I got the Fallout New Vegas Collector’s Edition, and I’ve taken photos of it being unboxed so that will get its own special dedicated post. I didn’t get Fable 3, I was financially short that month and I have plenty to be getting on with games wise, I’ve also got the Awakening DLC for Dragon Age:Origins as well as Ironman 2 on top of this I want to add the Borderlands Game of the year edition for all of the DLC.

As far as actually playing goes, I’m only about 20 hours into Fallout New Vegas and I’ve only completed the first mission on Ironman 2. You may also remember that in General Update 10, I mentioned that I had 3 more achievements for Mass Effect 2 DLC. It just so happened that the following Mondays Deal of the week was on Mass Effect 2 DLC, so I was able to pick up the last one for the last few achievements, making Mass Effect 2 the newest entry to my 100% Club. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Review: Eurogamer Expo (Part 1)

While this was my first Expo I'm not going to be talking about the expo itself, the only reason we went was to check out the games so below is my take on what I got to see.

Fable 3
The game as a whole looked really good, and after playing the game for about 15 minutes I had already built up an idea of what I thought about the game. The idea of having an easily accessibly hub area for weapons outfits etc is a good one, and while what I got to play was only in the early stages of the game which meant that I didn’t have much in the way of choice i could see that it should work as a concept. My problem with this game was the fact it was mentioned that the combat has been updated to make it flow more smoothly, I don’t believe that this has been ultimately achieved. The changing from melee to Magic is seamless as it should be however the melee-melee-gun shot combo leaves a lot to be desired. You have to wait 2 seconds while you wait to put away you’re sword in order to whip your gun out and shoot a fool which in the midst of a battle with 4 or more enemies isn’t going to work, as while your changing your weapons said fool will be all up in your grill giving you a slap around the chops. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t going to put me off the game, just using a gun.

Assassins Creed Brotherhood
This was another good looking in fact i don’t think there was a bad looking game at the expo. This was also one of the games that was showing off the Multi-player mode. Where there was some multi-player in Assassin’s Creed 2 I didn’t play it the thing about Assassins Creed is the story, and you can’t really have a story in Multi-player. However much like Bioshock 2 and its take on multi-player it’s different which means that it sets itself apart from everything else out there. I only got one match which didn’t really give me enough time to get to know what was going on but it was enjoyable.

F1 2010
I was purely interested in this game for its aesthetics as i had seen a screen shot in Official Xbox Magazine and it looked amazing. I can now confirm that it does indeed live up to expectations the visuals are stunning but I still won’t be getting this game. It’s a proper Racing game, and I am rubbish at those games. So if you are into those types of games then you won’t be disappointed.

Enslaved Odyssey to the West
I was interested in this game because I know that it’s based on a story, which means there is more to the story that what your playing. Which is something I really like in games, it’s also the reason why I've got all the Mass Effect novels. However I have now had a chance to play the game and I can see that the side character is going to be annoying as hell. I also get the feeling that the game would become a bit of a button masher.

Crysis 2
Again this was a game that was showing off the multi-player mode rather than the story and to be honest the multi-player mode hasn’t sold this game for me. You can choose your role when you respawn and this gives you a different ability for each class as well as specific weapons beneficial for the class. However it did feel and play like every other multi-player shooter I've played which is a deal breaker for me.

Gears of War 3
It was while I was at the Expo that I read that it had been delayed by 5 months, but I did get a chance to have a go on the beast mode that was being shown. It’s something new for a multi-player shooter which isn’t a bad thing. It’s enjoyable and while I haven't played Gears 2 yet the delay means i have a chance to play it before I get Gears 3.

Dragon Age 2
I was a little worried as i knew that Bioware had changed the focus from 6 possible characters to one and that they had made some changes to the combat. After playing the demo i like the change to the combat. it makes it feel more like an action RPG as i did think that just pressing one button to launch an attack put a barrier up between yourself and the game and you didn’t get the immersion that you might want however that has changed each button press translates to an attack. The other change is with levelling up, instead of all the skills there there are smaller skill trees and you can spend the points on the trees you want which is an idea I like. One thing that did confuse me was when it was set but I wasn’t paying that much attention to the story as I wasn’t going to be able to get into it.

That’s it for the first part of the Expo. Stay tuned for Castlevania Lord of Shadows, Halo: Reach, Brink, Bulletstorm, Hunted Deamon’s Forge, Mafia II, and Fallout New Vegas.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

General Update 10: In Space No One Can Hear You Shout "Wohoo!"

So this is my first post in a little while, but I’m back now. I’ve been semi busy, what with having a full time job but I was also in London last weekend for the Eurogamer Expo. I managed to get a look at some of the top new titles that will be coming out in the next 10-12 months and being my first Expo I wasn’t disappointed.

Before I went away for the weekend I started a new run through of Mass Effect 2 on Insanity. As I said in a blog post earlier this year I was giving up as I didn’t want to hate the game. This week has seen my plough through the point at which I was stuck and all the way through to the end. Yes i have now got the 1000g avaliable for the main game. I have also done the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. So I only have 3 more achievements to get for me to have the full compliment of achievements for the game, but they can wait.

The one think I thought I should mention about the Expo, before I do my full write up which I will try and put up during the week, was that I found a game that I didn’t originally think I would be interested in but after trying it out at the expo I decided that it’s worth a go. The game was Castlevania Lord of Shadows. I’m not entirely certain what it was about the game that I liked, the graphics are pretty awesome, but it also looked like there would be plenty to do as well. It was released last Friday and I did pick it up on the day of release. I tried it Friday night but then I was called off to save the galaxy!

I almost wasn’t going to get it as Fallout 3 is released next week and Fable 3 the week after that, and with the fact that I have just ordered Dragon Age: Awakening and Iron Man 2 I’ve got plenty to be getting with for the time being.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

General Update 09: I believe I can fly. . .

I should have tweeted about this yesterday but I didn't, bad me. A news story was made Monday morning, or evening for those in the UK, about a new Bioshock Infinite video being released exclusively to Xbox Live for 24 hours before being made available to everyone on the irrational games. “What’s so important about this video?” you may ask, that’ simple, it’s a game play video. You can see the video about. If you’re reading this and the video has been taken down. I do apologies but it’s not my video in the first place, I’m only borrowing it to pass on the news.

When I first heard that they had announced a “3rd Bioshock” game I’ve got to admit I was very dubious, as it seemed that Bioshock 2, despite being a good game, it was short in terms of the story you can always read the full review yourself. But I wasn’t sure they could drag out a third one without ruining 2 great games, and a really interesting story. But it did look like it was going to be done correctly as it was going back to the same team that came up with the first one. The teaser trailer also didn’t calm my nervous disposition about a 3rd game. It felt as though it was so radically different from the previous two as well as being a prequel time wise, as Bioshock Infinite is set about 50 years prior to Bioshock.

But it wasn’t until I heard someone say in an interview that it’s “a spiritual successor” to the series, that I stopped and actually thought about what that meant. In my opinion it meant that the story would be completely set apart from that of Rapture and the previous two Bioshock games that it would have its own space to grow. I hope this is the case as if they try and make this game lead into the other games it’ll end up a mess. Do you remember when you were a kid and did an ace drawing of a machine and how it would work and someone would suggest adding something and when you added it, it ruined the whole thing? It would be like that only much worse, as it would ruin the memory of the original.

So what do I think after seeing this trailer? I like it. I’m definitely more optimistic about this game now than I was when I first heard about it. It looks different enough as there is a lot more colour in the pallet from what I could see. I’m interested to see how the “Tonics” work in this game as there didn’t seem to be any swapping between them, but this could be just because it’s not the full game play as we will see it. This is a good thing as I’d be wondering what they are going to be doing all next year.

What about you guys? What is your opinion of Bioshock Infinite from this trailer?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Weekly Round Up 01: Week Commencing 13/09/2010

Last week was a quiet one for me gaming wise, purely because I got into a couple of TV series that I’ve started watching the box sets of, but that’s now why you are here. I did have a good weekend before last week in that I managed to gain the last few achievements for The Secret of Monkey Island. Last week I did get an evening on the Xbox on the Wednesday, a mate was over and I showed him a couple of indie games including AppleJack, which got voted OXM’s best Indie game, so it’s not just me that thinks it’s great. The other Indie game I should him was The Impossible Game. A really simple to pick up and play game that is very addictive but as I only had the trial it didn’t take long for us to reach the end.

I did get some more time on Dragon Age: Origins towards the end of last week. I’m still working on my second full play through and I’ll admit I’m starting to get a little bored of it, weather that’s because I’m playing as a Mage or because it’s just the same over and over. I know that you can go either way on some of the major decisions in the game, but I’ve completed all of the origins stories so I know which origin will make the story more interesting when I come to make those decisions. I think I’m going to have to complete this play through and have a rest from it and pick up Mass Effect 2.

What else has been happening? The Tokyo Game Show 2010 was last week and while a few new connect titles have been announced, I can’t think of any major that was announced, but then again I can’t say I was paying much attention. I’m still looking forward to the EuroGamer Expo which is in a couple of weeks. With Fable 3, Fallout New Vegas, Brink, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, Crysis 2 and Dead Space 2 all playable on the show floor, I’m very excited. Nothing has been announced for Kinect yet, but I’m hoping they do so I can see for myself how well it reacts to your movements.

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that Microsoft has announced that it will be raising the price of some Gold Membership options at the start of November. For where it matters the most, here in the UK, we get of very lightly the price change only affects the 1 month option. And raises it from £4:99 to £5:99, so an extra 12 pound a year, which makes a full year’s subscription out right cheaper but about 20 quid. So what are you waiting for?

Friday, 10 September 2010

Friday LOL 08: My kinda guy!

funny video game photos - A Teenage Bruce Wayne
see more Bob's House of Video Games

I personally didn't think this would need explaining as to why I put it up.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

General Update 08: DLC Dilemma

Hello Gaming Fans. I am back from my un-explained absence. But this will change shortly. I’ve been a little quiet on the update front with having a full time job which is a pain in the ass, so when I get home all I want to do is chill in front of my XBOX? So I hardly get the time to write entries, which is probably why I have a dozen or so entries lined up for me to write. The majority of which are reviews.

So what has been happening with me? well I gave up on GTA IV and returned it to my friend who I had borrowed it from. He in return gave me back Call of Duty: World at War and Red Dead Redemption. I did try COD:WaW when I got it back as I had found that I got stuck around half way through my veteran Difficulty play through. The level I was stuck on was Burn ‘em Out. And after a solid 3 -4 hours I did manage to make it to the end of that level which was when I turned off the Xbox for the evening, and I’ve still yet to go back to CoD:WaW.

After CoD:WaW I pick up one of my Christmas Presents from last year. Ghostbusters I really enjoyed this game I even managed to play through the main campaign on the hardest difficulty although there is a slight glitch than can be exploited to make getting this achievement a hell of a lot easier. Following my ghost busting career, I picked up sword and shield and ventured forth into the kingdom of Ferelden in Dragon Age: Origins. I have finished the game on one of my characters and as of Last night I managed to complete the origin story of 2 more characters.

The final game I’ve completed in my absence was Wet I got it cheap from amazon and it was so cheap it was hard not to buy it. Wet, while a little fiddly to start with does become very entertaining, and while I’ve completed the story once I still have another 3 or four play throughs to get some more achievements.
Speaking of achievements, I have now broken the 47k mark on my gamerscore and from looking at my stats on, which gives me my stats without DLC included, it shows that I am almost on my goal of reaching the 70%/70% mark I had set myself. The 70%/70% stat is worked out by the percentage of total achievements and gamerscore of the games on my gamertag. My current stat is 69.42%/69.07% for Retail games.

DLC is something else I have been thinking about recently. I have at least 2 DLC add-ons that I have yet to play, and yet more are being released. With half a dozen being available for Dragon Age: Origins which include the expansion pack awakening, there are a few for Mass Effect 2 as well that I need to try for, and the Toy box for Crackdown 2 is also now available. Is now the right time for me to take a break from the retail side of things and try and get the most out of the games I’ve already got? Some of which the core games still hold achievements for me to get. Yes, Alan Wake I’m talking about you and your Nightmare play through!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday LOL 07: The thing about playing RTS's is not to get all high and mighty!

Friday again gaming fans, and I found this little beauty on Bob's house of video games so enjoy. I've not played Star Craft 2, but I have heard of it. I'm more of a C&C fan myself.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday LOL 06: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold . . . A lot like a Sammich!!!

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

So I almost didn't have a LOL for you today, until I found this Video. Warning there is some bad language.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Review: Lego Harry Potter

Lego Harry Potter is everything we have come to love about the Lego games, its humorous, it's pretty to look at as well as conveying the story in the way the Lego games pull off so well. The game covers the Harry's first 4 years at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. For those of you who have seen the movies or read the books then the story will be all too familiar.

The game play hasn't been tweaked much from the previous games, if it's not broken don't fix it, is a good way of looking at the Lego games. The controls are easy to get to grips with which makes this game great to be able to just pick up play by anyone. My girlfriend isn't a harry potter fan so this meant that I would be playing this one alone so I have no idea if the problems I talked about in my Lego Indiana Jones Review have been addressed. Also being a Lego Series game it more directed at Kids so while adults who are a fan of the series will enjoy the game they can be safe in the knowledge that their younger cousins/nephews/nieces etc will be able to play this a not come away scared like Mad Eye Moody, and yes that's a reference to a character.

The visuals of the game, just like the others in the Lego series, are easy on the eye, although if I had to make any criticisms on the visuals it would be that the blinking arrows showing where the various hidden items are can be a little misleading at times.

One element that has been added specifically to this game was the Hogwarts castle, a free roam area that acted as a go between for the different chapter parts. I felt that this added extra game play to the story, as it meant that you could make the story last longer while you were exploring the castle looking for students to help as well as finding secret areas and some of the hidden items I mentioned earlier.

Overall I found this game a lot of fun much like the rest of the Lego games, aside from Lego Indy. It's a lot of fun and I look forward to the next one when ever that will be. Probably not until after the last film has finished showing in cinemas I wouldn't have thought. So if you're a fan of the books, the movies or both or if you enjoyed the previous Lego games then you will enjoy this instalment.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

General Update 07: Visitation Rights

So it's been a while since I've given an update on what I'm playing. In my last update I was working towards the Liberty City Minute achievement in GTA IV. This I am pleased to say I have now done, however the game then became a real grind for me to work on the other achievements. Liberty City (5) is makes me feel like I'm playing the Sims as I have to keep up appearances with the other characters. So the weekend before last I decided that I would try another one of the many games that I have laying about waiting for me to get around to them.

In this instance it was Darksiders. It's a good little game which I picked up at the same time as I got Dante's Inferno and I must say I much prefer Darksiders to Dante's. I managed to finish it just before last weekend as I was going to lend it to a friend however before starting this game I did look to see if there were any missable achievements. There were 4 and I'll admit that I did look up how to get them because as I keep saying my list of games still to play consists of;
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla
  • Ghostbusters
These are just the games that I have to finish for the first time, I also have a list of games that I need to go back and play again including;
  • Alan Wake - Nightmare play through as well as the Signal DLC
  • Mass Effect 2 - Insanity play through and additional DLC
  • Monkey Island SE
Then there is my list of games that I still want to get;
  • Dead Rising
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Bayonetta
  • Brutal Legend
  • Gears of War 2
  • Wolfenstein
  • Metro 2033
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Neir
  • Prototype
  • Dark Void
  • Iron Man 2
  • Sacred 2
Don't even get me started on games I'm still waiting for. Maybe I should buy an old game with every new game I buy that should provide me with a decent spectrum of games. I've also borrowed Ninja Gaiden 2 from my friend in exchange for Darksiders, Singularity and Lego Harry Potter. Before I left for my mates at the weekend I was thinking about trying a couple of demo's from the games market place, but I was running late and didn't get around to it. But while I was at my mates he had a two of the games downloaded.

First up was the demo of a Kingdom for Keflings, a nice little base building game that from the demo seemed quite addictive. I downloaded the full game when I go home and I'm glad I did it's a fun game with it's heart in the right place, it's also a good choice as a game for young kids. The second was a game that he had downloaded the full game for when it was on offer and that is Shadow Complex. I only tried out the challenge rooms which were enough to make me want to get it but not enough for me to shell out the 1200 MSP for it.

The other thing I should mention that I tried at the weekend for the first time was the Zune Video Marketplace. I was very impressed with the service. I chose to download the movies rather than stream as I wasn't sure what my speed was going to be like and it took about an hour to an hour and half for half of the movie to download and then I was able to start watching it. The pricing was good as well at £3.28; converted from 380 MSP for an HD film it's slightly cheaper than some other rental places, so if you're stuck on a Friday night for a film then give it a go, i highly recommend it.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday LOL 05: Based on Japanese History

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

It's Friday again so here is another gaming funny for you. If you don't get it then you'll need to watch the video below which is from Sony's 2006 E3 presentation and if you don't want to watch all of this train wreck then skip ahead to 1:03.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Friday LOL 03: Damn!

Waaait a minute...

see more Bob's House of Video Games

I couldn't post what I wanted as there wasn't the code to embed it readily available, so here is something else, as the first DLC episode for Alan Wake was released a couple of weeks ago and I've still yet to play it, I also still need to go back and complete the game on nightmare difficulty which I want to do before I try The Signal.

Gaming Gripe 01: Losing Control

You know how some things you take for granted until something comes along that really makes you notice how much you've taken it for granted? I had this happen to me just recently with game controls, at first I noticed it on Red Dead Redemption which I've still got to write my review for. In Red Dead, I found that when you try enter a door but you hit the frame if you then try and turn to go in the middle your turning circle just happened to be door size so you found yourself nose to nose with the door frame on the other side, but I brushed this off, it wasn't often that it happened and the way around this was to back off and come at the door at a bit of a run.

So I moved on and played some other games like Crackdown 2, but I finished the story ahead of my friends so they weren't looking for orbs just yet so as sort of stop gap between games I thought I would go back and get a few more Gamerscore on one of the games I've thought of as having a black mark on my gamertag, GTA IVI first saw GTA IV when a friend of mine brought it over and started showing me what it was like, and for whatever reason I never touched it again. I recently borrowed a copy off a friend so that I could try and bump up the gamerscore, and while I've now completed the story I'm not sure if I'll get most of the side missions mostly due the fact that . . . well I can't stand the game.

Some people may think I'm completely wrong, but aside from the fact that I'm finding the game dull a repetitive I'm finding the controls really awkward. You have to keep tapping the run button to sprint and hold it to run which isn't really worth it as it's not really any faster than walking. When you’re driving a boat you can press forward and back make the nose of the boat raise or lower, but this has no effect on the overall speed of the boat but the controls that leave me totally mystified are for the helicopter.

The flight controls are a lot like those knobs in a shower were you have to be a safe cracker to get the water at just the right temperature. You have to push forward on the left thumb stick just the right amount while applying just enough acceleration on the right trigger, while doing all this you have to use left and right bumpers to turn. That's 3 digits working together, but then on the final mission you find yourself in a helicopter and have to use X to fire the guns. Is it just me or is this really complicated? Especially when you compare this to say Crackdown 2 where left and right bumpers control altitude while right stick is the camera, and left stick is main controls. You then use left and right triggers to fire weapons, Oh yeah and you can press the left stick to get a boost.

You may think that I may just be me hating on GTA IV, I think that's what all the cool kids are saying now a days, but really I'm not. Red Dead is a better game by far, I'm not sure if the story is longer or shorter than GTA but it defiantly held my interest a lot more than GTA did, and I think the control issues are probably something that I’m more than likely going to have to live with especially if I want to get some more of the achievements. 

Friday, 30 July 2010

Friday LOL 02: They See Me Rollin'

So I was having some trouble finding a GTA IV related LOL for this week and the funniest thing I noticed recently was this gif file based on the Katamari series of games. So here you go enjoy and have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Review: Singularity

Singularity is an FPS (First Person Shooter) which takes place on a Secret Russian island where they were experimenting with a newly discovered element called "E99", the soviets version of atomic energy. Throught experimentation the Russians discover that E99 has the power to manipulate time and shortly after arriving on the island you fall through time back to the 1950s, where your presence causes the time-lines to change. It's then up to you to help a group of renegades to restore the time-lines to the way they were.

I really enjoyed the story and I found that it helped with setting the pace throughout the game. I did find that if you're not paying attention when you start you can miss some of the impact of the first few "decisions" you make in the game. The Graphics I thought were really good the effects when you use the TMD (Time mainpulaton device) on items worked really well, I also liked when items would retro grade around you.

One of the things I was a little disappointed in was you could only use the TMD in one way, press . Yahtzee made the same observation in his review, not that I'm comparing myself to him. The Graphics I thought were really good the effects when you use the TMD (Time mainpulaton device) on items worked really well. I also liked when items would retro grade around you.Although the shooting aspects of the game we're good I'm not sure if I can truly call this game an FPS as the set pieces are sporadic, it's not in the same league as the CoD games but I did find that it worked well enough.

This was one of the very few games that I thought I would try on the hardest difficulty and although there were a couple of sections that I did find to be quiet difficult I'm glad that I did start on Hard. I think I would go back and play it again, but it won't be anytime soon, not just because I've got plenty of other games to be getting on with but it will also allow me to forget the story somewhat so that I can get back into it.

Overall I found the game really enjoyable and if your looking for something a bit different to your usual FPS's then I definitely recommend that you pick this game up. 

Monday, 26 July 2010

General Update 06: From Pacific City to Liberty City and back again

So we come to the end of yet another weekend. I did quite well, I managed to clock up 10 achievements for 170 gamerscore. These were all in Crackdown 2, the other game I played this weekend was GTA IV. I went back to GTA as I have finished everything I can do on my own in Crackdown 2. I've still got some achievements left to get but these are co-op ones that I'm getting my friends to help me with.

GTA IV is still a grind especially as the main achievement I'm looking to get is Liberty City Minute, which is to complete the story in 30 real time hours. as this is the only missable achievement that will require a second play through and considering my distaste for the game I really don't want to have to play it again.

I did watch an Inside Xbox video on the dashboard from Comic Con about Spiderman Shattered Dimensions which, being a massive marvel fan, I am really looking forward to, another reason is one of the dimensions is based in the Noir universe.

I know I forgot to do a Friday LOL for the second week in a row, but work has been crazy busy and when I get in I just want to play games and chill out. So you'll have to forgive me, but to try and make up for it in some way I will try and get a couple of reviews up on the site during the week.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

General Update 05: A birth (day), a wedding and lot and lots of grisly death

As you may have noticed I didn’t do a Friday LOL on Friday, this was due to me going away for the weekend. It was my sisters Birthday and a friend’s wedding and I was in attendance of both. With being away I didn’t get much of a chance for getting any gaming in but considering I’ve not posted since last Friday an update on what I’ve been doing to avoid my bloggers responsibilities is probably warranted.

Crackdown 2 makes up the most of what I’ve been playing lately although I did download The Secret of Monkey Island 2: le chuck’s revenge Special Edition that was released last week. While I was at my sisters I did get to play on her Xbox but as it was her Birthday I didn’t play on my Gamertag I was on hers helping her to achieve the last two achievements for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The achievements in question were Master of Flying, which was to get 5 Stars for all of the Flying tasks, and Duelling Veteran, which was to score 5 Stars on 10 Duels. The Dueling achievement was fairly easy once you know how. But the flying one is only possible with practise. Getting both of those for my sister gave her her first 1000g game.

We are in the gaming release period drought, which is good for me as I still have a few games that I need to go back and finish. Red Faction: Guerrilla, Darksiders (which has had a sequel announced), Ghostbusters and the big one Dragon Age: Origins. Dragon Age has also had a Sequel announced from what’s been said about it it’s only going to have one character. 

Friday, 9 July 2010

Friday LOL 01: Say That To His Face

see more

Seeing as I have been playing GTA IV recently I thought I would try and theme the first of my Friday LOL's. Thanks go to Bob's House of Video Games for letting me embed this into my Blog.

(Yes I aware that the image is overlapped by other items but I am still working on the way the blog looks, and it's something I will sort out.)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

General Update 04: Patience!

Hi All,

just another Quickie, I am working on changing the layout and colour scheme of my blog. So I just ask that you be patient.


Monday, 5 July 2010

General Update 03: Liberty City Bound

Howdy Gamer-folk,

It would appear that I've been slacking off on my blogger duties but don't worry I'm not dead, I have actually been quite busy. Last Friday I picked up Singularity, I was really enjoying it until I got stuck but then I did jump straight in on Hard. It is my theory that if you start on a harder difficulty then your learning curve will be much steeper but I also think that if you don't try this then any strategies that you have used for medium might not be applicable when playing on the harder setting. So I set a challenge for you dear reader next game you pick with a game with variable difficulty why not try going for a difficulty one up from what you're used to?

On Saturday I picked up another new release Lego Harry Potter. I really enjoyed this game as well, it's exactly what you would expect from a Lego game. With previous knowledge of all the Lego games I found I was able to breeze through it rather quickly. So I've now completed both Singularity as well as Lego Harry Potter, reviews to be posted soon, I promise.

So what else have I been up to as it has been a couple of weeks since my last post. Well a two weeks back the Crackdown 2 demo was released. I've not played on it much but I have enjoyed what I've played. The first time I loaded up the demo I was rushing around like a headless chicken trying to pick up a many orbs as I could. This soon stopped when I realised they weren't permanent. however there are 10 achievements that you can earn in the demo that will unlock when you play the full game.

Crackdown 2 is released at the end of the week and I have all of the Solo play achievements for Singularity so I've managed to borrow GTA IV off of a friend and have been running around Liberty City, it's not holding my attention as much as I would like and I'm still not seeing what the hype was all about. In fact I was hoping it would be a lot like Red Dead Redemptionbut it's not.

I have been working on trying to add another page to go along with my Review Leader Board. While I am still trying to work out how to display it, it will be my hall of Fame/Shame it will show all the game that I have gotten the full 1000G, 'Hall of Fame', as well as all those games where I'm lagging behind, 'Hall of Shame'. I will post an update when it is available.

Friday, 18 June 2010

General Update 02: Game Review Leader board

Just a quick update to say you can now access a new page from the bar across the top that shows a leader board of all the games I've reviewed for my blog. I will be writing a post to explain what I look at in a game to reach it's score.

Quick bit of news as well, the Crackdown 2 Demo will be available from the Marketplace on Monday 21st June. I look forward to seeing you in Pacific City Agents!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

General Update 01: E3 Presentations

So this week has been fairly busy on the gaming news circuit with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3. This is where the 3 big companies, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, are given a platform to show off/announce what they are going to be bringing us over the next year. I have watched all three of the presentations and I’m going to give a quick round up of the them and then give a summary of who I thought were the winners.


Microsoft got the ball rolling on the Monday morning starting with a game play demo of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which did look very smooth. This was followed by Metal Gear Solid: Rising which again looked very good as well. Gear of War 3 and Fable 3 also got a showing but the majority of the time was spent showing off Kinect. Most of the games shown for Kinect were those aimed at the casual gamer as well as those to be in competition with the Wii. They rounded up the announcement with the new look 360, the shiny black facia along with the touch effect buttons, a 250 gig hard drive and built in wireless router. It was also announced that the new Xbox was shipping that day and would be available in shops by the end of the week (for America). It would also be priced the same as the existing 360.

My main criticism with the Microsoft presentation was that its biggest segment, Kinect, was spent introducing the hardware and appealing it to families and children as well as the casual gamers. I want to know how the more hardcore games are going to make use of the technology. I’m not sold on the Kinect yet as I’m going to need more than just repackaged HD versions of Wii titles.


Next up on the Tuesday morning was Nintendo’s presentation. The biggest announcement was the Nintendo 3DS, which is the latest addition to the DS family. What makes this stand out more than the previous iterations was the fact that the top screen will use 3D without the need for the stupid glasses. They also announced a lot of new games for the Wii. For example Donkey Kong Country returns, the legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Metroid M and Epic Mickey as well as a few new DS games like Golden Sun and Dragon Quest. They also announced a remake of Goldeneye, being a gamer I know that this was one of the major games that took multiplayer and helped to make it a big deal, however, I have a guilty confession. I’ve only played it once, at a friend’s house party, unfortunately the only thing I actually remember from that party was a new carpet and some very red squash.


Last but not least was the Sony Presentation. Sony opened with the announcement of 3D gaming as well as mentioning some titles that will be available from launch, Tiger Wood’s 2011, Killzone 3 and Gran Tourismo 5, however you will need to have a 3D tv as well as the silly glasses. Their next announcement was for their motion controller, the Playstation Move. They announced quite a few games for it and then proceeded to show a few of them as well, again Tiger Woods got a mention as well a game called Sorcery and it was also revealed that Move would ship in September. They then went on to announce a couple of exclusive deals with EA, Medal of Honor and Dead Space 2. These special editions would include re-mastered versions of previous games, Medal of Honor:Frontline and Dead Space:Extraction, along with Move functionality for Dead Space:Extraction. After this there were some announcements for the PSP, a new God of War game was teased as well. Their final reveal was for a game called Twisted Metal, which has been on each of the 2 previous Playstations; however I can’t recall ever hearing about it.

I did have a criticism about the Sony presentation and that was that they lowered themselves to having a dig at Microsoft when I didn’t feel it was necessary.


So to sum up it was a fairly underwhelming E3 this year the biggest reveal of the new Xbox was ruined by a leak the week before. If did feel to me as if Microsoft were complacent with what they had for their current hardcore fan base and were focusing on bringing new and casual gamers into the fold. Sony only seemed focused on trying to get 3D gaming and Move into everything they could but did have more in the way of games for hardcore gamers but my winner of E3 this year was Nintendo. They didn’t feel the need to insult anyone; they had a good line up of games and a good step forward in the hardware department with this 3DS.

So later on this year, in October, is the Eurogamer Expo in London. I am looking at making the trip to London and have a look around the booths. At the moment the line up hasn’t been revealed but I’m hoping that the Nintendo 3DS will be on display as I really want to see how well the 3D screen works. I’d also like to have a look and see just how well both Move and Kinect work. Now that E3 is over for another year I’m hoping that a line up will be revealed for Eurogamer Expo, E2UK. I’ll write a post closer to the time about what I will be looking forward to trying and seeing.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Monday Catch Up 01: Project Natal is Named!

It's Monday and I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Mine was good, I managed to get a few more achievements on Red Dead Redemption so I've only got the multi-player achievements to get. I also played some more Half-Life 2 and I've got to say my review probably won't be very favourable. I'm not going to go into great detail at the moment as I need something to talk about in my review. Aside from those and a tiny splash of Applejack I didn't play much on the Xbox.

So last night was the big reveal of Project Natal or as it's now officially going to be marketed as 'Kinect'. I had heard a rumour that it was going to be called 'Wave', and I wasn't that impressed with the name and I'm not overly impressed with 'Kinect' either. I know a lot of people are comparing the name change with the Wii, which was called Revolution while in development. 

So does the name aim to try and bring families together in their gaming, Kin and ect? Or is it a play on Kinaesthetics? Or kinetics? Or all of the above? There may have been something in the unveiling last night and if there was it's not been reported anywhere I've looked. But will the name mean anything? I'm thinking no, as it will depend more on how the games interact with it.

So far we have only seen marketing video clips of families playing together and how they are all playing high energy games, but I don't tend to play with my family I tend to play on my own and I want to know how 'Kinect' will affect me! Yes the various 'Kinect-' games will probably be bundled with it much in the same way Wii Sports and Wii play were but they don't interest me. What about people like Bethesda, like Epic, like Lionhead, like Treyarch? How are these big name developers going to make use of 'Kinect'? This is what will make or break it for me.

Lionhead have already said that Fable 3 will include 'Kinect' functionality, this is a good start, the fact that Fable 3 has a "Touch System" that will allow the character to interact with other characters as well as Non-player characters (NPC's) will probably have something to do with it. But this is all I've really heard I'm hoping that tonights live streamed show will hopefully reveal some more games from some of the better known developers and fingers crossed some functionality using 'Kinect'.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

General Update 00: Change is a coming!

Hello Gaming Fans!

Just a quick post today to say that I'm going to be looking at a more structured style for this blog, and hopefully a more consistent flow of updates. I'm looking at doing like this one General Updates, which will include various updates on the games I'm playing at the moment as well as demos I've tried, if any, as well as information I've read on anticipated upcoming games. I'm also going to be looking at putting updates on here to show what new releases are out that week both in retails as well as the download on the marketplace.

I'm also going to slightly change the style of my reviews, although the structure will stay the same I'm going to look at creating a proper structure for scoring. I'm still thinking about how I'm going to score them as well as an appropriate acronym for the score if I can. I will also try and go back and update previous reviews to use the new scoring method. In fact you might be able to help me. yes you. I know a couple of things I'm going to think about when I look at a game for example Controls, Story, Achievements, Graphics/Artwork and Atmosphere but I'm not sure what else to consider. If you know of anything feel free to comment below and don't worry though even though there will be a slight change I will still try and keep my reviews spoiler free.

As well as the two above changes I'm also going to start giving games a two hour preview, this will involve me playing a game for 2 hours, see what I did there, and then giving it a short preview of what I think of the game so far. This will hopefully give you readers an idea of the game before going out and buying it yourself. 

Is there anything else that I can do on this blog that you think I'm missing? If you can think of anything feel free to leave comments in the form below, you can even do them anonymously.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Review: Dead Space

Dead Space is a Horror/Thriller game from EA & Visceral Games following the story of Engineer Isaac Clarke as you explore the USG Ishimura and try to find out what happened. The story starts with you and the rest of your team finding the Ishimura to help it with some issue they were having. When you get there, you find the ship deserted and running silent. Working your way through the ship you find out more about what happened to the ship and it's crew.

This game knows how to build tension I remember on my first play through I entered a corridor and I saw a  shadow pass on the wall in front of me as something walked behind me when I got back to the corridor it had gone. I was half expecting to be ambushed further down the corridor but I wasn't, it actually happened a little later on.

I played the game on Normal as well as on Impossible. I can't really say if impossible was any harder as I was trying to get the one gun achievement so I was making it harder for myself. I also found that if you play with just the one gun it ramps the tension up even further as you're trying to manage your ammo as well as your health and the feeling of uselessness does help build the tension, I'm glad I tried both of those achievements on the same play through, especially with two of the bosses which are absolutely huge and all you have is the plasma cutter, I felt hopeless but when they fell the feeling of achievement was fantastic.

I recommend this game if you want a decent story and a fairly decent scare. I also recommend trying the Impossible and one gun play through if you're looking for a challenge.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Yet Another Bank Holiday 'Round up'

Yes we have had another bank holiday weekend and this meant more gaming for me and I really do need more time for gaming, in fact I should probably be playing right now but then how would you know how I was getting on? 

So what was I playing? Well seeing as I had finished Alan Wake I thought I would try something a bit different. I ordered Red Dead Redemption early last week and it turned up on Thursday so I've been playing that but I saw that Doom 2 was released on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade). So on Friday I downloaded the demo as well as the one for Doom. It was fantastic, and seeing as the original had dropped in price to 400MSP (Microsoft points) I bit the bullet and bought it.

I also saw on my Twitter feed, Gamerpraggers if you want to follow me, that the Ninety-Nine Nights 2 demo was released, however when I went to look for it however I was Schtupped, as it looks like it was only released in the States. I have sent a message to SUAM (Sent you a Message) to see if it's going to be coming out over here, so who knows I might get a mention on Saturday. Although now I think of it I didn't put my gamertag on the message so it might not be me getting the mention! Damn it!

So apart from riding my way across the wild plains for southern America and Mexico, and shooting demon spawn from hell on Mars' moon Phobos I also broke the 40K barrier. I've also been thinking about possibly setting myself a challenge but I'm not sure yet what to set, it might be to do with raising my percentages as at the moment, according to, my achievements Percentage is 59% and my points percentage is 58%. So my challenge could be to raise one or both to over a certain percentage but that's not very original so I think more thought will be needed before I decide on something. 

So things will probably be a bit quiet for the next couple of weeks and then it will get quite hectic as we have E3, which will be huge as well as interesting as we'll finally get to see what's been done with natal as well as find out it's real name, as well Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, and Singularity released on the same day then I have a week before Crackdown 2. I think I'm going to need a plan. . . but you can count on me, to at least try, to blog about what comes out of E3.