By blog on Sep. 20, 2009.
There’s a bit of a brouhaha about this, but does there need to be?
So, yes, I’m sort of surprised that they can say with such certainty that there is exactly 57% less blood than Ninja Gaiden II, but there you have it. There is still blood in the game, still red cuts when you hit an enemy, still blood spatters on walls and floors, but when you cut off a limb of an opponent in game no longer is there a gout of red, but instead the exact same gout… but now in blue!
It was apparently done to appeal to a broader audience, especially in Japan where violence is frowned upon. That’s a hard pill to swallow, considering they are the home of the Yakuza, and have a history – right up to the first half of the last century – of being one of the most violent nations on the planet, and seem to have no qualms in completely and utterly objectifying women. Personally, I don’t care for the level of gore in the previous games, but I still find it strange nonetheless that a country that loves Dead or Alive games would have issues with blatant violence.
It’s a strange choice, too, to keep in some blood effects, but to alter others only in colour. Why not reduce them, or take them out, or make all the ‘blood’ blue? This half measure way of doing it is odd, and doesn’t seem right to me.
I’m all for maturation of the medium, but I would rather it was consistent throughout the entire game, not just some randomly chosen aspects being changed whilst others left the same. It’s a very strange approach, and I’m interested to see how people respond when they get their hands on the games.
So far the response out there is rather mixed. There are those like myself, who appreciate the reduced gore, but don’t like the approach, and there are those who think that both those aspects are fine, and then there are those who are now really aggravated about it. Those people I don’t understand at all!
Well, we’ll find out soon enough how it all goes, the game ships to us Brits at the beginning of October.
By blog on Sep. 19, 2009.
I actually find Cryptozoology to be intriguing. Oh I know that sounds a little strange, I mean, I don’t believe that the creatures exist, but I find the discussion and investigation of them to be quite intriguing!
I can’t remember exactly when I first became interested in cryptids, but I know I have been for some time. I love looking at the folklore stories, and how people still believe in these creatures today. Some of them seem more plausible than others, I’ll grant you that, and some are real unexplained phenomena, like the Bloop.
The Bloop is one of my current favourite cryptids, because there is actual evidence backing it up. We’ve got the ‘what’ in this case, but not the ‘how’ or ‘who’. You see, The Bloop is the name given to a sound picked up a few times by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who use equipment that was originally designed to keep tabs on that part of the ocean in case of Soviet Subs. They aren’t listening for subs, anymore, and are instead using the equipment to evaluate marine health, oceanic weather, and general atmospheric conditions out there.
They’ve often picked up strange and – in my opinion – ominous sounds, most of which can be explained by ocean currents, volcanic activity , or the movement of Antarctic ice, but The Bloop doesn’t conform to any of these. It’s the odd sound out.
The Bloop’s sound profile suggests that it comes from a living organism. The sound was heard on multiple underwater listening devices, called hydrophones, about 5,000kms apart. Even a Blue Whale can’t manage that, the creature creating The Bloop would have to be much, much bigger.
Some people have speculated that a Giant Squid could be behind the sound, however that’s extremely unlikely because, according to Phil Lobel, a marine biologist at Boston University in Massachusetts, US they don’t have the giant gas filled sac that would be necessary for such a noise. He says it’s impossible to be certain at this point, because no Giant Squid has ever been caught alive, though Whales have been seen with tentacle ring marks on their bodies, but he believes it’s not the sound of the giant cephalopod.
Anyway, that’s a mystery I hope to see solved one day.
By blog on Sep. 19, 2009.
I’m talking about the new Uncharted game, Among Thieves, and the strong review it received from IGN.
When I was looking into whether or not purchasing a PS3 would be a good idea for me, personally, I found the first Uncharted game touted as being among the best on the system. I looked up videos and reviews and thought that it looked like a really great game, it’s on my list of games to get.
I was perusing IGN as I normally do, and then noticed that in the few minutes I’d been on the site, the Uncharted 2 review had gone up. I eagerly clicked on the link to the video review, and watched on rather happily, finding the game was even better than I’d expected.
I’ve yet to play it, so I can only work from the review and my impressions of what I’ve seen in videos, but this game does look really, really good. The graphics are mind bogglingly good, and the story looks to be a heck of a lot of fun. Seriously, trekking around the world in search of treasure? It’s like being Indiana Jones but without the cliché!
The voice acting seems nicely done, and the character models move really well. The locations look to be quite varied and lots of fun, from verdant jungle to icy mountain sides, it all looks really great.
The game received a 9.5 from IGN, a fantastic score, and is currently sitting at 10 even for the reader average. That’s a pretty amazing score, there, and I really hope the game is as good as they say.
My only draw back is that I’m a little disappointed by ten hours of single play. Co-op is fun, I’d like to try that, but I’m not hugely into online play, so this aspect doesn’t make up for only ten hours of actual story-mode gameplay.
Nonetheless I fully intend on picking this game up, after I’ve picked up the first one, of course!
By blog on Sep. 18, 2009.
That’s what this odd looking creature has been dubbed, Gollum… I knew the moment I saw this story I’d have to write about it here.
Okay so the run down is as follows. A group of teenagers where playing near a lake in Panama. There’s a waterfall and cave near this lake, and apparently this creature came out of the cave, and came up some rocks towards the teens. They felt threatened, describing the creature as standing 150cm tall, so threw rocks and used sticks to beat the creature to death. They then tossed the carcass back into the lake, and told their parents who went to have a look for themselves.
The parents found the carcass had washed up on the shore, and within a few days the body was showing signs of decomposition and having been eaten by buzzards…
Okay so now what I think of this whole thing. I think it’s a hoax. Reasons… the decomposed body sure enough looks like a sloth, but it doesn’t account for the body shown in the previous shots. First off, that decomposition looks fairly dry, yet we are talking about Panama, next to a lake… Tropical location, heading into Autumn, is not exactly going to dry the thing out. Not to mention, that’s an extreme level of decomposition for a few days, and if it had in fact been eaten by buzzards, then why was so much of the skin still in tact? No, this looks to be a sloth that has been decomposing for quite a while, in a dry place.
Now onto the freshly dead photos. This creature is supposedly three times the height of a regular sloth, which grow usually between 50 to 60cm tall. If you look at this creature, yes the hands look sloth like, but the face is too long for a sloth face, which have short faces with small pointed muzzles. Very different. The big kicker, the thing that screams fake to me about this thing…
If this creature was stoned and beaten to death, then why aren’t there any marks of such attacks upon it in the photos? Seriously, this is a major discrepancy, and all the other stuff could be explained, but that last fact is rather important. There’s no defence marks on the arms, no marks on the face, head, neck, chest, abdomen… Unless they managed to only hit the animal from behind, which seems rather unlikely considering they were throwing rocks at it because it was coming towards them.
By blog on Sep. 18, 2009.
I don’t just play any game, most of the time, I tend to play ones that have been rated very highly by my peers and professional reviewers. When a game scores below a certain point, it’s almost certain I won’t play it.
So yeah, don’t have as much time for gaming as I used to, which is why I haven’t been playing LOTRO so much. That’s a little sad, because I think it’s a great game, but there it is. I’m still interested in MMOs though, so when Champions Online was coming up, I thought I may drop in and give it a go.
But then I saw the review today on IGN… 7.6 from them, but the reader review average is 6.7. Now, I usually don’t play games that got under 8.5, so this means that Champions Online is completely and totally out, unless they put out an expansion that dramatically alters the score for the overall game, I won’t be playing it.
The reader reviews are really interesting, actually. They seem to swing between scores of 3.5 through to 5, which basically talk about how buggy the game is, repetitive, animations aren’t working, skills aren’t working, and powers have already been nerfed. Then you have those who are rating this game around 8 to 9 saying it’s fun, especially once you’ve a few friends to quest with.
I have to say, though, that a quick look over of the reviews with the low scores, and the reviews with the high scores, that the low score reviews are better written and more in-depth, whereas the high score reviews are a little superficial and you sort of get the impression these people would be happy playing any game.
So, from what I’ve read, this game sounds unfinished, and it really doesn’t look all that good, either. Server downtime seems to be a big issue, which I find hugely frustrating when you’re paying for a subscription.
All in all, from what the reviewer on IGN said, I’m sort of surprised they reviewed this game as highly as they did.
By blog on Sep. 18, 2009.
I love coming home to those things which make life good, even with all the frustrating people around.
Today I went out food shopping, a very annoying task, I assure you. Wandering through the super market aimlessly is not my style, so it’s really annoying to be stuck halfway down an aisle behind just such a shopper. I calmly went about doing my thing, hoping this lady in front of me would hurry up, but no, it was like she was trying to win a race for being as slow as possible whilst still moving…
Anyway, by the time I got home, I was in such a foul mood, that I knew something must be done. But I didn’t know what… then I found that my SO had just run me a bath, with bubbles and the whirlpool jets going already, too. I was enormously thankful, and went into the lusciously steamy bathroom and sat in the nice hot bath. When I’m doing this my SO likes to sit and hang out and talk to me, it takes the experience from really good to oh I really love, love, love, this!
It’s amazing to me how something so very simple can really turn your mood around, to go from frustrated and surly to calm and pleasant in the span of half an hour is quite remarkable. When that bath is soon followed up by an extremely lovely slow-cooked stew with crusty bread, well, then I’m positively joyful.
I’m now full, warm, and pretty much ready to sleep. What a great feeling! I’m not the best sleeper, to be honest, so when I actually feel sleepy its a very pleasant experience… now to just slowly wander about locking up and turning off all the lights and I’m off to bed for a good ol’ sleep. Ahhh, the good things in life!
By blog on Sep. 13, 2009.
I’ve really felt run down these last few weeks, so tomorrow is a day to relax for me.
All my usual routines shall fall away, I’m going to spend tomorrow doing as little as possible. Lounge around in my bathrobe all day long, I really love doing taht. I feel so indolent, and I don’t often get to feel that, so that’s what tomorrow shall be for me.
Don’t expect to see a post from me, either, I’m serious about doing as little as possible. I’m going to spend much of the day gaming, because I’ve really not had the time I would have liked to fully test all my new games and wear my new PS3 in.
Right now I’m looking through the last work related stuff for the day, then off to relax until the Tuesday! I was just looking over some recent savings news before I toddled off, because it seems like it’s a really pertinent time to be watching the markets, online expatriate savings accounts seem to be doing well, in spite of it’s niche market potential, as do SIPP investments, though that’s somewhat less surprising.
I’m really hoping that after all this financial storminess blows over, people will have learned a valuable – if hard – lesson in savings and investments. Especially in not taking on more than you can handle. That’s the saddest part, if you ask me, all those people who lost their homes to foreclosure. It’s one thing to have to tighten your belt, a whole different thing to lose your home. There’s something so intrinsically wrong with that if you ask me.
I think people have learned, to some extent, I mean, look at the rise of child trust fund figures. People are realising that things ought to change, that we can’t keep doing things the way they’ve been done, just because they’ve been done that way in the past.
Anyway, I’m in a good mood, so off I go, ignoring the super-spammer I’ve got dogging my site at the moment. And always posting in Russian! I’ve got no idea what this fellow is saying!
By blog on Sep. 13, 2009.
This is my look at the latest Rock Band title, The Beatles…
Firstly, lets be clear, I’ve not played any of the Rock Band, Guitar Hero, games… at all. Nor any of those ‘Sing Star’ games. I’ve not had a PlayStation in a long while, and I’ve not felt compelled to play these games in spite of generally liking rhythm games. I think it’s being told to like them that puts me off… Does that make me contrary? Maybe…
Anyway, this one is getting some odd reactions. Reviewers are treating it like the bees knees, the cat’s meow, and all sorts of animal related idioms. It’s sitting at 9.0 on IGN, and Metacritic is showing it at 89, but there seems to be some less than stellar fan reviews. Basically, there are two camps regarding this game.
First camp, the major review sites. They say it’s awesome, great song list, visuals are pretty good, sound is pretty good, not a huge challenge of a Rock Band game, though. Second camp, the players. A heck of a lot of players are panning this game due to how easy it is, which leads to it getting boring quickly, and the fact that the amount of songs on the game compared to the amount of songs that you can download if you pay for. If you’ve read much of my blog you’ll know I absolutely detest games being released with downloadable content already available should you pay for it. That’s total BS, in my opinion, and just a very nasty practice being used by game producers.
So, where do I sit in all this? It seems to me that if you like The Beatles and you have a PS3, you’d be a little silly not to get this game at some point. However, if you’re like me, and The Beatles aren’t really your thing, then this probably isn’t the title for you. So, I think I’ll continue along having not played any of the Rock Band games until one comes along that is just too awesome to pass up. This title does not meet this standard for me, but as I said, I think Beatles fans will go mental for it.
By blog on Sep. 13, 2009.
This is a rather rambling post, I’ve no clear intention on topic, just to sort of catch up with what’s been going on.
It’s been really busy in the past few weeks, my SO has still been suffering with that back pain – and being really strong and soldering on, in spite of what is agony almost every morning for her – so we’ve been getting very little or disjointed sleep. She’s been able to manage about five to six hours most nights, and we’ve taken to napping in the afternoons a lot of the time, too. We know what’s going on, and it’s just a matter of her strengthening her back, at this stage, but apart from that, there’s not much to be done. Hot showers and a back massage seem to help a little, relaxing those muscles. It’s just a pity that she’s better at massages than me.
Work has been hectic, but being able to work from home has been a Godsend with my SO so under the weather. I can make sure that she’s well taken care of, and still get all my work done, no matter what time I’m awake or asleep. I’m really enjoying working from home, and no longer having to commute to work has been fantastic! I’ve gotten an hour or two extra in every day!
All my financial interests have largely been put on hold. I’m still keeping watch on all those investments and offshore financial services, which seem to have some alright rates at the moment, but I think I’ve decided against investing in international real estate. I just don’t want the trouble that could come of it, I mean, invest in Panama real estate, for example… Nah, not for me. I would hardly ever see the place!
Anyway, that’s an odds and ends post there, now hopefully they can be a little better put together!
By blog on Sep. 10, 2009.
The game is set to ship to our shores mid next year, but that’s a while off, and for the moment, I can talk about impressions about the game so far.
The storyline is set around the expulsion of a race, called the fal’Cie, by humans, from a floating paradise like city called Cocoon. Originally the fal’Cie created Cocoon for humans, but thirteen centuries later, humans are scared of the fal’Cie, because some of them can become l’Cie, which are people with special destinies, which if they don’t fulfil, become Cie Corpses, which are big scary monsters. The humans are trying to force the fal’Cie to move back to the surface of the planet, called Pulse, which has strange effects on people and the governing body of Cocoon, the Theocratic Sanctum, have a staunch quarantine that anyone who’s been to the surface of Pulse can’t get back into Cocoon.
The story centres around a few characters, which all happen to become l’Cie, even though they didn’t want that to happen, and their fight against the army, called PSICOM, to stop them purging Cocoon of the fal’Cie.
The story line is intriguing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. There is a demo and a couple of trailers available to watch here on IGN, which show the game to be just amazing. The most impressive visuals on an RPG yet, in my opinion, and the transition between cut-scene and in-game is startlingly similar.
It’s nice to see the good ol’ Eidolons back, with Odin, Shiva, Ifrit, and Carbuncle, and apparently, not only their respective summoning scenes are amazing, but you can also combine your character with their Eidolon to get some form of… transportation that can do damage during battles. Odin becomes a horse like creature that his summoner, Lightning, can ride, whilst Shiva is actually summoned in the form of two sisters, Nix and Styria, and they turn into a motorcycle that their summoner, Snow, can ride. Carbuncle is summoned by Vanille, and he turns into a disc, and Ifrit, who is summoned by Sazh, turns into a hotrod racing car.
I really can’t wait to get my hands on this game, do yourself a favour and check out those videos on IGN.