Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A plethora of previews

First up is a bit of Pro Evolution, a series that has been on the decline somewhat in recent times. It is a shame really as I used to love playing the game year in, year out, so having FIFA overtake it kind of narked me off. Though I cannot complain about the quality of the recent FIFA games - just that I wish Pro Evo had done more to keep up.

Read all about it here: http://tinyurl.com/32he9zn

Following that is some Mortal Kombat action, a series that looks set to embrace its traditional roots and bring us the game that people have been clamouring for. Things are certainly shaping up nicely and I really hope that the franchise gets the reboot it deserves.

Read all about it here: http://tinyurl.com/2ulnq88

Next up we have the interesting Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The gameplay reminded me a lof of Borderlands, with a blend of team based combat and looting - so that can only be a good thing really. Can this be the game that finally makes good use of one of the most popular stories in literary and film history?

Read all about it: http://tinyurl.com/32jzr4d

An annual update more reliable than EA's sports games - or at least that's the way the Guitar Hero franchise seems to be going. To be honest the new Quest Mode looked like it could be a bit of fun, and the challenges should add some value to new songs and all of that old stuff you have kicking around from the last fifty zillion games (that figure may not be accurate). Will it be worth investing in though?

Find out here: http://tinyurl.com/3xv5ev2

Finally, and excitingly, we have Force Unleashed 2. The game is looking like a bit of alright barring a few frame rate issues, and the level of force style carnage is once again pretty impressive. I'm actually more excited about this game now that I've had a go with it than I was before.

Once again, a handy link: http://tinyurl.com/3ynmhyj

So plenty of preview style goodness to keep you occupied. Any questions or other information that may float your boat, then just leave a comment and I'll get back to you. SHAZAM!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Warhammer Space Marine - time to kill some Orks!

Space Marine could well be a lot of fun, but I think there are a few tweaks that could do with being resolved first. Hopefully the game will have co-op too (as it was certainly hinted at) and that the multiplayer will be awesome sauce.

Read my preview here - http://tinyurl.com/2wrnjgf

More preview goodness

Yes this time I have a look at Fallout: New Vegas thanks to a very pleasurable hour long hands on with the game - it is certainly on my wish wist and I am just finishing off the last bits of DLC for Fallout 3. Hopefully Webb won't mind me swiping an image seeing as I'm linking to my own preview on the site, ha ha!

Here is the link : Fallout: New Vegas - http://tinyurl.com/37gvrrn

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrestling fan? Prepare for some Gamescom flavoured updates.

I had the chance at Gamescom to go hands on with the upcoming instalment of Smackdown vs Raw, plus I got a fun taster of WWE All Stars which seems like a more arcadey style alternative - with over the top, buffed up wrestlers and ludicrous moves.

To be honest Smackdown seemed like more of the same, with a few minor tweaks but All Stars could turn out to be a fun little game if they get the mix right.

Read all about it here:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Gamescom previews

So I've already posted up our overall Top 10 games at the show, now I'll give you some links to the specific games I dabbled in. Expect an in depth preview for each so that your appetite for games can be well and truly sated.

First of all we have Dead Rising Case Zero: http://tinyurl.com/33xd36a

Next up is Fear 3 (or F3AR if you prefer that): http://tinyurl.com/344nvpc

Watch this space, as today should see previews for some upcoming wrestling titles (if that floats your boat) and that will be followed tomorrow by Space Marine and Fallout New Vegas.

I'm just too good to you really.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gamescom Top 10

As compiled by myself and Webb.


Suffice it to say that Webb saw more of the big game names on show, mainly because he'd had the opportunity to see them first hand at E3 so would have a better idea of what was new content and what was the same old stuff from a couple of months ago.

There are a few games on there that we both got to try out, and I'm particularly happy that I managed to score the From Dust developer session as that game looks truly awesome.

Feel free to disagree with our choices.

But you'd be wrong, ha ha!

What it did get me thinking about was just how many games I'm going to end up buying this year and whether or not I should hold off on one or two of them until they drop in price. I do have a habit of buying games and then leaving them sat on a shelf for days, weeks and months......alright even years, you got me.

Perhaps it is time to cull my preorder list.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gamescom (in case you were interested)

Well as the end draws near I suppose I should babble on about the highs and lows of the week and how the event compared to last time out.

To be honest the whole week seems to have flown by, whereas last year seemed to last a lot longer for some reason. Perhaps you can attribute that to the fact it was my first big event last time out whereas this time things seemed a little more familiar and I could be a bit more relaxed about everything.

I only managed to miss one appointment too, which was Mortal Kombat, but the good folks at Warner were kind enough to let me just turn up later on and scope out the presentation anyway. In my defence it was only because their FEAR 3 demo was delayed that I was late at all, ha ha. I think the main thing I learnt this year is that, with a press pass, the developers and publishers will bend over backwards to help you out. Obviously that will only get you so far - as getting time with the gems on offer (like Bioshock etc or some juicy interviews) will require extensive PR work. For those wanting to see the basics though you can expect everyone to be amazingly helpful.

The show floor was packed as ever, though my schedule was that hectic that I really didn't get to spend much time out there until the weekend. A shame really as it meant missing out on some decent shows and hands on experience but I'm more than happy with what we saw and what I hope to write about.

Biggest surprise had to be From Dust (formerly Project Dust) by Ubisoft. The game looks like an absolute stunner in terms of scope and presentation. All this from an arcade title too - it really puts a lot of the other things on show to shame. I strongly suggest you check it out when it does land as I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Biggest disappointment had to be Kinect (shock) which was roundly lambasted by every single member of the press that I spoke to. The games look pretty woeful at this moment in time, especially the god awful Harry Potter title. MS really needs to tighten up the camera recognition before launch or they are going to have a bunch of disgruntled customers on their hand. I'm not saying it cannot be great - I'm just saying that, right now, it is looking pretty unlikely.

Obviously a lot of other stuff falls somewhere inbetween, but these are the extreme differences in quality on show. I'll also give an honourable metion to Portal 2 as even though the presentation was fairly bog standard it did whet my appetite for the game nonetheless.

In the last couple of days we managed to snag a bunch of photos from the show floor which you can see HERE.

We'll also be posting up our top 10 games from this years show, so I'll slap up the link a bit later on.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gamescom 2010

Well here we are again in Cologne and it has been a hectic few days to say the least, but hey as long as there are fun games to play and media people to chat with then I'll power through the pain. Just for you people. It's all for you.

Kind of.

It is mainly for x360a of course, but considering the games on show it is still nice to get out and play some stuff that I'm secretly hankering after. Plus, it is always nice to meet people from other sites and magazines - I suppose they should be the 'competition' but how can you say that when everyone is so amenable.

Game events like this are always full of swag too, though this year seems to have been a lot leaner than last year. Plus every bit of swag I take means a bit less for the actual paying public, so I've tried to just leave stuff alone unless it was being handed out in the Press only sections. So far I've managed a very nice FEAR 3 t-shirt, a fine Space Marine bag, a lovely Portal 2 t-shirt, an awesome CAPCOM pen (you had to be there, ha ha), a Rapstar t-shirt that I thought I was going to have to lay down some tunes for and a fun Worms t-shirt from Team 17. So mainly clothing really but I'm hoping to give a bunch of it away via the site as it is only fair.

What I also noticed is how PR people tend to 'attach' themselves to known writers and certain magazines and sites get better treatment. A clear enough indication that you need to get to know people in the business if you want to get the best interviews and footage. Such is the way with anything though.

Anyway, I'll be doing previews of all the games I've seen on x360a so I don't want to go into too much detail here. But to whet your appetite here is a list of the stuff I've been checking out (though not all will be getting previews).

Fear 3, Mortal Kombat, Smackdown vs RAW 2011, Space Marine, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Fallout: New Vegas, Dead Rising 2 (and Case Zero), PES 2011, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Castlevania Lord of Shadows, Def Jam Rapstar, Fable 3, Vanquish, Naruto Shippuden Ninja Storm 2, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, FIFA 11, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, From Dust, Apache Assault, Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions and Alien Breed 2.

Some stand out classics in there along with a bunch of sequels that do exactly what they say on the tin really. Though there were a few pleasant surprises in the bunch so I certainly cannot complain.

Obviously that is barely the tip of the iceberg either, as Webb saw a whole bunch of awesome games himself. Though after doing E3 and Gamescom so close together he is a touch knackered (technical term) so it will be light duties at PAX. Though with that only a week or so away and games companies taking the same content - there will not be much new stuff to see. It does seem odd to me that the major conventions are so close together really as it means the same content tends to be rehashed which is hardly ideal - though at the same time it gives US/Euro gamers a chance to sample the new games fairly close together and, unlike the press, it will be their first time playing stuff at least. Swings and roundabouts methinks.

Well I'm off to do some writing but I'll be back soon with information and links aplenty.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Closing in........

Fallout 3 is approaching completion and I'll be a little sad to see it go. All I have left to do at this moment in time are most of the DLC packs (barring Operation Anchorage) and the last two or three missions of the main storyline.

I think I will probably spend some time on the DLC and then wrap up the story afterwards. Once that is done I'll just have Broken Steel to look forward to and it will be another 100% title to add to my list. I'm hoping the DLC adds something interesting into the mix, but even if it is just more of the same then that should be plenty of fun.

I'll probaly tackle Point Lookout first, then move onto The Pitt and finally Mothership Zeta. No real reason behind it but that is kind of the order I'd like to approach them in. I have to say that I enjoyed the Anchorage DLC as it offered something a bit different even though there was a bit of a lack of looting opportunites.

After that is done I'll focus on grinding kills on L4D to finally get it done with too. and that will be two more pretty decent games to add to my completion list. I'll then need to go back and finish up Bioshock 2 for the third time thanks to yet more DLC. The problem I have with drip fed DLC is that it means I'm constantly going back to games I finished months ago - and the content is often not really worth the hassle. I doubt the Protector Trials will be any different either.

At the end of this week I'll be heading off to Gamescom in Germany so all of my game playing will be curtailing for a week or so regardless. Hoping to see some great titles out there and have the chance to get my hands on some upcoming games that pique my interest. I'll be sure to report back on what I see.

Friday, August 06, 2010

As if by magic.

Lego Harry Potter is done. I finally convinced my better half to let us finish up the last few levels in co-op and then, once that was done, I had free reign to mop up the last few achievements solo. There was a heart stopping moment after I'd finished the last level in free play - we ended up back at the Leaky Cauldron hub but my 100% completion achievement never popped up.

I jumped back into a level: nothing. I exited back to the Cauldron and then considered turning the 360 off and on again but, luckily, up it popped. Taking me over 210k to boot. The morning after I ran through the few other bits I needed and it was job done.

The only other game I've played recently is Fallout 3 and I'm getting closer and closer to having that bad boy done. I'm only at 600/1550 in terms of points but I'm pretty much done with exploration now and can just focus on the specific quests I need to finish up. Nothing too taxing really. I'll probably leave the DLC until I'm back from Germany in a couple of weeks, though with my wedding fast approaching it may well be longer than that. We shall see.

What has surprised me most is the fact that, after 30 odd hours, I'm still really enjoying the game and just rambling through the world exploring stuff. Even when I try to rush through quests just for the next achievement I still find myself exploring every nook and cranny for weird and wonderful things to see or loot to swipe. Good times. I'm really looking forward to getting some hands on time with New Vegas if it can maintain the winning formula.