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...