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!