Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

With my impending wedding looming ever closer, things have been more than a little hectic. Especially as I've still had stuff to review in amongst doing all of the chasing around after suits, speeches and a reliable DJ. Good times.

The reviews I mentioned in my last post are now up in all of their glory (or hideous shame, if you are that way inclined). So you can go here:

http://tinyurl.com/35x9o2j - for Madden 11.

http://tinyurl.com/35qunrc - for Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days.

http://tinyurl.com/34a74dl - for HAWX 2.

The next game on my list of review style goodness was RUSE. I played it on my better halfs tag, but I'm kind of tempted to go for it on my own at some point in the future. The ideas behind the game are truly novel, and the control scheme is simply the best I've encountered on a console. Creech has offered to do some co-op stuff with me in future so it is kind of swaying me towards taking the plunge. Though having said that, I have C&C3 and Supreme Commander both still sat at under 200 points a piece. Choices, choices........

Nest up was a bit of Spiderman action. I'd played a bit of the game at Gamescom so pretty much knew what to expect. In fairness though the full game puts the demo to shame (as it should) as some of the st piece moments and individual levels are superbly structured. The camera though is nothing short of woeful, which is a real shame. There is a lot of repetition too and only one of the four heroes feels vastly different from the others. An interesting game nonetheless, but not one that is going to set the world alight.

I was also hoping to get NHL 11 done and dusted, but I think that is going to be too much of an ask now. Especially as I get married in three days. Luckily Webb had the same thought and will ship it off to Mr Walker for some care and attention. I think it will be the first NHL game I haven't reviewed for the site, so that kind of sucks a bit but what can you do?

In other news I have pretty much wrecked my tag in terms of completion. Firstly, I went and started Halo: ODST with my friends in a marathon stg night gaming session. We only played MP and Firefight so I have a measly 45 points. I then purchased Beatles Rock Band for my lovely lady, and we have snagged a whopping 65 points thus far. When you consider how many achievements rely on being able to play on Expert difficulty (I can barely do Medium) then you can see that I'm not going to be racking them up any time soon. I've also got a mere 90 points on Planet 51. With HAWX 2 still stuck at 600+ points, and me still having to do the rest of the Madden moments of polish off Madden 11 then I really needed to crack on with some stuff.

So why did I go and start Halo Reach? I've pretty much only played Firefight and MP so far (and what a great MP experience it is) so have a paltry 200 points or so. Oh dear, oh dear.

So once I've got this pesky wedding out of the way (kidding.......) I'll be back trying to clear up some of this crap that is cluttering up my world.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Review shenanigans

It has been a busy few weeks. First of all I had the joy of fifteen previews to write and then there was the small matter of the review backlog to contend with. Seeing as myself and Webb were out at Gamescom a few games had kind of fallen by the wayside, so it was on us to try and catch up.

First onto the chopping block was Madden 11, which is pretty much the same old thing that we have seen year in and year out. I do actually enjoy NFL games even though I've never really followed the sport itself, hell I've been playing Madden games since way back in the Nineties on my trusty SNES. In fact, now that I think about it, my tactics have really changed very little since then. I almost always use shotgun plays and rarely rush the ball - I'd probably be amazingly predictable if I played online often enough.

I actually did enjoy this version, but I wondered (as I always do) just how long EA can continue to release the same game with one or two tweaks? The question has always bobbled around, but in this shiny, new age of digital downloads it becomes more pertinent than ever. After all, EA could easily make new modes and roster updates available as DLC. I doubt they will mind you - but there is nothing really stopping them if they wanted to. Other than the crushing loss of revenue these yearly sports updates bring, of course.

Anyway, my review should be up on X360A in due course so I'll pop up a link when that happens.

Next up was Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days.


Thinking of something positive to say is tricky for this one. Oh - the game is only about three hours long, less if you play co-op probably. So that's a bonus. To be honest it was one of the worst games I've played in a while - and when you consider the crap I play, that's a pretty big statement. I think it was more disappointing because of the developers involved and the fact it is a fairly big budget title. I expect smaller games to be worse on some level, because they don't have the chops to keep up with the big boys, but when a high profile title is a letdown it is more noticeable. K&L2 was far too short, the story was non-existant and the characters are just annoying at best.

On the flipside you have the wonderfully innovative multiplayer (probably should have filed it under 'good things to say' a bit earlier). As trying to pull off a heist with teammates that could turn on you at any second leads to pure fun times. However, even massive online games like COD have a decent single player campaign attached to them - which this game most clearly does not.

I would say better luck next time, but I really hope there isn't one, more Hitman instead, if you would be so kind.

I seem to have taken this review away from achievements and more towards random chat, and my writing shenanigans of course, so it may well stay that way. I do enjoy talking about all things games, so I'll try and keep things entertaining. I've just started on my review of HAWX 2 so you can expect some banter about that - and I'll probably wax lyrical about achievements too.

All in good fun.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The final batch - don't cry my friends..........

Apache Assault was one of those games I knew very little about going into Gamescom, but it pleasantly surprised me. The game actually looks like it could be good fun - although the fact it is a simulation first and foremost means that it could well be tough as nails. Still for a first time viewing it looked like a bit of alright.

Check out my in depth thoughts (such as they are): http://tinyurl.com/2ue93gc

Finally we have Def Jam Rapstar, which gets bonus points just for the awesome presentation I sat through with the Def Jam rep, Chris. He was a pretty good rapper too, ha ha! Still the game is looking like a hip hop version of Lips, but with a far more interesting community aspect. If the game takes off then the amount of user generated content could be staggering.

Check it out hither: http://tinyurl.com/3yfjutd

That brings to an end my specific Gamescom coverage. I hope you enjoyed it or even read some of it (doubtful but hey). I'm back on the review trail already as the games have piled up slightly since we were away, and even more so seeing as we were swamped in previews and Webb was off at PAX.

I've already sorted out a review for Madden 11, and the new Kane and Lynch title is next up. After that I'll move onto HAWX 2 and then we should be up to date - as by that point Webb will have sorted out Mafia 2 and Halo Reach. It's nice to be doing so much writing to be honest, as I find it quite relaxing and entertaining. Though with the amount of games en route come the winter rush I may well change my tune.

Any comments, feedback about any of my coverage - leave it here. Cheers.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sick of previews? Tough........

We all love Lego games, well unless you have a heart as black as coal maybe, so I was quite excited to see another Star Wars title heading our way. The new features are really just tweaks but they do seem to add a bit of something to the series so that can only be a good thing methinks. Plus there has been a bit of a graphical facelift too which can only be a good thing. Lightsabers at the ready!

Read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/34n5pga

Next up is Alien Breed 2: Assault, which is the next in the seires and will be hitting XBLA fairly soon. It was a pretty good blast them up really and should provide a few hours of entertainment for anyone willing to splash out the cash, I certainly had fun with it after a quick run through the first level and an eight minute salvo on one of the survival maps with my Team 17 partner. Good times.

Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/38ftnnh

I've saved the best for last, as From Dust was quite simply one of the best games on show at the whole of Gamescom. The visuals, imagination and scope were just breathtaking. It was kind of hard to convery in a preview just how brilliant the game looked, but after speaking with a lot of other writers and sites that attended people were unanimous in their praise. Hard to belive that it will be an XBLA game too.

Read this, I beg you: http://tinyurl.com/2wszlls

In other news I finally finished up Fallout 3 and will miss wandering the Capitol Wasteland, it was a good run while it lasted and at least I'll have New Vegas to look forward to in the near future. I can't wait.

I've also completed my run through of Dead Rising: Case Zero, which was a blast, though I kind of ruined it for myself by pretty much completing it at Gamescom. When Capcom just let me play as long as I wanted then what was I gonna do? Ha ha.