Friday, 29 January 2010

On A Suicide Mission!

You may have noticed that I've done a lot of reviews recently, but this is only because I've actually managed to finish a game and get all the achievements. It's ironic that since starting this blog I've actually completed more games to the full 1000G than I had done previously.

I'm very excited today as I'm about an hour away from going and picking up, in my opinion, the most anticipated game of this year, so far. Mass Effect 2. In preparation for this I booted up my previous save games. I then downloaded the "Pinnacle Station" DLC. It was a good combat refresher and I did enjoy it although when you fail a scenario it took a while to actually get back to be able to retry the mission. At the end of the DLC you get a retirement pad of the Admiral running the station, which will be interesting to see if you carry forward the retirement home.

Speaking of carrying through previous save games brings me to my main dilemma, do I start a brand new game with a brand new character or do I use one of my previous save files. Of course I'm not sure how it will work but I am looking forward to it.

What have I got coming up? well there is the the review of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 that I need to write, I'm hopefully going to have a discussion on Music based rhythm games i.e. Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and who knows I may even have the review of Mass Effect 2, lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Review: Borderlands

I bought Borderlands on the day of release, and finished it shortly there after however I had a few outstanding achievements to pick up, so I've been back and picked up the last few achievements. So now that I have all the achievements I can review the game.

Borderlands is the carnal off-spring of the first person shooter and the RPG, a Role playing shooter. The game has a good story you're a merc on the planet Pandora and your recruited by a mysterious voice to go looking for the Vault. On the way you'll meet lots of interesting people and find a lot of loot.

I really liked the look of this game, and I wasn't disappointed. The unique graphic style really works for the game and i'm glad they decided to go with it. You get a lot of weapons and ammo, and you get to kill loads of stuff as well. 

The down side to having loads of weapons is that it becomes really difficult to find a better weapon than the one you have. Each weapon has 3 stats fire rate, damage and accuracy. I think i'm just bitter that I couldn't find a better gun. The main story arc stops and starts a bit as well, but there is always plenty of side missions to keep you busy.

Overall if you like shooting stuff and things with a fast pace then go ahead and pick up this game, you won't be disappointed.  

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Review: Lego Batman

Batman follows in the footsteps of the previous Lego games. You play as Batman and Robin to begin with but soon unlock some of the villains who have their own episodes. There are 3 Episodes for each of the good and the bad guys, each episode having 5 levels, so there is plenty to do. As with the other Lego games it is strangely addictive, and very enjoyable. 

The thing that really annoyed me about this game was the way the achievements were inconsistent when two people are playing together. Me and My girlfriend were playing with both of us logged in using our own gamer tags. However the but didn't get some of the achievements. For example while playing the first level as the heroes, you get an achievement for smashing all the Street lights, however this only applies to whoever is player 1. We tried to play through it again but with her smashing the street lights but no achievement unlocked. There is also an achievement for finishing an entire chapter, which player 2 would only get if they played all 5 levels through non-stop.  
This essentially meant that Player 2 would then have to play the entire game them selves to get all the achievements. This may have been the same with the other Lego games as this is the first one we've played with two gamertags signed in, but it would have been better if both players had got the achievements.

To sum up, the game is a good romp through Gotham City on both sides of the law. There is plenty to do in the game that helps ensure that a run through of all the achievements isn't dull and repetitive. If you like the previous Lego games, or like just Batman then you will enjoy this as well.

Friday, 22 January 2010

So It Can Suck To Be A Gamer, Who Knew!

I, like a lot of gamers, am subscribed to a couple of gaming podcasts. Namely the KOXM podcast and the Australian Gamer Podcast, and from listening to them i heard a couple of news stories that I felt needed bringing to light. Now I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but never got around to it so I apologise if you’re already aware of the stories. I’ve also included links so you can read the full stories.

Only in America
First up is the story of an American man, Alfred Hightower, who was wanted by the police for drug trafficking. Before I carry on though I feel I need to clarify, when I say trafficking I don’t mean a large scale drug ring, it’s a guy who sold some weed to a friend, as well a couple of other “low level” drug offences. From a quick wiki Google, I discovered that selling of weed was the worst offence he had done.  But this isn’t a blog about the American Drug Classification System, so the police were tying to find Hightower however he remained elusive until the Deputy Sheriff and the US Marshals, found out that Hightower was an avid fan of World of Warcraft. The Deputy Sheriff, then put a call into Blizzard Entertainment, who eventually came back with enough details for the Sheriff and U.S. Marshalls to be able to get location for him and be able to go and catch him.
Blizzard Helps Cops Nab Drug Dealer Via WoW

Orc Story
Our second WoW story concerns merchandise, in particular a 6ft tall Orc Statue, and its owners ultimatum. Robert Cushnie had owned the statue for nearly 6 years, unfortunately when it came to moving in with his newlywed, she gave him the choice of me or the Orc. Robert made the right decision and chose his wife; however the story doesn’t quite end there, the Statue wasn’t just given away, he was given up for adoption. The “lucky” adoptees were a middle aged couple in Aberdeen, who both along with their 16 year old granddaughter love the statue. I can’t make too many comments on this story as I do own a 4 and a half foot tall promotional Cardboard cut out of a character from Warrior Kings Battles.
Husband chose wife over 6ft orc statue

Aion Roll Back
Imagine you had lived a day of your life, and were then told you had to re do it. Now imagine that on that day you went to the bank in the morning and found 34 Trillion quid in there. What would you do? Probably the same as everyone else reading this, you’d spend it. Send it to your friends. Now imagine that this was in a game, and you’ll probably feel something similar to the users of Aion, a MMORPG. Due to a glitch a small handful of users found 34 Trillion ‘Kinah’, the in game currency, and they did what anyone else would do they spent it and shared it effectively ruining the in game economy. When NCSoft heard about the glitch, 14 hours later, there was only one way around this and that was to roll back the servers. I don’t know about you but if I have to replay 2hours or more I’m pretty grump, in fact stroppy would probably be a better term for it. I do feel sorry for the poor bastard that was playing for 7 hours or more and hadn’t seen any of the money “Sucks to be you dude!”
Aion players get 34 trillion kinah in glitch

DLC dilemma
According to a recent survey about Downloadable Content (DLC) there are 3 types of gamers;

  • Those that know of and purchase DLC

  • Those that know of but don’t purchase DLC

  • Those that are unaware of any DLC

  • The survey goes on to say that only 15% of the people surveyed are in the first category, know of and purchase DLC, 42% are in the second category, which leaves a staggering 43% of gamers surveyed didn’t know DLC existed.

    I have several issues with this survey, first of all the number of people that were surveyed, they only asked 800 gamers. The article I read didn’t specify where it took place only that it was done by a media consultancy firm. Apparently according to the results most of the people who were in the 3rd category were typically playing consoles that don’t actively promote DLC for example the PS2 and the Wii. I used to think “This can’t be right?” however with the amount  or games that I’ve played recently a few check for DLC before you even start, i.e. Fallout 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. So maybe this is an issue, although I’m not sure if InfinityWard wouldn't agree what with the popularity of the Map Packs for the Call of Duty Franchise!
    Nearly half of gamers dont know about dlc

    Wednesday, 20 January 2010

    Review: Assassin’s Creed 2

    I had to wait until just before New Year to actually get the game but was the wait worth it?

    The story follows your ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze, from birth to adulthood, and following on from a family tragedy his growing into the role of an assassin. The game starts in Florence but later on takes you to the bustling city of Venice. The story is engrossing and kept me interested throughout the game however I wasn’t too sold on the game’s ending. I’ve thought about this for a bit and I feel that the ending cliff hanger breaks the “rhythm” of the rest of the story.

    Much like the first game the locations are visually stunning and fun to run from roof to roof, the addition of being able to swim also helps with getting around and a leap from the roof tops into the water pulling off a flawless dive is very satisfying. However it was pointed out to me by a friend, that in this game the people don’t look like they live there, they look like tourists. There are a few people that are actually doing something like painting or fishing, but the rest are walking around or standing talking. In the first game you had people setting up stalls and selling stuff, but that’s missing in this game.

    The achievements did seem to be a step in the wrong direction. While they got rid of all the flag collection achievements which is a good thing, it’s also gotten rid of all the rewards for doing all the side quests. You don’t get anything for climbing all the viewpoints, or for completing the side missions. The game makes a fuss about these codex pages which you can display on a wall in your villa, which once you have them all you get nothing for it, some extra heath squares but that’s it. This doesn’t seem right to me, yes I thought that in the first game the side missions got repetitive, but the side missions in this game are good and varied enough to not get boring, but with no rewards I don’t see the point, and that has to be my biggest gripe with this game.

    To sum up it’s a decent sequel that builds on the strengths of the first game, and the few downsides don’t detract from the enjoyment of the rest of the game. This game also has the best gaming culture reference joke I’ve ever heard in a game, I’ve tried to keep this review spoiler free so if you’ve yet to play you in for a real treat. 

    Monday, 18 January 2010

    Review: Nintey-Nine Nights

    I'll be honest and the only reason I decided to get this game was because it only has 10 achievements but still has the 1000 Gamerscore. However having completed it and getting all the achievements I'm very glad that I did get it.

    The story is simple enough although from the first play through the full story isn't revealed in order to find out the whole story you need to complete all of the missions for each of the characters, by doing this you also find out each characters view of the events that unfold.

    The combat system is easy enough a weak and a strong attack that you can combine in various ways to pull of combos which get stronger the more you level up. Leveling up is automatic with more combos and more HP/MP gained at each increment. 

    As I said above the achievements are fairly easy. 

    • There is one for completing the game with each of the characters. More characters become available after completing the story with certain characters. 
    • One for a secret mission which becomes available after completing the game with each of the characters. 
    • One for maxing out the characters and completing all of their missions again. 
    • One for completing the Secret Character's story line and 
    • One for finishing all missions with an A-Ranking.

    For the sake of balance the movement was a little annoying. For example there was no run command so movement was slow, there was a dash button but there wasn't that much difference in speed. The other thing was that for each character you had a separate save file which I'll admit did end up with me deleting a save file for another character.

    To sum up, N3 is the game Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom wanted to be, an enjoy able Hack and slash with characters that were easy to understand, a story that was complex enough and achievements that were relatively easy.

    If you're looking for something to tide you over until Mass Effect 2 then i would highly recommend you give this ago. There is a free demo available from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace so you can even try before you go and buy it.


    So, I know that in my last post I said that "I would post again tomorrow." and I didn't because I've been swamped at work and I just wanted to chill out when I got home, but i'm sure you didn't want to hear me complaining about my life and I now have a renewed sense of purpose with this blog. I'm going to start writing posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and to start this off I've even got one ready for today. 

    As a quick filler I have done the following instead of writing here, I've completed Assassin's Creed 2, got through the majority of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and in I'm in the process of mopping up the last few achievements for Lego Batman, so I've been completely slacking off. 

    Oh and I'm close to the 30k Gamerscore mark!

    Thursday, 7 January 2010

    Happy New Year

    Hello again Game Fans, I hope this post finds you all well, and that you had a pleasant festive period. Mine was good, I did clocked up a few miles and got a few hours in on the Xbox while I was away as well. Me and the misses loaded out profiles up onto a memory unit and it was like we never left. . . except for the fact that I left a save file behind on my Sisters Xbox. oh well I'm back down there in Feb so I'll get pick it up then.

    So I got what can only be described as an immense haul of games over xmas, so before i went away I got Left 4 Dead 2, Lego Batman and The Saboteur in my new Xbox bundle, and i had just recently bought Dead Space. I then got Ghostbusters, Xmen Origins: Wolverine, Dragon Age:Origins, Assassins Creed 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. My favourite so far is Lego Batman well thats the one I've spent most time playing, but only because my girlfriend it playing it with me. I also have a major gripe with it, but I'll save that for another post. 

    My biggest discovery on the trip away started on Christmas Day, when my girlfriend's brother wanted to play 1 vs 100. I've got to say I really enjoyed it. it's free for gold members to play and is a lot of fun to play especially when you have a group of friends around. I do have a few issues with it, the first is every 15 mins or so there is an "ad break", with annoying adverts for Avatar and Bing but they do give you chance to check your stats and achievements. the second problem I've found is that although there is a segment in the live show for a live host, the UK season 2 doesn't have one, which is a shame. Apparently there was on in the Beta version last year, but for this season there isn't. this next one is only a small one, and that is when you load it up for the first time, it does take a while to down load, but once is has been downloaded you can get in fairly quickly. 

    It's a good little game especially when you are paired up with 3 other people so you can see their answers and see how you are doing in relation to them with regards to score, as it gives you a bit more to think about that just the questions. 

    Well I'm going to leave it there for now and do another post tomorrow night.

    And before anyone asks no i haven't won anything on 1 vs 100.