Thursday, January 28, 2010

How did that happen?

Apparently I have 25k worth of points still to get in games I have already played, and I have no idea how that figure has suddenly ballooned. I do have a number of games on a small amount of points but I have also been striving to finish off a bunch of titles at the same time. Clearly I've not been doing particularly well on either front, ha ha!

I did manage to polish off Darksiders though which was a thoroughly entertaining 1k all around, there was a bit of unneccesary grinding at times though in order to level up the weapons and amass 100 miles on the horse but aside from that it was fairly smooth sailing and only one play through to boot.

With one game finally in the bag I have gone back to Bayonetta. I'm still spending some time finding all of the collectables and challenge portals, as I skipped through a lot of exploring in my haste to get the review done. I also spent a lot of time grinding up Halo's in order to afford the best weapons and accessories - as I want the Hard mode run throughs to be as painless as possible. With all the best equipment in hand and a ton of items I should be set to blast through the game now. So another couple of hours to wrap up my treasure hunting and then however long two more plays through the game take. Easy peasy.

After that I'm back onto the latest COD. I'll get all the single player done and then focus on polishing off the Spec Ops missions with a friend of mine. We kind of got stuck on the Smash and Grab mission but I'm sure it will fall before us the next time we play. Then we can set our sights on the few other things that need doing.

In the quest for Seriously I am at about 2500 kills now, so a quarter of the way towards the mythical benchmark. Though I do not know a single person that can say they unlocked the achievement at exactly 10,000 kills (great stat tracking by Epic there) so no doubt I'll have to go above and beyond to get this done.

Next up is a review of Vancouver 2010 - but I really can't be bothered going for the full 1k so that one will be going on the back up account for sure.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Losing stuff

First of all, I spent a good half an hour writing a post yesterday only to click Publish and have Blogger decide, apparently on a whim, that it didn't want to accede to my request and thus lose everything I had done. In frustration I swiftly closed down the page and went back to work. So now I have no idea what the hell I was rambling on about which is probably for the best.

I think I was going to mention that I got my third Red Ring of Death over the weekend (second one with this Elite too!) which came just before a session of Gears of War to boot. With the upcoming event to get 1k of gamers on NBA 07 (31st Jan at 6pm GMT) I was more than a little bummed as there was no way that MS would turnaround my repair in that time. Not to mention the fact I had a Darksiders review due and this would screw with that.

Seeing me so blue I finally got what I have been after for a few years now - a second 360. I've held off due to my better half, as she doesn't want me to spend more time on my 360 than I already do and I was happy to agree to that. This time though she gave in and let me get a back up. It makes sense in a number of ways, as it will mean I will never struggle to meet a review deadline due to a breakdown, will have a spare machine for one on one boosting (speeding up the process) and also giving us a spare media system upstairs which we have been mulling over for a while. It didn't cost me a penny either as I had nearly £400 of credit at my local store. Lovely.

I'm also not one of those people that has an interest in buying a foreign machine to play the same games over and over again. I can see why people do that - but it is just not for me. So the only boon of a second console is really as a backup and for the occasional boost if I find myself one player short.

New machine in hand I delved straight into Darksiders and loved its mix of old school puzzling and action, the game is very much in the Zelda mode and I would heartily recommend it. Not as much fun as Bayonetta for my money (though that crazy fool Stallion would disagree) but a great purchase for sure. Might just be rental fodder for particularly fast gamers though, so take that into account.

Other than that I seem to be amassing a list of semi completed games that I really need to polish off. Bayonetta is waiting on a couple of hard mode playthroughs, while I need to put just time into Katamari, plus one expert level of Left 4 Dead and the rest of the kills, Gears is waiting on Seriously and the fairly easy DLC, while in Modern Warfare 2 I have a few of the Spec Ops to finish and then the Solo game to plough through.


That's not even mentioning a bunch of games I have barely started like Project Sylpheed, Spiderman 3, Risen and others. Not cool.

I plan on polishing off Darksiders first of all (experience grinding for the loss) then going back to Bayonetta and COD. Once they are all done I'll probably have a bunch of new reviews heading my way.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bringing sexy back

Bayonetta is awesome. It plays like a dream, and the lead character has a brilliant mix of allure, charm and fun. Frankly I was expecting just a Devil May Cry clone that looked pretty but this is so much more. I literally couldn't stop playing and even before finishing the game I was going back to earlier levels in a bid to improve my performance.

This is one title that I will thoroughly enjoy getting the full 1k on, and is certainly an impressive start to the year in terms of quality games. Long may it continue.

Also hoping to hit nearly 2,000 kills by the end of the week in my quest to get Seriously on GoW. It doesn't really sound like a lot at the moment but I suppose it is a bit of progress. Considering I only had about a hundred kills just before Xmas then it seems a lot more impressive, ha ha! The only real issue, other than the time required, is how many games just lag out or drop a player. Which crews everything up royally. Bah!

Also finished off getting 100% collection on Beautiful Katamari - so now just need to sink in 100 hours (less whatever I've already played, must be near to fifty) and finish off about a dozen or so more requests so that I hit two hundred total. Boo yah!

Friday, January 08, 2010


Well I've decided to try and complete Gears of War. I'm not quite sure what the motivation was as I'd always said that I wouldn't bother with it. Still I was asked to participate in a group effort to get 10k kills and I said yes - so now I am in for the long haul.

I'm still unsure whether it is really worth the effort, though I suppose that same argument could be levelled at all achievements to be honest. So rather than get held up in some kind of zen debate, I will just say that I do have an inclination to finish off what I consider the last of the original BIG 3 multiplayer games - the others being COD 3 and Rainbow Six Vegas. As I have those two done with, it would be nice to add this bad boy to that list.

As for the sequel, I plan on getting to level 50 - snagging all achievments that lets me get and then leaving it there. Level 100 can kiss my ass.

In other news I am approaching the completion of Beautiful Katamari as well. I'm at 99% in terms of items collected so just have to grind out the last few to be done. Then I need to build the biggest katamari I can and complete about twenty more levels to be fully done. Shouldn't be too hard. After that I still need the fifty and one hundred hours played achievements - I should be approaching the first through actual time put in but the other will just need some pimping by leaving the machine on. I really love this game though so will be sad to reach the conclusion.

I also have Darksiders and Bayonetta to review - busy times indeed, but I'll cope, ha ha!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A month of news

Well kind of - it is hard to keep track of all the things you get up to over the course of a whole month, especially one as hectic as December. Still there was a good bit of gaming done and plenty more reviews added up so it wasn't all bad.

The annual cash drain that was Christmas came and went, it doesn't help that I also have to contend with both of my parents and my sister having a birthday in the festive month - thanks for that (ya bastards). But I did manage to get people some fun stuff and I always seem to enjoy buying people things rather than receiving stuff. Though presents are always welcome, ha ha!

I did manage to acquire ten games from various people though, before you all assume my family is amazingly wealthy, I would like to point out that they are all either older games or ones that I saw for a ridiculously cheap price. The majority were under a tenner, and one or two even went as high as £15 - shock, horror.

Amongst that bunch were things like Star Ocean, Tales of Vesperia and Naruto - games I actually want to play - plus tat like Inferna and Kameo which I'll play when I can be bothered.

I also got GRAW again, as at some point I MAY attempt to clean up my evil odd number issue. To do so I will need to host 1,000 matches and get 10,000 kills on GRAW, netting me 48 points. I would then need one of the easier 15 point achievements to get me to a nice round 800 in that game. Yay! My only issue is that I need to avoid getting 500 headshots in the process, fun times indeed. Whether I actually bother doing that or not is another matter.

Over the festive period I did get some gaming in too, mainly on tat due to the fact I got sent a lot of rubbish from Lovefilm one after the other. I also reviewed a fair few games too so that helped matters.

First of all I completed Dragon Age Origins which I absolutely loved from start to finish, it was very much in the vein of Baldurs Gate (more classic Bioware) which I absolutely adored on the PC. It was a superb RPG with a top notch story and plenty of random little touches that brought a smile to my face. Good times.

Next up was Tropico 3, a strategy/God simulator that was an absolute blast. While my final score may seem harsh to some - the game does have a few niggles that hold it back from greatness. Namely a very glitchy save system (unforgivable considering the hours you can put into a level) and the fact you can approach every single mission in the exact same way. Still it hooked me for a good couple of weeks and I would heartily recommend it.

After that I was lulled into playing some tat - in the form of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs closely followed by Up. Both of these games are pretty bog standard kids games, which thankfully only last a few hours so do not really have the chance to outstay their welcome. A couple of thousand easy points I guess but not much to write home about. On that topic - it seems odd to me that some people get totally slated for playing such games. I mean what difference does it make to anyone else? Sure I may not have played them before achievements came along but I have actually found some gems in there - I love the LEGO games and actually buy each one so I can play them co-op with my better half. I also enjoyed Kung Fu Panda, Viva Pinata, Beautiful Katamari and any number of gamers that so called 'serious' gamers look down upon. But anyway.........

CSI: Deadly Intent was a horror show. How such a shoddy piece of programming can be called a game in the first place is beyond me. Just having to click around the screen and engage in drab conversations does not make a game. At least classic point and click games like Monkey Island actually make you think and are chock full of amazing dialogue - this game had none of that and was just a drawn out bore fest that should soon be forgotten (please Lord....).

On the flipside was a nice surprise in Sherlock Holmes. I thought this would fall down the same route as CSI but the story was actually top notch and the puzzles wonderfully varied. Sure the graphics are butt ugly and some of the voices comically amusing, but as a slice of Holmes style storytelling it was perfect. Though my attempts to play it were not helped by my order being lost resulting in me having to reorder it. I will name no names.

I also completed Lego Indy 2 and Where the Wild Things Are, one of which was plenty of fun and the other one was immensely pants. Indy was obviously the former in case you cannot work it out, ha ha!

Despite this apparent glut of gaming (some of which actually happened in November) I did not actually play that much over Christmas, due to being out and about seeing family most days. So it was a kind of chilled out approach to playing games as and when I found time. Which makes a pleasant change.

Since then I have started, foolishly, playing Gears of War online with some friends. At the moment I have suceeded in knocking off all of the online achievemnts barring the obvious one - along with all the annex crap too. I really want to finish that bad boy off as it would mean I have a nice string of tough shooters done with (if you include Army of Two, Rainbow Six Vegas, and COD 3). No plans to tackle the sequel before you ask. Screw that noise.

I also plan on playing the first Assassins Creed game soon and then moving onto the sequel. Plus a bit of Mass Effect as well. All in a bid to clear out some old games. A recent head count of my collection puts me at 128 titles owned, which is ridiculous really. So I aim to do something about it and hopefully complete and trade at least 50 of those bad boys by the end of the year. Can I do it? Doubtful, but at least it will give me something to aim at.

I plan on chucking up a list soon - along with relevant times for completions. Bring on the noise.

Well I trust that everyone had a grand old Xmas and a fun New Year. Looks like being a good one for games.