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. 13, 2010.
A new profession has been released on the Guild Wars 2 site, finally, and it’s the Warrior.
It’s about time, too, that we saw a significant update. The site has fairly much been stagnating for most of last month, but there’s been the odd bit of info go up now and then. However, finally, we’ve got a brand new profession up there, and I have to say, I’m impressed.
The Elementalist class is the only other profession up at this stage, and it’s a flashy one, really. Magic classes always get a lot of nifty particle effects and the biggest sound and light show when it comes to what the player can do. The Warrior in Guild Wars 2, however, isn’t short changed in this regard either. The five short videos of some of the Warrior’s class abilities all look pretty cool, some even kind of epic.
There seems to be a strong collaboration of a few different game classes; Diablo 2’s Barbarian, LOTRO’s Captain, and D&D’s Fighter and Paladin classes all seem to be melded here to make a pretty strong and awesome player class. There’s actually some flexibility to the class, in that the Warrior could be tank, oftank, or DPS, so that you can really tailor it to how you want to play it, and it doesn’t make two Warriors grouping totally redundant, either.
I’m really looking forward to more info on the game, and hoping that it lives up to the potential. That’s a big ask, because a lot of what’s been talked about is pretty amazing, and seems like it would be very hard to implement effectively.
I miss playing LOTRO, at the moment, but I don’t think I’ll go back to it just yet. I want to give Guild Wars a fair chance, and I’m hoping that the lore of the game is as thoughtfully and artfully crafted as the graphics and two professions so far released.
By blog on Jun. 6, 2010.
There’s finally an expansion on the Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer which was released back in early March.
I have to say first off, before anything else, that my wisdom teeth are coming in with a vengeance, and that the right side of my face is afire with pain. Yeah, so I’m not feeling great, but I’ll soldier on to get this post up.
Secondly, before I get to the meat of the article, remember me writing about my IP phone system that’s suitable for office or business, because since I started working from home there’s the odd occasion where I have to last minute join an internet video and audio conference? Yes well, that’s brought to light something. I don’t like strangers in my home, and I don’t like strangers being able to see in my home. So I’ve calibrated it now that you can only see a blank expanse of wall behind me when I’m talking. It’s less awkward that way, now I know prospective clients aren’t sitting there thinking ‘So that’s the kind of art this fellow’s into? We don’t want him creating our website!’ or something like that.
And now onto the trailer. I’ll preface this – there’s a lot of that going on today – by saying I really, really enjoyed the previous Deus Ex titles, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting updates on this game. Some time back Deus Ex: Human Revolution was announced, and a trailer soon followed. After a very long wait, an extended version of the trailer was released… It’s. Bloody. Awesome. Seriously, I cannot wait to play this game.
A lot of fans of the series were disappointed by Deus Ex: Invisible War, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and it still ranks as among my all time favourites. Human Revolution seems to be really tackling those gritty themes, and that’s a really good thing in my opinion. There’s a lot going on in the trailer, and the visuals are amazing, the voice acting great, and the musical score working very well too. Apparently the CG scenes have been outsourced to Visual Works in Japan, with the direction coming from Goldtooth Creative in Canada, and I have to say it really comes together. I know the game won’t look as good as this CG trailer, but the style of graphics is very appealing to me, and I really can’t wait to see where they’re going to take this title.
By blog on Jun. 6, 2010.
In this post spoilers will be found. Spoilers for the only game I can focus on at the moment, Red Dead Redemption.
So… where to start… Okay so I’m very close to finishing the game, but before I get to that I’ll go back a bit. I went to Mexico and helped out there for a while, waiting to get info on two members of my old crew. I had to do missions for both the Mexican government – a bureaucracy filled with drunken insane rapists and murderers – as well as having to do missions for the rebels uprising against said government.
Mexico was interesting for me because it was by far my favourite of the landscapes, and the music is fantastic there too, the missions were amongst the most irritating. I found it very frustrating to have to play through doing quests for both sides of this uprising, never being given a choice as to who I would support, whilst both sides jerked me around with regards to information, for quite a while until finally the government were going to kill me and then I’m fully on the rebels side. I really liked Landon Ricketts quests as he was a pretty awesome character, but Luisa was very fatalistic and irritating. Her refusal to see how much of an ass Reyes was was frustrating, and then having to do quests with that idiot was really annoying. I’m glad I got to kill De Santa and Allende, though, that was fun. Luisa dying was quite sad, but in a way I think she would have been less happy should she have made it through the rebellion alive.
Tall trees is also nice looking, however the music there is so annoying that I soon want to be out of the place. That ominous, tense, single piano key twanging soundtrack was a bad idea, in my opinion.
So, now onto the meat of things. Disposing of Dutch was… well a little unsatisfying. There wasn’t as large a build up to his death as there was with Bill, and in the end John doesn’t kill him, which I found frustrating. I would have shot that psychopath in an instant, even taking into account the history he had with Marston.
Getting back to my very own ranch was just awesome, and doing a few minor quests for Abigail was fun, as well as seeing them interact. The Jack quests were alright and I liked the way John handled Jack’s misbehaviour when running of to hunt a bear. Nice writing there.
The scene where John is gunned down by a large posse of Ross and his crew was… poignant. I felt like the writing was good, the story made sense, and I was very sad to see John go that way. He deserved better. So now I’m running around as Jack, after Abigail has died some ten years or so after John, and I’ve found out that there is a quest to kill Ross, so I’ll gladly be taking that on!
However running around as Jack is rather irritating. His voice is childish and overly chipper, in spite of how they’ve tried to make him look in his older state. This kid has lost his father to a corrupt government, and he’s recently lost his mother, his last family on earth, and yet you pass a rider on a track and Jack’ll greet them with an upbeat ‘Howdy, Mister’.
So all in all I’d give the game a 9.5 out of ten, it really is a masterpiece and gives me great hope for where Rockstar may go in the future. I’ve respected this game on every level, graphics, music, story line, game play, it’s all here!
Now I was going to talk about a call from my real estate agent about that overseas property investment in Philippines that I was considering a while back, but good lord this post has gotten too long to do that now! The Philippines will have to wait!
By blog on Jun. 4, 2010.
It’s been ten years. Ten, long years, and I’ve not even played the first one! But Shogun 2: Total War has been announced!
Ten years ago, a game development company called Creative Assembly created an awesome battle simulation game called Shogun: Total War. It was an awesome game, where you commanded armies as a Daimyo and tried to take over the entirety of Japan.
Sounds pretty damn fun, right? Well, from what I’ve heard it was fantastic. Unfortunately I didn’t hear about the game when it was released, too busy with other titles I supposed, and I didn’t get to it before it looked pretty bad on my system. Not to worry, I thought, Creative Assembly will surely be making a sequel, right?
CA went on to make Medieval: Total War, Rome: Total War, Medieval 2: Total War, Empire: Total War, and Napoleon: Total War in the intervening ten years. I thoroughly enjoyed both of the Medieval titles, however Empire was not very fun for me as the time period was far less interesting and I didn’t enjoy the sea battles, and I didn’t play Napoleon at all. I’d sort of given up hope of being able to play an updated version of Shogun, so I’m very happy to see CA going back to where it all started and making a sequel for it.
The teaser trailer has no game play featured as yet, however the visuals included fit perfectly with the art style of the time the game is set – somewhere between 1450 BC to 1600 BC – and are really very well done.
So I’m counting down until this game is released, though I’m thinking I’ll have plenty to fill my time with Civilization V shipping later this year. That title I’m so incredibly excited about, along with Diablo 3 though there’s no firm release date on that one yet.
By blog on Jun. 3, 2010.
Red Dead Redemption. 30 hour in, and what a great 30 hours it’s been!
I meant, initially, to do a post to say how I was going every ten hours or so, but as you can see, that didn’t happen. I’ve been playing quite solidly for the last five or so days and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.
I’ll start with the only negative to the game, then go through all the positives. I very much dislike the duelling process. Seriously, this is the only game mechanic that feels completely unintuitive and unfairly difficult. There’s never a good in-game tutorial for the process, and it all feels quite arbitrary to be honest, but that’s my only real complaint with the game.
In terms of graphics, the game is beautiful. I’m playing on the 360 and the game runs very smoothly, the load times are short, and the entire world is streamed. There aren’t any loads between indoors or out, and there’s never a hitch to anything. The look of the landscape and animals is really very amazing, though character models could be a little less ugly.
In terms of game mechanics, there’s so much here to appreciate. Riding a horse is amazingly accurate and so is running around on foot. The ‘Dead Eye’ shooting mechanic works very well, and I’m thoroughly enjoying being a crack shot in the wild west of yore.
The story line is also quite good, though being forced to help out the Mexican government for as long as I did, knowing full well they’d betray me any minute, was rather annoying. I did like the slight supernatural inclusion of The Funny Man, who in my opinion was the devil.
The music and ambient sounds of the game are very good, the only exception being the music in Blackwater, which is strangely irritating and too often ominous with no apparent reason save some ambiguous notion of ‘civilisation being bad’ sort of thing. Getting off the train in the game and having that harmonica play, just like so many Western movies was just such an awesome introduction to the game.
Well, I’ve written enough for now, back to the game! I’m into the Tall Trees area, and doing missions around there!
By blog on May. 21, 2010.
I’ve been looking at this upcoming game and it is quite appealing, I have to say.
There are elements from a few previous DS titles that seem very strong in the Capcom title. When I first viewed the trailer it immediately struck me how like Phantom Hourglass the game play was, as well as the cell shaded visuals.
Now, I’m not saying that any cell shaded visual game is like Phantom Hourglass because it’s cell shaded, but it’s the almost puppet show aspect to the visuals. The roiling waves in the background in the opening scene have that sort of feel to them. Of course, the actual game play is also very Zelda reminiscent. The collaboration of the wolf and the boy and the fact that it appears necessary for them to perform attacks together to get past certain parts of the game makes me think strongly of the game-play of Spirit Tracks. I suppose any fantasy DS adventure game is going to immediately bring to mind Zelda, and the comparisons made as a result. The audio of the voices actually reminds me very strongly of Animal Crossing, a sort of jumbled sped-up dialogue where nothing is discernible as a language.
From what I saw the game play looks quite fun, and though I’ve not played any of the Okami games before, it doesn’t seem to be something that’d hinder my enjoyment of the game. A quick read of the Wiki outline of the story and I’m set to go!
On a completely unrelated note, I was cleaning out my desk and found my and my SO’s old mobile phones, which we intend to sell, and I have to say, I love a service that makes it so easy to recycle these sorts of items. When it comes to recycling the energy saving light bulbs or fluorescent lights you’ve got to truck all those things into a local retailer, which in our case is the nearest post office, but that’s still not close. But with this, I just called them and they sent me the envelope! Now, I don’t expect much cash from this, which is why people often think these sorts of mobile phone x change things are scams, because they’re expecting more cash based on the site and it’s high figures for certain phones, but let’s face it, how many people are trading in top of the line products? So why should someone’s four year old mobile phone bring in more than a few pounds? I’m just happy to be able to recycle it without having to drive down to my local post office to do so!
By blog on May. 20, 2010.
That’s right, I’ve gone back even further!
I’ve been playing Baldur’s Gate II, as I said the other day, but it struck me that I’ve never actually played the original game. I’d actually bought both in a special edition collector’s pack, but upon instillation of the first game, was told in an error message that my copy of the game could only be played in North America.
Yeah, nice one. So I put it in a draw and ignored it for a few years. Well I felt inspired the other day, so I got the discs out – only two of them, as opposed to the original six or seven in total – and loaded it on up. I got the same error message, but I researched it this time and found that BioWare had released a patch to correct the issue.
So with the game patched, and my 3D acceleration on my video card turned down to non-existent, I’ve actually been playing the game. I’m playing it full screen on my 1920×1080 screen, in spite of it’s original resolution of 640×480. At that resolution, if I play the game windowed, it’s just too tiny to see anything. So it’s huge and pixelated, but it’s nice to be able to see everything.
So far I’m noticing that it’s a heck of a lot harder than BGII, for a start you begin at level one, as opposed to level seven. You also don’t get access to a full party straight away, and you can really suffer in fights. I’m playing a Mage, and I started the game with one Magic Missile. You can imagine how many times I’ve reloaded thanks to one or many of my party members dying!
It’s great to see the origins of great characters that I know from BGII, though. Minsc with his witch, Dynaheir, and Jaheira with her husband Khalid. Imoen is very different, too, and it’s sad to see what has happened to her in the later game. All in all I’m very much enjoying myself, and enjoying the tougher challenge!
By blog on May. 20, 2010.
Nintendo is apparently planning a pretty good line up at this year’s E3.
It’s looking like it will be a pretty big year for Nintendo, and I’m interested to see the reactions after E3 is over. In terms of hardware, Nintendo is going to be showing the new 3DS, which will be great for those of us who are hanging out to see more details of this latest handheld. Nintendo is not the only company going for broke with the whole 3D thing, but theirs is the one that is portable and doesn’t require any peripherals. Quite frankly I’m still very leery of the whole thing, and hope I’m presently surprised.
Software is the key thing for Nintendo this E3, with more information expected on the Wii titles Conduit 2, Epic Mickey, Lost in Shadow, a remake of Metroid: Other M, and of course, the big kicker, Zelda. I pretty much don’t care one little bit about any of the games save Zelda, so I’ll talk about that a little. For the last year we’ve not heard anything on the game. At all. Pretty much since one piece of concept art was released, and a hint that perhaps Link won’t have a sword in this one, we’ve learned nothing in twelve long months. Now, I cherish Zelda games, so it’s pretty frustrating to wait that long with nothing… until now! Or, well, E3. Nintendo has said that they will be showing a great deal on the new Zelda title, including story-line, setting, and a brand new control scheme. I enjoyed the last Zelda DS title, even though trains weren’t really my thing, and I also enjoyed Zelda: Twilight Princess an awful lot, but I’d love to see a soul-sequel to Ocarina of Time, if perhaps with some of the grittiness of Twilight Princess thrown in.
The DS is set to get some groovy new games, too, with Dragon Quest IX, Golden Sun DS, Okamiden, Super Scribblenauts, and Pokémon Black and White. I’m actually quite interested in a few of these games. The Dragon Quest series has been a very enjoyable one, and Golden Sun has also caught my eye. Okamiden has some very cute visuals, but Super Scribblenauts has no interest for me at all. I found the first game tedious, so the second doesn’t seem like a great idea. The Pokémon games are a little interesting, because I do usually give the new ones a try. But I keep asking myself, why? Aren’t they essentially the exact same game? So not sure, but still interested in learning more about that one.
By blog on May. 15, 2010.
What an awesome game it’s shaping up to be!
So, the game is set to release on our fair shores in less than a week – May 21st – but I really want to play this game right now! Dammit! Well, in lieu of being able to actually play, I’ll write about it.
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes this game stand out… there’s a few things that really make me very excited to play it. For instance, it’s finally a sandbox style game from Rockstar in which you don’t have to be a bad guy. You don’t have to be the scum of the earth organised crime sort. Sure, you can still be a raving bandit who preys on the weak, but you can actually be the vigilant good guy who kicks that first guys ass, too.
There was always a special place in my heart for a certain aspect of Morrowind, which relates to this game as well. I really enjoyed searching for, and searching through, shipwrecks. I loved feeling like I was hunting down some awesome treasure. Now, sure, in Morrowind what was usually waiting in a shipwreck was pretty much crap on a stick and a Lich thrown in for good measure, but in RDR there are treasure maps, and you have to use your knowledge of the local landmarks to find said treasure. To me that’s an absolutely fantastic inclusion that I can’t wait to get right into.
Other aspects of the game that is very appealing is the grittiness. Rockstar seem to have really tried to recreate one of the most turbulent areas in American history, and I for one am looking forward to walking on in there and makin’ thing a little calmer. Maybe it’s all those awesome old Western films I’ve seen, but I really can’t wait to get in there and kick some serious ass.