Thursday, March 29, 2007

Xbox 360 Advertising Campaign and new PS3 Model

Wow, second post of today! Saw this picture and laughed:
That is good PR. Also, Sony have announced an Elite version of the PS3 that will come with an 80gb HDD, further details yet to be announced. Has the world forgotten the Wii, Microsoft are going at Sony, and Sony at Microsoft, but the Wii is just staying out of it. It is because they don't have HD and aren't even bothered. An example of this confilct is a letter Sony sent to PS3 owners:

"We think every PlayStation 3 owner should have an 'elite' experience, which is why we include an internal hard drive and HDMI output in every PS3 we sell, along with the 50 GB of storage capacity on a high definition Blu-ray disc. Sony has been the strongest advocate of high definition as the future of next-generation gaming. This requires high-definition components, including HDMI output, and large storage devices to deliver and store all that rich and vivid HD content. Microsoft's announcement today not only legitimizes Sony's PS3 strategy, it moves us closer to adopting universal standards in the area of high definition gaming that will benefit game developers and ultimately the end user."

Maybe they will destroy each other and then every game developer will have to develop for Wii.

Civilization 4 : Beyond the Sword

A new expansion pack has just been announced for the critically acclaimed Civ 4. It is set to come out July 2007. The expansion pack will include:

  • 10 new Civs - This is predictable but still good none the less, particularly if you have mastered a way to beat all the civilizations currently included.
  • 12 new scenarios - Not really bothered by this, the scenarios are fun but I prefer the main game.
  • 16 new leader - Once again, predictable but good.
  • 5 Wonders - Meh
  • Expanded Space Victory: Winning the race to Alpha Centauri will now require more strategic planning and tactical decision making. - Meh,I don't normally go for this route, this should be interesting to see what they have changed though.
  • Corporations: A new gameplay feature similar to religion that allows players to found companies and spread them throughout the world. Each corporation provides benefits in exchange for certain resources. - This sounds pretty cool, and good for me because I never could be bothered with religion so maybe this will be an alternative more suited to my style of play.
  • Espionage: Now available much earlier in the game, this expanded feature offers players many new ways to spy on opponents, stir citizen unrest and defend your own government's secrets. - Not too worried about it, I never use spies, if the AI uses them I could be in trouble
  • Events: New random events - such as natural disasters, pleas for help, or demands from their citizens - challenge players with obstacles that must be overcome for their civilizations to prosper. - This sounds very good and will mean I can play the game without needing to go to war for incredible tenseness.
  • Apostolic Palace: The United Nations will become available earlier in the game providing a way for players to win a diplomatic victory earlier. New resolutions will also be added which will expand the available diplomatic options. - YAY, I really want to use the UN but I have never got the chance because by this point I am usually at war or desperately trying to get in to first place to worry about this. Bringing it forward means I might be able to use it.
  • Advanced Starts: A major fan request, this new feature will enable players to "buy" components of a custom-tailored empire and begin play in the later part of the game, allowing them to experience many of the new features of the expansion in a shorter amount of time. - This sounds cool, although I am not 100% sure what it means.
  • Enhanced AI: The AI has received many enhancements making it tougher to beat on the higher difficulty levels. The ways in which the AI will attempt to achieve victory have also been expanded. - This is never a bad thing, but then I never had a problem with the AI being stupid before.
  • You can view the full press release and see the art work here. I am looking forward to this release and will probably get it for my birthday or something.

Art work for the future Civ 4 Beyond Swords

In blog news:
I have added Google Analysis to this blog as my old site meter was deleted when I re-did the design. So now I know where you (or at least your server) live.
Also, you can now view this blog at, I registered this domain to see how it worked for a website I am doing. That URL should be a lot easier to remember.
I am breaking up for easter tomorrow, so expect more posts, maybe even a Civ review. Yeah, right...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life on Mars

The best TV program :Life on Mars, is about to end. It is on in 5 minutes time BB2 9:00pm. Watch it, it has the blend of comedy and action just right. The attention to detail is very good.

We need to establish if this is a hate crime

As opposed to one of those I really really like you ones

Very funny

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Film Reviews: Crash and 300

This weekend, I saw both Crash and 300. Both have cryptic names and both are very good.


This film is about 6 stories that seem un-related but turn out to be connected. The film starts with the end, at this point it doesn't make any sense. The film has a central theme of racism, which would be quite heavy, but the film has added a touch of humour. The film remains serious and powerful, but easier on the mind. The characters are well developed and they each have something that makes you pity them. All the characters develop well through the film and you are on the edge of your seat to find out what will happen. The story can be quite confusing, keeping track of who's who, but at the end it all makes sense. This film is very good and is definitely worth watching. It is also good enough to see twice because there is plenty you won't have picked up.


Saw this in the cinema today. I wasn't sure what to expect with this film as I had heard mixed reviews. After a breif kuffufle getting in, I sat down. The film is about the battle between 300 (hence the name) Spartan and basically every slave in Asia (like 10000000000000 or something). The film was not true to the history at all as some people have got swords for arms. It was an action film. Complete with the heavy metal music, the slow motion and the arrogant sardonic humour. The film had very little story and prehaps 5 scenes in the entire film depicting it. It was basically a huge action scene. But a really good one. It had cool kicks, manic charges, huge elephants and impossible odds. Like I said, the film contained humour. Such as this bit:

Captain: *Killing the barely alive after battle* Sir, the enemy commander wants to meet with you
*Eating apple* Yes, I see, well there is no reason to be un-civil
Captain: No sir, *stabs man lying on floor* no reason at all
Brillant. Even though you know how it is going to end, you find yourself wishing it won't, and the closing scene where the survior brings back 10000 Spartans is very cool. Overall, at fantastic film and deffintly worth going to see. Watch again: Yes, because it is just class fighting.

Thankyou for reading, both of these films are very good and worth seeing.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

100th Post

This is the 100th post for! The first post was posted Saturday, June 25, 2005. For 2005 it was mostly reviews as I had not got in to the news scene at that point. My favourite post is
Age of Empires: A relevation, or more of the same

2006 was a far bigger year with 51 posts in total. Making up over half of all the posts. By the end I was really in to this blog. Favourite post:

And now we are in to 2007. What looks like to be my best blog year. With the new version of Blogger, my new activites in GS and my web design skills coming along. I have already posted 23 posts. By my maths that means I should have 69 posts by the end of the year. If you want to see what was posted when, remember all my posts are archived and are broken down in to year and then month on the right hand side of the pages.

Thank you for reading my blog, if you've been here from the start or have just started. Remember, I have a podcast (haven't done one of them in a while) and spread the word.

Veteran Gamer - Where gamers don't have to go, to be in the know

Legend of Zelda: Twighlight Princess

Legend of Zelda: Twighlight PrincessPlatform: Wii
Rating: 12+
Type: Puzzle Action/Adventure
Graphics: 8.5/10
Story: 9.5/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Multiplayer: 0/10 (No MP)
Sound: 9/10
Wiimote Ussage: 7/10
Overall: 9/10

Legend of Zelda is the game for the Wii that EVERYONE has. It is the only game released with the Wii that is critically accepted, mature and sold a lot of units. The game is popular because it is Legend of Zelda. The game is renowned and was sold out at launch. The game features excellent puzzles and an explorable map.

In this game you play a character named Link. You start off in a small peaceful village where you are a polite young boy who everyone likes. To get you used to the controls you have to complete a number of mini adventures involving riding your horse to shepard away goats to fighting a scarecrow to learn how to use your sword. The story line in this game is fantastic. This game demonstrates that consoles are still a very viable media for telling a story.

The graphics have a very artistic style. So although they are not beautifully rendered, they look cool and some elements of the game have been sharpened and when you kill a boss, it does look good. There aren't any graphical errors were something impossible happens. Also, the draw distance is fairly impressive. Rocks and core grass aren't very impressive but the grass that you can cut down is nicely animated. The design in to the enemies is excellent, each type is unique.

I would go in to detail about the story line but what makes it so good is the twists and turns that makes it good. It is suffice to say that it is very good and even if this game had absolutely terrible game play, the story line could almost single handedly save it.

The use of the Wiimotes capabilities is a little more suspect. All the different sword moves are controlled by holding down different combinations of buttons and simply waving the Wiimote. How you wave the Wiimote has no effect on the move. A couple of moves make use of the Numchuq , but once again it isn't intuitive or logical. This element of the game could be improved if say, you wanted to do a jump attack, you brought the Wiimote down in front of you. Or a spin attack was done by swinging the Wiimote round you, even if the stab was you stabbing rather than swinging the game would be better. In credit to the game, the aiming for bow and arrow is well done and there are nice touches like when you are fishing or flying a bird. Both of these use the Wiimote well.

The gameplay in the game is both good and bad. The good, the puzzles are integrated seamlessly in to the environment and are compelling and tricky. The majority of the time they can be solved without going completely insane. The map works well and there are virtually no load times at any point. Nor is there any lag. The combat is quite repetitive but simple and fun. The bosses are too easy to kill but are fairly rewarding as you have to work out how to use you new piece of equipment to kill them. The problem lies mainly in the temple, sometimes there are a few puzzles that require you to run around the temple. Now, because all the temples have to fit in to the style all the rooms look quite similar and so at first it is quite confusing. On top of this, the second you leave a room, all the enemies re spawn. This is both good and bad. It is good because it means that if you get stuck you can go back and kill some creatures. It is bad because in combat you can get quite disorientated and so you end up going to wrong way. This feels more annoying than challenging. The length of the game is good and there are plenty of minigames littered around the game. On top of this there are a large number of collectables that will keep you entertained for much longer. Over all the gameplay is good despite some of the problems.

The music deserves a special mention as it is very good. You will find yourself humming the tunes for where you are at the moment. They do not distract from the game and react to what's happening so builds a sense tension. Also, character design needs recognition too. Some of the characters will make you crack up with laughter, others will make you cry and they all work and develop well in the story. There is no multi-player but that is not surprising and it does not feel like it is a missing element.

In conclusion this is a very good game, with good graphics, fantastic puzzles and a great length. The problem lies with the lack of use of the Wiimote. I think that if you have a Wii and a GC controller, if you can get the GC version cheaper, get that as the Wiimote is not used well enough. The story line has gripped me as I am dieing to find out how some of the characters develop, this is a credit to NIntendo. If you have a Wii, this is a game to get. So much so, it was sold out long after the console!

Friday, March 23, 2007


I got the chance to play on a 2D version of worms my friend has bought off the Xbox Live Arcade. When I heard it was 2D it was over the moon. When I played on 3D worms my reaction was, "well I can play this, and enjoy myself, but it just isn't worms." Worms is possibly one of the greatest ideas for games to date. The simple controls and the in-depth strategy and skill make a brilliant combo. The game is very good a loyal to the original, but a little short of customisation and weapons.

The graphics aren't as good as they could have been. The back grounds on each levels are very well done. However, the actual environments don't look very different to what they did on the PS1. I know they had to keep it 2D, but they could have had 3D explosions and the like. I admit that it was released on the Xbox Live ARCADE, but that doesn't mean in can't have nice explosions, especially when it is 800pts. Having said this, the graphics are both smooth and clean.

The AI is very good, when you are alive they play easy on you, but when you are dead they do their best to finish the game quickly. With the difficulty set to easy, the play as a believable human with some experience. I never saw them do anything daft, they might have been a tad to hard for the easiest difficulty but it wasn't annoyingly hard. When you are dead, some of the shots they pull off are actually incredible. They will fire it up, and because of the wind it will be guided in a small cave where someone will be hiding.

The customisation lets this game down a little. The game maps once again are generated and there are pre-sets to choose from, however this is where the choices stop. You cannot stipulate how many mines there are, what weapons you start with etc. This kind of choice was part of what made worms so good that they didn't need to include a real single player. Also missing is a wide variety of weapons. It has the same amount as the original Worms. This is fine except: why? They could very easily have copied all the weapons in. There are no super sheep, pneumatic drill has been lost, and the holy hand grenade is gone. Once again, this isn't disastrous for the game, but there really is no need for it.

I only played off-line multiplayer. This worked fine although you cannot use multiple controllers. This is not really a major problem. The game keeps scores of how many games you have played, worms lost, worms killed etc. It also gives you awards at the end of each round based on how well you performed. This are both amusing and interesting if you wish to analyse you performance. Another annoyance is the fact you must watch the AI battle it out at the end.

In conclusion, this game is very good, but I fear simply because it is 2D and worms. I think there are a number of small problems with this game that could and should have been resolved before releasing. Also, this game does show the XBLA in a very positive light as it means that we might get classics back. They are far too simple to pay £40+ for but that doesn't stop them being good games. Hurrah

PS3 Launch

The PS3 is out. Wow. The next generation is officially here in England. Song handed out, get this, FREE Bravia HD TVs worth £2000! Suddenly the PS3 seems so cheap. Now a lot of the people at the launch interpreted this as "proof that Sony is a really nice company" aside from the fact that Sony is just like every other company: heartless. All they were trying to do was get some press coverage seeming as they predicted they weren't going to sell out. They did not sell out, only about 150 people turned up for the launch and there were 600 consoles to be bought. Back in my town, they are in stock now (sadly not with a free Bravia TV) Sadly for Sony, this launch is a failure. I should be able to get myself invited round somewhere and play on a PS3 and it won't be long before Game have a demo one set up so a review will be on the way.

If you are wondering why there is a lack of Wii posts, this is because Nintendo is keeping everything (and always has kept everything) under tight wraps. I am going to try and piece together a preview of Battalion Wars 2. I have plenty of Wii posts in the pipeline, but Nintendo is making it quite hard at the moment to post anything. For example, I wanted to review the ORIGINAL Mario, but the Wii shop isn't working. I need to finish my Zelda review as I have has 2 people add my on GS since I copied all my reviews over to it.

In addition, I managed to get a go on Worms from the Xbox Live Arcade. It reverts back to the 2D format it started at. This is much better, and I had great fun playing on it. Some of the options are a little limited compared to what they have been previously but it does have the addition of Xbox Live. Full(ish) review coming later tonight/tomorrows. Thanks for the recent comments on my blog, your feedback and contributions will help me improve the blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

PS Backwards Compatability

Films, Gaming and Life.: My PS2 compatibility list

This blog has a list of games he has that will/will run with issues won't run list (for the PS3) Although 75% game will work, many of them with issues, some with serious issues.

It will be interesting to see what "serious issues" and "minor issues" entail. I reckon that by tomorrows there will be websites dedicated to reporting amusing problems had with old games and YouTube will receive a hail storm of videos. That is, if anyone plays on their PS2 games and not there PS3 games...

Incidentally, to further discredit Sony further, their website only let you check individual games rather than seeing the entire list. This was presumably to hide their failure. I am sure it won't be long until someone works through every game and creates that list... maybe I should do it...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tennis Master

I stumbled upon Tennis Master when I was looking to see what prices Amazon had for Wii games. Thinking it might be THE in-depth tennis game for the Wii I wanted to find out more. The release date was March 2008. A little too far away for me to place my pre-order. It was being produced by a company called "System 3" Naturally I Goggled that and although there were results, the ones that actually were companies were selling boats. Intrigued, I added "Tennis Master" to the search query. The results were a range of GS, IMB and other game news sites but no System 3. All the game sites said this mysterious company would be making it. Further research revealed that it had originally been a DS title. It amazes me how hard it is to find their site though. I will be keeping a eye on this game. Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

GDC 2007

GDC, although not finished, has received its key note speeches from Nintendo and Sony (it ends March 9th).


The Wii has not had a overwhelming number of great titles since its release, furthermore, this speech was hyped up the night before when Shigeru Miyamoto said he had a lot to say at the speach having recived a standing ovation. However, nothing was actually said. The speach started 30 min late and only finished 15 minutes late. He rambled about the principles of games developments which is all well and good, except thats all he did. He did not talk about any plans for the Wii, or even up coming games they are making.


Not often I praise Sony is it? However, their speech was far more interesting. It was mainly about a new free internet service they will (hopefully) be releasing later this year. It is a social game called "Home." You sign in to it and go to a virtual world. Once you have created your avatar, you go to the lobby. From here you can meet friends and go to a number of places. Namely, a bowling ally, a cinema where you will actually be able to pay to watch real films (providing Sony get copyright) and go clothes shopping. On the last example most clothes will be free, however, Sony hope to include the opportunity to buy say Nike clothes at a fee. Also, you have an apartment. You can get loads of, once again, branded stuff. There is going to be a fairly impressive physics engine in this game, and you will be able to kick your furniture around. This sounds really good and, although not enough to make me rush out and buy a PS3, I am beginning to think it kind of rivals the 360.

I am slightly concerned that as this could be the gaming event that takes over as the new E3 it was deathly boring. Good thing I read it for you to give you a concise version.

On a unrelated note, one poor person sold is PS2 days before Sony announced the downgrading of the PS3. On a more positive note, 1000 games are scheduled to work on launch and Sony said they would prioritize the good games.

Full PS3 preview coming soon...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PS3 Pic

My friend sent me this picture. Found it hysterical. The only improvement is if the dude had a hat! Full PS3 report coming soon.

Lego MMO

Two days ago Lego announced it would be teaming up with NetDevil (creator of Auto Assault) to create a Lego themed MMO. Although no details have been released I think I know what might happen. I think you will be able to create a Lego character by mix and matching through the hundreds of pieces that make up Lego figures and maybe some exclusively for on-line. Once you have done this, you will be put in to a world. You will be able to buy bricks and land and build. One would be able to build houses, cars planes etc. You would give it properties so you could actually use it in the way you intended. You then drive around the Lego world looking at other peoples creations. This would also be a way for Lego to advertise new products as they could have them on display.

Also, as this would not make a very interesting game, all the different ranges would have missions to play through. You would be able to play through in cooperative mode. In essence, I think the game would be a step up from Lego Star Wars and on-line. This will be the right direction as the Lego Star Wars games were very good (my brother is getting one on Xbox so you will get a review!) . Lego is well known for really quite good computer games so this is definitely worth keeping a eye on. I have subscribed to receive news and I will make sure to keep you posted. In terms of pricing I don't think there is any chance of a monthly subscription as it is aimed at a younger audience. It is due 2008.

Related links:
Lego site

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gut Reactions: PS3 International Hardware - Features at GameSpot

Gut Reactions: PS3 International Hardware - Features at GameSpot: "It's gotten to the point that if Sony said it was replacing the PS3's cell processor with bits of string and biscuits, European residents wouldn't be all that shocked."

This is shocking. The PS3 is actually being DOWNGRADED for Europe. Now, as it is well known, I am no fan of the PS3, I just hope anyone who is the is a wake up call. Sony don't care about you. This is just when I was beginning to understand the price as, providing Blu-ray wins the HD competition, is only £19 less than the X360+HD DVD drive. However, if you don't want to watch HD movies, still ridiculously expensive. Back to the point, this just shows that Sony have really lost it. I recommended reading the report as there are some very funny lines. I could only use on as a quote though. There is one about BBC making a console and making the rest of the world wait 10 years which is funny too.

On a lighter note, games RRP is not £70 but has been put down to £40, £5 less the 360 titles.

Climate Change

Summer is here. It is a nice sunny day with warmish temperatures, there is a new KC album out and I am in to the Beach Boys again. Thus proving it is summer. But, it is only early March. Now, when it comes to global warming I would like to think I'm not naive about the whole issue. However, I always thought the change would be gradual and other the years it would be severe, but not much change from the year before. For example, we would just grow accustomed to the fact some summers it would be too hot to physically leave the house in say Italy. This is NOT the case. This year, the UK has had two bouts of snow, one closed schools all over the country. This has never happened in my life. In the same year, record temperatures in seas were recorded. And now, its March, and we are already discussing having classes outside!

Because of my age, this DOES concern me a lot. If it only takes you half an hour to walk somewhere, walk it. And don't use land rovers unless your a farmer and you actually need it. So, want to do a little bit more. Well enter stage left "Bloggers for the World!" Now I am going to make a little logo, but until then, if you want to join, just put a link to this post in the side bar (or post if you have to) and leave a comment here with your blog address. This should raise awareness at the very least.

"All your base are belong to us"