Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Sadly, the Original Dungeon Keeper you see before you is no more...
Well not in it's current form anyway! I've moved the site over to some Webspace that had a whole lot of space going spare, so that I can start writing this delightful little online supplement professionally.
Or some other bollocks like that.
Hope to see you over at www.originaldungeonkeeper.info soon :)
Sunday, 4 July 2010
I’ve been playing a lot of “Stealth” games recently. I say “Stealth” in inverted commas because the first game I’ve been playing is Metal Gear Solid 2 and it’s not necessarily the most hardcore sneak ‘em up in the world. Still the best game ever made though.
Secondly, I’ve been playing Splinter Cell: Conviction, a game so surprisingly good that I’m going to absolutely bum it to bits at the next opportunity.
Monday, 28 June 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Face it, you’ve already made your decision. What with all the advertising that’s been splattered throughout game shops and on websites since E3, I would be surprised if you haven’t already made your mind up about Kinect or Move. You either love it, or you hate it. Simple as that. But have you asked yourself perhaps the most important question? Don’t look confused. Behind the shiny tech demos there’s a question that needs answering. The Wii has so far failed to reach it’s full potential in terms of hardcore games, and thus it’s up to Kinect and Move to prove to gamers, what is the point in motion control, and does it even have any form of benefit to gamers?
The Wii is dead. It’s gone, and we all know it. There’s no more innovation left in the old girl. She’s tired, she’s had a day and now she’s going to sit the rest of her life out regurgitating Carnival Games and games that end with Z’s instead of S’s. Even the pure, first party games lack any sort of pop that was promised when the Wii was first revealed. It’s limited form of motion control is boring, and we no longer care. However with Kinect and Move, we have the finally have the opportunity to combine top of the range motion control kit, with HD graphics and in Sony’s case, 3-D. Are these a match made in gaming heaven, or a gimmick worthy of the Red Steel award for shittyness?
Lets think of it firstly, in a positive light. Games with motion control are fun. I remember first getting my Wii on launch day. I loved it. I stayed up all night, and for the majority of the day after, playing Wii Sports and of course Zelda: Twilight Princess. I remember thinking “God, this is it. This works, it’s what we all needed!”. Move promises to do everything the Wii can’t. Precise, handheld devices attached to a high definition console. Sony’s controllers are the Wii HD, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With the quality of games coming out for the PS3 at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some innovate and original IP’s being revealed this year exclusive for Move that are actually worth buying. Considering the price of the console and the controllers, it’s also a given that we won’t be seeing the likes of Carnival Games HD anytime soon either.
However it’s Kinect that’s the most intriguing of the two. Controller free gaming is still, even one year on from it’s initial reveal, mind boggling. Kinect gives developers free reign over anything they would want to do. You only need to look at the Star Wars tech demo from E3, to understand that developers are no longer just limited to two controllers, but your entire body. There is no limit to what they could do, and I’ll be the first to say that I expect us to be constantly shocked by what Kinect games will be offering us in the near future. Running, jumping, kicking, punching, shooting, swimming… It’s all there. Most importantly, this free reign means that the potential for quality, hard core titles is higher than it ever was on the Wii. No more on rails shooters folks, Kinect offers us the real deal.
However, what both these devices have failed to show us so far, is any decent titles. True, the potential is present, but that’s all we have. The potential for something truly groundbreaking is coming, but until we see it in action all we have to go on is speculation. At E3 this year, both Microsoft and Sony failed to make any lasting impressions in terms of titles. Sony showed a few rough and tumble tech demos and that Ratchet and Clank…. thing but apart from that the only memorable title was that Dead Space Extraction was coming to the Ps3 with move support. A port of a Wii game? Not a good start Sony. At all. What potential is there for innovation, when already you’re porting over on-rails shooters from a less powerful console? For shame.
Kinect was also suffering from Wii fever, with Kinect Sports, that river rafting game, a dancing… dance… Oh God it bores me to even think about it. Kinect showed off a lot of awesome tech demos, but it showed nothing but Wii Clones in terms of releasable titles. At least Playstation Move had the common decency to not patronise it’s market with Wii Sports on the Ps3. Kinect showed us childish, colourful, fun filled party games, titles we’ve already seen hundreds of times before on the Wii. Microsoft were alienating it’s market, and this is where the alarm bells should be starting to ring. The Wii showed of a lot of hardcore titles upon it’s release, but 90% of them turned out to be nothing more than tech demos. Should we be giving Kinect and Move then benefit of the doubt, or is it a given that history is about to repeat itself?
I want to like motion controllers. I really want to like Kinect, especially, because I can honestly see myself jumping around my living room, holding my arm like a shotgun barking orders and my team mates as I storm an office building, shooting terrorists. I know it can be done, because all of the technology present at E3 proved that it was possible. Yet, I see nothing of the sort being shown to me. No upcoming titles, not even a tech demo. Where’s the hardcore market Microsoft?
As for Sony… nyergh. Move is such a shameless Wii clone that I can’t even begin to describe my disgust for it. As long as I don’t see “MOVE COMPATIBLE” on Uncharted 3, I’ll happily let it die in a corner. I don’t mind pointless gimmicks being present, just as long as they don’t suffocate me from all aspects of my gaming experience.
In short, Motion control has the potential of becoming something brilliant. Sensational, even. If Microsoft and Sony play their cards right they could have something seriously innovate in the works. In the meantime? I’m sceptical. What they’ve shown us so far is just HD Wii games, and I can’t see that as being acceptable six months or a year into it’s release. Will we see some quality hardcore titles that benefit? Only time will tell. Until then, keep your money in a safe place, because you could well just make a decision that you’ll either appreciate making, or regret for a long time to come.
Saturday, 26 June 2010
I’ve received two comments recently that made me want to respond to them in an angry, angsty way. So I’m going to.
The first was this one, on my last post regarding the new Xbox 360 Slim:
I don't know what kind of Xbox gamers you've been looking at, but I only know one person whose anything like what you're talking about and he's fat and everyone hates him.
I know PLENTY of PS3 owners who would argue that LittleBigPlanet is better than life itself, let alone Gears Of War.
You are biased :Z
I do not like this blog anymore.
First of all. Biased? Please look at these two images. I will label them Fig.1 and Fig.2:
This year is going to be an incredible year for Xbox, and already it’s surfaced as a console that has a solid grounding within the industry. All generations have at least one that defines the medium. Once upon a five years ago it was the Ps2. Now, it’s the Xbox 360.
I love my Xbox. As a console it’s superb, and in comparison with my Ps3 which is still broken, it’s proven to be more faithful.
I’m not being biased my dear, I'm being critical. It’s what I do. I’m an opinionated teenage web logger. It’s not my purpose to just accept things for what the majority believes them to be.
And if you can’t take a bit of criticism? Well then perhaps it’s better for you to go elsewhere. Meanwhile I’ll be playing Alan Wake, Crackdown 2 and Heavy Rain, enjoying the best of both worlds.
Last time I checked, past two years Sony have had more exclusives than Microsoft...you know if you actaully delve around and find stuff out.
Yea, for the past two years Sony have had more exclusives than Microsoft. I fail to see your point? This year Sony showed off far less than Microsoft in terms of hard hitting, action packed exclusives that got the crowd going. In fact if i’m being honest, both companies had very little to show off in terms of exclusives. They certainly didn’t show us anything we didn’t already know about.
I’ve been trying to so hard to play Mass Effect. I’ve been trying to get through it for a fortnight and today I finally decided I couldn’t, and I have to give up.
Now before you start laying on the hate, I appreciate how God damn amazing Mass Effect truly is. As a game, it’s superb. Damn near perfect, with it’s incredible graphics, innovate game play mechanics, fully realised, atmospheric settings and believable (albeit, alien) characters. Not only that, but it’s the best RPG game I’ve ever played, to boot.
But I can’t get away with it, because it’s too deep. See, when I first play RPG’s they need to do two things. They need to introduce character, settings and narrative within the first hour in order to make me want to play for the next fifty, and secondly they need to clearly explain how I play it properly like any other game would. A tutorial mission, or a training session, for example. Not hidden away within the behemoth that is Mass Effects “Codex” section.
See, my problem is that Mass Effect has so much going for it, that you need to read about half of it within the previously mentioned codex section for it to make any sense. For most people that’s fine, great even, but it’s not for me. I can’t necessarily enjoy games that present me with such a mammoth task. It’s why I’ve never been a fan of RPG’s.
Combine it with the lengthy dialogue sections and I just had to raise my arms in defeat. I want to like Mass Effect. Hell, everyone else does and I can see why they do. There’s just something inside me that says it’s not worth it. I can appreciate why it's so good. I can see why it’s received so much critical acclaim. In fact I’ll be the last person to say I dislike it. However, I will be the first person to say that I don’t have the time, nor the patience for it.
Still, it took me three attempts to get past Megaton on Fallout 3, and I eventually learnt to love that…
There’s always hope, folks.
Leave your hate within the comments section below.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
I was in Game today pre-ordering Crackdown 2 and there was about six people in the queue in front of me. Every single one of them, was putting deposits down for the new Xbox 360 Slim. This isn’t necessarily an odd occurance, it’s just that every single one of them was trading in all their old Xboxes to pay for it, and only getting a third of the asking price of the new one. This one guy was trading in an original 360, two controllers AND 19 games in order to pay for it. “These are all my games!” he said laughing. What the hell is he expecting to play on the damn thing when he gets it?
It made me realise that with Xbox Live, Xbox exclusives like Halo and new stuff like the Xbox 360 Slim, Microsoft has created a devout following of gamers. Literally. Xbox is a cult, a cult of fanatics. The kind of people who queue up to buy Halo Wars, and who have never missed a payment of Xbox Live since it’s release. The worst thing is the fanboyism. Like it or not, Xbox owners are the worst kind of gamers (second only to those who make those kind of comments… like me). They’ll argue to high heaven about how Gears of War is so much better than LittleBigPlanet even though they’re two completely different formulas, and PS3 owners don’t even try to retaliate, even though I know you will do so with humour , because they will point their fingers and call you a fag.
Personally I like to act as a middleman.
And argue with myself.
Sunday, 20 June 2010
So as you’ve probably realised, I haven’t been blogging lately. I started my job on Wednesday. My full time job, to be precise, meaning I haven’t really had the time to do anything of late. Still, I’ve reached the point now where I’m going to be able to blog more frequently for the first time in months. Understandably, this isn’t the perfect, daily updates of yore but hey I do the best with what I’m given.
Today, I’m going to tell you the games I’m desperate to play, and probably will be playing when I get my first paycheck. Mainly these are games that have been released, with the exception of one:
I haven’t mentioned yet just how much I need to play Red Dead Redemption. Although it never even warranted so much as a single post during it’s development, I couldn’t help be caught up in the hype surrounding it’s release. It wasn’t the bland linear western shoot-em-up I expected. Instead, it’s a fully released free roaming western epic, in the same leagues as one of my all time favourites, Gun. What is it about the wild west that makes game developers shine?
Oh come of it. I know it’s been out for ages, and I know everyone knows who the killer is blah, blah, blah. Tell me something I don’t know. I’m a sucker for games with an incredible narrative, so leave me to play it in peace will you? Please? Yea. Shut the door on the way out while your at it. Your bitterness has made me cold.
If you’re a frequent visitor you’ll probably know how much I enjoyed Crackdown. A God-damn lot is the answer you’re looking for, and the sequel looks to be even better. This little beauty will be finding it’s way into my Xbox the day it comes out.
To reiterate, I’m a sucker for narrative driven games. Alan Wake certainly looks to be one of the better ones as well. Great atmosphere, great setting for an immersive plot. Yea, looks like my kind of game.
If there’s anything you think I’m missing out, new or old, make sure you let me know in the comments below!
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
So all the conferences are over with I think. At least all the major ones. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have stepped up to the bench and tried to tickle our fancies in order to win the quite prestigious title of “Biggest Balls In LA”. Who won this year? Well to be honest I think my hearts went back to Nintendo. A little bit. They’ve managed to present some new tech that didn’t instantly appeal to the casual market. “Here’s our new console guys” they said, “and this is for you Liam”. Metal Gear Solid 3D, Resident Evil 3D… to be perfectly honest I was impressed. Especially by the actual handheld. The 3-D is actually incredibly impressive. Still, early days and it was only a video. Anyway, I’m now gonna go in great detail about every major conference because I’m a nerd.
In general, the Microsoft conference was very poor. Kinect (Project natal) was focused upon far too much, with Microsoft pushing towards a casual market and completely alienating it’s hardcore fanbase in the process. We don’t care about Kinectimals or whatever the it’s called guys. Yea, it might be good for our kids or nephews or… oh wait they have Wii’s. Yea. They don’t care either. Really. Sorry.
The conference picked up a bit when the real games started coming through. Gears of War 3 Co-Op is looking good, as it the campaign of Halo Reach. Fable 3 is… Fable 3 (still) and the Xbox is getting COD exclusive DLC… still. So… nothing new really. Crytek’s new game looks promising of course, but apart from that the Xbox has a rather underwhelming line up of same old, same olds.
Of course, the Xbox slim was the highlight of the show. A new console which looks to me like an Alienware laptop had sex with Bill Gates… and produced something beautiful. It looks to be a top notch piece of kit. They’ve even sorted out the red ring. It’s only been five years guys. Will I be buying one? No, but as it’s the same price as the current models it certainly is tempting.
A new E3, a new DS. It’s became a bit of a tiresome tradition to be perfectly honest with you, but at least this year they did things a little differently. No casual shit heaps, just pure hardcore nuggets of wonderment (no one dare steal that. Ever). The lineup is… well it’s already got more potential for classics than the Wii currently has with four years under it’s tiny casual belt. Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Kid Icarus, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, Starfox 64, Zelda 64… Remember when the DS was announced and all the hype surrounding hardcore games was at it’s peak? Well Nintendo are finally delivering. It’s probably not acceptable, but I’m going to forgive them. Purely for the graphics on the damn thing. Way to step up your game Nintendo! Seriously. Well done.
Other highlights included the announcement of Zelda: Skyward Sword (about time) and Epic Mickey (looking good). However, I can’t say 'I’m so sure about Goldeneye Wii. Seems a bit of a stupid idea if you ask me. A “reimaging” of a classic? Come on, surely Pierce Brosnon would have popped his head into a recording studio if you paid him a little bit more than you paid Mr. Craig? No? Fair enough.
OK so Sony started off poorly as well, to be perfectly honest. Move? Don’t care. Heroes on the Move? Oh come on Sony… you can do a little better than that can’t you? 3D, blah blah blah, yea we get it you make 3D Bravias. No we won’t buy them. Ah right here we go. Games.
Killzone 3 is looking smooth, Grand Turismo is looking gorgeous… is that it for exclusives? Oh Ok fair enough. Playstation Plus seems like a fair deal. For the same price as Xbox Live you get free games and other cool content? Automatic downloads of demos, themes, wallpapers… yea that’s pretty cool. Not for me but hey it’s there I suppose.
Now Sony’s third party aspects really impressed me today. First of all the amount of exclusives EA are offering is just… lovely. Yea, that’s a good word for it. Lovely. Dead Space 2 will come with Dead Space Extraction. For free. With move support. Sorted! Medal of Honour will come with a HD remake of Medal of Honour Frontline. Bargain! Sony have secured the Assassins Creed 2 multiplayer Beta. Bravo! However can you top that. Oh, Portal 2 is coming to Ps3 and will be their best version. Oh Gabe you cheeky, chubby bitch. I love you. Whatever they paid you I’ll give you double.
Still doesn’t change the fact you have barely any exclusives though Sony. Tut tut.
As I said, overall E3 was a bit disappointing. Still, it’s always nice to have some fresh news eh?
Saturday, 5 June 2010
I finished Halo 3 today. It’s taken me… a year. Yea. Round about a year. I hate Halo, I think it’s boring. The problem is I’m the only person in the world who seems to hold this view apart from people who hate it for the sake of being different (but secretly love it anyway).
So I’ve decided to write a review for Halo, but in a different way. I’ve decided to write a review for Halo in a universe where Halo 1 + 2 were never made. Instead, Halo 3 was a standalone Xbox 360 game that was released to an audience that had never played any of the previous instalments in the series. Obviously I won’t mention the story elements because that would be silly, of course the narrative wouldn’t make sense. Instead, I’m focusing purely on game play. Enjoy, and please, no hate mail.
Original Dungeon Keeper Reviews: “PURPLE SCI-FI SHOOTER”
I finished PSS today. It’s taken me… a year. Yea. Round about a year.
I picked up PSS when I first got my Xbox because a mate of mine said the online was OK. Not as good as Gears of War or Modern Warfare but OK. It was cheap, so I decided to give it a go.
Upon booting up the main campaign It was instantly clear that this wasn’t going to be the greatest gaming experience of my life. It’s main character “Conventional Protagonist 1” handled like any other FPS character from Playstation era. He even jumps really high, something I thought they’d gotten rid of along with “Bullet Time”. This may seem like a minor complaint, but perhaps I’ve just been spoiled with the realistic movements of Soap Mc.Tavish, swaying left and right as he runs and bending his knees as he jumps. In comparison, CP1 may as well be a cardboard cut out with a camera attached to him.
After running through a jungle area I encountered by first enemies. Tiny, dwarf things that ran around shouting comments that even a five year old would cringe at. Still, all is fair in love and war so I pulled out my gun and pulled the trigger. My gun, what initially appeared to be a machine gun, may as well have been a super soaker full of piss. Flimsy little thing, it spat out bullets and laid waste to the creature in front of me in a way that was as exciting as an episode of the antiques road show. Again, this may seem like a minor complaint but the gun looked so conventional that the mere fact that it gave no satisfaction to fire whatsoever meant that it basically added insult to injury in doing so. In a desperate attempt to gain some enjoyment out of what I presumed was going to be my major pastime throughout the course of the game, I scrounged the corpses for some alien weaponry. Instead of some kind of devastating corpse creator, I picked up something clearly made my Tomy. It was purple, with bits of green taped on. Upon pulling the trigger it fired… green laser… balls. I put my head into my hands and sighed. Did they seriously think this work? Did they shred the big book of videogame clichés and mash it up into a game disc? Still. Like the brave little trooper I am, I carried on.
What followed was ten levels of shooting, terrible level design, unoriginal enemies (Shoot this one in the back, this ones slightly tougher than that one, this ones a token undead enemy, etc.) and really uninspired driving sections. Even the locations were dull and failed to make me take any interest in their importance whatsoever. PSS was a boring, sloppy and uneventful game that has failed to impress me one little bit. As an FPS it’s boring. As a Game, it’s completely dull.
Oh, and that Multiplayer my friend was talking about? It consists of super soakering your enemies until they get close enough to you, then you melee them so they die. That’s how you play it. Seriously.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Dead Space, the survival horror extravaganza that made me poo myself more times than a laxative pie, has many fantastic aspects to it that make it a brilliant game. It’s unique dismemberment style game play, it’s fantastic voice acting and it’s life like animations, to state but a few. However, in my opinion it’s the location of the game, the USG Ishimura that is it’s greatest feature.
What strikes me as the most spectacular aspect of the game is that it holds up as one of the greatest piece of sci-fi gaming to date. The ship and everything within it functions perfectly, and creates an almost industrial atmosphere, bringing with it feelings of depression and suffocation. Refusing to adhere to conventional sci-fi representations of space ships, Dead Space shows a ship that could be created today. Things are rusty, things break. Perhaps most impressively, every room serves a purpose that is believable to the player. A testament to excellent game designing.
Just like Bioshock’s Rapture, the Ishimura holds one quality that makes it exceptionally impressive. You can imagine how it was before the necromorphs took over. You can imagine people working, interacting, living within it’s walls. That, is what I love about it most of all.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Since I last blogged I’ve became completely obsessed with the original Ratchet & Clank Games. I’ve finished Ratchet Gladiator so far and now I’m currently working my way from the start. I’ve done them in a bit of a strange order but screw it I’m enjoying myself.
I’ve also been playing Counter Strike and erm… well I’ve been doing OK at it. Which is something I never thought I’d say. I’ve playing it on and off over the last few days.
Finally how beautiful is this video please?
Expect more regular updates from here on in.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Today, Insomniac Games (The guys and gals behind the original Spyro games, Ratchet and Clank and the Resistance series) announced they had made a deal with EA and are going to start developing games for multiplatform release.
As Bungie announced their multiplatform deal with Activision earlier this month, I can’t help but feel that the glory days of exclusive, console specific partnerships are finally coming to an end. But is this necessarily a bad thing?
In today's economic climate, single console companies just can’t make the money they need to continue making games anymore (Bungie being an exception because… well… Halo.) Therefore I just can’t blame them for spreading themselves out a little. Lets face it, if your games available for two consoles you’re going to get more money.
So am I shocked, surprised or angry by Insomniacs deal? I’m sorry to say I’m not. Personally, I wish them good luck and all the best at EA. I’m sure their new IP will be as fun filled, as action packed and as visually impressive as every other high quality title they’ve ever produced.
Just as long as Ratchet & Clank stays on PS3 though.
Monday, 24 May 2010
You know what I hate? When you’re playing an incredible, generation defining title such as Halo 3 or God of War 3 and you reach a cut scene. An epic event takes place, the action reaches fever pitch, the protagonist / villain says one absolutely awesome line, the music reaches a crescendo and suddenly everything stops. No visuals, no music. Just darkness. You grip the controller, your fingers curl around the important buttons. You’re ready, you’re desperate to continue and then…. Credits.
It’s the worst feeling EVER.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
With E3 only weeks away, I should probably start getting ready to drool over everything that’s about to happen. It’s a dead cert that this is going to be a very interesting year, albeit a year of the sequels. Although it’s going to be amazing watching as this years blockbusters , such as inFamous 2 and LittleBigPlanet 2, are finally revealed but I can’t help but feel there’s not going to be many original IP’s present at this years expo.
I mean, there’s the obvious Bulletstorm but what else? Will Bungie be unveiling their new Activision project? Probably not, especially with Halo Reach being present.
Still, Assassins Creed 3 is all they need to reveal and I’ll be very very very happy indeed.
Friday, 21 May 2010
It’s sad, but I’ve been playing this more than all of the other games I’ve bought these past few weeks. Why? Well… it’s complicated.
First of all it’s colourful.
Second of all, it’s ridiculously fun.
Finally, it’s so addictive it’s became sinister. I’ve been craving this so much lately that whenever I begin playing all of my little Piñata's begin to sneer and laugh at how I’m wasting my life. Yea, you think that’s funny do you? You little “Fudgehog” Bastard? I can kill you. I can kill you with a motherfucking shovel.
Yea, that wiped the smile of your face. Bitch.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
You can probably tell, I’m not a car person.
In fact, I’m pretty oblivious to anything car related. It just means nothing to me.
So why, you’re probably asking, do I own a copy of Forza Motorsport 2? Well dear reader I’ll tell you why. I got it for free along with Viva Piñata, and when life gives you lemons you say thankyou and accept them. That’s my ideology.
Anyway, I booted it up and did the first race. I came first. I was having fun.
Then I tired to do the second one and got completely overwhelmed by…. everything. Vehicle classes? Grades? Anti-lock brakes? Auto… braking… fine tuning… fuck it. I took it right out my XBox and went back to play on Red Faction.
Anyone care to tell me what I’m meant to do? I was racing but I couldn’t physically get into first place. What’s the point?
Sunday, 16 May 2010
I’ve actually been playing games recently. REAL GAMES. First time since around March! Here’s what I’ve been busying myself with:
Red Faction Guerrilla
Got it for the PC for only a fiver (bargain) and I’m having so much fun with it. It’s one of those games where the game play is so good it can make the game worth playing purely on it’s own. Everything else is depressingly mediocre, but who cares? You can blow anything up! How is that not appealing? Defiantly my most played at the moment.
Pokémon Heart Gold
When I’m not doing anything, I’ll play Pokémon. So far, I’ve played it for twelve hours which is… impressive to be honest especially seeing as I only bought it a fortnight ago and I still have no intention of stopping. Possibly the best handheld game I’ve played since the original. I’ve given up on the Pokéwalker though. Too much effort.
Viva Piñata / Forza Motorsport 2
Seeing as though my PS3 is still broke, I’ve taken to buying ridiculously cheap Xbox games in an effort to keep myself entertained. This week, I bought a double pack of Forza and Viva Pinata for £6. Score! Both good, but I much prefer Forza, even though I’m not a racing fan unless the drivers are… well…. Mario characters.
Team Fortress 2
I’ve finally gotten back into Tf2 again for the eight millionth time. I swear to God, every time I start playing it again it should be referred to as a relapse. Anyway, now that the Soilder / Demoman update is a distant memory the merry world for Fort warfare is back to it’s normal, utterly brilliant self.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Team Fortress 2, Valves massive cartoon shooter, turned two years (and seven months) old on Monday. For most gamers, this would mean that TF2 can now be classed as “Old”. The only ones who are normally left playing by this point are the hardcore fanatics (clan members, forum goers, modders etc.) or people who have picked the game up cheap from a bargain basket. But Team Fortress 2 still boasts a very high player count, and this made me think. Why is it still worth playing after all this time?
Not all games die after a few years. World of Warcraft grows by the day and even the original Call of Duty’s are still played fanatically by fans on the PC. You only have to look at Halo 3 to realise even console gamers can love a game for years and let’s not even get started on Diablo 2. When a game is good, it remains good. It stands the test of time and can be played every day for years and years without getting boring. That’s the theory anyway.
What specifically makes these games worth playing then? Well where to begin? There’s three reasons that I can think of (correct me if I’m wrong, that’s what the comments section is for after all) that keep gamers coming back day after day. A lot of games are popular because of a combination of these features.
The game was damn good to start with.
Diablo 2, World of Warcaft, Call of Duty… These games nailed the perfect formula. They are gaming gold. Everyone has a book you can read over and over, a film that never grows old and a game that never gets boring all because of one simple reason. They are perfect. To a lot of people, their choice is very personal. For example my all time favourite game is probably inFamous because not only is it a damn fine game but I completed it during possibly one of the best times of my life. However, 90% of people have a favourite game that is shared by millions. Warcraft. Halo. They’re classed as “best thing ever” by a lot of people, and it’s easy to see why. Let’s face it, how many people do you know that consider Shawshank their favourite film of all time? Exactly, and it’s the same for games. When something's good, it’s good for a lot of people. Therefore, they’re still played by a huge number of people four, five years after their initial release dates for the simple reason that they’re classics.
The game keeps getting better.
WoW keeps getting expansions, Halo 3 keeps getting map packs… in a modern gaming age, DLC can be shipped out every day if a developer so wishes. Whether it’s for a price or for free, developers ensure that it’s audience physically can’t stop playing a game. Regardless of whether it’s either down to people needing achievements/trophies or simply due to the fact that the game keeps on getting better, it certainly extends the lifespan of a game because let’s face it. Gamers love new content. Especially if it’s free. Oh, and when the player count drops after a couple of months? Release a retail copy with all the updates on. SORTED! Am I right Bethesda?
The modders ensure that the game keeps getting better.
People don’t play the original maps on Half Life 2: Deathmatch. They just don’t do it. Why should they? They’re boring, outdated. The killboxes on the other hand are fun. Very fun. It’s the same on Counter Strike: Source (excluding Dust). If a modding community is passionate enough about a game, it will simply never stop being played until they physically can’t do anything more with it. Take Garry’s Mod for example. Shouldn’t that have been dead by now? I’ll be honest with you, I think it would have been years ago if it wasn’t for such a creative community. The game thrives on it. An active community distributing fresh original content ensures that a game will live on until… well until the sequel comes out.
So where does this leave Team Fortress 2? I’ll tell you where. It leaves it hanging between all three. Awkwardly.
Team Fortress 2 was a classic from the word go. A flawless formula, a gameplay style unrivalled by anything else, more depth than a… really deep PC FPS and, of course, more beauty than Finding Nemo in HD. TF2 was the shit, to put it simply, and it was no wonder that when the Orange Box was first released people flocked to the world of Red Vs. Blu in their thousands. It was the freshest thing Valve had made in years, and they’d done a damn good job of it to boot.
Then the inevitable happened. People began to leave. Admittedly, they had all enjoyed themselves more than they conventionally did on other games, but left they did for that is how FPS’s work. Some stay for the glory, some stay for the fun. The latter always leave. Valve, clearly feeling very clever, then decided to pull out what it thought was it’s ace in the hole. Regular, game changing, DLC packs.
Six updates later (seven if you include the classless update) and what has became of TF2? It’s a mixed opinion. Unlike other popular games that feature regular updates such as World of Warcraft, TF2 becomes more and more distant from it’s original formula with every new addition. New weapons, new items, new maps, new game modes and of course the inclusion of hats, badges, crafting and user created content. What was originally a relaxed, fun shooter is now a frantic, ultra competitive grind fest. When I first played TF2 I was taken back by it’s pick up and play simplicity entwined with it’s deep class based system. If I was to pick up the current version for the first time, I would be confused. Very confused. TF2 is no longer a clean shaven FPS that appeals to everyone. It’s an achievement festival for MMO players. It’s became mainstream, and it was never even casual in the first place.
But does this mean that Team Fortress 2 is no longer worth your time and effort? I know a lot of people that would say yes. All of the new content is overwhelming not only for first time players but for those who just haven’t played the game in a few months and it can be said that the perfect balance between classes that was achieved before launch has been completely tipped over onto it’s back due to the inclusion of the ridiculous new weapons alone. If you were a hardcore TF2 nut before, you’re gonna hate what’s happened to your baby. Hell, even if you just loved it for what it was back in 2007, I would keep those memories and throw away Steam. TF2 is no longer something you will enjoy experiencing again.
However, if you’re the type of gamer that just likes to kick back and enjoy yourself then you’re going to love what they’ve done to the place since you were away (and if you’re a first time gamer, welcome to the nut house). First of all, the weapons are great. They really work, and they’ve all been developed in a way that means they could have replaced the originals. They’re that good (and that stylised!). Secondly, all of the new hats and achievements are not only a laugh to collect but it feels good that TF2 finally has something to achieve rather than bragging rights. Some hats carry with them a huge amount of respect, and Valve are doing a great job of just dropping in some ridiculous headgear on a regular basis for everyone to unlock. It’s fun, and at the same time there’s an extra layer of depth that’s been placed quite snugly over the top of the original version. It’s a welcome addition, regardless of what other people say, and it improves the game tenfold.Not only that, but the community have also finally found themselves, with a massive amount of servers being dedicated to some quite frankly superb map ideas. They’re certainly better than some of the arse attempts you find on other games (Yes Deathmatch, we’re looking at you). A lot of people will disagree with me, and I would completely understand if they did, but if you look at TF2 in it’s current form as something completely different to the vanilla version, then it could well give it some major competition. Primarily in the hat department.
So there you have it. My opinion on TF2 2010. Agree with me or not, Valve certainly have taken a huge risk in introducing such drastic changes on such a regular basis. It certainly makes it feel less stale than the likes of Counter Strike, but then again, how long can this last?
Until then, people will play and play until the next big thing comes along that catches their eye. At the end of the day, all great things must come to an end. Even you Warcraft. Even you.
If you enjoyed reading this article, I would love it if you could pass the link on to your mates through some method or another. Failing that, just comment below. Comments really do make me want to write more like this, and I’m sure you prefer these lovely long articles to my usual “lol look what I found” blog posts. Amrite?
Monday, 10 May 2010
Ok, I only checked this out today and I wish I’d done it sooner if I’m honest with you as there’s now only 21 hours left to take advantage of this offer… Woops xD
Anyway, this website is offering a lovely little package called “The Humble Indie Bundle”. They’re offering five of the best indie games of the past few years for… any price you want to offer. From a penny all the way up to a million squid (slight exaggeration but you get my point). The games themselves are charming and very playable.
The best part of this deal is that you get to choose where the money goes. You can either send it to a specified charity or to the developers of the indie games themselves. Personally, I gave them four pound and gave it all to charity. It’s not a lot to ask, especially when a lot of the money will, I presume, go straight to charity.
Please make sure to check this out. It’s worth it for World of Goo alone!
Sunday, 9 May 2010
LittleBigPlanet 2 was confirmed yesterday. It’s nothing really surprising, seeing as though it’s one of the biggest selling games on the PS3. However, what is surprising is the improvements the developers are promising over the original.
Media Molecule are basically saying that in LittleBigPlanet 2 you won’t be limited to making levels. Instead, you’ll be able to make entire games from scratch using the in-game editor. Sound exciting? You bet it does. Apparently one Dev has made a Sackboy version of Command and Conquer. Oh yes ladies and nerds, it’s no longer just a platformer.
I love the sound of this. Even the cynic inside of me is agreeing that Media Molecule will deliver. LittleBigPlanet is still one of the most original games I’ve played in the past five years, so I’m literally gagging for the sequel.
No, I’m not going to comment on the Playstaton Move support because I don’t care about it.
I haven’t blogged in a while and there’s been a reason for this.
Nothing has really been happening that’s been worth talking about. Personally and in the industry.
The only thing I think worth mentioning is that Modnation Racers is probably going to be my next purchase. You know, when i get my PS3 fixed.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
New Fallout: New Vegas shots are in and it looks tasty. It also looks different, but not graphically. You vain little thing.
There’s certainly more inspiration from the originals present here. The robots in the first screen adhere to this theory. I mean look at them. They’re humorous. But not in a subtle, satirical way. They’re just funny lookin’. Is this a good thing? Well… to be honest with you probably not no. Fallout 3 oozed charm, satire and black humour. This looks like Fallout put it’s silly hat on and walked down the road with it’s willy out. Also, it’s the same engine as Fallout 3 as well. Easily forgivable of course, it’s a fantastic engine that serves it’s purpose. However it is two years old, and if you’re only going to make minor gameplay changes and ruin the entire feel of the game? Then… well. You’re not getting a purchase off me.
However, it could easily be a return to form. A true, 1950’s view of apocalyptic America that remains faithful to the original vision while exploiting all of the best bits from Fallout 3. If it’s the latter, then I have an erection.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
It’s just wow. I don't know how anyone can make games this fantastic. It's not even the graphics that are jaw dropping either. The gameplay, characters, locations and story are all of a cinematic quality. It's like one long cutscene. A bloody good cutscene.
Shame I can't play it though. Bloody PS3.
Friday, 30 April 2010
So Call of Duty: Black Ops was announced today. It’s being released next November, it’s being developed by Treyarch, It’s set in Vietnam…Blah, Blah, Blah.
We can all assume it’ll have a rank based multiplayer mode, with custom classes, perks and DLC maps. We’re all positive it’ll have an “Award Winning”, “In-Depth” story and of course it’ll have one famous actor/actress doing some voice work.
Thing about Activision is, it has a habit of making really original IP’s stale by releasing them every ten minutes. Guitar Hero especially.
I feel sorry for Bungie…
Thursday, 29 April 2010
I started Halo 3 yesterday. For old times sake. I enjoyed Halo: ODST more than I probably should have so I thought I’d bury the hatchet and give old Halo 3 one last shot.
I put it on hard difficulty.
Can’t get past the first level.
I hate you Master Chief.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
THE FAILERS: E3 Line Up Leaked.
Oh look, it’s all of the announcements from E3 on a piece of paper. I BETTER NOT POST THIS ON TWITTER! 8D
Although it’s validity is… well it’s obviously faked but it’s interesting to think that some of these could be real. inFamous 2 would be a nice surprise, as would “James Bond Game for XBLA” (Dare I say Goldeneye? It has been confirmed to exist, after all.)
However, it’s obvious that a lot of these are going to be there anyway. Gears of War 3, Guitar Hero 6 and Dead Space 2 because they’ve all be announced and it’s obvious that this is a fake because it has the Call of Duty MMO on it. I mean seriously. Someone's just collected all of the rumours from the past six months and dumped them on a piece of paper. Amateurs. If this was a proper fake it would have Mario 128 and Duke Nukem Forever on it.
THE WINNERS: Halo 2 Is Still Online
This is my equivalent of a feel good story. Basically, these fourteen gamers have kept themselves permanently connected to the Halo 2 servers in an effort to keep the game alive, even though Microsoft closed the service two weeks ago.
"A small group of dedicated Halo 2 players kept their Xbox's on so that they could enjoy the game for a while longer. (As long as we don't turn off our Xbox's, or lose connection, we can stay online.)"
"Our Xbox's have been on for nearly 13 days straight. Each day the amount of people decreased, at a rapid rate."
"A lot of us became really good friends, and it's almost like we're family now,"
"We will keep playing until we are all forcibly removed. It could be by Microsoft, Bungie, our Xbox's overheating, or just lagging out. Not for competition, not for a prize, but for the love, and memory of Halo 2."
Isn’t that nice? I think it’s great when people are dedicated like this.
It’s just a shame they aren’t addicted to a decent game, really.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
So The Sims 3 was confirmed for consoles today. Here are things that I deem better than this news.
1) Rectal cancer.
2) My inevitable mortality.
3) Red Steel. (Seriously).
4) The sounds of tiny children crying.
5) Sonic the Hedgehog.
Seriously though. They’re claiming it’s going to be identical to the PC version. How? There’s no mouse on an Xbox. Or on a Playstation. Oh, and before you say Wii slap yourself round the face will you? Come on. Seriously. It’ll be like Diet Sims.
Now, I may sound like I’m jumping to conclusions here but considering how God awful past console incarnations of the Sims were… do you blame me? Thought not.
Still, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now!
I’m kidding of course. I’m extremely prejudiced.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Ended up getting Pokémon Heart Gold for pretty much free! So the moral of the story is wait and you’ll get a cheap Pokémon game… maybe..
Anyway I’ve played it for about an hour and a half so far and already I'm extremely impressed. Graphics are lovely, game play is the same (but hey, if it aint broke!) and the Pokéwalker is actually a really well made little peripheral. Will I use it? Maybe. Maybe.
Anyway, more news that’s not related to Pokémon tomorrow.
Saturday, 24 April 2010
So, I’ve finally played the Passing. Did I enjoy it? Well… that’s difficult to answer.
In some ways I was impressed. The new weapons actually bring some new flavour into the game (The M60 is incredibly fun to use), the actual level design of the campaign is really well executed and, as always, has a lot of replay value and there are a lot of really nice features like footlockers full of pills/Molotov's/pipe bombs, the Bride witch (and wedding guest zombies!) and the new Survivor uncommon common which adds this really interesting new dynamic to the game. Need health? Pipe Bomb? Pills? Quick! Get the Survivor! He even runs away, forcing you to back track in order to get him.
What didn’t I like? The original cast. Valve had so much potential with the original cast being present within The Passing but they’ve really let themselves down. You see one of them at the very beginning… and then you see three of them at the very end. Oh, and as for who dies…
Bill dies. How? Fuck if I know. He’s just slumped against a generator. There’s no explanation and there’s not even any remorse or even sadness shown from the remaining three. They’re just their normal everyday happy go lucky selves. Just minus Bill. Really upsetting.
NO MORE SPOILERZZZ
Apart from the tacked on original cast, I really enjoyed The Passing. However, If I’d had to pay for it, I would have fucking lost it.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
1) Goddamn Valve, you are very good at making promo videos and launch trailers. I take my hat off to you, fine sirs and ladysirs. However, I have no intention of playing The Passing until the weekend. I apologise.
2) Why is Perfect Dark so goddamn hard on the… hardest difficulty? It took me three hours of solid playing to get past the first level. I hate old games, yet love them in equal measure. Damn you Rare.
3) Why isn’t Pokémon free? Also, why haven’t governments checked this game for mind control? Why do I want it so much? It’s embarrassing!
4) Should I put Ads on my blog? I suppose it would look a little less flash, but it’s free money and I like that idea.
5) Why hasn’t Sony came over and fixed my PS3 yet? It seems that the gaming God’s have forbidden me from ever finishing GTA4.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Finally finished the remake of Perfect Dark today and phwooooarrr is it good. Like seriously, it’s lick your lips in ecstasy good. Well, the level design is perfect, the music is spot on, the weapons are completely innovate and really fun to use and it has that lovely Rare fluidity about it which just makes it fantastic to pick up and play every time.
However, the story is absolute shite. There’s nine chapters, with about three missions in each, and I have no clue whatsoever as to what was going on. Seriously. I could make a rough guess, but I’d literally be guessing. It’s so badly crafted it’s laughable. Also, the voice acting is really terrible as well. Perfect Dark was unfortunately made in a generation that didn’t take things like voice acting too seriously, therefore Joanna Dark may have the body and the talent of a international super secret agent, but she has the voice of a fourteen year old girl which is just… ew.
As a remake though, it’s extremely faithful to the original game.
Anyway, I’m certainly going to pick up a copy of Perfect Dark Zero this weekend, just ‘cos I can innit. Mainly because I want to know why she’s ginger in this one but brunette in the original. Also my PS3 is still dead and I need something else to play.
Oh, and Valve did confirm the release date for Left 4 Dead 2 DLC on the PC yesterday. It’s coming out tomorrow for free. Linkage!
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
THE GOOD ZOMBIES
Dead Rising 2 is to feature co-op play. This is win for so many reasons. Mainly because having you and a mate running round like nutters killing thousands of Zombies using anything sounds to me, like my perfect game. Not just my perfect Zombie game, but my favourite game, period. Release date’s in September. I can’t wait!
THE BAD ZOMBIES
Left 4 Dead 2 is finally getting it’s first piece of DLC, The passing, this Thursday on Xbox. It has loads of awesome features, and of course includes the original survivors. Read that again. Yes, I only said Xbox and that’s not a typo I’m afraid. It just hasn’t been confirmed for PC yet. Oh Valve. Why. What’s happened to you?
CAPCOM IS JUST GENUINELY AWESOME
I don’t even have to explain why this the best thing I’ve seen all day. Chris Redfield fighting the Hulk? Oh God yes.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
When I was a seven, I got a Game Boy Colour from my parents. With it, I got Pokémon Gold. I played that game for about two years, every day. I loved it, and even during the “Pokémon is for social outcasts” phase, it always had a soft spot within my heart.
So, is it any surprise that I’m literally gagging for this game? I face two problems though:
- No money to buy the game.
- No Ds, as it’s broke.
- No money to fix the DS, or buy a new one.
I hate being a teenager.