By admin on Aug. 29, 2012.
Video games these days tend to be easy.
In the good old days – or bad old days, perhaps, depending on your viewpoint – you played, say, Sonic the Hedgehog, and there was no saving the game.
That’s right, youngsters; if you battled through to the final level, and five hours of jumping and ring collecting later, you stupidly died due to the slip of a finger – well, that was that. You had to dust yourself off and start again right from the beginning. Level one.
And the thing was – you did.
These days, games are scared of making things difficult. They have to hold your hand, prompt you with clues, give you plenty of save points – or even the ability to save at any point you want. Zero risk, basically. That’s the motto a lot of the time.
And then, yesterday, I started playing a contemporary game you may have heard of called Dark Souls.
And Jesus H. Corbett if this isn’t the hardest game I’ve ever played…
It gets incredibly tough only a couple of hours in, at the second boss, which I spent absolutely ages trying to beat. But the sense of satisfaction when I finely figured out how to down the beast… that’s second to none.
And a gaming feeling that I haven’t experienced for quite some time. I thoroughly recommend you try Dark Souls, as you can pick it up for £20 on the Xbox now (and it’s just come out on the PC). And for twenty quid, in terms of time to gameplay ratio, that’s probably going to work out as the biggest bargain ever.
Playing this title got me thinking about the other hardest-ever games I’ve played. Some of the earlier platformers were torturous, like Bounty Bob or Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy. The timing required on these was horrendously unforgiving, although the controls themselves didn’t make your leaping and collecting task any easier.
More recently, Ninja Gaiden was also brutally tough. But not as tricky as Dark Souls…
Right. I’m off for some more hurling-the-joypad-across-the-room fun.
By blog on Jul. 17, 2010.
So far it’s pretty neat.
I bought the game on my first XBOX 360, but decided to re-download it onto my Elite and now of course I have to go through all the crap that is consolidating licences, but I can still play the game properly if I’m hooked up to XBOX Live, but when I unhook it – as the cable actually usually goes to my SO computer, yes, I’ll get another one soon – I can’t play the full title, only the trial. Anyway, back to the game.
Worms 2: Armageddon is great fun. Quintessential worms gaming. You’ve got a little team of worms – if you don’t know this then you must have lived in a cave for the past decade – with funny voices and hats, and you blow the crap out of one another. Simple, yet oh so engrossing!
My SO and I like to play. I win more often than not, but it’s still a good fight. We’d had heaps of fun playing this game in the past, and after reading that the Battle Pack was out recently, we decided to buy the Battle Pack, re-download the game, and play away!
It has been a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of new content in the Battle Pack. I quite like the new Superforts and all the new terrain types are incredibly welcome! There aren’t that many new voice packs, but what is there is up to snuff with the rest of the game. My SO would like to see a few more female sounding voice sets, however, which I agree with as the male sets far outweigh the female.
I’ve not had a chance to go through all of the new content, but the ferrets are pretty awesome. Termites not so much, but those ferrets I bet will be scary. There’s so much gaming going on in this house at the moment, so I’m off back to it!
By blog on Jul. 17, 2010.
Puzzle Quest 2 is a very enjoyable game!
I had the trial to Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and whilst I was waiting for something to download from XBOX Live I decided to give it a go. After a few minutes I had to have the full game, and looking it up on the Arcade. I found that it already had a sequel, which had substantially better graphics, so I bought that one instead.
That was about twenty-four hours ago and I think I’ve been playing this game for about twelve of those hours. Basically it’s a nice little RPG game with Bejewelled as the battle mechanic. Sounds odd at first, but it’s thoroughly engrossing. Bejewelled itself isn’t a title that can keep my attention for very long. It gets boring quickly because you feel like you’re getting little back for all your jewel switching. But with this game you actually get past the foe and get rewards from it, too.
It’s not an overly complex game, but it’s got enough depth to be quite satisfying, and you’ll find yourself coming back to it over and over should you give it a try. It’s also quite a lengthy title, from what I’ve read, so you can expect to really get your money’s worth out of it!
I really enjoy the puzzles for looting, disarming traps, and bashing down doors, too. Especially the loot puzzle mini game. It’s such a simple mechanic, as is the case in many aspects of the game, but the straightforward simplicity serves to heighten the enjoyment, as you can pretty much pick up and play at any point and you’ll do fine.
One aspect of the game that really, really works, is what occurs if you lose a fight. You get the XP from the fight, but the foe is still standing there. You can then just have another go at the creature, and another if that’s what it takes, until you get it. Sometimes a bit of luck can make all the difference, and not having to go back to save points or lose XP is a wonderful thing to not have to go through if your luck runs bad for a little while.
It’s a very enjoyable game which I strongly recommend to any 360 owner.
By blog on Jul. 17, 2010.
I’m stuck there… Ugh.
Okay so it’s been a good while since I last wrote, but I’ve been rather busy in that time. Went on a small vacation with my SO, which was great, and then spent a few days at home together, gaming and generally having fun. Of course, I only just realised that my last blog post didn’t go live when I hit ‘Publish’ instead saving itself as a draft. Good show… Anyway back on topic.
I’ve still been playing Fallout 3, but not as much. The reason? The Mothership Zeta add on. Wow. I hate the bloody place! It just goes on and on and I’ve still a heap to do in there. I’ve got to blow up two more power generators and do a bunch of other crap. It’s just very lengthy and boring compared to other parts of the game. Being enclosed in the one area when I’ve had the entire wastes to run around in really stinks.
The whole thing feels so claustrophobic, so tingly squished in, and blowing away alien after alien does not make up for this fact! Seriously, though, I want those little bastards to suffer. There’s quite a few people and mutants that they’ve picked up, some going right back to feudal Japan. Yeah, they’ve been cryogenically freezing people for later. Don’t know why, yet. Being the paragon that I am, I’m not killing the Samurai for his armour, even though there’s no bad karma for doing it, but it doesn’t seem right to me.
I’ve found this area really off putting, and I’ve not been playing for the last few days because I just can’t stand this place. The indoor maps aren’t very good in Fallout, which usually doesn’t bother me, but in this case, when I just want to get through to the destination area because there’s very little actual content, and just more aliens to kill, makes these maps very annoying.
I hate that I’m stuck in this area until the quest in complete. With nearly all other parts of the game, you can leave at any point and come back. Here, nope. You’re stuck. For many, many hours, in a linear corridor filled with annoying aliens. Ugh.
By blog on Jul. 17, 2010.
What an awesome game. Seriously.
I started playing Fallout 3 again, though this time on my 360. I was playing it on PC for a while, but when it bugged during a main-story mission, and corrupted my only save file, I gave it up for a long while.
I really enjoyed the game, but my perception of it was greatly marred due to the game-breaking bugginess. This is nothing new for Bethesda, but something that I wish they’d stop doing. I don’t mind waiting an extra month or two for a game that’s actually going to work!
I have the game of the year edition, with all the downloadable content included and so far I’m enjoying it greatly. This has to be one of my top ten all time most enjoyable games. It’s a very large and engaging game world, and you actually care about what’s going on.
Oblivion was a good game, but I didn’t feel as drawn in as I do with Fallout 3. The only downside is that the game still is a little buggy. Twice, during many, many, hours of gameplay the game has frozen my 360. After shutting down the console, it loaded up fine afterwards, but still, that’s irritating.
I also had a great deal of difficulty with one particular quest, getting the Temple of the Union people to the Lincoln Memorial. I had to do a great deal of running around trying to get everything right to have the escaped slaves turn up at all. If you kill all the slavers at the Memorial before you’ve talked to Hannibal Hamlin – the leader of the Temple people – then all the freed slaves just walked out of the old Temple of the Union building never to be seen again. Very frustrating but eventually I got it sorted out.
There’s just so much to appreciate with this game. The music is fantastic, the ambient sounds excellent, and some times the sense of creepiness is incredible. I just went through Vault 106, the one with the creepy ghostiness going on, but because my science skill is at 85 I can’t find out what was really going on as I need a science skill of 100 to hack the Overseer’s computer. Dammit!
By blog on Jun. 20, 2010.
Now I’m covering the PlayStation Move…
Let’s just take a look at this thing. It’s incredibly similar to the Wii-mote in set up, save that it’s black. But… so is the new Wii-mote… Oh and it’s also got a very silly little balloon thing on the end, that looks like the controller is obnoxiously blowing gum at you. Apparently it’s not hard, and is sort of rubbery and pliable like a clown’s nose that can be pressed out of shape and then will just bounce back into place when you let go of it.
The Move is, essentially, the Wii-mote restyled. It works on the same principal as the Wii-mote, but instead of an infrared sensor bar that the Wii implements, you’re working with the PlayStation Eye instead. This means that the Move will pick up more of a 3D aspect than the Wii has, as the Eye allows for greater perception of depth.
As with the Wii-mote, you’ve got a secondary controller, that in this case is called the ‘navigation’ controller, but apparently you don’t have to use it, you can just play with the normal PlayStation controller in your left hand… wtf!? Yeah, how do you imagine that’s going to work, Sony? Oh, you don’t? Of course you don’t.
The Move will sell in the UK for £39.99, the navigation controller for £29.99, and if you need the Eye as well, you can get that with the Move for £49.99. So, price wise we Brits are paying a little bit extra, but at the same time it’s not the worst price difference we’ve been hit with.
Really, the Move just hasn’t blown me away… but then again, PlayStation in general really hasn’t made a big impact on me. I like to game in order to relax, and I don’t actually like having to stand up and wave something around to play.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
And not before time, either.
So, I had big reservations about this handheld. I mean, what’s with the huge push for all things 3D at the moment? It seems so 80’s to me. I’ve not gone and seen any movie in 3D, and I’ve never felt like I was missing anything. It just seems a bit absurd, sitting there in those multi-coloured glasses.
So when Nintendo announced that, not only less than a month after bringing out the huge and unwieldy DSiXL, they were upgrading the handheld, that it was also going to be 3D, I was disappointed and angry with Nintendo. I mean seriously… I’m getting real tired of Nintendo rehashing the same few games that bring them huge revenues, and then filling shelves with shovel ware to confuse those not in the know into spending money on crap games.
Nintendo finally showed off what the handheld was going to look like at E3 this week, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed with the look of the machine.
When I first heard about the analogue stick, I thought it sounded very out of place with the handheld, but it actually looks alright in there. The larger screens are nicer, too, and apparently the hardware in there to rival the Wii. That makes me think two things; it’s great that the graphics will be that good, and oh my the Wii sucks.
The reports from people who’ve actually had a chance to play a demo are very positive. So far people are all saying really good things about how it plays and how comfortable it is to play. The 3D is able to be turned on or off, which I’m very pleased about, and apparently there’s also quite a bit of room to move in terms of still getting the 3D image rather than the two images separating.
I’m feeling a lot more positive about the handheld, and I’m looking forward to more info on it. Nintendo still isn’t saying much, and they’re still rehashing game after game, but when one of those games is Ocarina of Time, I’m not too irritated.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
Because right now it’s pretty bad looking.
We’ve got a name now. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword… So much for Miyamoto’s stupid hint comment a while back suggesting Link wouldn’t have a sword. I’ve been waiting a long, long time for any information, any, coming from Nintendo about this game after the one concept poster was released back at last year’s E3, and now we have a very small bit of info to go on.
Basically, Miyamoto showed a very ‘quick and dirty concept demo‘ that didn’t work particularly well, given that the majority of the audience were toting infra-red devices. The result of this comical, if unfortunate, occurrence was that the MotionPlus Wii controller Mr Miyamoto was trying to use, didn’t work.
So a lot of people went away from the demonstration fearing the game didn’t work. All of the people at the demonstration went away knowing practically nothing about the game, too. No info on storyline at all.
Now, here’s where I can talk about what we do know. We know that the graphics style is a cross between realistic and cell shaded, resulting in a realistically crap. Seriously, it’s ugly. Really looks terrible.
This is the first Zelda title for the Wii that was actually developed for the Wii. Twilight Princess was in development so long that the bloody console it was being developed for became obsolete – as if the Wii isn’t! – and developers ported the game before it was released so it would be Wii compatible. So taking that into consideration, the fact that this game looks like it was meant to be played on the Nintendo 64 is really disappointing. It doesn’t look quite as bad in motion, though, so that’s something. I mean, it’s still underwhelming, but the gameplay trailer doesn’t look quite as bad as the stills of the game do.
So much could be done with the Zelda franchise on the Wii, but Nintendo’s yet to tap into that potential. The game is set to be released sometime next year, but at this stage I seriously doubt it’s going to be awesome.
By blog on Jun. 17, 2010.
Microsoft unveils their new peripheral, the Kinect.
Okay so with E3 about to wrap up, it’s about time I started covering those games that stood out to me, or in this case, the hardware. Because, really, that’s what this year’s E3 has felt like, a very hardware-centric expo. Both Microsoft and Sony have shown off hardware that can only be described as a blatant attempt to raise sales by making their consoles more like the Wii; but I’ll come back to that later.
In this article I’ll be looking at the Kinect, and I’ll take a look at Sony’s version of the hardware in another entry. Basically, the Kinect is very, very similar to the Wii’s infared motion sensor, save that the Kinect is being billed as having a better sense of depth.
Microsoft, in it’s usually grandiose way, unveiled the Kinect – formerly known as Project Natal – at E3, with Cirque du Soleil performers riding in on a giant animatronic elephant whilst all the attending gaming press had to wear cult-like white robes to get in to see the show, and there was a whole bunch of other stuff going on too.
They’ve previewed 14 titles so far, all of which, save one, seem to be aimed at children. The graphics for the games associated to this device are poor, and the gameplay, if you could call it that, is pretty much a rip off of Wii Sports and Wii Fit titles. Seriously, it’s that bloody blatant that Microsoft just wants some of Nintendo’s profits from the damn Wii.
The Kinect could have something going for it, one day. In terms of a fancy Minority Report remote for a 360 it’s actually pretty nifty, but in terms of a US$150 peripheral to play some crappy games, it’s down right ridiculous. Does Microsoft really think they’re going to steal enough of Wii’s market to make this worth while? A Wii right now, with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and a MotionPlus controller will set you back roughly £169.99, whilst a Xbox 360 Elite is £189.97, and whilst we don’t have a sure RRP from Microsoft for the UK yet, speculation puts it at around £120. That’s nearly twice the amount of the Wii, for essentially the same sort of set up. Now, the only thing that’ll sway people to pick up the 360 and Kinect over the Wii is the fact that the rest of the game library for the 360 isn’t crap, like it is for the Wii.
Basically, I can see that this has some interesting aspects to it, and heck year I’d love to flick my hand left or right to scroll through movies on my 360, but I’m sure as heck not going to pay £120 for it!
By blog on Jun. 13, 2010.
I’m not really feeling so completionist now that John is dead in Red Dead Redemption, so the Ambient Challenges are falling by the wayside.
Basically, there’s four types of missions that you can go about and do all by yourself. You’ve got the Treasure Hunter Challenges, where you get a map with a landmark on it and it will direct you to the location of some treasure. Some are hard to figure out, but the more you actually roam around the world the better chance you’ll have to find them all. I’ve got all ten of these, as they were very fun to get and I sort of got on a roll with them for a while.
Then you’ve got the Sharpshooter Challenges, where you have to shoot specific tough targets. This is a fairly straight forward one, and I’m sitting at Rank 8 currently, where I have to shoot the hats off of two people and disarm them as well, which means shooting the gun out of their hands. This is a bit tougher than the animal challenges, but very manageable.
I’m only up to Rank 5 with the Master Hunter Challenges, as killing two cougars with a hunting knife is a tall order, really. Cougars are a scary thing in the RDR world. You’ll hear their familiar call and the next thing you know they’re attacking you, your horse is dead, and if you don’t move like lightning you’ll be next. Deadly creatures. The later ranks seem easier than this one, though killing a grizzly bear with a hunting knife is scarier than a cougar, I must say.
The Survivalist Challenges are just collecting plants from about the place. These are really quite boring and irritating, and as such I’m only up to Rank 6. Riding around and finding the right plant, dismounting, collecting, mounting, and then riding around some more isn’t really my idea of fun. If there was something you could actually do with the plants, apart from the odd quest or just selling them, then that would be something, but other than that they just feel largely out of character.
So, now that I’ve finished the story line, and I have to run around as the incredibly irritatingly voiced Jack, I don’t want to go and complete all the Ambient Challenges. The game-world is a lot less fun now that John’s dead.