Thursday, 31 March 2011

Saints Row: The Third Exclusive Debut Trailer - HD

More cool 3DS features.....

This is a great little feature.

Still playing about with your shiny new 3DS console? Same here. I love the AR modes.....getting Samus to sit on my cats head is something that'll never get old.

One thing I've just been informed of is this cool little feature. See that garbled mess inside that box there to the left? Well, that's me in Mii form that is.

You can add me, and any other friends that may have a 3DS to your console, as in you can download the Mii of any friends. It's a nice feature, so i'm sharing it here. Follow these simple steps:

1) Go to the Mii Maker
2) Select QR Code/Image options
3) Select Save Mii as QR Code
4) Select the Mii you want to make into a QR Code. (This will save to your SD card)
5) Turn off system, then put SD card into your computer and save it somewhere you can find it.
6) Upload the file to an online photo album, like PhotoBucket.
7) Post them up here, so we can see what you look like.

To view the QR Codes, repeat steps 1 & 2, then select Scan QR Code and point the camera at your computer screen. Hey presto, you now have the option of adding peoples Mii's to your system.

So please feel free to let me infect your system, and by all means add me as a friend. My code is 0130-1784-3437

Thanks to Roynluc from the C&VG forums for the heads up.

A sneak peek at the Gears 3 beta.

Here's a video showing a quick playthrough of what we can expect to see in the Gears of War 3 beta.

The beta will be rolling out at the end of next month. If you want to get in on the beta here in the U.K, you'll have to do the following. Pop to Gamestation or game, and pre-order Gears 3. Doing to will give you 3 weeks of head popping and curb stomping commencing on April 25th.

However, if you still have your copy of Bulletstorm (and why shouldn't you, it's awesomeness incarnate) then you will get access to the beta on April 18th, a whole week earlier than if you would have pre-ordered the game. There are 3 new game modes to be found, and 4 maps to play them out on, apparently all running on dedicated servers. Sweet deal!

It's looking pretty awesome.....I love the move where Anya seems to attach a grenade to an enemy and boots him away to explode. I for one can't wait to get my mitts on it.

So are you pre-ordering Gears 3? Got Bulletstorm? Looking forward to the beta?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Gears of War 3 is scheduled for release on September 20th, 2011.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Teaser Trailer

Well....nothing too much to see....maybe a quick shot of "Mr.X"......but i'm optimistic.

Mass Effect 2 "Arrival" DLC review.

Well, it's here. The last bit of DLC for Mass Effect 2 has arrived. It's a sad day for me, as you may or may not know I gave Mass Effect 2 the Gamefreakblog "Game of the year" award for 2010, and I just want more....but hey, it means that the sequel is almost upon us, which is always a good thing.

"So", I hear you cry....."I like Mass Effect 2, so is this DLC worth the asking price?"

Let's have a look, my friend....and i'll reveal all.

The Story:

Admiral Hackett calls you on the interstellar phone and asks for a favour. One of his undercover operatives, Dr. Amanda Kenson, has been captured whilst on a mission. Far from calling her a silly cow and letting her rot, he wants her rescued. Not only does he want her rescued, but he wants Shepard to go on this mission alone. That's right.....alone. If any sign of a team or ship shows up her captors, the Baterians, will kill her on the spot, as they hate all things human. Hackett sweetens the deal by telling Shepard that she's uncovered a Reaper artifact that apparently may have details about the upcoming Reaper invasion, and Shepard, wishing to find out any details that may help in the upcoming invasion, accepts the mission.

What I liked:

Firstly, it's hard to talk about this DLC pack without revealing spoilers, so it's not going to be very detailed. It's a good mission in all, nothing you haven't really seen before. It's strange being without your team, but it reveals in the events that Shepard really is a galactic bad-ass. It's paced very well, with a couple of tough battles, and without revealing too much one fight that you will most definately lose! The Baterians aren't that tough, but there are a variety of enemies, from standard troops to engineers, flame-troops and heavy mechs to contend with. The DLC is around an hour long, so it's not that long to get through, and the very last section of the mission sees a big reveal, as does the conversation with the Admiral at the end. You can't help but feel that with certain decisions that you make these will carry over into the third game, so i'm already chomping at the bit to find out how my actions will carry over into the third game.

What I loathed:

Well, at an hour long it's short. As the final piece of the DLC I was expecting this to be rather special, something to really connect Mass Effect 2 with what's going to happen in the third game. Even though it does, just about, it just leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed. The missions, whilst fun, are nothing that you haven't seen before, go here, use this terminal, get in this lift, yadda yadda. At 560 msp, it's not exactly going to break the bank, but it falls short of the fantastic Shadow Broker DLC. And as a final point.....what the fuck is up with Dr. Kenson's face? As characters go she has a face that looked like something Grunt Has passed through his arsehole...protruding bottom jaw, boz-eyed....she looks like what happens when you let a blind person mess around with the character creation menu!

The verdict:

The Arrival is a so-so Piece of DLC. If you're a huge Mass Effect fan, you'll enjoy it, and as I did, wonder at the end of the mission just how the decisions that you have made will carry on into the third game. For completists sake, story wise, the DLC is almost essential. However, it's short, and as a swansong for Mass Effect 2 and a bridge to the third game you can't help but think a wee bit more could have been done.

The verdict: 7/10

The "Arrival" is available now on Xbox 360 for 560msp.

Battlefield 3 - Fault Line Episode 3: Get That Wire Cut (HD 720p)


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

3DS Super Streetfighter IV review

Looking at the pretty boring launch lineup of the games available for the 3DS, you'll be forgiven if you reaction is a bit.....meh! Nintendogs? Meh......The Sims 3? Meh........Super Monkey Ball? Double meh......the games available at the moment are maybe ok, but we've seen them all before. So i'd imagine most new 3DS owners have decided to go with Super Streetfighter IV as one of their early purchases. A conversion of the game hasn't been seen on a handheld console as of yet, so let's jump in and see how it's handled in Nintendo's new console.

The story:

Well, it's a big scrap-fest innit? Various warriors from all over the globe have varying circumstances they find themselves in, and decide to travel the world kicking the shit out of people, cars, barrels and anything else that so much as sneezes! There are intertwining relationships between the characters, which takes the form of a kind of Kung Fu version of Eastenders.....all set to the connecting story of some shadow organisation doing something or other.

What I liked:

When Capcom made Streetfighter IV, it redefined the fighting game. Fantastic graphics, timeless gameplay and all in all it's a fantastic package. What we have here is the updated "Super" version of the game, almost complete in handheld form. It's brilliant. The cast of characters is vast, and if you're not a boring idiot that always goes for Ken or Ryu you'll find someone that suits your playing style to a tee. Controls are nice and tight, the analogue nub makes a suitable replacement for a d-pad, although that works just as well. The characters are animated beautifully, literally tiny versions of the characters you get in the 360/PS3 versions of the game....muscles flex, mouths move, fingers really is something to behold looking at these characters in action. The backgrounds are done well, with some great backdrops which give a real sense of depth to the locations that you fight in, and the sound effects blast of out the speakers, so there will be no confusions as to what you're playing when the shouts of "Shoryuken!!!" are pumping out. Certain special moves and specials have been mapped to the touch screen, which is handy, if cheating somewhat, but perfect for SFIV novices. There are loads of options to choose from, starting with normal arcade battle and versus modes, to 3D versus matches, online play and a variety of challenge modes. The first two modes speak for themselves, and the new addition is not bad. Played from an almost isometric third-person view, you battle it out as normal but with a more dynamic viewpoint. Online play is tight, and from the few games i've managed to play it's pretty much lag free. Whilst playing through the games and various modes you rack up battle points and collect little figurines, which can then be swapped via streetpass and have them battle it out. On the whole the plus points for the game are right up there.

What I loathed:

Not much. The backgrounds, whilst impressive, are simply static versions of the ones found in the bigger consoles, with fighters in the foreground, some polygonal detail in the middle and then just a flat picture at the back, although I actually can't beat on this too much as it's still impressive it's on a handheld. There is again a certain sweetspot for the 3D effect to look at it's best, and during a hectic fight where your arms are flailing about like a demented baboon it can go a bit haywire. The controls can sometimes let you down, with the slightest lack of precision getting out moves and combos when compared to it's bigger consoles brothers control scheme, the outer shoulder buttons being the worst culprits in getting out some of the more advanced moves.

The verdict:

Super Streetfighter IV 3DS is a fantastic package. It's the full on arcade experience in the palm of your hand, which is an impressive start for games on the system, and hopefully an indication of some of the other quality fighting games that are due. Some minor quibbles about the control scheme and background graphics shouldn't deter you in the slightest from picking up this game. It looks amazing, sounds great, and the online play alone should see you cracking skulls for months to come. Go and get it's the best current game on the system.

Unless you don't like Streetfighter of course, and if so....shame on you.

Rating: 9/10

Super Streetfighter IV 3DS is available now.

Check out my review of the Nintendo 3DS right here!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Nintendo 3DS review.

Well, the wait is finally over. Nintendo's latest console, the 3DS, arrived on these shores last Friday, and now pretty much everyone the world over can get their hands on one.

With everyone in the world and their mum....and possibly their grandma...owning a DS console, it's a fair bet that the 3DS will see Nintendo once again claiming seventy trillion units being shifted over the next year. The DS has done staggeringly well for a handheld, but now, with the emergence of other devices, such as the iPhone and whatever other device you have, Nintendo seem to not have the playing field that they had when the DS was released oh so many years ago. So.....the important the 3DS any good? Continue, dear reader, and hear my thoughts.

What I liked:

Firstly, you can't start a review of the system without firstly going into the 3D capabilities of the machine. It's the whole reason the system exists essentially, and not to cover this aspect first would be like reviewing Kelly Brook and starting with her fingernails. The first time you see the 3D effects is spellbinding. Even when you're just navigating the menus on the initial set up of the machine it's hard to fathom just how they have got those menus and words to float about like that. The Nintendo PR machine has been struggling to settle on a way to market the system, which is an impossible task really. Ninty have done the clever thing of basically just saying "see it for yourself". You can't show what it's like on a TV or magazine advert, so having to go and find a demo machine and seeing the images float around on the screen almost forces you to part with your cash for the system. It's a fallacy to think of the 3D as "popping out of the screen"....think of the effects more as one of those 3D cards you used to get, maybe still do, out of boxes of breakfast cereal, with a kind of multi-layered 3D effect that gives a sense of depth, rather than pointy things aiming for your head. It almost seems like there is a deep box attached to the back of the screen. You can adjust the effects with the 3D slider on the right hand side of the top-most screen, from a basic no-3D effect to one that you feel you can almost stick your hand into. The unit itself is constructed of the highest quality, with a layout similar to the DS lite, the slight change being the start and select buttons are now found at the bottom of the touch screen, with the home button wedged right in the middle. There is one front facing camera above the top screen, and two cameras on the rear, set up for taking 3D pictures.

In built with the machine are various little programs, so you can access the 3D camera, a 3Ds sound recorder, a Mii maker, the Streetpass Mii plaza, the augmented reailty game, another title called Face Raiders, as well as setting for adding friends, system updates...blah blah blah. The 3D camera does what it says on the tin....although it's not in a tin so that analogy falls down there. Take some photos and see them in 3D. The effect differs from shot to shot, but the overall effect is pleasing. As of yet i've managed to resist taking pictures of my penis ,but i'm sure after a drunken night at the local watering hole it'll seen like the funniest idea ever. The Streetpass idea is a great one. Essentially when in sleep mode, your 3DS will pick up the signal of any passing machines, either in a shop or by someone carrying it. It then downloads a Mii character to your console, which you can then play some basic adventure games with. I can already see the potential of Nintendo offering new characters for games, outfits for your Mii etc using this tech. The two best software additions are the AR games and Face Raiders. In the latter, you take pictures of your, or indeed a friends mug, which then gets mapped onto a floating head which flies around the screen and you have to shoot balls at it. The background for this battle is supplied by the camera, so if you're playing in your toilet you'll be shooting your friends in the face while that unflushed turd lingers in the background. After a few rounds of shooting, a huge boss head appears and you have to use explosives to take it out. That's about the jist of it, but it's quite fun, and it saves the faces of people you have taken pictures of, so every so often you'll snigger as a random friends head floats into view waiting for you to lob a ball into their mouths. The AR games are the most impressive of the bunch. Packaged with the system are a set of cards featuring characters such as Mario, Samus and the surprise box. You lay a card on a table, or bed, or a naked Thai hooker if you're so inclined, and the cameras pick up the box and the game begins. Targets show up which you have to shoot, and after several levels of this you get to a boss, which in the case of the surprise box card resulted in a dragon's head emerging from my table, waving from side to side with strategically places targets around it that you have to take out. I was a bit weary of this when I first heard of it, but I shouldn't have been.....the effect is phenomenal. I had to actually keep looking up at my table just in case it was actually there. I could sing praises to the Ar mode for ages, but as with the case of the system as a whole, you really do need to see it for yourself. It comes supplied with a 2GB memory card, which is handy, they stylus, made from a small bit of metal, feels nice and durable, and all in all the system is a step above the Nintendo DS.

What I loathed:

Starting again with the 3D effect. On the whole, when it works, it works well, but there is a definite sweet spot where if you try and view it from any other angle it all falls down. You end up holding the console in such a rigid way, wide eyed and tensed up, that for passers by it must look like you're trying to use superhuman powers to burn a hole in the screen by imagining laser beams shooting out of your pupils. At other times, you do get the odd second or so when it does just look like you're looking at two separate images that are fighting for your eyes attention, almost like two parents going through a divorce trying to butter up their only child. The battery life is absolute pump.....after the initial charge I set up the machine, played around with the apps (fuck you Apple) and settled down to get stuck into a couple of games. Less than an hour on each and the recharge light was flashing, so for any amount of decent play you're going to have to keep the system hooked into the mains. The launch line up is pretty rubbish, with nothing to really bowl you over apart from Pilotwings and SSFIV (reviews coming up later). And also, there are several promised additions that haven't made it to launch....the ability to browse the web, sending your friends messages and Netflix are all to be added at a later date.

The verdict:

The Nintendo 3DS is a great machine. Glasses free, 3D gaming in the palm of your hand. It's constructed well, it feels nice, and the 3D effects, when flowing, are a breath of fresh air. It's almost worth buying just for the games and apps (fuck you again Apple) that are built in to the machine. A lacklustre launch line up however, as well as missing features such as the online browsing and Netflix, occasional dodgy 3D and short battery life take the second coming sheen off the console. It's a great little machine, and it's going to sell maybe could have just been held back by a few months to make the package an instant purchase, rather than the "wait until Zelda" recommendation i'd probably give it.

Console rating: 8/10

(Stay tuned for my reviews of Pilotwings and SSFIV, coming up real soon)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Gamefreak unboxing the 3DS.

Hey guys, it's Friday 25th March....and you know what that mean? Christmas has come early!

Like a little kid thinking Santa's been, I woke up this morning with a feeling of no, I wasn't having that dream about Salma Hayek again....although i'll remind myself of that later. is 3DS Friday.

I received my console this morning, and the little beauty is charging up as we speak. I've also got two games with it, Pilotwings and Streetfighter IV. I'll be giving both games, as well as the console itself a thorough going over this weekend, and as soon as i've spent enough time with it i'll stick up some reviews of the games and the console.

Until then, have a quick peek at this. This is me showing a quick unboxing of the console itself. I have to admit, now I have one in my possession i'm really looking forward to putting it through its paces.

So....have you picked up a 3DS yet? Or are you going to hold on for a while?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My first dabble in the Bulletstorm multi-player.

Hey guys, just a quick one.

I don't really know why i'm putting this up. It's not like i'm there, racking up the kills into the billions or doing anything stylish. Oh no, far from it.

This is just a quick vid of my first tentative steps into the online portion of Bulletstorm, the fabby, violent dick-em-up by Epic games and People may fly.

The game has been out for a few weeks now, so i'd imagine most of you have played it. For me though, I didn't get round to really getting in to the online side of things until earlier this is the usual case for me I have so many games on the go at the same time I just haven't found the time to play this online that much. I had a few quick attempts for review, but no real epic session.

I played with a few guys from a gaming website I visit called The Third Schism. It's a great little community which I recommend you pop along and join. You can usually find some real nice peeps to have a game with on there, so go on and join them.

Anyway...enough blabbing. Here's one round that I took from one of our games. It's fast, furious, violent, confusing.....but oh so much fun!

It's a great laugh, so go try it out for size.

Just be prepared to screw up as much as I did....

Bulletstorm is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Are your game manuals set to disappear?

Look at that......gorgeous, isn't it. That lovely, dribble-worthy Demon's souls collectors edition. If you concentrate, you can almost smell that newly opened scent.....beautiful.

The manuals and guides that you get with videogames can be a great addition to the game. The Demon's Souls edition i've used here probably isn't the best example for what i'm getting at with this post, but as manuals go it's a great companion piece to the game. However, the games companies look set to change all of this.

EA are starting to get rid of paper manuals. If you recently purchased Fight Night Champion you may have noticed there was no manual inside. Stolen? Nope.....apparently as of March 1st this year EA are no longer including a paper manual within the game case, opting instead for a digital manual. This follows the lead that Ubisoft set with the release of Shaun White Snowboarding, and one that it's going to continue with. These moves by two heavyweight publishers is sure to set a precedent, so you can bet your bottom dollar Activision and every other big name under the sun will follow their lead.

Citing "environmental issues" as the reason behind this change, you can maybe see the reason. According to Ubisoft, producing one ton of paper for a manual actually takes two tonnes of wood, taken from 13 trees, that produces tonnes of greenhouse gases that are dumped into the air and also produces over 15,000 gallons of waste water.

Now game manuals are a funny old thing. For me, there is nothing quite like opening up a new game, inhaling that "new game" smell and thumbing through the manual with all the excitement of a perve fumbling through the latest issue of Reader's wives. Some game manuals get it right, and some get it wrong. Take the manual for GTA IV for instance. It's a fantastic companion piece for the game. Filled with adverts for the in-game shops, restaurants and locations, it's almost like a tourist guide book for a fictional city. It gives weight to the world, it makes the manual an actual part of the game. With the added map, sitting down to play the game with the manual at hand, driving around takes on a new level, so you can attack the game from the point of view as a visitor to the game. Taking manuals in the context of GTA they are a great addition to an already brilliant package.

However, some games get lazy. The manual in Homefront has almost been phoned in. It tells you what you need to know and that's you lot. This is how you play, this is how you control the vehicles, and these are the multiplayer modes. That's it. It's like it was made by a design team that had a last task to do on a Friday afternoon before breaking up for the weekend. Lazy. For the fictional world that's represented in the game, it was an opportunity to make a fantastic manual. What form would it take? I don't fucking know....i'm just moaning. But just for a second, rather than the boring, by-the-numbers manual that's in the game, why not.....I dunno....make it into a diary. Turn it into a kind of notebook, written and handed down by members of the resistance, detailing how to drive vehicles, how the weapons and explosives work. Make it as good of a companion piece to the game as Rockstar did with the GTA games. It'll maybe take another couple of weeks to get done, but it will add to the game, rather than detract from it.

At least these days paper manuals that we get in the UK are printed only in English. I don't mean that in a Nick Griffin "don't want no foreign muck in MY game manual" way. I mean it as in a European way. Being in the UK and classed as being a part of Europe, we used to get manuals printed in 267 different languages, French, Spanish, German....yadda yadda yadda. Now I never really got the reason for this. Yes, we're a part of Europe, be we are an island, the predominant language here is English! I used to think it was a total waste of paper for us to get a manual the size of a table sized bible just because we're in Europe! Especially in the days of the some games you would get the manual in English, and then another 8 smaller manuals in various languages......fucking dumb!

We have come a long way from the days of the Spectrum/C64, where game instructions would be printed on the inside of the cassette inlay, or scrawled onto a bit of paper if like me you just used to pirate your friends copy. Some manuals these days are great. The best obviously go to the collectors editions. These huge expensive packages come with manuals, maps, guides and art books so lovingly crafted they go into almost pornographic detail about the game that they represent. Some of the packages that Atlus created for some of their RPG games back in the PS1 era were absolutely stunning, and recently Demon's souls showed a gorgeous collectors edition, with an almost necessary guide for the game which was beautifully illustrated, fantastically written and which give the impression of a labour of love from the developers. I don't think that the news from EA and Ubi means we won't see any more collectors editions ever again, I just think it'll make them a bit more special to be honest.

But let's look at the news again. Specifically a statement from Ubisoft:

“Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it’s a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America.

“Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft’s ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company.”

Now, being environmentally friendly is one thing. I'm all for saving some paper, or trees, or making sure Polar bears still have somewhere to shit.....count me in. But to come out with the message that getting rid of manuals is for the "benefit" of the world is full of crap. Seriously.

Look at a game like Call of Duty. It sells more copies a year than any other game. I dunno what the last one sold, let's say 6 million. Now of course 6 million game manuals is a shit load of paper, there are probably lost tribes now devoid of somewhere to live because of the amount of trees needed to make that many manuals. But let's say Activision opt to not make a paper manual for the next COD game. That's 6 million manuals that don't need to be made. 6 million manuals that won't have to be forked out for. It's a shed-load of cash saved for Activision.

So you think we'll see a few quid knocked off the price of the game? Will we fuck. You try and trade a game in without a manual at any game instantly get deducted a few quid off the value of the game. Some shops pass this on to the customers, so but a pre-owned game without a manual and you may save £3-4. Is that going to be the same for a new retail game? I think you know the answer to that one.

Most games retail for around the £40 mark. Now, if EA and Ubisoft were to say "look, we're making cuts on including a manual with the game, as we're aware that people have concerns about the environment. Because of this, we will pass that saving onto the consumer and your new game will cost you £35". If that were the case I think it would be met by little to no opposition from gamers everywhere. But for them to start blabbing on about the poor trees being hacked down to make game manuals, when the hundreds of thousands of pounds they will be saving will be going straight onto their books as profit stinks like a dead Skunk.

Gaming isn't the most environmentally friendly hobby as it is. Just think of all those fossil fuels burning away, just to power your console, your 50" Plasma TV and 5.1 surround sound system, as well as the power consumption of a small country going into the development of the very game that they won't be printing a manual for. Taking all that into account it's about as friendly to the environment as using a nuclear power station to charge your phone.

I'm sure it will be met with applause from tree-huggers everywhere. And i'm all in favour of game companies and publishers using economic means for packaging.....I was the first to applaud Microsoft's recent move of packaging MS points cards with recycled smaller packaging rather than the big green plastic boxes.....good move.

But in reality, this move by EA and Ubisoft, tree/water/carbon fucking footprint arguement aside, just means that for each new game made at reduced cost, means more profit for them, and more cash to spread out on that bed for them to roll around in. We, the gamer at the bottom of that ladder, won't see that saving passed down to us. We'll still be paying the same for our games, but getting ever so slightly less for that price. Gone will be the days where you open up that game case, inhale, and get that heady whiff of freshly printed ink and paper. Instead, you'll open up that box greeted with the cold look of a disc looking back at you.

So. Either give us our manuals, nice manuals mind, or make our games cheaper. Don't pretend you're on an environmental crusade when the technology needed to make the games is a problem itself. Just give us a recycled cardboard flap with the game in, stuck together with sustainable glue from um-bongo land and packed by the tribes-people of the Fair trade organisation of recycled world for all I fucking care.

Just pass those millions you're saving down to us.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Homefront review.

"WAR!! uuuurrg.....yeeeah.....what is it good for?" once said Edwin Starr. Well, if you look at the video gaming world, war is good for sending your company stock prices through the roof, having a multi-squillion selling game and making so much profit you can build yourself a swimming pool tiled with gold and filled with unicorn tears.

The latest game to throw it's hat into the first person shooter battle is Homefront, developed by Kaos Studios and publish by THQ. It sees the good old US of A invaded by an evil Korean force, and the scrappy remnants of the US army and rebel groups trying to take back their country. It's been very highly anticipated, if you've been following the progress of the game up to release date you probably have it already. If you're waiting to be convinced, then, dear on.

The story:

Following a story string that's actually quite believable, Homefront sees the USA in a state of buggery. The constant wars in the middle east and outbreaks of disease in the country, as well as a collapsing dollar rate that sees the price of a pint of milk rocket to the price of a family car, has America on the ropes. The new Korean state, unified between north and south, sees Kim-Jong "i'm so ronery" il pass away, and his son.....Kim-Jong "mental case"-un take the reigns of power. Korea launches a new satellite into space, saying it will bring peace to the world. However, it's actually a huge floating EMP device, which is flown over the States and activated, wiping out the power and opening up the country for invasion, which is just what the Koreans need to fulfill their ambitions. One invasion later, and the US is now occupied. Playing as a former military pilot, we take the role of Robert Jacobs, who while being taking to a re-education camp by the Koreans, is busted out by two American freedom fighters, who need your skills for an upcoming mission the resistance have planned. Freed from your captors, gun in hand, it's now time for Jacobs and the resistance to take back what was once theirs!

What I liked:

Firstly, i'd like to quickly mention the game world. It really does convey America in ruin. Buildings are battered, cars mangled, and people live in hastily constructed camps, full of things that are roped and taped together, people struggling to get food and keep warm, and technology cobbled together from other things. It's almost like modern day Detroit. The world really reminded me of another game that nailed the atmosphere, the superb Metro 2033, if you have played that you'll see the comparisons with the game. Graphically the game suits it's purpose, with some nice, if a bit jaggy environments, but it suits the rough and ready nature of the game. The actual gameplay is quite solid, the guns feel nice and weighty, the weapon selections are good, but take a slight getting used to, as you can only top up your ammo with a gun of the same make and model. You will find yourself swapping guns out of necessity rather than through choice, but i guess in the despoiled America you're living in it makes sense. Aiming is tight, and the enemies actually die when you blow then away, rather than soak up a shed load of bullets as they cycle through their "injured animation", Medal of Honour style. The story is utterly believable, and shown is some shocking ways. To mention them would spoil the game, so I won't, but during the opening journey on a bus you witness the true brutality of the invading Koreans, and in a later level you find out where a lot of the missing people have ended up, with sick bag-inducing consequences. A couple of levels, such as the one where you meet a group of survivalists, and another featuring a shootout in a car park, come a fleas pubic hairs-breadth away from sheer brilliance. Sound is also well handled, with some big sounds for the various weapons that you get your hands on, helicopters and planes roaring through the air and huge explosions that seem to happen every time you take a single step.

Online multiplayer is great. There are your ususal objective based modes, as well as team deathmatch. One new addition is that of battle commander, which like the rolling objective modes in Killzone 2-3 has a commander marking out priority targets to take out, as well as things to capture. Every action, be it a kill assist, an actual kill or capturing an objective sees you amass battle points, which can then be spent on various upgrades, from flak jackets to UAV drones. Even if you're not too hot in online multiplayer games, you can keep saving your points up rather than spend them which means even average players will be able to access the bigger ordinance, such as tanks, jeeps and attack choppers.....a very nice addition. In whole it looks like the online component will gather a huge fanbase.

What I loathed:

There is much floating around about the length of the games campaign. It's short. It's far too short. I got through it within 5 hours. Essentially what's in the single player game boils down to one mission.....get a helicopter. If it wasn't for the introductory bus journey, you could be forgiven in thinking you have joined the game half way through. You do fight through some interesting missions, but no sooner do you get used to the game world and how it plays you're thrown into the last, abet very impressive final mission, and then BANG!!!!!........the credits roll. It's a fucking joke. It's a smear on the rest of the game. It just leaves you wanting more, much much more. It's akin to a bad tour seeing the pyramids of have this marvel in front of you, and the tour operator gives you two minutes to get off the bus, take pictures and then you're done. My bugbear with short games is known to anyone who reads my blog, but this just really pissed me off almost beyond words. Some of the resistance characters you meet, especially the ones that join your band, are irritating and spew bad dialogue from their mouth-holes. The NPC's you meet in the ramshackle towns are more interesting. The missions are varied, as are the weapons, but there is nothing you haven't seen before....snipe these people, blow these up, take this gun turret....blah blah blah. But then again....what else are you going to do in a shooting game?

The verdict:

Homefront is a great game. The short campaign is a real issue. I you're not one for playing online I really cannot recommend a purchase when a rental will see you go through the game within an afternoon. If you do decide to buy the game, you'll find a great little campaign which, while very short, is interesting, well done and it's a game you should experience. If you do play online, you'll find a great game which seems to be solid, it's well done with regards to its battle points system and i'm sure it'll soak up a load of your time, as it's already doing with this very gamefreak.

Rating: 7/10

(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

So did you get it? What do you think?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Homefront is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Mega64 take on.....Heavy Rain!!

The team over at Mega64 have done it again, this time, shining their amazing skills of parody at the mostly hit, sometimes miss PS3 exclusive "Heavy Rain".

I'm sure you would have come across the Mega64 team at some point if you have an interest in games. The team do some fantastic Jackass-style skits, but based around video games.

Pop over to their site right here, so you can view their archive. But right here though i'm posting their latest class act.

If you have played Heavy Rain, you'll be amazed at just how well they nail it. The funniest parts, when you have to press slooooooooooooooowly on the analogue stick so get out of a chair etc are so well observed i'm sure it'll spoil it when I play the game again.

So without further ado, I give you Mega64 and Heavy Rain!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A new Battlefield 3 trailer takes to cover!

A new Battlefiled 3 trailer has popped up for us to have a collective dribble over.

It all looks a bit too good to be true if i'm honest. Mind you, this is apparently running on a beast of a PC rig, so in reality it should look like the mutts!

Titled "Fault Line: Episode 2 good effect", it shows your team taking to the roof of a building to take out a sniper.

It remains to be seen how the console versions of the game will look, but according to Dice, who have said the the console versions will be "scaled down", the game will still be "amazing" on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Until then, feast your peepers on this!

Pretty amazing!

Part 3 of the series will be out on March 30th. After that i'm watching nothing more. I want to experience the game freshly when its released. Not long now.

Battlefield 3 will be release before the end of the year.

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Gamefreak's Dead Space walkthough!

Hey guys! Thanks for dropping by again.

Here, at long last, is part 1, the intro section of my walk through of Dead Space. It's taken an age to get uploaded....who would have thought in this day and age uploading HD videos to youtube would take slightly less time than the formation of a new landmass? Hey ho.....

"Why are you doing a walkthrough of the first Dead Space game?" I hear you cry! Well, if you tune into the blog you would have read my thoughts on all things scary in the videogame world. If you missed it, then please read through it BEFORE you watch these vids. It'll make a wee bit more sense.

I go into a bit of detail before getting started, so no worries if you're the impatient type.

So anyway, here are the first two parts. As i've already mentioned, this isn't going to be a complete walkthrough of the game, that would be a bit boring. I've filmed the intro to set up the scene. Other videos will be other parts of the game, in sequential order, but i'll obviously skip through certain sections for sake of you dying of boredom.

Just click on the videos below, and join me on my trip. Look on in amazement at the graphics, marvel at the sounds and characters in the game, and laugh with embarrassment at me squealing like a little girl.

I bring you....Dead!

And of course, pt.2!

So thanks for watching my first steps in the game. I'll be back with more on my terrifying journey in the next few days.

Your comments, hints, tips and thoughts are as usual, always welcome.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New Batman Arkham city trailer.


The latest Trailer for Batman: Arkham city has just landed, and it looks like developers Rocksteady are going all out with this one.

I'm predicting GOTY 2011 on this one already. It looks incredible.

No more words....just scroll down and watch!

Yum yum yum.....

Check out the official website for the game right here!

It's due for release at the end of the year, and you KNOW you're going to get it.

Monday, 14 March 2011

I'm still here.....

Hey guys!

Sorry about the lack of updates. I've been so busy studying at the moment....i've had an essay to get done for today and a presentation for this Wednesday, so i've been working harder than Kelly Brook's bra whilst she's on a brisk walk!

Normal service will resume this week. I have the first part of the Dead Space playthrough coming tomorrow....if you're wondering why i'm doing a walkthrough of the first Dead Space then pop in here and have a look.

I'll also have some more reviews and thoughts coming up.

Thanks for your patience, thanks for your comments, and thanks for checking out my blog regularly!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Gamefreak's hand on with the Nintendo 3DS!

If you're unlucky enough to live in Nottingham, get yourselves down to the Old Market Square. Nintendo have a booth down there showing off the Nintendo 3DS.

I did ask the lovely doorman if there was any chance I could go in and take some footage, as I have a blog and i'd help to promote the games and the system. Knowing that any footage I take will probably end up on a blog that no-one reads, the guy said no! I asked the lovely Nintendo girl, and she also blew me down, saying it wasn't allowed because "it's not released over here yet". I told her I realised that, but you can get footage/images etc all over the web, so she kindly told me to get them online then. Cow....

Anyway, I went in, past the gorgeous display of Nintendo handhelds old and new, and into the main area. There are several counters with systems on, and a variety of stand-alone units, all with beautiful young girls on hand to feign interest, moaning about how long they are on the stall for and to fend off the advances of stupid spotty gamers and work-dodgers fresh from selling stolen mobile phones from CEX. Anyway...on to the unit.

It's slightly bigger than the DS lite. Well set out, pretty much the same as the existing DS. Two cameras on the back, one facing forward, and the 3D slider to the right of the upper screen. I asked the girl behind the counter how the 3D effect actually works, getting the answer of "you move the slider up and down". Bowled over by that technological explanation, I dived in to the games.

Streetfighter IV.

Firing up the game I pushed the 3D up to the maximum level. The intro started and it didn't look 3D, so I altered the slider. Still nothing, so obviously the intro movie is just that. Getting into the game and I was actually startled by the 3D effect. It looked amazing. It's kind of halfway between 3D films and those lenticular cards you used to get in boxes of Coco pops when you was a kid....or still do if you're into that thing. Moving the slider up and down, the 3D effect increases the depth of field, making the characters stand out more. It is actually really well done, with the text and menus floating away in the air in from of what's going on. It controls well too, the analogue nub of the 3Ds feels very comfortable, and it's easy enough to pull out the moves. On the touch screen below there are 4 sections, two for supers and two for special moves. You can still pull them off using standard controls, but for beginners you can just take a short cut. It was a bit loud to be able to hear the sound quality, but the music and sound effects seemed spot on. After a few fights I put it down and came away very impressed indeed. The 3DS was off to a good start.


Turning around, I saw the Pilotwings logo. Moving straight up, I took the 3DS in hand and dove straight in. You can pick from a variety of modes, but I think some of them were locked out. Picking the Light plane, I jumped into the first mission. This sees you simply flying along going through rings that open up once you have passed through one. The first level was painfully simple, essentially I only had to move ever so slightly to get through the rings. I also tried the jetpack and hang glider modes, which were also as simplistic. The 3D effect, whilst good when you hit the spot, was absolutely awful. Any slight tilt of the screen sent waves across it, diluting the 3D effect...there is literally one spot that you can play the game in, tilt it off that spot and it all goes to hell, looking like the effect when you film a television screen when waves just make it look a mess. Oh dear.


It's Nintendogs, with cats in it, with a half decent 3D effect. The end.

Resident Evil Mercenaries.

It's a straight up 3DS version of Resi's mercenaries mode. At the start you get a choice of 3 characters, Chris, Claire, Hunk and Krauser. Choose your level and start the fight. The 3D effect is again well done, the character models are surprisingly good. Controls are a bit dodgy but after a while you get used to them, right bumper to aim, A to shoot, Y for melee attacks etc. Weapons and equipment are mapped onto the touch scree, so a simple tap sees you change your gun/equip grenades etc. It sounds good, looks great, and i'm sure it'll soak up several hours of playtime.

Dead or Alive.

A conversion of Techmo's fighting game, again it's a half decent conversion. It's fast, nippy, the controls are tight and the 3D effect on the backgrounds is very good. I'm not sure if I preferred this to Streetfighter, but I would definately purchase the game.

Kid Icarus.

Probably the poster child for the 3DS. I've never got the fuss about Kid Icarus, the original NES game was shit. This however, is a different kettle of fish. Fans of Sin and Punishment and Panzer Dragoon will be right at home here. There are on foot sections, which while looking good, are somewhat let down by the controls. Obviously once you have it in your own hands and spend a bit of time with the game it may flow better, but stuck in a box in the Market Square with the great unwashed bumping into your shoulders doesn't really make for a great preview. The shooting sections are better, zooming into the screen, bullets flying around making you wince and the general pace is one that i'll enjoy getting my teeth into.

I also had a go on the built in software. I asked one of the girls if they had a unit running without any games to I could see the quality of the 3D pictures taken with the camera. She said no, but look at this. Instructed to take a picture, I took one of her face. When I was happy, pressing A saw said face mapped out onto a floating head wearing a Viking helmet. The head then shot off, and the girl told me that now it turns into shooting game. A number of balls with her face mapped onto them then appeared onscreen, and by tilting the unit you can move around, shooting the balls with the A button. This is overlayed onto whatever background is there, so as you turn the unit it shows the background, as in REAL LIFE, in realtime and the gaming elements super imposed on top. It was fun for around thirty seconds, once again the 3D effect going batshit crazy if you moved it a centimetre off the "sweet" you also look like a grinning gonad, waving the unit around in the air, tapping a to shoot a badly rendered face. It's distracting, but you won't be spending any more time on it that an initial showing off to friends.

There were other games there, such as Pro Evo and Ridge racer, but at this time the amount of people and the smell of the general public were making me feel ill, as well as having to constantly refocus my eyes jumping from unit to unit.

So that's my brief (40 mins) look at the Nintendo 3DS. It's a nice unit, very well built, very comfortable to use and stylish. However, it's now gone from "I MUST HAVE THIS ON LAUNCH!" to "mmmmm.....i'll just wait until the inital rush is over". The 3D effect on Streetfighter IV and Kid Icarus is fantastic, on the other games it's a bit messy, which wandering off from the designated sweet spot sees the screen throw a tantrum. Apart from Kid Icarus, there is essentially nothing that you have ever not seen already, even though the games are solid enough. Indeed, turn off the 3D effect and all the games are just as actually improves Pilotwings, which is slightly worrying. Even listening to some of the people playing near me, they weren't acting like it was the second coming of woman after trying Pilotwings for several seconds put it down and told the booth girl "that's horrible!".

I'm impressed with the unit, and i'll definately be getting one. It's going to sell 80 billion units, and it'll probably be the biggest console launch in history.

I'm just not sure it deserves the hype it's currently getting.

The Nintendo 3DS and games will be released on the UK on 25th March, 2011.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Gamefreak presents the Sharp Super Famicom TV


After what, for me, as seemed like an AGE waiting for Youtube to upload this video, it's finally here.

This is a quick look at the Sharp Super Famicom TV. Originally release in 1990, it's a combined TV and Super Famicom, built by Sharp and licensed by Nintendo.

It's a great little machine. from the moment I saw it as a kid I dribbled over it like someone who had lost control of their lips.I was lucky enough to get my hands on one several years ago, and I love it. It's still lost non of the magic it spun on me when I was a bairn!

I've explained more in the video, so I won't go into detail. This was an unscripted video, so you'll see me pissing about in the screen and generally blabbering on, so forgive me.

Just revel in the majesty of the TV......

Beautiful, isn't she? I call her Bettina.

Anyway. You asked for it, so enjoy.

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Things that go bump in the night......

I have something to admit.

I have no pretenses of being big, tough or hard.

I can't play scary games.

There I said it.

It's not like I literally can't play them, of course I can. It's just when it comes down to it, I just can't stand the effect it has on my body.

My first experience with scary games came at a young age. Many years ago, when I was young, I used to spend every millisecond available tapping away on my good old ZX Spectrum. I had to spend all my available time, as it took that long to load up a sodding game! As with everyone at the time, we used to swap games at school. One day, one of the guys at school bought me in a game and told me to try it out. That game was 3D Monster Maze. I'd never heard of it, so I took it home, loaded it up and started to play.

If you have never played it, 3D Monster maze is a game that sees you dropped into randomly generated mazes in a first person style. Also in the maze is a Tyrannosaurus Rex. How it got there I don't know. Anyway, you have to attempt to get out of this maze, and dodge the T-Rex that's out to horrifically rip you into several bloody pieces. The game was pant-fillingly tense. As soon as you started a text prompt would come onscreen saying "REX LIES IN WAIT"! I would literally stop dead in my tracks, looking around to see if I could see Rex. No sign. I'd start to move again, taking small steps, bit by bit, and then the next horrific notice would flash up onscreen....."HE IS HUNTING.....FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING"! I started to go cold.....sweat forming on my young, terrified brow. Where? Where was he? Shaking so much I started to look like I was shitting ball-bearings, I would once again proceed around the maze, just for another text message to pop up saying "RUN HE IS BEHIND YOU"! AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!! I would let loose, pegging it around the maze as fast as I could, until i'd hit the enevitable dead and and i'd trun to see the toothy horror descent on my and tear me apart into a pixelly mess. I once panicked so badly at seeing Rex chasing me I hit the buttons on the keyboard so hard I reset the game. I used to shit myself so much, after one go i'd turn the bloody thing off for fear of having a heart attack at the age of 8.

Yeah, go on....laugh. Indeed it's about as graphically pleasing as a calculator. You can laugh now at the basic looks, and yeah, Rex does look like a Lego model of Barney the Dinosaur, but for a young me it was the scariest thing i'd ever seen.

It wasn't long before my second videogame related terror fest. Well, several years, but it was on the same system, the ZX Spectrum. That game was Aliens.

Tied in with the film, which of course I hadn't seen, this was another game that was shared about at secondary school. Based on the events of the movie, it featured several distinct sections. The first section, which blew me away at the time, was guiding the dropship down to the surface of LV-426, the planet in the film. Once dropping down, the game through you into lots of different scenarios, and two of them scared me to buggery.

The first was one where you controlled Ripley. From memory, you were stationed on the right of the screen, and hordes of aliens would run at you from the left, trying to grab hostages...I think. You had to scare them away by shooting out your flamer, which would then shoot them back to the other side of the screen. It was tense and fear inducing, but this wasn't the bit that scared me.

On no. That bent went to one of the mid sections of the game. It sees you running around in the facility of the colony, playing as several members of the team. Shown in a first person perspective, you flick from character to character hunting down the alien menace. Shown from the console of the team commander, it replays the scene where you can see the mounted camera view of the team members. You patrol about, keeping your eyes peeled for any bugs, blowing them away when you see em. It was scary, but now as scary as what was to come. You see, all the characters are active at the same point, so you could be controlling Vasquez, but then you'll notice Hudson's energy bar going down. You had to then hit a button to go to Hudson's point of view, kill your attackers and continue. This, as time went on, saw you flicking from character to character, as wave after wave of aliens attacked your team. It was so mind-bendingly frenetic and scary that by the end I just gave up, unable to cope with the horror any more.

Again, it looks primitive by todays standards, but by god I thought it was the epitome of terror!

So I started dodging scary games. I just wouldn't play them. Admittedly during the 8-bit and 16-bit era, there wasn't a whole lot of horror games out there....unless of course you include "Rise of the Robots" was scary just how bad that game was.

So my next experience of true terror was, of course....Silent Hill.

The first game had literally just started and I was shitting bricks. The crackle of the radio was enough to get my heart beating faster than a Hummingbirds. Wandering around this misty town was almost like a form of torture for me, and as soon as the skinless babies, flying demons as demonic nurses started to pop up that was it....about half way through I abandoned the game....that's right....i've never finished it. Then, the second game arrived, heralding in horror on the PS2, and it had me in bits. I was sharing a house at the time with a guy called Gav, and he had purchased the game. I sat watching him start it, and we shared gameplay duties. After a while of him playing and me watching dripping with cold sweat, he handed my the pad. I can't remember the actual details (I think my subconcious mind has blocked it out) but the bit I was playing had me in a house, and after a bit of exploration, a cut scene kicked in. That cut scene had my arse almost chewing through my pants!

This is that cut scene.

I don't actually know what's going on, as I was so scared I was just looking......wide eyed....staring at what was unfolding. What is he doing? Why is he doing it? What the living fuck are those things he's trying to play hide the sausage with? At that very moment, I WAS the character. When he went into the cupboard that was me! I wanted to hide away, I didn't want to look at what was happening before me, but the sick, perverted side of my brain made me watch. I continued with the game for about ten minutes before handing controls back. That cut scene has stayed in my mind, etched into my brain like Pyramid head himself cut it in there with a blunt and bloodied razor blade. I did try some of the other Silent hill games, but literally an hour or so into each of them something happened that made me just reach over and turn it off.

The next game to really give me the shakes was Doom 3. I loved the original Doom games, and the odd scream or groan from the enemies made me jump. But that was nothing compared to the sheer heart-attack inducing Doom 3. Doom 3 has had it's critics, namely the people that bitch that you have to swap from weapons to your torch to see what's going on. It's about the same as moaning that you have to pull the trigger to shoot your weapon. Now, i've never been lucky enough to be marooned on a Martian space station while the denizens of Hell are literally bent on flaying the skin from my body whilst parading around using my face as a mask, but i'd imagine that looking into a dark corridor with a torch, and upon seeing something you swap over to a gun and kill it is probably a natural way of doing things....but anyway, I digress.

The game was tense. Really, really tense. Every step, every turn of a corner, every door that I went through was an exercise in pant control. Demons teleporting in from left right and centre, baby-faced demonic cherubs flapping about, huge monsters bursting out of the floor and attempting to bugger you, it was all as scary as shit. But those weren't the bits that scared me. Oh no. It was the little incidental things that got me going. Walking down a corridor and having the lights turn off, a grate dropping from the ceiling and NOTHING coming out of it....the little moans, groans, was fucking hair shredding!

Just look at this vid. Go to about the 3.30 mark for a minute, and then to the 5.30 mark.....i'm shivering again just watching them.

The difference is with Doom 3 is that I actually finished it. I think the fact that it looked a million dollars made me go on, but every single minute of the game was like re-enacting the famous scene in Clockwork Orange where Malcolm MacDowell is forced to watch that video with his eyes pinned open. I think I aged by ten years playing that game.

So....after Doom 3 there was no more scares for me. Non. Never played any other Silent Hill games, or the Fatal Frame Series, the Siren games, F.E.A.R,...nothing. I just would not go anywhere near them. List any horror genre type game release in recent years and I guarantee I haven't played then. Yes.......that included Dead Space.

Now the round about reason that i'm posting all this dribble is Dead Space. I've had a few readers mail me to see if i'm going to do a review on Dead Space 2. And in shame, i've had to tell them that I haven't even done the first one. I own the game, i've played the game, but as memory serves i've managed to do the first chapter before I gave up. Take every horror game that i've ever played, combine it into a great looking/sounding package and that pretty much sums up Dead Space for me. I had to play it, in the day, with the lights on, after looking under the bed and telling the neighbours that if they hear horrific screams of panic from my house it's just me playing Dead Space.

My first thoughts when playing it were "why the fuck would anyone want to play this for fun?". Dead Space and fun do not go hand in hand. Maybe in the same way humans will seek out the most terrifying roller coasters to give them a thrill, that's the only reason why I can see that people would play Dead Space. Why the hell you would want to take part in something that's pretty much guaranteed to make you literally shit your pants beggars belief.

So anyway. To the crux of my post. I'm going to go through and play Dead Space. The second game is meant to be absolutely amazing, and I feel like i'm missing out on something. So, i'm going to go through and replay Dead Space tight from the start, and i'm not going to finish until I see the end credits roll. Even thinking about this task is giving me goosebumps, but i've fished out the game, and it's sitting....staring at me.....with it's twinkly deformed eye.....daring me to take up this challenge.

So. Starting from Early next week, i'll be posting up my progress. I'll record all the footage as i'm going through, and either do a commentary over the top after the session, or I'll try to work out how to do a running commentary as i'm playing, just so you can hear me squeal like a little bitch at anything that moves.

Now i'm expecting your support with this guys. I want word of encouragement, I want you to tell me to soldier on if i'm flailing, and of course if I get too stuck give me some help. I'm determined to get through this hurdle of shitting myself at a bunch of rendered polygons on screen, as i'm sure i'm missing out on some good horror games out there.

I'll post up the first video as soon as it's done.

When most people think of fear and horror, they think of the colour red.

When I think of fear and horror, that colour is a liquid brown.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Killzone 3 review.

I had a bit of a love/hate affair with Killzone 2. I never got to play the first game, which i'll probably get round to one day, but when the second game was due for release I awaited it with baited breath. I purchased it and jumped straight in. What I found was a game that was technically stunning, but rather bland in the single player mode. The multiplayer however was brilliant. And if you ever finished the first game after the bastard that was Radec, you'll know that the game was left wide open for a sequel...and here it is.

Killzone 3 is the latest game from developers Guerilla. It's been highly anticipated at the second coming of Playstation 3 FPS games.....but is it any good? Read on, dear viewer, and see my thoughts!

The Story:

Following in from the events in the last game, we once more catch up with uber ISA soldier Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko. Scholar Visari is dead, killed by Sev's fellow soldier Rico, and Sev and his team are stranded on the Helgan world with no immediate means of escape. Several other rag-tag groups of ISA soldiers are scattered over the planet, and they have to find some means of regrouping and getting off world. Meanwhile, the Helgan government is attempting to regroup after Scholar Visari's death, and several members of the Helgan council, including industrialist and all round bad egg Chairman Stahl, are torn on what do do next. Stahl, refusing to give up his military resources and experimental weapons send his own personal army after the remaining ISA forces, and it's then a race against time for the ISA to regroup, get off world and warn Earth about the upcoming Helgast invasion fleet.

What I liked:

Not wanting to sound like a graphics whore, but i'll jump straight in at the visual end of Killzone and say that in general, it looks stunning. Most of the environments, from the industrial wastelands, to the snow-based levels, to the much spoken about jungles look amazing. I have a few niggles however, the jungle for one is a bit too bright. Plants that give off some sort of bio-luminescent glow that makes the levels look like a rave in the rain forest, but it's just me being picky. The real highlight is the Mawlr, a gigantic war machine that you have seen nothing like the scale of in a video game's absolutely colossal. The actual gunplay of the game is great. It's been slightly refined from Killzone 2, it's a lot less "heavy" than the last game. Aiming is slightly tighter, moving around has been improved, so you spend less time trying to draw a bead on the enemy like some demented idiot mid-firefight. Some of the new weapons, such as the silenced pistol that you get in the jungle level are great new additions, and the new Helgan technology, such as the head liquidising energy cannon, or the new rocket firing WASP launcher are great fun. In game you are thrown from set piece to set piece, with levels seeing you commandeer tanks, jeeps, walking battle suits and the much talked about jet packs. These don't let you just fly about willy-nilly, think of it more like enabling you do do massive jumps....although with an armoured suit on your back and a huge machine gun strapped to your arm. There are also new melee attacks, a quick press of the melee button when prompted sees you grab your opponents head and smash it into a wall, stick your thumbs in their eyes and pop their optical globes, or, if done from the rear (oo-er), you simply give them a nice, kind stab to the throat. The story is fairly well paced, with the feeling of isolation that the ISA find themselves in particularly well presented. You also get to see a whole lot more of the Helgast in this game, with all the behind the scenes political wrangling between the Helgast higher forces after the void that was left after Scholar Visari's death. Stahl, voiced with pure psychotic menace by Mr clockwork orange himself, Malcolm McDowell, is a great new character, a man so slippery he could brand himself as a new hair gel. The whole Helgast council, dressed like some futuristic Nazi party, are awesome.....a bunch of old men on various life-support systems plotting and scheming, and sporting some facial hair that would make a Turkish Kebab shop owners convention a good run for their money. The game is also a lot more mature than the second game. Swearing, which in the first game was so prolific you would have thought that it was sponsored by the Tourettes society, has been toned down so when you DO actually here a bit of profanity in this game, it kind of suits the purpose. You can, should you choose, go through the campaign with a friend in split screen co-op, which is a welcome addition. Sound effects, from the guns to the little jungles of equipment banging about in you also excel, the complete racket that occurs when you press the trigger down on anything erupts and threatens to blow out your speaker system!

As with the last game, the multiplayer stands out. It's fantastic. You can choose to play offline on any of the maps against bots, with everything unlocked, or jump into the multiplayer for real Again, it's a class-based shooter, so you can choose whatever play type you like. My favourite mode from the last game, Warzone, makes a welcome return with it's rolling objective modes, and it's a constant thrill. The mew multiplayer mode, Operations, looks like it will be a classic, and as with Warzone it's a surprise no-one has thought of it before. Split over three missions, Operations sees you take on objective based missions, such as planting explosives while the other team has to stop them. Nothing new there, but in this game you get certain cut scenes, so it's actually like playing part of a campaign game, but with other people. A nice touch. All in all it's a fantastic online experience, and if you're lucky enough to have the collectors edition, you can download two maps from Killzone 2 for free!

What I loathed:

Well....and I can't believe i'm saying this.....AGAIN. It's pretty short. Playing non-stop you should see yourself through the campaign mode within around six hours, give or take. Far too short, even though it's fun and varied, but maybe a little too varied. From level to level, you jump into gun turrets, mech battle suits, flying machines, let packs, back to gun turrets, into's almost like the game is shitting itself that you may get bored by just running around gunning down the enemy. When they are done right, such as the airbourne attack on some oil-rig type building, whilst you're being battered by the elements it's impressive. But doing it again, and again.....and a-fucking-gain.....well, it simply gets old. The story if choc full of threads that don't go anywhere.....or even start character, a woman...just pops out of nowhere with no character development at all...why the fuck we would want to save her I have no's almost like the developers saw what Epic are doing with Gears of War 3 and Anya and just thoughts "quick....get a woman soldier in there!!". The new Helgan energy weapon, a brutal device that shoots out rays of green energy that vaporizes anything it gets near is nice, but again, it's not explained. There is another part where you team are trapped by this energy and if they move they will die......WHY? What the fuck is this green stuff? Either I passed out while it was explained or, it wasn't. Weak. The game has slightly lost the feeling of Killzone too. I know the second game had a few complaints leveled at it regarding the controls, but at least it forged it's own path and tried something different. All feelings of weight from the characters or weapons has gone, making it feel more responsive, which in a way is good, but brings it more into line with the Call of Duty series, and in my opinion it suffers from it. I liked Killzone 2, for all it's faults, because it did feel different from other FPS games out there....this game has a feeling of "me too" about it that it seriously needs to lose. The story on the whole, while interesting in parts and handled in a more mature manner than the first, is complete shite. It's generic, boring, confusing and the less we say about the ending the better.

The verdict:

Killzone 3 is a mixed bag. For all the improvements it's made to the controls, character development and story, it suffers from the "been there, done that" syndrome that the second game had. It looks fantastic, sound great, and the multiplayer is handled fantastically. With some decent writers handling the story, the game could have grabbed my attention a whole lot more, but as it stands it's a bit like having a naked romp with Lindsey Lohan.....loud, violent and fun while it lasts, but the flaws wouldn't want you to go back for a second go.

Rating: 7/10

Killzone 3 is available now on Playstation 3.

A little look at The Last Guardian.

As anyone reading this will know, the Games developers conference is happening right as we speak. Industry nobs spend most of the week virtually fillating themselves, dishing out awards and getting pissed. However, along with the mind blowing Battlefield 3 footage, another little gem has creeped out.

I'm not giving blanket coverage to this event, you can find all the news you want on any other blog. I just like to pick the bits from shows like GDC that interest me....and this is one of those bits!

Catching up with Fumito Ueda, the visionary behind two of Gamefreaks two favourite games of all time, Ico and Shadow of the colossus, we hear about some new details included in the game.

The footage has mostly been seen already, but it's still amazing. The cat/eagle type creature is an fantastic could almost believe it's a real animal.....if you're a bit mental and sad.

It's funny, I was just thinking of doing a retrospective review of his games, and then this interview pops up! It's never a chore to play through those games.

Anyhoo....look at the video below. He mumbles a bit, but any news on this game is good news.

It looks amazing, and i'll murder anyone who says anything different!

It's due for release "sometime" in 2011 apparently, and I for one can't wait.

What do you think? Looks good? Bad? What are the odds on the cat-creature dying right at the end, making me blub like a wee girl?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wow.....Battlefield 3 looks simply stunning.


Simply wow.

Now i'm holding off on proclaiming this to be literally the greatest thing i've ever seen. It looks somewhat scripted, a wee bit too smooth, and.....well...just look at it? How can that be in game.

No idea what the footage is from, either the PC or console versions, but Dice has just released this amazing trailer for the upcoming Battlefield 3.

It all looks stunning. I mean drop dead gorgeous. Look at the animations, the way they move, go through the simple mind cannot cope.

Just look at this!

Pretty special eh?

What do you think? In game, or simply too good for that?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Battlefield 3 is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC later in the year.