Friday, January 26, 2007


Happy Winter-Een-Mas everyone. For those who have no idea what I'm going on about check out the official website or go google it. I hadn't actually realised how big it was until I did that.

As is becoming tradition on the weekend of Winter-een-mas we're celebrating with booze at Scott's, even though all he has is a PS2 on offer. Though I'm taking my old X-Box round too for more varied gaming. I'm also going to make a point of playing as much multiplayer as I can over the next week, something I usually barely bother with, favouring more the single player experience. I'm probably going to be found on Test Drive Unlimited, Rockstar Table Tennis and Gears of War. I'm more than likely going to be buying Rainbow Six: Vegas as well.

Also in the spirit of the season I post again:

Monday, January 15, 2007


I'm currently on tender hooks waiting for Mass Effect from Bioware on the 360 later this year. However, something has come to my attention as a result of this game and a few other upcoming releases. Game developers are becoming obsessed with trilogies. Is it that they've been looking at Star Wars, Back to the Future and The Godfather and decided that is how it has to be done?

Apart from the aforementioned Bioware game, Silicon Nights are finally going to be releasing their Too Human based on Norse Mythology (which does sound quite cool) and it's slated as the first in the trilogy. XBox 360's "biggest game" Gears of War is part of a trilogy. Knights of the Old Republic is rumoured to be a trilogy, and certainly the second game left a few plot points unresolved but I don’t know if it was originally intended that way, the fact it is Star Wars probably means LucasArts did mean for it to be.

Not only that but this year we've got the end of the Halo trilogy starring Master Chief. Two more games have already been confirmed by other studios expanding the universe, and making me actually play a RTS game.

Bioware and Bungie aren’t new to this trilogy business either. Bungie had the Marathon games on the Mac. Baldur’s Gate was intended to be one but in the excitement and moving technology of Neverwinter Nights the third part, Throne of Bhaal, was relegated down to Expansion Pack rather than a fully fledged game.

Not every game can be a Halo though and have its trilogy play out. Shenmue was a fantastic game, but the second came just as the Dreamcast was about to fall in it’s grave. It was later released on the XBox but low sales figures have left the third instalment on permanent hiatus. Then there’s Advent Rising a game that promised to blow everyone away and proceeded to not sell at all. No doubt there are people who enjoyed it and they only got part one of its three part story.

On the other foot we have Valve with Half-Life that was intended as a trilogy but they have now said that they're just going to keep going while they still have ideas and people are still playing. Notice how there is three Half-Life 2 episodes. Coincidence? You decide.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Microsoft Addiction Points

I knew as soon as I started playing on my 360 I knew I was in danger of getting terribly addicted to Achievements. Thankfully to start with it was relatively low level addiction as I slowly clawed my way towards several peoples scores who I wanted to match. Then Drew got his 360.

Nothing that harsh was said but I did like to point out his little score. So he made it a competition He halved my lead in no time at all. Really I wasn't bothered but then he made a comment about how he was about to take me over in Dead Rising. Low and Behold he took over my 480 and jumped up to 680, and the race was on. Yes, I am well aware of how petty this is but damn it, it gives my need to get 100% in games a bit more of a competitive aspect.

On the plus side I get to appreciate even more how good Dead Rising is. Third time through and I'm still finding new stuff. This game is amazing, the shine is only just starting to tarnish now that I've hit the maximum level.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Gangsters and Tropical Islands

Happy New Year Everybody. A New Year and my first post is about two old topics. I've finally managed to finish two games this week, Far Cry: Instincts and Saints Row.

I'd never got round to the original version on the PC and I realised I needed at least one version under my belt. Far Cry: Instincts was touted as one of the best shooters on the X-Box and saying that to a die hard Halo fan like me is certainly something. It was something I totally agreed with when I started the game, the intro is fantastic even if I did get a bit lost swimming straight away. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, even the bad handling of the vehicles wouldn’t put me off ploughing on. It seems odd to me that both Half-Life 2 and Far Cry go for this style when Halo has proven what can be done because everyone knows how much fun throwing a Warthog around can be. The hang glider section felt pointless too, I really didn't see any point of even doing that since it was far easier to do it via Jet Ski. The game only offered you the chance to use the hang glider twice, the first time the only real time it was needed and I ditched it through not knowing how to control it and finding the aforementioned Jet Ski.

However the vehicle controls are a minor niggle. Much more importantly is the end section of the game. From what I understand from Smith and Daz this was a big problem for Far Cry and Instincts has the same though I've got the feeling it's not as bad. At one point in the story one of the main bad guys legs it to another island and you follow. The minute you land on the new island things go downhill. I can't quite put my finger on what was so bad about it but I loved playing the first part of the game, once I got to this bit I only carried on because I figured I must be near the end. Once again a fantastic start to a game, let down by the ending.

Then we have Saints Row. I've already covered my thoughts on the gameplay so I'm just going to give brief thoughts on the story. Now Saints Row obviously falls under the category of GTA clone but to the extant this game goes to is extreme. More than once during a mission I got a serious sense of deja vu, one or two missions are directly ripped from the Rockstar series. That said the ending for this game is fantastic, though while there was plenty of side missions left to do I felt going back after that would ruin it for me so Saints Row has returned to its owner. Yes the driving’s bad, one aspect of the story revealed in the end sequence wasn't covered enough but decent shooting and a fairly good story do make it worth while.