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.