Sunday, 20 December 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Okay so I am a few days early in posting this but I'm hoping to be busy playing new games after Christmas so I figured I might as well get this up now.

Here are my (gaming related) New Year's Resolutions!

1) No day one purchases unless it's a day one play. I've bought far too many games on release (or even shortly after) that have then just sat on my shelf gathering dust until I've got around to playing them, all the while I am seeing their price drop in various special offers and sales to the point where I could have picked it up for half the price or less. If I am going to start playing it straight away then I don't have a problem with paying day one prices, but not for a game that is going to sit idle. An obvious exception to this will be FIFA 11 and the inevitable World Cup game (assuming it follows the same mould as Euro 2008).

2009 offenders: Batman Arkham Asylum, Halo Wars, Gears of War 2 (technically bought 2008 as a Christmas present for me, but I've still not started it!)

2) No special limited collector's editions. Unless they are cheap! I've had my fingers burned this year on Batman Arkham Asylum on which I shelled out for collector's edition and found the contents to be less than awesome.

Mind you on the flip side I picked up the Alone in the Dark Limited Edition for around a fiver!

2009 offenders: Batman Arkham Asylum, Halo Wars

3) Stick to the £25 limit. I've gone into detail about this before, but basically you shouldn't pay more than £25 for a game. With this in mind I have cancelled all my pre-orders except for Battlefield Bad Company 2, which I am not sure whether I will keep it open or not as I never finished Bad Company 1!

2009 offenders: UFC Undisputed 2009

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

2010 is looking REAL good...

With 2009 drawing to a close and with Batman Arkham Asylum firmly installed as my pick up game of the year (with honourable mentions to Forza 3, FIFA 2010 and UFC 2009) my attention is beginning to turn to 2010.

I already have Dark Void, Dead Rising 2 and Super Street Fighter 4 pre-ordered and a further ten games on my watch list, all of which are almost certain to be purchased unless something goes horribly wrong late in their development.

Of course that's always a possibility. The one I am currently most worried about is Alan Wake. It looks fantastic, but then so did Alone In The Dark up until the first reviews rolled in - and even then it was pulling down high scores to start with. I hope, given all the time and effort that the developers have put into it, that it is awesome. I'm reading a Stephen King book at the moment (Duma Key) and have several more lined up so I can quite see myself getting well into the storyline...

I'm also hoping for great things from Alpha Protocol. I have Mass Effect on my shelf which is a similar game albeit from a different developer (Bioware rather than Obsidian) but the sci fi plot isn't drawing me in as much as I am hoping the espionage antics of Alpha Protocol will.

Dark Void looks like loads of fun and being someone who loved The Rocketeer (the movie and the comics) and Cinemaware's Rocket Ranger title on the Amiga, I am looking forward to flying about on a jetpack. There have been some question marks raised in previews about the camera and controls, but I hope that the game can rise above these - no pun intended!

Of course there is another top reason for hoping for good things from Alan Wake, Alpha Protocol and Dark Void, which is that of all the games I am currently watching and/or have pre-ordered, these are the only three based on an original IP. It's getting more and more rare these days for big publishers to take a chance on a project based on a new IP, so fingers crossed that these do well.

We can then, of course, look forward to their inevitable sequels...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Batman Arkham Asylum

So I finally got around to starting Batman Arkham Asylum last week. I pre-ordered the 360 Collector's Edition and it has sat on my shelf waiting for me to make a start on it. I started playing Condemned and it's mix of detective work and action wasn't really doing it for me, but it did serve to remind me that I had Batman waiting for me.

Of course the "Collector's Edition" is absolutely dire. The batarang looked awesome in all the press photos, but in real life it is a hideous plastic-y piece of crap. The game itself comes in a flimsy little cardboard wallet with a second "making of" DVD, so you can't easily accomodate it with the rest of your 360 games if you slot them into DVD racks like I do. The booklet which describes the characters will be of little interest to a confirmed bat-fan like me, so all in all a complete waste of money. Let's face it, I (and probably at least 90% of the other people that opted for the Collector's Edition) wanted it for the batarang. I was ridiculously excited about it and was considering grand schemes of a little glass case to house it, maybe with a cool blue light to really show it off. I was convinced it would be utterly awesome and the crushing reality almost turned me off the game completely.

Fortunately I finally got over it and have been playing the game all week when I've had the opportunity. I'm currently around 40% in and can confidently describe it as my game of the year. It's not just an awesome game, it's an awesome Batman game which is no mean feat. I really hope this gets a sequel, maybe with the action taking place in Gotham itself rather than on Arkham and would love to see a co-op mode added, especially if you can have a choice of partner, e.g. Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Azrael, etc.

It's also popping up in places pretty damn cheap now (which again makes that awful Collector's Edition and it's pricetag all the more galling) so if you haven't got it then get it. If you're not a Batman fan (or a fan of superheroes in general) then please do not let that put you off, you will be missing out on an awesome experience if you do.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Life's too short to play bad games!

I've steadily built up a sizable collection of games for my 360. In fact, recently, it's got to the point where they no longer fit in the rack I put up on the wall in order to hold my 360 titles. This lead me to consider whether I really need them all...

There are still a number of sealed (and obviously unplayed) games in that rack. Some I am sure I will get around to... one day... others I am not so sure. Some have been purchased on a whim, some because I saw them cheap and couldn't resist a bargain, some after a brief love affair with a demo... but they all have one thing in common; none of them appeal to me enough to take them down off that shelf and give them a whirl in the 360's drive.

So I decided that I needed to have a sort out and move on some of these games. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Post-trade update!

My trade-in pile didn't yield quite as much credit as I had hoped - especially as they insisted on a £1.99 deduction as one of my discs was "a bit scratched" and they would have to repair it.

The game itself (Virtua Tennis 3) played absolutely fine when I tried it and considering the state of some of the games I have bought from them over the years I thought it was a damn cheek!

Anyway, I came away with:

Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
Alien Syndrome (Wii)
Black & White (PC) x 2 copies (one for me, one for Player Boy)
Beyblade (GC)
Sonic Adventure DX (PC)

I think Player Boy did quite well out of this trip, three of those games were purchased for him alone to play!!

Trading in today!

Off to Gamestation today to trade in the following games:

Virtua Tennis 3 (360)
Mirror's Edge (360)
Sega Superstars Tennis (Wii)
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007 (360)
Samurai Warriors 2 (360)
PGR 3 (360)

Will post again later with what I pick up. I have a bit of a hit-list, all fairly realistic, but maybe something will surprise me!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Games are meant to be fun... aren't they?!

After initially enjoying Mirror's Edge I am now finding it becoming incredibly frustrating. I'm less than half way through and can't see myself completing it so am tempted to trade it sooner rather than later.

I'm just not enjoying the game now and find it all a bit of a chore to keep re-doing the same bits over and over again because some of the checkpoints seem way too far apart. The controls also seem a bit hit and miss at times, I've lost count of the number of times I've fallen to my death because a wall-run didn't work.

Oh well, at least it only cost me £6-odd at Blockbusters...

Co-Op Metroidvania?

Interesting article at Kotaku.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Why so serious?

Just stuck in a pre-order for Batman Arkham Asylum over at Game where I get the free Super Villain Challenge Map.

Of course, I went for the (expensive) Collector's Edition version! I'm now considering where I am going to get a little display case for the batarang and where to display it in the study...

Ooooh, maybe I could get a case with a light in it to really show it off!?!


Kodu is finally out and available NOW on the 360 Community Games channel.

I've just downloaded it and myself and Player Boy are busy messing around with it. I can already see that it has MASSIVE potential and will be loads of fun!

Can't write more, must fiddle with Kodu...

Monday, 29 June 2009

My Sims or yours?

So MySims Racing hasn't been getting reviews quite as good as I was hoping, so it's slipped off my "To Buy" list into the "Will Pick Up Cheap If I See It One Day" list, which apart from anything else, has a far less snappy title.

Speaking of Sims, I am finding myself increasingly curious about Sims 3, to the point that I may just pick it up. I've never played any of the Sims games previously and to be honest I have been quite dismissive of them, despite following early development closely. I was interested in how far you could take things in the game... could you REALLY do everything you wanted? And when the final game was released it didn't seem to meet with my expectations, so I ignored it. I was then galled to see it racing to the top of the charts along with a flurry of expansion packs and sequels, all geared to what I considered the "non-gamers". Well, hopefully such snobby behaviour is behind me now and as I say, I may just pick this one up...

In other news, a recent flurry of eBay sales (with likely more to come) has seen me build up a bit of a pot towards the purchase of Batman Arkham Asylum. I'm planning on going for the Collector's Edition on XBox360, probably from Game to get the bonus Crime Alley map... not to mention points on my reward card and Quidco cashback!

I've also traded a few games recently on Goozex, which I highly recommend. I've just had notification that someone wants The Outfit (a good game, but just didn't grab me) from me and in return it looks like I will be receiving Sonic Adventure DX on GameCube and possibly (trade not yet confirmed!!) Ultimate Spider-Man on GameCube.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Upcoming in 2009

With the dust settled after E3 I thought it was a good time to take stock of the upcoming releases for the rest of the year and think about what I want to pick up.

I've listed games below and ranked them either A, B or C. A is a must-have day-one purchase. B is one I will look out for at a good price. C is something I am interested in but will wait for a price drop on.


MySims Racing (C)
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (C)
Wii Sports Resort (B)
Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes (B)
Red Steel 2 (C)
Spore Hero (C)
Ghostbusters (A) (already pre-ordered)


Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (C)
Batman Arkham Asylum (A)
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (B)
Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes (B)
Halo 3 ODST (A) (already pre-ordered)
Alpha Protocol (A)
GI Joe The Rise of Cobra (B) (already pre-ordered)
FIFA 10 (A)
Assassin's Creed 2 (C)


Left 4 Dead 2 (A)

A couple of titles (Transformers, Clone Wars) I've listed under both 360 and Wii as I'm waiting to see how they turn out on the individual platforms. Originally I was going to go for Transformers on Wii for the co-op option, but I now understand that player two will just be controlling some weird floating shield thing and not another transformer, so that seems a bit lame...

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Street Fighter 2 Tutorials

I really want to love Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, but I am just rubbish at it! Hopefully the following tutorial videos might help me...






This morning Player Boy and I managed to complete Castle Crashers (XBLA) and I have to say I loved pretty much every minute of it. We are far from completing the game 100% in terms of unlocking everything and we will probably tackle a few levels again armed with our higher stats from levelling up, better weapons and probably a little help from Gamefaqs so we can unlock all the characters, weapons, animals, etc.

I am excited to hear that The Behemoth are already working on a new title. I didn't really like Alien Hominid when I tried it, far too difficult for my meagre skills, but I am very tempted to try it again.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Resident Evil 4 Sale?

I've amassed the entire Resident Evil series for the Gamecube over the past couple of years or so, plus Resident Evil 4 on Wii.

The problem? I never play them. The question? Do I keep them or sell them to help cover the cost of SFIV, Halo Wars, etc.?



With SF2THD Remix already on my 360 and with Street Fighter IV just around the corner I really want one or two arcade sticks to play the games (and possibly other beat em ups) with.

I'm in the midst of doing some research and hoping to use 2 old GameCube arcade sticks I have. For some reason neither of them will work on the Wii so they are pretty much useless as is, but could be useful for this project.

Scouring the net is providing me with a fair bit of detail, so I figured I would throw it all together here.

This link is about using a Mad Catz Arcade GameStick and a PS1 pad to create an arcade stick that will work on 360 AND PS1/PS2 and presumably PS3. Personally I am just looking for something that will work on my 360 and PC, but a lot of the info and especially the diagrams are helpful.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

I just can't get enough Halo!

For Christmas, Player Two gave me an absolutely awesome 12" Master Chief action figure from the Halo series of games, probably my all-time favourite game series now!

The first time I tried Halo I didn't really like it. Eventually it grew on me and playing through all 3 Halo games with Player Boy last year was a fantastic experience.

Thankfully, Halo isn't quite done yet and this year I am looking forward to Halo Wars at the end of February and Halo 3 ODST in the Autumn.


VERY excited about this

Check out the videos below and ignore any references to "Boku", that was the original name for Kodu.

The first two are quite early videos and the quality isn't great on either:

This is the latest from Microsoft's 2009 CES keynote:

Can't wait to get my hands on this!