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* 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 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!


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".

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


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.


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. 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


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 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!