Friday, 31 December 2010

Gamefreak's top 5 games of 2010.

Well then. That was 2010. As we all get ready to go out, get drunk, act like a tit and feel like shit tomorrow, we can maybe spare a few moments and look back on the awesome gaming year that was 2010.

It was a year of ups and downs. A year that saw Call of Duty dev Infinity Ward go tits up due to some arguments with publisher Activision about something or other. A year that saw Microsoft unleash Kinect onto the world and told us that the future was controller-less, but you would look like a complete bell end while playing it, and Sony essentially just copied the Wii and made a motion controller that looked like some futuristic dildo from the Starship Enterprise!

All in all it was a great year. I was going to do a review of the year, but seeing as how A) It would take me ages and B) you can get pretty much exhaustive year in review coverage from other sites, i've decided to just jump straight in and give you Gamefreak's top 5 games of 2010.

It's a very hard list to compile, as it was a cracking year for gaming. Not just at retail either. The Xbox live and PSN services had some amazing games to download, and Apple too also showed that it's iPhone and iPad were a force in gaming. But the games i've picked are the ones that have held my attention more than others during the year. You may disagree with some on the lists, and I hope that you do. They are simply the games that I loved at the time, and i'm still playing at the moment, and probably will be until well into next year.

So.......*drum roll*.......in reverse order.........

#5. Rock Band 3

When Harmonix first created Guitar Hero, it created a cultural phenomenon. Even though Konami and Guitar Freaks originated the idea, Harmonix took the idea that one step further. Tapping into the idea that everyone wants to be a rock star, Guitar Hero and it's sequel sold umpteen millions. Harmonix then left the GH franchise and once more took it to the next level with Rock band. Not only could you now prat about with little plastic guitars, with Rock Band you could now do the same with added drums and sing along with a microphone. And with Rock band 3 Harmonix have literally bridged the gap between game and learning an instrument. With keyboard support added and the new pro-modes, you are for all intents and purposes learning to play that instrument. Add to that tireless game modes, online play, constant DLC updates, challenges posted by the official RB website, you have a game that will last for as long as the updates are still coming. Bravo!




#4. Halo: Reach

It was almost a spoiler before the game was released. Anyone who has read the Halo novels or followed the storyline whatsoever already knew what the fate of Reach was. So how did Bungie handle the task? Like the professionals that they are. Taking the already well developed Halo world, they craft a tale that is almost cinematic. Following the Spartan Noble team as the discover a covenant invasion of the planet Reach, we see how the team takes on the challenges that are thrown at them. Taking the Bungie manta of "30 seconds of fun", the player is chucked from set piece to set piece, featuring huge battles on foot, in vehicles and in one section to space combat itself. And even after you have beaten the campaign, either alone or in co-op mode, you then have the vast wealth of online modes. Almost too exhausting to go into, you can play and record any match, any gametype, and when you're finished with the levels on the game you can pop over to the Forge editor and make some levels of your own. A fitting end to Bungie's take on it's own masterpiece.





#3. Battlefield: Bad company 2

I'd admittedly missed the first part in this series, and I was a few weeks into the release of this game when someone said to be that I really should get it. Unconvinced, I went out and splashed some hard earned in it. One of the best moves i've made. In my eyes it is a game of two halves. The single player campaign isn't the best out there. It's enjoyable, it doesn't really do anything wrong, and it looks and sounds great. It's just a little bit familiar. Still worth a play through though. However, it's online where this game comes into its own. It's incredible. Taking a basic class system, such as medic, recon etc, you and your team take on the opposition on maps that vary from small to the size of a small country. You can run, you can drive, and you can take to the air in various helicopters. Modes include conquest and rush, where you have to diffuse or activate bombs spread around the maps, or where you have to capture flag points. There are a wealth of modes other than this, such as squad deathmatch etc. And it's one game that just begs to be played through a surround sound system. The effects are some of the best i've ever heard in a game, especially the echoey crack of sniper fire. Played properly, and with a good team on your side, it offers an online experience that Call of Duty just fails to match. And with the recent Vietnam add on, it's just that cherry on a very, VERY tasty cake.





#2. Red Dead Redemption.

I loved the original Red Dead game, and when this was announced I cracked out my arseless chaps from the wardrobe, dusted off my Sombrero and didn't bathe for a month. The game is truly an epic. Following the exploits of John Marston, we join him after he has been shot and left for dead. A local rancher revives him and treats his wounds, and then the story of redemption starts. john decides to track down and confront the gang he used to ride with, and the very people that left him for dead. The story takes us all over the country, helping cattle ranchers, corrupt governments in Mexico, and all sorts of people who have come to seek their fame and fortune, people that have been wronged or who are doing wrong. The story is extremely well crafted, as is the game world itself. People go about their business, trains run, shops open and close, and various wildlife inhabits every part of the world. John Marston has jumped into the instant classic character canon, and the world he inhabits is just as strong a character as Marston himself. The world is stunning. You could pause the game at any moment and it's a postcard quality shot of the old west, and add to that some stunning weather effects such as sunsets, rain and snow. Rockstar also serve up some fantastic DLC, with co-op missions and new weapons and characters, including some from the first game. Add to that the bloody brilliant Undead Nightmare add on pack, and It's a game that deserves to be in any gamers collection, and it just narrowly missed out on the top spot!




#1. Mass Effect 2

Yep. Mass Effect 2 is gamefreakblog's game of 2010.

Following the events of the first game, Commander Shepard, who was thought to be dead, has been revived by the shadowy Cerberus Group. Cerberus had reports of human colonies being attacked on the outskirts of space, and Shepard has been brought back with a new crew and ship to find out the cause of this new menace. The game sees Shepard scouring parts of the galaxy to find some new team members to help him with this task, as well as being joined by some old familiar faces. Some people took an instant dislike to the game, as it does away with the menu management of the first game in the series, and in a way, it is a little blow. You don't have much control over your weapons, armour or upgrades in this game as you did in the first, and it does suffer slightly for it. However, the rest of the game, from the combat, to the controls and to the dialogue, has been polished to highly you can see your blackheads in it! The characters development is second to non, the new characters such as Miranda, Jack and Professor Mordin are brilliant, especially Mordin, who has some of the best lines of dialogue in a game....EVER. It's such a well crafted game, and the universe it's set in has now to me at least, become as believable and instantly recognisable as anything George Lucas has created. There are a few downsides, such as the purely fucking irritating planet scanning, and they have retired driving around the planets in the Mako (although with the Hammerhead DLC they have remedied this somewhat), but all in all it's a game that I enjoyed more than any other in 2010, and the third game in the series is on the top of my most wanted list.





So that's the list. Honourable mentions go to a shedload of games that almost made the list (and probably would have could I be bothered to write a top ten!!) are Call of Duty: Black ops, Limbo, Super meat boy, Need for Speed: Hot pursuit, Heavy Rain, Bayonetta, Deadly Premonition and Vanquish.

So that's the list, and that's Gamefreaks last blog of 2010. I'll see you all in the new year with loads and loads of changes. A new look for the blog, video reviews and hints, and loads loads more. And I want more of your input too.

So it just leaves me wishing all of Gamefreaks readers a very happy New Year, whatever you are doing, and here's to a fantastic 2011!

Peace out!!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas to you all!


Well guys, it's been an interesting start for me and this blog, and an interesting year all around. I'm taking a few days out for Christmas, and i'll be back around the 27th to have a good old look at what happened in the gaming world in 2010. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly (pictured).

So, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas. Whatever colour, creed, religion or type of creature you are, have fun, eat, drink.....and for all our transvestite readers....be Mary!

I'll catch you all after you have over-indulged to the point of bursting.

And if you're struggling for something different to eat over the Christmas period, our good friend Mr. Butterfield has a great Christmas meal idea for you!

Peace.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Rock Band has found a new home!

Well, after a short period of uncertainty, and me shitting bricks that they wouldn't get picked up, Harmonix have at last confirmed that the sale of the company has gone through.

It looks like the company has indeed gone back to....Harmonix themselves. The listing from the Viacom website states that "Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) announced today that it has sold Harmonix Music Systems to Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Columbus Nova, LLC."

And just gone up on the Rock band forums is a statement from Harmonix dev HMXJohnD, Which says:

"Hey Guys:

We’re happy to confirm the news today that the sale of the company is complete. We appreciate all of your support, comments and warm wishes in the preceding few weeks.

Viacom and MTV Networks have been an amazing home for us over the past 4 years. It’s where we launched both Rock Band and Dance Central, worked with The Beatles, Green Day, AC/DC, The Who and thousands of other artists. We want to take a moment to thank everyone in that organization who helped make these awesome games possible.

We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio. As for what it means for you, the DLC schedule marches on for Rock Band, we will continue our support of previously released titles and we’re hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you’re going to be pumped about.

Thanks for your continued support and stay tuned for more information here on RockBand.com".

Brilliant news, i'm sure you will all agree.

Live action Call of Duty!

Ah this is great!

I'll have to admit, i've never heard of this guy, but i'm going to keep an eye out for more from him....this is hilarious!

A guy called Freddie Wong and some of his mates have made a live action take on the multiplayer featured in the Call of Duty games, and it's great. Comes complete with some great guns, sniping campers and of course....teabagging!

Go ahead and have a look. It's very well done!




Left 4 Dead next please, Freddie!

Click here to look at some of his even more amazing videos on his youtube channel.

Friday, 17 December 2010

A look at the tech behind L.A Noire.

L.A Noire, Rockstar's latest game, and already looking like a contender for "game of the year 2011" is looking good. Very good.

According to the official site of the game, it's due some time in Spring next year. I already can't wait. And if you have maybe been sitting on the fence, or you haven't heard anything about it, go ahead and watch this video. It may very well make you a fan.

The video below shows off some of the extremely advanced tech that's been made for the game. Apparently it's been in development for around five years, and it allows the games creators to essentially fully capture an actors face, frowns, smiles, the furrowing of the brow. According to the devs, you will be able to tell if a person is lying to you or not, just from their expression!

Anyway. Have a watch. I Guarantee you have never seen motion cap like it! If I have to be critical, and I usually am, the heads of the characters look a little too good, as at times their head seems to be a seperate entity from their body. But hey, this could just be from an early build.

Non the less.....if you have seen better in game faces and expressions than this, please let me know what they are!




L.A Noire is due for release Spring 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

New Uncharted 3 footage.

See that? That, there to the left? That's an all new screenshot from Naughty Dog's upcoming game, Uncharted 3. Yep, Nathan Drake is back.

The Uncharted games are a slice of brillance, and if you haven't played them you should hang your gaming head in shame (ok, i'll let you off if you don't own a PS3!). Part Tomb Raider, part Indiana Jones and ALL blockbuster movie, the next installment is due next year.

So with that in mind, let's have a little peek at this all new footage that was shown for the first time on the Jimmy Fallon show the other night!



It looks yummy, does it not?

Expect constant updates, dribbles and sex wees over this one!

X-Men Arcade review.


I remember shoving pound after pound in this game when I was younger. At that time Konami were kings of the multiplayer games in the arcades, Turtles, the Simpsons etc. But being my comic-loving geeky self it was Sega's Spiderman multiplayer game and this one that got my cash. Now Konami has decided to release the game on both XBLA and the Playstation network, so let's see if it still has the minerals.

The plot:

Magneto, the "master" of magnetism, has created a huge army of killer robots, the Sentinals, to destroy everything and everyone. Professor X send you, the heroic X-Men, to go and defeat Magneto and his army, and once this is done you can all settle down and eat a nice slap up meal. The last bit there isn't really correct, but it's what i'd do.

What I liked:

Well, firstly it's the X-Men. Who doesn't like them?? (well, who doesn't like Wolverine at least?). There are a few options, but they are sparse. You can play in either the US or Jap modes, the Japanese game being ever so slightly easier than the US one. You can also change the settings from 4 player to 6 players, the latter extends the screen into a more widescreen mode to cope with the added carnage. The game itself is your standard side scrolling fair, move along, smash buttons repeatedly to kill whatever is in front of you, do a jump attack, use your special power move etc. Nothing new at all. You fight a bunch of staple bad guys, from Juggernaut to Pyro, until you reach the end and obviously, Magneto himself. Graphics are pretty cool for a side scroller, and some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious (Magneto in particular has some cracking lines), and considering the game is getting on for being 20 years old it's an enjoyable romp.

What I loathed:

Firstly I think it's a missed opportunity to have done a HD port. It would have been nice to see it tarted up somewhat, but hey, its scruffy looks are a part of the charm I guess. It's great fun to play the game with other people, especially in the same room, but with a bunch of you playing expect to see the credits in around 30 minutes. There is some slight replay value to gain with playing online and mopping up some of the achievements, but once you have done a few complete playthroughs you will be moving swiftly on.

The verdict?

X-Men arcade is a shout back to the games we all loved to play in arcades in the 90's. Short and shallow, it still manages to play a great game, and with the cheesy dialogue, explosive sounds and a few friends, you'll have a great time kicking sentinal and mutant arse! I know I did.

More please Konami.

Rating: 7/10

(XBLA version reviewed 800mspts)

Also avaiable on PSN for $9.99

A little Christmas message......

And here's a little video for you all to show you the true spirit of Christmas.....

(I had a little tear in my eye......soppy git!!)



I'm glad that he got that.....the poor sod would be sitting there for hours waiting to download the updates if it were a PS3!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

First Kinect must have title? NSFW.......

Well....having been on the fence about Kinect, my attention has just been brought to this game.

It's looking like the "hardcore" gamers will be looked after.....finally. And you may have guessed by the title, but you may want to watch this in the....erm....privacy of your own....wherever!



Give it force feedback and you have a sale!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dreamcast collection confirmed for Xbox 360/PS3


OOOOh!

As reported over at Game informer, Sega are gearing up to release a Dreamcast collection for the 360 and PS3.

In the latest issue, Sega's vice president of sales and marketing Alan Pritchard has stated that it's on its way.

When asked, he says "The Dreamcast fans are very devoted. You see on eBay people are still buying the games and system. We actually have a Dreamcast collection coming out soon. We are looking to bring some of the old Dreamcast games to market digitally and packaged. The titles are still to be announced. The Ultimate Genesis Collection did huge numbers on PS3 and 360, so it’s an important part of our business. We’ve already been releasing some Dreamcast games digitally; Crazy Taxi [for one]."

Some games have already been released on the various downloads on the systems already, specifically Sonic adventure and Crazy taxi. But for dreamcast fans such as myself, this is great news. I want Jet Set Radio, Powerstone, Chu chu rocket (online enabled of course), MSR, House of the Dead 2, Shenmue.....the list goes on.

More details as they are released. But i'd imagine if they are working on it now, expect it by next summer.

Yummy!

Force Unleashed 2 DLC review


Released yesterday, there is a new slice of Force unleashed for all of you Star Wars fans out there. The game is a bit....well, not even a bit, it's a HUGE disappointment, boring, uneventful and a wasted opportunity as you can see in my review here. The new DLC follows on from the events in the previously released content from the first game and the story from the second, and sees Darth Vader send a Starkiller clone to the forest moon of Endor to stop a small Rebel force from deactivating the shield generator that protects the Death Star. So.....is the DLC any good? Let's have a look.

What I liked: Firstly, the story is set up well. It's nothing new to fans of the saga, but Vader sending the clone to the planet to stop the rebels kind of works. Endor looks like any other wooded planet in any other game, until you reach the Ewok village and you start to hear the drums beating and music playing. A nice touch. You go to the major areas in the film, such as the shield generator etc. There are a few little Star Wars geek references....such as a speeder bike cut in half as you make you way through the forest (I assume it's meant to be the one that Luke cut in half), and for the price that the DLC comes in at (a measly 80pts), you get achievements and an adventure that will last you around a couple of hours if you chase all the achievements.

What I loathed: Well. Firstly it is just a mission pack. You get no new powers or anything like that. You can unlock a few new outfits etc but that's about it. Some of the game world is stupid to play. At one point you have to make your way over a huge log barricade, and you do this by the means of climbing a huge fallen rock. However, when you get to the end of the rock just about to make a jump the rock tilts see-saw style and drops down. You have to counterbalance the monolithic giant with a huge tree that you bring down with your force powers. Now i'm not one to really dwell on in game physics too much....but to think that a probable 13 stone clone can make a 2,000 tonne rock tip just by his body weight stretches the imagination somewhat. But to be honest the most upsetting thing about the DLC is the story. Set in the "alternative" universe and following on from the DLC established in the first game (specifically the Hoth DLC where Luke gets killed), you battle the rebels in certain parts of the game. One such fight sees you scrap it out with Han and Chewie, and another sees you take on a lightsaber battle with Princess Leia, who has taken over the family Jedi training from the now deceased Luke. Now i'm all one for mixing up the story a bit...and without wanting to spoil too much, but I actually had to shout at the screen with a certain outcome of one of these battles. Suffice it to say things end horribly for the Rebels. Mix up the canon if you want Lucasarts, but for fans such as myself the story and this universe is a little.....weird....maybe desperate.

The verdict?

Well, it does nothing new really. It's nice to kill some Ewoks, and for the price, value wise, you can't go wrong. But apart from a new level and expanding the story it does nothing new. Pretty much like the full game in general. There is another DLC pack available, allowing you to play as other characters such as Han, Lando and Admiral Ackbar. Blowing up Ewoks with "it's a trap" Ackbar may make this DLC essential. And for a combined price of 160pts for the two packs, it's got to be worth having a look.

Rating: 6/10

(Xbox 360 version reviewed. Price 80 MSP. PS3 $1).

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Mass Effect 3 trailer.

This looks simply amazing!



I can't possibly follow that up with words.....

Monday, 6 December 2010

WATCH THIS NOW!

Just a quicky guys. Take a minute or so out of your amazing lives and watch this video. Basically, those lovely people at Criterion, responsible for THE best racing game this gen....Need for Speed: Hot pursuit (review coming up tomorrow), have announced that if the following video gets 1,000,000 views by December 12th they will release some free DLC for you. This from Criterion:

"The dev team has put together a pack of 3 supercar convertibles -- the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, the Lamborghini MurciƩlago LP 650-4 Roadster , and the Dodge Viper SRT10 Convertible Final Edition. If we can get the Need for Speed Hot Pursuit launch trailer to 1 million views by December 12th, these three amazing rides will be our little holiday gift to all of you playing Hot Pursuit. The race is on!"

So even if you don't like the game....do me a favour and watch this, as I want those cars! The viewing total is currently at 511,659!

get your asses in gear and watch.....that's an order!


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

"Walkin' in a winter wonderland........"


Snow eh? Well, depending on where you are in the U.K, you're probably getting some kind of snow. Down south or up north, it's pelting it down. And depending on if you're a light-hearted soul, or some Scrooge-type miserable bastard, you're either taking advantage and having fun, like my lady friends over there on the left, or moaning about the gritters aren't out, or it's the same every year....blah blah blah.

Anyhoo. I love the snow. Especially when i'm inside with the heating turned up to nuclear levels. So, what better time to look at some of the best snowy moments in gaming. This isn't a list of the best games featuring snow, and the list is in no particular order, it's just ten of what I consider to be the best snowy levels or settings in videogames. So....sit back, get your woolly hats and mittens on, crack out the mulled wine and have a look.

(Just as a quick disclaimer, depending on the video, you may have to bump it forward a minute or two to get to the bits I mean. I'll try and get it right first time, but if you're too fucking lazy to scroll over a bit well....god help you!)

#1. Goldeneye.

Goldeneye was a great game. You don't need me to tell you that. I remember playing it like it was yesterday. But one of the levels that stuck with me was the surface level. The one where you had to power down the communications dish and gain access to the underground bunker. I loved this level. It stuck with me more than most in the game. The N64 used to get its fare share of grief about the draw distances in games, but this was one level where the "fog" problems that permiated most N64 titles actually improved a level. The bit where the radar dish slowly emerges out of the snowy horizon left me with a huge smile on my face. I replayed the level again and again just so I could see it!



#2. Lost Planet.

Well, it kind of almost had to be on the list, what with being set on a snowy planet and all that. The game itself was pretty cool, essentially old school in it's stylings, but battling monsterous Acrid over snowy wastes never really got old. Some of the boss fights were epic, and the snowy wastelands, in places, are a thing to behold.



#3. Diddy Kong racing.

I love DKR. In my opinion, and that's the only one that matters, it batters the N64 version of Mario kart (yes it does.....YES IT DOES!). I spent hours and hours on the game, and one of my favourite levels is Frosty Village. Just hearing the music gives me a huge Christmassy feeling, and the level, with it's snow caves and villages lit up with decorations is beautiful.

And i'll say it YET AGAIN....it's a better racing game than Mario Kart. The end.



#4. Super Ghouls 'n' ghosts.

One of my favourite games of all time. Hard as nails, but so, so good to play. If you have never played it....well....kill yourself. Seriously. If you have played it, you probably remember the snow level. A REAL bastard of a level to finish, just down to the impared vision of the snow and those huge snow cat creatures with a severe case of ice halitosis.



#5. Super Mario 64.

I remember when I first got my N64. I lined up outside Virgin Megastore at 12 midnight. They were doing it on a first come, first served basis, and I was second in line. Hours later, with my new console in hand I shot straight home and settled down to play Mario 64, arguably still the best game on the N64. One of the levels that stuck with me was the snow level. Rescuing the little penguin, racing the big one down the big steep slope....just a complete excercise in fun, something some games these days should remember.



#6. Call of Duty 2.

It's still probably my favourite of the Call of Duty games....well, a toss up between this and Modern Warfare. The story, the sound effects, and when the game was first release I though graphics would never be as good....(how wrong I was eh?). The mission, where you start off training with the Red Army, which then descends into chaos as you have to go and attack the German forces, still stand out to this day. I really think they nailed the weather in this level. You can imagine how cold the Russians feet must be.



#7. Uncharted 2.

Uncharted 2 must take the crown for the most realistic snow in a game. Ever. Just look at it! It is, for all intents and purposes real snow. Apart from it's not cold. And it's not real. But in the videogame world it's real, and that's good enough for me.



#8. Virtua Fighter 5.

The best fighting game ever. Well....best 3D fighting game ever anyway. And one of my favourite levels? You got it, the snowy mountain stage (well...it would be, what with this being a snow themed article and all.....doh!). Why is it so good? Well, to me, it actually feels cold. Even though it's a glorious sunny day, seeing the fighters breath just shows you how cold it must be. And I love the way the snow gets kicked up and spread around as the fighters switch positions and kick.



#9. Metal Gear Solid 4.

Mateal Gear Solid 4 had it's haters....namly the people that couldn't be arsed to sit through a 90 minute cut scene....no matter how amazing that scene was. Me? I lap anything Metal Gear related up, and I loved every minute of MGS4. One moment in particular that is one of my favourite moments in gaming is the return to Shadow Moses, the setting of the first MGS game. Not only was it the flashback to the first game as you travel there in the helicopter, not only was it the haunting music that starts as soon as you go over the crescent and see the entrance to the facility, it was the snow. A real blizzard of a snowstorm, sneaking past the mechs, getting covered in snow and having flakes hit the screen and melt in front of you literally made my tummy banana stir.

(Jump to around 2.45 in the video....unless you want to see the awesome PS1 flashback at the start!).



#10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The FPS equivalent of Marmite, you love it or hate it and i'll be the first to admit that the games story is as confusing as using the same organ to both piss and have sex with, but I love MW2. Partly because it's got the S.A.S in, and I taught then everything that they knew. Partly because of Captain Price and his awesome moustache, but I love it mostly for the following level. Yourself and Soap infiltrate a base, starting with a hazardous mountain insertion, you make you way through the base, silently taking down any enemies you come across using the blizzard for cover. The snow though, and weather conditions in general, such as the freezing breeze rippling your clothes that make the level a standout. It's a blinder of a level, literally in places, and it's one of the reasons I love videogames. Enjoy.



So there you go. Gamefreaks top ten snow levels in videogames. Please feel free to leave your comments, and of course if i've missed what you would consider to be a better one, don't bother getting in touch....you won't beat mine.

(just teasing....)

Friday, 19 November 2010

Rock Band 3 review.


Rock band 3 is now released. Well, it's been out for a couple of weeks now actually, but i've needed that much time to really see what the game has to offer, AND i've also been waiting for the pro guitar to arrive so I can tell you all about it. Still no sign of the guitars in the U.K, so i'm going to forge ahead and review the third game in Harmonix series anyway.

The plot:

Well....there isn't one. You basically start off in a band, and you travel from venue to venue, playing gigs, building up your fan base and being blown by groupies. Well, that last bit was a bit of a fib, but i'd imagine that it happens. Funnily enough in non of the bands i've ever played with.

What I liked:

Pretty much everything. Harmonix, who of course started out work on the original Guitar Hero and it's sequel before jumping ship and making the Rock Band series, have essentially polished up this game to the nth degree, and it shows. There isn't a single aspect of the game that hasn't been tweaked to perfection. There are 83 tracks on the disc, some forgettable, and some absolute classics on there. The disc based tracks aren't really the be all and end all, as you can transfer content from all of the other Rock Band games into this one (for a small fee, of course). Include this with any DLC you already own and your tracklist should be swelling. There are a wealth of song filters in the game, so finding tracks is never an issue, it even recommends DLC tracks down to your own personal tastes.

You can go in and just have a quick play, start a career mode, play different challenges, almost any game type you want is on there. The road challenges are great. You get to drive from gig to gig, building up fans and unlocking outfits by completing certain challenges. Some setlists will have you keep up as many streak multiplyers as you can. Others have a spotlight challenge, so when the spotlight comes on you only by sucessfully completing a streak will you net the points, and then the spotlight shines on another member of your band, who has to do the same. There is, you will be glad to hear, several variations in these challenges. There are even certain achievement challenges too, such as play 5 songs from bands that feature Dave Grohl........awesome! All in all there are over 700 different goals for you to complete.

The new pro mode is the big one. As before you can play Rock Band as you know and love it, strumming up and down and using the 5 buttons. Now there is the added Pro-mode, which for all intents and purposes has you training up to play real instruments. I've only been able to get my hands on the pro keyboard and drums (curse you EA for your weak-ass non-existant supply of Mustang guitars) and these additions are amazing. There are a wealth of training options which get you used to playing on these modes, which believe me you should dive in on first. Pro drums has the three additional cymbals, so you will using these as well as the four drum pads as normal. It's slightly confusing at first, but after a few hours of training you'll be banging away like Keith Moon falling fown the stairs if you're anything like me. Keys are slightly harder. The actual keyboard is a gorgeous piece of kit, a 2-octave half sized keyboard. The challenge comes from having to look constantly at the screen, so you can't really see what your fingers are doing. You'll be cursing it at first, and then after a while, when it clicks and you're tinkling away to John Lennon's "Imagine" you'll get that butterfly feeling swell up in your stomach and it's one of the greatest things in gaming.

Add to all of this a revamped graphics mode, customisation options for your band, being able to chart a bands career through the Rock Band website, and all in all it's a package you can't help to be pleased with.

What I loathed:

Not a great deal. I'm STILL not a big fan of the hammer on/off situation. I hate the way that the game dictates to you where and when you do it. The one good this Guitar Hero has on this are the hammer ons/off.....you can do them anywhere in GH. You could say that the track list is slightly weak, maybe the weakest in the series, and if you don't have any of the downloaded content you may only find yourself getting into a few of the songs. Harmonix still haven't given any details on reverse engineering older songs with keyboards or pro modes (as of writing some of the songs like the recent Bon Jovi DLC do have the options to upgrade to pro modes, but at a cost of around 160 ms points PER SONG!!!). And my one big gripe, something i'm actually going to contact Harmonix about, is the crowd. On the older games when you were playing well and giving a belting performance, the crowd would start to sing along with you, giving it that big arena feel. It's now gone, and I want the bloody thing back........NOW! And once again, if you're not in the States you get shafted over the equipment. They seem to have supplied ample keyboards, drums and 5-button guitars, but not a sausage about any concrete release date on the pro model one. No shop i've visited seems to have a clue either. Seeing as how the pro mode is essentially the big selling point for the game, not to have the pro guitars available is a bit shite really.

The verdict?

Rock Band 3, as the original game did before it, redefines the music game genre. Everything it's ever done has been polished, inproved and thought over with the love that only developers like Harmonix do. With the addition of pro mode, which finally gets you on your way to learning and being able to play a real instrument, it blurs the line between game and musicianship. If you're a fan, get hold of the game and do so right now. It's the game that's made Guitar Hero redundant.

Rating: 9/10

(Xbox 360 version reviewed).

Friday, 12 November 2010

Call of Duty: Black ops review.


Well, it's here. The big one, le grande fromage. Call of duty: Black ops, the latest release from developers Treyarch, has already reached staggering hieghts sales wise, with reports already coming in that the game has made $360 million in North America and the United Kingdom alone in the first 24 hours of its release. So is the game a return to form for Treyarch, or is it just retreading of old ground? Let's have a look.

The plot:

Based on Black ops in and around the sixties, player take the role of Alex Mason (voiced by Sam Worthington of Avatar fame). Whilst being interrogated by an unknown group, we are sent in via flashback to certain operations that Alex was involved in, as the interrogator wishes to find out information Alex has, but he cannot remember. This takes us on missions that sees Alex and his squad take on missions in Cuba, Vietnam and other such theatres of war, while the story of political intrigue and conspiracy weave their narrative in the background.

What I liked:

Firstly, I loved the story. It's still pretty complex due to the multiple character and story threads running through it, but it made a whole lot more sense than Modern Warfare 2. The gunplay is very tight, as is usual with the Call of Duty series. Several new weapons are introduced, such as the rape-machine like minigun and a crossbow with explosive tipped arrows. Graphically I thought the game was amazing. Several levels, such as the one where you have to disrupt a missile base can be pretty much summed up as "stunning", with some gorgeous lighting and sunsets. The game mixes up the levels very well. You'll be storming a base one minute, piloting a Blackbird the next, and then steaming down a river in Vietnam with your squad in a gunboat, raining down carnage with 50.cal machine guns and rocket launchers whilst the Rolling Stones play in the background, the highlight level in the game for me.

Multiplayer seems like more of the same. I have to admit i've only stuck a few hours in, but the wealth of options is impressive. All the usual modes are there, free for all, team deathmatch etc. There is also a multiplayer bot mode, where you can go and play the multiplayer maps with AI bots, so you can get used to the maps and modes without taking a battering online. Other modes, such as wager match, have you wager points on the outcome of battles, and having suceeded you're awarded with points to spend on equipment and kit outs etc. On top of all of this is the theatre mode, where you can record that killer game to show off to all of your friends. All in all, a pretty comprehensive package.

What I loathed:

Well, not a great deal. The most frustrating thing is once more the appearance of respawning enemies. There are STILL bits in the game where until you cross that invisible line in the level, the enemies keep respawning. In this day and age it's lazy and inexcusable, and puts a tarnish on the good work Treyarch has done with the game. Certain set pieces have you die again and again as it's not quite sure what you have to be doing, until the advice prompt at the top flashes up and says things like "you need to sprint to get over the gap". Thanks....you could have warned me BEFORE I plummeted down the ravine and smashed my face to bits on the rocks beneath. Multiplayer still has it's fair share of glitches....i've had a few games where someone had the infinate care package glitch, so the game descended into napalm strike, rocket strike and helicopter strike every two seconds. Hopefully a patch will be released to sort this out.

The verdict?

After all the problems with the death of Infinity Ward, Treyarch have stepped up and made an extremely polished and solid game. Not without it's problems in both single and multiplayer, the game still manages to shine, and throughout the single player campaign not once did I ever think about putting the controller down (and indeed I didn't, I played it through to completion). Multiplayer seens like more of the same, but since Modern warfare the COD games have almost never been out of the top three games played online, and there's a reason for that. A compelling story, sympathetic charcters with excellent voice work from the cast (including Ed Harris and Ice Cube) made this edition of Call of Duty one that you really need to play.


Rating: 8/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Rock band up for sale??

Viacom announced yesterday that they are to sell Harmonix, developer of the Rock Band game series and the new title for Kinect, Dance Central.

The reaons being is that by their own admission they have not been able to sucessfully break into the videogames industry.

As reported on gamesindustry.biz, Viacom state that their decision is down to a change in focus, and that "The console games business requires an expertise and scale that we don't have".

What this means for Harmonix is that they are in need of being snapped up. Who this will be is not yet known. The important this is that for the time being, Harmonix will still be supporting both Rock Band and Dance Central. A statement released yesterday on the Rock band forums by John Drake states "This morning's announcement does not affect the ongoing work at the studio as we continue to support our existing franchises, Rock Band and Dance Central. As stated earlier, Viacom is in discussions with several potential buyers and will continue to fully support the business until a sale is completed."

So there we go. Just after bothe Dance Central and Rock Band arrive to ctitical acclaim (see my upcoming Rock band review), the rug seems to have been pulled out from under them.

No doubt publishers are alreading lining up, with rumours that EA, Microsoft and indeed Activision are having a proverbial "sniff about". And still no word on what this means with the deal with MTV. But i'll be keeping you all informed as to the goings on.

But if you're reading this Harmonix, please....stay away from Activision.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Force Unleashed 2 review


Well, it's here. The sequel to the multi-million selling Force Unleashed has arrived. The first game, despite it's flaws, became a fan favourite and THE fastest selling Star Wars title in videogame history. So, is the sequel the Empire strikes back, or more like the Star Wars holiday special? Read on, my apprentice.

The plot: After defeating the Emperor and for all intents and purposes dying in the first game, Star killer has returned. The dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader informs you that you are a clone, and not just the first. You are the only one that has got to the stage of being somewhat like the person that you once were. He orders you do go and kill the Jedi master Rahm Kota, who we met in the first game, and end the uprising Rebellion. Upon finding him, Master Kota tells Starkiller that he can't be a clone, as it's impossible to clone Jedi. So unfolds the story to find your identity and rescue your love, Juno Eclipse.

What I liked:

Firstly, the moves have been streamlined somewhat. It's easier to keep track of your combos and to mix up attacks with force powers. Some of the levels are great, the rescue of Master Kota from a battle arena that culminates in a boss fight with a monster that makes a Rancor look like an actual Star Wars toy is pretty much the highlight. Sound effects and cut scenes are also of the highest standard.

What I lothed:

AAARRGGGHHH! Another review that's going to have me mention the length of the single player game. It's very short. Around the 4-5 hour mark I clocked it in at. Shocking value for money. Most players will have it finished in an afternoon. The story is pretty much balls....the whole game turns into a search to get Juno back from the clutches of Vader. Unlike the first game, where you travel from planet to planet, set piece after set piece, this game features a stunning total of around 4 locations, one of which, Dagobah, is only there for the purposes of a cut scene and to shoehorn bloody Yoda in there. The other oft featured level, Kamino, sees you start AND end the game there. Cheap. You essentially have the same powers as you do in the first, lightning, force push etc. This time you have the added, almost useless Jedi mind trick, which is basically only of use when fighting one certain enemy. It's also horribly inconsistant with what you can actually do in the game power wise. There are places where you can literally pull Tie fighters out of the sky with your force powers, crush them into a ball and fling then at other ships, destroying them in an instant. Those same force powers however, fail to even lift up human-sized enemy robots or little Scout-walker type machines. It's having powers where the games designers want you to have them, at no point are you just given the tools and then allowed to run and play with them.

The verdict?

My initial excitement of the games opening soon left me with a bad taste in my mouth. By no means a terrible game, it's just not very good. Bland, short, devoid of character and if you were to take away the Star Wars license, you would be left with pretty much a below average title that would be straight to the bargain bin. If there is a sequel (and judging by the end, there probably will be), it has a whole load more to do.

Rating: 5/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Medal of Honour review.

Well, it's been out for a while now, and i'm guessing you have either forked out for the game, or you're still sitting on the fence, what with Black ops just around the corner. I held out, but after a while I buckled, the temptation to see what EA have done with the first Medal of Honour game for the current gen systems. So here we go with gaming freaks review.

The plot:

Getting politics out of the way, the plot, like Modern Warfare 2 before it, is basically a confusing mess. I couldn't really tell what was going on from mission to mission. You follow both Tier 1 operatives, essentially the special forces, and Marines in and around the middle east conflict zones. I think it has something to do with chasing certain suspects, and there are a few rescue missions to rescue captured team members. Still in this day and age, we have storylines in games that feel like they are written by what a 12yr old kid would consider being a cool story. Where is the story in this game? Missing in action, from what i've seen.

What I liked:

Firstly, the sound. EA are known for their high production values, and this game does not disappoint. From the constant chatter of your teammates, to the cracks and bangs of allsorts of ordinance going on all around you, we have to give the devs kudos for the quality of the audio in this game. Playing it through a surround system is something to behold. The game controls well, not too far removed from the Call of Duty series. There are some great set piece levels, from the level where you are controlling the weapons systems of an Apache gunship, to using a sniper rifle to decimate the enemy from miles away, to storming through cave systems using your night vision scopes to negociate the darkness, there is never really a moment where the game goes stale or drags. Online is fast and furious, and veterans of the Battlefield series will feel right at home.

What I lothed:

Firstly, the campaign length. Ok, it's exciting, and as i've already mentioned some levels are just stunning to both look at and play....but, and it's a big one, most FPS veterans will go through the game in an afternoon. I clocked in completion of the campaign at around 4 hours, and it's pretty disappointing when you're just getting into what the game has to offer and then bing.....end credits roll. For the money that gamers are forking out for a game it's pretty inexcusable. At least give me a single player game that will last arouund 10 hours or so! The game in parts is essentially a fair ground ride.....you'll play the same levels again and again and the enemies will spawn in the same places, perform the same actions etc etc. It basically takes you out of the reality that they are trying to create. Gun play is fine, but due to the canned animations of the enemies you'll find in places that the bad guys just soak up bullets as they go through their pre-canned routines. Online play is very good, but it almost feels like Battlefield "lite", as you just don't have the depth and breath of that titles online modes. Maybe with a bit more play it will show some varity and depth, but from a few hours it won't make any converts of the Battlefield crowd.

The verdict?

EA have taken steps to bringing Medal of honour back, and may have won some fans in the process. Stellar production values and some genuinely exciting missions have their sheen removed by awful enemy AI, canned animations and criminally short campaign time. Even though I really enjoyed my time with the game, I can't recommend it at the current full whack at retail. Here's looking to the inevitable sequel to remedy what was troublesome with this game.

Rating: 6/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

COD: Black ops campaign trailer.



Well, here is the new Call of Duty: Black ops trailer, which shows some of the theatres of war you'll be entering in a few weeks time.

I'm purposely dodging ANY footage from now on, so this will be the last post (barring any international incidents) that i'll make regarding Black ops.


Call of Duty: Black ops is due for release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on the 9th November, 2010.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Medal of honour details and videos.


The new Medal of honour (yes....I refuse to use the American way of spelling it) is almost upon us.

It's the first Medal of Honour game for the next gen consoles, and its release has been met with both excitement from fans of the series (such as myself), and controversy as well. It started off with the games creators saying that the Taliban would be included as the enemy, which met with shouts and cries about how this was disgusting, chief of which was the U.K defence secretary Liam fox, who called for retailers not to stock the game. EA soon bowed down to the controversy, and said that the Taliban would no longer feature in the game, and the enemies would now be called the "opposing force".

Anyway. That's all done and dusted now. We have a week until the game is now launched, and i've been deliberately dodging all videos about the game....until now that is.

Have a look at these two videos below. There are two videos here from a series that EA have made for Youtube called "the MOH experience". I've picked these two firstly because they are the only two I have looked at and, and secondly, because they are absolutely incredible to watch.

The first video i'd like you to look at is Part 2, "Gunfighters". This features a level where you take control (or maybe part control) of an Apache gunship helicopter, laying waste to an insurgents base of operations.



And the second video i'd like you to watch is part 4, "Friends from afar". This one has you starting in a sniping position which then goes to hell in a handbasket.



What do you think? I think the game looks pretty fantastic. Say what you like about EA, but one thing that you have to give them is that their production values are usually always off the scale, and from looking at this they seem to have taken them up a notch. From the sound effects, such as the crack of the sniper rifle and the chatter over the radios, to the explosions and even the second or so delay in the bullet from the sniper reaching it's target, it looks as solid as a rock. If EA can get the gunplay and pacing right, along with a story that makes some kind of sense (yes, i'm looking at you, modern warfare 2), then this game could be a serious challenger to the Call of Duty crown.

As always, if you have any thoughts then just post them up here!


Medal of Honour is due for release on PS3/Xbox 360/PC on October 15th, 2010.

Red Dead Redemption Undead nightmare pack.


Some of you will know about this already, but now that concrete details (apart from the date) have been released, i'll fill you in of you missed it.

Due for release sometime soon, the Undead nightmare pack features a new, "mostly" single player campaign in which we follow our hero John Marston as he battle hordes of the undead while attempting to find a cure for the outbreak.

Featuring new weapons, locations and most awesome of all, zombie animals, tha pack will also contain new multiplayer modes just to sweeten the deal!

It seem that in gaming at the moment, zombies are the new bullet time. While the WW2 zombie mode in Call of Duty: World at War bored the arse off me, i'm actually really looking forward to this. Zombies in a wild west setting has never been done before, and I'm a big fan of the Red Dead series, so this will be a day 1 purchase for me!

Have a look at this preview video, and of course let me know your thoughts. It looks spectacular!





The Undead nightmare pack will be available on the Playstation network for $9.99, and on Xbox Live for 800pts.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Spiderman: Shattered dimensions review


Spidey is back!

Spiderman: Shattered dimensions follow our web-swinging hero in a multitude of dimensions, where he has to do battle with a vast array of famous foes to claim pieces of a magical tablet.

The plot!

General all round bad guy Mysterio raids a museum to grab a magical tablet, which, as always, grants the holder unlimited power. However, our wall-crawling friend intervenes and in the ensuing battle Spidy manages to smash the tablet, scattering it's pieces in several other dimentions. Spidy is then contacted by Madam Web, who informs old web head that he, and other Spidermen in other dimensions, must track down these missing pieces before Mysterio can get his hands on them, as they have enopugh power to destroy the universe as we know it!

What I liked:

Well, for one, it's Spiderman. He's there in all his wisecracking glory. Voiced by a different actor from different animated series, each Spiderman feels different from the other one. Four different Spidermen are featured. Firstly you have Amazing Spiderman, follwed by Spiderman Noir, then we shoot into the future for Spiderman 2099, and then to the re-invisioned Ultimate Spiderman universe. All of the different Spidermen pretty much play the same, the exception being the Noir levels. Played out in a very nice black and white (with hints of brown) style, the noir levels play out in more of a stealth mode....think Spiderman: Arkham Asylum and you're pretty much there.

What some people may complain about is something I actually enjoyed, and that is that the game is slightly linear. You don't have the freedom to swing around all over the place like you did in past Spiderman games....on no. You tend to find you use the web more like a grappling hook, to shoot up to high vantage points, and to zip around levels quickly. I actually found this a whole lot more enjoyable to play then the other games, which bored me to tears with constant race missions and saving bloody civilians.

The villans cast is also first rate, Hammerhead, Hobgoblin, Electro, Scorpion, they all make a showing. A stand out level for me was the Sandman level, having to battle him as he turns into a 500 ft high sand tornado, webswinging around using all the debris he kicks into the air was pretty much as good as gaming gets!

And of course....Stan Lee narration!

What I loathed:

The repetitive nature of the levels. For the first few levels it's all new and fresh, but as soon as you get through a couple of levels things start to repeat. The same "save 5 civilians and take them back to the save point" is ok to start with, but after the 3rd-4th time you just want to leave the idiots to die. The game trys to stay fresh with different level challenges that you can go through to unlock upgrades, but even these challenges start to repeat, with challenges such as "defeat X in under two minutes".

And yes, you guessed it....the camera. Sometimes it's the greatest villan in the game. It almost makes the wall crawling completely unbearable, and in a game featuring Spiderman well...you would think that players may want to wall crawl....possibly.....maybe?? I just tended not to wall crawl at all, but sometimes the game forces you to do so, which is just a ball-ache.

The verdict?

I was pleasantly surprised by Spiderman: Shattered dimensions. It's a first class comic book game, well written, sometimes very, VERY funny, with fantastic combat and boss fights. Camera problems and repetitive nature aside, it's probably the best Spideman game since Spiderman 2, and if you're a fan of Spiderman and Marvel comics you really do owe it to yourself to pick up this game.

Rating: 8/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Available now.

The Force Unleashed II trailer.



Well, it's not that far away now. The latest Lucas cash-cow will be swinging it's way to probably every console known to man within a couple of weeks. Apparently there will be a demo available next week for the game, so if you can't wait until then, have a look at this.

I enjoyed the first game, even with the few faults and constant repetition, so i'm awaiting this game with baited breath.


The Force unleashed is due for release on 29th October, 2010.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Another one bites the dust.......

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later.

My second Xbox 360 has died. The good old red ring of death. Gone to the great console heaven in the sky.

And just as Halo: Reach landed too. I went and picked up my copy, and anticipated getting back and diving into Bungies latest. As soon as I gained control of my character the screen went black. Sometimes my TV has a habit of just swapping channels, so I thought this was the case. After flicking through the channels however there was still nothing. So I reset the console and it started to load up again. It managed to get to the loading screen and once again the screen went black. Upon resetting it a seond time, I was greeted with the ominous site of the three red rings. Bugger!

It's no hidden secret that the 360 has been plagued with this problem. Various surveys going around have put the failure rate at around the 54% mark. It's a staggeringly high number, and I personally don't know a single Xbox owner that hasn't had the console die on them at least once.

That being said, the gamers still come flooding back. Maybe it's blind loyalty, maybe it's just because of the huge investment that have already put into the 360, what with Live accounts, games etc. Who knows.

So am I pissed? Well, obviously a little. Not just because i'm probably the only Xbox owner yet that hasn't actually played Reach, more so that yet again i'm in the position of being without an Xbox. Still, that being said, I haven't even switched on my PS3 or any other console to get my gaming fix. The 360 is STILL my primary gaming console, and i'll be picking up another.

So within the next week or so i'll be forking out for an Xbox 360 slim. There is no way i'm going to go back and get another of the original design white consoles. I may get a couple of years out of it, I may only get a few weeks, I just don't want to take the risk of forking out for another console that will die on me, at any point.

I'm sure that the whole issue has tarnished Microsoft in many gamers eyes. I know of several people that went out and bought a PS3 after their 3rd or 4th Xbox died on them, and to be honest I can see their reasons. But it hasn't put me off buying another Xbox console.

Let's just hope that Microsoft actually take what they have learned with the redesigned slim console and put all of those lessons into whatever they do with their new machine.



Tony's Xbox 360. April 2008-September 2010. R.I.P

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A first person look at GTA IV.



This is brilliant.

GTA IV is already an amazing looking game. I remember my first steps into the game world and being totally blown away by the level of character and detail in there. I woul dgo so far to say as the city is actually the best character in the game.

Some clever so and so has made a 1st person mod for the PC version of the game, and has posted the results up on youtube for everyone to see. It just shows that by shooting into the eyes on Nico Bellic, the already detailed city almost takes on a new life. It look stunning!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

UK gets dedicated gaming channel.


Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later.

The gaming trade site MCV is reporting that Ginx, the company behing the Bravo show Gameface, will launch a full channel dedicated to gaming this November for all satellite and cable viewers.

Apparently the early morning shows, or the first shows that appear on the channel depending on how you read it, will cover news and reviews, with later programs going a bit more into detail about the industry, with documentaries and gaming reports.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this. If it's well researched and does away with the usual rubbish that you get on shows such as Gameface, i'll probably tune in. Maybe with the huge runaway sucess of the Wii and the floodgates opening to the more "casual" gaming crowd the channel could find an audience.

But what's wrong with having something a bit more......adult? Grown up? I'm in my mid-thirties now, and I would quite happily sit down every week and watch something of the caliber of Gameswipe by Charlie Brooker. But make it all flashy with screeching kids reviewing games and i'll quickly switch channel.

Anyway, i'll report back and give my thoughts when the channel launches later this year. In the meantime, i'll catch up with a few episodes of an old friend.


Dead Rising 2 VERY Ltd Edition.


Capcom are really going for broke with this collectors edition for their upcoming zombie-fest, Dead Rising 2.

This fantastic set is STRICTLY limited edition, and it comes with the following:

+ Dead Rising 2 Game (Xbox 360 or PS3)
+ Poker set in a black high-impact case sporting the Fortune City logo and including:
+ 100 poker chips- 4 different colors featuring the Fortune City logo
+ 2 decks of ‘blood-stained’ custom playing cards featuring character art
+ 5 green dice
+ 1 ‘blood-stained’ dealer chip
+ Fortune City Visitor Map featuring the game map and ads for Fortune City locations and attractions
+ Terror is Reality XVII admission ticket with redemption code for the unique Psycho skills pack downloadable content
+ One Dead Rising 2 High Stakes Edition will contain the ‘Golden’ Terror Is Reality XVII admission ticket, which is redeemable for Burt the Zombie, a 6’ Dead Rising 2 zombie replica.

I'm not sure if this is a U.S only offer, but it looks amazing. And you'll probably see it going for at least double the price when the sets hit Ebay.

Pop over here and see the delights you will get.


Dead Rising 2 is due for release on 24th September, 2010.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Tabloid in gaming news story horror!


Another un-biased article from everyones favourite cat litter-tray liner, The Sun.

Apparently, 17yr old Zach Richardson is GLUED to his Xbox for anything up to 17 hours a day!

He's so hooked, he doesn't wash, he hardly eats, he's loosing his friends and his girlfriend is threatening to dump him! He's basically being a 17yr old teenager.

His mum, Louise, has apparently stated "there is nothing I can do to stop him playing. I don't want to upset him by taking his consoles away". Here's an idea love....risk the minor tantrum he'll have and take it away if you're that bothered.

So once again the blame lies on the lap of videogaming, rather than in the responsibility of the parents.

Read all about it in the U.K's most popular daily shite spout here!

New Halo: Reach live action short.



It seems to be a daily occurance that a new Halo: Reach video is released. Mind you, with over £4.2 million in the bank for an advertising campaign you would think that you'll be seeing a whole lot of this game by now.

This is a thing of beauty. It really just goes to show that a live action Halo movie could be the business.

I'll stop blabbering, watch the film.


Halo: Reach is due for release on 14th September, 2010

One amazing custom Mass Effect rifle.


Now THIS is impressive.

Harrison Krix, a 28-yr old graphic designer, has constructed what can only be clssed as THE greatest gaming model i've ever seen.

He's constructed a full size replica of the M8 Avenger assult rifle from the Mass Effect games, and it's stunning. It looks about as close to what you think the gun would look like in real life, with weathered parts and light up bits. The decals alone are absolutely spot on.

Go and check out his work. It's mighty impressive!

http://volpinprops.blogspot.com/2010/08/mass-effect-m8-avenger-assault-rifle.html

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Dead Rising Challenge.


Capcom's Dead Rising on the Xbox 360 was one of those games that when it was initially announced, I was as exicted as any videogamer would be if they loved the zombie genre. I followed all the news, screen shots, videos, literally anything I could get my hands on to find out more.

Like many though, when the game came out those waves of initial excitement soon died with a slightly dodgy control scheme and an abomination of a game-save system. It put me and many other people off the game. I never really played it. I ran around, levelled up by one or two levels, but that was it. Never saw anything else of the story, never fought any of the psychopaths in the game (I did see the guys in boiler suits driving around in the hummer outside though...escaped convicts I seem to remember).

Anyhoo. Dead Rising 2 is looking a bit special (although I am on my guard after this being the same feeling I had with the first game) so I though i'd set myself the challenge of actually finishing the first game. Now i'm not going for 100% or all the achievements, just to see a few of the psychopaths, how they fit into the game and whatever nuggets of story i'll pick up.

I'll be letting you all know how I get on at this task, and maybe even shout out for a wee bit of help!

Wish me luck!

Mass Effect 2 Shadow Broker DLC incoming.


YIPPEE!

Bioware have announced the release date for the new "Shadowbroker" DLC for Mass Effect.

The DLC features Everyones favourite blue skinned beauty as she attempts to track down the elusive Shadow Broker and recover the dead remains of Commander Shepard.

The DLC adds new research, the shadow broker intel center and 5 new achievements. More interesting from my point of view, is that it also allows you to continue your romantic relationship with Liara.

The DLC for Mass Effect 2 has been hit and miss. The weapons add-ons were a bit meh...but I really enjoyed the overlord DLC. And if this current batch is anything like the Mass Effect 2 graphic novel with the same storyline, it'll be fairly exciting for those of you who have yet to read it.

The Shadow broker DLC is due for release on 7th September, 2010.

Price: 800 Microsoft points

http://masseffect.bioware.com/info/dlc/

Halo Reach countdown?? Countup??


Well. Not exactly sure what it is, or indeed how long it's been up, but i've been pointed in the direction of a website for Halo Reach.

There is nothing on it at the moment, except a strange looking arm-type machine and a countdown clock, simply stating "The monument to Noble team will be live in......." and numbers counting down.

It's going to give up the details in a little under two hours!

I'll report back later!

http://www.rememberreach.com/

*UPDATE*

The site is now live. Basically, all you get to do is place a little star on what seems to be a constellation made up of Noble team. As soon as everyone fills up the available start field you're told that you will get notification. So nothing too major....but a nice little tribute to those boys and girls who gave their lives defending Reach!

There is another nice little live action short showing events leading up to the fall of Reach. No Spartans or anything in it, just your everyday people making decisions. Again, it's well made, and quite poignant!




Just make the live action film dammit!!


Halo: Reach is due for release on the 14th September, 2010.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Xbox 360 Iron Man mod.




Now I have seen some great looking console mods over the last few year, but this one is REALLY impressive.

A young man named Zacharia Perry Cruise is the guy responsible for this work, and it's epic. Not only for the bang on colour scheme, but for the light up Arc reactor on the side! It even has the Stark Industries Logo on the Hard drive.

It's up for auction on Ebay at the moment, and is currently at around $620, with 11 bids.

Mighty impressive!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Custom-Red-Ironman-Xbox-360-HDMI-Falcon-120G-Hard-Drive-/220658110163?pt=Video_Games

Modern warfare 2 is the biggest selling UK game in history.


Well well. I guess it's champers all round at Activision today.

GFK Chart track has just announced that Call of Duty: Modern warfare 2 has become the biggest selling title in the UK.....EVER!

It steals the title from the former champ, Brain training on the Nintendo DS. It has manages this feat in a little over 10 months, and it's only ever been out of the entertainment top 10 for 3 weeks.

Brain training took around 36 months to overtake the last biggest selling game in the UK, which was GTA San Andreas.

So will gamers show the same kind of love for the Call of Duty series and make Black Ops the new number 1 title in the UK this time next year? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.