Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

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In a complete deviation from last years top five scariest games, this year I present to you a.... general blog about Halloween! Still, it's going to be all about Halloween in general instead of just scary stuff.

Team Fortress 2 received it's first seasonal update on Thursday! For this weekend only, players can access a brand new Halloween map (which includes exploding pumpkins and a ghost), get two new hats and unlock five special achievements! Personally I love it. It's probably only of the first games that Isn't an MMO that I've seen receive special seasonal content. Not only that, but it's packed full of the attention to detail that Valve are so famous for. When a player taunts, he does the thriller. When you die, you drop a bag of candy. When you see the ghost you run in fear, unable to shoot. All the health pickups are bags of sweets or chocolate bars. There's skulls and pumpkins and little ghosts hanging everywhere. It's just... Well. It once again proves that TF2 is a labour of love and just how dedicated Valve are to the fans. All I can say? Please PLEASE let there be a Christmas update!

Last Halloween, I can't say I relished in the enjoyment of playing any horror games. In fact, most of my Halloween night was spent playing the Mirrors Edge demo and Defcon (which I suppose is creepy, considering I put it as number five on my scariest games ever!) while eating cheap chocolate and ignoring the door...

This year however It's different for tonight I have a plan. I'm going to submerse myself into the quite frankly terrifying Dead Space, before moving on to the rather grisly Left 4 Dead, and after a quick run through on Doom 2 I'm going to brave.... Tycoon City New York! Oh lord I hear you cry! Surely not! The materialistic values of modern day American society which subsequently burn the American dream to an unidentifiable crippling shard are so present in it's bleak and decaying world that surely it won't be long before you either break down on the floor weeping in fear or simply kill yourself to escape the nightmare?

My reply? No. And that Joke was too nerdy to be funny.

Happy Halloween guys!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Feeling Rather RETRO

I found a load of old DOS games today, and after a bit of a fiddle (Damn you Vista...) I finally got them to run!

So for the past few hours I've been playing classic games such as DOOM 2, Theme Hospital, Sim City 2000 and good old Warcraft 2! It's been brilliant. I get to open them in DOS, play them as they were meant to be played. Everythings there, the incredible gameplay, the 90's graphics, the catchy tunes and the god awful frustration trying to get them work.

Truly a blast from the past :')

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Game Plan

I've been reading a book recently called "Game Plan: Great Designs that Changed the Face of Computer Gaming". It's all about ten games that completely changed modern gaming. It's dead interesting despite the fact that I don't entirely agree with the games listed (If you're interested the games are Populous, Tomb Raider, Super Mario 64, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Street Fighter 2, Broken Sword 2, The Sims, Half Life and Everquest) but the most interesting thing about it is the interviews with the developers on the earlier titles (Mainly Populous, Super Mario 64 and Street Fighter 2).

The great thing about them is that the developers had no clue what on earth they were doing, and that most of the extraordinary things we see in videogames today were because of the mistakes made back then. Combos for instance, were created due to the animations in Street Fighter 2 not allowing the player fight back after receiving a hit. They weren't intentional at all, they were never meant to be there and that fascinates me.

Now if only I could make a revolutionary mistake....

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Epic Mickey

I really, really like the look of this. The games developer himself has described as the bastard love child of Disney and Tim Burton... what's not to like? It's like Super Mario Sunshine meets Edgar Allen Poe. Looks incredible.

Thing is... it's a Wii game. If this was on PS3 / Xbox... it would be perfect.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Racing Games

So Gran Turismo 5 has been development for longer than I even care to remember, and after reading about it for a bit today I realised that I don't even have a single thing to say about it. I honestly don't care about complex, realistic racing games in the slightest. All this talk about millions of ways to custom tune your new pimp mobile in Forza 3 or the amazing new.... I dunno destruction mapping in Gran Turismo 5.... It just means nothing to me.

The only racing games I enjoy are ones that are so over the top they would make Lewis Hamilton fall to his knees and weep blood. I'm a sucker for the futuristic blur-fest Wipeout, the tonka toys equivalent of real life driving Trackmania and of course the classic Mario- Kart which I don't have a witty comment to put before it. These games are fast paced, exciting and very entertaining. These games are the adrenaline junkies happy place, where as Gran Turismo is to me, reminiscent of driving long distances with my parents... after my Game Boy has ran out of batteries.

Monday, 26 October 2009

A Few Things...

Just wanted to chat about a few things today, without mentioning that game I've been talking about for a while now (Happy Friz?)

First up, it's been sort of confirmed that Activision has been working on a remake of the quite fantastic N64 Goldeneye for the... erm... Wii Shop. OK, so it's on the wrong bleeding console but still there . It's still being remade. Although knowing Nintendo It's probably just the N64 version with more waggle waggle.

Secondly, how good does Borderlands look please? A loot driven, cell shaded, Fallout 3-Esq RPG with online co-op? Dunno about you but that sounds like a pretty damn good game. I'll defiantly be picking this up.

Oh and lastly, Modern Warfare 2 will be joining us in just over a fortnight. I'm kinda excited. Actually if anything I'm almost intimidated because I'm buying it on the Xbox, meaning I have to play with everyone I know from College who had COD 4..... It's gonna be tough!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Prince!

I started playing the new (ish) Prince of Persia game again today. I got it just after Christmas last year and never really got that far on it (about twenty minutes in i think).

I'm enjoying it though, it's good fun. It's one of those games that's just nice to play. The gameplay, storyline and even the graphics are just simple and pretty. It's just a one of those FUN games, you know?

Anyway, the Prince is voiced by Nolan North, the same guy who voiced Nathan Drake in Uncharted, so if anything I can just pretend I'm playing the next installment of the Uncharted series.... *sighs*

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Loco Roco and Books

Just a few random things today , as I can't really think of anything specific to focus on.

Firstly, a question. Who here would class Loco Roco as a casual game? I'm inclined to say that I wouldn't...

Also I got a few books today on Videogames. The first is all about the inner workings of videogames and the social impact of them which looks to be deliciously invigoratingly interesting. I've read the first few chapters and he certainly knows his stuff, to the point where I can't help but think that Charlie Brooker used it as part of his research for GamesWipe.

I also got a book on how to make games for Microsoft XNA. I got it out of curiosity. Who knows, maybe I'll end up making a game for the Xbox Live Markeplace.... although I doubt it.

Friday, 23 October 2009

This Is MY MOON!

Recently, I've actually progressed from using the level creator on LittleBigPlanet for simply making floating cocks to actually making full blown, all singing, all dancing quality levels! (Sort off).

Surprisingly it's insanely easy to use, and not really that difficult to master either. Within about half an hour I'd gotten completely the hang of it, creating obstacles and platforms using a variety of winches, pistons and bolts. It was great fun, equally as fun as playing the levels themselves and this of course a complete testament to the hard work put in by those lovely chaps over at Media Molecule. Bravo!

Also, go play my levels? My PSN is Residentmeevil.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Guardian Technology - STOLE MY IDEA!

Well... In a way. Actually not at all.

Basically Jack Arnott, a regular columnist for the Guardian Technology pages, published an article today entitled "To come out as a gamer is still to risk looking a social n00b". It's a great article which can be found here and he pretty much hits the nail on the head in all his points, so bravo Jack.

Even if it DOES sort of have resemblance to this blog I did a few weeks ago...

Also new Blog theme. I'm experimenting with putting important things into the sidebar. Comment me your opinions?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Review

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, was excellent. In fact, as I said when I first finished it, on this very Blog, it was a "Brilliant game, 10/10 brilliance. Buy it. Now. "

I still stick to that view. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is an incredibly cinematic experience and one of the best games of all time. Uncharted 2 however, is the best game of all time. Let me explain.

I don't know when it happened, but there was a point probably about twenty minutes into the game, where I had to pause it and just stop for a second. I realised I wasn't playing just any old game... I was playing a monumental landmark in videogaming history. I was playing the equivalent of the original Metal Gear Solid, or Half-Life 2, a game so ambitious that it burrows itself within the minds of all those who play it, a game which is looked upon fondly by all... I was playing the sequel to my all time favourite game... And you know what I did? I turned it off. Not because of any inner realisation that I'm wasting my life, I'd just already had plans to go out that night.

When I finally returned to Uncharted 2 the next day I had ditched all of the emotional crap and got straight to it. Ten hours later, here I am to tell you that this game is as good as I expected it to be and my God, my expectations were high.

It's not often that a developer takes a game (and in this instance, a very good game) and improves on EVERY aspect of the original, and I mean that. Uncharted 2 boasts *inhales* improved AI, improved graphics, improved characterisation, improved character models, improved hand to hand combat, improved weapons, improved shooting, improved animations, improved trophies and a whole brand spanking NEW multiplayer mode which actually works. Not enough to convince you to go out and buy it? OK then. What if I told you that it's storyline of love, loss and betrayal which takes the main protagonist Nathan Drake to locations such as Nepal, Turkey and Borneo? What if I told you about the fantastic puzzle elements, firefights and exploration elements? What if I told you that this game is Tomb Raider reinvented by God, and then some?

The main campaign sees good old cocky, egocentric, all rounded good guy George of the Ju.... Nathan Drake on a quest to find Marco Polo's lost fleet. the Cintamani Stone from Shambhala and basically stick his middle finger up at historians everywhere for making it look so damn easy. In short, it's more of the same, but in no way is that a bad thing. Naughty Dog are by far the masters at taking lost things from history and mashing them all up together to make an intriguing, exhilarating and quite frankly remarkable plot and Uncharted 2 confirms this tenfold. Personally, I found myself getting so lost within the narrative that I was literally playing not just to find out what the conclusion to this exciting new dilemma I had just discovered was, but to actually, myself, gain the personal satisfaction for completing such a task and this was primarily due to the superb characterisation Uncharted 2 boasts.

The original cast (or the ones who didn't die anyway) return in this installment, so once again we're reunited with Elana Fisher (the worst dressed female in Videogaming) and Victor Sullivan (the man who I would give my left arm for in order for him to be my Grandad), along with new characters such as Chloe Frazer (the spunky, sexy, British alternative to Drake who ISN'T LAURA CROFT AT ALL. NOT ALL. DON'T EVEN THINK THAT SHE IS), Harry Flynn (Another Englishman who, would you believe it, is evil!) and Zoran Lazarevic (the evil villain guy, who ,would you believe it, is Russian). What's great, is that all these characters slot into the series nice and snugly, are fantastically well rounded and have voice actors that once again blow you, as the player, away. There is something that Naughty Dog are just doing so right with their characterisation, whether it's the pure emotion shown within the facial expressions of all characters (Sounds silly, but trust me it's incredible) or the voice acting. Either way, you'll fall in love with all of them, whether it's Drake's witty banter or the amount of times Chloe talks about how nice her arse is.

The gameplay then. Well, as I said It's certainly been improved and at the same time retains it's original charm. For half the game you're clambering around pretty much everything you see, staring in awe at the fluidity of the new climbing animations and for the other half your diving behind cover, blind firing at waves of enemy mercenaries with a variety of well rounded and well balanced weaponry. One of the complaints I had towards Drakes Fortune was how the amount of gunfighting seriously outweighed all other aspects of the game, but in Uncharted 2 it's been beautifully weighed out allowing a fluidity not really witnessed within a videogame before. Uncharted 2 flows like a dream, and you'll be damn appreciative of it too, especially when one minute you'll be stealthily raiding an artifact from a museum and the next you're clambering up the side of a derailed train carriage... that's hanging over the edge of a mountain.

There's so much I haven't spoke about. The multiplayer, the treasures, the weapons... but what's the point? All in all, you need to experience this to understand just where I'm coming from and when you do there's no denying it. This is a monumental achievement on Naughty Dog's behalf. It's often said, a good game does not a good console make but hell... in this instance I'd be willing to argue that. Best game ever made? I always say that, but this time I certainly believe I mean it. Game of the year? No doubt about it.

So, as I said, there'll be a point where you yourself will stop and just think "...Yea. This is it", and that's because it is. Uncharted 2, in my opinion, marks the point in which Videogames finally break through as a medium of art, as a true form of Media. It boasts a far more intelligent plotline than most Hollywood blockbusters, and a far more likeable cast and a fair few more explosions. There's a brilliant bit near the beginning where Sully turns to Drake and just says something like "I can't be doin' with this no more. I'm getting to old for this, Nate" and to me, this was almost as if a character within the very game itself was realising what was happening around him. This guy had been through some pretty hard times in the first game, but from where he was standing in the sequel... he couldn't cope. He literally had to drop out, because of the sheer scale of what was going on around him. Uncharted 2 has rocked the industry to it's core so hard, that even the characters within the very game itself are feeling the vibrations.

If you own a PS3, hell even if you don't own a PS3, please go and buy this game because seriously, you will not regret it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Graphics or Narrative? The Age Old War.

Since time began (presuming that time began in the mid to late 80's) there has been the never ending debate about what matters most within Videogames. Graphics or Narrative.

It's a dead cert that as you read this, you've instantly thought to yourself "Why, it's clearly narrative! Graphics don't matter diddly squat to me, the well informed, well educated Gamer that I am", and I don't blame you for saying that. I do however, think you're a complete liar. You do care about Graphics. If I told you to back and play the original Timesplitters for instance, you would flinch at the sight of it. We all care about what our games look like, all of us, me included. I challenge anyone to say to me that they've never purchased a game without at least considering what it's going to look like. We all care about graphics, but this doesn't necessarily mean we need them in order to enjoy our game.

First let's look at two examples. Crysis, released on the PC in 2007, and Bioshock released the same year. Now, Crysis is a pretty game. In fact it's a very VERY pretty game, to the extent where it's established itself as almost a tool of measuring the performance power of a computer instead of the joyous, sci-fi romp of which was the developers original intentions (I presume anyway). Everyones played it, everyones cooed over the photo realistic graphics.... But how many people have finished it? I never finished it, nor do I have any intention of finishing it either. I played as much I needed to play, and as soon as the novelty of the graphics had worn off I was gone. Never to look back again either. Now I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but it's the same for most good looking games released recently. Crysis, Far Cry 2.... pretty much every game released on the Unreal 3 engine. They're all nothing more than bland, two dimensional videogames that don't really ever have the potential of being anything great.

Bioshock on the other hand, released the same year remember, may not have been as visually stunning but had a far more intelligent storyline than in Crysis (which, I may add, could have been partly due to the over saturation of "A Big masculine male in a big masculine suit goes to shoot Aliens/Zombies/Other big masculine men in big masculine suits" games being released as of late). The world of Rapture was intriguing, dark and disturbing and the underlying morals found within Ayn Rand's classic novel "Atlas Shrugged" made Bioshock an absolute literary classic, never mind a cracking good game to boot. However, it cannot be denied, the graphics were very very good.

This is the problem with modern day videogaming, all games are graphically, very impressive and it's as if great narrative is simply an optional extra that the developer decides upon. Mirrors Edge, a very technically superior game, did not need the dystopian future plot in order to sell itself. The gimmick of first person freerunning was a good enough selling point as it was, and this is proven in the time trials mode (perhaps a look at what Mirrors Edge almost was, if magazine previews from the pre-release phase are to be believed). In order to truly understand which is more important, you have to look back to around the late nineties and in some cases the eighties.

I have a task for you. Go find a ROM or a real copy of the original Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or.... let's say the original Fallout. Go on, go do it.

Now I bet once you've finished tutting over the horrendous graphics (or in the case of Hitchhikers, no graphics) you're going to get completely into it, to the point where graphics no longer matter. That's the beauty of older games. There was a distinct point where games designers released that there was more potential within the medium than simply making Object A destroy Object B and started writing in depth narratives that were as compelling as they were entertaining. The great thing? Because graphics were so uninspiring back then, the developers tended to focus more on the story aspects instead the visuals onscreen. Sure, time was spent on them but not as long as today, which is my point. In some cases, modern day technology has killed the great videogame narrative. I believe that if videogames were still the 32bit pixel mash ups that they were in yesteryear, a higher percentage of new releases would be inspired and original pieces.

In conclusion? Well what is there to say? Graphics are important, no matter what people claim otherwise. If it's visually pleasing on the eye, you will enjoy it more. Imagine if Team Fortress 2 had dropped it's cartoon style in favour for a more COD4 approach for instance. Think it would be as fun? However, this isn't always the case. Bioshock for example has a narrative that is so ingenious that you literally stop caring about the narrative and it's the same with classic adventure games and most Playstation 1 titles such as Metal Gear Solid and PC classics such as System Shock 2 and Half-Life. In these cases, great visuals are not needed for they rely on narrative so much.

Still, it has to be said that Videogaming is a visual format. Visuals are required, and as are narratives of all various degrees of excellence and intelligence. But as Uncharted 2 has recently proven, breath taking visuals and incredible story telling can sometimes, on rare occasions, be found within a single game.

All in all? Well, it's all down to one simple thing isn't it. Gameplay. A game can have a great narrative, it can have stunning graphics but if it plays like a dead horse? Then it's worth nothing in the eyes of the modern day gamer.

Monday, 19 October 2009

CarnEvil (& Arcade Machines)

I found this article today about an old Arcade game called CarnEvil which scared the shit out of me as a child and It's possibly the biggest labour of love I've ever seen, for a Wikipedia Article on Videogames anyway. Whoever wrote it has named all of the individual enemies, described them, commented on the soundtrack and (get this) the last eight known locations of these now almost precious machines. One of them, is in South Shields near where I live, and it was that very machine that originally made me crap myself all those years ago.... The machine itself is a bit knackered these days but still. Memory lane and all that.

Got me thinking about how much I love Arcade machines though. I mean seriously, they're just incredible. Some of them, like CarnEvil are just so well made and so polished that you can't help but pump those pounds in like there's no tomorrow.

I can't believe I just used that phrase.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Give the Gift of.... Something, This Christmas

I'm finding it impossible to find some games worth noting that are being released in the run up to Christmas, apart from Uncharted 2 and Modern Warfare 2. Am I just overlooking some classic titles that are just going to slip under the radar, or are there just none that are amazing this year?

I know that we have the likes of Left 4 Dead 2, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time, Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles... Assassins Creed 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii... That looks like it really (I was browsing Wikipedia as I wrote that bit). Now I know a LOT of people are literally weeing themselves over them but... well I'm personally pretty underwhelmed.

The ones I'm a little excited about are The Saboteur, God of War Collection... Maybe Brutal Legend... That's about it really.

It seems like this year a lot of titles has been spread out across all quarters (Resident Evil 5, Sims 3 etc.) whereas last year nearly all the big hitters were released around this time (Mirrors Edge, Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet etc.).

Looks like one may be getting Killzone 2 for Christmas at this rate.... Maybe.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Ps3 & Afro Samurai!

My Girlfriend got a PS3 yesterday so this morning we went into town so she could buy some new games for it.

Apart from a hideous comment made by a lad in Grainger Games (He blindly declared that Red Steel was "Amazing" and that he was "Excited for the second one to be released!". The boy was clearly delusional) it was a good little shopping trip. She ended up buying LittleBigPlanet, Tomb Raider Underworld and Afro Samurai. I bought the Settlers on the PC for two quid because I'm that awesome.

Anyway, Afro Samurai is perhaps one of the most intriguing titles I've seen in quite a long time. I know it's an Anime and no I haven't seen it, but the storyline for the game looks very good, I love the cell shaded Graphics and the animations, voice acting and the soundtrack are absolutely superb! I can't wait to get my grubby mitts on it.

Also, I got Uncharted 2 yesterday and my God. It's a whole post in itself let me assure you.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Gmod Idiot Box

These are amazing. Old news I know, but I can still appreciate them surely?


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Voice Acting

Quality voice acting in Videogames needs only two things in order to work. The first is a fantastic narrative and the second is believable characters, especially at least one you can emotionally connect with. The rest is simply down to decent voice actors.

The three games that I think have the best voice acting has to be... I would say, Uncharted Drakes Fortune, Metal Gear Solid 2 and.... Half -Life. Definitely those three.

Uncharted Drakes Fortune (and I presume Uncharted 2) has literally blockbuster quality dialogue and voice acting. Everything about it is just completely incredible, from the way that every syllable just completely conveys all of the emotion, all of the empathy all of the sadness all of the joy that each character feels... and of course the Banter! From Drake and Sully firing witty quips regarding a "Tasty Little Barmaid" to the way Drake anxiously chants "No, No No!" when a grenade gets just that little bit too close to his person. Genius. It's just fantastic, and really raises the bar for videogame voice acting, proving that famous celebrities do not a good voice actor make.

Metal Gear Solid 2 may not seem like a good choice, but do you seriously think YOU could say half of the dialogue without just wetting yourself laughing, or killing yourself? Personally I honour the voice actors in Metal Gear Solid because they just ARE the characters. Their voices just match their appearances perfectly.

Half Life 2. It's the same as Uncharted. A bit stale at points, I would certainly agree, but apart from that slight niggle... well come on. Think about it. It's certainly as cinematic as the game around it!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Ingame Blabbering

I was playing Mirrors Edge today and I realised that Merc was just asking Faith loads of random questions and she just wasn't answering. And... I liked it. I think it was certainly more realistic than most games where you're character's getting shot at from every possible angle and he's reciting the entire works of Shakespeare (It's even worse on things like Gears of War where the persons not even there). It was just a welcome touch, a more realistic touch at that, to think that she's not responding all the time because she's concentrating and in a way it's almost as if Merc's asking himself the questions.

I do like the Voice acting on Mirrors Edge. It's not great, but it's certainly not bad either. Really reflects the stylistic features of the whole game, this sort of laid back attitude to everything but also this... I dunno almost obsessive desperation to uncover the truth. Brilliant stuff.

You know, I think I'll do a long blog tomorrow on Voice acting.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

This Friday! Uncharted 2!

Oh yes kids, this Friday Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 2 Amongst Thieves. Am I excited? Excited it an understatement. I am literally wetting myself in anticipation for this game. Even the trailers are a delight to watch.

Bring on Friday!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Mirrors Edge: The Return

Now as pretty much everyone knows, I love Mirrors Edge. It's great, so great in fact that I've finished it about twice. Which for me is rare. Very rare. I on;y ever finish great games more than once.

Now as you all know I got a copy on the PC and I've been playing it a rather lot these past two days and I've once again realised how damn good it is, but I also realised WHY I , and everyone else who enjoys it, keeps coming back for more.

Now I understand that Mirrors Edge is short but that's part of my point here, and my point is there is no greater thrill than being able to pelt through the whole game seamlessly with none of the exploration aspects of the first play through and especially none of the wrong turns, the falls, the bloody frustration... Sorry I was having a flashback of my first play through of the atrium level... But anyway it's just so much fun, it's incredible.

Also, I was playing the second chapter, and as I jumped down the side of the building, sliding across the glass I realised that I'd mistimed my jump and was going to miss my next one onto the nearby building and I just thought "Shit... Shit I'm going to fall... I'm going to fall and die!" And even though I've played this level a million times on the speed runs and time trials I panicked, and I just felt the same rush of adrenaline I felt the first time I ever played it. Proof, that this game never gets old.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

A Beautiful, Beautiful Blunder

In relation to my previous post this week about digital downloads, I have this delightful little story to divulge upon your curious ears.

Last night I was messing about on Garry's Mod, as usual, when a friend of mine started talking to me on Steam. Well actually it wasn't really talking. It was just. "Liam. Free games. EA. Now".

Next thing I know, I'm downloading Mirrors Edge, Mercenaries 2 and Dead Space onto my computer, without paying a penny and or breaking any laws.

See, EA decided to do a deal where if you bought any three of their games from their digital download service you got £15 off. Now, these three games were all £4.99 each.... see what's happened here? After adding all three to my cart I had a lovely sum of £0, and the site glady let me download them without even inputting my credit card details.

So of course, this spread like wildfire around the internet and I'm guessing that EA are probably sitting in their offices banging their heads against their desks (well... at the very least one guys getting fired). The major issue here is, that I think this bug was only around for at least an hour and thousands of people exploited it, and God knows how much EA as a company have lost because of this. It's so easy to do, yet they can't request the games back because everyone downloaded them legally, it was a fault on their behalf. It was a grey area, and imagine if this had happened at even more inopportune time. Imagine if when the Saboteur was released, a bug made it completely free. A new release, £35, exploited and sold for free. Piracy is already a huge issue, why complicate it by making the legal copies free as well?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

.... Erm... Well...

Ah God I have nothing to talk about today so I'm just gonna wing it.

Wipeout Pure! That'll do. I played it today and yesterday on my girlfriends PSP. It was good. It was just the same as the PS3 one like.

God I actually have NOTHING to talk about! Can you believe that? Tsh. Who would have thought it.

Oh I went into Game today, and tried to pre-order Uncharted 2 but then I realised that I'd traded in a load of games into Gamestation not Game! Can you believe that? I'd gotten the wrong shop! Ha.. Ha... Hm.

Anyway. I'll make sure I play something before tomorrow xD

Friday, 9 October 2009

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Moar Random Thoughts

I was watching some in game footage of Left 4 Dead 2 and I just.... I just couldn't bare it. It looked so goddamn bland and uninspired. The charm of the original has just vanished. The characters are bland and two dimensional, the new special infected are of the same quality of the characters I used to invent for games when I was about seven, the music has just been completely stripped of everything that made it perfect for atmosphere in the first one and even the INTERFACE looks worse! It's like this is the first one that floundered and Left 4 Dead is the superior sequel!

I also played a but of Gmod today. Fretta is amazing, It's so inspired. I love it.

Also, I've been listening to trance remakes of classical music... it's mind blowing...

Oh, and I've made a little video to post on here... just need to edit it. Just thought I'd forewarn you.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Download Only Videogames

So Xfire today launched their own digital download service, in what I presume is part of their plan to destroy Steam and become the ultimate PC based.... well recording... tracking... IM thing xD

It got me thinking about Digital Downloads, and especially the PSP Go, which is arguably the first mainstream machine that is purely download only. Will it work? Or will it fall flat on it's arse? Only time will tell, but looking at the success of Steam, PSN, Xbox Live and the Wii Shop this is pretty much destined to be successful for at LEAST two or three years.

Don't hold me to that mind.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Garry's Mod Gamemodes: 2

In continuation of a previous blog post.

I was browsing Garry's Mod servers today out of complete curiosity (as is the usual case). I was going to connect to a server that some friends were messing around on, but as it was a role play one I decided against it and ended up choosing one randomly. Turns out it was the Fretta test server hosted by Facepunch which was... lucky I guess.

So here we go. Opinions on Fretta.

I played four gamemodes in all of the time I was connected, and considering I was only connected for around forty minutes that's pretty good. I was instantly impressed by the selection of gamemodes, the sleek new UI that's been Incorporated and also just the general creativity displayed throughout the whole thing. It actually felt like Garry's Mod 2.0 if I'm completely honest. Fast, fun and professionally done. The four modes I played were...

Sniper Wars

This was the first I played and If I'm honest I wasn't really impressed. Just a simple sniping game. Not my cup of tea.

Garry Ware

This was excellent. Everyone on the server works as a team, and everyone has to complete five second tasks that are set by an announcer. They range from "Don't stop sprinting" to "Catch five watermelons in a bath!". The winners receive points. The losers receive disrespect. Brilliant stuff.


This was my favourite by far. It's the same premise as the traditional Zombie Survival modes but with a great twist. One person starts as the poltergeist, and the rest of the server stars as the humans. The poltergeist then takes control of a random prop, and then basically you fling yourself around the room in an attempt to physic kill the humans. If you get hit, you turn into a poltergeist. Absolutely amazing when you're the last human alive and there's just random stuff flying in all directions. Genius.

Fort Wars

Just an average building game. It was all right.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Representations and Expectations

It seems that these days, whenever you say you're a Gamer, unless you're speaking to another, you've instantly killed the conversation. The expectations of a gamer who openly admits they enjoy videogames is either going to go one of two ways. The first? They're a hardcore gamer who plays so much World of Warcraft he has no social skills at all and I'm clearly the first person they've spoken to in about three years, run run run or they're a psychopath who plays Grand Theft Auto and/or Manhunt..... Run run run, and to be honest this frustrates me especially as nearly everyone I know plays videogames. Yea, it might only be Call of Duty 4 or FIFA 10 but it's the fact that they don't discuss this fact in public is what feeds this stereotype of the nerdy / violent videogamer.

I think it's about time Videogames broke free of the violent stereotypes that surround them and finally rise as an acceptable form of media that isn't frowned upon by, generally speaking, anyone over the age of forty and hell even some people over the age of about twenty. I know that what I'm saying doesn't apply to everyone, but you get the idea. They still exist to this day, regardless of all the technological and narrative improvements that have occurred since their rise into the mainstream.

Now, I can understand that the main concern is of course the violent nature of most videogames, but I think it's only a select few that let the team down, so to speak. Games like Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto are like the videogame equivalent to films such as and A Clockwork Orange and Hostel. One, is a classic that depicts a morally blank world in order to make a solid, sometimes satirical point about the society and culture at the time (GTA and A Clockwork Orange) while the other is just completely unnecessary violence for the sake of satisfying our deeply disturbed minds (Hostel and Manhunt). However, unlike the films, both of these games are viewed as the worst thing to ever happen to humanity, or at least by the media and not as individual texts.

I think what annoys me most is, the media will have a bitch and a moan about most films that come out for them being incredibly gory or what have you, but they won't then proceed to tell you to stop your kids from watching Star Wars. With videogames however, it's like one does wrong and let's not forget that Manhunt 2 is probably the worst out there and it isn't actually THAT bad, and they'll lead you to believe that even the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog is turning your little darling into a killer. Albeit, a blue spiky haired annoyance of a killer.

Anyway, my point is, I think something needs to be done that really pushes this fact that videogames are arguably the most creative, beautiful and intriguing form of media on the market today.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

New Playstation Adverts

I absolutely adore the new PlayStation adverts. I think they're just American, but nevertheless. My favourites the Uncharted 2 one, but it does raise a few points regarding sexism within adverts..... Still funny though :D

Enjoy, and please leave a comment if anyone see's these on British TV!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Dungeons and Dragons Online

A friend of mine convinced me to download this today, so I did.

Hey! Don't blame me for being nerdy, it's free and all of the stuff you're meant to pay for you can get anyway just by playing the game! Sounds good to me!

Friday, 2 October 2009

2D Sim City Games!

I've been loving Sim City 4 lately. It's nice to play a game that doesn't involve mindless killing every once in a while, but it's raised an issue that really bothers me. Why don't they make simple, 2-D City building games anymore?

I bought Sim City Societies ages ago, and I can't help but feel... Empty when I play it. These huge sprawling full 3D city games are amazing, visually, but gameplay wise? They're.... well they're wank.

What's wrong with the traditional format of the Sim City games? Like Sim City 4, where the 2D elements are not only sophisticated in their art style but also practical and compliment the dense gameplay elements that are on offer. Personally, I think games like Sim City Societies lose half of the challenge due to the limitations caused by the 3D graphics and yes you read that right.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Sim City 4




Oh Lord. I shouldn't be this pleased....

.... but I am! HAH!