Tuesday, 25 October 2011

General Update 25: The Spark of Life?

Halloween may almost be upon us but, don’t be scared by this strange visitation! I know it’s been a while since my last post, I also know that I tend to say that beginning of most posts as well, but I’m still trying to work out a routine for making time for my writing. Unfortunately it’s looking more and more likely that it make have to be at the cost of some of my precious playing time. I’d like to say that the cause of my lack of writing is becuase I have been busy playing a host of this year’s big releases, but the stack of un-played games as well as the stack of games I’ve only started would say otherwise.

So a quick rundown of what I‘ve actually been playing in retail;
            Deus Ex: Human Revolution,
            X-Men: Destiny,
Warhammer 40k: Space Marines,        
Batman: Arkham Asylum,
Gears of War 2 and 3,
And Briefly LA: Noire.

“What about on Xbox Live?” I hear silently you ask;
The Maw,
Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale.

I’ve been having a little difficulty sticking to one game for any amount of time. Deus Ex and Xmen we completed to 1000g, Gears 3 I’ve mostly been playing Multiplayer which makes a change for me, Gears 2 I’m working through on insane and co-op-ing with my housemate. LA:Noire I wanted to go back and try and get a few more completed cases to 5 stars but I kept messing one up so I gave up. both Space marines and  Rage I’ve only had one sitting on and I’m enjoying both, Batman was in preparation of getting Arkham City, which arrived last night, and me trying to perfect my combat for the Combat Challenges. This isn’t working out so well, but I’m not giving up yet! It does mean that Arkham City will have to wait for a little while.

So what does the future hold? Well if I can find the time to write a couple of blog entries I’m hoping to put together a couple of Collector’s Edition un-boxing posts, for Gears 3, Arkham City and Fallout: New Vegas. I should also try and get a couple of reviews up, seeing as I do have a few things to say especially about X-Men: Destiny.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End is a Movie Tie-in game. It’s loosely based on the second and third films but makes come creative license with the ideas on some of the levels. The game starts in the prison in Dead Mans Chest, with Jack Sparrow trying to escape, and uses this as a tutorial are a to teach you the basics you will need to make it through the game, from there it follows the films narrative to the climax fight between Davey Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.

I first played this game on the Wii, and didn’t really get on with the controls, so when i was in Game recently, no that recently now, I decided that I would pick it up to make up my 3 for £30 as I thought that the controls might be slightly easier to get on with, and I’m happy to say they were. This might be to do with the fact that this game is nothing like the other version. I had only played the first few levels on the Wii and it was only the start of the first level that was similar and once you had gotten out of the first room it changed completely.

The visuals are quiet good in this game and the locations do look good and are fairly accurate to the same locations in the films. Shortly after completing the game I watched all 3 films in one evening so comparing them was inevitable. The voices in the game were fairly accurate but a little ropey in places, as are most of the character models.

One of the things that i did like in this game were the collectible achievements, each one of them had something to do with the level in question or at least the films and were fairly easy to pick up most of them. For example on the tribal island that has Jack is leader of, there are 7 can’s of paprika to find. One of the more tricky aspects I had to master was trying to daze the tougher enemies so that you could then perform a finisher on them, this is the only way you can finish them. It can get a little frustrating when you have weaker enemies re-spawning and hammering into you from the sides so you can get a combo off to daze the tougher enemy.

I recommend picking this up if you’re a fan of the films, or wanting a fairly easily achievable 1000 Gamerscore, as it appealed to me for both of those reasons. As long as you don’t take it too seriously then I'm sure you can over look the few flaws that this game has.

Monday, 5 September 2011

General Update 24: Reach for the Stars.

So it’s been a little while since I last wrote and not a whole lot has happened since I broke the 60k Gamerscore mark, but that’s mostly because of the fact that 3 of the games mentioned in my last post still haven’t come down in price, however Lego Star Wars 3 was on offer in Tesco so it was rude not. I’m going to rant about Game being Rubbish and then write up for this blog but it sort of leads into a big can of worms, and the other reason I've not done mush is because I had been playing Mass Effect again! This must be my 7th play through? And it’s a massive game and I did all the side quests. After completing Mass Effect I completed Lego Star Wars 3, and then after hearing very good things, I picked up Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which I'm loving at the moment.

It’s that time of year again for the Summer of Arcade, I maybe a little late as this is the last week that it runs for. This year the games were Bastion, From Dust, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Toy Soldiers: Cold War. I downloaded the trial version of Bastion and really enjoyed it so I bought the full game which I am still trying to work my way through. The other trial I tried was for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. I think there are some interesting mechanics in this game, and once I’ve managed to clear some of the back log from my arcade list then I’ll definitely look at getting the full game. I’ve still not invested in Kinect yet so Fruit Ninja Kinect isn’t feasible at the moment.  From Dust looks intriguing and I should look at getting the trial to see what all the fuss is about.

This week is Gamescom, in Cologne, Germany and there have been a couple of good trailers coming from it. So far I’ve see a Mass Effect 3 trailer that shows off some of the combat, but it looks a little too scripted to be game play, see above, and the other one I saw as for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. This game is looking awesome especially from this trailer, see below. It’ll be good to see Altair again as I’m bored of Ezio, and after the ending of Brotherhood it’ll be very interesting to see how the Desmond story line progresses.

In other news there is a rumour that does appear to be building some steam, Diablo 3 may be coming to consoles, there has been two reports making mention to bringing the game to consoles and it’s this second post that really builds credibility for the rumour, however we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if it does become a reality. If you’ve been following me on twitter then you’ll know that I’m not the only one that is looking forward to this game. The other news is that Borderlands 2 has been announced to be released sometime between April 2012 and March 2013. I did enjoy Borderlands, you can read my review here, and although info on the sequel is slim on the ground at the moment there is some concept are that can be seen in this article, and the teaser trailer that is below.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

General Update 23: Onwards and Upwards

Hi All, I thought I should put up a post that shows that I really did reach the 60000 Gamerscore milestone. Those who follow my twitter @Gamerpraggers will have already seen that I have indeed reached 60K. It was the last achievement for Just Cause 2 that got me over the line as well. In fact below is a photo I took once I had finished the game.

Proof that I did reach 60K!! 
I've started on the next milestone of 75k, by playing some Timeshift. It's not a bad little game, that has some really interesting time mechanics in it. I also tried the demo of Bastion which is the first of the titles in this year's XBLA Summer of Arcade. I really enjoyed the demo and I did buy the full game, but then I got back into Mass Effect as a fem-Shep. I must be getting into character as I already don't like her hair style!

Previous GamerScore:   59975
Current GamerScore:     60130
Increase:                          +165

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

General Update 22: The End Is Nigh!

No I don’t mean the end of the world! I’m talking the end of a long slog. That’s right; I’m on the verge of breaking the 60K barrier. I am also looking to tie it in with the 100% Achievement completion of Just Cause 2. I’m still working towards the 75% completion but I’m getting there, I’m currently on 69.31% and I’ve found a way that doesn’t seem as much as a grind as I thought it would be.

As I was away this weekend I wasn’t able to play on the xbox, however with my schamncy Windows Phone 7 I’m still able to get Chievos, and I did I finished Women’s Murder Club, as well as got a handful for both Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. With all of those won, I was 25 points away from that big 60k which has been hanging over my head for a while now.

I do have a list of games that I need to play once I’ve finished Just Cause 2, first of all I’m going to go back and finish LA Noire. I loved what I had played so far and can’t wait to play more, plus with my Rockstar pass, I’ve got all the recently downloadable content for it as well. Then I’ll start on the following list;

Mass Effect – Fem-Shep

Mass Effect 2 – Fem-Shep

Fable 2 - DLC

Ninety-Nine Nights 2


Lego Pirates/Star Wars 3

This is only a shortened version of the list and the only one I need to actually buy is the Lego Games and that all depends on whether the price is dropped, so we’ll have to wait and see. I really can’t wait to go back and play Mass Effect and I’ve decided on how I’m going to play her, she will be all pleasant natured in the first game, but towards the end she’ll become more of a badass as people should have listened to her, and then in the second game she’ll be a right bitch!

The reason I want to go back and play Fable 2 is because I really want that last achievement for the dolls. Which are all available to dig up in the DLC. I really enjoyed N3, Ninety-Nine Nights, but when I tried the demo for the sequel I found it rock hard, but I’m really looking forward to it. Bayonetta should be good as well, as I really enjoyed the demo plus it will be something different and a bit faster paced.

Also as well as all of this going on I’m also working on the Borderlands DLC with my housemate, we’ve completed both the Zombie Island and the Underdome and we’ve made some good progress on ‘The Armoury’, and then it’s the Claptrap revolution. Hopefully all of those should give me enough XP to level up to level 60 and should net me the last achievement. After that I think the plan is to start on Gears of War, or possibly Left 4 Dead 2.

Wow that was a long post, now I think it’s time for me to get on and get cracking with this plan.

Previous GamerScore:   59565
Current GamerScore:     59975
Increase:                          +410

Monday, 4 July 2011

General Update 21: Just 'Cause!

I have actually been fairly busy recently, and some of that was actually playing on the xbox, some of that was even writing future posts. They’ve not been posted yet as I need to go back to each one and amend/change/rewrite where necessary, and given that some of the reviews are for games I’ve not touched in a year it may take a little while longer, but I am getting to them slowly.

So what have I been up to then? Mainly trying to slog my way through Just Cause 2, so I can get back to playing LA Noire, I’ve done all the story and difficulty ‘chievos but I’m now left with all the collectables and completion ‘chievos. It doesn’t help that I’ve also had a bit of a splurge on games for my phone as Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds have now both been released, and last week’s Xbox Deal of the week on Pop cap games didn’t help either as I picked up both Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies on there as well. At the moment I’m trying to decide whether I can justify getting Lara Croft: Guardian of light as it’s on offer until Wednesday (6th July).

Hopefully I will be able to finish both LA Noire and Just Cause 2 fairly soon as I already have 4 games I want to pick up. Alice Madness Returns, Shadows of the Damned and then both Lego Star Wars 3 and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. I do feel guilty as I still haven’t played Bayonetta or Star Ocean yet. I am however making some progress on the Borderlands DLC. I’ve now finished Mad Moxxi’s Underdome and helped my housemate do Zombie Island of Dr Ned. That just leaves Armoury of General Knox and Clap Trap Revolution.

After listening to the OST for Mass Effect, I really want to go back and play the original. Despite having played it through completely half a dozen times I still have something I want to try. Fem-Shep! She’s going to be kick ass, not sure if she’s going to be a Renegade but I will be playing on Easy so I can rocket through it without getting stuck, plus it will make her look even more bad ass!

I’m very close to getting the big 60K gamerscore, I’m only about 500 points away, but it’s feeling like a real slog. It does help I’m getting some good games on my mobile, it’s just a shame I’m not able to get more time on the actual xbox to make a real big dent in the backlog of games I’ve got so I can then take a good run up at the new games coming out between September and Christmas. Yes Gears and Skyrim I’m talking to you! Maybe it’s time I booked a week off work!

Previous GamerScore:   57730
Current GamerScore:     59565
Increase:                        +1835

Friday, 17 June 2011

General Update 20: I'm not dead, just busy! (Promise)

A friend of my, Maggie, send me a link to this video so I thought I would share it. Incidentally I'm getting this game tomorrow and I feel I must confess that I've never played this one!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Friday LOL 10: Link to the Future

So it's been far too long since I did one of these mostly due to the fact that Bobs House of Video Games is no more. However I saw this video today and had to post it almost immediately. It’s Geeky, it’s awesome and it’s game related!


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

General Update 19: “I’m mad as hell,and I'm not going to take this anymore!”

The quote above is part of a speech from a film I’ve not seen called the Network. Where the actor Peter Finch has a rant about how bad things are getting. Anyway this week, yes I know it’s only Monday, but I’ve been getting annoyed. Not because I'm not getting enough time on the Xbox, not because I've got loads of games to try and play through and I'm running out of time to play them in. But I’m hearing more and more things that annoy me. The first, but not the main, shouldn’t really be on here but it’s to do with movies.
My Housemate read out a list of 95 films that have been green lighted sequels. Some of these are films that aren’t even out yet and there are even more films on that list that are from long running series, and there are some from films that don’t need sequels. In a similar vein, I've recently got into the Syfy series Stargate:Universe and although this second series is a little slow to pick up I really enjoy it, but because SyFy are re-branding it’s been scrapped.
Are we that complacent in this day in age that we can’t think of something new? I know that part of the reason is because the costs of making a film are pretty astronomical and in the current climates much more of a risk, but if the film companies won’t take the risks then we won’t see Cult films, like Rocky Horror and Empire Records, “Oh Rexy your so sexy!”, in the same way we do now, and this is disheartening.
The second is this PSN catastrophe. “My name is Chris, and I am a . . . Microsoft Fanboy.” I’ll admit it and i have to qualms about it, and while it has been know for me to dislike some of the things on the PlayStation I don’t go around and hate on it. We’re all gamers here we’re all looking for the same enjoyment out of games aren’t we? so why do the other team in? If karma does exist then all these people saying Xbox Live isn’t hackable are asking for trouble. I’ve always said that one thing I really like about Sony is the trophy system and in particular the gold, silver and bronze medals, but I wasn’t happy that you got Mass Effect 2! But good luck to Sony in keeping the PSN up and welcome back to gaming to those who haven't’ been able to scratch that itch we all get.
Third a double edged sword. Mass Effect 3 has been delayed until next year. First of all this a good thing as it means I won’t have to rush through Skyrim in order to get it. However I've also heard that part of the reason that it’s being delayed is so that it can be ‘laser focused’ on bringing a game that will exceed expectations. However according to this article they are tweaking the game to appeal to a wider market. Mass Effect 2 has sold over well over 6.6 million copies. Do they really need to do this? If they do then people who want to go back to experience the story will be disappointed. ME2 was by no means perfect. I’m sure every time I heard “Probe away!” I died a little in side, but it was a good game and I'm hoping that they are only going to be polishing up the game as it will be the end of an era.
There is a silver lining on the funk in which I seem to have fallen. LA: Noire. The game is released on Friday and I have my pre-order ordered. I can’t wait to see that opening cut scene and to start taking on my first case. I do feel sorry for a friend of mine who had his birthday recently as he’s a PC gamer and at the time of writing this there is no release date for it on PC. It’s a shame that he will be missing out.
Anyway time for bed now, if you folks are lucky i might even write another post before the end of the week, but I will leave you with the video of the speech that the title was taken from.

Monday, 2 May 2011

General Update 18: Where does the time go?

Um Yeah so I said last time that the hiatus was over. and then I didn’t write for a month despite not being at work for the last 11 days! So what have a I been up to? Well I've been on a bit of a game splurge. I bought Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, Bayonetta and Star Ocean: The Last Hope in a bundle deal. The reason i got POTC was because I had it on the Wii and thought that it would be better on the Xbox, but its a completely different game! It wasn’t a let down though and did lead me to watching all 3 films back to back.

I’ve not gotten to Bayonetta or Star Ocean yet as I went back to finish Dragon Age 2, as i hadn’t done it yet. Oh Yeah, before I did get back to DA2 I picked up Portal 2 and completed the Solo campaign. I took me a few hours and it was really good. They’ve really nailed the humour in that game. So yeah after logging in at least 45 hours in my first playthrough I then went back and played it again to get the rest of the achievements, and today i completed it to 100%.

So I’ve got to decide what to play next, as LA Noire is coming up on the horizon so that would sway me towards Bayonetta as Star Ocean would be a long slog, and I’ve also got a load of Arcade games to work through as well as I picked up Shadow Complex in the sale, and I’ve still got Kingdom for Keflings to finish and some poker to get back into.

Right I’m back to work tomorrow so I think I'm going to have to head to bed. I will inevitably try and get a review up this week, seeing as I have a few to catch up and try and write. I think the running total is near the 20 mark!

Previous GamerScore:   55470
Current GamerScore:    57730
Increase:                    +2260

Sunday, 3 April 2011

General Update 17: The Hiatus is over.

Some would say that it’s been far too long since my last blog post and you know what? Those people would be right. The last post was at the beginning of February. Although I did try and write one around the time of my birthday as I received the T-Shirt in the picture below but I never actually got around to posting it.

Free Publicity! 
Praggers Wins!
As you can imagine my list of games to review has gotten longer and longer as is my list of games to play. I have been slightly slacking on the playing of games but I do have a bloody good excuse for that, and that’s because I've uprooted from the the North of England and moved back down south. I’m all setup now and hopefully I should be able to get back into the swing of doing more posts. I may try and write a post a night for the next week. They may not all get published as I write them but then I can keep you guys tided over with my Xbox news.

For those that are interested, I mentioned in my last post that I was invited to a Nintendo 3DS pre-launch event but I wasn’t sure if i was going to make it. Well I did and it blew my mind. It was incredible, and while i decided that I did want one I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually get one. Well I am really weak willed and as launch day came around I decided that I would get one, however I made the wrong choice of starting game. I went for Sims 3, but then remembered, shortly after starting to play, why I don’t like playing Sims games. But to make up for that I have now bought Monkey Ball 3D which was what the girl in the shop said I should have got.

My Shiny New 3DS 
So what have I been playing lately? Well, Dragon Age 2, Torchlight, Full House Poker, Bulletstorm, Homefront, Fable 3. All of which are great games.

Previous GamerScore:  53370
Current GamerScore:    55470
Increase:                       +2100

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

General Update 16: The Blog Post With No Name

For the past week and a bit I’ve not been at work, which means all I’ve been doing is gaming. When I started I was playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood, which I have not completed. I even tried out some of the multiplayer as well. It’s something a bit different to the usual multiplayer that’s with most games that come out. Once I finished Assassins Creed Brotherhood, I started Final Fantasy XIII. It was my hope that I would tear through it and be able to pick up the big release for January, Dead Space 2. However the Friday came and went as did Monday, but as I felt I was getting closer and closer to the climax of the story I got stuck on a Boss. I have now decided that I need to grind some more before I go back and try that boss again.

Other than that I’ve not really done much. I know there is a Demo that I want to check out, that being Bulletstorm. I tried this game when I was at the Eurogamer Expo and didn’t really get on with it, but I think that was because I was being watched and cracking under the pressure. My biggest problem with it was that after you had whipped someone when I tried to kick them it didn’t behave with the smooth transition that you see in some of the skill shot videos as seen online. So I want to try again with the demo and without the pressure of people watching me.

One thing that may be worth mentioning is that I may get a chance to see the new Nintendo 3DS this weekend. You may be asking how I managed that. The e-mail was from Eurogamer Expo so I’m guessing I was put on a mailing list.  Anyway I had to sign up for a specific time on one of the two days. At the time of writing this I don’t know if I am going as it’s a first come first served deal, but I should find out tomorrow. I’m quite excited about this as I’m really intrigued as to how the 3d works without glasses.

Previous GamerScore:  52270
Current GamerScore:    53370
Increase:                       +1100

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

General Update 15: Only A Ninja Can Sneak Up On Another Ninja (or Assassins!)

So this is really my first post of 2011, but before I get into the New Year I do have one thing to clear up and that is my Christmas gift list. I received Nier, Gears of War 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, and Dead Rising 2, I also picked up FEAR and Dead Rising in the Game sale. I completed my First play though of Nier before returning home, I then moved onto Gears of War 2 which I completed on Saturday evening.

I started the game on hardcore and managed to get to the last chapter of act 4 on hardcore and then when I loaded up to finish off the game for some reason it changed the difficulty back to casual so when I completed the game I didn’t get the achievements for the other difficulty settings. I do aim to go back and play the remaining levels again in order to get the outstanding achievements.

After completing Gears 2 I tried Dead Rising, the original, as I want to know the story first before playing the sequel. Unfortunately I’m not sure if I am actually playing it right as I keep dying when trying to save survivors. It could just be that my getting the priorities wrong and I should just try and focus on the story until I get more experience.

After dying several times I moved off that and started Assassins Creed Brotherhood. While I’ve not get very far I have changed my mind about something. uPlay. I touched on uPlay in my post about Online Play for all, but it would appear I had it a little wrong. The points you unlock for completing certain tasks in the game allow you to download certain rewards related to that game. For example in Assassins Creed 2, the rewards are an xbox dashboard theme, a new map to explore, a new outfit and an increase on the number of throwing knives you can carry. I like this idea because the amount of points you earn from the game is the same amount that you can spend.

For Assassins Creed Brotherhood which has the same system and number of points available, there are more rewards than there are points available, which means you need to choose which rewards you want but can’t have them all unless you buy a different game and choose not to download the rewards you unlock for that game but it seems to me like a fair trade off. I’m not everyone wants the theme for the game they are playing. If you’ve completed the game you might not want to increase the number of throwing knives seeing as you’re probably not going to be playing it again.

Demos: Ilomilo & Raskulls
Over the weekend I tried a couple of demos from XBLA. I’ll admit now that I never actually finished the Raskulls demo, not because I didn’t want to, but because I was cooking my dinner. I enjoyed what I played, it’s an action-platformer that plays well, and looks great.

Ilomilo is a puzzle based game where you play as both Ilo and Milo who are two characters that you have to work out how to get them to meet. The premise is simple enough; get the two characters to meet and the game looks great as well.  

Out of the two my money went on Ilomilo, and while I’ve still not finished the prologue it’s defiantly one I will play, when I get some time.

Previous GamerScore:  51555
Current GamerScore:    52270
Increase:                         +715

Saturday, 1 January 2011

General Update 14: Merry New Year!

So there we go another year gone and another one stretching out in front of us, but before I rush headlong into the new year and decade I’m going to take a little more time to look back at the year 2010.

What did I achieve? Well I suppose the main thing would be breaking the fifty thousand gamerscore mark. I’ve also started playing games on the harder difficulties rather than starting on easy or normal, I’ll jump straight in on hard. What else? Completing Mass Effect 2 on Insanity, it took almost 8 or 9 months, to do and that was with a 6 month hiatus!

However looking back 2010 hasn’t been all good. Probably one of my major sticking points was the news that Mass Effect 2 was to be released on the PS3. I know that the original was published by Microsoft so I know that will never be released on the PS3. I’m just a little confused as to why they would release only a portion of a series. My other big disappointment with the year was E3. I know Microsoft had to show off Kinect and give it a full reveal. But it didn’t seem to show much of anything else. Don’t get me wrong they showed a lot of stuff, but aside from the Kinect stuff there wasn’t a whole lot of Exclusives to be shown.  I’m hoping this will change in this year’s show.

What do I want to achieve for 2011? I guess my main goal is to reach the seventy five thousand gamerscore mark. But I also want to try and make more of an effort to get into the online community. So I’ll try and make some posts on some forums and try and get involved.

What am I looking forward to in this new year? Two major events, the first one being E3. Although I’m not actually going I will be watching the live keynote speech as I have done for the past 2 years. The second event is the Eurogamer Expo. Or E2 as I think I’m going to call it. It will be over 4 days this year and be around the same time. Hopefully they will have Mass Effect 3 there and I will be able to try it out as it’s due to be released this holiday season. The other game that should be good to see will be the next game in the Elder Scrolls series. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as that is released 11/11/11. See what they did there?

Current Gamerscore: 51555g