Thursday, 23 December 2010

Santa's on his way

Merry Christmas! Only 2 days to go before a fresh batch of games to plough through.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Completed Games Update

Early in my blogging life I listed the games I had completed and trophied 100%.

I am now happy to report that... nothing much has changed.  I've still only got 2 platinum's (nearly at 4 thanks to Fallout 3 and Uncharted) however have THANKFULLY completed a few more games;

Assassins Creed
Assassins Creed 2
Grand Theft Auto
Fallout 3
Burnout Paradise
Final Fantasy XIII

Since then I have completed;
Medal of Honor
Little Big Planet
Uncharted (and only 1 trophy to go)

So that is 9 games completed... shame my collection now exceeds 60.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Are all my friends unemployed fatties???

Pardon the title - I don't mean those of you I can call up and ask over for pizza (to make you into fatties). I refer instead to my online "friends" that play PS3.

Now... this blog entry isn't testing to see how many readers outside of facebook I have, but rather my only possible explanation on how people can do SO much of a game in under a week.

I work 8 hours a day, have a 20 minute walk to and from work and still manage to put in a good 4 hours of games about 4 times a week. This equates to about 1 game getting completed every month or so. How come then, that some of my online counterparts have Platinum on games that have been out less than a week!!!

I'm not jealous because I know that there is life outside of games to enjoy... I'm just mindful that they are probably doing themselves a great lot of harm by not moving, not getting a job, not eating correctly and not socialising normally! Now that is said... I'm off to play some Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, eat some pizza and not move for 4 hours :)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Easy Trophies... A Personal Gripe

I'm not usually one to complain about things being easy... if it is easy it leaves more time to do other things. However when Trophies or Achievments are too easy I get a little deflated.

This comes from just getting the Call of Duty Black Ops trophies after mission 2 (escaping prison). I was presented with 2 for completing the level (1 for completing, another for destroying all persuing vehicles) and was content with this. However several minutes later after a cut scene a 3rd popped up... for being given a mission by JF Kenneddy. Now this is a bit of a joke... being rewarded for watching a cut scene.

The rest of the trophy list is also full of just such easy trophies. Example... Dead Ops Arcade. You get a trophy for breaking out the chair, a trophy for unlocking the arcade game, and another for typing zork into the keyboard. 3 trophies for what is really only 2 actions.

I might just have to put the PS3 Trophie "ping" noise on my mobile so that I can enjoy the rewards of getting a text message. I'd be a level 21 user in no time!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Thank you Sainsbury...

I'm not usually a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fan. I find that the whole franchise has been a bit over-hyped and forced in our faces every time another realistic FPS comes out... saying that I loved the old Medal of Honor (feel dirty every time I drop the u in Honour... yuk!) games and recently enjoyed the new incarnation of it.

Thanks to Sainsbury's however I will be able to put Call of Duty: Black Op's to the test for a blowout £26 tonight according to rumour from it's employees that the game will go on sale for a much reduced price!

Stay tuned to see the trophies and stories pop up!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Oh my God!!! I'm playing a Facebook game!!!

I never thought I would see the day where I would be playing a game on Facebook!

I have my reasons so please do not judge me too harshly... It IS an Assassin's Creed game, and it DOES serve to support my efforts in the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Quite how yet is unknown but I am enjoying the simplicity of pointing and clicking and hoarding and trading and buying and crafting and all things RPG-ing.

My Open University exam is on Wednesday this week so I am sure I will have lots of game related time to spend after that! Bring it on!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

PSP Saviour

I am currently in an undisclosed location taking part in some research for a PhD student related to sleep.
As such I have needed to fill an hours worth of time each night with something I can do in minimal lighting.
I am happy to report that this time has been well spent and I have now completed Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines for PSP. All that is left is to sync this with Assassin's Creed 2 and I will have played that game to death and have collected all that I possibly can within it.
Now however I need to find a new game to entertain myself with 3 nights next week.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

New games at low prices... what is "the deal" for Dev's?

I like to buy things at the best value possible... cheaper is one way to phrase it.

The same goes for games - if i can get it cheaper, I will. However I am keen to see developers get the money they deserve... hence, I will only buy a used game if I cannot get it brand new anywhere at a sensible price. However, a lot of my games have been acquired through being quick to get a game on sale from retailers (Uncharted 1 & 2, God of War 3, Bioshock 1& 2 - each under £20 brand new and sealed).

I have a dilemma that floats around my brain however - what effect does this lowered price have on developers? Unlike used games, which give 100% of their profit to the seller (eBay user, GAME, Gamestation, HMV), I would assume that the company selling this game at reduced price is sucking up any "loss" between unit price and consumer price.

I want to fund development by purchasing new games... I just want to do it cheaply.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Games Withdrawal

Today begins a long and torturous period of 1 month where games will take a back seat to education.

I have an exam coming up on 20th October and do not want to fail it (or do poorly due to lack of revision). As such I declare that from this day forward I will not play games until after 2-3 hours of solid revision! Which means around 9:30 - 10:00 PM... Which still gives me a few hours to enjoy some multi-player madness.

Cold turkey never seemed so hard!!!

Looking forward...

This month is a big month on the games calender... lots of games coming out, as well as a few other treats ahead of the primary gifting period (that's Xmas to people not familiar with Bill Bailey). Here is what I have to look forward to over the "holidays" once my study is finished...

October 4th
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Beta opens

October 15th
Medal of Honor: Tier 1 Edition

November 19th
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Of course it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't have a wishlist of other games that I can hope for...

Enslaved: Journey to the West
Littlebigplanet 2
Gran Turismo 5
Fallout New Vegas
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
Heavy Rain: Move Edition
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Limited Edition

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Online Deadlines... reprise (+)

I said recently that online deadlines (play a game online before the community dries up) are a pain in the bum...

One game however that I have latched onto recently seems to have a very strong following online despite its age and sequal... I speak of Battlefield: Bad Company. The only thing that has been of annoyance is when some clever sod decides to jump in a chopper and hammer the hell out of the spawn area. I would say play fair... but I guess war is never fair.

This high level of players online is a good sign for many a developer. If a game has good online support then clearly you have done something right.

Well done EA and DICE. I salute you... now if you wil excuse me I'm off to destroy and defend some gold crates.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

On your marks... Headset... No???

Been playing a fair bit of Battlefield: Bad Company the last couple of days and feel oddly compelled to ask... where are all the headset users?

In a game that demands tactics (like the many "realistic shooters"), people are running around without tactical support and collaboration. With the PS3 being bluetooth enabled, any headset will do, so why are so many people not taking advantage.

Copy - over.

It is in the post...

Just got emails from and about my PS3 Move bits...

They are on the move (pun intended).

Shopped around for price sake and my starter pack is on the way from (still waiting to hear about the second controller), and my navigation is coming from (silicon covers not yet sent). Now it is a race to see which provider comes first... will I be stuck waiting with a Navi, or will my glowing ping-pong stick arrive on time?

I'm so excited... just a shame that I have to revise every night for an exam in October.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Beta! Beta! Beta!


Got my Beta sign up code today for Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. Now just got to wait until 4th October in order to actually take part!!!


Monday, 13 September 2010

Games and the integration of life

It IS possible to be addicted to games!!!

I'm not saying that I am addicted, but I am starting to see how easy it is to become addicted and the effects it can have. Put simply...

a) It is a sense of gaining status and achievement that drives gamers, much like gamblers.
b) It can easily swallow up sums of money, which YOU feel are justified.
c) It can ruin relationships if you try to sink too much time/ effort/ money into it.

I will probably always have a games deficit (more games to play than time to play them in), but I owe that to knowing that the disc-world will always be accessible and repeatable... life isn't, and you only get one life with no checkpoints to retry from (kind of like Demon's Souls.)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The name is Move... Playstation Move

Having just been in Paris for the weekend I got to see a PS3 Move in action, and try it first hand!

Having tried a Wii on several occasions I can make the very bold statement that PS3 is far better and I look froward to my bundle arriving on the day of release. As for Kinect... I have had multiple discussions that have gone thus...

Q: "What about core games?"
Response: "Well, maybe you will need to hold a gun shaped object that the camera will recognise due to it's material????"
Q: "So, like a controller you mean?"
Response: "Um... yeah!"

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Online deadlines

As  the internet has developed into a "standard" household commodity over the years, games have included more and more online features. The standard format is still head-to-head competition, however others have emerged such as co-op (Army of Two), team based drop in/ out (Borderlands) and perculiarly... useful messaging (Demon's Souls).

The unfortunate thing however, is that games are continually coming to market and gamers move on in their catalogues. This creates a void area where less and less gamers are online to compete/ side with on a given game as the title becomes shelved by bored gamers. With EA creating an almost "exclusive" element to buying brand new games, used games sales will not solve the problem unless a gamer wants to shell out for a "get online" DLC.

Now... I'm not a trophy whore, just a trophy enthusiast (there is a difference, I swear), but with a dwindling population of players on the field the chances of whores getting those crucial final online trophies becomes harder to obtain. I have a large collection of 50 PS3 games and regularly change up discs (unless I am completely engrossed by a story... FFXIII) in order to keep on top of online stats.

It is a shame that more people are not online at the same time... It can't just be me thinking
"Where is the beef?". You bought the game, play it! Don't let it catch dust!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Littlebigplanet... the resurgence

Hi all

Published my first level yesterday... "Bunny". Essentially it is a rocket powered skateboard propelled over a pit of fire and then it turns into a fairly standard level after that. I completed the main game a while back (check that off my list) and recently got a resurgence of inspiration that prompted me to publish my work...

With the sequel due very soon I am eagerly awaiting the next step in creative gameplay. Who knows what crazy levels I will take months working on next!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Demos... or should that be demo(n)s

Just been trying out the blur demo on multiplayer and can say that if that is HONESTLY how the multiplayer works in the main game then it is a REAL shame!

I sat for 40 minutes before playing online against someone and then had to wait for a day and age before another race started once that one was over. The only reason I sat that long was because of the competition open on PSN to win a BMW by playing a game.

I've put blur on my rental wish list from lovefilm and will see if it is any different once they send that out... I hope for the games sake that it is!

I know that demo's are not the finished product and should be taken with a splash of "meh - they'll fix that"-ness but developers and publishers need to make sure that they don't turn gamers off completely!

EDIT: Maybe I was a little harsh. Just been playing it again and turns out that it does work better some of the time... I'll await the rental to see for sure.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Artistic licence with real world locations...

Just got back from Venice this weekend... was amazing, and it was my birthday. I was granted the opportunity of carte-blanche and allowed to choose the activities for the day... Ah-ha I thought... I shall go to a church that I know is in Assassins Creed 2 and see how well it was done.

Very well it turned out... however it was a rather long trek across the city in order to get there. And would have taken time even without stopping due to the heat. It would take a non stop 40-50 minutes to get there from our hotel just West of St. Marks. When I got home and had a recap on the game last night it turns out that you can make the journey by roof top in less than 2 minutes... um... okay.

Now - I know that to recreate any city full scale would be a challenge and I would not wish that on anyone that had the job of creating a 15th Century Venice. However, measurements like distance are less open to discussion perhaps...?

I had been to Venice prior to Assassins Creed 2 being released and so knew of the compressed feeling - however any die-hard fan making the journey for the 1st time should heed the warning... take comfortable shoes, lots of water, and a map... even I needed one and I am the GPS for most journeys.

For your amusement I have included the photos for eyes!


Monday, 14 June 2010

1 Month On...

It has now been over 1 month since I felt the urge to blog about games... mainly because of Open University commitments being more important (yes they are!) but now I have some new get-up-and-go to push my fingers on the keyboard. Whilst not a huge amount of game progress has been made I will recap this months gaming ventures.

  • I recently set-up a USA PSN account in order to download and play the games that SCEE are yet to put on our store here in the UK...  I am now enjoying the Tomb Raider and Resident Evil series a second time around, and Dino Crisis for the first time.
  • I booted up Flow (PS3) recently and found out it has trophy support now.
  • I now own Skate 2 & 3 and am enojoying the online play. Brilliant games and glad to see even more improvement on the original.
  • I have almost completed Red Faction: Guerilla - haven't been back to it recently though.
  • I have been playing a PSP recently and am enjoying Killzone: Liberation, Dissidia: Final Fantasy & Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines - as well as the above PSOne classics on the go and remote play - though one annoying thing there is the absence of an L2 and R2 button.

That is it in terms of activity... the remaining musings are the game related thoughts I have had....

  • Now LOST has concluded on TV I want to go back and play LOST the video game through to see how that fits in with the entire story.
  • Why didn't I get a component cable for my PS2 earlier... it improves the picture 10 fold.
  • How long will it be until the PS3 is hooked up to a 3D TV in Sony Centres so I can gawp at it?
  • How much of my journey to Italy via Paris by train will be taken up by gaming?

Friday, 7 May 2010

A flaw in my plan... perhaps?

After my recent epiphany, I have found a somewhat fatal flaw in my "play the story through" plan...

Stories are short and boring in sandbox games - it's the messing about that I enjoy!

Take for example Red Faction Guerrilla... I love trying to beat the pro times in demolition and transporter side missions... and considering that each sector only really has about 5 story missions TOPS that leaves a lot of open world to run amok in.

I'm enjoying the sense of nearing the end but part of me is aching to slow down and mine ore deposits and look for radio tags. "Why don't you then!" I hear you cry... 20 uncomplete games I repeat.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Where next???

Last night I completed FF13 - so that officially means I can move on to another game in order to complete another story.

I will however be coming back to Gran Pulse in order to stake out the remaining 50% of trophies still to collect, but that will take a long time and shall be reserved for a future date when I am most probably left on my own with nothing to do.

I'll be moving away from the RPG genre for a while I think - not that I don't enjoy it, I think it is a great genre and I enjoy developing characters etc... It's just time to give some of my other games a look-in.

Question is... where next? I'm thinking Prince of Persia, perhaps Avatar, maybe Ghostbusters... All this considered I am probably equally through each... and saying that makes me realise that Red Faction Guerrilla needs finishing too... so I think I will leave Cocoon and Gran Pulse and board the next space ship to Mars... a little closer to home.

Friday, 9 April 2010

One game at a time...

I'm a changed man!

Not through religion or a near miss experience... No, I owe this to good old Final Fantasy 13. I've still not swapped the disc, save for a try of rentals, and it has turned a corner in my mind that reads thus... 'He who hath many games to playeth should complete the main story at least before changing his disc.'

This new me will still be on the lookout for games on the cheap (only 5games have been purchased RRP), and will continue to rent... However he shall endure to make it to a games end before decreeing 'What else is on?'

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII... Still

Hi all

Still playing FFXIII (though don't tell anyone but I played 3 rental games - Infamous, Prototype & Darkvoid - to test them out for possible purchase).

I've just spent an accumulated 2 hours trying to beat the final Eidolon (Vanille's) and thought it my civil duty to say...

GAWDAMN! That was tough!

I've not CP farmed a lot in Chapter 11 (I have study to do, and as aforementioned it is almost impossible to decide which massive odds to stack myself against) and so I am now thankful for the liniar path laid out ahead of me. I will come back to this pit of death after story completion!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII Liniarity...

I've just made it to Chapter 11 of FF13 and for the first time in the game I'm a little at a loss. Up to this point I have approached every battle... even when odds are against me and got to where I am.

Now I am at a loss as to which creatures to actually battle, because some of them (Behemoths) can fell me in one move!

People have been harking on about how the liniarity was annoying but as it stands at the moment I am feeling like you are quite literally thrown from liniarity into a massive sandbox full of battles of which many I will have to come back to.

I've become a trophy whore for this game and will end  up with Platinum in the end but for now I will continue with the story and  save my "exploration" for the post final boss opportunity (which I spoiled for myself by reading a trophy guide... damn!)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Gaming Characters - A Race to The Finish Line

Currently it's still FFXIII in the PS3, and there is many a comment banded about the interweb about the likeability (or annoyance) of the characters... with the consensus being that...
Snow can't stop with the word Hero which makes him sound arrogant
Lighting is as emotional as a block of cheese
Hope is a whiney emo kid
Vanille is like dragging your fingers done a chalkboard made of sugar

It got me thinking about the longevity of any character in any game. Final Fantasy is well known for not having "sequals" with each new incarnation placing you in a new setting. This hasn't however stopped the cast of FFVII being some of the best known characters in gaming history with only one adventure together. So much so that a CGI film brings them back together to round off the story, and several spin offs were made years after its success.

Mario and Sonic on the other hand... starting way back when I still had an awful 1980's child haircut... have had more outings than all the Ashes series in that same time. The games were all okay back then, as there wasn't such a huge expectation for epic scenery and challenging boss fights... hell there wasn't really a story until Sonic 3 came along and had side scrolling equivelants to cut scenes.

These characters have long term staying power but it sems that they don't feel the need anymore to work for that status. Lara Croft is not far behind - I am sure the only reason that she has stayed so long is that the game playing populus a predominantly men. Uncharted may be "better" according to some reviews but men have got used to pushing Lara's buttons.

The latest characters are joining a Marathon in its closing stages... Sackboy form LittleBigPlanet is endearing but will he be remembered in 2 decades time as Sonic has been? Will Sonic still be with us then  or will his big red running shoes have been hung up? Now that games are getting BAFTA awards it has made the expereince of gaming more than just a button bash or a mouse click. We are invited to become emotionally invested in storylines, characters plights, scenery and more.

The characters in FFXIII may seem annoying to some but to me they don't need to be long term companions. We probably won't see them again, and once I am done with the 60+ hours of questing I probably wont go for a second playthrough. So long as my attention is held throughout the game it's all fine with me.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Asssassins Creed 2 broke my vow of gaming monogomy

I'm sure that I polluted my mind by writing it but last night I cheated on Final Fantasy XIII in order to 100% Assassins Creed 2.

Now just another 23 "uncompleted" games to do...

- GTA IV has a completed story but not exploration
- Burnout Paradise had to be re-completed for trophies - thus I don't have 100% cars yet (and wont for a while)
- Fallout 3 is "complete" so far as all DLC and trophied quests but I still have to replay for karma based trophies

So that makes 20 games to "complete" out of 23 "uncompleted" experiences.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

Who would have thought that I could keep my attention towards such an EPIC story for this long without even playing another game!!! It’s amazing!!

Usually my mind gets bored of a game, plays a different one for a while and then goes back to the original game in question... but with Final Fantasy 13 I have not changed discs (and won't have to even half way through due to PS3 Blu-Ray haha!) in the whole 17 hours it has been played other than to use a DVD to fall asleep to. There are only 2 other games that have held my attention for this long without being interrupted... Assassins Creed 1 & 2...
• AC 1 was due to being snowed in and having time to play it... I completed it well before 17 hours and that was mainly pushed through because I played a little bit of AC 2 first and wanted to know the back story to Desmond
• AC 2 was completed in 24 hours with little if any interruption and now sits waiting for me to complete the DLC.

Graphics in FF13 are amazing. Cut scenes between fights utilise the character models you play with, which look smooth and seamless, and then when one of the cinematic cut scenes shows itself it's like watching Advent Children! Simply astounding. Some of the music is a bit "Sonic the Hedgehog" for my tastes but it adds a light hearted feel to playing as one of the sickly sweet children.

I'm at the tip of the iceberg if reviews are to be trusted, and that there are still another 40 + hours to enjoy. Safely... I can say bring it on!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

100% game completion

It had to happen...

The first post I mean, nothing else! Everyone starts somewhere - I'm just starting this half way through everything... quite literally EVERYTHING.

I am playing a multitude of games and the only ones that I have completed 100% are... well none. I played Assassins Creed 2 to "100% Platinum" and game completion but then along comes the DLC and WHAM... more things to do so that has been knocked off the pedestal entitled "100% completed".

It is strange to think that the games industry is moving us towards playing games for longer by giving us trophies (PS3) and gamer points (XBox) for doing tasks from the simple to the insane. Before our time was spent getting to the end of the game as quickly as possible because we could not save progress along the way. The SEGA Master System and Megadrive were prime candidates for this! I would rush through Sonic the Hedgehog trying to collect all the emeralds in a Saturday afternoon. Now, I spend at least 25 hours of gaming time playing through the main game, every side quest, every discovery and EVEN doing activities that have no effect on the game as a whole.

What is it within our brains that drive us gamers towards 100% completion of games... scrap that thought... what is it that drives us towards COMPLETING a game to any degree???

I am currently playing Square Enix's latest Final Fantasy Epic (FFXIII) and look forward to the journey... but how complete would my experience of the game be if I did not put my all into investing time to 100% it? I don't think it would affect it too much, although every time I look at my trophy list I will be reminded that I could go back and still do more...

Well done developers and producers... you have us hooked

Playstation 3 Trophies