Friday, 30 September 2011

Portal 2 summer DLC is not in summer.

Portal 2 was meant to have some DLC coming out over the summer, but anyone that knows Valve at all will realise they always take forever to do stuff, despite that I'm not going to mention a certain Freeman at all in relation to this matter. Anyway we know have an actual date for Portal 2s DLC update, which will be free for everyone. No matter which platform you have you will be able to get this no matter how skint you may or may not be. It's good to see Valve are sticking to their roots and still updating their games free of charge, which is why we all love you, instead of going along with what is seemingly becoming the norm in over priced map packs in the form of downloadable content. But I won't get into a rant about dlc because frankly it will take to long and I really can't be arsed with it to be honest.

Anyway getting to the point of this post, Portals 2 update will be available from the 4th of October and will be named Peer Review. It will have both single and multi player challenge modes. Valve have stated "You and a friend will continue the story of loyal bots P-Body and Atlas as you puzzle your way through a mysterious new co-op test track and once again match wits with GLaDOS.", Which means more co-op campaign missions. This shall be getting marked on the calender and I will be playing the new content as soon as possible.

Rage in the Jackal Canyon

I haven't really been paying to much attention to Rage to be honest, even though I am looking forward to it, I didn't realise the release of it was so close. I have watched the first trailer and now this final trailer (below) which is based in the Jackal Canyon. It is looking pretty awesome. I trust the guys at Id will do a great job with the game like they have done with all their previous ones and yes I am quite the fan and more than likely will be getting this day 1 or shortly after.

Team Fortress Arcade

I recently came across a little game called Team Fortress Arcade, as you may well have guessed it is based off of a well known Valve title we know and love under the name of Team Fortress. The game itself is actually a old school side scrolling beat um up type game like Final Fight or Streets of Rage. I guess it's more shoot um up than beat um up but never the less, you get to play through 9 different levels as one of the 9 different characters from the Team Fortress series with up to 3 other people playing with you. They have tried to get the characters as close to their Team Fortress counter parts, with them all having the correct health, speed and weapons.

Each playable class has different attacks which I am stealing straight out of the read me file for the game just so you get an idea of what each character can do in this game and here we are:

Scout: Can double jump by pressing "jump" again when in the air.
Soldier: Can rocket jump if you press "attack" right after pressing "jump."
Pyro: Flamethrower and flare gun do after burn damage to enemies.
Demoman: Fires sticky bombs at the ground when you press "attack" in the air.
Jump again to ignite them.  You can sticky jump by being on top of the sticky
bombs when you jump.
Engineer: Hit your sentry once to make it a level 2 sentry.
Hit it again to make it level 3.
Medic: you can control the height of your jump by holding down the "jump" button
Sniper: Hold your "attack" button to charge your sniper rifle.  A fully charged
shot blows through multiple enemies.
Spy: Hold the "attack" button to cloak and become invisible to on-screen enemies.

At the moment the game does not include online multi player, which would be a nice touch as at the moment controls for all 4 players are spread out on a single keyboard and I have not worked out how to change them yet due to a lack of options in game. You could easily get a couple people playing quite happily with one using the wasd controls and another using the numpad, but you would be hard pushed to get 4 people comfortable while playing this game. At the moment I had no one about to play this with at the time of writing this so I gave the game a go on single player. I have tried out a few different characters as it gives you a chance to choose and or change which class you want to play as. Classes such as Pyro, Heavy and Soldier you can quite happily play the game solo, but some other ones such as Sniper or Engineer were really quite difficult to play this by your self with and would be much better suited to multi player. You will also see some familiar aspects of game as well such as payload and command points levels implemented in to the game which is pretty cool. I kept dying on the payload race level, I think it was level 4 but don't quote me on that, while I'm on the topic of dying, when you do all that happens is you get a continue countdown in the corner, and this feature is unlimited, so as long as you keep continuing you can die as many times as you want. I like to think of it as the respawn system that Team Fortress has.

It's a fun little game and takes next to no time at all to download, so if you have a spare 10-20 minutes and want something to do, I suggest giving this a wee download and try it out.

Happy Birthday Nintendo 64

Today (29th September not 30th as the post says, I was 20 minutes too late with posting this) the Nintendo 64 turns 15, next year it will be legally old enough to have sex. Anyway while I never actually owned one myself as I was more of a Sega fan back in the day and I still have hopes they will one day get back into the console market, any one that says it will never happen can go away because no matter what you say you will never burst my bubble on this subject. Anyway back to the matter at hand, like I was saying I never physically owned a N64 but a friend of mine all those years ago did and so long as I was Yoshi I could kick any ones ass on Mario Kart, this stands for every version of the game by the way. It was a great little console and I want to wish it a happy birthday and what would a birthday be without cake, as I am pretty sure N64s can not eat actual cake and even if they could it would make a terrible mess. So I give this virtual cake to Nintendo 64 in celebration.

Games I have been playing.

So I am bored and not got much to do so I decided I'd do a post on here about games I have been playing recently. I might do this every couple of weeks or once a month, if anyway it will be a record for me of what I have been up to.

I have got a bit nostalgic lately and broke out some emulators, only Nintendo ones at this moment in time, I have been thinking getting a Genesis one for road rash and of course some Sonic, I'll get it soon it's on the list.  Anyway the game that has had most of my attention the past week or so has been pokemon, yes I know I'm sad but the game is quite addictive. I started off on an updated version of the original red pokemon for the Gameboy Advance which is the same game but with fancy new (well old now but new back then) graphics but still pretty good for a handheld of its age. But due to the fact I have completed that game numerous times, I though I would give one of the many other pokemon games a shot. So I found myself downloading pokemon emerald which is quite good and I've put a good 4-5 hours into it already. The best part of it that I have come across so far is a pokemon called Lotad, I'm sure that's what it's called but can't honestly remember as I named him Steve and that is what the game refers to it as, anyway getting to my point when it evolved it turned into a stereotypical mexican called Lombre and I found it hilarious when it changed. So Steve the mexican is a pokemon. I am far to easily amused. Along side playing some gameboy, I also broke out the snes, so far I haven't really played much other than Final Fight (which I still can't beat after many years of trying) and Mario Kart.

The past couple weeks have mainly been emulator based and before that was pretty much my Dead Island play through but yesterday I started on the shooter games again. After a couple games of team fortress, I realised I kind of sucked at aiming as I hadn't been around many guns lately. So as I do every time my aim is frankly none existent, I booted up Quake Live for some instagib practice, within a few matches my aim was getting back up to scratch. I recommend this game if you ever want to improve your aim, it does wonders, you either learn to aim and move or die a lot. I will probably keep on at Quake for maybe the next week, give or take, then move onto some other shooters, more than likely a Valve title of some sort. I am thinking some Counter Strike is probably going to be on the agenda as it has been far to long since I last played.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

More zombie flicks on the horizon.

Dead Island looks like it is going to be turned into a film. Liongate have announced they have optioned the Dead Island film rights from Deep Silver. It seems the making of a Dead Island movie has been inspired by the trailer which brought so much attention to the game. While the trailer itself had next to nothing to do with the actual storyline in the game (which I quite enjoyed and think would convert well to film), I do think if they elaborate on the story based on the trailer, it could be quite the emotional zombie flick, though I am not sure where about in the story that scene would go but I am a little intrigued to say the least. Liongates co-COO and motion picture group president Joe Drake has commented on why they chose to get behind Dead Island stating:

"Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we to were awestruck. This is exactly the type of property we're looking to adopt at Liongate - it's sophisticated, edgy and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential."

Also as I am on the topic of zombie movies, I came across a fan made Left 4 Dead movie trailer, below, which has now been recognised by Valve them self and posted on their official facebook page. There isn't to much to the trailer, you do however get a glimpse of Bill, there are a couple teasers videos on their Youtube channel as well. I believe this could do quite good, especially with the massive fan base behind the L4D series. I personally think Left 4 Dead would be better if they made it into a series of TV shows and have it like the game running from safe house to safe house until you find a way to escape, and have one series equal to one level with the series finale being the level finale. I could see it working. Anyway I will be keeping an eye on updates for both of these and see what happens with them. I am expecting good things from them both as I am a fan of both games and am yet to get bored the whole zombie scene.

Arma II so realistic it fools ITV

It appears ITV has made a complete and utter cock up concerning a documentary about Gaddafi and the IRA which has now been taken down from their online streaming system ITV player. The documentary in question featured footage from the game ARMA II which they had even labelled 'IRA FILM 1988'. Surely someone would of noticed this was quite blatantly video game footage some point during the editing process. I really do not see how this mistake was made. For this to happen is purely ridiculous especially as the game footage was quite pixelated and obviously wasn't real.

What makes me laugh is the irony of this all as I have read a couple articles recently about how games are bad influences and all that crap, I have been playing Pokemon recently and have yet to venture out into the wilderness to try and capture animals to use in battle but that's beside the point. Anyway the one that seems most fitting how gamers 'can't tell the real world from fantasy' which was an article in the Metro. I can't find it on the metros site but CVG did an article on the matter here, don't get me started on the amount of flack GTA has got over the years. There are many more essentially saying video game violence = real life violence, you don't exactly have to look hard to find them. They are all frankly a massive steaming pile of faeces. Though apparently it is game players that can't decipher reality from fantasy. These gamers that are 'averaged' to be in their mid thirties, who are more than likely to have steady jobs, possibly families and living their life quite happily without running over hookers to get their money back or head butting bricks to try and find coins and mushrooms and so on and so on. Don't get me wrong there probably are people out there trying to find mushrooms to make them self seem larger to go rampaging on killing reptiles and little erm... mushroom type things? What the hell are Goombas anyway, they kind of look like mushrooms, I dunno what exactly the type of animal they are meant to be, I know Mario's from the mushroom kingdom but that's due to all the Toads not Goombas, maybe they are mushrooms. But I'm getting away from my point, I shouldn't write when I'm tired.

It would seem that someone at ITV is going to be in some serious shit, and quite possibly getting fired because of this. ITV have now released a statement which read:

"The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers.
This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise."

So for some reason while at work in the ITV production offices they were all sat there quite happily working away and for some unknown reason their was some footage of a fan made video of ArmA II in the midst with  all the other bits and bobs needed to finish off some footage of this program. I don't see how or why this game footage was acquired and put into place. From what I believe, this game footage was a Youtube video, so does that mean the fantastic journalists down at ITV source their information from there? What's more is if this is where they did get it from, they would have had to download it and surely if you did that you would keep it well away from all the difference sections of the show you are trying to edit. It frankly makes no sense how something like this could of happened.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Gordon Freeman Returns!!!

Mr Freeman has been MIA for quite some time now. He has now been found, as a playable character in the PC release of Renegade Ops. You will be able to play as the one free man and drive around in the Half Life 2 buggy. The game is due to be released on Steam on 14th October and will cost £9.99.

There has been a couple Half Life related news articles of late such as the supposed weapon info in DOTA 2 code, and Gabes Haiku (both of which I believe people are looking far to much into), and now Gordon is making an appearance albeit not in the game we have been waiting for, but perhaps this is Valve's subtle little ways of letting us know that he is in fact coming back. It must be in development by now, it's been what 3-4 years since episode 2, there is bound to be something in the works they aren't telling us about. My guestimation is for Episode 3 some point mid next year followed by Half Life 3 maybe Christmas or early to mid 2013.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Red Alert

A group of modders under the name of C+C Labs have been working on recreating the original Command and Conquer Red Alert game in the form of a mod for Red Alert 3 they have named 'The Red Alert'. Which you can download here. Which I happen to be doing right now, it seems to have a high review score, so I am expecting good things from this and will be back with my thoughts on the game some point in the not to distant future.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

OnLive available in the UK

Onlive if you don't know is an upcoming cloud gaming service, which up until now has been based in America. Today it crosses the pond and makes its way to the UK. You can now sign up for free, which I did shortly before writing this, purely to see what it's like. So I downloaded and install the OnLive program, first thing I noticed was it is in fact a full screen application, I just assumed it would come in the format of a desktop client like Steam or Origin.

The layout of the program is seemingly simple and very easy to navigate. Once you get the program up and running you have a simple menu with 9 options which are: Arena, Profile, Marketplace, Showcase, the OnLive logo, My Games, Last Played, Brag Clips and Friends. Most of these menus are self explanatory.
'Arena' brings you to a menu where you can actually watch people who are currently playing games through this service letting you either watch and listen, or start a voice chat with them while they play which is a pretty cool feature. We then have the showcase menu which is pretty much their advertising page, letting you see what deals and offers they have on the go. The 'Onlive logo' brings you to the settings menu, which you can also get to by pressing escape. Last we have the 'Brag Clips' menu and according the email I received from them which says 'Create Brag Clip Videos of your finest moves or most hilarious fails and share them friends of Facebook or the whole OnLive community'. So it would seem like they have a built in game play recorder which is a nice touch.

I had a look in the marketplace and they do seem to have a fairly decent selection of games which you can either buy out right to play whenever you choose or you can rent them. Which I can see being quite popular as there isn't really a market for renting PC games these days due to the amount of drm and digital downloads about leading to the demise of the PC rental market being none existent. They do have quite a good deal on at the moment with their 'Playpack Bundle' which gives you access to 100+ games to play whenever you choose for £6.99 a month which is more than a decent offer. This bundle includes games such as Bioshock, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Deus Ex, Unreal Tournament 3 and Just Cause 2 to name a few, full list of games in this bundle can be found on their website. Along with all these games you will also receive a 30% discount off all other purchases. You also have the chance to test out games before you buy and or rent them with their game demos. I believe this is every game on their system, but don't quote me on that.

I think this is a frankly great idea and do wish the OnLive guys luck with it, with internet connections these days constantly getting upgraded and faster this is a good way to go on the gaming front. My connection at the minute isn't the greatest, it should be alright for this though. Once I get some disposable income available I am going to try this out as recently my graphics card crapped out on me leading to me having to downgrade to my brothers old ATI 3850, so until I get a new graphics card funded I'm sat on lowest settings on any relatively new game. I'll see how OnLive compares.

Last thing before I finish this post. If you register before the 9th October, OnLive has an offer letting you get your first game from them for a mere one pound, this offer is valid on any game which isn't a pre-order game. Also if you happen to have your internet though BT, you will have access to the 'PlayPack' bundle for 3 months for free and OnLive data will not count towards your usage limits on BT until at least the 2nd of January.

Gun game is official game mode in new CS:GO

The popular mod for Counter Strike is become an official part of the newest rendition of the game. Valve have named two "new game modes"; Arsenal: Arms Race and Arsenal: Demolition. What these two new modes will entail is yet to be seen, I am guessing 'Arms Race' will be your standard gun game, as for Demolition I am not sure. Anyway these two modes will be accompanied by eight new maps, some screen shots said maps can be found here. Valve have also got the creators of this fun little mod on board to help them along with development as well. A mod of a mod getting backed by a big named company like Valve is quite an achievement those guys, saying that gun game has been immensely popular since it's first incarnation back in the days of the original CS and has been used in other games such as Black Ops, so it does make sense for Valve to do this. I hope they do the same with team death match and possibly surf as well. Whether they do or not these will no doubt be making a reappearance when the game is released.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

No angry mobs allowed at Sony and the Playstation Network.

In Sonys new PSN terms and conditions, there has been a little bit of controversy about law suits, the following bit in particular:

"Any Dispute Resolution Proceeding, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative or private attorney general action."

So yes you can indeed still sue Sony but you have to sue them individually. You will not (if you accept new terms) be allowed to get together with your local angry mob and go along for a group lawsuit. As of late I have started reading terms of service, and no doubt would of picked up on this. I probably would of agreed to it anyway. If I was to sue them I would rather sue them individually anyway, as if I won the case I wouldn't have to share whatever compensation received. If something does happen that requires a mass law suit, surely a hundred small cases would be more expensive for them than one case for a hundred people, so it would be their loss anyway.

I am only writing this due to the fact that the majority of people commenting on posts/articles about this are not even bothering to actually read what has been put in the ToS, and blinding bashing Sony, with comments such as:
'So sony's servers get hacked into and gamer's who's (unnecessary apostrophes, not important but it annoys me.) personal info get compromised and spread possibly all over the net can't sue them...That um...nice i guess. way to go in covering up and fixing mistakes, Sony!!!'

There are many more like that this is one I picked at random though. I'm just going to tear apart this comment to finish off this blog post. Aside from the grammar, which I'm not going to get into (I'm trying to keep my inner grammar nazi under control), let's start with the point about the Sony hack, while this is more than likely the primary reason behind this being added to the terms of service, if you were going to sue Sony about your details being taken due to the fore mentioned Sony network hack, you would of done something about it by now. Secondly you still can sue them as I mentioned earlier in this post. As for the covering up and fixing mistakes, I am not sure what he is on about here. The problem has been rectofied and they have updated their security system, ie fixing their mistake. Still not sure what they are meant to be covering up, unless he means covering their asses from angry mobs coming along to sue them in the future. Which while I'm not sure how legal that is, as it is essentially saying they are above that law, you can, and this is going to be the last time I say it, still sue Sony if you choose to, you just have to leave the pickforks, flaming sticks and angry mob at home.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Free Portal

So the guys at Valve have announced they are giving away free copies of Portal until the 20th of September. So if you don't have it now I suggest you go download it now. This is to do with their 'Learn With Portals' initiative. Along with this offer of yet another free game, they recently had a bunch of 7th graders on a school field trip at Valve HQ, letting them play about with 'Hammer', Valve's level design program. I am very jealous of these kids, not one field trip I went to at school was anything remotely as cool as this. Watching the video makes me want to break out the old Hammer tool and get back into using it again.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Final Fantasy X HD

Square Enix have announced at Sony's press conference at Tokyo Game Show that to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Final Fantasy X coming up, they will release an HD version of the game which will be coming to Playstation 3 and their new handhand the Vita. I quite liked FFX and I look forward to hearing more about this in the future, so long as they just up the graphics and leave everything alone I'm fine with it. Next they need to do the same with FF9 which is my personal favourite, due to the fact it was the first Final Fantasy game I played, leading me to previous renditions of the FF series, and FF7 aswell which doesn't look like it is going to happen any time soon considering a remake of 7 for the PS3 has been rumoured since 2005.

Max Payne shaves his head

Here be the first trailer for the third game in Max Payne series. They seem to have the same guy to voice Max which is cool. The music in the trailer sounds very Max Payne like from what I remember of it anyway.

'People don't understand that the PC is more powerful'

The guys at DICE have came out with this comment in a interview between themselves and eurogamer, to explain why the PC will be Battlefields lead platform. I call bull shit on this comment. They expect us to believe the majority of people don't get that a platform that is upgradable, and therefore able to keep up with tech as soon as it is released, is obviously going to be more powerful than consoles that were designed what 5 years ago? Granted it's good to see that more companies are developing for PC and I'm not knocking that. I am having a go at the fact this comment implements that we are all to stupid to realise the fact that PCs have the potential to be 10x better than consoles and have been for years. They need to give us some credit. Hell, the majority of people I know even those who aren't computer savvy realise PCs can be upgraded making them potentially better tech wise than consoles.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

My playthrough/review of The Baconing

I have been playing through the new Deathspank title, The Baconing. It is based on a true-ish story. So getting into the game you are met with an intro video explaining a little about the story, basically you will be playing as Deathspank, who would of thought, so he had been busy vanquishing every bad guy he could find. He soon becomes extremely bored as he has nothing to do, and one day he decides to put all of the Thongs of Virtue all at once, which for some reason summons a giant evil version of Deathspank named the 'Anti-Spank'. To defeat the Anti-Spank, Death Spank must burn each of the Thongs of Virtue in Bacon Fire.

You see the return of many npc's such as the Wise Cow and the Thongolith Researcher who you come across pretty early on. As the game progresses you meet a number of other people you met in previous games, I'll get into that a little later on. Anyway you get a choice of 3 level difficulties to start easy, normal and hard. There is also an insane difficulty which is unlockable once you complete the game. You can also change difficulties on the fly dropping it down to easy when your stuck or keep dying and knocking it back up whenever you like.

Starting the game it throws you start into action, within a few seconds into the game you get ambushed by a load of Cyborques (Anti Spanks minions), getting you immediately used to the controls which are easy enough to pick up, be it keyboard and mouse or xbox controller, they are both quite simple and easy to pick up. I personally prefer keyboard and mouse controls, first of due to the more accurate aiming of your weapons, along with the fact I played the past two Deathspank games with these control so I'm used to them. I did have a shot with my controller and they are fine and just as easy, it's all preference at the end of the day. 

Like the previous games a lot of features have made a come back, such as the outhouse save system. The choice to have 4 weapons and 4 items which are all easily changed. Though weapon wise I tend to just use two, some sort of melee weapon and a crossbow/gun. You still get strange quests, the first perticularly weird one I came across was one I got from an orphan where I had to go rescue said orphans teddy from ghosts. After a few quests you unlock a gate leading you to the first boss, 'The Mineorque', which is really quite difficult, even after I switched down from Hard to Normal. He is some dude with a drill on his head, he uses drills to attack you from underground if you get to far away from him and a flame thrower if you get close to him, while trying to kill him he also has minions to keep you occupied as well which kept killing me just as I started to get some offence on the go.

The game definately has got that Deathspank feel to it from the music to the verbal abuse of orphans to the terrible yet somehow fitting voice acting. On you go with the story and you come along to Z.I.M.O.N's place which leads to the first bacon fire. Before you go inside you have to cross a set of bridges turned into puzzle where you have to flick switches in a certain order to get across to go get a door code. This took me quite a while to do this as you have to use a combination of of flicking switches and positioning yourself with outhouses. So you get go into the house of Z.I.M.O.N, which has a very Tron looking enviroment, so you meet him and must complete a game of Simon says before he will let you through to the first of the Bacon Fires where you burn your first Thong of Virtue, doing so extinguishes the Bacon Fire opening up a path with leads to the next area 'The Forest of Tomorrow'. 

You come across a couple more folk from previous games now, this time it's Ima Applehole and her husband Strunken, who marriage you happened to ruin in the last game, now you have to make a clone of the husband to help out Ima as Strunken is happy being single and doesn't want to go back to her. To get towards the second Bacon Fire you have to reunite a radioactive family. So after talking to the mother of this strange family, she tells you the rest of the family is late for dinner, so off you go hunting down the rest of the family, you find the dad up at the robot brothel, and have to kill a load of robot hookers before he will return for dinner. You then have to get the son, whose hanging about by the cloning facility to come back but he won't return until he gets a dog to play with, which you get after making a clone of Ima's husband, she gives you her two headed dog as a reward. Then you go after the daughter, who has artificially created a boyfriend and is out in the middle of no where,  so you go along and kill this robot boyfriend, pissing her off and she storms off home. So you go back to get your reward for getting the family back for dinner, then they all start arguing and blow up, which they seem to do when they get annoyed, and knock out the wall behind them leading to the second Bacon Fire.

The third Bacon Fire is at a casino in 'Rainbow Way' which is run by the Leprechaun McMafia. If you think Godfather mixed with everything stereotypically Irish. So you have to gain the trust of the Godfather of the McMafia and do random quests for him one of which you have to go kill 'Anti-gambling' Monks and Nuns and blow up their bus. After this you still need to need to do some quests to get some Elvis styled armour such as saving some miners trapped in a cave in, but it turns out they trapped themselves in so they can get a longer coffee break, its quite funny. After getting the right armour you past the god father, where you will compete in 'Ultimate Opera Championship' which is where you encounter your next boss. Which is a conductor, which takes some beating, who has a load of minions to fight along side of in form of musicians and opera singers.

After beating the last boss and burning another of the Thongs, you head through a sewer and end up at Barnacle Lake, where mind sucking barnacles seem to be taking over a lot of the folk round here. So here you meet Captain Taint, who you got a ship off of in Thongs of Virtue, the same ship that you will commandeer once again in this game. So after talking to a barnacled Taint you ask him for the keys to his boat and does willingly and you also get a quest from the barnacle that's controlling him to save the Mother Barnacle that is trapped in the Cyborque fortress, so after sailing around doing a number of quests, which you did round about this far though the game in the last game aswell. After a progression of quests it takes you to the Cyborque Fortress, so on you go fighting a number of enemies getting further into the fortress, once everything is killed you find the mother barnacle, which you have now freed due to the killing of everyone. So it tells you the way to the next Bacon Fire which is not far at all and just down a path ahead of you. This now leads you onto the next area, Valhalla Heights a retirement home for gods after people have stopped worshipping.

At Valhalla Heights the main quest line is how Emilio, God of Orphans, has been murdered, a title you will become after doing some chores for Zeus, who along with Thor are both suspects in Emilio's murder. Both of which deny doing it, as Zeus is to old and decrepit to do such things, and Thor was busy playing golf. While on this quest to find out who did it, you come across another familiar face, Rich Cabin, from the previous game, this time he is working in real estate, but is doing it quite shadily by evicting Gods from there homes so he can sell them on and make himself richer. First you have to evict Ganesha, a big elephant god who is looking pretty swanky, with his shades and tracksuits and jewellery, anyway you have to get him out his yard with a trail of peanuts. Then you go after Anansi, a spider who sounds very much like Bill Cosby, I spent ages talking to him purely for his voice, to get him out his yard all you need is some bug spray from the golf shop. And finally you have to evict Elvis, where you get him to give you an autograph of draft papers, which you get in Hell's half acre, you then show him the papers and inform him he must go to war, he leaves completing your last eviction quest. Anyway back to the storyline. After you find out Thor and Zeus are not behind the Murder of Emilio, the Sheriff of Gods (who you got the murder quest from originally, I forgot to mention earlier but cba to go back and find where I should of put it in so it's staying here) finds some new evidence pointing blame towards the Midgard Serpent. This is the point where you head down to Hell's Half Acre heading for the Midgard Serpent, but first you must help Hades who has been imprisoned by said Serpent, Hades will only tell you where the final Bacon Fire is if you release him, and to do so you must sacrifice a number of enemies, by killing them in the sacrificial circle. So you get past this burning the final Thong of Virtue and meet the next to last boss, who believe it or not is immortal. So you kill him a few times and eventually he gets bored and just leave, you still count this as a victory and complete your quest of killing the Midgard Serpent also with the little minions that appear after each time you kill him there is a weapon lying on the floor you have to pick up to kill them with. On you go and escape from hell to a nice grassy area, which has a few boarded up entrances with 'DLC under construction' signs over them. So whether they are infact going to make some dlc for the game or if it's just a gag about the ridiculous amount of dlc in the world today, but I'll not get into a rant about that just now.

So you wander through this small open area and come across the final outhouse, you should get an  achievement here so long as you found every other outhouse in the game, next to this outhouse there is a tunnel that goes WAY down. Really that's what it says when you scroll over it. This leads to eventually to a little arena type area where you will fight the Anti-Spank. He is really quite nasty. You have to kill both of his arms and his torso, all of which have individual health. I found it easier to kill the arms first from a distance with my orphan gun then go full force on the torso, while full up to the nose with potions and invulnerability orbs. I looked up strategy guides to killing him as I died the first few times. So now you have rid the world of the Anti-Spank you get your outro video, where you find out the Anti Spank was making a time machine and now enters references to Back to the Future, and leaves you with some what of a cliffhanger ending blatantly put in there to leave an opening for another adventure with Deathspank some point down the line.

Now I have pretty much done a run down of the entire story of the game, my thoughts on it. If you like the previous Deathspank games, you will no doubt like this one. If you haven't played though before but do like hack and slash RPG's and random humour I suggest you give it a shot aswell. For a tenner you can't go wrong with this game at that price, I played through the game, it took me what over ten hours to finish it. There's some 'big' titles out there that don't last that long. It's a fun little game and well worth the money, keeping me amused all the way through it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Thoughts of Dead Island

I've played a good few hours or this now. I kind of think of it as Left 4 Dead meets Borderlands. It reminds me of both, L4D due to the fighting though hordes of zombies, which you seem to come across bigger and nastier ones as the game progresses, and Borderlands due to the RPG type element, though I guess you could use any RPG game to explain that side of things.

I played like I said a few hours, you start off on the coast mostly working between a lighthouse and a lifeguard tower, but I have a tendency to get distracted and not follow the storyline in open world type games as I collect every quest available and go do them all at once before I even attempt the story. So after many side quests and many zombies slain just for the hell of it, I finally get on with the story. You start off helping the guys at the Lighthouse and Lifeguard Tower gathering supplies and such. Because you are on the coast and only have a few bars and occasional shop to ransack the supplies you do get don't last very long. So you are asked to further inland to the city to stock up on as much as you can fit in your armoured van (which you get a little earlier after finding a mechanic and saving his daughter) which looks pretty kick ass if I do say so myself. Anyway you head into town, end up having to help more folk in different scenarios. Along you go killing zombies with whatever weapons you can find, which leads me to my next point.

The weapon build system, you get random work benches round the island where you can repair, upgrade or create new weapons. It's a lot like the Dead Rising system. I'm currently using an electrified machete which seems to work quite well at killing most things, just need a knife of your choice, some duct tape, a couple batteries, some wire and you'll be frying zombies in no time. Though you do have to make new weapons every few levels or so as they lose effectiveness when you go up against higher level zombies, so make sure you weapons are round about the same level as you are, you don't start off with any weapon mods but you get more over time though quests or just random looting (which is a must if you want to upgrade).

You also level up after getting so much xp from killing or questing, giving you a skill point to upgrade your special attack, your weapon abilities or survival skills. Each of these very depending on which character you choose to play at the start of your game. I chose Xian, who is an undercover cop that is good with blades, which is why I primarily use machetes, I have 4-5 in my weapons list. But the other characters have different stats, be it more health, quicker attacks and different weapon specialities. Sam B is a stereotypical rapper that specializes in using blunt force (eg hammers, pipes and what not). Logan is an egotistical former pro-football player with a fondness for throwing things, and last but not least is Purna a former police officer turned bodyguard that likes to shoot. It is quite a n addictive little games, I've seen myself just about to call it quits, then thinking I'll just do one more quest then I'll turn the game off for a while, next thing I know its 2 hours later.

I haven't played coop yet, but will do some point down the line, from what I have heard about it though is quite good with you can drop in and out with friends or randoms whenever you like, and when you do join you don't have to stay together and can wander off from each other for a while if you have different objectives. So you can go do a quest your team mate has already done while they continue doing whatever they are doing. I reckon I will play through the game again with a different character once I have finished this run though. I'm definitely not bored with it yet. Whether I will get bored easier on a second play through time will only tell. It seems like a good little game, and I believe some dlc has been already announced for it. Hopefully they will keep updating the game so folk won't be getting bored with the content any time soon.

I would say if you like killing zombies and you like RPG aspects in games along with some pretty funky weapon upgrades, you should definitely give this game a shot.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Call Of Juarez

I finally got round to giving the latest game in the Call of Juarez series The Cartel. When I first heard of it all those months ago, I assumed it would be another old western shooter like the previous games. It's not, it's based on the US government agencies going after a Mexican drug cartel. I liked the last game with it's western setting, it's a shame this one didn't follow suit. The game does seem to play (excluding the car rides) very similar to Bound in Blood. There are a few annoying aspects in the game though the fact that if you don't keep to the exact line the mission wants you to take you get game over for leaving the mission zone, I found this out by trying to flank some bad guys and suddenly got a game over screen.  Also if you kill too many civilians it game overs you aswell this was found out in a car park shootout and I shot a couple many pedestrians behind a car. So you actually have to pay attention to who your shooting and not just kill everyone that gets in your way. The voice acting of the npc's that tag along with you are quite annoying aswell they keep having ago at you if your aim isn't up to scratch, then if you end up killing them all before they get a shot in they make some corny line about how you don't have to do it all by your self. It's the exact same line ever time, it gets annoying. The game seems alright and the storyline is okay, I can see me getting quite pissed off at the things I mentioned as the game progresses. It's not the Call of Juarez I was expecting but it's not bad. If they make another one, I do hope they go back to western style like in the previous games.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

An interview with Deathspank

Daily Joypad have had the chance to interview Deathspank himself about his latest adventure in 'The Baconing'. I have been playing this and am fairly near the end as I am close to the final Bacon Fire and will do a bit on my thoughts on the entire game, in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hard Reset Demo

So the demo for this game came out today, so as I'm looking forward to it. I gave it a little download. Haven't finished the demo but played for an hour maybe, this is my first thoughts on the game.

First off the in game menu is pretty cool. It has robot arm type things, the kind you see on say car manufactor lines. They sit and assemble the menu, then when you click on whichever option it disassemble the menu and assemble the next/previous menu.

Controls seem to be your basic wasd setup as per damn near every PC game. You can't crouch though which is a little weird for a shooter but isn't really necessary even though I do keep hitting Ctrl purely out of habit. You have two weapons which can be easily accessed through 'q' and 'e' keys. It does have very simple controls qweasd, shift and mouse is all you need. 'Shift' is sprint, which is quite annoying as you HUD goes blurry while running and you can't shoot while doing so either. Also there doesn't seem to be a quick save or regular save option and it relies on checkpoints, which is disappointing as I like to be able to save when I want to save and not when the game wants to.

Onto the game itself, after the opening cut scene you get your first glimpse of the Hard Reset world, graphically it looks pretty amazing and this is on default graphic settings. It doesn't take you long after you set off to come across you first enemies which happen to be speedy little robot (dog?) type things with buzz saws for heads. They are easily taken care of though blowing up enviromentals around them such as gas canisters and power generators which seem to be everywhere. Due to me blowing up barrel and such it lead me to find secrets hidden behind walls. The first couple secret walls are frankly quite blatant, Essentially making sure you know there are secret walls you can blow up. Shortly after? (I think it was may of been before the first secret wall I really can't remember) you come across what seems like a mini boss (you go encounter more of them later, so I think it's just a pain in the ass normal enemy), they seem to jump out at you can charge at you and if you don't dodge it or just cornered you will die very quickly. The enemies I have encountered do seem to be very annoying and no doubt they will only get worse as the game progresses.

The two weapons you get are the CLN firearm which is a machine gun type gun, and the N.R.G weapon which has got a plasma rifle type thing going on, which looks pretty awesome. Which you can upgrade, along with armour and health and such. The cool thing is the upgrades aren't just your normal have some more ammo, have faster fire rate, while these are an option, you can actually upgrade your guns to have more guns them, this is frankly a great idea and I don't believe it has been done before, or at least not that I can remember anyway. With the CLN you can add a Shotgun, a Grenade Launcher, an RPG and Proximity Mines, then you can upgrade your upgrades, I haven't tried this out yet as I went for secondary fire for both of my guns, which adds a zoom element to the CLN and a charged energy burst attack for the N.R.G. With the N.R.G I noticed it recharges ammo upto 50 which is a nice touch. The charge shot on the N.R.G is also very helpful against the little robot dog things (I still have no idea what these are) so I would suggest getting this upgrade first chance you can. Also there is absolutely no reloading with is something I loved about old school shooters.

One last thing to mention is you actually get a health and armour bar on a little corner hud which bobs along when you shoot/move/do anything really. The armour regenerates in time but the health doesn't. I really do hate the whole 'I'm your standard off the shelf marine ready for war, but what's this I somehow have magical super human regeneration powers, all I have to do is hide in this dumpster from the world and suck on my thumb for ten seconds then I somehow am not crippled and bleeding to death. It's a miracle.' No it's not a mirable, it's bullshit. The amount of time it takes to create a video game you would of thought they could create a HUD telling you how much health you have. Games in the fricking 80's had them so I don't see why this isn't possible now. Fair play if you have a story explaining why this is possible, eg your part robot and the technology inside you can slowly regenerate injured parts of you or something to that effect, that would make sense. But no we will just go with magical army folk. Anyway before I get deeper into my tangent I'll stop.

It does seem like a pretty fun yet quite hectic shoot um up game which I reckon you will get better as the game progresses which all your weapon/health/armour upgrades. It is definately worth a look into and I for one will be getting this.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Blizzard and Valve Want Console Unity

The two biggest PC game developers Valve and Blizzard want consoles to shed the barrier of who you can play with due to which console you may have, which you can read about here. I think this is a brilliant idea, and why PC developers had to come up with me is just plain ridiculous. I guess Valve are having there say due to their upcoming Counter Strike title that allows cross platform play between pc and playstation users. At the end of the day it would create a bigger and better gaming community and you would be able to play games with friends no matter if you have different consoles or not. Of course there are going to be console exclusives, such as Uncharted and Gears of War. But they idea would be great for games that are released on multi-platforms such as call of duty, battlefield and I'm going to say Counter Strike as this is what started Valves involvement into this issue. I look forward to hearing more about this in the future as it is frankly a spectacular idea, and for companies like Valve and Blizzard to be behind it with their PR status along with the fact they seem to listen to what there customers want, this can only be a good thing.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Rocksmith, it's like guitar hero but with an actual guitar

So I came across a new game by Ubisoft named Rocksmith whilst searching the internets. It is similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Only with this game you can actually plug in your own guitar and not use the little plastic things they gave you in the likes of Rock Band etc... It is released for PC, PlayStation and Xbox on 18th October later this year. I think Rock Band attempted something like this only with a quite expensive 'pro guitar' you had to buy from them. The game comes with a 50 song soundtrack which is a pretty decent start and contains songs from: The Black Keys, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, White Stripes and Stone Temple Pilots to name a few. If they do anything they should and hopefully will widen the range of songs you can actually play, though downloadable content. I will definitely be giving it a shot, it seems a great idea. I don't really know how it will know what you play, it must have a sensor that tells the game what note you play or something. So I'm guessing it will need to be perfectly tuned, which leads to the assumption that the game will also have a built in tuner between the game and whatever guitar you have plugged in.

Black Ops

Steam just had a free weekend of the Black Ops multiplayer. So not having really played it except a couple times round friends, but I've never got into the whole Call of Duty scene, Anyway I spent a few hours trying it out properly. Firstly it is so easy to pick up and just play, the maps are really quite simple to figure out. The controls (after a little tweaking to suit me) are well just like every shooty type game in existence so again easy enough to get used to. I never really got into it because of the whole having to level up to actually get better weapons. I played for maybe 5-6 hours or so over the entire weekend and got up to level 15 and unlocked a decent amount weapons and other stuff. Doesn't really take to long at all to unlock the content. I realise there is obviously still a lot more to unlock but within the few hours I played I unlocked enough to get decent class layouts. I'm not going to deny that is a decent game, pretty fun and easy enough to plug in and play. But is it worth the pricetag they put on it? No I wouldn't say so. It's what? £40 new, I'd probably get it if it was say £20-25. It's good but it's not 40 quid kind of good, well maybe if you got the map packs for free, like they should be.

Xbla first or nothing at all.

Microsoft are being quite petty it would seem as it has come into the headlines that they can deny games having an Xbox Live Arcade release if they launch on PSN first. In a sense it's a type of bullying aimed at developers. 'You can't use our system unless we have priority' is essentially the message they are coming across with. I hope lots of developers tell them where to shove it and go promote there games on Playstation. Granted theres always going to be competition between different consoles, this is pretty much blackmail. Sony have commented on this saying "I think what [Xbox Europe Boss] Chris Lewis and the other representatives at Microsoft are doing is protecting an inferior technology". Read full article here about Sony reaction. I'm not liking all the shady business tactics that seem to be going on in the gaming world recently, hopefully it's not a sign of things to come.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Jurassic Park The Game

So it would seem they are making a new Jurassic Park game. It's been awhile since we've had a Dino Shooter on the market. There should be more out there, the only ones I can really think of are Turok and Dino Crisis. Both of which were pretty decent imo. Anyway the game comes out on November 15th for PC, PS and Xbox. This is the first I have actually heard of it, and came across it due to this new trailer making its debut at PAX.