Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Want what you've got...

I'm considering a self-imposed new purchase embargo for the new year, or at least a restriction on new purchases. At present I have a whole heap of partially completed games or games that I've not even scratched the surface of... not to mention a few still sealed!

Those that need a bit of attention are:

Battalion Wars (Cube)
Battalion Wars II (Wii)
Devil May Cry 4 (360)
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Wii)
Dynasty Warriors Gundam (360)
Fable TLC (360)
Fable 2 (360)
Fallout 3 (360)
Far Cry 2 (360)
Geometry Wars Galaxies (Wii)
Grand Theft Auto 4 (360)
Guilty Gear Core (Wii)
Heatseeker (Wii)
Iron Man (Wii)
Kane & Lynch Dead Men (360)
Lego Batman (Wii)
Lego Indiana Jones (Wii)
Marvel Ultimate Alliance (360)
Mass Effect (360)
Naruto Rise of a Ninja (360)
Outfit, The (360)
Project Sylpheed (360)
Rainbow Six Vegas (360)
Red Steel (Wii)
Resident Evil Zero (Cube)
Resident Evil (Cube)
Resident Evil 2 (Cube)
Resident Evil 3 (Cube)
Resident Evil Code Veronica (Cube)
Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
Spider-Man 3 (360)
Splinter Cell (Cube)
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (Cube)
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (360)
Splinter Cell Double Agent (360)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed (Wii)
Stranglehold (360)
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Warhammer Battle March (360)

Gulp! That list was actually a lot longer than I expected!!!!

I bet you thought I'd forgotten you, eh?

I've been a bit remiss with the updates over the past 3 weeks or so, so let me do a bit of catching up now.

First I've traded in a fair few games and purchased a few more, mostly with credit from traded games I hasten to add! Recent acquisitions include:

Fable 2 (360)
Far Cry 2 (360)
Fallout 3 (360)
Kane & Lynch (360)
Warhammer Battle March (360)
Warhammer 40,000 Squad Command (PSP)
Red Alert 3 (PC)

I've yet to start on any of the 3 F's (Fallout 3, Fable 2, Far Cry 2) but they were all less than half price, so too good to pass up. I'm sure they will come in to play soon. Speaking of which I've recently been playing a bit of Kane & Lynch having snapped it up for about £7 from Amazon. I'm liking it a lot so far, would like to give the co-op a whirl with Player Two some time.

One game Player Two and I have played is Red Alert 3 on PC, although our skirmish mode game failed to conclude due to a network failure, we were thoroughly enjoying it up to that point. One of the things I love about the C&C games is how they've never over complicated themselves. So many other RTS games have introduced a lot of interesting advances, like waypoints, multiple resources, etc., but C&C have stuck to their original template and while the games arguably lack some of the sophistication of things like Supreme Commander, I think they are better for it in a pick-up-and-play sense.

I thought it might be interesting to re-visit my list of games I was looking forward to to see what, if anything has changed:

Fable II - Purchased, yet to play as am still playing Fable-TLC!

Gears of War 2 - I believe Player Mum has bought me this for Xmas!

Spider-Man Web of Shadows - Reviewed poorly, doubt I will pick it up now.

Quantum of Solace - Didn't get great reviews but I will likely pick up the 360 version at some point when I see it cheap!

Resident Evil 5 - I tried the recent demo and was not overly impressed, in fact it made my question my GC/Wii Resident Evil collection and whether I should cash them in like I did with the MGS titles not too long ago.

Street Fighter IV - Have pre-ordered the "vanilla" version, but if I see a good price on the Limited Edition version I quite fancy that.

Halo Wars - Looking great. Player Boy and I are nearing the end of Halo 3 now and I know he is a bit gutted that this has no split-screen two-player mode, so I suspect he may be hoping for a 360 of his own next year so we can link up to play this. The way prices are dropping I think that is a distinct possibility for next Xmas!

Halo 3 ODST - Formerly Halo 3 Recon, this is looking better and better. I was worried that due to the story structure that it might be missing co-op, but that doesn't seem to be the case so I think me and Player Boy will be playing through this together as we've been doing with the other 3 Halo titles. Not due until this time next year though, yikes!

There's not too much to say about the others, so I'll just briefly list them:

Bionic Commando
Batman Arkham Asylum
Alpha Protocol
Splinter Cell Conviction
Tom Clancy's HAWX
Halo - Untitled Peter Jackson Project

Off to tackle a few matches in FIFA 09 now...

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Don't startle the Witch!!

I just spent a couple of hours playing through the first part of Left 4 Dead, No Mercy. What a fantastic game! I highly recommend this game to anyone who has ever watched and enjoyed a zombie flick, including Shaun of the Dead.

In fact, any kind of horror movie where suspense is high on the agenda. I love the quiet moments in this, in fact in many ways they are the scariest as you are just tensing up, WAITING for something to happen.

When all hell breaks loose (excuse the pun) it's hard to maintain your composure and you find yourself yelling and flailing away with your gun hammering the "push away" button and the trigger alternately, trying to create a bit of space for yourself and trying to keep an eye on team mates.

Brilliant game.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

NXE is here!

Have just finished installing NXE on my 360 and flicking around the menus a bit. I've made my avatar and FIFA 09 is currently installing to the hard drive.

My Avatar!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

120 Gb drive is GO!

Got my 120 Gb drive installed and ready for Wednesday. It was a bit of a nightmare though...

I decided to trade in a bunch of games at CEX to purchase one of their pre-owned 120 Gb drives. They come with 12 months warranty, so I figured that was as good as a brand new drive. I checked the website and noticed that Bedford had one in stock and was within striking distance of me so planned to get it from there. I originally planned to trade in enough stuff to get a memory card, back up my saves and then trade in my 20 Gb drive towards the cost of the 120 Gb drive. However I quickly realised that it would be easier to get a transfer cable and drive and then trade/sell my drive later.

I purchased a cable from the CEX website (£3) but then discovered that Bedford had sold their only 120 Gb drive. CEX had plenty to sell on their website so I decided to post off my trades to get credit against purchases from the website... or so I thought!! I duly packaged up my games and posted them off (which cost me £6-odd) and waited for confirmation from CEX. Checked my account at the CEX website after a couple and they had received and tested all the games and were happy. This was where I realised that rather than crediting any on-line account and allowing me to purchase with that credit, they were in fact posting me a credit note! If I wanted to use this against the website I had to place an order with a credit card and then contact them to tell them I was sending a credit note and then post them the credit note by recorded delivery!!!

Realising what a total faff that would be I checked the website again hoping that either Bedford or Luton would get some 120 Gb drives in stock. No such luck, but I did notice that Watford apparently had several. As I can get free train travel on certain routes I decided to jump on a train down to Watford Junction with my credit note, which I did yesterday. I arrived nearly an hour before the store opened but busied myself in the local shops.

When I (finally) got into the store I realised why some people are so reluctant to use CEX! The Luton store is quite bright and clean, the Bedford one a bit less so, but still not too bad. This, however, was a dingy, grimy, poorly lit hell-hole! I wanted to get in and get out intact and fortunately I did, with my new 120 Gb drive. Got myself home and hooked up the transfer cable and about an hour later all was good.

Looking forward to Wednesday and installing FIFA 09, Gears of War, Halo 3, etc.

Friday, 14 November 2008

360 Repairs!

No, fortunately I have NOT been struck down by the dreaded RROD, but there is a chance that some day I may be. That's why I am taking the opportunity to bookmark this handy X-Clamp removal/replacement/repair guide.

I hope I never have to use it...

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Left 4 Dead

I got hold of a demo for Left 4 Dead for the 360 late Friday night and it is utterly awesome! I spent a bit of time agonising over whether to go for the 360 version (£30) or the PC version (£20) and eventually settled on the PC version and ordered it from Amazon. Really looking forward to it, just have to convince Player Two to get a copy too so we can fight the zombie horde in co-op!

Player Boy has shown a sudden interest in FIFA! I think this was prompted by us playing on a 360 demo pod in HMV which was running Pro Evo Soccer 2009 while we were away on our hols. It's prompted me to order a copy of FIFA 09 for the Wii, which will have simpler controls and more family-friendly features in comparison to the 360 version.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

They're coming!!!!

Left 4 Dead has been on my radar for quite a while, but has just shot from very interested to must have and will be top of my Xmas wish-list from now on!

The reason for this? This movie:

Now, while that's not actual gameplay footage, it's got me SO excited to play the game. I just have to decide now on whether to go for the PC version or the 360 version...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

FIFA 09 Goal

I've scored many, many, many, many goals already on FIFA 09 on my 360. Here is just one of them...


It's less than two weeks until November 19th and the arrival of NXE, the new 360 dashboard software. I have to say it really is pretty amazing that a console that is already well into it's life-span is receiving such a major overhaul to it's software. Yes, a lot of it is cosmetic stuff and/or ripped off from elsewhere, but it's still interesting and fun.

One of the major new features is the option to install games to the hard drive, which will slightly speed up load times and keep the noise down at the same time. Fantastic! However, with the average install being around 6 Gb, having plenty of hard drive space is more important than ever!

Which is why I wanted to upgrade to a 120 Gb drive. I did post here about a DIY upgrade, but have decided instead to get a pre-owned drive from CEX. I've used the "Sell to CEX" feature on their website to trade a number of games which exactly totals the £65 it costs to buy a pre-owned 120 Gb drive from them. I've also ordered the drive transfer kit (£3) from them so once I am finished I will have a spare 20 Gb drive to sell or trade.

With the proceeds from the sale/trade I have an eye on Assassin's Creed for my 360...

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Away from home on a little holiday this week, but have been into CEX and picked up Dead Or Alive 4 (360), Pursuit Force (PSP) and Spider-Man 3 (360). I was going to trade in Heatseeker (PSP) and Marvel Ultimate Alliance (Wii) but there was nothing else I wanted to pick up, so decided to hold onto them for the time being.

I've only tried Pursuit Force (for obvious reasons) and I quite like it but I'm already stuck on one of the first missions! Not sure how long I will persevere with it...

I've also been considering my PSP in general, again. For the first time today I've also been asking myself questions about my DS. I don't know whether I've been spoilt by the 360, but I am struggling to enjoy games on either of my handheld platforms. I think I've picked up too many games, for one reason or another, that aren't really my thing, which has in turn muddied my opinion of the machine as a whole. Maybe I just need a good clear out of the games I have and then I will be able to enjoy what's left a whole lot more.

But doing that is fraught with problems. Take Pokemon Diamond on the DS for instance. I've not played it at all, but Player Boy will be heartbroken if I decide to sell or trade it. He is convinced that some day I will get stuck into it and get my pokemon trained up to a high level and be able to take him on in a series of duels. Who knows, maybe I will? I think of the games I have I will keep this one in the collection.

After a quick look through the bag I've come up with the following candidates to sell/trade:

Resident Evil DS
Advance Wars Dark Conflict
Super Mario 64 DS
Advance Wars Dual Strike
Geometry Wars Galaxies

This still leaves me with 15 DS games, so there is the possibility of further trimming in the future. A quick glance at the titles left suggests another 4 or 5 that should consider themselves "at risk".

But if I trade these, what games should I be looking to pick up to reignite my passion for portable gaming? I think I need to concentrate on picking up the sort of titles that I would look to play on my PC or 360 rather than just those titles that are recommended as being perfect for the platform, e.g. Advance Wars.

I came very close this week to picking up Spider-Man 3 on the DS, I think that's one I would definitely go for. Space Invaders Extreme looks good. Maybe Lego Batman. I'd consider PES 2009 but would need to know that it would be signifcantly better than FIFA 09.

As for my PSP, I've considered selling it and the games to fund the purchase of a new LCD TV for connecting to my 360, but am going to stick with it and looking to pick up a couple of more titles for it and maybe trade in a few of the current titles...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

More possible purchases!

I've been trawling Metacritic and looking up prices on the CEX website again and have come up with a couple more possibles to pick up...

Spider-Man 2 (PSP) has a few good reviews and I could do with bolstering my selection of PSP titles. The last one I picked up was Heatseeker, but have since traded in PES 6 so I currently have only 7 games for my PSP.

Spider-Man 3 (360) looking through the review scores and quotes on Metacritic this seems to have really divided opinions! Highest score is a 95% and the lowest is 30%! I think I'll give it a try, especially as it seems to be available at CEX for under a tenner!

Syphon Filter (PSP) there are actually two Syphon Filter titles on the PSP and I'm happy to pick up whichever one I can find cheapest. Tried a demo a little while back and was fairly impressed and I'm quite in the mood for this sort of game now, with a very secret agent-y plot and everything!

I've picked up a cheap 360 copy of Marvel Ultimate Alliance on 360 so will be trading my Wii version that I couldn't get into due to the controls. MUA will now be a hot contender for weekend morning games with Player Boy when we complete Halo 3 which we started yesterday...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Cheap 360 hard drive upgrade

With the new version of the dashboard due to drop next month and the option to install games to the hard drive coming with it, I am very tempted to do this!

What's on the radar? (360 Edition!)

Browsing the latest issue of XBox360 Magazine I came across the list of upcoming releases. Skimming through it I made a few notes on what they have listed...

Firstly, those games I definitely want:
  • Fable II
  • Gears of War 2
  • Halo 3 Recon
  • Halo Wars
  • Halo - Untitled Peter Jackson Project

I'm fairly sure these will all be purchased. I'm hoping to unwrap either Fable II or Gears 2 on Christmas Day, whichever one I don't get is likely to follow soon after. Halo 3 Recon and Halo Wars could both be day one purchases. I'm not sure what is going on with the Peter Jackson Halo project, but if it still comes out I will be snapping it up too.

Next up, the games I am very interested in:
  • Spider-Man Web of Shadows
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Bionic Commando
  • Batman Arkham Asylum
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Splinter Cell Conviction
  • Tom Clancy's HAWX
Spider-Man and QoS are both multi-format titles that I am considering. I'm fairly sure I'll pick them up (providing the reviews are good) but I just need to decide on which format - 360 or Wii? The Wii versions will almost always save me a few quid, so it comes down to whether I will be bothered by the inferior graphics and altered control systems. I expect that I will go for QoS on Wii and Spidey on 360, but let's see how things pan out...

I've been wanting a good beat em up for my 360 for a while, I'm hoping Street Fighter IV will be it, so there is a good chance of a day one purchase, but I will want to play a demo first. Bionic Commando looks like good fun, but again I want to try a demo first! I'm very excited about Batman Arkham Asylum and as we get closer to release I wouldn't be surprised if this moves from "interested" to "must buy".

I've not completed any of the Resi titles yet but have a strange desire to own them all, so will no doubt be picking up Resi 5 at some point, but more than likely in a sale or pre-owned. Same goes for Splinter Cell Conviction. HAWX looks good, but I expect it to be another I try and pick up cheap or pre-owned.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


After concluding that I should go for Call of Duty 2 and Burnout Revenge with my CEX voucher, I'm now considering Assassin's Creed. It looks like a great game, but there have been some dissenting voices out there who have been critical of it. I wish there was a demo available to help me make up my mind whether it was for me or not!

Mind you, my 360 is currently very busy downloading the demos for EndWar and the new Brothers In Arms game, so it would be a while before I could try it anyway! And let's not forget that there is a PC version of Assassin's, which I think has a few extra features that might make it a worthy alternative...

Just installing Prince of Persia Sands of Time on my PC for a play. I've briefly tried it before and it didn't grab me, but reading about the Wii version of the third game (The Two Thrones on most other platforms, but Rival Swords on the Wii!) has piqued my interest.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Tatsunoko vs Capcom

This looks absolutely awesome and is coming to the Wii! Unfortunately I doubt we'll see it released on PAL format due to licensing issues, but check it out anyway...


Having mentioned a number of possible games I was considering spending my CEX voucher on, I thought I would look at them in a little more detail to see if I can make a decision...

Virtua Fighter 5 (360) - Now I'm not entirely sure why but I suddenly really fancied getting this, which is a bit odd as I've already had it. I downloaded the demo and quite liked it, so I ordered it from Game on Christmas Eve for £17.99, a bit of a bargain at the time! It duly arrived before New Year and slipped into it's place in my rack still sealed. And there it sat. And sat. And sat. Eventually I started to believe that I would never crack the seal and decided to stick it up for sale. An offer eventually came in and I had second thoughts so I downloaded the demo again and gave it another whirl. No, I decided I didn't really like it and it should go so it was packaged up and posted off. On Saturday I had the game in my hand at CEX but eventually slipped it onto a shelf amongst the PSP games whilst I was in the queue. I've since downloaded the demo again and... well, I'm glad I didn't buy it as I don't think I like it. I think my desire for a good fighting game will hold until I can get my hands on Street Fighter 2 HD and Street Fighter IV.

Burnout Revenge (360)/Burnout Paradise (360) - I'll tackle these together, for obvious reasons! I've wanted a good racing game for a while and was thinking Burnout Paradise would fit the bill. I had tried demos of both of these and was very impressed. What impressed me even more was all the fantastic additions that have been released for Burnout Paradise, including the recent release of the bikes pack. That's amazing for a freebie! Paradise was another one I had in my hand at CEX, until I flipped it over and read the back and realised that there was no split-screen multiplayer! I can't understand that, I really can't. I still have the original Burnout on my Gamecube and think it's brilliant zipping in and out of the traffic and THAT version has split-screen multiplayer, so why is it missing from the latest version? When I realised this I checked whether Revenge had split-screen multiplayer and found that it did so it quickly came into contention. Unfortunately I couldn't find a copy in the store, but next time I'm in there (or another branch) I'll be checking for it again and am sure to be picking it up.

Army of Two (360) - Now this was more of a whim than anything. I play a lot of games with Player Two in co-op and I figured a game that is built from the ground up around co-op play could be pretty good. Reviews I have seen have been good rather than great so I felt that this was a bit overpriced (at £25) in CEX so didn't pick it up. If I'd seen it under £20 it would almost certainly been on my shelf now.

Conan (360) - At £10 this looked like a bit of a bargain. I've tried the demo and quite like it, although I can imagine it will likely become impossibly difficult at some point and will be one of those games that I never finish, which put me off somewhat.

Call of Duty 2 (360) - Another one I couldn't see on the shelves (I could see Call of Duty 3, which I've completed on Wii) but will be looking for again next time I'm in there. There has been quite a shift in FPS games towards multiplayer in recent years, with single player experiences suffering. There are a number of games where singleplayer mode is effectively the multiplayer mode with bots which I find becomes frustrating when your efforts don't seem to amount to much, or worse, when the team manages to win in spite of you! This is what helped to rule out Battlefield 2 and Frontlines.

So there you have it, it looks like the voucher is destined to be spent on Call of Duty 2 and Burnout Revenge next time I see them...


I'm thoroughly enjoying FIFA 09! Most of the matches I play are in the Manager Mode and I am ploughing through my first season at the moment in League Two. I also have a separate career going, playing the matches in co-op with Player Two where we are approaching the end of season one in the Championship. It's not been a great season, but we still have a slim chance of making the play-offs!

In other news I traded in a few games at CEX and picked up Fable The Lost Chapters (XBox) which I am loving! I've also got Battalion Wars 2 (Wii) but I've not had chance to try it yet. I still have £24 of credit to spend but couldn't decide what to buy with it. Possibilities are/were; Virtua Fighter 5 (360), Burnout Revenge (360), Army of Two (360), Conan (360), Burnout Paradise (360) and a couple of others...

It's a hard choice because funds for new games are becoming ever more limited so if I am going to get a game I have to be sure that I will enjoy it.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

More on QoS

That's Quantum of Solace, not Question of Sport, but anyway...

As I said I am currently in a quandry, trying to decide between the PC, 360 and Wii version of the new Bond game. I was aware that there were different developers for different platforms, but I must admit that I had assumed that the 360 and PC (and PS3) versions would all be by the same developer, with the Wii being developed by the same team that's working on the PS2 version.

Not so!

The PC and Wii versions are being developed by Beenox, with the 360 and PS3 versions by Treyarch. For the record, Eurocom are handling the PS2 version. I have to admit that this fills me with hope for the Wii version. Too often Wii versions of cross-platform releases are based off the PS2 version with added motion controls, with the quality of the graphics on the Wii version suffering as a result. Hopefully with QoS the visuals will be more on a par with the PC demo I played recently, which has improved it's chances of being my chosen platform for the title no end! I do still want to try the 360 demo though as I can see it controlling wonderfully with the 360 pad...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Quantum of Solace

I've been uhming and aahing over this one for a few weeks. I'm a massive Bond fan and have the four Bond games released on the Cube on my shelf. (For the record; Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing and From Russia With Love!)

I found out that Coke were doing a promotion with codes on bottles of Coke Zero to allow you to download the demo for the PC version of QoS so I popped into the local shop on my way home and picked one up. Played some FIFA 09 (fantastic game!) while I waited for the download to complete and then had a quick bash.

I say quick, it was actually VERY quick as it's a very short demo. Disappointingly so actually, after all that downloading! Anyway, what was there was very nice and encouraging and I am fairly certain I'll be picking up a copy of this in due course, likely pre-owned or in a sale when the film exits the cinemas and sales of the game correspondingly lose momentum.

The big question is... which platform? I was really hoping that the game would be super smooth on my PC, but sadly that wasn't the case. I had to tone down a few of the options and although it still looked good I had been spoilt by seeing it run (albeit not particularly smoothly) with the settings ramped up. I'll keep an eye out for a 360 demo on the marketplace and will also consider the Wii version, although I'll be wanting to see a few reviews of that in the absence of a demo to try.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


No, I'm not popping out for a bar of Fair Trade chocolate, I'm just throwing up a link to a site I just discovered which focuses on co-op gaming; Co-Optimus.com.

I love a bit of co-op action personally, me and Player Boy have played through Eragon, Halo 1, Halo 2, Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga and a fair chunk of Castle Crashers all in co-op mode. I'd far rather co-op than compete as nobody ends up a loser... or you both do!

It's one of the reasons I'm currently enjoying Rainbow Six Vegas with Player Two so much and why I'm so looking forward to Lego Batman and LittleBigPlanet!


I tried getting a bit clever with my blog the other day, changing the template and generally making it all fancy. Epic fail, in fact I nearly destroyed it altogether! You'll notice my top 5, my trade-in list, my pre-orders list and probably a couple of other things I forgot used to be here are all gone! I'll try and rebuild it over the next few days...

I've been playing a bit of FIFA 09 over the last couple of days and I have to say that it really is fantastic. So much better than FIFA 08 in so many ways! Yes, I'm (still) disappointed that you can't do Be-A-Pro mode with multiple players offline as you can in Euro 2008, but the rest of the package makes up for it. Highly recommended!

Player Boy and I completed Halo 2 yesterday so we'll be starting on Halo 3 in the near future. I'm starting to look out for other co-op games we can play through once we've completed that, but I'm also really hoping that the upcoming new Halo game will retain split-screen multiplayer co-op.

I finally lost patience with Vista on Thursday and have since installed a new drive and reinstalled Windows XP. I've got most of my apps reinstalled, but no games so far. I'll be installing Company of Heroes later though, I am anticipating a game of it with Player Two when he comes over this week.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Sega's new console?!

As a former Dreamcast owner, it warms my heart to see news of Sega making a new console. I thought the Dreamcast was a fantastic little machine with some great games.

Okay, the controller design was questionable at best, but the idea of the VMU and the portable games downloaded to it was great and I'd love to see this revisited in the future! With the advances in technology since the Dreamcast launched (November 1998 in Japan, fact fans!) this could work brilliantly.

Anyway, read the details here.

It's here!

Postie popped FIFA 09 for the 360 through my letterbox today and I have to say that it's absolutely fantastic! My fears about Be-A-Pro have been partly realised unfortunately. You can only have one "Pro", but other players can join in the matches controlling other players on the same team, or even playing on the opposing team!

But I have to say the rest of the game more than makes up for that slight disappointment. I guess this means FIFA 08 goes on the trade-in pile. So long mate, thanks for all the great times...

My 360 copy was ordered from SoftUK, so thanks to them for getting it to me on release day. The Hut have not faired so well, there is no sign of my DS version even being dispatched to me! Will have to seriously reconsider my LittleBigPlanet pre-order that's sitting with them at the moment!!

In other news I ordered The Orange Box (360) for a bargain price of less than £12 over at Play. I've only even played the original Half-Life, so I'm looking forward to tucking into this lot. In fact I am tempted to install and play the Opposing Forces and Blue Shift add-ons that I never got round to!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

More Trailers!

First up, Quantum of Solace...

Finally, Lego Batman!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Having updated my wish list and mentioning a few different games in my previous post, I thought I should post a few videos to try and illustrate why I am so excited about some of these games...

First up, Fable 2!

Next, Gears of War 2!

GTA IV, FIFA 09 and Christmas lists...

Yesterday Player Mum and I celebrated eight years of marriage. We exchanged gifts and when I unwrapped mine I found, amongst other things, Grand Theft Auto IV for my 360! I didn't get a chance to play it last night as I was spending some quality time with Player Mum, but will be breaking the seal on it soon!

Thinking about breaking that seal reminds me that I still have several sealed games on my shelf. With Christmas looming (okay, not exactly looming, but certainly on the horizon!) people will be expecting me to compile a wish list and I'm wondering whether to include any games on this list. I have a wish list at Amazon that I usually circulate and I keep adding and removing games from that list. In recent weeks I've added (and removed) Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Burnout Paradise and Quantum of Solace.

So why do I keep adding and removing them? Obviously I get caught up in hype and desire for shiny new things which is what prompts me to stick the games on my list, but then when I look at my shelf full of games I haven't completed and in some cases haven't even started, I cross those same games off again. I don't need any more games at the moment, I really don't!

In other news I've checked the pre-order status of my 360 copy of FIFA 09 and am quite excited to report that it's been posted today so should be with me tomorrow!! There are reports all over the net of people that apparently have a copy already, but I have to say that I am extremely suspicious of these people and their claims, mainly due to the complete lack of new information any of these people are supplying regarding the game! I get the feeling these people are suffering from the same thing that made my neighbour when we were kids claim to have seen Rocky 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8... and this was when Rocky 3 had only just been released! Oh well...

Sunday, 28 September 2008

FIFA 09... What a turnaround!

"Well Brian, the Wii version was playing a bit of a blinder early doors and looked to have this sewn up in the closing stages, but it's a game of two halves and the 360 version has come from nowhere, knocked in a couple of pearlers and blow me down he's taken it!"

Yes... after much pontificating about the merits of the Wii version of FIFA 09 and how disappointed I was that the Be-A-Pro offline multiplayer mode seemed to be missing from the 360 version I have changed my mind. My Wii pre-order has been cancelled and I have ordered the 360 version instead.

So, you may be asking, what prompted this action? GamesMaster. Yes, GamesMaster. I picked up a copy of the latest issue for some reading over the weekend and it included a review of the 360 version of FIFA 09. After digesting that I turned the page and skimmed through a review of the PS2 version. There I spotted the following line; "The Be A Pro mode allows you (and up to three friends, should they fancy it) to take control of a single player each and to build up their stats as you guide their career to glorious new heights..." I theorised that if multiplayer Be-A-Pro is available in the PS2 version, it MUST be in the 360 version!

So while I prey that I am correct in my theory, and I continue to scour the net for evidence to back it up, I am also feverishly hoping that my pre-order lands on my doormat on release day, October 3rd...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

FIFA 09 Comedy Goal

I'm not going to ramble on again about the merits of the Wii version over the 360 version, just suffice to say that this video on it's own is making me seriously reconsider:

Little Big Planet




I've posted here previously about how excited I am about Little Big Planet, so I won't bore you with details of how I intend to purchase this game for my PS3 and that it will be the ONLY game I am intending to purchase for it and yet I have 4 PS3 sixaxis controllers ready to go in multiplayer for this!

What I do want to talk about is the beta that was released yesterday. I was browsing the rllmukforums and decided to check the Little Big Planet thread for any updates or new videos that may have been released since they confirmed the release dates (October 24th in UK!). Looking at the last few posts it seemed to suggest there was some sort of demo out there. I scrolled back through and found a link to Eurogamer where they were giving out beta keys. I hit the link and thus began a very tense 45 minutes or so!

You see, Little Big Planet looks like being a wildly popular game, so as you would expect it wasn't just me that was desperate to get a beta key. The interest seemed to have brought Eurogamer's website to it's knees! I was getting time outs and other error messages and frantically hitting F5 to refresh the page in the vain hope that it would load this time.

Over at The DVD Forums I found another link, this time to the actual page on Eurogamer where you got your beta key. The rllmukforum link was a news story on Eurogamer regarding the beta key release. So now I was desperately trying to load both pages with very little success! I finally got part of the pages loaded and noted that I needed to login to Eurogamer's website to get my key.

Now if I hadn't already signed up to Eurogamer that would have been the end of it as there was no way I could have got through the sign-up process. Fortunately I had signed up a few years back when Eurogamer had the exclusive Sensible Soccer 2006 demo, so I tapped in my details and hoped.

More timeouts and error messages and things were not looking good...

On a whim I checked my e-mail and had a message from Eurogamer congratulating me on obtaining a beta key and giving me a link for my message!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! Now I just had to get the message to load to find out what the key actually was and what I should do with it!

After much frantic refreshing, the message eventually popped up on screen and I scribbled down the key and brief instructions on what to do with it. Dashing downstairs I found the kids glued to something on the TV and in no mood to let me switch over to the PS3. In some ways this was a bit of a blessing as I've got both of them well hyped up for Little Big Planet and there was no way I would have got them to bed if they had known what was going on!

With the kids tucked up in bed I followed the instructions (which included a dash back to the study to confirm whether they were 2's or Z's in the key) and got the beta downloading. To busy myself while I waited I did the ironing and watched CSI Miami and when the BBC News finished, Player Mum let me switch over.

Oh my.

Little Big Planet is utterly fantastic! It's everything I hoped for and so much more. I was just sat there giggling too myself at the antics of Sackboy and with a big childish grin slapped across my face.

I'll probably post more thoughts on it later, but for now just now that I love the game already and am really looking forward to getting my hands on the final release in a little over 4 weeks.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Vegas, Fable and FIFA

Player Two came over last night and we spent a fair chunk of time playing Rainbow Six Vegas in split-screen co-op terrorist hunt. It was fantastic! Admittedly we didn't manage to complete a single mission and we were disappointed that we couldn't re-spawn and there was no AI backup. Admittedly you've never been able to re-spawn in R6 (except in Lockdown if I recall) but that was why the AI backup was always great because if your main man went down you could just jump into the next one and carry on. Good stuff regardless though and I can see us playing it a lot more. In fact I am going to give GRAW another chance to see if it can change my mind!

I have been hearing a lot lately about Fable 2 (mostly on the Gamer Dork podcasts!) which to be honest I hadn't really paid attention too, having never played Fable. The enthusiasm I am hearing for Fable 2 has made me want to check it out and I am now actively looking for a cheap(ish) copy of Fable The Lost Chapters to play on my 360. I have put Fable 2 on my wishlist and taken it off several times already, so who knows what will happen there...

As we close in on the release date of FIFA 09 I am finding myself panicking slightly yet again over whether or not I am doing the right thing in going with the Wii version. But after another top night of playing Euro 2008 with Player Two I keep coming back to the same thing. If they had just kept the Be-A-Pro/Captain-Your-Country mode from Euro 2008 it would be a sure thing.

Without it... Well, let's see what the Wii version can offer!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Another Bubble

Loaded up Blue Dragon this morning for the first time in ages. I didn't have a clue what I had been doing last time I played it or what I should do next. I don't think I can be bothered to start over so it's on the At Risk list.

If I'm going to play a role-playing game I think I'd rather play Mass Effect which is still sealed on my shelf. I also quite fancy Fable 2, but may pick up Fable The Lost Chapters first...

In other news, Player Boy has discovered Star Wars The Force Unleashed. I fear I may never get to play it again!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Bubble Update

I've decided to slide Tomb Raider Legend into the To Trade pile. Life's too short to play games that you're not really into! I must remember that in future, it'll probably save me a pile of money...

Speaking of money, CEX will give £5 trade for TRL so I've not lost anything on it at least.

No decision yet on WWE or PDZ, they both only get £3 trade value at CEX so I'm thinking I might as well keep them at that price. For now at least...

The Force Unleashed

I've just spent the last hour or so playing Star Wars The Force Unleashed on Wii. I had pre-ordered it from Game a couple of months or so back and it turned up today, a day early!

First impressions are very positive. I'm thoroughly enjoying the game and the storyline. I had played the 360 demo and was very impressed by that and having just played the corresponding level in the Wii version they are completely different, so I may end up picking up the 360 version too in due course. (Actually there seems to be a lot of negative feeling out there towards the 360 version and the game in general on all formats, so this could be cropping up in sales or relatively cheap pre-owned sooner rather than later. I will have to keep my eye on it...)

The reason I plumped for the Wii version was the two-player duel mode that's exclusive to the Wii. I am slightly disappointed to discover that this is two-players only, i.e. there is no AI opponents to fight against, but I guess this is due to Clone Wars Lightsaber Duels arriving in November.

The force is strong with this one...

In other news I spent a few minutes cancelling some pre-orders at Game to replace them with cheaper ones over at The Hut. Every penny counts!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

On the bubble...

With my "To Trade" pile drastically reduced after Saturday's visit to CEX I have started to build it back up again. I currently have three 360 titles sitting in a pile halfway between where they would usually be (neatly slotted into a wall mounted storage unit) and the "To Trade" pile. All three are "on the bubble" and could find themselves back in their slots or in the pile.

The three titles are:

  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Tomb Raider Legend
  • WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007

I'll start with Perfect Dark Zero. It seems a sound enough game but I just found it all very uninspiring. I never played the original Perfect Dark on the N64 so I don't know any of Joanna's back story which may have helped, but also the setting of the opening level and the action incorporated in it didn't really excite me like I would expect a FPS to.

My only major complaint is that I did find the little changes from first to third-person perspective and back jarring. Just make up your mind, first or third!! Now I know other games do this, Rainbow Six Vegas for instance, but there it just seems much smoother and less obtrusive than it does here.

Tomb Raider Legend was purchased on a whim when Game had it in their sale. It cost me all of £4.99 brand new. Interestingly I had purchased TRL previously, it was one of the games I stockpiled prior to receiving my 360 at Christmas last year. Unfortunately I originally had my 360 rigged to a 4:3 VGA monitor and for some unknown reason TRL was squashed on the screen as if it was in the wrong aspect ratio, so I traded it in. I've since switched to a 16:9 CRT (sacrificing the lower quality image for the aspect ratio) with an RGB scart cable so I decided to try it again and picked it up when I spotted it in the Game sale. The game displays perfectly now, but I am finding the action in the game very frustrating.

I don't find repeating the same section over and over because I was just a teeny-tiny bit out on the jump that made up the very last bit of the section enjoyable. I also find games like this, i.e. where I am controlling a very acrobatic and versatile character, frustrating when I want him/her to do something that hasn't been planned for by the designers. Yes, I know that rock is slightly taller than Lara's waist, but it's not exactly smooth I'm sure she could manage to clamber onto it if she made an effort! No? Oh well...

Finally WWE. Me and Player Two have a long history of wrestling games, mostly purchased in an effort to recapture the fun on an old N64 wrestling game. The name of the game itself has been lost in the mists of time (but I believe it was one of the WCW/NWO titles) and Player Two was recently speculating that perhaps we remember it a little too fondly and if we went back to it now we would find it to be terrible.

What I do recall is that you could take on a series of fights in two player to ultimately try and win the tag team titles. If you then decided to go for the titles again with two different wrestlers, the last pair that you won the title with would remain the title holders until you fought them. I always thought that was brilliant!

Hideously complicated controls meant that myself and Player Two gleaned little enjoyment from our admittedly brief playtime with WWE. The big question is whether we can be bothered to apply ourselves and learn the controls in order to get anything from the game? I think we will need to explore the range of matches available to us within the game first. If we can embark on a series of bouts in pursuit of the tag team titles, it might just be worth it!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Less than seven weeks to go...

Less than seven weeks until Little Big Planet is released!!!


I have an XBox LIVE Gold account, so would I recommend it to a friend?


Of course, it should be quantified that my recommendation is based on my own personal experience and different people will have different feelings to me, but this is my blog and not theirs so I will now attempt to justify this...

Firstly I am not particularly "big" on on-line play, whether I have to pay for it or not. I have a fairly decent PC, by no means cutting edge, but able to comfortably handle something like Unreal Tournament III. Looking at my shelf of PC games I have around 10 popular on-line games that are free to play on-line but I have only ever played off-line. Why? Well, for starters I don't think I am skillfull enough to compete with some of the players out there and my idea of fun is not to a game of, say, Quake Wars Enemy Territory where I am constantly killed and re-spawn only to be killed again. I have better ways to spend my time, so games such as this I play in any available single-player mode and/or botmatch modes where I can tailor the difficulty to suit myself.

Of course, the reverse can be true and my opponents aren't as good as me and throw their toys out of their pram when they lose. On the Wii I have Mario Strikers Charged Football which has an on-line play mode that I have used exactly once on the first day I got the game. You play a series of 3 matches. My opponent won the first game but I won the second and the third was a tense affair that I won in sudden death extra-time. As soon as my goal went in my opponent disconnected from the match which meant I wasn't credited with the win. Ho hum, sore loser.

So if I'm not really interested in on-line play, why did I get the Gold account in the first place? The answer is FIFA 08. You see, EA made the roster updates only available to those players with Gold accounts, which I think is a pretty poor thing to do. With me switching to the Wii version for FIFA 09 I expect that I won't need to have any special account and/or have to pay for the roster updates on that version, so I am happy to let my Gold membership lapse to a silver account when it comes up for renewal.

The only other benefit is getting access to game demos a week early with a Gold membership, but I'm sure I can wait a week, can't I?


I have been playing the 360 demo for FIFA 09 and it's pretty good. I couldn't get on with it at first, some of the controls are slightly different and the crossing just isn't working for me so far, but I have really started to enjoy it. Some of the new things in it are great, e.g. the tackles and the way players fall, etc.

However, I have to remind myself that I have pre-ordered the Wii version. Here's hoping that it doesn't disappoint...

Fingers crossed it won't! And let's not forget the Wii-specific modes, like Footii Match:

Roll on October 3rd!


Took most of my "to trade" pile to CEX yesterday and came away with £39.20 in store credit. Promptly spent this on:

Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Wii)
Madden NFL 07 (Wii)
Rainbow Six Vegas (360)

Plus 3 DVDs that I won't bother to name!

The only one of the above that I've tried so far is Rainbow Six Vegas, which is fantastic. Far better than Ghost Recon Advance Warfighter, which was consigned to the trade-in pile yesterday. Looking forward to trying DBZ and Madden 07. I'll admit that selecting Madden 07 was a bit of a risk as I'm not that into NFL (hence why I'm not fussed about rosters or other details being two years out of date) but am hoping it will still be enjoyable, especially in multiplayer with Player Two.

So what DIDN'T I pick up? I had Conan (360) in my hand for a long time and I took a long hard look at Battalion Wars II (Wii), however I later found that both of these are in the 2 for £20 range at Gamestation, so my next trade in may be done there with a view to picking these up.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Bad Company

With the fantastic offer at Morrisons where all their 360 titles are 25 quid I was considering what else I should pick up.

With this in mind I downloaded the demo of Battlefield Bad Company. I'd tried it when it was first released and didn't really get on with it. Trying it again I got further than I did previously, but still came away unconvinced.

I'm not saying it's a bad game. It's clearly very popular, but the challenges it presents don't really interest me, unfortunately.

Oh well, what's next?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Maybe Madden?

Testing out the mail-to-blog feature I've just activated, which means I can post from my mobile phone!

After enjoying Tiger 09 so much on Wii last night, I'm considering other sports titles.

I've already ordered Fifa 09 for Wii, but am now planning on picking up Madden too. I can't afford the 09 version, but with some games to trade in I'm hoping to pick up the 07 or 08 version.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Tiger Woods (part 2!)

Morrisons currently have a fantastic sale on where you can pick up chart Wii titles for £15 and 360 titles for £25, amongst others. With this offer out there I couldn't resist picking up Tiger 09, but for which platform?

Arriving at the store this morning I still wasn't sure. Waiting for the doors to open I used the mobile internet on my phone (which is brilliant by the way! Remember when WAP was a joke and was more like teletext than the supposed mobile internet? Well now there really is such a thing as a mobile internet, and it is good!) to read up on a few more opinions.

Even in the store I had both copies in my hand at one stage and seriously considered buying both. In the end, the lure of motion controls and a price tag £10 lower meant the Wii version won the day.

Having just finished my first nine holes on Tiger, I am satisfied I made the right choice! Phew!

For the record, I ended up six over par. One birdie, 3 pars and... well, you can probably guess the rest...

I also picked up two copies of a DS game for Player Boy and Player Girl to unwrap at Xmas and also a 360 copy of GTA IV for me to unwrap!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Tiger Woods

With the Ryder Cup looming my interest in golf hits it's peak. I am considering sorting myself out with some lessons again and maybe dragging my golf bag out of the bag of the garage for a trip to the driving range. More to the point, I'm also looking to play some video game golf!!

With that in mind I've taken Tiger Woods 07 for my 360 down from the shelf for a play. I got it before Christmas 2007 when I was stockpiling 360 games in preparation for the big day and consequently I've played it once since then which didn't go too far beyond loading it up and making sure it worked.

I've played a few rounds over the past few days, enough to get a good feel for the game certainly, but tonight it's hit the "to trade in" pile!

The game is beyond frustrating! All my shots seem to be coming up way short of the target, not to mention the predicted "yardage" of the clubs. I'm having no end of problems actually driving the ball in a straight blooming line for starters!!

I don't know whether it's me, the 360 controller or the game or a combination of all three. I do know that I didn't have these problems with Tiger 04, 05 or 06 in the GameCube and am now regretting not having any of those to fall back on.

My thoughts turn, somewhat predictably, to the recently released 09 version. I've downloaded a demo of the 360 version and have found it much more comfortable than the 07 version. However, I can't decide now between the 360 version and the Wii version.

I quite like the idea of the motion controls for the Wii version as this could bring some level of actual skill into the game in multiplayer. I found on the Cube versions in multiplayer that myself and Player Two rarely ever hit a bad shot, any differences were usually down to poor club selection or getting a bad lie, etc. So the idea of having to execute a swing correctly (even if it's not a 1:1 reproduction of an actual golf swing) might be quite cool. Plus the Wii version is cheaper than the 360 one.

However, there are likely to be days when I just can't be bothered to stand up in my study and swing my arms around like a lunatic. Days where I just want to slump in a chair and press buttons, etc. Days when I can't get the kids off the Wii so I can play what I want to play, dammit! So the 360 version has it's appeal...

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Spider-Man : Friend or Foe Review (PC)

Thought I would post this here, it's a review I wrote over at rllmukforum last November:

I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts on this new title by Activision as it seems to have garnered a lot of (in my humble opinion) unfair negative criticism. A good example of this is in the latest issue of ONM, in the release dates section. They say (paraphrased, because I've left it downstairs and can't be bothered to go and get it) "We've not mentioned it before, and with good reason because it's rubbish."

Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not.

Okay, so it's no Halo 3, Bioshock, FIFA 08, Super Mario Galaxy, etc. But it is a fun little game, very much on a par with Lego Star Wars. In fact that's pretty much the template for the game and if Lego hadn't lost the Spider-Man licence to Mega Blocks a few years back then this might have been put out by Traveller's Tales. So it's a fairly simple game. Lots of combat, some very simple puzzles, boss fights, cool cut scenes, a fair smattering of unlockables, etc.

I'll talk about the things that bother me about this game first. Top of this list is that when playing, one of the two characters HAS to be Spider-Man. Okay, so his name is on the cover so you'd kind of expect that, but you can't even go back and re-play the level as, for instance, Blade or Iron Fist instead of Spidey. It would have been really nice to have had a "Free Play" mode similar to what is offered in Lego Star Wars. If you're playing in 2-player co-op (the way it was meant to be played, IMHO, just like Lego Star Wars) then someone always has to be Spidey, which could lead to arguments. At least if you are playing solo you can switch between characters so could just pick your fave as the AI backup and switch once the game gets going, but still...

Second on the list of niggles is the character list. There are some excellent choices in there (IRON FIST!!!) but I just wish it was larger, more on a par with... you guessed it... Lego Star Wars! Like I said, what is there is great, but I just wanted more!

It's also a relatively short game. If you die, you quickly re-spawn, unless you are in a boss fight, in which case if both characters die then you have to start the fight over, so it's not going to take you too long to complete.

On to the positives...

This is a brilliant game to play with kids, especially if they are Spidey fans. I'll admit it, I bought this primarily to play in 2 player co-op mode with my son, and we have had loads of fun with it. We've completed the story mode and unlocked all the characters, but we're now going back to re-play levels where we didn't collect all the items so we can tick off everything and upgrade all the characters to their maximum levels.

Combat is very simple, which is no bad thing if you're playing with a kid as your partner. But it does look really good and some of the moves the characters pull off had me and my son smiling and cheering.

The story line is fun, especially if you are into Spider-Man and know some of the background to the characters in the game. The storyline sets up a sequel nicely and I'm really hoping we get one, especially if it tackles some of the niggles mentioned above.

There is also a one-on-one 2-player mode where you can use any of the unlocked characters (and there is no requirement for one character to be Spider-Man like in the story mode) which works well. It plays very similarly to Power-Stone, which I think is a pretty good recommendation. Again, if there is a sequel I'd love to see this expanded to 4-player mode with free-for-all and team fights, etc.

Graphics are good. They're not going to win awards, but the art style is fun and consistent. All the characters are easily identifiable and it's just plain great to see some of the lesser known characters (Iron Fist, for example) represented in a game.

The game's also relatively cheap. I picked it up for £15 on PC and I saw the PS2 version in Game on Friday for £20.

Bottom line... Highly recommended, particularly if you have kids to play the game with and/or you liked Lego Star Wars.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Post-holiday update

Was away again last week and again I packed up my PSP and my DS to take with me. I didn't anticipate spending much time playing games as I have an exam next week that I spent most of my free time revising for. In the few moments I did play, I stuck to the PSP and Pro Evolution Soccer 6.

Which I am beginning to thoroughly detest! I've tried FIFA 08 on the PSP too and that is no better, so I am thinking of turning to football games on the humble DS for my fix. The question is, do I plump for FIFA 08 now at £12 or do I wait five weeks and shell out £25 for FIFA 09?

Of course, switching from the PSP to the DS for my football game re-ignites the debate over whether I need to keep my PSP...

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Post-Birthday update

I turned 33 last week and got myself a few new games...

Actually, most of my presents were DVDs or Blu-ray discs, with a couple of other things thrown in. I did, however, get a £25 Game voucher, which has been spent as follows:

Guilty Gear Core - Wii
Iron Man - Wii
Bleach - DS

As well as these purchases I took the wrapping off the DS version of Speed Racer that I had bought a while back and had been saving for my next holiday. Fantastic little game, highly recommended! In fact the only other game that got played all week was Lego Star Wars on my DS. I had packed my PSP but it never even came out of my bag, which does make me wonder if it's time to sell it on?

At present I only have six games for it (with two more in a "To Trade/Sell" pile) which are as follows:

Everybody's Golf
MegaMan Powered Up
Tekken Dark Resurrection
Killzone Liberation
Worms Open Warfare 2
Pro Evolution Soccer 6

Now for me it makes sense to have these games and a PSP as none of those titles could be done as well on the DS as they are on PSP. So if I am going to sell it I will have to consider life without these games.

Worms can be easily replaced with the DS version, even though I feel it's an inferior version. I'd have to investigate the newer versions of Tiger Woods on the DS for my golf fix, likewise FIFA to replace Pro Evo, or the DS version of Pro Evo for that matter! MegaMan would probably be passed on to Player Boy who is expecting to unwrap a PSP for Xmas this year. Whilst it's not really the same thing I have Bleach on my DS which could replace Tekken, or I could pick up Ultimate Mortal Kombat, although again it's not the same thing and would really be a pretty poor substitute for what I think is one of the best PSP games. Killzone is another one that I can't think of a direct replacement for...

But if I keep it, what could I buy for it? Off the top of my head I can think of:

Space Invaders Extreme
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
Star Wars Battlefront Renegade Squadron

Or maybe I could mod it to run homebrew, emulators and such? Hmmm...

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Game have a lovely little offer on at the moment rewarding you with £5 off a purchase over £30 with a voucher code. You can use this voucher as many times as you like, so I've taken advantage of it to pre-order the following:

Lego Batman (Wii)
Star Wars The Clone Wars (Wii)
Ghostbusters (Wii)

These are all £29.99, so with the voucher it brings them down to £24.99, the magic sub £25 figure I blogged about here. Ah, but £29.99 is LESS than £30, so how does that work then? Simple, I also took advantage of Game's summer sale to order myself the following, all for £4.99 each:

Alien Syndrome (PSP)
NHL 2K7 (360)
Tomb Raider Legend (360)

All of which should provide ample amusement for what they've cost me!

So why were all my pre-orders Wii titles? Well, in the case of Clone Wars, it's fairly simple, it's a Wii-only title, albeit with a DS version on the way too. In the case of Ghostbusters, it's the only version of the game to offer 4-player co-op throughout the game which made it the version of choice for me in spite of the cartoon-style graphics rather than the realistic ones offered by the 360/PS3/PC versions. Lego Batman is a game I can see the kids playing a lot, so it's a Wii title for the same reason as Lego Indiana Jones, i.e. to keep them away from my 360!

I'm currently uhming and aahing over a pre-order for Left 4 Dead on PC, with Guilty Gear Accent Core on the Wii being added to the order...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Alpha Protocol

Now this is a title that has suddenly jumped onto my list of wants from nowhere. Not much of a website at the moment, but what there is can be seen here.

Kotaku have a preview up here and I'm sure you won't need to do too much searching to find more info on it. Interesting to note in Kotaku's preview how they compare it to Mass Effect which I just picked up for the 360 today at the bargain price of £9.99 at Argos!

Treated myself to that with a little of the money from my Metal Gear Solid sales on ebay...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Halo Sundays look set to continue!

Myself and Player Boy continued our semi-tradition of getting up on Sunday mornings to blast some Covenant and/or Flood. This morning we battled our way through the last couple of levels of Halo and completed it. High fives all round and an agreement that next week we will start on Halo 2.

We're both very excited...

Saturday, 12 July 2008

New games!

Me and Player Boy took a trip to the shops today, which is actually a pretty rare occurrence. I tend to buy almost all my games, dvds, etc. on-line, so it's actually a bit of a novelty for me to venture to proper brick 'n' mortar shops.

Anyway, we came back laden down with some new Lego from the Lego Store. I bought two excellent Batman sets that were in the sale and Player Boy picked up a couple of Exo-Force sets. We also made sure to check out all the games stores and he came home with Bleach for his DS and I picked up Unreal Tournament III for PC after trading in 3 games.

Player Boy is LOVING Bleach and insists that I should go back to the shops tomorrow to pick myself up a copy. I have been checking reviews and just might do that. We actually looked up reviews whilst in the store on my fab mobile phone and saw that it was well rated at Metacritic so went for it. I didn't want him picking up something that was rubbish and he would play for five minutes before discarding, I know how that felt when I was a kid.

One Saturday after work when I was about 14 I had my brother's friend run me to the shops before they closed so I could pick up Chase HQ for the Commodore 64. I had played the game loads in the arcades and loved it. I was so excited and couldn't wait to get back home with it.

After it loaded I sat down to play it. First impression was that the graphics were very poor. Then the sound turned out to be poor. And the controls. And the speed. And... well... everything.

I quietly turned it off, put it back in it's case and slipped it into the games drawer, suddenly very aware that I had spent all my wages on it...

Friday, 11 July 2008


Okay, I admit defeat.

I've not touched Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes since struggling past Revolver Ocelot. Somehow it all seemed to much effort and too little reward. Why go back to playing something that I am clearly not enjoying as much as I'd hoped? So tonight I decided enough was enough. Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes, Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance and Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence have all gone up for sale on eBay.

Now the good news is that prices for all 3 have jumped a bit since I bought them, so hopefully I will make a little bit off them which can go towards repaying my new PC. Ah yes, my lovely new PC...

Have pretty much ironed out all the teething troubles now, I won't bore you with details. Am now looking to pick up a few cheap titles that will show off it's power. Company Of Heroes arrived yesterday which I have wanted for ages! I am, however, reluctant to commence the install as I fear that it will take hours, especially with all the patching required! At least I have all the patches (yes, including the 1.5 gb one!) downloaded and ready to go, but this just reminds me of what it is I dislike about PC gaming...

Quite fancy getting Unreal Tournament 3 for my new rig actually. Did download a demo today but the file seems to be corrupted and won't install. Grrrrr!!!!

Monday, 7 July 2008


Naruto arrived at the weekend and I've played a bit since then. It's early days obviously, but so far I think it's fantastic! It looks just like a cartoon, in my mind it's the best cel-shading experience since the original Jet Set Radio blew me away on the Dreamcast.

The game has also gotten me really interested in Naruto. I've got the first volume of the manga on my bookshelf and the whole first season on DVD to watch.

Earlier this evening Player Boy was getting stuck into Dragon Ball Z Budokai on the Gamecube and loving it. I can see a purchase of one of the Wii titles and a few DVDs in the near future!

I love my new PC!

So my new PC arrived Friday. Booted it up and it all worked fine. Installed the new graphics card and then ripped my Audigy card from my old PC and installed that. All still fine. Added my Ubuntu drive and that was fine too, although I've yet to install GRUB so I can boot to Ubuntu, but that's another matter.

Spent much of the weekend uhming and aahing over various possible game purchases. I want something that will show off my new power, something that just wasn't possible with my old outdated kit. I've finally settled on buying a copy of Company of Heroes, I'm just tracking down a copy at a good price.

In related news, Player Two bought a new laptop which should arrive later this week. Hopefully it will be able to cope with Company of Heroes also and we can get some top multiplayer action going...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Going back to PC gaming...

Before Christmas, whilst eagerly awaiting unwrapping my 360 on December 25th, I formed the opinion that PC gaming was no longer for me. I cleared out a lot of my old PC games, trading them at CEX or Gamestation for credit to spend on shiny new (well, second hand) 360 titles.

PC gaming was to expensive, I reasoned. Sure, the games were usually cheaper, with most new multi-platform releases at the £17.99 price point for PC as opposed to £29.99 or £39.99 on consoles, but the problem with PC gaming was keeping up with the hardware. You could reasonably spend £200 or more each year trying (and frankly failing) to keep your PC on the cutting edge so you could play the latest games.

In 1999 I spent £150 on a 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 graphics card. 3dfx was a massive player in the graphics card market at the time and I was confident that I had purchased the best possible upgrade for my PC. By the end of 2000 3dfx had undergone one of the most high-profile demises in the history of the PC industry and my £150 graphics card had been replaced by an nVidia Geforce256 that a friend gave me for free.

Looking back I can't believe I spent £150 on a graphics card. It was part of a large upgrade that included a new motherboard, new CPU (Celeron 333 mhz!) and new memory. At the time it seemed worth it. This was from my original spec of a Pentium 200 mhz MMX with 64 Mb RAM and an STB Velocity 128 with a 3dfx voodoo card!

After sorting all the drivers out me and two friends settled back in front of my 17" CRT monitor to play FIFA 99 in 1024x768 resolution. Staring open mouthed at the screen and feeling very pleased with my upgrade, I declared to my friends "THIS... is how FIFA should be played!"

Numerous upgrades followed over the next few years. I don't know how many cpu and motherboard combinations I went through. I can recall a couple of K6-2 chips, a Pentium II, several flavours of Duron processors, an AthlonXP, etc. And almost without fail each new CPU would have meant a new motherboard, not to mention all the different memory I've gone through. And the graphics cards! In addition to what has already been mentioned I can recall a Geforce2, Geforce3, Geforce4, Radeon 9200, Radeon 9800 Pro, S3 Savage4 (big mistake that one!) and a KyroII.

Add to that hard drives, cases, CD-rom drives, DVD-rom drivers, CD-writers, DVD-writers, sound cards, power supplies... I could go on and on here! I shudder to think what I've spent over the years trying to keep up with the games, I really have no idea what that figure would be. What I do know is that none of the subsequent upgrades had the impact of that first one and the improvements I was seeing in my games just didn't seem to justify the outlay. There were also problems with older games written for Windows 95 not working in later versions of the OS. Driver problems, seemingly endless patch files for some games, problems configuring joypads and joysticks, software running in the background slowing down games, crashes... all the joys of using a PC basically!

Fed up with all this I decided that console gaming was the way to go. I seem to recall what prompted my decision to get an XBox 360 was downloading the demo for PES 2008. Every PC version up to that point had run quite happily on my PC, with a handy little USB device connected that let me use two PlayStation2 pads. Suddenly PES 2008 wanted me to use 360 controllers, ran like a dog and looked absolutely awful. Oh dear. I went on the net and priced up two new 360 pads and a new graphics card. Coming to the conclusion that I would have to spend over £100 I decided I might as well scrape up the extra and just buy an XBox 360 and avoid all the other problems I was likely to encounter with the game!

Now, just over six months later, I am back in the PC game. New PC ordered with a new graphics card too. Nice spec, 3 Ghz dual core P4 and 2 Gb RAM. Vista as the OS which I was initially reluctant about but checking recent benchmarks following the release of SP1 the performance has definitely improved so it shouldn't be a problem.

I'm actually quite excited. I need to get busy downloading all the applications that a fresh Vista install needs (not to mention that lovely SP1!) and the latest drivers for my new graphics card. I also need to pick out some of my 360 games to trade in for some PC games.

Hmmm. Full circle. Funny that...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

It's gone... spooky!

Sold Alone In The Dark tonight. Hadn't even opened it. Combination of the "promo copy" affair and the poor review scores it has been picking up prompted me into action.

Sold it for £16 and promptly picked up Naruto - Rise Of A Ninja for my 360 for a few pence over that on eBay. Been wanting this for a while, fingers crossed it's good, or it could find itself as the next game to be sold or traded!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Diablo III

Wow! Look at this!

I never got into Diablo and never tried Diablo II so was a bit "Meh..." when this was announced, but just checked out the site and the gameplay footage and this looks totally awesome! Will be keeping an eye on this and in particular the system requirements to see if my rapidly aging PC can be given a cheap upgrade to enable it to run this...

In the mean time I might see if I can pick up a cheap copy of Diablo II!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Mega Man 9

Interesting article at Infendo about the upcoming Megan Man 9 for Wii. It's going to be a Wii Ware release and is going to be using 8-bit style (think NES) graphics.

Now I'm not totally sold on the idea, but am certainly very intrigued!

Having said that, I have to admit to not being a life-long Mega Man fan, I only own Mega Man Powered Up (PSP) and have dabbled with the Battle Network games in the past, so I will adopt a wait-and-see stance.

Only 5 more games in 2008?

While skimming through the list of upcoming games in the latest issue of 360gamer over breakfast this morning, I commented to Player Boy that there was nothing that really jumped out at me. Oh sure, plenty of titles I recognised but none that screamed "BUY ME!!". Notable exceptions were Lego Batman and Star Wars The Force Unleashed, but as I've already pre-ordered those (albeit the Wii versions) I ignored those anyway.

So later in the day I started wondering just how many more new games I will buy this year. I decided to see if I could come up with a list of just FIVE games to buy between now and 01/01/09. Here they are, in no particular order...

1) Lego Batman (Wii)
2) Star Wars The Force Unleashed (Wii)
3) LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
4) FIFA 09 (360)
5) Ghostbusters (Wii or 360)

Of course there are still plenty of titles floating around that I want to pick up, but I will have to either request those as presents or fund them through trading in other games. Off the top of my head I can think of the following five titles already on the shelves that I'd like to pick up:

1) Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
2) Mario Kart (Wii)
3) Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Wii)
4) Grand Theft Auto IV (360)
5) Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit (360)

Hmmm... looks like I will have to start getting ruthless when selecting my titles to trade!!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Super Smash Bros BRAWL!

Picked up Super Smash Bros BRAWL for the Wii today at Toys R Us. I was originally planning to trade in a couple of other Wii games to pay for this, but TRU had it at the bargain-tastic price of £28.72, so I decided to save the trade-ins for another time.

I'm aware that the price breaks the £25 limit I talked about recently, but like Super Mario Galaxy, it's not far over the limit and it's such a bargain anyway that it had to be done!

Yesterday, Alone In The Dark arrived for my 360. I was really excited about this game, but reviews have been decidedly mixed and have knocked my enthusiasm somewhat. I got the game as a freebie with a magazine subscription, so I thought it would be a bargain, but it has arrived with a big "PROMOTIONAL COPY NOT FOR RESALE" across the front and with no manual. BAH!

I also recently received Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence for my PS2, but that is definitely on hold until after I complete MGS1 and MGS2!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Little Big Planet

If someone told me I could only buy one more game this year, I am 99% certain that one game would be Little Big Planet. Check it out:

I am SO excited about this game and it's potential. So much so that I do not own a single other game for my PS3 (I bought it to use solely as a Blu-ray player) and yet I own 4 sixaxis controllers, purely so the whole Player Family can join in with this game!

Currently slated to arrive in October 2008, I really hope it doesn't slip to any later in the year...

Sunday morning Halo!

It's become something of a tradition lately that Player Boy and I will get up before Player Girl and Player Mum and head up to the study to play. More often than not at the moment we are working our way through the original Halo on my 360 in co-op mode.

We're making fairly steady progress, but more importantly we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Wading into battle against a bunch of Flood, knowing that my son is alongside me firing away too puts a smile on my face every time!

After we're done with Halo we're going to plough through Halo 2 and then finally Halo 3. I suspect we will probably spend a fair amount of time messing around with the movie functions in Halo 3, we're both really looking forward to that!

I've also played a bit of Dead Rising but it's looking more and more likely that it will be traded or sold soon. I love the concept and everything, but the execution leaves me a bit cold at the moment. Maybe I will try and get into it a bit more...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

UEFA EURO 2008, best football game ever?

Now I've been playing video game football for as long as I can remember, all the way back to International Soccer on a cartridge on my Commodore 64. I couldn't begin to list all the footie games I've played (well, I probably could, but it's getting late) over the years, but suffice to say there have been a lot.

But I think possibly the best one ever is EA's most recent effort, UEFA EURO 2008. And the single thing that makes it so good is the Captain Your Country mode.

Player Two came over last night and we got straight back into our latest run through in this mode. We did it once as England, going all the way and winning the tournament. I was made captain after the first few games and held it all the way (barring a couple of matches missed through suspension) to the quarter final. Player Two's performance in that match eclipsed me and suddenly the arm-band was ripped away from me and handed to him. Somewhat upset I vowed to win it back and put in a storming man-of-the-match performance but unfortunately the manager (the long-departed Steve Maclaren in this title) did not agree and Player Two retained the captaincy. Not the worst decision he (Maclaren) has ever made, but I overcame my disappointment to put in a match winning performance in the final and bring home the trophy, picking up the Golden Boot en route.

The second run through we upped the skill setting and came unstuck in the group stages after qualifying fairly easily. I take the blame, I picked up a yellow card in the last qualification game and was suspended for the first group game. Player Two just wasn't good enough without me and England slumped to defeat. A draw in the second match and further defeat in the last group game (after some confusion with me believing I was again suspended) and we were on the way home.

Starting afresh we decided to go with a new team and selected the minnows from the Faroe Islands. Performances have been fairly good, considering the squad available, but the arm-band has been passed around a lot more than it was with England. Last night we clinched qualification and squeaked through the group stage by beating Turkey, drawing with France and losing to Switzerland. Next up is a quarter final against our old team, England...

What makes this mode so fantastic is the way you are co-operating AND competing at the same time. You want to be the captain, you want the man of the match award, but at the same time you want your team to win. So dilemmas abound, do you go for goal knowing that you have a 50/50 chance of scoring at best, or set up another player for an easy finish, with the knowledge that the goal will push their match rating up, possibly securing them man-of-the-match status and the coveted arm-band?

Fantastic game.

Oh, for the record, I was a Sensible Soccer man. Hated Kick Off. Hated it!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Now THAT was frustrating!

Got past Revolver Ocelot tonight in Metal Gear Solid and watched the lengthy (but interesting) cut scene that followed. Revolver was a real pain and it took me quite a few attempts to get past him. There is probably some knack to it that makes it really easy to finish him off, but damned if I know what it is!

Still, enjoying the game and the story so far...

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Father's Day!

Father's Day today so I got a few presents from the kids and my wonderful wife. These included Devil May Cry 4 for the 360. Loved the demo of this but may hold off on starting it for a little while as I am already deep into Metal Gear Solid on the Cube and have been tackling Black on the 360.

(Speaking of which, I am enjoying Metal Gear Solid so far. Not much progress to be honest though!)

I have the first Devil May Cry on PS2 but haven't played much of it. Not sure whether I will get the other 2 games or not. I like having the complete series of some games, but once I have tackled all the MGS titles I still have the Halo trilogy to play through as well as all the Resident Evil games on Cube/Wii, not to mention the Splinter Cell titles (mix of PC, Cube and 360), so I can't see when I would get to play them all, if ever!!

Another title sold on Amazon means the collection is thinning about a tiny bit more...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

I'm going to play... Metal Gear Solid

So while many PS3 owners everywhere are tearing shrink wrapping off shiny new copies of Metal Gear Solid 4, I'm going right back to the first one and intend to play it through, watching every cut scene and taking in the full story... for the first time.

You see, I've never played Metal Gear Solid.

Okay, so I will admit to dabbling in it. I seem to recall playing a demo for the Playstation, but I never bought the game. I did buy the PC version when it was released and I still have it now. I've recently installed it on my laptop, in fact! But despite having it for nearly 8 years I don't think I've ever played much past the first half hour or so.

I've got Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance (PS2) waiting next and I am going to track down a copy of Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence too. But first Metal Gear Solid.

Or rather, Metal Gear Solid - The Twin Snakes.

Yes, my weapon of choice is the GameCube version, developed by Silicon Knights as a sort of joint project between Konami and Nintendo. Some purists would probably insist that I should go back to the original Playstation version, but unfortunately I don't have a copy. I can't be doing with configuring controllers and all sorts for the PC version and besides, why bother when the GameCube version features superior graphics and a few new features?

So far I have only played up to the death of the DARPA chief, I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The £25 game challenge

This was something that was posted over at rllmukforum in November last year. The basic premise is that you should not pay over £25 for any game you buy. It's something I agreed heartily with then and have done my very best to stick by since.

Now I buy a lot of my games pre-owned so you could argue that I am bending the rules there, but I don't agree. There really is NO reason to spend more than £25 on a game.

Take GTA4 as an example. It was released 29th April this year, so barely six weeks ago as I type this. Already I've seen several copies of this on offer at various forums for the sub £25 mark. On release I think the cheapest price on the shelf for this was £37, with many people happy to pay more just to have it on the day. Madness, I say!

I do make the odd exception. Just days after pledging to stick to the £25 limit I caved and bought Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) but that was on offer at Toys R Us for a shade over £26. As it was only just over the limit and a brand new game (not to mention one of the highest rated titles released so far for the Wii) I felt justified.

More recently I paid £28.49 for Lego Indiana Jones (Wii) to get it on launch day, mainly because the kids were desperate to play it! But a quick scan through my 360 games reveals that the only one I've paid more than £25 for is Halo 3 (£30) and I bought that in November last year. (Although this is also an excellent example of the point I am trying to make - Halo 3 is still sealed over six months later as I've not played through Halo and Halo 2 yet. I could now pick it up pre-owned at half that price and probably could have sourced a brand new copy for around £20 at some point in the last six months!)

Since then I've added Virtua Fighter 5 (£18 - 2 months after release), The Club (£20 - on release day) and Devil May Cry 4 (£25 - around six weeks after release) all of which were brand new 360 titles.

On the Wii I've recently picked up brand new copies of Geometry Wars Galaxies for £10, Speed Racer for £18 and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for £24.

Pay £40 or £50 for a new game on release day? I don't think so...

In other news, another game has sold on Amazon. Two down, two to go!

Let the cull begin!

After yesterday's reflections on my current list of unplayed/barely played games I have instituted a bit of a cull. Four games went up for sale at Amazon last night, with one already being sold. I managed to convince the kids that we should trade in Sonic and the Secret Rings and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics to get Super Smash Bros Brawl later this month.

More games will likely be sold in the coming months (or going into the trade-in pile) but the problem is that some of them are worth so little I might as well keep them. For instance, The Club (360) seems to be fetching prices of under £10 on ebay and amazon. Virtua Fighter 5 (360) doesn't fare much better, likewise Project Sylpheed (360).

I suppose that will teach me for buying too many games!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

More cool stuff at Gaming Verdict!

Okay, I'll admit it, I've never (to the best of my knowledge) visited Gaming Verdict before today. A link to the RTS article over that someone posted at rllmukforum caught my eye enough for me to put it in here, but after having a little poke around the site I've found there's a lot more worth looking at than just that one article.

For example, yesterday I traded in a bunch of pap at CEX and among the new things I picked up was a copy of Black for XBox. It is, of course, compatible with the XBox360 and had been on my wanted list for a while. I tried it for the first time tonight and thought it was fantastic! So what do I find over at Gaming Verdict? An article singing the praises of Black!

I'm off to see what else I can find there...

History of the RTS

An interesting article over at Gaming Verdict.

Favourite games, by Player Boy and Player Girl

I asked Player Boy (aged 6) and Player Girl (aged 5) what their top 5 games are, the results are:

Player Boy
Lego Indiana Jones (Wii)
Lego Star Wars (Cube/360 - we have 1 & 2 on the Cube and The Complete Saga on 360)
Wii Sports (Wii)
Pokemon Colosseum (Cube)
Speed Racer (Wii)

Player Girl
Super Smash Bros Melee (Cube)
Wii Sports (Wii)
Pokemon Colosseum (Cube)
Mario Power Tennis (Cube)
Lego Indiana Jones (Wii)

Hmmm... Not a lot of love for the aging PS2 on those lists. I'm surprised Player Boy didn't opt for more 360 titles, we've had a lot of fun playing Eragon, Earth Defence Force 2017 and Halo.

Do I actually need any more games?

I try my best to keep up with upcoming games. I subscribe to the Official Nintendo Magazine and always pick up 360Gamer magazine from a newsagent. I am often on forums where games are discussed (e.g. rllmukforum) or reading articles on GameSpot.

So with all that information coming in I am always looking ahead to what games are due out. My current list of games I want that are yet to be released looks something like this:

Lego Batman (Wii)
Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed (Wii or 360, not decided yet!)
Ghostbusters (again, Wii or 360)
Tom Clancy's End War (360)
Halo Wars (360)
Aliens - Colonial Marines (360)
Tom Clancy's HAWX (360)
Tiberium (360)
Gears Of War 2 (360)
Little Big Planet (PS3)
FIFA 09 (360)
Left 4 Dead (360)

Now it's by no means certain that I will buy all these games. Some may end up being quite poor or I may end up purchasing another title that means I don't need the one on this list (I'm thinking specifically of Ace Combat 6 rather than HAWX here). But the point is that there are over 10 games on this list without even thinking about DS or PSP or PC titles.

However, when I look at my shelves, I can see a number of games I have barely played and some are still sealed! For instance:

Blue Dragon (360)
The Club (360 - sealed!)
Dead Rising (360)
Gears Of War (360)
Halo 3 (360 - sealed!)
The Outfit (360)
Perfect Dark Zero (360)
Project Sylpheed (360)
Splinter Cell Double Agent (360)
Tiger Woods 2007 (360)
Virtua Fighter 5 (360 - sealed!)
Geometry Wars (Wii - sealed!)
Metal Slug Anthology (Wii)
Red Steel (Wii)
Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii)

Now there is a good reason I haven't played some of these much, for example I haven't started Halo 3 yet as me and Player Boy are still working our way through Halo 1. I know we'll get to it in due course.

However others, especially some of those still sealed, are nagging at my mind. Should I sell these on? Am I ever going to get around to playing them? Especially with the prospect of another 10+ titles being purchased in the next six months?!

And the scary thing is, these are only the 360/Wii games. I have a whole bunch of Cube, PS2 and XBox titles that have received just as little attention...

Monday, 9 June 2008

It's going back to the shop!!

Picture the scene... Player Dad is checking e-mail and looking up a couple of items on eBay (Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance and Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence... yeah, the MGS4 previews have given me the bug!) whilst the kids sit alongside Player Dad playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii.

Player Boy is six and loves video games and Yu-Gi-Oh. Player Girl is five and loves princesses and dresses. Consequently, due to their age differences and different interests they don't always see eye to eye. They are also not at a comparable level when it comes to playing video games, with Player Boy streets ahead in terms of ability.

They are tackling a tricky puzzle in one of the early Temple of Doom levels and Player Boy is giving directions to Player Girl. He's becoming increasingly frustrated and his voice is getting higher and louder as he does so. Player Girl isn't helping matters, I am fairly sure she could do better than she was, but she seems to treat the whole thing as... well, a game I suppose! It all reaches a climax with Player Boy announcing that he's not going to play if she won't do it properly, he promptly pulls up the menu and drops out of the game, leaving Player Girl wailing for help.

"RIGHT!!" I'd had enough of the bickering. I cancelled a cheap pre-order (Amazon) for Lego Indy for my 360 and ordered the more expensive Wii version (Play) specifically so Player Girl and Player Boy could play it together and enjoy it, seeing as the 360 is off limits to them both. "I stabbed the eject button and pulled out the disc, stuffing it into the case.

"It's going back to the shop tomorrow, I've had enough of you two, if you can't play it together without fighting there is no point in having it!"

This lead to 15 minutes of non-stop wailing by Player Girl (she has an impressive set of lungs!) and a walk out by Player Boy. After those 15 minutes had elapsed I got the two of them together and said I wouldn't take the game back if they could show me that they could play nicely together.

They went back to the Wii and opted not to continue with Lego Indy but instead to play a little Wii Sports and then some Super Smash Bros Melee on the Cube. They did it very nicely and all was right with the world.

Oh, and I won an auction for Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance. Yay!