Friday, December 29, 2006

Gears of War

Gears of War (GoW) is a first person shooter for the X360. It won best 360 game and game of the year on GS. I was surprised when I head this as I thought it was going to go to the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion which is a open-ended RPG that came out earlier this year. So, when my friend got it, I was round their instantly to check it out and see if it was worthy of the award. In short, yes it is. Although I prefer Oblivion, the addition of multiplayer gives this game have a very strong advantage.

I started off with the tutorial. With in seconds you are wowed by the game graphics. Then, you are presented with a choice. You can either go one way, which is safer but longer, or the other way which is quicker but far more dangerous. Choices such as these are scattered throughout the game, but, as I understand, are few and far between. I choose the safer one so that I could get used to the controls. The controls are very intuitive with only a couple of buttons as a surprise. One of the main features to survive is pressing (A). This will put you behind any cover you are near. You then use left trigger to come out and aim (using the right trigger to fire). Alternatively, you can "blind fire" which is where you hold your gun above cover and shoot. The A button also allows you to dive to over cover quickly so you can improve your position without too much danger. However, while you are still getting used to the controls, you may find yourself darting from two bits of cover when you just want to walk away. Also, you can, when you are hiding behind cover, jump over it in a cool, action movie style way. The problem is, to do this you must first hind behind the cover, so, if you are just trying to look cool it is difficult.

The combat, which is clearly the focus of this game, is fairly standard bolstered up by above-standard graphics, awesome physics and a chainsaw! Combat is almost non-stop and very chaotic. Picking up the game thread, my friend loaded himself in, which was perfectly seamless and this happened whilst watching a intro video which I was very impressed with. In combat, you need to hide behind cover if you want to survive for a lengthy period of time. As I mentioned, you press LT to come out of the cover and aim. You then must quickly find a enemy, shoot it and hide again. You can carry up to four weapons but in the game play I experienced, more advanced weapons, such as sniper rifles, would be completely unsuitable as the enemy is about 20 feet from you and swarm towards you in huge packs. The common tactic is just blowing them away as quickly as you can with the machine gun you have. Sometimes, if the enemy surround you, cover is unusable you must charge at them with the chainsaw. This is both very effective and bloody affair with blood being spurted all over the screen.

In the middle of combat, one of your team with probably be killed, in my case, it was my friend. In the game you can bring people back to life or "revive" them as the game calls it. As I ran towards him and leaped over the cover I noticed the bady was still there. I kicked up my chainsaw, sliced him and was just in time to save my friend. Just as I did, he shot a bady from behind me. What makes this game so good, is that this pace and intensity is non-stop. Portals open in the ground and the enemy come pouring out of them. You roll around on the floor dodging fire and searching for some cover, only to see it get shredded by the bullets.

The multiplayer manages to recreate this mayhem with only two people. The maps are dense which makes finding each other quite easy. A battle with 8 or 16 people would just be physco. In MP you can revive yourself except when you have been chain sawed. However, while you are reviving yourself, the other person can stop you by shooting you, stamping on your head or chain sawing you.

In one MP game, we were in this mansion, I was hiding behind a wooden pillar and he had just entered on the ground floor. I swung round the post and sprayed him with fire. He dived to the floor and shot up at my deck. I inadvertently undocked from the cover, which was shedding splinters at the time. I dived to the next pillar and slammed my back to it. I swung round again but he was already behind the sofa. I shot the sofa and he saw it shred in front of his eyes. He leapt over the remains’, I shot him. He fell. I ran over to finish him off, but in my desire to be speedy I docked on to some cover and kept diving between the opposite post. I finally got free and he shot me having revived himself. I desperately tapped (a) to bring myself back to life but he was already on top of me with a chainsaw. By this point I had broken a sweat and was breathing fast. "Again?" he said, "Hell yeah."

The graphics have raised the bar to a very high standard, and this wasn't even on a HD TV. The detail on everything is astounding and the blood is, well, bloody.

I think this puts us in very good stead for a solid Halo 3. This game has showed what the system is capable of as the game showed no noticeable lag, even in intense fire fights. If Halo 3 can reproduce this intensity, which has never previously been possible (which is why I like DF2 so much as the MP has the chaotic intensity which every other game is now starting to reach), but with the amazing Halo 3 vehicles. If Bungie do this, Halo 3 truly will be amazing.

On the note of Halo 3. I have a theory that I am going to try and validate. A month or so ago there were rumours that Brutes would be playable in the upcoming Halo. This rumour was inspired because the Brutes were having a lot of attention realted to weapons development. This is what happened with the Elite in Halo 2. Then, on the front of XBM there was the Halo "3" with "the holy trinity" written underneath in Halo script. Everyone just interpreted this as the holy 3 games. Today, I viewed this video and it spent quite a long time dipicting the time gone in to developing the new brute. My theory is this, That you can control the Brute, in a battle against a greater evil. These 3 act as the Holy Trinity. A more off the wall idea is that it will be like "Brute Force" (coincidence?) which allowed you to switch between the different characters. At the very least, the Brutes are going to play a crucial role in Halo 3.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

2006 Analysis and 2007 an outlook

2006 has been a very good year for gaming news. The news started off with 360s being out of stock. The world followed posters and read numerous reports to try and find out when the Microsoft Xbox 360 would be back in stock. Finally, about March it was possible to walk in to a store and pick up a 360. Ironically, up till that point, the 360 did not have a very strong range of games and no must-have games. Then, the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was released. This was a open ended free roaming game. It has over 100 hours of gameplay and virtually unlimited re-playability due to the shear number of choices you could make. You could even become a vampire!

At this time, everyone knew the PS3 and the Revolution were on the horizon, but did not know any details. Shockwaves were then sent around the world as Nintendo renamed their next generation console the "Wii." At first people thought this was a April fools joke, but Nintendo were deadly serious. Just when people were starting to doubt Nintendo E3 came along and Nintendos press conference blew everyone away. Starting with the legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto orchestrating a band playing the theme tune to Legend of Zelda and concluding with a extremely realistic game of tennis the audience were mesmerized. Sonys, however was just a collection of numbers and all Microsoft had to offer were some shots of Halo 3 and some more numbers. E3 came and went, people returned buzzing about the Wii.

In July, Sony announced that their controller would be reverting to the dual shock except with a *wait for it* tilt function *gasp*. This was clearly copying Nintendo, however, the fact that they criticized Nintendo for it is clearly hypocritical. Then, we were all shocked when announcements came that E3 was being down-sized to a much smaller event. Next came Microsoft announcing its new hardware, these included the 360 steering wheel which was later nominated as the best new hardware. Also around this time, more details were released about the upcoming Splinter Cell game. The summer was also littered with reports of PS3 delays, blu-ray malfunctions and other such negative stories for Sony.

September was big month for consoles as both Sony and Nintendo released important information. Sony announced that its console would not be coming out in time for Christmas in Europe and would be coming out in March. It also down-sized its estimated amounts of consoles in America and Japan. Nintendo, however, released the launch date and price for the Wii. £179 8th December.

Not much happened in October as it is a Games month. Amongst the releases was Medieval Total War 2, which managed to get a 16+ which is very impressive for a RTS. Sony announced that it had gone in to the red.

November the Wii and PS3 come out in America and Japan. Once again, Wii very positive and Ps3 disappointing. In Japan, the PS3 only managed to get 86 000 and it was not much better in America. Furthermore, in the America launch, someone was shot in a armed robbery because he refused to give the robbers money because he wanted a PS3. The Wii, however, managed to get 600 000 Wiis in America. This was better than both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Everyone in Europe felt down as neither console had reached us. Not so positive for Nintendo was the opening collection of reviews for the Wii with only Legend of Zelda and a American football game attaining high scores.

December was a quite month with Gamespot having to makes its own news. GS released a comparison of the Xbox 360 and the PS3 on the graphics front, and the 360 won, much to the shock of many. The month concluded with GS best and worst awards.

So what do we have to look forward for in 2007. Well, all consoles are out so now we can settle down and release some good games. News wise, we will have to see what comes of E3, the PS3 controller and the Wii Controller. It will be a good year for playing games with Halo 3, Metroid Prime and Grand Torisomo for each of the consoles.

Why are Wii Waiting

It is Christmas tommorow for anyone who has just come out of a coma, and Nintendo have managed to get their Console the Wii out in time for it, they have won best new hardware on GS awards (see previous posts) and the motion sensing controller works. They have done that hard bit. So, am I looking forward to getting one for Christmas. No, and not because I do not want one. Like every other console, there are not enough to go around. Admitiedly, they have more than Sony or Microsoft, however, it is still a disappointment for many.

Any readers of this blog will know that I want a Wii (I am bursting :P), so I phoned up my local Game store to find out what the stocks were like. They said they were completly sold out and were not expecting another dilivery before Christmas. They also said they had between 30 and 50 preorders that they had not fufilled. Then, thursday evening, I happened to notice on the Game website that they had updated the Wii page. They said they were reciving limited amounts of Wii's in thursday/friday. I went to Game on Friday and there weren't any and it was to busy for me to ask any questions. I think compared the the X360, you will be able to get your hands on one before March, however, I do not think you are going to get away with is as a "late" Christmas present.

From everyone (me) here at have a merry Christmas, and happy new year full of fun and rewarding games for the Wii.

Stay tuned for 2006 Analysis, 2007 outlook and the best of 2006 annual awards.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gears of War beats Oblivion

Continuing on my old post, continuing to go through the awards at Gamespot and was stunned to discover, the best game on 360 was NOT The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, but in fact Gears of War. Now, although GS rave about Gears of War, and I should have seen it coming, the other reviews I have read have said it is good, but just a FPS. Oblivion really was something else with in-depth play incomparable, stay tuned for more surprised as I continue in to THE BEST AND WORST OF 2006 AS SAID BY GS

Gamespot bows down to Wii

Gamespot have recently released their best and worst of 2006. I managed to grab a look at it today. I cycled through it, two points interested me. The best news story of 2006 was the cracking of Sonys dictatorship. Up to this point I thought GS were anti Wii and pro PS3. I was even more shocked to find that The best new hardware was in fact the Wii. The fact that GS are turning on Sony, with both this and my aforementioned Ps3 Xbox 360 Graphics Comparison, Sony may finally be losing its grip on the games market.

Also, the second show from my show is now available on both iTunes and on the website here. I interviewed a Chris Burnside whose blog is, he owns a Wii and I "grilled" him on it. The show experienced a number of technical issues, the first 2 and a half minutes are silence, the sound quality was not very good, and recorded conversation with my local game store was not audible. The last problem I am dealing with, I will upload the file to my own server and I will post a link. In short, it said they did not know when they were getting more Wiis and had between 30-50 preorders still left to fulfil. See future posts for updates. Possibly in about 5 minutes.

It is Christmas, but more importantly it is the end of the year. Hopefully, 27th 28th time I will be posting a couple of posts. One summarizing 2006 and giving a outlook to 2007, the other giving my favourite video game, music CD, and new film, with two runner ups for each. Stay tuned for that.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Live pocast thingy

Gaming show:
Confirmed show topics:

Wii interview
Wii Chanels
PS3 Controller
X360 Vs. PS3 Graphics comparison
What does the PS3 have? [debate if there are any listeners]
Wii controllers recalled
Manic ones game of the week!

Tune in this week at 8pm GMT tommorow.

The person I will be interviewee's blog is a good read and can be read at

3.2 MillionWiimotes called back

There have been a great deal of reports on the internet about over-enthusiastic players swinging controllers areound madly. This then causes them to let og of the controller and it flys out of their hands breaking many items including a large, flat screen HD TV! A number of customers are blaiming it on the weak wrist strap. As a result Nintendo are calling back 3.2 billion controllers to fit a new, stronger cord.

To find out examples of what damages the controller has caused there is a blog donnated to it. Wii have a problem

Also, searching youtube for Wii have a problem or a term simmilar to that, will no doubt result in some interesting and comical videos.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Technical Issues

My appologies for anyone using a RSS reader, you may have recived 25 posts again. This, I belive is due to me upgrading to the new blogger.

I am looking for people who own a Wii and are based in the UK to talk on my next blogtalkradio show [link in sidebar.] If you are interested please leave a comment or email me. If you know someone with one, point them in my direction. I already have a couple of candits, so I will choose closer to the date.

Sorry again,

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wii Launched & Blog Update

The Wii came out today, but if I hadn't already have known, I wouldn't have. It was some what a anti-climax for me. There were no adverts in game. I still don't have one. No one I know has one, I can't play on one in the shop and there hasn't been a surge in reviews because it has been out in America. The only difference is, I now have a email saying happy Wii day. Wii day was a major let down. Even on GS, it was just a todays stories; IT WASN'T EVEN A FEATURE. To combat this I am going to scoure to blogosphere in search for a English Wii owner and interview him on my gaming show.

Happy Wii Day

I, as no one will probably notice, have switched to the new blogger. I am going to try and go though my old posts and label them, but from this point on they will be labeled. In gaming news, the Halo 3 trailer has been released and is viewable here. And on that note TSAH2 is very funny flash movie and is viewable here.

Predicted game of the year: Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Xbox 360 Versus PlayStation 3 Graphics Comparison

Xbox 360 Versus PlayStation 3 Graphics Comparison - Features at GameSpot
This is a major point. The selling point of the PS3, was that it was superior i hardware at the VERY least. In this comparison, the graphics are usually worse, and also the frame rate was meant to be slower. Either Sony have been lying, or there is something seriously wrong with their hardware. On the last page, scroll down to the comment by ellisthered it is very good.

This has stunned me. The 360, I always thought was a better console overall, because it had Xbox live, a rumble controller and good graphics, on top of a suitable price tag. However, I thought that, if you paying £550 for something, the very least you want from it is it to be the best at SOMETHING.

Sony have, as I originally said they would, screwed this up. They say that Microsoft are wrong for launching two different price packages, and then do that. They say that the Wii controller is gimmicky, then copy it and, because they don't have as much time to make it good, it really is gimmicky. They price it way above the other consoles. They claim it is going to have the best graphics and processing power: it doesn't. They waste time and gamers money adopting an obscure format (blu-ray) like they did on the PSP. The only thing Sony have done right is not change the console name so millions of people go out and buy it because it is the PLAYSTATION 3. Will there be a PS4, I would have always said yes, but I don't know anymore. It will be interesting to see what happens to Ebay prices after this report. And Sony's stock price for that matter.

"All your base are belong to us"